Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Improving in the BBT5

We're five games into the BBT5, and I'm showing a profit, but still without a ToC seat.

I've steadily improved as the series has progressed, both in terms of horseshoe powers and actual poker. I've rarely played a hand I couldn't justify (yes, even KO'ing Riggs with 89o.) I still need to up the aggression at key times, and need the odd "bounce" to go my way, but I like where I'm heading.

Sunday say me cash in 18th place, for a $36 profit. Last night's Poker From The Rail (which, when shortened to PftR reads like "poofter"... sorry, it had to be said, but does not reflect on Reverend Al, who is still da man) game saw me KO'd in 8th.

Last night was a case of lost races, bad position, and good decisions that had poor results.

AQ lost a couple races, including my final one. J9s on the button with a short stack isn't great, but enough to make me pause for thought. Until someone goes in before me. Of course, I would have won the hand and tripled up, but I can always console myself with good decisions, right? Right?

When I hit a few runs of cards, I got mostly blinds, or boards that crushed me. QQ looks great until you're up against an all-in and the chipleader. A9 won that hand, but I was smart enough to get out of the way before it cost me more than the cost of the flop. JJ went down to AA for a solid chunk of my stack, and I never really recovered from that one.

But my biggest problem was the guy to my left. Hoy, the eventual winner of last night's match, was there for the last half of the game. This wasn't such a big deal when our stacks were the same size. It became a problem as he built up a mountain of chips.

Hoy may lead you to believe he played only quality hands. In reality, he used his chipstack wisely. He made a few calls with suited connectors, A-rag, and other hands that he would have folded if the bets he was calling were any sort of threat to his stack. But they were catching. He also applied pressure at any sign of weakness. I can think of at least twice where he bet to put me all-in on the river and I was POSITIVE he was weak, but I was still weaker, so I had to let it go. Nor could I be sure I could have pushed him off whatever he had if I'd gone all-in before him. 9k vs 50k isn't really a contest in that case.

This position kept me from being too aggressive, and from being able to tell any sort of story that could get me a fold. Without cards, you have to rely on selective aggression and convincing your opponents you have them beat. Especially when you've got just enough chips to have some fold equity.

But a final table and back-to-back cashes ain't so bad. Here's hoping I keep the streak going. I'm not sure I'll make The Mookie this week, so I'll have to drag out that momentum a bit longer.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mookietime at the BBT5

BBT5 Event #3 is tonight - Das Mookensteiner! I bombed out of the PftR game on Monday, and haven't really been playing optimal poker lately.

By "lately", I mean for the past year.

But I played a $5 rush tournament and the $35k last night, so I should be well-practiced for tonight! Right? Right?

I expect we'll see a big turnout. Full Tilt. $11. 10pm EST. Password: vegas1.

I also expect to be in the right state of mind. I've got a few chores to knock off post-work, tasty leftovers that are easily reheated for dinner, and by the time 10 rolls around, I should be ready to kick back with no worries and focus on the game.

I expect to gigli the thing,

Monday, April 19, 2010

The BBT5 kickoff was last night, and I went down somewhere in the 20's. I'd blown my load of good cards early on, and had neither the cards nor the balls to build a stack afterwards. But hey, I had fun and it didn't cost me a dime, how can I complain?

Tonight is event numero dos - The Poker From the Rail game. 10pm, $26. Much like Mondays at the Hoy from back in "the day", this has the potential to be a great tournament. A noticeable amount of cash invested, and a ToC seat for the winner only. Lots of people playing to win, myself included.

Be there - 10pm, Full Tilt, PW: 2010WSOP

Don't have $26? Go play a token game to win your way in for $8 and change.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Search is On

There's a cafe in Montreal that serves a pretty great cappuccino. It also serves possibly the best non-nostalgia-laced (ie.- granny's) chocolate chip cookie I've ever had. Big, melted, soft, delicious.

I have no idea how they make it.

Well, that's not entirely true. Obviously, they have a chocolate chip cookie recipe. The problem being, there are so many variations on this classic, and every one changes the cookie in measurable ways.

More white sugar? Crisper. More brown sugar? Chewier.

More baking soda = more spread. Milk makes it chewier too and spreads it.

Cake flour? better lift. Bread flour? Chewier again.

More yolks than whites = moister.

Shortening holds up better than butter, but butter has more flavour. What about lard?

Salt - you need it, but if you sprinkle it on top, you can get a whole different taste.

Semi-sweet, dark, bittersweet, milk chocolate? Each one alters it.

Letting the dough sit in the fridge for 36 hours has a different effect than leaving it for 12, or not at all (moisture spreads more evenly).

Big chips vs small chips affect the chocolate distribution.

Even the cookie size can alter the texture and taste.

I don't even know what my grandmother's recipe was, and I loved that one. But now, I must attempt to replicate this cookie from another city... without the benefit of easy access to comparative samples.

I spent an inordinate amount of time tasting the last of the cookies I had. Trying to divine its secrets. Butter? Shortening? No fat at all? More brown sugar than white? Salty? Eggy?

All I knew for sure was that it was delicious, and used giant semi-sweet chunks and big milk chocolate chips. I lack both of those, but do have the respective regular-sized chips. So an attempt must be made.

In fact, I doubt I'll nail it first go. So many attempts must be made.

That's a lot of cookies.


If you haven't checked out Al's post with all the details yet... you should.

$50,000 in prizes. 3 WSOP Main Event packages! A whack (that's a lot... about $14,000 worth or so) of $2000 freerolls and bracelet race packages!

I'll be doing my damndest to make every tournament. That would include the invitationals on Sundays @ 7, The Poker From the Rail games on Mondays at 10, and of course, the venerable Mookie on Wednesdays at 10.

I'm actually most stoked about the new Monday games. I've long lamented the loss of The MATH tournaments and their $26 buy-ins. The higher price brings with it a smaller field and better play than the $11 Mookie (but I still love the Wednesday staple). The Sunday games could turn out to be some of the most interesting though.

And the best part? This starts this Sunday and end in just over a month! No 3 months of slogging through fields. No points-whoring. It's quick, and you have to win to get in to the ToC.

I bombed big time in the last BBT after 3 consecutive ToC appearances. I intend to get back into the groove on this one. So be wary of my pre-flop raises (it means Aces), and turn check-raises (also means Aces).

Yah... I'm pumped for this!

And once again - Al is da man.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Hockey Pool

Once again, I'm running an NHL Playoff Pool. Quick details:

$20 entry
Last year had 141 entrants
1st place paid $1250
5 places paid out
10% of the total prize pool goes the winner's charity of choice. Winner got the tax receipt on top of the prize.

It's not the standard pool type. Teams are given a value based on their finish in the league. So Washington is worth 1 point, and Montreal is worth 16 (last place). Each win for these teams gets them that number of points. So 5 wins for Washington is 5 points. 5 wins for Montreal is 80 points.

If you're interested in an entry form, let me know either here or at my e-mail (my name (astin) at sympatico dot com). It'll come with all the instructions and details.

Deadline for entry is Wednesday at 5pm.

Oh, and I have to know who you are. So lurkers and spambots? Don't bother.