Wednesday, December 31, 2003


Happy freaking new year.

I got smashed at the tables today. It was unreal. At one point, I counted, and I shit you not, 4 to a flush on the board 14 times in two hours.

And I caught NONE of them.

It was just a pathetic day at Party. Basically, too many missed flops and bad beats to count. It was like I was in the fucking Twilight Zone.

Total take for the day: -$50

There's not enough beer in the house to wash away that pain.

And that's about all I've got to say about that.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Having The Rocks To Play The Nuts

Catching up on my blog reading has stirred the creative juices in my brain. This is monumental when you realize that I've been at work 2 hours already and it'll be another hour and a half before the sun is up. Northern Wisconsin between the months of November and March is like living in friggin' Siberia. I though the weather sucked in Chicago!

Cold weather sucks.

But enough about the weather.

I've been playing poker now for all of 3 months. I'm still a rank NewB, but looking back, I can certainly tell I've made huge progress in learning the game, and myself.

One of the most noticeable breakthroughs has been my perspective on money. As most of you no doubt know by now, I'm certainly not a wealthy person. My love of the game certainly isn't supplemented by a fat bankroll, so I sort of took a chance and decided to invest $50, win or lose. I've managed to, thus far, build that bankroll up to the point of taking $70 out (and blowing it on a live game I sucked at... see previous posts) and I'm back up to around $210. The UB bankroll is an additional $25 investment that, for the purposes of measuring my success in Party, I will keep separate. For the record, that has fluctuated wildly, ending up at a high of $60 or so, and a low of $13. It's now back to $25.

When I first started playing I was very "protective" of my bankroll. As a result, I would never raise, and rarely would call raises for fear that my hand wasn't the best. At no point was I ever in "control" of a table, nor would I do anything to attempt to manipulate people into doing what I wanted them to do. I was the very definition of tight/passive. Indeed I was so completely protective of my bankroll in the live game I attempted that I was practically blinded away waiting for that magic "premium" hand. When it finally came in the form of pocket aces, I was blinded by the idea that I had what I perceived as the nuts. When they were cracked by a set of 8's I completely lost whatever guts I might have had.

The first hint that I might be weak with my betting was when, one day, I was getting smacked around on the table. Now, I'm a very level headed guy. Very rarely will I spin off the handle, but I finally got fed up and started attacking. I would raise aggressively with good hands. I would press the issue if I sensed weakness. I didn't play stupid, since I knew this would just enrage me more. No, I wanted to exact revenge. Those other players, they were the enemy. When I got into this mindset, I'd almost always manage to recover my losses at least.

It took a while before I realized that, when I would "tilt" I was actually starting to play more "correctly". I wouldn't tilt to the point of pre-flop raising things like Q7o, but when I did get something like AQo, I'd get aggressive.

This got me to thinking about how my game was working out. It seemed that, every time I'd play, I would initially lose a bunch, eventually get mad, and make it all back. Strange indeed. I had to figure out what I was doing, and more importantly, how to play aggressively all the time.

Bottom line is this. There is a reason why the Masters recommend a bankroll of at least 200 big bets for the level you're playing it. To put it simply, you are going to occasionally lose. This is a given. Some days you're the windshield, some days you're the bug. To become a successful poker player, you have to embrace this concept. You want to have a winning attitude, and you certainly want to play to win, but you also have to accept that sometimes you're going to walk away unsuccessful. If you don't have the bankroll to absorb these days, or you don't have the mindset to accept that these days are going to come, you're not a poker player. You're a victim of poker players.

And you're my best friend at the table.

Another thing I came to realize. At some point, I mentioned how much I hated pre-flop raises. At this point, though I don't particularly LOVE pre-flop raises, I understand them much better and can even use them to my advantage many times. But, why is this? I feel that part of it is because I've begun to understand both how to play position and how to interpret betting for information. I'm no longer intimidated by pre-flop raising, but I do know that, when the flop comes, I'll have an idea what the pre-flop raiser has and, more importantly, if I have anything that can combat him.

It's said that Hold'em is a game of incomplete information. This is obvious, but constantly I see people desperately trying to GET complete information. It's a Unicorn. You will NEVER have the complete story of a hand until it's over, and by then it's too late to do anything about it. The best you can hope for is to rely on the information that is presented to you, and have confidence that, in the absence of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, your information is reliable. For every hand, you're a detective trying to solve a case. Sometimes the smoking gun is there for you to see in the form of having a monster hand, but most times the answer isn't so obvious and you have to depend on the information that your opponents won't freely give you. The physical tells are great information, but online, the only tells you get are in the bets.

I think that the lessons I learn online will be great information for playing live games. To be able to interpret opponents strengths by virtue of their bets is powerful information. To be able to incorporate reading physical tells into the game will be just that much more useful, but I feel like I really should be able to win without hearing a peep or taking my eyes off the table. I'll know more the next time I get into a live game.. Hopefully, that will be soon.

Monday, December 29, 2003

Back In The Saddle

Quick hour and a half of play in the books today. Managed an $8 gain in Party and an impressive $7 gain in UB.

UB is now around $25. I think what I'm going to do is try to get my UB account up to around $125 or so, cash out $100 and give a live game a shot.. As such, I'll be playing alot on UB trying to accomplish that.

Stay tuned!

School's In

Had a very nice Christmas with the In-Laws. Got a lot of neat-o stuff, especially household stuff I really needed. One thing that slipped through the cracks was the Lee Jones book I was constantly asking for and told to hold off buying because, you know, it's coming up on Christmas.

And I never got it.

So I treated myself to a trip to the book store and I have finally obtained the first tome for my poker collection. I've gotten through about 60 pages of it so far, and I've made a couple of discoveries...

The first one that immediately came to mind, especially considering the starting hand requirements, is that I've already been playing pretty much the starting hands he recommends. There are perhaps some hands in there that I consider a little on the loose side, but not that bad. In terms of interpreting the board for the nut and second best hands, I'm getting there. I think the key to this exercise is practice, and the nice thing about it is, you can sit down with a deck of cards and put some boards down and interpret them without the little "hey, idiot, you've got 20 seconds or we're mucking your hand" alarm going off.

I can't wait to get through this book to see what suggestions is has for working with marginal hands and positional strategy.

No poker for the last couple of days. It's kind of nice to have a couple of days off from it. I've been on a small upswing and I hate to break that, but I did need a day or two off to put some perspecive to my game.

I'm still Jonesing for a trip to the Indian casino to play some live cards, but I'm still hesitent about peeling $100 off my $200 bankroll, as it would set me back in the quest to get the hell out of the .50/1 games. I'm tossing around the idea of pulling out the $100, going and playing, and depositing that cash back into the online account. The only problem I have with this plan is the time it takes to move fundage back and forth between the two (though I use the IGM-Pay function, and they claim same day service after the inital withdrawl).

Anyone with more experience with this have any opinions on this plan? The lowest limit game available to me is the $2-$4 game. I think that the $100 buyin would be enough, but I can't be sure.

Forgive the sketchiness of this post.. I'm lacking sleep and my brain is mush.

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Up for Linkage

New addition to the long and distinguished list of Poker Players Who Are Better Then Me. Head on over and check out Up For Poker. Good reads, and better graphics.

Christmas at Work

Just wanted to join my fellow bloggers in wishing you all a very safe and merry Christmas. Let us take a moment to remember those that are standing a post during this holiday, domestically and abroad, to ensure that everyone who wishes has the right to celebrate in peace and safety.

It's sort of funny, these holidays. My wife is in Chicago with her family right now, and I'm still here in Wisconsin at work. I'll fly down tomorrow to be with the family for a couple of days, so it'll get quiet here over the weekend. Anyway, my wife is making a big deal about me being alone for the holidays. I never really felt much of a burning drive to HAVE to be with people on Christmas Day. My dad was an airline pilot, so I got real used to Christmas day without Pop around. It wasn't sad, or tragic.. Just a way of life. We celebrated Christmas on the 23rd, or the 27th, or whenever he was home. It's just something I grew up with, and it was no big deal to me. Now, I find myself in the unique position of being the husband who works over Christmas (except I get to come home after work every day). I suppose once I have kids, Christmas will take on a more important meaning to me... At the moment, beyond it's Biblical meaning, it's just a day where everything is closed and I gotta go to work.

Played around a little on Party today. Not a particularly good day for me cards wise. I sat down at a .50/1 table and, like a poor marksman, I kept missing the target. The table I was at was ideal, with 6 people seeing the flop and no preflop raising to speak of. The cards I got though just were all over the dial. I'd pick up a decent starting hand and the flop would completely miss me. I was on a slow bleed of chips for about an hour when I decided to break the boredom my trying another $5+$1 sit and go.

The dry spell followed me there lost puppy style. I made it to the final four and had hands that weren't even worthy of a bluff. I eventually blinded away to about T360 and the big blind, now T300 comes to me. I managed to pull off a baby straight but it was topped by a bigger one and, imagine my surprise, I bow out in 4th.

At least I'm consistent.

I sat back down at a .50/1 table. This one was significantly tighter and I wallowed around without making appreciable progress for about 45 minutes to an hour when everyone just sort of got up off the table and left all at once.. Play was so painfully slow that I busied myself reading emails. I folded my hand and went back to reading, and when I looked again, the table was down to 5 people... It became 4 by the next hand and I bailed also with a $2 profit to find another table.

The last table was great. There was some pre-flop raising here, but now that I have the bankroll to handle the variance, I'm a lot less intimidated by this, and am learning to use it to my advantage. The card draught continued, though, and I started a slow drip of chips to everyone else. At one point I picked up suited connectors, and I shit you not, at LEAST 6 times running, and NONE of them were even remotely close to a hand post flop. This went on for about another hour when FINALLY I started to catch some hands. I was quickly back to my buyin, but not much more. I played for an additional 20 minutes before I had to get ready for work and managed to scratch out a $3 profit.

Total take for the day, -$14.75

Not a completely terrible day, considering the crap for cards I was getting. I was pretty good at reading when I'd been beat and release the hand.

Double and I had a rather interesting discussion on implied odds a few days back, and I really think it's helped a lot with my play, especially pre-flop. I've begun adding suited connectors to my diet of starting hands if I can see them for cheap, and they've been good for a couple of decent pots. I really like the concept of high implied odd hands like middle suited connectors. They don't hit "incredibly" often, but when they do, they're easy to hide the monster and get a lot of value for it. Not many people at the low limits catch on the idea that there could be a monster in a flop that comes 458 rainbow, and if you manage to make a open ended straight draw AND four to the flush, you've got more outs then Kerry Wood.

I do see my game improving as I continue on this little journey. I think what I'm going to do is make the jump to the $1/$2 limit when I hit $300. This is about $100 short of the "optimal" bankroll, and if I fall down to $200, I'll back away from that and get back to the .50/1 until I build back to $400.

I've also found myself wanted to get back to a live game. I got slaughtered the last time I went to play live, but I think that was mostly due to my inexperience. My buyin was also a little thin, but I think I suffered more from terrible play (and a bad run of cards) then from a short stack. I mean, talk about passive/wimpy. I only scraped in one pot in the 4 hours I played. I put on a folding clinic, though! After some more study and practice, though, I think I might be able to at least hold my own at the live game, and I've always enjoyed playing at the table more then at my computer. I still haven't decided yet whether I want to play live and online play with the same bankroll or not. Technically, there should be no difference. A poker bankroll is a poker bankroll... However, the process of transferring money in and out of the online account required pre-planning and can present problems of their own. For this reason, I'm leaning towards just peeling off say $200 and calling it my live game bankroll. I'm concerned about taking a significant percentage of my bankroll out to start a live bankroll, but that argument doesn't hold much water under the "it's all a poker bankroll" theory. One can expect that, if I can scratch out a positive expectation in the .50/1 games, I should be able to do so in the equally loose/passive $2/$4 live games. Bottom line, though, I want to go play again.

I'd like to head out to LA for a day or two to play at some of the card houses out there too, but I don't dare show up there without some decent bank to play with. I'd like to have HDouble drag me around, but I fear he'll be bored to tears at the low limit games I'd be playing at!

Wednesday, December 24, 2003


Last night was a Hellish night at work.. Well, night and morning, really. I usually get home around midnight on a decent night, but this morning I got home around 2:00am.

Good times.

The wife woke up around 7:30 to go to work and then to Chicago to visit family, and of course I couldn't go back to sleep for any appreciable amount of time, so after 6 hours or restful napage I was up for the day. My eyes are still bloodshot.

I decided to take the day off from Party and instead went to the less stressful environment of UB for a little bit. I sat down at a .25/.50 table and spent about 30 minutes collecting rags. Then I got the brilliant idea that I'd play a $5+$.50 sit and go. This being the first sit and go I've played on UB, I noticed right away some differences. First off, they start you with T1000 in chips. Already, I'm liking this. Then I noticed that the blinds progressed both in a more intelligent progression and on a timer vs. every 10 hands.

Then I started noticing some things I didn't quite like. First off, seems like, at least during the day, these guys know how to play. Well, okay, that's not ENTIRELY a bad thing.. After all, the only way to improve your game is to play against people who are better then you. Seldom did I see the "all-in" tomfoolery that is so common in the Party sit and goes. There still is a smattering of terrible players in there playing crap. In fact, both times I busted out were to people playing crap and pulling cards out of their ass to beat me, but there were also a lot more "tricky" players.

That being said, I played two and busted out of both. These tourneys, because of the more relaxed blind structure and overall better players, take almost twice as long as the Party S&G's, so I'll be playing them simply to break up the boredom of grinding on the .25/.50 tables. Anyway, I was none too pleased about busting out of the two tourneys, so I went to a .50/1 table on UB to exact my revenge. I sat down at a table with only 4 other folks on it and started playing fast and loose. Ended up not gaining or losing any ground and soon the table filled up and I reverted back to my tight/aggressive style.

It didn't go well. Today was one of those "anything you have, someone has it better" kind of days. Nothing I'd get would hold up, and granted, I wasn't getting much. Top pair top kicker downed by two little pairs. Three of a kind falls to a flush. Twice. Busted straight draws. Busted flush draws. Blah blah blah.

I don't have it in front of me right now, but the UB bankroll is down close to $25 again, so it's time to get back to the .25/.50 tables and scratch back up to $100. I think at UB, I'll head to the .50/1 when I get to $100 and then $1/$2 when I get to $200, and fall back if I lose half of it. It's a little more aggressive then the Party plan, but I think since UB bankroll is "bonus cash" anyway, I'm not as troubled by swings in that bankroll.

My Party bankroll is over $200, so it's at the recommended 200BB level for the .50/1 games. I'm still tossing around whether I want to wait until I get to $400 (200BB) for the 1/2 game or if I should make the jump at $300. The disadvantage is that I'd have a relatively thin bankroll to handle the variance of 1/2 with $300, but the advantage is I get out of the bottom-rung game faster and, theoretically, my rate of return should stabilize as I encounter slightly better players. I'll have to see how long it takes me to scratch up to $300. If it's not a killer, then I'll just keep grinding to the $400 before I switch. After all, I did manage to go from a low of $35 to $215 in about 3 weeks. Using this formula, one would think that by February at the latest I'll be where I need to be for the 1/2 game. Of course, a lot of that $215 came from sit and goes and not grinding. Technically, the money should come faster from the ring games, but the S&G's saved me from the huge swings. We shall see.

HDouble was talking about randomization and the theory of "rushes" and "hot seats". I'll poke my unsolicited opinion into this fight.

The words Random and Infinite are interchangeable, in that, neither can truly be quantified. No matter how "random" something is, there's still a trace of pattern in it. Random number generators for computers must first be "seeded" with a start value. If you seed a random number generator with the same value continuously, it will produce the same pattern continuously. The human mind can't comprehend true randomness, so it naturally seeks pattern. In the absence of a discernible pattern, it will make one up.

Let's use the coin flip as an example. Though still a "seeded" value, in that you start the coin on one side and flip it with a certain rotation (though it might be different every time, it still impacts directly how the coin will fall), it is as close to totally random as we can get simply. In this case, every flip of the coin is mutually exclusive of the last one. Using the 498 flips as an example, we will, naturally, see patterns. Streaks, if you will. It is very likely that, during that period, one would see 17 heads in a row. The mind, seeking some sort of logical pattern where one doesn't exist, will "anticipate" subconsciously the next result.

Though I agree that a typical dealer shuffle of a deck doesn't necessarily produce a "random" result, I would also argue that, to a normal person, the resulting distribution of cards after the shuffle cannot be accurately determined to the point of being useful. Thus, it is "random enough" to satisfy a fair and equitable distribution of cards, though one who has been playing in casinos for years can be expected to notice a change in the pattern without being able to quantify what that change is, apart from "it's just different".

I think this is also where a lot of this "action flop" theorizing comes from. Something about the way the cards fall doesn't "seem" straight to the old crusty B&M casino card player, and since he's not having the success online he's used to in live games, it's obviously something intentional is going on.

Lacking a degree in Psychology, this is as close to an explanation as I can give to the concept of being "on a rush" or "in a rut".

Depending on how I feel tonight, I might try to pop into Party for some of the late night goodness I've heard talk about.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Penguins Rule

Or at least Poker Penguins do. More gratuitous linkage ensues.

Get Back To Where You Once Belonged

I'm taking a break from the sit and goes for a while, as I mentioned before. Besides the obvious frustration I've been having with these lately, I also have an appropriate 200BB bankroll for the .50/1 ring games.

Felicia Lee was gracious enough to point me in the direction of an article about how to deal with Sit and Goes. Thank you very much Felicia!

Basically, the article points out the idea that you really should just click the "I'm not here, post my blinds and fold stuff thanks bye" button until the blinds get to 50/100, then shift into "The System" mode. The more I think about it, even though it flies in the face of "strong" play, it's a work of art. Consider, early in the tournament you'll have the nutjobs who will shove all-in with A4o, get called by some guy with AKs and miracle off a straight. This will both serve to thin the field, and keep these gawdaweful players in the game. Come around the 50/100 blinds, and these guys suddenly shift into self-preservation mode. You're going to be pretty close to being the short stack, if not so, so your only real weapon is to push all-in and isolate when you think you have the best of it. You gotta figure that, you're either going to bleed to death slowly or get killed instantly as the small stack, so you might as well make a run for it. Add to this the idea that 6th and 4th pay exactly the same amount, and you have yourself a viable system. It takes balls of solid brass to push your stack in pre-flop, but again, it takes even bigger rocks to call it down, unless you're chip dominant by a goodly amount. If you're at T600 in chips, you're basically looking at a "double or die" situation anyway. One would also hope that, to this point, the rest of the table has noticed that you're a folding machine and hopefully they'll assume you're a tightwad, thus when you shove all-in, they'll be more inclined to assume you have the nuts.

In the next few days, I'll log into a $5 or $10 sit and go and give this a spin. The only hole I see in this plan is, and it's happened to me before, you sit there obediently mucking everything except AA until the 4th round. You've tossed KK into the muck. You've tossed AQs into the muck. Now it's crunch time and all of the sudden you're collecting rags. A couple of orbits of this and your T600 stack is now a T300 stack, and you've got as much pull on the table as Al Gore has over the Internet. Doubling up a T300 stack ain't gonna cut it when all of the sudden the blinds are 100/200 or worse, and by this time the bigger stacks take on a vulture like stance, stealing your blinds and waiting for you to die. What the article doesn't address is when you're getting pinched, what would be a decent play. If I'm down to T500 and facing down another round of T200 blinds, is it good to play, say, A6o? K7o? With T500, I can expect AT LEAST one caller. Total crapshoot at that point, not that I'd have much choice.

Oh well, enough of the theory and speculation. You either get cards or lose, basically, but that's the way it is in the S&G tourneys anyway. I'll get back to the letter of that system and see what comes of it, but bottom line is, the sit and goes did the job of taking my "variance intolerant" bankroll and brought it to a level where I can comfortably play in the ring games.

Speaking of ring games, today was pretty good. I found a really juicy table of calling stations and went to work. Was up and down a little bit for a while when I hit two real nice hands. The last one was beautiful. I'm in early position and get AKs. I raise and get 4 callers, including the big blind. The flop comes down 3s, 7h, Ts. UTG checks and I bet out. Cutoff raises and the BB folds out. I re-raise and it's ram and jam time, baby! 3 calls to the reraise, so we're still 4 seeing the turn, which comes a 6h. Hmmm... I check it down and it's checked to the CO, who bets. I call it along with 2 others. One folds. The river comes down a beautiful 5s. Payday. I bet out and am raised by middle position, who to this point has been calling away, putting him all-in. No doubt he's either filled his gutshot straight or flushed out. CO calls the two bets, and I figure him for either top pair top kicker (he's done this before) or two pairs. I raise it to three bets. Unfortunately MP was all-in, or I'm sure it would have been capped. CO calls the three bets and I rake in a monster. You'll never guess what these two guys had.

Middle position held 9c9h for a pair of 9's.
Cutoff position held AdTd for a pair of 10's with top kicker.

I love Party Poker. MP was dead as soon as the flop hit, yet he kept calling down. The only guy who had any business being in that pot was CO, and when that river card hit and I went raise crazy, I'm sure he knew what was coming, but by this time the pot was huge and he was almost obligated to call it down. I gotta wonder what he'd have done with a capped river, though. Poor guy. I almost feel sorry for him.


Take for the day: +$22.25

Monday, December 22, 2003

It's MegaMaid! She's Gone From Suck To Blow!

I seem to have slipped into some alternate plane of Hell here. It's like a recurring nightmare. The one where you're wanting to run away from something, or defend yourself from something, and your appendages don't seem to want to move.

Thus has been the last few days of sit and goes on Party. I've been struggling to understand what's been going on. Clearly something has changed. Previous to this, I really felt like I was in control. When I got beat, I could go back and review it and realize, yup, I got outplayed there. Above all, though, I was in a position to win most times.

These last few days have been everything but. From the start I feel like I'm made of glass, and everyone sees right through me. Any hand I get I can't get action on, and any action I do get is in the form of an over-the-top raise for all-in. Perhaps the most frustrating of all of this though, is everyone seems to be sticking around. I kid you not, all four of these sit and goes, there were at least 7 people still around when the blinds went to 100/200. To say it was insane would be a gross understatement. HDouble made mention that it might just be that I'm playing on Monday, but things are even different from the last few Monday's I've played. 7 people remaining in the game beyond the 15/30 blinds is remarkable at this level. Surviving into 100/200 is insane. At that point, of course, it turns into whoever gets cards first.

seldom was I first.

Basically, I played 5 $10+$1 sit and goes. I finished out of the money in 4 of the 5. The only thing that kept me from completely hemorrhaging chips was the one I did place in the money was I won. Net loss for the day was a very palatable -$5. Turned a train wreck into a fender bender, but psychologically, the damage is a hell of a lot more severe.

The long and short of it is, sit and goes are now work. And what's worse, it's work that isn't paying off. I spend 40 minutes in a sit and go, make 2 wrong decisions and I'm done. Rinse, repeat. It's just not fun anymore.. And I'm not a professional poker player, so this still needs to remain fun.

Now for the good news. My bankroll is at least to a position now where I can comfortably play in the 50/1 ring games.. It's not where I want it, but it's hovering right below the $200 mark. So, I'm thinking I'm going to wade back into the ring games. I honestly think, at this point, they'll be a little better on my mind.

Some new linkage goodness for ya. Props to Mean Gene for appropriate usage of the work "yutz" in a sentence. Spells maximum permanent linkage in my book!

Can't believe I don't have McGrupp linked from here.. Situation rectified.

Not that any of these guys have linked my site. I must not be worthy.

Anyway, back to poker. I really want to go try my hand at a live game again. I really honestly think I'll have more fun there. I always do. Just trying to figure out what kind of bank I need to bring to the table to handle the variance. The $2-$4 game at Ho Chunk is chock full of completely atrocious players, so I would expect that I should be able to cut at least a small profit out of the table. I do enjoy playing online, but there's just something missing. It's not "fun". We'll see.. I think what I want to do in the long term is get two poker bankrolls going. Once I get around $400 or so in the Party account, I'll peel $200 off and use that for my "live game" bank. $200 is a little thin for a $2-$4, it being only 50BB, but let's face it, this existing bankroll started as 50BB for the .50/1 games. If I bust the live game bankroll then I'll have to re-think it. I don't know if I have the intestinal fortitude to wait until I can get the bankroll up to $800 before trying a live game again. At the rate I'm winning, it's gonna take a while. I could use some advice on what would be an appropriate bankroll to step into the $1-$2 games. I'd like to get the hell out of the .50/1 games as soon as I can.

People On 'Ludes Should Not Politick

When one thinks of Google, images of a completely impartial, almost robotic search engine that impartially sorts through a database of keywords to magically give you the results you're looking for...

Or something...

Here's a little class experiment. Go to Google, run a search for "miserable failure" and hit the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button.

Guess it's a good think Google isn't a publicly traded company, eh?

Thanks Incubus for the lead on that story. Now, go update your website, you've got traffic.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Round and Round

Either I suck, or Party is losing its fishiness. Or I'm getting sucked out on a lot. One thing for certain... These Sit and Goes, where I felt very comfortable in before, I now always feel uncomfortable in. The results, then the commentary...

$10 + $1 Sit and Go -- Finished 2nd +$19
$10 + $1 Sit and Go -- Finished 7th -$11
$10 + $1 Sit and Go -- Finished 2nd +$19
$10 + $1 Sit and Go -- Finished 3rd +$9
$10 + $1 Sit and Go -- Finished 5th -$11
$10 + $1 Sit and Go -- Finished 7th -$11
$10 + $1 Sit and Go -- Finished 3rd +$9

Total take: +$23

I also went back to the ring games for a spell. So, 1 1/2 hours in a .50/1 table netted me:


Guess I'm not ready for the ring games yet.

Anyway, it appears I've gotten very inconsistent here. I think part of the problem is I don't have the intestinal fortitude to deal with ultra-aggressive players. I have a real problem shoving all-in early in the game pre-flop, but the way these guys play, you sort of have to at some point. If they don't go out in a blaze of glory early, they invariably turn into monster stacks and start pushing around the table... They're totally unpredictable. Maybe they have crap. Maybe there's a monster. Either way, you're forced to make your decision before the flop, and in a game where you're forced to make your decision on staying or going based on knowing only 2/7ths of your hand, you can only be lucky so much.

Now, logic would dictate that I simply stay out of these fools ways, but alas! They're not COMPLETE morons. No no, the plan is, double up early, then start pot stealing against the smaller stacks. They're very good about staying out of the big stacks way. In fact, they are VERY responsive to re-raises over the top. Problem here is, once you're down to T600, and they're at T2500, your re-raise is all-in. Tough call to make when you're looking at a Ks8s and the blinds are up to 100/200, and it certainly puts the bigger stack in the driver's seat. It's Russian Roulette.

I think I remember HDouble talking about a $50+$5 he was in. It was refreshing to hear that this non-sense, for the most part, wasn't going on there. I most certainly do MUCH better at tighter tables then at loose ones, so I think that getting into levels where the skill level is a notch better might actually be a good thing. Next tourney level though is $24+$2 though.. Not quite at that point in my bankroll as of yet.

Okay, wife hovering over me wanting me to start dinner, so off I go. More later.

Saturday Night Fever


What would come to your mind when you think Party Poker on a Saturday night? Visions of players simply gambling their money away, completely mindless calls with garbage hands. Dollar bills falling from the skies. Blah blah blah.

Absolutely NONE of that was happening yesterday.

I figured that, since I'm cutting out a pretty good profit during the weekdays, where you'd think the games would be tougher, I should be able to clean up on Saturday, when all the freaks come out.

$10-$1 Sit and Go -- finished 4th -$11
$10-$1 Sit and Go -- finished 4th -$11
$5-$1 Sit and Go -- finished 7th -$6
$10-$1 Sit and Go -- finished 7th -$11

Total tourney take -$39


To be perfectly honest, half of this crappy result isn't anything more then just some crap luck.

The first loss, I was in a great chip position. I picked up top pair after the flop, and went all in to scare off the competition. Didn't happen, and the guy rivered his miracle ace to put me away.

The second 4th place finish was a result of me just simply not getting any cards. I eventually wasted down to T400 in chips due to the blinds and it became an "all-in and pray" affair. In the big blind of T300, I picked up KQ offsuit and shoved the rest of the stack in when I hit the King on the flop. Unfortunately, an ace also came on the flop and I went away.

The two 7th place finishes were a matter of me mixing it up with a couple of nutcases who were spiking some serious miracles.

On a positive note, I decided to head back into a quick .50/1 ring for an orbit or two while the wife was out getting some stuff at the store. Managed to nail down a $20 profit in 30 minutes, for a rate of 40BB/hr.... I'll take it...

Today is going to be a big tourney day. News at eleven.

Friday, December 19, 2003

Never Give Up. Never Surrender!

Today I would categorize as a "rough day" in the world of poker.. Well, okay, my poker world I suppose. That being said, I managed to still scratch out a positive rate.

$10-$1 Sit and Go -- finished 6th -$11

I had decent chip position midway though the tourney, but everyone was playing scared and I was getting garbage to attack with. I'll need to review this tourney. It seems to me that I was a little shy about making moves against a table full of obvious wimps, but the problem is when one of those wimps wakes up with any kind of hand. Eventually there were 7 of us left and the blinds went up to 100/200. I hung on until I got Big Slick in the small blind. It's folded to me and I raise all in. Big Blind calls me up and the board comes 6s, 3d, 7h, 5d, 8d. BB turns over a pair of 5's and I go away. Not a bad play on my part at that point. Just got caught out.

$10-$1 Sit and Go -- finished 7th -$11

This one just plain sucked. The table was playing ultra-aggressive, so I knew that if I bet a hand, I pretty much was going to have to commit to it. Anyway, the real damage was done when the blinds were at 25/50. I'm in the big blind and have a Js8h. I get 2 callers and I check. Flop comes down 3s, Jc, Ts. I hit top pair. I bet out T50 and Late position folds. Cut off calls and the turn comes 4h. The board is a mess, so I feel my top pair is good. I bet out T75 and CO smooth calls it. Hmmmm... River is a 8d, for a board of 3s, Jc, Ts, 4h, 8d. Garbage board. I make a strong bet of T100 thinking he's on the flush draw gone bad, and I've caught a second pair. He comes back with a raise to T200. Now I'm really scratching my head. The only thing I can think of is that he's watched me sort of limp along at the pot and is assuming I'm on a broken flush draw and am trying to bluff him out. I call the raise and turn over my two pair.

He turns over Qs9s for the rivered straight. Ouch. My stack now is T285 and I'm in trouble. I eventually get blinded down to 160 and the BB, which at this point is T100, comes along and knocks be in for over half my chips. I look down at 9sAc and check to two callers. Flop comes 4d, 5c, Qh. It gets checked to the cutoff who bets 100. I figure I'm committed at this point and push all in. Late position comes along for the ride... Turn is a Js and the river comes a 2h. No help for the Klingon and I go away in 7th.

Now my confidence is getting pretty ratty. I've notched a wholly unimpressive 6.5 position average so far. I start thinking, then decided, screw it. If I'm going to be busting out in 7th place anyway, I might as well go down fighting...

$10-$1 Sit and Go -- finished 1st +$39

Ooooh. Okay. Not much to say about this one, honestly. Just sort of buckled down and played some solid poker. Made some pretty tough laydowns here, but it helped to have a couple of calling stations pay me all the way to the river with... Well, I dunno what they had, but it didn't beat top pair.

When it got down to the 3 of us, I was at around T1500 and staring down a couple of T3500 stacks. A combination of some decent cards and a couple of players who were willing to fold to pretty much any sign of aggression put me in a dominating position heads up and it was just a matter of picking off the last guy.

$10-$1 Sit and Go -- finished 4th -$11

Another one of those where I got to the end, and they basically camped out while I wasted away in the blinds.

$10-$1 Sit and Go -- finished 3rd +$9

Again.. Not much to say here.. I basically didn't get much in the way of cards.. No real bad beats, or anything. Just inadequate chip stack to do battle with the monsters in 1st and 2nd and the blinds were up to around 250/500 when I finally got pretty much blinded in. I think it was pretty much a case of the other two waiting me out.

I've discovered something. You might notice that when I finish in the money, I either finish in 3rd or 1st. I've discovered that I'm a decent heads-up player. If I can get heads up with any sort of workable chip stack, I do very well.

My biggest problem that I see is, when I get down to 4 players, a lot of the time I'm the short stack. Now most of this isn't my fault, but rather players that get lucky and take out some all-in bozos with gutsy calls. My philosophy of "slow and steady wins the race" finds me taking home a lot of 3rd and 4ths. Though I do get more 3rds the 4ths at this point, it's still frustrating to be in the end stages of the game without a big enough stack to play the sort of "jab and fade" poker that I like to play at that point. It sort of turns into a "wait for a passable hand and hope I get it before I get blinded away" game. When that somewhat passable hand comes along, it's pretty much "all-in". This happens too often when I'm in 4th position and I find three dominant chip stacks simply waiting for me to blind away. Sometimes I'll get lucky and double up.. Only to find that doubling up a T400 stack still puts me WAAAAAY behind. I effectively have to double up at least 3 times to get the other three to decide that I ain't going away any time soon and they'll start playing at each other. It's like clockwork. I can't BS, because I can guarantee at least one caller to my all-in. It's pretty much all in and pray.

And if there's one thing I absolutely hate, it's letting the dealer decide my fate.

In any event, I did manage to scratch out a $15 profit from today. It looked pretty grim at first, though.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

I Always Feel Like Somebody's Watching Me

I've put up some tracking using Sitemeter. the cool little rainbow box isn't showing up on anything existing... Perhaps it will show up only with new postings.. None the less, the code is in there, so it should be working now.

Actually it was pretty slick... Didn't need to even play around with the code.. Put in some info and BAM! It's all magically placed into your template. Pertty slick.

If it works.

Poorly Played On All Streets

Great. Now I can't even get my quotes right.

Though I do agree Iggy is a veritable fount of information, I miscredited him with the advice to go and dive into the $10 sit and goes.

Indeed, it was Grubby who made the suggestion.

So now I've managed to reduce my readership even more. Soon enough I'll be talking to myself. Which reminds me... Does anyone read this anymore?

I Called an All In Bet With Top Pair Ace Kicker and All I Got Was This Lousy 9th Place Finish


Let me take this time to mention that I hate stupid people. We all do... What really spools me up though are stupid people who feel it necessary to analyze my play after they beat me.

But first, we go to yesterday's work...

$10+$1 Sit and Go -- finished 6th -$11
$10+$1 Sit and Go -- finished 4th -$11
$5+$1 Sit and Go -- finished 1st +$19
$10+$1 Sit and Go -- finished 2nd +$19

Total take = +$16

A decent day. I went down to the $5 sit and go as I was getting frustrated and felt that it was going to be a chip bleeding day. Turns out I was wrong.. Would have been nice to put that 'W' up in the $10 sit and go, but I'll take them any way I can get them.

Today was sort of a different story, though it started well enough. Let's go to the score board.

$10+$1 Sit and Go -- finished 2nd +$19
$10+$1 Sit and Go -- finished 3rd +$9
$10+$1 Sit and Go -- finished 5th -$11
$10+$1 Sit and Go -- finished 9th -$11

Yes... Don't adjust your monitor. 9th place. I suck like few have sucked before.

Bottom line is, I got sloppy, but not THAT sloppy.


30/60 TourneyTexasHTGameTable (NL) (Tournament 1630749) - Thu Dec 18 12:55:43 EST 2003
Table Card Room Table 3553 (Real Money) -- Seat 10 is the button
Total number of players : 9
Seat 1: darkhelmet (490)
Seat 2: califsun44 (1255)
Seat 4: topanalyst (515)
Seat 5: jetsboy99 (1870)
Seat 6: imcg1 (790)
Seat 7: GoFigure (410)
Seat 8: ant731 (480)
Seat 9: pljenkins (740)
Seat 10: corkscrew53 (1450)
darkhelmet posts small blind (15)
califsun44 posts big blind (30)
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to pljenkins [ Qh, Ad ]
topanalyst calls (30)
jetsboy99 folds.
imcg1 raises (60) to 60
GoFigure folds.
ant731 calls (60)
pljenkins calls (60)
corkscrew53 calls (60)
darkhelmet folds.
califsun44 calls (30)
topanalyst calls (30)
** Dealing Flop ** : [ Qc, 8c, 9h ]
califsun44 checks.
topanalyst bets (455)
topanalyst calls all-In.
imcg1 folds.
ant731 folds.
pljenkins calls (455)
corkscrew53 folds.
califsun44 folds.
** Dealing Turn ** : [ Kd ]
** Dealing River ** : [ 2d ]
Creating Main Pot with $1285 with topanalyst
** Summary **
Main Pot: 1285 |
Board: [ Qc 8c 9h Kd 2d ]
darkhelmet balance 475, lost 15 (folded)
califsun44 balance 1195, lost 60 (folded)
topanalyst balance 1285, bet 515, collected 1285, net +770 [ 8s Qs ] [ two pairs, queens and eights -- Kd,Qs,Qc,8s,8c ]
jetsboy99 balance 1870, didn't bet (folded)
imcg1 balance 730, lost 60 (folded)
GoFigure balance 410, didn't bet (folded)
ant731 balance 420, lost 60 (folded)
pljenkins balance 225, lost 515 [ Qh Ad ] [ a pair of queens -- Ad,Kd,Qh,Qc,9h ]
corkscrew53 balance 1390, lost 60 (folded)


Now, admittedly, there is a huge hole in this play. I did have top pair top kicker, so I wasn't completely unjustified in call this down. My thinking was, he didn't make any sort of raise that would indicate a big pocket pair. The board certainly wasn't threatening a top pair top kicker play, and this guy has a loose/agressive table image that I could see, so I called him down.

So I guess I'm an idiot. However, here's the fun part... Table bantor!

topanalyst: why did you call pl? you weren't that strong
pljenkins: because I wasn't expecting you to have Q8o?
pljenkins: I had top pair at the flop.
topanalyst: why would go all in on lesser
pljenkins: You tell me... First time I've played with you.
pljenkins: And you went all in.. I called you.

Why would I go all in on lesser? Huh? Yeah, those Q8 offsuits are monsters pre-flop. Can't imagine why I wouldn't cold call a raise with that! But bottom line, I jumped into the fishy pool for that game. I eventually went out when my AQc fell to A9h when he made the heart flush. Unlucky twice, but I had no business mixing it up with those guys that early, I admit. Don't know what motivated me to do that, except that the table was playing at a glacial pace. Logic would have dictated firing up UB and playing some .25/.50 ring to kill the time it took for the guys with the WPT drama music going off in their heads to make a move. Oh well... For being completely out of the poker 'zone' today, I still managed to bag a $6 profit from the day, so even though I stunk up the joint, it wasn't a complete loss...

I've been thinking some more about this Bloggers Tourney we've been tossing around. Geez, I really wish there was a way to get together and play a live game. It would be great to meet a bunch of you out there, but we are most definately scattered around the globe, and in the short term it would prove a logistical nightmare. Anyway, for the online tourney, I'm thinking we'll have to make it cheap.. First of all, it's supposed to be fun, and if I sink a significant portion of my still-small-though-recovering-nicely bankroll into the game, it won't be fun, it'll be terrifying. Especially since I fully expect to be outclassed. Maybe a $10 buyin no-limit game or something would be good fun and not painful.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003


Not a heck of alot of time to blog before work, so I'll just recap quickly...

Iggy left a comment on my "No Whammies!" entry regarding going to the $10+$1 sit and goes. My hesitation is that, with such a thin bankroll, I'll be more nervous about losing a $10+$1 then I would be losing a $5+$1.

What a stupid argument to make. I've pretty much proven to myself that I can make the money a good percentage of the time, and the difference between the competition on the $5 vs. the $10 is minimal.. There's still plenty of guys willing to try to bluff with a 59o when their straight draw misses. So, I decided, what the heck. Results below:

$5+$1 Sit and Go -- Finished 3rd -- +$4
$5+$1 Sit and Go -- Finished 3rd -- +$4
$5+$1 Sit and Go -- Finished 6th -- -$6
$5+$1 Sit and Go -- Finished 7th -- -$6

Okay.. . So as you see, I started the day on the $5 sit and goes. It was brutal. I haven't had the time to analyze the hands yet, but I seem to remember alot of pretty brutal bad beats, and I think I was starting to press, too. Okay... So I'm sick of it... If I'm gonna lose, I might as well lose big... No guts, no air medal.

$10+1 Sit and Go -- Finished 1st -- +$39

Woohoo! First $10 I play, I hit pay dirt. I'm rockin! If I can win here, I should be able to own the $5 tables!

$5+$1 Sit and Go -- Finished 6th -- -$6

Oh brother. I did learn that the freaks were certainly out on the $5 tables though. Screw it, go back to what works!

$10+$1 Sit and Go -- Finished 3rd -- +$9
$10+$1 Sit and Go -- Finished 3rd -- +$9

This is great! Winning even 3rd on the $10 sit and goes yields a much better payoff, and the risk is, effectively, about the same. So for yesterday, total take is +$47.

Rock the free world!

I owe Iggy a 6 pack of Guinness!

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

No Whammies!

Anyone remember that stupid game show "Press Your Luck"? Oh well...

Yesterday was chock full 'o' sit and go goodness.

Except it wasn't all that good.

I played 9 of them yesterday. Managed the following:

$5+$1 Sit and Go -- Finished 4th -- -$6
$5+$1 Sit and Go -- Finished 3rd -- +$4
$5+$1 Sit and Go -- Finished 5th -- -$6
$5+$1 Sit and Go -- Finished 1st -- +$19
$5+$1 Sit and Go -- Finished 4th -- -$6
$5+$1 Sit and Go -- Finished 3rd -- +$4
$5+$1 Sit and Go -- Finished 4th -- -$6
$5+$1 Sit and Go -- Finished 7th -- -$6 -- +headache
$5+$1 Sit and Go -- Finished 4th -- -$6

Total take for the day = -$12

That stinks... I seem to be mired in 4th place finishes, and most of the problem stems from the fact that, in the $5 games, I end up at an average of T1000 chip deficites against the rest of the pack. Seems that my tight solid play up that that point gets me to striking distance, but by then all the crapshooters have accumulated chip mountains and they proceed to sit and wait for me to bust out. I basically have to pick a spot and hope I get the cards, since by then the blinds are big enough where sitting and waiting for a decent hand ain't gonna happen.

I'm not going to say that the tables are especially "tighter" on Mondays, just that the combination of "rocks" and "The System" players makes for a difficult tourney to make money in.

I'm tossing around the idea of doing a $5+$1 multi-table today, but I'm just not sure... I can't help but think the return on investment would be small. Still tossing that one around.. More later.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Party Goes Prime Time

Was sitting here at work... I live in Northern Wisconsin... Packer land. So of course, the TV is turned on in the office during the Pack pre-game and is turned off around noon Monday.

Anyway, I was watching the post-news sports report and happened to see a Party Poker commercial.

Yes folks, Party is going for the deep water.

Rat In A Hole

Salute to our fighting men and women who successfully nabbed Saddam. Great to hear we bagged the bad guy without a single bullet flying. So, after dropping about $300 million with of ordnance specifically aimed at the bastard, it comes down to a Marine pointing a gun at him.

Warfare is a strange thing.

The Value Of A Dollar

All you Blog brothers and sisters rock the free world. As Ozzy Osbourne says, "I love you all, people".

BTW, Ozzy is recovering nicely from his accident.

Felicia Lee, in her discussion about her husband's relationship with Poker, mentioned that he feels less stress playing tournement poker then he does playing cash games. This got me thinking about my own emotions when I'm playing.

I've mentioned that I seem to feel more comfortable playing on UB then I do on Party. If I get sucked out on a good hand in Party during a ring game, I tend to get alot more upset then if it happens on UB. I came to the conclusion that, I don't care about the money on UB. I put that money in there on the expectation that it was already gone. It's nothing but units. Numbers. They go up, they go down... They're completely disconnected from any value.

Thus is the same when you're playing a tournament. You've already put the money in... It's gone. You now have tournament chips, which have no real monetary value. As such, if you get kicked in the ass one hand, you're not really out any money. Just chips.

I have to find a way to disconnect myself from the money in Party and just play my game. I know I've got the fundamental skills to be a good poker player. I just have to overcome the emotional hurdle of negative reaction to a bad day. This, I imagine, is the great challange of all people who are engaged in competitive endeavors.

Perhaps the short term answer is to continue playing the sit and goes at Party. Which reminds me...

Yesterday, I did play some sit and goes.. 3, actually. results were two 3rd place finishes and a 5th place. +$2. The S&G I placed 5th in was my own stupidity. The entire table was tight passive, and really no one made any real bold moves. Seems everyone was waiting for someone else to make a move. Finally as the blinds got to 50/100, some people were starting to drop off, but I too had to make some moves. I got decent cards, but there were just too damn many players in the pots and my stuff just wasn't holding up. That's poker. Still, I've got a pretty impressive average finishing position going on here the last couple of days. Tomorrow will be a big poker day for me.. Wife is at work, I'm off.

And Now For Something Completely Different

Back when I used to be in the IT industry, I spent a large percentage of my career as a contractor. Since, as a contractor, your lifespan at a company is limited, I spent a lot of time getting "laid off" from jobs. It was sort of a joke anyway, as in the mid and late nineties, there was no shortage of IT jobs and there was a huge shortage of IT people. It was, as they say, a buyers market for us IT pros. I was rarely worried about having to look for a job, but layoffs were still frequent.

Immediately after the Y2K and the sudden realization by a bunch of companies that they don't need IT people, they can just call India, I was laid off. This leads to another story I'll get into as I become motivated, but suffice to say timing sucked. I was, however, after a few months picked up my Motorola. What a great place to work. It was, in a word, awesome. It also had almost nothing to do with my previous IT experience, and as anyone in the industry knows, if you spend 6 months away from the field, you're as outdated as an Edsel.

I was doomed. Motorola, as they are apt to do every once in a while, decided that they had too many people on the payroll and broke out the pink slips. The first round of 4000 missed me, barely. A month later, just a few days short of a year, I got caught up in the second round, along with 9,999 of my fellow co-workers. I was released into the world and found that the IT world had not only passed me by, but also was chock full of thousands of IT workers who were well and truly overqualified for the jobs they were getting. I remember seeing level 1 helpdesk positions requiring a Bachelors Degree in Engineering and a Master MCSE certificate, with 10 years experience. Yikes.

Anyway, my friend a former co-worker when I started this whole IT thing was still contracting when I was at Motorola, and turned me on to This website. It was sort of the IT contractors version of dark humor, especially since we were right in the thick of it.

I thought I was having a bad time of it.. It's unbelievable what companies will pull.

Read. Laugh. Weep. Remember.

Pocket Aces Suck

Since I've been taking count, I am now 2 for 12 with pocket aces. Yes, that's right, folks.. 17% win rate with the rockets.

A hearty WTF to that.

I was fully going to take the day off of poker today to spend some time with the Wife, but when she ducked into the shower, I decided to sit a couple of turns on UB. If I'm looking for a less stressful round of poker, I hit UB because, for some reason, I'm a lot less concerned about my bankroll there (since it really isn't part of my "project"). I have... Well rather, had... it up to $50.

Anyway, the fun starts immediately. I pick up AQs in the big blind, and am raised before it gets to me.. I call it, and get an A on the flop... Rock on.. I bet it out, and get some hangers on... Turn and river are unremarkable, but some Jamoke turns over J8o and takes it with two pair. Weeeee! That's okay. He can do that all day long...

Couple of hands later, I get American Airlines in middle position. Now, since I've been burned by AA many times lately, I don't screw around with them... I raise aggressively preflop to get the "idiot" hands out of there. Not this time around.. I get two callers who come with to the flop, which comes a bunch of non-sequential number cards, rainbow style. Great, I think.. I've got top pair. EP bets, I raise, it's called in two places.. Turn is a K. "Whatever" I think to myself, and bet out again.. I get raised from late position... That familiar "I've got aces and I'm getting beat" feeling hits again, and I shift into smooth call mode. River is another number card, EP bets out again and I call it. EP turns over 44 for the set. MP turns over 66, which is a loser. I muck my loser aces and roll my eyes as I watch the $10 pot get scraped in a direction other then mine (which in a .25/.50 game is a monster).

I managed to scrape in a decent pot and was back up to almost even when I get the Rockets dealt to me again in the BB. No less then 7 people call up to me, and I raise it up. Only 2 people muck to the raise, and we're 5 way to the flop which comes something like K54 with two hearts. Checked to me and I bet.. Called in 3 places... Whatever... Turn comes a 2c. I bet, two callers and one muck. I look incredulously at the board. The blinds had folded. I'm thinking someone out there has the K and is calling out top pair (why isn't he raising?), and the other guy is trying to fill the gutshot straight with an A in hand?

River comes a J offsuit. No flush possibility on the board. I bet out and get raised.

"There is no way", I'm thinking. I call, trusting my instinct that I'd been hosed again.

I hate it when I am right... Caller boy turns over a K for top board pair. Raiser boy turns over...

Wait for it....

63 offsuit for the straight.

I suddenly feel like running myself through with a sword. I guess the PartyPoker cretins roll on over to UB on the weekends. "Remember, poker is FUN" says my wife as she sees the steam coming from my ears. I catch her meaning and log the hell off before I steam away anymore chips.

So, 20 minutes = -$7.50 on 1 $.25/$.50 table.

Great time to go to work and forget all about this...

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Celebrity Death Match: Hellmuth vs. Grizzle II

I've been reading with incredible interest Felicia Lee's postings on her poker journal (now appropriately linked to the right). I am very impressed with her writing and especially her ability to recall details about tournaments and other juicy details. Hopefully all of us poker bloggers can sit and have a game together.. It would be interesting, and the conversation would well outweigh the game at hand.

Everyone seems to be talking about Phil Hellmuth and comparing him to John McEnroe as the "bad boys" of the sport. I tend to lean toward Decker's assessment that the two really have no comparison, apart from being volatile on their respective playing fields. The difference I see is, John never verbally attacked another fellow competitor. It was always aimed at the officials... Or himself. Phil never attacks anyone but the other players.

But that's already been talked about, and isn't the angle of my post. Here's my take. Phil is an intimidator, much as Dale Earnhardt was "The Intimidator" on the race track. On the track, you were in Dale's world. You got nothing for free out of Dale. If you wanted to pass Dale, you had to work for it. You got nothing for free. Phil is sort of the same way. His whole deal is, you're in his world. He tries to get into your head with his grating personality. He wants you to think he's a dick. He wants you to try to make him shut up. Because once you tilt, you're his, and he knows it.

Just ask Sam Grizzle.

Friday, December 12, 2003

Better, Faster, Stronger

In light of the lethargic pace of posting on my usual circulation of poker blogs, I was forced to "expand my horizons".

I found a sortof poker blog by Chris Halverson. Though his blog isn't entirely about poker, there is still some good reading there. He's also a racing fan... Something I used to be, but as of late I haven't followed any sort of racing. I used to be a huge CART fan, but when the whole Indianapolis and IRL thing went down, I just lost interest in the whole thing. The IRL races are basically death watches these days. The cars in the IRL are now so fast that they've had to cancel events because drivers are starting to grey out from all the g-forces they're pulling in the turns. Another complaint often heard from the drivers are that they are routinely mere inches from each other. While this is great action, when you're in an open wheel race car going 230 miles per hour, it's not a matter of if an accident will happen, but rather when and how bad. Don't get me wrong, I love racing, but I don't think men need to face down death every weekend as a very real possibility so that I can be entertained.

Okay, sorry.. Tangent there.

Another great poker... well, it's not really a "blog" but rather a roundtable, is Felicia Lee. She's a poker player in Vegas, and plays in casinos rather then online. I haven't had much chance to dive into her writing yet. Let's try to convince her to start using something like blogger. Trying to make sense out of Yahoo Group's archaic setup might cause my head to explode.

A word about this blog too. Though I don't make it a habit to use the Seven Words You Can't Say On Television, I also do believe that:

a: quotes from other sources should not be edited for content... At all. He said what he said, and that's what I'll quote.

b: They're words, people. They convey meaning, and let's face it, the word "fuck" is the single most versatile word in the English Language.

Thusly, understand that I write what's on my mind. If I just got owned on the .50/1 tables, I've got the F-bomb on my mind.

And, no.. No one said anything about it.. I imagine if you're going to play poker, then ostensibly you've already pushed the edge of the Bible's meaning and thus, don't feel pre-disposed to burning in the 11th plane of Hell for letting a few colorful metaphors fly. I just sort of wanted to state where I am on the content of this blog.

Back to the subject at hand. As I am one to do, I often review my poker play during quiet times at work. Since, under most circumstances, my job involves monitoring things, I find that thinking about other things keeps me mentally agile enough to deal with any problems that might occur.

Anyway, I've noticed that, even though I'm now in better chip position late in the tournament then I was in the last couple of days, I still find myself at a significant deficit when heads up. Specifically, the last tourney I played this afternoon saw me in three way action with two players holding between T3000 and T3500 in chips. I was there wallowing between T600 and T1500, basically either going all in with anything decent or getting the heck out of the way when the big boys decided to duke it out. I, honestly, got lucky as the monsters went all-in with each other and one checked out. Though this put me heads up with the guy, it also saw me at an almost 6 to 1 chip disadvantage. With the blinds at 200/400 and climbing, it was pretty much all-in every hand. Pretty sad when you get 6s8s in the pocket and have to go all-in.. That's what I lost to. A total crapshoot, but I'm never going to bitch about 2nd. I played to win.

I ran into all kinds at the tables today. One table was a rock garden, which actually I was able to adjust to. I was able to make some steals and get myself comfortable for the middle game, where I usually go into hiding as the short stacks start making desperation moves. The next table I was at was interesting... It was a good combination of tight and loose people, but I noticed an awful lot of smack talking back and forth. I stayed out of it for the most part, but...

I'm heads up against a bigger stack (but not too much bigger). I've got something like AJo. I pair up the J, which at this point is top pair, on the flop, so I start betting out... The guy across from me is calling me out, so I check up on the turn, and so does he... We're feeling each other out.. Board comes something like J2346. Opponent makes a minimum bet. I sense weakness. I raise him. He pauses for about 10 seconds and says:

"You got the 5?"

To which I respond, "pay to find out."

He laughs and folds.

I love smack talk. Its a huge tell in an otherwise faceless world of online poker. Immediately from the chatter, I could tell who was passive, who was a bullshitter, who was the bully... It was great! On my last game, I ended up on a table with Mr. Bully again. Nice to at least have the read on one guy before the chips were even passed out.

There's been some talk lately on other resources about legalities and problem gambling. I'm one of those people that believe that any law passed "for my own good" should be immediately and irrevocably stricken from the record as unconstitutional. Making Internet gambling illegal is a perfect example of one of these silly, overbearing laws. By passing a law that makes wagering online illegal, the government is effectively saying to me "you are too stupid to control yourself, so we are going to keep you from hurting yourself". By this same token, the government should make alcohol illegal. Cigarettes too. At what point does the government move from democracy to totalitarianism?

I have absolutely no problem with credit card companies preventing their cardholders from funding internet gaming accounts. Credit card companies are private industries, and frankly, they can do whatever they want. They often do anyway. I can't believe some of the stuff I see in the credit card applications I'm sent in the mail. But that's another rant.

In other news... I'm trying to get a hit counter on this site.. Not sure how Blogspot is going to handle me putting a web counter on it. We shall see.. First order of business is to find one that is decent. It would be interesting to see who's visiting. Though, now that I've managed to piss off the Holy and the Democrats, I guess that number might dive significantly.

" I don't believe this! I've got a trig midterm tomorrow, and I'm being chased by Guido the killer pimp."

Joel, you wanna know something? Every now and then say, "What the fuck." "What the fuck" gives you freedom. Freedom brings opportunity. Opportunity makes your future.

Miles, Risky Business

Luck has a lot to do with how successful one is in poker, in the short term. After all, you can be the best player in the world, but if you never get the cards to win every once in a while, you're still going to lose. The Excellent poker player stands out as one who doesn't necessarily win when the cards dry up, but rather how to lose less then everyone else.

It's no secret that, for the last two weeks, my luck has been anything but good. This happens. The real question becomes, how have I controlled the losses? Let's look at the numbers.

When the slide started, I had around $106 in my Party account. This was about two weeks ago. In that time, I was steadily losing on the .50/1 tables, and got to about $50 by the end of week 1. At this time, as an experiment, I added $50 to the account for the purpose of trying the $1/$2 tables. This, as you know, was a complete failure, and at the end of that session alone, I was down to $61. By the end of week two, after some more beatings on the 50/1 tables, My account hit the bottom at approximately $35.

Then something happened... Something wonderful. I ceased caring.

Well, sort of.. I also gave up on the ring games for now and went to tourneys...

After a rough starts with those, I was perplexed as to why I couldn't enjoy the sort of success I was having back when I first started playing them... So I went back to the basics, with a few changed put in from what I've learned from others I've worked with.

Todays results:

$5+$1 Sit and Go: 5th place -$6
$5+$1 Sit and Go: 1st place +$19
$5+$1 Sit and Go: 2nd place +$9
$5+$1 Sit and Go: 2nd place +$9

Net: +$31.

So, sometimes, you just have to say, "what the fuck", and make your move.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

I Survived the Dulles Delay Program And All I Got Was This T-Shirt

Would someone PLEASE update their blog so I have something to read?!

I did manage to end-run the Bordermangler here at work so now I can read the forums at 2+2. Ph34r my l337 H4XX0r 5kIIlz. It is some good reading there, but it's also depressing... Why, you say? Well read on, my friends.

I can't find what I'm doing wrong. Which doesn't necessarily mean I'm not doing anything wrong, but rather that I'm doing the right things and still paying the price for them. Basically, any time you play a strong hand correctly and you get beat by someone who shouldn't have been in the hand to begin with (Q4o in early position would be a good example), you should automatically be able to reach across the virtual table and drag his bankroll away. Under normal circumstances, this would be happening, but, well... You've read how this goes.

Things are going so-so with the Party Sit and Go thing... I need to figure out how to get to the later stages of the tourney without being such a chip underdog. As it is, by the time I get to to 50/100 blinds, I don't have much time to make a move. This is also difficult when I run into a table where everyone has the same philosophy as me. I did one today before going to work. 8 of us were still around, and in decent chip shape, when the blinds went to 50/100. At this point, it really sort of turned into a free for all, since no one could just hang out and wait for the blinds to eat them alive. Of course, about this time the cards dried up on me, and having this many people still around really cramped up my normal playing style, so I struggled along to a 5th place finish.

I seem to have come up with a decent strategy to get me into the money, but I can't seem to crack into that magical #1 spot since a few weeks ago. I don't know if I should loosen up a little earlier, or if I should get more aggressive when I do open up. I heard somewhere that a good player tends toward the opposite of what the rest of the table is doing, in that if a table is tight, a good player will loosen up a little and start dictating the table, but if a table goes loose he tightens up and strikes only when he has the best of it. Perhaps these Sit and Goes will be a good training ground for me. To survive with so few chips in the game, you have to know exactly when to start loosening up and making moves. I'm just nervous about running into a decent hand if I make a move with a marginal one. I suppose with the tournament format that Party provides, you have to lay it on the edge every once in a while. I'm learning.

It might help if I don't play these tourneys in the weekday mornings, either. Seems at those hours these tourneys are rock gardens. Trouble is, I work nights. What to do. Perhaps at those hours the ring games are a little more predictable, but I'm not jumping back into that fire just yet. Perhaps I'll just play some more at UB.

As the World Tourneys

My bankroll yesterday morning had dipped below the $40 mark. Now, I'm no accountant, but that can't be good. The early part of this week has been brutal, as you all no doubt know from previous entries.

The play at Party is absolutely mind boggling. I can't believe some of the utter crap that ends up making hands at the end of it all. I know that I should, by all rights, enjoy these idiots being in the game since, statistically, they're ATMs. Trouble is, with a $40 bankroll, I just can't deal with the variance anymore. Once I'm back over $100, and better, over $200, I can much more confidently attack these Brainiacs and make them pay the meter.

After another hour or so taking an initial loss at the 50/1 table at party, I scratched back to within $.75 of my buyin and got the hell out of there. It was decision time. Clearly the ring games are out of control at that level. Any attempts to read into what anyone is doing there leads to intense headaches and a burning desire to commit a homicide. Given the need to control my rate of loss, I've decided that, for the immediate future, I will only play S&G's at Party.

And about those S&G's. They should give you a bonus just for getting a seat in the damn thing. Party's most excellent software, at work again. It looks like they turned the refresh rate down again for the tournament tables, so now they only update every 30 seconds or so. Of course, by then, three tables have appeared and filled up. It's a twitch-fest akin to playing Doom online just to get a seat in the thing. I'm beginning to think that Party's software was written as a high school project, and the server farm is being maintained by a college radio station.

I got to play several tourneys yesterday afternoon on Party. I did manage to break my intense losing streak and mark a couple in the money, but I have yet to break my winless streak. All in all, I managed up about $3.

I did accidentally click into a $10 S&G, since you know, you have to play "Whack-A-Mole" just to get the clicks in fast enough to get in. Now, the $5+1 S&G's I'd been playing in were remarkably tight... Seems everyone there is waiting for the blinds to get bigger before they make their moves. Not so at this 10+1 I sat down at. No sooner had the cards been dealt then one guy was leaving to go to the bar. It was unreal. By the time we got to 15 hands dealt, there were 5 of us left. I could have folded into the money, and damn near did. Unfortunately, I wasn't in a very good chip position with around T800, with the guy to my right holding over T6000 and the guy across from me with around T1200. I managed to hold my own with several bold all-in moves that got called up and I doubled up, but with such a small stack to start with, my gains weren't enough to get me into a comfortable position and they just waited me out. I left with a 3rd place, but at least I took away $9.. Could have been a lot worse.

On the UB front, I seem to have hit a little bit of a wall. I find it remarkable how much better the players are there though, even at the .25/.50 level. I was on a bad slide, but I was getting beat either by solid opening hands that turned into winners, or lucky blinds that were well hidden. I must have gotten 5 or 6 four-to-a-flush opportunities too and not one of them materialized into an actual flush, so that hurt some too. All in all, though, I'm still above the $50 mark there, so I've effectively doubled up in the week or two I've been there.

Fun with work tonight, so I'm sure I'll probably write more tonight once things settle down. If the settle down. We shall see.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Who Says the Chinese Don't Have A Sense Of Humor?

Poker not frustrating enough?

Why not Play ball?

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Hands Across The Water

It appears I've gleaned international attention! Woohoo!

To be honest, I'd been reading Londonfroggy's blog for a few days now... He's linked to the right for further reference.. Yes, this is your one stop shop for poker blogs.

Don't say I never did nothin' for ya.

The Only Way Out Is Through

The last 48 hours has been a guided tour through Poker Hell.

Last night, on advice from a friend, I sucked it up and threw some money down on a $1/$2 table at Party. Sat down with a $50 buyin, having padded my Party account by $50 for this purpose, so I'm, technically, still working on this original $50.. Barely.

So, I find myself at a $1/$2 table named "Jedi Council". The irony was running thick this night, I can tell you. I sit out a few hands, and sure enough, this table is full of semi-tight/passive players. "It's payday", I'm thinking, as I place my first buck into the blind. For the next 2 hours, I looked at the stats. I had seen 16% of the flops. I had won 2% of the hands. I had won 75% of the showdowns. I had played some 170 hands. To say that I was over there collecting garbage would have been like saying Saudi Arabia has a little bit of oil to sell. Besides the blinds, I think I can count on my fingers the number of flops I saw, and almost every single one of them missed me. I got four to a flush flops at least 8 times, and I think maybe one hit, if that. I don't have the numbers in front of me, since I don't have PokerTracker registered yet. I even had someone watching my play to check for holes in my game, and he agreed that I was doing the right things. Just nothing was happening.

In two hours I had bled all but $19 of it. I left disappointed, but in full confidence that this bad string of cards had to end soon.

And that it did.

Today, I sit down at a Party 50/1. It's your typical "let's see the flop" crowd, and I bank in with my usual $25 buyin. No pre-flop raising go on at all here.. Great.. I chip in the blind and off I go. The cards aren't stellar, but I'm getting some good hands. Or so I though... Let's review what happened here..

I had managed to pick up a small pot when I hit a full house and everyone folded to my bet when I get this:

0.50/1 TexasHTGameTable (Limit) - Tue Dec 09 18:33:06 EST 2003
Table Card Room Table 1376 (Real Money) -- Seat 8 is the button
Total number of players : 9
Seat 1: pljenkins ( $24.25)
Seat 2: Ilario ( $21)
Seat 3: elmar365 ( $32)
Seat 4: Barretts ( $4.50)
Seat 5: fatboy2001 ( $53)
Seat 6: Dumkoph ( $37.25)
Seat 7: bearmartin ( $24.50)
Seat 8: RamiTheKing ( $40.25)
Seat 10: superfreakie ( $22)
superfreakie posts small blind (0.25)
pljenkins posts big blind (0.50)
Ilario posts big blind (0.50)
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to pljenkins [ 7h, Ah ]
Ilario checks.
elmar365 folds.
Barretts calls (0.50)
fatboy2001 folds.
Dumkoph calls (0.50)
bearmartin calls (0.50)
RamiTheKing folds.
superfreakie folds.
pljenkins checks.
** Dealing Flop ** : [ Kh, 3h, Qh ]
pljenkins checks.
Ilario checks.
Barretts checks.
Dumkoph bets (0.50)
bearmartin calls (0.50)
pljenkins raises (1) to 1
Ilario folds.
Barretts folds.
Dumkoph calls (0.50)
bearmartin calls (0.50)
** Dealing Turn ** : [ 3d ]
pljenkins bets (1)
Dumkoph raises (2) to 2
bearmartin folds.
pljenkins raises (2) to 3
Dumkoph raises (2) to 4
pljenkins calls (1)
** Dealing River ** : [ 7c ]
pljenkins bets (1)
Dumkoph raises (2) to 2
pljenkins calls (1)
** Summary **
Main Pot: $17.25 | Rake: $0.50
Board: [ Kh 3h Qh 3d 7c ]
pljenkins balance $16.75, lost $7.50 [ 7h Ah ] [ a flush, ace high -- Ah,Kh,Qh,7h,3h ]
Ilario balance $20.50, lost $0.50 (folded)
elmar365 balance $32, didn't bet (folded)
Barretts balance $4, lost $0.50 (folded)
fatboy2001 balance $53, didn't bet (folded)
Dumkoph balance $47, bet $7.50, collected $17.25, net +$9.75 [ Qd 3c ] [ a full house, Threes full of queens -- Qd,Qh,3c,3h,3d ]
bearmartin balance $23, lost $1.50 (folded)
RamiTheKing balance $40.25, didn't bet (folded)
superfreakie balance $21.75, lost $0.25 (folded)

I flop the nut flush, and get beat by a Q3o. That hurt. A Q3o. The only mistake I can see me making was I didn't check up when that second 3 hit and he started raising me. Still, I couldn't believe it. A Q3 offsuit. Get a rope. Anyway, if it ended there, it wouldn't be that bad of a night.. Oh no, my friends.. The party is just starting.

0.50/1 TexasHTGameTable (Limit) - Tue Dec 09 18:53:52 EST 2003
Table Card Room Table 1376 (Real Money) -- Seat 8 is the button
Total number of players : 9
Seat 1: pljenkins ( $14.50)
Seat 3: elmar365 ( $33)
Seat 4: Barretts ( $8)
Seat 5: fatboy2001 ( $52)
Seat 6: Dumkoph ( $58.50)
Seat 7: bearmartin ( $16.25)
Seat 8: RamiTheKing ( $39.75)
Seat 9: drled ( $20)
Seat 10: superfreakie ( $21.75)
drled posts small blind (0.25)
pljenkins posts big blind (0.50)
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to pljenkins [ 7d, 7c ]
elmar365 folds.
Barretts calls (0.50)
Dumkoph folds.
bearmartin: nice hand king
bearmartin folds.
RamiTheKing calls (0.50)
drled calls (0.25)
pljenkins checks.
** Dealing Flop ** : [ 3s, 5c, 7s ]
RamiTheKing: ty
drled checks.
pljenkins bets (0.50)
Barretts calls (0.50)
RamiTheKing folds.
drled calls (0.50)
** Dealing Turn ** : [ 9h ]
drled checks.
pljenkins bets (1)
Barretts calls (1)
drled calls (1)
** Dealing River ** : [ 4h ]
drled checks.
pljenkins bets (1)
Barretts calls (1)
drled raises (2) to 2
pljenkins calls (1)
Barretts folds.
** Summary **
Main Pot: $11 | Rake: $0.50
Board: [ 3s 5c 7s 9h 4h ]
pljenkins balance $10.50, lost $4 [ 7d 7c ] [ three of a kind, sevens -- 9h,7d,7c,7s,5c ]
elmar365 balance $33, didn't bet (folded)
Barretts balance $5, lost $3 (folded)
fatboy2001 balance $52, sits out
Dumkoph balance $58.50, didn't bet (folded)
bearmartin balance $16.25, didn't bet (folded)
RamiTheKing balance $39.25, lost $0.50 (folded)
drled balance $27, bet $4, collected $11, net +$7 [ Qc 6d ] [ a straight, three to seven -- 7s,6d,5c,4h,3s ]
superfreakie balance $21.75, sits out

Yes, folks... Flopped the set, and got sucked out by the rivered gutshot by a guy who called me to the river trying for it. But wait, if you're the 5th caller, you also get a nice:

0.50/1 TexasHTGameTable (Limit) - Tue Dec 09 18:56:28 EST 2003
Table Card Room Table 1376 (Real Money) -- Seat 1 is the button
Total number of players : 8
Seat 1: pljenkins ( $10.25)
Seat 3: elmar365 ( $32.50)
Seat 4: Barretts ( $4.50)
Seat 5: fatboy2001 ( $52)
Seat 6: Dumkoph ( $62.25)
Seat 8: RamiTheKing ( $39.25)
Seat 9: drled ( $24)
Seat 10: superfreakie ( $21.75)
elmar365 posts small blind (0.25)
Barretts posts big blind (0.50)
fatboy2001 posts big blind + dead (0.75)
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to pljenkins [ Kd, Kh ]
fatboy2001 checks.
Dumkoph calls (0.50)
RamiTheKing folds.
drled calls (0.50)
pljenkins raises (1) to 1
elmar365 folds.
Barretts calls (0.50)
fatboy2001 folds.
Dumkoph folds.
drled calls (0.50)
** Dealing Flop ** : [ 9s, 6h, 5c ]
Barretts bets (0.50)
drled folds.
pljenkins raises (1) to 1
Barretts raises (1) to 1.50
pljenkins calls (0.50)
** Dealing Turn ** : [ Qs ]
Barretts bets (1)
pljenkins calls (1)
** Dealing River ** : [ 8s ]
pljenkins: There's no way.
Barretts bets (1)
Barretts calls all-In.
pljenkins calls (1)
Creating Main Pot with $11 with Barretts
** Summary **
Main Pot: $11 | | Rake: $0.50
Board: [ 9s 6h 5c Qs 8s ]
pljenkins balance $5.75, lost $4.50 [ Kd Kh ] [ a pair of kings -- Kd,Kh,Qs,9s,8s ]
elmar365 balance $32.25, lost $0.25 (folded)
Barretts balance $11, bet $4.50, collected $11, net +$6.50 [ 6c 6d ] [ three of a kind, sixes -- Qs,9s,6c,6d,6h ]
fatboy2001 balance $51.25, lost $0.75 (folded)
Dumkoph balance $61.75, lost $0.50 (folded)
RamiTheKing balance $39.25, didn't bet (folded)
drled balance $23, lost $1 (folded)
superfreakie balance $21.75, sits out
drled: screwed again pl

Yes, the coup de gras delivered, along with a nice parting shot from the guy who sucked me out the last time. I log out of the table in disgust and go to a $6 sit and go. Did very well, holding my own and waiting out for the fools to die... Until:

***** Hand History for Game 276656169 *****
200/400 TourneyTexasHTGameTable (NL) (Tournament 1556315) - Tue Dec 09 19:39:01 EST 2003
Table Card Room Table 1325 (Real Money) -- Seat 6 is the button
Total number of players : 5
Seat 1: Geechie (3595)
Seat 3: dgreco3917 (490)
Seat 5: goldenman (2640)
Seat 6: pljenkins (375)
Seat 8: cjfreeman (900)
cjfreeman posts small blind (100)
Geechie posts big blind (200)
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to pljenkins [ Qs, Ac ]
dgreco3917 folds.
goldenman folds.
pljenkins raises (375) to 375
pljenkins calls all-In.
cjfreeman folds.
Geechie calls (175)
** Dealing Flop ** : [ 2h, 3h, 9c ]
** Dealing Turn ** : [ 5d ]
** Dealing River ** : [ 8d ]
Creating Main Pot with $850 with pljenkins
** Summary **
Main Pot: 850 |
Board: [ 2h 3h 9c 5d 8d ]
Geechie balance 4070, bet 375, collected 850, net +475 [ 7c 6c ] [ a straight, five to nine -- 9c,8d,7c,6c,5d ]
dgreco3917 balance 490, didn't bet (folded)
goldenman balance 2640, didn't bet (folded)
pljenkins balance 0, lost 375 [ Qs Ac ] [ high card ace -- Ac,Qs,9c,8d,5d ]
cjfreeman balance 800, lost 100 (folded)
pljenkins finished in fifth place.

Yes, folks.. Your intrepid host, when faced with a total all-in hand, gets called up by, of all things, a suited connector that runner-runners into a fucking straight.

Take out a gun and shoot me.

So, any minute now, I'll wake up and realize this was all a bad dream. In the last 2 days, I've managed to hand out over $56 dollars to shitheads playing such illustrious hands as those illustrated above.

There is no God.

On the upside, I played a little .25/.50 at UB. Was up $14 and change in a little under 40 minutes... So maybe there's a God, but he has an aweful sense of humor.

Monday, December 08, 2003

People Are Broken

Once upon a time, the newsgroup was a good source of information for both the aspiring poker player and the complete newbie.

Those days are gone.

The festering cespool of brainiacs that spew upon the group there now are more then enough sideband interference to drown out the intelligent, thoughtful and useful posts of knowlegable poker enthusiasts and professionals.

I haven't been to 2+2 yet, partly because I can't read it at work. I understand that their interface is a hack job, though. I'll have to see for myself. I just wish I could read it at work... I don't know of enough poker blogs to keep myself entertained during all the downtime here. So, either I need to figure a way to circumvent the Net Nanny, or all my blogging brothers need to post more! (grin)

I have an interview for a new position in the company coming after my shift. Wonderful. I need to be mentally agile for this interview, and instead my brain is mush. That being said, my first interview for this position a few weeks ago was punctuated by my sudden and unexplainable inability to form complete sentences. Brain lock isn't typically a feature of mine when faced with stressful situations, and considering this position requires me to, in effect, supervise the dispatchers on the floor, folding under pressure is not something you'd want in a candidate. I'll just have to suck it up and bring my A game.

Speaking of my A game, I think today is the day I'm going to turn the corner here in my poker playing. I feel, in a word, lucky.

No doubt because of this post, you'll soon be reading how I managed to get slaughtered on the tables. But seriously, how long can a bad streak last? Mine is going on about 3 weeks now.

Though now that I think about it, I haven't exactly been LOSING money... Just not making any. So, I don't think I could really categorize this as a bad run, just a stagnant run.


I suck. I've had to re-edit this thing twice for stupid context errors...

Lack of sleep = -EV

What Did He Say?

Re-reading my previous post, it appears my witty writing abilities diminish exponentially with my fatigue level.

As a result, I might occasionally repeat some things I say, in that I'll say some things repetitively.

This is day 3 of 3 for these morning shifts, though, so I'll be back to my regularly scheduled self by tomorrow.. In the mean time, please forgive the grammatical and content errors, and just enjoy this wild and crazy Monday. Which is actually my Friday.

Though, potentially every day is Friday. At least, that's what Friday's claims, though I'm sure I'd have something to say about that if I worked at Friday's and either expected a check every day since, you know, payday is Friday, or never saw a check because since it is always Friday, and payday isn't on Friday, payday will never come.

I'd blame this mental (-ly retarded) diatribe on the Stacker 2, but I haven't taken one yet. I'm waiting for the aspirin to take effect.

4 more hours... That's all I gotta make it to...

A Race of 500 Miles Is Decided In Inches

I get the feeling lately that I'm pre-dispositioned to lose at poker.

Of course, I don't believe this, but it seems that, in spite of my best efforts at playing solid (for a rookie) poker, I always manage to find a way to lose money!

But this post isn't going negative. I refuse to be beat down by bad beats and miracle suckouts. Instead, I will relish the knowlege that I have the tools and the mental (and intestinal, if you will) fortitude to come out victorious.

Last night started as me just poking my head into Party to throw a couple of hands of .50/1 No Fold'em and hide away from the child my wife was babysitting. Since I had been up since 3:45am, by the time I got home, went to dinner and returned, I was juiced. Of course, once I got going, the second wind kicked in. I decided to give another S&G tourney a try, sticking like a saint to advice given to me about how to deal with the low buyin tourneys.

Early in the tourney, I broke out my portable spade and dug a foxhole to hide in while the blinds were low, and watched the fireworks. Sure enough, there were 3 or 4 people intent on winning the whole thing in one bet, so before 20 hands were dealt, we were down to 6 or so. The the tables turned ultra-tight as people suddenly realized that they were either low on chips or so long on chips that they could fold their way to the money. I took that opportunity to steal a few pots and blinds and managed to set myself up in pretty good chip shape, so I went back into hiding until it got down to the final four.

Then the cards dried up on me.

Long story short, I'm at about T650 in chips, and the other chip stacks were on the low 1000's, with one guy up around T2800. I get AQo three off the button and figure it's time to make the stand. I bet out and get two callers. Since I'm at work and don't have the hand history, I can't remember exactly what came up on the flop, but bottom line is I push all-in and I get one caller, the other guy folds out. The other guy was holding a JTo and managed to river out a straight to send me packing in 4th place. I was astonished. I put the hand through the hand analyzer at Two Dimes. Preflop, I was a 60% favorite to win. After the flop, I improved slightly to 62%, and by the turn that went to over 80%. And I lose. Not exactly qualifying for a "bad beat", but is sure sucked sufficient amounts of ass.

So, back to the .50/1 table, where hdouble and I both enjoy an entertaining game of "bait the calling station". Don't worry, we were good boys, we didn't chat about the hands were were playing. Anyway, I only played there for about 30 minutes, since my brain was going into fatigue induced shut down. Suffice to say, this was the worst possible time to not be able to stay at a table. I swear that if I could have just stayed, I would have been able to double my bankroll just playing that table. There were 6 people that would raise nothing and call everything. You could flop the obvious nuts and still get called to the river with 3 hanger-ons. I was a poker player's dream come true...

And I had to go to dreamland.

If I can remain in a resonably concious state this afternoon when I get home, I'll head back to the tables, but I will be alot more selective and observent of the table texture before I start throwing chips down. I gotta find that unicorn table of loose/passive callers again. It will be mine.

Oh yes, it will be mine.

More later. Gotta take one of those Stacker 2 Ephedra Free pills. Need caffeine, but I don't want to drink coffee to hit the dose required to keep me from falling into a coma. Gotta go Ephedra free because the Federal Government doesn't look too kindly at their dispatchers being jacked up on speed while making safety of flight decisions (imagine that).

Besides, Ephedra really trips me out. I get the shakes.