Thursday, June 30, 2005

Stack-Losing Gambles

I'm not sure if I'm the only one seeing plays like these, but it seems that there are people playing the NL ring games with a bit more gamble in them. Each of these plays has made it tougher for me to read their hands (a good thing from their perspective) but also made their hands vunerable (a bad thing from their perspective).

Hand 1:

I limp with JTo in LP along with 2 EP limpers. This is a 6-handed table. Four players see a TT8 flop and I consider my hand is good at this point. It's checked all around and the turn brings an A. I consider this a good card for me as it should induce some betting into my hand. EP1 bets $3, EP2 folds, MP calls as do I. The river is a 2 which seems innocuous enough and EP1 bets $5. EP2 bets $20. I'm thinking that EP2 is overplaying his Ax and I push. Both call. Both.

EP1 has pocket 2's for a rivered full house. Not necessarily too surprising. EP2 has POCKET ACES!!! Very odd indeed. He "gambled" with a pre-flop limp and was suddenly dominated by any T. I don't consider that play the most optimal, but the deception coupled with his 2-outer on the turn yielded him a monster pot.

I concede that my push on the river was less than ideal as well since another T could have easily been out there and either outkicked me or paired up to the board. But my point is that the gamble in limping with Aces on a short-handed table is not necessarily a good play in the long-term.

Hand 2:

I have pocket J's in the SB. MP1 pre-flop raises to 6xBB. Six times the big blind is a relatively large pre-flop raise based on the table's play thus far. Based on my experience, this bet is very indicative of a middle pair. I call, as does the big blind.

The flop is all under-cards, T45. If my hunch is correct (7's, 8's or 9's), my hand is good. I check, BB checks, and raiser bets $10 into a $21-pot. I check-raise to $30 and the BB folds, MP1 calls. The turn is a Q and based on my read, doesn't help. With $81 in the pot and less than than in my stack, I push. He calls. River is irrelevant and the pre-flop raiser shows down pocket K's for a nice win.

Two odd bets, IMHO, and both cost me my stack for mis-reading them. I'm open to any criticisms here, but I still feel that the limp with Aces was asking for trouble, and the overbet pre-flop raise with K's was too aggressive. Limping with Aces is a recipe for getting them cracked. A 6xBB raise with K's is a recipe for winning the blinds. Neither happened this time, because I misread the hands.

Was it gambling on their part? Bad poker on mine? A combination of the two?

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

First Strike Is Deadly

For if they hit you just one time
You have just faced your doom
- Testament, when metal was metal....


I have a LiveJournal account, mainly for the ability to read and post comments in other LiveJournals. One of the features of that system is the ability to make other people your "friend" and grant them access to non-public features. In browsing through other people's friend lists, specifically that Paul Phillips guy, I came across the journal of Jerrod Ankenman. I confess to not knowing who he is with respect to poker, but reading his journal indicates he's well versed in game theory and applying that theory to poker situations. I believe he's writing a book and I anticipate its release.

In one of his entries, he speaks of preemption betting. In a nutshell, it's a bet designed to foil a bluff attempt from your opponent. I have an example hand where I applied that theory and it seemed to work:

In a 5-handed 100NL game, I'm dealt the rockets, AA. I'm in 4th position and raise the $1 BB to $4. The button smooth calls and everyone else folds.

The flop is Kd,7s,Td.

Into the $8.50 pot, I bet $7. The button smooth calls again. Kx? Two diamonds? Still not sure.

The turn is 8h.

I bet $13 and the button smooth calls again. Calling $13 with two diamonds is not justified, but at this point I have no read on the player so I can't really eliminate such a donkey play. By the way, I love that word. Donkey. Especially after Daddy's historic post.

The river is the Jd. Ugh. Not only does it complete the flush draw, but it makes any hand with a 9 in it beat me. Here's where the preemption part comes in. I'm thinking to myself that if I check the river here, my opponent can bluff all-in and I'd have to make a real tough call. Without any additional information on my opponent or his hand, I'd be inclined to fold.

Right now the pot is at $48.50. We each have about $70 remaining in our stacks. I decide that I'd be willing to invest $20 into a preemption bet and fold if the guy comes over the top all-in. My bet makes it more difficult for him to bluff now. It gives the impression that perhaps I've just hit my hand on the river and doesn't open the door for a bluff attempt like a check would.

The end result was another smooth call by the button who held QTo.


Taking things a step further, I've tried to use this principle on the turn as well. My goal here is to make a bet that if called will yield appropriate pot odds for me to see the river to catch a draw.

Another example:

I have 78s and the board reads 56K2. I'm not in position against my lone opponent and the pot is currently $17. If I check, my opponent can push me off of a draw with a properly sized bet. In this instance, I lead out with a $4 bet hoping for just a call. If I'm raised, I can drop the hand, but against a weaker player who may simply call, I've achieved the proper pot odds to see the river.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Looking Back at the Present

I spent my undergrad years in Ithaca, NY. Ithaca isn't known for it's warm, sunny climate; in fact the weather is quite horrible during most of both semesters. It lies in an odd geographical situation where weather systems seem to hang over campus for longer than they should. It's hilly and surrounded by gorges. The lengthy walks to class each day kept me from developing a larger beer gut than I did. So I had that going for me.

Most days I was thinking how great it would be once I graduated. No more classes, no more studying, much more fun.

The summer of 1990 came and went and I began my working career. Earning money was great, especially since I lived at my parents house for a while after graduation. Talk about disposable income! You would have thought I'd be excited to be finally out of Ithaca.

You'd have thought wrong.

The first few years after graduation, my thoughts wandered back towards upstate New York quite frequently. I longed for an easier time. As difficult as an engineering degree can be, life was still far less complex and less stressful.

It was just unfortunate that I didn't realize how great things were while I was there.


I generally don't offer unsolicited advice to anyone for fear of sounding like a pompous know-it-all. So the following should be perhaps considered a recommendation to some friends of mine.

You guys are doing an absolutely fantastic job out there covering the WSOP. Superb. Because it is actually a job, those of us on the outside looking in probably can't appreciate how much work it truly is.

I hope you can take a step back from the chaos and enjoy the experience while you're having it. I'm sure it's easier said than done. Undoubtedly, you'll come away from this experience with fantastic and unbelievable stories to tell. I sure look forward to hearing the unbloggable ones.

Smell the roses while they're in bloom.

Friday, June 24, 2005

NL Home Game Report

Pre-Vegas trip, the enthusiasm and attendence levels for my home game had begun to drop off a bit. It became a bit of a struggle to round up 6 or 7 willing participants, and as G-Rob will attest to, it can be quite a pain in the ass to set up a home game.

Things seemed to have turned around; and with the acquisition of some new players to the list I'm keeping, I managed to round up a full table of 10 for last night's game.

The lineup was as follows:

Seat 1. BadBlood - Prides himself on a well run home game, has all of the required equipment to play, but less so the talent.
Seat 2. Mrs_Blood - Making her 2nd appearance at the NL ring game, this time bought in with her own cash instead of being staked by her obnoxious husband.
Seat 3. Ice T. - Another female player at the table - another member of the "I play better than my husband" group.
Seat 4. G-Rob - Surprisingly the last to arrive, he's normally the first. He also lives the closest to me. His hair was in non-TV mode.
Seat 5. Frank the Tank - The motorcycle-riding aggressive chip slinger has become a regular at the game.
Seat 6. MikeD - Solid player, when he goes in the tank he's either building a masterful gameplan or is completely confused.
Seat 7. DeBaggio - A regular on the limit, dealer's choice circuit. With his arch nemesis (The Rocket) not playing, he was looking to win big.
Seat 8. The Rankster - Recently back from Australia, the Rankster was looking very physically fit. Mentally, it was another story.
Seat 9. ShawShank Redemption - Shaw was also making his first appearance, but was no stranger to no limit suckouts.
Seat 10. ShepSmith - Brother of the infamous TeamScottSmith and father of the NewYear's Day Tourney Champ - The Wolverine. He's had trouble differentiating himself from his superior playing relatives.

Things got off to a slow start as is common. A few times pre-flop raises would take down the pot uncontested. Were Otis playing, he'd try to loosen things up with some blind raises and playing hands in the dark. My solution was to call AlCantHang. For the first round of dial-a-shots, six people joined the fun. That's the most ever. Things started rockin' not soon after.

As is his style (ask Otis and G-Rob), the Rankster was calling pre-flop raises with any two cards. Against whom do you think he caught? Yes, 'twas me. My 7x BB raise in a sea of limpers was certainly too small to persuade the Rankster to fold his K9o. My AJ was no match for his hand on the AK9 flop. The K on the turn sealed the deal and I had lost half my stack.

The Rankster was kind enough to redistribute some of my money to G-Rob and Mrs_Blood. G-Rob busted the Rankster twice and Mrs_Blood busted him once. On all three hands, he was dominated. Down 3 buy-ins, the Rankster was one of the first to leave amidst pleas to the contrary.

When round two for dial-a-shot came, it was a struggle to find anyone. AlCantHang - not available. Daddy - not available. Otis - not available. So we fired up shots anyway. Within seconds of completing them, AlCantHang called back. Perfect timing. All of a sudden, pre-flop raises were being called by 3 or 4 people. Interesting how that works.

The suckout of the evening goes to ShawShank Redemption. He came out firing pre-flop for $5.50, the biggest pre-flop raise we'd seen yet. IceT smooth called in late position. The flop was Q-high and ShawShank bet half of IceT's stack. IceT simply put the rest of her chips in, much to ShawShank's dismay. ShawShank reluctantly called with his pocket T's and quickly saw he was dominated by IceT's pocket K's. The turn was a T and IceT never improved. That was enough for IceT to pack it in for the evening, victimized by a two-outer.

As for myself, I finished down $9. I can't complain too much, most of the pots I won were flat out steals. I got caught once with my hand in the cookie jar against ShawShank, but that's what happens sometimes. As the table broke down to 5 players, I was lucky enough to find G-Rob to my left. Not an ideal scenario when he has a mountain of chips.

I'd lost a few pots to him earlier in the evening when this key hand came up. I had pocket 9's and was first into the pot for $3.50. G-Rob re-raised to $8.50 and it was folded all around back to me. He'd re-raised three times before earlier in the night holding AKs twice and pocket Q's once. For whatever reason, I didn't think his hand was that good this time around. He had more chips and tends to ramp up the aggression later on. I called.

The flop was all undercards, 578. I checked and G-Rob bet out $15. I thought for a bit and put G-Rob on a vunerable overpair, perhaps TT, JJ or QQ. I called the $15 for two reasons; first, I was tired of losing to the guy and second, perhaps I could take the pot away if a scare card came on the turn. The turn brought an Ace. If my read was right, I could take the pot right here so I went all-in. I sure wasn't 100% confident in my read, but I went with it anyway. G-Rob folded face up, showing his pocket T's. I showed my pocket 9's which I think surprised him a bit. It was a small victory for me considering I didn't catch much in the way of cards all night.

The big winners were G-Rob and Frank the Tank. MikeD posted a small profit as did ShawShank. Mrs_Blood broke even and was quite satisfied with her play. If things go right, I'll get this home game back up to speed as a bi-weekly event.

Rock on!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

This Thing You Call Bankroll

In the midst of pondering the differences between online and offline play, I've determined YARWISO.

(Yet another reason why I suck online.)

A step back is in order.

I've considered myself a better live player than online player in the past. There's the whole extra read on people's play and all, but I wanted to look even further because of my recent online downswing. I tried to compare my mental states between the two environments and in doing so, have come up with another difference that required further inspection.

Offline, I have no idea what my bankroll is. None whatsoever. If I'm playing one night, I go to the ATM, grab some cash and play. I keep tallies of wins and losses of course, but at no time during play to I even consider the "health" of my offline bankroll. It might as well be infinite since I give it no consideration.

Online, it's an entirely different story. My bankroll online is ever present in my mind, as is its deteriorating balance. Perhaps the reason is that it is so very segregated from any other money. Perhaps the reason is that I'm very averse towards depositing any more money into an online account. Perhaps it's a fear of becoming a losing player again online. These thoughts are all irrational and detrimental.

The fact is, I shouldn't pay so much consideration to the online roll. If it's depleted, I can redeposit. Easily. It's almost as if the fear of busting out that's prevalent in tournament play is affecting my ring game play when it doesn't have to.

I've decided to compartmentalize my previous night's play and begin anew each night with the same bankroll mentality as exists offline.

This game is a battle of constant mental adjustments for me and without any introspection, I'd never improve.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Metallic Genius

As my own poker play remains just a few swirls away from going completely down the toilet, I feel it inappropriate to blog about it. There are much weightier things going down in the poker world right now and few people give a rodent's gluteus about BadBloodonPoker.

With that said....perhaps a post on the lighter side...


I think most of us listen to and enjoy music of various styles. Many of us are moved by the lyrics - the prose of Dylan, the poetry of Lennon, the dark genius of Waters. Classic rock is filled with legendary wordsmiths.

Few people give the heavy metal genre any credit for its lyrical content. Some will begrudgingly give them credit for being legitamate musicians, but few will go that far for the vocalists.

For the doubters, I submit this:

Metallic Genius

(Much thanks to AlCantHang for the bandwidth)

Monday, June 20, 2005

Pimp Day

I don't get asked to do much with this blog in general, but when friends ask, I'm all ears.

Checkout the hardest working peeps in WSOP-bidness:

World Series of Poker Live Blog
World Series of Poker
World Series of Poker News
World Series of Poker Podcast
World Series of Poker - Pokerstars Live Blog


The Mrs. was watching me play...and lose. After a guy called an 8xBB pre-flop raise with 94o and flopped trip 9's to take over half my stack, I told her that the guy would be broke by 8:30. It was 8:26.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

He Listens

BG has spoken to him. I have to believe he speaks the truth. Witness the following:

* I find myself at the Table of Blood(tm) in a 6 person SNG, winner take all. I'm heads up with a local shark only known as Ice-T. She's good. Ask her husband Otit. I have her outchipped and she goes all-in pre-flop with pocket 2's. I call with AQ and catch my Ace on the flop. The turn is meaningless. I'm dealing the cards and stupidly verbalize this exact sentence: "Don't worry, you'll catch your 2." River is a two and I go on to lose. Thanks for listening.

* Another local tournament at casa de "Frank the Tank." I'm a bit shortstacked and push with pocket 6's. The Axeman, another local soon-to-be-pro, calls with AK, a very sensible move. The flop is TT8. I verbalize this exact sentence: "Well an 8 fucks me." The turn is an 8, and The Axeman eliminates me and goes on to victory.

* Lest you think even the pros are immune, I submit the following: In the Foxwoods WPT event where Tuan Le went on to take a most improbable victory, both opponents who went into hands with better cards (Berman's KK vs Le's AK and Temp's hand that could have eliminated Le near the end) wished Le "Good luck." Well, duh. Luck came and Le won. Don't wish your opponent good luck. Wish him pain, suckouts and a bad rash. Perhaps a boil or two. Just not luck.

* The scene again is the Table of Blood(tm). The combatants are G-Rob and papaBlood, making a special appearance at a no-limit table for the first time. After the flop, G-Rob puts papaBlood all-in holding AJ on an AJx flop. papaBlood is holding AQ and has only 3 outs. G-Rob verbalizes this exact sentence: "Well I'll be real disappointed if a Queen comes." Much to G-Rob's surprise a Queen did come. On the river.

Don't mess with Poque.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Day 2 - Part 2

Still on Friday....

The G-Robs and the Bloods grabbed a cab over to the Rio. We were later than most of the railbirds due to the Plaza tournament, but hopefully not too late to see our comrades in action. The walk to the improptu poker room was as long as advertised. I took the opportunity to snap a few pix of the WSOP banner for posterity. Always nice to prove you were there.

On my last trip to Vegas, I got to gawk and stare at the many pros playing at the Bellagio. I anticipated more of the same here at the Rio. As I got closer to the poker room, the buzz grew louder. I saw Mel Judah being interviewed on camera outside the main hall. When I finally peeked my way inside, I was a bit awestruck at the sea of humanity and the sounds of the clacking chips. I couldn't believe that there was a WSOP tournament going on amidst the chaos. But there was. We met up with the blogger contingent and by this time only two of our kind were left: Otis and Bob. (Are those your names or is that just what you do? Wait. That's Neil and Bob. Nevermind.)

Luckily for the crew, they were seated close together and we could sweat them together as a group. One of the few things I noticed about this WSOP tournament was that people were very, very quiet at the table. It was eerie almost. No friendly chatter, no joking around, all business. I'm not sure I could stay that quiet for that long.

I snapped a few photos of Otis and was able to catch him nearly doubling up and busting an opponent when his KK dominated the sad sack's QQ. Not soon after, we heard Bracelet Boy bubbled out when his pocket 8's lost a race with AK. Otis fought the good fight, eventually sucumbing to the increasing blinds and losing a race with AK against TT. Gotta win those races in these mega-tournies, and the fates weren't kind to the bloggers this go around.

At some point during the event, Mrs_Blood made off with my camera and told me to wait for her until she got back. When she finally did get back, she had several kick-ass pictures to show me. She had some shots of some pros sitting at the table, but posed for some really nice pictures with Clonie Gowen, TJ Cloutier, and the duo of David Williams and Evelyn Ng. I figure my wife had a much higher probability of not annoying the poker pros than I did, so I was probably better off waiting in the wings for her to get back. I'd have said something stupid, probably about blogging and me being BadBlood. I would have been met with confused looks and requests for security to escort me out.

After a $20 buffet where I downed 6 beef patties of various flavors, Heather graciouslly offered to drive Mrs_Blood and Mrs. G-Rob back to the strip allowing G-Rob and I time to play in some of the side games at the Rio. We put our names on the $1/$2 list and sweated Greenwood Phil while we waited. And waited. And waited.

We had been 5th and 6th on the waiting list forever, so finally I took a look at the signup screen to see which tables we'd be playing at. I strolled on over and saw several empty seats. I asked the dealer if I had to wait for my name to be called and the entire table pleaded with me to simply sit down. They'd obviously been waiting for quite a while and the floor staff just couldn't keep up with keeping the side games filled. Understandable, but annoying nonetheless since G-Rob and I could have been seated at least an hour sooner.

I sat down, not knowing what to expect. I was at a side game at the WSOP, but at pretty tame limits for anyone who'd be willing to put up $1500 or more for a single tourney. I didn't take things lightly, but hoped that I was at a table of wannabe's rather than busted sharks. I figured the sharks would at least be playing the 2/5 or 5/10 NL ring games instead. I think I was right.

I doubled my buy-in relatively quickly and sported the 2nd biggest stack at the table with some no frills play and some timely steals based on my precision reads of the surrounding players. That was sarcasm. This was the first NL poker I'd played and I was loving every minute. Until the inevitable came.

I'm dealt pocket 9's and raise pre-flop to $7 and am called by two limpers. The flop is 246 rainbow and I bet out $20. LP limper calls and a Td comes on the turn putting two diamonds on the board. I check, pretty certain that the T wasn't any help to the other guy. He still bets out $40. I assess the action up to that point and feel confident that I'm good. I come over the top and put him all in. He calls with his 67 of diamonds. The J of diamonds falls and the $230 pot rolls in the other direction. I'm still up $6 and lament my bad beat to G-Rob who nods in silent sympathy, but deep down doesn't really give a shit. Just another bad beat Blood, get the hell over it. It's then that the phone rings signalling the end of our session. The wives have extinguished their time walking the strip and are requesting our presence. We agree to meet back over at the Excalibur for the scheduled storming.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Funny Plagiarism

I was doing some preliminary research for what will hopefully be another article for Poker Player Newspaper's online site and came across some interesting text.

At Imperial Poker's site, under the section entitled "Is my connection secure? Can other online poker players hack into my computer?" there is text strikingly similar to that found on Paradise Poker's site here under the section entitled "Hackers."

Read them both, it appears to me that Paradise's text was written first and Imperial's poor attempt at "rewriting" was carried out by a subcontractor whose first language was not English.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Day 2 - Part 1

Having went to bed early on Thursday night allowed me to wake up feeling pretty well rested on Friday morning. Mrs_Blood and I were looking to score some breakfast, but there was a major catastrophe causing our delay. NO HAIRDRYER. She hadn't packed one (all hotels have them, right?) and our upgraded "suite" did not have one. A quick call to Mrs G-Rob fixed that potential nightmare and we were good to go. While G-Rob himself had only just arrived back from late night/early morning hijinx, Mrs. G-Rob was quite ready to have breakfast with us at the Plaza buffet.

Felicia had warned us against the food at the Plaza, she said it was a sure fire way to cleanse the system so to speak. But from my perspective, $6 for an all-you-can eat breakfast buffet is worth the residual pain of acid-like plasma jets exploding through your bowels at bullet-train speeds. Three pounds of bacon later and I was ready for action.

DrizztDJ caught us in the buffet line earlier and mentioned he'd be playing in the noon tourney. I thought "WTF" and signed up both me and Mrs_Blood. It didn't take much coercing, but both Maudie and Pauly joined us for some fun. While it wasn't much time to sleep, G-Rob made his way downstairs to play as well, bedhead and all.

If you've played any blogger tourneys with me, you'd realize that I suck at the early rounds. This tourney was no exception. I bought the add-on and tossed half of it away on a questionable play that to this day still puzzles me. Here it is for your amusement.

I'm in the big blind and get A4o. One late position limper calls and the button goes all-in for not too much more. While he goes all-in, he says "I have to leave anyway." Odd. But that's some data there. I have a hunch that my A4 is good so I call - all the while anticipating that the late position limper would fold. After I call, the LP limper calls too and says "I have a hand, I have to call." Odd. More data. I put him on Ace-large and we saw a 554 flop. I figured my hand was good and pushed. LP limper calls and shows....pocket Kings???? WTF??? I totally misread him because he was a moron playing as if random thermal noise was controlling his decisions. Needless to say, I lost the hand. I had him outchipped but almost lost those when the dealer nearly put my extra chips in the main pot instead of a second side pot. Thankfully, the players at the table knew what was going on and I got my chips back. Lest you think that my description of the player with KK is sour grapes, let me say this: I outlasted him in the tournament.

During my time at my initial table, Pauly was playing tight and aggressive. He had calls on his all-ins when he held AA and KK and grew his stack to chip leader status. Mrs_Blood on the other hand was accumulating chips at her table, even busting a guy on a gutsy call holding AK. The other guy stormed away, pissed at having the Mrs. call his bluff. Obviously, the Blood family is producing better poker players in rapid fashion as mini and Mrs are kicking my ass. Could be that I suck now, but I won't admit that until my losing streak hits 3 months....

Where was I?

Oh yeah, soon enough we're at the final table - 3 bloggers and a Wife o' blogger(tm). Unfortunately, the blinds escalated as they often do, producing an all-in fest from the shorter stacks. Mrs_Blood was the first to go, but she was extremely happy with her performance in making it to the final table. Maudie was next. I met my demise holding AJ. Pauly had the gall to call my all-in with his pocket K's. The AKQ flop didn't leave me much hope and my 4-outer never came. Busted was I. Pauly went on to money in 4th and right after that, the three remaining local jerkoffs chopped the rest in an even three-way split. I say jerkoffs because it was obvious they were playing together. Whenever a shortstack went all in, these morons would call with anything, then play the hand uncontested until the river - face up. Pauly's last all-in holding A2 was called by K2 and 85o. The 8-high hand won. I was actually a bit surprised that this obvious collusion was allowed. I knew complaining would do no good, so I moved on to bigger and better things.

Next to the RIO for some WSOP sweating and some NL play where I suffer my Required Vegas Bad Beat(tm).

Friday, June 10, 2005

2005 WSOP Live Blog

For visitors who may not be aware, Dr. Pauly is working his buttocks off (all the way down to the hamstrings) covering live the 2005 World Series of Poker. That's Pauly from the Tao of Poker. Not only a great writer, but a great guy too.

Also, the top link to the right there points to the 2005 World Series of Poker News site featuring PokerProf and FlipChip. Those guys work their rear-ends off too and coincidentally are also great guys. What are the odds?

More Vegas trip reports to follow, but I wanted to post about these guys and their hard work. Keep it up guys.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Day 1 - Part 2

Man, the clamoring for trip reports is even being heard across the nation this far South. I'll try to oblige.

One thing I forgot to mention about the play at Binion's was what I believe to be the FIRST Hammer dropping by a blogger on the trip. What was especially funny is that at the 2/4 table we were at, there was a total calling station. Any paint and she was in. Just as an example, my JT on a J-high board outkicked her J3. So when she called the big blind and Bill Rini made it 4, I was a bit surprised that when the action got back to her, she folded. Bill Rini dropped the hammer at 6:55 Vegas time and took the pot down PRE-FLOP!!! He obviously had the talent, the wherewithall, the moxie, and the m@d sk1llz to do it. Perhaps a foreshadowing of things to come.

Mrs_Blood, Maudie and I shared a ride to Caesars where Maudie was due to have dinner. I took a lovely stroll down the strip, all the while educating Mrs_Blood about porn-slappers. I had heard rumors (OK, I had called him earlier), that the Brothers McGrupp were at the Excalibur earlier. So we made that our destination.

Upon arriving, there was nary a blogger in sight. The McGrupps had gone to check out the Wynn and I told them I'd have to meet them at the MGM later for the 1st of the scheduled events - a 2/4 mixed game. What to do? The Mrs had a itch for the poker so I got us at the same 2-6 table. She was prepared to play. She took down the very first hand with QTo. A Q-high flop, a T on the turn, and finally another Q on the river. She was of course called down the whole way by a random monkey and we were off.

Otis and CJ later joined the festivities. At approximately 9:15 Vegas time, Otis dropped the hammer at the Excalibur. Felt like home.

In what I'm calling "BEST. SLOW. ROLL. EVER." the following hand was dealt. The poor, unknown victim held KK. Our haggard, old slow roller called the pre-flop raise and we saw an 885 flop. More betting ensued. A 9 on the turn, repeat previous betting pattern. A third 8 on the river and we see the pot capped. The victim, obviously proud of his Kings shows first. The slow roller flips his cards, face up, but one on top of the other. The 1st card that's face up shows a 5, for what the table perceives as an inferior full house. The old geezer then ever so slowly slides the 5 off his second card to reveal the case 8 and the table erupts. God bless limit poker.

With that, the bloggers who were at the Ex migrated across the street towards the MGM. Nice place that MGM. Compared to the Plaza, it was perhaps 17 orders of magnitude cleaner and more inviting.

When I got to the MGM's poker room, I found myself extremely impressed with its layout. With the nice shuffle masters in each table keeping the action going and flat screen displays showing the wait list for each game, this room was catering to my needs. I'll tell you all this right now. I simply will not play on a table without a shuffle master again. The games move so much faster, it's amazing. With the amount of time I spend online playing, I'm spoiled by the speed. These tables bring some of that speed to live play and I for one welcome our new impatient, action-junkie overlords.

By the time we arrived, the 2/4 game upstairs was full. I did get to introduce myself to several bloggers who hadn't made the previous trip last December. I'll forget some of you, and for that I apologize. But I saw -EV, Spaceman, Heather, April, Chad, Easycure, StB, and a bunch of others. Mrs_Blood went off to do something with Mrs. Otis for a bit so I sat down at a 4/8 table. Joe Speaker was already there with a massive pile of chips. The table was real soft, and only got softer when Otis sat down. I kid.

I played for a bit when MGM personell notified me that Internet Celebrity(tm) AlCantHang had arrived. That basically threw a monkey wrench into any more real poker as I made my way to greet him. I noticed a second 2/4 mixed game open up, but was too late to join that one as well. When Mrs_Blood came back from her time with Mrs. Otis, I could read in her eyes that my poker for the evening was ending. I promised to her that I'd not leave her by herself in Vegas so I cashed in my chips and we made our way out. I did stop to say hello to the other bloggers who had arrived, including DrizztDJ and Iggy who had made his way over to the MGM.

G-Rob was due to arrive soon, but I wouldn't see him until day 2. No matter, it's not like I see enough of him anyway. I kid.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Day 1 - Part 1

The Mrs and I had packed the night before, so when we awoke on Thursday morning, we were ready to go. Flying out of GSP is quite easy for us; it's a 8-minute drive and the airport is never very busy. We were flying Northwest and our stop-over was in Detroit. I knew there were at least two bloggers from the area, so I wondered if perhaps there'd be a chance meeting. Alas, the Brothers Genius were not in sight and Mrs_Blood and I sat awaiting our connection to the real Vegas(tm).

Perhaps five minutes before boarding, I see one of those motorized terminal carts approaching our gate. At first, I didn't see anyone on it, but after some closer inspection, I saw some very tiny person riding in a backpack attached to the cart's driver. Out of all the bloggers, I certainly least expected to find Iggy in Detroit. I introduced him to the wife and we got to chat for a bit until our seat assignments were called for boarding. Unfortunately, it was a very full flight and we couldn't get an open seat for Iggy to sit with us. It was probably for the best, I'm sure he needed some sleep and with the penchant Mrs_Blood has for moving her jaw, Iggy wouldn't have stood a chance.

We touched down and regrouped with the blogfather and retrieved some luggage. I expected a dwarf to travel a bit lighter, but he too had to pick up a suitcase at the baggage retrieval. He mentioned Grubby would be picking him up to take him to the Excalibur. I didn't want to impose on Grubby a ride downtown, so we separated from Iggy and grabbed a cab to our destination: The Plaza. Mrs_Blood called AlCantHang who unfortunately had a delay coming out of Philly - he'd be on the late side. I phoned Otis to tell him of our arrival and future plans - we would most likely meet up later in the day. G-Rob was another late arrival, so the Mrs_Blood and I had some time to kill.

After getting an upgrade to our room WITHOUT any $20 persuasions, we checked in and wandered downstairs to the poker room. Felicia had mentioned she'd be there at noon. Since it was about 3:30pm I wouldn't have been surprised to see nobody there. How wrong I was - I saw Felicia, Professional Poker Player(tm) Chris Halverson and his wife and Bill Rini. We grabbed some unspectacular grub at the Golden Nugget and then wandered around Fremont street for a bit. My cell phone rang to announce Maudie's arrival and we hung out and took some pictures. I got to see several times that ever so hot chick eating a fried twinkie in the most vulgar way possible. Like a train wreck of naked swimsuit models, I couldn't turn away.

While on Fremont street, we met up with the "Hey that guy's good looking" Joe Speaker. I bestowed upon him the gift of metal - a CD of the latest Unearth CD. I expect a positive review. Not soon after, the massive HumanHead made an appearance with his super friendly and very attractive wife. Head is indeed massive, had he challenged me to arm wrestle, I'd have made up some sissy excuse and declined. Not soon after that, TheFatGuy shows up and steals Felicia away for a stroll down the nether regions of Fremont. Head, wife, and Joe Speaker resume drinking while Professional Poker Player(tm) Chris Halverson and wife have to make plans to see the Cirque show they had tickets for. That left me, Mrs_Blood, Bill Rini and Maudie to figure out how to spend the next hour or so before our next scheduled appointments. The answer was easy, poker at Binions.

They opened up a new 2/4 table for us and we had a blast for about 90 minutes. I managed to cashout up thanks to a set of 9's that rivered me a boat and someone else a flush. Maudie had to leave for a dinner engagement and future WPBT champ Bill Rini had to get to the Sushi place. Mrs and I made our way to the Excalibur where we heard some degenerates where playing poker.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

I'm Back

Just to whet the appetite....(that's Mrs_Blood in the middle, not on the left :)

Special thanks to Evelyn Ng and David Williams for being so kind and accomodating to the Mrs.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Last Rambling Post Pre-Vegas

Sometimes I ask myself questions. Why did I come to work today? Why didn't I tack on an extra day of vacation? Why did I play poker until 2AM last night (this morning) with other G-Vegas degenerates (read G-Rob and Otis)? Some things are better left unanswered I guess.

So here's some more dribble to pass the time as I watch the clock tick. Oh yeah, gotta change the work calendar to June today. Whew. That was work. I'm done for the day. Too bad I have to remain seated here for 7 more hours.

I'm going to take some advice from the Master (read Dr. Pauly) and bring a notepad and pencil to the Vegas trip. I'll be able to jot down some notes to help fill in the blanks so that when I return, I can have some semblance of trip report ammo.

While I anticipate this trip will be different, I still anticipate it being a great time. One key difference is that Mrs_Blood will be tagging along. She'll help keep me grounded which will help me avoid playing Too Much Poker(tm) like I did last time.

One of my regrets, believe it or not, was playing too much poker vs. socializing more with some Internet Celebrities (read ACHE). Having the Mrs along for the ride should force me to consider other options.

I also regret not bringing my digital camera along with me. I had no real place to carry it, and I felt awkward holding it in a casino. I'll have a back pack with me, as I did in Vienna, so that I'll have such handy-dandy items at my disposal. You may not call me Dora the Explorer.

If I grab a picture of you, I will of course ask permission prior to posting it to various micropenis websites (read Bob).

I have a minor itinerary, which basically coincides with the one you'll see at UpForPoker. Unless a miracle occurs, I'll have some free time during the day on Friday to do some random touristy things. The Mrs wants to go see some M&M factory, 'cause you can get colors there you can't get anywhere else. That's important.

I'll be there for HORSE on Thursday night. We played some 2/4 HORSE last night at Garage de Otis and it was fun. And fucking frustrating playing Razz. Did I mention that? Thought so.

Oh yeah, some sage poker advice. When you're up over 1 buyin at NLHE, and some bozo wants to change the game to limit HORSE, DON'T DO IT!!!! Three straight riverings took away my profit. Bastards! Good thing it was all in good fun, or I'd have gone on tilt and began to pout.

Otis graciously allowed anyone who busted him down to the felt to put their hand in his Bag-o-Poker-Schwag(tm) for some PokerStars stuff. The Mark managed to do it twice, the last time being the most unlikely. It's 7-card stud, eight or better. Four of us see 7th street and The Mark scoops with a pair of 8's. No low qualified. Nice way to end a fun evening/morning.

Some random trip expectations:

- Unlikely: Winning a 1-table satellite to event #2 on Thursday
- Most likely: Bubbling out in 2nd of a 1-table satellite to event #2 on Thursday

- Unlikely: Coming home a winner from Vegas
- Most likely: Mrs_Blood winning more money than me

- Unlikely: Meeting Gus Hanson, challenging him to a bench press contest and winning $10,000
- Most likely: Meeting Drizztdj and having him out arm-wrestle me, sending me home in shame

- Unlikely: Winning the WPBT Aladdin tourney
- Most likely: Finishing in the middle of the pack and playing BlackJack with G-Rob

- Unlikely: Perfectly blending poker in with everything else and keeping Mrs_Blood happy
- Most likely: Pissing off Mrs_Blood when she peeks at my pocket Aces, they get cracked, and I blame her for being a jinx because I'm too drunk to shut my pie hole

- Unlikely: Winning event #2 and parlaying the winnings into Negreanu's high-stakes headsup challenge at the Wynn
- Most likely: Losing a buy-in at 4/8 at the Wynn

BB out! And about! See you all soon.