Friday, November 30, 2007


All-in preflop.

Technological Obsessions

Riverchasers - out after some horrid play and trying to right the ship too late. I kept saying, "play tight." but just couldn't. Great, now I sound like Hoy. Of course playing tight worked for the resident tiltmonkeymegadonklucksac as he took down a TOC seat.

While I'll be eating slimy Chinese food for a friend's birthday dinner tonight, I suggest you all check out Kat's Donkament tonight at 9 at Full Tilt. $1 rebuy and it gets the tilt out. Password, as always, is donkarama. Seriously, this place has OKAY food, but it's so covered in slippery sauce that the chopsticks are practically useless for picking anything up.

That's it for poker.

I've railed against various technology and its users in the past. My Facebook rant got more response than I expected. Ditto my rants against iPods, Monster Cables, Bose, etc.. So now I'll talk about what I keep stopping myself from buying.

First - the iPod Touch. That is one nice piece of machinery. Yes, it still has the problems of the other iPods (iTunes lock-in, battery replacement, etc.), but it's just fun to play with. But, I already have my Archos, and now my new phone, and still almost ZERO need for a portable music player (I'm just not in transit long enough since moving downtown).

Then there's the Scooba. Roomba's wet brother. My condo currently has two carpeted rooms, and I have a kickass vacuum for them (Bissell Healthy Home = highly recommended). The rest of the place is either tile or parquet. The only time I clean them is when they (a) get really disgusting or (b) company's coming over. It's a pain in the ass. I can either sweep or vacuum (hardwood setting), but still need to mop afterwards. The Swiffer Wetjet is okay, but I can MAYBE get through the whole place on one cleaning cloth. It's a lot of floor. The mop is a pain in the ass, and inevitably leads to paw prints being left somewhere. The cats necessitate thorough cleaning. So I'm thinking the Scooba 580 meets my needs. If it meets specs, it should be able to cover most of the hard floors on one charge. Plus, it will freak out the cats. I'm also planning on tearing out the carpets and laying down more wood. Downside? $500. Although it comes with a free Roomba at the moment.

How about the Yamaha YSP speakers? One big long bank of speakers that bounces sound around the room from its 42 drivers to create surround sound from a single source. I love the concept and the simplicity. Of course, I already have a full 7.1 surround setup in my main room (2 Klipsch towers and 5 Polk satellites), so it would be a waste of money. Then again, I have two other TVs...

A flat panel in the office would look pretty nice. Of course, then I'd have a 27" CRT that I'd have to put somewhere. Maybe a small flat one in the bedroom instead. I can find a place for the little TV that's there currently easily enough.

I just bought a food processor. Do I need more kitchen gadgets? Always. How about an electric griddle? I still can't find a suitable waffle maker to replace my broken one (which was awesome). I keep thinking a breadmaker would be good too. Then again, I use my cast iron grill all the time now, and my electric grill gathers dust.

I recently caved and did a full computer upgrade, which I totally don't regret. I also have a week-old LG VX8700 phone which is pretty awesome. So I've been feeding the technology monster inside me bit by bit.

Bonus time is around the corner, and how Vegas turns out could also contribute to some decision-making. I may be all over the Boxing Day sales.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Vegas Plans

As much as plans can be made:

My and 3 friends get in around 2:45pm on Thursday. Check into the hotel and kill some time on the strip until evening shenanigans at the IP begin. I will SO be there for Pai Gow, Craps, and alcohol. I will also gladly watch Karaoke, but that's the extent of my participation.

Friday - wake up at some time and do stuff. I imagine I'll be splitting time between hitting a tourney or two and hanging with my non-blogger friends. Maybe we'll swing over to Star Trek: The Experience. I've been twice before. Ask Wil or Pauly, it's worth returning to. We're also going to see Blue Man Group for the 7pm show (join us in the Poncho section!), so I won't be making the start of the mixed games. I do fully intend to join the crew for cash games at the MGM once the show is out. Somewhere in there will be food.

Saturday - 3pm is the Blogger Tourney, so that's a no-brainer. I might squeeze in some donkament before that (11am $60 @ TI maybe?), if for nothing else than to work on my pushing skills. One of my friends will be joining us and will learn the true power of The Hammer. The others? I wouldn't be surprised if they did some railbirding. I love me a cheering section. Let's see how long they last without a hole-card camera.

Sunday - one of party takes the Saturday red-eye, and another leaves on the 3:45 flight. So I'm not entirely sure how I'll be spending the remainder of the day with the poker non-player (I'm taking the red-eye Sunday). There maye be some shopping involved or something, and much texting to the remaining bloggers to see what's up. I suppose I could swing by the sports book too. Or, depending how my bankroll's looking, I could just gamble all day.

I'm definitely doing a nice, good dinner at least one night there with my buddies... and likely anybody else who wants to come along. Any suggestions?


Congrats to Alan for taking down the Mookie. Wait a second. ALAN won the Mookie? Isn't he a huge tournament donk? Oh, wait... he had my cards.

Me? Out 32nd of 90. I think I was playing pretty well too. I once again was reading like a superuser, and taking pots with some solid aggression. I think I had one beat I didn't like where KT beat my AJ or something, and I lost more chips than I would have liked with AK against PirateLawer's A7s (7 on the flop, A on the turn, I figured he had 2 pair after his check-call, and didn't fall for it when he checked the river). I figured I needed some sort of karma after laying down AKc pre-flop in the first level to his all-in reraise with the Hiltons (too early for a coinflip for 35 BB). It was not to be.

In the end, actyper made some dorky-looking raise and I re-popped him with QJo, putting him on a steal or figuring I'd at least be live. Nope. He flipped over cowboys, and his 3rd king didn't come to give me a straight. I don't regret my move, as I was running out of space where I could make them.

I COULD use the excuse that the new cat spent the day vomitting as a distraction. I was up at 6:30am when she was retching on my bedroom carpet, and when I got home there were 4 different spots to clean up throughout the condo. After I called the vet, she let fly twice more. Appointment is at 11:30 this morning, although she seems to have made it through the night without a problem, and is otherwise normal. I won't though... because she was kind enough to keep the regurgitation to bookends. Once as the first hand was in the air, and again about 10 minutes after I shut down. Still, I hope she'll be okay.

Riverchasers tonight. I hope to be there.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


I don't think I've been in a proper mindset for poker of late.

Last night I played in the Monkey Tourney and went out 9th. I had fun, that's what matters for that one. That said, I kept swinging in out of focus. When I was paying attention, I was on, but then I got distracted and let myself fall behind. Bad move.

Then fired up a couple turbos, and while I really liked how I played one of them I had nothing to show for it.

So instead I watched Heroes and worked on ripping the Boomstick scene from one of my 3 Army of Darkness DVDs to use as my phone's wallpaper. I suppose I could have done something more productive... like ironing, laundry, sweeping, mopping, dusting, cleaning, tidying, or playing Guitar Hero. Ah well.

I went into the MATH on Monday a little bit rushed, and never got into a groove. It showed.

Tonight is the Mookie. With only 9 TOC seats left to win, it's really starting to be crunch time. I expect we'll be back up over 100 runners this week, which suits me fine. The thing is, I keep thinking of all the other things I need to get done (see the list above). That, and I haven't made myself a good meal in a week, and I'm starting to feel it.

So the plan for tonight is simple: haircut (getting shaggy), get home and start up dinner, do some chores, finish dinner, eat dinner, more chores, guitar hero, and then Mookie it up. Somewhere in there I need to get my head in the game.

Which could be hard after the shitty sleep I had last night.

But hopefully a solid dinner will help. I've got a hankering for steak.

With a rub of sundried tomato pesto, alderwood smoked salt, and fresh cracked black pepper.

Side of sweet potato fries, all spiced up.

And whatever I have kicking around in the vegetable department. I think I've got some broccoli. Maybe some zucchini too, but it's probably seen better days. Peppers for sure.

I'll probably have some of the Grand Marnier and lemon semifreddo I made a while back for dessert. Perhaps with a strawberry jam blondie.

Nothing like a good meal to get you ready for hours of staring at a computer screen.

Last night was leftover tandoori chicken pizza, and some Pillsbury crescent rolls stuffed with honey-garlic elk sausage and parmesan reggiano, and all the leftover sausage. Tasty as they were, there was minimal effort required, so no cooking zen achieved.

Then I'll Gigli. No... wrong mindset. Then I'll dominate the game and take first without anybody coming close to contending. Final table with over 100k in chips, heads-up with 95% of the chips. Over in 2 hands. OOOOOOOO YEAH!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Boing Boing

Part of my daily web rounds is Boing Boing. Today they had a few posts that caught me (aside from the previously linked Facebook-related ones).

A window into why the music industry has handled online content so back-asswards. Seriously, if you're completely ignorant about something - find someone who isn't and ask for help. Such lame excuses. But it just speaks to the arrogance of these dinosaurs.

London's Tube voice silenced. A shame, because SHE obviously has a sense of humour.

Greenpeace is having a "name-the-whale" vote. Most of the names are lame, except two that were put in due to humour or popularity. Vote for your favourite I guess. But the amusing part is the results.

About Time

Poker out of the way quickly: MATH sucked ($80 in, shit all night, Fuel was the table's luckbox, but I still liked that it was a rebuy), and a couple turbo SnGs went poorly. There, poker content over.

I despise Facebook. This is no secret to anybody who sees me on a regular basis. I will trumpet my dislike of it and most social networking/web 2.0 sites without provocation. Exceptions are Blogger and Flickr, because they're little more than a convenient method of posting content, and I can control who can and can't participate without forcing them to join up. Some days I'm not so sure about them either.

And no, I'm not a Luddite. I'm also not a first-adopter. I'm too smart for that. Bring forth your new technology. I'll let others test it and find all the terrible faults that you can fix before I consider picking it up. And if my bullshit detector goes off, I stay far away.

Here's the thing. I live in Toronto. Until recently, it was the #1 Facebook city in the world. Us Canucks are big on tech. This leads to the problem of 95% of the people I know being on Facebook. The funny thing is, the few friends who aren't on it totally get me. Those that are will endlessly defend the service despite what arguements I bring forth. I only half-jokingly suggest they've all been brainwashed by the site and one day I'll be a little red dot on the giant map at Facebook HQ as "that guy". Then all the people on the street will turn as one and swarm me, forcing my eyes open as they sign me up and indoctrinate me into their cult.

It keeps me up at night.

Okay, not really. Only my cats can keep me up at night.

Seriously, I've turned down sex for sleep.

Yah, I regret that NOW.

Sorry, tangent over.

Anyway, the rest of the world is slowly coming around.

Microsoft bought a chunk a few weeks ago. That can never lead to good. But that's likely beside the point.

First there were the Beacon ads. In short - you buy a book, or rent a movie from a partner site, and your "friends" get to see what you've bought. The theory behind this is that then your "friends" get to know you better, and you can talk about common interests like specific movies or Harry Potter or some shit. Of course, if you rent something a bit more... questionable, then what happens? Brokeback Mountain and you're friends are fundamentalist Christians? Mein Kampf? Britney Spears? Some books or movies on specific fetishes? Or less damaging perhaps, you buy all your Christmas gifts and your friends get to see what they're getting. Yah, brilliant plan. Oh, and the opt-out is, as usual, tricky.

Then it turns out that it used to be better. But Facebook decided to lose the opt-in and easy opt-out options. Likely because more money could be made that way.

But these are just the latest, and more active and "evil" problems with the site.

Cory Doctorow has a great article that sums up some of my issues, and why Facebook will likely collapse under its own weight.

What gets people on a site like this is generally two things: peer pressure or curiosity. Facebook is a stalker's dream. You can look up anybody and see who they know. That information alone could be enough to track someone down (ie.- friends wearing a company logo, or in a recognizable location). All I heard from friends originally was how cool it was to look up people from grade school or high school. My first thought? That means they can look you up. The 2 or 3 people I might actually want to get in touch with is not worth the dozens I want nothing to do with.

Then it became a regular part of their lives. Half-hearted complaints about how it ate up all their time were common. Fine, I have poker and this damned blog for that, so I'm a black pot. Then came the entreaties that I should join. I steadfastly refuse. Then I started hearing about parties and gatherings that I wasn't invited to. Why? Oh, I'm not on Facebook, so they didn't think to send me a fucking e-mail, text message, or bother picking up a phone. Nice.

Then the, "oh, I put up the pictures from the party." Where? "On Facebook". Great, so I can't see them, but lots of people can see my drunken face.

Then the e-mail Facebook invites. "So-and-so has sent you a Facebook e-mail! Click on this link to find out what it is." Okay.. oh look! I'm on their facebook page and can choose to go to their party. That's a step up. Except I can't see who else is going because I'M NOT A MEMBER. Please sign up. Fuck off.

Or my favourites were the early ones, "Your friend has invited you to join Facebook!" My former friend you mean? Because no friend of mine would supply my personal e-mail address to ANY online service. Especially when a followup comes later with "You never joined, why not?" Go fuck yourself. I've told my mother not to use my address if she finds a cute something or interesting article, is it so hard for my friends with DEGREES IN COMPUTER ENGINEERING to figure it out? I taught her how to copy-and-paste a link to e-mail so she can send it without risking me getting spammed, surely they can learn.

Then there are the joys of actually joining. If you want to search, you can either (a) sign up or (b) provide them with an e-mail address AND ITS PASSWORD. Like hell I'm doing that.

Once signed up, anybody who knows you or your friends, or even just randomly find you, can ask to be your friend. If you actually know them and DON'T add them? What happens at the next party? Or when you go to work on Monday and that freak in the mailroom is mad you didn't acknowledge his poke? Plus the entreaties from Facebook to the less-intelligent out there about unifying your profiles... you know, so they can share the information with your friends.

I hate Facebook, and I hate what it does to exclude people. I've been told I couldn't participate in things specifically because I wasn't on Facebook. I told those friends where to shove that idea. I've been told some people didn't reply to my birthday invite (sent via e-mail) because it was too difficult compared to Facebook. WHAT THE FUCK? Click "reply", type "yes" or "no", click "send." Give me a break. I hate how it puts on a friendly face but slowly lets the evil creep in. I hate how everybody seems so short-sighted that they don't realize that if they can stalk, they can be stalked. And I hate the secondary environment of tiered and ranked friendship it sets up.

I almost lost it when one woman asked me how she could talk to me if I wasn't on Facebook. Anything that becomes this prevalent scares me. iPods, Windows, Lost, Google, poker, etc., don't exclude people. They are tools and pastimes, not social control mechanisms. Even Myspace didn't create this level of exclusivity. Facebook though? Evil.

Yet I want to set up a fake account to stalk everyone.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Capping it Off With Astinbayneage

Weekend = okay. 'Twas busy with outings, friends, and poker.

Friday involved much pokering - Donkament, 50/50 (I love the $2 rebuy satellite... $4.20 total cost!), both ending in tears. I actually lost interest in both around the same time and played some stupid hands to get out. This was a good thing because about 30 minutes later my body lurched and I was hit by a wave of nausea. I was suddenly uncomfortably warm and attempting to calm my stomach.

It seems that eating turkey soup that's been in the fridge for over a month isn't a good idea. I have NO idea what I was thinking. I'm a moron.

That said, everything stayed in. I think the 100 Mysteries tea I made helped tremendously. The last of my homemade creme brulee ice cream (soooooooooo good) capped it off nicely and I was fine. Gut of iron baby.

Saturday was tasty brunch and a decent movie followed by some decent teppanyaki for a friend's birthday.

Sunday involved the usual dim sum lunch, followed by the TOC at the club. Winner-take-all 42" TV or the cash. 30ish people, I was out before the first hour. I flop TP and make a solid bet at the pot. I get min-raised and have to toss it, as my M would still be > 10. A few hands and a blind level later I see AKo with a raise and call before me. I triple the bet (committing myself), and get re-pushed. The other player disgustedly mucks and I call. My AK vs... KQc. Q on the flop, Q on the turn, and I'm done. Sounds like the folder folded AQ. What can you do?

So home I did go, where I napped and then fired up some SnG's a few hours later. Took down 1st (it happens occasionally) in a $22 turbo, then lost another, then dropped an $11 turbo. Fired up one last $11 while watching Battlestar Galactica: Razor (good, but felt a bit shoe-horned in. If not for the revelation at the end, it might have been a nice, yet unnecessary, companion to the series) and hit the absolute sickest run of cards I've ever seen.

The history is at home, but I could. not. miss. Straights, flushes, boats, trips, and an absolutely DOMINATING chiplead on the bubble that I used to maximum effect. I knocked out at least 2 or 3 players with river cards that must have sent them into a rage. It was over quickly from there. I'll post the hands (assuming they're saved) later to cause everyone to tilt before the $10 rebuy MATH tonight.

$10 rebuy. MATH. Whooee! Hoy claims he's going to play it like a donkament. I don't think I'm going to drop $200 on rebuys and add-ons, but I can see me getting my fair share in there. Or maybe I won't need more than the first one if I hit like I did to finish off last night. Between BBT, returns from Thanksgiving, the $10 buy-in, and the rebuys and add-ons, it should make for a record pot for our regular Monday donkery. The downside? It could run until dawn. I love rebuys.

10 days!!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Fists Clenched

I'm in a mood.

Between being late(r than usual) for work due to one of the cats pushing a ceramic butter dish off the counter (smash... pieces all over the place. yay), and some revelations about the resident work tool, I am not happy.

Not sure how to shake it either.

I need a punching bag I think.

And no, booze, donking off dollar after dollar, nor going for a walk will not fix it. I imagine I'll want to get home and play something that involves senseless violence. That'll probably help.


I went for a few drinks post-work, and was then cajoled into going for some steak (amount of cajoling required: not very much). A nice bottle of wine and decent filet later I was in a cab on the way back home to fire up the Riverchasers, an hour after start time.

I sat down about 5 minutes after the break and folded for an orbit. Then my dealer realized I was there and started stacking the deck for me. AA, KK that flopped a set, AK, AJ, another KK that flopped a set, 99 that flopped a set over Kat's TT, etc. I was quickly in 5th place after starting with 1800 chips.

Then my dealer turned on me, I can only assume LJ showed a little leg or winked at him or something.

I get JJ in mid-late position and raise it up. LJ in the BB pushes and I call, having her covered and not not believing she has me beat. She flips over A7c. Of course the A falls on the flop and I lose. She claims I kept raising her blinds, which was only because I kept getting hands. I told her to stop listening to Chad.

So I'm down, but still around 3k in chips (blinds at 120/240). A little while later I have AKo and raise. LJ AGAIN comes over the top (not her blind this time), and I call. She flips over KQo and I say to myself, "Q on the river".... Kreskin's got nothing on me. IGH.

Then LJ doesn't even have the courtesy to take my chips and make the final table.

Ah well. It happens. You're bound to run into a luckbox eventually.

What was frustrating about it wasn't the beats (even if I was a 67% and 75% favourite), it was that I'd gone from the bottom of the heap after sitting out for an hour to top 5 so quickly, with half the field gone, and was obviously making the right reads and was getting stellar cards. In other words, I was primed for a deep run and got railroaded by the board. I think they call that poker.

Kat's Donkament is tonight (9pm, password: donkarama). I imagine I'll be there. I imagine I might also play a few other games at the same time. I haven't seen a 50-50 in a while... or a 24k or 28k. It's always wise to play in serious tournaments while simultaneously rebuying in the biggest donkfest on the 'net.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Those Kids Better Appreciate It

1 Buy-in $250
1 Rebuy $100
1 Add-on $100
Making it to the 3rd last table and coming in 26thish? Worthless.

For anyone who complains about the Blogger games being donkfests, please visit the next charity poker game in your area.

13 tables. Let's say around 100 or so players. Fantastic setting (I'll put a pic up later). Open bar and hors d'oeuvres. So the experience was worthwhile.

Some example hands:

1st hand, UTG, KK. Yah, that's going to go well. I raise it up, the table folds (this is a rebuy, albeit a pricey one) to the BB, who does a "might as well" call. Flop comes Axx and I know I'm beat. BB checks and I bet the pot, he calls and I shut down. Checks down and he flips over A2o. Yup, going to be one of those nights.

I was fairly card dead for the next hour, and when I did play some drawing hands, they didn't catch. I went all-in when my stack had dwindled and lost. Rebought, and went all-in on the last hand of the rebuy period with A4o. I ran into ATo, and a 4 turned to double me up. Add-on and I'm actually not sitting terribly at the table.

Oh, except for the horrid tournament organization. If you bring in pros, make sure they have a clue. It's a rebuy. There are 13 tables. With 15 minutes left in the rebuy period they break one of them... why? Because it was down to TWO FREAKING PEOPLE! How the hell do you let a table in an MTT REBUY drop to 2 players without balancing it out? Obviously one of them comes to my table with a huge stack.

We were lucky that he was a complete pre-flop calling station, post-flop aggrodonk who had no concept of blind:stack ratios and quickly donked it all off.

Then, because they started an hour late, they changed the structure midway through. Blinds shortened to 15 minutes from 20, and they skipped the first post-break level of 100-200, straight to 150-300. So after deciding my play based on the old structure (figuring a rebuy and add-on would still have me sitting around with an M around 18), they change it (M=11).

I upped the aggression and it was working well for a bit, but a couple acceptable beats to short-stacks, and the ever-increasing blinds started to hurt. Around 9:30 I was waiting for a hand that was worth pushing with so I could double-up or make it home for the Mookie. Of course, I end up surviving to the break at 10. Damn.

We get back from the break and the dealer thinks the blinds have jumped from 400-800 to 1000-2000. I point out that's ridiculous and it's 500-1000. She checks and I'm right. She was displeased that we weren't going to be done in 10 seconds apparently.

Second hand after the break I look down at AQo on the button (I was SUPPOSED to be the SB, but I wasn't going to complain). My buddy, co-worker, and fellow December Vegas-attendee goes all-in in MP with his small stack (M < 2), and our latest moron-boy figures out how to call with his good-sized stack. Of course, he hasn't seen a 1000 chip until they coloured him up, so he has no idea how to call (the wine may have aided in this idiocy as well). The dealer tells him what colours to use. I then push over the top for < 2x the bet and our moron struggles on counting out the number of 500 chips to use -- 4.

My buddy flips up As9c, moron shows J4 s00000ted, and I of course have AQo. Brick, brick, brick, brick, FOUR. Fuck me.

I figured my chances of winning were slim without a couple big hands (no way you can bluff these drunk fonkeys if they call pre-flop), but I really wanted to make the final two tables and play in the great hall, next to the Stanley Cup.

And of course, I make it home about 30min into the Mook. I debated on registering in the morning, but figured if I DID go deep then I'd just be donating. Damn.

All that said, it was for charity, so I can't be upset about the expense. It's the fact I lost to such shitty players that bugs me, not the money.

Speaking of shitty players and caring more about the win than the money - I'll be at the Riverchasers tonight. What shape I'll be in is up in the air, but I'm signed up and raring to go. Having missed the MATH and the Mook, and coming in 20th in the Big Game, I have some ground to make up tonight. It being Thanksgiving for you folks in the south, I expect extra-terrible play by a much smaller field than we've seen. Fantastic.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Not much going on. Played in the Monkey last night and went out 2nd or 3rd from the bottom. Got there late after falling asleep, and just never got it going.

0-2-0 in some Turbos and I called it a night.

I did have the pleasure of sitting down with one of the biggest donks I've ever seen. I've sat with him before, and likely will again. Call just about anything preflop, call pot-sized bets with A-high, etc.. Honestly some of the worst play I've seen. Problem is, they were catching everything. It was stupid, and angering. Generally bad beats don't phase me for long, but this person had me stewing for a bit.

I've got a charity tournament tonight. $250 buy-in includes hors d'oeuvres and open bar, $100 rebuys and $100 add-on. I'll be playing tight.

2000 starting chips, 2000 rebuy, 3000 add-on, 20 min blinds. Actual blind structure unknown.

It takes place in the Hockey Hall of Fame. That's pretty awesome. Final two tables are in the great hall.

I expect the majority of the players to suck, hard. I expect the open bar will increase their donkish tendencies. I see no reason to play anything but strong hands and take stabs at catching on weak bets. Of course, maybe I'll end up at a table full of tighties.

So if I'm at the Mookie tonight, it's because I got sucked out on.

Tomorrow's Riverchasers should be good though. Thanksgiving will likely cull the herd a bit. I expect good things.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Second Best

This time it's not about me. Nope. Last night was the second best sushi I'd ever had.

Bosses in town led to drinks and dinner after work. Always a welcome respite from the usual business interactions within the group.

We went to Blowfish, which is fantastic. Any night that starts with 16 year-old Lagavulin, has both kobe beef and toro in it, and is capped off with some Grand Marnier Louis Alexandre, with a variety of other tasty beverages (gotta love a place that actually understands the phrase "Ten and tonic" without blinking) and dishes in between, can't be a bad one.

The best sushi I've had? Doku15, which happens to be the same group. They know their raw fish.

Anyway, I missed the MATH completely, which as 6-max turbo might not have taken much time to miss. Congrats to whoever took down what was surely a pure skillfest. Next week is a $10 rebuy? Oh could that ever get ugly.

I suppose I also missed Heroes.

Monkey Tourney is tonight (Stars, 8:30pm EST, $10, password is "monkey"). I guess Smokkee's Bodonkery continues as well, despite his honeymooning, but I believe us Canucks are shut out of that. I plan to get a few things done around the house first, but should be able to make it and build up a massive chip lead only to donk it off once the bubble approaches.

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Good Weekend

The poker side of it kinda blew, but the rest of the weekend was pretty solid.

Poker first. Out in the donkament on a suitably donkish play. Friday was a break-even day though as my final run of $22 Turbos made back any other buyins for the night.

Saturday - I played a couple SnG's far too late at night and lost. Bad choice by me.

Sunday - Live poker is rigged. Pocket tens in EP, I raise, get called by the BB. Flop AKT, I bet, raise, all-in, called... flips over QJo. Damn. I had him covered by a few thousand chips (10k stacks), but was pretty much treading water from there out. Big hands got nothing, and any wins were small. Out 10th of 17 when my presto (why do I even bother?) shortstack met jacks and I was done.

Big Game - out 20th of 51. At least there's a "2" in there. Absolutely nothing of note happened for me in this game. I did like the superstacks though. Congrats to VinNay on the win and TOC seat.

Then fired up an ill-advised couple of Turbos and lost in poor fashion.


Non-poker now.

Saturday was a full day. Up early for no good reason. Well, there was a reason, but it became moot when the factory outlet store I was going to ended up being closed for the past month without that info propagating to their website. Tools.

I did, however, have a successful clothes shopping trip. My work wardrobe has now grown to an acceptable level again. The old stuff was showing its age. I still need a decent pair of shoes though. Preferrably before Vegas.

And then came the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo. Mmmmm. We started off with a Kobe Beef burger (which is tradition now), with wasabi mayo and some sort of teriyaki sauce. Then the wines... sooo many wines. I don't think there was a bad one in the bunch this year. There's a picture I need to get up here soon. You'll understand immediately. There were, in fact, some truly fantastic wines that can be found at reasonable prices. I definitely need to get my wine cooler bought and set up pronto so I can increase my collection. That's the beauty of this format - you can sample a wide variety of wines, and make some great finds that could easily become the "I discovered this" part of your collection, for the cost of a decent bottle. The trick is keeping track of them all.

Somehow I woke up in time to meet up with friends for dim sum on Sunday. This is a weekly thing. It's always good food, which is nice to have before spending 2 1/2 hours playing Texas Fold'em. The redhead from Halloween also made it interesting.

There's a very good chance I'll miss both the MATH and The Mookie this week. At the very least I'll be a touch inebriated on good wine and full of great sushi if I make it home in time tonight. I've decided to take a shot at the charity game on Wednesday. The pool is determined by the number of tables. They're up to 13 for a $6000 purse, with $2400 going to first. If I recall from last year, that COULD increase based on rebuys. I hope so, otherwise it will tough to break even without a win. But it's for the kids.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Must, Stop, Writing

I have work to do dammit!

A quandry.

I have the opportunity to play in a charity poker game on Wednesday. Proceeds to various children's charities. Last year they raised $145,000, and I missed it.

$250 buy-in includes food and drink. Rebuys are allowed.

Or The Mookie.

Not Even Close

Go here, then here, then here, and finally here.


I'm going out on a very, very, VERY short limb (really more of a knob) and delcaring that The Goat will win a seat into the TOC for his submission. Unless he wins at the tables first.

I haven't read all of the ones out there (I don't think), and my own has been scrapped and restarted twice so far. I'm thinking I have better chance to win three times at the tables if this is anything but the high water mark of the competition.

Damn. I knew he was quick-witted and funny, but that's some damned fine writing.

I hate him so much.

But I still intend to write one, and nothing raises my game more than the quality of my competition. Still, I severely lack the chops to come close, and you can't luckbox quality writing.

I'll Just Buy The Damned Bridesmaid's Dress Already

IF I make Kat's donkament tonight, here's my prediction: 2nd place.

If you consider Sunday part of the previous week instead of the start of the next one, expect me to get 2nd in The Big Game as well. I could also possibly pull 2nd in the live tournament I'll be playing earlier in the day.

Why? Because this is apparently the week of second place for me.

ONE person was a threat to my leaderboard spot last night when I logged on at 11 - Kajagugu. He needed 11th place to usurp my spot and take the FTOPS ME seat. He pulled off 7th if I recall, which put him 18.4 points ahead of me. Damn. He was 4th of 18 left when I logged on, so there wasn't much I could do. I thought about placing a bounty on him, but I just didn't think it would be effective with only 7 donkeys to drop. Plus, he could just sit out if I did that. So I kept it fair and crossed my fingers for his demise while mildly berating him in the girly chat. I even tried the previously guaranteed method of making someone lose - I cheered him on.

Of course, once they were down to 11, I was honestly pulling for him. Which no doubt lead to his loss.

I knew I needed to win the Mookie. Or at least make a deeper run than 16th in the MATH.

I suppose the concert was a fair tradeoff to playing and controlling my own destiny.

Congrats Kaja. You have one goal now, and one goal only - Win the FTOPS ME. I'll be pulling for ya (legitimately this time).

Congrats to Mike Maloney for grabbing 1st in the weekly points standing (I pulled 3rd behind jamyhawk by 3.6 points, so almost 2nd, or 2nd to 2nd.) and the seat in the Sunday guarantee.

and Congrats to XxMagiciaNxX for taking his 2nd victory in the BBT 4/2 and eliminating a spot in the TOC.

I also fully support Lucko's proposal of AlCantHang getting an organizer's exemption into the TOC. Especially with Mag taking a seat out of contention. But only if Al doesn't win one of these by himself first, otherwise it's just insulting.

EDIT: AHAHAHAHAHA!! Mookie put up the stats for the Mookie this year. Guess what place I'm in! 2nd! THREE 2nd place finishes (which is the most, or 1st). I've definitely found my niche it seems. If I find any free time this weekend, it will be dedicated to the study of heads-up play.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


I had a big long post about the Mookie, but blogger mangled the last half. It may make an appearance in some form. We'll see. It's down below now.

Anyway. Despite being picked by 2 or 3 people who obviously haven't been reading, I didn't make the Riverchasers tonight. I'd been saying all week I wasn't. Which is why the Mookie and MATH were key for me.

A got a call a couple of weeks ago from a friend.

"Hey, my company is having a secret concert at the Air Canada Centre. I can bring a guest, want to go?"

"Sure. Who's playing?"

"That's the secret part."

"It better not be Nickelback."

"If it is, we can leave."

So then the rumours started. It was John Mayer. Okay, I could leave then. Then some strong names started being mentioned, and they were confirmed before showtime. Especially with T-shirts being sold.

The Air Canada Centre, for those who don't know, is the home of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and Toronto Raptors. Big arena. Big company to rent it out for a concert.

We arrived, took our seats, and were told the show would start in 10 minutes. 2 minutes later the lights went out and the first act started. A lone voice says, "We're the Tragically Hip."

Awesome. They do a great show. I posted about one a while back. This one was shorter and less intimate (14,000 people can do that). They mixed new with old and still put on a great show. Gord Downie sweat up a storm, but wore black this time. That's a good thing.

After their set the lights came on and the crew went to work. A quick trip to grab some drinks and we were back as the lights went down. During the break, a blimp floated over the crowd with the name of the headliners on it. Just in case anybody hadn't heard or seen the merch.

A screaming guitar riff tore through the air. Lightning fingers tore down the frets. The black curtain dropped as the lights flared to life, and the opening chords to "You Really Got Me" brought the crowd to its feet. Mr. David Lee Roth waved the giant red flag while Eddie, Alex, and Wolfgang Van Halen did their thing. VAN FUCKING HALEN.

Nothing like a second stop in Toronto to play a private corporate show on your way to from NY to LA.

And they rocked. A few extra deviations from script (or so they claimed... a brief cover of The Who's "Magic Bus" was interesting), a killer solo from Alex, and another from Eddie (who screwed up and apologized to the crowd as he hadn't "played this in years".) But in the end, seeing The Hip and Van Halen live for free is pretty awesome in itself.

Maybe Seafoam Taffeta

Around the end of the Mook, I think Don (or was it Chad?) made a comment on BDR. "Man, Astin must be getting sick of coming in second." They were right.

Granted, 2nd is better than 9th, or 18th, or 23rd, or 112th, but as everyone knows, it sucks more in its own very special way. Especially in the BBToo format.

I played MY game Wednesday night, not the wait-for-aces crap I can fall into. I spent the time before the Mookie going over my gameplan and visualizing the stages of the game. Yah, that's kind of sad for a $10 tournament, but there are bigger things on the line. I played in some token games (and won) to get warmed up, and then a $22 Turbo for some quick 1-table practice and warmup. I was ready to kick ass at 10pm.

There was a big long discussion of various hand here. Blogger chewed it up. Too bad. Coles notes version:

Came over the top of Willwonka bet mid-game because I had a hand on a non-scary board and put him on a steal/draw/mid-pair. Doubled me up and I found aces next hand to take all of Chipperdh's chips and jump to 5th.

Made a solid call on Roguejo when the final table was very short-handed. K99K board and he puts me all-in when I have 88. I tank for a few seconds and decide he has AQ. I call, he proves me right and I double up.

Got away from a 3-way hand with 99 when Irongirl pushed over the top of JoeMav's all-in and Mike Maloney's call. I was totally in if she smooth-called, but she hadn't made a peep all final table so she had to be big. It ended up being her AK vs Joe's AT and Mike's KQc. Mike won with a Q on the flop. My 99 would have flopped a set, and I'd have been chipleader instead of Mike. That said, both Mike and Joe were stronger than I put them on (connected cards and A-rag respectively), and IG fell right into the range I figured (AK, AA, or KK, with MAYBE QQ as a possibility).

I was insanely lucky that Rogue and Mike got into it with with a set vs straight battle and Rogue got crippled. The 3-way all-in next hand that I won put me heads-up with Mike at a 4:1 chips disadvantage. The best I acheived was a 2:1 disadvantage, after a huge JT vs TT broadway suckout, before succumbing to bad cards, no fold equity and well-timed aggression from Mike.

As I've mentioned here, I've also been seeing a lot of 2nd places in $22 Turbo SnG's of late. I blame this largely on me giving SAGE a shot in these. All this all-in before the flop crap makes for too much of a coinflip heads-up. That said, I do think it's a valuable system for assessing hand value and improving heads-up aggression. I'll be sure to incorporate any lessons learned from it into my game.

So with some work, these second place finishes should start becoming firsts. I do have a Mookie and a couple MATH wins under my belt, but those numbers need to increase, especially for the BBT (73*2-6)/20 - 5.

I Should Wear Taffeta


That's final table #4, and 2nd place #2. The other 2nd was also the Mookie.

I came to play tonight. I wanted first badly. Like I said in the last post, I wanted to win. With authority.

I'll spare the details until later today maybe. It's 2:20am and I'm wiped. But I got incredibly lucky to get heads-up, and sucked out huge to get up to 100k vs Mike's 200k+. Then card death. I'm not talking A-rag, or unsuited one-gappers. I'm talking 62o, 73o... nothing suited, nothing painted, no aces. And it got WORSE as my chips dropped. Finally called all-in with 67h vs Mike's 69s. 9 hit on the flop, nothing helped me. End of game.

That said, 2nd place MAY be enough to achieve 1/3 of my goals for the week. We'll have to see how tomorrow plays out. I know the other 2 are impossible this week.

Congrats to Mike. Just like I had no problem losing to Iggy, I've got no problem with Mike taking it down over me. It was well deserved. My time will come.

The $190.40 for 2nd is okay, and the $100 win for Lucko's horse betting was gravy. Toss in winning a token for The Big Game (5k superstacks = awesome) earlier in the night and cashing in another $22 turbo and I'd say it was a solid night of poker for me.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sometimes the Best Move...

... is not playing at all.

I was supposed to play live at the club with Kat last night, but life/poker tilt put her on mini-vacation. I decided by the time I got home that I didn't much feel like playing live either. So I unregistered for the tournament, cooked up a quick pasta dinner, fed the cats, and hunkered down by the warm glow of my monitor to play online.

I registered for the $75 frenzy, and fired up a $22 turbo SnG (my new stomping grounds it seems). On the first hand I called a minraise with A8s and saw a flop of 88x. The minraiser minbet, and I raised. He pushed, I called, he flipped over Q8o. Um. Okay. Not what I was expecting from a preflop minraise. Way to disguise your hand I guess? Turn comes Q and my jaw drops as I go out.

No problem. Fire up another. 5-10 minutes in I run my top pair with a flush draw into a slow-played flopped set and am out.

Started to get aggravated, I fire up one more. I go out on the bubble when I flop trip kings on a KK6 flop only to run into the guy who limped his pocket sixes. Wow.

Okay, RNG not my friend. I get it.

So I go over to Stars and register for The Monkey Tourney. I completely dominated it until we were down to 5. My dealer apparently really wants me to stay at Stars, as even though I had no rockets, no cowboys, and maybe one pair of ladies, I couldn't be beat. I flopped 2 nut boats and 1 2nd nut boat at the final table with ridiculous cards. I flopped 2 straights, turned another, and two pair were being handed out like candy to me. It seemed I could see a flop with any two cards and get the nuts. It was nuts.

Then my phone rang.

I'd take this call over an $11 tournament any day. An hour later I was out of the Monkey, don't even remember how I went out of the frenzy (but have vague memories of Hoy being two to my right, but us not being in any hands together), and happy I'd decided to stay home.

In a great mood between the comaradarie of the Monkey and the phone call, I fired up another $22 Turbo. I took 2nd. Then another. 2nd again. Then one more before calling it a night.

My phone rang again... while I was on the bubble.

2 minutes into THAT call and I'd gone out 3rd for some profit in my last game for the night and had essentially broken even.

An hour later I was off THAT phone call (different person) feeling good about helping a friend drop some anxiety and relax.

All-in-all, a great night that wouldn't have happened if I had walked down the street to toss some real chips around.


Tripjax had a post up a week or so ago about SAGE. He linked to Klopzi's post which was more detailed. So I did what I do and threw together an Excel sheet that did all those pesky calculations for you in a tidy little package.

With my recent rash of SnG play (and getting to heads-up multiple times), I've been putting it to the test.

Inital results - wow does it blow.

The beauty of a turbo is that when you get heads-up, your Blinds:BB ratios are going to be getting small. So I plug in my hands and the blinds and all that, and do what I'm told. I've constantly run facefirst into the brick wall that is variance. J7h with my opponent's ratio being 4? Push. He flips A9h. A5o, ratio of 5? Push. A7 for my opponent. I've gone into 3/4 of these with the chip lead, and finished in 2nd EVERY single time by following this system. There are definitely hands I wouldn't have played if I was playing my usual heads-up game, but who knows how it would have turned out?

I'll still give it some time. I haven't played nearly enough for a proper sample size.


Mookie Mookie bo Bookie bananafana fo Fookie me mi mo Mookie... Mookie. You try writing "Mookie" that many times and tell me it doesn't look strange. Anyway, our Wednesday tradition continues tonight as the BBT 2: Electric Boogaloo rolls on. 11 TOC seats have been won so far, and I have a feeling #12 will be decided tonight. I have one goal tonight - 1st place, with authority. I'm missing the Riverchasers tomorrow, so tonight counts twice as much.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Similarities and Ratios

First off - I'd like to tip my hat to Hoyazo for mixing up the MATH tournaments these past couple weeks. I love both changes, 6-handed and turbo both made for an interesting variety. I suppose combining them could create a super-short donkfest. May I make a suggestion? $6 or $8 rebuy. It's large enough to stop complete donkery by most of the group (as opposed to Kat's $1 Donkament), but not big enough to make everyone play it like a freezeout. After 4 (or 3 if $8) rebuys, you've paid the standard MATH buy-in, and most people will have 3 minimum (buy-in, stack-doubling rebuy, and add-on). 1000 chips to start, 1000 rebuy, and 1500 add-on. It would likely increase the number of runners as you'll get the "buy-in once" types trying to get deep with tight play. You could even set it to only a 30 min rebuy period instead of an hour, but you'd have to make sure it's a turbo then. Worst case? The pot is smaller than usual.

Anyway, out 16th of 75 (umm... yay points). I saw some cards, but no monsters and stayed alive mostly by taking advantage of the turbo structure. Aggression and position are key in these, especially when antes are in before the first break. My stack, like everyone else's, was all over the place. I'll just have to take down the Mookie on Wednesday to try and lock-in my goals for the week. Congrats to Jamyhawk for the MATH win. Well done.

Onto the meat of this post. It's looong, and being written on ther fly. As usual, I suggest you don't trust a damn thing I say, because I'm just a luckbox donkey who isn't very bright.


Stockbrokers, bungee-jumpers, gamblers, drug addicts, and these guys all share a common pursuit - the ideal risk/reward ratio. Some might not realize it, but this is the goal.

One of the most valuable adages in life is, "the greater the risk, the greater the reward." Anybody in the financial world knows this. Penny-stocks, junk bonds, speculative trading, IPOs - these are all built off this truth. Some examples:

The initial trading price of Google stock was $85 per share. This is a pretty insane price for a company to start at. Most big IPOs (Initial Public Offerings) tend to be in the $10-$30 range. Naysayers were easy to find - "It's a search engine! Its entire business model is built of targeted advertising! How is it worth this much?" IF you could get in at the IPO price, 100 shares (a reasonable minimum purchase for Joe Average) would cost you $8500. It jumped to $200 a share. The naysayers grew. There was no way it would stay at that level. It wasn't worth it. It was the Dot-Com bubble all over again. Here's the thing. If you had $20,000 lying around to buy 100 shares at $200 in 2004, you could have sold them at $747.24 per share, or $74,724 at its high last week. If you wanted to take a bigger risk and buy 1000 shares for $200,000, you'd have nearly 3/4 of a million now.

The Dot-Com boom of the late 90's/early 00's is another example. Money was being poured into companies based on nothing more than poorly-written business plans with no viable revenue streams. Some, like Yahoo, Amazon, and eBay were successes; most were not. People were willing to take a risk because the potential rewards were so great. Paper billionaires were being created daily. Paper billionaires became broke just as quickly because most of them didn't liquidate their positions in hopes of even greater reward. I maintain Mark Cuban may have been the smartest guy to make it in that era. Start a company, sell it for a mint, and turn into cash pronto instead of useless options and rapidly devalued stocks.

What's my point? As often, it's poker-related.

Poker, for all the arguments against it, is a form of gambling. Yes, there is a tremendous amount of skill involved in being a winning player, but if there wasn't luck, it wouldn't be nearly as popular. Every time we sit down to play, we accept the risk involved. We mitigate this risk in various ways - game type, limits, bankroll management, playing style, table choice, position, buy-in size, locale - all are choices we make to try and minimize our risk while maximizing the reward. Limit or no limit? Hold'em or Omaha? Buy-in short or buy-in full? Weak-tight? Loose-aggressive? Tight-aggressive? The table with Negreanu or the one with the kid with the sunglasses and sideways baseball cap who talks too much? To the left or right of the massive chip stack bully? MGM or Bellagio? Can I afford $200NL or $50NL? Turbo rebuy or long-level doublestack? We might not consciously make all these decisions, but we DO make them, and they all affect our results.

For instance - you have the choice of sitting at one of two tables with the same buy-in. One is Limit Hold'em with a bunch of stacks around the max buy-in. The table is an average mix of players with nobody standing out. The other is No-limit Hold'em with a few very large stacks that are bigger than the maximum buy-in, and at least one or two loud-mouthed loose-aggressive players who are more than willing to buy back in when they get stacked. You know you can grind out a nice little profit at the limit game without risking very much. The no-limit game offers the possibility of a HUGE profit, but you could easily get stacked by one of the LAGs or the big stacks. What do you do?

Your decison is based purely on your situation. Do you have a few buy-ins to risk or only one? Are you just killing time or have you come to play for a few hours? How much confidence do you have in your game? Do you feel lucky? Even so, I'd hazard a guess that most people will take the seat at the NL game because the carrot is just so large and juicy. You're willing to risk losing everything you're willing to part with for the possibility of the much larger reward.

Once you've sat down and bought your chips, the decisions are far from over. Now you have to play poker. Anyone who's played this game seriously in the slightest knows this - poker isn't a card game. It's a betting game. The cards are just the instruments to pick a winner when at least two people won't give up. So now the risks fall into other categories - card selection, bet selection, fold equity, calling, position, tells, reads, chips, and so much more.

In essence, every penny won or lost at the table is due to risk assessment. If you hold bottom pair on a paired board with a flush draw, and straight draw on it, your risk of losing at a showdown is very high. The cards aren't the only factor in the risk though. If you're in position, your risk drops dramatically. If your opponents have shown weakness the whole time, your risk could be much smaller still. Let's say your on the button and it's checked to you on the river - what do you do?

Wait, that isn't enough information, is it? Let's say the pot is just the blinds and your limp at level 3 blinds. What now? How about if the pot could double your stack? The risk:reward profile is very different for these two situations. The risk stays the same, but the reward increases tremendously. Is it worth betting at the pot to try and take it? Take the same pots, but now change your position, or the actions of your opponents? There's a bet that puts you all-in. Do you call? You're UTG. You're MP. You're at the final table of the WSOP ME and short-stacked. You're at a home game with your drunk friends playing for $20. Your opponent is shaking like a leaf. It's Mike Caro. The person left to act behind is Jennifer Tilly and her chest is about to explode. It's the turn. It's the river.

Every piece of info I give you there changes the situation completely, and alters the risk:reward ratio dramatically. You can take the worst possible risk but pair it with the greatest reward and it makes it palatable. Let's say you're the chipleader at the final table of the WSOP ME and everyone goes all-in and you have 23o. You can call and be crippled if you lose, possibly facing someone with 90% of the chips heads-up, or you could win it all with one hand, knocking out 8 opponents at once and be a legend in your own time. Is it worth the risk for that reward?

Of course, we control our risk profile. You can play only premium hands aggressively in position and fold to anything that puts you outside statistical allowances. You will make money. You'll be bored to death, but you will make money. You won't win BIG money, but you will make money.

What if you get to set the tone instead of react? Every steal and resteal is an exercise in assessing risk. A steal from UTG has higher risk than from the button, yet the reward is the same, it's therefore a worse choice. A resteal is riskier than a steal, but the reward is much greater. It's a question of which you value more.

Implied odds are a major part of any game, and one of the most common form of risk-to-reward decision-making we see in poker. J8o is absolute crap UTG. But if you're facing a 3x BB raise and 3 callers when you're on the button with it, does it become worth the call? 9TQ or 88J comes down and you're laughing because there's no way anybody puts you on J8, but a Q, J, AK, or overpairs are all likely for your opponents. UTG with AA, do you limp or bet? Nobody has a read on you. Everybody has a read on you. You've been betting all day and now you limp? You flop a straight with two clubs on the board and you're all red. Bet and risk scaring your opponent or risk the 3rd club and your opponent having two and check-call? Your opponent is Fuel and one of those cards is a 5.

I like KJ. There, I said it. I throw it away more often than I play it, but I like it. Why? Because if I can see a flop with it cheaply, it has HUGE implied odds. TQA, 9TQ, KJx, and even more if its suited, most Kxx and Jxx flops are also solid here, not to mention hands you "create" based on your betting. Plus, it is easy to get away from. If you get your straight your chances of meeting TPTK, two pair, or a set are HUGE, and they won't lay them down. You just have to make sure the risk is worth the potential payoff. The question is, what are you willing to pay for that chance?

Let's generalize further. Pre-flop, everyone knows the good hands (not necessarily in order): AA-TT, AKs, AKo, AQs. Hell, even 22 is ahead of 78s. If you look at pot odds only. 78s is the hand with the BEST odds vs AA at 22.46%. 57s is 20.98%, and 47s is 19.33%. 69o is 15.60%. Think about that. You're against the best starting hand in poker, which will win 85% of the time against two random cards, and the difference between middle suited connectors and an unsuited 2-gapper is under 7%. But look at the difference in a risk vs reward light.

Flop comes 9TJs. You flopped your straight flush with 78s. AA has to be worried if they're any good at all. Any suited board is scary to AA. If it comes 456 rainbow, they're less so, but still wary of straight draws, depending on the preflop action. Maybe 569 or 69T isn't scary, but suited connectors are always a possibility. 7Q8 isn't scarier than any other random flop to AA.

What if you have 69o? Flop comes 578 or 78T rainbow and you'd better be playing online because there's no way you hide your grin. AA isn't afraid of this at all. You can also possibly play up any flush draws to your advantage here.

69o has the better implied odds here, because it was a riskier gambit and is much better disguised. Against a good, observant player, 69o could net you much more than 78s. It could be seen as a better risk:reward choice preflop, even though it's the weaker hand. The potential payoff is huge if you catch a big hand with shitty hole cards like these. The question is - is it worth it to you? If you're willing to play 78s vs what you think is aces, does the 7% difference sway you? What if I say 7% = an 8.6 million difference in possible hands?

One last example. You have 57s on the button, with an M < 3. When do YOU decide it's worth calling action before you? Do you call one minraise? Do you limp? What if the pot is 4x your stack? At some point that suited one-gapper has to look like a worthwhile risk. What does the other side of that ratio have to be? At what point do your opponents not even matter any more and the entire risk vs reward decision get based solely on the chips?

I'm not saying that you should play the longshots like they're aces. That's losing poker, short-term or long-term. What I am saying is that every situation needs to be assessed, and you have to figure out if the risk is worth the reward. Only you can decide that for yourself. You might be the type who will fold KK to a third raise in a 1/2 limit game, or push with J9s over a 7x BB raise in the Big Game at the Bellagio. It's no different than buying bonds vs writing naked calls, or jumping on a trampoline vs jumping out of a plane -- everyone has their sweet spot. That said, you never know where your comfort zone is if you don't step outside of it from time to time.

There, hundreds of words spent to go over what could be said in three sentences.

Monday, November 12, 2007

John Gabriel's Theory

Feel free to apply to online poker. Of course, since bloggers aren't anonymous, this doesn't apply to them. I'm not going to get involved in THAT little high school drama.

More to the point, it's in reference to the real losers out there, brought on by one of those SnGs from yesterday. I was short-stack with 4 left (bubble), and started stealing. Antes were in so it was easy to build up to something respectable. I had some decent hands in there, and was willing to go to the felt a few times but nobody else at the table had the balls.

One guy makes a comment of "I wish I could do something to stop you from stealing every time." I'm not sure if it was directed at me or the big stack who was stealing just as much (and directly to his right). Regardless, he was a pansy.

He goes all-in against my pocket queens to his fours and goes out. I type the usual "gg", which I mean sincerely since he lasted that long and other than being weak on the bubble had played pretty well previously. I get, "f you" back and he's gone. I'll assume the "f" wasn't complimentary.

Fine, whatever. Doesn't bother me, I'd managed to be the big stack by this point and didn't suck out on him or even speak to him before this. But it's just another example of the assholery that occurs in this little game.

My favourite is still a time I was playing a nothing game (either a Tier I or a $6.50 SnG). I believe LJ was there too. Someone gets knocked out by another player and goes into it in the chat. He tops it off with "I hope your entire family dies a horrible death." What. The. FUCK? You just wished a horrible death to someone's family because you lost $6 in a poker game?? What are you? 15 and full of angst?

The same guy knocked me out a while later. I quickly typed, "nh, gg. I hope your family has a long and joyful life."

I've also seen people threaten other player's babies (on Stars, where the avatar was the person's newborn), and start posting personal info about people they lost to. And I play at LOW stakes. Who gets this upset over $5, $10, or $20?

Follow someone from table-to-table all you want telling them they're a donkey. Quote odds and throw out lines like "AQ is the nuts!" as much as you like. Hell, start plagiarising Sklansky in the chat to show someone what math is. But threatening their family? That's just fucked up.

1-Day Turnaround

A fairly standard weekend. Saw American Gangster on Friday - good flick, great cast. Doesn't rate a DVD buy for me, but I enjoyed it. Even Russell Crowe didn't annoy me.

Saturday was spent largely at home worrying about one of the cats, as he was showing a complete change in behaviour to being a total asshole. Behaviour changes are usually a sign of a larger problem. I'm keeping an eye on him, and he seems to be falling back in line. It could just be another phase of the acclimatization process to the new cat.

Now if the new one would stop throwing up once a day, I'd be happy. It is cute when she steals my laundry though.

Enough about cats. Blogs about cats are lame.

My best friend was over Saturday as well, and much Guitar Hero was played between brunch and dinner. I still love it. Plus I got to open up my newly-arrived copy of The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. . Have I mentioned I'm a Bruce Campbell fan? Yet again, something brought me back to a younger age. Good times. My friend hated it.

And then poker on Sunday. It started as possibly the worst day of poker I've ever seen. I couldn't win a peep to save my life, and I think I took 3 or 4 shots at a last-minute FTOPS #7 ($1 mil NLHE) spot, only to run into megadonkery. I LOVE when I push an obvious steal and he CALLS with J6o and turns a jack to outpair me. That was but one retarded call-and-catch I saw.

All-in-all, if I hadn't reloaded the roll earlier to head off the inevitable, I'd have gone busto.

However, I returned later and started up the $22+2 Turbo 1-table SnGs and went 2-3-2 to recover a good portion of what I'd lost earlier. I still couldn't win a peep, but did at least cash in it. I played that "one more game" of a $22 Turbo, only to Gigli it after the LONGEST period I've seen before anyone got knocked out of a 1-table turbo. We were at 100-200 when I finally kicked in 9th out of 9. That's what? 21-24 minutes? In a TURBO?

Dinner was intresting. I have some chicken and roasted red pepper tortellini that I needed to use. Naturally I figured Alfredo would be a good sauce. Problem being - the jars of Alfredo I have are apparently crappy. So I made my own. Small issue - no cream. Looking up substitutes I decided to go with evaporated (not condensed) milk, as I had a can sitting around. Used my last clove of garlic, and every shred of parmesan in my place (had EXACTLY the right amount between the fresh stuff and the jar of store-bought grated), and it turned out okay. I still had some evaporated milk leftover though, so I chilled it and turned it into a quick chocolate mousse, which helped use up the 68% and 75% dark chocolate I had around, and most of the 70% too. Now I have a giant bowl of the stuff. It's amazing how far 140ml of milk and 106g of chocolate go.

My SnG run definitely improved the confidence heading into today and the MATH. I'll take one more shot at a token before just buying in, and then it'll be time to focus on a level II for The Big Game on Sunday. Look for me in the frenzies.

I'm feeling good today. This could be the MATH for me... or I could Gigli. Who knows? That's poker. All I know is that I'm missing the Riverchasers this week, so I need to kick ass in the MATH and Mookie this week to (a) regain my leaderboard lead, (b) win the the weekly points, and (c) get in the TOC. Three easily-attainable goals, right?

Friday, November 09, 2007

Presto Can Keep Puckering Up

Congrats to The Truck o' Luck on his TOC spot and Riverchasers win. I was happy to see so much action with the final four.

Out 33rd of 96 in Ye Olde Riverchasers to my old nemesis, presto. I was pretty damned short and after the blinds, antes, raise, and a slightly smaller push in front of me would effectively triple me up, I pushed with KQo to run into 55 and call it a night. I typed "gg" as soon as I saw it.

I got crushed a couple times running a weaker ace into AK, and sucked out huge once when my A6c met AKd and I rivered the 6. AK vs AK was disappointing, and losing with a flush to a rivered boat early on didn't help my mood. I'm just pointing out that my luck isn't endless. It was also a night designed to separate me from my chips as I would constantly flop great hands and get called to shitty turns and rivers for me, forcing me to lay it down to all-ins and large bets on boards that could beat my set in numerous ugly ways.

At least my salad was tasty, although none of my avocados were ripe enough to use. Smoothie was good too.

Out tonight, plans tomorrow, and the family possibly coming by on Sunday means a weekend generally free of poker. I might get on late tomorrow, or during the day Sunday, but I doubt it will be for more than a SnG here or there. Time to start working on those big tokens for the Big Game next week.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

What's For Dinner?

I'm full from eating leftover Halloween chocolate (aren't I supposed to try and LOSE weight before Vegas?), but will still need to eat something for dinner. I will now write until I figure it out.

This week has already had:

Dry-rubbed Tilapia, steamed broccoli and zucchini, scalloped potatoes.

An unbelievably tender rib-eye steak, steamed broccoli, sauteed mushrooms, garlic and onions. I smoked up my kitchen good on this one, and didn't use enough pepper.

Turkey soup, and random snacking (elk pepperette, applewood smoked cheddar, frozen mini pizza bagels)

Oriental spicy chicken breast, lemongrass rice, and sauteed broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms and onions.

Lunch today was beef barley soup and a fruit salad.

I'm leaning to more turkey soup (finish off another jar) and a salad (I've got a bunch of veggies I should use). With a smoothie for dessert. I mean, I bought a banana specifically for that, and I have all kinds of frozen fruit that should be used. But part of me just wants to toss a frozen dinner or hot pocket thing into the microwave and call it a day.

Naw, it'll be the salad. I have all those peppers, tomatoes, avocados, green onions, cheese, corn, cucumber, lettuce, and a door full of dressings to use. Or do I make my own? That 10-year aged balsamic vinegar and some blood orange olive oil would be tasty. Soup's still up for debate. Although at 2 degrees C (35 F for you yanks), and a rain/snow mix, soup isn't a bad idea.

Then the smoothie. Banana, raspberry, peach? Or Strawberry in the mix? Or all 4?

Then something caffeinated before the Riverchasers kicks off. Maybe tea... or maybe I'll get around to roasting some fresh coffee.

What? I can't mix up new drinks every night.


First - congrats to DNasty for winning the Mookie. At least, that's who I've heard won it. Not alot of coverage out there at the moment. D ended his blog in January, and hasn't posted on Tripjax's since March it seems. What a slacker :).

Me? I went out 71st of 107. I pushed my AQo into someone's (willwonka?) AKo directly to my left. Whoops. I was short after being outflushed by Donkette earlier in the match, knocking me waaaay down from the top 10. It was a stupid loss by me. I knew she had me outflushed, but I HOPED she just rivered the straight and was stupidly trying to scare me off with a flush on the board. My re-re-raise to put her all-in obviously doesn't work when she's got the nuts. I couldn't be upset with anyone but myself, no matter how much I tried to refocus my anger in her direction. So I ended up needing to double up or steal a lot of blinds. That didn't happen. Ah well.

It's a shame, because I was playing pretty well last night too.

Riverchasers is tonight. I have historically sucked in these, so I will obviously have to win tonight.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


So you sit down at the local pub, browse the draft menu and then pick an English ale that sounds just right. It arrives. You take that first drink and it's exactly what you wanted. The flavour, the texture, everything is perfect for that moment.

Then the next day you go to a different establishment, order the same pint, and when you take that first drink it tastes different than the perfect glass you'd had less than 24 hours earlier. Not bad, but not the ambrosia that passed between your lips not a day before.

I hate that.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

A Tuesday Win!

Shame it isn't worth a TOC seat.

That said, my dealer moved to Poker Stars tonight it seems.

AA twice, KK 3 times, AK about a brazilian times, and QQ vs 66 to knock ISS Spock to 1 chip heads-up.

Monkey Tourney's in trouble. Turnout is low because Stars gets no love. This is the official Wheatie successor, I'd hate to see it go.

How to Prove the Naysayers Right

Just saw this stat scroll across my TV at work (tuned generally to CNBC).

Radiohead recently released their new album independently online. You could buy the box and CDs for $80, or download and pay whatever price you wanted ($0 being acceptable).

Only 38% of the downloaders paid anything, and the average price for those 38%? $6.

SIX FREAKIN' DOLLARS? Those are American dollars too no doubt, so it's almost exactly like paying nothing.

So after years of people claiming that online distribution would kill the major labels; that people who download music illegally are more likely to buy CDs; that music lovers are generally good people and the market will pay a fair wage... thpppbt.

Granted, for 100 sales, that works out to $228, or $2.28 per album sold. That could very well be a better take for the band than EMI would give them per album.

So then the question becomes - how many albums got downloaded? When they go on tour, will this increase ticket and merchandise sales? Radiohead could end up ahead after all.

Still, a $2.28 average per album sounds pretty crappy to me. Gotta love deadbeat fans.

I once paid $10 for a single song to Jonathan Coulton after I downloaded it because it made me laugh, still makes me laugh, and I think was worth every penny. Then again, I'm a generous guy. Or maybe just stupid.

So how do you tweak this sales model? Do you allow payment after download? Ie.- you really like the album, so you might now pay $20? That's some serious honour system there. Do you set a minimum? $10? Then everyone pays that and no more, but that may still come out ahead here. Bonuses the more you pay?

Just thinking.


Well after another display of luckboxery, I donked out in 20th in the MATH. Yay points? As usual, I wanted the win.

Came back from the brink a couple times with timely hands and tables willing to pay me off, maintained chips with some steals. Lost chips to resteals. Made one HORRIBLE call against Don early on (which was why I needed the comeback soon after) when I completely ignored how *I* played the hand, letting him turn his straight, and generally played like crap.

Went out with Presto AGAIN. If I started running a "Presto is Garbage" thread, I might catch up to Fuel's pontification of it's auriferous properties. Then again, I wouldn't have needed to push with it into a SB steal attempt (QT? AGAIN?) if I'd pushed with my AKo the hand before, but something about twoblackaces' checking of a paired board put me on edge. Every time I reached for the "bet" button, my instincts were telling me that I was doomed.

Anyway, The Mookie is tomorrow, and I'm already signed up. 19 to go. Maybe I should start writing my blog submission.

Congrats to Kaja for taking down the MATH win and a TOC seat!


Forgot a drink yesterday from the weekend - Kahlua, Caramel Baileys, vodka, and chocolate milk - Brown Mudslide? Caramel-Chocolate Mudslide? Whatever you want to call it, it was good.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Monday Already?

I heard a rumour that there was a weekend recently.

Friday was spent on the Donkament and with a few drinks:

- Sweetened Key Lime Juice, Navan, Tanquery Ten, Creme de Cacao = Tasty

This started as an attempt to approximate Key Lime pie, but I lack any sort of graham cracker-flavoured liquid. Also, Bailey's curdles as expected.

- Orange vodka, Grand Marnier, Peach Schnapps, Apricot Brandy = Okay

A bit harsh, but drinkable. I think too much went into it.

- Strawberry Vodka, Creme de Cacao, Navan, Fragoli = Tasty

Neopolitan flavours = Neopolitan Martini. If only they were coloured and layered. Still, very tasty.

Saturday was where 4 hours of shopping became 8. That said, my freezer is packed and my fridge is well-stocked again. I also have a few more toys in my kitchen. I did manage to make it to a buddy's 30th about 4 or 5 hours later than planned, and stuck around until it broke up 2 1/2 hours later. Apparently my friends are getting old as I haven't seen a party go past 1:30am in months. Laaaame. Also, THREE babies present, and plenty of mommy talk going on made for all the single guys looking for the bar.

Sunday went about as planned - woke up around noon, set the clock back an hour and slept some more. Got up, ate breakfast around 1:30, vegged, played poker, watched TV (finally saw I, Robot - uh... yah), took a nap, played video games, did laundry, made dinner around 10pm (grilled dry-rubbed (garlic, salt, black pepper, chili powder, cayenne, ground coriander seed, ground lemongrass and habanero powder) Tilapia with perfectly steamed zucchini and broccoli, and some leftover scalloped potatoes (with broccoli, bacon, 3 cheeses and cream)), geeked, and went to bed. Somedays you need to lock out the world.

Poker was a bust all weekend. Couldn't win a thing. Due in large part to me sucking and not really paying attention.

MATH is tonight - I've final-tabled the last two, so I'm due to Gigli tonight no doubt. Will we see 82 runners again? More? Less? Who knows! 20 chances left in BBT II.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Donkament Fun

Pictures speak for themselves... oh, and I didn't win.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Quick Question

Why is everyone's kid allergic to peanuts these days?


Well, Riverchasers went less than optimally. with me finishing somewhere in the middle of the pack. Ah well. I suck. 20 more chances.

Kat's Donkament is tonight. I'm not sure if I'll be there or not. Last week's kinda sucked with silent tables and tighties who apparently are terrified of losing $1. We'll see how a few errands I plan to run and chores go first. Place is a mess, laundry's piling up, and food is running low. I'll probably just hunker down in front of Guitar Hero III and rock out.

Tomorrow is a birthday party, and Sunday I'll be spending by myself on purpose. Maybe I'll take a shot at a few bigger tourneys if the mood strikes me.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


I'm one of those people who loves to hang around in the background observing, and then avoiding being picked for crap. I'm quite the accomplished slacker.

So it is with no minute amount of chagrin that I must say I've been tagged by Carmen.


A). Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog...
B). Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself...
C). Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs...
D). Let each person know that they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1.- I have 3 TVs in my condo. I own only one of them. I don't have a roommate.

2.- I lived with an ex for 3 months. I moved in about a month after we broke up.

3.- I've tried out twice for Jeopardy. I couldn't come up with 5 interesting anecdotes about me for Alex to talk about if I made it.

4.- My middle name starts with a "W". Nobody's been able to guess it without a hint. Only one person has been able to guess it after only 1 hint.

5.- Since high school my sleep schedule has been thus: Sleep 4-6 hours a night during the week, sleep until I get up on weekends. I am NOT a morning person

6.- The last 3 women I've been in a relationship with, plus the last one I went on a date with, have either moved, planned to move, or are about to move away. The closest was a 800 km (only one that didn't happen), the furthest is 6500km (happening in two months). I guess I have that effect on women.

7.- Nothing annoys me more than stupidity. Note that there is a big difference between ignorance, lack of education, and stupidity. Oh, and misplaced arrogance ranks up there too.

Time to tag: Dillo, RaisingCayne, Guin, Buddy Dank, Schaubs, Tragedy, and Lightning.

Any Friend of Lucko's...

Is apparently going to win a TOC seat. With Loretta8 taking down the Mook last night, that means the last 3 spots won, were won by either Lucko or one of his friends. Obviously he's got a superuser account on FTP and is feeding the hole cards.

I intend to present copious amounts of data confirming this as soon as I finish making it up.

Congrats to Loretta. I intend to try and not pass out during the Riverchasers tonight and donk my way to the top.

How to Beat A Luckbox

Hold presto. It's that simple.

I sucked out against Don with A7 vs his 33. Flop of A37, turn of 7, I double up.

I get AA after the break and get up a bit more, but still hurting.

See A9s in the BB, Snake5970 ups it to 3x from the SB, I think steal and push. He calls and flips over 55. Flop comes 4s2sAd, 4 on the turn, 3 on the flop gives snake the straight and IGH. Even if I win though, all it gives me is some breathing room.

Not that I wanted to relate a bad beat, but just showing how 55 is Kryptonite to my luckbox powers. An alternative is to call me when I have presto, as it's also been killing me of late. I think I killed ran over its dog or something.

Anyway, out 35th in the Mook, Riverchasers tonight. I think I'll get some sleep now.

Good luck everyone who's left.

Oh - the Spook was a blast for the 10-15 minutes I was in it. :)