CONTACT: resipsapoker at hotmail dot communism is a failed system

online casinos accepting US players

Monday, October 31, 2005

All Commercials, No Content

Message of the day:

{As usual, image hosted by blogger, click it for a larger version}



Credit: Joe Speaker at The Obituarium. In case you missed it, Joe rules.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Get It In Hardcover

An excerpt from my upcoming book, Poker For The Short Bus Crowd:

----

Chapter 12: How To Be A Rude Home Game Guest

To truly be an advanced short-bus player, you need to know how to be the kind of person people regret inviting to their home games. Thankfully, this is not hard -- I'll make it as easy as possible for you. Just follow these few simple steps:

Step 1: Start by half-inviting yourself to the home game. If you need help on how to do this, see Chapter 4 of Passive Aggressiveness for the Short Bus Crowd, also available in paperback.

Step 2: Grab your luckbox and be sure the switch is locked in the 'ON' position. (If you don't have a luckbox, see Appendix 2, How to Buy, Borrow or Steal Your Own Luckbox)

Step 3: Arrive at the game late and be sure to post immediately. Demand to be able to post if there are any objections. If you're offered the chance to post, decline angrily and wait one hand before posting.

Step 4: Employ our recommended basic "Any Two Cards" strategy (Chapter 2).

Step 5: If you're not having success with that strategy, rebuy and step up your game to the advanced "Play Any Two Cards Against Any Raise" strategy also described in Chapter 2.

Step 6: Get all your chips in the middle, frequently.

Step 7: This is the most important step: Suck out, as often and as brutally as possible. Some recommended examples:

* Crack your host's AA with 4-2 off
* Crack the host's AKo with the Hammer
* Crack brother of the host's KK with AKs (Note: AKs is usually a hand you should throw away, since it never hits in home games and it will make you cry)
* Crack brother of host's turned straight when your A7o boats up on the river.

This strategy is especially valuable when going up against opponents with lots of chips in front of them in pots with multiple callers.

Step 8: Do something really obnoxious, like a victory dance, every time you win a hand. If it's on a suckout, plan on doubling your obnoxiousness.

Step 9: Hit Taco Bell on the way home.

That's all there is to it. If you want to be the kind of person people HATE to invite to their home games, all you have to do is follow these simple guidelines. You can also use this strategy in casinos, which we'll discuss next in Chapter 13, How To Get Kicked Out of Cardrooms.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Poker Week in Review, Graphic Edition

Yeah, I know, I'm getting a little picture happy. Someone better take away my electronic crayons.

{This image hosted by Blogger. Click on it to open a larger version}



Credit: This Is Not a Poker Blog

What Is This, PBS?

No content this morning. I'm finally recovered from Thursday's festivities.

I see that a lot of bloggers did well in last night's Wil Wheaton tournament. Congrats to all!

One of the things I did this week was work on updating the blogroll. I'm sure I'm still missing a few - for my 38 regular readers, if you happen to notice any (like, say, yours), leave me a comment willya?

Time for another station break:



Have a nice weekend!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Station Break

We interrupt this blog to bring you the following important safety tip:



And here's another tip for you: Cracking open a fresh bottle 'o booze sometime after 11:00 pm isn't a good idea. Having more than one drink is a bad idea. Killing more than half the bottle is a VERY bad idea. Very BAD idea. Very, very bad idea.

I also think I'm going to be in big trouble in Vegas.

Lotta fun last night, chatting it up, even if my patented donk-aha style let me down to the tune of nearly two buyins. I blame it mostly on the fact that I was seeing eight or even twelve hole cards by the end there...

Happy birthday again April, and to all y'all who are going to her bash this weekend, have a great time!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Oma-tarrds

G-Rob had a thoughtful post this week about how you really should be nice to people you don’t know and not be one of those tools who hide behind a cloak of anonymity.

My carefully thought out response?

Screw that!

I kid, I kid. He’s got a point, and a good one at that. Why do I mention it? Well, I’m glad you asked, or at least play along if you didn’t.

It’s entirely possible that one or two people out there might find the following post a bit mean-spirited. It’s not meant to be -- let me be PERFECTLY clear about that -- but anytime you call winners and losers, it’s possible that someone could be offended.

And that’s okay.

This is a post about us oma-tarrds. The use of the word “us” is deliberate I’m a card-carrying member of the oma-tarrd fraternity. I freely admit that I know almost nothing about pot limit omaha, or any Omaha for that matter, including Omaha, Nebraska. I play omaha even worse than I draw, and that's saying something. Ask any first grader.

The oma-tarrd organization is not an exclusive club. Anyone who plays the penny tables is eligible to join. We even are working on a theme song, to the tune of the old Dr. Pepper jingle:

I’m a tarrd
You’re a tarrd
Wouldn’t you like to be an oma-tarrd too?


In the post below, I happen to ‘pick on’ a couple of non-blogging fellow members, and for that I have my reasons -- Cheesemind and PokerTwit because we love them and because they’ve been known to multi-table the penny PLO game, and PotteryDog because, well, see for yourself.

Oma-tarrds they are, even if they don't know it. I’m sure I’ve got hand histories to prove it, although I admit some creative license has been taken.

Getting back to G-Rob’s post, unlike those evil anonymous people he references, I have at least some measure of accountability. You can comment below, or my email address is to the right. Offended? Send me a note. We’ll talk about it, set up a group hug, maybe sing a stanza or two of ‘Kumbaya’.

Got it? Good.

One last disclaimer: I don’t think it’s expressed or implied, but just to be clear, PokerStars and the good people who work there have absolutely nothing to do with this ‘toon. They don't endorse it or anything. Stars just happens to be where the real oma-tarrds hang out.

Okay. No more words. Let’s get on with the pictures, it's time for

THE BATTLE OF THE OMA-TARRDS!

NOTE: Images hosted by Blogger. Clicking will open them in a separate window, and probably give you an option to see the full original size. I swear, it would be easier just to convert the stupid things to .pdf.








Oma-tarrds, Part Duh







Oma-tarrds, Part 3









{The End.}

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Un-Illustrated

Kind of an odds-n-ends post.

First up: Crazy theory. I have one (or two or three). Can't let Sir F have all the goofy offbeat poker ideas, can we? Here's one for you:

I think I play better in tournaments when I'm not really paying attention

Perhaps that's because I don't have time to consider the merits of completing the SB with 9-7o or trying to steal with J-9s. Fewer donkey plays. Just fold and move along.

--

Despite being sure that taking the last-longer was seriously -EV, I managed to outlast Drizz, CJ, G-Rob and Maigrey in the $5 Stars PLO tourney last night. Too bad I busted out 53rd (with 45 paying) when my flopped nut straight with redraws to the nut flush and a higher straight lost to someone who also had the nut straight but a runner-runner redraw to a full house. Doh!

--

I bought a new cell phone today. The manual is two inches thick. Any guesses as to how long it'll be before I can do anything more challenging than answering the phone and hanging up? The over/under is currently set at 'never'.

--

When did it get so expensive to join the YMCA? Sheesh. You almost have to be married with 11 kids to make it a reasonable value.

--

Okay, that's it, back to work.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Sneak Preview Time

Coming soon, just for Maigrey ...

Monday, October 24, 2005

Titan/Stars Poker Weekend in Review, Graphic Edition

I apologize in advance to any reader who might be using dialup. I like dem purty pictures.

Further apologies to anyone who thinks poker blogs should have words. Me and words aren't getting along at the moment, so I pick up the electronic crayon.

Congrats to all the big winners this weekend.















{slings and arrows welcome, just comment below}

Been A Long Time Gone

What a great weekend.

The greatness of the weekend had virtually nothing to do with poker, including the PokerStars blogger extravaganza (more on that in a moment). Bear with me here, and indulge a little non-poker content.

These are a few of the reasons why it was good:


Are you ready for some SEC foot-bawl?


The LSU marching band at halftime


The lovely Golden Girls lead the band into the stadium

Mmmm good
If I ate stuff like this all the time, I'd probably explode

A friend of mind is an LSU alum and has season tickets. I got an invite to come down and check out SEC football firsthand.

I'm a Big 10 guy. I'll put our fans, their loudness, tailgating, etc. up against anyone. At least I would. Now that I've seen LSU fans in action, I may have to rethink that. Of course, getting until 7pm to get worked up is a bit of an unfair advantage. :)

Anyway, things worked out great. I tried, but was unsuccessful in getting the kid next to me on the Houston-Baton Rouge flight to sell me the T-shirt off his back. I was prepared to spend upwards of $6 to get it, just so that Bobby Bracelet could add it to his wardrobe -- on the back, it said "HUGE WHERE IT COUNTS".

I wasn't sure I was going to be able to play in the PokerStars fiesta, since my flight back was supposed to take off 10 minutes after the tourney started. A helpful Continental rep got me on an earlier flight, and I hit Houston in time.

Chad had a post this week about playing in uncomfortable environments. Here's a tip: Don't play in a hallway in the Houston airport. Yeesh.

Anyhow, I finished a non-descript 170th after missing the first half hour (thanks to Sprint and their F-----ed up wifi). I was never a threat, peaking at just over 5k in chips. I made two horrible errors on back to back hands -- folding QQ on the button to a raise and a reraise (I didn't have enough chips to double the bet that was out there and feared AA or KK) preflop, and folding JJ when ScottMcMreraised preflop. I should have taken a coinflip with the jacks (he said he had AQ), and I was most ticked when a Q came on the flop after I'd folded the damned hiltons. Of course an A flopped too, and I'll never know if anyone had AA, since the pot was taken down by the first bet. I busted not long after these hands when ATs lost to Q3o. Yech. Totally the wrong strategy -- with a big tournament like this, I should have been way more aggressive.

Huge thanks to PokerStars for doing this. Ryan, Otis and everyone involved, you're the best. I can't wait to see what you have cooking with the WPBT.

-----

One other thing - I've added an ad for Full Tilt Poker to the bar on the right. I'm happy to recommend Full Tilt to anyone who hasn't checked it out -- they offer a great selection of games, you can play with the pros, it's good software and they have a nice signup bonus. Plus, many of the finest minds in the blogosphere work for the company, so you know they're always working on maximizing the player experience. I think that, along with Stars, Full Tilt is one of the very best companies out there in thinking about things from the player's perspective.

I won't push any bonus codes or anything - if you want to help someone out by using one, plenty of the folks on the blogroll have an affiliate link. Just consider signing up with Full Tilt if you're looking for a place to play -- I haven't been real successful there, but that's my own damned fault -- i suck at poker.

More on that later.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Titan Poker Week in Review, Graphic Edition

{Posting this early because no poker will be played the next few days, for various reasons. Also, this may or may not become a regular feature -- who knows? For now, I'm putting it up because it amuses me. I heart MS Paint.}

Click on each individual panel for a slightly larger, more legible version. Sorry, this is the first time I've used Blogger to host images







Looking for a Word

I'm looking for a new word or term. One that can be used when things are just going horribly and consistently wrong. "Running bad" is the existing term that I hear used for what I'm talking about, but I'm looking for something a little different, a little more colorful, a little more extreme.

I need something that describes the set of circumstances when all of the following are true:

1) You can never outdraw anybody, even when ahead at the start
2) You are constantly getting outdrawn
3) You fold when the odds don't dictate continuing, only to see your draw hit
4) You play when the odds say to, only to see your draw miss
5) Your opponents chase you down when they have absolutely no business still being in the pot
6) Many of your losses are to opponents playing hands that make you scratch your head and say 'huh?'
7) Every major decision you make turns out to be the wrong one, even if it was correct at the time

Yes, as you might guess, all of the above have been happening to me lately. Last night was particularly brutal in all seven areas. And no, I'm not going to bore you with the details. For once, I'll spare you.

I'm too busy looking for a word.

Is "shit" already taken?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

This Deserves To Be Back On The First Page

Poker Championship

I have registered to play in the
Online Poker Blogger Championship!

This event is powered by PokerStars.

Registration code: 5931869

Angry at Numbers


Teacher: Are you angry, Butt-head?
Butt-head: I'm, like, angry at numbers.


Angry? I'm starting to just plain despise numbers. Or at least one number in particular. Here's a hint as to which one it is: THREE!

I hit up (you guessed it) three tournaments yesterday, with one insignificant cash. The Titan random number generator wasn't my friend at all. Very, very few playable hands. But that evil number three, as in three outs, was what really put the smack down on my chances for a good day.

Tourney 1: Short stacked in the BB. My AK vs. preflop raiser's AQ. Q hits. THREE!
Tourney 2: Also short stacked. 55 vs. AQ and AJ with lots of dead money in the pot from limp-folders and blinds. Huge chance to quadruple up or more. River J. THREE! (I know, not 3 outs against me, but for the player in question).
Tourney 3: Trying to get back into the game after a horrible early move. A9s vs. unimproved AK with a 9 on the flop. River K. THREE!

Stupid number. And just in case you needed an additional reason to despise the number three, how about this one?

Bench Me!

Before you get too worried, I'm just blowing off steam. Thankfully, there are penny Omaha tables - a great way to take out the frustration bred by the above happenings without blowing the bankroll.

Or, I could always bore and repulse the people who read this thing.

-----

I rarely dream about Poker, but I did last night. For whatever reason, I was in two online tournaments, and ended up winning a large pile of cash with quad kings in each. Maybe watching Otis doing well in the Party Super Tuesday was inspiring. Who knows?

-----

Clear Channel could write a book on how to alienate people who listen to their radio stations. The one I usually have on in the car somehow changed formats mid-morning yesterday.

Look, you idiots, if I wanted to listen to mostly classic rock, I'd listen to one of the 9,237 other stations in this market that play nothing BUT classic rock.

And for another thing, who says it's a good idea to dump the local people and just run everything off a computer somewhere in Dallas? You think we're going to get attached to the local advertising?

Sheesh.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Contest Entry

I went ahead and sent something to get in the PokerStars 'what is a good blog?' contest. Drizz has a real nice entry up already. Good luck to all who enter!

---------


A Good Blog

Recipe by: on_thg, Res Ipsa Poker
Serving Size: Unlimited
Preparation Time: Lots

Ingredients:
----------------
* 1 Subject, whole

* 1 dash, Inspiration
(Alternative: May substitute 1 or more dashes of Insanity)

* a pinch or two of Personality

* 1 heaping C of Dedication

* One large bunch, Words

* Pictures, as desired

* Good Presentation, to taste
(like salt, more is better, so don’t be shy)

Instructions:
-----------------
Combine all ingredients. Stir. Place on a Server and enjoy!


VARIATION: A Good Poker Blog
-----------------------------------------
For authentic Poker Blog flavor, before stirring add the following ingredients:

* 1 handful, fresh Poker-Related Opinions
(may be ill-formed or half-baked, if desired; use of idiotic variety may cause
deflation of your Poker Blog)

* a small quantity of Hand Histories and/or Analysis, preferably good quality.

* (optional) some Bad Beat Stories and/or Shameless Bragging
(you may want to limit quantities as an excess has been known to cause
nausea or anger in some consumers)

* additional Personality, as needed for digestion.

Grow & Learn

You pretty much need to do this, even if your entire answer is "just try not to suck":

PokerStars is announcing ANOTHER contest within a contest. For all registrants of PokerStars Blogger Championship, we are giving out a cool PokerStars Fleece for the following contest:

In your own words (any length you think is appropriate), tell PokerStars what makes a good blog. If you have a poker blog or one that has this as a major topic, please add relevance to poker in your topic.

Email all entries to: bloggertournament@pokerstars.com. I will announce the winner and post his answer and blog URL on our blog this upcoming Friday the 21st. Good Luck!


{source: PokerStars Blogger Championship Blog}

---------------------

On the personal poker front, a modestly profitable but largely unsatisfying night last night. As a semi-professional-Titan-only-low-low-buyin MTT player (okay, not really), it bothers me when I do stupid things.

Case in point {oh, I know, you LOVE hand histories and bad analysis}:

Final table of a freezeout, 6 players left. I'm not the short stack, more like the middle, but I have only 5.5 to 6 BBs. I find 55 in the SB and it's folded around to me. I min-raise to try and steal the blind, opponent in the BB pushes all in over the top. He has me covered.

I think it through some. The BB is a complete monkey. He's been caught restealing a couple times, with very marginal hands. His whole M.O. is to push all in any chance he gets preflop -- he's just been very, very lucky. I figure he has any ace, or possibly any face (it turns out I was right, he had AQo, although that's probably more of a hand than I gave him credit for).

Despite my brain screaming at me to fold (COIN FLIP! COIN FLIP! YOU DON'T HAVE A DOMINATING HAND!) and play on with 4 BBs, I call, he flops an ace and I lose. So be it. I think, however, that the preflop decision (to minraise and call the push) was a critical mistake.

It seems to me in hindsight that, in order of desirability, my options at that point were to:

1. Minraise to try and steal (semi-steal?) and FOLD to a reraise
{if we end up seeing a flop, that's a whole different level of analysis}
2. Fold
3. Push preflop (and pray)
4. Minraise and CALL a reraise
5. Call/complete and FOLD to a reraise
6. Call/complete and CALL a reraise

{I'm discounting any raise other than a minraise or push, since I'm going to be pretty much pot committed for anything other than a minraise - no folding equity - and my opponent is not going to be intimidated or have his thinking changed by a more-than-min, less-than max raise. I'm also leaving a Stop 'n Go off the list, since I don't expect the BB to allow it and I have a pretty weak hand to try it with anyway.}

I don't really like, in hindsight, ANY of the last three options, all of which have significant potential for the loss of my remaining chips with very little upside. Just plain folding or pushing would have been better decisions than the one I made.
I do think the steal attempt is optimal (and certainly better than completing), given that the blinds are large compared to the stack sizes (biggest stacks were only 10-12 BBs at that point). I haven't seen many big hands, and can't really afford to wait and pick a perfect spot. The risk/reward ratio is favorable for a raise.

What it came down to, ultimately, is the pressure of the clock and of the blinds. Thirty seconds isn't a lot of time for analysis. I also felt I *needed* to double up to have a chance to WIN the tournament, and I really didn't believe I was way behind against Mr. Monkey. So I went with the gut play instead of the smart play, and it cost me.

Bah. More thinking at the time, less thinking after the fact. That's what I need.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Party Poker Week in Review, Graphic Edition

YAAAAAH!

{Yeah, I know, my 'art' sucks too.}

Money Isn't Everything (Or At Least That's What I Hear)

I definitely feel like I left money on the table this weekend.

Not much play, really. I was entered into $1,000 freerolls on both Saturday and Sunday at Titan, and ended up skipping both in favor of the golf course. I see that I posted and folded my way to 51st yesterday (out of almost 300) - If only I'd gotten home an hour earlier. Oh, well.

Actually, my best chance for a serious score also ended in a dump. I decided to play a $5 rebuy on Titan while watching the Lions game. Right after the first break, I get a call to hit the golf course in an hour. It's too nice a day to say no, I'm going to be out of here. There's no way that we're going to get to the money by then, so I ramp up the aggression - either I'm going to have enough chips to fold to the final table or I'm going to bust. Busted trying to push people around with nothing more than an open-ended straight draw and back door flush draw, which I would never do normally - Titan players fall in love with hands like top pair, mediocre kicker, and you can (usually) wait to punish them when you actually have a made hand.

I also hit up a $10 rebuy last night that featured 6MAX tables. I'm no expert, but that's a totally different game, one at which I am at a disadvantage because it requires more aggression to stay ahead of the blinds. I did manage to cash (making the day a wash), but ran into my new nemesis -- I have a dominating hand, A8o v. A6o, but my opponent makes a one-card straight through his weak kicker.

I should think positive, at least I'm not getting the money in when I'm way behind.

Most of the time, anyway.

I see that Iggy has a nice guest post up on tournament play. And you can count me as another who'd like to hear Joanne's thoughts on MTT strategy.

One more thing -- yes, I just made a conscious effort not to start this paragraph with "I" -- from the weekend is that I got in a little live play. After golf on Saturday, there was a little tournament action.

First game, $10 buyin. Tournament style, freezeout, T2000 to start with 25/50 blinds, which double every 20 minutes. Two places paid. I know about half the people participating.

The BG have a mutual friend who's expressed interest in playing a home game. We'll call him P. P is on fire - after he chips me up when I'm holding KK, he starts laying the wood to people. BG, you may want to take note, once P gets a big stack, he is not at all shy about making people commit to hands. His aggression was beautiful to watch. I'd like to see him, MN and JS at a table just to see who the aggro king would be.

Anyway, with all the action and the crazy blind structure, things moved along pretty fast. Our table started with 7 -- we were down to 3 before the other table lost a single player. I get nothing playable once we consolidate and end up going out 4th when A4s loses to any two cards. Let's play two.

Second game is also a $10 buyin, same deal except that it was winner take all, blinds doubled every 15 minutes, and -- who does this? -- rebuys were allowed for the first hour at a cost of double the original buyin. 9 players for this one. Things go better, to the point where I'm still in good shape despite losing a 4 outer and having to split a pot 3 ways when the board makes a straight (4 outs just to to tie) -- both times I have opponents all in and all but dead. I end up getting heads up with P, and we agreed to a chop since it was getting late.

There were plenty of screwy things about this game, but the blinds were easily the nuttiest. They were fast, the pace of play was slow. In the second game, we were on level THREE before the first orbit had been completed. There was a whole lot of crazy bluffing and people got way too attached to hands that didn't hit. But I complain not, since any day I come out ahead is a very good day.

You don't need me to remind you, but the PokerStars Blogger Championship is coming up this weekend. If you haven't already done signed up for it -- what, you living under a rock or something? -- do it NOW. This is easily the greatest thing ever done for the blogging 'community', so thank Stars for their incredible generousity and get in the game.

So anyway, that's that. Sorry to bore anyone who actually reads this crap, but it entertains me to keep a log of this sort. It'll come in handy when I go 0-for-February or something and need to flash back to a better time. Money may not be everything, but it's sure a pisser when you don't win any.

And besides, it's Monday. The more blog posts to read, the better, right?

Sunday, October 16, 2005

The People In My Neighborhood Appear To Be

mad as hell and they're not going to take it any more.

This whole town is CLOSED FOR CONSTRUCTION

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Kept Afloat

I never thought I'd be saying this, but thank goodness for Titan Poker.

The Party bad beat jackpot was over $500,000 when I logged on this evening (currently at $625,000 and growing), so I reloaded and went to work. Bad idea. I continue to get treated like a pretty boy on his first night in Jackson Prison. Yeesh. I've only seen one hand out of thousands that came close to hitting - my pocket 10s hit a ten on the flop. Opponent turned quad aces. No miracle ten on the river. Nuts.

So I filled in the blank space on my monitor by playing MTTs at Titan. Good idea. Four tourneys, four cashes, three final tables (4th, 7th, 4th). The last one ended badly, with QQ losing to A4o's runner-runner straight to the seven.

I haven't done the math, but I think that thanks to Titan the evening was about a wash. Now if I could only learn how to play so I could clear some of the kajillion dollars in bonus money that I have stacked up.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I Will Never Understand This Stupid Game

And I mean that. Seriously. How can a horrible player like myself have any success at all? And yet it happens.

I didn't make it home in time for the Titan $5 Rebuy tonight, there were more important things to do. So instead, I played the $10 Rebuy an hour later. 128 of my pals came along for the ride.

Totals for the first hour were Hammers 3, pocket pairs 2. Fortunately I flopped a set of 7s with one of the pairs and doubled up.

Things limped along forever. I get very, very few playable hands and fold some absurdly large percentage of the time. I never have much of a stack, and once the blinds got to 300/600 and above, I never had more than about 5 BBs.

Somehow, I make it to the final table. At least I'll get my buy-in back plus a bit. There are two big stacks, three medium stacks and five short stacks. I'm about the shortest, somewhere in 3 BB territory. Two players bust, then a third. I get nothing I can play. No aces, no faces, no pairs, no sooted cards. It's a dead heat between myself and another puny stack for 6th and 7th.

I'm forced all in in the big blind first. I get 74s and it holds up.

A couple more people go out. I fold some more. Still less than 3 BBs.

I push back to back hands with 44 and A8s. Both hold up when called by a big stack. That gets me to about even with the other short stack. The two big stacks then go to war, and one gets knocked out! And the other short stack pushes, gets called and loses!

From shit to 2nd in less than an hour, without getting a single big hand. I can't believe my good fortune. It really was all luck.

Heads up, I'm outchipped nearly 10-1, have about 5 BBs, and lose shortly thereafter when the villain boats up his any two cards. I never had a chance. But who cares? That's still an awful lot of money I had absolutely no business winning. (By awful lot I mean relatively, that is. This wasn't the WSOP or anything).

Conclusion: I really ought to stop saying negative things about Titan, you know?

Now, if only I can figure out what the heck happened to my aggression in full ring limit games... the Party Bad Beat Jackpot is over $450,000 and I keep frittering away money taking shots at it.

They Call Him Mr. Rebuy

Warning: Contains a bad beat story, boring but necessary -- utilized as an excuse to play with Microsoft Paint. "Art" is fun (and yes, I'm using that term VERY loosely).

What ever favors the poker gods give, they can just as easily take away.

Played the Titan $5 rebuy again last night. Same tournament, yet it could not have possibly been more different – all due to one player. We'll call him "Mr. Rebuy".

It’s been a while since I’ve sat a tournament with a true maniac. People who make idiotic plays, yes, but every hand? Not lately until yesterday. A guy sitting to my left rebought no less than *ten* times, and it could have been 15 or more. He was all in, usually preflop, almost every hand. He literally would go with any two cards. I guess that’s one way to get a stack, but when you’re on the other side and not getting any hands to go to battle with, you don’t get many of those chips.

I survive the first hour, only having to rebuy once. Doubled up and then some late, so I’m OK but not good. Still in the same seat, I have one of the shortest stacks thanks to Mr. Rebuy’s donations to the rest of the table.

Two hands after the break, I’m in the blinds with KK. One raiser to me, I come over the top. He has me covered and calls -- cards flipped, villain has QQ.

Q on flop. Case Q on turn. River K just to add insult to injury. Yep, them sure are quads beetches, just not MY quads. Hey, if you’re going to go out, you might as well go out in style, right?

Whatever.

Those poker gods sure have some sense of humor, since I got bounced from a SnG soon thereafter pretty much the same way, with KK against QQ.

Just their way of reminding me, I suppose, that:

Hey, Dude, You Suck at Poker!

I checked the tournament results later, and Mr. Rebuy did indeed manage to make it to the final table. I’m pretty sure he didn’t recoup his investment, though, since he didn’t make the top four. At least he juiced the prize pool for those lucky enough to slog their way through.

If I ever turn into Mr. Rebuy, that's a sure sign that I should never be allowed to play this game again.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Welcome Back Iggy

I'm thinking of having this printed up ....

Cindy says ... 'OH THE HUMANITY!'

I think they could be hot sellers at Empire/Eurobet/Multipoker etc.

I don't really have much to add on the subject of the Party/Skins divorce. You can read actual thinking bloggers or 2+2 for better analysis than I can give you. I will say that the move is unlikely to affect me personally, since I have no accounts at Party skins, and have only been playing sporadically at Party (using Bonus Code IGGY) in a futile effort to chase the Bad Beat Jackpot. Which was at $330,000 as of this morning. Wouldn't that be nice.

In other poker news, PokerStars has set up a blog for the blogger championship. The only thing of note so far is that Bill Rini won a T-shirt. Not bad, just don't wear it to the office, Bill.

Stars also has a very nice reload bonus offer -- presumably to take advantage of the turmoil in the Party Poker and Skins universe. 25% to $150, deposit by 10/16. Playthrough looks very reasonable, and you can complete it at your lesiure.

While putzing around last night, I encountered the worst radio advertisement I've heard in a long time. It's for a local auto dealership, selling Kias. Their last ad was pretty idiotic, featuring a Jeff Foxworthy soundalike telling people that if they had such and such, 'you might be a Kia buyer'. For whatever reason, they did not include some of the more common attributes of actual Kia buyers: 'If you're broke and desparate and you need a $6000 car, you might be a Kia buyer'. 'If you're a drunk or on crack, you might be a Kia buyer'. Etc. Brilliant in my opinion.

To top that genius effort, their new spot features a 'Forrest Gump' soundalike. Some actual lines:

Mama always says buying a car is like a vacuum cleaner. It sucks.

I got a job mowing lawns. Leutenant Dan gave me $199. Forget Jen-nay, I'm going to Keller Kia!

I would like to capture the full idiocy of the spot, but that's all I remember at the moment. Sorry it doesn't come across so well. But whomever it was that came up with the idea of using a movie retard (albeit a kind, genial retard) to sell your product, bravo. I have never been so motivated to go get myself some of that.

Sharing the love, that's what I do.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Swings

I've been told that I show more more mood swings than most any blogger out there. It's true, it's true. I'm poker-bipolar or something.

If you read anyone who knows what they're talking about, this is *not* a good trait for a poker player. The party line is that you're supposed to be an emotional rock, never too high, never too low. Gee, do you think this is, at least in part, why I suck?

Anyway, the mood swings have never been more in evidence than they have of late, like this weekend. I got absolutely savaged for two days on Titan. One outers. Four outers. You name it. I saw the Party Bad Beat Jackpot was approaching $200,000, so for a change of pace, I reloaded there and had a decent session. Now I'm happy, right? Not for long, of course. Two bad sessions, and I'm way down. I play tournaments on Titan and suffer ridiculous beats. I get knocked out from a $2500 guaranteed when I'm in great position for a major cash when my KK loses to QQ. I make a few bucks, but nothing worth writing about.

The rollercoaster continued tonight. I played a bit more on Party, was getting drubbed yet again. I'm glad my computer doesn't have ears, because it was getting cussed out big time. It finally turned around, and I quickly stopped once I got up a couple BBs.

I'm donking around on Titan at the same time, trying to clear a few bonus dollars. It's not working - I'm losing money at 1/2 6 Max faster than I'm clearing the bonus. So I give it up and sign up for the $5 rebuy. 113 of my pals joined me.

I'm not a fan of rebuys, but the Titan ones aren't that bad. You're not guaranteed to be in for 3x the buy-in, since you can't rebuy unless you bust.

First hand, 43o in the big blind. I flop the sucker end of the straight, and get three callers to my all-in after a harmless turn. The board counterfeits one of my cards, so I end up splitting. Double up. That was the highlight of the first hour. As I groused to the extremely tolerant Princess, I played one other hand, 54o, in the next 52 minutes. With the add-on, I have less than 2000 chips after the first hour. As it turns out, I have to make the final table just to get my buy-in back.

Which, strangely enough, ended up happening. With a little railbirding from Sir F, I made it to heads up. I had the lead a couple times, and twice had my opponent all in while holding the better hand, but he outdrew me both times, and ended up beating my 55 with AK.

2nd place. Best finish in a long time now. The beauty of the multi-table tournament, erasing three days of losses and then some in three short hours.

Highs and lows. You gotta love them.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Now What?

Decisions, decisions.

I received my Titan cashout in less than 72 hours. Not awful. They use the same hilarious email message as Noble ("Thank You For Your Withdrawal!"). Anyway, I now have a few bucks queued up to hit up another bonus.

The question is 'what next'? Or maybe more accurately, 'where next'?

There are plenty of options, including:

1. I could do another PSO promotion and earn some more points toward a gift certificate. That would probably mean signing up for Absolute or Ultimate Bet. Both appear to have decent first deposit bonuses. (By the way, if anyone signs up for PSO, do what I did and tell 'em TripJax sent you - I don't have any affiliate codes myself and don't think I'm likely to start now. Some other folks - GCox25? -- might have referral codes, too.)

2. Party is offering 'account specific' bonuses this month. I got an offer of $95 if I accumulate 840 Party Points by the end of the month. If my math is right, that's a 12x playthrough at the highest level I've ever tried there, and just under 30x at the level I usually play. It would be at least 60x at $0.50/$1.00. Pretty craptastic.

3. I got an emailed reload offer from Titan today. I would be an idiot to take this, right? I mean, I only cleared about a quarter of my initial deposit bonus, the software sucks, they haven't verified my PSO promotion yet, blah blah blah. But you know, I'm still tempted. For one, it's a 100% to $200 offer, so I'd have an absolute ton of bonus money stacked up there. For another, the players do suck (even though there do seem to be a lot of PSO guys doing promos). And for a third, they have the smaller MTTs that I prefer. I probably won't do it, but you never know.

4. I could sign up for a new, non-PSO room, like Bet365 or something. A little looking would probably find a good offer.

5. There's always playing $0.01/$0.02 PLO at Stars. Except it's not exactly profitable when some other bloggers are frequenting the tables.

If you asked me right now, Option #1 is the most promising.

Odds and Ends

I should make a list of sites I'm not likely to go back to (short of a blogger tournament or something similar). First on the list is Noble, second is Full Tilt. I've never gotten a reload offer that I can remember from Paradise or 7 Sultans, so I probably won't be back to those sites, either.

I received my first piece of poker-related junk mail yesterday - an offer for $10 free from Sportsbook.com, the result of their tie-in with Paradise.

The PokerStars blogger tournament signup list is pushing 700 names. I see a bottom 10% finish in my future. Too many real poker players on that list.

There has been a real shortage lately of people complaining in the chat box about online poker being rigged. Kind of disappointing. I may need to get busy, stoking the fires of ignorance.

I really, really, need to update the blogroll.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Spending Too Much Time In The Ozone

Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Winning $0.56 Playing $5 PLO

Everybody who plays this stupid game has a reason for doing so.

For me, it’s about escape as much as anything else. Escape from reality. Escape from what, truth be told, is a pretty boring day-to-day existence. There isn’t any glamour, and there is precious little fun, in doing what I do for a living. You won’t find a lot of after-work excitement in this town, either, so it’s pretty easy to just vanish off into the intarweb.

It doesn’t take much to get me into full escapist mode. I was reading 2+2 while eating lunch yesterday, and a Party Poker employee threw the following comment into a more or less unrelated post:

On a side note, if there is anyone looking to work full time (in Gibraltar) and has a understanding of online poker, what players want and what is out there; email me.

Hey, I could think of far worse places to live and work. So I did a little searching. Party Gaming has a nice sales pitch. They even have quite a few job openings. Too bad I’m not especially qualified for any of them – they don’t appear to have a need for someone with a largely unused MBA and a poorly written poker blog. I don’t think I can spin “has played microlimits at a large number of online poker sites” into “vast experience in the online poker industry”.

Damn. Okay, lunch over, back to reality.

I think that, in a way, using the game as an escape is a problem. It means that I tend to avoid doing things which would improve my game, but which seem too much like work. Like, say, reading (I still haven’t really applied myself to either SSHE or the Harrington book). It also means that I avoid taking shots at things which offer an attractive payday – I tend to avoid tournaments with more than a couple hundred players, since slogging through a field of a thousand or more is a grind.

(As an aside, it doesn’t do this blog any favors, either. I tend to just spit out whatever’s on my mind. The result of which is that you get these poorly constructed posts that are to grammar and proper writing what the British Army was to the French at Waterloo. Editing is for far better people than I, or at least for those who have the time.)

Really, it's more fun to just goof around. Instead of grinding through easily attainable bonus dollars, an escapist ends up sitting at a $5 PLO Omaha table, goofing around playing 89% of all hands with fellow sad addicts internet pals Maigrey , Drizz and GameC, plus a very incognito Gcox25. Good times.

And way better times than doing laundry or cleaning the bathroom.

Now, for tonight's departure from reality, I think I'll try to remember to buy a lotto ticket. One more cheap buy-in to the fantasyland wonder express.

Odds and Ends

It must have been a reeeeeally slow weekend on the poker front if Oddjack threw a link to my vent post about Titan into their remainders section yesterday.

Speaking of Titan, well, they still suck. I got two emails in response to my issues on Sunday – one saying that they’d received my message, the other a form letter which essentially said “we had some connection problems, it’s now safe for you to log back in”. Yeah. I had some small hope that they would refund my $6.30, since they've acknowledged the problem was on their end, but that doesn’t appear likely.

While I’m reviewing poker rooms, I’d like to extend kudos to the fine folks at BoDog, who got my cashout processed and into Neteller in less than 24 hours. Or, in other words, a hell of a lot faster than Titan – still waiting on that one.

At least I finished the Titan PSO promotion, even if I didn't come close to fully clearing available bonus dollars, so I have a nice parting gift coming just as soon as I figure out what to get. If I do another one or two, I should rack up enough points to get an Ipod Nano, which would be tempting.

I forgot to mention that the Canterbury bad beat jackpot hit on Friday while I was on dinner break. I believe it was just under $20,000, and I think it was on a 3/6 table (although I’m not sure about that). I suppose that I wish I’d gotten back an hour earlier, maybe I’d have been lucky enough to get seated at that table.

When taking an after-lunch piss (not next to any famous poker players, sorry) in a restaurant in downtown Minneapolis, I noticed one of those bathroom-wall ads for Sportsbook.com. Two thoughts – for one, that’s pretty bold, advertising something that’s presumptively illegal in Minnesota, and for another: In your face, Jesse Ventura!

I have now officially wasted mass quantities of time, so that's all for this episode. Stay tuned for real poker content, coming soon to some other blog near you.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

What a good site! What a bad site!

My opinion of Titan Poker has yo-yoed rapidly today.

It's no secret that I don't love the interface. Frankly, it sucks. The static tourney window, the windows that refuse to stay in place when you get moved between tables, etc, etc. I could go on and on listing the things I don't like.

I also hadn't had a lot of luck playing there. That changed this weekend. The 1/2 6MAX limit tables have been squishy soft. I also finished 5th in a $5 rebuy for a decent little payday ($100). I didn't even get upset when someone called my push (with 99) holding ATo and managed to win the coin flip.

So all is well and good, right? Well, it didn't last.

I decided to hit a couple more tournaments while watching the Lions lose yet again. I managed to bust out of a $5 freezeout in a fabulous manner -- I had AA, all in preflop called by AKo and 99. As soon as I see the 9s flop a set, the software crashes. Argh. It's only down a minute or so, and I see that the game continued and I didn't resuck out.

Things look normal, so I boot up a couple 1/2 tables and play a $3 rebuy and a raked hands freeroll. I'm doing well in both tournaments, well up the first page of the leader board, when the software crashes again. This time, it won't let me log in. I send an email to support, no response yet. The tournaments are still going on, and I can't play. I get blinded down, and see that I finished 23rd and 21st. 20 places paid in each. Fuck. It only cost me $6.30, and there are no guarantees that I win anything, but the lost opportunities, when I was playing well (by my low standards and those of the supadonks who populate Titan) ticked me off.

About an hour plus later I was able to log back in. You can guess what I did, right? CASHOUT, and ASAP.

Bye bye, Titan. I'm thrilled to be cashing out with more than double what I put in, but not so thrilled that I see coming back anytime soon, except to play with the handful of bonus dollars that I expect to see hit my account from this weekend's play.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Trip Report - Canterbury Park, Friday 9/30/05

So much to cover, so little clarity of mind.

As mentioned the other day, I spent a couple days this week in Minneapolis for work. I flew out and back and was rather disappointed that neither pilot thanked the passengers for flying Bankrupt Airlines.

Things worked out so that I had a fair amount of time on Friday with not much to do. Which, of course, meant that a trip to Canterbury Park was in the offing.

I've posted before about how much I like the way Canterbury runs their room. It's a good sized operation (31 tables) and is usually packed. The few shortcomings the place has -- such as the lack of no limit games -- are more the fault of Minnesota law than of Canterbury management. You don't find too many assholes at the tables,
and it's just a nice place.

I arrived about 11:00 a.m. for a first session and was seated at a 4/8 table in about five minutes. There were short lists for most games (2/4 to 30/60), and it wasn't tremendously busy. I'd guess about 18-20 tables were in action. What followed was the kind of session that makes you wonder why we play this &*^!$ing game.

I know how to deal with lousy cards. You fold. I know how to deal with hands that hit the flop - in no-foldem casino poker, you play as hard and fast as possible, since you WILL get called down regardless. So what the hell do you do when you have big hands that don't improve? I mean, I can fold if I know I'm beat and the odds don't dictate continuing, but if the opposition doesn't ever raise to give you that information, what do you do? Things got frustrating and fast.

After a couple hands, I started keeping track. Here's all you really need to know about this session:

AA - twice, lost.
KK - once, lost.
QQ - four times. Lost all four, twice running into AA on all undercard boards.
JJ - four times. Lost all four.
TT - once, lost.
99 - once, lost.

Sets: Zero.

That's right, 0-for-13 with big (or at least big-ish) pocket pairs. Some hands I could fold when overcards hit and action came, but several went to showdown. I lost to well-disguised sets, runner-runner flushes, two pair, you name it. With each of the hands I folded, I would have lost if I'd called down. I won a couple small pots with KQ, and flopped a set with 33, but other than that, nada. The inital buyin just vanished. Poof! I took a break for lunch, spent some time seriously considering the idea of never playing casino poker again, reloaded, and played a little while before heading out to meet people for dinner.

I had a crack-of-dawn flight back, so I figured I may as well kill off the rest of the night giving it another go. I got back to the cardroom about 10:30 pm, expecting to have to wait an hour or two. I was stunned to find that there weren't more than 8 or 9 people on the 3/6 list, and only 3 or 4 on the 4/8 list. I opted for the 3/6 game, figuring I'd want to get as much play as possible out of my inadequate remaining bankroll. It was about a 15 minute wait -- on a Friday night?! Perhaps this is a sign that the poker fad has about run its course.

I cycled through a couple tables that eventually got shorthanded and broke. I had a little success, running even to slightly up, nothing spectacular but certainly far better than the previous effort. Around 3:00 a.m. I get moved again.

For which, I can only say, THANK YOU! This was the game I've been dreaming about, or at least close to it. It was LAGtastic. Huge pots. People were not shy about going 3, 4, 5 bets preflop. Raising with really marginal hands - 3 betting with A9s or KJo?! -- several of those pots were 5, 6 and 7-way action. I felt extremely comfortable, taking shots with big hands and solid drawing hands.

I didn't take notes on what I won with, but I think it'll suffice to say that I *LOST* several HUGE pots -- flush over flush, boat over boat, set over set and QQ v. AA yet again -- and was still up more than $100. If those hands had held up, I would have been up $500 or more, easily. The flush vs. flush hand had five people in preflop, capped. The boat over boat was my set vs. two pair, he hit his four outer on the river. Everything was multi-way action. Huge stacks of checks (both the 3/6 and 4/8 were played with $1 chips) just sitting there waiting to be taken. Awesome.

I was with considerable regret that I had to leave about five to get to the airport. If I'd been in town another day, I would have stayed at that table as long as there were fish 'n chips available.

So that's my story. I ended up down for the day, due to the horrific early session, but I had a good time anyway. I got to see the Latin Unabomber (hispanic kid in full Phil Laak mode). I saw some Gus Hansen wannabe kid raise K4s, A5o and Q7o preflop. I met some interesting people, got to play a few hands. Good times.

Now I need to get about 16 hours of sleep.

What Else Did I Miss?

Poker Championship

I have registered to play in the
Online Poker Blogger Championship!

This event is powered by PokerStars.

Registration code: 5931869



Lots more to come, including an overly long Canterbury tale. I think I need to watch the rest of the Michigan-Michigan State game and get some sleep first, however.