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Monday, February 28, 2005

Did Someone Call For A Sturgeon?

There are times you just need a net. Or a good smack upside the head.

I managed to clear the comeback bonus and half of the BONUSFEB bonus at Party yesterday playing 25NL. Was running pretty decently until the last 30 hands or so. For some reason, I shift from playing indifferently - tight/weak - to just horribly - loose/weak but aggressive at all the wrong times - and drop $70.00 in no time flat. At least I avoided losing an additional $11 by finally making the decision to close it down before going bust on my last table. Stupid, stupid play. I'm now down slightly for the Party re-adventure, and will have to play a whole lot better in order to avoid coming out in the red even after bonus. Could it be that I need a giant wall poster or something to remind me to quit once I make a really stupid play or two to wipe out an evening's profit?

Had a typical Party Poker moment earlier (pre-tilt). I pick up KK in the BB. Six or seven limpers to me, I decide I just want to scoop up those limps. I raise to $10. Folds around to the SB, who calls. Flop is 8-high rainbow. I set SB all in for his last couple bucks, he calls, and wouldn't you know it, he has a set of 8s. Pure genius. At least I got all that money back from him and more before he left the table.

The level of play is truly horrible (noticably worse than the Prima micro-NL tables), but you have to be on your game at least a little to take advantage. I need to tighten up, be more aggressive when I have something, engage in much less aggression with nothing or speculative hands, and just pay more attention. Basic stuff.

Other than hanging with the salmon, I fiddled around setting up bloglines, so that I can indulge my 80 blog-per-day habit without clicking around so much. If only I would get around to updating the list to the right to fix some glaring omissions. There were a lot of entertaining posts out there this weekend, so if you haven't checked them out already, go read the Poker Geek's trip report, Bill Rini playing against an opponent with phantom cards, a large cash game win on Up for Poker and much more.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Bonus Action

Pulled up Party Poker for some variety and discovered the BONUSFEB bonus, 20% to $200. I play micro-limits, so I'm not in a position to take advantage of the full amount, but free money is free money. Decided I would give it another go and deposited. Turns out I have another bonus to clear, a free $20 for not playing for a while or something, so I've got a few hundred hands to play. So far it's going okay at the $25NL tables.

I now remember why I don't play at Party regularly, despite the widely-publicized fishiness. The key reasons are (1) the software is fairly slow, and (2) with the lack of a mini-view, it's a pain in the neck to multitable when you don't have a 1600x1200 monitor.

As has been noted elsewhere, the players are pretty horrible. Then again, when you play with fuknscum, yDoUSuk, ieatpoopyum and company, what do you really expect?

Friday, February 25, 2005

Dreams Done Me Wrong

Again with low content. Played a couple NL ring games last night. Dropped half a buy-in with QQ against KK on an unhelpful board and spent the rest of the time clawing my way back to almost even. About that time, “Tilt” came on, so I gave it up.

Changing the subject, I am more and more convinced that I am completely cracking up.

When my alarm went off this morning, it mercifully rescued me from the depths of a fairly disturbing dream. I won’t bore anyone with the specifics – dream analysis is probably even more annoying than bad beat stories – but the diverse mix of topics seamlessly woven together bears mentioning. The dream featured a black tie dinner, my childhood home, being served grade-school-note-passing-style with a handwritten demand letter and lawsuit, a friend of mine from grad school that I had an endless crush on but haven’t seen in years, the place (in another state) where I lived during school, my parents, various nonexistent laws, a grisly murder scene, neighbors we never had and a Quaker notary.

At least I didn’t kill anybody. But I did discover the body.

The human imagination is a wonderful, awful thing. Only in dreams can the implausible become reality, with logical gaps bridged unobtrusively and details invented to fill in the holes in the story. My dream had all of this in spades – it somehow made sense that two places and two groups of people separated by years and at least six hundred miles were all connected. I was being sued by my friend for something factually and legally impossible – various landlord/tenant issues for the house I lived in, where of course she never lived – under a federal law, the WARN Act, which has absolutely nothing to do with rental property (the WARN Act deals with plant closings). My friend is actually a lawyer but is not in private practice, but my mind conjured up a non-existent but entirely realistic firm for her to be associated with so she could sue me. The murder was committed by a delivery person, so to make this as vivid as possible, a realistic but entirely phony company was plugged in to explain his presence. The one thing I can’t explain is how there was nothing poker-related. But somehow it all made sense and was real enough to be just this side of terrifying.


I’m not sure that I’ve ever been happier to hear the alarm as I was this morning, although I would love to have found out why the Quaker notary was about to make an appearance. As it is, I’m left wondering whether all of the diverse threads of this dream would have somehow been tied together and resolved, or whether perhaps things would have taken an even uglier turn. Alas, due to the requirements of the working world I didn’t get the chance to find out – we were sprawled out on the neighbor’s lawn waiting for the police and the notary when the buzzer sounded.

It’s another work day. No snooze for you. And so it ends. All in all, it is a very good thing that I don’t usually remember these dreams in detail once I wake up.

Okay. Now can I please just go back to my usual recurring nightmare of botching something so that I don’t get to graduate from college?

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

I Am A Donkey Super Donkey

No real content, since I haven't playing or thinking much.

Unless repeated observations of "man, this sucks" count as thinking. Or possibly, "WTF am I still doing alive in this tournament given how horribly I'm playing?", which is what I'm thinking right now.

So instead of legit poker content, I offer you, the wayward reader, a smattering of random off-the-cuff observations. Let's dig in.

Has there ever been a softer 7-foot white guy than Darko Milicic? I fully expect him to be outfought for a rebound by Earl Boykins the next time the Pistons play Denver. I now remember why I don't watch NBA games.

Bill Simmons' commentary on the NBA is much more entertaining than the game itself. On the subject of All Star weekend: "If you're a 6-foot-9 guy who could pass for an NBA player, spend two grand on an Armani suit, fly yourself to the NBPA party next February, load up on some Viagra, then tell every girl you meet that you're a reserve forward on the Raptors or Hornets. There's a decent chance you could have sex 35 times in three hours."

I really need to steal the blinds more often.

My new favorite "who dat?" actor from the 80s is Chris Penn. The immortal Willard from "Footloose". What ever happened to him, anyway? Never mind. He's got more than 50 films to his credit, and appears to have gained a ton of weight. Rock on, Christopher.

The art of playing junk hands is far more entertaining live than it is on the internet.

I just saw someone try a resteal with K4o. Sucks when it fails, doesn't it?

Five random things I've watched on TV lately while not sleeping:
1. An informercial for the Q Grill.
2. Most of "Road House" for about the third time in 2005.
3. Iron Chef America, the series.
4. Beavis and Butt-head reruns on MTV2.
5. Reruns of Conan O'Brien from October 2004.

Okay, seriously, if I don't start getting some better cards, I'm going to be out of this thing real soon.

Speaking of seriously, I feel for those out there in the blogoverse who've been dealt bad beats by life lately. Hang in there folks.

For some reason, I've had "Please Come To Boston" by Dave Loggins stuck in my head for about three hours. Please make it stop.

There are days when I want to ask, in all seriousness, what those cards are with the "A", "K", "Q" and "J" are. Whining about crappy cards is decidedly toolish, but is it so much to ask to get at least one pocket pair higher than sevens? Okay, that's twice now that I've folded a baby pocket pair and it flopped a set -- and would have lost to something better. Maybe 10-4 off isn't such a bad hand.

I've been in the bottom five in chip count in this tournament for more than an hour. During that time, we've lost more than 50 players.

There is a very good chance that I will never be asked to live blog anything.

Okay, one orbit or so of hands as they happen -- if I have enough chips left to survive it -- as we near the money (I'm the shortest of 26 players left): 73o, 75o, T7s, J8o (BB), Q3o (SB), J8o (Button), KJo, A5o (hey! things are looking up!), Q8s, 95s, J6o (BB), J9o (SB), K4o (Button), 63o, I'm absolutely toast with less than 2 BB left, 62o, J7o, how the &*^%! am I supposed to push with this junk?, A6o -- all in UTG & double up against Q2o in the BB, KJo (BB) all in doubles up against 65s in the SB. And I'm not the shortest stack left anymore! J3o (SB), 84o (Button), we've lost a player, A8o, J7s -- danger hand, T4s, J8o, K2o (BB) folded to all-in aggro on my right, WE'RE IN THE MONEY! T3o (SB), 64o (Button), K7o, T3o, WOW! AQs! Doubled up against AJ! Q6o, T3s, 75o, 64o (BB), Q7o (SB), 86s (Button), 93o, K2o, Q2o, 85o, K3o, 97s, 52o (BB), AQo (SB) lost to tiny stack with AA, QJo, K7o, Q4o, 74o, 76s, 76o (BB), 52o (SB), A5o (Button), 32o, T4s, Q6s & I again have less than 2 BBs, T4s, 94o (BB) time to push, ugh, not likely to triple up with this crap. I lose. 15th Place.

The above paragraph makes me want to throw up. I promise not to do it again any time soon.

One last thought.

Someday I will be somewhere -- either at a news conference or on Party Poker, where someone will ask me the following classic question from "NewsRadio":

Question: What did you mean when you said, “Feel my skills, donkey donkey donkey, donkey donkey.”?

In fact, I think the very next time I suck out on someone after playing the hammer, I'm going to use that very line.

FISH>you * you piece of * you play * like that?

I'm out.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Just a Friendly Reminder

Got 8-6 suited? Going to cap it preflop?

Kool Moe Dee thinks you should.

Sunday, February 20, 2005


I think playing different games is messing with my head. I've been getting pretty much killed whenever I play online lately.

A fourth place in tonight's $4,500 guaranteed on Prima more than erases those losses. It's not exactly a huge cash like some of the bloggers out there, but it's enough. Hoo-rah.

Edited to add that I did royally screw up the hand that got me bounced, so at least I'm consistent in that area. I guess I need Phil Hellmuth or some equally ill-tempered superstar around to scream at me "you never go out on a draw, b--ch!"

Madness at the River, or How I Learned To Stop Being Afraid and Cap 10-5 Suited Preflop "For Value"

A mini trip report. I didn't take notes and my memory is probably a little fuzzy, but this should be more accurate than inaccurate.

Tagged along with the Boy Genius and Bob for a little casino poker action at the "local" Indian casino. Little River is a big fat nothing by the standards of any of the poker meccas, but it was jumping yesterday -- by evening, all of the tables were in use and they even had pressed one of the usual floorpersons into dealer duty.

The name of the game at the River is 4-8 no fold'em holdem. I would like to describe the overall level of play, but the words are failing me. It was somewhere between "simian" and "unfriggenbelievable".

We roll in about 2:00 pm and of course have to wait. Fortunately, they have another dealer on the way, so it's no more than half an hour or so. I draw a seat two to the left of BG, and Bob starts on another table.

I don't have a lot of hand histories, for reasons which will become apparent shortly, but I picked up pocket 5s the first hand (thanks for not making us post, by the way). Missed and folded. Shortly thereafter, picked up pocket 10s, flopped a set and it held up for a nice pot.

Bob got a table change to join us and ordered a shot of Southern Comfort to make a toast to Al Can't Hang. It was quite possibly the skimpiest shot in the history of booze. I don't know what they charged you for that, Bob, but it was an extreme ripoff. I think if you'd have just breathed in over the "glass", it would've been empty.

Still very early in the afternoon, I get Aces. Of course I'm aggressive as can be, raising preflop, betting out, doing whatever I can to have those suckers stand up. My bets and raises get called by Mr. Action at the other end of the table, and he ends up raising me on the turn when a second 8 hits the board. I check and call down despite knowing I'm beat.

People really do crack pocket Aces with 8-4 off.

Mr. Action was quite possibly the most unbelievable poker player I've ever run across. He played everything. I mean everything. I remember seeing him fold one small blind at the end of the night when it was capped to him, but other than that I do not recall him folding a single hand preflop. Not one. He straddled almost every time it was around to him, bet out at least two thirds of the time on the flop, raised with nothing. He made straights with A-4o. He made a winning two pair a half dozen times with 8-2, 8-3, 8-4, 8-5, 9-8. He pushed flush draws to the river and hit them an incredible number of times, usually in clubs. Add in the stylish Little River T Shirt and wraparound shades, and you've got yourself a playa. I mean, a Playa. Capital "P".

After I had my Aces cracked, I didn't get a pocket pair better than 5s the rest of the evening. I have AK go down a couple times, and my stack is getting thinned out by steady migration into that of Mr. Action. It's still early, though.

What would you do at this point? Tighten up? Get more aggressive? Nah.

When you're me, you decide to starting drinking and have some fun, and this table was the perfect place to do it. In addition to Mr. Action, you had a dad & son combo who were OK players -- Dad would have some fun and ended up a big winner -- a guy and his wife who were beyond horrible (yes, sir, your queen six is good this time too), the older guy to my right who had built his stack up to about $1,400 at 4-8, but was pounding the draft beers extremely hard. A couple calling stations came in and busted out. Horrible wife ("goddammit, why are you raising?") of horrible player busts out and is replaced by a young guy willing to gamble it up.

About this time, we have the perfect mix of players to absolutely blow the roof off the place. We have a couple maniacs, a couple calling stations, someone with a massive stack who's three sheets to the wind, at least one guy who has no idea what the hell he's doing, BG folding everything unless he was getting kings cracked (or was this about the time you left the table?), I'm getting fired up, Miller style, and Bob who was playing a solid game and getting nothing for it.

Chaos ensues. Straddling, raising, capping becomes much more common. Ridiculous hands are shown down and win -- A6o, pairing the 6, was good. Q5 or Q6 won several pots.

One hand, the board comes KKK. Turn is the fourth K. River is an A. Eardrums are damaged and the pot is split between QTo and Q6o. BG: "And they say online poker isn't rigged." I love this game.

More beers are pounded. The guy to my right is just gone. He's playing everything and not making any effort to protect his hand. Thankfully, we never get heads up. His towers of $2 chips are rapidly disappearing, and to add to it he drunkenly knocks them over so he's just got a pile in front of him.

I get another AK and river a straight. Board has flush potential, but mr. horrible has only called down with AT for a pair or two. Thank you. Another beer, please.

More raising and capping. I get no cards and bleed off chips when I get anything marginally playable like JTs. Somewere along the way I drag pots with J8s & J5s out of the blinds and KTs. I get a set with a pair of deuces and take a nice bite out of Mr. Action's pocket sevens. I also donated large numbers of chips with the hammer -- I had it at least ten times and would always see a flop with it. Never hit -- I kept showing it to Bob and folding after it's two bets to me on the flop. Stupid limit poker.

More beer. My memory gets sketchy here. Somewhere in there, I capped 10-5 suited preflop "for value". Didn't hit, unfortunately. We got a new dealer, and she promptly screwed up the deal and had the floor fix it. She told us our cards were good. I got J3o. That's good? Fold. Wouldn't you know it, would have turned a full boat.

Never doubt your dealer.

I'm not doing well at this point -- I'm playing just barely tight enough to avoid complete disaster -- but it could be worse. Mr. Action has had to color down three or four of the blacks he colored up earlier, and he's suddenly not winning every single time when he shows down J6s. Mr. $1,400 to my right has bled off many hundreds of dollars and looks like he could pass out any minute. Get the man a fresh beer!

Bob has come back from being majorly stuck -- starting the comeback playing 32o blind, nice job -- and has gone up a fair amount.

Late in our session, I pick up a beautiful nerf hammer (7-2 diamonds) in middle position. It's raised by Mr. $1,400 and I cap for value. A deuce comes on the flop and another on the turn. I'm in, Bob's in, and Mr. Action is in. Let's raise it up. All three of us go to showdown, and trip deuces are GOOD. Sorry about that Bob, but I needed that $150+ pot to get up off the felt.

Besides, I donated some of it back the very next hand when I had the real hammer. If that had hit, it would have pushed the table completely over the edge.

Unless it was there already. Which was a distinct possibility. Man.

If I were a genius, I would write a book on how to beat drunken no fold'em games. Since I am not, and since I have no real solid idea how to do it without going completely insane, I won't be doing that. Oh, I have a few ideas. Calling preflop bets and raises with the hammer isn't +EV. I made about nothing out of my handful of suited connectors, usually JT or T9. I'm sure that if I'd played tight and stayed longer, I could have come out ahead. I guess I'll just live with knowing that the variance in these games is off the chart, and that money lost is money well spent for the entertainment value.

The end total for the night was down $90.00, which includes probably thirty or forty bucks in beer and tips. I was up big early, then down after getting the aces and AKs cracked, up again, then waaay down before getting the nerf hammer, then up about $30 at that point. I had many chances to leave ahead, but so what. I have no complaints, and I could've easily blown through a couple buyins online for a whole lot less entertainment.

At the right table, casino poker is a helluva lot of fun... if you're not afraid to cap for value.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Question Time

For your general amusement, here is a list of random questions. Answering them will probably tell you (and the world) about how much of a freak you really are. I'll put my answers up later -- I already know that I'm off the chart.

1. What's the most common question people ask you when you meet for the first time?
2. What's the most annoying question people always ask?
3. Name a question you always answer with a (full or partial) lie?
4. Who would play you in the movie about your life?
5. What's a phrase that no one in recorded history has ever said about you?
6. Name at least one movie that you will watch until the end any time you come across it on cable.
7. Worst movie you've ever sat through?
8. Worst CD you've ever purchased?
9. Most embarassing CD purchase ever?
10. If you could force your worst enemy to watch one TV show over and over for the rest of their life, what would it be?
11. What's the last song you remember hearing in the grocery store?
12. What's the most unusual item you've purchased in the last month?
13. What's a routine household chore you hate doing for no good reason?
14. If you were going out for a night on the town in Vegas (or some other place nobody knew you), what would you want to wear?
15. What obscure minor celebrity do you have a crush on?
16. Free association time. When you think about your life, what _______ immediately pops into your head?
a. Video game?
b. CD title?
c. Song title?
d. Movie?
e. Cliche?
17. Who is your favorite author, non-literary giant division?
18. What's the least likely magazine to be found in your bathroom reading material?
19. If you're ever nailed for doing something scandalous, what will be the headline in the National Enquirer?
20. On a scale of one to ten, how ridiculous do you feel for answering those questions?

Edited to add answers:
1. "Do you enjoy your job?"
2. "Do you ever regret moving back?"
3. "Do you enjoy your job?"
4. John Candy, especially now that he's dead.
5. "Whoa! You're hot!". I was going to go with "Hey, nice six pack", but since I occasionally purchase decent beer, that's at least semi-plausible.
6. Road House. Probably The Godfather. Possibly Airplane!
7. The David Lynch take on the Wizard of Oz. Good god that was awful.
8. The Knack's comeback album. Ditto.
9. Mandy Moore's debut album. It was a gift. I swear. But I still felt like a Welsh soccer fan buying it.
10. "Touched By An Angel", or possibly any show starring Billy Ray Cyrus.
11. I heard Britney's ".. Baby One More Time" playing at Meijer yesterday. That was only marginally less surreal than watching the chick at the gas station grooving to ABBA's "Waterloo" this afternoon.
12. Can't think of much here. Probably ice cube trays on closeout.
13. Putting away the groceries.
14. Shorts and the most obnoxious Hawaiian shirt I can find.
15. CNN's Rudi Bakhtiar and Channel 13's Trisha Volpe. Media chicks rule.
16. a. Doom
b. "Lush Life"
c. "We're All Gonna Die Someday"
d. "Gone in Sixty Seconds"
e. How's the Weather Up There?
17. James Dodson, golf writer.
18. Modern Bride magazine.
19. "Just When You Think You've Seen It All ... Michigan Man Finds New Levels of Humiliation!"
20. Only about a six. Which is a sign that I be lame.

The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only. There is no stopping in a red zone.

If you've reached this site via, I have to tell you, this ain't Iggy. I have no real idea why I'm being linked this way, but if you're looking for the godfather of all things poker blog, click on this:

The Real Guinness and Poker

Also, if you enjoy having your workplace productivity destroyed and have already read the full 10-part Losers, Inc. repost, here's a link to a related blog:

LiveJournal of Loser_Variable

No meaningful content is likely today, as I'm still simmering a bit over losing a $120.00 pot (at $0.25/$0.50 NL) when joker #1 hit a two-outer on the river. At least joker #2 (who also had a two-outer) didn't add the insult of making my hand the worst of the three when I was ahead the entire way to the injury sustained by the mini-bankroll. Stupid QQs, they'll break your heart.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Celebrate Diversity

No poker content.

I was reminded the other day that February is Black History Month.

This isn't breaking news - it's been February for what, two and half weeks now? -- but when you live somewhere as monocultural as this, the word travels slowly. It's not as non-diverse around here as it used to be, when you could go weeks without seeing anything but white people, but it's still overwhelmingly pasty. I have yet to see a BHM poster, even in the library.

The kind of embarassing thing isn't that I didn't know this, but more how I found out. Late night a couple days ago. I can't sleep, so I've got the TV on and I'm flipping through the channels. I get up to Channel 12, the local PBS affiliate. And there you have a video of Sade in concert, which I have never seen before. She's wailing on "Is It A Crime?".

Daaaaaaamn. Volume up. Way up.

I don't automatically connect Sade with Black History Month -- If that hadn't been the last song and the station hadn't segued into a Black History Moment, I still wouldn't have known. But I don't care. I'm pretty sure I haven't listened to a Sade CD in at least ten years, but I had to pull one out a give it a spin.

God bless America.

Okay, now that I've made a questionable admission, maybe I'll celebrate diversity further and play something other than hold 'em for a change.


I guess chinese food and maybe a little live Robert Cray are going to have to do.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

This 'n That

That's weird. For some unknown reason, my blog template was all screwed up. It's not like I've changed it this week, so I have no idea what caused it. Hopefully it's "fixed" now, and by fixed I mean I had to select a clean template and paste in the edits I'd made for purposes of adding a blog roll. There's no way I could adequately diagnose the flaw in the coding. Not that patient.

Speaking of weird, I've been dealt more pocket aces (3) in the first 33 minutes of this tournament than I've seen in the last week and a half, combined. Pretty cool. And yet, despite those wonderful cards (plus AKo twice), I am not on the first page of the leaderboard. Strange that. Must be I suck at poker.

I'm sure the poker gods will smite for commenting before the tournament has run its course -- the cards are already starting to turn -- but what are you going to do?

Break time.

Limping Sucks

I was so thrilled with yesterday's performance, I forgot to post some deep poker analysis to go along with the results.

Ring game ($0.25/$0.50 NL):
Hero is in the BB with the hammer (7-2 off).
3 limpers, SB folds.
Hero raises to $4.00.
Sissies fold. Hero shows.

Hero is in the BB with J-2 off.
1 limper, SB completes.
Flop J-2-2.
Hero bets pot, limper raises all-in, SB folds. Hero calls.
limper shows A-A and does not improve.
Hero wins massive pot and graciously does not taunt slowplaying ninny, who leaves table dragging tail between legs.

Limping is for wusses.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Oh Yeah

A banner day of poker accomplishments.

Made it through a Level 2 Prima Sit-n-Go WSOP Qualifier. Only three more levels and a multi-table tournament to go in my quixotic pseudo-quest to turn $1.10 into a seat at the WSOP main event.

Add the $0.74 I cleared at a NL table before it broke and that's what you've got.

How YOU doin'?

Sunday, February 13, 2005

My Best Impression

Had the pleasure of playing in a home game with the Boy Genius, brother Mike and some other folks from the magnetic north pole of the poker universe (and surrounding area) on Saturday.

It was a good time, and as a guest I did my best fish impersonation, being among the first to bust out. No notable hands, really, just didn't get much to work with. Total pocket pairs (4 - best JJ) barely > number of beers consumed (3). Clearly more drinking would have been helpful in making 8-6 off look like a playable hand.

Home games are totally rigged.

Congrats to Mike for winning the battle of the brothers and taking home enough cash to probably survive Valentine's Day.

Roll Updated, Lazily.

I've finally made some progress on updating the list of poker blogs and other things I read on a regular basis.

I would like to say that there was proper motiviation pushing me to do so, but as is the case in so many areas of my life, it was pure laziness that done it (glaring errors in grammar and such intentionally left in for emphasis). I'm simply tired of having to surf around to this that and the other site to find links to sites I'm going to read anyway. As a bonus, now I can click through directly and at least give the impression that Bob is getting dozens more hits from here instead of through his brother's site.

I had a good analogy for this task, something about Phil Hellmuth and his ongoing quest for another WSOP bracelet, but I forgot what it was.

Anyway, this is far from a comprehensive list, and I'm sure I've forgotten a few (dozen) people. It's not done. Guess I'll have to look through those other, more extensive blogrolls at least a few more times. Darn.

If anyone would prefer not to be linked by the fetid cesspool that is this blog, just shoot me an email. I have added an email address to the right.

Really Cheap Entertainment

Why is it that it's almost more fun to play "poorly" than it is to use what, statistically, is sound poker strategy?

On a whim this afternoon, I popped up PokerStars and clicked on a freeroll just to see if I could get in. Usually you can't unless you time it perfectly, but in this case I was selected to play along with 5999 of my friends.

Somehow, I survived through the second break and beyond, and as we're coming up to the end of the third hour, I start asking myself why I'm doing this, seeing as I have to be somewhere in another hour and there is no way the tournament will be over by then. I don't have much of a stack, but I'm in no danger of being blinded out for a while.

I start trying, sort of, to lose. It doesn't work. I push with the hammer. A short stack in the big blind calls with AQo. Two pair beats ace high, sorry. I steal with the redhammer, the blackhammer, the ball peen hammer and repeatedly with the nerf hammer. Nobody has the guts to call my sub-average but increasing stack.

Crap. This calls for more drastic measures. I push with 9-2 off and get 2 callers. Five cards later, I have a full house and have tripled up. I even have an above average stack. I make two pair with another absurd starting hand (they were sooted!) and win a pot. I push with a monster pocket pair of 4s. Another win. I folded random ace-rags and king-rags, but played all kinds of other junk. I didn't push on everything, but still. This is horribly unsound poker, and it worked. Good times.

I finally have to leave after the fourth break, and at that point there are still 108 players left. I see that posting and folding took me to 33rd. I might have been inspired to push on every hand for a couple more minutes, but this is Stars, where you have to finish in the top 9, and the prize is entry into yet another tournament field. No thanks.

Entry into Stars freeroll, zero dollars.
Value of actual stuff done this afternoon, zero dollars.
Busting people with some of the worst starting hands in poker, worth at least zero dollars.

A Whole Lotta Jack

More anecdotal evidence that online poker is entirely rigged.

Sit down at a micro NL table and post behind the button. Get dealt J-7 three hands in a row to start. It *had* to be Jack-7. I am being taunted by the poker gods.

Sit down at a second table. Proceed to get dealt J-7 three times in one orbit.

Back to the first table. Get dealt pocket Jacks three times in one orbit. Two take down the pot unimproved, the other flops a set and loses to a royal flush.

What a game.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Food Selections

Progress might have been all right once, but it has gone on too long.
-- Ogden Nash

There were signs this week that the inexorable tides of progress continue to lap at the shore of backward old small-town west Michigan.

Yes, Virginia, we now have a Quizno's.

You may now exercise your constitutional right to purchase a $7 sub sandwich.

Don't get me wrong -- I don't think that Quizno's is evil. I like Quizno's. In fact, I'm enjoying a Classic Italian on white at this very moment. Mmmm, toasty indeed. What I don't get is why some entrepeneur or company decided that our little town needed a Quizno's in the first place. Surely my mentioning the fact that we could use one to everyone I know had nothing to do with it -- I'm not likely to eat there *that* often. Something drove the decision to locate here and I'm just baffled as to what it would have been.

Let's review the business case. This is a town of 12,000 people. Even if you include the surrounding townships, the population is still less than that of, say, anywhere that matters. And yet, pre-Quizno's, there were already at least ten places you could get a takeout sub (grinder, hoagie, whatever). That doesn't include any sit down restaurants. Several of those places make a darned good sandwich, the equal to or better than what any national chain can conjure up. Some of them are also a much better value. The last chain to set up shop in the general area, Blimpie, folded. So why come here?

I suppose the same thinking, or lack thereof, applies to most any new business in this town. There are at least a dozen banks, and yet a recent arrival just built a multimillion dollar regional headquarters. There are half a dozen video rental places, and still a chain new to the area has announced plans to build a megastore not more than 500 or so feet from another good sized local Blockbuster wannabe. Starbucks is about to start on its third local branch, while another chain is planning its second location next to the new video place. It's crazy.

What does this have to do with poker? Well, nothing, nothing at all. I will say that but for the people who make what appear to be highly dubious investments of time and money (see, e.g., me in any tournament), there would be no progress. Today, the mountain has come to Mohammed and we have a Quizno's. Tomorow, Summit Extra Pale Ale. Someday, Davanni's. Then I will really be in trouble.

Maybe the Luddites were right and progress is overrated. Let me get back to you after I finish my sandwich.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

If I Had a Phone, I'd Dial-A-Shot Right Now

"Poker is a combination of luck and skill. People think mastering the skill part is hard, but they're wrong. The trick to poker is mastering the luck."
--Jesse May, from "Shut Up and Deal"

This wasn't intended to be a story about a bad beat, but it contains one.

Some poker personality once said that the game of poker is about playing your opponents, not about playing your cards. I haven't been able to find the exact quote -- uh oh, there's a nagging feeling in the back of my mind that I may be thinking of a line from "Tilt", which would render the use of the quote both suspect and intellectually bankrupt. Hoping that it is in fact a non-"Tilt" observation, I'm sure there's an element of truth to the saying, but because poker is still a game, you can apply all the people-reading skills you want and you'll still come up on the short end from time to time. You do have to master the luck in order to make the big score.

We're down to 22 in a Prima NL tournament. I have an average stack of T7100 or so. Top 10 cash. The same players have been here for a number of orbits, so I feel like I have good reads.

Back up a minute for a little history. The player to my right is of the type best described as "The Pest". He has min-raised my big blind almost without fail when given the opportunity. I had accumulated a stack of T12,000 and made a point of biding my time, choosing to fold my 5-highs and 4-highs and eating the 300, 400 or 600 chips rather than getting into a battle as a severe underdog to any two cards. This happens over and over again. Finally, I get my chance. AKo in the big blind. One limper to The Pest, who of course min-raises. I re-raise to 4x the blind, limper drops and The Pest pushes. I'm more than happy to call. He shows AQo. Nothing, nothing, Queen on the river. The Pest doubles up on a 3-outer, which puts me down to the T6000 level. I steal a couple blinds to get back to T7100.

Next time around the table, we're in the battle of the blinds again. The Pest min-raises yet again. I have K-7 off, and call.

The flop is K-4-3 with two spades.

The Pest autobets, in this case T1200, which is just more than the minimum. I smell the foul odor of pure weakness.

Okay, here's what I know about The Pest. He likes to min-raise my blind, and he sucked out on me despite overplaying AQo. He's made at least one other truly horrible play, bluffing with a medium pocket pair against broadway cards on a high-card flop.

And he has more chips than I do.

I have a made hand. Top pair, crap kicker, backdoor straight draw. I'm behind some hands, quite a few actually -- AA, any K with a better kicker, 44 or 33. The thing is, I just don't feel like the villain has any of those hands, because a powerhouse hand would have drawn a bigger raise preflop (I think), and a solid made hand would have drawn a bigger bet unless the villain hit a set. If he's got a set, I'm in big trouble anyway. But I don't think he's got one based on how he's played. I'm just feeling too much weakness.

Now, my options are obvious -- fold (really?), call or raise. If I fold, I survive but will have lost a significant number of chips late in the game. If I call, I give the villain a chance to draw out on me. He might be playing any ace. If I raise it'll almost need to be a push, and I should have a decent chance to pick up the pot -- I must have a uber-tight table image, seeing how often I've folded to his min-raises and the fact that the three hands I've shown down have been KK, KK and TT (win, win, loss and coincidentally the only 3 pocket pairs I received).

I am confident I have the perfect read -- this is a "holy crap!" moment for me, since I haven't developed any skills in the area of opponent reading yet -- and I have an obvious choice. I push.

The Pest uses his entire clock, and CALLS. He flips J-7 of spades.

For a fleeting instant, I get a rare feeling of satisfaction, knowing that in fact I have made a correct read. Do good players get that same rush, or does routinely being able to figure out what the bad guy holds become so common that it holds all the excitement of say, brushing your teeth really well? I'd like to know, preferably from experience.

Back to the hand. Okay, let's count his outs. Nine spades for the flush. A backdoor straight draw for the chop. Running Jacks would give him a win. Sevens are no help. I am almost 2-1 to win.

You wouldn't be reading this if he hadn't hit a spade, and the feeling of satisfaction is replaced by a howl of "f--------------ck!".

Twice to the same guy. He's rewarded with $292.00 for a sixth place finish, and I switch off the computer for an hour of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" reruns.

I guess I have not yet mastered the luck.

And yet just having that one "eureka!" moment is probably enough to keep me coming back.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Just for Fun

Special guest correspondent Dave from Detroit (real age, 29. Effective emotional age, 14 1/2) compiled some thoughts on an early mid-life crisis to share with the world. Most of his original posting (to a message board) got deleted, so it must have been offensive to somebody.

Bad Dave.

Anyway, because I'm bored, here's a recap of his story so far. (WARNING: VERY LOW CONTENT, IMMATURE LOWBROW HUMOR, PROBABLY OFFENSIVE)

He promises to follow up with a report of his trip across country, gambling his way to Vegas, but given that he's a notorious slacker, I wouldn't bet on it any time soon.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Move to Minot

This isn't breaking news, but it seems that a Republican legislator in North Dakota is pushing a bill to legalize internet poker operations in that state in the hope of luring jobs and tax revenue. (link here).

North Dakota, a potential center of the poker world? If that's not a sign of an impending online poker apocalypse, I'm not sure what would be.

If it ever did happen, I would love to be a shill for the city of Devil's Lake. I'm just saying. Would that be a perfect headquarters for Party or what?

Leaving aside the foibles in Fargo*, other indicators continue to trend up. I noticed yesterday that the Prima Poker network -- tentative motto: All Scandanavians, all the time! -- has upped the guarantees on many of their daily multi table tournaments. I don't have the specific numbers handy, but I do know that the 8:00pm EST $3,500 guaranteed is now a $4,500 guaranteed. Prima's tournaments seem to be pretty well subscribed, so there isn't necessarily a lot of overlay (last weekend's $100,000 guarantee being a notable exception), but it's nice to see that at least it's more likely.

Oh, and tying things together, a final table in a MTT is a sure cure for poker ennui. Maybe someday I'll be ready for the WPT Williston Open.

With apologies to the good people of North Dakota.

* Yes, yes, Bismarck is the state capital. The "Battle in Bismarck" just didn't have the same visual appeal.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

11 Points, Drawing 5 Tiles

"For a moment, I wonder, like Roz, what my obsession is proving. Maybe nothing. Maybe more than I care to admit. With the board and tiles and word books splayed across my living room, and my regular circuit of tournaments, and leaving work early on Thursdays to get to the club on time, I have managed to reorder my life so that I can play a board game. This doesn't seem healthy, especially because I still suck. But it doesn't seem avoidable, either. I entered this world because it was a curiosity, a good story. Then it became an infatuation. I'm having trouble typing these words, but right now Scrabble is the most important thing in my life."
-- Stefan Fatsis, "Word Freak"

Flash back if you will a couple years to the early months of 2001. Winter in western Michigan is a dreary affair, with day after day of overcast skies punctuated by the more than occasional snowfall. It isn't the bitterly cold winter of the northern plains, but the freeze-and-thaw cycle, coupled with the constant cloud cover caused by the unfrozen waters of the big lake, combine to make this place a virtual hell on earth for seasonal affective disorder sufferers from November to April.

I have just moved back to my hometown to take a new job, the result of a vacancy here and a merger in the place I have come from. Oh, I could have stayed, and at a nice salary, but the time was right to make the move. When you're offered a compensation package that's a whisker more than you've been making, but is still a fair amount less than the company is paying new hires fresh out of school, that to me is a sign that you're not really wanted. So I packed up and came home.

When you move six hundred miles or so away, you leave a lot behind. In my case, I left behind an entire life. I had an ideal place to live, a good set of friends, familiar places to eat, drink or socialize, the whole routine. I moved back to a town of 12,000 or so where, almost without exception, everyone I knew in my age bracket had long since moved away. That was the routine - finish high school, go off to college, don't come back. So when I returned, having crossed 30 not long before, I knew vitrually nobody around my age other than relatives. I don't make friends easily -- never have. The people I am closest to people I've worked with, gone to school with, lived with or otherwise spent a lot of time with. For better or worse, I'm not the "damn glad to meet ya" type. Random socializing will never be something I turn to for entertainment. Add to that the fact that this is a summer town -- nothing much happens during the winter months -- and I'm not getting out much.

Into this void comes, by some unrecalled fluke, the game of Scrabble. I've played Scrabble before -- who hasn't? -- but never in a setting beyond the occasional family home game. I wish I could remember the sequence of events that led to this development, but I can't. I would speculate it was the result of some random internet surfing, but I digress. I stumble across a brand new interactive website that lets you play Scrabble against opponents from all over the world. I play a few games, get trounced, win a game or two.

I get hooked.

Scrabble becomes something to fill the endless empty hours of winter. I play in the evenings, on the weekends. I buy a copy of the Scrabble dictionary. I do a little haphazard studying, a bare minimum really, learning the two letter words and picking up some other useful plays like Q words that don't require a U.

Mostly, though, I just play.

I play, and I get better. Scrabble players are rated on a scale similar to that used for chess. Below 700 is pretty weak. 1100 to 1200 is a very good living room player. "Expert" is 1600 and above, although anything less than 1850 or so will get you chewed up and spit out by the true experts. A handful of players have ratings over 2000 and play a game that most people would not recognize. I reach a peak of just over 1500 -- enough to usually beat the good home game players, but nothing all that special. If I wanted to get better beyond this point, I would have to dedicate myself to learning a lot more words.

Not long after I started playing, I "met" a woman from the East Coast. In many ways, she was my polar opposite, despite being about the same age -- she was married, had children, lived a luxurious lifestyle thanks to her status as the spouse of an heir to a Fortune 500 company. We carried on a running chat while playing, which was in many ways far more interesting than the game itself, especially as I steadily improved while her rating slowly declined into the lower 900s. We talked about this, that and the other thing, and killed many a late evening with the game. I still played often against other competition, but she was one of the reasons I kept going back. In the course of our conversation, I learned that she was unhappy with her marriage, and that she was thinking about leaving her husband, but that it would be hard to give up the lifestyle. I think this is one of the reasons we hit it off so well -- we both played the game as an escape from real life and as a way to put off making difficult life choices. She had a vacation lined up the Carribean sometime in April of that year. We had a number of joking exchanges -- clearly not serious -- about my taking some time off and heading down to meet her.

Not long after reaching the 1500 level, my interest in the game started to slip a little. My concentration would lapse while playing, and I found myself no longer consumed with a need to sign on for a game. I still did play quite a bit, but not as often as before. Also right about this time, I had a late night game with my internet friend. We'd both had a couple drinks, and I knew she'd had a bad day on the home front. It was coming up rapidly on the date for her vacation, and she got right to the point, asking if, for real, I would come down to the Carribean. I tried to avoid the question, offered a couple weak dodges, but she was relentless. I finally made a halfhearted pledge to see what I could do in terms of getting a flight, knowing full well that I wouldn't be able to follow through even if I were inclined to do so -- too much work, too little notice. I switched off the computer in disgust and went to bed.

After that day, I pretty much quit Scrabble cold turkey.

The desire wasn't there. I don't think i've played more than a couple internet games since. I did pick up the board game with the family again about a year ago, but haven't done anything to go back online or to improve (or even maintain) my level of play. I just stopped playing. It took something as innocuous as a little white lie, but that was enough to be the proverbial last straw.

If I ever cared to study it, I'm sure I could find the same life cycle for my interest in poker. I played casually a few times for pennies and nickels in my younger days, through some fluke picked it later (playing a couple times at B&M venues after swearing off blackjack), starting watching it on TV, played a little more often, and finally got the nerve to play online about six months ago when a site offered me a free ten bucks. I watched the previous WPBT event, sweating the final table and providing a little support for the ultimate winner, Mt. Dew Virus, for that most logical of reasons - he was from Michigan. Eventually, I played in a tournament or two, got lucky in some NL cash games, and built up a few dollars. The last couple of months, I have been playing quite a bit -- accumulating several thousand hands in January -- and if you count tournament performances, I've probably improved my "rating". I haven't put in much in the way of study, and I would have to do some of that as well as improve my discipline if I'm ever going to be a decent player.

The similarity of the story about peters out here, and that's what makes me wonder -- will something come along that causes me to just quit? If so, was the WPBT event a milestone of some sort, along the lines of reaching the 1500 rating? Is there a "last straw" moment in my immediate future? I don't know. I will say that I've played less over the last few days, to the point of playing almost not at all this weekend. I suspect it might just be temporary burnout, but I have to wonder if it's something more than that when I make a stupid play in what is for me a high-buyin tournament, bust out about 20 places short of the money, and hardly react at all. Nothing. I happened to check on the Prima $100,000 guaranteed yesterday, noticed that there was about a $35,000 overlay, and responded by switching off the computer and flipping on the golf tournament. Where did the passion go, and will it be back?

Somehwere along the way, I suppose I will find out. Until then, if you'll excuse me, my download of the internet Scrabble software has just completed. See you on the tables.

P.S. -- If you haven't read Fatsis' book -- it was published about three years ago, and is available in paperback -- I certainly recommend it, even if you think competitive Scrabble is a joke.

P.P.S. -- Thanks to all for the kind comments and messages. I'm amazed at what a friendly and welcoming group real poker bloggers are.

Saturday, February 05, 2005


I'm expecting cosmic payback for the good cards I received earlier this week, and so far I have not been disappointed.

But rather than pen yet another post on the heartbreak of getting bounced when your aces are cracked by kings all-in preflop, here's something not so different: A "Tilt" minireview. Saw the first three episodes last night (despite ESPN slipping a SportsCenter in the middle, dammit). Here you go:

"Tilt" is entertaining, with nice production values. But the show has as much to do with poker as "Ally McBeal" had to do with the practice of law. Or so I've heard. Okay, bad analogy. Let's put it this way -- the famous "Dogs Playing Poker" painting has more poker content than "Tilt". There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Still not bad TV.

It's not worth a single additional word, but I'm sure I'll be watching.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

For Your Own Safety...

Greetings. Welcome to a half-azz poker blog.

Before you ride the ride, let's go over a couple of rules. In order to be a winning player, do not play like me. Repeat, do not play like me. For your own safety, ignore any high-falutin' pretensions of actual poker knowledge contained herein.

Let's review some of the reasons why:

1. I own exactly two poker books, one of which relates to limit poker - which I play less and less of. The other is Phil Hellmuth's book.

2. I have tilted off more than 200 BBs in a single session more than once.

3. My worst college grades were in math classes.

4. Prior to last night, I had never won a multi-table tournament with a buyin of more than zero dollars.

5. I have been known to play queen-six suited, "for fun".

6. When I demo'd Pokertracker, it assigned me the previously unknown "jackass" icon.

7. I actually believe it's possible to win money buying lottery tickets and that internet poker is totally rigged.

8. I am a losing player at Party Poker, even with the power of Bonus Code: Iggy.

9. I once lost an extra 7 BB live because I didn't know what another player meant when he offered to "check it down".

10. Do you really need more reasons?

So stand clear of the thought bubbles and you should be okay.

Now, if you're looking for things which will warp your mind and expand your body, you've come to the right place. Want a top 10 list of the best garlic cheese breads in the U.S.? You got it. (btw, J.D. Hoyt's in Minneapolis is #1 on this list). Want an honest debate as to whether Maura Tierney circa 1995 was hotter than Anna Kournikova ever? Bring it on.

Actual poker content? Skip on over to the blogroll to the right and click a link or two. Thanks for stopping by and please [Apu] "come again" [/Apu].

That reminds me, I need to update the list. I read many more blogs than I have listed, but what can I say, I'm lazy and usually use the lists on one of those other sites to click through. Maybe I can remedy that some.

Morning After

Nothing feels better than going to sleep after an undeserved, lucky win in a tournament, doubly so when the tournament you'd been playing was with (against) people whose blogs you visit most every day.

I can't say the win was the result of good play. Reviewing the hand histories, it appears to have been the perfect storm of ubertight uberweak play (by me), a couple lucky suckouts and a final table card rush. I lost some sizable pots with QQs and 66s, but never got crippled beyond redemption.

A couple of the suckout victims -- with apologies:

* Took out EJ333's 55 when my 98s hit a 9 on the river.
* Doubled up on JCostales (KK) when my AT flopped a 10 and turned an A.
* Rivered mirven with KQo vs. ATo when the A also gave me a flush.
* Later knocked out mirven with ATs v. AKo when I flopped the nut flush.
* Picked off The Venetian's all in blind steal (K7o) with AA in the BB.
* Hammering -- I have to give credit to Dr. Pauly for the finest use of the hammer (7-2 off) ever. Here was my best hammer effort:

PokerStars Game #1161980008: Tournament #4684031, Hold'em No Limit - Level IV
(50/100) - 2005/02/02 - 21:59:58 (ET)
Table '4684031 3' Seat #2 is the button
Seat 1: anisotropy (2915 in chips)
Seat 2: Burnt79 (1660 in chips)
Seat 3: leftyhoyt (2770 in chips)
Seat 4: pochen (1450 in chips)
Seat 5: RevmodPoker (6200 in chips)
Seat 6: ZeRat11 (2840 in chips)
Seat 7: Joanne1111 (1005 in chips)
Seat 8: on_thg (1490 in chips)
leftyhoyt: posts small blind 50
pochen: posts big blind 100
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to on_thg [7c 2s]
HeyKidsItsBG [observer] said, "sean smoked duggle"
RevmodPoker: raises 200 to 300
ZeRat11: folds
Joanne1111: folds
on_thg: raises 200 to 500
Joanne1111 said, "yep - anisotropy took him out"
anisotropy: folds
Burnt79: folds
leftyhoyt: folds
pochen: folds
RevmodPoker: raises 5700 to 6200 and is all-in
on_thg: calls 990 and is all-in
*** FLOP *** [Qs 9s 3c]
Up4Poker [observer] said, "lol"
*** TURN *** [Qs 9s 3c] [7s]
*** RIVER *** [Qs 9s 3c 7s] [Jc]
Burnt79 said, "Ohhh"
*** SHOW DOWN ***
RevmodPoker: shows [Ks Ah] (high card Ace)
on_thg: shows [7c 2s] (a pair of Sevens)
pochen said, "hammer!"
RevmodPoker said, "D'oh!"
on_thg collected 3130 from pot
Burnt79 said, "NICE"
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 3130 | Rake 0
Board [Qs 9s 3c 7s Jc]
Seat 1: anisotropy folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 2: Burnt79 (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 3: leftyhoyt (small blind) folded before Flop
Seat 4: pochen (big blind) folded before Flop
Seat 5: RevmodPoker showed [Ks Ah] and lost with high card Ace
Seat 6: ZeRat11 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 7: Joanne1111 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 8: on_thg showed [7c 2s] and won (3130) with a pair of Sevens

I won one other hand with the hammer, but to my shame also laid it down about three other times (at various points in the hand). I also recall RevmodPoker stealing my BB with the hammer and showing.

Major thanks to PARTY POKER BONUS CODE: IGGY for getting this set up. Fun time.

Last but not least, as an aside to anyone who might end up reading this thing for the first time, you probably don't want to venture too far down the page. As I say, this blog is 99% content free, unless you get some bizarre enjoyment out of bad beat stories, boring recitations of tournament play, or just general drivel. Read on at your own risk.

Luck > Skill

Good time to get a card rush.

Win in blogger tournament = $906.

It feels like winning the freaking lottery.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

How Long Would It Take *You* To Be Outed?

I wasn't up to much this evening, so I decided to play the "Blogger" tournament on PokerStars. Don't get me wrong, I consider myself very much in the "reader" category, seeing as this is a 99% content-free blog, but still. Readers were welcome.

That's all the backstory you're getting.

Anyway, my Stars ID lists my hometown. It's not like it's a giant secret. And, as it turns out, I know, somewhat, two of the actual bloggers. You'll find them in my blogroll of sorts to the right -- gambling blues and one 2 many. Quality blogs, much recommended.

I got a last minute invite to their brother's wedding last fall. I'd been reading their blogs for a while, having found them through a random search for Michigan poker blogs. Being not so bright, I figured out who they were about two days before the wedding. That was pretty amusing.

Anyway, we're playing the tournament, and it doesn't take long for Boy Genius to notice I'm from the same town. I'm a jerk, and I kinda dodge the questions about who I am.

It takes him *maybe* five minutes to figure it out. The kid has mad Google-fu or something. Most impresive.

Unlike my poker game. Oh, I'm still alive as we near the bubble, but that's all about good cards (plus my 7-2 off cracking AK just before the first break).

That's ... Something Else

This is a first, at least for me. I'm bored, so I'm playing a $10+1 NL tournament on Prima. I'm not doing so hot, pick up a pot finally and get back to about the starting chip count. This is early - level 4.

I get moved to a new table.

I fold a hand.

Next hand, I get KQs and win a nice pot.

And then I get moved back to my *original* table, back to the same seat even.

And there are those who say internet poker isn't rigged. Hah.