Saturday, October 27, 2007

Poker :: Blogs going down

FU to national gambling authorities who banned Tamsusis blog. Its so silly since that blog was so "virgin" in comparison to other sites / blogs, yet it kinda was becoming small gathering place for LTU poker players. Now I wont have anything to read about while at work (we have pretty bad software which blocks the better side of internet - so no gaming / gambling / webmail /webcommunities / webstorage sites are accessible).
On poker side I got into pretty bad downswing, and got dangerously close to the mark where playing NL600 6 tables was not safe anymore. So I took my last two sessions easy, tight agressive, with no spewy moves or bluffs, and built my bankroll back to the mark "CASHOUTZONE" :) Haven't generated graph for October, but it should be pretty scary... Stopped playing PCA steps - mixing those with cash tables isn't good for the results. Its much better to build some roll on cash, and then take pure SnG session. Thats what I'm planning to do in November. So far I invested just $330 and ~4 hours with no results (the closest I got was only playing step 4, where I disconnected with 6 players left and 1.5k stack, and never got back :)
$8 live rebuy tonight to relax a little.
And USD currency trends suck - my poker bankroll is getting eaten by that horrible yankie economy performance:)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Poker :: OlympicFestival ME Step by step

It was 30 players - 3 tables 10 each. Much fewer that was expected. 10,000 starting chips.
First 5 levels duration 45min, from 6th level on duration only 30min.
1st level - 25/50
* opened pot by raising AQo from MP to 150, got 4 callers, flop brought nothing, so checkfolded.
* limped 44 utg, 5 players in the pot, no set on the flop, checkfolded.
* called raise from the button with AQo, lots of action on completely missed flop, folded.
* saw flop for free with 9To from BB, nothing materialized, folded.
* raised limper on my right with AsKh, two to the flop, flop QhJh6h, limper bet 500, called, checked down to the river, lost to JcTc.
In total played 5 pots, won none, down to 8,500 chips.
2nd level - 50/100
* raised the same limper on my right with AcKc. Flop K89 rainbow. Limper led for 500, called. Turn T. Limper check, I raised 1k, limper called. River 7. Checked down, limper showed ATo.
* checked couple of flops from SB/BB with offsuit connectors, nothing materialized.
Played very few hands, 9975 chips at the end of the level.
28 players left (5 paid places)
3rd level - 75/100
* limped 55 utg+1 after utg limper, 4 players to the flop A73, turn 3, river 2, checked down, utg limper showed 88.
* completed from SB with 78o after two limpers, BB raised, limpers folded I called, flop 528 two spades. I checkcalled flop bet, and checkfolded turn 3 of spades. Very bad and weak play by me.
Continuing to be card dead, no more hands played, 8800 at the end of the level.
4th level - 100/200
* raised same old limper with 68s, got one caller from later pos, limper folded. Flop A67 all spades, made cont bet, got reraised, and folded showing my hand. Reraiser showed pocket 6s.
Down to 7400 chips.
* JQo in the BB, 4 players to the pot, flop 9T5 two spades, checked down. Turn K. I checked hoping for a bet from other 3 players, no action. River a brick, I led out smallish, all folded. Small pot for me.
At the end of level down to 7k. 23 players left.
5th level - 150/300
* loose player raised to 1.2k LP opening the pot, I reshoved KQo my last 6.5k from the SB allin. BB took ages to fold, initial raiser also showed an ace and folded. Both BB and raiser told they had suited aces.
* called miniraise from the button with 8d9d (3 players in the pot), flop TsJd3d. Led out for 1.2k, no action.
* stole blinds raising AQo MP few hands before the break.
8.5k chips at the end of level, dinner break, 19 players left.
6th level - 200/400 (30min levels from now on)
* had AJo UTG, limp folded after raise and reraise.
* took down a pot with K9o from the BB seeing flop for free, 783, turn K, river J, I bet 400 and got one caller who mucked. Small pot for me.
No playable hands at all (but got 72o about 5 times, and 23o twice in the BB)
Down to two tables, ~8000 chips, average ~16k.
7th level - 300/600
* folded 6s4s in the BB for 3x raise (1/6th of the stack) and one caller. Flop 25Q one spade, turn 3s and some action... too bad :)
* next BB got 7c8c, completed same 3x raise by shortstack and one caller bigstack. So 3 to the flop, flop Tc2c5d. Instead of shoving all in, I decided just to go fishing for last club, and intended to checkraise. Initial raiser bet 2.1k (leaving himself with 4k), button called 2.1k, I shoved my last 6.5k. Initial raiser folded, button called 4k (to the 16k pot) with... Ah3h... So I had 15 outs twice - any club or any 7 or 8. Turn T, river 5, no clubs, and I'm out in 17th place. A little frustrating since that pot would put me above average, and I also had good table position (with that loose big stack player on my right, who busted soon enough though:)
Summary - I played couple of hands quite passive / bad donking quite a few chips (78o hand 3rd level and AJo UTG comes in mind), but on the other hand, it was one of the most card dead tourneys ever for me - had no pocket pair in range 88-AA, had AKs once, AKo once, and AQo twice, all of it in early levels. So had to struggle with what I have, and knowing the way I went out of the tourney, it was all good - lost key coinflip that would gave me good chance for fighting. Never got it going, and 100% of the tourney time was struggling with under 10k chips.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Poker :: OlympicFestival'07 Main Event

4hours till the beginning. Too bad I haven't got any smart phone with which I could post live updates. So I'll settle for the traditional pen&paper for taking down notes during the tourney, and will post them up here maybe tomorrow morning. Also, am wondering, what are my chances of making it to the day 2 ? :) Very slim most likely.
Had horrible cash session two days ago - down almost 3 buyins. It all started when my 64o lost vs AKs in SB vs BB confrontation with all the money going in on 346 two diamond flop. I knew he's a knit and I'm vs AA/KK/AKs. Too bad the knit got lucky. Then donked off 3 more buyins with AK... I told myself 100 times not to overplay it... But all the cases were in LP vs BB battle, so you cant put villain on AA / set straight away. And flopped two pair aint that bad, is it? :) Battled some back, but that was it. Will take it easy and play some NL4 for a while. Now I'm dead even for October.
Anyway, enough rant, hope beginners luck will follow me in this first big (600EUR) bad (~50 local pros) live tourney for me :)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Sports :: End of season 2007

Out of my sports masterplan I kinda fullfilled only the last important step - taking part in the Lithuanian Cup 2007, 2day event, which drew ~800 competitors from smth 5 countries this year. I started in men elite category, and before the start aimed for top25 (42 entrants). But in fact I felt very slow and exhausted already after first 20min of competition. Even the two sips of 40% "energy" drink before the start didn't help... (weather was freezing;) Took 28th (12.4km course) and 38th place (5.8km course) on day 1 and day 2 respectively. In the final standings (cummulative) I was 30th which aint too bad. Good party on Friday evening and tough sauna with jumping into freezing lake on Saturday evening didn't add much to the results either. Some photos coming soon :)
In the current national rankings for 2007 I'm in 40th place with the best improvement compared to the last year (+67 positions:) If I keep average training up whole winter, top25 for the next year would be a tought but still achieveable goal.
Returned home Sunday evening ~6pm, and went straight to bed. This blogger championship was a bit of a nonsense - got up and checked it at 9pm (1hour before the start) and it was 1000 players already registered. And there was only one really good prize - for the first ($12k package for the PCA). Other final table prizes were somewhat adequate, but anything less than top10 was plain dissapointing for the whole night without sleep. It is a good freeroll for average American, whose Sunday poker session goes from 3pm to midnight anyway, but for average European it was suicidical. So without hesitation I just gave up the idea of trying and took my chance to rest :) In the morning checked the results out of curiosity - and found out that the tourney finished at 6:15am - so it was 8h+ long marathon for those who final tabled...
Hopefully this week will be more poker oriented and I will manage to squeeze in couple of sessions during the week and also that big bad live tourney on the weekend. Also will try to get used to post some interesting hands from regular cash sessions in the comments.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Poker :: Beckoning Bahamas

PokerStars launched Step SnG satellites to the PCA tourney which is great news, since they are running all around the clock, whereas the "regular" satellites are scheduled for pretty retarded times... The only one worth playing from "regulars" is kinda $175 double shootout at 6:55 in the morning...
The PCA Step SnG sattelites are 6-step series, with final - 6th step - awarding 3 seats to the PCA (6th step is a $2100 buyin 18man SnG). Its a bit expensive so while doing my second cash session in October, I pulled only 3 cash tables up, and one SnG sat starting at Step3 ($82 buyin). Session went great - was more than 2 buyins up in cash, and also took down the Step3 SnG so now I have a ticket to the step 4 ($215) Three more lil steps... Hope I dont get excited and take one small step at the time :P Total investment to the PCA sats so far $123 :)
By the way, as Pokerstars launched these step satellites quite recently, there were no players signed up for 6th step. But there was some activity already in Step5, so in few weeks there should be (hopefully) a blowup in these SnGs :)

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Poker :: World blogger championship on PokerStars

Online Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

This Online Poker Tournament is a No Limit Texas Holdem event exclusive to Bloggers.

Registration code: 7998090

This message screwed all the sidebar, so I'm putting this on the top of all the posts.

On a side note, kinda already satelited to the 600EUR freezout on Olympic (that will take place two weeks from now) playing cash on PStars. Despite big beats AA vs AKo allin pre, set on flop vs naked flush draw for whole buyin allin flop and AK vs JJ on AJ5 flop for nearly half a buyin, still did manage to make enough profit to buy in directly for this :)

Now it all depends if I will be physically able to attend the venue and if my wummun doesn't object :)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Poker :: Short term roadmap

OK, with one milestone achieved - getting to the top of mid stakes cash games, now its time to reevaluate poker goals for the next couple of months. So, here's a quick rundown:
1. Keep GoldVIP on PokerStars playing exclusively cash.
2. Satelite to October 19-21 600EUR freezout in Reval Olympic (satelite via pokerstars cash games and not via local 30EUR rebuy tournaments;)
3. And main goal - satelite to PCA :) Satelite tourneys starting soon on PStars, might even get 1-2 weeks of holiday to rest from the job a little and be able to play the best sats around.
4. Take part in few more sicko $8R to try out different strategies.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Fun :: On perfect girls

If you got tired from an endless reading of poker forum posts, blogs, dull lessons, or maybe just want to emotianally recover from a bad beat in 5mins, here's one short story by H. Murakami.
Fits the current mood of full time rain and no online poker for 2 weeks :)

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Poker :: La turnamentus tres terriblus

Next lesson - how not to play in cheap live tournaments.

Venue: Reval Olympic
Event: Saturday night $8R

Ok specialty of this tournament is small field (4-5 tables), so unlimited rebuy strategy doesnt work automatically since prize pools are small. Next point is that there are usually two kinds of players - the ones who doesnt care about $8, "easy going" and playing just for fun, and the ones who don't even allow themselves to get the instarebuy at the beginning of the tourney, or the knit ones. There is also third kind - or, really, the one of the third kind - the unique Jesus Ferguson look-a-like type of guy who just splashes around ALL the time by moving in without looking down at the cards for 10 times in a row for example.
My starting table this time included all the good easygoing, couple of knits, MariusLT (who sat directly on my right), and that famous maniac. By the way, recently he played $20R sattelite for a $400 tourney, spent about $600 in rebuys and left before the end of the rebuy period... This is just to illustrate how he plays :)
So first hand, I'm utg+1, have 55, and my friend UTG raises to 120. Well, what a sucker - I know maniac will reraise (he never calls a raise - smoothlimp, or reraise are his only moves:) So I folded, maniac raised to 500, friend called. Flop 45J, friend check, maniac allin, friend call, showdown - A2 vs AT... So this is how its going the first 1.5hours :)
Few hands later got 79s, 6 players in the pot, flop QQ7. Eventually me and maniac were allin at the end of the hand and I lost vs his Q2o - cmon, what are the chances that noone out of 5 other players doesn't hold a queen?.. Pure horror.
Out of two real hands I had during rebuy was AA utg, and I limped - what the f***, maniac ALWAYS reraises a raise. So I had 5 callers again, and was lucky to get J73 rainbow flop, so safely took it down.
Lost quadrupled stack with JJ vs good players AQ vs maniacs blind push T5o after Q fell on the flop. All in all after rebuy period I had just the starting stack - double rebuy and addon :)
After rebuy period ended just was not very lucky - took blinds with LP raises, but when limped 45s after 3 other limpers on the button, BB woke up with smth and raised big. I folded (would need to invest 30% of the stack to see the flop) after BB got two callers, and flop came 236...
At blinds 200/400 and a 2400 stack repushed limper with A7s, got caller from the blinds and the initial limper, and was lucky to triple up on T7442 smth board.
Pulled out one nice kind of bluff when had 46s button+1, and BB was short. There was small EP raise that I didn't notice, so I just announced a raise to steal the blinds. And put in 2000 chips (blinds were 300/600). Then dealer said I cant raise that amount, since EP raise was 1400. So I was forced to miniraise him to 2800. Blinds folded and EP raiser threw his KQ away and left himself only 4k to play. Niiiice, my table image must be very tight/solid after those few first tournaments when I just hit set after set after fullhouse :)
Later doubled up repushing loose UTG raiser with TT, and got called by A8o. Had ~12k in chips at that point.
My friend did several extremely stoooopid things very good to learn from. For example, he got involved in big 3way pot, and on the river had the best hand with ATo on KTxxx board, but at the showdown showed only the ten, and pushed the ace face down over the line - so its a ruled fold. So instead of 15k he dropped to 5k stack. Later he busted with AA vs 77 allin pre when sevens catched a four flush :)
My ugliest mistakes came when we left two tables 6 players each. My table draw was very weak, with no one raising preflop. I had JJ in SB, and there was a raise and minireraise ahead of me. Clear fold, and good one, since they got it in QQ vs KK allin pre. Next hand there's only a limp, so I push the button not even looking into the cards (well, i looked, but it was J7o:) Everybody folded. At that point I sit on 13k stack with blinds 600/1200, avg stack ~18k (couple of huge chipleaders). Also, told my friends that when I will be in BB, im pushing any two if there are only limps in the pot. The BB came, had QTo, and got 3(!!!) limpers and SB completed. And I checked for some reason. What the hell, its 5k already in the pot - what hands those limpers would need to risk their stacks to call 12k more when invested just 1k so far? Terribe terrible check on my side - I suddenly thought QTo is good enough to see the flop, but cmon, its 5way... Flop came 67T rainbow, I led out for 2k with intention to shut down if get any resistance. Got one caller, everybody else folded. I checked his stack, and saw only 700 left, so pushed any turn (that was an ace). Suddenly he showed 3 1k chips behind his arm and called my allin with 89 for a flopped straight. So suddenly I sat on M less than 2 and busted few hands later.
Thats few small episodes how you do not play tournaments live :) Stick to the plan. Don't do stupid things. Don't splash. Trust your instincts. And with final table approaching, use that fold equity you have like there is no tomorrow:)
End of story.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sports :: LTU ultra long champs

Its been one week since I injured my ankle and am unable to train or compete, so I gladly joined my club in organizing Lithuanian orienteering championship in ultra long distance last weekend. Event took place in northern part of the country, the weather was extremely warm and sunny for this late in the year. I even got some tan by being whole day in the open air, what conceals the fact that I haven't had any holiday this year;) (working for big company and big projects big deadlines suck :S) Anyway, the event was really great and everything went smooth. Nearly 200 competitors took part. Some of them were disappointed with course planning but thats nothing we could do - we outsourced this task to other club (buggers;) and everything else was OK. Few photos from the event:

Early morning, still chilly, preparing the main tent - adding electricity, wireless internet connections (and we're in the middle of nowhere) for live result updates and other fancy stuff - orienteering is so much ahead of most of other sports in terms of technology usage:)

Men elite gathering for the mass-start. In the horizon you can see our awesome run-in path from the last control - we did even trim all the grass so there wouldn't be any disadvantage for leading runners ;)

The course wasn't easy for sure :)

When your best is not good enough =)

Fooling around with the spare medals after the whole event was finished ;) Bah, damn ankle, can't wait till I will be up and running again... Must be next week :)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Poker :: Lousy monthly analysis

Hi everyone. It is gonna to be a lousy month for me. Both the ankle injury and being terribly busy at job messed up everything... As a follow-up for previous post on "average Joe's" 15 month poker venture, here I'm posting a quick overview how I look back at my performance at cash rings after each month (I don't plan any more sessions for September). For example, analysis graph for September looks like this:

I played 6000 hands only, which were just enough to get 4k VPP to maintain the GoldVIP status. I'm not even planing to grind it to PlatinumVIP in nearest future. Most of the time I four tabled, so this makes 250 hands / hour, totaling 24 hours per month. This is really where I thought I'm at - 4-hour long session early Saturday morning (to steal the rest of tired USA guys battered stacks after they bust out late from midnight's tourneys:) and a couple of 2-hour long sessions in the evenings during the work week.
Beginning of the month wasn't too good, but most of those first 2k hands were played "to fill up space" while I was playing few tournaments. From the graph I can clearly see that mixing up tourneys and cash might be a leak that doesn't allow to make the maximum. In fact, missing opportunities to steal weak set of blinds makes HUGE difference in these middle stake cash games. Lets say, if this opportunity arises every 3 orbits (and it definitely arises, if not - that means its time for you to move to other table / go down a level:) and you miss it, it piles up to 2BB/100 hands, or $1k+ if you play 6k hands / month. And its far too easy to miss ALL the stealing opportunities when you have two tourneys going on at the same time - Q3 - autofold, J8 - autofold, and all of the sudden you are costing yourself a fortune in the long run :)
Few last sessions were really good when I finally identified quite a lot of NL6 players as "horrible" and started to pick on them and play big pots, made few big river calls that turned out to be correct, etc. Yet again, looking at the PokerTracker stats I see that my biggest losing hands at this moment are JJ, AQo and T9s - lost about the same with all of them. I should play first two less aggressive from EP I guess, and stop playing the latter one for value :) Funny enough, 86s (that I marked as my fav on pocket fives) in fact is making me 4th biggest profit (after AA, KK and QQ). Last bit of personal advice for mid stake cash is - NEVER go all-in with AK preflop if you expect to get called. Donked couple of buyins (lost races vs QQ and 99) this month in blind confrontation this way and am still hating myself for that. Its so much easier to win by playing post flop poker that you simply do not need to do any open gambling :) Unless you feel like it ;) Jam this 86s in! ;)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Sports :: Club website

After two years of "hard work" our orienteering club finally launched this website recently. Everyone is so happy in the forums etc, but in my opinion its quite weird at best :) Both usability and design are somewhat gay for my liking. Of course I'm holding my criticism only to myself, because I would get expelled from the club and hopefully not get killed if I asked someone at the club meeting something like "don't you think our web page is utter crap?"
And it really isn't, as long as it is updated regularly. I really like the functionality to add in the photos of all club members, for example:) They didn't even ask before adding me too after paparazzing in some relay spectator control, so I look a bit washed down:

These pants have seen more Ariel than an average household is able to use in whole year:) And infact they are dark-blue :)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Poker :: Good news bad news

Quite a while since posted smth. Not much happening on poker side - decided to fix few other things in my life before comitting myself to goals like getting supernova status or smth like that :)
Had free day on September 1st so played $109 freezout. It went quite good, 360 players in it and with 18 players left I was chipleader but played horribly several hands and busted in 10th, bubbling the final table, so no big payday yet. Interesting thing that I became chiplead after winning huge hand against villain sitting on my left, and after that hand I had ~125k chips, and he had 5k chips with blinds 600/1200 plus antes. Funny enough, he was the one to bust me later:)
Wasted some time playing $5R another day, but finally it became clear that any tourneys with less than $50 buyins are not worth bothering at all - few good hands at my current cash games beat even first place prizes, not talking about other cash games bonuses like FPP etc. So my online poker activities should be more focused from now on :)
Also played yet another live $8 rebuy in RevalOlympic, this time finished 3rd, my best ever and also showed 5th cashing out of 6 times played. These tourneys are extremely soft but really there isnt much new things I can learn anymore I think. Well, at least the prize money will pay for my lunch for the rest of the month :)

In sports department I was doing pretty good, climbed top40 in national orienteering rankings, increased training volume to 4-5h / week (that makes 50-60km of running per week), but it all ended up yesterday where I sprained my left ankle quite bad and renewed my 3yr old injury. However I hope for the best and to be up and running in two weeks, so I would have two more weeks to regain some sort of fitness before the Lithuanian Cup on October 13-14. This sort of injuries are quite upsetting really. But thats poker... ehm... sports :) Bad beats happen :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Poker :: 15months after

Lately I've read quite a few rambling posts about how someone is gonna grind out living or even get rich from online poker. And then after ethusiastic start nothing happens one, two, three months... and you stop hearing anything from them anymore :) So here is what I think and my short poker story summary which might serve someone as an example and/or discourage from taking poker overly serious.
Tillerman got good bottomline once in his blog, when he still used to update it - absolutely anyone having average talent and better than average discipline can make it to six figures profit per year playing poker.
It is true. Its just that average discipline is so bad and initial expectations are so high that it constantly lead to extended tilt periods, overheating, disharmony and various digesting problems ;) You dont need make things happen in poker - let things happen. I didn't follow this rule all the time and maybe thats the reason why I'm playing at my current limits, and not two-three step higher, but anyway. Here is what happened during my first year of poker (i'm writing this from my memory without doublechecking with my previous posts, but exact details are not important anyway:)


February-April: Created account, played mostly during lunch break playmoney tables, reading poker books (harrington, sklansky, few others).
May: Depostited first $50. Playing NL2 cash, $1.4 two table SnG.
June: Switched to $3R tourneys, $4.4 180man SnG, and as bankroll grew switched from NL10 to NL25 and to NL50 cash, which I usually played over my head. Bankroll built to ~$800, subscribed to - amazing stuff which improved my game enormously. Clocking ~15h/week.
July: lost it all at NL100 cash, holidays, didnt play much poker at all.
August: same micro tourneys, NL25/50. Building slowly back up, but no real profit.
September: Deposited $600 to, started playing exclusively cash, NL25, with "20x bankroll for the new limit" rule.
October: moved up to NL50, NL100, first 4digit profit month, but did put in quite a lot of hours (~15-20h / week)
November: almost got bankrolled to NL200, but got into downswing, and without hesitation cashed out everything from PartyPoker, since there was huge decline in player number cause of US legislation anyway. Deposited $600 to PokerStars for their 10billionth hand celebration bonuses.
Dont remember when, but for two months: playing exclusively 1 table SnG. $5, then $10. Averaging ROI of 140%, built 4digit profit only from these. Extremely improved my tournament final table and 4man bubble play.


January-April: much less hours (4-8h/week), taking a break from everything - finishing Master studies.
April-May: back to cash games, NL50/100 for reasonable profit. Still watching majority of the PXF videos :) 10-15h/week. GoldVIP.
June: cash NL100 games, solid 4digit profit. Occasional NL200. 12-15h/week.
July: big score in accidentally played $8R tournament for 3.3k which allowed me to move to NL200 with extremely safe bankroll. I was about to move up anyway though :) Good results in NL200. 12-15h/week. Very good profit. PlatinumVIP. Started playing cheap small live tournaments for practice.
August: Target bankroll reached. Playing NL400/NL600. 4-8h/week. Not really enough for PlatinumVIP - would need ~10-12h. For the first time showed a profit of my whole monthly sallary in one cash session :) Still have a quite long list of leaks in my cash game which I seek to fix :)

Moral of the story is that during all this time I didnt stop educational side of poker game - reading new books, articles, and all this pokerxfactor thing - it really helps to constantly reevaluate one's game and gives some fresh ideas. And thats important. Other thing is that routine poker usually is not profitable poker. I noticed myself, that putting much less hours nowadays really doesnt hurt my profit bottomline that much - profit comes from good play, creativity, and not from many hours. And it is hard to keep up A game all the time playing very many hours. Also, I think it is important to try out all the different kinds of poker - cash, SnG, HU, MTT, and different games (Holdem, Omaha, Stud etc). I kinda slack on this, but lately I started adding one NL25 PLO table to my usual cash tables and I was several buyins up after playing my very first 100 hands of this game :) I did read one article on PLO beforehands though, but that was it :) And I feel quite comfortable in any low-mid stakes SnG, MTT, and HU with all that practice.

So I think this is what could an average talent and average discipline dude expect during his first year of poker as a hobby activity. And I do believe quiting job right now and turning 100% pro I would make it to Tillerman's estimate. But who needs that - more money doesnt make ppl more happy - guy with 9mill is just as happy as guy with 10 ;) So dont worry, be happy :)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Poker :: Small rush

So following the worldwide trend of the stock indexes accent, my bankroll improved a lil more also lately. After 2-3 weeks of little ups and downs finally had some good cash sessions. What is good I hit the target bankroll watermark which I will plan keep till October or so before moving up to a new level. So anything extra will simply be cashouts or buyins to local live tourneys. Especially I have in mind that local 600eur buyin main event of local Olympic poker series in the middle of October. I know I suck in tournaments, but still, it would be a nice opportunity to play with all the local 'pros' :)
Problem with these middle stakes online cash games on PokerStars is that the good fullring tables are not always there - all the worst players are online more or less from 11pm till 7am (in my local time zone) which is when normal people usually sleep or make other things, much less stressful than poker. And during local evenings (6pm - 9pm) there are only 2-5 tables running and usually there are some good but very tight players in it, where you just play the blind steal and resteal game. Anyway, I stopped playing NL200 alltogether and now moved up to NL400/600. From my play statistics I see that I average much better BB/hands rate at these new levels (played ~20k hands already which is not smth to rely on but gives good ballpark estimate) so there is no sense to look back. It is also very nice to play at the same table with some of the guys I used to learn from watching the PokerXFactor videos - BodogAri, Schnitzeltoe and such. And yesterday even crossed Tamsusis, who promissed to stay away from cash games and sit&goes for good in his blog ;)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Poker :: Even more live

After pondering the meaning of this blog finally decided to make it more poker oriented with only occasional includes about sports and fun (mostly just photos, to make things a lil more colorfull:)
So, after cashing in my third live $8R in the 7th place last Saturday, below goes the overview of what was good and what went wrong in the last Tuesday's $8R (my 4th live appearance) :

Rebuy period.

Tourney started with 5 tables, 45 players.

My starting table included several firstcomers, 2 loose older dudes, MariusLT, and one tight abc girl. Me and MariusLT kinda were most relaxed and dominated the table at least in the banter compartment. Feeling like a table captain which is always good :)

Rebought to 2000 before the play. Chipped up pretty quickly to 4000 by reraising and cont beting flops. Then for no reason started doing horrible big preflop calls with bad hands - K5s, QTs etc. Some of them did connect pretty well, but initial callers managed to suck out and I had to rebuy. Quickly after won few pots and then the big hand just after the rebuy period - KK vs 99 on A45-9-K board when I busted one player and became chipleader at the table.

Bad boys table

Soon we were down to 4 tables and I got moved to other table, right on the right of one extremely bad loose aggro player who happened to have tons of chips. I tried to double up through him by limpcalling his raises, but didnt hit flops and bleeded off 1/3rd of my stack. At least it was done with strategic plan in mind. Too bad the loose aggro player gave his chips away to other players, so all my strategy was in vain. Luckily, soon I got moved again to other table with several very good players and few very tight abc who folded a lot to my raises. And then I made two big mistakes - raised and called reraise from EP with AQs (checkfolded all rag flop), then reshoved one very good player's UTG raise with AQo... He called with JJ and on the flop AQJ I was dead. I thought I was out but then found out I had good player covered and left with ~1800 chips at 300/600 level. Next hand I picked up AA and doubled up, and when my BB came I found KQs and reshoved MP raise, and sucked out vs AK. So I had again ~5000 chips which was tiny stack but at least I survived.

Final table

Another key hand came with 10 players left (final table bubble) and I was in BB with 58o. We had UTG limper, LP shortstack limper, and the beatiful flop of 467 two clubs. UTG checked, shortstack pushed, and I made a mistake of pushing - if I called, utg would have called too and I would've pretty much trippled up. At a showdown UTG folded AKo (he told so, also told about the call if I hadn't pushed), LP had AK clubs. I managed to dodge third club and so we got to final table. Early at the final table I picked up 99 in BB, called MP raise, and doubled up on the A69 flop with former chipleader who called reraise allin with.... A8o. So horrible. At this point I had ~30k chips with 180k chips in play. The rest of the final table was pretty uneventful, shorties busted out one after another against one donkey with a sick luck, who just won everything - from 77 vs KK allin pre to KJ vs AK allin on 3KA flop :) At the blinds 2000/4000 we were left 4 players, myself sitting on ~40k stack and donkey player raised 20k from the button. I had ATo in the BB, so reshoved him allin, lost a race vs 66, and went out 4th. Maybe I could've waited a little longer - at this point you rather want to be a raiser than a caller, but overall all tourney was more or less ok.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Random :: Screw this

This blog is so fucked up, don't you think? :)

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Poker :: WCP, PlatinumVIP and OlympicLive

Lots of poker last weekend :) Firstly, there was WorldCup of Poker national satelites. Couple of friends moved in my place for those two days and we had some good time busting one after another out of these events. As you can see we all played in one room, and most interestingly, 3 of us were at the same starting table in the first satelite, so obviously some mega collusion was going on =) One hand was particularly fun, where one of friends held QJhearts, I held ace of hearts + some rag in BB, and then turn gave my friend straight flush, and river gave me ace high flush. So we talked for a while how should we play it out since I was first to bet. I led out my A high flush (board not paired) for 60 (blinds 15/30), then my friend with straight flush raised to 120, and I called it - awesome trick, and most funny was that the table didnt react bad on the showdown - it was only "Wow nhs" in chatbox, but nothing about such an obvious soft playing :) That shows overall level of these tourneys - 85% players were from micro limits or even freerollers, so maybe there's nothing to wonder about :) All in all, we didnt manage to plow through the field to the final table thus didnt get to national final. My better atempt was ~40th smth out of ~125 starters.

Oy! Collusion!!!

Continuing with online poker - or the oh-so-boring cash games - I finally finished grinding the PlatinumVIP which I wanted only to order 600pc clay chipset. At the end I demonstrated extremely bad poker and donked off quite big portion of my bankroll :) My new bankroll target might be cursed - 3 times I was less than 2 buyins short of it, and all three times dropped to more than 10 buyins away :) I was in same situation ~8 months ago when I tried to hit 2k bankroll to start playing "safe" NL100 - which really isnt "safe" as I understand it now :) When got bored from cash I signed for one afternoon tourney - $10 rebuy. Ended up buying in for $100 total (bad luck in rebuy period, although managed to get to 11k chips at the end afterall), and went quite deep. Busted in 23th place out of ~650, and was extremely dissapointed with my late tourney stage play... I did let Q high bluff get away at the showdown (I held 4high with missed straight draws;) , called a button shove with 79s in BB for 40% of my stack - what the hell I was thinking Im not sure even now, and then finally busted by shoving solid big stack UTG raise with KQs - I still had 8 BB and think might have found a better spot for putting all my chips in... Ended up vs QQ and lost. First few places paid quite nice (5.5k for first), and 23th was only enough to cover my buyin and a few beers after the tourney :)

Ace-rag players ;)

And since there is a break in sports season, on Saturday night we all (guys from the photos) moved to Reval Olympic for that cheapass $8 rebuy to practice some live poker. The only bad thing was that my head was hurting like hell from the lack of sleep and lack of food so I kinda waited for this tourney to finish better sooner than later. But despite these pathetic whines we moved to the Olympic, and yet again we all 4 drew the same starting table. Other guys at the table was already known ROCK (after action shows down only AA, KK or set, nothing worse) which is easy to exploit, then three older guys, one of which named "Maradona" for some unknown reason, and another dude who just came back from WSOP and was just relaxing and having fun at the table, constantly siting out, playing slot machines, and asking waitresses for free coffee (all tournament players get free coffee, drinks, and sweets:) In the first levels all the game was revolving around these older dudes, with me being card dead and donking one allin KJo vs ATo allin pre. After rebuying I kept being card dead, and just before rebuy period ended I won a big pot with a Q9o bluff vs AKs on the river and thus was slightly up. Later doubled up trough WSOP guy with AKs vs TJo on KTrag flop, won few other pots, and then we were down to two tables. Seeing few shorties at that table I kept raising LP and took few blinds uncontested. Then split allin vs shortie with AQo vs 78s, board went 769-8-5 :) With 12 players left and average M of 8 I was up and down calling a button shove and losing KTo vs ATs; then reshoving from BB MP raiser and sucking out ATo vs QQ (KTT-x-x). Later won nice pot by limping UTG 99 and getting BB to put in few bets on worse flopped pair. Too bad my luck ran out with 5ppl left, when I called Maradona's (SB) openshove for all his chips (we had nearly same stacks) - I felt he was tilty after losing commanding chip lead and I instacalled from BB with ATo, happened to be against JTo, and board ran Q7T-8-9... So I busted 5th with 5places paid for a small profit and 2 out of 2 cash record for my live tourneys :) Respect goes to "dariusn" who rejected prize split with 3 players left and managed to take it down without having had any HU experience :) Tourney summary for our "team" - 4 entrants, 4 to final table, 2 cashes, 1 winner :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Sports :: Ugly truth on the track

So finally after 4 days of no sport I went to do some fast running at the local stadium. My plan was to do 2 x 2km, but later decided to switch to 1 km + 2km + 1km. After warmup started doing it and the results were 3:38, 7:37, 3:26... Quite terrible :) Of course felt quite stiff and not fresh enough, but I dont think I could run 2km faster than 7min right now. Keeping in mind other elite orienteering guys do it in 6:10 EASY (with some running under 5:45), no wonder there is such a difference in results. Upside of this - there's still a lot of space for improvement :)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Poker :: Cash madness

Next day after the Olympic live tourney played some NL200, and that was some very good quality poker. Went up for nearly 1k in 2.5 hours playing poker and not cards, and was just few bucks short of my target bankroll watermark. In the evening tried to play some higher levels (NL600) and promptly lost big pots with straight vs straightflush, pair of 33 + spot on read vs rivered flush, then QQ on the button called SB reraise, flop J62 two clubs and repushed SB cont bet, got called and lost race vs AK clubs, then got called in two occasions by KQo on Q high flop where I was sure that hand cant call, and lost my mega draws both times. Was shocked also when my UTG raise got reraised from LP and my third BIG raise was reshoved allin by 99.... Just horrible in my opinion ;) So all in all in higher limits I lost 2k, and now will have to work back up at my usual 'hunting grouds' :) Bankroll still extremely healthy for NL200/400 mix :)
Lesson learned for the session is that I call far too many EP/MP raises preflop with suited connectors/gapers being MP - I definetily should try to call these only from LP, and with more than 1 player in the pot, or to reraise right away preflop - calling MP simply doesnt work at these new limits. Another leak - calling LP raises with low pockets from the blinds. 3 overs flop all the time and I just cant stand pot sized cont bet. Trying to get initiative (reraise preflop or checkraise on the flop) might work here, or maybe it would be easier to just fold it. Also, getting into races on the flop doesnt work out for me well either and just add up to variance. I noticed I can make much more consistent profit just by playing the hands till river/showdown. To push pre or on the flop - any monkey is able to do that, and we're not here to gamble, are we :)
Also, plan to start playing some heads up SnGoes since I feel that is pretty weak part of my game. Yesterday played two micro $5 sng to see how it goes, 2 wins 1 lost, but these were against really weak players. Plan is to get to +20 wins balance before I move to the next level. These HU matches will be just for improving the skill and not the money, at least untill I dont reach $100 level or so.
Next weekend should be pretty fun - on 5day planning to do live poker home session (read - bbq, beer, playing outside in the terrace... yammie:) at my place, including evening online satelite to the WCP for Lithuania team. So some of the friends will bring their notebooks and it'll be some kind of good old LAN party ;) And on Saturday morning there is another satelite (if we fail first one) and on the Sat night - another $8 rebuy live at Olympic Reval Casino :) Gogo pkr.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Poker :: Live at Reval Olympic

Last Saturday went to play my first live tournament in brick-and-mortar. It was right after one day trip into the forests with virtually no food (completely burned the BBQ), little sleep and some beer, so I wasnt sure if I wont fall asleep while playing...
Tourney started 7pm, it was the cheap $8 rebuy with 40ppl registered - best place to start learning live. First two orbits or so I felt very bad, moving in my chair, hands shaking, got cold from the conditioning inside the building etc, but after the dealer changed from burly guy to Escada scented girl, and some table talk on my side got going, calmed down finally and was able to start playing :)
Tourney structure - standart rebuy, starting chips 1000, 30min levels, addon after 1.5 hour for 2000 chips, starting blinds 10/20, going up quite smooth, didnt notice big jumps.
First few orbits I just folded trash hands, checked couple of flops with 55, QTs and missed. First bigger pot was at 20/40, when I got A7s LP and limped after 2 limpers. Flop 345 rainbow, I got checked to and raised 200. BB repushed allin. I called my openended straight draw and was up against A5o. Turn 7, river paint, and I doubled up to ~4000.
In final rebuy period level got 88 LP, limped after 3 more limpers (one of them chipleader and good loose player with cashes in Baltic championships etc, another completely drunk trashtalker, so there were some implied odds;) Flop T85 two clubs. Chip leader led out for 450, got two callers, so I just pushed allin. After some thinking chip leader called, limpers folded, and I was up against T3 clubs. Non club turn, river non club 3 and I was up to ~12k.
In next 2 orbits picked ~4-5 pots and with 18k or so was tied chipleader at the table. Then they split first table and two big stack guys were moved to my left, one of them pretty strong player who wouldnt let me steal blinds easy so I gave up and waited for cards. Cant remember playing anything for a big pot till the final table at all (average stack was 25k, mine ~15k), where I drawed best place possible - seat 1 with all 3 big stacks on my right, and all shorter stacks on my left. It was very weak tight table, with 2 good players, 2 uber tight players, and 1 very bad player who happened to be chipleader. I played the FT really really bad though - forgot that I was here to win, and tried to get into the money (6places) so waited for cards that I didnt need at all to take ALL the chips... Big stack player was doubling up one player after another so soon everyone on my left got more chips than me. Then I doubled up also with AA vs QQ allin pre. When we left 6players, and I had 7BB, I made two big mistakes - folded A5o UTG (limp pot was won by bad player with A4o for A high and playing kicker), and then folded 78 after 3 limpers ahead of me on the button - push or at least call here. Flop was 678 and two pair would have trippled me up... Blinds rose to 2k/4k and I sat only on 13k stack, so pushed in first occasion possible JTo and lost to BB who called me blind with 47o.
Summary - nice to have cashed in first live tourney ever, although when there were only 12 players left (two tables 6 each) I started playing so poorly I cant imagine - when needed to switch gears up, just went into turbo fold mode... Next time I wont be that intimidated, so either I go out early or get to the top 3 :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Sports :: Autumn masterplan

This is the list of competitions I plan to take part in on the second half of the season. Bolded are the "important" ones.

Jul20LTU championship in mountain running (8km) (definetily not my fav:)
Aug10-12 Visaginas 3x4 (4courses, 2 of which sprints)
Aug15-19Bohemia 5days CZE
Sep1LTU sprint championship
Sep2LTU Clubs' Cup (only important if I run for the first team)
Sep8Vilnius marathon (will run half-marathon most likely)
Sep16"Zalgiris" Cup (middle)
Sep22LTU marathon championship (orienteering)
Sep30Alytus Cup (middle)
Oct6-7Svento Cup (long and middle)
Oct13-14LTU Cup (long and middle)
Oct20LTU night orienteering championship

Added to that are the usual Tuesday/Thursday evening series that will resume from summer break early August and will go through to early October.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Poker :: Luck is gone to hawaii

Last night had a tough one :) First losing session in July, and first time when I was sixtabling. First hour was horrible, couldnt get anything going. Ran AA into QQ big fireworks preflop and Q high flop - down a buyin, then lost another buyin flush over higher flush, KK on T high flop lost to AT for another buyin, AA vs 33 somehow managed to save some chips on raggy flop (including a trey), so I was going down quite fast. Then I saw AA on the button on one table with two limpers ahead, and KK in the big blind on another table, and then my internet connectivity went down :) All in all 1.25 buyin down.
Then an hour later got internet back, and promptly lost another 2 buyins by playing good hands too fast and paying off completed draws too often. Meanwhile added two NL400 tables which I payed more attention to and battled some of the chips back. Made few laydowns, interesting one was this:

Me (MP) : [AJc], raise 4BB
Player1 (LP) : call
Player2 (BB) : call
FLOP : 533 two clubs
BB : check
Me : bet 8BB
LP : raise to 16BB
BB : call
Me : call (thought of reraising, but minireraise and a BB call stinked)
TURN : K clubs
BB : check
Me : check (maybe bad again, but imho its either im far ahead or already dead at this point, and if im ahead, they're drawing to four outs max each - two treys and two cards to fill their pocket pairs, for those less observant on fullhouses ;)
LP : raise 2/3 pot
BB : reraise allin
Me : fold - pot is huge but also the probability of fullhouse; not too hard laydown in cashgame - I invested only 20BB so far and to call another 80BB even for possible ~300BB pot isn't profitable in the long run.

In the showdown LP AA lost vs K3s. BB special and slowplaying AA pre ftw :)
Subtotal for the night is 1.5buyins down which isnt too bad knowing I was 3.5 buyins down at one point. "Only if" my big favs would've held up, it could've easily been best session so far. But all these "almost" count only in hand-granades as someone wisely said :)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Fun :: Sleepy weekend

On weekend I visited my village where I spent most of my childhood holidays. It has some strange aura and whenever you get closer than 3miles to the village, overwhelming feeling of weakness takes over and you can fall asleep wherever you are. So I slept about 4 times first day and one big time the second day. Felt quite refreshed after though, much better weekend than 4 1.5h long sessions of poker on Saturday and then whole day of poker on Sunday ;)
That is the house amongst those bushes. Back when I was 10y old, I was mastered enough to get up to the top of the roof bare handed / footed. Good thing though didnt fell down on my head. Or maybe I just dont remember.

This is the sauna and my first business plan. I was gonna to cut all the concrete with a saw, disassemble the sauna, sell the bricks and get rich! My grandaddy kicked my ass when noticed what I was doing. Marks of my activity are still visible 15y later :)

Local palace. Here lived some rich dude who pwned all nearby villages. During soviet regime whole thing (10+ buildings) was transformed into warehouses and completely trashed. Now only this building is somewhat renovated, others are still looking terrible. Too bad, ~200y ago here used to be huge french (Marie-Antoinette) type of park with exotic plants, animals and probably big fun going around :) This one resembles me of baobab :)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Sports :: Diary and upcoming WCP

Started my training log on to keep whole training process more under control. Yesterday after 1h training felt really fresh so will try to squeeze in some training today after job and before evening downtown activities :) Tomorrow leaving for 'yearly' family visit to granma, hope will not forget to bring camera with me and make some shots of my village. Its 200km north in distance and about 150 years back in time :)
On July 27th and 28th PokerStars holds national qualifiers to Lithuanian team for World Cup of Poker. Looks like I will able to attend at least one, and hopefully both tournaments. Would be great to get to the final (18man tourney for the two places in the national team). Anyway our team will get asskicked by polish (as in recent football mach between Vetra and Legia) or braliukas latverians in the next stage...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Sports :: Poker :: Not

My PC power supply went dead. It was having problems for few months now. Now that piece of **** gave out last breath apparently. Will buy and install Zalman on weekend so no poker till then. There's no time for poker anyway, very busy at job so when come back home I just want to go to bed asap. Not too good, my youth sooo goes to waste. When hasnt it actually :)
As for poker, beginning July was full of it. In few days got more FPPs than in month before so some break is good. Moved to NL200 for good already, doing great there. Did some NL400 also, up couple of buyins at this level, but not feeling too comfortable yet (i.e. cant repush allin easily with 79s on the button vs BB reraise:) You virtually cant make ppl fold at NL400 without puting yourself pot comitted...
Yesterday after two rest days pushed myself to go out for some running. Did 50mins, feeled like eternity. HR didnt go more than 150 and the pace was pretty reasonable, so not too bad probably. Slept for 10hours after that and still couldnt get up for job in time...
Lost my mobile phone few days ago, so all my contacts and gals' numbers are gone. May be a change for good and a brand new start :)
Going to les transformateurs ze movie today. We decided that everyone has to bring at least one plastic silly toy so should be pretty fun.
Takas2007. SunnyFunny 2nd day and WetWetWet 4th day

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Sports :: When your best is good enough... almost

Takas day 2. Weather is perfect - sunny and hot, lovely open forest, 5,8km course. I'm a bit angry about yesterdays race so start off fast, first few controls are simple, I hit them. Midcourse I overtake few runners who started earlier, and one starts following me which annoyed me so much that I tried to speed up even more and in 3 controls I ran away from him. Final few controls and im at the finish without any big mistakes. Third time (36:17) for the day and I move up to the 10th in standings.

Takas day 3. Sprint day in a Chernobyl type of town. 3,4km course, terrain is purely urban. Yet again I made no serious mistakes apart of having trouble reading the map while running few times and had to stop to double check. Time 17:45, 4th for the day, and only russian torpedoes were ahead of me. These guys are pretty sick at running... In totals I stay in 10th position, but closed the gap by 2mins.

Takas day 4. Long course day. Rainy, cool weather, terrain mid runnability but not too bad, no swamps, no big climb. 8,4km course. I have several guys starting before and after me (2min start interval) who are close in standings so I know I cant allow them to get me so I take few first controls by choosing safe, longer routes, but trying to run fast. Mid course there is 2.5km long extremely boring leg which I tried to run straight but lost 2mins, most likely I started to get tired. On next couple of controls I took with two guys who started ahead of me so I knew it cant be too bad and started pushing the end, which had some really interesting and technical short legs. No big mistakes there, and my time 1:03:44 was 4th again, and again only russian dudes were ahead of me :) Moving up to 7th place in standings.

Takas day 5. 6.9km course. It is raining non stop for 15hours already and its still raining hard... Chasing start day. This means leader starts first, and everyone else starts depending on time difference during first 4 days. So whoever crosses the finish line first, that takes higher final place. I started 7th, 22:31 behind leader, second place is far ahead also, and I'm 7mins behind third and 3,5mins behind 4th. After me first guy was 4mins behind, so no worries about him. Knowing that I just stormed from the start and got the visual on 6th place already at the first control. Not really looking at the map I just run faster, and punched 3rd control already right next to him. On 4th control we make a small mistake, but got 5th place guy, who made big mistake, so we are running threesome. On 5th control (~2km into the course) we get 4th place guy. I start studying last few controls knowing there might be run-in battle. We all run together and mid course make big 3 min mistake in green ("thick") forest when missed open marsh. It turned out the marsh became 20m wide knee deep river with water rushing fast downhill... Should be pretty funny sight - 4 completely soaked and dirty guys rushing through endless swamps and bushes with rain pouring hard all over them... Lovely :) With 1.5km left at the spectator control one guy tries to get away by pushing into the hill, I stick to him, but two other guys break a little and are 30secs behind already. With 3 controls to go I punch the control first, but make big 30sec mistake to the 2nd last control missreading the map slightly, and other guy breaks away. I finished second of our pack. Then we found out that one russian mispunched and got disqualified, and that we overtook 3rd place starter somewhere in the course, so finally it turned out we 4 raced for 2nd place. So all in all I took 3rd. And despite I had damn good chance for second, its really nice to have moved up all the way from 19th to the medals :)

Now there is 1month summer break between competitions, so I will have time for some rest, to heal up small ankle sprains, and hopefully will train somewhat to keep the shape I'm starting to get :)

Newest addition to my pyre of honor

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Sports :: Takas2007 first day

Today I started my another big competition for the season - Takas2007 5day event. Just terrible... Probably the worst race this season for me. The course was very short - 4,6km with 16 controls. Terrain was tricky, bad runability and visibility, marshes, swamps, small hills and depressions, and in parts almost impassable at all. For me starting early in the field it was quite tough to get past those raspberry fields without any beaten tracks yet. That was not the case though. Physically I felt pretty good, but made 5min+ of mistakes on second and third control which are decissive in such a short course. Wasted couple of minutes on the second part of the course too.
Sucks to have lost a chance for top 6 already on the first day :) Now I need to run flawless for the next 4 days and hope my opponents will get disqualified / totaly lost / etc etc to move up in standings. After first day 19th out of 45 finished, 13mins behind the leader... The goal I'd be happy with would be to get to top10.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Poker :: Sing when you are winning

During a rest day between two multiday sports events I decided to do some NL200 and then took my third shot at the 5pm $8 rebuy tournament.
NL200 was going great with me donking one buyin with AA vs flopped set but later taking down huge pot with 99 on 9TJ two club board and having two opponents allin on the flop - called the rest of my stack knowing I will be drawing for the board to pair, and it did bring another T on the river and my nines full beat two made straights.
$8 rebuy with 867 players started at the same time and after donking one stack with T8s allin pre then doubling up with AK allin pre I finished rebuy period with mediocre 8k in chips and buying in for 3 rebuys and addon total. Somehow I managed to not get involved in pots with crap hands, then won a key 3way allin with 77 vs AQs vs K3s (tried to squeeze shortstack and bigstack), kept average stack all the way to and through the bubble, and entered final table as 7th out of 9 stack but still with M of 20. Final table was very live so I just sit back and very timely got two pockets to double up twice - 88 vs 33 button raise allin pre then AA vs 22 allin pre. Then went card dead and to turbo fold mode (M of 40 so no rush) and watched one dude to bust 4 other guys all with worse hand when the money went in, then finally busting another strong player with 44 (no spade) vs TT (spade) on a three spade flop board by turning one outer. So we left 3 players and made a deal to chop the prize money and after 6 hour 50 min marathon I went to sleep with aching head, few k richer, and my poker dream coming one small step closer :)
All of these as 1 dollar notes :)

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Sports :: Bronze in Kapa2007

Last weekend marked my first international win after comeback to orienteering. Well, almost international, since competition was held in Latvia just across the border, on a baltic sea dunes type of terrain which is somewhat familiar and suits me pretty good. Its mostly open forests with great runability, semi big climb, and I can take advantage of my long legs to the fullest and also dont get stuck in a bush :)
I ran yet another 'pussy' (a.k.a. 'not elite') group - men 21 long course. Competition was held in 3day format with separate start each day and time was then added up. In my group there were 85 competitors and after each day time difference between the top10 was very small, so there was some psycho pressure while running final day. Non stop rain that started on Saturday (2nd day) evening and didnt end till Sunday (3rd day) just before my start added to that. Maybe it was a bit easier for me because I started last from all the field on 3rd day so there were some tracks in the forest leading to the controls, however, there were almost no other runners in the forest so finding controls and keeping up the pace was all on my own.

Final results and my weee-third place :)

1. Arūnas Saunorius (LTU)52:25 (3)50:28 (2)51:13 (2)154:06
2. Ēriks Lebedoks (LAT)52:48 (4)52:15 (5)50:42 (1)155:45+01:39
3. Andrius Simenas (LTU)52:55 (5)53:07 (7)52:50 (8)158:52+04:46
4. Martin Sundström (SWE)51:59 (2)55:39 (14)54:12 (16)161:50+07:44
5. Olof Borell (SWE)53:43 (8)54:40 (12)53:28 (11)161:51+07:45
6. Reinis Putniņš (LAT)53:05 (6)56:22 (16)52:26 (6)161:53+07:47

Each day I made 2-3 mins of mistakes so if I ran perfect race I did have a shot for the first. However I'm more than happy with my performance and stability during all 3 days. Came back home on Sunday, and on Tuesday another 5day event starts - biggest Lithuanian event Takas2007 ("path2007":) for which 650 competitors are registered, and I will run men 21 short course to recover from this one.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Poker :: NL 100 frenzy

This is usual looks of my poker play for June 2007, sometimes adding two more tables. Just dinged the bankroll for NL200, moving up there next session. First I plan just two table / max three table it to gather notes on the players, later on if things go well will switch to usual 4-6 table format.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Poker :: into the donkaments we go

If for some reason you are in need of horror and think that all current horror movies are more funny than scary, you can get few hours of pure terror just for exactly the same price - $20 to $50 bucks (depending on what your fav cinema is charging). Just register into PStars freezout or $8-10 rebuy for that matter, get some snacks and get ready to rumble.
Last weekend I got tired of cash and wanted to play good ol' tourney, so I went ahead to $30 in the morning with 450 entrants. Most of those people have chronic flopophobia - after first hour it is like they have only two buttons - "FOLD" and "ALLIN". Calling is for weak presumably ;) If you have any pocket pair and there is a raiser - "ALLIN", if you have an ace and a paint - "ALLIN". Also, if you are in the blinds and LP raises - doesnt matter what you have, "ALLIN"! Fold on all other cases. Small exception to this rule - if you have AA - miniraise :)
The tourney itself went good, but soooo scary...
Example1. Starting chips 3000. I have built quite a big stack mostly picking uncontested pots without showdown on the turn or the river, double up with AA and after first hour I have ~14k. In EP I get AKo, standard raise it to 1200. A guy LP who was pushing several times already openpushes allin for 8k. Call, he shows 88, and I lost the race.
Example2. Same level, me back on 11k chips, a guy on my right who was playing like a fool just loses big pot. Im in BB and get dealt ATo. Just after seeing these cards I told my friend who was watching that I will have to call SB push if it is folded around since he will push for sure and will have J5o or smth like that at the very best case. And ofcourse... Everyone folded, SB thought for a while and pushed for 5k. Call, he shows 84o. Flop brings and 8 but I flop a gutshot draw with my T and get there on the river. Poooof! But scary...
Example3. Same guy from 1 example raises button, gets reraise allin from big stack and calls off rest 80% of the stack allin with 22... pocket pairs for the win! Too bad deuces got nulified by two pair on board, gg :)
Example4. MP pretty agressive player raises 2.5BB, I reraise to 6BB from the button with AQo and MP instarepushes allin (we have even stacks). I folded and he showed 46o.
Example5. Later in the tourney with 3 tables left. Guy LP raises the button, gets reraised from BB, calls. Flop A92 all diamonds. BB openpushes the rest (1/2 pot). Button thinks loooong and calls with J9 no diamond. BB shows JQ no diamond. Turn Q, river blank and BB doubles up. Button starts rambling what an amazing read he has made and how flat out unlucky he got.
Example5 followup. I'm on 65k, Example 5 button hero has 75k. Blinds 800/1600, average stack ~45k, 25 players left. I raise MP AKo, gets folded around. Next hand im UTG+1 and raise again, to 4500, AKdiamonds this time. Get the hero calling from BB. Flop T93 two diamonds. Hero checks, I bet 6.000, hero checkraises to 20.000, I figured he has some medium pocket or might be tilting from last hand, so decided this is the key hand for the tournament and pushed. He instacalled with JTo no diamond... Turn... no A, no K, no diamond. River... no A, no K, no diamond... And I'm out, hero jumps to chipleader with 130k with second place just over 90k.
Summary. Its so amazing what hands do these people call / push allins with. Good luck to you all and please bring more of those tournament winnings to the cash tables ;) I will play more of those $30 freezouts and $10 rebuys for sure when the time permits, if only those tourneys didnt take so horribly long...
PS. The way I busted out of $8 rebuy with 800ppl+ later - 135 get ITM, 137 players left, I have just below average stack. Table chipleader (with not too many chips though, we had poor table at that moment:) raises two hands in a row, everyone sheepishly fold around. On the third hand he raises again, I find 77, and reraise allin. Without hesitation he calls off more than half of his stack and shows T8o. I mean... No words :) AAT on the flop and Im out. Everyone feels obliged to say "gg" in the chat box and questioned later why did I push when it was only 2 left till the money and there was plenty of shortstacks...
Cash. Cash games go good though, made it to GoldStarVIP for this month, and still am on 18BB/100 hands rush. At 85% of the target for transition to NL$200.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sports :: Jukola2007

This year Jukola relays took place ~450km north of Helsinki, near the town of Lapua. The story behind the relays name is quite weird, it is something about seven brothers going to the forest one by one to search for lost sisters, and none of them returned, but then the last and youngest brother Jukola finally found them all, returned home, and they lived happily ever after. Hence on Saturday 3pm Venla relays take place, for women teams - these are the sisters from the fairy tale, and on 11pm starts the Jukola relays, where 7 "brothers" head out to the forest.
We arrived to Lapua on Thursday to have some training, which was really interesting and tough. I could hardly make it under 12:00 min/km, so perpective of running last 15km leg in the relays looked quite scary.

Yaaaaawn... time for morning training session...

The competition area was pretty empty all the time until the competition day, when it suddenly filled up to the full 20 000 of people in half a day. On Saturday afternoon we went to watch Venla relays. Since there were no strong lithuanian teams, we tried to pick some team to root for, and that happened to be finish club MS Parma that had starting number 26 (this number is based on last year result), so had good chances to be amongst the leaders. Our choice was completely biased and based on watching which of the teams looked best when doing the warmup ;)

Weeee, MS Parma, go go go =)

Watching the Venla was really interesting and great fun, comentary was great, two big screens showed the action out in the forests, and it was really good to see that orienteering is becoming really spectator-friendly sport. Our favs and definetily best looking team MS Parma performed well too, taking down 5th place out of ~860 starting teams.

TV screens

After the Venla we had few hours before our start. Our team got the starting number 1022 which basically means we are very bad. I had to start early in the morning, so tried to get some sleep and failed since comentator was screaming all night long, people were moving around and sharing their stories from the race, other people were preparing for their start and strolling around the tents etc etc, so I decided better to go to watch the men race a little.

Men start... Buffallo race :)

Finish area overview
At 5am I got woken up by a teammate who said I should be getting up. I didnt want to go anywhere since it was very cold outside and mass start was supposed to take place at 8:45. Then he said our 5th leg is already well into the course which meant we're ahead of all other lithuanian teams, and amongst 400 top teams, and most likely we wont need to wait for a mass start. After realizing that I managed to get up somehow and after couple of hours started the final leg for our team. I started in 306 position. I did 2min mistake on 1st control by stumbling into two nearby controls and trying to figure out where I'm at, then another 3min mistake on 2nd control... Good thing the next few controls were pretty easy and I got into the rythm. After 1:15h I realized I might finish the course in reasonable time and thus our team would be best lithuanian team and that boosted my motivation a little. At 1:50h there were only 6 controls out of 32 left when after jumping over a rock I felt leg cramps so had to slow down a little to not get injured. There was another refreshment point with less than 2km left till the finish that I would usually skip under normal circumstances, but this time I took my time to drink 2 full cups of energy drink just to make sure I hold up that last bit :) After the last spectator control I made another mistake for 2mins on the 3rd last control, nothing too dramatic, and to make the race complete I had will-test at the very end, when I punched the last control 3sec after another dude. Good to say he stood no chance on the run-in and all in all we finished in my best ever (out of two tries:) 281st place. My time 2:11'23'' wasnt too bad for such a long course and unfamiliar terrain. Now taking some time to rest and train a little, and in two week time going to Kapa2007 3day event to Latvia, where I'm going to run Men21Long course.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Fun :: Fly SEB Way

Picture is worth 1024 words, so below should be thousands of lines on the look & feel of the relax weekend ;)


Uh-ka-cha-ka team

Pinkie team

Tug of war, best event of them all

Camel race, or one of the many silly events I took part in

Drunken guitar playing on the tables

Our megaperformance, me in swedish colour outfit

Sport makes you sexeh :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sports :: Off to Jukola

Heading off tomorrow early morning to Finland for my second Jukola relay. We'll have three days before the competition to do some finnish terrain training and beer drinking. The big thing starts Saturday evening. I will run for the third team of another lithuanian club "Takas-3". My team basically consists of veterans (over 50y old) and single runners from other clubs like me without a team. I was assigned to run last - 7th - leg, and being anchorman for any team is a challenge by definition. Bad thing is that my start will be early Sunday morning and I'll have to skip most of the competition and go have some sleep. Also most likely it'll be mass-start - more than 2000 runners from slow teams will head off to the forest, so beginning of the course will be more like rugby match than orienteering. If everyone from my team does brilliant run though we might be just fast enough so I could start in normal way, before mass-start. Okay, bus is leaving in 9 hours, I'll still have to do some shopping, packing and get some sleep :)
Updates on SEB sports party, Jukola and ongoing poker rush next week, when I'm back from Finland.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Fun :: I'm smart. Officially ;)

Dropping in to tell that yesterday after great deal of sweating (again the room was at +30C with no air to breathe) at national exam commission I got my Masters in IT degree :) My thesis was appraised with the top grade (10 points) which made me pretty happy. In two weeks I'm getting actual diploma at StJones church, and that will complete my education which I would've dropped long time ago if not the traditions in the family - anything less than masters is considered 'weak' around here... Now everybody expects me to carry on onto PhD studies, but all I want at the moment is to get a break and to move up to NL$200 :)

Vilnius University