Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Tales from this past week & a year-end review

Happy New Year everybody!  It's been a while since I've posted an update, so I figured I may as well do a year-end review + status update.  I also have a few hand histories in the pipeline from this past week of poker.

The year in review

I shifted my primary focus from online poker to live poker in 2012.  With Bodog / Bovada abandoning its Maryland player base, coupled with their move towards "anonymous poker," I realized that my interests had waned with regard to grinding 50NL+ at that site or elsewhere.  I simply can't stand the cat & mouse game that we play with the government, minimizing our exposure to bankroll seizure at the whim of the DOJ.  With the "relative" ease of access to live poker (Charles Town is about 45 minutes door-to-door from my house), live poker seems to be more lucrative, despite the immediate access that online provides.  With that logic, 99% of my year with regard to poker has been dedicated to live play.  In fact, I don't think I've had a single cash out during 2012.

My live poker play in 2012 has been a continual upward trend, discounting November where I went on a $1k downtrend.  All said, I ran roughly in-line with my historical trends, adding roughly $1/hr in 2.5x the hours of seat time (I played 275 hours @ 65 sessions).  I expanded my playing repertoire by working on my player reading capabilities, lines, bet sizes, and focusing on taking my time rather that instantly acting / reacting.  All said, even though my year over year results ($$$ / hr) don't clearly prove it, I have become a more solid, well-rounded player.

Tales from Delaware Park

Looking in my logs, I hadn't stepped foot into DP since February.  Since I'd been on a downward slide at Ctown, and I had a whole day to get my poker Jones satiated, I figured I would take the day to drive out to Delaware Park and situate myself there.  It was a nice change of scenery but it would be turn out to be a roller coaster of a session.  I got there (after a TON of traffic) around 12:30.  DP does not make you post when sitting down, and it also has an odd rule where you can't purchase chips under any circumstances from the dealers.  If you want to rebuy or buy in, you have to get the chip runner to get chips for you.  However, cash plays so all is well.  I am seated immediately and ask for $400; $200 on the table and $200 behind to add on as needed (I find this is good practice so that I can top off and keep a full buy in as my stack ebbs early on).  I am in the HJ and see an EP raise and the player to my right 3bet to $24(?).  I look down at AA and decide to 4bet to $60.  I am an unknown and want to establish a reckless and devil-may-care image that I intend to use later.  Original raiser is an older Asian guy who asks how much I have in total (I had nothing on the table as the chip runner had my 4 hundreds).  I reported my $200 and he instantly said "all in."  Gentleman to my right insta-folds and I snap it off.  He shows KK and starts shrieking about the K in the window and telling me "You're dead!" over and over again.  Welcome to over-the-top poker, Delaware, USA.  I couldn't believe it.  Bad enough that I'm running AA < KK on the first hand (guy to my right folded QQ), but I'm being verbally assaulted following the massive suckout afterwards.

6 hands later, I look down at AKs from the BB and 3 bet a late position $15 raise to $40.  Folds around and guy to my right (table captain) is grumbling about me having AA / KK (uncool during the hand).  Regardless, donkey fat middle age guy calls and we see an A T 2 rainbow flop.  Check / check and we see a turn J.  I lead $50 and he flats.  River blank and I bet another $75 where he raises the last ~$20 in his stack (after the PF call he had $140-ish) and I'm shown KQ for the nut straight.  $400 dusted and this session is going about as well as the past month or two in Ctown...

I persevere and after 10 hours of solid poker, show a profit of ~$100.  Feels like a massive winner.

I don't know; reflecting back on the hand described, if he turns the set of Jacks, good game, but am I doing something wrong by stacking off AK in that spot?  I've been questioning it all week, but I think I'm comfortable with it.  He's getting 4-1 implied odds if he hits his flop and stacks me, and given the later play, I know that he's flatting a $50 lead on the flop.  I think I'm comfortable with checking the flop there hoping that he catches up a little.



  1. The guy called $40 with K-Q? Were they sooted? And you already showed A-A on a previous hand and bet appropriately?

    I think you asked for trouble by checking the flop and giving him a free card. After the turn he could have one of a number of hands that would be ahead of you. Once you put your money in there and he flatted you didn't have much choice on the river, given the size of the pot. In reality, you stacked off with only a pair.

    I have probably fouled up more hands than I can remember by letting someone catch up with a free card on the turn while I was trying to be tricky or slow played a hand.

    Hindsight in always 20/20 and kibitzers ALWAYS know best. lol

    Congrats on a winning year. Best wishes for success in 2013.

  2. I think the J or Q are one of the worst cards that can hit regardless. That's the issue I'm toying with. JJ & QQ are the two stop & go hands that flat 3bets. The problem is that I felt I've got $80+ in the pot with $160 behind. I'm kinda hoping he leads the flop so I can c/r AI but I'm auto betting a rainbow flop on the turn, which is essentially committing the river all in.

    I'm convincing myself, though, that if I lead $50-60 on the flop he's still flatting and I'm shoving the turn with the same result. After all, he's got an ISD! This guy in particular is never going away.

    Happy New Year to you and thank you for the well wishes.

  3. I guess I should stop being amazed that so many bad players are willing to chase ISDs, but I just got burned by this last weekend. I had A-K, raised, and had a few callers. The flop came Ace-Jack-rag. I bet and had one caller. When a King came on the turn I certainly thought my top two hand was good ... until I saw that he chased with his Q-10os and hit his ISD.

    The funny thing was that I heard one of the locals at the table talking about a guy at an adjoining table, saying "I hate to play with him. He is not good enough to fold when he should and always gets lucky." I always say that I would rather be lucky than good. : o )

  4. It's a double-edged sword with those types of players.

    On one hand, you *KNOW* the money is going back into the poker economy. It's not like sunk money that you'll never see again, as opposed to paying off a nit who'll hoard the money and store it in his bankroll in perpetuity.
    On the other hand, I hate paying off *ANYONE* for any reason. I just think you have to pay him off with the knowledge that calling a $40 3bet with 4-1 implied is not profitable poker like... ever...

  5. Just my two cents, but I would never check AK on that flop. AK tends to make TPTK, which rarely feels strong enough to slowplay. I'd just make the obvious play and win a medium-sized pot on the flop. Happy New Year.

  6. Thanks Yakshi. I'm slowly coming around to the comments you & lightning made. I don't believe (given the data I would get on the player afterwards; he's a gambler) that the results would have been any different; he's calling his gutshot regardless of the bet unless I shove. However, I think the optimal play is to lead the flop for $50-60.

    You also pointed out the *EXACT* problem I was dealing with: "make the obvious play and win..." I wanted stacks, not just to take down a medium pot. I was hoping he'd mistake my check for weakness and stab so that I could c/r all in which obviously didn't play out so well. I think there's a lot that can be taken away from the "make the obvious play and win...".

    Finally, @Yakshi - why haven't you posted any more Quincy capers or general posts? You are one of the creative inspirations in the blogosphere and your posts were BEYOND entertaining! It's a shame you've stopped. I hope the Middle East is still working well for you.

  7. Damn, I just typed a reply and lost it.

    Thanks much for the compliment! I appreciate it. I have been a regular checker of your blog for years now.

    I do have a new blog. It's

    Almost zero poker content, however, due to Black Friday. Now it's sort of a random blog, with music posts, etc. I started it last April. It's fun when I get the time for it.

    Quincy Capers sort of died mid-stream when life was turning crazy on me. Now things have settled.

    Middle East is okay. Done here end of June 2013. Great way to make money tax-free for a couple of years . . . I'll make my last law-school loan payment next week and thereby eliminate $110k in debt in 2 1/2 years. Oh my God, it felt so good to type that sentence.

    How'd you know I was in the Middle East? Did I post about it on my last blog?

    Hope all is well with you. I've been following your blog for years now. I always enjoy the stories. Take care.

  8. Like you, I've been following your blog for years now - since one of the bloggers linked your Quincy Capers post(s). I soaked that up immediately and patiently awaited any and all new posts. Your other blog sorta disintegrated into posts of random pictures, but I always loved your zany descriptions and tales from your real life (I'm assuming you weren't a parallel for Qunicy but your other blog posted true aspects of your life).

    As far as the Middle East, you've posted numerous times about teaching and always being amused at the entitlement from the native (what was it...) Saudis?

    I hope you find the time to re-start blogging; I'm fairly confident that you have a solid following (outside of me) awaiting your return.


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