Friday, October 31, 2008

Fallout From The War - Track 9

Jordan called me out. "Come on. I mean...come on. Really?"

Lusky did the same on Monday. "Dude, motivation? That was weak."

The best part of blogging sometimes is that you can go back and read what you wrote and then think to yourself, "WTF was I thinking?"


So. If you are a Shadows Fall fan and can figure out what song I'm referring to in the post title, you'll realize that I've just scheduled a trip. December!


Some details: Flying in on Thursday the 11th, leaving Monday the 15th, staying at the MGM. If things go right, Steel Panther will be playing on Friday the 12th at Green Valley Ranch. I'm taking roll call right now.

StB - better show.
PokerPeaker - I'll drag you if I have to.
TheTrooper97 - I know you can see them all the time, but not always with BadBlood. (I thought I might just link to myself right there but that's rather silly.)

Who else is in?


I'll also be looking to add a sushi component to the Procedure. Otis got me into sushi locally here in G-Vegas and I'll admit, I'm hooked. Grumblings are beginning to surface about a potential tournament at the Venetian. If that happens, super, if not, I'm sure we can all crash some Caesar's daily.


The split-second after I clicked purchase, I felt much better. I normally go through buyer's remorse whenever I spend some cash. Not this time. Work is a complete CF right now and the simple thought of 4 days in the desert was all it took to knock me off my doldrums.

Commencing countdown, engines on. 41 days.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Generally Correct, Specifically Wrong

As you've probably heard a million times before, poker is a game of the long term. In theory, you are to make decisions where on average those decisions will yield a profit. Positive expected value. Key word, expected.

Last night at the GucciRick game, I made a fold that I thought was entirely proper. Here's how it went down.

I was in the big blind and I held pocket Jacks. UTG+1, known in these circles as Dean, Dean the Drawing Machine, made a standard opening raise. We can give him credit for a variety of hands, a big Ace, pocket pairs 7 and above. I'm sure you know the drill.

A couple of folds later, CurrentFrank, formerly known as NewFrank, and not to be confused with FranktheTank, made a re-raise. It was a significant re-raise, almost 5x the raise amount put in by Dean. When it folded to me, I simply folded my hand. I showed my fold to one of the many dentists in the game seated to my right and his eyes grew a bit wide at my action. I whispered to him that I knew I was beat, CurrentFrank had me destroyed.

The flop came down T-high rainbow. Dean checked, and as I suspected, CurrentFrank pushed all in. I stood up, I was so confident in my fold that I pretty much made a fool of myself and declared myself King of Big Laydowns. Or some other such idiocy.

Meanwhile, Dean pondered a call.

"You have Queens? Kings?" A-ha, I thought to myself, I wasn't the only one who made such a read. "I call," Dean finally said and tabled his ATo. I was ready for CurrentFrank to flip up his monster.

Instead, he did the unthinkable. He mucked his hand. The turn brought a Queen, the river a blank and Dean raked in a huge pot.

My Jacks would have been good.

Later, I'd say I was fine with the laydown. In fact, I still am. I was up against potentially two opponents, out of position, and post-flop I could only beat AT and a bluff. It just so happened that Dean and Frank actually had those exact two hands making me perfectly incorrect for that one hand.

But correct in the long run? I still think so.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Metal Monday

There's some poker in here somewhere....honest.


If all goes well, I'll throw out a metal recommendation each Monday for the 3 people who read this blog and care about that genre.

I was listening to the latest Arch Enemy on iTunes yesterday and for some reason decided to pay attention to the Genius sidebar. Now, I was relatively confident that I have their entire catalogue, so when I saw a song title called "Walk In The Shadows" I grew curious. That name didn't ring a bell. At least not initially.

I listened to the snippet.

And then I clicked "purchase."

Some of you will recognize that title, as the song I bought is a cover of the classic Queensryche song from when Queensryche was actually very good. It's from their Rage For Order disc which is an underated classic in and of itself.

So that's my recommendation for the week. Take it for what it's worth. Ninety-nine cents on iTunes.


This past weekend I had some success playing the 8-game mix over on PokerStars. What's interesting to me is comparing how each game is played "in the mix" against how it's played at a table where that's your only option. For those unaware, 8-game mix is Limit 2-7 Triple Draw, H.O.R.S.E, NLHE, and PLO.

It was during a round of PLO that this hand came up. I was in the big blind holding KKxx facing a raise and two calls. My Kings were not suited and my backup cards were rainbow rags. It's not a very good hand in PLO especially in early position. But with the 2 callers behind the original raiser, and with me closing off the action, I decided to call. I was playing for set value only.

The flop came down Q-high with two spades. I whiffed. I checked, planning to fold to a continuation bet, especially since one of my two King outs would complete a flush draw. Interestingly, it was checked around.

Of course, the turn was the King of spades, giving me top set on a board with 3 spades. Again, in PLO against 3 opponents, this is nearly a loser 100% of the time. I checked again.

When it got back to the pre-flop raiser, he placed a small bet, perhaps 1/2 the pot. Here is the difference between playing PLO at an 8-game mix table vs. a strict PLO table. A player with significant experience would never make that bet because if he has a flush, then anyone with a set (like myself in this case) has sufficient pot odds to boat up. I had 10 outs with 44 unknown cards, a 3.4:1 chance of making a fullhouse.

So I called, figuring to fold to a check-raise by the two remaining players in the pot. However, they both folded and now I was heads up with the pre-flop raiser. The river brought a Jack, which didn't pair the board.

Again I checked. I'm advertising to the other player that my hand is no good. At no point in this hand did I show any aggression. At a normal 1/2 PLO table, the pre-flop raiser fires a bet on the river regardless of what hand he has. The situation is so entirely bluffable that he should know I cannot call a pot-sized bet here.

Fortunately for me, the player checked behind and I won with my set. He simply had AAxx and got outdrawn. He played the hand very passively which is entirely expected at a table where PLO is just not your main game.


I've basically come to the realization that I'm not going to ever be the "best" at any one game, online or live. My profits normally come from other people's mistakes and me making fewer of them myself. The times I'm going to "outplay" someone are few and far between, especially with the skill level evening out over time.

They used to say Chip Reese's greatest asset was that his D-game was so close to his A-game. While he may not have had the best A-game, he made all his money when his opponents' games slid below their best. My hope is that I'll make some money online when my competancies in the 8-game mix is on average higher than some of the specialists out there.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I have a minor request. Motivate me. I have not yet booked a trip to Vegas in December. I'm a bit run-down, tired, over-worked, and of course losing lately at poker.

The important things in life are good. Wife's good, kids are good, my cast is off and I'm gainfully employed. But I can't even click "purchase" on airline tickets.

Hell, prices are pretty low, there are deals on hotel rooms for the dates in question. But I can't seem to do it. I had a great time at the Bash and would definitely like to see everyone again. I'd like to go catch Steel Panther again. I'd like to get it in good again against some random douchenozzle. I'd even like to press the button again.

But right now, I'm mentally and physically exhausted.

So gimme a reason.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Rollin' Free

Most of us who got tossed off the Google highway as a result of the poker ads we're hosting have most likely felt a drop in whatever revenue we were receiving. It's a fine balance between all that motivates me to throw up a post: blogging for a creative outlet, chronicling my mis-adventures at the felt, telling stories, or even generating income. For yours truly, the income was always just a bonus. But I'll be truthful, selling an ad every now and then was somewhat fulfilling in a way.

In the new environment, I'm always appreciative and thankful for whatever advertisers want to toss my way. In this case, it's an ad and inclusion into a freeroll.

Thursday, for a second time, they've invited me into a freeroll, the first of which I managed to chop four ways with fellow bloggers SeattleJohn and Mookie99. For more information on who's participating, you can check out this page:

Le Tune Challenge - The Battle is On

So, to everyone at Rakebrain, thanks for the opportunity. To the rest of you participating, let's have some fun.

Friday, October 03, 2008


I recently took a look back over my posting history and came to the obvious conclusion that I don't post as much as I used to.  There are a lot of reasons for it, most of them can simply be called excuses:  busy at work, busy at home, not much new to say.

I'll always remember when DoubleAs decided to stop giving away strategy tips (for free no less) on his blog because it was simply a -EV decision.  Why tell your opponents how you play and why you do what you do?  Not that I'll ever be as good a player as he, but right about now I can totally understand how he felt.

I've been playing PLO online pretty much exclusively for the past month.  Nothing outlandish, but for me, a 10,000 hand month is pretty significant.  I'm learning the game, figuring out some obvious strategy and trying to find the subtle tactics that aren't obvious to most players.  And, I'm seeing a lot of mistakes.  Live, Monday night's at Gucci Rick's eventually migrate to PLO8 and I see some of the same trends.

Playing so much of this new game has spawned several ideas that under previous circumstances would be fit for a post.  But the combination of me being too lazy and me not wanting to teach my opponents to become better players has often times left me with a blank blogger text box.

So you get posts and pictures about me breaking my wrist.  Oh, and whining about it too, don't forget that.  Perhaps I only do that on Twitter, but still, I enjoy a good session of complaining.


Random bits and pieces:

I still consider myself the defending champion of Saturday's With Dr. Pauly even though I didn't win last week.  I didn't play, so I haven't lost.  This weekend will be tough since my hometown is having an Oktoberfest.

Speaking of my wrist, my cast came off yesterday.  I almost didn't come back to work.  Due to the advice of my Dr. and Dr. Chako, I still can't put compression stress through the joint, but I'll find ways to work out anyway.  "Oh right hand, how I've missed you...."

And last, but most certainly not least, a pic of a present I received at The Bash.  Fellow BB, thanks again.  This should soon be appearing on a televised final table sometime within the next 20 years.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Post Bash

Before Otis and I went up to Phoenixville, we both decided and declared that we'd follow a one-word credo.  Otis': steady.  Mine: chillin'.  Mission accomplished.

Random one line bits 'n pieces:

1. Met Buddy Dank for the first time.  Cool cat.
2. Drizz was Drizz and for that, he'll always be an A-lister.
3. Got to spend some good time with Doc Chako and The Wife.  That was very cool.
4. Spacepeople continue to rule in their own quiet, unassuming, yet awesome way.
5. Tuckfards.  Heh. Or should I say eh.  Carson and Donkaaaa are pretty damn cool guys.
6. BamBam and Pebs.  Just classic good people all the way around.  Glad I got to spend time with you guys and thanks once again for the card cap.
7.  CK.  Damn, that girl just goes with the flow and knows how to party.
8.  Katitude, to whom I owe some more time as I feel there's a treasure of depth in her personality that I've simply left unexplored.
9.  Astin and Vinnay - also cool people that I'm glad to have met.
10. The Bracelet.  Get your ass to Charlotte dude.
11.  Bacon Mary and Dawn Summers.  Thanks so much for the ride home Friday night.  Now you two know my least favorite form of currency.
12.  Jordan and his lack of wing-eating prowess.  Guy knows how to shave his head though.  Which is a plus.
13.  Rooster, master of the cockblock.
14.  Al.  Got to semi-mosh with him Saturday night when CrystalRoxx went heavy.  Can't believe he crushes so regularly like he does.  Man or machine?

I'm just going on memory here, but I'd like to thank those of you who managed to get to Denny's for some skillets with me on Saturday.  Pretty sure it was a good meal.