Monday, December 31, 2007

Metro Main Event

Near the end of Jan 2008, The Metro will be having the first major tournament for 2008. Buy-in is Php 30,000 + 3,000. I feel that this is going to be big. I'm hoping that the final table will be televised and that I'm on it. Bryan said that watching a video of yourself play is priceless and that there's no other feeling like it. I couldn't care less if my friends see me play, I just plainly want to see myself.

I know I can finish well in that tournament. It's going to be a deep stack tournament and I know I do well in those. I have the patience and discipline to outlast majority of the field. Skill-wise, I can go toe to toe with more than half of them. I'm trying to psych myself into the having the winning mentality. However, what I don't have is the stake. I can put up Php 33,000 but the problem is I'd be thinking about the amount too much that it'll definitely affect my decisions.

The event is still a few weeks in the future. I'm hoping I can get enough scratch together that I can buy in to the main event. If I can't, I'll just content myself with being at the sidelines.

Wish me luck.

Friday, December 21, 2007

I am google-able!

Just this past Saturday I played the 1st UNO Magazine sponsored poker tournament. I finished 2nd among 40 players. I've placed in tournaments before but this one was particularly special. This is the only event which made me google-able!

Go to then type Ross Del Rosario. You have to filter it a bit because apparently there are a lot of Ross Del Rosarios out there. You can also search for Ross Del Rosario Poker and it's the first search result.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The reality of Filipino players...

Here’s what happened last November 7, 2007 during the Metro 75 Tournament. Because of the Beyonce concert, the Metro 75 turn-out was less than normal. The Metro had to overlay the pot to meet the guaranteed amount. The tournament started with 4 tables with several seats for late entries.

My first table had approximately 7 players. I was always average or little below average stack. Each time I would raise, I would advertise. I would always advertise premium hands. AKo, AJs, and the like.

All late entry seats were removed after the 4th level. The field collapsed from 4 tables to 2 tables. In my table there were 9 players. There was a need to advertise again as there are some unknown players. First hand, I raised 4 times the big blind, no one called, I showed KK. A few hands after, I raised and got 1 caller in a later position. Flop was all diamonds, check, bet, call. Turn was an Ace, check, check. River was I think another Ace or another diamond, check, bet, fold. I advertised JJ no diamond. A few hands after, I raised, no callers, advertised AA. This table was tight as hell. We saw probably 2-3 flops in 2 levels.

Metro 75 Tournament (Php 75,000 guaranteed)
Blind level: level 6 100/400/800
2 tables left
Buy-in: Php 2,200
Hours of play: Almost 2 hours
Sobriety level: 2nd beer
Chip count: Approximately Php 8,000
Position: Small blind
Hole Cards: 44

So, UTG folds, folds, calls, folds, folds, calls, button folds, then it's my turn. There was the big blind who hasn't acted, 2 callers then me. I put first caller in the A9s range. Possibly even 55 or 66. I put the second caller in a worse hand. Probably A5s or A8o, something in that range. I could push for them to add around 7,000 more to their committed Php 800. My stack was big enough to hurt anyone who called. So I pushed all-in. Big blind folded, first caller folded, second caller (last to act) thinks. Then he calls. He was stacked around Php 13,000, a decent stack to play with even if he folded.

He probably put me on a weak hand. Which to a certain extent was true because I only had a 13% chance of winning but the bet was strong and if my reads were true, they really didn't have good enough pot odds to call my all-in bet. Even if they had AA which I'm sure of, they didn't they didn't have pot odds to call all-in. The problem is, he was holding K8s. His read was correct but he doesn't hold freakin' cards. No one in their right mind would call an overbet with K8s.

But... as I will never be able to change the way another person plays, I will just focus on what I can do to improve my game.

Lesson 4: Never think that other players think the same way you do.

Players nowadays play too much cash games. There are not too many tournaments here and half of the tournaments' structure focus on luck more than skill. Probably the most common thought is that pre-flop, any hole cards have the potential to be the nuts. I know that that's wrong especially on a tournament but people think differently and I have to adjust and play smarter.

Thing is, the more I think about that hand, I just tilt. I'll just end it here.

Classes start...

All throughout this Blog, I’ve went on and on about how I’m a better tournament player than a cash game player. I know that my cash game skills are not worth crap and that if I want to make poker work for me, I need to learn to play in the cash game or quit playing the cash game all together. But it seems I really can’t avoid it so there’s no choice but to learn.

So now I will play, pay my tuition, and learn everything I need to know about the cash game.

Stakes: 25/50
Players: 6
Total buy-in: Php 12,000
Hours of play: Approximately 4 hours
Sobriety level: 2 beers drank before playing
Chip count: Approximately Php 11,000
Position: Straddle (Php 100)
Hole Cards: QQ
Dealer: Rudolph

Here’s what happened. I straddled the big blind and posted Php 100. UTG folds, next player folds, button calls Php 100, small blind folds, big blind calls Php 100, action comes to me with no raise. I have Queens in middle position and Php 325 in the pot. I raise Php 300 more. Button calls Php 300, big blind calls Php 300.
Pre-flop: 3 players, Php 1225 total pot
Flop comes T, 9, 4. T and 9 are suited (diamonds or hearts)
Big blind checks, I bet Php 600, button calls, big blind calls.
Flop: 3 players, Php 3025 total pot
Turn comes Q. Q is same suit as 4 (I think)
Big blind checks, I bet Php 500, button folds, big blind raises to Php 1,500 total, I think I raised to Php 2,500 total then he went all in, I called. His stack got me covered.
River comes J.
I have a top set of Queens, big blind has a straight with J, 8.


My pre-flop raise was all right. It was enough to keep players in but still get more money in the pot.

The bet after the flop was too small (half the pot), with 3 players and a possible straight and possible flush against an over-pair. The button only needed 25% pot odds to call and big blind only needed 20% pot odds after button called. If one of them was in fact on a flush draw or open-ended straight draw, they would have had 35% and 31% pot odds respectively. For me to be able to protect my over-pair and to make sure they pay for their draw, I should have bet at least Php 1,500 with the pot at Php 1225. A flush draw would’ve reasonably called Php 1,400. With 2 other players, there was a chance one or both would be drawing. If I bet at least Php 1,500, the button ideally would not call unless he had an open-ended straight draw with a flush draw or any draw with more than 36% odds. The big blind needed to have the same odds if the button folded. If the button called Php 1,500, the big blind only needed 26% odds to validate a call.

Lesson 1: Always make opponents pay for their draws; never give a cheap or free card.

The card on the turn made my over-pair into a top set but would’ve also completed a straight. What happened was that I’ve failed to see that although it made my pair better, it made my chances of winning worse. If there had been an opponent drawing to a straight (which there could’ve been because the flop bet was cheap), I became an underdog and would’ve needed a pair on the board to win.

Lesson 2: Do not get blinded by a set when there’s a made flush or made straight on the board.

The big blind checked and I bet Php 500 with Php 3025 in the pot. The bet was small but it actually didn’t matter as the opponent had a made hand. He would’ve called if I bet Php 50 or Php 3,000. Although his hand was not the nuts (KJ), it was the second best. When he raised my Php 500 bet to Php 1,500, I should’ve just called. I had 22% odds to beat a made straight and his Php 1,000 raise required me to have 17% odds to validate a call.

Lesson 3: Beware of raises – think before acting.

If I had just called, the pot would’ve been Php 6025 on the river. And although I had invested Php 2,600 in the pot, I would’ve been able to fold when there was only one card to a straight when the Jack fell. I would’ve still had a reasonable chip count of Php 8,400.

That ends this day’s lessons. These lessons cost Php 11,000 and should always be remembered.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Back on the Saddle

It's been a while since I've played. The bankroll didn't last as long as I thought it would so I took a vacation. Well, if I wasn't winning in poker, I might as well work hard at my job.

But vacation's about to end. I'm very hungry for a win. The Metro probably has around 10 winners of the Metro 75, including one who won it back to back. And here I am not having played at least one. Now as I've been saying in almost every other post, I'm a better tournament player than I am at cash games. So this time, I will solely be a tournament rounder.

I will play every Metro 75 tournament. I'll probably join the satellites for the P3M guaranteed tournament in December. And this time my resolve has never been stronger. I need to prove to myself that I can win. I've done it before. I need to know it wasn't a fluke.

Friday, September 28, 2007

The highs are high and the lows are low...

Lately I've been thinking that my wins were flukes. From September 16 to September 26, I've lost approximately P50k (less than USD1000) in the 25/50 or 50/100 table. It sucks to say the least and I feel I've lost my confidence.

I feel I still know what to play, what to fold, how to play certain cards and how to play certain players. I just can't seem to convert it to money. I know what to do. And I actually follow my rules. I still do not drink while playing. I know the odds and my decisions are based on them. But I seldom get big cards. I seldom hit my big cards. I never get a good draw. I never hit my draws when they come. It's basically a slump.

So I've decided to not play until there's a real big tournament. Where I know I will do well. I've always been a smart player. I play by the book. I'm not saying I don't listen to my gut by I don't rely on my gut.

Friday, September 7, 2007

I'm still hot...

Last Monday, I went to the Metro to try my luck at the ring games. As mentioned before, ring games are really not my specialty. Most that I've won in a ring game was P11k. Now that all changed on this particular visit. I bought in for P1.5k in a 10/20 table and lost most of it after a few minutes. The 25/50 table was about to open so I transferred. I added P2k which makes my total investment P3.5k.

The 25/50 table was great. The action was just right. Although I re-bought for P3k, I was able to make the most out of it. My bluffs were not contested and my nuts always won me big pots. I can't give a hand by hand account as that was 5 days ago. Sorry. On that table, I ended having a huge stack of around P12k. Not bad but the other 25/50 table had more money and had more action so I transferred.

I ran a lot of players to the felt. If it was a tournament, I would have been first place without contest. I ended the night by cashing out P33,175. The biggest cash-out I've had on a ring game thus far.

This almost makes me an all around player. I just need to continue my performance.

Today the Metro; tomorrow the world!!!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Metro

I've mentioned The Metro in my previous post but it's worth having a post of its own.

I personally started in home games and I'm sure most if not all poker players did as well. After a few months, I was hooked and I wanted to up the stakes a bit. I joined regular undergrond games and the occasional trips to the casino. But now there's The Metro. A legitimate card room where I can play poker.

The Metro is located right beside Yoohoo in Metrowalk. It's a little difficult to see if you don't know where it is. You'll know where it is by waiting in Yoohoo until a lot of people come out of a door to smoke for around 5 minutes then go back in. Hehe.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Who would have thought...

I played for 3 days straight from Saturday to Monday.
SaturdayI went to The Metro, the new card room in Metrowalk, just to see what it was like. They just opened and I wanted to see the usual suspects. But apparently there was a big APPT Manila level 2 satellite held in Hyatt so there weren't as many people in the card room. Actually, there was only one 10/20 table open. I joined just for the sake of joining. I really didn't mean to play seriously so I drank while I played. Everybody was drinking anyway.I was already down 7.5k but I was able to bring it up to 10k which wasn't bad at all. There was around 30k+ on the table at that time. I was really about to just while away my time and then I got JJ. I was UTG and I bet around 250 I think. The standard pre-flop raise was about 100-200 so my 250 was really just to get the blinds. Then I had a caller. Flop come 234 rainbow. I bet and I was raised or he bet and I raised, I really can't remember. That was 4 days ago and I had 6 beers to drink. To cut the long story short, highest card on the board was an 8 or a 9, but the caller had A5. So too bad for my Jacks. It was all downhill fro there. I joined the end game satellite and I got to cash out 400. We went home at 11:30am of Sunday.
SundayThere was a last minute APPT Manila level 1 satellite in the same venue. It was the last chance to get a seat for the level 2 satellite the next day. Given that Saturday wasn't as lucrative as I thought it'd be, and because I really wanted to play, I joined. It cost 1.5k to join so I figured I'm going to get some good plays for my money compared to the previous night. I didn't drink that time. It wasn't very exciting, at least not for me. I just kept out of everybody's way and took pots no one wanted. I played my good hands and folded my bad ones. Pretty uneventful except for my pocket fives against Dirty Ice Cream's AK. My pair was good and it was exciting only because it was the bubble and he had like 6-7 times my stack. The day ended with me winning a seat for next day's level 2 satellite.
MondayI really didn't have plans on actually playing the level 2 satellite. I was either going to sell my seat or have Rene play it. But it just so happened that I woke up that Monday afternoon feeling so damn good. So I played my seat. I didn't know half of the people in my first table. I didn't know how any of them played. Lal was there who people kept saying was a liar, as far as cards are concerned. But he had some pretty decent plays. There was Rosh but he didn't play the way he used to. Lee who I've played with a lot of times but she never remembered who I was or how I played. There was a chinese guy who I forgot the name who kept reraising me, I steamed and over-raised a pot he just bet minimum to. He didn't reraise me after that. It could've been disastrous if he called but good thing he didn't. The other people are pretty all right players. No one knew me there so I had to advertise some of my hands just to be able to establish my image.(The thing about my play is that I always keep to myself. I seldom talk to my seatmate. I actually don't speak unless I need to. Problem about that is my opponents never remember me. So each time I play, I have to advertise just for them to know that I shouldn't be ignored.)Our table collapsed and I was transferred to a more familiar table. The table had Aris, Sunshine, Cho, Philip, Dads, Derek. Pretty nice table, huh? I was transferred with Lal and Lee. Now this was a better table. I knew all the people and I knew how they played. Problem was that Lal gained momentum and busted out like 3 or 4 of them. Good thing that I still had a stack when that table collapsed eventually and we were down to 2 tables. My 3rd table was a mix of people I knew and people I don't. There was Barbs, the chinese guy mentioned earlier, Lal (again), Lee, Kent. Now at this point, I have to mention Tricia. I have seen her before but I don't remember how she plays. However, in this tournament she had a couple of real bad mistakes. Now I'm no poker pro but I wouldn't do what she did. What she did was in a couple of instances, she took around 2-3 minutes thinking. Maybe more. And it really looked like she had a real bad headache from thinking. The reason why I would never do this is that you would never want to let your opponent know what you're thinking. Never ever. Hence the term poker face. But she was real animated in letting everybody know that she had a dilemma. But enough about that because she busted out anyways. By this time, I was still average stack. Here's where everything turned around. I was in the pot with the chinese guy. I had KQo and the flop was Q74 rainbow. There was a raise preflop but I can't remember who raised, I thnk he did. I went all in and he called. I didn't think he had 2 pair or trips. It just didn't feel like it. He had pocket tens, so I doubled up. From that point on, I was just managing my stack. We went down to the final table with me being second to chip lead, Lal had probably 10k more than my stack. The blinds was 2k/4k and I had around 80k. Not bad. I was just waiting for the small stacks to bust each other out. There were 9 players in the final table and there are 6 places paid, four seats to the main event, 37.5k and 20k. Things went on uneventfully until the bubble for the money. Lal had around 110k and I had around 70k. I was the big blind and he was UTG. He raised double the 6k big blind. Everybody folds and I called with T9s. Flop come 8TT rainbow. I bet, he called. Turn was a blank, no flush draw. I checked, he bet, I raised all-in. He took his time then called. He had JJ, river was a blank. I was an instant chip lead and I was guaranteed that I'd get a seat if even if I don't play anything. Lal was the bubble. When we were down to 5 people, we negotiated a chop. They'd get the 4 seats, cause I didn't mean to play there in the first place and I got 100k. Everybody wins. I was going to sell it for a 100k anyway and they got a seat at a discounted price.
So here I am. I just won 3rd place in Carmona and now the 100k, things are turning around.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

APPT-Manila hosts the Asia Pacific Poker Tour and will make its way here to Manila. This will be held on August 24-26, 2007 in Hyatt Hotel and Casino in Manila. also has daily freeroll tournaments for a chance to win a seat to a tournament which will sponsor one winner to the $2,500 buy-in main event.

I will be joining this freeroll later at 7pm MNL. And I will win. ...or not.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

3rd ain't so bad...

After starting this blog in July of 2006, I finally have something to write about. Now before I go on about the recent tournament I've been in, let me give an update on what has been happening to my poker "career" so far.
Now as mentioned, ever since the progressive tournament, I haven't been winning much. I really was on a slump and the deepest I got was in ACF right before the Independence Day holiday. I went there at 6am and found a few tables still open. I played and played and lo and behold it was 1am of the next day. I decided to go home and my pockets P7500 lighter than when I arrived. After that I went on a sabbatical and swore off playing as I really wasn't doing that well.
So I stayed home reading all the poker books I could download off of the internet. Some of them were helpful, most were not. I can't say them all because I can't remember most of them. Then I got tired of just reading about poker.
Now there probably is a quote that says, "Once a gambler, always a gambler" or something like that. And like all gamblers I really can't give up playing. So I tried my luck in one of the home games my friend organizes. Well it wasn't much of a surprise that I didn't win. I actually half expected it.
Now last August 4 was different. I could no longer stay away from a good tournament and it just so happened that there was a great tournament that was held in Runner's Card Club in Carmona, Cavite. I joined and as I didn't have a seat, I bought in for P5500. The competition was great! I missed playing with those people. Well it was expected that the people there were familiar faces. But it was a blast! I got my Aces cracked but that was all right. All in all, I ended up 3rd with a P45000 prize. Not bad for someone who stopped playing for a while.
But I was serious as hell in playing. I never drank (Iread that somewhere). I limited conversing with players. I paid attention to every little thing that was happening. I can't remember any of what I saw but at the time I was paying very close attention to them. I can't say I donkeyed my way to 3rd place in this tournament. I probably stop being a donkey and start playing smart.
Now that really picked up my bankroll. The 60-player tournament was the biggest I've placed in so far so I really am psyched! Can't wait for the next big tournament!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


Since my third place in a progressive pot series, I haven't been winning that much. Actually, I haven't been winning at all. Even the online freerolls are not giving me much hope. I was in the money on freeroll tournaments 1 out of 3 tournaments before. I've been playing for 3 days straight now and my best finish was 500+.

I'm down for quite a bit now and I'm seriously thinking about taking a hiatus from poker. It's getting to emotional for me. My decisions are affected by the amount I've lost. And that's never a good thing.

The catch of it is, I really can't say no to a good game. The only hope that I have is to bury myself in work. I'm considering taking the graveyard shift so I wouldn't have a choice but not to play.

I'm not sure how I'll do with that but let's see...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Team Poker

Now when I said before that I'm a better tournament player than a cash game player, I guess there's some truth to that.

Team King Jack Call
I joined the first ever team poker event last night at the usual place and it was packed with the 7 tables of the best players I've played with ever. I was teamed up with Rini, Mogs, Jerry, Yoko and Namesh (sorry bro, I don't know how to spell your name). Dondi and Ostrac couldn't make it but Yoko and Namesh did just fine as replacements.

We didn't win.
Our first mistake was to let Rini join the heads up tournament while the rest joined the multi-table tournament. Rini is one of the best players I know and not just because he's my friend but because the guy's pretty damn good. The team could've done better with him there in the multi-table. Our second mistake was that we didn't have a strategy before the tournament started. We were playing by ourselves and hoping that each one would do well.

Heads up
Rini was beaten by Rosh. Quads versus a full boat. The heads up took probably an hour before it ended. I don't know the details because I was busy with my tournament. His second game was against Alexi (I really don't know how to spell the names of the people I play with). He was beaten there too. He was out of the competition after that.

All 5 of us were at different tables and we really didn't have a chance to play as a team. Only a few teams had that chance and unfortunately we had to get by on our own.
Mogs was the first to go. There were still about 7 or 6 tables when he busted out. It was all right because he did pretty well in keeping the other teammates informed about what's going on with the rest of the tournament.
Yoko and Namesh followed but I'm not sure in which order but there were still around 4 tables around that time. It was up to me and Jerry. He busted out when there were only around 16 players left. And there I was. Alone in a team event. Our best chance to win the event was if I'd win the tournament. But I was short stacked. With the antes, I was just waiting for the monster hand or the blinds to reach me. Fortunately, each time I was under the gun or big blinds, I'd have decent cards which held up. So I reached the final table.

Final table
It was composed of players from 7 teams and it was pretty even. I was still short stacked and it even reached the point where I'd just have enough money for the ante. That's the lowest I got, 1000 units of chips when the ante was at 500 per player. I still didn't bust out then. My chip count went up to around 20000. Then there's this hand I couldn't forget. I got pocket Jacks. the big blind was about 1600. I raised to 5000 which was all right because I still had around 10000 left. The big blind raised all in and I was covered. I threw away my Jacks. I showed my cards but the raiser mucked his. I never knew what he had but I still feel that it's a good lay down. I don't regret it because the raiser busted out before me.
My last hand was AJ hearts. The big blind just called me to have a chance of eliminating me. he had 97 off suit with his 9 a heart. Flop came with a 7 of hearts and another heart and a rag. I had over cards with a nut flush draw. He had pair 7's. Turn came a Jack. I had a better pair with the same nut flush draw. The river gave a 7. It could've given me the chance I needed to stay in the game and win. Too bad. I would still have done the same thing but I'm hoping that next time, I'd have a teammate on the same table playing.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Bankroll update

Now look at what you did... you made me lose. Damn freeroll tournament. I pressed the wrong button and I'm out of the tournament. I was supposed to fold my 63's. But this stupid touchpad pressed "Call" as the cursor glided over the Call button. This is why I never deposit any money for online poker. I can't bear making that mistake with real money. Anyway... Back to the task at hand.

Here's a report on how I've been doing so far. I started compiling my wins and losses back in December 2006. Just for me to get an idea on my bankroll. It turns out I don't have a bankroll. Unless you consider a negative amount a bankroll. But things have been looking up. This week's my best week in a long time. I've won a 3-table tournament last Monday. It was very fulfilling. The next day I won a 10-player SnG. Then I lost on Wed but I won 2nd place last Thursday. Not bad for a donkey.

Now here's the profit tally since December:
Ring games: -P14,740
Tournaments: P5900

Now let's analyze this for a minute. I lose more in ring games than in tournaments. My losses is bigger than my winnings. Therefore, I shouldn't be playing ring games and always be playing tournaments. Yeah, that's a fairly reasonable conclusion.

Now where to find tournaments...

Let's start playing poker...

Now I have been playing for more than a year. This is an account of what I think happened. (I just couldn't remember...)

If I'm not mistaken, I learned to play through Mogs. He has been playing with Mic, Rini and the boys and I guess I started out of curiousity. Well, who am I kidding, I just can't keep my hands away from holding cards.

Back then, we'd have SnG's with a P20 buyin. Then the winner would buy everybody beer or food. We were just playing for the heck of it. No strategies at all. Then we started to become serious. We'd drink less so our judgments won't be impaired. We'd up the buyin to P50 and eventually P100. There'd be more of us as well. The dboys from high school had learned to play and we'd have more players available. There was also the poker league that was setup which had a total of 3 tournaments, I think... It was fun but not very lucrative.

Then there's a turning point. I wasn't content with the change we've been playing for. I wanted to improve. So I tried to join an advertised satellite in Vista Verde. This was for the P1M tournament that was held in ACF. Needless to say, I lost and I never even went to the P1M tournament. But felt different while playing. I loved it.

I looked for tournaments and lost a lot of money. I was a fish swimming wth sharks. But hey, I had to start somewhere. Mogs and the others hadn't tried to join any of the other tournaments at that time. I was the only one. I didn't know anybody but still I kept playing. I think I lost a few months salary over that. But I'd do it over again. That's how I learned to play. I learned a lot from the people I've played with.

This blog's the continuation of this story. I want this to be documented for future reference.

This entry is very badly written. Please accept my apologies as I'm in the middle of an online tournament.