Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Churn and turn in the Meister family

Things have been reasonably quiet for me in the poker world.  I've been running like poop in the live setting - continual suckouts, normal bullshit.  In the online arena, I've been crushing; it's always a pendulum...

In the coming 3 weeks, I will hopefully have plenty of time to ply my live poker trade in Tampa, FL though, in the hopes that a change in scenery will allow me to shake off the run bads of the live poker scene in Maryland.  It's always nice to go to Florida, enjoy good meals and nice hotels at the expense of my company.  We'll see if the Florida poker scene goes better than the last time I was there - where I was card dead for most of my time.

This post, alas, is not a poker post.  It's more of a life post.  Overall, things have been bleak at work for quite some time - we don't have new work coming in, and the work that we do have is clearly destined to not cover the employees currently on staff.  Therefore, I predict there will be staff reductions.  Now, I consider myself adaptive - willing to change with a fluid situation, and therefore don't allow my career to stagnate.  Rather than wait for the inevitable layoffs to occur, I have taken it upon myself to look for programs and projects elsewhere.  Since I am fortunate enough to have both a pension and generous 401(k) through my work, I have given priority my current employer, conducting a job search first within my company.  I forecast that the work "cliff" that the employees face will happen in mid-March, allowing a month and a half to find other employment.

Seeing this "cliff," I started applying for jobs back in November, allowing myself plenty of time to pick and choose.  However, there isn't a ton of work available within the company.  The reality is that in my line of work, there is a shrinking customer base because our customer's priority is to reduce expenditures.  I have been completely upfront with the management team that I report to, and they are well aware (and encouraging me) that I am looking for other work.  In fact, they recommended an open requisition that I applied for when I first started looking.  Prior to Christmas, I had a phone screen interview where I apparently impressed them.

Last Tuesday, I was invited for an in-person interview - they put me in for an additional job as well (without my knowledge).  Given the information, I felt they stacked the deck in my favor, giving me a selection of jobs; one job has overarching responsibility for 30+ engineers, and the other would report the the overarching job and be responsible for ~5-10 engineers.  Needless to say, I was offered the bigger job yesterday.  It couldn't have been more perfect: I am getting a nice salary increase, keeping my current benefits, and most importantly taking a new role with the company that very possibly could propel me to an upper management role within a few years.  Perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself, but I'm very excited to take my new position.  The job will be a challenge - I've never managed ~30 people before - but I think I'm up to the test!

The new job does not come without downside, however.  A stipulation of the job is that I will be traveling for the next 4 months to Denver, CO.  While I'm not one to shy away from travel, I will be away from my wife and children for weeks at a time.  Hopefully, I can work out something whereby I travel home on weekends and milestones / scheduled vacation.  Regardless, I think there's plenty to do out in Denver - Black Hawk poker rooms, Breckenridge skiing, hiking, perhaps catching a Rockies baseball game (I'll be there 4 months starting mid-February so I'll be done by mid-May, early baseball season), etc.  Do any of my readers have experience with the Denver area?

I've been trying to find information about te Black Hawk poker rooms, but can't find anything.  What are the deals / comps / good action rooms?  From my understanding, there's the Ameristar, the Golden Gates, Lodge Casino and Isle Casino.  How do they compare from one another?  What is the best skiing in relation to Denver?  I only mentioned Breckenridge because I've heard of it before.  Is it good there?  What other activities are typical of the area?  I'm figuring it'll be a granola-type place, with a lot of earthy people.

FWIW, probably not gonna try the newly-legal weed!  Don't know how well that would go over with the job...

Friday, January 24, 2014

Josie needs your help!

If you don't know Josie, she wrote a short-lived blog that created a lot of attention for the duration it was active.  Although I never met her in person, I've always thought of her as a kindly person who would give the shirt off her back for someone in need.  Well, her nephew is struggling with Stage 4 cancer and she is requesting donations.  Please take a look at the story she has written about his plight.

Perhaps open your hearts and wallets and donate a few dollars.

Her site and write up can be reached here.  Thanks!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Not complaining, but finding a lot of weird lines from the players lately...

It's been a long while since I've posted any online hand histories.  I've been forced to adapt to 6max play if I want to 8+ table online at seals.  There simply aren't enough tables to go around where I am forced to mix in 6max.  I've really taken to the amped up aggression levels.  It's kinda shocking.  The players seem to understand that aggression is the key to the game, but they don't understand when they need to apply the aggression.  Much like in my play, they realize that they can bluff certain spots.  However, what they don't realize is that they need to adjust to me, who is willing to call down "light" and understands good bluff spots.

I got lucky here, admittedly, but there's no way this guy should be stacking off with a pair of Aces, crap kicker:

Poker Stars $0.10/$0.20 No Limit Hold'em - 5 players
The DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

BB: $26.58
Hero: $20.87
CO: $31.82
BTN: $20.86
SB: $24.83 (Loose passive player)

Pre Flop: ($0.30)
Hero is dealt Js Qd
Hero raises to $0.60, 2 folds, SB calls $0.50, 1 fold

Flop: ($1.40) 8s 5s Ad (2 players)
SB bets $1.00, Heroraises to $2.25, SB calls $1.25

Turn: ($5.90) 9c (2 players)
SB checks, Hero bets $5.00, SB calls $5

River: ($15.90) Ts (2 players)
SB checks, Hero bets $13.02 all in, SB calls $13.02

Hero shows Js Qd, Q high straight
SB shows Ac 2c, pair of Aces

Final Pot: $41.94
Hero wins $41.34
(Rake: $0.60)

But more to the point, I'm finding a lot of crazy crazy lines and play at the 6max table...  so much so that it has me wondering whether I should have been playing 6max all along for the past 4-5 years...

Poker Stars $0.10/$0.20 No Limit Hold'em - 5 players
The DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

BTN: $26.95 (LAG, wide steal range)
SB: $20.10
Hero: $25.32
UTG: $4.09
CO: $19.34

Hero is dealt Qc Tc

Pre Flop: ($0.30)
2 folds, BTN raises to $0.60, 1 fold, BB raises to $1.80, BTN calls $1.20 - standard 3bet re-steal

Flop: ($3.70) Qh 5s 2h (2 players)
Hero bets $2.75, BTN calls $2.75 - I hit top pair, way ahead of his range.  His call is somewhat unsettling, but his aggression factor is off the charts - in the 50% realm over 400+ hands.  He's like *NEVER* just calling on a drawing board.

Turn: ($9.20) 5c (2 players)
Hero bets $5.00, BTN raises to $10.00, Hero calls $5 - Now I'm concerned, but if he has a 5, is he min raising or going for an all-in raise?  I have to imagine he's pushing the turn with a random 5, but I'll play along...  His line deviates far from standard for this particular player.

River: ($29.20) 9h (2 players)
Hero checks, BTN bets $12.40 all in, Hero calls $10.77 all in - Such a sick crappy card, completing the obvious straight.  But now his story makes no sense.  He repped the trips on the turn (or he could have a set of 2's), but now he's trying to rep the heart flush.  In the end, I'm not buying any of it, so I tank call with my Q's mid kicker...

BTN shows As Th, pair of 5's, A high
Hero shows Qc Tc, pair of Q's

Final Pot: $50.74
Hero wins $50.14
(Rake: $0.60)

This is the hand that drives this guy INSANE (he went on the blow through >5 buy ins):
Poker Stars $0.10/$0.20 No Limit Hold'em - 5 players
The DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

CO: $19.06
BTN: $32.10
Hero: $54.38
BB: $20.70 (Total LAGbot - loves to steal and 3bet; certainly not afraid of throwing money around, another very high aggression factor)
UTG: $45.20

Hero is dealt Tc Th

Pre Flop: ($0.30)
3 folds, SB raises to $0.60, BB calls $0.40

Flop: ($1.20) 5c 3s 4c (2 players)
Hero bets $1.20, BB calls $1.20 - pretty sure he has Ax; I think he's raising a paired Ace thinking his inside straight draw & Ace are good outs as well as his pair.  However, he flats leading me to believe he has Ax.

Turn: ($3.60) 5h (2 players)
Hero bets $3.50, BB raises to $8.00, SB calls $4.50 - His raise throws me off, but I can't see him showing up with any random 5 here.  There's simply not a ton of holdings that he can have with a 5; 65, A5, 75, but again, I think he raises the flop with those cards.  He may be LAGgy, but he's not outright dumb; he's not playing 72o or Q5...

River: ($19.60) Qc (2 players)
Hero checks, BB bets $10.90 all in, SB calls $10.90 - I check to let him bet his air again.  By this point, he's so polarized to air / monster that given his aggression factor, he's far more air...  If he got lucky and hit a Q on the end, so be it...

BB shows 7d 2d, pair of 5's Q high  - OOPS!  I guess he can show up with 72 here...  FWIW, I will be folding all 2's, A's and 6's (and possibly 7's) on this board.
Hero shows Tc Th, 2 pair, T's and 5's

Final Pot: $41.40
Hero wins $40.80
(Rake: $0.60)

A few hands later, I drive him nuts again with the following:
Poker Stars $0.10/$0.20 No Limit Hold'em - 4 players
The DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

BTN: $32.28
Hero: $74.75
BB: $19.00
CO: $44.60

Hero is dealt 2c Ac

Pre Flop: ($0.30)
2 folds, Hero raises to $0.60, BB calls $0.40

Flop: ($1.20) 6h 2h Ks (2 players)
Hero checks, BB checks - if he has something, he's going to bet here

Turn: ($1.20) 5s (2 players)
Hero bets $1.00, BB calls $1 - 5 is pretty blank.  He hasn't shown any aggression and therefore I want to shut him down.

River: ($3.20) 6s (2 players)
Hero checks, BB bets $2.00, Hero calls $2 - He's always going to bet when checked to on the river.  Therefore, why not let him hang himself?  Also, it cuts down on his ability to get crafty and river raise me off my showdown worthy hand.  C/c river with 2's and he goes balistic - what a terrible call, yada yada yada....

BB shows Jh 4h, pair of 6's K kicker
Hero shows Ah 2h, 2 pair, 6's and 2's

Final Pot: $7.20
Hero wins $7.02
(Rake: $0.18)

Sorry for the chat capture,  but I had to replay this one out...  It's just funny...  He compares me to Phil Ivey, in fact!  Admittedly, he had a big target on his back based on his screen name...  I can't stand the YOLO crap, and I certainly can't stand the second half of his name...

YOLO-nigga: 65 hands played, 7 wins
YOLO-nigga: perfect
Heisenberg44: aight i gotta go, peace yall
YOLO-nigga: i should stop playing
YOLO-nigga: because my high percentage hands will obviously not outdraw anyone
keepfloppin: nahhh..... -> Can't help but to fan the flames
YOLO-nigga: 69 hands, 9 wins
YOLO-nigga: 6 handed
YOLO-nigga: no biggie
Dealer: keepfloppin, you have 10 seconds to act
Dealer: keepfloppin shows [2c Ac] (Two Pair, Sixes and Deuces +A)
Dealer: YOLO-nigga shows [4h Jh] (a Pair of Sixes +KJ5)
Dealer: keepfloppin wins Pot (7.02) with Two Pair --> Rubbing it in with the 2's showdown
YOLO-nigga: another airball
YOLO-nigga: against the guy who calls everything
YOLO-nigga: yes
keepfloppin: like the pr 2's lookup?
YOLO-nigga: yeah you call everything
YOLO-nigga: congrats
YOLO-nigga: epic dode, everytime
YOLO-nigga: dodge*
YOLO-nigga: this is how this is gonna go
YOLO-nigga: you're gonna pay me off one hand
YOLO-nigga: and then you're gonna leave
YOLO-nigga: guaranteed, 100% thats how this is going to go
keepfloppin: hope not
keepfloppin: but cant be perfect
YOLO-nigga: there's no way you stay here long
keepfloppin: not always 100% with my reads
YOLO-nigga: because your hero calls don't work everytuime
YOLO-nigga: and then you'll bail
keepfloppin: yup
YOLO-nigga: rick, any commentary on this shit show?
YOLO-nigga: or is it just standard, can't catch a fucking break yolo runbad?
YOLO-nigga: 16 outs and can't hit, guys calling me down with bottom pair, guys jamming all in 20% and slamming the river
KillaKat420: i havent been watching i will go through the hand history later, too many tables up now
YOLO-nigga: want a rundown?
keepfloppin: you half explain it
YOLO-nigga: leo is a certified retard and lucky
YOLO-nigga: keepflopping thinks he's phil ivey and can't fold
Leoprox: such lose. wow.
keepfloppin: LOL
keepfloppin: that's awasome
KillaKat420: good beat bad beat can't let emotion get the best of ya
keepfloppin: gotta capture this
YOLO-nigga: no emotion
YOLO-nigga: i just don't understand how through all these reps, i can't make ONE FUCKING HAND
keepfloppin: is he ur zen psychologist?
keepfloppin: cant wait to check call that is --> again stoking those flames...

Anyway, moving on...  I think I goofed on this hand; I should have checked the turn to let him bet.  However, he's passive post flop for the most part...

Poker Stars $0.10/$0.20 No Limit Hold'em - 6 players
The DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

BTN: $19.06
SB: $41.60
Hero: $41.41
UTG: $10.04
MP: $21.22
CO: $48.20

Hero is dealt Ah Qh

Pre Flop: ($0.30)
UTG raises to $0.52, MP calls $0.52, CO calls $0.52, 1 fold, SB calls $0.42, Hero raises to $3.00, 2 folds, CO calls $2.48, SB calls $2.48 - this is a somewhat standard squeeze.  A .52 open is a really weird bet sizing; standard is .6, or 3x.  Therefore I give it a good pop to 6x and get 2(!!!!!) callers.  I figured I'd take it down with a 6x raise, but these guys are just so LAGgy.

Flop: ($10.04) Jh 2s Qs (3 players)
SB checks, Hero bets $6.50, CO folds, SB calls $6.50 - Nice flop, TPTK.  I'm not going to let this one go.  I lead ~2/3 pot, looking for a raise, but just get compliance with a call.

Turn: ($23.04) 3h (2 players)
SB checks, Hero bets $15.00, SB folds - I turn the heart draw to go with my TPTK and I'm never letting go of this.  Note the stack sizes are such that we are both 200BB deep.  Given how LAGgy these guys are, I think I'm almost always good getting it in here and don't mind stacking of 200BB with TPTK + FD.  Alas, it's a no go...

Final Pot: $23.04
Hero wins $22.47
(Rake: $0.57)

Last hand for this huge hand history:
Poker Stars $0.10/$0.20 No Limit Hold'em - 6 players
The DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

CO: $26.65
BTN: $19.70
SB: $34.72
BB: $4.00
Hero: $20.30
MP: $19.70

Hero is dealt Jh Ah

Pre Flop: ($0.30)
Hero raises to $0.60, 1 fold, CO calls $0.60, 3 folds

Flop: ($1.50) 9s 8h Jd (2 players)
Hero bets $1.25, CO calls $1.25

Turn: ($4.00) Ts (2 players)
Hero checks, CO bets $2.20, Hero calls $2.20 - I consider continuing my betting, but opt to slow down into check / call mode.  I know this is dangerous, but with a 4 straight on the board, he can easily have hands with a Q that called a gutter on the flop.  To me, though, it feels so week to c/f here.  It's such an obvious bluff spot as well.  Unless he starts really putting pressure on, I'm going to continue to c/c to his story.

River: ($8.40) 2h (2 players)
Hero checks, CO bets $5.80, Hero calls $5.80 - He makes a fairly weak river bet and I get to showdown fairly cheaply.

CO shows Ad, 9d, pair of 9's
Hero shows Ah, Jh, pair of J's

Final Pot: $20.00
Hero wins $19.50
(Rake: $0.50)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Rare 4-way all-in... How did I hold up with my AA?

I'm figuring an AA vs. AA vs. KK vs. QQ type setup hand...

Surprisingly, I'm up against random pairs - 88, 55, QQ (maybe I understand, but given the action.... WTF?)

Somehow, I hold up though:

($ represent .001 BTC; roughly $20NL)
Poker Stars $0.10/$0.20 No Limit Hold'em - 5 players
The DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

SB: $21.84
BB: $3.20
Hero / UTG: $20.00
CO: $20.00
BTN: $43.19

Pre Flop: ($0.30)
Hero raises to $0.60, CO raises to $2.60, BTN calls $2.60, 1 fold, BB calls $2.40, Hero raises to $20.00 all in, CO calls $17.40 all in, BTN calls $17.40, BB calls $0.60 all in

Flop: ($63.30) 2d Ks 7s (4 players - 3 are all in)

Turn: ($63.30) 4c (4 players - 3 are all in)

River: ($63.30) 2h (4 players - 3 are all in)

Final Pot: $63.30
UTG wins $62.70
(Rake: $0.60)
Board [2d Ks 7s 4c 2h]

Seat 2: BB mucked [Qc Qd] -- Unkown
Seat 4: Hero collected (mɃ62.7) shows [As Ad]
Seat 5: CO mucked [8s 8h]  -- Aggro, loose
Seat 6: BTN mucked [5s 5c] --  Aggro, donkish (clearly)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year!

First session out of the way last night.  Although I don't really stand by resolutions, I have resolved to play more 2/5 this year.  I held to my resolution last night by getting my first 2014 session underway by playing - true to form - 2/5.  Wow!  I bought in for the minimum, $200, and got a bit too aggro with my open ender + over card, check/raising the flop and shoving the turn into a flopped 2 pair.  Second bullet, though, would see me cooler the same guy with top set of KK vs. his mid set of 66, followed by my AA vs. KK (AIF).

Overall, I did okay.  I'm not enthralled with the idea of buying in short.  I feel like there's very little room for error as far as betting a street or two and needing to add to my stack.  However, in the two tables I played in, the play was far more passive than the standard 1/2 game lately.  Obviously, I have limited sample sizes, but I saw a lot of limping and less raising PF.  Moreover, raises get more scrutiny and people are playing a bit closer attention to starting stack sizes.

There were a few times that I was able to raise a host of limpers on the BTN to $25 or slightly more and get folds from every single one.  In 1/2, that kind of shenanigan would never work: raising to the equivalent $10 -$12 with 5 players in would get calls from every single one of them.  It was kinda cool; I think I can replace any prior PF raises / flop folds with BTN steal money.  I believe this is a nice source of revenue that wasn't generally available before.  In other words, stealing limps in 1/2 simply costs a lot more, and the folds are not necessarily guaranteed when raising to ANY amount.  The folds are far more likely at 2/5, with far less overall monetary risk.

I'll continue to post observations in the coming weeks, as I get more time to play.  I have until the end of this week off from work, and the end of the month off from school, so I should get in a few hours of poker time.

Happy New Year to everyone, and may this year be even more profitable, both monetarily and mentally, than 2013.

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