Sunday, May 30, 2004

Saved By The Bell

It's amazing what a small, subtle change can do to your game. Once you get beyond the "basics", poker is a game of precision. The smallest of changes can magnify into huge differences in the long term.

As you've no doubt been experiencing with me, my sit and go games have taken on a rather tight spiral towards broke-ism.

Part of the problem, after some review, is I fail to change gears at the appropriate time, especially when I'm on the bubble. In fact, in the last half dozen or so, I've gone back to ultra-tight when fighting off the bubble. This is okay if you have a healthy stack, but it's a disaster when you're at or near the bottom of the stack size rankings at the table. You rapidly get to a point where your stack is so small someone is obligated to call you, since you're desperate. You're depending on the cards to win. You're gambling. Since most players slip into "survival mode" when it gets down to 5 or 4 handed. This is an outstanding time to start making moves. Not stupid moves, mind you, but I think if the table has locked down and become ultra-tight, you can start to make some moves with lesser holdings. Maybe. Maybe I'm just full of shit and I've now adopted a dooming strategy... Ugh. Thinking is hard.

$10+$1 - 1st - +39
$10+$1 - 6th - -$11
$10+$1 - 1st - +$39

The loss was actually almost an great success story. I'm in the 6 seat and in the 10 seat is an absolute bona-fide calling station. This tool would play anything, and for some reason he felt the insane urge to push Kx hands hard. Anyway, I've got AKs early on. I raise and pick up one caller along with Calling Station Boy. Flop comes K56, with the 5 and 6 spades. He min-bets, I raise it to a pot sized bet and we're heads up. He calls. Turn comes a Tc and he bets half the pot. I re-raise him all-in.. He deliberates for most of his time and finally calls.. And turns over...

K5o. I get no further help and I'm down to T35 with the blinds at 30/15. I go into desperation shove mode, pushing with anything decent. I managed to double up a few times and made it to a passable stack size, but the table went tight again and the blinds by this time were huge. Caller Station Boy across is constantly going to the river with K5 and K6 (which he got an unusual number of times). Somehow he doesn't die off. I'm finally facing being blinded to the felt again and shove with ATs. AQo calls me and no one gets help. Best I could do.

Unless the wife works tomorrow, I'm taking a couple of days off from the tables to go visit the parents.

Saturday, May 29, 2004

The Downward Spiral

$10+$1 - 5th - -$11
$10+$1 - 9th - -$11
$10+$1 - 3rd - +$9

Total - -$13

Cool! Another 5 losses and I get to play in the $5+$1 level!

Friday, May 28, 2004

Will Power

I want to win.

Poker is infinitely more fun when you're winning. Which is the great paradox of poker. You can't always win. You can play absolutely perfect poker and end up a loser in the end. What's worse, you can lose to someone who has a fifth the poker knowledge you have. To someone who hasn't studied the game one minute. Perhaps he's never even bent cards before this encounter, yet he's kicking your ass and stealing your lunch money.

So the question begs; what separates a decent poker player from a great poker player?

Tilt control.

After all, there is absolutely no difference whatsoever between the cards that I am dealt and the cards a Phil Ivey are dealt. Everyone gets pocket aces eventually. But how does one react when such a great hand falls to some ridiculous draw?

Tilt is like the common cold. You catch it immediately, but you might not know it until you get the sneezing and runny nose. The virus has been at work in you for several hours or days by then. In much the same way, you might shrug and honestly feel completely cool when you lose to a way inferior hand, but unconsciously your mind may be scheming something completely outside your notice. Deep in the recesses of your brain, the neurons construct the "I'm gonna get my money back from that fucker" thought. You don't say it, you might not even consciously think it, but when you find yourself at a decision on whether to try to bully this guy who sucked you out with some crappy holding, you inexplicably start pushing chips and not cards to the center of the table. Machismo takes over. You see this guy not as a player who might or might not have a good hand, but rather as the guy who cheesed you out of your pot a half hour ago.

It's subtle to you, but it's obvious as a bomb to everyone else at the table... And suddenly you're the target. After all, nothing brings a bunch of people who don't like each other together quite like a common enemy.

The moral is, I think I've been on tilt for quite a while... Not the obvious "turning purple" kind of tilt. More the "I gotta start winning" kind of tilt.

Lately I've been getting that old familiar feeling. I'll be sitting there at the table. Maybe I'm in the middle of the pack chip wise. Maybe I'm a little short stacked but not in immediate trouble. I'll start feeling like the table has all eyes turned to me. I'm the one they want to get off the table. Everyone dodges around with each other... A faint here, a perry there, until I get into a pot.. Then suddenly it's re-raise city and all-in county. I suddenly find that I've sat at this table and quietly bided my time for 40 minutes only to have it all come down to an all-in or nothing decision while still far from the money.

I'm willing to press on, but I have to make a rule. If I lose to some stupid shit, I have to take 30 minutes off and go do something else.

[insert witty title here]

$10+$1 - 3rd - +$9

Film at eleven.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004


$10+$1 - 5th - -$11
$10+$1 - 9th - -$11
$10+$1 - 5th - -$11
$10+$1 - 4th - -$11

This game has ceased being any sort of fun. I am seriously considering quitting for a while. I'm clearly not making any progress in my game. My tournement play sucks, my ring game play is okay, but I can't get to a level where good play is rewarded, and I don't want to play beyond my bankroll.

I'm just not sure what else to do. Studying while playing low-limit seems counter-productive. There's absolutely no reward when you play a hand aggressively and some nipplehead nails you with some funky straight holding 36o. Constantly. I can't seem to connect with that "breakout night" where everything clicks and I suddenly have a healthy bankroll. Quite the opposite. This has been a slow bleed since I started the Challenge. Clearly I haven't busted on the Challenge yet, but since the texture of the $10+$1 games have changed so radically, you need to have good cards to make a play, and with T800 in chips and 7 people making it to the 100/200 blinds, it's a total crapshoot. If I play "by the book", I'll have done nothing for the first three levels, and my stack will be about T680. With 6 or 7 people left on and the blinds at 50/100, you get to make one move. If it's the wrong one, you're pretty much done. Or, worse, everyone folds to you and you gain one more orbit, at the most.

So, I have some choices to make.

Spinning Wheels

This Challenge is, well, challenging. I'm stuck right at the precipice between $10+$1 and $20+$2, and it's frustrating that I can't get beyond it.

This is starting to become a grind.

Today has started out disasterously. I've gotten two hands that have played and neither of them held up. JJ runs into QQ, and TT gets smacked down by JJ. Poker is fun. I seem to always be behind by level 3 and it takes luck to get out of that hole. Luck I don't have lately. That, combined with the suddenly ultra-tight tables I've been running into, and I've been doing a lot of busting out in 6th - 4th. When you're the short stack and there's 4 left, everyone just waits for you to bleed to death. All-ins to stay alive works sometimes, but you only have to be wrong once.

Case in point for the tightness of the $10 tables... I've seen 6 hands go by that haven't even seen a flop! 4 folds to the big blind, and 2 folds to the raisers. WTF happened to the Party we all know and love? I'll be lucky to scratch a 5th place in this one unless I can get a hand that someone actually CALLS.

Well, okay.. that helped.. I had to shove with AQ and got called by Kx... Missed both of us, I scrape. Still living, but not in the best of shape for this rock garden.

Anyway, the last couple of days, I've been busy. I played 5 sit and goes and managed to scratch a $25 profit from them. Most of that was washed away with a pathetic showing in a $20+$2 multi table that I busted out early in, but I'm not counting that in the Challenge since it's outside the scope of it. Managed to make most of it back yesterday. I paid a visit back to the .50/1 tables and managed to cash in $15 to the good there on a decent run of cards.

Update. It's 100/200 blinds. There's 6 people left... Err..5, and I'm the stack baby again. Nevermind. I busted out. Blinds at 150/300. 750 left, BB, J8o. I get top pair, shove, called up by A5s. Flush hits. Seeyabye.

This is fun. Well, at least I'm going SOMEWHERE.

Anyway, I updated the score on the right. Took $50 out of the bankroll for a little project I'm working on. More on that later. Expect that, unless my luck changes, I'll be down to the $5+$1 level after today. Weeee!

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Hour 56

I live in Hell.

It's May. Moreover, it's late May.

It is currently 46 degrees outside. That's 9c for you Euroreaders out there.

That's not just chilly. Or somewhat brisk. That, my friends, is fooking cold! It's a shame I didn't get that job in Phoenix, where it is 86 degrees. Of course, then in August I'll bitch about how my car simply melted into the pavement on the 55th consecutive day of 110+ degree temperatures. Hell it's even 71 in Chicago right now. Take out a gun and shoot me.

So, I finally get a day off tomorrow. I think if I had to work tomorrow I'd just sit here with a blank stare on my face and drool. I'm so completely cashed. I'm trying to figure out what I want to do with said day off. Poker just right frustrated the hell out of me today. I really am at a complete loss as to why I can't make the score in the $20+$2 game. I honestly don't see any different play from the $10+$1 level. Maybe a touch tighter. I really think the problem has been that I haven't been able to get cards, and when I do get a decent hand, someone has a better one. I guess some some of tomorrow will be spent studying my $20+$2 games to try to figure out what I've been doing wrong, if anything. It really doesn't feel like I'm making stupid moves... Just that I'm unable to actually make moves. Research will bear out whether this is because I don't have the hands to make the moves or I don't have the stones to make the moves.

The Wife managed to scam work off tomorrow... This is a good thing, since I haven't seen her in so long I'm beginning to forget what she looks like (good thing I have a picture of her in my wallet). The bad thing is that this typically cuts into my poker playing... Though that might not be such a bad thing. I could probably use a little break. Maybe I'll get bold and play another multi-table.

BTW, congrats to the Poker Nerd, who scored 3rd in a $20+$2 multi table to bag $1.5Kilobucks. I gotta get me some of that action.

Two Steps Forward, Fall Off Cliff

$20+$2 - 6th - -$22
$20+$2 - 7th - -$22
$10+$1 - 3rd - +$9
$10+$1 - 4th - -$11

Total - -$46

Out fucking standing. There is nothing quite as frustrating as being blinded away for lack of any sort of remotely playable hand. And I don't have the faintest fucking clue what's up with this $20+$2 shit. I can't buy a break with a loan on that one.

Maybe I just suck that bad.

I apologize in advance for my ranty, bitchy attitude. The last 4 days at work have been an absolute mindfuck (anyone who lives in the warzone that has been the Midwest lately knows what I'm talking about, and if you've tried to fly on an airplane anywhere, you REALLY know what I'm talking about). Thanks to the infinite wisdom of my boss, I get to go and do an overtime day today, and the weather has improved not at all.

I have half a mind to call in dead.

I'm just friggin cashed, man. This crap with getting sucked out more then Bill Clinton in the Oval Office isn't helping much. Poker has a way of either ruining or making better a day.

Fuck it. I'm going to fire up Medal of Honor and blow away some Nazis.

Fun With Search Engines

Okay, Sitemeter is a pretty cool little tool, as it will, when able, tell you where visitors found your webpage from.

Some of these are from google searches. So, today I'm running through the referrals, and I see that someone found me with the search term "poker term cheesehead". Seeing as how I was born and raised in the Chicago area, calling me a Cheesehead has a rather profound impact on me, since I'm now deep behind the Cheddar Curtain.

Another search was "how to steal an Intrepid". You can find anything on the web, man!

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Missed It By That Much

Another shot falls short of the mark at $20+$2. If I could just make the money on one of these things I'll be well on my way to being comfortably in the $20+$2 level.

Today, I managed to sit down in the middle of a rock garden and again I collected absolute crap for cards. I made enough moves and had decent enough cards to make it to the bubble, but the already airtight table went into a vaccuum and all cards over a Ten took a leave of absence and refused to match each other in my hand. Finally the blinds went to 200/400 and I just simply wasted away.

$20+$2 - 4th -$22

Man I'm getting tired of red numbers in that level...

Since I, again, fell below the $20+$2 level I fell back to the $10+$1 level and sat down at the polar opposite of the last table. This table played like .50/1 ring. Everyone calls, no one raises. It was bizzare. I mean, people would have AA in the pocket and make min bets. This was actually a good thing because when I finally was able to get cards a decent raise would scare off the competition, especially pre-flop. I got stung early on in like the 3rd hand of this round when I caught AK in the pocket and pressed the issue on the flop and turn when the board missed. Finally, I had to check fold the river, and found myself in the T625 range early on. Since the table was so passive, it took until the blinds were in the 100/200 level before people started dropping off, but I managed to steal enough blinds to keep ahead of the bleed and when it got to 4 way I pounded the chip leader (who hit me early with the AK debacle) and put myself in great position to watch the others kill the bubble off. Then it was just a matter of getting cards and raising the passive wimps into oblivion. The frustrating part of the whole deal though was watching the all-in/fold thing going on... I'm yelling at my monitor "CALL IT, CALL IT YOU WUSS!"

fold. Gkkh!

$10+$1 - 1st - +$39

Technically, after this win, I had the Challenge bankroll back into the $20+$2 range, but I was gun shy and hit the $10+$1 button again.

$10+$1 - 4th - -$11

No stupid moves on this one either... Just no cards to make the real move with, and another rock garden made for a tough table to make moves at. I have to figure out how to get around these tighter tables if I want to have success beyond the $10+$1 levels.

Not Dead Yet

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. Anyone who has watched the weather knows that the Chicago area is in danger of sliding off the bedrock and into the Lake for all the rain that's falling out there. We in the air travel industry would like to go on record to say that the recent and future weather predictions for that area sucks. As it is, I've put in about 36 hours of work in the last three days, and I have two more days to go before I'm done with this week.

Three more sit and goes into the books for the Challenge, and again, my adventure into the $20+$2 arena was a bust. Yesterday was a day full of absolute garbage cards. In fact, given the lack of any real playable hands I'm rather impressed to have done as well as I did yesterday.

$20+$2 - 6th - -$22

About 6 hands in the tourney, I get Big Slick. A bunch of limpers, and a min raiser ahead of me, I pop it to T45 (which, in retrospect, should have been more). There are like 6 people in the pot and it's a monster. Flop comes 9d, 5d, 9c and the all-in wars begin, so I have to bail on this hand.

In level 2, I get AQo in MP. Folded to me, I pop it for +3BB and win the blinds...

Halfway through the 50/100 blinds, I pick up K5s in the BB and check to see the flop come a bunch of small cards with 2 spades. The other guy keeps making min bets so my odds are still good to call him down, but the turn and river comes two hearts and I miss the flush, -T150.

After that, I literally got blinded away to the felt.

$10+$1 - 3rd - +$9

I put a folding clinic on in this one for the first three levels. I got some of those "trouble" hands that I in an earlier time would have tried to play, but I was a good little boy and mucked them. Finally, my patience pays off in level 4 and I pick up KK in the small blind. UTG pops it to T175 and I smooth call with the BB sticking around to a flop of 4d, 6h, Td. I shove my last T505 in and am called by the raiser who turns over QQ. Turn and River bring two Jacks and I'm good.

In level 5, I raise with A3h and get the blinds. The next hand I get AA and raise again, hoping someone would try to call or raise trying to catch my "obvious steal". Nope.. Blinds again.

Down to 6 with the blinds of 50/100, I bet out T300 with QJh on a steal attempt. BB shoves T715 and I bail.

I'm quiet until the blinds are 150/300 and I have around T1050 left. I'm second from the last stack with the BB pushing T300 or his last T430 in for the blind. I get AJh and shove from UTG. BB calls me with 83o and he's gone....

...and then the cards shut down on me. This always seems to happen when I'm the Bubble Boy. I get eaten by the blinds, but somehow survive to see the money. I have to make my stand with K6o and run into A8o. 8 hits on the turn and that's that.

$10+$1 - 3rd - +$9

Another tourney of no cards to speak of. Blinds are up to 50/100 before I can even make a move on this one, and as it is, I'm in the BB and shove T100 of my T545 stack into the mix, to be dealt 22. 6 folks left, and I figure with my run of cards, this is as good as it's gonna get. Folded to the SB who does a min raise. I have a pocket pair and I smell a steal, so I shove.

He turns over AKo. Uh oh. Luckily, the board misses him cleanly and the ducks keep me alive.

A stupid play with the blinds at 150/300 hurts me. I get K6o in the small blind and my stack is around T950. BB has half his stack out in the field in the BB and it's folded to me. I shove for the steal and am called up by him. He turns over the mighty 85o, flops a 5 and rivers an 8. Ugh.

Next hand, the two big stacks shove at each other. Raiser turns over 44, caller calls over QQ. The board flops the set 4 for the raiser, but also comes with 4 clubs. Caller had the Qc and the 4's are sent packing. Again, I scratch into the money.

I start shoving with anything remotely playable. I get Q4o and shove, to get called by Q3o. We hit the Q, but the board is all overcards to our kicker, so we split. Next hand I get KJo in the small blind and shove the last of my T260 chips in... and run into KK. Poof.

This table was apparently chock full 'o' smack talk, looking at the hand histories. Not that I knew when I was playing. I leave chat off. As I've stated earlier, I have yet to observe any chat that's worth diverting my attention to, and nothing is more frustrating to someone trying to tilt you by talking smack then dead silence. Especially when you beat him and you still say nothing. Let them think I'm a machine or something.

Anyway, only a -$4 loss today, so I'm still in the $20+$2 level... One more time.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

...And The Winner Is...

Okay... I think no one else has anything to add, seeing as my 3 readers have chimed in on this whole "This Is A Test" post... So, here's how it went.

I folded.

Which, I think was probably at that point the wrong thing to do. I was pretty pot committed at this point, and my Post Oak betting was certainly showing weakness, so he could be coming over the top with just about anything. What I should have done was fire out a big bet on the turn and if he calls I'm pretty sure I'm in trouble. If he re-raises, I'd have to release this. The other move would be to check the turn and see what his reaction is. If he's strong he'll bet. If he's not, he may suspect a trap and check behind. That leaves the river, and since I had TPTK at that point, the big bet would have to go out there.

In any event, not the greatest position to be in, but really the only thing I lose to is a 2, pocket pairs that set on the board or are bigger then 99, or two pair (which I have to discount because the board is crap.. what would he limp with that he caught with, if not a pocket pair?). In any event, I'm pretty pot committed here. I either have to pull the trigger and push on the turn or get out of the hand. Weakness gets you nowhere.


Jack, nothing tricky now. You know I'm on top of you! DO NOT attempt to grow a brain! - Howard Payne - Speed


Fancy Play Syndrome.

Charactorized by the unexplainable urge to see hands like K9s as monsters in the early parts of tournements. Or the notion that you can "read into someone's soul" even though they're 2000 miles away in Switzerland and all you have to stare at is a small caritcature on your monitor.

Fancy Play Syndrome invariably leads to "Early Bustout Disease", Tilt and, if left untreated, Bankroll Death.

Don't let this happen to you. Should you or someone you love begin to experience Fancy Play Syndrome, take action immediately. Don't wait until it's too late!

Okay, so it seems like I've been getting "cute" with my tourney playing as of late, at least that's what a day of sitting down and really reviewing the hell out of my play has revealed. I'm making some hella loose calls and raises and of course when checked up on it, I lack sufficient resources to counterattack. I sat down and wrote down some rules for myself and refered to them often during my play today.

I think it worked.

$10+$1 - 1st - +$39
$10+$1 - 1st - +$39

That sure helps a bunch. Of course with all sit and goes, a little bit of luck goes a long way, but solid play won the day by far. And by solid, I mean rock solid. Antarctic ice sheet solid.

Of course, this play was probably less then solid, but it wasn't exactly a stupid play.

This is the 1st hand of the tournement. Yes, I know.

Party Poker No-Limit Hold'em Tourney, Big Blind is t15 (10 handed) converter

CO (t800)
Button (t800)
SB (t800)
BB (t800)
UTG (t800)
UTG+1 (t800)
ICP_Paul (t800)
MP1 (t800)
MP2 (t800)
MP3 (t800)

Preflop: ICP_Paul is UTG+2 with Kh, As.
UTG calls t15, UTG+1 folds, ICP_Paul raises to t55, MP1 folds, MP2 calls t55, MP3 folds, CO folds, Button folds, SB calls t45, BB folds, UTG folds.

Flop: (t195) Ah, Js, 3h (3 players)

SB bets t15
, ICP_Paul raises to t200, MP2 folds, SB raises to t385, ICP_Paul raises to t745 (All-In), SB calls t360 (All-In).

Turn: (t1685) Jc (2 players, 2 all-in)

River: (t1685) 4c (2 players, 2 all-in)

Final Pot: t1685
Main Pot: t1685 (t1685), between SB and ICP_Paul. >

SB shows 8s Ac (two pair, aces and jacks).
ICP_Paul shows Kh As (two pair, aces and jacks).
Outcome: ICP_Paul wins t1685.

I really wasn't expecting him to call, but I figured he might. I can think of about a million things that could have gone wrong here, but if I folded out after the T200 raise, I'd be hurting. And heads up, I can't ask for much more then TPTK with a 3 flush. Of course, WTF is up with getting into a raising war with A8s? I will never know, but certainly it was nice to have T1685 going into the second hand of the tourney.

Anyhow, Looks like in two tourneys I've managed to right the ship, get the engines running, and bail the rest of the water out. Let's see how this goes...

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Sink Or Swim

At the moment, it looks like at least the ship that is my tournament Challenge has stopped the slow roll to capsized. I'm still quite stung by the big slide I took, but at least the results over the last few days have given me the confidence to know that I haven't completely lost my mind.

After a little study and reference, I see that I am making many poor betting decisions, frequently underbetting when I do bet. My hand selection is still decent (note I don't say it's "good", because I've made some dumb moves when they weren't necessary), but when I don't pay as much attention to position as I should be, I pay the price frequently. With T800 and the blind structure of the Party Sit and Go, you just can't afford to make those stupid little mistakes. Early on, if you make the wrong decision, and if you've been betting like you should, you'll find yourself below T600, and that basically means you're no longer going to get respect. While this is a Good Thing if you end up with a monster hand, this is rarely the case. A steal attempt when you're a short stack rarely works since people see the blood in the water and are inclined to call, or worse, bully you around. So, you're resigned to wait in the wings and hope that enough folks go away before the blinds get to 50/100 that your all-in gets 1 or fewer callers. Rough indeed.

Of course, a 3BB raise in the first level has you putting out T45. Most $10+$1 level drones don't have the brainpower to realize this as a 3BB raise, but rather as a T45 raise (and thus, clearly to them, a weak raise).

I have noticed that, as of late, the $10+$1 sit and goes are very, VERY tight. Frequently there will be 7 people left when we get to the 50/100 blind area. Today, I was in one where there was 7 people left at the 150/300 level. Unreal. I actually figured I was dead late in this tourney. I get A6o in the small blind. Button throws out the obligatory 2xBB steal-raise and I call it. BB, the short stack, calls, and the flop comes with a 6 and two over cards (I'm at work, can't check for sure). Something like 69K. Anyway, button throws out a min bet. I call it, BB shoves. I'm contemplating my move when button goes over the top all-in. He's got a pretty healthy stack, and I'm down to my last T145. I sigh a quiet "fuck it" and shove with my pair of 6's. BB had A8o and Button had something like QJo. Remarkably, the turn and river miss everyone and I triple up! Better lucky then good, I guess.

Okay, so for today the results were:

$10+$1 - 3rd - +$9
$10+$1 - 4th - -$11
$10+$1 - 2nd - +$19

Total = +$17

A positive number is indeed good. The 2nd place finish was ultra-frustrating, as I had the other guy covered almost 6 to 1 in chips. What's worse, he was playing really passive, but I picked the wrong time to make a move on him and he clobbered me with a big pocket pair that made us even. A drought of cards and it was all over but the crying. Oh well.

This Is A Test

It's at level 3, and the blinds are 25/50. The table, by and large, is pretty passive, but as usual you're getting complete dick for cards. You're the big blind and this happens...

Party Poker No-Limit Hold'em Tourney, Big Blind is t50 (7 handed) converter

Button (t570)
SB (t1990)
ICP_Paul (t595)
UTG (t1700)
MP1 (t865)
MP2 (t1615)
CO (t665)

Preflop: ICP_Paul is BB with 9h, Kc.
UTG folds, MP1 calls t50, MP2 folds, CO folds, Button folds, SB folds, ICP_Paul checks.

Flop: (t125) 7d, 2c, 9d (2 players)

ICP_Paul bets t100
, MP1 calls t100.

Turn: (t325) 2h (2 players)

ICP_Paul bets t75
, MP1 calls t75.

River: (t475) 5s (2 players)

ICP_Paul bets t50
, MP1 raises to t640 (All-In)

What's your move?

Monday, May 17, 2004

Did Someone Get The Number On That Truck?

I suck.

It's gotta be what's going on. Poker, for me, should be called "Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better". Absolutely could not get a goddamn thing to stand up. Observe.

$10+$1 - 9th - -$11

This should have been the sign right here...

Party Poker No-Limit Hold'em Tourney, Big Blind is t30 (9 handed) converter

BB (t730)
ICP_Paul (t525)
UTG+1 (t755)
MP1 (t1420)
MP2 (t670)
MP3 (t680)
CO (t440)
Button (t1330)
SB (t1450)

Preflop: ICP_Paul is UTG with Ah, Ad.

ICP_Paul raises to t150
, UTG+1 folds, MP1 folds, MP2 folds, MP3 folds, CO folds, Button folds, SB calls t135, BB folds.

Flop: (t330) 4c, 2c, 8h (2 players)

SB bets t1300 (All-In)
, ICP_Paul calls t375 (All-In).

Turn: (t2005) 7d (2 players, 2 all-in)

River: (t2005) 3s (2 players, 2 all-in)

Final Pot: t2005
Main Pot: t1080 (t1080), between ICP_Paul and SB. > Pot won by SB (t1080).
Pot 2: t925 (t925), overbet by SB.

ICP_Paul shows Ah Ad (one pair, aces).
SB shows 4h 2h (two pair, fours and twos).
Outcome: SB wins t2005.

'Nuff said.

$10+$1 - 4th - -$11

This one started out great! I hit the nut flush on the flop and managed to milk some guy for T780, putting me in great position to just sit back...

Then the bleed begins. T150 goes away when I get caught in a raise war between a pair of queens and a pair of Jacks. I had AJs. Of course, the Queens go down when the flop brings the set Jack. If the AA debacle of last game was a warning, this should have been the equivalent of the explosions outside the window type of warning. Then this...

Party Poker No-Limit Hold'em Tourney, Big Blind is t100 (6 handed) converter

CO (t1365)
Button (t875)
SB (t2010)
ICP_Paul (t2050)
UTG (t1040)
MP (t660)

Preflop: ICP_Paul is BB with 9h, Jh.
UTG folds, MP folds, CO folds, Button raises to t200, SB folds, ICP_Paul calls t100.

Flop: (t450) Td, Jc, 4d (2 players)

ICP_Paul bets t300
, Button raises to t675 (All-In), ICP_Paul calls t375.

Turn: (t1800) Kd (2 players, 1 all-in)

River: (t1800) 5d (2 players, 1 all-in)

Final Pot: t1800
Main Pot: t1800 (t1800), between Button and ICP_Paul. > Pot won by Button (t1800).


ICP_Paul shows 9h Jh (one pair, jacks).

Button shows Qc Ah (straight, ace high).

Outcome: Button wins t1800.

Yup. Gutshot straight draw and two overcards? The way this day is going? This guy had been taking every opportunity to steal my blinds. Figures when I call him he's got a hand. Can't qualify this as a bad beat, but it was a pretty questionable all-in in the face of a big raise. That was the theme today. No respect.

I bleed T300 more right away from the SB when I try to move someone off the blind and he calls me up. Flop comes with the ace, I put out T100 and get re-raised all-in. Adios.

T400 goes bye bye when I raise KJo from late position and get called down. Flop comes 886 and caller-boy shoves.

The game drags on with some 6 people still in and the blinds now 200/400 (more on this later). I've got T570 left and I'm looking at the blinds coming. I make my stand on K7o and get called up by QTo. Of course, I don't make it and she does and it's syanara time again.

$10+$1 - 5th - -$11

Will someone put a friggin device on my mouse that will shock me when I attempt to make a play early? I get 99 in the pocket twice in 5 hands and for some bizzare reason I think I should play these in the first level of the tourney. -T215 collectively for the two plays, and immediately I'm in chip trouble. I initially make it back when I flop the nut straight and get an all-in from the short stack of the day, but, obviously, it didn't last.

KQo gets mucked when my T150 raise is re-raised to T500.

JAo goes down at the flop when it misses and I'm bet into. -T230

A few blinds where I pick up such illustrious crap as 84o, and I'm looking at the short stack again. Blinds are now 200/400, there's 5 left. I think I see a theme here.

I make my stand with K8o and am called by KQo. Flop comes KQ7. Neat. Just to add the final "fuck you" the river brings my 8. Thanks for playing.

$10+$1 - 3rd - +$9

Well, here I was hoping that I might be turning a corner here.

Party Poker No-Limit Hold'em Tourney, Big Blind is t200 (3 handed) converter

BB (t2100)
ICP_Paul (t1490)
SB (t4410)

Preflop: ICP_Paul is Button with As, Ah.
ICP_Paul calls t200, SB folds, BB checks.

Flop: (t500) 2h, Js, 9d (2 players)

BB bets t500
, ICP_Paul raises to t1290 (All-In), BB calls t790.

Turn: (t3080) Jh (2 players, 1 all-in)

River: (t3080) Tc (2 players, 1 all-in)

Final Pot: t3080
Main Pot: t3080 (t3080), between BB and ICP_Paul. >

BB shows Jd 5h (three of a kind, jacks).
ICP_Paul shows As Ah (two pair, aces and jacks).
Outcome: BB wins t3080.


$10+$1 - 5th - -$11

I make another early move in this one. A8s and I'm in middle position. As I see so often in this level, a couple of poeple limp and I raise it up. The limpers call and the flop brings AdKd5c. Guy before me puts out a T30 wimp bet, so I call to see what comes, thinking perhaps I'm looking at second pair betting into me. Turn brings my 8d and EP limper throws out T200. Other limper is gone and I smooth call. River comes the 6d for four diamonds on the board and I figure I'm fucked here. Remarkably, the raiser checks and I check behind and am rather astonished to see the pot coming my way. What did he have? 9sKh.

I hide out for a couple of orbits. With the blinds now at 50/100 I start to make some moves.... backwards.

A3h hits a 3 in a blinds battle, but I get no further help and cannot succeed in moving the SB off the pot. -T300

Next hand, QsJd in the small blind. I raise to steal and am called. Oh well. Flop comes 4dKd7h. I bet T150 to represent the K, he shoved T1780 in to represent the Universal "Fuck You". -T250

-T150 from blinds, and I'm down to short stack. This is a recurring theme. Final stand was made with ATo, called by A9o. I'll let you guess what showed up on the River. Thanks for playing.

$10-$1 - 9th - -$11

Uh huh. Your boy here can't seem to stop playing these damn pocket pairs, but I have an excuse this time...

Party Poker No-Limit Hold'em Tourney, Big Blind is t15 (10 handed) converter

BB (t800)
UTG (t705)
UTG+1 (t800)
UTG+2 (t800)
MP1 (t980)
MP2 (t800)
MP3 (t800)
ICP_Paul (t770)
Button (t790)
SB (t755)

Preflop: ICP_Paul is CO with 7d, 7c.
UTG folds, UTG+1 folds, UTG+2 calls t15, MP1 folds, MP2 folds, MP3 calls t15, ICP_Paul calls t15, Button folds, SB completes, BB checks.

Flop: (t75) Kh, 7h, Jh (5 players)
SB checks, BB checks, UTG+2 bets t50, MP3 calls t50, ICP_Paul calls t50, SB folds, BB folds.

Turn: (t225) 9h (3 players)

UTG+2 bets t100
, MP3 folds, ICP_Paul calls t100.

River: (t425) Td (2 players)
UTG+2 checks, ICP_Paul checks.
Final Pot: t425
Main Pot: t425 (t425), between UTG+2 and ICP_Paul. >


UTG+2 shows Th Jd (flush, king high).

ICP_Paul shows 7d 7c (three of a kind, sevens).

Outcome: UTG+2 wins t425.

This also happened with annoying regularity today. That set the tone for the next 5 minutes I was in this one.

Pocket 9's were overplayed by me for -T60

Then the final suck blow:

Party Poker No-Limit Hold'em Tourney, Big Blind is t15 (9 handed) converter

MP3 (t700)
CO (t615)
Button (t2135)
SB (t1075)
BB (t800)
UTG (t645)
ICP_Paul (t545)
MP1 (t745)
MP2 (t740)

Preflop: ICP_Paul is UTG+1 with Qd, Ad.
UTG calls t15, ICP_Paul raises to t65, MP1 folds, MP2 folds, MP3 raises to t700 (All-In), CO folds, Button folds, SB folds, BB folds, UTG folds, ICP_Paul calls t480 (All-In).

Flop: (t1285) 2h, Ks, 7s (2 players, 2 all-in)

Turn: (t1285) 5s (2 players, 2 all-in)

River: (t1285) As (2 players, 2 all-in)

Final Pot: t1285Main Pot: t1130 (t1130), between MP3 and ICP_Paul. > Pot 2: t155 (t155), overbet by MP3.


ICP_Paul shows Qd Ad (one pair, aces).

MP3 shows 2c 2d (three of a kind, twos).

Outcome: MP3 wins t1285.

I occurs to me that perhaps I shouldn't leave the house today, what with this kind of luck. Of course, calling an all-in with AQs is just asking for trouble, so I'll chalk this loss up to tilt.

So, I figure since I'm only hitting on about 20% of my hands today, I'd take in a little $1/$2 6 Max goodness. Sat down to a table where the average VP$IP was running around 60%, but of course my card luck followed me like a lost puppy.


Among the greatest hits?

JJ runs into AA.

JTs hits top pair, loses to pocket Queens.

JQo hits the Jack on the flop, board is raggy undercards, lose to a set of 8's.

And countless pre-flop raises that turned into mucks. There was one bright spot to the whole day, though, which was only marred by the fact that I ran out of money to bet into this fool.

Party Poker 1/2 Hold'em (6 max, 5 handed) converter

Preflop: ICP_Paul is Button with Ah, Ac.
UTG folds, MP calls, ICP_Paul raises, SB calls, BB 3-bets, MP folds, ICP_Paul caps, SB folds, BB calls.

Flop: (11 SB) 6d, Kh, 4s (2 players)
BB checks, ICP_Paul bets, BB raises, ICP_Paul 3-bets, BB caps, ICP_Paul calls.

Turn: (9.50 BB) Qs (2 players)
BB checks, ICP_Paul bets, BB raises, ICP_Paul 3-bets, BB calls.

River: (15.50 BB) 8s (2 players)
BB checks, ICP_Paul bets, BB raises, ICP_Paul bets $4.63 (All-In), BB calls.

Final Pot: 20.13 BB
Main Pot: 20.13 BB, between BB and ICP_Paul. > Pot won by ICP_Paul (20.13 BB).

BB shows Kd 5s (one pair, kings).
ICP_Paul shows Ah Ac (one pair, aces).
Outcome: ICP_Paul wins 20.13 BB.

Dammit. That would have been good for another $8 at least. I know he'd have capped the river.

God, what a rough day. I had 5 really trying days at work, followed by this train wreck. Took a huge bite into my Tourney Challenge, then hobbled my bankroll more with that friggin bath I took in the ring game. God hates me.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Dog Ate My Template

Okay, so if you tried to read the incoherant ramblings of Your's Truely, you'll have noticed that it was, well, broke.

It seems that, in my haste to post up my rather dismal results for the day, I somehow managed to bork my template... Then save it.

It was, shall we say, unrecoverable.

So here it is, born out of necessity, the new and improved Intrepid Card Player!

As a result of the template explosion, my list-o-links bit the dust. I'm not sure whether or not to resurrect the listing. So many other blogs have an excellent list and I feel mine would be redundent. Head over to the Bräumeister and spend the rest of your waking hours hitting his link list. If you think I should rethink this please leave a comment in the space below.

Which is another change. Since my linkages and everything for Haloscan went south, and this template is about 1.2324 shitloads more complicated then the previous one, I'm going to give this Blogger comment thing a shot. I like the Haloscan one better, but I might explode a vain in my head trying to figure this out. Now I know why I chose networking over programming when I started my IT career. Silly me. If I'd have decided to become an Oracle expert I'd be rolling in Dead Presidents.

I'm not sure I really actually like it yet. I was just starting to understand the template from the old site, and now this one is like friggin machine language (That'll take you back!). When the hell did HTML become C++?

I'm still sort of reeling from the beating I took today, but for the challenge so far my in the money percentage is still 40%, so I guess today was coming. Tomorrow will be a telling day for the old ICP. As a result of today, though, I'm solidly back into the $10+$1 arena.

I'm still frustrated with getting so close to the money on the $20+$2 and missing. Just wun uf them raysin' deals, I guess.

So my buddy in Michigan and I are going to get together at the end of June for Field Day in Illinois. For those that don't know, Field Day is a 24 hour HAM Radio operating event that is supposed to simulate "emergency" conditions, in that your entire setup is supposed to be temporary and run off of an emergency power source, such as a battery or generator. In any event, the past few years we would show up the morning of, try to set up, something wouldn't go right and we'd start late and be exhausted from running around... Then we'd have to operate for 24 hours straight. Last year we thought we'd be smooth and show up the day before and set up everything we "legally" could then. We then pitched tents and camped out.

We both got about 3 hours of sleep. Then operate for 24 hours straight. We didn't make it.

This year we're going to head down the day before and get a hotel room. Air conditioning, an actual bed, and no raccoons to wake us up in the middle of the night.

Anyway, as you all might remember, before I got involved in the glamorous airline industry, I used to be an I.T. guy, and as I.T. guys go I was doing very well financially. Then the Y2K thing came and went and bottom line I was out of a job and found that the job market that had been job heavy and applicant light suddenly went very applicant heavy and job-non-existant.

The point of this rambling is, my buddy got a hold of an old friend and I.T. recuiter that actually helped line both he and I up with several opportunities. It seems she's back at the place she was at before, and she wants to get together for lunch the Friday we get back to town. Apparently from what I heard from my friend, the industry might be "righting itself".

I'm sure I'm just dreaming, but I have this feeling that this lunch meeting might possibly result in a resume of mine ending up in circulation again. As I.T. professionals go, I'm a bit of a fossil, in that my experience is about a year out of date (which, in that industry, might as well be 100 years), but hey, there's still plenty of work for Mainframe guys, so perhaps there's hope.

Of course, then I have to ask myself if I really want to go back to that industry. It was, literally, the best and worst of times. The work was frustrating at times, but, considering what I've been through the last few years here, I think that what I would catagorize as frustrating as Hell in my IT work experience would translate to mildly irritating in this line of work.

Plus, Monster estimates that I'd be worth about $60,000 a year. That would represent about twice what I'm making now. To work 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. I'm having a hard time finding a reason to bitch loudly about that.

Of course, chances are this'll turn out to be nothing.

Would You Like Fries With That?

Weekends suck my sweaty... Well, they suck, that's for sure.

Well, today was the disaster I expected would happen. From the start of this little challenge I was pretty much right on par. ITM was 45%. The big winnings came from those 1st place finishes.

Today started with an infuriating loss at the one $22+$2 table I played. We're down to 4 and, of course, I'm the damn short stack (which I spent pretty much the whole day at) and this happens.

Party Poker No-Limit Hold'em Tourney, Big Blind is t400 (4 handed) converter

SB (t2865)
BB (t1850)
ICP_LoserBoy (t1250)
Button (t2035)

Preflop: ICP_LoserBoy is UTG with 2d, Ad.

ICP_LoserBoy raises to t1250 (All-In)
, Button folds, SB folds, BB calls t850.

Flop: (t2700) 7s, 8c, 5s (2 players, 1 all-in)

Turn: (t2700) Kd (2 players, 1 all-in)

River: (t2700) 3c (2 players, 1 all-in)

Final Pot: t2700
Main Pot: t2700 (t2700), between BB and ICP_LoserBoy. > Pot won by BB (t2700).

BB shows As 7d (one pair, sevens).
ICP_LoserBoy shows 2d Ad (high card, ace).
Outcome: BB wins t2700.

Pull out a gun and shoot me. Of course, pushing with A2o is always dangerous, so this certainly doesn't qualify as a bad beat, but after working so hard to get there it was a real buzzkill.

I don't know what the hell is up with the last two days. I think there's a definate change in the players on Party. On the weekends it seems that the play gets trickier and, dare I say it, better. Pretty much all the tournements I played in today we were still 7 or 8 at the table well into Level 3. Being the short stack on a table as tight as these were is a recipe for losing, and I did that very well, thank you.

$20+$2 - 4th - -$22
$10+$1 - 2nd - +$19
$10+$1 - 5th - -$11
$10+$1 - 7th - -$11
$10+$1 - 5th - -$11

Total for the day, -$36.

I'm staying the fuck away from these things on the weekends. Probably won't play these in the evenings either, since the same crowd is around. Maybe I'll go hit a ring game during those times.

I'm having a hard time trying to interpret the tournement information that is presented in PokerTracker. I mean, it's great for figuring out your statistics, but for hand analysis it seems a little more clunky then trying to dissect a ring game. I guess I should write down key hand numbers and review them later in PT to find out what's going on. I honestly don't know. If I were to guess, I'd say that today was a whole lot of crap cards and those that I did get either didn't hold up post-flop or were unable to continue due to pot odds.

I also have an extremely hard time dealing with Super/System clones. Perhaps it was just the bad run of cards, but I felt like Mike Tyson vs. Holyfield. I couldn't make a move at all without getting spanked, it seemed.

Very frustrating day of cards.

I am 1 week + 1 day into the challenge, and, even with todays schooling, I'm still in decent shape.

I've played 23 tournements. 21 $10+$1 and 2 $20+$2.

I've placed 1st 5 times, 2nd 3 times and 3rd twice for a "finish in the $" precentage of 40%. A few points on the low side of what I'm averaging, but it's a small sample size.

My VP$IP for all levels is 17.35%, and I win the showdown 57% of the time.

I have an aggression factor of 2.53.

If you guys want, I can put a summary into PDF format and link it up for you all. Let me know if you'd be interested in this, and I'll figure out how to make it happen.

In the mean time, comments?

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Grow A Pair...

You are a wuss: part wimp, and part pussy. - Mike Demone - Fast Times At Ridgemont High

I think I've made a little bit of a discovery. I play better poker when everyone else plays better poker. This is a Good Thing(tm) I guess, since my move up to higher limits may actually allow me to encounter some better players. As it is, the tourneys I play on weekday mornings, while certainly not populated with good players, are at least populated by players who know what a raise is.

Today was Super/System clone day. Playing against players who's only real play is the "all-in" tango is a simple affair, if you're getting cards. It allows absolutely no drawing hands, though, unless you have them very chip dominated. In a sit and go, when they start that shit right away, they're either an even stack, a monster or gone. The proverbial slot machine.

And it wasn't paying out. I sat and watched pocket aces get cracked 4 times today. Thankfully, I was never involved in those hands, but it was unreal none-the-less.. I felt their pain every time Q7o would river two pair and send the rockets to the Death Of A Thousand Screams.

The only, and I mean only time I saw the rockets hold up, I was holding them.. And it was a beut...

Party Poker No-Limit Hold'em Tourney, Big Blind is t100 (5 handed) converter

BB (t2160)
UTG (t3110)
MP (t380)
Button (t1065)
ICP_Paul (t1285)

Preflop: ICP_Paul is SB with As, Ac.
UTG folds, MP raises to t380 (All-In), Button raises to t660, ICP_Paul calls t610, BB folds.

Flop: (t1800) 4d, Kc, 6d (3 players, 1 all-in)

ICP_Paul bets t625 (All-In)
, Button calls t405 (All-In).

Turn: (t2830) Ks (3 players, 3 all-in)

River: (t2830) 4s (3 players, 3 all-in)

Final Pot: t2830
Main Pot: t1240 (t1240), between MP, Button and ICP_Paul. > Pot won by ICP_Paul (t1240).
Pot 2: t1370 (t1370), between Button and ICP_Paul. > Pot won by ICP_Paul (t1370).
Pot 3: t220 (t220), overbet by ICP_Paul.

MP shows Qc Jd (two pair, kings and fours).
Button shows Ah Th (two pair, kings and fours).
ICP_Paul shows As Ac (two pair, aces and kings).
Outcome: ICP_Paul wins t2830.

Could you ask for anything more? Unfortunately, I ended up heads up with an ultra-aggresive guy and I couldn't get the cards to make him pay. The coup de gras was when I picked up QJo and shoved. He turns over A5o and spikes the ace on the flop. See ya.

Results below.

$20+$2 - 5th - -$22
$10+$1 - 3rd - +$9
$10+$1 - 6th - -$11
$10+$1 - 2nd - +$19

No luck with the one $22 sit and go. No cards, a short stack, and no chance of taking control of the table. Unless I had a legit hand, I had to bail, and that happened several times. A couple of missed flops in a game like that and you're pretty much done. No need to get sucked out on. T800 is certainly a miserly amount of chips. I look forward to getting to the level where they give you T1000 to start.. It will make a difference, I think. One thing I am happy about is my short handed play. Once it gets down to 4 or less, I really have good results. I think it's because when the table gets short, others feel it's desperation time and they have to go into ultra-aggressive mode. If you're patient and don't fall in love with hands, you can really beat the snot out of these guys.

Okay, so a -$5 hit today. Not as bad as it could have been. I think that this being on the bubble between the $20 and $10 games will see some small losses like this until I can get a money on a $20. Once that happens, I think I'll be okay for the $20 level. One loss on the $20 level, though, and I have to slip back to $10.

Friday, May 14, 2004

If You Feel The Need To Burn Our Flag, Please First Wrap Yourself In It.

Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Whose gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have more responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives, and that my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. I know deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then question the manner in which I provide it. I prefer you said thank you, and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to.
-- Col. Nathan R. Jessup - A Few Good Men

I haven't read my usual round of blogs in a few days. When I discovered the recent debacle over StinkyPants' post and the subsequent fallout, I had a decision to make. I really at first was just going to simply ignore the whole thing and just move on. This is a poker blog. I have other outlets for my socio-political rantings. But I feel like I had to say something. This really stuck a chord with me. For those who just don't want to hear anymore about this, please move to the next post for on-topic discussion.

So, Nick, it basically comes down to this. Those people who murdered Mr. Berg want to kill you. That's the bottom line, pal. They don't care one shit about your ideals, your family, your compassion or your hate. You are simply a means to an end. Don't ever forget that.

And the next time you see a veteran or an active duty soldier, be sure to thank them for the freedom that allows you to voice your hatred for our President and not end up dead. You are a true American.

See, we as Americans can't seem to get our heads around the idea that these people don't want anything from us. They just simply want to kill us. You can't reason with them, you can't negotiate with them, you can't barter with them, and they absolutely will not stop until they have killed all of us or they are all dead themselves. As soon as we realize this, we can effectively combat this problem.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Recurring Theme

Three more sit and goes today.

$10+$1 - 6th - -$11

This was the death of me...

Party Poker No-Limit Hold'em Tourney, Big Blind is t15 (8 handed) converter

UTG+1 (t800)
MP1 (t800)
MP2 (t800)
CO (t800)
Button (t790)
ICP_Paul (t785)
BB (t800)
UTG (t2425)

Preflop: ICP_Paul is SB with 3d, 2d.
UTG calls t15, UTG+1 calls t15, MP1 folds, MP2 calls t15, CO calls t15, Button folds, ICP_Paul completes, BB checks.

Flop: (t90) Ad, 6d, Kd (6 players)

ICP_Paul bets t125
, BB folds, UTG folds, UTG+1 folds, MP2 calls t125, CO folds.

Turn: (t340) Ac (2 players)

ICP_Paul bets t125
, MP2 calls t125.

River: (t590) 5c (2 players)

ICP_Paul bets t125
, MP2 calls t125.

Final Pot: t840
Main Pot: t840 (t840), between MP2 and ICP_Paul. > Pot won by MP2 (t840).

ICP_Paul shows 3d 2d (flush, ace high).
MP2 shows Qd Td (flush, ace high).
Outcome: MP2 wins t840.

Goddamn limpers. Anywhere else I would have mucked this hand.. As it is, I was afraid of the rogue diamond somewhere else.. After all, 23d is pretty wimpy, but statistically how likely is it that two of us flop a flush? It was a good odds play, and when the turn and river were both not diamonds, I figured I was up against a pair or set. This guy slow-rolled me but good. That's what I get for being out of position! I scratched around for a little bit, but I could never really make a recovery from this and died in 6th.

$10+$1 - 4th - -$11

This was a classic game of no cards at all. I mean, literally, crap cards the entire show. I got something like ATo once, and I was out of position and facing a raise, so it was mucked. Finally got blinded away.

$10+$1 - 1st - +39

Well, again, third time is a charm. I figured I'd be a 3rd place finisher here, but I managed to catch a miracle straight with an A5o when the cards fell around my 5. Whatever, better to be lucky then good. The guy I was heads up with was lousy, so once we got rid of the third guy, it was just a matter of beating the other guy into submission. I could tell he was getting fed up with being pushed around by me, so he finally pushed from the button... Only to run into this:

Party Poker No-Limit Hold'em Tourney, Big Blind is t500 (2 handed) converter

Button (t1880)
ICP_Paul (t6120)

Preflop: ICP_Paul is BB with Qc, Qh.

Button raises to t1880 (All-In)
, ICP_Paul calls t1380.

Flop: (t3760) 8d, Jc, 2s (2 players, 1 all-in)

Turn: (t3760) Kc (2 players, 1 all-in)

River: (t3760) 2c (2 players, 1 all-in)

Final Pot: t3760
Main Pot: t3760 (t3760), between Button and ICP_Paul. > Pot won by ICP_Paul (t3760).

Button shows Qd 9h (one pair, twos).
ICP_Paul shows Qc Qh (two pair, queens and twos).
Outcome: ICP_Paul wins t3760.

Oops. Been on the other side of that often enough to know that kind of pain.

So, now the Tournement Challenge bankroll has broken the $220 mark, so (gulp) it's off to the $20+$2 level for me. I have the buyin for one, if I lose, it's right back to the $10+$1 level, but you know, no guts, no air medal.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Well... That Was Interesting...

Looks like Blogger changed... everything. Took me a few minutes to realize that I was in fact AT blogger. Now that I've had some time to play with the new interface, it's kind of cool... Kind of.. I don't like the idea that I cant' readily scroll down to my previous posts, but I'll get over it.

I've been thinking much about my tourney play. More specifically, that I have been doing a lot of either winning 1st or busting out well before the money. This is different from my other results, which have me doing a whole bunch of busting out in 4th. So what's going on here?

Well, since the last time I've played sit and goes I've done a little research and thinking. Believe it or not, there is some valuable information on Two Plus Two, even if it is issued in a "I bore of this conversation, take this information and begone, knave" sort of delivery. That multi-table tourney I played in a little bit ago was quite an eye opener too. It taught me how to deal with a full table, reinforced paying attention to position and respecting raises.

Up until recently, I played these low buyin sit and goes with the tactic of effectively posting and folding for the first three levels and starting to play cards once the maniacs have either knocked each other out or one survives with a monster stack. The only problem I found with that was I almost always ended up the short stack with 4 or 5 people left. With the blinds up at 50/100 and me down at or below T600 in chips, Any play was basically an all-in proposition. Unless there were still some piss poor players in, I'd either win the blinds or get called by a better hand and have to draw out. I've adjusted a little bit. I'm still hiding for the most part in the lower levels, but I'll start to wake up after one or two people have been knocked out and play good starting hands if I have position. I don't seek to make all or nothing bets, only to build my stack by a couple of hundred and get myself in position to make meaningful bets later in the game without needing to go all-in.

This probably explains the early bust outs and wins, though I'm surprised I'm not scoring 2nds or 3rds. I'm sure it'll even out.

Sputter Sputter

Quick hit and run post here...

3 $10 sit and goes today. I appeared to forget to bring my brain to the first two games and was facing down a disaster. After busting out of the second one I shut it down and hopped on the Virago for a couple of dozen miles of game evaluation. Sat down and pegged a 1st, albeit with some lucky draws, but let's face it, if poker were 100% skill, Moneymaker wouldn't be rich.

$10+$1 = 9th - -$11 Don't ask. I don't even know.
$10+$1 = 6th - -$11 Out drawn twice. With T800, after the 1st one, you're screwed.
$10+$1 = 1st - +39 The nutcases actually busted out of this one nicely, leaving players that at least had some concept of what betting was. One guy was a Sklansky Super/System clone. Someone eventually busted him out when he shoved in and ran into a big pocket pair. Buh bye.

Still a couple of bucks short of the $20+$2 level, so I remain at the $10+$1 level for now.

Sunday, May 09, 2004

All Or Nothing

What a strange run this day was. Today was a series of bold plays, tough laydowns and some heartbreaking suckouts. But first, to the scorecard.

$10+$1 - 5th - -$11

This one was rather interesting, in that it sucked. The start was good enough, with Big Slick and some heavy raising scaring off the competition for a nice T215 take to put me in good for the later portion of the tourney.

Not for long. I get AQo in the SB and get 3 callers.. I complete, and the flop misses. Checked around and the turn misses, and the button bets...See ya. -T100

A couple more orbits of no cards and the 100/200 level and I get the BB with T365 left and 56o. UTG calls and the SB folds, we're heads up with a flop of 43K rainbow for the open ended straight draw. I push and UTG calls and turns over... Q3c, with no clubs on the board. WTF? Of course the turn brings the Queen and the river a no-help 4 and I'm done with this one.

$10+$1 - 1st - +39

It's great when a plan comes together. This one I hide out with pretty much crap for the first two levels. Level 3 and the blinds are 30/60, I get 66 in the BB. 9 people left at the table, and a middle position guy calls, SB completes, I check to see a flop of 2J2 rainbow. Hmmm. SB checks, I throw out T90 and they run like girlymen.

Those T60 chips went away a few hands later though. Still 30/60 blinds, and I get ATo in the cutoff. The middle position guy who called last time calls this time, and I make it T90 again. The blinds fold away, but MP pushes the last of his 385 chips in. Uh oh. I deliberate and fold.

A couple of blind steals at the 50/100 level sees me at around T1135 with 5 folks left, me in last place chip wise. The last hand of 50/100 I'm on the button with A9h. Cutoff calls T100 and I make it T250. Blinds fold and I'm heads up to a flop of JJA, two diamonds. CO checks, I push, he folds. +T400

I hide out a little while longer with unplayable and and am getting destroyed by the blinds. Blinds creep up to 300/600, 4 left and I'm the button with A6o. I can't survive the blinds again, so I push my last T335 in and pray. I'm called two ways, board comes KsThAc2cKc, and I take it with my pair of aces. What did the other two have?

SB had 73s for... nothing.
BB had J5o for... nothing.

I love Party. To wrap up this one, win.

Rest of the day was as follows. Details to follow, since I'm not being stared at by the Wife...

$10+$1 - 1st - +$39
$10+$1 - 1st - +$39
$10+$1 - 7th - -$11
$10+$1 - 5th - -$11
$10+$1 - 8th - -$11

Wheels fell off the wagon at the last 3 as I was getting crap cards and re-raised on the starting hands I did have a chance with. Ugly. More later, Wife about to kill me.

Saturday, May 08, 2004

What Are You, Goofy?

Insta-Props to Pauly for linking my boy Kevin Matthews. It warms my heart to know that Pauly's a fellow idiot Kevhead.

Day one of the Tournament Challenge is in the books, and it was an interesting ride. I played 3 $10 sit and goes and managed to come in 2nd, 4th and 3rd, to book a $17 positive result. So far so good. The 4th place finish was particularly disappointing. The 1 seat was occupied by some nutjob who would respond to any raise at all by pushing all-in... and catching. By level 3, half the table was gone and he had most of their chips. I hid in the corner waiting for this guy to make a mistake or kill off the rest of the table. I scraped a couple of early pots to stay ahead of the blinds when maniac-boy wasn't in, but the blinds were getting pretty big.. I had to make a move soon. On my BB, maniac boy, of course, raises to steal and I look down to see AhTh. I can't survive much more of the blinds, so I move in, and he auto-calls and flips over A4o.

Of course, the 4 hits and I'm dust. I really really wanted to get heads up with this joker. He was just begging for me to take his chips and I failed him. Oh well. Three in the money finishes in three sit and goes would have been an outstanding start, but I'll take any positive result.

Also, I found the original Tourney challenge post here. I'm not sure yet how closely I'm going to follow this list. It seems awfully aggressive. Opinions?

I'm going to make a run to the Chicago area to visit the Mother-in-law for mother's day. I'll have the morning free though, so I think I'll play a couple more S&G's before I head out.

I guess since I'm going to be bowling and all now, I have to break down and see the Big Lebowski.

To the right, you'll see I've added my current bankroll and the profit/loss of my challenge. I'm also adding my Tourney bankroll, which as you'll recall I've started at $110, thus having immediately the buyin amount for the $10+$1. Should I fall into negative territory, I'll fall back to the $5+$1 level.

Not Quite...

I sat down and was party to the worst combination of factors I could be handed on a table.

Good pre-flop hands that didn't connect post flop

A good player to my left

A table full of people who respected my raises and would fold out, giving me little pots.

The result was a whole bunch of little pot wins and two brutal losses. -$12. Party wasn't in the mood to send me hand histories again yesterday, so I couldn't use the GameTime window in PokerTracker, which, I must say, sucks. The GT Window is actually quite useful for keeping tabs on who is doing what, and if it was working, I would have clued in a lot quicker that the guy to my left was a decent player and the whole table was tighter then a North Korean news agency.

So, that's about $93 I've rolled up and smoked in the last two days. Ungood. I'm contemplating playing a little "challenge".

I'm going to take $110 of my bankroll and start playing Sit and Goes. I'll start with a $10+$1, since the juice on the $5+$1 is too high (20%). If I blow the $110, the challenge is over (and I bust back down to the .50/1 rings... ugh). Otherwise, I will progress as follows...

$5+1 $0-$110
$10+1 $110-$220
$20+2 $220-$330
$30+3 $330-$550
$50+5 $550-$1090
$100+9 $1090-$2150
$200+15 $2150 and up

I will continue this until I hit $3000 or I get bored (which will probably happen first).

As of right now, my stats on Sit and Goes are as follows..

With 116 tournaments in PokerTracker, I'm in the money 41% of the time. My actual finish breakdown is:

1st place: 10%
2nd place: 14%
3rd place: 17%
4th place: 22%
5th place: 13%
6th place: 9%
7th place: 9%
8th place: 3%
9th place: 1%
10th place:2%

As you can see, I'm the Bubble Boy. I think many of those 4th place finishes are a result of hiding for the first few levels and finding myself in chip trouble on the bubble. Still, 41% In the Money is an excellent percentage, so I think I at least have a fighting chance with this.

BTW, props to FletchJR, whos message I caught about this here.

So, right now, my total bankroll stands at $380.08. I'll put my challenge information in the info block to the right (if I can figure it out). Let the madness begin!

Thursday, May 06, 2004

"What The...."

Those words slipped from my lips a couple of times today during my rather short review of hands played yesterday. Clearly someone took control of my body and had me clicking "raise" when I should have been hitting "fold" or "check" when I should have been hitting "bet". I wanted to post a couple of my real idiot plays up to further embarrass myself, but the converter site was down, so that didn't happen.

My memory sort of fails me about what exactly I was doing, but to give you some idea, here are some reasonable facsimiles of what went down...

JTs UTG+1 and I call to see the flop with a late caller and the BB. Flop comes 2d3hAd. BB checks, I check, LP bets, BB folds... What do I do? I friggin call! It gets worse... Turn comes a rag and I BET in some strange attempt to move the LP bettor off the pot. LP raises and I finally come to my senses and fold. WTF?

KTo 2 off the button. Folded to me and I call?! Everyone else but the BB folds and we're heads up with a flop that comes all small and two diamonds. Having missed, I check, BB bets and I call. Turn is a K and I'm thinking I'm money here, so I bet and he calls. River is a small card but it's a diamond. I bet and am raised. I call to see BB turn over Q2d for the rivered flush. Outstanding. What the hell am I doing in that hand with KT, especially out of position?!

I didn't get a chance to really check out any more idiot plays, as I had to go do stuff, but I'll take some time tomorrow perhaps and look.

I think the biggest problem is I got cocky. Especially when I was hard pressed that day to find a sucker player who was running up an incredible VP$IP percentage. The highest I saw that day was around 40% or so. Logically, I should be tighter and more selective in the face of these guys, but for some reason I had it in my head that I could push these guys around.

Yeah, right.

Now I have to get the nerve back to dive back in. -$80 is the biggest loss I can remember suffering. It seems like a huge amount, but then I look at people like HDouble and a loss of that amount seems trivial. For my bankroll, now back to the mid $300's, it's quite a chunk.

/// Bowling Update ///

Dunno if I'm going to make this a regular column or not. I have to try to put more interesting content in my blog, since HDouble and The GodFather's posts kick the shit out of my content and then steal it's lunch money.

Since, for some inexplicable reason, the bowling center I bowl at doesn't open until 3:00 in the friggin afternoon, I have to resort to late night practice sessions after work. I met the wife at the alley around 11:00 and get to work. Lane conditions were, in a word, horrible. By 11:00, the lane had seen several hours of open bowling, followed by a league round, so the lanes were as bad as they're going to get...

Which is exactly how I like them. What good is practice in pristine lanes? The good news is, I was en fuego pretty much from the get go, and I finally found a spot on those damn lanes that work for me.

The final tally was 183, 187 and 226 for a 596 round.

The bad news is, by the end of it, I could hardly walk. It appears my legs are very, very, very out of shape. After 3 games of squat, my right leg (I'm left handed), was just about done doing any sort of work at all. I haven't experienced pain like that since I had surgery done to my toe and they shot the novicaine between my toes.

Okay, bowling blog is boring as hell, I imagine. Nevermind.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004


The defense department regrets to inform you that your sons are dead because they were stupid.
- Lt. (j.g.) Nick 'Goose' Bradshaw - Top Gun

Yesterday I had a very good day at the old 1/2 6 Max tables, scoring a very respectable 25.5BB in around 220 hands.

Today, I lost 41BB in a little under 150 hands.

Outstanding. Just out-freaking-standing.

It's not the loss that bothers me. I'll make that money back. The problem here is the nature in which I lost.

A basic breakdown of the breakdown:

-- Opponents making incredibly bad calls and connecting with miracle cards... alot.

-- Amazingly bad starting hands. I can't tell you how many times I looked down to see Q7o, K7o, J6s, 72o (man I was I tempted to play the snot out of the HAMMER today).

-- Incredibly stupid play by Your's Truely trying to convert above mentioned terrible starting hands into miracles.

Emphsis on the last point. I can't tell you what the Hell happened to my brain today, but when I saw that Jackleg to my right cold calling my raises with such illustrious holdings as 46o, or anything/anything s0000ted I started to go into some sort of feeding frenzy and suddenly I'm thinking I'm Daniel Negreanu! I start loosening up to punish this obviously terrible player, and about that time he starts connecting with some truely bizzare shit. I'll have AK and catch the king, bet the living hell out of it, he's raising and capping every street, the pots are absolute monsters, and he'll flip over some bullshit hand that had like 2 outs, one of which he of course caught on the river. Even if he caught it sooner, his "bet everything and raise everything else" style of play had me throwing chips in hoping it was one of those times where he had dick. Finally the table broke up and we were heads up. Once heads up, I was beating him handily, and I was looking forward to pounding him to dust, but then others showed up and I had to tighten back up. I just left and looked for fishier waters.

Unfortunately, the fish were baby pirhanas.

Baby Pirhanas in Shit Creek.

... and they ate my paddle.

Here's another nice side benefit of covering up my stack sizes. I knew I was losing. I knew that I was down. I had no idea how much, so I just kept playing, hoping that the damage wasn't too bad.

I didn't tilt until after I had closed out of Party and checked the damage on PokerTracker. I shouted, I bitched, I tossed F-Bombs like they were going out of style.

But I didn't play any poker while doing that... And that probably ended up saving me alot of money.

As for my completely mindless play, though, I wish I had the answer. I really won't know what went wrong until I break it down in PokerTracker. Of course, I'm at work, so that won't happen until tomorrow. My gut feeling is that I played very, very poorly. Perhaps PokerTracker will show differently. I think the specific failures for me were:

-- Assuming raises from opponents were bullshit.

-- Failure to get away from hands like AQo or KJo when the board is raggy but the betting is wild.

-- Playing hands like KJo out of position

-- Playing hands that have high implied odds on shorthanded tables.

In other news... My wife and I were trying to figure out something we could go and do together. Since she and I work opposing schedules, we don't get a lot of time together, so in an effort to "go out" at least once a week, her and I joined a bowling league. Last time I was in a bowling league was around 12 years ago. Back then, my average was around 175.

I've retired my old ball (a Gyro I) for a new ball (an Ebonite Stinger low particle) and have spent about 25 games trying to figure out the now impressive curve I've been able to throw. The old Gyro was back when bowling ball designers were just learning about balanced cores and using gyroscopic procession to effect the ball travel. The Gyro, though owner of a catchy name, really didn't have much in "balanced core" technology, relying mostly on friction to make a curve. In any event, I've found that, not only can I not come to grips with the curve on this ball yet, I am so completely out of shape that, believe it or not, my right leg can't support the weight of my fat ass when I squat for the delivery. After about 30 frames, I can hardly walk. Looks like I'm going to be doing alot of lower body exercises this summer! I'm sure also that the fatigue I'm suffering from this is effecting my accuracy.

Anyway, we were going to be on the Tuesday night league, but when we showed up on Monday (after the Monday leagues were done) for practice, the manager there wanted to know if we wanted to fill a team for the Monday night league. We agree to, and instead of practice, we "post bowl" our three games for the league's first day.

My scores were 110, 256 and 157.

Talk about streaky!

A nice feature of being a part of a league there is that they give you a card good for 3 free games of bowling a day for the entire week. Or this WOULD be a nice feature, except that the bowling center doesn't open until 3:00pm. I have to be at work by 1:15pm. Figures. I think they're open until midnight, though, so I'll stop by there after work and put in a few frames. I need the practice.

110? WTF?

Tuesday, May 04, 2004


Read. Weep.

ph34r Incubus' Cr4zY m4d L!|\|k4G3 5k!lLz!

Monday, May 03, 2004

26 of 1487

I sat down Monday late morning to play a little poker, and on a whim I checked to see what was going on in the land of multi-table tourneys... Turns out there was a $5+$1 multi starting up in 15 minutes. What the heck, I figured, and hit the register button, figuring I was going to do my best to survive to first break but after that I figured I was done.

4 hours later I find myself deep in the money, but a card dought finds me low on chips. I managed to make a few decently bold moves to stay ahead of the blinds, but eventually cold cards and huge blinds did me in and in 4 hours a 29 minutes I get knocked out trying to fill a flush and missing. +$48. I'm amazed I actually lasted that long. I also am starting to have delusions that I might actually be pretty good at this multi-table tourney stuff. I may just try another one, but asking me to sit in front of this thing for 5 hours at a stretch is a bit much.

Also got some 1/2 6 Max ring action in during a rare evening session. Interestingly enough, I found tougher competition during the evening then I did during the mornings. Still alot of cheese being played, but a lot more aggressively. I hit a set of Jacks against the resident maniac at our table and we capped both the turn and the river, when he turned over some bizzare cheese for a turned straight I never even saw coming. That hurt bad, but I managed to claw back to make back all but $5 of it. So, around $45 for the day.

I'll take it.

Saturday, May 01, 2004


A shortened day of poker today, since the Wife had plans for me in the late morning.

Total take for the day, -$19.75. So, after two outstanding days, I take a small loser. I really can't complain about the small loss. I had my money in when I had the best of it and took a few heartbreaking river losses. The most frustrating part was this. I sit down in the one seat of this table. In the two seat is a loose/weak guy who you could move off a pot with a stern look, the three seat was a revolving door of guys bringing $10 to the table and promptly busting out to the ultra-loose/borderline maniac in the four seat. 5th seat was a bona-fide calling station who in 55 hands had a VP$IP close to 85%, and the 6th seat was a decent player for this table, only scoring a VP$IP of around 45% to 55%. If ever there was a perfect table to make an absolute mint on, this would be it...

...and I couldn't get a playable hand to save my life. I swear to you, if I had the cards today that I've been getting the last two days, I'd have walked away from that table tripled up. As it is, three of the five people at that table went onto my fishfinder (aka. Buddylist).

The table I was at previous to the "perfect table" had one player calling everything under the sun too, but it took some work to isolate her as the other players on the table were fair to passable. She burned through a $50 buy-in in about 50 minutes, and sat with felt in front of her for a good 10 minutes. I figured she'd leave, but then she bought in for another $50 and I swore I heard the faint sound of a cash register go off in my head. I settle in and get ready to withdraw more money from her when she up and leaves. D'oh! I bring her up on the "find sucker player" page and I see that she's now bellied up to a $5/$10 6 max table. Man oh man was I tempted, but I thought better of it and left her alone. It's possible she came down to the 1/2 level to screw around on the cheap. Either that or she was trying desperately to get rid of her money. I'll never know, unless she shows back up at the 1/2 games.

This is day three of the "cover it and forget it" tactic regarding my stack size. This was a good test for that because I think that at one point I was waaaaay behind after take a couple of horrendous beats in a row. This in stark contrast to how the day started, where the first three hands I saw were AJo, KK, and QQ, and all were moderate pot winners. Again, since my stack was hidden, I couldn't tell you where I ended up stack wise after that, but I would imagine that I lost at least all of it if not a little more getting sucked out brutally on the river two or three times. I also made the mistake of letting up on the ultra-aggressive/borderline maniac guy when my Big Slick caught an ace on the flop. Maniac boy re-raised and capped me on the flop betting, and re-raised me again on the turn when a rag hit so I became concerned about what he could be holding (could be anything) and I was still stinging from those river beatings, so I went into calldown mode. At the showdown he turned over ATs and my hand was good, but the way he was betting, we could have capped every street.

Tomorrow is Sunday, and thanks to the new schedule I have it off. I'm thinking about maybe playing in a multi-table of some sort. If I have a choice, I'd play one of those $10 satellites for the big money tourneys, but I'll have to see when the big tourney is actually being played before I commit to that. I'll see what's available tomorrow.


Resurrecting the "WTFWTT?" column, a DEA agent in Orlando Florida was apparently giving a presentation on gun safety when he shot himself in the leg.

I can't make this stuff up.

Page two. Outrage in San Jose as teachers demand that students actually grow a fucking brain or risk not getting the high school diploma that they were apparently entitled to by being born.

...Still, some wonder whether the new grading scheme demands too much from students who aren't shooting for spots at Stanford or even Cal State-Stanislaus.

"I'd rather go to a junior college,'' said Alex Johnson, a junior at Mountain View High who is eyeing Foothill or De Anza community colleges. He says it's unfair that some teachers at his school are widening the range for an F.

Okay, I can give Alex credit for trying to snow us into thinking that since he'd "rather go to Junior College" he doesn't need to put up any effort. Nevermind for a minute that the misguided boy thinks that Junior College is basically high school with ash trays.

But then we get this little nugget of ultimate wisdom from Alex's pop...

"D's are the only thing keeping him from getting F's,'' Alex's dad, Doug Johnson, said. "He's an incredibly bright kid, but he couldn't care less about school.''

And this, my friends, illustrates beautifully why poor Alex never stood a chance. Welcome to child rearing in the 21st Century.

I really really can't make this stuff up.

Apparently Deleware already hands diplomas out with birth certificates.

Instead of requiring high school students to pass a graduation exam, Delaware decided to award three levels of diplomas: basic, standard and distinguished. The levels are based on students' performance on state reading, math and writing tests given in 10th grade. Some 52 percent of students are in line for only a basic diploma, 40 percent for standard and only 8 percent for distinguished.

First, honor roll students with mediocre scores complained they have to settle for standard diplomas. Now there's a furor over the achievement gap: 76 percent of blacks and 70 percent of Hispanics are likely to get only a basic diploma, "resegregating" the graduating class. By contrast, 43 percent of whites and 30 percent of Asians are expected to be basic graduates.

Outstanding. God forbid children should be held accountable for their decisions. I mean, it's fucking Deleware! We're not talking about the Chicago Public School System, which really does give inner city Blacks and Hispanics the shaft academically. In a state where educational opportunity is at least somewhat equal, a student who couldn't give a shit about their grades should fail miserably, regardless of what color they are.

I swear to whatever God might listen, if this country continues to lower the bar to make itself look good, we are all doomed to devolve back to the fucking stone age. In 10 years our current measure of appropriate behavior will look like the Brady Bunch in comparison. It's enough to make me want to scour the South Pacific for an uncharted island and hide.

Make sure to give appropriate props and thank you's to Hillary and her "It Takes A Village To Raise An Idiot" campaign.