My Friend Carl

Carl Frommer, you are the GOAT! I cannot thank you enough. More later, when I’m not so emotional.


Carl Frommer

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More Florida Yummies

As if this and the weather didn’t already make up my mind…we have more yummies:

$1000 High Hands

Bonus High Hands

Pot-Limit Omaha 8 Tournament

HORSE Tournament

Ouch, my pancreas started hurting again late last night after a whole week of being able to eat and gain back some my lost weight. I have been out of pain for a while, so I went back to eating a bit more fat. I guess that was a mistake. It seems like when I starve myself and stay about 120 lbs. the pain is at bay. Anything else and it comes back. I guess I’m meant to be a starved little weakling the rest of my life. Better than pancreatitis, though!

God Bless Israel!

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Mardi Gras or Maryland Live

I think I have decided where I want to go next week. I have been tossing up whether to go the short haul to MG, or drive the extra two hours for juicier game at ML. This made up my mind:

$200 OE Tournament

The games are just too good at ML to ignore. They also have a HH promotion every 20 minutes for $500. While I am not one to play for promos, they certainly do make the games good. I would also like to play some Big PLO8 and PLO again. MG doesn’t typically have these games running regularly.

This week I am trying to relax as much as possible. I think my body is on permanent GO mode, so natch I want to be playing. I am forcing myself to take a few days off.

Like I said yesterday, coaching is never easy. I think I found a hole in one of my coaching failures. I was too easy on someone for whom I had much empathy (shared pain). I remember once he even asked me if it was true that I’d never put up with the type of BS he dishes out from another student. The honest answer was and is: HECK no!

I probably did him a big disservice by trying to be way too understanding.

Remembering back to my earlier poker days. One WCP I’ve been close with for almost fifteen years has never really helped my game at all. While someone who absolutely hates me, Barry Greenstein, taught me more in six months than the other guy. I will try to remember this in the future. No more sympathizing or empathizing with students. If I truly want them to become world class players, I have to be as hard on them as Barry was on me.

This autumn is going to be really busy for me. Since I have to go to Florida twice, I think I have decided on renting a place down there. It was at a toss-up between Florida and Maryland. Both seem to have great games. But in the end, I absolutely HAVE to be in Florida twice in the next six weeks, plus the weather will be much nicer to ride out the winter. I hope I can either find a travel partner before I leave, or pick up one while I’m there.

Here we are on a Tuesday afternoon. ML has many cash games. Most of them NLHE, natch. But besides that: 2/2 PLO, 4/8 LHE and a waiting list for: 4/8 O8 and 2/2 Big PLO8.

Pompano Park has: 4/8 O8 h/k, 2/4 LHE and lists for: 2/2 LHE h/k, 6/12 OE in addition to the multiple NLHE games.

HR Tampa has: 2/4 LHE with lists for: 3/6 O8 and 5/5 PLO.

While ML still wins out on the cash game front, FL poker rooms definitely have some great overlays in their tourneys. Low buy-ins, big guarantees. Some completely rake-free.


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GPL-Mustapha Kanit

Congrats, Mustapha! 2:3 wins.

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More Coaching Woes-Potential Travel Partners

Coaching is never going to be easy. I either have students who want to argue with me constantly (???) or unteachable students who are the greatest people in the world but could never learn how to play poker.

I also seem to attract students who want to take advantage of me and/or abuse me. Yes, to be frank I guess my personality attracts that sort of thing. I am unbelievably candid. So the student gets the false impression that I will likewise accept their unsolicited over-the-top abusive comments. Cuz, after all, Felicia is the queen of mean, right? She can dish it out, she can take it?

Well, I may be blunt to a fault, but I don’t go around looking to be abusive for absolutely no reason. I truly want to help people. I will bend over backwards to do everything I can to turn their lives around and/or mold them into successful poker players. Sometimes when they run bad, everything is my fault and I’m the witch they can take their frustration out on. When they fling one too many abusive, hurtful cut-downs things are typically over and out. Good luck in the future.

I also have students who don’t seem to want to put in the time or effort. They claim that they want to be winning poker players, but just don’t want to work for it. Maybe I’ll see them further down the road.

Then I have someone who is absolutely perfect and wants to learn everything possible about poker. Ah, the joys of being a coach and being coached. If I can just get my Stud coach to help me out more often, I’ll be in poker heaven :)

Now moving onto traveling partners. Well, this one could take some time. I don’t want to settle again. No one is probably going to be as accommodating as Glenn, but maybe eventually I’ll find someone who will motivate me to always play better. I have had both experiences. One is super loving, supportive and accommodating, but doesn’t motivate me at all. Another motivated me greatly and we had a wonderful rapport, but was hurtful and didn’t work out for many reasons.

I met an older man at Maryland Live whom I feel would make a good partner to some extent. I don’t know enough about him yet, but so far I like what I see. There are a few hurdles. One, he can’t play his way out of a wet paper bag. So I’d probably have to teach him to at least win at the lowest levels, because I am not going to bankroll him just so he can travel with me. Two, he has something personal going on right now which would prevent him from traveling full-time. This is not something that would plague us the rest of our relationship, but it definitely needs to be resolved before he can even think about going on the road.

As far as players who are coaching me. That isn’t going well either. I keep finding WCP who just don’t have time. I had this problem before. Wonderful players, but they are on the road and playing so much that we can’t seem to get together. Ah, well. Maybe I can see what 2+2 is offering.

As far as my next trip, well there is something I have to do this week. A former WCP is coming to NC and we haven’t seen each other in a long time. Although he doesn’t play poker anymore, we have remained close and I can’t wait to see him again.

After that, I might just head up to Mardi Gras or Maryland Live for a few days before the Vegas trip on November 5th.


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Poker Post-Mortem

So I finally crashed after 15 days straight of either travelling or playing. I slept almost twelve hours straight! That is a lifetime for this insomniac.

Since I was so exhausted, I might have to go over the past few posts and make sure I didn’t make any huge errors.

Going forward in poker, I realize the need to adjust my play. Things have changed in the past nine years. Sure, there aren’t as many fish per table, but the bad players are still really BAD. There are typically one or two other decent players besides me. No one is usually good, but I do have one here and there at my table, which I need to be more aware of playing against.

In LHE pat hands go way down in value, while drawing hands go way up. I can win a huge pot with 32s which makes a flush, while losing a ton on AA. At ML I had aces, raised, got 641 callers, flop, turn and river were trash, of course the woman with 95o who stayed with me the whole way rivered a gut-shot. That is the way they play, and what makes the games so good.

O8 is definitely a gimme at low stakes. Three fish will be drawing at the 2nd-5th nut low, while we hold A2. They will call with a straight, when we have a flush, etc. It’s not susceptible to schooling, so the only real adjustment I need to make with regards to LLO8, is maybe being a little more aggressive pre-flop and when there are enough fish who will go all the way to the river post with 2-5 and beyond nut hands. That seems to be the more common way to play among good players these days, rather than the push & pull.

PLO has high variance and is something I just need to keep studying and learning while I play. I make some mistakes here and there, but I’m playing much more closely to correct than before I started studying the game this summer/early autumn. The players tend to be ultra-hyper aggressive, which makes for big pots and frequent all-ins. Sometimes we just have to roll the dice, and it is totally against everything in my nature to do this. At DP I saw a guy go all-in with 2467 !!! This isn’t an 8/b game, but PLO high only.

I do really enjoy the 2/2 Big PLO8 as well. While there aren’t any books to study for this one, I think I can figure it out all on my own, because I tend to be very conservative and cautious playing regular O8 and the hands are even bigger in Big O8, so that caution tends to serve me well.

Stud games are a work in progress. I cannot force my brain to memorize every card faster than my intelligence will allow. I am hitting that age where I need to find another edge. Between getting old and chemo/pancreatitis drugs, I don’t know if I will ever be competitive at anything other than the lower limit Stud games in the future.

And now, the elephant in the room. I obviously have some talent for tournaments, as much as I don’t want to admit it. I have played a dozen tourneys and been ITM/FT/chopped seven of them. I guess the lower buy-in events are more for my playing level. I keep telling everyone just how much I suck at NLHE and tourneys, but for low buy-ins, I have some kind of affinity for getting in the money. I guess I’ll have to rethink my plans not to enter tourneys in the $25-150 range. So much for dropping them altogether. Back to the drawing board on that one.

Next up: potential partners and updates on coaching

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Maryland Live 3:4

My run-bad continued at Maryland Live, although not to the extent of the previous week. I think I only lost my buy-in once, and that was at 2/2 PLO (AAJQds vs. KKxx).

I made a good portion of it back ($360/500).

During this four day ML run, I played many different games. Since the high hand bonus was sometimes $500 every 20 minutes, I played lots of LHE. I think I lost every session! To be fair, the problem with running bad is that a player starts playing bad most of the time. I seemed to fall into that situation off and on. Maybe my losses would have been greater had I completely ignored the run-bad, but I also would have perhaps won a session or two of LHE. We tend to try to minimize our losing sessions when things are this horrible, which creates a double edged sword…because we also minimize our winning sessions (or what could have been a winning session) as well!

On Monday I played in the first tourney I have failed to FT at ML. I quickly almost tripled my starting stack when I started running badly again!  I had KK and raised. ATs called. The flop held a ten, which was second pair. The shorter stack called my all-in and got trip tens on the river. From there nothing seemed to work for me. I need to get my head straight when I’m running bad and learn to pick my spots better. I need to gather chips, bully well and have enough to ride out the times when I get it in as a huge statistical favorite, only to get outdrawn. Leaving myself short and much more vulnerable to luck is tournament suicide. More on this later.

Granted, I did have a huge stack when my KK got cracked, so I was able to coast along for a while, but I didn’t do anything to gather more chips and be able to ride out the next bad beat. Which came sooner rather than later…

A big stack raised with KQo, I re-raised with AQo and we got it all in. He flopped a king and IGHN, not even close to the money. I run BAD.

I decided to play LO8 when a table opened up. Yeah, I ran bad there, too, but at least I enjoyed myself. There was a good player on my left who figured out he knew who I was and asked to make sure. Brown trout, anyone?

Later on, he and I managed to convince the table to play mixed games. We decided on ROSE and had a great time…I still managed to lose ;)

Luckily, I think I met a great person. While he doesn’t play much anymore, we at least have a connection and can be mentors. I also get to have someone around here and there when I am in town. We had dinner on Tuesday night together.

I also got to know another O8 player who is a great guy and will be someone I’d love to talk to at ML whenever I’m there playing. We had dinner on Monday.

My last trip to ML, I met a born-again Christian from the Philippines who plays PLO. I would love to get to know him better, as well. Then on Wednesday I met his brother! While the brother is not as talkative and outgoing as he is, I can definitely learn a thing or two from both players.

On Wednesday morning I decided to play a LO8 tourney. This was my fourth tournament at ML. A player originally from Japan got seated to my left. He has a totally different approach to LO8 than I do. So I wasn’t exactly happy to have him there, but at the same time, he is a great guy to talk to and always in a good mood. So I’ll take it.

I never really had a huge stack in this event. But I was never all-in either. I just kind of coasted along with a medium or medium-short stack. Eventually we made the FT, then down to the final five. Someone suggested a chip count chop and everyone agreed with absolutely no fighting at all. I was so over-done and ready to go home that I immediately went for it, even though I’d rather keep playing, in general–had I been fresh and not overly exhausted from basically 15 days of either being on the road or constant play.

After the tourney, the Japanese player and I exchanged numbers and decided that he would help me learn a different approach to LO8, while I would help him learn Stud. He lives in Virginia and works full-time, so we probably won’t spend much time together, but you never know.

I also talked to the PLO Christian and got a nice compliment from his brother, who was one of the winners in the O8 tourney. While at Chick-fil-A, a man approached me and said he watched me the past couple of months at ML. I’ve never even noticed this guy or played with him before, IIRC.

It was very nice to be acknowledged, especially when running so bad. While it is LOL at best to be a fan of mine, it definitely doesn’t do my ego any harm.

I hightailed it back to North Carolina, making only two stops this time! I need some real rest, but I’ll keep writing about where I am planning to go from here and the future of my poker playing.

God bless all of you!

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