Monday, July 31, 2006


When we last left our hero, he was in the midst of self-flagellation over playing pocket Aces like an ass.  Small solace could be taken in the ensuing hands of that session wherein I won 1.5 buy-in’s back to finish down less than 1 buy-in for the evening.  A pyric victory however, a loss is still a loss.

As I type this, I am less than 48-hours away from departure to Vegas where they’re holding some kind of important tournament or something.  I’ll be taking my modest roll and meeting up with many friends who are already there.

I’ve prepped my iPod with about 8 CardPlayer “The Circuit” shows that were recommended in the magazine feature just recently published.  I need to buy a book for the plane ride too; G-Rob recommends Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

I have one more live session to get through, if the BigGame at TheRick’s is on for the evening.  I hope it is, as I’d like to book at least one well-played session before I go.

Updates may be few and far between since I won’t be bringing a laptop or anything.  I may be able to secure a blogging session on a random terminal if I have anything of significance to report.

And that should do it.  See you all when I get back.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Burnt Offerings

There’s a thread over in 2+2 (which I’m just too damn lazy to link to right now) that discusses which feeling is worse: playing well and losing to a bad beat or playing really poorly and also losing.

On Tuesday night, as I wrote in my previous entry, I felt that I played solid poker. Sadly the results weren’t indicative of that due to a two-outer, but I was able to file the bad beat away and come away satisfied with my play.

On Wednesday night at the local Spring Hotel game, I came away from that game embarrassed with two truly horrific plays that indicate to me that I am still very far from the poker player I’d like to be.

In the spirit of full disclosure, here is the worse of the two plays in all its glory.

We have the normal $1/$2 game going on and I’m in for $500, but have about $275 in front. The forced straddle – “the rock” – is in play and I’m in the big blind with two black Aces. There are four limpers for $5 a piece and I raise. Mistake #1 was the size of my raise, it was only to $25; and at this table of loosey-goosey gamboooler’s, it frankly needed to be more.

Call, call, call, and……call. Pot size is $125.

Here comes our flop. Jack, Jack, and…..Jack. I’m behind.

I check, and it’s checked completely around and the turn brings a 7. I check again, the player to my left checks and then someone fires out $15 into that $125 pot. The player in the last position does a feeler raise to $35 and it’s my turn to act.

Just yesterday I wrote about finding a way to fold pocket Aces and look for a better spot. Just yesterday. Twenty-four hours ago. Only. I can’t describe my thought pattern here, because my mind had been issued the ctl-alt-del command. I shut down all poker circuits and lapsed into durrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…..I have pocket Aces…..durrrrrrrrrr.

Then I do it. I pushed for about $250 more.

I simply cannot offer an explanation. The guy to my left who held the 4th Jack called and I was pretty much humiliated with my self-immolation.

I read in a CardPlayer column that discussed one of the key differences between limit hold ‘em and no limit hold ‘em was that in the latter, you make big decisions to win other player’s stacks rather than smaller decisions where a few big bets lie in the balance. I am simply still making too many poor decisions when stacks are at stake. Far too many.

So when you read this blog, think back to Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men. Thank you for playing “Should We Or Should We Not Follow The Advice Of The Galactically Stupid?”

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


I played very well last night.  Within the first ten hands, I found a way to lay down pocket Aces on the turn.  I had them on the button and raised accordingly getting a lone caller in the blinds.  The flop came QJx and the blind checked.  I bet 80% of the pot and the blind called.  Turn was a T and the blind led out.  I mucked.  I think I was up against two-pair at a minimum and even though I could have been ahead, I figured I’d find better spots during the session.  I felt good.

Better spot #1 saw me flop a set of 6’s on a J-high, rainbow board.  I felt the board was safe enough to slow play so I checked.  The button bet pot, which is a common tactic in a checked around garbage flop.  I called intending to check-raise the turn.  The turn paired the Jack and boated me up.  I hoped my opponent held a Jack and would not pair his kicker.  Button bets pot and I dutifully check-raise 3x his bet.  He takes some time but calls.  If that doesn’t cement the trips, I don’t know what does.  The river came an 8 and unless he held J8, I was ahead.  I pushed.  He called with JT.  I won.  I felt good.

I believe over the course of the next hour of so while multi-tabling a PLO8 $10+1 tourney with G-Rob, I busted 3 short-stacks to more than triple my buy-in.  I felt good.

I found pocket T’s on the BB and called a raise from the button.  Both of us saw a T-high flop with two hearts.  I put my opponent on JJ-AA,AK,AQ.  I’m currently worried about AKh  and AQh and quite fine with the rest.  I check.  Opponent bets and I check-raise 3x his bet.  He calls.  Turn is the Ah completing the flush draw.  I worry about AA a bit, but every other holding I originally put him on does not give him a flush.  I check, he bets, I check-raise him again 3x his bet.  He takes some time, but calls.  The river is an off-suit Jack and with the pot size currently twice the size of his stack, I put him all in.  He calls.  With pocket Jacks.  He doesn’t hold the Jack of hearts.  I felt lousy.

I felt my play deteriorate from there and couldn’t get away from the thought of having a 4.5x buy-in stack to work with.  I took my much smaller than should have been profit and went to bed.

I woke up.

I felt good.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Flat Line

Yes, that’s right. I bought a Honda Civic. It’s the 2006 North American Car of the Year. And it screams “I am BadBlood.” Doesn’t it? I turned in my other muscle car, a 1997 Saturn SL1. It needed tires, a tune up, a new air conditioner, working driver side window and probably soon a starter. Other than that, not much else was wrong.


Back in April, I was on top of my own personal poker world. I had eclipsed my ’05 win total after only playing four months. Of course I knew I couldn’t run good forever; anybody who’s ever been on a rush knows that feeling of dread when variance will catch up with him or her.

May came and I lost a good chunk of change early, but managed to recoup all of it by the beginning of Memorial Day weekend. A break-even month was welcome after how poorly it started. I was still on pace to meet my end of year goal of winning twice as much as last year.

Then June hit. That horrible month took away a third of my year to date winnings and I’m still trying to recover. So far in July, I haven’t. I’ve been pretty close to break even for July and continue to struggle. Sure there have been bad beats, but I can say my play hasn’t been stellar either; it ebbs and flows between real good and real bad. I continue to learn new things from players whose style is 180° away from mine, but I haven’t quite managed to get back to the win rate that I’d prefer.

So for almost three months now, I haven’t done shit in poker. In my short span of playing seriously, that’s quite a dry spell. It’s a little confidence shaking, but you know what? I don’t care.

You may have been thinking that this was a lead in to another “Woe is me” post. (When I typed that, I couldn’t help but think of James Earl Jones telling his minions to nail Arnold to The Tree of Woe.) Amazingly, I’ve been able to put this torrid streak of mediocrity in its proper place.

I hinted at it in an earlier post, but basically, after last Monday, there ain’t much that’s gonna bring me down. Not the clusterfuck (quote Random101, end quote) that I call my job, not the three months of a withering poker bankroll, nothing.

So I’m heading out to Vegas next Wednesday with zero expectations except to have a good time with the friends that I’ll see. I’ll play a shit ton of poker and I’ll strive to do my best. Results will be what they will be.

I’m not saying that I don’t care about poker as much, because I’ll forever enjoy its challenge. But what I’m saying is that I won’t get so worked up about not meeting my own personal expectations anymore. Life’s too short to make yourself miserable unnecessarily.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Saturday Afternoon TQB

All the $$$ went in on the flop. Just a little non-WSOP moment from G-Vegas. Hadn't seen TQB in a while.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


For those asking questions in the comments of the previous post, the general idea would be to have all the preliminary tournaments run on Saturday, September 2nd.  Then the top 6 point-earners over the course of Saturday would reconvene on Sunday for the final tournament.  The structure would be similar to last year’s event.  I’ll post more details and send out an email as we draw closer to the event.  It’s a $100 buy-in, but you’ll play plenty of poker for sure.  And yes, Maudie, you are officially invited to attend.  I’ll roll out the red carpet.  Wes, feel free to bring as many of your friends as you wish.  I totally expect Falstaff and maybe TripJax to get there.  And where’s this guy been?  G-Vegas wants to know.  And CC, what say you?


A few people know, but I figured I’d let everyone else in on the fact that I’ll be making a trip to Vegas from August 2nd to the 6th.  I will be joining G-Rob and CJ out there, watching some of the main event and playing as much as I can.  Sadly, Grubby will not be there, so Pauly and I may be venturing out sans-Grub to parts unknown.  I am very much looking forward to the trip since I couldn’t make it to the blogger thang earlier this month.  Will I buy into a minor event?  Not sure yet.


I had a recent experience that shed some light on life’s priorities.  I won’t go into details (but if you catch me in person, and I’ve been drinking, I’ll be happy to share), but when I was finally given news that everything was OK, it was like a 40 lb. anvil was lifted off my chest.

Last Thursday, I wasn’t even looking forward to my Vegas trip.  Last Thursday, I played (using that term loosely) a cash game where I called a pre-flop raise in which two people went all-in before me with T9s.  My head was nowhere near the poker game.  In fact, I was only playing to take my mind off of what was going on, but that failed miserably.

The last few nights of online poker, after receiving the all-clear, I was pretty much able to play without getting all worked up about the bad beats that invariably occurred.  I just had to think back to the instant on Monday when my issues were resolved and it made losing to a two-outer seem so unimportant.

No need to dwell any longer there.


I also bought a new car.  G-Rob and Axeman already know what I purchased, so those guys are not allowed to guess.  Feel free to give it a go in the comments.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

G-Vegas Tourney Scene Update

It's not the real Vegas, and it's not the real WSOP, but us jambronis in G-Vegas like to think it is.

Updated PoY standings here after the July 2nd festivities at TheMark's:

G-Vegas 2006 Home Poker Tour Page

For those who may be in the area, this Labor Day weekend will be the 2nd Annual BadBlood Superstars Invitational Tournament. Out-of-towners are more than welcome. It certainly won't be a Brad-o-ween-ish atmosphere, but it will be at least one marathon day of poker mini tournaments and one more day for the final table. Probably some drinking too, but I can't be sure.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Four Dollars

It started last Wednesday.

I played, yet again, at the Spring Hotel with G-Rob until roughly 2am.  Since I was vacation bound on Thursday, we agreed on a late night poker session to tide me over until I got back to town.  I was still pretty wired from playing when I arrived home; for whatever reason, I find it difficult to sleep after a long live session.  In a desperate need to tire my eyes, I figured a $4+.40 token SNG would do the trick.

Easily the tightest SNG I’ve ever played, it took over an hour and a half to win my $24+2 token.  At one point, with 5 left, people kept folding to the big blind.  The proper recourse was to get into steal mode.  With a largely fluctuating but steadily building stack, it took one race heads up for me to win.

Then I went on vacation for four days.  Not to the blogger gathering in Vegas, but to the mountains of North Carolina.  I’m familied-out, if that’s even a possible condition.  But I am.

I arrived home to the friendly confines and saw a HORSE satellite to the $200+16 Sunday tourney and figured that would be the best, if not most fun use of my token.  I played tight and solid.  I was even chip leader at one point with 12 to go.  The top 8 won entries and 9th received an ignominious $72.  I was amazed how with three very short stacks, medium and big sized stacks would go to battle, invariably crippling one of the two combatants.  I folded to the final table and won an entry.

Just prior to the $200+16 event, I received a most welcome phone call from the bar at Sherwood Forest, three time zones away.  The gossamer sounds of Maudi’s voice recounting her WSOP experience would inspire anyone to play solid poker.  Even me.  Between friends, I think she was thankful to avoid any concussive blows to the cranium this trip.  Nonetheless, I felt a wave of nostalgia, wishing I were there with the gang.

I smiled as I hung up and right then at 9:30, me and 126 of my closest Internet HORSE-playing friends began to play.  I hypothesized that the level of competition would be greater.  Three Full Tilt pros came along, at least by way of someone playing with their screen name.  I have suspicions that Carlos Mortensen could be bothered to play a $200 online HORSE tournament during the WSOP.  Aaron Bartley’s and Rafe Furst’s accounts were also active.

The play was by far more aggressive.  And until I was dealt some cards, it wasn’t obvious that the aggression wasn’t warranted.  But when I broke some people with solid hands and got to see what they were playing, I realized that not everyone knew exactly what they were doing.

Amazingly, I made it past the money bubble into the final 16.  This was my first large online tourney cash and I was hoping to do better than just the bottom tier payout.  With 13 players left, we were in the S rotation.  After four cards were dealt, I had another player all-in.  I had JJJ2 and he had KQJ7.  Running AT hurts just as bad in 7-card stud as it does in hold ‘em.  Had my hand held up, I would have been top 5 with 12 left.  Instead I was 11th of 13.

I had to pick a hand to go with and picked the wrong one, running into an A-high flush in Eight or better and not sucking out half with runner-runner low.

But still, it was a $4 to $381 cash that I can’t complain about given my previous month’s crushing down-turn.  Meager to some, but welcome to me.  Back to the grind.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Rock On With Thy Bad Selves

Sadly, this week marks the first of four blogger gatherings in Vegas that I will not be attending.  Instead, I’ll be earning even more positive familial EV by spending 4 days camping with my in-laws up in North Carolina.  In discussions with other patriarchs, we’ve determined that once you maximize your familial EV, any extra generated is simply wasted.  You do however begin spending it immediately once the bucket is filled.  There is no changing that; it’s just the way things are.

One good thing about missing the trip is that I’ll avoid paying all my readers tens upon tens of dollars for having to read about bad beats over and over.  Only I have the power to push into the runner-runner draws and lose.  If CJ is the luckbox, then I am the suckbox.

I was looking forward to meeting some new faces and old faces for the first time.  I’ll admit that FWALG and Hoy were on my list of eagerly anticipated introductions.  Perhaps next time guys.  I certainly don’t have to mention how I’ll miss seeing again everyone else I’ve already met.  Feel free to dial-a-shot me into oblivion during my stay in the mountains.  Lord knows I’ll have the alcohol handy.  How else to get through such a weekend?

One thing you all should remember to do is thank April.  I’ve never had the misfortune of having to organize anything blogger related, but I imagine it’s quite a hassle.  I’m sure she’ll follow in the footsteps of Bill Rini and CJ, and put together a mighty fine event for you all.  Even though I won’t be there, I can appreciate what she’s done.

Also, I was really hoping to get out there and get an autographed copy of DoubleAs book by all the contributing authors.  Perhaps next time.

I’ll probably hang low for a bit and just read the attending blogger’s trip reports as well as the fantasmagorical WSOP coverage by the industry’s finest.

Carry on.

PS:  If anyone finds it, please send my game back to me, I’ve lost it somewhere.