Poker Words - A Poker Blog

Mostly a recount of my poker exploits along with a bunch of random other stuff just for fun.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

WSPL Goes to Vegas Game 10

I'm goin' to Veeeegas
I'm goin' to Veeeegas.

Ok its not definite yet, but after this week's game it's looking pretty likely. Noah finally cashed this week taking first place, and I finished in second. Which means I increased my lead on the rest of the pack and makes it very difficult for anyone else to catch up. It will take cashing in both of the remaining events and me finishing worse than fifth in both for any one else to have a chance.

I'm getting ahead of myself though.

Back to the action:

Things went slowly this game. I think especially for me and possibly others that the format of the event has a lot to do with it. I knew that I was comfortably in second place overall, and as long as I could outlast some of my nearest competitors, and/or finish above my previous worst scores of 5 points, I'll be that much closer to winning the WSOP entry. That fact coupled with the absolutely abysmal cards that I got meant that I didn't play very many hands. There was no reason for me to risk chips with anything less than a premium hand. This enrages Aaron who really wants me to go out early as he realizes that I'm standing between him and a WSOP entry. That alone makes folding hand after hand somewhat enjoyable.

As a result of my super tight play, the few hands I did get into resulted in me winning and allowed me to stay a little bit ahead of the average chip stack. I didn't blow a lot of chips on speculative hands as I might often do.

Our points leader Smack had a rough night. He plays very aggressively and if he doens't at least get some cards to back up his play he can find himself in trouble pretty quickly. He was forced in to all-in or nothing mode fairly early, and while he managed to get all-in with the best hand, Noah hit a runner runner straight to knock him out.

After that, no one was eliminated for quite a while. An absurdly long time There was a lot of back and forth plays, and a three players, Archie, Rich and Jason, struggling to keep their heads above water. The blinds would eat away at their short stacks, and they would finally make a move and steal some blinds or win a small all-in to start the cycle over again. They hung around for a long time before luck finally caught up with them.

I really think PokerStars wanted me to win this one though. Like I said earlier I got horrendous cards. However, most of the time, and way more often than usual, had I played those cards I would have flopped a monster. Not only that, it would have been a monster that no one would have seen coming, because who plays 53 off under the gun? Of course I was playing exceptionally tight so it was all for naught.

Noah was getting cards this game, and for once not getting them cracked. He was the big stack for most of the tourney and used it to effectively bully the rest of the table. Eventually it came down to just us two. He had me by 5 or 6 to one, but his luck finally started to wear out. We battled for quite a while and I whittled down his lead when he finally got me all in. I had a pair of sixes, he had wired tens. I congratulated him on a good game and was about to log out when I rivered a third six to nearly cripple him. Like I said, PokerStars wants me to win.

We battled back and forth for a while longer still. I think this had to be the longest heads up battle of the season. Finally Noah is able to win a few large sized pots and suddenly I'm on death's door again. I don't remember what the final hand was, but he managed to knock me out. It was late I was content with a second place finish and a non-contender ahead of me so the final hand didn't seam to be worth remembering.

Here are the current standings.

Week 10:
  1. Noah
  2. Me
  3. Aaron
  4. Shane
  5. Jason
  6. Archie
  7. Rich
  8. Cooke
  9. Smack

  1. Smack (81 Points)
  2. Me (81)
  3. Cookie (63)
  4. Aaron (60)
  5. Shane (58)
  6. Archie (58)
  7. Rich (56)
  8. Noah (48)
  9. Jason (41)

Total (minus worst two)
  1. Smack (79)
  2. Me (71)
  3. Cookie (59)
  4. Aaron (57)
  5. Shane (56)
  6. Rich (54)
  7. Archie (53)
  8. Noah (47)
  9. Jason (40)

The interesting thing here is that the totals section represents the worst case scenario for each player. If, for some reason someone doesn't play the next two events and gets 0 points, what they currently have in the totals section will be their final score. This means the worst I can do is 81 points. Looking at it from the other side, the best someone can do is their total minus the worst two + 30. This means even if Noah or Jason win the next two, they can't catch me, or Smack.

For Archie to qualify, he will need to win the next two and then have me finish no better than fourth.
Rich also has to win the next two. He can tie me if I finish third and fifth or worse, or beat me if I do worse than that.
With a first and second place finish, and me not doing better than fifth, Aaron or Shane could still go.
Cookie can tie me with two second place finishes and me not doing better than fifth.

I think that except for Smack and myself, whoever doesn't win the next event is eliminated. I think all Smack has to do is not finish last in both of the next games and he is in. Even if he does finish in last he is still probably in.

Now we'll have to see how my wife feels about me ditching her with an infant for 3-4 days so I can go play poker. Maybe if I promise to buy her something nice with my winnings she'll let me go. Otherwise I'll have pick a stand in. My instincts for fill in would be Archie and then Noah, but neither of them have done very well in this format so I'm not so sure. Maybe the live format suits them better.

No game next week since Archie will be out of town, but we're thinking of doing two the following week so that we can finish up the season and figure out which event we are going to play this summer, and start making travel plans.

Originally posted at

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

WSPL Goes to Vegas Game 9

The summary is going to be short this week.  I was way tired and since the weather was so nice I was also having an allergy attack during the entire tournament.  I don't think it really effected the outcome or my play, just my ability to recall much of what happened.

Rich played really well. He was to my left and either had a really good read on me, or just got crazy good cards the entire time.  Every time I tried to steal a pot, or even if I thought I might be ahead he would raise me.  He was the big stack at the table by a long shot so it was tough to fire back when I could only beat a bluff.

Jason hit quads again.  He had wired queens and flopped two more.   Even better he managed to get Aaron to go all in with it. 

Smack was short stacked early on, but managed to hang around long enough to build up a decent stack and ultimately finish in second place.  I partially blame Rich for this because he accidentally created the tournament with $T2000 starting chips instead of the usual $T1500.  I think with only $T1500 Smack would have busted out.  Its probably better for me that he was in though.  At this point I am conceding that he is going to take one of the two top spots so any points he gets are points the people chasing me don't get. 

Here's the results from week 9

  1. Rich
  2. Smack
  3. Archie
  4. Me
  5. Noah
  6. Cookie
  7. Jason
  8. Aaron
  9. Shane

  1. Smack (80 Points)
  2. Me (70)
  3. Cookie (61)
  4. Archie (54)
  5. Rich (53)
  6. Shane(52)
  7. Aaron(52)
  8. Jason (36)
  9. Noah (33)

Totals after removing the worst two results
  1. Smack (75)
  2. Me (60)
  3. Cookie (55)
  4. Rich (51)
  5. Shane (50)
  6. Archie (49)
  7. Aaron (49)
  8. Jason (35)
  9. Noah (32)

Originally posted at

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

WSPL Goes to Vegas Game 8

I think consensus in our group, even amongst those players that aren't doing so well is that the home game league set up is a blast.  Its too bad you can't play for real money anymore.  None the less, if you have a group of friends who you'd like to play with on a regular basis, and can find someone you trust to be the treasurer, I would highly recommend setting up one of these leagues.

That being said, this week was a kind of boring for me.  I was a little over tired and didn't get great cards so I ended up just hanging around for a while until I finally bled out in fifth place.

I registered for the tourney earlier in the week from a different computer than what I usually use to play on.  For some reason I couldn't convince Poker Stars that I had signed out on that computer so  it wouldn't let me play from my office computer.  I ended up having to remote desktop to my other machine to play.  It was mildly annoying, but ultimately not a big deal.  Since I showed up as the tourney was starting and kept logging in and out to get the client running on my office computer I missed half of the first blind level.  I do remember getting pocket rockets in the first hand and over betting because I was flustered to take down a huge $T15 pot.

Some other confusion, our schedule master Rich had decided to increase the starting chip count from $T1500 to $T2000.  He also decided to register and not show up.  I was able to steal his blinds a lot in the first round when they were cheap, but once we merged tables I had Smack to my right and the Noah to his right.  There were very few hands where I was able to act before the pot had been raised.  Couple that with my sub par cards and as I mentioned earlier, I didn't do so well.

There were a couple of misbets that hurt some people and were rather amusing at the time.  In one hand Archie had considered raising, moving the bet slider, then changed his mind and decided to fold.  He accidentally clicked the bet button though, and after using almost all of his time back Aaron decides to call and takes down a huge pot.  Later on with blinds at $T30/60, Noah tries to make a pre-flop raise to $T180 under the gun.  His finger slips off the 8 key though and he hits $T1809 instead.  Everyone folds until Shane in the big blind.  Shane calls and takes down the hand on the flop.  I think he had pocket queens.

For most of the tournament I was just hoping to last long enough to beat Rich.  We decided that he should get zero points for not showing up, but just in case, I wanted to make sure I at least finished ahead of him.  I just barely lasted longer than him. 

Here's the results from this week's game:
  • Shane
  • Smack
  • Aaron
  • Noah
  • Me
  • Jason
  • Archie
  • Cookie
  • Rich (0 Points - No Show)
I think its a fight for the second spot now as I don't see anyone catching Smack.  Cookie going out first helps me a lot, and Aaron not winning was a good thing for me.  

 Totals after week 8
  • Smack (69 Points)
  • Me (64)
  • Cookie (57)
  • Shane(51)
  • Aaron (50)
  • Archie (46)
  • Rich (38)
  • Jason (33)
  • Noah (28)

 Totals after dropping the worst two games

  • Smack (64)
  • Me (54)
  • Cookie (51)
  • Shane (49)
  • Aaron (47)
  • Archie(41)
  • Rich (36)
  • Jason (32)
  • Noah (27)

Originally posted at

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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Zoom Poker

A couple years ago Full Tilt poker came up with a brilliant idea.  At least I assume it was them, I didn't see it anywhere else.  (And no it wasn't accepting millions of dollars worth of player's funds and not returning it)

Full Tilt had rush poker.  For those of you unfamiliar with it, it works like a normal cash game, except when you fold a hand you are immediately dealt a new hand with new opponents and a new table.  Now you don't have to sit there folding for an hour because you can't get any good cards, you just fold and go the the next hand without sitting other players playing the entire hand.  Constant action makes it more exciting for the player and much more lucrative for the poker room.   The only downside I see to the format is that you can't build up a table image or get readings on your opponent.   

I really enjoyed the format.  I'm not much of cash game player, but when I did play this was my preferred method.

Well,  Poker Stars has now come out with a similar game which they are calling Zoom Poker.  I haven't played it since those of us in the US can't have real money accounts anymore, but if I were in Europe, I'd be all over it.

Zoom poker is in beta now. I'm not sure if it is up on the real money site, but if you have an account there, keep and eye out for it.

Originally posted at

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Sunday, March 04, 2012

WSPL Goes to Vegas Game 7

Into the second half of the season we go.  I didn't take notes tonight because not a lot happened to early on, and I didn't feel like I was going to last long.  Also, I'm lazy.

I managed to find myself all in a lot this tournament, and more often than not, I got in while behind.  A fortunate combinations of suckouts, when I needed them, and a bigger chip size than my opponent allowed me to stay alive for quite a while, despite my efforts to the contrary.

Not a lot of cards for me early on, once again.  I won a few small pots without much of a fight, but that was it.  My first mistake comes in the second or third blind level.  Smack raises, as he does just about every hand, and I call with big slick.  Noah then reraises and Smack bows out.  I'm thinking Noah has a strong ace, or maybe queens or jacks.  Aces and Kings are certainly reasonable here, but I convince myself that he would not be so eager to push people out of the hand with those cards.  I reraise all in, thinking I can get him to fold the range I have him in.  Terrible read on my part.  He turns over aces. He obviously doesn't want his aces cracked going against two players so his raise there is the obvious play in hind site.  Especially since he's been running into some terrible luck for this season.

That knocks me down to around $T500 chips which has me thinking I'm going to be using my first drop game.

Fortunately Smack loves to raise with just about any connected hand.  He often ends up betting enough to force a small stack to raise all-in and obligates him to call.  He usually starts off behind in these cases.  I'm able to double up through him.  Aaron and Shane are not so lucky as they go out first and second.  Aaron rage quits from teamspeak almost immediately after losing the hand.  I'm fairly certain he's still on tilt.

I use Smacks donation to hang around while everyone else eliminates themselves.  I don't remember anything else real exciting happening for me for a while.  I'm pretty sure I sucked out a couple of times, but I don't remember how, or who I was against in the hand.

Noah continues his unlucky streak when he flops two pair against Cookie's pocket kings.  The river pairs the board though and counterfeits Noah's hand, knocking him out.  He is also probably still on tilt from that.

I manage to survive to three players when my luck catches up with me.  I make a  pre-flop reraise all in with pocket jacks, and Archie calls me with AK and pairs his ace on the flop.  After that I'm in all-in or fold mode, and Archie catches me again.

Archie has a huge chip lead against Smack, which is good, because Smack is going to overtake me in the points. If Archie wins it won't be as bad. I wasn't paying a lot of attention to the heads up match, but Smack quickly turns things around and dispatches with Archie.

Here are the current standings.  Three of us are pulling away from the pack, but I think most people are still reasonably in the hunt.

Week 7 Results
  1. Smack
  2. Archie
  3. Me
  4. Jason
  5. Rich
  6. Cookie
  7. Noah
  8. Shane
  9. Aaron
Total Points
  1. Me (59 Points)
  2. Smack (58)
  3. Cookie (55)
  4. Archie (43)
  5. Aaron (42)
  6. Rich (38)
  7. Shane (36)
  8. Jason (29)
  9. Noah (22)
Total Points (After dropping their worst two)
  1. Smack (53)
  2. Me (49)
  3. Cookie (47)
  4. Aaron (39)
  5. Archie (37)
  6. Shane (34)
  7. Rich (33)
  8. Jason (28)
  9. Noah (21)

Originally posted at

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