Monday, June 25, 2007

Linkage and Pimpage

I haven't really been a responsible blogger and pimped some other stuff that's out there in a while, so while there's a lull in my ability to relate a decent poker-themed story in a cheap, knock-off Otis impersonation, I simply leave you with the following random shi-zizzle:

Firstly, the Talking Poker Forum that I've just recently been able to re-visit from the friendly confines of my cublice is looking for new members:

Talking Poker Forum

The forum is small-ish, but is thankfully devoid of trolls and morons. And like I've mentioned before, the moderator is a nice guy, frequent contributor and has final tabled a WSOP event twice.

Then there's the Fantasy Sports Live site that Blinders, Pauly and JoeSpeaker have been working on. Looks cool to me so far, and given my short attention span with Fantasy Sports, may be the answer to the age-old problem of not seeing payouts for months on end.

Also, big shout-out to Pauly himself for finishing ITM in Event #38 over the weekend. I guess if you're going to bust out, who better than Erica Schoenberg to do it.

Entirely not poker related, but since Iggy is involved with it, it gets some mention. is a very well put together site focusing on the sport of mixed martial arts. I was one of those folks who in the early nineties forked over the cash for the original UFC pay-per-views and would watch them with some buddies while having a few brews. This site was one that rejuvenated my interest and my, how the sport has changed. Mainstream media has yet to "get it" with respect to the dedication and pure athleticism that the competitors display, but UFCJunkie does.

And finally, as a service to PokerPeaker who asked in the comments of a recent post what I've been listening too of late, here are some suggestions.

The Dead Eye by The Haunted
Shadows Are Security by As I Lay Dying
Internal Revolution by Diecast

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

More Thoughts From Vegas

Last Friday, while still in Vegas, I decided that I'd not leverage my lammers into a WSOP event entry. Rather, I'd venture back downtown to Binions and sign up for the $250 HORSE tournament that was scheduled for 2pm. Falstaff had mentioned it in his blog as a "thing to do," and far be it from me to disagree with someone so wise. Sadly, I would question his wisdom later after he skipped said tournament due to cash game misfortune. Still, I was happy to give it a shot; I'd performed moderately above average in online HORSE cash games and tourneys so I felt I wasn't completely dead money. Perhaps mortally wounded money, but there was still a pulse.

I had the pleasure of seeing Glenn, Felicia and Tonya (MissT74) while I was there. I seem to always run into Glenn and Felicia during the summer trips when the WSOP is going on. But never at the Rio. Probably not a coincidence. ;)

While nothing very spectacular occured during this tournament, I did learn something very valuable about big-time tournament play. There's really no time when you can get away with making a big mistake and live to talk about it. I ended up busting in 85th of 225 after a horrible Stud/8 hand that crippled me.

The structure was a really good one, I lasted for about six hours of play and by the end of it felt mentally exhausted. Think about that for a second. Six hours. It's really not a long time, especially considering WPT and other big time tourneys can take 4 or even 5 12+ hour days to complete.

I gained a ton of respect for the guys (and gals) that can play their best poker for such long periods of time on consecutive days. That's the mark of a real pro. I believe that on any one given hand, anyone can make a superstar play - a heroic call or a savvy laydown. But to do so over the course of thousands of hands and tens of hours of play takes a mental discipline I've not seen in very many people.

Hell, after two hours of online play, I need to get up and walk around for a few minutes. I have to think I perhaps had more mental stamina in my earlier years, which shouldn't be too surprising. The multi-day tournaments end up favoring the poker youth in ways I used to think weren't too significant. But after the Binion's tournament, I've changed my opinion.

Next up in the trip report, less poker and going back to Skool.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Honor Among Thieves

Lying and deception. They are weapons in every poker player's arsenal. Within the constraints of the game you're playing, any time you can deceive your opponent into giving you their chips, most anything goes. And yet, even among the fiercest of competitors, most everyone realizes that their is no price you can put on your integrity and honor. You can't buy back a broken reputation.

On Saturday, I was playing in a MTT HORSE tournament on Full Tilt. I eventually got headsup with my opponent after 4 hours of play and we were basically just trading pots for 20 minutes, all the while remaining nearly even in chips. My opponent finally offered up this in the chat box.

"Hey BadBlood, send me $50 and I'll leave the table."

Without any official way to do a chop, I would have to risk sending a complete unknown some money in order to end this tourney now. The difference in 1st and 2nd place was $124, so I did the honorable thing and offered to send him $62. He of course agreed.

I was slightly hesitant, but fired off the transfer anyway. Once he received it, he offered to cap each street (we were playing Stud) and then fold the river. More risk I thought. But part of me wanted to trust him. So we did just that, capped each street and when the moment of truth came, when he was supposed to fold the river....

He did.

"How about that?" I said to myself. A random internet avatar who was trustworthy. I thanked him for being true to his word and went on to "unofficially" win the tournament as dictated by the terms of our agreement.

Note to Full Tilt: please implement some kind of chop feature.

Fast forward to Saturday night at the Gaelic Game. All of the G-Vegas underground games have a jackpot. Eighty percent of it is awarded to any player that makes a straight flush to the ten or better using both hole cards, the remaining twenty percent saved to seed the next one. I've actually won it twice at the Spring Hotel in the last seven months. Usually, the jackpot grows to the $1500-$2500 range when it will finally get hit. The Gaelic Game's prize was over $7000 on Saturday. That would be a nice score for anyone.

By a random occurance, when I sat down Saturday night, WingnPrayer was seated to my right. He casually asked, "Hey, 75/25 split on the jackpot?"

"Sure, why not?" I responded. And that was it, that was the nature of our agreement, nothing more nothing less.

Wing would soon bust out of my table when his QQ lost all-in preflop to KK. I thought he'd leave and that it would be most unfortunate if I hit the jackpot after he left. Luckily, he rebought at the second table, being dealt by TheTrooper97.

Since hitting the jackpot is so rare, I concentrated on simply playing decent poker. It's funny, without TheMark, Gucci Rick, G-Rob or Otis all at the same table, poker's a bit easier. There wasn't really anyone there who was going to put me and my chips to the test. It was basically a steady chip up session. Relaxing even.

Not much after midnight, a commotion erupted at the other table. Someone had indeed just hit the jackpot. I turned around wondering who was the lucky soul, completely forgetting Wing had moved over there.

Unreal. It was him. His payout? $5768

It wasn't much longer when Wing came over to my table. He paid me on the spot $1442, or my 25% share. Just from a simple nod and an "OK." Frankly, I wasn't worried and I'm sure he wouldn't have been either had the situation been reversed.

Twice in one day - encountering integrity amidst a sea of deceit. What are the odds?

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Wherein I Go To Vegas

This Vegas trip would be my sixth overall and quite frankly was the most impromptu of the bunch. Looking back, I would surmise that my lack of excitement in going could be attributed to the fact that I can play live poker here literally any day of the week I choose. However, as the departure day got closer, my enthusiasm for making the trip grew and grew.

I arrived solo, definitely missing my G-Vegas, Vegas and Tunica wingman G-Rob. As such, rather than take a cab, I bought a shuttle ticket from the airport to the Rio and got lucky with a drop off on its first stop. I met Otis, ditched my bags and saddled up at the Tilted Kilt for some drinks. Not soon after, Change100 and Pauly showed up and we shared some good conversation and decent food. With all three of my companions working for the evening, I decided to go ahead and play some single table satellites in the Amazon ball room to pass the time on my first evening in Vegas.

Before I did however, I managed to spot FlipChip roaming the hallways. It's always great to get the perspective of a Vegas and World Series veteran. As we were speaking, Minh Ly came by to tell FlipChip about his recent exit from a Series event. What a nice guy Minh was. He introduced himself to me so as not to exclude me from the conversation. I don't think many other pro's would have done that, at least not in the friendly manner Minh did.

You may have heard some horror stories about the lines for the satellites, but by the time I arrived, things settled down and the wait times dropped. I probably waited only 15 minutes to get registered for my first $175 satellite. The juice on these things wasn't half bad; it worked out to be a $162+13. For those thinking about entering one, one small piece of advice - get your Harrah's player's card prior to getting in line. You'll need it to register.

How was the play? In all honesty, the structure is not all that good, T1000 to start and 25/25 blinds with 15 minute levels. However, from my estimation, seven to eight of the players at the table have literally no shot at winning. Unless of course they get hit in the face with the deck. And even then, there's no guarantee.

At my first table, I had the unfortunate situation of sitting with someone who felt that they should really be at dinner instead of this satellite. This player went all-in blind every hand. At first he stole the blinds. Then people caught on to his stupidity and played accordingly. One player finally limped as did the button. All-in-boy pushed blind from the big blind and both limpers called. Limper 1 had pocket Kings. Limper 2 had ATs. All-in-boy woke up with Aces. Just fucking great. He eliminated two people and had a T3000 stack at the 25/25 level.

And after all that, he continued his idiocy of going all-in blind and busted in 7th out of 10. Moran.

I, however, managed to finish 6th, losing a race with 88 vs. AK. Ace on the river of course, knocking me out of my 1st WSOP satellite. I was a little put off by the all-in blind guy, but decided I'd register for one more try.

The second tourney went much slower as the players were far more tight. In fact, by the time the 100/200 level hit, we had only lost one player. I was above average with about T1500, but still my M was 5. I'm pretty sure the M concept was lost on the entirety of the remaining players. I open pushed from the button with K9c and then again on my small blind with 76o. Each time I won uncontested pots.

When I eventually pushed with a decent hand, AQo, it was funny to watch the look on the face of one player who thought he trapped me with ATo. I actually won that hand and soon took the chip lead.

Eventually we got to 3-handed play with roughly even stacks for everyone. I offered a 3-way chop as the blinds were 200/400. The elderly gentleman to my left immediately agreed. However, the younger internet whiz kid said, "Let me think about it."

I didn't mind his reluctance. If I thought I had an edge on the remaining players, I'd play it out too. So we moved on. The very next hand whiz-kid min-raised from the button to T800 and I looked down at pocket 5's in the small blind. I pushed as a re-steal, figuring that while he had me covered, he didn't want to go out just yet. And hell, I could still be ahead here. He folded and now I was chip leader.

I eventually busted the elderly guy when my AK beat his AJ. Now I had a 7300/2700 lead. While certainly not purely equitable, I offered the kid one $500 lammer for a chop with me taking the rest. He agreed and I took down $1120 for my efforts. StB and Otis had been sweating the final few hands and I was glad not to let them down. I actually felt really good about my play there and started the trip off with a decent score.

...more to follow.

(Note to readers: While the content of my blog posts will forever be mine and unaltered, I have opened up the possibility of small "Post sponsored by" links at the end. Here is one of those instances.)

Post Sponsored by PokerLetter, a new poker blog chock full of WSOP poker news.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


I will be arriving in Las Vegas at 6pm local time on Wednesday.

StB informed me that the band formerly known as Metal Shop, now Metal Skool, will be playing the Hard Rock Thursday night. I will be there. "What chicken?"

I've missed the last two blogger gatherings and am looking forward to this one for a few reasons. One, I'll get to meet some bloggers I've read for a while but never met - Waffles, Hoy, MiamiDon, Carmen, and others. Secondly, it seems that the gathering is down in size, which for whatever reason appeals to me too.

Of course, I'll get to see the hard working folks in action. Dr. Pauly, Otis, CC, Jason, MeanGene, Change100, and everyone else fettered to the Rio during waking hours. Luckily, I've seen Otis play Pai Gow in his sleep, so we'll get to hang out then.

Rumors are circulating that a Vegas Procedure may be in order. I am ruling out Friday and Saturday for that since, as Al says, that's amateur night.

I'm not sure what I'll play or where I'll play it, but if I had to guess, the NL games at the MGM would be a likely candidate. I'd also eventually like to check out the Venetian and maybe head downtown with Falstaff to a Binions tournament.

I'm spending my last two nights in G-Vegas at home, missing out on The Depot and Gaelic Games. Avoiding any bankroll decimating nights prior to my trip is good karma. As is allowing miniBlood to dominate me at Wii Bowling. (He just missed a perfect game the other night, scoring a 299 with 11 strikes in a row.)

I'm coming back home on Monday so I can avoid the Sunday crowds at the airport. Also, I've had a few people doublecheck my reservations. I'm pretty sure the return flight is June 11th. I'm pretty sure it's in 2007 too. But don't be surprised if I manage to screw that up somehow.

Friday, June 01, 2007

And The Winners Are...

Read the whole entry, the best parts are at the end.

First, I'll fill you in on the answers.

1. Only TheMark correctly guessed that I was ahead in all four $800+ pots I was in last weekend. However, nobody got the end results of 2-1-1 correct. Kind of a trick with a chop in there.

2. In chronological order, the fine females of the WPBT to grab my arms are: Maudie, Jaxia, and Heather.

3. This one was pretty easy: My kitchen, The Depot, Justin's, Stax, and PF Chang's. Chilly aced this one, getting the bonus for the obvious PF Chang pic to show up on my phone when Otis calls.

4. Easily researchable. 7th place at the Luxor.

5. 'twas Charlie Shoten

6. False, haven't yet. Doesn't mean I won't though.

7. Again, Chilly nabbed this one: Concord Card Casino in Vienna Austria

8. Semi-trick question. Ratt/Poison was my 1st ever concert and I once had to take MrsBlood to a Bon Jovi concert as some kind of retribution for something I must have done at some point in our marriage. I saw Metallica about 5 times so that one wasn't it. Sadly, I've never seen Anthrax. Al, don't shoot me.

9. Most everyone got this one: Derek, Pauly, Iggy and Daddy with Iggy in miniBlood's crib.

10. Most people came up with standard fare, however, I must reprint Daddy's submission frankly because he crushed it.

"I'd arrive on a Friday, and you'd take me straight to your favorite strip club from the airport. "Afternoon titties," you'd say. From there we'd grab $120 worth of top shelf vodka and beer, and make our way to the home game at Chez Otis'. We'd both win eleven buy-ins, and head back to your place for late-night omelettes. I mistakingly break out your Flying-V, and start shredding "Youth Gone Wild." Your wife threatens to slice my throat, and I mention that the sight of my own blood only makes me slay power chords even harder. Saturday, we grab what you refer to as "Morning tittes," and then hit up the liquor store again. I suggest finding up a grill to cook our 28 oz. porterhouses on. You agree, and we eat meat for two solid hours. We hit the liquor store again, but only after some "Early-evening titties." We perform "hit and runs" on The Gaelic Game and The Spring Hotel laughing heartily as we leave the latter. I offer to the group as we exit that "I can't friggin' believe the games are so soft down here." We hit up G-Rob's late night spread of $500 NLO8, and you win eleven more buy-ins. I win twelve, but only slightly rub it in that my game must be superior. Sunday, we rise early and freshen up for church. We sit in the back pew, and make fart noises with our hands and armpits. As they escort us out you proclaim loudly that "God is an angle shooter anyway!" I depart on the evening flight, but only after a heartfelt "good-bye" which found us both choking back tears.

It was a good weekend."

The two winners happen to be Chilly and TheMark. I can hand deliver TheMark's book so I'll need a mailing address from Chilly. Nice work guys and thanks for humoring my dumbass quiz.

Oh yeah, one other thing. I'll be in Vegas next week. So there.