Friday, November 17, 2006

Poker and Stocks

Been incredibly busy all day... no time to post anything.

Anyway, the quick news on the Long-Term Portfolio today is that Altria Group (MO) benefitted from the issuance of a formal stay on the Schwab (Light Cigarettes) class-action suit. Also, Form Factor (FORM) will not be called away as it fell enough today to close below the $40 strike price. I will probably sell another round of the $40 calls for December, but I'm not 100% on that yet. In the Trading Portfolio, Broadcom (BRCM) will get called away, and so I should have a large infusion of cash that will need a home come Monday.

Well, last night I gave the $5-200 spread-limit game another try. It was a bit of a roller coaster, but it worked out well. I'll talk about a few of the bigger hands that took place.

Early on I lost my initial $200 buy-in with 99 vs TT. By the turn, the board was Q high with 3 undercards to my pair. I read him correctly as not having the queen and made a largish all-in bet on the turn. This was probably a real amateur mistake... I'm really still learning this game, and I am definitely feeling my way around right now. He thinks for a bit, and he really looks ready to muck. But, at the last minute, he says, "OK, let's just do it." He makes the call, and I'm drawing to two outs, which I miss. I rebuy and tell myself that I will try not to do stupid things like that going forward.

Then, after a few hours of what I felt was pretty solid play on my part, I slowly worked up to a profit of a few hundred dollars. Things were looking good, and I was feeling quite a bit better about my play. Anyway, after stagnating for a couple more hours, I get totally outplayed on a hand.

So, I've got AK on the button, and I smooth-call a $25 raise pre-flop. Anyway a few of us see the flop come Ad Kd X. The raiser bets out $50, I make it $150 and after he makes the call, it is heads-up. The turn brings another diamond, and he checks. I go ahead and bet another $100, and again he calls. The river brings a low diamond, and I'm defintely not liking it. He bets $200 straight, and I think about it a bit, and I can't justify a call. Anyway, after I muck, he shows his AK for the same hand. Played like a fiddle.

So, that knocked me back down into slightly negative territory. I get KdQx in late position, and we see a flop 6-handed for $15 apiece. The flop comes J T 9, all diamonds. Some kid bets out $50, another guy calls the $50. I go ahead and raise it enough to get both of them all in (each of them had roughly the inital max buy-in of $200). They both call, and I'm up against JTo and 8d9x. I'm in pretty good shape, and the turn and river were bricks, and I scoop up the pot.

After building up a bit more with routine play, I hit a biggie with QQ. I flop QJT and get two others to go all-in with me after a series of raises. The turn is an Ace, and my heart sinks. I'm pretty sure I'm dead. Anyway, the river doesn't pair the board, and to my amazement, I'm up against JTs and some other hand I never got to see (but, a hand that I beat). That was a big pot and from there after a little more build-up, I leave a solid winner. Yay, for being a luckbox.

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