Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It is about surviving

I am looking forward to the upcoming NFL season. My beloved Dallas Cowboys are in a position to make a serious run to the Super Bowl. That alone will do wonders for one’s football morale. But I am also looking forward to betting the week’s games and avoiding fantasy football.

Yep, you read that correctly. Avoiding fantasy football.

The league I have played in for the past couple of years folded. It wasn’t very competitive and it shrunk each of the last 3 seasons. After easily cruising through the season with one loss last year I got dumped in the playoffs in the first week because my starters were on the bench as the first playoff game was in week 16, not in 14 or 15 which would have made a huge difference for me.

So with that bitter taste still in my mouth, I decided to avoid fantasy football altogether and put my focus on betting the games. That and Miami Don’s Survivor Football. For those not aware of what survivor football is, a quick tutorial. Pick 1 winner each week. Sounds simple, huh? Only catch is once you pick a team, you cannot use them again for the rest of the season.

Survivor Football is a unique competition in itself with some strategies that can be applied. Do you take the favorites early? Do you sandbag them until later? Do you focus on powerful teams or the weak ones?

My strategy is to hold off on some big favorites until a couple weeks into the season. I believe that even though they may play some strong football early, they will get better as the season goes on. Plus it is nice to have a bullet in the chamber when it gets down to the nitty gritty between you and a handful of players. I look to hold off on the Cowboys, Patriots, and Chargers until a least a month out.

I also like to pick on the weak teams. You would have done well last year picking whoever played the Dolphins. It was like taking candy from a baby. Kansas City looks to be bad this year. Very bad. And those Dolphins won’t be much better than last year. Better but only a couple games better. Toss in the Raiders and you should be able to get through the first month. This year is a bit more difficult for some of these teams because they are playing tweeners.

It is those tweener teams that can you into pickles. The Vikings have a running game but no QB and a defense that should be better. Can you trust them? What about New Orleans? The Saint were great two years ago but stunk it up last year. Will they bounce back? Same with the Panthers. The Packers have injuries and an unproven QB. Dare you take them in week 1?

To make things interesting I decided to post my picks for the entire season. I plan to use them each week barring any major injuries or other surprises. I am not locking myself in. If a team is better/worse than expected, I will make a change.

Week 1- Pittsburgh over Houston
Week 2- Seattle over San Fran
Week 3- Buffalo over Oakland
Week 4- Denver over K.C.
Week 5- San Diego over Miami
Week 6- Dallas over Arizona
Week 7- Indy over Green Bay
Week 8- New England over St. Louis
Week 9- Minnesota over Houston
Week 10- Jacksonville over Detroit
Week 11- New Orleans over K.C.
Week 12- New York Giants over Arizona
Week 13- Oakland over K.C.
Week 14- Washington over Baltimore
Week 15- Philly over Cleveland
Week 16- Green Bay over Chicago
Week 17- Houston over Chicago

There you have it. 17 weeks of meaningless prognostication. So I didn't feel like working. Sue me.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Drunken poker

I played some drunken poker this past weekend. A couple of $10 SnGs that saw me exiting in 6th and 7th place. In one I tried to bluff someone off a pot and went down in flames while in the other I couldn't hit either my flush or straight draw and a flopped set of deuces sent me to the sideline.

I didn't totally tilt and fire up another one. Instead I directed my drunk butt to the couch and promptly fell asleep. I was quite please to wake up and not see a message saying I finished an unknown tournament in 8th place.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Tao of Poker Omaha appearance

I showed up and played about 30 minutes of Pauly's Omaha tourney on Saturday. Threw a couple of bucks into the kitty for someone else to enjoy. I never had a chance. I was playing Rock Band before the tourament started and was busy spending time trying to get a part of the song right. The beginning of Gimme Shelter was giving me fits on the guitar and it was driving me nuts. I was determined to get the licks down and the poker game was more of an annoyance than anything.

So with top pair and a gut shot straight draw I pushed all in against the made straight. Ouch. At least I got the song down.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hey! I played some poker!

It was probably because I went to the bar right from work that I got home and played the Riverchasers tournament tonight. With an ample supply of beer in my belly providing the fuel I needed to get through the night I turned my eyes to the monitor and hoped for the best.

Early on I dumped some chips to NewinNov. With AJo I raised from EP. Never good when you get 4 callers. To make it worse, the flop was A Q Q. I probably screwed it up right away by not making some kind of continuation bet. I checked and called it down to the river where I folded to the all in bet. I felt bad after that hand knowing I played it very poorly.

Though I lost about 500 or 600 on that hand I was despondent. I had faith I could make it back. A couple of hands later I check my 6 6 from the BB. A flop of A 2 7 didn't have me worried. Nor did the pot size bet from UTG. I recalled a hand BadBlood talked about and called that bet. The 6 on the turn was a pretty sight to behold. I checked and called the bet again. On the river I tried to go the well once to many times as it was checked down.

Back to even I focused on my beer as the bad hands came along and kept me on the sideline. Can't help but notice how there is no chat at this table. I feel like I am playing funeral poker. Blinds come and go and and I tread water. To make it interesting I am beginning to make bets to see if I can control the table. Limp with 2 2 and make a half pot bet on a flop of K Q 6. 3 people fold and I take a small pot. I could get used to this.

With K 10 I make the raise from UTG. Flop is 10 high. Only the BB had called and is suddenly betting out. The flop is uncoordinated and I wonder why he betting out. I call to give me some time to think. The turn is nothing. Again, the BB bets out the pot. Something doesn't seem right. My brain says to watch out for the set but my gut tells me to go all in, that he doesn't have a set. Plus my gut says it wants another beer and we can watch football and drink if we bust out. Of course I listen to my gut and push. I am happy with the fold. My brain reminds me of how I always drink and play poker.

One thing I am trying not to do tonight is play "fancy poker". I don't want to be tricky and slow play everything. I catch two pair from the blinds and start betting out. I have no intention of being sly tonight.

I dump some chips with a re-raise and Q Q from the BB. Of course I run into K K and am back to my starting stack. A A and A K would get some of the chips back. I then twitch a bit when I am dealt Q Q. I raise UTG and get one caller. On a flop with J high, the blinds bet into me. This again? I make a pot size raise and feel leery when I am called. I have just 600 behind and have no choice but to put them in the pot on the turn. I don't have the chance to bet as once again I am bet into. I am surprised to see my opponent has K J. Just like that I am up to 6000 at the first break. Speaking of breaks, this give me time to get another beer.

I play just one hand in the first 15 minutes after the break taking in an OK pot. A Q pays off when a Q hits the turn. A Q pays off again from the BB when 3 others try to limp in.

I continue to fold until I see a flop with AJs from the BB. Flop misses me so I fold. And fold and fold. I am getting bored now. Now I know why I am not a big fan of deep stacks.

Nines get me an uncontested pot. So does Big Slick. At this point I take a glance and notice there are only 10 runners remaining. Sounds good but we started with only 24. Still in the top 50% of the field! Whoo hooo! Then I realize the "small" stack is at 3100 so it will still take a long time to even start the final table.

So much for no fancy play. I go with a min raise with A A from the SB and get the call. I make a small bet on the flop and get raised. I push all in just in case he was willing to chase a flush. He folds instead.

I get rambunctious again and raise with A 7s on a smaller stack. He pushed all in from the BB. I make the call figuring what the heck. Instinct tells me I am ahead. Sure enough, he shows K Q. But the Q on the flop puts me behind. The board fills up with diamonds to give him a flush adding insult to injury.

I drop a nice pot when I raise with A 10 and get called by the short stack with 8 2s. An 8 on the flop is followed by a 2 on the turn and I go on tilt. I call a bet putting me all in on the next hand with A Q. I am up against K K. The Q on the flop is encouraging but that is all she wrote. Done in 9th.

The fresh bottle of beer curse lives on.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


I fired up Full Tilt last night to see what Skillz game was on the agenda. At about 45 minutes before the start of the tournament only 3 players had signed up. I wondered why such a small turnout until I saw the game. Limit Hold Em. Ugh! Double stack to boot. I rather get my wisdom teeth pulled that play a limit tournament for a couple of hours. Congrats to those who did play and whoever may have won.

I stumbled across this article in the local paper today. Poker player ordered to pay up. Apparently some baby's daddy in Vegas hasn't paid any child support for the last couple of years. Now a court is forcing him to do so.

The line in the article that cracked me up was this one:
Boyle said the best result for the boy and his mother would be if Obst still
remained employed. A felony conviction would make it harder for him to get a
job, she said.

Remain employed? He is a poker player, not someone with a 9 to 5 job. He can blow all of his cash in one night and not have anything left to pay his support.

I wonder if the player had a lawyer argue bankroll considerations in his defense.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Tao of Poker Birthday Celebration

I got a quick taste of what the blogger games were about early on in the Tao of Poker 5th Birthday tournament. Got a table with Byron and GCox. The chatter started quickly ranging from cards to baseball and beyond. Not quite sure who the other were. I figured they were readers that looked for a cheap payday. So 519 sit down to take a cheap shot at the Borgata Open.

My strategy- if I truly had one- was to take it easy for the first hour. Find some cards and play them hard. Don't worry about going for chips early. Thus I folded quite bit early.

First decent hand I saw was a pair of 6s. Saw a flop on a 3xs raise and missed the flop. Next time I would raise UTG with KQs. Sure I said I was going to play it tight but I do like that KQs. Flop came J high so I decided the continuation bet was the best move and bet 190 into the 245 pot. It was good and I was basically back to even.

After that I am moved to a new table. I don't recognize any of the names. Furthermore no one seems to be sociable as my HOWDY to the table goes unnoticed. Screw em! I fold a couple of hands as I wonder why someone has a picture of asparagus as their icon. Upon further inspection I realize it is not asparagus but actually says Phish in long green letters. I decide to still think of it as asparagus.

I spend the next 15 minutes looking for music on the web as my cards have looked pretty bad. I then get in a bad spot. It folds to the button. He min raises to 100. I have J J in the small blind. I make it 300. BB folds and the button calls. Flop is 9 high with two hearts. I bet 2/3 of the pot. He calls. Turn is an A. I hate that card. I check but decide to call the small bet of 200. River is a rag. I check again and he bets 300. Pot is 2400. I feel I have to call because of pot odds and hope he had a mid pair and was trying to bluff. I make the crying call to see his AQs of hearts. Ugh!

I am basically hosed with the short stack now. With KQo I push and get called by KQo? Ok! I then call the raise with 8 8 in the BB. 4 people are in the pot. If I am lucky I get back in the game. I am not as I am up against K K and 9 Ts??? Out in 329. At least I had fun.

If I remember in time...

I make actually play some poker tonight.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Rock Band > Poker

I haven't played any poker in a while. Life is too busy for me to sit down in front of a pc and sling virtual cards. Instead I am busy sitting down in front of the TV bashing drums playing Rock Band.

So go read the lastest issue of Truckin'.

August 2008, Vol. 7, Issue 8
Welcome back to another summer issue of Truckin'.

1. Even More Existentialist Conversations with Strippers by Paul McGuire
On the third day of Prozac? That pretty much summed up my visit to the afternoon shift. The stripper was drunk, sedated on happy pills, sloppy, and slurring her speech like Albert Finney at happy hour... More

2. Explaining Amphetamines With Words by Sean A. Lovelace
See the thing is an injection is a lot like a bullet from a gun, or words of anger, or like kisses—you can't get it back. And that Valium was working, working its way through his body, his veins, slowing things down, slowing, his pulse, his already pretty-fucking-slow pulse, and then he was, he was, well, he was dead... More

3. Black Hole Sun By Betty Underground
I couldn't get her face out of my head. Blank and full of jealousy. Not directed at me, but me as part of the female species. As a representative of the sex that threatened her the most... More

4. Separate From Things We Didn't Want A Part Of by Philip D. Brown
My friend fell asleep but the girl didn't and though it was dark I could see her watching me. She didn't look capable of sleep or even rest so I told her that I could help. She told me that needles were out of the question because they were an invasion she wasn't willing to accept... More

5. Capistrano By Brad Willis
If the doctor says I'm living, he obviously is lying or seriously misguided. If he tells me I'm living, I'm going to laugh and tell him he better get busy dying for me, because somebody fucking has to... More