Friday, December 29, 2006

Take it Easy

Hope the Holidays are going well for everyone. I'm one of those poor schlubs who is actually at work between Christmas and New Year's, mostly because work is dead during the time, so I leave the vacations to those with kids and such.

So I'm a tool. I tossed in a few hundred bucks at Pokerstars to take advantage of their deposit bonus - not the full $600, but more than I usually drop in at one time. I lost most of it in 3 days. Granted, since I started tracking my Stars deposits, I haven't even dropped a paycheque's worth of funds in there, but it still stings to lose quickly.

What really bothers me isn't so much that I lost the cash, but that it happened stupidly. I was actually up after a couple SnG cashes and a successful ring game, and was feeling good. So on Christmas day, after the family had left and I was full with turkey and wine, I jumped into another $1/2 NLHE cash game (remember kids, wine+poker = lose money). I lost most of my post on this:

Cowboys pre-flop, LP. Raise to 3x the BB ($6) one seat before me, and I re-raise to 9x ($18), he calls quickly. Flop comes 7T9 rainbow, he checks, I put out the pot-sized bet. He says "ding!" He re-raises and I think for a second and decide it's worth it for one more card. King on the turn and I have trips. Figuring he's either on a flush draw or overs, I check.. he re-raises me all-in and says "AK no good." I ask, "how about 2 Kings?" and call. He says, "nope" and shows the freaking J8h!! Nothing comes on the river and I'm looking at my chips next to me.

Now I'm on tilt. I don't go on heavy tilt, but this hand did it. Obviously I understand his play POST flop, but who the hell calls a re-raise pre-flop that's twice what your raise was when you have J8-suited? You like the 2:1 pot odds on a suited 2-gapper? Guess I should have believed the commentary after the flop. Stupid cowboys.

Anyway, I sat for a few minutes and the bought back in... and over the course of an hour or so, donked off another max-post. I was exhausted and playing simply out of stupidity and tilt. The next day I played a couple $11 Turbo SnG's out of boredom (after the WWdN 2nd chance), and realized I was STILL tilting. Didn't play the next couple days, and probably won't play tonight... I still need to calm down. Perhaps alcohol will help... it is the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems, right?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Remind You of Anyone?

I saw this and couldn't help but think that it represents the vast majority of online poker players. Image is from the great Creatures In My Head

What's That Behind Me?

Why, it's the bubble! Played the WWdN last night... 40 players I believe. Played my game, but experimented a bit with some things, and played much looser in the early levels. Kept running into one player early on who played her hands VERY passively. She appeared to have little faith in her weak aces or mid-pairs, but happily called down. This just meant that I only kept betting into her when I had a strong hand, as did the rest of the table until she got knocked down a fair bit and got moved.

Anyway, managed to survive being the short-stack a few times. I hung on to the final table, and played short-stack poker from there on until I was back up to a decent level. In the end, with 5 left (in the money!), and an M around 5, my pocket 4's ran into WigginX's AT which caught an A on the flop. Still, nice to cash after bubbling in the Hoy last night. A shame that I lost to the guy who came in second though :). Congrats to Pisco Bandito for the win. Although it chafes a bit that my TWO pocket Ace's (with one hand in between) got zero callers, and he becomes the chip leader on his :).

After more Christmas shopping and the catching up on the backlog of chores at home, I MIGHT play in the Mookie tonight. 2 decent nights of poker... would like to make it 3


I'm getting a touch annoyed with Google pushing the New Blogger on me. I don't want a Google account. Leave. Me. Alone.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Hoy Boy

Damn I'm punny! Anyway, I played in The Hoy last night... after heading out for a "drink or two" with a couple coworkers. 4 (5?) Vodka+Sodas later I'm heading home, with time to spare before the cards start flying. Now I was good and tipsy... beyond buzzed, but not yet a full-fledged drunk. Still, playing poker in the state is not recommended. Generally. To compound the difficulty, I decided to open up a $3 Rebuy to the Saturday PCA tourney (I thought that was wrapped up? Who knows what I was playing). I love rebuys and haven't played in one since the WSOP qualifiers.

So, time for some MATH (ha! I kill me)... 4 (5?) drinks + Das Hoy + Rebuy madness = WTF was I thinking? I have a hard enough time multi-tabling, let alone between a solid blogger tourney and the fish pond that is a $3 rebuy.

Final results? I finished something like 78/1014 in the rebuy, and 4th (stupid bubble) in The Hoy. I think I played alright... generally stuck to my game, got away when I needed to, and upped the aggression when necessary. In the end, short-stacked, I moved all-in with AT, and was called by 64 or somesuch... with a flop that came 537, giving my esteemed opponent a straight and me nothing. It was that kind of game though, especially on the bubble - suckouts and unbelieveable boards for everyone.

But I wonder how I would have done sober (which I pretty much was by the end)... I think I maybe was extra cautious with my middling hands, just like the teenager who comes home and tries his best to act sober by being extra deliberate in all his motions.

Regardless, tonight will be a night of sobriety... and perhaps a visit to the WWdN, if I get my shit done in time.

Monday, December 18, 2006


Sometime I'll get that Banff report up. Have I mentioned my tendency to procrastinate? Anyway, spent a good chunk of yesterday at Niagara Fallsview. It was a buddy's birthday, and he had a poker hankering. He didn't win.

I've never played poker at the Fallsview before. I think they've expanded their poker room since the last time I was there though. 1/2 NLHE, $100 max buy-in (does this not seem small?). I repeated my performance with Joanne in Calgary - ie.- I was card dead at a loose table. Up until the last 30 min I played, my best hands had been pocket deuces twice, pocket 8's once (the only hand I was able to take at that point - woohoo $5!), and a couple AJ (one off, one suited). The last 30 min went better card-wise, with pocket J's, flopped straights, pocket 10's that ended up being useless when the board became a straight... but we were down to 4-handed at that point, and I split 2 pots. It was enough that I walked away down only $90 instead of $160. It's a shame really, because I was able to read every player at the table but couldn't do anything about it.

From there it was slots, slots, and s'more slots. Not my night for slots. The other slot players were out and had staked out the machines I wanted. More slot reserving going on, I really need to see if that's legit. I did have fun with the Double Diamond burger slot though, getting to the side game plenty, to win $55 on a quarter machine. But I stuck those winnings right back into the casino.

And of course... craps. I FINALLY had a winning craps session again, and to top it off, *I* was the reason for it. I had a solid roll going for awhile once the table moved up to $15... winning around $300 or so. I gave some of that back before leaving though. All-in-all, I ended up down on the night, but had a blast nonetheless.

Yup, fairly small amounts, but I'm hardly trying to make a living off of gambling.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

One for the ladies

Faster, pussycat! Blog! Blog!

You know you want it.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Ice and Fire

Just got in from my extended-weekend trip to Banff. I'll post some of the hundreds of pictures I took of mountains and scenic vistas later. Right now, I'm exhausted, so here comes a short recap. More details later.

The point was to ski. This goal was achieved in spades. The west-coast cold snap ended literally on the day we arrived. We made it to our 2 floor + loft cabin in Banff around midnight and got some sleep. We hit Sunshine Village on day 1 and loved the conditions. Coming from the eastern Canada, anything that isn't icy is fantastic. Lake Louise on day 2 was just breathtaking in the beauty and the runs, but the snow was MUCH icier and harder to ski. Plus, the World Cup was going on, which meant the place was PACKED. Back to Sunshine on day 3, and it was a great, easy finish to the skiing. Much soreness and tiredness... all good.

Since Joanne mentioned it on her blog, I'll go through it here - I (and 3 friends) met up with her at a casino in Calgary to gamble a WEE bit. As she said, I was card dead the whole time, and the table was loose. I couldn't steal, and I couldn't play with the crap I had in front of me. The guy with $1200 (when we sat down.. when we left it was more like $2000, and this was a max $200 stake table) would call anything, and raise if he had a hand. My AKs looked a lot less pretty when faced with a raise that would cripple me on my 3rd hand. Those were the best pockets I had all night (ok, not STATISTICALLY speaking, I did have a few low pocket pairs on occasion). It took a while, but I ended up down $200. From poker we moved to the casino, where my 2 of my friends wanted to watch me play craps... so I indulged them and lost $100 in 10 minutes, teaching them a valuable lesson about probability.

So with poker and craps failing me, I had but one option - SLOTS! I mentioned in my Vegas post how I won around $2700 from two slot machines in Vegas (Blazing 7's in TI for all you bloggers venturing there this week), thereby paying for my trip. Wandering around the casino, I saw a dearth of slots that interested me. Nothing with fun side games, LOTS of video and mutli-line slots (which I despise), and very few $1 slots. I tried a few that looked okay, and lost $20 after $20 after $20. Then I saw them - two Blazing 7 machines (by a different name here) - high-percentage progessives. The problem was - they were occupied. No worries, people will leave. Soon enough, one of the women was gone. I strolled over and saw that a winnings-cup was upside-down over the coin slot. I reached for the machine when the woman on the other one said "Someone is playing that one." I walked away, thinking, "since when can you reserve a slot machine? If you need a smoke that badly, then you lose your spot." Then, when that woman returned, the other woman did the same thing. I was mightily annoyed.

Near those machines though, were the Monte Carlo Spin-and-Win machines. $1, with a side-game, and good-sized progressives ($15,000 - $120,000). The highest progressive one had a player, so I popped in some cash on one of the others... and lost. I tried a different one.. and lost. At this point was down $100 - $120 on slots now. That would make it $420 down on the night. I wandered some more and glared at the harpies at the machines I wanted. Then I noticed the $120,000 progressive was unattended, so I plunked down in front and put in the last $20 I was willing to spend that night. Joanne and my 3 buddies gathered 'round as they were getting ready to leave as well. They'd heard of my legendary slot abilities, and wanted to see them in action. I had little faith as the night had not been going well. All I really wanted was one shot at the side game (which involved a ball spinning around a Wheel-of-Fortune-like dial and landing on a payout from $10 - $1000).

This is a diverse machine, with your standard range of winnings for BAR combinations ($2+), then better winnings for 7 combinations ($25-$1000), and finally a bunch of novelty wins for 3-credit plays ($100, side-game spins, and the progressive). I played down my $20, getting $2 here, $8 here, and generally going down. My friends watched as I came close to 0 and a down night... then I hit a triple-7 combination. This paid $50 for 3 normal 7's being on the pay line or one notch off. Nothing big, but it kept me alive. I kept playing. Then I hit the PAY100 symbol to jump to $100, bringing me to $101. Finally I was hitting. I spun and got nothing... a I spun again... and in standard slow-mo action -- 1 blazing 7. 2 blazing 7's....... THREE blazing 7's! All on the payline. Whistles blow, bells ring, loud annoying music plays, and lights go off. Strangers all gather 'round, to stare in wild wonder at the joy I have found. A pit boss comes over and asks me to push the red button to shut the damn music off. Joanne and the rest congratulate me, a couple of them with jaws dropped. One says, "Ok, I'm a believer now."

No, triple blazing 7's does not win the progressive. It wins $1,000. But it's $1,000 hand-paid by casino staff, and it involves lots of noise. It also happens to be just a touch less than the progressives on the blazing 7 machines were paying, so I got that big chunk of schaedenfreude on the fine women hogging the other machines. I played out my remaining 95 credits, which resulted in me FINALLY getting to play the damned side game and winning $50 on that, which I spun away. All told, I left up around $560-$580 on the night - once again thanks to slots and blazing 7's.

For those who haven't met Joanne, she's a sweetheart. Vibrant, friendly, open, and a great person. This is away from the poker table of course. She reminds me of Kat in many ways, even though they are distinct individuals... it's no wonder they get along so well. I'm glad I got to meet her in person.

On a final note (THIS is my idea of "short"?? Wait until the full trip report.) - It looks like my Vegas quandry is being resolved by circumstances beyond my control. I'd say there's a 99% chance I won't be going (never say never). There's been an unfortunate event that wipes out this week (and possibly beyond) from being anything but family-oriented. I'll be fine, but right now is a sad time, and going away to have fun this weekend would make me feel like dirt. Heck, part of me feels bad for being away this last weekend, and I had that planned months in advance.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Kids Like Games

The above title is obvious. Heck, I like games, and you like games. You know what sucks? Sitting in a bed, homesick, scared, being visited by people you don't know who poke and prod you, and knowing that something bad is going to happen. Wouldn't you want a distraction of some point? I know I would. Now imagine you're 12... or younger.

Child's Play is in it 4th season of operation. Run by the people who brought us Penny Arcade, it's a rather large annual tradition. Basically, in an effort to prove wrong the zealots out there who believe all gamers are murderers-in-training who contribute nothing to society, these guys decided to start giving something back. They have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of video games, toys, and other childhood distractions that are delivered to children's hospitals worldwide.

Why video games? Because that's what they know. Other people give money to help research something, or to build a wing, or any other number of causes. Child's Play knows games, and it provides immediate gratification.

So visit their site, pick a hospital near you, and buy a toy for a sick kid.

Want a more selfish reason or two? Because the type of morons who try and regulate video games are the people who try and ban online poker. Or maybe because many gamers end up poker players, and we all need more money in the pool. But really, the fact that you clicking a few buttons and dropping any amount of money in the bin can make a scared child feel better for a little bit should be reason enough.

I'm sending them a PSP and a game or two. You?

Friday, November 24, 2006

Live and Let Die

Well, last night was eventful. Or not. Had about $4 left in my Stars account (after putting in min deposit to play in the WWdN). Played a couple $1+.20 45-man SnG's where I got sucked out on time after time (is there nothing greater than the runner-runner straight suckout with A6o when you keep calling pot-sized bets and have nothing before that straight fills in?) Took my last $1.61 and ran it off in a 0.01/0.02 cash game. So, cash balance is zero once again.

Been playing in the Aston Martin satellites. I've only played one of the 25 FPP MTTs, since 10pm is a bit late to get into a 1600+ person tourney on a work night... even if half the players drop in 30 min. I've played a few of the 100 FPP double-shootout SnG's though. Last night I got knocked out in 7th, which has been my best showing so far. It's tough to play in the all-in fests with no cards, but that said, I was proud of my play in my first table. I played the scare cards well, played the good cards well, and when I ended up hurt by a river 3-outer and ended up short-stacked, I was able to take the lead through some sold short-stack play and win the table. Problem was, I zoned out on the final table. I started looking at other things, surfing the web, etc... and totally didn't take advantage of the early tight play, which hurt me when the blind:stack ratio got ugly. I made some decent moves and in the end lost when my KJo ran into A5s and the 5 hit on the flop. Still, I've got another 1,000 FPPs to go through, let's see if I'll be playing for a DBS when the rest of the blogger world is in Vegas. Of course, if I win, I'll have to refer to it as the Astin Martin intead.

All said, while I had nothing to show for it, last night felt like good poker for the first time in awhile. Getting sucked out on isn't the greatest feeling in the world, but at least you know you weren't the cause of your loss. Knowing you played well takes the sting out of losing... especially when there's no money on the line.

Debating on hitting the live game again tonight... guess it depends on whether or not I make other plans in the meantime. Considering I plan on drinking heavily all day tomorrow, maybe poker could be the least dangerous option tonight.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Day of the Dead

It's Thanksgiving in the U.S. of A. today. Being Canadian, this doesn't affect me a whole bunch... except that it's positively dead at work. We like US holidays here, it generally means an easy day.

Decided that instead of Mookin' it up last night, I'd go play live instead. Probably a good move on my part, since I was home before the Mookie ended, and we all know I'd have been at the final table in that one :).

Strange night. Wednesday's are usually pretty packed, but it was eerily quiet last night. About 22 runners, 3 tables. Made it to the final table with an M of 2.5, and went all-in with KJh (vs two all-ins before me that turned out to be AsQc and ATc). The Q hit on the river, so I was done. Yah, I know, KJ, even suited, vs two previous all-ins? I was card dead most of the night, a pair of twos that flopped a set being my best hand to this point. I needed to take the chance, and it turns out I was right in calling - I was ahead pre-flop.

So then milled around a bit until the cash game started. This was odd too, as the cash game is usually full by the time the final table rolls around in the tournament. Card death continued, and most attempts at moves resulted in re-raises that weren't worth standing up to. Pocket 7's saved me against pocket 6's (with a 345 flop) to stay alive... and I finally left before I gave away all my chips... down on the night.

But the hand of mention was this one. I get dealt 89d on the button. There's a jackpot at the club for Royals, straight flushes, and quads. Straight flushes pay 20% of the jackpot (yesterday that worked out to $284). I see these suited connectors and think, "here's my straight flush." UTG raises to 4x BB, next to him calls, and I'm thinking "no problem." Then the new guy next to me raises it to 10x BB and I muck. It folds around to UTG who calls, as does the other player.

Flop comes 4d6d5c. Some betting follows that gets it to two players. Turn comes 5d. River comes... yah, you know it... 7-of-freakin'-diamonds!!! There's my straight flush, except my cards are sitting at the bottom of the muck. 10x BB shows his pocket Q's, and the remaining player flips of his AKo. I let the table know what I let go, and one guy looks at me like I'm nuts for folding.

"You had the nuts straight flush and you folded??"

"I didn't have it pre-flop! I had suited connectors vs 10x BB!"

So I can't regret my fold, it was obviously the right thing to do... but the poker gods were being cruel and petty then by handing out the runner-runner straight flush. No re-raise, and I'm in for 4x BB with suited connectors and a hunch in a cash game. With two diamonds, an inside straight draw, and the possibility of runner-runner on the flop, I'd stay in. From there it's gravy.

Preflop - I was 22% to win (ignoring the 3rd player who's cards we don't know)
Flop - 49%
Turn - 90.5%

If I'd stayed in.


This Vegas thing is still gnawing at me. I'm in Banff next weekend for some skiing in what they're calling their best early season ever. The weekend after that is the blogger meet in Vegas. Granted, of all the people going, I only actually know Kat. I might meet Joanne before that, if we meet up in Calgary. But it's Vegas baby! I get the feeling it be almost literally a last minute decision. As in Friday morning I'll call up the airline and the hotel and see what's available. If I don't go though... there's the chance of the Aston Martin DBS Freeroll at Stars, or the second deep-stack long grind tourney at the club that weekend. Both of which are small potatoes compared to Vegas.

Monday, November 20, 2006

I'm Not That Guy Yet

There used to be this commercial about gambling addiction. Guy would be playing online poker, and kept waving off his roommates/friends when they were going out for the night. "I'll be there later." I think they maybe had some comment about how he'd called in sick for work 3 days in a row too. I'm glad I'm not that guy.

Decent weekend - saw some good improv (much better than bad improv), hung out with friends, went to a birthday and hung out with more friends. Got to bed at 7am on Saturday/Sunday, and was woken by another friend who potentially needed to get together at dinner to mope over a possible breakup (didn't happen). It's this last bit that got me thinking. I'm trying to fall back asleep after another call woke me 20 min earlier on 6.5 hours of sleep (which is plenty for a weekday, but not enough on a weekend), and my friend calls. "What are your plans tonight?" my first thought? "The Big Game." My response? "Nothing."

I develop habits, and I'm lazy and a procrastinator extraordinaire. But my priorities always come family->friends->other. As long as poker stays low on that list, I'll be happy.

That said, my game has sucked but hard of late. Outside of my run a couple weekends ago (which, looking back on, was more me getting lucky and playing good cards than playing good poker), I've been in the tank. I'm down to $0.76 on Stars, $2-something on Absolute (which I'm just playing out anyway), $15-something on FT, and probably around $190 on Full Contact (but they're in a transition to new software, so I can't check). A far cry from my highs on all these sites. I'm antsy when playing... distracted. This makes for stupid moves and easy tiltability. I think I need to get a bunch of shit done, clear my mind, and plunk down and play with focus and a plan sometime.

Tonight won't be that time. I've got other plans, so the Hoy will have to wait. Maybe I'll see if I can fit a live game in this week.


Save the cheerleader, save the world. Can't wait.


Today's entry, after a bit of an hiatus:

She's cute... her roommate likes me.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Dinner Is Served

So, had a friend over last night, so no DADI, no CC, no WWdN Not, no donk2shark... no poker. Not a problem really, although I would have liked to have played the last DADI.

Instead, I cooked. Considering how little I've been home the past couple weeks, this was a welcome change. I love to cook, and was afraid most of the contents of my fridge would have to be disposed of after the last three weeks of not making dinner.

Luckily, what I needed was still edible (although it was a close call on the ham). So dinner was Chicken Cordon Bleu (with rosemary ham, applewood smoked cheddar, and seasoned parmesan breading), stir fried veggies (mmm... garlic, and broccoli, and onions, and zucchini), and some of the best mashed potatoes I've made (the secret is the parmesan and spices... and lots of butter.. and milk). I also managed to pull off the incredible feat of getting everything to be finished at the same time. Lord knows how many times I've made a meal that involves at least one part of it being kept warm while the rest is 20 minutes behind.

It's been a good week. My crappy poker karma at the start seems to have been balanced by life going well. Drinks and the BEST sushi I've ever had (Doku 15) on Tuesday on the boss' dime, running unexepctedly into friends on Wednesday, when buying a Nintendo DS, which led to dinner with more friends. New toy with the DS. Home got tidied up finally yesterday, combined with a great dinner... and now it's Friday and I'll be seeing some great improv on The Danforth tonight, and seeing a high school friend I haven't seen in ages make with the funny... which is completely unexpected since I was originally going because of someone else in the cast. I always tell people Toronto is just a small village of 2.6 million people. Top it off with another friend's 30th tomorrow, and sitting around aimlessly on Sunday will be a welcome respite. Or maybe I'll head out for a live game if the mood takes me.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Easy Come...

Well, that was short-lived. Let's look at the flipside of the donkeys flooding the sites.

I've got just over $2 in my Stars account now. Why? Well, occasionally due to me being suckered into a well-played hand. Mostly though, due to the always popular fucking donkeys and their fucking rivers. I don't know, you flop two pair on a rainbow, non-straightening flop and check-raise a guy all-in. He calls with an A3o that paired the 3??? Of course, the next 3 hits the river.

Runner-runner straights, flushes, 2-outer full boats... I think I've seen them all over the past couple days. I've taken most of them with a nod and moved on. But twice I've walked away having lost what I started with after the moron reacts like he just made the greatest move in the history of Poker. There's little as annoying as a "yesssss!" when somebody rivers their THIRD STRAIGHT IN A ROW (all rivered).

But, I'm pissed at myself most of all - I got cocky and let it beat me. I don't think I made too many horrible moves, and I wasn't play every hand in an effort to catch... but I got sick of letting go of decent hands to people who raised with nothing.

So I might play the Mookie tonight, I might not. My FT account is still okay, and I should really start chipping up my FCP account again... once they figure out their transition problems. Hell, maybe I'll see how Absolute is doing these days. At Stars though, I'm going to try and turn $2 into $200... let's see how that works. At least I've still got the winnings from the live tourney. Don't get me wrong, I'm not exactly betting my shirt here... and I think the fact I'm so put off right now is a good sign -- it means any amount of cash still matters to me. If I wasn't so beat today, I'd probably head out again tonight for the live game.

Or maybe I'll just sit at home, catch up on Torchwood, play some Ultimate Alliance, fire up the Gamecube, read a book or 12, or most likely -- try out my brand new DS Lite. Hmm.. looking back at that, I'd think I was 18... but nope, I'm just a geek.

15 days until I leave for Banff for some skiing and possibly gambling (in Calgary, guess I should talk to Jo). A month until bonus time at work... that could be dangerous. If the blogger trip to Vegas was the following weekend, I'd be all over it like a fat kid on a smartie. As it stands though, I'll just have to live vicariously through the rest of you.

Monday, November 13, 2006

A Profitable Endeavour

Well, that was a profitable weekend. As I wrote earlier, I've decided to play a live cash level online. For me, this equates to $1/2 NLHE, with a $200 buy-in. The first day I tried it saw about a $72 profit. I sat down Friday night to play a bit... and lasted 15 minutes. Why? Because I decided that after 15 min, I should quit whilst ahead, and I was up $167 in that time. The cards were hitting hard, and the donkeys were in full effect.

Sunday rolled around and it was time to make my way to the first monthly deep-stack "Long Grind" tournament at the club. $200 buy-in, 10,000 in chips. 21 players, and ridiculous amounts of action. All-ins in the first level (25-50), a table merge in the 2nd level, a cash game started up after the break with the number of people knocked out, final table before the 3rd hour if I recall. Moves that didn't work, incredible draws that caught, one good solid blow-up by the person everyone expected it from when he watched the big stack knock out another victim when his 67s caught two pair on the turn. Nothing quite like someone say repeatedly "I play GOOD poker. I'm a GOOD player. I don't play crap like that." Especially when their definition of good poker is: Play with pocket pairs, any two faces/aces and AGONIZE over folding middle pairs when there's 2 overs on the board and they're faced with a raise. Guy has no concept of betting, playing draws, odds, etc.. Which is why we love him, because he bitches every week, and then comes back for more, never actually improving his game, and passing judgement on everyone (somehow I went from being a "good player" last time to "eeeeeehhhhhh" this time).

Sorry for the tangent... where was I? Oh yah, lots of action, fast-paced game, and I was sitting pretty. My pocket Aces early on won me a good chunk of change which held up through fairly solid card death until I started catching again. My big moment came when I crippled the chip leader when my pocket Aces held to the river and I nearly doubled my stack to take the chip lead (after slowly chipping up for the last 10 hands). From there I played, in my humble opinion, pretty good big-stack poker, stealing blinds, scaring away callers post-flop, and slowly but surely building my stack. When the bubble came, I did what I could to keep it alive, but the next biggest stack had other ideas and burst it prematurely.

In the end, it was down to three of us, and after at least one bad fold on my part (I folded pocket 8's to what ended up being A2o), and blinds at 2000/4000, I was dropping chips fast. With 20,000 left on the button, I went all-in with K3c, which ALMOST scared off an A2o, and should have scared off whatever crap the BB had, but didn't on either count. Caught my K on the flop, but A2 caught his A as well, and IGH. But, 3rd place was good for $540... a $340 profit for about 6 hours of play. Not too shabby. Would have preferred he $900 for 2nd, or $1800 for first... which the remaining two decided to chop.

And so home I did go, wallet a bit fatter. I toiled around the homestead for a couple hours before sitting comfortably in front of Stars. Found Kat in a SnG she was too tired for and railbirded for her last few hands before I picked a cash game. Again, 1/2, $200 buy-in. Up a small amount to start, and then a slow drop in chips as people stopped respecting my raises and I stopped catching anything. Then... the cards improved and the donkeys got cocky. I completed my SB with 64h, 6x4 on the flop, which I bet at and got called, 4 on the turn, which I checked and got bet at, followed by me checking on the river and getting bet at again brought me over my starting position. A couple hands later, I find QJ, raise, get callers. KsQx4s, bet, call. Qx on the turn, check, bet, call. Js river. I check, he big bets, I re-raise bet-size, he re-re-raises the bet size again, I push, he calls... he steams. You could feel the disbelief and anger through the screen, even though he didn't type a thing in the chat. I mean, how could his flush not hold up with KxQQJ on the board? Thank you Party Poker for closing down your US operations. Full Tilt and Stars have never been better.

After that, I knocked out some small stacks, dropped my jaw when my AJc held up with AKTTx on the board against two big betters, and shut it all down after and hour of play and a $202 profit. So.. from Friday to Sunday night... let's say $709 profit in about 7 1/2 hours of play. The Stars earnings alone have brought me about $160 off of breaking even since I zeroed-out my account in August and started tracking my cash flow.

This probably means I'll be playing the Hoy tonight, where I'll get rightly smacked down and brought back to reality. Then again, I've won a MATH before... who's to say I can't repeat?

Like I've maintained... a long post that is nothing but me babbling about me and teaching you nothing. A man's got to do something at work, right?


PS - Should I go to this Vegas thing? Seems like people have the fun, and I like the Vegas. But I was there a month ago. Plus, I'd be soloing, which, in Vegas, might not be a bad thing...

Friday, November 10, 2006

Neither Tom Hanks nor a Donkey

In my last post I mentioned a bachelor party for a buddy. Buddy likes the poker. He's an alright player, but in that home-game way. For the twilight of his years of freedom, part of the festivities involved a poker tournament. Of the 20-some people in attendance, there was a significant percentage for whom the game of poker was a mystery. Sure, they knew OF poker, but that was about it. For instance, it happened more than once that someone would win with a flush and say, "I know I won... but could somebody explain to me why?" I personally saved one guy from elimination when nobody else at the table realized he had flopped a flush... and that it beat another guy's turned straight.

Now, this should provide ample opportunity to succeed for the more knowledgeable. I was, in fact, quite happy with the situation... at first. This would be turn out to be the most card dead night of poker I have ever experienced. Playing at a 6-handed table, I saw narry a hand I could play. The first, and only, truly playable pocket cards I saw were AKo, and when I bet, everyone folded. Considering the word "fold" seemed foreign to my opponents prior to this, they quickly displayed their aptitude for the language.

Often, when one is card dead and folding merrily away, there are boards that cause the player to cringe. Their T4o flops trips, and then discovers it's really a full house that didn't know it yet when the river comes. This didn't happen once in this game. Every single hand I folded I had no post-decision regrets about, because I would have never even caught a pair.

I tried to crank up my aggression and scare them away... no dice. Weak players who are call stations... fantastic. Needless to say, I went out before any tables merged.

So -- what does one do in this situation? Other than lose that is. You have absolutely NO cards, and the players around you are calling stations so you can't scare them away. Is there any way to win? Do you become even MORE aggressive? Start going all-in all the time? Play every scare card as if it just gave you the stone cold nuts? Shout "Hey! Look over there!" and then steal all the aces when everyone looks? Thoughts?

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Long and Winding Road

Gimme a "P", etc.... POKER! So, post-Big Game, I haven't played a blogger event this week. No Hoy (no money), no WWdN (busy), no Mookie (playing live).. Kind of refreshing actually. Don't get me wrong, I still like 'em, but I just haven't been in the right mindset for comitting to an online tournament of late.

Instead, I donked off my Stars balance to $0.01, and then decided to try an experiment... refill to $211 (the $11 was for the WWdN, but that didn't happen), and play my live limits. So I sat down at 1/2 NLHE cash and dropped my 2 C's on the table. First game - lost $38... cleared my $40 bonus. Next game - up $70 before I decided to try sleeping. Next time, I'll start before 11pm.

Then I played live last night. Didn't make it too far in the tourney - out shortly after the break when my KJo met another KJo and pocket Aces. Me and my card-twin both got knocked out. Considering my all-in was one BB... I saw it coming.

Cash game was long and arduous, and I ultimately lost. The last time I was that card dead was at a game for a buddy's bachelor party with a bunch of noobs who needed the rankings written down for them and constant explanation of what a flush was. Seriously. That's another story though. Last night, my BEST hand was AJs, which caught NOTHING on the flop, and my pre-flop raise was called by everyone. I don't play a hand for an hour, and suddenly everyone has a a hand? That was my night. I chipped up a BIT at the beginning when my pocket deuces became a set, and then 2's full of Aces and I took out Mister A8c. After that... nada. I'd fold crap and watch it turn into two pair or a straight... I'd limp in with anything and watch nothing come of it. I think I changed up my pre-flop strategy 4 or 5 times to no avail... I couldn't scare anyone away (stupid calling stations), I couldn't catch anything, I couldn't even play an effective luckbox donkey. So, after a few hours, I finally put in my last chips with K7s, which ran into call-boy's QTo which caught a T. I should've left much earlier.

Strangely enough, I'll be back there for the deep-stack tournament... 5-7 hours of grinding poker. Should be fun.

No WWdN Not for me tonight, or CC's, or donk2shark. Instead I'm going to go listen to Bill Clinton speak and give some money to Nelson Mandela's Children Foundation. I think it makes for a more interesting time than soaking up the rays from my monitor. Plus, it gives me an excuse to wear a suit... and I look good in a suit.

Today's entry:

I hope Kat feels better soon.

Monday, November 06, 2006


As planned, I saw Borat on Friday - hilarious movie, with some truly idiotic people. 2 of the 3 guys in the RV will never get laid again. If they do, I will weep for the state of the world.

Hit das poker on Saturday, and blasted through two token levels to get my $75 for the Big Game. Seriously, the level 1 token was a walk in the park. It helps when you start with AK, followed by AQ, then KK a couple hands later, and knock out the donktastic calling stations along the way. Level 2 was a bit trickier, but in the end, it didn't take much effort to get the token.

Then I tried again - level 1 no problem... level 2 - went out 9th after a boneheaded move.

Played some cash, made some, lost more.

Played The Big Game, and went out after the first break, but in a less-than-flatering position. That said, my call with A6c vs QTo did have me ahead until the Q hit on the flop. I think I'll live though.

Don't know if I'll play in The Hoy tonight. My Stars account is low, and I'm kind of sick of refilling it. I might do a little grinding or play an MTT or SnG to try and build the roll first.

I AM getting a hankering for live poker again though - Kat? Guin? Any interest in hitting the Wednesday game? How are you looking for the deep-stack this weekend?

And now today's 6-word entry. This one isn't mine, it's taken from Wired's Very Short Stories.

Osama’s time machine: President Gore concerned.
- Charles Stross

Friday, November 03, 2006

Deuxieme Personne

Real Life today had me thinking... how WOULD a 2nd-person video game work?

First person is easy, you're the character. Third person would be you controlling a character that isn't you. But second person would require you to control a "you". Perhaps by interacting with another character who is, in fact, the main character. Something like Tiger Woods' Caddy 2006, where the golfer asks for a particular club and you give it to him. Or you get to be the useless sidekick for the hero?

Definitely an untapped market.

No Poker - Day II

Woohoo! Another succesful day of not playing poker! I think tonight will also be successful, because I'll be seeing Borat! I hope movie is success, I no want Borat execute.

Mayhaps Saturday I'll take a stab at a token for Las Big Game. If I get all the usual around-the-house crap done that's been piling up (literally) for weeks.

Today's entry:

When the robots rose, things worsened.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


It appears that just about everyone is doing this write-a-novel month thing. Bully for all y'all. No, seriously, I'm impressed by your valiant literary efforts. You definitely show more ambition than me. Then again, there are days the ambition of a sea sponge is a stretch for yours truly. Regardless, good luck to everyone who is making the attempt.

I, however, am tempted to start the NaSeWriMo - National Sentence Writing Month. Yup. One word every few days to get out a whole sentence by the end of the month. But that would get tired quickly. Instead, I will write the occasional very short story to show my solidarity with your cause.

Today's entry:

My first, and last, thought -- you.


Know what I did last night? I didn't play poker! Sort of a shame, since the Mookie had been mildly profitable for me of late. But still, it was refreshing -- especially since the past few days, my play has been sub-par and forced. I think I'll avoid it tonight too, and see how I feel come the weekend. Poker burn-out is dangerous.


Nietzsche Family Circus - random combinations of a Family Circus panel and a Nietzsche quote. Brilliant!

Some of my favourites.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Revenge of the Geek

Hmm. Does this relate to Poker? Somewhat, but after the next couple paragraphs, I don't speak of it anymore. After all, just about every poker player out there is a geek. You know it's true, don't lie to me or yourself. True, there's your non-geek players, but they aren't serious players... they sit down with a few hundred bucks, laugh at everyone, get frustrated that nobody's betting, and when there IS a showdown, they somehow have the worse hand... but they don't count.

Seriously, find me a pro who's started in the last 10-15 years who wouldn't get their ass kicked in grade school. Sure you've got your old boys like Cloutier and Brunson who don't fit the geek mold, but their game was always based more on intimidation and instinct than raw math.

Now, this isn't an insult. Geeks have been cool for years now... and geek != dork. I'm not saying poker players are socially inept (although some would argue), or have horrible skin problems and are in a constant state of puberty... but they set off the geek radar tremendously. Face it, this a game that requires some math skills, intuition, focus, hours of "solitude" and other hallmarks of geekdom. Even the ones who don't "look" like geeks, are inevitably geeky. This is why Universities have poker clubs full of math, science, and engineering majors.

But poker is just one area of geekdom that is solidly mainstream these days. That's what this post is about. Everyone knows that "geek chic" came into existence in the 90's. Groups like Weezer took the Elvis Costello/Buddy Holly style and modernized it once again. Nirvana spoke to disenfranchisd youth and made rock cool again. Star Trek was all over the place again with The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine. Movies by Kevin Smith and Quentin Tarentino make millions. Even Wrestling became mainstream by the late 90's. Then there was the Internet, which made countless geeks very, very rich. Bill Gates, the biggest geek of all, is also the richest man of all. The jocks might make millions, but their paycheques come from the geeks who own their teams. With money comes power, and with money and power comes focus from the media, advertisers, and all that goes with that. It becomes a self-sustaining cycle.

So then there's the less obvious geek shows that appear - Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Gilmour Girls, Family Guy, The Simpsons, Greg the Bunny, Arrested Development. Yes, if you're a fan of any of these shows, you have geek in you. There's countless more.

Now, many geeks happen to share some common histories. In among these are the nostalgic moments and memories -- Transformers, Thundercats, Smurfs, Saturday Morning Cartoons, Buck Rogers, Star Trek, Star Wars, Looney Tunes, Voltron, comic books, superheroes, etc.. These start coming back to feed the desire for these old toys. Movies, toys, graphic novels, TV shows, all catering to the gen-x and gen-y'ers who wonder where their Optimus Prime ended up. Obviously I'm male-biased, but many of the female geeks I know (and there's many), share some of these loves, along with Jem, Rainbow Brite, She-Ra and others (and to be honest, most of the guys watched these too).

All this leads to what is a golden age of geeky acceptance today. Off the top of my head, these are some of the most critically and/or commerically successful shows and movies of the past few years:

Spider-Man, X-Men, Dr. Who, Lost, Batman, Battlestar Galactica, Pirates of the Carribean, Boston Legal, American Pie, The Office, 40 year-old Virgin, Dodgeball, The West Wing, Firefly, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, House, Alias, Anything with Jack Black or Will Ferrell, Star Wars, The Matrix, Harry Potter...

Oh, sure, there are others that don't fit the vein, but my point isn't that Geekdom is everything, but that it's accepted openly among other forms, and dominates mainstream entertainment. If you haven't seen Battlestar Galactica, you are missing the best thing on television. Hands-down. No, there's no freakin' Muffit and his annoying kid. You can find everyone else's glowing reviews out there. Dr. Who revitalized an ancient series beloved by millions and made it even more awesome -- why? Because the people making it now aren't corporate suits - they're geeks who grew up watching the original.

But wait! House? Studio 60? Lost? Pirates of the Carribean? West Wing? Yup - geek all. Do you really think you can call a show with a British comedian playing an American doctor that's full of complex medical jargon non-geek? Anything by Aaron Sorkin is geek - simply because to keep up, you have to have a brain. Ditto with JJ Abrams. Pirates have been in the geek domain for decades... and Disney rides? Pure Geek. Oh, and all you Veronica Mars fans? Geek. She's Nancy Drew for the 21st century. Just wait until someone with money realizes this and recreates the Hardy Boys under a different name.

Spider-man and the X-Men, some of the last vestiges of MAJOR superheroes to make it to the big screen just go ahead and demolish box office records. Who's going to beat Spider-man's opening weekend grosses? Why, the next Spider-man of course. Or maybe Harry Potter - a geek with magic powers -- which is no different than any superhero, who are all created by geeks. Speaking of superheroes... anybody watching Heroes? I haven't had a chance to catch up yet, but it's an excellent concept if they pull it off properly, and I can't seem to go more than a couple days without somebody asking me if I watch it.

Since geeks naturally gravitate towards technology, it's not surprising that many of these shows are embraced in those realms. Huge DVD sales, gigabytes of bandwidth dedicated to their downloads and discussion, and home entertainment setups or computers to play them on.

What's the common thread among these points? Intelligence. These are shows, movies, songs, games, activites, etc. that require some amount of thought to enjoy. Sure, there's escapism in all of them, but the fact you actually have to engage your grey matter to get the most out of them makes it all the more enjoyable.

You're going to argue about Will Ferrel and Jack Black movies? Go watch them again and tell me there isn't a subtle brilliance to the perfomances, the way the dialogues work, the setup for the jokes. This isn't Pauly Shore we're talking about here. Sure, there's an element of stupidity here, but the major diffrence? These are people who are mocking themselves, and inviting everyone to laugh along with them. Geeks are nothing if not self-deprecating. The best part? These loveable losers, these geeks, inevitably come out on top... unless Ben Stiller's playing the bad guy... then he loses. I will still argue that Dodgeball and 40-year old Virgin are two of the best major-studio movies I've seen in the last couple years.

What brought this post on? Reading somebody else's list of TV shows they watch. They only had one show on that list that I wasn't interested in (How I Met Your Mother), and that was because they knew half the writing staff it seemed (although having NPH and Allyson Hannigan in it is a plus, and nudges into geekland). Seemingly disparate forms all fall under the geek umbrella. Somehow, these connections are invisible to many marketers and networks out there. But I'll bet you no small portion of Studio 60's audience also watches Battlestar Galactica and were wrestling fans at some point (and maybe still are?), and are torn between House and Veronica Mars on Tuesday - except they have Tivo and the Internet, so they'll be okay... all the while awaiting the Transformers movie and the next book from Neil Gaiman. Of course, they also have Futurama and Family Guy on DVD to tide them over. That is, if they're aren't playing in the weekly Hold 'em Tournament hosted by Wesley Crush... err... Wil Wheaton.

Friday, October 27, 2006


Last night = never to be spoken of again.

I kinda wanted to play poker... but my head apparently wasn't really in it. Let's quickly cover my games:

9pm - Donk2Shark - I played well, then went into donkey-mode and gave away all my chips and went out early. At the same time, I was in a token game for the $75 token which I'd started earlier. Went out of that one in 10th after I tilted.

10pm - Riverchasers tourney - Again, started well, finished poorly. I think I was the first blogger out.

10:30pm - WWdN Not - Finished 8th out of 16. This is the one I will speak of.

Post Not - 0.25/0.50 NLHE cash game on Stars, where I promptly gave away my $30 stack when senor LAG kept hitting his crap despite my raises. Same old story. Also, I played like a pinball machine in an earthquake.

So, I was actually doing alright in the Not. I'd more-or-less turned off the tilt beast and kicked my inner donkey in the teeth. Played my usual game and range, and did alright. Made a few folds I wasn't sure of, but figured it was better to keep some chips in front of me than give them away meaninglessly. Then HighOnPoker ended up on my left.

Here's the thing with High - in these blogger games (and maybe in the non-blogger ones), he plays a pretty wide range of hands. He's aggressive with scare cards, or any sense of weakness. I seem to be his whipping boy of late. Every tournament in the last month or so where I've ended up at a table with him, I've been forced to tighten up against him, only to have him actually have a better hand than me, or suck out on me to knock me out when I finally get a hand.

Now, don't get me wrong, I've nothing against the guy or his style of play. In fact, I respect his play and his analysis of hands. He's obviously making a strong effort to constantly improve. I'm just offering the background for the following.

I had an M around 9 I think, and found AJo in front of me in the SB (positions may be off by a spot). No action in front of me and I raise 5x BB. High, in the BB, re-raises to put me all-in. Fed up with being pushed off time and again, I call... my M would have been small, and I know he's got a wide range. He of course flips over AQs, and flops the flush (which has one of my Jacks in it). Nothing more to help me, and I'm out.

Normally I'd fold AJo to a big raise, but this time I just couldn't. I was on a personal tilt, which is exactly what that style is trying to accomplish. I'm angry at myself for falling prey to it... if there's one thing I've been good at, it's NOT going after someone, and this time, I failed. Then again, I've never claimed I don't have a lot to learn.

That, or I was right in my earlier post and High DOES live 2 min in the future.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I've Seen This Show Before

Let's make this quick. It's Wednesday. That means Mookietime. That means a late night.

I took but one screenshot, it's at the bottom. It has nothing to do with me. I'm sure you'll see similar at Hoy's blog, and others. Quite the hand.

I don't remember much. Had some decent hands, sucked out once or twice, played my game -- not that weak-passive crap I played on Monday at the Hoy. Came in 5th out of 61 for some more cash. What can I say? I'm liking this thing. Now if I can just get my Hoy and WWdN mojo back, I'll be good.

Went out when my KhQc ran into AhAs pre-flop. 5KJc on the flop, and then nothing more to help your humble scrivener. Once again at a final table with Waffles, I think he's stalking me.

**EDIT - Ran the numbers, turns out I was ahead after the flop. I had a feeling I was - 14 outs twice, plus the runner-runner straight draw. So now it kinda sucks that I didn't hit :).**

It's late, I've got nothing to say. That should be obvious by now. Here's the shot:

'Nite all.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Door Number 2

Well, donked away more than a few bucks in token events at FT over the past week in an effort to get into The Big Game. I'm sure others have spent waaaay more than me in the effort, but eventually I figured it was cheaper for me to buy in directly. So I did.. I mean, over $1,000 for first wasn't a bad haul.

38 entrants, I went out 15th if I recall correctly. My QQ (M=1) met KTd, and I said (to nobody in particular, since I was alone), "Here come the tens." Flush draw for my esteemed opponent on the flop, but that didn't hit... noooooo... T on the turn, and T on the river sends me home. I guess it was just ending it quickly and painlessly. I blame nobody but myself and HighOnPokr, who I can only assume lives 2 minutes in the future, and therefore knows when I'm betting on either a medium-strength hand or a draw so he re-raises me when scarier cards are there. Why this assumption and not that he's just a pushmonkey? Because he's NOT in the hands where I actually have something strong.

Congrats to Iakaris for cashing, and Kat for bubbling at 6th. I can imagine she was ready to snap when she went out so close to the money (cowboys killed by a straight). That said, for someone who was complaining about her terrible play a couple weeks ago, she's doing remarkably well of late in the blogger events. And of course, congrats to Lucko for the 1st place finish.

It was a good time, and I'm not that surprised by the turnout. The blogger events are generally played for fun. Where else can you get potentially hours of entertainment for $10? Even The Hoy's $20 buy-in is reasonable, but it scares away some people. All that said, I don't think there are many in the games who are playing simply to throw away money. We all take pride in our game, our traps and strategies, and our bluffs. A bigger prize, and a bigger buy-in was definitely called-for, and letting people token in was a great move -- it allowed the same level of fun, but with more on the line. Good job Don, and thanks.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Everybody Always Complains About the Weather...

Apparently the best solution to just missing the money is to bitch about it in your blog. Last night was Wednesday, also known as Mooksday. In typical Guin fashion, I went out for drinks after work and got a bit too drunk to actually play poker effectively. Unlike Guin though, I decided to go straight home instead of playing at our local live game and losing. Note, this did take me looking into a mirror and telling myself I was too drunk to play... at about 7:30pm EDT.

So, what's one to do? Why one's to head home, grab some McD's (ugh, I must have been drinking), and play video games until one is sober enough to sit down at the computer and fire up the Mookie. This also took a concerted effort on my part to not turn on the computer and donk away in cash games beforehand. Damn, but I'm resilient when I've been drinking.

So starts the Mookie at 10pm, and I find myself at the greatest table ever assembled apparently. Kat, Waffles, Pauly, Skidoo, jjok, and more. I played my usual game, and played fairly well. Big highlight? Pocket Jacks. Mookie goes all-in for not-so-much, Waffles calls him, and I re-raise all-in. Waffles calls. Both Mook and Waffles show KTo, and my Jacks are Okay, giving me the near-triple, and Mookie's $10 Vegas bounty, which I have instructed him to throw away on video penny Megabucks. Of course, if it wins the $17mil jackpot... but we won't think of things that will never be. Besides, I'm sure the $10 that wins it will suddenly become Mookie's instead of mine :).

During the first break, with an okay stack, my computer decides I have wronged it in some way and pulls everyone's favourite trick - wireless problems. FT hacks up a hairball, and while my computer swears, SWEARS I'm still connected, I ain't gettin' no Internet love. So, it's a reset, and a reset of the modem and router too. Back on and I don't think I've missed much... when it all blows up again and I try once more with the resetting. This time it teases me a bit, but a good growl from me puts it back in line and all is good. I've been nailed by the blinds at least once in all this, but it's no big loss. Somewhere in all this, Waffles moved from my right to my immediate left.

2nd chance kicks in, and I join, deciding to multitable. Waffles on my immediate right this time. I can't shake the guy tonight! About 3 hands in, I get KJo, and raise. Called by one player, flop comes xKJ and I'm happy. I bet, get called. Curious. Turn is nothing, so I check... and get a decent-sized bet back... so I push, and get called?? My opponent (honestly can't remember who it was) shows pocket TT. Oooookay... and of course, the T hits the river and I'm out of the second chance. Good, I was losing concentration anyway.

Back to the main event. Keep playing with a short stack, always hovering in the bottom 3 or 4. Somehow, I manage to hold on until the final table (a few blinds and antes taken, and I think one double-up on a decent hand)... respect for your raises is fine, unless you want some damn action when you get dealt Kings twice in 3 orbits. Naturally, Waffles is on my immediate right. Immediately get into the battle of the short stacks that I win (my KQ vs his AT or somesuch)... bringing me one closer to the money. Now comes bubble-time.

I go all-in a couple times, and either scare people off, or get NewinNov to donate to my cause (luck was on my side). Then I see pocket 4s, and Waffles goes all-in before me. I figure he's on a draw and call... and I'm right. He ends up with a flush draw on the flop, a gutshot on the turn, and somehow doesn't hit any of it, with my 4s holding up. Waffles is still barely alive, with about 870 in chips. He goes all-in next hand and just about everybody calls. NewinNov takes that one down when his 2x meets the 262 on the flop. So I've finally made the money again.

I go all-in and NewinNov re-raises my K7h, the next person over calls all-in (I should really take screen shots). I'm worried. New flips over QJo, and contestant number 2 flips over pocket 8s. My K hits the river, and I'm amazingly up in the ranks, and up significantly in chips. New continued to donate to my charity until I had around 19k in chips.

Then my imminent demise. 4 players left, and I see Q8o in the SB. Blinds are 600-1200 with 150 ante. 2400 in the pot with no action, and 600 for me to call. So I call. Smokkee (BB) checks. Flop comes TTQ. Okay... I bet 2400. Smokkee calls. Curious. I get a feeling for him having a ten, but could also be a pocket pair or he just doesn't believe me. I check the turn, he bets... I re-raise all-in and auto-regret it. I KNOW he has the ten. Sure enough, over comes T6o or somesuch, and my one-outer doesn't hit. So I go home 4th, with a $55 profit. It was a stupid, STUPID move on my part, and I knew it. That said, it was 1am, and I was happy to go to bed. I'm not going to complain much though. I mean, I knocked out Mookie and got the $10 Vegas bounty, finished 4th out of 60, and finished in the money. Complaining would be foolish.

Going to the Raptors/Maccabi Tel Aviv exhibition game tonight (big rematch from last year's pre-season debacle), so we'll see if I make the Not in time. Definitely won't make the donk2shark. But hey, free tickets get handed to you... do you say no?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Poker? She's Your Sister!

A 'quick' update. I'm back to my hearty losing ways online. Thank goodness, I was starting to think I maybe knew how to play this game. Played in the Bad Beat on Cancer tournament on Sunday, and held on for a few hours. No crazy moves, and went out just before the money. It was nice to be one of the few remaining bloggers around at that point. Congrats to Kat on finishing 10th! I also grabbed a shot of Change100's evil stack of 16,666... seemed appropriate, what with the horns and all.

Monday means I'm At The Hoy. Top 3 paid if I recall... I went out 8th. No big hands that I can recall... but then again, I was distracted by a phone call after I made the final table. Luckily(?) I was card dead, so it didn't affect me too much.

Tuesday, why it must be time for the WWdN. It was the emcee invitational, but in reality, it was the last WWdN for Loud for the forseeable future. Apparently a 14 hour time difference and a new job means playing poker at 10:30am isn't as plausible as it used to be. I went out 24th I believe. I played too many hands, and was really off my game... the Lagavulin might have had something to do with it too. Okay, it had a lot to do with it.

Mix in some horrible, horrible cash games the past couple days, two failed level 1 token attempts (why? see above, re: Scotch, although I did far better the 2nd time through), a SnG I was kicking ass in until I stopped kicking ass, and overall, it's been a not so great few days results-wise.

I've more or less got my positional awareness going these days, and I'm also adjusting my range based on the number of players, etc.. I still have to work on making moves though. People get the impression I'm a bit LAG-y with the number of raises I sometimes make, but it's actually very rare that I'm playing without a hand I like pre-flop. I think once I settle into where I'm trying to get, my results will start improving again. It's not like I'm doing horribly, but it can get a touch frustrating to continually come close to the cash, and miss.

Monday, October 16, 2006

A Noble Campaign

Dove's been running the Campaign for Real Beauty for a while now. Pictures of normal women on billboards, with checkboxes that say things like "Fat or Fab?" I support the idea behind the campaign, but haven't really agreed with the delivery. I'm not a moron or an easily-influenced teenager with self-esteem problems, so I'm well aware of the fact that advertising and marketing portray unattainable ideals. Be it flawless models or flawless pizzas (not to compare the two), it's never the way it's advertised.

My problem with the original billboards is that they had the possibility of being demeaning. I have very little faith in human beings. Putting an average-sized woman on a giant billboard and asking people to visit the dove site and voting on if she's fat or fab had disaster written all over it. The vote tended to stay around 50/50. The fact is, that despite knowledge that body image is being manipulated by the media, people still have become accustomed to what "beautiful" is in our society... so a woman, who, let's say, is 5'7" and 150lbs seems "fat" when put in the context of advertising.

All this is a lead up to this link. I think Dove got it right with this one. In walks a woman, seems perfectly average. You work with her, she's your neighbour, etc.. No makeup, no fancy clothes, nothing done with her hair, and from the brief full-body view, in decent shape, but not uber-skinny or scary-athletic. The lights are harsh and show all the blemishes. Over the next minute, she's transformed... a flurry of hands apply makeup, do her hair, change the lighting, and take the picture. Then this photo of a model-perfect woman is dropped into an image-editing program and further altered. Finally it all appears on a billboard, the original woman is replaced by this image of "perfection" -- a woman who doesn't really exist.

Friday, October 13, 2006


No real point for the title. Played in the $80 SnG WPT Niagara super-satellite last night. 8 people showed up, meaning no second place prize and we all chipped in an extra $5 for the dealer. I was pretty much card dead the whole night, and watched as crap-hand after crap-hand that I threw away turned into the winner. Can't be upset about throwing away T5o though. Ended up going out 5th. I think everyone was calling me "Mike" for some reason... not my name. I waited around a bit, debated on playing the cash game... but my gut was screaming at me to leave... so I did. Donked off $25 more in a cash game on FCP when I got home, and decided it wasn't my night for poker. I think I'll be staying away from the club for a couple weeks... those busts in Ottawa have made me a bit nervous.


Ok, on to stuff that doesn't affect me quite so much, but is still poker-related. First, congrats to Hoy on getting a gig at Card Squad. Even more of a chance for all of us bloggers to know what he's up to when he's trying to steal from us.

It's Black Friday the 13th today - El Presidente Jorge W Bush signed the Port Security Bill, which of course has the completely relevant anti-online-gambling bill addendum. Again, being Canadian, this has little DIRECT effect on me, but plenty of collateral damage. It's looking far more likely that it really isn't going to do much more than scare off some people, and cause fish sites like Partypoker and Titan to fold up in the U.S... which again, doesn't have an effect on me, especially since I play on neither.

What is a bit more major though is what it's done to the big game satellites. Harrah's has apparently let the online sites know that it will no longer be accepting 3rd party registrations to the WSOP. I can't find a news link on this, but Change100 has got a bit of a write-up. Phil Gordon's predicting a field of 2200 next year because of this. I think this is a bit low, but unless a workaround happens or Harrah's drops this, it won't be a $12 million first prize again. Apparently, WPT is doing the same thing for US events. The fear seems to be that anyone who wins their way in, or the representatives of the company that would be there, would be subject to prosecution when the show up. This doesn't affect out-of-country events like the Aussie Millions, the EPT, etc..

Let me explain it a bit more for the slow -- this means people will have to register themselves to the event, and pony up the $10,000 buy-in (or whatever buy-in the event calls for). Pokerstars can't say "You won! Here's $2,000 in your account, and you're bought in to the main event. Just show up." The obvious solution would be to put $12,000 into your account, but as has been said by others - you have $12,000 in your pocket... do you fly to Vegas and spend it? Or does it go into your kid's college fund, or towards that downpayment, or the renovations, or the new car? Suddenly, playing against thousands of other people hundreds of kilometers from home with minimal chance of making the money seems less like a good idea. So this could effectively kill the huge WSOP boom.

This smells fishy to me. It makes NO sense to institute a blanket ban on 3rd party registration. Sure, the bulk of the players are from the US, but what about non-US players? What about satellites run from brick-and-mortar casinos? There is no good reason why *I* shouldn't be able to play in an online WSOP satellite and be able to go. It's not illegal for me, being Canadian, to transfer money to a poker site, so I face no prosecution upon arrival.

Now, there's conspiracy theories out there. Harrah's has contributed to Bill Frist in the past ($19,250 1995-2000)... but I don't see a contribution beyond that. I could be reading things wrong at Opensecrets though. There's rumours that they tacitly supported the UIGEA. There's speculation that this is a big step into Harrah's opening its OWN online presence. I can see why that last one holds some sway -- if you're the only place that offers a WSOP satellite entry online, then you're going to get some big time action -- but it contradicts the supposed support of the UIGEA.

What seems to be overlooked here is that Harrah's is in the process of being bought. Two private equity firms have bid for the world's largest casino company to the tune of $15.1 billion dollars. This offer was actually upped to $15.5 billion by the parties the other day. During all this? The ratings for Harrah's have been going down by analysts.

The fact is, Harrah's will be bought. They have big expansion plans in Vegas, they have the World Series, and they need the money and patience of a private equity firm to see this all happen effectively. They just happen to be holding out for $85 a share... making shareholders quite happy. This deal's been happening since mid-September at least.

So... big company, being wooed by lots of money. You want more money. They've kiboshed a plan to build a casino resort in Singapore because of this deal. New owners are coming in, this changes things. It changes relationships, it changes agreements, it changes plans, it changes legalities, it changes policies. It's all about the big picture. Nobody wants to buy a company that could be countermanding federal law. So Harrah's covers its ass by banning 3rd party registration. I don't think this will last forever, but it may very well affect next year's Series, and I think there may be some twists when it IS dropped.

As for the WPT? Well, I think they're just scared. They've spent all this time building a big brand, and between the ban from some big name players and now this, they don't want to risk losing it all. Heck, even the Shana Hiatt thing looks bad on them. It frankly sounds like an organization being run by lawyers these days.

Back to Harrah's. They're buying/bought Barbary Coast, they've got land east of The Strip... they practically own the east side of The Strip as it is. They've got big plans. Hell, they bought Binions essentially for the WSOP. They promised the WSOP is just getting started. How sad would it be if Jamie Gold is the biggest winner ever? *MY* guess? (and it's only a guess) - In a couple years, there won't be the WSOP at the Rio. It'll be at some other huge property from Harrah's, maybe even one that focuses on poker. Expect year-round WSOP satellites being run from their family of casinos as well, or officially sponsored events at non-Harrah's casinos (ie.- in Canada). If/when the UIGEA comes down, expect Harrah's to form partnerships with certain online sites to offer online satellites. Drives business for those sites, and Harrah's gets a cut. What? That's a dickish thing for them to do? Too bad, they'll be a privately-held company. Heck, the online presence doesn't sound too far-fetched either at that point. What Harrah's is doing is gambling. They know the WSOP isn't going to die. It will wane, it'll drop to Moneymaker or Raymer-year levels. Then they're hoping it will grow, only this time they'll be the ones controlling all the entrances. Remember, the goal of any company is to profit, and despite all the nice ideas of making the customer happy and playing nice with your neighbours, companies still have the mindset of if you control it all, you make all the money. On top of that, Harrah's is a business built on the compulsive, the addicted -- the gamblers. They know full well that they have a hardcore base that won't go anywhere no matter what they do. They also know that when they offer alternative means for people to get in cheap, that the fish will swim upstream to get there.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Lord I Was Born A Rambling Man

Hmmm... of which topic to speak of this day? How about Crazy 8's? Old Maid? No? Poker? Oh, okay. Be warned, I feel babbling coming on.

So, since last week I've been on a weeeee bit of a downturn. Playing the role of donkey, drunk, or just unlucky bastard. Played cash games and lost my stack. Played tournaments and went out in the middle. Guess it's karma for my $2,600 in slot wins in Vegas... except that all went to pay for the trip. Or maybe it's just that my volume of play has dropped a bit in the last week, so I'm not seeing the wins.

In response to watching my various online bankrolls drop precariously (and in some cases get reloaded), I've dropped to cheaper cash games... at least losing $10 doesn't sting so much. Maybe I'll get the time to play in some qualifiers again this weekend.

Last night I was back at the club. Guin was there with his guest from Noo Yawk. However, Kat was not -- something about have to pick up her vagabond husband from the airport or some crap like that :). Good turnout tonight - 34 people for the tournament, meaning 4 tables, and 5 paid places. We assume it's because Guin was back after his hiatus. I played my usual game of sitting around average stack size, pushing when needed, and raising when I had a hand in my range... and finished 8th when my short-stacked (M=2.25) all-in with KQo ran into the tightest player at the table calling with AJo. She got her Jack, I didn't get my straight. Oddly enough the table stayed at 7 players for a good 30-40 min after I was knocked out... and in fact it was easily 1 1/2 hours before the winner was finally declared.

Lucky for me, there were two cash games going, and a seat open at one of them. I sat down, turned my ten $20's into a couple stacks of red chips, and went to work. Long story short, amazingly my Aces and Kings mostly held up throughout the night, and I went home with $220 more than I walked in with ($240 for cash and tournament, $460 when I left). I think I can pull some stories out of these.

First - the Aces. Got them twice. 1st time was a doozy, 2nd time didn't work out, but also didn't cost much. This is a story of the former. I'm in EP (possibly UTG) with Bullets and raise to 5x the BB ($10 on a $2 BB), which is somewhat out of character for me in that position, but I wanted to get people out. Guy next to me (solid player) calls, guy next to him (average player) raises all-in for $26 total. I'm happy, thinking this will scare out everyone else. Not so much. Fold, Call, Call, Call, Call, Fold, Call... wha?? So I call the $16 more because with all that activity, I figure the other 2 aces HAVE to be out there, but I only have about $50 more behind, facing bigger stacks who are obviously loose as hell and will call an all-in from me. Solid player beside me folds.

Flop comes 9hKhxh. Great. I check my Aces, and see one of them is, in fact, the heart. Checks to me, and I put in $25. Fold, and all-in for $58. Fold, Fold, Fold. My turn. Fine, $33 more, leaving me with about $5 or $10 left. I know the flush is there, but I'm hoping for the heart.

The cards are flipped. First all-in has KJo, giving him the pair of Kings. Next all-in has 67h, giving him the flush. I, of course, have my Aces. Turn is a 9. I'm begging for a heart or some miracle Ace that I know isn't there. River comes... a THIRD 9! We all stop for a second... and it dawns on us that the hand just changed big time. No nines out there... the flush suddenly dies to the 9's full of Kings, and MY 9's full of Aces! So I take down the whole pot, and look lovingly at my stack that is finally bigger than what I started with. Holy lucky, Batman! Oh, and two people admitted to holding an Ace, so I was right about that.

Now, the real fun in this was the commentary from the guys at the other side of the table, who called the initial all-in. "Why didn't you push all-in pre-flop with Aces??" I gave my reasoning, same as above. "I had crap! I just called because this guy called. The odds were good!" Ummm... okay... right, a 1/2 NL game, with $101 in the pot and $26 to call a raise, call, all-in re-raise, and 2 calls is GOOD odds? 4-1 when you know at least one person has cards before you and you have crap? I guess it depends on your definition of "crap", or what you figure the implied odds are.

Now, the commentators had very little respect from me anyway at this point. The main speaker had been spouting advice to people after a hand all night, and none of it rang as solid to me. It seemed like he was coming from a half-read book instead of any experience or observation. When I took out one guy later when my rivered Aces (holding AKh) beat his mid pair, the same guy chastised him for not going all-in when he got his pair to scare me away. Dude had about a 5th of my stack... I wasn't running with the crap that hit the board after my 7.5x BB raise pre-flop. What he SHOULD have done was fold when I put him all-in on the river. The other, quieter guy, had built a huge stack from a few loose-weak plays that hit, and then he passively bullied for a while. Occasionally he'd put out a big raise, but more often than not he'd call anything to see what happened. He seemed confident, and was definitely pissing off one guy, but he was obviously out of his element. He was nervous, shifty, and scared he was going to get caught. It took one long, hard, make-him-sweat stare-down from me before I folded to a raise to stop his game. After that, he sat back... he folded to just about anything I raised, and became very weak-passive... and his stack slowly bled away.

As for the guy who was getting pissed off? I can't help but think he's the same jerk Kat speaks of in her blog. We'll compare notes. He's the best kind. He' s convinced he's the best player at the table, is easy to tilt, and really isn't that solid. I've played him before, when he was playing just about any two cards, and telling everyone what he had. Last night, he was going with a much tighter approach, playing only what he thought were premium hands... and losing. Why? because he was scared. He'd make a good scare-away raise pre-flop, and everyone would call him and suck out. So he'd slow-play, and lose. The biggest problem was when he HAD a hand, got to the flop, and would get scared off by a raise. He was CONVINCED that whoever was in the pot had just flopped the nuts... the phrase "re-raise" didn't seem to be in his vocabulary anymore. So he lost it when big chip-stack was playing everything, and switched to the other table, where he continued to lose. Oddly enough, he would respect you if you played a solid hand... but not a solid bet. He seemed to be under the impression that poker was a card game... not a betting game.

I love the group I play with. It's a fantastic mix of players and styles, and it keeps me on my toes and analyzing. It also allows for a lot of experimentation -- I can try out a couple ways to play hands and see how people react. The best part is, the loose players assume everyone is a loose player, so a solid hand can take you far.

So, barring something better coming along, tonight I'm playing in an $80 super-satellite (SnG) to the upcoming Niagara WPT event. Worst case? I make it home in time for the Not. Wish me luck :).

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Ok, I have screen shots and stuff... but screw 'em.

A quick rundown of my past couple days... since my cash game losses at least.

Poker Classic on FCP - Won level 2, now into level 3, but I won't have time for that until next weekend -- too much going on for Thanksgiving. I dominated the game. What I liked was all I had to do was wait out a ticket placing, but decided to keep playing anyway, and built my lead instead. Once the tickets were awarded (top 6), it became an all-in fest... and I finished 3rd. Not bad for waking up 8 minutes before the game started. Let's see how level 3 goes.

Live game - Visted the new digs for the club. They'll be pretty nice when all is done. Played the usual $40 freezeout - finished 9th/24 (top 4 paid). Then hit the cash game and disaster struck. I was playing solid poker... was down a few bucks from my initial $200... and found pocket Ks. I raised pre-flop to 5x the BB, and got one caller, right after me. Flop comes 6sAsKh... I check, check behind me. Turn comes Js. Shit. Spade flush. I put out a pot-sized bet and get raised all-in. I think. No, she doesn't have the flush. She definitely has an Ace, or a high spade. Maybe AK even (although odds are small). I call... and she flips over pocket rockets. Another J on the river, and it's Aces full of Jacks killing my Kings full of Jacks. Big sympathy from the table, and general disbelief. I get home JUST in time to miss the Mookie.

So I play in the second chance. It's $5, and I'm tilty. So I play wild... and do pretty well. Top 3 pay... I go out 4th. It was relieving to play like a complete donkey (as opposed to my half-assed usual).

Finally - donk2shark and WWDN Not tonight... out early in both.... cuz I really shouldn't have touched the mouse tonight.
US Poker law - sucks ass. We'll see how it all plays out. Affects me like it affects Kat, Guin, and Loud... I can still play, but if the US players start dropping, it'll lower the fun EV for sure.

Non-poker stuff. Busy freakin' weekend coming up with Thanksgiving and end of the vacation. But the last two weeks have been great, and incredibly rejuvinating.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A Question

But first... did okay in the Hoy tonight. Finished 6th.. top 5 paid. 30-something people in it I think. I basically hung on by my fingernails the whole time, with the odd double-up to keep me going. I was fighting mega-tilt after dropping my entire stack in about 10 min in a 1/2 NL game.

The first round win for the Poker classic I got the night before is small comfort. Maybe if I make it past round 2, I'll feel better.

To rectify this? I donked off another stack in 1/2 NL just now.

Ok... so I bet far more in Vegas than what I've lost tonight. I have a great job that pays me very well, and my bankroll COULD be more than what it is. So I guess the question is - should I increase it so that losses like this don't upset me as much? Or is it safer that I play with this artificial limit and be annoyed? Bearing in mind that my stake for one live cash game is about equal to my entire roll for an online site?


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Baby Vegas!

I'm baaaaaaaaaaack!

Got back on the red eye yesterday morning after having the usual blast in Vegas. Unfortunately, no crazy stories involving 3 dwarves, 2 hookers, chocolate syrup, and a giraffe. Seriously, no crazy stories about that at all. Only the completely sane ones.

Stayed at TI, which turned out to be a solid choice. We got in around 1am, so they had no more non-smoking rooms with 2 queen beds. Instead, we got moved up to the penthouse floor! This worried me -- I figured we'd topped out at this point, and it was all downhill from there. I was wrong.

I guess I should talk up TI a bit. It's gradually moving away from "Arrr!! Look kiddies! Thar be pirates!" to "Hey! Check out the sexy pirate chicks we have... oh, you have kids?" Beds are plenty comfortable, the buffet is perfectly fine (it's not gourmet, it's buffet), the deli is solid, the games are reasonable... and the new poker room is perfect for me. The TI Poker room holds daily tournaments - at 4am, 11am, and 7pm - $60 buy-in gets you $2000 in chips, blinds starting at 25-50 and lasting 20min. At the first break, a $5 add-on gets you another $1000 chips (with blinds at 200-400 at that point). Compared to everywhere else we looked, this is the best buy-in:chips:blind structure I saw. The players are a mix, but pretty much all fall into the pretty good online player range. They also offer 1-3 NLHE, 2-4 Limit, and other levels on request.

Day 1, I played in the 11am, go crippled by the biggest LAG I've ever seen when my flopped set of Jacks ran into 4 clubs on the board, I folded to his big river bet when my full boat didn't come. However, I tightened up, stuck around, chipped up, and eventually knocked his ass out when he called my all-in (we were tied in chips at that point) with J7o against my rockets. I finished in 8th out of 80... when top 6 paid.

Day 2, no crippling moves, but no cards either. However, it got me to 11th of 67... I was incredibly short stacked and went all-in on the last hand before the 2nd break... and my ATo (SB) ran into AQs (BB), and I went out. I debated on the move, but figured with the chips I had, there was no point in waiting 10 min to last 5 more.

Day 3, I got cards... I didn't get boards. Out before the 2nd break when two decent hands (AQo calling a short-stacked all-in, and my AKs all-in when I was short) didn't get what I needed.

Hey, I had fun... and it cost me $195.

Craps - up on my first game, and down on all the others... with a walk away from my last when I dropped to what I started with. All-in-all - down about $450 on the dice. I know it's all stats and odds... but it always amazes me how a table can get soooo cold so fast, and when it gets hot, it smokes.

This leaves... slots. They were pretty cold to me at first. I was down around $120... then... a $110 win... a $130 win... a $480 win... and finally, not one, but TWO, count 'em TWO $1000+ jackpot hits ($1,116 and $1,062) on high-payout $1 progressives. There was much rejoicing. There was also much me paying for the rest of the cabs, and covering a fantastic dinner at Sensi in the Bellagio. Also, much me spending more on slots :). When all was said and done, the trip cost me about $170 CDN, including airfare, hotel, show tickets, drinks, food, gambling and other costs. I can't complain.

Enough with the gambling - I also saw Cirque Du Soleil's Love - aka The Beatles show. It was amazing. I need to see it about two more times to catch what I missed the first time through. Some solid and surprising choices in the music... and I was more surprised by what wasn't in it. As usual with Cirque, amazing acrobatics, flying trapezes, visuals like there's no tomorrow... it was awesome.

Also did the Star Trek Experience. I'd been there a few years ago, when it was just the Klingon Encounter. They've added the Borg. For any Trekker/ie - it's a must. It's cheesy, geeky fun. Heck, even the walk to the "expeirences" is fun, with the History of the Future Museum -- Trek props, costumes, and a comprehensive timeline.

Food - mostly nothing special - breakfast at the hotel restaurant, brunch buffet on Sunday, deli, snacks on the go... somehow always full. Then Sensi on Monday night, which involved American Kobe Beef, shrimp, tuna three-way, calamari, and some of the tastiest molten chocolate cake ever.

Nightlife - umm.. hrmm. Well, cheap drinks on Fremont street, cheap drinks on the strip, less cheap drinks at The Beach, drunk people stumbling all around... and no stories to tell.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Wax On... Wax Off

Patience grasshopper donkey. Mookie last night. Went out in concert with Kat... me in 34th, her in 33rd (or maybe off by one there). I re-raised Kat's raise and Joanne's call all-in (M=8ish I think), when I found AKs in front of me. Kat called, Joanne called. Flop came down and Kat ended up all-in with Joanne still around. Well, well... Kat with ATc, Joanne with AQo... Gotta say I was a bit surprised by these hands, seemed quite out of character for both of them to call with 'em. Anyway, I believe the flop had both a T and a Q, and a spade... but alas, nothing more came to save me (be it J, running spades, or a K), and I was out. Obviously, I can't complain about my choice.

(Un)Fortunately, I was out before the 2nd chance started, so I bought into that... and went out in 11th I think. Wasn't really into it, so I don't even remember my final hand... but I think it involved a flush draw.

My problem, as is usual in these blogger things of late, was lack of patience and backbone. I'd get bored and limp or call with hands of mediocre worth, I'd pay to see one more card for my inside straight draw with face high. I'd fold to re-raises regularly, and crumple when the flop didn't hit me... instead of showing strength. Here's hoping I solidify again before I'm sitting at a real table this weekend. Otherwise, I'll be relying on the craps table and slots... not that I won't be anyway :).

That said, since my FT account had dropped to about $15 after those two, I decided to play some $0.10/$0.25 NLHE... and made a whopping $7 in not so long a time, I don't mind a 70% return.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Single-Core Processing

Multitasking and poker... one day I'll learn that this is like oil and the undead skull of a cursed monkey -- try as you might, they don't combine well. Also, you end up with a slippery mess that screams at you in latin all night.

WWdN last night. A buddy of mine with whom I play in home games was playing again. I brought him in a couple weeks ago, and he had fun, so now it's his Tuesday distraction as long as I'm playing... and he needs some distraction these days. The problem is, I end up on the phone with him the whole time, and watching his table. Why? Well, because although he plays fine with our friends, his style wouldn't work in the blogger tourneys. He's too loose, and while his aggressiveness would likely win him some hands, eventually it would catch up to him in a big way. So I'm constantly coaching him. However, I quickly become a crutch, and questions like "I have big slick, what should I do?" get asked (obviously, if we were at the same table, there'd be no talk re: hands). This obviously distracts from my game... that and the 3 tables I'm watching other people at... and the TV on in the background, and my cat, Spike, crying for attention, and my pasta that I threw together as the game started... and ... and... and..

So it showed that I wasn't giving my game my full attention. I was limping with questionable hands in an aggressive table. I was calling big post-flop raises with inside straight draws and middle pairs. When I actually tried to read cards, I was generally right... and even then I made one or two stupid calls because I didn't trust myself. Went out 44th, buddy didn't fare much better. Even my last hand I played wrong.

Had QJh in MP with an M around 5.. no action before me. For some reason I raised 3x the BB instead of going all-in. Two to my left puts me all-in and I think... he says "you're committed" and I say "yah." and call. AKo is shown and I'm pretty sure I'm toast. KxT on the flop, Q on the turn... and nothing on the river. Now, I know going all-in wouldn't have achieved anything different against AK... and I know I'd be completely crippled and have zero fold equity with a fold after the re-raise... but nothing about how I played that hand was me.

With the exception of a few hands, I felt like a complete noob with my play last night. So, I kindly informed my friend that in the future... no talking on the phone during play. He's on his own.

After I had disconnected my telecommunications device, I sat down to play again. Didn't have the time to commit, so it was another 18 player $6+0.50 Turbo SnG on Stars. Came in 4th, for a whopping $10.80 prize. Yup, I'm da man.

Two more sleeps 'til Vegas... then no more sleeps for 84 hours. I'm really curious about what all that neon looks like when you're hallucinating.