Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Behold the path that leads before you.  –Killswitch Engage – Take This Oath

The beauty of blogging about poker is that we’re all on the same path.  Granted, each of us is on a different part of the path, but from what I’ve read, the path itself is the same.

A year ago, I recall railbirding Otis at a $200PL table, marveling at his stack.  It was bigger than my entire bankroll.  I was playing $25NL at the time and confessed to him that I wished I could play at those levels.  His words to me were comforting, but at the same time discouraging, “You can play at this level, you’re better than most of the players I’ve played against.”  Perhaps true, perhaps not.  The only thing I was sure of was that I didn’t have the bankroll to play there.

Fast forward to today.  I’m still not at the $200 tables, but I’m closer.  I’ve finally and hopefully permanently moved up to the $100NL tables with a bankroll that allows me to withstand the inevitable swings that will occur.  After all, the path we’re on is littered with dangerous valleys and obstacles.  My bankroll is my cushion, my protection against the hazards.

What’s interesting to me is that I still get to look ahead on that same path to some bloggers who’ve traversed the difficult trail ahead of me.  It’s comforting to see those who’ve trail-blazed before me continue their progression upwards.  Also just as satisfying is that I can hopefully help those others that are behind me on the path avoid some of the same pitfalls.

A few local bloggers and players have recently entered the online poker arena.  I try to help them any way I can by discussing what I went through at those levels and giving them my perspective on what went right for me.  I do it because I enjoy helping.  And I’m thankful that those of you who are ahead of me continue to do me the same favors.

Again, that’s the beauty of blogging about poker.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


G-Rob IM’d me last night on the girly IM thing talking about a 9pm $10+1 MTT on FullTilt.  It didn’t take much convincing.  I had just lost to a 3-outer with all my money in good on the turn and was looking to lick the wounds just a bit.  I signed up and not soon after, Luckbox V1.0 signed up as well.  I went downstairs, grabbed a full glass of Shiraz and was off.

In Nostradamus-like fashion, G-Rob predicted we’d be at the same starting table.  We were.  As I mentioned yesterday, my tournament game is full of rust, puss, and other random bad crap.  So if I were to make any headway on December 10th, then I’d need some practice and this tourney fit the bill to a tee.

Much to my surprise, my AA held up.  So did QQ.  Amazingly, after the first break, I’m above average and had outlasted both of those UpForPoker hack jobs.  CJ replied that the buy-in and prize pool were so low that he didn’t bring his best game.  I know he was joking.  But only a little.

With over 60% of the field gone and me having plenty of chips, all of a sudden the FullTilt client froze on me.  I waited, figuring perhaps the tables were getting shuffled or some guy at my table on dial-up had disconnected.

Not so.

The entire site was down.  There were many a blogger in a near frenzy as there was a $14k guarantee in progress as well.  I IM’d Hank, but knowing that this type of technical problem isn’t his job (not to mention he’s not our own personal 24/7 support line), I told him of the impending crisis.  Like the brilliant man we all know him to be, he logged off YahooIM after telling me he was aware of the situation but couldn’t do anything about it.  I told him I’d see him 10 and he was off.

Unfortunately, it looked as though they had a server failure.

The good news is that my tournament buy-in was refunded.  I’m counting that as a cash.  Sadly, the other 400+ entrants also cashed, but I’m taking what I can get.


For those wondering about the dinner at The Nine, I’m thinking Friday night.  Anyone who’s interested, give me a heads up and I’ll try to make some reservations.  Otherwise we’ll go the Pauly route with a tip to the hostess.

Monday, November 28, 2005


So I get this email in my work inbox talking about some kind of “Blood Drive” this Wednesday.  I’m thinking to myself that I hadn’t planned on any trips this week, what the hell was this about?  Apparently my alter ego is taking over a larger part of my subconscious – a sure sign of impending dementia.


With ten days until Vegas, I still have no idea what to expect.  One thing is for certain – there is simply not enough time in the three days that I’ll be there to do everything I want.  I’ve made checklists before, but usually I’m too caught up in the moment to pay them any heed.  That won’t stop me from trying again, so here goes.

Short list of must-do’s

  1. Play poker at the Wynn.  I’ve not been there yet and am determined to make it there and maybe try my hand at the 10/20 mixed game that Felicia blogged about.

  2. Play in at least one $100+ buy-in tournament.  I hate my tournament game right now, but I plan to spend a little time between now and then attempting to make improvements.  I will be enlisting CJ next weekend to teach me the art of the suckout.

  3. Speak to the pros.  In December of last year, I was suffering from a bout of timid, drunk-ass-ness which prevented me from uttering a single word to either Ron Rose, Evelyn Ng, Marcel Luske, or Tom McEvoy.  All I have to say this time is look out Clonie.

  4. Eat.  During my October trip, one of the days I simply forgot to eat.  Thankfully, the Aladdin brought out cookies and donuts at about 7pm, otherwise I would have dropped about 10 pounds simply by sitting in a chair.

  5. Have at least one really nice dinner.  Tentatively, TheMark and maybe others are going to eat at the Nine at the Palms.  Anyone else who wants to join us are absolutely more than welcome.  The social aspect of a great dinner can never be overlooked.

  6. Buy Drizz a lap dance.  For those wondering, I too will accept free dances.  In fact, CJ and Drizz both owe me $1 from a last longer bet.  I will even accept those dollars to put into just about anybody’s g-string.  PS:  Thanks to Chad who dutifully x-ferred me the $1.  Dude, you could have waited until Vegas. (

  7. Have a listening party with AlCantHang.  He’s bringing our compilation CD to Vegas and I expect at least JoeSpeaker to be there.

Perhaps I’ll post a list of the might-do’s later in the week.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Get It

Pokerstars get’s it.  From what I’ve seen so far, they are doing a great job at fostering the poker blogging community.  We had the freeroll last month (granted, that included all bloggers – but you can’t seriously complain about that) and now they’ve contributed to the WPBT Winter Classic II as reported here.

The out-of-pocket expense is small, but the investment is worth it.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen companies that think only in the short-term at the expense of the long-term.  Pokerstars doesn’t have to contribute anything to the prize pool or send any company representatives to speak and hang out with us.  Most of us will still play there simply because it’s a quality site.  They’re spending some short-term dollars for some long-term goodwill.  It will pay off, of that I’m certain.

FullTilt also gets it.  They’re contributing to our event and having actually hired many of our brethren, have a great feel for what it takes to guarantee our future business.  They are paying cold hard cash for ad-space within the community and recognize what we can do for them.  From my perspective, it’s win-win.

Sadly, there are sites that do not get it.

Party Poker does not get it.  I haven’t played there in a bit, so out of their kind, gracious souls comes an email informing me that I’ve lost all my player points.  I had thirty days to cash them in or play at the site again, but because I wasn’t in the market for small, women's shirts, I lost my points.  I don’t respond well to “play here or else” ultimatums.  I will not be back there, regardless of the quantity of fish.

Empire Poker does not get it.  They banned my account a while ago because I only played there during bonus periods.  The debate has long since passed, but I still maintain that is the equivalent of a store like WalMart banning you from shopping there because you only did so when you had coupons.  Dumb fucking business model right there.  If you can only make sales when you operate at a loss, then there’s something wrong with your business model.  They did manage to differentiate themselves by being so fucking stupid.  Have fun going out of business.

Checknraise poker?  They get it a little.  They at least recognized when they were in trouble with a small player base and slow software.  They’ve remedied both issues to some degree, but it remains to be seen what else they can do.  They were certainly present at The WPBT Winter Classic I back in ’04, so they do get some of my business.

I certainly can’t wait for Saturday December 10th.  Seeing everyone again, meeting new folks, and supporting the sites that “get it” will truly be fun.

The real question:  Which strip clubs in Vegas “get it?”

Monday, November 21, 2005

Walking the Walk

I’m slightly premature with a year-end post, seeing how it’s only November and all.  But being slightly premature has never stopped me before.  Witness the miniBloods.

Moving on.  This past year of poker has been a bit tumultuous.

I remember beginning the year on quite a decent rush.  I had a weekend where I won about $1400 in both live and online games and was quite prepared to have a monster year overall.  But there was still a big problem.  I really wasn’t ready.

As I’ve documented before, I took shots at higher levels and failed each time.  My bankroll plummeted and by the summer, while still up for the year, my spirits were diminished.  Meanwhile, local legend G-Rob was killing every game he was in.  The guy was unstoppable and I’ll be honest and confess to being slightly jealous at the success he was having.  I was the guy who got him invited to my donkey home game and he was cleaning up.  (Aside:  Inviting other good players to your home game is –EV for you personally.  Duh.)

I quickly realized how silly it was to compare your results with someone else’s.  It’s one of the credos in the world of weightlifting and working out:  You are battling yourself and your own personal bests each workout.  Just because some one else can bench more than you, it doesn’t matter.  You’re there competing with yourself to better yourself.  It’s just like poker.

Beginning in July or so, I began to concentrate more on my game and made yet another attempt to ignore results and simply play a better, more solid game.  I started with a $200 live bankroll and a $200 online bankroll.  The goal was to simply grow the roll and be patient about moving up in limits.

Fast forward to today.  The results have been good, but what has really struck me is my reactions during losses.  Back to G-Rob for a second.  As he’s posted and as we’ve spoken about, he’s on a downswing.  That happens to every poker player on the planet.  He’s had Aces cracked in the most brutal ways and is reeling just a bit.  So when we’ve spoken, I’ve tried to help out by reiterating the mantra of variance and playing with a clear head.  I’m sure he’ll rebound, as good players do.

Coincidentally, this past weekend gave me a chance to put those same words I spoke to G-Rob to use.  I had Aces cracked hard twice in a row.  The second one, when I lost to a 1-outer when the guy hit quads after we both had our money in the pot, was a watershed moment.  Of course, I let out a “You gotta be fuckin’ kidding me.”  But then?  Nothing.  Nothing else.  I kept playing.  In fact, the guy typed “sorry” in the chat window and I simply responded, “np, happens.”

Sure the pot I lost was huge, but I managed to avoid letting that loss effect my play afterwards.  And that is where I’ve made the biggest leap this year in my poker play.  I’ve crossed some sort of line where the beats just don’t get to me like they used to.  It’s taken a while, but with each passing day, I can squash those rising feelings of tilt whenever I sense them.  I’m not 100% successful, but I’m far and away much better than I used to be.

I encourage everyone who hasn’t yet read “Zen and the Art of Poker” to do so whenever they can.  I’ll always need strategy books and the like, but at this point in my poker career, I am more interested in the psychology of poker and how it applies to my own play.  As much as there is to learn about poker, there is even more to learn about yourself.

Friday, November 18, 2005


G-Vegas is becoming a home game hotbed of sorts.  On Monday nights, there is the Big Game – a $200 NL ring game hosted at The Rick’s.  Wednesday’s, there is either a tournament at Frank the Tank’s or one at the house of Otit.  Thursday alternates between the limit dealer’s choice game and the $50 NL ring game.  Then on Friday, a game can usually be found at The Mark’s.  Add to that the random Otis-is-a-bachelor home game and the week fills up fast.

Online, the blogger-fest is growing too.  Thursday and Friday, we’ve got the Wil Wheaton Pokerstars events.  Saturday afternoon’s with the Dr. is always great fun, as is the Sunday Bill Rini event on Full Tilt.

That’s a ton of poker.  And someone isn’t too happy about it.  You have three guesses and the first two don’t count.

On Wednesday night, I got home late.  I found a bag of take-out for dinner on the table, so I chowed down fast.  There was a game at the Tank’s and if I were to make it, I’d need to hurry.  As I finished up, I went upstairs to check on the rest of the Blood’s.  The mini’s were showered up and getting ready for bed.  The Mrs. took one look at me and simply said, “Bye.”


That was the sound of my poker plans for the night coming to a grinding halt.

I looked down at my two hole cards and knew I was beat.  Based on Mrs_Blood’s tell, I mucked.  I phoned up G-Rob and informed him that I wouldn’t be making it to the Tank’s game.  Simply not showing up is uncool, but calling G-Rob ensured that I’d receive a ration of shit in the following days.

So there I was, thinking I was playing the good guy, sacrificing a poker game to spend some QT with she-who-shall-not-be-named.  I jest, it wasn’t that bad.  We watched some TV and spent a quiet evening together.  Long-term +EV is what I called it.

With Wednesday’s ginormous spousal equity booked, I greatly looked forward to the Thursday night game.  Things started off great.  I won the first hand, exchanged dial-a-shots with the ACHE and things started rollicking.  When G-Rob showed up, he asked me about Wednesday night’s absence.  “Did you get wifed?”  I nodded in the affirmative, but didn’t mind the ribbing.

Then the phone rang again.  Screeeeeeeeeeeeech.

That was the sound of my poker fun for the night coming to a screeching halt.  The Mrs was on the phone.  Apparently I left the house too quickly and didn’t get a chance to talk to her about my day.  The conversation was short, but the message was clear.  And then I felt it.  Yes my friends, a new form of TILT.  The unhappy-wife-making-you-feel-guilty-for-playing-tilt.

After I hung up the phone, I played one more hand.  Then I had to excuse myself.  If I didn’t rectify the situation pronto, I was going to erupt.  I went to the host’s garage and called the Mrs. back.  I won’t go into details, but after about 10 minutes of explaining how each of us felt about what was going on, disaster was averted.  Surprisingly, Mrs_Blood was assuaged enough to end the conversation with, “OK, now go take all their money.”  She’s a keeper.

When I got back to the table, the Thursday night crew warned me of an impending giant Milwaukee’s Best Light beer can coming through the ceiling to crush me.  Men should act like men, beer should taste like beer; but sometimes husbands have to act like husbands.  So don’t be surprised if I’m not available online much this weekend.  I owe someone else some of my time.  She’s earned it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Poker Puzzle

I’ve been playing in the Talking Poker forum’s Head’s Up challenge for the past few weeks.  It began with a field of 32, the top four places get paid some cash and various goodies based on the forum’s logo design.

I managed to work my way to the round of four and then won the first match in a best two out of three semifinal round.  But, alas, I dropped two consecutive matches last night to get eliminated.  As is with most headsup matches, timing is of the utmost importance.  Last night, it seemed every bluff I made was picked off by a better hand, and every made hand I had was outdrawn.  The final hand saw me push with AA and lose to a 5-outer on the turn for trip tens.  I may get to play for 3rd place with one final match, but I’m not sure when that will take place.


More interestingly, the forum’s creator Mark came up with a really cool poker related question.  I’ll simply cut and paste it for you here.

Situation: Texas Hold Em. Two players in the hand. There are four cards on the board, with only the river card left to come.

Describe a situation where the hand that is currently winning can NEVER win the pot after the river card is dealt. More specifically, in the situation I am looking for, the currently losing hand has exactly 19 outs to win and 25 to tie (there are 44 unknown cards in the deck).

Yours truly came out the winner.  Before you go on over to find out my answer, give it a shot yourself.  It’s a neat little question, IMHO.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


I have arrived back in G-Vegas with a successful trip under my belt.  The Pats managed to win the game against the Fins and all was good.  Saw a couple of fist fights up in the nosebleed seats where I was.  I just watched the general idiocy all the while thinking that it was a good idea to stop serving alcohol at the start of the 3rd quarter.  Prior to the game, however, I introduced the parental Bloodclan to dial-a-shots with AlCantHang.  Kudos to Dolphin Stadium for having hard liquor available, but 1000 shames for not having Southern Comfort.

I arrived back early enough on Monday to play in the G-Vegas big game, but was informed that it was cancelled.  The reason for cancellation was that many of the players were heading to Las Vegas on Thursday.  Confused?  Yeah, me too.  Why cancel playing on Monday unless you’re bankroll limited?  Oh well.


For anyone who didn’t realize that I can be bought, let me set the record straight and say that I can.  To wit, a few months ago, Noble Poker gave me a “please come back” $20 deposit.  Not being one to turn down free money, I played for a while and managed to turn that $20 into $1000+.  Alas, the bogus software interface finally made me leave for good.  Enter Checknraise poker.  A couple of weeks ago, they too sent me a “please come back” $100.  It was not without trepidation that I logged back onto their site.

Just to set the record straight, I’m not affiliated with Checknraise whatsoever.  I have been the recipient of some goodies from that site thanks to their marketing rep being at the December ’04 WPBT Classic, but that is all.  For a while I played there but grew ever more leery about their 200 count player base.  Fears of losing my deposit and trouble finding a decent NL ring game caused me to cashout from that site expecting never again to reload.

I had received emails about them joining another network and overhauling their software, but I honestly expected that I’d blow my $100 free roll and not think twice about making Checknraise simply a temporary distraction.

Color me surprised when I found out that their player base had grown to around 7000-8000 players.  Also, they had made a downloadable software client available so that you wouldn’t have to rely on their Java-based web client.  The client even has their Fold, Call, and Raise buttons linked to function keys, so you don’t even need to use the mouse to play if you don’t want to.

As for the talent level of the player base, I’d rank them on an equivalent basis as those players on the former Noble/Titan poker network.  Not so good.  Either that, or I’ve morphed into a NL ring game Deity.  I’ve grown the $100 into over $1250+ in a matter of two weeks.  Trust me, I’m not that good.

I also made a cashout and can pleasantly report that it took only 1 day to get it into my Neteller account.  That’s not too shabby either.  I originally only planned to play there as long as it took to clear my checkpoint bonus, which would allow me to cashout the original $100 stake.  But as I approach that milestone, I’m finding it difficult to halt my play there altogether.

So perhaps I’ll linger on that site for a bit longer.  I still have much of my online bankroll at FullTilt and Pokerstars, but as long as I’m seeing such favorable results, I can’t turn away.  Because, like I said, I can be bought.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Upcoming Weekend

I'll be travelling to Florida this weekend, a solo trip to go to the Pats/Dolphins game with the parental Bloods. If things work out, I may be able to hit up the Fort Myers dog track for some $1/$2 Omaha8 which I hear is a gold mine for nut peddlers.

Since I don't leave until Saturday AM, I should be able to play in the Wil Wheaton tourney tonight on Stars. Sadly, I'll miss both the Dr. Pauly Saturday tourney and the Bill Rini Full Tilt tourney.

Last night, I played in a home game where the high point of my evening occurred on hand #1. I'm dealt 85h in the BB and call the SB's raise after it had been folded around to him. The flop was 679 with the 67 being hearts. I know I'm good, but choose to simply call the next bet. The turn is the 3 of hearts giving me the flush. Normally, I'd have to protect my flush at this point because it's very vunerable to what is most likely one heart overcard in the SB's hand.

However, the turn bet is the same as the flop bet so I smooth call again. The river? Money. 9 of hearts. SB, with the Ace of hearts in his hand goes all in. Uh, call?

The look on Teddy Ballgame's face was priceless. The $100 pot he thought he was going to pull came my way thanks to the straight flush. Most of you will hate the all-in bet from Teddy here, as the board paired on the river making his kinda-sorta-but-not-really-nut flush potentially second best to a full house or better hand.

I, however, LOVED the all-in bet here.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Pass the Sugar

By all indications, Joe Hachem seems like a very nice person and a quality poker player.  But I’m calling foul on his exclamation after calling Andrew Black’s all-in bet.  Recall Black had flopped a set of Queens on an all-club board.  Hachem held the nut flush.

“Pass the sugah!”  Down come the cards onto the felt face up.  Huh?  What is most likely an Aussie colloquialism comes off a bit odd to this viewer.

Still, I have to wonder if Phil Hellmuth calls that bet if he were in Hachem’s place holding the nuts since he’s so susceptible to re-draws.

“Honey!  I was supposed to double up that hand.  But they forgot to tell these guys I can dodge 70:30 favorites with the best of ‘em.”

But back to “Pass the sugah!”  Were other players in a similar situation, we could have had entirely different new catch-phrases:

AlCantHang:  “Pass the SoCo!”
Dr. Pauly:  “Pass the bong!”
TheMark:  “Pass the TUMS!”
Otis:  “Indeed, for I have flopped the nuts, shall I rejoice?  Yes, friends, indeed I will.”
BadBlood:  “Pass the protein powder!”
JoeSpeaker:  “Pass the metrosexual cologne that makes me smell so sweet to the ladies!”
BobbyBracelet (grabs crotch): “Pass the sausage baby!  HUGE-JUNK, right here!”
AlCantHang:  “I said pass the SoCo, not some wussy half-shot shit.  Where’s Big Mike?  Ahoy-hoy!”
G-Rob: “Pass the moonshine.”
Shep “8-ball” Tiltstein:  “Pass the Budweiser.  Yeah, that crap.  I  love it.”
Maigrey: “Pass the Tiara”
Dr. Pauly:  “Dude…”
Derek: “Look bro, it’s my turn.”
Iggy:  “Pass the uber-Guinness”
PokerProf:  “Pass by reference.  You know, because it’s an array of pointers to double precision variables.”
G-Rob:  “Pass the extended-hold hairspray!  FYI: I’m not wearing pants.”
BG:  “Pass me some cooking wine!”

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


For the record, my post was really poking fun at the English that was auto-translated from the French-based web page.

Some of my best friends are French. :)

Le Gee-Raube, Oteeze, Alouishous de la Hangue, Ze Doctor Pauli, and Daddy the Donkey Fucker.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Lost in Translation

Every now and then I check via StatCounter the “came from” section.  It’s interesting to see how people make it over to my blog.  Most of the entries aren’t suprising, but every now and then I get a new link up from someone, somewhere.  I’ll end up visiting that site and checking it out mainly out of curiosity.  Today, I went here:

It’s all in French, and I can’t read French.  Well, I can read it, but I can’t understand it.  So of course, I translate the page using the babelfish utility on altavista.  As I’ve mentioned before, I love the translations that come out of those tools.  The page is simply a list of some poker blogs with a brief description of each.

Here are some gems:

The Cards SpeakAn impassioned young man of Poker delivers to us here the accounts of his adventures with face discovered (photo in the profile).

I’d like to hear some of Hank’s adventures prior to him discovering his face.

Guinness and PokerA blog in the purest style of the kind with its thoughts, its states of heart and its opinions. To note: an impressive list of bonds towards others blogs!

Nothing about dwarfism, which is sad.

Las Vegas and Blog PokerA collaboratif blog!!! If simple seemingly, it is in fact one of the things most complicated of the Web but which give also the most enthralling result!

Leave it to Poker Prof to make the complicated seem easy.

Bad BloodNothing will be censured, it will say all to you on its best performances like the worst. In premium, the detailed account of its trips in Las Vegas.

I say to this:  “Go <censure> yourself.”

A Post with Words

Just some weekend ramblings here….I can’t be all serious all the time.

Thursday night donk game – down $40.  Sadly, the game I introduced to the group was my undoing.  Match the pot if you lose cost me over $80, otherwise I’m in the black.  Nothing spectacular went on, it was probably one of the most mundane Thursday night affairs in a while.

Friday night at The Mark’s – down $110.  Two tournaments and two times I went all-in against the nuts.  Brilliant!  I need serious work on my tournament game.  Only interesting note is that the second tourney was a NLO8 game.  Pot limit is a bit too much for the minds of many G-Vegas-ites to grasp, so rather than be able to do simple math, we’ve adjusted the game so that you can still push your entire stack in whenever you want to.  Rock on!

Saturday night at my house – up $23.  Played a $20 10-person tourney without any cards.  I had QQ once, but folded to an Ace-high flop bet from the SB who called my PFR.  Oh well.  Happens.  Busted out 6th.  Mrs_Blood outlasted me.  She did flop quad K’s but didn’t get paid off.

The Saturday ring game was a wild affair.  The post below set the stage.  We had a newcomer to the festivities who would overbet many pots whenever anybody checked to him.  He just needed a pair, any pair, to make a bet.  We originally had two tables going and I managed to nearly double my buy-in against him simply by slowplaying some made hands.  He bought in 3 times before we condensed to one table of nine players.

Then came the hand.  New guy is UTG and bets $10.50.  Yes, that’s a 21x BB raise.  It’s folded back around to G-Rob who’s in the BB.  G-Rob, having a monster stack and easily covering the new guy, goes all-in.  New guy gets a big puzzled look on his face.  All the other players are LOVING the confrontation.  New aggressive guy, meet G-Rob, he invented aggression.  New guy, decides that AJo is good enough to call $125 with and gets to see G-Rob’s AA.

The flop was 9JJ.  What a train-wreck of a hand that was.  G-Rob paid the new guy and resumed his style of play, all the while feigning being on tilt.  New guy cashed out for $396 and will be invited back every time we have a game.  Without fail.

By 3AM, we were a bit punchy.  That’s perhaps why the following two things made me laugh harder than I have in a while.

Item 1:  TeamScottSmith tells a pirate joke.  A pirate walks into a bar with a steering wheel tied to his testicles.  The bartender says “Man that looks painful.”  Pirate says “Yeah, it’s drivin’ me nuts.”  Brilliant.  It gets even funnier when TeamScott mentions how a buddy of his constantly mis-tells that joke by fumbling the punch-line.  “Yeah, it’s steerin’ me balls.”  Steerin’ me balls.  I love mis-told jokes better than the originals.

Item 2:  G-Rob decides to poke a little fun at Otis’ Sunday night coverage of the Stars tourney.  “It must be fun covering some guy from Sweden named Felljiglop and his play at the final table.”  Jabbing Otis wasn’t the funny part, it was the name G-Rob came up with.  Felljiglop.  That’s right up there with his fictional suckout artist Bitch Suckleton.

Probably had to be there for both of those things, but I laugh each time I think about them.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

When 11:1 isn't enough

Ask G-Rob about preflop odds some time.

cards win %win loss %lose tie %tie EV
Ac Ad 1559967 91.10 131370 7.67 20967 1.22 0.9172
Js Ah 131370 7.67 1559967 91.10 20967 1.22 0.0828

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Minutes and Seconds Are Passing Us By

I was actually going to do some real work today, but the comments in the previous post require a response.  Before I go any further, thanks to everyone who has left comments thus far, they are both reassuring as well as thought provoking.

First off, taking a month off cold turkey is something I cannot do.  Even if I tried, I’d surely fail.  I could take a month off from working out were I to be physically injured, but because poker is a mental game, nothing short of a complete intellectual breakdown would get me to take more than a day or two off.

I too impose limits on my play.  In fact, the last two nights I have played 1 SNG only.  (Cashed in both, thanks ().  Last night, with a live tournament at a local G-Vegas player’s house scheduled, I did not attend; rather I stayed in for date night with the Mrs.  Still, I longed to play.

I too have goals to reach.  The great part about poker is that once you reach one, you can set a new higher one for yourself.  Without looking too far ahead, I’d like to continue at my current level and make some cashouts.  I’d like to buy some goodies for the family straight from poker winnings.  Things like that.  I’ll re-assess at some point early next year.

As is the case for most of us, late night sessions are where we usually are able to find the time to play.  For me, the cost of those sessions is being more tired than normal the next day at work as well as a diminished capacity for a decent workout the following day.  That latter consequence is actually one of the reasons that led me to rethink my current situation.  The last couple of weeks, I’ve made a point to get adequate sleep and rest.  And wouldn’t you know it, I’ve set personal bests at the gym.  (295 lbs. for 8 reps without a spotter on the bench)  I missed that.  It had been quite some time since I’d made any real progress.  I attributed the lack of it to my age, but the adjustments I’ve made to my sleep schedule have proven otherwise.

As CJ points out (whether he meant to or not), I’ve actually saved money thanks to poker.  It was just last Friday that me and the Axeman lamented the fact that our attendance levels at various local establishments has been down this year.  Way down.  In fact, with the Axeman’s recent increase in poker play coupled with mine, I think both of us have found something more productive to do with our time.  Still, we owe it to those poor working girls to get back there sometime soon.

Lastly, I will use the Otis experiment and ask myself what I’d be doing if poker didn’t exist.  Strangely enough, his LAN party comment isn’t too far off base.  I used to spend so much time on computers it wasn’t funny.  At my peak, I had six functioning computers in the house.  I designed my home network topology, built my own Linux box for fine tuning a better firewall, and built every single computer I own from scratch.  And I loved it too.  Now, I find that any computer issue is tiring because it detracts from time I could spend playing poker.

I used to play more guitar too.  I’d always be in search of the ultimate effects pedal or the best distortion sound from an amplifier.  That was fun too.  Now, I’ll tool around for maybe 20 minutes at a time with some tried and true riffs.

Perhaps it boils down to this:  I do not want to be a selfish person.  Deep down, I know I have the capability to be one, especially based on some behaviors I’ve seen from my parents.  I obviously inherited some of those traits from my mother.  Without being able to control how much time you spend on a hobby, any one of us has the potential to overdo it.  And I don’t want to.  Some of you may say that the simple fact of me having second thoughts about my play time guarantees that I’ll keep myself in check.

I sure hope so.

And thanks again to the commenters.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Flowing Like A River To The Sea

Welcome to Radio Shack.  You’ve got questions, we’ve got blank stares.  Found that gem on Slashdot once.

Anyway, it’s I who have questions, post your blank stares in the comments if you wish.

I’ve had some internal dialogue with myself (not as disturbing as internal gas, mind you) and wondered about the time commitment that playing poker requires.

In that Martin Short synchronized swimmer skit voice:  “I’ve been playing a lot of poker.”  (For the clueless, he originally says “I’m not that strong a swimmer.  Guess you had to be there.)

Anyway, back to the point.  I’ve been spending a bunch of time playing, both online and off.  I’ve managed to justify to myself that it’s a worthwhile investment of time since I have financial gains to show for my efforts.  But how much time is too much?  That is the question.

If poker is truly the hobby that I claim it to be, then I should be able to scale back a bit and suffer no consequences.  Keeping it on the recreational level means just that.  But what if it’s not?  What if all this time investment is supposed to lead to greater things?  It most likely won’t, but if it did, then I could more easily justify this time expenditure.  Can’t let the mad skillz deteriorate, you know.

But I’m not sure I can justify it.  I suppose if I looked at my winnings on an hourly rate, I’d be sorely disappointed.  There’s a chance I’d be better off asking if you want fries with that.  Perhaps that’s why the one thing I do not document is my time investment.  It might be too scary to look at.

Does anyone else feel that they’re spending too much time playing?  Being the addictive personality type that I am, I know I’m perhaps beyond the threshold of normalcy.  I certainly don’t want to cut back, but there is that tiny voice inside my head recommending that perhaps I should.

If only that pesky job of mine didn’t get in the way, I could free up a bunch of time.