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Tuesday, August 31, 2004
- Got the old "You're playing too much poker" speech from the wife last night. I played it cool and agreed to tone it down a few notches. I like to think that my poker playing time goes through cycles where I play a lot, then not so much, then ramp it back up. Strangely, her "request" came during another cyclical phenomenon. I'll have to do some research to see if these things are in phase somehow.
- Went to a concert last night with a bud. Sweat my ass off during the headliner's act, HateBreed. Totally drenched in sweat standing next to other similarly conditioned males is not a great way to spend an evening, unless it's in the second row at a metal concert.
- At lunch today, went and purchased the new Lamb of God CD. The checkout guy asked me if I wanted to also purchase The Passion of the Christ DVD. Glad to see humor is alive and well at the mall music store.
- Forgot to mention last week that I got my speeding ticket reduced to only 2 points and $97, down from the original 4 points and $170. A minor victory, but I'll take it.
- I've been thinking about building a poker table top. The online instructions I've seen make it seem rather easy. But given my general skills with power tools, I bet I can fuck it up good fashion.
- Got a DVD burner for the computer but haven't installed it yet. The wife is excited about making videos set to music using pictures from our digital camera. I'm excited about viewing some free porn I downloaded on the 46" HDTV.
- Got nothin' else. Be back later with a report on my home-game tourney held this past Saturday.
Sunday, August 29, 2004
Fast forward to tonight's next installment of the blogger tournament scene, this time involving both bloggers and readers alike. This tournament was set up to pay respects to Monty, the great blogfather's cat who sadly passed away ealier in the month. At the close of the signup period 87 people had registered for this 2nd attempt at putting this thing together at Pacific Poker.
By virtue of Yahoo Instant Messenging, many bloggers and readers alike converged in a chat room about an hour before the event, bantering about random things like music and drinking. I made a prediction that we'd get a bunch of no-shows and only 60 or so players would truly show up. I was pretty much dead wrong when at 8:46, the 61st player showed up. We'd end up with a total of 77 players, paying out 10 places.
Level 1 begins and I find myself with only 1 other blogger, AlCantHang. Amazingly, he survives more than the first two hands and we begin to settle in. I take an early pot after I pre-flop raise w/2,2. The table is very tight early and I fold an A,2 of spades when the pot is raised and then re-raised in front of me. I foolishly try to buy a pot with A,J in early position and ran into A,A. The damage wasn't too dreadful and I found myself down to 1255 in chips.
Level 2 and I'm below average. I try to limp in with 5,6 of spades and successfully see a 3,4,K flop. Only problem is that it's all diamonds. It's folded around to the last caller and I sense his bet of T65 is based soley on position. The turn is the 7 of diamonds, completing my straight, but putting 4 diamonds on board. I bet out anyway for information and it's folded. I win another small pot from the big blind w/K,T offsuit when after the turn the board shows A,J,T.
Level 3 begins with me at 1480 and an average stack of still T1500. That's right, nobody has been eliminated yet. I manage to bluff a Q,4,8 of clubs flop with A,5 of hearts and win some much needed chips as the blinds are going up very quickly. I get Q,J in the BB and see a Q,J,3 rainbow flop. I slow play the flop, but bet the turn and river and get a decent amount of chips.
Level 4 starts and I'm a bit above average at T2103 vs. T1577. We've finally lost a few players and are down to 72. I get moved to a new table with Maudie, Boy Genius, Montechristo and am a bit uneasy at the prospect of facing other bloggers. A reader who I now is also here, gr8engr. The first hand I am involved in, I see a pre-flop raise from Montechristo of T300 and I have to call w/A,K. The flop is garbage, T,4,2. Monte checks and I bet, but am then check-raised all in. I fold easily and think what a stupid bet I made. I then try to steal the big blind from the small blind position w/J,10 but am called. I bet out T200 on a random flop and think to myself, what a crappy bet. But apparently it works as the big blind folded. Whew.
Level 5 and we're down to 64 players, average stack is T1774 and I'm holding T1798. I'm pretty happy to be at the average. I hear news that Derek, of Poker in the Weeds fame, has been eliminated. I'm in the small blind with J,4 of hearts and try to force out a short-stacked big blind. Doesn't work and I double him up. The next orbit I see J,J in the small blind. Gr8engr goes all in and I have him covered, so I call. Boy Genius follows up my call by going all-in himself. It's not much more for me to call so I do. Turns out gr8engr had A,Q and Boy Genius had A,8. The flop brings a K, but no A and I take in a nice pot. I win another decent pot with K,J hearts when I sniff out a bluff bet from Montechristo.
Level 6: 53 players, average stack is T2142 and I have T3670, in nice position. I don't play a single hand this level as the majority of it is taken up by the break time. Um, duh. Someone needs to reprogram that little piece of brilliance.
Level 7: 45 players, avg: T2523, and I have T3270. I'm at a very chip-heavy table with only 1 short stack. One orbit through the blinds and I'm back to being average stacked. I fail miserably at trying to take out the short-stacked big blind from the small blind position with K,J. I lose to K,3 when a 3 hits the flop. But I get it all back when the same player goes all-in and I'm holding A,Q. I fold 7,7 in late position to a hefty raise from the small blind and I'm off to another table with Hdouble and Landow, a friend of AlCantHang.
Level 8 and I'm just below average, but people are now starting to drop like flies. We're down to 31 people and I'm whisked off to table 1 with Chris Halverson and Maudie. I can't catch any cards to call the all-ins that are flying around.
Level 9 is a crazy level for me. I'm sitting at T2847 with the average stack at T5678 and 20 players left. I'm in the push or fold stage right here. I get A,K UTG and go all in. I get no action, but I'll take the blinds here no problem. I'm allowed to see a flop in the BB with K,2 and it's 8.7,2. I have to believe the lone caller doesn't have any of those cards, so I go all-in again and take the pot. I'm dealt J,J in the small blind again which is a familiar hand. There's a pre-flop raise before me, to which I go over-the-top all-in. The original raiser had 8,8 and I become the table chip leader at T9194. I take one more small pot with 3,3 in the small blind.
Level 10 - where things get crazy. 14 players left and I'm at T9994 with the average being T8112. That's deceiving as I'm in 5th place overall. I'm predicting to all who are still in the chat room that 11th place is where I'll finish since they are paying 10. I'm folding hands like Q,J suited in late position. That is so weak, talk about being a farmer instead of a fox. I then lose a big chunk of my stack with A,Q suited to 8,8. Then not much longer, I'm dealt 8,8 myself. I'm in the BB and MaudieB raises it to something like 6x the BB if I recall correctly. If I thought more about it, I could have put her on a medium pair instead of something like A,Q or A,K. But I didn't think much about it and went over-the-top all-in. She wisely called with her J,J and I am bounced in 13th place. For some reason, I don't think Maudie's going to enjoy my bounty. But that's the price you pay when you eliminate BadBlood!!!! :)
Like I said in the chat room at the time, there's no other blogger to whom I'd rather lose my chips. Maudie put them to good use in finishing in the money at 7th place I believe. I watched the rest of the tourney, only to see the Igg-meister himself dominate like I've never seen. He made short work of the final table and cruised easily to victory. It was much deserved since he set the whole thing up and had quite the fiasco to deal with last week.
So from my perspective, it was worth so much more than the $20 entry fee. Pacific never made good on the $500 add-on to the prize pool they claimed they'd take care of. Perhaps if they ever do, the payouts will extend down to 13th or later and I'll undo the bubble finish retroactively. If not, I'll have Boy Genius' bounty to wash away the slight disappointment of getting so close to the money and falling just short.....again.
Saturday, August 28, 2004
With Pauly as my witness, I swear this hand history is the honest truth.
***** Hand History for Game 887455298 *****
Table Table 14055 (6 max) (Real Money)
Seat 1 is the button
Total number of players : 4
Seat 1: badblood44 ( $77 )
Seat 10: tayloral20 ( $55.2 )
Seat 3: Macadelic69 ( $40.9 )
Seat 8: Sankarang ( $25.7 )
Macadelic69 posts small blind [$0.25].
Sankarang posts big blind [$0.5].
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to badblood44 [ 2c 7d ]
badblood44 raises [$2].
Macadelic69 calls [$1.75].
Sankarang calls [$1.5].
** Dealing Flop ** [ 8h, Qd, 2d ]
Sankarang bets [$3].
badblood44 calls [$3].
** Dealing Turn ** [ 2s ]
Sankarang bets [$5].
badblood44 raises [$20].
Sankarang calls [$15].
** Dealing River ** [ 2h ]
badblood44 bets [$1].
Sankarang is all-In.
badblood44 shows [ 2c, 7d ] four of a kind, twos.
Sankarang doesn't show [ Qh, Td ] a full house, Twos full of queens.
badblood44 wins $0.30 from side pot #1 with four of a kind, twos.
badblood44 wins $51.40 from the main pot with four of a kind, twos.
Sankarang has left the table.
Friday, August 27, 2004
***** Hand History for Game 886963263 *****
Table Table 14210 (6 max) (Real Money)
Seat 5 is the button
Total number of players : 4
Seat 10: badblood44 ( $44.01 )
Seat 6: mcc001 ( $146.68 )
Seat 8: koslo ( $21.75 )
Seat 5: dayvid12 ( $51.65 )
badblood44 posts small blind [$0.25].
dayvid12 posts big blind [$0.5].
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to badblood44 [ 9c 7h ]
mcc001 calls [$0.5].
badblood44 calls [$0.25].
dayvid12 raises [$0.5].
mcc001 calls [$0.5].
badblood44 calls [$0.5].
** Dealing Flop ** [ 9d, 3h, Jd ]
dayvid12 bets [$2].
mcc001 calls [$2].
badblood44 calls [$2].
** Dealing Turn ** [ 9h ]
dayvid12 bets [$5].
mcc001 calls [$5].
badblood44 calls [$5].
** Dealing River ** [ 9s ]
dayvid12 bets [$15].
mcc001 calls [$15].
FISHES4FUN has joined the table.
badblood44 is all-In.
dayvid12 calls [$21.01].
mcc001 calls [$21.01].
dayvid12 shows [ 4s, 3d ] a full house, Nines full of threes.
mcc001 shows [ Js, As ] a full house, Nines full of jacks.
badblood44 shows [ 9c, 7h ] four of a kind, nines.
badblood44 wins $130.03 from the main pot with four of a kind, nines.
Not long there after, another nut falls on this squirrel's head:
***** Hand History for Game 887307001 *****
Table Table 14055 (6 max) (Real Money)
Seat 6 is the button
Total number of players : 6
Seat 3: dsimmons24 ( $32.51 )
Seat 5: curtsell2 ( $20.85 )
Seat 6: meatf16 ( $16.3 )
Seat 10: tayloral20 ( $104.25 )
Seat 1: badblood44 ( $22.6 )
Seat 8: ThurnSmith ( $13.75 )
badblood44 posts small blind [$0.25].
dsimmons24 posts big blind [$0.5].
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to badblood44 [ Js Jc ]
ThurnSmith raises [$2].
tayloral20 calls [$2].
badblood44 is all-In.
ThurnSmith is all-In.
tayloral20 calls [$20.6].
** Dealing Flop ** [ Jd, Jh, Kc ]
** Dealing Turn ** [ 8s ]
** Dealing River ** [ 3c ]
ThurnSmith shows [ Ts, Tc ] two pairs, jacks and tens.
tayloral20 shows [ 9h, Qc ] a pair of jacks.
badblood44 shows [ Js, Jc ] four of a kind, jacks.
badblood44 wins $17.70 from side pot #1 with four of a kind, jacks.
badblood44 wins $41.75 from the main pot with four of a kind, jacks.
Thursday, August 26, 2004
So again, our hero is playing on the $25 NLHE tables at Party, having a mediocre session, when my IM client pops up a new message from a friend living up north. He wants to tell me a funny story about he and yet another friend/Party player who are colluding via IM at a $5/$10 table.
He tells me they've already shared their hands, moron #1 - the initiator of the chat - is holding A,T of spades, moron #2 is holding J,J. The flop is Ks,Qs,x and the betting ensues between the two colluders. When the river card spikes a J, moron #2 bets into moron #1 who promptly raises. Moron #2, realizing the follies of his ways, promptly folds. Moron #1 tells me how that is so funny.
I proceed to ask him why he thought that was funny. Those two yahoos are colluding and chasing each other down with inferior hands. Can someone tell me what the point of that is? It is so flat out ridiculous, I can't even put it into words.
I ask him not to include me in their collusion efforts as I think that not only is it unfair, but with these rocket scientists, it's a -ev play on my part. Why would I share my cards with people who want to chase me down? Utter stupidity.
I tell moron #1 that is the sole reason I mainly play no limit rather than limit hold 'em now. I get too annoyed at the chasers and with no limit, I have the ability to manipulate pot odds to make their calls unwarranted. Moron #1 tells then tells me he'd call any bet with A,10 suited, so playing no-limit wouldn't matter. He also told me that I wouldn't go all-in with JJ anyway, so it doesn't matter how much of an underdog he is pre-flop.
At this point, I cease my online conversation as the physical act of typing my responses is wasting too many precious milli-calories that could be better used picking my nose.
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
I get on the phone with this guy and do my damnedest (sp?) to be polite and remind him that it is ME, not him, who is responsible for making changes to our web presence. His comment: "Uh, I didn't think anyone was using those functions."
Maroons!!! Idiots!!! I'm dealing with Idiots. Calgone, take me away.
Next stop on our journey of incompetence comes from my company's softball team.
Let me preface this tirade with a bit of background. You see, I'm a pretty good softball player. I don't mean to make like Barry "The Winner" Horowitz and pat myself on the back, but I can hit a softball. Last year, after taking a year off from softball, I joined a team who needed some extra players. Well, I didn't practice nor take BP the entire pre-season and came into Game 1 completely cold.
First live pitch, first swing, BANG - homerun. Not an inside-the-park homerun that gets past the fielders type, but an over the 280 ft. fench shot. Yes, as Triple H would say, "I'm that damn good."
Fast forward to this year when a new coach takes over for a team for which I had played two years. Most of the players on the team know me, but not the coach. Now this "coach" - and I use the term lightly - wants to make sure playing time is even among all the participants. Hmmm, I remember this coaching strategy, back when I was in 4th grade playing Little League.
So now, because I don't go to practices, my playing time is greatly reduced on a team where I'm perhaps the best player. I will even admit that there is one other player who on an overall basis is perhaps better than I. However, nobody is a better hitter.
So I'm batting 8th for the first game. Unfortunately for me, this year it took my second at bat and second live pitch to hit a homerun. My reward: this week I'm batting 7th and only playing a half game. Why? I didn't go to practice on Monday night.
More idiocy! Sure, I probably come across as a prima-donna, even Iverson-like when it comes to practice. But I can't committ to two evenings a week for softball. I have a family and poker to play! So I will NEVER make it to practice, EVER. And that is why this team will go nowhere.
This is the official end of my rant.
Monday, August 23, 2004
You have to hand it to them for admitting they made a mistake and then compensating those impacted by that mistake in such a fair manner.
I replied to their email thusly:
I certainly appreciate this gesture of goodwill towards me and the other
registered players of the guinnessandpoker.com tournament. I will most
certainly accept Pacific Poker's apology in this matter.
Thank you again for making things right.
So hopefully, this thing will find a way to happen eventually.
Sunday, August 22, 2004
Tonight's highly-anticipated Monty Memorial Poker Blogger Tourney, or WPBT 4, was not to be. You'll read the accounts of the misdeads of Pacific Poker on countless other sites, many of which are linked to the right.
What hurts the most is the fact that most of the participants were so looking forward to this event. People changed their schedules just to participate; and when expectations run high, then are shattered, change takes place.
Look for the next WPBT to take place on an alternate site. I, among many others, cashed out my account on Pacific tonight.
For the record, let me send out thanks to Iggy, as I'm sure he feels awful about the whole matter. As we all know, this was not even remotely his fault. Pacific will rue the day they messed with 50 angry bloggers.
Saturday, August 21, 2004
I'm dealt Q2 spades, but click the hand history section of the screen to check a showdown that occurred the previous hand. As I click off the hand history screen, I click back on the table window right where the raise button is. Only problem is that someone had raised the .50 BB to $5. So I just bet $9.50 on Q2 spades. Not good.
So now I gotta go with this. The flop catches me just a bit with a 2, so I bet out $5 hoping for the other guy to fold. He doesn't. Well, the turn is another 2. How freakin' lucky is that? I bet $15 and the guy folds. Absolute total luck. Here's hoping some is left over for tomorrow night.
One player on Party Poker recognized me and said hello, mentioning that they read the blog. Way cool.
So, here's a shoutout to gcagain the first non-blogger-reader to say hello.
Definitely post-worthy. :)
This chat ensues:
#865572380: badblood44 wins $28.50 from the main pot with four of a kind, nines.
Phredx2: had pocket kings
badblood44: no way
Phredx2: that sux
badblood44: so you had the boat?
Phredx2: by default
badblood44: we each flopped a set, i had no idea i was behind
badblood44: i'm actually a bit suprised you didn't push all-in after my raise then
badblood44: i probably would have
badblood44: then jumped around throwing things
Phredx2: in retrospect that would have been the right play i wimped out
So now I have to check the hand histories there. No way he only calls with pocket K's to a raise w/K,9,9 on board. There's only 1 hand to be afraid of (mine) and pushing is the right play.
Turns out he had K,8o.
Liars, all of you!
Friday, August 20, 2004
I've also added some links to bloggers who've left comments. Any visitor who's a blogger, I'll link you up good fashion. Just keep me in line and remind me if necessary.
Sweet, just got up to 10 players signed up. Make that 12.
Allright, gotta get the kids into bed and the wife off to her friend's house. Then when she gets back, me and her husband should be able to go out drinking for a bit, then who know's where.
Tourney update. Runner-runner suck out with a straight killed my top pair. I'm dealt AA and triple up. Then runner-runner suckout on a flush vs top two pair. I'm out in 13th. Me no like Pacific.
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
#858104401: badblood44 wins $6.20 from the main pot with a full house, Aces full of eights.
BoneGrinder: nice bet heb, 100 pennies
#858108244: kenocalle wins $10.50
#858110636: BoneGrinder wins $9.75
badblood44: when i cash out, i'll be sure to wipe my ass with your dollar
Just love the intellectual dialogue that goes on there.
Anyway, now that Pauly has claimed he can't make it, perhaps it's this person. If so, that would totally rock. Anybody else care to hazard a guess?
Ok, so here's my bounty for the WBT III (it ain't much):
It's a custom made compilation CD of various songs that you, the readers, can listen to while playing poker. But, it's a CD of songs with a BadBlood slant, i.e. extreme metal. So here is my track listing:
1. Badblood - Pro-Pain (come on, had to have this one)
2. Enemy Within - Arch Enemy (1st song I ever heard with Angela Gassow on vocals)
3. Jotun - In Flames (defines Swedish melodic death metal)
4. Rose of Sharyn - Killswitch Engage (from their newest CD, truly awesome disc)
5. Crowned in Terror - The Crown (lead singer from At the Gates kicks ass on this song)
6. Blood Pigs - Otep (another female lead singer with astounding vocal range)
7. Six Pounder - Children of Bodom (from their newest CD, more Swedish metal mastery)
8. Bloodletting - The Haunted (more blood from more former At the Gates band members)
9. Bled for Days - Static X (borderline metal, but bloody)
10. Blind Bleeding the Blind - Carcass (Michael Amott's pre-Arch Enemy band)
11. Blood Junkie - Lamb of God (new wave of American thrash)
12. Blood Stained - Judas Priest (a classic from the Ripper Owens-led era)
13. Bloodline - Slayer (new-ish Slayer)
14. Post Mortem/Raining Blood - Slayer (ending with classic Slayer)
Few of you will probably like this music, so be sure not to knock me out :)
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
There are some interesting bounties out there on the heads of various bloggers. Otis at Up for Poker has a $50 bounty which would more than cover the $20 buy-in. Otis eliminated me last time right on the bubble when his QQ beat my AQ. Revenge is a dish best served cold.
For those into the firewater, AlCantHang is offering a bottle of SoCo while BoyGenius is offereing up some fine wine. Those would be nice. Iggy is also hinting at a certain blogger who is playing under the radar a bit. My guess is that it's this guy.
I'm trying to think of a cool bounty, but my thoughts are drifting towards offering up an anti-bounty wherein I pay you not to eliminate me. I have a few days to think of something creative.
Saturday, August 14, 2004
I'm here in Bonita Springs where hurricane Charles came oh-so-close to wiping out the surrounding area. We were impacted, but nothing like where the damage was greatest. We lost power for about 12 hours. Luckily it came back on last night around midnight.
Not much is open today; the beach is closed and the pool in my parent's complex is littered with floating branches and leaves. Oh well, the kids are behaving and that's making this little experience a bit easier.
In the spirit of other bloggers who have been posting their musical concert experiences, I now offer up my top 5 concerts that I've ever attended:
Number 5: Monsters of Rock Tour, 1987 - Some racetrack in Maine
My friends and I flat out missed the opening band Kingdom Come, who many of you probably never heard of. They were at the time a middle of the road metal band whose claim to fame was how eerily the lead singer sounded like Robert Plant. See if you can download a song by them called Get it On and you'll hear for yourself. The next band was Metallica, right before they released their ...And Justice for All album. The highlight of their set was playing Harvester of Sorrow, a track from that forthcoming album that had been previously unheard by me. Third on the list was an unremarkable Dokken followed up by Klaus and The Scorpions. A Sammy Hagar-led Van Halen closed the show and it was about that time that I sobered up.
Number 4: Spinal Tap, 1992 - Massachusetts
While the majority of the Spinal Tap experience is far from serious, I am totally serious when I say that this concert absolutely rocked. In support of their 1992 album Break Like the Wind, I went to this concert not really expecting much. I should have known better when Nigel Tufnel decended from the top of the venue from wires as they opened up with Tonight I'm Gonna Rock Ya (Tonight). They played for over 2 1/2 hours and it was an amazing experience.
Number 3: In Flames, Soilwork, Chimaira, 2003 - Atlanta
Being hammered for such a thrashing, headbanging concert can only mean one thing. A very, very, very sore neck the next day. I love In Flames and this concert was the closest they would come to Greenville during their tour supporting Reroute to Remain.
Number 2: Metallica, Queensryche, 1989 - Worcester
While I used to be a huge, and I mean huge, Metallica fan, their current work leaves a lot to be desired. I stopped buying their CD's after the black album in 1991. But during their tour for ...And Justice for All, I still really liked them. Add to that Queensryche playing the entire album Operation Mindcrime and you have a awesome concert experience.
Number 1: Slayer, Hatebreed, Arch Enemy, 2003 - Atlanta
The only remaining member of the three top thrash bands of the late '80's (Anthrax and Metallica being the other 2), Slayer still dominates the scene like no other. Personally, though, Arch Enemy stole the show. Their guitarist, Michael Amott - formerly of Carcass, is amazing. I love their riffs and their female lead singer Angela Gassow is nothing to sneeze at either. If you can, take a listen to any song from Wages of Sin or Anthems of Rebellion. You'll be amazed at the sounds coming out of that woman's mouth.
That's it then. Driving back to SC tomorrow. Registering for the WBT 3 happens the minute I get back. I just have to double check what email address I used when I regestered at Pacific Poker.
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
Also luckily for me, there is a dog track not far from my parents' place that actually has a legal card room. Supposedly, each Thursday and Saturday this summer there is a $45 hold 'em tournament scheduled. My dad likes to play and hopefully I can convince him to enter along with me. Should I be able to, I'll do my best to post a decent report. At a minimum, if I don't get to participate, I'll for sure get to play some $1/$2 games there on one of the other evenings.
I've re-read my tourney report below a few times and have come to the following conclusion: I wish I could start the final table over again. I grant the fact that I was 2nd shortest stack, only having about 8x the big blind, but pushing all-in in late position w/A,7 when there were already 4 limpers was undoubtedly a bad move.
I had just made the transition from being severely shortstacked to just a bit shortstacked. But I didn't change my behavior to correspond to my stack size, nor realize the fact that at this point of the tournament, the payouts began to increase in size quite steadily.
This is no doubt my biggest weakness in tournament play. It's what I am going to call the transitional phase where your strategy must change due to your tournament status change. I commonly see this in myself happening at or near the bubble or near the final table.
A co-worker suggested to me once to force myself into a break, to kind of reset my brain a bit. Even if it means missing a couple of hands, getting up and walking around a bit may help me transition into the next phase of the tournament without any major mistakes.
Oh well, live and learn. I'll miss this weekend's $5 MTT's, but may be able to participate in one soon after.
Sunday, August 08, 2004
There were a total of 1317 entrants, paying the winner $1317 and things started off just as crazy as a sit 'n go. On hand #2, I see someone go all in w/A,K and get called with someone holding 3,3. A K on the river eliminated our first player. This was going to be crazy.
Turned out there were a few other bloggers competing, so I sweated them a bit while I was playing.
Al Can't Hang, Derek from Poker in the Weeds (I bet he's tired of being referred to as Pauly's Brother), and LordGeznikor were all playing. They had an early lead on me as I was down to T975 due to blind folding. Meanwhile, Pauly is sweating all of us at the same time.
Then I saw Al leave the tournament on a crushing defeat. He's holding the Hiltons and is all in vs. someone w/JJ. The flop has a lovely Q, but the runner-runner J's gave his opponent quads. Absolutely horrific beat right there.
Back on my table, there's already a bully with T3500 stealing blinds.
I'm finally dealt a playable hand: A,A. I raise to T50 and get 3 callers. The flop is K,J,3 and I bet T125 and get 1 caller. I then go all in with a rag on the turn and am called. The other guy had A,J and I doubled up early.
Level 2 begins with 1163 players remaining. I play very few hands, folding 6,6 in middle position. I held Q,J spades and saw a Q,9,5 flop with two clubs. I raise a few minimum bets to T100 and get 1 caller. The turn is a 3rd club and I check, basically inviting someone to bet me out of this hand. Wisely, they bet T300 and I have to fold it.
Level 3 starts and 995 players remain, I'm holding T1725. No real playable hands to speak of for this level. I folded A,9 a couple of times - each time they would have won, but that's a hand that gets too dangerous early in these tourneys.
Off to level 4 and by this level, the bloggers are treading water with yours truly at T1665, Lord Geznikor at T540 and Derek at T1509. I'm folding hand after hand, all the while my bladder is filling from this morning's coffee. Thank god there's a break soon. One hand I played was A,K and I open the raising to T150. The button calls to see an A,9,2 flop. I bet T300 and am called. I decide to check here to see if I can get him to go all in, but instead the button bets T175 which I immediately raise to T350 figuring he'd fold. He calls and the river brings garbage. We both check and find out we're holding the same hands. After this hand I find LordGeznikor all out and he graciously decides to sweat me a bit before he heads to lunch. Before the break, I'm dealt A,J spades and raise to T350 and get 1 caller. The flop is 8,2,2 and I check. Surprisingly, the caller also checks. We both check the turn which was a 5. The river brings a J and I bet T275. I'm raised over the top all-in and I pause to think a bit. He really can't have JJ else he'd never have checked the post-flop and post-turn bets. So I call. He's holding K,J and I eliminate him.
Level 5 and I'm at T2328 with 708 players left. I only play 1 hand, 8,8. I see a A,Q,2 flop, all of them clubs. Holding the 8 of clubs, I bet out T200 hoping to steal the pot. Luckily I do. Then I see Derek go out with A,K vs. QQ. I believe I'm the only blogger left at this point.
Level 6 sees me at the same chip count T2328 which is barely above average with 609 players left. I manage to steal a big blind from a known tight player when I'm the small blind holding 4,8 diamonds. That's kick ass play right there my friends :) I see the Hiltons in middle position, raise 3x the BB to T450 and get no action. I get a big blind special holding Q,3 and see a Q,4,5 flop. I bet out, but am called by a pretty loose player. The turn is a J, I bet out again and am called. Now I'm a bit nervous. The river brings a 6 and I bet out T150 again, and the other player finally folds. Sheesh, what took him so long?
Level 7 and there are 454 left and I'm sitting at T2853, right about average. I see Q,J in the big blind and the small blind goes all in, very short stacked. I call, and the SB flips 2,2. The flop brings a Q and he's gone. Not too much later, I'm dealt A,A UTG. I raise 3x BB to T600 and two other people call all in. One is shortstacked while the other has a stack close to my size. Have to call here for sure and do. The short stack is holding A,10 hearts and the larger stack is holding A,J. The board shows 3 hearts and the shorter stack survives, but I still get a very decent sized side pot putting me over T5000.
Level 8 didn't see me play many hands, in fact, I think I only played one blind steal attempt with J,T offsuit. Luckily it worked and I moved onto Level 9 with T5713. I'm dealt 7,7 in the big blind and I simply limp in. The flop is T,6,2 and I check. Only 1 caller, and he bets out the minimum. I see it as a weak play and raise him, but he calls. The turn brings another 2 and I check. He goes all in. I put him on overcards and was relieved to see I was correct when I called. He showed K,Q and received no help. I move up to T8093 and am ready for the next break.
At this point Maudie_B makes herself heard among the railbirds, cheering me on. Also, Pauly tells me he's off to his brother's apartment to watch those damn Yankees play and tells me not to get knocked out before he logs back on. I need to eat something, so I refill my coffee and down a Krispy Kream donut. Mmmmm....donuts.....
During level 10, there are only 195 left and I'm at T7493. I'm dealt A,10 of spades and the wife implores me to "Just play it." Well, before it gets to me, someone goes all in and is called, so I muck. I would have had the best starting hand, but would have been severely outdrawn, nice Hellmuth-ian laydown right there. I'm dealt the Hiltons in middle position, but get no action on a 3x BB raise. A big blind special gives me Q,8 and I see a T,8,2 flop with the small blind who is very loose and has the biggest stack. He bets and I throw in a raise and he calls. The turn is an A and we both check. The river is a 7 and he bets out the minimum again. The pot odds tell me to call and I win, outkicking his 8,4 with my Q,8. During another playable hand, I'm dealt A,Q on the button. A middle position player makes it T1500 and the big stack of the table calls. I choose to lay it down. Perhaps it was a weak play, but I just didn't like my hand there. The flop came 8,5,3 and the big stack put the MP raiser all-in, wherein he folded. Not sure I'd be able to call that bet either with only overcards.
Level 11 and we're closer to the money with 148 players left and the payouts beginning at 130th. I have T9893 which is just above average. I fold Q,J diamonds to a preflop raise, and the board finishes off with T,9,8. Still, a good laydown to what turned out to be 8,8 vs Q,Q. More than likely, I can fold my way into the money from here, but I don't really want to go that route. LordGeznikor reminds me of Tom McEvoy's fox/farmer analogy. I tell him I'm the fox here and bluff my way to two decent pots with 10,8 offsuit and A,7. I probably felt that this strategy was working too well when I raised with Q,T offsuit and doubled up someone holding 9,9. Oh well, can't win all those bluff steal attempts, just have to make sure you are set up to survive when you don't.
Level 12 and we're in the money, again with me holding a just above average stack with T11465. I limp in the small blind with J,10 of spades and see a T,5,3 of spades flop. I bet the minimum and gladly get no action. LordGeznikor recommends I play A,10 hard the next hand and it's me vs. the big stack. He's just throwing minimum bets out there on a garbage flop that has completely missed me. After the river, he bets T2000 and I call based both on pot odds and the garbage this guy had been playing. He had Kx and I take a very big pot and get to T20965.
Off to level 13 with only 87 players left and I'm 33% above the average stack. Pauly informs be that Bernie Williams has just hit a grandslam for the Yankees. Gee thanks. I blind steal twice more with J,9 and A,9 with the help of LordGeznikor. These steals are all based on position and stack sizes of the blinds, a strategy that I need to consider more often.
Level 14, 67 players, my stack is T21715 and 10% above average. I'm in the big blind with A,7 and everyone watching including me think that a late position player is attempting a blind steal. Well, he wasn't. I double up someone holding A,K and my stack suffers from some unforseen downsizing. I get T3000 back from the blinds when A,K gets no action. Then the Hiltons show up one more time and I raise to T5000 and get 1 caller. A 3rd Q shows up on the flop and I'm ready for some serious slowplaying. Unfortunately, a minimum bet gets out the lone caller, but my stack grows back to right around average.
Level 15, 53 players and I'm at T21191, 10% below average. I'm on the button and see K,J offsuit. There is one early position player who raises the minimum, but I pounce. Perhaps I was over eager here, but I reraised all-in. A bit to my surprise, everyone folds and I take away over T10,000 on this steal. Very risky, but it paid off. I get A,K in middle position and reraise all-in again. One player complains he had a big pair and had to fold it. Hey fella, it's not my job to make it easier on you to play your hands. Everyone folds and I get to T37691. I get no action with a 3x BB raise holding 7,7.
Then my hand of the tournament. I limp in pre-flop to someone who's all in for less than 2x BB since there were four callers. When it's checked around to me after the flop, I try to steal by betting T5000. I'm reraised all in and now calling the raise is a must due to pot odds.
I mis-played this hand so badly it hurt.
Well, not too much, since I caught runner runner for the J-high straight, knocking out two people in the process and more than doubling my stack to over T75000. Now I'm in great position to finish further up in the standings.
I called a short stack's all-in holding A,K to his 9,9. The flop gave me an A but after all was said and done, the board showed A,2,3,4,5 and we split the pot. I get A,K one more time this level, but a 3x BB raise gets no action. AlCan'tHang joins the railbirds, urging me on.
I don't think I played a hand on level 16, but I was sweated by g8rengr. If you see this g8rengr, leave a comment, I'm drawing a blank on who you are. Sorry.
Level 17 and there are only 34 players left, my stack is nearly 2x the average at T73878. At this point, I'm just stoked to finish ahead of the great one's finish on Saturday. The tournament slows to a crawl as all tables have to finish their hand to continue. Yawn. I split a pot by raising a small stack all in. We both have A,6. I'm dealt 10,10 and do my standard 3x BB raise and someone raises all-in. I call. They're holding 5,5 and I'm now sitting on T109,318. AlCan'tHang proclaims me his hero and I lobby for a spot on next year's dream team. I'm then dealt K,K in the small blind and put two callers all-in. One has A,K and the other J,J. The flop kicks me in the jimmy with A,A,x. But I win the side pot against the larger stacked J,J and only drop about T12,000 on the hand. It could have easily been much worse.
Level 18, down to 25 players and I'm at T97786, again nearly 2x the average stack. I piss away some chips by calling a minimum raise with Q,10 clubs. The flop is A,10,x and I bet out T18,000. I'm raised to T36k and fold to a probable A. Now were down to 20 players but my stack has dwindled to slightly below average. Can't afford to toss away T30K in chips like that.
Before the level ends, I'm greeted with the Hiltons again. I have just over T60,000 and go all-in against one preflop raiser. He calls and shows A,K. I have him covered by about T11K and see garbage on the flop and on the turn. But the river is a killer. The A on the river cripples me down to T11K and my aspirations of winning this thing fly out the window.
But, alas, all is not lost. Level 19 rolls around and I realize I'm in the fold or push stage since the blinds are 5K/10K. Luckily for me, I get dealt K,K before the blinds reach me and I push. I more than double up to T27K, but am still hurting. The cards kept coming though and 2 hands later I'm dealt J,J. I push again, but get no action. Still, stealing T15K in blinds is no small thing for me at this point and I am at T42K. Still at the push or fold spot, I'm dealt A,7 suited UTG. I decide to go for it, but my dreams are shattered by someone holding A,Q.
Well, remember how the A on the river 2 levels before crushed me? Well, the 7 on the river here crushed my opponent. Just like Fenway's Green Monster, the River giveth, and the river taketh away. Pauly mentions something about the Hiltons giveth'ing him headeth or something like that....
So I manage to crawl back into contention with T89K and there are only 15 left. I don't play any hands and before I know it, we're down to the final table with 10 remaining players. Yowza, 1307 people eliminated so far. This is just crazy that I'm still alive, but I won't complain. Unfortunately for me, I'm the 2nd shortest stack at the final table and with the blinds still at 5K/10K, I'm still thinking in the fold or push mentality.
I'm dealt A,7 and see four callers in front of me. I'm really smelling weakness and after 5 hours of play decide to push. The more I think about it, the more I believe this was a questionable decision. Only 3 out of 4 players folded and the remaining caller had me outchipped easily. He was holding 8,8 and I didn't catch any miracle A and I'm bounced in 10th place.
I truly had a blast. This was the biggest tourney I've played in and I got further than I ever thought I would. Getting cheered on by the fellow bloggers is an awesome feeling, so thanks to everyone who saw the action: Pauly, Derek, Al, Maudie, LordG, and the mysterious g8rengr....
With this tourney under my belt, watch out for me in the blogger tourney in a couple of weeks. I'm primed!
Thursday, August 05, 2004
This week marked the release of id Software's Doom 3. I'm blogging about this mainly because computers and computer games used to be the addiction that's currently occupied by poker. I've been playing games like Doom and Quake since 1994 when Doom was first released.
Those of you familiar with these games know that they fall into the category of "First Person Shooters." The name is derived from the fact that your perspective during gameplay is from the eyes of the player, the only part of your own body you can see is the hand holding your weapon. Obviously the weapon part is where the "Shooter" comes in.
These games and upgrading computer hardware tend to go hand in hand and Doom 3 is no exception. When the first Doom game came out, it was not uncommon to hear stories of people buying entire new computer systems just to play that one game. Personally, I remember upgrading video cards when Quake 1 came out and again when Quake 2 came out.
So it was with a bit of hesitation that I bought Doom 3 yesterday. Mainly because my current main computer may be woefully inadequate to play this game without stuttering and pauses. Many of these games come with built in benchmarks so you can assign a numerical score to how well your system can play the game. Basically, you'd run what's called a "timedemo" and the game would spit out a total score measured in "frames per second." FPS, first person shooter and frames per second.
Let me just say that my current system running Doom 3 scored in the low 20's. That's barely playable my friends. To put things in perspective, modern motion pictures run at a constant 30 fps. My score in Doom 3 is an average score and into that average are periods of faster and slower gameplay. A more appropriate measure may be min fps during the timedemo. If this were the case, my machine defintely drops into single digits and it is during these times where the game becomes nearly unplayable.
What does that all mean? I need to upgrade my computer. Again.
The title of this post mentioned ROI and here is where I can get back into poker content. After reading pokernerd's (see link to right) sit and go strategy guide, I've decided to keep track of my performance during such tournaments.
So far, I've played in 14 $10 SNG's. My results: 5 firsts, 2 seconds and 4 thirds. That's 11 out of 14 placements, yielding an ROI (return on investment) of 153%. This is obviously unsustainable, but every now and then I need to toot my own horn so I seem like I'm actually decent at poker. I'm also sure that blogging about it will jinx me, but what the heck, I'm feeling frisky.
I'll have a post up probably tomorrow as I've got another home game this evening. Hopefully my winning trend will continue and I can win enough to buy that video card for my PC that I so badly need.
Wednesday, August 04, 2004
Monday, August 02, 2004
“Time to wake up,” came the voice from across the room. “You’re going to be late.”
The previous night’s sleep was far too short. I had agreed to help my brother-in-law move his belongings out of his U-haul and into his new apartment this weekend. The problem was that his apartment was near
I arrived at the Quality Inn on
Before I left the house, I asked my wife to ask her parents if there was any breakfast being served. If not, I would grab something on the way. So when she told me there would be something to eat when I arrived, I hopped in the car and began my journey. With a couple of scrambled eggs and some toast in my stomach, we all began the journey south. My brother-in-law drove the biggest trailer, his wife drove their SUV with a smaller trailer hitched to the back, and I took my trusty Saturn and tailed them out of town. Good thing I was rushed out of bed because the first stop on our journey was straight to the local Wal-Mart to get some motor oil. Apparently the main trailer leaked oil during the night and needed to be topped off. Perhaps this should have been done last night before I arrived. Perhaps not.
Whenever I’m asked to participate in a tournament, I let the people running it do simply that. If I’m running the tournament, I expect the people playing in it to do simply that. So I was a bit put off when someone who had never been to any of our tournaments before began criticizing our structure. “These levels are too long. And this blind structure means we’ll be here all night.” I labeled this newcomer “Suggestion Man” and put him on my short list of people I’d like to see leave early. I decided to compromise and move the levels to 45 minutes instead, an idea to which most people agreed. Suggestion Man wasn’t through though, he didn’t like our payout structure either nor how we handled the blinds when the small-blind-to-be got eliminated. I lost it when he had issues with me racing off the $1 chips for $5 chips after the $2/4 level was over. “Listen,” I told him, “Shut the fuck up now. You are overmatched here intellect-wise. Let me run things, you just play.” Suggestion Man didn’t say a word. The smartest thing Suggestion Man did all night.
We arrived at my brother-in-law’s new apartment around and set out to get to work. We decided against eating right then because nobody was starving. We agreed to empty the smaller trailer first then have my brother-in-law’s wife go grab some lunch and bring it back. This task was to only last for about an hour and half. The weather wasn’t going to cooperate today; 95 degrees and 90% humidity make for a sweaty afternoon. The 90-minute job of emptying the first trailer only took us 3 hours wherein my hunger pangs became unbearable. “Someone needs to get me a sandwich pretty soon or I’m going to pass out,” I said. So the wife took off for parts unknown with a mission to bring back much needed sustenance.
I won a very small pot on the first hand of the tournament with A,10 suited. I quipped, “Watch that be the only hand I win today.” I wasn’t that far off. A couple of second best hands left me with only T34 during level 2. As such, I limped into a hand in the small blind with J,3 of spades. The flop came K,J,3 and as first to act, I threw my remaining T30 into the pot and declared all-in. Folds all the way around to the button and I am called. I never really like flopping bottom two pair, but they held up against the pair of K’s my opponent had and I got back into the game with T80 - a brief respite against the oncoming tide of bad beats.
While we were waiting for lunch to arrive, we gathered back in the glorious air-conditioned apartment with no real place to sit down. I took this down time to lie down anyway on the floor and within seconds I was sound asleep. I had downed a beer minutes before and that was all it took to drift away.
I lost more chips on a slow play that ended up getting away from me. I limped in the small blind again with A,8 of hearts to see a K,8,8 flop. Danger signs were flashing in my head because of the two diamonds on board. I checked thinking I would come over the top if a non-diamond came on the turn. My check brought about the expected bet from the other player in this pot and I called. The turn brought a dreaded diamond and I couldn’t bring myself to check-raise, fearing the other player had 2 of his own. When the river brought yet a fourth diamond, I knew my trip 8’s was dead and gone. My chip stack was dwindling and my patience was waning. I’d never been in such poor position during a live tournament before and my play suffered.
After waking from the nap, my brother-in-law’s wife was still nowhere to be found. So we had to get back to work. At this point, I’m very far from pleased. My second layer of sweat began to soak through my clothes and I hadn’t had anything to eat since breakfast 8 hours earlier. The move was so unorganized. We moved lawn fertilizer and pool cleaning products. Let me remind you that he was moving into an apartment with no need for these things. Frustration was mounting, but complaining about things wasn’t going to make it go any faster. Finally at , lunch was brought back to the apartment. I basically inhaled my sandwich and chips. Luckily for my sanity, it was decided that we’d quit for the day at with plans to finish up the next morning. I was so physically exhausted that I couldn’t have lifted another box.
My play during this tournament was about as poor as I’d ever played, the next hand serves as a great example. I get dealt 10,10 in the big blind. One person in late position calls the big blind, small blind calls, and I raise to 3xBB. At this point, the late position caller re-raises me and while the small blind folds, I call immediately thinking the late position player is holding A,K or A,Q. The flop was J-high and I check. LP goes all in and I think nothing of calling. Overpair? What overpair? Oh, that overpair, A,A. The turn and river don’t bring any of my 2 remaining outs and I’m about as short-stacked as humanly possible, down to 7 dollars of tournament chips. Meanwhile, much to my chagrin, Suggestion Man is cleaning up at the other table.
I get a decent night’s sleep and a good breakfast at the Waffle House next to the hotel at which we were staying. This morning’s move would hopefully be quick as I only had until before I had to get back on the road towards home. Once we started, the sweat immediately began pouring through my pores and by I was drenched again. For the next hour, we moved all the remaining items out of the moving van and into its rightful place. There was only one item left, a huge hide-away couch. My brother-in-law wanted it in the last bedroom on the left, but I didn’t think it would fit. He wasn’t having any of it though and we hoisted it up and brought it up to the apartment anyway.
Once the door trim was ruined by our attempts to force it through the doorway, the sofa became completely jammed in place. It wasn’t going to fit at all. The time was and I reminded everyone of my plans to leave at and that they needed to make a decision what to do with the couch. Taking it back downstairs was not my preferred option as my level of physical exhaustion matched that of the previous day. The decision was finally made to put the sofa in the room directly at the end of the hallway. We unjammed the sofa and managed to force it into that room. Drenched and tired, I made my way to my car both dreading and anxious to drive the 4 hours back to
The end came for me holding K,K in early position. I’m all in with four callers, which would at least enable me to post blinds for a few more orbits if I won. The flop of Q,J,2 was a nice one or so I thought. One caller made a pot-sized bet and got folds all around enabling her to take the side pot. Now I’m heads up and she shows K,10. I see the straight draw and am not totally surprised to see the river bring her the much needed A for the broadway straight. I was rivered out of this $100 tournament in 12th place.
The end of my road trip came for me driving down Route 29 roughly 15 minutes from home. I didn’t see the oncoming police vehicle approach, nor did I see him turn around behind me. I did see his lights start to flash and dutifully pulled over to the side of the road.
“I clocked you at sixty miles per hour in a forty zone.”
I was rivered out of this favor to my brother-in-law for $170 and 4 points on my license.