Monday, March 31, 2008

Random Linkage

Lots of posts = trying to stay awake. Why didn't I eat this caffeinated mint earlier? Some of these are a few days old.

A bunch of interactive MAD Magazine Fold-ins from the last 40 years. Al Jaffee is 87 and still turnin these out.

Tron lightcyle battle. Sweded. In cardboard stop-motion.

Some people are just fucked up. Hacker attack on an epilepsy board puts up seizure-inducing images and links.

How to make teenagers even more smug.


Strangley addictive and artistic at times. Find the star.

And you thought traffic was bad where you lived. Unless you live in one of those place.

One For Sirf

Courtesy Penny Arcade. I'm sure they didn't mean our Waffles, but this works on so many levels.

Some Cheese With That?

My game has sucked hard of late. I reloaded on Saturday. It seems 45 cents isn't enough to get going. Maybe the 13,000 FTP points I have could be used, but not in the middle of the BBT.

I was given a gift in the 750k on Sunday though. I won my seat in one of those fantastic 100 chip turbo pushfests. Easy money. Early on I re-raised with KQo and a Q on the flop. The bettor folds and says "okay, I'll fold KQ." Nobody believed him. This began a pattern. For the rest of his tournament, he whined and bitched about every single hand he folded.

"Freakin' TT, I can't catch a break." That came when a K and two unders were on the board.

"AJ, and I can't catch the draw?"

"TT again, I never win."

"I have JJ and everybody folds to my raise NOW?"

"Can't get paid off on a set."

Repeat ad nauseum any variation of the above. He basically folded to ANY aggression if there was something that could beat him on the board. It was by far the biggest display of weak, scared poker I'd ever seen. People took advantage of it. He finally went out when he pushed AJh preflop and ran smack into AA. Naturally, he complained about this too.

I held my fingers back and avoided calling him out on it. I so wanted to verbally thwap him for being such an annoying baby. But I figured it was better to leave the glass untapped.

It also opened my eyes. I realized I was staring into a funhouse mirror of myself of late. I'd been playing weak-ass poker, completely against my normal grain. Again. It wasn't that other people were being more aggressive, it was that I was letting them. I decided to change it back, and I liked my Big Game play much more.

Now I just need to keep it up.


I hate blue cheese. I hate even more how if even a little piece of it gets on something, it infects the entire meal with blue cheese taste. Ugh.

Monday Cleanup

First - Pimpage!

MATH is tonight. I assume I'll be there. Will you? If not, why are you so lame? 10pm EST (the only T that matters), password: hammer.

But before THAT is the Martini Game Redux! 9pm EST, password: donkarama. $1 rebuyament! Luckily, the rebuy period ends as the MATH begins, so there will be less confusion between tables. Nothing like pushing all in with unsuited disconnectors at the wrong table!


Second - Tragedy!

IT went and put up his top 5 Canucks and top 5 Eh Bloggers, and challenged us to do the same American-style. Fiiiine... here ya go.

Top 5 Americans in no particular order

My best friend, cuz she's awesome.

Philo T. Farnsworth. He invented the TV and the Fusor. Also, his name is cool.

Steve Martin. The man's funny, and damned smart. He can write too. How can you not like him?

Benjamin Franklin. "Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power." Plus, he's on the hundo and not a dead president... that's got to mean something.

Thomas Edison. Inventor, theif, capitalist... dude had skillz.

Top 5 American Bloggers in no particular order


Julius Goat


Waffles (say what you will, he's entertaining)


#6 - everyone else I didn't mention who is now offended. I mean really, 5 out of like 100? Sure, no problem there Sean-o. :)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Big Game Ouster

Ah well. I think I played the Big Game well. I was feeling on, making good reads, being aggressive, and having that aggression pay off my bigger hands.

Then I ran top two pair into Don's overpair/OESD. He turned the straight and I was done in 25th of the 62 runners. That's poker.

Way earlier I was up against an all-in Don and Recess with JJ (they both had AQ). The case A (someone else folded a 3rd) flopped and that kept them alive and me from the chiplead. Naturally, if I win this hand, Don's gone and my chipstack dictates a very different game from that point, very likely with me still alive now. But "if's and but's..."

So far, BBT3 has been a bust for me. Some points, a little bit of cash, but no big run. LOTS of time left though, so I'm not worried.

Addendum: My prediction system continues unhindered. Misogynist won the game after being the only player at the final table I didn't recognize. My apologies to everyone else who wanted to win. Apparently Misogynist is Big Mike... one of Mookie's crew I think. That's research for you.

Friday, March 28, 2008

How's Your Weekend Looking?

I know it's spring, because my calendar is filling up at a crazy pace. I think I've got at least one thing happening every weekend from here until June at this point.

Tonight is the Raptors-Knicks game. I'm not a big basketball fan, but I love going to just about any live sporting event. Having a crowd go apeshit when the home team scores, or booing a horrible play adds a whole new element.

Next week is the Jays home-opener, that'll be a blast.

Tomorrow I'm forcing myself up early to try and find a deal on the wine fridge I should have bought months ago. The things I do to save a buck. Then I get home, and maybe fall back asleep before meeting up with some people for a birthday drinkfest.

Sunday will likely start with a text message inviting me for dim sum, which I will oblige because it forces me to get up. Or maybe I won't... it really depends how Saturday goes.

Somewhere in all that, I want to do a couple things in the kitchen. There's food that needs eating before it goes bad after all. Plus, I want to play around with some vodka infusions. Particularly coffee, mint, and vanilla (not together, although a vanilla-mint might be nice). I'm tempted to see if cocoa can be worked in as well. I just got 1/4 lb of long vanilla beans delivered the other day, and am anxious to use them. Oh, this could become a problem...

Also, I need to find time to enjoy an absofuckinglutely fantastic chocolate cake with meringue buttercream frosting and fondant that my best friend made for me. Luckily for my ever-growing belly, it's small. Unluckily for that same belly, it's rich and delicious.

And, of course, there's The Big Game on Sunday night. It's one of my favourites in the blogger series, and I've got no plans to miss it.

A Touch More Substance

I hate my last post. It is a terribly boring post. I'll leave it up anyway. This one is political.

Elections in Zimbabwe are taking place on Saturday. I expect riots and violence will take place on Sunday. 100,000% inflation. Yes... ONE-HUNDRED THOUSAND PERCENT INFLATION. Opressessed citizens, an economy in crisis, a worthless currency, a corrupt leader who's been in charge for 28 years, secret police, violence, etc., etc.. Of course, Mugabe says the elections will be fair and open and that they should all abide by the results. He also warned his opponents not to start riots if they lose. I wonder how many times he had to practice saying "if" instead of "when". Then again, reports are that campaigns and rallys have been open and unassailed by police and that intimidation is down. There's also a report that supporters of his opponents have been forced by the secret police to tear down their posters and EAT them. It all depends where you look. I don't have a lot of faith in this one.

Then there's Russia, where the elections earlier this month are generally considered rigged. Not an outright fix, but the considerable influence and dirty tricks of the existing government made it a cakewalk for Medvedev to win. Will he be Putin's puppet? Possibly. It's sad to watch such a significant nation slip back towards its communist-era ways of corruption and lack of freedoms.

China's got the Olympics coming in a couple months, and the world is thrilled! No... wait... the world is saying "We told you so." to the IOC. The situation in Tibet is classic, but is a watershed moment in terms of access to information via the Internet and the variet of personal reporting. Cell phone cameras, digital movies, blogs, and other technological aspects that weren't around for Tiananmen have increased coverage outside of China to unseen levels. The sad part is that the vast majority of the Chinese people are still in the dark about it. It doesn't help that there's been decades of them being convinced that China liberated Tibet from it's evil religious imperialist past. The acts of the Chinese government officials are laughable though. There's been some brilliant quotes and statements that have hilighted how ignorant even the government is of the opinions of the outside world. To think, a month ago China must have looked fabulous to the government. Beijing was being spruced up (in temprorary, laughable, end-of-pipe ways... painting the grass? transplanting trees? seeding clouds to affect weather patterns?), the world was coming to visit and see the glory of China, their economy was soaring as manufacturing was booming and the rich countries wanted their trade, Bush had taken them off the top-10 human rights abusers list.... and then those Tibetan monks got all uppity and caused this ruckus. The Olympics will be unbelieveably entertaining to watch. Protestors both domestic and foreign will try to be noticed and heard, and the police and military will do everything they can to keep them at bay without embrassing the country to the world. Something big is going to happen... just you wait.

And over in this neighbourhood we're worried about Bear Stearns, the US housing collapse, figuring out if a woman or a black man will be running for President against a war hero, if a recession is happening, and how much corporate taxes should be cut. Yup... it's pretty dismal in this part of the world.

But I'm still none to happy about the police cameras popping up around Toronto, US Security Theatre, Bush, Harper, or the increased surveillance techniques being used in Britain. What this World needs is an enema.


First, poker - I played my tightest game ever last night and went out 46th of 95. I know this becuase I finally got home and sat down (knowing I was going to stand up and leave again momentarily) at 10:45pm and saw that I had JUST been blinded out of the Riverchasers in 46th. $11 well-spent I'm sure.

Went out for post-work drinks with co-workers, our favourite (and missed) ex-coworker, and I had a buddy meet up with me there. Much beer was had before my buddy and I grabbed some grub (low-quality chicken parmigiana on undercooked "bowtie" pasta, because it's too hard to pronounce farfalle apparently, served with a subpar pinot grigio and tasty garlic cheese bread). The problem with beer is that I can only drink so much of it before I don't want any more. Last night I hit that limit, thanks to another round being ordered from our distractingly attractive waitress before I could switch my poison to something vodka-based. The result was a terrible sleep and an unhappy me this morning.

There's but one way to fix that - more booze tonight before and during the Raptors-Knicks game. I'll be 20-some-odd rows behind one of the nets, which means I'll be a little blur on your TV.

And somehow I'm supposed to get my ass up by 8:30 tomorrow morning to go check out a sale on wine cellars. I wonder if that $11k one will be 75% off... I somehow doubt it, not that I have the space anyway. I'll probably end up buying a bunch of glasses and debating too long on the fridge.

Well that was a useful waste of time, non?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Andrew McCarthy And Jonathan Silverman

So I'm leaning pretty heavily to heading down Texas-way come May for the Weekend at Mookie's. I'm busy May 1st, so I'd be flying down on the 2nd. Luckily, the nonstop flight from Toronto gets in around 3:40 Austin time, and the flight back leaves around 4:15 on Sunday. Not a lot of time, but I think a ton would be packed in there. I'd have to find time to meet up with a couple buddies that are living in those parts now too... maybe I'll stay an extra day or two.

Of course, I don't golf. I mean, I could TRY, but something tells me my 20 ft drives, divot-ripping chips, and off-target putts wouldn't help anybody's cause. Besides, who the hell wants to wake up for a 10am tee-time on a Saturday?

Anyway, nothing firm... just thinking about it.

Late Night Railing

After my early and unfortunate ouster from The Mookie last night, I stuck around for a bit. I fired up the Dookie and got creamed in that. As well as a $3 rebuy SnG sat to the $750k (fishing for T$), which only cost me $6, had me in the top 5 consistently after the add-on, and then saw my aces crushed by jacks after some great preflop luring on my part. I wisely pulled out of a Tier 2 token game. I unwisely played the 0.15/0.30 doublestack blogger cash game. I short-bought for $30, lost that, and the put in my last $38. In there somewhere I played a 50 FTP pushfest and went out down immediately. In my last orbit of the cash game, I took my $20 left to $60 and called it a night.

But not really. Noooo... I check out the final table of The Mook and saw a table full of people I'd like to see win. Joanne, Riggs, Lightning, Recess, Tripjax, PirateLawyer, and someone named Hellory. I immediately called for Hellory (at the time near the bottom) as the winner, for the simple reason that I had no idea who he was. It's a rule - if you're at a final blogger table and I'm railing and have no idea who you are, you'll win. Hellory proved me right by taking the whole thing down after an epic HU with Riggs.

Congrats to Hellory, and gg to everyone else, especially Riggs.

Damn I want another deep run.

The Riverchasers is tonight as always. I'm signed up, but will likely be both late and drunk. That's probably the best strategy for this donkfest.

And it hasn't been mentioned much.... but THE BIG GAME is THIS SUNDAY. 9 people are signed up so far I think. I'm trying for a token, but will likely reload and buy-in based simply on time constraints before Sunday. C'mon people, let's get this thing going! BBT3 points and BIIIIIG MONEY!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

15 Minutes and Dinner

I lasted all of 15 min in the Mookie tonight, but was surprisingly not the gigli.

AKd, 3rd AK so far (yes, 3 AK in 15min), there's a raise to 4x the BB, I re-raise to 11x the BB... raiser thinks, requests time, and then re-raises. No way he has aces I think, and call.

Flop comes all unders, two diamonds. He pushes, I instacall. He flips over AQo. WTF? Turn comes Qc, flop comes crap, and I'm done. Well... um... I was only a 90% favourite, I was bound to lose. Fuck.

Anyway, in answer to Meanhappyguy's cookoff challenge, I present tonight's dinner:

First, assemble the necessary ingredients. Farm-fresh vegetables, tomatoes, herbs, etc....

Are totally not needed, so throw that out.

Instead, you need only these things:

1/4 cup milk, 1/4 cup butter, salt, and a pot of water to be boiled. Oh, and this:

That's right, it's the PRESIDENT'S Choice. You gonna argue with the President? Check out that gourmet pasta!

Salt (1 tsp) the water (6 cups) and boil. Add pasta.

Boil until al dente or however you like it. About 7min.

That's right, boil.


Add butter and milk

Add the totally real dehydrated cheese.

Stir until smooth and delicious-looking.

Oh, and of course you need a drink with this. I did this while boiling. Here are some fresh blueberries, red grapefruit, lime, and mint.

Here they are muddled.

Add rum and pour into a glass half full with crushed ice. I have a real old-school electric ice crusher, but I opted to do this with a wooden rolling pin because... that's how I roll. Booya.

Here's that glorious pasta with deluxe white cheddar again.

And the final presentation.

I know your mouth is watering. Okay Meanhappyguy, if that even IS your real name... BRING IT!

Everything's Coming Up Milhouse

No entry for the cookoff against MHG today, as last night was leftover homemade lasagna from a friend and some sauteed vegetables (white and cremini mushrooms, red onion, garlic, red pepper, and zucchini), with a fruit compote for dessert (banana, nectarine, blueberries, red grapefruit, red seedless grapes, lime juice and sugar).  Hardly worthy of such an esteemed competition.  If I feel up to it, tonight will be more competition-worthy.


Decided to skip the Skill Game last night.  I had absolutely zero desire to play limit razz and knew that if I did, I'd just give away my chips out of boredom eventually.  Instead I fired up my trusty $2 rebuy sat to the 50-50.  9 spots paid and $4 later (I took the add-on) I had my ticket. That thing is soooo soft.  I was in the top 10 just before the add-on period until the end.  In fact, I was in the top 6 for almost the entire time.

The fiddy was less eventful, with me going out in the 400's I think. All my fault, as I foolishly opened up Peggle as I was getting bored with folding. Stupid addictive game. Still, I don't regret pushing my 40% bottom pair flush draw with a short stack that was 4/5 of the pot. Ran into top two pair, and an aggrodonk with AJo (AQ5 board) who couldn't let it go. I'd have loved his chips.

Tonight we've got some Mookie doublestack knockout action, which should be awesome. Poor Hoy - he gets into the single-stack mindset for this Mookie, and it's doublestack week. It is to laugh.


It looks like Falstaff is setting up the June Vegas gathering for the weekend of June 6-10. That totally and completely doesn't work for me. I mean, I COULD take Monday and Tuesday off and come in on the Sunday, but that's practically pointless. It's a shame, because I was really looking forward to it and hoping it would be the weekend after.

Besides, doesn't that conflict with the BBT3 TOC on the 7th and the $2k freeroll on the 8th? I'm just sayin'....


Oh how I love it. Starbucks buys Clover. No, not a Clover machine, but the whole freakin' company. Here's this great little group that develops a single-cup machine that does it all right for $11,000. Fresh ground, adjustable water temperature, amount, and steep time. It becomes the centrepiece for independent coffee shops around the country and then Starbucks buys it! That's capitalism for you.

But that's not the beauty of the article. Oh no. It's the reactions of George Howell to the coffee. Howell's about as good as it gets when you want someone to judge your brew... and he essentially hated almost every variety of coffee he tried from Starbucks. Why? Because it's stale, overroasted garbage. He praised the Clover machine, but it was qualified praise as Starbucks can't figure out how to get the basics right. Garbage in, garbage out. This totally made my morning.

Of course, I'm sitting here drinking a cup of honey darjeeling tea.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Poker, The Future, and Fish

Minor poker night.  Out somewhere around 40th in the MATH after being forced off draws and mediocre hands early on, and then my threes not being able to beat Goat's Aces in the end.  What a donk... who calls the game's short stack's all-in for 1/8th of their stack with pocket rockets preflop? I expect more from the author of Stupid/System (although I believe it should be Stupid\System). I suspect collusion with someone else at the table who told him, "I don't have an ace." This therefore told him that there was a better chance more aces were out there. Then again, he DID call, which means he had the stronger hand.

I had finished dinner around 8pm and sat down at my computer. I opened up the 50-50 lobby and saw there were still a couple SnG satellites available. So I signed up for the $14+1 2-entry and proceeded to fold my way to a seat. I think I played the first hand, and maybe 3 or 4 more before we got to 4-handed and I was pushing out of necessity and taking chips from the weakest table in history. I was a legit 2nd place when 3rd went out and into the 50 I went. I then took an easy double up with an overbet for value on a rivered set over some donk with 2nd pair no kicker and sat on my chips for a couple hours. I was completely card dead, and was getting blinds when I did raise my less-mediocre holdings. I essentially limped into the money, and then pushed my 2nd-shortest stack with A6o. The BB agonized over his call for slightly more than on BB more (it was pathetic) and finally called with T2s. I knew I was done. T on the flop was all he needed, but an over 400% ROI isn't terrible :).

In 1968, Mechanix Illustrated took a shot at what life would be like in 2008. They got it wrong. Granted, they were pretty close with the telephone/television shopping. For an era when the personal computer didn't exist, Al Gore hadn't invented the Internet yet, you killed a mouse, and a keyboard was somewhere to hang your keys, they came close. But where's my hovercar on the computer-controlled traffic system taking me to another bubble-city?

It seems Meanhappyguy has challeneged me to a cook-off. I fear I can't hold a candle to his latest concoction, but I'll try. The mixture of those rich toasted orange hues against a creamy background of flavour. The artistic statement made by combining a piscine form with a mollusc-based composite of tastes, obviously commenting on the industrial vs the natural. These are the signs of a man who knows a thing or two about presentation and big-picture thinking when it comes to culinary feats. Whilst tonight's meal plan is leftover lasagna and (I kid you not) clam chowder, I believe that I will have a meal worthy of competition later in the week. IT! IS! ON! Booya!

One last thing: I love when art and geekdom come together.  Check out these pictures, and these these pictures.   If you haven't played Portal, then you have no idea what I'm talking about.  Sucks to be you.

Monday, March 24, 2008


Thinking Out Dinner

This is entirely for my benefit.

So I've decided I must make dinner tonight. The question becomes... what?

I have some leftover homemade fresh pasta from my friend. I believe it is in a vodka sauce, so whatever I have will have to blend with that.

I also have a bunch of fresh chicken breasts in my fridge. These should be frozen today, so I'll use one last fresh one.

I also have a bunch of vegetables. Broccoli, green beans, snow peas, and a bunch of salad stuff.

Dessert will likely be the last of my butterscotch rice pudding.

So the bones are there, and somewhat fleshed out.

Veggies - with pasta as a side, it will either be the beans or broccoli. Either way, they'll be steamed. Easy.

Chicken - here's where I need to think. I thought about the jalapeno raspberry sauce, but that's at odds with everything else. BBQ? Again, not quite the flavour harmony I'm looking for. With pasta, a more herbal melange would be good. Oregano, basil, garlic... almost too obvious. Nope. Got it. Sundried tomato. I believe I've still got some leftover rub from the rack of lamb from a little while ago. Should still be good. If not, there's my trusty sundried tomato hemp pesto, and even then I've got a jar of sundried tomatoes in reserve. Hmm... perhaps a blend with roasted red peppers. Perhaps not. No... not roaste red pepper. Some heat would be a good touch. Habanero powder, and maybe a wee bit of some caribbean hot sauce could be just the thing. Would finishing it off with a little bit of fresh lemon be too much? I think I've got half a lime kicking around too, which might be a better match to the the sundried tomato taste. Done and done.

So... tonight's pre-MATH dinner:

Grilled chicken in a spicy sundried tomato rub with lime. Homemade (fettuccine I think?) pasta in a vodka sauce, and steamed broccoli finished with butter and garlic.

While poultry generally calls for a white wine, I can't shake the feeling a red would work better here due to the strong flavours involved. A strong beer might also work - Maudite, Fin Du Monde, or even a good Belgian Trappist Ale. It will all depend on if I feel like opening a bottle or not.... which would give me a chance to use my wine pump finally. If any of the blogger games lends itself to a drink or two beforehand, it's the MATH. 6-max requires aggression and no fear, especially with 3000 chips.

Combining Memes

No, not those lame-ass "I tagged you" questionnaires. Memes. Pronounced "meems". Ideas, themes, units of cultural information. Get it? Good.

The occasionally rant, political post, or random linkage aside, there are two topics that I cover here -- Poker and Food. Just take a look at the tags on the side bar to see how true this is. I figured I may as well combine the two today. Especially in light of Hoy's recent revelation that Wii Home Run derbies are the secret to 50-50 success.

I'll be the first to admit that my success in poker is incredibly limited. I can make no claims to being a winning player. I also can't claim that I care all that much. The few successes I've had though tend to have something in common - I cook beforehand. And I'm not talking about nuking some Chef Boyardee, or tossing some frozen fries in the toaster oven and heating up some soup. I mean I cook. Roasted chicken, mile-high elk burgers with homemade sweet potato fries, dry-rubbed rib eye, prosciutto-wrapped tilapia with roasted red peppers, chili, elk chorizo and grilled chicken borolo pasta, etc, etc.. Soup/salad, a main, 2 sides, dessert - a full meal.

So why does this seem to work? I'm big on sussing out correlation from causation, so I'm not about to say that my food is magical. No, I imagine it's because of the environment. If I can cook a full meal, it means that I'm home at a good time, not wiped from a day at work, and generally looking to relax. There is little I find more therapeutic than putting together a meal, especially without a recipe.

It's also a mindset. If I'm cooking dinner, then I've given some thought to what I want to make. I walk in my door with a plan. If I need ingredients, chances are I've picked up market-fresh, high-quality stuff at St. Lawrence, or one of the high-end grocery stores on my way home (I'd love a no-frills store, but they're all a drive away, and convenience beats cost on a weekday). I'm focused on the task at hand. I know what I need to put together. If the kitchen needs to be tidied up, it is. I set up my mise en place (it's French, so pronounce it that way), and do things in order, and in time. Dirty pots and dishes are put in the sink and cleaned when the process allows, keeping things orderly. It sets up a rhythm and thought-process that I think is key for a game like poker.

Then there's the emotional aspect. As the kitchen fills with the smells of herbs, spices, meat, vegetables, oils, sauces, and whatever else is being used, the mind relaxes and all those chemicals that make us happy start getting released. A great meal is about to be enjoyed and I know it. Since the task at hand is the cooking, achievement is met with instantaneous reward in the form of the meal. Anticipation met with positive reinforcement and one could pretty much set up a Pavlovian response if a bell is handy.

Naturally, with the effort put into a meal, the proper drink is required. Whether it's a high quality beer, a nice wine, a mixed drink, or even a non-alcoholic concoction, it fits the mood and rounds out the experience. It completes the sense of indulgence and decadence... of being spoiled.

On top of all that, when all is said and done, I'm full. Sated. One of the worst distractions when playing poker is hunger. I get up and search for a snack, missing hands. I grab a handful of seasoned almonds, or Doritos, or what have you, and my turn comes up, with my hands covered in crap, and me unwilling to touch my mouse. Being full (but not stuffed) eliminates this. I'm also relaxed, as I obviously have nothing else of pressing importance, since I just spent an hour or so cooking on a weeknight. As well, there's none of that food hangover you get from the processed foods pulled from the freezer or cupboard.

So, de-stressed, awake, alert and attentive, happy, full, feeling like a champ for making such an awesome meal, thinking clearly and orderly, I sit down at a poker table and am ready to go. Everything flows more easily, and so little is forced.

Also, my food is full of luckboxy goodness.


Congats once AGAIN to LJ for her biggest online cash ever. $5.6k ain't too shabby. Make me wonder what I'm doing wrong...

Don't forget the MATH tonight as the BBT3: Looks Who's a Luckbox Now continues on. I'm pretty disappointed with 36th place at the moment, and my game was pretty severely off last week. After this post, methinks I'll have to come up with a good dinner tonight to set me up right for the game. Maybe I'll play some Wii home run derby while I'm at it... it can't hurt, right?

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Against logic there is no armor like ignorance.
- Laurence J. Peter

Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.
- Will Durant

Bookends for a poker player's growth those quotes are.

Will I ever get tired of someone chastising a play I've actually reasoned out? Probably not. I don't have a specific example from the past few days. Although the guy who was crying over going from first to last (and me doing the opposite) on the bubble of an SnG with Aces came close. I had 64s in the BB, and he let me in for free. Flop comes 2 spades and possibly an inside straight draw. I'm short-stacked in the most aggressive phase of the game. I push, he calls, and I double up with the spade on the river. Then again, he was ranting against FT, not me.

I saw a lot of that yesterday - people ranting against Full Tilt. The more things stay the same, the less they change. I took my share of bad beats of course. If somone had an ace, they were bound to hit it. Any draw, no matter how remote? Yours. The difference being I sighed and moved on to the next game instead of letting my table know what bullshit it was that I couldn't win a race all night.

I did say, "Enjoy the chips luckbox" to Fuel in the Mookie though. But that was in response to his "keep those chips warm luckbox" comment earlier on when my JJ beat his 99. Blogger table talk doesn't count.

And I attribute a lot of my bad run yesterday to my attitude. No, it's not that I manifested these beats through negative thinking (although it sure feels like it sometimes). It's because I just didn't care and shoved when I knew I was ahead. It sounds nice to say you got your money in with the best of it, but you increase your variance when you do this. I'm actually experimenting with this of late. If I know I'm ahead and someone will likely call... shove. Results have been mixed.

The long weekend approacheth... I hope to get a run of errands done quickly tonight and make it home in time for the Riverchasers and 50-50.

I also plan to come home laden with fruit, veggies, and various other good-for-me foods. I need to drop the 10 lbs I've put on in the last couple months. I'm hoping that replacing my fatty, sugary, unhealthy snacks with better options will help get me there. It's usually a good step.

One last quote for your weekend:

Reminds me of my safari in Africa. Somebody forgot the corkscrew and for several days we had to live on nothing but food and water.
- WC Fields

An Off Week

First off - Happy Easter this weekend to the western-rite Christians out there. It's Mawlid an-Nabi for Muslims today, but I understand that there's some debate as to if it's a celebration or not. It's also Holi in the Hindu calendar this Saturday.

Oh, and it's the first day of spring as well, here in the northern hemisphere. How do I know? It's snowing here.

I suppose that makes this quite the weekend!

Hey, and the Riverchasers is tonight too. I believe it's a non-NLHE week, so who knows if I'll show up or not.

The Mookie was last night. I had planned to play like a complete donkey to start off. Instead, I sat down 45min into the tournament and struggled to stay afloat. Jacks were good to me until Fuel beat 'em with a rivered 4-straight with TT (all-in preflop). A shame, because winning there gives me enough chips to make some moves and gamble a bit. Instead, I'm done.

I should stop checking hands I missed. I ran through the last 50 hands when I sat down, and saw AA, KK, and a ton of playable preflop hands that I wasn't around for. Makes me a bit tilty. Ah well.

Is it just me, or has the whole blogger world seemed a touch down this week? I know I'm in a bit of a funk, so maybe I'm just projecting, but blogs read a bit more melancholy and "blah" this week... in fact, it seems that updates are few and far between across the board. Very odd. Are we suffering BBT burnout already?

Poker has overall been a bit "meh" of late. Firing up a table when I'm just not that into it is a bad idea that I keep doing. Boredom cries out for satisfaction, and Poker is the auto-crutch. I should go for a swim instead, or play on the Wii, or any of the other games I have, or watch a movie or 12, or read one of the books in my ever-growing pile of stuff I want to read, or maybe deal with the pile of crap I've got taking over my kitchen. Yah, Riverchasers may not happen tonight.

We'll see...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Out Earlyish in the MATH last night. Just wasn't that into it from the start. Still feeling a bit off today.

HOSE is the game for tonight's Skill Game. I like 1/2 of that, so I'll probably be there. Maybe I'll get lucky with the SE portion.

Here's a food link - GUINNESS CUPCAKES. It's the best type of recipe, because you still have a drink or two left in the bottle afterwards.

I have a HUGE post in the works. Right now though, I want to find a pillow... instead, I'll get back to tedious work stuff.

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Continuing Adventures of Nada

I've still got nothing.

Out 61st in the Riverchasers last night. I never really got anything going. 3-tabling, in hindsight, was not so brilliant a move for me.

In fact, 3-tabling the Chasers, a $24 Turbo SnG, and the $4k guarantee PLO game was a terrible idea. Two NL games with completely different strategies and players, and then PLO on top of that? There was more than once I looked at my NL starting cards and figured a pocket pair wasn't that strong without draws. Then there was the time I looked a PLO flop with bottom set and thought, "shame that I folded" before realizing I was looking AT MY CARDS. Oops.

No plans tonight, so I MAY donkament it up. Don't know I feel like playing an MTT or not... could just be SnG's and satellites for T$. Or I'll just play Super Smash Bros Brawl on my Wii instead.

Anyway, that's boring. This is more to avoid the incredibly tedious task I've laid out for myself at work. Guess I should get back to that....

Here's to everyone meeting up in Philly this weekend - have a blast! I wish I was there, but I went and made other plans weeks ago. Foolish me.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


My pursuit of victory in the weekly Wednesday convention was met with resistance. Whilst achieving a modicum of success with initiating holdings, my readjustment to orthodox initial collections of monetary tokens was perhaps incomplete. Aggressive tactics were occasionally rewarded, but ultimately resulted in supererogatory decreases in fortitude. An ousting in the fiftieth percentile is not a means to augment one's overall standings or secure a placement in the field of combat amongst other virtuosos of the medium.

On that topic, the realization has just struck that I have unintentionally created a conflicting schedule in regards to the aforementioned meeting of minds. This provides a quandary if I am to achieve success in my endeavours. That, perhaps, is a span best traversed upon approach. Regardless, extracurricular parlays and potential monetary gains continue to validate these pursuits.

Anon, the contiguousness of the scheduled wager-based delectations advances unhindered. My virtual embodiment shall most assuredly be in attendance, with my clarion objective apparent.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sokath, His Eyes Opened

Just a quick one before a conference call.

Yes, I used a TNG quote as a title. You wanna fight about it?

I've realized something after last night.

I like Pot-limit Omaha.

Not sure about Hi/Lo, but Hi for sure.

I had a feeling I did, but wasn't sure. Then I decided to focus on it and pay attention to the things I figured needed paying attention to. The TV was off, chat windows were minimized. Distractions were removed. I tightened my game up, kept an eye on the non-card stuff, and did pretty well.

Now I just need to play some more to find out where I need work. I imagine there are a bunch of places. It appears I've found something new to hold my interest. Not that I was losing interest in good ol' NLHE.

Just one question - do people really have that hard a time figuring out the differences between Omaha and Hold 'Em? Go check out CK's blog today about starting hands and such. I have to say though, that if you didn't realize most of this already, then you aren't really paying attention or giving any thought to the game. Not that there's anything wrong with that.


The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't.
- Douglas Adams

Today's quote has nothing to do with poker. It's just awesome. We need more Douglas Adamses.

Congrats to Hoy on his 8th place in the 50-50. And to Lucko for 5th in the 32k last night. I thought streaks were only in the mind? That goes for both of you.

I got nothing. I started on a post about strength in different stages of a tournament, inspired by Hoy's efficient, subtle, terse, and abridged post on his strength in "Push Time" of an MTT, but it was going nowhere. I might revisit it someday.

I thought about pointing out general weaknesses I observed in the PLO game last night, but decided not to. I'll keep what advantages I have considering what an Omadonk I am.

Something about my more holistic view of the game might surface one day, but not today. I think my past posts make it pretty obvious anyway.

Naw, I got nothing. See you at The Mookie tonight. I plan to win it, fyi.

Getting Closer

Goal #1: Play better in PLO
Goal #2: Win the Skillz Game and get this TOC seat out of the way

1 out of 2 ain't bad.

This will be all over the place, because it's nearly 2am.

Finished 3rd in the PLO Skill Game. I think I actually played pretty well. I got lucky a few times, but had a stack when I did, and that's Omaha.

Last two hands:

AAKA 4-suited, shitty flop and I had to fold to pressure from Smokkee.

Then Ac4cAsKh, standard raise from Smokkee and I call like a donk. Flop comes 3 hearts, Smokkee bets 1/2 the pot and I wonder if my Kh is good. I push and get instacalled by the nut flush. And am done.

AA is shit preflop in Omaha, right? Because I had 'em 7 times, and had AKAA once on top of that.

What about KK? Had that 12 times.

AK? 25 times, including times where I had AA and KK.

Suited AK? 6 times.

277 hands.

Bah says I, I could should have taken this one down.

Had at least 6 or 7 knockouts too, which is pretty good since my first Skill Game KO was tonight.

I'm mad at myself for how I went out. I think the AAKA beforehand threw me off.

Thanks to everyone who railed me. It's appreciated.

Garthmiester's analysis of hands on IT Radio was a great thing to hear too. Even if he claims to not know a thing, just the constant discussion made for good listening. The thing is that I agreed with him on a few of my hands after the fact. I made a couple poor decisions that may have cost me a medium loss instead of a medium gain. These things matter 3-handed.

It's okay though. I noticed a bunch of things out there from everyone playing. I'm a complete Omaha donk, but going this deep and paying attention really opened my eyes to how little thought anybody is giving to anything other than their cards in these things. I may just play the Dookie tomorrow.

Smokkee just took it all down - congrats, well-deserved.

I'm feeling it though... I ain't done yet kids.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Hope is tomorrow's veneer over today's disappointment.
- Evan Esar

Out 17th in the MATH last night. 86 runners isn't a bad number. In the previous theme of knowing where the blame lies, I lay it all at TuscaloosaJohn's feet for having cowboys.

No, I of course blame myself, which is why I was pissed off and spent the next 40 minutes playing Guitar Hero.

The hand I went out on was just plain stupid, and compounded by my own impatience and idiocy.

TJ raises 3x BB UTG, I call from the BB with 56h. Flop comes 458 with one heart. I "decide" (read: fool myself into believing what I want) that TJ is on two high cards. I check, he bets less than the pot and I push all-in for 99% of his stack. He calls. Turn 3 brings me the OESD, but that's all she wrote and I'm done.

I was tilting from TJ vehemently defending his blinds for a couple orbits early when I had legit hands that I had to lay down to his pushes. The 2nd time I nearly had to force myself not to hit call with a decent suited ace for 2/3 of my chips. I figured I was ahead and he was just protecting, but I wussed out. If I was right and call here, then there's a good chance he's gone and I've got over 30k in chips instead of pushing with 2nd pair and runner-runner prayers for my still-decent stack shortly after. Even if I lose on the earlier hand, I still have enough chips for fold equity and a few orbits of patience.

I had the right mindset going in, got lucky with QQ holding up vs two bigger stacks and trippling through to jump from 2nd last to 4th in one hand, played a strong game, and then fucked it up at the worst possible time.


Congrats to Lucko for taking it down. 50 more events to go. I plan on showing up for PLO in the Skill Game tonight, and I plan on doing better than I have historically in non-NLHE events. At least it's PL, so getting impatient like I do with Limit shouldn't be a problem.

Here's another quote that can often be applied to the poker world:

He who praises you for what you lack wishes to take from you what you have.
- Don Juan Manuel

Friday, March 07, 2008

The Blame Game

'Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, "Where have I gone wrong?" Then a voice says to me, "This is going to take more than one night." ' - Charles M. Schulz

Quotes of the day is batting .667.

If I get angry after playing poker, it's inevitably because of something I did. Sure, I'll get the brief spurt of rage when some donk chases a naked inside straight draw to the river and catches when I'm pounding my set, but it dissipates and a note gets added next to his name.

There are those who will sift through their hand histories after a game and replay every move to see what they could do differently. I don't have OCD, so I can't bring myself to spend that kind of time... yet.

Then there are those who get knocked out of a turbo SnG with 4 left when they push their AQo into a 9To steal that's pot-committed because it's only 360 more chips into a 2k pot. A 9 hits and they end with the always classy comment of "idiot." They will never improve. We should all be happy for that.

Between these two lie an entire spectrum of players. There are those who can see their obvious mistakes, but don't categorize them properly. There are those who make the right plays but are convinced they screwed up. Some welcome criticism and advice, others won't listen to anyone but themselves.

In the end though, I believe there are only two things you can blame for a loss - the cards, and yourself, with the lion's share of that blame falling on you.

We have no control over the cards, so getting upset about them serves absolutely no purpose. It's like ranting at the flight attendant when your plane is snowed in. It's an easy target, but your righteous indignation isn't going to do a damned thing.

If you want to improve your game, then you have to be able to recognize where you made mistakes, and then avoid making the same mistakes again. It's simply stated, but difficult to follow through with.

I'll use Kat as an example. She's in the middle of trying to improve her game. People like Kat, and she's got some chops when she's focused and caring. She can also be very stubborn (just ask her), yet is also her own worst critic. She's recently realized that min-betting is killing her. So her credo of late has been - NO MORE MIN BETS. In the long run, this is a bit extreme, but for the here and now, it's an excellent stance to take for her. Min-betting works best as a finesse move, but if you're getting burned by them repeatedly, then chances are you're using them wrong. So by eliminating them entirely, Kat eliminates the problems associated with them. Once she realizes WHY they weren't working, then she can experiment with them again. More importantly than this one example is that she's reached out to other players and asked for advice to help her game. Will she use every piece she is given? No. She'll use what she finds works for her and fits into her style, which will only improve and deepen her game. If she just kept making excuses about why she hasn't seen a big score reecently, she'd stay in her rut.

Me? I'm perfect. No, wait... I'm a donkey. Strike that, I'm lazy. There's the crux of most of my problems in life. This is about poker though. No matter how I lose, I look at what *I* did wrong. Not just at my final hand, but the ones before that brought me there. The KJh that I popped from the BB when the SB completed, only to fold it when I was re-popped. The time I called that big bet on the river when I was 80% sure I was behind but the pot was just too juicy. The unnecessary steal attempt near the satellite bubble. And so on, and so forth.

One thing I often fail to do is review my winning hands. I have to believe that I'm not the only one with this problem. It is a decent-sized hole in my game that I've been working on. Too often I make as little as possible on strong hands. Top sets on co-ordinated boards where I'm afraid of someone catching up. Draws that I overbet and take down early. Yes, sometimes a small win is better than a large loss, but a large win can be worth the risk of a medium loss. How many times have I found myself being killed by the blinds late in a tournament and been unable to find a bad play that got me there? If I was to go back, I'd undoubtedly find hands I could have stacked someone with if I'd been less risk-averse or more delicate in my betting. 2000 chips near the start of a tournament could have become tens of thousands of chips by the later stages, and I wouldn't have been in the fix I was.

No, when I lose, the first thing I do after calming down is think back on my play. Usually this amounts to one or two hands where I know I fucked up that put me in a bad spot. I break it down, elminating unnecessary things like the specific cards, and focusing on position, hand strength, the type of players involved, blinds, stacks, etc.. Then I ask how I could play it differently in the future. If I find something I think will work, then I try it the next time the opportunity comes up. If it's more successful, it becomes another tool.

Re-evaluation is just as key. If you fall into a habit, then it becomes exploitable. J9s in position = worth seeing a flop? You'll start to get careless. Raise AA 3x a previous raise? Min-raise your drawing hands? Habit and routine are deadly. If you convince yourself that you're doing the "right" thing, then you create a blind spot in your game. It's NEVER the "right" thing. It may be the "best" thing, or the "ideal thing in that position." But nothing is 100% the "right" thing. If it was, then nobody would ask the question, "when can you fold aces preflop?" So every once in a while, I look at moves I make with regularity and ask how I can mix them up to my advantage.

But back to being lazy - I've lost count of how many times I've espoused focus in poker. I do this because I so often lose it. The battle is to regain that lost focus and get back on top. When I'm on, I'm on. I'm fearless, trusting my reads and pushing aside doubts. If I lose a hand, I forget about it and move on to the next one. When I'm off just a bit, I agonize over mistakes and what-ifs, and hurt myself. This is the same reason I have a library of unread poker books. Page after page of examples and poorly-written discussion don't hold my interest. I move on to something else and the pages remain unturned. There's a reason I only play for fun - I lack the discipline to take it seriously.

In the end, cards and luck can be blamed for individual hands, or maybe even a short run of games. Anything more than that, and you have to start looking at what mistakes you are making, because I guarantee that no matter how high your horse, you're still making some. Be they stasticial, psychological, personal, physical, or seemingly unrelated to the game, mistakes are being made that affect your play. There is no player more exploitable in my mind than one who is convinced they're playing perfect poker.

Where's My Button Masher?

Screw 'em.

Out early in the Riverchasers PLO chase-fest last night. I'll go with "pretty much entirely my fault" for 2000 Alex.

Dealt Q7Q2, 3 suits, no hearts. Flop comes QJx, two hearts. Guy to my right bets the pot (900), and I know he's on a lower set, but there's still a ton of people to act behind me. I commit myself (betting 2k, with 160 left behind). I figured an all-in would look incredibly weak, while an obvious committment-bet would keep anyone but a really strong draw out. I actually would have loved multiple callers, because then I'd have known there were lots of hearts already out there. Alas, directly to my left pushed over top, original raiser calls, and I toss in my last few chips. As expected, I was ahead with the set of ladies, the raiser had a set of jacks, and mr. come-over-the-top-to-isolate had the nut flush draw. I begged for no heart to come, that the power of my hammer would keep it away, but it wasn't to be. The 7h fell on the river and I was done before the first hour was up.

I was ready to call it quits on the Skill Series and the non-NLHE Riverchasers, but then I thought of this Picasso quote: "I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it." If I could hold my focus and stay patient, I think my Omaha game would be far better than it has been. Actually putting effort into my stud game on Tuesday was working fine until I got bored with limit. So with something worth winning over the next 51 games, maybe I'll actually try and improve my performance in the non-NLHE games.


Two storms hitting Toronto this weekend. One tonight, the other tomorrow. 30cm of snow when all is said and done. That's a foot for you yanks out there.

And I have a coffee class tomorrow morning. Heh.

Tonight though? I think I'll stay warm inside and wrap up a variety of minor chores that have sat undone. I'll probably skip the Donkament tonight... it's getting pricey what with all my rebuying :).

How about I talk about food! Dinner last night:

Breaded and pan-fried zucchini. Fresh grated parmesan, homemade bread crumbs from a variety of breads, dill, garlic, salt and pepper.

Sauteed vegetables. Onions, mushrooms, garlic, red pepper.

Chicken breast in raspberry-mint-jalepeno jam. I've had a jar of raspberry-jalapeno jam for a loooong time now that's sat unopened. It was time to use it. I chopped up some fresh mint I have and tossed it in too. Good stuff. Pan-fried.

All-in-all? Pretty good. Probably would have been better if I'd had more time to marinate the chicken.

Dinner tonight? Probably whatever I pull out of my freezer or pick up on my way home depending how I feel. Or maybe soup and a salad. Something easy.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Hitting the Wrong Button

It's been a long time since I've felt my stomach start to churn with anger about something. You know, the type of indignation that makes you want to punch someone in the face?

This short newsbit did that. I fucking hate airport security and the absolutely asinine, undertrained, low-IQ, shortbus rejects that are hired to do the job.

Maybe it just hits too close to home. I've got family that have had awkward medical situations, and if some dipshit with a mall-cop badge tried this crap with them, I'd probably end up spending some time in the security room at the very least. There'd be hell to pay, and the moron who started it would find himself emasculated, ostracized, and out of his fucking dumbass job when I was done.

This Guy Gets It

A student at Ryerson faces expulsion for using Facebook.

Okay, so he's accused of running a group that cheated on homework assignments. I actually have to side with the student here if he's being honest. If it was just posts back and forth about how to look at and work on problems instead of full solutions, then the prof is in the wrong.

Then again, my "study groups" often resulted in "give me your damn workbook so I can copy your answer." Of course, I also asked a question every time I ran into something I didn't understand in their solution, since blind copying would accomplish nothing.

But still, guy should be suspended for being a Facebook zombie. :)


My great aunt died this morning. Leukemia if I recall. I can't say we were as close as I was with other family members, but out of everyone at that level of familial distance, her and my great uncle were the closest to me. For some reason, great aunts and uncles just aren't seen very often in my life. But they were often around my grandparents' place, dropping in for a visit and some gossip. In fact, I saw them more often than some regular family in recent years. She was boisterous, outgoing, positive... and loud. My uncle is just as quick to smile, and I have to believe she was a large part of that. The saddest part about this for me is thinking about how he'll go on. His sister, my grandmother, passed away a little over a year ago, leaving him as the last of that generation in his family. Now his wife is gone. Luckily, he's close with their children, and has always been welcome by his nieces and nephews. Even so, the sense of loneliness that comes from this will be palpable. I hope that he endures.

I consider myself lucky that something like a couple shitty decisions in an $11 poker game put me in a bad mood. It means that I can't have that much to complain about otherwise.

What A Donkey

That would be me I'm talking about. Let's get this part out of the way:

180 hands.
13 Pocket Pairs.
AA x 2
KK x 2
QQ x 1
JJ x 1
TT x 1
99 x 1
55 x 1
33 x 2
22 x 2

AK x 0
AQ x 2
AJ x 1
KQ x 5
KJ x 6
QJ x 3

Not bad.

22nd of 117, for some points. Because I suck.

I can think of 2 bad decisions on my part that cost me some serious chips at inopportune times. There was one other borderline decision I made with a tiny stack that would have resulted in a flopped boat, a double-up, and a chance to rebuild my stack. Damn.

Live sucked even more. Out before the first break in the tournament after overplaying AQ, and then busto in cash when I ran my flopped flush into the nut flush.

In short, a craptacular night for poker. Bedtime, g'nite all.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

One Ace

Some more thoughts on holding a single ace in your hand.

As determined in yesterday's post, when your opponent has a single ace in their hand and you don't have a pair, there are 14 aces left in the deck. When you have a pair, there are 12 aces left in the deck. Math proves this.

But what does this mean? Well, behold the power!

If that ace hits, you're pretty fucked.

If you have a pair, the only way to beat them is by hitting a set, straight, flush, boat (yours full of board) or quads of your pair. You can't get two pair, if the board quads up, you're splitting the pot, if it trips up, you've got a worse boat. You'd better hope their ace isn't in the suit you get a 4-flush in, or that your straight doesn't begin with your card and end with a K. Nope, once that aces hits, you might as well turn it off and go home.

If you don't have a pair? Well shit, now you need to hit SOMETHING. Let's say you have KQs, because that's popular of late. You find yourself against something like Ah7d. You have 6 outs, plus the flush and straight outs, which add up to what? Like 3 or 4 more outs? Your Ace-holding friend? Everything else. If that ace hits? Why you're in worse shape than our pair-holding friend above.

So keep on playing all those A-rag hands, because you are practically GUARANTEED to have live cards. Unless you're up against another hand with an Ace in it, but that's another post. I mean, with 14 aces or 12 aces in the deck, that's logically 26 aces in the deck, or HALF THE CARDS! How you like dem pot odds?

No Skillz

Somewhere near the bottom of the list from the Skills Game last night, you'll find my name. 84th? 82nd? Something like that. Not Gigli though.

It's not that I dislike stud, it's that I dislike limit. As soon as my brain realized that I'd be there all night, it decided that draws were worth chasing hard. Totally my brain's fault.

Tonight is The Mookie. With luck, I'll miss it because I'll be heads up with Kat at the club. Yes, I'll likely wade through the 20cm of snow that's falling to play some poker with flesh-and-blood competition. How does it go from 11 degrees on Monday to 20cm of snow last night?

So, any thoughts on the Mookie turnout tonight? 200? 500? 1000? 1 MILLION PLAYERS?

If I'm out of the tournament before the Mook starts up, I'll see you there.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

40 Minutes

As expected, the MATH broke 100 last night, with 103 runners. This included Scott Fischman again, but he didn't lucksack his way to a win this time.

I went out in 35th of 103. So essentially the same as The Big Game on Sunday night. The key difference? I only played for about 40 minutes this time. I signed up before heading out for a deliciously filling Ethiopian dinner to celebrate a friend's birthday, and then ended up coming back with a couple buddies to play Guitar Hero. 2 hours later they left and I sat down with 920 chips left at 11:20ish, and sore fingers.

Within a few orbits I was up to over 5k in chips and had knocked out two players.

I went from 62/64 to around top 10 at my peak. With a stack that short (blinds at 80/160), I played a very aggressive short stack game and it got me paid. The short run of TT, 2 crap hands, and then AQ, AQ, KQ obviously helped. I got has high as 8k.

My stack was showing some pretty high variance though, dropping to 4k, up to 6 or 7k, down to 5, etc.. I was acutely aware of my M, pot odds, etc., and the need to play aggressively to stay ahead of the blinds. Then, with around 5.5k, I put out a fairly standard raise of 1100 (150/300/50 blinds) with KQo. Pushmonkey goes all-in for another 2.7k and I do some thinking. I figure there are three possibilities here - a vulnerable pair, absolute crap, or an Ace. I figure I'm racing against a pair and anything lower than AQ is live and worth the odds, and call. He flips over AJo, and I'm around 40%, which turns out to be proper pot odds for my call, but a bit on the marginal side (around 5%). Neither of us improve though, and I'm crippled down to 1600 chips. Somehow I get a walk in my BB a couple hands later and then see JJ in the SB. I naturally push, and Pushmonkey calls me with... AJo again. I sat back and said out loud, "just make it quick." No ace on the flop, but one of the 17 in the deck hit on the turn and I'm done in 35th, just before midnight.

And just like the previous night, as soon as I was gone, the numbers dropped rapidly and the points were hit within minutes. Of course, what I truly want is a win, so folding to the points just ain't going to happen, unless maybe I find myself in a race for the monthly lead at some point.

It'll come. Don't you worry.

Skill game tonight. It's Stud Hi, which should be... interesting. I've barely ever played any stud, so obviously I'll take this down. But with about 10 seconds worth of thought, I'd suggest that this is a game where memory and focus will be even more key than usual. So there will be minimal distractions for me once the game starts.

Being non-NLHE, I imagine the turnout will be smaller than the past couple games, but I could be wrong. I've got a feeling that we'll be looking at around 50 players though, barring a pro or two showing up again.


It's a common refrain to say there are 17 aces in the deck (or 15, or 49, or whatever). Just for fun, let's say you're all-in preflop with an ace vs someone who doesn't have an ace. Cards are flipped, so you know what you both have.

Chance of ONLY one ace hitting the board:

(3/48*45/47*44/46*43/45*42/44)*5 = 26.1%

The breakdown:

3 aces, 48 cards left. Let's say you hit it on the first card. Now you're calculating the odds of a NON-ace hitting from here on out. 45 non-aces of the 47 remaining cards, then 44 of 46, etc..

The ace can hit anywhere, but the odds are the same no matter where it hits. So multiply by 5 (for each street), to get a 26.1% chance of the ace hitting. 26.1% x 52 = 13.57. If you round, that's 14 aces in the deck.

Let's say your Ax is against a non-aces pair.

Chance of ONLY one ace hitting the board, and the pair not hitting a set:

(3/48*43/47*42/46*41/45*40/44)*5 = 21.6%

21.6% * 52 = 11.24. Round up (because this is poker), and there's 12 aces in the deck when you have a pair.

I should contribute a chapter to Stupid/System.

Monday, March 03, 2008


So, as stated - a phenomenal 105 runners for The Big Game last night. How many make the MATH tonight? Do we see the Monday tradition break 100? It's totally possible. What about The Mookie? 150? 200? More? Insane.

I've got my token for tonight's MATH, but I'm debating on signing up. I've got dinner at 6, which should give me plenty of time to make it, but you never know. Obviously, if I'm home before 10, I'll be in. The question is whether or not I sign up BEFORE I go out, in case I'm late. It's been a good year for the MATH for me so far. Starting with a 4-way chop, then taking one down, and pulling 2nd in another. I'm sitting on top of the MATH moneyboard, albeit not by much. Personally, I love 6-max and huge fields. There we go, decision made, I'll buy-in once I get home. Thanks for all your help.

Next decision will be The Mookie, when I hope to be playing live at the club instead. 1500 starting stack means I can't just buy-in and fold away the first hour.

For all the talk of Fischman's horrible play and incredible luckboxery last night, I think it needs to be said - he was donking it up to release steam. Having a huge stack makes it easy to play a very LAG style, especially when the win means so much to the people playing. He wasn't aware of the BBT3 stuff until the very end either, so it's not like he was being an asshole. On top of it all, I got the distinct impression that he was TRYING to give away his chips at one point. Here's a pro for whom the $75 fee is peanuts, and even the $2k win isn't significant. What does he prove by whomping a bunch of amateur donkeys who are obviously having a good time? It'd be like any of us playing a $1 SnG super-aggro and dominating it. Just doing it for fun without really anything at risk. It's not his fault he kept catching.

And then there were those who were more than happy to dump chips to him. Why raise to 9600 when he has position and 200k in front of him? Time to break out of kindergarten in that situation. The only reason you bet that there is because you have a premium hand and want to draw in his re-raise, or push on the flop. You KNOW he's calling if not raising with ATC, and then you're going to crumple if the flop doesn't hit you.

Ah well. It'd be pretty cool if we saw some more pros show up throughout this thing. It would suck if they all leave the "instant rebate" button on.

And They're Off!

Last night kicked off BBT3: Look Who's Luckboxing Now! With a bang. The Big Game, $75 ponied up to play. 105 runners. ONE HUNDRED AND FIVE! That would have been a great turnout for The Mookie in BBT2! Over $1,900 for first place! Sweet baby jeebus that's impressive.

I imagine it was helped along somewhat by the appearance of one Scott Fischman. A red pro draws flies apparently, although it being a private tourney probably discouraged a few people from putting in the 0.0003 seconds of effort required to sign up.

And of course Scotty goes and beats the entire congregation of donkeys into submission by DOMINATING the field. He was down to around 2000 chips at one point, when that wasn't very much, and turned it around to take a dominating lead about 20min later. He was heads-up with over 400k vs cmitch's 100k. But as was obvious to everyone, Scott got lucky. Repeatedly. It's like someone took Bayne and I (and some CJ too) and created a Frankenstein's Monster of poker playing. He'd lose a chunk and win it back with the "instant rebate" the very next hand. He'd call with crap and catch unbelieveable cards. 4-straights, rivered boats over sets, ATC was gold! And then if you stood up to him pre-flop, he'd have premium starting cards! It was nuts.

Me? I was out 32nd after rapidly blinding down and then impatiently shoving with Q6s and and M of about 1.7. I almost waited, and then the awfuckits hit and I was done, because I ran into KK directly to my left. Whoops.

So, 1 game down, 54 to go, and we've got a pro with the very first TOC seat. Think he'll even show up for the game? Would it be a complete disaster if he got one of the ME seats? Who wants controversy?

Otherwise, a solid, if uneventful weekend. I'm loving the T$ on Tilt now. I'm just about ready to forget about tokens and just keep playing the cheap rebuy satellites to the big tournaments. Par example (that's French for "For example"):

Played the two 50-50 rebuy sats. $2 rebuy and $3 rebuy.

- Win the $2 rebuy with $8.20 investment, play the 50-50.
- Win the $3 rebuy with $12.30 investment, take the T$
- Play the $55 $750g Guarantee 12 seat (18 seats in the end) satellite with the 50-50 T$, win $216 entry, unregister for the T$
- Play a $75 3-seat SnG, win another $216 in T$ by unregistering from the game.

There were a couple other attempts (including two 2-seat 100-chip turbos) that failed, but in the end I turned $12.30 into over $300 in T$. I'd say that's a better return than the tokens. These rebuys are ultra-soft, and tight aggressive play will take 'em down most of the time.