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Friday, July 30, 2010

In Bismarck

We made it to Bismarck today and checked into the hotel.  We shoot the North Dakota State Sporting Clays tournament tomorrow morning.

We begin the tourney with the sub-gauge event in the morning and then shoot the 5-stand event in the afternoon. Both of the events are 100 targets.  Then we shoot the main event, which is 200 targets, on Sunday.

I played poker a bit on the way here and although I didn't lose that much I am pretty disappointed in my play.  I played a session of RUSH poker then a session of mass tabling full ring on Stars... while playing RUSH I made two calls of river check-raises that were basically horrible in my opinion.  In both instances, I had a hand that had a really good absolute hand strength but faced with these two players' river-check raises, my hand was essentially a bluff catcher.  I need to start playing more attention to absolute hand strengths and find a fold when I feel my absolute hand strength is second best.

Lately, I've just been calling in those spots but it's pretty terrible to do so.  I feel like I have really strong hand reading skills and am right on the money a lot more often than not, but sometimes I just don't follow through with the best play after I put them on their hand range.  It's really frustrating and disappointed that there is this disconnect between what I know is the correct play and what I actually do.  This is something that I'm going to work really hard to correct in the coming months.

I probably won't be playing any poker at all over the weekend,  but might play a bit on the ride back to Grand Forks on Sunday night.  I'm going to relax, have fun with my Dad, brother, and shooting friends and enjoy being outside.  Hopefully I shoot well this weekend too!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Solid day of poker and shooting

Had our first lesson with our shooting instructor this morning and it went really well.  The major thing that I need to work on is a crisp, clear focus on a particular part of the target before I shoot.  Basically, whenever I have a great focus on the target I have a really high chance of hitting it... no matter what the target is like.

After the lesson we shot a practice course that had a bunch of high tower shots, which was pretty fun.  A few of them were pretty damn tough to hit as they were around 50 yards away from us.

We have to wake up early tomorrow to have another shooting session then we drive to Bismark for the State shoot... the drive tomorrow is going to suck.  My Dad estimated the drive to be around 10 hours, so hopefully I can get a bit of poker playing in while we're on the road.

I managed to squeak two RUSH poker sessions in today and finished up 4 buy-ins on the day.  I made a few bad call downs in spots where it was super likely someone had me 1-upped but it's just so hard to fold in those spots.  Against certain players in RUSH though, calling in those spots is basically like setting money on fire because you're almost never good.

Time to hit the hay.  Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

In Minnesota

We just made it to Minnesota to spend Thursday and Friday morning tuning up for the ND State Shoot.  I was able to play some poker in the car on my laptop and did pretty well, winning about three buy-ins.  I definitely made a few mistakes though and they were of the spewy type.

The more I play RUSH the more I realize how the majority of players just basically never bluff... and by bluff I am not talking about c-bet bluffing or double barrel bluffing in obvious spots.  It just seems like when someone is repping a narrow range, chucking in chips, and raising postflop they actually have the hand so much more often than a normal 6 Max cash game.

I think this is because people are just quick-folding marginal spots and hands so they actually mathematically end up with less hands in their "air" range.  This may seem obvious but I guess I wasn't doing anything to adjust to it as far as my play goes... which resulted in a lot of bad call downs.

I think I'm getting better and better at figuring out the ranges regs have and it seems like some of them are so damn nitty that it is almost a mistake to get QQ or worse in vs them pre-flop if the positional seating isn't blind vs. blind or blinds vs. button.  Anyone else have thoughts on whether or not in general players' all-in ranges seem to be significantly tighter than normal?

Good day at the tables

I had really good results today even though I only played about 4 hours.  I think my previous sessions, I was just trying to be too fancy and make too many hero calls... I've found that I really need to do better in regards to trusting my instincts because my instincts are normally right on the money.

There was a hand today where I flopped TPTK AQ on QTc7c with the nut flush draw after a 3-bet a 16/13 nit when I was in position... I c-bet the flop and got check-raised smallish... to like 2.5xs.  Obviously I'm never considering folding the flop here but after he bets really large on a blank turn I feel like he's never bluffing here and only value betting hands better than mine....

He isn't going to have hardly any QX hands that I beat in his range I feel because he's so tight.  Even if he did, there's no way he c/r flop and leads huge on the turn with a hand like QJ.  It's possible he has a draw but I don't think he's ever calling OOP with hands like KJ suited in that situation.  I turned to my brother who was in the room, told him that this player has a set of T's nearly every time in this situation... so I just shoved over the player's turn bet with my TPTK and nut flush draw and got shown three tens!  Surprise!  As retarded as it might feel to fold my hand on the turn there, I really should have.  I would have probably folded a bare flush draw on the turn and I felt like my top pair wasn't strong enough to justify going with my hand vs this particular opponent and the actions he'd taken thus far in the hand.

I've noticed that most RUSH poker players who play this snug style almost never ever ever show up with pure air in this type of situation.  They just aren't calling 3-bets OOP with weak hands that are air on flops... and they seem to play very straightforwardly.  It's really a mistake to pay these players off, as they are just quick folding until they get a top 10% hand to play.

I had to run a bunch of errands today, as tomorrow my Dad, brother, and I head out to Minnesota to start our clay shooting trip.  We'll be there Wednesday and Thursday and then we drive to Bismark, ND on Friday to shoot in the State Sporting Clays Championship.  Hopefully, I can defend my state title successfully.  It's not going to be easy, as the only shooting I've done this year so far is the few days practice over the last 4 days since I've been home and shooting in the U.S. Open.  So hopefully the few days we spend in Minnesota act as a great tune up for the State shoot.

I'll only have one more day in Grand Forks when I get back from Bismarck then I fly back to Chicago to begin ultimate grind mode.  I can't wait to minimize my distractions, set a schedule for myself, and force myself to follow it.  I want to optimize every hour in every day if possible, and not sleep for 10 hours per day and just burn time.  Hell, if I could operate on 6 or 7 hours of sleep or less like I did in college just to study for stupid, irrelevant tests then certainly I can push myself a bit more when my work actually produces the green stuff.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Ate dinner tonight with a few friends, Greg, Tom, Kevin & his girlfriend at the Green Mill.  We didn't end up going shooting today because it was raining in the morning.  The weather is pretty bad tonight, with thunderstorms so hopefully it clears up by tomorrow morning so we can go shooting again.

The past few sessions of RUSH poker have been super frustrating.  It just seems like everyone always has the top of their range and their bluffing frequencies are extremely minimal.  It's great if you're making lock hands but when you're running into bad spots it's super tilting.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Nightlife in Grand Forks

It's just a slight notch below Vegas!  Ended up going out last night to hang with a few of my friends, Adam and Greg.  Greg called me and said they were downtown so I joined up with them for a few hours.  I haven't seen either of them in a while so it was good to catch up on stuff.  I've been friends with both of them since middle school when I was about 13-14 years old.

I mass tabled some 200NL full ring on Stars last night before I went out but ended up losing about a buy-in.  Nothing really happened, I don't think I shipped my stack in more than once or twice.

I went shooting yesterday with my Dad and brother and we practiced for about four hours.  It was fun to get back into the swing of things shooting-wise, but I can tell I have a lot of rust to shake off before the North Dakota State Sporting Clays Championships this upcoming weekend.

I think the plan was to go out practicing again today but Chad is still sleeping so we'll see what happens.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Back home

My flight got in at 6:30 PM today and my Dad picked me up from the airport.  We then went to my house, checked it out a bit to see if it was still standing, lol.  It was, but the yard is way out of control in the front... weeds, etc. all over.  I have a landscaping front thing with a few trees in it and random flowers but it looks like a mess because everything is way overgrown.  The bushes need to be trimmed and the grass is at least somewhat under control.

I see that my car is still where I left it, inside the garage.  Of course the battery is completely dead because no one has drove it in over 6 months.  The inside of the house is really dirty, since my brother and a few other friends have been living in my house while I am gone.... scary thing is, they said they cleaned it for four hours that day before I arrived.  Yikes!

The carpet is really dirty, the bathrooms are disgusting, and there's a bunch of shit in the garage now too, lol.  Also, Chad said the air conditioner in the house quit working so he called someone in to fix it... cost?  $600 and it wasn't even working earlier today but now it's finally starting to kick in.

I ended up going back to my family's house after checking out my house's condition and got to see my Mom and our dog, Boogie.  I haven't seen them in over 6 months, since they weren't there when I shot the U.S. Open with my Dad and brother.  It was good to see everyone and Boogie was soooooo excited to see me.  I hadn't seen her in so long she probably thought I was a goner, haha.

I ate dinner at my parent's house, talked with my Dad, and my Mom got some cleaning supplies gathered up for my house.  My Mom was feeling a bit sick so I didn't get to talk with her all that much.  Hopefully she gets better soon before I leave.  I ended up grabbing a battery charger and bringing it to my house to charge my car and was able to get it started after charging it for a bit.

I played poker a bit today... some at the airport and for about 3 hours tonight.  It went quite well overall and I finished up for the day.  I had one sick hand where I got 3-outed on the river on a A466 board when the money got in on the turn... I had AK and he had A9 and rivered two pair on me.  Unlucky and standard.

I'm going to sleep now, as my Dad, brother, and I plan on going shooting tomorrow late morning/early afternoon.  We're just going to practice out in the country with our trap so it'll be good to get some shooting in.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Flying home to ND today

I'm making a somewhat short, 11 day trip back home to visit my family and friends from North Dakota today.  I'll be flying back to Chicago on August 3rd.

I'm looking forward to seeing my family and friends again, as I haven't seen some of them in over 6 months.  I will probably just end up hanging out this weekend and at the middle of next week my dad, brother, and I plan on heading to Minnesota for some sporting clays shooting.  Then, right from Minnesota we will head to Bismarck, ND for the North Dakota State Sporting Clays Championships.  After that I'll have one last day in Grand Forks before I fly to Chicago and begin playing poker like crazy.

I'm going to try and post some pictures from my Vegas trip soon, probably at the beginning of next week so check back for some cool pics.  Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Re-enabled comments on my blog posts

Awhile ago, I decided to disable comments on my blog posts because there were a few anonymous clowns that were saying dumb stuff on the comments section... I re-enabled them because it's fun to hear from everyone that follows my blog and I think it makes it more fun to read if you can comment on the posts.

I now have it set so that I can review all comments so if you're going to say something dumb you might as well not say it at all.

As far as a poker update, I've decided to spend a lot of time in the near future playing RUSH poker on FTP and just building up my bankroll.  It's frustrating at times because it seems like everyone's overall ranges for getting their money seem to be much tighter than normal, but the volume advantages are really nice.  I may try and mass table some $1-2 NL full ring as well, because that is also a fairly low variance way to build up my roll.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Grind time

Going to grind a ton this week, today through the end of Thursday. On Friday I fly back home to ND to visit my family and friends, so I'm looking forward to that. I'll be in ND for about 10 days then I'll fly back to Chicago and start going into the office on a regular basis in August.

I added a few new blogs to my links list... it's the blogs of a few of my friends that I stayed with in Vegas at the house. Fisheye25's blog is Jason's blog and Peoplemover's blog is Marc's blog. It looks like they update it quite frequently so check it out!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Terrible day

Just had one of the worst days that I've had in a long time.

I ran really badly... so many unfortunate and unavoidable coolers. I started out the day by getting crushed at RUSH poker on FTP... then switched to try and mass table some 200NL full ring with the same result, got crushed.

Then I played some 400NL 6 Max and was playing quite well, but each time I was beginning a serious comeback I ran AK into AA vs a super aggro opponent when they were on the button. I did that twice for 125bbs each time. So annoying.

Then this hand topped off my day. Such a sick river.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Back in Chicago

I'm back in Chicago now and it feels weird to be in my apartment here again since I've been away for so long.

I have a ton of pictures and things to talk about from my Vegas trip but I won't be doing that this post... maybe in a few days I will have some time.

I'm headed to the office tomorrow and going to grind all day. I intend to work a ton now that I'm back in Chicago and will shoot for around 40 hours per week of play as well as spending as much time studying poker as possible. After this weekend is finished I'll be posting a schedule that I intend to follow as closely as possible.

I ended up hitting the gym today to lift some weights and it went pretty well. I worked out for about an hour and I can definitely feel it. I'm going to do cardio tomorrow... probably running on the outdoor track at my apartment's 9th floor.

Time for bed.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Last day in Vegas

I've had a blast here in Vegas. Seems like I've been away from Chicago forever, but I'm headed back later today. It will be good to be back and get into a better work schedule.

I have a lot of fun stuff from my Vegas trip I'd like to talk about and post pictures of, but I'll have to do it later as it's late and I want to get some sleep.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Surrender Nightclub

Liz is in Vegas with me now and we went out with everyone from our house and tore up Surrender at the Encore last night. It was soooo much fun! We had a blast. We also met up with Seth, Sparks, and The Captain, as they were there as well.

I really liked the club... it was a bit smaller than XS but had a really awesome atmosphere.

We are getting ready to head out to XS tonight for their 4th of July pool party tonight so I'll post some pictures tomorrow. Happy 4th of July everyone!