Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Feeling Lucky

About two hours ago, a rather brutal storm was brewing outside our house. Then the tornado horns go off. For a while, nothing of interest happened. It wasn't even a very big storm, by most standards. A little bit of rain, a few flashes of lightning. Then it seemed to pass by. I could see the blue sky out to the west... But something wasn't quite right. I looked up and saw the most curious sight... Clouds going in 3 different directions.

Then the wind picked up. It was blowing from the south... but that tree across the parking lot is leaning to the NORTH. As I was contemplating this, I swear I heard a strange whistle from the north. Like wind blowing through a sailboats rigging. Not very loud, but definately noticeable. As I was contemplating heading for the basement, it suddenly went very still. I was about to turn for the stairs when I took one last glance outside and saw about a half dozen people standing outside the apartment building immediately out of my back door, just staring to the East. I head to where they're standing, turn around...

And there it was. A funnel cloud. Not 200 yards away from us. I thought it wasn't on the ground, from the look of it, but then I saw the telltale flashes of power lines breaking, and I could hear faintly the sounds of the tornado. I was moving rapidly away from us, and I couldn't help but feel that we dodged the biggest bullet of our lives. Had that tornado saw fit to touch down just 2 minutes earlier, I'd be sifting through the debris of what would be left of my house.

Sometimes luck is more then pulling that one-outer on the river.

If this was even luck at all.

Busy Busy

Another hit and run post from Your's Truely. This weekend is Ham Radio Field Day, so I'm going to be pretty busy for the next few days, then it's off to Clearwater for some more R&R with the wife.

I have been playing some poker, and actually I've been running pretty good. Managed to break $400 on the bankroll, then took out $100 for this vacation thing, which really isn't that big of a deal. The Captain Cook's money should be getting in some time soon, so that'll take it back up to $500+, which is a Good Thing(tm). I'm debating on whether I should make the jump back to $1/$2 when I get the 300BB level ($600), or wait until I have a little more pad. I guess it's a personal choice in terms of comfort level, and I think I'll be more comfortable if I have a little padding under me before going to the $1/$2, especially if I'm going to multi-table it.

Lots to think about.

I haven't forgotten you all... Been wicked busy around here.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Big Wheels Keep On Turnin'

I guess I should be glad that every United flight going anywhere remotely close to Whiteman Air Force Base last Wednesday was packed full, since this means we're selling tickets... Somehow I wasn't feeling any joy, though. My "easy" journey to central Missouri turned into a debacle. Basically I flew to Chicago and sat around the airport for about 6 hours, before flying back to Appleton to pick up my car and drive back to Chicago, spend the night, and drive the 8 hours to Missouri.

I love air travel.

Anyway, obviously there's been no poker playing in the last few days. Back before I left I found a real live one on a 50/1 table and actually managed to cash some out from him, so I scored a little bonus there.

Speaking of bonuses, Captain Cook's changed their wagering requirements from 55x (16,000 units) to 35x (10,500 units). Still pretty steep, but it's hard to find a 200% bonus these days, and I did pretty okay on the last one.

I damn near busted out. Variance is a bitch, especially in a game you can't win. This time around I did this whole deal in Pounds, so my 100 unit deposit actually drew around $180 from the account, and I got to work. The 200 unit bonus was whittled to around 150 when I got done with the wagering requirements. Not the best, but still, it's 150 units. Moved that to my main account to play off the remaining 3500 unit wagering requirement... And the bottom fell out. At one point when I peeked I was down to 75 units. I managed to finish around 121 units, for a paltry $21 profit. Craptastic.

I think I'm done with the bonus whoring. After all, the reason for it was to pad the poker account, and I think this "brush with death" that I had with just wagering $1 bets makes me not want to look the gift horse in the mouth, so I'll take the money and run. If a real sweet bonus comes along, I would hope that one of my seventeen seven readers would tip me off so that I can take advantage, but it seems like the bonus whoring days of old are fading away as the casinos clue in to the tactics.

Okay, going to probably play some today... Gotta get my teeth drilled into first, though. Joy of joys. I haven't had a cavity in like 10 years, so this will be a nice trip down memory lane.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Wild Ride

Strange two days. Quick post here, since I'm meeting the wife for lunch in about 10 minutes.

Basically it goes like this. Yesterday was the poker day from Hell. It was one of those days where absolutely NOTHING was holding up. Aces? Nope. Kings? Hey, even a set of them couldn't crack the bad luck. Straights downed by flushes. Flushes downed by bigger flushes.. blah blah blah...


I made it a point NOT to play any poker for the rest of yesterday. Seems my luck followed me lost puppy style too, as I managed to stink up the lanes trying to do this whole bowling thing.

So, today I sit down ready to endure more slidage. It was quite the opposite. Good hands held up for the most part. I went on a hell of a run for about 15 minutes, and for the first time since I started ever 4-tabling, I was up on all of them. In fact, I was WAAAY up on 3 of them, which I closed out at at least double my buyin. Not a bad day of poker.


It seems that Party either isn't sending me all my hand histories, or I have my hand history requestor set to request too few hands per cycle, as it seems I'm missing some hands. They might show up later tonight, so we'll see. In the mean time, I'm going to adjust the requestor to ask for more hands less often, since I don't use the Gametime window in PokerTracker while I'm 4 tabling. In any event, due to that, my "total amount for the month" on the right is an estimate at the moment. I will review things manually tonight and make it correct.

Okay, off to stuff my gut. More later!

Monday, June 14, 2004

Fear The Dark

Yesterday was a great time for the bankroll! I was up around $40.

Then I decided to go fishing in the dark.

Hands Played = 958
Total Won = -$1.13
BB/100 Hands = -0.12

Not to get all "bad beaty" on you or anything, but I can't believe some of the shit I saw turning into hands last night. That, combined with none of my decent holding turning into anything worthwhile and it made for a rough night at the tables.

It hurts to see such a great morning get vetoed by such a hideous night, but at least I ended the day right around even...

Well, sort of. Stupid me, I get this bug up my ass to try one of those 3 tables deallios going on, but I didn't want to outlay $22 to do it. I know, I'm pathetic. So I figured I'd play a $5+$1 sit and go, score the $19 win and only have to drop $3 to give it a whirl.

Silly me. I bounced in 7th place after my AKo which flopped a K lost to K4o when he paired his kicker.

Party on.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

So Far, So Good

Following up a nice win with another decent day certainly does a lot for the confidence, and I'm feel a whole bunch better about being me with yesterday's take.

Total hands = 519
Amount Won = +$35.87
BB/100 hands = +6.91

This is a much better result to be sure, and in terms of the confidence, I think it actually helped that I lost some showdowns. The day before any time I went to the showdown I won. It was a great run of cards. Yesterday was the result of true grinding, as well as some decent cards. An almost 7 BB/hr win rate is certainly nothing to sneeze at, but there were many hands that either fell apart post flop or I got surprised on at the showdown.

I screwed up my cashout at the casino site, so I had to go back and re-request it. It's in process now, and in the mean time I'm sizing up my next victim. The Capt. Cooks thing seems a bit unrealistic. 16000 units wagered is a whole shitload of blackjack, even when it's being "autoplayed". I have some time to think about it though.

Seems that the folks at work have "tweaked" the Bordermangler, so now half the blogs I used to read at work are now verbotten, which is unamusing. I'm on 3 weeks vacation starting today, though, so for the immediate future I don't care. When I get back though I'm going to have to see if there's a way to work around it. It pisses me off, but it also makes me miss the days when I was the judge, jury and executioner.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Faith Restored

Total hands played = 320
Amount Won = +$54.50

I needed this one. After the last week, I was seriously beginning to wonder if I had forgotten how to play this game. Today though all the decent hands held up, and I was lucky enough to land a couple of monster hands and get the typical action you'd expect from the 50/1 tables.

Here's a big factor to today's successes, I think. My VP$IP (voluntarily put money into the pot, for those not familiar with this term) was a tick under 12%. I did an aweful lot of folding. In contrast, the last two days my VP$IP was around 19%. Still a good rate, to be sure, but on tables where anything that can happen usually did, you want to be damn sure you've got the best chance at holding the best hand before you continue. I also was not playing position and odds correctly the last two days, and I think that caught me a lot of the times. Out of practice, I guess.

We'll see if this holds up. I'm cautiously optomistic about my month so far. I haven't had a losing month playing ring games since November, and I certainly don't want to start now!

I've also begin bonus whoreing the casino sites. This apparently is all the rage on Two Plus Two lately. In any event, I bought into Lucky Nugget and played through the requirements, and ended up about $150 to the good. Hopefully they'll let me take my money out now! I feel so dirty ganking these bonuses, but hey, if they didn't want people taking advantage of them, they wouldn't offer it!

My hope is that this "casino whoreing" thing will help to get me comfortably out of this 50/1 hell I'm currently in. If I have the money to do it, the next casino gives a 200% bonus up to 100 "units". Units being either Euro, US Dollars or British Pounds. Seeing as how the exchange rate is currently $1.80 per £1.00, I can certainly see how this would benefit. The Captain Cooks bonus has changed to a 200% bonus, but they require you to play 55x your bonus. Once you do this with both the bonus and real money accounts, you're looking at 16,000 units wagered. Yikes. If I did this in USD, it would be $200 bonus for $100, for an EV of $142.40, however if I did this in GBP, the EV would be $259.03... I think. I'm figuring Standard deviation would yield 142.4 units, and £142.40 = $259.03. Hmmm...

Thursday, June 10, 2004

The Bleed Continues

Hands played = 151
Total won = -$10.75
BB/100 hands = -7.12

Pretty much all of this is due to AA getting cracked by KK when the K spiked the turn. By the same person who sucked me out a few times yesterday, no doubt... Any time I see that charactor show up at the tables, I'm running like a sissy.

The good news is, at this rate, I won't need to worry about poker ruining my day for much longer! Woot! I'll either bust out soon or start winning.. Either way, the pain will all be gone soon.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends...

So, today I got back to the business of grinding, having given up the high varience sport of the Tournement Challange... I returned invigorated. Ready to do battle. A fresh, clean mind.

Hands played = 649
Amount Won = -$67.75
BB/100 Hands = -10.44

Oh yeah, baby! Welcome back to the .50/1 Hell. We're glad you found it fit to come back to us, Shithead.

This day was brutal. Here's an example. I got AKo 11 times. I won with it once and that was a three way split for the huge sum of $0.50. Rock on.

Pocket aces held up once, and fell once to 8Js when he spiked the funky straight.

Pocket Kings 4 times. They held up 3 times, but for a total of $4. That was erased when the table maniac came up with AJs and hit the straight on me against my flopped set of Kings.

The Ladies came up 3 times and fell hard each and every time.

I got AQo 10 times, and it seemed like every time I got them, a K would flop. Without fail. It was unreal.

This whole day was unreal. I HAVE to get out of this 50/1 version of the 9th Circle that I'm in. The inplicit collusion at those tables will just kick your mother loving ass six ways to Sunday. I might as well play blindfolded for all the good it would do. Raises get zero respect. I can't tell you how many times I raised with AKo and ended up called down 5 ways with such illustrious holdings as 37s.

I can't make this stuff up.

Words cannot describe it. I guess it's just a complete and utter lack of ability to give even 1/16th of a fuck right now. I have the feeling like there is no escape from this God aweful level of play. I got to the point where I would lose to some complete bullshit rivered hand and I wouldn't even flinch. Whatever. Lost again. Big surprise.

That's a bad way to be.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Turn And Face The Changes

"On the bubble as you've noticed, things appear to get so tight that farts are ultra-sonic." - Sloejack - In a comment to my last post

Before I get to this post, let me just say that you guys are awesome. I can't begin to tell you how valuable the comments I got from the last post helped to put things in perspective.

Monday nights are bowling league nights for the Wife and I. When I started practicing for the league, about two weeks before the start, I bought a new ball. My old ball was, well, old. It was a good ball, but it was some 13 years old and what was technologically a very advanced design back then was now a serious dinosaur today. In any event, I went to practice with this ball and I found my game had taken a turn for the incredible. My average went up 20 pins and I was flirting around at a 200 average. This continued through the first two weeks of the league, and then something started to go wrong. My 200 average turned into a 180. I would play one great game, and follow it up with a complete crapazoid. I was losing it.

Last night was no different. I stepped up to the plate and put up a 149. Nothing was working. I would put the ball on the right mark, but get no action and miss wide. I would overcompensate and come across. I was missing spares I used to have dead to rights. I was all over the dial. Finally about 7 frames into my second game (and running towards another 150 game) one of the people from the other team offered a suggestion. It was a simple one.

"slow it down"

That was it. Nothing fancy, just slow down. Take some off it. I had been wracking my brain trying to figure out for myself why I was doing so poorly, and when he said this, review quickly showed he was on to something.. I was trying too hard to get the ball where I wanted it, and not letting it do its thing.

The last game was a 201.

"So," you may ask, "what does this have to do with Poker.. And where the Hell did the Tournement Challange stuff go, you wuss!?" Well, I've done about 160 of these tournements. I'm up $90. Not bad, to be sure, but the varience is insane, and losing 6 tournements, 5 of which I busted out on the bubble, is not fun at all. It was exciting, and the ups and downs were fun to chronicle (and hopefully an interesting read), the emotional toll it was taking on me didn't make it worth it. When I lost that $130 a few days ago, I was depressed. I mean, beyond just annoyed, or tilted. I was genuinely sad.

A clearer sign that I was playing above my confort level could not have been seen.

So, as of now, the Tournament Challange goes into the books as a successful failure. Success in that it's padded my bankroll by $90. A failure in that I neither busted nor did I get to $3000. I'm going back to the grind, but I'm going to try something a little different. The other day I finally broke down and picked up a 19" monitor. Besides the obvious extra screen real estate, this monitor is also capable of 1600x1200 resolution, so I can fit 4 tables on there without overlap. Good stuff. Basically, after a week of getting back into the limit grinding mindset, I'm going to try some 4 table action.

You'll also notice that the bankroll is smaller, even though I haven't played since Sunday. On advice from a couple of other folks, I've taken $50 out of the roll for the purpose of bonus whoreing the online casinos. I'll run through only two or three and put the subsequent profit back into the bankroll. With luck, I'll do well with this. It seems a little too easy, but what the heck, it's $50, and I've blown that doing more -EV things. I'll keep you posted on how that's going too.

So, the fun starts tomorrow! Please hold on to the bar.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Sunday Morning Mugging

I was thinking about going out and taking a nice ride on my motorcycle, maybe do some lawn work. After this sample of my luck, though, I don't think I'm going to handle anything potentially dangerous today. Words can't summarize, so let's go to the tape, shall we?

Game one. The try at $30+$3.

Party Poker No-Limit Hold'em Tourney, Big Blind is t200 (4 handed) converter

UTG (t3990)
Button (t2228)
SB (t1290)
Your_Luckless_Hero (t492)

Preflop: Your_Luckless_Hero is BB with Th, Qd.
UTG folds, Button folds, SB raises to t400, Your_Luckless_Hero raises to t492 (All-In), SB calls t92.

Flop: (t984) Ac, 4c, 8c (2 players, 1 all-in)

Turn: (t984) 9s (2 players, 1 all-in)

River: (t984) 5s (2 players, 1 all-in)

Final Pot: t984
Main Pot: t984 (t984), between SB and Your_Luckless_Hero.


Your_Luckless_Hero shows Th Qd (high card, ace).

SB shows Jh Ks (high card, ace).

Outcome: SB wins t984.

This was my own damn fault... I had some decent holding. Unfortunately, they all came at the beginning of the tournement and everyone was playing fast and loose.. I figured the best tactic would be to let these jokers sink each other, which worked... Problem was, once I got to a point where I could make moves, the cards died on me.


Great start. Okay, so I'm done with $30 level, here we go with the $20...

I'm in great position here. I've got the monster stack, and I'm feeling good. Then I run into QQ when I try to take out someone with JJ with 4 left. Hmmm.. Okay, no real bad damage there... Then the cards die again. Meanwhile, everyone is sort of playing with themselves waiting for me to die, it seems. My first trip of the day down the river comes shortly thereafter. Something that ended up being the first verse of the theme song of the day.

Party Poker No-Limit Hold'em Tourney, Big Blind is t200 (4 handed) converter

SB (t3265)
BB (t2020)
Your_Luckless_Hero (t745)
Button (t1970)

Preflop: Your_Luckless_Hero is UTG with Ts, Kd.

Your_Luckless_Hero raises to t400
, Button folds, SB folds, BB raises to t800, Your_Luckless_Hero calls t345 (All-In).

Flop: (t1645) 8d, 4d, 2c (2 players, 1 all-in)

Turn: (t1645) Ks (2 players, 1 all-in)

River: (t1645) Jd (2 players, 1 all-in)

Final Pot: t1645
Main Pot: t1590 (t1590), between BB and Your_Luckless_Hero.
Pot 2: t55 (t55), returned to BB.

BB shows Jh Jc (three of a kind, jacks).
Your_Luckless_Hero shows Ts Kd (one pair, kings).
Outcome: BB wins t1645.

Saved by the turn, killed by the river. Gotta love poker. -$22

Undeterred, I head once more unto the breech.

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

UTG+1 (t785)
MP1 (t1685)
MP2 (t665)
Your_Luckless_Hero (t775)
CO (t905)
Button (t860)
SB (t725)
BB (t800)
UTG (t800)

Preflop: Your_Luckless_Hero is MP3 with Kc, Kd.

UTG raises to t60
, UTG+1 folds, MP1 folds, MP2 folds, Your_Luckless_Hero raises to t150, CO folds, Button folds, SB folds, BB folds, UTG raises to t450, Your_Luckless_Hero raises to t775 (All-In), UTG calls t325.

Flop: (t1575) 7s, Ad, Qs (2 players, 1 all-in)

Turn: (t1575) 2s (2 players, 1 all-in)

River: (t1575) 5c (2 players, 1 all-in)

Final Pot: t1575
Main Pot: t1575 (t1575), between Your_Luckless_Hero and UTG.

UTG shows As Ah (three of a kind, aces).
Your_Luckless_Hero shows Kc Kd (one pair, kings).
Outcome: UTG wins t1575.

And that's about all I've got to say about that. -$22

WTF, eh? This can't keep happening. Statistically, it's impossible.

Again, I wade along in okay chip position and we're 4 handed... And play friggin just stops. Everyone tightens up to an almost perfect vaccuum and we go 10 hands without a flop. Finally I get a hand I think I can steal with, seeing as how these guys are just cowering in the corner. I've gotta do something or I'm going to get blinded to death.

Party Poker No-Limit Hold'em Tourney, Big Blind is t300 (4 handed) converter

BB (t2880)
Your_Luckless_Hero (t875)
Button (t1395)
SB (t2850)

Preflop: Your_Luckless_Hero is UTG with Ah, 3c.

Your_Luckless_Hero raises to t875 (All-In)
, Button folds, SB calls t725, BB folds.

Flop: (t2050) 5s, Jc, Qh (2 players, 1 all-in)

Turn: (t2050) 8s (2 players, 1 all-in)

River: (t2050) Kh (2 players, 1 all-in)

Final Pot: t2050
Main Pot: t2050 (t2050), between Your_Luckless_Hero and SB.

Your_Luckless_Hero shows Ah 3c (high card, ace).
SB shows Qd Qs (three of a kind, queens).
Outcome: SB wins t2050.

You'd have thought by now I would have gotten the fucking picture that today was not my day. -$22

Seeing has how the game I lost above was moving glacially slow due to the World Poker Tour style pauses (in fact, the fucktard who called me down with QQ waited until the timer went to 1 to do it... What in the name of Christ was he waiting for?), I decided to fire up another tournement to break the boredom.

Silly me.

Again, decent chip position, doing well, blinds are up there, blah blah blah, like it fucking matters:

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

UTG (t2555)
Your_Luckless_Hero (t725)
Button (t2310)
SB (t290)
BB (t2120)

Preflop: Your_Luckless_Hero TEYour_Luckless_Hero%%%%%7d, 7c.
UTG folds, Your_Luckless_Hero raises to t300, Button calls t300, SB folds, BB folds.

Flop: (t750) Jc, 6c, 8c (2 players)

Your_Luckless_Hero bets t425 (All-In)
, Button calls t425.

Turn: (t1600) Tc (2 players, 1 all-in)

River: (t1600) 3c (2 players, 1 all-in)

Final Pot: t1600
Main Pot: t1600 (t1600), between Your_Luckless_Hero and Button.

Your_Luckless_Hero shows 7d 7c (flush, jack high).
Button shows Ac 9c (flush, ace high).
Outcome: Button wins t1600.

Why did I shove after the flop? I don't know. Frustration I guess. I lack the ability to care at this point. Maybe when I don't feel like God hates me I can break this day from Hell down a little further. -$22

So, a total haul for today of -$121. So, not only did I fail in my bid to make a dent in the $30 range, but I'm down to the $10 range again. Silly me. I started feeling like when I got to the $30 level I was perhaps going to start actually getting somewhere with this challange.

My ring game bankroll is around $150 now, so things suck ass all over. Definately back to the 50/1 hell for a while in terms of grinding. I dunno. Like I said, I at this point lack sufficient ability to care. I haven't seen a beating this brutal since Tyson vs. Holyfield.

Statistics, you say? Oh, they're fun! Lessee...

For today, my VP$IP was 11%.
I saw 13% of the flops.
I won 31% of the time when I saw the flop. Yes, Virgina, 31%.
I went to Showdown 46% of the time and won at showdown 33% of the time.
My aggression factor was 2.89.

So.. Since I appear to be completely baffled, I'm interested in some suggestions. Do you, of clearer mind and infinite poker wisdom see this as bad luck or bad play? Help me Obi Wan Kanobi, you're my only hope.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Movin' On Up

What was starting out as a very bad day turned around nicely at the end. Started out with whimper...

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

Saturday morning. Two type of people play Party on a Saturday morning. Rocks and drunks that would rather be asleep if not for the wife and kid waking them up from their slumber. I saw some hidiously bad card playing going on, but couldn't get the cards to make a move with. I ended up going too far with Big Slick and never made a recovery.

$20+$2 - 7th - -$22

This was infuriating. We're about 7 hands into the tourney. I'm the button and it's folded to me. I look down at Big Slick again and pop it about 3.5x BB. SB calls and BB folds, so I'm heads up with the SB. Flop comes Axx with two clubs. I bet out the pot and he calls. Hmmm. Turn comes a K and I'm thinking money here. I pop out a healthy bet and am called again. Now I figured he's on an ace, which is just fine with me. River comes a third club. I pop out another goodly bet and I'm re-raised. Uh oh. I call to be shown....

Wait for it....

wait for it.....

37c for the rivered flush.

Do not adjust your monitors. It really is a three and a seven. I dunno, maybe he thought he was doubling down or something... This puts me down to T200 and I'm generally fucked for the rest of the tourney. I last a few more rounds and find myself with pocket 5's in the SB and no callers. I shove and get called by 37-boy. He flips over pocket 6's and I fight not to puke on the monitor.

Goddamn kids.

$20+$2 - 1st - $+78

The nice thing about this win was, I did it with only passable hands. The table was ultra-tight and by level 3, we're still a full table and the big stack has like T1200... No real movement at all on this table. Once the blinds went to 50/100 I went into attack mode and the weak/tights just were handing chips over. I managed to chip up into a decent position when the short stacks finally decided it was time to start dancing, but it was too late for them, and we repidly found our way into the money, though by this time the blinds were up to 200/400. A couple of well placed shoves and I find myself the chip leader. The guy to my left was ultra weak/tight and it was no challange at all to steal his blind. When he finally DID make a stand he only had T600 left and managed to suck out the button on a draw. In fact, this table was full of miraculous draws. I was dead in the water with A5c when I pushed and was called up by KK. I sucked out the flush and lived to fight another day.

So now I'm just barely into the $30+$3 level. One shot, then I'll be back into the $20+$2 level again. Let's hope it's a good one.

In other news, Smarty doesn't pull it off. Guess we'll just have to wait till next year.

Farewell, Mr. President.

So Much For That...

Any of my fellow Wisconsin poker players hankering for a live game, we appear to be screwed.

This, along with an excellent post about the legality of online poker from the Professor makes me wonder when I will no longer have the right to blog.

Nice to see this Administration trying to impart its New World Order on the WTO. Invading sovereign nations that pose no immediate threat to us, telling the World Trade Organization "thanks, but we'll decide for ourselves what's good for the World", rewriting the Constitution... This is starting to frighten me. Especially frightening is that Americans are too distracted/bored/misinformed/stupid to do something about it.

How are things going in Canada?

Friday, June 04, 2004

Public Service Announcement!

Dihydrogen Monoxide is destroying our world!

We must stop this dangerous chemical before it is too late!

Go here and learn more about this insideous compound that threatens our very existance!

You've been warned! We're doomed for sure.

Well, it's not all doom and gloom. Further research suggests that this compound is Adkins Friendly! Weeee!

All your base are belong to us.

Last Chance For Romance

So, as you read yesterday, I was down to my last $20+$2 buyin before having to go back to the old $10+$1 grind, tail between my legs.

I also mentioned before that I was considering not playing these in the morning as I seem to run into stiffer competition. Review of my PokerTracker database doesn't really support this theory, though. The play is still atrocious in the daytime, if not a bit tighter in some respects.

To warm up, I jumped into Ultimate Bet. I hadn't been to UB in a good long time, and I found that I had $5.49 left in my account. $.01 short of the buyin for one of their $5+$.50 sit and goes. What the heck. I fire up a NL cash table, score a buck and a half quickly, and head to the tourney.

A couple of things I like about the UB tourneys are the T1000 in chips you start with and the slower progression of the blinds. It makes it a little more of a contest of skills and less of a contest of luck. The thing I don't like about them is they are glacially slow. From what I can tell, the blinds progress up every 10 minutes, and then not very rapidly. I spent probably a good 45 minutes getting whittled away by no cards connecting for me and I finally got bored and did something stupid to get myself knocked out. Oh well. So there's like a buck and a quarter left in the UB account... Guess it's back to the NL tables for me to try to build that back up. Not that I much care about UB, but I lack sufficient funds in there to take it out.

Finally I decide it's time to put my bid in on Party and I sit down at the $20+$2 table, ready for battle.

$20+$2 - 1st - +$78

Now that is what I'm talking about! Getting to the money wasn't particularly challenging is this one.. There were guys in the 7 and 8 seat that took turns being the table bully. I was in seat 10, which was the perfect place to be. I sat back and let the bullies take out player after player, only taking stabs at pots when the bullies were out of the hand. This kept me in a reasonable chip position all the way though to the money, where I then, of course, found myself at a bit of a deficit with T1300 to a complete monster stack and the other guy with T2000 or so. I fold a few hands and find my stack at T1015 in the small blind when I look down at KJo. Three handed, this is a pretty decent holding, especially when you're getting desperate. Button/UTG puts out the usual 2x blind steal and I shove my remaining T715 in and get called down two ways. Flop misses me cleanly with 3d, 2s, Qd, and both guys check through. Turn is Js and I'm praying it holds up. Checked through again and the river brings a harmless 4h. Checked through again and I rake up the T3045 pot, instantly feeling better about being me. A couple of hands later the hobbled 8 seat makes a bid and fails and we're heads up with me at about a 3 to 1 chip disadvantage. I find that the guy in the 7 seat is wicked weak/tight heads up and I make short work of him to take the win.

This one was huge for the morale. It proved to me that I can win at this level, and it also put me well into the $20+$2 level (darn near into the $30+$3 level!).

I've played 69 tournaments (yeah, I know, lucky 69) since I started this challenge, 57 $10 and 12 $20.

At the $10 level, I finished 1st 11 times, 2nd 5 times and 3rd 9 times, for an In the Money percentage of 43.86%.

Combined with my small $20 sample, my ITM goes to 40.58%. Still rather respectable, but given the small sample of $20 tourneys, it's difficult to tell where I'm going to end up. Right now I have a 25% ITM in the $20, but with the bad run and only 12 in, that tells me pretty much nothing.

For those that care, my Aggression Factor is 2.79.

Let's hope this is the beginning of a run! I'm going to stop with the win today. Don't want to push my luck and I have some tasks around the house to take care of before work.

Oh, there's one more thing... A few posts ago I took a poke at HD for not including me in the All-In article he wrote, again forgetting that my strange sarcasm is less effective and more prone to misunderstanding when put to text. I write this blog because I enjoy writing this blog. I also find it mentally stimulating to put my thoughts about my game in written word, as it helps me to analyze how I played and puts my wins and losses into perspective. I've also met some fine people. That is what this is all about.

Thank you for reading.

Thursday, June 03, 2004


$20+$2 - 9th - -$22
$20+$2 - 3rd - +$18
$20+$2 - 4th - -$22
$20+$2 - 5th - -$22

Well, almost done with the $20+$2 level already. I really should have stopped at the 3rd place finish, but I felt good about my chances and kept pressing on. Not sure what happened with the 9th place finish, but the 4th and 5th place ones was once again a card draught and some better/aggressive players that wouldn't roll over to blind steals. Since I had no cards, and I couldn't blind steal, I got to watch myself get blinded away again. Very frustrating. Meanwhile I spun up a 50/1 ring game and managed to get bonked for an additional $8 loss thanks to my flopped trips also ending up being a flopped boat for the guy across from me. That was enjoyable.

So, for the challenge, I'm down -$48, and a total of -$55.50 on the bankroll. The challenge bankroll I'm not too concerned about yet, but my ring bankroll hasn't taken a positive swing in quite a while, which is disconcerting. It would be nice to start winning on the ring games again. I've gone down to the .50/1 level again, since, with the $110 I took out of my bankroll for the challenge plus the $50 I withdrew for the deposit on the motorcycle I never got (check is being returned, and will probably not end up back in the bankroll), the ring bankroll is now below $300.

As for the challenge, I'm still in the $20+$2 level, by a buck. One last chance to redeem myself on that level, I guess, then it's back to the $10+$1 grind. Second verse, same as the first. Of course, unlike the $10+$1 level, two wins and I'm on the next buyin level already.

As for the skill of my opponents, I really honestly can't say I see much difference between the $10 and $20 levels. Maybe a little tighter, but not appreciably, and since the $10 tables were plenty tight, I've been getting some good practice at dealing with a rock garden.

Unfortunately, I have a bit of a short attention span with these tournaments, and in the beginning of them I tend to wander off and surf the net or play a ring game on the side. This isn't really such a good idea as in the early portion of the tournament is where I can try to get information on my opponents, like what they're raising with, how the respond to blind steals and other such stuff. I'm pretty good about keeping my hands off the CALL and RAISE buttons in the early portions of the tourneys in spite of my boredom, but it makes the frustration of not getting cards more, well, frustrating. Especially when after scratching along for so long trying to survive on shit cards I get rivered to die on the bubble.

After that 4th place finish, I was ready to throw my monitor across the room. I really had no business sitting back down at the tables.

I'll try again tomorrow. At some point, I think I'm going to have to abandon playing these sit and goes in the daytime and try to play more when the fish are around. Unfortunately, that would slow this challenge to a friggin crawl, as my opportunities to play in the evening are few and far between.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004


Well, as the sixteen six readers who still read this may have noticed, with the two wins the other day I found myself back in the $20+$2 buyin level once again. Given my past performance at this level I sat down predisposed to losing another one... I have actually started charting out my progress on this little adventure and it's rather amusing, actually. Initially I spike up to the $20+$2 level, and there I have been stuck for something like 40 tournaments!

Anyway, I finish up some things around the house and sit down to get it over with...

$20+$2 - 2nd - +$38

Ummm.. I didn't lose? I was shocked.. What's more, my wife was there to sweat me for half the tournament. Now usually, and this is nothing against my wife, but when she's around I usually start getting my ass handed to me. She walked in and I figured I was well and truly fooked. By this time we were 5 handed and the blinds were 200/100 and two hands away from 300/150. Yes, it was a tight table. The difference this time was, when the table went tight, I went into attack mode. There was two people I saw at the table who were folding almost everything they saw for the first three levels. I took note of these guys as "system" players. Sure enough, level 4 starts up and these guy switch gears with an audible "clunk", betting and raising and generally going nuts. One guy went out immediately when he got called down by JJ vs. AKo. No help for Slick and System-boy 1 was gone. System-Boy 2 was 2 to my left and was doing a lot of missing. He was eventually down to about half my stack and I got AQo and it's folded to me on the button. I punch it up to 3xBB and he calls me down. Flop connects with my Queen and I toss out a pot sized bet. He shoves, and it's only like T200 more, so I call. He's got Q7 and never makes a recovery. The other 3 guys were complete granite slabs. On the bubble, I would have been stoned right along with them, but I decided that this tactic is an excellent way to die from the blinds, so I started turning it up. Axo, Kx, QJ, I was gunning, though with the folding session these guys were putting on, it didn't much matter what I was holding. I stole the blinds enough to keep me in decent chip position. Finally, two guys went at each other and suddenly I was in the money, though the short stack by about half. Now that I knew I was money, I really poured the coals on. I had to double through at least twice to get into a position where the blinds wouldn't decimate me. It didn't take long. I'm on the button with AQo and shove. SB calls me up with his KJo and I'm good. Next hand is QQ in the BB. Button folds, SB goes for the steal and I shove. He deliberates for a while, but he has me handily covered, so he calls and I double through again. Two hands later the other two have at each other and now we're heads up, me still at a rather large disadvantage chip wise. I went insane, shoving on any paint save for Jxo, and I was getting some decent starting hands. I doubled through a couple of times to draw to a slight lead, but then I'd try to put the coup de gras and end up losing, busting back to a 5:1 disadvantage... I crawled back up again to a slight advantage, and again my bid to put it away is stifled. Alas, I couldn't survive the short stack again and I take 2nd.

Still, my $20+$2 cherry is popped finally, and now I've got enough to make a few buyins at this level and try to gain a foothold. Funny thing about this challenge though is that the difference from $20+$2 to $30+$3 is only $110, so even two 2nd places will get me to the $30+$3 buyin level. We'll see how this goes, but I think that it won't take much of a slide to fall back to $10+$1 levels. On the other hand, it won't take much of a winning streak to get a firm foothold in the $30 range either. This is going to get interesting.

Thanks Hank for the copy of All-In... Email me and let me know when you're going to send it so I can be looking for it. I checked out the link on his site of what I believe is the article in the mag, and it seems Your's Truely didn't pass muster for the list. Alas, I shall wait a little longer for my 15 minutes seconds of fame. No one who reads a magazine with Chris Moneymaker on the cover is going to give a damn about a low limit grinder anyway...

For the last couple of weeks I've been trying to find a touring motorcycle to replace my cruiser. I've been riding around on a 1981 Yamaha XV750 Virago for the last couple of years. It's a decent bike, but it's really not designed for long distance riding. After about 45 minutes my legs go numb on it and I have to stop. I have been poking around for a used Goldwing or something similar, but I have the problem of not having the cash on hand to buy one and the cost of what I'm looking for is too small to finance. Since I don't own a home and thanks to my failed first marriage 5 years ago and subsequent bankruptcy, I'm pretty well fucked. None-the-less, I did make a bid for one and of course was turned down, so it's another year on the Beast. There is a silver lining to this mushroom cloud, though. I figure I've got the rest of this riding season and all of the off season to rathole cash away. I figure if I play this right and can get the wife to help out some, I should have around $3000 tucked away by then. Depending on how poker is doing for me I might be able to augment that amount. $4500 gets you a damn fine 'Wing from what I'm seeing. I imagine if I do a lot of riding with my wife on the Virago she'll be more then willing to help out with the Goldwing Acquisition Program. It's uncomfortable to ride... It's even MORE uncomfortable to be a passenger on. No back rest, no sissy bar. I know I hate riding like that on the back of a bike.