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.