Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Adventures over Memorial Day

Most of the property management companies in Fresno shut down over the Memorial day weekend but we still wanted to at least look at the outside of some homes, so we drove down to Fresno on Saturday with the intention of looking at some homes and then meeting my L.A. family at a campsite in the mountains between Fresno and Bakersfield.

Of course, as usual, we got a late start, so by the time we got to Fresno we could only look at a couple of homes before we needed to head out so that we could actually set up our tent before it got dark. The campsite was a ways up in the mountains at like 5000 feet but to get there you had to pass elevations of over 7000 feet.

Long story, short - we got snowed on. Not rain, but honest to god snow. This freaked everyone out and in short order the dirt road which we took to get down to the campsite soon became a muddy mess with huge trenches from where people who did not have 4 wheel drive or know how to drive had been spinning their tires.

We decided to wait it out and see how the day progressed, and although it stayed cool the sun came out and the road got dry enough that we were confident we could get out. One of our group then went and talked with a ranger who said more snow was likely that night so we decided to pack it up and head back. All of us made it out with no problem, but when we passed the 7000 foot mark we were surprised to see at least 6 inches of snow, so we were also happy that we left when we did rather then risk it.

We then spent the night in Fresno, and yesterday we spent the day driving all throughout Fresno and looking at possible homes.

I am planning on going back to Fresno this Thursday and will be looking to set up as many showings as I can and hopefully find us a place to rent. I then will head off to Vegas and play some events before coming back to Sacramento for Charmian's graduation from residency.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

WSOP bound

I finally got my money from PokerStars today and I have also received a decent amount of interest in people wanting action from the ad I put up on 2+2 so I am now definitely going to make my yearly mecca to Vegas....

And I have to say that I am getting pumped. I know my excitement always wanes when I get there, but since I haven't played tournaments since April 15th (Black Friday) I am excited to get back to my bread and butter. I am also excited to have the chance to go for a threepeat of WSOP final tables in 3 years.

Wish me luck....

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

WSOP Stake

It may be too late, but I have decided that I am going to try and get to Vegas for about ten days this year so I can at least play some of the WSOP.

I made an ad on 2+2 here. So now I will just wait and see what happens.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Rental House Hunting

So with our house now sold we are starting the process of looking into where we will be living in Fresno. From the internet searching I have done it looks like we will be able to live in a much bigger home, possibly with a pool, and pay less in rent than we are currently paying for our mortgage. So now we just need to find something and sign a lease.

I am continuing to have problems withdrawing my money from Pokerstars which is frustrating because 95% of the people I know already have their Stars money. I think it has something to do with my long last name, but I don't know for sure. I am confident I will get my Stars funds, I just want the issue dealt with now so I don't have to waste any more time with it.

Live poker continues to go ok. I am now positive that I would have to play at least 5/10 to have a chance at making a living playing live poker, and I am not so sure my edge would be that huge in 5/10.... So I am still planning on applying for a "real job" once we get settled in Fresno.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


After a super tiring and frustrating process we have finally sold our house. For reals this time. At this point it feels like every possible hurdle in the process is just a means for someone to make money rather than as a true way to secure that the buyers are getting the home they have agrees to pay for. Pest inspection = $1500. Home inspection = $500. Loan appraisal coming in under our agreed upon price = $5000. But, whatever, it's done, it's time to move on, and hopefully we can reset, reboot and start saving money again when we are finally settled in Fresno.

I am continuing to play a lot of live poker, and it is going fine. I am not making a ton of money, but I am definitely profiting.

The WSOP is coming up and I really want to go to Vegas and try and make my 3rd final table in 3 years but I don't know if it is going to happen. I may try and get a last minute stake. A lot will depend on how likely I think it is that I can get staked with a lot of online money still being tied up right now.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Adjusting from Online to Live Play

So I've been continuing to go to my local, somewhat divey, cardroom on a daily basis and although playing 1/2 live would not generate enough income for me to make a fulltime go of it, for now it is at least bringing in some money and is hopefully teaching me a few things about adjusting to live play.

I have had some success playing live the last couple of years at the WSOP, so the fact that I still am bad at estimating how many chips people have in their stacks and still take forever to push out exactly $xx in chips to call a bet doesn't bother me. My biggest adjustment so far has simply been the need to reel in my impulse to join the other fish at the table and play a "let's gamble gamble" style of poker rather than be patient, wait for decent opportunities and then pounce.

The problem for me has been twofold: 1) the vast majority of the players are shortstacking - so they are buying in for somewhere between 20-30 Big Blinds rather than the full 100 Big Blinds which I buy in for - yet they generally have no real concept of stack depth or pot odds. So they are more then happy to call a 6 BB preflop raise (which is 1/3 of their stack) with a hand like 33 or K7s and then just play fit or fold postflop. What this means for me, is that preflop aggression, which is what has become so pervasive in the online MTT world, is no longer as useful a weapon, because my opponents will just call me preflop which starts a calling train, and then forces me to play fit or fold as well because I can't really try multiple street bluffs against opponents who only really have enough to call one more bet. So I have to become more selective in the hands I am going to play - in essence the easy way to beat the game is just to become a nit. Which leads to...

2) The play is slow. I am part of this problem because when I do actually play a hand I am not afraid to take my time to make a decision. But the bottom line with live play is that you are going to get to see somewhere around 25-30 hands an hour tops. Whereas online, playing 8 tables at a time, I could see 250 hands an hour. And slow play leads to boredom. And boredom leads to wanting to play more hands. And seeing all the fish playing their 85o and A6o, and K3s type hands makes me want to start playing those hands too, which leads me into playing like the fish and wanting to gamble gamble as well.

My plan this week is to just keep live grinding and hopefully stay out of the fish pond.

On the house front - we have had our inspection which went ok. The buyers want us to credit them $500 for possible repairs, which we agreed to. The appraiser for the loan came yesterday, so if he agrees that our house is worth our agreed upon price, then we should be go to go. At a minimum, we should find out soon.