There are a million variations of the same two options, and I've heard them all from everyone. Let's review :
a) I play better online than I do in Live Action. (see Otis)
b) I play better Live than I do online. (see JMC Automatic)
I'm sure one of the two applies to you. It's NL texas Hold-em and the RULES don't change. So why does the venue matter so much?More in this Poker Blog! -->
ESPN's beleagured pro Jackpot Jay says he thinks online games are far superior. He likes the speed and the good ole peace and quiet. I also suspect Jay ain't the social type.
BadBlood prefers the Live action games. Probably because he BUILT the damn table. For some reason, he actually IS better at live games. I feel like I'm pretty dang hard to put on a hand. I mix it up fairly well. BadBlood reads me clean about 90% on the time. I plan to get him drunk and find out how he does it.
Now, clearly, the two venues are very different. We see far more hands online. You could argue that this benefits a less patient player because, while we're still seeing the same percentage of playable hands, there is less time between them.
You could make the case that online play involves fewer "tells". True, there is less visible information, but I suspect the vast majority of players who prefer one style over the other aren't really using this added information anyway. I aslo suspect most players aren't playing at live games where their opponents are gathering much either.
Perhaps the level of concentration is a factor. There are fewer distractions online. At least, there are fewer distractions if you're unmarried and without children..but I digress.
Outside of bloggers, who always drink too much, the online player is more likely to be sober. Live players often will have a few "social" drinks which will often cloud their judgement. But many of the players I know who say they play better LIVE are also LIVE drinkers. Do they play better with muddled minds? If so the famous COSTANZA THEORUM applies.
Is it because the opponents are better/worse in one venue? I doubt that's true. From my experience there are about the same percentage of fish and solid players in a well-selected game...no matter where you play it.
There really should be no difference. But there is? Why? I scratch my dandruff, and think.
I used to be one of those who always said I'm better LIVE. I think that's because I played live less often and had a shoddier method of tracking my wins and losses.
I TOOK $700.00 - Cigarettes - tokes - tips + wins - losses - dinner + money
drunk silly Otis dropped on the floor - money drunk silly G-Rob lost at
blackjack = whatever?
Now I'm not so sure. I've been profitable at both, though my win rate is slightly higher live right now. I wonder though, which game most people would say they prefer. And why?<-- Hide More
Get in the game!!!! We've got the 2nd WPBT WSOP Satellite on Sunday night, and we're at just 29 entries. That's not enough to pay out a single seat.
Where is everyone?
I know you're intimidated by my exceptional talent, but that's no reason to cower in your living room and watch timidly from the rail. Log in and sign up. You know the deal. So what are you waiting for?
This ain't for you. It's for me.More in this Poker Blog! -->
1) Knowledge that isn't utilized is worse than ignorance.
2) Pride is not an excuse.
3) In the realm of cliches, it's not so much that patience is a virtue as haste truly makes waste.
4) To overcome envy, one must accept that it exists.
5) There's a reason it's called "instinct."
6) Furthermore, there is a reason they are called "decisions."
It's been a long week. Work has been a bit of a bear. The kid contracted rotovirus and ended up in the hospital for a bit. So, as Thurday drew to a close, I was more than happy to receive the following note via e-mail.
In short, I am now officially rowdy.More in this Poker Blog! -->
Otis:<-- Hide More
Congratulations! The World Series of Poker is the most prestigious Poker event in the world. This is your receipt for $1500 for your deposit for WSOP Event #2 on Friday, June 3, 2005 at 12 noon. Your deposit reserves you a seat in Event #2. Upon arrival at the RIO, to finalize your registration and to receive you table and seat assignment, please visit the Registration Window, located in the Tournament Area. You must complete your tournament registration at least one hour prior to your event. Please be prepared to provide proof of identity via a Drivers License, Passport, or Military I.D. This yearâ€™s WSOP events will no doubt be the largest and most exciting event in history. Harrahs continues to lead the industry in creating an innovative gaming experience for valued guests. Harrahs and the Tournament Staff sincerely wish you, â€œGOOD LUCK!!!â€
Funny thing about a rush, I thought it was just me. I've had seven sweet days, a honeymoon with absurdity, in that sweet feverish blaze. At one point, I sent Otis an IM just to tell him "I think a door has opened."
Granted, this whole "IM" thing is a little immasculating. I can picture CJ buzzing me with an update on "Mrs. Johnson's math test was, like, totally hard", which we all know is true. I usually save the online chat for something more substantial, like, y'know.
Totally.More in this Poker Blog! -->
CAST A SPELL ON YOU
Which brings me back to the rush.
I sent the e-message on Monday night. Late. At that point the 5 day total included some miraculous wins like a $200 heads-up tourney (which I won in 2 hands), 5 $20 SNG (all first place), 3rd place in a $30+3 MTT, and 3rd place in a $10+1MT Turbo. I was winning in every ring game, sometimes several buyins. It was as if I could not only put people on hands but could predict the flop. As BadBlood likes to say, Its hard to beat a player who uses ESP.
I got off early last Wednesday and ran to the "Poker Office". That was the Turbo game. I always thought the fast paced games suited me well becuase I am an aggressive idiot. Idiots loooove turbo. The third place finish earned a net... as I've posted before... of a little more that $200.00.
That night I tried a $30+3. I figured, why not, it's house money. Not only did I finish 3rd but it took a nasty suckout at the final table to kick me out. Again, I've already posted the payout. That, however, wasn't as important as the sense of well being. I played great. My post flop play was spot-on. I knew when the bad guys were on an overcard draw and busted them with a good bet. I could read every draw and bailed hard on the obvious set.
This was all my doing. The body makes adreneline. I manufactured the rush.
Thursday night, I hit the always popular dealers choice game at the BadBlood hotel and casino. The tables are nice and the waitress is hot so its always a nice game. 3 hours, 12 games of "Eric's #1 game", and a million 3-6 Hold-ems later and I'm up $180.00
Friday night I spent quality time with the wife. "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" is quite lovely. The wine was great. I was great, too. Alas, no poker.
Saturday was 3 of the SNGs. I won them all. In one case, I was 10th out of 10 with T175. I waged war on good sense and doubled...tripled...and quadrupled up.
This put me in a very pleasant place. It gave my lips and gums a tingling feeling. I talked too fast and my hands were shaking. Rush nothing. I'm BLASTED!
Sunday more of the SNG fun. I told BadBlood about the tourneys (IM again) and he seemed incredulous. Even Otis, the profound pontificate of poker, was at a loss for words. He may have been preoccupied with a sale at J-Crew. He's a metro-sexual. Nevertheless...
By late Monday night, I was back on the girl-chatter device telling Otis about the ring games of the day. Hand of the day : My set of Aces beats a set of tens and a set of Jacks. On Wednesday night I had $350.00 in my UB account. At IM O'Clock Monday it was over $2000.00. It was then that I uttered the fateful words. I typed them actually, but YAHOO! gives us a sense of illusion.
"Otis," I said, "I think a door has opened. Poker is making sense"
YES FOLKS I AM THAT STUPID
It's been a difficult Tuesday. Not bad really, but the rush is clearly over. I'm 0-3 on SNGs. I've been treading water in the rings. I lost a MTT without any money after playing for 2 hours. I'm still right at $2000.00 (play dollars IRS... just for PLAY), but I've hit a plateau. On the bright side, for the past few days I've been playing poker non-stop. This will allow me to take a comfortable break. A few days to avoid the post-rush TILT.
Right now a friend of mine, who is a far superior poker player, is riding the MEGA-TILT. Brother, I hand the rush to you. I'm done.<-- Hide More
Per the request of another blogger, here is the finishing rank of all the players from last night. I don't have the time to link to all your blogs. Feel free to associate your name with you blog in the comments.More in this Poker Blog! -->
1 BobRespert--Won WSOP Seat
2 phillsievers --Chopped 2nd place money
3 JoeSpeaker --Chopped 2nd place money
4 txchach --Chopped second place money
7 Chops here
35 Bugsy 99
A few important notes...and a not-so-important note.
First: BOB=THE NUTS. Congrats to the guy who snubbed me during a 3am Pai Gow binge in Las Vegas last winner for winning the WPBT WSOP Event #2 satellite.
Now...More in this Poker Blog! -->
1) Good luck to all the WPBT members playing on PokerStars tonight. I'll be on the rail watching the action.
2) I'm a jerk sometimes. Maybe more than sometimes. Nonetheless, I unintentionally pulled a screwjob on the good folks at LasVegasVegas. No need to go into the details. The issue has been worked out. Regardless, it reminded me that I'd been meaning to push our readers over to LasVegasVegas. These guys are the hardest working poker bloggers out there. Go on over and be sure to check out the Poker Player Newpaper, which is by the far the most comprehensive poker news site on the market today. They've been kicking every other site's ass all week at the WPT.
3) There's a new blog out there and this is something I'm pretty proud of. When I joined Stars, I wanted to find a way to introduce poker blogging to the Stars community. The brand new Official PokerStars Blog was the answer. We launched it today. Wish me luck on this one. It promises to be a lot of work, but something worth the effort.
4) When I registered PokerPapers.com last year, I had a few ideas about what to do with it. Since then, it has gone through a couple variations. Now, I've turned it into a sort of portfolio site for myself. If you give a damn, go take a look. It's not finished yet, but it's okay for public comsumption.
Again, good luck to everybody tonight. I can't wait to see who'll be joining me in Event #2 of the WSOP.<-- Hide More
If you're not one of those people who believe there is a certain balance to the world, I'm not sure how you wake up in the morning. Without the "even-Steven," yin and yang, Julia Roberts and Lyle Lovett nature of balance, I don't think I could bear to breathe. After all, it's the "what come around goes around" mantra that lets us all believe that eventually karma will turn our way and that prick who laughs everytime he sucks out on us will eventually lose while holding quad aces.
Of course, this the only way I can explain (and, yea verily, accept) the fact that my one-time rush at the large buy-in tournament tables has slid to a grinding and blue-balling halt that has served to turn me into an introspective and often grumpy individual. After six for eight money finishes in tournament with buy-in of more than $150 (including two final table appearances), I have fallen into a hole that I'm fairly sure I dug.
Rule number one: When you're running well, don't talk about it. If you do, you've invited the fates to kick you squarely in the boys.More in this Poker Blog! -->
Outed on Empire
It was during this backslide, a tumultuous and nasty run of poor concentration and carelessness, that I found myself in a little $75+$7 on Empire. I justified the entry because it appeared the overlay for the $10K guarantee was going to be susbstantial.
Within the first ten minutes, yessir, within the first level I had dropped from my initial T1000 starting stack to a mere T20. How does that happen? Well, Otis catches a queen high raggedy rainbow flop with AQ in the small blind. A queen on the turn ain't the nuts, but it feels like it. Of course, my opponent holds a pocket pair and flopped a set on the turn to beat me with a boat.
On the verge of giving up for the rest of April, I managed to build my T20 up to T100. And then the T100 up to T400. And then up to T1000. By the end of level two, I was back up to my starting stack. By the second break I was sitting at T5000.
It was about this time that I enjoyed a moment bloggers like Dr. Pauly and BadBlood have written about. A reader (hey, Poker Diver) who knows Otis lore from this blog and PokerStars blogs, popped in to wish me luck.
In the end, the luck moved around the table the wrong way. Once we reached the money, I felt like I had a decent shot at the final table. Sadly, I got all-in preflop with my pocket kings and my opponent flopped a queen to match the two in his hand.
Seventeenth place paid a rocking $100, handing me an $18 profit for my time. In short, the only thing I got out of it was a good chip/chair story.
I tossed the laptop in a full laundry basket and fell alseep to restless dreams about my wife going homicidal and lawless. Seems like every time I have these dreams, I find myself running from the law in some way.
I think I have a guilty conscience.
The Country Club Game
It was 11:30am Saturday morning and I was speeding down a two-lane highway south of my little burg. A bar singer from my original hometown belted out of the CD player with the words "No one's gonna stop to pick up a stranger, and the stranger that you look, the faster they drive by." I had the window down, even though it was too chilly for such a thing. I ate Nutter-Butters, pounded Diet Mountain Dew, and checked my face in the rearview mirror.
I was on my way to a $250 buy-in NL Hold'em tournament at a local country club. When I pulled into the parking lot, there was a brand new black Corvette with the license plate "FLOPASET" and a H2Hummer with the license plate "THENUTZ."
I pulled out an envelope that contined another envelope that countained yet another envelope, inside which was my entire cash bankroll. Exactly why I'd chosen to bring the whole thing, I don't know. There was a part of me that believed I was about to enter the land of milk and honey, where rich boys play for real cash and Otis could finance his summer plans.
I pulled a few hundred bucks out of the inner envelope, packed the three envelopes together, then hid them all in a fourth envelope inside Emilio, my SDV-SUV. I stepped out, and, almost as an after thought grabbed a pair of cheap sunglasses to go along with my three card protectors, smaller roll of cash, Certs mini-mints, and two Diet Mountain Dews.
I will admit, as I walked up to the nice-appointed Country Club clubhouse, I had a brief vision of the movie "Rounders" where Mike and Worm fleece the rich boys with the help of that good looking, curly-headed girl. The thoughts disappeared though as I climbed the stairs to the second floor.
A couple dozen people milled around the room. I recognized a few from earlier games at The Mark, BadBlood's, or in the nearby town of Easley. There were other folks who looked familiar, but I couldn't place them.
Chafing dishes lined the walls and would eventually be filled with appetizers. A guy dressed like a butler came around taking drink orders. Giant windows opened up the view of the first tee at the golf course. I stood and watched as one hacker battled the wind and splashed into the water hazard on his first tee-shot. Serves the screwball right for hitting from the back tees on a windy day.
It took a while to figure out how many players we actually had. It was just enough time for me to lose my nerves, then get them back, then lose them again. I passed the time talking to Rank, a regular at BadBlood's who regularly-- and calmly-- sucks out on me. Rank had just come back from Vegas and had nice things to say about the new MGM poker room. That's where I'm staying in June, so I promised to check it out.
Ultimately, the tournament director accounced we had 31 people putting up $250 a piece. He would be paying four places.
False impressions of my own creation
There's a guy who used to work at my old job. The guy was one of those people who never shut up. One time, I tried to out-talk him. I cut him off in mid-sentence. Rather than stopping the word he was on, he hung on it. "Chicken finnnnnnnnnnnnn" he sputtered, the air slipping from his lungs while I talked. Amazingly, he held the word until I finished talking and continued his setence as if I had said nothing at all.
The guy who got sat immediately to my left in the Country Club game could've been Mr. Talker's brother. He sounded like him, looked quite a bit like him, and had facial impressions like him. The only thing was, although I had immediately pegged him as a dolt because he looked like Mr. Talker, he wasn't an idiot. Within the first 30-minute level, he had liberated one player's entire stack holding pocket aces that made a boat on the turn (incidentally, his opponent had such a marginal hand, I thought it might've been a case of chip dumping. Being new to the game, though, I kept my mouth shut).
In the first hour and a half, I played few memorable hands. Pocket jacks on the button got two callers but looked ugly after an ace came on the flop. AQ in the small blind flopped two-pair and had a bettor behind me with a weak ace. Ready for the check-raise, the board paired on the turn and put a possible flush out there on the turn. I won the hand, but didn't maximize my profits on it.
At the first break I was just barely above my T2000 starting stack.
During the break, I got into a conversation with a guy who noticed my WPBT Holiday Classic T-shirt.
"What's that" he asked.
I did my best to explain the concept of online poker writing, yada yada, "Have you ever heard of poker blogs?"
That's when a guy dressed in all black behind me said, "I had a blogger write about me before. I was in Nassau at the WPT event and sat next to Daniel Negreanu all day."
I cut him off, "That was me."
Oddly enough, a local player here played at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and I had blogged about him earlier this year. When he gave me his name (and oddly, an approximation of his net worth), I figured out who he was. His name is one synonymous with a chain of car dealerships here.
I wandered around the room during the break. I'd already been pegged as "That writer guy" and several poeple stopped to ask me when my next article is coming out (incidentally, the anwer is next month in CardPlayer).
A few of the guys stroked my ego for a while, either peppering me with questions about my travels or complimenting me on the restraint I showed when I flopped the two-pair with he AQ. I knew it was all bullshit. These guys are poker players and they don't give a damn about me. They want my money.
Then one guy stopped the conversation and looked at me.
"Has anyone ever told you that you look like Tom Green?" he asked, as if it was the most serious question in the world.
I looked at him and tried to figure out of he was needling me or not. I explained that, no, I'd never been told I looked like Tom Green, that he was the first to ever bring up such a possibility. I said I considered myself more a "Josh Charles" or, if I'm lucky, "Wil Wheaton" type of character. I'm the average white boy. And I'm not Canadian.
Given, in the past month, I've let some scrub brush grow out on my face in what will likely be a failed experiment in testosterone fiddling. Perhaps that's what led the guy to liken me to the Canadian shock comic.
I tried not to think about it, but it stuck in my head as I went back for the second 90 minutes of play.
Again, there was nothing particularly remarkable about my play except for my lack of it. I rarely got involved, dutifully folding any ace that didn't have paint attached to it, shunning suited connectors, and playing very careful with just about any hand I saw. It was no way to win a tournament, but I was there more for a $250 lesson in table performance.
Over the course of the next four hours, I never rose above T3000 in chips. I established such a tight image that no one would play with me. I even ran a successful semi-bluff against a guy who laid down top pair.
By the time we had made it down to 12 players, I was desperately shortstacked. I hated myself for playing such a weak game and not picking up more chips. I finally pushed in with pocket nines and, true to form, nobody called. The blinds sustained me long enough to lay down the best hand (for the third time in one day) and make it to the final table.
I am not a Rank amateur
I called G-Rob in the break before the final table. When I told him the blinds were at 150/300 and I had less than 900 in chips, he laughed.
"Well, you can at least hope to draw the button and survive for...ten more hands."
I agreed. That would be my strategy: get lucky.
When I returned to the tournament area, I drew a seat in the middle of the very nice table (race track along the outer edge green speed cloth in the middle, etc). True to form, BadBlood's regular, Rank, drew the button, putting me directly in the big blind.
I paid no attention to my cards as the entire table folded around to Rank on the button. He simply called. The small blind, perhaps thinking I would push all in for my remaining 525 chips (+300 BB), folded. I took a look at my cards and didn't hate them. I held K8o. I decided I wouldn't push ...yet.
The flop came down KQx. Without a second thought, I announced, "I'm all in."
The table laughed at me. Apparently, I was a bit to forceful when I made my announcement. One guy said, "I believe you, man."
Rank thought for a few seconds, long enough for me to know I was ahead. How far ahead, I couldn't tell. I figured him for a Q in his hand to be thinking so long. if he were to call it would be 525 into a 1275 pot. Not quite 2.5:1 odds.
Finally, Rank announced, "I'll call."
"I have the king," I said, flipping over the sure winner, the hand that would surely give me enough chips to double up once more and play for the money.
Quietly, Rank turned over 9T.
I was thankful for the call. He was drawing dead to runner-runner or a jack (I suspect he had to know that...).
Rank, dealing from the button, picked up the cards, burned one, and peeled a jack from the deck, filling in his gutshot, and maintaiing his reputation as the Suck Out King.
I could only muster, "That's appropriate."
I stood from the table and decided it was time to quit playing for the day. I bypassed a rocking $500 max-buy-in NL game and headed for the house.
When I got home, my wife, kid, and a goodly portion of the house were covered in puke. The family had gone down to a little festival called Artisphere and the kid had gotten sick. Now everything was drenched in vomit and I was home from a poker tournament where I had busted out short of the money.
Just fine, I thought.
After the kid stopped puking (which he later resumed, by the way), I suggested to the wife we rent a movie and eat a big mess of shrimp in front of the TV.
I popped up to Hollywood Video, grabbed "Ocean's 12", and stood in line.
A guy and his two son's walked up and Dad gave me the look I've seen many times. It's a look that is almost always follwed by, "Hey, I know you. You're on the TV."
I gave him a friendly nod and "howyadoin'."
He looked at me again, closer this time. And then, I kid you not, he said, "Has anyone ever told you that you look like Tom Green?"<-- Hide More
All my friends can say is 'ain't it a shame.'
Long, long poker day my friends. And for some damn reason I'm still up at 4:40 AM. I'm sleepy enough that it took 400 thumbjams on the "print screen" function to discover that it wouldn't work on my UB tourney. I'm wired enough that I've just shaken the wife awake to tell her about a poker tournament. I live a pathetic life.More in this Poker Blog! -->
But good news dear reader
It's been a fantastic day. I left work early after finishing a special story for the May ratings book about the BadBlood clan playing online poker. It turned out great and I'll post a bit when the thing airs.
Best part : Bad Blood chides his 5 year old after the kid knocks daddy out of the game...ON A CHECK-RAISE!
The guy has great kids.
I got home early enough to play a 5PM 5+.50 on UB. 388 players in a "turbo" format. Normally I hate those things but this was another case of G-Rob wants to play without reading the directions. For 30 years I've thought you got money for landing on "Free Parking" for exactly the same reason.
Anyhoo....I finished 3rd.
Net profit $210.00
Surely the Bad Beats are Coming??!
Sort of. You knew they would.
At about 7:00 the charming Mrs. Blood pops up in Yahoo IM. She invites me to a local $20 tournamet which, of course, I attended. After flopped set over flopped set.....runner runner flush over flopped top pair....and etc. etc....you get the deal.
HAND OF THE NIGHT : Bad Blood in the BB calls and all-in from the SB
Bad Blood shows 7,7
SB shows QQ
Bad Blood catches the runner runner runner runner straight.
SO WHY AM I AWAKE AT 4:40?
God I'm glad I asked. I tried my luck at the 1AM $30+3...again on UB. 177 players...I finished 3rd...AGAIN.
But the good news is...
Net Profit :$730
TOTAL PROFIT ONLINE $ 940
TOTAL MINUS STUPID TOURNEY WITH A REBUY
I sometimes suck less than I think.<-- Hide More
We've had a few questions regarding the now guaranteed WPBT seat in WSOP Event #2. Hopefully this will answer some of your questions.More in this Poker Blog! -->
Q. Why can't readers play?
A. This event is planned as a promotion for the dedicated members of the poker blogging community. We are hoping to host a WPBT blogger/reader tournament next month.
Q. (via ToddCommish)Not to be a complete newbie at this... but how does one "claim" the prize? Is the registration for this seat going to be arranged through PokerStars, or is the winner simply EXPECTED to take the $1500 prize and pay the entry fee on their own?
A. As of right now, PokerStars is not set up to register our winner for the event. Here's how it will work: Once the tournament is complete, a Host at Stars will cut up the winnings, giving $1500 to the winner and the remaining cash to second place. The winner is the responsible for going to this link and pre-registering for Event #2. After pre-registering, you write a personal check or send a money wire to a specific address. That money will confirm your registration in the event. However, you are also responsible for registering on-site.
Q. What's to keep me from winning this sat and just keeping the money
A. Nothing. Except this. If you do that, everyone who played in the tournament will consider you a complete ass. A real freakin' donkey who can't be trusted. If you're just looking to try to win $1500 to buy your girlfriend a new collection of diamante-studded thongs and stiletto heels (or, in the case of our female bloggers, the same outfit for your boyfriends), put your $30 in a MTT and win there. That is, only play if you're planning to use your winnings for the WSOP Event #2.
Q. Okay. I'm planning on not paying attention to the above answer and just keeping the money. What's to keep me from just saying I waited too long to register and then keeping the money to buy lap dances and Soco in Vegas.
A. Because I know you have time register if you do it on Sunday night after the tournament and then send your check that same week. Don't fool around. Get'er done.
Q. Cool, so I have time to regiester.
A. Barely. The event is going to be capped at 2200 people. I suspect it will fill up. YOU MUST PRE-REGISTER AND YOU MUST DO IT WITHIN ONE WEEK OF WINNING. If you wait you're going to be up against an online promotion that could kill your chances of getting in.
Q. So, you want me to waste my $1500. For what?
A. First, it's not a waste. It's living out a fantasy. Go see BadBlood's Fantasy Challenge. Second, if you are the winner of a seat in this event, I will personally buy and ship to your your choice of Maudie-designed WPBT t-shirt or trucker hat to wear during the tournament (Restrictions apply. Inquire after your win).
Q. But what if I win, then do well in the tournament. I'll miss the Aladdin Classic.
A. Actually, you might not. Play on Saturday won't begin until 2pm or 4pm. So you can still make it. (Boy, you're really thinking ahead).
Q. I have a kickball game/Jewish event/scuba diving class that may run long. Can I still sign up?
A. Registration will be open until just before the tournament begins. So, yes. And frankly, if Al Can't Hang can play from a laptop in the Florida Keys, you can make it home to your computer.
Okay, that's all for now. Any more questions? Leave'em here.<-- Hide More
UPDATE 4/20: We hit it.
Rock and roll. Al Can't Hang signed up as the 50th player (he plans to play from the Keys...heheheh). So, we've made the nut and got the cash now to guarantee the first seat in Event #2 of the WSOP, where you'll play with the likes of many well-known pros and the rowdy folks like Otis, Greenwood Phil, and a host other possible malcontents.
Now, go surprise me and see if we can make two seats.
If you're a blogger, plan to play, and haven't signed up, go get your spot now.
Okay, I usually try to come up with some halfway interesting anecdote to hook you into reading to the point of my posts. However, the inherent risk is burying the lead. This possibe enormity of this, however, leads me to just come right out with it.
There is no need to be a sweater at the WSOP this year. The WPBT has your antiperspirant.
If you are an established blogger and write about poker, you have a chance to turn $33 into a World Series of Poker bracelet.More in this Poker Blog! -->
Okay, with that said, you'll have to wade through my drivel or scroll to the bottom for details.
Sitting on my coffee table is an envelope addressed to the accounting department of the Rio Suite Hotel and Casino in Vegas. Inside is my registration form and entry fee into Event #2 of the the WSOP.
Now, I'm not the best tournament player around. Not even close. However, my new employment has cut into my chances to win online satellites into big events. For the past year or so, I've been wanting to test my mettle against some of the better tournament players. Not because I think I can win, but just for the experience.
When CJ announced the Aladdin Classic was going to be on June 4, the first thing I did after RSVPing for the WPBT event was check to see what WSOP events were going on that weekend. I was pleased to see there was a NL Hold'em event.
I've been having a pretty good year, so far. And, so, I decided I was going to play. I knew I'd have a couple of poker buddies or new poker buddies playing with me. Greenwood Phil and his crew is heading out for the event. I think Easycure friend Mr. Bush will be out there playing as well.
I'll admit, while I think I have little chance of making it far in the tournament, I occasionally fantasize about the possiblity of making the final table and having a drunken, screaming posse of WPBT members on the rail.
So, when Iggy came up with the idea of running a WSOP satellite, I hoped he would choose Event #2. And he did. Bless the Blogfather.
So, the fantasy grows.
On April 24th, the World Poker Blogger Tour will host the first ever WSOP Event #2 satellite. Just $33 dollars will buy you into the event.
We need 50 entries. I'm confident we'll make it. In fact, I'd love to get 100 entries and give away two seats.
There is the possibility that there will be more than one of these events, but I have a warning.
I've recently learned the WSOP will cap this event at 2200 participants. I think there is a very good chance the event will sell out very early. There are some other things I know that lead me to believe this even more strongly. So, if you want this seat, now is your time to get it.
Now, I have a request.
All along, the point of this is two-fold.
First, it gives bloggers who don't necessarily want to raid their bankroll a chance to play in a big event when all their poker blogging brethren will be in town.
Second, on the chance that a blogger does well, it offers our little community a chance to get some exposure.
So, if you want to play in this, keep those things in mind.
I won't be playing in the satellite for two reasons. First, I'd planned on buying in anyway. Second, the event is being hosted on Stars where I am contractually prohibited from playing. Iggy asked if I'd prefer if it were somewhere else (again, bless the Blogfather), but I said 'no.'
When it comes down to it (and this isn't just me talking) Stars has the best support in the online poker world. And I can tell you, a few folks went out of their way to make sure the event is set up correctly.
So...you'll need to go to Iggy for all the details and private password. You'll need to give him your blog URL and such.
Once you do that, the tournament is up on the Stars site under private tournaments.
DO NOT WAIT to sign up.
And just think, you could be THAT blogger, sitting at the final table, playing for the bracelet, while a drunken Otis, Iggy, Al Can't Hang, G-Rob, Badblood, a sober BG and CJ, and 50 other bloggers crow from the rail.
Hit Iggy and sign up today.<-- Hide More
Well, I'm not sure we've gotten very far in securing a few famous faces for our Aladdin Casino Classic in June. So, I'm going to reach out to a contact who might be able to secure some invites for us.
With that in mind, I need to know who you want to play with. Leave your top-5 list in the comments. I'll build a composite list and get it to my contact and we'll see what happens!
Thank god this is figuratively speaking... although in south Louisiana, you can never tell.
Although if it's gonna happen, at least the Hilton Sisters were involved...More in this Poker Blog! -->
I'm back at the scene of my greatest comeback ever.
This time, we've got 11 people at the table with $10 a piece in the pot. We started with T1000 chips and were a few hands in. I'm down to T900.
I'm dealt pocket Q's in late position with blinds at 25/50. It's raised to T200 and there are two callers in front of me. That means there's T675 in the pot. I decide to push all in figuring I'll either double up without a showdown or be in good shape against a caller.
First, the BB pushes all in for less. Then the original raiser fights with himself before folding. Then I get called again. Then another player pushes all in for T950. That puts four of us into a pot worth T3775.
I say, "Let's turn 'em up." And everyone shows except the last caller. He's the one who made the final call of T700 into a pot worth T2975. When he flips K8 of clubs, I understand why he was so reluctant to show his cards.
That means the guy first called the T150 raise with a suited K, then called three all-ins with a suited K. Could someone with a good knowledge of odds tell me if this was a good call against three unknown hands? Could he really figure either of his cards were live?
I certainly didn't want to play my Q's against three callers. In my mind, I thought I might be behind. Instead, my other two opponents flipped A8o and AJo.
To recap: QQ vs. A8o vs. AJo vs. K8s
Once I punched that in the handy dandy Hand Analyzer, I learned I won this hand 50% of the time. It ended up being a coin flip for me. Surprisingly, the K8s won about 25% of the time. I guess that means he was getting good odds on his money. The AJo won about 16% and the A8o only 4%.
The flop was all rags, but the K on the turn was enough to knock me out. I got no help on the river.
The guy said he called because there was so much money in the pot, he figured if he got lucky he'd own the table. I suppose I can't argue with that.
The problem is that I didn't like the guy to begin with. He talked a big game and kept telling everyone he plays poker everyday. He certainly didn't show it. Earlier in the night, he berated another player for not checking down a short-stack who was all-in. The girl had next to nothing and was never going to be a threat. He took all the fun out of it for her and she left the table a little dejected. I thought he was rude all the way around.
So when he sucked out on me on that huge pot, I was none too pleased. I let out an expected, "You called with K8 of clubs!?!?!?" But I left it at that. It's poker. That's the way it goes. And for 10 bucks... can you blame him?<-- Hide More
It was several years ago. I was sitting at a Pai Gow poker table. Actually my cocktail was sitting at the table. I was in the bottom of the glass and using the stir-straw as an airway to the high-octane-oxygenated air above.
I was just a few hours away from hitting the Bellagio poker room for the first time and in lock-stock-and-barrel preparation for a fully ill-equipped session of losing poker.
What did I know, you know? I was a low-stakes blackjack player who'd been lured into the sleezy and backstabbing world of Pai Gow poker, where cocktail waitresses will come by once every ten minutes if you leave a dollar chip on the padded rail and Pai Gow sharks will hit the dragon hand every time. Everyone looked at me funny when I asked if it was appropriate to chase the dragon at the table.
I left my tin foil and lighter in my pocket.
From the bottom of my glass, I'd been pestering the pit boss for a steak and eggs comp. I understood I'd have to play another three hours if I wanted my breakfast. And then, through the grapefruit juice and vodka, I heard the sound.More in this Poker Blog! -->
At first I thought the low-rent casino had given up on the idea of a lounge act and just started piping pre-recorded music through the room. After all, every song that came through sounded exactly like the original performer. Tom Jones, Aretha Franklin, Pat Boone.
I emerged from my glass for a much-needed trip to the restroom. The towel guy in the head was holding a mint for me. Later I would learn from Joey Two-Hands that pit bosses frown on playing a breath mint for the dealer, but I didn't know that then.
As I passed by the lounge, I realized, it was not pre-recorded music. It was an actual lounge act. I watched the lead singer as he shifted and moved and changed his voice with every song. The only thing that made the guy more amazing was that he was a heavily-accented Asian guy.
Fucking amazing, I thought, then stumbled to the bathroom for my dollar breath-mint.
Now, I know, that little tale has nothing to do with poker.
But it does.
See, poker is a musical game. It has a clearly designed pattern like notes on a sheet music staff, but can fall into long periods of improvisation and chaos, a lot like a night I lay out of my mind on a blanket at a Grateful Dead show while a fourteen-year-old hackey-sacked Head sat stoned out of his mind behind me.
These days a lot of players bring their iPods to the table. I have no real problem with it. It's a good way to break up the hours of monotony. I'd do it, but I have a serious need to listen to the table banter.
But it got me to thinking today. If bloggers had iPods at the table, to what would they be listening? Furthermore, does it say anything about their style of play?
I don't think I've reached any conclusions on the latter, but I certainly know a few things about the former.
It's no big secret that the resident kings of the Headbangers Ball are Al Can't Hang and Bad Blood. Common sense would say they would be reckless, screaming, booze-swilling malcontents with a penchant for biting the heads of live koalas and check-raising with the jack-hammer, just because they like to show it down.
Well, that's half true, I guess.
Enter Pauly and Up For Poker's own G-Rob. From the Dead to Widespread to Phish, one would think these guys would be happy to sit back and let the cards come as they may, the results be damned.
Um...not so true.
The Americana Boys
From old school country to the acoustic stylings of Uncle Tupelo, folks like The Fat Guy, Iggy, HDouble, and the Poker Prof are right at home under the sunds of a slide guitar and beer-soaked song. Drunken country-brawlers, though? Not so much.
And then...there is of course, DJ Boy Genius and the Slick-Willies with their groovin' hip hop sounds.
I tend to fit in with the Americana Boys category more than any other, although I have found myself with The Heads from time to time. And my iPod currently has everything from the Bottle Rockets, to Uncle Tupelo, to the Beatles, to the Beatie Boys, to Etta James.
I'm eclectic, what can I say?
I only bring it up, because several dozen of us will be converging on Vegas in less than two months. Sure, we'll all have poker to bring us together. At the same time, I think that the only thing that brings people together better than poker is music.
So, I offer the comments section here for the Vegas-bound. If you were to wear an Ipod at the table, what would be on it?<-- Hide More
Here he is... he's doing better after some more tense moments. Update below.More in this Poker Blog! -->
From the comments over at Up For Anything, Mom (that's Jen) tells us:
First, thanks everyone for the thoughts and prayers. They seem to be doing the job. JP was taken off of the respirator this afternoon, days earlier than they originally thought it would happen. Steve and I were there for it, and it was a question whether the nurse or our feisty little boy was going to be the one to pull the tube out!
He's still on supplemental oxygen and still has a serious lung infection (he passed his first bowel movement, called meconium, in utero and aspirated it before he was born), but the docs are as close to 100% certain as they're comfortable being that he's going to be just fine.
Steve and I are both grateful for the quick work and professionalism of the staff here at Portsmouth Naval Hospital--they saved JP's life.
Those other tense moments I mentioned were an issue with a collapsed lung earlier today. There were some issues with the tubes and machines used to keep JP breathing, but it sounds like all that will heal in due time as well. Thanks you all of you for your kind words.<-- Hide More
I became an uncle today for the very first time. What would normally be some of the best news of my life has been tempered by some complications.
Jeffrey Paul Johnson was born at about 3:30 ET, but the delivery was anything but smooth.
Once my sister went into labor, there seemed to be a problem with JP's heart rate. The doctors were concerned enough that they rushed my sister to the OR. Once there, the doctors decided there wasn't enough time to do anything buy knock my sister out and perform a cesarean.
When JP was born, there was a problem with his breathing. In fact, he didn't seem to be breathing very well on his own at all. Before Jen or Steve could even see him, he was taken to the NICU so he could be hooked up to a ventilator.
JP has some kind of lung infection he picked up while in the womb. The doctors are worried that if he's taken of the ventilator, he won't want to use his lungs because it will hurt, and he hasn't learned yet that his lungs are the only way he'll be able to breathe.
The good news is that other than that, JP appears to be very healthy. And my sister came through it all okay (she's still a little woozy from the medication, so I haven't talked to her yet). Steve seems to be handling it all really well, but he and Jen have always been strong.
It's a delicate time right now, and I could really use your prayers. I've got plans to teach JP how to play volleyball and disc golf and, most importantly, poker. I'm his godfather, after all, so I've got lots of responsibilities. The biggest is doing whatever I can to make it sure he gets through the next few weeks okay.
I was back at the Coushatta Casino today for a little No Limit Hold 'Em. Once again, I tried to get there in time for the noon tourney, but travelling the wrong way on I-10 for 20 minutes put me there as the tournament director was getting things started.
So I got my name on the NL list ($100-$200 buy-in, $1/$3 blinds), and sat down at the 3/6/12 table in the meantime. After giving up $40 there in about 45 minutes, they opened a new NL table and I took my seat.
When the day ended, I walked away with absolutely nothing. It was a losing session at a table I know I can beat. A table I've beaten before. But it came down to just 4 hands.More in this Poker Blog! -->
1. Pocket Aces, don't they always lose (when played poorly)?
I'm in late position when I look down at Rockets. Up until this point, I'd seen pocket T's, J's and Q's. The premium pairs were coming my way, and the first three were big winners. I had turned $200 into more than $400, and it was early. I figured the A's would just keep me rolling.
I raised to $10 out of early position. Looking back, this was mistake #1. It's that fine line between getting some money in the pot while not scaring everyone away. I got three callers.
The first card I see off the flop is the Ace of spades. Fireworks are going off in my head. that's until I see the ten of spades and the two of spades to follow. It's checked to me and I bet $20. I get one caller.
I think his name was Terry. He's in the 9 seat, wearing a terrible toupee. He's also got 9 gaudy rings on his 8 fingers (no thumb rings). He's wearing an 80's style windbreaker with a "shirt" of a similar material underneath. Both the jacket and "shirt" are zipped halfway down.
The previous hand, Terry had American Airlines himself. He was so excited by his cards that his hand shook like a washing machine as he moved his chips into the pot. I guess you could say he had a tell.
The turn is the 7 of diamonds. In my mind, I'm just begging for the board to pair, but I wasn't going to assume I was beat. I've often felt that's a problem I have, assuming everyone else has the nuts. He checks and I bet $30 this time, and he called again.
What should that have told me? Was he on a four-card flush draw? Did he already have it, and was slow playing me? Did he have a piece of the flop, but not enough to raise?
The river is another blank. Dammit. I'd like to think my trip A's are good, but I'm not sure. Terry checks again. I pause. I should check here, right? If I'm beat, that means I won't lose any more money. If he's beat, he'll fold to a big bet anyway, right? Or I could be just enough to get him to call, right??? Right???
Wrong. I throw $50 out this time. He immediately check-raises me for another $100, his hand frantically shaking the whole time. He's got the flush. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind. If I had just check, I'd have saved myself $50. Of course, I shouldn't compound my mistake by calling, right? Right???
There was $230 in the pot, and Terry's $100 made it $330. That means I was calling another $100 to win that $330. It was a stupid call. But I made it anyway. He flipped over K5 of spades.
It was an extra $150 I just threw away on the river. I spent the next 10 minutes beating myself up over my stupidity.
2. The Stone-Cold Bluff
I'm dealt AJo, and I raise to $10. A couple of people call me. The flop is A-6-3, two clubs. I'm in early position and I bet $20 with two callers. I'm not sure why I bet so little. The pot was about $40 and I had top pair with a good kicker. I'm pretty sure I was ahead at this point.
The turn was another A. Great! Now I know I'm holding a winner. I bet another $40. A young heavy-set guy at the other end of the table smooth calls. He hadn't played many hands, so I didn't have any kind of read on him.
The river is the third club. It's exactly what I didn't want to see. Suddenly, visions of that spade flush from earlier flashed through my head. And that's when I made my big mistake.
Could there have been a greater invitation to buy the pot? The heavyset kid quickly grabs a stack of twenty $5 chips and pushes it past the line. He was telling me he had a flush. I had to decide if he was telling the truth.
Had I bet into the pot, I think he still might have thrown out a significant raise. I should have bet bigger before the river, but I didn't. He bet $100 into a $180 pot and I had to decide whether it was worth another $100. Last time I made this choice, it was the wrong one. But I knew I was beat in that case.
This time, I wasn't sure, but I laid it down anyway. He flipped over 45o. It was a stone-cold bluff. And his flip wasn't apologetic or jovial, it was cocky. He was saying, "Ha, I outplayed you, you fish." I guess he was right.
Intermission: The Rush
At that point, I was getting close to about $50 and I bought another $50 in chips. For the day, that put me in for $290. I was kicking myself for those two hands, but I vowed to put them behind me.
It's Cowboys and I win a pot. Then it's J9o from the BB and I win some more. My AQo outflops AKs and it's another nice pot. I get pocket A's again and this time it never makes it to the showdown. I'm up to $340.
I get my first Big Slick, in clubs and I raise to $15 with a couple of callers. The flop is Jc-Tc-x. I bet $25 and another guy pushes all in for $111. It's gonna cost me $86 on a complete draw. I know I have some outs, but I'm not sure how many.
Best case, he's got top pair or an overpair of Q's. If that's the case, I could have as many as 9 clubs, three K's, three A's and two or four Q's. That's 17 or 19 outs twice. That means I'm actually a favorite. I call and he flips pocket Q's, including one club. That makes me a 55% favorite. Without doing the actual math in my head, I make the call. The A on the turn puts my stack at $501.
AQo, K6o and KQo all also win me pots and I'm now at $750. It's probably time to leave, right?
3. It's Ace-rag, and I hate Ace-rag
I'm in the SB when I see A6o. There are 5 pre-flop callers so I toss in two more bucks and the BB checks. The flop is A-J-7. I suspect I may have the only Ace, since no one raised pre-flop, but I check, and so does everyone else.
The turn is another Ace. I think I've been here before, but this time there's no flush draw on the board. I bet $25 and the BB is the only one who calls me. The river is a 9. I bet $50 and he pushes for about $150 more.
Ugh. What have I gotten myself into? Am I being played again?
If I look back over the betting, it doesn't make sense. I lose to AK, AQ, AJ, AT, A9 or A7, or pocket 7's, 9's, or J's. As I look at that list of hands, I just couldn't imagine the BB checking. He had generally raised preflop with those holdings. I guess pocket 7's or A7 or A9 might have been checking hands. If he's got an A with a bad kicker, we'd split. Was he trying to buy my half of the pot?
He flipped AJ. Once again, I called someone holding the nuts. I'm a genius.
4. Snowmen, now I remember why I hate snow
It's the very next hand. That means about 10 minutes ago, I had about $700. Soon, it would all be gone.
I look down at pocket 8's and I raise to 15 pre-flop. I get a couple of callers. The flop is T-7-3. It's not great, but it could be a lot worse. I bet out $20 and get one caller. The turn is another T. Okay, maybe my 8's are good.
I check and it's bet $50. Does he really have a ten? I elect to call. Maybe I was steaming. I thought my hand might be good, but maybe I was just fooling myself.
The river is an 8!!!!! Jackpot!!!! That's great! Even if I made the bad call against the T, my hand is now good. Well, I suppose he could be holding pocket T's (very unlikely) or T8, T7 or T3 (but who would call a $15 raise with that?).
I bet $100. My opponent immediately pushes all in for about another $140 and I beat him into the pot with my call. I had him outchipped by $81. I proudly flip my 8's and he shows me the T7.
It wasn't the nuts, but it was damn near close, and for the third time, I got my money into the pot when I was dead or way, way behind. How did it happen? What did I do wrong?
And it was all gone
It was only a few hands later when I officially busted out. I was dealt AJo and I raised to $15 from early position. I got two callers.
The flop wa K-Q-T, two spades. I flopped the nut straight, but don't be fooled by that description.
I pushed for $30 and the next guy raised to isolate me. I showed my hand, but the other guy held onto his cards. Slow-rolling is a serious problem at this casino. No one seems to want to show their cards, but I digress...
The turn is a J, meaning any A split my pot, dammit. And the river was a Q. He flipped over KQ, meaning the river filled him and my day was done.
For the almost 7 hour session, I felt I played pretty well. If I check with my Aces, that's $150 I would have saved. If I call with my trip aces, I would have taken in another $280. If I lay down my A6, that's another at least $150. And if I lay down my pocket 8's, that's another about $300. The KQ on the last hand was the only suckout but that was a $105 pot. In all, we're talking $985.
In fact, if I somehow win those pots instead of losing, we're talking a total of about $1650 instead of walking out of the casino down $290.
But it all happened, and that's poker. In NL, your sessions are often predicated on just a few big hands, and my biggest hands were all losers. In all four cases, I completely mis-read my opponents. Three times they were holding monsters and I couldn't see them. The fourth time, it was a stone-cold bluff and I imagined the nuts.
So someone tell me how else I went wrong...<-- Hide More
Here's a vital update : it STILL doesn't taste like "orange". From the last post to this one I've sucked down 3 Marlboro Ultra Lights. Its a helluva rollback for me and, this way, if I do get cancer it'll be the ultra-light variety. Probably just a little discomfort, maybe I'll drop a few unwanted pounds, and my athletic prowess will dwindle to Otisian levels...that's all.
Nicorette, meanwhile, is all the addiction of drug use without the joyful comraderie of passing the pipe.More in this Poker Blog! -->
TWO OF 'EM..
..came on Thursday at the weekly BadBlood game. Last week (IRS NOTE : THIS IS FOR PLAY MONEY ONLY) I won big in the bi-weekly 2/4 HORSE game and followed it up with a nice win in a $30 rebuy tournament the next day. But when Thursday HORSE is in an off-week the game is dealers choice and I'm in deep chit.
You know these games. Before the big Hold-'em explosion this is all you ever played. Hell, I'd wager your granny spent more than a few eveings with women named Gladys and Margie slurping high balls and playing re-damn-diculous card games for money. To make this game more authentic I'm suggesting that BadBlood spend more time wearing knee-high stockings and bitching about loud music.
This Thursday was the STANK AT RANK or the game at Rankster's house. He's a classy guy and he has a very nice place. But why does it seem fitting that I sat on a dining room chair covered in plastic for protection? Even the table surface was covered with a nice paisley sheet so the surface wouldn't scratch. When his small Colonial wig of a mutt curled up in his lap for the very first deal, well, HIGHBALL ANYONE?
Now there are always cooler heads at a game like this. BadBlood, to his credit, always called for 2/4 Limit Hold-em. God Bless the Blood. And Wally Backman, now retired from the '86 Mets, kept calling 7-card stud. What noble efforts..wasted on the the granny-centric lot.
Would I like to buy a card for what? No..I've never been to Kansas City? Match the pot!!! F-YOU! As a rule, dear reader, if the entire table pitches in to explain the game to you WHILE ITS BEING DEALT...sit that hand out. More than once I had 20 bucks invested in a pot only to find out later I was already drawing dead. Not that I could've known. I didn't know how many draws remained. After briefly flirting with a profitable night my (IRS = FAKE) bankroll shrank by a triple digit dose. MeMaw rolled over in the dirt.
I'm back on the gum today. And this week I'm back to HORSE. That's very good news. If anyone has good advice on this whole smoking thing let me know. I'll be chewing the bark off an Elm.<-- Hide More
First, check out yet another big score from Otis. The guy is just unstoppable...
And now, read about some exciting news from the Aladdin. It looks like we're now confirmed for at least 6 tables by the Aladdin, and there's a possibility of more. The Aladdin's poker room will be expanding to two more tables by then.
That means the confirmed list jumps to 55!! We'll still hold those other 5 seats for pros and invited guests. If things go well, we'll be able to accomodate all players. The updated RSVP list can be found over at the WPBT official web site.
Please make sure you show the Aladdin our appreciation whenever you can. If you're in Vegas, stop by and say Hi to Edna, the fabulous poker room manager. And then sit down and play a little.
So, I have an admission to make.
I've been playing under an assumed name. I only bring it up, because I'm about to reveal it.
A few people who sweated me in last week's Super Thursday tournament can attest to this. As I said last week at this time, my plan is to play one large multi-table tournament a week leading up to the June blogger trip to Vegas. Last week I placed seventh and was quite unhappy with my play.
Tonight, I'm happy with all of my plays but my last one. Ain't that the way it always is?More in this Poker Blog! -->
I've actually exceeded my one-per-week plan in the multi-tables. Out of six in the past eight days, I've placed ITM in four, including two final table appearances. Tonight was the second final table.
I took fourth. But I should've won.
On the final hand, I was second in chips with about 250K. The big stack had approximately 310K. The two remaining stacks sat at approx. 100K a piece. With the blinds at 5000/10,000, I found AKs on the button. As I was planning to play either of the two shortstacks for all their chips, the big stack raised 13x the big blind to 130,000 under the gun.
Yeah, he raised 13x the big blind.
Now, I don't know what to do with this. From hand number one I'd promised myself I was going to forget about the money and play to win. Every hand. And I did. I was proud.
So, what do I do with ths? I have big slick in spades, on the button facing an unmentionable raise.
Well, I pushed in. All of it. On five cards. The money jump from third to fourth was more than three grand.
I was playing to win.
Actually, I was playing to lose, I guess.
The big stack called with JJ and I didn't improve.
Looking back, I guess I could've folded, but I just can't see doing that.
The only other move I could've made was simply to call for more than half my stack. I would've put it all in on the flop, though, because two spades came down on a queen high board. And I'm almost certain Big Stack would've called my stop-and-go move. Or maybe not.
Maybe I should've thought longer and played the stop-and-go.
So, I'm unhappy with my final play, but not unhappy with making two final tables on two consecutive Thursdays.
I need to sleep.
Note...the big stack ended up taking second after losing a 5-1 chip lead to one of the shorter stacks.<-- Hide More
We pulled up to the double-wide trailer in rural Lafayette County and there were a half dozen pickup trucks parked nearby. I pulled my little Saturn off the gravel road and onto the grass. There didn't seem to be assigned parking spaces.
When Mr. Steal, Artillery and I walked in, there were a dozen people already inside. Mr. Steal asked if had time to go buy some dip, to which 7 people responded, "I got some you could use." The bulges under their bottom limps were unmistakable.
Doublewides, pickup trucks and chewing tobacco. There's no such thing as stereotypes. Oh, did I mention the hard-core porn on the TV?More in this Poker Blog! -->
We started at about 7:30pm and about an hour later we were down to six. All 15 players started with T1000 with blinds at 25/50, going up every half hour. The average stack size was T2500. Take me out of the equation, and their average stack was T2995. If you do a little quick math, you'll find I was down to T225.
Oh, and blinds were at 100/200. Oh, and I was UTG.
I suppose you could say I was a little desperate. If Felicia were there, she'd be berating me for being afraid to die and letting myself get blinded away. But why start here... let's step back a bit.
I had played with a few of these guys 2 weeks ago, and in two 8-person $10 SNG's, I won first and second place, for a profit of $70. Maybe they thought I was a ringer.
Two weeks later, I'm back and the pot is now $150. $110 goes to the winner, $30 to second and $10 to third. If you haven't come to win, you shouldn't be playing.
I know I can play with these guys. There's little if any fancy play. I can't remember seeing many, if any, check-raises. There wasn't a whole lot of slow-playing. These guys played their hands if they were good, or occasionally threw a stone-cold bluff. There wasn't much else. However, the blind structure mandated I adjust my rock-like tendencies.
I folded around the first two orbits with bad hand after bad hand. By that time, a guy at the table had announced he wants to see every flop because if you fold rags and they hit, you lose money. I filed that away.
I get AQs and raise to T150 (3xBB). Mr. Any Two Cards folds, but the next guy calls. The flop is all undercards and I bet out T200. My opponent calls, and I'm worried. I've got myself seriously shortstacked because I thought he'd fold. The turn is another blank and I push. He folds. Phew...
A few hands later, I raise to 3xBB with AJs. Mr. Any Two Cards goes all in. I think he might be trying to make a move on the ringer, but then I think through it. If he's paired, it's either a coin flip or I'm way behind big pairs. If he's AQ or AK, I'm dominated.
I'm in good shape stack-wise and decide to fold. It wasn't worth it at that time. He did get called however, and his AQ caught the nut straight on the river. Good laydown.
I'm in pretty good shape when a short stack goes all-in in front of me. I've got A9s and I call. He flips Crabs and I never improve. It was the start of the slide.
A few hands later, the same guy moves all-in. I look down at Crabs myself and I decided to call. He had gotten pretty short again. It's called behind me. We check down to find out the all-in guy had Speed Limit and tripped on the flop. Ugh.
Next, it's one of my favorite hands, Pocket 10's. I raise to T300 from the BB of T100. I get two callers behind me. The flop comes J-x-x. I bet another T300 to see where I'm at. The next player hems and haws before calling. I wonder if he's on a flush draw. The other guy folds. The turn is another blank. I put the guy all in. He calls with QJs. I get no help, he doubles through me and I'm hurting.
Two orbits later and I'm at T225. What the hell happened? I can beat these guys. I know it.
So we're back where I started. UTG. I tell them that if I like the first card, I'm pushing without looking at the second. The first card was a 7 of spades. Not quite what I'm looking for. I figure I'll fold and play the BB blind. The second card comes and it's the 7 of clubs. Hmmmm... JACKPOT?
I push and get three callers. Not quite what I was hoping, but when your all-in raises just T25, you're gonna get called!
The flop comes and the first card off is the 7 of hearts. I couldn't believe my luck. The next two were the Q and J of spades. Hmmm... straight draw, flush draw. Not what I was hoping to see. They check around.
The turn is a J, and suddenly my boat is nearly unbeatable. They check again. The river is a blank, and I pull the main pot my way telling them they can fight over a side pot if they want to bet. I'm not sure they believed me. It's a check around and I flip my 7's.
I'm back in the game! And I turn to the guy behind me and say, "Get ready to watch the greatest comeback ever."
Of course T900 doesn't get you far when the blinds are 200/100. I'm forced to fold my BB hand, so I'm down to T700. That's when I see Presto in the SB. There are three callers in front of me and I push all-in. Remarkably, I get just one caller, and he flip A9s.
I knew it would be a coin flip, I'm just glad it was only one player. The flop, however, disappointed. It's K-9-3 rainbow. That's just great, I'm now looking at a 2 outer. The turn is a blank. The dealer was sitting at the other end of the table with two people watching the cards come. When they erupt at the river, I knew lady luck was on my side. The 5 comes, and I'm up to T1800.
Now things are really looking up!
I hadn't mentioned, but Mr. Steal made it to the final 9 before busting out on a stone-cold bluff to Artillery. The machine gun had a HUGE stack. He'd only been playing poker for about a month, and it wasn't very good poker. But he had won a little money last time we played and he was doing very well tonight.
Then he started calling people down with A-high and the stack kept dwindling. By the time I got up to T1800, there were 5 left and I was getting close to Artillery's stack.
The blinds are up to 200/400 when I look down at Rockets. It's about time I started seeing some premium hands. Thankfully, it was raised in front of me. That's what I like to see when I've got American Airlines. I pushed all-in and my opponent was forced to call just T1000 more. He had it to call... he had a big stack.
When he flipped KTo, I knew I was way ahead. The first card off the flop was the A of spades. Unfortunately, the third card was a Q. Suddenly, he had two chances at 4 outs... the Jacks for the nut straight. It never came, and I was up to T4200. I was in third place out of 5... and I was in line to get my money back. I never would have imagined.
Then it happened. The two shorter stacks found themselves out of the game, and we were down to three. I caught some hands here and there and managed my stack very well. I was never the big stack, but I was never the short stack either. Somehow, the other two guys were going back and forth without me.
Opponent #1 was a young guy who played pretty solid poker. Opponent #2 was an older guy prone to outbursts (he's the one I sucked out with trip 5's earlier).
We got down to two when the young guy made an ill-advised all-in from the SB. He had just 76o. The old guy called quickly and showed KJs. The hand held up and I was now up to $30 in winnings. Who woulda thunk?
He got me down to about T2400 with 400/800 blinds when I found QJo. I pushed all-in and he called me with A5o. Hmmm... not what I was hoping for. But when the flop came Q-3-2, I was way ahead. He needed an A or a 4 that never came.
After a few hands, he was leading me T9200 to T5800 when someone suggested a split. I said the old guy had me at 2-to-1 and if I got closer, maybe we'd split. That's when we took a 5 minute break before blinds jumped to 800/1600.
When we started again, I decided to be a little more aggressive and started pushing him around. It only took a few hands before I had a slight chip advantage. Since he never suggested a split, I decided I wouldn't either.
Then the hand came.
I called out of the SB with Qd6h. The old guy checked and we saw of flop of Kd-Jd-9c. He checked and I checked behind him. The turn is the 6 of diamonds and suddenly, I've got bottom pair, a flush draw and an inside straight draw. I push all-in and he calls me with 9d3c.
I decided to push figuring the 6 could only have helped me. I honestly thought he'd fold. In fact, I was more than a little disappointed because he was a 2-to-1 favorite and if I lost, I'd have less than the BB left in front of me.
The card came, and it was a T. It took me a minute, but that's when I realized I had the straight and it was over. From the felt to $110. It was hard to believe.
I guess if all stereotypes were true, someone would have been heading to their gun rack to take out this Yankee ringer. Instead, I walked out of there with another notch on my belt.
I hope they invite me back again and again.<-- Hide More
Peter Jennings got to me. Poor guy quit smoking for 20 years, then started again after 9/11. Now he'll need a 2 outer on the river to keep hope alive. I hope he pulls through, lung cancer's a royal bitch.
With Peter in mind, I've been chewing Orange flavored "Nicorette" since first contact with the floor. It doesn't taste orange. It doesn't compare with a nice smoke break outside. It doesn't provide the satisfaction of a delicious hot-blazin' cancer stick. But it won't kill me...and so far I haven't tried to murder anyone...which is nice.More in this Poker Blog! -->
Spent the day working a story about two local folk who designed a felt cover for pool talbes. It has a "water hazard", two "sand traps", and two offset hills, all made of felt. They play 8-ball with golf balls and call the game GOLFFIARDS. Strange but true I swear.
While there they offered me a few packs of KEM cards just for dropping by. I turned them down. But I'm going back after work.
TO THE SINKIN' POINT
The KEM got my noggin cookin' about the big Veags bash. I MUST go but as always there's a catch. I MUST also take the bride. She's not sold.
So inspired by Otis' 10 great reasons for going to Vegas I'm enlisting all UFP readers.
SEND MY WIFE AN E-MAIL
I want every reader to send 5 perfect reasons for making the trip. 5 reasons she should accompany me and meet the blogger crew. She's never been to Vegas and she only knows a few blogges. I NEED YOUR HELP!
He's the address :
bjdill --@-- hotmail.com
Make it happen cap'n!
G-Rob needs your help.<-- Hide More
Before you read this, read CJ's post below, and then come back for...
Ten Reasons to go to Las Vegas in June for the WPBT convention, even if you can't get a seat in the Aladdin ClassicMore in this Poker Blog! -->
Number One: Meeting the other bloggers
When I went out to Vegas for the Holiday Classic in December, I only knew a couple of other bloggers face-to-face. Those were guys who lived in my town. The rest were unknown commodities. And so happens the first time you meet the others.
BadBlood was near bubbly as we hit the motorized walkway. He'd cashed in his first Vegas tournament and we were on our way to meet the bloggers.
"We have to page Dr. Pauly," he said.
I agreed in earnest and did my best to avert my eyes as we walked into the poker room.
"Don't let them see you looking," Blood said.
Blood walked to the front counter and grabbed Ari, the manager.
"Could you please page Dr. Pauly?" Blood asked.
Ari jumped on the mic. I could barely contain myself as Ari and his accent hit the airewaves:
"Dr. Paury! Paging Dr. Paury!"
And there he was at a middle table, jumping up to greet us. The great Dr. Paury himself.
It is here, friends, that life in the Days of Otis, begins to take an odd but fantastically sublime turn.
My first day trip report can be found at "I'll see your Guinness and raise you one egg salad."
Number Two: Becoming a member of the Al Can't Hang Experience
It is no coincidence that the acronym for the ACH Experience is ACHE. There seems to be only one initiation rite.
I did what every reasonable poker blogger would. I accepted Al's offer of a shot of Soco.
Enter blurry poker play.
When I emerged from my first-shot haze, I heard a delcaration blaring from the seat to my left.
"That's not gumbo. That's not gumbo. Gumbo only comes from New Orleans. That's not gumbo!"
Al was moving into a land I like to call, "Full effect." He had two dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts under his chair, a sideboard of Soco shots lined up at his sidetable, and a sure insistance that what I was eating was bad free buffet food.
Like always, Al was right.
For more on this, read "Three tables, one playground, half-drunk"
Number three: Solving life's greatest mysteries
A lot of things surprised me when I was in Vegas last December. Solving one of the big mysteries was one of the most surprising.
"Otis," he said. It wasn't a question. It was a definitive statement. He knew who I was.
"Hey, man." I was being friendly, despite the fact that my brain was trying to work its way around how to play the hand sitting in front of me.
The guy said his name was something or other, then went on to mumble something about really liking my blog.
"I'm a friend of Hank's," he said. "We drove in together, and I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your writing."
Now, something should've clicked right there. Just thirty minutes earlier Hank had said he'd made the drive alone. I'd actively listened to that conversation.
And, so, the long-haired guy kneeling on my left kept talking. G-Rob's stack kept flucuating, the cocktail waitress kept bringing beer, and, for the love of all that's holy, I was still involved in a hand.
Do I raise? Do I cold call?
Passively, through increasingly drunk ears, I listened to the guy who was still talking. And just like when I hear 10-89 (local police ten-code for death) pop out of the police scanner, I heard something from my left that made me slip back into active listening.
The word was "dwarf."
I turned to my left and saw the smile creeping in the corners of the guy's mouth. Indeed, he had said "dwarf."
Somehow, I just knew.
I bounded from my chair and wrapped the guy in a hug like I would a brother I hadn't seen in years.
"You son of a bitch," I said.
Iggy had arrived.
Read the rest of this, including the first Pai Gow run, at "Let's Get to Saturday, shall we?"
Number four: A city that never sleeps
When the Bloggers are in town, there is rarely a moment when there isn't somebody to hang with. Even when you want to sleep, there are people wanting to party with you.
My ribs and stomach were starting to hurt. Something very wrong was happening to my body.
Through the clouds, I heard the voice of some Monty Python-esque god.
I think I answered, "No." I might've said, "I'm ill-equipped."
I smelled cigarette smoke and the pain was growing worse.
I opened my eyes to mere slits and looked up. There--more than six feet above me--stood G-Rob, his hair a mess, a cigarette dangling from his lips. He was kicking me in the ribs and stomach. Repeatedly.
"Get up. Big Mike just called for a stretch Excursion to take us to Sam's Town."
Within a few minutes, unshowered, in the same clothes I'd been wearing for 36 hours, I stood up, grabbed my Otis jacket and hat, and followed G-Rob back to the elevators.
One thing I learned on this trip: When Big Mike is being generous, it is a foolish man who doesn't accept the generosity.
For the whole story of how most of the bloggers were awake for a straight 48, read "Decisions, decisions"
Number five: Only one person can win the tournament, but everybody can have fun
Now, I feel shame that, as much as I wanted to enjoy the Holiday Classic tournament, I was ill-equipped. In fact, I was ill-eqippued for all of it.
As Charlie spoke, Evelyn Ng walked in the door. My mind again shifted. The lack of sleep started getting to me again. I could tell that Daddy recognized this from his seat in front of me. More than recognizing it, I felt like he empathized. He vocalized what was going through my head. Loathe to misquote him, I only remember that his first few words were, "In terms of weird..."
He continued, but I already knew where he was going. Here we were, a couple of schlubs, surrounded by some of the greatest pros, on our way to a private tournament set up in our honor, working on a few minutes sleep, after a rock-star night and morning that we shoud not have survived, and Evelyn Ng just walked into the room on a virtual hydrofoil of beauty.
In terms of weird, indeed.
That's when I broke down. It all just became too much for one tired Otis to handle. I felt myself breaking up and didn't want to disturb Charlie's speech. As quietly as I could, I slipped out a side door into the faux open air of the Sam's Town Casino courtyard.
To read what happened in the actual tournament, you can read, "The Holiday Classic through Otisian eyes"
But the point is this...even if you're not playing in the tournament, everyone will be there. Most people will bust out and be there on the rail with you. Go play slots with Grubby. Go do soco shots with the ACHE. Hit on Mrs. Otis. There will be things to do.
Number Six: The characters
When you start slinging chips with the bloggers in the sidegames, you'll meet a cast of characters you'll remember forever. Just last Friday, I told the story of Albania.
Albania arrived in a quiet whoosh of funk and bed-fashion. I questioned for a while whether he had teeth. I could tell he was from out of town (way out of town) but couldn't get a read on his personality otherwise. That was until someone beat him on one hand and he degenerated into the quickest tilt I've ever seen. Then, I was fascinated by his rebound, as he came back two hands later and laid a beat on somebody, slammed his cards on the table a' la Phil Hellmuth and beamed with pride..
Finally, someone got up the courage to ask, "So, where you from, bud?"
His one word answer set the stage for the next several hours: "Albania."
Dr. Jeff and I looked at each other across the table. The song clicked with both of us at the same time.
To the tune of "When the Saints Go Marching In" we began singing, "Albania, Albania, you border on the Adriatic..."
The table looked at us, expecting an explanation. We could only offer that the song was from an old version of the show Cheers in which Coach was studying for some geography exam and needed songs to help him remember his countries. Sadly, for a long time, we couldn't remember the rest of the song.
Albania's catch-phrase was "You be nice to me, I'll be nice to you." Albania didn't like to be checked-raised, slow-played, or otherwise hammer-inflicted. Anytime he felt like he was wandering into a trap, he'd sit up in his chair, look at his opponent and say in his thick Albanian accent, "You be nice to me, I'll be nice to you."
He said it to Dr. Jeff at one point, to which Dr. Jeff with more poise than I'd expect from a guy 12 hours into a session, responded "How about this? I'll play my hand and we'll just see how it turns out." As it turned out, Dr. Jeff won the pot.
It was about that time I had a fantastic idea.
"Albania," I said, "do me a favor. Say this: Give that man his money."
For some reason, Albania indulged me. And suddenly, there, sitting at the back table of the Excalbur Poker room sat none other than Teddy KGB.
I couldn't have been more pleased.
And make no mistake, the bloggers will take over a poker room (more than likely the Excalibur). And when they do, you'll never want to leave.
Number seven: The stories you won't immediately tell your signigicant other
I tell Mrs. Otis everything. But some things I wait a few days to divulge. Like this moment in the Sherwood Forest.
As the sun again threatened to rise, two hookers who couldn't land cowboys came up and grabbed us.
"Well, it looks like you're it," one of them said.
These girls were not attractive. They both looked used up and tired. Nevertheless, they were friendly and conversational. While G-Rob and I tacitly agreed that "never in the world would we ever consider...yadayada" we thought it would be fun to talk with them.
And so we did, for a very, very long time.
Before I knew what I was doing, I had vowed to help them land dates for the night. At one point I started trying to brush in cowboys who were walking by the bar.
As one guy in a cowboy hat walked by I said, "Hey, buddy, want a shot? Have a seat."
G-Rob pointed out that I had just become a pimp. And not a very good one.
For how this could've ended ini my arrest, read the rest of "From rock gardens to Sherwood Forest."
Number eight: Reasons to come back
By the time the fourth day had arrived, i was ready to call it quits.
Feeling more and more ill-equipped but determined to fight on for the final few hours, I dragged Marty and G-Rob through the pit and enegaged in a little single-deck blackjack. Just when the table was getting hot and our drinks had arrived, Dr. Jeff called me on my cell phone.
"You better get back to the poker room. There was just a big fight in here and I think it has something to do with Pauly."
I colored up in seconds, grabbed my drink, and made tracks back to the poker room in time to watch the flor crew pick up the final chips from the floor. I scooted over to Pauly's table where he told me the story.
I sat back and thought, "That should just about do it. This trip has now seen everything."
Even if you're not playing in the tournament, you're going to have stories to tell forever.
Number nine: The friendships last beyond the weekend
I'd be hardpressed to tell you anything about how BG, G-Rob, Eva, and Al played in the Holiday Classic, with the excpetion that Al is colorblind and couldn't tell the difference between green and gray chips. But, I know that these crazy folks showed up out of the blue in the Bahamas when I was there and we had a ball.
Number ten: ?
Well, that's a secret. But keep an eye here and on Guinness and Poker in the coming days. If everything works out, you may not give a damn whether you play in the Classic or not.
So, there's ten reasons out of a hundred I have.
I bet there are some other folks out there who have a few of their own.<-- Hide More
Inevitably, when you take on a task that affects others, you're bound to upset somebody. I've done it. I'll try to address the WPBT Aladdin Casino Classic RSVP issues one at a time.
1. But I RSVP'd??? Where am I???
I tracked everyone who RSVP'd either by sending me an email (the proper way, as requested) or by leaving just a comment (the slacker method, but allowed nonetheless). I compiled the complete list with each individuals time of response (either the timestamp of the email or the timestamp of the comment). That is where the player's list and waiting list came from.
2. How come I'm just on the waiting list???
The original announcement of the tournament was made on February 23rd here on this blog. That included this line, "I'm still working on getting a maximum number of entrants, so get your RSVP's to me immediately." A subsequent announement was made on March 5th on the WPBT official web site. By that time, I had already received close to 60 RSVP's, meaning many of the responses were bound for the waiting list already. If you waited, I'm sorry.
But they're not even a blogger!!!!!
Okay, I probably don't have a good answer for this. Little Willie is a member of Up For Poker by proxy. He's Otis' little brother. He was the third person to respond and I told him he'd have a spot. The other non-blogger is Matt. He's been a regular in comments and at the WPBT events. He's the only reader who's regularly pestered me, and I've decided to let him in. Okay? So sue me...
But I've never heard of these blogs!?!?!?
Well, at this point, no matter who I let in, there will be some blogs that many of us don't read regularly. Does that make them any less valuable to the community? And no, there's not a blog about Islam... I punched in the wrong blog address. As far as I can tell, all the bloggers included have an active blog (some more than others) and they write about poker (some more than others). Am I supposed to use a stricter criteria?
Okay, fine, you suck...
Bottom line, if someone can't bear to be in Vegas for 4 days without playing in this one tournament then you're coming for the wrong reason. I've already had some pretty stand up bloggers tell me if it comes to that, they'd give up their seat. I would to. It shouldn't be about this one event.
And bottom line, I told people there would be a waiting list on February 23rd and some people waited weeks to respond!!!!! What was I supposed to do??
Okay, just blowing off some steam. Back to regular programming...
Important news on the RSVP's and the waiting list. Head on over to the WPBT official website to check it out.
As many of you know, my last WPBT tournament experience ended when my flopped set of 5's lost to the eventual champions flopped set of 8's.
I had worked my stack up early to close to 4000T and I was among the top 20. But something happened. I started playing marginal hands and catching 2nd, 3rd and 4th best hands. That's a recipe for disaster.
I decided to tighten up and wait for the right opportunity to double up. It's my natural style after all. It was Presto... Speed Limit... whatever you'd like to call pocket 5's. I limped from early position and 5 of us saw a flop of J-8-5 rainbow.
I said to myself, "I hope someone caught something so I can double up." I lead out and get raised by Gamecock. I put in a significan re-raise and he moves me all in. I call, happily. He flips 88 (set vs. set, grumble, grumble, grumble). I'm out in 74032nd place, or whatever.
Should I have played this hand differently? You can't be unhappy about getting all your money in the pot with a set, right?
So I've taken a few days to think about it, and I've had an epiphany. There is a way to play this hand. Here now is my indispensible advice for playing bottom set...More in this Poker Blog! -->
And if you don't fold, plan to lose all your money.
See, I've got this game figured out!<-- Hide More
I have a special place in my pants for April Fools Day.
It started on a Spring day in Springfield, MO. Mauve walls, afternoon sun filtered through tan mini-blinds. Hialeagh Avenue had few cars and fewer peeping toms. A little, old dog sat in the living room.
Somehow, I'd just convinced a girl who bore a passing remeblance to Helena Bonham Carter to treat me to an afternoon romp in the sack...my first romp in the sack.
When it was over, I eventually made my way to the bathroom to secretly smile at finally having crossed the barrier from heavy-petting to the great beyond.
Knowing I would someday sit and write up the experience in a poker blog, I checked my mental datebook to recrod the experience.
Yep. I lost my virginity on April Fool's Day.
When you have a life-joke like that played on you, you don't need a punchline.More in this Poker Blog! -->
It strikes me as I rejoin this post at 2am on April 2 that my wife (currently sleeping under a blanket on the couch next to me) would disapprove of this sub-head.
"It's 'running well'," she would say if she were awake.
On TV, MSNBC is in Pope Watch. The dog is the only one watching. I already know the story. Pope dies, a dude smacks the corpse in the head three times with a silver hammer, the Cardinals all gather, and then a group called the Illuminati start kidnapping probable Popes and planting antimatter bombs in the Vatican. I won't give the rest of the story away, but keep your eye on the camerlengo.
It's funny I start here, because I'm just at the end of running bad. Fortunately, the concept of running good is still swimming in my head.
Running good started a couple of weeks ago when an online pro friend of mine offered me a rakeback deal and nice bonus through a Party skin. I don't believe online sites can flip a switch to make me run well, but if it were possible, it happened. I swam back into the $5/$10 PL games and swam out with the biggest winning month of my life In fact, I've won more in the past month than I've won in any year since I started playing.
With a nicely padded bankroll, I decided to start practicing for this summer. I intend to play in the first event of the WSOP on June 3 when I'm in Vegas for the WPBT Aladdin Classic. I suspect the field will be at least 1000 strong. Given that the tournament will have to be down to nine players by the end of the day, the blind structure will have to be beyond aggressive. I suspect it will be equivalent to online multi-table tournaments. With that in mind, I've decided to try to play at least one big online MTT with a buy-in of $150 or more per week until June.
Last week, I survived into the money in Party's $150 Super Thursday tournament, but barely. This week I did a little better. Actually a lot better. In a field of 852 players, I made it to seventh place before finally having to push-in with 77. I was dominated by a pair of nines that flopped a set. While I had a nice finish, I wasn't satisfied with my play. I need to work on my agression level a bit. I think I need to loosen up a bit.
Fresh off the win, I decided to sit for my new employer's Staff Invitational tournament Friday afternoon. There was no buy-in and no prize other than bragging rights. I splashed around for a bit before calling a limping field from the small blind with 95o. The flop came down 95x rainbow. I bet out, was raised, and went all-in. Some guy called me with AJ and I doubled up. A few hands later, my pair of aces got paid off. That chip stack and some unimaginative but solid play allowed me to survive until the final table where I managed to suck out on one of the chip leaders. I went for a blind steal from the small blind with KJ. The big blind called with JJ. I caught a king on the river to double up. Later, a guy tried to re-raise steal my TT raise with 94. I won. Long story short...I won the sonofabitch and took down my first staff tourney.
So...my live cash game, tourney game, and staff game life is running good...er...running well.
So, why am I sitting here on Pope Watch and typing.
Well, because I'm also...
I guess it started last weekend when I went to BadBlood's for a cash game. I was right in the middle of my online winning streak and feeling like King Kong on cocaine (I stole that line from CSI because it is EXACTLY how I feel when I'm winning...I walk around with a virtual Faye Wray in my arms and climbing buildings while snorting coke off mirrors the size of automobiles).
The moment I sat down, I was distracted. My folks were in town and I'd left them to go play poker. One of my best friends was having a "I'm leaving town for six months" party and I'd decided to delay my arrival there so I could play poker. But Blood had thrown the game in honor of my return from Europe, and, frankly, I really, really wanted to play live.
I sucked. I chased. I folded. I sucked.
Yeah, I sucked.
Let's speed this ugly part along. Tonight, I had a horrible online session. Then I went to The Mark for the first time in months and I sucked.
So, right now, I suck.
Notice, the suck part of this post wasn't as long as the don't-suck part. There's two reasons for that. Number one, it's late. Number two, I think I'm very bad at understanding how and when I suck.
You know what sucks?
This post.<-- Hide More
Alright. I'm tired. I don't feel like thinking anymore.
Regardless, I figured I should mention I just took seventh out of 852 in Party's Super Thursday $150. All in all, I played mediocre with the exception of a couple hands. In retrospect, I don't think I was playing to win. That makes me sad.
Thanks to The Geek and G-Rob for sweating me through the last couple hours.