From STUD to DUD....

The good Sir Al was nice enough to host a special game just for me last night so I wanted to let him know how much I appreciated it, by taking the damn thing down. I practically begged brudder Carson to get into the game but to no avail. His response was kind of funny. "What would be the point? I know there'll be at least one player there that's better at STUD than me." LMAO ! Most times, he's so damn good for this kid's ego.

STUD. Oh how I love thee!

When I get a chance to play some of the better NLHE players in a game of STUD on-line, I almost feel ‘dirty’ as I play the game. I wonder if that’s how they feel, as they continually take from my stack in hold’em? LOL. Probably not! Easy chips are just that, easy. In the game of poker, get ‘em while the getting’s good.

To say I cruised through the game might sound a bit arrogant or cocky. But it is a fair statement. Someone paid me on every monster hand I hit. I could ‘complete’ at will with my starting hands and someone almost always came along. I even got paid with this hand, and that just ain’t easy to do with what I had showing!

Through the halfway point and as the field slowly dwindled down to 14 or 15, I changed gears and went a little too hard at a few pots. This move created a backlash that I wasn’t expecting. I was figuring that the NLHE aggression pattern would now start to come out of the players at my table, I went really strong with some great starting hands. The weird thing was, it would get folded to my complete. This happened several times and like I said, I certainly didn’t expect it. I showed about 80% of my starting hands once they went on the folding spree. I showed A-A-K… Ac-Kc-Qc….10-10-10 and K-K-K.
My thoughts on showing were simple, let’em know I’m not just stealing. Get it into my opponent’s head that when I complete, I have a hand. Basic and solid strategy for any variation of poker, of course. If you stop by here once in a while, you’ll also know that I’ve been running a little ‘card-dead’ lately too. I also wanted to show a few of these hands, because it’s been a bit since I’d seen so many pretty starting cards on my computer screen. I just wanted to share the good times with my friends!

It was final table time and from the play I watched for the majority of the game, I’d say the right players made it and deserved to be there. In particular, the play I observed by both Drizz and NightRanger was solid and fundamental STUD. No offence to the others! It’s just I saw more of the play from these two and often saw the hands they were showing down. From what I saw when they were playing, both have quite solid games.

I simply got too confident and complacent as the game went along. I made several mistakes that I normally never would and it cost me the game. One hand I totally miss-read and another, that I just couldn’t put my opponent on a hand. Both key mistakes that brought me down to the short stack at the table. Then as with all things pokery, the pretty card well dried up on me. That created some desperation in my game and I made an un-characteristic decision to push and race. With reckless abandon, I threw chips in bad and kept on doing it, over and over again. I was on tilt with myself and there was no stopping it. After 2 ½ hours of solid play in a game I love so dearly, I was being the guy I love to play against. What a Donkey !

Thus a 7th. place finish when deep down inside, I know I should have won. I don't get too many opportunities to shine with the on-line crowd. I'm awfully disappointed in myself for wasting another chance to do so last night, to say the very least.

The only good news that came out of this disaster was, I know what the problem was. Now I just need to cure myself..... of myself!

My sincerest thanks for dropping by…


Studs Stud!.. End of discussion....

The Tuesday night Skillz series is by far, my favorite on line blogament. Don’t get me wrong, I loves me some Scotch, a good cigar and mashing that all-in button for an hour with Kat at her Donkament. And the new TuckFard Open II H.O.R.S.E. for $3.50 on a Monday night, LOVE IT ! Like everyone else in their right mind, (read HOY) who wouldn't want a crack at brudder Carson's chips?

But Tuesday’s are a mix of some of my favorite variation of poker. Last night was no exception, the great Stud /8 was on the menu. Now I don’t play the split game as much as I do Stud high, but Stud in itself has always been one of my favorite poker games to play. There cannot be enough emphasis put on how critical your concentration must be focused on the cards in play at a Stud table. Knowing how many dead outs both you and your opponent(s) may or may not have is a critical key to success in the game. I’m not going to make the M.I.T. Blackjack team by any stretch of the imagination, but when my game is on, I take great pride in knowing what I, (or others) have left in the deck to work with.

The split factor just adds that little wrinkle that can make it even more important to pay attention. The “scoop” is the best possible position to put your self in, and one that can be a great game breaker and stack builder. Scooping the entire pot can be difficult as obvious made hands of high and low happen more frequently than not. But it is always something to keep an eye out for.

I started out the game fairly solid and steady as she goes. My stack swung up as high as $4350 and down as low as $2600. Based on the hand breakdown shown below, I would say that my play seemed to be going as well as I felt it was, after the first hour.

Having two scoops in the first hour is a huge bonus. Unfortunately as you can tell, they were small pots as I needed to wait for my opponents to catch up enough to be interested. In both instances, I felt a scoop was a reasonable possibility by 6th.street. I had one other opportunity earlier where I’d managed the wheel by 5th. street. A fairly well hidden one at that, as my Acey-duecey were buried in the hole. I made bets on that one and I chased all my opponents away. I wasn’t going to make the same mistake with these two. However, in order to get the betting where I wanted it to be, they would need to have a strong enough hand to compete with. In both cases this time, my bets on 7th.street were merely called, rather than the raise I was hoping for. Seeing the hands of both opponents here, I know I got maximum value I could out of them. It was a shame that I couldn’t get these hands involved in one of the epic H/L made hand betting wars that occurred quite frequently at the game last night. There were some serious “button mashing” competitions between hands like x-x-3-6-7-5-x and x-x-10-10-10-A-x. Funny stuff really.

About an hour and a half into play, I was still feeling good about my play. I’d been slowly maintaining my position in the top ten and swapping $500 losses or splits, with $1800 wins or splits. Anyone who’s played a fair amount of the 8 or better split games will tell you, losing $250 to $500 once in a while and backing it up with winning $900 to $1800 once in a while, is the right way to manage pots to your advantage. It was about here that Zeem started dropping by to harass me, (in fun I hope! lol) to see if this little fishie was still awake!

Just after 2nd break at 11:30, I got involved in a hand that resembles everything that has set the tone for my poker in 2008. With Evy showing x-x-2-3-6-A-x and me showing x-x-K-10-K-J-x, we were the last ones playing in the hand after 5th. street. I can quite easily put Evy on a hand of A-2-3-4-6 for low and my two pair is good for the high. How you ask? Simple! Djhomeschool folded a 5 and my hole cards are “Presto” baby! The betting patterns were the same for both of us throughout the hand, right up to the river. I can safely assume, (and gamble on, with relative certainty) my read on Evy’s hand is correct. Here are the possibilities.
1) There is one out in the deck for her.
2) The case 5 was buried in one of the 12 other cards folded, (all were showing high except Dj!)
3) or, I am way out in left field and she’s been playing me well for the scoop.

Here are the hands as played.

Evy = 3-4-2-3-6-A-x
Bam = 5-5-K-10-K-J-x

Excellent read of the situation Bam-Bam, Yesiree Bob! Two pair sucks in Stud, unless you know what you’re up against and what outs are gone. A quick check of the notes and I see that 32 cards have been put in play, 14 are still in play and three of the 5’s needed to beat me are not available to my opponent. I like my chances. (opinions?) As I said, I’ve played a lot of stud in my life, being able to know what is in play and what are the dead cards, is critical to making your decisions. Needless to say, the case 5 hit Evy on 7th. street. She apologized but had no need to. We both already knew she had the low and I was never afraid of that. I took a calculated risk and was not rewarded. IMHO, there was nothing going to happen in this hand except a split, or a massive hit to the stack. The facts are, Evy’s 100% to win the low by 6th street. I’m at about 94% to win high at the same point. But that’s why 94% is not 100%.

I played damn good Stud right up to that point. I’d even go as far to say, I’d gamble running that hand to 7th. street as it was, over and over again. I know as it was played, I’d win far more of them than I’d lose as a rule. This one just didn’t go my way.

That changed things dramatically as I went from a very large stack in about 3rd. or 4th. place, to the bottom dweller of the pack. I got nothing but “brings” for the next three hands and it was looking grim. Then I was dealt the following, A-2-4 and I had a chance to start my comeback. By the time I got to A-2-4-9-5, all my little chippies were in the center. I needed one good card to come….. but it never did. IGHN.

I love Stud. If this were Race’em, I’d be pissed as hell about a bad beat. In this game, it’s more about the study, the awareness and the feel of your inner gambler, based on your read. I can live with how I played the game last night. I just got unlucky at a bad time. The game of Stud just makes it so much easier to take.

My sincerest thanks for dropping by….


What's in a name....

I have recently been considering a name change but I have one major problem, I gave the name I think I need to Schaubs!

Bad-Luck-Schleprock is truly one of Bedrock’s most loved citizens. If it wasn’t for all of the things that happen when he’s around, he’d likely be Grand Poohbah down at The Lodge. But the facts are, the things that happen DO happen and like an impending train wreck, there’s just nothing you can do about it.

When it really starts going bad, I’ll look around to see where he is. Lately though, he’s been nowhere in sight and I have to put the blame solely on myself. This recent run at the tables has kept me up at night. (if you’re a regular reader, YES more than usual!) Last night, it was to the point where I went back to an old training process I used to use with Pebbles some time ago. I did this at 2:30am this morning. If you can’t sleep, might as well do something useful, right?

The process is simple.

1) Shuffle up and deal. (last night I used a 9 player table)
2) Make it real. (blinds and button placed appropriately)
3) Play each hand the way you really would. (ignore up cards of other hands)
4) Measure and record your results. (each position)

How bad has it gotten? Consider that I ran 22 orbits for 9 seat positions, or 198 hand combinations in total dealt out. With 9 seat positions available, here is the breakdown of pocket pairs and reasonable, (A-x..etc..) starting hands dealt out last night.

A-A = 0 .. A-Ks = 0
K-K = 0 .. A-Ko = 2
Q-Q = 0 .. A-Qs = 1
J-J = 1 .. A-Qo = 1
10’s = 0 .. A-Js = 0
9’s = 0 .. A-Jo = 0
8’s = 0 .. K-Qs = 1
7’s = 1 .. Q-Js = 0
6’s = 0 .. J-10s = 1
5’s = 1
4’s = 1
3’s = 0
2’s = 3

I dealt out a whopping 7 pocket pairs in 198 hands. w00t me! Almost 50% of them, were pocket two’s for crying out loud. I kept the Karma running cool with what? Six relatively decent starting hands as well. A total of 6% of the hands dealt out would be considered “playable” starters by the masses. SIX PERCENT ! Split that between 8 players, (the starting button position did not see one of these hands!) and you’ve got what poker is doing to me right now, in a nutshell. A less than one percent chance of seeing a hand in almost 200 dealt. All this, while we consider pocket 2’s as a starting hand.

Are you at the point where you’re wondering, “yeah ok Bam, but what about hand/player distribution?” Yes I also checked to see who was the card rack for the night. You’ll love this.

Seat 1 = (as depressing as the rest of these are, I know this was my seat)
Seat 2 = J-10s, 5-5
Seat 3 = 4-4, A-Ko
Seat 4 = K-Qs
Seat 5 = J-J, A-Qs
Seat 6 = 2-2, 2-2
Seat 7 = 7-7, A-Ko
Seat 8 = A-Qo
Seat 9 = 2-2

As the hands were actually played, the pocket 4’s and 7’s were both beaten by A-Ko. Funny they did it to each other huh? All pocket 2’s were folded after the flop because of flops like A-K-J always seeming to come out. The A-Qs was beaten by the A-Qo that drew Ruuuunnneeeeerrrs. And finally, the J-J managed to hold up against “Presto” by some form of miracle, surely passed down from the Heaven’s.

Oh and in case you haven’t figured it out yet, not one set was made in nearly 200 hands.

Variance my ass! When I see the start to a run of cards come my way, that is the exact opposite of how they’ve run for me over the last few months, you’ll find me in Vegas, at the high stakes tables. I’ll talk about variance then, all you want. As long as I’m still making a decent profit at the tables.

But until that time comes folks……

I am the Anti-Poker hand Overlord.

My sincerest thanks for dropping by….


The Energizer RnG....

It was just another one of those nights. The TuckFard Open started up with a decent crowd and I made the mistake of playing good cards once again. The best hand I played that I didn't lose, was a desperate, (read frustrated) push with "the Carson" sooted. Of course that BS hit huge and managed to hold on for a triple up. The problem I had was hitting my sooted A-K to the point of a flop of As-9d-Kh to go with my Ad-Kd. Why would I think I was ahead, when there might be a 3s-4s out there willing to push all-in? Of course runner-runner took care of me there.

I then ran A-K sooted into 8-8 with the blinds at 100/200 and I made it 1200 to go. 8-8 is a powerful hand too right? Why not put all the chips in the pot with that, after a 6x raise. RnG figures...."It's Bam, let's have a little fun." A flop of K-6-A oughta' do it, followed by a turn 7 and the ever popular river 8.

It just doesn't matter anymore. I make a move and hit, I lose on the river to an Ace high call. I hit large, lose on the river to a chaser with the nutz. Me an' RnG, we just don't see eye to eye right now.

The worse my cards were tonight, the more success I'd have with them. The better I hit, the more painful the loss would be. It's been a blast RnG, YOU ROCK! Three days in a row of kicking my ass. So let's check the score....

RnG 1,000,000 vs. Bam-Bam $58.50

Nice three days of work. I guess I should play a few hundred games to get even! The odds of variance have to be in my favour, RIGHT? That's probably the right thing to do, but I find live variance is easy to handle. The RnG variance however, is a life sucking bitch from which there is no escape.

The best of the best.....

Omaha H/L and I have K's over Q's........ until the river. Nothing better than that 1 outer case Queen coming on the river to make quads. Sweeeeeeeeeet !

I did however have one great laugh tonight. For a TuckFard, there is no better flop than this one.

This was in the TuckFard Open II, as requested by his Al'ness after an early bust out last week. You ask Sir, the TuckFards deliver.

If you have a spare $3.50 and some time to loosen up your play. Every Monday at 8:00pm. it's The Tuckfard Open II. The game is HORSE............ for Donkeys.

Bring it on!

Special thanks to my invisible buddy pushmonkey. I really appreciate you stopping by for the fun. It's always great to see you at the tables. No matter how my cards are running.

My sincerest thanks for dropping by....

The Super Bowl of bankroll swings....

It was a brutal weekend on the virtual felt and NO ! I do not owe anyone a $1 or $2 for bad beat stories. This is my place to get this crap off my chest and I’m going to do it.

I decided to work on NLHE SnG’s for the weekend. The vast majority being single table 6 max. I played 12 and had one win and one second place finish. The second place was the result of a set vs. set confrontation that I can certainly live with. I had ten bubble-boy finishes. TEN !!!!

What made these so aggravating was the way in which I ended up getting them all. Not one was due to stellar play by my opponents. In six of these games, I was in with made hands such as straights, sets, flushes or at worst, TP ok K. In these particular six games, there was a push into my made hands by the short stack at the table, or a short stack call with no hand what so ever. Not that it was the worst of the beats all weekend, but one of them went back to back like this;

Bam-Bam = $4,800 and posts BB $400
Villian 2 = $2,000 and posts SB $200
Villian 1 = $2,200 button

Bam-Bam = hole cards Qc-Kc
Villian 1 = folds
Villian 2 = calls
Bam-Bam = Bets $800
Villian 2 = calls $800

Flop = 7c-3c-Kh

Bam-Bam = Bets $1,000 (TP solid kicker + 2nd. nut flush draw. 3 handed)
Villian 2 = calls and is all in

Bam-Bam = shows Qc-Kc for a pair of kings.
Villian 2 = shows 2d-Ac for A high (he's beat if I show any Ace, and I’ve already shown strength?)
Villian 2 = nh
Turn = 8c
River = Jc

Bam-Bam = shows a flush King high
Villian 2 = shows a flush Ace high
Villian 2 = wins the pot with a flush Ace high

Villian 1 = SICK !
Villian 2 = sry bad beat
Bam-Bam = it happens (damn hard to type this, but I hate the ranters)

Bam-Bam = $2,600 and posts SB $200
Villian 2 = $4,400 button
Villian 1 = $2,200 and posts BB $400

Bam-Bam = hole cards Ac-Ad
Villian 2 = folds
Bam-Bam = Raises to $1200
Villian 1 = raises to $1,800 and is all in
Bam-Bam = calls $1000

Villian 1 = shows 4c-7s…… (if you can explain this play, I’ll listen)
Bam-Bam = shows Ac-Ad

Villian 1 = holy %#!*
Villian 2 = OMG !

Flop = 4d-As-Ks
Villian 1 = nh vgg gl both
Turn = 4s
River = 4h

Bam-Bam = Shows a full house, Aces and fours
Villian 1 = four of a kind, 4’s.
Villian 1 = wins the pot and Bam-Bam is a crippled stack due to obvious poor play on his part.

This is just how the weekend went at the single table games for me. It was pretty frustrating and I was getting damn close to firing the mouse across the room a few times there. Since Pebbles was near or at my side for most of these hands, the mouse was fairly safe from my building temper.

I decided to jump off the single tables and test the waters of a 45 player MTT instead. Pebbles response to that, “yeah, stay away from the 5 idiots and go search out 44 of them instead.” She had a point, but I ignored it anyways. I waded my way through the field and posted a 4th. place finish after running out of skill, when I ran my K-K into 9-9 and we all know, who can compete with Gretzky?

This run of decent poker play, had me convinced that perhaps a 90 player field would be more to my liking. The look on Pebbles face said it all, but bound and determined to succeed, I register for a 90 player MTT despite her obvious disdain for the idea. Once again I manage to avoid being beaten up too badly during the event, and I managed to make it to the final table. As we got down to four handed, Both of the short stacks made their all in pushes into my BB. I am holding As-Kh and have to give serious consideration to the possibility of taking them both out. I decide to fold and let one of them get eliminated first for certain. They both hold pocket 10’s and chop the pot with two pair. 10’s and Kings! ( I self administer a smack in the head about here somewhere)

They both push again next hand and I have nothing to fight with and I’m forced to fold. The BB let’s them go at it and we lose a player to get to 3. I am middle stack and feel really good about my play. “I think I’m going to win this thing!” I say out loud. How I don’t recognize that confidence as the kiss of death, is beyond me. I ran so card dead that even Carson wouldn’t believe it. 6-2, 7-2, 9-2,10-3 etc…. The blinds were huge and the play 3 handed is quick. I made one play from the button with the 10-3 off suit and had a raise and re-raise come in from behind me. I folded away my little play and had pretty much run myself out of chips to a third place finish. Of course when I go in with a last gasp desperation hand, holding 8-8, The 10-K that calls me hits both cards just for good measure. I finish the event in 3rd. place and don’t really feel too bad about that.

The single table games kicked my bankroll in the nutz all weekend long. But to wade through these 45 and 90 player MTT’s back to back, gives me a little hope that I am improving somewhat in the NLHE MTT’s that I love to play so much. We’ll see.

Don't forget about tonight at the TuckFard Open if you've got $3.50 just lying around doing nothing. The crowds are slowly improving and I know they'd love to see you make it out if you can. All the info is on the banner to the right, or you can stop by HERE if you want as well.

My sincerest thanks for dropping by….