Thursday, November 30, 2006

save as draft

Pretty good stuff right now:

Beck - The Information.
Cheap ass beer at Sendik's on Oakland.
Tickets to 1/4/07 NY Rangers game at MSG.
Holiday break from grad school.
Snowstorm that is about to kick out ass in Milwaukee.

Stupid shit right now:

Studying for my 2nd to last exam ever.
Joke of a poker bankroll.
Weed in my freezer.
My last trip to Potawatomi.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

pigskin' f*ckit

I can't pick an NFL game correct to save my ass. The last 6 or 7 weeks my performance has been at about chance level. If I made my living betting on football games, I would be living in a fucking dumpster right now.

After beating the Seahawks in Seattle, the Vikes looked poised to go on a nice run with 3 of their next 4 games against very beatable teams in SF, GB, Miami. They got trounced by New England and then proceeded to lose the next 3 to 3 very mediocre teams. And the Timberwolves look like they are headed for another lottery pick this year. The have something like 8 guards on the roster; that makes alot of sense there, Kevin McHale. Ugh, when does baseball start?

I have been playing poker consistently, but at pretty low limits. I final tabled a 3 dollar HORSE tourney yesterday, which netted me something like 15 dollars. I am wondering whether or not to reload some accounts and get back to playing the levels I was before. One good thing about playing for peanuts is that I don't really care when I lose because I am losing no more money than most people have laying around in change jars. But, I still feel that competitive urge from time to time, and I can't help but think that will only be satisfied with a return to playing higher stakes. This will probably sound corny, but I really thought that I was good enough that one day I would make a nice score in a big tourney and have a bankroll that would allow me to play at levels where I could make real money. I was contemplating buying in to WSOP events and had started to play the Sunday Million a few times on pokerstars. Maybe I've lost that desire, maybe it's on vacation.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

1 year

This blog sucks and it is 1 year old. I started pounding stuff out on this here webspace while I was staying in a hotel on 13th ave and M street in DC. The following month I was staying on the Vegas strip and blogging from the 8th floor of the Imperial Palace. Now I am sitting on my ass at home in Milwaukee trying to remember why I started this. I don't have any delusions that anyone reads this, and I don't really care. I think I started blogging because pokerstars has an annual tourney for bloggers and they give away some nice swag. I was also a big fan of a few poker blogs and I suppose some of this is based on that. Right now, I "maintain" this blog mostly out of posterity.

Why not talk some more poliltics. The democrats now control the legislative branch of our government and I think that is a good thing. Not only because I normally vote democrat, but because I don't think any party should have control for too long. The republicans have been controlling the agenda for too long and I think we saw how that went. Hopefully the Democrats can push a populist agenda and get some stuff done in congress. As much as I think Bush should be held accountable for the crap he pulled his first 6 years, I think it would be a mistake to go after him with impeachment hearings. Even if he deserved it, am I'm not really sure one way or the other if he does, it would look bad and get in the way of getting real work done. I would like to see minimum wage increases, get the budget under control, and somehow fix things in Iraq (no idea how). I think a repeal of the gaming legislation would be a good thing. Some of that bill's big proponents went down in flames last Tuesday, and that made me smile from ear to fucking ear.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

vote those bums out/live drunk blogging of the election

8:00pm - God, I just saw Frist on MSNBC. Makes me want to puke when I see that troglodyte. Dems are +2 in the Senate with the big races still up for grabs in VA, MO, and MT.

8:06pm - Feels good that all this states I have resided in have elected Dems for Senate tonight. Congrats Konrad, Klobuchar, and Kohl. OMFG, the KKK. Nevermind, it's spelled Conrad.

8:14pm - Ugh. Loserman got elected as an Independent. Not a big surprise though. I think NARAL just dug their own grave by supporting him.

8:55pm - +4 DEM for Gov. 2 (R)IND house members get the boot.

9:01pm - Jesus, I think Santorum's nerdish looking 14 year old kid is crying. I'm an asshole and that is funny to me.

9:19pm - calls the race for Gov. Doyle. Now hopefully the Dems pick up the seat Green vacated.

9:33pm - Kerry is still a stiff. Hopefully he sails off into the political sunset soon.

10:00pm - You better be watching the Live Dailyshow/Colbert Report coverage.

11:35pm - barnburner in VA. Webb up by ~2300.

11:45pm - Dems +23 in house. Sen looks headed for a split.

1:14am - Long fugging night of watching Tweety bird Chris Mathews and the CNN stiffs. Dems look poised to pick up MO, MT, and VA. Macaca is going down. He's behind by 12K votes. Looks like a DEM Senate and House. Checks and balances........bitches.

Monday, October 30, 2006

I am not dead. Therefore I am.

Wow. It's been a long time since I sat here and pounded something out for this here blog. The whole poker legislation thing has had a weird effect on me psychologically. When the law passed I removed about 2/3rds of my BR into a saving account. Since that time my attitude towards the game seems to have changed a bit. I have a feeling like the hayday is over and that has sapped some of the passion out of it for me. I left enough money in my accounts to dink around playing 1-2 games and some sit and go's. I am toying with the idea of 'going for the gold' and risking a good portion of what I left in there playing some bigger tourney's or a 5-10 session. I don't think I'll do it mostly because it's not in my nature. I am a good enough player to win at the levels I play, but perhaps my best skill is that I don't go through large downswings in my BR because I am pretty good about managing my losses.

I had enough FPPs in stars to buy into a couple 215 tourneys, but instead I used a good chunk in exchange for a pretty sweet little digital camera. I think it speaks volumes about stars that they haven't backed out yet and that they are still honoring the VPP program.

Unrelated to poker, I made a visit to Atlanta for a conference a few weeks ago. Atlanta seemed pretty lame to me and everything was overpriced as hell (see 10$ 6-packs of Miller Lite), but the hotel we stayed in had a sweet happy hour from 530-730 with free drinks. Embassy Suites rules.

To quote an old song, the thrill might be gone in terms of me and online poker right now. Never fear. This blog will always be here. 10 years from now I'll probably be blogging about how I used to play back in the 'wild wild west' days of internet poker.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

this is where i go off.

Congrats to the A's who have been the beneficiary of 2 horribly played games by the Twins and now lead the Twins 2-0 going back to Oakland. I think Torii Hunter probably stamped his ticket out of town with that play in the 7th. If he isn't a Twin next year, it's a bit ironic that the play he will most remembered for is a defensive miscue. Hopefully, Brad Radke and his broken ass shoulder socket can get us back into this series. Actually, it's on the hitters to get it going; pitching has been good.

So much has been said about this gaming bill already, but I think it's time to call bullshit on some of you republicans who are trying to make this thing sound as if the democrats were equally responsible for the rider on this bill. Wake the fuck up. They (meaning those in control of congress) snuck the rider in and attached it to a bill that no one in their right mind could vote against. Furthermore, it doesn't take a political science degree to realize that the Republicans are in control of congress, and thus, control the agenda. There is NO way in hell this shit gets attached to a bill if the democrats are in control of congress. If you think that I am wrong, you are completely delusional. Let's be clear, the democratic party isn't anything to jizz yourself over, but they would not have pulled this holier than thou, phony ass moralizing crap. It's time to wake up and and take a good hard look at what your vote means when you pull that lever for 'R.'

What a fucking week. Oh, and I turned 30 on top of it. Fuck me walking.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Division Champs

For the 4th time in 5 years the Minnesota Twins capture the AL central crown. They won their last game of the year while the Tigers imploded by getting swept at home by the KC Royals. Yes, those Royals who lost 100 games this year. All this means that the Twins will have homefield advantage the first round against the A's. It all starts Tuesday at noon; kind of a crappy time for trying to watch the game, but it beats playing the Yankees in the first round. Hopefully they will meet up in the ALCS; I don't think the Yanks will have much trouble disposing of the Tigers.

I played poker last night like I was a criminal out for his last night before being sent off to jail. Two or three tables going, bluff raising in limit hold'em, intoxicated. Did ok though. I left enough money in my poker accounts to play comfortably while this whole gambling bill thing plays out. What I removed is going into savings. I have no idea what Frist got up his ass that he had to try attaching this law to every fucking bill that was voted on. He eventually succeeded. He had such a hard on for this online gaming bill that train and bus security was left off of the port security bill. We have a bunch of brain dead morons in office; and I wish I could say the Democrats took a stand against this shit. Of course, there is no way in hell they could, they were trapped politically. 'Democrats block passage of port security bill.' Not a headline they could afford to see. Hopefully we will all wakeup very soon and vote these fuckers out.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Torture poker not ok.

So, who else has started to transfer their online bankrolls back into their bank accounts?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

We're gonna win Twins, we're gonna score, we got the guys that knock the cover off the ball....

The Twins came up with a 7-3 road trip at the same time as watching the ChiSox flounder. They managed to clinch a playoff spot Monday, the team's 4th in 5 years. Pretty darn good time to be a Twins fan. Hopefully, they can make some noise come playoff time. It looks like they will be matched up against the Yankees in the ALDS and nothing would be sweeter than bouncing them from the playoffs on their way to the World Series. A quick look at the Yankess lineup and it's like "good luck' you'll need it." However, I think the Twins have several advantages over the Yanks.

Reasons why the Twins will win:
1. THE best pitcher in baseball the last 3 years potentially starting 2 of the 5 games. The best the Yanks can do is throw out a good, but untested Chien-Ming Wang and 2 dinosaurs who have been rocked recently and are both battling injuries.

2. Both teams have dominant closers, but the twins bullpen ERA (2.97) is over 1 run better than the Yanks. It's hard to extrapolate what happened over the course of the season into what will happen in a 5 or 7 game series (probably why postseason baseball is so exciting), but bullpens are critical in the playoffs and the Twins have the best.

3. No arguing the the Yanks have a scary lineup, but the Twins lineup is nothing to shake a stick at either (see best team BA in the majors). This is not your 2002-2004 Twins lineup. These Twins have good top of the order guys in Castillo and Punto, an honest to god scary middle-of-the-order in possible batting champ Mauer, best hitter in baseball over the last 4 months in Morneau, 100RBI man Cuddyer, and candidate for player of the month in Sept in Hunter. Bottom of the lineup is not too shabby either. And yes, the Twins have their own middle infielder batting in the 9th spot with a BA north of .300.

Reasons why the Twins won't win:
1. THAT lineup. It may be hard for the Twins to score enough runs, even against a weak Yankee pitching staff, if the Yanks lineup come through and scores runs like they are expected to. Especially, if Santana is not dominant in his starts.

2. No homefield advantage. They will need to win in Yankee Stadium; something that hasn't come that easy to Twins teams in the recent past.

3. Pitching staff is missing 2 of their top 3 starters. This all changes if Radke is somehow able to throw the ball well today and pitch a playoff game. Radke is the epitome of the word 'gamer,' and if he has anything left in the tank, it could be the difference maker. The other arm they will miss sorely (no pun intended), is the left wing of Francisco Liriano. He was downright nasty until he came up lame twice with a somewhat mysterious left elbow injury. I don't want to engage in too many 'what if's,' but I think the Twins would be WS favorites with a healthy F-bomb and Bradke.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

American Sign Language for 'Donkey'

I found myself in Philadelphia over this past weekend; close enough to make a quick return trip to Atlantic City with Johnny Cheng, The Shoeshiner, and newcomer D-Nice (names changed to protect the innocent). We got off the plane, checked into our hotel, hopped in the car, and made it to Atlantic City in an hour or so. We planned on playing at the Borgata and this turned out to be a good choice. The room is buzzing, most likely due to the Borgata Open and WPT main event which was starting the next day. We get to the casino and after we find the poker room we all sign up for a little 2/4 hold’em action. The room at the Borgata is huge and spreads a ton of games at several different limits. They had 7 card stud games going from 1-5 spread all the way to 150/300. Hell, they even had a 2/4 Omaha H/L split game going. In any event, we buy chips and wait for our names to be called keeping an eye on the list. I was having a smoke near the entrance of the room and noticed Men Nguyen walk by wearing a special ‘Men the Master’ jacket. Before we knew it, all our names were off the list and we had not been called. We had to put our names back on the list, but it didn’t take too long to be seated. I found myself at a table full of 9 strangers, but soon enough The Shoeshiner sat down at my table. D-Nice and Johnny Cheng found themselves at an adjacent table.

The table was about what I expected from a 2/4 table; A couple of loose talkative guys to my right, a grandmother in seat 9, a few decent young guys about my age, and a couple of middle age rocks. One of the talkative guys 2 to my right was soon replaced by a scrawny grubby looking dude with a beard and longer hair. This guy looked like someone who got the money for his buy-in by hanging out at the casino all day waiting for chips to fall on the floor or by stealing from 78 year-old ‘slot jockeys.’ The grubby guy sits down and the dealer asks him if he wants to post and he starts to point and is grunting like Marlee Matlin. It turns out he was deaf and mute. The first few hours were pretty uneventful, I was hanging around even and drinking Bud Lights like they were free, which they were. Although, someone at out table spots Antonio Esfandiari as he is walking into the poker room.

Some time later I get 9 7 offsuit in the small blind and call a raise from deaf/mute who was 2 to my right at the time, and we get 4 other callers. Flop come 9 A x and I called deaf/mute’s bet on the flop and turn. We are heads up and the river comes a 7 and I call and show my two pair. He angrily flings his cards toward the dealer, slaps the table, and starts mumbling what I assume to be the deaf/mute version of curse words at me. I figure there is no use to try and explain pot odds to the guy, so I just shake my head and shrug my shoulders at him. A few hands after that the guy to my immediate right accuses deaf/mute of taking a bet back. I’m not sure that deaf/mute knew what was going on, but he seemed pretty cheesed-off at this point and left the table for a while.

I’m chugging along basically using what little amount I was up at the table to tip the dealers and waitresses bringing me beer. The deaf/mute guy comes back and moves to seat 9 after granny had left. He stays there for only a few hands and then moves directly to my left. A few hands later I get Q5 sooooted and complete the small blind. Deaf/mute checks and the flop comes A 2 5. I call deaf/mute’s bet on the flop, as does one other player. The turn comes another 5 and I check-raise deaf/mute and he 3 bets. I call and the case 5 comes out and I bet out and he starts going into a mumbling tirade as he calls and shows pocket 2’s. I had laid a nasty-nasty beat on the deaf/mute guy and he started poking me and pointing at the spot on the table where the cards had been. Again, I had no way to respond and could only shrug my shoulders. Fortunately, I had to take a whiz, because I was about to burst out laughing from all the mumbling and grunting. I come back and the next few hands 2’s show up on the board and after the play was done he would start pointing at the cards and grunting at me. The next hand I pick up is 99 in late position and I raise, putting deaf/mute all in. He ends up winning with pocket queens and flings them in front of me after he turned them up. Some time later I am in the bathroom again and deaf/mute is gone when I come back. I go on a decent run for a while and get up a few bets. At this point I see ‘The Grinder’ and his posse walk by. I felt like flinging him a white chip and saying something stupid, like “why don’t you sit down and see what you got, kid.” I didn’t, but what I did do was ogle Jennifer Tilly’s ginormous cleavage as she waltzed in wearing a rather nice black dress with Phil Laak in tow. The four of us decide is about time to leave after playing for 5+ hours. I gotta say the Borgata is easily the nicest room I have seen, and I didn’t even mention the automatic card shufflers, which really sped play up. And, no, deaf/mute was not waiting for me in the parking garage when we left. Although he was most likely still grunting and flashing American sign language gesture for ‘donkey.’

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Stylin' Profilin' Freerollin'

I took part in the monthly 100K VIP freeroll on stars today. I started off by losing 1/3 of my chips on the first 3 hands. A few hands later I pushed with QQ to an obvious overbet with a lower pair and doubled through. From there I was able to stick around average in chips until we hit the bubble. The bubble burst and I felt pretty good to get at least $80 out of a freeroll, especially considering how bad I've been doing at tourneys lately. We got down to around 100 left and was still below average in chips and figured I needed to make a move soon. With about 8K in chips and the blinds 800/1600 I went over the top of a raise with AJ sooted. I rivered a straight and was alive again. I was able to run my stack up to about 30K with about 60 left. I found JJ UTG and raised about 4X the BB. Middle position chip leader comes over the top and I decide to call. He shows KK and I'm in serious trouble. Flop comes A10x, turn K, river, sweet sweet Q. The blinds are up to 3/6K and players are dropping like flies. I can find much of a hand for a while and get run down to 30K with the blinds at 4/8K. Folded around to me I make a 3X BB raise from the cutoff with J9. SB tanks for a long time and I know he has something decent but not great and I'm hoping he reads my standard raise as something very strong. He ends up putting in the rest of his chips (we were about equal) and I have to call and he shows A8 sooted. He hits an A on the flop and I can't pull out another miracle straight. I finish 29th out of 2500+ and pick up $350. Much needed. The quality of play in this tourney actually seemed very good. Much better than the last few Sunday Million's I played. This makes sense I guess, given that these are players who have qualified by playing alot over the course of the month.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

100 more

I have another 100 SNGs logged into my SNG tracker software from the last time I reported. I am pleased to say that over the last 100 I have booked about 1K in profit. I moved up in levels from the $16 turbo SNGs to the $27. I don't think the play is even a little bit better. In fact, if I break my results down by entry fee and base my opinion of the play solely on this, the $27 have much worse players. Although my ROI in the $27's are most likely skewed due to a ridiculous streak I went on in July where I won 4 out of 5 and monied in something like 9 of 11. It's good to know that if my bankroll takes a hit, I can go back to playing more SNGs to build it back up. If this all sounds like bragging, I suppose it is. While I am at it then, let me also tell you that I booked a 30BB win playing $5/10 7CS on full tilt last night with my good buddy Keith Sexton. I had some harsh words for his advice he sent out via the full tilt 'learn from the pros' emails, but he played a very solid game. I didn't see him calling raises with middle pairs and the check calling subsequent streets too often, so it doesn't seem like he heeds his own advice.

Monday, August 21, 2006

I lack originality

It seems to be popular these days to fire up the ipod, put it on shuffle, and blog which songs come out. And who am I to go against the zeitgeist. To make this even MORE exciting, I grouped the songs into batches of 5, and bolded my favorite of that bunch.

Jesus was Right - Frank Black
Hey Fuck You - Beastie Boys
New Hampshire - Sonic Youth
Positive Tension - Bloc Party
Putting Shame in Your Game - Beastie Boys
(Not a great song, but the others are pretty weak)

Save a Prayer - Duran Duran
Pennyroyal Tea - Nirvana
Marker in the Sand - Pearl Jam
Bodyrock - Moby
My Favorite Things - Outkast
(A pretty brilliant remake IMHO; DD song tells you I didn't edit this list)

Welcome to the Terrordome - Public Enemy
Punk Rock City - Frank Black
Unite - Beastie Boys
I'm Back - Eminem
Low - Foo Fighters
(Have to go w/PE here; classic)

Sentimental Man - The Dismemberment Plan
Gravity Rides Everything - Modest Mouse
Black Star- Radiohead
Idioteque - Radiohead
Sex Change - Breakbeat Era
(Roni Size side project; Obscure drum and bass circa 1999)

Spaceship - Kanye West
That's My DJ - Girl Talk
Manslaughter - EPMD
Sinister Foxx - The Breeders
99 Red Balloons - Nena
(German version of 99 would win; Kim Deal sounds drunk on the vocals; A+)

Enfilade - At the Drive In
Lightness - Death Cab for Cutie
U-Mass - Pixies
Your X-rays - Jets to Brazil
Swimsuit Issue - Sonic Youth
(Pixies prob are my fav band, but this SY song is too good to ignore)

Readymade - Beck
The Choice is Yours - Black Sheep
Mosquito Song - Queens of the Stone Age
Tuff Gnarl - Sonic Youth
Never mind - The Replacements
(QOTSA song is weak, Paul Westerberg can right a fricken song!)

Horseflies - Call Me Lightning
Skin on Skin - Queens of the Stone Age
I Want You So Hard - Eagles of Death Metal
Time Bomb - The Dismemberment Plan
Million Dollar Question - Radiohead
(EoDM wins! Locals Call Me Lightning are damn good tho)

In the Backseat - Arcade Fire
Trimm Trabb - Blur
Tastykake - Burning Airlines
Argument - Fugazi
Distopian Dream Girl - Built to Spill
(None of the others stick out on their respective records. Sadly, Blur wins)

Daft Punk is Playing at My House - LCD Soundsystem
40' - Franz Ferdinand
Long Goodnight - The Get Up Kids
I Better Be Quiet Now - Elliot Smith
Throught the Window - Seaweed
(Ass shaking LCD song wins by long shot)

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Here I go again

Gonna live blog by performance in the Sunday Million on 'Stars. This could be the one.....where I suffer another bad beat and shave my hair into a mowhawk and go all Travis Bickle on everyone.

T- 5 Mins

3:30pm - First hand. 44. folded to EP raise. would have made boat. switched tables.

3:43pm - 5921 runners. My KK lost to Q4 sooted when he limped and called a 5xBB raise UTG and flopped trips. T2070.

3:49pm - T2300. I have 3 players at my table who are really bad. This is good.

3:58pm - There might be more than 3 of them. Lots of limp calling. I've seem people not bet the nuts twice already. T2200.

4:01pm - Fock, I just got moved. That table was weak....didn't have chance to take advantage of it.

4:03pm - Didn't last long. get AK call a raise from MP with AK suited. Big Blind goes over top of everyone for 2K more (big overbet there is almost always JJ or QQ). EP raiser calls after some deliberation. I am getting 3:1 here and am almost positive I am up against 2 pocket pairs QQ or worse, or possibly another AK from the big blind. I figure I'm 40% if my read is right and call with my AK. My read is right....EP shows 99, BB shows JJ, the cards that come out are not 246 5 8.

Probably a bad play to call off all my chips there....although when the EP raiser called off his chips the way he did, I was certain I was not dominated by either hand.

Would of had some nice chips to play with if I can catch a card there. Oh well.

New and in Blue

It seems like I am fond of the color blue..... I spiffed up the look of this here 'blog. I got tired of looking at the old design which had the "I-am-an-eighty-year-old-lady-and-need-a-fucking -magnifying-glass-to-read-the-'Parade'-section-in-the-Sunday-newspaper" font size. I think I need a fancy banner to make it all come together.

I managed to catch myself from the freefall that started earlier in the month, but it's still a little rocky for me. I seem to be falling into the same pattern recently in cash games. I get absolutely steamrolled early in the session and drop about 20-25BBs. I get a little torqued-off, put on my special fish stomping boots, and proceed to get it all back plus about 5-10BB more. Maybe I'm playing too many hands too soon after I sit down, and therefore don't have a read on anyone.

I have been hitting the HORSE ring games on pokerstars pretty hard lately. Changing games every 8 hands is like built in tilt/boredom control for me. Plus, the games are pretty good right now.

Stay tuned. If I get enough work done this morning and early afternoon, I might toss in my 215T$ as a donation to the sunday million on stars. I'll probably live blog it too.

Monday, August 14, 2006

sunshine happy fun cracker milky bottoms

I qualified for the sunday million on 'stars again yesterday, but opted not to play it. I watched the play quite a bit yesterday b/c a few RGPers made it deep. Same sort of donkey crap I saw when I played last week. I might give it a shot next week or use the T$ for smaller buyin events. I missed a chance to sat into the WCOOP 7CS event when my rolled 6s got chased down by split 4s. I had two dummies chasing me all the way, so I would've tripled up and been in the top 3 in chips....things just aren't going right for me in 7CS lately. I was happy as hell to get my money in with rolled 6s of course, so I can't be too bummed. I finally managed to book a winning session in 7cS Saturday night, but it was only after about 10 losing ones in a row and I promptly followed that up with another losing one Sunday. Variance is kicking my azz lately. Must be that deal I made with the devil.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

not here, not now

I'll leave my little rant up for posterity...I was half joking (see "can't spell poker" comment), but busting out like that is very disappointing. But, I guess I should be happy to have got it in with the best. The guy that lucked into my chips is sitting with over 50K now and is in the top 20. I would have had about 12K in chips about 300 players off the bubble, which is about to burst right now. I am watching it out of some sort of masochistic need.

I was surprised by how poor the play was. Saw alot of horrendous moves. Calling all in with low pocket pairs, reraising with AJ off, etc. A bunch of all in monkeys. I have no doubt that I could go deep in that tourney some time.

right here, right now

I've been getting killed the last few days, so when I sat'd into the pokerstars sunday million, you'd think i'd be smart enough to take the T$. But no, I'm going at it as we speak.

Over 5400 in this bastard. My chance of making the money, slim to none.

3:48 - Flopped trip aces, got paid off a bit, up to T2600.

3:56 - been getting a 2 in almost every hand.

4:10 - I've got 2 really loose stiffs at my table. I want to bust one of them bad. Still around T2600.

4:26 - raised in MP with AK. UTG limper calls with 99. He flops set with my pair of Ks. Down to 475. I really thought he had a weaker K. He's been putting chips into the pot in real bad spots.

4:31 - With 600 chips left I raise to 400 from the cutoff with 33. Big blind puts me all in. He shows AJ. Flop comes A67. Turn 5. River 4 and I double through on a nasty runner runner. T1300 at break. I really want this table to break. I don't have much of a feel on anyone.

4:48 - Double up with 1010 versus AK. T2100

Played 1 hand of 33 PLO tourney. Flop 66A with me holding A64J. EP leads out on the flop. I smooth call. K falls on turn. Money goes in. He shows KKQ6. Yep, that's how it's going lately.

This just happened. I slow played, then bet the pot on the river, guys shoved in with trips to my boat.

5:10 - table just broke. I started to like that table. lol. T4800.

5:28 - been stealing a bit to keep up. T4500.

5:32 - I haven't had crap for cards. Highest pair was a 10, and I've been dealt AK and AQ once each.

5:40 - basically getting blinded off. Had to fold AJ in late position to EP raises twice. T3100

5:41 - 2nd break. T3000. About 1700 left.

5:59 - T5000. 1360 left.

6:03 - still waiting for that big starting hand that looks like it might not come. T4400.

6:10 - folded to me on the button where I push with AQs, SB reraises with A10. Flop comes A J 5, turn 10, river bullfuckingshit. I am steaming right now. Fucking donks can't even spell poker.

Apparently it's to much to ask for a fucking hand to hold when I'm ahead 6:1.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

untitled #12

What's been going on in my poker wasteland, you ask? Any decent sized pot I seem to play in 2/4 or 3/6 7CS, I lose. In fact, since I just started that last sentence I lost a hand when I started with (KJ)KK. I was called all the way by 2 players and someone rivered their 3 outer. Yummy. As much as it sucks to lose these pots I realize that donks are needed to keep the game profitable. Conversely, I have been hammering the 2/4 6 max limit hold em game on stars. I have booked 6 or 7 25BB wins the last few weeks. I cannot seem to lose. And I'm not very good at limit hold em, but the players here suck so bad that's it's hard to avoid these games. I have become a little bored of the SNGs, even though these are a serious money maker for me. I am a big believer in mixing things up, so I'm not hitting those as hard as I was the last few months.

The Minnesota Twins have turned into a freaking juggernaut. Despite a disappointing series this weekend against DET, they completely destroyed the ChiSox in Chicago last week. (Wait, I have to lose this hand first with concealed KK). I seriously hate Bud Harrelson's guts. I remember watching the pennant race in'03 or '04 and having to watch WGN broadcasts of a late August series between the Twins and Sox. I got so annoyed by Harrelson that I tried finding a way to email him and whoever does the play by play to gloat after the Twins throttled them. I hope to be in the same situation at the end of this year, I want to chase that feeling. (Hey, I won that hand! I raised when I made 2 pair on the river (his board showed nothing) and the guy folded to that extra bet when the pot layed him 10:1).

Thursday, July 20, 2006

I am gay for pokerstars

Taken right off pokerstars blog....I would like to play a couple of these at least. I played the 300+20 7CS event last year and was bounced out with about 30% of the field left. That stiff Noah Boeken chased me down a few times during the 2nd hour of play and hit his draws on 7th 2 tackle my 2 pair. I'm still bitter.....

I also noticed that under the 'Events' tab on Pokerstars there is a mysterious tab for 2.5M Freeroll. Sounds pretty good to me.

Breaking News: WCOOP schedule

One of the great things about having an ear to the ground at PokerStars is knowing things like this before almost anybody else. I'm proud to give you a first look at one of the coolest PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker schedules in recent memory. It looks like PokerStars is guaranteeing $10,000,000 for the tournament series this year. What's more, you'll have the chance to play Razz and HORSE by the time WCOOP rolls around. There are some amazing events this year, kicking off with Razz and ending with a $5,000 HORSE event and a massive $3 million guaranteed main event. Please note, this schedule could be modified before the launch of the 2006 WCOOP. Still, this should give you a good idea of what you're going to see in September. Enjoy.

September 16: Razz ($200+$15) $100,000 guaranteed
September 17: NL Hold 'em ($500+$30) $1,500,000 guaranteed
September 18: PL Omaha (rebuys) ($300+$20) $400,000 guaranteed
September 19: NL Hold 'em Match Play ($200+$15) $300,000 guaranteed
September 20: Limit Omaha High/Low ($500+$30) $300,000 guaranteed
September 21: NL Hold 'em (rebuys) ($200+$15) $1,000,000 guaranteed
September 22: Limit Hold 'em ($200+$15) $200,000 guaranteed
September 23: HORSE ($200+$15) $100,000 guaranteed
September 23: PL Hold 'em ($500+$30) $400,000 guaranteed
September 24: NL Hold 'em ($1,000+ $50) $1,000,000 guaranteed
September 25: Seven Card Stud ($300+$20) $100,000 guaranteed
September 26: PL Omaha8 ($300+$20) $200,000 guaranteed
September 27: PL Hold'em ($300+$20) $400,000 guaranteed
September 28: Seven Card Stud High/Low ($500+$30) $200,000 guaranteed
September 29: PL Omaha ($500+$30) $300,000 guaranteed
September 30: HORSE ($5,000+$200) $100,000 guaranteed
September 30: Limit Hold'em ($1,000+$50) $400,000 guaranteed
October 1: NL Hold 'em ($2,500+$100) $3,000,000 guaranteed

Cardplayer has a radio show called 'The Circuit' that is available on Sirius, Itunes, and I believe through They had a 2 part interview with Chip Reese that was excellent. Itunes also has quite a few shows archieved. Matusow used to cohost the show and as you can imagine some of those are pretty funny. Give the first one a listen. Negreanu was the guest.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Played my monthly allotment of MTTs yesterday. I cashed in one, but not in the other 3. I think I was feeling left out of the tourney bonanza with all the WSOP events going on and the blogger event.

My MTTs included a 50+5 7CS on pokerstars yesterday. I finished 21/24. I think I made 2 pair once and was drawing pretty much dead after 6th. It's stuff like this that makes tourney play so unbearable to me. Lose one or two hands early and you're scrambling. It also makes me hesitant to try and win my way into larger events like $1500 WSOP buyins. It doesn't seem like there is alot of play when you start with 1.5K in chips.

tourneys suck, or more accurately, I suck in tourneys.

Friday, June 30, 2006

most people get to my blog by googleing "punched in the balls"

On the poker front;
*I think I made more money this past week playing poker than I have for a weeks worth of pay from any job I've ever had. I should mention that despite the fact that I am 29 years old I've never held a real job, so this isn't as impressive as it might sound.
*Right now when I play 7CS it's as if I am pushing down on the table in front of me causing everyone's money to funnel its way into my stack. It is a good feeling, I'll have to remember it when my good hands start to get sucked out on and it feels like I am getting buried.
*I am also doing well with the SNGs. I think I am starting to realize that the play in the $25 turbo's on stars is every bit as the $15 turbos. Donks galore!

Other stuff;
*Via Iggy's most recent post, I found this link from Jacks R OK and his Lite-Brite inspired blog. It's about first blog posts from various poker bloggers. It's funny to go back and read the stuff, but I also think it also demonstates that most of the poker blogs, even the "world renowned," came from very humble beginnings. I think people should keep this in mind when making snooty comments about newer blogs, because, you know, chances are your blog sucked too ;-)

*I feel like I am going to jinx it by mentioning it, but the MN Twins are fucking awesome now. It's amazing what happens when you replace a proven stiff at SS and fat Jesus-freak at 3B with 2 guys who can run and field and hit. Oh, and Santana, Liriano, Mauer, and Morneau are playing some decent ball too.

*Good luck to RGP regular 'Brewmaster' today. He is at the final table of the $1500 PLHE. I mostly lurk on RGP or get into silly political arguments, so basically I am a waste of space there, but it's nice an RGPer doing well.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I named my dog Keith

"Seventh Street Decisions in Seven-Stud"

I got this doozy in my email a few weeks ago. No offense Keith, but come on. There is better 7CS advice in Hellmuth's book.

A few weeks ago, I offered some pointers for playing fourth steet in Limit Seven-Card Stud ( For this tip, I'm going and show how you might improve your play on seventh street.

My first suggestion for playing on seventh street is that you need to look at your pot odds when facing a final bet. When playing $5-$10 Stud, for example, you'll often need to call a $10 river bet while looking at a pot of $70. In this spot, where you're getting 7:1, if you have any suspicion that your hand is good, you really ought to call. The odds are so favorable that throwing away a lot of marginal hands would be a mistake. This is very different from no-limit poker, where you'll need to make some big laydowns late in a hand. If you're making the transition from No-Limit Hold 'em to Limit Stud, keep this very important point in mind.

This is okay enough advice, but if you have been playing for more than a few weeks and don't realize that, it's time to fire up the ice cream truck and start selling rocket pops to 8 year old kids again.

Some of the tougher decisions on seventh street arise when you're holding one pair. Let's say you start with a pair of 6s and your opponent open-raises with a King as his door card. He bet all the way, representing a pair of Kings, and you called. Neither of you seemed to improve on fourth, fifth or sixth streets, and he bet out on the river.

If you make a habit of playing hands like split 6s for raises and calling all the way on 4th-7th when you don't improve, I can guarantee that you will lose money. Especially if you are playing pots head up most of the time, which is likely in a 5/10 game. Furthermore, he is giving no consideration to what your 3rd card is. If it is an ace and none of the aces are dead, it is a much better hand of course. If it is a 10, this should be an easy fold.

At this point, you can be fairly certain that he doesn't have a pair of Kings. Most people don't have the heart to bet one pair on the river. So, in this case, you're likely up against something like Kings up, some sort of hidden hand, or a total bluff. Given this range of hands - and knowing that a bluff is a possibility - you should make the final call. You'll pick off a bluff enough of the time to make the call profitable.

Well, you should almost never find yourself in this situation, but yes you should call the final bet.

I want to point out here that, since it's proper to call with a lot of marginal hands, betting with one solid pair on the river is often a good idea. If you start with something like a pair of Kings and your opponent doesn't seem to catch anything, don't be timid on the river. Oftentimes, you should bet, knowing that a lesser hand is likely to call.

I don't really like this advice either. I think you're going to get raised enough by a made hand or called by a weak 2 pair to make this a poor play.

Now, let's look at another river situation. Let's say that after the river has been dealt, you have Q 10 9 8 with three clubs showing. You made a straight on the river after your opponent has been aggressively betting his hand the entire way, showing Ad Kd 9s 6h.

After betting into your hand on sixth street, he again bets into your hand on seveth street. In this situation, you have to think about what your opponent is betting into. Most players will not bet into such a scary board with one pair or even two pair.

We have to assume that our opponent is either bluffing with a weak hand and is unconcerned with our hand, or has a huge hidden hand and is hoping to get three bets on the river. This could be a situation where you might just call, especially if there is a third hand behind you who might over-call with a marginal hand that he would fold if you had raised.

I raise here every single time. A flush or a full house has to be perfectly hidden to be able to beat your hand and a higher straight is unlikely given your hand. It's much more likely that your opponent is still betting his aces or aces up because you haven't put any raises yet. You NEED to raise here.

When playing Limit Stud, be sure that you're making enough value bets and crying calls on the river. Keep the pot odds in mind and you're likely to make the right play.

--Keith Sexton

Honestly, after reading this again I think he is intentionally giving out bad advice here in the hope that you will take this new found "knowledge" and come play the 5/10 game at fulltilt with him.

Monday, June 26, 2006


The 30GB video ipod I ordered from Pokerstars in exchange for 20K FPPs arrived last week. While it said that it would take 4-6 weeks to arrive, it only took 2 weeks. Here are a few pics. Look how small that bastard is!

Fits right in the palm of my hand.

Monday, June 19, 2006

this is hockey...

Holy crap what 1st period in Game 7. Great stuff. Carolina has totally turned the momentum around after looking terrible over the last 4+ periods. Still 2 periods left. Here are links to some relevant hockey blogs:


Covered in Oil

update: One more period and the 'Canes are champs. It seems like the team have switched jerseys tonight.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Live flogging

3:12pm - This freeroll is boring as shit. Only 4 people playing at my table. One guy clearly sucks, and he just busted. I wish I had some beer.

3:34pm - Was 2 handed for a bit. Back to 3. We are taking turns stealing the blinds of those sitting out.

4:01pm - 1st break. Up to T6100. I just got moved to a table with a player that has 23K in chips. Seems he was by himself the whole first hour. This isn't fair to those who were at a full table the first hour, but what can you do?

4:20pm - nothing work talking about, we are 4 handed.

4:45pm - actually playing with a full table. Only around 7K in chips. About 500 runners left. This is going to take a while from here on out. (update: up to 10K in chips, I just checkraised someone with KJ on a J high flop. Took him a while to fold.)

5:10pm - 11K in chips. Just gonna try and hang around and find the right spots during the 3rd hour. I have been playing ultra tight, so hopefully people have been paying attention and I can get to stealing when more blinds get to $300/600 and beyond. 350 are left. Pretty nice overlay in the Stars sunday million. I tried to sat my way in, but didn't get the job done. I was doing well when I lost 2 huge pots with JJ on a 9 high flop, AK to KQ. The first one the money was put in after the flop, but to be fair the person had already committed 70% of their stack with AK. The last one some donk limped with KQ off and called my all in for over half of his stack. He turned a Q. Ugg. God I miss tournament poker!

5:29pm - Just made a bad play with AJ in the BB. Went over top of TripJax, he calls with AK. Board makes 2 pair. We split. Few hands later call reraise with QQ, run into AA. Turn a Q, river and A.

5:34pm - Busted with JJ. UTG short stack went all in. I popped it up another 4K. Comes around and the button pushes. I call off my last few hundred and button wins with QQ. Oh well. Back to playing some real poker at the cash games. I suck the big one at tourneys.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Raising with split aces in 7CS high

This seems like one the most simple questions regarding how to play your hand in 7CS. Let's make a couple of assumptions to set the table for my thoughts on the matter. Say you are playing a 2/4 or 3/6 game on pokerstars, which both have small ante's (.25). The table is fairly loose with 40% seeing 4th street and most pots going to showdown.

Let's say I get dealt (As 8s) Ac two spots to the right of the bring-in and there are 3 players who call the bring-in. Alot of times I will simply call the bet instead of raising in that position. My rationale is as follows: (1) I am disguising my hand by doing so and am more likely to get paid off on later streets. In the case where I pair my door ace or make two pair on 4th or 5th, I am more likely to get called. If I raise in that position, only the worst players would call if I paired my door card. (2) Adding an extra bet in that situation isn't likely to get anyone to fold since they will be getting about 8:1 to call, also raising here also gives drawing hands better odds to chase on later streets.

How do I play the rest of the hand? I always bet on 4th street, and if someone has bet before me I will raise. Betting and raising here is critical because you want to get 1 or 2 of the initial callers out of the pot. I will hardly ever flat call in this situation because it encourages people behind you to call, plus you get no information about where you stand. I might fold if someone has paired their door card and I have notes that they are decent, although I am more likely to raise in this spot. If the person keeps jamming it, I'll likely muck my hand by 5th, if unimproved.

How about if I have the same hand, but am first to act after the bring-in? I will almost always raise in this spot. I give away the strength of my hand, but raising here forces people to put in 2 bets with worse hand when they aren't getting such good odds.

I haven't diligently worked out the math to prove that this is the correct play, and I'm not even sure that is possible. In fact, it might be the exact wrong way to play it. But at the limits I am playing right now, I think it is a reasonable approach. I would like to hear others input.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Sunday Morning

After winning pretty much every time I sat down and played in May, the first week or so in June has been a little dose of poker reality. I dropped about 3 bills playing .5/1 pot limit omaha last week and have dropped back down a level. My SNG play has been good, but the results haven't been there. I've bubbled more times this month already than I did in the previous 2 combined and when I am ITM it's been 3rd most often. I still feel really good about my 7CS game, but I've had a few bad sessions recently. I had 2 pretty bad beats one night playing $5/10 or otherwise I would have been up ab out 25BBs. The table was pretty nuts and some players that I had labeled as decent started playing poorly after getting sucked out on a few times. After losing 2 $160 plus pots in a row I got up and left down a few bets. I also played my first MTT in over a month and felt like I had no idea what I was doing. This bodes well for the big blogger freeroll on stars next weekend.

To make myself feel better about the week I did this:

Dear rgpars,

Thank you for your order from our FPP Store.
This confirms that you have ordered the following:

Apple Video iPod, 30GB
FPP price: 20000
Color: Black

Hopefully I don't drop and break it walking from a metro station in DC like I did with my nano.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Which way to hell?

6/6/06 it is, fockers and cock rockers. There is no better time to talk about predictions, karma, and the like. A few weeks back I mused that the Brewers were in for some bad karma after keeping the roof shut the whole weekend on the visiting Minnesota Twins. Since that time the Brew Crew have gone 4-10 including dropping 8 in a row and look destined for mediocrity again. Lesson to Mr. Yost: Open the roof when it is 65 and sunny or feel the wrath of the shit storm you just invited.

Another prediction I made was that the Carolina Hurricanes would win the Prince of Wales trophy and march to their first Stanley cup. This pick was made with the head and the heart. Carolina was one of the best teams during the regular season and was the #2 seed in the East and a buddy of mine who I grew up playing hockey with plays for the ‘Canes. They managed to storm from behind last night to take game 1. Things look even better for them after Roloson got hurt and is done for the series. It’s a tough break for Edmonton, but the series is far from over. Stay tuned. Playoff hockey is sports at its best, IMO.

Monday, June 05, 2006

SNG weiner

I love looking at data, graphs, and charts. Maybe it's one of the reasons I went into science. I especially like looking at graphs that measure how much I beat the crap out of shitty SNG players on pokerstars over the last 1-2 months. I recently downloaded SNG tracker. Nothing too fancy, but it's a pretty decent little app. Here are some example graphs.

Another tool I started using was sharkscope. Here you are able to look up player names from pokerstars and get pretty much a complete history of their SNG play. They even put little fishy symbols by the really bad players. I've come to learn that there are alot of stiffs out there dropping serious coin in SNGs.

I'm not sure how much I can attribute my success over the last few months to these tools, but I know that sharkscope has helped me on more than a couple occasions.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day

My uncle died in a useless war more than 35 years ago now. How many useless wars do we have to fight for us to not have to fight in anymore? What the fuck is the point? No one can look me in face and give me a straight faced reason why we went into Iraq. And if any of you still think we are doing the right thing and this is some noble cause, you better buck up and enlist and get your ass to Iraq. You wanted it, you fight it you fucking pansies. And don't give me the Limbaugh "I was 4F because I had an ass cyst" bullshit. You get up and leave your comfortable life, your country needs you. I suppose you all have "other priorities." It's ironic how the decision makers sending kids to fight in Iraq all had "other priorities" when it was their turn to strap it on and go wandering around a fucking jungle in Vietnam shooting at shadows. If there is a hell, they are all going there.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

'Cause we're the Minnesota Twins, aye aye aye

I think it was back around October of '87 when the Twins were making their first run at world series title, when I first heard the song. It was a remake of AC/DC's 'TNT' with different lyrics meant to root on the Twins. aye aye aye.

Name that Twin and I'll stake you in a 10 dollar SNG.

It seems evident now the my beloved Minnesota Twins are going to be resigned to mediocrity this year. They did manage to win 2 of 3 against the Brew Crew last weekend at Miller Park and they should have swept, but the Twinkies blew a lead late in the last game and spoiled a nice debut from BOOF Bonser. I made it to the games on Saturday and Sunday. The Twins were already well ahead by the time I found my seat on Saturday and proceeded to mash the Brewers to a pulp.

I thought it was pretty weak that the roof was closed during all 3 games. It was absolutely beautiful Sunday, yet the roof remained closed. I don't understand. I like the Brew Crew, but they deserve some bad karma for that. I scored great seats on Sunday; 20 rows up, straight back from the Brewers on deck circle. In the 7th inning Torii Hunter came to bat and fouled one back over our heads. A few pitches later he hit another one that seemed like it was coming right at me. And it did. I caught a foul ball!! Snagged that sucker with my bare hands out of mid-air. Before I even really had a chance to look at it, I put it in the glove of a kid who was probably 5 or 6. I don't think I would get much enjoyment out of it, and the kid was wearing a Hunter jersey, so I figured he would get a kick out of having a ball hit by TH.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

"You know what I say?... wear what you dig."

Over the last few months the bankroll had taken a bit of a hit. A few emergency cashouts, a poor February followed by a downright pisspoor March and I had taken a bit of a hit. I pretty much broke even in April, but didn't feel that great about my game.

I decided at the beginning of the May to make a few changes. 1) No more omaha high-low split. Not even the 1/2 games. My records for ring games showed that I have been a consistent loser at this game over several months. It's kind of hard for me to admit it, but I just am not very good at this game right now. 2) Play fewer MTTs. My record is ok, but I had reached a point where I was routinely entering $20-50 buyin tourney's and wasn't cashing very often. I have entered 0 MTTs in May. 3) Play in games you can beat. For me, this means playing mostly 1/2 and 2/4 7 card stud, pot limit omaha, and 16 dollar turbo SNGs on stars. I have also dabbled in micro limit NLHE, because there are more stiffs here than there are at the morgue.

The last several months I had been irresponsible with the games I was choosing. I corrected it this month and my bankroll has thanked me. Now, on the other hand, I don't want to resign myself to grinding out 1K a month playing low limit poker. Nor do I want to avoid playing some of the games I am not very good at right now. I want to become a winning player at all games. I want to be able to sit down at any table and feel like I can compete with anyone. I can beat the crap out of the retards who throw down 16 bucks for a quicky SNG, but in the end it's not all that lucrative or satisfying.

I would like to start setting more specific goals for each month or two of my play. I think I am starting to realize that to have any sort of long-term success you need to have discipline.


Online Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

This Online Poker Tournament is a No Limit Texas Holdem event exclusive to Bloggers.

Registration code: 7330476

Friday, May 19, 2006

A game of 21

Tripjax introduced a few questions. I answered them.

1. What is the biggest mistake people make at a NL table?
I think the biggest mistakes I make are losing a lot of chips with TPTK and playing hands like AJ off, etc out of position.

2. What is the biggest mistake people make at a Limit table?
Not getting max value when they flop hard. I am a big believer in saving my raises until the more expensive streets, particularly when I am last to act or next to last. It’s basic math, you get raises in when the bets double and the pots are going to be larger. People are also less like to fold if they see later streets. This is especially true in my game of choice, 7CS. For example, say I get rolled up Ks and am up against 2 opponents. Happens all the time, right? If I play that hand strong on 3rd and 4th, 2 things are most likely to happen. 1) They fold. 2) They go into check-call mode. Whereas, if you get someone to see 5th or 6th street, my experience is that they usually like their hand enough that they won’t often fold.

3. Why do you play poker?
I watched the coverage of the 2003 series and thought it looked cool. I continue playing because I enjoy the competition and I can make a little cash.

4. If you weren't playing poker, what would you be doing?
Well, I usually play later at night, so I guess I would be watching more TV.

5. What is your favorite poker book and why?
SSI. Reese’s section on 7CS is excellent IMHO.

6. Who is your favorite poker player and why?
Ivey. He is in total control of his emotions and has total awareness of everything that is going on at the table.

7. Which poker player do you dislike the most and why?

I’d probably say some of the young ‘internet’ pros (Grinder, Zee Justin, et al). They are immensely talented of course, but a lot of them seem to pretty much conduct themselves like jaggoffs. Really, anyone who takes what goes on at the table as a matter of life and death or makes any analogies to ‘war’ or being ‘warriors’ or being ‘courageous.’ I hate all that shit. Let’s tell it like it really is please. A bunch of guys and a few women, mostly with fat asses, playing a game.

8. Do your coworkers
know about your blog?
I don’t think so.

9. What is the most you have won in a cash game or MTT (both live and online)?
Live cash game+$200; Online cash game+$350; Live MTT-$0; Online MTT+$350

10. What is the most you have lost in a cash game or in one day total (both live and online)?
Live cash game -$200; Online~$450-$550 (I lost my records for this period when my HD took a crap);

11. Who was your first poker blog read?
I think Tao of Poker

12. What satisfies you more, your aces holding up for a big pot or a bluff working for a big pot?
Bluffing. Finding the right spot to bluff is an art form that takes a lot of experience and even then, no one always picks the right spot.

13. Why do you blog?
(Un)creative outlet; posterity.

14. Do you read blogs from an RSS reader like bloglines or do you visit each blog?
I normally visit each blog.

15. Would you rather play poker for a living than do what you currently do for a living?
What I currently do, for sure. It’s much more satisfying. I take poker seriously most of the time when I play, but I still play for fun. I think if I had to play the bills with what I could scrape from other people’s pockets via the poker table, it wouldn’t be very much fun.

16. Do you wear a tin foil hat on occasion?
Not in anything poker-related.

17. If you had to pin it down to one specific trait, what does a great poker player have (or do) that separates them from an average player?
I’m not going to name any names, but I have seen some people argue that you can identify a set of “personality” traits that translate into superior performance at the poker table. I think this idea is more or less bogus. I think the population of great poker players is actually pretty heterogeneous. But, this is a subject for a future post….

I think it’s mostly about experience (i.e. playing a lot of hands, paying careful attention to your opponents, etc). I contend that you could take any youngster of normal/above average intellectual abilities and if you had complete control over their environment, you could turn them into a ‘great’ player.

18. Is
Drizz the coolest person on the planet for naming his baby Vegas?
Absolutely. And he’s a Minnesotan, which makes him double cool.

19. What is your primary poker goal and are you close to accomplishing it?
I would like to play in a small buy-in event at the WSOP. I am contemplating entering the $1500 7CS event. I would like to sat into it, but I haven’t yet. Haven’t even tried that much even. Otherwise, I just want to keep on improving.

20. What is your primary online site and why?
Pokerstars. Service, game selection, etc. I am also a sucker of the VIP program.

21. What site do you dislike and why?
Party. Cards come so fast sometimes that you can’t see them. Although I haven’t had to deal with it, I’ve heard the customer support sucks.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Atlantic City

I was in the Baltimore area for work and made a little vacation out of it. Here's my trip report from AC.

This past Saturday I made a trip with a couple friends for a day of poker in Atlantic City. We had planned to play an 11am tourney at the Showboat, but took a “shortcut” from Baltimore and ended up on a 2 lane highway through south BFE New Jersey. Can you say dueling banjos?

We get into town around 1115am and notice on billboard that the Hilton has 40+10 tourney starting at 2pm. We get to the poker room around 1pm and sign up for the tourney. I grabbed a seat in a 1-5 stud game so I could play a little before the tourney. Play was pretty terrible. The second hand I get dealt I bring it in with (510)5. About 5 limpers come along. I make 10s up on 4th and bet with 3 people calling. Made 5’s full on 5th and everyone dropped but one guy who raised me with a paired deuce door card. I popped him back and he called. I caught another 10 on 6th and led out, and was raised again as a Q came for him on 6th. At this point I am thinking that he might have concealed queens. I call the raise and his bet on 7th. He showed 2s full and I scooped up a decent sized pot. That was the only meaningful hand for me at this table, but I saw plenty of interesting goings on. One old guy going by the name of 2-dollar Harry twice called bets on 7th when he couldn’t beat his opponent’s board. A black guy sitting next to me wearing more bling than puff daddy played about 90 percent of his hands. He wasn’t too good about hiding his pocket cards and I got to see how he would chase with starting hands like (J3)Q or (27)A. He also got about several phone calls in 45 minutes and I got to hear the MIDI version of Carl Douglas’ “Kung-Fu Fighting” 6 or more times.

At one point a new dealer sat down and had no idea how to deal 7CS. First hand she started to deal 2 cards up. She was burning cards left and right, and wasn’t real certain on where the action should be. It got pretty annoying. Fortunately, our tourney was about to start and I took my $10 in profit and headed out.

I joined my friends, Johnny Cheng and The Shoeshiner. As we got our seat assignments, we decided that we would all buy 20% of each other.

I sat in seat 10 and we were 7 handed to start. The first hand I played outside of the blinds I get AQ off in early position. Flop came all hearts with the Q being the highest card. I called down what I was pretty sure were bets from the ace of hearts. No more hearts came and we ended up chopping as he had AhQc. I chopped one other pot with A10, but didn’t win any other pots for awhile. When we got to level 3, I started putting in some raises when people were limping and I was in position. I stole 3 or 4 pots. Just before the end of level 3, I raised in up from the cutoff with Ah6h. Button called with the 4 limpers folding; flop came K 6 9. I bet about 1/3 of the pot and was min-raised. The pot was laying me damn good odds; maybe 3 or 4:1. I had about 1700 chips left and would have to commit the rest of my chips on bottom pair having 5 outs at best. I folded. At the start of level 4, the blinds were 200/400 with a 50 ante. After a few hands, my stack was below 1500 and I get dealt A9 off from middle position. It was folded to me and I went in for my last 1500 or so. I get called by AQ off and IGHN.

I was looking forward to getting back into the juicy 7CS game, but it was no longer running. The Shoeshiner busted out about 30 minutes later and we hopped on a 2/4 no foldem table. The Shoeshiner likes to play most every hand and he got hot early. I was able to take down a few nice pots early as well and was up 4-5BB. Our other friend, Johnny Cheng, bubbled out of the tourney with a horrific beat. He called all in from the SB with AhQs. The button had pushed with 108 suited. Flop came Q 10 x, all hearts. Turn was Ac, and the river…..10d. Two freakin’ outered. He was pretty ticked as he joined our 2/4 game. We all donked around a bit, but it wasn’t how we played or any particular hand that was the real story of our table. It was the people. Seated 3 to my left was a Hispanic looking dude with paint on his hands who didn’t say one word for 3 or 4 hours. He was also sick as dog. He was coughing; sniffling, sneezing, and you knew all those germs were being spread all over the table. At one point someone brought him a whole box of tissue and I think he went through them all. Before we started to play, we told The Shoeshiner that playing poker live was unsanitary and that you should wash your hands often and try to keep them away from your face. I even joked to him that you might want to wear a condom while playing. Because, hell, you never know.

I started drinking Miller Lite’s as fast of our waitress would bring them. I decided to see what would happen if I played every hand for one full orbit. I lost the first 7, but won the 8th. This ended up pulling the size of my stack down pretty good. Not the optimal strategy, I must admit.

The one noteworthy hand I played was against I guy who had been at my tourney table. He was one of the guys who felt the need to narrate the play at the table, so I called him Babbling Bob. I had pocket deuces in LP and hit a set on a rainbow flop. Turn was a blank and I hit quads on the river. Bob folded on the river and proceeded to tell me that he missed his flush draw. I told him that there was no flush draw possible on the flop, and he said “right, but there was after 4th street.” I just smiled.

A Vietnamese dealer sat down and didn’t seem to know what he was doing. Beyond that, at one point I won decent sized pot and forgot to toke him immediately. And he asked, “wha, no tip?” before even dealing the next hand. I tossed him a white. I momentarily forgot to tip a few of the hands I won, but this was the only prick that pointed it out and held up play in the process. I always tip and I tip well, but if I had won another pot I was going to pull a nickel out of my pocket and give it to him. It put me mini-tilt.

Later on, a 60ish woman sat down in seat 6. One of her first hands she had QQ and made a set that eventually got cracked by a straight. Henceforth, she complained about everything. She had the floor people come over and change the channel on a TV that was directly behind her. She complained about her chair. She complained about dealers who didn’t speak English very well, and she complained about the weather. It seemed like people started to drop pretty quick after she sat down. She took a lot of the fun out of the table. Eventually the 3 of us got up and headed out.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Emo fuckers

Yes, I guess I am a poker blogger.

I almost whizzed my pants from laughing when I saw this Saturday on C-span. If you're a fan of delicious sardonic humor and not a fan of the president and press, go watch the a video of Stephen Colbert's performance from the white house correspondents dinner. If you have no sense of humor, or are a big fan or the prez, forgettaboutit.

I have realized a paradox in my emotional reactions to some things that happen at the virtual poker table. I seem to only get mad when someone lays a bad beat on me. I get it all with with AK vs AQ and lose, and I usually get pretty pissed. Reverse the situation, and it doesn't bother me as much. I can make a poor play and lose and it doesn't affect me as much. It's like I don't understand that you lose with a dominating hand every so often. It is a mathematical certainty. I need to keep this in mind. It will save me plenty $$$ in the future. I wish I could go back and calculate how much $$$ I've donked off after being on the short end of a few beats. My bankroll would probably be double what it is. Maybe I need to start meditating, chanting mantra's, and eating microbiotic rice.

Perhaps I need to read Zen and the Art of Poker again. It was fine read, except for the section where Phillips basically advocates changing how you play if you have been running bad. As if there is some cosmic force that causes repeated suckouts.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Playing a 40K guaranteed on party right now. Trying to parlay the $50 they gave me into something meaningful. 1st pays 11K plus. I'll blog about winning it in 6 hours or so. I am into my 3rd pint of Foster's, so I'm at the top of my game. I think my MTT game is getting better. I've reached that 8.5th level of thinking where I know that my opponent thinks I'm thinking what their thinking about. I am rebluffing the rebluffs. I have no clue what I am talking about.

update: I just doubled up in the 40K when my pocket tens turned a boat. Bet an A55 flop. 1 caller. Checked turned boat. River brought 4th diamond. raised river, called by 2nd nut flush.

I look back at most of my previous posts and realize they are a bunch of half developed ideas. I would like change that. This is how I plan to do that. 1) The first step to writing; compose an outline.

Moving on. NHL playoffs have started. I like the coverage on OLN. Mostly b/c some of the games have been CBC feeds. If you are real hockey fan you understand why HNIC coverage is SOOO much better than it was on ESPN or NBC. And don't even remind me of the disaster that was the Fox NHL coverage. Fucking 'Fox Trax Puck' is all you need to know.

I just donked off 1/2 my chips on a big bluff in the 40K. I called a small raise with suited connectors on the button. Flop comes 8 high and I pop what seems to weak continuation bet. He flat calls???? Turn is a K and he make another weak bet. Any raise would put me all in and he's basically committed. Fold. I suck.

Here are my NHL picks. Carolina in the East and San Jose in the West. Carolina wins.

Just busted in 40K. Lost with 10s to AA. I should bust my party bankroll in a few minutes here.....I am going to let it ride on the 7K guaranteed 7CS tourney. Play is HORRIBLE there.


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

everyone wins at poker

I don't think I've ever seen or spoken to anyone that admits that they are a long-term loser playing poker. I lurk on different message boards, read various blogs, dig in the garbage of various poker professionals and no one seems to be losing. If everyone is winning, then someone has to be losing, yet no one is owning up to it where I look. Now, it's probably just the case that the people dumping tons of cash in online poker don't hang around 2+2 reading strategy posts.

Well, I recently found out about an SNG search tool called sharkscope, which tracks SNG play on pokerstars and a few other sites. Recently, I have used it to search for record of people I've been playing with. I ran across the record of a guy who has dropped 8K+ over ~800 SNG's. His stats are pretty amazing to me, take a look for yourself. I wonder who the hell this person is. Seemingly, this person has deep pockets, but has shown no sign of improving over time. Is this person some rich dink who enjoys the rush of super aggro play, shoving your chips all in and hoping for the best? I would guess not. For one, this person seems to be playing alot of turbo SNG's which requires blind aggression, especially late in the match and I would think they would be fairing a little better just due to luck. And the action junkie likes to win. This person seems content with losing, alot.

Is it possible that this person has lost their mind? Maybe this person is a hopelessly depressed 20-something trust fund baby blowing through their inheritance just to feel something. Perhaps, it is an elderly gentleman with Alzheimer's who is aware enough to keep reloading his account, but doesn't remember one hand from the next let alone one SNG from the next. Someone with severe dementia could play SNG after SNG with really no idea what is going on.

Any background story I can think of seems really sad. How should we (i.e. winning poker players) feel when our bankrolls are likely fed by the emotionally unstable, the deranged, the demented people in our world. Is it wrong? Does gambling by its very nature not involve any sort of moralilty?

Saturday, April 22, 2006

nice to see you old friend

Party poker gave me $50 free dollars and now I'm trying to clear 500 raked hands to keep it. I've played 4 SNG's and have finished ITM in all of them. I've played a few multi's also, no luck in them. I think it's been over a year since I have visited my old friend party poker. The first time I played no limit cash games were on party. Oh the .10/.25 tables. Some real rounders there. My first time I had money in party I ran 50 bucks up to about 500 or so in a few weeks. Then over the course of few days I gave most of it back. I was convinced the site was rigged, so I had them send me a check for $78 dollars or something like that. I had no notion of bankroll management or long-term goals. I think I approached poker like I would when I used to play blackjack occasionally. If I won, I had a little extra spending money and if I lost, then oh well.

good things about party poker:
1) You can actually get a limit omaha hi game going. This is pretty rare, even for larger rooms.
I'm sitting here playing right now getting my nut hands paid off by pimply faced college sophomores.

2) The SNG structure has improved, but the games are still soft. Can I squeeze it, Mr. Whipple?

bad things:
1) The turn and river cards come flying in super fast. Next thing you know, the pot's sitting there in front of you, or not.

2) It's not easy to review the action in a hand, especially in split games. You have to scroll back through that little box.

3) The congrats and fireworks for winning a hand. Think if they did this at your B&M. You scoop a pot up and the dealer tosses a string of lit ladyfingers in front of you. I just reminded myself of that scene in Boogie Night when Dirk Diggler, Reed Rothschild, and Todd Parker try to sell of some phony coke and there is a Chinese kid there who keeps lighting off firecrackers. Genius.

Thanks to Iggy for tossing up a link to this little blog a few weeks back. I actually I had more than 10 hits that day. Take that fuckers.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

blog entry titles are for losers

Come to Milwaukee, the place where off duty cops can beat the shit out of people and get off scot-free. There are alot of great things about Milwaukee, but it's Fucking Embarrassing to live in MKE right now.

Came up two slots short of the final table in $10 MTT with 900+ people in it. I think I had all my chips at risk only 3 times. The last time did me in when my JJ lost to AJ. So, I'm still looking for my first 4 figure score. I'm pretty sure I'd have it if I were able to play more tourneys. The play in these low buyin tourneys is pretty bad, especially early. My best example of the poor play is a hand early where I flopped a set of 7s on a 678 board. There was maybe 200 in the pot and this dude shoved in about 1200 from the SB. I called and he showed 55. That flop is decent for his hand of course, but risking all your chips to pick up 200 is pretty silly.

Other recent poker highlights include finishing first in my last two SNGs and talking a $160+ dollar pot in a .10/.25 pot limit omaha game on full tilt.

I think this (below) is a little more impressive however. And by impressive, I mean shit luck impressive. This will probably never happen to me again. To spare you the chore of looking over the hand history. I Flopped back to back quads......bitches.

PokerStars Game #4574762068: Tournament #22802513, Hold'em No Limit - Level VIII (200/400) - 2006/04/09 - 18:06:34 (ET)

Table '22802513 1' 9-max Seat #9 is the button

Seat 1: Werty83 (3015 in chips) out of hand (moved from another table into small blind)

Seat 2: HarryO44 (1840 in chips) out of hand (moved from another table into small blind)

Seat 3: Sweed12 (1655 in chips) out of hand (moved from another table into small blind)

Seat 4: BorisKarloff (2755 in chips)

Seat 5: lynch0408 (645 in chips) is sitting out

Seat 6: rgpars (8940 in chips)

Seat 7: questing (1780 in chips)

Seat 8: suspectzero (1000 in chips)

Seat 9: smountain (5370 in chips)

BorisKarloff: posts the ante 25

lynch0408: posts the ante 25

rgpars: posts the ante 25

questing: posts the ante 25

suspectzero: posts the ante 25

smountain: posts the ante 25

BorisKarloff: posts small blind 200

lynch0408: posts big blind 400

*** HOLE CARDS ***

Dealt to rgpars [6d 6h]

rgpars: raises 800 to 1200

questing: folds

suspectzero: calls 975 and is all-in

smountain: folds

BorisKarloff: folds

lynch0408: folds

Sweed12 said, "is that KY"

*** FLOP *** [6c 6s As]

rgpars said, "jeebus"

*** TURN *** [6c 6s As] [2h]

*** RIVER *** [6c 6s As 2h] [9h]

HarryO44 said, "me?"

*** SHOW DOWN ***

rgpars: shows [6d 6h] (four of a kind, Sixes)

suspectzero: shows [Ac Kd] (two pair, Aces and Sixes)

rgpars collected 2700 from pot

Sweed12 said, "yea"

*** SUMMARY ***

Total pot 2700 | Rake 0

Board [6c 6s As 2h 9h]

Seat 4: BorisKarloff (small blind) folded before Flop

Seat 5: lynch0408 (big blind) folded before Flop

Seat 6: rgpars showed [6d 6h] and won (2700) with four of a kind, Sixes

Seat 7: questing folded before Flop (didn't bet)

Seat 8: suspectzero showed [Ac Kd] and lost with two pair, Aces and Sixes

Seat 9: smountain (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)

PokerStars Game #4574768708: Tournament #22802513, Hold'em No Limit - Level VIII (200/400) - 2006/04/09 - 18:07:13 (ET)

Table '22802513 1' 9-max Seat #4 is the button

Seat 1: Werty83 (3015 in chips)

Seat 2: HarryO44 (1840 in chips)

Seat 3: Sweed12 (1655 in chips)

Seat 4: BorisKarloff (2530 in chips)

Seat 5: lynch0408 (220 in chips) is sitting out

Seat 6: rgpars (10640 in chips)

Seat 7: questing (1755 in chips)

Seat 9: smountain (5345 in chips)

Werty83: posts the ante 25

HarryO44: posts the ante 25

Sweed12: posts the ante 25

BorisKarloff: posts the ante 25

lynch0408: posts the ante 25

rgpars: posts the ante 25

questing: posts the ante 25

smountain: posts the ante 25

lynch0408: posts small blind 195 and is all-in

rgpars: posts big blind 400

*** HOLE CARDS ***

Dealt to rgpars [2h 2c]

questing: folds

smountain: calls 400

Werty83: folds

HarryO44: folds

Sweed12: folds

BorisKarloff: folds

lynch0408: folds

rgpars: checks

*** FLOP *** [3s 2d 2s]

rgpars: checks

smountain: checks

*** TURN *** [3s 2d 2s] [9s]

rgpars: bets 400

smountain: folds

rgpars collected 410 from side pot

rgpars said, "un fuclking real"

rgpars collected 785 from main pot

rgpars: shows [2h 2c] (four of a kind, Deuces)

HarryO44 said, "nah Rhode Island"

*** SUMMARY ***

Total pot 1195 Main pot 785. Side pot 410. | Rake 0

Board [3s 2d 2s 9s]

Seat 1: Werty83 folded before Flop (didn't bet)

Seat 2: HarryO44 folded before Flop (didn't bet)

Seat 3: Sweed12 folded before Flop (didn't bet)

Seat 4: BorisKarloff (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)

Seat 5: lynch0408 (small blind) folded before Flop

Seat 6: rgpars (big blind) collected (1195)

Seat 7: questing folded before Flop (didn't bet)

Seat 9: smountain folded on the Turn