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Monday, September 26, 2005

The New Black

Nothing posted lately for a reason - not much going on. I did finally get reloaded, and ho'd Bodog for a decent win plus a poker chipset (Hopefully TripJax gets a couple bucks out of that deal too). Moved on to Titan for the WPBT event and another ho opportunity.

The WPBT even was uneventful, a non-cashing 14th place. I chipped up to third place in the first hour, and then went completely dead. With the blinds escalating, I made one move that whiffed, and ended up fairly short stacked. Tried to push a preflop raiser off her hand, no luck, my A2s against her KQo. She flops trips, I don't catch the miracle flush on the river, I lose. This happens a lot.

The ring games on Titan haven't been especially kind, either. I've got about 200 hands to go and I suspect I'll just live with whatever loss I have at that point and cash out. I've been almost exactly break-even since tilting off a stack at a $50NL table. The $1/$2 6MAX tables seem to be a blogger favorite, since I've sat with Scott McM a couple times as well as Yosoyveneno and Sir Waffle Hut.

If I could remember his screen name, I'd say hello to the guy who cracked my AA with 93o yesterday. Excellent play, calling 2 cold preflop and capping the flop with bottom pair. I'm sorry that I was just tight enough not to pay you off massively after you caught your five outer.

Then again, I did cash in a MTT. For a whole $3. It was a freeroll for players who'd played X number of raked hands the prior day. If I'd only folded one more hand, I would have made the final table for at least another $2.25. Dammit. Still, free money is free money.

Like I said, not much going on. I'm headed to Minneapolis later this week, and will probably find a few hours somewhere to hit Canterbury Park for some live action.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Promise Me Son Not To Do The Things I've Done

To borrow a snippet of that most hackneyed of gambling icons, Kenny Rogers' The Gambler, sometimes you've just got to know when to walk away.

I get a fair number of reminders whenever I gamble that I truly suck at knowing when to walk away. Usually, I just don't, and the results are not pretty. I periodically give thanks, even though I don't really mean it, that there aren't any card rooms or casinos within an easy driving distance. If given the opportunity to spend long hours at poker or blackjack I would undoubtedly sit way too long and lose money that should never leave my pocket.

Another object lesson last night. I got set up with Titan Poker for tonight's WPBT event (only 19 entries so far, get in now) and decided to play a little to see if I could clear some bonus money. All the full ring games were full (or empty), so I played $1/$2 6 Max. The result: Down, down, down, recovering, down, way down. I'm down about 30 BBs when I get paid off in the biggest pot of the night ... 33 flops bottom set and rivers a full house, holding up against two chasing flush/straight draws and a TPTK who hit trips with that river. I'm finally back to even. I should stop right then and there -- it's been a struggle all night long and I have not been hitting. Because I'm not good at walking away, I don't. Of course. And I proceed to put myself right back in the hole. The last few BBs were tilt, and I did recognize that and put a stop to it, but there were some fabulous opponent plays in there too.

Knowing when to quit is an important part of the mental game, and my struggles in that area are just another reason why this isn't an advice blog.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Getting Playing Time

I discovered a couple things that make me happy last night. For one, flopping quad jacks in a 5-way raised pot and extracting max value. For another, getting limp-reraised, hitting my hand, and seeing the villain call down and show 43o for a whole lot of nothing. It was definitely one of my better days online, and having an hour or two where I could do no wrong was, for lack of a better word, awesome.

Kudos to Gracie, who, in the words of PokerStars, pulled off a "spectacular repeat" by making the final table in a second consecutive Katrina Relief tournament.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

This Is Not About Stars Being Rigged

Some days it simply doesn't matter how well you play. You will lose and that's all there is to it.

Yesterday was one of those days. I decided to burn up a few of the Stars FPPs I've accumulated the last couple weeks. Started by playing a 1000+ rebuys turbo satellite to WCOOP Event 7 yesterday afternoon. Fewer than 100 players, with 8 seats ending up being available. Rebought immediately (I ^&%$%** hate rebuys), and shortly afterward got snapped off. I have ATs, flop an ace and lead out. Some dork comes over the top for 260 more chips with 55 (with an ace and another overcard on the board?!), and catches a runner-runner flush. You've got to be kidding. Rebuy! I chip up, and after the rebuy period ends I have a fairly average stack. I drop a few chips when 3 overcards flop to my 99, and then make a move with 33, pushing in from the BB to try and scoop up a few limpers. I get one caller, with KJo. River J and I'm out. Fuck.

I also played the Stud/8 Round 2 satellite (250-some players for 8 seats) and bombed out toward the bottom. When you have a good session, you catch. I didn't. I would have been out really early but for getting the Antichrist (rolled up 6s) and having them hold up for a scoop the last hand before the first break. But that was it.

So that's my tale of woe. Maybe not woe, since I didn't lose any money to speak of. Aggravation might be a better word. Poker is a cruel mistress. Even golf doesn't kick you in the junk so often and so hard.

Friday, September 09, 2005

RIP's First Law of Sports Betting

is this: Thou shalt NEVER wager any money on the Detroit Lions to win a game of consequence, no matter what the spread.

You can take that to the bank. Your roll will thank me.

And despite the iron clad truth of that rule, there must be people who actually bet on the Lions to win. The Vegas line for this weekend is Lions over Packers by 3. Bill Simmons from likes the Lions in this game, despite putting them in an elite group of five teams (not including the Packers) which just plain suck. Oddjack is taking the Lions and the over. This is just wrong.

I don't care how bad the Packers' defense is. I don't care how talented the Lions WRs are. All I know is that the Lions have laid egg after egg for years now. They have an undeniable and exceptional ability to come up small in big games. They shrink from a challenge faster than your sack shrinks in a minus-30 windchill. Playing the Pack is always a big game, and the Lions pretty much always play those like they couldn't beat a good high school team. Run away and fast.

If you absolutely must bet on this game, take the Packers and points. The better choice by far is to NOT bet this one, and use your money elsewhere.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

I Have This Question, See...

When did telemarketing companies stop hiring people who speak understandable English? The last several that have called me have had accents so thick they're almost incomprehensible. And they're not even calling from Party Poker tech support.

And while I'm on the subject, I don't want telemarketers to try to be my buddy either. Don't ask me how I'm doing. If you don't tell me right up front who you're representing, I'm hanging up immediately. Okay, so truth be told I'm probably going to be hanging up on you anyway, but all I'm saying is that you've just guaranteed an insta-flush.

I'm Not About To Write A Book

I'm not about to write a book or anything, but here's some Stud/8 strategy for you:

Start with a solid low hand, say A-2/4. Preferably single or at worst double suited. Assist in capping preflop, at least five ways. Pick up another good card, like a 3, maybe even sooted. Cap again. Get a brick on fifth, go along with another cap since the three remaining opponents are betting and raising like crazy and are all obviously playing for the high (no low cards showing). Get another brick on sixth, call a bet or two because of the massive size of the pot. Get a brick on seventh and fold your no pair Ace high, no low with great disgust as some garbage hand like two pair rakes a huge pot.

Now, repeat that a couple times.

Now that you have read the above, do you think last night was a good night? If you said "no", you are correct sir (or madam in the case of my one female reader). I played two of the Stud/8 supersats and didn't come close to cashing in either. I also made a supremely dumb decision in EPT NLHE satellite, calling a river push with top two pair with a turned 3 flush on board. It was a read decision, and it turned out to be a bad one. Oops. I'll just say that I chalked up a loss of several hundred FPPs and give it another go some other time. Hopefully funds will also be in place shortly for efforts to rebuild the bankroll via bonuses.

Speaking of stud/8, greetings to blog reader and Stars player 'mohuncher', who has been crushing the WCOOP super sats. Hope you did better than I did last night.

I would've been happy to post a note about the Royal Vegas benefit tournament for the American Red Cross, but I didn't read the comment to the prior post until just now. For the record, ANY such tournament at any reputable site is worth doing. Kudos to Royal Vegas (where my current account balance is $0.35) and its players for doing what they can to help out.

Monday, September 05, 2005

If You Can't Play For Real...

It's such a shame that Labor Day weekend is drawing to a close. Here in what will soon be the frozen north, we had a perfect weekend. I've frittered it away with a fantasy football draft, a couple rounds of golf and a lot of online poker.

The latter should be interpreted loosely. I've played very little at cash games, since the online bankroll is hanging at around $20 pending reload. Instead, I've been hitting the PokerStars WCOOP and EPT FPP (frequent player points) satellites hard. I also watched some of the Full Tilt Katrina relief tourneys, sweating a couple bloggers for a while. Good playing, guys, and for a great cause. BG, I'll get you your money next time I see you - I still would have been short on the buyin, since I got rivered at a PLO/8 table shortly after you put in the transfer.

Two minor-leauge tournament scores of note. I took 8th of 790 in a NLHE WCOOP satellite last night, turning 18 FPPs into 1680 (1st through 7th made a 1800 FPP buyin to the next level). I got extremely lucky -- once, with about 25 players left, I made a critical mistake, not betting my second pair on the turn against the massive stack of the chip leader. He took the free card and made an absurd straight (I think he had 6-9 off). I didn't see the river as a scare card and called his bet -- fortunately for me, he'd bet 3,500 fewer chips than I had. I survived, doubled up a few times, and made it into the money without too much discomfort.

This morning, I finished in the top 9 (nine advance) in a 300 FPP EPT satellite, good for 3000 FPPs. I was unbelievably card dead for a long time, and couldn't even find anything to push with once my stack dipped below 5 BBs -- would you push with 6-4 off, which I had 3 hands in a row? I waited and waited, finally winning tiny pots all-in by necessity with 5-2 off and 10-3 off, the former when I had 125 chips left (average stack was about 8,000 at that point, blinds 50/100). The cards turned, I doubled up a couple times and stole my way back into contention.

It helps to be a luckbox. Down to the last 10, I'm one of four shortish stacks and find QQ under the gun. I push my 4+ BBs and pray. I get called by the big blind, who flips AA. *&^%!, I'm dead, right? Board comes 7-8-9-T, giving me six outs. I suck out with a river Q, and manage to survive for the "cash".

I also came up a bit short in a couple more limit Stud H/L satellites. I have to say, I'm enjoying playing those, and I may spend some FPPs on a Round 2 if I don't take down another satellite. I appear to have better discipline at that game than I do at Omaha/8 for some reason.

I've rambled on long enough, but I did just check in to see how the WCOOP Event #2 (PL Omaha with rebuy) was going, and fellow blogger Poker Nerd was doing well. Bring it home, Nerd! There are quite a few well known pros and 2+2 players in -- The Grinder was the chip leader last time I checked. Good luck to all who are playing.

See you on the tables. Now that I've tripled up my FPP total, then doubled it, and then multiplied that product by 10, I might as well put those suckers to work.

Edit: Got in four more satellites last night. Cashed in the evening stud hi/lo and another EPT Round 1 (300 FPP buyin). Flamed out early in a 30 FPP EPT Round 1 and bubbled in a 90 FPP PLO. I obviously know [censored] about PLO.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Football and Poker

TGIFS. "FS" being football season.

Michigan's offense looked good, the defense awful. Ohio State looked scary good. And I'm really surprised to hear Keith Jackson doing the Notre Dame - Pitt game; hopefully this is a sign that he's going to do a few games other than West Coast games this year. He's still the best in the business.

On the poker front, I appear to have found a game I can handle -- PokerStars WCOOP limit Stud Hi-Lo qualifiers. I've been playing a bunch of the WCOOP and EPT qualifiers that you can enter with FPPs. I won (80 FPP buyin, 800 FPP payout when you unregister from the Round 2 event) one for the second time yesterday and should have cashed in another. Somebody called me down with nothing more than A-2-3-4, hit a 5 on 7th for the scoop of a massive pot, and I went out about a dozen spots too soon. Oh, well. I also played decent NLHE for a change in a EPT round 1 qualifier (30 FPP buyin, payout 2 tickets to round 2), finishing out of the "money" at 7th out of 291. Ran QQ (the best hand I saw) into KK, crippling my stack. Those are the breaks. Hate those Hiltons.

I'll probably get in a few more FPP qualifiers this weekend, since any reload cash won't hit until at least mid-week. Unless I get distracted by football, that is.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Another Reason Cable Isn't Worth It

The local news just reported that ESPN has hired Nick Lachey, better known as Mr. Jessica Simpson, to join the "Gameday" team. I'm suddenly happier that I won't be wasting any time watching.

The Bills offense looked even more inept than the Lions offense tonight.

It's almost more fun railbirding bloggers in the Full Tilt Katrina Relief tournament than it would be playing ... I tried to win the $7 I needed to gain entry, but failed miserably. Cold decked, cold decked. Maybe I can play one of the later ones.

Thanks for the ideas on what to do with reload $. It'll be a few days before the funds clear, but I'm looking forward to getting started.

Tomorrow's plans consist of an omelette of some sort, a couple bloody marys and the worst fantasy football drafting job in recorded history. I'm hoping to put everyone else in the room on massive tilt by taking Joey Harrington with the #3 pick. Have a good holiday weekend all!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Onward Ho

I'm thinking it's time to reload and start working on rebuilding the bankroll. In order to do that, I think being a bonus ho is probably the best way to go, seeing as I play mini- (if not micro-) limits. I'll probably be playing $0.25-$0.50 to $1-2 limit and possibly $25NL. I enjoy playing O/8, but other than micro-limit SnGs it hasn't been profitable. I don't play enough to make rakeback a big deal, either.

If anyone has suggestions as to where to go, I'm happy to hear them. Feel free to comment or email me (address at right). I already have accounts at most of the big boys (Party, Stars, Full Tilt, Paradise, Noble, a couple of Prima sites), so it'd be reloads only there. I'm thinking about checking out Pacific (lousy software or not), PokerRoom, possibly Ultimate Bet or Absolute. I'll hit some of the forums (fora?) for information on what's available, but frankly I appreciate and trust the advice of professional poker bloggers more than I do that of anonymous internet schlubs.

Gamble Online ... Or Else

Former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura signs on as spokesman for, an internet gambling website. Interesting decision, since Minnesota law enforcement deems online gambling illegal. Prospective bettors may be caught in the middle, stuck between the prospect of being body-slammed or of having the book thrown at them. Will anyone care? Probably not.

In other news, our friends at Allegiant Air, the official airline of degenerate gamboolers everywhere, keep expanding their service to Las Vegas. The latest addition is more flights out of South Bend, Indiana, starting in early November. Included in the deal is a $69 introductory one-way fare available on select flights, something which may be of note to any bloggers from the midwest considering a December trip.