Wednesday, October 31, 2007


For the second time in three days I registered for a goddamn $60 tournament by accident. Thank god this time I did well with lots of luck, but I really have to watch out for this in the future. This can't happen again; it's too costly.

Anyways I finished second for short of 3 bills. The tourney was filled with 5 and 6-figure-winning players, and that had me a little intimidated, but not enough to throw me off my game. I got lucky early on winning a race when my AK spiked a king vs QQ, and got lucky again several times with smaller races to build a massive stack. I maintained the big stack until we got ITM, and I started to steal lots.

One player (who ultimately won) was playing back at me postflop like crazy. He chipped away at me, and eventually we got heads up where the chips were flying back and forth. He dominated me postflop somewhat, but preflop I think I had a significant edge, and kept my stack at a comfortable level.

Eventually, I trap-limped the SB with A8 (he'd pushed my limps nearly every time), and got him in with KJo. The thing with HU is that you're never really a huge favourite, and pushing would have been a better play. Long story short, he ended up winning that 60/40, and I eventually lost my crippled stack and took second.

The only real highpoint against him was one pot where he played back at me (yet again) 3-handed, and I made a tough call. Here's the HH:

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em Tourney, Big Blind is t600 (3 handed)

BB (t6025)
Hero (t12370)
SB (t8605)

Preflop: Hero is Button with 5h, Ac.
Hero raises to t1500, SB calls t1200, 1 fold.

Flop: (t2800) 5c, Td, 9h (2 players)
SB checks, Hero checks.

Turn: (t2800) 4d (2 players)
SB checks, Hero bets t2000, SB calls t2000.

River: (t6800) 2d (2 players)
SB bets t3000, Hero calls t3000.

Final Pot: t12800

Hero has 5h Ac (one pair, fives).
SB has Qh Jc (high card, queen).
Outcome: Hero wins t12800.

Anyways, apart from poker I've been somewhat busy lately. I went back to the youth employment centre I went to for help a while ago, and they've referred me to a job fair that's happening this friday. Hopefully I can get an electrical apprenticeship out of it, but the damn thing is out in Etobicoke. Too far for me.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Swingy as always

Well I had better start learning to control my anger; it seems that Party is only the swingiest site out there, and I'm not sure I'll be able to handle it.

I played a few games today - two multitable SnGs, and an STT. In one MTSnG, I took a beating and ended up eventually losing my short stack with AJ vs TT AIPF (so many abbreviations; I know, sorry). In the other, I found myself shortstacked again and all in with KQ vs KT and 77. I hit my Q, but 77 hit his set on the river and I was busto yet again. Getting frustrated at this point. The STT, on the other hand, went very well (why couldn't it have been the higher-paying MTTs that went well???).

Early on, I nearly doubled up with AK vs A6s on an ace-high flop that got bet and called to the river. I started to dwindle my stack away little by little, but was never short stacked. Long story short, as the game went on I went on an insane card rush and blind-stealing frenzy. Boy, oh boy, are party players nitty on the bubble. From ~6 handed all the way to HU, I got:

54c hit a flush vs slowplayed AA
A5 stole
A7 stole
A9 stole; all in a row
QQ no action in BB
K8 stole
A6 folded to button minraise which was probably beating me
AQ stole
Q5 for steal
AJs stole
KJo stole
AA stole; AJ and on were in a row
J9 from BB lost to the button pushing A5s; I had a pot odds call
A7 stole
JT in BB; tiny stack limped, and I pushed his remaining <2BBs in
KK vs QQ to take us to HU play, and
AJ to win it vs K7 AIPF.

If everyone at Party plays this tight on the bubble, I'm going to make a bloody killing. I think I literally could have even won it had I got rags the whole time we were shorthanded. When the blinds hit 200/400, people just plain didn't want to play. The funny part is that the loosest, most aggressive players were the last ones left too, and it surprised the hell out of me just how tight they got.

In other news, I actually did well in a $4/180! I managed to actually play well and not take any major beats, and that got me a 3rd place finish. I ended up a little shortstacked 3-handed vs a couple of monkeys, and had to resteal with 77, which ran into KK and didn't improve. So 3rd for around $80 or $90 made up for my losses from last night. Let's just see if I can ride the upswing.


Well last night was no fun. It was so not fun that I was angry enough not to bother writing about it.

I was playing a few $4/180s and some other 2-table SnGs. I end up making a terrible play in the first 4/180 and get money in with KK on an A8xxx board, with my opponent ending up having a set of 8s. I smack myself in the face and promise I'll smarten up.

I then register for two more $4/180s, play well, and ultimately end up busting in one on standard short stack play, and getting far, but losing to a beat in the other. The beat super-tilted me because it was against a chronic blind stealer. I reraised his button minraise, he calls with 6s vs my Ts, flop off 222 doesn't matter because the turn is a 6. Then I realize the last $4/180 I played wasn't a $4/180. It was a $60/45. GRRRRR.

Anyways, I played about 3 more 2-table tourneys and don't fare well in them either, and I nearly slam a hole through my desk. Still not completely over tilt :)

The OFC freeroll and buyin was also last night, and although I thought I played well, I ended up busting out of the money in both.

I made a particularly good laydown, IMO at least. I saw a free flop from the BB in a five-way pot with J3o, and we saw a JxQcKc flop. Checks all around. Turn comes Jc, and the SB, a player who I knew wouldn't bet here without a flush or a jack, came out betting. I snapmucked my J3o, and he ended up showing down AJo for a FH, and I patted myself on the back. He was fairly nitty though, so maybe that was standard.

Anyways, not a good night in poker. Down quite a bit and my BR is dwindling. I've got a meeting set up this week with an employment counselor. If I end up getting a good full-time job, then I'll have to put a few hundred more into the BR to give me some more building blocks. Gotta make sure this doesn't become a recurring theme though.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


I have a confession to make. I'm a *huge* video game nerd. I think it all spawns from the fact that video games were what most of my friends had, and I could never afford as a kid. Once I hit an age where I could make my own money, the majority of my earnings went towards new systems like PS2, an xbox 360, and more recently a fully customized PC I built myself. I've spent a lot of my poker winnings on games and a beautiful 32" LCD TV/monitor that I'm staring at right now :)

Anyways, sometime in November, one of, if not the most, anticipated game of the year is coming out - Crysis.

It's basically the game with the best graphics and great-looking gameplay. You can take a look at some gameplay videos and trailers at Gametrailers.

Today, the demo comes out, and I feel like a kid in a candy shop.

Today's tracks

Overcast, melancholy day here in TO so we'll go with music that fits the mood:

<3 Bill Murray, <3 Sigur Ros

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Kickin knowledge

Aside from the ongoing discussions in poker forums, here are some of the greatest free resources online for poker strategy. Some of these contain articles that really changed the way I view poker.

-2+2's High stakes NLHE best of section. Haven't read all of it but assume it's good.
-2+2's MTT 'Anthology of Wisdom' section. Gold.
-Mike Caro's (free) University of Poker. Also Gold.
-Cardschat's Golden Archive. Some very nice articles and threads in there.
-Cardschat's articles section
-dbitel videos here and here
-More archived 2+2 links (omg goldmine)
-2+2 PT article
-2+2 Valuetown article

I know there are more, so I'll edit them in later on when I find them.


It's set in stone. Me and V are final tabling party tourneys next week. I don't care about variance or my own bad play - it's happening. Why? Because I said so. That's why.

In other news, I make another $4/180 FT but manage to only scrape out about $20. Hurray for 3 more hours wasted of my life. But really, it's starting to bug me how deep I'm going and that I'm not winning a damn thing. It'll come. I know it. Stay tuned for a big win. I swear.

In other other news, I'm going back to the youth employment centre I've been getting help from lately, and I'll hopefully get a good solid-paying labor job that'll support my gambling and alcoholism. Seriously, I've been planning on moving out for ages now, and I obviously need a job to do so. Hopefully my counselor can actually find me one.

Friday, October 26, 2007

More to poker than Hold'em

I hadn't played anything but NLHE or FLHE for ages. Yesterday, skoldpadda posted a brag thread of a very nice draw (and pot) he had in an OH8 game. It reminded me just how profitable those games are when you play nothing but a tight, mechanical style.

I had a little case of insomnia last night as well, so I thought I might play some Razz. GOOD idea.

The table was ridiculously bad. There was maybe one good player, but he soon admitted he was hitting the bottle and his play got increasingly worse. Players would call raises with J+ doorcards, would call any number of bets on later streets if they started with three small cards (and would sometimes raise lol), and would reraise my aggression with xx8 or 7 showing against my xx3. One particularly hilarious player would complete her bring-in every time with J-K doorcards. I don't know if she didn't know that she could just bring-in, or if she was doing some kind of odd protection play.

Anyways, I finished the session with about four times my $20 buyin. I ran good (ok, great), but really these games are so soft it's laughable. Pleeeeeease go and play .5/1 Razz on Stars if you have any knowledge of the game. I wish I could provide a PT graph, but I only have PT Hold'em, and it obviously can't import stud hands.

Here's one of the bigger pots of the night:

Hand #12853227363
*Razz* ($0.50/$1.00), Ante $0.05, Bring-In $0.25

*3rd Street* - (0.70 SB)

Jongej: xx xx 8s___raises___calls
frasse85: xx xx 6d___folds
FunkedUp: xx xx Tc___folds
LilMoRock: xx xx Js___*brings-in*___folds
ckspinner: xx xx 7c___raises___calls___calls
Hero: 5d 3s 4d___raises___raises
Romedawg: xx xx Ac___calls___calls

*4th Street* - (17.20 SB)

Jongej: xx xx 8s 6c___bets___raises___calls $0.40 and is all-in
ckspinner: xx xx 7c 3c___calls___raises
Hero: 5d 3s 4d Ad___raises___calls
Romedawg: xx xx Ac 3d___*checks*___calls___calls

*5th Street* - (16.50 BB)

Jongej: xx xx 8s 6c 9c___all-in
ckspinner: xx xx 7c 3c Kh___*checks*
Hero: 5d 3s 4d Ad Th___checks [didn't realize Jongej was AI; should have bet]
Romedawg: xx xx Ac 3d As___checks

*6th Street* - (16.50 BB)

Jongej: xx xx 8s 6c 9c Jc___all-in
ckspinner: xx xx 7c 3c Kh Qc___*checks*___calls
hero: 5d 3s 4d Ad Th Qs___checks___calls
Romedawg: xx xx Ac 3d As 6h___bets

*River* - (19.50 BB)

Jongej: xx xx 8s 6c 9c Jc xx___all-in
ckspinner: xx xx 7c 3c Kh Qc xx___*checks*___calls___folds
Hero: 5d 3s 4d Ad Th Qs 2d___checks___raises___raises
Romedawg: xx xx Ac 3d As 6h xx___bets___raises___calls

*Total pot:* (28.50 BB)

Jongej mucked [Ah Jh 8s 6c 9c Jc 4c]
Romedawg mucked [7s 4s Ac 3d As 6h 5h]

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Party time

Well thanks to the help of Rex, I've now moved a small amount funds to PartyPoker, mainly for MTTs. I only moved about half of what I originally planned to move there, and I'll probably only be playing the $6s and $11s until I either get more bread on the site, or until I win enough not to have to.

My respective mini-bankrolls on Stars, Mansion, and now Party, have shrunk with my recent downswing and the splitting of my bankroll, so I'll be dropping down in stakes and will start grinding back up the ladder again. I think having bankrolls big enough to play $10 tournaments should be sufficient for me.

I already played one $6 MTT on Party, and loved the action. I'm not sure if Party really is looser than everywhere else (namely stars), or if it's just its reputation that's making me think so. Anyways, I played the $6 MTT, getting involved in two - count 'em - two hands total. I opened with JJ early on, got seemingly more callers than there were players behind me, and shut down on an AK9 flop. Later on, the blinds got to 50/100, the table was still in ultra-donkey mode, and I picked up AKo. Long story short, I get my 25BB stack in with AKo against an AA who limped behind in a 5-way limped pot, and I'm busto.


I also played a $6.50/18-seater on Stars, and played well on top of getting great cards. Another super-monkey got to the final two with me, and we end up getting our effective 10BB stacks in with my AT losing to his KT.


Anyways, I'm really looking forward to starting the low-limit grind again for whatever reason. I'll be playing lots of $4/180s, $6 and $10 multi-table SnGs on Stars, and the occasional $6 or $11 MTT on Party. Not to mention the .5/1 on Stars when I take in everything from SSH. Hopefully I can get my funds out of Mansion, but the bastards purposely make it as difficult as possible.

Today's tracks

I'll be posting videos once in a while from whatever the hell I feel like.

I really don't like fan-made videos, but none of these had actual music videos.

Today is Tupac day:

Spare time

Well my teacher/professor is overseas in the UK to teach some courses there, so I'll have next week's classes off. If you know me, then you know that translates into more poker time. I do, however have a midterm to do over the time he's gone, so I've got to make sure I remember that.

I recently ordered Small Stakes Hold'em and Stox Poker's book from Pokerstars' FPP store, and they arrived yesterday only after a few days of placing the initial order. Ace on the River is also on it's way. I've always loved Pokerstars' customer service and the speed of everything they do. Best in the business.

Anyways, like I said, I'll have plenty of time to read the books in the next two weeks, and they'll hopefully help shed a new light on FLHE to put me back on track to a winning record. I've already read about a quarter of SSH, and it's exactly what I was hoping for. StoxTrader's book is geared for high stakes, and I may have to put that one off for a bit until I get all the basics down.

Like I mentioned in my last post, I stopped playing FLHE for a bit because I was on a bad run. I've played a few tourneys since, and while I feel I'm playing well, I haven't had great results. Last night I played a few, going deep in a $4/180, nearly winning a $10/18 and also going fairly deep in a $3 rebuy.

In the $10, I nearly came back from a ~4:1 chip defacit heads up against a loose-passive monkey, but ended up losing in a standard AQ vs AK all in preflop. Nothing I could do about that and I was happy with my play.

I also played very well in the $4/180. I ran so well throughout I'm surprised I didn't win it. I hit 2 sets in smallish pots that turned huge, picked up monsters at just the right times, and picked my spots very well by my standards with steals. As the tourney reached the final three tables, I was stealing and getting stolen from; not moving up or down with my stack much, and eventually reached a point where my stack got to an M of 8 or 9. I picked up KK in the BB, a LP player stole, and I ended up getting my money in vs AJ, which hit an ace.

Regardless what happened that hand, I feel I overplayed it a little. There's no question I was getting my money in with KK, but I feel I could have gotten more value from some of the lesser holdings he could have had.

Anyways, I also played the 10k guaranteed $3+R twice. The first time I played well and ran into another hand, but the second was a little different. Again, I felt I played well throughout, bringing myself up to one of the top 10 stacks (of ~2000 runners) at one point, but misplayed one hand that turned out to be my downfall. Discussion of the hand is still going on here.

Thankfully my winnings from the $10 covered my losses from the other MTTs, but I'm really getting antsy here. My bankroll keeps dwindling and I'm banking on a final table or two very soon. My play still needs work, but I'm still playing well enough to reach a FT.

On a side note, I'm considering more changes. One of them is actually moving money to Party. Vanq and Rex have been having some great successes there, and the MTT fields look like they're much smaller than PS's. Right up my alley.

Another thing I'm considering is quitting turbos for a while. Playing the regular speed tourneys is making me realize just how much more play there is in between blind levels, and this can only help a player who has any significant edge over his opponents. Players who have more knowledge over ICM and inflection points have the edge in turbos, but players with postflop skills and patience have the edge in the regular speed tourneys. I'm sick of playing preflop poker, and the regulars are just more interesting to me right now.

On yet another side note, I'll be visiting my buddies up in Guelph Uni this weekend for some Halloween shenanigans. If someone brings a camera, I'll post pics.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Variety is the spice of life

I've always made really ambitious claims in the past that I would grind out 500 STTs straight, or that I would (cough cough) play about 20k straight hands of FLHE.

In the past I haven't been able to stick to my word, shifting between STTs, MTTs and rings after getting sick of playing the same game day in and day out. Not only do I get sick of the same game, but my quality of play drops like a stone in water. I start making careless plays and not playing my game, and that's obviously never good. I've decided I have to spread my time across different games to make sure I don't go nuts like I nearly did yesterday. Especially when the MTTs are as juicy as this:

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em Tourney, Big Blind is t150 (9 handed)

CO (t3725)
Button (t12550)
SB (t5095)
BB (t13680)
UTG (t7514)
UTG+1 (t6026)
MP1 (t14341)
MP2 (t21780)
Hero (t11573)

Preflop: Hero is MP3 with Kh, Ks.
4 folds, Hero raises to t485, 3 folds, BB raises to t13680, Hero calls t11088 (All-In).

Flop: (t25328) 8s, 8d, 3d (2 players, 1 all-in)

Turn: (t25328) Qh (2 players, 1 all-in)

River: (t25328) Ts (2 players, 1 all-in)

Final Pot: t23221

Results below:
BB has 3c 3s (full house, threes full of eights).
Hero has Kh Ks (two pair, kings and eights).
Outcome: BB wins t25328.

I've obviously noted villain in this hand. I'd stolen his blind once (yes, only once) up until this point, betting the rag flop and taking it down with my unimproved KQh. I could tell the way he folded that he wasn't happy with my steal and that he'd probably be fighting back at me if I continued. Queue KK, queue flopstars and the bad beat.

I'm not bitter at all, I'm actually very happy with my play and will be playing the $3+R more frequently again (I used to play it religiously) in the near future.

On a side note, I'll probably have to delay part two of the FLHE strategic post series. To be %100 honest, right now I'm running so bad in rings that I'm going to need a little break and some change of scenery to refresh my mind. I'm actually still up in winnings with fixed limit, but my winrate keeps shrinking with every session.

Monday, October 22, 2007


and it's cure:

Today's FL sessions not going well. Taking a break, going out and getting some fresh air with the pooch, and I've got class later on so I might as well wait until tomorrow to play. Man I'm steaming.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Old cardschat posts

I'm too lazy to figure out how to import old posts from other sites (if it's even possible), so I'll just link you to them.

My old posts, as well as FPau's fantastic posts can be found on the blog.

If you take a look at my more recent ones, you'll see I was planning on doing a series of strategic/documentative posts, all focused on fixed-limit holdem. I'll be continuing them here in the near future, so stay tuned.

I caved.

I hadn't played MTTs in a while, and after opening up PS last night, an $11 6-max MTT was staring me right in the face, and I couldn't resist.

I rarely if ever play 6-max tourneys, probably just through habit of playing regular MTTs more than anything, but it was actually very fun. The pace is expectedly much faster as you have a smaller M value. M is no longer [your stack]/[starting pot], but is now the proportional M to how many players are left (ie [your stack]/[starting pot] * [number of players left]/10). Essentially, you have to play much more aggressively to maintain a healthy stack with the blinds hitting you every 6 hands rather than every 9 or 10.

This became a little bit of a problem for me since I had the great fortune of being put on the maniac table and didn't get any premium hands with which to double up. I was constantly being bullied, having my KQ steals pushed around, but I maintained a semi-healthy stack long enough to survive until I got moved to another table.

The first hand at the next table, I'm in the BB and to my delight I'm looking at two kings. CO raises, button calls, and I push with my somewhat smallish stack. I double through as the CO calls with TT, and I'm healthy again. I keep making small steals with the occasional big resteal, and build my stack little by little. I pick up a pretty big pot again when the short stack at the table pushes into another KK of mine, and I double through again, this time by way of villain's 88.

I get moved again, and really start stealing and putting on the pressure. One of the more interesting hands was here.

I'm still maintaining a somewhat TAG image at this point (with respect to 6-max), and decide to make a move on a player who's been getting very aggressive. He raises 3BBs utg, probably with a range of any broadway, any pair and some suited connectors, and I push with my TT, sticking his remaining 16BB stack in. He goes into the tank, and I'm almost sure he's going to fold, but he ends up calling with AQ. Flop comes xxA, turn Q, river is a brick. Queue sad face.

Thanks to my earlier aggressive play, I'd built up a healthy enough stack to still have about 15BBs at this point, but blinds were going to go up again very soon.

I play shortstack poker for a while, maintaining a ~10BB stack by stealing from the weaker players. I finally get a double-up hand, JJ, and get a raise from utg who's the big stack, and who has open-raised the last 4 hands straight. I push without much fold equity, the dreaded AQ shows it's head as big stack calls, and he busts me on the bubble after hitting an ace.

While I was somewhat happy with my play, I don't think I would have made it as far had I not picked up the kings earlier on. The tables were just too aggressive and with my reluctancy to stick in most of my chips with KQ and AJ hands early on, I had dwindled down quite fast.

I'm sure I'll play another 6-max tourney soon though; the fast pace was a lot of fun.

Friday, October 19, 2007


Torontonian kid grows up in lower-middle class family and quickly realizes how much he hates being poor. After going through high school and receiving sub-optimal marks after being too bored with school and it's depressing concept of preparing one for more schooling and ultimately an even more depressing career, kid works for a couple years doing grunt work for old ladies and pricks, and, as expected, isn't happy.

Kid realizes that the poker he played when he should have been in class is very profitable, and sees potential. Kid plays online, kid wins money and builds comfortable bankroll after a couple failed attempts. Kid wins money. Kid wins more money. Kid gets cocky, moves up to stakes his bankroll can't handle, kid loses most of money. Kid smartens up and has been playing solid ever since.

Hi. I'm the kid. My name's Taylor Lackie and I've decided to write this blog because I plan on either making a solid second income to supplement whatever work I'll be doing in the future, or make a career out of poker, and I thought I'd drag you along for the ride.

I used to write, and still do occasionally, on's poker blog alongside the very knowledgeable, very guru-ish and very Swedish Fredrik Paulsson. I've decided to switch to writing in my own blog here because I've found that there's a lot of added pressure having to represent an up and coming site like cardschat. Nick, the site's owner, is very lenient and doesn't expect much out of me, but I really don't like it when I don't write an entry for a month and blow it off like it was nothing.

I'll be trying to update this blog at least weekly. I'll be writing posts to document my more interesting days, but I'll also be posting some strategic posts. I've been fairly busy lately and might not be able to update the blog as often as I'd like. I'm in the process of finishing the second of two electrical courses to further my career as an electrician (yawn), will hopefully be moving sometime this winter and of course need a job to do so, so you can imagine I'll be quite busy in the coming months too.

Anyways, on to the good stuff: the poker.

My poker 'career' with an $11 freeroll cash. I had cashed many times before, but every time I tried to build on it, it would either just vanish or I would build it up to about $200, and then it would vanish. For whatever reason, the $11 cash managed to grow and grow, and I've been playing with it ever since.

I mainly hovered around $200 or $300 for the most part, and finally hit a few big cashes to bring my bankroll up to about $700. I mainly played STTs and a few MTTs, doing fairly well in both. I brought my bankroll up to about $1500 when I got the gambler's crave to move up and really start ballooning my bankroll. I moved to cash games and started playing way out of my bankroll limits at $1/2 and $2/4, and actually did quite well. I slowly built my roll up at 200nl, but stacked a few times at 400nl with some solid hands and brought my bankroll up to about $2800, the highest it had ever been.

Variance, poor play and the resulting tilt hit me very hard. I had a few days where I lost hundreds, and I decided it had to stop. I took a step back, realized just how bad it was for me to be playing those limits, and made some changes. I withdrew some money because at the time I was in need, dropped down in stakes and stopped playing ring games as frequently. I bought and read several books including Super System 2, the incredible Harrington on Holdem series, Zen and the Art of Poker, and about a dozen others. They all helped my game tremendously, and I still reread them every so often.

My whole ordeal up until I started to rebuild my bankroll was documented in this thread on cardschat. I've changed much since then.

I've since been playing lots of STTs, specifically the $16 turbos on PokerStars, as well as the occasional MTT and cash game session. I was playing so many STTs for such a long period of time that I pretty much got sick of them. I still play them occasionally, but the very preflop-oriented play that comes with turbos and tournaments in general lead me to try something new.

Limit holdem was something that I never found much interest in, but decided I should try out since it deals with tons and tons of postflop play, promotes lots of discipline and it was a nice change of pace for me. I only started playing FLHE seriously about a week or two ago, running through 3000 hands so far while two-tabling at about 5BB/100hands at .5/1. I think I can squeek out a slightly better winrate than that in the long-run, but we'll just have to see.

I plan on playing about 10,000 hands before I move up to 1/2 (if my bankroll and winrate allows it), and will probably play about 5,000 more hands at 1/2 before I get sick of FLHE and decide to go back to tournaments.

Anyways, I'm rambling (something you should get used to if you plan on reading this blog), and I'll leave you on that note.