Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Well, I'm going back. Last time I went, there was very little poker to play. My traveling companion was my better half. I had a really, really good time too. Seeing shows, eating well, staying in a fancy schmancy hotel room. Even ordering room service was something I'd not done before on previous trips.

Now, I'm putting the old hat back on, hoping it fits. I'm booking a poker trip. Back to Vegas with the UpForPoker crew. Sleeping far to little on floors far too uncomfortable, staying far too long in the same seat at MGM poker room, drinking far too much at a PaiGow table (FYI - I hate that game), and spending far too little time with other folks who may be out there at the same time. That's how the plans are shaping up.

G-Rob's bogus vacation schedule prevents us from leaving at the same time, so I'll be out there one day ahead of him on Wednesday the 25th. He's asked me not to go broke before he gets there. If I can stay away from the Rhino, I have a good chance of avoiding that. I'm bringing a good amount of cash, which doesn't mean I'll put it all in play. But I'll be prepared for any runner-runner mishaps that may occur.

The real enabler of this trip is Otis. And again, I really have to thank him profusely for letting this moocher leech yet again some free floor space off of him. This is probably the 4th time.


So I pose a practical question at this point (Dr. Pauly and Grubby if you'll be out there): Are we gonna do the procedure?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

989:1 Favorite

Thought I could slow play. Silly me.

Friday, May 23, 2008

"You're Right, I Don't Have Spades"

Instead of the opening scene of Rounders, it's the last hand of the night on a Thursday night. We're four-handed, playing 1/1 $100 max. It's a straddled pot (why wouldn't it be?), and all four players see the flop. I'm holding A6o.


I've flopped two-pair. It's a pretty strong hand four-handed, but with the flush draw out there, I have to bet.

"Ten," I say as I toss two red chips into the middle.

"I call." My only opponent, Dr. Alan could very well be on a flush draw.

The turn hits, it's my money card, 6d. It gives me a fullhouse. But the flush draw hasn't hit yet, so I check my monster.

"Ten more," says Dr. Alan.

Hmmm, maybe not a draw, maybe a weak Ace.

"I raise. Fifteen more."

"Check-raise, huh? OK, I call."


River is the 9s. He made his flush, I've got him right where I want him.

"Are you gonna check-raise me again?"

I reply, "I'm not sure I can afford to let you check the river behind me if I don't bet."

I stack out ten red chips, cut them in half, and like a poker pro, spill the right half in an elegant display of my poker wizardry.

"How much is that?" he asked.

"Fifty even."

"I raise. Make it a hundred."

Let's see, uh...I got the 15, plus, uh, another 33 to um raise you um uh...Yeah, I'm gonna go all in, cuz I don't think you have the spades

"All in!" I figure to double up here, in fact I wouldn't be surprised to get a fold out of my raise. It's nearly a $200 raise.

Then I'm frozen. Dr. Alan insta-calls.

"Full house!" he says.

You're right Mike, I don't have spades.


Last year, Dr. Alan would have flopped a set of 8's against me and I'd have lost the $600 pot.


It's 2008.

He had 86o for 6's full of 8's.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Running good. It's a great feeling. And I know the trigger. The peculiar piece of happenstance that launches me into a streak of good fortune.

It's the "You ha' full house! You can' lose!" theory.

Recall that bad beat I had in New Orleans when I flopped middle set against top pair. I'll never forget that Asian gentlemen who sat next to me assuring me a nice sized pot would be coming my way.

Well, it happened again. But this time it was online and there was no talking during the hand. Just me launching a few expletives after the hand. But I couldn't get too mad, the hand occurred in a silly little sit 'n go.

I took a break. Had dinner. Put the kids to bed. And re-launched into some cash games.

Stats for the curious:

Hands: 310
Showdowns won: 23/26
PTBB won: 158

How? I got my hands in good. And as you can see, for the most part, they held up. I'm a bit embarrassed to say that this was at CAP NL. Capped. For the truly inept deepstack online players which I have sadly morphed into. But when you can eliminate some massive river mistakes from your game, which CAP NL does for you, then you can post some winnings. And post some winnings I have.

So. I ha' full house.

I can' lose.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Can't Touch That Day

I was scheduled for jury duty this past Monday. Not really knowing what to expect, I informed my boss that I'd be out for the entire day. Sometimes when you plan for the worst, it's easy to exceed your expectations. Pessimism. You should try it.

I had to state my name, my occupation, my marital status, and spouse's occupation.

"BadBlood, hot air balloon pilot, married to a professional poker player groupie."

"No, your honor, I don't play. It's illegal."

Those were the thoughts rumbling through my brain as I sat in front of the district judge. A small up tick in my maturity level prevented me from actually saying that, so I told the whole truth, nothing but the truth. So help me flying spaghetti monster. Or microscopic teapot if you're G-Rob.


I was elected to participate in three trials. My occupation as engineer was enough to sway two defense attorneys to excuse me from their juries, but I got nabbed for three anyway. There was time for me to go to lunch with the wife in between my first dismissal and my first trial. So I took her to a local sandwich shop and then to the mall. It's her birthday and I figured I'd get her some perfume for the kids to give to her. She likes the new Victoria's Secret stuff and who am I to refuse a trip inside a store where this woman is plastered all over its walls?


My phone rang. It was G-Rob calling from home.

"I have some exciting news for you," he said.

"Cool, spill it."

"I'm taking a nap."

For literally only a millisecond, I wondered why that was exciting news. But only a millisecond.

"Surely someone of your intelligence can figure out why that's exciting," he continued.

"Ah ha! You're going to play poker at Rick's tonight then go straight to work afterward."



I was about to pay for the perfume when the Mrs. pointed at the sales clerk about to come over.

"Check out this woman's boobs," she said, "they're gigantic."

"If you say so."

Oddly, I'd seen them before.

I know what you're thinking. Otis thought the same exact thing when I told him about the encounter. The sales clerk took my credit card and said, "You look familiar. Where I have I seen you before?"

Expect the worst. Hope for the best. The whole truth, nothing but the truth.

"The gym," I responded. You may not believe me, but that was really the case.


The jury trial scheduled for that afternoon turned out to be a traffic violation. Illegal lane change. Why on earth was this infraction escalated all the way to trial? I could think of only two reasons: One, the defendant was so sure he was in the right, he was willing to go to whatever lengths to ensure his side of the story was recognized as truth. Two, he had too many points on his license and this ticket would be just enough to get it suspended.

After hearing both side's testimony, we adjourned to the jury room.



Poker was odd last night. I was all-in twice with pocket Jacks, each time with roughly 50% equity. The first was on the flop against Otis. The board was 972, two hearts. He held the 68 of hearts for the 15-outs twice scenario. We ran it twice as is often done on huge pots. I won the first and lost the second on the river. It was somewhat exciting, but we split the pot in the end.

The second time, I was all-in pre-flop as a somewhat short stack. I was up against KQ suited, a early position, re-raise, "move" from Gucci Rick. We ran that twice too. Again I won the first and lost the second on the turn.

I expected the worst. So I wasn't too displeased with the results.

Then I folded away for about 2 hours. Discipline.


Things go in streaks at the poker table. Right now, I'm in a streak with G-Rob wherein he doubles me up at some point. I doubled him up at my birthday party cash game. He's returned the favor twice in return. Last night's double up put me in the profitable zone for the first time all evening at about 11:30. It can pay to wait sometimes, hard though it may be.

It was after all exciting news. Playing poker with your friends just can't be beat. Especially on a Monday.

Monday, May 12, 2008


As Ric Flair once may have said, this past weekend I was stylin', profilin', and stimulizin'. My economic stimulation package came via electronic one's and zero's into my checking account Friday. What better way to spend it, than invest it for the future. LOL, did I just say that?

What I meant was, "Welcome home, my new Samsung 52" LCD. Welcome home."

Granted, I have no 1080p source to feed its pixels, but eventually I will.

So here's a question for you gamer-types, a group in which I used to firmly reside in my LAN party days:

Why on earth would you buy a Blue-Ray DVD player when they cost $399? Because you can buy a Playstation 3 for the same price. And it has a built-in Blue-Ray DVD player. Seems kind of odd to do otherwise.

Now if a PS3 makes the right sense to you, what games should come with it?

And, one final question: Assuming I make such a purchase, how do you tell your video game prodigy son that he can't play it when Daddy's not home?

Monday, May 05, 2008

ELP - Track #6

Saturday I awoke with one of those purely content feelings. Sadly, I sometimes have to reconcile my mood with my poker results. I'm not 100% sure what that says about me now, but with positive poker results under the belt, it's much easier for my mind to be vacant from negativity. Quite a contrast from last year when each losing session made it easier for me to focus on the general day-to-day shortcomings that simply occur naturally for everyone.

By this time last year, I had already lost two four-figure pots with AA vs KK all-in pre-flop. It's just the way things went. It's not like I was playing badly those hands, nor really was my opponent. It's just simply a poker given. The hand played out in very standard fashion.

Friday night at my homegame, the same hand occurred. This time, my AA held up against G-Rob's hand. Again, standard poker. As such, my results this year are astronomically better than last year. So much so, that someone finally accused me of running like God. It would be hard to disagree.

Am I really that much of a different player this year than last? I don't think so. Do results seem to snowball whether they're good or bad? Yes. Absolutely they do. When you're running well, you don't think about losing. You don't focus on how you could have played a hand differently, because you won it. When the opposite is true, too much of your focus is lost on previous hands, previous results and how you simply have to change things drastically to improve. Well, I'm here to say that sometimes you don't have to change, at least not as much as you think you do.

Maybe it takes a while. Maybe it takes a four to five month losing streak to let you understand how even good players can run bad. Losing makes you question yourself for so long and for so hard. It takes a special kind of confidence to overcome, a confidence in yourself that flies in the face of far too much data accumulated over the course of dozens of losing sessions.

The contentment I awoke with on Saturday spilled over into other facets of my life. I truly felt lucky to be where I am in this world. My family is happy and healthy. I'm gainfully employed. I have to admit, on the inside, I tend to be a pretty selfish person. It's a me-against-the-world philosophy that I've inherited from my parents. For me to succeed, you have to lose. But that's not really the case. There are times when everyone can win.

My wife teaches 3-year olds at a church. There are a lot of families that attend that have difficulty making ends meet. There are several programs there that accept anonymous donations so that help is given where it is needed. I've decided that some of my good fortune this year should be spread out, even if only a small bit. So that's where some of my poker winnings will go later this week.

I am a lucky man.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Ramblings To Up My Post Count

Luckily, I have no monthly constraints on my posting frequency (nudge to the ribs of some friends). So I can throw up posts like this one and not care a whole helluva lot about its quality. I know it's crap, but we can't all be Pauly's.

On the way home from Vegas, I watched There Will Be Blood on my iPod touch. Unbelievable performance by Daniel Day-Lewis. Most powerful acting I've ever seen. Not that I'm some kind of movie aficionado, but even I could recognize his brilliance there. "I. Drink. Your. Milkshake."

Closing out April, I had a decent month in live poker but a negative month in online poker. Still up overall for the year in both, but the online ring game still haunts me and frustrates me. I'll do very well in Turbo SNG's but then get bored and try my hand at ring games. Then I'll do well, get bored, and lose more than I've won in a frustrating frenzy of donkism. Do people always have monsters these days in 6-handed NLHE? Apparently against me, they do.

You've seen me shred, but as of last week, G-Rob bought an acoustic guitar. I figured what the hell and did so as well. Now I can play all metal intros because the cliche'd acoustic parts rule. To wit: Battery from Master of Puppets. I'm also considering covering all Spinal Tap songs acoustically. I have most of Tonight I'm Gonna Rock Ya (Tonight) properly arranged.

Kids are good. Wife is good. Work is work. Monday's continue to be the highlight of my week. I've managed to gather enough folks for a home game tonight and am looking forward to that. It's been a while since I've played on a Friday. G-Rob can play, which is both good (company-wise) and bad (pot-size-wise).

I leave you with one joke from Thursday night's game last week, courtesy EasyE. A man lays by the bedside of his wife, who's been in a coma for months with no response whatsoever. Undeterred, the husband sits by her side every day looking for a sign, a glimpse of movement that would indicate she someday might improve. One day, while reaching his hand up to stroke her hair, he accidentally brushes one of her breasts. At that point, her eyes begin to flutter a bit and he thought he could detect some minor movement. He excitedly tells the doctor what happened. The doctor says, "This is a definite breakthrough. This may sound odd, but I want you to try something. The nurses and I will leave the room, after which I want you to try oral sex with her. That just might be enough to trigger a response." The doctor and nurses leave the man unattended with his wife. Not five minutes later, the monitors at the nurses station indicate that the woman is flat-lined. Shouts of "Code blue! Code blue!" fill the hallway as the doctor and nurses rush into the room. "What happened???" asked the doctor. The husband, with a puzzled look on his face could only respond, "I think she choked."

Hope everyone has a good weekend.