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Saturday, March 24, 2007

A Special Message - Poker Source Online

It’s been a few months coming, but Poker Source Online is finally rolling out the next installment of its Poker League. While there have only been a handful, the leagues have been a great source of bonding for the PSO community. There exists amongst the PSO members this strange juxtaposition of support and competitiveness; while everyone loves to hop in PSO’s chat room or post in the message forum to trash talk, they also are great at cheering each other on.

Things like the leagues are what make PSO what it is. Customers come for the free gifts, but stay for the community. And there is usually something new and different with each league. In the first league back in the winter of 2004, PSO started the tradition of adding guaranteed money to the prize pool each week in the form of PSO points. In addition to the prizes at the end of the league, everybody who finished higher than PSO’s big boss also received a prize.

From there, PSO held two leagues in the first half of 2005, pitting the United States versus Canada in a border war. Canada won the first one, but the U.S. regained supremacy in dominant fashion in the rematch. Hundreds of dollars worth of PSO points were awarded, as well as poker goodies.

In 2006, PSO upped the ante, giving away $10,000 in prizes in the spring, including a seat in a preliminary event at the World Series of Poker. In the fall, the World Series was already over, so that prize wasn’t going to work, but $10,000 in total were still up for grabs, as well as a seat in Absolute Poker’s $100K guaranteed tournament.

The PSO gang is at it again this spring, with thousands of dollars on the line each week. Oh, did anyone mention that it only costs $5.50 to play each week? Yeah, you’re not going to beat that. Visit to sign up for the new league.

A Little Confidence

It's amazing what winning one big pot can do for you.

I've gotten in a few sessions in the last week or so, and the trend has been depressing. Good thing we're not talking about real money here.

My personal kryptonite (playing Pot Limit Omaha) is flopping the nut flush draw plus a gutshot, giving me something like 12 outs to the nuts with two cards to come. It seems I'm always up against two or three players who caught enough to go to the mat -- by the time the action gets to me I've either got odds** to stick around or at least it's close.

Of course, when you never hit, the play chip bankroll is going to trend downward. I think going into Friday's session I had lost five of these in a row.

Yeah, yeah, I know. Results oriented. That doesn't make it any more fun.

I decided to change things up a bit for Friday's session. Instead of buying in deep, I decided to shortstack a "bigger" game. I'm the big blind the very first hand and call a minraise preflop getting 11-1. I find myself with (duh) the nut flush draw. I check and by the time it's back around to me I'm getting almost 4-1 with THREE players yet to act behind me. Crazy. Long story short, I hit on the turn, survived the river, quadrupled up.

What the hand did for the "bankroll" wasn't that important. What it did for my focus and confidence was. One big pot led to one very good session.

And there you have it.

** One thing I KNOW I'm not doing correctly is adjusting my calculation of pot equity to account for possibility of the board pairing. There's always more to learn, I guess.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Looks like Jim McManus (Positively Fifth Street) has joined the Full Tilt team. Or maybe he did previously and I missed it. Anyway, he's now red and says they're working on an avatar for him.

He's playing $100 PLO at the moment.

$100 PLO is rigged.

Fighting Back

Here's some minimal poker content: I actually played a few hands. Up a few play chips last night after dumping a buyin the night before. Would you believe that I made a correct call? Put to a decision for all of my stack, I took the time to analyze what my opponent had -- I can hear you saying "DUH!" but this is not typical for me -- and was correct!

Oh, and thank you Full Tilt for letting top set hold up against middle set and a gutshot for once.


Fighting back.

I'm fed up with so much of the stupid stuff we have to put up with. I was Google researching a topic yesterday and found articles in a variety of news sources. This, of course, meant that I had to register for a dozen websites that I'm pretty confident I'll never look at again. I mean, I don't go out of my way to read the Humbolt County Citizen Patriot from East Bumfuck, Kansas on a regular basis. But I still had to register to read one lousy article.

To whomever decided that was necessary, I hope you factor into your advertising plans the appeal of your site to 72 year old Eskimo women from New York City.


Monday, March 19, 2007

Choco-centric Holidays for $100, Alex

I don't know what it is, but Easter (coming soon) sure is closely linked to sugary goodness.

Two things.

First of all, if it's March it must be time for the St. Paul Pioneer Press Peep Diorama Contest. You have to love a contest that has the following rules:

1. It should be a diorama.
2. It should include Peeps.

Deadline is midnight, March 25. I have a poker-themed entry rattling around in my head from last year, but it once again isn't going to get done. Good news for the competition, bad news for any Peeps which happen to be lying around the house.

Second, in the WTF segment of this very special pre-Easter post, I was doing some shopping last week in a nearby major city. I happened to drive past a Christian bookstore. The electronic sign out front was advertising "Resurrection Eggs" for $9.99.

First thought: Um, what?

Second thought: Ewww.

Third thought: Are there two more unlikely words to be paired together?

Fourth and subsequent thoughts: Um, what?

If I get back over that way again, I'm going to stop in just because I want to know just what on earth a resurrection egg is.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Free Money Woo

Full Tilt has a semi-publicized bonus right now -- you may or may not get a popup when you log on (I didn't). It doesn't show up on the promotions page (at least it didn't for me) ...

But if you open the client, look under the 'Requests' menu, you should find 'Check My Bonus Offer'. I got a lower tier offer - $50, no additional deposit required, clear by earning Full Tilt points. Some people on the forums have been getting offered up to $500.

Just when you think bonuses are dead, here comes the Tilt. Nice work peeps.

Too bad I don't play for money.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Serious Business

Warning: No quality poker content.

Being self-employed definitely has disadvantages. I'm currently on tilt. Chair tilt if you can believe it.

Our office has had mostly the same reception area furniture for twenty years or so. I selected a new workstation for the receptionist a few years back, and that's worked out fine. Otherwise, the same old furniture has soldiered on.

Over the last couple years, the reception chairs have slowly been falling apart. Literally. It is as if they're on schedule -- on such and such a date, the screws are to fail and the chair is to become unsafe. Once the cross brace is visibly loose, it's time to retire the chair. We've slowly gone from 5 to 4, then 3, then 2 1/2, and last week it really was only one chair present and accounted for.

Time for replacements. Which means I get to take care of it.

Lucky me.

I've been looking for reception chairs for a couple years now. Six years ago I found a classified in the nearby metro paper for a warehouse sale. Some outfit bought a bunch of used furniture from Arthur Andersen, Ford and who knows where else. I picked up a couple of things, but didn't need reception chairs at the time. That place is gone now.

I've scouted out various retail options. Reception chairs are expensive. I'm not sure I really want to spend $300-400 per seat, new. Looking used. Of course, if I would have just channeled all of the time I've spent lately looking at auction sites, Craigslist, classifieds, etc. into working more, I'd probably have earned enough extra money to just buy new.

So annoying. Now I'm bugging you, and I still don't have the [censored] chairs.


Some days, I miss working for the man. I recall with great fondness once getting a brand new Steelcase Leap chair - most comfortable thing ever. Of course I'm sure it cost more than the SIX very nice chairs I later bought for the conference room, but man -- it was a helluva chair and more importantly it just showed up one day.

Sigh. Back to it.


Speaking of tilt, I read somewhere that ESPN2 has been airing episodes of the classic -- or classically awful -- series "Tilt". I'm sure I'm in the minority, but I enjoyed it. Like watching a trainwreck.

Monday, March 12, 2007

I'm From Nougatville, Myself

I said I was going to try to quit reading 2+2 for a week. So far, no such luck. It's just too good when you need an occasional "LOL":

Thread here

Saturday, March 10, 2007


And precious little content too.

It's easy to neglect your "poker blog" (ha ha) when your passion for the game dips dramatically. No special reason, it's just down. Low. 'Honey I want a divorce, I'm taking the kids and by the way here's an order kicking you out of the house' low.

I played few hands last night for the first time in a while and kind of figured out what was bothering me -- I no longer feel like poker is +EV. Over time, yes, it's been good. But now, with the closing of whole networks full of truly awful players to Americans, the difficulties facing the casual player when it comes to depositing and withdrawing and the end of the glory days of bonus whoring, I don't feel like I have an edge. Of course it would help if I didn't insist on playing things (like, say NL cash) where I *know* I suck. But the bottom line is the same, and if I'm going to play -EV games, I might as well play blackjack or craps.

Anyway, I'm not folding the tent or anything, and will probably still sling a few play chips every now and then. But the idea that it's anything other than entertainment is pretty much history, so most of my future play will likely be of the goofing around with friends variety. Unless the world changes.

Speaking of playing with pals, I know that the second hammer day of this fabulous year isn't for a couple more months, but I had this random idea: How about a series of tournaments starting at 7:20 in each time zone?

Anyway, time to get back to work.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

You Can Actually See Oxygen Being Wasted

Low content alert.

I didn't feel like cooking this morning, so I went out to breakfast. I made a dubious decision to hit the Big Boy, since I've been to quite a few of the places in our little town that serve breakfast lately. So lazy.

I walk in, I'm greeted by one of the waitresses and take my seat. She says "do you want coffee ... I can't remember if you do"

Um, what?

I haven't been to the Big Boy in months. I don't recognize the waitress as one of the usual crew, who are memorable for their 'straight outta whatever trailer park is nearby' appearance and surly attitudes. In fact, I really have no idea who she is or why she thinks she might know me.


It hits me as I'm working on my third strip of bacon. Turns out I spent several hours sitting next to the waitress at the $3/$6 microstakes donkey limit hold 'em game the last Friday I went to the track. She may or may not have been hammered (the conventional kind) at the time. Now I know who she is. It's a small world.

Judging from the coffee comment, I think she confused me with someone else. That's just as well. The last thing I want when it's early and I'm trying to get my money's worth in bacon is a conversation about charity poker -- or anything gambling-related. It was my lucky day -- the old lady in the next booth got to hear all about the server's latest trip to the indian casino.

Next week, I'm staying home.


No actual content. I did play a few hands the other day. It's still a pleasure to stack-a-donk when they limp AA on the button. K7o in the SB is good when flopping trips, you really should lay down your overpair sir. Overall, however, the enthusiasm level is pretty low.

I think I'm going to try to give up reading 2+2 for a week. I should have done it for Lent, but I'm a little late getting on top of that. The sheer idiocy of many of the people that post there is mind-blowing. I especially enjoy the tax-related threads.

Friday, March 02, 2007


According this 2+2 thread, the Germans are taking over Party Poker!

Does that mean that if you play on that site, you're looking to spend the evening checkraising some Deutschebags?

Yeah, I know.