October 26, 2012

My first big win...

Yesterday, I had my first ever MTT victory.  Topped 157 people to win Merge's $400 Guaranteed Bounty.  What an amazing feeling.  Yes, shipping $140 isn't the biggest score in the world for many, but for me, it was an important step and boost of confidence to believe that I can achieve bigger things in this game.  I played well, put myself in good situations, despite being down to about 12BBs early after a tough beat.  I snuck in to the money after losing a flip A10<55 in an attempt to pick up another bounty along the way.  But then I won a couple of pots without showdown, and suddenly, I knocked out 3 people and was chipleader. 

It was a really interesting and different feeling to be really deepstacked when we got down to 3 people.  If memory serves me right, I think at one point, I had 100 plus BBs when we were three handed, while the 2nd stack had 70-80.  After playing for nearly 4 hours, I was worn out (which I need to work on).  But eventually, my HU opponent knocked out the 3rd place guy, and we were heads up.  I got down to about 50BBs, battled back to take a chip lead after figuring out how much he was leading out with nothing, and then got him to ship 70BBs with AJ in to my 4bet with AK.  Flop came 410Jddd, but I had the King of diamonds, and when the 5d came out, I went nuts.

Good feeling, but a day later, I find myself wanting more.  Not gloating, not feeling invincible, just thinking that I want to do this more and continue to get better.  I have had one ghosting session with my coach so far, and what I took out of it was the idea of 3bet shoving stacks, and also finding more spots to check/call, rather than bet for value when I may not have a ton of value. 

That's all for now. 


Posted By kennycalhoo at 11:20 AM


October 23, 2012

This is going to be a difficult road.

A couple of updates: 
1) I was lucky enough to have a horse ship an 8K first prize on BCP while I had 13 percent, so suddenly, I have a large bankroll on that site.  About 1200.  Pretty good stuff.  Essentially, I can "stake"myself for the year, although I still have to work on getting some coaching.

2) That being said, it's going to continue to be a difficult path, and I'm hoping some folks that read that will have some words of encouragement on how to deal with...I don't want to call it mega-tilt, because by no means, am I getting a bad beat and then going and doing something dumb, but the massive disappointments that come with getting sucked out on.  Today, in my first two tournaments, both $5 entries, I had awful beats.  A TPTK losing to a TPGK on the river for a bounty and top ten chip stack, and a set to a runner runner straight (he called with top pair).  Now, I'm smart enough to know these things happen, and that obviously, I made good decisions to get to those points, but I'm left in one tournament, with 4 yet to go today, and feeling gutted.  I'm struggling to learn how to deal with that aspect of tournament poker. 

Doing my first lesson tonight with my coach.  Excited about it, but right now, I'm excited about the five minute break I'm about to get so I can walk around for a few minutes.

Posted By kennycalhoo at 08:48 PM


October 10, 2012

Had my first day of full on tournament poker

8 tournaments, BIs ranging from .60 to 3.30.  Final tabled 2, with two cashes, and bubbled an $11 satty coupon.  Ended up just below breakeven for the day.  Not a horrible result at all.  But I played for 7 hours.  I don't know that I'd ever done that online before, once I started thinking about it. 

Finished 16th in a 294 person $1 event.  First prize was $60, so busting out at that point was frustrating.  It will be a hard adjustment for me to make when I have to realize that some times I'll take some of those beats when you make a good play, but run in to a cooler.

Posted By kennycalhoo at 12:42 PM


October 08, 2012

Profitable trip to STL, and one tricky live spot...

...which gave me a realization.

Had an opportunity to go down to St. Louis to play for the weekend with a friend.  Had a little birthday money (yes, even 36 year olds still get birthday money), and thought I'd use that for the daily tourney, and just play cash games on my own.  Brought a buddy down with me for the day, and had a good time.  Turned a profit of about $140 in close to 7 hours of play, and felt pretty good about how I played, with more aggression than I'm used to.

Now, the one tricky spot I had was as follows.

Loose raiser, who was almost entirely fit or fold post flop (checked down KK on an A-high flop, etc.), raised to 4x, I called from the button with K10cc, and the extremely loose passive BB calls as well.  BB and I both have over 100BBs, the MP had probably in the 75BBish range.  Flop comes AcJc6s.  BB checks, MP bets about 2/3.  First decision, I choose to call, as I know he'll shut it down on turns when he doesn't have anything, and he might give me a good price if I don't hit a card on the turn too.  However, the BB raises to 3x the bet. 

So at this point, the pot is close to 120.  I'm left with roughly 200 behind.  A call would be 40.  The MP folds.  So now I'm left with a really tough decision.  The BB had not raised more than once or twice, and only on the river once he had the virtual nuts, in 5-6 hours of play.  So a flop raise is a new thing for him.  It makes me think he has, at worst, top two.  A call seems out of the question to me.  I'm thinking I have to make the big decision, to shove it in, or let it go. 

The math tells me I'm looking at, likely, 12 outs twice, so roughly 48 percent to win.  I then think to myself, god, do I want a flip for 200 bucks?  I don't think I've got a lot of fold equity when he puts that in, so, yeah, a flip.  And I fold.  My bankroll, being only about 1800 was in the back of my mind, and I folded.  As I thought about it the next day, I was really disappointed with myself.  I tried to realize that afterward, I found different spots where I was able to be profitable, but it still hurt a little bit that I was playing with scared money.

The guy claimed afterward, and I believed him, that he had a set of sixes, btw.

Outside of that, I made a pair of really good laydowns with straights, one against a flush, and one against a FH.  Outside of that, pretty standard stuff. 

Posted By kennycalhoo at 01:53 PM


October 03, 2012

It's been four months since my last blog...

But I am recommiting to this.  Because I have a new project.

I met yesterday with a coach.  He's a local player, Rob Gardner, who played professionally for several years before Black Friday hit.  He's a dominant PLO8 player who also has been making a living playing NLHE as well.  We've worked out a staking/coaching arrangement, which will start next week.  It's very exciting for me on two levels.  1) I'm putting together my first truly dedicated schedule where I will be treating it like a job, and 2) I'm getting my first private instruction.

I work two jobs already, and am happily married.  It's going to be hard to fit this in, but I'm committing to playing 6-8 hours worth of tournaments on Tuesdays, and one day on the weekend.  That's a big deal for me.  My wife is being incredibly supportive, and wants me to take on this challenge.

I get a weekly lesson, and then get to play about 15 tournaments a week.  We're starting small, $30 a week.  And I'm going to bust my butt to make this successful for the both of us. 

Posted By kennycalhoo at 02:14 PM


June 04, 2012

Re: inavacuum's blog "Waiting for the Rapture"


Before reading this this morning, I was talking with a friend about how completely nitty the games at 10NL on Carbon are.  I make sure to mark anyone that varies, but yesterday, I was at three tables, and there literally wasn't a single player there who had a VPIP of more than 20. 

Now, there are certainly still soft points, but I found I lost money yesterday while trying to exploit it.  I opened more than I normally would with a wider array of hands, and was about break-even, except I tried to snap off a bluff when I really should have realized that my opponent was going to c/c everything down.

My point is that it just wasn't fun poker to play.  I still believe that I can be profitable, but I think my edge is small, and I'm finding that I like to gamble it up a little bit more now than I used to.  I suppose that's a good thing, but I have to find more and different ways to be profitable.  I'm quite swingy of late, because against the nits, I'm trying to use fold equity to get it in with overpairs and draws more, again stretching my comfortability a little bit. 

This is rambling, but its what Im thinking about poker right now.

Posted By kennycalhoo at 01:44 PM


May 25, 2012

Brutal, brutal week.

Down 6BI over about 700 hands.  Which is a lot for me.  4 of those are completely unavoidable losses, but then I think I might have spewed the other bit while trying to "get it back" as opposed to playing optimally.  Which is a tad bit disappointing. 
Hopefully, the weekend will treat me better.  I'm going to try and get back to a basic level of play, and see where that takes me.  Probably will nit it up a little bit until I feel comfortable, and shake off the losses. 

Posted By kennycalhoo at 01:31 PM


May 23, 2012


I now have three players I'm staking for 1% in various events in the WSOP.  I probably overextended myself, which is interesting, considering that I'm so freaking weird and tight with my BRM.  But Staking?  Oh, no problem, here's $200. 


Posted By kennycalhoo at 02:59 PM


May 23, 2012

A good step for me.

I had one of those days, set into set, kings in to aces, etc, where I lost a couple BIs early, and for the first time, didn't dwell on it after shutting it down.  Pretty happy about that. 

Posted By kennycalhoo at 01:06 PM


May 15, 2012

Pretty excited to "stake my first horse."

Had a little extra money laying around, so last night, I decided to stake 1% of Collin Moshman in nine WSOP preliminary events.  I think it'll be a fun way to experience the WSOP over the next couple of months.  I love his books, so I figured why not. 

Posted By kennycalhoo at 11:20 AM


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