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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Umm, little help?

Since I never know what's going on ... can someone tell me what happened to Bobby Bracelet's (clicking not really recommended) little corner of the webosphere?

Did he get pwned by the Man again?

Monday, February 26, 2007

And On The Sixth Day, It Snowed Some More

Things I learned at this weekend's home game:

* Every time I think I've seen the worst possible tournament blind structure, something new comes along. T4000, 25/50 blinds to start. Not bad. Blinds double every 10 minutes. Uh, what? That's right, about 25 hands in and we're at 800/1600. Once it because necessary to figure a side pot every other hand due to necessary all ins, it was 3 to 5 hands per level.

* I run into sets good. Standard exit. I have 85o in the SB. Button raises. I push in the crumbs I have left (less than the full BB, still five players to the money), BB folds. Button has 22. First card on the flop is a 5. It's destiny that the second card on the flop is a 2. Can we get a cash game over here?

* If I ever went to dealer school, I forgot everything they taught me. I sure deal myself lousy cards. 94o, J2o, T5o, Q2s. Yeesh. Hard to do much of anything with your button when you've got that kind of monster and are facing a two dollar raise.

Ended up winning a few bucks. Just another Saturday night.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Well, day one of the rest of the week has been conquered successfully. It caused me to miss the Mookie, which sucks, but sleep was a much better choice.

I really should have taken the afternoon off. You know how completion of a big project or deadline item leads to a huge release of nervous energy and you end up completely mush-brained? Maybe it's just me. When I've been running on adrenaline for days, I'm pretty much done as soon as I'm finished. The first year I did tax work, I couldn't speak a coherent sentence on April 16. I think I took a three hour lunch that day, went to Golfsmith for some aimless shopping and just grunted at anyone who came near.

I wasn't that fried yesterday, but it was pretty bad.

Anyway, since today is another day filled with crap - one of the main ingredients in a crap sandwich - I better get back at it. Here's a reminder that CC would like you to donk it up with your fellow bloggers this evening:

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

It's 9:00...

what are you doing?

I'm still at work, beating my head against a wall. I wonder how many times/how hard it would take to end up with a severe concussion. And if that would eliminate the need to live through the rest of the week.


Poker content someday.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

In Which I Borrow Other People's Lives

Mid-afternoon today. I'm making the dreary slog through the grocery section of our local Meijer supercenter. I've just called enough and decide to head for the checkout lines. I have to wait in the produce section for traffic to clear. As I'm standing there twiddling my thumbs, I check out the cart of the large woman next to me. She's busy scoping out the baked goods. In her cart I spot something I haven't seen for a good fifteen years.

Jell-O Pudding Pops.

Jell-O Pudding Pops! (I can't decide if this sentence needs a "beetches" or not).

No kidding. I had no idea they were back. I haven't seen or heard Bill Cosby on TV, not that I watch TV these days. I found myself intrigued.

Jell-O Pudding Pops.

So I went and found them. Not only were they back, they were ON SALE. Destiny.

I've been housesitting this weekend, and they have cable. Most of the time I don't miss cable, but when I see it I'm reminded of what I'm missing. The good and the bad. And the ugly. Lots and lots of ugly. Like those people that eat 33,000 calories a day. Ew.

I didn't watch anything on Saturday, but decided to veg out today. I caught an afternoon showing of the BG-approved teen flick 10 Things I Hate About You. It has its moments, even if it's hard to believe that the looks-mid-30s Heath Ledger is a high school student. I guess that year in Milwaukee was really hard on his complexion.

Anyway, If I'd known, I would have followed that up with Bring It On. It's dumb, but it's a good dumb. Instead, I went to the grocery store.

This evening, TBS was showing the Lindsay Lohan vehicle Mean Girls. Surprisingly enjoyable. I kept meaning to turn it off and leave, but was not able to do so. Sure it's largely a rehash of Heathers, but that doesn't mean it had to suck. And what else was I going to watch, the NBA all star game? Now, if only I had some peppermint lotion.

Skizzom flozzom wooble Zhhello Puddin Pops! Fozzm libble zoink.

So there you have it. A day in the life. Just not mine. Usually.

Confidential to Drizz: The corporate website says "Available at Cub".

Friday And Saturday Night Bright Lights

Every once in a while I muster up some desire to play live poker. The yen hit this weekend, so I found myself hitting up the local charity cardroom for a little action.

The place wasn't terribly busy on Friday night. They run a tournament that I'd like to play someday - It's an $85+$15, which is the smallest amount of juice I think I've ever seen on a charity event. I decided I didn't want to fork over that much and instead signed up for the $3/$6 limit and $1/$2 "no limit" games. I got called to the donk-a-limit game first and ended up spending the entire evening parked in the same seat.

I don't play live very often, but it's interesting how many people are familiar. There's the big, happy biker dude who'll play any two cards hard if he's got a piece of the board. There's Sam, a man of indeterminate ethnicity (judging from complexion and accent, he's from somewhere around the Subcontinent) who will chase any flush draw and who once cracked my Aces with 94o. There's a guy and his wife who are mostly tournament players but who I swear I've seen at this location and at the "local" Indian casino at least 90% of the time. There's an old guy with a hearing aid who just spews chips. There's a young guy with the mark of the douchebag - a poker tattoo (a royal flush, of course) on his forearm. I don't know if he is one, but I certainly am going to consider anyone with the mark 'under suspicion'. And there are plenty of other regulars.

Just because they're regular doesn't mean they're any good.

Session one was unusual in a lot of ways. Most significantly, because in six hours of play I received AA three times ... and AA held up three times. I did have one other premium pair -- QQ was crushed by hearing aid guy's 62 sooooooted. He turned a flush, I rivered a straight. He'd shown down such monsters as 44 unimproved and K9o unimproved after betting the whole way, so it didn't really bother me to pay him off. I'll take his money 7 times out of 10, and that's enough to be profitable. Ended up half a buyin.

I went back for a second session, and decided to give the $1/$2 "no limit" game a try. It's not true no limit (it's really spread limit), but since the max bet is $500 it's essentially no limit. While waiting for my seat, I saw a three way all in on the turn -- two flush draws against top pair, second kicker. The river made the flush and the winner raked about a $600 pot. Of course I ended up seated directly to his left.

The NL game is a capped buyin of $200. I had a bit less than that, since I had donked off a few chips running my button suited connector into a big blind's AA on a $3/$6 table.

Pretty early on, I made a bad play. I had a suited connector on the button and smooth called an EP standard raise to $12. The small blind came along for the ride. I don't have reads on either player, but neither had a particularly big stack. There are two or three players, not in the hand, with at least $500 in front of them. The flop came two of my suit and also gave me a gutshot. EP leads out, underbetting the pot, and I raise to see where we are and to try and get rid of the SB. No dice. He calls and EP shoves for not much more. We both call. The turn and river both brick and the SB and I check it down. His rivered top two lose to EP's flopped set of 5s. I of course shake my head, sigh and muck.

Just like that, I've dropped half my buyin. Stupid. I decided (intentionally) to not bring money to rebuy, so I'm stuck playing short stack poker the rest of the evening. Which, incidentally, I suck at -- although my suckage really extends to all things poker.

Continuing on, I really should have just folded everything from there on out. I received exactly three pocket pairs, 44, 22 and 44. I got AKs once, AQs twice and a whole bunch of AQos. Ace queen, as you probably know, is the hand of death in NL cash games. I found myself either raising with it, getting callers and folding to a horrendous board, or calling a raise in position and completely missing. I doubled up once on a donk move with AQs going all in preflop (I think I had $25 or $30 left and had raised half of it on the button) against what turned out to be QQ in the blinds - I rivered the flush.

Since I didn't receive anything superpremium and since I missed 90% of all boards completely, my small stack dwindled away. The last hand I had 44 on the button and raised to $10 with $10 behind. The small blind reraised to $20 and the big blind called. I'm ready to go, so I'm in, even only getting 5-1. Turns out that I'm in better shape than I thought - SB had K9s and the BB 95s. That thought lasted about ten seconds, as there was a King on the flop, another on the turn and his flush even got there on the river. I go home now.

I think this trip took care of the jones for a while. It was fun to try the NL game, but I know that I'm not adequately rolled to play it. Also, while I wouldn't describe the level of play as "good", it's at least better than the other games. If I go back, and I probably will, it'll be to play the microstakes limit game with the drunks and the women with bad hair.

Charity poker, you gotta love it.

Edited to add: I also got to experience two unusual situations. There was a live AA vs. AA all-in, and I was part of an AQo vs. AQo. vs. AQo - of course I folded to a massive flop bet and the other two unimproved AQ holding donks split the pot.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Uselessness In All Its Glory

Opinions. Everyone's got 'em.

The legendary (and now at least twice-banned) 2+2 poster BusterStacks opined early in 2005 that "blogs are gay". His original post appears to be long gone, but thankfully the Blogfather noted it and it has been saved for eternity.

In September 2006, FTrain observed in a roundabout way that 'poker blogs are dying.'

Were they right? Maybe so. Maybe so.

Or maybe not. I'm not ready to admit to the gay.

Not long after FTrain's post, our pal Bill Frist and his merry men snuck through the UIGEA and online poker as we know it was radically changed, especially for Americans, possibly forever. The Act and its aftermath also provided plenty of ammunition for bloggers and message board types. Word activity went through the roof. I probably even killed a digital tree or two myself.

Now that it's been a few months and it's been made clear that our friends in Washington are determined to choke off the flow of money to and from poker sites, what's next? Where is the future of poker blogging in a world with no tales of playing on Party?

I think F Train was more right than we knew.

As long as I'm posting poorly organized thoughts about not very much, here are a few more:

Will the last one out of Michigan please turn out the lights?

Chrysler announced massive layoffs today, on the heels of Ford and GM. Numerous mega-suppliers are either in bankruptcy or will be shortly. The housing market is in the dumps - Wayne County (home of Detroit) leads the nation in foreclosures. Michigan has the second-highest unemployment rate in the country. It's cold, it's snowy and the kids all leave the state for someplace where they might have a prayer of getting a job. Forbes ranks the state 45th among the "best states for business".

And now the state government is facing a $850 million deficit, which could reach $3.5 billion over the next 18 months.

What's a governor to do? Why, raise taxes, of course! Good thinking, Governor Jenny!

The teflon governor proposes to raise a variety of taxes, but the centerpiece of her master plan is to impose a 2% tax on most services. Currently, the overwhelming majority of services are exempt from Michigan's 6% sales tax. That makes Governor sad. If her proposal passes, the poor schmucks who live in Michigan will pay 2% more to go bowling or to get a haircut. 2% more to hire a lawyer, accountant or lawn service.

Paying 2% extra isn't all that big of a deal. Governor's staff estimates that it'll cost a family making $50,000 per year an extra $65 per year. The problem is, how many families making $50,000 will the state lose because of this?

Compliance costs, Governor, compliance costs. Those who run small businesses will now have to do all sorts of extra paperwork to properly charge everyone your extra 2%. They have to track it, account for it, pay it over, fill out your forms and hope they've got it right under pain of possible rectal probing by your contracted private tax collection goons. For a service business with revenues of under $40,000 per year, I'd say the cost of complying with your new toy will exceed the amount of money taken in by the state. That money isn't going to be paid to people who add value -- it's straight overhead. A waste. A hidden extra tax that will discourage people from starting and maintaining legitimate service businesses.

And since the 2% tax is apparently to be paid by businesses too, you're going to give a boost to the outsourcing trend. Why pay even more to have your professional services done in Michigan? Ship 'em out of state, subcontract 'em all to India, who cares.

If you get your way, people will probably grit their teeth and eat the compliance costs. I figure Joe Schmoe will have at a thousand bucks less to pump into the local economy, so you won't get your 6% (or your income taxes) on that. He'll have to waste more of his time making sure to do it right, so his revenues and your income tax collections will drop again. His favorite restaurant type places will take a revenue hit because he'll have less to spend. He'll tighten his belt further to pay the additional property taxes imposed by the county and the bond issues requested by the local schools and the library. Maybe you'll raise the gas tax for kicks, in addition to your plan to jack up the cost of liquor. Somehow, he'll make it through.

Or maybe he'll just chuck it all and move somewhere warm. Somewhere where there's hope. Just maybe he won't have to be the one standing by the light switch.

Governor, your plan sucks. I won't miss you or it.


End political rant. Time for lighter subjects.

If you're looking for something to do tomorrow night, why not play CC's Thursday Bash?

Unless you live in a place where it's illegal to play poker. I wouldn't ever encourage anyone to do anything that our elected nannys and their unelected and well-compensated lackeys say is wrong.

You could end up in one of Jenny's overcrowded state prisons.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Tournaments Are For Suckers

"Fuel had to feel pretty confident when it got down to three players with Homer535 and bdidde, but he was in for a surprise as the trio lasted over 150 hands before the win/place/show was determined in the order above." -- CC
Let me tell you, I was sure happy to read that this morning. But not for the reason you might think.

It's moments before the second break in CC's Thursday Bash. Despite being a complete donkey and playing like [censored], I've been the chip leader for most of the last hour and a half. Fuel has passed me by after going on a nice rush, but I'm still in 2nd with 4 players left.

What do you do when you're in the thick of battle and adrenaline should be coursing through your veins?

I don't know about you. Me, I doze off. In between hands. It's been a long week.

I'm tired of playing. I flip the switch back to "idiot". It takes about three hands to bust out - for a change I even go out on a hand where I'm a huge underdog. I'm the bubble boy, something like 160 or 180 hands into the tournament.

Thank goodness. Not that I'm saying I would have been around much longer anyway, but there is no way I would have made it through another hour or however long 150 hands takes.

Winning money is nice. Not fighting to stay awake may be nicer. I didn't lose even one moment of sleep regretting the bustout. It felt like victory.

Congratulations to those who won, especially the unstoppable force that is Fuel55.


image borrowed from flickr user ryanluikens

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Delayed Toutage

Tonight, in about an hour, celebrate the first hammer day in the year of the hammer, 2007 off suit.

Unless you don't want to or it's illegal or something. I never encourage anyone to do anything illegal or that they don't want to, except jaywalking. I'm in favor of that.

edit, well that was quick. Lasted 21 hands. Lost 2 big ones -- first as a 89/11 favorite, second as a 75/25 favorite. I run good.

I'm off to terrorize the play chip "cash" tables.

Then, after you're done with today, go sign up for CC's Thursday Bash on Stars. Tomorrow. I might think about playing that one, if I can stay awake. I need to move to a different time zone.

Please consult your local nazis listings to determine if online poker is legal in your area.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Long Run Can Start Any Time Now Please

Switched over to the new blogger. No obvious hiccups noted ... yet.

Last night was the third edition of a newer local home game. Six players braved the single digit temps and bitter windchill for an evening of slinging chips.

I should have stayed home.

The remnants of buyin #1 disappeared when AK proved less worthy than A8o. Not the worst beat ever, but I feel compelled to to state that there was a very healthy preflop raise involved.

Buyin #2 vanished when JJ was most eager to put me all in preflop. I knew my AA was trash, called the suckout and had it confirmed when the villain flopped a jack plus made quads on the turn.

Buyin #3 was vaporized in standard fashion. I hold Th 9h on a flop of Kx Qh Jy. I overbet the pot and get two callers. The turn is Kh. I fire again and get one caller. The river is a 2h, my flopped sucker straight has "improved" to a flush.

Of course I lose to K2o. I couldn't have a hand hold up where I'm a 96.2% / 3.8% favorite on the flop, now, could I?


Buyin #4 was my fault, I pushed when short with what I thought was a 15 outer. Turns out it wasn't, but I whiffed on the turn and river anyway.

Okay, that's enough. I know that everyone (except me) hates bad beat stories. Buyin #5 allowed some recovery, so at least I only finished down two and a half.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Stop For The Love Of

I don't know why, but I have an RSS subscription to Deadspin.

If they don't stop posting pictures of A.J. Daulerio, I'm not only going to cancel my subscription, I'm going to seriously consider buying a carton of milk to get that phone number for missing kids. That is the creepiest looking dude I have seen in a long time. He's just disturbing.

On another note, it appears that the evil Google/Blogger crapplex is about to force me to convert this thing to the "new" Blogger. Not that it would be any great loss to society if the last two years vanished, but it would still be nice if the conversion didn't royally [censored] things up.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

A Thousand Hour Week

Time certainly drags when you're not having fun. If I recall correctly, the last time I posted, I was debating whether to go play live on Friday. I got home, determined that I wasn't feeling so good, and elected to stay put.

Several hours later, the play chip bankroll had taken a serious beating. Most of it was badhorrible play on my part, but some of it was just bad table selection. When you have the same mutli-tabling play chip ballas sitting at every table, you really should get up and leave. On the plus side, I did end up sitting with Royal for a while. Thanks for the home game invite, sir, and I hope to be able to make it over some time when work and life aren't killing me.

Woke up Saturday, sick as a dog. And so it's been ever since. I hate being sick. It makes me whiny and annoying ... even more so than usual!

After a brutal day yesterday with no breaks, I came home and parked myself in front of the computer. Donked off two buyins in record time, felt nothing other than continued light-headedness, and was at least smart enough to shut it down for the night.

Note to self: You're never going to be a play money tycoon if you keep playing when you're way less than 100% with it.

And so it goes.

If you aren't doing so already and you need a good laugh, I would certainly encourage you to read the Internet Gambling forum at Two Plus Two. Idiots on parade. Any obstacle becomes a full-fledged crisis which begets the dumbest assortment of posts ever.

Full Tilt had an outage a week or so ago. I'm just saying. It might have crashed during a $1 rebuy, where someone was into it for $2. Again, just saying. A few days ago, Full Tilt might have emailed an apology, refunded that someone's buyin and added $10 on top.

I asked that someone what he/she thought of Full Tilt, and they said "this is just another example of why I trust them. Also, lookit that ROI! "

Speaking of free money, the people sent out an email the other day offering $20 to $250 free for new signups. The reward appears to be account specific and targeted at former Paradise players.

If I played poker I might consider checking it out. Maybe they have internet craps or paigow or roshambo.

Despite what you're thinking, I am not presently looped up on cold meds. Taking some wouldn't be a bad idea, though. Bye.