Thursday, March 29, 2007

Dead Money

A couple weeks back, I had received an email asking if I was interested in reading a book and giving it a review. It wasn't your ordinary poker book, but a bit of a mystery novel with poker as the theme. Seeing as I hadn't read a good book as of late, I jumped at the opportunity.

To me, the easiest way I can tell if I like a book is how fast I read it. If I quit doing other things to finish the book because it is good. Five hours after picking it up, I had finished Dead Money: A No Limit Poker Novel by Rudy Stegemoeller.

I found the story quite engaging. The characters were believable and more importantly, likable. The story centers around Mark Newcomb, a poker player who goes off to play in a tournament. He soon finds himself involved in a murder case when he stumbles on the dead body of a famous player. Other players are soon involved and even though someone has been killed, the tournament must go on.

What we get is a mix of poker and solving a murder case. As much as our hero Mark Newcomb tries not to be involved, he keeps getting sucked back in.

There are a couple of things I enjoyed about the book. The style itself reminded me of a series of novels I read by Harlan Coben and the Myron Bolitar character. These guys are not detectives but smart enough to notice little things that help them stay out of trouble (for the most part).

I also liked the approach taken in Dead Money. You get the thought process of our lead character. From how he interacts with the characters to how he plays poker. Like how he spends time in the casino until early in the morning and gets barely enough sleep for the tournament. It reminded me of the blogger gatherings in Vegas. I even started picture some of the other characters as bloggers or famous poker players. It had me wondering which players in real life had their counterpart in the book.

You get some poker play in the book, but not too much and yet not too little. Plus, it is all realistic. Though I don't know if I would lay down A J suited when I flop a flush draw and get re-raised early in tournament. Beyond that, there is some angle shooting, a-hole players, and push monkeys.

Next time you are heading to Vegas, I would easily recommend reading the book. It will certainly make the plane ride go faster.

Don't forget to read Pauly's updates on the EPT in Monte Carlo. He live stuff is here and as well as his personal thoughts here and here. I am liking the brunette in the Poker News videos as well. Nice!

Also, you can keep yourself updated on the PokerStars players via the hard working Otis at the PStars blog. Unfortunately there are no odds of him locking himself on the balcony this year. The wager has been taken off the board.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Before I knew it,

I won the Wheatie. And if Blogger wasn't being such a bitch, I would show it.

Maybe tomorrow. Right now I need finish the Razz freeroll Al had set up.

It always feels good to win a tournament, but for me, it seems like it has been a long time. After bubbling in the iPod, bubbling in Al's Euro tournament on Sunday, and making the final table and finishing two out of the money at Sunday HORSE, it was time I broke through and took one down.

It makes makes me a two-time WWdN winner. I also took down the last longer bet (obviously) with Biggestron, Zeem, Columbo and rico, making it the biggest Wheatie win EVER!

I don't bore you with details, but it helps to flop a full house with the Hiltons and get paid off. Then to deliver a crushing blow by slow playing A A heads up.

Hopefully I can get some kind of streak going.

I have no idea how the Razz tournament finished. I had to be up early to meet with my boss this morning and didn't feel like staying up an extra hour or so to win $20. I will have to check it out to see where I finished.

Summer Classic time is coming

Falstaff has an update on the WPBT Summer Classic set for June 6-11th. I am pretty sure I will be making my way out there for the festivities, though I may not be staying at the Orleans. I can get a free room at the Rio (for Thursday and Sunday) and may take advantage of it seeing how the cost would be the same as staying at the Orleans, but with a nicer room. Plus, with people playing in the WSOP, it could give them a place to crash if needed. I don't think it is too far from the Orleans to begin with.

At least that is what I am thinking right about now. All I need is for airfare to get cheap and I will be booked.

After work yesterday, I headed to a bar to kill some time before meeting with my boss. As I drank my beer, I tried to figure out who the people were at the bar. To my right were 4 ladies and a guy of various ages. I put them on being teachers. On the other side were some people that work for the same company as I do, but are in a different division. To my left was a couple drinking margaritas. Across from me was a tall guy.

The tall guy was by himself, enjoying a smoke. Then he answered the phone and ordered some drinks. He got a bottle of beer and a half strawberry/half regular blended margarita. Ah, he would have company.

When I saw the chick he was with, I had one simple reaction. Ouch, my eyes! I then took a second glance and it hit me. This girl looked like someone I knew. I racked my brain until I figured it out.

It looked like F-Train but with a wig. Now, I am not trying to rip on the F-Train. Not by any means. But this girl was a dead ringer for him, but with a blonde wig. Same nose, chin, eyes and forehead. I tried to take a picture on my phone but the glare from the windows kept messing it up. Plus, I think the big guy was hearing the camera noise from the phone as he shot me a look as I tried to nonchalantly take a picture.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Note to self

Do not rest your eyes between hands in a tournament. You may just fall asleep and get blinded out.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Ugly Tuesday

Tuesday was an ugly night of play. Bubbled in a 2 table SnG. Went out 40 spots out of the money on the 19k guaranteed after some clown called my push with just A J, and dropped a buy-in at an O8 table where dude kept hitting everything sending me spinning off on the tilt-a-whirl.

Frustration doesn't cover it. I skipped the Mookie last night because of it. I may skip the RiverChasers and CC tonight as well. Or not. Must find where my mind is at. Except for the O8 tilting, I don't think my plays in the tournaments were wrong.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Should have stayed away

With the onset of March Madness, I decided to take some time away to go hang out with friend, drink beer, and watch the games. I figured a couple days away from the game would leave me refreshed and ready to come back focused.

Wow, was I wrong. It felt like every possible suckout that I could incur, I did incur. It was brutal. Get good hands in triple draw and have someone catch 2 on the last draw to just beat me. Again and again.

So I figured I would switch it up and play some Razz. I might as well have dropped a bowling ball on my groin. Suddenly good hands became bad as brick after brick hit me.

Hopefully I have gotten all the bad plays out of the way and tomorrow will be a much, much better day.

About the only good thing I did was read a good book. More on that later.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Role of a big stack in a satellite

I found myself in the enviable role of the big stack very early in the Token Frenzy tonight on Full Tilt. Within the first half hour, I had over 7500, more than 2500 than the next stack. Getting quads, flopping a couple sets, and putting pressure on small stacks can do it for you.

But then I was should one play the big stack in a satellite? In this case, 36 spots would get a token. At 7500, I will easily win a token if I stay put.

But is staying put the right plan?

By staying put, I mean folding everything. Got A A? Fold, no need to play. You have basically won the prize, why bother to get in conflicts.

Or do you let the table you are at dictate your action? If small stacks are present, do you try to knock them out, thus helping out others?

Do you just play great starting hands? Big pairs so you have the best odds going in.

I don't think there is any correct way to play the big stack. Sure the most conservative method of walking away is the safest, but is it the best?

I decided that I was only going to play the best hands, and then in position, as long as there were a bunch of shorties at the table.

The strategy worked well, especially when the deck hit me silly. But then I found myself moved to a table where the small stacks were suddenly 2500. Bigger stacks at 4500, 6000 were at the table as well. Suddenly I found myself being ultra-conservative.

But other stacks weren't. They wanted to play a lot of pots and knock people out. I saw calls of raises with K 10o, or 7 9s. I was amazed by the amount of gamble people had when they didn't need to. Like one big stack pushing all in on a re-raise with 4 4 against a medium stack with A K. Made no sense.

Would anyone gamble like that when they don't need to?

Sunday, March 11, 2007


No Ipod for you!

Yep, played for a couple hours and hit the Ipod bubble in the pokeronamac tourney. My K K was cracked by A Q. So I got like $2.75 instead.

At least I played pretty well throught the tournament, but could have done better at the final table. I was steaming a bit and tried to play too many hands. Limp, call, fold. Not a winning strategy.

It does have me prepared to wage a war on the bracelet races. I will have to start playing some of them now that I have collected some tokens.

Thanks again to the pokeronamac gang for hosting the tournament.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Jacked off

Damn them Jacks. Within minutes, I was out of both the Riverchasers and CC's tournaments when a J hit the board. One made me groan. The other pissed me off.

I had raised in EP with 5 5. Table was tight, it was early, and I wanted to see some flops. So I called the re-raise. Presto! I flop my set. I decide to check-raise my opponent. Hmm...he calls. I check the turn even though now a back door flush is possible. At this point, I am confident my set is still good, but I am thinking about how I can maximize the pot. My opponent checks as well. River is the J of spades. No way did he hit a flush. I push (about 3/4 of the pot I believe). He thinks and takes his time before calling and showing pocket Jacks. Ugh!

I don't know if a turn bet would have won the hand for me or not, but that is the risk with trying to get as much out of your opponent as you can. You may just be giving them the maximum.

Over in the Riverchasers side, I was the victim of a donkey play. I had already doubled up to about 3800 and had only 2 people at the table that were good players. With 9 9, I called the pot raise from my right. The flop came 3 3 2. I liked it. Hell, I loved it. I saw another pot size bet come out. I felt I had the best hand and knew this donk would pay me off if I raised. So I popped it. Hard. All in to get him off the hand. He took his time and let the lights go all the way down before calling. He showed A J.


Putting in all of your chips with nothing? I hate going up against A J. It always beats me. Sure enough, a J hit the turn. Nice suckout.

Just like that I was out. I was tempted to berate the player but decided not too. Well, more like I was really pissed and just shut my pc off.

This morning I was still steaming a bit. But then it hit me. I hadn't had a brutal beat in a while. Nothing I can do when I play it right. If I had just raised pot, there is no way he is folding. They simply do not fold those hands in the RC tournaments.

Just have to wait until the next one to get my revenge.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Bad run

Been on a bad run lately. Some of it bad cards, some of it tilting.

I thought a couple days away would help but it didn't. Whether it be triple draw or hold em, I was on the short end too many times.

Maybe I can turn in around in the Wheatie tonight.

Update: Scored a token in a Token Frenzy. Was breezing along until I made a move on a short stack with A Qs. He had little choice but to call for 300 more in the BB. But his J 8 flopped a pair and I couldn't improve. Suddenly I was short and it wasn't looking good with the blinds coming along.

Of course, the blinds bump up to 600/1200/200. I have 2300. There are some short stacks that are going to be all in before I get the blinds in 3 hands. But if they win their hands, I am in trouble. Just as the BB is about to hit, I am moved to a new table! 1 hand later the bubble bursts and I have a token.

I will take that as a win. Heck, I need what I can get.

Another update: Made the money and promptly went out in 9th place. Wasn't paying attention and pushed with K 10o. If I had known I was in fact, re-raising someone, then I wouldn't have done it.

Oh well, can't complain. I did make the money which is some consolation.

Friday, March 02, 2007


I ended up playing quite a bit of poker last night. I balanced some TD with HE to basically come up a couple dollars up.

Meanwhile, I took advantage of a token frenzy tournament that Hoy mentioned yesterday. Getting the token wasn't as tough as remembering it was a Turbo. I chipped up early and was willing to sit on the sideline. But I got greedy with pocket 9s and suddenly found myself on the outside looking in. Sure there were plenty of players left and I was never in dire straits but it is easier to be in the middle of the pack and only play monsters that scrambling trying to survive the bubble.

Plus with so many players not understanding the concept of a satellite, having that cushion is needed. Cannot tell you how many times I saw a big stack getting involved with A rag or K 9 off and bullying people around. For the most part, if I have a stack in the sat, I am sitting back, letting others do all the banging. Until I have a monster or I know of weak players that I can knock out.

So with 36 players getting tokens, I promptly went out in 36th place. At the same time, I went on a nice TD run erasing the hole I was in for a nice profit.

If only I had done better in CC's tourney. We started with basically 6 at a table. Bayne had to bludgeon me with his quad kings to more than cripple me. Well played. I had you tagged for A K and a set. Man, was I off thinking my rivered straight was good.

I did notice a trend when I play triple draw. After jumping up to a nice win, I tend to give it all back and then some. I end up playing looser than I normally would. Toss in one card draws that just don't get there or some clown pulling 4, 3 and 2 to make a 7 and I see all profit gone and me fighting to get back to where I started. I think that is one goal for the weekend. To not play so many hands and try to draw out because I see other people hit.

Best thing is I am still loving the game.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Too busy drinking to play

I was too busy drinking to play in the Mookie last night. I did see Maudie going all Godzilla on everyone. She finished strongly in fourth, just about pulling it off.

Iggy is back in his old digs. I won't do a smooch fest like Hoy but I don't feel like kissing a lot of midget ass (just kidding Hoy). I must admit I am jealous of the little guy. He is going to the UFC fights this weekend. About the closest I get to a UFC fight is two morons arguing over a cribbage game at the bar.

Pauly is still working hard in L.A. I found something he wrote to be quite interesting. In his Day 4 recap, he mentions this about play Bill Edler:
Edler has a reputation of being one of the nicest guys on the tournament
circuit. He's a patient player with solid fundamentals. He admits that his
biggest leak is that he has issues with mathematics. Edler is meticulous about
keeping his stacks in a specific order and size, and can often seen trading
chips with other players to maintain a uniformity of chip stacks and colors.

I started wondering if it would be wrong to tilt the guy based on that knowledge. Either get the table to not trade chips or even better, if you know he is most likely to just call a bet, bet some strange offbeat number. Instead of say 30,000, bet 30375, try to get him to break down his even stacks. Once, he does, you make all your stacks even and then comment about how sloppy his chips look.

Sadly, it appears Chilly is leaving the ring. His farewell post is out. I hope he continues to read and comment. He has some of the best comments out there.

Hopefully I can get out and play CC's tournament tonight. You know where and when.