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playing poker and teaching science: October 2005

playing poker and teaching science

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Location: Indiana, United States

I'm a middle school science teacher, wrestling coach, poker player, scuba diver, aikido black belt, amateur writer, and student of life. I also try to give back a little by volunteering for a month or so each summer at a children's home in Belmopan, Belize, Central America.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Painful truth update:

2005 on line totals:

April 30, -- $179
May 30, -- $375
June 30 -- $610
July 30 -- $1197
August 30 -- $1227
September 30-- $1337
October 30 -- $1514

This month's total post is a little early but fall break is upon us and I'll be traveling to Palm Springs California for a few days and will not likely have a chance to play before then. I cfontinue to grind out a little extra money each month and rewarded myself with a new mp3 player.

I hope to play some brick and mortar poker in California and will post the results.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Trumpin’ along

I had a chance to play at the Trump east of Chicago after training some teachers last Friday and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Shelly from Hella Hold’em joined me for a couple of hours (okay, four) of $3/$6 and came out exactly ONE big bet ahead. That’s a 25% big bet per hour profit.

That’s better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, but not really incentive to turn pro just yet.

I had the first-hand-played luck again as I was dealt KQs in the big blind in a kill pot and was called down all the way betting top pair, reasonably good kicker to go up $40 from the onset. Later my QQ went down but JJ held up. Go figure.

Shelly had an odd occurrence however. She called a $12 bet in a kill pot by tossing out a $25 green chip (damn those look cool in your stack in a $3/$6 game!) and the dealer tossed over a white chip and slid a $12 bet toward her but then pulled it back in the pot. She ended up chopping the pot and then the dealer told her she had already given her change.

The guy she split the pot with let her have her change because he wasn’t interested in waiting for another resolution, but I am absolutely POSITIVE she didn’t get change even though one of the regulars said she did. Shelly was directly between me and the dealer so there was no way I would have missed her getting change because I was wondering when the dealer was going to make change.

I was in a couple pots with Shelly but I don’t recall us ever going heads up. I think once you read a person’s blog for a while you get a feel for how he/her plays. When I have the best of it I bet and rake in the money from the chasers. The only time I slow played a pot was K10 when I flopped trips and turned a full house. By checking to the river I picked up one bet I wouldn’t have earlier, but the bettor folded to my raise.

I have to ask others about this: I sometimes show huge hands. I think it gives me the chance to bluff later on. Are others astute enough to pick up the info I allow them to have and fold later? I don’t know.

Another area to research……cool!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The secret of success

I study aikido, a Japanese martial art. Aikido is widely regarded as one of the most difficult martial arts to learn as it integrates a series of locks and throws which require very precise body mechanics to execute correctly. The style of aikido I study, Yoshinkan, is often referred to as the most difficult of the aikido styles to learn.

I often take the road less traveled. There’s nothing new to learn there.

While attending a black belt promotion recently I heard a tidbit of information that struck me as universally good advice. The words of wisdom came from a conversation one of the black belt candidates had with a man who is generally thought of as an aikido master. He said that there were only two things you had to do to advance in knowledge:

Don’t quit, and don’t die.

That’s the secret to getting better at whatever you choose to do.

Don’t quit, and don’t die.

I’ve been studying the art for 10 years next month, acquired my black belt four years ago, and I know how far away from mastering the art I am, but I thought this was an interesting way to look at the road to proficiency in just about anything.

Don’t quit, and don’t die.

I think it also applies to poker. If you keep playing you will eventually learn how to win. You may go broke a time or two…..or three……or four, but if you continue to play and are dedicated to learning the game, you’ll get better, that is as long as you’re not a complete idiot, and there are some people like that out there. My dad used to say that just because you are old doesn’t mean you are wise. There are old idiots out there. But in general….

Don’t quit, and don’t die.

Naturally however it stands to reason that if you do happen to do one or the other it will be easier to come back from quitting than the alternative.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Playing well and taking names

I sat at a home, one-table tourney last Thursday night and had a great time! I don’t get to play enough live and even though the buy-in was only $10, to walk out a winner was a lot of fun.

Interestingly, there were absolutely no memorable hands with the exception being when I was dealt AK suited in the big blind, called a 3x the big blind bet and then moved all-in after a raggedy, 10-high flop. I found out later that my opponent, a solid player, was holding 88, giving me only 6 outs or a 24 percent chance of catching an overcard. He folded. I told him I flopped a set…

The question comes to mind then: How often will you win a one-table tourney with no memorable hands? You play good cards in good position and win the ones you should win and fold the hands where you know you’re beaten.

I think this happens a lot. AA, KK, and (usually) QQ will hold up in a good game and will only go down in flames the standard number of times.

You steal a few times, but only with good drawing hands and the all-in hand you get heads up gets called as they all finally do.

You win. Nothing to remember, except the fact that you played well.

I can live with that.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

A tale of two tables.

They were the best of hands, they were the worst of hands.

I’m still grinding out some extra cash and increasing my bankroll two-tabling $2/$4 at Party Poker, but I keep finding myself getting drawn into the trap of thinking that I should play marginal hands that look good, regardless of pot odds. The odd thing is however, I only seem to do it one table at a time.

For example, I ended a one-hour session yesterday morning up $60 on one table, and down $53 on the other table.

Table one: Nothing interesting. My best hand was AJ unsuited. The flop is JJ10, I catch an ace on the river to fill up and win a nice pot, in position with a hand I should be playing, and in looking at the hand history found I was ahead all the way. I’m bet every street, and was called down. It’s played like a typical Party table. My KK held up, AQs won a queen high flop…..nothing spectacular, just good cards winning as they should over time.

Table two: Also nothing interesting except when I miss the 44 10 flop with pocket nines and it’s bet in front of me I RAISE and call it down to lose to pocket Queens. I also got involved in a raised pot with a weak suited Ace, flopped two pair and lost to a straight which I also called down even though I knew I was beaten. There are other examples but they are too embarrassing to mention.

I’ve found I have a tendency to steam on my losing table and tighten up at my winning table. A major leak that I must plug.

To my credit, I thought about my problem and vowed to work on it and turned out a nice winning session later in the day, and then followed it up with another the next morning.

Good job me!

Woo Hoo! Royal Flush!

This is only the second time I've had one, I only used one hole card, it was in a SNG so I didn't actually win money on the hand, and the caller was drawing dead on the turn.....but it's still very cool!

Hand #8731227-5 at SnG-0010d (No Limit Hold'em Sit and Go)
Powered by UltimateBet
Started at 01/Oct/05 19:37:24

papa_47 is at seat 0 with 1480.
medi8r is at seat 1 with 1840.
meeka1234 is at seat 2 with 1500.
djee is at seat 3 with 700.
dartman8 is at seat 4 with 1370.
KrossMan is at seat 5 with 1445.
SteelerBob is at seat 6 with 1450.
Hartman63 is at seat 7 with 2615.
dewolfwoman is at seat 8 with 1140.
**mrreed is at seat 9 with 1460.
The button is at seat 8.

mrreed posts the small blind of 10.
papa_47 posts the big blind of 20.

papa_47: -- --
medi8r: -- --
meeka1234: -- --
djee: -- --
dartman8: -- --
KrossMan: -- --
SteelerBob: -- --
Hartman63: -- --
dewolfwoman: -- --
mrreed: As Jh

Pre-flop:

medi8r folds. meeka1234 folds. djee calls.
dartman8 folds. KrossMan folds. SteelerBob folds.
Hartman63 calls. dewolfwoman folds. mrreed calls.
papa_47 checks.

Flop (board: Qs Js 3s):

mrreed checks. papa_47 checks. djee bets 20.
Hartman63 folds. mrreed calls. papa_47 folds.

Turn (board: Qs Js 3s Ks):

mrreed checks. djee bets 50. mrreed calls.

River (board: Qs Js 3s Ks Ts):

mrreed bets 90. djee calls.



Showdown:

mrreed shows As Jh.
mrreed has As Qs Js Ks Ts: royal flush.
djee mucks cards.
(djee has Th Ac.)


Hand #8731227-5 Summary:

No rake is taken for this hand.
mrreed wins 400 with royal flush.

Woo Hoo!



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