Dial-A-Dealer - Home & Corporate Poker

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Im going insane. I have never ever gone this long on a such a sick losing streak. Its like someone has pressed a button on my account that says, you will be fucked by whatever method possible from now on. Im losing lots, so much now infact, that im getting worried about my ability to get out of it. Im in a 20 buyin downswing right now. With no end in sight. The key pots from tonight, Venereal, a reg tag player, flops a set on a board where im up and down str8 flushing with 2 overs and i lose. Nothing new there. I then play a hand 4 handed which kind of sums up how im running. I get min raised from the SB holding AcKc. I re-raise to 16, he calls. Flop comes 2 low clubs, connected, all low. 436 or something. He bets, i raise. Turn K. He bets 30, i make it 70. He calls. River 4. He goes all-in, i calls, his hand, A4. Standard. Same player, different table. He raises to 8 after a donk min raise. I have a stack of 170 and rr to 30 with AA from SB. Flop KJ9 and im swaying. Pot $75, my stack 140, i bet, he puts me ai, i call, he has Q10 for oh, just the nuts. Standard. Then proceed to tilt off another buyin to same player with JJ v AA in SB/BB battle. FOR FUCK SAKE. Oh, and then just as the monitor is about to get punched, QQ v AK all-in on the flop thats J high. Instant service never in doubt. Monitor in need of repair.

Sadly coming to the end of my tether with regard to poker. This losing streak has only been about 2 weeks long but has crushed me. I feel alien at the tables. Went to Luton on Sunday night and looked around and thought, hey ur all interesting people, but most of you are losers. Feeling downhearted, beaten and tearful. Im 24 and dont know if i want to spend the rest of my life worrying where the money is going to come for to pay for this or that, worrying about having a losing run or getting in debt. I feel like im losing the ability to think clearly and make the right decisions. Im pretty sure its not a healthy existence either. Its impacting on my personal life and not in a good way. I find myself more irritable and grumpy after a losing session, wheras im happier and easier going when im winning. Its pretty fuc king sad really. People think professional poker is all cristal and aruba, i must be missing something.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

OK iv calmed down now. This week has been dreadful. Utterly shocking. ITs like someone has pressed a switch on my account that renders the user helpless. Iv been through poker tracker and filtered all pots over $400 that iv lost this week. 6 set over set situations (5 where i had middle set). 2 instances of set over set where the other guy turned/rivered quads. One $1200 pot (AT 1/2 NL!!!!) Where i turned the nut str8, set him in and he hit quads on the riv. Friday night was equally horrendous, i lots 2 buyins, one with 33 v KQ on a KQ3 board, i then lose AA to KQ on a Q107 board. Im playing without confidence, playing less aggressively and being an utter nit to be honest. And its not working at all. Logged 1 winning day this week out of 5. Thats not good. The games seem sooooo nitty in the evenings, iv cut down on the tables im playing as there are so few good ones. I cant seem to get a bluff through no matter what, Martinelli calling a $60 river bet with 55d on a 978QJ all diamond board after i check raise him on the flop with 99 that doesnt materialise. I think its affecting my play so iv been going back to basics lately, really focusing on players weaknesses and cutting down continutaion bets as my image has been destroyed lately. I cant help but feel that im just trading rake at these stakes, there are so many nitty regulars that its like shitting glass sometimes.

Cmon, big Sat night please, need to get out of this hole.

EDIT.i just lost another big pot with AA v KK aipre and immediately after KKK on K4Q board to J10 all-in on flop. Im actually laughing now, i cant do it anymore. All this 80% skill, 20% luck stuff is utter bollox, buy a fucking lotto ticket, its the same thing.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Fuck poker. Thats all i want to say. Fuck poker.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Time to shine. Feeling very good about my game at the moment, in particular my hand reading skills are getting up there really high. Im much better at judging the big second/third barrel and also knowing when to quit. Its 3.30am on Tuesday 16th October= my day 1 for GUKPT. Id really like to run depp in this, having updated it twice i think the players tighten up far too much later on. Im going to really go for it this time, no ipod, no alcohol, no mistakes. Focusing early on taking chips off the weaker player and putting big moves on the better players. Higher level thinking is gonna be the order of the day. Ill be very comfortable in the early levels but will force myself to get super busy late in the day (lol if we get there edit). Im gonna be back raising more times than clamfish on Tribeca once we hit 300/600. Iv got a few %ages sorted out, 2.5 with Ripple from blonde, a guy with a fair bit of experience in big mtt's and a fairly solid style im told, which wil balance nicely with the 2.5 of Actionman Rick Trigg who can get hold of lots of chips and James Dempsey (3%) who has the ability to outpoker the uk's finest. Ill proly be having some of M3boy and maybe Lalit Khajuria if he asks, although tbh i think Lalit's getting the best of me, i havent seen him play very well for a long time now.

So im gonna go have a bath, go for a 5am run, back for a shower, nice brekky, haircut and then into town for the BlueSquare.com reception, where no doubt Barry Neville will have blagged his way in. This event is gonna be massive, i ask any all-powerful poker gods out there, 1 time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Fucked by flushes by the fucking french.

So i returned from Paris yesterday, somewhat lighter in terms of cash. Im not going to go into detail but suffice to say this was the worst iv run for a long long time and i genuinely felt sick when i came home @ 8am Tuesday morning from the circle club.

Started off by playing the final event of the holdem series, a 100E nlhe tournament where i never got going, passed AJ on a AQJ flop in a fast structured comp (ffs alex) and then made a hero call with second pair. I then raced 98s against an ep limper who had 107s. Marvellous. SO i obviously went to play cash. Started playing 2/4 for a bit before i could get a seat in the 5/5 game and won a little. Was then transferred to the 5/5 game and thought about sitting down with a large stack before reconsidering. The money on the table was astronomical. There were plenty of guys with 4k+ stacks. WTF? So i decided to just do an omaha trick and go for a short-stack hit and run. I raise pre with AsQ, see a flop of KsJs10 and bet big, only to see the 9s hit the turn and frenchie set me in. Im not sure if it was a poor call or not, but i made it praying he had just a Q and thinking i had a redraw anyhow. This was the start of a weekend from hell.

I went with Dan and Rob, both of whom were not drinking. Marvellous. So where i had planned to just go out partying and playing a few comps i was now gonna be bored shitless and "forced" to play cash. Not good. After doing my money countless times in live games where i cannot get a read on donkeys hole cards i said to myself i would stop. So after losing the pot and realising that i would not be able to compete with these guys with yellow 1k chips, id have to go down. I dropped to the other game, got flushed by a Lebanese American called Gary when he cr me ai on a A45 board with 2 hearts and i called with AK for 600E. Dealer obliges, i go for a coffee. The aviation club has to be the poorest effort for a showpiece capital card club in Europe...and i havent even seen the competition. It is quite simple a dive. I was expecting the lavish interiors of a quality parisian casino. Instead we got a cardroom akin to a smoky Gutshot with far ruder service.

A change of scene was in order. We returned the next day but after the ass at the door found an issue with my lack of collar (despite several other players the previous evening not possessing said article) me and Rob went walkabout leaving Dan to donate. We found the cirle club just round the corner which was a total change of scene. This was a different class of joint and i was happy to stump up the 200E for the turbo tournie they had lined up. A shot while later and i was in the zone with lots of chips. I didnt know it, but there were only 10 players left when this oriental who was super aggy moved all-in on the button for a gazillion chips after the cutoff opened. I look down @ 1010 and reason that this stinks of AK and cutoff prolly passed and Ace. I make the call and he has AK praise the lord and mateyboy is telling me what a gr8 pass he made with AK before the dealer cracks it open and flops an ace. He went on to win it, but then that pot was for about 1/3 of the chips in play. Bit miffed as to why i called but i felt invincible.

So onto cash where i was seated next to robert Apple. I know the fish will read this so ill say this once and once only, you played good kid. I stacked one chappie after raising with Ks Js to 20, him re-raising me to 50 and with stacks of 600 i was always gonna peel one off. I flop Q109 rainbow and he check and i bet. Happy day the donk has QQ i tell myself. Turn comes a 3, sweet. He check raises me all-in i beat him to the pot. No accidents and suddenly im sitting on just over a grand.

I then flop 234 with A5 and lose to 33 when the guy thought he was trapping me. L.O.L. I hate french players. I then run a few bluffs before getting caught in a hand with the nut flush draw and great pot odds against Rob and some donk. He makes it ridiculously cheap for me and i miss, but i take a hit.

We then move to another table where i swear the game was made up of 2 of the finest live players iv seen, and 2 of the worst. Worse than the Luton donators. Yes that bad. 1st hand really showed me how the game was gonna go. Limp, limp, limp, asain makes it 30, call, call, i find AhK and make it 100, call fold fold. Flop comes 236 with 2 hearts and he checks, i move in and he calls with QQ. I ask him what he thought i had. Aces or Kings. From the donkeys mouth himself. I reload another 400 and hit a few hands before stacking donkey no.1 from Estonia or somewhere. I find 78 and se a cheap flop of 562 with 2 diamonds. Yum Yum. I lead out and get 2 callers, well aware that im not going to be fucked again by flushes. Turn comes perfect. An offsuit 4. Now lets see which fish has a 3 i tell myself. I lead for 100, fish makes it "tapis" (all-in in french, literally translated as "carpet" as in, thats all i have left) for 200 ish and i obv insta. Its so nice when they are drawing dead isnt it. He has A3, i resist the ure to ask what "you'll be alright" is in French and look at my nice 1k stack, i might get out of this i tell myself.

I then play my first pot with donkey no.2. I was affectianately calling him le bluffeur as he was atit all the time and wanter to leave @ about 5am so encouraged him to stay, oh how id rue that later. I raise with AJ, he calls, flop comes J75r and i bet big, like 100, he calls, turn comes an Ace happy hunnaka (sp?) i bet again and he dwells before passing. He want to know the river though and makes the dealer show. A K is shown and he groans whilst talking to his drunk m8 who also saw his hand. He would have had a str8. So ur calling my raises on the flop with Q10 no pair no draw then sir? LOL.

I then get outplayed by one chappy who plays a set superslow on a vv dangerous board getting me to call a 200 river bet with A high lol. Its now about 7am and i have about 1200E, not a huge amout and it doesnt cover my losses from the previous days cash but ok ill go @ 8 i tell myself, get a cab str8 to the Moulin Rouge shop where i have to purchase a gift for Zan's sister and then go home.

Rob has quit a winner after playing strong and getting tired. Im starting to lag.

I then find QQ in middle position. I raise to 40 to play as the stacks are deep and ppl love to play. 20 generally gets 8/10 players to play and this is a 2/4 game ffs. Donkey, short-stack and headphones chap call. Flop comes down Qs5h2s. Yeeha. They check to me, i bet 80 into a 200 pot. A nice weak lead as im hoping bluffer will make a move. He flat calls and Shortstack moves in for 150ish. I thought it was a legitimate raise and after headphones guy calls too i want to win this 600E pot right no or at least make flush draws get some shite odds. Im told i cannot re-raise, he has 4E less than the minimum re-raise. Me and donkey call. Turn comes down a 9h. Yesssss. Now how do you like money fish? All-in, Tapis, the whole shabang, whatever you call it. Im all-in for 800 more you great hulk of garlic eating mule. He looks at me and thinks. At least thats what i though he was doing before he aggressively slams 700E into the pot, which is now about 2.5kE. The biggest cash pot i have contended in a while, surpassing a £1.2k pot i won in Luton about 18 months ago. The river brings the Jh. Why do i not like this card, why when this guy jumps up in the air and starts shouting do i want to knock him out sparco? This man turns his cards over and shows, wait for it, Kh2h. I dont know where to begin. I am left reeling. Infact i am so disturbed i actually left my usual calm self, got his cards, put them next to the flop and said "you fucking idiot". Im embarassed,i know i was wrong, but sometimes you just lose control. Mateyboy shortstack starts whining about having had 55 in the hole. FO kid, you had 200 involved and were always behind. I show QQ and the table is utterly stunned. I apologise, say "Bravo" or some other multilingual expression that allows my to simultaneously be incredibly sarcastic and apologetic at the same time and go to the reception to ask for a cab. The day is bright and the cabby doesnt know where the hotel is. Fuck i hate Paris.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Yummy. Im really starting to like this money lark. Thought at the beginning of tonights session that i might be starting to run bad. I was outplayed with AA v JJ on a J high flop when i was 100% sure i was winning. Then i got cooled properly with AK v AA on a AKK flop. How harsh is that? About the ugliest flop possible as i can lay down AK on AKX flops when the betting gets heavy from a v.good player who rraises me pre.

But then i got my clarity back, started playing super aggy and watching ppl everywhere try their best to trap me and failing abysmally. My fave is rr pre with 1010, seeing a flop of 732, i cbet, he calls and im like fuck i should shutdown, till the 10 turn where i set him in and he intacalls me with 22. Unlucky m8.

So this was a good week. I feel i should tell everyone that i am now solely trading for BlueSQ.com where i will be playing nearly all of my poker for the considerable future. Despite being offered a few other deals, this is by far and away the best deal for my requirements and it mutually beneficial, even if i do generate tonnes of rake for the buggers :)

Off to Paris on Sunday for a, wait for it, E100 freezeout with a couple of mates, just basically an excuse for a pissup which i feel i am due. I look like shit at the moment, having not been to the gym for ages, rarely seeing sunlight and eating v. unhealthily. I guess if i was single i would make and effort, but luckily i found a cracking lass when i was young and obviously beauty is in the eye of the beholded, coz im quite an ugly bugger lol.

On a side note, i have just spoken to a contact that can offer quite phenomenal rakeback on ipkoker, with great incentives. Let me know if any of you want the details, either by commenting on here or emailing me @ alexander_martin@hotmail.co.uk

cheerio, Alex.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Just read this post on 2+2 and it was so good i thought, ill have that. A bit like Jude Law when he spies a bit of totty that just too gd to refuse. Its by ipoker which is incidentally how i got there, i was looking for specific noted on hulios but i found this instead.

Okay, I’ve been smoking too much lately while thinking about my game and why I’m not making respectable amounts of money and I’ve come to realize something absolutely and utterly incredible about the way that I understand this game and my place in it to which I was blind and you probably are too.

One thing that I have noticed, or perhaps that I’m presumptuously inferring about the general social conception of “being good at poker” that permeates this forum (specifically MSNL) is that the idea of being good at poker is kind of a vague and general thing that does not manifest itself in particular situations, but is an arbitrary denotation that is applied to the totality of your game. For example, we can easily imagine a very good player who over a significant sample of 100k hands has a very small winrate of .5ptbb/100. This player looks like he’s losing a lot of the time and seems like he’s making incorrect decisions or getting unlucky, but we are very willing to acknowledge (and, in fact, the admission is kind of cathartic to us, the [censored] grinders who can’t move up) that he is a good player and that he’s just going through rough times and in the end he’ll win and luck will even out. The fact that he’s a good player is a kind of supervenient property upon his game that does not manifest itself in his winrate and that if you watched him play without knowing who he was, might not necessarily understand or appreciate. What is it to be good? There is definitely a difference between somebody who we can recognize as tough to play against, who we absolutely hate having on our table or on our left, who is actually very spewy and over the long term, through datamines or through the proclamations of players who we accept as better enough than us to take their word for it, we are told is not really that good. So we cannot necessarily equate being a very good player with being very tough to play with or very annoying, and we can also acknowledge that there are lots of people who play very well who are very tight and who don’t seem to splash around a whole lot, but are still capable of maintaining strong winrates and thus being considered good players.

Good players tend to look like us. They play in spots like us. We read their thought processes, and we can follow them quite clearly. They post in our threads and share our opinions a lot of the time. We feel like we are probably good players too. We just have a few leaks, they’re just “a little better.” We don’t wonder why, or how. We don’t look at our game and realize “this guy is doing something right that I am doing wrong. He is making more money than I am by doing things that I am not doing.” No, not at all. He’s just kind of better, I’m just kind of worse. That’s how it is. Maybe, over time, I’ll become better like him. Everyone moves up that way, slowly.

On a slightly unrelated note, it seems to be in this forum an inordinate respect for “style.” There is a certain distance past which we will refuse to analyze people. I can’t think of this point very clearly and I had more developed thoughts on it earlier that I can’t quite extricate, but I think there’s a huge and ugly misconception of “style” as something that’s artistic or aesthetic, something that makes you individual and special, and that that is worth something in as of itself. That is, for the most part, [censored] denial/repression of the fact that you are bad at poker and there are people who are much better than you who do different things than you do. I don’t know exactly what I mean, but, don’t try to justify yourself with style and don’t try to distance yourself from other people’s lines or thought processes or decisions with the excuse of “style.” If you are not beating 200/400, your “style” doesn’t mean [censored] [censored], because there is more money to be made which you are making no real attempt to acquire.

Your game is not just the behaviors and actions that you enact, but the thought processes behind them which contribute to the larger part of your game and what will define you in situations where you are up against other good, competent players who will be subtracting from your winrate. We solidify our thought processes into habits, which we continually re-enact in later spots without re-thinking our habits. A vast majority of these habits, for players who can beat mid-stakes, are going to be rock-solid at the lowest levels (i.e., at playing most basic hands correctly, at beating fish), but the higher levels of our habits will be different for better players than for worse players. For every poker player, there is some level at which their habits no longer can dictate the action, and they must rationalize a new decision that they have never made before. The thing that separates a great player from a mediocre player is that not only has the great player habitualized most of the decisions that a mediocre player has to rationalize (and to a high degree of precision, i.e., making the correct and theoretically sound decisions), but he is capable of re-rationalizing many of the spots which approximate habitualized spots; that is, where a more mediocre player might be inclined to treat different variations on the same theme exactly the same.

One of the hardest parts to moving up is that people pay a great amount of attention to very salient spots, such as huge river decisions and bluffs, and they do not take the time or effort to re-rationalize lower level situations that contribute significantly to their winrate. If you keep the fundamentals mostly the same of when you played 2/4 when you move up to 3/6 or 5/10, although it may appear as if you play not much differently than other people do in the large pots, you actually are sacrificing lots of EV in the smaller or medium sized pots because you are not re-rationalizing many of the decisions which you treated as routine at lower limits. The distinctions you have to make to be a great player are very fine and they are very numerous. I think that’s probably one of the big reasons why very good players tend to shoot up the stakes MUCH faster than most people – it generally does not happen that somebody shoots up the ranks from 5c/10c to 2/4 extremely fast and then can’t move up any higher. The reason for this, I think, is that such a person will be very used to treating poker strategy as a constantly dynamic organism, which he will formulate and reformulate in many degrees and aspects in whatever game he is playing, whereas somebody who plays the same stakes for a long time will simply be wasting his mental energy if he tries to think out every single routine spot he plays; the human brain doesn’t work that way and cannot work that way. These patterns become imprinted on your subconscious mind, such that to an extent when you are playing poker you could not tell someone who points at a decision and asks you “why are you doing this” – the thought process NEVER consciously entered your mind, you are merely recalling a pre-formulated response to the situation. Of course, any intelligent player will be able to re-rationalize the situation and explain after the action what the original thought process would have been, had you had actually thought it out. However, mistaking the ability to recall a thought process afterward with having actually thought out the action is a poignant fallacy, and something that will probably bite you in the ass in the long run if you don’t have the self-awareness to recognize it. That is not to say that the thought process has to verbal to be present, and also you need not rationalize many of the situations that you will be getting into (however, if you are NOT a top caliber player, a vast majority of the things you do will be suboptimal and so you WOULD gain a benefit out of re-rationalizing many of your small-medium level decisions).

One of the huge fallacies I think I was making before, which may be some form of denial, was treating the game of poker as a combat of competing pre-rationalized strategies. For a long time while I was grinding out 3/6, I did not make most of my decisions. What I mean by that is, it was very rare that I respected somebody enough to decide that I needed to re-rationalize my decisions for medium-large sized pots, and that I would be capable enough of winning just by completely relying on the intuitions that I had acquired after playing an enormous number of hands 12-tabling. I did not realize this at all, and would probably have denied it vehemently. And it was probably not true to the extent which I am attempting to portray it now. I was a winner, and that kept me complacent enough to know that I could beat everyone I was playing with, so it was probably good. But it never really occurred to me that a good player, if he moved down to 3/6, would be making 6-7 ptbb/100. 6 to 7! That’s enormous! I could never sustain that. What would he be doing differently than what I’m doing to increase his winrate so much? What fundamental mistakes am I making that he wouldn’t?? He would be playing so much better than me, making such better reads and decisions than I would! Why didn’t that occur to me?? Why didn’t it frighten me, inspire me, drive me? How could I simply rest, knowing how much I lacked that other people have? I think I probably treated a higher-level player, somebody who’d be able to make 6-7ptbb/100 at my stakes, as merely a set of pre-rationalized strategies that were more “optimal” than mine. He wouldn’t be thinking these things out, he’d just have already thought them out a long time ago and routinized them, and so he’d be chugging along with the same absentness of mind as I had.

[censored]. [censored] [censored] [censored] [censored] [censored]. Anyway, that’s all I can think of. This probably sounds like nonsense to a lot of you and maybe it is, I don’t know. Poker is [censored] crazy, and I’m really bad at it, and I want to get better.


if anybody actually thinks this is helpful, I will edit it later to make it more coherent

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Proper heater. Playing far better of late, simply because there seem to be so many more fish about and iv adjusted to their game. The old only playing on weekends went out the window lol. Iv tightened up immensely and went on a sick run with KK outdrawing AA 3 times lol. My AA never gets cracked and all of a sudden im a set-flopping monster. I had one absolute beauty, holding QQ i see a flop of 55Q, turn 4, river 4. I find the two unlucky bastards with A5 and 56. LOL. Ship ship.

Off to Paris on Sunday which should be real fun, missing the Sunday morning match unfortunately :( and we won last week 3-2 after going 1-0 down aswell.

Another really nice bit of news is that iv just secured the sporting rights on the neighbouring farm. So iv finally got a little bit of land that me and a few freinds can really start to improve. We are going to start thinning the woodland in the winter and will be planting 2 hedgerows in the spring, where they once were. No birds were put down this year but signs are encouraging. A lot of wild pheasants despite the ridiculously high number of dumped rspca foxes from london arriving on our doorstep every night. Its ridiculous, we try to keep a small healthy population of foxes on the farm and now we get blighted by disease ridden urban foxes being dumped by rspca vans in the middle of the night after catching a few nuisance renards in suburban london. The partridge situation is a bit worse, shockingly wet summer weather has dronwned a large % of the chicks, plus massive numbers of corvids have hammered the recovering native grey population. Breaks my heart to see a grey partridge chick being carried away by a crow. So now we have secured the rights we will be turning a little 400 acre section of hertfordshire into a wildlife haven. It should be a really nice balance to my poker and will get me back outside again. We have a coupld of ponds lined up too, sadly one is incredibly acidic owing to being at the bottom of a pine wood but im sure we can lime it for a couple of years and then start planting it up with a dirtload of lillies and other flora.

Finished another article for inside poker mag today, which was nice. Its on variance so was a bit more mathematical than my other contributions. Hope you enjoy reading it anyway, ill post it after it gets published.

Another bit of good news, how good was Camerons speech today. Exactly what we need, i really think this guy could be the ticket to a new style of politics. His talk on being green and also on people who reject a fair job offer being denied welfare really hit home. I know who ill be voting for.

Off to cinema now, gg guys.