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.

Also, please check out my new sponsor, BonusKey. Bonuses are meant to be won! Go do so today!

Current Reload Bonuses and a Sign Up Bonus Code for each online card room.

Use the Party Poker sign up bonus code to join the largest poker site online.

Read reviews of new card rooms like Doyles Room, Absolute Poker, Empire Poker, Full Contact Poker Paradise Poker and HoldemPoker.

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.