Monday, October 05, 2009

Tampa Online Marketing and the upcoming 2010 budget

As you start to plan for your 2010 budget, take careful consideration of how you allocate your funding relative to your online marketing. Evidence of the latest trends can be seen within the Tampa market today looking forward to next year.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Finally A Bracelet

Not a WSOP bracelet, but in the small circle I run it is still a worthy achievement.

In local club we have a poker night every other week (about 30 guys) until we have ten winners for a final table. I have been at that final table every season since we started, but it wasn't until my fifth final table last night that I finally won it all (net $85) and a lovely gold bracelet.

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Sunday, October 01, 2006

The run is over.

My second satellite lasted only two hours. AKs vs 6's. Oh well. No regrets.

1st break 3775 from 2500 starting chips

first satellite

Just a few hours away from the first satellite.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

saturday night live

Alive in Tunica

Just landed. Checked in. Now I'm off to see what's happening on the casino floor. Enjoying a beer to take the edge off a little.

Turns out you can't satellite into the satellites. Oh well.

Monday, September 25, 2006


Two weeks ago I had ideas of finishing my started poker books, playing in local live tournaments and many online deep stack tournaments. But due to scheduling issues very little of that has happened. Now it is less than 6 days away and I really can only read. But I have decided to not do any reading.

Reading this late in the game is only going to mess with my mind. The first time I read Super System, I did not have a winning session for two weeks. I am, though, listening to Phil Gordon’s “Little Green Book” on my iPod. It is pretty simple things so far. Nothing that is going to drastically change my game for the worse.

Other than that I have been doing a lot of second guessing about this trip. Not about my ability to play and win, but the cost, the time away from my family and work. Coming home with a good story and losing is just not going to cut it for me. But to make ANY money I need to get into late Tuesday night of the tournament I’m guessing. That’s a lot of time away.

If I am not too distracted I will post updates and photos here throughout my trip.

Phone subject

Phone body

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

WSOP Circuit Tunica, MS – I’m going!

Yeah, baby!  I’m going.

This upcoming WSOP tournament is perfectly suited for my schedule, bankroll and current winning streak.  It is at the end of this month so I have a lot of work to do between now and then.  

One would say that I need more time with deep stack play, but since I’m not buying into the main event I need to prepare for the satellites.  I’ll invest in both of them.  The first one is good at 75 minute levels, while the second one will more resemble online play with 30 minute levels.

So that means I need to jump into some decent sized tournaments rather than my usual single tables or cash games.  I also plan to finish Volumes II and III of Harrington’s trilogy.  As well as reading the forums and podcasts.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Photo from Hard Rock

I've been missing for awhile because my cards have not been treating me right. I'm still on a slump, but I'm working my way back. Last night I went out to the Hard Rock and cashed in one of two singlet tables. Still a losing session, though. Finally remembered to take a picture while I was there. You can see their Poker Pro (dealer-less) tables in the foreground.

Later this week, they're hosting a celebrity tournament ( Thought real hard about participating. But the structure makes a 180 player field finish in three with celebs get unlimited free rebuys for the first hour. With that and so little of the money going into the payout pool, I decided to pass. Though it would be cool to potentially play with someone like Daniel Negreanu.

That will have to wait for my first big tournament.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

SNG Formula

I read a post recently about something called the “SNG formula” and it intrigued me.  The best I can determine is it means the lack of real poker playing happening post-flop, on the turn and on the river.  Too often people go all-in rather than playing poker.  At a single table this is understandable.  With the stacks so small compared to the blinds big pushes happen.  

The other night at Hard Rock a 10-person single table was over in 31 hands.  The blinds just made it to 200/400 when the final three of us chopped it to get to the next table.  There was no poker played at this table.  Three people made big bets on the flops to take big leads.  That left everyone to be blinded or just push all-in with junk.  It was completely lacking in skill.

So this leads me to my own play.  I have been very successful on single tables, live and online.  Does that mean I’m not playing skilled poker?  Sometimes I think that’s true, but then I luckily take a 3rd place finish in a 117-person $60 multi-table the other night to at least make me think I’m skilled.

My take:  I think there is skill at the single tables it’s just a different skill than the multi-tables.  I also think one must graduate from single tables before adapting to the gamer of multi’s.  That’s my plan, though I have a long way to go.

Or have I completely misinterpreted the meaning of “SNG formula”?

On side note, because of my run over the past three nights at Hard Rock and Paradise I am now officially back in the black for my entire poker career.  I feel a little validation now.  LOL

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Everyone needs a plan

When you want to accomplish something you need a plan.

My goal: get back in the black with poker. Yeah, seems obvious, but until recently I’ve been letting my losses be justified as a part of the learning process. Well as you’ve seen in my posts last month I figured it was time to make some money back.

My first plan seems to be working for me. It’s rather quite simple. I focus on single table tournaments. But the key is to look at 10 tournaments at a time. So I took $330 and said let’s see how I do with 10 straight tables. Results: great. Then I took $550. Results: even! On the third set of 10 I had great results again.

Here’s where I think it makes a huge difference. Before I would find myself playing tight on every table reaching to get in the money. If I didn’t, depression. But I was playing scared poker and I was also not experimenting. When you’re willing to lose a tournament it takes so much pressure off of you that you play better. Much better!

Looking at the big picture, 10 tables at a time you get to see results. If you’re not winning move down a level. If you’re consistently winning try a higher level.

Prior to this approach I was 0-for-6 at the $50+$5 level. Now I am in the black at that level and am not at all intimidated by the other players like I was before.

I’ve set the end of September as my goal for being in the black. I’m 2/3 of the way there now. Wish me luck!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Decisions and Outcomes

What would you do with a weekend alone without the wife and daughter?

Last weekend I chose to spend it at the Hard Rock.  If I were there any longer I would have needed a hotel room.  

Quick summary.  0-for-3 Friday night at the $225 SNGs.  Moderate wins Saturday and 0-for-1 Sunday.  That’s when I entered the $85+$15 multi-table tournament.  With unlimited rebuys in the first hour I was down $420 before I knew it.  With only 13 out of 137 places paying, here are a couple of key hands.

First hand:  Bad decision, good outcome.  There is a big difference between and a bad decision and a bad outcome.  This was a bad decision.  Short stacked I limp in late position with AQoff.  Blinds call with one other early position caller.  Flop is 9-7-9.  Small blind checks, big blind goes all-in having me covered.  The other caller folds and I go into the tank.

I’ve played this gentleman before, I’m certain he doesn’t have a 9.  He’s just representing a 9.  I think he’s on some kind of draw.  If he had a nine he’d trap.  So I figure I have overcards to his draw and I call.  He shows 7-4 for two pair.   A queen on the turn and I take down the pot.  

Now I did get fortunate.  But even more than that. The early position limper folded pocket kings!!!!  Can you believe it?  If he had called I’d have been gone.

Bad decision.  Good outcome.

Second hand: Good decision.  Good outcome. We’re down to 12 people.  Two tables of six.  I call with 10-Js, the button calls and BB checks.  Flop comes 4-10-J.  I check my top two pair to trap because I know the button is playing aggressive and will sense weakness on me.  He bets half the pot and I push all-in.  He has no business calling me with his hand.  He has to know he’s beat.  But he does and shows J-8.  I take down a monster pot.

Good decision.  Good outcome.

I go on to finish 9th for $470, minus $30 tip.  Nets me $20 for four hours of tournament play.  But I have no regrets.  Even though I could have made more money on the SNGs that day, I picked some valuable experience.

I have since placed  6th out 399 online in a $15 MTT for $300.  And my $50+$5 SNGs on Paradise are going real well.  Hopefully I can not get too cocky here too soon.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


There are two quotes that I’ve heard recently in my life that really get me jazzed. If they click with you, then you’ll know why I think they’re related to poker. If not, then just enjoy them.

From the West Wing’s Toby Zeigler, speaking of the President’s role in our country:

The man [presidential candidate] in that job shouldn’t have to be presented with {an offer to run for president]! It’s for someone who grabs it and holds on to it, for someone who thinks the gods have conspired to bring him to this place, that destiny demands of him this service! If you don’t have that kind of drive, that hubris, how in the hell are you going to make the kind of decisions that stump every other person in this country? How in the hell are you going to hold that kind of power in your hand?!
And from Tyler Durden in Fight Club:

We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off.

Yes the last one was brought to my attention from an interview with Jeff Madsen (two WSOP bracelets in 2006).

Monday, July 31, 2006

My experiment was a success.

My single table “experiment” is over. Last night I finished the last of ten straight $30+3 SNGs on Paradise Poker. Here are the results:

2 – 1st place ($150)
4 – 2nd place ($90)
2 – 3rd place ($60)
2 – finishes out of the money

This is the lesson to me. My account grew because I didn’t get seduced by the other more lucrative games that I don’t play as well. I will play those again one day, but I need to be disciplined and play what I’m good at until I get my bankroll back in the black.

Now that doesn’t rule out moving up to $50+5 tables. There is only one problem with that. Those tables take forever to fill unless it is a weekend night. At least that’s true on Paradise Poker. As it is, it took 25 minutes to fill a $30+3 last night. But it is likely the way I’ll go. I’ll set aside $550 and play ten straight tables to see how I do. (For the record I’m 0-for-6 at this level, finishing 5th once).

For now I’m going to take my $450 profit and close out July with a net gain. Finally, a positive month online.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Craftiness Gets The Best Of Me

I want to get into analyzing a hand, but first some updates. Over the weekend I was able to play in four more of my online STs, cashing in three of them. I am now 5-of-6 cashes with four more to go.

Saturday, my buddy and I went to Hard Rock for some STs. He was new there and played the $120’s finishing in 5th, 6th and 5th. I really thought he would be able to cash in one of them. My first $225 I took 1st place, then 5th in my 2nd $225. I then decided to try my hand at a $535 which leads into my hand to talk about.

Everyone starts with 2,000 in chips. I have about 3,000 with seven players remaining. I am one off the button when everyone folds to me with 10-J of spades. I call the BB for 200. The button and BB call also. Flop is J-10-7 rainbow. BB checks. With 700 in the pot I bet 400. The button who has played tight so far raises to 1,000 and the BB folds. So now with action on me I go into the tank to think about this one. I figure him for three hands. He could have limped with AA, KK, QQ, JJ. Not likely since I’m sure he would have raised pre-flop. So I’m safe there. He could have a pair of sevens in which case I’m beat. Or he could have A-J or A-10. That’s what I really think he has since he limped. Or maybe I’ve just fell in love with my hand. But if I'm beat I have four outs that fill me up for a boat.

So I push all-in to see if he's bluffing me but he calls. I'm dead. He shows 8-9 for a flopped straight. A 9 on the turn gives me 7 outs of 8, 10 or J. But none come. I’m out in 7th place.

I usually get burned when I try to play crafty and then fall in love with my hand. I should have folded to his raise on the flop. I was playing tight so he had no reason to believe I was trying to steal the pot. Lesson learned. Well at least it’s another hand that goes towards teaching me a lesson.

I'm down $100 and my buddy's down $360. It's time to go home.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Single Tables, Single Tables, Single Tables!

Single Tables, Single Tables, Single Tables!

After all of my preaching to myself and on this blog about how much easier single tables (STs) are than the other types, this week I continued to play in multi-tables (MTTs).  After losing an undisclosed amount online I found some religion after listening to one of Ante Up’s podcast (see links on right).  There they recommended a bankroll of 10 times the buy-in.  So last night I made sure I had $330.00 in my Paradise Poker account and began a test.  I will play in 10 (ten) $30+$3 STs and see how I end up.  I’m not allowing myself anything else online during this time.  

The good news is that last night I played in two STs and placed 2nd and 1st respectively.  Not a bad start.

This weekend I’m headed out to Hard Rock with a buddy of mine who’s newer to the game.  It will be my first real test to see if I can successfully share my knowledge of how to play out there or not.  Wish me luck.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Single Table Success

I have had very different success stories between online and live play.  Enough to warrant an explanation of how I approach the two.

I started out online like most.  It is easy and cheap.  I went almost directly to single tables (STs) and started winning.  As I won I moved up in buy-ins until I reached $50+5 where I have yet to cash in.  That means I spend a lot of time at $20+2 and $30+3 with respectable success.  I like STs because I know the maximum I could lose and how much time it will take.  The sexiness of multi-tables (MTTs) is tempting and has cost me quite a bit of money, but it takes time, patience and experience.

While all of my online play I have dumped quite a bit of money.  Luckily for me I have been working my way back steadily in live play at the Hard Rock Casino in Tampa.  They, too, have live action games, MTTs and STs.  I have never played the live action games there and have only played in maybe four MTTs (cashing in 4th place once).  My bread and butter has been the STs.

Their smallest table is $100+20.  That was a lot to me back in February when my wife gave me a $100 birthday gift to play in a MTT at Hard Rock.  I went out one day in March for the first time and busted out early.  Not one to give up, I hit the ATM and proceeded to play in four STs cashing in three of them.

I keep detailed records of all of my play and I cash out in over 50% of the STs I play in there.  I attribute part of it to the low limit fish and drinkers.  But in May I moved up to $200+$25 and kept up the pace.  And finally last week I moved up to $500+$35 and cashed.  So I can no longer explain my success, especially since it can’t be repeated elsewhere.

For now I’m content to make money on the STs until I get back to even for all of my poker losses.  I’m predicting two more month (end of September).  Last week’s big win sure did help!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Big Night at the Hard Rock

Big Night at the Hard Rock

After a poor showing at my bi-weekly clubhouse game, a few of us went out to the Rock.  They, of course, went to the slots and I went to the card room.  Sat down at a $225 SNG.  In the second level an early position raises the 100 chip BB to 300.  With pockets 10s I call.  Heads-up, the flop comes 2-6-7 rainbow.  He bets 400 or 500.  I’m putting him on a low pair, but hopefully not one of the sets, or on two high cards like A-K.  So I push all-in for 1,100.  He reluctantly calls with pocket 9’s.

Unfortunately he gets a 9 on the turn and I’m gone.

Going against my rules I jump into a $535 SNG for the first time.  Turns out your starting chips go from 1,500 (at the $120 and $225 SNG’s) to 2,000.  Nothing very exciting happened at this table.  I played my usual solid elimination poker, a somewhat tight game unless I sense weakness on someone.  

Nearly two hours later, I’m in the final three and in the money.  The short stack (JJ) asks if we all want to chop.  I’m game, it’s late and I’m pretty happy with cashing out my first time at the money level.  But the chips leader (only moderately) says no since the small is pretty small.

Now JJ gets a little unset and says “last chance or there will be no more chopping three ways”.  Chip leader (Boss) again says no.  Three hands later Boss is out in third place and the JJ and I chop.

Now I agree with Boss in not chopping if one person is real small or real big.  But last night I was tired and happy.  Where it got interesting is how JJ put Boss on tilt by copping an attitude.  It didn’t bother me, but Boss got pretty pissed, even accusing me of partnering with JJ to knock Boss out.  Not true by the way.  This caused Boss to make some really bad calls and ultimately lose money.

When the night was over I netted $1,140.00 to put me a lot closer to the black with my poker earnings.


I will soon post some entries I made over time but never published. Now that I have my blog set up, I'll get it up here soon.