Poker Cats

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Two days off

In 2006, she posted top-five finishes in three of the four women’s majors. The next year, Wie’s game became more mechanical, her swing and confidence corroding as she played through injuries.

“The more I practiced, the worse I got because I shouldn’t have been practicing,” Wie said.
--"In Michelle Wie's Gallery, Artistry Off the Course," The New York Times, March 31, 2010.

Took the last two days off from playing. No real reason, other than I've had one of my best months in online poker at Full Tilt's Rush Poker tables and I'd qualified for Iron Man a few days early.

Kind of makes sense to give yourself a break now and then and do something else to get ready for yet another month at the tables.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Rush poker -- Punk Hand of the Day

Full Tilt Poker $0.50/$1 No Limit Hold'em - 9 players - View hand 614345

The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter



BTN: $42.40

SB: $45.30

BB: $41.60

UTG: $83.50

UTG+1: $23.00

Hero (UTG+2): $116.55

MP1: $130.80

MP2: $122.50

CO: $61.35



Pre Flop: ($1.50) Hero is UTG+2 with Q of diamonds Q of spades

2 folds, Hero raises to $3, 4 folds, SB calls $2.50, BB calls $2



Flop: ($9.00) T of hearts 5 of clubs 5 of hearts (3 players)

SB checks, BB checks, Hero bets $6.50, SB folds, BB raises to $15, Hero raises to $113.55 all in, BB calls $23.60 all in



Turn: ($86.20) K of hearts (2 players - 2 are all in)



River: ($86.20) Q of hearts (2 players - 2 are all in)



Final Pot: $86.20

BB shows 8 of diamonds 5 of diamonds (three of a kind, Fives)

Hero shows Q of diamonds Q of spades (a full house, Queens full of Fives)

Hero wins $83.20

(Rake: $3.00)


Sunday, March 28, 2010

More free money from Full Tilt (Take 2)

Looks like Full Tilt is offering a promo last year designed to get more people multitabling online poker.

You can get up to $25 between April 3 and April 11. Here are the details:

Running from Saturday, April 3rd to Sunday, April 11th, play at least two standard ring-game tables at the same time or any Rush Poker* table during Take 2 to receive double the Full Tilt Points.

The more you play during Take 2, the more you’ll earn. Earn at least five bonus points on any five days during Take 2 to get $5 in cash. Do so on all nine days to get an additional $20, for a total of $25

Friday, March 26, 2010

A Full Tilt Iron Man rarity

I have five days to go this month and only one day needed to collect the 200 points I need to make Iron Man on Full Tilt poker this month.

The site's Rush Poker has made it extremely easy to accumulate points in a hurry. But even still, I'll usually have at least some time during each month when I won't play or accumulate the 200 points daily needed for the highest level.

Monday, March 22, 2010

And now, a break from our regularly scheduled thoughts on poker

In 2000 when I completed the Portland Marathon, I swore I'd never do another marathon again. A decade later I can say yesterday's run was worth the soreness today.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

How I just became a donor to Northern Iowa's athletic program for life

Northern Iowa 69, Kansas 67.

Check's in the mail, Northern Iowa.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Rush poker -- When this hand says, "You're beat"

Full Tilt Poker $0.50/$1 No Limit Hold'em - 9 players - View hand 598400

The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter



MP2: $107.45

CO: $49.40

BTN: $182.50

SB: $167.45

Hero (BB): $154.55

UTG: $110.60

UTG+1: $100.00

UTG+2: $215.85

MP1: $89.75



Pre Flop: ($1.50) Hero is BB with J of clubs T of clubs

2 folds, UTG+2 raises to $3, MP1 calls $3, MP2 calls $3, 3 folds, Hero calls $2



Flop: ($12.50) 3 of clubs A of clubs K of clubs (4 players)

Hero checks, UTG+2 bets $6, MP1 folds, MP2 raises to $12, Hero raises to $54.50, UTG+2 folds, MP2 requests TIME, MP2 calls $42.50



Turn: ($127.50) 7 of hearts (2 players)

Hero bets $97.05 all in, MP2 calls $49.95 all in



River: ($227.40) T of diamonds (2 players - 2 are all in)



Final Pot: $227.40

MP2 shows Q of spades A of diamonds (a pair of Aces)

Hero shows J of clubs T of clubs (a flush, Ace high)

Hero wins $224.40

(Rake: $3.00)


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Rush poker: Flat-calling in late with good hands

Ed Miller today has a Web article on the merits of flat-calling ace-king.

He says, "Flat-calling A-K is occasionally a good play, but most of the time it’s not. Unless you have a very good reason to do otherwise, reraise it."

I've seen this in Rush Poker -- someone will raise in early or middle position. If your holding is fairly decent, it almost behooves you not to just flat-call. First you take away most of the initiative with your hand. You're just as unlikely to hit the flop as the early opponent is. If you don't 3-bet it then you're almost certainly in a position to be folding the flop.

Also, even in nitty Rush Poker games at NL$.50/1, many people will raise with hands that they will fold to a 3-bet heads-up, such as pocket pairs, suited connectors, etc.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Rush poker - Presto killer

Finally some pure outs when I get it in against a set.

Full Tilt Poker $0.50/$1 No Limit Hold'em - 9 players - View hand 596041

The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter



MP1: $113.50

MP2: $105.85

CO: $108.10

BTN: $69.00

SB: $112.25

Hero (BB): $100.00

UTG: $103.65

UTG+1: $110.10

UTG+2: $100.85



Pre Flop: ($1.50) Hero is BB with 7 of diamonds T of diamonds

UTG raises to $3.50, UTG+1 calls $3.50, 1 fold, MP1 calls $3.50, 4 folds, Hero calls $2.50



Flop: ($14.50) 3 of hearts 6 of diamonds 5 of diamonds (4 players)

Hero checks, UTG bets $10, UTG+1 calls $10, MP1 folds, Hero raises to $96.50 all in, UTG requests TIME, UTG folds, UTG+1 calls $86.50



Turn: ($217.50) Q of spades (2 players - 1 is all in)



River: ($217.50) 4 of diamonds (2 players - 1 is all in)



Final Pot: $217.50

Hero shows 7 of diamonds T of diamonds (a flush, Ten high)

UTG+1 shows 5 of hearts 5 of clubs (three of a kind, Fives)

Hero wins $214.50

(Rake: $3.00)


Monday, March 15, 2010

Rush poker -- quads!

Full Tilt Poker $0.50/$1 No Limit Hold'em - 9 players - View hand 592557

The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter



BTN: $76.50

SB: $198.00

BB: $232.90

UTG: $345.05

UTG+1: $111.00

UTG+2: $76.15

MP1: $40.95

Hero (MP2): $107.65

CO: $27.75



Pre Flop: ($1.50) Hero is MP2 with 8 of hearts 8 of spades

3 folds, MP1 calls $1, Hero raises to $4.50, 1 fold, BTN calls $4.50, 2 folds, MP1 calls $3.50



Flop: ($15.00) 5 of hearts 6 of diamonds 8 of clubs (3 players)

MP1 checks, Hero bets $10, BTN folds, MP1 raises to $36.45 all in, Hero calls $26.45



Turn: ($87.90) 8 of diamonds (2 players - 1 is all in)



River: ($87.90) 7 of clubs (2 players - 1 is all in)



Final Pot: $87.90

MP1 shows A of hearts A of diamonds (two pair, Aces and Eights)

Hero shows 8 of hearts 8 of spades (four of a kind, Eights)

Hero wins $84.90

(Rake: $3.00)


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Rush poker -- strategy and tips

Previously I wrote about open-stealing from the cut-off and button in Full Tilt Rush Poker, as well as light 4-betting in the blinds against habitual stealers.

In February I discussed some Rush Poker tips combining the CR, or Cardrunners, offense. These tips included light 4-betting, taking proper notes and reacting to the game by being in position.

I'll continue with random thoughts associated with an extremely lucrative game, at least at the NL$.50/1 level that I'm playing. Since I started playing this game last month, about 5-6 weeks, I'm up about 20 buy-ins.

My basic strategy is a regular, careful tight-aggressive game with loose-aggressive elements. At these stakes there are many, many mistakes by players to exploit. When you're whizzing around at 250 hands per hour, these mistakes will multiply.

Playing environment

1). Being focused. The first tip begins with you. You have to make sure, more so than when you're normally playing online, that you don't have other distractions -- the game goes too fast. I'll play 3 tables at a time -- any more than that and my game starts to suffer.

2). Take frequent breaks -- The first instance that you realize that you're tired, you should stop the faucet of hands and do something else. You can come back and play -- I'll usually take the cue to go for a run or will play a video game -- but you have to be pretty focused to take advantage of other players' mistakes. Especially if you lose a hand and start to get sloppy -- your game can go south in a hurry.

3). Leak check. If you're struggling in this format, you're probably also struggling with certain parts of your game in regular forms of poker. Playing tight is fine but you can't just wait for good starting hands in either form of poker. You have to get involved with the table, know who is respectable and who is not. Why are you getting crushed when you're smooth calling ace-rag preflop? They say all of your bad habits are exposed with time, so what happens when that time is quickened exponentially? You have to review your play a little bit more.

Basic strategy -- offense

1). I'll usually open raise, even under the gun, with a large range of hands, running the gamut from small pocket pairs to suited connectors. It'll give you a feel of the table -- are people routinely 3-betting in late? My experience is that the NL$.50/1 tables on Rush Poker are pretty nitty -- you'll find a lot of folds.

2). In the cases where there aren't folds, you can determine if you want to continuation bet the flop or not. I'll usually do this if it's heads-up. Obviously just like in regular forms of poker you don't want to be bluffing in front of lots of people in the pot. You have to put yourself in the mindset of callers, many of whom are trying to set mine or just see a flop. Playing lots of hands will give you a decent feel for things.

3). At this level, aggression towards you is usually thinly veiled. Most often people will play their hands face up, raising you with the nuts or check-raising you after you bet. Recently I've been wondering whether it's worth it to defend meager holdings against what likely is the nuts. But so far, 20 buy-ins tells me that I'm probably missing a little bit of value by not making mistakes of going with hands when I'm beat.

Basic strategy -- defense

1). Because you are seeing hundreds more hands than you would normally you have to prepare yourself for a decent amount of cooler hands. Like having KK all-in preflop against aces, having a set on the flop destroyed by an overset on the turn. You have to make sure that you are mentally ready for this kind of thing. With more hands there is the potential for swings. So watch out!

2). Just as much as you want to make sure you extract the most value from your premium hands, you have to watch out for instances that you're beat, just like in the regular form of poker. Being adequately rolled will help you avoid playing scared.

3). You want to make sure you're not falling into their hands by making their mistakes. The fundamentals apply. You often don't want to be the first person calling a raise. You want to make sure that if you have a good hand out of position preflop that you're 3-betting it. The original raiser's reaction to your 3-bet will help you define your range of hands for the flop.

Playing LAGgy isn't just about being LAGgy all the time. You want to appear aggressive so they can't automatically let your raises go when you have premium hands. As Amarillo Slim once said, "Guessers are losers." You want to keep them guessing and not be the loser.

Rush poker -- an example of the opposition

These are the kinds of players you're looking for!

Full Tilt Poker $0.50/$1 No Limit Hold'em - 9 players - View hand 590538

The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter



SB: $59.60

BB: $139.15

UTG: $104.00

UTG+1: $100.00

Hero (UTG+2): $125.95

MP1: $59.35

MP2: $100.00

CO: $46.00

BTN: $99.00



Pre Flop: ($1.50) Hero is UTG+2 with J of clubs J of diamonds

2 folds, Hero raises to $3, MP1 calls $3, 5 folds



Flop: ($7.50) 5 of clubs 8 of clubs 8 of diamonds (2 players)

Hero bets $5.80, MP1 calls $5.80



Turn: ($19.10) 5 of diamonds (2 players)

Hero bets $12.50, MP1 calls $12.50



River: ($44.10) 9 of spades (2 players)

Hero bets $16, MP1 calls $16



Final Pot: $76.10

Hero shows J of clubs J of diamonds (two pair, Jacks and Eights)

MP1 mucks A of diamonds T of spades

Hero wins $73.10

(Rake: $3.00)




Full Tilt Poker $0.50/$1 No Limit Hold'em - 9 players - View hand 590543

The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter



CO: $46.30

BTN: $170.55

SB: $235.35

BB: $55.90

UTG: $106.15

UTG+1: $80.95

UTG+2: $198.45

MP1: $134.55

Hero (MP2): $211.55



Pre Flop: ($1.50) Hero is MP2 with K of clubs A of clubs

3 folds, MP1 raises to $2, Hero raises to $7.50, 4 folds, MP1 calls $5.50



Flop: ($16.50) T of spades Q of clubs 3 of diamonds (2 players)

MP1 checks, Hero bets $12.50, MP1 calls $12.50



Turn: ($41.50) A of spades (2 players)

MP1 checks, Hero bets $17, MP1 calls $17



River: ($75.50) 8 of diamonds (2 players)

MP1 bets $14.50, Hero calls $14.50



Final Pot: $104.50

MP1 shows J of diamonds J of spades (a pair of Jacks)

Hero shows K of clubs A of clubs (a pair of Aces)

Hero wins $101.50

(Rake: $3.00)