Friday, April 30, 2004

Better Lucky Then Good

I'm not sure what four nines does, but the ace, I think, is pretty high. -- Danny Ocean - Ocean's Eleven

I thought yesterday was a great day of poker, but today was even better. I didn't win as many pots as I did yesterday (where I pretty much won every pot I was in), but I managed to drag down two absolute monster pots to set me up real nice for the day. Even without the two huge scores, I would still have been up about $20, but thanks to those I finished the day $78 in the black. For me, this was huge.

The game of the day was again 1/2 6 Max, and this time I was getting my hand histories almost immediately, so I started playing around with PokerTracker's Gametime window. This is a pretty neat tool that Poker Nerd wrote a little "crash course" about on his blog, so I won't go into it here.

A couple of observations. I've played about 1400 hands of 1/2 6 Max, and I'm here to tell ya, the players on there are hilariously bad, at least in the morning/afternoon. I can't imagine how bad they get in the evening, but I intend to find out. Today I played 4 different tables. The average VP$IP I saw was around 60%. Yes, kids, that's the average. It was amazing the things these people were throwing money at the pot with! If you can keep the discipline to remain tight even in the face of such poor play, you stand to make some serious coin. With the GameTime window there to help you, you can find out pretty quick how the table is shaping up. Paying attention to the table texture and how others play is very important, but the mind can't remember everything. The Gametime window misses nothing.

Of course, if you're going to play more then 1 table, the gametime window is going to do nothing but create a diversion and confuse you.

Covering up my "stack" continues to pay off dividends for me. I didn't even peek at where I stood before I left a table to go to another. Closed the table first, then took the sticky off the screen. I love not having any idea where I am in a session. It's completely changed how I approach betting.

I'm trying to determine how much of my profit these last two days is attributable to luck and how much is to skill. It's tough to differentiate when your feeling bulletproof, but thanks to the hidden stack size, I've managed to keep a level head and remain unaffected by winning or losing. Hopefully I don't take a spiral just as rapid as this rise!

Thursday, April 29, 2004


The attitude dictates that you don't care whether she comes, stays, lays, or prays. I mean whatever happens, your toes are still tappin'. Now when you got that, then you have the attitude.
-- Mike Damone - Fast Times At Ridgemont High

Well, after a couple of days off visiting the P's Your Humble commentator is back in the saddle again.

I decided to take some advice and ignore others. If you all remember, I set my stoploss at $200 as the point I would fall back to the 50/1 tables. I'm going to stick to that right now and stay with the 1/2 tables unless that happens. The 50/1 action is just entirely too random for me. At least at the 1/2 level, there's some semblance of intelligence there. I have found lately all that's left at the 50/1 level is completely clueless folk who will play any two cards and miracle a hand, and higher level players who have dipped down to the bottom of the aquarium to blow off some steam and fuck around with the NewBs.

What I did do was knock off playing multiple tables for the time being. My game was starting to suffer as a result of playing too fast. I'm still playing the 1/2 6 max for now.

I also took Poker Nerd's advice and covered up my "stack" with a post-it. This I think made a HUGE difference in my game today.

Today was one of those "en fuego" sort of days. I'm at work again, so I have to think of these off the cuff. For the first hour and a half or so, I saw almost 40% of the flops and won money at showdown 100% of the time. The deck was hitting me upside the head. As mentioned above, I took a post-it note and covered up my buy-in. I had absolutely no idea what my stack looked like, and subsequently, I didn't care. It was a hugely liberating feeling. As soon as I read this piece of advice from PN, I immediately started thinking about how I do seem to adjust my game depending on my stack size. If I'm down, I tend to loosen up, and if I'm up I tend to try to protect that profit. Both are bad ideas, and by not having any idea where I stood with my stack, I was forced to simply play the hand as it stood, not how *I* stood. An example. Let's say I'm holding something like AQo. The flop comes 63J. I bet and am called. The turn comes a 6, I fire another bet and am raised. If I had access to my stack size information, I would immediately start thinking "geez, I've already put 'x' in, and I need that pot to get back to a winning session" and I would probably call this raise and the river bet and be shown the obvious set of 6's. With my bank covered, I don't have a frame or reference. Am I ahead? Behind? Who cares. The moves I make don't change the number I can't see, since in my mind that buyin is gone. I'm forced to play the hand, and so I fold without batting an eye.

When I uncovered my stack size about 2 hours later, I discover that my $50 buyin was now $108.

Of course, the table I was on was outstanding. There must have been at least 6 people throughout the time I was on that table that had VP$IP percentages approaching or exceeding 70%. People were just chucking money at me, and since I had no reference, folding a blind bet and a shitty hand to a raise made no difference to me. I waited for the right moment and made them pay.

For some reason, Party wasn't sending me any hand histories. I opened up the Gametime window in Pokertracker and had PT request hand histories every 10 minutes so I could get some information into the gametime window, but alas, I never got any hand histories until well after the session. I can only wonder how much better I would have done with that information available in almost real-time!

Monday, April 26, 2004


People on 'ludes should not drive! -- Jeff Spicolli - Fast Times At Ridgemont High

Okay, I've been poking around the other blogs and I came across something from Poker Nerd relating to the MajorKong 2+2 post I referenced some time back. I don't know why, but something in my feeble brain thinks this was a quip at me for failing to appreciate the complexity of that post.

So, let me put something straight here. I'm not advocating that MajorKong is Jesus Christ of the poker world. If you spend enough time poking around 2+2, you'll quickly find that everyone there for the most part thinks they're poker wizards. Now, don't get me wrong, there are some fine poker minds floating around the 2+2 boards. For the most part, the people that are regulars on that board have played an awful lot of poker. Some of the information there is gold. Most of it is either incomplete or inappropriate for most players.

I like the golf analogy PokerNerd used.

Suppose you're a professional golfer. You have a world-renowned coach and you've been very successful. He tells you that after watching some tape, he noticed your right foot is about an inch too close to the ball when you're trying to control a slice with your driver. You say "great" and hit the practice tees for the end, you find a way to shave a half stroke off your average round. You're a great player that became incrementally better because you fully understood everything about the small adjustment you made.

Now, suppose you just took up the game. You get the same advice from the same world-renowned pro. The problem is your slice isn't intentional, you probably should leave the driver in the car, and you think you're ready for a big tournament down at the country club. You tee off on the first hole with his advice in the back of your head and shoot it way out of bounds. And you wonder how this coach could possibly be so great. He didn't help you at all!

First thing. If you're a new player, and you decide to go to the 2+2 forums and take MK's or anyone elses advice verbatim and go to the tables, you deserve to lose, because you're an idiot. For those that don't know, 2+2 is also a publishing company that has a line of books for sale. There is a bit of an agenda there. Never, ever trust advice from a poker player without thoroughly researching it. Poker is like art. Everyone has their own style and thought process, but seldom do they transfer cleanly from one person to the other. I'll never play poker exactly like David Ross, or HDouble, or MajorKong, because neither they nor I are a machine. Anyway, like I said, if you're a new player looking to find a "sure-fire" way to beat poker, you're already done playing.

Second, if you think that you can learn how to play poker by watching professionals play, you will lose money. Like I said previously, Poker is art. Even Beethoven started out playing chopsticks. There are valuable lessons to be learned from watching the pros, but if you think you can sit down and rule the table without honing your skills, you are going to get dropped like third period French.

Third, it's not that you should "leave the driver in the car". Quite the opposite. The problem was when you brought the entire bag to the course for the tourney. Trying to learn winning poker by sitting down at the $15-$30 table is like trying to learn how to drive a race car at the Indy 500.

I don't know why, but I just seemed to take PokerNerd's post a little personal. I'm sure I'm just over reacting, and if so I apologize.


Let's work the problem people. Let's not make things worse by guessing.
-- Gene Kranz - Apollo 13

Last night I had the most surreal and unpleasant experience I can ever recall having in my life. To set the stage, I live in the duplex. This duplex has 3 bedrooms and mine is at the end of the hall. The hall goes about 30 feet and turns left into the living room. The whole place has a vaulted ceiling, so sound is pretty amplified all throughout the place. This generally isn't a problem since I don't have kids. Anyway, it's about 12:30am. I'm lying in bed watching the weather channel. The wife is asleep so I have it down pretty low, and I have a humidifier in the living room that is putting out a little white noise, so it's pretty quiet all around.

Now, I'm sure you all can relate to that semi-concious feeling right when you start to doze off. Your mind starts to tune out your surroundings, and you're not quite sure if you're in a dream state or awake.

All of the sudden, I hear the most blood curdling, ear screeching yowl come from... somewhere. I can't accurately put into words how absolutely horrifying this sound was, and how loud it was, but I can accurately describe what it did to me. My eyes snapped open, but my body refused to move in ways I commanded it to. I couldn't even get my jaw to respond correctly to yell out at what I could only guess was the cat. It was such a surreal experience being so absolutely terrified that you don't have full control over your body. It took a good 15 minutes for me to come down off the adrenalin rush. It fucked me up pretty bad.

Turns out the cat spied another cat or some other creature wandering around the back yard and decided to pitch a fit about it. I was half expecting to discover my cat trapped in something or injured in some way, what with the sound coming out of it. I've lived with and owned cats almost my entire life, and I've never heard this sound come out of a domesticated cat.

Anyway, I've always heard the term "scared stiff". Now I know what it is.

Poker today was cut short by the Party servers taking a dump. I was playing around in 1/2 6 max and was carving out a pretty good rate. I went up about $30 on one table, then it broke up. Went to another table and it had terrible texture. Lots of pre-flop aggression and crazy play. I dumped about $20 there before bailing and looking for better fishing. The third table was looking very good. Very passive and easy to control. I was just setting in for another nice winning session when it all locked up, of course while I was waiting for a pot to be pushed my way. Figures. Ended the shortened day up around $12.

I've gotten some good advice so far. Please keep it coming! I especially liked the suggestion from Poker Nerd about taking a Post-It note and covering up my "buy-in" amount. I sometimes find myself thinking about my stack size when deciding what to do in a limit ring game. During no-limit games, your stack size is important and should come into consideration, but in limit, I don't think you want to try to change your play just because of your stack size, up or down. I don't know that I want to fall back to .50/1 yet. The play there is just too insane for me, and in reviewing all the levels I've played so far, it appears my highest BB/100 earn is on the 1/2 6 Max tables, with about 1050 hands recorded. I enjoy the shorthanded games because they are easier to follow and they move faster. This discourages me from opening up a web browser or another table to break up the monotony of waiting for 9 other people to get their shit together. In the shorthanded games, too, other players make a lot more mistakes by chasing hands without proper odds.

And the most important of these, I enjoy playing them.

Another suggestion was to take a day or two off. This I will do. I'm heading up to my mom's place to drop off the car I brought up from Florida last week, so that will be at least 2 days I'm not playing poker. Every time I've played when I'm up there I tend to lose, so I'll just stay away. I might try to squeeze in an hour or two Wednesday night when I get home, depending on what's going on and how tired I am. We shall see.

Bomb Damage Assessment

I was playing some more poker this morning when Party decided to go ass end up. Of course, it decided to die right as I was winning a pot. I guess I should be happy it wasn't a monster. I had KJs and the flop came AA2 with one of my suit. I bet and everyone folded for a $2.50 win, but it never got credited I'm sure, so that figures.

Anyway, since I appear to have some spare time now, I decided to go back and see what exactly went wrong yesterday. PokerTracker rocks the free world, by the way. If you have any aspirations to improve your game, you'll get PokerTracker. It is, without a doubt, worth it's weight in checks. Tall, towering stacks of checks.

A nice feature of PokerTracker is you can replay hands. Further, you can filter hands to replay on certain criteria. Since I want to see what happened in hands I played in, I selected to see all hands where I saw the flop. You'll remember yesterday I broke down my losses by what I thought were the causes. Well, my friends, the numbers don't lie. Here's a breakdown of some of the hands I ended up in and a little post hand analysis to go along with it. I invite you all to use the comments section liberally to cut me up give me feedback on these hands. Details will be provided upon request... So, here we go into the land of Make believe!

Hand #1

Party Poker No-Limit Hold'em, $0.50 BB (8 handed) converter

Button ($35.15)

SB ($34.88)

ICP_Paul ($25)

UTG ($21.23)

UTG+1 ($35.80)

MP1 ($25)

MP2 ($26)

CO ($18.18)

Preflop: ICP_Paul is BB with Jd, Ks.

UTG folds, UTG+1 folds, MP1 folds, MP2 calls $0.50, CO folds, Button calls $0.50, SB folds, ICP_Paul checks.

Flop: ($1.75) Qh, Ac, 5s (3 players)

ICP_Paul checks, MP2 bets $1, Button calls $1, ICP_Paul calls $1.

Turn: ($4.75) 8h (3 players)

ICP_Paul checks, MP2 bets $1, Button calls $1, ICP_Paul folds.

River: ($6.75) 9d (2 players)

MP2 bets $1
, Button folds.

Final Pot: $7.75


MP2 doesn't show.

Outcome: MP2 wins $7.75.

This was probably a good laydown. I'm only 11-1 to catch the gutshot and the pot is only laying me something like 7-1 odds. Fold-o-rama.

Hand #2

Party Poker 1/2 Hold'em (10 handed) converter

Preflop: ICP_Paul is CO with 6h, 6c.

UTG calls, UTG+1 calls, UTG+2 folds, MP1 calls, MP2 folds, MP3 folds, ICP_Paul calls, Button folds, SB folds, BB checks.

Flop: (5.50 SB) 2h, Jh, 3h (5 players)

BB bets
, UTG folds, UTG+1 folds, MP1 calls, ICP_Paul folds.

I always have trouble with pocket pairs. This one seemed like a good idea. Even though one of my 6's is a heart, giving me 4 to the flush, I can almost guerentee that there's a bigger heart out there somewhere, so that's not really an option. If I hit my set I could still be dead. Only a boat will help me here, and I'm far from it. Fold.

Hand #3

Party Poker 1/2 Hold'em (9 handed) converter

Preflop: ICP_Paul is Button with Js, 8s.

UTG folds, UTG+1 folds, MP1 folds, MP2 calls, MP3 folds, CO folds, ICP_Paul calls, SB completes, BB checks.

Flop: (4 SB) Ts, Ks, 4h (4 players)

SB checks, BB checks, MP2 bets, ICP_Paul calls, SB folds, BB calls.

Turn: (3.50 BB) Kc (3 players)

BB checks, MP2 bets, ICP_Paul calls, BB folds.

River: (5.50 BB) As (2 players)

MP2 bets
, ICP_Paul raises, MP2 3-bets, ICP_Paul calls.

Final Pot: 11.50 BB


MP2 shows Ac Kd (full house, kings full of aces).

ICP_Paul shows Js 8s (flush, ace high).

Outcome: MP2 wins 11.50 BB.

Here's a fun one! On the flop I'm clearly behind here, but only by a little. With the pot laying me 5-1 odds with the lead out bet, this is an easy call. When the second King hits, I'm getting nervous, but my flush still beats a set. I'm clearly behind now, but I'm still okay odds wise with the bet by MP2, with the pot now giving me 4.5-1 with a 4-1 draw. Close, but still good. Then the river comes with one of the two cards in the deck that kills me. Figures. Of course, I'm thinking my flush is the nuts here, so I raise it up, only to get hit with a re-raise. Since MP2 only limped in, I'm totally at a loss for what he has. Either way, I'm committed to call this down.

-$10 for that hand.

Hand #4

Party Poker 1/2 Hold'em (9 handed) converter

Preflop: ICP_Paul is MP1 with Th, Td.

UTG folds, UTG+1 calls, ICP_Paul calls, MP2 calls, MP3 folds, CO folds, Button folds, SB completes, BB checks.

Flop: (5 SB) 8s, 7d, 6h (5 players)

SB checks, BB checks, UTG+1 checks, ICP_Paul bets, MP2 raises, SB calls, BB folds, UTG+1 folds, ICP_Paul calls.

Turn: (5.50 BB) Jc (3 players)

SB checks, ICP_Paul checks, MP2 bets $0.5 (All-In), SB calls, ICP_Paul calls.

River: (6.25 BB) 6c (3 players, 1 all-in)

SB bets
, ICP_Paul calls.

Final Pot: 8.25 BB


SB shows 4s 6s (three of a kind, sixes).

ICP_Paul shows Th Td (two pair, tens and sixes).

MP2 shows Ad 6d (three of a kind, sixes).

Outcome: MP2 wins 6.25 BB. SB wins 2 BB.

Ugh. This one is brutal. On the turn, I'm a 73% favorite to win here.


Hand #5

Party Poker 1/2 Hold'em (10 handed) converter

Preflop: ICP_Paul is SB with 4c, Ac.

UTG folds, UTG+1 calls, UTG+2 calls, MP1 folds, MP2 folds, MP3 calls, CO folds, Button folds, ICP_Paul completes, BB checks.

Flop: (5 SB) 3h, Ad, 3c (5 players)

ICP_Paul bets
, BB calls, UTG+1 calls $1 (All-In), UTG+2 calls, MP3 folds.

Turn: (4.50 BB) 5s (4 players, 1 all-in)

ICP_Paul bets
, BB raises, UTG+2 folds, ICP_Paul calls.

River: (8.50 BB) Jh (3 players, 1 all-in)

ICP_Paul checks, BB bets, ICP_Paul calls.

Final Pot: 10.50 BB


ICP_Paul shows 4c Ac (two pair, aces and threes).

BB shows 5d 5c (full house, fives full of threes).

UTG+1 shows 9s 5h (two pair, fives and threes).

Outcome: BB wins 10.50 BB.

This one made me sick. After the flop, I'm a 94% favorite here. BB has only the two remaining 5's as outs, and UTG+1 has one of them, so this guy basically has one card in the deck to screw me with. Sure enough, it comes on the river. -$8.

Hand #6

Party Poker 1/2 Hold'em (9 handed) converter

Preflop: ICP_Paul is MP3 with 6d, 5d.

UTG folds, UTG+1 folds, MP1 folds, MP2 folds, ICP_Paul calls, CO folds, Button folds, SB raises, BB calls, ICP_Paul calls.

Flop: (6 SB) Jd, Qd, Jh (3 players)

SB bets
, BB raises, ICP_Paul calls, SB calls.

Turn: (6 BB) Ad (3 players)

SB checks, BB bets, ICP_Paul calls, SB calls.

River: (9 BB) Td (3 players)

SB checks, BB checks, ICP_Paul checks.

Final Pot: 9 BB


SB shows As Kd (straight flush, ace high).

BB shows Js 7s (three of a kind, jacks).

ICP_Paul shows 6d 5d (flush, ace high).

Outcome: SB wins 9 BB.

This one is a soul crusher. It also illustrates how poor my memory is, since i cited this in a previous post and got it all wrong. In any event, I'm not sure I should have been here pre-flop, what with the raise from the SB. Once that flop hits, I'm sure I'm still a dog, but with the bet and raise, the pot is laying me 9-1 odds, and I can assume that'll be 10-1 since SB will call that raise, at least. If they get into a raising war, I'll benefit with better pot odds. Alas, they don't. The turn is my money card. It fills the flush, and it's an ace, so I hope to get action on it... So I CALL?!?. WTF is the matter with me?! Turns out I have excellent intuition. The 4th diamond screws me. Thus is the danger of playing small suited connectors. I got away light. -$6

Hand #7

Party Poker 1/2 Hold'em (9 handed) converter

Preflop: ICP_Paul is SB with Ks, Kd.

UTG folds, UTG+1 calls, MP1 folds, MP2 folds, MP3 folds, CO calls, Button folds, ICP_Paul raises, BB calls, UTG+1 calls, CO calls.

Flop: (8 SB) 5s, 8s, 6d (4 players)

ICP_Paul bets
, BB calls, UTG+1 calls, CO calls.

Turn: (6 BB) 7h (4 players)

ICP_Paul bets
, BB raises, UTG+1 folds, CO calls, ICP_Paul folds.

This happened alot yesterday. Great starting hands, and the board just conspires against me. Luckily, this one came down pretty obvious, and the information bet gave me all I needed to know. Didn't take a slide rule to figure out that the raise indicated a made straight. Bye bye, Kings.

Hand #8

Party Poker 1/2 Hold'em (10 handed) converter

Preflop: ICP_Paul is BB with Ad, 2d.

UTG folds, UTG+1 folds, UTG+2 folds, MP1 folds, MP2 folds, MP3 folds, CO folds, Button folds, SB raises, ICP_Paul calls.

Flop: (4 SB) Ks, 7d, Jh (2 players)

SB checks, ICP_Paul bets, SB calls.

Turn: (3 BB) 4s (2 players)

SB checks, ICP_Paul bets, SB raises, ICP_Paul calls.

River: (7 BB) 2h (2 players)

SB bets
, ICP_Paul calls.

Final Pot: 9 BB


SB shows Kc Jc (two pair, kings and jacks).

ICP_Paul shows Ad 2d (one pair, twos).

Outcome: SB wins 9 BB.

This was just plain stupid poker. Totally forgetting the rule of "you cannot bluff in low limit", I sense the check calls from the SB as weakness and bet to make him go away. I probably should have started to clue in that something wasn't right when he check/called me on the flop. When the turn check/raise hit, that clue should have been about as obvious as a train coming down the tracks. Don't ask me what I called this down on 3 outs. I think this was one of those "tilt" losses. -$9 for getting schooled.

Okay, that's enough hand analysis for now.. Perhaps more later. Comments welcomed and encouraged.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

War Pigs

Ooh, that plan is well known. You'll have to do better than that.
-- Merlin - Excaliber

Back when I was in high school, I took a psychology class. Like all classes, this one had a mid-term. We all sat down and were handed our tests. 25 questions, all long form answer questions. No multiple guess. It was about 10 pages worth of test, and we had to get it done in the 45 or so minutes allocated for this class. Seeing the obvious time crunch, we all immediately went to work diligently writing.

After about 40 minutes, I get to the final question of the test, which was also the only question on the final page of the test. It read:

It is not necessary to answer any questions on this test. Simply write your name in the space below and turn the test in. Have a nice break.

Not one of the students who took the test in my class turned in an empty test.

The lesson was simple. Evaluate the work thoroughly before setting to work on it.

Why do I bring up this little tidbit of life history? Well, it has a lot to do with why my losses were so horrific today. And by horrific, I don't necessarily mean I lost a huge amount of money. It was a bad loss, but it wasn't a disaster. By horrific, I mean I complicated matters by attempting to adopt a style of play that I didn't have all the information about.

See, for the last month or so, I've been multi-tabling 50/1. Though I certainly haven't been destroying these games, I've been scratching out a nice little profit. The trouble lies in, the 50/1 games are all about "fit or fold". The problem is, I was slowly starting to fall into a rut of playing my own cards. Do I have a good hand? If yes, I get aggressive. If no, I fold and move on. I'd only take a cursory glance at how many people were still in, and the size of the pot, but it really didn't allow for me to consider pot odds, implied odds, none of it. Playing multiple tables, you can afford to lower your BB/100 because the volume of hands you're playing makes for a decent day's profit, so ultra-tight/aggressive works.

After reading MajorKong's advice, or more reviewed quickly, I decided to try to use this in my game.

Trouble is, that style of play requires a very strong grasp on table texture, odds (pot and implied) and hand reading. This is something I simply can't do when I'm multi-tabling. I went back this evening and reviewed all the information in the thread and came to be re-enlightened about how this advice actually is expected to work.

Again, I'm at work so I don't have PokerTracker in front of me, but basically, I think my losses broke down like this:

$30 from bad beats
$20 from chasing hands I didn't have odds on
$10 from tilt

The bad beats today were pretty legendary. I have pocket Kings twice. Once they lost to a guy who slowplayed aces to the river and managed to survive. Once when a joker with a K9o sucked out a straight on the river. One particularly nasty one was, I had something like 7s9s in the blind with 4 callers. The flop brings TsQs8d, giving me four to the flush and the open ended straight draw. The betting goes nuts and it's 4 people with 3 bets to the turn, which brings the Js, filling my flush. I'm bet into and I raise it up. It comes back to me capped with 3 people in and the pot is now a monster. I'm getting ready to start stacking when the river comes an As. SHIT! I make the crying call and the jamoke across from me turns over his Ks8c for the royal flush.

In my new "fold-fold-fold"/"pound-pound-pound" philosophy (well, okay, not new but revisited) I paid a dear price from these suckouts.

And that's really what today was. It was a brutal day of missed draws, suckouts and a small peppering of bad calls, probably borne of frustration.

It just figures though. I mean, I wasn't expecting to start off in the 1/2 arena setting the place on fire, but I was certainly not expecting to be within $40 of my stoploss in one day, either. I think that's really what popped my breaker.

I think I'm at the point in my poker game where I'm just smart enough to be a danger to my bankroll. I think I know more then I really know, and I think I'm more successful then I am. I've played 17,000 hands of poker and my BB/100 hands is only 1.5 or so. This isn't bad, if I were playing a higher stake where the play is better, but in the 50/1 games, I really should be closer to +2BB/100 hands.

So, the grind will continue until I'm either broke or into a decent level game. It's all I can do.


What a great day of poker!

I really kicked some serious ass.

Total take, -$60.09.

Oh yeah, baby.

Excuse me while I contemplate withdrawing what's left and fucking giving this shit up.

Who's On First?

Okay, so after roughly 16,000 hands of poker that I've put into PokerTracker, I have the following statistics.

Hands recorded: 16,484
Saw Flop: 26%
VP$IP: 17%
Preflop Raise: 3%
Went to SD: 26%
Won at SD: 54%

There are some other numbers, but I think these tell the biggest tale. Comments welcomed and encouraged!

Saturday, April 24, 2004

Changing Gears

Jed, only one man in a hundred plays poker by the odds. Luck's only important when you sit down with men who play as tight as you do. When I find that out I quit. It's *gambling*. -- Bret Maverick - Maverick

As often happens when I sit down and start spewing thoughts onto text with little filtering, some of my thoughts didn't come out clear or as intended...

My mention of the success of LG and David came across as complaining about not being able to make the dollars they are. Though it would certainly be nice to see $1000+ weeks, I'm smart enough to know that that success only comes when you put in more hours then I have available. It was pointed out to me that my success is measured as a value of BB/100 hands and if those numbers are showing an appropriate win rate then I should just simmah dahn nah...

As for the HDub and Monk reference, I think need to point out that my comment wasn't supposed to come across as a "Monk stole my lunch money" sort of comment. I was trying to get across that HDouble is an excellent tutor. The discussions he and I have had on poker strategy have been enlightening and thoroughly enjoyable. Monk and HDouble's relationship transcends poker.

Okay, enough clarification. It's my blog and I'll cry if I want to. Except to say, I would still like to sit down with LG or David and pick their brains a little bit. I promise when/if I ever get to the level they're at I'll stay off their tables!

Armed with my new mental realignment and the words of MajorKong fresh in my head, I resolve to play smarter poker and sit down at my usual 3 50/1 tables. The difference in my game was basically a loosening up of my pre-flop hands, and the first three tables I was on were great. Loose/passive with lots of calling. If I had top pair, I'd stay in the hand. If I had overcards to the board and the pot was big, I would stay in. I was basically paying more attention to what outs I had and how they could help me or hurt me. After 2 hours I was up almost 20BB. Then two of the tables broke up and I moved to others.

And the bottom fell out. Suddenly cards were missing. I was getting outdrawn. It was deja vue all over again. Within another hour my 20BB gain turned into a 10BB loss. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Finally, out of sheer frustration, I logged off of the two tables that were breaking up and replaced them with two 1/2 tables, keeping the 50/1 table I was doing worse at, but was still full, open. Immediately on one table I took off again, but it was all together different. Raises meant something. Aggression was reacted to. Table image paid off. It was amazing. In 30 minutes I was up 12BB on the one table. The other 1/2 I was getting smacked down pretty bad on, halving my buyin in the same 30 minutes, but then I got pocket Kings and they help up to a ton of action for a nice pot to bring me about even. In the next half hour the table I was up huge on sort of foundered and I neither gained nor lost, while on the other table I scratched back up to I managed to bring in a 2BB gain on. Meanwhile the last 50/1 table I had open I managed to scratch back from a 14BB loss to a 6BB loss.

Take for the day, around +$13, but it was rough. After having such a stellar start, I was brutal watching it all go away when the cards suddenly went ice cold. The move to the 1/2 tables was borne of frustration, but it seemed that, as of the short term at least, this might turn out to ultimately be a better move. We'll see, I guess, how this goes.

One thing I've noticed lately. I usually play 3 tables of 50/1. For as long as I can remember, it always seems that I'm up on two and woefully down on the third. Always. For you other guys who play 3 or 4 tables at a time, how do you know when it's time to get off a table and move to another? Instinct? Bad beat? Stoploss?

I don't have access to PartyPoker from work, but I think my bankroll right now stands at around $330. I'm going to say "what the fuck" and make my move to 1/2. I shall stay there until I hit either $200 or $600 (not real sure of the top yet, but definitely the bottom). I have to do something to inject some enjoyment back into my game, and I think maybe, just maybe, a move up in levels might do it for me.

Either that of I'm cruising for a world class bruising.

Maintenence Required

Ugh. It looks like the "leave a message" thingy I had on here has inexplicably disappeared. I've done nothing to change my template for this thing, so it must be a problem with Haloscan. Sure hope it comes back soon. I'd really like to have my comments back! In the mean time, if you want to leave a message, email me.

Friday, April 23, 2004


A rifle is only a tool. It's a hard heart that kills. If your killer instincts are not clean and strong you will hesitate at the moment of truth. You will not kill. You will become dead Marines. And then you will be in a world of shit. Because Marines are not allowed to die without permission. -- Gunnery Sgt. Hartman - Full Metal Jacket

This has been a difficult, if short, poker week for me. Last week, I was wallowing between plus or minus $50 on my bankroll, not making any headway at all.

This week started with a mercilous beating on the No Fold'em table in Florida, followed by a gawdaweful slide that evening in Party, mitigated only slightly by a runner-up finish in a $5 sit and go. Today was another horrific beating. I played 4 $10 sit and goes and only placed in the money on one, for a $25 net loss. Then I went to the 50/1 tables and was greeted with bad beat over bad beat, including one where I was in against two maniacs capping every street with my top two pair only to get fucking rivered by some cretin holding pocket 8's when the third 8 hit the board.

And thus is how my week is going. But I can't help but think there's more. Read on, my faithful bretheren.

I played poker for about 3 or 4 hours today, and I had not a drop of fun. The sit and goes were just plain frustrating. I can't play more then one or I lose concentration, and the play on them was glacially slow. I found myself on several occasions wandering around the internet waiting for someone to make a decision, and this didn't help me following the table at all. The ring games later were just simply a grind, and what's worse, I think I'm getting worse at playing the longer I sit there in the low limit Hell that is 50/1. No one is smart/observent enough on that level to realize/respect a raise, and likewise, the players there are bad enough that you really have no idea what a raise means from half of them.

I went back and read up on some of the more important points of low limit play, including an interesting post on Two Plus Two from Ed "MajorKong" Miller about why people aren't crushing the low limit games.


The advice seems solid. The odds demand that you stay in a big pot, especially if you have a hand that might possibly still be the winner or improve to a winner. My problem comes in the form of instinct. After a good many hours at the low limit tables, I've learned one thing to be true; if you think they have it, they have it. If I'm holding KK and it's raised up, the pot is pretty big by the flop. If the flop has an ace in it, I can pretty much guarentee someone has me beat. If I could side bet it, I would do it every day and twice on Sunday. So, lets say this is the case, I hold Kings and the board flops an ace. Let's also say that the pot is now 6BB, including the bet and call ahead of me on the flop... It's my call. Call? Raise? Fold? I have to assume I'm behind here, and I only have 2 outs.

In my mind, this is a fold in every circumstance. The pot cannot be big enough ever to cover the odds for a call here, but according to MajorKong a fold here is disasterous. I can't count on aggression to move anyone who has an ace but a crap kicker off the pot. If I couldn't get them to fold to my raise pre-flop, I can pretty much count on them sticking around for the duration if they caught their ace.

I think during this period I've become more and more tight/passive. I've lost my way. My game is starting to rust. Mold. Founder. Poker at the 50/1 level is at roughly the same intellectual level as arguing with a 14 year old. It doesn't matter what you say, they've already made up their mind before you've said word one.

So, what's the issue? Information overload. Especially considering that I've read so many conflicting concepts on how to beat the low limit game. Some say take the "damn the torpedoes" full throttle aggressive mode. Others say "fit or fold" and assume the worst, 'cuz it's probably true. This is where I am at the moment. I think after some review, it's definately time for me to turn up the aggression, but how much? At what point does "aggressive" turn into "wreckless"?

What's more frustrating is this. I look at guys like Lord Geznikor and David Ross. Guys who are posting $1000+ weeks. I don't fancy myself the next Howard Lederer, but I do feel like I have the skill to play like these guys. I mean, shit, LG is playing 4 tables. I have a pretty quick brain, and there's no way in Hell I can get accurate reads on players on 3 tables. 4 tables is all about ABC poker. It's gotta be. So, what's the secret? If LG can make $1000 a week playing $3-$6, why can't I make $200 a week playing $.50-$1.00? The play certainly isn't WORSE at the $3-$6 level! So, what am I doing wrong? Is it that the .50/1 level is so unpredictable that making a consistant profit is MORE difficult? And if this is the case, wouldn't it be more profitable for me to move up to a higher limit even if my bankroll is a little short for supporting it?

I still want poker to be fun. I think it would be if I could at least make some positive headway. I don't play poker for the money at the moment, but I certainly can't argue with the idea that the potential for me to actually MAKE some decent money factors into the equation. After all, poker is fun, but having poker pay for the things I'd like without having to sacrifice my "earned income" for them is the spice that keeps me playing, at the moment.

It seems like I'm babbling, and maybe I am. Deal. Trying to get these thoughts out in the open may attract some help in sorting them out. I'm not the type of person that likes to impose on other people, especially when there is really nothing I can offer in return other then gratitude. My man HDouble has taken on a young apprentice in Monk, who is tearing it up, having jetted up to the $2-$4 tables in rapid order before running into a dry run of cards that sent him down a peg. I cheer for Monk, but I feel a twinge of sadness in having missed the opportunity to be in his shoes.

I'd really like to sit down with a Lord Gezinkor or a David Ross and just pick their brains. What is their strategy? It has to be reletively simple to be effective on 3 or 4 tables simultaniously.

Perhaps it's just that I suck?


Visit Google, type Weapons Of Mass Destruction in the search window and hit "I'm Feeling Lucky".

Sense of humor while having root access to the worlds most popular search engine > almost anything


You know, you come from nothing, you're going back to nothing. What have you lost? Nothing!
-- Crucifee - Monty Python's The Life of Brian

Short post now, long post later.

I've lost 0.476 shitloads of money today. And I'm starting to not like poker very much. I'll get into the psychology of this in my next post, but suffice to say I have some thinking to do.

I'm just frustrated with this. I'm not having fun. I'm tired of playing robot poker in the 50/1 arena. I'm sick of trying to keep my cool when I get sucked out on for the 32767'th time in a session. I'm sick of sitting patiently for three quarters of an hour waiting for a hand I can play in a sit and go only to get sucked out by some 2 outer and be out of it in 4th place.

I'm sick of playing at a level when any attempts to grow a brain is met with a -EV.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Gasoline Is Expensive

Especially when you drive a Lincoln Town Car from Florida to Wisconsin. The drive went uneventfully though, so that's no concern...

Florida was nice. At least the 6 hours of it I saw... Some friends of the family picked me up from the airport and we had dinner. Afterwards, I headed over to the dog track/card room to meet up with Decker. I was seated at a different table then him when I arrived, but before I could even sit down and place a bet they called me for the open seat on 20, where Decker was. I sat down in the 1 seat and Decker moved over to the 2 seat while I bought into the $2 straight bet game for $60... I figured this would be a sufficient buyin.

Silly me.

I decided to pass until the blinds came around, but it appeared that that wasn't necessary, as I kept being dealt in. I figured this for a mistake and just automucked my cards until the blind showed up, but some other people sat down later on and were dealt in and played their hands without posting an initial buy-in, so I guess I could have played those hands I was dealt. Oh well. As usual at live games, I proceeded to gather trash and put on a muck fest. Decker was in several hands with some decent holdings, which allowed me to at least follow some progress on the table...

Now, I've been to some pretty fast and loose games here at the Indian casinos. The 2/4 game at the Ho-Chunk is pretty loose and bad, but it didn't hold a friggin candle to this table. With a few notable exceptions, there were no less then 6 people seeing the flop. About 70% of the time, it was a raised pot, and about 25% of the time the pot was raised, it was capped pre-flop. And we're not talking about premium hand vs. premium hand. No sir. K6 offsuit? Raise it up! 75s? Monster hand, man, cap it!!! I was witness to some hellatiously huge pots for a $2 straight bet table, taken down by some of the worse poker playing I've seen since I was able to paw at cards.

I was my usual tight/aggressive self, which, at a table like this, was an invitation to lose my chips. My first move of the day after folding for the last half hour was to open raise from late position when it was (amazingly) folded around to me. This drew the attention of everyone downline, who noticed that the ultra-tight out of towner must be holding a monster and they all mucked, giving me the blind. Weee. I figured from the reaction that my bets would get a little respect, so when around 20 minutes later I'm dealt pocket aces, I figured my raise would thin the field.


By the time it gets back around to me, it's been re-raised and there's one other person hanging on. I cap it and it's called by both the crazy Chinaman across from me (who to this point has been bet/raising everything and pulling off some miracles that would make Jesus weep) and the calling station in the 7 seat. Flop comes with a king and two rags, mens warehouse. Excellent flop for me, and the Crazy Chinaman bets out. If it had been anyone else at the table, I would have taken pause, but this guy, like I said, bets everything and raises everything else. I auto-raise and get called. Turn comes some at-the-time-unremarkable card and we go to the cap, the 7 seat still hanging on. The pot is monstrous at this point. River drops a no-straight/no flush/no boat potential and I'm bet into again. Now I'm really starting to think. It takes a lot, but he DOES occasionally (and I DO mean occasionally) fold, so he MUST have something. I'm hoping that he's working on a pair of kings, but that old familiar "I'm holding aces and I'm fucked" feeling starts in the pit of my stomach. I call, Chinaman turns over his K6o for the rivered two pair and I muck my aces in disgust.

I never recovered after that. I played into a couple of pots that I missed on, and when Decker bid adieu I was down to around $25. I followed him out the door 30 minutes later empty handed, having my AKo beaten when the Q paired someone and I got no help.

Violating the "never throw good money after bad" adage, I sit down and start playing some Party, aching for some at least SANE poker. I sit down and buy in, then suddenly realize that I now consider 50/1 Party SANE! I shake it off and drop another $25 in the ring. Disgusted even more, I decide that since I'm full of bile and remorse, I'd better take it out on a no-limit game, so I fired up a $5 sit and go and took 2nd.

Total loss for the day: $75. But $60 of it was sort of "extra cash" and not associated with my bankroll, so the poker bankroll is still in decent shape.

I had to take $140 out of the bankroll. Since I'm thinking I'm going to stay in the 50/1 game for a while, this really shouldn't make a huge dent.

Just remind me never to play live poker again unless I can get into a tournament or something where absolutely shitty players will eventually go away. As it is, with live low limit play, the implied collusion makes me wonder if it's nothing more then a complete crapshoot, in which case I might as well go play craps!

Saturday, April 17, 2004

That's More Like It!

You can't lose what you don't put in the middle... But you can't win much either. -- Mike McDermott - Rounders

So my bid to drop the ring games for a while and get back into the sit and go tourneys lasted about a day. I was having some fun with the tourneys, as it seems I at least can still place in the money on them with acceptable regularity, but it's worse then a grind. In a sit and go, a bad call will only cost you the buyin, but more importantly, it will cost you a huge investment of time. Screw up a call in a ring game, and you get smacked for the same amount, but when the cards fly again, you're still there, and you could conceivably make that money back the next hand. S&G? You're waiting another hour for the chance to make it back.

Of course, those three hours limit the amount you can lose too.

Played about two hours of 50/1 x 3 this morning, and it actually ended up quite well. Unlike the last few days, I managed to end up in good shape on all three tables, taking away about $25 in profit for my trouble. This is definitely good progress. Generally a good day of poker. Early on I got sucked out pretty badly, but I saw the train coming down the tracks and was able to control my losses. I also made some pretty weak calls when I should have been raising, and that probably cost me a few BB over the course of the morning. I still have the problem of giving other players more credit then they deserve for their hands. On the nice side, though, I got pocket aces 3 times and they held up every time. One notable hand. One of my tables did a wholesale rotation of players, in that like 5 people left at once and then 5 people showed up to take their place. 2 of them were certifiable maniacs, and that's what really caught my attention that the table texture had changed. I really didn't want to deal with paying 2BB preflop to play, so I clicked off the "auto post blind" checkbox with the intention of leaving when the big blind got to me. The next hand, I'm dealt AA and I'm on the button. Sure enough, maniac1 in second position raises it, and maniac2, sitting in 4th position re-raises it... Called by a loose guy in the cutoff and I cap it, which they happily call. Flop comes with a king and an ace, two hearts. Bonus. Maniac 1 bets, maniac 2 calls, loosey-goosey calls, I raise. By the time it filters through the two maniacs it's capped with loosey-goosey along for the ride. turn comes another King and betting goes nuts again, only this time Loosey bows out. River comes the third heart and it's 2 to me, I raise it up and the clue train finally hits the both of them and they call. I rake the absolute monster pot, instantly feeling better about being me. I then immediately click the "auto post" button back on and get ready to punish.

I've noticed that, at least recently, the play at 50/1 during the day is still pretty darn bad. Not tragically terrible as it is on the weekends, but sufficiently bad that you still have no idea what the other players are sitting on. This is by and large a Good Thing(tm), but sometimes it leads to some funky suckouts.

More grinding tomorrow before my trip out to the Land of the Blue Hairs. Hopefully I can track down Decker and get some advice about local poker action, otherwise I guess I'll just have to hang at the beach or something. Considering my luck at the live games, this might not be an entirely bad idea.

Friday, April 16, 2004

Big Wheel Keep On Turnin'

Christ. Seven years of college down the drain. Might as well join the fucking Peace Corps.
-- Bluto - Animal House

I don't know what it is about me and playing multiple tables. It always ends up where I kick the living snot out of one, I end up a little bit up on another, and I roll up and smoke my entire buy-in on the third. I mean, what the hell? This, of course, shoots the living shit out of all the profits from the table I am cleaning up at. For instance...

Table 1 - Buyin = $25, left with $31
Table 2 - Buyin = $25, left with $43
Table 3 - Buyin = $25, left with $21 -- only played for about 20 mins until the table broke up
Table 4 - Buyin = $25, left with $6 -- this is the table I went to after 3 broke up...

Craptactular! An amazing day turns rapidly into a break even day. Table 4 was a lesson in how creative bad players can get to suck you out. All the monster pocket cards died the death of a thousand screams. KK = lose. AK, suited or not = lose. High pocket pairs = guaranteed overcard hitting the board and pairing someone, usually on the river. Suited connectors = 4 to the straight or flush on the flop, no help from 4th or 5th street.

It gets worse. I'd be in the blind and get the "free flop", hit two pair and bet the shit out of it, only to get robbed at the river. It was absolutely craptacular!

Here's where working 3 or 4 tables at once really helps... I'm too busy to tilt. I'd only have time for an expletive or to hit the desk with my fist and the next hand would be up on a winning table and I'd instantly start feeling better by moving on. Also, I find that some days I'll hop around a bunch of tables as ones break up and I'll lose track of how I'm doing for the day. As a result, I don't worry about how my individual table buyins are doing... Just keep playing the game. At the end of the session, I load it all into PokerTracker and see how I did. That's where I was surprised at my lack of profit today.. Guess losing $25 on a table really dents the snot out of your profitable tables!

I can't complain too much, though... It's still a profit, albeit a tiny one. Beats the hell out of losing. I'm sort of mired in some hole here, though... For the last week and a half my bankroll has see-sawed between $425 and $475. I can't break that magical $500 mark!

I'm also facing down some decision making. As you know, I've been eyeing over some upgrades to the ole' computing rig. I have, in fact, made some purchases to that effect, but in order to finish the job, I'm thinking about tapping some of my winning off the bankroll. At first, I liked this idea. I can certainly play .50/1 comfortably with $300 or so in the bankroll, but I am setting myself pretty far back from the move up to 1/2, especially if I want to multi-table it. Since the video card purchase went on the credit card, I can wait a little bit to see if I can make some headway with this getting over $500. Also, I have some cash in pocket for the trip to Florida to pick up my dad's car. Depending on how economically I can pull off this trip, I might end up with a fair amount of that cash in hand at the end. These will all play into the decision to pull, and what amount, from the poker bankroll.

After hearing from several bloggers about Omaha and the lousiness of players there, I decided that while the wife was occupying the shower I'd sit down and poke around in the Omaha Hi/Lo tables in the free(for all) money section. I'm still trying to grasp the concept of the Lo hand... Hi hand I have nailed, and I'm pretty good at remembering that only two of my hole cards play, but I still suck... Which, after about 20 minutes of play, doesn't surprise me in the least. I need someone who knows WTF they're looking at to peek over my shoulder or something for a while.. Anyway, as I'm fooling around in there, they advertise a $0 buy-in $1000 freeroll to beta their multi-table tourney software, starting in about 10 minutes... I look at the clock, look at the door to the bathroom, and figure "why not" and register. I then left to start breakfast. Came back to take my seat then left again for another half hour. When I got back I had blinded around once or twice but was still in good shape. Wife sits down and I check the status page, expecting to see half the field already busted out (it is a freeroll, ya know). Nope. 1400 started, 1100 left. Crap. This is going to take a while. I fold garbage for about 20 minutes when I get TAo in the big blind. Four limpers and I check to see the flop, which comes rag-rag-ten rainbow. Top pair, top kicker.. I bet the pot and it's re-raised by middle position... This succeeds in scaring off the rest of the field and we're heads up. I call it down and start thinking about when he might have. Turn comes a 9 and the board represents all suits, no waiting. I throw out another pot sized bet and old boy across from me calls. Now I'm confused. Overcards? Second pair? TK? River comes another rag and I have top pair/top kicker. I bet out about half my stack and old boy across from me raises me the rest of my stack. Now I'm genuinely confused, and I'm also in bad bankroll shape, what with about 4/5 of my stack in the middle. I figure since he didn't raise pre-flop he's gotta have overcards and is trying to move me off the pot. I call it and he flips over pocket Kings. 942/1400. Outstanding. Good thing I didn't pay anything to play!

Prepare for another blogging draught from your Intrepid Card Player. Monday I'm going to head down to beautiful, exotic Clearwater, Florida to pick up the Old Man's luxuro-mobile and bring it up to the Land of the Cheese. I hear there is some low limit poker down around those parts, and I'm seriously thinking about playing a little on Monday when I get to town, but I have no idea where I can find a game. Anyone from 'round there care to point me in the right direction and let me know what their lowest limit is? I've been jonesing for a live game for a while. Anyway, I'm going to fly down Monday afternoon and hit the road on Tuesday. If all goes well and I can stand it, I SHOULD be home by Wednesday, but just in case I make slow progress, I've taken Thursday off, so we'll see. Taking a Benjamin off the locals in the cardroom before my little journey will help the "pillage my bankroll" decision immensely.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Breakin' The Law

So, last week I started growing out a goatee of sorts. Now, I've been a clean-shaven man since I first wielded a razor, so being unshaven for a week and a half is quite a change for me. Comments range from "hey, that looks pretty good on you" to "when are you getting that Harley?". I do look decided "badder" with this thing...

Anyway, I've been up at my mom's place the last three days, so I've been sidetracked with other things and not blogging.. obviously.. Anyway, this all comes together nicely. I'm driving home, and the drive involved about 2 hours on 65 MPH highway, and then I get onto a 2 lane 55 MPH road... Well, after going 70 for 2 hours, 55 seems pretty damn slow. I'm cruising along and crest a hill and my high beams illuminate, rather nicely, two state patrol cars. I glance down to see my speedometer pegged at 70. I look back up to see the lights flicked on on both squad cars.


So, I now am in posession of my first speeding ticket in 7 years. The officer was nice enough to knock off 5 MPH to make it a 10 over violation, which saved me a trip to court, but here in Wisconsin they don't take speeding lightly. My total bill to the state works out to about $160. Craptastic. Perhaps this badass look is going to get me into trouble?

At least now I understand why nobody in this state seems to be able to go at, let alone exceed, the speed limit.

Anyway, I was able to screw around with poker some at Mom's place. She has a new Dell and I was able to crunch her screen down to 1600x1200, which is perfect for fitting 4 tables on. How could I resist? I played around for about 5 hours total over the 3 days I was there and ended up with a whopping +$3 gain for my troubles. Typical multi-table stuff.. Up on 2 tables, down on one and killed on the 4th. That sort of stuff...

Today I get home and, after battling with my computer (more on this later), I hop on 3 50/1 tables. Of course, I can only get my resolution up to 1024x768, so playing 4 tables would be a real adventure. As it is, playing 3 tables is a touch of a challenge, but I did so, with pretty darn good results. After about 2 hours of play, I walk away with a +$28 profit. Finally, a winning session.

Yesterday the new video card I ordered arrived. Since I was busy talking to the police, my wife picked it up, so I didn't get to install it until this morning. I remove and clean out all portions of the old video driver, install the new vid card, and install the new vid drivers. I'm met with some funky video problems that last for about 2 minutes, then finally the screen blanks out.

Uh oh... Okay, I boot up in safe mode (which, for WinblowsXP takes about 15 minutes) and remove the drivers. Then I try to boot up again. I get a loading screen, then... nothing.

Okay... Troubleshooting. I'm staring into my computer case and scratching my head when it suddenly occurs to me... The Radeon cards are pretty power hungry. So, I look at the power supply sticker and it advertises a maximum continuous load of 220w.

It's a wonder my computer was operating with the existing hardware!

So I ordered a 420W power supply and it should be here some time next week. In the mean time, I'm still running with my old card, and since the monitor won't let me go beyond 1024x768 anyway, I'll gain nothing with my poker play. Given the power deficit my computer apparently has too, it's a good thing I didn't try to add that PCI card I was threatening to do.

I haven't really had time to scour the wires for your daily "WTFWTT" report. I did however notice that Bin Laden is trying to tell the Europeans to "please stop hurting me".

The EC promptly invited Bin Laden to go outside and play hide and go fuck yourself. Gotta wonder what old BL was expecting after offing a bunch of Spaniards a few weeks ago. Perhaps we're getting closer to the target then we think?

Okay, kids.. Be safe, I'll catch up with you tomorrow.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

When Even Your Best Isn't Good Enough

Thanks to my illustrious career in the transportation industry, holidays mean nothing. I've told my wife this, and prepared her for the days when we have kids, and the kids wonder why Dad isn't around on Christmas, or Easter or whenever. Being the son of an airline pilot, I got real used to Christmas being on the 27th of December.. Or the 23rd, or whenever the Old Man was in town. And so the full circle has been drawn. Now I am the one working the holidays, though admittedly I get to come home every night.

And so, lacking any particular point to make with that beginning, I shall let it trail off into the sunset.

We had the final round of the Masters on TV here at work, and for the first time in I can't remember I actually enjoyed watching televised Golf. I've been a golfer since my high school days, and I absolutely love the game, but just don't have enough time or fundage to play as much as I'd like. Anyway, I watched some unbelievable shot making. The back nine was an incredible spectacle of golf, with 2 hole in ones and an incredible shot from K.J. Choi from 220 yards out on the 11th that found the bottom of the cup, followed by Terminator like golf from him that his final standing fail to fully appreciate. Ernie Els shot an incredible 67 and had firm control of the lead until the final few holes, when Mickelson went on a tear to chase down Els for the green jacket.

And the Cubs won. It don't get no better then this.

And this has been your Sports Report for this evening.

Unfortunately, I can't say the same for my poker today. Last night after work I headed to the local watering hole to bid another of our fine employees farewell, and when I got home I was a little too amped up to simply go to bed, so I fired up a $5+$1 tourney. I was really not getting much of anything for cards, but a few well placed plays saw me to a 3rd place finish. Not yet ready for dreamland, I fire up another and repeat the 3rd place finish. Content with the $8 profit I hit the sack. This morning/afternoon I decided in the shower that I was going to play some $10+$1. Jumped into my first tourney of the day around 11:30 and was getting fed a steady diet of, as T.J. Cloutier would say, toilet paper. Everyone was playing ultra-tight and when the blinds hit level 3, everyone was still around. I picked up Big Slick in middle position and put out a 3x BB bet which got called in two places. The flop missed and I bet out for information. The guy to my left called me down, which left me guessing, and the guy to my right went away. Turn misses me too and pairs jacks on the board. I put out a feeler bet and am instantly re-raised. I contemplate and contemplate, but I don't feel that my outs are clean, so I fold out, down to about 450 in chips. The crap cards continue and I basically get blinded out in 5th. Stinging from the loss, I crawl back to the $5+1 games. I played 4 and placed 2nd twice, 3rd once and like 6th on one. Figuring the loss of the $11 tourney, and the two early morning wins, my total take for the day was +$3. Hey, it's green on the screen, so I'm happy.

I'm also rather encouraged with the possibility that my tourney game might be coming back to me. Some of you might remember that I was down to the felt some months ago and the $5+$1 sit and goes brought me from around $35 to a rather healthy bankroll for the 50/1 limit games, but then the bottom dropped out and I went on a rather severe losing streak on them. I dumped the S&G's for the ring games and haven't been back since, half gunshy about the thrashing I was taking and half thinking the ring games would ultimately prove more profitable. Since I've hit a rut, both in terms of profitability and mentally, in the ring games, I think I'll screw around in the tourneys again for a while. At least I know I've still got what it takes to win them.. There was some doubt when I last left them.

What's more... Today I was getting some absolute crap for cards.. I mean, this goes beyond what you and I would consider "normal" bad cards... I'm talking K2o, 94o, Q7o. The only time an Ace would show up in my hands would be under the gun or in early position, and even then it would be accompanied by the obligatory 6 or 8 or some crap kicker. Premium starting hands fell to pieces on the flop. In spite of all these, I was able to pull a profit. Poker might take a bit of a hiatus in the next couple of days.. I'm heading Up North to visit the P's tomorrow.

And now, a new installment here on the Intrepid Card Player, the "What The Fook Were They Thinking?" segment, here-to-fore referred to as the WTFWTT files?

In a scene straight out of The Cooler, an Englishman walks into the Plaza Hotel in Las Vegas after having sold off everything, including the shirt off his back (he was wearing a rented tuxedo). After some random bets here and there, he finally slides every red cent he has, around $135,000, onto the red 7.

And it hit.

Darwin fails us again.

Page Two... A bunch of Atheists are apparently all lathered up after a request for an "official welcome" from the governor of Colorado and/or the Mayor of Colorado Springs was answered with an invitation to pack sand. When pressed for a reason, Mayor Lionel Rivera cited his belief that scheduling an Atheist convention on Easter weekend was bad timing.

"Anybody in the United States is welcome to express their beliefs and opinions," Rivera said. "I just think it's bad timing."

Hey, Mayor, it might help if you would take three seconds out of your friggin day to realize the Atheists don't recognize Easter since, you know, they're decidedly not Christian! In fact, Atheists, by what I gather after having been married to one (not my current wife), don't believe in much of anything. It's rather depressing actually, but I digress. It's not like the Atheists were going to be marching down the streets of Colorado Springs denouncing Christians for being Christian. They were going to have their little convention in their little convention hall. I would imagine of all the "religious groups" out there, Atheists have to be among the most innocuous. I, as mayor of Colorado Springs, would be far more threatened if the Church of Scientology wanted to set up camp on Easter Sunday in my fair city and wanted a blessing from City Hall.

So much for separation of Church and State.

Anyway, I'll spare you any more of my mindless drivel...

Saturday, April 10, 2004

Stupid Stupid Stupid...

I have pulled perhaps the biggest bonehead move I have yet made in my poker career. To set the stage, I'm playing 2 tables of 50/1 and I have a hand on one of them going when I'm dealt A8d. A slew of callers before me so I limp to see the flop, which comes JJ5 with two diamonds. Cool. Checked to the guy to my right who bets out. I raise it and get 4 callers and the guy to my right calls. Hmmm. Turn comes a 3 of hearts and the flop bettor bets out again. Now I'm nearly positive he's got a Jack, but I'm still on my flush draw. Call, and we're 3 to the river, which comes a 5d. Boom... I hit my nut flush. Guy to my right bets. Now I want him to think I'm contemplating a call, but all I'm really doing is thinking about Vegas and the fuckin Mirage. I raise it and the third hanger-on gets out of the way. GTMR re-raises it. Man, he's sure betting hard with that set of Jacks! I cap it...

Then I look at the board again and shit myself. I just bet into what had to be the world's most obvious full house board.

Needless to say my image at that table was cemented, and every time I came along for the ride to try to make a hand (which seldom to never happened) I was mercilessly raised into. The smell of fish permeated the air... Unfortunately, I couldn't make anything happen in the two hours I sat there... Finally, I took a flyer with my last hand before the blinds hit again (which I wasn't going to pay, as it was time to go). Called to see the flop with A5o and the board flopped two 5's. That helped to bring me back up from "dead on the street corner" to "severely maimed". Meanwhile on the other table I was cleaning up in the first hour. I was up to around $40 and the cards dried up there too, so I eventually bled down to a paltry $7 profit. The day ended with me seeing a loss of around $9. $5 of it was due to my idiot play into the full house.

Seems like I've been doing a lot of missing the obvious lately, and it's costing me. Then it occurred to me. I'm friggin bored. I'm bored with the 50/1 grind, especially since I can't seem to make any headway towards a bankroll that will allow me to progress comfortably to the 1/2 realm. I really want to have around $600 before I think about going to 1/2, because when I go there, I don't want to have to worry about going back unless a true disaster hits.

So, I'm trying to figure out what I want to do. Back when my bankroll needed a shot in the arm I went and started cleaning up on the $5+$1 NL sit and goes, but then I hit the skids on those and started losing my shorts, so I got away from them and haven't really been back since. S&G's are frustrating to me because all it takes is one suckout and you're done. After about 45 minutes of work, it sucks to lose. Never the less, after some soul searching I think I'm going to try the $10+$1 sit and go arena for a little while and see what happens. Now, the big question... Should I play 2 S&G's at a time?

See, part of my problem is this. Beyond 2 tables, the overlap makes it difficult to follow anything on any of the tables. I think I'm going to dig out a PCI video card and see how Win XP handles it (and see if my power supply handles it). I have a 15" monitor sitting in the basement doing nothing, so I could probably fit another table or two there. As it is, when I'm playing 50/1, it really is mechanical ABC poker. You get paid the most when you think the least. As a result, I find that, in addition to 2 tables, I'm surfing the net, checking out blogs, and generally not paying enough attention. As a result, stuff like the above happens.

Here's to hoping the 10+1 sit and goes are soft enough in the afternoons... God knows I don't get enough time in the evenings to play.

Friday, April 09, 2004

Pushing The Limit

As of today, I am pulling myself back down from the 1/2 level and concentrating on 50/1 again. A couple of reasons for this, but mostly it's because I just don't feel all that comfortable at 1/2 given the state of my bankroll.

I've been mired as of the last few weeks. Not really winning, not really losing, just sort of see-sawing back and forth between the two. Well, that's not ENTIRELY true. I have improved my bankroll slightly, but I think I'm trying too hard to put the cart before the horse. 1/2 is fun and exciting, especially the short handed games, but I think for now I will only make occasional appearances in the short handed games, and concentrate on grinding it out at the 50/1 for the foreseeable future.

I'm also seriously re-thinking my multi-table strategy. Before I made the plunge into the 1/2 games, I was up to 3 tables of 50/1. I probably would have done 4, but 3 tables overlap quite a bit at 1280x1024, and my current video card won't give me any more then that. Anyway, I went and tried to play 3 tables again today and immediately got that "unable to compute" feeling, so I backed off to two tables and immediately started doing better. I think if I could fit all the tables on the screen without overlapping I would have no trouble playing multiple tables. The biggest problem I have now is that a table that I wasn't following will suddenly "pop up" and I would not only have to figure out what I was to do, but I had to mentally replay the hand in my head to the point I last saw this table. It's a lot of mental gymnastics and most of the time I'm not in the mood to think that hard, especially on a work day! Anyway, I miss my old 20" monitor. It served me well through 8 years and a half dozen moves, but it finally kicked the bucket last spring and I had to settle for this Gateway EV1700 17" monitor. Not bad for the price, but it's lacking. I don't have the requisite fundage to acquire an LCD monitor of any appreciable size, so I'm stuck with CRTs for the immediate future.

Now that I think about it, I do have a 15" monitor sitting in the basement. I'm pretty sure I also have a PCI video card sitting around somewhere I could shove into my current box and I think that'll give me the ability to put up another monitor. Anyone here know how to make this work? I'm running Winblows XP Pro.

Speaking of video cards, I just bought a new one. My existing one is a MSI GeForce3 Ti 200 card with 64MB of video RAM... I just closed the deal on a Sapphire ATI Radeon 9600 Pro with 128 MB of video RAM. Holy smokes do I sound like a nerd! Anyway, I did my usual exhaustive research on this little chunk of silicon and apparently for its time it smoked comparably priced cards, so one is on the way to the Casa de ICP. The real clincher was that I can overclock it. Since I'm not the world's most rich guy, and apparently my poker playing won't get me there any time soon, I'm doing my little upgrade in bits and pieces. The new vid card I can plug into my existing system and realize some improvement, though to realize the full potential of it, I need to get a more current motherboard. That I can get with the new processor for around $130 and drop my existing memory and other hardware into. Then the final push will be to get the smoking fast memory upgrade and a new case, at which point my upgrade will be complete and I can build my wife's computer with my old computer parts.

I'm so resourceful, but hey, that's what I used to do for a living before the bottom fell out of the damn I.T. industry.

Actually, I've been toying with starting my own "build-to-order" computer reseller business. I actually have a business plan that was geared more towards a storefront type Computer retailer business. My friend and co-conspirator in this little venture actually went off to Battle Creek with this business plan in hand when 9/11 went down and we both lost the aviation jobs we had gotten days before. He had a couple of people there he knew who opened a computer store, made him the manager and financially backed it, but it ended up having almost nothing to do with the business plan and he has no vested interest in it at all.. He's simply an employee. What's most frustrating is, he and I have an idea how to make that business profitable (it's been basically losing money since day 1 over 2 years ago). Trouble is, he has no controlling interest in the store aside from managing it, and I sure has Hell have no business trying to run the business, so we just sort of watch the waves lap up over the deck and wait for the old girl to roll off to the side and sink.

As I said before, though... I still have that business plan somewhere. It's still mine (ours, actually). I don't think that a store front Computer Retail business will make money in this area, though. If I were to do that, I would have to move back to Illinois, and frankly, I enjoy what I'm doing now. So I'm thinking that by doing a "build to order" business, I don't need to worry about maintaining a storefront, my financial risk is much lower (especially if I require payment up front), and I don't need to maintain "business hours". I've got a great location to do this work (my entire basement is empty). I've got a FedEx distribution facility 10 minutes from my house. I've got a domain set up.

The only problems I have is, I have NO idea how to set up a decent website, and less of an idea of how to set up a secure server to do transactions with. I'm a hardware guy, not a web designer.

All of the above will likely cost some form of money, but like all investments, there will be a return on that. A "virtual business" like this one, though very small in initial capitol outlay to start, still requires some capitol outlay. I think it's time for me to perhaps start poking around again and get some numbers floating around in my head, but if I have to hire someone to put together a website and maintain it, my costs are going to rapidly go through the roof.

Okay, my head is going to explode now. A wrapup on today's poker. I lost $8.75. Not terrible, but not profitable.

Happy Good Friday. Not that I can think of anything remotely good about someone being mercilessly beaten and hung on a wooden cross. I think if you were to ask Jesus, he would definitely agree that Sunday was far and away better then freaking Friday!

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Like A Moth To A Flame...

Given my rather busy schedule and having to maintain the whole work/money relationship, I find that, in spite of my desire not to play when I don't have the best of it, I keep logging onto Party in the daytime. The bug hit me again today, and so I found myself staring at a pair of .50/1 tables. At least I've learned to stay away from the 1/2 short handed tables during the day. Momma didn't raise no dummy.

Today was one of those bizarre "in the zone" days. I was reading people like books, and I think that did a lot for my bankroll. Unfortunately, as it always happens, one table was completely a dud and the other rocked the free world. When the smoke cleared, my $25 buyins had been burned down to around $8 on one table and jacked up to almost $70 on the other. Go figure. Total take, around $18.75 in the green in roughly 300 hands. Lack of detail because I'm at work. Deal.

Your's Truely has managed to hit another Royal Flush. This one was a couple of days ago. I nailed it on the flop against one other guy who, to that point, was playing pretty fast and loose. Figures that, when I hit the jackpot, he decides to grow a brain. I bet, he folded. ICP wins $1.50. Weeee. It occurred to me too that Party is like the only online game room that doesn't have some sort of bonus for hitting monsters like Royal Flushes. If there was a jackpot up for a Royal Flush, I wouldn't be worrying about making bankroll for the 2/4 games. Other then that, the Tuesday session saw me all over the dial, and after 2 hours of play, I had lost a grand total of $1.50. Grrr.

My bruthuh has put forth an APB for hand histories. I've got nothing to hide, and so I'll put mine up. It has notes for me too, so you have around 14000 hands worth of notes on me if you download my hand histories... Which will be up sometime in the future... Perhaps. I've found that the days lack a sufficient supply of hours to complete all the tasks I have to do. This is the reason why this blog is getting updated about once in a blue moon and I haven't been playing any poker. I've gotta change my evil ways (baby).

The Wife and I went to go play Bingo last night. I had a good time the first time I went, but probably because I thought there would be some winning going on. This time, though, I suddenly realized that Bingo is like Roulette but with less of a chance of actually, you know, winning. Melissa enjoys Bingo, so I trudged along with her, but I have to be honest, it was far from fun. If I wanted to sit in a highly uncomfortable chair and breath enough smoke to get instant emphysema, I want a beer in my hand and a full pitcher in front of me. What I don't want is a table full of blue haired chimneys with ill tempers and no humor. I have to say that for a graphic illustration of the filthy underbelly of the local populace, one need go no further then their local Bingo hall. In any event, the entire time I was there my ass hurt, my lungs hurt, my head hurt and I couldn't shake the thought that for every hour I sat in the room I was:

a: Shaving 4 years off my life
b: Missing out on 3BB of earnings and having infinitely more fun doing it

By the time I got out of there my friggin toenails smelled like smoke, and here's the kicker... I was in the no smoking section! People in the no smoking section were indeed not smoking, but the fact that the 1500 other people surrounding the non-smoking section were on auto-smoke meant that there was no let-up of the blue cloud wafting in from all directions.

I'm a non-smoker, as you might have noticed, but my political stance on this, and anything for that matter is, so long as you don't hurt other people, you're free to do what ever the hell you want. Helmet laws are particularly troublesome to me from a political standpoint, just to give you a yardstick as to where I stand should I ever run for President (and, BTW, I wear a helmet, though in Wisconsin I am not required to). I'll get into a whole political rambling some time in the far away future when I've assured that I have absolutely no readers left.

Okay, so in summary, I guess the best thing for me to do now is to stick to the 50/1 games during the day time hours. Much as the temptation to continue grinding in the 1/2 arena is gnawing at me, it seem that I am a little steadier in the win column when playing the lower limit. We shall see.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Days Of Our Lives

Like sands through the hourglass, so are the bucks in my bankroll... I need a device that detects when I log into Party in the morning and deploys a giant nerf bat to hit me in the head repeatedly until I close it. I logged in around 11:00am to answer the question of how tough are the 1/2 6 Max games in the late morning/early afternoon. The answer is, I really honestly don't know. It seemed that there was still some lousy play, but I never really got a hand that I could make a stand on. Not particularly aggressive play in the table I was on, but it seemed like at least these guys had a bit of a clue about what they were doing. When you're not getting cards, though, it's difficult to be a winner. One thing I DID notice though was, I wasn't getting any respect, even though I was obviously ultra-tight (not getting cards makes you muck. a lot.). This made it difficult to "make things happen", so I ended up doing a bunch of posting to see the flop, missing badly and mucking.

After bleeding about $20 off on the 1/2 tables I retreated to playing two .50/1 tables. For the first half hour I was getting destroyed, down about $20 more dollars before I finally started having things stand up. I ended up $17 in the green in .50/1 for a total loss of -$3 for the day. I'll take it considering the trouble I was initially in.

Saturday, April 03, 2004

Blogging Drive-By

This is a sort of hit-and-run post. It's late. I'm at work, and Chicago ATC has sucked at a legendary level this evening. Christ almighty, I had one flight hold at three separate points along its route! When the announced the fourth hold we finally diverted to Milwaukee for gas. Now, it gets better. Close your eyes and imagine you're a passenger. Make it even better, imagine you're a passenger who is connecting to a flight in Chicago. You get on the airplane, the push back, taxi out and then return to the gate when ATC tells them, "oops, just kidding, you can't leave for another 2 hours". Weee.... Finally, two hours later, you pile back onto the plane and blast off for...

55 total minutes of holding at 3 different parts of the route, only to finally have to divert to Milwaukee. Now, smart money says get off the plane, onto a bus and be in Chicago in an hour and a half...

Nope. That bus left 15 minutes before you got there... So, you elect to stay on the plane, which they announce will be fueled and on it's way in 15 minutes. Sure enough, 15 minutes later you're taxiing... To a holding point in Milwaukee where you get to sit for an hour and 15 minutes waiting for a slot into Chicago. Finally, 4 and a half hours after you were supposed to have arrived, you land in Chicago.

Your connecting flight left hours ago.

Now, imagine this all happening in a CRJ. I think I'm going to buy some stock in Amtrak.

Felicia's weekly Blogger tournement fires back up for another round tomorrow... Another round I get to miss. Starting in May, though, I'll have Sundays off, so hopefully I can start making an appearance at these events...

I've noticed that I am missing off the list of bloggers who have either registered or not registered for the tourney. I know I've been slacking, but I didn't think I was doing that bad!

No poker content this go-round. Can't think of anything to say, and I haven't played any poker in the last two days. I'm trying to figure out what to do about this whole working nights thing. I'm usually too wiped when I get home to even think about sitting down for a session of poker, and it's usually after midnight anyway and prime time has come and gone. As I've mentioned earlier, the late morning/early afternoon time slot I can play in, though still profitable in the long run on 50/1, is an unknown in the 1/2 arena. I would imagine if my summation of how the games break down still holds true, 1/2 in the afternoons would be downright tough. Perhaps I'll just have to give it a shot and see what happens. Or play 50/1 in the afternoons.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

What A Long Strange Journey

Things have taken a turn for the surreal. -- Capt. John Miller, Saving Private Ryan

Well, I was going to start this post off with some good old poker summary, but then I noticed this post from Felicia...

The latest news is that I have been banned from the Belle.

Ummm... What the fuck? I mean, the Belle doesn't apparently ban cheaters, colluders, angry drunks or people who like to settle disputes with their fists within the confines of the Belle, but show up with a sense of humor and just watch your ass sail out the door. If the Belle was intimidated by Felicia's blog and the bad publicity it apparently can generate for it, how does it think that banning her from the facility will somehow make it all okay? Again, I make the disclaimer that I'm no Business major, but I'm thinking that, given the choices on how to handle this situation, 999,999,998 out of 1,000,000,000 business owners would agree that this would be the last on the list.

It does cement up the theory that the Belle is run by a bunch of nippleheads, though. I eagerly await Felicia's details on this little episode. I would imagine even if the Belle came back with a mea coppa I'd tell them to pack sand.

Damn, if jack legs like that can open and run a card room and make a mint, what the hell am I doing wrong?

Oh well.. anyhoo... Looks like my boy H is on a legendary run, having sat down at the B&M no-limit tables and raking in more then my entire bankroll to date, then topping it off with a nice run online. Rock on.

The Fat Guy tells it like it t-i-is, pointing out that the Democrats are still failing Economics 101. You know, I'm not a big fan of the GOP, especially in light of the last four years, but when the Democrats pick up and start reading from the hymnal Al Gore laid down (after his legendary "I invented the Internet" speech), it's enough to make me want to run barefoot and screaming like a girlyman to Canada. It would be nice to see a third party actually maybe threaten to take the Oval Office, but so far I'm not very hopeful. People seem to be way too busy to be bothered with learning about their candidates, so it's easier just to vote party line and get back to the business of complaining about gas/censorship/economy/inflation/crime/iraq/iran/cuba/immigration/HowardStern/Roe/Wade/Prayer...

Jesus wept.

We're putting out the APB for Anistropy. Seems he signed up for the weekly Blogger Tournement, then promptly unregistered, then his site went tango-uniform. We're worried about you, bro. Check in and let us know you're all right.

You know, I feel like ass for not being my regular blogging self. I've worked hard to post craptastic quality content for my 30 12 readers over the last few months, and have worked hard to live up to my status in the Blogger Mafia (not to be confused with the Polka Mafia). Just as I was cementing my feet self in the ranks, though, I have failed to make a showing at any of the Blogger Tournaments and my posting has started to suffer. I assure you that this has absolutely nothing to do with running out of stuff to talk about and everything to do with attending to family needs. The worst storms are tamed when they're weathered with friends, and even though I know hardly any of you, it helps to know that my messages in a bottle are reaching some shores.

Okay, enough already... On to poker. 1/2 6 Max limit poker is the cat's ass. At least, it seems that way at the moment, but I have this sneaking feeling in the back of my brain that I've felt this disturbance in the Force before. Back when I was running over the $5+$1 Sit and Goes... And the bottom fell out of that, but not before bringing me back from almost going broke. My assessment of low limit Party Poker dictates that I attempt to get the Hell out of the 1/2 games as quickly as possible in lieu of the presumable softer 2/4 games and the even softer 3/6 games, but it seems that, at least at the 6 Max games, I can actually play poker instead of pounding buttons like a mouse going for a food pellet. I seem to get sucked out on a hell of a lot less on the 6 Max tables, too. I've been warned several times of the variance on the short-handed tables. I can see where money can go away pretty quick in those games, but so far I'm doing okay, so I shall go tentatively onward and see what the future holds... In the mean time, I need to start thinking about what kind of bankroll I should have before poking into the 2/4 games. Another consideration (if the 1/2 short-handed tables continue their contributory ways) would be to skip 2/4 and go right to the 3/6 games. It's a risk, but from what I gather, that's where the money is at. If I were to go "by the book", I would need $1800 in the bankroll before making the move to $3/6. As of now, I have around $460, so clearly I have quite the path to tread before I consider that move. Of course, for 1/2, I should have $600 in the bankroll... By the book. Oh well, if you're not living on the edge, you're only taking up space...

Long term, I don't have immediate aspirations to move beyond 3/6. It seems those that move beyond there seem to fall back to the 3/6 as the best earning potential, so I think what I'm going to do when I get to the 3/6 level is maintain my base bankroll and skim the winnings off the top when I get a surplus and put it into the bank. If everything works right in the world, these winnings will eventually contribute to the fun things I normally wouldn't be able to legitimate spending money on.

A long way to go, there is...