Thursday, March 31, 2005

WPBT Thoughts

Hey gang, bubble boy here. :) 21st out of 109 with top 18 paying. I'm not complaining though, it was a grand ole time and I lasted longer than I thought I would. In fact, with the cards I was receiving, it was actually quite easy to click fold. Here are some key hands, at least from my perspective, from last night's tourney.

Pocket 7's on the button and I limp with 3 others. The flop is K,6,2 and it's checked to me. I think I'm good and pet the pot. I get one caller and the turn is a 3. Again it's checked to me and I bet the pot again. Original caller folds. Nothing much here, just that it was the first pot I won, sometime in level 2 and it got me back to around T1400.

Pocket 7's again in EP and I come out with a raise from early position. The flop is 7,6,2 - quite a beautiful flop for me. Figuring that everyone will think the flop missed me entirely, I bet roughly 2/3 the pot. Player in LP raises me 3x my bet and I push. I'm called and see that I've cracked pocket A's. Sweet. I move into the top 20 or so and get some breathing room.

My kingdom for some cards....

Card dead is a very valid description through levels 3,4 and 5. Got nada. Any pot I won was through a blatant steal or getting a bit lucky and hitting a piece of the flop. In fact, by this time, pocket 7's was the best hand I'd seen. I had to fold A,Q to an early position raise and subsequent re-raise.

I finally caught AJo and raised it up. The flop was A-high and with the blinds increasing, decided to push. When I was insta-called, I feared the worst. Because the flop came A,Q,T - the only hands I beat were A9 and below. Luckily for me, I got called by someone with 7,8 suited on a flush draw. I managed to survive the turn and river and was back in the top 15 with a pretty healthy stack.


I find pocket J's UTG, by far my best starting hand of the night. I think there are about 30 or so people left at this point as the blinds are 200/400 with 25 antes. I min-raise to 800 since at this point, T800 represents a significant portion of anyone's stack at the table. A player in MP re-raises all-in, he's shortstacked and I'm very prepared to call.

Here's the play of the day, in my book. Derek comes over the top of the original raiser and puts me on a decision for all my chips. If it's simply folded to me, I insta-call. Now I have a tough decision. I mull things for a bit then muck my J's figuring Derek has me beat and wants to isolate. I make the correct choice as Derek shows the Hiltons and the original raiser shows A,x - I forgot what x was. Just as I type out a "thank you" to Derek for saving me my stack, the flop comes J-high. Now I'm cursing him for making such a play, for truly it was the exact play he needed to make to get me to fold. If he just calls, so do I, and I take down a monster. Bottom line is: Kudos to D, you made the right play and it worked. bastard! :)

After that, my cards went a bit dead again. Which kind of sucked. With the blinds so huge, our table became nearly an all-in fest. Here's where my tourney went south. I was in the BB with K,To and a player in MP raised all-in. It was only T1300 for me to call and there was already T3200 in the pot. That was more than the right price, especially considering the range of hands players would be pushing with at this stage of the tournament. I make the right call and a player named Ash shows Q,Jo. I pat myself on the back, Barry Horowitz style. But the flop comes A,J,x. The turn is a T giving me a glimmer of hope, but the river brings another J to earn Ash the pot. I'm somewhat crippled down to T2600 or so.

My demise came in the form of K9s vs Ash's pocket 8's. I did catch a 9 on the flop, but the flop was 6,7,9. The turn gave no help to either, but the 5 on the river completed Ash's OESD and IGHN.

If I had to critique my play, I'd give me a 7 or 8 out of 10. No huge blunders, but perhaps I wasted a few too many chips early on in an attempt to chip up.

I did manage to drop the hammer on Iggy once. With less than 30 people left, I'm going to call that a ballsy move. Actually I'm just glad it worked. Who better to drop the hammer on?

Many people were wondering who Mrs_Blood was. In quite a coincidence, this person is also from my home town and sat at the same table as I the whole tourney. Alas, Mrs_Blood is not my wife, she was busy being pissed at me for unrelated unmentionables. Besides, I'm not in favor of introducing any uncertainty into my poker integrity - had it truly been Mrs_Blood, I would have a hard time explaining to everyone that we weren't colluding. Suffice to say, it was not her. You can all hazard guesses as to who it was, but until he/she comes forward, the secret is safe with me :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

A Lemming Again

Just so I can be one of the cool kids, I booked my room for the WPBT in June at the Plaza. Mrs. Blood is about 95% certain she's going, that'll turn to 100% once the flights are purchased. So with at least the hotel reservations made, I can begin to think about my list of "must do's" for my return trip to the epicenter of debauchery.

In no particular order:

- Extract revenge at Mandalay Bay's $200NL buy in ring game. Yeah that's right, no more 2 and 3 outers on the river.
- See a show with the Mrs., she wants to see some Cirque show. I figure why the hell not?
- One more nice dinner with whomever wants to join us, perhaps at the Palms 9's restaurant, but I'm open to suggestions
- More poker at the Bellagio - just too classy a place to ignore
- Roller coaster ride, BEFORE I eat anything (there's a story there....)
- 1-3 spread at Excalibur w/the Mrs. and some other bloggers
- A shot of SoCo w/the Al-meister. Duh. Like that won't happen.
- 95% sure I won't be going to a strip club, that'll turn to 100% once the flights are booked
- Meet some more pros and hope they remember that idiot who wore a sleeveless hammer shirt
- Get sloppy drunk at 8am. Again.

I'm sure I'll think of more as the weeks move along.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Weekend Ramblings

With the Mrs. out visiting relatives with the minis, I spent quite a few hours playing some poker. As mentioned below, I'd been in the midst of a pretty serious downswing. After placing 4th in a $50 MTT at Full Tilt, my online status grew to over $2k. Then it began to drop. Not too drastically, but very steadily. I basically withstood a $900 downswing without going on serious tilt. I was playing seriously bad poker though.

Last year, my live game play made a pretty significant breakthrough, and I looked to solve my online woes with some more live action. While I was in Vienna hanging with the man, I managed to win some Euros with some solid live play. Nothing spectacular, but 3/6 limit didn't require the skills of these guys.

But since I was away, I missed my regular bi-weekly Thursday night game with the G-Vegas regulars: Debaggio, Rocket, Teddy Ballgame, Easy E, Richie Rich, Matty C. and The Rankster. I filled the off-week with a HORSE game and had a small winning session. This past week, I got to regroup with them and post a modest win. The following night, with absolutely nothing on the schedule, I arranged a $50 NL ring game with blinds of .25/.50 - just like the online version.

Fortunately, the people who showed up brought their A-game. Results not withstanding, there was some pretty decent poker being played as the participants took things pretty seriously. I was able to post a nice win, but the truth of the matter was that this game was extremely enjoyable in a purity of poker sense. If you're a hard core player, I think you'd have liked to be there.

With the possible exception of when this guy calls to play dial-a-shot.

The following hand was played where had it occurred online, I'd have probably gone broke. I'm dealt A,K of diamonds in MP. A co-worker of mine, DoubleR, had raised pre-flop UTG to $3 and I called. Everyone else folded. The flop came K-high with no diamonds, but 2 spades. DoubleR fired out $4 into the $7.50 pot and I raised to $12 figuring I was good. Well DoubleR comes back and re-raises all-in. In the online version of this hand, if I only look at the betting patterns, I'd probably wrongly assume the player was bluffing and I'd call - obviously I still have work to do. I truly did consider calling, but took a mental step back and thought about it some more. DoubleR is a tight player who's only recently began playing these cash games. I looked down at him and saw a very quiet confidence about him that told me he wasn't bluffing. That told me he had either A,A or K,K - so I reluctantly folded my hand face up and said "I respect that re-raise." He did show his pocket K's and I felt good about the lay down. I can't quite describe what would have erroneously compelled me to call that hand online. But live, I can garner some more information and make those type of laydowns.

Note to fellow bloggers: I have taken the sage advice of a wise player and turned chat off completely while playing ring games. It is just too damn distracting to read the drivel that's thrown about back and forth. I don't have the mental discipline to ignore it. So if you see me and fire off a "Hello" please understand I'm not ignoring you. You can still IM me whenever you'd like - badblood44 on YahooIM.

With my Party bonus whoring complete, the online bankroll has taken a surge back in the positive direction, nearly recouping 2/3 of my downswing. I feel that I have somewhat mirrored the play of a certain blogger by regrouping and refocusing. Too bad he's in Vegas at stripclubs without me. I'd much prefer to mirror that activity.

Thursday, March 24, 2005


Inspired by both Iggy's and Maudie's posts as well as to move the bad beat hand history away from the top of the blog, I began thinking about what defines success.

There are those who live their lives looking for approval in the eyes of others. For some, it is their parents, while for others, it is their peers. They make decisions hoping that those they look up to will view them favorably as if to say "Well done." Others need only satisfy an internal approval and don't rely on outside forces to define who they are.

Within the realm of poker, what defines success for you?

Are we looking for respect from our peers? In some small way, I think we are. That's why we're chronicling our journeys via blogging, hoping not only to make progress in understanding the game, but also hoping that others will look favorably upon our growth. I would go so far as to say that it is a motivating factor for me, why else would I publish my online financial status if not for the purposes of reaffirmation of my success?

Are we simply hoping to make money? That's an easy one. That's how we keep score. If money were not a factor, then we'd be playing at the play money tables. I think it's a significant factor, but I believe in the end, it's neither the only nor most important one.

Are we looking for happiness? For many of us, poker represents a fun diversion, perhaps even an escape from the mundane world of our professional careers. What happens when poker becomes so frustrating that it either detracts from our everyday lives or simply becomes an obsession in and of itself? Does that make our poker endeavors a failure?

For me, the bottom line is that you have to look within yourself to determine what defines success, both in poker and in life. Let me give you a personal example. Those who know me in real life either through poker or through my job won't be too surprised.

Where I work, there are some very successful people who have given their lives to the company. They have made sacrifices and done whatever it took to forge ahead with their careers. Have I done that? No. Deep down, I truly believe that if I made such a decision, I too could have been on the corporate fast track. Rather than devote my life to that goal, I've simply chosen not to. My time is better spent with the wife and kids. I can still have some measure of career success, but from my perspective, any more time devoted towards it would have diminishing returns in an overall quality of life sense. I recently had to explain this to my mother who couldn't understand that my job doesn't define who I am in any way. My father was a career man at the company where I'm currently employed; but I know he made some of the same choices back then that I'm making now and I'm forever grateful.

So I rest comfortably each night, confident that I can choose my own definition of success and live my life according to that definition. I think that if we all sat down and truly chose what was important to us, again in life or in poker, we could strive towards that elusive goal of success.

While we can congratulate other bloggers for their successes, don't let someone else's achievements make you feel like you are somehow not as successful. We've had bloggers play in WPT events, become pros, work for online sites and win tens of thousands of dollars. To be sure, I don't intend to belittle those achievements in any way whatsoever. But don't let those achievements stand in the way of meeting your own definitions of success. Do what's right for you and be confident that the decisions you make towards those goals are the right ones.


After rereading that, I'm not 100% sure I've made my point, but that's my best shot :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Death By Hiltons

When you're runnin' bad, you're runnin' bad:

***** Hand History for Game 1777191254 *****
$50 NL Hold'em - Tuesday, March 22, 21:15:37 EDT 2005
Table Table 36854 (Real Money)
Seat 1 is the button
Total number of players : 10
Seat 1: badblood44 ( $59.65 )
Seat 6: Skywalker_ ( $32.87 )
Seat 8: monster_nell ( $40.55 )
Seat 9: keatrj ( $79.9 )
Seat 4: smirnofflord ( $33.75 )
Seat 5: rivermethis0 ( $51.87 )
Seat 7: Guelah_Papyr ( $20.8 )
Seat 2: Ladrar ( $51.25 )
Seat 3: Bazaar ( $53.7 )
Seat 10: shab_a_doo ( $17 )
Ladrar posts small blind [$0.25].
Bazaar posts big blind [$0.5].
shab_a_doo posts big blind [$0.5].
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to badblood44 [ Qc Qd ]
Guelah_Papyr folds.
monster_nell folds.
keatrj folds.
shab_a_doo checks.
badblood44 raises [$2].
Ladrar folds.
Bazaar folds.
shab_a_doo calls [$1.5].
** Dealing Flop ** [ 9c, 3h, Tc ]
>You have options at Table 37425 Table!.
shab_a_doo checks.
badblood44 bets [$5].
shab_a_doo is all-In [$15]
badblood44 calls [$10].
** Dealing Turn ** [ Th ]
** Dealing River ** [ 9h ]
badblood44 shows [ Qc, Qd ] two pairs, queens and tens.
shab_a_doo shows [ 5h, Jh ] a flush, jack high.
shab_a_doo wins $33.05 from the main pot with a flush, jack high.

Welcome back to Party, back to Party....

Altruism at the Poker Table

Sunday night at the 5/10 Razz table on Full Tilt, one of the pros named Perry Friedman began to complain that one player bet out a hand only because he knew Perry had timed out and would be forced to fold. The circumstances of the event seemed to lend truth to that claim, but the culprit denied any wrongdoing.

I thought to myself, "So what. We're all here with the goal of taking each other's money, where's the crime in betting into a disconnect? It's just another opportunity, right?"

In the cutthroat world of poker, that line of thinking may be OK. But let me relate two events that happened in a live environment that may make you change how you view the degenerate players of our beloved game.

Scene 1: The Concord Card Club, Vienna, Austria. The big blind forgets to post his blind and the dealer forgets to remind him to do so prior to the deal. The cards are dealt, and the big blind mucks his hand after looking at his cards, but before posting. It is at this time that the dealer sees that the big blind is missing. The player, realizing he owed the big blind, threw 3 Euros into the pot silently but visibly upset at mucking. After the hand was over, the winner of the hand tossed 3 Euros back to the player and said "Honest mistake." I told the winner of the hand that what he did was very honorable, and had earned my respect. Granted, that and .25 will get you a cup of coffee in the morning, but still...

Scene 2: Home Game, BadBlood's House, G-Vegas. Fellow local blogger G-Ron mucks his hand after the river in the Omaha portion of last week's HORSE game. Forgetting that cards speak and that the winner of the hand, The Rocket, did not have a qualifying low hand, G-Ron lamented the fact that he threw away a valid low hand as well as half the pot. As the cards had been mucked, G-Ron understood that he had no valid claims to any of the pot money. The Rocket, being a more than honorable gentleman, relinquished 1/4 of the pot to G-Ron stating that he did indeed believe him to have a valid low hand and felt that it was the fair thing to do.

So there you have it. As Pauly would say, improving one's karma is a good thing.

Monday, March 21, 2005

A Night with a Buy-In

Inspired by CJ's Coushatta trip reports, I decided to chronicle my no limit play for a couple of hours at a $50 buy in table at Full Tilt. Hopefully it will provide some perspective on why may play has been so horrendous of late. I use that term confidently.

01 - My first hand where I'm the forced bring in I find A6 and see a K64 flop. The button weakly bets into an unraised pot and I smell steal. I triple his bet and he flat calls. I bet the turn and river and am smooth called the whole way. In fact, the button does have a K and I'm down a quick $16.

02 - I find Q5 clubs on the button and it's folded to me. I raise and win the blinds. Yay. I only post this hand because it's one of the few highlights.

03 - AJs in LP and I raise to $2. I'm called by someone in later position and we see a flop of all undercards with no spades. I still come out firing with a $4 bet and am immediately raised to $8. I call to see a turn that offers no help. I check call and lose to someone holding 87 suited who paired the 8 on the flop. -$12

04 - AKo in LP. UTG min raises to $1 and I re-raise to $2. UTG re-raises to $5 and I call. Flop is all undercards - this will be a recurring theme this evening. I check call two more bets and fold to an all-in river bet. With the board showing T,J I believe I had 10 outs to the underpair I put my opponent on. Still, I lost. -$11

05 - AA on the button and 3 limpers call the BB. I raise to $3 and get only 1 caller. The flop is KQ8 with two clubs and it's checked to me. I bet $6 and the caller folds. Nothing special here, pretty standard poker. +$4

06 - A5c UTG and I limp preparing to fold to a raise. The flop comes 983 with 2 clubs and I bet the pot. I'm called by LP and the Q of clubs comes on the turn. I check hoping to trap, but LP checks as well. The river is a J and I hope the guy made his straight so I bet $5. I'm called, turns out he did make his straight on the turn, but decided to check. Nice play that saved him some money. +$7

07 - Pocket T's in MP and I raise to $2 only to be called by the button and EP. Flop is K-high and it's checked to me. I come out firing again for $4 and it's insta-raised to $8 by the button. EP folds and I call. The turn is an A and I check fold again to an all-in bet. Button shows AK for top two pair. -$10

08 - A9s UTG and again I limp preparing to fold to a raise. But this time, there are 5 callers and the button min-raises....why do people do that? Everyone calls and the flop is Q53 with two spades. I check and MP bets $3. Min-raiser calls as do I as I'm getting more than sufficient pot odds here. The turn is a 2 of spades giving me the nuterinski. I check hoping to induce a bet, but it's checked around. The river pairs the 3 and I push. MP folds and LP calls for less showing Kx of spades for a worse flush. +$15

09 - 67s in MP and I limp. Five players come along and I see a dream flop of 458, but two of them are diamonds. It's checked to me and I bet the pot to make the flush draw unfavorable. Two callers see a turn and it's the Q of spades. I again bet the pot, $10, but it's folded all around. +$7

10 - Pocket J's in MP and I raise to $2 and am called by 3 players. The flop is A-high and I'm out of position to two callers. I checked and it's checked all the way around. The turn is junk and I think I may be good, so I bet out $4. The button raises to $10 and I muck. -$6.

11 - Pocket T's in the SB and I call the button's raise to $2. Again, an A-high flop comes and I check. Button bets $3 and I raise to $6 hoping that the A is a scare card. Button simply calls. Turn is no help and I check fold to an all-in. -$8

12 - AJo in MP and I raise to $2 as first into the pot and get one EP caller. Flop is NOT A-high (of course) and I check fold to a post rag-on-the-turn bet. -$2

13 - 96 suited in the SB and I complete. Another dream flop of 599. I check and button bets $2. I call. Turn is a Q and I check. Button wisely checks. The river is an A and I bet the pot hoping the A hit him. It didn't and he folds. He then berates me for playing A-rag. I sadly inform him he's a moron, but he disagrees. +$3

14 - AJo again in MP. I'm first in, so I raise to $2 and am called by cutoff and the button. No position for me, and of course, no A on the flop. I check fold to the button's bet.

15 - AQ in BB......folded to me. Sigh.

16 - KK in LP and I call a $3 pre-flop raise from UTG. The flop is Q-high and original raiser checks. I check trying to get cute, desperately wanting to win a decent pot. I give 1 free card and then bet the turn. UTG folds.

17 - I end the evening totally misplaying the BB by flopping middle pair. It's checked all around to the button again and he bets small. I raise on the turn and am flat called again. My instincts are so totally wrong lately, that I lose my last $15 on this hand and call it quits for the evening.


In a nutshell, I dropped $60 on missed flops, poorly played hands, and getting little value from the monsters I managed to hold. While this night was frustrating, it was revealing to me just how bad my NL ring game play has become.

I've cashed out of FullTilt to go chase the Party bonus, perhaps I'll turn things around. Still learning...

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Sick of Me Yet?

With these words, so began this blog:

Intro, of sorts...
I began looking at poker blogs after one of the sites I frequent WWdN linked to the Guinness fueled poker blog Guinness and Poker.

Ah yes, a community that I could understand. Poker.

Well, at this point in time, I'd played for a few years off-line. And about 9 months on-line, many that I'd like to forget.....

How best to recapture the past year on the anniversary of your commencement is a bit difficult without sounding too "Yay, me-ish." But I'll try anyway.

A year ago I was floundering in the red, unable to convince myself to quit playing poker online. I figured that it might be somewhat interesting, and I use that word sparingly, to chronicle my attempts to recoup my losses. I figured I'd "differentiate" myself by being forthcoming with my true inability to play poker very well, as much of the online literature was filled with success stories. I like to be different. Thus began badbloodonpoker.

Over the course of that past year there have been many ups and downs. As a whole, the entire experience is overwhelmingly +EV. I'd still feel that way too even if my online play was still in the negative. I'm far richer for the friends I've met, both online and off. That sounds a bit sappy, especially for someone who frequently will be throwing around weights in the gym to the sounds of Death Metal, but it's the truth.

Poker has become quite an important part of my life, read into that what you will. Friends at work have taken to it as have the rest of the Blood family. I think I've been able to blend the financial and social aspects of poker relatively successfully. I hope I don't lose the ability to do that as time marches on. As many others have already mentioned, lessons learned at the table often can be applied in real life scenarios. I believe poker has helped me in this regard as well.

I realize with near certainty that you'll never see me as a touring professional. That life is not for me, nor is a full-time online career grinding out the mortgage money. What poker is to me is a fun, rewarding hobby where the challenge to better myself will always exist. That realization won't stop me from trying to score the big win, perhaps getting lucky in an online satellite sometime. But until that time, you'll see me climbing the learning curve, a few steps each day up, falling backwards a step or two the next day, but always with my head up and past failures behind me.

Good cards to you.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Virtual Hanging

In poker-related news, the BadBlood HORSE game was by all accounts a successful variation on our normal poker home game. We began roughly at 8pm with the first deal of 2/4 Hold 'em. By about 8:15 all the players had arrived. By 8:45 G-Ron had busted out of his first buy in just in time for AlCantHang to call for his first dial-a-shot.

Having only some Absolut in the house made for a somewhat vile initial offering. Luckily, when G-Ron went to get some more cash (he was woefully underfunded for the Rankster-style suckouts that are inevitable at my home games) he brought back some kind of sipping Bourbon. Yeah, that tasted better. Not.

During the course of the evening, I believe Al called at least five times. Mainly for dial-a-shots, but most importantly to tell me he had successfully cleared the dance floor by commandeering the DJ and requesting Metallica's Fade to Black. Fucking brilliant. Only a true metal head can savor the feeling of pissing off an entire bar to hear some honest to goodness head-banging metal anthems that only you and a select few can truly enjoy. We're bastards like that.

My results were mediocre, up $25 - most of it occurring in Hold 'em which is probably not too much of a surprise to many. I lost a huge pot to the Rankster in Razz when he had AA44 as his up cards. I had an 8-low and figured that I was good. I wasn't as the Rankster pulled his wheel on the river.

Overall, it was a real fun evening and there will be plans to do it again as Otis returns from his travels abroad. Besides, we're not done making fun of G-Ron mucking a good low hand in Omaha/8 giving the Rocket an entire scooped pot.

Somewhere, G-Ron is pissed at me for posting this....:)

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Free Lessons

Normally, I'm not a chatbox participant. But with the day I had at work yesterday, to say I was in one fucking pissed off mood would be an understatement. So I publish some chatbox banter from Fulltilt - perhaps it may be enjoyable to 3% of the reading population.

(.25/.50 NL Table)
Dumbass is UTG
BB is LP1
Fish1 is LP2

Dumbass limps for .50
BB is dealt pocket 9's - raises to $2
Fish1 calls
Dumbass calls

Flop: J,2,3

Dumbass checks
BB bets $5
Fish1 calls
Dumbass calls

Turn: 4

Dumbass checks
BB bets $7
Fish1 calls
Dumbass calls

River: 9

Dumbass checks
BB bets $15
Fish1 calls for less and is all-in
Dumbass calls

BB shows a set of 9's
Fish1 shows J,8 - pair of J's
Dumbass shows Q,J - pair of J's

Dumbass: What? Nice suckout.
BB: Hey thanks, perhaps you could try raising me out of the hand next time.
Dumbass: Why should I raise you out, I wanted you in.
BB: Uh, is me having your money reason enough?
Dumbass: I had you the whole time, you got lucky.
BB: Your hand was susceptible to getting out drawn, which is exactly what happened.
Dumbass: You're the idiot, you were betting into me with a worse hand.
BB: You're right, no need to protect a monster like Q,J. Well played.

Usually I'll respond with my patented phrase of "When I cash out, I will wipe my ass with your money." But, unfortunately, the writers of Tilt stole that line for the Matador. That's plagiarism at its worst.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Home Game HORSE Action

I've managed to put together a home game for this Thursday night. The catch: it's all HORSE, $2/$4 limit to be exact. Thus far, the response has been positive. I know I'm looking forward to it.

We have six confirmed attendees and I'm looking to get to eight. We'll have BadBlood, G-Ron, Teddy Ballgame, The Rankster, The Rocket, and Matty C.

Sadly, Otis is somewhere in Europe, probably working his buttocks off covering some unknown small tournament thingy. Based on his early reports, I picked the wrong country to meet him in. I always seem to do that...

Monday, March 14, 2005

My Time in Vienna

Before getting into my Austrian poker trip report, I apologize for not being able to make it to the HORSE tourney last night. I did actually register, but had to un-register about 3 minutes beforehand. For you married folk out there, I got what's known as "the look" from Mrs. Blood. Without using words, I was told that it would be very disappointing to her if after having been gone for 9 days I logged onto FullTilt and played in a tournament. So daddy clicked the X.


After lunch in Graz on Friday, I bid my farewell to the folks who had to suffer through 4 days of BadBlood-led training and got on a train to Vienna. The language barrier for me in Austria was pretty significant, so it was no small task to actually buy a round-trip ticket, get on the correct train, and get off on the right stop. But I managed. Once at the train station, the trick would be to get from there to the Concord Card Casino where Otis was covering the Vienna leg of the EPT.

There was a line of taxis outside the station and I hesitantly made my way to the first one in line. I knocked on the window of the first taxi and the driver rolled down the window.

"Do you speak English?" I asked.

"No problemo." Great. Pretty sure that was Spanish.

I then said "Concord Card Casino?" in an inquisitive manner, hoping that the driver would recognize the name of the place and be able to get there.

The driver answered rather vehemently in German, the only word I could really recognize was "auto-boose." Autoboose? Does he mean I should take the bus? I looked over to my right and indeed there were a few people waiting in line at a bus stop. I just nodded my head to the cabbie, hoping he'd think I was understanding what he was saying, but in my head, all I was thinking was that I was now fucked. Royally.

I walked over to the line of people waiting for the bus and the disdain in their eyes told me not to even bother asking if they spoke any English. Luckily, another taxi drove into the area and I was able to communicate to him that I needed to get to the Concord Casino. He motioned for me to hop in and I did. A few Euros later and I was finally there.


I made my way inside and saw a flurry of activity. Even though it is named Concord Card Casino, poker is the only game in town. No -EV games like craps, blackjack and roulette to tempt my inner gambooler. I noticed the large LCD in the back said that the main EPT tourney was currently on break. As there were only about 35 people left, the tourney had condensed to only a few tables in the back. I found our intrepid blogger helping to perform a chip count with another tournament official. After finishing, I called over to Otis to alert him to my arrival. We exchanged our usual hugs and kisses and he helped get my name on the 3/6 waiting list.

It turns out that after 3/6, the games took a giant leap upwards in limits right to 10/20. There weren't any No Limit tables, which appears to be a European thing. There were several pot limit Omaha tables however; but with a 5Euro blind, my bankroll wasn't quite prepared for that. Otis told me he hoped that the tourney would end at a reasonable hour that night, they just needed to get to the final 8 and it would wrap up right then.


I passed the time waiting for my name to be called at the bar drinking some very fine Austrian beer. After a weeks worth of work and a 2.5 hour train ride behind me, few things could taste any better. There happened to be some very fine Austrian waitresses wandering around serving customers. My thoughts turned towards the brothel next door that Otis had mentioned, but I just didn't see myself going over there. I was certainly curious, but I wasn't going to pull the trigger so to speak. Nor would I have anyone else pulling the trigger. So to speak.

I finally heard my named called and bought in for 200E hoping that would last me the evening. It would be more than enough.


There are some universal truths to this universe. I don't pretend to know all of them, but there is one that is certain. Bad poker is bad poker in any language. What atrocious play. Let me give you just one example.

I'm dealt pocket K's in the BB. Three people call before the button raises it to 6E. I re-raise to 9E which gets a few odd looks. UTG folds and says he'd have paid 6E but not 9E to see the flop. The button caps and the SB and I call. The flop is Q-hi rainbow rags. The SB checks, I bet and the button and the SB call. The turn is a 2nd Q, a scare card for sure at this table. The SB checks again and I bet 6E. The button folds and the SB calls. If I were check-raised here, I'd be fearing he held a Q, but the check call told me he didn't. The river came and it was an A, yet another truly scary card. Upon seeing the A, the SB bet his 6E with a bit of force as his chips hit the table. I laughed to myself, knowing I was just outdrawn. I said to him "I'm only calling this bet so you can see what I have." As I called, he simply declared "You win." I was completely puzzled as I showed my pocket K's. He folded T,J and was drawing to an inside straight the whole time. Nice.

I won't go into to many more details, but suffice to say I managed to work my way up to a nice 200E profit at 3/6. I gave some of it back during the night as the hands that were not getting outdrawn before began to give way to the collective efforts of the Euro-fish at the table. Still, I ended up for my trip about 100E in total.


At about 2am on Friday, the EPT found its way down to 8 players and Otis was able to join me at a 3/6 table. We had a rollicking good time, playing some decent poker and some not-so-decent poker. Regardless, my quest was complete - I managed to track Otis down on another continent and play some poker with a fellow South Carolinian.

Otis was gracious enough to buy me a table massage from one of the fine ladies making her way through the cardroom. I wasn't sure what the proper way to flag down a massage lady in the cardroom was, so Otis took charge of the situation and got her to come over. This woman packed a powerful set of thumbs and elbows. She found stuff crackling and popping in my left shoulder that sent tingles down my entire body. I was in rough shape and she wasn't leaving until she had her way with my trapezious. I lost track of where I was, so I had to fold most hands dealt to me. My concentration was shot during the next twenty minutes of pain and pleasure and by the time she was done, I was a new man.

I may be losing track of the order of events, but I believe it wasn't soon after that Otis finally dropped the hammer in Europe. We all know that the hammer play is supremely dangerous in limit hold 'em. Nonetheless, Otis has mastered the play, even coercing the deck to provide a 7 on the river to give him trips, more than enough to take down a decent sized pot.


Otis and I didn't stop playing poker until 7am on Saturday morning. We were both ragged and decided breakfast at the hotel was a better idea than Otis rebuying. The hotel in which he was staying was quite nice and the free breakfast tasted even nicer. Rather than express any more manlove after breakfast, I took up sleeping quarters on the floor next to the bed. We awoke at 2pm on Saturday and made our way back to the casino for more action.

Many tables had closed up during our time away, so I had to wait until about 3:30pm to get back on a 3/6 table. In the meantime, Otis made preparations to begin his final table coverage. As my train back to Graz left at about 6pm, I didn't have much time. Nothing really eventful occurred in the couple of hours I managed to play - I broke just about even for the day.

Sadly, I had to leave just as the introductions were being done for the final table. I said my goodbyes to Otis and thanked him for everything, the massage, the hotel room, the food, the company, you name it. Those hours spent inside the casino were by far the best time I had on my European trip. I promised Otis I'd set up a home game once he got back as he would remain in Europe for another week covering the Monte Carlo event.


I sure am glad to be home. I'm still adjusting my body back to the Eastern Time Zone. Much thanks to the bloggers who were able to IM chat with me while I was over there: AlCantHang, Felicia, Maudie and TheFilmGeek. It was actually pretty lonely and you guys and gals made it feel a bit more like home.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Respect mah Authoritay

BadBlood in Austria by way of South Park

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

No Whining

Sorry to get all worked up about losing. ****shrugs it off****


In 48 hours I'll be on a train to Vienna. My hosts here in Graz began to recommend places I could see, things I could do, etc. I told them I'd be inside a casino watching and playing poker.

"All day?" they asked.

"All day," I answered.

In other news, I am now a FullTilt affiliate. I may just make it home in time on Sunday to play in the blogger HORSE tourney. Please feel free to sign up using the link on the right. I even placed the link above my lucrative Empire poker affiliate link. Ha, lucrative, that's funny.

Even though I'm getting my ass handed to me on a plate these past few days at FullTilt, I heartily endorse the site with full BadBlood approval. That would be 5 drops of blood.

I've decided to drop back down to the $50NL tables. For whatever reason, the $100NL tables online just aren't treating me well. I'm still reacting in a non-ideal fashion when my pre-flop raises of 4xBB can't scare out J,7 suited. My online bankroll was, and I emphasize "was," suited for the $100NL tables, but my mind wasn't. As such, I'll drop back a level and plod forward from there.

I believe I was on what I'll call "Reverse-Tilt." Reverse-Tilt stems from winning at a rate higher than you're normally accustomed. Then you almost lose focus, not quite caring as much if you lose since you've just had a nice windfall. That's what happened to me after my 4th place finish a couple of weeks ago in a $50MTT. I would begin entering $50SNG's with reckless abandon. That's just not my style - for me to win, I need total focus and attention. I can admit that I wasn't giving it my all and my results suffered. Chalk up yet another learning experience.

So with renewed focus, I'll bear down again and hopefully move forward.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Let's all Chant Together

Well, the good news is that I was able to translate an Austrian hotel clerk's sentence from "You need to type in zee passverd" to "Enter this ascii text for the 128-bit WEP encryption key;" thus enabling my wireless Intarweb access from my hotel room.

The bad news is that this has enabled me to play some online poker while here in Austria. For anyone who pays even slight to moderate attention to my current online status, you'll notice that it's down. Way down.

These past two nights remind me of my alma matter's cheer to opposing goalies during hockey season at Lynah Rink (slightly modified):

Hey BadBlood, you're not a poker player, you're a sieve.
You're not a sieve, you're a funnel.
You're not a funnel, you're a vacuum.
You're not a vacuum, you're a black hole.
You're not a black hole....


Thanks, and try some Wienerschnitzel.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Hello Cleveland!

err...make that Austria.

Had quite a travel day yesterday. My first flight from G-Vegas to Charlotte was a windy bump-fest that saw the first landing attempt aborted as the plane swayed just a bit too much upon approach. That was fun.

So during my 2 hour layover in Charlotte, I had quite a few beverages. If I'm goin' down in a plane, I'm goin' down AlCantHang style.

Nothing like partying by yourself, just you and your iPod. New music purchased especially for the trip includes:

Pro-Pain - Fistful of Hate
100 Demons - 100 Demons
Amon Amarth - Fate of Norns

All insta-classics in my book.


Dinner was fantastic, I had steak Madagascar. I couldn't tell you where, though. My host drove the narrow streets of Graz and found an outstanding restaurant. Austrian beer == Good stuff.


I got all checked into my hotel room which had claims of wireless internet. My card found the access point, but the darned thing wouldn't give me an IP address no matter what I tried. How pissed was I that there would be no Internet Poker that night?

No recourse except to watch TV. With not even an ounce of clue how to speak German, I was forced to watch MTV's Pimp My Ride with subtitles.

Sleep was more interesting.


I have to say, my hotel's free breakfast was top-notch. Lots of protein if you're into that kind of thing. The bacon here makes the stuff in the US look like the results of a Kirstie Alley liposuction session.


If I can't get wireless access working tonight, I hope to get over to the casino down the street. But I forgot my shoes, and I'm not sure if they'll let some dufus American wearing sneakers inside just yet. Must do more research.

BB out.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Random Update

I am being forced to post a new post since Felicia is all annoyed at seeing the title of the previous post everytime she looks. What's up with that????

Poker tonight for me at G-Ron's house with some local yahoos. Otis claims something last minute came up. Those in the know realize he's avoiding sitting at the same table as me because of my massive read on him. He thought Isabelle had a read....HA!

Played in the RGP H.O.R.S.E. tourney again last night. I finished 33rd out of 139, out of the money. My favorite hand occurred in Razz as I'm betting big and putting a short stack all-in who's showing Q,J. A,2,4,2,4,3,4. Beautiful, another boat. Is that like the Razz hammer or something? I think the bigger issue was me not playing Medusa during this tournament. "Medusaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. She's starin' at you!"

I'm also getting ready for my business trip to Austria. I'll get some time at Casino Graz for sure and hope to get up to Vienna at the end of the week. I'm not sure how much posting I can do while I'm there, but I hope to have some decent updates and perhaps some pictures. What I will not have is anything resembling an Otis trip report, but I'll do what I can.

Any readers have any experience playing poker in Europe? Is Omaha the game over there or is Hold 'em huge like it is here in the states?

Still working on getting babysitting lined up so Mrs. Blood can come to Vegas. She'd like to play in the blogger tourney if there's room, otherwise she'll be sure to jinx my hands so the rest of you can crack my Aces. That's win/win for y'all. :)