Thursday, August 24, 2006

A break from Bodog

Having gone through a bad downswing which never seemed to want to end I decided to have abreak from Bodog and see if my luck improves elsewhere.
I still have funds in Ladbrokes (these had dropped to around $260) so decided to go play some sngs on here for a change in scenery. I actually prefer the structure here, the blinds are a bit quicker but they start you with 1500 chips(bodog is 1000, each game takes over an hour to finish). The downside to the sngs on ladbrokes is the $1 fee for the $5 games..but then again the play is pretty poor (as with bodog!). However at Ladbrokes I have had some success at SNGs.

This week was my first week back to Ladbrokes. Ive only 5 SNGs at LAdbrokes this week, plus a few at Bodog. Ive played about 4 Bodog tourneys all of which I have lost, and each to a bad beat. At Ladbrokes Ive won1 and placed second in 3, the 5th SNG I came 4th- and this was only because I accidentally opened two SNGs at the same time, and I ended up heads up in one and playing the bubble in the other. I won heads up and went out in 4th in the other one, though I am confident I could have cashed in this if I gave it full attention - Multitabling is not for me, I cant deal with lots of screens flashing at me to make multiple decisions at once lol. I nearly accidentally folded QQs preflop yesterday first in!

Now..I havent exactly had amazing cards at Ladbrokes, or hit a number of flops etc. I dont think ive had any sets, just an average amount of overcards/pocket pairs. Ive just had less bad beats, and ive also managed to steal a lot more, pulling off some bluffs in the right spots - I think my postflop game has improved recently due to thinking a lot more about my decisions and paying attention to betting patterns.
Here is a key hand which won me $500. I had nothing when I bet, but I felt I had a read on the guy. Unfortunately Cybrarians hand convertor isnt working at the moment so its just boring ol text at the moment, but you get the picture. Ill try update it when the hand convertor is fixed:

splors2 sitting in seat 1 with $2050.00
- AliMacG sitting in seat 3 with $1690.00
- TSO1 sitting in seat 5 with $3345.00
- trejster sitting in seat 7 with $3030.00
- Gustavsvik sitting in seat 8 with $1805.00 [Dealer]
- Happiz sitting in seat 10 with $2930.00

Happiz posted the small blind - $50.00
splors2 posted the big blind - $100.00

** Dealing card to trejster: 7 of Clubs, 8 of Clubs

Here you can see im on the button, the blinds are significant so I quite fancy a steal here :) My image is pretty tight so far

AliMacG folded
TSO1 folded
trejster raised - $300.00
Gustavsvik folded
Happiz folded
splors2 called - $300.00

** Dealing the flop: King of Hearts, 3 of Clubs, 3 of Spades
splors2 checked
trejster checked

I would usually stick a continuation bet here but decided to check and keep the pot small, and see what the bb does. bear in mind I did this earlier in the game with a set

** Dealing the turn: 9 of Spades
splors2 bet - $200.00
trejster raised - $500.00
splors2 folded
trejster mucks:
trejster wins $1350.00 from the main pot

The small $200 bet simply looked like probe bet to me, he wasnt sure about my check on the flop so wanted to see where he stands. I cant see him calling with a 9 from the BB so I doubt the 9 has helped him. If he had a king he most likely would have bet the flop, any other big pair I reckon wouldve reraised preflop.
I had a strong feeling that a reraise could take the pot here, I sensed weakness and luckily for me it worked out.

I had a few hands like this throughout the game where my reads paid off, I do feel like my game has stepped up a level. Now Im dying to reach the $600 so I can up the limits, im confident the skill level cant be too much of a jump...

Anyways im gonna keep track of my bankroll ups and downs at the end of each post:

Bodog Funds: $230(inc $100 bonus funds) Points: 220 (another 80 needed)
Ladbrokes Funds: $302.89

Good luck all!

Ps Apologies for the essay, once I start I cant stop!!! If anyone has any similair blogs please add a comment with your blog name, I love reading these things :)

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Cant get out!

Ok I now it sounds a bit dramatic but does anyone ever get the feeling they are trapped by a poker site due to being stuck on a bonus chase? Or am I just losing it lol!

I get this feeling with Bodog, im gonna be honest I hate the site. I signed up for a 100% up to $100 sign up bonus a few months ago. It is an instant upfront bonus but you cant withdraw until 300 points have been reached.
Sounds lucrative right? Well yeah I guess it does. Its not easy to clear though, ive played there for the last 2 months or so and am only halfway through it. For a low limit player like me its not too easy. Basically you get1 point for every $1 in rake for cash games, and 3 points for every $1 in tournament fees.
Ive worked out that it clears quicker (not a lot quicker) for me by playing SNGs. So at the moment ive got 210 points, I deposited $100. Inc the bonus I have $234 in my account, I need to play about 60 more SNGs to clear the bonus.
I know this doesnt sound a lot, but I just hate playing at this site and am just dying to cash out and play elsewhere. I have my reasons:

The software is terrible! I cannot sign in the regular way, I have to click on account preferences then my account to sign in(as advised by cust service)! But I cannot access any of my hand histories, I cannot access my profile/image etc or many of the other options on the site, I get asked to log in again and again!! AAAAAAAHHH
Ive been onto customer service for months who have told me it only affects a handful of people therefore its not a priority for them to fix it.
This is a major issue for me as I cant post my hand histories for review onhere and ITH - I have some classic hands to post but cant access them :(

Now this site is completely crammed with fish, now I know what your thinking this is a good thing right. Well sometimes..but at the moment its not a good thing. Yep im going through a downswing(Youd never guess would you!), out of the last 15 SNGs ive played ive only cashed in about 3. Now I dont think im a bad player, I play tight in the early stages and step up the aggression in the later levels, it has worked for me in the past.
But lately I cant do anything right, donks are calling my raises left right and centre - any ace is a monster, obvously! ......
Today I busted out in 8th with kk, donk calls raise from CO with A8(this particular donk drew out on my straight earlier by catching a flush on the river) along with the sb(im in the bb).
Flop Qs6s2h. I decide to bet the pot, noones gonna draw out on me. Donk calls...
8h on the turn - looks like a safe card to me, I bet about 1/3 pot..donk calls again??
River is 8 of course :( , I only have about 300chips(started with 1000) - donk calls :(

This is happening constantly at the moment, how I havent thrown my laptop out the window I dont know!
Anyway as you can tell my quest aint going swimmingly at the moment. As soon as I clear this bonus im g0nna withdraw and look elsewhere, Im considering purchasing SNGPT too.
I have $250 in my ladbrokes account which I will also withdraw the majority of and try find a big bonus chase somewhere.
Meanwhile im thinking of depositing a small amount onto pokerstars just to give it a whirl, ive heard good things about this place, I think i have about $50 sitting in my neteller account - may be a nice break from bodog!

Please excuse my ranting im not always like this, heres hoping my next post will be a bit more positive! Oh I have a full contact kickboxing fight in a few weeks, that should help me let off abit of steam ;)

PS It was nice to see my first comment on my first post. Cheers Llanlad, another fellow welshman!

Monday, August 14, 2006

A bit about me and my Quest

Hi im Gareth or Trej as most people know me by, im 25 and live in Cardiff Wales.
This blog is to track any progress I make on my new quest :)

First a bit of background about me, im a software developer by day and kickboxer/poker player by night lol! I train at the dojo about 4 times a week but I always manage to find time for poker...somehow!
I started playing poker back in October when i found a link to a free $10 for Royal Vegas. I couldnt turn down free money ;)
So I took my $10 and planned to turn it into $100. Lol, I lost that within days. But im not a quitter..I deposited $50 into party poker for the free $25, within days I was up over $100 but yep you guessed it I lost it all the next week!

Now heres where I used my common sense, and decided to do some research on texas holdem before depositing any more. I logged onto and found a very useful article on bankroll strategy. This taught me to stick at the microlimits!

Next I logged onto ITH - This site was a godsend!!!! There are some very good players on this site offering some very sound advice. With the help from ITH and their free gift offer I deposited at doyles room for2 free books - Harrington on Holdem and Harrington on Holdem 2. These are the most useful books ive read, ive come to learnfrom reading these books how to play SNGs and MTTs and soon realised that im a tournament player - cash games are not for me!

Anyways to cut a long story short I built a bankroll on Doyles up to around $100 then withdrew and deposited at Ladbrokes for a $250 bonus for depositing and referring a friend. Ive also had free money from partypoker added to my account which ive managed to increase.
Having reached $300 I deposited $100 at bodog for the 100% bonus. This is the stage at which im at at the moment - Im about halfway through the bonus andintend to clear it solely playing SNGs. Once this is cleared I should be up to around $500..still along way to go :(

Me and my girlfriend have always wanted to go to Australia however we do not have the funds at the moment. So ive masterminded a plan!!
Ive worked out ill probably need around $3000 by Christmas 2007 (We want to spend Christmas 2007 in Australia!).

Having had some success so far(have only been playing since october 2005) ive decided to try and build up enough of a bankroll to fund my trip to Australia!

Now I realise most people make this kind of money quite quickly playing poker but for a low limit player with a small bankroll, its not so easy!

I have a bankroll of exactly$420 at the moment. This is split between Ladbrokes and Bodog Poker.

Once ive cleared this I plan to move on and chase some more bonuses. At the moment im playing $5 SNG's however once I reach $600 I will most likely move up to $10 tourneys.. WISH ME LUCK! I will update this blog weekly :)