Tag Archives: Poker

Vegas Over – Bad Run Continues in Texas

Hey Everyone!

Well, the poker trip is sadly over. In the end, I pretty much broke even – Which feels like a HUGE win believe it or not. Within 1 week, I lost with the 2nd or 3rd nuts against the nuts in coolers at least 4 times… Generally those are guaranteed wins, and should they have won, I would have ended up well over $2k up. But of course, poker isn’t always fair, and I feel like I should have recorded a $1k loss based on some of the hands this week. I only won hands BEFORE showdown which is usually a good indication of either bad play, or bad luck. Seeing as I never went to showdown with weak pairs, I’d definitely put this down to bad luck…!

It’s been very far from a wasted trip though after meeting some awesome people. The guys I met last week at the rock festival were great fun and I certainly look forward to gigging with them again in the future, but I also met a very interesting person at the poker table – Someone who has a biomedical science degree (I can’t remember the exact title unfortunately) and then moved to Vegas to play full time. This is one of the reasons I absolutely love Vegas though… You get all sorts of people from all forms in life together in a small vicinity (the strip). I mean hell, even in the bar at the Excalibur at 4am I ended up chatting to a guy who is a DOTA 2 player – What are the chances of that!?!

As you may have seen from FB statuses, I haven’t had a great trip to Texas so far. It started with my flight to Dallas being delayed meaning I would potentially miss the last flight to Austin. When I got to Dallas, I managed to JUST get on the plane, which was then delayed for an hour on the runway!! Sigh. Finally got to my hotel at 1am after a 30 min cab, but it didn’t end there. I walked into the hotel and got greeted by the manager “Ah, Mr Sugarman!” – Well, I have to admit, at this point I thought “wow, getting greeted in person – That’s nice!”. But now I know why..

I was informed that as it was football weekend, a few rooms had overstayed and thus they did not have any available rooms even though it was already paid for. They arranged for me to stay in another hotel 40 minutes away and offered to pay the cab. SIGH. Back in the cab, and 40 mins later I check in to the crappiest dump I’ve ever stayed in…! Well, I was in a bad mood so I watched some of the Obama/Romney debate to cheer me up (nothing like a bit of late night comedy on TV).

I’m now back in my original hotel (room upgraded of course) – Currently watching the Giants comeback against Cleveland with my feet up relaxing. This feels pretty good. Will head to the Austin Capitol building soon as my poker friend has recommended, and chill out before the madness begins tomorrow for the Game Developer Conference.

Catch up soon!


Tweet me @thejsug !

Poker Trip Update – Mental Lessons

In many ways, this week so far has maybe the toughest week of poker I’ve ever had. I’ve played the best poker I think I’ve ever played, and over 5 times in the past few days I’ve ended up in pots worth over $500 as a 90% favourite or more. 4 of those times I was outdrawn though. It doesn’t take a mathematical genius to work out that losing 4 out of 5 times as a 90% favourite is pretty damn sick!

And that sums up my week in many ways.. No matter how many great decisions I’ve made in terms of long term profitability, the cards just haven’t fallen. That’s what statistical variance is and the only way to get over it, is to play more!

Well, I bring good news. Today things turned around and I made around $600 from 2 sessions. Within the session I actually lost an $800 pot with a full house as well, but this puts me $150 up overall for the week so far.

Now, $150 isn’t a lot don’t get me wrong. But let’s look at it this way – I’ve had the worst run of cards I think I’ve ever experienced, lost hands I should have won time and time again for gigantic pots, and yet somehow I’m actually UP over the week?! I worked out that if 50% of the big pots I lost went the other way, I’d be over $2k up by now, but that’s poker 😉

This is a good lesson of controlling the mind. You may make perfect decisions mathematically, and yet lose huge amounts of money, but what’s important is to carry on making good decisions and not let it affect you. Obviously a lot of people get worked up about the fact they’ve lost $$$$, but the reality is, that $$$$ should be part of your poker bankroll, thus it makes no difference to your day to day life whether you win or lose. That way you can have a clear conscience, a clear mind and make a recovery. Today proved that.

I don’t want to speak too soon. I have 2 days left of poker where I hope to get at least 4 sessions in at $1/$2. Based on how well they go will determine how successful the week will be in total, and a bad run can certainly last longer than a few days, but right now I feel great about my poker and I can’t wait to get back at the tables tomorrow!

Anyway, it’s 6.20am right now, I just got back from the Venetian, so I better get some rest before it all starts all over again!!!

Tweet me @thejsug !

Poker Time

I’d love to tell you all that now I’m fully recovered from the 2 days of rock madness I can begin concentrating on the poker, but the fact is, I’m still dehydrated, got a few interesting bruises, and most of my muscles are killing me. BUT, I did get in some poker 😉

After waking up at 2pm and watching Europes magnificent Ryder Cup Golf comeback (Get in there!!), I went over to the MGM to play in a $1/$2 game. I was surprised by the 100,000 or so 14 year old girls around the place (it is a casino afterall..) – The Justin Bieber shirts seemed to be part of the explanation as to why. What concerned me was all the groups of guys attending together also wearing Bieber fan stuff… I wanted to understand how a bunch of 20+ year olds realised they all loved Justin Bieber and wanted to go to Vegas to see him live… Interesting.

Anyway, back to the poker. So I did 2 sessions today. The first one was at about 5pm and lasted 4 hours 30 mins ish. I made a healthy $117 which averages at around $25 per hour. Certainly less than I’m aiming for, but the game was very tight aggressive with the lack of drunks around at that time… The only money to be won was from the odd bluff, as most times when you’re in a big pot in that type of game, you’re behind!

Seeing as it was a bit tough and a bit boring, plus the impact of the past 2 days of rocking out, I ended up pretty exhausted so decided to head back, take an hour to relax, freshen up, and then head up North to Caesers to see what was going on there…

There was a 1/3 game going with some pretty big stacks. After sitting down I quickly realised why.. It should have been a 2/5 game rather than a 1/3 with an average of 6 straddles per round including button straddles. The average raise to 15 would regularly get 4 callers. To my direct left, a super loose passive player who kept hitting his draws. When I had an overpair on the board, he called me down with a house. Then opposite me, a loose aggressive guy who had been caught making $150 bluffs with high cards when someone had raised to $20 as a continuation bet. Yup, the time I had top pair top kicker, he had an overpair to the board…. So I got stacked!

All in all, down just under $180 for the day. I don’t think I’ve played badly though – In over 7 hours of poker, the only hand I caught better than a pair was one set on a horrible flop… There’s not much anyone can do with that! Hopefully some variance will shine tomorrow and I might hit a few flops. Vegas is the type of game where when you hit your hand, you can bet for value all day long and get paid off. The issue is, you need to hit the hand first!

I’ll leave you with a couple of interesting hands:

I have AK in the small blind. Mid position raises to 10. Cut off calls. Both players TAG with around $150. I call with AK off-suit. Flop comes down K55 rainbow. I check, SB continuation bets 20 and the cut-off calls so I happily follow. Turn Q. Checked round. River 4. I check, mid checks, cutoff makes it 40. I call. He has A5 for the trips on the flop. I’m not super happy about how I played this hand as I was the passive one the entire way through and out of position. I feel like I should have 3-bet pre-flop which would have most likely won the pot right there and then.. Once the flop comes down, I didn’t want to bet out or check/raise and create a huge pot with just my pair which is the reason why I became a bit more passive. The mistake was calling the river, as the only thing I was beating was an out-right bluff which based on the player type, wasn’t likely. My concern for the pre-flop 3 bet was getting 2 callers and being out of position… If that happened, I would have ended up losing my stack on that flop. Especially as players were more passive pre-flop and then turned TAG after the first 3 cards… Hmm. Well, one to discuss further!

On the flip side, the only Vegas local at the table who seemed to act like he was a decent 1/2 player (left with a stack of 800ish), fed me a load of chips for no reason what-so-ever. I’m still perplexed as to why he played the hand the way he did. My thinking is either, he’s actually one of these common players that think they’re good, but they’re actually gamblers (he did talk about equity though). Or alternatively, he got bored. I was sitting with AQ suited in late position and this guy (lets call him Villain) who is under the gun limps. Folded round to me and I raise it up to $10. Small blind, big blind and Villain all call (remember what I said about passive pre-flop? Sigh!). Anyway, I completely miss the flop which is 862 with 2 hearts. It’s checked round to me, and the general playing style means that if no one has an 8, it’s an easy pot to bluff, so I bet out $25 into it. Small and Big blind both instantly fold but then it comes to Villain who, like I said, seems to consider himself a great player. He calls my bet. Turn comes K of diamonds. Villain checks, so at this point I figure he simply called my flop bet thinking I was just bluffing/continuation betting and wanted to see if I’d give it up on the turn. I thought it was a great turn card though for my line… If he did think I was bluffing my flop bet with AK or KQ, then that turn could have suddenly put me ahead and any future bet looks like a value one. Based on this thinking I bet 45 which I think is low enough to look like a value bet, but high enough to give incorrect odds for someone chasing a draw. He calls me. So at this point I’m thinking “shit”. The only thing I’m beating that’s just called me is a draw, but in reality, I put the guy on something strong right now. K8, 86, 22, 66 are all within the range of the way he played this hand. K8 maybe the most unlikely due to the pre-flop limp, but the rest certainly. River comes a J of diamonds. villain checks so I check behind. Villain announces he missed and mucks his hand. I don’t have to show mine and I win a pretty big pot.

I’m still confused by the hand. I did not put him on a draw and don’t know whether it was a straight, flush or both. If it was both, he should have raised my flop bet without a doubt, and if it was only one, his call was incorrect which is why I didn’t put him on that. Did I play the hand profitably? I think so! I think in most cases, that line wins on the turn against a very TAG player unless villain has a K. I wouldn’t have considered that turn bet if Villain was passive, but in this case, he can only play back at me if he has a monster…

That’s it for now. Catch you all later!

Tweet me @thejsug !