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Monday, April 30, 2007

Holy (Ex-)Unreadable Color Combinations Batman

EDIT, MAY 1, 4:15 ET: This post drew a response. Also, the color combination is much more legible now, so read away!

This won't surprise anyone: Some media types say watching live poker is incredibly boring. **
You know what? They might be right.

Anyway, I mostly just wanted to point out this observation:

But mostly I was baffled by why the audience -- about 400 people -- were so enthused. They sat there for hours watching...nothing. They had to follow on monitors and try to understand what the announcer said about chip counts and the like, the action was very slow and most of the hands involved people folding. I had the advantage of sitting behind a row of poker bloggers in the media booth so I could look over their shoulders and read how they explained the situations, but even they had no idea what sort of mental gymnastics these players were going through. (I was also stunned by how many poker bloggers there are, all largely writing the same thing, and how very respectful the World Poker Tour folks were of them. I doubt there's any activity where the media reps are even slightly as solicitous toward bloggers.)
The WPT smarter than the average bear? Could be.

** I would say click through and read it for yourself but be warned you might go temporarily blind.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

And On The Seventh Day, He Struggled To Come Up With A Catchy Title

I don't play poker because I don't want to go to hell. And because I'm really bad at it.
-- 2+2 poster EdFurlong
Love that quote.

No play today, taking a little time off after yesterday's megatilt session.

Currently watching the final table of the Blogger Bracelet Race. Good luck to those still in. I didn't get to play, 'cause I didn't get home until 8:30. Sundays, bah.

Mondays are worse.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Now, If The Lions Had Drafted Brady Quinn, That Would Be Worse...

I had my worst tilt session in a very long time this afternoon. Dumped a full twenty percent of my accumulated play chips before I got smart enough to shut it down and do something else.

For the most part, it was just one of those days. I got "money" in ahead. I got it in way ahead. My opponents without fail hit their one, four, six, whatever outers. When I went all the way with a draw or draws, they missed. Without fail. Straight draws, wrap draws, flush draws, complete wraps with two flush draws against a naked bottom set. You name it, I found a way to lose with it!

I also got money in behind. Once I'd dropped a few "buyins", I played progressively worse. It was ugly. Finally woke up when I steam-pushed against a mega-tard when I held J7xx on a J73 board. Oops, he has 33xx. Oh, wait, turn 7, river J. I win despite gross stupidity and that was enough to call it quits.

Oh, and I managed not break anything. I'm calling that a win.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Blogger BBV

(That's beats, brags and variance, btw, in case you don't waste hours on 2+2)

BRAG: Not only played but WON a blogger donkament!




BEAT: There were only two players, me and Ingoal. Password issues kept the crowds away.

BEAT: Ingoal kinda surrendered.

VARIANCE: BuddyDank was signed up but bailed at the last minute.

Add to that one heck of a wild ride on the PLO play money tables tonight and it feels like old times. Kind of. Okay, not really.

Dumb Things You Do

If I'm ever going to get my PLO win rate into double digits per hundred hands, I really need to break some stupid habits. A couple of them got me last night. Note to self, here are some of the leaks in your game that you should DO something about:

1) Quit when it's time to quit. After going so far as to uncheck the 'auto post blinds' box, I decided instead to play one more orbit. The big blind hand ended up costing me a decent night's "profit".

2) Pay more attention to stack sizes. It's not uncommon to have pot odds to call a short stack's all-in with much less than the unbeatable nuts. Similarly, it's not uncommon to have implied odds to float against a big stack when you've got a big draw. The hands in the middle seem to get me from time to time.

3) Be willing to give a player some credit. Okay, some players don't deserve any credit. I made a few notes yesterday when people rivered their two outers on me after seriously overplaying hands like KKxx and QQxx. There are still plenty of times where I don't give people enough credit. Especially when I'm holding some of their outs.

4) Fold already. I still need to tighten up, especially with marginal hands out of position.


Several of these things combined in one stupid last hand. I have 6655 double suited in the big blind. I see a free flop with about six others.

Flop is 643 rainbow, one each of my suits. SB checks, I pot, UTG re-pots, folds around, I call. There are about 12 play chips in the pot.

Turn is a 2, which means I have the non-nut 6 high straight, top set and a 6 high flush draw. What am I up against? The checkraise on the flop could mean a lot of different things: Set of 4s, set of 3s, 6 high straight (with 52), 7 high straight (with 75). Maybe a dumbass with AAxx. Of those options, I think the first three are more likely than the last two - I have two of the fives and why would you want to kill your action with the nuts on a rainbow flop? Why not raise your aces? I don't give the raiser much credit -- I have three of his likely holdings beat (badly), one chopped and the last I'm a small underdog unless he's got a better flush draw.

Raiser only has 10 play chips behind (I have him well covered), however, so I'm not going to win a huge pot. I check to show weakness - I'd take a free card - and he pushes as expected. Given his range of hands, I'm pretty sure I have to call here.

Turns out he had 9875 for the flopped seven high straight, with redraws to a higher straight and no flush possibilities. I'm a 45/55 dog, the river bricks, villain doubles up, I go to sleep with only a few more play chips in my pocket instead of a nice win.

Additional note to self: Try and learn something. Also, run better while you're at it.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


I think Full Tilt is getting better at segmenting their player base ...

Be Careful What You Wish For

Lou Krieger has some details up on his blog about the anti-UIGEA legislation introduced by Barney Frank (D-MA).

While I admit I just skimmed over his post, my initial reaction was "uh oh". I'm a little concerned that, if passed, this law could make things worse instead of better.

For one thing, it appears to essentially dump the question of legality on the states. How many states do you think are going to be rushing to authorize internet gambling? None? If any do, how heavily will they want to tax it? What will be okay? Surely not sports betting, quite possibly not casino games. And you're going to give sports leagues the ability to say 'no betting on us'? Really?

I also wonder about the burdens that would be placed on sites that want to be authorized to conduct business with U.S. customers. They'd be charged with making sure their customers are over 18 (which is doable) and physically present in a jurisdiction where that type of gaming is allowed (ugh). Not only would the sites have to keep track of the laws of 50 states, D.C. and various Indian tribes, they'd have to keep track of where their customers are at all times. Home address is one thing, but physical location is another - if I'm in Nevada on business and Nevada says it's okay for me to gamble online, how do I communicate that to my gaming site of choice?

I haven't devoted any time at all to studying the prospects for this bill. I rather doubt that it's a big priority for many people and the lack of money being spread around Washington will probably keep it low profile. That being said, it's nice to see *something* happening that might reduce the cloud of uncertainty that's been hanging over the online poker world for the last six months.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Deflation, Brought To You By The U.S. Postal Service

If you happened to hear a loud 'AARRGH!' coming from the general direction of the Midwest yesterday evening, that was me. Sorry about that.

Let me explain.

I think I mentioned the other day that I had developed a sudden and unexplained case of Vegas fever. I expected it to pass quickly, but it didn't. Yesterday afternoon I killed a few minutes looking at airfares. Not cheap, but possibly doable. Hotel, not a problem. I checked my calendar and found that I didn't have any appearances or appointments scheduled for Friday, June 8. Just maybe I could make the WPBT gathering.

And then I went home.

I got the mail.

Included in the mail was an oversized envelope that could only be one thing ...

A wedding invitation.

I didn't even have to open it to know, but open it I did. Sure enough: Friday, June 8, 2007 in the evening. Reception to follow.

Plans go pfffft, I say AARRGH. Stupid weddings.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Maybe It's Not Like Rain On Your Wedding Day, More Like Mostly Cloudy With A Chance of Drizzle

I am easily amused.

Today's example: I cruised over to the ESPN website to see if the Tigers beat the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Not Rancho Cucamunga last night (they did, 9-5). I was greeted by the following --

The same corporate monolith that, on the one hand, decided that the excellent tourney reporting of Dr. Pauly was too edgy or something ('oh noes, he might use a four letter word or ingest some pharmaceuticals!') ...

is, on the other hand, in bed with a U.S. facing internet poker site. Go figure.

Oh, sure, you're redirected to the Absolute Poker dot net site. Sure you can theoretically freeroll your way into this prize. It's not like they WANT you to deposit and play "ILLEGALLY" for REAL MONEY, right? (wink, wink, nod, nod)

Right hand, this is left hand. Left hand, right hand. Get acquainted, you're going to be working together from now on.


Less amusing were last night's results. Standard PLO. "Bought in" short. Free flop in the big blind. Flop is 347 no suits. I has a 5 and a 6. I pot, UTG calls, Button raises pot. I push for not much more, both call. Turn is a 2 that puts two diamonds on the board. UTG pushes -- he's put a little more than half his stack in so far and what's left is about 1/4 of the pot. Button happily calls.

I have the nut straight with no redraws. Stupid out of position play, should have check-folded flop. Button has the nut straight with a crummy diamond redraw. UTG has an OMG GUTSHOT to a better straight and no diamond redraw. Ah! The immortal nuts!

Of course UTG hits his three outer on the river. Then Button calls UTG a donkey. UTG leaves before I can recapture my missing play chips from him. I've seen this movie before.

The ending kind of sucks. Much like this post.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Just Some Odds 'n Ends

It's ESPN's loss but our gain: So Dr. Pauly isn't going to be covering the WSOP for ESPN after all. While I'm sure that's a financial bummer for him (depending on who else is hiring), it's great news for blog readers. Seriously. His coverage so far of the WPT Championship has been superb - you just have to get it from the Tao of Poker, PokerNews and LasVegasVegas.

I love Bloglines but I hate Bloglines: I'm one of those people who's dependent on Bloglines to keep up with dozens of poker blogs. I mean I click through when I have to (#$%^&*! Pokerworks), but I rely on Bloglines to tell me when something new needs to be read. Lately I've been seeing a lot of really old posts marked as new, which leads to wasted time. Also, Bloglines is not psychic, so when a feed stops working (hey, where did my subscription to Falstaff go?), it doesn't tell me.

It wasn't a one outer but it felt like it: Still playing infrequently, as in zero hands this weekend. My last session was a down one, including losing a "buyin" on this beauty:

I hold KJT7 on a board of K987 rainbow. The 7 hits on the turn and all the money goes in. The case 7 hits the river and I lose to KKxx.

This being a PLO bad beat story, it will earn you at most $1 in European currency.

Thinking about June: For some reason, Vegas fever hit hard today. I'm considering going out for the WPBT gathering, but probably won't unless I find a really good airfare. December is much more likely. Then again, if I happen to win a couple stacks at the track I might reconsider.

Still on that streak: Missed the WPBT event last night, keeping alive the string of missed blogger tournaments. This sucks.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

This Just Dealt

The most powerful hand in Omaha ... J742 unsoooooted.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Man am I ever tired of this. Or maybe I'm just tired.

It's been three weeks since I've even considered playing in a blogger tournament, despite the fact that there's one on offer almost every night of the week. Getting up well before the crack of dawn and getting home at 9 or 10 at night will do that.

It needs to stop. Thank goodness there are only two more days left in this week.

Obligatory poker content:

Tonight I finally got home at a relatively reasonable hour (7 pm) and decided to wind down with a little play chip PLO. The donkeys are out in force, paying off with stuff like the third nut flush. Thanks, peeps. Also present (yay): Change100 aka the tightest play money-level PLO player ever! ***

*** And of course I'm fully qualified to dispense PLO advice - I like to do massively +EV things like minraise preflop out of position and complete my small blind with any 4 cards. I blame Maigrey.

Good thing I don't play for real stakes.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Great Ideas in Online Poker History, Part 1

Let's say you're an internet poker fan* and you decide to try out a new site like, say, Full Tilt.

As part of the signup process, you provide Full Tilt with a desired user name.

You select "PokerStarsPlaya".

Query: Has there ever been a better or more obvious invitation to have the DOOM SWITCH used on you? **

Just asking. *** Because I forgot to ask in chat.

* Assuming it's all legal and stuff in your jurisdiction.
** I'm not saying that sites have a DOOM SWITCH. Okay, maybe I am.
*** No, I didn't stack said player, although I have been on a pretty good run at the fake money PLO tables. Too bad I play about 3 hours per month.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Damn I'm Good.

I played another stellar Mookie.. staying in first most of the game and finally going out against THG. I am totally convinced that I am getting closer to a good end game in these things but either not getting the luck when I need it or missing out on a key part ... The table I was on was big time aggro raising every orbit and re-stealing alot. Now this is not my ideal environment. I finally have THG raising 2K while I am the SB. I consider folding but decide to push my A6 instead. It costs him about half his stack but he calls with AJ.
-- Sir Waffleman

It would appear that I'm now so good at tournament poker that I can take out people even when I'm not playing. How cool is that?

At least I'm pretty sure I didn't play - I got home about the time the Mookie started after a 15 hour day and crrrrashed. Hmmm. Then again, a dubious call with AJ is definitely my style. Maybe I was playing in my sleep? Or my account got hacked by someone who's equally donkish?

Ah, who am I kidding. I'm sure that Sir F is referring to The Fat Guy, TFG, who I hear won the whole thing. Nice going TFG.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Wait, Don't Tell Me... might actually start publishing readable poker content?! There goes the rest of my workplace productivity, dammit.

Seriously, smart move by them hiring Dr. Pauly to cover the WSOP and provide content. Visit his blog for details and to congratulate a very deserving writer on getting what could be a big break.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Augusta Fashion Report

Back from a whirlwind vacation to various points in the mid-South -- six days, 2500 miles, several rounds of golf and too many chain restaurant meals. No poker. I did wave in the general direction of a few blogger-types when passing by on the interstate, but no stops were made.

One of the destinations was Augusta, Georgia, hometown of James Brown, birthplace of the Southern Baptist denomination and, more importantly, the winter playground of a bunch of rich old guys who got some money together and built a golf course. Then they decided to have a private tournament, somewhere along the line CBS and John Mellencamp got involved and now it's as commercial as Christmas. I'm referring, of course, to the Masters. It's such a stupidly big deal that they even sell tickets to the practice rounds. How could I not go?

I brought the camera along and managed to get some decent pictures. I won't bore you with them. I also was inspired by the presence of a few oddballs. Fashion victims. Let me explain if you've never been to a golf tournament -- picture a sea of khaki shorts and capri pants. Stuff men of various sizes into the former, women of differing shapes into the latter. That's a golf tournament crowd. Especially at the Masters, which is the most "decorous" (read: stuffy) crowd in the U.S.

Since I didn't have a Change100 or other fashion expert handy, you get me. ***

Let's get to it, then -- here are some hits and misses from Augusta '07 along with a few helpful hints.

MISS: PLUS FOURS. Good god, dear sir. You were making a bold enough statement with the cap, the golf shoes and the stunningly ugly socks -- the plus fours really put your ensemble over the top.

If time travel becomes possible sometime soon, I'll be sure to reserve you a slot for Scotland circa 1876.

HIT: "HOSTESSES" (not pictured, dammit). Most golf tournaments, women wearing very little are probably actually working as hostesses in corporate amenity tents set up as part of the production. Not at the Masters - no tents. So when you meet these ladies in Augusta, you can be confident that their hostessing is taking place at strip clubs and hotel rooms all over town.

Maybe this is a miss, the couple that I saw weren't especially good looking even by minor-league standards.


What ever happened to common sense? Sure, flip flops are kind of fashionable among the young and stupid -- the same people who made trucker hats 'hip', which is apparently an alternate definition for "retarded looking".

America's orthopaedists thank you for ignoring arch support when walking for miles.


Most places, you see a jumpsuit, you think of someone on work detail from the county lockup. Not at Augusta.

Here, the smooth characters wearing all yellow are members of the random cleanup crew. Pretty decent gig, walking around with a stick "looking" for stray bits of trash to spear. Given the complete lack of debris, what you have is the easiest sanitation engineering job on the planet -- and a free pass to the tournament.

If you want to get in on the action and don't have a yellow jumpsuit handy, you might consider bringing a green sportcoat. There are a bunch of guys dressed like this who act like they own the place.

In fact, the only guys with golf carts are the guys wearing green jackets and let's face it, what's more fun than tooling around on a golf cart?

MISS: EURO-STYLE (not pictured). You'd better be both European and very secure in your manhood to wear bicycle shorts to the Masters. Given that you were wearing a Swedish flag hat, I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt. If you were actually from Dubuque, however, I'm going to have to hand you a box of Summer's Eve.

Seriously, though, congratulations on that workout program.


Yeah, we get it. You don't want to be here. You were forced to come by your parents and you probably spent the two hour drive over from Atlanta listening to Sunny Day Real Estate on your iPod.

It doesn't matter. Nothing matters. Everything IS your fault. The world WOULD be a better place if you had never been born.

MISS: Security Guards. (not pictured) Although working security at the Masters is probably a pretty swell gig, the uniforms looked downright unpleasant. Scratchy polyesther work clothes, physical activity and 80 degree days don't sound like good times to me.


Pretty much self-explanatory. Sorry, StB, you know it's true.

(*** anyone who knows me is aware that having me critique fashion is like having Stevie Wonder judge a painting contest)