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

August 7, 2008

Was It Really a Suckout?

by Luckbox

I'm a big believer in the power of the mind. You get lucky because you believe, truly, deep down in your heart, that you're going to get lucky. It's not that you hope you'll get lucky. It's not that you declare you'll get lucky. It's that you have no doubt, no doubt at all, that the card you need is about to fall.

For a year or two, that was me. I knew I'd get lucky more often than not. I'd ask the dealer and the card would fall. It was simple. And it made the game easy. You don't get the nickname "Luckbox" because you get lucky just once or twice.

My confidence is shaken. For every yin there is a yang. Where there is light, there is shadow. Just as belief in luck will bring luck, believing in failure breeds failure. Just read Waffles for all the proof you'll need on that account.

The Tao of Poker 5-year anniversary tournament was the last bit of proof I needed.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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May 15, 2008

2003 World Series of Poker: Where are they now?

by Otis

You know Sammmy Farha. You've seen him on TV. You've probably seen him in Vegas. Hell, I'd say there's more than a couple of you who have played against him. He's poker's version of famous. So are Dan Harrington, Jason Lester, Amir Vahedi, David Grey, and David Singer.

Each one of them will celebrate an anniversary next week. It's one we should all celebrate, in fact.

Five years ago next week, Chris Moneymaker won the 2003 World Series of Poker.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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May 12, 2008

Urine trouble, boy

by Otis

The first year I played a World Series event, I found myself at Table 2, Seat 1. I was nervous beyond my normal "There's a good chance I'm dying" standard of anxiety. The buy-in money had come out of my own pocket, there were thousands of players in the room, and I had friends and family on the rail. Yet, despite it all, I found myself dedicating an inordinate amount of thought to one subject that had nothing to do with how to play ace-king under the gun.

Table 2 was in the farthest corner of the room. To exit the Amazon Room, a player had to wade through a deadfall of tables, chips, people, and ugly humanity. With a fresh bottle of Diet Mountain Dew in front of me and the cards going in the air, my mind wandered off to the same thought I have when I go just about anywhere.

How in the hell was I going to get to the bathroom?

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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April 25, 2008

Pot Limit Omaha Advice

by Luckbox

I am not a Pot Limit Omaha player.

I am, however, someone who managed to finish 3rd in the last Saturdays with Dr. Pauly. I'd like to attribute it to my skill, but I think my reputation precedes me. Nonetheless, I was a massive chip leader with three players left, holding more than 50% of the chips in play. It didn't last... and I think that's because I don't know how to play PLO.

Perhaps you can help me. Here are three key hands that I may have played poorly.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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April 20, 2008

The Antonio Esfandiari Question

by Otis

An informal poll at European Poker Tour Grand Final revealed nothing surprising. Three of the final eight players were considered to be the best players at the table with the best chance at winning. Luca Pagano was the most consistent--a record nine cashes on the EPT, including three final tables. Antonio Esfandiari was the proven live tournament winner. Isaac Baron was the online tournament king--2007 CardPlayer online player of the year, and, to his credit, a guy who knew how to act like he'd been there before.

None of them won. In fact, none of them placed in the top 3.

Whether a telling statistic about tournament play or merely another anomoly to add to the constant debate about the validity of tournament poker as an indicator of skill, it failed to answer to the question I asked a day earlier. With the chip lead and three tables remaining, was Esfandiari right to limp with a big pair in early position?

The comments in the above-linked post were thoughtful and exactly what I'd hoped to see. For what it's worth, my opinion is below.


More in this Poker Blog! -->
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April 18, 2008

The Black Hole Of Discipline And The Dim Star Of Hope (or... why I am waffles)

by G-Rob

It's like that one link to softcore porn on an otherwise boring afternoon. It's a bowl of those tasty M&Ms at a boring party that are sitting on a perfect table in the corner of the room such that eating the candies is both a bad nervous tic and a good way to avoid people you don't want to see.

It's like a metaphor that sucks its writer past the point of good sense but the urge to pull it off takes said writer to, well, exatly this point... (here).

I like to play online poker. I'm pretty good at it in small bursts. There are some things I'm actually very good at (I think) but I do lose money.

Here's the reason why...

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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April 16, 2008

EPT Monte Carlo: The Big Pair Limp Question

by Otis

Live from a fifteen minute break at the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo, a hand that has caused significant debate, specifically between Lee Jones and this humble correspondent. Your opinion--while, like mine, largely insignificant--is valued.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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January 30, 2008

Absinthe rolls

by Otis

Hey, wouldn't Absinthe Rolls be awesome with turkey and gravy?

In other news...

In the past four major tournament series he's played (two L.A. Poker Classics and two Legends of Poker), our fellow blogger Absinthe has made at least one final table in three out of the four series. You'll recall, he won Event #1 of the 2006 L.A. Poker Classic for a tidy sum. In the 2007 Legends of Poker, Absinthe chopped a big event for a nice score.

Last night, Absinthe clawed his way to another final table of a $545 No-Limit Hold'em event that started with more than 500 players. He did this after running into aces twice after they were in the money.

As he made the final table long after I was already in bed (and about the the time my kid was waking up), I'm not sure of his chip position relative to the table. I'm also not sure of the payouts beyond point. Regardless, it's another final table where he is guaranteed to at least quintuple his money.

So, here's to a blogger who consistently gets it done.

Respect.

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August 29, 2007

Caesars Poker Room--A Review

by Otis

I remember the first time I walked into Caesars Poker room in Las Vegas. I stood back, looked across the wide expanse of felt, and said, "This is what a poker room should look like."

Since then, my relationship with the room has been a lot like the ones I had with my ex-girlfriends. It's sometimes so good, and sometimes so bad, that I never can decide whether I'm in love or a masochist. Either way, I keep going back for the good stuff and do my best to ignore the bad stuff.

I was there again this past weekend and, as I sat at my second final table in as many tries, I thought, "Well, somebody really should say something about this."

And so, I'm going to.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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August 17, 2007

Blogger makes good...again

by Otis

I was sitting the lobby of the Grand in Tunica in January of 2006. C.J. and I were plotting our assault on the $1,000 World Series event when he mentioned that a blogger had just taken down an event at the L.A. Poker Classic for a serious amount of money. Turns out, that blogger was Absinthe. Since then, Absinthe and I have spent quite a bit of time at the tables (both poker and dinner) together and I've come to admire the guy quite a bit. [Oh, yeah, I busted out of the Series event in completely boring fashion. C.J. and Iggy both went deepr than me, but, the long and the short of it was, we sucked eggs.]

So, since I wasn't there to rail him last night, here's a big Up For Poker congratulations to Absinthe for making the final table last night in a $1,000 event at the Legends of Poker in L.A. He ended up chopping the thing five ways for a healthy profit, once again proving that the ability to write a coherent entertaining post and cash big at poker tournaments are not mutually exclusive.

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May 22, 2007

A long not-so-lonely time

by Otis

The first time I won a poker blogger tournament, everybody said, "Who the hell is Otis?" The second time I won, they said, "Oh, it's that Otis guy again. Who the hell is he again?"

The third time I won...was just a few minutes ago. So, it's been quite a while, huh?

Thanks to Hoy for putting on a good show.

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May 3, 2007

Guess Who's Back? Back Again?

by Luckbox

Luckbox's back. Tell a friend.

Tonight was my first foray into Riverchaser territory. It started well enough when a fellow blogger decided to call my all in holding the HAMMER. I was lucky enough to have my Hiltons hold up and I was in business.

Of course, that's when some guy named M3Trader decided to accuse us of colluding. I would have thought it funny if it weren't so sad. At that point, I vowed to win the whole thing.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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April 5, 2007

A million dollar hand

by Otis

The EPT Monte Carlo Grand Final was all but over. Nearly every table in the massive tournament room was empty. It was after midnight and the two final players, Marc Karam and Gavin Griffin, were heads up with nearly equal stacks. They were both 100 big blinds deep. The difference between first and second place was 800,000 euros.

And they got it all-in on a flop of...

2s-3c-4d.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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January 12, 2007

The Return of the WPBT Circuit

by Luckbox

I clearly would have been the overall winner last year had I been able to play more events. The Luckbox was in full effect when I was around. This year, I hope to avoid missing them, and you should avoid missing them, too. Because I need your money. Consider it a donation to The Luckbox WSOP Fund. Thanks in advance!

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November 22, 2006

Back to the Final Table(s)

by Luckbox

I only sucked out once, I swear.

Short-stacked, and late in the WWdN, I pushed from late position with A9o. Yeah, I know it was marginal, but the table was playing rather tight, and most preflop raises were unopposed.

This one wasn't. My opponent flipped AQ and, as I often find myself, I was dominated. Not that I was too worried.

"9," I typed in the chat window. The river obliged.

"It's what I do."

By the end of the night, I had finished 5th in the WWdN and 3rd in the WWdN 2nd Chance. I think that's an unprecedented double cash, but I could be wrong. I just like writing things that make me sound good at poker.

Exhausted from my marathon play, including some double-tabling, I still decided to give YoYo a shot at me heads up well past my bed time. I dominated play, but then things got a little hazy. I think she pulled four consecutive one-outers, before sucking out with a gutshot to the nuts. She now leads the best-of-9 series 4-3. I'll have to win the next two to take the crown. Don't worry, I play better from behind.

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November 12, 2006

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

by Luckbox

I've been lax in my promotion, but you still have a half hour to sign up for the latest WPBT Circuit Event!!!

It's EEEEEEEEEEEE for Stud Hi/Lo (that's Stud Eight, the last game in HORSE).

It's 9pm ET on PokerStars. The password is wpbt72. Get in the game! You still have time to donate your money to Heather!

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September 25, 2006

They Call Me The Luckbox

by Luckbox

Gavin Smith is a hell of a guy. Despite being a WPT player of the year with more than $3 million in tournament winnings, Gavin gave up a weekend to join a gathering of drunk degenerates in Nowheresville, Pa.

Brandon Schaefer is a hell of a guy. Despite being a EPT champion and approaching three quarters of a million dollars in tournament winnings, Brandon gave up a weekend to sling cards and drink beer with a bunch of bloggers.

How did we get so lucky? I was so lucky, in fact, that I had a chance to play a live SNG with these two world-class pros. And, as you would expect for someone nicknamed The Luckbox, my luck didn't end there.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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September 21, 2006

Another Ride

by Luckbox

It's pretty clear at this point that I'm the greatest WPBT H.O.R.S.E. player of all-time. In the first event, I bested a field of like 7000 or so. This time, another 4000 showed up for DADI 9: Back in the Saddle. (FYI: I'm not good at estimating the actual size of the field.)

Tonight, my stellar play launched me back to the top where only a card rack (Trauma) and O/8's answer to Jamie Gold (Drizz) outlasted me. Two H.O.R.S.E. events and two top 3 finishes. Yeah, I roool. Even when I get dealt hands like this:

Congrats to Trauma for taking it down and Drizz for winning our last longer!

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August 22, 2006

Snickers for Wil Wheaton

by Otis

It's in the middle of the night--not to mention the middle of the week--in downtown Las Vegas and I get the sense that if a cinematographer was looking for a post-apocalyptic movie set, he would choose the emptiness under the Fremont Street Experience. I am the only one breathing within earshot and I'm breathing hard. The 2:00am Binion's tournament starts in two minutes and I am nowhere near the tournament room. Wil Wheaton is hungry--starving maybe--and on the verge of homicidal low blood sugar madness. My brother, Dr. Jeff, would say this low blood sugar shit is for the birds, but at the moment I'm not listening to Dr. Jeff. I'm listening to Wheaton, who needs a sandwich. Or peanuts. Or a bag of sugar.

On the Strip, I could've wandered into Fat Burger and picked up something greasy to soil Wheaton's cards. Instead, there's nothing. Nobody is breathing. There are no hookers, no strip club denizens, no hustlers. For a moment, I longed for a New Orleans Lucky Dog vendor. Wheaton would never eat it, but it would be a good way to tilt him.

No, I've made it my mission--as a friend, as a fanboy, as the primary reason we'd ended up in a Stephen King version of Las Vegas at 2am--to make sure Wheaton survives long enough to actually compete for the last longer bet we've made with Absinthe and Spaceman.

The only problem is, Stephen King didn't write a diner into this zombie movie and I have a tournament to play.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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July 31, 2006

The Hammer Strikes Again

by Luckbox

Playing the Hammer is a skill borne over time. But some people seem to take to it fast than others. Jena is one of those players. I first wrote about her back in May when I sat next to her at a table in New Orleans. It's there that I introduced her to the most powerful hand in poker.

It wasn't long before she was using it to her advantage. And now, she's done it again:

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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July 15, 2006

Pure Unadulterated Torture

by Luckbox

I'm an idiot. I signed up for what I thought was a Deep Stack NO LIMIT tournament, but as you can see, I managed to find a LIMIT tournament.

More than 10 hours later, I ran into a card rack and busted in 3rd place for a nice little profit. I'll have much more to write about this later, but right now, I'm exhausted. There are lots of thanks to go around, and I'll get to them all! I'll leave you with this tidbit:

34 players left, 27 pay, The Luckbox is in 34th with T2600 and blinds at 600/1200. I'm like MacGyver trapped in a cage with only a toothbrush and a cracked DVD.

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June 21, 2006

I Owe You $3

by Luckbox

Just not my night in the Mookie.

AA cracked by KQ... KKK flop.
AA cracked by 99 on the very next hand.
KK later cracked by 77.

And to think, I thought I was playing pretty well. And you all wonder why I get my money in behind.

Poker blows. Back to the ponies.

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June 13, 2006

The Challlll-enge!

by Luckbox

Who wants a piece of The Luckbox ™ ® © ?

I don't think there's a blogger in the blogosphere who can knock me out of the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker. And I'm so confident that I've convinced Lee Jones himself to put a bounty on my head.

Bust me, and you get a seat into the WSOP 150 Seat Guaranteed tournament. That's right. Bust me, and get a great shot at a seat in the Main Event. If you don't know, that tournament entry fee is $370. That's how much faith Lee Jones has in me beating all of you. He's putting $370 of his own dollars on the line. It's not like they're making money hand over fist over there. They need every dollar they can scrape together in this difficult economy.

Think you've got what it takes? Just make sure you get in behind, because if I have outs, you're going down. I'm The Luckbox. And don't you forget it!

--------------

In completely unrelated news, I've been remiss in failing to link up the fine folks at Wicked Chops Poker. These guys got a great thing going over there. Plus, they just featured one of my favorite writers, Jen Leo (and that smile ain't half bad either!). So go check them out and maybe even add them to your bloglines, too.

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June 8, 2006

The HAMMER Spreads

by Luckbox

You may remember when I introduced Jena a few weeks back. It turns out that the HAMMER is now a regular part of her tournament strategy. Here's an email she sent me:

Hey CJ,

Mike & I played in a local tournament Sunday afternoon. I was the big blind on my fifth hand of play when the hammer struck. There were six callers so there was $700 in the pot when I finally looked at my cards. I tried to refrain from laughing as I raised to $300 and got four callers. The flop comes 72Q rainbow. The turn is A and we are down to two players. The river seals the deal with a 2! The showdown comes --- my opponent flips over AK proudly until all eyes fall dumbfounded to my ducks full of 7's. I begin to laugh raking in a monster pot as the muttering begins --- Mike is at the next table and yells, "Don't gloat!"

I end up taking second place winning a cool $1,050.

Thanks for the lesson!

Jena

Well played, Jena... and if you'd like any more lessons, you know how to find me!

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June 6, 2006

The Crazy WWdN

by Luckbox

It was as crazy as I've ever seen. I had AA and KK in the first 10 hands but had T1020 when they were over. I fought my way back until I attempted to bust wil with my weak AK vs. his TT. Down to next to nothing, I pushed 7 times before getting called. Of course, when Waffles called me, I finally had a legit hand (JJ) and it held up. Suddenly I was in 2nd.

But then again, I wouldn't have been in that spot except for one of my top five all time suckouts a little earlier in the tourney:

I hold JJ and get all in with Waffles after a flop of 5c 6c 7c. I didn't have a club, but I knew Waffles didn't have two. I did, however fear he had one. Had I gotten the chance to push first, I don't think there's anyway he calls with pocket deuces (one of them a club). But there it was, I was ahead, but afraid. I was 55% to win and Waffles 40%. The turn was a 9 of clubs. Ugh. Suddenly, Waffles was 81%. I thought I was drawing dead.

But I forgot I'm The Luckbox.

The Q of clubs on the river chopped it up. It was a pivotal point for me and I'm sure it didn't make Waffles happy. Now he'll post about his 81%.

My tournament went all wrong when I battled wil again. This time I had KK and he had the weak AK. Of course, he flopped one Ace and turned another and I was crippled again. Thankfully, I slipped into the final table and cashed in 8th. It was a crazy tourney.

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June 5, 2006

Ride 'Em, Cowboy!

by Luckbox

It was my worst fear realized.

Out-chipped and heads up in a HORSE tourney against The Princess. As I told her when heads up began, she had the advantage in 4 of the 5 games, and maybe all five.

Thankfully, I managed to hold my own during the last five mintues of Stud 8 before it moved into that lovely 2 card game. I chipped back up and even took a brief chip lead before running smack dab into trip 6s. I wanted to convince myself, that based on the betting, there was no way she hit the 66x flop. Of course, I was wrong and suddenly short stacked.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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May 21, 2006

I Had a Bad Day

by Luckbox

Cue the catchy Daniel Powter song.

I did only slighlty better in this WSOP $1000 Circuit Event than I did in the last one. Which is to say I sucked again. Foreshadowing: the title of my next post will be "I Can't Make the Big Laydown."

In the meantime, head over to Up For Anything and congratulate my sister for taking down a $3 rebuy satellite to the WSOP Super Sat. At least someone in the family knows how to play tourneys.

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May 17, 2006

How to win WWdN

by G-Rob

You know, I've won Wil's tourney 3 times now. I own it. There have been times, rare Tuesday evenings, when I allow other players to donk their way to victory but I am to WWdN what great hair is to...um...me.

Want to know the secret? Want to know how I master this event?

Here's my advice to you:

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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May 14, 2006

Live Blogging Presumed Tilt

by Otis

Circumstances stripped me of hanging out with my wife and mom on this Mother's Day. After working all day (and now waiting to work later tonight), I've decided to purposefully tilt myself and bring you along for the stupid ride. What am I doing? I'm going to play no fewer than four tournaments at a time for the rest of the night. Why? Well, why does a dog lick himself?

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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May 10, 2006

Get On Your HORSE

by Luckbox

This blogger sent me an email about this blogger. It seems they're hoping to run a series of Wednesday night HORSE tourneys at Full Tilt Poker. That's my regular pool table poker night so I won't be playing, but if you are interested, here are the details:

What: HORSE tourney
When: May 10th (Wednesday), 9pm ET
Where: Full Tilt private tournament 4000071
Entry fee: $5+$.50
Password: blogsuck

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May 9, 2006

Anatomy of a Luckbox

by Luckbox

Haven't played much recently. Guess I've been saving it up....

Shortstacked with T6 and a flop of 89J. Open ended? I push and get called by T7. That's okay, just ask for the Q and chop on the river. My opponent called me a moron.

Two hands later, again shortstacked, push with 56s. Why not? Called by the same guy who shows KTo. Flop is AKQ. Ouch. Turn is a J. River? How could you not see the T coming. I type, "I rock." He types, "u suck."

Heads up against the same guy. He doesn't have a prayer. Q2... river trip 2s. J7? River a straight. 36o vs. 85o final hand? Flop a 6.

I love this game sometimes.

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May 3, 2006

Sammy Farha in Louisiana

by Luckbox

The man famously bluffed by Chris Moneymaker, the man who likes the feel of an unlit cigarette in his mouth, the man who sits at the high stakes table with the likes of Doyle and Chan will be in Acadiana this weekend.

My favorite poker room is hosting its annual $250,000 Seven Clans Poker Cup and Sammy Farha is a special guest. I've heard he's getting a little something extra to come play (and it may be more than a little) and there might be a big bounty on his head (maybe as big as $10,000).

The tournament is two flights, Friday and Saturday, with the top ten from each flight playing on Sunday. Sammy will be playing in the first flight on Friday. The entry fee is $1000 but I'm hearing the event might already be sold out, so if you're hoping to sit down with Sammy, you'll have to try to catch him in a cash game.

I've also heard he'll only play at table one which is in the back corner and can be blocked off by a heavy curtain. No word yet on the limits, but I'd imagine he won't be playing the $300 max NL game. The biggest game played at the Coushatta is generally a $5/$10 no max buy in NL game that's sometimes a split game with PLO.

I'm going to try and get there this weekend and through some of my contacts, maybe I can get a little time with Sammy. If I do, I'll certainly report it here. I'm not playing in the tourney. I tried to satellite in, but was on the receiving end of a tough suckout heads up. And since I'm already buying myself into the WSOP Circuit Event in New Orleans, I don't want to spend $1000 twice.

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April 18, 2006

I am Thor!

by Luckbox

From tonight's WWdN on Poker Stars

Holding the hammer in early position, I smartly raise from T50 to T175. Beck decides to unwisely reraise to T450. Naturally, I push my T1360.

"well, here goes the tournament," Beck says after calling.

I show my powerful hand and Beck shows the lowly Big Slick. It wasn't even suited!

"HAMMER!" respected actor Wil Wheaton exclaimed.

"knew it," Beck said, resignation evident in his key strokes.

The PokerStars dealer laid out the cards: 2h 5d Tc.

The suck.

The PokerStars dealer laid out the next card: Ad.

The resuck.

"oof," alan said, apparently unaware the hand was not yet over.

The PokerStars dealer laid out the river: 2c.

The re-resuck.

"suckout!" team PokerStars member Wil Wheaton exclaimed, followed by alan's, "wow," and then Beck's, "knew it." Finally, Stand By Me's Gordie yelled, "RESUCK."

The final word goes to the teen actor shot dead by terrorists in the classic flick, Toy Soldiers, "in an empty room in las vegas, phil hellmuth just felt a serious disturbance in the force."

If you're going to wield the hammer, respect its power. (Oh, and I was at the Playboy Mansion... happy April?)

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April 5, 2006

The Most Expensive Red Bull

by Otis

Oh, sure. You've pulled a long poker session. You've done the 13-hour binge in the cash games. Your ass is leather. Your back is a mess of knots and monkey fists. Your mind is wandering from how much the guy next to you stinks to...if that dealer would just undo just one more button on her shirt. Damn, it's on me? I raise.

Or maybe, just maybe, you are the potentate of concentrate. Maybe you've sat and played the perfect session--not too long--but every move, ever riffle of chips, every glance from the corner or your eye is so calculated, the world's biggest abacus would never be able to figure out how you reached...the...perfect...conclusion.

Yeah, we're all perfect. We all have pleather asses and perfect concentration for as long as we want.

And where is the damned waiter?

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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April 3, 2006

Your Monday Night Schedule

by Otis

I do my best to not overly pimp my employer here, but I fear a lot of talented poker bloggers are missing out on a cool opportunity. So, as you all sign up for Iggy's WPBT WSOP satellite tonight, I invite you to come play in a cool +EV event on PokerStars (if I failed to mention...it's free).

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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April 2, 2006

Are You Signed Up?

by Luckbox

We're sending bloggers back to the World Series of Poker. It was, perhaps, the biggest thing we accomplished last year. I think we sent 3 or 4 people last year, and I'm hoping we do even more this year. It's only $30, and even if you lose, you'll have the satisfaction of seeing one of our community taking their shot at a bracelet!

What: WPBT WSOP Satellite #2
When: Monday, April 3rd @ 9PM EST
Where: Poker Stars
Tournament #: 21868191 (see private tourney tab)
Buy-in: $30 +3
Format: NL freezeout
Password: socoshot
Restrictions: Bloggers only

Get in the game!

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March 17, 2006

The play's the thing

by Otis

Back from Monte Carlo with many a tale to tell. Bird flu and work have me down, but I'll be there for this and you should be too...

WPBT WSOP Satellite Tournament
March 19th - Sunday
9pm EST
Paradise Poker
$30 NL
password: email Iggy

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March 4, 2006

Finally...

by Otis

It's just after 6am. I'm drinking my second Corona. I have no idea how old it is. I know that I looked in the mirror a few seconds ago and I didn't recognize the guy looking back at me. However, there was something faint in the mirror. It recalled a guy who one year ago this month started hitting the bigger online tournaments. It recalled the face of the guy who, a year ago, said, "I think I can do this." Still, I hadn't seen The Guy in a long time.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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February 26, 2006

The Coushatta Massacre

by Luckbox

In August 1874, dozens of freed slaves and six men from Northern Louisiana were told to leave the state of Louisiana by some redneck cowards who didn't like the idea of carpetbaggers and free blacks in South Louisiana. As those 6 white men and the dozens of freed slaves with them were headed toward Texas, they were run down by 40 men and killed. Their bodies were dumped in shallow graves. No one was ever convicted of the crime. This happened just outside the town of Coushatta, Louisiana.

I wish I had known that history before I took my carpet-bagging self to the Coushatta Casino for a little poker. There was another massacre and my bankroll might as well be in a shallow grave.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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February 21, 2006

The Luckbox/Former Star Trek Actor/American Idol Live Blog

by Luckbox

Tonight, I shall attempt a feat never accomplished by one man alone. I will not only live blog my own action in the WWdN tourney. But I will also live blog the action of luckbox-in-training Wil Wheaton (of Stand By Me fame, you know). And, to really blow your mind, I'll throw in a little American Idol, too. Who knows, if I make it deep enough, we might start talking about The Shield!

Without further ado... here it goes...

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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January 31, 2006

Live at the WWdN

by Luckbox

wil asked for it, and since it's still sorta Pauly Appreciation Week, here I go. Live-blogging my tourney...

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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January 17, 2006

Ready for Tunica

by Luckbox

It's been a good week. I like good weeks. This week ends in Tunica. We'll see...

Tonight Otis talked me into a limit tourney on Pacific. The good news is that Pacific tournyes are SOFT. Have I said that before? The bad news is that I'm not a limit player (and don't let Otis tell you otherwise). I got lucky with Aces early when they held up. Then I donked my whole stack away. Then I doubled up about 5 times with AA, KK, JJ, TT, etc.

Five paid, and when we got to 7, I was in last. When we got to 6, I was in last. When we got to 5, I was in last. When we got to 4, I was in last. Then I started crushing, and crushing, and crushing. It's when I told Otis, "I could win this thing."

And I did.

Look out Tunica, here I come!

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January 15, 2006

Cashing at the Coushatta

by Luckbox

Perhaps you'll remember what happened last time I visited the Coushatta. I thought I played well in the tourney, but didn't make the money. Then I dropped more than a grand playing the big game.

I came home with a crushed spirit.

In just a week, I'd be taking my game onto the biggest stage I've ever played, the WSOP Circuit. I don't think I was ready and I was questioning myself. That's what happens when your bankroll takes a hit.

"Go play! I've got a good feeling about this," Change100 told me Friday night. That's the sentiment that got me out of bed at about 10:15am, leaving me less time than I'd like to get there for the Noon start. As you can see by the picture to the right. I'm sure glad I listened to her!

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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January 10, 2006

Own Your Piece of the Luckbox

by Luckbox

UPDATE: I'm sold out. I'll be contacting each of you shortly with the terms fo the agreement. Thank you for the overwhelming support! Hopefully I'll come through and that will encourage future backing!

The WSOP Circuit Events come to Tunica this month and there are a number of $1000+60 NLHE events.

I will be playing in one of them.

I'm willing to sell 50% of myself in shares of 10% ($106) or 5% ($53).

For those unfamiliar with my strategy, it's:

1) Play tight early and chip up.
2) Approach the money.
3) Suckout 4 times.
4) Cash

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Otis' Ego

by Otis

Okay, so I haven't done any broadcast work in a year. I had a lot of fun taping The Circuit on Cardplayer.com. I'm on the most recent episode here. I start a little slow, but pick up some steam and have fun.

Ego...OUT.

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November 28, 2005

Like Brother, Like Brother

by Luckbox

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?

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November 22, 2005

The Luckbox Speaks

by Luckbox

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! -->
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November 20, 2005

Okay, Now It's Just Getting Insane

by Luckbox

[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! -->
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November 19, 2005

Do They Call This a Rush?

by Luckbox

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!

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November 18, 2005

Tell Me I'm Crazy

by Luckbox

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?

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November 17, 2005

Dems Quads Beetches

by Luckbox

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.

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November 6, 2005

Wow

by Luckbox

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! -->
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November 5, 2005

Missed it by that much redux

by Otis

I. Am. Not. A. Closer.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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November 2, 2005

WPBT Euchre Tourney Round 2!

by Luckbox

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! -->
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October 30, 2005

When Bloggers Collide

by Luckbox

"You're not the only one who gets to play with the bloggers."

Those were my words to Otis cards went into the air for the Poker Princess Invitational. It was a collection of eight poker bloggers who gathered in Austin with pride and money on the line. You see, unlike those pansy bloggers in South Carolina, we don't have to pretend we're playing for "points."

Assembled for this titanic battle were:

Seat 1: Heather
Seat 2: Scott
Seat 3: John (Slayre)
Seat 4: Kat
Seat 5: April
Seat 6: Gus
Seat 7: CJ
Seat 8: Adam

Adam was our tournament director, and, armed with a countdown clock that beared a remarkable resemblance to a microwave, we got started with T1500, 20/40 starting blinds and 45 minute levels. I think Otis would approve.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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October 28, 2005

The Up4Poker Invitational--Updated

by Otis

Crow-eating update in extended entry

So, I was concerned when I didn't see CJ's name appear on the registration board for the WWdN #3: Up4 Poker Invitational. So, I dialed his cell phone. He answered on the first ring.

He sounded like I was committing the cell phone version of coitus interruptus.

"You are interupting," he said, "the Austin Bloggers tournament."

CJ doesn't live in Austin. I wasn't sure I understood, and if I did, that I believed him. Getting CJ out of bayou country is difficult. Only women, music, and poker pull him away from work. Of course, Austin has all three of those things.

Perhaps he heard it in the tone of my voice. I heard him pull the phone from his face.

"Everybody say hello to B. Otis. W.!"

The room exploded into a cheer. "Oooootisss!"

He returned to the phone. "You're not the only one who gets to play with the bloggers," he said in a smug tone.

So, if you came here tonight looking for the man behind the WWdN Invitational tonight, rest calmly in that he is playing with real chips in a room full of hooligans tonight. As my relatonship with PokerStars precludes my playing the event, G-Rob is playing for the team tonight as GRobman.

I'd appreciate it if you cracked his aces with quad fives then typed, "Thems quads beeeetches" in the chat box.

Good luck to everyone, and thanks to Wil for running these fine events.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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October 23, 2005

PokerStars Blogger Championship

by Otis

Indeed, I'm not playing, today, but I'll be there to watch everybody. Here are a few details.

PokerStars Blogger Championship
4:00pm ET.

CJ will be playing under the name Up4Poker
G-Rob (if he's not working) will be playing under the name GRobman
Otis will be making special appearances.

Wanna watch? You can download the client for free by clicking here. Then go to Tourney/Private and scroll down the the PokerStars Blogger Championship (it's in green).

Have fun everybody.

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October 21, 2005

Cowboys Over Snowmen

by Luckbox

I think this is close to what it was like when I got seated at wil's table (click for larger):

I few hands later, I threw away a bunch of chips and found myself relatively shortstacked. Then I lucked into K's and won a nice pot. And then it happened. A few hands later, it's Cowboys again and wil pushes all in in front of me for about half my stack. I push all in to eliminate one caller and my K's hold up over his Snowmen. (wil liveblogged the tourney over at Card Squad.)

You never really feel bad about winning a big pot, but I didn't want to put wil out if I didn't have to. I managed to carry that stack all the way to 10th place before making a stupid call with KQ preflop. I lost to J's and was out. I would have made the final table had I just folded, but that's the way it goes.

Congrats to Sparky for holding up blogger pride and winning the whole thing! I also enjoyed playing with Chris and, of course, the Poker Princess.

It was a blast, and because I was lucky enough to bust him, wil named next week's tourney at Pokerstars the Up4Poker Invitational. Make sure you sign up and play!

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Missed it...

by Otis

by that much.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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October 20, 2005

Tournament Structures Good and Bad

by Otis

I'd made a rule for myself during my first beer. I would not under any circumstances play the nightly 11pm $225 WSOP second chance tournament. The little $10/$20 cash game was running just fine. Maria and her ex-beau were chatty as always. The dealers were in rare form. I stood to win a little money.

John the Omniscent Cocktail Dude appeared behind me like the Great Gazoo.

"Bud Light." he said, picking up my empty and replacing it with a full one. I toked him as he walked away, took a slug from the bottle, and made a rule for myself. Unless I was up by $300 or more by 10:30pm, I would not play the 11pm $225.

"Bud Light." The Great Gazoo was behind me again. Too few minutes had passed in the interim.

"John," I said, "deliver my next one to Table 23. I'll be in the $225."

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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October 16, 2005

It's Time!

by Luckbox

I've delayed the start of this thing long enough. I figured I had to give many of you time to practice, but your time is up.

The WPBT Euchre Tournament has begun. Eight brave teams signed up. And after randomly assigning numbers, here are the first round matchups:

Game 1: CJ and Heather vs. Matt and Megan (from Austin)
Game 2: Drizztdj and BG vs. Patrick and Danny
Game 3: The Donkey Feltchers (Maudie and Daddy) vs. Lefty and Jason
Game 4: GRob and Uncle Ted vs. Jim and Bob (from Detroit)

The first and second rounds will be best of 5 games. All to be played on Yahoo Games. No cheating, please. The winners of Game 1 and Game 2 will play in the semis as will the winners of Game 3 and Game 4. You have this week to play. Please get in touch with your opponents or leave contact information in the comments. Good luck!

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October 14, 2005

Al would be so proud...

by Otis

I'm learning, Al. I'm learning.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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October 8, 2005

Good Morning!!!

by Luckbox

Biggest.
Tournament win.
Ever.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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September 30, 2005

A dispatch from London

by Otis

The pint glass is labeled Guinness, but it ain't Guinness in the glass. Still, it tastes good. My only worry is that I had a confirmed Iggy sighting in the U.K. last night (word is he made the money in some Irish tournament), and if he walks in and sees this, I could be in trouble.

Nonetheless, as I sit here in The Vic, a good beer is a necessity. The day is already 12 hours long and promises to be at least four hours longer before the stop of play. Greg Raymer is cleaning house. Ram Vaswani is living up to his nickname. Isabelle, Mean Gene, doesn't play until tomorrow (I won't mention again how she greeted me last night).

So, why do I slip in from the darkness of this casino and into the bright light that is UFP?

Well, in case you hadn't noticed the blinking banners all over this page, the first-ever Blogger Championship is now a reality on PokerStars. If you have a two-month old blog and don't sign up, you're just silly. First prize is a free trip worth $12K to the WPT event in the Bahamas in January (read: a return to the place where I may or may not have fallen off a fake rock and nearly died).

It's been hard as hell to keep my mouth shut about this thing for the past couple months. I'm happy the cat is now out of the bag.

So, make it happen, cap'n.

Who says bloggin' ain't paying off?

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September 20, 2005

Come on, people

by Otis

It's only been 18 months since I had a few hundred bucks for a bankroll. It's only been 18 months since Pauly and Iggy only had vague idea who "Otis" was. Life has changed a lot on both fronts.

To what do I attribute my good fortune?

This.

Yeah, I won my first ever blogger touurnament. Then I won my second.

Now, I won't say I have the perfect life, but it's damned close, and it all started changing the moment Pauly went on tilt and I got heads up and won with Professional Poker Player Chris Halverson.

So, with that in mind, go sign up for tonight's Blogger tournament through Pauly or Iggy's link.

Blogger tournies are good food. And readers are welcome as well.

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September 17, 2005

The First Quadrennial WPBT Euchre Championship Tournament

by Luckbox

It's a game that's sweeping the nation! I can only imagine it's soon to be featured on the OLN network complete with Euchre hole card cameras. Who wouldn't watch this?

With that in mind, and because Up For Poker is always on the cutting edge, we're announcing the First Quadrennial WPBT Euchre Championship Tournament. Why Quadrennial? Well, either we won't want to do this more than once every four years, or it will take four years to finish.

Here's how it will work...

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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September 15, 2005

It's been a while...

by Otis

Really, I don't even deserve to be here right now. Thankfully, the boys are taking care of the shop in fantastic fashion. Read CJ's proof that WSOP poker is rigged below.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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September 9, 2005

Old Dog, New Tricks

by Luckbox

I played in PokerStars' World Championship of Online Poker Event #5 yesterday. It was a $200 NL Hold 'Em rebuy tourney. Both GRob and I received free entries thanks to Nolan Dallas and the fine folks over at PokerStar. They know how to treat bloggers right! And I'm not just saying that because Otis is cashing a HUGE paycheck right now!!!!

2146 people entered and after the rebuys and add ons, the prize pool easily cracked a cool million. GRob finished in 940th when his AT lost to QT when a Q hit the flop. I was knocked out a little while later in 799th when my AJ ran into AK.

Those numbers don't really tell, the story, however. I was extremely happy with my play despite the disappointing finish. Amazingly, I can be taught... someone tell Felicia!

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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August 18, 2005

Sometimes, It's All About 3rd Place

by Luckbox

It was Wednesday night pool table poker again, and I was hoping for a big turnout to help me get a little more tourney work before Bradoween weekend. We had 17 show up this time. And in Lousiana, we don't have to worry about the cops showing up.

I played pretty solid despite not getting very good cards. The best hand I saw early on was AQo. I raised it to 3xBB (150) and got two callers. The flop came down AKJ. I decided to get cute, which was pretty dumb considering the range of hands that beat me with that flop.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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August 12, 2005

Edible tilt

by Otis

It's been a full 14 months since I wrote the following:

I didn't peel my cards off the table again, preferring instead to eat her face with my eyes. Her cheeks pulled in as she drew in on the cigar. She pulled her cards off the felt one more time. I couldn't read her as well as I wanted. Remember, her beauty put me on tilt the moment she'd climbed out of the H2-Hummer. When she lit the cigar and bathed the table in a sexual wash of smoke and casual good humor, I decided there was no way I could play the game of poker ever again.
.

Since that time, the Cigar Girl has become a familar face and friend. We've played against each other several times, and her husband, now known as The Mark, has warned me more than once to not ever again consider eating his wife's face.

Tonight, the subject of that game long ago came up again during a $40 buy-in single table freeze-out. And wouldn't you know it, Cigar Girl went to the freezer and brought back a popsicle.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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August 11, 2005

A Lesson in Patience

by Luckbox

The "Doublewide Game" has been retired. Now, it's the "Pool Table Classic." Each week, anywhere from 8 to 16 people gather around the pool table for some Texas Hold 'Em action. What it lacks in comfort, it makes up for in green felt, not to mention cup holders.

Last night, 12 people showed up, and, reluctantly, we decided to play one table. I didn't mind so much. Patience is my game and with the blinds taking longer to come around, I could pick my hands and pounce.

About four hours later, we had finished two games and I had seen two hands. That's right. I played two hands.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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August 7, 2005

A Bradoween Omen?

by Luckbox

Little Willie (the real Doctor) must be getting himself ready for that tough tournament action we'll all be facing in a few weeks.

He jumped into a Full Tilt multi with 167 other people and finished third.

Nice work!

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August 3, 2005

And now...

by Otis

a word from our sponsor. (Speakers required before you click)

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July 25, 2005

Bradoween V

by Otis

No real time to compete with G-Rob for Writing King today, but I thought it was worth mentioning that Bradoween V: Five Years in Suburbia is now less than four weeks away.

The guest list is already long and distinguished (you fill in the punchline here). I won't mention who is coming yet, but if they want to indicate their plans in the comments, I think you'll be impressed. What's more, we're cooking up the competition to end all competitions and we still have a couple of spots in the player pool left.

You wanna come? It's Saturday August 20th.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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June 27, 2005

AMILV--Johnny F'n Chan

by Otis

It's 1:13am. From where I'm sitting I can see Scotty, Howard, Huck, Doyle, E-Dog, and Clonie. I don't use their first names because of any kind of familiarity. I use them because I never can remember how to spell Scotty's last name and I'm too lazy to look it up.

I'd planned on going to bed an hour ago. And I would if it weren't for the fact that the poker story of the year might be happening here and I'll be damned if I'm going to miss it because I went to sleep (or, like another unnamed blogger, went to the strip clubs).

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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June 23, 2005

WPBT ACC Final Resutls

by Luckbox

I know these are a few weeks behind, but it wasn't the easiest list to compile. I think I've gotten things as close as possible. If you see any mistakes, please let me know.

Congratulations again, to our winner, Bill Rini. Thanks you all of you for making it a huge success. And thanks to the Aladdin for running such a successful event.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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May 15, 2005

Blogger Pride!!!

by Luckbox

"Damn."

"Speechless."

That's about all we could get out of Joe Speaker from Obituarium when he won his seat in the WSOP. When it got down to the end, there was a real risk that a couple of readers were going to steal the blogger thunder, but Joe held strong and won his seat. Head on over to The Obituarium and congratulate him.

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May 12, 2005

South Cackalacky representin'

by Otis

I met The Big Pirate a few weeks back and was not surprised to find he's a player. As such, I was not surprised to find him winning the third (and final?) WPBT WSOP Satellite.

Frankly, when it got down to me and five other players at the final table, I didn't really care who won and who lost. I knew I wasn't going to win and I would've been happy with anyone else winning. When it got down to three, two South Carolina boys and a Texan, I felt even better. Sure, I have a closer association with BadBlood, but The Fat Guy is one of my personal heroes, and the Pirate is a new member of the burgeoning Palmetto Posse wing of the WPBT.

Now, the Big Pirate is our next entry. And he asks...whatta I do now?

Go tell him.

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May 1, 2005

Congrats

by Otis

The World Poker Blogger Tour is putting another great writer into Event #2 of the World Seris of Poker. Congrats to Russell Fox, tax and poker expert, who won tonight's event.

The only question is...will he wear a WPBT t-shirt?

Now, who is next?

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April 28, 2005

How to get rowdy

by Otis

It's been a long week. Work has been a bit of a bear. The kid contracted rotovirus and ended up in the hospital for a bit. So, as Thurday drew to a close, I was more than happy to receive the following note via e-mail.

In short, I am now officially rowdy.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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April 25, 2005

WPBT WSOP Sat results

by Otis

Per the request of another blogger, here is the finishing rank of all the players from last night. I don't have the time to link to all your blogs. Feel free to associate your name with you blog in the comments.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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April 24, 2005

Recognizing Otis

by Otis

If you're not one of those people who believe there is a certain balance to the world, I'm not sure how you wake up in the morning. Without the "even-Steven," yin and yang, Julia Roberts and Lyle Lovett nature of balance, I don't think I could bear to breathe. After all, it's the "what come around goes around" mantra that lets us all believe that eventually karma will turn our way and that prick who laughs everytime he sucks out on us will eventually lose while holding quad aces.

Of course, this the only way I can explain (and, yea verily, accept) the fact that my one-time rush at the large buy-in tournament tables has slid to a grinding and blue-balling halt that has served to turn me into an introspective and often grumpy individual. After six for eight money finishes in tournament with buy-in of more than $150 (including two final table appearances), I have fallen into a hole that I'm fairly sure I dug.

Rule number one: When you're running well, don't talk about it. If you do, you've invited the fates to kick you squarely in the boys.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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April 20, 2005

WBPT WSOP Satellite FAQ

by Otis

We've had a few questions regarding the now guaranteed WPBT seat in WSOP Event #2. Hopefully this will answer some of your questions.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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April 15, 2005

Antiperspirant for the Average Blogger

by Otis

UPDATE 4/20: We hit it.

Rock and roll. Al Can't Hang signed up as the 50th player (he plans to play from the Keys...heheheh). So, we've made the nut and got the cash now to guarantee the first seat in Event #2 of the WSOP, where you'll play with the likes of many well-known pros and the rowdy folks like Otis, Greenwood Phil, and a host other possible malcontents.

Now, go surprise me and see if we can make two seats.

If you're a blogger, plan to play, and haven't signed up, go get your spot now.

Okay, I usually try to come up with some halfway interesting anecdote to hook you into reading to the point of my posts. However, the inherent risk is burying the lead. This possibe enormity of this, however, leads me to just come right out with it.

There is no need to be a sweater at the WSOP this year. The WPBT has your antiperspirant.

Hereya go:

If you are an established blogger and write about poker, you have a chance to turn $33 into a World Series of Poker bracelet.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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April 8, 2005

Super Thursday Pt. 2

by Otis

So, I have an admission to make.

I've been playing under an assumed name. I only bring it up, because I'm about to reveal it.

A few people who sweated me in last week's Super Thursday tournament can attest to this. As I said last week at this time, my plan is to play one large multi-table tournament a week leading up to the June blogger trip to Vegas. Last week I placed seventh and was quite unhappy with my play.

Tonight, I'm happy with all of my plays but my last one. Ain't that the way it always is?

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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April 6, 2005

Greatest. Comeback. Ever. (FIXED!)

by Luckbox

We pulled up to the double-wide trailer in rural Lafayette County and there were a half dozen pickup trucks parked nearby. I pulled my little Saturn off the gravel road and onto the grass. There didn't seem to be assigned parking spaces.

When Mr. Steal, Artillery and I walked in, there were a dozen people already inside. Mr. Steal asked if had time to go buy some dip, to which 7 people responded, "I got some you could use." The bulges under their bottom limps were unmistakable.

Doublewides, pickup trucks and chewing tobacco. There's no such thing as stereotypes. Oh, did I mention the hard-core porn on the TV?

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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April 1, 2005

Bad writing, good tourney

by Otis

Alright. I'm tired. I don't feel like thinking anymore.

Regardless, I figured I should mention I just took seventh out of 852 in Party's Super Thursday $150. All in all, I played mediocre with the exception of a couple hands. In retrospect, I don't think I was playing to win. That makes me sad.

Thanks to The Geek and G-Rob for sweating me through the last couple hours.

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March 23, 2005

The Otis Jinx

by Otis

When I was in highschool, my old football and gym coach, Rube Berry, liked to name his phys ed teams. When we played floor hockey, I was on the Sophomore Jinx. I always thought it was a pretty cool name. Rube was a standup guy.

I hadn't thought about that old nickname in about 15 years. That was until this past weekend.

That was when I realized, I have a problem.

I am a jinx.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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March 1, 2005

It's An Ugly Game

by Luckbox

Is there a more brutal game than Razz? I goaded Bad Blood into joining me for a Full Tilt $5 Razz tourney that started at 11pm ET. Bad news for both of us who need sleep, but we both played. I, as expected, busted out early. Bad Blood was the chip leader with 7 left. Then he hit two brutal hands, losing more than half his stack on the river on the first one. And then this one, which he went all-in on early:

Yeah, that's a boat. Think he gets a boat at the final table if it's Stud instead of Razz??? What an ugly game...

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February 24, 2005

Reading Otis

by Otis

If you have not yet heard about the next live WPBT event in Vegas, scroll down to the next post before reading this.

The coming days would find me converting dollars to euros in my head, trying to figure out whether I was spending $75 or $150 to enter the single table tournaments. The coming days would find me face to face with some of Europe's top pros in a game of Hi-Lo 7-stud, cringing when a player named Badgirl called my hand on fifth street and jumped up and down in her seat when I tabled my hand. "See! See? I told you he had the queens." The coming days would find me taking third and second in the one table tournaments, silently hating myself for entering games where only first place paid. The coming days would find me hopped up on $30 beers and $20 club sandwiches and tracking a tournament from 245 players down to one.

But on the first night, I found myself at a two-table tournament...naked.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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February 17, 2005

Poker Blogger makes good

by Otis

We've long asked who would be the first poker blogger to make the final table of a big event. Friday, fellow blogger Mike "Lucky Blind" Lacey, has a damned good shot. He finished Day 2 of the French Open in third chip position and has ben playing very well. Plus, he's one helluva nice guy.

Be sure to check out his progress Friday on the The Nuts link on the left.

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February 13, 2005

It Only Takes One Mistake

by Luckbox

It's the nature of tournament poker. You can play perfect poker for hours, but find yourself in trouble because of a single decision. Perhaps you've lost your concentration because you're tired. Perhaps you misread your opponent. Perhaps you set your opponent up for a certain play but when the time came, your timing was off.

There's a lot of reasons why it happens, but to win a tournament you either have to avoid this big mistake or hope you're left with enough chips to come back.

My mistake was costly.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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February 11, 2005

B&M Tournament Plans

by Luckbox

The largest buy-in I've ever paid for a live casino poker tournament is just $65. In fact, the buy-in for that tourney was just $35, but there was a $30 rebuy which I was forced to take advantage of.

In general, I haven't felt comfortable enough with the tournament structures to put down a more significant amount of money. Often times, the starting stack is too small or the blinds start too high. My style of play does not lend itself to the shoot-out style tournament.

Saturday, I plan on playing in a $200+20 tournament at the Coushatta Casino in Kinder, LA.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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February 5, 2005

What are the chances...

by Otis

...that I would choose to play on Empire when I haven't played there in months? What are the chances I'd decide to play in the 10K guarantee? What are the chances another blogger would decide to play in the same tournament? What are the chances we'd both end up in the money and at the final table? And what are the chances we'd be among the final three battling it out for the remaining $5000+ in prize money.

I think it's a lot like catching a one-outer on the river.

Still, it happened. I'm too busy today to write it up properly, but DoubleAs took some time to post his version.

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February 3, 2005

Maybe the stripper was right

by Otis

I remember the night my future wife finally came around to my way of thinking. After nine months of aborted courtship, fantastically stupid college promiscuity, and an unfortunate period of facial hair growth, I'd given up on the concept that she may someday be my bride. I'd given up to the point that I'd started drinking Jagermeister from the bottom of the bottle and hanging out at The Blue Note more than my apartment.

Then, one night, we found each other at The Note and inexplicably she kissed me.

Through a fog of surprise, waning Jagermeister intoxication, and painful dance music, I remember thinking, "Now all you have to do is not screw this up."

Last night as the WPBT tourney worked its way down to 50 players, I remember thinking much the same thing.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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February 2, 2005

WPBT Bounty

by Luckbox

Okay, it's simple. Knock out my twin brother and I and you'll get $22. It's a twin thing. Bust Lefty and Up4Poker and we'll pay your entry fee. Of course, since my brother and I will be finishing 1st and 2nd, it's gonna be tough for any of you to knock us out.

I'm playing for real this time. There's no fooling around! I made it easy on you all in the past, but I'm ready for action. I've improved my style and I've become more aggressive than G-Rob. Just wait and see!!!

Oh, and I almost forgot. Winner gets their blog featured in the coveted "The Nuts" here at Up For Poker. It will be a blogger who wins, right?

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January 24, 2005

More of the same...

by G-Rob

Now if that don't make you read, son, you ain't never gonna get yer readin' done 'tall.

Either that or you've got taste. I hope you don't. We could never be friends.

I get up for work at 3 AM. I'm at the cube by 4. Last night, I entered a 5 + .50 tournament on UB at 7:00. I'm stupid. I'm used to it.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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December 29, 2004

Ride the rush

by Otis

The blogger table was full for several hours Tuesday night. The buy-in was cheap as usual. Twenty-five bucks max with quarter and fifty cent blinds. It's all in good fun and nobody gets hurt too badly.

It also allows we bloggers to play what Iggy has started calling a pox on the poker community....the Hammer. For the uninitiated, that's 72o.

It's all in good fun. Push all in with the hammer, if you go bust, it's no big deal.

So, what in the name of all that's holy would possess me to put all my chips in the middle while holdinig the hammer when a $12,600 prize package in the Party Poker Million IV is on the line?

Well, frankly, it just didn't matter.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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December 4, 2004

In Training

by Luckbox

As part of my plan to not embarrass myself a week from today, I've been playing some MTSNG's at Empire. I just wrapped two up, making the final table in both, but only cashing in one.

In this case, 2nd place really, really hurt, and here's why. We're down to two and I've got about a 4000T chip advantage over my heads up opponent. I'm in the SB with QTs and I make the minimum raise. My opponent calls and we see a flop of A-K-J rainbow.

Hmmm... in some places, they call that the nuts.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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November 2, 2004

It's for charity. Question: Charity who?

by Otis

It was just too hot outside to be the first November night of 2004. Decorative lights--almost Christmasy--hung haphazard-but-stylish in the trees that lined the street. Parking, as always, was at a premium in this particular part of town, so I considered myself lucky to find a spot just a block from the evening's tournament.

The tournament, reportedly for charity (but I figured otherwise) was to take place in a familiar watering hole. I scanned the street for the beat cops and found none. It was a Monday night and there wasn't much need for the cops to keep the weekend drunks in line.

As I stepped onto the sidewalk, arranging my cell phone and bankroll in my pocket, I sensed evil in the air. Okay, it wasn't really evil, but it was something at least a little menacing. Something akin to a three-year-old kicking me in the shins while calling me a doodie-head.

That sounds about right.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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November 1, 2004

WPBT LIVE!

by Otis

As the World Poker Blogger Association picks up steam with a newly designed logo from Maudie (see left), Dr. Pauly has gone the extra mile with the Poker Prof to organize the first live WPBT event in Las Vegas.

Make your seat reservations now. I've already made mine.

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October 30, 2004

Otis and the Bicycle Bears

by Otis

A city boy, accustomed the shine and noise of his urban landscape, would probably feel a little off-balance crossing the county line on Highway 124. It's a dark place, void of streetlamps, often void of cars all together. The road winds its way along the Saluda River, skirting a local NASCAR-lite speedway, all of it promising it will eventually dump you somewhere in the middle of civilization. But anyone who has seen "Deliverance" and knows it was filmed about an hour and half from here knows that civilization is never quite close enough for the city-minded.

Then again, as I took the S-curves as quickly as I could in a big SUV, massaging the radio buttons, listening for something hard-driving and full of menace, I knew this for a fact: I'm a country boy a heart.

And I'm on my way to a poker game, which makes this drive even better.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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October 29, 2004

My bodyguard

by Otis

I work in an industry that often receives promotional materials from companies across America. You'd be surprised what we get in our mailbox. Multi-colored duct tape, advance bottles of Vanilla Coke, and the ever-present and, frankly, spooky books from author, Nicholas Sparks. The latter wouldn't be nearly as spooky if it weren't for the fact that Sparks usually shows up in person with the books.

Eeeeesh.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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October 21, 2004

WPBT V Predictions

by Otis

When I logged on to Stars this morning before work, I discovered that 74 people had already signed up for the World Poker Blogger Tour V tournament. That's the healthiest field yet.

With that in mind, I offer these predictions:

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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August 29, 2004

The Monty Memorial (Luckbox's Report)

by Luckbox

Well, I did just about as poorly as I thought I would. I won one showdown. You can read that again. I finished 37th out of 77. Here's the raw report:

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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QLHTing with BadBlood

by Otis

There were only two ways you would know I was sitting in a mexican eatery. First, there was a basket of corn chips and salsa sitting next to my monster beer. Second, two Hispanic guys sat behind the bar intently watching Univision on the big screen TV. With those two exceptions, the basement restaurant looked almost exactly like it did when it was an Italian spot a few years ago.

Olympic Boxing had been on TV when I came in. I found myself thinking that any sport broadcast in Spanish sounds like soccer if you're not watching the screen.

G-Rob was there waiting when I walked in. He'd already downed half his beer before I walked in six minutes late. We figured a big beer from The Cactus would do us well before we venutred across the street to what I'd started thinking of as The Quilt (QLHT--Questionably Legal Hotel Tourney) hosted by fellow poker blogger, BadBlood.

I'd been out of live poker commission for the two weeks since my kid had been born. I'd missed out on four games at The Mark (formerly known as The State Park game), a Greenwood tourney, and a trip to Tunica. I was stoked, rowdy, and a little nervous.

And I had to pee.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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August 22, 2004

Monty Update

by Otis

A running commentary on the sad state of affairs at Pacific Poker (to be read from end to beginnning if you care about chronology:

Iggy has heard back from Pacific. It appears there is a make-good in the works.

[SEE UPDATES BELOW! They are in reverse order with the most recent at the top.]

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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Otis' Pre-Monty preps

by Otis

1) Hat of good fortune firmly planted on the noggin. Make note to not call it "lucky hat" as that always results in bad luck and pisses off the hat's fortunate ways.
2) Bottle of Guinness from the same sixpack as a bottle I drank during my WPBT III win. I drink it as an homage to blogfather, Iggy, as well as a nod to the cosmic implications of actually finding a hidden bottle of Guinness in my fridge.
3) Open web browser to take notes on the tourney and provide an Instant Tourney Report (unless I bust out in the first 15 minutes, at which point I'll just whine at some point in the future).
4) Mental note to make every effort to bust out The Fat Guy (I really want that Gourds disc).
5) In an effort to channel Pauly (who, I agree, has a good chance of bieng the mystery blogger), the three-disc live Phish show from Charlotte July 2003.
6) And a picture from my college years to prove that if I'm fortunate enough to bust Al Can't Hang, I'll be able to hold my own.

Circa 1993, Laws Hall, University of Missouri

Tell me I'm not ready.

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August 20, 2004

Beating Otis

by Otis

When I do it, it's called masturbation. When you do it, it's called poker supremecy. Hardly fair, I think.

If it weren't for online poker, I may become a Luddite again. Technology has turned us into a nation of nancy boys, school children, and nuns. I know this because the only glowing TV monitor in my bedroom is the video feed from my kid's nursery. I know this because I haven't worked in seven days, TV sucks, and I don't know what to do with myself. I haven't had a beer. I've barely seen the sun.

I'm not sure exactly why I blame technology, but it seems like things that plug in are mostly to blame.

That and my lack of poker skills.

See, I've been running as bad as George Thoroughgood after an evening of nightputting with Satan himself.

And for those of you who don't have a stream of conciousness to English dictionary, allow me to translate:

Otis is ripe for the picking in the upcoming Monty Memorial Poker Blogger/Reader Tournament.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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August 12, 2004

Daddy Otis or three-time champion?

by Otis

The time is upon us, Up For Poker readers. The next stop on the World Poker Blogger Tour will be the Monty Memorial Poker Blogger Tournament hosted by the blogfather, Iggy (August 22nd at 9pm ET).

As two-time champion in the WPBT, I'd be remiss if I didn't encourage all readers of Up For Poker to head to Iggy's site and sign up through his link. The tournaments are a blast and the competition is fantastic. I've found that some of the best poker players are poker writers. Last tournament, Iggy invited both bloggers and readers and it made the tournament even better.

Here's the thing: Baby Otis is due to arrive any day now. As it is my first kid, I have no idea what that will mean for my poker playing in the near future.

Still, I just don't see how I can NOT defend my titles.

So, here's my plan:

1) I'm buying in.
2) Um...I don't have a #2 yet.

How's that for a plan?

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August 1, 2004

Freerolling at The Mark

by Otis

"Sir, you should know, the heads have to be cleaned every six months."

Who is this guy?

That's what I was thinking. Who is this 22 year-old guy trying to sell me an extended warranty on a video camera? I didn't buy an extended warranty on my car.

Who is this guy?

"You'll be replacing this battery every year, and the warranty covers battery replacement." The sales pitch was sad in its relentlessness.

"You can stop," I said. "Just give me what I want."

The Best Buy kid walked away, dejected, collecting the firewire, digital video camera, and tapes. I felt the slightest taste of victory in watching him work.

And then it hit me like a drunk's suckerpunch.

Just look at yourself, Otis. Look what you've become.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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July 17, 2004

Back to State Park

by Otis

The danger in writing about poker is that people will read about it.

That may read strangely to you, but it was something I'd never really considered when I sat down to write up my first trip to the State Park game.

It was something I didn't really consider when I mentioned how the host's wife's beauty put me on tilt. It was something I didn't really consider when I wrote the game sat on a razor's edge between dangerous and safe.

It was something I didn't really consider, indeed. That is until I decided to go back tonight and one of the player's said, "You know, I read that web site you have."

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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July 3, 2004

Bloggers Busted on the Bubble

by Otis

Hypothesis: Poker, while always a wonderfully American and often suburban event, has become popular enough to overshadow our nation's independence.

Proof? I drove an hour from my home today to a Fourth of July party (complete with red, white, and blue decorations) that was more poker tournament than family gathering.

Analysis: That's exactly the way it should be.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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July 2, 2004

Runs in the Family

by Luckbox

I guess I'm not the only family member winning poker tourneys these days. And, in fact, I've never bested 468 other players to take a title. Those Ultimate Bet tourneys can get pretty crazy, so here's to Lefty! Looks like "Huck Finn" is doing just fine on the river!

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June 30, 2004

Poker at the 19th Hole

by Luckbox

It called itself a cigar bar, but a few cigars in a case and a leather couch hardly make it such. In fact, the place was so small, one cigar probably would have been enough to smoke me out. Thankfully, everyone ignored the "cigar" part of the name.

I was one of the first players to arrive, but that's probably because I didn't know the 8pm start time really meant 9pm. It was my first time there, and I didn't know a soul. I asked for a Bud Light despite the fact that I hate drinking and gambling. I felt self-conscious sitting in a bar alone without a beer in front of me.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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June 28, 2004

That "V" Word Again

by Luckbox

I was planning a post on "variance" following my big session on Saturday. Things weren't going as well until a bit of a personal triumph. Then I log on to see Otis roughing up more Empire Poker opponents. Kinda makes my accomplishment a bit minor in comparison... but here goes...

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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Um...I feel...something...

by Otis

When Jim McManus set out for Vegas to cover the WSOP, made the final table, then busted out, he wrote that he felt like he'd taken 5th out of 6th place instead of fifth out of several hundred. I sympathized with him, but never felt any real empathy.

Until tonight...er...this morning.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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June 22, 2004

Bradoween Open--The Winner

by Otis

From time to time here at Up For Poker, we like to open our pages to a guest blogger. We like to publish players of some note or noteriety. Boston J. Reilly is one of those players. He scooped first prize in the Bradoween Open this year. The following is his account of his win.

“Play very tight at the first table and don’t get seated with Otis or CJ.” That was the advice from my friend Jason about how I should approach the Bradoween Open. I needed this good advice too, having played only in a half dozen or so home games, none as serious as this. I knew the game a bit and was comfortable at the table, but I was worried about my chip management skills and betting strategy. Turns out if you can stay alive for the first 7 hours of the tourney, you can gain the skill needed to win it at the final table.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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June 21, 2004

Bradoween Open--The camera doesn't blink

by Otis

Please be sure to check out CJ's write up on the Bradoween Open below the entry and BadBlood's write-up over at his site.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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Luckbox's Bradoween Experience

by Luckbox

It was supposed to be a relatively quick tourney. Just a couple of hours to decide who would wear the crown of Bradoween Open champion.

Seven grueling hours later, we finally had a winner. And it was all worth it!!!

The Open included a Mt. Willis-record field of 33 players. The $660 prize pool was also a Mt. Willis record. The mix of players included those who learned how to play poker in the preceding 24 hours and those who have played for years.

My tournament came down to a pair.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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Bradoween Open Results

by Otis

Apart from taking four hours longer than planned, the Bradoween open was a rocking success. We're hoping for full tourney reports from the winners. Some have already written. Your humble host (that's me) made a play shortly after the first break and got caught. Sadly, I got caught by a guy who thought he had a boat but only had ace-high. Further, sadly, I didn't even have Ace high. It was a bad move on my part, regardless.

Of the 33 entries, here are your money winners:

1) Reilly--Boston, MA--$300
2) Team Scott Smith--Simpsonville, SC--$150
3) David M.--Atlanta, GA--$100
4) CJ--Lafayette, LA--$70
5)John "BadBlood" D.--Greenville, SC--$40

Badblood already has his tourney report online. Check it out. CJ plans to write one up soon and we're asking for one from guest blogger, Reilly. I have some pictures that will go up soon as well.

Congrats to all the winners, and the few that went out just short of the money after playing for seven hours straight.

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June 1, 2004

The State Park Game

by Otis

"Otis, have you ever had one of those ideas that the moment it pops in your head, you know it is the best idea you've had all day long?"

That was the way G-Rob began the conversation.

"Sure," I said, "but not recently."

"What say you and I go downtown and drink five or seven beers?" he said.

In short, we were bored. Everybody else was wrapped up in family stuff and we had nothing--nothing--to do.

I told him that sounded like a better idea than any I had and I'd call him back in 30 minutes.

When I got off the phone, it sounded like less of a good idea. Bored drinking, especially the kind that begins with the idea that we'll drink five (or seven), often results in us drinking fifteen (or seventeen) then popping for a cab to get home.

That's when I remembered.

The State Park Game.

I'd heard about it from a guy who came to my home game several months before. He'd left his cell phone number somewhere among my poker chips. It took me two minutes to find it. I made the call and asked if G-Rob and I could play.

I heard the voice on the end of the line scream, "Hey, bud! Two more?"

In the background, I heard the affirmative response. The State Park game would accept two new players, relative unknowns, into the weekly tournment action.

I called G-Rob back.

"G-Rob, have you ever had one of those ideas that the moment it pops in your head, you know it is the best idea you've had all day long?"

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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May 17, 2004

Otis Wins: Redux

by Otis

While complete, I can't help but think the tournament write-up I offered last night was a little difficult to read. Perhaps it would be good to look at a few key hands, and a few observations.

Observation #1-- Is it coincidence, fate, or something more supernatural that put Mene Gene and me into heads up play? He won the first WPBT event. I won the second. I hesitate to believe skill could have anything to do with it, but whatta I know?

Obervation #2-- I have accurately been accused of sitting heartily on a horseshoe all night long. There's no doubt that is correct. I got some great cards and hit a few great boards. We'll discuss that more in the Key Hands section. However, I wonder how many tournaments are won when the winner didn't have great cards and hit a few key flops. I'm sure there are some, but I bet the numbers work in favor of the people who keep a collection of horseshoes in their pants. I'd be interested to hear what The Dude would have to say about that.

Observation #3-- Badblood, who served as chip leader for most of the tournament kept making references to the state I call home. Later we discovered that we not only live in the same state, but the same city. We're currently investigating whether we have ever played together before.

Now, the key hands.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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May 16, 2004

WPBT III--Version: Otis

by Otis

As I am barely awake and know I'll be able to offer no formal and well-written tourney report after the game, we'll write this as we go. That means spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes, tense mistakes, and probably a few lies. However, it will reveal nearly every hand I played and the monkey-brain dialogue that happened in my head as I mashed the buttons. Edit: As it turns out, I won the thing, so this goes all the way to the final hand. That's two stops on the tour for me so far. And I ended up heads up against the first champion.

Instant tourney report:

First hand for me: 44 against CJ . Face cards paint the board, including two aces. Ceej starts betting, I start folding. Wish I would remember how to fold before playing...

88 in the small blind. It's raised to me, but not big, so, I call. Nobody is betting the K or blanks on the board. Not even me. Raiser folds after checked to river. Liebot bets and I call $100 bet to see his pocket nines. I already know I'm calling too much and not raising enough. I need therapy.

A few hands later I fold 33 in early position. I don't have the will. Hdouble raises my blind and I fold a little Ace.

I'm already down to $510 chips. How embarassing.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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The Iggy Invitational Sucked!--Version CJ

by Luckbox

Maybe I'm just bitter, but I think the Pacific Poker tournament structure is terrible. You only start with 800 chips, and blinds go up really, really fast. Plus, they don't believe in filling tables, so the blinds eat you up even faster.

That said, I didn't get much in the way of good cards either.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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Garage Poker

by Otis

Don't mess with the kid

I'm not sure exactly what it is about a garage. Maybe it's the fact that city folk consider a garage to be a suburban symbol of a mundane, if not plebian life-too-ordinary. Or maybe it's just the fumes of grass clippings and paint thinner getting to my noodle. Regardless, it's the one place at Mt. Willis I can drink, yell and sling chips at my friends at 3am without fear of reprisal.

A month or so ago I instituted the Mt. Otis Garage Poker game as a means to keep up my live play experience while facing certain fatherhood and fewer trips to the desert. The game is really just a continuation of a home game that had been waning in recent months. Regardless, it's a place where the stories shoot like a shook-up beer and Goliath falls to David on a regular basis.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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May 11, 2004

The Iggy Invitational

by Luckbox

Why haven't you signed up? The Iggy Invitational (as I've called it) is Sunday night at 9pm and you have to get signed on by TONIGHT!

I don't want to hear some lame excuse about your stack. I don't want to hear some lame excuse about being busy that night.

If you can't convince your wife you need to play, you're not a man. If you can't come up with $20, you're not a poker player. And if you can't beat me, you should give up now.

Get on board. Head over to Guinness and Poker and use Iggy's links. You won't be sorry.

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May 1, 2004

Thunder, Lightning and Poker

by Luckbox

It was time. I had been in Louisiana for almost two months, and had yet to visit a casino for some real B&M poker. Today, that drought came to and end.

As I drove the 70+ miles to Kinder, LA and the Grand Casino, a sense of foreboding overcame me. Perhaps I was nervous, or perhaps it was the pitch black thunderclouds I was driving directly into.

Then I noticed the lightning, and wondered if a higher power was telling me to go home. Then it rained so hard, I had to pull over to the side of the road. If I had to wait much longer, I'd miss registration. However, I never saw the animals walk past two-by-two, and I made it to the casino in time.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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April 27, 2004

Still True

by Otis

I'm not a tourney report writer. Grubby is good at that. So is Pauly. Me, I'm a trip report writer, which sucks when I've just taken second place in a True Poker multi-table tournament. I didn't take a trip. I sat here for hours while my back turned into a giant monkey fist and I let some chump (actually, he was a helluva player) take first place. Now I'm all jacked up on adrenaline and testosterone. It's almost 2am. I have to get up in five hours for a very important court hearing. And I can't move from this chair.

It's at this point that I quite seriously asked myself, "What would Pauly do?"

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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April 24, 2004

My Nebraska Connection

by Luckbox

I don't know how popular poker is in Nebraska. Most gambling is illegal in the state (although you can play the lottery and keno just about anywhere). I've always thought it interesting that Nebraska legalized two forms of gambling with the worst odds, but I digress.

My point is that you're not likely to find much poker action in the Cornhusker state. So how, then, did one of the most popular poker games get named after Nebraska's biggest town?

That's for another day because, frankly, a quick google search provided no answers. Instead, I'd like to let you in on my second Omaha tourney money-making experience since picking up the game.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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April 18, 2004

Does He Have an Overpair?

by Luckbox

It was my second attempt at the Poker Journal Keeper's NL Texas Hold 'Em tournament on Planet Poker, generously organized by Felicia Lee. Apparently most bloggers have become frightened of the talent because they all stayed home!!!

Come on, grow a pair and get in the game. This week, we had just 8 players. I'm a little disappointed in our blogger community for not making a better showing.

Now on to the action...

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April 16, 2004

How 'Bout Some Omaha?

by Luckbox

I don't play Omaha Hold 'Em Hi-Lo very often. When I do, it's with the guys at the friendly game I used to play back in G-ville. I'm not very good at it, and I never practice it.

Tonight, I got in on an Omaha tourney over at Planet Poker. It only cost a buck. There were 60 some players. I finished 3rd. Not bad for a novice. That's two tourneys at planet, and I've got two 3rd place finishes. I like that place!

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April 11, 2004

Back in the Game

by Luckbox

I finally got an account set up at Planet Poker so I could take my seat in the PJK weekly tourney. I've been pretty much out of action for awhile, so I anticipated being rusty. I think I was, but I was also playing really, really tight. That was either going to kill me, or carry me through.

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March 10, 2004

Bragging is for the weak

by Otis

...and it's been a long time since I lifted anything heavier than a pint glass.

The good folks at Guinness and Poker hosted the World Poker Blogger Tour II tonight over at True Poker.

And honestly, surely to goodness and mercy, I thought I'd be among the first out. I mean, really, I only contribute to this poker blog while maintaining Rapid Eye Reality for all my other ramblings.

I must have cheated.

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March 2, 2004

Horseshoes, bad beats, tequila

by Otis

By the end of the night I was half-drunk (maybe a little more) on tequila and playing the role of the house in a game of low-stakes blackjack in an effort to keep the people drunker than me from driving home. I had my $100 in winnings in my pocket and no fear of the sunrise.

Which was a good thing, because the sunrise was coming on like a plump girl at closing time.

Looking back at the past ten hours, it was a surprise that anybody survived.

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February 28, 2004

What if the race for the Democratic Party nomination was a poker tournament?

by Staff

Think of it as a no-limit hold `em tourney with incredibly high stakes. As in any tournament, there's a few players who get knocked out before the seat gets warm, like they almost entered just for the excitement of going all-in. And then there's the real players...

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February 27, 2004

Busting Out

by Otis

I may wear sunglasses this time. I never have before. It's not in my nature. I prefer a baseball cap, pulled down low over my eyes, and perhaps a fake moustache when I'm feeling saucy.

See, dear reader, this will not be just any other poker game. This will not be a game where friends laugh it up when they win and suck it up when they lose.

In this particular poker tournament, when one player busts out, he'll be busting out for good. Or, at least, for a good long while.

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February 22, 2004

The Hammer Fell, And It Fell On I

by Luckbox

If the Grublog Poker Classic were a Greek tragedy, I'd have been killed off stage in the first act. The weapon, naturally, would have been the hammer.

In the ranking of starting poker hand strength, there is much disagreement. But what everyone agrees up on is that AA is the strongest starting hand, and 72o is the weakest starting hand.

Anyone wanna guess what I had? Anyone wanna guess what jeremy over at love and casino war had?

Despite my preflop raise, he still called. When the flop came, I wasn't scared. Sure it had a 7 and a 2, but why would that worry me? One all-in bet later, and I was out in 27th place (out of 32). Ouch.

Congrats to Mean Gene for winning it all, and to The Fat Guy for finishing second. I'm sure you'll find plenty of spectacular write-ups at the blogs featured to your left.

One last word of warning, watch out for the HAMMER!!!!!

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February 20, 2004

Time Is Running Out!

by Luckbox

Okay, I'll say it. If you are a poker blogger, and you're not signed up for the Grublog Poker Classic, you're a loser.

That's right. You must be afraid of my awesome poker skill. You must think you'll be the fish while I'm sharking my way to the crown.

You'd be a fool to think that. Sure, there might be a few ringers in this tourney (I'm certainly not one of them), but this is a can't miss event!!! We're just two days away from this historic event!!! Sign up now!!!

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December 10, 2003

Patience Can't Last

by Luckbox

A week ago, I posted a tourney played by Otis that was a bit of a roller coaster. Shortly before that, I played a tourney that was more of a steady climb to the edge of a cliff. I made it to the final table and faced a crucial decision.

My patience paid off over about 200 hands, and then in a moment I would rally or crumble. There's a fine line there when you're sitting at the final table.

There were 136 players and the entry fee was $5. Enjoy. (Feel free to skip to Break 1, Break 2 or the Final Table, all are in bold.)

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December 7, 2003

A Chip and a Chair?

by Staff

I'm not sure why it took me ten years to wonder if there was anything wrong with this classic poker story, but anyway...

The most famous line with regards to poker tournaments is "If you have a chip and a chair you can win," usually shortened to "A chip and a chair." The line was spoken by Jack "Treetop" Straus, who engineered perhaps the most famous World Series of Poker comeback in history.

One of the most famous stories about the world championship was the way the late, great Jack Straus had won the title in 1982. He had fought his way back starting from a single $500 chip, which he had found under his cigarette pack. He had won the blinds, played it up, doubled through, and by good fortune and good judgment come right back into the event. David Spanier: The Hand I Played: A Poker Memoir
Now, I've heard this story quite a few times, but for some reason one question has never before occurred to me: how do you get left with just one chip?

Play Online Poker
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December 2, 2003

The Roller Coaster of a Tourney

by Luckbox

Otis had quite a ride on Ultimate Bet last night. He played in a $30 tourney that had 176 entrants. First prize was more than $1000.

Sometimes you get the cards, and sometimes you don't. Sometimes it's back-and-forth, hand-to-hand. It's the kind of night Otis had.

From the moutain top to the valley and back again. The only thing I'll give away is that cowboys played an awfully big role!

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November 30, 2003

The Big Game

by Staff

There's something I've been wondering about lately, with regards to the major poker tournaments. Before I mention it, I guess I should clarify that my interest is purely philosophical, since I'm about as likely to enter one of these tournaments anytime soon as I am to empty my bank account to play heads-up against Phil Ivey.

But anyway, as I'm sure many of you know, the first World Series of Poker, way back in 1970, featured an entry fee of $10,000. And in most of the articles written about the history of the event, there's some comment that mentions how amazing it is that after so many years the entry fee is still that same $10,000, though considerably less when compared to $10K in 1970 dollars.

So what I want to know is: why?

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November 7, 2003

My Heart Wasn't In It

by Luckbox

It's a 10 person Sit-and-Go with a $10 entry fee. The top three finishers pay. I haven't had much luck recently so I'm hoping for at least third.

When you get to the end, you'll understand what the title means. It started out well enough...

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October 30, 2003

Off My Game

by Luckbox

Something happened. My online poker skills seemed to have diminished. Maybe it's lack of playing. My online time has been spotty at best over the past few weeks.

Last night I played in a little tourney with a measley $100 prize pool. There were 400 players. Read it and weep...

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September 29, 2003

Can I Please See A Final Table?

by Luckbox

In my very first on-line tournament, I made it to the final table and finished in 7th place. I thought, "Wow, this is easy." I couldn't have been more wrong.

In all of my tournament play since that day, I've gotten as close to the final table as a freshman physics major gets to a soroity girl's dorm room.

On Saturday, I saw Otis sit down at a $10 tourney and decided I'd join him. Maybe we could make it to the final table together. Unfortunately, he didn't see many cards worth playing. Maybe he sent all his poker karma my way...

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September 25, 2003

Four Queens Open

by Staff

I'm back from a good weekend of poker and nonsense in Las Vegas at the Four Queens Classic.

I got into Vegas late Thursday night and checked into the Four Queens, where we had two pre-comped rooms thanks to a little blackjack bender me and a buddy went on last time we were downtown.

The room itself was pretty poor quality, even a little worse than I expected (and I've stayed in the old Circus Circus rooms). Lots of stains on the carpet, nicks in the wall, poor temperature control.

But just as you only need a chip and a chair to win a tournament, all I really require in a Vegas hotel room is a bed and a shower. At least the room didn't smell.

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Otis in Vegas Pt.1

by Staff

"You want us to move over?"

The guy must have sensed my impatience. He and his wife's ass were blocking the moving walkway leading into the Excalibur hotel. I needed to get through there and to the Luxor in time to sign up for the noon no-limit tourney.

"No, that's okay," I said as I placed my hands on the rubber handrail and jumped over to stable ground. "This will work better."

As I strode confidently toward my destiny, the guy yelled at my back.

"In a hurry to lose that $300, buddy?"

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September 23, 2003

The Real Deal

by Luckbox

Otis is in Vegas.

He had been in Vegas for less than an hour when he unloaded 25 bucks for a seat in a 35-person tourney.

The first hour was limit, before it moved to no limit. He finished 15th, but out of the money.

He spent the next 7 hours at a limit table, and finished down just a buck. Not bad for the first day. I'm sure he'll return with plenty of stories!

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September 15, 2003

7-2 Offsuit? All in.

by Staff

Admittedly, it was late. I was hopped up on too much caffeine. Allergy pills, an infrequent necessity, were playing with my head. My night of on-line poker had been interupted several times by football, women, and food. As I sat down for a midnight tournament, I conceded there could've been worse interuptions.

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September 8, 2003

I Don't Know How To Close

by Luckbox

I played in a tournament the other day, and was doing pretty well. I've learned, though, that I don't know how to get myself to the next level, often busting out late as the blinds eat away at my stack.

This tournament was a $1 entry fee, with unlimited rebuys during the first hour, and one add-on at the end of that hour. You could only rebuy when your chips were at or below your 1000 chip level. Here's how it went:

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