Sunday, January 29, 2006

Ladbrokes: 244 dollars
Pacific: 235 dollars

Total: 479 dollars


I was off work with a cold one day this week so naturally I played a bit of poker. I thought it would be interesting to do some analysis of my play. I played for two hours at 25/50 on Pacific and these are my stats from the session...

Big blind: 15. Played: 10 Hands won: 3
Small blind: 12. Played: 6 Hands won: 2
Early position: 18 Played: 3 Hands won: 1
Middle position: 29 Played: 10 Hands won: 3
Late position: 27 Played: 8 Hands won: 3

Total hands: 103 Played: 37 Hands won: 12

% of total hands actually played = 36%
% of winning hands from all hands dealt = 11.6%
% of winning hands from all hands played = 32%

I actually ended the session up a whole 1.70 dollars!

My best hand was 76 suited in late position which won me 7.40 dollars when I flopped a 7 and a 6 and then hit another 7 on the turn. My worst hit was QQ in the Small Blind which was beaten by a flush on the river.

I was playing fairly loosly in early and middle position as there was very little raising before the flop, so I could get in cheap. That being the case, I think my hands played percentage played is not unreasonable. These are very loose tables and you have to respond accordingly. Funny enough it doesn't feel as if I am playing as many hands as that. This is probably because a lot of them (well over a third) are "Big Blinds" that I don't have any choice about playing.

Since the general expectation is that a reasonable player can expect a profit of between 1 and 2 "big blinds" per hour, then I suppose this is a "par" performance. One thing I haven't been doing is making a note of how much time I am playing. I must start doing that so that I can get a count on my "win per hour" rate.

At least I hope it will be "win per hour" - this hasn't been a good week.

I took a bath at the .50/1.00 tables early in the week (multiway pots gone wrong being the main culprit - see comments in last weeks post) so moved back down to .25/.50. A combination of bad beats and poor play (a nasty dose of "callitis") saw me decline to the low 220's. Then I get the "blue screen of death" and windows dies big style. I've spent a couple of days just getting my system functional again and only a reasonable session on Saturday night for a couple of hours got me back to 235. At least I seem to have my game working again.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Ladbrokes: 244 dollars
Pacific: 251 dollars

Total: 495 dollars


Lots of variance this week. On Pacific, I've been in the 270's and down to the 220's before ending up just 10 dollars up or so. I've mainly been trying to play on the .50/1.00 tables but I can't always find a nice soft ring game at the time I want to play (a bit surprising that) so I've sometimes been playing .25/.50 again. One time I couldn't even find that and played a bit on Laddies instead - hence the slight movement there.

Saddest hand of the week came in a .50/1.00 game when I raised late with 88 and hit my set on the flop, which was 48Q rainbow. An early player raised (paired the Q I presumed, correctly it transpired) and I reraised with a couple of limpers tagging on. The turn produces a 6, still no flush possiblities. One of the previous limpers now starts betting, which gets me checking things out. Possibly two pair, but may have hit his set too, but mines higher, was my thinking. I didn't consider the straight for more than a nanosecond. Who would call all those bets needing two cards for an inside straight? The river came with an A and we capped out the betting leaving a 34 dollar hand...which of course I lost to the straight. SIGH. The trouble is that you can react to this sort of thing by becoming too cautious and backing off when anything remotely scary appears on the board. Discipline, my boy! Not long after I was tested with trips 9's when someone hit an obvious straight on the turn. I just called and was fortunate that the board then paired so I was able to take him down with a full house - just 19 dollars there though.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Ladbrokes: 241 dollars
Pacific: 240 dollars

Total: 481 dollars


I decided to take the plunge and move up a level on Pacific and I've been playing .50/1.00 for the last week. The general standard and style seems much the same as on the .25/.50 tables. Lots of tables and lots of folks seeing the flop - generally around 50% - which is way too high of course. Strangely enought the variance hasn't been that much different to what I found on the lower tables. I've been over 240 and back down to the 220's, then recovered again. The same steady game that I have been using on the lower limit seems to be working ok. The same habit of chasing down any straight or flush opportunity, however remote, also still seems to apply.

My hand of the week was two jacks under the gun, which tripped up on flop (Jc 8c 2h). I still had three folk calling me when the turn produced Qc (not thrilling). I bet and was raised (2 left now). The river was 7d. I bet again and was raised and called that with another limper and took the hand for 19 dollars, which is the most I have made on one hand I think. They both had two pair.

I've recently been following the Poker (and life, the universe and everything) blog of Pete Birks - a chap I know from the Diplomacy scene. While he has been active in Diplomacy circles since the 70's, Pete, has been equally well known in the Poker world since that time. You can find lots of stuff by him if you put "Pete Birks poker" into Google. His day job is financial journalism, but he also writes for various Poker sites. (You can find his blog at The reason I'm mentioning him, apart from the fact that he writes interesting stuff related to Poker, is that his "game of choice" for making money is Limit Hold 'em at the 3/6 dollar and 5/10 dollar level. Now this is interesting, as I have at various times flirted with the idea of developing a No Limit game like "J" and "The Edge" and others. However I am now thinking that if Limit works nicely for someone as experienced as Pete, then why should I be looking at anything else?

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Ladbrokes: 241 dollars
Pacific: 201 dollars

Total: 442 dollars


I had a great start to the week. Immediately after posting the blog last Sunday I had a two hour session where I could do no wrong - they occasionally happen :-) Suited connectors duely connected or suited up. My pairs hit trips ... the works. This bumped me up 35 dollars, no problem.

Since then things have been quieter, though still going in the right direction.

I did get some sweet revenge though. With a pair of Aces I subsequently hit trips on the flop and, just like last week, duely got bashed over the head by a runner, runner flush on the river, after two villains called me all the way. I was still belabouring the cat about that one, when the next hand awarded me two jacks. Well a man has to have principles, so I set out betting into them again and duely collected trips on the flop once more. (The Poker Gods must be trying me out). The same villains called me all the way again, but this time my J's held up like men. There is some justice!

I did a bit of two tabling on one evening last week, which is what moved the Laddies account up a little. I'll do more of this I think, but it does require more concentration (naturally).

After mentioning Kicking King and Harchibald last week, I see that they are now both out of Cheltenham. Very disappointing. I shall have to develop a new equine hero now that the kicker is hors d'combat for a while (sorry about the pun).

Meanwhile I have had a chess setback. I am now playing "the edge", having seen off J's challenge for the time being. However after a good start I blundered a piece. We will have to see if I am good enough to give the man odds!

My Chess and Diplomacy (the game) playing has never attracted much attention from friends and acquaintances, but Poker always gets a comment or two. They often ask whether I make any money at it and are quite surprised when I say yes. They then usually ask how I achieve this to which I have developed the response, "I always makes sure I play with people who are worse than me!" When you think about it, that is the essence of it really. It makes no sense at all to play with folk who are better than you are, you will just lose money. Thinking back, this also makes obvious sense of the fact that I could never get anywhere in ring games at Laddies with "the edge", "J" and "Rosie". There were too many of us "playing properly" for anyone to make much progress. Still, the chat was fun.

My current theory is that I will take the Pacific account up to 300 dollars and then look to move up to 50/1.00 games.