Saturday, December 30, 2006

How long will it take to clear this bonus?

The following is a paid advertisement

With the number of sites that accept American players diminished, the bonus offers seem to be going away as well. PokerStars just offered an end of the year bonus of 25%. I moved some money over to take advantage of it. I also began to wonder how long it might take me to clear it.

Well, the people at Compatible Poker have a a tool that will help. Compatible Poker is a site targeting Mac and Linus systems. They have a comprehensive list of all sites that are currently offering games for the non-Windows player. They even have a Java listing for those who don't want to download software.

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With pages showing which sites are still accepting U.S. players and payment methods, Compatible Poker is more than just info on where to play with a Mac.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Tilted by the river

Things were going well in the Riverchasers tournament last night. I was either 1st or 2nd at the break and felt like I was in control of the table. The cocktails were going down well (Captain and Coke was the potent potable of choice last night) and I was enjoying myself.

Then the break ended, Omaha began, and I got nailed on the river twice in a short span to lost 60% of my chips. From there I lost it. Started playing hands I shouldn't, trying to draw out, and bluffing it all away. Of course I would brick up in Razz to send my butt to the rail.


I had played pretty well too. I dominated the Stud rounds (both regular and hi/lo) at the table. Got cards up the wazoo and made people pay for their draws. I did play some of those hands poorly though. Could have collected bigger pots by taking the chance to let some catch up but I wanted to just win pots and get chips, no matter how small those pots were.

In retrospect I don't think there was much I could have done in the end. Beside not tilting of course. The river beats happen. I should have tightened up when I was moved to the low part of the pack instead of trying to push myself back into contention. Live and learn.

Thursday, December 21, 2006


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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

WWdN night

Only 40 people were playing on Tuesday night. Guess some late holiday shopping was more important to them.

Cruised through the first hour of the tournament. Chipped up early with A Q when on-thg called out of the BB. On a Q high flop, I made a continuation bet. And was raised. Huh? I called. Turn was a 5. on_thg bet it out this time. Something seemed funny to me so I raised. He folded.

I would soon double up when I hit a set with Q Q. From there I got a bit lucky. 4 2 in the BB hits trip 4s. K 8o flops two pair. Before I knew it, I had moved above 5000.

But then I gave it back against a tight player who didn't believe in using the bet button. I watched as they had some monster hands but never raised preflop. When they rivered quad Queens, I should have known better than to try to run them over. It wasn't until they called down a hand with bottom pair that I learned my lesson.

At the first break, I was at a respectable 6th position with just over 4300.

I chipped up a bit in the beginning of the second session only after moving down. With 6 6 I missed the flop but wanted to see the turn. The turn made the flush possible so I folded to the bet. Next hand against the same tough opponent, I have 4 4 in the BB. I call his button raise to see a K high flop. Sensing he was making a move again, I raised his bet to 1500 and was happy when he folded. Bluffs always feel good.

From there out, I never did see a flop. My raises were getting some respect. Of course it doesn't hurt that the table tightened up a bit. So I picked my spots and continued to steal where it felt appropriate. I wasn't gaining any ground, but I wasn't losing any either.

That was until I let someone hit a runner runner flush and paid them off. Suddenly, my wind was gone and I was sitting with 8 BBs. Not good.

So I needed a chance to double up somewhere. Blinds had moved up to 100/200/25. So I made a move with the best hand I saw- A J. Wil raised it up to 700. I tossed in my last 890. What I don't believe either of us expected was the chip leader to push as well. When he did and Wheaton went into the tank, I thought I was done for sure. Wheaton would make a great call with 10 10 as the chip leader showed A Ko. A beautiful J hit the turn and I tripled up.

Life. I have life.

That made it easy to steal the blinds and antes with 6 6. Then again with 10 10. But then I lost a race and was knocked down again. A 10 lost to Q J. I knew I was ahead when I made the call. But reading doesn't win the hand.

I get lucky one more time. With A 4o, I tried to steal and went all in with my remaining 2300. Chip leader auto called and I knew I was in trouble. Yep. A 10. But the board paired up and we split the pot. 5 5 A K J. Nice.

But I still needed a double to make my tournament matter. With just 10 people left and 5 at a table, it wasn't easy. Blinds are whipping around and I am getting crap. 10 4 is nice when you get a free flop. But an A high flop sucks.

I did make it to the final table. As the bottom rung. Plus I was sandwiched between the two leaders. Ugh! I was happy to get a hand to double with, 10 10. But the chip leader made a quick re-raise on my push. Uh oh, that is not a good sign. J J. IGHN.

I played a good game tonight. If I don't lose the one race, I would have had a lot more room to work with. But I guess it just wasn't to be.


For whatever reason, I felt the need to comment on the PokerTek "party" after the Holiday Classic this past trip. After all, they gave us free beer and swag. But they also gave me an opportunity to take a look at what the buzz was on these machines. Falstaff and Change 100 had seen these in action and I must admit, it did pique my curiosity.

The first thing that caught my attention was the layout. There were 9 of us at the table and we each had plenty of room. The view of the action was much better in the middle than if you were on a corner. The screen you had in front of you was easy to use, once you got down the concept of confirming your action. Checking the cards by "cupping" or touching the top of the video screen is cute. It appeared to me people were overdoing it because I don't think anyone was going to see your cards unless they leaned over to take a look as you touched them.

The play was smooth, like any real card game or online poker. It clearly told you the amount of the bet and how much it was to you to call. It announced all in bets. It even did chip races to when levels had pushed up. That annoyed some people but if the point is to make it as close to a physical card game, then I think it is good.

My opinion on the tables is simple. They were fun. It was like playing online but with a different twist. Having an opportunity to watch people as they played was interesting. I think most people were playing like they were online and were not observing others at the table. But that also could have been because people were drinking all day as well.

Would I play one of these machines in the future? Yes, but it depends on the circumstances. If I had the choice between this and a live game, I would take the live game. There is more going on in the live game than what you would see on the machines.

The flip side though is I think these machines would be great for SnGs or satellites to a live game. The thought of walking up and putting the card in the machine to get the game going is nice and easy.

I could see these machines doing great business in a bar, especially the heads up machine. It could get as much action as the pool table or dart machines.

The PokerTek tables were fun to play. If you come across them in your journeys, I would suggest you take the time to play them.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Want to see what else happened in Vegas? Like how someone got a free wheelchair ride? Or how Joe Speaker was hit on by Mark Slaughter at the craps table?

Check out my other blog- While Drinking, I...

Later I will have some thoughts on the PokerTek tables and how the rest of my Holiday Classic tournament went.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

It wasn't the beat that had me mad...

...but the comment that was made.

"Great call!"

Great call? No, it wasn't. I say it was a really stupid call. Because you won the hand doesn't mean it was a great call.

That is not how my WPBT Holiday Classic ended. That is how I got crippled.

Let's join the action after my table was broken up. I am put right back into the blinds. Yes, I just paid the blinds and was on the button when I was moved right back into the big blind. Thanks TD!

I was getting short with blinds of 400/800 (I believe that is accurate). When I sit down, I notice 3 stacks much bigger than mine. F-Train has a good stack and has been aggressive. Another guy, Vinnie, was slightly higher than F-Trains. I believe -EV was the third person that I had to worry about.

Enough about that. Let's cut to the chase. I need to make a move somewhere. I think I took down maybe two pots in 4 orbits at this table. In MP, I get 8 8. F-Train raises to 2400. Karol is next to act and thinks for a while. She mucks. Fold and it is to me. I waste little time and push in for around 5100. It goes around the bend to someone I don't know. The girl was in her late 20s, early 30s maybe? Anyway, she goes into the tank. A count is done and apparently she had around 3500. She thinks and thinks and finally calls.

I wasn't expecting that. The way the table had been going there weren't many multi player confrontations going on. People were willing to take a stab at the pot and duke it out against one player. So that surprised me a bit. I mean, I was confident I had F-Train beat preflop and made the move to isolate him.

F-Train now goes into the tank. I like that. I know that I have read him right. A something, probably not even a face card. He goes through the odds and talks himself out of making the call. He showed A 10 when he mucked.

My opponent turned over 6 6.


You called a raise and re-raise with 6 6? Of course a 6 hit the flop and I was crippled. As it turns out, Karol had folded 8 8 and I had no outs to come back with.

It wasn't the beat that bothered me. It was the person who said "Great call!" I wondered why would anyone make the call there? Sure, she was on the short end. But do you want to jam your money in when you most likely have the worst hand? Get in for any chance to be lucky and triple up? I simply would not put my tournament life on the line in that situation.

The logic isn't there for my little brain I guess.

Yet, someone said "Great call!" I don't want that person in my corner coaching me. "Hey you got your money with just an 18% chance to win. Great call!"

How about "Man, did you get lucky!" or "Nice suckout!"

If Derek would have been around, I could have made a scene just so he could enjoy it.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Are we there yet?

Lots of people doing the happy dance in anticipation of the weekend. Go ahead and move it. Just don't look as gay as Elvis does and you are ok.

Monday, December 04, 2006

HORSE of a different color

Iggy had a interesting link in his latest post. Some guy wanted to know what kind of drugs some player do because he heard that these players believe they play better when high or drunk. Though I think the poster may be one of the biggest goofballs for asking such a stupid question, I think there is a point to it.

I believe I usually play better after I have been drinking. But only in tournament poker. That is one reason why you will see me drinking early and often this weekend at the WPBT event.

It helped this past weekend. I won myself to HORSE SnGs. That is after spending a night at the bars. Ok, it doesn't hurt to get quad Qs twice within 4 hands of Omaha Hi Lo to chip up. But it is lucky to get K K, J J, K K all in row to move from 177 to over 2k and into a spot controlling the table.

There is a certain amount of comfort you get after drinking for a while that lets you be a bit more aggressive and not suffer a serious tilt spell when something goes wrong. It helps to get through the bricks you are sure to receive in Razz. And you make a couple of "Aw, what the hell! All in!" moves that you get lucky and draw out on ( J 10s to be A Ko). Its part of the game.

I also place won a token and got deep in an Omaha Hi Lo tourney but got knocked out when my Jacks over Aces was beat by Aces over Jacks. But overall I had good success playing this weekend.

Which leads me to believe I may not play any ring games this week until I get out to Sin City. In the past, I would have played ring games to hone what little skill I have. This time around, I say screw it. I will play but I don't think there will be much good to suddenly ring it up in anticipation of playing less tournaments. Yes, it may backfire, then again, it could help.

Only 3 days for me now. Not quite sure what I will do upon my arrival, but I think I may head over to the Bellagio and get some play in before Pauly has his shindig.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Take me to the river

Al's Riverchasers tournament had 98 players signed up when the cards hit the felt. I was hoping to capitalize on my strong finish in the WWdN the other night. I felt my chances were pretty good.

My opening table was interesting. By that I mean, not easy. Drizz, SoxLover, and Garth are all there. And I think Big Mike may have been the wild guy raising a lot.

See, there was one guy raising every hand 5xs the blinds early. He was setting the tone for the table. That is until Sox layed the hurt on when his AA slapped the AKs.

I was looking forward to playing tight, but also aggressive at the right times. I though I had one of those "right times" early on. I tried to make a move on Drizz. He raised on the button while I was in the BB. Steal? I made the call with A J. Flop comes Q 10 x. He puts out a pot sized bet. I don't think this flop could have really helped him. Hmm...let's get this back. I raise to 600. I feel good until he goes all in and I spit up some beer in my mouth. I put my tail between my legs and fold. Drizz showed A Q. Wow, was my read wrong. It is early so I don't feel bad attempting a move like that.

I get some of those chips back when I play 8 3 hard. Snowman taterlegs brings in a decent pot. I showed the semi-bluff (there was a 3 on the flop). But the Hiltons give it away to that same person a couple of hands later. Maybe I shouldn't have shown that bluff. I get the feeling the guy I bluffed out called my pot size bet with a ragged ace and hit it on the flop. He may not give my raises any respect. I will have to remember this hand.

I am now short stacked at just over 400. Can't make a move with the hammer. Drizz raised and I know he is running too strong for me to make a play back. Though it is the hammer, I am going to bide my time. Plus I have more beer to drink.

I get lucky in the SB when I just call with Q 9. Flop is Q high and I bet the pot. BB decides to go in with second pair. My queens hold up. Same guy I bluffed with SMTL. Maybe showing the early bluff will pay off?

I then fold crap hands for two orbits. Thankfully I have some New Glarus Brewing Fat Squirrel to keep my spirits up. The Fat Squirrel is a nice nut brown ale. Full body that goes down smooth. Try some today. No, this is not a paid advertisement. But if the good people at the New Glarus Brewing Company would like to drop some six packs off at my house, I would appreciate it. They make damn good beer out there.

My stack- if you can even call it that- is looking pretty sad. So when I get A Q diamonds, I know I need to push. With 535 and blinds at 50/100, I really have no choice. But the player on my right raises to 400. What the hell! Push! He instacalls with...Q Q. Doh! But I flop two diamonds. Looks good. Turn is a diamond and I have drawn out and doubled up!

A couple hands later, I get A A and get no action. Crap! I may have missed an opportunity to get back in the game. Instead of moving up I limp into the first break with just 1220. But I am alive. I think that counts for something.

I fold a pair of 6s after the break to an early raise. Don't like my spot there. It looks like a good move when I re-raise the same guy with 10 10. He calls with 9 9 and I smile. I smile a bit more when a 10 hits the turn. I have doubled through to 2500, above the Mendoza line.

It is also at this point that I notice Drizz is kicking ass and taking names. Hmm...that Viking fan is going to be a problem. If I am going to get somewhere, I need to get chips. And fast.

But instead I give a chunk back when I raise with A 10 out of the SB. There was one limper and he called. On a flop of 8 6 5, two hearts, I bet out a third of the pot. My opponent goes all in. WTF? No way I can call here. I muck and he shows 8 7 hearts. Calling a pot size bet after a limp with connected suiters. Not something I would do but I won't say it is a bad play. If that flop doesn't hit, you are folding.

Now I am just over 1600. Got to make a big move again. Maybe a fresh beer will help. Let's see how this works out. Blinds have moved up to 100/200. I have 1300. The blinds are coming to me. I can fold them and wait only one more round.

But I don't have to. In the BB, I get 10 10 again. I push. The limper UTG thinks and calls with 4 4. Thank you Gods of Poker! My tens hold up and I have breathing room again. Hopefully this time I will not blow it. Once again, my showing of the 8 3 earlier is paying dividends now as it is the second time this guy thought I had total crap.

I give some back when I am in the BB and my UTG buddy has pushed. It is 420 more to me and the odds are better than two to one. I should have live cards. Yes, I am not happy it has folded around to me. With some goading by the peanut gallery, I call and am up against A K. So much for two live cards.

As I watch Drizz bludgeon the table, I find it amusing how my buddy to my left that I had bluffed way earlier in the tournament is beginning to call me names. Hey, I owned your ass after the bluff. Don't hate the player. Hate the game.

Did I just type that?

Anyways, I am now moved away from Drizz- thank God- and have a new table. Only names I recognize is surflexus and Gcox. Ok, this table is not any easier. I get A 8 and push right away and capture the blinds. Next hand is A J and I do it again. Then I have the BB and get 5 4. Fold. I will put that in the book as a rush.

With 6 6, I make a move with a pot size raise. Unfortunately the SB pushes all in. It is 400 more to me and I have to call. He has Q Q. Damn. Though I flop a four flush, I don't hit and I am hurting.

With K 9 hearts, I push my last chips in in pure desperation. I am called by surflex and A Q. I have live cards but do not hit. Oh well. Gone at 25.

Drizz and Gcox went on to chop it up. Good job boys!

I never got any real traction in this tournament. I think the high point for my chip count was 2500. At that point, the leaders had 15,000. Honestly, I am surprised I made it that far. The only play I didn't like was making a move with the 6s. I was in EP. That hand is not strong enough to survive. Next time, I think I will fold it unless the table is extremely tight.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

I think I will chase the river tonight

Must get some beer before its starts.

Full Tilt Poker
Tournament #8647662
Game: NLHE
Date: November 30th, 10pmET
Buyin: $10+1
password: riverchasers

Admit it, you have nothing better to do.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Getting the game back in order

I didn't know if I wanted to play the WWdN last night. After the HORSE fiasco on Sunday, I was willing to just lay low for a bit. But because there is crap on TV on Tuesday nights and I had little on the DVR, I decided to be somewhat social and hop into the fray with about 4 minutes left in the registration period.

Not much action for me in the beginning. I did get to drop the Hammer with a re-raise, but not much beyond that. Fact is, I was just happy to get through the first session and to the break. With the way I have been playing lately (or not playing is probably the explanation), that felt like a bit of an accomplishment. I was also happy that Biggestron didn't pummel me from the right in hopes of extracting revenge for other tournaments this year.

The only other thing of note was moving between 4 table in the first two rounds. Beyond that I picked up a couple small pots here and there and treaded water. I was generally a small stack looking for a spot to double up. I got that when my KK held up against A 10. Now I had some chips to work with and possibly make some moves. I was still in the lower third (barely) but wasn't on life support. Because of that, I tried something I have rarely done. Fact is, I cannot recall that last time I have made this play.

I limped with A A.

Some of you do this all the time. I have seen it too many times early in tournaments where someone tries to be fancy and loses to a the flopped set or two pair because they let the BB get in for a free look. That is why I rarely do it. I want that hand to pay me a little something or at least the BB. I don't want to see the asshat with 10 7 off in the BB get the miracle flop and complete his straight.

But with the way the table action was going, I felt the time was right. Down to two tables, with raises on pretty much every hand, I was willing to try and lay the trap and get some action. But that didn't happen. It folded around to the BB who checked. I got an A on the flop but two spades to go with it. Uh oh. It checked around. The turn is another spade. Crap. I bet pot and thankfully I haven't let the BB get lucky.

Little did I know, but the deck was about to hit me silly. K K, A A, Q Q all within the next orbit or so.

With the K K hand, I re-raised to 1500 from 400. I wonder if maybe I over bet it? I wanted to put some pressure on him to commit his remaining chips but instead got a quick fold. Maybe a raise to 1000-1200 would have been better.

I was able to help us get down to two table when I had 10 10 in the BB and a small stack pushed with 4 4. I end up 4 flushing to knock him out. Unfortunately, it brings the two big stacks to the table. One of them raises in MP and is called in two places. I fold my A Q (like that Hoy?) because I am in the blinds and way out of position if I don't hit that flop.

At this point, the big stacks were beginning to annoy me. I had a good handle on how each of them plays, having experience with one at other tourneys and playing with the other earlier in the game. They were playing big stack poker and figured they could bully the table with their raises. Having a smaller stack, I didn't like it so I knew I had to fight back at some point. Thus when the action got past one, with the other in the BB and I on the button, I decided to make a move and limped. With Q 3 suited. I wasn't surprised to see the raise to 600. But I guess he was when I popped it 1600. He folded. I breathed sigh of relief. Putting your balls on the chopping block with a bluff is one thing. Pulling them out of the way when the ax is coming down (a re-raise) like a coward is another. Part of me wanted to show the bluff, but I knew it wasn't necessary. My message was sent. At least for the time being

I did take a couple pots off of a weak button player. They kept trying to steal so I kept calling with connectors knowing I could bet the flop (as long as it was loaded with aces and faces) and take down the pot. That worked nicely for a couple of rounds. Otherwise I was just folding a lot as the big stacks kept raising away.

It felt good to make the final table again. Even if it was with only 43 runners. The table was pretty even too. Low stack had about 2800 so with blinds at just 100/200, there could be some play.

I should have been out in 8th place. With blinds at 200/400, I called 900 more with 7 8 suited. I called because it was one of the big stacks who I thought was stealing and raising on anything. I felt at best he may be raising with any ace. Thus I check-raised him all in on a flop of K 7 6. But when he quickly called, I knew he had A K. Yep, it was bleak. Until I spiked the 7 on the river. One needs a little luck to survive sometimes. And that was lucky.

But I would give a chunk back when I raised with K Q suited UTG and got re-raised for just 1325 more. Then I was up against A A. Though I flopped the flush draw, it didn't hit.

I folded my way into the second break. Now this is the time of the game where I usually get impatient and make a bad move. I need to be up early for work and when the game looks like it is going to be a late one, I usually take unnecessary chances. Kinda like that 7 8 suited play. That is one reason why I was happy I had gotten deep in a tourney once again.

Until the big stack on my right started raising every hand once again. Sonofabitch! I don't fault the player for the way they were playing. It was working pretty well for them. He kept putting the pressure on everyone else. I could either go to battle again with say, Q 3, or wait for a good hand and bring in the Howitzers. All the while I kept telling myself: Remember, don't make the stupid move. It may have worked earlier but that doesn't mean it will work again.

Luckily I wouldn't have to. I got dealt A Q and pushed. It was barely twice his bet. He called with Q 10. I had a dominating hand and it would hold up. Better yet, I had him outchipped now and could really push back. But that didn't last long when I tried to steal out of the SB with Q 10 and folded to the push. It would have dropped me to just 10xs the BB and I didn't want that. Should have just called. I hate playing Q 10. Hate it, hate it, hate it.

I stole a blind off of Pauly with 9 10. He booed me for the raise. I guess he had A x and wanted to play but didn't want to take any risk. Next hand, I doubled through on the annoying raiser to my right when I won a race with 77 vs A K. Suddenly I was in 2nd behind Pauly. But my hands were beginning to stink. Soon the aggro on my right would be out and I would be in the money. A whopping $34 went to 5th place!

I moved into 1st with a raise of A 10 and a caller. With a flop of Q 10 x, I went with the continuation bet and took it down.

No action on the Cowboys when I raised it up. Darn. But then I run my 8 8 into a push that has A J. Guess my luck has run out as he flops the A and I get no help. But the Hiltons come around and I get to re-raise someone to get some of those chips back.

In the end, I finished 3rd. Ran A 10 against 8 8. I felt committed to calling the re-raise, even though I was sure I was behind. Though I hit a 10 on the turn, he spiked the two outer on the river. That is how it goes some times. You hit the magic card on one hand and it haunts you later.

Whenever I finish a tournament, whether I make the money or not, I like to reflect on how I played. I don't focus on suckouts or bad beats. Instead I look back on whether I played too tight, too loose, aggressive, or not aggressive enough. I am more upset with going out on a stupid play of my own than suffering a beat by a better hand or suckout.

To get deep once again was good. It is just like sex. If feels good to get in their, pumping up the pots and performing like a stud. When it is done, you can sit back, relax, enjoy your win and think, I want to do this more often.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

If the game was DONKEY

then I would have won. Instead, I just played like one.

It was a pathetic performance in the POY HORSE event. I didn't even make it through a full cycle.

Playing like a drunk

Any success I have had lately playing hold em has come after I have been out drinking. I have piled up some peep tokens after late night drinking sessions. I think part of it is just being in a mellow mood and at times pushing because I would like to crash and get some sleep.

While sober, I have been switching between Razz and Triple Draw. I have come to the conclusion that Razz may sharpen your skill in Hold Em. Though the games are remarkably different, I think playing Razz makes you a better player overall.

With seeing so many of your opponents cards, you can easily see where you are in the hand. Even though you may not have a great hand, you can turn up the aggression factor and force you opponents to fold. That aggression is then carried over to two card game. Same with bluffing.

The last HORSE game for POY consideration is on tonight. Hope to see more people that 20 playing.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Hot chicks and football

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I think I figured out BG and CJ were truly up to when they were doing their NFL picks. Have you seen this contest between Dr. Z and the hot chick on Dr. Z's picks suck but he now gets his grumpy ass in a video with some hottie, Brooklyn Decker.

My guess is BG and CJ caught this weeks ago and figured they better get started with some picking history in the hopes that they want to replace the old man with someone younger.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


Played my fair share of Triple Draw on Stars this weekend. Far from being a good player myself, I did find it amusing how many people cannot grasp the simple concept of the game. People kept drawing again and again. Worked for me as I made money.

On the flip side, I think the beats in TD are worse. It sucks to have say, 2 3 4 5 and draw three times to just pair each of your cards or end up with a straight in the end. Of course your opponent calls you down to show a K.

The game is a nice change of pace. It has helped supplement my tournament buy ins. Though I am happy with the way I have played as of late- considering that I have played very little over the last 2 months- it would have felt better to not suffer the bad beats. In 4 of my tournaments I had the best hand going to the flop. 80% favorite each time just to get bounced. The one that hurt the most was the clown who re-raised all in after his pre-flop limp. He proudly showed his 4 4 to my black aces. Of course he flopped the set and went quad by the river.


But that is how this game goes. If you can't take the beats by now, you will never get better at the game. But I wonder if it detrimental to get used to bad beats? It seems counterproductive to just suck it in and wait for it to happen. But in the long haul, it must be best for the mind.

That and not playing after a day at the bar.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Iggy's Top Ten reasons for leaving the blogosphere

From the home office in Milwaukee, WI, here is the Top 10 reasons why Iggy is leaving Guinness & Poker...

10. Took as oath of silence after learning that Party Poker was going to pull out of the United States. Didn't realize until later that he was typing BONUS CODE IGGY DAMNIT, not actually saying it.

9. Finished linking every poker site, cartoon, picture and RGP post possible. At that point, he realized he had come to the end of the internet.

8. In a strange moment of clarity, decided living in a condola was the life for him. He can be found living with Sean by the railroad tracks behind his former office.

7. Promoted to CEO at Proctor and Gamble after developing Guinness flavored Crest. Believes Guinness Scope could be next breakthrough but doesn't know how to prevent people from swallowing it.

6. Taking job as jester at the Sherwood Forest bar, located in the Excalibur. Management figured since he is there for hours on end entertaining people, he might as well be on the payroll.

5. Discovered that Howard Beale was actually just a name BG created so he could fuck with him.

4. An exec at P&G Bobby Braceleted him when it was discovered he was blogging from work.

3. He entered the Skyhoundz 2007 World Championship and needs a year off to prepare his black fuzzy dog Toby for superstardom. Upon winning, Iggy plans to saddle the dog up and ride him around the field for a victory lap.

2. Off to the WWE to begin career as Little Cena, champion midget wrestler. You can't see him!

1. Closing down Guinness and Poker in order to open new sponsored site Budweiser and Poker. OH THE HUMANITY!!!

Live tourney at the small casino

After an interesting Saturday night of poker, I decided to enter the Sunday tournament. Word was that they usually have somewhere from 30 to 40 people playing in them. Buy in is $30+5, with $10 rebuys in the first two levels. Starting stack was 1200 with 25-50 blinds. Rebuys got you 1000.

I was playing mainly out of curiosity. I was wondering if the same chasing in the ring games would occur in the tournament. But for a decent price, I had a chance to walk away with about $900.

I pulled the 9 seat at table 7 to start. My friend Arn was in the 1 seat. I did recognize a guy I played with the night before in the 5 seat. He wasn't a player that impressed me. The guy on my left was quiet, focusing on the football game at first and then quickly bullying the table when he got a stack. The guy on my right claimed he won the tourney last week.

But the guy in the 8 was was the one that annoyed me. Constantly yapping away in between hands. It was bad enough he had a Bears jersey on. Before we started he was going on and on about how his strategy for the tournament was well thought out in advanced. Thankfully I had a buffer between him and I.

I didn't do much in the rebuy period. I believe I raised one pot and took it down preflop. I had cards so far apart you could drive a truck between them. That didn't matter though. I was content to watch and get a good feel for the table. Being a rebuy tourney, I had a feeling this would be interesting. Like watching a guy call an all in with a gutshot straight. He ended up rebuying 3 times before being knocked out. Or the other who bluffed at a pot and got called by 2nd pair. Even Bears jersey made a play by raising preflop with 4 5o. He showed his hand after he flopped a straight. Unfortunately that meant he had to explain his system for raising with crap in order to confuse everyone later on. Yeah. Really tricky there dude. I would put that bit away for later.

I just won one uncontested pot in the first round. I took the add on at the break and hoped to see the table tighten up. While Bears jersey was trying to look like a guy who raised with nothing in hopes that he could spring a trap, I was doing the exact opposite. I had established my tight image. I was hoping to get a couple cards to use it to my advantage. In fact, Bears jersey even helped me establish the image. After about 15 hands, he made a comment to the guys on both sides of him to watch out for me. He pointed out how much I had been folding. When I finally entered a pot with a raise, he quietly (but not quiet enough that I couldn't hear him two seats away) said "watch out".

I started firing away after the rebuy period was over. The table got quite stiff. The loose play was over and everyone was getting ready to play "real" poker. Problem was, most of these people had little idea what real poker was. I got A Ko in EP and raise it up 3.5xs the BB. A guy in the cutoff re-raises the minimum. I decided to just call and see a flop. Flop comes A J x, rainbow. I pushed my stack in (just above pot) and get called after he say he feels he is K J? He re-raised with K Jo? No help and I double through. I had watched him make some stupid plays and was happy to get some of his chips. I felt like telling him to take the Superman sweatshirt off and give it back to the store cuz he wasn't worthy.

I continued to makes some moves and quickly got my stack above 6k. I was beginning to feel like I had a great chance to make some money. I was pounding small stacks and knocking people out, including my friend. But then my luck ran out.

It started with a great chance to catapult myself into the table lead. With 5 7 clubs in the BB, I saw the flop for free. 4c, 6c, 5d. The SB pushed, a bet of 2300. I looked at my chips and realized it was just a third. I could call and still be healthy. Then I counted my outs. If I am not mistaken, I had 21 outs. Twice! I made the call. My opponent showed J 6. I wasn't dominated at all like I thought I might have been. But I didn't get any of the outs and saw the pile go to my right.

A couple hands later, I lose a race with A K to a pair of 10s. Then I lose some more when I make a move with 8 8 and run into J J and A Q. Why the A Q called from the button is unknown to me. I had quickly gone from 6k to just 1200.

Soon I would be out in 18th when I pushed UTG with A 5 and was called by K K. Maybe I should have waited one more hand. But if I had won just one of those races, I would have still been alive. Except for that last hand, I was satisfied with the way I had played. I got my money in with the better hand most of the time. I didn't have any lapses of judgement and did ok.

If I can get a bit more time, hopefully I can get back in the groove once again. I need to find time to reclaim the top spot in the POY standing. Congrats to lucko for taking over the top spot.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Poker this weekend

I will actually be playing some live poker this weekend. Or so I believe. I am heading up to the Menomonee Casino in Keshena on Saturday. It has been a while since I have been up there. I just hope the game is still as fishy as it was.

I haven't been playing much poker at all lately. When I do, the results are marginal. I was out early in the WWdN once again this week. Ran my Q Q into K K. I worked my way from 65 back to 200 but had my two pair counterfeited by the play of J 5, when they hit their straight with the pairing of my 8.

I did then play a SnG and finished 3rd. I just wasn't into it after 20 minutes though. I got bored and started trying to bully the table. It worked for a while until I ran 6 6 into 8 8. Still got paid so it wasn't all bad.

At some point I will get back on the wagon and play more. As it gets colder that should happen. If it doesn't, so be it. Poker is still a hobby to me, not a way of life. But at the very least, I will need to get prepped up for Vegas next month. Less than a month away now. 27 days to be exact.

Who else is counting?

I am also trying to figure out what I will be doing out there besides playing poker. Tradition dictates that I get drunk with Iggy at the Sherwood bar in the Excalibur on the first night. Maybe I can get Pauly to point out another well hidden eatery that has great food. Would it be evil to try and get Drizz so drunk that his wife goes off to play craps with bloggers? Can I get Chilly to drink actual beer? I may even go for the no repeat Friday while there.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Swing and a miss!

I hate pounding out a post and not completing the thought or missing a key point I was trying to make. Yesterday was such a post. I quickly typed my thoughts up in a short period of time and forgot to include the point I was trying to make. Drizz actually did it for me.
One party nor the President should shoulder the blame of an abused system,
should we believe that sticking a bunch of Democrats, regardless of their
platform be the answer?No

What people need to do is read up on who is running and where they stand and what their voting record was. Just because your rep is a Republican, it does not mean he/she did not do a great job representing you (bringing pork home to the district is not doing a good job as some would like to think). Likewise, if the person seeking the office is a Dem/Green/Libertarian, you should see what they are proposing and if you believe it is right.

You should not let any newspaper tell you what to do if you are not getting the opposite point of view as well. Everyone has an agenda. Be informed. You don't need to fit everyone or everything into a category.

The other thing I did was screw up the poker analogy. Again, trying to get it done in a short time frame was stupid. The analogy does not read as I had pictured. Pretty bad. This will be the last time I try to bang out politics on a blog where it doesn't belong.

Now go vote already. Reading blogs ain't going to change a thing.

Now go vote.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Don't fold your top pair to the LAG

With Election Day coming up tomorrow, a number of people are in a tizzy about the choices you will be making tomorrow. They put up some interesting comments about why they will vote for someone. They are passionate about what they are saying.

It seems that most poker bloggers are pretty liberal with some having gone off the deep end of the far left. Few are conservative. Many admit that our government could do more that actually represent our interests. Controlling spending would be a good start. But it is not as bleak as people want you to think. It is like on big poker game. They games are good (like the economy) but the suckout is always around the corner (Frist move).

I think the liberal poker view is pretty much offbase. You can see that some have gone on tilt; they are not seeing the board and figuring out why raising is better than folding. They are playing with their heart more than their head.

For example, some people will lump the Republicans together because they support the President. They will trot out wiretapping of phone calls, Gitmo, or torture and say they cannot support any candidate that would be for that.

The warrantless wiretapping is funny. Most of these people are good Americans. Or so I think. Are they making frequent phone calls to countries on the State Departments list of terrorist countries? They must be if they think the government is listening to their calls. There are millions of phone calls made on a daily basis. It is physically impossible for the government to listen to them all. That is why they focus on known numbers and countries. They do not care about your phoning Aunt Milly in Idaho to get her potato pancake recipe.

They will say that people should not be held without charges pressed against them. Well, you are not going to be picked up off of any street in the United States by the government unless they have evidence of you plotting something pretty evil. However, if you have been captured on the battlefield and have sworn to kill as many Americans as possible, well, that may keep you in a nice little cell for a period of time. You do want to be protected against people that want to kill you, don't you? Maybe we can just dump these people back into the world where they may go about in their effort to kill innocent Americans. Pittsburgh sounds like a good place.

Oh, and when we have these people, they are not to be interrogated either. Known methods that have extracted valuable information from our enemy that has been used to protect American citizens is not to be allowed. But of course, our enemy, the same people that would be allowed to go to Pittsburgh, would rather cut your throat and make a tape of it for people to see on TV.

You can play your hand aggressively and dictate the outcome of the hand tomorrow. Or you can fold to the LAG typing away nonsense in the chatbox. Yes, your pair of 4s may not be the best hand, but it is better than the K high you know your opponent has.

Get both sides of the story. Read about the issues and vote.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Iggy's Home Game

I hope Iggy does not get mad at me for posting this. I found some video of his home game.
Can you pick him out?

Iggy's Home Game.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I did my part for NSFW

I showed up to support Al's campaign for increased attendance in the Mookie. Finished a miserable 33 or 34. I could say that I didn't catch cards, or when I did everyone folded and I didn't get any action.

But I won't. Mainly because I don't really believe in that stuff. "Not catching cards" is a lame excuse for one playing too tight and not opening up their game to the current conditions. It is not playing position. It is not taking a chance when the time is right. It is not bluffing your way to some pots that can be taken down just by making a bet.

"Not getting any action" is just as bad. Did you do anything to induce action. I saw that last night. Early in the tournament. Aces were cracked twice because they limped in. Now, that is one way to induce action, but to do so early in a tournament when you really don't have a good feel for the table or your opponents? Not the best play in my opinion. Then again, I don't think I have ever limped with A A. Ever.

No, my miserable finish was a bad play on my part. I raised in EP with K 10o. Table was tight so I thought I could represent a big hand and take it down. Instead there are 3 players to the flop. Flop is 10 high, uncoordinated. I bet half the pot and get called in one spot. My immediate thought was I am running into A 10. On the blank turn, I pushed and got called by....A 10. I totally ignored the part of my brain (the small part) that was yelling to slow down on the turn. Instead I pushed hard on the accelerator and crashed.

Maybe I should have stayed at the bar.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Smashed pumpking

So much for pumpkin power. I was the 4th one out when my Q Q ran into K K. Hasta la vista baby!

I see Jason Spaceman may be moving up a bit in the world. All the hard work he put in for Bluff writing the fantastic tournament reports is paying off. The World Series of Poker has picked up them up and will be adding them to their own site. Get over and read about the possible new stars of tomorrow. The reports will be showing up sometime this week so keep visiting the WSOP site if you do not see it right away.

Of course the downside of the Spaceman's success is that he doesn't have enough time to post on his own site. His Predators are currently just ahead of my Red Wings in the Central division of the Western Conference. Yeah, I still can't figure out how Nashville is in the West but hey, what do I know? I got knocked out early yesterday.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Pumpkin Power

If I play the WWdN tonight, I may have to channel the power of the pumpkin to ensure victory.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Why not play some stud while drunk

It is probably not the best idea to play some Stud tonight. After being out with friends all day watching the NFL, I would be best resolved to come home, ease it up a bit, and crash. But that is for wusses. I rather peck away at a keyboard, hit that damn back button again and again to correct my miskeys and try to explain what the hell is going on with my Stud game. Yeah, it makes little sense but I keep saying I usually play with a good buzz going.

So with my beloved Dallas Cowboys playing, I will plow ahead and go forward with most of my wits- whatever is left- to fend for themselves. With Tony Romo in, I have some faith. But with Vandgerjagt missing the FG, I wonder what the hell they are doing. Not by having Romo in at QB but with why they have the windbag Vandy still kicking. Totally over-rated. Pissing me off.

I have roughly 15 minutes til Stud time so I might as well get another beer. Tonight is brought to you by the Breckinridge Brewery's Remarkable Vanilla Porter. One damn tasty beer. I am glad I took a try on this brew.

About 12 minutes until the tourney starts and the Panthers are moving. Don't like it. Neither does coach Parcells. Touchdown Panthers. Ugh. The Cowboys defense is better than this. Crap!

With about 9 minutes until the beginning of the tournament, there are a whopping 13 entered. Not good. There needs to be a better way to communicate what is happening.

I was playing a SnG earlier and got knocked out when I pushed with my small stack with A J and got called with Q 10. Of course he flopped the gut shot straight and hit when a J hit on the river. Always sucks when some clown calls with Q high and gets lucky.

The Cowboys offense just had a stupid holding call that set them back 10 yards. I should probably talk more about the great tasting vanilla stout at this point. With a totally stupid call by the officials, they want to deny me of my prop bet of Tony Romo throwing a TD before he throws an interception. And the Cowboys get screwed!!!

Oh but the Stud tourney has started. Oh, tough table. BadBlood. Hoyazo. Maigrey. And CJ are the recognizable names. Pardon to those that I do not know. I am not liking this.

Somehow I get lucky early and jump ahead. Must try to be smar though. That ain't my strong suit. But by being aggressive, I may make it work. I played some strong draws hard and picked up some small pots. It didn't hurt that I had some redraws as well.

Of course, I then give it up systematically. Call Hoy down when I know he has trip Js. Maigrey sucks out on the river to crack my under cover KK. Ug! This is not what I need.

It is a funny thing when you play any game with a bring in. There is always a stretch where it seems you have to bring it in ALL THE TIME. Man does that suck.

But I do on a bit of a roll. Hit a flush and get a nice pot. But then miss out when the flush draw when I also double paired. The trips CJ had were better.

I give up another good pot when Maigrey's trip Jacks are better than my trip 7s. Damn. That hurts. Especially in Stud. I know that the some of the people at my table are better Stud players than I. That tells me I need to play that much better. And at the very least, I need to maximize my good hands. Yeah, that is a very simple premise, but when you are up against better players, it means that much more.

I am beginning to wonder if playing my good pocket pairs strongly in late position is a good idea. Later an interesting hand would arise. I had pocket 8s and saw free cards to 6th street. At that point, CJ suddenly bet it out. With an 8 high showing and possible straight, I didn't think he had me. Thus I made a move and raised his bet. When he just called, I felt good. I felt even better when he checked the river and I took it down with just the 8s.

Ok, long story short, I played a couple hands, got up, got down, and then hit two spots in a row where I ran into a flush and then my two pair wasn't good. Done in 8th out of 15.

I feel ok about the finish considering I am not a Stud player, but of course, I had a chance to do better.

Hopefully my Cowboys can do better. With 4:30 left in the 3rd, my Cowboys are down just 14-10, but they are looking good on offense. If they win the next 3, I will be buying me the Tony Romo jersey.

And wearing it proudly in Vegas, come December.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Vegas planning

Let's see...
--Days off from work- Dec 7, 8, 11---check
--Respond to April about WPBT event- vote for a tournament but with an understanding that it ain't easy to set up--- check
--Get reservations for hotel. Hey the IP is going cheap again 49,79,79. Book that for now. Hooters is slightly more at 79, 129,109. Tempting--check
--Buy plane ticket. Ouch, cost of flights is at least $50 more now, even when on sale. WTF?-- ch- um no check there.

Ok, so I don't have everything done yet, but to me the hard part is done. I need to find a better price on the flight so it is time to scrounge around. More money I save up front, the more I can gambool with.

It doesn't look like there will be any poker this weekend. Going to Madison for the double dip of Badger sports. Football in the morning and hockey in the evening. Afterwards, the watching of crazy students rioting for Halloween.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

What to do next?

I just saw the post the gang at Up for Poker had on Neteller's decision to halt payments to gambling sites. Pretty disheartening. I was using both Firepay and Neteller and had pinned my hopes on Neteller staying around for the fight.

So what is next? Pokerpeaker asked whether the solution was to pile a bunch of cash into your favorite sites while you still can. While that was one of my initial thoughts, I don't necessarily think it is the right one. Just like investing in the stock market, you should always have some money (liquid assets) on the side, to be able to take advantage of opportunities, or any sudden hardships. I think your bankroll should be treated the same way.

It wouldn't be a bad idea to take advantage of PokerStars and Full Tilt's reload bonuses while they are available. Once you put that money in, you better be willing to consider it locked up. Not from a standpoint of you not being able to get your money out- I believe both of the aforementioned sites are very reputable and will not pull anything funny. But once that money is in, you won't be able to pull it back out and get it back in easily, at least as we sit now. If you couldn't tell, I believe in liquidity of some assets. There is very little liquidity here.

I will not be surprised to see some people make a run at "banking" some transfers of funds. It would be like the secondary market for the PStars tourney dollars. I would think some of the bigger bankrolls on their site could start offering to transfer money to players accounts after receiving funds via a peer to peer transfer. For example, once the money hits my Neteller account, I go to Full Tilt and transfer the agreed upon amount (of course, I take a fee to make a profit) to their player account. It would work well for winning players who have the excess bankroll on various sites. Finding a reputable partner in the transaction would be the tricky part.

For now, I sit with money still at Firepay and Neteller. I will move some to PStars and Full Tilt, maybe some to UB. But I will probably keep some on the side or cash it out. I did receive the balance from my Pokerroom account yesterday via check. Took just over one week. Not too bad. It was kind of sad though. Pokerroom is where I first played years ago before the craze started. It was tough closing that account. You never forget your first poker room.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Played some ring game tonight. Don't quite no why. I wasn't getting any cards. Scratched and clawed my way towards even but never got there. Then when I get something, A Ks, I run it into Q Q. Ouch!

I then proceeded to get knocked around like an ugly red headed step child in the WWdN. Played way too passive. Maybe it was the raise on a board of 6 7 10. I had J J and bet out half the pot. It got raised to 350 quickly. Either my opponent flopped a set or hit a miracle flop with 8 9. Either way I didn't want to drop too much early in the tournament.

But I played pretty passively from there out. Don't know why exactly. Maybe it was the virtual slapping of the hand that cautioned me.

I tried to get some confidence back with some steals, but all I was getting was the blinds and they aren't high enough to make a difference. Dare I slow play a monster? No, not my style. Though this table was tight, I didn't want someone to crack my aces with 9 2 suited from the BB because they got a free flop.

Soon it wouldn't matter. With 10 10 in the BB, I get pocket 10s. 3 people limp. I push my last 575 in and get called in one place. He shows A 4 and promptly flops trips. Ugh!


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Shop isn't closed

Over the last 2 weeks, I haven't play much poker. I had opportunities to play some live tournaments this weekend but that just didn't happen. After spending a week in Minneapolis for work, I was too worn out to play Friday night and opted to drink and watch college hockey.

On Saturday, I got a bit hooched watching the Badger football game and then had to work out some issues with my tenant, missing that game. Plus, after drinking for a number of hours, driving 40 miles in the rain is probably not such a great idea.

I did play a SnG though. Came in third. Interesting game. Quads were flopped twice. I was shocked there wasn't anyone claiming that online poker is so rigged.

I hope to get back into the swing of things soon.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Stupid, but not that stupid

I was the first one out of the WWdN last night. One dumb move (re-raising with my Q Q and calling the push preflop) and I was out.

It was probably a good thing though. My mind wasn't in the game. I was a tad frustrated to begin with. I was ironing some new shirts and they were pissing me off. Each one was supposed to be "wrinkle free", yet they needed to be ironed. WTF? One of the shirts even had a tag that said to "iron as needed". If it is wrinkle free, then why would it need ironing instructions?

I digress here. But as I was ironing and playing poker, I was also trying to watch the UFC fights on TV. I was waiting to see Shamrock get his ass handed to him (he did) once again by Ortiz. My mind certainly wasn't on the poker game.

So instead of making the proper laydown, I made the call with the Hilton Sisters. And was first out. Once I was out, I checked the 3/6 tables and signed the waiting lists. But then I realized- Hey you sucked in the tourney because you weren't focused. Why would a ring game be different. So I logged off. I ain't that dumb afterall.

I did get an Omaha book in the mail yesterday. Not the Ray Zee book but the Capelletti book. It was free form Full Contact Poker. I figured I may never play there on a continuous basis so I might as well use the points I had accumulated. I think I will be doing that on a number of other sites as well. It is some advice Grubby had given. Use those player points while you still can.

I may be playing some live poker over the next couple of weeks. It may start this weekend. I am either going to the Badger hockey game or playing a small tournament. Next week looks to be a slightly bigger tourney. Should be a decent time.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Don't spit on my mind

We are the people,
we are the masses you are for
We give the power and our desire must be your law
Don´t think I´m standing here all alone, one of a kind
Don´t think because you´re still there
Means that we are all blind
Don´t spit on my mind

Now that my anger is gone, I have stepped back and read what others (more informed) have to say. The amount of money that is being lost by fellow bloggers is amazing and quite sad. I didn't have any big affiliate deals. I was never that motivated. I just have the ads.

I did cash out of a few sites, sites that I had planned to cash out of anyway. My money still sits at Stars (where I am trying to clear a bonus) and Full Tilt. I will clean up and consolidate, something I should have done already.

I have seen some comments that I consider amazingly stupid. Pointing the finger of blame at Frist is certainly right. I don't blame the people who voted for the bill. I blame Frist for not allowing Congress to vote on the gaming bill's merits.

For some people to cry that it is yet another civil liberty being taken away is ridiculous. Face it, the Patriot Act hasn't hurt you. The government hasn't been listening in on your phone calls. They are not tracing what you are doing on the internet. 9-11 was not an inside job. Yes, to say this is part of the war on terror is ridiculous on the senators who made that claim. But to claim it is just another thing this administration is doing to take away your rights is equally stupid. Now is not the time to push your own political agenda.

So what do we do now? Sit around and mope? Of course not! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? No! I say you grab a bottle of your favorite adult beverage, take a swig, and do something about it.

For crying out loud, if you haven't joined the Poker Players Alliance by now, what are you waiting for? They are leading the fight for us. Take the time to give something back. Each time they rally the troops urging us to call our "leaders", do so. And vote next month.

We can make our voice be heard. Sometimes it just takes a little longer than we like.

But don't let them spit on your mind.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Money, money, money

Don't let Pauly fool you. He is a capitalist. He took advantage of the situation yesterday. Yes, our government may have screwed us, but it isn't the end of the world.

Here is a good article on how the stocks were affected and how you may be able to profit. Now, it focuses pretty much on what can be bought easily on American exchanges. Sorry, no Party, Empire, or 888 stock is covered in depth.

I still own some shares of Cryptologic and watched all profits disappear yesterday. However, I have traded it in the past. If there is any talk of earmarking poker out of this bill, this stock could easily move right back up.

But the analyst also comments on how poker isn't much different than buying stocks. Well thought out.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Omaha Hi/Low interest

I probably should not have been playing the WPBT POY match last night. I wasn't into the game. My body was hurting from the alcohol pour into it on Saturday. And the couple I had during the Dallas Cowboys game.

So, add in a lot of bad cards, not bad plays, and I am surprised I made 8th place. Ok, so there were only 18 runners, but it was a final table damnit!

I also must admit one thing. I didn't hear about the gaming bill going through until this morning. I don't have much to say on it. People who have followed it a lot closer than I did can do the talking.

But I do have one thought. I feel let down by my government. Whether you agree with anything the administration does or not, whether you are a passionate liberal or conservative, it doesn't matter.

What matters is that the many are hurt by trying to protect the feeble. It is not my fault that people have a gambling problem. If they cannot protect themselves are their own demons, then they deserve to suffer. Don't punish me.

I go out and enjoy my fair share of alcohol. Some may say I drink their share too. But I don't have a drinking problem. I know when to stop. I know when to give my keys to friends and let them drive me home. I own up to my personal responsibility.

If others can't, then that is their problem. To claim that gambling is a "moral threat" is asinine. It is not online crack cocaine. The government cannot protect people from their own idiocy, but that is what they want to do.

Regulation was a better answer. I can't believe the Europeans are actually doing something smarter than the Americans.

Friday, September 29, 2006


I was a bit frustrated when I left the poker table at Borgata. I had made a poor lay down to Pauly. Folded at the river after I told him exactly he had. My read was right, but I didn't act on it. It was actually the culmination of a number of times I hadn't gone with my gut instinct.

Pauly had raised from EP. With J 10s, I called either in the cutoff or the button. I liked my position and that there were going to be at least 4 people in this pot. If I hit, I take down a big one. Flop came 5 2 2, with 2 spades. Nice. Pauly bet out again, and I believe I raised. He either capped or just called, I am not sure. Turn was a 5, no spade. Pauly bet out again. I just called. River was a 5, putting a full house on the board. Pauly quickly bet again. Hmm. I stopped to think. I missed my flush, but did Pauly have a pair? I thought about it and actually said to him, "I think you have A K."

I then mucked my hand. Yes, a terrible lay down with what was in the pot. Pauly showed me the A K of hearts. That tilted me. Not only because I should have called 6 more bucks with the odds I was getting, but mainly because I didn't go with my read.

Too many times I haven't trust my gut instinct. Losing that pot to Pauly also reminded me of the last hand I played in Vegas in June. A hand that haunted me for the last couple of months.

It was either 1/2 NL at Ballys. I was in the BB and looked down to see A A. EP raised it to 10, the standard at the table. It folded around to me and I made it $25. He called. Flop was K Q x. I bet out $50. He made it $100. I stopped. My head was screaming that he had K K. I thought if he didn't have the Kings, then it was Q Q. I went into the tank. How could I lay the aces down? The more I thought about it, the more I was certain he flopped a set. But then I started to think that maybe he just had A K because he hadn't re-raised the flop. He was an older guy and wasn't trying to make moves so far. I ignored my instincts and pushed all in. He gave me a look of shock and asked if I had pushed. I immediately knew I was screwed. He turned over the Kings and I was done. Turn and river didn't hit my miracle outs and I had dropped a huge pot.

I went for a walk at that point, feeling a bit sick. It wasn't the money. It was that I hadn't trusted my instincts. One of the best things about watching some top pros like Phil Hellmuth or Daniel Negreanu on TV is when they call out exactly what their opponent has. They are able to take all this data on how the hand was played out, think of why someone would make the bet they did, and compute out their next play. I had been close in these two instances. In both, I made the wrong bet. Each one cost me.

Is learning to trust your reads the hardest thing to do? If so, at what price?

I dabbled in some $100 NL on PokerStars last night. Was up just $30 in 30 minutes before I had to stop. Last hand I played was of interest to me. Person had just sat down and posted the buck. UTG, I am dealt J J. I raise to $5. It folds to the poster and he goes all in for $60. WTF? The SB calls with just $5 behind. I tossed the Jacks because I had no idea what this guy was capable of. I was thinking he sat down, got a pair or maybe A K, A Q and wanted to double up early by bullying. My gut told me that I had the better hand, but I wasn't willing to take the chance against someone who just showed up. Turns out he had A Ks. Short stack had K Q. Board ended up being Q high. I would have taken down a nice pot.

Would anyone have called that with J J?

Maybe if I was trusting my reads, I would have.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


I can't really say that I saw Atlantic City. I saw the buildings. Didn't see the boardwalk. But I saw Borgata poker room. That was good enough for an intro to a gambling city on the Atlantic Ocean for me.

As I have said (whined?) about lately, I haven't been running well. I didn't really want to sit down to a 3/6 table, but I had no choice. There wasn't a 6/12 going and I didn't feel like no limit. Since BG and Falstaff had seats, I figured I could at least shoot the shit with these guys if the game was that bad.

And the game was bad. Lots of old people sitting at the table, probably used to playing a somewhat friendly game without raises. If the cards were suited, connected, or had paint, they were going to play them. J 2 suited? Sure, toss in two bets to see a flop. Raise with your A 7 off? Of course!

Thus, I knew I would have to play a tad looser in some positions and maybe not raise as much preflop. Any raise wasn't going to thin the field. They were going to toss their chips in and see that flop no matter what.

Best thing was, if they had any piece of it- and I do mean any piece- they were going to see the river. Many times they were showing 3rd or 4th pair. One lady even called down with her pocket 2s- and won!

That lady was easy to read. If she bet, she had two pair or better. She was willing to cap that flop with the nuts. But she would either just check or call the turn and river unless it was the mortal nuts. I kept an eye on her and never re-raised her unless I had trips or better. And never bet when the board showed a flush possibility.

The other old farts at the table were pretty passive. Saw A A get cracked by 3 3 when the river came a trey. Saw my own A K get knocked on an A high flop that gave my opponent two pair with her whatever suited.

But the hand that was most interesting was the one that got the floor called. Pauly tells the objective side here at the bottom of the post. With pocket A K, I raised the Rooster's bet. Don't recall exactly how many called to see a flop of K 8 8. I believed I re-raised the Rooster once again and one other clown either called or raised. Rooster dumped. I think I bet the turn (blank) and was raised. I sat there thinking what hand could he have with an 8 in it to call two raises preflop? A 8? Not likely. 8 9 or 7 8? Insane. So I check the river and called his bet. The guy shows 8 4 off.

I was shocked. I usually don't say anything but this time I couldn't help myself. I asked how he could call two raises preflop with that hand. He said something, I said something and suddenly the floor was being called. Now, I know I didn't raise my voice, or call him an idiot or fucktard or make any threatening comment to him. Nor did I hear any threatening comment from him. He did call me a sore loser though, something that Derek would keep calling me all weekend.

Beyond giving Pauly a pot for free (a story to be told at a different time) I only played a tad longer before getting some food and doing my best TJ Cloutier impersonation and giving all my winnings back by playing blackjack.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Just when you think you are back on your feet...

...some donkey knocks you back down.

That is how I felt yesterday. In anticipation of heading out to Atlantic City and Bashing at the Boathouse, I figured I should play some poker. Not quite sure what I wanted, a SnG sounded like the best idea. A ring game would have been better preparation for AC but I wanted to play something that gave me a limited downside with a decent reward at the end. Plus, a way to get back to where I started on this online world.

I was the victor is the $10 SnG. Yep, went back to my roots and played the ten dollar table. It was a much needed boost. I played my game, made good decisions with my reads, and applied pressure on my feeble playing foes en route to victory. It was a needed boost of confidence.

That would mean little in the WWdN. I ran into a donkey that kicked me in the ass and sent me out in 50th. Such is life.

I was thinking of putting down what I planned to do going forward. Last year I kept track of what I was doing and set some goals. This year, I haven't done that. It makes sense to do so. Others offer that advice constantly. I hesitate because I haven't followed up on anything I have said I would do.

I noticed how I bounce around from game to game. Ring games to SnGs to MTTs to Omaha, Razz, or NLHE. I would like to say I will play just SnGs but I go on a little run and stop when I start going on the downside. Same thing with ring games. Start out well and hit a bad run and stop.

Maybe I have poker ADD. Maybe I wasn't having any fun. Maybe I wasn't playing well. Maybe I don't have the skills I thought I had.

With the colder months coming up, it looks like questions will be answered. I do know that I wasn't playing much lately because I didn't feel the need or desire to. In the summer months, there are many other things to do than sit in front of the pc and play cards. With fall and winter, it is easier to get a 12 pack and play a long MTT. Any which way, we will see what happens.

For now, I am just looking to seeing some friends, drinking some beer, and playing some cards. See some of you at the Boathouse!

One other thought. Did Norman Chad actually make sense last night during the WSOP? He was ragging on Gold for making comments that could affect the decisions that others could make. With players still to act, he was announcing he would call any raises or make moves. Some of the comments weren't bad, others were disrespectful and condescending, but some could influence whether someone should put their stack at risk in a late position. I think Chad had some good points last night.

Ew! I can't believe I just typed that last sentence.

Monday, September 18, 2006

What is there was a WPBT POY event...

and I wasn't invited??? They trying to keep the man down?!?!?

Reality is that I didn't know about it. I had been pretty busy last week and didn't have a chance to read many blogs. My own fault if I was taken over in the race.

Congrats to BadBlood on his victory!

If you haven't done so already, check out Biggestron for the schedule. Don't be a donkey like me.

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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Stealing- and I am not talking about the blinds

I was kind of amused the other day to find out someone was stealing my posts from this blog and posting them on their own site. I was amused because I couldn't believe someone would take any content of mine. Anyone who reads this knows I am not a writer. I just like to relate stories or thoughts to friends. Instead of sending emails explaining some games to friends, I created a poker blog so I wouldn't bore other people over at my other blog, While Drinking, I...

So I was amused at first. But then I viewed the other blog and thought about it. They had a number of posts on their site, in full. Thus, anyone who would read my entries there, would not need to click through to my site. They are trying to get hits for their advertisers. My advertisers would be screwed. That I didn't care for. So I sent them an email asking them to stop stealing my posts.

The answer I received was rather incredulous. They said they would stop, but they then blamed me for having the settings on my blog wrong. WTF? They claimed because of the syndication feed setup, they were allowed to post it. Wrong! You did not seek my permission to do so. Thus, you cannot just take whatever you want and repost it. Everything on the internet is not free for you to take and do what you want with it. Do you really think you can take an article off of say ESPN's site or CNN and put it up in its entirety without them telling you to stop?

They also tried to make it sound like they were doing me a favor by increasing my traffic- which it wasn't. As I already said, you have the posts up in full. Why would anyone need to click through?

It came down to the advertising to me. I don't blog to make money. But if someone would like to pay me to run an ad, I will do so. I owe it to my advertisers to make sure they are getting the views from this site, not someone who they haven't paid.

It also was about people trying to make money by using other people's work (or in this case, monkey typing). If you let one person get away with it, others will try to as well.

Thanks to Chilly for pointing them out to me.

Played the Poker Savvy freeroll last night. Doubled up early for a lead and donked it all away. Only 21 people were in. I finished 14. I just don't take the freerolls seriously for some reason.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

WWdN again

The WWdN started with 60 runners last night. I got off to a good start for once when the cards came my way. A A got me a 1/3 of a stack. Later I would double through with Q Q.

About 40 minutes in, I had my first table change. I had a total of 3600 at the time. The 1st hand I get after the move is A Ko. Nice! I love getting a chance to grab the first pot after a table change. I come in for a raise and get called by Biggestron. I use my stack to apply some pressure to him. If he wants to play, it will cost him the rest of his chips. He utters a profanity and folds. Next hand is A A and I double up when I get called preflop. On a Q 10 x flop, I make a bet and get raised. I highly doubt he called with Q 10 so I push and get called with 9 9.

A Ks shows up a hand later and I go for the knockout of Big by re-raising his bet all in. He has A Q and flops the Q. He basically gets his chips back with some interest. It was nice of him to let me borrow his chips for awhile.

At the first break I was either second or third around 6000. Not too bad. I get visits with A K and A Q again just as Big is in the BB. Each time I raise it up just so I can see him cussing at me in the chat. I hope there are no kids aren't in the room.

I steal some blinds with mediocre hands to keep me in the top 3. My medium pairs are beginning to see some ugly flops though. At a time where I would like to loosen up to steal some more, I feel like I should be tightening up instead. Last thing I want to do is try to make a move with the K 2 or J 2 that I keep seeing. At least I am still able to steal Big's BB.

I take down a nice pot when I am able to defend my BB with A 10. A 10 high flop looks beautiful. So I go for a check raise. And it works nicely for me. I am then able to steal on a short stack to move a tad higher.

I break the 10k mark a couple hands later, defending the BB with A 10 once again and limping with 2 2 to see a flop of J J 9. I bet the pot on my short stack opponents to keep the pressure on.
But my roll wouldn't last. With A Q in the BB, I just called a raise from the cutoff. The flop was K high. I bet it out hoping to take it down right there. But it was called. So on the turn I bet it out again. But this time I was raised. Shit! Had to fold there. Down to 6k. Time to work it up again without being too hasty. That has been my downfall in the past.

Able to steal with A 5. Even with CJ on my right blathering on about the bEagles. I may have to turn the chat off. He is a bit insane in thinking Stallworth is a better WR than Owens. Sad how bitter he is. Stallworth should have better numbers than Owens this year because of the way the bEagles run their pass situated offense. But if Owens continues as he is, he will make the Pro Bowl and Stallworth won't. No one fears Stallworth. Just a matter of time before teams make the adjustment and he gets shut down. Seriously, he had one game against the Texans. The Texans!

At the second break, I am sitting at 5275 and in 8th place.

But I last only two hands after that. With A Js under the gun, I push. I didn't really want to see a flop but I was called by the big stack. He turns over Q Q. I guess if I had made just a normal raise, it would have been re-raised anyways. There is a J on the flop but nothing on the turn or river to improve me and I am done in 15th.

I sat wondering a bit what was happening at the end. I haven't gone deep in the WWdN in a long time, but this time around, it seemed like everyone was short stacked. Only 4 or 5 players had more than 10x the BB. Seems like the blinds had escalated quickly. But in reality, it probably means I haven't gone deep in a long time.

Hard to march...

...when you are getting a busy signal?

Anyone else having troubles getting through on the 800 number? In a strange way, I guess that is highly encouraging that a lot of people are calling.

Dear PPA Member:
Your urgent action is needed! On September 12th the Poker Players Alliance with the support of leading poker blogs and forums,, Wicked Chops Poker and others are organizing a “Phone March” on Capitol Hill. From 9:00 AM Eastern Time, until 5:30 PM Eastern Time on Tuesday, September 12th, we are asking all PPA members and anyone interested in defending poker to call this toll free number, 800-289-1136 and be patched through to one of your two U.S. Senators in Washington D.C. When you call the 800 number you will hear a recording from fellow PPA member Greg “Fossilman” Raymer and then you will be prompted to enter your five digit zip code so you can be directed, free of charge, to your Senator’s office.
Note: The 800 number will only be active between 9:00 AM EST and 5:30 PM EST on Tuesday September 12.
Key points you should make:
* I am voter in your state.

* I strongly oppose any legislation that would prohibit online poker, and urge the Senator to vote against such legislation.
* Poker is a skill game enjoyed by 70 Million Americans.
* The Senator should seek to regulate online poker much like the government regulates other forms of gaming, like lotteries.
* Prohibitions don’t work. Any legislation that tries to ban online poker will only drive those players underground.
* Again, I urge the Senator to oppose any attempts to prohibit me from playing the great American game of poker on the Internet.
The threat to poker is real. Please forward this information to everyone you know who cares about poker and an American’s freedom to use the Internet. We need everyone possible to make their voice heard on September 12th!
Michael Bolcerek
Poker Players Alliance

Will keep on trying. Call after you stop in and vote today!


I have been on a hiatus from the tables lately. I did play some tournaments on Friday but didn't go anywhere. But it has been 3 days since I have logged in for some time at the virtual felt.

I haven't been interested. I have been busy with other items. I may play the WWdN tonight, I may not. There is a Poker Savvy freeroll on Wednesday that I will probably hit up. It all depends on whether I feel like playing.

With the bad run recently, I know my heart hasn't been in it. A series of bad sessions/beats can do that I guess. I don't see the reason for trying to play when my head isn't totally in the game.

What I have been doing lately is playing the old Monopoly game I found. To an extent, the AI players in the game are just like some of the morons that play poker. They offer too much money when attempting trades, outbid the value of properties when they go to auction, and never have enough cash on hand to get through a section of the board. The game still isn't a walk but it isn't tough either.

But it just may get me back in the poker mood when I tire of it.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Road to recovery?

Played Mookie's charity event last night. It was good to see 66 people show up to raise some money for Tanner Evers. Just another good cause to raise some money for.

Though it started slow for me, I made the final table. In fact, I ended up in 2nd place. Just couldn't beat 8 8 twice for victory. But I was quite satisfied with how I played. Maybe I am on the road to recovery.

I seemed to be moved quite a bit in the tourney. I even survived a gauntlet of poker by being seated to the right of 3 pros all in a row. At my first table change, I was put to the left of Andy Bloch. Not where you want to be. Yeah, it may be exciting to have the man who came in second at the HORSE event next to you, but it is also can be intimidating. Thank God this was just on the Internet and not live. He was playing somewhat tight so he wasn't stealing my blinds. Just when he got into a position to run the table, I was moved again.

There on my right was pro actress/poker player Maudie. I was still feeling the sting of her cowboys whipping my Hiltons at the Bash Charity event. She chipped up a bit and bullied me before she took a hit. I was able to eliminate her a bit later with pocket 10s.

I was soon moved again and found the 3rd pro to my right- AlCantHang, drinking professional. What is he doing with chips? He is an Omaha guy. Wait, another Omaha guy, Drizz, has chips too. Are we playing Hold Em? I played nice with Al. Hey, I don't want to get on the bad side of the Bash chairman. I need to get my drink on later this month in a serious way.

Aside from playing with those pros, I also did a great job of taking out the people who weren't online. Like when I crushed Joe Speaker's A 6 with my Q Q. He didn't see that coming.

But overall, I felt like I played my game. Was quite patient early on, found some spots to get chips and then played hard when I had something. Of course, I did get lucky once. My first break was calling the all-in re-raise with A K and flopping the K. That was a much needed double in the second session. Later, I would crack A A with 9 9. That basically got me to the final table.

There were spots at the final table where I felt I really controlled things. I did have a chip lead with 3 left, and I believe a slight advantage when I was heads up with NewinNov. He played a good heads up game. I would like to comment on that more but it would sound like I was making excuses. I liked how I played until the end where I made a bad call. I had my outs but just didn't hit them. Congrats again NewinNov.

Aside from the good finish, it was nice to feel like I knew what I was doing again. That I was making some good reads, making some good moves, pushing players off pots. The cards weren't necessarily coming my way (had A A once, and K K twice during the entire event), but I played with what I was dealt. Didn't make any huge mistakes and was patient. And that felt good.

It is a good first step to getting some confidence back.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Putting your image in ESPN's hands

For anyone who followed the WSOP this past summer via the blogs of Pauly, Otis, CJ, Wil and the PokerStars team, or the Pokerblog crew, you heard about what asses the crew from ESPN could be. You read about how they acted like they owned the place, like they were the story. In the past years, you saw on TV how they could make bad players seems great, and great players bad. Hell, they made Dutch Boyd out to be a great guy who doesn't owe people a lot of money.

Thus, as I watched the latest episode of the '96 main event, I sat there, wondering what the hell Dmitri Nobles was doing there. It was some of the most reckless poker I had seen on TV. He was giving chips away like he didn't care. He was in the process of blowing a nice lead with what appeared to be stupid play.

Or was it? Was this ESPN at work? Hard to tell. If you read the report from Pokerstars on that day, it just says he was up and down and then went on a sick run. Funny thing is they do cover a hand that was shown on TV. The German kid Danzer was the victim of Noble's suckout when he called with a pair of 7s (???) vs. Danzer's K K and hit an A for two pair on the turn. In a classic moment when the hand is over, he jumps up and yells "CJ!". Yep, the Luckbox is right behind him. No wonder Nobles hit his A for the win. CJ must have been giving him good mojo.

There is a reason why you should fear the Luckbox. And now, you must fear anyone he is sweating as well.