Friday, June 30, 2006

Poker :: another donkey night at PStars

After "the big letdown" (see previous poker post) , I decided to focus on tournaments, and do cashrings as a side activity only. So tonight I played another 4 tournaments ( 2 x $4.4 180man S&Gs, regular $2.2 and $3.3+R ) for a single hillarious cashout of $3.84 in $2.2, where I did finish 50ish out of 800 field. The S&Gs both started pretty well, but both finished with some totally unnecessary ego confrontation all-ins. Im quite happy with my play though, except those last pushes for coinflip when being ~5 places off the money. I know that my goal is the top3, but with current state of my bankroll (nonexistant:) I should take care to rake in a bit more 'easy money' i think.
The $3.3+R tourney was really fun and painfull at the same time because 80% of the tournament i was among bottom 20% in chips, yet still was constantly drifting through the field towards the money. I got busted with KQs (hearts - i never fold marriage;) vs 77 and finished in 234/1100 place with 198 paid.
That being said, balance for the night is something -$20, gg bubble.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Sports :: Quick Jukola recap

  • Friday 4pm. Excusing from work, getting onto our minivan and departing from Vilnius. Equiping 4 beers.
  • 9pm. We're lost in Latveria, driving down (with sun on our right), when Finland should be on the top (down / top - relative to the map:) Out of beer long long time ago.
  • 11pm. We cross Estonian border.
  • Saturday 1am. We reach our overnight point at some random Estonian village. Someone from our team knows the host.

  • Liettauen Lerpat posing to the Helsinki's paparazzi

  • 3am. Finishing eating cakes & tea the host baked for us. Going to sleep.
  • 5am. Getting up and departing for Tallin.
  • 8.10am. Missing our ferry to Helsinki by about 1minute.
  • 10am. We got on the next ferry. Met a very chatty lady with pink samsonite.
  • 3pm. Reaching the competition area. +30C, just missing women relay start.

  • Ladies had to take it hot ( +32C :)

  • 7pm. Watching women relay finish and prizegiving ceremony. I was totaly surprised that so many top level women orienteers are so good looking:)
  • 11pm. Men competition start.
  • Sunday 1am. Going to sleep before my leg.
  • 1am-5am. Cant sleep with ppl rushing around.

  • Train of lights and the first exchange

    Ahmm... yes, first exchange

  • 5am. Getting up and getting ready to race.

  • Its me woken up at 5am to get ready to race :)

  • 6am-7.20am. I'm on the course !!! :)
  • Finnish terrain - rocks'n'cliffs'n'hills'n'swamps
  • 11am. Our team finishes.
  • 3pm-4pm. Strolling around Helsinki, too tired to notice anything good.
  • Monday 12am. Crossing Lithuanian border.
  • 12.10am. Police stops us for driving too fast (100km/h with 50km/h allowed). Driver told them some bs and they let us go. Phew.
  • 4am. Back home.
  • 10am. Back at work. 2 hours late only :)

Sports :: Jukola relays

Well, since I dont have much what to write about, and not wanting to appear as a low-stakes-lots-of-hours hopeless poker player a.k.a. moron, here's another column, called "Sports", in which I'm gonna ramble about... sports ( bingo! :)
Most of it will be orienteering related, since this is the latest sport that I felt in "true love" with, and I can argue all night long that it is the best sport for your body and mind:) I was doing orienteering quite seriously (300-400km / month in training) for the past three years, except the last year, which I didnt do any sports at all. Now i'm planning a come back and this blog will be something to keep myself motivated maybe.
Before orienteering I was doing light athletics and was so-so in short distances (800m in 2:08) and high jump (175cm, at that time it was well above my eye level), and before that I was doing chess for 4years, and swimming for 2months when I was kid, but since I was semidrowning all the time I only developed swimming-pool-phobia :)

But back to orienteering. Recently I went to Jukola relays in Finland. This is the arguably biggest relay event in the world, this year 1300+ men and 900+ women teams lined up at the start, so in total there was 15k+ competitors (7 ppl in men team, and 4ppl in women team).
I didnt take part in any selection races, so I didnt make it to "best" pure-lithuanian team, that called themselves "Liettuan Lerpat" (in Finnish word 'lerpat' means "man after errection" or smth like that). Our team comprised only from amateurs, who just wanted to take part in Jukola, or to get away from home for a weekend. Most of us werent any good at orienteering, some (including me) never had ran in a finnish terrain ever before. But there's always a first time as they say.
The men competition started at 11pm, at dusk. 2nd leg and the beginning of the 3rd leg where during the dark, and after that the sun was set and one ran in daylight again. I ran the 5th leg (out of 7). Our team wasnt doing perfect (as expected), so it was already 6am in the morning when I started. I ran 1h 17min and pushed the team from 392th to the 363th. It wasnt perfect race though, not only that I wasnt fast (one cant be without any training), but I also did one bad mistake of 7minutes or so, so /slap myself, cause I could have finished in top 350. When I was on the last part of the course, the pro teams (fighting for the top spots) were finishing the WHOLE race, so I saw quite a lot of world class pros running by past me (walking:), which was nice. It would be even nicer, if I had strenght to run like them, but you cant expect champagne out of the water tap. All in all our team finished in 418th place, losing ~4.5hours to the winning team (their time was 8h 18min). It aint too bad, cause we still managed to beat 2/3 of the field.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Poker :: how did it start

For those of you that don't know a lot about me, here's the quick version. I'm a 23 yr old IT project manager from Vilnius, Lithuania who also happens to spend a lot of time playing online poker. Yup, thats Rizen's opening sentence in his poker blog. My goal for the next six months is to improve my game at the same pace as Rizen did :) No figures, no numbers, I'll just know if I achieved it or not.
I started poker quite accidentally. I was on a bussiness trip last February. While in hotel my colleague used to play "Magic: the Gathering Online" all night long on his laptop. Watching that is exciting, but only for the first 15mins. Internet connection and my laptop was too crappy to play WorldOfWarcraft (my previous online activity:), so I switched to TV, and there was EPT Barcelona final table going on. After watching Boublie win the event and rake in 0.5m3 (cubic metres) of Euros, I went to PStars, and created the account. Playmoney limit holdem was my first "normal" poker game, and by the 4am I already knew that for some reason A-5 is a straight, and that *surprise surprise* full house beats flush! I even chipped up to 2000 starting with the initial 1000:)
By the beginning of May i had read about 6 poker books (including Sklansky's ToP, both Harrington's volumes), and had 350k in playmoney, so it was about time to invest $50 "to see how it goes". Slowly building bankroll and confidence, I moved up limits faster than my bankroll would allow. Primarily focusing on cashrings, I also made a few final tables in the 180man $4.4 S&G's. I have read somewhere, that the traditional poker player undergoes defined evolution:
  • Level1. Donkey poker.
  • Level2. Uber tight poker.
  • If doing well in lvl2, one starts feeling invincible and there goes
  • Level3. Beast poker. Overly aggressive and overplaying bad hands far too often, thus losing money at impressive hourly rates. Leads to permanent lvl1 or lvl4.
  • Level4. Good poker. Say hello to WSOP, EPT etc.

By mid June I did break trough to the infamous third level I guess. Having 25% of my bankroll in the play all the time, i moved up to $0.50/1.00 NL Holdem, and soonish after I won the biggest pot so far - my KK held up vs QQ and 45s flush draw in a three-way-all-in for a nice $273. With the poker future clear and bright, I closed all the tables and sat down to write part of my masters thesis (im both full-time employee, and full-time student at the moment:) After 3 days and two nights of nonstop writing to meet the deadline I was finally done, and felt like playing some poker for 1 hour before going to sleep. It was a very bad idea since after first two bad beats (my QQ cracked by 78s on a 7xx flop, river 8, and stuff like this) I went on a MEGA tilt blowing 80% of my bankroll in a matter of two hours, then some more the next day. So after the first two months of poker playing im exactly at the same point where I was after the first two weeks - with bankroll just over $150. But when going gets tough, the tough get going. Hopefully:)