Tuesday, November 30, 2010

And now to the weather...

Whenever I have plans for a trip, I like to keep an eye on the weather. Not only does it help for deciding what clothes to pack, it helps with potential plans once I am there. Being 9 days out of Vegas (screw your 8 Drizz!), I took a gander at the what the forecast was for home and away.

First thing I saw was it is warmer in Milwaukee (46) than Las Vegas (31) as I type. Thankfully that will change. The shit hits the Midwest next week with lots of precipitation and ice. That ice is suppose to hit after I leaveon Thursday which is a good thing. The temps in Vegas look to be rather warm. 60s? I may wear shorts!

Like being heads up with A A vs K K, I am not expecting these numbers to hold up. They will change. It will get colder in Vegas. I am just hoping the bad weather can hold off at home.

Before I am done, let's give Poker Stars some love for the added money for next Saturday's tournament. Being the lazy person I am, I quickly grabbed a portion of the post at Up For Poker the other day and pasted it below. It looks like I missed something but it has the meat of the Stars giveaway, the bounties and Hammer Challenge.

Each bounty player will have a trinket that you will be responsible for recovering when you knock them out and it is your responsibility to bring your trinket to me to get credit. Once again, prize money for the OGH will be deposited into your PokerStars account.

What's that you ask again? There's even more?!?!?!?

Why, now that you've asked, there is!

Some of you out there might think the concept of the Hammer is a little played out. I mean, it used to be cool before it went all mainstream and pros like Phil Hellmuth and Antonio Esfandiari started dropping it on national TV (without giving any credit it to Grubby!), but I digress. It's ours and we're bringing it back!

The wonderful folks at PokerStars are putting up $500 for the Hammer Challenge. The first ten hammers shown for the win post-flop will receive $50 apiece. Again, those hammers must be shown post-flop. When you accomplish this feat, you'll need to stand up and yell, "Hammer" for confirmation from the floor and so I can record the feat. And, again, prize money for the HC will be deposited into your PokerStars account.

That's a total of $4500 in added prize money for the 2010 Winter Classic courtesy of our friends at PokerStars. Give them some love when you get a chance! And if you have any questions, let me know!

Friday, November 19, 2010

SnG action

I have played more poker over the last 7 days than I have in 6 months. And somehow its been a profitable week! But it wasn't without frustrations today.

I had the day off. I had some time at work to burn and I needed to take care of a plumbing issue in the apartment. That went smoothly, for once, giving me the afternoon to kill as I saw fit. Seeing that I have to be up early tomorrow going to the bar wasn't the best choice. So I played some poker instead.

As I said a week ago, I trying to shake the rust off. That entails playing some small $10 SnGs (1, 2, or 5 table tourneys) and a NL cash game (.25/.50). I like to stay small on the cash game as it lets me try some things out that I normally wouldn't do.

I signed up for a 45 runner $10 SnG and fired up a ring table. The cash game was not going well. Between not getting many good cards and a bad read, I went through a buyin quickly. I rebought and continued to play poorly. So bad that I decided to play very erratically when I dropped half of that. I started limping and then pushing on any raise with good hands. I was surprised how many people were pumping up the pot but then folding to a push that was about 4xs their bet. It wasn't like I was doing so with AA or KK. Mostly AJ or 88 or similar hands.

Funny thing was it worked well. I recouped a good chunk of my losses by making these very strange big raises. Strange as in it disrupted the flow of the table. Apparently no one knew what to do. Finally someone did call me down with A 10 but that was the one time I did have KK.

My SnG was a different story. I was trying to play my game. Be patient and wait for some good hands. Change if the table is being wussy. It worked well. I slowly moved to the top of the boards. At the break we had lost a third of the crowd and I was on top. The second session saw the same thing. I stayed at the top. I used my chips wisely and didn't get myself into any bad positions. I got my chips in when I had the best of it.

Once we got below 3 tables the players began to drop like flies. I had moved down a bit on the leaderboard. I was bouncing between 5 and 6. That was fine. I just didn't want to be at the bottom when the final table started.

We we at 12 when disaster struck. I lost my wifi. My Apple Airport goes out once in a while. Now was just a terrible time for it to happen. Major reason why is I don't know how to get it reconnected other than unplugging it. Though the signal shows as being strong, it just won't reconnect unless I unplug the Airport from the wall and reboot my MacBook Pro. It works but I am not certain that is the best thing to do. And it takes time.

This took a couple of minutes. I was able to get back into Full Tilt to see the final table had begun. I had lost about 2000 chips but wasn't in a world of hurt. Got those back but lost my wifi again! Damn! Went through the whole process again. This time I got back in and one player had been knocked out.

I am a bit worried now that I might go another couple hands and lose my connection again. To relax, I put on the new Robert Plant album. That seems to relax me. I am on a short stack so I start to push. I am happy that I have an aggressive player two to my right. He keeps raising with junk. Best of all, he is folding to the pushes. So I keep doing it to him. Push every time when I have an A or two big cards.

We lose a couple more people and are in the money. Interesting hand came up then. With 5 left, the guy on my right gets into it with aggro boy. Typical preflop action. Aggro boy raises to just over twice the BB. SB just calls. I fold. Flop is rags, 8 high. SB checks. Aggro bets. SB just calls. Turn is another 8. SB checks, Aggro bets, SB calls. River is a rag. SB goes all in. Aggro instacalls, showing 8 3 offsuit. SB doesn't show. Hand history shows he had A A. Talk about a trap gone bad.

I would soon get a big chunk of Aggro boy's chips. With just the four of us, he just calls from the SB. I check with K 5s. Flop is K 5 x rainbow. Nice. I decide to bet half the pot to see what he will do. If he calls, I know he won't fold. He does call. Turn is a rag. I think about betting half the pot again. But then I think about the cash game. If I through a strange bet out there, maybe I can get him to call. His sloppy play tells me there is a good chance he does. I push, which is a couple thousand more than the pot. He goes into the tank. I keep telling myself "please call, please call" as I know I have him beat. He takes the bait and calls, showing 9 9. He doesn't hit a two outer and I jump out on the chip lead.

Aggro boy soon busts out and we are down to 3. Guy on my left has been a tough player. The other guy appeared to be someone who was willing to step aside and let everyone else duke it out. He was always low on chips and was lucky to get that far into a higher payout. But now he dot somewhat aggressive and started raising quite a bit. I knew it would be a matter of time before I could get him. I started popping back with any good ace and he'd fold. Then I got him to go all the way with A 10 vs. my J J. No 3 outer and it is heads up.

I have a 5 to 1 chip lead. I think of the heads up match against the asshole from this past weekend and just hope I can not be unlucky. I don't. It takes about 8 hands for him to fall and I am the best of 45 runners.

Best of all I was happy with the way I played. Made enough to wipe out my cash losses too. It has me feeling optimistic about Vegas. Less than 3 weeks but who is counting.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Losing to an asshat

Losing sucks.

Losing to a real asshat sucks even more. Especially when there is nothing you can do about. Get your chips in with the best hand and hope it holds up. When it doesn't you have to listen to a douchenozzle spout off.

Yeah, that is my way of saying I lost when I had a sizable chip lead heading into a heads up battle. Three times I got it all in with the better hand. Three times I lost. I didn't have huge advantages in any of the hands. He simply had to get lucky and catch one of his few outs.

I didn't like his dickish behavior in the end. I was done to about 3 blinds when he acted insulted that I wouldn't take second place and 5 more bucks. I told the guy who was dealing that I was going to be all in on every hand. So the dick folded.

I thought about what I could have done different. I think the answer is offer a better chop. But money wasn't the issue. I walked out with twice my buy ins so that was good. Especially after being card dead in the first game. The first game was helpful in giving me the lay of the land. I had a good feel for the players when the second game started. And it paid off.

Until the end. I am a bit sore about not taking it down. I did catch a couple breaks just to get there, chopping pots to never give up a lot of chips. I don't think I made any bad decisions in that span. Just had one or two misreads.

In the end I had a good time. Playing live again felt good. Next time I just need to set the douche canoe down the river.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Back to live play

Its mid-November so that means its time to shake off the rust and enter the cage for the fight that is no limit hold em. Its an annual event. The weather turns and less time is spent outside doing yardwork, drinking in beer gardens, and Drinking for Jesus.

I got a text with the simple inquiry. Poker tonight? I looked at the phone number and wondered who it was? It came from a 509 area code. A couple seconds later I was pretty sure I knew who it was. A couple minutes later I figured I would play. The text came from someone I had met in the old Badger Poker days and have seen at some of the church smokers.

He has been sending me texts about poker games for the last couple years. He had a knack for finding times that I was out of town. Interesting thing, I was suppose to be out of town this weekend but plans fell through. Now that I was in town it sounded like a great idea. The persistency in the texts paid off.

I haven't played any live poker since Mastodon Weekend. The game should be similar. Tournament followed by cash games. My goal tonight is simple. Win. Don't embarrass myself and bust out early. I better bring some extra beer just in case I end up watching the Badger hockey game.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Once in a while you slay the Dragon, but most of the time, the Dragon fries your ass.

Greats posts like this make the last couple weeks until WPBT December seem like an eternity.

Tao of Poker: The Pai Gow Diaries: The Cult of the Dragon: "Double Dragon-assisted Pai Gow wins are like simultaneously banging red-headed twins because you're flirting with the Apocalypse. Gingers suck the soul out of humanity, and engaging in intercourse with two of them is like dropping your penis into a black hole and getting it chopped off. If you fall for the wrong Dragon, you'll lose every molecule of your life force. You're dunzo."