Another #TPTE takedown and mixed results at the cash games

poker game
Image by scmtngirl via Flickr

Thursday was a mixed bag of results for me at the tables. In the morning, I played at PokerHost.com on the Limit Hold ‘Em tables and had success at the games that had blinds of .25/.50. I was able to double up my buy-in on one session and triple up on another session.

After a short break for lunch, I was prepared to play the Thurday Twitter Poker Tour – Euopean edition which started at 2pm ET or 7pm BST. I enjoy playing in any of the Twitter Poker Tour tourneys due to the fact that I know the players and communicate with some of them on a regular basis. I consider them my friends even though we may be hundreds or even thousands of miles apart.

But there is a saying … there are no friends at a poker table and I was playing to win. Again. I had won the previous Thursday in first place and that was my ultimate goal.

The tourney lasted 2 hours and 10 minutes and I played in 192 of the hands that were dealt. There were only nine players and the lead changed many times during the event. I had gone from first to last place at least a dozen times but was able to keep my chip count high enough to give myself a chance to win.

The game started at 2pm ET and at 3:46pm there were only two of us left:
Seat 6: Steve_Treys (3450 in chips)
Seat 7: excalibur41 (10050 in chips)

I had my work cut out for me. Getting his chips away from him was not going to be easy. It never is. And sometimes you don’t succeed. The following hand was pivotal in giving me the chips needed to win heads up.

Hand Information
Game: No Limit
Room: PokerStars – Get $50 Free
Blind: $100 / $200
Table Information
Seat 6: steve_treys ($3,325) Dealer
Seat 7: excalibur41 ($10,175) Small Blind
Seat 6: steve_treys Ante $25
Seat 7: excalibur41 Ante $25
Dealt to excalibur41
Preflop (Pot:350)
CALL steve_treys $100
RAISE excalibur41 $800
CALL steve_treys $600
Flop (Pot: $2,000)
BET excalibur41 $3,800
ALL-IN steve_treys $2,400
RETURN excalibur41 $1,300
Turn (Pot: $8,200)
River (Pot: $8,200)
ShowDown:
SHOWS   excalibur41
SHOWS   steve_treys
steve_treys win the pot: $8,200

There were 62 more hands played to finish the heads up portion of the tournament. At the end I prevailed and took down my second #TPTE tourney in a row. The finishing summary was as follows:

1: Steve_Treys (Fremont)
2: excalibur41 (Glasgow)
3: TaikiYa (Mannheim)
4: The420Gov
5: amuzulo (Berlin),
6: sionweeks (New Tredegar),
7: RawrStar (Littleborough),
8: Fingolfin3 (DERBY),
9: b3ls3pub (Valkeala),

The number 6th finisher actually did not actively participate in the tourney when he lost his Internet connection after about the third hand played. The online system was designed to give the disconnected player a chance by giving additional time to reconnect. The first couple of hands, two minutes were given before folding his hand, the next couple of hands, one minute was given, and finally only 15 seconds was given before he timed out and his hand was folded. 6th place for not playing actively is not bad. Sort of says that the less hands you play, sometimes the better off you are.

I ended the day playing some more cash games of Limit Hold ‘Em at the next level of stakes, the .50/1.00 levels and lost almost all of my buy-in. I dropped back down to the .25/.50 tables and recovered a little of what I had lost. I will give the higher level a try again later to determine if that level is too tough for me or that I just had a bad run.

All in all, it was a good day of poker. Fun, excitement, and cashing in.

Do you find it helpful to play against people that you know versus total strangers? Does it help when you know their patterns of play? Do you vary yours so that they don’t have a good read on you?

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Deep Stack Tourneys – Have you played one?

Poker night - Who's gonna win?
Image by Philofoto via Flickr

I have been playing some poker on PokerHost.com as the results of replying to “tweets” from @TeamPokerHost about tourneys and freerolls being played at their online site.

PokerHost allows US players and has a variety of games availble to suit most types. Because they are a new site, there are not a lot of players at the tables but they do have some great quarenteed games and some nice freerolls as well as incentive bonuses and rewards for making a first time deposit as well as additions to your existing account.

I played a “Deep Stack” tourney for the first time and manged to get a fifth place prize for my efforts. It turns out that a deep stack means you get a larger starting amount of chips to play with. In this case, we each got 5,000 in chips instead of the usual 1,500.

Not having played “deep stack” tourneys before, I googled it and found out the best way to play them from an article written by Allen Cunningham. While I did not win it all, I was pleased with my results.

I like the PokerHost site and the fact that it has games that I play and that I can win at.

How do you choose your sites? Do you play there for fun or profit? What is your favorite site?

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Freerolls! Are they worth playing?

A man plays poker on his computer connected to...
Image by AFP/Getty Images via Daylife

Last night I played in the PokerHost.com freeroll titled the “Testosterone Freeroll”. Overall there were 319 entrants to the event which started at 8pm ET. At 11:30 pm we were down to 4 players and I was the short stack. I had a K4 off suit and decided to try my luck.  Most of the night, I considered my play skillful, and yes I did suck out on a few hands – which is why they call this game we like to play poker.

As it was a freeroll, my fourth place finish earned me $3.75 for my efforts during the grueling 3 1/2 hours of play, $1.25 an hour. This was a fun game with many ups and downs. A lot of hands went all in pre-flop,  post flop, on the turn and the river. I was up against one player that stayed all the way to the river with flush draws and hit a few of them to take away “my chips”.  If you need experience in how to play a tourney, this game could be the one for you.

You get the experience of playing on multi-tables. At PokerHost, they move players around so you get the opportunity to move and see more players, some  of which you might see again at the final table if your skill and luck holds out.

Each of the tables held ten players, although some of them were “sitting out”. This occurred mostly at the beginning of the tourney.  I think some people sign up and say they are going to play and at the last minute change their mind and then they do not unregister. I actually ended up on one table where the other nine were “sitting out” and all I had to do to win the chips was hit the bet or raise button. My hand was getting a little sore until some live persons showed up. I did not notice that my raise was called at first until I saw the flop, then I had to tighten up a bit and try to just steal 6 out of 10 hands.

Do you play freerolls? What has been your experience with them?  Would you recommend any of them to your friends? What sites have the best freerolls?


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The official race to $250 is over!

www.army.mil
Image by Army.mil via Flickr

The following is an excerpt from the blog of of rock music star, Patrick Sebastian, whose twitter name is @sebastianrocks.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

I am very sorry to inform, but the race is over for the 1st place. I had couple unbelievable sessions and I just went thru $250 mark  in the race, getting over $70 in my last session. I’ll post some biggest hands tomorrow.

BUT, I’ll give the 2nd to reach the $250 mark $30 and 3rd $15 so keep playing.

Patrick

Patrick Sebastian
25May cash 0,10/0,25 (S) $10 (E)$87.80 (P) $77.80   (T)$262.80

++++++++++++++++++++++++

See the rest of the details by going to www.patricksebastian.wordpress.com. Even though the official race is over and Patrick won the prize, he is giving up half of his prize by creating a second and third place prize to be given to the next two players that complete the challenge. The original terms of the race were winner take all, but Patrick wants us to succeed in this quest as well.

I, for one, will go on to complete this challenge and use this quest as the means to reach my own personal goal of increasing my poker bankroll by 250% in the next 12 months. While I won’t actually list the amount of my bankroll, I will issue my status by using what percentage of the goal I have reached, upwards or downwards.

Thank you Patrick Sebastian for being a role model and for providing us the opportunity to grow as players and as persons. I am not familiar with your music, yet, but as a poker player, you are a pro and I am proud to know you and play with you at the tables.

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A 1st place finish in the #TPTE – Twitter Poker Tour – Europe & 2nd place in a home game.

Tense game
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During the last few weeks, I  have been playing in the Twitter Poker Tour – Euopean edition because they have a 2pm EST start which suits me quite well. The poker game they play is No Limit Texas Hold Em, which I like. Although the season consists of 12 sessions and the #TPTE is at the halfway point, I have only played in two previous sessions. My results for those two sessions were a second place finish and a 7th place finish. This time I was able to nail down a first place result, the first for me since playing in the #TPTE.

This evening, I played a tourney in the Boston, Mass area with a group called Boston Social Media. There were 10 people total and the event was hosted by Kevin Palmer of Social Media Answers.  Frank Days of Tangyslice.com, was the person who originally contacted me about the game. I proudly wore my TPT t-shirt that I won at a previous TPT tourney to the game.

Typical of home games, we all got a chance to deal when we got the dealer button. By the time five of us were left, we had a designated dealer to allow the game to progress a little faster. The blinds went up every 20 minutes and the tourney lasted about 2 1/4 hours. Only three persons were paid. First received $125, second $75 and third $50. The buy-in was $25.00 with no rake. I came in second place and pocketed $75.00.

This was my first live tourney in a couple of years that I actually made it into the money. I think everyone had fun although I am sure that everyone wanted to win.

Do you play online tourneys or home tourneys or casino tourneys? How are they different? Which to you enjoy more?

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Boston Social Media Poker Tour

I have been invited to attend a private poker tournament run by persons that form Boston Social Media . Except for blogging and twittering, I am not involved in the social media arena. At least one of these people have played in tourneys sponsored by the  Twitter Poker Tour.

Novice that I am, I have accepted their invitation and I did not even ask what type of poker that they are playing or what the house rules are. So far all I know is the buy-in amount, which is $25.00 and the tentative location for the event.

For all I know, I could be playing in games that I have not yet learned. This could be very interesting indeed. I will update you with the details in tomorrow’s post.

Have you ever accepted invitations to participate in poker games but did not know the details?

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Additional thoughts on Poker and the #Race to 250 summarized.

High Stakes Poker Explained?
Image by xrrr via Flickr

It has been 16 days since the May 4th challenge issued by @sebastianrocks, twitter name of rock music star, Patrick Sebastian, to see which one of us could take a $10 bankroll and increase it to $250 first.  To see the details of the challenge and current details of our progress, go to www.patricksebastian.wordpress.com. Ten have responded to his invitation.

Part of the rules required us to play in games that involved no more then 10% of our current bankroll. We each started out by recording a starting amount of $10.00 and kept track of our results. If we went below $3.00 we could rebuy by adding an another $10, but if we did, then we needed to increase our goal by that same amount.

My results thus far stand at $31.50 or an increase of over $21.50 from my starting amount. As good as this might seem, I was actually at $46.44 before playing a few cash games with blinds of .02/.05 on the No Limit tables. My No Limit cash game needs a lot of work.

My best games are usually Limit Hold Em but my current bankroll does not allow me to play those games. I would need about a $50.00 bankroll before I could play the type of game that I am most comfortable with.  My point is that the challenge is taking me out of my comfort zone and that is a good thing. It means that I need to learn and grow as a player.

Thankfully, I now have added a new tool to my belt, the training website, Deuces Cracked. I intend to become a very good or a great No Limit Cash game player and the training videos and posts should help. I will let you how that goes.

Have you ever played games that you were not as good at or were uncomfortable playing? How did you overcome your issues with the game?  What tools do you have in your poker playing tool kit? Or are you just a natural player?

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