Thursday, November 30, 2006

Divided and Conquered

The Saturday before Thanksgiving, Otis and I made our way to the Gaelic game without our G-Vegas comrades G-Rob and TheMark.  During the course of the evening, each of us took turns doubling each other up.  While each pot in question was close to $600, neither of us showed any profit in taking on the other.  Of course, the house rake made out pretty well during our shove-fest.  Pointless chip redistribution among good players is simply the friction that fuels the house fires.  For us players, it’s as Jimmy Johnson would say, “Duh-umb.”

This week, the group was divided.  Otis and G-Rob took on the Tuesday night Gaelic game while TheMark and myself waited until Wednesday to tackle the denizens of The Spring Hotel.  While this divide and conquer strategy may have some long-term benefits to each of our bankrolls, in the short term, it’s most certainly less fun.

What’s also interesting to note too is that the player base is shifting.  No longer will you find the recreational husband and wife team short-buying for their night’s enjoyment.  Some of the “slow” folk and clueless wonders who are more than happy to chase their dominated hands as far as it takes to suckout haven’t been seen in a while.

Some of the regulars who’ve been playing in G-Vegas underground games for far longer than I have were speaking of the “old times.”  They referred to a juicy, downtown $2/$5 game that was run to the ground by both obnoxious and more talented players.  The game used to be populated by the rich, recreational fish players – doctors, lawyers, etc. – who were looking to have some fun.  Their fun and most likely their expendable cash had been taken away and the game died.

I’m hoping it’s just end-of-the-year syndrome where the holidays traditionally put a crunch on everyone’s discretionary budget.  Because all four of us have noticed that the games are getting a bit tighter and the players are getting a bit better.  This week, G-Rob saw two people correctly fold QQ pre-flop.  I saw someone correctly fold TT pre-flop to my early position re-raise.  Also, many of the players currently rounding out the tables are veterans of $400NL and $600NL online games.

The talent level is rising.  Hopefully the new year will bring back the old crowd.

Monday, November 27, 2006

In Place of a Real Post

A true hero would blog about losing too. – G-Rob

No posts in a while, mainly because I haven’t had much to say. If you want to read about my suckage online of late continue on. Otherwise, wait for another day when I may have something interesting. Today, I don’t.

Every four months or so, they come around. It’s obviously cyclical and only occurs when I’m at all-time highs in bankroll. Even though this is probably the fourth or fifth time crap like this happens, it’s still annoying as all hell.

Flop the second nut flush, pot-sized bets, 4th spade on the river. Payoff wizard – activate!
Flop top-two, money goes in, runner-runner flush.
Pocket K’s. Pocket Q’s. Q on turn. Payoff wizard – activate!
Flop a set of K’s. 64d loves his hand draw enough to put me all in. River = diamond.

There are more, but I can’t afford all the $1 I now owe y’all.

It got so bad that on Sunday this hand came up. But first, let me remind you about my lovely bride, MrsBlood, and her perpetual curse on my poker playing ability. I still love her though. I just need her to be in a different zip code in order to have the cards fall my way. Lucky in love, blah, blah, fucking blah.

Pocket Kings. MrsBlood says, “See, I am good luck.” Cue music from Jaws.

I raise and get two callers. The flop is TJQ, two diamonds. EP guy leads out and bets pot. What do I do?


Yep, that’s right, I just folded the hand right there. My two opponents got it all in on the flop. The sad part is that I was ahead, way ahead. I was up against AQo and KTo. I only needed to dodge 5 outs cumulatively. Any Queen (2), and Ten (2) and the case King. Other than that, I can’t lose.

Some of the better cash game players would say, “Jeez Blood, bad fold right there.”

When the Ten hit the river and I didn’t lose a 3 buy-in pot, I knew right then and there that I had just become psychic. And as anyone who’s played for a while knows, you cannot beat a psychic.

Now comes the really hard part: Using my powers for good and not evil.


Meaningless dream sequence with no relation to poker whatsoever, but I thought summed up my last few days of poker bad luck:

It’s the days before I’m married. At least I hope. I’m in the process of negotiating a threesome with two random hot chicks. I’m in some hotel room away from home and I’m not even really pushing that hard for them to partake. Maybe in this dream I’m a little gay.

So anyway, I like to think that I’m using the no-pressure approach, one that will coax them into agreeing without seeming so desperate for it. You know, kind of like a bluff.

Much to my surprise, they both eventually said OK. But they had to do some girly girl stuff first. Not sure what that is, but they had to leave for a moment. They said they’d come back soon.

For whatever reason, the door to my hotel room was open. For the purposes of this dream story, let’s call the software product that I work on professionally “XYZ Software.” All of the sudden, two random co-workers who now work in offsite locations see me inside my hotel room. What better time to barge right in and start asking extremely unimportant questions about “XYZ?”

“Hey, can I do this with XYZ?”

“Hey, it would be great if XYZ had this feature.”

Out of the corner of my eye, I see the two random hot chicks come back from their interlude of girly-girl pre-ménage a troi things, whatever they may be.

As soon as they see me talking shop with two random fucktards, they leave. Never to be seen again.

Bad beat. Even in my subconscious.

Friday, November 17, 2006


Every now and again, it’s good to take a step back and enjoy things for what they are.  If you’ve read these pages regularly, you’d know about how the G-Vegas home game, once a flourishing weekly event, had nearly died a slow, painful death.  What started as a $30 max buy-in game had grown to $50 and then to $100.  As the buy-in grew, the player base shrank.  The attempt to make the game more serious to some players made the game inaccessible to others.  The dispersion of player-types had been accelerated by the growth in stakes, and by the summer of 2006, the game was for all intents and purposes dead.

The Gaelic Game and The Spring Hotel Game provided the much sought after action to some of the successful regulars.  Occasionally, one or two players from the former crowd would take a shot at the $200 games around town, but not frequently enough to be considered a regular.

Harkening back to the game of a year ago, last night was the first .25/.50 blind game played in G-Vegas for quite some time at Casa de G-Rob.  And you know what?  It was fun.

It was fun to have TeamScottSmith back at the table.  It was fun seeing Shep Tiltstein again.  Even Random101 made an appearance, cashing out the big winner.  Nine players – we haven’t had nine players at a home game in ages.

Sure the stakes were less than what G-Rob and I have been playing lately.  Still, we took the game seriously and had a good time.  The positive EV of having good company at the poker table is often overlooked.  Last night I was reminded of that.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Quoting myself from nearly two years ago:

Then it happened. I’ll never forget it. Reading through, I noticed a text add placed by a poker blogging site: I clicked on over to Iggy’s site and began to read.

To say what would follow in the years and months to come was not life changing would be lying to myself.  It has been, in many subtle and not-so-subtle ways.


Each time I’ve met Iggy, he’s surprised me; but not until much after the fact.  He doesn’t like to share much about himself, but if you listen closely enough, you may be able to glean something significant about the man that remains shrouded under the legend of being impossibly uber and diminutive at the same time.

One of my own characteristics that has lead me to do fairly well in poker and in life is to operate under the default behavior of giving other people respect.  I don’t walk around with the attitude that someone has to earn my respect.  I either let them keep it from the beginning or lose it later on down the line.  Same thing at the poker table.  I’ll give a table of unknowns credit for being competent; that is, until they prove otherwise.

So when I met Iggy for the first time, we got to chat a bit at the now legendary Sherwood Forest Bar at the Excalibur.  I can’t honestly tell you how long the conversation lasted, but during that time, Iggy kept my respect.  Just as he’s done each subsequent meeting.


Actions speak louder than words.  Last January, while in Tunica, I had just chopped a satellite to the $1k WSOP Circuit event that was scheduled for the next day.  I had in my possession a $500 lammer.  Unfortunately for me, I would have preferred the cash.

I sat down at a $4/$8 table watching Iggy methodically and with deadly precision tilt the entire table.  Especially Tuscaloosa Johnny.  But also during that time, after he heard of my chop, Iggy offered to stake me the second $500 required to play in the event.  I politely declined, feeling that it was a waste of his money to do so.  But that was the first time anyone has made such an offer to me.  I was taken aback.  After I told him about preferring the cash, Iggy simply pulled out $500 and purchased the lammer from me.

I would only learn later that he had already bought into the $1k event and really had no need for the pink WSOP chip.  He was really just helping me out.  Just another poker player traveling the same road he’s already been down.  I won’t forget that gesture.  Ever.


I’m not sure anyone but Iggy knows what’s going to happen to Guinness and Poker.  But let’s not mourn the passing.  Collectively, we all owe something to that site and the man behind it.  And with each of us who’ve fostered our own group of readers and found our own voice in the ‘sphere, we can keep the torch burning.  And even if we choose not to, you can rest assured someone will.

Life happens in cycles.  Even in our own small virtual world of poker blogging, we see it.  Blogs appear, blogs disappear, and every now and then a new group of talent takes the lead at the helm.  The New Wave of Poker Bloggers, like Hoyazo, Jordan, CC, and many others who offer giant wads of content, will pick up any slack that appears when one of the Old Guard shuts it down or loses interest.


A hoist, then, of one final Guinness to Ignatious J. Reilly.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Live Action Post-Mortem

With respect to my manliness, or lack thereof, regarding my pre-pokering drink of choice, I had to make a change. The comments have finally got to me. My shield, my armor, they have been eroded by the steady, unyielding onslaught of comments by my fellow bloggers, G-Vegas-ites, and random passersby. The gay-tini was no more.

What took its place, you ask? Well, PFChang’s has something called the Szechuan Mary. It’s a rather spicy Bloody Mary and comes laden with green olives and chilly peppers. I was calling it the Bloody Szechuan, which unfortunately sounds too similar to a dirty Sanchez. So Szechuan Mary it is. Now go make fun of Otis, he had a dirty Grey Goose. It was skanky in fact. I wish I were man enough to drink one.


The G-Vegas 4 were short one member last night. To find out why, head on over here. Surely just a bump in the road for him, G-Rob will be back sooner than even he thinks. As an aside, during his Spring/Summer heater, I was convinced G-Rob’s game had transcended everyone else’s. Like all poker players, I have a poker ego. I was content to put it aside, however, and just sit back and learn. He was simply that good. Hopefully, I’ll have a chance to return the favor, as the changes to my game based on watching G-Rob this summer have really turned things around for me.

TheMark, late as usual, regaled us with tales of another local higher stakes game that he played in last week. A $5/$10 uncapped game. He was there last week and casually mentioned that at least $25k was on the table at one time. I smiled, thinking that someday, if I get lucky enough, I could one day join him. For now, my bankroll says $1/$2 or $2/$5. As soon as TheMark mentioned that he purchased on X-Box 360, Otis interrupted what was sure to be a dork-filled conversation by saying, “Let’s go play some poker.” So we did.

When we sat down at the Gaelic Game, we were notified that this game too was now uncapped. Amusingly, nobody bought in for more that $200. Things started off well when on hand #2, I stacked a short-buyer when my KK held over his JJ. It’s usually hard for me to win early and maintain focus. Last night was no exception.


I took a beat early. And at first I was upset. I had pocket Tens in the big blind. With what seemed like 18 limpers, I raised the pot to $20 pre-flop. I got one caller. The flop was 287, and I bet over half the remaining stack of my opponent. He pushed with 97o and caught running 5,6. Like I said, I was a bit upset. But as I looked at my opponent, I felt a hint of pity.

There’s no room for pity at the poker tables. But this guy, judging from his behavior and his overall demeanor, just had “loser” written all over him. He wasn’t going to be winning money any other way than to get his money in behind and suckout. In fact, he destroyed someone else when he called all-in, yes called all-in, for over $300 on an open-ended straight draw. The other player with pocket Kings never had a chance. Inside, I smiled, knowing that he was a player that fueled the game. A player that got lucky every now and then. A player, that when he did get lucky, most likely thought he played well that night. It’s a love/hate relationship with these players. We loan them money in brief spurts so that they will continue to donate over the long term.

I was upset to see those Kings get cracked, because the guy who lost with them left, taking his slutty-looking girlfriend with him. There’s nothing like having a crack-whore parade around in a cutoff shirt with her back tattoo exposed.


Sometimes, at these games, people steam. I have, I will again. It is unfortunate though when you see someone steam, get lucky, and then get paid off. WitchProject was one such player. Normally, he’s solid, if a bit predictable. But last night, after blowing through two buy-ins rather quickly, he caught an inside straight draw on the turn and took a buy-in from Otis.

And that pissed me off a bit too. Otis was directly to my left. His mood throughout the evening was more positive than I’d seen in a while. We were having fun. That suckout seemed to take some of the wind out of his sails and he left earlier than anticipated.


In the category of playing the player, I limped with T9o and flopped trips. Against savvy opponents, I’d probably bet out. But against a field of donkeys, slow-playing is still a very viable option. We checked around on the flop. The turn brought a 9 and I had the nuts. I smooth called a $20 lead out and one player behind came along as well. The river brought an 8, completing both a flush and a straight draw. I still had the nuts. The player who led the turn, led the river for $40. I raised to $140 and after one fold, the EP player pushed. Easy call. He had pocket 8’s.


I’m still a loser at the Gaelic Game. But last night certainly helped. What’s even better, I didn’t have to rely on the Procedure to win.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Genius of Silence

The scene is a $50NL 2-7TD table on Stars. I had already more than doubled my buy-in and was just waiting around for some decent cards to play. Of course, Triple Draw hands can take a bit of time so I'm doing some light non-pr0n browsing while I wait.

Another player at the table had just won a pot to bring his stack up to about $75. During the hand that just finished, said player stood pat for the final two draws; and when it came time for showdown, he typed into the chat box "You lose" to his opponent prior to his hand being shown.

He was correct. His opponent who had been drawing one the last two rounds paired his five on the last draw. The trash-talker felt quite content with his A2346. "Hmmm," I thought to myself, "This jackass has no idea that Aces are high."

The other player who bricked up with his pair pulled perhaps one of the wisest moves I've ever seen online. He simply replied to the idiot by typing, "Nice hand, bro." Wow. Nobody else at the table said anything either. I began to drool just a little.

Two hands later, I'm dealt a pat 76532. It's the number 3, in 2-7 speak. Ace High Idiot pre-flop raises and I re-raise, honestly expecting a fold. He calls and draws two. I overbet the pot. He calls. And then stands pat. With one draw to go, I put him all in. He calls. And then stands pat.

His A2569 was no good.

Like I told G-Rob last night, this 2-7TD is free money at this point. Get in before the players get good. My unsustainable, insane +66.7 PTBB/100 hands can't last. Can it?

Monday, November 13, 2006


Update: I just noticed what happened to Pauly's Tao of Poker site. He got hi-jacked by some Absolute Poker affiliate and at this point nobody from Absolute Poker is helping out. I'd like to hope Absolute will make things right with him, but until then, I'd recommend avoiding giving them any business. You just don't mess around with the good Dr.


As is customary, I did not cash in the G-Vegas HORSE event. With 5k in starting chips, I never saw 6k. I did last longer than Otis though. But that's only because he took a sick beat when he flopped a set of Queens. His opponent flopped top two with AQ and an Ace hit the river. Stupid limit poker....stupid*.

I managed to tilt myself hard afterward by trying to round up a cash game. Managed to get four players after extreme coercion of one reluctant guy. Then I proceeded to get rivered twice for big pots and then half the players kept getting up to go watch the end of the Florida - Carolina game. So, I had to simply leave. Wasn't feelin' it. The tilt was magnified by the fact that my daughter decided to score her first goal of the soccer season during today's game, the one that I missed to play HORSE. Hello Mr. Guilt-trip, I'd like a one way ticket to Shootmyself.

I had thoughts of heading to the Gaelic Game and meeting up with G-Rob there, but the whole "not feelin' it" vibe kept lingering around. So I stayed home with the Mrs., even though she and the kids went to bed early. I hung around online playing the new PL2-7 triple draw on stars. I'm up a few buy-ins already, and it's already a fun and interesting new game. I'm sure half the fun is me being up.


It's funny. As a cash game player, there aren't really many watershed moments. A tournament player will have those big cashes to celebrate, but the cash game player just hopefully makes steady progress. Sometimes you can't see how well you're doing without looking very far back to see where you were months ago.

That's why setting long-term goals is so important. You can chart progress that way, and even during the down-swings, you can properly assess their overall impact towards hitting your goal. So I'm officially going to jinx myself right here.

My yearly goal (which has been the same each year) of doubling last year's winnings has been officially met. Amazingly, I'm closer to tripling last year's winnings; with a little luck in the last month and a half, I will.

Stay tuned for coming posts wherein I lament my momentary lapse of taunting the poker gods with tales of success. I would guess that post will come as early as tomorrow, but we'll see.

* That's a reference to one Mr. Mo Vaughn, who during one interview on Boston radio forgot he was still mic'd. His famous quote was "Stupid Boston fans....stupid."

Friday, November 10, 2006

Saturday in G-Vegas

With HORSE being the new hold 'em, G-Vegas had to finally adapt. On Saturday, TheMark will be hosting a HORSE tourney, the first of its kind here in the land of palmettos. TheMark will be using his new Bellagio-replica ceramic chips that arrived last weekend.

Should be fun.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Oddities of a Solo Rage

I ended up folding. The play of the villain stank of the $25NL games I used to play in regularly. Passive play, limping, and if you eventually managed to hit the nuts, JAM. In the end, I figured I was beat. The villain had no concept of a value bet, because I would have paid off a pot-sized bet on the river. Easily. I got most of his money later.


So it was Election Tuesday, and the G-Vegas 4 were not to play together for the first time in weeks. Still, as is BadBlood's wont, a poker night is not to be wasted. It was with little anticipation that I made my way to Chang's, flying solo. It was rainy, as it seems to always be, and I walked into the bar. Prior to sitting down, I hit up the restroom, and when I finally got to an empty seat at the bar, a dirty Grey Goose martini was waiting for me.


Still early, the bar was not crowded. The waitress asked me if I wanted to put my order in for lettuce wraps; I told her I was going with the Hot 'n Sour soup instead. "Good choice," she replied and my evening was off to a fine start. There was one other patron sitting next to me. We exchanged small talk, both of us upset at the news of K-Fed's impending loss of access to what was at one point the finest ass in show business. Sucks to be him.

The bartendress refilled my drink as the talk shifted to Outback Steakhouse's parent company selling its business. Apparently, they own Carabas and other fine establishments. I told whomever was listening about the Bonita Spring's Carabas in Florida and their 5pm Happy Hour. Two-for-one drinks. A wink and a nod later, and my Chang's bill was absent one martini.


It was still too early to head to the game, and I was done with my Chang's experience. At the Gaelic game, I'm currently a loser - five sessions and only once on the plus side. I needed to remedy the situation. I called upon The Procedure. With apologies to Chris Jericho, I've never....EVER...lost at poker when following The Procedure. I don't know why, but I don't care either. It just works. With that plan in mind, I made my way to the land of two dollar bills.

I don't need to spend much time nor much money there. A simple, standard dance will do. As I was double fisting some Coors Light, I felt a tap on my shoulder. Much to my surprise, it was my fellow PF Chang's bar mate who I'd met an hour earlier. Great minds apparently think alike. His excuse was that traffic was too busy to even consider a drive back to his home town near Charlotte. My excuse was that I needed to win at poker. "Hugh" and I continued the small talk, made even smaller by the approach of two entertainers. Satisfying my criteria, I partook of the offer made to me; The Procedure was in full effect.

Two nameless songs later, I left and drove the rainy drive down to the Gaelic Game. I sat at the main table, with the Spring Hotel Steel Lady fan dealer. Meg brought me a Red Bull and Vodka without any prompting.


I played an OK game, winning and losing pots with bluffs. The cards were dry. I won the blinds with Aces. I had Kings once and my re-raise pre-flop got Crispin to lay down pocket Jacks face up, apparently tired of losing pots to me. Jeff was there too. He played normally, oddly enough, at least for a while. He became bored and lapsed into Jeff-mode, placing $50 into the pot pre-deal. I was UTG and woke up with Queens. I limped.

Folded to the player on Jeff's left, he called for $50. I pushed. Jeff called blind and the other guy wilted under my pressure. Jeff had T3o. Even though he turned a ten, I found a way to not lose the hand. And that's basically all the poker I can remember. I had nothing, zip, nada. Still, I walked out of there near 2am with an extra $262 in my pocket.

The Procedure remains flawless. Long live The Procedure.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

What's Your Move?

Information about villian: He bought in short to the table and played what I would call a weak/passive game. Small bets at orphan pots, seldom re-raising pre-flop.

I called the pre-flop re-raise hoping for a smooth call from UTG and that's what I got. I also hit my set. I don't understand the smooth call of my turn raise. He either has KK, QQ, AT or a complete bluff. At least that's what I put him on. QQ makes the most sense - it fits a pre-flop re-raise and a check on the K-high flop. The raise I made on the turn may be regarded as a bluff, so calling with QQ there isn't a bad play either. It hit the "TIME" button on this one. I'll post next with what I did.

The taunting for me to call was certainly an influence on my action.

PokerStars Game #6903198019: Hold'em No Limit ($2/$4) - 2006/11/05 - 11:02:26 (ET)
Table 'Mensa IV' 6-max Seat #6 is the button
Seat 2: villain ($495.50 in chips)
Seat 3: badblood44 ($721.45 in chips)
Seat 5: UTG($393.80 in chips)
Seat 6: UTG+1 ($79.80 in chips)
villian: posts small blind $2
badblood44: posts big blind $4
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to badblood44 [7d 7s]
vinho1: folds
UTG: raises $8 to $12
villian: raises $8 to $20
badblood44: calls $16
UTG: calls $8
*** FLOP *** [Kd 7h 3d]
villian: checks
badblood44: checks
UTG: checks
*** TURN *** [Kd 7h 3d] [Jc]
villain: bets $12
badblood44: raises $28 to $40
UTG: folds
villain: calls $28
*** RIVER *** [Kd 7h 3d Jc] [Qh]
villain: bets $435.50 and is all-in
villain said, "no luck."
villain said, ":)"
villain said, "I bluf"
badblood44 said, "you hit QQ?"
villain said, "aha :)"
villain said, "no 23"
villain said, ":)"
villain said, "play"
villain said, ":)"

Friday, November 03, 2006

Inquiring Minds

Inquiring minds, inquiring minds…..

The policy at the Spring Hotel states that 80% of the jackpot is given to the player and 20% is reserved for seeding the next one.  When I walked into the game on Wednesday, the dry erase board on the refrigerator said “1803.”  As there were two tables running, that number was slightly outdated.  When all was said and done, I received 1498 play money chips.  I tipped the Steel Lady fan $50 and kept the rest in play.  Because I could.


One side item.  When I won the jackpot, I have to say that I was incredibly pumped.  Otis did not lie in the comments below the previous post.  But the thing that really made the event for me was my three friends high-fiving me in a genuine display of congratulatory enthusiasm for my win.  We’re all poker players, to be sure.  But even more than that, we’re all good friends first and foremost.  There was no jealousy or envy, just genuine smiles and cheering on my behalf.  It’s hard to describe, but that memory will surely stay with me more than any other.  I wish I had a can of Bud Light handy so I could say in quite an unmanly tone….”Sniff…I love you guys!”


When things finally calmed down, I still had work to do.  Crispin, after having been dealt such a cruel blow to his chip stack, took things incredibly well.  He complimented me for two things.  First, he was actually glad I didn’t slow play him.  He’s seen cases where jackpot winners have given the remaining players in the hand a break by not betting because they were happy with just the jackpot.  I confided that I thought my push was my way of letting him off easy, because I figured he’d fold.  But still, a poker player’s code of ethics dictates winning as much as you can, and Crispin could appreciate that.  He also commented about keeping all of the jackpot money in play.  I told him that it would be silly not to.  Why not take full advantage of a big stack?

Deep down, in my poker brain, I still said to myself “Hey, you’re still down.  If it weren’t for the jackpot, you’d still be down about $300.”  So, it became my mission to use the jackpot stash to build my way back to being profitable.


And build it I did.  When you have $1800 in front, and most everyone else is hovering around $200-400, you have quite a hammer.  You can put people to the test if you’re good at reading people.  G-Rob is a master at this.  He will take risks early to build a stack then use it to crush the table.  The success of that strategy all hinges on being able to build that stack and lately it’s been hit or miss for him.  But still, that’s his forte and I like to think that I’ve learned a small bit of that strategy simply from watching him work his magic this past summer.

One thing you do have to look out for are players who have your stack targeted for doubling up.  That’s how I usually operate when I’m the small stack.  The big stacks become the prey.  Sadly, at the Spring Hotel, few people even consider this at all.  Otis, however, knew all about this and was waiting for me to get just a bit too big for my britches.  Gladly, I knew he knew, and after he check-raised me when I had air, I was forced to stay out of pots with him.  But that’s Otis, as you all know.

Still, because the table was still populated with enough of the “other” types of players, I was able to bully a few people out of pots and build my stack even further.  It takes money to make money, as they say.  The beauty of the massive stack is that nobody can put pressure on you.  Their fold equity against you is diminished; that is, if you’re the type of player who doesn’t nurse a profit.  I like to think that I don’t.  In fact, I’m perhaps one of the greediest bastards at the table that you’ll ever meet.  I don’t show it on the outside, but I am constantly looking for opportunities to take all the money available.  It’s a constant balance between bludgeoning others with a big stack and being wary enough to know when others are setting you up.  It’s a completely different brand of poker.  I don’t often get the chance to play with stacks like that, but every now and then it takes things to a whole other level.

So much so, that whenever I have a huge stack to work with, I try to memorize the mindset I’m in.  The total confidence that the stack gives you should be something I can call upon when I’m losing and forced to play a different style of poker.  It’s an amazing contrast between the two levels of confidence that I feel at the table.  I am of the opinion that the confidence factor should be constant and not simply determined by your current session’s profit level.  In reality, mine isn’t and I’d like to eventually get to where it is.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


I was playing rather poorly.  I wasn’t on tilt, I was just playing my cards to ensure maximum damage to my stack.  After donating a little more than 2 ½ buy-ins, I was sitting with a lowly $150 in seat three.  My spirits weren’t bad; after all, I was here with the Big4 of G-Vegas.  It was another well-planned Wednesday, where after a few drinks at a local watering hole complete with a session of “Playing Pool With Morons”, we all hit the black felt at the Spring Hotel together.  “Oh well,” I thought to myself, “can’t win every time.”

I was in early-ish position, perhaps UTG+2.  I still believe that if you want to play a pot, it’s best to come in for a raise than limp.  I still had close to a buy-in in front of me, so when I looked to see 89d for my hole cards, I made it $11 to go.  The semi-solid player to my left, named Crispin, called as did one other late position player.

The flop came.  It was 6dTdQc.  If you’re like me, you love that flop.  I’ve got an incredibly well concealed double belly buster straight draw as well as a flush draw.  I was of the belief that the flop hit me pretty well.  So I led out for $20 and Crispin smooth called.  LP folded and the turn came.  It was the 3 of clubs.  Whoosh.  That was the sound of me missing my draw.

I hated to, but I checked the turn.  Time to see if Crispin was made.  Apparently, he wasn’t.  He checked the turn too and I got to see the river for free.  There it was.  The seven.  Of diamonds.

I wish I could see my own face when it hit, to see if I gave anything away.  I figured Crispin for a fold, but based on other circumstances, I didn’t care to extract any more value from him on this hand.  I pushed my remaining $125 or so into the pot and he insta-called.  Poor bastard.  He had AJd for the nut flush.

Debate ensued as to whether you can call the Ace-high flush the nut flush when there’s a straight flush that beats it.  There are two schools of thought.  First, a straight flush is a better flush than the Ace high and should be called the nut flush.  However, others claim that the straight flush is a separate hand in and of itself, beating a full house and quads – something a normal flush cannot do.

I didn’t give a rat’s ass.  Sure I doubled up and won a nice pot.  But I didn’t care about that either.  Why?

Because at the Spring Hotel, there’s not only rake taken out of the pot, but also an additional dollar.  For the jackpot.  Which is triggered any time someone hits a straight flush to the Ten or higher.

Like I just did.

Next up:  BSP – Big Stack Poker