Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Shaken, Not Stirred

From the annals at UpForPoker….

I order another beer and Blood has more martini. This makes me laugh. What makes a man switch to martinis? I mean, if you're some douchebag suit and you have to impress the minions...that's one thing. But when a turbine counter gets all fancy, that's just odd.

Dirk Drizzler even went so far as to say that the drinks are Appletinis.  Well, they’re not, OK?  They are vodka Martini’s and that’s a huge (like me) difference.  They even have vegetables (green olives) for nourishment.


Last Wednesday, a friend from “up North” came to town.  He’s a poker player (well, he plays) and I get him invites to the G-Vegas game on occasion.  Since he’s my friend, G-Rob calls him Clot.  Get it?  Blood-Clot?  G-Rob is at times King of the Funny.  Anyway, prior to our pokering experience, we sat at the bar at the hotel at which he was staying and ordered different kinds of Martinis.  He ordered Kettel One and I went for the Grey Goose.  We compared smoothness, even going so far as to take a sip from each other’s glass.  What’s the PC term for this?  Ah yes, that’s right, uber-geigh.

Good Lord, G-Rob’s right.


Once my friend and I realized what we were doing, we over-compensated and took a visit to one of G-Vegas’ finest establishments.  Being the master of protocol, I drank manly beer so that the working staff would not be confused about my orientation.  After a couple of hours of “observation,” we made our way to the Underground Game.


I’ve been to the Underground Game a half-dozen times.  My two best performances there have been visits directly after an experience described above:  drinking, then “observation.”  I know that correlation does not imply causation, but I do believe that there is some significance to the data.

First, the lowering of inhibitions, just ever-so-slightly, has the effect of allowing me to play properly aggressive without that nervousness that sometimes accompanies that style of play.  Granted, there is a fine line between inhibition lowering and all-out donkification due to inebriation, but there is some middle ground there.

Secondly, after a few hours of, here’s that word again, “observation,” some part of my mind is cleared allowing a more thorough use of my brain towards the poker experience.  Am I rationalizing?  Conceivably, I am.  But that’s what guys do.


So, in a nutshell, this post can be summarized as follows:

G-Rob and Drizz call into question my manhood due to choice of drinks.
I relate an experience of sharing such drinks with another friend.
I realize that G-Rob and Drizz’s statements have merit.
I overcompensate by gazing at “teh boobiez.”
I rationalize the above and its effect on my poker skills with a round-a-bout, whack-ass conclusion.

And that, dear readers, is BadBlood on Poker.

Friday, May 26, 2006

A New Level

At some point earlier this year, I mentioned a Level Zero play by one of our home game players.  As we all know, Level One is only thinking about your own cards without a second thought to what your opponent may be holding.  Level Zero is when you don’t even know what you have in your own hand, by either misreading your hole cards or simply forgetting them.

Well, after last night, we have a new Level.

It’s Level Minus One.

The scene is a G-Vegas medium game and about 5 players are in the pot.  Post-flop, it’s checked around to Teddy Ballgame.  Teddy says, “Oh no fellas, no free cards.  I bet $7.”

Problem is, Teddy was unaware that he had folded pre-flop.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Punishment for Decadence

When parents need to punish their kids, the phrase “Hurts me more than it hurts you” gets bandied about.  Tonight, I believe it.

We warned miniBlood about his attitude yesterday.  Each day, the kids in his class have their behavior ranked by color, green being the best and red meaning a trip to the principal’s office.  In order for mini to play in his baseball game tonight, he was required to have a green day.  We normally don’t impose any restrictions like this, but yesterday was a bad day for him with respect to listening to his parents.  Today, he came home with a yellow day.  And I’m real bummed because I love taking my kid to his games and watching him play.

I know the lesson learned through punishment is more important in the larger scheme of things, but I’ll be damned at how disappointed I am right now.  I’ll even get to the G-Vegas home game on time because of it, but that’s not even a minor bit of consolation.  At least he was honest.  He could have lied about what color he got, but he didn’t.  Still….


Any of you readers ever play poker at Turning Stone casino in NY?  I’ll be back up to Schenecta-hole in late June for a few days and will probably extend my trip by a day to check out the poker action if it’s worth it.  It looks like it’s only about a 2 hour drive away, definitely within striking distance.  If you’ve been, feel free to leave comments about the place and your impressions.


Big, long weekend coming up.  Apparently, there may be poker.  But also, I’m hoping to check out the new X-Men film.  How is that poker related?  Well duh.  Famke.  I think that says it all.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

I'm Sorry For This Lame Post

It's been so freakin' long since I won any form of tournament. Again, sorry for such a lame, boring, poker-blogger-in-2003 post.


Variance comes in many forms.  It’s the difference between getting dealt a bad streak of starting cards vs. getting dealt monsters six hands in a row.  It’s the fluctuations of your bankroll around its hopefully increasing average.  It’s the differences in playing styles among your opponents from table to table.

For me last night, variance was not getting paid off on monster hands when on most nights I would have.

Rarely do you have the stone cold nuts.  Often times you have close to it where you are pretty confident you have the best hand, and if push comes to shove, that’s exactly what you do with your chips.

Last night, I had the stone cold nuts three times.  Each of those three times I was bet into heavily.  On one occasion, when it was 3-handed on the turn, someone bet, the other player tripled that bet for a raise and I pushed.

And each time, everyone folded.

Those three hands, had they gone differently, were the difference between a winning and losing session.  Throw into the mix a cracking of AA by a draw chaser and you have a –0.4 buy-in result instead of a +2-3x buy-in result.


Monday, May 22, 2006


Uber-rambling, commence!


Friday night was a rare night.  The in-laws stepped up to the plate and took the kids overnight so that the Mrs. and I could spend an evening alone.  It was, after all, her birthday.  I repeated my performance of last year by going solo on a “grande” size margarita at a downtown Mexican place.  I continued with my drinking efforts at the Thai food place down the street.  Yes, that’s right, I mixed cultures.  Mexican appetizers and Thai cuisine for dinner.  My gastrointestinal systems says, “Hey, thanks.”

And such a night marked the first night in a while that I played zero poker.  And you know what?  When I woke up on Saturday morning sans-kids, poker hadn’t collapsed.  My bankroll didn’t even fluctuate.  Everything was right where I left it.  Shocking, I know.


What did the Mrs. get for her birthday?  I nice little iPod Nano.  For her, it’s all about the packaging and Apple does know how to package.  Score one for me on the good gift list.  Meanwhile, my 3rd generation clunker still works in all its monotone glory.


Recent musical recommendations:

The Absence – From Your Grave
Manntis – Sleep In Your Grave

See anything similar?  No?  Me either.  Except that they both ROCK!!!1!!!! \m/ and all that.


Saturday was nice weather, so the mini’s and neighborhood kids played sprinkler basketball.  That’s regular basketball, but with a sprinkler cooling everyone off on the court of play, in this case, our driveway.

When a neighbor came by with a plastic cup full of his favorite beverage, I decided to join him in some afternoon imbibing festivities.  Down here in South Cackalacky, it only takes two people on a porch to have an official party.

And damn that Otis for introducing me to a dirty Grey Goose martini.  I extinguished my entire supply of vodka on Saturday.  Off to Total Wine for some more.


As I continued to watch my bankroll shrink this weekend, a friend (who can out himself if he wishes) told me about crushing the 3/6NL game on Stars for a healthy amount.  Meanwhile, me and my donk self, had been considering dropping down from the 1/2NL game because there’s too much sand in my crotch.

Buoyed by a friend’s success, I sacked up and multitabled the 1/2 game for a really nice win late on Saturday.  Nearly tripling up on two different tables is a nice boost.  I really should be ashamed for considering moving back down.  It’s not like I didn’t have the roll for the current level, just the wrong attitude.

Each time my roll drops and I get all pansy-assed about it, I fail to realize that I’ve managed to overcome the dips and valleys each and every time only to come out of it on the other side with all time highs.

I should really have some more self-confidence.  But it’s a fine line between having too much and not enough.  My conservative self would rather err on the other side.


While the cash game is going moderately well, my tourney game is in the shitter.  Either that or PokerStars is simply making me lose on purpose.  Probably the former.  When I logged on to play in the Gemini Gemini tournament tournament, I realized my mind simply wasn’t up to the task.

In a cash game, you can take a chance with a moderate holding.  The blinds don’t grow and your stack is one click away from being replenished.  Not so in a tournament.  Obviously.

I donked off my stack to the Drizzler and then got rivered by the Spaceman in the span of about 5 minutes.  Just horrible play on my part.  I really should have just gone to bed instead of embarrassing myself like that.

My tourney game has degenerated so much that I really should consider re-reading some Harrington because I’m so incredibly bad right now.


And so it goes on this Monday.  Back to work, back to monotony, back to….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

You've Got Questions

From the desk of TripJax:

Q1:  What is the biggest mistake people make at a NL table?
A1:  Calling raises out of position with trouble hands like AJ, KQ, KJ.  Position is so important because it costs so much extra money to find out where you stand in the hand should you hit the flop with one of those holdings.  You almost need to flop two-pair or a big draw to even continue.

Q2:  What is the biggest mistake people make at a limit table?
A2:  Although I really don’t play much limit, saving/earning that extra big bet on the river seems to be one of the mistakes that over time really impacts your earn rate.

Q3:  Why do you play poker?
A3:  At first, it was for fun and the social aspect.  But over the past couple of years, when I realized that I could make some decent extra spending money, I began to take it more seriously.  After that, it became a big competition.  With myself.  For whatever reason, my brain is wired for discipline.  I welcome the slow, steady battle I wage with myself to try to become a better player.  It goes back to why I work out several times a week.  I’ll never be Mr. Olympia, but I sure as hell am in better shape than 90% of the 38 year olds out there.  I’m thinking long term.  When I’m 40, I’ll be in better shape than 92% of the same aged population.  When I’m 50, it will be 94% and so on.  I equate the above to never winning a major tournament, but steadily increasing my cash game winnings over time until it becomes a significant amount of money.

Q4:  If you weren’t playing poker, what would you be doing?
A4:  Being the mega dork that I am, I would probably be still heavily into the computer gaming scene and trying to squeeze that extra few FPS out of my tricked out gaming system.  I’d probably spend more time trying to improve my guitar playing too.

Q5:  What is your favorite poker book and why?
A5:  The Harrington on Hold ‘em Volume 2 book has more than paid for itself several times over.  Those of you who’ve read it will understand why.  Without that book, I’d be bubble boy forever.  With it, I’ve managed to win a few tourneys here and there knowing with full confidence that I’m making the correct decisions at the correct time.

Q6:  Who is your favorite poker player and why?
A5:  It’s tough to narrow it down to one, but I will say that I respect players who are respectful to both the game and their competition.  Greg Raymer comes to mind.  Ted Forrest is also very high on my list for both his cash game and tournament skills.

Q7:  Which poker player do you dislike the most and why?
A7:  I know all the big names read this site (*cough*), so rather than name names, I’ll tell you what kind of attributes a player can possess to make me dislike them.  Arrogance.  I hate it at the poker table.  (“That’s EXACTLY the hand I put him on.”)  Yeah, right buddy.  Entitlement.  (“It’s my time.  I really feel that I’m destined to win one of these things.”)  Seriously, shut the hell up.

Q8:  Do your coworkers know about your blog.
A8:  Yep.  Now get back to your transient modeling responsibilities Random101.

Q9:  What is the most you have won in a cash game or MTT (both live and online):
A9:  Live cash game win: tie between a G-Vegas Big Game and Day 2 at Tunica, both $700+  Online cash game win:  Over the course of one day and several sessions, also around $700.  Live MTT: The $430 I won in Tunica at a satellite during the WSOP circuit event.  Online MTT:  Winning a 180SNG for $1080.

Q10:  What is the most you have lost in a cash game or in one day total (both live and online)?
A10:  Live cash game loss:  Vegas, December ’05. $1200.  Online cash game loss:  Labor Day Weekend ’03.  $933.

Q11:  Who was your first poker blog read?
A11:  If you count Wil Wheaton’s blog, then it was that one during his Odessa series.  The first 100% poker content blog I read was the fine Sir Iggy.

Q12:  What satisfies you more, your aces holding up for a big pot or a bluff working for a big pot?
A12:  Easy.  The bluff.  Anybody can get dealt aces.  But not everyone can execute the perfect bluff at the perfect time to win a pot you had no business winning.  That’s what separates the players from the wannabes.

Q13:  Why do you blog?
A13:  I started the blog to chronicle my attempts at eliminating my $2100 deficit I had accrued in the first 6 months of playing online poker.  After successfully doing that in December of ’04, I continued the blog mainly to chronicle my progress (hopefully) as a player.  Does anyone besides me ever go back and read their old posts?  I do.  I’ll go back 1 year’s time about once a month to see where I was mentally and hope to see some measure of growth.  Now I just do it for the page rank and advertising cash.  Whore!

Q14:  Do you read blogs from an RSS reader like bloglines or do you visit each blog?
A14:  Bloglines for me.  But then I’ll usually go to the site to leave one of my many insightful comments.

Q15:  Would you rather play poker for a living than do what you currently do for a living?
A15:  To be honest, there are days here at work when I would love to just flip my badge in the trash and walk out, never to be seen again.  I have an “absurdity quotient” at work, and whenever that mark is reached, I get up from my desk and either walk around a bit or go workout.  The quotient gets reached earlier with each passing day.  To be your own boss and answer to no one is extremely appealing to me.  But right now, I don’t have the characteristics required to be a professional player with 100% of my income derived from the game of poker.  Maybe with another decade of playing under my belt an opportunity will come.  But for now, my family situation requires some form of stability, and this job gives me that in spades.

Q16:  Do you wear a tinfoil hat on occasion?
A16:  I don’t.  I believe that online poker is 100% not rigged.  It may be in some form of legal danger, but there is no conspiracy to make anybody lose any particular hand in any particularly brutal way.  If you think otherwise, you can’t see the forest for the trees.

Q17:  If you had to pin it down to one specific trait, what does a great poker player have (or do) that separates them from an average player?
A17:  Consistently play at their best level regardless of whether they’re winning or losing.  Especially when they’re losing.

Q18:  Is Drizz the coolest person on the planet for naming his baby Vegas?
A18:  Drizz is by far the most consistent blogger.  Every freakin’ day there’s a NickelandDimes update.  And that makes him the coolest.  And you know what?  I give props to Falstaff for wearing a kilt to the Winter Classic.  That’s cool too.  Like google maps.

Q19:  What is your primary poker goal and are you close to accomplishing it?
A19:  Doubling my previous year’s winnings each year.  2005?  Check.  2006?  I am on the proper pace to succeed, but only time will tell.

Q20:  What is your primary online site and why?
A20:  Right now, the majority of my money is on Full Tilt.  I like the software and the cash games there are always hopping.  I am cleaned out on Stars, but will of course redeposit there.  Their support and player base make it an attractive site to play.  I’ve also just recently signed up at WPEX for the rake free play.

Q21:  What site do you dislike and why?
A21:  Empire for banning me in a short-sighted reaction to my bonus whoring and Party because of their substandard customer support and buggy software.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

No Creative Title

Well, May has really blown.  Or sucked, depending on your pressure ratio.

I think my efforts to win large pots has backfired slightly and has cost me some coinage.  The Theory of Poker in effect states that you should play your hand in the same manner as you would if you could see your opponents cards face up.  Looking back the last few days and nights, I certainly wouldn’t change how I’ve played some of my hands, but I’d like to offer a new theory.

The Theory of Suckage.  Play your hand as if you know that your opponent will catch his miracle card to win.

What this effectively means is that rather than slow play your 85-90% favorites on the turn or river, you’ll bet them hard and win smaller pots.

I believe I’ve managed to play consistently aggressive when warranted.  However, I do know that I’ve been guilty of lapses when the aggressiveness goes awry.  It’s the aggressiveness that increases your long-term win rate, but it also increases your variance too.  So when my aggressiveness is not quite at the right level for the current situation and it causes me to lose a pot rather than win it, I get gun shy.  Compounding my problems, a lapse into passive play usually costs me a pot or two before I realize my errors.  All of a sudden, I’m in a larger hole.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

The negative feedback of bankroll depletion is tugging at my poker game.  To regroup a bit, I’ve temporarily stepped back down a level to work out some issues.  I’ve also taken to the full ring games rather than the shorthanded tables to work on patience.

Back to the front!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Grouping Leaves In The Yard After They Fall From The Tree

I had an interesting little weekend pokerwise.  During the Fri/Sat/Sun triumvirate, I probably lost less than one full buy-in, but logged a significant number of hands.  I believe I lost 5 to 6 huge pots where I was a huge favorite.  While those beats would have given me a strong weekend end result, I did take some solace in my ability to play consistently well over a long period of time.

I began efforts to track a couple of things to shed more light on how my online poker balance ebbs and flows.

Item #1 is a summary of all the bad decisions I make over the course of a session.  Each bad decision has next to it the amount of money it cost me.  Here’s just one example.  I made a crying call on the river holding AK on an AQxxx board, relatively confident that my opponent had AQ or another two-pair that beat me.  That one single bad decision cut my session win by one third.  It’s those things that add up over time and focusing on eliminating them will prove to be valuable in the long run.  Over the entirety of the weekend, there were 4 listings on my notes equating to one full buy-in of mistakes.

Item #2 is one that’s near and dear to our hearts.  I took the leap and signed up at the World Poker Exchange site, the one that offers 100% rake-free play.  Obviously, the rake is what makes the online sites thrive and prosper, so many people are wondering how a site can truly be rake free.  For the World Poker Exchange, the answer is two-fold.

First, they do rake the tables.  But then they give it back to you every Monday.  Holding onto the rake for a week does earn some interest, so it’s not “completely” free.  To the individual players, however, the loss of that interest is probably not a factor.  Also, World Poker Exchange is part of a larger sports wagering online site called World Sports Exchange.  Their move to rake-free poker is more of a loss leader type of business move, most likely trying to attract the poker playing market to their sports gambling site.

The rake that I’ll get back over the course of the weekend will amount to about half of a buy-in, so I would not call it insignificant, especially extrapolated over a month’s or year’s time.

But there are some downsides to the site that may make it infeasible to play there with 100% consistency.  The player base is small, the software is not without issues, and there have been game tables frozen for significant periods of time.  The frozen tables keep the players funds at the table locked up as well as reducing the number of tables said players can multi-table by one.  Also, the range of stakes available may not suit everyone.  Low to mid limit players should be able to find decent action however.  For me, if things continue to go sour for me on PokerStars, I may have no choice.  ;)

Off topic:  Word to the wise:  Don’t get so caught up in online poker that you forget to call your mother on Mother’s Day.  Because that’s bad.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Trigger Lock

There is still a leak in my NL game.  It manifested itself last night in somewhat of a bizarre fashion.  The source of the problem is using data not relevant to the current hand to shape your actions.  Frankly, it’s somewhat embarrassing, but I’m posting it anyway so I can refer to it later when I hopefully stop thinking in such counterproductive ways.

What set the stage for me was losing my stack in a simple little $10+1 turbo SNG on Titan poker (Titan had sent me a free $10 so I figured what the hell.)  Someone who needed runner-runner to beat me called my all-in bet on the flop.  It was comical and it really didn’t bother me, but for whatever reason its absurdity stuck with me.

I closed down the software and fired up Full Tilt, logging into a $200NL ring game.  I posted my $2 big blind in late position and on the very first hand I was dealt pocket Aces.  My mind immediately jumped to insidious thoughts.  These cards dealt to me on the very first hand on a brand new table were clearly evidence of a conspiracy against me to give me two consecutive brutal beats in a row on two different online sites.  It’s obvious to anyone who’s played online poker that this thought is completely rational.  Right?

When the player to my left raised pre-flop to $9, I just called.  And there, my friends, is my huge error.  I wasn’t going to let the online conspiracy get me this time.  If I were bound to get my Aces cracked, it would not be for my entire stack.  One other player called, which was disappointing because I had hoped that the other player’s raise would still be enough such that we’d be heads up to the flop.

The flop came QQ2.  A-ha!  I was right.  It’s even more evident now that I am bound to lose this hand.  The pre-flop raiser bet out $20.  I totally ignored the evidence that a good poker player would use to realize that this was a strong indication that he did not have a Queen in his hand.  I smooth called and the late position player folded.

The turn was a blank and the pre-flop raiser checked.  Again, more evidence that this player did not have a Queen, but still I checked behind.  Because I was not going to go broke on this hand, even though a good poker player would realize that pocket Aces were still good.

The river was a 3rd Queen.  And the pre-flop raiser bet $45.  A good poker player, not swayed by irrationality, would have realized that this action was completely and utterly consistent with him holding a high pocket pair and him feeling confident that I did not have a Queen based on my actions.  So I smooth called again.

I won the pot, about $160, because pocket Aces held up against pocket Kings.

And I was pissed.  At myself.  For a variety of reasons.

I should have stacked the guy.  At the very least I could have min-raised the river and got a crying call out of my opponent.  The biggest mistake was not re-raising pre-flop.  Had I done that, I am nearly 100% certain that we’d have got all our money in pre-flop.  I was brand new to the table and it was my first hand.  The guy with pocket Kings would have pushed had I re-raised, how could he not?

In the end, I left about $120 in equity on the table because I played the hand so weakly and passively.  And that is not the way to play strong, winning poker.  I’d like to say that perhaps I played it cautiously because a decent player could have made a good play with a Queen in his hand.  But I just sat down, had no reads, and more often than not, the action described above means that he did not have a Queen.

I’ve never won a hand where I felt so mad at myself afterwards.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

For Your Information

I found this link on  I know there are many bloggers out there who may be looking for some supplemental income, so I post this as simply an FYI.

Everyone else, carry on.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Parched With Thirst Am I

The last week has been very busy, perhaps you could tell by the drop in posting frequency.  My trip home from Schenectahole was thankfully uneventful, but a visit from the parental Bloods was looming.  My daughter was having her first communion Sunday and we’d be having a house full of company for the majority of the weekend.

Friday night would mark the 9th consecutive day that I did not play live poker.  I had a Jones for it the size of G-Rob’s head.  It’s funny; I go through phases with respect to the online/live poker split.  When I grow tired of one, I yearn for the other.

I coerced G-Rob to call my cell phone with a plan for mrsBlood to answer it.  That way, I could pawn off the idea that heading out to play in the underground game was all his idea.  That’s what we do in G-Vegas – we’re all fall guys for the other when it comes to convincing a reluctant spouse that so-and-so should in fact be allowed to “come out and play.”    I ended up getting more flack from my mom who, as I mentioned, was in town for a few days visiting.  I was burning up huge capital to go out and play poker, but in the end, I said “Fuck it, I’m playing.”

We arrived on the late side as the game usually starts at around 7pm.  Seats were scarce, but one opened up just as we arrived.  G-Rob and I flipped a coin to see who would get to sit first.  I lost.  And the craving grew.

After 30 minutes of waiting and drinking the free beer, finally a seat opened up.  A player had lost all his money on two hands.  The first was a coin flip; 99 vs. AK and the second was a flopped two-pair vs. a rivered flush draw.  He grew disgusted and left.  The seat would prove to be somewhat unlucky.

For the previous week, I’d been in somewhat of a card dead funk.  On Sunday night, April 30th, my records indicated that I was up for the year a sum greater than my entire 2005 winnings.  Since that fateful database query, my bankroll slowly but surely receded back down.  I wasn’t concerned, knowing full well that constant bankroll growth is impossible in poker.  I blamed a drought of big hands and some ill-timed bluffs.

When you combine card deadness with an itch to play, you often find frustration in the resulting mixture.  After folding for a good half hour, the following hand came up, which really shows how bad the play is at the raked game.

I’m on the button, and the rock is in play to my left.  For those unfamiliar with the rock, it’s a forced blind straddle.  In this $1/2 game, the rock is $5.  A bad player in middle position raises the rock to $25.  One of the few women regulars in the game pushes her short stack all-in with a raise to $48.  I look down at AK.  I’m willing to race with the short stack, so my move is to isolate.  I re-raise all-in to $123.  It’s folded back around to the original raiser who goes in the tank.  He finally calls.

Here’s what everyone is holding:  Short stack has AJo.  Nice.  The original raiser at first shows only one card.  It’s a ten.  I figure pocket tens and think that I’m in a tough spot because the short stack holds one of my outs.  Then the moron flips his other card.  It’s an Ace.  AK vs. AJ vs. AT.  I couldn’t have hoped for a better match up.

I reach into my wallet for a rebuy even before the flop hits the table.

Card dead streaks, plus good cards getting outdrawn equals crazy Blood tilt.  To be fair, I did not go on tilt per se, but I will confess to lapsing into the passive zone, which is nearly as costly.  The passive play continued on Saturday during some online play.  By Sunday morning, my peak bankroll had dropped by nearly 20%.

I’ve gone through similar drops before and will again.  When these downswings occur, my plan of action is to slow down a bit and begin booking some smaller wins.  Being content with any win is usually what gets me back to playing well.  If I grow too impatient and try to win back the losses too quickly by forcing things, then I usually just extend the downswing.  Sunday proved to be a decent day and I was able to recoup some losses with a renewed focus.

External distractions should subside for the coming week and I should be able to get back into the swing of the G-Vegas home game schedule.  And I’ll be right back here to report on it.  Because that’s what I do.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

miniBlood and Dial-a-shots

I have to do some traveling this week.  Unfortunately, it’s not the good kind of travel where a fun-filled excursion lies on the other end.  It’s work-related and my destination is Schenectady, NY.  Or Schenectegrad as it’s called in the winter months.  I need to be up there for a meeting on Wednesday and the only direction I’ve been given is the following email blurb:  “Please be prepared to share our current philosophy, including charts.”  Brilliant.  To those of you who play poker full time, you’re really missing out.  Dealing with the genius that is upper management on a daily basis is what drives me to succeed.  *cough*


With work being busy as well as the mini’s being active with sports this spring, I’ve not really had a bunch to write about.  I’ve been playing, and doing well, but nothing groundbreaking in the world of BadBlood on Poker.

So before I head out of town, a small nugget to tide you over.  I’m swinging from my wheelhouse right now – it’s yet another miniBlood story.

The scene is a Monday night Chip Challenge™.  I’ve taken the first pot uncontested and take an early 11-9 chip lead.  Before I can deal the next hand my cell phone rings.  I anticipated a local G-Vegas-ite calling to see if I could play that evening, but instead, it was a surprise dial-a-shot™ from AlCantHang.  He had BG, Big Mike and a few others at the bar drinking on a night reserved for the professionals.

I was unable to find a drink, but I told him of my current goings on with miniBlood.  Al tells me to tell miniBlood to go all in on the next hand.  miniBlood looks at me with a devilish grin, but only checks post-flop.  I caught top pair and bet out, but he folded.  I could hear the crushing disappointment on the other end of the phone as I relayed back to Al my son’s actions.  He need not have worried.

With a 12-8 advantage, the pre-flop action is on miniBlood.  He looks at his cards, looks at me, looks at the phone and says it:  “I’m all in.”  Great, thanks Al, teaching the kid to push like that.

While I know his hand range is wide here, I’m anticipating finding a fold with my cards.  However, I look down and find pocket 8’s.  A-ha!  “I call!  Whatchoo got boy, huh?”  (That’s how we talk down South, honest.)

He flips his cards down and shows J2o.  “You went all-in wiff Jack-hi!”  I yell to Al over the phone, “The kid went all in wiff Jack-hi.”  I feel a victory in this night’s Chip Challenge™ is all but sewed up.  Well, almost.

Here comes the flop.  Jack hi.  Al relays the info to the bar crowd and I can hear the laughter.  It only grows louder as I tell him that another Jack fell on the turn.  Only an 8 on the river can save me now.  It doesn’t come.  The devastation was total.  I was now down 16-4 and lost it all in the next two hands.

The lesson is that when Al calls, have a drink ready.  At least I’ll have the memory of miniBlood in fits of laughter to keep me company on my trip.  He thought winning that way was real funny.  Real funny indeed.