Saturday, April 30, 2005

Home Game Redux

I managed to put together a home game last night, a .25/.50NL ring game. My normal
procedure for setting up a home game is to email my ever-growing mailing list at the
beginning of the week and send updates as the week progresses. This gives me time to get a rough feel for how many players I'll have and whether or not I need to coerce anyone who's on the fence into playing.

This week I had to take Thursday and Friday off from work as Mrs_Blood took a weekend trip up to Boston and left me with the minis. (Note to self: How did that happen?) By Wednesday, it looked as though I only had about 5 or 6 definites for Friday's game. I'd like to at least have a table of 8 or so, as usually some people drop a buy-in or two and leave.

By the time everyone showed up on Friday, we had 15 players. Largest. Home game. Ever.

I had to break the action into two tables for much of the evening. We had a mix of some new blood, old schoolers and a new blogger hit the Blood table. Wes from over at BigPirate managed to make the drive from Columbia to G-Vegas and actually was the first player to arrive.

Old schooler's like Teddy Ballgame showed up a bit late and a bit intoxicated. He was the first to drop two buy-ins and take off not soon after. G-Rob and Otis made their requisite appearances, the latter after having hooked up some babysitting action. The Crawfish and MikeD arrived ready to play as did nearly the entire Smith family: TeamScott, Shep, and the Wolverine. Frank the Tank, the winner from the tourney held earlier this month, brought his aggressive style into the mix as well.

I'm not too supersticious, but I generally don't do well when I win the very first hand of the evening. So when I look down to see a couple of black Aces on the first hand, I'm a bit taken aback. I manage to win a decent sized pot against CrawFish's pocket T's and I was off and running.

The cards were flying at this table as hand 1 had me holding pocket A's. Hand 2 had Team Scott Smith holding pocket K's and hand 3 had someone else holding pocket A's again. Crazy start. I dropped some of my stack when I ran into pocket A's twice in the next 30 minutes holding top pair.

My first buy-in was extinguished holding AQ on a A-high flop when I ran into A5. The 5 happened to be a spade and matched the 4 others on the board, of course coming runner-runner.

My second buy-in lasted quite a while without doing much of anything. As players left here and there, we condensed to 1 table of 10 players. At this point, G-Rob and MikeD were the massive chip leaders, both with over $300 in front of them. In fact, I had to break out the green $25 chips to accomodate G-Rob's stack - he was quite proud of being the only person of the table with the alternative chip denomination.

If I were to make my buy-ins back, I knew it would come at the hands of the big stacks. Unfortunately, G-Rob and his aggressiveness were directly to my left. When I found the Hilton sisters UTG, I made it $3.50 to go. G-Rob came over the top for $7 and it was folded back to me. With his stack and his play style, I felt he could have had just about anything, so I took my time to think out the next play. In my mind, I felt he would call if I came back over the top all-in due to both his huge chip stack and his play style, so that's just what I did. He called relatively quickly and showed AJo. A queen on the flop let me double up back to my initial $100 buy-in level so I was a bit more able to be patient and wait for other premium hands.

I actually had to lay down one of those premium hands, AK of spades, when faced with a pre-flop re-raise from TeamScottSmith, followed by a raggedy flop. I initially put him on AK as well, but figured there were too many pocket pairs he'd also re-raise with. That scenario put my call of his post flop bet at -EV so I folded face up. TeamScott showed his pocket A's and I was glad to have folded, but much more glad an Ace didn't hit the flop. I'd have gone broke.

The hand of the night, without question, came when MikeD put Shep all-in on a 889 board. Frank the Tank came along for the ride, but his T9 was totally outclassed by MikeD's T8 and Shep's 68. Post flop, MikeD was a huge favorite with easily $200 in the pot. When a 6 hit the turn, the entire table erupted in ooh's and ahh's. But they were immediately drowned out by the subsequent screams when Shep's 3-outer was outdrawn my MikeD's two-outer T on the river. Just amazing.

By 2AM most had decided to leave, but a few stallwarts lasted until 3AM, mainly the Smith family. I managed to pull a profit for the evening when my 63o flopped two-pair and became a boat on the river, busting the Wolverine's trip 6's.

My live play is so far and away miles above my online play, it's ridiculous. I can make laydowns live that I could never do online and I have no idea why. Perhaps it's the idea that it's easier to bluff online with no obvious tells to give and that I'm pretty decent at reading people in live play. I'm not touting Hellmuthian-like soul probing abilities, but at least with some of the people with whom I play regularly, I can at get some additional information about their hands that I can't get online. Whatever.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Thanks to Hank

It's not what you know, it's who you know.

boolean bloggerHasNotPissedMeOffLately = true; //pretty sure anyway...:)
boolean bloggerHasNotWonLately = true;

string bloggerName = "BadBlood";

if (bloggerHasNotPissedMeOffLately && bloggerHasNotWonLately) {
else {

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


For those of you who work out with weights....*chirp*....*chirp*....then you may have heard of a term called negatives. In any weightlifting movement, when you lift the weight against the force of gravity, that's called a positive. Bringing it back down is of course a negative.

Physiologically, the human body can handle more weight while performing a negative than a positive. During a negative, you're only slowing the weight's decent, while during the positive, you have to overcome the gravitational force on the mass. Pretty simple, eh?

Weight trainers sometimes purposely do negatives with weights they could not possibly handle otherwise in an attempt to "shock" their body into growth. If you're stuck at a plateau, sometimes performing negatives breaks down your muscle fibre more than your normal workout would and growth is induced.

What the hell does this have to do with poker? *more chirping*

For me, I seem to be stuck making a move from the .25/.50 NL games to the .50/1 NL games. I'm way up this year at the former, and way down this year at the latter. Because I refuse to be stagnant and linger at the .25/.50 tables (statis == death), I definitely feel a need to succeed at this next level.

My poker negative was jumping to the 2/4NL game for a bit.

For whatever reason, when I jump levels, my poker brain has a difficult time adjusting to losing sessions, even losing hands, that are effectively double what I'm used to. My game plan was to jump to 2/4 for a couple of sessions, numb myself to the swings, and drop back to the .50/1 level and achieve a comfort level that has eluded me thus far.

What have my results been so far?


My first session was at Party Poker where I unceremoniously dropped my $395 buy-in. My second session at Full Tilt saw me recoup a little bit for +$143. Overall, I'm down, but I hopefully have experienced large enough swings at 2/4 such that .50/1 will seem like .05/.10. We shall see how my little experiment pays off.

I knew going into this deal that I could lose a fair amount of cash, but I was treating it in terms of being an investment at better play in the long-term. Time will certainly tell.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Key Hand Analysis

Here are a couple of key hands for me in last night's tournament, perhaps they'll be interesting to some of you out there. Or perhaps not. If not, then "Screw you, Mellon!"

My first big hand of the evening was finding pocket K's on the button. A blogger named micon min-raises from UTG to T80. I re-raise to T200 and it's folded back to him. He pushes all-in and I quickly call. I figure if he's got AA, so be it; otherwise I'm here to win, not play timid. micon flips up AK and doesn't catch his A and I double up.

I'm quickly moved to another table and appear to have one of the bigger stacks at the table early on. My method to my madness was to be aggressive and force some action to accumulate chips. I'm then dealt JT of spades and raise 3xBB. F-train is in the big blind and defends. The flop is T-high with two spades giving me top pair (ass kicker) and a mediocre flush draw. F-train pushes and I think I'm good. I figure either I'm behind with a better draw or ahead with a worse draw. Unfortunately for F-train, I'm both ahead and have the better draw as he shows T3 diamonds. No two-outer for him (3-spades gives me the flush) and F-train is out.

Later in the tourney, I grab a big pot when I'm all in again with KK. This time I'm up against AJ and the flop comes AKx. Luckily for me no J showed up, because another A on the turn gave me the under-boat K's full of A's to beat out trip Aces.

Much later, when I think we're down to two tables, I'm in the big blind with pocket T's. Hank is on the button, and is playing a similar aggressive style. He raises a standard raise which is smooth called by Jason in the small blind. Rather than just call (a weak move), I re-raise to 3x Hank's original raise. He chats "I thought that was coming" and folds. Jason, re-raises me all-in, and based on his original call, I feel my hand is the better of the two and call. Jason shows pocket 6's and doesn't catch his set. Perhaps he didn't realize I'm immune to losing against trip 6's. I feel that my pre-flop re-raise won me that hand because the board showed a bunch of over cards like K's and A's, and would have most likely gave Hank the winner.

At the final table, my undoing came in the following manner.

I'm dealt AJ in middle position and made a decent raise, only to be re-raised by Joe from Obituarium. I call looking to see a flop, understanding that I might be behind. The flop is KJx and I check. Joe bets out T3000 which from my perspective is small-ish given the current size of the pot. I check-raise, but my mistake was only raising the min to T6000. Perhaps Joe read this as a steal attempt and went all in. I went in the tank and ended up folding to Joe's pocket Q's. He made a great read there, as pushing with Q's on a K-high board after getting check-raised was a bit on the risky side. That crippled me a bit to having only about 6xBB.

I ended up folding pocket 4's pre-flop in early position which turned out to be a good move as there was an all-in between pocket 6's and T's. A few hands later, I'm dealt pocket 3's and decide to raise. Bob Respert re-raises and it's folded back to me. At this point, I have to hope it's a race and have to call as I wouldn't really be left with a playable stack otherwise. I call to see Bob's pocket T's and don't improve. IGHN.

The railbirds seemed to predict that I'd make the final two along with Hank. It's odd, but I've not really put much thought into how my play is perceived by the other bloggers. Regardless, I certainly appreciate the sentiments and kind words. We truly have a great bunch of people out there and some damn fine poker players. Again, congratulations and best of luck to Bob in the WSOP!

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Satellite Results

Brought my A-game, but it was only good for 9th. After the first break, I was 1st out of about 35-40 players. After break 2, I was 3rd out of 11. Made the final table and shit the bed. Two key hands that cost me were AJ vs QQ and then the coup de grace was pocket 3's losing to pocket T's. At least I lost to the eventual winner.

Big, big, big, big congrats to Bill...,err Bob, yes Bob at One2Many.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

My Submission

Life is just a fantasy, can you live this fantasy life? - Aldo Nova


I'd be remiss if I didn't rise to my own challenge...


I can't believe I just clicked the wrong button. As I'm sitting there on PokerStars with 10 players left hoping to make the final table, I watch as Iggy goes all-in from the button trying yet again to steal my blind. Having been dealt J,4o for what seems like the 20th straight time, I don't believe I can defend. It's at just that moment when miniBlood walks into the room having awoken from his sleep, apparently from the sound of me slapping my monitor at the craptacular cards I've been dealt.

I had been chip leader for a while, but had been blinded away to slightly below average stack. My dreams of finishing first were being slowly dissipated by the reality of a very cold virtual deck. As I turned to usher miniBlood back to the comforts of his own bed, he stepped on his own blue and white plaid blanket and stumbled forward. In my haste to catch him, my own reflexes must have inadvertantly moved the mouse over the "call" button and before you could say "D'oh!" I was all-in pre-flop with the Jackhammer.

Having saved miniBlood from a minor spill, I wasn't too suprised to turn back around to the computer monitor to see that Iggy had pushed with pocket J's. I was, as they like to say, dominated. I lifted miniBlood up into my arms and told him to watch daddy lose this hand and his chance at futher glory at the World Series of Poker. With sleep still in his eyes, miniBlood calmly looked up at me and said "Daddy, you need fours."


Ninety minutes after flopping quads, I managed to use the Blogfather's chips to propel myself to an unlikely victory. Event #2 had my name all over it.


When I originally made plans to take Mrs_Blood to Vegas, Otis had approached me about playing in the $1500 NL event. I wasn't sure I was ready to directly buy-in, but now that I had won the satellite, we could begin discussions to determine what the respective wives would do for the bulk of that Friday. We both needed them to be somewhere else to ensure that we could have full concentration during the tournament. A day of spa treatments and shopping was the solution. Even though it could cost us a pretty penny, the peace of mind it would buy was well worth it.


Event #2 attracted 1300 participants and due to it being scheduled for only 1 day, I knew the structure wouldn't be ideally suited for a sit back and wait attitude. Time to put on the aggression hat. My aggression hat comes in the form of alcohol. Not enough to make AlCantHang feel a buzz, just a little to wipe out the affects of adrenaline. My pre-game meal of SoCo, Heineken and beef jerky would last me until the tournament started, at which point I would order nothing but Bloody Mary's loaded with green olives for sustenance.


With my custom made "BadBlood" card protector, WPBT jersey, and World Champion Boston RedSox hat in tow, I was more than ready. The Sox hat was there to remind me that the improbability of victory shouldn't concern me and that I should just play poker to the best of my ability.

Luckily for me, I sat down at my first table and found no seasoned professional players. I was able to double through early when some moron wearing a Party Poker hat let me see a free flop from the big blind. I held 79s and flopped the nut straight. I had room to breathe and began to play the waiting game.

With a crowd of blogger onlookers, I was sorely tempted to throw down the hammer at some point. The only time I held the hammer, it was in the big blind and everyone folded. I flipped my cards face up and told the rest of the table they were lucky to avoid a confrontation. Chants of "Hammer! Hammer!" rose up from the peanut gallery and I was reminded of my Mandalay Bay 4/8 Hammer Drop. Excitement was brewing.


Three-quarters of the field had been eliminated as we went on dinner break. My chip count ranked me at about 150th of the remaining 300 and I was quite content to be where I was. Otis was also still alive, but was outplaying just about everyone, landing him among the chip leaders. With the wives still having their way with our credit cards, we scored a major coup with an invitation to eat dinner with Shana Hiatt, Vince Van Patten, Daniel Negreanu, Chris Ferguson, Richard Brodie AND Dr. Pauly. AlCantHang was having a liquid meal. I would have taken notes during diner, but Dr. Pauly and the Quiet Lion would have much more interesting reads so I deferred to them.


After dinner as the field narrowed, I stayed afloat through standard blind-stealing tactics and pushing hard with decent hands. I couldn't believe my good fortunes when I busted Dan Harrington with pocket K's vs. his pocket A's. I flopped a K and he never improved. He commented that he'd rather go out to a fellow Sox fan than give his chips to Mike Matusow who was the current chip leader. Before long, I managed to fold my way to the final two tables of nine. Much to my delight Otis was still alive over on the second table, but was feeling out of sorts with Isabelle Mercier to his direct left.


Norman Chad decided to interview me during the next break in order to have some tournament filler footage of those of us who might make the final table. I quickly did some pushups so that my sleeveless WPBT shirt could accentuate my monster triceps. Bob from One2Many had his sleeveless hammer shirt on and I didn't want to clash. I told Norman about how my son's midnight trip helped me gain entry to the tournament and proceeded to show him some pictures. He thought ESPN could possibly revamp the series TILT with him as a major star. Scott Fishman was waving me down after the interview and handed me his card, hoping to convince miniBlood to join the Crew when he turned 18. I told him I'd at least let him think about it.


I awoke the next day from a sound sleep, nearly forgetting that I was due to play in the final table at noon. Mrs_Blood showed me her credit bills from the previous day. By the looks of things, I would need to finish 5th to break even. I told her that she should probably watch from the audience today rather than buy any more clothes and jewelry. I got the rolled eye treatment, but she conceded to my wishes.

Here is your final table for Event #2.

BadBlood - 666,000
Isabelle Mercier - 125,000
Mike Matusow - 1,200,000
Paul Phillips - 762,000
John Juanda - 802,000
Chris Ferguson - 323,000
Phil Ivey - 412,000
Todd Brunson - 86,000
Otis - 532,000

I liked my starting chip stack.


Todd Brunson was the first to go, Phil Ivey's QJs tookout his KQo when two J's hit the flop. Otis had the heart-breaking task of busting out Isabelle. He had pocket A's and had no choice but to call her pre-flop all in. Otis did say he wanted to really fold his hand if only to be able to smell her for an hour longer. After she left, someone in the audience screamed "NOOOOOO" - a scream that could be heard for miles. Mean Gene was escorted out by security.


Matusow was bullying the table with his monster stack, all the while berating the other players. He sucked out on John Juanda, rivering an 8 to give him a set and besting Juanda's pocket 9's. "I'm due, baby! I'm due!" he screamed. Paul Phillips managed to bust Jesus, having faith in Big Slick. Jesus' AQ received no divine intervention and we had five players left, 60% of whom were bloggers. What are the odds???


Phil Ivey's eyes nearly exploded out of his skull when his pocket T's lost to my KJ suited. He had flopped a set, but with that third T came a Queen and a nine. Buh-bye. Paul Phillips made quick work of Matusow who had given most of his chips to me in a stone cold bluff that I called. Matusow had the look of someone who had just seen a ghost when I called with Ace high. I told him I had quijones. Big ones.


Down to three: A blogspot user, a Live Journal user, and someone who uses a custom web site developed by CJ. Phillips having recently become a father was having stamina issues. Sleep deprivation was taking its toll. He became rather short-stacked and I put him all-in with A8s. He called with pocket 7's, his 5-star winning hand. Alas, I turned the Ace-high flush and Paul was out in third. This battle just became a battle for South Carolina, a battle between a lowly satellite entry winner and a direct buy-in, a battle between a great writer and a....umm...great...FORTRAN programmer? Well, there it is.


Who won? Did it matter? Not really. Otis and I made the final two and appeared on ESPN. We both made enough in prize money to cover our wives' purchases with a little left over for us. Where did my money go? As promised, I collected much of my winnings in Washington's and I took over the entire Spearmint Rhino for the evening. Dr. Pauly and Grubby were first in line for the next blogger competition, the WSOLD (World Series of Lap Dances).

The next day I signed lucrative endorsement deals with several online poker sites, deals that would enable me to quit my day job as chief monkey at the zoo. I would get to travel a bit, as well as have many of my tournament entry fees paid for. The life of a poker pro was beckoning me and I answered the call. It would actually enable me more financial freedom and give me more time to spend with the family. That's what I call a win-win.


So really, who won? Well, I'll only say this: If you ever see a 2005 WSOP bracelet lying around, flip it over on its back. I may be engraved with a single word.


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Your Assignment

Ok bloggers and blogg-ettes, here's your task for the week. Based on the fact that many of us will be playing in Sunday's Satellite to the $1500 NL WSOP event, I'm challenging you all to a creative writing assignment.

Create a post describing your WSOP fantasy tourney experience - pre, during and post, assuming you win Sunday's satellite. You have until Sunday night.


Hand of the Night Analysis

Getting back into some poker strategy posts.....

The scene is a $100NL 6-max table on Party. BadBlood is on the button and dealt pocket cowboys. This is the second time I've been dealt these at the table, the first time out I had to lay them down on a Axx all clubs flop as my Kings were bloody red.

On this hand in particular, there are 2 limpers for $1 and I bump it to $4. The big blind and both limpers call for a $17-ish pot. The flop is non-ideal for pocket K's: QQ3. My immediate reaction is "Great, I'll have to lay these K's down too." However, it is checked all the way back to me on the button.

I throw away my initial thoughts and think to myself how I'd play the hand if I did have a hand like AQ or KQ. I'd check and slow play a little, so that's what I did. The turn is a 7 - a blank - and the blind and the first EP limper both check again. The 2nd EP limper bets out $5 into that $17 pot and I put on my thinking cap again.

If that 2nd EP limper had a Q, wouldn't he check again? I think he would as the first check may have raised enough doubt to the pre-flop raiser (myself) such that I'd be a bit more confident in firing out a bet on the turn, after which he could check-raise. So I called that $5 bet for that reason, as well as the fact that the bet itself seemed to be a little small. It reeked of an "I'm too scared to make a real bluff at this pot, so I'll bluff just a little"-type bet.

The big blind and 1st EP limper both fold and it's down to just us two.

The river brings a 3rd Q and my poker-sense is indicating to me that I've got the best hand for sure. However, the 2nd EP limper decides to push. I still think that he's bluffing and now's a little too late for him to convince me otherwise as his stack was only $35 into a $27 pot. Based on my read of him, I immediately call.

Result: K's are good, he had A6o.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Mini Blood: Suckout Artist

Well, I got a hold of the hand histories on the Mrs' computer. Some of my concerns were well founded:

#Game No : 1864070395
***** Hand History for Game 1864070395 *****
$1000 PL Hold'em - Friday, April 08, 14:37:50 EDT 2005
Table Table 37155 (6 max) (Real Money)
Seat 5 is the button
Total number of players : 6
Seat 1: kbywjra ( $694 )
Seat 3: YouOutdrewMe ( $1344.75 )
Seat 6: vhardrock ( $4530.87 )
Seat 8: luckyc1over ( $1701.75 )
Seat 10: Moo_Cow ( $888.5 )
Seat 5: badblood44 ( $526 )
Moo_Cow posts small blind [$5].
kbywjra posts big blind [$10].
** Dealing down cards **
YouOutdrewMe folds.
vhardrock folds.
luckyc1over folds.
Table Closed - THANK GOD!!!

Then this:
#Game No : 1864210607
***** Hand History for Game 1864210607 *****
$0.5/$1 Hold'em - Friday, April 08, 15:20:44 EDT 2005
Table Table 15544 (No DP) (Real Money)
Seat 6 is the button
Total number of players : 8
Seat 1: AScarp31 ( $14.75 )
Seat 3: raudaug89 ( $21 )
Seat 5: Buttons224 ( $54.5 )
Seat 6: toddacton ( $12.25 )
Seat 7: rc24krt ( $8.5 )
Seat 8: PartyQueen4 ( $5 )
Seat 10: MJT6981 ( $36.75 )
Seat 4: badblood44 ( $21 )
rc24krt posts small blind [$0.25].
PartyQueen4 posts big blind [$0.5].
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to badblood44 [ Jc 4h ] - Daddy's favorite hand, the JACKHAMMER
MJT6981 calls [$0.5].
AScarp31 calls [$0.5].
raudaug89 calls [$0.5].
badblood44 calls [$0.5].
Buttons224 folds.
toddacton calls [$0.5].
rc24krt calls [$0.25].
PartyQueen4 checks.
** Dealing Flop ** [ 8d, 3h, 6h ]
rc24krt checks.
PartyQueen4 checks.
MJT6981 bets [$0.5].
AScarp31 calls [$0.5].
raudaug89 calls [$0.5].
badblood44 calls [$0.5].
toddacton folds.
rc24krt calls [$0.5].
PartyQueen4 calls [$0.5].
** Dealing Turn ** [ 7c ]
rc24krt checks.
PartyQueen4 checks.
MJT6981 bets [$1].
AScarp31 folds.
raudaug89 calls [$1].
badblood44 calls [$1].
rc24krt calls [$1].
PartyQueen4 folds.
** Dealing River ** [ 5d ]
rc24krt checks.
MJT6981 checks.
raudaug89 checks.
badblood44 checks.
rc24krt shows [ 5h, 8c ] two pairs, eights and fives.
MJT6981 doesn't show [ Ah, 8s ] a pair of eights.
raudaug89 doesn't show [ Th, As ] high card ace.
badblood44 shows [ Jc, 4h ] a straight, four to eight.
badblood44 wins $10 from the main pot with a straight, four to eight.
Game #1864214760 starts.

So basically, my son caught runner-runner to make a straight holding the Jack Hammer. I swear on everything I hold dear that this is unedited and 100% true.

Kids These Days

Some of you may recall this: Mini Blood Check Raises His Mom

Since then, miniBlood has been permitted to play "Play Money Tournaments" on Empire poker under the guise of his mother's id, Mrs_Blood. It's the honest truth when I say he's able to open up Empire Poker, find a play money table and play the tournament all by himself. I don't worry about real money because there isn't any in Mrs_Blood's account.

For the purposes of this discussion, sounds are OFF on Mrs_Blood's Empire software setup. Repeat: OFF.

Consider my reaction when I got home one day last week and the Mrs. tells me a little story.

Mrs_Blood was doing some random tasks around the house, when miniBlood finds her and says, "Mommy, I got the computer to cheer for me." Mrs_Blood knows that miniBlood is usually only on the computer nowadays to play poker, so the "cheering" raised some flags. Mrs_Blood, being the most excellent wife she is, makes a beeline to the computer room and notices that miniBlood has managed to log onto a real money table. On Party Poker.

She immediately closes down the program and temporarily forbids miniBlood from any more internet poker until daddy gets home. Upon receiving notice of the goings on, I myself make a beeline to the computer to check out the damages.

In an attempt to restrict miniBlood to Empire Poker only, I had only removed the desktop icon shortcut to Party figuring that would be sufficient. It wasn't. miniBlood had found the shortcut from the start menu, recognized it as Party Poker and logged on.

As BadBlood.

With my bankroll.

I checked my account history online to see what miniBlood had done. By the looks of it, he had logged onto 3 $25NL tables and logged out of them with $25 intact. Thank goodness just a few random clicks and no damage. Then I scrolled down a bit further in the account history table. BadBlood enters table xxxxxx with $527. What? What?

If you know the Party Poker interface, you know that they group the tables together by game-type. The higher stakes no limit tables are just a few entries up from the $25 ones. Party veterans will also note that if you were to join a LIMIT ring game, the default buy-in is 25xBB. Based on those two facts, I've deduced that miniBlood logged into at least a $600 or higher NL ring game.

One thing that I've taught the little Blood is to push with Aces. For a five year old, it's not too bad a strategy. Based on his play money tournaments, he sure knows how to push, clicking and dragging that slider all the way to the right.

What all this adds up to is that my Party Poker bankroll was at a very real risk of being run dry by my 5 year old son.

As I further perused the account history web page, I was glad to notice that miniBlood had cashed out of this table for $1.50 profit. I haven't checked the hand histories yet, but I'm damn curious to find out what the hell he did with my bankroll. I was also damn quick to uninstall Party from the machine he has access to.

Damn kids and their computer literacy.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Home Game SNG

Occasionally, the Mrs. will get itchin’ for a game of poker. Nothing too high stakes and preferably in a tournament format. I’d been out with some friends on Friday night, so my task for the day was to organize a small buy-in tourney that could be played at the house. Phone calls, emails, and IM’s went a blazing and before long I was able to get 9 confirmed players at my house by 8pm for a $20 NLHE freeze out.

Since fellow G-Vegas inhabitant Otis was a bachelor for the evening, he was able to find time from his schedule to join us. The other players that rounded out my table included myself, MrsBlood, Tommy the Axeman and his wife Angie Aces, Mr. IceT (his wife is known as IceT and he has no nickname that I’m currently aware of), DoubleR, NeighborGreg, and CrawfishDan. The levels were 20 minutes and we all started off with T200.

The play at these recreational games is a bit loose and passive, so with that knowledge I sat around and waited for some premium hands. So it was no real surprise that I opened in mid-position with a 6xBB raise with the hammer. Otis called from one of the blinds and we saw a QJ4 flop. Boy did the hammer miss that flop. Otis bet out T15 and I folded face up. It was a shame his set of Jacks didn’t pay him off more.

MrsBlood had a real hand about midway through level 3. Her AK had flopped top two pair, but because AngieAces was the only opponent, she checked it down. She was going easy on her friend. I told her that was a mistake and she’d regret not winning more chips with that hand from her friend. Not soon after, I’m dealt KQ and flop a K against MrsBlood’s pocket 9’s. She simply check-called my bets and asked me to go easy on her. NFW, baby! This is poker.

As some of the inexperienced players busted out (AngieAces and NeighborGreg), I found myself in a battle of the blinds with Mr.IceT. I was in the BB with a truly awful hand, 34o. Mr.IceT checked it down the whole way to the river, at which point I made a pot sized bet. I was playing the board and knew that the only way I could win the pot was to bet at it. Mr.IceT reluctantly folded as the river had made runner-runner hearts to create a flush draw. After he folded, I mucked face up showing my bluff. I believe he was none to pleased, but like I said, this is poker baby!

MrIceT and MrsBlood busted out and we were down to 5 players. The blinds (25/50) were escalating a bit and I had about T250. I went pretty card dead at this point and even though I managed to grab a couple of blinds here and there during the level, I was left with T200 with the blinds moving up to T75/150 soon.

Finally, I’m the BB with T200 and half my stack is in the pot. CrawfishDan goes all-in from the button and is insta-called by Otis. I figure my cards are crap and will most likely have to fold, but I slowly take a peak anyway. The first card is decent, a King. I slowly slide it so I can see it’s brother who turns out to be an Ace. I call as well. There’s a T600 main pot and a rather big side pot as well. The three of us flip cards as Otis has CrawfishDan covered.

Crawfish flips up his pocket T’s and Otis flips up AJo. My AK is decent, but one of my outs is in Otis’ hand. The flop is all under-cards to the tens, but happens to be all-spades. Otis now has more outs than I do with his Ace of spades. The turn is a low club and we’re down to the river. My King was a club, so I was down to 4 outs: the two non-spade Kings and the two remaining Aces.



Ship it baby!

I’m suddenly Mr. Big Stack with T600 and 4 players left. With the blinds still at 50/100, I have some room to move. Tommy the Axeman bubbles out when I raise him all-in with AJo. His 24o doesn’t catch any babies and we’re in the money.

Otis manages to grab 3rd place, cashing for $30. I’m sure that extra $10 will go a long way, boosting his bankroll easily by micro-percentages. Otis was bled out by the blinds and it came down to me and DoubleR heads up. At this point, I held about a 2 to 1 chip advantage.

The first headsup hand, I’m the button and min-raise with K9. DoubleR folds. Hand two, I’m the BB and DoubleR calls and I check, holding K3. The flop is 235 and I check. DoubleR pushes for about T500 more. I have him covered and should I lose, I’d still have a very playable stack. I think my middle pair is actually good here and hope DoubleR is on a draw. I call and flip up K3 and he shows 24 for bottom pair and the straight draw. The turn and river bring no help and after two head to head hands, I am champion for the evening.

The overall play was less than spectacular, but these events are a bit more social. Even still, depending on the player, there can still be some good poker to experience.

Otis headed downtown afterwards to G-Vegas proper and even though I had a kitchen pass to go, I reluctantly called it an evening. Combine my allergies with the fact that I stayed out until 2am the night before and I just had no energy left. Word has it that G-Rob made it out as well and had a grand time.

BB out.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

News 'n Notes

Please excuse the lack of images. I'm hosting my own images and using dns2go's service to map my dynamic address to my machine. For some reason, each time my IP changes and I change my Apache configuration, it screws up the virtual hosts I have set up. Thus you see these non-images. PokerProf can translate this stuff for anyone who doesn't know what this means.


Finished my Empire bonus whoring this week. Poker playing net: +$200, combined w/$150 bonus and I'm quite content. Two-tabling the 50NL tables seems to do the trick for me as far as quickly clearing a bonus.


New Party and Empire software is out. One long overdue feature is the ability to reserve your spot at a SNG rather than randomly click seats in hopes nobody else has a faster trigger finger.


I also took a look at the Party WSOP step SNG's. Figured why the hell not? Seems like $12 can get you a decent amount of play time if you're decent at SNG's. I like to think I am. But I think a lot of things that aren't necessarily true.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Small Steps

I'm back from the day of driving - only 7 hours in the car today. Rather than bemoan the traffic on the way home, I'll offer up a tourney report from this past Saturday night.

Our local group of gamboolers hadn't had a tourney since January. We like to hold them every so often, perhaps once a month. For various reasons, we just hadn't been able to schedule the next event. Finally, this Saturday, all the proper arrangements were made and 33 people congregated at Teddy Ballgame's subdivision clubhouse.

The buy-in was $75 and the top 5 places would be paid out as follows: $1000, $600, $400, $250, $225. We started with T200 and 20 minute levels, the first three being 1/2, 2/4 and 3/6.

I decided to employ a slight change of strategy for this event. Generally, the players at these things are not so hot and you can get away with limping on some marginal hands, catching a great flop and extracting some chips out of unsuspecting opponents. I tossed that losing strategy out the window this time, instead opting to play ultra-tight the first few rounds.

In fact, for the entire first hour of the tournament, I played 0 hands out of the blinds. That's a 0% VPIP. I was mucking mediocre hands like Q,J and A,9 without a second thought. I did have A8s once in the big blind but the flop had nary a spade.

Fast forward to the final hand of level 3 and I'm in the big blind with 7,5o. It's checked around to me and I see a flop of A,7,7. I slow play the hand and an early position limper bets out T20. It's folded back around to me and I call. The turn is a 6 and I check again. My opponent announces all-in and I immediately call. He shows pocket J's and gets no two-outer on the river to save him. My stack grows to about T275, well above average stack with 27 players still remaining after hour one. The guy I just busted asks me how I could play 7,5o. I inform him that I was the big blind. I leave out the fact that if I held an Ace I'd have also busted him.

During level 5, I actually find a hand to play. Pocket K's and I raise the pot to T60, a 3xBB raise. It's folded all around and inside I'm battling desires to loosen up my play with thoughts that playing tight is still the way to go. We begin to condense tables when we get down to 24 players. During this time, the blinds grow to 20/40 and I feel it's time to get aggressive and steal. I buy some pots with pre-flop all-ins on hands such as AQ and AK. My stack had been T335 and although I was close to average, the blinds were getting a bit large in relation to it.

With 16 players left and the blinds still at 20/40 (players were busting left and right at about this time), I find A,8s on the button. It's folded around to me and I raise to T100. The SB goes over the top all-in for an additional T105 and the BB folds. I figure I'm behind at this point, but getting sufficient pot odds to call. Much to my surprise, the SB was holding Q,Jo and I bust my second player after the flop accomodates my wishes to avoid any paint.

With 11 players left and my table 6 handed, the blinds have grown to 50/100. UTG goes all in for T200 and it's folded to me at the cutoff. I find A,K and decide to push my stack in hopes of isolating what I feel is most likely a weaker hand. Much to my chagrin, the button re-raises as well and my heart sinks. I felt I had been playing a great tournament and now I've just run into a monster. After the side pots are created, UTG flips up his K,9o. I show A,K and anticipate either AA, KK, or QQ from the button. Hope is alive! He shows A,K as well. Now I just have to avoid a 9 and any suited cards that could give him a flush. I accomplish both of those things and the button and I split a pot and eliminate another player.

At 8 players, we re-draw to the final table. At this point the blinds are 100/200 and I have about T800, slightly below average. I signal to my friend DoubleR that I can't wait to bust out 6th, just shy of the money. Bubbling is my destiny.

There are some shorter stacks at the table and I decide to play the final table a bit tight this time in order to get a feel for how loose some players were playing. There are a couple of suckouts, T9s busting pocket 8's. When Matty C's pocket As bust another large chip stack holding pocket T's, I find myself in the money.

At this point the blinds are pretty huge and my stack isn't. The Rankster makes another strong tournament showing, but finally busts out in 5th. I thought I'd be able to fold my way into at least 3rd as a small stack was forced all-in twice via the blinds. The second time, the short stack held 2,7s and found himself up against K,J of the same suit. Unfortunately for me, a 2 on the flop gave the suited hammer a victory. I could not stave off the blinds and had to push with Q,T suited. I ran up against A,K. The flop gave my opponent top two-pair, but that elusive J never came and I went home in 4th.

All-in-all, I was quite happy to finish 4th considering the best hand I had was pocket K's and it only won me the blinds. I've rethought my approach to these tournaments, and it seems to have worked out at least for this instance. There will be many other opportunities, but I'm just finally glad to get in the money for a decent amount as these live tournaments had been a bane to my B&M bankroll.

Friday, April 08, 2005


When I got home from work yesterday from what was perhaps the worst working day of my 15+ year professional career, I told myself I'd leave the work problems at work. I didn't quite succeed in my efforts as within 5 minutes of arriving home, I was snapping at the family. It is without a doubt my single most hated self-trait - lack of patience. I was dealing with people and personalities at work that for whatever reason, can't or won't listen to me. I had a short fuse and the behavior of the kids when I got home burned whatever was left of it.

So when I left the house to go play in my semi-weekly home game, I figured my mindset was one of the ingredients in a recipe for failure. Upon arriving at the Rankster's house, I made a beeline for the brew. Anything to take my mind off the fiasco that I was involved in earlier that day was welcome.

As everyone arrived and began to play, the feel of the cards and the chips washed away the memories of the work day and I began to relax. Once I could relax, I could concentrate. What followed next over the course of the evening was quite unprecedented. I won. And not a little. In fact, for Thursday night dealer's choice limit poker, I managed to pull in a profit of $317.

Far and above my own personal best, the post-play conversation debated whether this was an all-time record or not. There were recollections of another +$300 day attributed to The Rocket, but the exact number was still a mystery.

Regardless, I couldn't help but feel that I would trade all that poker success for the ability to take back my behavior towards the mini-Blood's earlier in the evening. I went home and woke the kids to tell them that their daddy was sorry for yelling at them. The best thing about kids is their unconditional ability to forgive and forget. Sometimes I don't feel worthy of their forgiveness, but I'm so thankful to receive it.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Return to Hell

And we're all on the road to hell and that's route 666 - Halford "Made in Hell"

When you've survived one trip to Hell, why would you go back?

Similarly to that fateful August weekend, lies another adventure for the Blood. This coming weekend will feature a live poker tourney on Saturday followed up quickly by a drive to the Charlestown, SC area the morning after.

This journey will showcase a bit of the insanity that I like to call "The In-laws." I know, you wish you were me. That way, you could get up at 8AM on Sunday and drive to the in-laws that live the next town over. Then you could drive about 3 1/2 hours to Charlestown to see the brother-in-law's family, spend a few hours there, then drive BACK 3 1/2 hours to the in-laws house, drop them off, and then finally drive home.

I can't even tie one on while I'm down there because I have to drive back. Alcohol is required whenever visiting the in-laws. In fact, it's federally mandated. I've never really looked forward to a Monday before, but this Sunday, it will be a first.

The trick will be not letting the impending journey back through the fiery depths affect my tourney play on Saturday.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Surgery With No Anesthesia

In lieu of poker last night, I placed a set of these:

in this:

Classic Mrs_Blood moment:

During my attempt to solder the pickups to the guitar switch (I suck at soldering) the Mrs comes up to me, sticks her freshly painted toenails in my face and says "Honey, look, sparkles on my toes!"

Under normal circumstances, I'd find this mildly amusing. However, the distraction caused me to cut a wire all the way through, rather than strip it. BadBlood - not amused.

I averted catastrophy and commented about how much I loved the look of her pedicure, but I'm trying to concentrate on something else right now. My diplomatic skills are spot on at the moment and all's good in the Blood house. :)

Monday, April 04, 2005

BadBlood's G-Vegas Poker Superstars Invitational

(I'm opening this invite up to readers and fellow bloggers who may want to show up)

Edited - New Date: July 2nd and 3rd!

You've seen it on FoxNet in both Vegas and California, and now it's coming to Greenville. At least I hope so.

This will be quite an endeavor to pull off, but I'm used to pulling....scratch that. Regardless, this is an attempt to run a poker tournament to make all other poker tournaments seem like umm, well, something not like what you're used to.

I'm looking for 18 players to commit to a weekend of poker. The jist of it is as follows:

Each participant will play in three(3) 6-player tournaments over the course of the first day. The object is to accumulate points such that they can participate in the Final Table. Players win points as follows:

1st - 10
2nd - 7
3rd - 5
4th - 3
5th - 1
6th - 0

After everyone has played in 3 tournaments, the top 6 point finishers advance to the finals.

The buy-in for the whole shebang is $100. The prize money break-down will be as follows:

Winning any one of the 9 preliminary tourneys: $50
Final Table Payout:
1st - $900
2nd - $450

And that's that.

The structure of each preliminary tourney and the final tourney will be designed such that they last between 2.5 and 3 hours each.

If all goes according to plans, we would play all 3 initial tourneys on Saturday, April 30th beginning at about 10am. Then play the Final Table on Sunday, May 1st around 1pm.

I'm not sure I'll get enough players with enough interest, but I'll give it a shot anyway.

Saturday, April 02, 2005


First off, congrats to SirWaffleHouse and Tommy-the AxeMan for falling for my April Fool's story, if only temporarily. It was a spur of the moment thing inspired by DoubleAs cool prank post.


So it's Friday night, feeling right, friends out on the beach tonight...err scratch that, it's just Friday night. I'm tooling around online as the Mrs. is finishing up the dishes. I'm pretty tired, so I'm more than willing to forego a night of online shennanigans or G-Vegas bar hopping for a quiet night in. We even have plans for a babysitter for Saturday night, so I figure I've got some decent marital points coming to me.

At about 10pm, that local TV superhero G-Rob IM's me about some real live action poker in town. A very predictable chemical reaction in my brain occurs as I delve through various scenarios involving joining this live game vs. burning the marital capital I was building up.

Not soon after, Mrs. Blood joins the IM fray, giving G-Rob the requisite hard time. After a few sarcastic barbs are thrown about, G-Rob reveals that former local TV superhero Otis will be at this game. The chemical reaction intensifies. I'm in a battle of short term EV fun vs. long term EV marital bliss.

G-Rob, like the tides of the ocean, wears down the Mrs' defenses and she actually concedes the battle, telling me I can go. What an overbet that was! I've been playing the poker game of marriage for close to 9 years. I've got a good read on the Mrs. That concession, my friends, was a STONE COLD BLUFF.

I came over the top all in, and simply IM'd G-Rob that I couldn't make it. UpforPoker crew be damned. (Secretly I was dying inside, but that's what marriage is, a slow, numbing death.)

Kidding :) It's not April 1st anymore :) :) :)

So I retired early, missing out on some live poker action. But my stack of marital chips is a bit higher this morning. I may need those chips someday.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Dial-A-Shots == Bad News

Does anyone know a good lawyer?

With my home game in full swing again, this time playing HORSE, Al, MrsCantHang and Big Mike joined myself, G-Rob and The Rankster for more dial-a-shot fun. Unfortunately for me, I'd been drinking a bit as well in between answering the calls on my cell phone from Philly.

To make a long story less long, the last round of HORSE saw me win 1 hand. That's one out of the last 35 hands, turning a $60 win into a loss for the evening. All my draws missed, and I was kind of pissed. That rhymes.

After everyone left, it was about 1AM. Funny thing about last night was that some random dog watched us play from my front porch, peering into my house the entire evening. I'm not a big pet fan; being allergic to cat and dog hair doesn't help. So at the end of the night I go outside to shoo the dog away, I don't need any extra fertilizer on my lawn.

At about this time a car pulls down my street slowly. I thought it was a returning player having forgot something at the house. It wasn't, it was the dog's owner looking for his animal. He parked the car in the middle of the street and came walking rather briskly over towards me. Let me remind you of my, shall we say, non-ideal demeanor: many drinks and many crap cards. Bottom line is I'm not in much of a mood for anything.

So this guy, obviously on the wasted side himself, approaches me and by his gait, I can tell he's going to be confrontational.

"What the fuck are you doing with my dog?" he asked.

"Your dog has been here all night, kindly remove him from my property." I was slightly impressed with my restraint.

I don't have an exact transcript of what followed next, but after a few more witty exchanges, the dog owner actually came up to me and did the old two-handed push to the chest.

Uh-uh. Tell me you didn't just do that.


About 10 minutes later after the cops arrived, I was in handcuffs. Mrs. Blood had heard the commotion, saw the two of us going at it and dialed 911. Why, you ask, was I the one being put in the paddywagon? Well, the dog owner was being put in an ambulance. He wasn't in too good of a shape. My fists were starting to swell up, but nothing like this guy's nose. The police claimed that I most likely broke both of his orbital sockets and would need reconstructive surgery. Great, I didn't know South Carolina's finest did pre-med work as well.

Thank goodness Mrs. Blood bailed me out. She's obviously not too happy right now, frankly neither am I.

What day is this?