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October Oct 31, 2005 / 08:24 AM

This weekend was qualifier weekend for the first german championchip in NLHE. The event will be held in December and have a multi-level qualification system for the "super-final". More about this in an upcoming post. So, friday Katja and I went to the local casino to play some first round qualification tournements, which are NLHE single table tournaments, 8 player winners take all format (with 9 or 10 players second gets some money). I don't what exactly happened to Katja (she played two qualfifieres but won none) but here are my key situations: Got annother guy all-in with A9s vs his 89o, he made a straight, got the BB all-in with K4s vs his J9o, board contained a 9 in the first satelitte (got 3rd) and the main turning point in the second was when I called a small button raise in the BB with T7 of diamonds, flop came KT3 with two diamonds, I moved in, he called showing AK and no T, 7 or diamond came.

The second day, saturday, I decided to stay home to play pokerstars $300 event and maybe the later $100+R tourney but Katja went. Nothing in the first qualifier but she won the second, playing perfect and having no accident. They had 4 qualifiers this evening and besides Katja my friend's Steffen, cardcore's Sebastian and Frank won theirs! Congratulations!!!

I was heavy in the cash games over the last weeks, mostly 30/60 with some 100/200, all on pokerstars. Although I am normally not into publishing my statistics here (Katja asked me to publish some as the impression of a "loser blog" was slowly occuring over the last months because I write so much about bad luck, our own mistakes and mis-management and stuff like that). So here are Octobers stats:

8,345 hands played (30/60 and 100/200, pokerstars, 10/1/05-10/31/05)
VP$IP 25.28
Won$WSF 38.86
Won amount $16,194,50
BB/100 3.57
Went to SD 39,67
Won$SD 53.77
PF Raise 11.04
Actually the results would have been way better had I not had a $6,600 loss in a 7 minute $100/200 session yesterday (where everything went bad as possible). Those kinds of numbers are nice anyway and I admit I was running real good during the last weeks ("normal" BB/100 is about 1.3 over 65,000 hands at $30/60 and I do not have enough $100/200 hands recorded to say anything meaningfull).

Yesterday I played the sundays $500 event with about 1700 players but I won no pot. Finally I went all-in with AQo on a already short stack, got called by AK and received no help (playtime about an hour only).

The WSOP 2006 schedule is out and I am already excited. Would there be qualifiers already I would play right away - again, I dream of going to Vegas about 3 month in one piece (which will most likly get down to going twice for a week again). I really liked the event this year although Harras really ripped us players out of every cent possible. Maybe they improve at least something service-wise next year but if you played at the binions some years then one is not really used to good service ;)

But with that schedule announcement the preparation time for started. I am way to fat again (need a weightbet opponent! Contact me!) and also I recogniced that during the heavy internet cash game play the last years my patience lacks. I found it hard this year to stay concentrated during a $300 single-table satelitte for example - waiting, folding, waiting, folding, waiting, some more folding, moving in, getting beat, asking what the hell are you doing there and is that 100/200 cash game over there not looking so inviting? I already start to have this problem in the higher buy-in big events so I admit becoming a little action addicted. With years change I will start to train - my stamina (weight, endurance) and my patience buy doing sports with diet and going to long-session live games at least once a week. If possible I will try some live warm-up tournaments (Tunica? WPT final?). So I have two months of being a couch potato with a fast internet connection left ;) and then I start getting to work! (earning those bankroll "peanuts" for a extended WSOP stay for two also being on my list ;)

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Bloody sunday Oct 23, 2005 / 08:16 PM

OK OK, I have been slow on updateing the blog the last week, simply because I was - well, lazy. To make up for it I will report tonight -more or less live- about the tournaments Katja and I play this evening. But first, what's happending in outr poker world? Not very much at all. Missing the good live events in Baden, Las Vegas and Foxwoods but grinding it out online does not make for any interesting story... online was very successfull the last week, I more than tripled my remaining bankroll at pokerstars (4k) for a nice score. Regarding tournaments I made a 250th place out of 3,300 last sunday but have nothing else than bad beats to report, let me tell you about two hands which were most hurting:

$300 buyin, NLHE, about 150 players, 15 minutes into the tournament. I find JJ in late position and there is a very small raise (like 75 on a 30 blind). I re-raise to 260, the raiser calls. Flop comes perfect, 9T3 rainbow. He checks, I put him on AK or AQ so I make a good pot sized bet of about 750. He calls. Turn comes offsuit 5, harmless card I figure. He checks, I bet all-in (about 1300) and he calls! He has about 200 left and shows - AK !!! No pair, no draw. Well, river is K and I am out. Ughh.

Maybe even nicer: sunday's 500k guaranteed, 250 left out of 3,300, I am already in the money with 70% of the average chip count. I find AQ in middle position and raise a limper, all fold to the BB, which calls as does the early position limper. Flop comes AQ2 offsuit. Juhu! The BB checks, the limper bets, I raise all-in, the BB re-raises all-in and the limper calls! BIG POT, limper and I all-in. Showdown: big blind shows A2 for two pair, limper shows AK for top pair with best kicker and I have top two pair. Turn comes right away - deuce! River is blank and I am out. Gulp. What could, what would, what should....

So, tonight will hopefully be a little better. I play 4 tournaments:

22:00: Pokerstars "Inaugural Blogger Championship"
which is a freeroll and will be lots of fun (well, unless you bust out early),

22:30: PokerStars "normal" sundays $200+15 event (nice times were a $200 with >3,000 players is considered normal),

23:00: PokerSTars WPT-PCA qualifier to the Bahamas event for 10,000 FPP's which I have qualified for during the week and

01:00: Partypoker freeroll with $100,000 in price money for 20k bonus points.

Uff, though program. Katja is playing cash game and the blogger tournament also. I got to leave tomorrow morning at about 4:45 a.m. so I will hardly getting enough sleep before leaving to just another boring business week full of poker pipe dreams. Anyway, in case I will still be in good shape in any of those tourneys I will stay some hours longer or drop the monday completly. Let's root for that!

So down here will be the live report for those tournaments, check regulary. I will provide some afterthoughts during the week.

PokerStars blogger championship, freeroll

22:00 - Tourney starts, good luck Katja, good luck Jan, good luck all!
22:00 - 1,473 bloggers (WOW), 2,000 starting chips and nice prices ahead
22:01 - Chat empty????? What kind of blogger tournament is that???
22:06 - Just saw the hammer win a full-sized all-in pot, hehe
22:12 - All fold, SB limps, I check A9o - checked to the end, SB wins with KJo and K on turn
22:14 - Calling the minimum with the hammer myself but folding on the flop
22:15 - Call 80 with KQo, a loose player raised, but folded to raise and reraise behind. Loose player had A3o and lost to 99, I would have won with Q in flop, got moved
22:17 - My first small pot! Complete in SB with 76o, flop 455, all fold to my bet
22:20 - Call 80 in BB with QJo, flop dead for me, I fold to a bet
22:23 - Raise 4x BB with 88, win it on the flop, back to 2,000 in chips
22:27 - Raise 3 limpers with AQ, get a caller, flop cames A75, I bet, get raised, re-raise all-in. Guy had A5 for two pair but I rivered a queen to double almost up. Lucky me
22:29 - Flopped a straight with KJo on the button and got some money, now at 4,115
22:30 - 500k event is starting, now double action
22:34 - Small pot with AJ vs. A6
22:37 - Folded with AJs to an all-in re-reraise
22:44 - Win with A8o and 99 small pots, at 5,185 now
22:56 - Lost a big pot with 44 when I put other guy on AK and made a move at the wrong time - he turned a set of nines, down to 2,000 again
22:nn - Stole blinds with A3s and Ako
23:00 - Third tournament is starting, on break
23:22 - I get no cards and hold myself only thru blind stealing, 2,000 chips
23:23 - All-in with JJ, get an all-in from smaller stack, he has QJs, flop comes with J, 3,700 chips
23:25 - Katja is out!
23:32 - Out in 617th place, 98s vs. Q3 on a Q83 flop. Good luck all!

PokerStars 500k guaranteed, $215

22:30 - Tournament is starting, 2,500 starting chips, 3,510 players, $702,200 pricepool!
22:38 - My QQ wins uncontested
22:47 - Raise with AQo, get a caller but he folds on the ragged flop
23:00 - Third tournament is starting
23:01 - Raise with AKo, get a caller, he calls me on rag flop also, turn is Q, I go all-in, he folds, puhhhh
23:07 - Flop open-ended straight draw with KJ, make a bet, get a caller, slow down, lose vs. QJ
23:00 - Lay down AJs after a raise, would have lost vs. KK
23:17 - Big action with AJs, I make flush on turn and win against a set, 6,040 now
23:30 - QQ on the button, get a caller with 33, make quads, nearly 8,000 chips, break
23:35 - Now this is only tourney left running, at least makes reporting easier
23:40 - JJ in EP, no customers
23:45 - 55 two times in row, both winners, 9,187 chips, moved
23:50 - Lost a nice pot with 88 against an all-in player holding QQ, down to 7,300
23:55 - AA in BB, one raiser, I call, he bets flop, I call and bet out on turn, he folds, stack=8,800
23:00 - Raise with 88, get two callers, flop a set and find an opponent - 15,681 in chips now
00:00 - Tournament is running 90 minutes, half the field is out (1758 left), average is 5000
00:15 - Lost a very big pot with two pair aces against 77 and 7 on the turn. How called my bets is a miracle to me but anyway, down to 7,800, argh
00:16 - Same guy: I made a standard raise 4x BB with AK, same guy calls, flop comes 35K, I check, he checks, turn is K, I bet, he raises, I go all-in, he calls and shows 33 for full-house. The river did not help and so I am out from top 20 position in two hands :(
00:17 - I unregister for the party event and go to bed now - Katja's there, at least I have a winner there ;)

PokerStars WPT-PCA qualifier, 10,000 FPP

23:00 - 192 players, 1,500 starting chips
23:10 - QQ wins small pot
23:34 - Out with A7 on A high flop, my fault.

Partypoker 100k guaranteed, 20,000 bonus points

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Contest winner Oct 13, 2005 / 10:02 AM

Opbc2 WOW! Pokerstars choosed our small blog here as the winner of their daily "Blogger Championship" (check it out http://bloggerchampionship.blogspot.com). Here is what they wrote to me:

Congrats, you are the winner of our PokerStars Blogger Championship free daily give away! I chose your blog from over 1,000 for being a cool blog, layout and content wise. Pretty nice compliment with the many I have looked over.
Thank you Ryan and thank you pokerstars! We put quite some work into the blog and fellow readers, keeping honest about whats going on is sometimes harder than you might think, especially when things don't go your way (which was pretty often the case in the last 14 months since this blog is running)

In conjunction to that I was requested to repost our "adventures" in Tunica and Las Vegas this year; especially the Vegas post received quite a lot of attention and shows how all can be perfect but one still manages to fuck up dearly (Note: all posts are still available if you use the month selector but I obviously should include a full post listing into the navigation very soon). Here are the links:

Gett'n roasted... all around (Vegas April 2005)
Tunica trip report (Janury 2005),
Tunica: Nightly calculation (statistics from hell)

Well, in regard of actually playing the game I got superstious from reading my friend Matt's posts about he always get on a bad streak once he writes about a good run he has - he says it's pretty much all over once you hit "publish" button and already made a comment how some sites maybe have a whole bunch of blog readers hired which hit the "doom" switch in your account. So I decided to not write about that I was on a pretty nice rush the last days and made some nice money in the 30/60. Matt, it looks like they made an upgrade to mind readers as even thinking about writing that I am on a good run looks like finishing it. From one point to the other I could not make (win) a hand and I lost a pretty big chunk back :( Now let's see if they de-doom me as I write and think about losing... ;)

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Paradise lost Oct 12, 2005 / 09:34 AM

I'll start today with my take on the "big move" by PartyGaming last weekend. For those who don't know what happened: Partypoker splitted from it's poker network partners (Intertops, Empirepoker , Eurobet and others), creating a new "network" by leaving them all together but drawing out itself. Partypoker is still hosting their technical infrastructure as before but has moved it's own client base (about 9 million players from what I hear) to a whole new plattform. Now we have Partypoker with it's gigantic playerbase (~50,000 online) and "X-Poker" (formerly known as party skins) with a pretty much smaller player count (~8,000 online). So what's it all about you ask? Well, in fact most of the professional players (real pro's, aspiring pro's, semi-pro's and wanna-be's) are playing on one or more of those skins due to the simple fact that they get rakeback to play there. Partypoker has the policy to pay their affiliates based on rake but prohibits them to give anything from it back to their customers (therefore the term "rakeback") while the skins were doing this. For a high-volume multi-tabling player this are quickly a few thousand bucks each month. In fact, there a lot of break-even players that made their money due to the rakeback. Now, imagine this: an "X-Poker" network with not so many players on it and a very high percentage of well-playing pro's. Not what you are looking for.

Party's reasons are obvious for me: gain more right now as they expect a lot of players coming back from the skins to "the mother" and position itself for their next big move, the "PartyCasino" in 2006. The addition of black-jack tables and sidebets on the flop into the last software version shows already which way they are heading. Expect poker to be only one part of the services they are offering very soon. Will it work out? That is a though question and is discussed in depth in various forums; the reactions range from "boycott party!" to applause, the stock price went down notable. My oppionion: it will work. While we serious poker players (including me, lol) don't care about the casino games a lot of other's do. Poker may lose some players due to their loses on the casino games but we may gain some others coming in because of the casino games (much like in b&m). Overall my estimate is that the height of the "poker bubble" is more or less reached (party heading to include different games just confirms that to me) and we might even see a slight downswing in average players in the near future. I doubt the "bubble will burst" but we might get back to "normal" on a very high level compared to 4 years ago.

Pokerstars was quick, offering a nice deposit bonus of $150 to get some of the players that decide to leave Partypoker now. Pokerstars in not paying any rakebacks of rake based commision to affiliates now - if they would come with a nice program these days before the dust settles I guess they could reach the #1 status regarding connected players. Why they don't do that i beyond me.

Our own consequences are marginal as we are not in the group described above as "pro's" and therfore have no serious rakeback deal going. We play mostly on stars, some tournament action on party after whoring a bonus and that's it. I do have an account with eurobet and a rakeback deal going but never really used that so we lose almost nothing here.

In actual play Katja is playing limit holdem on TitanPoker to finally get this $500 first-deposit bonus and some PLO on stars while I keep on 30/60 and tournaments on stars. Yesterday I played about 10 but failed to make anything (lost AA vs. 99, KK vs. JJ, straight vs. flush, AQ vs. A3 and more like this).

We sadly could not make it to Baden this year (EPT event and european stud championship "PokerEM") but since the last 7 trips to Baden were losing trips it is not to bad... I guess. Right now a nice series (Fiesta al lago with WPT event) is running at the Bellagio and we already had tickets for that but because of business reasons can't go there either. Foxwood is out of reach also so the next scheduled trip will be Tunica next year.

I heard about a "funny" hand my friend and former weightbet opponent Frank had in Baden: he was playing NLHE cash game and had build a nice stack of about 13,000eur when a young danish guy came to the table. The game was fun with many jokes and live straddles and everything when Frank got A5s and limped, flop was K55. There was a bet and he made a heafty raise, two players folded but the danish guy called. Turn was a J and Frank moved in but got called. River K, danish guy showd KJ for the better fullhouse. This alone is a though beat already but now the other two players explained that they were mucking AK and JJ (!). This means the danish guy has hit three miracles (K on flop-2 outer, J on turn-1 outer, K on river-1 outer) in a row for a 20,000eur pot. This pot could have happened the very same way to me and I just wonder if this seat was meant to be mine...?!

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