Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I am often asked what games I play in Vegas. It would seem to be an easy question but for me it isn't. I play just about them all. Blackjack, craps, pai gow poker, limit hold em, no limit hold em, HORSE, slot machines, video poker, 3 card poker, even crazy 4 poker. About the only thing I do not play is roulette. Or that giant wheel or any of its derivatives.
I think I have casino ADD. I will play whatever fits my need. Years ago it used to be blackjack. Then it was craps. Then it was pai gow. For the most part it is now poker. But I always find myself looking for something different. Something to entertain me.
That is what gambling is for me. Entertainment. Everyone would like to win. I do too, but I don't necessarily mind losing money if I am having a good time. It doesn't matter what the game is, if the table is fun and energetic- and the waitress makes sure to come by often- I can walk away down but not in the dumps. To me it is paying for entertainment.
I have no clue what might take up the majority of my time next week. I know I will get pai gow and poker in there. There will be some craps of course. But what will the first game I play be?
I have no idea. But is puts a smile on my face to know I will have many choices and some cool people to be around. Just let me run loose in that candy store.
Monday, November 26, 2007
I may take a break from the BBT2 this week. The MATH doesn't work well for me because of the start time and it being on a Monday. I usually sleep like crap on Sunday nights and fall asleep around 10. Any good run in the MATH would have me feeling like shit at work the next day. I may play the Mookie on Wednesday. Yeah it is the same start time but I usually have a couple beers in me and can handle being groggy on a Thursday much better than a Tuesday.
I won't be around for the RiverChasers game. Big football game going on. It sucks the NFL and the cable companies couldn't cut a deal. The Cowboys game this week should be a good one. With the Cowboys favored by 6.5, I cannot wait to see that Miami Don says bet the house on the Packers.
Another thing I have been wondering lately. Why is every tournament a double stack? I know people want more bang for their buck, but it may be killing this series. It seems there is a lot of complaining going on about the skill levels of the players. Someone catches a bad beat and begings to harangue the person for what they consider a bad play. Nevermind that the supposed bad play could have been an incorrect read, a faulty button click, or a "aw fuck it, I don't feel like playing anymore" move. Why someone feels the need to keep going off in the chat box, following a person from table to table to bitch and moan is beyond me.
Is it possible that it is because of the double stacks? With extra chips, people can play a bit looser and try to get lucky on the flop. They can lose half their stack and feel like they are starting a regular tournament. Sometimes that is how I play. I will take some early chances knowing I can get those chips back later. With smaller beginning stacks, it could take that gamble factor down a notch.
Just a thought.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Then I remembered that I had signed up for the Riverchasers tournament. It would provide me an out. So took a piss and decided it was time to head out.
But then I got bamboozled into driving my mother home. It would be 15 minutes out of the way. I figured I would be about 15 minutes late, so another 15 wouldn't really matter. Plus, it would be bad karma to not help one's own mother right?
As I drove in the night, my stomach started to talk to me. I was in a bit of pain with how much turkey and stuffing I had shoved in there. I contemplated getting home and just calling it a night, sacrificing the $11, but decided to just play for a while. I could take one big risk and if I bust, I bust. I had to work the next day anyways.
When I finally sat down to play, I had only lost about 300 in chips. Not shabby. I waited for some good cards to come and played my game. I did notice my stomach, though feeling better, was still telling me to call it a night. Shut up stomach! I got a little loose making some calls and tossing chips around on weak moves.
I pissed someone off when I went tried to make a bluff. I can't recall exactly what I had. I think it was either A Q or A 10. I called the raise from MP. Flop came J high. The raiser checked as did I. The turn was either a Q or a 10, putting 3 of a suit on the board that matched my A. This time MP bet out. I put him on a mid pair and decided I could make a move right here and push him off the pot. I popped it back all in, representing that I had made my flush. He instacalled with J J. Bad read by me. But a K hit the river and I caught my gut shot straight. I had even noticed the straight was possible. That set flopped set o' Jacks on tilt. Later he would show up at a table and berate me for moving with A high.
The double up got me over 4k. Basically it meant my stomach would have to deal with me playing more poker. I continued to play patiently, waiting for the right time to gain more chips. Hoy helped out by giving me a good chunk on one hand. That got me closer to 10k and I would soon move above that mark.
Got lucky when I got moved to a table with a push monkey. Didn't matter much what the size of the pot was, he was going to put it all in. 3000 in the middle, bet the flop for 10,000. Thus when I got dealt K K, I started praying for him to get stupid. My prayers were answered when he made a raise of 6xs the blinds. I moved all in and was instacalled by his pockets 10s. A couple hands later, I would get another chunk when someone tried to run their K K through my A A.
Before I knew it, I was atop the mountain in first with 20 some left. It took a while but soon enough we were at the final table. I lost my top spot and was sitting around 8th when we got there. I stayed patient looking for spot to pounce. I thought I had my spot only to see it slip away. I called a raise from the player on my left with A 10 in the SB. Flop came 10 high and I decided to make a move with it. I pushed and was called by A Q. Uh...ok. Unfortunately for me, rag rag gave us both a wheel and the pot was split. It would have knocked him out.
That came back to bite me later. This hand bothered me. With J J in the SB, I again called his button raise. Flop came K K Q. It checked around. Turn was an 8. This time I bet out 10k and was raised to 30k. If I called, it meant I would have 11k left. I didn't like calling there and had to decide to push or fold. My notes on the player showed he was pretty tight. He only made raises when he had pocket pairs or face cards. I took some time to decide if he was playing A K or A Q. In the end I folded my jacks. I don't think he would have raised me there with a small pocket pair. My gut was screaming he had a K. Maybe I should have said WTF and pushed.
I would play another 40 minutes beyond that hand. I was down below 20k and needed to find some place to push. I made a poor play by re-raising with A 2 and was out by flopped set of 9s. Yeah, poor spot to try and make something happen.
I finished 4, one spot better than the Mookie the night before. Not bad for not wanting to play.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Number 5 in the sea of 90. With the way I have played lately, I will take it and be happy. Not necessarily content, but happy. If I was content it would man I didn't care to win the damn Mookie.
Yeah, from now on, it is the damn Mookie to me. Nothing personal to Mook, but his tournament usually gives me fits. To finish 5 is a bit of success.
Congrats to the Budohorseman for his win. Pretty remarkable since he was the short stack when we were down to 6.
I played some good poker last night. Was not too wild. Made some good reads. Picked up some nice sized pots by putting players on draws or underpairs. I did not make any read dumb mistakes that I could not make up for later on.
But I ran into the same problem I usually do at a final table. I try to make a play out of position and get nailed for it. It is usually in a spot that I won't kill me, but it does leave a flesh wound. Did it again last night and LJ punished me for it.
At some spot I will correct that flaw. But in the meantime, I will be happy to hit a final table and push for a win.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
The way I see it, someone needs to save them. Plus there is a chance I can get looped up enough to unleash my inner aggressive donkey on the tables.
And please click on the banner above. Check out cardschat.com!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
It is the sound of anticipation. The sound of poker players getting antsy for a trip to Vegas.
It is the stories that you thought were myths being retold and enjoyed for the umpteenth time. It is about wheelchairs and having imaginary kids with other bloggers.
It is about being rolled by a hooker.
It is about drinking until 11 in the morning and letting someone play your money at a blackjack table as you are about to pass out.
It is about the gravitational pull the Fatburger has as you walk by it.
It is about all the silly prop bets that will be made.
It is about the possibility that new legendary tournaments will be added.
It is about being able to stand at the MGM sports book bar without falling down.
It is winning rubber ducks at Hooters and having some guy in a kilt steal it.
It is about picking a horse with the name of Too Drunk to Call and having it win!!!
It is watching football with people from all over the country, cheering on all kinds of teams.
It is finding a poker tournament at 2 in the morning and deciding that you can make it downtown in 20 minutes to play it.
It is drinking for hours on end with someone you met earlier in the day.
It is about having a great time with friends.
It is the sound that will continue to build over the next couple of weeks. The sound that will make you ignore you work, make you review your blackjack tables, make you memorize the odds at the craps tables and which bets are the best. The sound of a good time personified.
How many days to go Drizz?
Friday, November 16, 2007
I was my own worst enemy last night, making two bad reads that devastated my stack. It started out well. I missed the first half hour as I was out drinking. Came back and double my stack just before the first break. Soon into the second hour I would double up again as a huge stack tried to bully me out of a pot with a massive all in raise. Having the Hiltons, I called his bet with a 7 being the highest card on the flop. He showed his 2 2 and began to stew. I say this as he busted and berated a player for calling his all in bet with A 8.
Yeah, I was flying high in the top 5. But then I got a little too cocky. I was dealt K Qs, a hand I like. It was raised by the cutoff. I was thinking steal and that I could push him off with a re-raise. I re-pop it to force him all in. He goes for it and shows K K. Oops!
Soon I would do the same thing again. In the SB, I have A Qs and raise it. BB goes all in for like 2k more. I immediately am thinking he is trying to steal and quickly call. He shows A A. Oops part deaux!
I don't recall how I went out. I believe I ran A Qs into A A again. All that got me 15th place and a thanks-for-playing. No cash, no nuthin'.
Of course the kicker is, I didn't need to be that aggressive. I should have seen a flop with the K Q and went from there. I was probably screwed on the A Q hand no matter what. Oh well, there is next week. I need to get me a token or make some cash for the Big Game.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
So I offer up some sage advice from purveyors of the potent potable, the loudmouths of liquor, the bishops of booze, the demaigogues of all that is drunken debauchery, Modern Drunkard Magazine:
The Drunkard’s Guide to Sin City
A couple I know recently approached me on the eve of their first trip
to Las Vegas, looking for advice. They’d heard I was born and raised there and
figured I might know some inside angles.
And indeed I do. I spent a drunken half hour alternatively tantalizing and terrorizing them about their choice of vacation spots. A little wisdom did manage to did slip through, however, which I present here in case you are considering a foray into Sin City.
You want to arrive with the idea you’re going to win a great deal of money. It doesn’t matter how little money you arrive with, or how many painful lessons you have absorbed in the past, this time it will be different. Never set a limit as to
how much you’re willing to lose. That is plainly a defeatist attitude and will
jinx you from the start. You should, however, set a limit as to how much you are
willing to win. For most this means every chip in the house, and perhaps the
deed to the casino.
If you gamble, you get free drinks. It’s a helluva a
deal, and if you possess even an average amount of luck the drinks will only end
up costing you about 40 bucks apiece. The climate is very hot and dry, so
remember to stay hydrated by drinking a lot of fluids. Triple Wild Turkeys do
not count, unless you ask for a lot of ice. Sadly, the level of customer care
has steadily declined since the casinos were taken over by soulless
corporations. It is customary to meet every instance of McDonald’s-style service
by muttering, “At least the Mob knew how to treat their goddamn
The fact that you can drink 24 hours a day can have an unsettling
effect on some visitors. Realize you will have to be your own bouncer and should
cut yourself off after the bartender’s face has changed three times.
Some people seem to think that tipping the dealer is akin to French-kissing a mugger, but this is not true. It is akin to merely kissing the mugger’s hand.
It’s a psychological fact that money won on games of chance doesn’t seem like “real” money, which can encourage you to squander your winnings. So whenever you get a little ahead, turn those chips into cash and force yourself to
invest in tangible commodities, such as lap dances and $20 room-service shrimp
If you have a streak of luck, don’t smugly inform your friends
that you’re seriously considering quitting your job and moving to Vegas to give
the gambling profession a go. It will make them want to strangle you in your
sleep or, worse, want to borrow some money.
When you return from your trip it
is traditional to play down your losses and exaggerate you winnings. For
example, if you broke even or actually came out ahead, if only by $20, you
should inform your friends you “raped the bastards” and all the pit bosses
thought you were some kind of “internationally-renowned card shark.” If you lost
all the money you arrived with, you should say you “basically broke even.” If
you lost the money you came with and every cent you could squeeze from your
credit and debit cards, you should say you “lost a little, but more than made up
for it in free drinks.”
Just a friendly reminder that there is life away from the poker tables.
Monday, November 12, 2007
That is why I am trying to learn the nuances of NL cash again. I had some success in June playing at the MGM and hear that they games are still good for a player like me. It is the little things I have picked up reading other blogs that I am trying to incorporate into my game.
This hand went down on FTP the other day. I don't think I played it that well, nor did I play it poorly. Any advice on what I could have done better is appreciated.
Playing .25/.50 (yeah, little stacks online). Dealt 8 9 clubs in MP. It is folded around to me and I just call. Person on my left raises to 1.75. Both blinds fold. Flop is nice looking but dangerous, Q J 10, with the J and 10 being clubs. I flopped a straight with a draw to straight flush. My opponent bets out 3.50. I like my straight but realize I could be in trouble. He could have easily raised with A K which means my dummy end of the straight is just that. Making me the dummy. But the flush draw could be good unless he raised with A K clubs. I decide to raise just the minimum to 7. He comes back with a raise to 15. I just called, deciding to take some time to put him on a hand. A K is worrying me but I don't think he has it. That is based on a previous hand where he cracked A A from the SB with 8 6. UTG played it cute and limped. He flopped two pair and stacked the guy. He kept going with min raises, showing that he may not be monster strong.
When a rag hit on the turn, I pushed my remaining $20 in. I figured it would all end up anyways and this way it looked like maybe I was trying to push him off the pot with a confident big bet. He called showing K K. Rag on the river gave me the pot.
Sure I won but somehow I think I could have played it better. Should I have been more aggressive on that flop? Or maybe more cautious? Do I get him to commit on the turn? Or is pushing there, knowing I could be behind a bad move? Any advice from you cash gamers is appreciated.
Friday, November 09, 2007
But I didn't let that bother me. Much. I focused on playing my game. It worked well until the second period got going. With A Qs, I raised UTG. Only BuddyDank called from the button.
Flop was 10 10 10. Interesting.
We both check.
Turn is a Q. Not quite sure if this is good or bad. I cannot put Buddy on a 10 here. How can you? I think I bet about 3/4 of the pot to see if I am good with my boat.
Dank now pushes all in. He has me covered. Crap!
I go in the tank. Again, I cannot put him on a 10 here. Slight chance he calls in that spot with J 10s but doubtful. How could he just call with A A or K K? Doesn't seem to make sense, though I have seen a lot of people just calling raises with K K lately.
Is he trying to push me off the pot with his own pocket pair? That is the conclusion I came to. There are only two hands that beat me here, aces or kings (sure he could hold a ten but I have already ruled that possibility out). I can't see him slow playing either and I make the call.
He shows the K K and I am down to 3 possible outs that do not hit. I go home in 70th.
Well played Buddy.
If I somehow lay that hand down, I have about 2200 left and am alive and still in a position to move back up. Still, I don't think I made the wrong play. It didn't win but on the range I put him on, it makes sense. I believe I would end up calling again in that situation.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Start out slow, raising only one hand, A Q in MP. I then fold for another round. Good thing Dennis Miller is on HBO otherwise I might fall asleep. Fold after fold is little fun, but necessary. If I raise with any of these field goal cards I will get my ass handed to me on any flop that misses me.
I then try to make a play on Ftrain. I call his raise with 6 6. Flop is J 2 3. I decided that no matter what, I am calling his flop bet and raising him on the turn. Call 400 to see a 3 hit the turn. He checks and I bet. But the little bastard goes all in. Damnit. Bad time to make a play.
Down to 1275. Let's see if I can get it all back in one fell swoop.
I call Ftrain's bet from the button with A Q. I think about re-raising his steal attempt but don't have the grapefruits to do it. There are no bets as the board comes 10 high and I take the pot. Power poker people!
8 8 raise and scare the EP limper away. I am on a roll!
Then with A Qs in the BB, I raise it up just more than the pot as 3 others try to limp in. Only one calls. Hmm... Flop is 10 10 2, two spades. What the hell...push! He thinks and thinks and calls with 4 4. Good call. But I get lucky and catch a Q on the turn. No 4th spade on the river to screw me and I am back above the starting point of 3k.
So now that I have been given a new lease in this game, how will I screw it up?
Well, I can call a raise with A 10 and fold on the flop. I thought it was fishy and sure enough, he shows the Hammer. Well played!
I wonder if Hoy will let me limp on in. Yes. Flop gives me an OESD but Hoy won't give me any more chips. Damn.
A couple hands later, I try raising with 5 5 in EP but get re-raised. No, still have no grapefruits to make the call and fold. I haven't seen this person raise a single pot all game so I figure he has to have me beat.
I try again with two black 9s and it gets me the blinds. Hey, it is a start. Good thing too, lots of folding as we head into the break.
Just as the break starts, I get moved to a new table. Don't recognize as many people here. 23skiddoo and Dionysus are here as is willwonka. Better yet, I don't have the big stack arseface Ftrain to my right anymore (dawn summers called him that).
Second verse, same as the first.
The action after the break is just like the beginning of the game. Fold, fold, fold. Then I see J J come to me. I am UTG+1 and raise it up. But willwonka pushes in the BB. WTF??? Doesn't seem right. My gut tells me he does not have any of the 3 overpairs. I decide to go for broke and make the call. He shows 10 10. No improvement for him and I get over 4k.
A Ks in the BB and I get a raise. Time to pop it back! Darn, he folded.
Two hands later, I am tangling with 23skidoo again. I make it look like a total steal from the button with A Jo. I am kinda happy when he raises me back because my immediate thought is he has A rag and just try to steal it back. So I push. He thinks and calls, showing A 7. My A J holds up and I am doing great.
Next hand, I get A A for the first time. I get a raise ahead of me and repop it. He then goes all in. Does it get any better? Suddenly I am up over 11k and in second place.
I then get a phone call and begin to play with maybe half of my attention on the game. With a couple of good hands, I suddenly vault into first with over 30k in chips. Which is a good thing as I don't have many good cards coming my way or am suddenly not hitting any flops. As we head into the second break, I am on top with just over 32k and 27 runners left.
But I am card dead for the first half of the 3rd session. This really sucks. If I get something I can make a play with, it gets raised ahead of me. And if I get J 3 one more time, I am going to break my monitor. It seems like every hand I get has a J in it.
Finally I get a break and the jacks stop coming. I see a flop as wonka tries to steal. It is only A 3 but I am sick of folding. Flop pairs my A. Nice. I just call his bet and decide to check-raise the turn. Works as I get a pot and get over 50k. Now I get into stealing myself. Take a couple here and there. We are in the money but the big money is at the final table. Problem is, I don't feel like playing much longer. Work will be here way too soon.
Within a couple hands, I would go from leader to out in 10th. Sadly, I really didn't care anymore. I was too tired to try to finish this off. I made a loose call with 2 2 on a board of 10 10 3, thinking my two pair was good. But the BB was slow playing K K and that took a chunk out. Next hand I bounce back against wonka with Q Q to knock him out. But then I way overplay A Qs from the BB and run into A Ko. Just like that, I get bounced.
I wish I hadn't been tired and could focus. Playing for 3 hours to basically win a pitcher of beer just isn't worth it.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Sure you have. Once the pot gets shipped to some clown, you sit back and wonder what just happened.
Played a tourney on Bodog tonight, trying to get my tournament credits to multiply so I can play the Blogger game. I am doing ok with two thirds of the field gone when I get involved in this hand. UTG goes all in for just over twice the 300 BB. UTG +1 calls. UTG+2 calls. Fold. Fold. I am up with J J. Pot has 7 BB in it and I push hoping to isolate the UTG player. SB folds. BB calls. Both UTG 1&2 call.
Flop is 4 4 9. Looks good to me. It checks to UTG+2 who bets 6000 (he is the tournament leader with over 10k at the start of the hand). BB folds. UTG+1 calls.
What do these kings of poker have?
UTG- 3 3
UTG+1- A 10
UTG+2- A J
I am looking great until an A spikes on the river. So sad. No Blogger tourney for me for a while.
Friday, November 02, 2007
That is how my RiverChasers tourney went last night. One hand knocked me down. I didn't give up and fought my way back, but just couldn't do it.
Kat was the one who crippled me last night. Her flopped set of 9s did the damage. She got my read of kilter with her play. She raised from MP and I just called with A K off. I thought about re-raising but with it being unsuited, figured seeing a flop was the better move. Got my K on the flop and decided to check behind. The A on the turn made me happy. I am sure it made Kat happy too. All the chips went in and I didn't get lucky on the river.
I was down at that point but not out. Without any decent cards to make a move with, I chipped down to 435 before building my way back up to 3150. A double through would get me back in the game. This is where I didn't play that well. Called a raise with a middle pair and saw a flop that gave me an OESD. Gave up another 400 to see the turn that completely missed. Had to fold to the turn bet that would have put me all in. Roughly 800 gone like that. Stupid.
I have no problem with my bust hand. At least from my point of view. I thought the person winning the hand made a very terrible and moronic play. NewinNov limped UTG. I was up next and pushed my last 1600 in with A Ko. I was sceptical of New's limp right away but with antes in play, I had no choice but to make a move with my small stack. I get a call from a player in LP. Then New goes over the top and pushes his 4500 (?) in. Right away I knew I was in trouble. I figured he had to have A A or K K and one of my outs was gone. The other player thought for a while and then called with 10 10.
WTF?!?!? You called a raise and re-raise with 10s???
New had Q Q, which surprised me a bit. I knew he was strong but didn't think he would make a move with just queens. I have played with him many a time and would have folded those 10s each and every time. Of course, the donkey hit a 10 on the flop and it would be over. I hate it when the worst play of the hand wins the pot.
I ended up finishing the beyond middle of the pack. Sad to say it was my best finish so far, but with how little poker I have been playing, it is understandable. Right now I am shaking the rust off and getting back in the game.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
I have fallen into a bad habit. Call it table cop. I watch someone continually raise or push and figure I need to step up and stop them from killing my action. Problem is, I forget that they just may have a good hand and that my hand, while good, is not a dominant one.
Thus, my push with 8 8 (when I didn't need to commit) was pretty bad. I can't blame my opponent for insta-calling with J J. I played an hour and a half just to blow it away with one stupid bet. No wonder I haven't done well lately.
Next up, I got loose and crazy in the Dookie. Again, I was doing pretty good. Had chipped up nicely and was at the top. But in two hands I pushed marginal edges and was soon done in 10th place.
To top it off, I was a quick out in the Spooky when my A Q was trounced by 6 6.
All was not lost though. I enjoyed a nice bourbon barrel ale, downing a 6 pack for a nice buzz and made $55 on the cash NL tables. At least two things went well yesterday.