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Poker Blog established in 2003 as the first stop for poker news, poker stories, and bad poker advice.

March 11, 2009

How I became a millionaire

by Otis

I remember the long nights my father spent at the office, his tired face, and his hours of undone work that we helped him do in the middle of our living room floor. I remember the business trips, the budgets, and the work ethic. Most of all, I remember what he said when I questioned why he worked so hard.

"Making money takes hard work, son. No one can become a millionaire overnight."

Dad was wrong.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

March 7, 2009

North Carolina opens poker room at Harrah's Cherokee

by Otis

Legal, live poker just got about four or five hours closer to G-Vegas.

Last night, the Harrah's in Cherokee, NC opened up a brand new poker room.

But, wait! There's more. Because of the vagaries of North Carolina law, the room has no live dealers. All the games are played PokerTek automated tables. Of course, in an ideal world, live poker would be live poker, but after not having a legal room here forever, this will do for now.

Word on the street says the room currently has five tables with room for more. Early reports indicate low limit hold'em games running and 1/2 and 2/5 no-limit also going.

Current news can be found below.

Charlotte business journal

2+2 thread

Cherokee is a little more than two hours from Greenville, SC, if my memory serves me. Feel confident the G-Vegas boys will be making a run up there soon to check it out.

Now, if South Carolina could just get its head...


November 22, 2008

Legal poker in Kansas?

by Otis

This just in from the Up for Poker Midwest Bureau (aka, my brother Dr. Jeff).

This is a new one as far as I can tell. How to make poker legal? Flash the deck at all the players just before you deal and it makes it a skill game. Or something like that.

"Wichita entrepreneur Shawn Riley thinks he's found the profitable sweet spot between free bar poker and the real thing, played for money, that is both legal and unregulated...The difference between Kandu and poker is the "flash," a two- or three-second glimpse of the shuffled deck that each player gets as the dealer fans every card in the deck face up across the table before the cut and deal. After the cut the bottom card in the deck is also exposed."

Full article in Kansas City Star.


November 2, 2008

Giving it up for the Godfather

by Otis

The poker room of the Fiesta Casino in the Ramada Herradura just outside of San Jose, Costa Rica is a six or seven table area that is just big enough to fit the players, a couple of aimless cocktail waitresses, and Humberto Brenes.

When the men get massages, they do it with their shirts off and buxom, camel-toed therapists kneading away elbow-deep at their fat-backs. Out of simplicity and in the face of a 540-1 colones to dollar exchange rate, the poker games are played with dollar-value chips. Against all better judgment, the first seat I took in the room was at a 5/10 half No-Limit Hold'em and half Pot-Limit Omaha game.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

September 10, 2008

Five most memorable hands against poker bloggers

by Otis

Luckbox has been doing most of the heavy lifting in this fifth birthday of Up For Poker. I'm wrapped up in other activities right now, but couldn't let the time pass without a brief submission. Some of these are repeats, some are original, but all of them will stick in my memory as long as I'm playing.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

May 25, 2008

Am I a Poker Cliche?

by Luckbox

Lucky in love, unlucky in cards.

I've heard it quite a few times since I've found Lady Luck. Many a blogger have mentioned that my luckboxing abilities have likely diminished or disappeared since I've found love. I don't believe it, but my experience Saturday night didn't exactly assuage my fears.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

March 31, 2008

Naked Otis

by Otis

I sat cross-legged in the hotel room. The carpet was new, clean, and better than what I had in my house. The balcony doors were open, letting in a wind and exposing a view you can't buy--it's only available for rent.

A few feet away from me sat more than $30,000 in cash. Most of it was wrapped in ten-grand bundles. A private dealer had been summoned to the room, a cache of one-of-a-kind chips littered the floor, and a setup of cards was being counted down. I speak of all of this in passive voice because, while I was there, I was--at least for the moment--a spectator. It was not my money. They were not my chips. I hadn't touched the cards. I was sitting in the middle of something that was simultaneously meaningless and exceedingly important. More to the point, I was caught up in a salt-washed epiphany.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

November 28, 2007

A piece of the rock

by Otis

It was one of those nights where everything was on my side. My reads were on, the draws were coming in, and variance was giving me a neck massage. It was one of those nights where I felt smart, even if I was getting lucky. I was posting a decent win and thankful for it.

In fact, I was ready to call it a night and go home a modest winner.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

November 16, 2007

The Armenians

by Otis

There are people who suggest the former Soviet Republic of Armenia is where Adam and Eve first looked at each other's nodules. I don't know this to be true, but I have no reason to say otherwise. As far as I know, original sin popped up a few nights ago at some backwater McDonalds, so the last thing I am going to do is deny Armenians their place in biblical history. A Garden of Eden theme park could be in the offing if the former Communists really put their minds to it.

As long as I'm being generous, I also hesitate to call whe whole of the Republic a bunch of cheats. I haven't met many of them, and I guess it wouldn't be the most diplomatic thing to do. However, if the nation's leaders want to enjoy a long-lasting relationship in the United Nations and WTO, they might want to keep tabs on some of the poker players they are producing. Again, I've not met many of them, but the four I met last weeks were card cheats like none I've ever seen before.

What's worse, they were really bad at it.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

August 12, 2007

When Omaha strikes Texas

by Otis

I'd been thinking about the heat.

I'd been thinking about the heat because it wouldn't let me think about anything else. The temperatures in G-Vegas had been over 100 for the past three days and the nights weren't much better. Even though the poker room enjoyed central air conditioning, it couldn't fight the heat wave. Nothing I drank quenched my thirst. Nothing stopped the sweating. I was clammy and thought, "Well, here's my chance to die at the poker table."

More in this Poker Blog! -->

July 16, 2007

I won at Poker!

by G-Rob

Poker is a lot more fun when you're winning. For a while there I thought I was bored with the game itself. Now it seems I was just tired of losing so damn much.

Losing sucks.

So here's a different story my friends: It seems that even a dumbshit like myself CAN win sometimes.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

June 25, 2007

Back at the Depot and totally burned out

by G-Rob

It took about 3 weeks for me to make it back to the felt. Remember, I'm a guy who was playing as often as 5 times a week as recently as a few months ago.

I wrote a post called "Goodbye to some Forever" when my work schedule changed again. I really can't play more than once a week anymore.

But something more signifigant has happened.

After Bonnaroo, after more time at home with my family, after enjoying the company of friends away from the table....I just didn't enjoy playing poker. That's new.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

May 15, 2007

The Otis Rubric

by Otis

Any good poker player knows, decisions at the table should rarely involve how much money is involved. There are good plays and bad plays. There are good decisions and bad decisions. There are good calls and good folds. If you're making those decisions based on how many double cheeseburgers you could buy with the money, you're not using the correct decision-making process.

In life, however, it is fiscally responsible to make decisions based on cost-benefit analysis. We do it all the time. Does L'il Otis really need another Pixar film? Does Mrs. Otis really need a .38 Special and a Doberman to keep her company while I'm skulking around the local card rooms?

These kinds of decisions are personal and vary from father to father and husband to husband. However, I think I've developed a pretty good poker-based rubric for making financial decisions.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

May 7, 2007

The Process

by Otis

Men who buy hookers, by and large, aren't spending their money for the 15 minutes of paint-by-number sex and five seconds of afterglow they get for their money. They spend their cash for The Process--the search, the choosing, the negotiation, and the eventual purchase. It's not the getting off that gets them off.

It's The Process.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

April 16, 2007

The $400 Parking Ticket

by Luckbox

His name was John and he was perched in the ten seat with a couple hundred in chips in front of him. He was a regular, he knew our current dealer was slower than most. Another player told him he looked like a "Bohemian Chris Hansen." We all guessed he meant Gus.

The thing I remember most is that he enjoyed raising me.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

April 7, 2007

Trooper Clubs

by Otis

A couple years back when we started playing a lot more of the underground games in G-Vegas, Eddie the Dealer dropped a new hand nickname on me. He called 9-7 "The Trooper." It was a loose reference, near as I could tell, to an Iron Maiden song of the same name. I can't say I ever played the hand any more or any less because of the nickname, but I embraced The Trooper as the hand's name and addressed it as such.

Just before I left to go to Monte Carlo, I got caught up in a Trooper hand that taught me a lot of things. Most importantly, it taught me why I'll never be a good no-limit cash game player.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

March 4, 2007

The penalty for miscalling a poker hand

by Otis

Don't ask why I was playing 8-4 suited in diamonds. It doesn't matter. It was shaping up to be that kind of night. Plus, I'm sort of lost. Nevertheless, I saw two diamonds on the flop and stoppped paying attention. I paired the four on the turn and hit another diamond on the river. It was checked to me and BadBlood asked, "How much will it cost me to buy this pot?"

"Thirty-five dollars," I said. That was the amount I will was willing to call with my weak flush.

"Then I check," he said.

I saw Do-Right getting ready to table K4. I was happy my little flush was about to win.

"I have a flush," I said and tabled my 8-4 of diamonds.

"You realize you don't have a flush?" Eddie, the dealer said. He looked at me like I was something just short of a diagnosed moron.

I looked at the board and re-counted the diamonds. Sure enough, there were only two.

Do-Right tabled his K4 to outkick my 8-4 and dragged his pot.

"Cocktails!" I yelled, startling the waitress into action. I then buried my head into a felt of shame and listened to someone joke, "Five red cards...FLUSH!"

More in this Poker Blog! -->

January 15, 2007

The Gold Is Tarnished

by Luckbox

Welcome to the big leagues, kid.

On the very first hand of the new season of High Stakes Poker, Jamie Gold decided to show a little muscle.

With a board showing 6s-Kd-Jd-Ts, Gold faced an $8,000 bet from Doyle Brunson. Gold was holding QhTh and figured it was worth more.

"I raise... I make it 20," Gold said.

"This is real money here, Jamie," Doyle told him.

"I know, I might be out soon," Jamie responded.

"That's the good news, you're never out," Daniel Negreanu added.

"How much did you start with?" Doyle asked Jamie.

"A hundred."

"See what I have here, I forgot," Doyle says, peeking down at his AhQs, the absolute nuts. "Okay, let's go."

Two $50,000 bricks go into the pot.

"How much?" Jamie asks.

"$100,000," the table responds.

After a moment's hesitation, the cards go into the muck, "I'm not ready for that."

You're damn right, Jamie. You're not. Watching him try to bust the best poker player ever while he's holding the nuts was pure television gold (excuse the pun). And watching this douche bust over and over will be the best thing to ever happen to High Stakes Poker.

Update: Here now is the video from YouTube.


August 18, 2006

So this guy says..."Would you like $700?"

by G-Rob

The "Spring Hotel" is like most underground games, with that cheap homegame air and the same rotating roster of players. They rake 5% of every pot with no cap. They give us free pizza from some non-National chain and offer as much Sprite as we can pissibly drink. The same dealer is always there and at least half of the table is always players I know well. Most of them are middle class types, cable installers, construction foremen, and small scale contractors. They're uniformly awful at poker.

I've made a helluva living at the Spring Hotel. I've finally become the guy the other players talk about, the ringer in the room, which suits my agressive style just fine. Most of the time it's pretty standard stuff, but I thought you, dear reader, would get a kick outta last night.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

June 25, 2006

Halfway to Christmas

by G-Rob

I've been rollicking in the glow of what Blood calls "a perfect storm," the confluence of good cards, good reads, and my usual hyper-aggressive style. Actually, it's just hyper. I can tilt a table in 90 seconds flat. That's how I roll.

I had 11 consecutive winning sessions live, and many of them were for very big wins, before losing a buyin (and a half) on Monday night. Still, even when I'm playing well, I'm never far removed from thinking I suck at poker.

Probably, that's because I do, in fact, suck at poker.

But I digress...

More in this Poker Blog! -->

June 22, 2006

A response to BadBlood

by Otis

It's been a very long six days. I may elaborate at a later date, but for now suffice it to say, I've been on non-poker tilt for the better part of the last week. Last night around 8:30, my wife told me to shut off my computer. She didn't care what I did with my time, as long as I wasn't staring at a computer screen.

Half an hour later, I was in my car, drinking an energy drink, and calling BadBlood to see if he wanted to meet G-Rob at the Spring Hotel. Blood was otherwise busy and declined.

This morning, Blood sent an e-mail that led me to believe he was jonesing for a game last night and wanted a detailed recounting of last night's events.

All in all, it was a typical night. I walked away with no real stories. Still, I did my best to give Blood a vicarious romp through last night's session. What you'll find below the cut is not good writing, a good story, or even all that interesting. However, it is poker. So, I offer it in the spirit of letting everyone know I'm still alive, still on life-tilt, and sorry I'm not writing anything worth reading.

That is, I'm still playing, just not living a particularly interesting life right now.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

May 30, 2006

A Limit to the madness

by G-Rob

I'd looked foreward to Monday all weekend long. Yes, I realize just how bizarre that sounds, but I do work on the weekend so it's a bit different for me. See, we've just learned that the "G-Vegas BIG GAME" is changing formats. Gone is the $2/$5 $200-man NL OMAHA crap....with $1/$2 NLHE in it's place.

Glory BE!

Of course this was a holiday weekend, and the best laid plans...yada yada yada...we played something else instead.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

May 28, 2006

Tales from the Bayou

by Luckbox

She pressed her knee into my leg. She was sending me a message, hidden under the table from the rest of the players. It was different from when she placed her hand on my arm or whispered in my ear. I knew exactly what she was trying to tell me here, and it excited me.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

May 26, 2006


by G-Rob

On Friday afternoon I met my older daughter in the driveway, after she'd stepped from the bus. Before she chould toss her backpack into the pile of shoes in the corner, I'd whisked her off to Barnes and Noble. I wanted a copy of the Bonds book "Game of Shadows" and I like for her to get excited about new books.

Oh, and I picked up a copy of "Bluff" magazine. It contains the following DIRECT QUOTE: "The debonair and handsome G-Rob, who is also a local G-Vegas Celebrity."

Let me just say, Pauly is the single greatest writer working in America today. I've mentioned the article to my wife a few (fewer then 40,000) times and each time she reacts the same way.

"Well, I always thought you were handsome... but debonair? I think Pauly does drugs."

For the record, he does.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

May 25, 2006

Murderer's Row?

by Otis

"I always keep a roll of duct tape and some rope in the trunk of my car."

I was doing my best not to look at the guy while he talked. I already knew what he looked like. Closely-cropped hair, a few pock-marks on his face, and arms that looked like he used to be either really muscular or really fat, but was neither anymore.

"You never know when you're going to have to make a trip to Alabama and drop someone in the bayou."

More in this Poker Blog! -->

May 15, 2006

What Were They Holding?

by Luckbox

Well, I won't say my ego is crushed by the fact that just two people found time to guess what my opponents were holding. Ah, screw that. I hate you all!!

Okay, now that I have that out of my system, I'd like to thank Wes and EZ for their guesses (and Joe Speaker for his IRC guesses), but no one came close. I'm not surprised, however, because you're guessing on incomplete information and my opponents are idiots.

If you want to guess, feel free to go back to this post before reading on...

More in this Poker Blog! -->

May 13, 2006

Kelly Clarkson Prefers Cash Games

by Luckbox

I was back at the Coushatta Casino today. I decided to skip the Sam Farha appearance and take at shot at the weekly $200 NL tourney. I have to get back into rhythm before I take on the WSOP Circuit Event at the end of the month.

One big change this time around was my card protector. For more than a year, I'd been using a Hurricane Ivan commerative coin. It's done pretty well for me, but it was time for something new. And that something is Kelly Clarkson.

As you can see from the chip stack, she came through big. After a disappointing end to the touranment, I turned a $300 buy in into $1300 before walking out of there with a little more than a grand. Not bad at all.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

April 27, 2006

Underground poker rooms

by Otis

When you walk in through the sliding glass doors, there are some women on the couch watching "Deal or No Deal" on a 64 square foot projection screen that doubles as one of the house's interior walls. To any observer who has driven through a foggy night, down an construction-crowded interstate, and then down a long, dark, unpaved driveway, this would seem like an ordinary rural house. Though the dozen or so vehicles parked in the back field might be a tip-off, the casual onlooker would only be guessing at what was going on behind the hollow wooden door to his right.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

February 19, 2006

Staying at the Spring Hotel

by Otis

It's a shame, I thought, that big boys so easily accept the nickname "Buddha." I was taking a piss on a brick wall and noted there were no pros next to me. Once again, it would be up to Pauly to chronicle the urination habits of the big time players. As for me, I would walk around the corner and scare Buddha out of his pants.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

November 24, 2005

Live Poker Is Rigged

by Luckbox

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! -->

November 14, 2005

Card Dead Tilt

by G-Rob

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! -->

September 5, 2005

The Wheel

by G-Rob

Not the Ace to 5 kinda thing, but more the 9 to 5 cycle. At least, in the sense that it's a grind. This is the world of poker blogs. There's always a 50/50 split in the blogsphere, the good and bad, the hot and cold, ying and yang. I'm no Eastern Spiritual, but if there's true balance in the universe, someone out there is on the happy side of variance.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

July 31, 2005

Homegame Hooliganism

by Otis

Some people say scent can inspire more memories than sight.

My entire kitchen smelled like plastic. The baby and wife were gone. The dog was disinterested. And my new Copags had arrived. I played heads up against myself and lost.

My entire kitchen smelled like plastic and the smell was leeching into the living room. All I needed was an excuse and at least five other people.

The smell of plastic was the excuse.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

July 30, 2005


by G-Rob

In September of 1994 I sat on the filthy fabric of a striped Salvation Army couch, surrounded by the who's-who of degenrates. We'd end up there every day, gambling on heads-up matches of NHL '94, skipping class, and acting like filthy hippies. That's when inspirations struck. My buddy Scott saw an maazine ad with a picture of beautiful downtown Amsterdam.

At 5 AM on a cold damp Dutch December, four of us wandered out of train station in downtown Amsterdam with no reservations, no map of downtown, and no inhibitions whatsoever. Folks, THAT was the best New Year's Eve...EVER! Say what you want about the Dutch..'em people can throw a party.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

July 8, 2005

Holy Moonshine

by G-Rob

I like to tell people about that time I went to state. I was left fielder on an All Star team of little leaguers from lil' ol' Ashland. We won district and regionals, and hopped on a charter greyhound to Murray with the best of our 12 year old ambition. Murray has a cool boy scout museum with a ropes course that scared the hell outta Eddie Dixon. That was the highlight of our double elimination tourney. We lost the first 2 games.

Still, in a way, we were part of the state championship. And, by that same token, I was part of the WSOP last night.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

July 2, 2005

NASCAR Superstars

by G-Rob

It's 9:14 and raining in Daytona. In 5000 hotel rooms there are restless children rolling on unwashed hotel comforters while unhappy parents look for Nickelodeon on an unknown cable box. On the west side of town 100,000 fans sit huddled under cheap plastic parkas waiting for the race to begin. Up in G-Vegas two producers, one reporter, two sportsguys, an entire production crew, and one G-Rob wonder when this night will end.

The late news, billed as a special post-race edition, is exactly that. We don't start until the race is over. It was supposed to start at 7:00. We may not air the big story here until 1:30 or 2:00. God help us.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

July 1, 2005

The Dealer's (is) choice

by G-Rob

It's been said, mostly by BadBlood and me, G-Vegas is where you'll find the best homegames. There's one damn near everyday. I play every Thursday, and on more than a few Wednesdays and Fridays. Tonight, I'm looking to 3-peat.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

May 9, 2005

Money and thieves

by Otis

Some conversations last forever.

For me, there are many, most of which are much too personal to me or the other party to ever divulge in the Wild, Wild West of the World Wide Web. But there are some. There was one with Iggy as we clung the Sherwood Forest Bar at 6am last December. There was one with my prospective employer a few weeks later. There were many with old college friends.

And then there was one with Gary when I was a young, idealistic, high school longhair.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

May 5, 2005

Despoit bonus

by Otis I gotta be a pimp every once in a while.

Deposit bonus over at Stars starting now.


April 13, 2005

Raped at the Doublewide

by Luckbox

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...

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April 9, 2005

Orange Blues

by G-Rob

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.

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March 4, 2005

The Blood and Guts of Two Hands

by Otis

It's an odd life I lead these days. Twelve hours ago, I sat in the dining room of a Carolina surburban home, playing cards, drinking a few beers, and laughing with my buddies for the first time in weeks. Now, I sit in a $435-night hotel room in the middle of a king-sized bed, a view of Miami's South Beach in the window.


I'll have more on this trip in the coming days. It's work-related. In fact, I have to get to work here in a second. But I've played a couple of hands recently that I've felt fairly good about.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

February 18, 2005

Cold Poker in the Red Stick

by Luckbox

It is, perhaps, an unfortunate name for a city.

Red Stick.

But the Cajun people of Louisiana took care of any problems by using the more impressive French version.

Baton Rouge.

Last night, a coworker asked me if I wanted to play a little poker with some of his friends in Baton Rouge.

My answer? Oui, oui!

More in this Poker Blog! -->

February 15, 2005

It's Time to be Honest

by Luckbox

"Hello, my name is CJ... and I'm a losing poker player."

I'd like to begin the Losing Poker Player's Anonymous. I just got doing reading the latest over at F Train which included this:

And so now the bankroll on Party is basically exhausted. I have $11. I'm about to take that last $11 and put it into a SNG, and then it will finally be done. I'll have gone bankrupt on Party Poker, a day that I never thought would come.

Then I got the latest Yahoo group message from Felicia which included this:

Even the rock is sometimes the sucker. I have been the sucker lately... One of my biggest advantages in poker has now turned
into a nightmare. I think I need a break. I'll see you all soon.

That all brings us to me. I loaded $500 in Party Poker to get the maximum $150 bonus. That's $650 to use against all those fish I hear so much about.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

November 22, 2004

Scenes from an Italian French Thanksgiving poker game

by Otis

G-Rob stood at the top of his driveway staring blankly into the darkness. I was late to pick him up, but he didn't seem as annoyed as he should've been. A pair of bright high-beams shot over the top of my SUV and lit up G-Rob's face. When he climbed in, he said, "I wasn't sure it was you until I saw the bread truck pull in behind you."

The bread truck was actually The Mark's black H2 Hummer, a rumbling mass of steel and poker prowess. When BadBlood began organizing the game, he thought we would be shorthanded, so I called The Mark and asked if he wanted to play. He did.

Like a short-handed homage to the movie "Swingers", our vehicles followed each other through the night as we strained to see the street signs and fingered the rolls in our pockets.

And somewhere in the air, I smelled pig.

I really, really like me some pig.

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October 25, 2004

Bloodbath at Badblood's redux

by Otis

I stood in Otis' Secret Cubby, thumbing through the stack of bills, trying to hide the look of eager anticipation that always runs through my nervous system before I hit a homegame. I peeled $100 off the stack and pushed it into my back pocket. I needed to leave soon and my poker feet were already tapping on the hardwood.

"A hundred is more than enough," I said to myself. The max buy-in was only going to be $30. If history proved a good barometer of my monetary necessities, I would need no more than $60 to ride my way to a modest profit for the night.

That's when I heard it. The other voice, benevolent in its tenor, said, "Peel off another hundred. You know, just in case there are some gamblers there that want to play for some real money."

Bravado has never been one of my strong suits. Every time I try to play the confident, devil-may care road gambler, it looks silly on me.

Still, I listened, peeled off another hundred, stuffed it in my pocket with its friend from the secret cubby hole, and departed for BadBlood's.

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October 24, 2004

Bloodbath at BadBlood's

by Otis

That will be the title for an upcoming Up For Poker post. I thought I'd be ready to write it today, but my head needs a little more time to digest the depths of my sheer lack of poker prowess.

Suffice it to say, my catch-phrase of the night became, "You know, there's no shame in re-buying."

Until I find the cojones to be completely honest about my play, or at the very least, find a good excuse why I suck so impossibly bad, I'll leave you with this paraphrase of one of the best "Kids in the Hall" skits ever:

"I'm a bad poker player."


October 8, 2004

Good really, GOOD morning

by Otis

I don't get up early. I just don't. Mornings are for nuns and school children. Poker players play at night.

But here's something interesting:

If you go to bed and wake up in the morning, you catch the players who have been up all night, running bad, and trying to catch up before they hit the sack.

This morning was a good morning.

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October 4, 2004

Quick Update

by Luckbox

Okay... I've got a weekend under my belt and I'm up $100 overall (up about $200 on the ring games... damn those SNG's! I've sworn 'em off). I've also finally gotten myself PokerTracker. If I'm gonna play, I might as well be serious about it.

For my last two hands of the night, I dropped the HAMMER at two different tables. I shudder to think what PokerTracker thinks of that! Here they are...

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October 2, 2004

Back to the Grind

by Luckbox

A couple months ago, I emptied every online poker account I had going. I just wasn't playing often enough to make it worth while. I would log on every now and then and throw away 25 bucks without blinking. If I wasn't going to take this seriously, I shouldn't be wasting my time or money.

I'm back.

Tonight I reloaded in Empire. It's been awhile since I've played there, but Otis says there's no other place worth playing. I'm a little rusty, but I think I did okay for the first night back, and even pulled out the HAMMER!

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September 30, 2004

Losing Money in the Garage

by Luckbox

There's nothing like slinging chips with your friends. It'd been a long time since I played an old-fashioned home game. In fact, it had been weeks since I'd played any poker at all. That didn't stop me from buying into Otis' NLHE ring game.

(Quick aside... go read Wil Wheaton's poker tales part 1, part 2 and part 3. If you're a poker blog reader and not checking out wil's blog for potential poker tales, you're really missing out!)

Okay, back to the game... as you can tell by this post's title, I didn't walk away a winner, but I still had a great time!

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September 27, 2004

Garage Poker

by Otis

When I was a kid and pressing my luck, my mom liked to say I was "cruisin' for a brusin'."

For the past week or so, I had it coming.

So, I shouldn't have been surprised.

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August 9, 2004

Never Tilt at the Craps Table

by Luckbox

I learned a valuable lesson at the Paragon Casino this weekend. Actually, it'd be more appropriate to call it an expensive lesson. Either way, it's one I'll never forget.

It started well enough, when I checked into an outstanding room. My contact at the casino sure does know how to make someone feel comfortable. I didn't think it'd matter much because I didn't plan on spending much time there.

I wish I had spent more time there...

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August 6, 2004

Back to the Paragon

by Luckbox

Some personal annoucements...

First, I'm heading back to the Paragon Casino and Resort this weekend. In fact, through some personal contacts, I'll be staying at the casino for free tomorrow night. That means more time at the poker table (and craps table, I can't help myself). You can expect a report by Monday at the latest.

And speaking of Monday, I'll finally be online at home again. I bought myself a new laptop computer and I'll be on Cox High Speed Internet. That means a return to the virtual poker tables.

Enjoy your weekends, I'll definitely enjoy mine!


July 27, 2004

Summer 1990, plus 14 years

by Otis

The swimminess, those shimmers that rise over the red cinders, the way the humidity hangs a burlap curtain over your mouth... they are all things I remember from the summer of 1990.

I remember the run lasting longer than it normally did and being almost deathly afraid to stop. I remember, but barely, opening my mouth and letting the cold ice water shoot from my stomach and on to the football practice field below my feet. It had barely had time to mix with the contents in my gut, so it didn't taste too bad.

Over my shoulder, I knew he was standing there, his hand likely grabbing at his crotch, at the cancer that would one day kill him.

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July 5, 2004

My Independence Day

by Luckbox

I didn't want to play the pair of fives... especially after it got raised behind me, but I was in the hand now. The flop didn't hit me one bit. I should get out, right? The raiser bet out and there were a couple of callers in front of me. It's just 4 bucks, right? What the hell...

4th of July checklist:
Watch patriotic parade... CHECK
See fireworks... CHECK
Go fishing... CHECK

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June 26, 2004

Best... Session... EVER!!

by Luckbox

I left work last night with a very strong urge to get in my car and drive straight to a casino. I'm a compulsive gambler. I've admitted it many times. I also have a certain amount of discipline, and that discipline led me home instead.

I got up this morning, and that urge to drive to the casino was mostly gone. Frankly, my big expenditure for this month happened last weekend for Bradoween, and I didn't want to dip into my bank account again. The urge to gamble wasn't gone, however, and that led me to Planet Poker.

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June 9, 2004

Presto! Four Hands from the Weekend

by Staff

Way back in the pre-blogging days, when us intrepid Internet pioneers searching for poker info were forced to make do with the rec.gambling message boards, one of the most common RGP terms was "Presto," signifying the seemingly magical powers that Pocket Fives had in hold`em. Well, this term reappeared in my personal vocabulary, as pocket fives was definitely my most important hand of my long poker weekend.

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May 28, 2004

Back to B&M

by Luckbox

Living in Lousiana has given me an opportunity to experience the best of poker: real, live poker rooms. Sure, online poker can be fun and profitable, but it can't match the thrill of throwing chips on the felt in a casino.

A few weeks ago, I told you about my trip to the Grand Casino in Coushatta. This time, I'm headed to the Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville, LA.

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May 16, 2004

My Meanderings Continue

by Luckbox

I know just yesterday I derided my own attempts at Omaha and Stud. Well, today it was Draw Lowball. And here's the message from Planet Poker:

Congratulations UpForPoker on placing 1st in our Draw Lowball
tournament on 5/16/2004 4:30:00 PM.

$36.79 have credited to your account.

Thanks for playing at Planet Poker and have a great day!

May 15, 2004

Sharpening the Skills

by Luckbox

My meanderings through the worlds of Omaha and Stud (briefly, very briefly) have not helped my poker game. For some reason I've been neglecting my bread and butter: No Limit Texas Hold 'Em.

That's NLHE for the uninitiated (but why would the uninitiated be reading this blog?). NLHE is the New York Yankees Philadelphia Phillies of poker games (in case you're wondering, the Phillies are now the comparative standard for top-of-the-line). It's the game by which all other games are to be measured.

And it's now a lot like my front yard: thick with weeds and in need of some chopping. Reading that back to myself it makes little sense, but I digress. The bottom line is that my game needs sharpening. Sunday is the Iggy Invitational, and my NLHE has to be top notch if I hope to avoid embarrassment.

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May 7, 2004

Dr. Strangeflush

by Otis

Or, How I gave up eBay and started to love online poker

A few years back, I walked into a metal-walled warehouse and came eye-to-eye with a blurry-eyed gambler. The game hadn't started, but he was already eying his prey, rubbing his roll, and settling into a chair that was just a little too small for his sitting parts. Though the room was filling up with degenerates just like this bloodshot gambler, I knew that the plump man with sausage fingers and double-stack pancake face was my competition. He was the man who I'd battle until one of us had no money in his pocket.

A family of rednecks ran this place, the kind of people who show love through insults and comments about each other's intelligence. They supplied folding metal chairs for the collection of gamblers who found their way to the city limit warehouse every other Monday night.

I slipped into my chair, checked my pocket to make sure my roll was still there, and started figuring out how I would best the room, and more importantly, the guy with the big hindquarters. I could tell from a distance, he knew he'd be fighting me before the night was over.

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April 30, 2004

My Parlay Buddy

by Otis

The juice hit me like a mainline cocktail of speed, nitrous, and pure adrenaline. The double down on a greenchip bet drew paint to the blackjack dealer's eventual 19. $100. I was 21 years old, a neophyte chip-slinger, and out for a night of rowdiness on St. Louis, MO's riverboats.

My friends threw me some high-fives and encouragement to head for the bar. They wanted drinks, and I was buying.

That's when I met Parlay Penis.

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I'm a Loser, Baby...

by Luckbox

...So why don't you kill me?
--Beck, "Loser"

Yep, that's me, a loser. A recent Iggy-fueled post inspired me to re-examine my play. He mentioned something about bloggers being better able to improve because they are honest about their play when they blog.

Actually, there's not much play to examine. I haven't set up any internet at home yet. I think I'll buy a computer this weekend, and get started down that road. But I digress...

This is about my play. And right now, it's not real good.

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March 24, 2004

Starting From Scratch

by Luckbox

My bankroll at Ultimate Bet is $0.00. Over at Empire Poker, it's $0.00. At little-used U Play Poker it's $0.28 (I'm not sure how to blow the rest of that).

Don't worry. I didn't go on the craziest tilt of my life. I actually made a withdraw of as much as I could before my move. The rest I squandered at the Omaha tables (fun game, wish I knew how to play it).

I'm going to start over...

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March 1, 2004

Poker Blogging Goes Hollywood

by Luckbox

I'm on a crusade to get Wil Wheaton in our next Poker Bloggers Invitational. First, he's a poker player. Second, he's a blogger. Third, he's blogged about playing poker. Guess that means he qualifies! So Wil, if you're reading this, drop me a line and get in our game!!!

More important, for the rest of the Up For Poker regulars, Wil is in the middle of one hell of a poker story over at his blog.

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February 20, 2004

Waiting For The Raid

by Otis

In my head (a wild and untamed wasteland of fantasy and conspiracy), I see it going down a little like this:

I've just limped in with JT unsuited in the small blind. I'm eying the Rotel cheese dip on the counter. The guy sitting across from me is trying to figure out if he just did a shot of tequila or absinthe. The dealer, a cocky fresh-faced guy with no more chips, has just flopped AKQ rainbow.

Something in my nether regions twinges. I suspect my eyes might dart like they did when the pretty girl in English class adjusted her skirt and showed more than she planned. I plan to finger my chips and slowplay my way to Mr. Absinthe's stack.

It's just about that time that the door to my house explodes into three pieces.

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February 18, 2004

Poker In Louisiana?

by Luckbox

As some of you know, I currently live in Knoxville, TN. There's not a poker room or casino within 1,754,352 miles. Or something like that, I haven't measured.

In less than a month, I'll be saying goodbye to Rocky Top and hello to Cajun Country.

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January 22, 2004

Learning New Games

by Staff

It's tough to learn a new game.

I remember when I was learning to play hold'em. I was stuck a good amount playing hold'em online, and so I decided to intensely studying the game. It was scary. Not only was there money on the line, but excelling at games is what I do best. If I failed, it would be quite a blow to my ego.

I'm trying to learn Omaha Hi/Lo. I'm reading Zee's text from 2+2 on the game. But I definitely still haven't figured it out. I'm playing OK pre-flop, but my turn and river calls are terrible.

It seems like a tough game to get into (aren't they all), but like it has alot of profit potential. I'll keep y'all updated.


January 17, 2004

No Limit? Why Not?

by Luckbox

Everyone remembers the mistakes they make that cost them money. They stick in your mind a lot longer than that great play you made to take down a big pot.

One of the worst feelings has to be realizing your mistake was getting into the game to begin with. Especially if it's a $2-$4 No Limit Hold 'Em with a few relative strangers.

That's exactly what Ugarte ran into, and he describes it all in brutal detail over at Rick's Cafe Americain. Check it out! (Permalink fixed)


January 16, 2004

Shuffle Up and Deal (After the Beer)

by Luckbox

It was an inauspicious start to our long-awaited poker night.

We had passed out the chips for a little No Limit Texas Hold 'Em sit-and-go when Scott thought he heard a cell phone ring. Don't ask me how, but that led to Scott banging into the table, spilling his full beer over the chips, the cards and the felt.

And we're not talking light beer. This was some kind of deep brown, thick foam beer (as a non-connoisseur of alcoholic beverages, I'll rely on my playing partners to fill in that blank).

So, after cleaning up the mess, we were finally ready to play.

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January 9, 2004

Boredom and Beer

by Luckbox

When you're playing online, it's easy to fight the power of boredom. You can play more tables, and the play is much faster. You can also search the web for online porn interesting articles. Boredom is the sworn enemy of good poker play.

And when you're playing online, it's rarely in a social setting (especially if you're doing that online searching). And if it's not social, beer seems to be less of a necessity, although I know plenty of people who still crack one open while at the keyboard.

That all changes when it's time for the home game.

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January 4, 2004

The Changing Games

by Luckbox

I learned how to play poker playing for pennies or plastic chips that had no real value. I guess I really just learned the rules of poker at that time. You don't really learn how to play until there is some real money on the line.

In the past year, I've found there are 4 different places where poker is played for real cash, and I've found those games are all very different.

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