Ornate Push




Tuesday, January 31, 2006

hello again

Hi ho neighbour ! Yup, I'm back, finally. Sorry if you've been stopping by to see nothing new, but I really needed time off. I feel great about it too. The itch to play and play well is finally back. The only games I've played this year have been home games, and although I haven't one any of those it's down to Hook's incredible lucky streak rather than my bad play. Hook's has hit 6 or 7 less than 15% chance miracles in the last 4 games we played. Not all against me, thank god, so we're all sharing a bit of the pain.

I started a new role at work while I was away, which is pretty interesting and certainly a good start to the year. More actual work and less corporate BS is always a good thing. In relative terms I'm approximately 5 miles outside the sphere of Management Mumbojumbo, but the eye wall is constantly moving and this afternoon at 3pm I was as little as 1.2 miles away from the centre. At that range low flying bullshit was a hazard but the storm soon passed and is not expected to return until Friday lunchtime.

So finally tonight I'm gonna get back to playing poker. It's quite exciting really. Almost like starting all over again, I hope I remember how to fold !

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

"Take your 'A' game to the table. If you are not feeling that 'A' game, stay away." - Joe Speaker

Last night I think I brought my "C" game to the table, I was mentally exhausted, frustrated from work when I got in, and still thinking about my loses from Sunday. A movie and an early night would have been the best thing for me. Worse, I was pretty aware of all the above symptoms when I sat in front of the computer. Maybe if I'd lost the first couple of hands I'd have realized and got away from it, but I didn't, the deck hit me in the face on the third hand I played, when my pocket K's filled up on the river to beat pocket Q's that had also filled up, +$240. I should have realised at this point that the K's were essentially a suckout, although I had been the one raising the pot and the Q's never played back at me until it was too late. I should have quit. Instead I found a really loose table, which compounded all the problems that should have stopped me from playing in the first place. I started loosening up too, calling very poor hands against the uber-aggressive idiot at our table. Not 'with it' enough to realize what my strategy should be, or which hands were helping and hindering me, I simply wanted action from the aggressive donkey. A couple of times it worked in my favour, more times it failed, I played random. For all the ability I was showing I may as well have been chucking £20 notes at the table blind and hoping my crappy hands held up.

The outcome of this poor session is last weeks very good play has been almost entirely cancelled out. Joe says in his latest post "I was acutely aware of my stupidity". Today I feel exactly like that. The only silver lining is that I usually play better when I'm aware of trying not to repeat mistakes from the previous session than I do when I'm overconfident from successive wins.

One of the targets of a learning poker player is maintaining a neutral emotional state when playing the hand. One of my most important targets now is maintaining a neutral, or rather optimal emotional and mental state before I sit at a session, and keeping it throughout. Lesson #52 in the world of poker, let's hope it's one that's quick to learn.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Quick Monday update

Did Twister really win the home game ?
Did Rich & Rich really beat Twister & Hooks 5-1 at home and then 0-3 away at ProEvoSoccer ?
Was I really up $1300 for the week yesterday lunchtime ?
Did I finish yesterday $800 up for the week ?
Do I feel gutted about losing $500 in 2 hours ?

Yes to all the above.

It was a great week, the cash games are better value than SNG's and MTT's, and I believe the variance will be smaller over time. Even the 2 consecutive losing tables yesterday evening still were not that bad, I just ran the second nuts into the nuts on 3 good hands and got sucked out on another, so lost a couple of buyins. I don't blame things like that on 'variance', that would be a bit of a cop-out. It's just poker. I just had good cards vs good cards and I'll take the hit and continue to carry on building. It's a very positive start to 2006.

Have a good week !

Thursday, January 05, 2006

TFI Friday

Wednesday night was a bit of a slog, but storing all my sessions in a bankroll ledger is a really powerful motivational tool to grind it out. Turning a losing session into a break even one feels like a win, and having a profitable session and seeing that balance jump feels very satisfying.

Here's the two most interesting hands from that night...

PokerStars Game #3532584272: Hold'em No Limit ($1/$2) - 2006/01/04 - 16:42:23 (ET)
Table 'Klotho IV' Seat #6 is the button
Seat 1: homeboy604 ($204.50 in chips)
Seat 2: INEEDCHIPERS ($77.15 in chips)
Seat 3: Canucktr ($99.45 in chips)
Seat 4: TanOrpheus ($196.15 in chips)
Seat 5: spagnolv ($118.25 in chips)
Seat 6: Herrick ($198 in chips)
Seat 8: MommasKids ($73.35 in chips)
Seat 9: wyattearp3rd ($40 in chips)
Hovanky will be allowed to play after the button
MommasKids: posts small blind $1
wyattearp3rd: posts big blind $2

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to TanOrpheus [Qh Kd]
homeboy604: folds
Canucktr: folds
TanOrpheus: raises $4 to $6
spagnolv: folds
Herrick: folds
MommasKids: calls $5
wyattearp3rd: folds

I'm not worried about MommasKids preflop call here, he's seen just about every flop, bought in for less that the maximum and has donked away $40 in the 10 mins I've been at the table

POT : $14
*** FLOP *** [Kc 4c 4s]
MommasKids: bets $6
TanOrpheus: raises $6 to $12
MommasKids: calls $6

AK is the biggest threat, hence the reraise to find out where I stand, the flat call makes me worry about the club flush draw

POT : $38
*** TURN *** [Kc 4c 4s] [7h]
MommasKids: checks
TanOrpheus: bets $18
MommasKids: calls $18

Ok, so looks like he missed the club draw, with AK he'd have either bet out first or reraised me here to push me out of any draws. I'm convinced that I'm either ahead or we have the same hand now.

POT : $74
*** RIVER *** [Kc 4c 4s 7h] [Th]
MommasKids: bets $20
TanOrpheus: calls $20

Uh, small bet like that says he hit that ten, but surely he wasn't playing pocket tens, maybe he had K 10 ? I'll pay anyway, just so I know, there's a good chance I'm still winning

*** SHOW DOWN ***
MommasKids: shows [Td Tc] (a full house, Tens full of Fours)
TanOrpheus: shows [Qh Kd] (two pair, Kings and Fours)
MommasKids collected $111 from pot

Blimey, that was the last thing I expected ! As Howard Lederer says "Whenever someone sucks out on me, I remind myself, that's why I'm here".


Then on my other table about 20 minutes later I played this hand poorly...

PokerStars Game #3532217913: Hold'em No Limit ($1/$2) - 2006/01/04 - 15:57:48 (ET)
Table 'Gudrun' Seat #3 is the button
Seat 1: Firstbluff ($141 in chips)
Seat 2: tucko ($101.15 in chips)
Seat 3: Becca62384 ($32.55 in chips)
Seat 4: yuan ($70 in chips)
Seat 5: brothaman34 ($59 in chips)
Seat 7: mikariel ($36.85 in chips)
Seat 8: TanOrpheus ($225.10 in chips)
Seat 9: JRog2x ($178 in chips)
yuan: posts small blind $1
brothaman34: posts big blind $2
homeboy604: sits out

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to TanOrpheus [9s 9c]
mikariel: calls $2
TanOrpheus: calls $2
JRog2x: raises $6 to $8
Firstbluff: folds
tucko: folds
Becca62384: folds
yuan: folds
brothaman34: folds
mikariel: folds
TanOrpheus: calls $6

JRog2x recently joined the table, no read so assuming can play until proven otherwise. I call and try to hit a set

*** FLOP *** [Ah 8d Ks]
TanOrpheus: checks
JRog2x: checks

Hmm Preflop raiser and no continuation bet, very suss.

*** TURN *** [Ah 8d Ks] [Kd]
TanOrpheus: checks
JRog2x: checks

Still no bet, maybe has like AJ and the other K has scared him

*** RIVER *** [Ah 8d Ks Kd] [9h]

Oh, that's an interesting river.

TanOrpheus: bets $8
JRog2x: raises $12 to $20

Uh oh, better find out where I stand for sure (-In hindsight there were too many hands that had me beat here and I should be just calling, but like I said I had no read-)

TanOrpheus: raises $14 to $34
JRog2x: raises $36 to $70

At this point only one hand makes sense anymore, AK. With no other hand could the action have logically gone this way. I turn to my friend and say "oh he has AK". I should fold, but call, I guess to prove my read right. Also his raise is just the right amount for me to put in, given the size of the pot and the strength of my hand, but I know he has me beat after two reraises.

TanOrpheus: calls $36
*** SHOW DOWN ***
JRog2x: shows [Kh Ac] (a full house, Kings full of Aces)
TanOrpheus: shows [9s 9c] (a full house, Nines full of Kings)
JRog2x collected $158 from pot

Despite these two quite expensive hands, I still kept taking down small pots and put in the grind to post small winning sessions. I haven't got the spreadsheet in front of me but this week I've played for something like 8 hours over 3 nights and made about $500, and that includes spending $100 in tourney entry fees but not placing in any. It seems that the NL cash game is where it's at for 2006. Bring it on.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Dear Diary

This is just a diary entry really, nothing to see here, move along now. If you want something interesting to read go read one of these infinitely better blogs....



Human Head

Still here ? ok, you must be a blood relation. I was completely exhausted mentally yesterday. I got about 3 hours sleep on Monday night, insomnia is becoming a regular occurance. No doubt part of it is due to cutting out cigarettes, which is giving me more energy, there's also a niggling feeling that working 9-5 programming isn't what I'm supposed to be doing in my life anymore. It's got boring. Just like when I first started out in full time employment, doing fund and trust administration, it's reached a point where it's just not interesting to me anymore. It's the same situations, problems and solutions repeated day after day.

So, after hardly any sleep I was half an hour late to work. Had a crappy day, the highlight of which was being able to sit at my desk for the entire afternoon with an unlit cigarette in my mouth. It worked, and stopped me needing to go outside and light up. When I got home I knocked up a new spreadsheet for bankroll tracking this year and then jumped on two $1-2 tables on Stars. Both of them seemed fairly tight, although I wasn't paying full attention. I made close to $80 on each in an hour and a half and then quit while I was ahead. It's always nice when the first entry on a spreadsheet is posting a win, even a small one.

I thought of one more aspiration for 2006... Finish anywhere in the money in one of the 500k guaranteed tourneys on Stars.

And the 2005 Best bits ...

Winning enough at poker to get to America

Planning the US road-trip, especially the day Trinidad v Wright was confirmed on May 14th.

San Francisco and stumbling back from Golden Gate Park

Rio, with her white Cowboy hat, boots and hot-pants

Snow Patrol @ The Warfield

A very cold, wet night in a tent at Yosemite
Monterey for Cinqo de Mayo, Tequila is your friend !
The Hooks San LO Beer Bounce incident #1
Not-quite getting lost in the wrong neighbourhood in L.A.
The Taxi driver who had no meter and drove off thinking we were the cops
Moby in L.A.
Jumping the Hotel security fence cause no one could be arsed to let us back in

Getting hassled for a lift by the guy who claimed he'd just been released from Jail whilst trying to work stupid petrol pumps

Leaving L.A. on the Nascar like freeway

29 Palms,
Two barmaids jumping fully clothed into the pool at midnight
Fussball in morning desert heat

Sunrise at the Grand Canyon, and Deer stalking

First sight of Las Vegas

The heart-pounding excitement of my first live game of poker in a casino

Hooks eating Chinese at the buffet 3 times a day

Twister's naked romp through the corridors of Luxor

Finding out that there is no need to gamble in a casino when you have a Sega Derby Owners Club horse racing machine

The Blue Man group

Hooks Beer Bounce #2

Winky Wright outboxing Tito Trinidad, just as I said he would

Hooks' Beer Bounce #3

Having several layers of the poker 'fog' lifted

Starting this blog!

That balmy August day on the boat with Brothers & Nephews catching more than 20 fish in as many minutes


USA 2005 was a trip I'll never forget, maybe that's why I'm so keen to go back. Holy Crap, the January flight sales are on! Holy Crap it's only £318 return to San Fran or Vegas! Holy Crap I might just be in Vegas in May 2006 !

Someone just wet their pants....

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Welcome to 2006

Ah 2006, Eh, Isn't it ? Hmm. Aaah, remember 2005 ? There weren't any bad beats and suckouts in the good old days ! It's not true, obviously, but just like with past relationships, sometimes looking back at a years worth of poker you remember all the good bits and forget the fact that you got screwed over several times in between. '05 was my second year as a beginner poker player, and I learnt a lot. I read somewhere that on average players take 2 years to become a break even or small profit turning player. Thats me, at least I hope thats me. I made a profit last year, but that was mostly due to decembers tourney finishes, and without them I would just be breaking even. I'm learning how to play NL ring for profit, finishing deeper in tournaments and playing fewer SNG's. In 2006 I want to move my bankroll from 4 to 5 figures and be earning at a rate that is equivalent to $50/hour. Only time will tell if that's too ambitious or not ambitious enough. I suspect it is attainable simply by providing more focus to my games at the NL cash tables. Maintaining focus is one of the biggest leaks in my game at the start of 2006, and I'm determined to find ways to fix that. I have all the ingredients ready to take a shot at this, and I'm damned if I'm going to keep getting up every morning to do a job I hate for the next 30 years. If poker doesn't replace it then another job will have to, either way I won't be sat at this desk writing the same post a year from now.

It's traditional so here's a list of resolutions and aspirations for 2006

Quit Smoking (3 days done !)
Increase bankroll to $10,000
Qualify for EPT Tournament
Qualify for WSOP
Make the same amount from playing as I do from working 9-5

Good Luck to all of you in 2006, enjoy every moment !

Contact Details

Yahoo IM : TanOrpheus



Ornate - adj. 1. Elaborately, heavily, and often excessively ornamented. 2. Flashy, showy, or florid in style or manner;

Push - 1. To exert outward pressure or force against something. 2. To advance despite difficulty or opposition; press forward. 3. To expend great or vigorous effort.

Ornate Push - The messy ramblings of a troubled poker player and tilted mind.


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