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Somebody Pinch Me

Wow...could this day get any better?! Allow me to explain. After sleeping in (good thing #1) and then lounging on the couch for a while (good thing #2), the wife, boy, and I decided to make our way to Walmart to pick up a few things we needed. The forecast was for snow starting around noon so I wanted to get back by then...plus UNC basketball was starting then and I hate to miss a game. After braving the cold weather and pack of idiots taking up space in Walmart, we headed back to the house. Once there, I noticed a box on our porch. I didn't think much of it figuring it was another trinket from Wachovia Securities. Over the last year they've launched a mail campaign where they send a little desk toy with a catchy phrase on it to Financial Advisors of other firms to entice them to their firm. For example, last time I got a golden hourglass with some cheesy phrase like, "Isn't It Time To Make A Move?" What they don't realize is I'm not a Financial Advisor. Though I work for a financial services firm, I'm the Operations Manager, thus not in production. But back to the box...

I tore open the box to find a letter, disc, and hat from Party Poker. Looks like Wachovia is not the only one out there with a massive mail campaign. The hat looks just like the ones seen on the early episodes of the WSOP, when they allowed sponsor ads on the show without being blurred. To my surprise, it is very well made and fits perfect (good thing #3). I'm pretty particular about my hats so that was nice. Next up I read the letter that stated right off the bat they had deposited $50 into my account with no strings attached (good thing #4). That's right folks...no laboring on the .50/1 tables to release money from the bonus account. When I told my wife she said, "they must know we're broke and you've been itching to play." No doubt. Though I wanted to immediately drop everything and hit the tables, I knew there were still some things to do before plopping my ars down in front of the monitor.

After a nice lunch of Alfredo Pasta with the fam, I decided to lounge a little more and check out the UNC game. They absolutely crushed Virginia...something to the tune of 110 to 58. Now that's an ass whooping right there (good thing #5). Now it was time to hit the felt. I logged on and crossed my fingers as I clicked on the cashier button. I was a little worried as the letter said my screen name was still jaymanone when I had changed it to trip_jax quite a while ago. Fret not readers, the $50 was there. Now comes the portion of the story where evil TripJax pops up on my shoulder and says, "Cash it out and move it to Pokerstars for the upcoming WPBT February 2nd." If you've read any of my other posts you know I've been on a playing hiatus due to a hemorrhaging of cash. Money is tight for us now and will be until I get my company bonus in late February. So immediately evil TripJax was working me. But my conscience seemed to have gotten the best of me as I made the decision to try and win some money before allowing the cash out thought to enter my mind again. The way I figure, Party has taken the time, effort, and money to do this for me and I should pay my dues. I realize in the grand scheme of things I'm just a number to them and eventually they get it back in rake, but man I just felt so happy they had done this I wanted to make it worth their while too. In the end, that is their ultimate goal...make their clients happy while boosting the money played on their site.

I decided to get my feet wet with a Sit-N-Go. Right off the bat I could see this was a timid table and I was going to be the aggressor. After a few well timed bluffs, the others began to get restless of my constant pushing. This finally showed when I took the first person out with a pair of 9's in the hole, a rag board, and his all in call with A K. He was ace high calling off the rest of his stack to my all in bet. He probably had 600 of his starting $800 left and handed it to me on a silver platter. I continued my run, knocking out the next 2 players and building my stack to over 3000 with everyone else hovering around their starting stack. Finally I took a tough hit when my 7's in the hole got whacked by J's in the hole. Back down to $1400 and no longer the chip leader, I laid low for a little while to see what would happen. And what happened was sweet. One all in bet by the chip leader was called by 3 other players...the leader spiked an ace on the river and just like that we were down to 3...in the money on my first SNG in months (good thing #6). I thanked the chip leader for his disposing of players and then readied myself for the final 3. My big break came almost immediately. Holding 9 4 in the big blind I was happy to see the button fold and the little blind call. The flop gave me a piece when it came 10 K 4. A relatively small bet of about half the pot seemed just low enough to call with bottom pair and hope for a good turn. My days luck continued as another 4 hit the turn (good thing #7). A huge bet by the chip leader prompted an easy all in for me with trip 4's. If I was beat, I was beat, but I didn't think I was. Just like that I was the chip leader again. Holmes had slow played rockets and paid dearly. Soon after rocket man took out the other player and we were heads up. About 3 minutes into it - and with a 4 to 1 chip lead - I picked up K Q and made a hefty raise on his big blind. He went all in which was not much more for me to call and flipped over K 4. Seconds later I was getting the pop up informing me I had won the tournament and would receive $25 (good thing #8). A queen had hit the board on the last hand, but with no 4 I would have won with my K Q anyway.

Wouldn't you know it...Evil TripJax immediately hits my shoulder again. "O.K. now we've got $69 in the account. Move the $50 to Pokerstars and you'll still have $19 for a few SNG's. After the WPBT, if things don't go so well, try and get the roll back to $50 and move it back to Party. If things do go well it will be easy to move the money back." For anyone reading this, I would really like to get your thoughts on if I should move the money. In the end, I think I'm a good guy and I feel bad about moving it. Plus, I want to stay in Party's good graces as this is not the first time they have given me free money...$20 and $10 respectively over the last 2 years. But I would really like to play in the upcoming WPBT and just don't need to use any of our family money right now to do so. Not having comments enabled right now, if you would like to give me your thoughts, please email at jaxon59@yahoo.com. Hope to hear from you. Think I'll keep the good times rolling and pop open a beer (good thing #9) and watch some more basketball. No need to rush into playing more poker...gonna let the goodness sink in and bask in my latest win. Sometimes poker kicks sweet ars. Oh, forgot to mention...already an inch of snow on the ground and looks like more is on the way (good thing #10). Think I'll have to do some sledding with boy if we get a little more. Sweet.

Update: It's 9:12 pm same day...Iggy just showed me a great site, www.haloscan.com, that offers free comments and trackback (good thing #11). Sweet mama brown I'm in business now. Thanks Iggy and thanks haloscan. Geez, I think I have thanked Iggy in just about every post this month. I'm off to play some pool and have some beers with a buddy of mine. Hope my good fortune continues on the tables. For now, poker can wait.

posted by TripJax @ 6:59 PM, , links to this post




When Templates Attack or The Good & Bad Of Change

If you take a quick gander at the previous post you'll see I was all giddy about changing my blog template. I loved the basic concept of my original blog template, but felt I was missing out on all the bells and whistles (no link for comments on posts, no link for current months posts, no email post option, etc...). So, earlier this week I made the move from the "smoking hot body" template to this. I assumed I was the only person reading my blog since I had only been blogging for 3 months and had yet to officially make my presence known to the poker blogging community. A pretty naive view considering this is the internet, eh?! But at the time I figured I could put a friggin Hello Kitty template up and no one would give a rats ars but me. Trust me, I'm all about having others read this here blog, but I figured I should get some posts under my belt before making introductions. So imagine my surprise when, not long after making the template change, I had my first comment. As I clicked the link I had a strange sense my trek into the poker blogging community would begin. My sense was confirmed when the message was from none other than the blogfather himself, Ignatious. Iggy's comments were something to the tune of new template bad, old template good. Turns out Iggy had found my site and graciously linked me on his blog. I huge thanks to him for taking the time to read my blog, leave a comment, and link me on his site. Over the next couple of days I received a few emails from other readers stating that the old template was better.

If you've made it this far then you obviously see the people have spoken and, dear readers, I have listened. The "smoking hot body" template is back with a few minor changes to better utilize the space available. Who knew guys that like poker also have a place in their heart for pics of hot chicks. Over the next few weeks/months I still plan to make some additions like comments and current posts links that I noted above. I'll do my best to add some good content as well as keep the blog crisp and clean. I must note some good has come from all this...I went from thinking I had 1 reader (myself) to finding out that I'm slowly making my way into the community. Participating in an upcoming WPBT will be the next step. I also learned a bit more HTML which is definitely a weak spot for me...plenty of room for improvement. The bad was I spent a good amount of time and brain power making a change that, alas, was for not. Wouldn't change the experience though.

Next up, how about some friggin poker content?! I'm about halfway through my next pimpage so I should have that out by tomorrow. Plus I've started another post about my experiences dealing games while not being able to play. Geez, I'm feeling like Mean Gene who often comments on having numerous uber posts in draft awaiting completion. In the mean time, I might should go do some work.

Since I have no comments fields available please email me if you have a comment. Thanks!

posted by TripJax @ 12:34 PM, , links to this post




Spare Some Change?

No, I'm not soliciting hand outs, though the bankroll could use it. Instead I've decided to change the look and feel of the blog. I know I'm only on my 3rd month of blogging, but I just didn't feel right with the skin I was in. I needed something that I could work with more and luckily I feel like I've found a decent replacement. If you're looking at a green and brown blog then apparently it's working. The best and subsequently worst part of the old blog was the picture I used at the top. Best because it was an outline of a smoking hot body....easy on the eyes no doubt. Worst because the picture took way to much space and the content became secondary. You would have to scroll pretty far down before you got to any real content. Here is the stripped down (pun intended) version of what my blog used to look like. I believe it's actually a picture from one of the Matrix 3 posters that popped up all over the internet before the movie came out.

The new template is a refreshing change that offers more features than the previous. First, it utilizes the screen space much more effectively. There are no huge pictures taking over the blog. Second, it actually has comments which I feel is a must (though I've never gotten a comment yet!). Third, it shows the current months posts by name which the other template did not. And finally, it's just a cleaner blog. I am searching the net for a decent picture to replace my trusty old J cap pic currently occupying said space. If you know of any pictures of a hotty holding playing cards or chips in her hands let me know. I think the title Poker In Arrears begs to have that type of picture eh? Though the title is about my poker play while battling debt, I know you bastardos would rather see a pic of a hotty than a bottle cap.

If you have any comments regarding the new look or content you would like to see let me know. Over the next few weeks/months I will be looking to incorporate RSS or some type of syndication feed onto my site so that I can link fellow bloggers by most recently updated content. As I mentioned in earlier posts, I have a buddy who is a web design guru so maybe he'll help me out on getting this done. Next up, I plan to write about my experiences dealing as well as pimp another blogger. Which comes first is to be determined...

posted by TripJax @ 4:28 PM, , links to this post




Don't Tread On My Poker Game

While perusing the Party Poker Blogs over at Guinness & Poker, I happened upon a post where Iggy gave a shout out to his North Carolina readers...pretty damn cool of him. Specifically he was making us aware of an anti-poker article written in the Winston-Salem Journal criticizing the Harrah's Cherokee resort for attempting to build a poker room. Living in Greensboro - only 20 minutes from Winston-Salem and less than 3 hours from Cherokee - this definitely sparked my interest.

Unfortunately, this article is just another in a long line of soap box tripe we here in North Carolina have been force fed for quite some time. It amazes me how this country is built on the ideals of freedom, yet where you call home can directly affect your ability to spend your discretionary money at...well...your discretion. In some cases, this is actually a detriment to the state you live in. For example, every day thousands of N.C. dollars make their way across our great states borders for lottery ticket purchases in South Carolina and Virginia. The S.C. & VA schools reap the benefits of our money while N.C. schools often go under funded. The result…trailers for classrooms, outdated textbooks, underpaid teachers, and test scores consistently ranked in the bottom 10% nationally.

I understand, to some degree, where many of the naysayers are coming from. The family man who chunks half his mortgage payment on a 15/30 hold'em game or the destitute single mother buying $100 in lottery tickets instead of groceries…these are the stories that shape the minds of those impeding change. But how about the family man who works his tail off 50 hours a week and chooses, as a hobby, to play poker with his buddies once a week to blow off some steam. Or the college friends – now 40 something - who make the yearly trek to the casino for some poker, craps, and good ole reminiscing. Am I to believe that adding 30 poker tables to one North Carolina casino is going to push these and other N.C. residents over the edge? Give me a break.

By now, I’m sure you know where I stand on the subject. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m no doubt jealous of many of the bloggers who live near or travel to places I can only dream of (patience TripJax, patience). You can imagine how happy I was to hear that we might be getting some legal poker rooms here in North Carolina. Alas, the future of those plans are in doubt. But as news becomes available, I’ll be sure to let you know.

Thanks again
Iggy for the shout out to your North Carolina contingent. Now, I think I'll jump on Party Poker and play some legal poker, thus giving a big middle finger wave to the state legislature. Oh wait, I don't have any money in my Party Poker account right now...strike that last idea.

posted by TripJax @ 2:24 AM, , links to this post




My Two Cents: Dissecting Mean Gene

In za future, whenever I review anything or pimp another blogger, I plan to use the My Two Cents title as noted above. In addition I have a pretty cool picture of a Two Cent piece to add to the top of the post, however, when added it's the size of a freaking dinner plate. Good for red beans and rice...bad for TripJax posts. Not being too hip on the How Stuff Works scene, I'm just gonna skip the picture until I know how to fix it. Just know I had a cool thing going but, alas, I digress. It's what I get for trying to be hip.

But I'm not here to to tell you about my picture problems...My Two Cents are better served giving you the scoop on fellow bloggers of the world. For this particular piece, I'll be dissecting Pittsburghs very own Mean Gene...one of the better poker bloggers I've read since I began this journey a few months ago. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I will only pimp (and link on the sidebar over there -->) bloggers I've taken the time to actually read. To date I've stuck to that plan. I would not want to read a movie review from a critic who didn't see the movie, thus I do my homework on those I pimp. And what enjoyable homework it is. It goes something like this -- I like to read -- I like poker -- I like to read about poker -- I don't have money for books right now -- Enter the poker blogging world to the rescue. My wife is probably sick and tired of me carting around page after page of blogtastic printed material throughout the house, though she's been an absolute sport about it. The way I see it, she's got her 83 trillion magazines and I've got my blogs.

I came upon Mean Gene via reading The Cards Speak. I was doing my usual killing some time and decided to give Mean a try. Specifically I read the post titled Why Mike Matusow Should Be Teaching High School Math. Glad I did. It was funny, informative, and even discussed a topic I had read and learned about through Daniel Negraneau's site quite a while back...bluffing a dry side pot. Thankfully I read that piece before making an ass of my self at a tournament. Continuing...having already read through Iggy, HDouble, and the Quiet Lion from beginning to current, I knew after reading the Matusow post that Mean was just what the doctor ordered. At the end of a long work day I began the task of printing off every month of Mean's old posts. Good gravy...what had I gotten myself into?! It kept printing and printing and printing. I was contemplating whether to abort the mission, but I reminded myself the more it prints, the more there is to read...and that's a good thing. Plus, the final resting place of each page will be my fireplace as they take one for the team each night and help me get the wood a burnin'.

One month later, I've just finished the roller coaster that is Mean Gene's blog, and I must say I had a blast reading it. It took a month because I would read it at leisure. Plus, he's written some unbelievable amount...over 200k words I think?! As for the content, it was right down my alley. To relate, I went from live weekly hold'em tournaments and ring games ranging from $10 - $100 buy-ins - or the occasional SNG on Party - to not playing anything but freerolls and $1 qualifiers online - (and rarely at that). Meanwhile Mean was playing small dollar games with ups and downs, and then not playing at all due to a self induced tightening of the leash. Noble in every right.

Where Mean shines, and I have work to do, is when he's writing about the most random things. I remember reading a post about the correlation of good/bad haircuts and your poker play and also a follow-up post on whether a relationship with your hair stylist would ever work. As I was reading I had to ask myself, what the hell am I reading? But it all seemed to make sense in the end and oh man was I addicted. Great, great stuff. He's got a way with words and you know when he pounds out an uber post like the haircut one, you are in for some primerib material. His vocabulary is strong to quite strong for an ameteur writer and I think he's got room for some worthy writing...the getting paid kind of writing. But that's just My Two Cents. As for me, I just shell out the basics and hope a few posts stick. I don't have it in me (yet) to write a novelesque post, but I'll write what I think and as close to the English language as possible. "Me Fail English, That's Unpossible." Had to slip a little Simpsons Ralphie quote for ya.

As I prepare to conclude this post, I am chuckling a bit. Bear with me on this one. Going forward, after I do my pimping, I plan to email said pimpee to let them know they've been pimped. I've yet to inform Iggy, HDouble, or the Quiet Lion that they were pimped as I did theirs so early in my blog life that it wouldn't have meant a whole lot. The way I figure, you gotta get some posts under your belt to prove your worth. Nearly four months in, I'm ready to make my presence known. So, I chuckle because at this point I'm writing a post about a blogger who may become the only current reader that I have besides myself. A couple of my friends have seen my blog, but do not actively read it yet because they are not aware that I'm actually keeping up with it. So if you are reading this Mean Gene, thanks for making it this far. If not and I end up still the only one reading this, well I'll continue to write...this stuffs gotta get out of my head one way or another.

Oh...one last thing...I find it a bit eery, but when I was doing my 2004 Personal Year In Review, my title and post included the word pontificate (and pontification -- if that is a word). I then noticed while finishing up my reading of the Mean Gene posts that he used pontificate in one of his posts. Not that this is journalistic history we are seeing here folks, but I rarely bust out a big word in my posts, and the one time I do so it's been used quite well in a post by Mean. Just thought it was weird after I read his post.

Next up, I think a post about my foray into the life of being a dealer is appropriate. Sadly, numerous people out there in the local Greensboro poker world only recognize me as a dealer, not a player. Oh bank account, why do you mock me so...you can't get here soon enough bonus...





posted by TripJax @ 1:17 PM, , links to this post




Preggers Poker Parenting Pontification

Time for my 2004 Personal Year In Review - But first, I must note in a strange way this whole blog thing has changed my way of thinking on numerous levels. For one, I've never considered myself a very good writer, thus I had made it a point to only write when need be (the occasional letter to a client or to my wife). Having a poker blog has brought back the joy of writing for me. I must say that I do stress a bit too much about whether I'm writing properly, but in the end, I just have to realize that nobody cares whether I use a comma here or there so I should just write damnit! Adding to my new found enthusiasm for writing is the notion that I actually have to put this here brain in my noggin to work (I used my Noggin today). You probably have to have a child as well as digital cable or satellite to get that last sentance. It's a tag line for Noggin...a kids channel.

So how does all the above relate to a 2004 personal year in review. Well without this blog I would never have even thought about 2004 in retrospect. It would have been "adios 2004", and "what's up 2005." Thanks to all the bloggers I have read, I have found a new avenue to express myself...not just about poker, but using poker as a platform. So here we go, dear readers...

I honestly can't recall much about the beginning of 2004, but the 2nd half was filled with action. In October my wife and I celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary. I won't bore you with the "time flies" jargon, but just know that I hit the wife lottery and have a great marriage which makes each passing year that much better." And forgive me for using the statement filled with action above for it will become all too sketchy in the next sentence. Yes, folks, the next big thing for 2004 was the impregnation of said wife. Or as she put it, "you went and knocked me up!" Luckily for us this was a planned baby and we are extremely excited. The small blind is due April 26, 2005 and we couldn't be happier. We're having a girl and details will certainly follow as news becomes available.

Continuing with the review, our son Jax celebrated his 4th birthday in December and is now very excited about being a big brother to his on the way baby sister. Each day the anticipation grows, but he's having a hard time understanding why it is taking so long. For adults, nine months seems to fly by, but for a 4 year old waiting for a "gift", nine months is a long, long time. As far as age difference goes, I think the 4 year span will work out quite nicely. Jax is ready to play big brother and keep her safe and sound, plus he is now old enough to actively help Mom and Dad with anything and everything.

On the work forefront, I also had my 5 year work anniversary with the company I work for. We had a profitable year and I feel like I had a successful year in my position. I'm hoping my bonus coming soon will reflect as such. Not getting my bonus until February, it's tough to see others in our office get Christmas bonuses and have money to use during the holidays. For me, my bonus is based on the profit of the firm for the year, and those numbers are not calculated until after the year is over, thus I don't see the money until months later. In all actuality, it is probably a good thing that I get it in February, because I don't end up spending it on extravagant gifts for the family. Instead we are able to use the money for more practical family needs like bills and work on the house, and (cough) poker.

So, from the title of the post, I've covered Preggers and Parenting (to a small degree). So what about the rest. Aaahhh, poker...this is a poker blog isn't it?! Poker was very good to me this year. I would say I won 4 decent size tournaments in the year and pocketed some good money...usually when our family needed it the most. My biggest one night win was probably a $600 first place for one of our monthly tournaments. I do recall winning a smaller tournament for around $290 and the very next day finding out that we had a leak under our house for over 2 months and our water bill was going to be $280! Another time I won over $300 and my car broke down costing me just under $200 to fix. Things like that kept happening through out the year. I stayed well in the black for my poker profit on the year, but I have nothing to show for it in a bankroll since the money was needed elsewhere. But all in all, I'm very happy with the way 2004 went for my poker game. The last few months have been tough, but I'm "dealing" with it as best as I can. As for politics, after a grueling campaign where I think I saw 18.2 million political commercials, I was very happy to have the end result with W back in office and a near sweep for Republicans throughout. I hope I don't lose any readers for that last statement...wait...I'm the only reader so far...

So let me finish with pontification...hell I'm not 100% sure what that word means (sounds sexual), but it started with a "P" which was the title theme I picked for some reason. Me thinks I recall it having to do with letting your voice be heard. Well this log is my new place to pontificate...I'll try to keep it positive, but who knows, maybe I'll break bad on occasion. So ends my 2004 year in review. For 2005 I think I'll change it up and have a Beer In Review...speaking of which, it's time to have a drink right now...

posted by TripJax @ 8:28 PM, , links to this post




OhMyGah, Omaha!

Not playing on a regular basis is brutal. Adding to the pain...my friends are always calling me about games they have planned. Trust me, I love that they keep me in mind, and I hope they continue to call - for the skies will not always be gray - and I will eventually be back on the scene. But oh man how it pours salt on the wound when you wanna play and you know you can't.

Case in point...tonight one of my buddies is having a tournament. He actually has a tournament every Tuesday, but tonight he's having the rarely seen (for our area) Omaha Hi tournament. With it being a change from the norm, that's just the thing I would love to play. Alas, I will stay strong and steer clear of the table until my time comes. The buy-ins are just enough to be considered cheap, but more than I'm willing to pay right now. Typically our Hold'em games are $30 buyin, $30 rebuys up until round 4, and $15 Add-ons at the end of round 4. This is good for a tight strong player as they can make some serious cash for cheap, but tough because the shitty, loose players can re-buy and continue to come after you. We sometimes play with higher buy-ins and no rebuys/add-ons, but it just depends on what everybody is looking for. Once a month we have what we consider the big tournament. It's $30+$10 (food and drinks) / $30 rebuys / $15 addons with usally 20+ players. These games are a ton of fun and I love to play them, but we have not had any in a couple of months due to the holidays. That works out for me as I hate to miss these tourneys and hopefully I'll have some cash by the time we have our next one in late January or early February.

A little Omaha story for you. When I first started playing poker on Party, I was into the No Limit Hold'em SNG's. I didn't know much about any of the other games, and wasn't prepared to learn them, being content with my evolving Hold'em game. I had just started reading Brunson's book, so I knew eventually I would learn the other games, but that would be later. One night I clicked on a SNG and was shocked to see 4 hole cards hit my hand. I stared at the screen stunned and unaware of what was going on. Had Party lost their minds or were they having software issues? Uuuhh, no, it was my dumbass who was having the problem...I had unknowingly clicked on an Omaha 8 Hi/Lo table. There's $10 down the drain. Those damn tables change so fast that you have to be careful to make sure you get what you pay for. Scrambling for an idea of what to do, I decided to click the "Away: Post Blind & Fold" option and rushed around the house searching for my Brunson book. After a few stressful moments I found the book and started reading the chapter on Omaha. After about 5 minutes of studying the pages - all the while occasionally watching the game - I decided it was time to click the "I'm back" button and make an attempt to play. Dear readers, your hero (that's me) came in 1st place for that SNG. Enthused about what had just happend, and on a serious adrnenaline rush, I decided to give it another try. Wouldn't you know it...I came in 2nd on the 2nd try. Flying high and figuring the 3rd time I'd surely continue the trend and come in 3rd place, I decided I had better try it again. To hell with 3rd...I came in 1st place again! Over the next month I had more success in Omaha than in Hold'em online and continue to enjoy the game, though I don't play it as much. I like playing it more online because you don't have to worry about human error in splitting the pot and not realizing the best hand. Plus pot limit is harder to deal with live.

Poker is a strange, strange game. I want to learn as many variances of poker as possible, but I'm going to try to stick with the standard games offered in casinos...thanks for reading...now get back to work.



posted by TripJax @ 8:11 PM, , links to this post




When Losing Is Winning (With No $)

Allow me to set the scene. I've worked all day cleaning dirt and grime for a friend who is priming a house to be ready for sale Monday morning. I bust a move home around 3pm to get a quick shower and fully settled in time for the 4pm freeroll tournament I was able to sign up for on Empire. Top 220 out of 2000 lucky bastards get a payday. And yours truly was in the 220...uuuhhh...bottom 220 that is. After not winning one hand at showdown for the first hour I found myself in the big blind holding KK and only about $450 left. I raise it up and find myself up against 2 others for the flop. A rags & rainbow flop made my Kings look strong to quite strong, but I quickly found myself in a raise/re-raise battle against the guy to my left. Was I up against a set? By the time 2 more rags hit the board, my chip stack was near the felt, and my future was up to the turn of the hole cards. I wasn't worried about Mr. Calling Station who was clearly just along for the ride since he never once raised it up...but Mr. Re-raise was unsettling to say the least. And then, just like that, the cards were turned and it was over. Mr. Reraise had 4's in the hole and hit another 4 on the turn. I can only guess he was raising and re-raising pre-flop and flop cause he thought I had high cards no pair and I wouldn't like the flop. I had him dominated til the turn...but that's poker. I can't be mad cause that's just the way it is...I can't count the number of times I've caught my card to knife someone in the back on the river. The worst part was the dreaded "you have finished in 1803rd place" pop up on my screen that made me feel about 2 feet tall...but only for a few moments.

Which brings me to when losing is actually winning. I played over an hour of poker and, though I lost in the game, I didn't lose one red cent. Plus I was out early enough to feel like my day was not wasted in a futile attempt to make little dough. It could have taken 5 hours and if I came in 221st I would get $0 for the effort. Basically you had to make it in the top 50 to really start to see some cashola. So instead of spending all afternoon/night on the computer, I watched a movie with my son and enjoyed the night lounging on the couch. Now that's my kind of Saturday. All in all, I'm disappointed in how the tournament went, but I'm happy with how the day went. Made a little cash in the morning, played a little poker, then spent some quality time with the fam. That's good for business...

posted by TripJax @ 9:22 PM, , links to this post




It's Been A Hard Days Night

It will be that is...tomorrow is setting up to be a busy day for me. I just got a call from a fellow poker buddy who dabbles in real estate asking if I would like to do some hard labor for cheap money. So of course I said "Hell Yeah". Basically he buys houses, fixes them up quick, and gets them back on the market. Tomorrow, I'll be getting $8 an hour to paint some walls, carry some wood, and whatever else he needs to make sure the house is ready Monday morning. As a business man, he's a smart, savvy character who gets the job done. And I expect everything will go smoothly. As a poker player, he's good...he knows the pot odds and when he should and should not do certain things...but he's an extreme hot head when it comes to getting bad beated or seeing someone playing other than the standard. One time, after getting knocked out of a tournament we both played in, he said, "I can relate to Phil Helmuth when he bitches about being a great player having to deal with bad players". Classic. I really like said person and enjoy playing poker with him...it's good to have all sorts when you play...keeps it interesting.

I'll probably work until about 3pm because I have to be home by 4pm for a tournament I am registered for. Some how, some way, I was able to register for one of Empire Pokers $10,000 freeroll tournaments. An incredible 2000 people will be playing for a chance to take home some sweet cash at $0 cost. That's almost as many people who played in the 2004 WSOP! And lest I forget to mention that it is a limit tournament so...uuuhhh...this could take a while. Atleast in the no limit tournaments you have jokers going all in every second so it doesn't take quite as long, but in this one, I'm really gonna have to grind to make it in the money. The top 220 players make it in the money, though it doesn't really become worth the time or money (scratch that part about the money) until you get to the top 50 or so. First place is a sweet $2100.

So, it's gonna be a hard days night if things go as planned. It might take 10 hours to get this thing done, but it's poker baby and, as Nick Bakay from ESPN says, "I'm just livin the dream".

posted by TripJax @ 4:59 PM, , links to this post




2005 Starts With A Bang...Uuhh Crash

Coming soon I plan to give my 2004 Personal Year In Review. In it, you will note that my 2004 ended quite...well...quietly. But that will be later. In the meantime, I must jump ahead of myself and get this off my chest. If you've read any of my other posts, you know that I've been playing little poker (only freerolls and $1 qualifiers on Empire) due to my hemmoraghing of cash lately...yeah bills suck. My recent plan - noted in the previous post - was to prepare my bankroll soon for my SNG Challenge. Well friends, that must now wait a little longer. My dumbass got in a wreck yesterday (01/04/05) and I now have to pay a deductible and enjoy watching my insurance premium go up.

The wreck was the classic scene that you see all too often. I'm behind a car at an intersection. I'm planning to turn right, and when the car in front of me makes it's move to turn left, I hit the gas to move up and to the right. Unfortunately for me, Ms. Indecision decides that the oncoming traffic is a little too close for comfort and slams on the breaks. Mr. Dreaming About Royal Flushes (that's me...and I had to qualify this as a poker blog) didn't recognize the apparent stoppage of the - what I deemed - scrap metal on wheels. Needless to say (or write), the left side of my car is now dented, battered, and bruised...but the other car only had a small bend in the back bumper. I was a bit surprised to find out today that my insurance company had totaled Ms. Indecisions car. Looking back, as I noted before, it was a scrap metal piece of junk 1988 Chevy so the cost of a new bumper with the cost of labor was probably more than the car was worth...thus I probably could have dropped a tooth pick on the hood of the car and they would have totaled it. Nonetheless, I can't believe I wrecked my good car and totaled another persons car. I'm hoping I did them a favor, but I'm not sure. I qualify my wrecked car as good because it is the nicer of our 2 cars...it's the one deemed the family car. My car on the other hand - while not so bad as the 1998 Chevy - is an old 1991 Pontiac Sunbird. Surprisingly to most, however, it only has 83,000 miles on it...so it's got some life in it yet. It just looks bad cause a tree fell on it a few years back during a snowstorm...and rather than using the insurance money to fix the hood...I paid my morgtage...NICE!

So, what have we learned after reading this post? 1) My plans to play poker on a regular basis will have to wait due to me coughing up 250 bones for the deductible. 2) I'm not sure if stoppage is a word, but I used it anyway. 3) I wish I had been driving my car instead of my wife's car. 4) 2005 had better get...better.


posted by TripJax @ 11:41 PM, , links to this post




My Little Sit-N-Go Challenge

My Little Sit-N-Go Challenge

In a previous post I noted I would detail my eventual plans for the "coming soon" bankroll. It's hard to even consider what I'm about to write as a bankroll, but see me through here. Not wanting to break the bank, but trying to get as much bang for my buck, I decided to try my own little SNG challenge. I will first deposit $60 into my Party Poker account...hopefully I can find a deposit bonus out there that is not just for 1st time deposits. I will then play, at a minimum, ten $5 SNG's ($1 juice on ten SNG's makes up the full $60). I write minimum fully expecting to play many, many more SNG's than 10 damnit! Having higher hopes and believing in my game, I trust I will be able to roll to the century mark and beyond with relative ease...that is with a little patience and perseverence, no doubt. Regardless, after 10 SNG's I will post my results...and then keep on keepin on with the roll.

So there you have it...when (not if) I have some discretionary money to roll, I'll start the challenge. If I can figure out how to track my progress on the sidebar over there --> I'll do that as well. If anyone would like to join the challenge I'd be willing to place a side bet of some sort. Check me out...writing about a side bet when I can't even afford a bankroll right now...some nerve I have huh?! Maybe it could be the winner gets the shirt off the other guys back the day the final results are tallied. I'm starting to like this whole little SNG Challenge idea.

posted by TripJax @ 8:12 PM, , links to this post




How I Won & Lost $5 In 6 Short Months

Played two tournaments today...but don't jump to conclusions...I didn't bet the farm. I had forgotten that I had a small amount of residual cash from a free roll I played on Empire a few months ago. At the beginning of my poker for cash hiatus I discovered that everyday Empire offered two free rolls if you are lucky enough to register in the .00008 seconds they give you to register. With a 56k modem, I rarely make the cut. However, one particular day I made it and was playing vs. 250 other cheap bastards. Things went my way that day and though I barely missed making the final table (came in 11th), I did pocket $4.50 for my efforts. Not bad for putting up $0 to play. From there I found myself in a lame situation. I didn't have enough $ for a SNG and the minimum to play in a ring game is $5...thus quite lame. So I had $ (albeit chicken feed) and didn't know what to do with it. Until I remembered the $1 tournaments they have for qualifiers into semi-finals for the WPT or big weekly tournaments. I tried my luck in one of the tourneys and busted out about midway. Tired and bummed I retired from the table that night and my official hiatus began. Until tonight.

In a conversation with the wife over breakfast this morning she mentioned she had noticed I hadn't played any poker in a while (though I still watch and read it all the time). That sparked my memory about the now $3.50 I had left in my Empire account. It being Saturday and not having much to do but a little cleaning and a little football watching, I decided it was time to try my hand at some cheap poker. Hell, maybe I could parlay $0 into some serious dough. My 1st attempt at the 5pm WSOP semi final qualifier found me out 302nd out of 448 cheap bastards. Oh well, I had another chance at 11pm. With the wife and boy comfortably passed out on the couch it was time for me to break bad on the felt. I dropped another $1 for my trouble (now I'm down to $2.50) and grabbed my seat for the Friday Night semi final qualifier. Again 430+ of my best friends tagged along for the ride. Within the first 15 minutes I was near double my starting stack without even getting close to risking many of my chips...a surprisingly passive table for a $1 tourney. For the next 2 hours I kept my stack about double the average and was happy with my patient play. My patience eventually turned to disappointment as I went cold decked from then on finding myself with less than $2,000 and the average stack near $10,000. I wish, dear readers (or should I say reader, i.e. me), that I had a good come back kid story, but with Ah8h I pushed in for my final $1800 in the small blind with only the big blind left and he obliged by calling and turning over AA. Two hearts did hit the flop/turn, but alas, no heart hit the river. I was out in 51st place. I was certainly no bubble boy, so it didn't hurt too bad, but finishing 51st and outlasting 380 people gave me a good, but some what bummed feeling. My confidence in my game remains, and considering that the top 16 got buy-ins for the semi-final, I was really closer to making it than just getting "in the money". Who am I kidding...we're talking about a $1 and I'm trying to justify my play. As Iggy would write...Oh the humanity. Oh well...thanks for reading about my lame ass cheap poker play. Maybe I should write a book titled How I Won And Lost $5 In 6 Short Months. Richard Brodie watch out...my bankroll is ready to rock your world....uuuuuuhhhhh not.

posted by TripJax @ 5:29 AM, , links to this post