Thursday, August 30, 2007


What it is on the menu...

Sublimely elegant this toffee toned Bock is rich with a blend of Wisconsin and German barley malts. Over four months of resting in oak Bourbon Barrels gives this beer a wonderfully smooth body that will improve and mellow with age. Should you choose to enjoy this classic today you can expect a treasure of vanilla, oak and caramel notes to be bolstered by hops from France, Slovenia and Germany. Wild Brett yeast sings in harmony to the tune of Bock. 20 degrees Plato OG makes this Bourbon Barrel a masterwork to remember.

-New Glarus Bourbon Barrel Bock
How does that sound?

Followed by....

Named after the cream colored bricks used to build Milwaukee, this amber pale ale with its pronounced hops and hints of citrus is tasty year round.

-Lakefront Cream City Pale Ale

Ok, so the Lakefront Brewery guys really need to work on a better description of their beers.

I shall be heading down to Chicago to meet up with the Donkey Puncher and then invade Wrigley to watch the Milwaukee Brewers beat up on the Chicago Cubs. I can say that only because the Brewers won last night, making today's game a big one. I can't think of how totally insufferable Cub fans would have been today had the Crew lost last night and was facing a sweep. Yost said coming in that they needed to win the series. A sweep would be nice but 2 of 3 is what mattered. Now they have a chance.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Hammer poker on TV

I haven't had the urge to actually play poker still. Sure I played last Thursday (I think) after coming home buzzed up at the bars. Somehow I won my SnG (been running bad) and felt like el campion del mundo. But beyond that I am still spending more time watching than playing.

The new season of High Stakes Poker started on GSN. It was Hammer night! A deal was made where all players would pay any guy who wins a pot with 7 2 $500. Ok, they did play the suited Hammer but made for some interesting play.

Everyone's favorite player, Phil Hellmuth, played the Hammer perfectly against The Mouth, Mike Matusow. Watch this, it is a thing of beauty. Especially after Mike needles him constantly just before the hand.

You have to love that re-raise from late position. Perfectly played. It also doesn't hurt that Esfandiari says "he could have seven deuce or pocket aces." Good bet on the turn. Matusow screws the pooch by just calling. A raise would force Phil to fold. On the river, Matusown talks himself into folding. Brilliant!!!

Of course Hellmuth would ruin it by proclaiming how good he is throughout the episode and even declaring that "people want to be part of the Phil Hellmuth show". UGH!

I tried to watch the WSOP yesterday as I did my fantasy football draft. Saw Michael Bruce Buffer (thx Duggle) tangle with Chris Moneymaker a couple of times but that was about it. Don't know if there were any amazingly bad calls shown but I am sure there had to be.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

You make the call!

Coincidence??? You make the call!

Falstaff has an update on the WPBT Winter Gathering in Las Vegas. I notice on Pollstar that the Spice Girls are playing the MGM that Saturday.


Methinks KiltSpice has other gatherings in mind as well.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

WSOP watching

A couple of weeks back, I thought had seen the worst call in the history of televised poker. Back then, some kid called the two all ins with KK even though his two opponents clearly had him beat with all the dancing they were doing. Though he was oblivious to the obvious tells, he was at least at a final table and may have been feeling confused with all the attention and bright lights, etc. and he did walk away with a decent pay day.

Last night on ESPN's first days of the Main Event, some dufus made that guy Hall of Fame material. At featured table were a bunch of average players and Doyle Brunson. Brunson appeared to be playing some passive poker (at least what we can tell by all of the edited footage and Norm Chad's constant wailing) and some of his tablemates looked like they were simply honored to be playing at the same table. There was one older gent in particular who was planting his lips on Doyle's ass with regularity. He wasn't good either. Played some really crappy hands and you could read this guy like a book.

And he got paid off in one of those crappy hands. Big time. I can't recall exactly what he had (believe it was Q 6 soooooted). Flop was 6 6 x. Got lucky and flopped trips. Some guy bets and he calls. The turn is the case 6. He checks and proceeds to cover up his face, trying to hide his glee. He squirms a little more when the aggressor asks him how much he has behind (I think it was 11k?). Naturally, he calls the 6k turn bet. After the river card, he quickly grabs his chips and tries to toss them in to the pot like he doesn't have anything; a classic weak means strong toss. His opponent looks slightly confused and then quickly says, "I'm gonna call".

What did his oppenent call with? Must have a full house right? Or at least thinks that his opponent is bluffing and can win with A high, correct?

He called with Jack high.

Yep. Jack. High.


Maybe call there if the bet is 1000 and you want some information, but did you not look at that clown??? And you had jack high!!!!

Yes, it is a call like that that boggles your mind wondering how he won his way in or who the hell backed him or if he doesn't have a million better ways to spend 10 grand.

Two other interesting things on the telecasts last night had to be the portrayal of Scotty Nguyen and Joe Hachem. Scotty was just running over his table, busting people left and right. Every time he did, they would get up and thank him, give him a hug, and calmly walk away. Not a single person got upset, even the dude who he talked shit with and tilted into giving up his stack. Too funny.

But man is his age beginning to show. I just wish I could recall the exact quote he had. Something like "I like my monkey!". Apparently he owns two monkeys at home, but the comment on its own before they explain it was funny.

Hachem, on the other hand, seems like an ass most of the time. I don't know the guy and hope that is just how they edited the show (with the clips from his championship run), but I couldn't help but think he seems like a jerk. I will have to talk to some friends to see what they think because they impression some might get from watching the shows are not that good.

Hopefully I will get away from watching poker to playing poker again.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Peed off

I heard about this story on the radio today. I thought Grubby was the only person who had the misfortune to sit in pee chairs.

Kibiloski, a Fern Creek, Ky., computer consultant, sat in a chair soaked with
urine, apparently left there by a woman who had been playing at that slot
machine moments earlier. It was dripping off his shorts and down his leg.He said
the reaction from Caesars left him even more embarrassed. He said he got no help
trying to find a place to clean up and had to walk in his dripping shorts to his
car to get an old pair of sweatpants to wear.

Dude! Go home. It is pretty pathetic that you would not leave. I would have left and gone home to shower. Especially is someone else's piss was dripping down my leg. That sentence alone should send shivers down your spine.

Compulsive gamblers sometimes wear adult diapers to avoid having to leave a slot
machine or gaming table where they expect a payoff, the experts say.If they
don’t come prepared, they sometimes “just pee in the seat,” said Arnie Wexler, a
recovered gambling addict who operates a gambling hotline and counseling service
in New Jersey. “It’s not something the industry really likes to talk about.”

Of course the industry doesn't want to talk about it. Do you encourage people to wear diapers? Do you put up signs over the slot machines that ask "Please be neat. Don't pee in the seat!" Seriously, thinking some person is going to pee in a seat in front of their favorite machine is one of the last things I am concerned about if I sit down to play.

At least the guy did get dinner and a room for his problems. I would say it was a happy ending but the casino did not toss in a Korean massage.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Poker in Life

Karol at Ihadouts wants to spread the word. I think there are some valuable points to be taken from such an undertaking. The disciplines in poker are used in the investment world, notably on trading desks. I can't see how they can be used in everyday life.

Harvard Law Profs Backing Poker As Educational Tool In Schools, Universities

Singapore (August 15) -- Harvard Law School professor Charles Nesson will announce an international effort to organize poker strategic thinking societies at universities and secondary schools around the world that will use poker as an educational tool to teach everything from basic life skills to war games at military colleges.
Nesson will announce the formation of the Global Poker Strategic Thinking Society (GPSTS) in Singapore on August 19 during an international conference called State of Play. Chapters of the GPSTS will be organized at prominent universities on several continents, starting at Harvard.
GPSTS will offer poker strategic thinking workshops to secondary schools and community centers, particularly in underprivileged neighborhoods; sponsor team poker matches between law, business and other graduate-level programs; and conduct seminars and conferences that explore poker as a means to teach strategic thinking and related public policy issues.
Poker is one of the best metaphors for teaching life skills across a variety of disciplines, said Nesson, a founder of Harvard's™ Berkman Center on Internet Law.
Part of the goal of the poker societies is to organize an NCAA-style championship in the novel game of team poker for American universities.
Press and media representatives are invited to attend both the lecture and workshop in Singapore at the State of Play conference. Professor Nesson and colleagues will be available for interviews.
Founded by Harvard Law Professor Charles Nesson, the Global Poker Strategic Thinking Society views pokers as a game of skill that can be used as a teaching tool at all levels of academia and in secondary education. The concept is to use poker to teach basic life skills, strategic thinking, geopolitical analysis, risk assessment, and money management. The goal is to create an open online curriculum centered on poker that will draw the brightest minds together, both within and outside of the conventional university setting, to promote open education and Internet democracy.
About State of Play V: Building the Global Metaverse
This conference on virtual worlds will be held August 19-22, 2007 in Singapore. It is organized by Harvard Law School, Yale Law School, New York Law School, Trinity University, and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. The conference invites experts across disciplines to discuss the future of cyberspace and the impact of these new immersive, social online environments on education, law, politics and society.
For more information please go to
Media contact:
Jonathan Cohen, GPSTS
(203) 722-1858
Alexandra McDougald, The Weiser Group
(202) 291-0750

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Stud viewing

I was quite pleased to see ESPN would be showing a Stud event on TV last night. I rather watch Omaha, Razz, or Stud just about any day over Hold Em. It is a different level of viewing, one that forces you to think more of how they are playing and not how they are acting.

I think the main reason might be the people who play these games. They rarely jump around like asshats after winning a big pot, or they don't trash talk people, call them donkeys if they lose. They stay quiet, observe, and process all the information they receiving.

I feel sorry for anyone who thinks that was boring. For me, it was good TV. Watching some top players in action is a good learning experience. I kept looking at the cards and thinking about how I would play them out. What hands I would start with, when I would stop betting, etc. There were two good laydowns- how can you fold aces up? Amazing laydown. It was also nice to see some of these guys make the same kind of mistakes that I have made.

For me, it was a great hour of poker television.

Yesterday I popped over to a post on Amy Calistreri's site, mainly because she was comparing the UIGEA to activities of hedge funds. WHAT??? I had to read it a couple times to try and see the parallel. Apparently hedge are in the "family harm" department. Somehow, they destroy families left and right. Not sure how because Amy doesn't say so.

Let's look further. Amy would like you to think that hedge funds blow up on a monthly basis. Not true. Sure Bear Stearns had one making the news lately but name another one before that. Last year. What effect did it have on the markets? Little.

Who bailed them out? Not the Fed but other investment advisers which is why I wonder why she was making the comparison to something that happened just about 10 years ago. Most people learn their lessons and know who to react.

Another thing that caught my eye was the comment
"In fact the Federal Reserve, while acknowledging that people were maxing
out on credit card debt, encouraged consumers to consider riskier non-fixed rate mortgages. "
I went through the link and couldn't find anything that "encouraged" non-fixed rate mortgages. I found this:
Indeed, recent research within the Federal Reserve suggests that many homeowners might have saved tens of thousands of dollars had they held adjustable-rate mortgages rather than fixed-rate mortgages during the past decade, though this would not have been the case, of course, had interest rates trended sharply


American consumers might benefit if lenders provided greater mortgage product
alternatives to the traditional fixed-rate mortgage. To the degree that
households are driven by fears of payment shocks but are willing to manage their
own interest rate risks, the traditional fixed-rate mortgage may be an expensive
method of financing a home.

I wouldn't call that "encouraging" people to try other types of mortgages. Just some explanation of how people may be better off looking at non-fixed mortgages and how they would have benefited in the early 00's if they had.

The comparison of these hedge fund managers to poker bots was interesting. However, hedge fund managers are not the best. I am sure there are many mutual fund managers who would argue with that comment.

They do not beat market indices on a regular basis as some may think. They were introduced to be part of a portfolio to protect against downward movements in the market. Hence the name. Sure they can be leveraged to the gills and they make some big bets but not all hedge funds are the same. Not all have rogue traders taking huge positions. Some actually manage the money responsibly.

Unfortunately, when a hedge fund runs into trouble, it will need to liquidate part of its portfolio which can cause rumbling in the stock market. To blame the recent market turmoil on hedge fund activities is not accurate. They may add volatility but when everyone begins the panic selling, the market is going to go down. Indices were at record highs. With all this action, the market is down about 7%. That is barely a correction. Barley an impact on families in the long run. Over the past year, most people are still head even after that correction.

I guess the bottom line for Amy is that hedge funds need to be regulated and until they are, they will be killing the little guy. Well, yes and no. They do need some regulation but they are not killing the little guy. Only people with money can invest in hedge funds. You need to have minimum net worth requirements to participate. Those who have the money invested lose the most. The little guy may- MAY- feel the aftershocks in the market place when they lose money. But the little guy can also take advantage of the situation and buy their favorite stocks at sale prices.

Years from now, this blip in the market will be history.

For the record, I am not here to defend hedge funds nor the Federal Reserve. I just thought that post was off center and not totally accurate. One cannot understand what a hedge fund does but reading wikipedia or any article that wants to blame rich people for making the little guy poor.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Brilliant!!! Now with added commentary

Hat tip: Bill Rini

I actually played some poker this weekend. Two cheap tournaments on Stars to be exact. The first was the Poker Savvy freeroll. Finished 11th out of 800some and won $3.25. Thankyouverymuch.

The other was the 100k guarantee where I finished 13000some out of 18000some.

I couldn't do much wrong in the freeroll. Haven't not played any real tournament besides the blogger tournaments, I felt the need to play in one that had more than 80 people. Sure it was a freeroll but it was the number of people that mattered. I needed to put my skills out there against unknowns. Against people who will push all in with total crap because it didn't cost them anything.

I have a thought about freerolls. They can help you try new strategies and develop new skills. You can relearn thinking processes on the cheap. Whether it be getting crippled to a short stack and playing that strategy or chipping up and bludgeoning others with your big stack, it is something I think you need to relearn and gain confidence on every once in a while.

I kicked some major ass in the freeroll. For a good portion of the second session I was the chip leader. I made some great calls and won all of my races. Yep, won all of the races. I knew when someone was pushing with A rag and made calls with my mid and lower pairs, knowing that I could lose some chips and win them back if needed. In fact, it was the first race that I lost that took me out of serious contention. 9 9 beat by A 10. That happened with less than 20 left.

I tried to then beef up my skills on short handed play as we were 6 then 5 for a good stretch of time. I was over aggressive with my A 9 and ran into A 10 to go home.

But I had a nice run where I got some needed confidence.

I had hoped to carry it over to the 100k guarantee but that didn't work. My table was very loose to begin with. 5 people would see a flop even with someone raising 5xs the blinds. I had one guy willing to call down with bottom pair (why couldn't I hit anything with A Q???).

I made one crucial mistake in this tournament. With A Ks, I raised in LP. UTG had limped and immediately pushed all in. We have all seen those clowns that make this play trying to act like they have A A. My gut told me this person did. But I heard the circus music in my head and called, knowing I would be suddenly down from 4k to 700. He flipped over the rockets and I had no chance for a flush or a straight.

I fought my way back up to 2400 but then got overly aggressive and was soon done. It did feel good to dip my toe back into the water. I may do that again but probably not until next month. Weather is too nice to spend time indoors.

Friday, August 10, 2007

I don't remember, I drank too much

I wish I could give a recap of the Riverchasers tourney last night. I know I was about 20 minutes late. I planned to leave the bar at halftime of the Cowboys game. The dice were being shaken around and shots were being consumed. So that made me a tad late.

I had only lost about 400 chips when I logged in. Well worth the shots of Makers.

I quickly chipped up and felt I could make a serious run. But I got pot committed (no, not Change style) and lost half of them. Later I would race with A Jo vs 8 8. I looked like a god when I flopped the A but an 8 hit the turn and I was done.

So being the drunken monkey that I am, I started played PLO with some of the boys. Problem there was I thought it was Hi/Lo for over an hour. I made my donation and finally went to sleep.

At least I had a good time.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Kinda missing the game

I actually sat down and played some poker last night. Low limit poker. It reminded me of how bad some of the play appears to be. I forgot how people will call down with bottom pair each time and somehow go runner runner for the straight. Or how someone will call down with two face cards to the river when there is no paint on the board.


So rather than going on mini tilt, I decided to watch the WSOP on TV. I am not sure that was a good idea. At some points, it reminded me of why I like to play the game and mainly tournament poker. The chance to play in the WSOP some day and go on a nice tear and make some good money is a dream of most players. Watching it last night, that spark inside me lit up a bit.

But it was also dampened by the annoying drama at the TV. Both hours featured Phil Hellmuth and his incessant whining. I felt sorry for the guy next to him. The worst part of it was each time he whined, it was because he made a bad play. Raising with small pairs or total crap from early position and then complaining that someone was going over the top on him. Stop the bitching about getting no respect. After watching this on TV, everyone and their grandmothers will be re-raising you. Unless this was some huge strategy move- which I highly doubt- you shown yourself to be a total LAG.

And I like watching Phil Hellmuth play! But last night was too much.

I also found myself scratching my head after one hand in particular. A kid raises in EP with K K. This lady looks down and sees two red aces. She moves all in. Hellmuth looks down at the two black aces and very quickly pushes his chips in. The others fold and it is back to the kings to decide.

As he thinks, the other two start going crazy. Really. The lady gets up and starts dancing looking sooooo happy that Phil pushed. You can see her husband making gestures to her about her hand asking if she had aces. Hellmuth is basically on the other side of the table doing the same thing and bragging about how he made his move in just a quarter of a second. A quarter of a second??? Whatever.

Now, you have just been re-raised by one person and sound an energetic insta call by another. They are dancing and excited. Don't you think your kings are no good here? How does he not fold? He calls and he goes home now. Amazing.

So now I have to decide what I will be doing about this game of poker. With summer still going, nothing will really change until the fall. I rather be outside doing stuff than sitting inside staring at a monitor. It may work for some but not me. I am a recreational player. Until that sparks turns to a flame and maybe I will find myself playing quite a bit more.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Damn those ducks

I spent the 3 hours before the tournament at the bar getting my game face on. The right amount of beer would get me in the perfect mood to play poker. A bit loose, aggressive. As long as I could think straight and be patient, I was confident I could do well.

About the only thing I worried about was the beer I had at home and opening a fresh bottle. See, I have a tendency to go bust just after getting a new beer. Happens often. Take a couple drinks and I get knocked out. Then I have nothing to do but railbird and drink my beer in a pissed off mood.

I started out the BBT freeroll in good shape. Was dealt A K right off the bat and took a nice little pot. I played aggressive and most likely bluffed Schaubs out of a pot with A J. I raised his limp from the SB and he had the nerve to re-raise me. The flop was ragged. He bet pot thinking he could scare me off. That wouldn't work. I went all in knowing he maybe had an A or mid pair at best.

I yo yo'd a bit from there before going on a nice little tear. Then I ran into the big stack Astin. I pushed him off a couple of pots knowing he would see more flops with all of those chips. What I didn't expect was for his deuces to crack my kings. Yep, he flopped a set after limping under the gun and calling my raise. He check raised me and I pushed.

I should have taken a bit of time to think that one through. I remember CJ doing that to me a number of times in the WWdNs. The luckbox would limp call with small pairs and try to hit. When he did, he would check raise me and usually knock me out.

So I should have taken a bit more time to think this out. Sure it is easier to think about folding or maybe calling here, but that is just hindsight. It is just another outcome to hopefully learn on for the next round.

Oh, and for the record, yes, I had gotten myself a fresh beer and had 2 sips when my kings got beat up.