Last week I interviewed Aaron Jones, also known as "aejones" online. He's CEO of LegoPoker.com, a sicko cash-game and tournament player, and an all around cool dude. We talked about poker lifestyle and strategy theory. If you missed it, here it is:
This week, I had him on to analyze a few hands that were sent in. On the podcast, I promised I'd post hand histories on my blog so it would be easier for you guys to follow along. Here they are:
Game: Live $2-$5 No-Limit Hold'em ($500 max buy-in)
The player in the cutoff raises the $10 UTG straddle to $35. Hero flats with pocket . The straddle calls.
The flop is . The straddle and original raiser checks. Hero bets $60. The straddle folds and the original raiser calls.
The turn is . There are no flush draws. It checks to Hero.
Here is the interview:
I hope you guys enjoy listening to these interviews as much I as I enjoyed recording them. Aaron is so amazing at hand reading that it inspired me and re-motivated me to continue improving.
And speaking of improving, I've been on a huge health kick since being in Vegas. It's almost impossible to eat super healthy and work out on a regular basis when you're on the road. So ummm... if you've got a bandaid, could you give it to me? BECAUSE I'M CUT!!!!!
Errr... well, I'm trying. Hahaha those jokes never get old to me. But when I am super ripped, don't worry. I'll totally give you guys FREE TICKETS TO THE GUN SHOW!!!!! wahhhhhhhhhh.
So, as you can see, I'm totally obsessed with Instagram. FB just bought it for $1 BILLION. Pretty crazy. Anyway, do you guys use it? If you do, let me know your username. Mine is Snaptress.
And you can also follow my fellow hostesses and PN on Instagram as well!!
Lynn Gilmartin -
Every year, an entire nation postpones their normal, everyday lives to throw themselves whole heartedly into a week-long collective celebration for Carnival. Brazilians call it, "The Greatest Show on Earth." The rest of the world refers to it as, "The Biggest Party in the World." I want to call it, "The Party I'm so Excited for that I Almost Pee My Pants Every Time I think About it." Too much?
Last year, after winning a torturous battle against a Murphy's Law-inflicted situation with getting a Brazilian Visa, I came to Sao Paul to cover the LAPT event. It took place two weeks before Carnival, so unfortunately, staying to see it was out of the question. Lynn and I expressed to our Brazilian friends how gutted we were to miss their most celebrated holiday by just a week (We like to party). Andre Akkari and Felipe Ramos (they also like to party) told us that the next best thing is to watch a Carnival Samba School rehearsal. For those of you who aren't familiar with Carnival, every year, Samba schools from around the city compete for a very prestigious championship trophy. The parade and competition are the main attractions of the entire celebration. When they suggested this, I imagined a confined dance studio, a small group of dancers, and an instructor overseeing the production.
"Are you sure they'll let us in?" I asked.
"Of course. It's like a big party. I'll get us a VIP section," said Akkari.
Party? VIP section? SURE!!! (Did I mention, we like to party?)
Akkari and Ramos took the PokerNews crew to the Imperio da Casa Verde samba school. We arrived early, feeling unsure, out-of-place, and completely unprepared for what was to come. Instead of a small studio, we entered an enormous gymnasium with a stage, high ceilings, and a bar. Patrons were scattered about, but the place was far from full. We made our way upstairs to a sectioned-off balcony area. As the Schin's flowed (the local beer), so did the people into the gym. Before we knew it, we were in the midst of a full-blown, blood pumping, sweaty, passionate samba party. I couldn't have predicted just how electric the atmosphere would be at a mere rehearsal. It turned out to be one of the best nights I've ever had.
As you can see, there was a lot of alcoholic beverages consumed that night. We laughed, gave way too many high-fives to be considered cool, embraced in drunken hugs, and clumsily samba-ed our way through the night. I fell in love with Brazil and its people. Everyone welcomed us with uninhibited open arms, and full-heartedly shared with us their passionate love for dance, music, and Carnival. I savored every moment, with the notion in mind that I'd likely never get to experience anything like it again. One year later, I'm so happy and incredibly lucky to be back. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I have the best job in the world. I can't wait to report what the actual Carnival is like. Stay tuned...
Today I woke up early, drove my Toyota Prius (half electric, half gas car) to Whole Foods, bought all organic produce and grass fed steak, spent the birthday money parents gave me on sustainable clothing, came home, and cleaned my condo with naturally derived solution. When I was done, I stopped to think about what I'd done so far today, and I laughed. I think it's funny how much I've changed in the past couple of years, and how my priorities are so different now. I'm all grown up, and I'm kind of a hippie! Eating well and keeping my life organized are important to me. I'm sitting at my desk, feeling great about completing the work I have ahead of me because other things are taken care of... haha I remember when my mom used to make me clean my room and eat my vegetables and then say, "See, don't you feel better now?" I'd always answer no. When did I become my Mom?
I'm not writing about poker today because other than a $350 Venetian Deepstack and a couple cash-game sessions, I haven't really been focused on playing. By the way I played the tournament, it was clear my mind was elsewhere. I was out in the third level after playing like a real a-hole. I think I was feeling restless. I felt like there were so many things I needed to do, and the second I started played the tournament, I felt trapped with everything weighing on my mind, bringing me down like an anchor. I felt a little releived when I busted which is never a good sign.
Aside from miscellaneous errands and housework that needed to be done, I knew that what bothered me most was that this month, I've been half-assing my goal to complete NaNoWriMo. For those of you guys who don't know, NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write 50,000 in the month of November. It's for people who want to write a novel but have succumbed to obstacles. The point is just dedicate yourself for one month, put your head down, and write. No editing is allowed! It's easy to get caught up editing and re-editing which can lead to frustration and ultimately quitting. I signed up two years ago, never started, signed up last year, never started, and this year I started... but haven't really made it a priority. The month is halfway over, and I only about 6,000 words written. I should be at 25,000.
Writing a novel is something I've wanted to do for the past four years, and obviously failed to do anything about it. I'm proud of myself for starting at least, but that's not enough to finish it. I have to make it a priority. I've been trying really hard lately to organize my priorities and make sure that the time I have during the day are dedicated to those things. Doing well at my job, staying in shape, eating healthy, and writing this book are at the top the list right now. So, for the rest of this month, I'm going to let poker take a backseat. I'm going to try and reach 50,000. That's a little more than 3,000 words per day.... which is a lot! So, if I'm not on Twitter or Facebook... it's a good thing!
As I get older, the harder it is for me to play poker when other things are left uncompleted. If you're going through a downswing or don't know why you're game is suffering, maybe try to step back and get some things done that have been nagging you (clean, organize that damned junk drawer, detail your car, run that thing to the post office, stop by the bank and cash that check that's been sitting on the counter for weeks, or dedicate some time to strengthening your relationships) Doing those things may help your game, and if it doesn't, at least you got that shizz done, right? Anyway, Lynn writes an awesome series called Stay Stacked which has lots of other great tips on how to bring your best to the table.
Another goal of mine is to run a marathon. That's next after this novel
It's been a little over a week since the WSOP ended, and I haven't played a hand of poker. So, this blog is just going to be a bit of an update since I have no hands to talk about! My family has been here this week, so I've been hanging out with them. It's only now that I'm feeling the total withdraw from all the action and commotion of the summer. The poker rooms are once again full of regs, all my poker playing friends are gone, and it's back on the road for me and my fellow PokerNews people. Lynn is back in Australia and then off to Uruguay with Donnie Peters. Sarah is leaving for Tallinn, Estonia today. And then in a couple weeks, I'm heading to Barcelona, Spain which I am sooooo excited for! Have any of you been there? Have any advice? I hope Lynn writes one of her amazing "Around the World Articles" about it Hint hint...
She and Nicky Pickering have been covering the APPT in Melbourne, and just shot another edition of the Weekly Turbo (the video version of Elaine Chaivarlis' awesome written Turbo). If you guys have missed anything in PokerNews this week (or you like hot girls! whooo, yeahhhh), you should definitely check it out. Also, Matt Parvis makes his Weekly Turbo debut for the ladies!!
Now, if you watched that, you might have noticed one of the news stories about this guy who wrote an article about the top 25 girls he knows he can beat in poker. It seems like such a weird/gimmicky article to write, but all of the articles on the website it's featured on are like that. And I'm sure it works. Heck, I'll click on a Top 25 Hot Girl list any day. As far as this one goes, I do NOT belong in the same class of scorching hottness as all the other women on this list, but if this guy wants to think he could own us in poker, that's fine Click here to read the story. How many of these ladies do you think you could beat???
I hope you all are doing well and are over your post-WSOP hangover I'm sooo jealous of everyone who got to go home and soothe themselves with online poker. I'm ready to get back in the saddle and will be back with more hands next week.
Oyyyy... last weekend was a doozy. I do plan on writing about my bachelorette party, but as promised, I'm going to keep personal stuff on my blog (www.snaptress.com) and keep it mostly about poker here. Although, my girl Lynn did a stupendous job summing up the alcohal-filled bender in her blog.
What she didn't talk about was how amazing she was! Obviously she wouldn't because she's super modest, but Lynn absolutely made my weekend. Not only did she organize everything, but she made shit happen! And on top of that, during the day she was there for me when I started to freak out about wedding stuff, and then at night, she was tackling me in the middle of a crowd in a fit of drunken fun. She's the best friend I could ask for Thanks you crazy slappa.
Anyway, I apologize for this blog being a couple of days late, I planned to post it late Wednesday night, but I had a bit of a set back... After 12 hours of driving (we're heading to Indiana for our wedding with our doggy), Andrew and I were driving through Colorado at 2 a.m., just about 40 minutes away from stopping for the night, and our car shuts off. Ef, right? We are broke down on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. Good thing we have cell phones! We got towed to a Super 8 right next door to a Toyota dealership. The next day, the Prius was fixed at no charge because of a water pump recall! Sweet! Back on the road.
We are currently in Chicago right now for a couple days, and then heading to Indiana. I have so much to do. Not nervous, but just anxious!
So! Back to the hand (again, you have to go back to the last blog if you haven't already)... I totally agree that the standard play which is three-bet for value. However, I'm not super excited about a few of the reasons people gave. Some said, "Your hand is hard to play out of position." or "You don't want to lose a big pot, you'd rather win a small one." We shouldn't necissarily always go for the "easy" line. Sure, it will be harder to play without three-betting, but if you are confident in your hand reading skills, I think it's ok to flat. One of the things Balugawhale (my poker coach) would say to me is, "Is it better to get value now, or get value later?" In this case, I decided later...
My table image at the time was not in any way out of line. I had three-bet a couple of times, but not enough to strike doubt into my opponents. The girl who raised was c-betting every flop, even ones that were terrible for her hand. She wasn't getting stubborn when three bet either. The other player in the hand who only had $80 wasn't a huge concern of mine. I definitely didn't think he would stick it in pre (since he didn't ship himself), but he might if he caught a piece of the flop, or a draw. My plan was to flat preflop, and check raise pretty much any flop. Doing so also protects my range when I want to flat small pairs or face cards and check raise a flop.
The flop came 10-7-2 rainbow. She bet $22, shortstack folded, and I raised to $65. She tank folded. I am ok with my play, but I definitely see the merits in three-betting. I just thought it was an interesting non standard play live.
So here's this week's hand. Game $2-$5 NLH. I had just joined the table, so no real reads. A younger, well dressed guy with about $2,000 in front of him raised to $25 under the gun. I flat in the cutoff with JJ. He looks at me, and then checks in the dark. The flop comes K-7-2 rainbow. I check behind. I checked because the board was so dry, and I think he only expects me to bet for value with AK, KQ, maybe KJ, so I think he bluff check raises a decent amount. That's obv not bad if I'm ready to call off stacks in the hand, but I decided to pot control a street, and also, I think worse hands like 99, 88, 66, AQ are more likely to call a bet on the turn. The turn came a 5 that put a flush draw on board. He bet $45. I called. The river was an Ace. He pulled a $100 bill from his stack and announced a bet of $100. What do I do and why?
I hope you all are well! Thanks for reading!
So I'm sure that you guys have been waiting ALL week to find out what that online player called me, right????
Well first, I need to tell you how the hand ended, so if you haven't read last week's blog, you will have to go back so the that following makes sense...
So, I decided to go for the small value/bluff induce river bet. I didn't think he'd hero call for an over-pot ship, but I know he would come after weakness if he thought he had fold equity. I bet $110, leaving three tall hundo dollar stacks. He tanked then raised to $320, I shipped, and then he tanked again! He showed a king of clubs and called. I showed my hand, he looked back at the board, and went off!
"Are f**king kidding me? (laughing incredulously) Are you serious? You call with that? F***ing donkey girl. Wow, fuck, you call with nothing and get a flush!?" <--actually kind of similar to what he looked like
Obviously, I was the aggressor in the hand, so I wasn't really sure what he was talking about when he said I was calling... But I guess he didn't have a hand history to refer to. I didn't say anything and he walked away. When he came back to the table, he put his hand on my shoulders and said, "I apologize for the way I acted, it's just that the hand was so far fetched." What???? And you called me a donkey girl? WTF?
Man, people say the craziest things to me at the table. Just the other day, I went out for a night of fun drinking and playing poker with my PN girls Sarah Grant and Lynn Gilmartin. We were pretty tipsy and decided to play a $30 tournament at Bill's Gambling Hall. Awesome, I know! So it's a two table tourney, and Lynn and Sarah get sat at the other table. I sit down and this guy who looks like a legit cowboy (ten-gallon hat, scruffy face, denim button up, hole-in-knee frayed Levis and boots) says to me, "Yur perty." I say thank you. Then, with a super creepy look in his eye and crooked smile he says, "I got a fetish for oriental women." Oh, wow. Woooow. Umm cool? Hahaha eh he (awkward laugh)
Anyway, a few shots later, Lynn ended up shipping into me when I had aces, and I took our chips to victory!!! This is my super braggy winner photo... hahaha yeah those are twenties.
I know, I'm super classy! Eek!
I have been having so much fun with Lynn here this past week, and we are about to have even more fun this weekend for my bachelorette party! (watch out if you're in Vegas, it ain't gonna be pretty... Er um PERTY)
It's funny that lots of poker guys really want to find an awesome girl who is into poker, right? Well I felt that way too! Haha and I have finally found her!!! Last night, Lynn was so awesomely degen! At 11 pm, she decides she wants to grind, so we went to Aria. I would always rather sit at her table and hang out whenever we go together, so we sat in a new $1-$3 table.
There were so many bizarre events that happened... first, two gorgeous ladies sat to our left, one started to lose and they got into a fight, a drunkard sat down, shipped for full stacks w/ 4-5 off into Aces and Queens and obv won, and then Scott Seiver came over and caused a ruckus! (We love Scott, he's the best. Hilarious and super sweet even when he tries to be an ass ) Anyway, we both ended up small winners on the session.
That brings me to my hand of the week which comes from last night's session in the $1-$3...
One of the girls opened in early position to $12. She'd been raising a decent amount and hadn't been three-bet yet. After observing the way she played the few hands I saw, she seemed decent. A recreational player calls in late position with about $80 behind. I have AA in the small blind. After only a couple orbits, I hadn't played many at hands at all, so I assume, as a woman as well, my image was pretty tight. The girl and I are both $300 deep... Do I three-bet? If so, to what? Can I flat? Should I flat?
Let me know what you think! Leave it in the comments...
And one more thing, Lynn and I interviewed Todd Brunson and PokerNews Hostess Laura Cornelius for the latest edition of the PokerNews podcast! Cheeeeck it!