Thursday, November 16, 2006
Back From the Oil Rig...
Poker can be all encompassing if you let it. I was letting it. Which is difficult to do when you have a family and a full time job. You see, while I might view myself as "Karen" poker star extraordinaire, the rest of the world views me as Karen, high school teacher and mother of two. So the rest of the world called, I answered and now I am back to poker.
I had fun tonight. I really like the VPP freerolls. I have played in three or four now, and have made the money in all of them. Tonight was particularly fun because I happened to knock out Mr.VPP himself...and collected a little bounty. For some reason, and I would love to know if others experience a similar phenomenon, I really do play my best poker when I play in VPP events. I'm stumped. Perhaps it's because I find the banter relaxing. Perhaps I feel I have something to prove. Or, perhaps I'm just playing better players than I normally do and am forced to bring my "A" game every time. I don't know why, but I like it. And I hope it continues. It makes me feel good to do well.
I do have a conundrum though. And perhaps someone reading this blog can provide some insight. When I'm reading the posts in the forum I hear tell of large bankrolls, sites with lots of fishy tables and great poker successes. I think, "Oh, those guys must be so much better than I", then when we play at the same tables I find that we seem to be fairly equally matched. Yet my bankroll is still paltry, my successes are okay but nothing stellar and my resolve is wavering. How, oh how, will I build my bankroll, and start really reaping the rewards of my unwavering commitment to the game of poker?
Okay...enough of that. I've been pondering something else. And again I invite comments. Here's a scenario that seems to happen every time I play:
I'm playing at a low, no-limit table. There's no more than $50.00 in any given bankroll at any given time. Then, there's some clown who thinks he knows so much about poker that he's giving the entire table "free advice" on how to improve their game. My concerns for such a character are twofold:
1) Why would you tell your opponents how to be better poker players? So they can take your money instead of vice versa?
and, this is the one that really really gets to me;
2) If you are such a fantastic poker star, why are you playing in $10 buy in tournaments, or 10/25 cent games? Surely there is more money to be made elsewhere with such skill...
I have always said that there are many many silly silly people in this world. Now, I know that if I really want to find them on short notice, all I have to do is log onto any given poker network, and buy into a low limit ring game....
Be well and good night
Oh and as a P.S.--if you really really want to read more of Kaycee's blog, I would sure like to hear your feedback...comments always spur me to write more...and more...and more....until you just can't shut me up!
Once again, be well.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Now don't get me wrong boys, I'm not saying that you don't care about your kids and worry when they're sick, but it's just different.
I have a really tough time worrying about my flush draw and my "M" at any given time when I have a child with a fever of 103.
And I couldn't bluff myself out of a paper bag. Not when my kids are sick.
And that my friends, is my achilles heel. Want to beat me at poker? Wait until my kids are sick, talk me into a game (which still won't be hard) and then pounce. I may as well just write you a check and save myself some time!
It's funny isn't it? How poker sneaks into your everyday thoughts, but then gosh darn it, evey now and then, every day ends up nosing its way into your poker game.
I suppose that the really good poker players can separate the two.
But then again, they probably didn't have a wee one with a big flu.
Be well until next time.
Friday, September 29, 2006
3 x 2 =1
And it gives me a great deal of confidence in my poker play...
Let's do some fun poker math here;
3 times second place equals first place in the standings.
Last night I mentioned briefly that, gosh darn, I just can't seem to crack that second place nut...and it bugs me. Dave W was quick to respond that 3 second place finishes in 4 weeks is nothing to frown at, but I am.
I wonder if other poker greats were happy when they only got seconds. Do you think Doyle ever said, "Second is good enough", or "Well it's better than third.." I doubt it. If he did, he probably wouldn't be the poker great that he is today.
If I am content with such a finish, then I needn't improve more. I can stop reading, hey Dave, don't worry about sending out my next batch of books...I don't need them. I'm good enough...I CAME IN SECOND!!!
The first second place finish made me happy because all of you guys intimidated the heck out of me and I was thrilled to bits to realise that I was in a similar skill bracket.
The second second place finish made me smile but I was beginning to wonder what was up with my heads up play
Now that I have hit the third second place finish I am finding it somewhat problematic. There is a real chink in my poker armour that unless I solve the problem I will always be one place off of the very best prize. One place off getting the cruise, or one place off the elusive I-Pod, or one place off the biggest money available.
I understand that I can't win them all. No poker player can. And I understand that I should be thrilled to bits with my current poker league standing... and I am... But gosh golly gee...I sure would like that little banner at the end to stop telling me that I'm "the runner up" in this week's tournament!!!
So VPP boys I shall leave you with this. Over the next week I will be studying with great vigour. Not about continuation bets and first in vigourish, but about one thing and one thing only...how to play heads up poker, and how to play it well enough to win.
Be well until next week...
And thanks once again to all of you who have been helping me to improve my game.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Must Write Blog
Each night the following mantra has been flowing through my head:
"Must write blog before I play poker"
"Must write blog..."
"Must write blog.."
As tends to happen when things are going well, I begin to question the limits that I'm playing and whether it is time to move up. The inner dialogue goes something like this:
"I'm ready to do this. I could be making SO much more money"
"I could lose so much more money"
"I should do it"
Then, I'll go ahead, buy into higher limit tables, get heart palpitations every time I slide any money into the pot, play a game different than I usually do, lose more money than I'm comfortable with and end up at the lower tables anyway. Only to go through the same, painful cycle a few weeks later.
The thing is, I'm sure that if I gave it a little time, I'd be fine at the higher limits. Lately it's been a bit better. I've moved from the 25 cent no limit tables to the 50 cent tables. It's still small potatoes I know, but I have two kids to get through Montessouri school, a mortgage and many years before I can retire.
I have had a great month. I have quadrupled my bankroll. I have excelled in some multi table tournaments and my sit n go average isn't bad either. When I look back at where I started back in February and the amount of knowledge I have amassed since then, I have to be proud of my poker progress. This is no weekend lesiure for me. This is my future. And I'm good at it.
And it is so much fun.
Hope to see you at the tables!
Be well until next time
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Maybe I'm Not So Bad Afterall
One of the more interesting parts of this poker journey is trying to figure out how I compare to others in my level of poker skill. If I were wise, I wouldn't even worry about it, but I do. When I was a volleyball player, I'd be the one looking at all the other teams and thinking.. "Oh they're so tall..." instead of "Oh they're tall and probably slow..I'll just stick the ball in the corners." Even tonight, when I sat down at the table my first goal was not about making the money, I just wanted to make the points. Then, I wanted to make the final table. And once I was at the final table, it was so fast, I didn't even get a chance to really think about my goals.
My husband always says to me, "Why don't you just always strive for first"
"I don't want to get disappointed," says I.
"You're good enough to beat those guys you know..."
"Well, they're pretty good.." says I.
"So are you.."
And it continues.
I think that for me one of the things that is holding me back in my poker learning is belief in myself. I need to consider myself worthy of playing at any table I sit down at. Building my confindence may actually be more important for me than building my bankroll. Because once I know that I can win, I will.
So, I would like to thank all those players who finished below me this evening for contributing to my growth as a poker player.
And, with all of you as my witnesses here this evening, I want you to know some of the goals that I have set out for myself (and please, please, please, hold me to them, Okay?)
-I will earn my way to a tournament in a warm place via satelites
-I will pay for half of my children's education with poker earnings (they attend a private school)
-By 2008, I will be a semi-pro poker player
Lofty goals I know...but...I came in second tonight. And that's a start.
Ahhhhh. Everything is right with the world today.
It's just so nice when you have a successful night of poker, isn't it?
Be well until next time.
P.S. Oh..I almost forgot. I don't want to be too demanding, or take up too much of your poker playing time, but if you read my blog, would you mind leaving a teeny, tiny comment, just so I know that people are looking at it. I would love to know your insights too. Thanks
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
I've learned something about myself in this past week...but before I can tell you what it is, I need to fill you in a little more on where this poker journey has taken me.
Since I've begun playing poker it is always in mind, not always at the front, but always in there..like a little pebble in your shoe..sometimes you feel it, and sometimes, if you shake it around just right, it's not there at all. That's how poker is...a little shake, it's gone...a little wiggle..it's there again...
Where I used to read fiction by the truckload, I now try to sneak one in between the poker gurus..When someone asked me what I was reading I'd be able to respond with pride; "Atwood" or "Findley"..now, I say "Oh, you know...a little Harrington...a little Caro..."
Sometimes, when the reading gets to me, I'll put it down and think..there has got to be a better way than just learning this stuff...then, I get myself into trouble. And google helps..
Lemme see. How can I win money playing poker...
Google search: Poker Dominance
Google Search: Make money fast...poker
Google Search: Poker Shark...fast
Google Search: Loser fool who wants to give you all of her money in an attempt to find a shortcut to the poker pinacle...
That last one sent me right back to me...go figure.
These searches did lead me places. Places that I suppose I needed to find. And spend money on. I won't bore you with all of the details, (e-mail me if you'd truly like to hear about all of the failed attempts at on-line courses, player analysis programs and others)
I've been searching and searching and searching for that golden elixer..that magic serum that would bring me to the final table in every tournament and shower me with chips in every ring game...oddly enough..and I know this will surprise you, I haven't found it.
Then...along came VPP...and Poker Einstein...well that looks interesting...it runs at the same time as I play...and a little voice tells me exactly what to do...couldn't be easier. The little voice is the funniest thing...it's almost demanding...I actually got nervous NOT doing what it said...fold...Fold...FOLD. So I did. Again and again. I did alright with it, but no better than I could have done on my own. If I had a little more patience, and took the time to set up the profile (as opposed to just using the default settings) then perhaps it would be more effective. But then, isn't it just my own poker knowledge anyway?
When Einstein failed me, I went looking again..and actually had my credit card in my hand ready to succomb yet again, but this time, I paused. Not because I didn't trust the new program, but because, for the first time, I trusted myself.
I can do this. I can learn this game. There are no shortcuts and no easy ways, only a lot of work, a lot of games and a lot of studying.
And I will succeed.
And that is what I learned this week.
Be well until we meet again.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Kaycee's Poker Journey Begins..
I come by my card playing honestly. My parents play cards, my grandparents played cards..etc. etc.. I grew up playing cards. I used to joke that I came out of the womb playing cards.
I truly believe that some people have card brains and some people don't. Cards make sense to me. They always have. Poker was a very simple and obvious progression.
I started on those stupid little play money tables on Party Poker.com...they drove me crazy. I knew very little back then, but I knew that I wasn't going to learn how to play poker there. After a month of bumbling around in this silliness I knew it was time to get out of there lest I never truly learn to play.
From there I put my money into Paradise Poker and enjoyed some very early successes. I was playing limit hold'em and did okay at the 1/2 tables. I really didn't have the bankroll to be playing there, but I did it anyway..I was tired of making 50 cents at a time...it just didn't seem to be a good use of my time. I have since changed my opinion when it comes to bankroll managment but I'll get into that later.
So..I've been jumping around a lot since then. I can't seem to make up my mind what I prefer...limit, no limit, tournaments or ring games. Right now I'm reading the Harrington Series and can't seem to get enough of it and the no-limit tournament scene.
Tonight..I played more poker...I'm at Poker.com right now. And I think it's one of my favourites..they seem so very friendly there. I have made some money on their freerolls and am a big fan of the Sunday $20,000 freeroll...which I think is ending at the end of this month. sigh. I played a little bit of ring...my goal right now is to free up my bonus money, and get my comp points for freerolls without really hurting my bankroll, so when I play ring, I play super super super tight. I try not to lose more than $5.0o per session on ring games..(that's no limit .10/.25) so that I can invest my bankroll in tournaments and sit n goes (they just don't rack up the player points very quickly). I played four sit n goes tonight and placed third in one and first in two. So it was a good poker night for me.
You are now more or less caught up with my poker journey...now, we can take it together. Any comments and suggestions are most welcome.
Be well until we meet again.