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Blogger Spotlight: Will Wonka

Blogger Spotlight: Will Wonka

If you're looking for Charlie and his little Chocolate Factory, well you've come to the wrong place. Don't get me wrong, I love the Wonka books and movies, but that's not what I'm here to write about. No, I'm here to discuss a fellow poker blogger who goes by the name Will Wonka.

I got to know Wonka back in July of 2005, during the inaugural poker blogger Heads-Up Challenge. He didn't fare so well in that challenge, being eliminated in round 1, but he left an indelible mark in my mind and I've been reading him ever since.

Much like cmitch, my previous Blogger Spotlight, Wonka is a poker playing family man who slings chips at the higher limits while managing to play the roll of father and husband. He writes a ton of quality poker content and his blog is a great place to follow a part time player climbing the poker ladder.

Both cmitch and Wonka are in a whole different league than I am, but I'm fine with that. I'm not mentally prepared to play at limits where I can win or lose a mortgage payment in one night. Of course, I wouldn't actually be losing a morgtage payment as I keep my poker bankroll seperate from our family checking/savings, but it is the thought of that type of bankroll swing that I'm just not ready for. Of course I'd love a roll that could afford those types of swings, but I'm not there yet so I won't even go down that road right now.

If you are reading this and have never visited Wonka's site, I suggest you shuffle on over there and add him to your regular list of reads. You will not be disappointed. As for you, Wonka, if you're reading this I implore you to keep tackling poker with the fervor and gusto I've read on your blog from day one. Your story is an exciting one to read and I look forward to your posts whenever I see a new one available. Keep up the good work at the tables and on your blog my friend.

Previous Blogger Spotlights:


posted by TripJax @ 3:11 AM, ,

Queen City Trippin'

Queen City Trippin'

I had a helluva hawesome time at Falstaff's home game Saturday slinging chips with broggers and other degenerate gamboolers. As it turns out, BadBlood will go down in the TripJax history books as the first brogger I ever met face-to-face. As I pulled up to the Casa de Falstaff, in my NON mini-van, Blood was hanging out on the front stoop. Within a few minutes I was cracking open my first 24oz can-o-beer and chatting it up with a number of other folks, including Big Pirate. It was great talking with you guys.

An impressive 23 speculators plopped down 50 *cough* play dollars *cough* for the right to take a seat and not long after 1pm we were tossing chips through the air. I managed to draw the diamond table with Big Pirate and Falstaff which was very cool. I think those were the only broggers at my table, but I could be wrong. I will say I did a horrible job keeping up with who was who beyond the few I could put a face to a brog.

Falstaff was to my immediate right and, unfortunately for him, almost everytime he took a stab at a pot or raised I had a strong enough hand for a re-raise. Not long into the tournament I wake up with AA and only Falstaff calls my re-raise. An ace hits the flop and I bet 20 into a 40ish pot hoping it looks like a continuation bet steal. Falstaff raises to 50 and I take a few seconds before announcing all-in. He immediately folds and I later found out he was attempting to wield the hammer. I said it then and I'll type it here...t'was a valiant effort sir. Not long after Falstaff was the first player out of the tourney. The curse of the host rang true.

From there I was never really able to get my game going in the right direction. I had two instances where I was beat out of the pot by chased flush draws and that really hurt my attempts to build a decent stack. By the time our table broke, I was a less than average stack. As it turns out, I would never win another pot after leaving my first table. I was moved to the living room table and managed to donk a 1/3 of my chips there before being moved to the downstairs table where Blood and TeamScottSmith were.

That seemed to be the fun table to be, as it was dubbed the "Tequila Table" earlier, but I only played two hands at that table before getting knocked out. I can't recall who called me, but he had AQ vs. my KcJc and I was bummed to see Blood show he had folded KdJd. My outs were falling fast, but the flop did bring two clubs to get me closer. Unfortunately I did not improve and was sent the cash game.

The cash game turned out to be a great time and I learned to play a few games I had never played before...namely Crazy Pineapple and Vegas Hold'em. Somehow I was able to more than double my original $20 buy-in before calling it quits. Around 6pm I knew it was time to hit the dusty trail so I could catch some time with the wifey and kids before everyone hit the sack. I made it home rather quickly so everything worked out perfectly.

I regret not doing a Dial-A-Shot with Al, but once I knew I was going to be driving home, I didn't figure a strong shot would be best for my roadtrip. Ggggrrrr!!! Next time. I also regret not getting to know everyone better. I think the person who knocked me out of the tournament was a brogger since he knew me as TripJax and mentioned putting a bounty on my head (something only a brogger/reader would know), but I'm not sure who he was. He had a PokerStars hat on. If anyone who was there can help me out with his name I'd appreciate it.

Again, thanks to Falstaff and his lovely wife for hosting and the good times at the cash game. I appreciate your hospitality and hope to reciprocate someday soon.

That's it for me...thanks for reading!

posted by TripJax @ 4:23 AM, ,

FedUp With Your SetUp?

FedUp With Your SetUp?

As I mentioned in my previous post, I'm headed to the Queen City (Charlotte) for a tourney tomorrow and am very much looking forward to it. Looks like we've got quite a few broggers for this one and that is hella hawesome. It's been a while since I played in a home game with some new folks. Our home game has gotten a tad stagnant and this may give me the wake up call I need to get my own game going again.

*Addendum* I went to lunch with a guy today and told him about the above tournament and buy-in (50, erm, play dollars). He pulled a dollar out of his pocket and said, "I want 2% of your winnings...I trust you." I jokingly took the money planning to toss it back to him after we got a good laugh, but he kept a serious look on his face. So, I have sold my first piece of action on myself...for $1. Absinthe, watch out, I'm getting huge. *End Addendum*

And for those wondering, I should be rollin' up on the scene in my NON mini-van. Earlier I noted I'd be bringing my B game, but I've downgraded that expectation to my very best C- game. Fear my suckout.

Any chance we can get a Dial-A-Shot during the tourney AL??!! I'm wearing my shot glass earring.

I wrote a comment to 9 2 Offsuit yesterday about my laptop on the couch set up. Since I was scrambling for something to write about on this fine Friday, I thought I would put that info up here in case it inspires other wireless laptop users.

Let me start by saying that I love playing poker online, but I'm not a big fan of being away from the family for extended amounts of time to do so. The laptop helps in that aspect as I can play on the couch in the living room and still have the interaction with everyone. Not always the best way to focus on your poker game, but it is worth it to stay focused on your family.

Yet once you have the laptop and wireless setup, it doesn't mean you've put yourself into the ideal situation for playing poker, especially if you multi-table. Having the laptop on your lap over time tends to, well, suck. Enter my setup...

The first part I've already mentioned in a previous post...the TableMate table. This kicks your typical tv stands ass. With a regular TV stand, you can't slide the legs under the couch, thus it is not really a laptop, but a let me lean forward and get Get yourself one of these tables and you can slide the legs under the couch, adjust the height, and adjust the incline/decline. It puts the laptop in your lap, without putting the laptop in, erm, your lap. Detials on that table are here

Next up is a number keypad. If you are multi-tabling NL games it can be tough to keep up with the action when you have to use the number keys on the laptop. You are constantly going from the laptop mouse touch pad to the number keys and it is all too much work with the number keys all in one line.

To put yourself in a scenario closer to what you are used to with a desktop, get yourself this cool ass USB number keypad. That way you can quickly plug your bets and raises in with ease. Get details on that particular number pad here.

Finally, to eliminate the need for the mouse touch pad, go get yourself an optical mouse. There's nothing new about this type of mouse, but it works wonders for a this type of setup. Not only will it work with ease on the TableMate surface, but you can even use it on your couch, pillow, blanket, or whatever. With no rolling ball, it adjusts nicely to any surface. So if you start to get a pain in your wrist from using the mouse on the table, you can move it wherever you want.

I would suggest using a wired optical mouse for this set up so you don't have to worry about being within an optimal distance from the wireless mouse unit. With it being wired, you can plug it in and you're ready to go, just like the number pad. Details on the optical mouse are

So there you have it. For less than $100 you can be on the couch stacking multi-tables without missing out on everything going on. Not everyone will dig it, but for those that do I hope it helps.

I gotta roll, but before I do, please go over to
GCox's blog and read about the brogger event he has planned this year. We would love to see as many people as possible come. Thanks for reading.

posted by TripJax @ 1:20 PM, ,

Check Into Cash

Check Into Cash

First, let me say you broggers are a funny bunch. I got exactly what I deserved in my comments yesterday, you bastardos. I laughed out loud on numerous occasions. I will continue to maintain that it is not a mini-van, but I had a good time yesterday as most of you jokingly put me in my place. Good stuff.

Last night I decided to sign onto a tourney at 8pm, right in the middle of cooking dinner. Not exactly an opportune time to do so, but I knew I could sit out a couple of hands if need be. This tournament was a tad on the strange side. It was at Hollywood Poker and was called an Easy Money tournament. Easy money as nearly half the field would get paid (33 out of 82). Of course, when +/- half the field gets paid this cuts into the payday for the final table, but still interesting since you don't have to work very hard to get into the money. I wasn't sure what to think at first, but I decided to give it a try since the fee/rake was only 1% of the buy-in, plus they added an extra $100 to the payout.

After getting dinner ready and settling into the tourney, I was IM'd by Joe at CheckItDown. We ended up chatting for a while and it was nice because between eating, playing in the tourney and chatting with Joe, I didn't even notice almost half the field get eliminated from the tourney. Unfortunately, while below the rule of 10, I pushed with AK vs QQ and didn't improve going out 5 away from the money.

I was just testing the waters with that tourney, but I'm still not sure what I think. I play to make the final table and attempt to win the whole thing, so making my money back at the cost of lowering the final table payout is not exactly what I think is best. However, it is nice to easily get into the payout and then make a run for the final table. I'm still undecided at this point. Your thoughts?

From there, Joe and I got into a chat room with Jordan, GCox, and Kipper (eventually Wonka showed up to). J, G, Joe, and I decided to play an 18 player SNG at UB while Kipper, J, and Wonka were battling it out at the PSO tournament. I just read that Kip bubbled. Damn. Not sure how J and Wonka ended in the PSO tourney.

Moving on...we had 4 broggers in the 18 person SNG and all 4 of us made it to the final 5. Only 3 places paid however and unfortunately G was knocked out in 5th place. We managed to eliminate the final non brogger to make a pretty incredible run of having an all brogger payday. I ended up finishing in 3rd when Joe flopped a set to my top pair. Joe was then knocked out when Jordan pulled a little suck out artistry on the last hand. The SNG was well played by everyone and Jordan definitely deserved to win the way he played throughout the SNG.

I played my normal aggressive style, putting the pressure on the other players with constant betting. This worked well and I only had to lay down a few hands to re-raises when I happened to not have a huge hand. Overall I was very happy with my play and my reads on the players. In one particular instance I outplayed a guy who rarely folded by betting hard into a very scary board of A J K 9 or something like that. He folded to my big bets and I showed down 44. He seemded unfazed, but I think it may have put him out a little.

Not long after I wielded the hammer and knew I was going to have to tighten up as I would probably get played back at more often. When we got to the final table I did tighten up some with weak cards, but overall I kept my aggression up enough to keep the players under pressure.

Joe, I enjoyed our chatting and the play at the SNG. You did a stellar job at the tables. My new name for you is Check Into Cash. Not because you check often (cause you don't), but just a play on your blog name and how well you did in the tourney last night. Run with it!

That's gonna have to be it for me today. I have a very busy day that includes going to see my son in his school circus performance. I'm sure it will be a trip. He is a Trip...and a Jax.

posted by TripJax @ 9:24 AM, ,

Zoom Zoom Zoom

Zoom Zoom Zoom

*edit* I changed the original picture to the left cause I was catching shit for it being a mini-van (damn the man). Of course, I asked for it for what I wrote below. Does this picture look any less mini-van...ish? I swear, when you see it in person it doesn't look like a mini-van. I figured having people in the pic might give some perspective. Damn the man! *end edit*

Thanks to those who commented on my post yesterday. I think surflexus hit the nail on the head by noting that he would split a shorthanded live SNG, especially if it made sense and there were people waiting to play another game. However, initiating a split of an online SNG at the level I was playing (approximately $70 total payout) just makes me feel dirty. Play to win folks. Sure at the higher levels where the money is huge, if it makes sense to split then consider it, but where I'm at right now, I'm playing to win.

As you may be able to gather from the pictures, I took the leap yesterday and bought a new car. Rest in peace 1991 Sunbird. You were good to me, but alas you must go. I had been looking for a car that would work for a growing family, but wasn't boring like the old standard mini-vans.

I think I got everything I could ask for in the Mazda5. I'm having a hard time explaining what type of car it is. It is not a mini-van, but it has mini-van capabilities. Eventually I'll come up with the best way to explain it. For now, don't call it a mini-van or wifey will bring out the beating stick on my bastard ass.

Initially we were interested in the Chrysler Pacifica, but the price tag was a little hefty for my budget. The M5 solved all my problems. I'd like to thank everyone who helped me with their input, especially Hoff and THG. Thanks again guys. And don't call it a wife will get pissed.

I don't have a lot of poker content today as I've tried to take a mini break from thinking about pokery stuff. In my head I'm gearing up for my first brogger live tournament coming up this Saturday. I plan to play a couple times online before I head to the Queen City so I'm not rusty. I can't wait to meet some of the brogging crew since I've been unable to make any of the live WPBT events. Watch ladies and gents, I'm bringing my top notch B game. I'll be driving down to Charlotte Saturday morning and may stay Saturday night to hit the town with friends or fellow broggers if the opportunity arises. Thanks Falstaff for putting together this *cough* play money tournament *cough*.

I've gotta get a couple of TV thoughts out of my head, so please bear with me a moment. First, I'm an avid 24 fan. I've watched every episode and can't seem to get enough. However, if they try and "hold Jack accountable" for one more friggin' thing I may throw the remote. How much can one man do for his country, yet still be arrested at least once a season for his actions. That's kind of getting old. Still, I love the show. And, yes, I know it is just a show.

Second, when did MTV2 become MTV all over again. I thought the point of MTV2 was to get back to all videos all the time. Seems like every time I tune into MTV2, they're showing Cribs or some other reality show, just like MTV morphed into. Lame. Maybe I'm getting old. Maybe they are wankers. I don't know, but I just think they should show some f'ing videos.

I watched the 1997 WSoP last night, the one where Stu Ungar won his 3rd championship. The dude Stu went up against heads-up seriously sucked out earlier to get to the final two, then got sucked out on by Stu. In a key hand he held 10 10 against K K and a 10 had already been folded. However, he nailed the case 10 on the river to stay in the match with 3 remaining. From there he made it heads up and got it all in against Stu. Stu needed a 2 or a 4 to win the final hand and hit his 2 on the river. When the 2 came on the river, the other dude looked pretty shocked. Just like that he went from a guy who might have made it on "the wall", to a guy I now call dude cause I can't remember his name.

I know he probably curses that 2 all the time, but hopefully he has not forgotten the case 10 that put him in position to play heads-up with one of the greats. And as for Stu, obviously one suckout does not mean he did not deserve to win the tournament. He worked his chip stack to a huge amount which afforded him the ability to play his game. Luckily for him, the cards went his way in the end.

That's it for me folks. Work beckons.

posted by TripJax @ 10:39 AM, ,

Blogger Spotlight: O-Poker

Blogger Spotlight: O-Poker

As I mentioned last week, I'm offering a Blogger Spotlight every so often to highlight some of the really great blogs I read. I've chosen a much deserved cmitch from O-Poker for my most recent Spotlight.

Cmitch is a poker playing family man I really respect and very much enjoy reading. Sometimes when going through my bloglines list, I'll skip ahead to his link if I see he has a recent update. I do this for a number of blogs and his is one of them. I met cmitch during the HUC2 and unfortunately our introduction was one I could easily forget. In essence, he waxed me in the first round of the challenge, basically outplaying me throughout our matches. I was impressed. From there, I knew this was a guy I was gonna read if he kept posting regularly. He does, and I do.

Currently he is knee deep in a 50k challenge that seems to be going well. I think when you have a profit of 5k in one week you can call that running well. It is absolutely wild watching his progression. So there you have it. If you have never read cmitch, I suggest you head on over there now.

I played in a 6-max SNG, $12 + $1 buy-in, with 2 payouts and had a strange thing happen. I made it heads up and the dude asked if I wanted to split the payout. It caught me off guard and I told him I'd rather not. It just seemed strange to involve the poker site admin to split a $70ish combined payout from a 6-max SNG. At the time I had a slight lead and felt good about my chances of winning, but also would not be angry if I finished 2nd. Of course, on my last hand I have AA vs. A 10 and he hits his straight on a 78A9J board. Sometimes hindsight is shitty shitty. Still, I'm not sure what to think about splitting SNG payouts. Has anyone had this come up? Can anyone give me their thoughts on the subject? I would appreciate it.

posted by TripJax @ 3:08 AM, ,

Scout Out Wheaton

Scout Out Wheaton

First I'd like to thank everyone who played in the DADIII on Friday. Though I went out within the first 15 minutes, I still had a great time railing all the tables and watching all the action. I must say I think everything went well and I hope everyone had a good time, even those who met the same fate as me. Davee managed to knock me out when I way overplayed a hand, so he gets the honor of renaming my blog for a week. Let me know in the comments what you decide Davee.

I must say I was again surprised at the number of players who eventually signed up. I was expecting to get around 40 players registered, but as the registration time closed we had 62 players signed up. We nearly got the 64 needed to not have any byes. A fantastic turn out I must say.

Having played in two of WWdn tournaments and wanting to see him join a DADI event, I was happy to see Wil Wheaton sign up. As I expected, he gave an excellent showing and ended up placing 2nd out of 62. Congratulations Wil on a great game. Outlasting Wil and 60 other players was PokerScout, a non blogger who found out about the event while doing some research for his Poker Radio Show based out of Florida. After the dust settled it was decided that Jordan and I would join the Scout on his show soon. Should be fun.

On a just plain weird note, take a look at this pic in case you missed the tourney. Wonka vs. Wonka. When I realized we had two Wonka's at one tourney, I made a comment that it would be wild to see them go up against each other in the finals. The randomness of it all didn't pit those two in the finals, but instead had them battling it out in an earlier round. I just think that is so weird how it all happened. Very cool.

I hate to say I don't really remember many folks who ended up in the money. I was so busy chatting and playing that I missed the bulk of it. I do know GCox made the money so that rocks. I also think Wonka (the one on the left) made it, but for some reason I can't recall for sure. As for everyone else who hit pay dirt, congratulations on making the money!

Again, thank you to everyone who played. There is talk of a short handed (6-max) tournament for March, so we'll see if we can arrange that. Always trying to keep it fresh.

Well, I have the day off today and I'm not gonna spend it writing in blogger, so this is what you get for Monday. Happy Presidents Day to you all, and I'm sorry if you are reading this from work. I'll be back to the grind tomorrow.

Thanks for reading.

posted by TripJax @ 10:02 AM, ,

Heads-Up Time!

Heads-Up Time!

I played less than originally planned last night because I ended up car shopping for a few hours. I gotta take a moment to give a big thank you to Hoff for all the help he offered in my comments yesterday. He went above and beyond what I could have expected and I appreciate it. I was able to narrow my shopping list rather than wander around aimlessly so, again, thank you Hoff. If you haven't checked out his brog, please click the link and take a gander.

Looks like I'll be spending a good amount of my time this weekend continuing the car shopping. Does anyone have 20k - 30k I can borrow*? Maybe I should send Paul Phillips correspondence requesting the money like some of those dumbasses have done in the past. Sometimes dumbasses really do trump all.

As for my poker play, I won the only heads up match I played - a $10 match - by playing the roll of Suckout Boy. I did play well during the match, but it took a key suck out on my part to get back in the match to where I could outplay the dude. Once I took the lead I pounded him with aggression, never lost the lead and took him out after about 10 minutes. It felt good to book a win heads up, but I can't forget that it took some luck to get to that point.

I also played two SNG's and moneyed in those as well, albeit 2nd place in both. Each game I got heads up with my opponent having twice as many chips, but I fully expected to win both matches (that should always be the case). Unfortunately, I couldn't overcome the chip lead in either and had to settle for the lower payout. I was happy with my overall play for the night and also happy to book a $20+ profit with such a short amount of time spent at the tables.

I tried to log onto Stars this morning to see how many sign-ups we have for tonight's DADIII event, but I kept getting an error message. I am hoping this was just a temporary issue as I don't want to have any problems getting on Stars tonight. I also don't want to have to uninstall/reinstall the Stars software as I spent some time a while back setting up the cool ass mods. Hopefully when I get home things will be straight.

I know my readers are probably sick and tired of seeing me pimp the DADIII event, but thankfully this will be the last time. Hope to see you all there! It's heads-up time baby!

If you have a Party account and haven't signed on recently, you might want to check it out. They've made quite a few changes and seem to be working to make more over time. At the moment I'm too busy to go over all of them here, so instead I'll just link you to where I heard the news in the first place, 9 2 Offsuit. On a side note, 9 2 Offsuit has changed their template and I dig it. Check'em out.

Well, that will do it for today. Keep on keepin' on.

*By borrow I mean keep, and by keep I mean never give back to you ever, ever, ever.

posted by TripJax @ 11:03 AM, ,

May The Felt Be With Me

May The Felt Be With Me

I have not played poker since last Saturday, making this day 5 away from the felt. That is an extended stay away for me. And to be honest, I think I've needed it. I didn't plan the hiatus, but it just seemed to happen. Numerous times, while sitting on the couch, I would be pushing myself to get up and get the laptop, but I was just too tired to do so. I think my body and mind have needed a break from the computer at home.

As of today, however, I think I'm getting a hankering to hit the tables. I know in my last post I mentioned I would probably stay away from the tables tonight, but my time away from the felt should put me in the clear for tonight and tomorrow. Me thinks I'll play a few heads up matches tonight to prepare for the DADIII on Friday. May the felt be with me. Veneno, care to continue our bounty matches? Look me up tonight if you are down with it. And, oh yeah, what the hell is rack back? : )

I've had a lot of non pokery stuff on my mind these days, which probably added to the need to stay away from the tables. My car is on its death bed (or would that be death driveway) and I am just now coming to grips with the fact that I must do something about it. We have two cars in the family and haven't had a car payment for nearly two years so I am absolutely dreading adding that bill to our expenses. Unfortunately something must be done and with the tax money we received recently now is as good a time as any.

My car only has 85,000 miles, but it is more than 15 years old and everything inside is either too old or falling apart. It's not worth $500 on a good day and the cost of fixing all the problems is nearing $2,000. Ungood. I will say there is a hint of excitement that comes with the potential of a new car. I have not enjoyed driving for the last few years as my car is so old…and I don't mean cool old like a mustang or something. I mean old and uncool. I guess we'll see how things play out. Once I make the purchase I'll post a pic.

As for poker, when I do get back to the tables on a more regular basis, I will continue on with the SNG Challenge. While I am still playing the 6-max tables, I am dropping 6-max from the name as I sometimes play the full tables as well. Also, in case people are interested in the challenge, I don't want them to think it is only for 6-max games. It is taking me a while to get to level 2, but I know it is because of the lack of sessions at Ultimate Bet. I just gotta keep grinding.

I am also planning to move some money from Hollywood to Stars in order to start playing the $12 +$1 Turbo 6-Max SNG's. I've been watching those tables and they look too promising to not dive in. I could play those SNG's now, but if I hit a tough run I'll be worried with the small amount I have at Stars so a transfer should give me the cushion I need.

That's it for me today. Hope to see you all at the DADIII.

posted by TripJax @ 10:20 AM, ,



For those of you who sometimes have problems with the spouse/significant other/family types (hereto referred to as SSOFT) giving you a hard time about your poker play, I want to offer a couple of ideas I have established over the last couple of years. This is really meant for the player who looks to make a profit when playing, but does not treat it like a job or requirement for their livelihood. In other words, it's a hobby, but you still take it serious enough that you want to make some cashola.

Take all this with a grain of salt since we are each in different environments and/or scenarios and what works for me may definitely not apply to you and your situation. Still, I needed something to write about so here it is...

Keep Your Priorities In Order
At the end of the day, poker is a friggin' game. Yes it is fun (sometimes). Yes you can make money (sometimes), however your SSOFT is what matters. Trust me, if you wake up one day and you no longer have SSOFT, you will have a hard time thinking or caring about anything else, especially a little card game.

That said we should all have hobbies and activities we enjoy. If poker is one of those activities, find a place for it amongst your priorities. If you continuously shove it to the front of your priorities, you'll figure out pretty quickly how much your SSOFT appreciates it by their reaction when you announce your intentions to play. Been there, done that.

One final note on prioritization...if you think about poker more than you think about getting busy with your spouse/significant other, it is time to take a break from the felt and get to reminding them (and yourself) what the deal is. I write that not being cocky (no pun intended), but rather as a reminder to myself and the masses.

When You Can, Plan Ahead
If you know you want to play in a tournament or whatever in 2 weeks, make sure to announce it as early as possible. Get the hard part out of the way up front so you don't have to deal with it as the date nears. Then when that day comes up you can already be in the clear.

To take it another level, to the best of your ability, plan your poker schedule for the upcoming week on Sunday based on what you know at that point. If Wednesday's are the only night you get to have a peaceful dinner with your SSOFT, then maybe that would also be a good night to not even touch the computer. Computer free nights can sometimes go a long way towards your ability to play later on.

Sometimes I will intentionally stay away from the computer for a day or two, which is very hard for me, if I know I want to play at some point in the near future. For instance, I probably won't touch the computer Thursday because I know I will be spending a good amount of time playing in the DADIII and other poker games on Friday. That is an easy trade off to spend more time with the family.

Attach Significance To Your Play
Ever cash out a little bit of your bankroll and get the SSOFT a gift? Maybe pay for a dinner and casually mention that it is brought to them by poker profits? If you haven't, and you often get a hard time for playing, then you are doing your self a disservice. Poker can easily be viewed as a selfish act. Whenever you can give them something in return, it tends to go a long way towards making your poker activities easier.

An example...back before I started this blog I decided I needed a goal for my game if I was going to truly strive for success. After some thought I decided to make it a priority to grow the bankroll in order to pay for our family vacation. Now this is not ideal for many poker players. To those of you who view your roll as sacred and not to be touched for non pokery stuff, then this is not for you. However, for me it is awesome. Now every year I strive to build a roll that will help me pay for the family vacation. The last two years I have successfully made enough money (between profits and bonuses) to completely pay for our vacations. Do you realize how big that is for legitimizing my play? It is huge!

Think / Recognize
If you mention you are thinking of playing after everyone goes to bed, or after dinner, or whatever and you get a roll of the eyes or a hard time for it, stop and recognize that it might not be a good plan to play. You will be playing knowing that your SSOFT is pissed about it and that will effect your game and mood. Find out why they are pissed and then stop to it because you've played the last 3 nights in a row? Is it because you said you would read the kids a book and didn't. Is it because you haven't watched a movie (quality time) with SSOFT for 3 months because poker has taken a front seat in your activities? Just stop and think. If you think you're plan to play is legitimate just talk it out before you head that way. Everyone being on the same page is a good thing.

Sometimes Quit When You're Ahead (*Gasp*)
Folks if this is a hobby for you, but one you still want to make money on, then take my advice on this one. On occasion, if you make some quick dough early, it won't kill you to book the profit and take advantage of the extra time to be with the SSOFT. I can't tell you how many times I've played a set of SNG's and had a nice run and then called it a day/night. Did I give up some profits by quitting early? Probably, but I don't care. I made money, left the felt with a smile and now I'm switching my priorities and putting the family in place of the poker. Wifey might ask what I'm doing, but when I smile and say it was a good run and now I'm ready to move on she gets a smile on her face. This isn't to say when I play for an extended amount of time she thinks I'm stuck and trying to win my money back. Just that sometimes I can walk away from the felt with a smile on my face, which puts a smile on her face and shows her that my priorities in order.

Sometimes Quit When You're Behind
The above can also apply to the times when you get stuck early. If it is not your night or you are not feeling it, just call it a night and figure out something else to do. Maybe this is the time to catch that movie you and the SSOFT have been meaning to watch, or to clean up some of the shows you normally watch, but TIVO'd because you just had to play in that tourney. Or to get the kids to bed early and just be together. You get the picture. Of course, both of the above situations are a sometimes thing. Usually when I go to play I have a frame of mind that I am going to put some quality time in at the tables. Sometimes, however, the game has different plans for me.

Have Fun
In the end, enjoy what you do and hopefully the profits will come. If this is a hobby for you, then you should have fun with it. If it becomes something more than a hobby then stop and think about what you want to get out of it and where the SSOFT comes into play. I'm not saying it is wrong for it to become more, but just take your scenario and work with it.

OK, I've spent much more time on this than I planned. I would love to hear more ideas or criticisms so please comment.

And thanks to

posted by TripJax @ 1:39 PM, ,

Happy Valentine's Day Lame Ass Comic

Happy Valentine's Day Lame Ass Comic

Happy Valentine

My name is Tommy.


You gonna get some tonight?

That would be ideal.

Excellent, that should free you up from spousal duties on Friday night.

Friday night?  What

The DADIII Heads Up Championship at Stars, 9pm, password blogsaregay.



I said my name is Tommy.



Just sign up for the tournament...

Yes sir.

Thanks to THG for pointing me in the direction of I dig it. Sorry this comic sucked. Happy Valentine's Day ya wankers. See you Friday.

posted by TripJax @ 10:30 AM, ,

Sleestaks & Waffles

Sleestaks & Waffles

Does anyone remember Land Of The Lost? One of my buddies burned me a copy of the 1st season which he has on DVD. I gave it to Little Trip and it hasn't come out of his DVD player for weeks. He friggin' loves it. It is wild that my son is watching a show I used to love as a kid.

Watching it now is quite laughable, but it sure does bring back memories. "Watch out for those Sleestaks Cha-Ka!" I have no idea why I just wrote any of this down in my blog. I'm guessing it's because I am now singing the song and can't seem to get it out of my head. "Marshall, Will and Holly, on a routine expedition..." I'll spare you the rest, but if you want to take ride down nostalgia lane and sing the rest of the song, here you go.

I didn't play much poker this weekend, but instead fiddled with the blog template a little bit. Nothing big, but a couple of changes. I tried to clean up my sidebar so it wasn't so honking big. I linked to my bloglines blogroll because the actual list on my blog was getting out of control. I'm still linking and reading everyone, however I'm keeping the list directly at bloglines instead of on the sidebar. I'm also offering a blogger spotlight to highlight bloggers I enjoy reading.

Both of the above ideas were the brainchild of Sirfwalgman (waffles for short), which is why he gets the honor of being my first Blogger Spotlight (see his blog picture in my sidebar). Waffles recently updated his blog template and is offering a blog of the month which I think is a great idea. I didn't want to have a timeframe for my Blogger Spotlight, but I'm guessing I'll change it each week or so. Thanks Waffles for the great ideas...sorry I ganked them.

In case you've missed this here blog lately, be sure and check out my announcements section in the sidebar for details on the next DADI event, the DADIII Heads Up Championship. It's this Friday, February 17th. Good times will be had by all, so why don't you join us?!

Well, that will be all for today. Hopefully I'll have more pokery goodness later this week.

posted by TripJax @ 3:12 AM, ,

The Dry Side Pot

The Dry Side Pot

This picture has nothing to do with the post. I just thought it was somewhat funny. Moving on, I played a home game last night and a situation arose that was cause for some debate. I thought I would lay it out here and see what folks think. This is nothing new or groundbreaking and, in fact, comes up quite often in the ring of poker conversation. Still, it stuck in my mind so I wanted to offer it up.

The Dry Side Pot:
As set up, 2nd place gets their money back and 1st place wins the remainder of the prize pool. There are three players in this particular hand and blinds are 200/400. Player A has a big stack, player B has a small stack, and player C has only 700 chips left. Player B raises to 800 and the guy with 700 goes all in. The big stack calls, thus there is a main pot of 2100 and a side pot of 200. The flop is pretty ragged - something like 7 2 4 rainbow - and player B pushes all in for his final 1100. Player A (big stack) is a little perturbed that Player B went all-in with the side pot only being 200. Player A eventually folds and player B flips over AK suited and player C flips over A6 suited. No improvement for either and player B scoops the whole pot eliminating player C. Player A would not have won the pot had it been checked down.

Player A, though not mad, still felt that player B should have checked it down and tried to eliminate player C. I understood where he was coming from as I fully understand the whole dry side pot ordeal, however, I don't hate player B's play because he was a short stack with a decent hand and he needed the chips in the pot.

If player B checks it down and player A scoops the whole pot, thus eliminating player C, then player B is down to 1100 in chips versus a huge chip leader, but takes 2nd place money. If player B checks it down and player C scoops the whole pot, then player B is now the small stack, player C is still a small stack, and player A remains a big stack.

As it ended up, and as I mentioned above, player B took the pot and went on a run to get back to even against player A. Player A eventually sucked out on the river in a later hand to win the whole thing. Still, looking back, I don't hate player B's play in the dry side pot hand. In that moment, I'm not quite sure what I would have done, but I have a feeling I would have probably checked it down.

I will say, if player A and B had similar stacks and they had a chance to knock out player C, then checking it down is probably a good move. If that were the case, I don't think I would have agreed with or liked player B's all-in had he done so (which I don't think he would have). Player A and I are the ones who study poker and were really the only ones that would even bring up the dry side pot theory, but it made for a good discussion in the moment.

We played two games and I was knocked out early in the first game when low on chips with a flush draw and middle pair with one card to go. Player A had QQ in the hole and took me out when I didn't improve. On the second I got it all-in with QQ against TT and he hit his T on the turn. That was it for me. Good times, good beers, bad luck.

With that, I must end this post. Busy day for me, which sucks for a Friday. Thanks for reading and please leave a comment if you have any thoughts about the scenario above.

posted by TripJax @ 11:03 AM, ,

Bounty: The Quicker Poker Upper

Bounty: The Quicker Poker Upper

First, thanks to everyone who commented on my earlier post. Nice to have a winning session to speak of. As usual the community is full of some fine folks. Strangely, I wrote this post about bounties on Monday planning to post it later this week. Then out of the blue Jordan offered a bounty on my head in the WWdn tournament on Tuesday. He was worried I would be mad, but I loved it.

I know it sounds weird, but something about him doing that made me perk up and play with a little more fervor. I pretty much went on a run about 30 minutes after he made the proposal to everyone at the table. He followed me to each table and announced the bounty which was funny.

As for the bounty, no one received it since it was null and void if I made the final table, but the good thing is it was a good intro to the post I wrote and am now offering here it is...

If you didn't know already, bounties in poker are a good thing. They're fun for the game, give you something to strive for and bring broggers closer together. Case in point, take a look at the shnazzy little bounty I snagged from Daddy of Snailtrax legend. Click the pic for a larger image.

This is a bounty from the first Donkeys Always Draw Invitational where I unceremoniously took Daddy's last few chips after someone else had received the bulk of his stack earlier. Regardless, I was just happy to get a bounty, no matter how it happened. Basically, his bounty was I could choose from any of his posts and he would sign it and send it on to me. He graciously included the frame, which was pretty damn cool of him. We both agreed it was a somewhat silly bounty, but at the same time it was sort of funny. Let me sidetrack for a moment before I continue on the bounty path.

I used to work for the minor league affiliate of the New York Yankees. I've had plenty of chances to get autographs from many professional sports players, but that was never my bag. I don't really care to have someones signature on a piece of paper. It just doesn't do it for me. Keeping with the theme, if Phil Ivey dropped by my office for a chat out of the blue, I wouldn't want his autograph. Just spending a few minutes chatting would be plenty for me. Well maybe I'd break out the cards and challenge him to a little heads-up match.

So, back to the bounty stuff, when I found out what he was offering I laughed cause this was normally not something I'd be interested in, but because of the novelty of it all, I was actually looking forward to it. My pickings were slim as his blog was no more, but luckily my favorite post of his was still readily available at CrusherSmith. It looks as though even that post is now no more. I may have the only copy in the world. Booya.

I now have that framed post hanging near where I play as a reminder to save my bitching and moaning for those who care...those being no one. If you're wondering where the autograph is, I covered it up as I don't think he needs his signature all over the world wide web.

As a result of this bounty I've been able to have some communication with Daddy and I gotta tell ya he is a really great guy. I had planned on meeting up with him and Falstaff in Charlotte for a concert this month, but his scheduling didn't work out. Still, hopefully I will get a chance to meet up with him (and all you other broggers) soon. I'm still planning to make a short roadtrip to Falstaff's for his next home game which I think is coming up soon. He's had some tough things come up recently and I'd understand if he cancelled the game with all the other things he's dealing with. We're thinking about you and your family man.

Continuing with the bounty stuff, I plan to offer a bounty for DADIII, but haven't decided on what it will be. If you plan on playing in the event, I hope you will also consider offering a bounty. It will be even more exciting since it will be heads-up and you will know right off the bat what you can win if your opponent is offering a bounty. In addition, should everyone offer a bounty, the more matches you win the more bounties you will receive. Just a thought. If you would like to let me know about your bounty, I'd be happy to start a list here.

As for my bounty from the original DADI event, I sent DeadMoneyInc his glass King of Hearts coaster and I think he digs it. That's a good thing.

Moving on...a big thank you to DoubleAs and Surflexus for signing up to the tournament early. *Update since I originally wrote this post...we now have 11 sign-ups*

I just realized one of the paragraphs in the picture is not clear due to my flash. In case any of my readers happen to have never read the post before, and since it does not appear to be available online any longer, I will re-write that paragraph below...

It's poker. A fucking stupid little card game that everyone's playing now. Every single book you've read, and every hand you've played online or at your favorite mortared brickshack gives you a whopping 54/46 advantage over Joe Q. Public.

And finally, this post must end, but before I go, don't forget one of the most important parts of Daddy's post...

Bonus Code: Iggy

posted by TripJax @ 3:11 AM, ,

So That's What A Final Table Feels Like

So That's What A Final Table Feels Like

It's been so long since I made it to a final table of an MTT I forgot what it felt like. I'm tired so this will be a short post, but I just have to drop a few comments. First, thank you to kaellinn for reminding me about the WWdn event tonight. He was live blogging it and you can check that out here. I really didn't even know about it until he left a comment on my blog and remarkably, he finished one spot ahead of me in 3rd place. Congrats to Waffles who took the whole thing down, however, the $5 bounty on my head Jordan was offering eluded him.

This finish was much needed not only for my roll, but my MTT confidence. I know it is just one tourney and not even a 1st place, but sometimes just having a good game gets your mind in the right place. As for how things went down, with 13 players left I was 9th in chips and needing a boost. I picked up Aces and was able to double up when another player hit their K and called my all-in. Then, only a hand or two later I got QQ and got it all-in against Iggy. He did not improve and again the bounty on my head was missed.

Just like that, in only a couple of hands, I went from 7 or 8k to over 30k and into 2nd place in chips. I would hold the chip lead for a while, but pretty quickly the field closed in and we had numerous big stacks. Once I made it to the final table the bounty was off cause Jordan wanted to be able to root for me.

Winning the races was huge for me tonight. I think the only race I lost was the last one when I hit my open ended straight draw on the turn, but SERNE hit his fullhouse on the river. Otherwise, I can't complain one bit. Things went my way for the most part.

Thanks to all the folks who railed and to the broggers at the tables who made the game a good time. It was a fun tournament to play in. I clearly need to play in more of these Wheaton tourneys...

posted by TripJax @ 3:16 AM, ,

Pros and Cons

Pros and Cons

I watched the FullTiltPoker.Net Invitational last night after getting home late from work. For those who haven't seen it yet, this was in essence a 7 person SNG pitting Devilfish, Matusow, Hellmuth, Ivey, Ferguson, Juanda, and Hansen against each other for $1,000,000 in prize money. The buy-in was $120,000 and first through third paid $600k, $280k and $120k respectively (FullTilt ponied up the other $160k) .

First, I want to note that I don't think for a second that any of these players actually paid the buy-in. Half of them are affiliated with FullTilt and the other half have their pockets padded by poker sites and other businesses I'm sure. Now I'm not knocking these guys for this, in fact I think it is great that the players who have earned their place among the best are getting "paid" to play.

I'm not sure if these guys dressed themselves for the event, or had help in that department, but whoever advised Hellmuth on his attire was obviously hoping to get some laughs. He had a huge white scarf over his shoulders that just made him look like an idiot. That coupled with his glasses that had no business going with a tux just made him look ridiculous. Kudos to whoever dressed him. Thank you, indeed.

As for the play, which is the reason I'm writing this post, I won't go into details as to where they placed (no spoilers here), but I want to offer a few general thoughts. Now I don't want to dumb it all down and profess that you or I are as good as these guys, but I do want to note that their strategy is not so immaculate that we couldn't compete with them, especially in the SNG arena.

I'm sure I'll get a few comments about smoking crack if I think I'm better than these guys, so before you get to typing, that is not what I'm even remotely saying. All I'm saying is when you play a shorthanded SNG, you can play your game and not be too far off from what these guys are doing. Eventually, in a SNG, if you are low and the blinds are getting pretty high, you know what you have to do. And guess what? It's exactly the same as what these guys did. They know that eventually they have to get their chips in there if they are low and see where the cookie crumbles.

In the end what I think sets these guys apart from most other players is not only their high stakes game play, but their willingness to find the right situation to take the risk, then take the risk. They are not afraid to risk their tournament/sng on AK offsuit if they feel it is the right move to make (just one random example folks). I also think these guys (for the most part) are realists. They know sometimes the chips will fall their way and other times they won't. Make the right decisions as often as possible and then let fate finish the deal.
If you have 4 hours to spare I'd say check this show out. If you have a DVR/Tivo then you'll only need about 2 ½ hours to spare. Oh and the title of this post was just poking a little fun at Mike Matusow. Everyone who played is a pro and he just happens to be the only one I'm sure was once a con so I just went with it. Who knows if some of those other guys have spent some time in the big house.

No poker for me last night, but I think I may hit the tables tonight. I'm going to continue with my 6-Max SNG Challenge and occasionally play a Heads-Up match in preparation for the next DADI event, the DADIII: Heads-Up Championship. Details are in my sidebar under Announcements. Hope to see you all there. If you plan on being there why not sign up early. The tourney is ready to go at PokerStars, password blogsaregay.

For those of you wondering how a Heads-Up tournament works, let me offer an example using 64 sign-ups. Once the registration period is closed, each player is randomly put at a table with another player. You duke it out until there is a winner at your table, at which point you will be seated at another table with another player. From 64 you have 32 and so on until there is one person standing. However, not just one person will make money. Just like any regular tournament, the prize pool will be distributed to the top players accordingly. To see the payout schedule go the the tournament info tab at PokerStars, but I assure you it is in line with their regular tournaments. Since we can't determine how many sign-ups there will be, there may be a few people who receive 1st round byes until it is set to an amount that will work. I'm not sure how that works at Stars HU matches.

I get the feeling there will be some great write-ups on the brogs after this event is over. Imagine one of the many new broggers getting to play HU against one of the big boys like
Iggy or Dr. Pauly, or even possibly seeing those two go at it. There's no telling who will be playing who which makes it pretty exciting. I don't know, I just think it will be a good time. And if you unfortunately get knocked out early there will be plenty of tables to rail. Please note, I wasn't stating that anyone above would specifically be at the tournament, though I certainly hope they will be. We'll see. Based on the turnout from our last two DADI events I think we could have a good number of folks involved.

posted by TripJax @ 11:42 AM, ,

The Horses Ass

The Horses Ass

I had a good ole time playing poker this weekend. On Friday I met up with a slew of broggers onrine and hit the felt hard. Note to self...when you are nearing a 12 pack in beer consumption, don't play mixed games. At some point we entered a HORSE SNG which should not have been on my list of things to do. At least twice I played a hand thinking we were on one game when we were on another. The hand that pretty much did me in was a hand where I thought we were still on Razz, but we were on Stud. Ungood. No biggie though, it was still a good time slinging chips with fellow broggers. Alcamahol is bad for the bankroll, but great for a cheap game with broggers.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I started back on my 6-Max SNG Challenge this weekend with some success. Wonka graciously agreed to transfer $65 to Ultimate Bet in return for $65 at Stars. I like Ultimate Bet and have had the most success at SNG's there. I left Ultimate Bet for a while when I was pissed off about the whole Poker Share debacle, but I'm over it and just want to get back to the games I'm successful at. I've moved the roll there from $65 to $85+ and that includes a loss in a heads-up match against Veneno. By the way, good game V.

As for the Challenge, I'd like to get myself into Level 2 as soon as possible, but I'm gonna have to start sealing the deal more often. I've been making a lot of 2nd places and my big stack play has not been impressive. Actually, its been impressive early, then weak in the end. All weekend I would chip up early, often taking out the 1st person, then lose control near the bubble trying to be big stack against the medium stacks. More times than I care to remember, I had the chip lead and control of the table with 3 people left and then found myself the short stack just trying to get into the money. I guess writing about it is helping me realize where I need to work on my game. Guess this brog is good for something.

A few random Super Bowl thoughts in no particular order...

Quite a boring 1st half, but a much better second half. How did Randle El not break his back on that one play? Did anyone else think the drummer for the Stones looked like an old man who didn't take his medication and wasn't quite sure where he was? The commercials were forgettable, with a couple of good ones thrown in. I'm happy for The Bus, but he must retire and let Willie Parker take over. I'm pretty sure Parker was a 4th string running back at UNC and he is now a bad ass in the NFL. The sound for all the musical acts was horrible, but that could possibly have been my shitty set up. I'm sure Mean Gene has a very good write up so go check him out instead of reading this tripe.

Well, that will do it for me today. I've got some pokery thoughts in my head, but not sure they are ready to be put down on paper yet. Hopefully this week I can get them together. We'll see. In the meantime, will someone drop by the Champs house and remove the L and O keys from his keyboard.


posted by TripJax @ 1:10 PM, ,

DADIII: Heads Up Never Felt So Good

DADIII: Heads Up Never Felt So Good

I want this table. I want it now. I'm just not ready to buy it from a website that lists on its Weeks Hottest Items a Chia Pet and The Clapper. WTF? Hottest Items? I have a laptop and am usually online while sitting on the couch in the living room. I'm getting pretty tired of the top of my lap burning up all the time. What do they make these things with, a heating element?

Anyways, when I'm tired of the lap burning I use a tv tray, but it sux cause I can't slide it under the couch. Enter the table mate. We'll see if I can conjure up the nerve to buy it from this site. Either way, I'm sure you've all seen the table mate commercial fiddy nine thousand times, but I thought I would let you know where to buy one if you are intersted.

This is an edit to my original post as I now have a banner for the tournament (courtesy of Jordan...thanks doc!). I'll keep this simple. It's a single elimination HU tournament at PokerStars, password blogsaregay. We set it up on a Friday this time so there are no worries of a late nighter cutting into your beauty sleep for work. Also, we hope the 9pm time will accomodate those West Coasters.
Now here is the key for those of you who normally do something with the family, girlfriend, or wifey/hubby on Friday's. Tell them now! Go ahead and clear your schedule for that night. Get yourself a six pack and plan on some good times with other bloggers. If you get knocked out early, you can still go out on the town!
I will be setting up the tournament this weekend, so look for it to be available by Monday, if not tonight. As Jordan mentioned in his most recent post, he and I get nothing out of this other than a chance to bring the community together for some degenerate pokery goodness. Oh, and to show each of you who your DADIII's are when he and I make it to the final table, thus Heads-Up. Booya!
For those of you concerned about how the Heads-Up tourneys work, I'll give full details in my next post. It is a good thing, so don't sweat it.

I will be starting the 6-Max SNG Challenge again this weekend. I need some focus and I think I will find it by getting back into the challenge. For anyone interested in a SNG Challenge, this can be used for full tables as well. I just call it a 6-Max challenge because I like playing them more than I do the full table SNG's.

Unfortunately, that is gonna have to do it for me. Since I sucked donkey balls this week with my posts, I'm gonna try and post some this weekend to make up for it. I'm trying to come up with some interesting topics, but with work being so busy lately I'm shooting blog blanks.

posted by TripJax @ 3:07 PM, ,