Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The tide turns

It wasn't a pretty day for me on the PLO8 tables yesterday. The river was my enemy. Though I got my money in good, the river would toss up that gutshot straight or pair up the board to counterfeit me. The only time it helped me was when I got overly aggressive against a Russian. But that wasn't good enough to get my two buy-ins back.

The Russian was ticking me off. I understood his style of play and wanted to take advantage of it. I knew he wanted to bet people out of pots. I knew he would overplay AA especially when he had no chance at a low. I wanted to get him to commit to a pot and see those virtual chips slide in front of me.

It would only happen once but that was after he took my first buy in. I had two pair with a low draw and knew I was ahead. He just had A A with two face. Just before the river hit I thought it was mine and that he had two outs. I forgot about the other two cards on the board and those being outs. Sure enough a deuce hit to counterfeit me. I yelled a number of expletives in the air and threw a pillow across the room. Just bad luck.

The Russian kept playing the same way. So did I. Looking to trap him. I may have played some hands out of the blinds that I shouldn't have but I really wanted my money back. I would get a piece of it back but give it off to another player that would hit runner runner to fill flush when they were chasing a gutshot straight.

At least I made half of it back in a Sit n Go. That seemed to go on forever but it was fun. Maybe I can sit out the first 30 minutes of those and then come in for the win.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Getting better

This week looks to hold a good amount of poker for me. I have vacation this week. Or holiday for anyone reading from over the pond. Holiday sounds better. More special.

Anyways, my intent is to play a good amount of PLO8 this week. I have a Full Tilt bonus that I would like to clear. I don't intend to fall into bonus whoring mode to clear it. Maybe play a couple of hours as long as I am having fun.

I noticed some aspects of my game this week. My wins are usually minimal. I tend to play .25/.50. Booking a $10 win seems to be about the norm if I don't drop the entire buy in. I won't lie and say it doesn't happen. There are times I go on tilt and chase just to donk it off. But for the most part it is a collection of small wins with an occasional double.

Over the past weekend I feel my PLO8 has gotten better. There are a number of marginal hands that I used to get involved with that I have no problem folding. I also don't mind folding a hand where I don't have any chance to get half. Getting quartered is guaranteed to put my on tilt. This weekend saw me on the good side of the quartering. It was a nice streak that ended today.

This afternoon I played two really aggro tables. Bunch of Scandis at the table that seem to believe that betting pot was the only way to go. It made it easy to trap them and steal big pots from them. I was amazed at how many times they paid me off when I had a wheel or a full house. I think it was because I wasn't potting every street.

Their aggressiveness also made me play smarter. It reminded me of a virtual Table 16. Chips flying and a lot of re-raises. It made me play smarter and more selective in my hands. It stopped me from chasing. I ended up with a double there. I can't wait until tomorrow to take another swing.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


If only the WPBT was a couple days later, I could have had a live Twisted Christmas. This will have to do.

Hope you have a very Merry Christmas and get the pots shipped your way.

As for my Jewish friends, you can still be merry even though you are Hebrew..

Monday, December 21, 2009

Table 16: A view from the 9 seat Part II

The action at Table 16 was getting to be beyond silly. Watching the chips get tossed around like they were pennies was mind boggling at times. I had to keep telling myself to not do anything stupid. I knew I was in over my head but I calmly sat by and waited for my spots. I would ask GRob about everyone and I heeded his advice. Be ready to put it all in and take your shot. I took my first shot against the Mark. He was basically running the table. Calling bluffs and sucking out. It was like there was a hydraulic lift on our end of the table raising up to slide all the chips down to him. Like everyone else, I wanted those chips. So when he raised in EP and I looked down to see pocket 10s, I figured it was time to go for it. I slid my stack in the middle. The Mark went into the tank. I don't know if someone called the clock on him at this point. It is hard to remember because it seemed like the clock was called on the Mark every time he played a hand. He would fold and I would get a modest pot.

Rebuys were not only common but expected. "There is no shame in rebuying" became a mantra. At one point they figured there was over $5000 on the table. Over 5k on a 1/2 table. The MGM must have thought we were stupid. The dealers were happy because they were making money. Sure people were in for some serious coin but they were still having fun. Tip, the dealer's name, sits down and Otis would shout "Hey, let's tip Tip!" Then a bunch of blue chips would be flung into the middle of the table for the dealer to collect. New dealer, new cry to tip them.

I kept to myself as the action would rise and calm back down. I think I won a couple small pots but nothing too memorable. That is until I looked down to see pocket deuces. I called a preflop raise hoping to get lucky. I did. A nice 2 hits the board. The Mark comes out firing. I just called. The turn is the beautiful case 2. My heart jumps a bit. The Mark grabs some chips and make his bet. $2 he announces. I laugh a bit and try to give a look back. I am trying to act annoyed that he would bet like that. I am hoping to toss the bait in and get him to bite. I make a comment about it being an insulting bet and announce I am all in. The goes back into the tank. Someone calls the clock. I lift my cards and give Iggy a peak. The Mark says he calls. Seconds later Iggy is whispering to me "Slow roll him". Normally I wouldn't do that. I hate to be slow rolled and think it is bad etiquette. But then again, this is not a normal game. It is playing like a home game so I think it may be pretty funny. The dealer plants the meaningless river card down. I don't know what the Mark had. I turned over one deuce asking if that was good. I then comment that the second 2 should be. At this point Otis and BadBlood erupt at seeing quads. The table blows up with others peering in. I was shocked and happy that I got paid on my quads. Now I have a bit of breathing room and can play a bit more aggressively.

Things calmed down for me from there. I continued to play somewhat conservatively. The table didn't change. The action kept going and the fun kept flowing. At one lull in the action, it seemed a new rodeo event was beginning on TV. They were playing the National Anthem. Not sure whose idea it was but before you knew it 10 men were on their feet at Table 16, hand over heart, showing respect for their country. Other tables looked on wondering what the hell those goofballs were up to. I kept trying to get people to remove their hat during the anthem but did not succeed.

The shenanigans at Table 16 kept going and it seemed like the staff didn't care. That is until they had their shift change and a new manager came in. I don't know if Marjo
rie always has a bug up her ass or if she was having a bad day. The first thing she does is demand to know who is sitting in the 3 seat and orders us to tell him to stack his chips. The Mark comes back and is updated on the request. I think he scoffed until Marjorie came to him and told him he would have to stack his chips. He tried to use his charm on her but it wasn't working. So he complied. He proceeded to make stacks of 3. He had stacks of 3 chips surrounding the space in front of him. Just as he was about finished Marjorie came back and told him that wasn't good enough and started stacking his chips for him. She was trying to be a buzzkill but we wouldn't have it.

Action would continue. Big pots forming and more calls for the clock. I stayed away from the action and worked hard not to spew my chips back. Tried is the key because I came very close to doing just that. In one hand I called a raise with A 9 suited. I was in the small blind and checked the flop of A 5 x. Iggy checked as well allowing BadBlood to bet. I looked at Blood and sense weakness. I was feeling he didn't have an ace. Problem was I wasn't thinking too much about Iggy. I decided to raise and take the pot down right there. Had I realized Iggy was still in, I might have just called. Iggy mucked his cards leaving it to Blood. He looked at me and stated that he was making a very loose call. He said that he didn't want my money and would push if he got lucky. The turn was a 3 of spades. That gave me a flush draw along with top pair. I looked at Blood and checked. He immediately went all in.

My first reaction was "Aww fuck! I should have pushed". I kept looking at the board and at Blood. I have top pair with a flush draw. I can't fold this can I? There are all small cards on the board. He has an ace with a better kicker? Very possible. Blood could have a variety of hands. This blows. Can I fold this? I had amassed a sizable stack. If I call I am right back to where I started. Is it worth it on a marginal hand? I didn't think so.

I then began to figure out if I was ahead or not. My gut told me I wasn't. I realized I was behind but could hit the flush and it wouldn't matter if he had hit a small set. I kept going back and forth in my head, contemplating the call. I settled on the fact that I was behind. I tossed my cards into the muck, unhappy with my decision check raise.

BadBlood proceeds to turn over 2 4. He hit the wheel on the turn. Wow! I had no idea I was that far behind. I thank Blood for not trying to goad me into the pot. I really dodged a bullet on that hand.

Right about this time the table begins to get quite thirsty. We realized we hadn't seen a waitress in some time. We began to wonder if we had been cut off. It was until we saw Marjorie speaking with our waitress. She was pointing in our table direction and made a slash across the throat gesture. I wasn't the only one to see that. Did she really cut off Table 16 from cocktail service? I was both shocked and mortified. We waited patiently for our waitress to get back within earshot and got her attention. Turns out only the Mark was cut off, not the table. That was a huge relief and she was welcomed with a round of orders.

As with all good things, time was not on the side of Table 16. There was a Steel Panther show to attend and it was time to wind it down. Someone decided to make the last hand interesting. Whoever wanted to play could put $100 in and they would deal the hand out. No betting, just best hand wins it all. I declined as I was happy with booking a nice win but 6 others jumped at the opportunity.

It seemed fitting that Table 16 would end this way. It was the perfect storm of people playing a card game, having some fun with their friends. It was one helluva experience. To me, it was the best part of the trip. Thanks guys for giving me a taste of the G-Vegas games. I loved every second of it.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Table 16: A view from the 9 seat Part I

There are times in life when forces collide in just the right pattern that triggers an event you just didn't expect. When these natural phenomena occur, you can only bathe in the experience and enjoy the moment. Something special happened in the MGM poker room on Friday, December 11 which shall be told in tales for years to come. Like Woodstock, many will claimed to have played the game, but only a handful took a seat. This is my story about table 16.

I was sitting at a blackjack table in the Party Pit at the Excalibur. I was down $100 but was a bit perplexed by what was going on in front of me. Apparently the Excal thought that having girls dance as people gambled was a good idea. Me? I felt dirty. It was like playing 21 in a strip club except I was seeing any ta-tas.

Having gotten enough covered T&A, I got up and made the trek over the MGM poker room. Once there I signed up for a 1/2 table. I was about 4th on a list so I just hung out in front of the room checking my iPhone. About 5 minutes later I was called and told to report to table 16 where a new game was being opened. I stopped along the way to speak to Chilly where I was told I would be playing with Otis and GRob. Huh? I was confused as they play 2/5.

As I approached the table they were there. Otis has sat down in the 5 seat with GRob in the 8 seat. I could take the 6 or 9. I quickly recalled reading many a story about the G-Vegas games and immediately took the 9 seat. If I had learned anything about those games it was that I wanted to have position on GRob. As I sat down I asked Otis what he was doing slumming on the 1/2 table. He said the 2/5 either wasn't running yet or there was a list. GRob then asks if I knew him. I responded yes, I had met him before. I had also met GRob but he may not have remembered.

The game started innocently enough. If I recall correctly, seat 1 was a black man who liked to shove his chips around. Seat 2 was a young buck with a blue plaid hat. He was pretty aggressive, but not that good. Seat 3 was an attractive buxom blonde who was with blud plaid hat. She rarely played any cards but when she leaned back it put a smile on my face. Seat 4 I will call Brass Testicles as he opened and closed the game. It took some brass balls to play with this group. Seat 5 was Otis. Seat 6 was... hmm... who was in seat 6? I don't think anyone started in 6. Seat 7 eludes me as well. Seat 8 was GRob and I was there in 9. Seat 10 was a young LA douchebag type. He was cool but had too much stuff on his hands and wrists.

Game started ok. Nothing for cards was acceptable. I wanted to play "my game". Picked some spots to make a move until I could chip up and then kick in some aggression. I didn't play many pots to start. I did hit a flush when I called Brass Testicles' raise with 10 8 hearts. I called his flop bet just to hit my flush on the turn. We both checked. I then bet the river when he quickly checked. I was confident my 10 high flush was good and just grabbed some chips to put out there. I wanted to do it in a manner that made it look like I was betting just to take it down right there. He thought for a bit before calling my $30 and the pot was shipped my way.

This table played along just fine for a while. Unfortunately Otis took some lumps. He got sucked out on by LA Douch who went runner runner for a straight. He tangled with blue plaid hat a couple times giving and taking. Somehow Brass Testicles survived though he stopped playing many hands.

Things would liven up when GRob ran his hand into pocket aces. He then made the comment that he always finds the aces. He called himself Ace Finder and began to talk about how he would soon have his own TV show on the Encore channel. This prompted Otis to belt out in a nice falsetto "Ace Finder". It was like tipping a teetor totter to one side. The balance was off and we were slowly slipping into silliness. The Ace Finder talk kept it lively.

Soon blue plaid hat would take the hot buxom blonde away. I would sigh in sadness. The Penner brother would take over seats 1 & 2. The black guy hit trips and soon got out with his double. The Penners would stay a while. But it wasn't until the BadBlood and TheMark hit the room that things would devolve even further. They walked in and saw the 5 of us and two open seats. I think Blood drooled a bit before paying off the floor man $20 for seat 6.

With Blood in Seat 6 and TheMark taking Seat 3 it got all kinds of crazy. GRob made the comment to me that things were really about to change. That the time to play tight was nigh and be ready for wild action. That may have been the biggest understatement of the year. Maybe the decade.

TheMark got it going by doubling through Otis. Somehow he kept getting more chips. He literally had a mound of chips in front of him. His betting would consist of just grabbing a handful and dropping them on the table. Sometimes he would use the bulldozer techniqueand push part of the mass in front of him over the line. Any which way he did it, the bets were big and out of control.

BadBlood seemed to revel in this insanity. Years of death metal may have prepared him for this dance with the devil. His stack was like a yo yo going up and down. He had rebought a couple of times. And he was using his stack aggressively as well. These boys kept me in check with the action. I was ok for the most part, trying to be patient and find a place to strike. I kept chatting up GRob for tips on how to play these guys. I had a little table experience with Blood but nothing with TheMark.

Soon The Luckbox CJ would take the 7 seat join as did TheMark's friend Mutray taking the 1 seat after The Penners would leave. Joe Speaker would take the 2 seat. Chips would be flying all over the place. Comments being tossed to and fro. Good friends taunting each other and seeing who had the balls to bluff someone out of a pot. Big stacks being tossed. New episode of Ace Finder being discussed ("Daddy, I seemed to have lost my aces. What do I do? This is a job for Ace Finder!!") Hilarity ensued.

How the hell did I get in the middle of the G-Vegas home game?

Now we have a table of people that know each other. Except for Brass Testicles in seat 2 and the ever changing seat 10. One guy showed up and was given a warning by Otis about the Tom Foolery going on. He said he could handle it. But he couldn't. He watched one hand and picked up his chips and walked. Another guy would soon sit down, get the same warning, and be felted in a couple orbits. It wasn't until Iggy sat in 10 that this Motley Crew would be finalized.

Coming up in Part II...
5k on the table
Tip Tip!
All stand for the playing of our national anthem
Dodging a bullet
They cut off the table???
One last bang.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Damn that was fun

It was 11:45 on Sunday night. I was tired, kinda drunk, and had a belly full of a stuffed cheeseburger. At that moment I realized I had reached my saturation point. I had had enough of Las Vegas. It was time to say the goodbyes and make the sad walk out of the casino leaving behind friends but feeling rich with more memories. Another year and another great time. I can't begin to say how lucky I am to have so many great friends. Friends who like to bust loose, have fun, and tell the world to bugger off for a weekend.

Where to begin with all of them? I guess the beginning make sense. Once I had checked in I was trying to get in touch with Special K to let him know he wouldn't have to wait in line when he got into town. Problem was I didn't have his phone number. But I did have Falstaff's so I sent him a text. I received a response asking who I was. I thought John should have my number but maybe he didn't so I identified myself. In return I was given this:
I don't care who you are cause I am notifying the police cause I have your # don't have to know your name don't text this # anymore.
Interesting. I guess he changed numbers. I was hoping he was playing a prank cuz that would have been funny. Whoever has that number didn't have to be such a bitch about it.

Other things that happened:
  • got a bit blitzed the first night. Was comfortably number by 2:30
  • Table 16. This is a who story in its own right. Those G-Vegas boys know how to make a poker game a blast. It was like playing in their home game.
  • The Mark. Thanks for paying off my quad deuces.
  • Slow rolling the Mark on those deuces. It was Iggy's idea and it was worth it just to hear the table erupt. Sorry man. No hard feelings?
  • Steel Panther. Great time as always. The playlist in Pauly style: Dr Feelgood> Youth Gone Wild> I Wanna Rock >Asian Hooker >Cherry Pie >Home Sweet Home> Satchel Solo >Every Rose Has it's Thorn >Lick it Up >Sweet Child o' Mine >Turn Out the Lights >Don't Stop Believing
  • Donk poker at GVR after the show. Watching Dr. Chako and Drizz battle it out for who had the most chips on the table. Bought in that is. Impressive Wall of Death by Chako.
  • Nice job by AlCantHang in the tournament. I think he is still on tilt because he didn't win it.
  • Watching Iggy eat food court calamari.
  • Watching the UFC fights with Iggy, Cali Jen, and Caity. Can't believe I was stupid enough to make bets on the Sanchez/Penn and Guida/Florian fights. Damn dogs could do nothing but get bloodied up.
  • If I don't go back to Palace Station again I will be happy.
  • Lagasse Stadium at the Palazzo was awesome. Nice job Venetian! I hope he did run the waitress ragged. She did one helluva job!
  • Hijinks at the Geisha bar, of course.
  • FeltingDoubling through CK (thanks for the correction) in a hit and run at the IP poker table. I did announce I was going to make one big move. Go long or go home. AJ dominates her A 4! Then others showed up and looked too serious. It was an easy decision to hit and run.
I was profitable until the final day once again. I should learn to never gamble on the day I am leaving. I never win. Never. So what had been up a couple hundred became down about a hundred. If I had all the money I spent on booze, food, and cabs I would have more than I left with. But the money spent on the booze was worth it. Can't say the same for the food as I ate a lot of crap. Did not have a good meal all weekend. Good company but not a great meal.

It was nice seeing everyone again as well as meeting some people for the first time. I am not going to name names because I don't want to leave anyone out. But you know who you are.

Is it wrong to watch this lady at the airport trying to buy something on eBay? You can't wait until you get home to buy that knick-knack?

I can't wait to read Derek's recap. It is among the best. Thanks again everyone at the Venetian, at PokerStars, and the staff at the Geisha bar. Hope to see you all again sooner rather than later.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Table 16

I survived Table 16

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Uh...what happened to the snow?

The forecast started at 8 to 14 inches. It then became 6 to 9. Last night it was heavy snow after 7 with at least 5 inches by the lake. And this morning…..nothing. My cat woke me up at 4:25 so I figured I’d take a look outside to see the damage. All I saw was wetness. No snow just wet pavement. I live 3 blocks from Lake Michigan and apparently the lake kept the area warm enough which caused it to rain and not snow. Sounds good to me and my back.

But I am not out of the woods yet. It is wet out and the temperatures are expected to plummet. As into single digits. The precipitation is not over and I will end up with some snow. I will need to clean up later today. That is after a potentially treacherous ride home. There is a lot of snow where I work and it is still coming down along with branches from the trees. I am hoping the freeway and city streets are not one big ice rink by the time I leave work.

I have seen a number of itineraries floating around. Here’s mine:

Thursday- Say a prayer that Milwaukee’s airport runways are not ice rinks and that my plane leaves on time. Arrive in Vegas around 11. Hope the reservations at New York New York have been updated and Special K was able to get my name in their books. If not, curse, plead, and attempt to bribe the hotel staff. If I can check in, dump bags, get a beer, and walk across to the MGM and see who may be around. Think about grabbing something to eat. End up at Geisha some time that night. Find method of transportation back to hotel that does not include a wheelchair.

Friday- Wake up. Figure out where I am. Go do something. Later go to Green Valley Ranch for Steel Panther. How is that for planning?

Saturday- Grab Bloody Mary, Screwdriver, or some other morning alcoholic beverage to wake myself up for poker tournament. Find Caesars. Play poker. Find bar that has the UFC Pay Per View on. As Iggy says, I gots to see Penn vs. Sanchez.

Sunday- Time for some football. This Lagasse Stadium thing sounds pretty cool. Drink beer, make bets, eat wings, drink beer, watch Cowboys win, drink beer, maybe get the ribs, drink beer. Maybe take a trip to the Gold Coast for some Pai Gow. The icey pit boss who doesn’t smile sounds interesting. Drizz is confident he can make her grin without taking his pants off.

Monday- Feel melancholy as the weekend is over. Catch plane back home to the cold.

Monday, December 07, 2009

The snow better not stop me

The weather report calls for maybe 3 inches of snow today. My house by the lake may get spared the brunt of it. I am expecting just a dusting. But tomorrow night is a different story. The early call is 8 to 14 inches of snow, with high winds. The good news is that is Tuesday night and not Wednesday. Things should be cleaned up so I can escape on Thursday morning. Looks like I will be watching the weather quite closely for the next couple of days.

I continued to go through my warm up rounds. Been mixing in some NL Hold Em with the PLO8. I am beginning to feel comfortable again though I am not cleaning up. Yesterday was the typical result for me. Grind my way up by hitting some cards and making some good reads. Then make the right move and get K K vs A J just to see the A hit the flop. Drop half of what I was up and then move downward from there as nothing seems to connect. I end up winning a little bit but not close to what I was up. If I wasn't on a nice little run in PLO8 I would be getting frustrated.

I played in the Justin Shronk Memorial last night. Went out when I had K Q up against A K. All the chips went in on the flop that was Q high. The A promptly hit on the turn. Seen quite a bit of that lately in the tournament I have played. Good news is I am making the right move. Bad news is that luck ain't on my side. I have a couple of days for that to change.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

I think Tarheels should be buying me a beer next weekend

The rocket-like roar rose up from the floor of the Kohl Center on Wednesday night, drifted out over the streets of Madison, across the Big Ten Conference and perhaps to every corner of the nation.

Duke's unblemished record is history, this season and in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
JSOnline, 12/3/09

The Wisconsin Badgers beat the Duke Blue Devils last night. I figure that made many a fan in North Carolina- if not around the country- pretty damn happy. Me? Meh. I am not into basketball but I am into celebrating Badger victories.

Thus I think anyone who hates and despises the Duke basketball team should buy me a beer in Vegas next weekend. I know the Duke loss makes you happy. Share the happiness with a home grown Badger fan and laugh at the Dukies.

Beside, you may gain an advantage in the tourney on Saturday. Team Wheelchair likes its drink.

Go Team Wheelchair!!!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

The greatest metal band you never heard

From the sordid streets of Hollywood, 4 brash and not too bright young men came together to form the greatest metal band you never heard.
-Steel Panther, Behind the Music

And again, the legend grows. What started with BadBlood at the Hard Rock Hotel has progressed into the must see show of the WPBT. Steel Panther at the Green Valley Ranch on Friday night. Click the link above to view the story of Steel Panther.

Then watch the video. Hopefully you won't shit your dick off.

Join the entourage Friday and head over to GVR. If you don't like the show you can always hit up the poker room. Word is it is soft.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Turkey Cup 2009

I was mediocre in Pauly's Turkey Cup yesterday. Finished 39 in a field of 80 something. To an extent I feel I did ok considering that my pc froze up about 15 minutes into the game. It took my at least another 15 to get things shut down and back up. I returned just in time to see Derek go down in flames and Pauly egging him on to harass me from the rail. Man I love those McGrupps!

I busted when I got too frisky with A 9o. Yeah, you read that right. I call a standard raise from the BB. Flop was A 3 4. I went for the check raise and lost to A Qs. I have thought about this play for a bit now and still feel it was the way to go. I was seeing some loose play from the table and a lot of people making moves with A rag. I was willing to bet that my opponent didn't have an ace there and that my kicker would be good enough. I could have folded with 2600 behind and blinds at 75/150 but a double puts me into contention for the long haul and I felt it was time to go yard or go to bed. I guess the bed beckoned louder.

I played some more SnGs over the weekend to bad results. Those buyins were balanced by cash game winnings. I am trying to find my tourney game. I am playing either too tight or too loose and not getting too far. Now that PokerStars has added $2000 to the Up for Poker last longer bet, I need to figure out where this game of mine is at.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The dipping-my-toe-back-in-the-poker-waters-before-Vegas post

Got back into the game somewhat on Saturday. I like to call it the 3 week boot camp. Play some tourneys and ring games in anticipation for Vegas. Learn enough back to handle the MGM 1/2 games and not embarrass myself in the tournament or so I hope.

I tried to figure out what level of NL ring game would be most like the MGM small game. I even stayed smart and figured I shouldn't dump a lot if I went on tilt. I had a PLO8 game up for that. I settled on .10/.25. It seemed like a nice shake the rust off level and losing $25 bucks wasn't going to have any effect on me.

I found myself doing a little chasing early without hitting. I could feel the flow coming back. The intuitions on what people may have and whether I had the right odds to go for it. In the end it came down to one hand. A A vs. K K. No K hit the board and I doubled up. It got me to thinking about whether I would have pushed to a re-raise like my opponent did with K K. I think I would rather see a flop there because I didn't have any read on the guy. It then made me chuckle when I thought of people that say how much they hate A A.

I donked my way out of a 54 player SnG at 16 when I thought the guy on my left was being a bully. I completed from the SB with A 5 and then called his push. I had seen him do it before with two face cards and figured he was doing it again. He had 7 7 instead and even though I drew more outs on a flop of 2 3 6, I could hit any of them and was done. It left me wondering if the 54 player SnGs are that aggressive nowadays.

I will have to get some more time in this week. Hopefully I will remember to sign up and play in Pauly's Turkey Bowl on Thursday. I would link it up but Blogger is not working with me today.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Team Wheelchair is born

If I hadn't been on that Twitter thing I probably wouldn't have seen The Challenge. CJ actually posted to Up for Poker the traditional last longer bet. Later Captain Drizz would put out some feelers about getting together. Reverend Al chimed locked it up and proposed the team name in honor of Drizz.

And thus Team Wheelchair was born.

I am sure you can find us at the bar talking strategy before the tournament. And by talking strategy I mean doing shots and other assorted beverages. You can find us by our logo.

Go Team Wheelchair!!!!

For the background on the wheelchair story, check out my other blog.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I tried to add to the mantle

I am disappointed. I had a chance to add another trophy to the mantle by becoming the Skittles Champion of Green Bay. But I came up short, running a lesser two pair. I was so close to dominating the Candy Poker Tour. Now I need to regroup.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What are those Cackalacky boys up to?

I am won't be able to listen to a bit later today but I can't wait. To say this should be interesting is an understatement.

“Press release” from bloggers Falstaff and Special K

Gambling Tales Podcast is now available. Join Falstaff (John Hartness) and Special K (Curtis Krumel) as we take you through the best in lies and legends about gambling today and through the ages. . Show #001 with Badblood and the origins of gambling is available immediately. New shows are scheduled to appear every two weeks. Guests scheduled to appear in future shows include Dr. Pauly, Lee Jones, Dr. David Schwartz (UNLV – Roll the Bones)

The podcast is available at

RSS Feed:

Available on iTunes at

It will be searchable on iTunes by the weekend.

Email address for Questions, Comments, and Suggestions:

Monday, November 09, 2009

Close to perfect sports weekend.

It is Monday so of course I am tired. Sleep was elusive once again last night. Besides drinking beer and watching some bad football during the day, I did get to enjoy a very satisfying Dallas Cowboys victory last night. If only the Badgers had won on the ice Saturday night, I would be clutching Drizz's mobneys, gettign ready to taunt his varmint hockey team. But it wasn't to be.

I have tried to put my finger on what made the game feel so good. What it a win against a tough team on their home field, a place the Cowboys have been knocked around consistently? Was it Tony Romo winning a big game? Was it the defense coming up big by stuffing McNabb for no gain on 4th and inches. Was it unknown receiver Kevin Ogletree making two big plays on screen passes? Was it Marion Barber and the offensive line delivering the needed yardage to close the game out with over four and a half minutes left on the clock?

It was a little bit of it all. Sure the Cowboys didn’t look perfect but they didn’t need to. They just needed to play their game, prevent the big play, and not get down on themselves. They kept the crowd out of it. The Philadelphia fans seemed shellshocked and quiet for chunks of the game. I know they felt the Eagles were going to unload at some point. When they scored the go ahead touchdown to start the third quarter they probably thought the game was over.

But the Cowboys defense thought otherwise.

A big interception and soon the game was tied. A last grab for an ankle by rookie linebacker Victor Butler prevented McNabb from gaining at least 20 yards and whipping the crowd into a total frenzy. Then the running back said he the game was done. Coach Phillips challenged the offensive line to go win the game. Barber told the D thanks for the job and go to the locker room.

Yes the victory feels good and makes for a tired Monday to be bearable. But that is only the halfway point of the season. The Packers getting embarrassed in Tampa makes the game at Lambeau that much tougher. The Cowboys will need to keep their heads clear and not get ahead of themselves. They need to continue to play well.

After all, December games have not been cancelled.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Damn varmints on ice

Thanks for the advice on the mac vs pc purchase. I will be going the mac route and now need to decide whether to keep it simple with a macbook or go for a bigger screen on a macbook pro.

Anyone have advice on where to buy? The Apple store may seem like the easy route but I have seen some other sites that offer discounts on what appears to be the same machine. Do people usually buy their mac straight from Apple?

Drizz: You and your dirty varmints on ice are going down this weekend! It is on!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Do I get a Mac?

It has been a couple weeks since I last played some poker. Work and other responsibilities have been getting in the way. When I have had some time I just haven't been interested in playing. When I have been interested I have arm wrestled with my pc to keep the game flowing. Too many times I have been playing 2-3 tables where I try to play some music just to have the system go into total lockdown mode. It pisses me off when it happens and I can only think how it perturbs the others at the table.

The pc is around 10 years old. I have tried to clean it up the best I can (read: best I know how) but think it is time to put it out to pasture. Especially now that the monitor seems to be breaking down as well going into a yellow screen mode. Seriously, how can I play poker and watch porn if the screen goes yellow?

So do I make the big jump to a Mac? I am leaning that way. Would rather spend the extra dollars and have something that I can rely on. People I know with Macs rarely have anything bad to say. But pcs are so much cheaper. Word is Windows 7 is much better and reliable.

Do I go laptop vs. desktop? Laptops are convenient but I get more with the desktop. Considering the iPhone is like a little laptop makes me lean to a basic iMac.

One thing I have considered is how easily I can play poker on a Mac. According to, Full Tilt and Poker Stars have access but Bodog does not. It is enough to keep me going while plugging in the pc elsewhere when needed.

Given the option, what would you smart people do? Mac vs. pc? Lap vs. desk?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Maybe it was the Badugi

I was killing time on Saturday before going to the bar to watch the Badger football game. I had logged in to PokerStars to play some 2-7 Triple Draw. As I plodded along shaking off the rust, I started to play a little bit of Badugi as well. I stuck to the play money game to get a sense of what was going on.

I ended at a small profit on the TD game when my mind started wandering. The Badugi game was kinda fun but worthless as everyone stayed in and kept drawing down no matter how bad their hands were. Just what I expected for play money.

Before I would log off I had to slide over to check the lines on Sunday's games. There were two games I was interested in. I took a look at the line for the Panthers/Redskins game first. Carolina was giving 3.5. Looked good as I expected the Deadskins to get trounced.

I then stared at the other game. I looked and felt strong about it but in the end couldn't pull the trigger.

Dallas Cowboys -8.5 vs the Kansas City Chiefs.

I wanted to take the Chiefs and the points. But went against the core of my beliefs. I logged out instead of placing any bets. Like many others, I don't bet on my own team no matter how tempting it may seem.

See, in the end the odds are against you. No, not any kind of gambling odds. Odds of staying sane. Let's think about the outcomes, of which only one is good.
  1. I take the Cowboys and they lose outright. I am pissed off that they lost to the Chiefs and out the money I put on them.
  2. I take the Cowboys and they win, but don't cover. Happiness is offset by the hole in the bankroll.
  3. Take the Chiefs and hope they cover. The only spot that is a true winner. Cowboys win and cover netting me a profit in the head, heart, and wallet.

1 of 3 chances leads to pure joy. Not worth it.

I felt the Cowboys would have problems in K.C. It was this nugget that started it. The visiting team had never won in this series. Not once. Now granted they don't square off against each other too often but that led to nugget number two. K.C. is the type of team that gives the Cowboys trouble. It doesn't matter what their record it. They give the 'Boys problems. Same with the Detroit Lions. I am glad the Cowboys are not playing the Lions this year because once again the Lions would give them fits. Cincinnati does it to Dallas as well.

Nugget #3 has more sanity to it. Injuries. WR1, RB2, and SS were all out. RB1 was still not 100% and C was iffy. Too many holes to fill after a rough loss. Thus I felt the Chiefs and the points looked good.

Oh and I forgot. Someone needs to tell the Dallas Cowboys that the fourth quarter is like the other 3. It lasts for 15 minutes. Not 13. Hopefully the defense can figure that out on the bye week.

Instead Cowboys fans are left with a small sense of relief. But that relief isn't good. This win feels like a loss. And with just 16 attempts at feeling good on a Monday (or Tuesday or Friday) it hurts to not get that good day after when you should.

Sunday, October 04, 2009


I have been on a bit of a poker sabbatical. Things are busy at work with quarter end and I haven't had the time to sit down and play. Of course that doesn't mean I haven't ended my degenerate ways.

The NFL has been good to me. Won a pool the other day which means I am freerolling for the year. The Bucs and Colts covered for me today. All I need is a certain team to come through today and I can rest easy.

Who knows, I may then play some poker.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Testing 1 2 3

Just downloaded the new BlogPress app for Blogger and seeing how well it works. Like the fact the keyboard changes when you turn the phone. So far so good.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Old school game music

No poker, just video I found amusing. I know of people that will play the actual music from the Super Mario game at bars so when I saw this I thought it was funny as well.

Especially after seeing this gem a year ago.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Gone fishin'

I had some nice time away from the tables last week. Did the "unplugged" thing and went halfway across the state to go camping. While out there, I also did some fishing, something I hadn't done for about 20 years. Best thing was I really enjoyed it. Though the fishing wasn't very bountiful, I found the lake to be the perfect place to relax and soak in the peacefulness of a morning fog burning off as the sun rose.

It took me a couple days to decide to log back in to play some cards. I thought of taking some time off but I then recalled a comment Drizz had left last week about the streaks he has had in PLO8. I thought about the comment while I was camping. Someone much better at the game had been through wilder swings than I have. It has been a rough couple of weeks but the weeks prior to that were pretty damn good.

After thinking about the downswing I am on, I began to think about why it was happening. Was it bad cards or bad play? Am I the victim of a bad playing nit who got lucky or am I the nit playing bad and just not catching? I think too many times poker players want to blame another player for "getting lucky" instead of realizing they played poorly. There were a number of times where I played poorly, like last week when I thought I could kill a bottle of brandy and play PLO8 at the same time. 3 buyins later I gave up and focused on the brandy. I failed at that too and only drank just under half of it.

But beyond that I don't think I played that bad. I was changing up my game and playing a bit looser when the table got tight and tighter when it got loose. I played good hands that had 4 cards working together. I folded when I didn't have a great draw. I didn't chase too often. Yeah, I did some chasing but not much.

If anything, I wonder if I played too cautiously. This became evident over the last week and was personified tonight. With hand of A, A, 3 4, I raised from the button. There were 3 players seeing the flop. It came 2, 8, 8. I checked to me and I bet half the pot. Only the small blind called. I didn't like that. I instantly knew I was behind to trips. But the turn was an A. Sweet. I bet just under the size of the pot and was just called again. River was a 6. I bet pot and was instantly raised all in. I was shocked. First thought was the guy slow played quads. I took my time and began to think about my bad luck. I even typed in "quads?" and "I can't fold this". I knew there was no way I could, or was going to, fold this hand. Then I realized I had a very strong low and called. I scooped the pot as he had a lower boat and no low.

I was then berated by another player who wasn't involved in the hand. He said I slowrolled the guy. I thought for a bit and realized that yes, it did appear that I did inadvertently slowroll the guy. Didn't mean to but I did.

Once again I am thinking I am up against quads? I need to get that out of my mind. In the end I doubled up at one table and was up 50% at the other. Hopefully it is the start of an upswing.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

PLO8 pain

There are times I wonder why I play PLO8. The kicks to the nads seem more painful than a suckout in hold em. Sure the nits will pay off more but it doesn't make the bruises less painful.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

FOQin' insane

I think I may have an affliction. It is shameful to even admit this but it did happen for a couple seconds on Monday during a PLO8 game. I may have FOQ. Fear of Quads.

The game is 6 handed .25/.50 PLO8. I call from mid position with A 4 4 J, with the A and J being spades. The SB calls and the BB goes for the min-raise. I call along but the SB drops. Usually preflop raises in this game are a big signal. If he raised pot it would scream AA or KK. But the min raise tells me he has small wheel type cards. I would raise with that as well.

The flop is 3 3 4.

Bingo, bango, bongo! He checks and I decide what to do. I want to bet. I am not slow playing this. Last time I flopped a boat and slow played someone rivered a higher boat on me. With just 4s full it could happen again. But I also consider his min-raise and what I thought it meant. Wheel type cards. He will call anything I bet. I can build a pot or take down a small one. I bet pot.

I expected a call. But instead he raised. Huh? He raised? Not only did raise but he raised pot. Usually they raise this early with the mortal nuts. That is when it happened. I stopped and said aloud "Great! He flopped quads on me. Damn it!"

A second or two after saying that, I felt pretty damn foolish. Am I going to play this game fearing everyone is flopping quads on me? Hell, that is a stupid thing to think. If I am going to fold every time the board pairs and I have a boat then I might as well take my money out, delete the software, and never play cards again.

A calmer presence took over. I thought for a second and raised pot. If he has it, he has it, but now I don't think he has it. He wouldn't have raised if he had it. He may let one more card fall to guarantee the trap. I think he is drawing and I hope he will commit the rest of his stack to draw at half the pot.

All the money goes in and he shows a great low draw. He has a ton of outs for the low pot and would need runner runner to take the high. The 9 on the turn guarantees me the high and the face card on the river shoves a big pot in my direction doubling me up.

I was happy but also very disappointed. How could I be insane enough to think the guy flopped quads on me? A couple bad beats has me living in fear of more bad beats. Not a way to play the game. Good news is I think I have shrugged it off.

Anyone watching the Beavis and Butthead poker show otherwise known at 2 months, 2 million? A bunch of geeky poker players go to Vegas with the goal of making $2 million in 2 months. Take 4 dorks, put them in a house, allow them to use every poker cliche in the world, and act immature because they think they are someone because they have money and call it a TV show. They probably are damn good poker players, much better than I. But social skills and a better vision of life are more valuable than any of the bank rolls these clowns may have.

Monday, August 24, 2009

4 card bingo

Omaha is a challenging game. It can test your limits. It will challenge your patience. It will make you mad. Watching nuts hands on the flop become weaker and weaker at the turn and river hit can take you to the brink of poker sanity.

That is why some call it 4 card bingo. Flopped a straight? Don't matter. The guy chasing the low just hit and you split the pot. Or the board pairs up and they have a full house and scoop the entire thing. Slow play? Don't be an idiot.

My weekend was an interesting one on the tables. I ended up losing about a buyin. That came from running a boat into quads. But I did have fun. I just wish I could have taken the bingo players for more money.

There were two separate occasions when I had an aggro donk at the table. I watched in fascination at they kept raising and/or betting and while showing crap hands. Their chip stacks fluctuated wildly like they were riding a roller coaster as they played. Their method was to raise a hand from late position no matter what they had. If they were in EP it was a limp. See the flop and respond to the action. Bet if it is checked to you, fold or call if you caught a piece of it. It was always bet POT too. No half pot or min bet. The turn either made their hand or they folded. They were going all in or folding on the turn. Two pair? Push!

Watching how people played back at them was very informative. From one guy berating him for playing bad hands to others letting him put his money out there. I tried to let him think he was controlling the action. Call his flop bets as they usually meant he didn't hit. Raise on the turn to extract value (if he had two pair he was going to call) from any trips or better. Push with the nuts on the river even if acting first. He may call with that two pair.

The system worked for him. Well, to an extent. He bought in for $20, ran it up to $60 and went bust. Rebought for another $20 and ran it up to over $100 before losing it. His comments to the haters showed he didn't care about the money. It was all sport. It was about seeing what would happen and just having fun. Hell, I have done that playing 2/4 limit at the IP in early morning session. Raising blind and playing it down without looking at cards.

I found myself thinking about the general style I witnessed. I try not to get too aggressive in a game of draws and re-draws. I had a number of hands go back this weekend trying to protect them. But the aggro method seemed to rule. I think some people figured out that most play is passive on the flop and betting pot to take it down worked out most of the time. Take down several small pots and you build a stack quite quickly.

I will have to adjust my game accordingly. And hopefully I can avoid running into quads again.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ooooooooohhhhh, what a rush!

Poker players generally feel better when they discover holes in their game. They feel great when they are able to adjust and plug said hole. It is all about the learning process, of improving play to a better level and making money.

Yesterday I discovered a hole in my game. It may not truly be a hole but it is something I hadn't done much of in the past. I had 3 tables of PLO8 running last night on Full Tilt. I lost half a buy-in on two of them within the first 30 minutes. I made some river calls that weren't the best losing to higher flushes. In each case I bought some chips back for leverage. But it was on the one table that I made a change that helped on all 3 tables.

I played the rush.

Yes, it is that simple. I won a nice sized pot and then went on a rampage. It wasn't that I was getting good cards. They were good but they weren't great by PLO8 standards (well mine at least). I have read many a better player talk about how they were making calls on raises with good but not great hands against certain players. They took faith in the rush they were on and milked it for all it was worth. I finally jumped on that bandwagon and went for a ride.

It helped to have an aggro at the table. This guy would raise most hands and follow up with a continuation bet on the flop. I took a nice size pot off of him when he called me down with his flush to my boat. I then started playing back at him when it was just us in the hand. I made some calls with only high hands and started hitting them. I would let him bet out and then pop him on the river. This happened for 5 hands straight and soon I was just about tripled up.

Better yet, it helped me on the other two tables as well. Whereas I was down on each, I started grinding my way back up and soon had broken even. Of course it helped to have a donkey on my left who kept calling me down when I had a nut nut.

Playing the rush seems like such a simple idea. Sure it can get you into trouble as well but it feels good to feel in total control and invincible for a while.

I may take care of my Vegas plans this week. I have a place to stay thanks to Special K. And after reading Kid Dynamite's latest trip report, I feel that these four months will seem like eternity. How do you not wish it was December after reading this?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Seeking time

I haven't had much time to play poker lately. Either work has taken over or there are just many other things to do during summer. I have been trying to take advantage of the time I do have to play. Full Tilt's bonus is a good deal and allows me to multi table the PLO8 games. Results are mixed. I either squeak out little gains or drop a buyin. Once in a while I catch a nice win but for the most part things seem to be Even Steven.

I think I should take the time to get a new pc as well. What I have is about 10 years old and slowing down. There is a good chance that if I click on the "last hand" function on FTP that it may freeze me up for a couple of minutes. Being that I have the brain of a drunken chimp I never remember this until it is too late and I am folded out of a couple hands for being disconnected.

I tried some software to clean things up but it only made my pc slower. Seriously, I am not kidding. I am thinking a cheap laptop may take care of my needs. Any suggestions?

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Snooze you lose

So much for a great rate at New York New York. Prices are going mid 80s now. Should have put in a reservation. But there is plenty of time to plan.

Bammer, you may want to check in on the Riviera. Looks like they are going belly up and may not even be open come December.

Update: Guess I should have waited until I got home. Had an email from NYNY showing rates averaging $65 (total bill including taxes) for the weekend. There is one catch though. If you reserve a room and cancel it, you will forfeit your deposit. I will have to think twice and make sure I can get those days off of work.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Planning stage

I have been doing a bit of planning around here lately. Specifically checking out flights to Vegas in December and checking room rates. The last couple of years I have stayed at the Imperial Palace as it has been the center of attention. Sure it is a dump in the middle of the strip but I don’t need a fancy place to sleep. It is like a pair of old tennis shoes. They may not look great but they are comfortable and get the job done.

I know a lot of people prefer the MGM poker room to pretty much any room on the strip. It seems that most are migrating to that end for that simple reason. I checked the rates at the MGM and unless you are willing to spend $500 guaranteed the rates are that great. I just can’t see spending over a $100 a night for a room I may not use much.

I then checked Harrah’s site to see what things were at. No specials were offered for December yet. Typical low prices for the rooms through November. I then noticed that all of my Rewards points were wiped out. Huh? I guess the 6 month of no use rule is in effect. I then stumbled across the Las Vegas Advisor Question of the Day that lambasted the people running the Harrahs properties. Though some people did write it to say they were treated well, the majority of the article was very negative. With them taking away my point I don’t think I will be staying there unless they cough up free rooms like they had in the past.

I did see that New York New York had some good rates in December. Around $55 a night. Having never stayed there and liking the Pai Gow tables in their casino I may go with it. Just across the street from the MGM and paying roughly half the price. I think the bridge over the strip might be just enough to sober me up.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The one time one time one time Saturdays with Pauly tourney

Notes version. Too lazy to write things up and am on tilt.

Saturdays with Pauly. 48 runners. PLO

Slowed down my aggression early on. Flop a straight but not the nuts and did value bet the river.

Raised in EP and got 6 callers. WTF?

Raised with A A 8 4 without realizing they weren't suited. Continuation bet on 5 5 6 gets a caller. I check the turn but go for the value bet this time. Not sure what he had but my aces were good.

Get A A again, this time with a 6 and 4 with one suited. I decide to re-raise BadBlood here. He had chipped up quickly and I think he is trying to roll the table. He calls and we see a flop of K 7 5. I have the overpair and an OESD. I bet a paltry 250 into a 1000 pot. Blood decides to go all in. I call to see he does not have a flush draw but did flop two pair. I hit a 3 on the turn for the staight and pop up to the top of the tournament.

Get lucky on another hand versus Blood. We both flop a broadway straight but I improve to the nut flush on the turn. I can't extract any more chips out of him though.

At the first break I am in second place behind Dr. Chako? What the heck? PLO is so rigged.

I bust Blood after the break with a full house and then get moved to a new table. To the right of on-thg. He has a monster stack so I need to tread carefully.

But I don't. I lose a monster pot right away, set over set on the flop. We both improve to a full house but my 8s are no match for his Ks. Should have known better. Gotta try not to tilt. I dump some more chips on the next hand and suddenly have gone from top of the heap to needing a double up to survive.

That doesn't happen and I am done. Couldn't fight off the tilt.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Christmas in July

A one time event! Some people must have been good this year.

I must remember to set an alarm to hit this up. One of my favorite tournament series mainly because it wasn't hold em. Everyone should show up. It doesn't matter if you don't understand Omaha. You can win at 4 card bingo.

Somehow this seems appropriate

Monday, July 20, 2009

Crappy review of a good book

I had been meaning to take the time to write up a bit of a review of a poker book I recently read. The book, Check-raising the Devil, about Mike "the Mouth" Matusow is worth reading even though you won't know by this crappy synopsis.

See, I read the book a month ago and really enjoyed it. I like these kinds of stories. No, not one where some guy goes on a drug bender, wasting his money and ends up in jail. No, stories that are real. Things that actually happened and are retold. It is one of the things that makes Positively 5th Street as good as it is.

But days have gone by and I never jotted down what I wanted to say and now don't recall much. Going to Def Leppard/Poison concerts and drinking all weekend may do that to you I guess. But let me try this anyways in outline form:
  • What is with the first chapter? One page? I thought I had a defective book.
  • Give Matusow credit for allowing people to document his life. Not a lot of good things happened to this man. He brought it on himself and though he couldn't handle it at times, survived.
  • I always heard he wasn't like the person you see on TV. That he was quite different and the antics you see at the table help him win money. I believe that after reading this book. Especially with the company he keeps. Some of his friends wouldn't be there if he was that douchebag on TV.
  • I couldn't help but want him to win. I would like to see Matusow win another bracelet.
  • He had a chance to invest in Full Tilt Poker. On the ground floor even. But he chose to blast through $250,000 in sport betting. WOW!

Go get the book. An at times tragic story about what seems to be a genuinely good guy.

end of crappy review of a really good book

How about something that isn't crappy?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

That Ivey guy plays a pretty good game

With Sebok gone, all eyes are on Phil Ivey. He's been in this spot twice
before in the last eight years. One bad hand against Chris Moneymaker in 2003
shaped the rest of the poker industry. Perhaps Ivey will get karmic payback and
make a run at the November Nine.

If Phil Ivey can advance one more day... everyone wins. The fans. The
suits. ESPN/441 Productions. The online poker moguls. The corporate sponsors.
Purina's Puppy Chow. The show shine guy in front of the Hooker Bar. Everyone.
That's what the public wants... more Phil Ivey. And the deeper that Phil Ivey
goes... the more money that everyone makes. Me included. Shit, I might just join
in with his rabid fans on the rail and chant, "Ivey! Ivey! Ivey!" every time a
dealer ships him a pot.

-Tao of Poker

Pauly is been spot on about what Ivey advancing to November would mean. Sure Phil Ivey is a poker mega star. And you must wonder what he thinks about people chanting his name from the rail as he stacks chips. Here is possibly the most calm, cool, and collected guy in the game today doing nothing more than his job by going deep in the biggest tournament of the year. For anyone to dodge bullets, handle the bad beats, and not get knocked out by some Euro donk who was gunning for his is a feat.

It could be the next pop for poker. The resurrection of online poker, especially Full Tilt. A pro winning the World Series of Poker could start another boom in convincing people that they want to play like him and can do it. Sure it sounds strange but I don't think it is that far fetched. You know ESPN would run with it on their broadcasts. A very quiet, likable guy with a chance to win it all.

Here's to hoping he can make it through another day.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Then it got interesting

"They are all idiots," said Benjo. "They deserve to be shut out! They would have busted out on Day 2 anyway. They are saving their money by not getting in."
- Benjo quoted by Pauly on Tao of Poker

Just when I thought that the WSOP was boring and I had little interest in it this year, it blew up in controversy today. It appears that despite warnings from Harrahs about the event selling out, people took their sweet time to register and waited a bit too long and got shut out. A bunch of whiny poker players didn't get their way and now they are pouting about it.


I personally don’t like it when people throw a tantrum and get their way. With our politically correct society that happens way too much nowadays. People miss out on opportunity because of their own actions but manage to bitch, moan, and complain into what they want. They end up hiring lawyers or whining to politicians who waste time by getting involved in private enterprises. Somehow I doubt poker players will call lawyers but it wouldn’t surprise me.

I give Harrahs credit for taking a stand. People had days to register. If the event meant that much to them they would have made sure they had their spot in the tournament the day they arrived in Vegas. And if they chose to arrive at the Rio on the last day of the first flights without having a seat then they took a risk and lost. Get over it. Life just taught you a lesson. A lesson Mommy and Daddy probably should have taught your pampered butt 20 years ago.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


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One of the more interesting games I have found at is the double or nothing tournaments. Half the tournament wins, half loses. It is that simple. Walk out a winner or be the loser. Just the kind of tournament if you need a quick fix or just want to build your bankroll in a conservative manner.

Check out today. Click here to download the software.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Away from the heat

For the first time in many years, I will not be going to Vegas in the summer months. I actually like going in the summer. I don't mind the blast furnace heat because the beer is always cold. I like that the crowds are a bit sparser so you can get around a bit easier. Plus it is usually 6 months since my last visit.

I rather forsake Vegas for a couple more months and maybe head down south around September. With Steel Panther on the road and not guaranteed to play GVR it seems like an easy decision.

F-Train posts an interesting tidbit from the WSOP this year. I know these late registrations would bother the hell out of me. It reeks of angle shooting. Think of it, you get a fresh stack and you are not fatigued. You can bypass the low blinds and get to where the real accumulation begins. I agree with F-Train. The period is way too long.

I have some time off next week as I spend some time at the world's largest music festival, Summerfest. Cold beer and music is such a nice combination. Will play some PLO8 by day and rock out at night. Who will I see? Good question that I answered here.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Thank you for the donatin

Been jamming along on the PLO8 tables for the past couple of days. Not all sessions have been winners but I have avoided the big loss. I am usually two tabling the .25/.50 games on Full Tilt. Yeah it isn't for huge money but for the game itself. Making money at the game is good but enjoying yourself is more important.

I have come to the conclusion that picking off a bluff or making a good call feels better in a PLO8 game. Busting the guy who is constantly raising in an attempt to run over the table is better than NLH. We all want to get the jackass to stop but when you felt him in PLO8 because you were patient, it is a better rush.

Or making a good read on what part of the pot a player is going for when they bet the river. Too many people get infatuated with hitting their low and taking half the pot. I used to that. But good old greed took over and I want the entire pot. SCOOOOOOOP! Making a read when you don't have a good low or high but are pretty confident your opponent is going after only one side is nice.

Toss in the hand or two where you just look at the replay in disbelief and wonder WTF just happened is a final reason to play 4 card split bingo. I am a firm believer in trying to think about why someone played a hand the way they did. But when someone re-raises you on the flop when they have no chance at any part of the pot unless they go runner runner will bend your brain backwards further than an 8 year old gymnast. It sometimes takes a minute or two to shake your brain back into place and go on with the game.

I picked off a couple of these this morning. And luckily, I dodged some bullets when I totally misread my opponent. Still trying to figure out how someone got all their money in with A 2 4 5 and a board showing K Q 9. I had a set of kings and gladly took his cash when the board ran out with him being dead on the turn. Thank you for the $45 donation.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Rooftop baseball, season 2

Heading down south to Chicago to watch single A minor league quality baseball this weekend. I am sure there will be some kind of poker played in between lots of beer consumption. I hope we make it to the lesbian bar as well. Looking forward to some time away from work and seeing some good friends.

Last year's view of the port-o-potty the Cubs play "baseball" in.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sweet action

Always late to the party, I noticed that Drizz had a check from Full Tilt bounce. I followed the path to Pokerati where the talk was of a federal crackdown on monies being received from poker sites. From there I somehow ended up at TripJax site where he had emails from both Full Tilt and PokerStars telling him not to cash the checks they sent.

Good news is that Full Tilt and PokerStars are not to blame for the problem and they were proactive in addressing and correcting the issues. What struck me though was that Full Tilt gave Trip $100 for the problem he encountered. $100 for his $300 withdrawal that went bad.

That seem pretty damn generous. A 33% return just for a bad check. How can I get in on some of that sweet action? It has to better than the thumping I got at the PLO8 table Monday night. Nothing would go right.

Finally, you all are familiar with the roll below listing friends who are writing for various outlets. Show them some love and support. One to also include is F-Train. He is writing for one of these (I am not sure which exactly) but also have some comments on his own blog. Add him to the roster!

Riding the F Train
Poker From the Rail
Tao of Poker
Wicked Chops Poker

Poker Stars Blog
Ulimate Bet Blog

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Tried but not quite there

I like my first table. On my left is Dr. Pauly, my right is LJ. I don't think either of them are online playing. Lucko is also at the table. Otherwise I am not familiar with the other 3. Tony Eusebio, 125 Will, or mclarich. Sorry guys.

LJ shows up and get hot quick. My AJs does not improve as I don't hit my flush. Still playing an 8 handed table with 3 gone.

I get my first good size pot when I hit my straight on the river. Gets me above the starting line. I was donking it up early making some bad calls. Deep stacks is goot.

Just when it looks like only 3 live players can rack up chips they move me to a new table. WTF?!?!?!? Now I am at a full table with everyone playing. First thing that happens is K Qs does not improve. Time to be patient. Lots of poker to be played.

First big hand of the night. A A. I am UTG and tempted to just call but I am not a fan of that move. I raise and get one caller. Flop is 2 3 9, two diamonds. I go for the continuation bet and win a small pot. Comfortable with playing small ball for a while.

I thought we might see the first battle of the night. Vinnay and Columbo just about tangle but Columbo doesn't want any part of the re-re-raise preflop. Columbo comes back a couple hands later with his own re-raise preflop. Had a couple people trapped and they folded.

I feel like I escaped from my run in with BWoP. We ended up both holding K Q but I played it meekly and just kept calling her bets. I should have popped it back at some point. But I want to keep the aggression down so I can unleash it later on or when I get on a roll.

No action on K K. Next hand is 8 8. Same result. Then K Qs from the BB. I just check as Columbo seems suspicious with his early position call. I fold on the A high flop. Too many red cards out there.

K K comes around again. This time pushmonkey72 on my right raises. I love re-raising preflop in blogger games. Rarely do you see a flop. We don't on this hand. But we do a bit later. I try to steal with A 9o. But jamyhawk min-raises from the BB. Min-raise? Seems suspicious. I make the loose call and hit the flop well, A J 9. Now they lead out with a bet of 375. Time to pop it. I make it 1250 to go but don't get the call. I am over 6100 now. Table is also getting looser just before the break. Some bigger pots are forming and the action is getting heated. I have 6146 which puts me in 13th at the break.

I don't have much going in the second session. Raise a couple hands here and there and capture blinds but nothing big. A Ks doesn't improve. Get reraised from the button when I try to steal with Q 10s. Feel like I am grinding to no where. Even when I do win a hand I only get a piece of the pot. Splitting pots stinks.

Still doing little. Got outkicked on one hand and then no action when I tilt raised with A 10o on the next. Finally win a hand with A Js. This session has been brutal. Have to fold 7 7 when Miami Don makes the ridiculous all in overbet. Then 10 10 is up against Q Q and I don't lost much but can't win.

I am glad when the second session is done. I lost have of my chips and dropped to 26 with 32 left. Getting close to push mode. M is at 10. Medic!

Round 3 starts up with little fanfare. I am able to get some blinds before reraising Hoy. I took a chance with K Js because Hoy is trying to run over the table. He will fold to a reraise so it was worth the risk. Of course one of these times he will have a hand so I must be careful.

Take another little boost up with K K. I reraised MiamiDon-pushed all in REVENGE IS MINE!- but he doesn't call. Back over 4000 now. Get a bit more with some SB slow play. With A 3 I get lucky and see a flop of 9 9 A. I call Columbo's bet on the flop and hope he puts one more out there on the turn. But he doesn't. The river puts a third diamond on the board. Crap. Thankfully he checks behind and I am just under the starting stack. Antes are kicking in so I need to get a bit more aggressive.

There is another table change. I see HeffMike, Joannada, and Jordan from HighonPoker. Get A Js early and call a raise. Flop is 9 7 3 with two diamonds. Ugly. I decline to call the all in bet. Soon I get A K and push on a raise to me. I am up against 6 6 and hope to catch a card. I get it right away with the A. I double up to over 5k.

Moving up and down between 4 and 6k. Lots of small stacks pushing at every moment. I am one of them. But then its over. J J is not OK. Ran it up against A K and he caught his K on the flop. Oh well. I didn't want to go to Vegas when it is so hot out anyway. ;)

TOC time

So the time has come. The Battle of the Bloggers Tournament of Champions is upon us. Two bloggers are going to Vegas next month to play in the WSOP Main Event. Others are getting jerseys and smaller entries. Some are going home empty handed. Wait. They most likely are playing from home so I guess they are going to stay empty handed. Let's just hope they don't kick their dogs.

I am glad to see Hoy got the rest of the odds posted. I was curious to see what he would say about my chances. I had an idea of what kind of odds I should have based on the numbers he was putting on other players. Let's see what Hoy had to say:

StB plays under the handle "nightranger" on full tilt and is another guy who has demonstrated skill in maximizing value from his strong hands. Although StB has won several blonkaments in his day, those days were mostly some time ago, and as a rule we don't see StB in our regular games with anywhere near the frequency that was once the case. In the end I know that StB can play the game, but I think his odds of winning one of the top two prizes are right around average given his lack of recent experience against most of the rest of the ToC field. 22 to 1.

Average? Average? Well, that is accurate. I think Hoy is correct. Having played few of these events because of my job and the real world, he is correct that I haven't played many events and that my victories are some time ago. Can't argue the facts. I can thank him for some respect and will do my best to not be average. In fact, should I actually win one of the seats, I do intend to play in the Main Event, if I can get the time away from work.

I had kinda planned on "training" for this game. When I have played some poker lately it has been PLO8. Considering the size of the field, 44, I was going to play some 45 man SnGs to develop strategies on getting deep. But I got only one game this weekend. Finished 8th which was still out of the money. That was on a regular starting stack though. I see we start with 5000 in chips for the TOC. That may accommodate my loose starting play a bit better. Or I may just end up being Gigli.

Unlike Hoy, I won't be live blogging. I hope to have a recap here when I am done. Good luck to everyone!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

To the virtual felt

I just finished my best PLO8 session. Ended up two buy ins. But it wasn't the money that made it so good. Sure that is part of it, but when all was said and done, I was very happy with the way I played. And I had fun doing so.

It was like the perfect storm. A little patience, a little luck, and the right cards that would have me felting a guy twice a couple hands apart.

I really enjoy playing PLO8. It keeps you thinking. I have been playing the 6 handed tables as of late as it helps me focus on my opponents. Today I really was in the zone. I noticed the tendencies of the other players. I noticed how one guy only would raise UTG and he usually had nothing. I knew another would only bet with the nuts or the nut draw. Another guy wanted to play any four cards acting like it was a bingo game. And for once, I was able to sit back, be patient and let it unfold.

It is the bingo players that can tilt me. I see them play these crappy hands and I begin to lose my discipline. My patience wears thin and I am no longer waiting for quality hands. I want to press any cards, call bets thinking I can hit the low or my gutter card, yelling at the monitor 2! 2! 2! thinking it will come. I did none of that today. I folded when I had nothing, I made some good bets, some good laydowns, and stole some orphan pots.

Of course it helps to get lucky too. I define luck here as not just getting the cards but getting the opportunity to get an opponent to pay you off. That may be the frustrating part of PLO8 to me. I don't recall any monster hands getting paid off. Until today. I got paid off twice and two nice sized pots were slid my way. Once with A A 3 x where I flopped a set. Board was A K 2. Rag on the turn and another deuce on the river gave me the nuts. My opponent called each of my pot sized bets. He held K K x x. Couple hands later I would be on the other side of the betting pattern. I called his raise from the BB with A 2 9 K, with 2 diamonds. Flopped the nut low and check called his pot size bet. Turn gave me a second diamond and this time I decided to bet into him. He called and we saw the third diamond hit the river. Perfect. Little chance he is expecting be up against a flush. I bet pot and he calls after some thought. I leave with my chip stack three times the size as when I started just over 90 minutes ago.

Now that was fun.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

If I was a betting man...

I see that Hoy is posting odds for Sunday's BBT4 TOC. He is giving a little background and thoughts before stating the numbers. I am curious to see if he will put a line on himself. Oh yeah, I can't wait to see the odds put on me. I have an idea on what it should be and why.

There are two lines that I have seen so far that are way out of whack. If I was a betting man (wait, I am) there are two people I would be walking up to the window to put money on feeling safe that one of them would pay out handsomely.

Looking forward to the rest of the list. Been good and objective so far. One other thing to point out is Hoy graciously praises Al for all the work he had done on this project. Let me echo that thought as well. Thanks Al!

Friday, May 29, 2009

So where are the pics?

So Pauly claims he is living in an apartment complex that is home to many a stripper. Until I see pics (again, hint hint) I don't believe it. What does a guy have to do, get a stripper to hold some food item before Pauly will take a picture of her?

Maybe I am asking the wrong person. We all know that AlCantHang is in Sin City as well working the WSOP. Maybe we can get him to stop taking crotch shots of Michalski and get back to taking pictures of women's nether regions.

Maybe I should set a betting line. Who gets one first, Pauly or Al? Will Pauly or Al get the most stripper pics?

Any more lines that we could set?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Toss a couple of frames

Pauly is at it again, blogging the WSOP at the Tao of Poker. That is about as close to the events as I expect to get this year. No plans to go to Vegas over the summer unless I somehow win something in Battle of the Bloggers TOC. Stranger things have happened so it is a remote possibility.

What really caught my interest this morning though was the Beer Bowling post at Tao. If Pauly could make money bowling, then I could clean up. Pay for my trip. And if I could clean up, I wonder what Drizz might be thinking? Or Alan? They would have a field day.

I also wonder if this rumor is true. Phil Ivey may have $10 million riding on the WSOP. Guess he ain't fooling around.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Take two

They are at it again and taking it to the next level. The good people at Poker Listings are putting on the second WSOP Run-Good Challenge for bloggers. Two people will walk away with a seat in a $1500 buy in at the World Series of Poker.

I am hoping for a better run of cards tomorrow. Couple that with a bit of patience and luck and I may be making a trip to the desert this year.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I don't Run Good

Thanks again to the good people at Poker Listings for putting on the WSOP Run-Good Challenge. I did very little and was never a factor. Couldn't catch a flop to save my life. When I tried to get aggressive to make up for it, it blew up in my face. There is always next time.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Mow the lawn

Not poker but something worth sharing. The commercials those Brits make are much better than what we see in the U.S.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Can I Run-Good?

The fine people at Poker Listings are doing the WSOP Run-Good Challenge for bloggers. Winner walks away with a seat in a $1500 buy in at the World Series of Poker. I see I now have an excuse for not mowing my lawn in case it doesn't rain.

Check out the new site layout at Poker Listings. It is like old 7-Up. Crisp and clean with no caffeine.

Hope to see you on Saturday!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mr. Kotter has a fetish

Been way too busy to play any poker lately. Work life is busier than ever leaving me tired when I come home. Weekend tournaments provide the best opportunity for me to play but those days have been tied up as well. With all the work being done during the week I need more time on the weekend to play.

I have been enjoying some poker on TV though. I taped a couple episodes of High Stakes Poker. The show still holds my interest. Watching the play of some of the best can be intriguing. So can the commentary.

No one is going to say that Gabe Kaplan or AJ Benenza (sp?) are the best but they try. Sometimes they say some things that are just way too creepy and peculiar. On one episode the players start discussing movies because one of them wrote the movie Blow. I am too lazy to look his name up. Cassavetes? Maybe. At one point Kaplan mentions that he does not need to cozy up to the player because he does not need big Hollywood movies. That he makes his own movies at home. AJ plays along and says he would like to rent one of these movies.

I can't help but wonder what kind of freaks these two are. If I hear someone is making movies in their home, it sounds like they are doing amateur porn. Last thing I want to see is Mr. Kotter and Vinny Barbarino tag teaming Hotsy Totsy or Horsheshack trying to bone Mrs. Kotter.

The other thing I wonder about the show is if many players try to play like these pros. They play way too loose for my style, sometimes getting in with bad cards just to make plays after the flop. It can work when you have skills or get lucky. I guess that explains some of the play I see at the MGM Grand.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Laying an ugly beat

It looked like I laid an ugly beat on an opponent during the Brit game today. I don't think I did. I think they did it to themselves. A correct bet probably would have forced me to fold. Instead I end up having chips swooshed to my side.

I was just trying for the steal. A 8 spades from the button. I raised 3xs the blind. The SB min-raised me. A min raise? I will call that and see if I get lucky on the flop.

Flop is J J Q, two spades. Not bad. Not good, but not bad either.

My opponent checked to me. My first thought was to make a bet, but then I stopped. That check seemed pretty suspicious. Why did he check there? If I bet I will probably get raised. This doesn't feel good so I check behind.

Turn is an A.

Hmm... that kind of traps me in this hand. If my opponent is playing ace rag too, it will most likely be a split pot. Can I fold here? I still think he has a monster. Making my flush could be a bad thing. He bets 60. 60 into a 600 pot? Still doesn't seem right but I can fold here. I call instead of making a move to put him all in.

River is another A. Only A Q can beat me now. He shoves. Can't fold here. I call to see he had pocket queens. Flopped a full house and let me stay around to draw out. A bet on the flop may not have had me folding, but a bigger bet on the turn, with me thinking he flopped a monster would have had me folding. Instead he got knocked out by slowplaying.