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Saturday, October 30, 2004

These Things I Love

I am a huge fan of football season.

Today's Michigan-Michigan State was, in a word, amazing. I had about six heart attacks.


On the flip side, Terry Bowden is the most incompetent color man I have ever seen or heard. I never thought I'd say it, but I'd rather listen to Pam Ward or Bob Davie.

And now, back to poker.

On A Bad Day

Well you can just knock me over with a feather. It seems that my fave artiste, Miss Kasey Chambers, has split from her partner of the past four years. I - and I know I'm not the only one - never saw that coming.

Guess it happened a month ago, and the word just got out.


What a sad thing.

Once I'm out of shock, selfish me will probably hope that this doesn't affect her upcoming tour, since I've already bought tickets to 2 shows and am seriously contemplating a third...


Pleased to report that I have now CASHED for the first time in a multi-table tournament.

Yeah, yeah, the cash was for 29th place (out of 446).

Yeah, yeah, I won $3.12 on a $1 buyin, for a "profit" of just less than $1/hour. Hell, I spent more than that on the couple shots worth of Absolut that I took in while playing.

It still feels good.

I won't bore anyone with a lot of hand histories, but I was pretty short stacked most of the tournament. I'd win a pot, then get my AA cracked by J9s or something. Happened a couple times. I also survived at least two all-ins, with AK and TT.

We get down to the top 30, lose the hand-by-hand mode, and I start getting cards.

I get TT and win a large pot calling an all-in (he had 99). I'm up to T24000 and into 10th place of 30.

The next two hands I get are AA. One guy goes all in, I call, and a guy behind me goes all in, pushing me in. The big pot goes to K9s, while I win the side pot over KK (two 9s on the board). I'm down to T7500 or so, with 800-1600 blinds.

Very next hand, I get AKs, raise, get re-raised and call it going all in. Other guy has QQ, I get no help, I go home now.

Don't care. It's still a first, and I'm still pumped. I didn't make my usual stupid mistakes, actually caught a break or two, and I cashed. Yay, me.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Enough With the Tilt Already!

I hate it when Blogger eats a post.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Oh, The Huma--- I Mean, Ow!

One of the side effects of my job is that I've become extremely cynical. Let's put it this way, my formerly trusting nature has been turned around 180 degrees and I now find myself fighting a tendancy to assume that all people are lying weasels.

One group of people that occasionally graces my door are people who are chronically or permanently injured. Sometimes, you just have to wonder how someone who can work all day in his or her garden, moving stuff around, etc. just can't hold a job because of their condition.

I've been fortunate not to have been injured much (so far anyway) in my lifetime. Oh, I blew out a knee once, and have broken a few bones, but nothing serious.

Today, I seem to have developed a problem. My right arm, wrist and hand are causing problems. Writing is a pain. Typing isn't awful, but it isn't pleasant. I had to switch to using the mouse left handed.

I sure hope this is just a pinched nerve or pulled muscle. I really can't afford to have carpal tunnel in my line of work, but it sure seems to have all ths signs of that.

Maybe I need to be more sympathetic to the injured. In the meantime, ow!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

I Am Not Afraid To Ask The Unanswerable...

.. or, for that matter, advocate the indefensible. I love Jessica Simpson for her mind.

So, anyway:

If a tree falls in the forest ... will it be dealt Jack-Three offsuit?

If you were Sir Mix-A-Lot's manager and trying to revive his career, wouldn't the first thing you would do be to have him write and record a tune called "Baby Got Rack"?

Who has the keys to a 7-11?

Am I the only one who immediately says "Too late!" when the lead singer of Green Day ups with "Don't want to be an American idiot...."

If a thousand monkeys with a thousand typewriters will eventually crank out the complete works of Shakespeare, how long would it take them to draw 'Garfield'?

Here's a link to a page with a bunch more...

Back in the Saddle .... Again

Thank goodness for the Prima Poker network.

Due to an unfortunate couple of beats playing NLHE, my Royal Vegas mini-bankroll has pretty much been torpedoed. Thankfully, other Prima sites offer the same free $10 signup deal, so now I'm playing courtesy of 7 Sultans. This time, I will stick to limit and will try and build my "bankroll" up a bit before getting all crazy.

So far, so good. My $2.00 buyin this evening on a nickel-dime limit table is up to almost $10.00. Even though I doubt that I've digested more than 10% of the Sklansky book I picked up recently, I already feel like I'm playing smarter, more disciplined poker. (oh, yeah, and getting a few decent hits on the flop helps, too. I even played the hammer (72o), got 2 pair on the flop and it held up. Yay!)

In other unrelated news, I purchased a couple tickets to upcoming Kasey Chambers shows. Too bad she's not playing the greater Detroit area this time around, but I'm perfectly happy to drive to see her play. I'm probably the only person saying it, but ... c'mon November!

Monday, October 25, 2004

Music Lessons for the Tragically Unhip

This has nothing to do with anything, but it's always good when you can give a good answer to an inane question.

Random person (noting I'm listening to an MP3 player): "Hey, dude, what are you listening to?"
Me (nonplussed): "um, well, uh, 'Take the Skinheads Bowling'."

By the way, any song title with "skinheads" in it has a fair chance of shutting up whoever asked you what you're listening to.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Book Learnin'

Haven't played in a couple days, due to family commitments and the lack of a useful balance in my poker account. I've been delayed in getting my Netteller account funded thanks to my new bank's inability to get the check printers to ship me checks. I haven't the faintest idea what's taking them so freaking long.

I have been working my way through the Small Stakes Hold'em book I picked up the other day at Barnes & Noble. It's dense, chewy stuff, but interesting. I've lost track of the number of times I read something and though "wow, I didn't play it that way at all. What a bonehead I must be." I'm starting to think that it's a small miracle that I've been a reasonable winner online (but for one awful NL session which my "bankroll" obviously could not handle) at microlimits and about break-even at casino poker. I have been aware of some of the concepts discussed in the book, but have only factored things like pot odds and outs into my play in the most rudimentary of ways. There is so much to learn.

I think that I will probably fund an account at one of the sites and work on these concepts at the micro-limits until I can do a better job of decisionmaking. Some of the obvious concepts (like folding garbage, especially out of position) I have had a grasp on, and can fine tune fairly easily. Developing a more aggressive posture will take a little work, and extracting maximum value with post-flop play is going to take a lot of work. We'll see if poker remains fun while I learn. I think it will, but it's anyones guess, really.

And that, folks, is all the poker content I have at the moment. I'll leave you with one of those unanswerable questions: Is there any moment more awkward than being at a wedding reception, and as soon as the DJ has gotten the initial dances (wedding party, bride/father, groom/mother) out of the way, he spins a back-to-back set of Next's "Too Close"* and Sir-Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back", the nasty version? I mean, this is before a single older person has called it a night, before anyone's too drunk to care, and in a room where a sizable portion of the people are pretty uptight by nature. If he'd played 2 Live Crew, that would have been a superb trifecta, but the guy fell short.


* in the event you're somehow not familiar, "Too Close" is a song about an er -- uh, let's call it a Viagra moment.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Back to Square 1.69

The ol' micro-bankroll took an unfortunate hit last night.

After having a bit of success playing NL, I fired the game up again, and promptly got crushed. Poor decision-making, I suppose. Still, it's hard to pass up opportunities to get your money in with strong hands.

Really, I only took two beats of note -- my AK lost to QQ headsup when QQ pushed before the flop. No help. Worse, I had the chance to more than triple up with TT versus A4 suited -- oops, a third player had KK behind me, the board came with an ace and a rainbow assortment of rags, and I come in third.

And so it's back to nickel-dime limit. Drat.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Not So Much a Bad Beat Story

Painful moment of the evening...

I can't play in tonight's blogger tournament, but when I got home I was inspired to try a little low-buyin NL action. Bad idea.

I get dealt KK in late position. Several limpers, one raise to $0.50 (this is nickel-dime blinds). I call, three others stay in to party.

Flop is A-A-rag, with two spades. Ugh. Some betting, I call with a sizable pot. Probably not a good play (I'll have to study that one). Turn is a Q, no help, but I stay in -- it requires the rest of my max $2 buyin. River is a third A.

At this point, I am only beaten by someone with an Ace, as I have the nut full house. Cards are shown by all due to all ins -- I beat the people playing 77 and Q7o, but there had to be someone with that last ace.

Oh, the humani-- I mean, gee whiz that smarts.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Enhancing Randomness, One Post at a Time

I do not care much for people in marketing. They're morons. I am completely convinced that if you're decent-looking, stupid as all get out and have never had an original thought in your life, you should be in marketing.

I'm sure there are exceptions, but I don't know any.

People who create corporate slogans (buh da da da da, I'm lovin' it!) must be the dumbest of the dumb.

I'm not bored enough to make a full list, but let's consider an example. "Nobody Doesn't Like Sara Lee".

First of all, what is with the double negative? Are you trying to confuse your potential customers into thinking you have a good product? Or is it a bad product? Why should we care, when your commercial lasts a mere 30 seconds and we've already moved on to something with sports, half-naked women (or men, if you happen to be female or otherwise into that sort of thing), loud noises or tasty food.

Second of all, the very premise of your tagline is wrong. Nobody doesn't like Sara Lee? Oh, really? How about the tens of thousands of workers you've laid off in the last ten years? How about anyone who's happened to get a bad batch of one of your products and spent a night ralphing into a bucket? Surely somebody out there has got it in for Sara Lee, even if it's only because they're slightly pissed off about the widespread use of high fructose corn syrup.

Morons, I tell you. Absolute morons.

And don't even get me started on Coors Light's mission to make the "coldest tasting" beer in the world...'s making me wait. It's keeping me waiting...

Anticipation, that is.

For every bad beat, there's good stuff. I'm still waiting for the great stuff, but the good stuff is still pretty sweet from time to time.

Dealt KhJs on the button. Everyone limps, so I join the party.

Flop is AhQhTh. I have the nut straight and the inside royal flush draw.

C'mon Jack of Hearts.

It doesn't come. We get two random black rags, and I have to settle for taking the pot with my straight, as nobody had a suited pair of hearts.

I didn't even push, because I wanted to show the royal.

I have never had a royal.

I saw a straight flush to the Jack yesterday, but I haven't even ever *seen* a royal.

Guess I'll just have to wait at least one more hand.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Putting the BS in Bad Beat Stories

Just because I like the bad beat stories and it's my blog...

Dealt KK in position. I raise, it gets reraised and capped with about six to the flop. Flop is K-8-2 rainbow. Capped four ways. Turn is a 10. Capped three ways. I have the absolute nuts going to the river. I'm concerned about an A, obviously, but there's no flush possibility on the board.

One of the 3 remaining players bets out. Uh oh. Being stupid conservative, I just call. Third player calls. First player has AdJd for a broadway straight.

He called four bets on the flop and on the turn with no pair, no flush draw, and went runner-runner with one of two possible hands that beat me.

The pot was just shy of $8.00 -- at $0.10/$0.20 limit.

Oh, the human-- I mean, fu-- uh, I mean this pretty much sucked giant *********************** *********** **********

Was this retribution for sucking out on someone playing 32o and going runner-runner with deuces earlier? The card gods do not answer.

I went to Barnes & Noble today and picked up the Miller/Sklansky/Malmuth Small Stakes Hold'em book. I'll be interested to see if it helps my game. I'm still about a break-even player, as my hand selection has improved but my discipline is still pretty weak. Looks pretty dense, so it may take a while to digest, but what the heck. It's more entertaining than whatever is on TV.

I did also note on 2+2 that an insane deal was available on Dell laptops today. Wish I'd seen it earlier. Not that I need a laptop, mind you, but half price would have been way too good to pass up. Too bad I missed it.

An Apology

... to the card gods for whatever I may have done.

Killing a lunch hour playing dime-two dime limit at Royal Vegas, I have yet to see a single pocket pair. That's right, none. In just about an hour. I've played exactly 2 hands outside the blinds, AQo and Ad8d, both of which completely missed on the flop.

So, anyway, I'm sorry. Please give me my mojo (whatever I may have of it, anyway) back.

While typing this, I got QhJh, flopped two hearts including the A, turned the flush when the 3h, and lost to f-ing Presto. Fives full of threes.

Oh, the hu--- I mean, gosh I hate this game sometimes.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Sick, Sick, Sick .. and Wrong

Here's an example for you of my tenuous grasp on sanity....

Driving to work one morning last week, I pulled up at a stop sign behind a car with a license plate number of "789 TJS".

Of course, I looked at that and immediately thought ... seven, eight, nine, ten, jack, suited. Jack-high straight flush. Nice.

I need therapy and years of it.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

"U" is for Uncreative

One of these days, I will manage to find some time to compile a list of the most entertaining screen names I've run across so far in the poker world.

This is not that time.

Instead, I'd like to give a virtual slap upside the head to all the uncreative boobs out there with boring screen names. I mean, c'mon. Right now, I'm sitting at a table with a PokerJunkie, PokerBoy69, and the PokerKing. That's not to mention a RiverPig and a FlopCat.

Double slap upside the head for anyone who throws a 69 in their screen name, although you'll get a sincere Matusow-style handshake apology offer later if you happen to have been born in 1969.


And, speaking of morons, I've just been CHECKRAISED. At $0.05/$0.10.

Oh, the hu---, I mean rats.

Someone did have that 10 for a straight. Fudge.

Bad Beat of the Day

Limped with Ks8s, trying to examine the possibilities of playing K-rag suited more often. Flopped the nut flush draw (As hit the board along with a pair of sixes, including the 6s). Bet, which pushed everyone out except a player with only $0.15 left at the table. He raised, I reraised, he capped and I called.

The cards are flipped. He's got the Hammer's dirty cousin, 7-2 suited.

Turn is a 7 of diamonds, river is a red 10, and the powerful 72s takes the pot.

Oh, the h-- I mean, gosh darn it all.

"M" is for "Moron"

... and sometimes it's me.

Sometimes, and I'm leaning toward most of the time, it's them.

Played quite a bit at Royal Vegas the last couple days. I'm having fun with it, although I'm definitely not getting rich. I might be up a couple bucks, but it's been a bumpy ride.

I seem to be a pretty steady winner at the true microlimits (0.05/0.10 and 0.10/0.20), but didn't play well when I tried 0.25/0.50 earlier today. Some of it was a run of bad cards (I went over an hour without winning a hand, didn't have the cards to play often, didn't get a set with my occasional low pocket pair, etc), but in general my play was not good. Still a bit too much chasing on less than optimal hands. I got rivered out of a sizable pot by a deuce -- someone made 2s full of Js playing J2. I had a nice pocket pair and had driven everyone else out by playing it aggressively. Sometimes you just have to shake your head. At least my discipline is better tonight.

I think I'm going to stick to limit games (and freerolls, of course) for now, since I seem to play better in limit. And I definitely need to do some reading if I'm going to improve my win percentage.

As always, plenty of lessons to be learned when you play. Yesterday's was "don't slowplay aces early in a tournament, you dumbshit". I got AA on the second hand, raised about a quarter of the starting chips each pre-flop and post-flop, pushed in after the turn, and I got rivered by someone playing 65o when the turn and river came 66 to give them the set. Played better in today's freeroll and was actually in the top 100 out of 6000 before I made a couple mistakes and busted out well short of the money. Probably just as well, since I made more money in less time playing the dime-two dime game than I would have in the tourney, unless I'd made the final table!

I almost hope I get bored with this whole poker thing soon. It's fun, it's relaxing, It's cheap entertainment, at least as long as I don't deposit. But sitting on your butt in front of the computer can't be real good for you.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Your mind is a blank slate. Getting so tired.

Awake. Chicken!

Good lord am I out of it this morning. I am so out of it that I just drove away from the McDonald's drivethrough without my caffienated beverage of choice. I definitely need to not stay up so late.

If I haven't bored you away with all the poker stuff already, here are a smattering of random thoughts and other things, just because I can:

The town I live in has the worst McDonalds on the planet. I have always liked McFood, notwithstanding the haters -- who was it that thought their hamburgers tasted like spackle? The guy who drew "Bloom County"? -- but man is our local outlet awful. Their fries are edible maybe one time out of four, their secret sauce tastes rather off so you shouldn't order a Big Mac, they screw up orders, and just generally don't seem to care very much. The other day I ordered a double cheeseburger and for some reason it had about four tablespoons of mayo on it. I have no idea why I occasionally frequent this place, but I do. I think I've pretty much figured out what is least likely to be screwed up, and it is cheap, fast and convenient.

There isn't much point to this ramble, except to say that going back for my beverage paid off, as it contained a Monopoly game piece good for a free value meal. So I'll actually come out money ahead assuming I get something edible. There's a good way to start the day. I'm up, and not from poker.

I had an out of town meeting yesterday afternoon, and decided to avoid the gridlock on the freeway by taking the back roads home. I'm really glad that I did, as the colors from the leaves changing were simply spectacular. I'm not a fall color tour kind of person, but I have to say wow. If a leisurely drive through beautiful scenery with a little music on the CD player doesn't put you in a good mood, you may need to have your head examined. Even I was up at that point, and not from poker.

You won't hear anyone else advocating it, but I kind of wish that they would bring back MTV's Celebrity Death Match. I wasn't a devoted viewer, although I did see quite a few episodes. Quite a few memorable moments, too. For some reason I was thinking this morning of the 3-way talk show host match -- I want to say it was Oprah, Geraldo and Jerry Springer, but I'm a little fuzzy on the details -- I can hear, as the match is coming to a close

Jerry Springer (whimpering): But what about my final thought?
Oprah (about to put the final smackdown on Jerry): You just HAD your final thought!
(Springer is taken out)

Good times.

I haven't made a list or anything, but there are so many people that deserve to be chopped down to size, claymation death style.

Well, I had a whole bunch of additional rambling or gambling thoughts to share, but since it is a work day (yay Friday, however), I should probably get to it.

Super Karate Money Death Car

Just to put some closure, final tally for this evening's $2.00 buyin at a fabulous $0.05/$0.10 table ... $13.38. 113 "big" bets. Yeah.

Better card discipline and learning how to identify the maniacs does make a difference...

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Jealousy is a Green-Eyed B****

I've just seen the most incredible run of luck ever.

Same table. Currently has 3 complete maniacs who will cap *anything* all the way to the river.

Lucky maniac has at least tripled up, thanks to a run of 92o cracking AA, beating my pair of Kings, Ace kicker with a rivered flush playing 9d5d in the face of three raisers, Jacks full from J7o, a full house playing 52o, and I forget the last one.

I finally beat him with a rivered nut straight, but didn't get a monster pot out of the deal, since I never had the nuts prior to that.

I'm up to over $7.00 but am down a bit after I laid down KK to two raisers after the turn put an A and a straight draw out there. Good laydown, because I would have been 3rd to AJ and J9. What a game.

People are, uh, strange

So I'm sitting at a $0.05/$0.10 limit game on Royal Vegas.

It's going pretty well, as I've exhibited excellent discipline and have run my $2.00 buying up to $3.13 at the moment. Admittedly, that includes a tiny win with K2o in the big blind -- that's right, I won with a pair of 2s.

But answer me this, someone. There is someone sitting at the table with over $473.00.


Really. Why?

Oh, and strike that runup figure, as I just overplayed pocket 8s and my blinds are coming up. Oh the hu--- um, I mean, crap.

Still Plenty of Room for Improvement

Not much poker news to post today. I actually went out solo for dinner and had a solid meal for a change. That fast food is kicking my ass, and it needs to stop.

Got back just in time for the Royal Vegas $1,500 gift freeroll at 8:00. I had signed up the other day, and fired up the ol' computer before I left to make sure it didn't boot me from the tournament if I got back late. As it turns out, I was only momentarily late (not that it would have mattered), but I drew the small blind to start and it autofolded my hand. Darn, down T$10 already.

Ended up finishing 511th out of 6000. Not awful, but nothing special. I played hit-or-miss early, going up to T3000, then down to 1500. Up to 3500, back down. Failed to make a couple laydowns and I hit the first break with just under an average stack. Hit a hand shortly after, and I'm doing OK, up into the top 500. Got moved to a different table with a couple big stacks and they pretty much pushed me around. I didn't get cards for a while, and whatever I tried missed completely. Finally, with the blinds at 400-800 and a T2800 stack, I pushed with AJc preflop, got three callers (oops), ended up with a pair of jacks losing to a big stack playing 95o who made two pair. Yow. Hey, at least I finished ahead of the people who didn't bother to show up at all and got blinded off!

I can't help but be encouraged by much better hand discipline than I was displaying last night. Maybe I'll play a little nickel dime limit and see if I can run up the couple bucks I've got left.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004


The joy of the first day has definitely worn off.

Today, by contrast, was just brutal. Played a variety of tables, but it never mattered. I just had no cards. Tried PL, NL and fixed. Got absolutely killed, especially at PL and NL.

Played a $1 PL HE tournament and busted out mid-pack. Played a $2 + $0.25 NL HE tournament, and played a grand total of about four hands in an hour. Rebought once after going all in (I had about 1/2 the starting chip level) with trip Qs and losing to a straight on the river. Rebought once and immediately started kicking myself. Why rebuy when you can't buy a pocket pair? In about six table hours today(possibly a bit more), I never had AA, never had KK, never had QQ, never had AKs ....

The only consolation was sitting down at a $0.05/$0.10 limit HE table and running my massive $1.00 buyin up over $2.50. Even there I made some marginal calls and lost to a few rivered hands. But, considering how wretched the rest of the day was, I'll take it.

I did also determine that I can handle 2-tabling, although I'm not likely to do much of it at the moment, seeing as a bankroll just might be required for that...

Today's lessons:

1. Until I get a deposit in, I will stay away from the tournaments. I'll try and rebuild via the lowest of the low fixed limit tables, and there's a freeroll I'm signed up for tomorrow night.

2. My new year's resolution will definitely be to complain less about getting bad cards. I'm sure it happens to everyone, and that I shouldn't whine, but it sure does SUCK to get Q6o and 94o, along with their cousins 52s and J3o, on just about every hand. Sheesh.

Rant over. I am taking deep cleansing breaths (whatever the hell those are) and hoping that balance has been restored to the Force.

And That's a Wrap

Day One finished with more good stuff. If there are better feelings than a good card rush, by all means bring them on.

After the $1 NL tournament, I sat at a $0.10/$0.20 limit game. I got absolutely nothing to play, and finally decided to change tables after losing some blinds and few small bets. I moved to a $0.10/$0.20 NL game instead. I don't play much NL, but since most of the tournaments are NL, I figured I should improve my game. Sat down with $5.00 and within an hour had tripled up to over $15.00. Cards were just great. Lots of pairs -- QQ, 99, 88, JJ -- plus at least one AKs and an AKo. Even when I had other stuff like A2s or even A3o on the button it made something. Heck, I had 74o in the BB, got to play for free, flopped the open ended straight draw and hit the 8 on the river.

Alas, all good things must come to an end. I did get some playable hands later, including KK a couple times, but they kept missing the flop. I burned a few nickels and dimes chasing. Need to stop that. I also need to get better at preserving and even increasing my stack when I don't get cards. I'm fairly solid at playing the good hands, but I'm struggling with the marginal stuff.

Still, I ended the first day almost doubling my mini-bankroll. But for the tournament entry fees or one particularly bad play, I would have. Fun stuff, and my opinion of the Royal Vegas site is improving.

The particularly bad play cost me some bucks. I had KTo one from the button. I raise trying to steal and get three callers. Flop comes AQT. I have a pair and the inside straight draw, so I bet out to see where we are. Only one caller. Turn is a J for the made nut straight. Here's where I goofed. I didn't notice that there were 2 hearts on the board. I should have bet out to force the remaining player to give up a draw if that's what he had. I didn't. I checked, he checked behind me. River is a low heart. He makes a sizable bet. I think I'm toast, but I've seen people play aggressively at this table with two strong pair. I call it and lose to the flush. If I had bet the turn, does anyone think that someone holding 9h3h would stay to the river? Ugh. Don't slowplay it when someone may have a draw, you dummy.

This is the kind of lesson that you just can't get from a book, not that it would hurt me any to actually read one.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Not a Bad 1st Day So Far

Just a little update on my first day of "real" play. I played another hour and a half or so in a $0.05/$0.10 ring game. Picked up another $3 profit on my $5 buy in. I blew $1 on a $1+0 limit tournament and just busted out 129th out of 351. Made one stupid move with QdJd and came in third best to QQ and JJ on a hand to take a big hit. Survived once with 93o, but finally busted out on Ad5d when I got no help and A6o hit a pair of sixes. That's poker, and it only cost me a buck.

I think I might play a $1 or $3 no limit tournament yet tonight, but we'll see. Maybe I should take the big step up to the $0.10/$0.20 limit ring game instead. Hah.

Another thing that needs to happen is I need to start compiling a list of the greatest screen names ever. I've seen several that are right up there with 4AssedPanda, but didn't write them down. That needs to change, and soon.

Another update: Finished 143rd out of 448 in the 10:00 $1+0 No Limit tournament. Busted out after pushing my short stack (T590) in right after the break with 100/200 blinds. I had the Hilton Sisters, flopped a set, and lost to a rivered wheel from someone playing A2s. Yeesh. I would have been in much better position if I'd played better earlier -- I got 2 other pairs, AA and 66. Threw away the 66 in a hurry, but I screwed up the AA by not knowing how to vary the raise size. I ran short on time and minimum raised, and ended up losing to Q8 when QQ came on the flop. I'm sure I would have pushed him/her out with my intended 5+xBB preflop raise. Oh, well. I'm encouraged without being too cocky, since I would have had to survive another 103 spots to get in the money. There's work to be done here.

I'm going to anticipate the obvious question -- how do you get to the first break without knowing how to raise more than the minimum? The answer is, you get crappy cards. I had AQo under the gun once, and other than that I didn't have anything better than Q10. Why push 93o, J2s or whatever, regardless of position?

Another Milestone Reached

... well, this is more like a centimeterstone.

I logged on to Royal Vegas for something to do while eating lunch and, what do you know, they put that free $10.00 into my account.

So I'm officially playing online for something other than fake PokerStars chips. Pretty cool. Granted, I'm playing $0.05/0.10 limit, but, hey, after one orbit I'm up a whopping $0.77 thanks to pocket 7s making a full house and holding up. Yeehah.

I won't bore you with a play-by-play or anything, but still, it's nice to join the half million other people out there who've made this move before me. I suspect I'll still prefer casino poker, but you can't beat this kind of convenience.

Edited to add: Finished my first session (about 35-40 minutes) up $3.60 on a $5.00 buyin. Nice. Had 7s full once, Js full twice (one of which lost to a higher Js full). I wonder how long I can stretch that mini-bankroll....


People lie. I keep hearing how much people enjoy their jobs, how they look forward to going to work every morning, their passion for what they do, blah blah blah. Filthy liars. Over-the-top disgusting dirty Britney Spears' fiance scumbag liars.

Work sucks, and that's all there is to it.

Part of the problem that I have is that I am never mentally ready to go in to work in the morning. I tend to sleep as late as I can, stumble through the AM routine, and I'm there. More or less on time. Some weeks (this being one of them), I'm sleep deprived from having stayed up too late one night doing something I actually enjoy, and this only compounds the problem. I end up counting the minutes until I can escape for a bit during the lunch hours.

Still, work sucks even when you're tanned, rested and ready.

That's why I've pretty much determined that winning the lottery is my only remaining dream. I can enjoy some of the mundane joys of life - poker, golf, booze, etc. -- but I don't dream about them. I have no ambition, no expectations of any kind of fabulous future, just the inexorable passage of time doing something that pretty much blows 40-60 hours per week. I need to hit the lotto.

So .... Now that you're all depressed, how about some poker content?

I still haven't tried the weekly $500 freeroll at I logged on last night for the first time in a week or so to see if anything was going on. Not much was. Looks like they had 77 players in last week's event -- infinitely better odds (or at least a really large finite number better) than the zoo that is PokerStars. I still have one entry I'm sitting on, so maybe I'll try it this weekend. I expect to be bored to tears during the early levels -- I played one of their Sit-n-Go tables to try and win another entry and it must have taken an hour to play the first orbit. Once a couple of really slow players busted it was fine, but it was pretty freaking ridiculous at the start. I take back what I said earlier, it's even worse -- it's more like some of these people are 11-tabling via carrier pigeon. Ugh.

I did also sign up with for their $10.00 free and 40% bonus offer. The money hadn't been credited to my account yet when I signed off after about 2 hours (in fairness, the disclosures do say it may take up to 24 hours), so I only spent a half-hour on a fake money table getting the feel of the place and the interface. The fake money players are as stupid as they are everywhere else.

I doubt I'll spend a lot of time at Royal Vegas -- there were about 4,000 players, which isn't bad, and there were a full range of games, tournaments and sit-n-gos available. There are also a fair number of freerolls and pseudo-freerolls (where you have to play X number of raked hands to get in, and which may have optional cash money rebuys or addons). The ones with a raked hand requirement to get in appear to have a nice overlay, and the $1,000 prize pools make them more appealing than Stars. I may give them a shot to build experience, assuming that I can work off my bonus (once I deposit, that is) playing 0.25-0.50 or 0.50-1.00 limit HE. I think the main thing that'll keep me away is the interface, which just isn't that great. The Stars design is so much better.

Missed getting into the Stars freeroll again. Signup starts at 8:10, I remembered at 8:14, zipped in to put my name in the queue, but I knew I wouldn't get in. And I didn't.

Well, that's pretty much that. I think I'll spend some time making a list of things that would sell but which don't make much sense. Like "Fred Durst's Dating Tips" and "". Maybe I could get rich that way.

I need a vacation. I need Canterbury in November.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Next on FOX, "When Trailer Homes Attack!"...

I'm hoping I can successfully borrow this image from IGGY, because it really deserves a caption:

"Hello, I'm Morgan Freeman from the year 2016, and welcome to my talk show. With us today are Bjorn, from 70s supergroup ABBA, and his lovely bride, 2004 Olympic gold medalist Carly Patterson. Please join us as we spend the next hour discussing the horrible, horrible things that happen when you forget to take your Levitra on your wedding night.

Oh, the humanity!"

As a side note, I was reading IGGY's blog (remember, that's the other day, and I noticed he tends to use the phrase which is the title of this humble rag quite frequently.

Just so as y'all know, I did not intentionally rip off the man. Truly. It's been a favorite rejoinder of mine to stupid internet message board posts for eons. But if you don't believe me, consider it an homage to the hardest working poker blogger in the business, and vote for bonus code IGGY no later than November 4.

One Dozen Or So Freshly Half-Baked Thoughts

And away we go.

1. Step one of the "get playing online to avoid the massive gas expense associated with playing brick and mortar casino poker here in the wasteland" master plan has been accomplished. I opened a separate bank account today. Tonight, I'll get signed up with Neteller, and as soon as I can verify online access to my bank account, the slow process of getting accounts funded can begin. It's only slow because I don't like the thought of paying 3.9% or more in fees just to make a deposit. I'll register the bank account, wait for things to clear, and just transfer funds electronically.

I don't think I'll be able to get everything set up and a Stars account funded in time to play in the poker blogger and reader tournament (by the way, I consider myself to be in the latter category -- I'm a fan, that's all), but we'll see. If you don't know about this, check out the maestro of poker blogs IGGY (). And do the guy the courtesy of using his referral code if you sign up and play. If I can't get this coded right, it's

2. I haven't decided where else to set up an account. Probably Party Poker or Empire, Ultimate Bet might be a possibility. I will at least look into my options for doing a little low-level bonus whoring, but don't think that'll be a major motivation since I don't expect to play that many table hours.

3. Immutable law of casino poker #12: If you fold a lot, you'll experience a lot fewer bad beats. Just a little something I learned on Saturday. I left with really no especially good bad beat stories to bore the world with, because I got out of the way most of the time. Oh, yeah, and I had lots of crappy cards, too.

4. Is there a greater first line of a popular song ever than

"... I. Like. Big Butts and I can't deny!"?

You know exactly which song I'm referring to, don't you?

5. One more immutable law of brick and mortar casino poker that you really ought to know about, especially at low limits: Bluffing is almost always a waste of time and especially money. You can't move people off a marginal hand when they don't know any better. If you've never played a live game, you will be blown away by the garbage people play to the river. Even I'm not that dumb, usually. But low limits casino players are notorious for calling you down with bottom pair or a backdoor inside straight draw.

6. This low-carb thing might have legs. I bought a breadmaker at Meijer (think Super Wal-Mart) the other day on closeout for a gift. The cost? $18. Think about that. This is not an insignificant appliance. I'll have to look up the original retail, but I'd wager it was darned near $100.00. You've gotta love a bargain, and the recipient won't give a rip.

7. I'm glad that Halloween is finally coming up. Some kids are going to get some seriously stale candy in their bags this year, judging from how long the stores have had piles of the stuff stacked out on display.

8. Speaking of Halloween, our local haunted houses open this weekend. If I ever did one, it would have all kinds of displays about adulthood. Job. Responsibilities. Mortgage payments. I would think that would scare the pants off the kiddies. I know it'd get to me.

9. One poker thing I know I need to do is explore more sites. I need to find a few more freerolls to play in for some cheap multi-table tournament experience, and it's almost impossible to get into the ones on Stars, despite the fact that they're 6000 players strong and you've got to not only get to the final table, but you've got to final table through a few hundred people winners in a subsequent Round 2 event to get a piece of a $250.00 prize pool. Yikes.

10. I get pocket tens more than any other pocket pair, closely followed by 33 and 66. I never, ever get Presto (55) or 88. I haven't seen the Hilton Sisters (QQ) in at least my last 20 hours of casino poker.

I did get AA twice on Saturday, though. Once it held up, once it was cracked by absolute garbage (76o, I think) when the garbage man made two pair. I did not tilt. At least not then and there.

11. Sometimes it's hard to come up with a dozen thoughts.

12. Since that last one was cheating, here are a couple more.

13. No, I'm serious.

14. Bittorrenting is the wave of the present. I should probably spend some time reviewing the legality of trading taped concerts, but I have to say it is pretty freaking cool to be able to hear a live performance from an artist (hi, REM! What's happening, Springsteen?) that doesn't come within 150 miles of where you live.

15. I could spend hours reading blogs. I have spent hours reading the archives of two blogs I really like.

And with that, I am out of here. Tip to the waitress.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Tilt Happens

...and sometimes it hurts, sometimes it doesn't.

I made it up to Manistee last night for a little no fold'em hold'em. Although the session was a loser (more on that in a minute), it was a terrific learning experience. Thinking about it, I can easily identify several holes in my game that I'm going to have to patch if I'm ever going to be a consistent winner.

Anyway, I got up there about 8:00 last night and, unlike my usual experience, got seated right away. They were just opening a $100 max buyin 1-2 NL game (played with red $5 chips!), so a seat or two was available at the three active 4-8 limit tables. I bought in for $120 and sat down.

I decided to wait for the blind instead of posting, so I could get settled in and watch a couple hands. Once I started seeing cards, things could hardly have gone better. I got AQ the first hand, and a pair of queens held up thanks to a ragged board. I got AA one hand later and it held up. There was one other pocket pair (TT?) in there, and just like that I'm up more than $100. Even the two hands I folded (Q6 and A3o UTG or close to it) during that stretch would have held up. I'm thinking I need to have more confidence in the card rush.

Yesterday's first lesson is variance at 4-8 is a killer, especially if you play loose at all and don't hit anything. After that little rush, I went absolutely card dead for a couple hours. Almost nothing playable. Lots of passive play and almost no pre-flop raising, so I tried to make a couple plays with things like QTc on the button, T9d one from the button. Not only did I not hit anything, it wasn't even close. I bled quite a few chips on the blinds -- the table got a bit shorthanded -- and I had a couple cases where the flop looked good, usually top pair, top kicker, but a straight or flush draw (or both) would come up. I did have the discipline to lay most of those down, which looked like the correct move, as there was a fair amount of showing of the goods.

The corrolary to the above rule is that tight is still right (ya big dummy). The biggest flaw I have is loosening up and playing more hands when I'm up. I know this is why I'm more of a break-even player, and it needs to stop.

We finally get shorthanded enough (and so do the other two tables) that the game breaks and I get to move to another table. Oh, man. What could have been. I steamed all the way home about the opportunity lost.

There are just massive stacks of chips at my new table. The cast of characters included two Manistee regulars (both friendly guys), a couple loose kids, two decent and lucky players at the far end, a solid player from the previous table, two fairly drunk, extremely loose guys with TONS of chips stacked in front of them, and, later, a kid who sat down to my right and who was on his 4th $100 buy-in in about two hours by the time I left.

The lesson here is lost opportunities are SO very painful! You don't get dream tables like this very often. Still not a ton of pre-flop raising, but calling, calling, calling. If you raised, it'd still get called by 5-7 players. You had 3-4 players staying to the river constantly.

And, after winning a couple pots by playing aggressively -- I think I did hit one flush -- fairly early after sitting, I got absolutely f-ing NOTHING to play. I was down most of my buy-in and all of my earlier gains not long after sitting, won my couple posts, was back up $80, and then just got zip. It is so frustrating to not be able to take a pot from guys who will play any two cards, call any bet at least until the river, etc. I don't think I took a thing from any of the fish.

This led to some minor tilt. I need to do some additional reading on the subject of how to play at this type of table. I loosened up my starting hand requirements a bit -- playing more suited connectors, mostly, and I never hit a thing. I'd get 87s and the board would come A-8-2 rainbow. I mostly did OK in laying things down, but I did call a few small bets to see another card, and whenever I did, another card to the straight or flush, or another overcard, would come. Aaaargh.

Finally, in the wee small hours, I got two hands with some potential. I got AJs on the button, pushed, and got the anti-board (I think it was 234 of diamonds or some crap like that). I backed off and dumped when a K hit, which was a good move because I wasn't going to beat trips. Shortly after that I get 33 and lay it down after the flop, again, a good move as I was up against 44 and AA (and at least one other player).

Notice a trend here?

Anyway, it's getting extremely late, I'm short stacked and bored from folding, folding, limping and missing, and folding. This is where "fun tilt" came in.

One more note to self: Dude, you gotta learn when to leave already.

I'm kicking myself at this point for not having left earlier. It's really late (bad for the discipline, it would appear), and I need a reason to go. So I play my big blind hand in the dark. I managed to do it discreetly, and I don't know how many people, if any, caught it. I pushed, had two guys call me to the river, and won a nice pot when my 82d made a flush to beat a straight and two pair. Nice.

Of course, being a dumbass, I play the small blind hand in the dark as well. Surprisingly enough, I got two suited cards again (K6c), but they made nothing. I think this was the card gods punishing me for not pushing like I had on the big blind hand.

Again, I should have left, but my undiagnosed OCD kicked in, and I played the rest of the way around. When my big blind came I played it dark again (don't know if anyone noticed, but I wouldn't have been surprised), had 94d, made 4s full of Aces, but got knocked out by a guy who made Aces full on the river. Damn. That would have been some fun if I could have more or less quadrupled up on that hand.

Playing in the dark when it's really really late is more fun that you might think. Rather than being all ticked off about losing, I was amused that I made a flush and a boat in two of my three in-the-dark hands. I think I'll chalk this one up as a fun gambling night, a learning experience, and not sweat it too much. I can afford the loss, although of course you always want to win.

One more hand before I wrap this up. Shortly before having my fun with playing in the dark, I took a beat that wasn't bad, but which was painful nonetheless. I think this was the hand that took enough of a bite out of my stack to tilt me. I look down and see Q6h. I must have been in early position. I limp -- I've loosened up to try and catch something, remember? -- and there are lots of callers. As an aside, the three hands I'd seen before that one were Q6h, J6o and Q6o. It was a Q6, J4, T3 kind of night....

Flop comes down 5h, 7h, 9h. I've got a flush, so I push. Something like five callers. Turn is the Kh. Yeah. I've got the second nut flush and still have that inside straight flush draw. River is the 2h, for the board flush. This is where I made a mistake. I should have checked, but I bet. Guy at the other end raises, and I have to pay him off. It cost me an extra bet to see his Ah. I don't feel bad about losing the hand -- I would have stayed in to see if I could hit the straight flush and if I could break the guy with the Ace high flush. I'm an idiot for betting out when I didn't have to. There was one other guy who folded to the raise, but I knew I had him beat. Stupid play on my part.

So that was it for that trip. I think it'll be a while before I head back up -- not because I don't enjoy it or because I can't use the experience, but mostly because of the drive. It's so hard to justify 3 1/2 hours on the road round trip just to play a few hours.

I'm tentatively planning on spending a couple days playing 3/6 at Canterbury in November, assuming that I have enough of a bankroll, and might hit Trump Indiana or Potawatomi in Milwaukee depending on my route and timetable.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Great Cardrooms of the Upper Midwest

Here's what you need to know -- a comprehensive list of the great cardrooms of the Upper Midwest:

1. Canterbury Park, Minneapolis.

Yup, that's it.

Nowhere else I've played in this region comes anywhere close. I have yet to give them the love they deserve, so here it is. The room is conveniently located at a track, so if you're into the ponies, you can get multiple fixes at the same time. They also have a casino games room if you're bored and want to go play blackjack or something (to be honest, I've never bothered, but that's just me). The players are Minnesota nice, for the most part. It's hard to have a bad time at Canterbury, at least if you're smart enough to fold like crazy when you're not getting cards.

I've spent 40 to 60 hours playing there -- not all that much, really, but enough to form a positive opinion. This is the kind of place Grand Rapids needs -- heck, slap a cardroom on Great Lakes Downs and rake in the bucks -- but they'll never do it around here.

You can take the stuff below with whatever quantity of salt you deem necessary, and I'd suggest you hit Canterbury's website -- -- for the most current information.

Location: Shakopee, MN (about 30 minutes from Minneapolis)
Easy to Find?: Yes, right off U.S. Hwy 169, with good signage
Places to Stay: There are a couple hotels next door, or there are plenty of places within 15-30 minutes in the various suburbs.
Tables: About 30
Games Spread: Limit HE, 2-4 up to 30-60. Some Stud and Omaha. Haven't seen any regular NL games.
Tournaments: Yes. Check the site.
Quality of Players: Depends. Weekends are crazy loose, other times not so much
Quantity of Players: Open all the time. The expected times (Fri and Sat eve) are very busy, with sizable waits on most games. Promotional times -- Aces Win on Tuesdays -- can also be busy.
Quality of Dealers: Mostly very good. Some are a bit surly, but most are personable. All seem to be well trained.
Attractive Beverage Servers?: So-so.
Quality of Beverage Service: Also so-so. Can be pretty slow.
Food: Snack bar with a modest table-side menu. I've had a couple sandwiches, which were better than expected. Prices are reasonable. Occasional buffets or treats. Free hot dogs on July 4 (for whatever that's worth).
Wild Cards: Get a hat or visor if you hit a straight flush. There are also bad beat jackpots, so they take a drop for that.
When You'll Find Me There: Any chance I get. If I'm within 200 miles, I'll usually add Minneapolis to my desination list just to go play. It's still not often enough, just a handful of times per year.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Fucktard of the Day, Part II

is apparently me, since I am now 0-for-2 in efforts to actually post a stupid picture.

Just loving the fact that the stupid HTML that works everywhere else doesn't work here. Aargh.

This just in ... I apparently no longer suck at image source coding, and therefore will need to hit the booze hard in order to generate some FOTD-level behavior.

Got an hour to kill?

Check out This site is just wrong. It's sick.

You won't be able to stop reading it.

I have to concur with this one: "Trump, Donald. Focus of evil in the modern world. Embodies much that is wrong with America. Short-fingered vulgarian. Linked with TWANS. "

I wonder if it says the same thing about Mark "Lucky Internet Bubble Dork, Not Business Supergenius" Cuban?

Fucktard of the Day

If there were any demand at all, there would be popular demand for a new feature -- the Fucktard of the Day. That's right, a blog salute to the truly moronic imbeciles who grace our lives.

Today's winner is.... this guy:

Mark David Chapman. {Side note -- some day I'll learn how to post pictures. Funny how the same HTML that works everywhere else doesn't work here.}

The guy who shot John Lennon wants to be paroled. Thankfully, the parole board wasn't buying it --

"During the interview your statement for motivation acknowledges the attention you felt this murder would generate," the board wrote in its single-page decision. "Although proven true, such rationale is bizarre and morally corrupt."

Hey, I'm not even a Lennon fan, but there's no reason this guy should ever get out. Ever.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Stop. Hammer Time.

It's fun to be a semi-maniac when the $$$ aren't real. Playing the Stars fake money limit tables while doing other things was most entertaining last night. Lost most of the 20,000 I brought to the table, came all the way back above 20, dropped to 10, and finally paid enough attention to bring it to 50,000+. If only the real thing were that easy.

Living up to my resolution, I played the Hammer (72o) hard. Got it three times. First went down in flames (lots of paint on the board), second time my deuces full of treys got cracked by a rivered treys full of deuces. Third time raked a monster with a set of 7s. Yee hah.

I'm really looking forward to getting the real $$$ set up, if only to see if I can be better than break even. And things are looking promising for a little Manistee excursion this weekend. We'll see about that...

Monday, October 04, 2004

How Many Can a Panda Have?

One mildly amusing thing about playing online poker (although it's true of anything internet-related if you think about it) is the names people come up with for themselves. Their net persona, in other words.

I just took a pot from someone named 4AssedPanda.

Welcome to the party, pal. You can check your extra asses at the door.

Quick Hits and Short Bits

Not a tremendous amount to add today, since it was a pretty tame weekend. Got in some quality golf time -- anyone got any putting tips? Tiger Woods blindfolded would kick my ass on the greens. Went out for some solid pizza and a few beverages. No poker at all, not even fake money at Stars. Oddly enough, I didn't miss it all that much, but I'm sure that feeling will pass.

I am in a random mood this evening. Anything could happen, but none of it likely will.

Watched a little of the National Scrabble Championship on ESPN on Sunday. If they gave that the full WSOP treatment, that would be some riveting TV. I hope they go for it. I'd watch it.

This just in: Mondays suck. Full story at 11.

Things you can say about your breakfast but not about your girlfriend:

Yeah, I'd like another piece of that.
Hey, that's nice and moist.
Mmmm, bacon!

This is a perfect example of why you should only blog in the moment. I had a good one, and it's long gone.

Ended up watching the new ABC show "Desparate Housewives" last night (thank you Rams for kicking 49er ass). Much better than I expected, although I have to admit expectations were awfully low. For middle-aged women, none of the main characters are hard on the eyes, and there were several laugh out loud funny lines. I'll watch it again, but wonder if they can make the plot hold up.

Time for something different. Maybe I'll go bait my hook.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Back THIS, buddy

One of the many things I do to kill time when bored is read the Rec.Gambling.Poker newsgroup. Despite the fact that it's about 90% garbage, every once in a while someone contributes a trip report or something worth reading -- even a decent bad beat story is a pleasure now and then.

Lately, much of that 90% garbage is people asking for backers or for someone to "stake" them. In other words, gimme money.

I've got an offer for all of them, especially you, Stevedapimp. I'll stake you with $1,000 of fake PokerStars money. Turn that into $1,000,000, transfer it back, and I'll stake you to at least $9.99 (depending on the current eBay price). Morons. Absolute morons.

Actually, the preferred term is "fucktards", but I wonder if Blogger will object to it. Hmmm....

Five by Five

I had entertained thoughts of going to Manistee last night, but punted when it didn't look like I could get up there before 11:00 pm. When the room closes at 4:00 and I'd have to leave at 3:00 to be sure to be home for an early morning commitment, I couldn't justify the drive. Tonight doesn't look promising either, due to the same set of problems. Dammit, sometimes it sucks living here.

Today's probable objectives will be playing in the $500 freeroll at the Bike, and possibly latching on to the $10.00 free offered by That of course means micro-limits, but I can deal with that. I'm no poker genius -- as evidenced by my tendency to break even at casino poker -- so I can use the practice. I also need to get around to opening a Neteller account and setting up a separate checking account to minimize both the risk of a massive financial fuckup and also the fees charged by Neteller.

I will also probably kill some time at the fake money tables on Stars, if only because it's a wonderful opportunity to test random theories and to mess with people's minds. Beats computer solitaire, anyway.

Just because I can:

Five Things We Like

1. Rudi Bakhtiar reading the CNN Headline News. She could read the list of ingredients on the side of a TV dinner and it would still be the sexiest thing you've ever heard.

I hate TV news, but I loooove waking up at 5:00 a.m. to discover that Rudi's on. Who cares if it's on tape?

2. Taco-flavor Doritos, currently enjoying a slight lead over Cool Ranch.
3. Getting unexpectedly cool birthday gifts.
4. Pulling out the ol' poker bankroll and discovering that you DID put that $40.00 you won the other day in there when you thought you'd blown it on a fifth of Absolut, a couple lottery tickets and dinner at Wendy's.
5. Catherine Zeta-Jones. I don't envy many people, but I envy the hell out of Michael Douglas.

Five Things We Don't Like

1. People who refer to themselves in the third person. We think they would be morons.
2. Carrot Top. His five minutes should be up by now, would someone please let him know.
3. Driving in the middle of the night when you're so tired you can't keep your eyes open.
4. Broken dishwashers.
5. Websites (yeah, that means you, Empire) that "elapse" a promotion and welch on everyone, legit or not, who went to take advantage of what looked like a bonafide offer. Weasels.

Is there a name for my new favorite junk hand? The last few times I've played, T3o has been THE hand. I should never fold it -- I pretty much always do, playing by the book -- because it always seems to hit. I can't buy a set with any kind of pocket pair, but T3o will flop a boat, trip threes or something that is just guaranteed to give the kind of action you want to mess with your opponents' heads. It is the Tilt-a-lator of hands.

And on that note, it's time to go see if some College Football pregame shows are on.

Friday, October 01, 2004

People don't respect the HAMMER...

I may have said below that I don't go in with 72s. I'm sticking with that, but from now on, at least at the fake money tables at Stars, I will be playing 72o, and aggressively at that.

Did it last night and got crushed (board was AKJ rainbow, what do you expect), but it was entertaining. And when you're playing with fake chips, of which I have plenty, why not? It's the only truly awful hand I'll be playing, and you've got to change up from time to time.

On another note, I busted a player at a 200-400 fake money limit table last night. He asked the table to help him out with some fake chips so he could stay. I had just cracked his KK, so I sent him 3,000. He promptly took off. Nice. I just about died laughing.

An observer at the table later mentioned the guy had gotten some from another table earlier.

How hard up do you have to be to hit-and-run begging other players for fake money?

Question: What's a Poker Blog without a Review?

Answer: Boring political crap.

I made a point of leaving the TV off last night in order to avoid the presidential "debate". I'll probably vote, and I know who I'd vote for, but I have little enthusiasm for any politician. Or any debate, really. I even find it hard to enjoy the blowhards (yes, I mean you, John Clayton, Sean Salisbury, Stephen A. Smith, PTI, etc, etc) who are now overpopulating ESPN.

Anyway, for something to do, I played in the nightly multi-table freeroll at the Bike ( Calling it multi-table is only a mild exaggeration, as I think there were 44 players. Simultaneously, I played the Stud hi/lo freeroll at PokerStars, which was the usual 5,000 to 6,000 players. Although I did better than expected at Stars (I forget where I went out -- 700th or so?), since I'd only played Stud H/L once before, nothing to special happened at either. I went out in the high teens (I think) at the Bike after getting short stacked losing to a boat with my set. Definitely an error on my part -- I saw the opportunity to knock a guy out, he hesitated before betting the river (I check raised), and he had the goods. It's poker.

It wasn't that easy switching mentally back and forth between the two games. Another indication that I should really only play one table at a time.

Anyway, playing at the Bike is fairly entertaining. They don't have ring games, at least not now, but instead have an endless series of one table Sit-n-Gos. The game starts as soon as there are 10 players (in NLHE -- they also have smaller tables for limit HE, stud and omaha). Given that people tend to play again once they bust out, the tables fill up at a reasonable, if not fast, pace. The site isn't all that busy -- no more than a few hundred players at most.

Want a tip on how to win one of these things? Fold your first hand, no matter what it is. There are always one to three players who feel the need to go all-in on the first hand, so there are always people getting busted out immediately. Oh, maybe if you have AA or KK you could try to be the person doing the busting, but these people will play anything so beware of suckout potential.

That should also tell you all you need to know about the quality of players. A handful of solid players, but most appear to be kids with absolutely no clue about hand selection.

The site itself is nothing special. It appears to be run by Pokertropolis, and in my opinion the graphics suck. The action is also pretty slow -- you'd think that many of the players are 4-tabling stuff on a 2400 bps dialup conection. They're that slow. You end up doing something else at the same time during the early rounds just to fill the time.

I probably wouldn't bother with the site but for what appear to be relatively favorable odds of getting something out of the weekly $500.00 freeroll for Sit-n-Go winners. Compared with the insane odds at Stars, I can live with the site's shortcomings, at least for now. I'm probably going to play the freeroll instead of going to Manistee on Saturday, so we'll see.