Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Same Old Story

So after my initial two 1st place finishes, I haven't been able to get a single win again. It's amazing how hard it's become for me to get a decent starting hand and catch anything on the flop. I've tried to survive by stealing pots here and there. And then I would always end up going out on the bubble when my pocket pair runs into bigger pockets or when someone catches their straight or flush. I just can't seem to win anymore.

But the good news is that I'm not as frustrated about it as I used to be. Maybe I'm just getting used to the idea that I can't win money in poker no matter what I try because in the end, I'm just plain unlucky.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Empire Poker's Scam?

Does a 100% deposit bonus up to $100 just sound too good to be true?

I received a similar e-mail for the same offer about a month ago. I was ecstatic. Free $100? I'll take that! I deposited before the offer the expired with the offer code, and I checked my account to see the $100 pending notice in my account's cashier. Yup, it was there. Awesome.

I then went on to play as many hands as I could to release the bonus as soon as possible. They said I had to play 10 times the bonus amount. Ok. 1,000 hands is a bit large for me, but over the course of a month, I'm sure I could easily pull that off. So I paced myself.

One week later, the $100 disappeared from the pending account.

What the...?

Did they already release the money even though I was well short of the requirement? No. My real money account had not received any new deposits. So I went to the website to check on my bonus account and saw the dreaded words: Bonus Elapsed.

What the f...?

I looked back at the bonus offer I received carefully and realized that Empire snuck in a little condition at the end. The ten times bonus amount had to be completed within 7 days.

Damn that fine print!

I felt robbed actually. Empire usually allows 30 days for a player to complete the required number of hands and release the bonus. Here, they gave me an offer that sounded so sweet but was unmanageable for a player such as I. There was no way that I could play 1,000 hands in one week.

Empire probably knew that most of its players would not be able to release the bonus on time. But they certainly received a ton of action during those days as players tried their best to do so. And when I found out that this was nothing but a scheme, a bait, for fish like me, I was enraged.

I sent off several e-mails demanding that I get enough time to play the required hands. This was totally unfair as it caught regular (non-full time) players like me off-guard. But each time I received an e-mail back saying that it was up to management to decide. So I fired back that I wanted to speak to management. But they never gave me a different e-mail address or phone number. I was willing to call and breathe fire across phone lines at them.

About two weeks after this whole ordeal, I received an e-mail from Empire. I opened it to find that I was finally receiving a reply from "management." They said they would give me $10. End of discussion.

It was hard for me to accept $10 when the offer said I would receive $100. But I took it and realized just how shady some of these online poker sites can be. They expect the players to not cheat, but when it comes to business, they'll do everything they can to get your money.

A new offer arrived this morning from Empire. 100% bonus up to $100. The conditions this time? 15 times the required hands in 10 days. If you got the time to play 1,500 raked hands in ten days, you should definitely go for this deal. I suspect the pros will be very happy with this offer. Otherwise, realize that this is a trick to boost play. Just imagine the rake Empire will get for every player trying to release their bonuses. And the money they'll save when non-fine-print-reading players like me get duped into it. Just be aware of those bonus offers, players. For me, it just turned out to be too good to be true.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Just a Fad?

Is America getting tired of poker?

http://msn.foxsports.com/other/story/3686392?GT1=6555

What the hell is this guy smoking? Whatever it is, pass it thi...ah, nevermind.

...

My brother, who's 4 years younger than I, has more credit and gets approved for more cards than I have. WTF?! One of the card designs I saw had the Chinese characters "good fortune" on them. I wish I had that one. But my brother opted for the beach design. Lucky bastard.

...


In an effort to stop the bleeding (or at least slow it down), I've gone back to one table sit-and-go tournaments. And I'm happy to report that I think my luck is finally changing. I've played in two today and was able to finish in first place both times. Yay! Finally. A much needed victory.

Unlike the Spurs who just seem to be choking. Reminds me of the classic Portland/Los Angeles series where the Trailblazers imploded and the Lakers stole that series from them. I seriously expected the Spurs to sweep. With the talent they have, and the way they were playing, they should've man-handled the Pistons like in the first two games. But alas, I see hope fading quickly for Tim Duncan's third trophy this year. It's a pity, really.

Anyway, back to poker. I remember that these one table sit-and-go were what got me excited at the prospect of me actually making money off of poker. I was cashing in about 2 out of every 3 of these I played in. And then, a freakishishly long streak of bad luck forced me to lose hope in these type of games. And I turned to the ring games to make my money.

But now that my luck on the ring games are just horrible, I've reverted back to the single table tourneys in search of hope. And so far it's looking ok. Funny how things come full circle. And I'm sure once my luck changes again, I'll be back at the ring games and back and forth and so on.

It's amazing how terrible some of these players are. Of the final three players left in a single table tourney, one of them is guaranteed to have reached there on pure luck. It's just a matter of patience when it comes to picking off these players heads-up for an easy first place win.

Harrington's second book arrived, and I'm shocked that it's even longer than the first. Jeebus. I thumbed through it, and it looks like good stuff but mostly filled with sample or "practice" hands with his analyses of them.

I'm tired...and bored...and losing my mind. Coherent words no longer can put together. Me go.

"Good Fortune"

Saturday, June 18, 2005

So What's New?

Nothing much to report. I signed up for rakeback and proceeded to lose a ton of money on Empire. It's been a frustrating few weeks where I just can't catch anything. It's driven me to the point of wondering about all those computer simulations. How accurate are they really?

Just praying my luck turns around soon.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Blah

So I found another blog with the name Poker Wars. So I've given up in trying to choose a witty name for this blog.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Full vs. Short-handed

For the past several days, my poker theme has been something like this: lose a ton of money early and then scramble to try and get back even; then lose another ton of money and try and scramble to get back even; repeat over and over and...you get the idea.

As soon as I build up a nice bankroll, I lose it all. It all starts with some horrible bad beats, then cold cards, and then terrible play on my part.

But for some reason, during the past few weeks, the 3/6 games have just been unbeatable for me. I've been very careful in my table selection, and I've been playing tighter than I would at a no limit table. But no matter what I do, I just end up losing my buy-in over and over again to some horrible suck outs. My pocket rockets (which I've raised/reraised with preflop four times) always end up getting drawn out on. It doesn't matter what my hand is, it just can't win.

Well, you might think that it's because people are just calling me because they have better pot odds in limit hold'em. Not true. Even when I've destroyed the pot odds for people chasing open-ended straight draws or with a four-flush, they still call! Even if they're only getting 3 to 1 on their money for an inside-straight draw, they will call and hit it on the river! And of course, whenever I'm chasing, I never hit my draw.

I know I sound like a whiner. But I just can't figure these terrible limit hold'em players out. I'm gonna have to get over 450 times the big bet to ever sit properly at a limit hold'em table again. I just keep losing buy-in after buy-in at these fish-rich tables.

On the other hand, the short-handed no limit tables are where I've been making my money. Sure, I've suffered some terrible suckouts there, but it's a little easier for me there. I can just read the table better. Never would I be able to lay down pocket queens preflop in a full limit game like I do at a short-handed no limit game. I mean, they make it that obvious.

Anyway, enough ranting. Good luck at the tables.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

New Record?

So after three-tabling short-handed no limit $200, I finally won my first hand of the session after 45 minutes of play. During that stretch of drought, the best hand I had was AKs once but I was forced to fold when the flop brought all low cards and the loose players were betting like crazy. And that was the best hand by far. I hadn't even seen a QTo or something higher.

I finally won when I simultaneously got TT on one table and another AKs on another table. My TT won when I bet out on the flop and turn with a J on the turn and my only other opponent folded. And I hit my K on the turn and my opponent folded when I raised him.

So all in all a net profit of -$50 after folding blind after blind with the shittiest hands in the world.

But I'm still trying to grind it out.

Good luck to all those out in Vegas for the bloggerfest. I wish I was in Vegas right now.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

By the Skin of Their Teeth

I remember seeing that play when I was like 12 years old. One of the best plays I've ever seen.

I recorded the single biggest losing day ever in my entire poker career today. And I'm hanging on by the skin of my teeth. When I'm running bad, I run real bad. I haven't been able to hit a single damn thing. Not on the flop, not on the turn, and certainly not on the river. Instead, I've brilliantly lost money chasing hand after hand and desperation has helped me to bluff big at the wrong pots at the wrong times. And of course, they're always holding the nuts. Feels like they're squeezing my balls real tight.

This sucks.