Play online at FeltStars

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Biloxi and WSOP Circuit Event

I finally decided to leave my computer for a few days and headed down to Biloxi to play in the World Series of Poker Circuit event held at the IP casino in Biloxi a few weeks ago. If you've never been, the IP itself is a nice casino with several great restaurants. The staff there runs great tourneys as well. Between my several trips there I ended up playing in 4 events total. I unfortunately ended with zero cashes, and two bubble finishes which included playing 11 hours in each tourney just to barely miss the money. I guess thats tourneys for you!

While in Biloxi I also spent some time both at the Beau Rivage and the IP playing in cash games when I wasn't in the tourneys. Unfortunately my results in the cash games were pretty abysmal as well. There were a few interesting hands that came up in the cash games though which I think I'll include. The first hand is from a $2-$5 NL game at the Beau Rivage. Lets set the scene:

It's 2am and the table is playing pretty loose. There is a lot of money on the table with the average stack being about $1000. The player under the gun ($1000 stack) raised to $20, a loose player who had been 3 betting a ton preflop and who I thought was a little too loose, but yet very competent, called right behind him (we'll call him villain from this point forward, and his stack size covered everyone), the button called ($500 stack), and I called from the big blind with A9 of diamonds (I had a $1500 stack). The flop came out K-6-6 with 2 diamonds. I checked, the raiser bet $65, the villain called $65, the button folded and I decided to just call. I thought that the raiser would always c-bet this flop, and the villain could have called with a hand like 77 (remember I said he's competent but too loose, so he knows the guys c-betting his whole range, but also is too loose to realize that there are players to act behind so he could call with a middle pair here). So I could call and either hit my hand, or if the turn checks through I could bet the river repping a hand like KQ or KJ. Anyway, the turn is a 9 giving me a pair. I check again, the raiser checks, and now the villain bets $100. At this point I really don't think the villain has 77 anymore, but something along the lines of KQ. I debated my options, but knew that the aggressive dynaminc between myself and the villain would enable me to get paid off on a diamond river. Not only that, but my immediate odds from the pot were about 4-1, so I clicked call. The preflop raiser folded. This is where it gets interesting. The river comes the 3 of diamonds giving me the nut flush. I know he'll pay me off, but I also know he's capable of laying down if I bet too big. I decided on a half pot bet of $250. The villain immediately raised me $500 more. Of course I hated this since the board is paired, so I began replaying the hand in my mind to help make my decision. Based on the board texture of K-6-6-9-3, folding is out of the question in my opinion here. I rule out KK immediately since he had been 3 betting a ton, I knew he would have 3 bet KK preflop. I gave little credeance to him having 99 here since I had one of them in my hand. I can never put him on 33 because I really felt had he called with 33 he would have checked the turn back. As far as unpaired hands, I really didn't think that he called an under the gun raiser from early position with K6, 69, or 63. I was very close to shoving, but it seemed to me like he loved his hand. Finally it dawned on me that he could have 66 here and flopped quads, albeit unlikely, but thats actually the hand that makes the most sense. Lastly, I weighed the fact that he could be raising a smaller flush for value. Ultimately I decided that he wouldn't call a shove with a smaller flush so I just called the $500 more. The villain proudly displayed the 63 offsuit for the rivered full house. Amazingly I didn't perceive 63 offsuit as part of his ranging in early position after the under the gun player raised! Imagine that, LOL. I hated the end result of this hand but was very happy that I thought the hand out, replayed it in my mind, and came to a logical decision rather than just saying "I've got an Ace high flush, so I definitely call."

The second hand happened at the IP in a $2-$5 NL game. I was killing time while waiting for my Mom to arrive to meet me for dinner, and had bought in for $500. Lets just assume all players at the table covered me in this hand. There is a $10 straddle and a guy in middle position makes it $30. One player calls in front of me and I call $30 on the button with 6-5 of clubs. The straddler who had been hitting every hand and had over $5000 in front of him calls. The flop comes out 664 with 2 hearts. Jackpot! The straddler checks, the raiser bets $100, next player folds, I flat call the $100, and now the straddler folds his hand face up, showing AJ of spades, and comments how he finally missed a flop. The turn card is the Ace of hearts and now the raiser checks to me. I only have $350 left, and thats about what is in the pot. I don't like the heart at all, not because I'm worried about him having hearts as I knew he'd bet if he had a flush, but I thought it would kill my action. Anyway, I just shove in an effort to polarize my hand to flushes, 4's full or nothing (nothing being straight draws like 7-5, etc). The raiser starts asking if I have a flush. After I don't respond he starts saying that he thinks I have a hand like pocket Tens or Nines and am trying to get him to lay down a hand like AK or AQ with no heart. After about a minute he calls and turns over A-K...with no heart. I'm elated as I show my hand, especially knowing that the straddler showed AJ, meaning there is only 1 Ace left in the deck giving him the win, assuming it hadn't already been folded preflop by anyone else. Well, of course it hadn't, because the river peeled off the case Ace, a good ole one outer costing me the over $1000 pot. Luckily I played a bit longer and ended up breaking even that session, but I still have nightmares about those 1 outers with one to come, the absolute worst beat that can happen in Hold Em.

After having a crap week playing live, it was back to the internet for me last week. Luckily I ran well and won back all my losses from playing live the previous week. I even cashed in FTOPS Event #1 finishing 56th out of 4500 players. It was good for 7 times the buy in, but still a long ways away from a score of $150k+, which was the first place prize money. Oh well, maybe one day. I plan on playing online this week and enjoying Thanksgiving with my wife and my parents before heading out to Vegas for a few days with my wife and my Mom. While there I'm planning on playing one or two events at the WPT Bellagio Five Diamond Classic. Hopefully I'm just saving my run good for then!

As always, join me on the tables at FeltStars. The games have been great lately and don't seem to be slowing down. The Pro Bounty Challenge is just around the corner and always proves to be a great little tourney with a shot at BIG money if you knock me and my fellow Team FeltStars Pros out of the tourney. Speaking of the Pro Bounty Challenge, last month my Mom finished 2nd in the tourney! She was so happy and I'm so proud of her for getting better. She's doing well for someone who just started playing a few months ago. I always joke with her that she plays more hours in a week than I do (kind of a joke, but possibly the truth!)

Til Next Time....

Friday, October 29, 2010

Poker Poker Poker




Sorry its been 3 weeks since my last post. I have actually been busy grinding away on the virtual felt at FeltStars. The games have been good so I've been putting in work! Since my last post I've played about 50k hands with mixed results.


Building on my last post, I decided to move up in stakes. Lets just say this venture was not very successful. While I felt like I was as good if not better than the players, I had trouble adjusting to the overall money swings in the bigger games. I had a few medium winning days, and then had one awful day which erased those profits in a matter of 6 hours. After giving the bigger games a 15k hand trial, I decided that the extra stress in dealing with $5k+ swings in a day just wasn't worth the added benefit of increasing my hourly raye. I live a very comfortable life playing my current stakes, so ultimately I decided to drop back to my normal stakes and really work on my game, and try moving up again in a few months. This way, hopefully, I will grow my bankroll to the point where I can have 250+ buy ins for the next level and really be able to play and not worry about the money at all.


Since dropping back to my normal stakes I have absolutely crushed over the last 15k hands. I think after playing higher for a while, even thought it didn't technically "work out," I think playing verse better players really helped my game improve, which in turn will increase my winrate in my current game. Speaking of that, I recently had my best day ever in online cash games in terms of buy ins won, culminating in a nearly 18 buy in winning day (and the pretty graph to go along with it, with results tallied in big blinds). I truly believe that I will be moving back up and beating the bigger games soon.


In an effort to get better I have started doing training sessions with friends online. This is something that I wish I would have started doing earlier in my poker career. I always heard about the young players giving credit to the forums and their online buddies for really helping their game and now I know what they mean. For anyone out there who is serious about poker, find players who have similar abilities to yours and help each other out. In my opinion, there's no better way to get better than to watch each other play and then discuss how you would have played the hands differently from each other, and then explain why. You'd be amazed how much you can learn from each other.


In other poker news, I'll be playing a few events at the WSOP Circuit event at the IP Casino in Biloxi over the next couple of weeks. Hopefully I can have a deep run or two and maybe even win one of those WSOP Circuit rings to put in my office.


Til Next Time....

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My Thoughts on Bankroll Management

Well my sorry excuse of an internet connection is down again, so I figured it would be a good time to write a blog. I'm just writing it in notepad and saving it until I can get online again to publish it, so no telling when that will actually be. (Edit: It was 5 hours later!)


I have still been playing a lot of poker lately and been having pretty good results. The games on FeltStars have been very good lately, with lots of loose action and bad calls. I have experimented playing a little bigger, mixing some 2/4, 3/6, and 5/10 in with my standard 1/2 games with mixed success. I'm not doing bad, but my hourly is no where near what it is when I 8-12 table the 1/2 games. I'm sure in time, once I see more hands and get used to the flow better, I will excell at those limits and surpass my current winrate. Until then, I just have to keep grinding the 1/2 games and mix in a few higher stakes ones until I really start to feel comfortable there.


This poses a good question concerning bankroll management for people who play or are considering playing for a living. Some people have lots of gamble in them, and others (like myself) don't. So, when to move up in stakes? Well, I think it is a very loose question with no definitive answer. The "book" states 200-500 big bets for limit poker as an adequate bankroll. When I played limit for a living, many moons ago, I leaned more towards 300 big bets plus 6 months living expenses on the side. By playing a little shorter than the 500 big bets, I of course had to deal with bigger swings in my bankroll. What saved me was that I was more than willing to drop down in limits if need be. This style may suit some but not others. If you don't like the idea of dropping down in limits after a few losing sessions, then I would recommend using 500 big bets and 6 months living expenses on the side as a proper bankroll. But then again, why am I talking about playing limit for a living?? I'm assuming anyone taking the time to read this plays much more No Limit than Limit!


No Limit poker is a different animal than Limit is. When discussing bankroll and bankroll management for no limit there are several schools of thought. No specific "bankroll" is correct for everyone. It is best to look at the different bankroll guidelines and decide which is right for you. The general rule that Andy Bloch gave me several years ago when speaking with him was 40 buy ins for live poker plus living expenses. Assuming you play $2-$5 NL with a $500 buy in, I would make sure you have $20k bankroll plus 6 months living expenses in reserve. This will give you a great shot at succeeding in poker (assuming you are already a proven winning player with minimal "life" leaks). Do you need this amount? Of course not. I have friends who have no problem playing these limits on a $5k bankroll with no living expenses behind. Does this mean they can't make it? Nope. All it means is that their "risk of ruin" is higher, meaning they have a higher chance of going broke and being out of the game if they run bad than the guy who is playing the same limits on the $20k + living expense bankroll. Some very well known players like Durrrr and Phil Galfond have admitted to taking shots early in their career, sometimes even with 25%+ of their bankroll in one sitting. It worked for them. For countless others though, this was an avenue to financial ruin and even an early end to what could have been a prominent career in poker.


My general bankroll rules, the ones that work best for me, are somewhere in the middle. When it comes to online I am very conservative, often playing with a 400 buy in bankroll for a specific limit. I am also willing to take shots at times with 50-75 buy ins, but I know that if it doesnt go well I have no problem dropping down to my normal stakes the following day. But in general, I feel very comfortable playing with 100 buy ins. I would suggest online players have a minimum of 50 buy ins when multi-tabling just to endure the swings and make life easier. Of course, it can (and I have been guilty of this) be done with less buy ins, but I think trying to sucessfully multi-table with less than 20 buy ins is asking for trouble.


As I stated over and over, these are just general guidelines and the ones that I use, but you need to experiment and see where you feel comfortable. No matter which route you take, make sure that you are a proven winning player who can handle the pressure of working for days, weeks, months, or even a year without making money. If the thought of that makes your stomach turn, you may want to continue using poker as a hobby rather than a sole means of income. Also, if you just use poker as a hobby and have a normal 9-5 job, then throw these considerations out the window. Play whatever you want and feel comfortable playing, but like with any other type of gambling, only bring to the table what you can afford to lose.

As always, join me on the tables at FeltStars. Click on any of the banners on my sidebar to create an account and email me at bootnteepoker@yahoo.com for rakeback deals. Use bonus code BootnTee for a 300% deposit bonus up to $3000. Many new promos as well as multiple deposit and withdrawal options in our new updated cashier system.


Til Next Time....

Friday, September 17, 2010

FeltStars Video and a few Hand Histories

Just wanted to do a quick update and say hello. I have been playing a ton of hands at FeltStars and been doing pretty well. It's always nice to run good! Still waiting on DSL to get hooked up but in the meantime I've been using a VirginMobile wireless hotspot from RadioShack which uses the Sprint towers to pick up a 3G signal. Works OK, but still not "high speed."


FeltStars has been trying to promote its team pros lately by making videos of us playing. They are short clips but kinda neat. I wish I could have produced some bigger hands for them to add but this will do for now. Check it out at the bottom of this post. Hopefully they will be a bit longer with some real cool hands in the future.


I'll leave you with a few cool hand histories, and as always join me on the tables at FeltStars. Click on the word FeltStars or any of the banners to create an account. Also, use bonus code BootnTee for a 300% deposit bonus up to $3000 and email me at bootnteepoker@yahoo.com to get setup for rakeback IF, and only IF, you signed up through me!


Very aggro dynamic between myself and "lifegood". Funny the kinds of hands people show up with when you constantly 3 and 4 bet them.

FeltStars, $1/$2 NL Hold'em Cash Game, 4 Players

LeggoPoker.com - Hand History Converter

SB: $325.83
BB: $203
Hero (UTG): $386
BTN: $167.46

Pre-Flop: K A dealt to Hero (UTG)

Hero raises to $6, 2 folds, BB raises to $22, Hero raises to $48, BB raises to $201 and is All-In, Hero calls $155

Flop: ($407) 9 K A (2 Players - 1 is All-In)

Turn: ($407) 6 (2 Players - 1 is All-In)

River: ($407) 2 (2 Players - 1 is All-In)

Results: $407 Pot ($2 Rake)

BB showed T 7 and LOST (-$201 NET)

Hero showed K A and WON $405 (+$202 NET)



Really weird hand where I call a 4bet with garbage. It all has to do with my history with player "lifegood."

FeltStars, $1/$2 NL Hold'em Cash Game, 5 Players

LeggoPoker.com - Hand History Converter

CO: $269.72
Hero (BTN): $200
SB: $134.53
BB: $266.62
UTG: $249.59

Pre-Flop: Q 3 dealt to Hero (BTN)

UTG folds, CO raises to $6, Hero raises to $18, 2 folds, CO raises to $44, Hero calls $26

Flop: ($91) 8 8 Q (2 Players)
CO bets $51, Hero calls $51

Turn: ($193) 5 (2 Players)
CO bets $4, Hero raises to $105 and is All-In, CO calls $101

River: ($403) 5 (2 Players - 1 is All-In)

Results: $403 Pot ($2 Rake)

CO showed A 9 and LOST (-$200 NET)

Hero showed Q 3 and WON $401 (+$201 NET)



And lastly, a little river run good never hurts, especially in pots where you're 200 big blinds deep each.

FeltStars, $1/$2 NL Hold'em Cash Game, 6 Players

LeggoPoker.com - Hand History Converter

UTG: $70
MP: $448.97
CO: $423.15
BTN: $200.50
Hero (SB): $399.54
BB: $215

Pre-Flop: K K dealt to Hero (SB)

2 folds, CO raises to $7, BTN folds, Hero raises to $24, BB folds, CO calls $17

Flop: ($50) 4 8 9 (2 Players)
Hero bets $36, CO calls $36

Turn: ($122) Q (2 Players)
Hero bets $74, CO calls $74

River: ($270) K (2 Players)
Hero bets $265.54 and is All-In, CO calls $265.54

Results: $801.08 Pot ($3.50 Rake)

CO showed Q Q and LOST (-$399.54 NET)

Hero showed K K and WON $797.58 (+$399.04 NET)



Also, big thanks to my friend John "Nicolak" Kim who helped me post the Hand Histories. He's an awesome guy, a good friend, and a great poker player. Get some insight into his life by reading his blog "JK's Blog" located at http://nicolakpoker.blogspot.com/, and follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/nicolakpoker.


Til Next Time....
video

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Playing with a Clear Head

Things have really been crazy around here lately. My wife and I love our new home, but we are still fighting with AT&T about getting high speed internet. I'm currently writing this blog on a wireless network card which honestly works like crap. But back to that later.

The point of this entry is just to stress to any of my readers the importance of playing poker only when you have a clear head. Currently their is a tourney series going on at the Beau Rivage in Biloxi, MS which I have been planning on playing in for the last few months. With all that's going on in my life with the new home, lack of internet, unpacking the house, etc. I have decided to pass on playing this series. I have played a few online sessions, always with a clear head and only when I really am in the mood to play, but I don't feel comfortable playing on the unstable and slow AT&T network card. After 6 years of playing professionally I have learned the importance of having a clear head everytime you sit at the table. If you're thinking about other things like unpacking your house, lack of internet, a fight with your significant other, an upcoming test, or anything of the sort, you're better served studying the game during those times than playing it. If you can't focus at 100% you're just hurting yourself in the long run. Since I'm trying to follow my own advice I have been doing some studying and a lot of coaching in my free time. I find that coaching a few of my friends is both rewarding when I see them "get it" and helpful for me as I can't just say "I do this because I know it's right." I have to explain to them why I'd make certain plays in certain spots and explaining it to them helps refresh my memory and reinforces the basic principles of my game. Email me at bootnteepoker@yahoo.com if you are interested in cash game lessons. I specialize in 6 max no limit but also teach 9 handed no limit as well.

On the home front, I am so disguisted with so many people/companies. First off is AT&T. After saying they could set up high speed DSL for me, they showed up at my home and said that they had no such order and only set up home phone. When I called them back they told me that they could no longer set up DSL at my house. They said that there is only one internet port and it is already at maximum capacity of lines running out of it. In laymans terms, I cant get internet until they come out and build another port. When will this happen? The best answer I got was "Engineering has exhausted its budget for this year, so hopefully sometime early next year." Yeah, next frickin year. You gotta be kidding me. So since I received that terrible news, I have contacted the HOA and the builder to no avail. I even threatened my builder by saying I was going to put a sign in my front yard telling people not to buy any of the new homes because they won't be able to get internet. I was bluffing of course but hoping that the threat of possibly not selling new homes could get him to put pressure on AT&T to come put a port for me. The worst part is I do feel it is the builders responsibility, because when I had the house built I paid $500 extra to get the home pre wired for internet, and they had no problem taking my money to do this. I feel that I should have been informed that I was getting this done for no reason because internet wouldn't be available. Now I'm in a quandry and have no idea what to do next. Please leave any suggestions in the comments area if you have any ideas or a better understanding of the telecommunications business and how it works.

Last, play poker online at FeltStars.com. We are launching a new Mac client sometime in September for those of you Mac users out there. A whole lot of awesome things coming in the new software release slated for September 7th including a new cashier with quicker withdrawals, late registration for tourneys, new interface, bigger guarantees on daily tourneys, better promos for cash game players, and of course the monthly 100k Pro Bounty Challenge. See ya on the tables.

Til Next Time....

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Gimme me a break!!!!

Sorry about not updating in 2 weeks but its been really busy. We moved into the new home in Alabama 2 weeks ago and then my wifes parents came visit for 9 days. Her Dad helped out a bunch around the house doing handywork that I'm totally clueless at doing. We are almost all unpacked now except for my wifes sewing room. Since I have no idea where anything goes in there, she'll unpack it whenever she has time. It's great being a homeowner but a lot of work (and many trips to Lowes and Home Depot), especially since it's a new build. I thought new builds would be totally done, but we needed to do things like seal the tile flooring, screen in the weep holes around the house, and other odd jobs. I did purchase my first ever riding lawnmower so that was pretty cool!

Bad news going forward is that we are having trouble getting high speed internet. My wife picked up a network card from AT&T so that we could at least pay bills, and I guess write blogs, LOL. I played poker using it for like 5 minutes but the cards dragged pretty bad and I almost timed out repeatedly. Hopefully they can get our internet hooked up soon. I do have my office all set up and ready to go. It's pretty awesome with my 3 monitor setup like I had in Houston. The coolest part of my new office is the dedicated TV with game systems hooked up for "recreational gaming". I have an original Nintendo, Super Nintendo, and PS2 hooked up to it currently. I have a 75 or so original Nintendo game collection which I love playing when I find free time. I just finished framing and hanging all my posters today which inlcude an original Rounders movie poster, a blown up poster of a 2005 CardPlayer magazine cover with Stu Ungar on the cover, and an original 2003 WSOP event poster that I bought at Binions Horseshoe the first year I attended the WSOP after moving to Las Vegas. This poster is cool because it has a picture of all the "Millionaires Club" on it (people who won $1 Mill or more at the WSOP LIFETIME) and it's only like 30 or so people. I'm guessing half that many join the club each year now at the series.

This Wednesday I'll be a bounty again in the FeltStars 100k Pro Bounty Challenge. Come take a chance at winning 100k by knocking out all 4 Team FeltStars pros for only $5 buy in. Last month one lucky FeltStars player won $1000 by knocking out 2 of the pros! If you don't have an account yet, click on any of the banners on my page and create one. Use bonus code BootnTee for a 300% deposit bonus up to $3000. Email me at bootnteepoker@yahoo.com with questions or for rakeback deals on FeltStars.

Sorry this was so short and lacked poker content, but I promise as soon as I get real internet and start playing thousands of hands a day there will be more. I will even post hands if I can figure out how. I know my buddy JK does it so maybe I can ask him. If you're looking for a good read check out his blog at www.nicolakpoker.blogspot.com for awesome poker content and lessons in the life of a pro poker player and family man.

Til Next Time....

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Hectic Weeks and Coaching

Hi All,
Man these last few weeks have been hectic. We closed on our new home in Alabama on Tuesday then headed out to Texas to finish packing. Been here a few days and the house is starting to look like we're ready to move. Funny how when it's time to move you always find more and more stuff that you forgot you had. I think I spent 30 minutes today reading Christmas/Birthday/Easter/Valentines cards from my wife and my parents that I had apparently saved from the past 3 years. The movers come Monday morning to pack up the house, and then load up on Monday evening. After that it's back to Alabama to meet them and unload the truck. We also ordered all kinds of stuff online that should arrive mid next week as well. We're super excited and can't wait to finally move in to our new home.

As far as poker goes, I've barely played any lately. When I have it's been a few sessions at the Dog Track in Pensacola, FL and one session at the Amelia Belle in south Louisiana when I went home to visit my parents. Pretty much broke even over the 3 sessions due to an ugly run in Pensacola during my last session. It was just one of those where I lost with AA once, lost with QQ twice, and won the blinds only when I had KK. Sometimes thats the breaks of the game. It is unbelievable how much I am missing the online grind and can't wait to get back to 9 tabling across all the limits at FeltStars. We may have company next weekend if my wifes parents come in from Houston, so my ultimate goal poker wise is to be playing full time again by mid August. Hopefully I can add some more poker content to this blog then and even post some hands for analysis.

I've been sort of "coaching" a friend of mine for a while now. He's a very good guy and I normally stay at his place for weeks at a time when I go to Las Vegas. He's nearing retirement and has a goal of beating 9 handed no limit online for 1BB/100 plus make his rakeback so that he can supplement his retirement. We talked poker a bit through the years, but I haven't really helped him much until recently. After about 250k hands over the past 3 years he is close to break even counting his rakeback. I think we've finally hit a turning point where he is starting to "get it" and I hope to see results from his effort soon. The biggest thing that I wanted to mention, not just for his sake but for anyone who is reading this, deals with being results oriented. I truely believe this is what is holding his and many other peoples games back from really excelling. He thinks just because he runs KK into AA that Kings should be folded 100 big blinds deep. He thinks just because he gets all in preflop with AK vs TT and doesnt win that he should just flat call and play fit or fold. He thinks just because he gets it in with the nut flush draw and middle pair on the flop out of position and runs into a set that he should just check call and see if he turns the flush. And it's not just him! Many of us do this all the tiume and this type of thinking is wrong. I agree that there are times that you don't want to become machine like, making the same plays over and over, but in general playing passive when aggression is obviously the better line is a losing proposition. If you ever feel like you may be falling into that passive rut and want to shake yourself out before you compound your losses with more mistakes, ask yourself this question: Will I even remember losing this hand next week? Next month? Next year? If the answer is no, then play the hand correctly and forget about the short term results. If the answer is Yes, then you are probably playing above and beyond the limitations of your bankroll. In general, one hand should never define your month or year. Back to my friend, I think that if he can learn to let go of individual hand results, that he will see his 1BB/100 winrate become a reality in the very near future. I respect him very much and plan on doing my best to help him achieve his goal.

Guess I'm going to keep this short as I have a ton to do tomorrow before the movers come on Monday. As always, join me at the tables on FeltStars. Click on any banner to create an account, and use bonus code BootnTee when registering for a 300% deposit bonus up to $3k. Awesome promos going now and even better ones are ahead in the near future. Hope to see you on the virtual felt there soon.

Til Next Time....

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

FeltStars.com 100K Pro Bounty Tourney Madness


Hey guys/gals, I just finished playing in the monthly FeltStars 100k Pro Bounty Challenge Tourney, and it was a big success. This was our first post WSOP tourney and we drew a strong field of about 150 players for this $5 tourney. The way it works is there are 4 Team FeltStars Pros who play in it as "bounty" pros. Knock 1 of us out and get $100. Knock out 2 of the 4 and get $1000! Knock out 3 of the 4 and get a cool $10k, and knock all 4 of us out for a whopping $100k..yes, thats right, $100,000 for a $5 buy in with only 150 people. Seems almost impossible, but tonight when we were down to 18 players, 3 of the 4 pros were still in as well as the player who knocked out the 1st pro. After I busted in 12th, 2 of our pros "HotAusChick2" and "DrCheckRaise" (Click their names to redirect to their blogs/websites) went on to make the final 5 along with the player who knocked me out. That meant that the player who knocked me out had the chance of winning $10k for his $5 buy in if he was able to knock the both of them out. Eventually he won the tourney but didn't knock out any other pros besides me. On the other hand, his opponent knocked out both the remaining FeltStars Pros and collected $1000 in bounty money for his $5 buy in! Thats a pretty sweet deal if you're trying to build a bankroll.


Bottom line is that if you don't have an account at FeltStars now's the time to sign up. Click on any of the banners on my blog page or go to http://www.feltstars.com/ and use Bonus Code BootnTee to get a huge sign up bonus as well as rakeback. Feel free to email questions about signing up at FeltStars.com to bootnteepoker@yahoo.com.


Normally I just dedicate one paragraph per blog to endorse my deal with FeltStars.com, but I really thought that this deal is too good to pass up for players looking for great value! If you are unfamiliar with FeltStars, we are on the Merge network. You can read more about the Merge Network at their website, http://www.mergegaming.com/. We are currently the fastest growing skin on the network and have big plans for further growth in the near future. The games on the network are super soft and there is a lot of no limit action to enable higher volume players the capability of multi tabling. During peak hours we have 15+ $0.50-$1NL tables, 10+ $1-$2NL tables, 8+ $2-$4NL tables, several $3-$6NL tables, and 3-5 $5-$10NL tables running. There are also many daily guaranteed tourneys as well as the weekly 50k guaranteed tourney ($109 buy in) every Sunday. Hope to see you on the tables soon!


Til Next Time....

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Live vs Online Part 2!

OK, so after thinking more and more about my last blog, and after playing another live no limit session, I have decided to continue on with the theme and go way more in depth of why I think online games have better players and are tougher to beat than live games on average.

One major reason I feel online players are better than live players is that online players understand the concept of balancing their range better than live players do. For those that aren't familiar with this concept, balancing has to do with varying your play. A player who is capable of 3 betting preflop with AA, KK, QQ, AK but can also 3 bet hands like K5ss, 87o, J7cc, etc. is going to be much more balanced when he 3bets preflop than a player who only 3bets AA, KK, QQ, and AK. Which player would you rather play against? I know I would be much happier having the player who 3bets only the premiums to my left than a player who 3bets a more balanced range which leaves me guessing at the strength of his hand all the time. On the surface it would seem like a balanced range would be less important online since you play with so many different people that you don't need to mix up your play, but I think that's not true. Due to so many tracking devices such as PokerTracker and Hold Em Manager, balancing becomes crucial in order to get any action. If you 3bet only premiums then your 3bet stat will be so low that the times you do 3bet you might as well play your hand face up! As far as live games go I think keeping a balanced range is very imortant, but I see very few players doing this. The remarkable part is that a few of these players still get action even after they 3bet preflop. I laugh sometimes when people call them with hands that play terrible verse big pairs, like hands that can flop top pair top kicker and lose a lot of money to an overpair.

The second point that I can think of is that online players bluff/pick off bluffs better than live players. I think the main reason for this is that online players have less references to go on when trying to spot a bluff, but they think very in depth about the ones that they do have. I think that when online players bluff, they tend to pick better spots where they can tell a believable story, which in essence is exactly what a bluff should be. I think live players tend to just bluff because they feel like they need to every now and again, but don't take into account the texture of the board and their opponents tendencies to call down enough. When it comes to picking off bluffs, online players tend to rely more on betting patterns which are very reliable, as well as the story their opponent is telling. Live players seem to call often to "keep people honest". You don't know how many times I've heard at the table, "This kids an internet player and all they do is bluff, so I just gotta call him down when I make a pair." Guys, thats not the definition of a "hero call." Thats actually the definition of "eventually this kid's gonna bust me" call. A hero call in my opinion is when a player has thought through a hand in its entirety, calculated a feasible range of hands for his opponents, and decides to call based on the info he has gathered, not just "to keep him honest."

The next point I'll touch on tonight is value betting. I think that online players are MUCH better at getting max value out of hands. Online players have learned the art of the thin river value bet. An instance of this is having top pair good kicker on a flop in which your opponent can also have top pair and be outkicked. Your opponent calls your turn bet and the river completes a backdoor straight draw. After your opponent checks you should be value betting here in most cases. Internet players have come to master this, yet I still see people checking back hands that make me cringe in live poker, hands that any competent internet player would be value betting even at small stakes like 50cent-$1 NL. Because live players miss this bet so often they aren't getting nearly the maximum value that their hand affords them. The reverse is that internet players oftne "valuetown" themselves by betting too thin for value on the river. I see this as a good thing overall though, because it means that that player understands the true value there is in the thin river value bet, and over a long period of time will see a higher win rate because of it.

Lastly, bet sizing. I think internet players size their bets in a better way to both maximize profits and disguise the strength of their hand. This may be partly due to the "bet pot" button online, as well as the size of the pot always displayed in the center of the table. Still, this isn't an excuse for bad bet sizing in live games. A good player should always know approximately whats in the middle. So often I see a $20 raise preflop, 3 callers ($80 pot), a $50 flop bet which is fine with 1 caller ($180 pot), a $70 turn bet (ummmm......ok, $320 pot now), then a $75 river bet. OK, I'll agree there are times when this line is appropriate, but in general this isn't good bet sizing. Would you bet this way with a bluff to make it cheaper? Maybe. Would you bet this small with the nuts? I doubt it. This takes us almost full circle from where we started with balancing our range, to now balancing our bets. If you can't learn to balance your bets then good players will pick you apart. I think this is one of the HUGE differences between online and live players, and also a big difference that seperates small winners from big winners.

As a disclaimer, there are many live players who can do all these things that I wrote about, and do them well if not better than many good internet players. I'm speaking through my experience as a whole when I make these generalizations. Take them all for what they are worth, my opinion, nothing more, nothing less. Also keep in mind that when talking about live games I am basing this on many hours at mostly $2-$5 No Limit, but I think it holds true for some $5-$10 NL games, and almost all $1-$2 NL games I'd imagine. When you start talking about $10-$20 NL and above live, many of those players play very well and practice the concepts that I wrote about in this blog.

As always, if you don't have an account yet at FeltStars.com, click on any one of the banners on my blog to create one. Use sign up code BootnTee for a massive 300% deposit bonus up to $3000. Join us for great promos including leaderboard promotions, guaranteed tourneys, a bad beat jackpot, the 50k guarantee on Sundays, and the $100k Pro Bounty tourney the 3rd Sunday of every month. Knock out the Team FeltStars pros and win up to 100k! See you at the tables.

Til Next Time....

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Live Poker vs. Online Poker

Since moving into the coprporate apartment in Alabama, I have definitely not been playing online as much as I'd like to. I have some kind of mental block about grinding hours on end on my laptop rather than my nice office setup that I had in Houston. I fully plan to get back to playing 60,000+ hands a month as soon as we move into the new house (which will be in less than a month!) and I can set up my office. I am actually starting to miss the online grind and can't wait to get back to the juicy cash games on FeltStars.

To keep busy when not running around getting things ready for the new house, I have been trying to make a few trips to the Beau Rivage to play some cash games. I really like the 2-5NL game there because it has no max buy in so I can play pretty deep which I enjoy. I find the swings are similar to a 5-10 game which I'm OK with. It's really funny that I started as a brick and mortar player, but now consider myself more of an online player than live player. When I started playing poker seriously in 2001 I didn't even know online poker existed. In fact, I didn't own my first computer until December of 2003! Yeah, I know I was way behind the times.

I'm gonna keep this post short but just wanted ot outline some pros and cons of Live cash games vs Online cash games. I do want to say that I really enjoy both, and also wouldn't want to do only one for a living. I couldn't fathom having to go to the casino everyday, wait on waiting lists, and see only 30 or 40 hands an hour. I also couldn't imagine just sitting in front of the computer every single day and not getting to go to the casino and shuffle chips, and converse with other characters at the table. I think personally, for me, about an 80% online to 20% live mix is the correct way to go. Financially, playing online 100% of the time would be best for me, as my hourly rate online when seeing about 1,000 hands/hr is much better than live at 35 hands/hr, but for sanity's sake I need to play some live poker. I think the bottom line is that live games are softer in general, but with the increased number of hands per hour, plus bonuses and rakeback, that online poker is more profitable. As far as talent is concerned, I think most winning 1-2NL players online could hold their own in 5-10NL live games, and most winning 1-2NL live players would be very disappointed to learn that they would get their souls crushed when playing 6 max 1-2NL online. Just my opinion...

Guess thats all for now. Planning a weekend trip to my parents house and then maybe some live poker with a little internet poker mixed in next week. We are scheduled to close on our house on the 28th of this month and can't wait! Hopefully I'll be back in full online grind mode by mid August. I also plan on going to the Beau Rivage in late Aug/early September for the Gulf Coast Poker Championship and to the IP in October for the WSOP Circuit event there. Hopefully I'll be able to make a few final tables and represent Team FeltStars well.

If you don't have an account at FeltStars.com yet, just click on any one of the banners on my page and create an account. We have an amazing deposit bonus of 300% up to $3k going right now if you use bonus code BootnTee. We are also running great promos which include bounty tourneys, gauntlet style heads up tourneys versus Team FeltStars Pros, leaderboard races, and a bad beat jackpot thats currently over 100k! Come bust me in the bounty tourney every third Sunday of the month, or win your way to play me in the heads up gauntlet freeroll for a chance at a progressive prize pool. Come check us out and let me know what you think.

Til Next Time....

Monday, July 5, 2010

Vegas Trip Report

Sorry about the lack of updates recently. I had every intention on blogging from Las Vegas but couldn't log in to blogspot from my friends computer. Every time I attempted to log in it said that the security settings needed to be changed, and I wasn't about to start messing with his security settings.

Anyway, I am back in Alabama after an 8 day trip to Las Vegas, and then a long weekend visiting my parents for the 4th of July.

Overall my trip to Las Vegas was very successful. I did absolutely nothing in the tourneys, but played well and won in every cash game session except for one (which was a PLO session). I played one event at the Venetian and busted pretty early, a HORSE tourney at the Golden Nugget in which I lasted nearly 8 hours but still didn't sniff the money, a WSOP event which I will describe in a bit, and an OFC (Online Forum Challenge) event at the Golden Nugget that was sponsored by FeltStars.com. This event was fun because as a FeltStars pro I had a bounty on my head and was placed at the feature table which was streamed live over the internet at www.acejones.com. I came close to the money in this one but ultimately busted with AQ vs AK about 10 spots short of the money. All the players at my table seemed to have a great time and I think FeltStars received some good buzz from this event.

The one World Series of Poker event that I played was a 1k event that drew like 3500 players or so. We started at noon with 3k chips playing 25-25 blinds and 1 hour levels. I chipped up slowly, very slowly in fact, but took 8200 chips or so to the dinner break. I was never all in for my tourney life before dinner and mostly won a lot of small pots with preflop raising and continuation betting. Eventually my table broke and I got moved to a much tougher table with 3 good players who had lots of chips to my immediate left. I was card dead at this table for an hour or so before we broke for dinner break. I had a nice dinner with my friend JK (read his blog at www.nicolakpoker.blogspot.com) and we talked a little tourney strategy while enjoying Vietnamese food at a restaurant on Spring Mountain Blvd. Promptly after dinner break ended, his table broke and he was moved to my table. Really, 50+ tables still going and he gets moved to my table?!?!?! Anyway, my streak of bad cards kept up for the next 3 hours. I preflop raised twice, got 3bet, and had to fold both times. Eventually I was in the cut off with 2 paint cards (I didn't know which 2 as I just side-sweated them) with about 3500k chips left at 200-400(50) when the hi jack open limped. I decided that based on his decent chip stack that he most likely didn't have a strong hand here and would hopefully fold to my shove. I went ahead and shoved in. When the button snap shoved I knew I was in trouble. The blinds and the limper folded and I revealed the paltry QJo. The button rolled over about what I expected..KK. Oops. Well, you know the rest, I flopped two Jacks and doubled up. Yeah, I know I run well, don't bother telling me. I blinded down a few rounds then limped in from the small blind with KK after it folded to me. The big blind who had me covered then put me all in for my last 14 or so big blinds with the legit 77. I faded his outs and doubled up to 12k at 200-400(50). I open raised 1 more hand this level and folded to a 3bet from the small blind and took 11k chips to the 300-600(75) level. During the break between levels I was telling JK how I haven't bagged chips for the night since the WSOP Main Event in 2006 and how I'd really like to make day 2. We knew that we were about 30 minutes from the night ending, as we were playing down to 270 players and currently were about 295 left. This left me in a dilemma. I could play really tight and try to make it to day 2 with about 10 big blinds, or I could try to put my chips in the pot in what I thought to be a good spot and risk going broke in an effort to accumulate chips to make a real run at the tourney, not just a min cash. Ultimately I chose route number 2. About 20 minutes before days end, I shoved with AQo from the small blind verse an early position raiser. He had JJ and called, and I lost this crucial race. After 11 hours of playing I was headed home with no money to show for my efforts. I was less than an hour away from cashing in this WSOP event, but I do not regret my play. Yes, I could have folded this hand to an early position raise, but I felt that my tight image, coupled with the fact that winning without a showdown was worth a 35% increase in my chip stack made the risk worth the reward. I stand by my decision, and after speaking to a few players whos opinions I really respect they confirmed my thinking that my play was totally justified. I can say that this is only the 5th WSOP event that I have ever played but I felt so much more confident this time than ever before, and had very minimal butterflies which all disappeared about 1 minute after the first hand was dealt. I think this confidence stemmed from the fact that I am very confident in my cash game play lately, and feel that I am playing the best poker of my life. Hopefully this isn't coming off as overconfidence, but instead I just am very proud of the work that I have put in since the last WSOP and the results it has produced. Most of this is due to a great circle of poker friends who have spent countless hours helping me with my thought process, and then countless hours of me putting these thoughts into action.

Outside of the few tournaments I played, most of my time at the tables was dedicated to cash games. There isn't much to discuss from the NL cash games. I mostly got it in good and held, and made a few hero calls that were right. The few interesting things that happened were 1) I didn't have any losing cash sessions at No Limit, 2) I played for a few hours with Amarillo Slim in the 5-10 NL game at the Bellagio, and 3) I was NEVER dealt pocket Aces the entire trip while playing NL Hold Em. This is pretty interesting as I played about 55 hours of No Limit Hold Em, saw an estimated 1800 or so hands, meaning I should have gotten exactly AA about 8 times, but was never dealt AA. Pretty interesting I think. As far as playing cash games with Amarillo Slim, he actually was very quiet at the table, preflop raised very few if any hands, and overall was very very passive. I would have to gather that his age has caught up to him and the game has long passed him by, but he is still a legend at the table. He took his small $200 or so loss and quietly walked away from the table.

I did play one Pot Limit Omaha cash session at the Rio and it was my only losing cash session of the trip. The game was $5-$5 blinds with a mandatory $10 button straddle. I was dealt AQT9 with the AT of spades and Q9 of hearts. We saw the flop 3 ways for $40 a person. The flop came down J-8-4 with the J and 4 of spades, and the 8 of hearts. Long story short is that one player potted, I re-potted with my semi-wrap and nut flush draw, and we eventually got it all in heads up. We decided to run the turn and river twice for half the pot each time. He held JJxx in his hand for top set making me about 50/50. I whiffed both boards! I decided that I'd rather play No Limit Hold Em after this hand, so I took my leave from the table, sweated a friend for an hour to cool off, then hopped in a NL game and crushed it for more than double my PLO loss. I played online one night and won a few buy ins while a friend watched. I also watched him play several online sessions and I think he's improving and I have no doubt that he will soon be turning a decent profit in the $1-$2 9 handed NL games online.

The house is coming along nicely and we're looking forward to moving in hopefully the first week of August. I can't wait to get my office set up and really start grinding again. I have no doubt that I can put in 75k hands or so a month on FeltStars.com. I will also be making trips to the poker room in Pensacola and the Beau Rivage in Biloxi to play some live cash games as well. It's so nice to be close to casinos again!

Lastly, click on any of the banners on my page and create an account at FeltStars.com. Come join in the fun with bounty tourneys and other great promos. Hope to see you on the tables soon.

Til Next Time....

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

There's More to Poker than No Limit Hold Em????




I know I've been lagging in the poker content department over the last month and a half, so I will try to keep this blog mostly poker related. If you are interested in the progress of our home in Daphne, AL being built, check out my wifes blog at www.bootnteewife.blogspot.com. She has pictures and everything and she tries to update weekly.


So last week I was actually able to play a few hands of poker. Since I haven't been playing much and I only have my laptop to work on here in the corporate apartment in Alabama, I decided to play some 7 game mix. I used to play a lot of mixed games at the Wynn when I lived in Vegas, so I still venture away from the No Limit cash games to play mixed games when I want a change of pace. As you can see in the picture on the left, in a Pot Limit Omaha hand I was dealt 4 Queens in the small blind. Needless to say I folded preflop, but managed to snap a picture before folding. I think this is my first time ever being dealt quads in Omaha, and I can't imagine that it happens that often. This hand must have been an omen of good things to come, because 5 hands later I won a very nice pot where I stacked a player for his 100bb's.


The blinds were $3-$6 and he opened for $21 from middle position. I was in the big blind and everyone folded to me, and I called holding KJJ9 double suited in hearts and clubs. The flop came out J-8-6 with two spades. I'll be the first to admit that I am no expert in PLO and possibly played the flop wrong. Based on this players tendencies (he was a total aggro spewtard who didn't slow down whatsoever) I decided to check and call his $28 flop bet rather than check raising. I'll explain that in more detail as I think most readers may be wondering why I'd "slowplay" top set on such a draw heavy board in PLO. My thinking was that since the pot wasn't that big and there are a ton of cards that would put me in a bad spot out of position if I check raised the flop, that I'd be better served either leading the flop, then 3 betting him if he raised me on the flop, or check calling then check raising safe turns. In hindsight I think I prefer bet/3betting the flop and just trying to get the money in, but verse this player I think my line is OK. Anyway, the turn put an offsuit King on the board. Because I have a King in my hand, I am not worried that he just turned a bigger set. I checked to him again knowing that he would bet and he didn't let me down. This time he bet the full pot of about $100. Now I check raised pot to $400, and he re-raised all in for his last $450 or so total. He was actually drawing very live with the AT86 with AT of spades, which gave him bottom two pair (drawing dead there), a gutshot to the Queen, and the nut flush draw. After running the hand on CardPlayer calculator I was a 75% favorite with 1 card to come. Luckily the river was a 6 which made me jacks full and him 6's full. I was quite happy to drag the pot.


I also won a nice pot during the No Limit Hold Em round where I was in the small blind with AA and 3 bet the buttons raise from $18 to $64 preflop. The flop came 9-9-2 rainbow and I checked to him. I normally continuation bet this flop about 80% of the time, but I chose not to this time because I really thought my opponents most likely holdings were unimproved broadway cards that he would just be folding to my c-bet. He checked the flop back and the turn was an offsuit Jack. Now I decided to bet as I would probably be betting my air here had I decided not to c-bet it on the flop. I led for $82 into about $130 and he called. The river brought a 4 and I definitely needed to bet my hand for value. Because I thought he was a kinda fishy player I felt that I could bet a little larger than I normally would and still get paid by hands like K-J, Q-J, and J-T. I led $256 into the pot of about $290 and he called with K-J offsuit. I guess my read of him being fishy was pretty spot on.


The format of the 7 game mix is pretty nice in my opinion. Obviously the big bet games play a large role in the daily win/loss results column, but if you are a good mixed game player I think that your expected win can be huge playing 7 game mix. The limit that I mostly played last week was $15-$30 limit for the HORSE games and $3-$6 blinds for the NL/PLO games. The $12-$24 limit also uses $3-$6 for its blinds, which really make the big bet games play a bigger role in your overall results, which is why I prefer the $15-$30 when it's running to balance the limit and big bet games better. It's amazing the horrible play that I saw in my last session. In one Seven Card Stud 8 or Better hand I saw a terrible player call a 7th street bet verse an opponent who had an open pair of Jacks. Well, there was one problem. The player who called did not have a qualifying low, and he couldn't beat the pair of open Jacks for high! Hello McFly, anybody home?!?!?! I seriously had to check the replayer like twice to try to figure out why he gave the player with Jacks $30. My only conclusion is that he didn't understand the concept of 8 or Better, and was calling with a 9 or Ten low or something. Bottom line is that there are still terrible players online who play in middle limit games which is a good thing for all of us!


I know that I'm speaking pretty highly of the 7 game mix as a great way to make money, but don't take it the wrong way. There are some very good players who play in the games. I'm sure there are some great mixed games players who play as low as $5-$10 7 game mix. I would never give up my "bread and butter" of multi-tabling 6-max no limit to play just $15-$30 to $50-$100 7 game mix, as I still think a very good No Limit player who is a successful multi-tabler can still make a better living playing $2-$4 NL 6 max. What I am saying is that if you don't play mixed games, maybe you should start out small and give them a shot. It may surprise you how bad the players are. Sometimes, in the right games, all it takes is a general knowledge of the game and good card sense to turn a profit. Who knows the direction poker is going, but it doesn't hurt to know how to play games outside of No Limit Hold Em. It's also a great way to break up the monotony of the everyday No Limit grind. Just a suggestion.


I'll be leaving to go to Las Vegas in less than a week. I'm looking forward to meeting up with the other members of Team FeltStars for some WSOP tourneys. The World Series of Poker is definitely the most exciting time of the year for all poker pros. It doesn't matter if you're a multi table tourney specialist, a sit-n-go wizard, or a cash game king, the World Series is just the place to be for people in the poker business. I have been to every WSOP since I was old enough to go, starting in 2003. I watched Chris Moneymaker live at the final table in 2003 and caught a glimpse of myself in the audience on ESPN. I remember thinking that was so cool. I sat "ringside" last year and watched Joe Cada break the record for youngest Main Event Champ ever. I haven't attended every final table, but I have at least been present during the series every year at some point. This year was a close call though. I really thought, up until last week in fact, that this would be the year that my streak was broken. With all that's going on in my life between the marriage, moving, Kims new job, and being in the process of buying a home, the thought of going out to Vegas for the series just seemed like overkill. Lucky for me I have a wife who was kind enough to buy me a plane ticket to Las Vegas so that I wouldn't have to break that goofy little streak that I am so proud of. So, I'll head to Vegas next week for 8 days and plan to play $2-$5 and $5-$10 No Limit cash games, maybe some mixed games, some PLO, as well as a few satty's, and hopefully a WSOP event or two that FeltStars puts me in to. On June 28th at the Golden Nugget I will join forum members from across the country in a small $50 buy in tourney that is sponsored by FeltStars.com called the OFC (Online Forum Challenge) in which FeltStars.com will be giving away 4 seats to one of the $1k events at the WSOP. I am supposed to be receiving my gold bracelet from winning the WCOIP PLO Main Event as well as my Rolex from winning 2 events during the FeltStars.com WCOIP tourney series. I also hope to see some of my good friends who still live and work in Las Vegas while I'm out west. I'll do my best to get a blog or two out while I'm in Vegas.


If you don't have an account yet at FeltStars.com just click on any one of the banners on my blog page and set up an account. We have an amazing deposit bonus of 150% up to $1500 right now. We also run great promotions which include bounty tourneys, gauntlet heads up challenges verse Team FeltStars pros, Leaderboard races, a bad beat jackpot, and coming soon promotions for cash game players. Come bust me in the bounty tournament or win your way to play me in a heads up gauntlet style freeroll for a progressive prize pool. Come check us out and let me know what you think.


Guess that's all for now.


Til Next Time....

Monday, June 7, 2010

House Hunting

Well, after several weeks of house hunting in the Mobile area, we have finally decided on a house and go into contract on it tomorrow. The house is located in a new subdivision in Daphne, Alabama, which is just East of Mobile Bay, about 40 miles from the Alabama/Florida border. After looking at homes 10 years old or less, we decided to just go with a new build. The home is scheduled to be ready by the end of July. Kim and I are super excited about it and can't wait to move in. The house is 1800+ sqft, 3 bedrooms, an office, 2 bathrooms, and located on a cul de sac lot. For all the specifics about the house, check out my wifes blog which is linked in my blogs section on this page. All that's left to do is decide on which mortgage company we want to go with, and then sit back and wait until the home is completed. As for now, we are staying in a corporate apartment in Mobile, as well as keeping our house in Houston until this home is ready for move in.

As far as poker goes, well, it has more or less been a non existant part of my life lately. I think I worked a whopping 4 hours in May, but still good for a small profit for the month. I also played some live poker at the Beau Rivage on Saturday and won a decent bit in the 2-5NL game. I am planning on going back to the Beau Tuesday or Wednesday this week to play some more. I really like the 2-5NL game there because there is no max buy in, which allows me to sit super deep and really play some poker. I find it much more enjoyable than the standard 100 big blind cash games that are common in Las Vegas. This is definitely a huge plus to moving to South Alabama. I now can get in my car and drive to a casino to play live poker and it takes me less than 1 hour to get there. Yeah, it's not next door like it was when I was living in Vegas, but it's much better than Texas because now I don't need to hop a plane every time I feel like playing live. I have a good feeling that living in Daphne will work out really well! Another thing I am excited about is the fact that Floridas poker law will be changing on July 1st. The law used to be that you couldn't buy in for more than $100 in a cash game, no matter what the blinds were. Could you imagine playing 5-10NL with a $100 starting stack. What a joke! Starting July 1st, the poker rooms will dictate what their buy in limits will be. Hopefully they allow at least 250 big blind buy ins, but I'll settle for 100 big blind maxes as well. There is a room in Pensacola, which will also be less than a 1 hour drive from my new home. I think the games in Florida will be extra juicy due to the fact that players won't be used to deeper stacked games. I definitely plan on making a trip to Pensacola at least once every two weeks, maybe more, to satisfy my live poker craving!


Special thanks to my wife and I's friend Murph from Las Vegas for dedicating a special blog congratulating us on our wedding. Murph is a very good friend to the both of us, and truly an awesome guy (and a not so shabby poker dealer either!). I don't know if he reads this, but if so, we sure hope one day you get bored in Vegas and decide to come visit us down in Alabama for some beach trips and good food! You can also find Murphs blog about the life of a Las Vegas dealer on my blog listings on this page.

I am really looking forward to getting back to playing more poker soon. Now that the house hunt is over I don't see why I can't start playing again. I think I will spend a few hours watching training videos before diving back into multi-tabling just to help knock the rust off of my game. Hopefully getting back in the groove will lead to more poker content in my blog, as I'm sure most of the people who read this are getting pretty tired of hearing me talk about my wedding, my move, and house hunting. Don't worry, I'll get back to bitchin' about not winning any races soon enough! :-P

Til Next Time....

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Wedding, Home Hunting, and Sweet Home Alabama?




Sorry about the lack of poker content in this upcoming blog, but my life has just been super busy with things outside of the poker world. I guess we'll get to poker first though. So far in May I have played 1 hour of online poker and am up 2.5 buy ins. While in the Bahamas I played one live sit-n-go and got 1st. It paid a necklace valued at about $1 which I of course gave to Kim. LOL. Now you're caught up on my month at the tables. If you're not interested in my weddingmoon in the Bahamas, my move to Alabama, my wifes blog, or my house hunt, now would be a good time to quit reading.

Still with me? Great. On May 7th Kim and I left for Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort in Nassau, Bahamas. My best friend Ben and his girlfriend flew in from California on May 8th and stayed at the resort as well. The four of us had a blast hanging out at the beach, the pool bar, going to the casinos, having great meals, sailing, kayaking, and just chilling out. On May 12th at 10am Kim and I exchanged vows right on the beaches edge with our bare feet in the white sand while overlooking the crystal clear waters of the Bahamas. It was truly an amazing wedding and we were very happy to have Ben and Liza there with us. They left right after the wedding, and Kim and I stayed a few more days before heading back to Houston. In our time alone we also went to the waterpark at the Atlantis, and went to Blue Lagoon Island and swam with the dolphins. That was an amazing day as we hugged, kissed, danced with, and petted 2 seperate Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, one of which played "Flipper" in the 1996 movie starring Paul Hogan and Elijah Wood (a robotic dolphin was also used in most of the film, but where a live dolphin was used it was that cutie named Jake). The dolphin encounter was capped off with a foot push where 2 dolphins swim up behind you and push you about 100 yards at 15 miles per hour or so across the water. It was very very cool. I have nothing bad at all to say about our weddingmoon, and would highly recommend Sandals as a vacation or wedding destination. Oh yeah, and thanks Mom and Dad for the trip, it was an awesome wedding gift!

After getting back from the Bahamas, we immediately started packing to come to Mobile, Alabama to start looking for homes. As I think I stated in my last blog, Kim got a job transfer from her companies Houston office to its Mobile office. They gave us a corporate apartment in West Mobile and we moved in last Wednesday. We are keeping our rental home in Houston for now until we close on a home here. I spent this week looking at homes in Daphne which is a suburb of Mobile. It's located on the East Coast of Mobile Bay, about 1 hour from Pensacola, Florida to the east, and 1 hour from Biloxi, Mississippi to the west. I think it's going to be a great location for me to start playing some more live poker. Many people know about the poker action in Biloxi at the Beau Rivage and IP (as well as smaller games in a few other casinos there), but I am really looking forward to playing at the Pensacola Greyhound Track. The law will be changing in Florida on July 1st and there will no longer be a $100 max on the buy in, so this should make games like $2-$5 and $5-$10 No Limit super juicy for a long time while players are adjusting to a deeper stacked game. I'm also looking forward to becoming a staple in the tourney series' at both the Beau Rivage and IP in Biloxi, as most of the tourneys fall into the buy in range that I prefer ($200-$2500). So, back to the housing situation. After looking at over 15 homes, I found the one that I really loved. Kim came with me today to see my top 4 choices, as well as a few more that we hadn't seen, and she picked the same one as I did as her favorite. We put in a legitimate offer on the house and will have a response by tomorrow (Sunday) at 5pm. We are trying to not get too excited, but we do have high hopes of getting the house. I promise to post pics if/when we do get an accepted offer on the house. Just a rundown about it, it's 2030 square feet, 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, huge bonus room, formal living room, formal dining room, breakfast area, and decent kitchen. Outside it has a pool with a waterfall, a covered screen 25ft tall enclosure for the pool, a decent yard for the dogs, and a covered patio good for grilling and just relaxing in the shade. The front of the house has a covered wrap around porch great for morning coffee and a cigarette, and relaxing in rocking chairs while enjoying the breeze coming off of Mobile Bay. All in all, we really love the home. I'll let ya'll know how it turns out.

Lastly, my wife Kim has started a blog. I thought it was kind of interesting and think other people will enjoy it as well. Her blog is called "Tales of a Roving Gamblers Wife" and can be found at http://www.bootnteewife.blogspot.com/. Her blog chronicals the ups and downs of being the wife of a professional gambler. It may not be the content that my readers are looking for, but if you guys' wives or girlfriends are into blogs you should definitely pass on the link to hers as I think they will enjoy and be able to relate to what she feels. Of course her blog also talks about whats going on in her life as well, but mostly talks of our "backwards" relationship where she has a big time corporate america job, and I play poker professionally. Because of the schedule that I keep I end up doing a lot of the laundry and cooking, which I guess is sterotypically the "woman's job." Don't flame me for that as I am perfectly happy doing these things and have no notions about it actually being a woman's job. But anyway, if you or someone you know is interested in a blog like that, check her out and follow her.

Hopefully we will head west to Biloxi tomorrow for the first time since moving to Mobile. I think we probably will just play some low limit poker, maybe some $1-$2 no limit or something for a few hours to help kill time in the day while waiting to hear from our Realtor about the house that we made the offer on. Good news one time please!!!

I really don't know when I'll fully get back into playing poker, but I hope it's relatively soon as I am starting to miss it. I was kinda tired tonight so I didn't think it was a good idea to play, but I did sweat a friend a while just to get my fix. Hopefully all my buds like talv, Nicolak, and my fellow FeltStars Pros are killing it this month and making up for my lack of table time. If anyone is in Biloxi on Friday June 4th or Saturday June 5th make sure to stop by the Beau Rivage and say hello. I will be there representing FeltStars as its featured pro when the Poor Mans Poker Tour rolls into town. You can find out more info on the Poor Mans Poker Tour at http://www.pokerjoeandthedoc.com/ and more info on the Biloxi tour stop by clicking on the word Biloxi on the sidebar of their website. Also, listen to their radio show at the website for an interview with FeltStars newest team pro Nadim "Lucky Dime" Shabou. Guess thats all for now though. Hope to see you all in Biloxi. As always, follow me on twitter at www.twitter.com/kajunkidpoker.

Til Next Time....

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

April Recap and Busy months to follow


So, April has come and gone already. Luckily for me it was another very solid month winning right at 50 buy ins. The above graph illustrates my month in big blinds rather than dollar amounts won. This is for my desktop only, as I won another 1200 or so big blinds on my laptop. Overall, I am quite pleased with my month in total both profit wise and winrate wise. I was able to sustain a winrate of 8bb/100 for the month. Where I failed during April was table time. I worked less than 100 hours in April, and only played slightly more than 55k hands for the month. I will grant myself a repreive considering HUGE things are happening in my life at the moment, but I'll discuss those in a bit.

I did not make the full transition to 2/4NL in April as I had planned to do. I had every intention of doing so, but after only one bad session of 2/4 I reverted back to 1/2 and started crushing again, so I decided to stick with it. I did manage to still win in the 2/4 games for the month, but only at a rate of 3bb/100 over a very small sample size of 3400 hands. I know that soon I will make, and succeed, at the full transition and climb the poker ladder, but for now I'm comfortable at my current stakes until I get all of the "life stuff" in order.

Last order of business on the poker front is of course FeltStars. Starting tomorrow, May 5th, FeltStars will be running its first "Pro Bounty Challenge" tourney. This tourney will be a standard MTT with a HUGE bonus opportunity. Each of the 4 pros will have a bounty on their head. Knock out a pro and get $100. Knock out 2 of the 4 and get $2500. Knock out 3 of the 4 and get $50,000, and knock out all 4 pros during the tourney and get $100,000! Sounds simple right? Well, sign up now using bonus code BootnTee and hop in the tourney tomorrow at 7:30pm Central time for this $10+1 buy in weekly $100,000 FeltStars Pro Bounty Challenge tournament. There are only 27 players signed up so far, so join in and take your chance at $100,000! You can find more details about it at the following link: http://feltstars.com/poker/promotions-pro-bounty-challenge.php

Poker aside, these next few months will be super busy. As I have previously written, Kim and I will be going to the Bahamas this week for our "weddingmoon." We will be getting married at the Sandals Royal Bahamian on May 12th and returning to Houston a few days later. After getting back to Houston, we will be going to Mobile, Alabama and start house hunting there. Kim was offered a job at her companies Mobile office and she accepted it. So along with a wedding in the Bahamas, we are also moving, buying a new home, and she is starting a new job. That's a lot of life changes in the next few months! We are both looking forward to living in Mobile. I am excited to be within 1 hour to the Beau Rivage and IP in Biloxi, as well as an hour the other way to a poker room in Pensacola, Florida. Finally I can play some live poker midweek and not have to jump on a plane to do so! Also, it will only be 3.5 hours to my parents home rather than 5.5, so I can make weekend trips to visit them. All in all it's going to be a great thing, but it will definitely be hectic for a while. Unfortunately because of all these plans, I will have to cut down on my WSOP trip, or may possibly have to miss it for the first time ever since I've been 21. I have attended 7 consecutive WSOP's and really don't want to break that streak! Hopefully all the cards will fall right and I'll still be able to make it out to Vegas for at least a week or so during the series.

One of the other FeltStars pros, Ken "DrCheckRaise" Callis hosts a radio show on his website, http://www.drcheckraise.com/, and they are taking the show on the road to a dozen or more cities for their "Poor Mans' Poker Tour". On June 4th and 5th their tour will stop at the Beau Rivage in Biloxi, and I will be the featured pro for this tour stop. On Friday June 4th there will be a meet and greet for forum members, as well as cash games to follow. On Saturday June 5th there is a $20,000 guaranteed tourney at Noon with a $300+50 buy in which I will be representing Team FeltStars. If you happen to be in Biloxi, come out to play the tourney or to just say Hi and learn more about what FeltStars has to offer. Hope to see a few of you there!
Because of all these events in my life, I really think May could possibly turn out to be my slowest poker month EVER! My realistic goal will be to play 40 hours this month. Yeah, it's a low goal, but realistically I don't think I will have time to grind considering the wedding, the temporary move to a corporate apartment, the house hunting, and the back and forth between Houston and Mobile while trying to pack up the house here. Such is life.

Guess that's about it for this blog. Hope to post another one after the wedding in the Bahamas, and maybe include a few photos. Best wishes to all of you and hope to see you in Biloxi June 4th-5th.

Til Next Time....

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

GulfCoastPoker.Net, Team FeltStars, and Poker!!

Just wanted to post a very short blog thanking Wild Bill and Gene D from www.gulfcoastpoker.net for adding me to their stable of featured bloggers. I have known Gene for years and he is a really good guy. If you guys haven't been to the site yet, there is a hyper link on the right side of my blog page that will take you straight there. The website is all about poker in the south, including tourney updates, player profiles, blogs, and other poker news happening around the country. Check it out!

Also, congrats to my fellow Team FeltStars Pro Tyler Smith for winning the $2500 Spring Break Poker Championship tourney at the Beau Rivage this week. Reports show that he took home nearly $100k! This gives Tyler 2 WPT TV final tables at the Beau as well as a 1st and a 2nd in this particular event in back to back years. He is definitely representing Team FeltStars well.

Poker has started to turn around for me this month. I am winning about 25 buy ins so far on the month after 12 days. My all in EV is almost back to even as well on the month, which is a good feeling considering I was way below EV after the first 5 days. I have been playing mostly 1/2, but have mixed some 2/4 in as well with decent results. Hopefully I will have a very nice graph to post at months end.

Til Next Time....

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Climbing the Ladder

So after having very solid months in February and March, I decided that April would be my time to start transitioning to higher stakes games online. When I first started playing for a living back in 2004, it was nothing for me to put 10% or more of my bankroll on the table at any given time and not think twice about it. After riding the bankroll rollercoaster for several years I finally took a step back and realized that there is no need to put myself through those kinds of emotional swings. I told myself after I won the Sunday 200k on UB in August of 2008 that I would never put my bankroll in jeopardy again. The best way that I would rectify this situation was set a strict guideline for my online bankroll and play based on that set of rules. From the time that I returned to cash games in July of 2009, I have played mostly 1/2 no limit online while refining my game under the guidence of a few very successful players.

This month, and after 250k hands of 1/2, I decided to try make make a full transisiton to 2/4. Previously I have taken shots in the 2/4, 3/6, 5/10, and even 10/20 games when they are good, but I haven't tried to sustain at these levels. After being a 5bb/100 winner over 250k hands at 1/2, I am still finding it hard to "climb the ladder." I have been playing 2/4 on both FullTilt and FeltStars with not a lot of success this month. I am up less than 1k so far and we're already 1/3 of the way through the month. For the most part, I really don't find the players to be that much better, although there definitely are some very good regulars. I'm not going to bemoan my luck as an excuse, but it does seem that every time I try to move up in stakes that I run a good bit below EV based on my Hold Em Manager graph. This is of course short term luck and variance at work considering I have only put in about 15k hands this month, about half of what I normally play.

This also brings up a good point about whether playing double the stakes but only playing half the hands is worth it? I think all it does is increase variance in the short term, but I truly believe that in the big picture it will be worth it because I am getting better faster playing against better regulars. Eventually I will be able to successfully 9-12 table the higher limits and get back to playing 1k hands an hour comfortably, which should increase my hourly earn. I think my plan for the immediate future is to not put so much pressure on myelf to move up and to just let it come naturally. I will continue playing a lot of 1/2 NL Rush poker on FullTilt, but I will also play 1 or 2 games of 2/4 NL, probably on FeltStars at the same time. 4 tabling rush poker is equivalent to the hands you'd see while 12 tabling, so essentially the 12 tables of 1/2 should compensate for the variance that I will have playing only 1 or 2 tables of 2/4 NL. As an aside, I find it humorous that I have trouble sticking at the 2/4 level online, when 2/5 live almost seems like a small game. I much prefer playing 5/10 live and feel completely comfortable with the buy in, and know that I am properly bankrolled for the game. Just seems funny how I struggle with the online transition.

Kim and I are really starting to get excited about the wedding. Its just over 1 month away, and we're doing a destination wedding at the Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau, Bahamas. Last week my best friend told me that he just finalized his plans to come to the wedding. We were in the same fraternity (Theta Xi) at Nicholls State in Thibodaux, LA, and then he moved to Las Vegas a year after I had moved there. We were roomates in Vegas for a few years until Kim and I moved in together. Now I rarely get to see him because he also left Las Vegas last year and moved to Orange County, CA. to be near his girlfriend and for a new job opportunity. He and his girlfriend are arriving in Nassau the day after Kim and I arrive, and they will be spending the whole week before the wedding with us. It's gonna be a blast hanging out with them and having another couple to do activities with. It will also be nice that when Ben and I want to do some water sports, the girls can go to the spa or shopping together and we won't need to worry about them.

I was considering going to Lake Charles in a week and a half to play the last 3 events of the Louisiana State Poker Championship but I think I will have to cancel my room and pass on this trip. Kim and I have a lot to do before the wedding, and I also would like to make a quick trip to Thibodaux to see my parents. Kim is also in the middle of a possible job move to Mobile, Alabama. If this happens we will really be busy and poker will be the furthest thing from my mind for a while. I really hope she does get this job though because I think I would rather living in Mobile than Houston. Mobile is only 3.5 hours away from my parents rather than the 5.5 hour drive that I currently have. Another huge draw is that I will be a hop, skip, and a jump away from the Beau Rivage in Biloxi, which means that when I get tired of staring at the computer screen I can take a quick drive down the road and play some live poker (yeah, I can do that in Houston in underground rooms, but I'm not fond of the $40/hand rake!). Also, I would just be happy to be back on the Gulf Coast, as it was all I knew for the first 21 years fo my life before moving to Vegas. I guess only time will tell what will happen, but hopefully she'll find out more about the job by the end of next week.

Lastly, if you haven't checked out www.feltstars.com, you really should. Big things are happening there as well as with the Merge network in general. FeltStars is part of the ever growing Merge Network, which houses other skins such as CarbonPoker, VIP Poker, PokerNordica, etc. On April 15th, 3 big skins from the Cake Network (Sportsbook.com, Players Only.com, and Lock Poker) will be migrating away from Cake and joining the Merge network. What's this mean? Well, for starters it means that the Merge network should more than double it's current active player pool! This is huge news. Game selction will be much better. I anticipate there being 20+ .50/1 NL games, 10+ 1/2 NL games, and 5 or more 2/4 NL games, as well as a few 5/10 and maybe a 10/20 running on a regular basis. Also, with the addition of sportsbook.com, I think we will see a higher surge of gamblers on the site, as they will both be betting sports and playing poker through the same bankroll. We will also have some great promotions coming soon at FeltStars, including Sit n Go challenges, MTT challenges, and even cash game challenges. The SnG and MTT challenges will also feature free rolls where you have a chance at free money by beating all 4 Team FeltStars pros (Myself, Tyler Smith, Jason Lipscomb, and Ken "DrCheckRaise" Callis). Lastly, we will be introducing a bounty tournament, where each pro will have a bounty on their head, as well as progressive bounties if a player knocks out multiple pros during the course of the tournament. These are all reasons to be excited about playing at FeltStars, so come join us. Use bonus code Boot n Tee to sign up and receive 30% rakeback daily, and a 300% deposit bonus up to 3k! Also you'll be enrolled in a VIP program where you can use your points for cash back or tourney buy ins. Email me at bootnteepoker@yahoo.com with any comments questions about FeltStars.

Guess that's all for now. Hopefully April turns around and I can report a solid graph by the end of the month.

Til Next Time....

Monday, March 22, 2010

WCOIP wrap up and Week in Review





Well my first week back from Vegas is in the books. Unfortunately I was sick at the beginning of the week and never fully got grinding like I hoped, but I did manage to log a paltry 12k hands for the week. The cash games combined with my few small tournament cashes still led to a very profitable week, nearly half as much as I made in the month of February. And speaking of tournaments, as you may or may not be able to see in the above picture, I was able to win another WCOIP event, the Pot Limit Omaha Championship on FeltStars. For my efforts I won an insignificant amount of money, but more importantly a new Rolex Submariner watch. I'm pretty excited about the silly watch because it is a luxury item that I would not buy for myself. In fact, I am still wearing the $60 Pulsar by Seiko watch that I bought for myself on my 21st birthday (I'll be 29 in 2 months)! I also will be awarded a WCOIP gold bracelet for winning the PLO championship.


I also got heads up in the No Limit Championship going for my 3rd win out of the 6 events that I played in the WCOIP. I started heads up with a 100k to 32k chip advantage. After losing the first 5 hands I was still in the lead 72k to 60k when I was dealt KK and got all in vs my opponents JJ. I dodged a T-5-2 flop, but unfortunately he hit a J on the turn to cripple me down to 12k in chips. I lost the next hand. Aside from the small pay jump between first and second, I really wanted those Kings to hold up so that I would be the winner of both bracelet events in the WCOIP and be the only person in the world to own WCOIP bracelets. Yeah, I know, it's silly, but whatever. I guess I'll have to settle for a WCOIP bracelet on my right wrist, and a shiny new Rolex Submariner on my left. I know, tough life!! LOL.



I just played my first session for the week after doing household chores all day. Unfortunately my concentration level was abysmal as illustrated in this hand:


http://www.pokerhand.org/?5295195


Obviously I NEVER check the river back with the near nuts, but I literally think that I fell asleep or something. After this hand I realized that it probably was best to call it a day, get some rest, and get back to the grind tomorrow. I did start playing a little higher tonight. Instead of 4 tables of 1/2 NL Rush poker, I played 2 tables of 1/2 NL Rush poker and 2 tables of 2/4. Eventually, hopefully, I will phase out the Rush poker all together and play 9 to 12 tables of 2/4 NL. This is assuming that I stop checking the nuts behind on the river! :-P


Hopefully I will be able to grind a lot this week, with less emphasis on number of hands played and more emphasis on working up to playing more 2/4 and less 1/2. I feel confident enough to be moving up and am properly bankrolled, so I'm gonna cross my fingers, close my eyes, and enjoy the ride!


Til Next Time....