Friday, September 30, 2005

What a Joke, Indeed

Is anyone else getting comment spam from the idiot with the PokerJoke blog on Blogger (which isn't, despite it's name, a Poker Joke blog, but is instead a thinly-veiled affiliate site)?

If you actually read this, Mr./Miss Joke, how about you stop spamming my blog and I'll stop reporting you for spam with all of your affiliate programs that you not so cleverly don't cloak the links for?


Thursday, September 29, 2005

Otis, You Da Man

Poker Championship

I have registered to play in the
Online Poker Blogger Championship!

This event is powered by PokerStars.

Registration code: 3751004

Hot, Cold, Hot, Cold

Nothing like Texas weather in the spring/fall. Yesterday it was 106, this morning it's 73. Craziness.

Running very well this week, all sudden-like. Last night was one of those odd poker nights where literally everything went my way, when I was involved in a hand. Flus draws getting there, pocket pairs flopping sets, AA holding up despite crazy six way action. If you could bottle up that feeling and sell it, you'd be a rich monkey. Or, you know, a heroin dealer...

Next Thursday I'll be in Vegas. Woot.

I'm not sure how it happened, but I'm apparently going to the freaking ballet on Friday night. At least it's Carmina Burana and not Swan Lake or some crap like that.

Thumbs down to Lost last night. When you advance the plot line more in the previews for next week's show, you've got a problem. Not really sure why they felt the need to fill in the back story for last week's episode, as all they really added of import is the fact that some sort of countdown mechanism in the hatch/bunker needs to be periodically reset, plus introducing the element of potential sickness/plague, when Desmond asked if any of the stranded peeps had gotten sick yet.

How is it well-nigh October already? I swear time is accelerating.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Being Relentless At (and Away From) the Table

One advantage of a mindless day job is that I have much time to sit here and ponder about things. The important things. Like how much blasting across the alkali flats in a jet-powered, monkey-navigated hovercraft would be. Or, you know, poker.

If you were given exactly two words to use, to relate what you think the best poker advice is, distilled from all of your experience, what would they be? For a very long time my nearly automatic answer would have been "Be aggressive", likely followed closely by "Be disciplined". Lately, though, I'm leaning more towards "Be relentless", despite the fact that it takes a little explication.

Here's the thing. My dirty little secret. I'm not the best poker player in the world. I'm not even the best poker player in the room.

Some people are naturally good at certain things, including poker. They have an intuitive feel for strategy, can quickly grasp and calculate implied odds situations, and are ultra aggressive and competitive. I've got none of that. I'm stubborn when it comes to absorbing lessons, struggle calculating odds and assorted maths, and avoid confrontation whenever possible.

I am, though, pretty damn relentless. Especially when you present me with a +EV situation, and the tools to take advantage of it. I may not get there quickly, or with abundant flair, but I'll get there. And once I do, I'll keep quietly pounding away at what works, over and over and over.

Part of being relentless is being ruthless. Not so much in the obvious ways, as far as check-raising the dofus who keeps donk betting on the river with any two cards, but in more introspective ways. I dwell and gnash more on lemur plays I make when I ultimately win the hand than I do on making bad calls or bets when I ultimately lose the hand.

You lose just as much potential profit from making sub-optimal plays when winning as you do when making sub-optimal plays while losing. If anything, winning probably costs you more in the long run, as the natural tendency when losing is to put on the brakes fairly quickly and try to identify what's the source of the problem. Variance and fickle luck and skill can mask sub-optimal plays for a long, long time when you're flush and on a roll, despite the fact that they take a constant toll on your overall profitability.

Or, more simply, you should be most ruthless about examining and tearing your own game down when you're winning, not when you're losing. If you're a winning player, this means that you should pretty much constantly be examining and tearing your game down, always looking for even the smallest of leaks and eradicating them. You should constantly question how you played hands, if you missed a value bet on the river, if you should defend with Q8s in the SB when faced with a raise from the button. You should find useful forums and constantly read them, read every poker book you can get your hands on, and watch and play as much poker as possible.

If you're thinking that none of this sounds like fun, well, guess what, you're right. It isn't fun. If you're playing poker to have fun, you're sacrificing profits and ultimately hamstringing what you can potentially achieve.

Yes, I really mean that.

Lest I sound like a complete hardass, though, I am taking that statement to extremes. Obviously you can play poker, have fun, and make lots of money. And many, many people play poker to have fun, not to maximize their potential profits. So yes, indeed, like many pursuits, there's a boatload of reasons to counter what I just threw out there, as far as enjoyment, camaraderie, friendships that would otherwise never exist, and too many other awesome, good things to list.

What I am getting at, though, is the somewhat schizophrenic nature of the poker beast. Poker is a communal game, but maximizing your potential as a player is almost always a solitary, introspective endeavor. Books, forums, blogs, and emails (and old-fashioned conversations) are all tools that can help you, but they're fodder best crunched and analyzed alone, in comparison to your results from actual play.

Consistently playing poker well is hard work. It's not a hobby. It's not fun. It has no finish line, at which point you can kick up for feet and reap the rewards of your hard work. You have to make sacrifices. You have to treat it seriously and constantly tear yourself down and fix a very critical gaze upon your own reflection.

The vast majority of us only have a limited amount of time each day to devote to poker. Spend that time well. If you're serious about poker, be serious about poker. If you're not serious about poker, be honest with yourself. I'm not necessarily saying it's an either/or decision, as far as choosing to have fun or maximize your poker potential, but it's pretty close. Whichever you choose, at least be knowledgeable about the choice. 95% of the poker-related frustration that I read people blogging about isn't really about poker at all, but about a lack of focus, as far as what they want from poker and what they're willing to expend to achieve that.

Building and taking part in a community can be a double-edge sword. On the one hand, you have a constant support network, always within reach, at nearly any point in time. On the other hand, successful communities absorb an enormous amount of time and energy of individual members, by nature. Time is a pretty precious, finite commodity, especially if you're focused on achieving certain individual goals. Hoarders and spenders almost never end up in the same tax bracket.

In the end, it's all up to you. Which is really the point of all this rambling. If you're relentless enough, you can beat any level of poker. Anyone can. Honestly. But the price you pay is pretty steep, as it's not a matter of reading a few books, picking up enough tips and tricks, and then playing winning poker. It's a constant toil, always rolling that damn rock back up that damn hill, which is especially frustrating as, unlike ol' Sisyphus, you can choose to just walk away whenever you want.

If you want to guarantee yourself to be a long-term winner at poker, be relentless and ruthless. If you don't want that guarantee, don't. It's up to you.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

On the Virtues of Being Relentless

Still grinding out decent profits at the tables, despite some suckouts that would make the wee Jebus baby throw a colicy fit. I can't really complain, as I should know what's in store for me when I sit down at a table with an average VPIP of 47%, but it's still painful at times to see the leems rewarded, over and over and over, for some pretty horrific play.

I do have to admit, though, that it's worth the price of admission to hear assorted table coaches expound on "good" and "bad" plays. When Coach not only catches his A on the river, calling two bets cold the whole way (and with a 9 kicker), and then goes on to expound for ten minutes about why his nemesis was an idiot to keep raising with KK, because if he'd been paying attention he would have known that the A "was due to hit, since an A hadn't been on the board for three hands", well, that's just gold. Pure gold.

The last week or two have been pretty damned good ones, largely because I've managed to kick it up a notch, as far as taking care of assorted business (plus new plottings). I always stay relatively busy but get the bulk of many projects done in fits and bursts, when I relentlessly get much crap done that needs doing.

Still have some more grinding to do, though, if I want to book a decent profit for the month. Aside from lots of treading water, I sunk a decent amount of money into MTTs (WCOOP and some other satellite events) with almost nothing to show for it.

Yeah. Not much to see here. Nope.

Monday, September 26, 2005

LaDainian Tomlinson, Thou Art the Man

Wow. I had no clue LaDainian Tomlinson was a reader. Thank you, kind sir, for reading my desperate plea for help, and contributing 192 rushing yards, 3 TDs, and a passing TD, to boot. Somehow my fantasy team managed to overcome the fact that The Commish's receivers combined for approximately 72 TD catches. I would offer to name my first born LaDainian as tribute, but, umm, naw...

Ended up going out around 60th in the Stars $109 rebuy last night. Obviously not the finish I wanted, but I played pretty well, going out when I tried to bully around a pre-flop min-raiser who called with AKs, smiting my lowly AQo. Such is life. I'm not sure why I'm such a tight-arse, when it comes to ponying up entry fees for bigger tournaments. I don't blink at dropping a buy-in at 15/30 but for some reason paying upwards of $100 just to play in a MTT causes my tight-arsedness nature to kick into gear. Something I need to work on, though, especially if I'm going to play in a few of the smaller WSOP events next year.

My college football picks have been decent thus far, but sweet Jebus, I have no clue what's up with the NFL this year. I might as well just set afire the $5/week that I'm on the hook for in the office pool I'm in.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

I Didn't Even Have to Use my AK

Nothing too dramatic happened, but damn, I got much done this weekend, and watched a metric shit-ton of football. I still manage to occasionally forget that I telecommute on Mondays, too, which is a happy fun bonus when it gets to be Sunday night, and I realize suddenly that hey, I don't have to go to that stupid office place.

Managed to string together a nice few days at the poker tables, which is a welcome change. I guess it's the increased television coverage of the WSOP, but man, the tables are somehow getting even softer later. I've seen more wacky river bluffs (at limit) in the last few weeks than in the previous three months.

Nary a drop of rain here from ol' Rita. 'Nuff said.

For some reason, I got a wild hair and signed up for the crazy Stars $109 NL rebuy. A little bit below average after the first break but I managed to double up early, and never had to rebuy, so I'm only in for the original entry and the add-on. First place pays out a bit over $20,000. That'd, umm, be nice.

Only downside to the weekend so far is that The Commish is absolutely crushing my poor fantasy football team. Unless LaDainian blows it up for 200 yards and about 18 TDs, it's looking like I'm screwed.

Friday, September 23, 2005

I think I'm going to change my middle name to Variance. I'm basically dead on, asbolutely even from where I started the month, poker-wise, despite many yips and yaws in both directions. Gambling-wise, I'm doing well, but the wheels on the poker bus go round and round and round.

Putting my 2-0 fantasy football league record on the line versus The Commish this weekend, who seems to foolishly think he can avoid a swift kick in the junk. Old man Stephen Davis needs to stop sucking up TDs from my man Jake Delhomme and all shall be golden.

My wife's off gallavanting at the Austin City Limits music festival while I sit here, telecommuting. Boo.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Me Likee Cheesy TeeVee

So I was pretty highly entertained with Lost last night. Yeah, I know, cornball tv, but at least it's imaginative cornball tv. And all you people whining about how annoying it is because they just bring up more mysterious things without answering any questions? Go watch Springer re-runs if you want predictability. Some trashy chick will get pissed at some other slutty chick and pull her hair, all because of some dude with a mullet boning both of them. There's your predictability. Book it.

All of the impending doom talk here in Austin in regards to Rita is starting to wear a bit thin, too. Apparently there's been a massive run on bottled water, with some stored jacking up the price to more than $10/gallon. Amazingly enough, every map in the city has been left untouched. Sorry, doomsday kids, but we're 200+ miles from the coast. Yes, indeed, very windy and very rainy for a few days, and undoubtedly some power outages due to tree limbs coming down, but sweet Jebus, everything's going to be copacetic.

Aye, the grump force is very strong in this one today.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Not much exciting to relate from the blogger tournament last night. I was a little preoccupied, multi-tasking on about seventeen different things, and flailed around until the first break. Shortly thereafter I ended up foolishly getting 95% of my chips in pre-flop with AJs when I was obviously dominated by KQo, then donked off my remaining paltry few chips with KJo a few hands later. Finished 43rd or something like that. Sweeeeeettt...

Did have a good day in the 15/30 salt mines, though, plus a nice run at the degenerate blackjack tables working off a bonus, so I can't really complain. Sportsbetting arbitrage scheming is going really, really well. Likely more on this later, when I have a little more exeprience under my belt.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Cold Calling: The Silent Killer

One of the obvious benefits of data mining the hell out of Party tables lately is that you end up with all sorts of nice, juicy data, above and beyond your own personal stats. I've spent a goodly amount of time lately reverse-engineering some of it, as far as finding the most profitable players and then working backwards, seeing if there are any obvious tendencies or trends.

The interesting thing is that while you can come to some pretty iron-clad generalizations (e.g. you can't be a winning player with a VPIP over 40%), there's a surprising amount of divergence in many of the indicators that people focus on. It's hard to hang your hat on any one number, circle it, and say that's where you should be. If you look at enough data, you can find all sorts of exceptions to many rules you'd like to create, as far as what AF or VPIP a winning player should have. In general, yes, we can arrive at an average that serves as a very good benchmark to shoot for, but my point is that there are plenty of statistical outliers for nearly every factor you might isolate, with solid sample sizes behind them, that lead to a bit of head-scratchin' when you start examining them.

The one factor, though, that I've been able to observe that has the best correlation to profitability of play, is the percentage of time a player cold-calls. The most profitable players cold-call the least, with the percentage of cold-calls increasing slightly as you move down the profitability range.

Again, makes perfect sense, as we've all learned (hopefully) from all sorts of poker authors that you almost never want to be calling two or three bets. If you have a powerful hand, raise. If it's not powerful enough to raise, then fold, as at least one other person is displaying strength.

The problem, though, is at heart we're all monkeys that like to play poker. So while we may logically know that cold-calling gives the baby Jebus peptic ulcers, it's really, really hard to toss away that A10d, when it's raised and re-raised in front of us. Especially if that's the best hand we've seen in 20 minutes. It's much easier to just call, crossing our fingers and chanting "Diamonds diamonds diamonds diamonds".

An additional problem is that we have very selective minds, which are prone to remember the isolated incidents where we cold-called three bets with A10d and flopped the nut straight, and immediately expunging from our memory all the times where we cold-called and whiffed (or, even worse, flop an A, can't get away from it due to the size of the pot, only to end up out-kicked and substantially poorer.)

Again, I'm not trying to re-invent the wheel here, as this is relatively common-sensical and widely broadcast by all sorts of poker authorities. What surprised me, though, was not only just how accurate an indicator cold-calling frequency was, as far as profitability, but just how infrequently the most profitable players cold-call. One of the more profitable players in my database has cold-called exactly 6 times over 44,000 hands. It's not uncommon at all to see cold-call percentages of less than .1 percent among top players.

While on the surface that seems discouraging, as far as advocating you throw more hands away, in the face of a raise, it's really not. If anything, it adds support to the idea that aggressive poker is the way to roll. If you're going to play that pair of tens, then three-bet, instead of meekly calling two bets cold. You'll only flop the set 1 in 8 times, so you have to maximize what you win when you do for it to be profitable to play those tens. Ditto for that A10d.

Like many pokery decisions, the expectation between folding and raising with good but not great hands (when faced with a cold-call decision) is usually often pretty small. The big pots you take down when you hit at best barely offset the times you completely miss on the flop and have to fold.

What can kill your long-term profitability, though, are the cold-calls. That's the worst of both worlds, as you invest at least 1 BB in a situation where you're likely already behind, yet you do nothing to maximize the pot when your hand is ultimately good. You're voluntarily risking additional money in a marginal situation yet also refusing to increase your potential profits, in the relatively rare instances that you win.

One thing to keep in mind, too, is that being in the blinds doesn't mean you're not cold-calling. This has been a bad leak of mine that I'm working to address lately, especially when in the SB. Say you're in the SB in a 15/30 game and it folds around to the button, who's been stealing liberally with just about anything. Button raises. You've got Q10c. Since you're opening up your requirements to defend, given the circumstances, you're pretty happy with your hand. You call, waiting for the BB to fold and get out of the way, so that you can go to war with the button, ready to check-raise the flop and really putting Mr. Stealy McStealsaLot to the test.

Bzzzt, wrong answer. Because of the raise, you're essentially cold-calling, even though you're in the SB and have already invested $10 in blinds. Don't delude yourself into thinking this is different from the horrible, evil cold-calling that you've been warned against. Slightly different, but it's basically the same, just a wee bit less expensive than normal.

What's worse, though, about the cold-call from the SB is that you have a chance to knock the BB out of the hand and pick up dead blind money for free, thus making a raise in that situation even more profitable than normal. While meekly completing from the SB is correct in many, many cases, especially if there are mucho limpers, I can't think of any situation where merely calling a button open-raise from the SB is correct. Aside from all of that, you're also likely taking the momentum back in the hand with a raise, especially if the button is on a complete steal, and can take it down on the flop without much of a fight.

To recap: cold-calling gives the baby Jebus peptic ulcers. Don't put him through that. He's suffered enough for your sins. Either fold or raise.

Glad I Don't Work for Bill Parcells This Morning

If you somehow haven't heard, there's a blogger tournament kicking it tonight on Titan Poker.

What: WPBT No Limit Tournament
Where: Titan Poker
When: Tuesday, September 20th at 9:00 PM ET
Entry fee: $20 + $1
Password: thehamma

Not only do you get to take part in mucho pokery fun, but they also offer a $500 matching signup bonus and some of the fishiest players east and west of the mississippi.

Be there, or, you know, be orthogonal, or dodecahedronesque.

With the help of Dante (Stallworth, that is, not the Culpeppery one that keeps wandering around lost, mumbling "Have you seen my Randy?"), my fantasy football team is off a 2-0 start. I can't say I was too thrilled with my final roster after the draft, and they'll likely struggle to put up big time points any given week, but they're looking reasonably solid so far.

Yesterday was not a stellar poker day. I managed to get in quite a few hands earlier in the day, booking a slight loss, and for some reason decided to play more during the MNF games, despite the fact that I was pretty sick of sitting in front of a computer by that point. I'm still not sure why that's such a hard lesson for me to learn, as far as staying away from the tables when my mind isn't completely into it. So I managed to donk away a buy-in before I thought, Hmm, you know, I'm just not feeling it tonight.

At which point it seemed a good idea to play a little PL Omaha. So I hop over to Bodog and do that, hoping to take advantage of some of the crazy Bodog players that seem to pop up in prime sports time. Bought in for $400 at a 2/4 PL Omaha table, pretty much treaded water for twenty minutes or so, was up about $75 or so, when I ended up semi-reluctantly getting it all in with the second-best boat. Villain flipped over a piddling little straight, which I was obviously happy and relieved to see, except, umm, half the pot slid over his way. I sat there, completely confused, scratching my monkey head, until I realized that I'd been playing PLO8 this whole time.

Laser focus at the tables, indeed.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Come Baaaaaccckkkk, Weekend

A visit from the in-laws coupled with much other assorted cleaning and running around resulted in me seeing all of half an hour of football this weekend, plus not one single hand of poker being played. The horror...

This has been a pretty light poker month so far, and likely will remain so. Lots going on, and I've been trying to not force myself to play if I'm not in the right mindset, don't have much time to play, etc. Hopefully I can get in some decent playing time before the trip to Vegas, but we shall see.

Pretty ugly week for all my assorted football pickin', both NCAA and NFL. I realize it's always this way early in the year before teams settle out, but the NFL seems especially schizophrenic this year. If you'd told me the final Detroit-Chicago score would be 38-6, I'd have nodded, feeling sorry for the poor offensively-challenged Bears. Except, umm, it was the Bears that put up 38 points.

On the fantasy football front, alls I needs is a measly 3.27 points from Dante Stallworth in the Saints-Giants game tonight, to deliver a kick to the junk of Donkeypuncher and go 2-0 for the year. Come on, Dante, you got that, dawg. Piece o' cake.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Let's Get Ready to Rumble

I keep managing to forget that I'm going to be in Vegas October 6th-October 9th, staying at the MGM Grand, watching the Texas-OU game on Saturday, followed shortly thereafter by seeing the Corrales-Castillo rematch live, in da flesh. Which is a nice thing to suddenly remember, over and over.

I'm ready for the poker script of the week to flip the page, as yesterday was yet another rendition of the Stuck-Unstuck Revue. I think I ended up about $18 to the good, after being down $1,200 or so and looking for some small dogs or children to kick. It's a bit odd, as I'm not even having big hands cracked, or getting out of line when I shouldn't be, or any of that jazz.

One thing I'm working on, which sounds silly, is increasingly my willingness to look stupid. Both at the poker table and away from it. I don't think the S&M Boys address that directly in any of their 2+2 books, but at a certain point the willingness to occasionally look stupid can definitely be an asset, at the poker table. It definitely applies more to tournament situations, where you push with complete junk, attempting to steal, but it spills over to limit as well. You obviously don't want to make a habit of bluff raising/re-raising on scary boards, but you also shouldn't avoid that if you're only worry is that they'll look you up and you'll appear to be an idiot. Issues of table image aside, you're likely not playing optimally if you don't make a move or two per session that, in hindsight, looks pretty stupid when someone calls your bluff.

Lately I've been pretty obsessed with sports arbitrage betting, which is a pretty interesting world. Don't get me wrong, manually pouring through sportsbooks looking for arbitrage situations is about as exciting as watching paint dry, but the sportsbetting market is most definitely an inefficient one, especially when you throw in bonus money for new accounts/reloads. It also makes me giggle to have $500 riding on Victor Hanescu at the BCR open in Romania, or $750 on the Saskatchewan Roughriders money line. (In reality, it's a risk-free wager, so there's really nothing at risk, it just strikes me as funny, as far as betting big on obscure events.)

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Intruder Alert, Intruder Alert

Danger, danger: my mind is all over the place this morning. Consider yeself forewarned.

If I can be as gracious as John Gale when I grow up, I'll be a very, very happy monkey. That was an absolutely sick way to have a WSOP bracelet yanked from your wrist, and he was nothing but kind and generous. People can apologize all they want for the Ariehs and Dan Druffs of the world, citing pressure of the moment, competitive fire, biased slanting done for tv purposes, blah blah blah, but there's much truth in the old saw that true character comes out during moments of crises, not during moments of calm. And you, John Gale, displayed much true positive character. Kudos.

Been scuffling along for a few days, poker-wise. I just can't get anything going, seem to get myself stuck early, and spend the rest of the session clawing my way back. Down a bit for the week, but nothing too substantial.

[pep talk]

Feeling kind of malaisey in general, for all the wrong reasons. I keep starting posts about the subject, then getting upset with myself as I type, deleting them, etc. It's a very dumb sort of malaise, especially when New Orleans is under water and other much more serious ills and misfortunes stalk the earth.

Lacking a better term, I seem to be suffering from the malaise of semi-success. Or semi-malaise, I suppose. With our first wedding anniversary rapidly approaching, it's pretty easy to do the now and then comparison. And, in every measurable way, this has been one hell of a year. Wedding-wise, money-wise, poker-wise, everything. If you'd told me the last year would bring all the things it has, I'd have called you crazy.

So where's the damn malaise, you ask? Good question. Show me the malaise!

The only problem with all that "success", especially on the financial side, is that it keeps bringing out, in sharp contrast, just how unsatisying my day job is. And yeah, I've been playing that tired riff for as long as I've had this blog thing going, as far as the job goes, so that's old news. Despite all the negatives, it's the easiest job in the world, pays relatively well, allows me to telecommute two days a week, and provides funds to hopefully one day fuel the rocket ship that will allow me to escape.

What's gnawing at me lately, though, is that I keep studiously avoiding the rocket ship sitting on the launch pad, fueled and ready to go. For many practical reasons, all of them enumerated, pondered, and weighed. I sit here, ticking off all the potential dangers of space, and listing instead all of the cozy advantages of working in a sweat shop (guaranteed monthly wages, warm working conditions, comraderie of fellow monkeys).

The ironic thing is that for someone who spends so much time "gambling", I absolutely hate to gamble and take risks, especially with serious life things. I've always had a plan, always done the smart thing, always been practical, yada yada yada. And I'm good at that, and can continue to be good at that indefinitely, working thirty more years at unsatisfying jobs, saving money every month, investing wisely, and retiring at 60 with a very, very nice nest egg, house, and RV.

But man, to devolve into grunt monkey speak, where's the fucking fun in that?

It's not that I don't have fun, in the current comfortable state, as I do. It's just that I'm a bit maxed out, as far as juggling work, more work, gambling-related work, and fun. And without making a herculean effort or removing one of the "works" from that equation, I'm not sure I can budge the needle much further. Not that the needle is in a bad place, just one that only provides enough success to continue to stay on that path, and not quite enough to pursue new paths.

(I should note, for the record, that I'm absolutely not, in any way, pondering playing poker full-time. This isn't one of those sorts of posts. All I'm really attempting here is to find a way to pot-commit myself to getting out this rut, as far as semi-successfully straddling assorted jobs and pastimes.)

Long story short, it's time to get serious. No more dicking around and making excuses and dragging my feet and not seizing every opportunity that I know is out there. While the status quo is nice, it's not going to get me to where I want to be. Busting my ass for a year or two won't exactly be fun, but the ends definitely justify the means, especially if it involves escaping the slow creeping death of the current day job.

[/pep talk]

So, umm, yeah. Just ignore all the pep talk stuff. John Gale rocks. Yep.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Despite consuming enough coffee to cause arrhythmia in a bull elephant, I'm still nodding off at my desk.

I remembered at the last minute that I had plans last night, so no WCOOP Stud for me. Probably a very good thing, as I definitely have no business paying that large a buy-in for a Stud tourney, given my largely un-Studly skills.

Man, I gots nothing. No-thing. Nada.


Monday, September 12, 2005

Sweet, Sweet Football

Got to get the obligatory "Hook 'em Horns" plug in, but sweet Jebus, that was quite the college football game. I'd like to say I never wavered, my faith in the Longhorns rock solid, but I'm still not sure how we managed to win that game, with Ohio State starting approximately 72 drives at midfield or better.

Went 4-1 on my NCAA picks over the weekend, bumping me up to 6-4 on the year. As far as NFL picks, umm, yeah, I made some. Honestly, that had to have been one of the wackier opening weekends, as far as upsets. SF taking down the Rams? Tampa winning easily in Minnesota? (and somewhere Drizz weeps.) Miami thumping Denver? Insanity abounds.

Pretty dang pleased with the results of my first full week of sports arbitrage betting. It's a bit of an odd thing, having pretty substantial sums of money plunked down on games, but with no interest whatsoever in the eventual outcome. Hopefully I'll get a bit faster on the research side of things, as I get a routine down, as far as scanning books. And, just to repeat a previous offer, if you have any programming talents/experience with XML feeds and content scraping/aggregation, for the sake of the wee baby Jebus get in touch with me at This is opportunity knocking, kids.

On the poker front, well, I played some. Can't say I've completely shaken the slight poker malaise of late, but I think I slightly misdiagnosed it, as it's more a I'm=spending-too-much-time-in-front-of-the-computer malaise, than anything else. It'll be nice, someday, in the distant future in a land far away, when I don't have a day job that requires 8 hours a day, every single damn day, of being parked in front of the computing device. Adding in my schemin' and rhymin' and poker play and I pretty regularly clock in 10-12 hours a day in front of a computing device, which can obviously get old.

Think I'm going to play in the Stud WCOOP event today, which should be, umm, fun. Let's just say Stud isn't exactly my best game, but it's probably the last event I can play, schedule-wise, so I'll probably give it a shot.

Friday, September 09, 2005


Just as a change of pace, I'm gonna rip off a page from assorted bloggers and do a liveish update of the WCOOP Limit HE Event #6 I'm playing in.

1:54 PM: Hmm. 1700+ entries so far, which means it'll take approximately 4.2 years to finish this tournament. Sweeeeetttttt... About 350K in the prize fund, though, which is pretty nice.

2:03 PM: Two players to my left are sitting out, which is nice. Stealey stealey. Don't know many other blogger screennames but PokerNerd and TobyToby are both in the house.

2:07 PM: Some people do not play limit poker well.

2:18 PM: Stupid cable modem keeps cutting out for thirty seconds bursts. That could be annoying later on, assuming I'm lucky enough to still be around at a later stage for such things to become an issue.

2:22 PM: I hate pocket 10s.

2:27 PM: I also hate pocket 7s and a 9 high board. Thankfully the resident lemur at the table is keeping me afloat, sitting at 2,540.

2:32 PM: Oh, wait, I'm supposed to be telecommuting right now, too. Snap...

2:39 PM: Lalalalalalalalalalalalala

2:44 PM:

2:50 PM: Still treading water at 2,630. Pretty weak table but I just can't catch any cards.

2:52 PM: I really, realy hate pocket 10s. Down to 2,300.

3:01 PM: 2,405 at the break. Yeah, I'm really lighting it up so far. TobyToby is sitting at 3,340. 7 lemurs busted in the first hour, with 1774 left. Jebus, this is going to take forever.

3:17 PM: Lalalalalalalalalalala

3:19 PM: Hiltons actually came through for me, but I wussed out on a capped pre-flop action and three diamonds on the board. Up to 3,000 or so.

Then of course the Hiltons turn bitchy on me two hands later. Always nice when the guy whining relentlessly about his bad beats cold-calls pre-flop with 67o and flops two pair.

3:27 PM: The lemurs, they are too strong for me! Down to 2,355.

3:38 PM: Why do people think it's cool to limp with AA in limit HE, at a full table? And why do they bitch and whine for twenty minutes later when inevitably a junk hand from the BB ends up cracking them?

3:40 PM: Wow. May be an early exit for my monkey arse. Flop a set, massive three-way action, guy hits his gutshot straight on the river to take it down. Down to 1,200.

3:55 PM: Still kicking. Sort of. Scuffling along at 1,187.

4:02 PM: Neeeeeeeedddd chiiiippppssss...preeeeccciouuuusssss chipppsssssss...

4:08 PM: Well, made it to the second break, but I'm pretty hamstrung, sitting at 1,337. Finally had to make a stand with KQo, which somehow held up. 1348 players left at the second break, out of 1781. I'm gonna need to catch some cards quick out of the gate if I'm going to make any noise at all. Sort of sucks that all the big hands have eluded me, as this table is pretty juicy, with a guy sitting on 7,000 chips that argued for ten minutes that a full house beats four of a kind.

4:26 PM: I can't recall Harrington addressing it specifically, but somehow I don't think it's good when your M is less than 1.

4:28 PM: And that's all she wrote. Pretty dang poor showing. Meh.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Taking Shots

Yesterday was not a good poker day, but I sort of had it coming, having gotten the nice end of variance for quite a few sessions. Just one of those frustrating days where your top two pair always runs into a straight, flushes always get the best of you, and the lemur with the VPIP of 79 keeps catching that gutshot straight.

Color my monkey ass very, very excited that football season is officially back in full force, with the NFL and NCAA tag-teaming the summer sports doldrums we'd been mired in. Other than March, this is always the time of year that I get jazzed up about teh sports, what with football goodness and MLB playoffs looming.

I'm posting my weekly NCAA and NFL picks over at BonusBug (and all you sportsbetting fools should do the same, as it's just WillWonka and myself right now, battling it out for the coveted title of World's Best/Worst Handicapper), but a few games jump out at me. Call it foolish Longhorn pride, but I think Texas (+1) is going to handle Ohio State pretty easily. I'm also a bit perplexed by the St. Louis Rams (-5.5) vs. SF line, as SF looks to be pretty damn pitiful this year, and I would have expected that line to be more in the -7 range. I would also normally load the boat with Indy (-3) vs. Baltimore, but that line has looked weird all week, as a couple of big online sportsbooks are encouraging people to pile in on Indy, which often means that a lot of early smart money has been dumped on Baltimore. I can't see it, myself, but the almighty bookies are usually right more often than not.

Definitely playing in the WCOOP Limit HE tournament tomorrow. I would have played a few other events this week, if not for the odd start time for those tournaments. I realize those things can run really long, but I have to think PokerStars dropped the ball on that one, as far as mid-afternoon start times that us working stiffs in the US can't make.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Playing Aggressively with Drawing Hands

I've logged a lot of time in the last few months in the Mid/High Stakes forum at 2+2. While there's definitely a lot of dross to wade through, there's also some pretty valuable nuggets to be gleaned. My typical drill is to read the hand history, ponder a bit on what line(s) I might take, then read assorted responses, seeing if my take jives with the general consensus (or at least the consensus of posters that seem to know what the hell they're talking about).

One area I noticed where I seemed to be pretty consistently off target was play with drawing hands in good position, hands like KQs, QJs, J10s, etc. My tendency was to to fold them from early position, limp with them from mid/late position if there were already a few limpers, or open-raise from mid/late position if it was folded to me. If there was already a raise I'd almost always fold them and never cold-call or re-raise.

What I noticed, though, is that a lot of good players were not only playing those hands more often, but they were playing them more aggressively pre-flop, even three-betting or capping, especially when it was multiway action. They were even pumping in pre-flop raises with hands like KQo, even in the face of action, which seemed pretty suicidal, as they had to be behind to at least an A, and more than likely a biggish pair somewhere.

Hmm, my monkey brain thought, that's odd. Yeah, sure, if you hit the flop hard you're in great shape, and that looks like a stroke of genius, but you rarely hit the flop hard and pumping all the money in pre-flop seems like a bad play, given all the times you have to insta-muck on the flop. Plus with so many players in you'll never be able to drive them out via sheer aggressiveness if the flop misses you.

Further pondering and experimentation at the tables, though, slowly brought me around to that way of thinking. If you're a good player and you have good position, you should be looking for reasons to play hands, especially in hands that show the early signs of being big, multiway pots. If you're going to play those hands, you need to play them aggressively, especially if they're drawing hands. While pumping bets into the pot pre-flop with a drawing hand seems counter-intuitive, it serves the dual purpose of building a pot and disguising your hand, as the obvious read on your action would be that you hold a big pair.

Let's look at a couple of example hands.

Example Hand #1: 15/30 Party game, I'm on the button with Qh Jh. Reasonable table, a little loose aggressive, but no outright maniacs or fishies.

Folds to UTG+1 who calls, MP1 calls, MP2 raises, folds to me.

Damnit, this is one of those hands that I want to fold but know I shouldn't, based on recent studyin' and learnin'. I can't cold-call, as that makes baby Jebus weep. If I can't fold or call, that only leaves one option. Damnit.

I raise, SB calls, BB calls, UTG+1 calls, MP1 calls, MP2 calls. 6 players see a flop of Kh 10h 5s.

Me likee.

SB checks, BB checks, UTG+1 checks, MP1 checks, MP2 bets.

I'd have to take my shoes off to count my exact outs here, but it's, umm, a lot. Raisey-raise.

I raise, SB folds, BB calls, UTG+1 folds, MP1 calls, MP2 three-bets.

Hmm. I probably need to actually stop and think now. I'm obviously currently behind in the hand but that was a perfect flop and I have a huge drawing hand. BB and MP1 previously cold-called two bets so they're probably coming along, even if I cap here. MP2 could be drawing to the nut flush, so that might negate some heart outs, but I can't fear monsters, as he could just as easily have a set or two pair, or even getting jiggy with Ah Kx, etc.

I cap, BB calls, MP1 calls, MP2 calls. Turn is 3c, putting Kh 10h 5s 3c on the board.

BB checks, MP1 checks, MP2 bets.

Still not there, and MP2 is still firing. If I thought BB and MP1 would cold-call again I'd still raise, but if I lose them I don't think I have the odds to be playing that aggressively.

I call, BB calls, MP1 calls. Turn is 4s, putting Kh 10h 5s 3c 4s on the board.


BB checks, MP1 checks, MP2 bets. I fold, BB folds, MP1 calls. MP2 wins a ginormous pot with 10 10, MP1 shows Ah Qc.


I obviously bled away a lot of chips there, but the huge draw + multiway action pretty much justified it. If you assign reasonable hands to each unknown hand and factor in what MP1 and MP2 actually had, I'm about 33% to win after the flop, with MP2 about 55% and everyone else trailing badly. Even though I obviously have the worst of it, the cold calls from the largely dominated hands make raising/capping the correct play, even against an obviously made hand of some sort. You could likely argue that I should have raised the turn as well, given the fact that BB and MP1 have already cold-called so much.

The pot ended up being $690, so let's just assume $700 as an average. I invested a total of $165 in the hand. If we run this hand out 100 times, I'll lose a total of $11,055, as I'll lose 67% of the time. I'll also win 33% of the time, raking in a total of $23,100. Subtract my own investment ($165) from each winning hand and that leaves a profit of $17,755. Subract the total lost when I lose ($11,055) from the profit generated when I win ($17,755) and you end up with an overall profit of $6,700, or +$67/hand.

Interesting, that. On the surface, it looks like I'm overplaying pretty much the whole way, except for the turn. But given all the cold-callers that play along, aggressively playing my drawing hand is actually pretty profitable. But on average that play produces $67 in profit, every time I make it in those conditions.

One thing to note about this hand, that's a recurring theme, is that a lot of the value in it is pumping bets in pre-flop with drawing hands but also having the discipline to fold when the flop isn't beneficial. If the flop had instead come Jc 8h 2s, and SB bet, BB called, UTG+1 called, MP1 called, and MP2 raised, I would insta-fold, despite flopping top pair with decent kicker. If you're going to play aggressively with drawing hands, kudos, but you also have to be able to abort the mission based on the action, even when you have top pair.

Example Hand #2: 15/30 Party game, I'm on the button with Kc Qd. Fairly tight table with one obvious maniac.

UTG calls, folds to MP1 who calls, MP2 calls, CO (maniac) raises.

Gah. This is another one of those hands that I'd prefer to fold but should likely raise with. This is sort of an odd case, as I've actually got a decent drawing hand in a big multiway pot but also a decent heads-up hand if I can knock out enough players. The raise from the maniac could mean anything. If I three-bet, I'll likely knock out the blinds and possibly one of the limpers, given how tight the table has been.

I three-bet. SB folds, BB calls, UTG calls, MP1 calls, MP2 calls, CO calls. 6 players see a flop of Jh 10d 4h.

That's a pretty damn good flop, all things considered. Don't like the hearts but if I hit my straight I'll likely get paid off big-time, especially if an A comes.

Checks all the way around to me. I bet. SB calls, UTG folds, MP1 calls, MP2 calls, CO check-raises.

Hmm. Me no likee that, but I've still got a decent draw and all sorts of action in a big pot. It's also not the worst thing in the world if I drive anyone out with a raise, as it could improve my chance of winning with a pair of kings or queens, if CO is aggressively playing something like AJ, which appears to be the case. Remember, stay aggressive, just like all those good players you study who keep firing with draws.

I three bet. SB calls, MP1 folds, MP2 calls, CO caps, everyone calls.

Turn is 6s, putting Jh 10d 4h 6s on the board.

Checks to CO, who bets.

Hmm. Still drawing but the pot is huge. Do I just call or raise? I'd be tempted to raise but with the possible flush I think I have to just call here.

I call, SB folds, MP2 calls.

River is Ad, putting up a board of Jh 10d 4h 6s Ad.

Boo ya.

MP2 bets, CO raises, I three bet. MP2 calls, CO caps, I call, MP2 calls. I win with the straight, CO flips over Ac Jc, MP2 shows Ah 6h.


Playing the assign random reasonable hand game, I was about 20% to win on the flop, with CO (As Jc) at about 32% and MP2 (Ah 6h) at 40%, and everyone else far behind. CO jumps to about a 55% favorite when the turn blanks, but I've still got about 18%, with MP2 at about 24%.

In the actual hand, I won a pot of $960. That includes some pretty heavy river action, though, when we all hit what seemed to be our money card, so let's just say the average pot won would be $800. My investment would be about $225 on average, so the 80 times I lose cost me $18,000. The 20 times I win produce $11,500 in profit. So overall this hand results in -$6,500 for me, or -$65/hand.

But, umm, wait. I won, right? Big pot pushed to me. This looks a lot like that other hand, where you kept betting aggressively on the draw. How can the results be so different?

Unlike the first hand, where I was a dog to only one other opponent, I was a dog to two different opponents, one with top pair and the other with a nut flush draw. That makes a huge difference expectation-wise, as it's only a break-even proposition for me if I'm a dog in the range of 27-30%, and only gets significantly profitable when my odds of winning are over 30%. With that board it became pretty obvious that someone was on a flush draw and someone likely had a J with a big kicker, so I should have bailed on the hand early, instead of firing away aggressively with my draw.

Moral of the Story:

Proper play with drawing hands at first seems counter-intuitive, as far as raising and capping with a drawing hand. If you're going to play these hands, though, that's really the only way to play them. Your overall value in hands like these comes from aggressively raising while you're still on the draw, so you need to avoid the temptation to try to limp along and cheaply see the next card. The reason this play is +EV to begin with stems from aggressive play, even when you know you're behind and need help, as you have to build big pots when you win to compensate for all the busted draws and hands you insta-muck when the flop doesn't help you.

That said, you have to know when to get out of these hands. If the flop doesn't help you, abort the mission. If the flop helps you but leaves you vulnerable in two directions (either to a bigger made hand or a bigger draw or a combination of both), abort the mission. While these hands thrive on multi-way action, that's a double-edged sword, as you can almost be certain that someone is on a flush draw, someone has top pair, etc.

It's pretty self-apparent, but the size and quality of your draw obviously matters. In the first example, the straight/flush draw gives me more than enough outs to justify pumping in as many bets as I can. In the second example, though, I only have the open-ended straight draw, which isn't quite enough with the guy on the nut flush draw in the mix as well.

You also have to pick your spots with these. If you're on the button with J10s and it folds to the CO, who raises, it's very often correct to simply fold. You have no guarantee you'll be getting the multi-way action you need, as everyone else may fold, leaving you heads-up with J high.

Like I mentioned before, you also often have to lay down top pair, even after pumping in bets pre-flop. If people are betting at you after your show of strength pre-flop, you're almost always in bad shape, and likely outkicked/dominated from the get-go.

Don't be afraid to be aggressive with drawing hands pre-flop, as long as you can release them when you need to. Avoid the temptation to cold-call/limp, especially if there are multiple players already in the pot. Yeah, we all wish we could somehow peer into the future and catch a glimpse of the flop, before committing chips to hands like that, but we can't, so the next best thing is to play aggressively when you decide to play them, coming in with a raise or re-raise.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Help Wanted

I'm in the processing of getting a few new projects up and rolling and am hitting the inevitable wall where my limited monkey abilites slow things up considerably, as I flail my way through assorted new tricknologies and what-not. In an effort to speed things up, I'm crying uncle and deciding to do what normal people do in situations like that: pay other people to do it.

As far as potential payment, shoot me an email at and we can talk terms. The only caveat is that I'm reasonably Web-savvy and aware of the fact that I can get what I need done on the cheap side via trolling through craigslist or other freelance sites. That's not to say I won't fairly compensate you, as I most definitely will, just that we won't get anywhere if you're expecting to charge me $3,927 for what in actuality requires a few hours of work. I'm more than happy to pay via Neteller or poker site accounts, etc. I'd much rather pay a fellow blogger or reader, too, as opposed to some other random person.

Here's what needs doing:

  • Graphic design: I need some fairly simple logos/nav buttons/general website graphics done. Nothing very complicated and intensive or exacting and you'd have more than a little freedom to get jiggy. At the moment I only need work done for a general gambling portal site, but this could definitely lead to more work in the future.

  • Content aggregation: I'd like to be able to scrape content from assorted sportsbooks and pull lines into one central location, as far as comparing and contrasting them in real-time (or close to real time). The following is a good example of what I want to be able to do (except with more sportsbooks): SBR Lines. I'm primarily interested in NFL games, if that simplifies matters. This will largely be a tool for private usage, so gussying it up and making it look pretty isn't a concern. It's also not a concern if certain sites make it impossible to do this, based on their site structure; as long as it'll work with a fairly large number of sites (20+) it's cool if some individual sites aren't included.
  • Monday, September 05, 2005

    Praise Jebus, the Grouting is Dead

    Thanks to some much appreciated help from the Grout Cavalry, the tile project is officially done. Finished. No more grouting, no more nothing, except for one more coat of penetrating sealer. Thank Jebus.

    I fully intended to play in WCOOP Event #1 yesterday but just couldn't pull the trigger when the time came to pony up the entry fee. It's especially dumb and miserly, given that I booked a profit early yesterday large enough to cover the entry but nay, I chose to be a hoarder instead of taking a shot. Bad, miserly monkey.

    Still running well at the tables, so no complaints there. Pretty worn out, which isn't the best way to cap off a three day weekend, but also not the worst.

    Saturday, September 03, 2005

    Austin WPBT

    On the bright side, many thanks to the gracious host of the Austin WPBT tournament, who ran a very fine tournament and has quite the set-up.

    As far as my own results, I could have just saved much time and handed all of my chips to Jaxia and watched the awesome TCU-OU game. She got a chunk of my chips early then the rest of them when I foolishly got excited to see KK in the BB, only to be up against, that's right, AA. Was nice to get out, play some poker, and at least I got to watch some football on a screen approximately forty times the size of my wee television at home.

    Still, good times, good to play poker, good to meet new folks.

    Friday, September 02, 2005

    Back in the Telecommuting Saddle

    Definitely nice to be back on the telecommuting trolley. The last few days of work have achieved new levels of bizzare, surrealness. Yesterday we had two paid cowboys walking around in chaps and spurs, trying to strong-arm people into attending the Western-themed summer company party. I'm not sure what's worse, paying two random dudes to dress up like cowboys or the fact that as part of the party planning process you incorporate plans to attempt to strong-arm people into going to what ostensibly should be "fun", but never is, so no one goes.

    Still on a nice little tear at the tables. Poker is a fickle, fickle mistress. Took down a ginormous +$1,000 pot yesterday with 24o from the BB, when seven people limped, I flopped a straight, and all sorts of raising hell broke loose on later streets.

    I've played a couple of the $100 + $9 Aruba satellites on UB but haven't had much luck. I lasted all of five hands last night, when I had AJs, flopped top two pair, but lost to AKo when he rivered a K. Managed to recover a little bit of the cash playing 2/4 Triple Draw. Don't get me wrong, I'm very much a Triple Draw leem, but sweet Jebus, I'm not sure there's a game out there with a bigger advantage for skilled players, given how horribly most people playing, re-raising then drawing 3 (or even 4), etc.

    For all you sportsbetters out there, I just added a new strategy guide over at BonusBug, oh so creatively titled:

  • How to Cash in on Sportsbetting Bonuses

  • Requires a little more starting capital than some bonuses, but it has the nice added value of basically being zero-risk, if you're a patient monkey.

    I've also added a sportbetting forum over there, so all you degenerate sportsbetting monkeys should hop over, post picks, or just mock me when I continue to show my complete inability to handicap college football.

    Thursday, September 01, 2005

    Titan Poker: 100% Signup Bonus up to $500

    For all you kids who have already cleaned up on the Noble Poker signup bonus, the former owners of Noble have just launched a brand new poker room, Titan Poker.

    Titan Poker is pretty much exactly the same setup as Noble, same software, same fishy players, all that jazz. If you're already playing and cashing in at Noble, you might as well hop over to Titan Poker and get another fat signup bonus while you're at, with new signups getting a 100% signup bonus, up to $500.

    Damn, Katrina

    If you're looking for a pokery way to help out hurricane victims, more information at the below link:

    PokerStars to Host Hurricane Katrina Relief Tournaments

    I can't even imagine what people in that area are going through. I bitch and whine when I don't have Internet access at home (just at home, mind you, with access the whole time at work) for a few weeks and some people won't be able to even return to their homes for months. And even then many won't even have a home to return to.

    Thanks for the responses from Zaikon and Jordan for comments on my somewhat annoying, self-absorbed navel-gazing yesterday.

    I do think part of the problem is setting appropriate goals, and adjusting the current ones. I'm blessed with the very welcome dilemma of having blown through all of the financial goals I set myself for the year, but I haven't really re-tooled my thinking of late, and have sort of been floating around, seeing what happens.

    Part of the difficulty, though, is the fickle nature of poker, and how to judge progress towards non-financial goals. It's easy enough to say that I want to make x dollars and be playing at y limit by a certain point, and to track and measure the progress towards that. It's harder to set meaningful benchmarks as far as playing "better" poker, or learning "more". Realistically I know that I am, as that's underpinning the progress towards financial results, but it's still pretty amorphous, pegging that one down.

    I also need to simply shut up and be happy with the assorted good things I'm blessed with. Feeling slightly malaiasey that my reasonably lucrative part-time job isn't as fulfilling as it once was, or as I thought it would be, is pretty freaking ridiculous.

    As far as setting new goals, that one I need to ponder on. I'm tempted to fall back on the "Build the bankroll to x so I can play y limit" approach, but that's not really a different goal, it's just plugging in bigger numbers. I'd like to play more tournaments, but I usually don't have the time to invest in many of the bigger MTTs. I've been good about rolling poker profits into assorted long-term investments such as equities and mutual funds, which I'll likely continue to do. In some ways I guess it's more a matter of just coming to terms with the somewhat inherently unsatisying nature of playing online poker than anything, accepting the bad with the good.

    State of the Poker Union: August 1-31

    Total August Poker Results

    Results for $15/30: +$2,685
    Results for $5/10 and lower: +$356
    Results for MTTs and SnGs: +$2012

    Total: +$5,053

    So, umm, yeah. Pretty damn good month, especially since I lost about two weeks of play due to no Intraweb. Results are a bit inflated with the score from the live tournament at Coushatta thrown in there, but even backing that the numbers are pretty decent.

    Forgot to export the daily 15/30 results to Excel, but there wasn't much unusual there to see. Whether by luck, skill, or the happy side of variance, I managed to avoid some of the big junk-kicking days that have plagued me in the past, as far as steady small profits over multiple days being erased by one bad day. I think part of that is due to being more willing to simply let losses go, without stubbornly chasing them, coupled with the fact that I was better about making myself play a set number of hours every week, and not bailing early on sessions just because I'd booked a decent win already. Sessions can turn pretty quickly at mid limits, even on one hand, so I think focusing on getting my hands in, come hell or high water, is probably good.

    This is also the first month that I've regularly played two tables, which also seemed to help. Yeah, you get kicked in the junk twice as hard when things go bad, but more often than not it's a mixed bag, which helps my mindset as far as not tying the day's result to what occurs on one single table.

    BB/100 seems to be settling in around 1.5, which I'll gladly take, given that there's still much work to be done on my game. Still don't have enough hands to really definitely draw any conclusions from those numbers, but at this stage of the game I'd be happy with anything near or over 1 BB/100.

    Still need to work on assorted aspects of my game, especially what to do when facing turn raises/re-raises. I still haven't found a happy medium I'm comfortable with, as far as giving people credit for big hands in those situations or chalking it up to simply uber aggressive play. I think I'm paying off too many people by calling down when they represent obvious strength there, and am too prone to assuming their aggressively playing a draw, etc. I'm also still not happy with my play with hands like 66-99 from mid/late position, when it's folded around to me. I usually end up grudgingly open-raising but often can't make myself fire the second bullet on the turn, thus kneecapping myself and rendering the pre-flop open-raise a -EV proposition.

    As far as September, more of the same, I guess. I'm going to play some of the WCOOP events, likely just buying in directly, and take a few shots at satellites to other big events.