Friday, June 29, 2007

Miss Celaney

Uneventful night in poker. I had a lvl 1 token I used for the 26k, I spent $4 on a $2 rebuy satellite to the 50-50, and played in the Riverchasers event.

Out within 5 minutes of each other for the 26k and 50-50, after a little over 1 1/2 hours and 2 hours respectively. Out 11th in the RC. Was down in all 3 at one point and chipped back up, which was nice. 50-50 and 26k were both shitty hands to go out on where I went with the semi-steal and found myself committed pre-flop in one and commited post-flop in another. The riverchasers was just a case of a very slow final two tables and me not upping the aggression appropriately. I don't know when I became so weak-tight again around bubbles, I have to fix that. Totally should have called that re-pop from Waffles.

This is one reason I don't like the run of starting hands I've had recently (it was cooler last night, but still AA once, QQ twice, and AK twice I think). It handicaps any other poker skills I had because I start to expect the big hands eventually and figure, "why spew chips now when I can lure in a big one later?" Time to shake that.

I did fire up a $1 1-table SnG before calling it a night in an attempt to give my inner donkey something to do. I failed miserably, as I couldn't resist folding crappy cards that I WANTED to call 2 all-ins with. Naturally, these flopped the nuts (97o = two pair and then the boat, 85o flops nut straight, etc.). I went out 7th after I finally donked properly and spewed chips like I had some sort of poker salmonella.

All-in-all though, it cost me all of $25 to play in $105 worth of tournaments. Shame I didn't cash in any of them.

All though I did like this comment from Waffles:

"I have notes on you - AA/KK/AK sometimes QQ. I remember when you were a donkey."

BBT is updated, and I'm still in 8th thanks to Hoy winning the Riverchasers last night and leapfrogging into 7th. It's like the anti-Mookie for him. Pretty good for a guy who couldn't point if his life depended on it at the start of this thing. Congrats!

So that leaves Don's Big Game on Sunday. Just like last time, I'll be at a BBQ with friends while playing. It worked out okay then, here's hoping for an even better showing this time around. Top 10 is still anybody's game, as is the top 5. Take over those token frenzies and peeps to get into this one. It should be HUGE with some serious money on the line. Password, as always, is "donkey".


No pictures, but dinner was simple last night - vegetable rotini with chicken, honey-garlic elk sausage, bacon, zucchini, red & yellow peppers, garlic, yellow onion, and vodka sauce. The one thing of note? I pan-fried skinless chicken breast for the pasta and it tasted like KFC.

11 herbs and spices my ass.

Cast iron pan.
Little bit of vegetable oil.
Fried up some bacon first.
Left the bacon fat in the pan, added a bit of salted butter. (who wants healthy?)
Threw in the chicken.
Added fresh ground salt, fresh ground coarse pepper, chili powder, and a little bit of cayenne.

Tasty. In reality, I think all you need for KFC taste is MSG or lots of salt. :)


Birthdays this weekend, Canada Day BBQ and Fireworks on Sunday with The Big Game, and Monday is a day off. I love long weekends.

I think I'm going to try making some white chocolate raspberry cookies for one of the birthdays. Also going to bring some elk to that one, since the host is a vegetarian and I needs me my meat. Does that make me an asshole? She said to BYOM, so I think not.

That and I'll be the go-to BBQ guy at the Sunday BBQ. Seems I'm the only one who can marinate chicken breasts properly and work the grill. It's not that hard, really. Here's hoping she doesn't run out of propane again.


With the WSOP satellites over, I should figure out how to use my roll on Stars. Iak's got me thinking the $10k guarantee isn't a bad idea. Although once the BBT stuff is over, I think I'm going to spend a few weeks getting my cash game back up to snuff.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


First, at Alan's request: Dinner was okay. My steak was incredibly salty, but otherwise cooked right and tasty. Wine was great, and the key lime pie was awesome as soon as you got rid of the ridiculous amount of whipped cream. I left with the belt loosened and stumbled home to collapse on my couch for 2 hours. So that's a good sign.

For the record - tonight's dinner was a hot dog from a cart on the way home after a couple beers.

Mookie - out 40-something, pre-points. Aces cracked by NumbersGame's QQ crippled me, and I treaded water with 357 chips for a bit and eventually went out with some A-high hand.

50-50 - Cashed again. 125th, so that was good for about $87. Didn't do much this time around. Not a lot of cards, but pocket sevens that turned into a flopped boat helped at one point. Stolen blinds with about 50 to go to the money kept me afloat. I tried to steal with A4d before the bubble, and got re-raised by an all-in AKo for about 1800 chips more. I called and nothing improved for either of us. Finally went out after the bubble pushing over the top from the BB with AJo and meeting my old nemesis AKo again. JQx on the flop, T on the turn... bye me.

Also jumped in the blogger 1/2 for the first time since it used to be popular. Made a bit, but then got killed by the big hands. KK beat by Don's straight (I believe him). I had to throw them away on the flop when he put me all-in with an A, straight draw, and failed flush draw on the board. I put him on the flush draw with middle cards, and was half right. Honestly? If I wasn't in the process of being knocked out of the 50-50 at the same time, I call based on my read, but I suddenly didn't want to get knocked out simultaneously and folded. I guess that's weak of me.

Then AA went down to WildDuces235's flopped set of sixes. I don't have a problem folding aces, but I saw nothing on the board to scare me (no flush, no straight, no connected cards at all), and did my usual brilliance of betting into the better hand the whole way down. With $26 left in front of me on the river and the pot over $100, I had to put it in on that board (2J6K4 rainbow)... hoping for the jackace, and not the rivered straight (seemed HIGHLY unlikely) or KJ. Nope... sixes. Set of evil.

*EDIT: Just a quick welcome to WildDuces. New Blog, kicked my aces last night, and is ALSO a 26k winner (from back in May if I'm reading through the glare properly). Seems he's got some game. Welcome to our dysfunctional cadre of donkeys. Now learn how to take a screen shot. :)

My second cracked aces of the night was enough to get me to stand up and call it a night instead of continuing my donation. I guess I'm still getting hands, but now they aren't holding up. I should have played my crap hands all night, it would have been an embarrassment of winning straights.

Good blogger turnout in the 50-50. Chad, Hoy, Alan, cmitch, me... anyone else? And someone going by Tasit who has played in 3 BBT events and obviously reads here since we had a discussion about my recent dinners :). So here's a shout-out to tasit, because it's always awesome to be recognized at the tables.

Riverchasers tomorrow. THAT should be interesting. Maybe I'll 3-table it with the 50-50 and the 26k. I won a token in my sleep last night (literally... I was drifting in and out to the final 5. Woke up and pushed and won 6 straight hands to finish 1st), so it should be put to donkish use.

I need to get my cash game back. It's sucked hard of late, and that's no good for the bankroll. That or start crushing the SnG's.


Update - Congrats to RecessRampage! 103rd in the 50-50 and WINNER of the Mookie. Damn, now I've dropped in the standings. :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


No poker content here. Okay, I'll pimp The Mookie for tonight. Last on for ther BBT! My plan is to get nothing but pocket aces for 62 straight hands. Then I'll drop to Cowboys for the final table so everyone has a fair chance. There, that should jinx the card run away.

Nope, today's rant is brought to you by this post on Cinematical. The topic is supposedly how to build a low-budget entertainment system. This is an admirable goal, because there's tons of stuff out there on how to drop $15,000+ on something, but for us schlubs who live in the world of reality, it's tough to get bang for your buck without some some knowledge.

First, I'll give kudos to the author for spending some money on speakers and a receiver. A lot of people putting together their first system skimp on these components. They figure all the power is in the great big HDTV on their wall. Trust me, my friends are far more impressed by the fact that sound is coming from all around them than how crisp my picture is.

But that's about it as far as praise goes. Read the comments in the article for some far superior suggestions to his on budget systems at the same price point.

I could go on an on about the choice of TV, the specific components, the lack of very much useful information. But I won't. Instead, I'm going to talk about the cables.

This guy is building a $1500 system, using a 32" non-HD CRT TV, $200 speakers, $350 receiver, and $60 DVD player, and he buys $250 worth of Monster cable!

Monster cable is, without a doubt, the biggest ripoff in your local electronics store. Before you high-end cable fans jump down my throat - Yes, it does make a difference over longer distances with VERY high-end video (1080p). But for the average person, you're running maybe 2-3 feet of cable between components (or 6ft if that's the smallest you could find), and not pushing more that 1080i for HD video. As for audio? Spare me. A decent gauge speaker wire will handle all your needs and cost a fraction of the price, and I'm pretty sure you're not running 50ft of wire from your DVD player to your amp.

It's all wire. It's copper, either single or multi-core, surrounded by rubber. Maybe there's a dielectric to insulate from interference. Unless you're going to moving your stuff around, the connection between the connectors and the wire doesn't have to be triple-bonded and sealed, because it will NEVER MOVE.

Even IF it made a noticeable difference in audio or video quality (and I'm not talking for the video/audiophile community who can tell you the volume in dB or if there's a signal discrepency by watching/listening), the manufacturing costs are miniscule in comparison to the retail price. Yes, there's research costs... but I'm pretty sure the marketing costs are higher. Just watch the prices at any store that's closing up or having a major liquidation sale. These high-end cables will drop to the price of a mid-range cable instantly, and the store will still be making a profit.

Save yourself a ton of dough and go to your local electronic wholesaler, or and spend $6 instead of $300. Unless you're running 50ft of cable in your wall to display 1080p video and high-def audio through your $150,000 speaker system. Then you might as well pony up the extra, because you'll be sure you hear a difference anyway. I still think you'd be able to find some high quality cable for a lot cheaper if you looked though.

So this guy goes and sets up $1200 worth of standard-def TV and low-end audio equipment, and plugs $250 worth of cable into it. Like it's going to make ANY DIFFERENCE AT ALL. Please, I think a coat hanger would be enough to get the signal across with what you've bought. If he'd given 30 seconds of thought to this instad of blindingly following the marketing spiel of Monster, he'd realize that for $30 he could have met his cable needs and had $220 to spend on the important stuff.

To top it off, he buys an $80 universal remote for what is essentially 3 components. A $20 universal with product code entry would have met his needs just as well. Again though, let me state that I have a $300 universal remote (Harmony 880... it's cheaper now, an I paid < $200 CDN when I bought it), but I also have at least 9 different components hooked up, and different input/output and sound field settings for each. For the system this guy is describing though, that's beyond overkill.

Really, it might as well have been:


1.- Get your grandmother to give you her old 13" B&W TV
2.- Set up the rabbit ears
3.- Turn the volume to max
4.- Buy a $60 DVD player
5.- Buy an $80 remote
6.- Hook it all up with $1360 of Monster cable
7.- Sit on a milk crate and enjoy!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I Hope I Have Room

First off, for all us donkeys out there who want to learn from the king, take a look at Chad's latest post on how he plays the 26k and its ilk. Great post from the KOD. I was happy to see his strategy isn't far off from mine, and it shone a light on a couple holes of mine I can take care of.

That, and if I'm at a final table with him, now I'll know what he's up to.

Had a blast in the MATH last night, and not just because of my sick card run at the beginning. The chat was flying, and I won a decent last-longer bet that covered most of my costs on the night (50-50, MATH direct buy-in, and about 4 or 5 various lvl 1 peeps that I missed cashing in). Better than being down over $100 for the night on low buy-in events.

Methinks I won't see any virtual felt tonight as I'm off to Ruth's Chris for dinner. I imagine it'll be the standard fare of a great ribeye, some side, drinks, and the best Key Lime Pie I've had outside of Key West. I love Ruth's steaks, but I think they cheat by finishing them in butter. I mean, everything tastes better covered in melted sizzling butter. That said, I'm spoiled being in Toronto, which has more great steakhouses than I can keep track of. Damn, this is going to lead to a tangent.

I feel bad for my friends who haven't had a really good steak. Sorry, but The Keg (unless it's The Mansion) doesn't quite cut it. It's fine, but it's not a GREAT steak. Ponderosa? Sizzler? Might as well eat the tire off your car. Your local grill? Ummm.. nope. Go to a real steakhouse at least once, where they know that "medium-rare" means lots of red, not a line of pink in the center. One where they use spices only as an enhancement to the meat, not as the main flavour. Steak should taste like steak. One where the portions are big and your belt needs to be loosened a notch afterwards; 4 ounces isn't a steak, it's a condiment. Good wine must be available, and anything more than a baked potato as a side costs extra. You won't look at steak the same afterwards.

I was in Banff and bought my buddies dinner at Saltlik, a fairly decent steakhouse, and probably the best in that town. I almost smacked one for asking if the skirt steak was any good. Rule 1: If it's the only option that comes with multiple sides and is STILL cheaper than everything else, the answer is a resounding, "NO." Then I had to talk another buddy down from destroying a steak by getting it well done. I think I got him to medium, and I doubt he'll go back to that abomination of greyness. By the time everyone had their first bite, they finally understood what a real steak tasted like. I hope I set them on a long and enjoyable path.

And really people, it's not hard to do a decent steak at home. I can almost guarantee it won't be as good as at a restaurant though. Those guys get the pick of the meat before us lowly consumers. Maybe if you're friends with a good butcher, or know a cattle farmer, you can get some high-quality cuts, but chances are you're getting tier-2 meat. Regardless, don't overcook it, don't cut it and let all the juices out, and minimize your turning. Ideally you want to rotate it once on each side for grill marks, and flip it only once. High heat to sear, and medium to cook.

Anyway, if you're ever in Toronto and want a good chunk of cow, look for a few of these places: Bardi's, Harbour Sixty, Ruth's Chris (yes, it's a chain, but they know what they're doing), Tom Jones (good steak, but overpriced, do the other 3 first), and Barberian's. Hy's, Morton's, Carmen's and The Keg Mansion are also decent (although I can't personally speak for Morton's or Carmen's, but I've heard good things), but I've got to go with my first group above them. Bring your credit card, and leave the scale alone for a couple days.

Have I mentioned I'm a bit passionate about food?

Lather, Rinse...


10th in the MATH for the 2nd straight week. Much like the Mookie, I was a total lucksack, but this time I went card dead during the all-in fest that was the final 18. In the end, my all-in reraise with A9o against leftylu's KJo (after he'd been raising my button repeatedly) failed to catch after a J hit on the flop. No regrets. I outlasted everyone but Iggy and Bayne ahead of me, and Newinnov went out right after me, so he only gained a little in the mighty point race

I told Hoy and others that these would get posted. There will be scrolling.

The NEXT hand after the Aces.

Right after the AK

Right after the previous 66

And Then we were on the FIRST BREAK.

This is what I get for slowplaying

That was the last big hand I saw. Stole a few blinds after, and that was it.

As for other "pretty" hands that didn't make screen shots:

1 AQ
2 AJ
6 KQ
3 KJ
1 QJ
10 Pocket Pairs (all but 1 < 77)
4 hammers (+1 suited)

Plus a ton of Ax (including a lot of AT), and suited Ax.

So I'm obviously a complete and total donk to go out in 10th with that rack of cards. Would have been much better timing to get hit in the face with the deck after the 3rd break instead of before the 1st.


Congats to Bayne for taking down yet ANOTHER BBT event. Really, this is getting old now. I believe this now gives him the Mookie, regular Riverchasers and MATH triple crown at the moment. Making him a defending champ in all three.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Drawing to a Close

The BBT is winding down. 4 more events and then a few weeks until the freeroll. I plan to be in every one of them.

The Big Game might be interesting, as once again it's a Canadian long weekend and I'll be at a friend's place for BBQ, fireworks, and games (likely of the video variety this time). Seeing as this resulted in a 7th place bubble for me last time, this could be a good thing as far as points are concerned.

I've been a decent run of late in these. Final table bubble in the MATH, 3 consecutive final tables in the Mookie, 2 of those cashes, and 13th in the Riverchasers HORSE (which I suck at, so any points are good there). I plan to continue it tonight at the Hoy. I want top 5 dammit.

I expect I'll be multi-tabling with the Fifty-Fifty as well. I'll probably forgo the 26k tonight and let Chad win that one again. Unless I happen to have an extra token, then he'll have to fight for it.

Yes, I've been luckboxy of late, but I think my overall play is still in pretty good shape. I think I'm going to try a slightly different approach in one of the MTTs tonight and see how it works for me. Chances are it will result in a brilliant flame-out before the first level is out.

And for all you food fans... I think I'm getting take-out tonight - I just have too much crap to get done. Did a pretty awesome honey-garlic elk sausage and maple cheddar grilled cheese on rye last night though (thanks to the same friend who was responsible for the paprika on the fries). Tomorrow is Ruth's Chris for an overdue birthday dinner I owe. Oh, and lunch today was a selection of the best sushi in the city from Doku 15. If you're in Toronto and like sushi? Go. Just be sure to bring a chunk of your bankroll to pay for it.


*EDIT - Congrats to Chad for winning the 26k AGAIN. I think I just need to start jamming with unsuited disconnectors more often. :)


Cashed in the fifty-fifty. I'm a tool though. After typing it all up, I'm not sure I'm a complete donkey. Maybe I've just convinced myself otherwise. This post is a mess, but it's late and I'm not going to tidy it up.

AJo, I limp in from the SB with the button limping before me. K-high flop, I bet, button raises, I fold.

Two hands later, AJh in the cutoff. No action before me, I raise to 4x the BB. SB raises to put me almost all-in (less 820 chips).

I start to think.

M was 6, but after my bet it's more like 4.4, and the SB is a fairly big stack (~46k in chips). He's either been lucky or aggressive, but I just got moved to this table and haven't seen enough to know. Why that raise? I don't think it was designed to get me to call or raise all-in, but to make a decision. I can't put him on a premium pair here with that bet after the bubble. I'm sure it's to scare me out. AK? AQ? Maybe. More likely a complete blind-protecting bluff or an overplayed medium pocket pair.

And then, with an M of 5, people dropping like flies post-bubble, pot odds of 1.76:1 I think, I call my coin flip (1.17:1 ... or 46%) and he flips over 77... so not a complete bluff. 33QKK on the board sends me home 142nd for $80 and change.

Now, I had to take the possibility of him being full of it into account here. In my mind that skews the odds more in my favour. I'm pretty sure at worst I'm in a coin flip, and maybe even facing a weaker suited ace. Premium hands just aren't a consideration as far as I'm concerned. Plus, I'm playing to win, not walk out with $80. The next few levels are small increases, and if I win here, I'm over 20k in chips and can steal, gamble and cruise for a few levels.

In the end, it was that chance to double-up that made my decision for me.

So sooooted AJ being a cruddy hand aside (although I think my 4x BB raise in the cutoff is the right move 100% of the time), am I thinking correctly here?

- I've put him on either a medium pair, a weak ace, or a stone cold bluff for my chips
- M is < 5 if I fold, but I'll be in the hijack at a full table
- We've lost 12 players since the bubble burst about 2 minutes earlier
- I'm in the cash for $80. Next levels are $86, $97, and $113. So I have to go 2 more levels to see a significant percentage jump, and that means outlasting around 42 more people. I don't care about $17 more, I want to go deep.
- This guy is either lucky or good. If he's lucky, then he could have anything - paint, a weak suited ace, hell, even a suited king is a possibility. If he's good, then he doesn't have a premium hand here and wants to scare me off or isolate with AK, especially since he knows I can fold from 2 hands earlier. So either way, I'm 95% sure I'm in a coinflip or better with that bet.
- Pot odds are 1.76:1 (I think) vs my coin-flip (at worst)
- If I double-up here, I'm solid for a while

*EDIT: One thing I didn't think of was his stack size BEFORE my initial raise. I think if I had I would have either pushed or tried to get in cheap and folded to a re-raise. This might have been my biggest mistake.

Do you go all-in or fold? Hell, is my math even right?

Full Tilt Poker Game #2762964492: The Fifty-Fifty (20654789), Table 5 - 300/600 Ante 75 - No Limit Hold'em - 0:40:43 ET - 2007/06/25
Seat 1: lawdork1980 (48,386)
Seat 2: azbigpot (21,255)
Seat 3: peterthekiller (7,172)
Seat 4: Astin (9,370)
Seat 5: RobM77 (13,915)
Seat 6: cruise122 (46,617)
Seat 7: Mkush (11,892)
Seat 8: rancher7979 (3,565)
Seat 9: winning_12 (20,437)
[everyone antes]
cruise122 posts the small blind of 300
Mkush posts the big blind of 600
The button is in seat #5
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Astin [Ah Jh]
[folds to me]
Astin raises to 2,400
RobM77 folds
cruise122 raises to 8,475
Mkush has 15 seconds left to act
Mkush folds
Astin has 15 seconds left to act
Astin raises to 9,295, and is all in
cruise122 calls 820
Astin shows [Ah Jh]
cruise122 shows [7d 7s]
*** FLOP *** [3d 3h Qc]
*** TURN *** [3d 3h Qc] [Kc]
*** RIVER *** [3d 3h Qc Kc] [Ks]
Astin shows two pair, Kings and Threes
cruise122 shows two pair, Kings and Sevens
cruise122 wins the pot (19,865) with two pair, Kings and Sevens

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Luckbox? Me?

My first 19 hands in the HORSE today. Which made up the entire first level - limit holdem. That's 10 minutes. I was in 2nd when that ended. I'm so going to get smoked in this.



As expected, by the time lvl 3 and razz rolled around.. I was in last. Now in third last. Nobody out yet.


Ugh, up to 1st, held it for a while and then a quick a quick drop to last (14th). Yay points. Boo Omaha, razz, flopped middle sets, overplayed pocket pairs (me), and inability to read an Omaha board (me again).

Ooo! 13th. Bayne 14th. Time to triple up. Thrice.


No dice. Out 13th. Yah, I completed for an all-in with a Q showing. I had 483 chips left with 500/1000 blinds and 100 antes... nothing connected, what the hell. Ah well.

Congrats to Jeciimd for FINALLY cashing in a BBT event!


This is post 202. Completely missed 200. How the hell did I end up putting up over 200 of these things?

Ah well. No exciting food pics today. Breakfast was tasty, but not overly attractive.

Spicy scrambled eggs, bacon/tomato/red pepper hash with worcestershire and parsley, and homemade yukon gold hash browns. Trust me, it was good.

Now that I've got my own pimp, I guess the pressure's on. :)

HORSE in 4 minutes... I suck at HORSE.

And WTG Pauly for the hammer play!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

1e3 x Word = Picture

Let's face it, burgers are tasty. Elk burgers? Even tastier. Damn were these good. Pretty much exactly what I said in the earlier post.

I'll assume you can make a burger. But here's a couple things that needed doing.

Garlic Aioli (cribbed from Emeril)

3 large cloves of garlic (I'd drop to 2 next time), diced.
1 large egg
1 tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup of olive oil
Fresh ground pepper (2 or 3 turns)

Blend the garlic, egg, juice, salt and pepper together (I used an immersion blender) to puree. Slowly drizzle the oil into the puree while continuing to blend until a thick emulsion forms. Done.

Carmelized Red Onions

Olive oil and butter in a non-stick pan, heat on medium. Toss in onions. Cook until soft and browned (~30 minutes). Remove from heat, add some balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.

The rest is easy. I can't suggest getting some elk meat enough. It's lean, clean, and incredible.

And I have to say thanks to my friend who was over. I suggested dill, garlic, salt and pepper for the sweet potato fries, and she suggested adding smoked paprika and ground coriander seed. The paprika made a huge difference in making them awesome.

Picture time.

Carmelized red onions. Soooo good.

Dualing burgers. Damn I'm punny.

Piled high.

What? Two plates?

Now I'm hungry.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Subtle Difference

Tonights meal?

Burger and Fries.


Elk burger with applewood smoked cheddar, organic beefsteak tomato, baby arugula, carmelized red onion, Kozlik's sweet and smokey mustard, and possibly some homemade aioli, I'm thinking garlic. Haven't decided on the bun yet, but it should be fresh. I was thinking onion earlier, but I think that might be too much. Something plain, maybe whole-grain?

And a repeat of the baked sweet potato fries from last night. Maybe the same spices, or maybe something a bit hotter. Hmmm... dill might be an interesting complement.

Burgers and fries call for beer to be drunk with them. Look at the right sidebar for the available selection. I'm leaning towards Blanche de Chambly. Then again, even though it doesn't work at all with the meal, there's a bottle of gewurztraminer in my fridge calling out to me... or any number of the reds on hand. Tough call, but I think the beer has to win this one.

Dessert is undecided. I don't have the time tonight to make ice cream, but my dulce de leche or mint chocolate chunk would be nice. Or I wish I had time to make a raspberry mousse. Since these aren't viable options, it will likely be some sort of bought ice cream and the fruit I have available.

Oh, and I'll probably throw together some mint lemonade while making dinner. It'd be great this weekend.

Letting the Door Hit Me In the Ass

Excellent, a comment from the Blogfather himself. Now I need to swing a link from him and I'm set :).

Anyway, last night's poker excursions are best forgotten. I played like a complete and total donk in the 26k and 50-50, going out in the mid-high hundreds in each. I remember only one beat, where I flopped a straight (yes Fuel, I know), a flush draw came on the turn, but I KNEW my opponent didn't have it, so I called his all-in... and he rivered the full boat. Argh. That hurt, but not critically. But no cards, no respect for my bets, and no winning. At least the 26k was paid for by a token.

I also donked out 100th in the $75 frenzy.

Then I dumped more money in a cash game, and finished off my night by donking away (purposefully) in a $3 rebuy on Stars for the Sunday ME qualifier. My favourite hand in that one went something like this:

Suited one-gapper cheap flop. OESD nothing in my suit on the flop, two spades. Bet, called. Turn brings a 3rd spade. I check, bet all-in, I call. Buddy flips over As9o. I river my straight.

His immediate comment? "Donk call."

I reply with, "Rebuy." and then... "Donk bet."

I later rivered another straight against him and he stopped buying back in.

Congrats to Hoy and Iak for going deep in the 50-50, Iak for going deep in the 19k, LJ for cashing in the 26k, Don for using everything Waffles has tought him in the 26k, and Waffles for donking his way into the cash in the 26k (I KID! Sheesh). I've probably missed people. I know Chad was in there too, but I think went out early in each as well. Anybody else? Regardless, these games are rapidly becoming blogger favourites, which is awesome. Keep coming, there's plenty of room.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Dinner is Served

As I said, Pacific salmon with mint/peach reduction, sweet potato fries, and green beans. Fruit for dessert. Since I'm all into this cooking thing this, all the fresh ingredients were organic. It made a heck of a difference with the peach and mint. Wild salmon is also better than farmed.

First you have to get the sweet potato "fries" going. Peel and slice 1/2 a sweet potato. In a bowl, combine some olive oil and herbs/spices (I used oregano, basil, thyme, ground coriander seed, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper). Toss the sweet potato in this mix to coat.

Preheat the oven (or toaster oven) to 425 degrees. Lay the sweet potato flat on a sheet and put in the oven for about 20 minutes, until golden.

I'll assume you know how to steam beans.

1 Fresh Wild BC Salmon fillet
1 Peach
1 Lemon wedge
1 Sprig of mint
Fresh ground salt
Fresh ground pepper
Ground coriander seed

Peel 1/2 the peach and cut into quarters. The other half I put in the fruit compote.

Chop the mint.

Blend 3 of the peach slices, the mint, the juice from the lemon wedge a dash of salt, about 1/4 tsp of sugar, and a little bit of water. I used my hand blender, which is awesome. Set aside.

Dice the 4th peach slice.

Spray a cast iron grilling pan (pan with ridges) with cooking spray. Heat on close to high.

Season the salmon with salt, pepper and coriander seed. Yes, I like ground coriander seed.

When the pan is hot, put the salmon, skin-side down, in the pan for 4-5 minutes. Keep an eye on it as you may want to reduce heat.

While the salmon is cooking, now's a good time to get the beans going.

Flip the salmon and grill for another 4-5 minutes.

After flipping the fish, pour the peach mixture in a small non-stick pan over high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce until it's a consistency you like. Toss in the diced peach slices and set aside.

Check the salmon. If it flakes and has a thin raw line in the middle, it's ready. If you trust your local fish monger, you can cook it less.

Plate the salmon, it will continue to cook for a bit. Cover with the peach reduction and plate the beans and sweet potato. Add a pat of butter to the beans and enjoy!

Deja Vu



Sooooo tasty


Tonight's Menu

Might as well keep this going for the week.

Assuming I head home soon after work (as opposed to drinking), I've got me a plan.

Going back to a recipe I whipped up a few months ago and can't believe I haven't revisted. I (as always) will be changing it up a bit.

Grilled wild Pacific Salmon filet (far and away my favourite fish) in a peach and mint reduction with baked sweet potato fries and steamed green beans. The only question is if I go with lime or lemon, that'll be a game time decision.

Still have fruit compote and some of the rosé left over from yesterday to finish it off. Maybe a gimlet after dinner, especially if I go with lime. Follow that all up with some fifty-fifty and 26k action.

I think I've got Friday's figured out too. Much simpler, but no less tasty.

We Now Return to...

Back to Poker for this post.

Mookie, 26k, and 50-50 tonight. 3 tables = bad idea. But I managed.

26k - out 500-something out of 1133. Don't even remember how.

Mookie - I don't think I've ever seen cards like this. Pocket Aces 3 times, Cowboys at least 4 times, Hiltons twice, AK at least twice, and more medium pocket pairs than I can count. JJ turned into quads on the river to beat pocket Kings at one point. Hoy might be on to something. Then again, I had pocket kings totally counterfeited with quad 9's with an A kicker on the board.

Oh, and I finished 4th for about $90. Bayne_s won, so there goes any chance I have of catching 1st in the BBT. No worries, but since when does 66 beat AJo? Kaellinn18 is on my list now. ;)

You see, I should have done better at the Mookie final table with the stack I had, but I was distracted by the Fifty-Fifty. Roll was short, so I refilled to play. Only two pictures count.

Good call me. Went out with a short (M ~= 2) push of KQs in LP into A8s in the blinds. K on the flop! A on the turn. Bah. What ya gonna do? I'm not going to complain too much about 30th.

Thanks to InstantTragedy and Chad for railing for a bit. Ditto LJ and Fuel earlier on.

And yah, it's a crapshoot. Good thing I love craps.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

How it Went

All-in-all, it was pretty damned good. I think next time I'll either avoid the chocolate or use less. It was a bit overpowering, and the chicken was awesome on its own.

- Tomato-basil spaghettini with garlic and butter.
- Yellow and green zucchini
- Bone-in chicken breast with skin
- Some tasty spices (chili powder, cayenne pepper, spicy red pepper, ground coriander seed, garlic powder, onion powder, fresh ground salt, fresh ground black pepper, smoked paprika)
- Vegetable oil and a few drops of hot chili sauce (ie.- Tabasco, but I used Susie's Tear Drops, which is funny if you know my dating history)
- Organic 70% dark chocolate

I'll assume you can cook pasta and veggies.

Chicken's a breeze. Dry it, rub the oil mix on it, sprinkle with the spices. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a cast iron frying pan and when hot, place the chicken skin-side down for 2-3 minutes to brown. If the chicken is sizzling too fast, turn down the heat, you're starting the fat rendering here, not cooking the chicken. Don't turn chicken (but you can tilt it so the sides brown a little). Put the pan in the preheated oven for 20-25 min or until internal temperature is 165 degrees.

Take out the chicken and put it on the pasta and let it rest. Deglaze the pan and pour the sauce on the chicken.

If you want the chocolate, melt it in the microwave (30 seconds at time, stirring in between), and pour on the chicken.

Bon apetit.

Before the chocolate hits

Damn that looks good

And here's the organic 70% chocolate

Time to eat



More Food Tilt?

Mookie tonight. 6 more events to go (an extra Riverchasers HORSE on Sunday).

I'll probably play in the 50-50 and 26k as well... because I multi-table like a champ! No, wait... I suck at multitabling. At least I have a token for the 26k.

Anyway, enough poker. More food talk! If you don't like it... tough. This is my blog and I like cooking as much as I like poker. Except I'm a better cook than poker player.

I was debating all day on what tonight's dinner will be. Do I go back to my well of Elk meat? Maybe an elk burger, or pasta with chicken and honey-garlic elk sausage? I also had a craving for some Thai from across the street - it would be quick and easy. Maybe I'd throw together some orange chicken again? Spicy chicken caesar perhaps? Hmm.

Then I ate some dark chocolate and a light turned on. Tonight will be a spicy roasted chicken breast (bone-in if I can find some) with dark chocolate and maybe raspberries or even cherries. I think for the 3rd straight night that zucchini will work well as a vegetable. Maybe green beans if they look decent. As for the rest, I'm leaning towards a thin pasta (spaghetti perhaps, maybe angel hair, depends what I've got... I don't think my lemon linguine will work) in butter and garlic as a base for the chicken.

Dessert - I've still got a ton of fruit to get through, so a simple compote of strawberries, raspberries, cherries and watermelon should work well. Maybe a kiwi too.

Gotta think that calls for either a Baileys concoction or wine. I may be able to get a nice white or rose (rare these days, but I think it'll work with this) chilled in time.

Whaddya think?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Fifty/Fifty Shot #1

I figured I'd give the new Fifty-Fifty on FT a shot tonight. Out 434 of 927 on this hand:

Money was in on the flop, my M was under 10 pre-flop, and definitely under 10 post-flop. 15 (well, 14 after his hand was exposed) outs twice. My money is in every time.

Yes, I know I'm only 42% here, but that's obvious after you see his cards, if he as AQ then I'm ahead.

Ah well. 'Twas fun, I must try again, this time with cards.

Bayne_s and LJ were playing too. Bayne went out before me, and LJ is still rockin' the joint. Here's hoping she takes this thing down.

Update - she's out. No blogger power tonight it seems.

Also donked around in the Monkey Tourney a bit too. Had the chip lead and was schooling the table before I got sucked out on 3 times in a row against all-in shorties and the tables went stupid. Was fun, and was good for the ego. :)

Congrats to weak_player on the early arrival! Here's hoping everyone's healthy.

Good times.


Played another $6 and $8 lvl 1 pair. Some interesting things when screens are adjacent:

Nifty flops. No good for me either way.

Tens on both tables at the same time, both times into overpairs. Better flop in the $8. Got the token there. Obviously bubbled in the $6.

And this one.. only one screen though. Got the guy to put me all-in.

Let's make this even longer and more pointless. Tonight's dinner:

Steak, sliced and marinated in a paste of vegetable oil, soya, teriyaki, chipotle tabasco, regular tabasco, garlic powder, onion powder, ground coriander seed, turmeric, chili powder, cayenne pepper, ground hot red pepper, smoked paprika and balsamic mustard. On top of kick-ass fried rice (white long grain, soya, yellow zucchini, red pepper, green onion, garlic, bacon, and an egg). Washed down with limeade. Was going to make a dairy-based drink to go with, but decided drinking before chores and multi-tabling would be detrimental.

Mixed Nuts

I was curious how the MATH would play after Hoy's revealing Friday post. It didn't disappoint.

Bayne_s goes gigli. Miamidon out second. IslandBum1 was the fourth one out. Osu and Recessrampage finished in 45th and 40th respectively. Newinnov was the bubble boy. Iggy, Jeciimd went out in the teens, and BuddyDank went out just before me. Wow.

I held on the longest of the 10, going out in 10th on a perhaps ill-advised move that almost worked. A3d on the button with a fairly short stack (let's say M under 7) cmitch raising pre-flop when just about anything was going. I push and get called with A9o. Two diamonds on the flop, but no improvement and only 2 overcards to the 9, so no split. Ah well. I wanted to see another final table and the cash, but I wasn't about to try and limp my way in. Considering I'd chipped up from 700 chips and last place with 20-something left, I'm not complaining.

Things were going well until Chad got bored and played push-or-fold for an orbit or so. Not that I had anything worth playing in that span. I did put out a feeler raise with QJo at one point that he came over the top of. I was tempted to call, but I greatly dislike QJo for all the right reasons. Lucky me, this started with him calling my push with a weaker ace, which kept me alive.

5 events left I think? Should be interesting.

Played the 26k too, which was a bad idea. Went out in the 900's with over 1300 starting. 30 minutes, 400 people gone, and then me. I played like a donk for 20 minutes, chipped back up to a starting stack, and made a move against an unfortunately better hand. Ah well.

Before that though, I was having fun with the level 1 tokens. 2 $8 Turbos and 2 $6 6-handed in 2 hours. Finished 6th and 7th in the $8 and 2nd both times in the 6-handed. It essentially worked out to about a $3 profit... woohoo. The $8 turbos are of course a favourite, but I'm really liking the 6-handed ones more and more. They're soft, and it plays really well to my game. Then again, I've always preferred short-handed play. It allows for a wider range and forces aggression and control.

It was a strange night though. I was exhausted, full, and running purely on energy drink by the time 10:00 rolled around. My desktop was full of windows - chat, poker, web, BuddyDank radio, e-mail. The TV was on for a while too, and for some reason I decided it would be a good time to pick a paint colour for my solarium. Needless to say, I was multi-tasking like mad. And then, for some reason, I decided to get in line for the blogger cash game after I was knocked out. Luckily for me, I didn't get in before common sense took over and I called it a night. The fact my VCR clock is an hour fast helped.

Tonight will be filled with chores methinks. Finish up the laundry, and clean my damn floors already. I'm pretty sure I could put together another cat and a family of dust bunnies with what needs to be swept. If I get that done, then I'll probably swing by the Monkey Tourney on Stars at 8:30. It's ISS Spock's WWdN replacement, and I'm curious as to how it will play out now that a large chunk of the "OMG IT'S WIL!" crowd will be gone.

Monday, June 18, 2007

One Part Awesome

2 medium-sized Yukon Gold potatoes
1/2 a medium-sized sweet potato
2 green onions
couple dashes of smoked paprika
garlic powder
fresh ground salt and pepper to taste

red onion
red pepper
yellow zucchini

1 cranberry-sage elk sausage

-Shred the root vegetables, dice the green onions, combine with seasonings in a bowl and mix.
-Spread out in a medium non-stick frying pan with oil and butter, heated on high.
-Brown one side, flip and brown the other, reduce heat to medium

-In another pan saute the zucchini, pepper, and red onion. Salt, pepper and garlic to taste

-Flip the potatoes occasionally, but generally leave alone.

-In a cast iron pan with a bit of vegetable oil on just under high heat, fry up the freakin' awesome elk sausage.

-Put it all on a plate with a dollop of sour cream.

Serve with a pint of Kilkenny. That was dinner tonight, and it was sooooooo good.

Once the beer is done, comes the white and dark chocolate mousse ice cream, with fresh raspberries and strawberries.

It's nice to have time to cook for myself.

Wish it Was Me

Congrats to Fuel for taking down a seat to the WSOP Main Event in the Stars 150 Guaranteed last night. I was railing him for the last couple hours, also known as the most painful "bubble" in online poker. Since I have almost nobody in the girly chat, I was texting him as it went.

He had an M of 7 when I tuned in, and played enough hands to float around that level the whole time. If you have any sort of stack with < 300 runners left, it's not a hard game, just a tedious one. First to raise generally wins, and if you get re-popped, fold. As it got tighter, anybody with a brain and some chips folds aces. I watched some moron push his last 5k in the cut-off with A2o pre-flop with 4 left to the money. Damn but I wish I was able to play yesterday. Even if it took around 10 hours to get from 6800 to 220.

My big accomplishment? Level 1 Peep for a cheap Hoy buy-in. Seems somehow pale in comparison. That said, I'm feeling pretty good about by game of late, and think I could have killed in the 150 Guaranteed. Not too many chances left for an ME seat. I haven't really made the attempts I did last year, mostly because life keeps getting in the way, depriving me of the necessary time to throw endless gobs of cash at poker.

Speaking of Hoy, he's a got a tiltastic post up from Friday where he exposes the dirty secrets of the top 10 in the BBT. I'm not surprised by his read of me, and there's some accuracy there, but as usual, my game is deeper and more adaptive than people think, which I'm happy about. Posts like that make me smile.

I'm also itching for some more live action. I think I'll have to swing by the club some time this week. My confidence is at a high, and there's some fish in that barrel that could use a bullet or two.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Super Timing Guys!

Who schedules their 150 and 100 seat guarantees on Father's Day? Oh, that's right. Stars and Tilt! Jerks.

Off to dinner! Good luck to everyone who's taking advantage of the dead money.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Roid Rage

Part of my glorious interaction with walnuts the other day is that I was prescribed a healthy dose of Prednisone for 4 days on a tapering dosage. Steroids aren't fun. I've only been hospitalized once before for the nut allergy (generally, symptoms are mild), and they prescribed them then as well. I didn't take them, because I don't like medicating. This time I figured it was better safe than sorry.

There are 4 days of the year where I really need to be on top of my game at work. Today is one of those days, and I'm fucking antsy, twitchy, and unable to focus because of these little bastards.

On the plus side, they're doing wonders for my skin. Just nobody sneeze at me until Sunday. Yay immunosuppressant corticosteroids!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Lessons from a Trip

Consider this an addendum to the lengthy trip report below.

It's often said that you remember the bad beats, but never the great hands. This is often said because it's true.

I made a few moronic calls purely out of curiosity and had at least two memorable bad beats.

I usually don't post more than a quick recap of bad hands, but there's a lesson in here. Note, only two of these qualify as bad beats. Let's go in order of my fault to donkey.

1.- 1/2 NL at the MGM, Friday night. QTs limp in, board comes AQA. Checked to me in MP and I bet $20. Folds to cutoff who thinks and says, "does he have the ace..." and after a few more minutes raises to $60. Now, a completely sober me speaks up in my head and says, "You're beat. He TOTALLY has the Ace. At the least he has kings, or AQ, a stronger Q than you donkey." But I'd had a couple, and even though I knew I was beat, I called. Turn is crap, and he pushes all-in. I have him well-covered and call purely to see if my read was right. Of course it was. AJ flipped over, and he says he was worried I had a better ace. So now not only have I dropped over $100 in one stupid hand, but I'm painted as a complete fish. Naturally I tightened up and eventually got back to even before leaving.

2.- WPBT Tournament on Saturday. I have pocket queens and am heads-up with Mattazuma after he raise pre-flop. Flop comes all unders, he bets, I re-raise, and he pushes. I have him covered, but KNOW he has cowboys. Aces smells all wrong here, and he's not betting that hard with top pair or AK. Again, I need to know, and instead of asking, "I fold up, you show?" I call. Sure enough... kings, and no Q for me.

3.- 1/2 NL Saturday night. Relatively new guy to the table who finally brings some raising to the game. He's garnered my respect with his seeming tightness and aggression, although I can't think of any hands he's actually held. I have AJo and bet out around $15 pre-flop. Two callers, including him. Flop comes 8J4 and I bet $20 into the $32 pot. He calls. I've got to wonder here, so I check the 3 turn as does he. Rivers comes a 6 and I think I'm good, so I bet $40 and he pushes for $50 more. I call and he flips over 57d for the rivered inside straight. ARGH! But I guess I let him get there.

4.- 1/2 NL Saturday night, about an hour earlier. Woman directly on my right sits down and plays for a while. Chases draws and high cards like a fat kid chases his last smartie. I've pushed her off with re-raises once or twice, but we've generally not tangled. I have pocket 9's and raise it up. Two callers. Flop comes 9xx, two clubs. I bet 1/2 the pot and she's the only caller. She's sooo on the club draw. Turn is not a club, I bet 2/3 the pot, she calls. I go a bit cross-eyed. Kc hits the river and I sigh and practically toss up my hands. She bets something like $10 into about a $120 pot and I call saying, "nice flush." Sure enough, two completely unconnected clubs. I say, "not much I can do." and she replies with, "Well, you let me get there." I calmly replied, "Well, I did bet. I wouldn't have called it down." What can you do? I suppose I could have taken her chips and thrown them across the room, and then she couldn't chase.

There were others too. Calls and pressure with inferior hands, sometimes in an attempt to push someone off, sometimes because I just made a bad read. But other than #4 up there, these beats were entirely my fault. I called because I could afford it and wanted to see if I was reading right. There's nothing wrong with losing on purpose in order to get information - but only if that info is worth more than the money being lost. It wasn't in either case above. Also, there's no accounting for donkeys. If you let them get there, they'll get there, so if you're completely dumbfounded by a call and the turn card doesn't help them in any way, BET AT IT. Finally, no matter how hard you try, some people can't let go of their draws. They'll catch sometimes, but you'll make more off of them in the long run. Stay calm and you'll make your money back.

On the flipside, I don't make the donkey calls, and that $5 in my wallet looks more like $205, if not more due to stack intimidation. Just as if I walked away from the slots when I was up instead of playing more, I'm up for the trip. All it takes is a few mistakes and you're toast. I kicked myself after The Mookie last night for throwing away around 5600 in chips on hammer raises. I don't drive hard at those, then my TT re-raise all-in against Hoy's AK is maybe enough to push him off at the end, and I go deeper. At the very least, I would have had him covered.

Riverchasers tonight. Am I up for the ultimate in donkfests? Maybe.

Ahead for the Day

Short version:

Stars - lose a bunch of 1-table SnG's, make it back and then some in cash.

Tilt - 7th in the mookie = cash and 2nd consecutive final table, and some much-neeeded BBT points.
- 117/1395 in the 26k, top 224 paid. 2nd time playing, 2nd cash.

The 26k has to be the softest tournament in existence. I think I won about 14 hands, and knocked out 10 people. If it wasn't for a AK vs AQ suckout on the turn (money in on the flop and the only suckout against me), I'd have been dominating the thing. My ONLY mistake was pushing with KQo in the cutoff with 2 limpers, M=6, and running into AQo in the BB. Crippled me, and while I was able to chip back up a bit, A8 didn't beat AQ in the end.

The money was tiny, but it was good to be up at the end of the day.

And my Stars account should get a boost soon. Full Contact Poker is merging with Stars, and I have a few hundred bucks over there. I doubled my roll on that site the last day of its operation, and cashed out some bonus money to boot.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

There's a Reason I Ask

The setting - 10:30pm, dinner at Marben with my team from work. We've had a good dinner, some cocktails and red wine, all following a few hours at our regular over-priced financial district bar. We're all pretty full but the waitress suggests a couple sampling plates of dessert. We agree.

On each plate sits rolled ice cream, a lime-meringue tart, and a banana bread pudding with peanut sauce.

"Excuse me, but other than the peanut sauce, are there any nuts in any of these?"

"What are you allergic too?"

"Walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts... tree nuts essentially."

"No sir, just the peanuts and these corn nuts, which are really just corn."

"Thank you."

So I dig into the banana bread pudding... and it crunches. I get this feeling of dread. Out runs the waitress.

"Actually, the banana one has walnuts as well."


They released me from the ER at 8am this morning.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Rumours Are True

It turns out that the stories out of the previous 5 WPBT Vegas meetups are true. This is a fantastic group of people. I apologize for the mega-post, but if I split this up, I'll forget too much.

Day 1

I landed at 10:30pm Thursday night as planned. By the time my bag came out, and the surprising shortage of cabs at the international terminal was overcome, I checked into The Orleans, changed, and was downstairs by midnight. Bowling had finished before I got the hotel, but Pai Gow was just starting.

Having never been to The Orleans before, I wasn't sure what the layout was like. I somehow managed to walk right past the Pai Gow tables and wandered the whole floor. I was eventually able to find the place though. A jersey with "Zeem" on the back and another with "Falstaff" made it pretty easy. I sat down and put forth my first of many $100 for the trip. Pai Gow, besides being made for long periods of free drinking, is easy when you catch non-stop flushes and straights. Aces help too.

Bayne, The Penners, Pokergnome, Pirate Wes, and others were in and out, but we did manage to get a table of nothing but bloggers at one point. Ending up $100 at Pai freakin' Gow is a good way to start a trip. Though not as good as immediately meeting some great people who convince you to put money on a table and booze in your belly.

The hand of the night was easily Penner the 2nd's quad aces with jacks high and a king kicker. Even the floor supervisor had to say, "what the hell?" Unfortunately, nobody saw the 7-card straight flush.

Day 2

Friday was pretty much open until the planned drinking and mixed games at the MGM, so I met up with LJ/P(rince/van)haribo at TI to play in the 11am $60 tournament. She got there before me, but I found and joined her in the Coffee Shop for breakfast. I may have missed the Bellagio buffet with Fuel, Iak and Hoy, but I've got no complaints. After all, LJ is far cuter than any of those three (this could start a battle with the Iak fanclub, but I just don't swing that way - doctors have horrible hours). Meanhappyguy was on his way to join us, but turned around with a bad case of "feeling like crap."

One thing I forgot about the tournament was how quickly the blinds move from the 2nd hour onwards. I made it past the first break, but eventually went down. This turned out not-so-good since I then dropped a couple hundred bucks to the slots in the next 15 minutes before coming back to check up on LJ's progress. She too went out before the money, just in time to meet up with a couple friends of hers from NY. Lucky me, they enjoyed the craps, and I won a bit back.

Somehow, it was time to register for the 2pm TI tournament, which is identical to the 11am. This time I made it to 4th, and the money, which brought me closer to even, but not without a rebuy on my part. LJ's friends also signed up, but didn't make the final table. Off they went to the Tropicana to lose money there.

Alone, I lost more to the slots, and wandered the strip, slowly heading back in the direction of my hotel. Weaving in and out of casinos on the way created a sine wave of profit and loss as I'd win and lose on various slots on the way. At this point, I began to think I may have a problem. By the time I got to New York New York, it was time to meet up at MGM. A quick cab ride to the hotel to reload the funds and clean up a bit, and I was heading back.

As I was rounding the corner to the Sports Book bar, I ran into LJ again. Being the only blogger she'd actually met, I was her means of finding the rest. They were, as promised, drinking away at the aforementioned bar. Futher introductions were made to IG, Hoy, Chad, Carmen, Meanhappyguy, BrainMc, Columbo and more. Turns out the planned mixed games were now canceled, which sucked not a small bit. So after some imbibing, we decided to just play cash. a 3-6 HORSE game was started, and us low-rollers who didn't want to actually lose money opted for 1-2 NL instead. Actually, a good chunk of the higher-limit players donked around 1-2 as well, which was quite the amusing sight. As I waited for my name to be called, I noticed a missed call from one Instant Tragedy. I grabbed a drink and returned it for the requisite dial-a-shot. Ah technology, enabling drunks over thousands of miles.

As 2am approached, with no Waffles sightings, LJ was up a TON -- enough to buy into the Ladies event instead of satelliting -- and felt like throwing some of it away at the 2am TI tournament again. I obliged, since I was up a bit but hadn't caught anything in a while. Winning one big pot on my second last hand sealed it. So no Waffles, us "new generation" (although I've been there as long as most) aren't pussies, we just got sick of waiting for you and moved on. I went past the first break again, but decided at 3am with too many donkeys, a shortish stack, and A6d in front of me, that it was time to double up or go home. I went home. LJ had been knocked out earlier, which was undoubtedly to build up the karma for her WSOP run.

I really should say something about the donkeys to my right. Two guys who I couldn't put older than 23 who obviously had limited live experience. I'd guess one (let's call him A) had played live a couple times, but never in an MTT, and the other (B) was completely clueless. Both these morons would CALL down to the river with the worst hands I'd seen so far. A board of A75JT with a flush draw would be bet from the flop down by an opponent, and they'd flip over K3o for the loss. Shit like this happened more than once. Then they'd lean in to see how they lost. Seriously, not a single pair, draw, or even a decent high-card hand that they'd throw chips after. Let me reiterate - they'd CALL this shit down. (A) got knocked out early, and stayed at the table. The dealer pointed out that he had to "move back" and he grudgingly obliged by pushing his chair back but STILL LEAN ON THE TABLE. The dealer would ask again, and his response was "I'm as far back as I can go!" The rest of us pointed out he had to actually be AWAY from the table and he almost started whining about it. Our waitress brought him a scotch he'd ordered earlier and he settled in, glad he had his "glenfiddy" finally. That just about got me smacking him - I hate misplaced arrogance, and this tool was bleeding it. Are you really going to act sophisticated with a glass of 12 year-old Glenfiddich in front of you? I'm seriously doubting it was the 40. Anyway, (B) was just as bad, except he'd obviously never played live in his life. He couldn't track blinds, position, bets, cards, or anything else. Minbets that didn't cover the min, checks to raises, etc.. The sad part is that he outlasted me. I felt worse for the poor guy to their right, who actually knew how to play and couldn't figure out what these two were playing with their retarded calls. He could have made a mint off them. That's what I get for playing a donkey-level tournament. Next time I'm in Vegas, my buy-ins are going up.

Regardless, I was out on a stupid call and push on my part, and was asleep by 4:30 for a solid 4 hours of sleep. Which made it about 10 hours out of 72 so far.

Day 3

Up at 8:30 and ready and rearin' for another day, but no word from Iak or Fuel re: breakfast. So it went to plan B. I tagged along with LJ (my new bestest Vegas Blogger friend, I think she now takes the record for most mentions in one post) and her friends for brunch at the MGM before the big blogger tourney back at the Orleans. I just couldn't bring myself to actually consume food at Orleans. Brunch was solid, and it was back for the tourney where sign-up had begun.

What a mess. I'm neither the first, nor will I be the last, to bemoan the state of this year's WPBT tournament. From the prick of a director to possibly the worst structure I have ever seen, this was a disaster. This is by no means a knock on Falstaff or Sloshr, who did a great job of setting this all up. 2500 chips, 15 minutes, 25-50, 50-100, 75-150, 100-200 +25, 150-300 +25, 200-400 +50, 300-600 +75, and then I was out. I may have added a level in there. Green chips were in play until the final table, and there were 80 BB available with 2 tables left. The fact the tournament went as long as did was a testament to how tight people were playing with their short stacks. It just wasn't poker past the 3rd level. Throw in being told to "keep it down" because they had "people who play here every day" when quads were rivered by Fuel against Aces, and it left a bad taste in everyone's mouth.

That said, the turnout was great, and many, many more of this motley crew were met. Pauly, Waffles, Don, Spaceman, Blinders, Weak Player, and many more, and some I recognized but didn't actually get a chance to meet.

Final three came down to Grubette, Spaceman's Wife and Waffles. Also known as the closest Waffles will ever get to a threesome. Waffles out 3rd (naturally the first to finish in this menage), and some great girl-on-girl action led to Mrs. Spaceman taking it down shark-style. Congrats!

During the match was the search for a real tournament to play in. Venetian didn't run one on Saturday, TI and others couldn't handle the volume, Caesar's affordable one wasn't until 11pm, Planet Hollywood was full, etc, etc.. So we went back to MGM and their wonderfully profitable cash tables. But first, I placed a call to the much-missed Katitude for a promised dial-a-shot. At least she was there in spirits, if not in body. Man I'm hilarious with the puns.

A few hours, a couple hundred bucks up, a couple bad beats, and it was time to break for dinner with Fuel, Pokergnome, and CC. 10:30 Saturday night at the MGM means NOTHING IS OPEN. Just the Studio Cafe. Luckily, the food was fine, if not quite what were looking for. Actually, the french onion soup was really good, if not as tasty as mine (I really should do a food post sometime).

Back to the tables, Card death and a loose table as usual makes it hard to turn a profit. Lucky for me (and everyone else), the wet dream of all poker players sat down. No, not Shana Hiatt in skimpy bits, but that glorious combination of alcohol, money, and absolutely NO clue how to play the game. I never got his name, but the 3 of us on his left got his money. When your game is "raise to $15 pre-flop, go all-in on the flop" with any two cards... you're going to lose. Lots. He eventually got up and moved to a 2/5 table for some unknown reason before moving to yet another 1/2 table. He was greatly missed.

LJ was at my table to start, but quickly left (I'd be sick of me by now too, but I swear I got put there purely by chance), leaving me bloggerless. Luckily, I had a good table, with at least 3 other chatters. The huge stack on my right was all kinds of cute, the guy next to her had plenty of that dry humour I do so like, and the man with 1 giant tower of chips (just calling for someone to kick the table) was more than happy to play along.

A quick quiz - board of A3JAQ all red, 3 hearts. Bet and called pre-flop down, $200 in the pot. Caller to this point raises all-in for around $400 into a big stack (dry humour guy 2 to my right). Loooooong time in the tank and the stack calls. Raiser flips over pocket queens for the flopped queens full of aces and the former stack slams down his cards with a mighty "FUUUUUUCK!" and a storm off. What did he have? We originally put him on an ace, but then figured it HAD to be jacks for him to make that big of a call with a flush on the board and two aces with two faces. We never found out as the dealer moronically said, "I can't show you his cards unless he lets me." when he was asked to flip 'em before they hit the muck. The floor director cleared it up later that he should have flipped them regardless of the player's desire since it was a called hand. Needless to say, our friend left shortly thereafter, although I did see him wandering around the WSOP the next day. Glad no seppuku was involved.

Once the cute asian girl on my left who had some solid poker skills and was good conversation left with her boyfriend, I decided to call it a night at 4am, down a bit on the game, but still up on the night.

What I should have done is jumped on the Blogger table earlier in the night for the +EV fun of it all. If I had been up or even for the trip at this point, I probably would have without a second thought, but I actually felt like winning money. That said, on this night it was loads of fun to watch them. On Friday they'd given a few grand to the tourists, but tonight they managed to take it back. It started off the same, with money going the wrong way, but the bloggers soon found they had some pretty large stacks in front of them. They then made it a de facto 5/10 game with their bets and raises. Lots of money to be won, if you had the balls. The funniest thing I saw was the last 5 of them getting up at once to call it a night, and the 4 tourists on the other end who had just sat down look in bewilderment that the table had suddenly disappeared.

I wandered the floor looking for straggling bloggers and chatted with Fuel at his 5/10 game and Iak at his 1/2 (2/4?), before running in to Hoy, who was wasting time until his 6:30am flight home. We chatted for a solid hour before heading out, and I had a feeling the next morning might be a bit rough.

Day 4

Up at 10, and it was rough. The severe lack of slumber over the previous 4 days was finally catching up to me. Luckily, I had moved my flight from the 1:40 to the red eye at 11:20, so I had only my noon checkout to worry about.

After getting together at half-speed, I checked out on the TV (and avoided the ridiculously long line at the counter), dropped my bags at the bell desk, and cabbed to the MGM for more poker. I didn't see anyone familiar around, but I wasn't there to socialize. About 3 hands into the game, I knew I was at the wrong table. Something about my opponents was a bad mix. It's not that I was facing sharks or donkeys, but just a tough table to read. It got worse when the woman who sucked out huge on my the previous night sat to my right. After a few hours, I pushed in my last chips in with AsKx on a K-high flop with two spades. The guy who called my pre-flop raise with 78s called my push and caught the 3s on the turn. No more spades on the river ended my play.

So I did the only sensible thing. I went to the Rio to cheer on LJ, who was kicking ass in the Ladies event. After all, why move my flight if I wasn't going to cheer on my new friends? IG and Change100 were already out, CC, Pauly and Carmen were doing their thing for the press, Waffles was playing cash, and Don was checking out the action. Don and I found LJ at her table, with a great-sized stack in front of her. One didn't doubt that she was 4th in chips. She played her table right, and made some great moves, and continued to chip up. Most impressively, she trusted her reads.

It was one hell of a table. Kathy Liebert was to her right, and went out soon after we got there. Another woman 3 to the right had a monster stack and decided it was her duty to play the LAG. I only hope she went out early with the reckless plays she was making. To LJ's left was a tight aggressive player who chipped up huge in the time we were there. From a barely-there all-in to the table leader. Luckily, the table broke not long after she got that monster stack.

I wandered back into the Rio to lose more money. What caught my eye, besides the pros strolling around, was the number of people I recognized from tables at the MGM and the TI tournaments. All poker players eventually make it to the Rio it seems. On my way back to the Amazon room I met LJ and Don heading for dinner. After checking two full restaurants, we headed for the Tilted Kilt for some pub grub. Good fries, good beer... all was well. Don and I gave what advice we could, and answered a flurry of questions, but in the end it came down to "play your game, and be aware of the situation every time." After the walk back to the tables, I left to catch my flight home.

Orleans, airport, and waiting around for the plane. The flight had filled up fast, and my standby status turned into my last gamble. One that I won this time, as I made it on, sitting in the emergency exit row with its ample leg room. I don't remember the flight, as I was asleep from takeoff to landing. Interestingly enough, while standing in line on the way TO Vegas, a woman behind me got yelled at for being on her cell phone... on the way back, she was another standby passenger who I was seated next to. But as I said, I slept the entire flight, so conversation was minimal.

I walked in my front door, and checked out pokernews for the Ladies' status, and then decided my best move would be to play poker. I didn't get the token in a level 1 18 sng, but dominated the $6 short-handed one to buy into the Hoy. Oh addiction, I know you well.

And now, hours later, it seems LJ has recovered from her WSOP knock out, and the Loonie I gave her as a card-capper is to be blamed for her bad luck. I'll take full responsibility. I just hope that means I don't have to make up the difference between 97th and 1st. :)

As for the $5 left in my wallet? A piece of advice - if you're not willing to lose, don't play slots. Me? I'm just glad there aren't any within walking distance of me. That said, I'm still up over the last 12 months in them. I just have to learn to quit whilst ahead. Regardless, my losses for this trip are far less than anything that could be considered significant in the grand scheme.

And I think, depsite the numerous mentions and congratulatory post, that LJ deserves her own bit here. We both went into this thing mostly blind. Of all the people there, I had only met two of them previously (Iakaris and Fuel), and she hadn't met anyone. While Vegas is totally do-able solo, it's good to have a go-to friend along, and that's what LJ very quickly became. I can honestly say the trip would have been stretches of "well... now what will I do?" between blogger events if she wasn't there. As it turned out, I had an awesome time, and she played no small roll in that.

The trip was great, and exactly what I needed. Some 40 salt-of-the-earth people gathering for drinking, gambling and general good times is something not to be missed. For those who sat on the fence too long to decide, it was your loss. Friends were quickly made, and good times had by all. I have every intention of being there come December, which promises to be bigger and better. If you don't plan on going, then I think you should maybe see someone about that head trauma you've obviously suffered.

All Good Things...

Before anything else - HOLY SHIT CONGRATULATIONS LJ!!! 97th of 1200 in the WSOP Ladies Event! For those who haven't figured it out - that's IN THE MONEY! I'm so happy for you. :)

I can't wait to hear how it all went after I left to catch my flight. Considering she was originally going to try and satellite in on Friday, but instead won her buy-in playing cash at the MGM, and that she is needlessly unsure about her game, this is even MORE amazing. Way to go! When I was there, she was playing a great aggressive game and the rest of her table stayed out of her way.

I hope she didn't listen to a thing Don and I told her during the dinner break and played her own game, since it got her to that point pretty well.

That totally perked me up from the Vegas/flight hangover.

Congrats to Hoy as well for cashing in the Short Handed NLHE event as well. Bloggers REPRESENT! There isn't much I can say about Hoy that isn't already known. But wow, 2.5 hour bubble... and I thought the Mookie was bad. :)

I'll get a full trip update on here after I've grabbed a bit more shut-eye.

Short version - Everyone is awesome, I almost didn't make the flight out, and I have $5 left in my wallet. Now THAT'S bankroll management :).

**EDIT (about 5 min after I posted) - Just spoke to her, after 4 1/2 hours of drinking her bitterness away at the Hooker bar. Shitty way to go out, but I think I'd have done the same thing. I won't take away her story though, she can post that herself.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Not a Bad Kick-Off

EDIT: Oops - I apparently can't read 24-hour time. I'm getting in at 10:30 tonight. Sweet, bowling should still be going on by then.

Turned out I made the Mookie last night after all. Which is good since I missed The Hoy. Even better? I final tabled that baby for the first time since I won it. I went out in 8th when my JJ ran into Doogman's QQ. The guy had been pushing like mad, so I put out a committing-but-weak-looking bet to get the re-raise. It happened, I insta-called and swore. To drive home the point, he spiked the 3rd Q on the river. That was SUPPOSED to be a Jack. With all the huge suckouts last night, it figures I don't get mine. :)

Worst luck I saw was Bayne_s (I think). Calls an all-in with AK to meet TT. T on the flop seals it. The very next hand, and VERY short-stacked, he goes all-in with Rockets to meet... TT, with a T on the TURN. AK and AA in consecutive hands busted by a set of tens. Wow.

Regardless, I got some much-needed points to move me into 12th place on the BBT, which puts me back in striking distance of the top 10, but it will be a fight to get into the top 5 again.

I have to give huge props to BuddyDank and InstantTragedy for a great live broadcast. Even if IT didn't show up until half the players were gone. Generally great song choices (I'm so glad my feed droppen when Hanson came on), and some of the funny at the end. For the record though - I don't have Parkinson's, it was a comment on how to get ahead in slot tournaments.

According to my handy-dandy countdown clock, I have just over 7 hours until take-off, which means I have 12 hours until I look at all that pretty neon. Damn but I'm looking forward to this.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

All Alone in the Moonlight

T-34 hours. What will I forget to bring this time?

Swung by the Wheatie last night to bid our gracious host adieu. Amazingly enough, he was still there at 10, and in fact made his first WWdN final table! I believe it was his 2nd cash in his own tournament. Excellent timing sir.

While Spock will be continuing the WWdN tournaments, they won't be quite the same. Let's be honest here, the reason most of the bloggers kept showing up was either nostalgia, tradition, habit, or because Wil was playing. This is the one that got a lot of us started on this road. But with the MATH, Mookie, Big Game, and yes, even the Riverchasers, there are many alternatives out there, most with a higher calibre of play. If you want to donk off some chips cheap? That's what Kat's Friday Donkament is for.

But 2 years ago, this was something new. You got to play with a bona fide member of Team Pokerstars, a celebrity (even if the letter in front of "list" is a little low these days), Wesley Crusher, author, comedian, blogger extraordinaire, and all-around decent guy. It also only cost $11, and you could win over $100! The players were better than you, but you could totally learn from them. Ok, so that last bit didn't last long. The Wheaton was a great level 1 incubator - a complete donk could play regularly and if they actually wanted to, improve their game by watching the veterans, although not all of them did. There was even a point where you could find most of the regular bloggers there, and the quality of play far surpassed what a $10 tournament should have. Even to the end it was still the largest field in the blogger circuit.

But most importantly, it was the seed for the tournaments mentioned above. Not to mention the DADI and CC's Bash as well. None of these would have happened if Wil hadn't had a series of Hurricane Katrina benefit tournaments that were so successful he decided to hold a weekly "home game". I know I'd probably still be playing for fake money on Stars and being 6x the donk I currently am if it wasn't for these. I sure as hell wouldn't be going to Vegas tomorrow.

So I guess that means Wil has cost me a lot of money. Hmm...

So thanks Wil, you started something great, and like all successful ventures, this one got a big enough push from you that it can sustain itself now. I hope to see you at the virtual tables still, and that you'll drop by some of our own "home games" from time to time. Hoy's extended an offer to buy you in to a MATH anytime you want. I imagine he's not the only one who is willing.