Saturday, December 24, 2005

Final Thoughts for this year and next!

From £10,961.77 up to £14861.77 Back Down to £7,498 in 3 x days
(Taken From Last Post on the 24th December 2005)

Spiralling down to an all time low since 1k deposit in october to £563 as of 29th December. Oh dear.

Well it hasn’t improved or should I say hadn’t improved because the last 2 days have seen me liking poker again! Or at least maybe thinking of giving it another chance in our very emotionally charged relationship…

I have continued to be on the receiving end of unbelievable bad luck that has sent me on a tilt spree that I didn’t recognise until a few players actually kept saying I was playing differently and ‘Badly’. I knew my table image would have changed in anybody’s opinion and the best advice would be “when Tosh raises call with ATC for + EV purposes” cos if you connect with the flop you will get paid off if he owns anything above what the flop can offer.

Pocket 2’s flop 2 6 9 rainbow I raise £120 get re-raised to £320 I call and on the turn 4c comes off I move all in and get called by a player holding pocket 4’s LOL. The same player takes a hammering every time he plays unless I’m about and he takes 3.5k of me in the space of 30mins. I feel for the first time since I started playing that I no longer care for the game in fact I cant stand it, what the F***k have I been doing for the last 18 months (sigh).

The above is a small example of what’s been happening and the keyword that kept springing to my mind when going through this run of bad cards was ‘DISORIENTED’. AK couldn’t connect and a continuation bet was always disastrous, AA would find me scratching my head when another player flopped 2 pair on the flop and a full boat by the turn, if I ever allowed them to reach the turn. I’d normally have the chips in the middle from the flop hoping they didn’t outdraw me when they already had He He. I am the first to admit that although I feel mentally strong and thought I was playing normal the beats were nagging at me like no other person can grind at you. I was falling fast I needed to take time out and have a look at myself, but couldn’t bring myself off the tables in case ‘I HIT’.

OK thanks to a few online players Heaven, Hawko readers of this blog JPJ etc. and even some players that by stealth help you when they don’t even know it (Eoinak springs to mind) he typed in the chat box when we were playing the other night “Toshiwonk the Variance Monster”, got me thinking that one. I really started to evaluate what I was doing and why I was doing it. I don’t look for pity or sympathy, the poker world is the wrong place to do that, but encouragement and advice is always welcome and that is available in genuine abundance. Now Variance Monster is a screename I would love to take on but you can only use 9 letters (pity) maybe a variance of the name is required for the new Toshiwonk Account.

Variance usually suggests discrepancy or incompatibility… Sounds about spot on!

Anyway, I was advised to have a break but I was determined to play through this bad spell. My thinking was that I would recognise when It was over. Now I know the cards don’t have memories but when your luck is down you can recognise a glimmer of hope and I did. I flopped the nut flush and thought wahhheeeyyyyy I’m back and the board paired on the river and player X wiped Mr. ToshiTilt out like George Foreman hitting Mr Muscle full pelt would. For dessert I flopped a full house and was disconnected when I re-raised on the river, however, I escaped that one cos he didn’t call. Maybe I was getting sympathy the poker gods had finally listened to my plight. Thursday 29th December 3:00am end of Tilting and bad luck sob stories I have £563 in my account and I am … where’s that word again … DISORIENTED..

Thursday teatime I'm looking at cash tables and I tell myself that if I put that money down I will give it away in an instant, shall I just sling it in and start a new account where no-one knows me and cant target that crap player?? I look at the 6-pac Stt’s and there’s a new one on the block a £500 6-pac mmm can’t get registered quick enough. Long story short I take it down not before Outdrawing a player called Crocos when it’s 3 handed he raises my BB and I re-raise all-in with my A9 suited he calls with AQ and it’s one of those boards where your in front and back again, the board distributed me 3 x spades and I went on to the claim the £2250 prize pool..

Back to cash but with a different outlook and a more determined mentality joined the $10/20 table and managed to nick a few quid before my AA gets cracked by 89 off suit flop 89q and $4775 pot lost and I kick myself because I could have and should have got away (AGAIN). Disoriented … No not this time, just rolled up the sleeves and cracked on again learning as I went along … The mobile phone companies have a name for a tariff that seems to fit nicely … PAY AS YOU GO …

Yesterday I was thinking I can’t remember last time I hit quads. Played a £5/10 10 seater and hit quad A’s not a bad pot either and eventually won another 2k. My £500 is now just under 4k which I can’t beat myself up too much for because I’d cleared all my accounts out and withdrawn profits in September. The money I’m playing with at the minute is from 1k I deposited in October after my holidays so as a recreation it’s pretty good going because I’m in profit and playing regular poker. Just when I was going to take 10k out as I reached 15k and leave a 5k float; to get to 14k then down to £563 is a bit of a grrrrrrr to say the least. New Years Eve and my Account is £3719 so 3k + over last two days and I’m on a roll.

I feel I have learned more in the last 2 months than ever before and I also know what a bad run is about and can wholeheartedly empathise with the players who do this to make a living.. Real stress involved I would say and mindset is the key to this game that constantly plays with your head and roll.

New Years Resolution:

Never follow the masses, if they go one way go the other if you want success. Every player that’s made a loss will be making a resolution to play tighter more disciplined poker. I think I will try and take advantage of this theory and pinch a few quid while I’m at it LOL. He hasn’t learned a thing I hear you say!!!

Tip of the Year

Mindset is everything look after your emotions and recognise them don’t ignore them.

Total Profit to date £23456

Target for 2006 – Still thinking about that one

Merry Xmas & a Happy & Prosperous New Year to all ............


Sunday, December 11, 2005

Poker Claus is feeding everyone my money!

Just a quick update to get a few things cleared from my warped mind so I can crack onwards and upwards LMAO. It is not a joke it is real but it is definitely improving me as a player and it is …..

Sober poker….

Sober poker is a game where when played you seem to be able to keep in touch with every emotion, recognise tilt via anger/frustration etc. and generally feel like your hitting that golf ball perfect every time onto the green. Sober poker can be very rewarding and enjoyable when things are going your way and the poker gods love you. Moreover, even when things are going wrong or have gone wrong if you have the awareness to recognise your play (win or lose) a certain element of satisfaction can be gained by the fact you played your ‘best’.

Last couple of days have seen very strong hands turned upside down and inside out within a matter of seconds only to find yourself back at the drawing board knowing what you could have done different in certain areas but wondering why you did the opposite. I have made a lot of mistakes and the 33 call in the previous thread says it all, well almost.

Playing a £5/10 6 seated cash table and I don’t feel right, Kirderf a strong player IMO is to my right and he has witnessed my erratic play the night before, I feel generally uncomfortable on that table and I believe I’m on tilt a little. In tilt I mean I felt a little stressed and couldn’t work out why, I have been having plenty of arguments with the girlfriend and also been very tired lately, maybe kirderf unsettling me? However, I’ve just had an hours sleep on the sofa so what is it? Anyway, I’m on MSN with a friend telling him I feel I’m on tilt and anyway long story short after a bit of a laugh and joke I ease off but I am 1k down on that table and see no future in playing on it anymore.

I join a table Richard £10/20 NL cash and settle in really well with a couple of early decent starting hands that connect and allow me to win a little money in the process. I am soon feeling very comfortable and focused on the table, along the way adding ‘pays for flushes’ etc to the players I don’t recognise notes, it’s not long before I’ve taken down a nice few pots and my 1k deficit is forgotten. More super sober solid play brings about more cash and I find myself cruising on about the 4k mark.

Here cometh the cash swing bonanza, but before it does just one little pot that intrigued me and was a right kick in the Kerry packers when he ‘showed’, in fact that’s a lie because again I’d made the correct read although not the correct play.. cough cough the 33 call the other night. I am dealt 3d 4d OTB after a minimum raise to £40 and one other caller, I call and see a flop of (4s 2d Kc) both players check to me and I take my freebie turn card (Td) one player checks the next bets £120 now I expected a bet here from this particular player and I flat call the £120 the other player folds. The river comes a 7s now I haven’t made a hand of any strength but I don’t believe the other player has anything and is just stealing, he bets £280 and after the 33 episode (lost £3100) I’m not calling stark raving sober as well with just a poxy pair of 4’s but on a different night I might. Anyway I fold and he does me the pleasure of showing (Qs Js) for a £367 pot with the King high from the flop. Realised that a call here would have been a correct read but he who hesitates never wins and I hesitated, and I never won…

Two more big pot losses occurred again on table Richard, player X raises to £60 with 3 callers including me on the SB with Jd Tc Flop comes (9s Kd Qs) being 1st to act I check and original raiser player X bets £140, everyone else folds back to me who re-raises to £305 player X calls £165. The turn brings an 8h and I bet £305 player X calls obviously I know I’m in front or at the very least spilitting.. nah I’m in front way in front I just don’t want a spade to land on the river or the board to pair that will really mess the job up. River comes the 6s and I think OH SHIT, I bet £405 and he re-raises to £810 good value bet which I call and he shows Ks Js and collects £3100 from the pot… adjustments required in my game and I think in hindsight he would have paid more for his cards and made me feel better about him hitting if he did.

Plenty more like the one above but played differently and better IMO but the same outcome Outdrawn Outdrawn Outdrawn..

Last but not least I get dealt pocket 9’s and raise to £80 with 2 x callers and a flop of (9h 3c 8s). This time I bet out £100 and Player X re-raises to £300 other play folds and I flat call thinking oi oi. Now I know he could be raising with a draw or overpaid etc and the turn brings the 10d I don’t like this card but I’ve lost so much money tonight on bad draws etc he surely cant have 67 or JQ surely. I check and player X bets £400 here goes I re-raise all in my last £1200 and he calls and shows pocket 10’s knocking my set of nines out like a heavyweight boxer would a featherweight... OMG.

Could I have got away, yep 30 mins earlier might have (grin) ;) …

From £10,961.77 up to £14861.77

Back Down to £7,498 in 3 x days

Not unhappy with my play, but I’ve rode my luck at times and got away now I’m playing with focus I’m being slapped about like a pimps beatch….


Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Them ladies have come back to haunt me!

Another topsy turvy time when all that happens could never be wrote in a journal in a million years. My account has been up and down more times since the last post it’s unreal but I feel I’m slipping away from the reality of the game and the fact that it can be an expensive hobby.

My major advantage I believe is if I join a table with the right attitude I can switch styles and compete with the table/opponents on whatever level and play my socks off. At the minute playing mostly £5/10 and £10/20 and the results have been pretty good and BAD because the major advantage is circumvented by a major flaw.

The bad results are down to a basic fundamental flaw in my game (trying to think of the word for it….) ah yes complacency. It is hindering my progress big style and I have to gain control or I will have to pack it in, simple as. I am becoming more aware of the fact that there’s a fortune of easy money out there to be earned in as much as a couple of hours play a day, ok not easy but an enjoyable way to earn a nice few quid for little effort.

My account went down to about 8.5k earlier this week I switched off from the six-pacs as the beats were diabolical (every game) I’ve never experienced a run as bad and as surreal as the one I’ve just had, my decision – CASH IS KING. Without any major problems other than my drinking which is muppetry in motion when I get on the tables ‘thinking I know what I’m doing’ it’s laughable; sometimes you get away relatively unscathed others it’s a catastrophe.

So ok two major flaws in my poker system are now up for analysis, complacency and the urge to play whilst under the influence of alcohol. Whenever I begin to build my stack, which I know I could do at a lot quicker rate I get cocky and seem to go on autopilot. Then sometime along the way I’ll lose my stack through a bad read or sheer aggression channelled wrongly i.e. deciding I’m taking a pot without considering anything other than I’m taking the pot. Alcohol doesn’t help me at all, well maybe it chills me at first but eventually it gets me and if I could add up the times I’ve lost huge pots whilst under the influence, I’d probably have the new Bentley Continental by now!.

Managed to get my stack up to £13,700 from £11,500 since last post and suffered a few mishaps along the way. I am going to mention two hands that have stuck in my mind and one is open for discussion the other is just a complete and utter display of my rash play sometimes (unexplainable I’m afraid)

Here's the 1st £10/20 NL 10 seated cash table I get dealt KK in the SB everyone folded round the table one player flat calls I make a 4 x BB raise of £80 and Blouscous who is in the BB re-raises to £200. OK great (smells of AA but) now do I raise or smooth call, I decide to smooth call £120 and see a flop of (Ks Js 4d) I love this flop and due to the fact I have been re-raised pre-flop I decide to check it to the raiser and sit praying - the bigger the bet the better, he checks back (germpppp)…. Now the turn brings a Qs and I don’t like the look of that card but a quick analysis of the situation has me thinking he wouldn’t have re-raised with A 10 so I can’t have him for the straight, possible AA JJ QQ AK AQ etc. But 2 x spades possible but hey, cant be afraid of the flush can i ?. I bet £299 and Blouscous re-raises again to £598 now I’m in a dilemma should I flat call and see what happens or shall I fold (LOL) no folding here I move all-in for £2246.83 blouscous quickly calls and shows As 5s for the nut flush, river comes 10c and he collects £4619.66 from the main pot.

I cant see how I could get away from this other than now with hindsight if I flat called and the 10c came on the river I have an escape route, so I can see how I could get away from it (I’m such an hypocrite) I just took the easy option and went all in.

Conclusion, to take away the need to use skill in the hand I went all in on the turn and got wiped out by the Queen of spades; and I thought the ladies really did love me after what I did to InsideEdge last week with AQ….. Pah poker I’ve shit it..

Next hand short and simple £10/20 NL cash table 4 handed - player has raised pot 7 x BB twice on the trot, third time I find 33 OTB he raises 7 X BB I call, no set no bet… Flop comes raggy Jack high and he makes a large continuation bet. I ponder and call, turn is a brick he goes all in I think yeah righto here’s AK AQ he’s got nothing here and wants me to go away, I call and he shows pocket Q’s. Them ladies have come back to haunt me BIG STYLE what a Pratt £3100 pot gone in a left click. Again hindsight tells me one thing, that wasn’t an instinctual/six sense call it was a two bottles of white wine and an argument with the girlfriend Muppet complacency/under the influence call.

Major thinking in my poker analysis at the minute is it is essential to learn who you are playing against and how good they are at mixing it/consistency etc etc. Play with extra caution till you do!!! Sometimes 33 will be good and your read will be correct, doubt whether there’s a positive EV here though especially when pished thinking your Stu Ungar…


Balance of last post £11,572

Up to £13,700 down to £8,500 back up, back down, back up, and now

Back down £10,961.77

Onwards and Downwards, I mean upwards!!!