Friday, September 30, 2005
I like-a da free poker. It'da makes-a my insides feel all funny.
I have registered to play in the
Online Poker Blogger Championship!
This event is powered by PokerStars.
Registration code: 8309628
I Suck At The Internet
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
I Suck At The Internet
Very Short Post Today. I'm having no fun right now. Work is kicking my ars and I'm pretty tired of it. I decided last night I'm taking Monday off. It's my 6th wedding anniversary and Wifey and I deserve a day together.
At home I'm still having wireless problems, even after my e-tard moment in the previous post, thus no online and no poker. Whatever I did while I was trying to locate a signal subsequently screwed up my settings once I was able to find the signal. So right now I have a wireless network, but the router and laptop are pissed off at each other and nothing I'm doing to get them to kiss and make up seems to be working. Damnit. Sorry for the short rambling post, but I wanted to let my peeps who look for me online while playing know why I've been absent this week...sorry guys.
And no, I don't mean you suck at the interent, I mean I suck at the internet. For reals.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
I want the last 2 days of my life back. On Sunday, whilst watching the pigskin fly through the air, and keeping up with my Fantasy Football picks online, I lost my wireless internet access. It just went from having my network fine and dandy to all of a sudden having no network available at all. I spent a few hours playing around with wireless router and cable modem to no avail.
Yesterday I asked a buddy of mine to come over and help me out to see if he could figure out the problem. We worked on it after work and still couldn't figure out why the network(s) were lost. Today I told my buddy I was down to calling a poker buddy of mine who works for the Geek Squad. I was hoping I could get him to come by "after work" thus not getting a big honking bill in the mail.
To make a long story short, before calling my Geek Squad buddy, I brought my laptop to work to see if it could pick up any other signals at our office park since I knew some businesses used wireless here. Even if they were secure, I figured they would be in range for my computer to pick them up, thus letting me know that my wireless card still worked. When I couldn't pick anything up I figured it had to be the wireless card and decided to pull it out and see what model it was so I could do some online research.
As I glanced over the computer looking for the portal to the enclosed wireless card I noticed a button that had a wireless icon on it. A button I had never taken the time to notice before. And then it hit me. I must have mistakenly hit this button on Sunday and have been wasting some serious time being a complete and utter e-tard. I clicked on the button and, voila, the light came on and a signal was immediately in range. I felt so, so stupid in that moment.
As I emailed my buddy to tell him about this embarrassing revelation, a poem popped in my head. This is what came out...
There Once Was A Tiny Button
Who Knew That His Worth Was Good
But His User Was Such An E-Tard
He Didn't Push Him Like Button Knew He Should
This Troubled The Button So Badly
For He Knew Within Him Was The Key
But The User Suspected A Virus
So Blind That He Just Couldn't See
Till One Day The User Was Thinking
What A Happy Day For Sure
If A Button Were There For The Pushing
And Could Finally Bring Him A Cure
So The User He Looked Very Closely
At The Laptop Causing The Glitch
And Magically There It Was
The Button Posing As A Switch
So He Pushed The Little Button
Just Like Button Knew That He Should
And A Light Shown Bright As The Sun
Tiny Button Had Done What He Could
by A Total E-Tard
So there you have it. I should be back online tonight and should be able to play a little as well. The weekend is shaping up to be a very busy time for me so I better get my games in now while I can.
Even though I'm pissed I went through all that, there is actually some good that came from it. I thought it might have been a virus that caused the problem so we scanned my computer and actually found 19 infections and other potential risks. So in the end, I actually cleared up some potential problems with my e-tardedness. It still smarts to think I'm a savvy onliner and then do this.
The Chair Witch Project
Monday, September 26, 2005
The Chair Witch Project
It doesn't get much more random than this. Though the picture looks like Attack of The Killer Chairheads, it's actually me balancing a chair in my front yard. Pretty freaky huh?! Though I don't use my super powers often, sometimes - usually after a few beers - I will grab the nearest anything and balance it. I don't remember how this one really started, but as a buddy of mine and I were walking to the car to hit the bars, the next thing I know I'm balancing the chair and he's snapping the picture. Good times were had by all that night and I even had my first tequila shot in years.
As I ponied up to the bar at the first place we went, I noticed a guy that worked for me back when I worked for the Greensboro Bats baseball team. As I approached to say hello he hands me a shot as if it had been waiting for me. There were three of us taking what I figured were vodka shots, but once it was flowing down the old throat I quickly realized I was slap dab in the middle of a tequila shot. I've had some pretty bad experiences with tequila in my day, but I've gotta say that was one of the best shots I've ever had. I didn't even need the lime which was good cause I didn't even see it until after the fact. I can't remember what kind of tequila it was, but I'm sure it set him back a few bucks cause it wasn't like some of the crap I've had in my day.
On to poker...
I got my first payoff this weekend from the Heads-Up Challenge when WillWonka transferred $25 to my Empire account. Thank you Will. I hadn't played at Empire for quite a while so it was a pleasant surprise. Having gotten used to UltimateBets structure and software it was a bit of a shock to go from my typical 6 max SNG's with 1500 in starting chips to only 10 person tables with 800 in starting chips.
On a positive note, I've played 2 SNG's and 1 tournament on Empire and, though the tournament didn't work out, I came in 1st and 2nd on the SNG's and have doubled my balance. The tournament was a low buy-in ultra turbo crapshoot, but I was in that kind of mood Saturday and figured what the hell. I made it about halfway through, but that's it.
On a negative note, my play at UltimateBet has been absolute crap. I've been losing my share of heads-up matches and I'm fully to blame. My play there has been extremely lackluster and I need to take a step back and make some adjustments. I lost some dough there this weekend, but with my Empire winnings the overall bankroll went up. It sure didn't feel like it though.
After losing 4 straight HU matches I decided to switch it up a bit and play another one of those low buy-in ultra turbo crapshoots, but this time at UB. This one was for some decent dough and I was rolling along and doing quite well when I flopped top set and got it all in with 2 other callers. Some Jackhole calls my all-in with a pretty hefty stack and rivers his gutshot to take me out. Even with it being a crapshoot, with the stack he had (just a tad lower than mine) he had no business being in that pot. I take that pot down and I'm chipleader close to the money and ready to gambooool the rest of the way. I know it's a luckfest and I shouldn't even be writing about this, but after some tough games prior, it was just one last blow. I was happy to log off and do something (make that anything) else with my time.
Well that's enough for me for now. I'm looking forward to continuing to work on my game and getting my feet wet at Empire some more. Oh, one final note. I'm having some serious internet/router issues with my home computer and may not be online until I can figure it out. I lost my connection early yesterday and haven't had it since. Thankfully, it happened right after I finished up my last SNG. Hopefully I can figure out what the deal is cause no computer makes TripJax something something. Go crazy? Don't mind if I do...
Strategery & The Art Of Humblocity
Thursday, September 22, 2005
Strategery & The Art Of Humblocity
I'm not quite sure where I'm gonna go with this post, but just bear with me mmmmkay. Last night I ended up winning the Heads-Up Challenge and I'm still pretty much spent from it. Me thinks I'll be taking a few days off from poker to step back and look at my poker game. I became so focused on Heads-Up play that I'm sure the rest of my game has suffered a bit.
I had a great time playing the matches last night and there is no one I would have rather played with than GCox. I enjoyed playing each and every blogger that was in the challenge, but I've been able to spend more time chatting with G over time so it was a very comfortable match. I knew if I smacked him with a one outer it wouldn't be the end of the world, and vice versa.
All the above said, G is and was a very formidable opponent who made me work much harder than I wanted to and really showed he deserved to be in the finals. It was quite a match indeed. I'll attempt to give my thoughts on the match last night to give an idea where I was coming from, but to be honest, G did a much better job of giving a feel for the games with his post here.
The first match was exactly what I wanted. I felt like I controlled the action and things went my way. It turned out to be a pretty easy match and it set the tone for the way I wanted to play. After that first match I was eying the the prize almost immediately. I should know better.
The second match was a wake up call and it reminded me that poker brings up and downs. I don't even remember one single hand from that match, but I do know I lost it and did not feel very good about the way I played. Nuff said.
The third match was similar to the second, but instead of feeling like I played bad, I just felt like the cards were smacking me in the face - the not so good way. If I had 2 pair, G had a better 2 pair. Any card that hit that helped my hand seemed to complete G's str8, flush, or set. It was just a game where you attempt to have control, you force the control, but you lose all control in the end. Pretty frustrating.
The fourth game started rough. I was pretty quickly on the low end of the chipcount and feeling the pressure of $125 slipping further and further from my reach. I even made mention to wifey who was sitting on the couch that it wasn't looking so good. Right about that same time I started to get my game back. What I felt made the difference was I didn't back off on my aggression, even when I was down to less than 700 in chips. I felt that G wanted to play it safe and preserve his chips, thus giving him a chance to win it all. I took advantage of that and pushed my marginal hands with raises and all-ins.
In the end, I was able to get back the advantage in that game and ended up winning it when - with the chip lead - I was able to suck out on G when we shared one card and I hit my lower card on the flop. If I hadn't won that hand it woudln't have ended it for me as I was in the lead, but I knew if I could suck out I'd be back in it. It's the second time I had sucked out on G to win a game in the HU Challenge and I felt bad about it, but felt real good about my chances from then on. That game went almost 225 hands and - when a game like that occurs, putting both players back to even - you have to believe the winner of that game takes the advantage into the next game. That proved true.
By the fifth game I felt the energy I had in the 1st game (or was it the Pale Ale kicking in?). I don't remember much of that game, but I recall being in control pretty much throughout. On the last hand my KK held up to G's flush draw which sealed the deal.
G, you are a great poker player and an even better person. Thanks for all the kudos throughout and for being a graceful opponent. And to all the other bloggers, I really appreciate the time we were able to spend on the felt. You are all a great bunch of guys and I look forward to more challenges. I'll be thinking of some good games we could play.
Now to the title of the post. I've mentioned I would explain my thought process going into this tournament AFTER it was all over - my Strategery, if you will. Well that time is here...
I think you would all say I'm a pretty aggressive poker player. I get my chips in there and play my hands hard and fast. I push my draws and I play most hands like they are the shit. The key to my game is my betting. I put it out there and I force the decision on my opponent. The old saying, "your oppenent cannot fold if you do not bet", is important to me. DoubleAs has written about putting the pressure on your opponent to make the decision. The best way to do that is to put a precise bet out there and make your opponent decide if you are the shit or full of shit. That's why when Double complimented me on my betting style during our HU match I really gained a ton of confidence in my game. Going into our match I was worried about looking like a dumbass with my bets and he gave me the confidence I needed to charge forward. All that in a game that lasted less than 15 hands!
But betting wasn't the whole package for me in this challenge. I tried something in this challenge that I had never really done before. And I really think the only person that caught onto me fully was STeelerJosh. He and possibly G. Those two were my toughest opponents eventhough I won both my first round games against them. Over the long haul they seemed to be extracting the most about my game and using it against me. Actually Jordan did that too, but we didn't get to play much together so it wasn't too bad.
Back to my game. It was pretty simple actually, yet so effective. In the small blind, with a weak hand, I raised almost everytime. More often than not I was able to pick up the blinds and build chips slowly. So if I had J5 or Q3 or 78, etc. I was typically raising those hands up in the small blind. If I received a call I was almost always using a continuation bet to try and show strength. If I again received a call I was pretty much done with the hand and either folded to a bet or was able to muck without showing. You'd be surprised how few times I had to actually show down really horrible hands after strong betting.
I specifically recall STeelerJosh calling me out on one hand where I played it like I had the nuts and ended up having to flip over something like a 6 high. He gave me a wtf? type of reaction and I knew I had to change up my game for the rest of our match. Similarly, I got caught with my pants down last night in a hand and, after some strong to quite strong betting, showed down a 6 high or something like that. I didn't want to abandon my strategy so close to the end so I typed in "had to try it once!" in the chat box and decided to stick to my guns.
In the big blind with shitty cards about 80% of the time I checked it down and played rather cautiously, but I would sometimes throw out a raise just to keep things fresh.
With my Ace hands and monsters I would normally call in the small blind and check in the big blind if they called - in other words I was almost always slowplaying my Ace hands and monsters. Heads-Up I always wanted the chance to play my big hands even if I risked getting outdrawn or sucked out on. Would you rather your monsters see the flop or see them hit the muck when your opponent folds pre-flop? I wanted to invite play with my monsters and force the play with my weak/drawing hands.
Of course, throughout I switched it up here and there in order to not get pegged exactly on my game, and also so I didn't have to showdown shitty hands too often. So there you have it...I bet, bet, bet and conceded when I needed. I basically pulled a Costanza and did the opposite of what I would normally think is right. George may lie a lot, but he was right on that notion.
Ok let's finish this with a little humblocity. That's not really a word, but it just sounded right with the other non-word in the title...so run with it. So I won this thing and now I'm not sure how to act. After flailing my way out of 2nd place in the SNG Challenge I know all too well how to pay up when I lose. However, I don't exactly know how to proceed with winning. I know from chatting with Jordan last night that he plans to pay G his $25 which will clear them up. That leaves the remaining 5 bloggers paying yours truly to officially conclude HUC1.
I'm pretty easy going and don't really care how it is done. If you'd like to pay via a poker site that is cool. I currently play at UltimateBet, Noble, FullTilt, PokerStars, Party, and Empire. If any of those sites allow transfers then that works for me. However, if you'd rather send a check or have another way you'd like to pay just let me know. I'm open to suggestions. I do know UB allows for transfers, but if you aren't a "preferred" member then you have to email support to get it completed. It's how I paid G for the SNG Challenge.
Did I do all that without sounding like a Jackhole?
So there you have it. I want to again thank GCox, Jordan, SteelerJosh, DNasty, Kipper, DoubleAs, WillWonka, and Mourn for being super cool and making this experience a blast. I include Kipper cause he was often there to rail and offer support which was very cool. For a guy who had to get through sudden death just to make it to the finals, I'm extremely happy and grateful.
Lets Get Ready To Rumble
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Monday, September 19, 2005
Oddly enough, Oddjack offered this post today that was specifically about my The Wrath Of Gus Hansen post below. As a result, I've had a surge in clicks to this here blog today taking me into rarified air (for me) of nearly 410 hits as of 9:00pm. If you're new here, Franky Four Fingers and I, TripJax, welcome you. To be honest, I liked my Trip And A Chair post more than the Gus Hansen one so check that out too.
As for Oddjack, I was suprised to see the post as I had no idea he (or whoever the powers that be) were reading my blog. I believe, from my readings across the poker blog land, there is a love hate relationship with Oddjack. I for one don't have much to say since I catch Oddjack here and there and don't get to every post written. In fact, I had him on bloglines for a while, but took him off after I couldn't keep up with the number of entries per day. Still, I catch him when I can or when someone starts a flame of some sort or another. I often get a chuckle from his posts, but sometimes they're just way over my head.
On to other items...
If you've been keeping up with the Heads-Up Challenge, then you may be interested to know the finals have been set and we're (GCox and I) ready to play Wednesday over at UltimateBet. Winner takes down $125 and 2nd place brings home $25. I'm excited and like my chances, but poker is poker and absolutely anything can and will happen. I may have to combat GCox's own suckout strategy with a little sucking out of my own. I expect the hammer to be dropped on numerous occasions and, like GCox, I've shown a willingness to risk all for hammer pride. Both of us have lost a game during this Heads-Up wielding the hammer. I may have to also include in my suckout strategy the Hammers new found friend, the Hansen. 2 3 offsoot has a new power I may not be able to resist. We'll see.
Iggy came by this ole blog the other day to give his stamp of approval for my new header dubbing it "OFFICIALLY the freaking coolest header image of all the poker blogs." Thanks Iggy. It fits all too well with my TripJax playing name eh?! I came up with the idea for extracting that image from the movie, but I couldn't have done it without my web wizard buddy Alx. Thanks Alx, you rock. And as for Iggy, ever since I gave up this template I figured he had disowned me, but I'm glad he approves.
Speaking of Iggy, I won't be able to make the upcoming WPBT - the first I will miss since becoming a blogger last year - and I'm pretty bummed about it. Right now is not a good time for yours truly to be depositing to any site so I'll just have to read about it later. For details check out Iggy's site. Oh, and Happy Birthday Pauly. You've always been good to me during the WPBT events so I hate to miss this one, but I'll catch up with you on the next one...
Finally, allow me to end this entry with a bit of randomness. The TripJax fam, Alx, and another buddy of mine MTW, all went to a lakehouse this past weekend for some fun, sun, and mucho breers. MTW had skipped a funeral in order to come out with us and subsequently offered up the comment of the weekend for us. As Alx, MTW and I lazily chilled on rafts in the middle of the lake, a waverunner came flying by causing some pretty large waves to come our way. Midway through the waves MTW uttered, "Looks like I made it to the wake after all." Classic.
The Wrath Of Gus Hansen
Sunday, September 18, 2005
The Wrath Of Gus Hansen
I've got this poker buddy who went to Vegas during the 2005 WSoP with aspirations of playing in one of the prestigious events. He took $1500 with him, thus could have easily bought in directly to one of the events. Instead he decided to play some of the NL tables and try and build up his roll enough to enter into more than 1 event.
After some up and down play he found himself with about $2000 at, I believe, a 5/10 NL table. A few orbits in, Gus Hansen walks in the room and sits down a couple of seats to his left. After a while of playing, Buddy looks down at AA and raises it up about 3 or 4 times the big blind. When it got around to Gus, he re-raised it to around $200. Buddy re-raised to $500 and Gus immediately went all-in. Buddy called and Gus offered up a smirk on his face as he flipped over his whopping 2 3 offsuit. Before the flop came down Gus said something like, "I figured the only way you could call me was if you had Aces, but I didn't think you had Aces."
The flop was an unbelievable 2 3 3, giving Gus an immediate Full House, and slapping Buddy square in the face. Neither the turn or river brought an Ace and just like that buddy was out of chips. Now you would think this is where the story ends, but instead there's more. Instead of standing up from the table and making his way to the exit, buddy looks at Gus and says, "Man that was a rough beat and I was gonna use that money for a WSoP event...why don't you give me my money back." At first Gus just gave his sorry dude look and then kept stacking up his chips. But buddy was pretty persistent and kept on with his "Can I get my money back?" routine. After about a minute Gus told Buddy he'd give him enough to buy back into the table, but that was it.
Thankful for a second chance, Buddy took the chips and continued playing as best he could in hopes to get back enough money to buy into an event. Unfortunately for him, the wrath of Gus struck again after a while and he found himself down to the felt again. This time, however, he had no one to help him with a rebuy. I don't know how his final hand with Gus went down, but obviously Gus had his way with him and took every last one of his dimes - of which most were Gus' dimes anyway.
Buddy came home not longer after never getting the chance to play in a 2005 WSoP event. He did, however, have a great story to tell, thus giving me a great story to tell.
Trip And A Chair
Friday, September 16, 2005
Trip And A Chair
This is about poker, but some set up is in order. As a young TripJax I was pretty heavy into sports, but my only team sport was little league baseball. In my first year playing our team was pretty talented...for a bunch of kids. However, we started the season abysmal. We couldn't win a game if summer school vacation depended on it. As I mentioned, we were a pretty talented team, but at the core our biggest problem was pitching. We sucked. I was an infielder, outfielder and catcher, but at one point we even tried letting me pitch eventhough I had never pitched a game in my life. It's one thing to pretend you're Nolan Ryan in your backyard while throwing the ball up against a fence. It's another to be asked to pitch in front of a crowd. I was horrible. The game I pitched I think they stopped the game early. It was that bad.
After losing for the umpteenth time in a row, and having still not won a game, we got to the point where we needed to win every single remaining game if we wanted to even remotely have a chance at the playoffs. And then it happened. During one of our practices the coaches started "trying out" every single kid on the team to see if they could pitch. There was this one kid - the smallest kid on the team - who had been playing second base the whole season. When it came time for him to step up to the mound, no one even gave him a second look. That is until he threw the first pitch. It was like a freaking bullet coming out of his hands. I'll cut to the chase to keep this from becoming a book. Rallying around him, and with a few other kids stepping up to become pretty good pitchers, we won every single remaining regular season game and ended up making it to the playoffs. In fact, we made it to the final game for our region, but lost in the finals. It was my childhood chip and a chair story that came oh so close.
Fast forward to last night...
I'm over at a buddies house for a little home game hold'em action. We were supposed to be around 7 or 8 strong, but after some no shows, we ended up only having 5 for the first game. 2nd place got there money back and 1st took home the rest. After some decent play and a little luck I ended up coming in 2nd and got my money back.
The second game I was free rolling as one of the guys owed me a buy-in from the last time we played. And this is the game where things got interesting for me. We decided to switch it up a bit and played Omaha (High). It was getting late and typically our Omaha games go pretty fast as pots build quick and people tend to see hands down to the end. After losing a couple people it got down to 3 of us remaining. Someone was going to bubble. We were all relatively even in chips when I got into a big hand with one of the other guys. His hand prevailed and when the chips were counted out I had one white chip left. At a whopping 25 it was the lowest denomination chip available (we started with 3000 in chips with values of...whites 25, reds 100, greens 500).
At this point the blinds were 200-400 and with 15000 chips in play my single 25 chip was a joke. I was ready to head home anyway so it was no big deal. I could see the happiness on the 2 remaining guys faces as they new they were gonna be in the money with a chance for 1st place cash. Then it happened. I won my first all-in and doubled up to 50. Woot! Still I was no where near even the small blind. Then I won another all-in and tripled up to 150. And it seemed to work out that every time I was the dealer, my hand was quite mediocre and I could fold without having to relinquesh any chips. But when it came time to put any money into the pot, I was tossing my chips in ready to gamble. Eventually I had more than the big blind even though it had moved up to 300-600 and 400-800. I ended up winning 7 straight all-ins and amazingly became the chip leader. Our gracious host, who became the not-so-proud owner of the shortstack while I made my run, was speechless as this whole scenario transpired.
On the hand that ended up deciding the bubble boy, I had raised pretty big with AcKcKs7s trying to isolate the small stack with a great chance to take him out. After the blinds he only had 250 left in chips so I figured this would do it for me. Instead of getting out of the way, the chipleader at that point went over the top all-in on me. At that time I wish shortstack would have called as I would have called and if we both got knocked out, I would at least get 2nd place money since I had more chips. Instead, figuring I would make the all-in call since a lot of my chips went into the middle, he folded with his remaining 250 in chips. After some thought about what might happen, I decided to make the call. Get busy living or get busy dying. My hand was pretty damn solid against the chipleaders and I ended up taking down the hand. On the very next hand the small stack went out after not being able to meet the small blind and not improving with his all in hand. It was a pretty strange moment because I had truly taken a chip and a chair and turned it into at a minimum a 2nd place win.
Our gracious host was still speechless for the next 15 minutes as the other guy and I played out the game. He just kept nodding his head and occasionally mumbled something about I can't believe that just happened. In the end, I lost the final hand when I was leading preflop, behind on the flop, leading on turn and lost on the river. Don't you just love those? Now this was clearly not for huge money and was just a few guys sitting around a table having some fun with poker, but it was pretty amazing to be a part of a true chip and a chair story like that. I only wish that last hand could have gone my way so I could say I ended up winning the damn thing.
Well, I had planned on writing up my Gus Hansen story as mentioned in the previous post, but this came up so I had to write about it. Sorry it was so long and the set up was a bit excessive, but hey, like I always say, it's my blog...
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
A bit of randomness on this hump day, howz about it?
I had a capital chance to play some poker last night and just didn't do it. Wifey passed out on the couch around 8:30, the victim of a pretty bad cold, and boy was out by 9:30 after having a long day. So I sat on the couch pondering what to do next, and for some reason just sitting on the couch seemed like the thing to do. In other words, do absolutely nothing. So I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it would be. I did watch the WSoP coverage on ESPN, but passed out about halfway through the last one. Thank goodness for my handy dandy DVR (think Tivo, but not Tivo). I should be able to get caught up tonight.
I'm hoping tonight GCox and Mourn will play their 2nd round Heads-Up match so we can get a better idea of who will be in the finals. If GCox wins, he will be in the finals. If Mourn wins, then there are still some scenarios to work out in order to decide who prevails. We'll see how it goes. It's been a nice couple of days not worrying with it and knowing, at the minimum, there'll be a $25 payoff to whoever comes in 2nd for the finals. Of course, I'll be eying the $150 for 1st place. Oooh baby.
A few posts earlier I mentioned there'd be no poker deposits for me due to funds going towards a new washer after our 15 year old machine hoisted the middle finger in my general direction. Well there's a happy ending to this story, though it still doesn't involve me depositing dough into a poker account. Instead, while I was giving a buddy of mine my tale of woe, he mentioned that a mutual friend had a washer and dryer he was looking to unload. Apparently he bought a sweet W & D and then a month later ended up moving in with his girlfriend who had also just bought a new W & D. He had only used the machine for one week before having to store it away. I know, I know, it sounds like the old "Granny only drove the car to the grocery store and back" gig, but I had to check it out.
So instead of going to The Home Depot and spending $350+ on a washer, I ended up at my buddies house this past Sunday. He had already told me over the phone he would take $400 for both or we could talk about an amount if I only wanted the washer. As far as he knew, I was only looking to buy the washer. What he didn't know was my dryer is also old and headed towards whereever dryers go when they die. On the way to his house I was thinking of all the ways I would get him down to $300 or $350. But when I got there, I couldn't believe it. He wasn't kidding when he said he only used them a couple times. They were absolutely brand spanking new. If I were to go to Home Depot right now I'd pay nearly a $1000 for the set. So instead of trying to lowball him, I signed the check as fast as I could and got the hell outta there. And get this...before I left he said, "If there's ever any problems man, just let me know and I'll take'em back and give you your money back." So the good is, I have a brand new W & D for only $400. The bad news is I'm less $400. No matter how good a deal it is, it always smarts to part with cold hard cash.
I wanted to keep this post going cause it really is lacking in poker content, but I'll save it for the next post cause I've got some work to do. I have a great story involving a buddy of mine and Gus Hansen that I've been meaning to post so look for it on the next post.
Monday, September 12, 2005
Last night I was able to punch my online ticket into the Heads-Up Challenge finals. It felt good to control my destiny, but I also felt bad about nearly ending STeelerJosh's chances. All 3 remaining challengers are still in it, so it should be interesting to see how things play out. As for our match last night, In the end the cards just didn't go his way, a theme he mentioned was par for the course this weekend.
It was a pretty mellow match, but there were a couple of highlights. I got the hammer 4 times and I think I took the pot down 3 times. The one I didn't win I had raised it and he called which I knew was probably bad. When big cards hit the board I gave it one more chance hoping to make him think I was holding big, but when he called my bet I was done. I still showed the hammer to keep it legit. The other 3 times I bet and he folded giving me the small pots.
On one hand I had 2 5 offsuit and when he raised my big blind I re-raised him hoping he was just on a blind steal. No such luck and in the end I had hoped to just be able to muck my cards, but the river was checked down and he was able to see my monster 5 high hole cards. Ugly.
I got Aces once and took a small pot, then got Q's and lost a huge pot when most of our chips went to the middle pre-flop and an Ace hit the flop with Josh holding A-10. I think he figured I had him beat cause he typed gg, but the Ace ended up being his big card. That put me down to about 700 and I got down to 500, but ended up taking a big pot when he held 6's and I hit an Ace on the flop. With only 500 left, I was playing my top pair to the end and it worked out. I know Josh played it strong because ofther than the Ace, all the other cards were smaller than his 6's and I either checked or called pre-flop so he may not have put me on the Ace at that point. That was a big hand towards my comeback.
The main reason I won this match, however, was my drawing hands filling, but not in the normal fashion. Numerous times I'd be 4 to the flush needing one more of the suit to help me, but instead the turn or river would bring my top card. I can think of at least 2 decent pots that I took down after I missed my flush, but filled my big boy. It was a good match and I'm glad I took it down.
When I started the 2nd round I knew I had to control my own destiny because any ties would revert back to our round 1 records. Having to squek into the 2nd round I knew my round 1 record would not hold up in a tie situation. I'm glad I don't have to worry about that now.
If I understand the situation correctly GCox needs to win his match and have SteelerJosh beat Mourn in order to make it to the finals. Mourn needs to win both his matches against GCox and SteelerJosh to proceed. And SteelerJosh needs to beat Mourn and then have Mourn beat GCox in order to eliminate Mourn and have a sudden death match against GCox. Confused yet? I think that is right, but if you have a different scenario let me know. Either way, I look forward to railing the remaining games to see who I'll be playing.
If you didn't read the previous post, check it out. It's about my new header. Giddy up!
Franky Four Fingers Rocks
Sunday, September 11, 2005
Franky Four Fingers Rocks
I've gone and done it again. You'd think I could just be content with what I've got, but instead I've done it again. What you ask? Well, if you come here often, you might notice a new header for ye ole blog. I know I've only had this new template for a few months - including the previous header - but I couldn't pass up the chance to have a cool ass pic with three jacks in it. When I first started this blog I scoured the internet looking for cool pics that might go well with either the title of the blog, Poker In Arrears, or my online screenname, TripJax. No such luck. Then the other night, I was watching one of my favorite movies of all time and noticed something I hadn't noticed before. Granted, I hadn't watched the movie since starting this blog, but still I was quite excited to see the image I was able to grab from the movie and put into the header.
Anyone care to guess what movie the above picture is from? Comment yo's.
Friday, September 09, 2005
Two nights ago we started the 2nd Round of the Heads-Up Challenge. I ended up winning my first match against GCox after the turn brought him top 2 pair, but it also brought my baby flush. That pretty much sealed the deal and I was happy to start with a win since I only play 3 matches this round. Last night I ended up playing the 2nd of my 3 matches versus Mourn and ended up taking that one down as well. My game felt real strong in that match and I ended up getting Aces in a span of 2 minutes which helped. Though he folded to my Aces in the big blind the first time I was blessed with them, he ended up playing his hand strong the second time and my hand held up. I'm hoping I can finish up my last game tonight versus STeelerJosh. He's been running hot in the heads-up matches so it should be tough. I think he also has a line on my game that I may have to watch out for. Last time we played he said he liked something about my game and would probably use it at some point. Not sure what it is, or if he even remembers that, but after the challenge is over I'll be picking his brain fo sho.
Since that first game with G, I've been running hot. I've won 7 straight heads-up matches and helped my tiny roll climb the ladder to a more comfortable level. Since I won't be able to deposit for a while (see post below) I'm just gonna have to try and grow the little roll into one that can move around (read: bonus whore) at PSO. I've felt like my game is running strong as of late and it has shown at the tables. I've been using a certain heads-up strategy that I've not read about before, but I'm not prepared to let the eggs out of the basket just yet. It's nothing extraordinary and in fact, it's pretty yawn, but it's been working for me and I'm gonna stick to it for a while. Maybe I'll write about it after the challenge is up. It's one of those once you are pegged on it, you gotta totally switch up your game, at least for a while. But as long as I'm playing new yo-yo's every night who insist on donking their money to me, then so be it.
Last night I played a guy who started whining and cursing at me. He would chat things like "You are so f u c k i n g lucky" or "You catch top pair every f u c k i n g time." I immediately went into my "Great, another poker pro" routine and then asked him how he was gonna try and talk shit about someone after 20 hands of play. He went into a donkish tirade so I just went into ignore mode. STeelerJosh dropped by to wish me luck during the match and I'm sure that just ticked the dude off more. I was so happy when Josh did that. I was in control when Josh dropped by and not long after I spanked the dude to send him packing. Thanks for railing Josh - even if it was just for a moment.
The funny thing about this farquad was he was putting it on himself. For example, with a flop of 5 8 10 he bet the minimum, about 60, into a 320 pot, holding K 8. With my A J suited I call with a plan to bet or re-raise strong no matter what hits. When an Ace hits on the turn he bets the minimum again. I raise him and he calls. An uneventful card hits on the river and he bets the minum again into a huge pot. When I raise and he calls he shows his pair of 8's and then goes into a "you're so lucky" rant again. Am I wrong, or is this guy the CEO of Donks Inc.? Play horribly and then talk shit about the guy who then owns your chips...
Well, that's about it for me. This was a pretty pointless post, but what are you gonna do about it??!! Wait, don't go...come back...I'll be better, I promise. We can work this out...
Washer? I Hardly Know'er
Thursday, September 08, 2005
Washer? I Hardly Know'er
Oy Vey am I one busy mofo these days. Though I've wanted to post quite a bit recently, I just haven't had the time. After I got back from vacation I was too busy to put much time into writing. And now this week I'm covering for the person who covered for me. Payback is a B to the iatch.
So here I am writing at night when I should probably be putting some time into the onrine game of polka. I'll be there soon enough. I had a good computerless night last night and basically read books to boy until he passed out. That's one of my favorite things in life to do. He passed out mid Three Little Pigs. And I kept reading till the end as if I didn't know how it would end. On to poker.
I'm still analyzing my game and have decided to put the bulk of my efforts into 3 areas. You may be surprised to find that SNG's are not a part of the mix, for now. I'm not gonna go into detail for each right now, but I will do so in a post in the near future. So what's the deal? Check it.
1. Heads-Up Matches (see previous post).
2. At least one Multi Table Tournament a week (Noble has juicy ones nightly).
3. PSO bonus clearing at numerous sites via whatever limit is best/easiest.
Oh if it weren't for the kicker, however. The bad news for me is ye old washer decided to decease on me this past weekend. So, I'll be out around $300-$400 replacing that bad boy. Add to that our current paycheck-to-paycheck status and it's hard to put any money towards anything non-family related. Damn bonus season - not poker, but work - you can't get here soon enough. As for the washer, there's a pretty good deal at Home Depot right now so I might find myself shelling out some dough this Friday. I'm hoping to limp in, but somehow I get the feeling they will raise with delivery charges, taxes and all that other jazz. "No sir, I would not like the 2 year extended warranty for $99 you stinkfist." I hate buying shit.
Well, I'm all out of stuff for now, but I think I will end this one with a few pics from our vacation...to see the slideshow with about 20 pics just click on the picture of Lily below. Thanks for shopping at TripJax and come again. Time to go play GCox in the Heads-Up Challenge.
Heads-Up - Can Ya Dig It?
Friday, September 02, 2005
Heads-Up - Can Ya Dig It?
In evaluating where I want to go with my game while attempting to capitalize on my perceived strengths, I decided to delve a bit deeper into the heads-up matches. I want to see if they are a good bet for me. Heads-up works well for me for a couple of reasons. 1) They're relatively quick. 2) I have only one person to beat. 3) And so many Donks play the low buy-in levels. On the downside, you have to be pretty good at them since you are basically risking dollar for dollar plus giving up a rake. In the end, if you aren't taking down 6 or more out of every 10 matches, you are looking at a potentially lame investment in money and time (further reviewed below).
To that end, I ran some numbers (see below) for a personal Heads-Up Challenge of 100 $10 + $.50 matches I plan to embark on soon. If all goes well I may add the challenge to my regular monthly routine. I know SteelerJosh is in the midst of his own 50 match challenge so hopefully this can help him or anyone else reading this who might be interested.
I noted an hourly return rate in hopes to figure out where I need to be to make this worth it. If I'm a break even player I will lose due to the rake. If I can average 6 wins out of every 10 I play (thus around 60 out of 100), I'll be a net winner, but I'll be working my tail off for approximately $150 a month at less than a $5/hr rate. What's minimum wage these days? Now don't get me wrong, if I can just be an above average player and win 60 out of 100 per month on a regular basis, I'll have an $1800 profit after 1 year. But that's a whole lot of work for less than $5 an hour.
Where I would rather be is in the 65 and 70 wins per 100 range in order to creep closer to $10 an hour. This is where I need your help. Am I smoking crack in thinking I can do this? Is variance too much of a whipping boy to expect to average 60 to 70 wins per 100 matches a month on a regular basis? Will 100 matches a month be too much? I'd like to hear your thoughts on all this.
And if you're wondering how I came up with the hourly rate, I went back and looked at all the heads-up matches I've played at UltimateBet - where I plan to do this - and seemed to average 20 minutes per match. There was the occasional 10 hand match lasting just a few minutes, but there were also the 250 hand battles that lasted 40+ minutes.
Your thoughts or further questions would be greatly appreciated. And sorry about the small wacked out font. I'm having issues with Blogger this morning...
Mark Cole, Mike Gracz and PokerTek
Thursday, September 01, 2005
Mark Cole, Mike Gracz and PokerTek
What do they all have in common you ask? O.K. you could probably care less, but humor me and ask damnit! There, that's better...
They're all poker related and from North Carolina.
I first came across Cole, a Greensboro resident, while searching for N.C. based poker players in the 2005 WSoP Main Event. Of course I was reading the best damn WSOP coverage online. I was intrigued as it seemed like he had played some recent tournaments, but I couldn't find a lot of info on him. Not being able to find any pics of him online, I started the guessing game on what he was like. Was he a 25 year old phenom, a 40 year old rock hard player who was making a name for himself, or maybe even a retiree finally living the dream? In my mind I settled on the 40 year old rock and envisioned a Phil Gordon type. I left it at that.
That is until I watched the WSoP Circuit Event at Harrah's in New Orleans a few weeks ago where he placed a very impressive 5th and earned $147,630. Then I got to see all about him. Damn was I wrong, but in a very good way. Here's an extremely humble guy who did not begin playing poker for selfish reasons, but rather began playing the larger tougnaments so his daughter, who was very ill, could get one of her small wishes to come true - to see her Dad playing poker on T.V.
In fact his daughter died of - if I recall correctly - a brain tumor before she was ever able to see him reach THEIR goal. He, however, continued his journey to a televised final event in her honor. I don't know about you, but that one sort of struck home for me. What an incredible story and I only wish it could have ended in a more positive way with his daughter recovering or, at the least, getting to see their wishes come true together. When there's nothing you can do about a severe disease, sometimes the little things become that much more important. It might seem petty, but I can tell that meant a lot to both of them and I was really touched. Kudos to you Mr. Cole.
Oh, and did I mention he followed up that Circuit Event by placing 106th out of 5,619 entrants in the 2005 WSoP Main Event for a cash of $65,360. Kudos to you Mr. Cole. You've got a fan in Greensboro and I hope to someday meet you and shake your hand.
Mike, a Raleigh man, is fresh off some of the most impressive poker playing I've ever seen. Though he has gotten lucky on some hands along the way (who doesn't when they win a tournament?), he's also made some incredible calls and played some phenomenal poker as well. You may remember Gracz as the winner of the 2005 PartyPoker Million IV World Poker Tour Event. Add to that a Trump Classic title in 2004 and the 2005 WSoP Re-Buy Event #7 and you can color me highly impressed. Gracz, you've got a Triad fan and I also hope to someday meet you and shake your hand. And for a much better write up than this, read Pauly's write up of that Event #7.
If you're like me and often read one of the newer bloggers on the scene then you've probably already heard of this North Carolina company and the article causing some hype. Imagine:
...a new poker table that could revolutionize the casino game. Their technology is called PokerPro and is designed to remove the possibility of human error from the game. The tables would have monitors on them for each player that accept the deal of the cards, rather than a human dealer who would be responsible for the shuffle and deal. The purpose of the technology is to speed up the casino game. With the computer systems, there could be more hands dealt per hour (as is the case online) as there would not be a wait for a mechanical shuffler or the dealer themselves to shuffle the deck. There wouldn't be the problems of a misdeal or of the dealer accidentally "flashing" cards during play because it would be done through the monitors. There wouldn't be a disagreement over the rake being taken by the house, as the computer would be programmed to remove the proper amount (never too much and never too little). There would also be no argument over who won the hand, as the determination of the computer would dictate which hand was the best...
Your thoughts? For me, I see the positives and the negatives. On the negative side, I hate to see anything that will eliminate jobs for people (technology has a habit of doing that). In addition, just because there will supposedly be no human error, who among us can say they've never had computer problems? Do you think those tables will always work accordingly? What happens when a table short circuits or just simply goes down? They better have back-up servers in order to know who had what. I'm sure they've worked all that jazz out though.
On the positive side, well, just re-read the excerpt from the article above. I mean that could be pretty damn cool. Especially for states like North Carolina, where there is no poker, but the chances might be better at Indian Reservation Casinos with this new technology in place.
Last year I remember telling a couple of my buddies that it would be cool to have a computerized home game table in order to eliminate the need for lugging chips around and to speed the games up. I'm not talking about the hand held crap that you play on the T.V., but a real table that players sit around, just like a regular game. Think about it...have you ever had this scenario happen at your home game?
JokerManFriend (Drunk): "Hey how often did we say we would raise the blinds man?"
JokerManFriend2 (Drunk & Possibly High): "I think it was every 15 minutes dude."
JokerManFriend: "Damn man we've been on Round 1 for 55 minutes."
JokerManFriend3: "Hey man we gonna play another one after this?"
Me: "Not at this rate you shitsticks."
If PokerTek does well, I hope they take a direction to cover the home games as well with a smaller, more portable version of the PokerPro. If anyone from the company reads this, I've got some ideas if you wanna talk. Giddy Up.
Well, that's it for me. I just remembered I was supposed to play a Heads-Up match with DNasty tonight and got caught up with this post. I'm gonna go now to see if I can catch up with him.
North Carolina Come On And Raise Up!