I'm going to divide this blog into sections since it will be long
SCHOOL AND STUDY ABROAD
I'm happy to announce the busiest semester ever is very close to over; I have just one final remaining. My grades have been incredible this semester (yay no poker). I've also kept a very consistent workout grind going and have remained lean while gaining muscle. I'm excited to keep making gains there. I had never realized before how great lifting is. I always thought people did it 100% to look better to get more girls/guys. I didn't realize how fun the competition (against yourself) was. Besides this, endorphins are a helluva drug and working out boosts confidence and generally makes you feel better. I now get it, and am very happy I do.
I anticipate next semester (well, actually two trimesters) will be even more busy, but I won't really know until they are underway. As I've talked about before, I will be studying abroad next semester and I decided to study at Oxford University in the UK. If anyone that reads this goes there, feel free to send me a PM! I hear the workload is rigorous but then again I expect that at an institution like Oxford. The good news is that since I will be in Europe for 6 months, I will be able to play online poker again. I will arrive in the UK on January 5th. Due to this earlier than normal start date, I will not be able to play PCA or Aussie Millions this year, so that's a bummer. The following day (the 6th) is my long-awaited 21st birthday so I'm very excited for both that and the general experience of a semester abroad.
My first trimester ends on March 13th and the next one doesn't start until April 15th. That means I have over a month to travel through Europe or do whatever else I want. I will likely try to visit cities throughout Europe and from talking to friends the list of places I will probably go to looks something like:
Paris, Barcelona, Ibiza, Stockholm, Budapest.
I'll be in London often since it's so close and I know a lot of people there, both poker players and other students studying abroad at Kings College or University College London. I am interested in hearing about which European cities are the most fun in the comments section, so don't hesitate to make a suggestion of where to visit. I haven't decided on or booked anything yet except my flight to London of course.
I really wanted to bring the blog back not only to update on poker, but to document my travels and post photos and such.
Live Poker Hand Session/Hand Analysis
As far as poker goes, I haven't played with the exception of a live session at the Hard Rock in Hollywood, FL. There was a nutty 50/100NL and 25/50PLO mix going but unfortunately I could not get a seat as the waitlist was 5 deep when I arrived. I witnessed a really nutty PLO hand from the game where two guys got in 23k (460bb) each pre with AJJ7ssxx and AJT2dddx. It came like 6x6dQdJxXx and the guy getting in jacks in Omaha scoops a big one.
I played 5/10 while on the waitlists for the 10/25 and the big game. After a couple hours I finally got into a 10/25 that was just starting 3 handed. There was one decentish tight livereg and one mid 20s mega loose-passive station fish. I made a nice river overbet for value against him with a straight when the flush had hit the turn and got looked up by his turned top pair, then got 3 streets of value vs. him with JJ on J58xxs4s3s and got looked up by just an 8.
I folded a set vs. him after he c/r AQJ barrel T barrel blank river. He showed KT so I'm happy with how I played that one. I hero called him on a 4 straight board with top pair after he c/c c/c donked, knowing he had missed his flush draw based on two previous hands I saw him play. He was the kind of fish who was just very obvious and very easy to beat, and played super loose pre so it wasn't hard to get involved in pots with him, especially 3 handed. I ended up winning only $400 but was a decent amount below EV. The biggest pot I played was actually in the 5/10 and demonstrates how soft the game was.
A mid 40s fish who I'd estimate played about 75/15 full ring limps, 2 limps behind (this was common, as I was literally the only player at the table with PFR divided by VPIP > .5.) I'm SB with QJo and BB is short ($600) and fairly loose-passive, the cally type. I complete as I'm never taking it down with 3 limpers and the cally BB still to act. I also have a table captain image where I am raising and 3betting a lot, especially against straddles. My redline is absurdly high just from taking down straddled pots preflop and one time I 3bet and 2barreled and took it down when I had top two. BB checks. Flop is Ts9s8x. I check (planning to raise of course), BB checks, 75/15 megadonk bets 50 into 50, 2 limpers behind fold. I raise to 150, BB cold calls and megadonk calls. About half the deck is bad for me either killing action with 4 straight or the flush coming in, but I drill a red 2 on the turn. Pot is 500, SB has 465 and megadonk has 1750 (I cover). I bet 400, SB calls with only $65 behind and megadonk INSTA jams. I call quickly and SB of course calls too. He asks to run it twice and I'd normally decline here but given he was a big fish I wanted to be accommodating. SB mucks so pot is ~4600; river 1 is a red 3, river 2 is a 2. He shows TT and takes half
It was pretty cool I got 200bb in by the turn in a limped pot with the stone cold nuts though.
Overall, I feel like I did everything right. I was loose-aggro and taking down a lot of pots but aware of my image. My reads were dead on in every spot, and this was after having months of no playing. This was very encouraging and I feel good about my game. I will need to shake the rust off playing some midstakes NL and PLO online, but look forward to building up to high stakes again in preparation for this summer, my first WSOP. Since I don't return from UK until June 25th, I will only be able to catch an event or two including the Main Event. I may go right to Vegas and play some cash and just the Main Event, but I haven't made any final decisions on that.
Of course I haven't been able to play any recently, but I have been following it through PTR occasionally. Some things I've noticed:
-the traditional nosebleeding warriors haven't been involved in the huge games on Stars recently (Sauce, nutsinho, jungleman, urnotindanger). Some are playing elsewhere or smaller. These have always been the guys I've looked up to as a poker player, even when sitting across from them. With them gone, I find myself really admiring (in no particular order) 0Human0, Ben86, takechip, and Kanu7. These have been players I've had a lot of respect for for a long time, of course. But now I have respekt for them.
Isildur is a fun one. It's just great how consistently he can run it up and then come crashing down. I always find myself rooting for him, but it seems he just doesn't learn his lesson. He is incredibly talented though, and his dissociation from money is almost psychopathic.
I'm really excited to get back online come January. I've been missing playing poker. I don't know how much time I will have to play-- probably not very much. As part of being at...