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A Noble Spirit Embiggens The Smallest Man

A Noble Spirit Embiggens The Smallest Man

As it stands, my current Noble Poker bankroll is smaller than Mini-Me's schlong. I can't buy a glow in the dark condom from a dirty gas station bathroom, much less the cheapest Noble non freeroll event - a $.50+$.20 Under $1 Special they offer on occasion. Thankfully, this is not from donk play, but rather a recent cash out. I dwell on this as, for the longest time, I've been killing it there and basically playing with my profits from other peoples donk play.

I want to reload at Noble, but I also want to try and focus on playing some new sites through PokerSourceOnline. Having already received my free 500 piece 11.5g Dice Poker Chip Set (4th one down from the link) through them, I've got my eyes set on this Apple IPod Mini 4.0GB Digital Audio Player (4th one down from the link also). It'll take some time and completion of 3 or 4 site bonuses, but I should be able to handle it. It's not the huge 40GB, but I don't really need one that big. 1000 songs should work just fine for me. Where I'm strapped is with the seed money to get started again. This is not to say I don't have the funds to restart the bankroll, but I certainly don't have enough to play as much as I would like. So what I've got to do is grind it out just like I've always done, until I can transfer some dough between sites. I look forward to the challenge.

In the meantime, I'm still evaluating my master plan and making decisions on which sites and what games at those sites are best for my continued growth. I'm also planning to further pick the brains of fellow bloggers to find out what works for them and what games they are playing with success. As I mentioned in my previous post, I'll be posting soon in more detail the games I decide to focus on going forward.

And for the record, if you don't know about PokerSourceOnline, step out of your cave and go check it out...and *cough* bonus code TripJax or GCox25 or HighOnPoker.

posted by TripJax @ 7:24 PM, ,

Working On Poker

Working On Poker

On the heels of a poker session gone horribly wrong, I've decided to evaluate a few random poker related items to set my mind at ease. I deleted the previous post regarding the session, but I'll give the very short and unsweet details now to get it out of the way. I went out with a buddy last night and got pretty ripped. Beers, Southern Comfort and Jagerbombs will do that to you. Getting home around 2:00am I decided it would be a smart idea to play a little poker (e-tard moment #1). I wasn't tired and was still poker giddy after not playing for a week straight so I figured what could go wrong?! Erm, yeah way to be a genius there Jason.

For some reason the Heads-Up games - what I was wanting to play at the time - were not working. So instead I decided to play some NL ring games, not something I play often. Using the mini view I was able to fire up 3 tables at once (e-tard moment #2). And without skipping a beat I put 80% of my bankroll layered over the tables (e-tard moment #3). I won't bore you any further with all the fun I had, but with a mixture of bad plays, bad beats and tiltish moments, I lost every red cent of the money I put on the tables. My only saving grace is my bankroll was very small after cashing out a couple of weeks ago for vacation - leaving only a small amount to play in the Heads-Up Challenge. So I was playing with profits and it was a small amount so I'm not concerned about the money lost - just unhappy with my actions.

So, first I've made a pretty easy,obvious decision. No poker AFTER a night of drinking. I have no problem with having a few beers while playing. Usually I will relax into my game with a few beers while playing all comfy like on the couch. That's a great feeling. But getting tore up from the floor up, then logging on to play poker is just plain stupid. Never again.

Next, I have to evaluate my bankroll management. I basically have none. I'm usually very tight with my bankroll and don't have a problem with ending a session when I know it's not my night. But I want to have a plan in place going forward. I've read a few posts from other bloggers about bankroll management, but never really put what I've learned into place. Now is the time.

Taking a page from my day job, I'm going to incorporate a little investment strategy into my poker strategy. Enter the old Stop Loss. For those who don't know what a stop loss is, well it is exactly what it sounds like. It's a specified price below the current market price that you will sell a stock should it reach that point. For instance, you bought WPTE (World Poker Tour Enterprises) at $5 and it is currently at $12.23. Your happy with your current gain, but after reading some potentially negative articles online, you decide it might be a good idea to guarantee a profit without actually getting out of the stock right away. So, you enter an order to sell the stock if it drops down to $10. If it keeps going up and never drops down to $10...gravy...but if it tanks, you've got an automatic order in to sell your stock at the market when it hits $10. Your bummed it went down and you missed out on the chance to sell it at $12, but your happy you doubled your money. Life is good.

So now I've got to incorporate that into my poker play, with a few slight adjustments to make it work. Instead of an actual dollar amount, I'm just gonna go with a percentage of the roll. For instance, I recall reading on
DoubleAs blog that he sets his stop loss at 2.5% of his roll. I'd like to hear from any and everyone reading this to see if you have a similar plan. Or if you know of any other blog posts or links on the subject I'd appreciate it if you would leave me a comment. As for me, once I deposit and get my roll going again, I will have my stop loss plan in order so I never risk more than I need to in one session and/or night. Gotta start somewhere...

Next up I want to evaluate the games I'm playing and find the right mix to get me in the right direction to growing my roll to where I want it to be.

Thanks for reading and may the felt be with you.

posted by TripJax @ 1:45 AM, ,

Insert Finger Into Mouth, Gag, Repeat.

Insert Finger Into Mouth, Gag, Repeat.

I deleted this post. It was alcohol fueled and basically tripe. I'll get back to some worthy posting this week...

posted by TripJax @ 7:11 AM, ,

Now Is The Time For All Good Men To Come To The Aid Of Their Family

Now Is The Time For All Good Men To Come To The Aid Of Their Family

Like Jordan, I'm headed to the beach tomorrow, however I'll be staying all week and he'll be starting his new job on Monday. Good luck to you J. I'm not sure which beach he's going to, but the TripJax family is off to Myrtle Beach. We've gone to the same place the last three years, a cozy little mom and pop hotel in Cherry Grove, but we found out this year they'll be tearing the place down in December. So we'll have to come up with new plans next year. We're bummed cause we really like this place. To the left is a pic from the Cherry Grove pier which is next door to the hotel where we're staying.

I've talked up this vacation for a while for three reasons. One, I really need a vacation. It's been quite a while since I've been able to put work on the backburner. Two, the fam really needs to get away from Greensboro together for a while. I've been out of town a few times on business trips or with buddies, but this will be the first time this year we can all get away together. And three, the vacation is being fully paid for by poker winnings. I still can't get over that. I know there are critics who say I shouldn't dip into the poker bankroll for non poker stuff, but man it feels good to give back to the family after working hard to grow the roll. They've put up with my hours of online and live play and now I can give back a little as a thank you. I've often used poker winnings for family stuff, but never to cover a whole vacation. Pretty damn cool.

As for poker, I'll be taking a vacation from it too. Yes there are casino boats in Myrtle, but I have no plans to go to them. I had planned on taking some books on poker to read - like the Stu Ungar book, or Barry Greenstien's new book - but I decided to take a full break from poker, so no books either. I should be well ready to get a game on when I get back, so look for me at the tables next weekend. Gotta pay for vacation next year ya know.

Last night I played two matches towards the Heads-Up Challenge and got my ass handed to me in both. The first match was against the aforementioned Jordan and he took it down within the first 10 minutes or so. The big hand where we (or rather I) ended up all-in was interesting. I called his all-in and had the best hand with a pair of kings, however, his A J sooted had about 134 outs with flush draws, str8 draws, and the Ace over. The turn brought a J and the river brought another J. That wasn't exactly how I figured his outs would win it for him, but outs is outs and he outed me. I typed in the chat, "Hey, I thought I was supposed to get the TripJax!" Oh well.

The next match was against Mourn and I don't remember a whole lot about actual hands, nor do I remember the final hand. I do, however, remember it being a very good match and ultimately being outplayed. I was impressed with his play and hope I can get another crack at him in the 2nd round, should we both be lucky enough to make it.

Played with Kipper and GCox as well last night and had a good time at the tables with both of them. Thanks for keeping the night interesting for me guys. At one point, I told Kip I was off to spend my last $2 on a heads-up match (just cashed out) and he wished me well and continued with his SNG. I waited a few minutes for a challenger and suddenly I was placed at the table with none other than Kipper. That was cool of you to come join me for my final match of the night Kip. I know it's tough to play heads-up on two different tables so I appreciate it. Oh, and thanks to you too Pete's Wicked Ale. You may not have helped my game, but you damn sure were tasty.

Well, that's about it for me. I have one last 1st round match against DNasty and I hope I can play it before heading out tomorrow morning. D, hook a brotha up. Drop me an instant message if ya see me online. I know you are internet challenged for a while so if you can't then no sweat. Guys, if it gets to the point where that game is the last one of the first round and the 4 will already be set no matter what happens in that match, then by all means continue on with the next round. If I make it into the 2nd round, I'll be ready to play when I get back. If I don't, then I'll be ready to railbird. Still, I want to play out the game with D no matter what...wouldn't have it any other way.

posted by TripJax @ 7:37 PM, ,



The last few days have been - how you say - ungood. Monday night was pretty rough as my throat and head were all Fugged up. I could not swallow without feeling some serious pain. I tried to make it through work Tuesday, but gave in around lunch time and went home. I slept from 3:00pm Tuesday till 7:00am Wednesday only waking occasionally to eat or take medicine. Wednesday was a rough day at work, but somehow I made it through the whole day. However, work took its toll and I was whooped when I got home. I was again asleep by 7:00pm last night and didn't wake up till 7:00am this morning. I'm definitely not 100%, but I'm feeling much better than I did Monday night. I think I should be good to go by the weekend, I hope.

I've missed the last couple of nights of the Heads-Up Challenge and I'm pretty bummed about that, but I know I'll catch up. I need to get my first round games out of the way by Saturday as I'm going on vacation, thus no internet access for 5 days. Wifey asked me the other day if I'd be able to make it 5 days without being online and playing poker. I said, "No problem, but don't they have casino boats where we're going?" She didn't look too amused, but I thought it was pretty funny.

As for our vacation coming up next week, I have a little shout I'd like to give to some folks* since they helped me prepare for my vacation:

and about 225 other folks I don't have time to name...

Thank you for helping me take my initial deposit of $50 and turn it into a fully paid vacation. Without you and your fishy play, horrendous calls, and gifts on a platter, none of this would have been possible. Here's to suck...and I'm thankful for it.

O.K., back to the heads up challenge.

Hopefully I'll be feeling well enough to play tonight cause I've been itching to get in some games and haven't played in a few days. If you see me on AIM, it means I'm looking for a game. I didn't plan on that rhyming, but what are you gonna do?

*names have been changed cause I'm not an asshole who's gonna call people out like that for real.

posted by TripJax @ 4:14 PM, ,

So It Begins

So It Begins

I logged on to my computer last night to do some online banking - paying bills, not playing poker - and was surprised to see GCox online. I had not planned to play any poker, even though the challenge started last night, because I had not heard from anyone about planning a game. In fact, GCox had mentioned he was having internet problems and might not be able to be online till Friday. With DNasty still out of commission, and Jordan MIA, I didn't have my hopes up. So I was pleasantly surprised when G instant messaged me to let me know he was up and running. I asked if there was the potential for a game and he said most def. I had a few things to do, but mentioned I'd be back later. The games would soon begin.

GCox vs. TripJax
Around 8:30 I was able to get back online and not long after the Heads-Up Challenge was officially underway with GCox and myself playing the first match. And what a match it would prove to be. Early on I took a pretty strong lead and had visions of finishing up the match quickly. Right around that time DoubleAs dropped by to say hello. At that point, I knew there would be more games occurring. As for our 1st match, GCox didn't like the idea of going out early and made a strong run. I overplayed top pair weak kicker and G made me pay. We ended up going back and forth for a while and I was the lowstack under 700 numerous times. I managed to also make a comeback and took a near 2 to 1 chiplead (I think) when the following hand came up. I had A-7 offsooot and strongplayed it putting G all-in for his final chips. I want to say he had somewhere between 700 and 1000. He called and I think turned over A 10 offsooot. The flop brought 3 diamonds and I held a diamond. At this point I was willing a 7 to hit the turn or river. I just had a feeling it was coming. Neither the turn or river brought a 7, however, the river was a diamond giving me a 4 to the flush win.

Not a win to write home about for me, but it happens. It was a tough beat to put on G, but I knew eventually the cards were going to have to play the game out for us because we had battled hard up to that point. I can't recall the last time I played a heads-up match that long. It could have been 20 minutes or an hour, but it definitely felt like closer to an hour to me! When I pushed with my Ace hand I knew no matter what I would still have chips at the end of the hand. If I lose, we basically exchange chips and keep on rolling like we had been. I think it was an excellent match to start the challenge and I'm glad G and I got to play it.

I must say, I was extremely impressed with the way G played the match. He pushed me off hands I would normally be able to take down. He controlled the play and never let me feel like I had full control. Sure we folded our hands plenty, but he managed to put me off my game which has not happened to me often. He had me second guessing myself which I try to avoid. There was a point in the match where I felt like it could go forever. Eventually, however, the blinds did their job and increased enough to force us to play our hands fast and hard. Color me impressed with G's play, no doubt.

WillWonka vs. TripJax
Will proved to be another tough match indeed. We played another relatively long match with similar up and down chip counts in the early going, much like my game against G. I liked Will's style of play and his betting. I didn't feel off my game during his match, but I think my confidence was up after winning the earlier match. On the very first hand I had the top straight and there were two Aces on the board. I was hoping Will had one Ace and his set would fall into my straight trap. However, I was also worried he had A K and had a dominating full house. He had neither and I took down a relatively small pot to start the match. The pivotal hand in our match was when I had, I think, J Q with J K X on the flop. The betting was such that I felt I could stay in the hand and see it through. Once the betting was over I was happy to see my J's held up and Will did not hold the K. At that point I had over 2000 in chips and again felt pretty good, but knew I still needed to seal the deal. With Will low on chips I limped with pocket 10's hoping to induce an all in with any marginal hand - something like K 10 or or Ace Little. It's what I would do if I was low stacked and it's exactly what ended up happening. Will raised me enough to committ himself and I pushed enough to put him all-in. He had Ace Little and I ended up taking that match down. Another good match played out that just ended up going my way.

With the way the first two matches had gone, I was beginning to get worried that all my heads-up matches were gonna be long battles. These bloggers are some damn good players and it was starting to show. But the match that most intrigued me was about to happen.

DoubleAs vs. TripJax
Not long after the match with Will, DoubleAs and I decided we might as well play out our game. Now I must give a little background on my thoughts of DoubleAs before I go forward. He is one of my favorite bloggers out there and I think I've learned just as much about the game from him as any other blogger. That's why he's probably one of my top 5 blogs to read. I respect his play and his writings and I was extremely happy to hear that he was going to join us in the Heads-Up Challenge. At the same time, I was also a tiny bit intimidated. That didn't last long as I knew we're all just a bunch of guys out to have fun and play some poker, but still I was anticipating our game. I didn't realize it would happen on the first night and end so quickly.

Right off the bat DoubleAs was raising my big blind. I expected nothing less. On the first hand I had high suited connectors, but the flop didn't improve me so I was out. Not long after - maybe 5 or 6 hands into the match, we got into a nice game of betting. The amounts were just enough to keep both of us in, but enough to make for a strong hand in the end. Double had been betting his Ace with an Ace on the flop. I had been betting my King with a King on the flop. The river brought a very pretty King and when Double pushed all-in I made the call that proved to be the match. I ended up taking the hand down with my trip Kings. He only had about 100 left after that hand and I put him all-in with Ace Little and took down the match.

Somewhere along the way DoubleAs complimented me on my betting style and that really was a good feeling. One of the main things I had worried about when planning to play him was betting incorrectly. Making the wrong decisions at the wrong time. It felt good to have him note that and I appreciate it. As for the pivotal hand in our match. I think he either knew he was a lock on the hand with Aces and Kings or he felt we were probably splitting the hand and hoped he could push me off the hand. I don't think he put me on the Kings so that ended up being the deciding factor. If that King doesn't come on the river and he strong bets me, I'm out of the hand. However, I get the feeling he would have either gone all-in or medium size bet me to induce an ill fated call on my part. Either way, it's just one hand and and one quick match, thus not indicative of the complete gammot of our games.

Obviously I'm happy with my results so far and I hope to continue the good trend. Three matches down and four to go for the first round. Watch out, DNasty, Jordan, SteelerJosh, and Mourn!

Here are the current results as of last night.

posted by TripJax @ 2:38 PM, ,

Heads-Up Homebase

Heads-Up Homebase

First off, I have a message for the Heads-Up Challengers. I was bored last night and decided to build a blog for us to keep up with our Heads-Up Challenge results. I haven't cleared this with the commish and we certainly don't have to use it, but I thought it might be a good idea to have one central location for our results. The thought was we can all sign in to update our numbers under the personally created post for each challenger.

Like I said, we don't have to use this, and it didn't take long to create so it won't hurt my feelings if we don't, but I just got a wild hair up my ass and decided to make it. I'll get in touch with Jordan today and if he likes it then maybe he can email all the challengers with the Blogger login and password.

Here is the site:

A couple of notes about the site in case we do end up using it. I created the posts such that they will stay in the same order throughout the whole challenge. Therefore, when you log on to the system to edit your personal post, make sure to not change the Blogger Time & Date as this will put the posts out of order. Just change the Last Updated Time & Date that is inside the post each time you update your results. Other than that, it's pretty simple, but let me know if you have questions.

On to other items. I got pretty drunk Friday night and decided to play some poker. It's amazing how a little alcohol can make you giddy like a school girl on skittles. I started off with some pretty tough games and just like that I was down pretty bad. Attempting to chase my money back, I started raising my limits. I was playing heads-up matches and normally I just play $5 games with the occasional $10 every once in a while. By the end of the night I was playing $20 games like my bankroll at Noble was meant for it. That clearly was not the case as I was damn near losing it all in one night. However, in the end I went from $140 to less than $70, then back up to $145. It was the most stressful and hard earned $5 I've ever made in my life. And I've worked at a lot of jobs in my day...

Gonna cut this post short. The challenge begins today and I'm ready to roll. I need to try and get all my round 1 games in this week as I will be without internet access from August 21-25th while on vacation. Good luck to all challengers. May the felt be with you, except when you're playing me.

posted by TripJax @ 12:13 PM, ,

Finding Level Ground

Finding Level Ground

Last night I read a post by GaryC, the Low Limit Grinder, that hit home and prompted this post. I actually left an uber comment on his post, but Blogger decided to go down for maintenance and my long winded comment was for not. Bastardos!

His post was basically about taking back his family time that had been squeezed dry by grinding it at the online tables. In essence, coming straight home from work and logging on to play till the wee hours of the night was taking its toll. Luckily, G has taken the time to look at the situation and reflect. A pretty funny direct quote from the his post..."Damn, self-examination is a bitch!"

A portion of the post brings up yours truly, as noted below:

TripJax does a good job of balancing his "family time" and "poker time." I know
this because I see him play two or three nights a week and see that he isn't
on-line 4 or 5 nights a week. I see this because I'm always on-line.
I've also heard him say "must spend family time." This is where I need to
get, ASAP.

Thanks for the kind words G. I appreciate it. After I read his post it made me think about my situation and I wanted to delve a bit deeper into the subject, so here it goes.

When I first started playing poker with my buddies, it was pretty sporadic. First of all, we didn't really know what the hell we were doing. What's a big and small blind? Why is the dealer called a button? If I go all-in with $30 in chips and you call me with $100 in chips, will win your $100 if I win the hand? O.K. so once we cleared up all the logistics, we were starting to have some fun. But I could tell something wasn't right. Whenever we were done playing, I was wondering when we would play again. I was ready to learn more and more about the game. I had not felt like a sponge - looking to learn something new and fun - in quite a long time. But here it was....a hobby...a game...something I could enjoy. I was hooked.

Not long after I had started playing with my close friends, I found out there were even more folks out there looking for a game. One of my work buddies started a tournament in his garage - now dubbed Garage Mahal. As interest in the game began to fade for my close friends, my interest continued to rise. I wanted to play more, learn more, and talk about it more. As the games at Garage Mahal and other places began to grow, I grew with them. My game was getting better - the sponge was filling with information. I was hooked.

In the gradual growth of my game, the online sites snuck their heads around the corner to introduce themselves. Little pop-up ads here and there or a guy at a local game talking about his big win online. It was enticing - like most gambling can be - to say the least. Though I've been a net winner both live and online, I quickly learned how online poker can be a double edged sword (or is that double bladed sword Alx?). On the one hand, you can play poker without being away from home or your family. On the other hand, are you really spending time with your family when you're hold up in a dark room staring at a screen full of people you know nothing about. I quickly learned, being home does not necessarily qualify as quality time.

So where am I going with this you ask? Well, beginning in 2005, I've tried to refocus my poker energy in a more positive fashion. Though I probably would enjoy it, I don't play every day. I try to fit a few games in during the week - maybe 2 or 3 times a week at night - and then a couple of games during the weekend when things are slow. Add to that the occasional local home game with friends, maybe once every couple of weeks, and that's a pretty full poker slate. As a hobby, that schedule has proven to be something that works with my family. And one of the best things I ever done was buy a laptop. It is great to be on the computer in the living room with the family, and not feel like I'm spending too much time away from them.

In addition, I've tried to not talk as much about poker around my friends who don't play very much. Sure I have the occasional comment about a game or the blog, but I try not to push it. Also, I try not to read my poker books during family time. Usually, if I'm reading them, it's during lunch at work or just before going to bed. I could, however, stand to watch a little less poker on T.V. That will be tough with all the new coverage on ESPN. Maybe I'll just resolve to not watch the same ones over and over. Watch it and be done with it!

I have no plans of giving up poker, but I know that even what I think is a healthy diet of the game can sometimes be too much. I need to work on not constantly having that urge to "sneak a quick game in", or "playing just one more" before doing the more important things. I love my wife and kids and they are my priority. I just have to remind myself sometimes that there are more important things in life than a game. That said, poker is my favorite hobby. It makes me happy. I enjoy the rush it gives me and the thrill of the moment. Every day I continue to find level ground to make my hobby fit better and better with my life. I'm getting there and enjoying it every bit of the way.

And as for GaryC, I know he is an incredible guy with an even more incredible family and I'm glad to see him heading in the right direction. Finding level ground - balance - is where it's at.

Before I go I must add one more thing. When I first decided to start my own blog nearly a year ago I had no idea what I was getting into. I felt like this was the first step towards becoming a geek. Not a direction I wanted to go. I had a picture in my head of a bunch of losers - Smeagols if you will (see pic) - sitting in their dark small rooms playing poker 20 hours a day only stopping to eat, shit and piss as needed. I didn't figure many of the bloggers to be married or in many serious relationships of worth. And I never considered any women would be blogging about poker. How naive, right?! Man was I so very wrong. What I've learned in this past year is most people are down to earth folks, many with families of their own. As an example, the great group of guys I was able to spend online time with during the SNG Challenge are a lot like me. They have jobs, wives (or fiance's), kids (for some) and just play poker for the fun of the game (and the money it can bring). In other words, they're normal folks like you and me. It was an incredible relief to find this out. And as for the female bloggers, they are incredible writers, and even better poker players. I've been nothing but impressed with every one of their blogs (too many to link, but they're linked to the left for sure).

That's it for now. Hope you enjoyed.

posted by TripJax @ 4:01 PM, ,

SNG Challenged

SNG Challenged

I had planned on one of those funny posts where I compared my 2nd place finish in the SNG Challenge to being in line with John Oates, Art Garfunkel, Jim Messina, Dan Marino, etc. An always runner-up type of post. Unfortunately I forgot to lock up 2nd place and, when it was all said and done, finished in 3rd behind a hard charging Kipper.

I was in 2nd so long I really felt like I had it. For the most part, I had already given up trying for 1st because GaryC was doing so well and it didn't look like he was going to relinquish his spot. Then it happened. As the Challenge was nearing its end, I found out that G was down to $190ish and I was only about $30 away at $159. Something clicked in my head and I said to hell with 2nd place and tried to make a run. That would prove to be my demise. I tanked my last 3 SNG's and - more importantly - failed to cash in my only attempt at a $10 SNG. This failed attempt ended up being the difference since I finished at $137 and Kipper ended around $146.

When I hit $137 I decided to call it a day and figured my destiny was now in Kipper's hands. If he played well, he deserved to take 2nd place. If he struggled on the last day, my "slow and steady wins the race" approach would prove successful. I had a feeling Kipper would make a strong run on the last day and he did just that. Congrats Kip! With a $137 finish and a fee of $25 for 3rd place, I officially ended by basically doubling my buy-in of $55 to $112. Not too shabby.

And lest we forget the man who absolutely tore it up. GaryC took $55 and turned it into $200+ in about a month. That's damn impressive. I enjoyed playing with all the challengers and hope we can do it again soon. I must say - as I have before - I play much better when I've got something to challenge my game. That was a big plus for me in this instance and I believe it will play out again in the Heads-Up Challenge. Unfortunately, for everyone else, this time the winners will be taking money from the other Challengers directly. I look forward to taking your money. Thanks Jordan for putting together the SNG Challenge as well as the Heads-Up Challenge. You are officially the man.

On a positive note, I played 3 home games last night at a friends house and ended up winning the first one. So I basically won enough money to pay off my $25 SNG Challenge fee. So I got that going for me. In the 2nd game, I was killing it again, but took a huge hit when my rockets were all-in against pocket 9's and a 9 hit on the river. That took me from huge chipleader heads-up to an eventual bubble place with no cash. On the 3rd game we played Omaha and I just couldn't get anything to go my way. All in all it was a fun time which is most important, erm, after winning the money...

And for the record...Try Again...Never Give Up In Disgrace...

posted by TripJax @ 2:56 PM, ,

Fiddy Nine Things You May or May Not Know About TripJax

Fiddy Nine Things You May or May Not Know About TripJax

1. My favorite number is 59 (pronounced Fiddy Nine as noted above). It used to be 13 - as that what my preferred sports jersey number - but once I said Fiddy Nine the first time I was hooked.

2. I was born May 9, 1975, making me *cough* 30.

3. I'm 6 feet, 1 inches tall.

4. I probably weigh 190 - 195 lbs. "WTF...pounds, baby, pounds!" Sorry for the Jerky Boys quote.

5. I've been married 5+ years and I'm one lucky mofo. Wifey is the greatest thing to happen to me.

6. I've got two children...boy is 4 and girl is 3 months old.

7. I've known my sons name would be Jaxon since I was a teenager. At my first job, I hated when customers would call me by my name like they knew me. So what I did was keep a bunch of extra sticky letters on the back of my name tag so I could change my name whenever I wanted. Examples of my different names - changed with merely a single consonant change - are as follows: Javon, Jazon, Jadon, Jalon, Jaron, Jawon, Jaxon. Whenever I used Jaxon people always commented how cool that name was. Yeah, my son is now cool.

8. My brother named his 2nd son Jackson, so it can get confusing at family get togethers.

9. I'm a Taurus, though I do not keep up with that horoscope stuff.

10. Moms wanted to name me Keith, but Pops wanted Jason. Pops held strong and they ended up going with Jason Keith instead of Keith Jason. Thanks for staying strong Pops.

11. I'm the youngest of four children.

12. My oldest brother has 2 girls. My sister has had 4 girls (one died at birth). My other brother has 2 boys. I am the first of the siblings to have a boy and a girl.

13. I'm the only sibling to graduate from college.

14. University of North Carolina at Greensboro > Grimsley High School > Kiser Middle School >Drexel Elementary.

15. I've lived in Gastonia, Morganton, Drexel, and Greensboro - all in North Carolina. There are other cities we lived in when I was a baby, or really small, but I don't remember them very well.

16. I've enjoyed living in Greensboro since I was 10 years old and have not found a reason to leave yet.

17. Greensboro has a pretty strong blog contingent, though I believe I'm the only Poker Blogger in the city. Guess that makes me Greensboro's most decorated poker blogger...sorry to steal your line Gene.

18. My first real job was at K-mart. I started at age 14 and worked on and off (mostly on) up to and during my first years in college. It was the safest place to work within walking/biking distance which made the rents happy.

19. I worked at the UNCG gym for a while before landing an internship with the Greensboro Bats - at that time the Class A affiliate of the New York Yankees.

20. After my internship I was offered the Operations Manager position at the Greensboro Bats. It was a very hard job, but one of the greatest experiences of my life. During my tenure, the Yankees won the World Series and I could have received one of the Championship Rings. However, my pay was pretty bad at the time and I could not afford the amount the Bats would not pay. Looking back, I seriously regret that decision. How cool would it be to wear a World Series ring or use it as my card protector?!

21. I needed a better paying job and was offerred a great opportunity as Operations Manager with PaineWebber. PaineWebber was bought out and now I work here.

22. I've been with UBS Financial Services for 6+ years now.

23. UBS leads THE WORLD in total wealth managed with 1.8 trillion dollars under management. Yes, trillion.

24. Chicago Cubs

25. Dallas Cowboys and Carolina Panthers

26. UNC Tarheels

27. Republican

28. I think George Bush is a damn fine President.

29. I first got into Hold'em seriously after watching Robert Varkony win the 2002 WSoP on ESPN. I remember the first time I turned the channel to that show, I thought, this has to be a show from the late 80's early 90's based on the poor production and horribly dressed players. I couldn't believe when they flashed 2002 WSoP on the Screen. Regardless, I was excited to watch the action of each hand and amazed at the real dollar stakes involved. Unknowingly, this was the first time I experienced the oddity that is Phil Helmuth Jr.

30. The first blog I ever read - poker or otherwise - was The Cards Speak. I posted about his blog on my site to which he graciously reciprocated with a link and quick note on his blog (see below):


For a guy just starting in the blog-o-sphere, it was pretty damn cool to have him linking me and putting my quote up on his blog. Thanks again HDouble.

31. The first comment I ever received was from the blogfather himself. I've lost all my comments prior to April 2005, due to changing software, but I still remember my first few comments. Prior to his comment, I truly believed in those first few months I was the only person reading my blog. I was wrong. Since then, I've received nearly 7000 page hits.

32. The largest single session payout I've ever won was somewhere between $600 - $700 after winning a $20 re-buy and add-on live tournament.

33. The largest live poker tournament I've ever played in was a $50 tourney with 50 entrants. I was chip leader almost immediately and held that role until we were down to the final 2 tables. At that point, the following hand came up. I had AA and the board was A 8 3 rainbow. I bet about half the pot and the dude raises me committing a large portion of his chips. I push all-in and he calls, flipping over 8 4 offsoooot!!! The turn was an 8. The river was an 8. At that time, it was difficult holding back the desire to hit that dude, or the dealer. I tried to keep my composure, but that severely crippled me and I ended up getting knocked out on the bubble when my AK was nabbed by A9. I was extremely disappointed and it took me a while to recover enough to ever want to play again. That was nearly 2 years ago and I've never looked back (until now).

34. I have won with "a chip and a chair." We played a SNG at my house once with about 9 guys and, with about 4 players left, I was down to one $100 chip - after having started with $1500 each. At that time, the other 3 players had about 7000, 4500, and 2000. Not long after I went on a rush and ended up heads up with the chip leader. I played real aggressive and ended up winning the damn thing. Amazingly, my car broke down the very next day and the cost to get it fixed was almost exactly the amount I had won the previous night.

35. Keeping with my interesting poker stories - early on in my online poker playing - I was playing on Party Poker and clicked on what I thought was a full table NL Hold'em SNG. I was a tad shocked when, on the first hand, I was dealt 4 hole cards. I panicked and then realized my dumbass had clicked on an Omaha 8 Or Better SNG, a game I had never played and knew nothing about at that point. I clicked the Sit Out button and ran to get my Super Systems book. I also tried to find some info online to get more details. After about 3 or 4 minutes of sitting out I clicked back on to play. I ended p winning that SNG.

36. I was an Uncle at the age of 11.

37. I work less than a minute from where I live.

38. I drive a 15 year old car that only has 85,000 miles on it (see # 37).

39. I am a first time homeowner and I absolutely love it.

40. I've never been out of the country.

41. The farthest I've ever been from home is Texas. Tyler Texas to be exact.

42. One Dog (Kaiser Sose), Two Cats (Jah & Sammy), One Recently Deceased Fish (Nemo), Two Currently Living Fish (Jack Nemo & Marlin).

43. I met my wife while working at a bar the Greensboro Bats owners, erm, owned. I was working there as a 2nd job part-time during the slow baseball off-season. She came in with a group of people and she busted me checking out her tail while she was walking to the juke box. Later she came to the bar with one of her friends and we started up a conversation. Actually her friend did most of the talking, but I could tell it was because she was shy. She is the most beautiful loving person I have ever known and I am one lucky mo fo.

44. I've broken one bone in my life, that being my collarbone. We were playing pick-up tackle football and on the first play of the game we tried the Hail Mary. I dove for the ball and caught it, landing directly on top of it. The defender landed directly on top of me. I knew something was wrong, but wanted to keep playing since it was the first play of the game and I didn't want to be a wimp. I played another 15 minutes, but never got into another play. At my last huddle, I told the other guys I didn't feel so good and they agreed that something was wrong. One of the guys drove me to the Dr. where he noted I had a complete break. I had to wear a sling for something like 3 months, but I didn't have to carry any books for 3 months during high school. That was pretty cool, all things considered.

45. I was always pretty damn good in sports. Never "made the team good", but always good enough to compete. I did actually play on the golf team in high school, but I never made a cut. Basically I got to play free golf at two excellent courses in Greensboro which was pretty cool. I loved basketball and was a pretty damn good intramural basketball and racquetball player in college.

46. I fully tore my ACL and MCL and have never been the same since (see # 45.). Luckily for me, I had the best Doctors working on me as I worked for the Greensboro Bats (i.e. New York Yankees), so it was fully paid for and extremely well done. Unfortunately, like I mentioned above, I've never fully recovered to where I could move the way I did before.

47. I do not have a mullet, though I have friends who do.

48. I have many acquaintances, but not a ton of friends. I surround myself around people I love and people I know love and care for me. It's quite an optimal plan.

49. Through middle school and high school I took French for 6 years. About the only French I can speak now is, Je m'appelle Isabelle Mercier.

50. I am double jointed in both thumbs. It's hard to explain, but I'll try. Put your right fist in a ball like you're about to hit someone. With your left hand, grab your thumb and bend it inwards towards your fingers, but in the opposite direction of your fingers (towards your wrist). Basically I can make my thumb turn completely parallel to the other fingers, but facing my wrist. It's pretty wicked in view, pretty lame written down.

51. I can do numerous chip tricks including (click the link for a video), the shuffle, twirl, pullover, bounce, finger flip, and thumb flip. I can also do the one that Raymer does in the 2004 WSoP coverage where he slams the chip on the table and it rolls forward about 6 inches before spinning back into his hand, but I can't find any video feed for it. The above videos are not me, but are provided by a hard working blogger named Nick over at 2HoleCards at his newest site, PokerChipTricks. Though I had already learned the above linked tricks prior to finding his site, I look forward to using his videos to learn the many more he offers. Thanks a lot rock!

52. I aspire to play in many a BIG tournament at some point in the future, but I have a hard time relinquishing my bankroll to help fund the attempts through satellites and such. I'm working on that cause I want to be with the likes of Gracie, Bill Rini, and DoubleAs. Thanks for the inspiration guys and gals.

53. On the mountain trip where I eventually proposed to wifey, we got into a pretty bad car accident while drivinig - in a snow storm - on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was the stupidest thing we have ever done, trying to drive a Mitsubishi Galant with bald tires on a treachorous mountain with no barriers seperating us from steep ledges. Somehow we managed to live through that experience allowing me to type this paragraph right now.

54. For my new readers, this was my original template. It was friendly to the eye, but very difficult for readers to enjoy while at work. I picture it going something like this for my dear readers. "Johnson, why the hell do you have an ass on your monitor?" "Uuhh sir, it's just a blog." "What the hell is a that some sort of new fellatio?" "No sir, it's...uuuhh, forget it...I'll hand in my resignation effective immediately." "You're damn right you will, Johnson."

55. I started the share blog, Kicked In The Junk, as an outlet for bloggers and readers to tell their Kicked In The Junk tales. Sometimes you just don't wanna put that stuff on your own blog, but now you have an option. Tell the world...that's what it's there for.

56. I love my children so much it hurts. They are the biggest blessing a father could ever ask for. It amazes me how there is even such a thing as a Dead Beat Dad. Dickheads.

57.I loathe mosquitos, pickles, mayonnaise, and a bunch of other shit I can't think of right now.

58. I've really enjoyed the friendships I've made since beginning this here humble blog. People have been extremely kind to me over this past year and I really appreciate it. Specifically, as of late, I've been extremely happy to spend time with the likes of GaryC, Jordan, Kipper, DNasty, and SteelerJosh, the SNG Challengers. Thanks guys for making poker more fun and for giving me something to work towards. I play better and tend to make more money when I am challenged. I also find myself constantly checking your blogs for updates. You've become my most favorite reads.

59. To me, it's a pretty simple formula. God > Family > Friends. Sure there's plenty of other stuff to consider, but that's the core right there. Without the above, I not only don't have 59 things to say, I have nothing. And without God, life sucks. This one probably deserves # 1., but I've placed it here to finish strong.

So that's it. Fiddy Nine things you now know about me. I hope you enjoyed yourself. I know I did.

posted by TripJax @ 11:41 PM, ,