Yeah, I'm A Rocket Surgeon
Friday, April 29, 2005
As I was blogrolling today I noticed a post from Iggy urging us all (bloggers) to head on over to PokerStars to sign up for this Sunday's WPBT WSOP Satellite . Apparently there were only 13 people signed up as of his post entry. Ungood...I had to take action. With the bulk of my bankroll hanging out at Noble Poker, I figured I had better get started on the transfer of funds from Noble to NETeller.
Then, suddenly, I had a poker epiphany. Why don't I go check out my Stars account and see how many duckets I have available. It had only been 5 days since I dropped $60 in my account in preperation for the 1st WSOP Satellite. Having not played on Stars since then, I had a good idea what I had left, but wanted to make sure. Prior to my deposit last Sunday I had a whopping $.75 in my account which leaves me with a currently huge balance of $27.75.
Not having the total $33 needed, I immediately started stressing as I figured Noble would drag their feet in getting the transfer completed as they did before. Then, suddenly, I had poker epiphany #2. I said to myself, "hey jackass, why don't you play some freakin poker to make up the rest of the dough needed to sign up." It is, in fact, why we deposit money into poker accounts right...to play poker right? It doesn't take a Rocket Surgeon to figure that out, but sometimes my brain is stuck at work with all the wire transfers, stocks, bonds, options, etc. I deal with on a daily basis. So instead of playing poker to get my buy-in paid for, I'm thinking about wire transfers and other ways to move money. Sometimes it's good to move money by just playing poker huh?! Aaahhh, what a concept.
So I started checking out which games would work best for me. I hadn't planned on playing poker tonight so I didn't want to put a ton of time or effort into trying to make $6. I decided I didn't want to play any limit or no limit cause I wasn't looking to blind away cash trying to make $6. For me lately, the no limit tables have been something like this...I drop the bulk of my table stake early and then take down 1 or 2 big hands late to get myself up for the session. In the end a good thing, but too much hoopla tonight when I just wanna get my stake in the WPBT tourney.
So I decided my best bet was at the heads-up tables. I've been playing tournament poker well lately and my heads-up game has been going very well. I plopped down at a $10 winner take all (obviously) table. It took all of about 5 seconds for someone to join me and we were officially running. When the player sat down at the table I - for a split second - thought I was about to be playing Iggy. Alas, my eyes were deceiving me as it was someone using the screen name All In Izzy.
I must say that was just about the easiest heads up game I've ever played before. And I'm not talking about catching Rockets on the first hand and beating someone over playing Big Slick easy. I'm talking about playing maybe 30 hands and just destroying the guy...no matter what cards I held. Granted, I did have some decent cards in the hole, but even when the flop didn't hit me, my bet was met with a fold. And when he bet a board I didn't think he got a piece of, I was raising him like I was baking a cake. And of course, he was folding like a warm dry towel. I felt like we played a lot of hands, but we never even made it to a blind raise. Leading about 2400 to 600, I raised his $20 big blind to $59 (my favorite number) with 10 10 in the hole and he pushed for his final $600. I made the call and was happy to see his 10 K leaving him only 1 live card. The board never made it above 5 and just like that I had won $20 (or rather $10 since half was mine).
Therefore, I'm happy to report that I've signed up - 15th this time - and I urge you to do the same. Come on folks, this is the friggin WSOP, and you don't have to beat a field in the thousands to qualify or even climb the Steps over at Party Poker to get a seat. You can qualify for $33 and face maybe 50-100 people. Pretty damn cool. And if you're solely a reader, fear not, next Sunday will be your chance to earn a seat by staving off defeat (lame attempt at rhyming...sorry).
Gonna cut this one short tonight folks...gotta get some sleep...the baby is keeping us up at night these days...but she's so damn cute I don't mind one bit. If you haven't caught a glimpse of her, check out the post below for a pic.
Ain't It Great?!
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
I must say, though I don't usually like to break bad on folks, I did enjoy writing the below post. It's been a while since I was pissed off or felt strong enough about a subject that I was willing to put some mustard into responding. Thankfully, Sir Dragon is a good guy who was just letting off some steam right after a tournament and I was his virtual punching bag du jour. I'm cool with it since we've typed out any issues we had. So I got that going for me.
The following post is what I had planned on writing about last night, but got pushed to the backburner...it's all good stuff...my kind of post...
First, I would officially like to Introduce Lily Marie Turner to the blogoshphere. This pic was taken the morning after she was born and the company said they would keep it up for us about 60 days. Lily has quickly become my absolute passion. Big thanks to SheVerb for thinking about me and the fam in one of her recent posts. I think Paul Phillips summed it up quite well with this recent comment regarding his daughter Ivy who is just now a week old...
I am already unable (and unwilling) to imagine life without her.When I think about all her firsts to come: walking, talking, ending world hunger, etc. it amazes me that I'm not hearing about other peoples' kids constantly. I'd think parents would be unable to resist sharing with everyone within earshot.Of course, maybe they can't resist, and this is why once people have children they tend to associate primarily with others who have children; nobody else can stand to be around them. Feels accurate. We'll see!
Interestingly, we had our little girl just a few days before the Phillips family did. I wanted to wish him and his family well on his blog, but it doesn't look like he accepts comments from non LiveJournal (anonymous) posters. Oh well. If you haven't been to Paul's blog recently, get over there. He has some funny shit to say these days.
On the pending baby front, good luck and best wishes to VARoadstter over at Poker Roadster who has a baby scheduled to pop next month.
Moving on. Have you ever taken a vacation and found out that you got a promotion? Me too. See what had happened was...if you've been reading my blog a while you know I was working two jobs covering for a co-manager who had taken 6 weeks short term disability. After a week back on the job she decided it was time to call it quits and resigned. That put a wrinkle in my plans since I was dead set on taking a week vacation the minute it was baby having time. Baby Lily decided Saturday, April 16th would be a good day to make her grand entrance to the world, so therefore vacation time for me was April 18th - 22nd.
During that time away I had some conversations with our Branch Manager and it was decided that I would be promoted from Operations Manager of the branch to Administrative Manager, the job the lady who resigned held. This promotion brought with it a near 15% pay raise which is right on time with the new mouth to feed and a new ass to wipe. Them diapers ain't cheap folks. So all in all the vacation I took, and the subsequent return to the office yesterday, has been a good thing for me. I'm knee deep in work since I'm still working for 2, but it helps to know that I'm being rewarded for my hard work.
I've been the Operations Manager for 6 years now and I think this job change is just what I needed. I'm excited about the change and even have that funny feeling in my stomach right now since tomorrow is the day it's announced to the rest of the office. I actually know every bit of this job, since we covered for each other, but being officially "sworn in" tomorrow morning still gives me a little bit of the jitters.
Again, moving on, I heard it through the blog vine that there will be another WPBT WSOP Satellite this Sunday. I'm itching for another final table, but this time I want to take it down. Maybe this time I can piss off twice as many people. Just a suggestion if Iggy is reading this...rather than deal with the whole "let's chop the winnings" scenario at the end, why not just disburse the leftover cash to the final table 2-9 via a percentage. Let's say something like...
1st WSOP Seat
2nd 50% of remaining cash
3rd 20% of...
8th Random gift from a blogger willing to unload something.
9th Random gift from a blogger willing to unload something slightly less cooler than 8th place gift.
Now that's a half ass attempt at splitting it up via percentages, but it's just a thought. And yes I realize it could be lame to quite lame if there is only a small amount left over after paying for the seat, but it beats figuring it out after the fact or having to deal with the confusion when it's final table time. I know, I know, it's all about the seat, but it's also fun to know that your hard work getting to the final table just might be rewarded with a used copy of Hellmuth's Play Poker Like The Pros which has been red flagged for being in the bathroom one too many times while Dr. Pauly takes a dump. O.K. maybe that was a bad example of a random gift from a blogger willing to unload something, but I digress. Speaking of Dr. Pauly, I loved his description for me at the final table...
Seat 9: Trip Jax... The man from North Carolina likes curvy butts, beers, rears, high knees, and bootylicious behinds. He nailed one of the hands of the tournament and is looking to turn his $33 into a WSoP seat.
You had me at curvy butts.
Time for bed folks...thanks for sticking around and reading my drivel. Let me end by saying thank you to all the cool bloggers I've met since the most recent tourney. What a great group of folks we are fortunate enough to converse with. There are too many to write out right now, but I've added numerous links over the last few days. If I played with you at a table, or we've chatted via comments or emails recently, and you don't see your blog linked over on the right...let me know and I'll link you up.
Slaying The Dragon or Geez Tell Me What You Really Think
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Wow. Not even sure where to begin. This here post is gonna be a response to a recent post by Dragonystic regarding the hand that I knocked him out with last night (thanks Skitch for letting me know about my new found friend). In order for you to know the full scoop - and to make sure nothing is left to question - here's his post in full...
I really can't fucking stand poker that turns into "hit-to win." Where you can't make a move on anyone, cause no one is laying down. I make it down to the final 2 tables, with a decent stack of T4500. I fold for about 30 - 40 consecutive hands in a row, because the cards were not coming my way. As a matter of fact, in 170+ hands, I did NOT see AA, KK, QQ or AK. I don't care about that. What ticks me off to no end is the way I busted. TripJax raises about every other pot. I decide to finally put him to the test, by raising the rest of my chips in for about 4000 total. He decides to call of half of his chips with KJo. What a fucking joke. I don't care if this is unprofessional sounding, or even bitter. You're a joke of a player, and an idiot to boot. You remind me of my reckless friend Ryan who wins when he gets lucky, and doesn't know when to let go of a hand. You're basically lucky that the anonymity of online poker made me miss the fact that you don't know how to play, and that I shouldn't bluff you, because you can't be bluffed. Dumbass.
I wish I could make this short and sweet, but I just don't think it's in my playbook. I will, however, attempt to get the gist of my main comments out early leaving the rest of my drivel at the end for those willing to stick around for the long haul. So it begins...
- TripJax raises about every other pot - Yes I was playing aggressive, but I was hardly alone in that aspect. As far as I could tell, most everyone with a pretty sizeable stack at that point - say 10k or more - was playing it fast and hard. I'd say if you look back on things, HDouble was raising more than me...and notice it was rare that I played back at him as I didn't want to get into a battle with a player with equal or more chips than me unless I had a top tier hand.
- I decide to put him to the test, by raising the rest of my chips in for about 4000 total - So let me get this straight...based on the note above about me raising often, you obviously know that I was playing numerous hands strong. So, with me holding the chip lead at that point, and making a more than 3 or 4X the blind raise which is folded around to you, what you decided to do is risk your remaining 4000 stack by playing back at me...with 10 8 offsuit (I notice you failed to mention what hand you held in your post above). Then you have the nerve to be pissed at me when my call - which turns out to be the correct one - leads to me having the best of it preflop, and ending with the best of it when all the cards hit the felt. What a fucking joke...indeed.
- He decides to call of half of his chips with KJo - As I mentioned above, I was the chip leader (or damn close) at that point and had probably somewhere between 14k - 17k. So no matter what happened in the hand, I would still have over 10k and still be looking good to compete. You on the other hand decided to play cutesie with 10 8 offsuit against me, one of the big stacks at the table who you knew was playing aggressive...and you paid for it. You're a joke of a player and an idiot to boot...indeed.
- You're basically lucky that the anonymity of online poker made me miss the fact that you don't know how to play, and that I shouldn't bluff you, because you can't be bluffed - You're right, buddy, you don't know me. And you certainly don't know enough about me or my play to determine what type of complete player I am (or am not in your opinion). Trust me, I'm bluffable. In fact, there were plenty of hands last night where I was probably bluffed out of the pot. But you've got to understand that I pick and choose my battles...was I willing to battle with someone like BadBlood or HDouble who had close chipstacks?...NO...not unless I held a monster. Was I willing to battle with anyone who held at or less than 1/3 of my chipstack? Hell yeah...bring it on...I'll play fast and hard and if it works I gain chips and if it doesn't I'm still alive to see the next hand. Trust me Dragon, if the rolls were reversed I would have been bluffed off of many more hands if I was getting the cards you say you were getting. And I certainly would have conceded my blind if I was raised 3 or 4X the big blind against a big stack when I held 10 8 offsuit. Dumbass...Indeed.
- I did NOT see AA, KK, QQ, AK - I saw AK once and my raise was met with folds all the way around. My highest pair in the hole was 10 10 and I won the pot when I bet out with one over card and again no callers. Other than that my best hands were 77 twice which I lost both times in coin flip races where I had the best of it preflop and ended up taking a hit both times when my opponent paired his card. That's poker.
You know what really pisses me off. I think Dragon is probably a real cool dude. I definitely like his blog and was planning to visit all the blogs for players I played with and could remember...Dragon being one of those. I was also wanting to add to my blogroll anyone I made contact with. That's one of the nice things about these tourneys with fellow bloggers...it's a great chance to meet folks in our humble community. But before I could even make it to his blog to give him props for a good game I find out he's trashing me. Buddy, you don't know me...if you wanna trash somebody, trash your fucking reckless friend Ryan (no offense Ryan...just making a point). At least you have some substantial evidence that he is what you say he is. As for me, though you're free to have your own opinion, I question anyone who has the nerve to call someone they don't even know and know nothing about an idiot, joker, and dumbass. Where do you get off?
All this being noted, I must go on record as saying that I don't hold grudges. It's not in my nature. I'm a pretty laid back guy, but when I get put in a position where I get pissed off, I let it all out and I'm done with it. So Dragon, if you have a change of heart, I'll be at this here humble blog and will definitely be at any and all WPBT events if you would like to converse. However, if you would like to continue to show yourself as the penis wrinkle that you did in your post above, then so be it. T'will not be any hair off my non cancer ridden nutsack (thanks for the good nutcancer jokes last night Bob).
It's funny, the play against Dragon wasn't even the toughest of beats. How could it be, since I had the best of it when the cards were shown? I didn't feel bad about my play against Dragon at all. However, I did suckout on the river against Jorgen and Dr. Mullets, and though I still feel I made the right call considering the circumstances, I felt bad about the beat I put on them. Bad enough to publicly acknowledge in my earlier post below that it was a tough beat to take.
Ya know the guys that try to be a poker pro while playing online, telling you why your play is bad and why their play was good? Well I'm not that type. I try to keep to myself and just have some jovial banter when chatting it up. But this here blog is a place that I can at least have a retort to some of the things that are said about me. I in no way try to force feed my beliefs on anyone, but if I have something I think is good info, I put it out there. With that in mind, I'd like to offer up some great words that I'm sure we've all read, but sometimes are good to be reminded of. They're from the honorable Doyle Brunson...and I read this exact section of his book Super System before I played on Sunday...
I've got a reputation for being an aggressive player. And I don't ever want to lose that reputation. It's what enables me to pick-up more than what would normally be considered my share of pots...If I win ten pots where nobody has a big hand...then I can afford to take 2 to 1 the worst of it and play a big pot. I've already got that pot paid for with all the small pots I picked up. And when I play that big pot...it's a freeroll. When a big pot's played...I've usually got the worst hand. I'd say over 50% of the time...when all the money goes in, I've got the worst hand. Obviously, I couldn't overcome that unless I had something to compensate for it. And my compensation is all those small pots I've picked up.
Interestingly, once I got a decent stack to start playing with early (say 3.5k), I was able to start betting strong to take down those small pots. Eventually those small pots began to add up and that's what afforded me the ability to bet strong and - when the instance arose where someone went all in for not alot more - call the bet and see the hand out.
It worked numerous times which is a testament to what Brunson wrote. Unfortunately for me, when I needed the variance to work for me, it went against me and helped others in the end. But I'm extremely happy to have been a part of sending a fellow blogger to the WSOP event. And it was extremely kind of Bob and others to take the time to leave their comments on my blog today. I thank you all.
As for you, dear Dragon, I suggest taking a step back and thinking before you write. We poker bloggers should stick together. Berating another blogger on your site when it is not justified is lame to quite lame.
A Meeting With The Bobs
Monday, April 25, 2005
Make that Bob...and what a meeting it was.
Wow, what a night. That was the most fun I've had at a WPBT event. Too bad it doesn't count since I actually did well in this one. I took home 8th place which got me exactly $33 poorer. I don't mind one bit though cause I'm happy I was able to be a part of sending a blogger to the WSOP. Congrats to Bob who ended up taking down the seat after the final 4 agreed to chop the 2nd place money between 2-4 and send the 1st place packing to Vegas. I couldn't help but keep thinking of Office Space and the Bobs while I was playing at the table with Bob. I had just watched that movie this week (for the 4 billionth time) and that was fresh on my mind.
My night started interestingly enough. I felt real good about my chances cause I've been playing well and luck has been on my side. Luck ended up putting me in the chip lead for much of the night, but tanking me in the end. Here are my highlights...
When Stupidity Pays
With about 3000 in chips I got into a hand with the chipleader (close to 8000) when there were probably still 65 people left. I had A7 suited and was in the small blind. The flop missed me completely, but I bet out trying to buy it. He called. I should note the flop had 2 clubs. The turn was still no good for me, but I still bet out trying to take it. That's when he raised it up another $1500. Not having hit anything, I was ready to get out of the hand and went to press the Fold button. But my dumbass hit the Call button. As my chips went into the middle I was in disbelief. I couldn't believe what a bonehead move I had just made. I had basically sealed my fate. The river brought a 7 which gave me a pair, but more importantly it filled the flush possibility. With almost $6000 in the pot at that point, the only way I was going to take the pot was to bet out. However, I had reserved myself to losing at that point. Regardless , I pushed All-In for my final $1000 and was amazed when he folded. Somehow, someway, I managed to stay in the game despite an idiotic move.
This dropped him down to around 4 or 5000 and put me in the chiplead. At the 1st break, I couldn't help but tell him on the chat what I did. Ends up he had trips and folded a winner thinking I had made my flush and unwilling to pay me off. If you're reading this right now VA (can't remember full screen name) sorry about that one...you didn't know it at the time, but that was what vaulted me to a chance to win the tournament.
If I can give one excuse for my stupidity, I was holding my week old daughter at the time and was attempting to play the game and feed her at the same time (via bottle folks...these nipples have a no suck clause). My wife had kept her most of the day while I was at a birthday party with our 4yr old, so when I got home I wanted to take the baby so she could rest. Guess at times my focus was not 100% there. Still I managed to maintain composure after I won that big hand.
Blind Stealing Bully
After some decent play and a little bullying, I had brought my chiplead up to about $12k. Actually HDouble and I traded the chiplead for a while. In middle position - with K J - I raised it up to about 1099 when the blinds were around 400. Everyone folded around to the big blind who went All-In. It was around $2500 more to me and I decided to call feeling like I had enough chips to gamble. When he flipped over 10 8 I felt real good. My hand held up and I was in real good shape at that point. The player seemed a little pissed that I called, but I had the chips to gamble. A few minutes later HDouble took another big hand to end up over $20k.
Right around that time I picked up 8 9 clubs on the button, and when it was folded to me, I decided to bully the small and big who each had around 3k or 4k. I pushed the bet up to around $2499 and was surprised when they both went All-In. Uh Oh! But at that point it was only $1500 or so more for me to call with great pot odds and a good drawing hand. I don't recall what the other guys had, but I want to say it was something like KK for one guy and AQ for the other (though I could be way off). When the flop came with 2 clubs as well as a 9, I knew I had a great chance to take it down. The turn was a blank for me, but the river was a wonderful club. Just like that I had knocked 2 players out and taken the chiplead again with about $22k. Again HDouble and I were neck and neck.
Now I'm sure there were plenty of people who considered that play bad on my part, but I would definitely disagree. Lucky yes...but bad no. With all the blind stealing that was going on...and with a significant chipstack, I felt good about my blind steal raise. And when they both went All-In, I knew what I had to do. Fortunately for me, the cards fell my way at that point. Still, I know that was no fun for the 2 that lost. Can't remember there screennames, but if you're reading, that was a tough beat no doubt.
What's 77 + 77? 8th Place My Friend.
With around $20k in chips and 7 7 in the hole I raised it up to around $3k after everyone had folded to me. I think we were close to a final table at that point with maybe 14 players remaining. The big blind went All-In for his final $6k and I made the call. He had AQ off which made for a classic race. Things were looking great until the river brought a dreadful A. That player was screenname JoeSpeaker who ended up in 3rd place, chopping the $840 pot. That was a tough blow bringing me down to $14k when I had held the chiplead (or close to it) for most of the latter part of the tourney.
Once we were down to the final table I again raised it up about $4k with 7 7 in the hole. I had been getting ass cards for a while and these pairs in the hole were like gold to me at that point. I again was raised by someone moving all in for their final $8k. I made the call and the player showed K Q. The flop looked good for me, but the turn brought a K and the river brought a very ugly Q. I'm not completely sure, but I think that player was Bob who ended up winning the whole thing. It wouldn't be the last time I gave him my money, unfortunately.
After a while, BadBlood took 9th place after losing to Bob with 3 3 vs 10 10. Not longer after I was the low stack with around $5k. After mercifully folding time after time with shit hands, I finally caught a ray of light when I got K Q diamonds. I went all in and was called by...you guessed it...Bob. I was pretty bummed when he flipped over AK or AQ. I can't remember which one it was, but either way it sucked cause I only had 1 live card. My hopes for a WSOP seat were dashed quickly when the flop brought an A and the turn was another A. I was out in 8th place.
I'm happy with the way I played, and know that luck was with me part of the way, but unfortunately didn't stick around for the whole tournament.
Again, congrats to Bob at one2many.blogspot.com. I'm glad some of my chips helped him make it all the way.
WPBT $1500 WSOP Satellite: Let's Light This Candle
Sunday, April 24, 2005
I'm well rested, well fed, and ready to light this candle. If you read my post below, then you'll be happy to know Noble Poker finally completed the transfer to my NETeller account which enabled me to fund my PokerStars account in preperation for this event.
I must say I'm feeling pretty good about this event. I realize there will only be prizes to the top 2, but I still like my chances based on the way I've been playing lately as well as my luck of late. But no matter what happens, I am more than happy to put $30 towards seeing a blogger play at a WSOP event. Quite exciting.
The event is 20 minutes away. Wish me luck and either way I'll report back here on how things went.
Adventures In Withdrawals or Steppin It Up A Notch
Saturday, April 23, 2005
Noble Poker is about to piss me off. I guess by writing that last sentance they've probably already officially pissed me off. I believe a little background is in order...
About 3 weeks ago I deposited $50 to Noble Poker from my NETeller account in order to take part in the Omaha8 tournaments ScurvyDog put together. They were offering a 100% matching bonus and they also gave me an automatic $10 bonus. I immediately started playing their 6 Max Turbo NL SNG's and got on a real hot streak. Not very long after I had turned my $50 into $200 by just playing SNG's. It was one of the hottest streaks I've ever been on since starting to play poker.
Around the same time my bankroll was at it's peak, the announcement of the $1500 WSOP Satellite for bloggers was made by Iggy. I decided to fund my play over at PokerStars by withdrawing some money from my Noble account. I requested an $80 withdrawal and was happy to see that I would still have more than double what I deposited originally...even with the withdrawal. A few days later I checked my account and saw the $80 had been credited back to my Noble account. WTF??!!
Via online chat I was informed that my withdrawal was declined because I had not had enough raked hands to release the $10 instant bonus they gave me. Not much of an instant bonus if you have to "qualify" the money. They informed me I needed 20 raked hands at a .25/.50 or higher blind structure in order to release the $10. They also noted I had not released any of my 100% matching for the same reason. I didn't realize that you don't earn any bonus credit by playing in SNG's and tournaments.
So trying to be a good boy I played some NL .25/.50 and actually played quite well. I have pumped up my bankroll another $100, I've released the $10 bonus, and I'm on my way to get my first $10 release of the 100% matching. They release it in $10 increments after you earn 125 crowns. You receive a crown for every hand in which you put money into the pot. You get 2 crowns when playing .50/1 which I played a little bit of.
Having met what I figured would be sufficient raked hands in order to process a withdrawal, I made another request...this time $75. A couple days later I was itching for the money to hit my NETeller account because there were 58 people already signed up for the WSOP satellite. You see, I thought it was a good sign for me to be the 59th person to sign up because that is my favorite number (pronounced Fiddy Niiihne). Even my email address has a 59 in it. Of course when I checked my NETeller account the money was still not there and since that time more people have signed up. I'm really glad the entrants continues to climb, but I'm bummed that I couldn't be the 59th...
Over the last 3 days I have battled with Noble over my most recent withdrawal request. They say it has processed and I've even gotten an email noting it was processed. However, the money has not hit my account. Both sides keep pointing the finger at the other and I'm really starting to get pissed. We are now on the eve of the Stars satellite and I still don't have my money in place to play. I have given plenty of time to be prepared and the no talent ass clowns in the back office of Noble are really doing a number on this one. I'm really hoping today is the day for me to receive the credit to my NETeller account. Otherwise I may do an unNoble thing and raise holy hell to their management.
I must say, other than the withdrawal crud I've gone through, I've enjoyed Noble Poker. While the player numbers are never huge (don't think I've ever seen over 500) the games seem to be so easy. My aggressive style has played out real well and I'm extremely happy with my recent results. As I mentioned, it's the best I've ever played online.
On the PartyPoker front, I've been playing the WSOP Steps and have had a frustrating, but good time. I've done pretty good so far, but still haven't made it past Step 2. I've probably played 15 SNG's and I'm still on my first $12 buy-in. Geez, they really do rake a boat load with the looping these Steps create. It's probably the biggest waste of time and effort as far as my poker time goes, but I'm having fun and I want to see this out.
I won the very first Step 1 I played and came in 3rd on the Step 2 narrowly missing making it to Step 3. I'm told - and now realize - that Step 1 and 2 are the toughest to get past. Once you get past those you can come in the top 3 or 4 and still advance due to the way they have it set up. So far, I've been on a schedule where I win one in every three Step 1's which gets me into Step 2. Unfortunately, though I am still able to get looped back to step 1 (thus not lose my buy-in), I just can't seem to win at the Step 2. Last night, on my last attempt of the night, I again was looped back to a Step 1 when - heads up - my trip 3's were spanked when my opponent filled his flush on the river. I slowplayed my way into a loss on that one. I had the trips on the flop and welcomed his bets when I just checked. Of course it backfired and cost me the win.
I figure I'll play somemore WSOP Steps today and hopefully I'll have some better results to report. Also, I hope I'm able to have good news about my NETeller deposit in order for me to play in the WSOP Satellite event. So lame to have plenty of dough sitting in one poker site and unable to get it to another site to play. Just ridiculous(ly gay).
I Feel For You (Cause I Think I Love Ya)
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Wait...retract that whole Cause I Think I Love Ya part...that was just me getting caught up in a song title...
I actually feel bad for one of my buddies. Here's the scoop. I've been reading and hearing about these WSOP Steps tournaments at Party so I decided to sweat some of the players last night to see the action. Of course I migrated right to the Step 6 to check out a table that would send one hopeful to the WSOP Main Event.
After about 30 minutes of watching I noticed a name that made me do a double take. I won't mention the name, but I realized it was one of my good buddies that I play poker with a lot. In fact, Tuesday nights are the designated night to play at his house. Actually, the game was moved to his Dads house since his girlfriend moved back in with him. Anyway, I've been unable to go to any of his games recently due to the baby being due any day (born April 16th) so I haven't seen him in a couple months. My last time playing at his house was an Omaha 8 tourney with 18 people which I came in 3rd place.
Moving on...when I saw the name I was about to start chatting with him, but then I decided that was a stupid idea. If I was playing a SNG for a seat at the WSOP I wouldn't want anybody chatting with me - friend or no friend. So instead I dropped the occasional good job or nice hand where appropriate.
Amazingly, after some great play and one lucky draw out, he was heads up. I couldn't believe it. He took the lead for a while, but then had a tough hand put him down to around 1500. At one point, he was 1 card away from winning it, but the guy caught the card he needed. Our hero eventually got all his chips in with something like A Q against K 10 and - though the bad guy never caught a K or 10, he did win the game when 4 clubs hit the board and his 10 was a club. I was dumbfounded. I know that's poker and it's the breaks, but this wasn't just any random player I was watching...it was a good buddy playing for a freakin seat.
About 10 minutes after it was over I called to console - and I'm glad I did as he was searching for someone to reach out to in order to talk about it. When I told him I saw the whole thing he was happy to know that he played the game well...though he was still a little in shock with the whole situation. He made we laugh when he said, "wanna go play a $5 SNG with me?" Here's a guy who was just playing a $2000 SNG asking if I wanted to play a $5 game. It's amazing how these Steps tourneys can put the average guy out of his league. Since it was 1:30 am I declined and decided to hit the pillow. I think I dreamed about winning a Steps tourney or something like that.
As for my buddy, luckily with the Steps program he has another shot at Step 6. I really hope he makes it cause he has been trying for 2 weeks. Interestingly, he has only put $12 into it and has made Step 6 twice (this will be his 3rd try coming up). That will just be unbelievable if he makes it. Good luck RW!
So, on the heels of watching that excitement, I decided to give the whole thing a try tonight. I know, the amount of rake they are getting is unbelievable, but to be honest where else could you pay $12 and make it to the WSOP by winning (or doing well in) 6 SNG's. I've been playing well in SNG's at Noble Poker so I hope my trend continues.
On my 1st attempt - an $11 + $1 Step 1 SNG - I ended up making some good moves and winning it. I was heads up with a big job ahead of me down 6000 to 2000, but I managed to break the guy for most of his chips when the flop was A 2 3 5 3 and I held 4 6. I was hoping he had a 4 and played a straight and that's exactly what happened (he had 4 2). My nut straight was a cinch and not long after I took him down with A 5 against K J.
I end this post with a hoist of the brew in hopes that I can't devour Step 2. I've heard it is one of the hardest Steps to pass...we'll see. I'll keep you posted.
Sunday, April 17, 2005
If you don't see the hottie at the top of my template, then I'm still having template problems. Might be time for me to upgrade.
How many of you would miss the hottie???
For those who don't know, there was a new addition to the TripJax family this weekend. See the previous post for details. Hopefully I'll have pics up soon if I can work out my template problems.
We're still at the hospital, but should be home tomorrow...I'll be able to post more then...
I've Got You Babe
Saturday, April 16, 2005
Yesterday after work I met up with a group of co-workers to celebrate the passing of April 15th by downing some alcomohol. After a tad too many beers I looked at the clock and realized it was time to get home and get settled in for the Omaha 8 tournament offered by our gracious host ScurvyDog at Sound Of A Suckout. Having placed 5th last week - and on the heels of a great week of winnings at Noble Poker - I had high hopes for this tourney. Unfortunately, my play was poor to quite poor. It was one of those nights when everytime I thought I had a good enough hand to take the pot, the chips would go to someone else...and everytime I got out of a pot, the winning hand was a mediocre hand that I would have beat. Just not my night...so it seemed.
I ended up coming in last place which was a bummer, but the night had much more excitement to follow...almost to that news, but not yet...
After the Omaha 8 tourney I decided to try and earn my buy-in back by playing a heads up tournament for the same amount. So I bought into a $5 Heads Up game. After a very good game by both of us, I ended up winning it when my A 3 held up agains K 5. I had won back what I lost in the previous game (minus the juice) and figured that was enough poker for the night. Not long after wifey and I decided to call it a night.
Here's where things get interesting.
Around 1:45am I turned over in the bed to face my wife and I could tell something was a tad strange. The bed sheets were quite wet and - I having not wet the bed for some time now - figured my wife was having some problems. I woke her up and asked if everything was o.k. She had been fast asleep and not realized what was up...she quickly jumped up to assess the situation.
You see my wife is 9 months pregnant - officially due April 26th - but it seems the baby had plans of making an early entrance. Her water had broken and the fun had begun. We called the doc and ended up at the hospital around 4:00am. After about 10 minutes at the hospital wifey wanted to know where the drugs were. Not long after, with the contractions really kicking in, it was epidural time (I asked the Doc if I could have one...no dice).
From there, things happened fast. It couldn't have been more than 30 minutes from the time she started pushing to the time the baby was out. And oh my, what an incredibly beautiful baby she was. She looks so much like our son did when he was born 4 years ago.
So there you have it...beers beget poker beget sleep beget waterfalls beget hospital beget baby.
Here are the stats...
Name: Lily Marie
Weight: 6lbs 14oz
Height: 20 1/2 inches
I can already tell she's gonna be a Daddy's girl...I love it.
If you're wondering how/why I'm on here blogging right after having a baby...the hospital has wireless connection and right now Mommy and baby are sound asleep in bed. I don't know if I've ever seen a more beautiful site.
We received many a visitor and I want to thank all of them for coming (though only a couple of them occasionally read this site). I especially want to thank Alx who drove more than an hour and a half from Charlotte, only to be able to spend less than 30 minutes with us before he had to get back on the road to drive 2 hours to Raleigh to play in a show. That was strong to quite strong. Thx Alx.
In lieu of a picture of baby Lily, which we are waiting to get emailed to us by family, I wanted to post a random picture of my buddy Alx, my son Jax, and I at a recent baseball game. I figure with all the attention Lily is getting, I gotta make sure I keep Jaxon in the action as well. Excuse my dumbass look (I'm the dude on the right). I was in between a full on smile and closing my mouth and of course my timing was great. And Jax says sorry about the cheeze smile...he always does that.
I can't seem to get the pic to work on this site, but here's the link to my picture page.
So there you have it. A big day for the TripJax family. Thanks for reading and I apologize ahead of time if I have limited posts for a while. I've got an incredibly adorable excuse.
What's Good For The Goose, Is Good For The Gambler
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Don't know what that title has to do with anything, but I thought of it this morning and decided to use it. What a wild ride I've been on lately. If you've read my most recent previous posts you know that I've been on a hot streak. Well, the streak continues. I'm almost afraid to keep playing for fear that I might break it.
Last night was my 5th straight night of winning play. Save for my final SNG last night, I placed 1st in every one I played except for one game that I placed 2nd. In all I think my SNG record over the past 5 nights has been 6 wins, 1 second place, and 1 bubble. The bubble game last night really chaps my hide too cause I was playing well and really thought I was going to place in the money again. I took a tough hit when my pair of 8's in the hole went down to 9's in the hole when there was no card on the board higher than 7. Then, on my final hand, I pushed my remaining stack in the big blind with K 7 of clubs. It was the right move to make cause the blinds were so high I had already invested more than half my stack to that hand. When I got a call and he flipped over Q 7 offsuit I was feeling a little better about my hand, but alas the Q hit on the turn and I was out.
But that's not what pissed me off...bad beats come a dime a dozen. It was the way the player reacted after he took the pot. All of a sudden he became Mr. BadAss telling me he had me pegged all along and he knew he was gonna take me down. He was talking trash to me and the one other guy left in the game like he was deserving of a crown for making it into the money. I usually just move on, but his antics pissed me off...and since I was no longer in the game I didn't have to worry about it affecting my judgement...so I posted a little response back to him. I wrote, "So you don't start talking shite till you suckout on somebody huh?!" His weak response was, "When suckout = chipleader then yes."
Still up for the night from a 1st place on the previous game, I decided to call it a night and not press my luck. I've enjoyed this streak and want to savor it as long as possible. If I only play a few games a night my bankroll will not take any serious swings which is just fine with me. I've more than tripled my original deposit which is a great feeling.
I've been thinking lately about what I can attribute my recent success to and I want to list them out...
- I took time off from the game to get the negative vibe out of my head. That was key.
- While taking my break, I read Brunsons chapter on No Limit Poker again as a refresher course.
- I made a change of scenery by trying out Noble Poker.
- While the table selection is not that great at Noble, the bulk of players are so timid that an aggressive style - much the way I play - is quite conducive.
- Where in my downslide my draws where no hitting, it seems like they are hitting more often now. But amazingly when they don't hit, I still bet at it and time after time people fold.
- I've been playing the Turbo 6 player SNG's where the top 2 win money and - as I mentioned above - I've been playing very aggressive. I bet so often that people finally get pissed and start calling me with weak hands. And eventually I either have a hand or I catch my hand and they call thinking my aggression is a bluff. It's a wild feeling betting when you have absolutely nothing and seeing the pot come your way...then betting the same way when you have a strong hand and seeing people call you down with third button. I love it.
- I've stayed within my limits, never buying into a SNG that was too high a percentage of my bankroll to really hurt me.
- I've caught the right cards at the right time to put me in good condition with enough chips when other players were being blinded off by the Turbo blind schedule.
- I've played without fear of losing, and I've won more for it.
So there you have it...I've been playing well and I think - for the most part - I can attribute my game play to the above reasons. All I know is I've been having a ton of fun winning and - though I know variance will catch up - I hope my trend continues. It only takes reading a post like this, from Jan at 50outs, to remind us all how bad luck and bad decisions can whip you in the ass.
On that note I have one last non poker item and then I'm outtie.
Though I didn't watch the show when it was broadcast earlier this week, I was very happy to see Miss North Carolina take home the crown of Miss USA. She's a Charlotte girl which is only a couple of hours from Greensboro. Charlotte is known as the Queen City and I'm sure she will not have a hard time finding her King. Whenever I see a picture of a hot girl I'm reminded of a poster I saw many years ago that had a smoking hot swimsuit model on it with the caption, "No matter how hot she is, somebody somewhere is tired of her shit." Good stuff. Here's a pic of Miss USA who will represent us all at the Miss Universe soon...
Sweet Valley High I've Done It Again!
Monday, April 11, 2005
If you have someone within grabbing distance, grab'em and kiss'em. If that person is repugnant at least give them a high five (and maybe think twice about who you hang out with). If you're alone, kiss the sky for me please. Why all the good cheer? Well folks, I had back-to-back-to-back winning sessions. That's right, Cry Me A River TripJax hoisted the royal middle finger to the poker demons and pulled off some good damn play.
Again, I have to throw a little thank you out to ScurvyDog over at Sound Of A Suckout for giving me just the right change of scenery I needed at just the right time (see previous post). In brief, I deposited a little bit of cash over at Noble Poker to play in Scurvy's weekly Omaha8 tourney on Fridays. After finishing up in 5th for his tourney I was able to win some dough both Friday night and Saturday. On the heels of those wins I decided to try and keep the streak going by playing some on Sunday.
So, to start the day off I played in a $10,000 freeroll offered by Empire Poker. I had high hopes since 1st place shelled out $2100. Unfortunately time was not my friend as the tourney started at 4pm and I had somewhere to be at 5pm. Before I knew about the tourney, I had offered to help my friend by playing "pit boss" at his weekly cash game while he was away on vacation. I didn't have to do much - change out chips and pick up some food - but it definitely made trying to play well in the freeroll difficult.
My plan was to play the tourney at my house up until around 4:45pm, then click the sit out button and bust ass over to my buddies house. Then I would have my wife disconnect me at my house so I could reconnect at my buddies house. Far fetched as it sounded, I figured it would work. In an effort to either put myself in good position or not have to worry with the rushed commute, I decided to play super aggressive. With it being a freeroll, that's the style of many of the players anyway. So about 15 minutes in I pick up pocket 10's and push figuring I'll get a call with anyone who has an A or a decent hand. I do get the call, unfortunately by a guy with Rockets, but fortunately he had less chips than me. On the next hand - quite short stacked - I pick up 6 7 hearts and decide to push figuring if I get called I've got some decent draws. Unfortunately, I get called by the same guy and he again has Rockets. No help and I'm out...but it cost me zilch to play so it was o.k. Plus I no longer had to worry about rushing to my buddies house to play.
So where does the continued winning session begin you ask? Patience dear readers, I'm now getting to that part. After playing pit boss for a while I did some grocery shopping and then headed home. I decided to fire up the computer and listen to some music while wifey watched the new installment of Law & Order. I just don't have anymore room in my life for another Law & Order (or any other crime drama for that matter). Not long into my music session I decided to give Noble Poker another try. I played another Turbo 6 max NL Hold'em SNG and won the damn thing. On a streak I played another and came in 2nd place. At that point it was getting late and I didn't want to commit to another SNG so I decided to give their cash games a try.
Now before I tell you all the limit I played, I have to give a little background. I don't fancy myself a very good limit player. I have not put in the leg work to know the game inside and out. I've read Abdul, Hank, plenty of online articles, and even a few books by the pros, but I just have not given that game enough of my time to feel comfortable. For the most part, my game has been based around tournaments, so when I've played limit in the past I've had my ass handed to me. All that being said, I decided to check out the Hold'em tables to see what Noble offered. Unfortunately, there wasn't much to work with. Where Party Poker has 50,000+ at any given time, Noble probably didn't have more than 20 tables in all the limit and NL Hold'em games.
Having built my measly bankroll up a good bit over the last 2 days, I wasn't ready to risk a good chunk of it playing a high limit or even a relatively high NL game. So, after searching the tables, I settled in at the - don't laugh - .10/.20 NL table where the max buy-in was $5.00. This felt great cause I could practice my ring game action - albeit not the set limit style - without risking much of my bankroll. So I plopped 5 bones on the felt and gave it a try. I ended up getting down to about $2.00 when I picked up 10's in the hole. There was a guy to my left who was consistantly re-raising my raises, so I felt comfortable about putting out a decent raise with the expectation of being re-raised. As planned I dropped a raise to $.70 and he re-raised me to $1.50. Another guy called his re-raise and I pushed the rest of my little stack to the middle. They both called and the door card was a 10 and I took down the pot. It all happened so fast I don't even know what they had. So just like that I was back up to around $7. I could tell the guy to my left was pissed cause he started raising every pot and showing down shitty hands.
So, when I picked up K 10 in the big blind and he didn't raise it enough to get me out, I made the easy call. The flop came 9 J 3 giving me a few outs to catch a straight. When he dropped what felt like a post-oak bluff, betting the minimum into a pretty decent sized pot, I knew it was time to keep calling and try to break him. And that's exactly what I was able to do when my sweet Q came on the turn. Fortunately this Q filled the guys 2 pair (J's & Q's) and - probably still steaming from my previous win - he pushed his remaining $10 to the middle. With no made flush or full house potential on the board at that point, I smiled as I pushed the All-In button. Nothing came on the river and just like that I had turned my $5 into almost $20.
Not having enough left to throw a big pissed off over sized bet, he pushed what he had left and, when it was folded to me, I called with 6 7 suited. He had played 7 3 offsuit and caught no help so in the end, I took every last chip from that poor guy, save for a few blinds that other players picked up. A few minutes later I lost a couple of duckets and decided it was high time to hit the dusty trail towards zzzzzzville. Know this, however, my head hit the pillow with a huge smile, no doubt.
That's it for me now, but I've got more in me gulliver to think about so I'll probably post again soon. Having more than doubled my Noble bankroll in 3 days, I may have some more play in me early and often this week.
So That's What It's Like To Win
Sunday, April 10, 2005
Well my hiatus from online poker lasted a full 8 days. I had not planned on playing for a while, but after going through my blogroll, I was reminded over at Sound Of A Suckout that he has a weekly Omaha8 tournament on Friday. So, doing my part to support the community, I decided to give it a try. Of course, the first 2 weeks - which I missed - were freerolls and there were a ton of people that played. This week was the first pay game, but I was happy with that as well.
We ended up having 12 players and the only blogger name I recognized was AlCantHang (other than our gracious host ScurvyDog). I had a great time and enjoyed all the chatting. Much like the WPBT events it was a good game with everyone enjoying themselves no matter where they placed. And speaking of placing, what a strange payout this tourney had. Of the 12 players, 10 placed in the money. Of course, it wasn't until probably 5th place before you actually won enough to cover the buy-in. So imagine coming in next to last place and being on the bubble for money. Weird. I can only guess that the payout was set with the expectation of having a similar amount of players from the first 2 events (between 80-100), thus the automatic payout schedule up to 10 players. Guess they didn't have the system automatically adjust for reduced players. Regardless, it wasn't about the money on this event. It was just a good time. I think I came in 5th so I was able to get my money back and set myself up to try and win some prizes at next weeks final tourney of the first leg of games scheduled.
After the tourney was over, I hadn't had my fill of poker so I decided to give a SNG a try. I played a Turbo 6 Max NL Hold'em SNG and ended up winning it. I have to rewrite that sentance again as it has been so long since I could write that. I played a Turbo 6 Max NL Hold'em SNG and ended up winning it. The two things that really put me over the top were just plain sweet.
First, in the big blind I had numerous callers and checked my J 8. The flop came J 8 J and I check called 2 players. The turn was a sweet Ace and I was just hoping someone hit there hand. I check called again and then had a guy big bet me on the river. I pushed for the small amount I had left and he called having less than me. He had A Q and was no where near close to taking that hand down. That put me in the chip lead and I never looked back.
The second was even better. I pick up K K and have one guy in front of me raise all-in and another guy after him raise all-in. I out chipped both of them and made the easy call. The first guy had 10 J suited and the other guy had J J. No help for either of them and I took both of them out. So, with only 6 players at the table I had taken out 3. I took the next guy out about 5 minutes later and found myself heads up with 5550 in chips vs. his 450. After a few unsuccessful attempts to knock him out - and with the blinds very high due to the turbo format - I found myself up against a determined fellow. After about 10 minutes he had brought it back to my 3500 vs. his 2500. I didn't waiver, however, and eventually took him out to win the game. I think it was the first time I had taken every player out. That's a good feeling.
I played another SNG today and took 2nd place for a decent payday. I was close to doubling my bankroll from my initial deposit, but my K 4 suited with a K on the flop was taken down by K 5 offsuit. Still, I've felt much better about my game and even though I only took about 8 days off from playing, I still feel better for it.
Today I have a $10,000 freeroll at Empire Poker starting at 4pm so I hope that works out for me. They actually sent my invitation to the tourney in the mail which was cool. They said it was a tourney restricted only to a certain portion of players, but there is already over 1000 entries. I'm guessing they sent invites to anyone who hasn't played any real money games there in a while. I haven't played there in probably 4 months. Guess we'll see how it goes.
Wish me luck.
Sweatin The Pros
Friday, April 08, 2005
I took a tough beat tonight heads-up. I had my opponent up against the ropes, but ultimately found myself in the losers position. I was the Blue Bomber and my opponent - my 4 year old son - was the Red Rocket. We were playing Rock'em Sock'em and somehow he kept knocking my head up like I was Jerry Cooney and he was Ali. Good to know while I'm taking a break from poker I'm doing well with other games...geez.
Last night I decided to let my DVR do its work and record the WPT Aruba event. I could have probably watched it live, but I like to skip the commercials and I knew my wife probably wasn't in the mood to watch poker last night. So instead I watched some random shows with her and decided to catch up on my blog reading. During my perusal, I read a cool post by Dr. Pauly about Phil Ivey spanking a fish for $22k.
That enticed me to pull up my Full Tilt account and see if there were any pros worth sweating. Immediately I was able to find a table with David Grey, John Juanda, and Hoyt Corkins. John was sitting out so I never got to see him play, but I enjoyed sweating the other 2. Hoyt spanked a dude for $5k when his 10's in the hole became trips helping him take down flopped aces. I just can't imagine losing $5k in one hand. Reminds me of DoubleAs and his recent April Fools post that totally had me. I was just about to blow chunks on his behalf until I read the comment from BadBlood. Speaking of BadBlood, we played at the same table for a while at the last WPBT event and I enjoyed his company. Cool dude. I'm gonna add him to my links list this weekend. I think he had a little fabrication to his April 1st post as well. Good stuff.
Well I've gone astray here so let me get back to my original thought. While sweating Corkins and Grey, Mike Matusow entered the game. This kinda caught me off guard cause I knew he was one of the players on the Aruba WPT event on TV at that exact moment. So he's on one of the best poker shows, on a brand new event being shown on the Travel Channel, and rather than celebrating with friends or taking it all in, he's playing 25/50 NL on Full Tilt. It just seemed pretty lame to me. I never saw any memorable hands from him, and after about 30 minutes, he bid everyone farewell and said he was off to a party. Hope the party was for him...it's not every day your on TV ya know.
One thing I noticed while sweating the pros, the Observers don't let them have a moment to play without asking a question. Every 2 seconds there was another question for Hoyt. Eventually, I think he turned off his Observer chat so he could play in peace. And as for Matusow, that dude was taking hit after hit from the Observers chatting. I can't count how many times someone typed, "I thought you were in jail" or "Didn't you go to jail for doing drugs." Now I'm no Matusow fan, but give the dude a break while he's trying to play some poker for friggin sake.
After getting home today - and on the heels of watching Matusow play on Full Tilt last night - I decided to go ahead and watch the Aruba WPT event. If you haven't seen it and don't want to have info given away, stop reading now. The theme of this show was some serious tough beats. Matusow puts an extreme bad beat on Layne Flack when he pulls a black jack on the river to take a hand where Flack was a huge favorite. This kept Matusow in the game and he made sure everyone knew it. He kept yelling "Vindication!", and basically made an ass of himself. Flack kept his smooth demeanor and really impressed me.
With it down to 3 players Matusow took a bad beat of his own when Erik Brenes - Humberto's brother - caught a 6 on the river to make 2 pair and put Matusow near the felt. He made another big scene saying it was typical for him to get bad beat...guess he quickly forgot that he should have been eliminated earlier save for the bad beat he put on Flack.
But the ultimate beat was what Brenes put on Flack. It wasn't necessarily the worst beat because of the number of outs or the size favorite Flack was, but because of the timing of the beat. This one came on the last hand, where they both had all their money in and the championship would come down to that hand. Flack was able to get Brenes all-in with pocket 9's vs. Brenes' pocket 2's. A 2 came on the turn and just like that, Brenes took 1st place and an extra $500k. You could see the pain in Flack's eyes, but he took it like a man.
I really have learned a good bit about playing with class these last few weeks...or to be exact, after watching TonyG in Paris and Matusow in Aruba, I've learned how not to act. I don't know what makes people act the way they do, but they just come off looking like ultimate asses when they show their ass like that. On the other end of the spectrum, I've always had a lot of respect for Layne Flack's play, and after watching the Aruba event, I respect him even more. He showed that sometimes, even when you are on your best game, the cards don't always go your way. But beyond that, he showed that no matter what, he was not going to sink down to Matusow's level. Don't get me wrong...Flack can act up at the table and be a prankster, but there is a big difference.
It makes me think of a tournament I played in last year. It was a $50 tournament with over 60 entrants. I had played great that day and was chip leader most of the tournament. After taking a runner runner beat from a guy who had no reason to call my all-in, I found myself back to a medium stack when we got down to the final table. With one person left to bubble with no money, I was all in with A Q spades vs. my opponents K 10 spades. When the 10 hit on the river I went ballistic. I stormed out of the building and threw my drink in the parking lot. The guy that beat me was a good player and I actually had gone to high school with him. When I got home I thought back on my behaviour and vowed to never act like that again when being bad beat. It's a part of the game...a big part of the game...and it's just something that I had to deal with. I've decided to try and take the high road when things don't go my way. You can gain so much more respect when you don't act like an ass when things don't go your way. I'm trying to live that way now, after my little outburst.
O.K. one more thing before I go. I tried to reply to Felicia's most recent Poll Fun post, but I've had troubles...so I'm just gonna put my comments here. Thanks for your comments on my previous post Felicia. I agree with your thoughts...good stuff. As for Killer Poker, I'll have to check it out, though it won't be from my FPP's...I wasted those on a WSOP qualifier that didn't pan out. Oh well!
So here are my answers to her poll...
1) Most underrated player? After the last year of watching poker on TV, I'd have to go with Joe Awada. That guy has great instincts and knows his stuff. I enjoyed watching him. Also, though I don't know much about him, it seemed like I saw a lot of Max Pescatori this year and I always liked his play. But that hat has got to go.
2) Most overrated player? Matusow...when you call yourself the best hold'em player in the world, when you clearly are nothing but a whining chump, you lose my respect. I really didn't want to put anyone on this list, but it's easy to add people like him.
3) Play heads up then get a lesson from? Probably sounds crazy, but I'd have to say Raymer at this point. He seems like such a nice guy, but also knows how to hold his own at the table. He's obviously put a lot of time on his game and I think I'd enjoy playing heads up with him. I also think he'd have plenty of good things to teach me after the game. I realize there are so many bigger names that I could pick, but Raymer was the first guy I thought of for some reason.
4) If no hold'em, what would I play? Definitely Omaha 8. I dig that game.
That's it for me...I gotta go to bed.
Having It Better Than You Know
Wednesday, April 06, 2005
Well I just about sharted my pants last night. What a great game that was. Throughout the whole game I maintained a strong belief that UNC was going to pull it out, but damn Illinois made it interesting. By the time the clock struck 00:00 I was shaking cause I was so happy. Pretty crazy when sports can do that to ya...guess boys will be boys.
On the poker front, I've been thinking about something and just want to get it out...
Having It Better Than You Know
This section is about a scenario that comes up quite often in your typical poker game...an all-in bet with a small or medium pocket pair vs. 2 over cards. Now as far as I can tell, a pocket pair - heads up against overs - will always have a statistical advantage, albeit a small one. If the overs are suited the advantage is even smaller, but still there. That small advantage for the pair comes from not having to improve the hand in order to win, whereas the 2 overs will always need help in that scenario.
Now think about the number of times you've been in a similar situation - you having the 2 over cards - and someone says, "oh sorry man, but I folded one of your cards." Suddenly an even % race is not so even. As an example, a decent racing hand like A K or A Q will often see numerous outs folded when players in early position fold marginable hands like Q 6 or K 3.
This change in the typical race situation really hit home recently in some of the WPT events shown on the Travel Channel. Numerous times I recall seeing a situation where a usually even race was suddenly weighted heavily in favor of the pair due to other players unloading overs like J Q K and even A when the kicker sucked.
So why do I bring all this up. Well it seems like way too often I've been putting my game on the line with marginable situations where I will obviously need help. But more importantly my decisions have just been plain bad. No excuses...just not playing smart.
In the end, when you're running bad, that's just it, you're running bad. And when you're running good, your A J will suck out A K to put you in the chip lead. It's just the way it works. I'd just like to be on the sweet end of that deal sometime soon. That's why I'm taking the break for a while. Let all the negative vibe get the hell out of my game and start back fresh.
I want to put myself in situations where I have the statistical edge and then just let the game play out as it may. In reading JackPotJay's new article today, I found a great line from Mike Caro that I had never heard. It was something to the tune of...Poker is not about winning hands or winning money, it is about making the right decisions....Now if you really put that into perspective, if you can put yourself in a position to make the right decision as often as possible, in the long run, you will win the big hands, lose the small ones, and take home the money.
I must now start making the right decisions...stop making the stupid mistakes that don't make sense. Take the extra 5 seconds to make sure what I'm doing is right. I'm still gonna take some time off from poker and keep thinking about situations like these to help my game.
Next up I think I'll discuss my recent problem with overbetting situations where it just doesn't make sense. Damn it feels good to get all this shit out...
Basketball, Baseball, Beer, & Babies
Monday, April 04, 2005
April ushers in some exciting times for yours truly. Tonight, my Tarheels play for the National Championship and the anticipation is killing me...I already have a queezy stomach and the game is still 5 hours away. I really hope Roy and the boys can bring the trophy home on this one. I'm excited to see a match up that I think everyone should enjoy...not too often when #1 can play #2 for the championship. I hope it's close, but I hope UNC takes it. We watched the last game at a local bar where they reserved a couch area in front of a big screen T.V. for us which was nice. More of the same tonight so I'm looking forward to that again. Beer and basketbal go quite well together.
Also this month - to my wifes dismay - is the beginning of the baseball season. To hell with all the steroid coverage that's been going on...just give me some damn baseball to watch. Specifically, I'm looking forward to watching my Cubbies bring a championship home...now that Boston has done it there is only one logical path that can be taken...damn I hope they can do it this year.
Most importantly for April...it's baby time. My wife is due April 26th, though she's already starting to show signs that baby may make her presence known a little early. Her contractions are occurring more and more each day so we are playing it by ear. This will be child #2 for us, but our first girl. I'm pretty excited about the whole Daddy's Girl gig. I am definitely getting a queezy stomach more and more as the due date gets closer.
As for poker content, as I mentioned in my last post, I've decided to take a break for a little while. I don't think my head has been in the game lately and my results show it. I mentioned in my last post that, right after completing the post, I was going to play one last SNG. Now if I had won that SNG - or even placed in it - my outlook might have changed, but I made a typical stupid mistake that justified my need to take a break and get my head straight. With 4 people left I was in 2nd place in chips, but we were all pretty close to even. I have A J offsuit in the big blind and the small blind - who is also the chip leader - raises it up to 400 after the first 2 players fold. So what do I do? I push the rest of my stack in and watch as he calls and flips over A K offsuit. No cards come my way and I'm out.
As I sat there watching the last 3 guys congratulate each other for making it in the money, I could only blame myself for bubbling again without making any cash. In a hot streak, where you can't seem to lose, it might be a good idea to push with A J offsuit and see what happens. However, in my case, I've been making every wrong move possible. In this case, I feel like I made the wrong move again. Why am I putting my game on the line with that hand. I know that I'm one away from placing in the money and I'm in 2nd place. I also know that there is one guy with $1500 less than me who will need to make a move soon. So of course the best thing for me to do is push all-in with a marginable hand against the chip leader. Idiot.
With the middle finger fully lifted towards onling gaming for a while, I hope to play in some live games soon. It's tough right now though cause I don't want to stray too far from home with the baby coming anyday. Some of the games I often play are 30ish minutes away and I'm not sure I want to do that right now. I hope I can find a good game close by that I can play soon cause I'm itchingto play, but just need to get my head straight about the game. I'm a better player than the way I've been playing and I just need to think about my decisions before making an important move. Too often I put my self in a position where I immediately question what I did, but didn't take the time to really put any thought into it in the first place. Why not take the extra 10 seconds and make sure it's the right move? I guess that's what online poker does to your game...it puts you in a mode where you feel like you have to make a decision right away, whether it's the right decision or not. And with the game involving an element of luck, it's all too easy to question yourself when things aren't going your way.
Well, even though I'm not playing as much I still have some poker theory/general questions that I may have to drop on this blog here soon to get them out of my head. With my lack of luck with coin flips these days, I really have been putting a lot of thought into the importance of putting yourself in a position where you usually have the % advantage. I'll be dropping some thoughts here soon...
Defribillate My Game Please
Friday, April 01, 2005
Let's start this post off with some goodness, cause once you hit poker content it goes down hill fast which is, how you say, not so good. I know nobody likes to hear stories of other peoples dreams, so I've got one for ya...
Now if you're like me, when your wife starts out a conversation with, "I woke up this morning crying cause of a bad dream", you get a bad feeling in your stomach right? Historically, nothing good can come out of that sentance. When you hear that, it's probably followed up with something to the tune of "where you died" or "where you were an asshole to me" or the always lovely "where you cheated on me."
So imagine my surprise when the following exchange occurred earlier this evening...
Wife: "I woke up this morning crying cause of a bad dream."
Me: (cringing inside) "Oh Yeah, what happened?"
Wife: "I dreamed I got in a fight with Star Jones and she kicked my ass."
Me: "Wow, that is a bad dream."
Wife: "Yeah it was scary and I was pissed off at her."
O.K. on to some poker material...
Yours truly has hit poker rock bottom. I haven't cashed in any poker games in so long I can't even remember what if feels like. Party Poker...nope...FullTilt...not so much...PokerStars...nary a top 3 in plain view. My game needs some serious shock treatment so break out the defribillator please.
Oh the huge manatees!
Last night, at the WPBT event, it was more of the same. I took a tough hit early on falling to about 700 in chips (from starting stack of 1500), but was able to grind my way back to even within the first hour. From there, I don't think I ever made it above 2100. By the time the blinds were 100/200 I was down to less than 1000 and had to make some moves. I pushed a couple of times with fairly decent hands and was able to nab some blinds to keep me above water. Then my demise came swift and thankfully somewhat painless.
With about 60 players remaining, and in the small blind, I had 9 10 offsuit. It was folded to me and I thought about pushing my remaining 900ish to bully for the blinds, but I instead just called. Bad decision. When the flop came 3 7 3 I decided to push to put pressure on him, but got called. He had 3 7 for the sweet big blind special. Ouch...bad timing to bluff off all my chips, huh?! Resigned to my fate, I wished everyone well and moved on to a PokerStars 9 person Turbo NL SNG. I've been enjoying playing those, though as I mentioned above, I haven't cashed in one yet. I like that 1st place is almost $30 and 1/3 of the players cash. For only $6.00 + $.50 I like my odds. Guess that makes me look like a dumbass since I haven't cashed in one yet.
Moving on...I have a mini theory about my online poker troubles recently...and it strangely comes from my wife who is not the poker expert by any means. She wouldn't know if 2 pair beats a set or what pocket rockets are. Anyway, while I was watching the Poker SuperStars recorded on our DVR tonight she made the comment, "You haven't played any poker lately huh?" I said, "Hello...I sat next to you last night playing poker for 2 hours!" To which she responded, "No, I mean real poker." She of course meant a live game, but it made me stop and think for a minute. Other than the random casino game I played in Indiana recently, I haven't played any good home cash games our tournaments. For a while I was playing a home game at least once a week, and I can't remember the last time I played a regular home game.
So, I think what my game needs is a little break from the online version and a little live poker action with the boys. Then, when I come back for more online action, my brain will be fresh on the task at hand. Plus, I still need to get Poker Tracker and Poker Tracker Guide before I put anymore of my hard earned loot into anymore online sites (yeah I know...I'm wondering why my game is sucking and I don't even have Poker Tracker yet).
To put an end to my online poker play for a while, I think I will play one last SNG at PokerStars. Then I'll set my sites on some live games for a while.
Until my next post, did anyone else see Sklansky get pocket rockets 5 times in one sitting on the most recent Poker Superstars event? That was just sick. 2 of the 5 were on the first 2 hands. I think they had rockets 7 times that night and the Ace was making its presence known all night on the board as well. It was crazy.
In closing, as it relates to poker, March can kiss my ass. I welcome April and all its foolish ways with open arms.