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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Shillin'



If you're going to be within flying distance of Philadelphia, you probably don't want to miss the Bash at the Boathouse, with your host M. Al Can't Hang.

As long as you're going, why not play a live CHARITY satellite for some good causes, with poker pro Gavin Smith?

Especially when you can satellite your way in for a measly twenty five bucks?

Visit Al's blog for details.

EDIT: In case it isn't obvious, the satellite is at FULL TILT POKER, just about the best site on the internet.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Predictions?

I wish I knew how long this stretch was going to last.

What kind of stretch, you ask? How about the stretch where you just can't win a hand? I went through this in November and early December of last year leading into the WPBT Winter Classic. Very depressing. And now, it's back.

I don't play perfect poker. I can admit that. But sometimes you do and it STILL doesn't matter.

Found a very appealing $100 PLO game on Crypto tonight. Lots of chips in play. Some very sketchy calls being made.

I play a hand correctly, flopping the nut straight on a non-threatening board, potting it on the flop and turn, the latter of which puts me all in. Donk calls as a 3.5-1 underdog, getting exactly 2-1. Of course he hits his crappy full house. Rebuy!

Versus same donk, turn the nut flush. Another monster pot. Do you think the board pairs on the river? Does a bear crap in the goddamned woods?

Yes, I'm on tilt.

About two minutes from now, I'm cashing out every cent I have online.

Going to play around to my big blind.

This is not me, but it could be right now. It's also about my favorite thing on teh internet right now.

By the way, thanks Pokerstars for the high comedy last night. I didn't really want to play that Moneymaker Freeroll that I signed up for. It was really kind of you to give me AA on the very first hand and a caller with 77 when I instashoved. You didn't need to save the drama for the river card, but I really enjoyed the fact that it was an engraved invitation to shut down the [censored] computer and go kick some puppies or something.

Good thing that I was just going to push until I busted and go to sleep right away.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

A Lesson and Some Non-Poker Books

I really should follow my own advice. Played a little PLO last night and dropped 1.25 buyins or so. But I experienced an interesting hand which I'll recount because this is a substandard 'poker blog' and I call the shots:

I'm in middle position and flop a monster. I have T987 single or double suited (I forget), the board comes 654 no suits. One of the blinds leads out for about the pot, I just call looking to manage the pot size while seeing what the turn brings, LP calls and the button calls.

The turn is a 3 and completes the rainbow. EP bets $2, which is no more than 1/4 pot. I call (Note: This is a HUGE error). LP calls.

The button minraises to $4. All call. (Again, a mistake, I know).

The river card is a 5, pairing the board. I hate that card, of course, and it's checked around to the button, who bets a bit more than 1/2 the pot.

What information do I have about the button? A flop call and a turn minraise. I haven't been sitting long and don't recognize the player from previous games, so no help there.

I decide that the turn minraise meant that he liked his hand, but not that much. Smells like a straight, trying to buy the pot. I decide to call, thinking split. Button shows 6532 for a crappy straight that turned into a full boat on the river. The other player behind me overcalled, presumably also with the nut straight, so I wasn't alone in my read.**

** Yeah, I know that there was a danger of LP reraising, in which case I would have had to dump my hand, but I don't think many players slowplay the nuts with only one player to act behind them, especially when that player minraised the turn.

I'm not saying that a minraise is the optimum bet size, but I'm intrigued by the idea of the raise, in general, in that position. Nobody's showing strength, you've got a vulnerable hand with vulnerable outs, why not try and thin the field? It was also brilliantly effective at disguising button's hand, which is something you don't see all that much of in low limit PLO games.

Sometimes I even learn something when I horribly misplay a hand on every street.

---

Other than that aborted attempt, I've avoided poker and spent the rest of the weekend reading. Yesterday was spent immersed in Jeffrey Steingarten's The Man Who Ate Everything (Vintage Books, 1997). This was a random selection while looking for something, anything, different to read at the library. I'm glad I found it and highly recommend it. Steingarten is a recovering attorney who changed careers to become the food critic for Vogue magazine. The book is a combination of his columns, travel notes and thoughts on other food-related subjects. It's well written and wickedly funny -- there's even a chapter entitled "Salad the Silent Killer".

Today's read, which I haven't quite finished, is William Poundstone's Fortune's Formula: The Untold Story of the Scientific Betting System That Beat The Casinos and Wall Street (Hill and Wang, 2005). It's a dense, chewy read that traces the development of and the personalities behind some of the theoretical mathematics behind both gambling and investing. It's both fascinating -- I had no idea that Edward Tharp, the guy who 'cracked' blackjack and wrote Beat the Dealer was also a groundbreaking financial theorist who made a bunch of money in the 70s and 80s -- and frustrating, since the author is trying to explain some pretty heavy theoretical concepts. It's been worth the time, though, because of the tie-ins of a lot of interesting people -- various mafiosi, Ivan Boesky, Michael Milken, Rudy Giuliani.

More than anything, though, I've been enjoying it because it makes me think. Not about anything typical or useful -- just exercising the brain trying to understand something new. I find that I don't have much time to just think anymore, given the amount of time spent trying to scratch out a living and deal with the day to day crap. It's a nice feeling.

Too bad any good feelings will be completely extinguished within a matter of hours, when the usual weekday grind recommences.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Not Found In Any Book

Over the past couple sessions, I've found myself with a problem that I don't remember being addressed in any of the handful of poker books I've read: How to deal with entirely uncooperative cards.

I played a few hours of PLO on Thursday at Party (including a nice long stretch with Drizz and April). The LAG experiment is probably headed for the dustbin, as it was largely unsuccessful. I did have two monsters, but didn't get paid off on either, and it was no big surprise that I got stacked in a monster 4-way pot: I flopped the nut straight with junk with a weak redraw to a higher straight, the idiot player to my right had the same hand, Drizz had monster flush draws, and April had a set with a redraw to a better straight, which hit on the river.

Other than that, however, it was mostly a bunch of this: Raise with AKQJ double suited, watch board come 2282x, none of my suits on the flop, fold. Raise with AA63 double suited, watch flop come T87 single suited (not mine), fold. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Sigh.

Took a break from the online game and went to the track for some charity 3/6 limit holdem last night. I was impressed to see that they found a way to suck money from your wallet even faster than usual: Not only did they have the $5 max rake, the tables were seven handed. What the?

In two and a half hours or so, I 'won' exactly one pot: I had J5s in the big blind, saw a free flop, it was checked down four ways, a Jack came on the turn (as well as flush and straight possibilities). I split with a guy who'd limped with J5o. Woooo!

Other than the above hand, I went to showdown three times: I correctly figured a guy for nothing, but his limped J8o proved to be mightier than my BB top pair special of JTo. I also got to check it down with 88 on a board with two overs on the flop, losing to T9o. On the last hand I was all in with TT on the button in a 7-way pot. A guy playing the tourist (A7o) made a boat, and I was walking away before the river came.

With the shorthanded table -- people coming in and out or walking meant that there were plenty of 5 and 6 player hands -- I figure I paid about $50 in blinds. I received exactly two pocket pairs, TT and 88. No aces with a face kicker. Two suited connectors, JTs and 43s. Other than that, unplayable junk.

I felt like I had good reads on the other players, but that didn't help one bit. When you have six opponents who rarely if ever fold, and sure won't fold if they catch any piece, you have to have one of your potential monsters hit.

So I walked away. That was enough of a Great Lakes BeatDown. There will be other days.

I will say that I was a little irked to see the one hand (and only one hand) I would have won if I'd called it all the way down: I folded 42o on the button to a raise. The other six saw the flop. I would have been long gone, despite the 2 on the flop, but the 2 on the turn and 4 on the river would have been worth about a seventy-five dollar pot.

In the interest of ensuring non-tilt, I think I might take a couple days off. Maybe.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Joys

Wow, you look a lot happier than the last time I saw you!
-- Bank teller this afternoon when I stopped in to cash a check


Really? Huh.

I had to laugh. If I was in a bad mood today, I must have been really pissy the last time I stopped in.

I remember when I was a generally upbeat person.

---

This is the portion of the post where I’m supposed to recite how great I am at the game of poker, right?

Not going to happen.

In fact, last night’s Mookie was probably a career lowlight. I got outplayed on a couple hands and went on tilt. With plenty (800ish) of chips left, I said ‘awwfukkit’ and called an all in only getting 2-1 on my money.

With a flopped flush draw. T5s. No other outs.

Whifffffff.

Thank goodness.

I’m going to have to stop playing the Mookie. It has nothing to do with Mookie or the tournament, which is a good time. It’s just a fact that I don’t have the patience to play tournament poker late in the evening. By the 10:00 pm start time, I’m about done. So no more Mookies, at least for a while.

---

I partially justified my horrendous call by observing (truthfully) that the tournament was distracting me from the two PLO tables I had up. It’s a weak justification, but there you have it.

---

After kicking around the various bonus-clearing options available, I decided to test out the Party $25 PLO tables and managed to grind through about 2/3 of the required hands. Finished up about $10, but it should have been better. I made one bad decision which cost me most of a buyin – I flopped the nut straight with a weak redraw and got popped on the river by an aggressive button. I correctly figured that he had a set and the board didn’t pair, but I discounted the possibility that he had a gutshot as well, which he did and which hit.

The Party game is a little different than on Titan. I observed a lot more nut-peddling (versus calling with any piece) and was able to steal a number of small pots with nothing more than air and position.

I want to try out a more LAGgish style and I think free Party money is the perfect chance to do it. Results were mixed on try #1, but some of that is due to the fact that I wasn’t, well, all that LAGgy. It’s hard to overcome conditioning, and I’ve conditioned myself to be fairly tight. Too much limit hold’em, I guess.

Anyway, I’ve got about a hundred hands to go. We’ll see if I manage to blow it.

---

Not much else happening as the week limps along. I’m giving some thought to going up to the track for a little live charity poker action, since I still have the bill I brought with me to Canterbury.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I'll Take That, Thanks

Back in action last night. Dropped about a third of a buyin playing PLO before I realized that I wasn't in the right state of mind and the table wasn't very good. So I quit. This is progress.

About that time, I realized that Party Poker has been dishing out some more free 'come back' cash. I logged on and found that I had not one but TWO batches of free money.

I like free money.

The first bonus, though, was dumb. $10 free, good in the casino only, $10 wagering requirement. I enjoy a good game of rigged dollar blackjack, so I played forty or fifty hands. Never got above $12, was as low as $3, but I came back and finished at $11. Cha-ching!

Of course, I can't withdraw that money, but now I can use it in the poker room, where another was $40 waiting. I only have to play 400 hands before I can cash anything out. Just to make sure it was real, I played about two orbits of $25NL, lost ten cents, got bored and quit. More progress.

Now all I have to do is decide how I'm going to play 387 hands in the next nine days on a $50 bankroll. What should it be? $0.50/$1.00 limit? $25NL? Should I take it to the $25PLO tables and gambool with the omatards? Tough decision.

It's not as if I have no other bonuses to work on, either. I have a few hundred hands left to clear at Titan -- where I'll be a 'Silver VIP' next month, for whatever that's worth -- as well as a pending bonus at Full Tilt, one at Stars that I may never get to, a few stacked Crypto bonuses, etc, etc.

You think I need to play more?

I think my goal for the next month or so is to run good to try and build up a little bit of a bankroll, so that I can move money around like I used to. I'm handicapped in trying to clear all these bonuses because funds are tied up at one or two sites until I'm done there -- I don't have a reserve just waiting to be deployed. In fact, that's cost me a few bonus opportunities lately. Thanks to recent success at Titan I'm getting there, but there's always the looming threat of a necessary withdrawal. Who knows.

Anyway, any mental recharging that I did by being out of town quickly vanished and it's back to the same depressing slog. At least I have a little reading and some cards to look forward to...

Monday, August 21, 2006

Denny Mania!

"I got a hat! It cost me $150, but I got a hat!"
-- Random Canterbury Park calling station, who had a straight flush on Friday.


Sadly, or not, the hat ended up costing him more like $250 before he busted for good.

*

I'm back after a multiple day trip to Minnesota for a wedding. Good times. It's kind of a shame that 'sotans are so nice, though -- it pretty much eliminates the possibility of a commercial tagline that really needs to happen:


I'm Denny Hecker, bitches!.


Can you tell I listened to far too much radio during my twenty-odd hours in the car?

If not, maybe this'll do it: I listened to no fewer than seven different stations featuring the 'we play everything and use a random guy name for our moniker' theme -- three separate Jack FMs, two Bobs, one Charlie and of course the hometown Max.

Or this: Wisconsin radio in a nutshell -- country station, country station, christian station, country station, WTFisthis/talk radio, country station, country station. Ugggggh. I did enjoy getting to sing along with Willie Nelson on 'City of New Orleans' while way out in the sticks, though.

Anyway...

The trip got off to a fine start with a good meal at J.D. Hoyt's. It's a special treat being able to give directions to Hoyt's to a straight-laced driver -- 'go downtown, it's right between Deja Vu and Sex World'.

As things were planned, I didn't expect to be able to hit Canterbury Park. Yeah, right, like I'm going to be able to stay away. Maybe I would have, except for the fact that my computer did a very good impression of 'giving up the ghost'. After spending an entire morning trying unsuccessfully to avoid the blue screen of death, I gave up. Which meant that I had a lot more time on my hands.

Played for a few hours on Friday. I really only wanted to commit $100, so I went for the $3/$6 limit game (Minnesota law says no limit is not cool). Dropped the first hand I played (KQo vs K5s), then went on a tear. Made a couple nut flushes and boated up with a big blind A2s against a flush chaser that made it. Oops. At one point, I was +$170, which is fantastic when you suck at live poker like I do. The table was full of calling stations, and it was real easy to play hands with big implied odds cheaply.

So, anyway, I'm having fun. It's a friendly table. I'm sitting next to a regular, an asian woman named Cindy who's raising a lot, but she's the only one.

About this time, a young guy who looked vaguely like Bill Rini except he was barely old enough to shave sits down on my right. His game didn't resemble Bill's, though, as he was pretty awful.

I get aces for the first and only time. AsAd in the big blind. Cindy on my left raises. 'Bill' calls. I 3-bet, Cindy 4-bets. 'Bill' calls two more cold. I cap it at five bets, both call. We see a flop of 987 with two clubs. Ugh. Bill leads at it, I raise, Cindy calls, Bill calls. Turn is another 7.

Did that just counterfeit two crappy pair, or what? I bet, Cindy drops. I get check-raised. Maybe not.

River is a random club. Getting lots-to-one, I feel obligated to make a crying call.

Bill shows 76o, no clubs.

I hope that a crew recorded that for a 'THIS is the real Canterbury' commercial.

Cindy said she had KK.

Anyway, I played for a while longer and then started to lose focus. Made some very marginal decisions, was rewarded for none of them, and dumped back about half of my profits. Big leak in my game, not leaving when I should. But it was still a profitable session.

Went back on Saturday for a couple more hours. Very choppy session. Never down more than about ten bucks, never up more than about $50. Knew it was time to leave when my flopped set of fours was chased down by a guy with TPSK -- good idea to call two bets cold on a Q-5-4 flop with Q8s, sir. He made a runner-runner flush.

No dollars for any of you, since I gave at the cardroom.

Cashed out up $28. Not a bad weekend, and it paid for a couple tanks of gas. Live poker is fun, even if it is -EV for me.

I have no problem saying I'm a fan of the Park. One of the things I like about Canterbury is that the people don't change. You see the same dealers, brushes, chip runners, cocktail waitresses and players there year after year. I probably recognized fifty people from past trips (staff and players) and I'm not exaggerating. I had a dealer both days who I remember for having chewed a couple guys out three years ago for not pushing their chips in far enough -- he's not ordinarily a jerk. On Sunday, I sat with a familiar regular and we stayed out of each other's way. I think I picked up a lesson or two, as he cracked AA from the button with 52s and from the big blind with the hammer. Getting cute and not raising preflop with aces doesn't pay in this game.

End poker content.

I went to the sold out Twins-White Sox game on Saturday and made the drive back yesterday. If it'd timed it just a bit better, I would have been able to see some of the Blue Angels performance at the Chicago Air Show as I creeped along I-90. Oh, well. At least I got the kid at McDonald's who felt the need to tell me "if the mcnugget machine problem doesn't get fixed soon, it's gonna be a long night." I had to check around for a sign that said 'talk to me, I care'.

And now, it's back to checkraising omatards on Titan. How? Well, it turns out my computer may not have given up the ghost after all. It hasn't, knock on wood, crashed so far since I hooked it back up. Odd. I guess running on AC with the bluetooth dongle and external monitor hooked up makes everything right.

Stupid computers.

Nice Looking ...

on a slot machine. Not so hot as a PLO starting hand.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Bad Beat?

This isn't really what I wanted to see when opening my mail this morning...



Let's break it down:

1. I haven't had any major medical procedures lately.

2. I've never been admitted to St. Mary's.

3. Most importantly, I'm reasonably sure I don't have a seven year old kid named 'Carl', given that I absorbed a complete shutout during 1998.

Turns out it was just a clerical error, and one that had already been noted. I don't owe five grand. No bad beat here.

This is a good thing. It would have taken just short of forever to pick up a hundred buyins off the omatards at Titan.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Just Short of Begging For a Lobotomy

I find that I spend far too much time asking myself really stupid questions. Just last night, in fact, I decided to ponder the following instead of sleeping:

'If you simply pushed preflop every hand, how many Sit n Gos would you expect to or actually have to play before you won one?'

This idiotic query of course led to sub-questions -- 'What if you only open-pushed, folding if there was a raise before you?' and 'What if you exercised some low level of hand selection, folding for example unsuited four or more gappers?'

Eventually you'd win one under any of the above scenarios, but I admit to being curious as to what the expected result would be. I'm far too lazy to even attempt to build a rough mathematical model -- although I think it could be done.

***

Okay, scratch that, I'm less lazy than I thought. It helps when no internet connection is available. Here's my idiot logic, and you can feel free to poke as many holes as you like:

The simplest possible way for the push-bot to win the SnG is to win eight consecutive hands -- all-in against each opponent (I'm assuming a nine-handed SnG), in each case except the first hand having the opponent out-chipped. Now, if the player - just saying it could be a bot - did so while holding the hammer (72o) against AA, s/he would be roughly a 82% - 18% underdog each time. In that instance, wouldn't the player win about 1 out of (1/0.18^8) times, or 1 out of 907,444? Conversely, as a 82/18 favorite every hand, you'd win about 1 out of 5 times. So the chances are somewhere in between. If I'm guessing, I'll say chances are better than 1 out of 1,000, maybe as good as 1 in 250 -- a coin flip every time is 1 out of 256, while being a 40/60 underdog would be roughly 1/1525. Human nature and pure random chance are likely to make Mr. Pushy a favorite every once in a while.

All of this (probably almost certainly wrong) math is making my head hurt. I do know this much -- I'll think twice before taking an eight game NFL parlay card ever again...

***

Anyway, how about some dubious additional poker content?

I actually felt more or less like playing this weekend, so I spent a number of hours at the virtual tables. Picked up roughly one buyin on Saturday and again on Sunday at the PLO tables. I'm still laughably underbankrolled for anything much above the $10 game, but between one-tabling, conservative play on my part and general incompetence on the part of many omatards, I'm okay with the risk of playing 'up' for now.

Also played a NLHE tournament for the first time in a while. Didn't win anything, but was able to stick around for more than four hours and finish in the top 3%. It was a good feeling to play decently for a change (after some early donking) and to not lose on a brutal suckout. Went completely card dead at the end, finally pushing ATo, getting called by QJo and losing the 60/40 proposition.

And that's that. On the road in about 40 hours, so I better get cracking.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Winnar!

As if I needed more reasons to be a fan of Full Tilt Poker. With their WSOP pick the winners contest, not only did I win $3, I also won a hat. Which, happily, is supposed to be paid in Full Tilt Points so you can order it from the store. I wonder if they'll be mad if I use them for something else instead...

---

Also picked up a buyin at the PLO table last night, almost bringing me back to even for the week. The omatards were out in full force -- at a full ring $50 game, there were four players with stacks of $12 or less. Nothing says "I hate money" quite like playing a pot or no limit game without a stack. Especially on Titan, home of the worst players on the internet.

---

Hopefully I'm off of golf tilt for the moment. Two bad rounds, a poor front nine today, finally fixing a few things on the back nine.

---

And thus concludes the worst post ever. Maybe I can fix it later.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Commence Spew Mode

Here's a summary of last night's poker. Call it 'The Idiot With the Hammer and the Level 38 Opponent Play'.

No, I'm not using a convertor for the hand. Screw that. There are no innocents to be protected. This is the MOOKIE.

PokerStars Game #5860457406: Tournament #29532314, $10+$1 Hold'em No
Limit - Level III (25/50) - 2006/08/09 - 22:36:15 (ET)
Table '29532314 6' 9-max Seat #7 is the button
Seat 1: Bone_Daddy84 (1664 in chips)
Seat 2: surflexus (4007 in chips)
Seat 3: BobRespert (3493 in chips)
Seat 4: Marxst1 (1570 in chips)
Seat 6: kaellinn18 (3020 in chips)
Seat 7: on_thg (1305 in chips)
Seat 8: Drizztdj (1512 in chips)
Seat 9: jjok (1245 in chips) is sitting out
Drizztdj: posts small blind 25
jjok: posts big blind 50
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to on_thg [7h 2d]
Well, what do you know. The Hammer. On the button. I've played three hands in thirty seven minutes -- AA and two random hands from the blinds. Bobby Bracelet is raising every hand, winning lots of small pots and occasionally losing a big one. Maybe I'll get some respect.
Bone_Daddy84: folds
surflexus: folds
BobRespert: raises 100 to 150
Did I mention Bob was raising every hand?
Marxst1: calls 150
No respect for Bobby's raise.
kaellinn18: folds
Go time!
on_thg: raises 400 to 550
Drizztdj: folds
jjok: folds
BobRespert: folds
Wheee!
Marxst1: calls 400
DOH!
*** FLOP *** [Jc 4c 9c]
Marxst1: checks
on_thg: bets 754
I know it's the Mookie, but I'm going with the Hoy. Maybe I can represent a big club draw.
Marxst1: raises 266 to 1020 and is all-in
Okay, maybe not. Oh well.
on_thg: calls 1 and is all-in
*** TURN *** [Jc 4c 9c] [Ks]
*** RIVER *** [Jc 4c 9c Ks] [Js]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Marxst1: shows [Kc 2c] (a flush, King high)
NOBODY SUSPECTS THE SPANISH INQUISITION! Dude. WTF.
on_thg: shows [7h 2d] (a pair of Jacks)

I respect someone who can commit 11x the BB and more than 1/3 of their stack preflop, out of position, with K2s. No wonder Marxst1 won the damned Mookie.

---

I'm scrambling around trying to get caught up at work, since I have to go to Minneapolis next weekend for a wedding. This could very well be the first time in years I've gone without venturing down to the Midwest's finest poker room, Canterbury Park. I don't think I can convince them to spread $0.25/$0.50 limit.

---

Get over to For Peyton now and get yourself some cool poker stuff. For a good cause and stuff.

I'm such a shill, but at least I'm shilling for a good cause.

---

Knocked off Rick Reilly's "Shanks For Nothing" last night. Quick read. Not great, but amusing enough -- we'll call it three stars out of five. It's a sequel to "Missing Links", which is without exception THE funniest book involving golf and gambling ever written. I'm serious.

---

Huh, I didn't have much to say after all. Time to go back to getting WSOP updates.

This Post BLATANTLY Stolen From Easycure **

Starting at 2:00 or 3:00PM (Las Vegas Time) or so the final table will be played down until there is a champion.

There is only one place to follow the coverage. Go read Pauly at the Tao of Poker to read the coverage. Pauly is outreporting the big company (*cough*CardPlayer*cough*) reporters by a long shot. Ask anybody who is there......they will tell you.

I know him personally, and he is the hardest working writer in the country. Somebody needs to get him signed to a 7-figure book deal. He's that good.

Pay per view? Screw that. I'll be reading the Tao of Poker....and refreshing it every 5 minutes.

This message was brought to you by Bonus Code Iggy damnit. (Seriously, who else is going to sponsor a "go read Pauly" post?)

---

End blatant ripoff of one of my favorite play money poker blogs. I'm at work and have no time to blog, but this is important. And after you're done, go read the Pokerstarsblog and Pokerblog crews.

Back later with assorted drivel, some of which may be poker related. Consider yourself warned.

** If you agree not to sue over this, your first drink the next time we meet in Vegas is on me.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Cash Money Dozennaire

Every once in a while, I have an idea that could possibly be worth tens of dollars. Today's master plan:

Step 1: Find aptly named local political candidate.

Step 2: Wait for inevitable stomping of said candidate at the hands of the incumbent.

Step 3: Seize on well-known pop culture reference.

Step 4: Apply crappy MS Paint skills.



Step 5: PROFIT!

---

Nothing much to say at the moment. Bad couple of days at the tables -- I haven't yet figured out how to profit regularly when never catching at least a piece of the board while playing PLO. Yesterday's loss was assisted by a couple of beverages. At least it wasn't anything major. Time to re-focus is all.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Unplugged

It's 12:30 a.m. and I'm posting "live" from my patio. It's a beautiful evening here in Michigan, and I just returned from an expedition to see the Coast Guard Festival fireworks. A kickass show as always. I have a beverage in hand (vodka and orange Hi-C, better than it sounds), an old Midnight Oil concert spinning away and nothing better to do than blog.

I took a few camera phone pictures from this evening's festivities, but most of them didn't turn out well. If any are salvagable, I may post them later.

Festival day is always interesting. I skipped the big parade, since I got home late from this morning's trip to the golf course. Some people on the next block over hired a band to play in their yard, so I spent some of the afternoon 'grooving' to electric polka. They were actually pretty good, but something was definitely missing... I know, I didn't have any beer.

Hoofed it downtown just before dark. It's not all that far, maybe a mile or so, and I wouldn't bother except for the fact that you can't see the fireworks from here. Too many sand dunes in the way. People park miles away, so there was a steady flow of pedestrians. A tip for making walks like this go faster ... place yourself behind a nice looking young lady (or gentleman, if that's your thing) in heels and a halter top. Boom, hypnotic ass. What, we're there already?

I'm only mostly kidding.

The crowd looked like it was down a bit from last year, but there were still a million people. Or 100,000. Or more. Not quite wall-to-wall, but it was busy. By dusk, I would have like to have punched 6,457 of them.

Top five categories of festival douchebags:
1. Packs of high school kids on cell phones
2. People pushing strollers through the crowd
3. People pushing bicycles through the crowd
4. People who insist on walking in front of you during the show
5. People pushing strollers and talking on cell phones who insist on walking in front of you during the show.

Nothing makes me hate people more than a crowd. Except maybe a wedding, but that's another post. I didn't run into many people I knew, which was good. I did hear a teenage girl say to her friend 'God, I look awful. Don't I look awful?'. Her friend loyally said that she didn't. I'm glad they didn't ask me, because I would have had a hard time not saying that she looked like she was on a three day crack bender.

Anyway, in what was to be an effort to salute the hard work of our blogging bretheren at the WSOP, I snapped pictures of 'best tattoo' -- a pot-belled, pony-tailed dirtbag with some jailhouse art -- 'best hat' -- a black and white checkerboard top hat number, and 'best outfit' -- a full up gypsy fortuneteller DUDE. Sadly, I don't think any of them except the hat turned out. Alas.

Walking back, I wandered through the carnival, which is always good for a couple of hot moms letting their five year olds ride the Tilt-A-Whirl after 11:00 pm. I think the surgeon general has a warning about that. I hope they got some late night cotton candy, too.

Moving on through the neighborhood, I came across an old dude whose Rascal scooter had run out of juice. He was being pushed along by his companion, who looked dog tired. I figured I'd score a few karma points and helped him out by pushing for a few blocks.

Anyway, I made it home in one piece, and there you have it. It's too nice to sleep, and besides there are morons setting off fireworks all over the place. This is one of my favorite days of the year.

---

Obligatory poker content: I didn't feel like doing much this afternoon, so I spent a few hours playing PLO on Titan and Cypto. What can I say? How about "thank goodness there are so many idiots!". Up almost three buyins. I particularly enjoy playing on Titan for the colorful commentary. People who play every hand calling others donkeys and fish and worse. I just can't even describe it.

---

Breaking news: After a ten or eleven month hiatus, Lord Geznikor is back! If you haven't read Lord G, you really should. I can't give you a good reason why, other than it'll probably give you a whole new perspective on the game.

Michigan 'Pride'

This isn't L.A. or New York. This is Michigan, where eight out of ten people surveyed fear losing their jobs and half expect to end up pushing a shopping cart full of empty pop bottles (ten cent deposit) down to Kroger to make the rent.

Despite the general pessimism, there are a number of fine poker bloggers -- a veritable pride of young blogging lions -- cranking out content for your reading pleasure. Since I've never gotten around to creating a separate section in my blogroll, here's a crib sheet:

Bobby Bracelet (Farmington Hills) - Since his more prolific brother left us for another section of the Rust Belt, Bobby B is the Michigan blogger with the biggest following. And how -- the ladies can't get enough of reading about his multiply-confirmed massive junk, thoughts on the many types of douchebags and adventures in celebrity spotting. Bobby's also one of the most charitably minded bloggers, so help him help out a little girl and buy yourself some cool poker schwag in the process.

Lord Geznikor (Grand Rapids) - He's been around for a long time, but has been missing in action for almost a year ... until this weekend. Lord G offers an often amusing, sometimes cringe-inducing story of a guy who just doesn't fit in the 9-to-5 world.

Royal (Midland area) - Royal is a darned good player and one of the most successful at blogger events when he has time to play. I had the chance to meet him during the June '05 WPBT Las Vegas extravaganza. He's a good guy, a family man and will kick your butt if you're weak/tight.

Columbo - Columbo's got wrist issues, but that hasn't stopped him from putting up multi-part series of posts. He's a deep thinker and a very solid player.

2HoleCards - Nick (mtdewvirus) is from over on the east side somewhere, although he can periodically be found fleecing tourists in casinos up in da Yoo Pee. He's rung up some nice scores, but seems to be focusing more on non-poker areas of his life right now. Good for him, I think.

Wolverine Fan (Montrose) - Wolverine Fan's interests are right up front: Poker and golf. He's also a U of M fan and is probably reading Mgoblog right now. My kind of guy. It looks like he got involved in 'organized' poker through his daughter.

SteelerJosh - I don't know much about SteelerJosh, despite having played in a couple events with him. He's moving to Michigan, which might lead some to question his sanity -- but not me, since he's moving on up, coming from Ohio and all.

Poker Pros:

Peter "Nordberg" Feldman (Harper Woods) - Nordberg is a highly successful poker pro. You've probably seen him on TV. He also has a blog.

Bob Ciaffone and Tom McEvoy also have Michigan ties, but I haven't bothered to look for sites for them, let alone blogs.

Special Mention:

Boy Genius - BG may have left recently for Pennsylvania, but his archives are still loaded with Michigan content. Plus, he's got family here. So brew yourself a gallon of coffee, shut off the phone for the afternoon and go read. If you've only got a few minutes, you could check out Mike, the third blogging member of the clan, who rarely posts and even more rarely posts about poker. He'll still take your cash in a home game if you let him.

DNasty13 - DNasty's blog is titled 'Poker Detroit Style', even though he's bailed on us for the warm breeze and palm trees of Florida. Turkey. You'll find D crushing the Mookie tournament on Wednesdays.

Random Google Finds:

Paul McLalin (Mt. Pleasant) - college student at CMU and underage poker pro. Oh, those crazy college kids. Just getting going on his blog.


This list is a work in progress -- if I've missed any, please comment below. Thanks.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Obligatory Bad Poker Content

Resolution time: Unless it's unavoidable, no more torturing myself playing hold'em, especially limit ring games.

Spent a couple hours last night trying to do the monthly bonus at Will Hill. I just flat have no luck getting big pairs to hold up there. Same old story -- play aggressively, get called down by inferior hands, lose by suckout. As annoying as it is to have to play a $100PL or NL game to get the same deal as those playing $1/$2 limit, if I do this bonus again I'm definitely sticking to PLO.

Speaking of PLO, if in fact I had the time and bankroll, I could play pretty much straight through to the end of the month just on the Cryptos, clearing bonuses. In addition to Will Hill, there's the monthly $100 at Interpoker -- I have a couple months stacked up and haven't had the funds to deposit for August yet -- plus I got a really good 'come back' offer from one of the other sites that requires 600 raked hands. I haven't quite figured out how i'm going to move the mini-bankroll around fast enough to hit all of these, but I plan to give it a shot.

And then there's the slow clearing Titan bonus, a small Full Tilt bonus, at least one stacked Stars bonus ... hey, at least Party (Bonus Code: IGGY) hasn't bothered to offer anything. Gotta have some time for sleep.

Speaking of sleep, the people who are blogging the WSOP aren't getting any. Great work by Pauly, Otis, CJ and company, CC and the Pokerblog.com crew. They never stop.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A Picture Post

Since I don't really have much to say at the moment, how about a few pictures?


This is what my car said yesterday after about an hour in the sun. It was exaggerating (perhaps in protest) -- the air temp was really only about 97. This is the part of summer I do not like.











I was reading through my usual assortment of blogs the other day, and noted some pimping by Presdlee of his wife's paintings. You know what? She's good. (No, I'm not saying that I know anything about art). I really like this one. Her blog is here and has more pictures of her paintings.













Wading through the latest uberpost from the Blogfather, I saw this one and nearly spit Coca Cola out through my nose.

(apparently it adjusts to your location. Pretty slick.}











Really, the fact that do often play at Titan Poker has nothing to do with Joanna Krupa, their official spokesbabe. Really.

But if you want to, that's OK. You can even hit me up on the email for a bonus code.

P.S.: Thanks to the WSOP bloggers for providing updates on random non-celebrities like Joanna.

I think I'm going to stop here. It's supposed to rain tonight, and hopefully that will mean cooler temperatures. Good thing too -- It's crazy festival week here, culminating Saturday, when 250,000 people cram themselves into our little 12,000 person town to watch what is quite probably the best fireworks show in a ten state area. I wouldn't want to be down there if it's 95 degrees.