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Saturday, December 31, 2005

The Year In Poker, 2005

Uh, well, I mean this is *my* year in poker... I'm selfish like that.

Confessions of...

As 2005 limps to a close, I've had a day and a half to do some cleanup. Poker-wise, at least.

Thanks to some stacked bonuses that I've never managed to get around to clearing, I've spent most of my time at Stars. Double FPPs are one heck of an incentive. I cleared one yesterday, the other today.

Quite a rollercoaster. I didn't want to spend forever doing it, so I made myself four table the $2/$4 limit game. For a while, I was seated at three tables with Royal -- I didn't notice it until he hit quads and I stuck a "TQB!" in the chat window. Too much focus, I guess -- which was needed, since this is still way over my current bankroll comfort level.

After Royal left, I hit a stretch of really good starting hands.

I now know how to lose money really fast -- give me good starters, and give the fish garbage.

Nothing held up, and I'm down almost 50 BBs in the blink of an eye. Gulp.

Thankfully, I knew I had the bonus nearly cleared, and I happened to hit two big hands before it was over -- KJo flopped top two against a maniac and boated on the turn. He just had the jackhammer. I miss that guy already -- he was a 80%VPIP, 60%PFR maniac. At 2/4! I also cracked AA and KK with JJ when I flopped a boat.

Anyway, I recovered much of the loss and finished up the bonuses leaving me quite a bit to the good.

I had hoped to rack up 2500 Titan points for a couple really good freerolls, but that just isn't going to happen. I played a few hundred hands, managing about 300 points, but they accumulate sooooo slow at 1/2, even 6-max. I don't have enough money parked at Titan to play 2/4, and there is a severe shortage of games -- they only had 2000 players on the network on a Friday evening! Sigh. I like Titan (mostly for the money it made me this year), but I don't think I'll be spending much time there anymore. The new points system essentially works as a 20% rakeback system as long as you have a bonus to clear, and it figures as 50x to 100x raked hands playthrough at my level. Not worth it!

Otherwise, I signed up for Interpoker, the first Cryptologic site I've tried. They have a bonus every month, and that's something I can use. So far, so good - they even paid me $2 to prop. First prop pay I've ever received!

Here are my poker resolutions for 2006:

1. Clear more bonuses! I'm about a breakeven (to slightly unprofitable) limit poker player. Nearly all the money I made this year was from MTTs. But if you figure in bonuses, I'm up. And there are a million out there -- without trying real hard, I've made a list of more than 70 sites. The hard part will be picking and choosing, and cycling money fast enough.

2. Play more hands. This goes with #1, and the bottom line is that I hope to make a little money doing this.

3. Get better. I haven't read anything lately, and I know I have room for improvement. Time to hit the books.

4. Have fun! (Duh).

That's it for 2005, see y'all in 2006.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Fun With Pokertracker

So I'm dinking around with Pokertracker, which I haven't used in months. I'm getting it set up to import Stars hand histories, since I'll (hopefully) be playing there a lot this weekend. I import the ring game hands I have, and here's what I got:

Total win/loss: plus $33.69
Overall BB/100: minus 37.51

Ha ha ha ha ha ha hah. I run good.

That minus 206.70/100 playing $0.01/$0.02 NL sure skews things. Stupid blogger games. That and a very, very small sample size. Turns out that 95% of my Stars play has been tournaments and PLO.

I wasn't the least bit surprised to find that my biggest losing hand is KK.

Directly to Overload

Pushed it pretty hard last night, and I'm feeling the effects.**

I blame TripJax, of course. Sure, it's just going to be a quick little tournament, 20 or 25 people, won't take long at all.

Right. You turkey.

I kid. Thanks to TripJax (and Jordan from High On Poker, who I think had some hand in this) for a fun game. 60-odd people turned out, making for a little over 3 hours of good times.

Despite paying almost no attention for the first hour and a half (reason follows) and having to surrender the hammer and my personal favorite, 97o, a couple times to re-raises or pushes, I still managed hang around, get a few good hands, and make the money. All the way to 5th, in fact, when I had the misfortune to run KK into the AA held by an increasingly notorious junk grabber and ultimate winner. Doh. Nice job, Change100. I'm still happy, since I made enough to cover the entry and the two buyins dropped at the blogger PLO table.

Plus I even have enough left for an Extra Value Meal. Supersized.

Sorry, I'm easily amused. Moving on...

The evening kicked off with some efforts to finally clear the interminable Pokerroom bonus. I made it -- yay -- by three tabling for about three hours, including the first hour or so of the tournament. After yet another dreadful start, I finally had a hot streak and managed to conclude my time at Pokerroom up 5BB overall (20BB, if you don't count an ill-advised experiment with Chinese Poker) plus the bonus.

I even picked up a ticket to a $6k freeroll -- turns out it was a limit freeroll. Oof. I was almost happy when I had two monster hands cracked in one orbit and bombed out a couple hundred places short of the money.

Playing over my bankroll comfort level has been an interesting experience -- I think it's helped me play tighter and smarter, but I could do without the feeling of losing a sizable chunk of the stake every time I get rivered. I'd also like to shake this trend of not winning a hand for three or four orbits after I sit down -- knowing you've got a hole to dig out of is tiring.

I may well take tonight off and try to recharge, but we'll see. The tentative plan, cashout and time permitting, is to dump money into Stars tomorrow for a Friday/Saturday mega-session, hoping to clear out stacked up bonus money via double FPPs.

** One of the effects, of course, is extra crappiness in this blog post. I promise that I'll try to come up with something interesting to read at least once in 2006.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Why You Should Never Sleep With Your Ex-

I returned to the bittersweet embrace of teh poker last night. For the first time in several weeks, I actually played a couple hundred hands, plus the Wil Wheaton tournament. Results were not quite junkkicktastic, but it was not looking good for a while there.

My primary objective was to try and finish the stupid Pokerroom bonus. At one point, I was down nearly 25 BBs -- this is effectively a 30 BB bonus I'm working on -- before making a comeback to down only about 9 BBs. Most of my wins were nothing more than naked aggression - I caught nada, handwise.

I did manage to get in a little more than 1/3 of the remaining hands I needed, but it'll be another day or two at least (sigh) before my puny bankroll is released to try and score free money from PokerStars or Full Tilt.

On the plus side, I did make enough money playing awful PLO (with bloggers) to pay for the non-winning 18th place Wil finish. One interesting hand -- I have AdXdXdX, Geek and Proud has AcXcXcX. The flop comes with two diamonds and a club. The turn is another club, which gives us each the nut straight (I think we each had a ten, and the board included KQJ) with a redraw to the nut flush. We get all the money in on the turn. We each have EV of exactly 0.50 -- I think he ran the numbers and we're each 20% to win, 60% to tie, 20% to lose.

Yeah, I got a diamond on the river. I suck. Out.

As usual, there's no real point to this post, I'm just killing a couple minutes while thinking about something else. It was fun to play with the blogging elite, as always.

I'd really like to play in TripJax's tournament tonight, but I don't know if I'll be able to stay awake. The insomnia hit hard last night, meaning that I was late to work this morning and am dragging ass. We'll see.

Edit: Go visit Jax's site. Play his tournament. There are bloggers, bounties and, uh, babes. 9 PM ET tonight.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Holiday Wishes

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all...

Special good wishes to those online poker rooms who "get it" and are spreading a little seasonal cheer of their own:

Full Tilt Poker -- Cash giveaways, money added to tournament pools, a nice reload bonus and a brand spanking new beta Mac client....

PokerStars -- a new VIP player system, double FPPs until the end of the year and a bunch of cash added to this week's megatournament ...

even Titan Poker -- a new points system, hey they're trying....

Enjoy the holidays and I'll see ya on the virtual felt!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

What Next?

Considering that this is supposed to be a poker blog, content has been seriously lacking of late. I've played maybe 50 hands since returning from Las Vegas, which might be a contributing factor. I think my recent streak of horrendous luck is changing, although the last AA I received on Full Tilt might cause me to think otherwise...


One of the things I have to figure out is what to do next. I figure I have about $500 scattered between various sites, and there isn't any real possibility that I'll be reloading any time soon, so that's all I have to work with.

I wonder if I can manage not to go bust?

One thing I'll probably try and do over Christmas is to play the remaining 97,000 hands needed to clear the bonus I've been working on at Pokerroom. I'm 2/3 of the way through, but it's taking forever, even playing way above my current comfort level at 2/4.

Once I finish that (hopefully), I suspect I'll need to find some new bonii to whore. I have no delusions that I'll ever make this a real profitable hobby, but I'd at least like to make a respectable showing.

Maybe I'll see you around.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Spirit Chiropracted

I've now been home for nearly 132 hours. Of those, I haven't felt like pure crap for a total of about six. Since at least three of those hours were today -- before I went to Meijer and got into the true holiday spirit, you know, the one that fills you with rage and makes you want to kill other people -- I think I may actually be on the road to recovery. I'm such a wuss when it comes to being sick.

I grumble about this, and yet I do not complain.

I better not complain.

Let me explain.

There's this slap in the face life gives you from time to time called 'perspective'.

When I made an appearance at the office on Tuesday, I found an email informing me that someone I knew had died. K, the deceased, was still on the good side of 40. He wasn't a close friend, but a good guy I'd hit the golf course with a number of times. He even enjoyed a card game -- he'd hosted an event in October which featured a couple quick tourneys. K was in decent shape, had a family and from all appearances a million friends.

All those things got taken from him in no time flat. If I am correctly informed, flesh-eating bacteria did it. Fuck.

I didn't even know such a thing existed.

Now that I know it does, what cruel fucking shit.

So from now on, if you ask me, do I hate being sick, I answer as follows: Hell yeah, but it's not the worst thing ever, not even close.

Until I lose it, I have perspective.

It's just a shame that the best I can do with that perspective is make an insignificant contribution to a fund to send K's kids to college someday. Somehow, it seems pretty empty.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Who Ordered This?

It's not a good trip to Vegas if you don't come back hurting a little.

I only wish pain were the sole criterion, as I'd have hit the jackpot -- I've spent the last two plus days suffering from the effects of some Level 6 super imperial Avian Bird Flu strain that I picked up along the way.

At least it didn't manifest itself until I got back.

I very much doubt that I can put into words how much fun the trip was. Correction, make that 100% certain. How I do know this? Well, yesterday I stopped at the grocery store for juice prior to another six hour stretch of sleep. The guy wheeling out the bags made an obvious joke about my taking his job when I grabbed my purchases, and it took me a. full. thirty. seconds. to respond.

Worse, whatever response I finally managed to get out made no sense whatsoever. Arrrrgh. Owned by the retiree wearing the natty D&W vest.

Back to Vegas. I only got to do 3% of what I wanted to do, and meet/hang with 12% of the people that I had hoped to, but I complain not.

I could have done without the endless beatdowns at each and every casino game, but again I complain not. When you're running bad, all games are -EV, and I think I used up all my luck on the good road conditions driving to/from the airport.

I would have like to have seen a better hand than pocket 4s somewhere in the nearly two hours I survived in the WPBT tournament, but I still again complain not. Joaquin punished my sorry ass when his unimproved 93s blew away my unimproved 85o.

Who knows if a full trip report lies dormant somewhere in the back of my addled noggin? For now, that's all I've got. I just hope to figure out a way to post a picture of the Poker Prof's dessert at 3950.

My humblest apologies if this post makes no sense. I'm like that right now. It's time to go back to sleep.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

A Glimpse Into The Future

... about 18 hours from now, give or take two feet of snow.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

America's Least Wanted

Here's a WPBT Bounty for you.

I'm lacking in great ideas, so I'm going to do this: Knock me out of the tournament -- it shouldn't be all that hard to do -- and I'll send you a T-Shirt with your choice of doodle*.


* (subject to any beefs CafePress might have about copyright - so far so good in that area).

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Monkey Rant

"Nous ne sommes plus vos singes"
-- Patrice Lumumba, first Prime Minister of the Congo, to King Baudouin of Belgium

I have unbounded admiration for the ability to coin a phrase. Whatever his failings may have been, Lumumba had the gift.

Imagine this. You've helped throw off the shackles of a brutal colonial regime. Your former oppressors still hold virtually all the positions of authority and most of the wealth. They alternately patronize and threaten you. Nobody has your back.

They push you too far. You say, hey, boss man, screw off and, by the way...

"We are no longer your monkeys".

That's right, we'll do it on our own.

Would *you* have the stones to do that?

I prove time and time again that I don't.

In far too many ways I am (and possibly you are as well) in a repressed position. The man is keeping me down, and I'm sick of it. I have no Belgian royalty handy to give a verbal thrashing or swift kick in the junk, so I'm going to have to settle for what I've got, including the people who are making excessive profits via the various modern forms of indentured servitude.

Consider this a virtual declaration of independence.

I've got some people (relax, it's none of all y'all), things, companies and institutions I need out of my life. I got a small start this week. When I get back from Vegas, the cleansing begins in earnest.

This monkey has had enough.

Oh, and as an aside to the evil masterminds that rig Party Poker, you can kindly screw off as well.


Poker content of sorts:

Even though I'm quite confident that nobody gives a shit what I think, I'll say it anyway:

Nothing that came out of the recent Flopolicious-WBPT mini brouhaha made anybody look particularly good.

That's my opinion, and it's all I have to say.


FYI, I did some ever so slight editing of the photo above, although that is indeed, as far as I know, a picture of Lumumba.

West Michigan Pride

Who says we don't have heros right here among us?

From WZZM TV 13:

ROCKFORD - A record that stood for more than twenty years has been broken. The Corner Bar in Rockford started their Hot Dog Hall of Fame back in 1968.

Bar owners offered a reward for anyone who can beat the hot dog eating record. In 1982, the record was forty two and a half chili dogs held by a Kentwood woman.

Friday night, that record was broken when Mrs. B Gould, on her third try, ate 43 hot dogs. It took her four hours to finish to eat them all.


Friday, December 02, 2005


I enjoy a good "huh?" moment every now and then.

From today's Detroit Free Press:

"The CDC estimates 44.5 million people are smokers, including Nicholas Horuath, 19, of Hazel Park, down from 21.6 percent in 2003."



I received a package from the good Doctor yesterday. Now maybe I can "get" some of the Big Lebowski quotes. All I have to do is find some time to actually watch the DVD...


If it were not Friday, there would be a statistically significant chance that I go postal.

I would waste more of your time, but that's all of the random non-poker related, sleep-deprived, pissed off thoughts I can muster at the moment.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Welcome Back, Here's An *** Pounding. Enjoy!

No poker for 72 hours. I should have made it at least 96.


I am a losing-when-ahead specialist.

Wil Wheaton tournament, 29 left, I have a very averagish stack. I draw QQ vs. a small stack's JJ, all in preflop. He turns a J, I lose. Very next hand, I pull JJ on the button, push, and Shane Nickerson calls with AQo. Flop a set, lose to runner-runner straight. Out.

At the same time, in cash game, I lose with AKs to AQo. Flop a set with TT, get called down by KQo, who hits a runner-runner straight. I'm leaving out several more where villain calls down and hits 2 to 4 outer on the river.

I love poker. It's my favorite four letter word.