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Up To Me Ears

Very short post today folks. I've been up to me ears with work and sickness. On the work front, I can't get it off my desk before someone is dropping it right back on there. Bastardos. I can't wait till my cohort in crime is back from short term disability. This stint covering for her may put me on short term disability. Maybe I'll try for the most obtainable short term disability just like Homer did...Obesity. I can imagine that one would be the most enjoyable to obtain. Beats having someone bash you over the head with a crowbar. Whoa, went off on a tangent there...

Anyway, on the sick front, Monday turned out to be a brutal day starting right around lunch time. I could tell something was up and ever since I've had the funk...head cold, sneezing, runny noze, fever. I went home early Monday and slept from 5pm - 7:30am. I went to work since there was really no one else to cover for me, but finally submitted to the funk powers again and went home around 3pm. I slept again Tuesday from 6pm - 7:30am. Somewhere during the night last night my fever finally broke and I feel much better for it. I still have the head cold stuff, but less sneezing and runny nose. Now I'm just coughing up a lung every 5 minutes. But that's like a tea party since I no longer have a fever.

I tell you all this for one reason. Over the last 2 days I had already resigned myself to not playing the WPBT event tonight. However, since I feel much better today I think I will give it a go. So if you are at the table with TripJax just know that if I play bad it's not my fault...it's the Nyquil. That goes for if I'm taking too long to act as well since I'm probably asleep.

Good luck to all tonight and damn I hope I cash.

Before I go I just wanted to thank Felicia for taking the time to visit this little ole blog and even posting some comments. I don't get a ton of comments so anytime I click on my site and see one I get a smile on my face. She's brought some smiles to my face recently, and I hope with all she has going on right now, she can find a moment to slap a smile on her face as well. You rock girl...and thanks for being a douche bag with me...it's nice to know I'm not alone...together we can defend!

posted by TripJax @ 8:26 PM, , links to this post




Coming To Terms With Being A Douche Bag

How did I not see the signs? Why didn't my friends and/or family tell me? All this time I've been a douche bag while playing poker and only now am I coming to this realization. Let me explain...

I decided to drop a few duckets into my PokerStars account in preperation for the WPBT event coming up March 30th. I hadn't played any online poker since the HORSE tournament so I was itching for some fishing. I went ahead and reserved my spot for the tournament...ninth person to register...then set my sights on a SNG. I like the PokerStars SNG's cause they give you a better chance to recover from a bad beat or bad play. They do take a little longer to play than at Party Poker, but I don't mind that. At Party Poker one slip up and you're basically sent packing. I needed a change of scenery so the upcoming tournament was a perfect excuse to drop some dough over at Stars.

My first SNG was pretty ugly as both of my critical losses came when I had two pair losing to a higher two pair. But it was never like me having 5 4 two pair to K Q two pair. No, it was more brutal. The first time I had A 10 two pair and joker man caught a J on the river having A J two pair. Same scenario on the second (my last) hand when my A 9 got spanked by A10 when he caught it on the river. Erm, that sucks. Moving on to the douche bag portion of this story.

On my 2nd SNG I was doing well early due to some timely luck. I hit trip 10's on the river to take out Q's in the hole after a good bit of our chips had hit the center of the felt. I expected to catch some shit from the guy - as I played the hand horribly - but strangely it was another player (some name to do with Wolverine) who blasted off at me with, "Hey TripJax, why don't you quit being a douche bag and bet normal." This caught me off guard as I hadn't even been in a hand with this guy and wasn't sure what the hell he was talking about. Then it hit me...it was my "9" betting. You see, my favorite number is 59, but above and beyond that, I just like to raise with an amount ending in 9. I've been doing it for as long as I've been playing online poker. I don't even think about it anymore...I just do it. For instance, if the big blind is 40 and I'm looking for a raise around the 3X range, I might put in a raise to 129. No big deal right? Guess some people disagree with my laid back thoughts...

Borrowing from my recent response to another player questioning my chip amount to enter a casino game, I quickly responded to Wolverine with, "I'll mind my chips, you mind yours." For a while he kept quite, but when I took a decent pot to move into 2nd place - all the while using my usual betting pattern - he started up again with his nonsense. Of course the douche bag comment made it's second appearance which really made me laugh, but at the same time made me question some of the people that play online. I mean who was I up against here, Tony G? I decided to ask the guy how he sleeps at night calling a guy he does not know, who has done nothing to him, a douche bag. He came back with some unmemorable drivel and I knew it was time for chat time to be over. I changed the chat box to stats and focused on the game at hand, which had gotten down to 4.

Unfortunately I bubbled when, in the small blind, I pushed my $3.5k stack in the middle with KQ suited trying to bully the big blind. He was in no mood for bullying and called me with AQ. No help and no fun for me on the bubble. I stuck around to watch the rest mainly because the jack hole who was talking shit was in the game still as well as a player who had given me some support. After my comment asking how he sleeps at night, this other player commented with "right on Jax." I was glad to know I had some help there. Therefore, I wanted to see this one through in hopes of seeing the good guy take down 1st place.

To no surprise, the jack hole started critiquing the good guys play once they were heads up. He started giving him a hard time about folding so much. My favorite line of the night was when the good guy wrote, "Great...another $10 pro." Genius line. It summed up what everyone feels when any jackass starts writing about how good they are and how bad you are. I was laughing hard on that comment. Unfortunately they took a while to play and I fell asleep while watching. I was chilling on the bed while playing/watching and some sort of force came over my eyes and made them close. The battery on my laptop met its demise not long after which woke me up. It was time to call it a night...officially.

If you are reading this and think my betting style is lame, let me know. I don't mind constructive criticism and am willing to listen. It was just the douche bag part that ended any chance that I'd listen to that penis wrinkle. On the other hand, if you think it's no big deal, let me know that too. I guess I just wanna get an idea what other people think. It's not the first time anyone has chimed in on the chat about my betting, but it was the first where they were jack asses. I have had players ask why I do it, which doesn't bother me. In the end, what's the big deal?

Just a heads up...I've started another blog to take notes on a book I'm reading so my entries here will probably suffer just a little over the next month. But it should only be temporary and I don't expect to miss too much blogging here. I have too much fun with it and will have plenty to write about with all the games coming up as well as poker on TV. See you all at the next event at PokerStars...leave a comment if you wanna play and need details...

posted by TripJax @ 1:08 AM, , links to this post




Road Trip Part 2: Wild Horses & River Boating


I meant to get this post up yesterday, but work...she ain't agreeing with me. Every time I think I'm gonna have a free moment reality rears it's sarcastic head and laughs in my face. As I mentioned a few posts back, I'm working for two these days and taking a few days to road trip probably didn't help. But damn I wouldn't take it back cause it was a good time.

Since I wrote the last post I have had a little time to think about what I wanted to write. I've also had time to read a few other blogs as well and I'd like to get a few thoughts out of the way before jumping into the road trip.

Things have been strange in this little poker world lately. Sort of a bum feeling across the board. I swear after I finished reading Iggy's most recent post I just didn't know for sure what to think. We all get caught up in reading other peoples feelings and we...let me cut the we stuff...I get caught up in the stories. But inside those stories there is so much more than hits the posts I read. For one, I figured Iggy was having the time of his life and wouldn't change his new lifestyle for anything...only to find that he is checking his options for jobs. Only thing I can say is he needs to do what's best for him. He made some good points about the differences in online poker vs. the Brodie/Phillips style where it's not the end of the world if you drop a $10k buy-in cause you've got a few cool mill in the bank. The jet set life they live is one most of us will never know.

Anyway, I was a bit bummed out after his post, but mainly cause I felt like I was reading someone looking for an answer...I hope he finds it...and if it means a break from us jokers then he needs to do his thing. Drop poker for a while if need be, but I wouldn't suggest dropping the Guinness...it cures what ails ya. As for all the content in his post, damn that was some good stuff. Definite uber post with mucho material.

To continue with the bum mood, I found out that Felicia isn't doing so well. To be honest, I didn't start reading her blog till right after the WPBT Horse event, so I can't say I know much about her. But it's never a good thing to hear about someone who is sick. Just plain uncool. I wish her the best and plan to link her this weekend. That sounds so trivial right now, but more importantly she's in my prayers and maybe my link will get her a few more prayers.

O.K. I'm ready to get into some upbeat stuff. So on to the road trip report...sorry for being a downer earlier. One thing I've thought about for this trip report is that some of you will probably think what I find exciting is pretty damn boring. You see, until this past weekend I had never been to a horse track, a casino (albeit a river boat casino), to Tennessee, Kentucky, or Indiana. But I was able to check all those things off my to do list in life. To tell some of these stories might be blah for some, but we'll see...

Having made it through the rowdy drunkfest of Thursday (St. Patty's Day) and a chill Friday, it was time to break bad on Saturday. To start we decided to bust out of Kentucky and make our way to a horse track in Indiana. The horses were not actually racing there (too cold), but there were satellite feeds at the track so you could place bets on tons of races. The track was much more than I expected and I hated there were no actual live races as that would have been a hoot to watch. Still, I knew there was gambling to be done, and I was on a mission.

Once we got our programs/booklets listing the races, I quickly realized that I was the equivalent of dead money in poker. Yeah I could read the odds, but there were so many factors to consider in horse racing it was ridiculous. I swear there were so many different things in those booklets that I couldn't even get close to explaining. Still I decided that it was not about winning or losing the money, it was about the experience. I had already told myself that the $50 I was walking in the door with was going to be spent one way or another...and if I walked out empty handed, I'd have a smile on my face, beer on my breath, and torn/worthless tickets around my feet. And that's exactly what I did. And damn it was fun.

My average bet was $5 and I played anything from picking an Exacta (the top 2 horses in order), to a Quinnella (top 2 horses any order), to picking the horse to win, place or show. A couple of times my horse or horses were almost there, but I never pulled out a win. My buddy we were visiting managed to win two different $2 bets and walked away from there $60 richer. For us po folks, that was a big win. Prior to one of the races I decided to pick a horse named Archie Manning to show (come in 3rd). I sat down to get ready for the race and just a minute before it started I decided to check out the stats for the horse, jockey, and owner. Something I should have done prior to picking him, but I was just going on a hunch. As for the records...the horse was (0,0,0,0)...uh oh. The jockey was...yep...(0,0,0,0). The owner was...you guessed it... (0,0,0,0). All rookies. I bolted up to the auto pick machine trying to change my pick but it was too late. Unbelievably, that little fucker won. He was quick as shit and I lost the bet cause I picked him to come in 3rd. It was wild.

As for the experience in general, I'm not sure how it works on any given day, but I can safely say I was happy to just be there visiting. You could see the dark side of gambling when looking at some of the people there. A few interesting things I saw/heard while there...while getting a beer, a guy in the line next to me said to the lady getting his beer, "I need that bad, I've been awake for 35 hours straight." She - without a flinch - said, "honey this is the last thing you need", but she still gave him the beer with a smile. Guess the customer is always right. I'm sure he managed to waste his paycheck over the next hour. Another good one was when a guy at the table next to me said, "uh oh, I'm down to singles." I looked at my buddies and just shook my head and laughed. It was time to go...we hadn't even made it to the casino yet...

We made the 10 minute drive to the river boat casino which was neither on the river or a boat. Of course, they were just using the river boat theme as a way to make it legal. But make no mistake, this river boat was going no where. It was a big ass building that was probably built 6 inches out on the river. But what did I care, I was there to gamble.

My buddies were all wanting to soak it in and then head to the craps table. I on the other hand wanted to see what kind of poker action there was. I bid them a fond farewell and booked it down to the ground floor where the tables were. Now I would have been happy to find a small limit table or even a 1/2 NL table, but it didn't look like I was gonna be appeased. Instead, when I asked the lady at the desk what tables were available, she rattled off about 5 different limits that all seemed way over my head. I wasn't there to put more than $100 on the table, so it looked as though I might not be playing. I know that you're probably thinking, what the hell are you doing at a casino only willing to spend $100. Just understand, the purpose of the trip to Kentucky was not to go gambling, but it just happened that we were there. Plus, I had already dropped some dough at the horse track. Still, $100 was in my comfort zone to win or lose at the poker tables. Though I didn't want to lose it, if it didn't work out, I'd still walk away from the table with a smile on my face, beer on my breath, and a check mark next to my to do list in life.

The only limit and game I could even think would work for me was the 5/10 NL she mentioned somewhere in the mix. I asked the min/max and she said 100/500. I plopped my hundy on the table and got my wee stack of chips. It wasn't till I sat down at the table and started to get comfy when l I realized I might be over my head. I looked around the table and there wasn't a stack there less than $400, except for my $100. Most of them had between $500 & $1000 so I must have looked like such a toolbox in that moment. Abut 20 seconds in the guy immediately to my right says to the dealer, "better check this guy out, I don't think he has enough." I'm pretty proud of myself for not crawling in a hole at that point, but instead I - in as nice a way as possible - said, "I'll mind mine, you mind yours." From there on nobody else gave me a hard time.

From the get go there was not much playing around for me. I mean, I only had 10 times the big blind for friggin sake. So if I was getting in a pot, I was probably gonna be pushing...sort of how the pros have been playing on the Poker Superstars. Just close your eyes and push all in with any two cards. Though I didn't do it that way, I did play my hands strong once I was in. My two biggest hands were strangely the same hand. About 30 minutes in - and after getting my stack to about $120 - I pick up AJ hearts. Two people limp and the guy to my right (Mr. Better Check This Guy Out) raises in the small blind to $50. I give it about 5 seconds and then push it all in. To my surprise, since I figured I'd be heads up with the small blind, I watched as the original limper called my bet. Everyone else folded including the small blind. Limper flipped over QQ and when an A came on the flop, I found myself with a healthy stack.

About an hour later my stack had dropped back down to around $140 and the exact same scenario shows up. I have AJ hearts in the big blind and small blind raises me after a few had limped. I again push and this time he is the only caller. He flips over AKoff and now I'm in trouble. That is until the door card is an A and the second is a J. I kept my happiness to myself and I'm glad I did cause I had not realized the 3rd card was a K. Nothing on the turn or river and I was out. I wished everyone well and made my move out...with a smile on my face, beer on my breath, and a check mark on my list of things to do in life. Finally I had played some live casino poker...and I liked what I saw. Yeah I probably over played the last hand, but I managed to play a couple hours starting with a small stack so I wasn't bummed about my play.

The most interesting hand of the night was one I wasn't even in. With only about $100 in the pot and a flop of A Q 3 a guy checks and another guy pushes his whole stack for $803! The original checker went into the think tank for what had to be about 5 minutes and just kept mumbling, "why'd you bet so much...I don't think you've got it." At the time I wanted him to hurry up, though I said nothing. He had about $900 and we were all a bit surprised when - after taking that long - he counted out the $803 and called. The original all in guy had AQ and the caller had AJ. Wow. Not sure what he was doing calling that much with A J. He's beat by so many hands.

After my poker fun I went up to join my buddies at the craps table. Not knowing how to play I was again dead money and gave them a little bit more of my dough as well. We watched an ole timer (see pic below...ole timer on left...lesbian converter on the right) turn $200 into $900 and then roll out which was cool. I think I had my most fun at the craps table, but that's probably cause I was with my boys. I can see how people get addicted to that game. Pretty cool how it works.



After a little more time spent on the boat doing random stuff we headed back to Kentucky. We ended up at a dive bar and proceeded to have a blast dropping some shots, playing some pool, and winning some beers from over zealous pool players. I think we only lost one game to a couple of chodes, but we got our beers worth out of them the next 2 games.

Well I've taken way too much time to write this here post and it's bedtime for me. Thanks for reading and though I have so much more to write, I think it's time to get back to the here and now. I haven't played any online poker lately and will probably deposit some dough into Stars this weekend to get ready for the next WPBT event coming up. I see I'm something like 54th which is just no damn good. I've got my work cut out for me. Laterz.

posted by TripJax @ 3:14 AM, , links to this post




Road Trip Part 1: Converting Lesbians And Rescuing Strippers


Where do I start?

I guess the beginning is appropriate - and don't worry - there'll be some poker/gambling content in here folks, but it will probably be in my next post. I'm gonna have to split this road trip story into 2 posts cause I've got a lot to write and limited time...so here it goes...

We hit the road for Nashville around lunch time on Thursday and were pulling into our hotel parking lot around 7pm(ish). We saved an hour which helped us get there pretty quickly, however, that same hour change would prove to be brutal on the way back. We three were making the trip to visit a buddy in Owensboro Kentucky, but thought it would be a good idea to make it a day early and hit Nashville first. We were originally gonna be 4 strong leaving from Greensboro, but a buddy got sick last minute and had to bail. That was a bummer, but holmes was rough sick so it was understood. After reaching Nashville we quickly found everything we would want/need was within walking distance. Not even 50 yards away from our hotel room were 4 bars, 3 restaurants, and 1 strip club. One of the bars was an Irish pub, but we were never able to make it in with the line always extremely long and our patience quite the opposite. It was a shame too since it was St. Patty's Day.

After checking out the food choices, we decided to try dinner at Otto's Chicken Tenders. The tenders proved worthy of being in the title and their buckets of beer were just the way I like'em...cheap and cold. A bucket of 5 put us back a mere $10 which was a great start to our drinkfest. From there - and after some bar hopping between the available joints - we decided The Tin Roof met our needs...tons of people, a band, alcohol and plenty of ladies. I being the sole married man, left the lady chasing for the other two, though I did my best to point out the talent whenever possible. That's what friends are for right? In retrospect we all agreed not only were the ladies in Nashville gorgeous, but they came out in droves. It could have been due to St. Patty's Day, but the ratio had to be 3 women to every 1 man. That's unheard of in our town.

Once the liquor began to flow the night blossomed into a night to be remembered, but damn near forgotten. Again, in retrospect, we had to piece the night together the next day. Our buddy who we were to meet up with Friday changed his mind and made the 2 hour drive at 10 pm to be with us. That was a strong to quite strong move on his part since he had to work the next morning. With him making it there around 12, the party was officially on. The jager also made its presence in shot form and things quickly became blurry. About 30 minutes from last call, one of my buddies decided to try his hand at a table full of ladies sitting near where we had camped out most of the night. In particular there was a short haired brunette he took a liking to - from a distance - and decided they should meet. Turns out the whole table was comprised of lesbians, but that didn't stop my buddy. He kept on smooth talking hoping to convert her, all the while our other homey kept falling out of his chair hitting the floor. Made for some good entertainment having a guy to my right smooth talking a lesbian and a guy to my left continuously falling to the floor. We were no longer on the same planet we had been a mere 2 hours earlier...we were officially on Planet Jager. As for the lesbian conversion, he was unsuccessful, though she had a good time with his attempts. I'm sure at some point he whipped out a line equivalent to, "well your in luck, I'm a lesbian too." Good stuff.

After we walked to the gas station (which I don't remember doing) to buy beer (which I don't remember drinking) I was soon a casualty of the night. I got off easy though able to make it to the hotel and passing out on the closest queen size...bed. The next casualty came through the door not long after, this after a vomit spell outside in the parking lot. Yes folks the multitude of drinks had taken there toll.

My other 2 buddies - unbenounced to us sleeping folk - made there way to the strip club. I'm glad I was passed out at that point and didn't have to catch shit from my buddies for not going or feel like shit inside if I had gone. I'm not against the once in a blue moon trip with buddies when it's the right occassion, but those times are meant to be few and far between. The next day - when I found out they had gone - I was eager to hear how it was. Call it living vicariously through them if you want, but I digress. Turns out it was one of those strip clubs that only allows you to pay with "stripper dollars" that you buy from them. It obviously works since my boys didn't walk out with any stripper dollars left over, but I hate the idea of being forced into using alternate money like I'm at an arcade or something.

As for the strip club, on his last lap dance with one of the dancers my buddy received quite a strange request from her. As the song was ending she brought her mouth to his ear and said, "You gotta help me get out of this place." This caught him off guard and he said, "Do you mean tonight or for good?" To his surprise, she meant the latter. After all was said and done - and he had settled up his tab with the bar - she was no where to be found. Makes me wonder if there's some stripclub owner/pimp holding ladies passports or if she was just doing her thing to bring down an extra buck...uuhh...stripper buck. In one night, this dude had attempted to convert a lesbian and then asked by a stripper to rescue her.

Not long after the rescue hero attempt, we 3 were all passed out while our other buddy made the trip back to Kentucky. The weekend had started early and was off to a great start...it was only the first night and we were whipped. So many good things happened that night, but there's just not enough time for me to put it all down. We all have those great nights out, and it was no different for me on this night.

On Friday we slept in then looked for a place to watch some NCAA basketball. My buddies are NC State alums so there was excitement in the air as they prepared to play in the 1st round against Charlotte. Though they had some tough times early on, they ended up pulling it out in the 2nd half to get a big win. They then lifted a big middle finger up to the selection committee and analysts who put them on the bubble by knocking off 2nd ranked Connecticut yesterday. Let there be no doubt, however, this hear blog is written by a Tarheel fan through and through so I'm happy to see UNC in the final 16. Tiz a sweet 16 indeed.

Once in Owensboro a decision was made to take it easy Friday night in order to recoup from the destruction caused the night prior. We all figured this would make for a much more enjoyable Saturday day and night. With a little basketball watching and a night cap of Old School (Will Ferrell rocks), Friday night turned out to be just what the doctor ordered...hanging with the crew and good conversations.

My next installment brings the excitement of the horse tracks of Kentucky and the river boat gambling of Indiana. Stay tuned...

posted by TripJax @ 12:43 AM, , links to this post




Wee Little Man

Very short post today...I'm minutes from heading towards Nashville (as mentioned in my previous post).

Did anyone else notice - if you watched the WPT Borgata Open last night - that Daniel Negreanu's feet couldn't reach the floor. On numerous occasions they showed an angle were he was swinging his feet back and forth without being able to touch the floor. He must be a wee little man, but damn that dude can play. He has a sick sense.

I was impressed by all the players last night. Some uncanny plays were made. David Williams really proved to me that he deserved his success in the 2004 WSOP. I also liked Arieh's play, except for his last hand where he dumped his chips to Daniel.

Most of all, I continue to be amazed by Daniel's play. Wee man or not, that dude is off the hook. He is great for poker and makes watching poker on TV fun. Good stuff.

posted by TripJax @ 11:49 PM, , links to this post




Road Trippin & Brackets

A few random things to get out of my head...all non poker related.

Don't expect to see any posts coming from me until Monday as I'm taking a road trip with the fellas to Nashville, then Kentucky. The main purpose of the trip is to have some fun and visit a friend of ours who now lives in Kentucky. Since said friend has to work Thursday and Friday, we figured leaving on Thursday and eliminating the bulk of the trip then would be a good set up for the weekend. I'm guessing St. Patty's Day in Nashville will be a good time. On Friday we plan to watch the NC State game while in Nashville, then make the 2 hour drive to our buddies house. I expect much alcohol to be consumed on this trip. Also, there may be a little gambling involved since there are horse and dog tracks in Kentucky, not to mention some river boats not too far away. We'll see what happens. Like my buddy said in an email yesterday, "I wanna get so drunk I forget I'm left handed." Now that's funny stuff.

Before I leave I have the daunting task of filling out my NCAA basketball bracket. Being a UNC fan, I'm clearly pushing them all the way through to the final four. It's been a while since I truly felt like UNC could go all the way, so I'm excited about their chances. But filling our the rest is gonna be tough for me. I really have not kept up with conferences outside the ACC this year like I normally do. It'll be a crap shoot for me...which probably means I'll do well since I'm not over thinking it. I do think there could be 3 ACC teams in the final four this year. I'm going out on a huge limb here (not) and taking Illinois, UNC, Duke, and Wake Forest as my Final Four. Has there ever been 3 of 4 teams from one conference in a Final Four. Man I'm really wasting my money this year.

This was a short post, but I'm up to my shoulders in work and am only gonna sink deeper being out the next 2 days, so I gotta bolt. I'll post again Monday, or sooner if our Hotel has internet.

posted by TripJax @ 3:47 PM, , links to this post




When HORSES Attack

Yikes, I think I got trampled by Mr. Ed last night...not a good showing on my part. Things started out promising as I was 2nd in chips within the first 20 minutes - and may have even been in 1st - though I didn't have time to look. The game was going super fast so it was hard to keep up with anything else. Being a newbie to the HORSE format, things went horribly wrong for me when I failed to keep up with when the games changed. That's got to be the classic statement by so many people that play HORSE tournaments online.

See what had happened was...I was heads up with a guy during a RAZZ hand and I knew I was winning the hand based on the cards that were showing. I was pumping money into the pot and raising his raises feeling great about the situation. Then, when the cards were ready to be shown, the system asked if I wanted to muck or show my hand. I was dumbfounded because I clearly had the low vs. this guys hand. I then looked at the toolbar at the top of the window, dejected, realizing the round had changed prior to the hand and we were, at that point, playing Stud. I felt like a toolbar at that point. That took me from almost 3k in chips down to around $1000.

After my bonehead play, I had some hands not pan out and some tough river cards that eventually did me in. On my last hand, playing Stud, when all the cards were dealt I had 3 pair. I jokingly wrote, "3 pair baby!" Well, I had AA9988X, so I was basically playing the Aces and Nines. I figured my hand was good based on the cards the guy was showing, but alas, he got his miracle 6 on the river to fill his straight. And that was it. I was out somewhere between 80 - 83. Ungood.

If I had to use a picture to tell how I felt after the tournament this would be it...


the picture was messing up my template, but you can view it here (the first picture).

I'm undetermined if I feel more like the horse or the girl. As for the horse, first off, he's a half ass. Second, he's got someone jamming it in arrears much like the way things were going for me on the river.

But wait...maybe instead of feeling like the horse...maybe I feel like the girl. She's in uncharted territory (we hope) and is in a little deeper than she can probably handle. She's probably uncomfortable and can't wait to get it over with...let's face it...she's got her arm up a horses ass. Again, sort of the way I felt last night...though I'm sure I was not alone.

Either way, I went out on the horse I rode in on, and in quick fashion to boot. I did sweat Mean Gene for a little while, and saw he was doing well, but I decided to call it a night. I was in a hospital room so I figured if the poker depressions kicked in Dr. Nick Riviera ("hi evlerybody!") would be right around the corner.

Even though I didn't end up doing well, I did have a good time and I can't wait for the next one...online that is...I won't be making it to the live event. D'ohl!

Thanks Iggy for setting things up.

posted by TripJax @ 3:53 PM, , links to this post




WPBT Game Change Alert: H.O.S.P.I.T.A.L.

Thank goodness your reading this. If you didn't know already, the game format for tonight has been changed from H.O.R.S.E. to H.O.S.P.I.T.A.L. What's H.O.S.P.I.T.A.L. you ask? Lucky for you I have the answer...

Hold'em
Omaha Hi Lo
Stud
Pot Limit Omaha
Iggy's Choice
Tao Of Poker's Choice
Ace-to-Five
Lowball

O.K. so maybe that's not really the new format, but being in the hospital for the last 3 days has sent me over the edge. And I'm not even the one strapped to all the machines and unable to go outside (see previous posts for details on why we're at the hospital). My poor wife is ready to get up out of this joint, but we're here for the safety of our baby so we gotta stick it out. All indications are that we'll be headed home tomorrow with wifey on light bed rest for a while. As for my playing the game tonight, it's quite cool of her to say that I should play. In fact, she knows that there is so much down time while we're in the hospital room that it's a great chance for me to do something interesting.

It's strange how things have worked out for this tournament. Once I found out we were headed to the hospital, in my mind, I had already bagged the tourney. Figured there was no way. Then I brought the computer to the hospital so we could watch DVD's and found out they had wireless. Sweet Momma Brown They Have Wireless!!!! That was so cool as I was able to surf like a champ while chilling in the hospital room. Many a blog was read this weekend. You all should be proud of yourselves. Good writing.

But the strangest thing about the tournament is - of the five different poker sites I have downloaded on my computer - the only one that I'm able to get onto from the hospital is Full Tilt. It's like I was meant to win...I mean play...this tournament.

Last night while I should have been studying up on the games I rarely play in HORSE, I instead watched Donnie Darko. It's as if my brain remembered how I procrastinated in high school and college and knew that I would have time to study up today. If you have not seen Donnie Darko you should check it out...good stuff. As for my studying, I did read about an hours worth today so watch out, I may just be ready to play tonight (who am I kidding).

See you all on the felt folks.

posted by TripJax @ 8:32 PM, , links to this post




HORSE vs. NURSE

Well I certainly didn't think I would be writing this post from the hospital, but alas here I sit. I think a little background is in order. Earlier in the week, during a check-up on our baby who is due April 26th, the doctor felt like the baby may be under developed due to how my wife was measuring. Turns out the baby is above average in weight so that is cool, however, for some reason the fluids in the placenta (sorry guys) was very low. They put her on a rest and hydration regimen the rest of the week and we did another ultrasound yesterday. The fluids had actually gone down. Ungood (me fail english, that's unpossible).

So, she was immediately directed to go to the hospital for IV treatment and monitoring. We've been told she'll have to be here at least through Monday. By the end of all this, our baby should be right back on track and getting all the fluids she needs. I'm not concerned because the Doc says the baby has clearly been getting enough fluids so far since she is above average weight. They think my wife was dehydrated recently when she had a long term cold...almost 2 weeks. That's probably eh sourece of the problem. Our son has been shipped away to Granny's house so that I can be here with wifey the whole time. She says I'm probably loving it cause I can watch ACC basketball all weekend. She's got a point. I told her this is her mini vacation from dealing with everything and having someone wait on her (other than her husband...sweet!). The one bad thing for her - other than the fact that she's in the hospital - is that the IV fluids are making her go to the bathroom about every 20 minutes. That's no fun when your attached to 15 different machines.

On a whim, I brought the laptop so we can watch DVD's if we get bored. After some extreme chilling yesterday, I decided to pop it open and watch a Simpsons DVD. To my surprise, a pop-up box...uh...popped up informing me there was a wireless connection available. I figured it would be encrypted/unavailable, but when I clicked on it, there was a guest connection available. So here I sit, writing this post in the hospital.

I've told my wife about the HORSE tournament on Sunday and chances are I'll still be able to play. I feel sort of like a low life planning to play a poker tournament while my wife is in the hospital, but there is so much down time, and she said I should do it so I don't go stir crazy. Last night, I couldn't get the wireless connection to work so I'll have to see tonight if the same thing happens. Hopefully not as I'd like to just play the tournament while in the room with her. That should be interesting. So, I might be battling the nurses while playing the horses tomorrow night. I still expect it to be a good time, though the atmosphere has definitely changed. Guess I can't play in my boxers this time...or can I?

posted by TripJax @ 12:03 PM, , links to this post




Poker At The Garage Mahal

The scene was set for some capital poker action Wednesday at the Garage Mahal. That's what we call my buddies garage where we usually play. He's got 2 huge tables, a full size fridge, and cable which helps when a good game is on while we are playing. As for Wednesday there was a chinese buffet spread, a fridge full of beer and drinks, and 22 hopefuls buying in $100 each. I was in a great mood as I didn't have to pay the buy-in, but would still be playing. I had worked a deal with the guy running the tournament such that he would pay my buy-in. I worked the previous 2 Wednesdays dealing at one of his cash game tables for about 4 hours each night in order to pay off my buy-in. It was a sweet deal cause dealing - for me - is fun and it goes by quickly. Fortunately, since I didn't have to drop $100 up front, I was not too bummed when I finished up in 11th place, thus not in the money (top 5 paid with 1st getting $1000).

Nothing too dramatic happened for me last night. A trend I'm starting to see way too much of - especially online, but also last night - is getting J 5 os in the big blind. There was a point in time that I didn't even have to look at my cards when I was in the big blind. I knew it would be J 5. That is not a good feeling, though in rare occasions if there is not a raise, it can make for a nice big blind special. Unfortunately that didn't happen last night.

Going into the tournament, I thought I would be extremely comfortable with the starting stack (10,000), but in fact, I was quickly put into recovery mode after a bluff that didn't pan out. With AJ os I played a K high flop strong with a pot size bet. I got one caller, but with 2 of the same suit and a potential straight draw I put him on a draw. The turn brought nothing and I put out another strong bet. When he called I no longer liked my chances. I knew he was playing top pair and was not going to go away. It was early, so possibly an all in bet on the river would cause him to think about folding, but at that point I was not ready to be the first to go out. Plus I knew the guy and knew he is willing to call an all-in with no rebuy opportunity with top pair. So, on the river, I checked it and folded when he put a nice size bet. He played it right, I played it weak, and he was paid off on it. He showed me the K however which helped me justify my check on the river. That play wiped out about 1/3 of my stack and set the tone for my night. I didn't see another face card for an hour, though I did strong play two 10's in the hole and took a nice pot when rags flopped.

Wanna mention one random hand before moving on. I was getting pretty low stacked and a guy to my right had been consistantly pounding my big blind. I knew if I was too aggressive, at some point he would wake up with a big hand and call me. On the hand in question, he of course raised my big blind of 1200 another 2000. I was holding K 3 os and decided I was no longer going to let him bully me. With blinds and antes out there, plus his bet, I felt like I was in a good position to play this one strong. I pushed all in and he didn't take very long to say, "fold", flipping over 7 2 os. He was trying to bully me with the hammer and I called him on it. He never once raised my big blind again that night. Nice! Moving on...

Alas, with only 1 person needing to go out to combine for the final table, I was staring at a weak stack, a K 9 of hearts, and a decent size pre-flop pot with the blinds, antes, and limp callers. I decided to push and try and take the pot there which could help if we combined. I also knew that I might be that guy who helped make the combine possible by getting knocked out. I ended up with one caller, who held A Q os. I had a good feeling about my chances since we were not sharing any cards, however nothing showed up to help my bad beat chances. I was out and the game quickly moved on without me. I went home and started watching the latest WPT event, though I only made it about 10 minutes in...it's o.k. though cause I have it DVR'd. How friggin on fire is Lee Watkinson at this point. Dude made two final tables in a row. Looking forward to seeing how he does when I watch it this weekend.

Looks like the only poker playing I'll be doing is at the HORSE WPBT event this Sunday. I'm looking forward to it, though I'm not so sure of my chances. Glad it's a cheap buy-in so I won't feel bad if I'm out first. Though I've played all the games before, I've never played them in this style, so I'll probably feel a bit out of my league...sort of like this guy...


On a tangent, can you imagine that dude going "all-in" on that behemoth of a woman. I imagine she'd be quickly asking for an "add-on" to that small stack. I feel like I was just writing script for a bad B-movie there so I better stop now. Looking forward to seeing everyone at the Full Tilt tourney. At last check this morning, there were 26 entrants, so it should be a good time.

One more quick thing before I go...I just wanted to thank Pauly for his comment on my recent post. I don't get many comments these days, so when I do, I like to give props. I appreciate it.

See you all at the tourney on Sunday.

posted by TripJax @ 1:49 PM, , links to this post




What This Fetal Heart Monitor Test Needs Is More Cowbell

I know this is a poker blog, but damnit it seems like so much else is happening these days that I just have to throw in some other stuff. I'll get to poker in just a minute...

Today my wife and I had to go to the Pregnancy Center for a last minute ultra sound. She's 7 1/2 months at this point and during her check-up yesterday they determined that the baby may be under developed. To rule out any problems and find out how much the baby weighs they scheduled us for this afternoon. Turns out the baby is above average for her weight and they determined that she just needs to take it easy to avoid any complications with contractions and such.

As part of the check-up today they also did a fetal heart monitor test which evaluates the babies heartbeat. They like to see the babies heart beat increase at a minimum twice in a 20 minute span. One of the things they do to attempt to increase the babies heart rate is pull out this cowbell and start banging on it in front of the mothers belly. No shit. So here we are today, chilling in this little room with gadgets attached to her belly, and all of a sudden the nurse whips out a cow bell and starts going to town on it. I almost wanted to get up and do a hee haw dance. When the nurse left the room, my wife and I burst into laughter. We were both thinking the same thing...Will Ferrell and his cowbell. We started replaying the skit as we remember it and were having a good time with it. Interestingly, every time she broke into laughter, the babies heart rate went up. Good stuff

On to poker...tonight should be exciting as I'm scheduled to play in a 22 person max $100 buy-in NL Hold'em tournament. All the spots are filled and the prize money has already been set. First place will bring a cool $1000 and the top 5 spots get paid. I've played with most of these boys so I like my chances. Should be fun. I'll report back tomorrow on the outcome.

As for online play, I assed away my remaining roll on Full Tilt and only have enough to play the H.O.R.S.E WPBT event. Probably for the best as I have plenty to do over the next couple of weeks before I plan to reload. Sadly, the worst part about my deposit is I barely played off any of the 100% deposit bonus that they offer. I think I have $4.80 pending release. I don't exactly understand how their system works. I think you accumulate points until you reach a level where they release 10% and then they start over again. I note this because, on my $60 deposit, they listed my next available release as $6.00 and I had the $4.80 amount rising until I busted out. How lame is it when I can't even release a $6 pending bonus. I'll have to reload and work on the bonus a little better next time. I recall reading on a poker blog recently something to the tune of...don't play differently just because you are working off a bonus...play within your means. When you play differently you are not playing your game and it will show in your results. I think this is a good point and one that I need to stick to on my next attempt at this bonus boobery. In an attempt to give credit, I want to say it was either ScurvyDog or PokerQuest who gave the good advice, but I don't have time to go back and look. I think one wrote about crypto bonusing and the other wrote about playing within your means. Both good things to know about. My italics above were no where near verbatim, just what I remember taking from their statement.

Wish me luck tonight in the $100 buy-in tourney and I'll see you at the WPBT tourney, though I'll be writing again before then.

posted by TripJax @ 7:56 PM, , links to this post




The Good, The Bad, And The Uh Oh.

The Good
Couple of good things happened this weekend. My wife had her baby shower so we got a lot of really cool stuff for our baby on the way (due April 26th). Everybody was great and I can't say thank you enough to them, though none of them will be reading this. Also, my boys UNC made an incredible come back, got lucky, and ended up beating Duke in the final game of the regular season for ACC basketball. It gave UNC the regular season title and virtually locked up a number one seed for the big dance. Hoping they play well in the ACC tournament to keep the good times a rolling. As for poker, the good was hearing about the H.O.R.S.E. WPBT tournament coming up. I love the idea of switching it up, but I'll admit I'm gonna have to pull out my books to study up on some of the games. I've played them all at one time or another, but some of the games, like Razz and Stud, are certainly not my good games (as if I have a good game these days). So, based on the good word from Iggy, and in an attempt to support our fellow blogger HDouble, I decided to open up a Full Tilt account with a $60 deposit. Full Tilt is right...more on that in another section.

The Bad
The bad starts off with a very scary moment for my family. I am very glad I am able to write about this without dropping a tear. After the baby shower on Sunday, and while on the way home, my mom was in a car accident. She was making a left turn on a green light and a girl plowed into the front left side of her car going about 50 miles an hour. The girl apparently did not realize there was a stop light at that intersection. The impact ripped the front of my moms car almost completely off, and sent the girls car into the air with my moms bumper attached. The girls car ended up flipping and landing upside down, sliding down the road. My mom - though having a little bit of pain in her back and neck - was basically o.k. The girl, on the other hand, was unconcious and trapped in the car. They ended up needing "the jaws" to get her out. She was listed in critical condition, though the cop on the scene told my mom it looked like nothing was life threatening and she would eventually be o.k. My mom told me she didn't see how anyone could live through the wreck the girl went through.

An incredible thing happened yesterday and I am so grateful for it. My mom lives in High Point, about 30 minutes from us here in Greensboro, so she doesn't really know her way around our fair city that well. As a result, as she was moving forward at the intersection, she hesitated in order to figure out if she should have been turning left or right. This probably either saved her life, or the guy on a motorcycle behind her. The moto dude stayed with my mom until my sister arrived since the bulk of the help went to the girl who was stuck. He stated that had she not hesitated for those couple of seconds, he would probably be dead. He was, to say the least, grateful to be alive at that point. My mom was pretty shook up about the situation, but she would have been torn up about it had the girl not made it, even though it was not my moms fault. So, that was the bad bad part of the week.

The no longer very important or bad when compared to the above part of my weekend was that I basically fizzled away most of my $60 deposit on Full Tilt. I played a ton of poker and got waxed. They named that site appropriately cause I was on full tilt by the time I dropped half my deposit. I currently have $12 remaining and have decided to take a hiatus from playing there until the WPBT event, of which I was number 8 signed up. Since the tournament details note that a minimum of 8 players are needed to play, I'm glad I was there to help out the cause. I saw AlCantHang was signed up, so we have the comic relief covered. It should be a blast. I'm really, really bummed that I can't make it to the June event, but it's just not even possible. We will have just had the baby and our fundage will be tight at that point. Not cool for hubby to break away whilst the wifey works her ars off with 2 kids. I would pick up no Daddy points in that situation. Hopefully there will be another event soon that I could swing. We'll see. You guys keep scheduling them, and eventually I'll make it.

The UhOh
At work, I have a T.V. set up so I can keep up with CNBC and other financial channels. I work in the financial services industry and it just helps to be able to keep up with the market and other things going on in the world. And when 5:00pm rolls around and I'm still in the office (or on the weekends), it's great to catch some entertainment channels as well (not those kind of channels guys...sports, etc). In fact, today at around 5:00pm, I was surfing while working and found the PokerSuperstars Event. I've already seen it about 5 times, but I digress. Let me get back to The UhOh. On CNBC, they discussed the growing Blog World and the fact there's been an increase in employees being fired for items written in their blogs...even when the items are written on their personal time. Of course they ran the spot all day so I was constantly being reminded that I'm a bad employee if I'm blogging. Fortunately, I only blog when it's on my extra time (lunch, break, at home, etc.) and I don't really talk about work on my blog. I get so entranced while working, that when I'm away, the last thing I want to do is think about work. That's why you won't read about me bitching about work in this blog. I leave work for work, and personal time for the rest of my life. I don't need to mix the two. There are, however, plenty of people that take their work home with them. No thanks.

So anyway, I would suggest that if you're blogging about your work (and how much it sucks)...

1) Be sure to make your boss aware of your blog.
2) Be sure to talk shit about your boss in the blog.
3) Be sure to talk shit about your company in the blog.
4) Make sure to include pornographic material.

O.K. so maybe I wouldn't follow the rules above. As for me, I like my job, I like my boss, and I like the company I work for, so I don't have to sweat it. Some of my readers, who check out my blog while at work, may have some explaining to do if people see the pic at the top. Sorry if that's the case, but it just works too well with my blog and my blog name. For another great picture of a booty and poker, check out Pauly's March 7th post at Tao Of Poker.

To end this post I'd like to take a second to thank Iggy for hooking me up with Izmet and Abdul info that I was looking for. I think he answered my request via comment about 2 minutes after I wrote the post. So cool. Also, thanks to all who have anything to do with the WPBT events. I know you do it for the love of the game, but it's great to know there are great people doing great things for the good of the poker blogging community. You guys/gals rock.

posted by TripJax @ 9:30 PM, , links to this post




A.L.E. Is L.A.M.E.

This is so decidedly lame. Last night, the ALE shutdown a FREE poker tournament being held at a local Greensboro, NC restaurant. Over the last few months these games have become a part of the local scene, with more than 10 restaurants in Greensboro having games 1 or 2 times a week. In addition, there are games throughout the state being run by www.5thstreetentertainment.com. In previous posts, I made mention of my good fortune in a few of the games at Red Oak, a local brew pub. In fact, out of approximately 250 registrants in the past 4 weeks, I was 5th in points towards a final tournament to get a satellite seat to the WSOP. However, my main reason for entering these tournaments was for the fun of the game...and the chance to get out and drink some beer. Now, all the games have been cancelled until otherwise notified. Way to go A.S.S...excuse me...A.L.E...you really cracked down on many a hardened criminal last night. Idiots.

In a news brief on one of the local news channels, an investigator noted, "it's illegal because it's a game of chance and they offered prizes." I just have to delve a little deeper into that comment to really get the jest of what this penis wrinkle is saying.

So there is a free tournament - no player puts a dime of their money to play - that I will admit has an element of luck due to the random turn of the cards. However, to say this game is purely chance and does not involve strategy is absolutely ridiculous. Knowing when to check raise, value bet, fold a good hand when you think it might not be the best hand, read your opponents, etc., is not chance. Meanwhile down the street people play - legally and for money I should add - bingo which is 100% chance. And as for the prizes. 1st - 3rd, if they were lucky, would get a gift cert to the restaurant, or a t-shirt of some sort. At Red Oak, I was able to score a few jugs of beer for my good play. That's it. We didn't pay a buy-in and we certainly didn't get any cash prizes. And as for the gold at the end of the rainbow. We're talking about a serious long shot for anybody playing, and even at that, it was for a buy-in to a satellite seat.

In an attempt to segregate games of chance from games with some aspect of skill, allow me to offer the following scenarios...not sure if I'll prove points, or screw myself with my thoughts, but I've got to write this out to get it off my mind...

In poker, there are all-stars like Doyle Brunson, Gus Hansen, Phil Ivey, and Howard Lederer, just to name a few. Is Doyle a legend and Phil a rising star because they lucked and chanced their way there? I don't think so. Skill brings consistancy and proof that good play can bring positive results. From the highest stakes games played by Jennifer Harmon, to a fellow blogger grinding it out at the .50/1 or 1/2 limit tables, good play can, in the long run, bring positive results. But wait...luck plays it's part; otherwise like our ole pal Mr. Hellmuth Jr. said, "I'd win them all if it wasn't for dumb luck." Luck/chance brings an element to the game that keeps the legends of the game from winning every time. It also gives your average Joe - like you and me - a chance to play against the big boys if we play our cards right. Apologies, dear reader, for lumping you into the average Joe category. If you are, in fact, a star then I thank you for making it this far...

In bingo, there are no Doyle Brunson's or Phil Ivey's. There are no people who have a track record of proven results based on strategic and great play. Instead, there's a card and a 98 year old dude calling out numbers. Chance and luck, no doubt.

It's just plain stupid. I have to file this one in the Don't You Have Something Better To Do portion of my brain at the moment as that is exactly what I'm thinking. Are there not bigger fish to fry in Alcohol Law Enforcement land?

I am sure more than 25% of the cops and ALE here in Greensboro play poker for money. Yet they take stupid ass steps like this to make themselves look like royal ass clowns to the community. It's mind boggling...boggles the mind.

Here's the brief article that hit one of the news websites...

Texas Hold'em Poker Game At Ham's Shut Down

Here's yours truly, TripJax, at number 5 in points at Red Oak, which is now about as useful as owning Enron stock...

Leaderboard

posted by TripJax @ 8:19 PM, , links to this post




Hemorrhaging Cash...Time To Take Action

Folks, it's time I got my ars in gear and put some effort into my online game. I've been happy with my live game, but I'm lacking in all other aspects. I've decided to spend the next month filling some holes in my game, thus hopefully plugging the leak that is my dwindling roll. Here are a few of my thoughts.

First * I need to get Poker Tracker. It's all too clear - especially with the recent news from HDouble and Iggy - that if you are not using Poker Tracker, then you're not taking advantage of the situation. I have yet to make the purchase because I have not put a lot of time and effort in my online game. However, I'm a big fan of money - both keeping and making it - so it's time I helped myself help...myself.

Second * I need to then - once acclamated to PokerTracker - buy the Poker Tracker guide mentioned in the links in the previous paragraph. I trust HDouble and Iggy with $20 of my hard earned dollars, and if I can win or lose $20 in one night of playing, then I can certainly afford to buy the ebook. I plan to make the Poker Tracker purchase at some point in March. Then, directly after, I'll make the purchase of the guide.

Third * I need to revisit Izmet and Abdul. One big problem with this, however, is I can't seem to find a link that works anymore. The links on other bloggers sites don't seem to get me where I need to go. Therefore, I'm requesting help from fellow poker bloggers. If you are reading this and know of a way to easily get me the Izmet Fekali and Abdul Jalib poker strategy info, please comment or email me. I've attempted, for months, to click on links and find the info to no avail. So there, I hate to ask for help, but I need it.

Finally * I just need to play more. I have not put in the hands to successfully get to where I want to be. I didn't play for months due to insufficient family funds, but I finally have some cash I can designate as bankroll and play. I will continue to stay in the low limits and low SNG's until I am comfortable.

It's crazy reading guys like Poker Quest who are in pursuit of $18,000 in a year and $2,000 a month. Hell, I'm happy to get 100 hands in a night, twice a week. But I'm a married man with a 4 year old and a baby on the way in 1 month. Couple my online play with the 1 or 2 times I try to play live every week and you can only guess that I have a really cool wife. She could care less about learning poker, but she knows that it's my "fun" thing to do, so she understands. O.K., I've gotta get back to work. I just needed to write these things down in order to push me in the right direction. I'm tired of talking like I'm not a fish, and then handing my money to them on a silver platter night after night. I know I'm not tuna, but my game has not lived up to my expectations.

Again, if you can help me find the Izmet and Abdul info, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks

posted by TripJax @ 4:40 PM, , links to this post




$43K

Played a $30+3 tournament last night with 1439 other hopefuls. It was, to say the least, a spur of the moment decision. I had just gotten knocked out on the bubble in a $5 SNG and was looking at other games to play. I noticed the $30+3 with over 1400 signed up. I clicked on it and it had 1 minute remaining on the registration. I looked up at my wife and said, "honey, there's a tournament with a $43,000 prize pool that I can play, but it might take along time to finish." She said, "go for it", and I was on my way. It's moments like that when you feel like some things are just meant to be. That being said, I went into this tourney fully expecting to at least cash to get my $33 back. I just had a feeling.

When the prize pool was announced I was happy to see 1st place getting over $9k and 180 places being paid. Early on I hovered around the buy-in amount and, at one point about 30 minutes in, was exactly at 1000, the starting amount. It was as if the 3 or 4 hands I had played in never happened. A weird feeling. After building my stack to around 1800, I picked up K K in the big blind. Only the small blind called my raise and I felt really good about my chances when the flop came A K 7. I felt like I was in control and the SB was just along for the ride. When I bet a decent amount on the river and he took a while to call, I knew I was gonna win the pot. So imagine my surprise when he called and flipped over pocket rockets. He had done a great job slow playing me into thinking I was the best hand. I can't recall ever seeing a small blind with A A and a big blind with K K. That loss broke my spirit and my chipstack, leaving me with 340 in chips. I was the major short stack at that point.

After a few hazy hands in which I folded, I decided to get back into the game and try and double up. I've been playing the short stack well lately and have always felt good about my chances no matter what happens. In fact, I have actually come back from having 1 chip to win a tournament. And I'm not talking about the most expensive chip either. I'm talking about a 100 chip when the average stack was 4 - 5 thousand. Now that was cool.

So I readied my game and proceeded to fold, fold, fold hands like there was no tomorrow. I couldn't catch anything. But an amazing thing kept happening. Each time it was close to being my big blind, our table would break and we would be moved. And every time I would be moved to the button or directly to the right of it. I am sure it happened at least 5 times.

After some timely folds I finally caught a decent hand getting K Q suited with no raises before me in late position. I pushed all in and ended up getting called by the big stack in the big blind. He had A 6 off. I spiked a queen on the river and had doubled up to around $850. I then sat for another 20 minutes until I was in the big blind with most of my money already forced into the pot. I had J 6 and had to call when it was raised up. My chances were not good, but I was way,way priced into the pot. I was real happy when the flop brought a 6 and the turn brought a J. I took that pot and was up to $2400 after bad beating QQ and AQ. I then found myself all in again later on with K 10 when the turn brought me a 10 to beat AQ and 99.

At this point I was playing well and feeling like luck was on my side. Knowing you need some luck in order to win a tournament, I was feeling like this was my night. I decided to look and see how many people had been knocked out and was amazed when only 400 people were left. 1000 people had been knocked out and we were not even 2 hours in. I couldn't believe it. That's when I really felt like my chances were good to at least cash in the top 180.

Alas, my fingers were nearly frost bitten by the cards the remainder of the game. 230 people left, and on the short stack again, I found A K off in late position. I pushed hoping to take down the blinds, but had one caller, the big blind. He flipped over 10 10 and nothing came out to help me. I couldn't believe, after all that, I was out in 234th place. Though that's no where near close to 1st, it was close to the money, and better than 1200 other folks (I have to find some good in the situation).

I really, really enjoyed myself in this tournament and am looking forward to another one like it. It's difficult to imagine outlasting 1500 people, but it's exciting to know that such a sweet payday could come if the right things go my way.

I might play a live game tomorrow, but I'll have to see since I'm supposed to deal on Wednesday and play on Thursday. That's kind of pushing it for me and the wife might be ready to kick my ass. In fact, I think I just talked myself into not playing tomorrow. I need a break anyway.

posted by TripJax @ 2:08 AM, , links to this post