Fatigue creeps up on you like irrationality. Life rolls on greased steel wheels, months pass, and every cog seems to fit into its mate in the most rational way. It's enough to lure anyone into a sense of security as false as a hockey player's incisors. And then, all of a sudden, life pokes its heads under your bed covers and says, "I know you are, but what am I?"More in this Poker Blog! -->
Fatigue is not what you think. It's not what you feel after being awake for 40 hours during which you treated your body like a human alcohol dumping ground. It's not what you feel after sitting at a poker table for 13 hours without food. It's not even how you feel the morning after a party hosted by Al Can't Hang. Fatigue is the byproduct of real life.
Most of us live our lives held down by high-test corded guy wire. We don't like it, but we accept it. Without the wires, we would spin out of control like a TV tower in a hurricane. We know we need the help.
But, over time, say the course of a year, those wires get tired. It's different for everybody. And it happens at different times. For me, it was the autumn of 2003. For many people I know, the time is right now. I'm not sure what disturbance has occurred in the force, but it seems I know more people in the middle of Life Fatigue than I know people who are in a good place.
Why bring it up? Well, glad you asked.
The November Slide
Yin and Yang are some confusing bitches. You've likely noted here a spate of tournament results. While obviously not the most informative of postings, they were well-deserved and long overdue wins for the founder of Up For Poker, CJ, and his minions.
And yet, while CJ, Dr. Jeff, and even G-Rob had some wins, the November Slide was hitting the poker blogging community and its readers like never before. Personally, I had the worst poker month of my life and a couple of times actually questioned the legitimacy of the game. I literally laughed out loud in an empty room. It was spooky at times.
And yet, somehow I remained centered. This was in large part to the onslaught of real life November Slides going on around me. While many of you don't know my friends, suffice it to say I've seen some of them endure the worst real life variance swings you can imagine.
One night during the Slide, Mrs. Otis looked at me and asked what was wrong. I almost answered truthfully. I almost told her that in six straight important tournaments, I'd gotten my money in as a huge favorite only to be beaten by incredible two-outers or runner-runner every time. As the words crept to my lips, a sick sense of guilt slipped over me and I realized how selfish I was about to sound.
"Nothing is wrong," I said. Why? Because, really, nothing was wrong.
More outs than doubts
When I busted out of Event #2 of this year's WSOP, my body shut down on me. I fell into a sweating, heaving, malnutrioned mess in my MGM bed. It was getting dark in Vegas and I didn't care if I saw a poker room again for a few days. And yet, I knew the Castle was in need of storming. And so, I went.
Thusly, the Castle endured the Storm, but my mind was elsewhere. Somehow, even drawing to 15 outs didn't get my dander up. I wandered and collected an assembly of bloggers to accompany me to what has become my albatross. Thirty minutes later, I was explaining to Drizz, Spaceman, and Heather that there were a couple of rules to Pai Gow poker that you won't read in Harrington on Pai Gow Vol. 1. First, if the dealer turns up a Pai Gow, you must scream "Pai Gow!" at the top of your lungs and order another drink in celebration. Further, you must smile widely at the people who are losing at roulette and make sure they hear about your good fortune. There is nothing more fun than taunting losing roulette players (redundancy offered for effect there). There were other rules, which I'll outline in a future post. As for strategy, I let Heather take over on that, as, in some remarkable twist of royalty-dubbing, she had recently taken on the name Pai Gow Princess.
We blogger-types have been afforded a tremendous opportunity. Somehow we have stumbled our way into friendships that I would've considered impossible two years ago. It's only been a few months since I had z-e-r-o reservations about welcoming a blogger contingent into my home. The members fit in so smoothly, several times I thought they had been there forever. But, that's not the case. One year ago at this time, I knew the UFP crew and BadBlood. That was it.
My, how times have changed.
You know when you're sitting at some negative EV game and you've got a big stack of reds you don't feel like carrying around? You do the most logical thing and ask the dealer to color you up.
Well, that's sort of how the last year has been. Over the past twelve months, I've been walking around with a bunch of parts of a whole in my mental pocket. And now, for one weekend, I get to color them all up.
In recent days I've gone back and read some of my UFP posts and re-lived some of the great moments I've been afforded. It's solidified something I've come to appreciate.
I am one lucky son of a bitch.
Life is about to get really interesting again. I see more poker in my future. And I see more friends. With my already perfect family life, I couldn't ask for much more.
Some people make lists. Me, I tattoo things on my brain. As we head into the coming week, this is what is inked on my medula oblongata:
You cannot force fun.
You cannot dodge bad luck.
Luck is temporary.
Something occurred to me a couple of minutes ago as I looked at Orion and wondered why I rarely look at the stars anymore.More in this Poker Blog! -->
I haven't been writing here nearly enough.
This is my best excuse.
But it's not enough. Last night I suffered the first bout of pre-WPBT Winter Classic insomnia. So, while it's nearly 5am here on the right coast, I'm thinking about Las Vegas and a motley crew of bloggers I'll see in about eight days.
So, I feel a post coming on.
That's all. I'm going back to look at the stars for a few minutes.<-- Hide More
In the words of Dr. Jeff (CrzySmrtGuy) himself, "Just like Otis, I couldn't seal the deal." But can you really complain about a $473 payday?
Since I started writing for Up For Poker, I have never, ever posted a hand history. It's been a little rule I had for myself. However, I've been given a Thanksgiving gift and I think that's reason to break the rule for once. The gift? I can coin a phrase (actually, I can bastardize a term coined by Grubby).
I give you...
The Pentagon Hammer.More in this Poker Blog! -->
$1000 NL Texas Hold'em - Friday, November 25, 01:24:52 EDT 2005
Seat 9 is the button
Total number of players : 10
Seat 1: Dude #1 ( $1478.25 )
Seat 3: Otis ( $5664.25 )
Seat 4: Dude #2 ( $499 )
Seat 7: Dude #3 ( $2258.80 )
Seat 9: Dude #4 ( $1411 )
Seat 10: Villian #1 ( $358 )
Seat 2: Dude #5 ( $266.75 )
Seat 5: Villian #2 ( $905 )
Seat 8: Dude #6 ( $2097 )
Seat 6: Dude #7 ( $980 )
Villian #1 posts small blind [$5].
Dude #1 posts big blind [$10].
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to Otis [ 7c 2s ]
Otis raises [$30].
Villian #2 calls [$30].
Villian #1 calls [$25].
** Dealing Flop ** [ 6s, 2d, 7d ]
Villian #1 checks.
Otis bets [$97].
Villian #2 calls [$97].
Villian #1 calls [$97].
** Dealing Turn ** [ 3h ]
Villian #1 checks.
Otis bets [$400].
Villian #2 is all-In [$778]
Villian #1 is all-In [$231]
Otis: uh-ph, this could be embarassinig
Otis calls [$378].
** Dealing River ** [ 5c ]
Otis shows [ 7c, 2s ] two pairs, sevens and twos.
Villian #2 shows [ 6d, 6c ] three of a kind, sixes.
Villian #1 doesn't show [ 5h, 7s ] two pairs, sevens and fives.
Villian #2 wins $1094 from side pot #1 with three of a kind, sixes.
Villian #2 wins $1081 from the main pot with three of a kind, sixes.
Why the Pentgon Hammer?
Cause it costs a $1000.
(Manufacturers warning: The Pentagon Hammer is most often found at the tail end of a good session and when you are chatting with several bloggers in the girly IM chat thingy)<-- Hide More
We're playing five handed and I'm sitting UTG when I look down at a handsome pair, Cowboys. Blinds are 25/50 and I raise it up to 150. A smaller stack behind me pushes all in, and the BB almost immediately calls. I have no choice but to push the BB all in as well.
Then the cards are flipped.More in this Poker Blog! -->
Me: KK (18% pre-flop)
Short-stack: QQ (16%)
Big Blind: AA (66%)
Remember, we were five-handed.
The flop comes down J-6-5, all hearts. I have the only heart.
The turn is another J.
Wait for it...
The Q of Spades. The dirty bitch. It was ugly.
Live poker is rigged.<-- Hide More
Many of our most passionate obsessions are, in truth, devoid of greater meaning. There's this hobby store in town with an entire section devoted to model trains. There are pint sized dopplegangers for every rural fence post and water tower. Once a week grown men, with presumably normal "real" lives, meet there to discuss the developments in the mid-American utopias they've made of paper mache on a banquet table in the basement. They exchange grains of universal wisdom that only apply in a world where an ant becomes Godzilla.
For me, an Eastern Kentucky boy with a Big Blue diploma, the obsession is Wildcat basketball. I love it so much, I hardly ENJOY it at all.More in this Poker Blog! -->
So, yes, there's an element of poker here because I can't escape the grand unifying theory of the blog itself. Like many of our readers, I've been impressed by and proud of CJ's recent tournament run. Granted, many of us can say we EXPECT to cash in these donkey MTTs, but CJ is on a final table groove that card slingers call "a rush." He'd be plenty tired of running if the payout wasn't so nice.
Still, its awfully hard to say I'm suprised. I know I speak for Otis when I say we've always known CJ was a very skilled tournament player. As I wrote in the comments to his last post, those of us who prefer to see poker as a game of skill... to any extent... must be impressed with his play. He's more than a suckout artist, he's just playing really well. But that alone doesn't explain a single weekend of dominance. I look to Kentucky for that.
This week Kentucky had two big games against ranked teams, part of some corporate pre-season extravaganza in Missouri. (It's true, this week something INTERESTING happened in Missouri.) On Monday, the 'Cats were lousy and lost to Iowa late. The next night, they beat an arguably superior West Virginia team by more than 20 points. For that, credit Patrick Sparks.
Monday: 7 points in 24 minutes.
Tuesday: 25 points in 33 minutes. He made 8 of 13 shots, 7 of 11 from 3-point range.
Patrick has always been a streaky player with a great outside shot. But what explains his spurts? He's just as TALENTED and SKILLED on Tuesday as he was the day before. Why did he do so much better?
Here's how teammate Bobby Perry explains it...
"When you're hitting shots, you get in a zone," Perry said. "You're feeling it. You feel you can do anything on the court."
Meanwhile West Virginia Coach John Beilein said this about the normally sharpshooting Moutaineers:
"When we didn't make (shots) -- and that's something we haven't seen this year -- I think we panicked just a bit. They got their confidence back, and we lost our confidence completely."
SO IS CJ IN "THE ZONE"?
Clearly CJ is "feeling it" when he plays tournment poker. Right now, I'm tossing bricks. I suspect coach Beilein has figured out why. You can't play poker without knowing you're playing well... or about to play well... or at least you aren't worried about the bricks you've already shot.
Sports "experts" have long debated this idea of "the Zone" as if it's akin to summoning the "force." I'd say there nothing metaphysical about it. It's not some miracle of short-term muscle memory or an ablity to think more clearly than before. Instead, it's clarity almost to the point of not thinking at all. When Patrick Sparks decides to shoot on Tuesday, he's not worried about the position of his elbow or the break of his wrist.
Brain thinks: "Shoot!" and his body just does it. No thinking required.
The same is the case with CJ. He's posted this list of ideas for playing well and we all know they're right on. I think all of us play by rules that are very close to his. But when a player is running hot, the rules don't matter, at least in a conscious sense. We JUST DO IT.
When things are running bad, however, we begin to fill with doubt. It's the reason losses become streaks. We start to second guess ourselves and almost FORCE the wrong play. Play we KNOW we shouldn't make.
There's this superstition about not talking about a rush. It has a basis in fact. By talking about our play, we begin to break it down in a way that causes reflection and doubt, "Why DID I make that call?". And once we start worrying about our shot... it's almost bound to brick.
GO BIG BLUE!<-- Hide More
I know everyone's dying to know the secret. Well, I'm sorry to say, there is none. I've been incredibly lucky over the past few days and I caught just enough cards to get by. I think I played pretty good poker, but the cards certainly helped. If you'd like to know the strategy of this particular hack, here are my 10 rules for cashing in a MTT.More in this Poker Blog! -->
1. Play premium hands strong, get paid off.
2. Lay down hands when you're pretty sure you're beat.
3. Don't slow play unless you're positive that next card won't hurt you.
4. Avoid dumb plays (Fancy Play Syndrome is generally wrong).
5. Suckout at least once.
6. Survive a suckout at least once.
7. Win a couple coin flips.
8. Avoid big stacks late.
9. Avoid desperate stacks late unless you have a strong idea you can bust them.
10. Get lucky.
I don't think I'm breaking any new ground here. Tonight I played in four MTT's and didn't cash in any. And I busted out of all of them in similar fashion. One time, I decided to believe a player didn't have a Q with two on the board. I had plenty of chips to work with at that point. Another, I miraculously tripled up late with AA and then donked everything away a few hands later when I get married to A9s and called a raise for all my chips. I called a raise with A9s. Naturally, he turned over AKs and flushed. I had plenty of chips to wait for a better spot, but didn't
I played anxious and impatient tonight, and it cost me. I think a losing night after some remarkable days helps bring into focus what I was doing right.
Tournaments are about the long term (in a short term sense). It's about folding a lot and selective aggression. I think I read that somewhere. You have to get paid off on your big hands. You have to steal a few pots when your premium hands miss the pot. You have to steal a few blinds.
Oh, and another thing, table image doesn't matter. Really, 99% of the players in the tournaments are spending absolutely no time thinking about how I played that big hand last time. They probably don't know that I generally raise between 3 and 4.5 times the big blind. They don't know because they aren't worried about my table image. The tournament moves quickly and players are bounced around enough that table image is highly overrated in online tournaments.
Addendum: Sometimes you just lose. You don't play bad. You just lose. Sometimes, KK runs into AA. Sometimes AA runs into KK and a K on the flop. Sometimes your flush gets rivered by a boat. Sometimes your boat gets rivered by quads. Unless you decided to never get into a pot against a stack bigger than yours, these things are going to happen. That's just the way it is.
So, take it for what it's worth. This is just the poker blogosphere's resident luckbox speaking. Thoughts from a professional sucker outer. Of course, until you can master that, you should probably ignore the rest of my advice.
Coming soon: CJ's Guide to Sucking Out.<-- Hide More
I've been working on this for a while and am finally able to announce it.More in this Poker Blog! -->
When PokerStars announced it was sponsoring the Blogger Championship in October, I once again realized how damned nice it is to work for a company that "gets it."
Further, when Wil Wheaton announced he was coming to the WPBT Winter Classic., I was proud to know that a member of Team PokerStars was going to be on hand to compete with he best bloggers in the land.
PokerStars has generously offered (and I have accepted on the WPBT's behalf) to put up some great stuff for the Winter Classic. So, when we all head out to Vegas here in a few weeks, we will not only be competing for each other's money. Here's what else will be in the prize pool.
* PokerStars will be adding $2000 to the prize pool of the WPBT Winter Classic. If my rudimentary math skills are serving me well, that means (based on 100 players) we'll now be playing for $7000 instead of $5000.
* The winner of the WPBT Classic will receive the the coolest (and, frankly, most expensive) item from the PokerStars FPP store: the wool PokerStars letterman's jacket (since we don't know who will win, we'll get it ordered for the winner after weekend is over--although if CJ's rush lasts another month, we might as well just order the large now).
* Famed poker author and player Nolan Dalla will be on hand to talk to all of us about this crazy game we play and all that he's seen during his time in the business. If you haven't already met Nolan, he is one of the coolest poker writers and players in Vegas. He's written for just about every poker publication and also serves as media director for the WSOP. Oh, yeah...he also just happens to have co-authored the best poker book of the year, which leads me to...
* Every member of the Winter Classic Final table will receive a signed copy of Nolan's book, "One of a Kind". This book has already received rave reviews and could soon be the basis for a blockbuster Hollywood movie.
* And if you're not CJ, Bill Rini, Felicia, etc...and figure to be at the bar within the first few levels, PokerStars will have some great shirts, hats, CDs, and other stuff for the bust-out inclined.
So, thereya go. PokerStars gets it and I'm proud to work for them. There's no quid quo pro, here. It's just PokerStars being cool. However, if you'd like to thank them via your blog, it'd make me happy.
Now, find a way to make it through the next 17 days without getting so excited your wife/husband/boss decides to keep you at home.<-- Hide More
[Update: Monday night was the 15K at Pacific (21st for $105) and the 14K at Full Tilt (6th for $756, QQ went down to KTo). Wow. I've topped 8K now.]
Three more pictures for you. What a weekend.More in this Poker Blog! -->
First, it was the $5500 Guarantee at Ultimate Bet (I'm cusephenom):
Then I jumped in the Full Tilt Poker $50K Guarantee. Unfortunately, Kent was sucked out on just before the final table, but I barely made it:
And after a few people were knocked out, my KJ failed to catch, and I was done:
That's more than $7000 this weekend. It will never happen again, but it's been fun!<-- Hide More
I'm working on another really fun story. In the world of TV news we have 4 months out of the year when our work actually counts. Real journalists actually believe in the importance of thier work all year long, but the type of people who run TV stations only care about those four months, a quarterly dance of overpromotion and hype that we call "ratings." My next big story is a special for the November ratings sweep.
The star of the story is one of the best golfers in the country, the two-time defending state champion with one of the sweetest strokes you'll ever see. I interviewed him on his home course, his home is across the street from the 10th green, while he played a few rounds with his dad.More in this Poker Blog! -->
NOVEMBER TO REMEMBER
This month it's much easier to write about golf than poker. This has been an unusual autumn in G-Vegas. The warm weather, gulf coast spring to the skin, delayed the end of summer green. The best colors exploded mid-November. The fairways feel like an early summer evening, except for the crispness of the wind. I could spend all day, just watching a superb golfer.
Meanwhile, the digital air of the online casinos has grown stale and foul. Until recently, I had deluded myself into beliving I was a superb card player. After a long string of horrible beats, I realized they all had one thing in common, just me. I haven't JUST been unlucky, I've been playing poorly... consistently bad, and the swaggering arrogance that helped me play the right way has evaporated in the too dry November breeze.
I was having an incredible rush this year. I can pinpoint the night it ended. A few weeks ago, a single hand, a horrible beat. I recovered that night, but I think I've been playing tilted ever since. I can't get the last losing session, or the last losing week out of my head.
My bankroll is OK. I've stepped WAY down in limits. Last night I spend 3 hours donking away, and actually winning, at the .05/.10 NL game on Stars.
This golfer, the subject of my TV Special, knows very little about extended strings of futility. He won the State Championship last year, his first time in actual competition. He was 4.
The next year, he won again. At 5.
So, while he's quite the golfing phenom, I expected there was very little to learn from someone who still plays with the oversized Duplo blocks. As usual, especially this month, I was wrong.
G-Rob: So what's the one thing your father taught that helps you play the best?
Cody the Golfer: Keep a cool head. You can't get excited and you can't get upset.
Ding! Good morning Poker Dope! The prodigy has an insight.
Later, I asked Cody's father why golf means so much to him.
Cody's dad Billy: "Golf is like life. You've got to keep a level head. The last shot doesn't matter. If you hit the best shot in the world or the worst, when you line up for the next one IT DOES NOT MATTER" (emphasis mine)
Sometimes, on a personal level, these stories mean more to me than a few extra dollars for my boss. (We already run at a profit margin of 50%.) Even at my advanced age, I still have a lot to learn.
I'll be taking some time off from online poker. At least 10 days of so. Thanksgiving is this week and I'm traveling to Cincinnati and Louisville. Of course, there are boats nearby... but that's different.
I hope to have found my bearings by the time we get to Vegas. It's safe to say I can't play much worse. Hopefully, I'll arrive with a poker sense just as blank as my stone cold expression. Which also needs work.
On a final self-aggrandizing note: Just like the last Ratings Spectacular (the one about the moonshiner) I'll post the golfer story after it airs.
In 10 days.<-- Hide More
I wish I had the words to describe what's happened to me, but I lack the literary skills of my Up For Poker counterparts. So for now, all you get is pictures. I'll try to give you more tomorrow.
It started innocently enough at the blogger ring game:
Then I sucked out just enough in Dr. Pauly's Saturday tourney:
Finally, the players at Pacific Poker never saw this donkey coming:
I'm a little overwhelmed at this point. I have to thank Otis for sweating me during the Pacific tourney and all the blogger support during Pauly's tourney. It was a blast. Now I have to step away from the computer and let it soak in!
The tournament buy-in is $1000+80. The starting chip stack is 10,000. Blinds start at 100/200 (boooooo!) and levels last 45 minutes. It's at the Coushatta just an hour away and it's this weekend. The prize pool will be more than $200,000. There are two flights and the top ten from each flight cash and make the final 20 for Sunday.
I shouldn't even consider driving up there Saturday to play, right?
I feel bad for wil.
He gets these tourneys together for us each week, and then I manage to take most or all of his chips. It's not like I'm better than him... just INCREDIBLY lucky. For example, tonight I was very shortstacked when I moved to his table. That's when this happened:
All that did was enhance my image as a luckbox. That's a good image to have, I guess. A few hands later, wil's 99 ran into my Hiltons. Let's see if I can parlay those chips into a final table!
Update: No final table tonight. I got to feel the suckout when a guy called all his chips with 6 outs twice. His slightly less than 25% came through and I was crippled. AJ never improved vs. 99 and I was done.
Mrs. Otis sat on the couch and looked back and forth between the computer screen and my face. The images on the screen represented her bi-weekly paycheck being eaten by the dog then subsequently thrown up on the kid. The look on my face was not unfamiliar. It's a slight flush in the neck, followed by a sigh leaking from my mouth, followed by the words, "Oh, well."
Then she spoke. "So, is that what you people call variance?"More in this Poker Blog! -->
This scene actually played itself out in my living room a couple of weeks ago as I began what I have affectionately come to call the "November Slide." It wasn't until last night that I remembered that every November for the past three years, my game has gone in the crapper. As they say, bad players always remember their wins but forget their losses. I'd chosen to forget, for whatever reason, that November is always a bad month for my game.
As I sat to write out the reasons behind the "November Slide" (by the way, not at all related to the Electric Slide, other than they are two completely irrational and ugly things you'll hear idiots talk about), I decided to read about G-Rob's Card Dead Tilt (CDT). It's little secret that I enjoy reading about G-Rob's failures. I figure if he can make jokes about my hairline, I can take a minute amount of pleasure in his losing a few hundred bucks when he's playing badly.
As usual, G-Rob provided us with a good, introspective reflection on a bad night. Though I like to poke fun, G-Rob is not alone. Of course, we all like to say we are un-tiltable. I've said it more times than I can count. I also used to say, "I like to wait." It took me five years to admit I was lying to myself. I don't like to wait. And, though I am not easily tilted, I am tiltable.
As the "November Slide" continues unabated and my bankroll begins to consult with domestic violence counselors, I thought it might be a good time to expand on G-Rob's seedling of an idea. With that I offer...
The Nearly Comprehensive (but likely quite incomplete) Glossary of Tilt
(1) n. A altered state of mind that adversely affects a poker player's game
(2) v. The act of altering an opponent's mind so that his game is adversely affected
(3) n. A reprehensible and disgusting ESPN drama that was likely written in consult with Russ Georgiev
Bad Beat Tilt--Perhaps the most common form of tilt, Bad Beat Tilt often appears in concert with one's opponent sucking a two-outer. Bad Beat Tilt is often exacerbated by said opponent using the phrase, "I felt it."
Card Dead Tilt--See G-Rob's lengthy definition here.
Stuck Tilt--This tilt appears after having played a lengthy session only to find one's stack is smaller--usually significantly smaller--than it began. Stuck Tilt manifests itself in a common symptom of unfortunate poker play: "Getting Even." (See "Taking a Shot Tilt")
Taking a Shot Tilt--When Stuck Tilt lasts for more than a few sessions (as seen in such recent tales as "November Slide", which is not at all like the song "November Rain" unless you count the screaming that occurs in both), Taking A Shot Tilt walks hand in hand with Stuck Tilt. When under the influence of this kind of tilt, a player decides to play above his normal limit in an effort to win back his losses at a faster rate. Of course, this often results in more losses (
see the unwritten and never to be published "Experiment with $50/$100")
Big Blind Defense Tilt--As the masters have taught, big blind defense is an art. When Big Blind Defense Tilt affects a player, one begins to believe an opponent is indiscriminately attacking his or her big blind with trash. A choice is made to defend the big blind, which (being out of posisiton with 73 offsuit), even with a suitable amount of aggression results in ultimate failure and the loss of three more big bets than one would've lost otherwise.
Happy Tilt--Another common form of tilt, Happy Tilt appears in the middle of a profitable or otherwise fun session. Whether a player is winning or simply having fun with his buddies at the table, Happy Tilt can prove to be an unhealthy leak that causes players to "gamboooooool" indiscriminately. Happy Tilt is often made worse by mass consumption of alcohol (See also Whiplash Tilt)
Whiplash Tilt--A form of Hapy Tilt brought on by Whiplash the Dog-Riding Money. This form of tilt first raised its happy head during the 2004 WPBT Holiday Classic.
Fake Tilt--A stategic play aimed at making one's opponent believe one is on tilt, when, in fact, he/she is in complete control on one's faculties. Some scholars warn that Fake Tilt can mysteriously morph into full-blown Real Tilt without warning or explanation.
Red Ass Tilt--A form of tilt that has no explanation. The Missouri Crew co-opted the phrase from the 1985 movie "Moving Violations." It's one of these not-quite-tangible moods. If you accuse a person of having it, they have it by default. They can't deny it. Denying it only makes it a worse case of the Red Ass.
Cackling Wife Tilt--A form of tilt brought on by one's wife laughing heartlessly at your failures and bad luck. For futher information on this topic, see this scholar.
Tommy Tilt--G-Vegas-specific form of tilt, identified by a solid/rockish player finally deciding make a play at a pot and having G-Rob (not in the pot) call his hand and announce it to said rockish player's opponent, inducing a call and a subsequent loss by said rockish/solid player. Tilt is exacerbated by G-Rob's assertion that he really thought he was helping said rockish/solid player.
Alright, I've run out of steam for the moment. Do me a favor an help us out here. If you have a favorite form of tilt, serious or not, leave it in the comments. If we like it, we'll include it--wth credit, of course--in the main body of the post.<-- Hide More
My last two sessions have both been losers. I've had a helluva run in live play and simple variance was bound to smack me. But, if I'm being honest, the biggest drain is my own fault. At the big game on Monday, I dropped two buyins, then two more Thursday night. On both nights I was completely card dead, but that's only part of the problem.
More often than not, I can handle a bad beat. Beat beats, even in big tournaments are things we can recover from. I know that. Over time, they hurt me much less than before. But that doesn't mean I don't tilt.
Last week, I had C-D-T : Card Dead Tilt.More in this Poker Blog! -->
It's pretty damn obvious really. After a night of crappy pre-flop hands we are...card dead. But CDT requires more than that. I have to add that because inevitibly someone will remind me that a great player doesn't NEED great hands. For CDT the table needs to be just right.
For example :
The Big Game is extremely loose, with at least two players who may actually DEFINE the "calling station". There's plenty of money on the table for a player with a VERY TIGHT aggressive style. Actually, a player who just peddles the nuts will make a killing over time. But what happens if you never HAVE the nuts? Enter CDT.
Beyond that, by simple statistical law, you're bound to find some big pre-flop raising hands during a few hours of play. Remember at this NO LIMIT game, half the table will call almost ANY pre-flop raise. Again, that's perfect for pushing monsters, but deadly if the flop is a brick. Simple continuation bets won't work, and even a re-raise on what you know is an opponents weak bet, will almost always be called. So, not only do we need a strong pre-flop hand, but we must also hit the flop hard.
In my normal NL play, I love raising a limped pot with hands like middle suited connectors. But at this game the flop is crucial.
In my normal NL play, I'll almost always fire a strong bet at an ace-high flop with pocket kings. (You know all this of course.) But, at this game anyone with any ace is in it to the end. Danger lurks.
Probably the first sign of CDT is the nagging questions within. I went to the Big Game determined to play tight. But after folding garbage for 2 solid hours, and missing flops for at least 2 more, I started to wonder if I was playing TOO tight. At this game, I wasn't, but I started to wonder if second- or third-best hands were good at a table where 2nd pair was winning big pots.
Then, I started doubting my pre-flop play. After watching all of my strong starters run into a wall of flopped bricks, it made me more reluctant to fire at all. Why bother raising if it will only cost me more in the end?
We've all had this night, sometimes they come in bunches, where there isn't a hand worth a showdown all night.
I've always wondered why great sports teams sometimes squeak past vastly inferior competition. They play down to the level of their opponent. I think CDT forces that too. We see every pot played in less-than-optimal fashion, and if we can't get involved in the play....we start donking away too.
Which brings me to the second telltale sign.
Here's another seemingly obvious concept. If you're bored at a poker game, GET UP!
Folks, we all know, after traveling to your game, or bothering to assemble it if it's at home, you want to PLAY poker. But sometimes you just can't play what you're dealt at the table. Bored players will open up and gamble...make decisions they KNOW they shouldn't because they just want to play cards.
At the Big Game, Monday Night Football was on. Once I started getting bored I SHOULD have stood up, gone to the couch and watched the game for a few. Instead, I opened up the hand selection, made silly plays, and lost money.
Look for CDT the next time you play, dear reader. You'll find it. Don't say you weren't warned.<-- Hide More
"Come on... we've got poker to play. CLOCK!!" He was bald with a half fu-man-chu, so some other strange facial hair combination. He had donked his way into a pretty big stack, but had just taken a bad beat. Now he's calling for the clock.
"Are you f----- kiddin' me?!?!" I thought, but decided not to say.
I had flopped two pair with K6s. I bet out and got called by a pretty tight player. The turn gave me a flush draw, too. I bet and got raised. The raise wasn't big enough, however, with the outs I had. The river missed me completely. I checked and he pushed for another $250. Time to think.
"Clock! Get the floor."More in this Poker Blog! -->
I checked on the river, I think because I knew I was beat. This guy was tight and hadn't made a move on anyone in the 6 hours I sat beside him. I wanted, however, to think it through just in case.
But the clock? Really? This guy must have watched one too many episodes of the WSOP. I've played in a dozen casinos over the past three or four years and I have never once heard a player call for the clock in a cash game. Hell, I'd never it heard in a tourney either!
The floor came over and the dealer told him what just happened. I think he was as surprised as me.
"How much time do I have?"
"One minute and 10 seconds."
"Really? How'd you come up with that?"
"I don't know, but your time is counting."
"When do I get a verbal countdown, and since there's no clock in a casino, how are you timing it?"
"I've got a pretty good sense of time."
By now, I had already decided to fold. I suppose given more time I might have talked myself into a call, but I had to lay it down. Two pair couldn't be good. That didn't mean I wouldn't milk it.
"But it's such a tough decision," I said as dramatically as I could. I don't think Mr. Bald was amused.
The next hand I'm in the BB with 85o and it's limped around. The flop comes down 5-6-7, rainbow. I've got bottom pair and an OESD. It's checked around to Mr. Bald who $20. I call. We're heads up. The turn is a Q. I check. He bets $40. I call. Maybe I don't have odds, but I'm not sure he's got it either.
The river is a 5. I check, he bets $100. I really should have raised him here, but I just call. I flip my hand and say wryly, "I don't think my hand is good." He stops in midflip, clearly upset... and mucks, silently. He didn't last at the table much longer.
I hadn't been to the Coushatta in months, since before the hurricanes hit. I had forgotten how much I missed slinging real chips with real people. And I didn't go to play in a ring game, I went to play in a tournament.
It was a $210 + 20 buy in for T8000. Blinds started at 25/50 and levels last 20 minutes. It was not an ideal set up, but not bad. Unfortunately, I played just two hands.
We lost 5 minutes of the first level when a Jackass at our table called for the floor. That's right, I met the floor twice in a day.
Jackass raised from T50 to T300. A player behind him raised to T550. Jackass blew up.
"He can't do that, he has to double the bet. He has to raise to T600."
"No he doesn't, we've been over this before."
"Yes he does, dammit. This isn't limit. Get the floor!"
As we all know, the floor came over and confirmed that the dealer was right. You don't have to double the bet, you only have to double the raise. Of course, that didn't stop Jackass from talking about it for the next 20 minutes. And dammit if he didn't double through Pocket Rockets the next hand when his Cowboys caught a K on the flop.
My first hand didn't come until the second level. I'm in the BB when I look down at my first realy hand, AKo. It was raised to 600 from a guy in LP who played almost every hand. Amazingly, he still had chips.
I re-raised to T1500 and, to my dismay, it was called by the BB. The original raiser called as well, but he didn't worry me. I really wanted to hit this flop.
K-x-x. Jackpot! I bet T5000. And BB immediately went all lin for T375 more. The other guy got out of the way mumbling about needing one more card. I certainly couldn't lay down my hand to just 375 more. I called and he flipped KK. My Big Slick in the SB ran into Cowboys in the BB and the flop came down with the case K.
Someone tell me how I should play that better next time. I keep telling myself it was just bad luck, but maybe I could have done it differently. I guess I had to put him on a big hand when he called my raise, but should I have put him on the that? Ugh.
I was crippled and down to T900. I was out a few hands later.
I almost left right there. I had only been there an hour. And, for some reason, I thought Pauly's tourney started at 2pm and I could just about get home in time to play it. I was wrong about that, so I'm glad I decided to stay and play a little No Limit.
I bought in for $300 and sat right down. It's a good game. Blinds are $2/$5 and buy in is $100/$300.
It's always nice to win the first hand you play (foreshadowing). You start up and maybe, just maybe, you never have to drop below your starting stack (not foreshadowing).
I limp with K8s from MP. There's a few callers and the BB min-raises to 10. I have to call, as do 5 others. Six of us see a flop of A-8-2, two clubs. I've got the nut flush draw and middle pair. The BB leads out with 20 and I'm the only caller. The turn is a blank. The BB bets 20 again and I call. The river is another blank. The BB bets 20 once again and I think for a bit before calling. He flips KQo and I begin the day up. I guess he thought I could be pushed around by $20.
I got knocked back down after my pocket T's ran into a nut flush on the flop. I didn't lose too much, but I also wasn't seeing much in the way of cards.
When I finally got my first HAMMER, I raised it up to 25 preflop and got two callers. When the flop came 2-3-5, I bet 50 and they all folded.
"HAMMER!" I said, flipping my hand. I'm not sure they were impressed.
Things got better from there. Pocket 4's tripped up, I'm up 100. AQs caught a Q high flop, I'm up 170. Snowmen catch a straight on the turn, I'm up 275.
Then I see my nemesis hand. Big Slick.
I raise to 25 UTG and get two callers. The flop is K-T-x. I bet 50 and get one caller. The turn is a 9. The SB checks, I bet 100 and he goes all in for 65 more. Ugh. I call and, of course, he has QJ for the nut straight. I'm back down to just +25. Did I play it wrong again? Should I have recognized the straight?
AQo wins on another Q high flop for me and I'm back up 140. K9s rivers a flush and I'm now up 370. Then I donked off a bunch of chips playing 62o out of the BB. The flop was 9-6-x and I never gave the guy credit for the 9. Which, of course, he had. I know what I did wrong on that one.
Then it's Big Slick again. I think I should have just floded it pre-flop.
Instead I rasie to 20 and get two callers. The flop is 4-2-2, two clubs. I have the nut flush draw. I bet 40 and it's raised another 100. Is this where I'm supposed to lay it down? Someone tell me. I call. The turn is another 4. We both check. The river is a Q. I check and he pushes for 200. I fold and I'm up just 50 now.
Thinking back, I think he was trying to make me believe he had a 2 on the flop when he really didn't. He didn't think I would call. That may mean my AK was good at the river. Maybe good enough for at least a chop. I suppose discretion was the better part of valor?
A few hands later I played AA out of the SB and ran into a set of 3's. I'm now down 45 for the day. Boy, that was fast.
But here's the beatuy of NL. I limp with Q8s and the flop is 9-T-J. Nice. It's checked to me and I bet 15 and get one caller. The turn is a 7. He checks, I bet 20 and he calls. The river is an A. He bets 100, I raise to 200 (no way he has QK), he calls, and my straight takes it down. I'm back up 220.
Of course, I donk half of that away playing T9 out of the SB when I flop middle pair and an OESD. Two pair took me down. I'm up just 110.
My first look at the Hiltons wins me a nice pot despite the A on the flop. And on the next hand, AQo wins me a big pot when the flop comes down A-high and I get a Q on the river. I'm back up 350.
Later, Rockets hold up for me and I'm up 405. By 10pm, I'm up 500, my high water mark at that point.
I actually played for a few more hours after that, but didn't take any notes. I doubt many of you made it this far anyway, so I figured I wouldn't bore you with much more. Eventually, I was up to about $875 in front of me, but I gave 75 back and walked away with 800 in my racks.
With the $40 I won at blackjack waiting for the tourney to start that meant I finished up $300 for the day. Not bad at all considering my tournament performance was so pathetic.
It's a NL game I love, and I'll definitely be back.<-- Hide More
"Serendipity" didn't quite capture it. Nothing could capture it. It was a rag-tag weekend that simultaneously mercilessly wrecked my psyche and infused my spirit. It was the first-ever WPBT gathering.
I wrote a lot about that weekend after it was over. But this moment was the one that still sticks out in my mind.More in this Poker Blog! -->
HDouble sat with CJ and I for a couple of hours, slinging chips and laughing with us. As I sat there, I knew that he knew the answer to a question I'd been laboring over for months. He knew if Iggy was a little person or some rabid practical joker. It seemed so crude to bring it up, though.
As we sat, the Missouri crew and G-Rob finally found their way into the poker room. They all bought in for some chips, and I found myself inordinately interested with how they were faring. CJ and I had a bit of a view of G-Rob's stack and monitored it closely.
I knew that HDouble was supposed to have a pretty, Nordic wife.
"You come by yourself, Hank, or did you bring someone along?" I asked. Maybe I was just making small talk. I dunno. A part of me thinks I was setting myself up for a joke I didn't even know was coming.
HDouble indicated he'd come alone this time.
I had been pointing out various bloggers to CJ as they walked by. Eventually, CJ pointed over to Pauly's table, where a long-haired guy was squatting next to the one-seat.
"Who is that?" he asked.
I'd seen the guy walk in a little earlier in the night. Maybe it was Grubby, I thought. However, I figured since Grubby had been MIA all night long that there would've been some grand celebration when he arrived. So, I made the next logical choice.
"Pauly said his buddy Ferrari was coming. Maybe that's who it is." I said. I didn't look at Hank when I said this.
I consider myself a pretty good multitasker. My wife gets vaguely annoyed when I try to play poker, watch TV, keep an eye on the dog and kid, read a newspaper, and carry on a conversation with her. But I can do it.
Part of my professional training has included being able to listen passively for a spot in a conversation where active listening is required. At any given time, I can write, listen to a police scanner, carry on a conversation with someone in the office, and listen to Yahoo! Launchcast. If somebody gets killed within a 20-mile radius, I'll hear it on the police scanner. If somebody at work needs me for something, I'll hear it. If Steve Earle slips into a cover of "Willin'," I'll hear it.
Keep that in mind for a couple of paragraphs.
I was in the middle of a hand, which drew my concentration ever so slightly away from talking with Hank and CJ, from watching G-Rob and Marty's stack, from ordering another in a long series of beers, from trying to figure out why my cell phone had started shooting every call to voicemail, and, yes, from the guy who was now kneeling beside me. It was the same guy CJ had asked about earlier.
"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.
Damn, I loved that moment.
After the first WPBT event, everyone said it could never be re-created. When last June rolled around, I was determined to do it. I planned everything down to the minute. In doing so, I worked against my goal.
The beauty of the first WPBT event was that, with the exception of tournament day, nothing was planned. Like the WPBT itself, everything happened organically. Planning for events like these is like like planning how to play Ace-King to the river before you've ever seen a flop. The beauty of it all is the mid-game, mid-hand, mid-party gear shifts we're forced to confront.
While this past June was a great time, I felt like I'd over-scheduled my time. Every moment of every day was planned down to the minute. I found myself sticking to a schedule and organic happenings didn't happen. Don't get me wrong. I had a great time. How could I not? Still, what I did was more fertilized than organically grown.
And so it happens that there have been calls for me to organize another Storming of the Castle.
When I made the decision to attend this December's WPBT Winter Classic, I made one rule for myself. No schedule. The only thing on my schedule is the WPBT event on Saturday. Other than that, I'm going to go where the games, friends, and drinks take me. If I end up downtown playing craps alone at 5am, well, so be it.
And, yet, I love the Castle. I love to storm it. So, what do I do?
Well, this is what I've come up with. I'm making no plans. I'm not blocking off any time for it. That said, I wanna do it.
So, here's the deal, if you're at all interested: If it should happen that a group of bloggers in my presence decides Storming the Castle is a good idea, I'm going to text message five people. If they see it as a good idea, they can text message five people. And so on. Yeah, I know, flash mobs are so 2002 (note: any cultural phenomenon that appears on a TV crime drama is now passe).
So, here's my five. Pick yours and program your phone accordingly. And those of you without a cell phone (ahem, Iggy), go buy one, you Luddite.
And if it doesn't happen...well that means I'm spending more time in the organic garden.
...and because I was bored...<-- Hide More
I badly misplayed a hand last night in a game of Crazy Pineapple 8/b. I'd like some feedback on the hand.
The game is (with 2 exceptions) an EXTREMELY LOOSE $2/$4 dealer's choice with a $200 buyin. Usually it starts with hold-em but 9 of 10 hands are a very silly NL Omaha 8b.
The big exception is Badblood who almost always calls for Crazy Pineapple.More in this Poker Blog! -->
I'm in the SB in the 2s at a 9-handed table. The entire table limps in until the 8s raises it to $12 and the 9s calls, the dealer folds.
I look down and find AsAd7d. Knowing the character of the table, I raise it to $50!
The 4s and the 9s both smooth call.
The flop is 6d,8s,9s which is, of course on of the most coordinated and least desireable flops I could see. With my holding I have either:
Top pair with the ace of spades.
A low draw with A-7-6-8
An OESD with the Ace of spades.
I figure the A-7 low, after the 2 preflop callers is clearly no good, and I decide I like the top pair better than the OESD.
I suspect THAT was my first mistake.
Then I decide at least one of my opponents is on that low draw, and I don't want the flush to hit so I made mistake number 2...I vastly overplayed my hand....pushing all-in for another $140.
The 4s insta-calls and so does the 9s. I know I'm beat.
The turn is a 4s meaning the low is good and so is the flush. 4s checks and the 9s bets all-in for another $200...after a good while in the tank...4s calls.
The pot is now about $1100!
4s shows 9-9 for a set of 9s.
and sure enough
9s shows Ks-Qs for the flush.
Now, at this point I consider the 9s calling for $140 on a flush draw EXTREMELY LOOSE..and the set of 9s FAIRLY LOOSE. The 4s put his opponent on the nut low and figured the call on the flush draw was unlikely.
I also, with the ace of spades, now had great outs. Any low card gives me the low. Any spade gives me the scoop.
The river is an 8c and the set catches big and scoops $1100.
I figure BOTH players were awfully loose pre-flop...but the loss was my fault after that.
At this table, I don't apologize for the $50 pre-flop raise...I figure I have a very strong starting hand and I WANT callers there. The question is in the post-flop play.
Obviously, I'm out of position here...but do I want to bet out and thus represent the low? It wouldn't have helped me here.
Given, a check is probably best on such a co-ordinated board, but with THESE players I would be pushed out by huge bets with a VERY VERY wide range of hands.
Perhaps the best suggestion on such a loose table, and usually this is how BadBlood and I play there, is just to wait for the nuts and clean up. But, I was on totally CARD DEAD TILT...which is a subject for my next post.
Any Crazy Pineapple players have some strategy to spare?
It's clearly one of my weakest games.<-- Hide More
Told you I was just warming up...
I was sooooo damn lucky I can hardly explain it. If I sucked out on you, feel free to email me, or point me to your post so I can refresh my memory.
I'll have a more complete write up soon. Congrats Kevin! See ya at the Shootout!
(Update: Pro-like analysis in the extended entry)More in this Poker Blog! -->
I backup my blind steals with suckouts.
I did warn them. Those were my words. I was under no pretense that I was anywhere in the class of the bloggers with whom I was sitting down.
31 of the top bloggers played and just two would earn the coveted seats into the Bill Rini Vegas shootout. At the end of three weeks, that meant six players would play in a winner-take-all format for about a thousands bucks.
How do I suck out on thee... let me count the ways.
Sometimes the best cards win, and sometimes you face a donkey with a cock as his avatar. He was an angry cock, though, I made sure of that. You see, cockfighting is legal down here in Leezy-anna, and mine was wearing spurs.
The game started innocently enough. My first table was packed with the blogging elite. It was a Murderer's Row of bloggers better than me.
#1: Sorry Maudie
Tomorrow, I will join the crowd at Full Tilt for Rini's roundup. I am eager, I am breathless in anticipation, nay, I am -- dare I say it -- creaming to see what level of bad beat will be exacted to knock me out of Sunday's tournament.
I'm dealt pocket 4's in early position and I limp. No one raises and the flop comes down 8-3-2. Just one overcard and I'm liking my hand. Frankly, I can't really remember the action, but I think Maudie had a bet about 2/3 of the pot. I put her on two overcards figuring it was a continuation bet. I called. I guess if I thought I was really ahead I could have raised, but I wanted to see a four.
The turn was another 3. In my mind, it didn't help her. I lead out this time trying to represent the 3. I think. Maudie called, and the river was a 4 giving me the boat. I pushed and Maudie couldn't help but call if she put me on overcards, too. She had 55. I hit my two outer, and Maudie was out a few hands later when my Ace outkicked hers.
Donkey 1, Bloggers 0
#2 Sorry Pauly
Pauly tried a blind steal from the button with JTo. I had the suited JackHammer, and a pretty big stack, so I wasn't laying this one down. I called, and a flop of x-4-4 gave me a monster. Pauly bluffed at it for his whole stack figuring there's no way I called his raise with a hand that bad. I did. And Pauly was out. The JackHammer lives.
Donkey 2, Bloggers 0
#3 Sorry Easy Cure
My memory is getting really fuzzy here, but I believe I made a blind steal attempt with K2o. EZ came back at me all in. I announced I was going to suckout on him, and The Poker Geek, for that matter, who was all in with his blind. With the suckout proclamation there, I pressed the call button. (Tennessee Jason has proclaimed it the "worst call ever." So much so he was compelled to write about a hand he wasn't involved in and then call it bullshit! Wow.)
K2o vs. the Geeks 86o and EZ's 99.
The flop and the river both brought K's.
Donkey 3, Bloggers 0
The Final Table
To say I was scared out of my mind was an understatement.
I was the chip leader, but that didn't mean much at this table!
#4 Sorry Kent
This was the first of my big races at the final table. I had just folded to a re-raise by Hank, he was bullying me pretty good. I didn't like it. The next hand, Kent makes a standard 3x raise with KQo and I raise him virtually all in with 99. Someone said it was a steam bet.
Kent thought for a moment, saying he suddenly didn't like his hand anymore. If I was AK or AQ, he was way behind. I wanted him to fold. He called, and luckily for me, he missed.
Up For Poker 1, LA Bloggers 0
Sorry Bill Bah, I owed you one!
Before the final table, Bill got moved to my table one seat to my left. I told him that I back up my blind steals with suckouts. He considered himself warned.
With 6 left, I looked down at the suited JackHammer again. I raised UTG and got called by -EV. That's when Bill went all in. I again announced I was going to suckout and called, reluctantly. Kevin thought for a while and reluctantly folded. Bill flipped over a big hand, AJ, I think, and had me dominated.
The flop was harmless, low cards that missed me, and only one diamond. The turn was another diamond. And the river gave me the runner-runner flush. It was the worst of the bad beats that I dealt out. Kevin says he folded the nuts, too, AQd, which would make my suckout even worse.
Up For Poker 2, LA Bloggers 0
#6 Sorry Gracie
We're down to five and I'm in the BB with 82o. Gracie makes a min-raise from late position and it's folded to me. With the antes in the pot and my huge stack, I can't help but call. The flop comes down 8-high, I think. I check, Gracie bets, and I put her all in. She has to call with her overcards, but misses. Another fortunate hand for me.
#7 Sorry Hank
This was my second big race of the final table. Hank had been bullying me since he sat down to my right. We were one-two in chip stacks for much of the time until he lost a huge part of his stack to Royal.
This time, he raised from the button, I think, and I pushed him all-in with pocket 10s from the small blind. Kevin folded and Hank showed A5o. The Ace never came.
Up For Poker 3, LA Bloggers 0
#8 Sorry Royal
Actually, this thing would have been practically over earlier, except I lost a race with Royal. I think it was 88 vs. A9 and Royal caught his 9 on the river. (Correction, as Kevin tells us in the comments, this lost race was against him, not Royal.)
When we got down to three, I found JJ. Royal raised from the button and I put him all in from the SB. Kevin folded and Royal called with KQ. Once again, my pocket pair held up and that was that.
I'm STILL shocked
Kevin and I had secured our seats in the shootout. The next hand I got Big Slick suited and Kevin got Presto. The hand didn't matter much, but there's a good chance we would have gotten all our money in the pot either way. I caught a K on the flop and it was really all over.
I really want to thank all the railbirds who cheered me on until the end. It was a blast!<-- Hide More
It's obvious I hold some amount of disdain for my own poker skills. I try to make that as clear as possible. I suck at poker. It's been my mantra from the first day I started my hack postings here. At first, I said it because it was demonstrably true. Sure I've shown SOME improvement since then, it would be hard not to just by sheer repitition, but I still haven't cleared the SUCK hurdle. Not against tough competition.
Probably the best comparison is with golf, a game millions play but none master. Still, some players are very very good and the rest of us just keep hacking away. Like my poker game, I've improved somewhat at golf, but against someone who actually PLAYS the sport, I totally suck.More in this Poker Blog! -->
TAKE THE LOCAL GAMES
Somehow, I've been fairly profitable in the local circuit...so much so that I'm always looking for new action. We've got a hardy few here, like the original Texas road gamblers, who can sniff out a beatable table a hundred miles away. Usually, that's good news for me. Within a few orbits I can usually peg the style of the weaker players, (the calling stations and the maniacs) and use that to my advantage. But some players still own me...and they're the ones who don't suck.
The other bloggers, for example, like Otis and Badblood always kick me in the groin. The smartest local players like TheMark and his brother TheRick can dominate an entire table and me along with it. Whenever I sit down with a table of players I know understand the game, I'm still intimidated and thrown off my game.
I'm like the Bengals, I can beat the bad teams and build a winning record...but the good teams are still better.
Which is why I'm sorta nervous about Las Vegas this year. I had a terrible time at the first blogger event last December. (Actually I had an incredibly GOOD time...but not financially) I got my ass handed to me at almost every game. When the bloggers went back this past summer, I actually turned a small profit, but again, not against the bloggers themselves. Instead, BadBlood and I scouted out some rather weak games...where even I could make money.
This time, as I've told Otis, I'm determined to take a chunk of bankroll to a bigger limit and see how far I can go. That really scares me to death.
What if these guys have some modicund of skill?
Then I probably don't stand a chance.
I'll still take the shot, if only to confirm that I still suck at poker.
WHY WHINE NOW?
The other night, while talking to Otis on the girly chatterbox device, I again mentioned "I suck at poker". And for the first time, he told me to shut-up about it. Perhaps I should. I do win money, and most players would be happy with that, but remember, this isn't about results.
The problem is, I've had a real crisis of medocrity. I feel like I'm stuck on an endless plateau, where the horrible newbies are beneath me and the REAL players are still well beyond reach. I felt like I absorbed a tremendous amound of poker insight when I first took up the game, and now new concepts have a very hard time taking root.
Frankly, I can't wait for Vegas. But part of me is scared to death.<-- Hide More
Arrive Vegas 8:14pm on Thu. Dec. 8th
Depart Vegas 12:43pm on Mon. Dec. 12th
See you there!
I. Am. Not. A. Closer.More in this Poker Blog! -->
This time, I'm not quite as disappointed because my opponent had me 5-1 heads up. I got close with some well-time aggression, but fell short in the end.
Still, not a bad ROI on a $30 rebuy. Oh, for those who wonder about that kind of thing, I used the rebuy trick twice and took the add-on, never once hitting zero in chips.<-- Hide More
You know, the other night I watched I, Robot and I have to admit it freaked me out a little bit. That said, if you need a break from your pokering, you gotta check out Little Lost Robot. This dude is what blogging is all about. He has more talent in his mouse than I have in my entire computer.
Of particualr interest this week is his new robot version of the "My Humps" video, which I think could become an internet classic.
Do yourself a favor and spend some happy time in his archives.
You know how every superhero has an arch-villan, right? For Batman, it's the Joker. For Superman, it's Lex Luthor. For the X-Men, it's Magneto. Of course, that leaves dozens of bad guys out there who like to fancy themselves the arch-enemy, but they're simply delusional. The Penguin? I don't think so.
This all brings us to G-Rob, a local superhero of questionable morals. I think we can all agree that G-Rob is to Superman as Otis is to Lex Luthor (work with me here). Spend a little time at the tables with them, and that becomes rather clear. I suppose a case could be made for Bad Blood, but he's really more like General Zod, if you ask me.
So what about Chilly? It's kind of pathetic, actually. Have you ever heard of The Prankster? Yeah, me neither. But I bet he fancied himself as Superman's most villainous foe. Chilly is our own Prankster.
Despite the delusional tendencies, Chilly has made enough of an impression to land himself a coveted honor, "The Nuts." If you need to know the reason, take a look at the application...More in this Poker Blog! -->
Dear Sir or Madame:
Thank you for your consideration of me to be "The Nuts". Please note that unlike many of your other candidates I am both already linked and quite confident that I can be "The Nuts". If selected I will represent "The Nuts" with my arsenal of talent. Enclosed please find my current resume. If you have any questions please contact me at idsn72-vegas at yahoo.com.
Infant Days Sleepless Nights
Career Goal: To be the Nuts on Up4Poker.com
Blogger covering poker and parenthood with occasional wanderings into topics such as death, taxes and business
*Busted Up4Poker's own G-Rob in a $25 NL game on Party 10/19/2005
*Linked to by linksters such as Up4Poker, the Blogfather, AlCan'tHang, Dr. Pauly and TooloftheMan
*Once ate breakfast with Otis and his brother Little Willy
*Thinks CJ is a nice guy and can sympathize with nobody disliking him
*Never finished ITM in a MTT
*Likes to OR UTG or in EP with hands such as 98s
*Lifetime VP$IP of 18.73 on Party Poker
*Extensive knowlegde of poker abbreviations
*Voted "Best Poker Player I'm Married To" by Mrs. Chilly
*Recently began to shill
*Liftime LO8 winnings of $1.74
References available upon request.
If that doesn't get you a little recognition, nothing will. Now if he could just work on his arch-enemy status, maybe someday he'll be at least Mr. Mxyztplk.
(FYI: Blogroll has also been updated.)<-- Hide More
It took longer than expected, but we're officiall on to round two. Click "There's More" for details, but before you do, please click here and tell us where you're reading us from. Thanks!More in this Poker Blog! -->
Game 1: CJ and Heather defeat Matt and Meghan, three games to one
Game 2: Bob and Otis defeat Drizz and BG, three games to two
Game 3: Lefty and Jason defeat Maudie and Daddy (The Donkey Fletchers), three games to zero
Game 4: GRob and Uncle Ted defeat Jim and Drizz, three games to one
CJ and Heather vs. Bob and Otis
Lefty and Jason vs. GRob and Uncle Ted
I think it's safe to say that Up For Poker owns Euchre.<-- Hide More
It's a busy day in Otisville. I capped off my October with a disappointing 36 out of 1100-ish finish in the Super Monday tournament. Now, it's on to more important things. They're due a proper write-up, but time escapes me. PokerStars finally signed up Joe Hachem, so my day is a little too full. Nonetheless, here are some things you should be noting in the coming days.More in this Poker Blog! -->
#1-- Mean Gene has finally gotten off the spinster wagon (what am I saying...?) and decided to cowboy up and join us in Vegas. THAT is the best news I have heard in a while. I have an odd feeling he's going to turn out to be some famous professional wrestler or something. Prop bet that Gene is actually Rowdy Roddy Piper?
That's all for now. Work and a scary experiment are going to keep me pretty busy for the next few weeks.<-- Hide More