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Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Revenge of Whiny Year End Post

December 31 is as good a time as any for a "State of Things" post, I suppose. Consider yourself lucky, however, if you choose to read this drivel. Thanks to unseasonably warm weather (it was 55 degrees yesterday!), I will be putting in even less effort than usual. Here we go.

I have completely lost my identity as a poker player.

No, I haven't deluded myself into thinking that I'm a real "poker player" or that I'm any good. I'm not "going pro". And no, I haven't donked off my bankroll taking shots SirHuggleMan style. Allow me to explain.

If you'd asked me a year ago to analyze my game, here's what I would have said: Online specialist. Sucks at live poker - more tells than a classroom of kindergarteners on "embarass your sibling in class" day. Competent, winning limit hold'em player up to $3/$6. Break even no limit player. Above average PLO enthusiast, adequate at HORSE, sucks at every other variation. Weak/tight but profitable at tourney play.

If you analyzed my last month, you'd come to the following conclusions: Horrible at every online game (not that I play). Steady loser. Big time PLO donater. Been winning live.

Understand my confusion?

I still have many of the same flaws -- not aggressive enough, poor game and seat selection skills, prone to tilt (especially live). Likes parentheticals a bit too much, sucks at metaphors and at blogging in general. It's just that everything that I've figured I could count on has been turned upside down.

I don't play online but if I did, the last month would have been ugly. Steady imaginary losses at Full Tilt at both PLO and 1/2 to 2/4 limit. Counter that with winning sessions when playing live 5 out of the last 6 times - and even the one losing session I had managed to get unstuck before tilting it all away.

So very lost.

I read yesterday that PokerStars has a new "Supernova Elite" VIP club tier for players who earn one million VIP player points. I reviewed my play prior to the UIGEA, pulled out a calculator and determined that -- but for Bill Frist -- I could have qualified by continuing to play at the same rate sometime in July 3016.

Also, just out of curiousity, I pulled up my Omaha stats on Full Tilt. Can you diagnose the leak?

Yeah, thought you could.

I had invites to three home games this week and managed to play in two of them. I really should write up Friday night's game, but I'm not sure who would be more embarassed, me or the other folks present.

I'm not interested in doing a "Year in Review" or "Best Of" post, primarily because 2006 wasn't that great and nothing I've written here will be enshrined in Cooperstown. But I will say that this (NSFW audio) was my favorite poker-related but non-blog laugh of the year.

Last and certainly least, my New Year's resolution:

Thanks Brandi. Have a good one.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Whiny Year End Post, Part One

The part with words comes later.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Do You Feel Lucky, Punk?

Tonight's Mega Millions jackpot.

If ever I was to win this ultra super sucker bet, this would be the time. Trust in the hammer.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

This Post Contains 0% Juice

The ways of the donkey never fail to amuse me. This week I was also filled with envy -- I'm completely jealous of the confidence a true donk has that he or she will hit their [insert some small number here] outer and win.

I was playing in another one of the PokerStars hyper-turbo 5th anniversary freerolls the other day. Only a couple of levels in, I find QQ on the button. I raise, 38 people call including the lady from my dry cleaners, Lee Jones himself and both of the Bobbsey Twins.

Nine high rainbow flop. Ooh, not scary. Checked around, I bet it, everyone drops except for one tard who INSTA checkraises all in. I mean INSTA fast. Like "I had my action button pre-checked" fast. "I have YAHTZEE!" fast. The "got a free pass to get with Jessica Alba AND she's interested" kind of fast.


Oh wait, I'm not scared or impressed, I have notes. This same tard called down on a hand with an unimproved J7o. I call.

Well, well. This time, he has 74s for bottom pair, no kicker, backdoor draws which go away thanks to the harmless jack on the turn.

Still, he just *knew* that another four was coming on the river.

Just KNEW it.

I laughed and laughed, and then I broke something, but it wasn't anything expensive because it was just a freeroll. And you got to read another bad post with kind of a bad beat story.

Sigh. I should switch to Parcheesi.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Lights ... That's a Wrap

After one last holiday gathering, we went and checked out a local light display. It's not your ordinary light display -- it's twenty thousand lights, computerized and set to a twenty minute musical program. There was a VERY long line waiting to see it.

Although the program has been updated and is even more impressive, here's a taste:

As an alternative with less car traffic, here's another look:

Select 'House Lights 1' or 'House Lights 2'.

Kudos to the creator for his hard work (and the $15,000 or so he's raised for the Make-A-Wish Foundation) and to his neighbors for putting up with the traffic.


And in obligatory poker content, I won forty cents in one of the PokerStars anniversary freerolls today. That's right, forty cents in free currency.

I think I might go buy a stamp.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Dear Santa, I'd Like An Uzi plz k thx

There is nothing like Christmas shopping to bring out the holiday spirit. After two hours at the mall this afternoon, I was ready to start killing people. From the looks of those around me, I wasn't alone.

At least I finally have it done. The shopping, that is, not the killing.

Sigh. That still doesn't read right. Screw it.

I've been in kind of a funk lately, which has resulted in a lot of procrastination. I managed to do my out-of-town shopping and shipping in one night earlier this week, but left everything else until today. That's right, as of noon on December 23 I had purchased zero gifts. I r smart.

Coming up with ideas is always the harded part. Although it was tempting, I decided that I couldn't get away with dishing out PokerPro hats, T-shirt and hoodie as gifts. I had to actually shop. Eight hours and about twelve stops later, I'm finally done. If I'd had any sense -- if you're looking for specific toys, go to freaking Toys 'R Us, don't waste time at mass merchandisers -- I could have been done in half the time. Oh, well. Live and learn and next year be organized enough to do it all on the internet.

Between now and noonish tomorrow I have to wrap fifteen or twenty things and do a little baking. And some laundry. And a few million dozen other things.

I love the holidays.


Speaking of things I love, did you notice that some of the poker sites have very nice end of the year promotions? My pals at Full Tilt (bonus code WAITIDONTHAVEONE) are giving away $15,000 plus electronics every day. You have to accumulate differing levels of Full Tilt points in order to be eligible, but how hard is it to get at least one point every day?

PokerStars (bonus code IMSONOTANAFFILIATE) also stepped up with a slew of promotions in honor of their fifth anniversary. They're running a reload bonus of 25% to $150 until January 2 and are giving away cash every million hands. I see that one of the penny poker donktards I sat with yesterday won one of them. Easiest $250 he ever made, I bet.

Unlike promotions (which I never win), I'm not really loving poker right now. Frankly, I've been a little burned out and haven't played much in the last week or two. I'll probably write some kind of angsty "state of my game" post to coincide with the new year, which I'm sure you're *really* looking forward to. Or not. I also have some thoughts on the "Are bloggers weak tight?" article which I've been meaning to assemble, but I haven't gotten around to it. Someday.


Color me thankful that I don't have to travel.

Merry Christmas, happy holidays, stay safe and enjoy the season. See ya in a few.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

A Suggestion For Full Tilt Poker

Dear Full Tilt Team:

Me again. I know, I know, some of my prior suggestions have been a little, um, less than serious. Sorry about that. I am dead serious this time.

I'm sitting here playing four tables (not for reals) and this message pops up in the chat:

IovinJIa (Observer): Guys, I got 100$ free at:

One table after the next, same message. And it's not like it's the first time I've seen spamming for that site -- sometimes it's multiple times in a single session, and I've seen it hundreds of times overall.

Chat spamming ranks pretty high on the annoyance-meter. But there is a win-win solution I think you'll like.

Step 1: Require an account to have one full buyin or $25 or some random amount in order to engage in observer chat. Whatever would make it worth your time.

Step 2: Modify your terms of service to explicitly provide that repeated chat spamming is grounds for both account lock AND forfeiture of funds. As long as you're at it, you might was well make it clear that affiliate shilling = chat spamming, but you don't really have to.

Step 3: Nuke these SOBs when they get reported and keep the funds.

Step 4: Profit.

Sure, I suppose you'd get complaints from play money players that they can't railtard the pros, and that means you probably won't do it, but it sure would be nice.

Thanks for listening at least. If you want to respond you might want to send me an email -- I'll have my chat turned off so that I don't have to deal with this [censored].

Monday, December 18, 2006

We Interrupt This Blog For Stupid Political Commentary

From the Detroit Free Press:

"Conservative bloggers were outraged when former Detroiter Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, announced he would use the Quran for his swearing-in ceremony photo, instead of the Bible.

The American Family Association said it would push for a law to make the Bible the only acceptable book for such ceremonies."

If any member of Congress, regardless of party, so much as introduces such a law, I will be donating cash money to their opponent in the next election cycle. If anyone who purports to represent me signs on as a sponsor, I will find some spare time to work for his or her opponent's campaign.

It's pretty simple, really:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. -- U.S. Constitution, Amendment I.

Requiring someone to use a Bible, even as a prop, is tantamount to establishing a state religion. While I happen to be a member of that religion, it's none of my fucking business, nor is it anyone else's, if someone else doesn't subscribe to it.

I used to live in the district Rep. Ellison was elected to represent. Even though there is no way in hell I would have ever voted for him, I respect his right to exercise the religion of his choice. He could be a Scientologist using a copy of Dianetics and I'd say the same thing.

From Wikipedia:

The Constitution specifies in Article VI, clause 3:

"The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

For other officials, including members of Congress, it specifies they "shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation to support this constitution." At the start of each new U.S. Congress, in January of every odd-numbered year, those newly elected or re-elected Congressmen - the entire House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate - must recite an oath:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

There you have it. If Keith Ellison can take the oath in good concscience, I hope he tells the haters in general and the American Family Association in particular to stick it.

And now back to the usual crappy poker content.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Now Entering The Donkey Zone

"I'm too dumb to fold. I call." -- Actual quote from cash game player on Friday

Who needs Las Vegas when you've got legal poker fifteen minutes from your house?

Uh, well, don't answer that.

Seeing as how I didn't play a whole lot of live poker while in Vegas, I made the trip to the track for a little of the new and improved charity poker. As usual, the place was busy, with rednecks outnumbering normal people at least six to one.

I hardly feel the need to comment on the idiocy of live 3/6 limit. People happily buy in for fifty or sixty bucks despite having absolutely no idea what they're doing. Sometimes they win, eventually they lose.

I played two sessions which were diametric opposites. The first session, I caught cards. I paired something with my big aces, caught some sets, stacked some donkeys. I finally quit after having a flopped set of jacks chased down by a rivered gutshot wheel draw. Session two, nothing hit, nothing improved. No sets, no flushes, people catching a second pair on the river. Good stuff like QQ going down to 63o on the river. Standard.

Still, finishing up $63 (which, if I didn't suck at poker really should have been at least $200 more) is a win. I still need to learn when to leave.

And hey, by not hanging around online I have 690 new items to read in Bloglines!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I Have No Pictures To Prove It But It Really Happened.

Another fabulous trip to Las Vegas for a WPBT gathering is in the books, and I’m already looking forward to the next one. I don’t think I’m likely to post a full trip report but may change my mind on that. Instead, I want to hit a few of the highlights and lowlights.

Let me preface my comments by being sure you understand something. I’m introverted. *Really* introverted. It doesn’t bother me. I’m perfectly okay with myself as company. Never been prone to walk up to random people, introduce myself and say “damn glad to know you”. It’s just not me. And since I’m also about as deep as a mud puddle, I tend to be pretty quiet. I don’t have the razor-sharp wit of an Iggy, a Daddy or a Pauly, just to name a few. If I’m not saying much, it doesn’t mean anything.

I am the way that I am.

And I still had an absurd amount of fun.

Some highlights, in no particular order:

* Seeing a lot of folks from previous gatherings. Way too many to list them all, so if you were there, this means you.

* Allowing myself to get talked into playing the Friday afternoon tournament at the IP with Al, Daddy, G-Money and anyone else I’m missing. Ended up finishing 7th for a cash.

* Meeting GCox, who’s a helluva good guy and possesses more stamina than 98% of bloggers surveyed, and some other folks for the first time.

* Playing live no limit cash for the first time ever – 1/2 NL at the MGM. Ended up with a whole $5 profit.

* Not completely humiliating myself in the Blogger tournament at Caesars.

* Winning my one sports bet of the trip on a college basketball game and enjoying my largest ever slot win (a whopping $90). Tournament = FREEROLL.

* Playing Paigow until 6 AM with a bunch of bloggers, and winning.

* Following up the Paigow with a very profitable session of craps with StB, Maigrey, Garth and Bobby Bracelet. Team America. Winning is how Bobby rolls. I almost got unstuck for the trip.

* Winning a SnG at the Poker Pro party by destroying a big ace with the hammer.

* Random meal (it was breakfast for me, at least) with Pauly and Derek.

* A final night of winning Paigow, which included observing paigow tilt and the dealer deciding that Maigrey must be my "honey".

* Painless travel, other than Northwest cramming thousands of bodies onto each flight.

* Not coming down with mutant bird flu this time. Vitamin C + booze = good health.

Beats, also in no particular order:

* Not making the money in the Blogger tournament.

* Pissing off the gambling gods by noting to BG on Saturday afternoon that I was about even for the day. I promptly went and dropped $400 in about an hour and a half.

* Being too busy with craps and then too sleepy to place any football bets. I should post a screenshot of the plays I’d written down before the trip - winner, winner, winner, winner etc. Ugh.

* Not getting my stuff together in time to organize the Spaceman Buffet Challenge. Jason volunteered to eat a certain weight (“tonnage”) of the dreadful Emperor’s Buffet food if there was enough money in it. Next time, that’s going to happen. I’ll bring the scale.

* The biggest beat of all was not meeting nearly enough new people. I did have the pleasure of meeting GCox, G-Money, Garth, Dawn from I Had Outs, Linda from PokerWorks, Katitude and a couple other folks, but the list of those I didn’t meet would be far longer (although truth be told, many of them wouldn’t have known who I was).

Because I’m me, I needed plenty of alone time. And I got it. That’s the genius of these get togethers – if you need or want to do your own thing, Vegas offers a million and one things to do at any hour of the day or night. But if you want to find someone cool to hang out with, that’s also an option 24/7, just wander over to the bar. I felt like I accomplished a good mix of both, although there are plenty of things that I missed. It happens.


A couple comments on the tournament at Caesars. I’d read a lot of favorable comments on their tourney structure, and I know April worked hard to get us the same deal as their regular tournaments.

That being said, it still felt like a total crapshoot after the first break.

Overall, I felt like I played decently. Not great, but decently. I think I went to showdown twice: The first hand after the second break I found AQo in early early position and puuushed. I got a call from … AQo. We chopped. On the other hand, I busted.

I did receive two big pairs – KK and QQ, once each. Both times I made a standard 3x raise and picked up the blinds. Other than that, pretty much had junk. I folded 44 UTG once and folded AQo once to a Change100 raise (her hammer crushed a KQo that called and saw a Q77 flop), but otherwise, I didn’t have a choice but to get frisky with any ace and most any face.

I didn’t take the rebuy until the end of level two. I wanted to see just how tilted I would be. Since the tilt level only reached high yellow and I had 2000 chips, I took it. It wouldn’t have mattered, since I never had a chance of stacking anyone.

Joaquin got it right when he assigned me my new nickname: “Card Dead”.

Two hands were misplayed. During level one, I got into a battle of the blinds with Iggy. I flopped an open ender, but did not improve. Folded on the river. I should have raised the flop to find out if he had anything (or just folded).

The last hand, we’re down to, I don’t know, 20ish. I have T6500, which is about as many chips as I had at my high point. Daddy limps for some reason on the button, I complete my small blind with T9s. The big blind, Smokkee, pushes. He has me well covered. Daddy folds and I’m at decision time.

Basically, with the blinds and 100 chip antes, I have an M of less than 2. I’m going to have to make a stand at some point in the next ten hands. This looks suspiciously like a straight steal, and at least I’m probably live. I call.

Bad call, now that I think about it – I should have tried to fold my way up closer to the bubble. But a call was made nonetheless. I need help.

He shows 44. Didn’t want the call. Flop has a 4. I four flush on the turn but don’t get there. Game over.

And that was the last poker I played in Vegas.

Just so you know, that makes three live blogger tournaments, zero pocket aces. So rigged.


I’ll probably have a few more things to say later, since I'm forgetting a million things, and I will definitely be writing a review of the Poker Pro table. For now, work calls and I need about 900 hours of sleep at some point to get caught up.

Can it be next time already?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Almost Time

My next post will be sometime next week, after I (hopefully) survive 72 hours of over-the-top fun in Las Vegas. If I get out of town, that is ... stupid "eight to twelve inches of snow" forecast.

I laughed very hard today at poker weirdo Tom Bayes' analysis of "Why No Limit Holdem Is The Best Poker Game". His site is semi-private, so you might not see it. I'm not going to copy it here, because I don't rip off content without permission, but here are two of my favorites:

Pot-Limit Omaha: "I hate this game. I pot the flop everytime I flop the nuts or especially an OMGFLUSHDRAW, but I keep losing to some smug British guy."

Razz: "And just what the hell am I supposed to do with these rolled-up kings?"

Good stuff.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Fun With Toys

I'm really, really, bored. So I downloaded a free Photoshop alternative and decided to give an award to someone we all know and love ...

Ladies and gents, your Turkey of the Year!

I Used Wikipedia To Correctly Spell 'Sacagawea' In This Title

Following in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark and some other dudes, I visited a strange and exotic new land last night.

I had recently read a post by Captain KirkFalstaff about the loony and weak inhabitants of Sector 9small stakes Cap NL Fun World over at Full Tilt.

So I hiked over for a visit. Maybe there would be Tribbles. Or, barring that, Triscuits. I was kind of hungry.

Yes, I am fully aware that I'm mixing metaphors here. I'm not exactly putting 110% effort into this post. Shut it.

Anyway, I was greetedignored by the denziens of this oddly familiar world. I pulled up a chair, sat down, and was quickly rewarded with a few stacks of silvery-looking things.

One of the denziens who showed up later looked kind of familiar. I don't know what species he was, so we'll call it a "Chilly".

Between myself and the Chilly were a couple of single-celled organisms who had somehow come into some of the shiny silver things but who were intent on giving them away as rapidly as possible. The one to my left, who we'll call SUPERDUMBAZZ for lack of a proper genus and species, was especially notable.

We played a card game. Using conventional cards, amazingly enough.

I am dealt an ace and deuce of spades, as well as a plastic thing called a "button".

The Chilly plays the hand, and so does the SUPERDUMBAZZ.

There is a flop, Ten Nine Six, with two spades.

The SUPERDUMBAZZ bets, the Chilly raises. I'm not really getting good odds here, but I'm willing to try for the triple. I call.

SUPERDUMBAZZ raises to to the Cap amount thingy. The Chilly calls. I'm pretty much compelled to call, getting about 351 to 1 or something on my silvery things. I'm not exactly sure, though. Math is hard. Especially when you're exploring strange new worlds.

The Chilly shows top pair, crap kicker and a gutshot.

The SUPERDUMBAZZ shows a five and four of spades for the decidedly non-nut and oops it's no good flush draw and entirely counterfeited backdoor straight draw. Not surprisingly, he doesn't win. Nice re-raise, though.

I didn't win either. Stupid Chilly thing dodged all my outs and stuff. I meant to call him a name, but I was busy being attacked by something. I think it was called a 'telemarketer'.

After that was finished, I decided that I liked my little silvery things and wanted them back, but even if I couldn't get the Chilly's greedy mitts off of them, at least I could get some more from the SUPERDUMBAZZ.

And so I did.

I gave the SUPERDUMBAZZ a nice pat on the head for giving me a fresh stack when it thought A3o might be good on a flop of A99. It wasn't, at least against my AQo.

Cue the theme from What's Happening!

I sadly had to return to my own world in time to visit the anti-sleep-deprivation chamber, so I beamed off or something. No big stack of silvery things, but no poorer for the experience.

I'll be back, but until then, I'll miss them, those ... Gorillas in the Mist SUPERDUMBAZZes and Chillys and stuff.