Thursday, December 27, 2007

Happy Holidays

Hope everyone is enjoying themselves, their families and the holiday season. I hope next year is everything you want it to be.

In the coming days, I'll be posting a column on Exit Strategy (why you always need one) and a little personal story Meet The Parents. Funny moment as the future in laws all got together for the first time.

In the meantime a quick hand that I played on Sunday. I had crap in the big blind. Somebody makes one of those pot building raises to like 7 and everybody calls to me. I have to pay 5 for a $65 pot, yes, I'll play just about any two cards. Flop is KK2. I have a 2 and it's checked around. Turn is an 8. I figure I'll take a stab because people might buy I have a K. I bet. Folded to a kid in the small blind whose decision making is wild at best. He calls. Okay. I'm going to shut her down. He's liable to call with an 8 or slowplay his king (thought doing it twice is strange). If he can call that turn bet, he'll call my river bet, and there are no draws out there.

River is a 3.

He checks. I check. Strange.

I turn over crap-2. He turns over 6-3 (?).

Yes, I was snakebit that day. Though, I'm curious just what his thinking was at all. What was he hoping to hit? Or did he just hope to bluff me out on the river but when he hit his three he thought he may good. Did he want to check raise me with a pair of threes?

My play was bad enough with trying to steal with 9 other players in the hand. His play? Crazy.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ace-Queen gets redemption

Played in the Houma Dead Money satellite tournament. Was second out--stellar performance I know. My final hand involved me trying to steal with AQ suited and short-stacked in the face of a min-raise and call. I had 2500, blinds were 100-200, so 1100 in the pot. The initial caller called, a steady player named Craig, and he had Kings. Well played, I had no idea he was that strong. I hit my Queen on the flop so probably would been the hand I died with regardless. I also bled off some chips with AQ earlier v. AK when an ace hit the flop. I raised, after leading out preflop and the eventual winner of the tournament shoved all in.

I had a good read of strength from him ('You mean besides the fact he put all his chips in?' Captain Obvious). I thought his insta-call of my preflop raise, which brought two other callers along, and his predatory lean in doing so meant I was trailing. The Ace came and I fired out hoping he had a pocket pair or something besides AK. His shove confirmed that he had at least one Ace and a great kicker. Or he had a set of them.

Feeling AK, but not 100% ready to part with the hand, I went into my probing questions mode to be sure. I said, "You aren't worried about me having two pair," he wasn't but suddenly he was. He defensively repeated, "I'm all in." "You don't just have Ace King do you?" I asked. Yep, he did. He said, again, "I'm all in." I laid down. He showed AK. Shame I had a good read on him and couldn't stay in long enough to use it. For the rest of the tournament, Ray played great, made some tough calls, amassed a lot of chips and never let them go. He wasn't afraid to mix it up and just fire away at multi-way pots with agression and it was no suprise he took it down.

I thought Summerall, a Houma tournament player, played really well. He went deep and got knocked out when AJ caught a Jack on the flop and more importantly an ace on the river to beat his two queens. He was in good spirits about the hand and his performance, he should be, as I didn't see him make a mistake at the final table. He mounted a comeback and put himself into contention before taking that beat. Well done, Chris.

I also, played some small freezeout with Robert D. and Dwayne who said some nice things about the blogs and our site. Man, you talk about getting run over by the cards. I had Aces, pocket 10s probably 4 times which also held every time, and flopped straights and flushes. Even the few hands I didn't play I'd end up with the nuts. I literally had the best hand for about 9 out of 10 hands for an hour straight. This was three handed, I was getting the type of hands I'd be crushing 10 handed. It's the type of heat you want at a 2-5 or 5-10 table, and of course I get that killing time with a small buy-in (I know, never complain when you are winning, it is unbecoming).

I have to say, Dwayne thoroughly outplayed me, but couldn't outplay the deck. He kept folding to the better hands that I held. He stayed in the game much longer than I would have lasted if I had his cards and he had mine. I kept thinking, he's going to have to push back at me with nothing at some point, thinking my rush can't possibly still be going on. But my rush continued and he avoided it. Then, I look down at A-Q. Ugh. The hand that had killed me that night. Dwayne is finally getting pressured by his stack, he's short but not so short that if he doubled up he wouldn't have a slight chip advantage. Flop is 556. I bet, he comes over the top all in.

As he is a good player my first instinct is to fold, I really just have air. Then I run through the hand possibilities. He called my preflop raise. Maybe a pocket pair. Maybe two high cards. AQ is pretty good but AK beats me. AJ, KJ, KQ, J10, A10 are all calling hands, preflop, and I think AK is probably a raising hand so I'm ahead of almost all of those holdings. A mid pocket pair makes a lot of sense too, but there are less of those: 77s, 8s, 9s, 10s, and Js, but probably Js and 10s he pushes back at me.

Then I consider how many times I pushed at him with the best hand and he correctly folded. Got to think his patience is worn thin. There was enough at play that he might be making a move, so I said, "I'm making a bad call," because something just told me he had me beat ("You mean all his chips in the center of the pot tipped you off again Einstein?"-Captain Obvious). I made the bad call and he had pocket 9s. I caught a Q for the win. So even on the final hand he outplayed me and the deck just beat him.

The queens salvaged the night for me, covered my bounty we added to the tourney entry and cut off a little bit of my buy-in, so not too bad. There is talk about playing another one soon so maybe then I can get some redemption of my own.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sorry for the lack of posts of late... but here's some updates...

Yet when I get called out in the comments section I have to respond. As Dooleyera wrote, "When did you get your Aces in... pre-flop or post flop? regardless to get knocked out that many times with em is tough.been a week since your last update. your loyal readers are dissapointed.lookin to play some pokah in Jan....down in nawlins. time to own. gotten beat up online. comin to learn from the pros. that means you gulf coast bloggers."

Umm. Mostly get in preflop. That time postflop. That boomtown tournament has had me look down at Aces in the big blind with somebody all in for more too many times. I can't not call and invariably they hit their set of... 2s.

Actually, I've been running pretty well. I usually post less when I'm doing well, because like bad beat stories I'm sure brags are pretty annoying also. Guess there isn't much to talk about otherwise so maybe I have to a little bit. Also, as one friend told me he checks in on my blog to see me complain about losing and whine about bad beats, so maybe I should talk about the positives too.

Gene and I played in a large, loose rebuy bar tournament. To give you the idea of play, you have AK on the button, raise five limpers 7x. All call. Flop is Kxx rainbow. Checked to you. You bet large. Two callers. Turn is a 6. Bet big again. One caller. River is a 5. Checked to you. You check. Lunchbox turns over 56 for two pair. Okay, he'll lose those chips quickly but still...

So, seeing that kind of thing, I play even tighter. Upon reflection, if I play again, I may just stand up through the rebuy period. Late in the game I look down at two jacks from early position. With blinds and antes what they are and the table playing tight, I make a decent size bet, almost commiting a 1/4 of my chips. A guy comes over the top all in. He's got about twice my bet. Another guy comes over the top all in, with just slightly more. The second guy is cool as a cucumber. I put him on Aces.

Big dog.

Yet, I pretty much have to call. First guy all in, is not happy, so I'm not reading him for queens or kings. I'm getting 5 to 1 on my money not even counting blinds and antes. I'll still have half my stack after I lose.... UNLESS I SPIKE MY JACK. Who says I don't win races when I'm a huge dog.

Aces tells me I made a terrible call. I say what I always say, "Yeah, I just got lucky," normally I say that when luck had nothing to do with it, but here it had a lot to do with it even though I'd make that call again. We get to the final table and the bubble manages to last for 45 minutes. Short stacks became big stacks and vice versa. Every hand, the big stack would be ahead and the short stack would catch up. Yes, I was the big stack most of the time. Painful. Still, a cash is a cash.

Played last night at harrahs. Delighted to see when they comped me a room they charged me a deposit of $250 and then the next day another one for $660. At first, I couldn't figure out what either charge was and I was about to cancel my card until I thought about how awkward my check-in was. A call to Harrahs confirmed it. Redonkulous. Then when they cut me a rebate today they only fire back $460 ignoring the initial $250 deposit. Terrible. Then upon reminding the girl, they were still charging me ~$450 in deposits, the girl made it sound like she didn't want to bother her manager again with the paperwork. What?

Back to poker though, one notable hand from last night, I got pocket 7s. A guy bets preflop, a couple of callers, flop comes 1065 (two hearts). He bets again, folded to me. I stew. I think I have the best hand here and almost repop him but just call. Turn is the 7 of hearts. I see him lean back in classic, I just got the nuts style, and just throws out his bet. He isn't even trying to disguise his strength. I call, praying for the board to pair. I'm confident if it does, my full house will blind side him and I can felt him for all his chips. Come on, come on, 10, 6, 5, come on. Oh, hello 2 of clubs. He bets a small bet of $50. Yet, oddly knowing, I mean KNOWING, he's got AK suited of hearts I call with a set of 7s. Bad call. He showed his AK. I should have folded face up and called out his hand and he would have shown me. That was a bad river call.

Another notable one, I turned the nut flush and rivered a straight flush against a guy I had beaten down to get over even for the night. He told me as I was loading up my river bet, he wouldn't call me if I had bet 50 cents and that he was putting me on his W-2 form. I bet a dollar, jokingly and he folded, I said give me a hat. Why couldn't he hold the king of hearts?

This same guy welched out of about $25 dollars earlier. I held KJ. Flop came K44. He bets big into the multiway pot after a preflop small raise. I call. Turn is a Jack. I check, he checks. River is another Jack. He bets, I raise, not too many chips left. I go into acting mode making myself believe I got squadoosch. He goes back to his chip stack and fires out another raise. I put all my chips in to the pot, but thinking his bet had me covered. He turns over AJ and is pissed when I show KJ. The dealer says we got the same hand three or four times. I say I got a full house. He does too. Yeah, but I got a better full house. She can't see it.

The entire table including the loser tells her I've won the hand. She keeps pushing the jacks and fours up. Finally, I explain my jacks and kings beats his jacks and fours. Oh. She starts to sweep the pot to me. I stop her again and point to my stack. Let's be sure of that too. Oh (again). She counts it out and I got $25 or so more then the other guy's raise. He continues being ballistic. "I done lost enough, you going to make me pay money I didn't bet." His wrath is aimed at the dealer, who besides those brainfarts is a good a dealer, and deals me winners, so I tried to be patient.

I realize he technically didn't say call and just flipped his cards. I thought about calling floor, but I let him off the hook because he was tilted and had a big stack. All the other players I respected and thought we'd just push money around, he was the loose one, so to speak, and I didn't want him to get up in a tiff and he looked close to that already. I got him later, so maybe that $25 was a good investment but maybe not. I can't decide from these outcomes: worst result, floor might have let him go with it and he still might have picked up and left because I bitched, middle results; floor might have given me the $25 and he gets up and leaves or floor doesn't give me the $25 but he stays, or the best case floor gives me the $25 and he stays even more tilted. I think if I do it again, I'll take over for the dealer and make sure to hear him say call before I show my hand. Regardless of his hand being thrown face up.

Oh well, I finished up for the night but I've cataloged at least $75 I let go last night so as always A LOT of room to improve.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Wild Bill

Let me put some of my own thoughts back into this blog. Course the story here is the success of David at the 7 clans. We met up with him on Thursday and offered him a spot on TEAM GCP after playing with him n the event. We'll set him up with a blog so I won't have to repost his thoughts here. He's a solid player who should do well, excuse me, is doing well with the deep stack of the main event. With over half the field eliminated David has the potential to get a big score. Considering he confided he was card dead on the first day I'm hoping he gets a mini-rush and can go even deeper.

Lots of poker this week.

Got another live cash and that was fun. However, it felt like Deja Vu all over again as the bubble to the final 20 (the money) consisted of three tables with my table being the only one knocking out players. Literally, with 29 left we were responsible for knocking out 8 to get to the money (yes, they were moving players over). I Outlasted 172 players and never really felt in any danger. My last hand was AQ v.s A5. Ace-five caught the flush to send me packing. Weird thing of late, I'll look down at a hand and just feel I'm going to go broke with it. I almost folded the AQ because of that feeling. As they chopped at 5 maybe I should have.

Later that night, when I was playing in a satellite, three handed and short stacked after I lay down AJ to a guy who basically told me he had pocket Js, I saw Kido Pham walk by. I said, "Kido what do I do?" Maybe the celebratory crown and cola had something to do with that. He said, "Go all in." I said, "OK all in." He got wide-eyed and said, "No, no," but just laughed when I didn't get a caller.

Also, saw Demetri Nobles who thought he knew Gene D, maybe he's a fan of the site(? what up man if you are), Tex Barch, Minh the Master, David Pham and others. Surprised there was more "star" power in Kinder than in New Orleans. The Omaha game they were playing was as big a games as I've seen anywhere other than Vegas. Loads of hundos in stacks around that table.

We also talked to Darryl a dealer from Harrahs, who is probably a better player than dealer (and he's a great dealer). He had the most cashes at the IP classic this year and he's thinking about doing a little blog for us with his perspective from both sides of the felt. I hope he does.

Met a lot of good folks from Texas, mostly Houston but some from Austin. I want to give a shout out to Avery who is a touring pro who I quickly respected for his play at the tournament. Also, to the tournament direct Tom who ran a first class event which really cater to the players. I must say, I was skeptical because of a bad experience last time, but I will be definitely be back for more tournaments. Tom said maybe he was starting a trend with his mega that gave away seats to every event and cash and I said, "I hope so." Other tournament directors should definitely follow his lead. I think he could have ran 10 of those things and gotten huge turnouts.

Today I played the Boomtown tournament and once again went busted with aces. I was two spots from the final table. I think that hand has knocked me out of that Saturday tournament at least 5 times. Today I dug my own grave a little bit, but in the past I kept having to call all ins with Aces in the big blind preflop.

Spoke with our own Tex earlier in the week and discussed a big hand he got involved with. After speaking with him, I ran the circumstances past a number of people and got slightly different answers every time. In fact, I'd have to say the aggressive Big Ray had the most conservative answer and that I probably agree with him most. If Tex okays it maybe I'll discuss that hand and some of the different viewpoints later.

I'm looking forward to Austin Martin's upcoming post about his friends run at the Bellagio which was a great story and should make for a great read. Hope people like the redesign of the site too.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

David's Wenesday and Thursday

Lemme catch up here. Tuesday was the Tag Team event, and I didn't get a voucher for it with the mega satellite prize package. Wednesday I showed up, and I busted out real early. I couldn't get started, I missed continuation bets, I got real tentative and people drew out on me. Thursday, you and Gene showed up, and I played kinda deep--it started with 150-200 entrants, I got to like 35. I busted out trying to steal blinds with a 6-9 suited. Not so swift, but I felt really pressured to make a move with blinds catching up. I also lost $200 in the 2-5 no limit cash game after the tourney on Thursday, but I caught that back up Friday morning when I flopped 2 pair with AK suited and got a call from a lady who was outta postion, but thought her pair of Aces would get her there since the guys at the other end of the table were dragging pots with second pairs. She'd check, I'd bet, she'd call, on the flop, the turn, and on the river. Maybe she figured I was playing like them because I was talking to them so much:)

Today is Friday, and I have to say that this daily tournament routine is becoming a serious grind. I've been wound up all week now, and I am not looking forward to the main event that is going to last Sat, Sunday and Monday. 90 minute rounds. Today, I got ahead in the first round with pocket kings. Later on, I got too involved in some hands with a strong player to my left, which is the chair I least want to have a strong player sitting in. I also had Cowboy at my table--you told me he's a solid player, and now I see what you mean. I stayed outta his way, and he said several times that he intended to stay outta my way, which really flattered me. The strong player to my left was also showing me some respect, but he also kept taking my chips:) I would have to say that the table I was at was loaded with very strong players. Of the 10 seats, I would say that only one was weak--an action player who played alot of hands then got frustrated when the cards quit coming. The hand I busted out with was 7-9 diamonds in the small blind (400-800 blinds), 4 people limped in so I got great odds to draw at a flush for half a bet. 2 diamonds on the flop, so I put in a $1600 bet that ran everybody out but the big blind to my left (the aforementioned strong player). He called, and the turn gives me an open end straight draw to go with my flush draw, so I have like 15 or 17 outs. I check and he put in a big bet, but it gave me like 3 to 1 pot odds, which I thought was a good deal with outs that give me pot odds of like 2 to 1 or maybe better. I knew I was gonna call, I looked at my stack and see that I only have another $1200 after the call so I just pushed all in, hoping to just win the pot right there, He called, I didn't get the flush or the straight on the river, and he takes the pot with top pair--queens. I think I played the hand right, but on the other hand, I wonder about the wisdom of pushing all in on a draw like that. Once again, I mixed it up with a big stack, and I ended up all in against someone who had enough chips to call me just for the hell of it. I need to start considering stack sizes earlier in the hand, I guess. On the other hand, if the flush had got there, I'd be saying how brilliantly I played it and doubled up at a crucial point in the tournament. I had so many outs. Maybe it's one of those hands where folding or playing are both right, and it just didn't pan out. What do you think?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Tuesday for David

I got time off from work, so I'll be able to play in all the tournaments I won entry into, except for today. Today is a tag team tournament, and I don't have a voucher for that because it wasn't part of the prize package. I'll try to keep better notes about what happens. Lemme know if there's any info you'd like to have for the website that I haven't thought of. For example, I know that they are running satellite tournaments in the poker room all week for the main event, I heard they're like one table tournaments, shoot out's. I think if you win a shoot out, you get free entry into some other satellite, not sure, but I'll find out. I'll talk up the site, as usual.

David's Monday Results

"Yesterday, Monday December 3, I picked up receipts for the rest of the weeks tournaments at the poker room. I played in the Monday tournament which started out with 167 entrants. Once again, I got short stacked early playing around with suited aces, putting in bets on the turn and the river with 3 and 4 flush draws and middle pair, draws not getting there and the Ace not hitting to make my 2 pair. I busted out at the 4th table which I think is still pretty deep in the tournament.

My last hand, I was short stacked and looking to double up before the blinds busted me out. I got AJ suited, went all in and was called by Freddy, from Alexandria with a huge stack. Freddy flipped up pocket queens, but I felt good about it, I had to do it with a short stack and the blinds about to knock me out in a few more hands. I flopped 2 pair, no queen, and I figured I had it in the bag. Turn was a blank, the river was a queen. I felt like I got shot in the chest:) I was crushed, felt it all the way home to Lafayette, too. My wife says to me, "well you had fun didn't you? you should just be playing to have fun." I informed her that when these tournaments get down to the last 4 or 5 tables, all the "playing for fun" people are already busted out, the people left at that point are all excellent poker players and they are playing for blood. This shit is serious."

David in the Mega Satellite...

"The 7 Clans Mega satellite started Sunday at noon with 267 entrants. The round were 30 minutes each. I started out playing pretty loose like everybody else and my stack dwindled down quick because of it. At the first break at the conclusion of the 100-200 round, I was already short stacked--about $1200 in chips and I'd started with $4000. I started thinking about the tourney in terms of just make it to the next break, and that's all I did.

After the second break the blinds went up to $600-$1200. I kept catching shitty cards, nothing to go all in with, the big blind got to me, and I got dealt a 3-5 offsuit. Everybody at the table was telling me to throw in the last $500 chip, and I said no, I can't go all in with this, I want to see the next hand. The dealer said I could go all in on the small blind, so I mucked the 35 and looked at another hand. I got a suited king in the small blind, 3 or 4 callers, and I made the flush with it. 2 hand later I went all in again and stole the blinds with a pocket pair. The blinds got back around to me again, and everybody folded around to the small blind. Small blind put me all in, and I agonized over calling with my pocket 8's. I called and the small blind shows pocket 5's, so I doubled up.

The rest of the tournament, I stayed as uninvolved as possible, raising or pushing in with pocket pairs only, 9's or better. The tournament director announced that they'd be paying the top 13 the total package. 14-20 would also get free entry into the main event on Saturday. When we got down to 22 players, the other table started stalling, so the director announced the 2 tables would be dealt "hand-for-hand" until the 21st player busted out. It was like a pressure cooker in that room at this point, the blinds were huge.

The players then took up a collection to give to player 21 when he busted out. 21 times $20, as a consolation prize, to basically pay back the entry fee. I didn't have a big stack at that point, but I wasn't worried about getting put out either. After the collection was gathered for the 21st player, he busted out about 10 minutes later. About 30 minutes after that, with 14 players left, I caught pocket queens in middle position, I was at a new table with no info about the other players, but I still went all in because it was folded around to me, no real big stacks to act after me. It folded around to some old man, and he said "call", and suddenly I heard somebody at the table behind us say "That's it!"

Everybody at our table stood up, started asking questions, looking at the players at the other table, me and the old man stayed sitting, asses glued to the chair. I looked at him and I said "Just wait, don't put any chips in yet, just wait." He said yeah, nodding his head, the tournament director called the tournament and said everybody get in line it's over, we're down to 13. I flipped my queens and left them on the table. Awesome! That satellite tournament went from 12 noon until 11:30 that night. It was a real roller coaster, and I felt more like I was "getting through it" WITH the other players than playing against the other players. I spent most of the tournament at table 25 with Jared from DeQuincy, LA. We talked quite a bit, and Jared is the friendliest card player I've ever sat at a table with. Jared got to 20 or 19 and got a spot at the main event."

Who is David Spicer?

GCP's main man at Coushatta in his own words:

"I've been playing Hold'Em since 1996. I started in college. I'm an engineer, so Iike math and I like weighing pros and cons to different technical solutions, which is how I approach decision making in poker. The first time I ever saw it played, I was in high school in 1987. They were playing it at a titty bar that I was in illegally. I wanted to play, i was immediately intrigued, but I figured it'd be way outta control to sit down and start playing cards in the only well lighted place in the whole club when I was just 16 years old:)

In 1998 or 1999, I started playing 7 card hi/low split with some old men in Crowley on a daily basis. I also started playing the the white chip hold em games in the casinos in lake charles and baton rouge. I got my fill of poker about 2 years ago, and i swore off it. I was sick of watching J9 offsuit suck out on the river, and losing money to them, in the white chip games so i just quit because i thought that poker was just a coin toss, like craps or roulette.

I started back playing a few months ago. I lucked into a perfect white chip game (table full of loose passive players who consistently folded or made bad calls on the turn), and walked out with a $500 bank roll to play with. I've put that into some tournaments at my wife's suggestion, and I've gone deep, or hit the money, in all 4 of the tournaments I've played so far. I just tried out the no limit game in Lake Charles last week, and that seemed to fit alot better, too. I played white chip games for years, and for some stupid reason I never thought to try higher limits or tournaments. I wish I had, my whole life might be different.

So I met you at the Acadian Series of Poker, got a look at your website, and saw the 7 Clans Mega Satellite. I read the little description that said how cool it was that the mega satellite tournament wins you $1070 and free entry into other tournaments. I figured if I hit that, how cool would it be to play 5 or 6 tournaments in one week, get some serious tournament experience in just a week. So I entered and played Sunday."

There you have it folks. We will keep track of David's progress through the week. Good luck man.

Shout out to David Spicer

A friend of GCP's, David Spicer, won the Coushatta mega satellite, giving him a seat into every one of their events this week. He might not be able to make a couple of tournaments because of work, but don't worry, I've certainly volunteered to play them for him, and chop the winnings in some way. If possible we are going to try and track his progress as part of our coverage of the event. Maybe we'll be able to get him some GCP gear too.

Obviously, to win the mega Davids got skills, but I got to play with him in Lafayette and I saw first hand as he sliced and diced the weak players at the table. So good, luck to David and check out www.gulfcoastpoker.net for details on the tournament and David's results.

www.gulfcoastpoker.net

Zero to a Million

Wanted to revisit my online experiment. As some of you know, I've started a Pokerstars account with that tiny amount I won via a freeroll. http://sleepwiththefishesdineonthewhales.blogspot.com/2007/10/monday-column-online-play-sounds-dirty.html

Now for the First Update: playing micro limits very infrequently, I've raised that "bankroll" to over a whopping $12. At the same time, I've also played a few 12000 people freerolls hoping to satellite into a bigger event and met with zero success. Well, less than zero because I've gotten to the bubble a few times.

Anyway as of this morning that's $0.00 invested to $1.75 to $12.90.

The zero to a million is the dream, but I've also laid out goals of seeing a lot of hands and refining other aspects of my game to help with my live play. How's that working out? At first, I was surprised by how true the play is regardless of the penny stakes, and to keep myself honest, in my head I was just moving the decimal spot over two places to play it straight. However, I've noticed the "buy the pot" bets at this level are mostly just that and overbets here still indicate bluffs. In live stakes, big bets are usually indicative of big hands, in my limited early experience at the micro levels it's missed draws or frustration tilt bets. Calling those bets has been profitable here but I have to be careful not to pick up bad habits because calling those bets won't be profitable in live play.

As for skill improvement, I'm not picking up on people's hand ranges as effectively as I thought I'd be, perhaps it is doing too many other things at once. So, mabye I'll have to work on upping my focus.

Also, in trying to be more well rounded I'm playing razz, omaha hi-lo, and rest of the horse games in those freerolls. Don't know if I'm practicing a bad swing as far as play goes, but I'm definitely learning about those games from a very basic perspective.

I did invest part of my winnings into a a sit 'n go as I could afford it per Ferguson's bankroll management. In playing it, I thought I'd try out the strategy outlined in a book I've been reading, which is pretty basic stuff for the rest of you guys. Essentially Donkey 101 for sit 'n gos: tight early then bold bubble play. Of course even at this lower level everybody was applying that. And once again, applying "rules" to poker (ie generalizations about a situational game) bit me in the ass. I watched the guys loosen up once we got to 5 and 4 handed play (pay 3). I flop top pair and I discount my opponents reraise. Turn has same betting pattern. Bet, raise, call. I pair my kicker for top two (ks and qs) and call off all my chips to his flopped set after Bet, raise all in call (?). I definitely could have lessened my losses and still had a chance but... I was discounting the information before me. Sometimes I'll read something and it'll say, in this situation xyz happens, then when xyz happens I attribute it to that and ignore the other information available that actually is telling me something else entirely.

As they say a little information can be a dangerous thing.

To judge my progress I'm going to use the following scorecard:

Increased Bankroll: + 1.75 to 12.90
Seeing a lot of hands: - (not playing enough)
Betting Patterns: -
Learning New Games: +
Trying New Things: +
Hand-Reading: -

www.gulfcoastpoker.net