Monday, November 30, 2009


Wikipedia states, "9 (nine) is the natural number following 8 and preceding 10. The ordinal adjective is ninth." Oddly, no mention on that site about the number of days before I'm in Vegas. What a garbage site, no utility whatsoever.

I'm wearing a hefty pair of lollerskates thinking about how much work I'll get done between now and then. Here are some things I am thinking about:

Number of work days until Vegas: 7
Number of workouts until Vegas: 5
Number of live poker sessions until Vegas: 2
And in the totally random department, number of free mp3 downloads I received from Amazon for ordering my kids Christmas presents there last week: 5
(For those who care and for those who don't)
i. You Shook Me - Loudness
ii. No One Gets Left Behind - Five Finger Death Punch
iii. The Air That I Breathe - The Hollies
iv. Cracklin' Rosie - Neil Diamond
v. I Only Wanna Be With You - Volbeat

Live poker at the Gooch tonight. See you folks in 9 or 10.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Stack and a Story - Vol III

This stack is from this past Friday night. You should see 2 purples ($100), 5 stacks (40 in height) of $5, 1 stack of $25's (20) and some more $5's and $1's. Here's the hand of the night that helped me get into this position:

The blinds at this game are $1/3 and I open raised to $10 with KdKh with an effective stack of $600. TheMark, sitting directly to my left, re-popped it to $30 and the BB (a player I've not played with) flat called. At this point, I'm putting both on either big Aces or mid-to-high pocket pairs. You'll see why this preflop analysis on my part turned out to be problematic.

Not one to smooth call when I think I'm ahead, I re-raised to $130. I should find out if TheMark has Aces here, however he's been known to flat a four bet with them, so I was wary. I figured the BB would fold, but he again smooth called $100 more. I thought that was odd.

The flop came T99 rainbow. BB checked and I put out a bet of only $150. Why? Well to be honest I hated that flop. Pocket Tens is right in that pre-flop smooth calling range of the BB. I don't like his passive play, but he was deep and I suppose that could have been his style. I also wanted to find out if anyone was willing to raise that bet since it was so small compared to the pot size. At this point, the pot was pretty big and I don't think any one was going to bluff at it since nobody had much fold equity given the remaining stack sizes.

TheMark ended up folding, claiming AK suited later on. Then the BB surprised me and check-raised me to $350. Ugh. Exactly what I didn't want to hear.

So I went into the tank. I looked for tells. I asked him, "Did you really flop a full house?" Luckily for me, I had been paying attention to his play in previous hands and based on that, his response to my questioning (a certain live tell that's been reliable to me), and the pre-flop action, I finally said, "Well if you did, good for you. I'm all in."

He deflated immediately. All he could say was, "I guess I have to call now." The board came 5 and then a Q. His pocket 3's were no good. I almost folded to his flop check-raise, I almost did. But you can't build a stack and a story by folding.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Stack and a Story

This is my favorite stack of all time. I'll try to explain.

The chip denominations are $25, $10, $5, and $1 from left to right. I also had some bills as you can see. This poker night was a night like no other and will most likely never be reproduced for as long as I play.

Early on, I lost my first buy-in of $300 with KK to AA on a 9-high flop. Semi-cooler, but it happens. The guy playing AA never re-raised me until it was too late for me to fold. I re-bought for $600 and from then on never lost a showdown.

We've had big stacks at Gucci Rick's before. But the pic you see before you represents the biggest stack and biggest profit of all time. Yeah, I'm going all Barry Horowitz and patting myself on the back. But I really didn't play all that great, I just hit a run of cards that was truly amazing.

At one point in the night, I had $4000 in front of me. For a $1/$2 game, that's pretty redonkulous. There is really no better feeling in the poker world - a huge stack, an unbreakable confidence, and the knowledge that everyone at the table is envious of your chips.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Stack and a Story

Here's another attempt at doing something that probably won't last as long as intended. Feel free to copy the idea, in fact, I encourage it. Here's the concept: Post a picture of a chip stack you've taken while at the tables and see if there's a story behind it. Even if it's just a small anecdote. Here's attempt #1:

The date was June of 2008. I was bumming yet another free room off of Otis who was doing his duty to God and Pokerstars by covering the WSOP $50k HORSE event. If I recall correctly, it was a Wednesday and G-Rob wasn't slated to be there until the next afternoon.

I remember my first thoughts were to go find a $1/$2 NL game at the Rio. As many of you most likely know, the Rio will spread $1/$2 NL in its regular poker room during the WSOP, but all cash games in the Amazon Ballroom were $2/$5 and up. I recall beginning my walk away from all the action and then doing a double take.

What a pansy. I'm at the Rio, during the WSOP, and I'm walking AWAY from the Amazon room to go play poker. That didn't make any sense. I turned my self right around and immediately bought into a $2/$5 game for $500 and ordered a Grey Goose on ice, straight up.

I played well, even surviving a guest appearance from TheMark at my table, and then took this picture at the height of my profit. $1420 and as TheTrooper97 would say, a G-bar in chips. I would later cash out for a little under $1400 and set the stage for a profitable visit.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Gambling Tales Podcast

I'm famous! Well...not really. But check out the Special-K/Falstaff podcast.

“Press release” from bloggers Falstaff and Special K

Gambling Tales Podcast is now available. Join Falstaff (John Hartness) and Special K (Curtis Krumel) as we take you through the best in lies and legends about gambling today and through the ages. . Show #001 with Badblood and the origins of gambling is available immediately. New shows are scheduled to appear every two weeks. Guests scheduled to appear in future shows include Dr. Pauly, Lee Jones, Dr. David Schwartz (UNLV – Roll the Bones)

The podcast is available at

Available on iTunes at

It will be searchable on iTunes by the weekend.

Email address for Questions, Comments, and Suggestions:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Gadget Junkie

I love electronic toys. Without question. If it's cool and I can afford it, I want it. I can't explain it so I won't try. As of this writing, I'm in sort of a conundrum. I'm hoping my tech-savvy readers can guide me.

Statements of fact:
I oh so dearly want an iPhone. I covet my neighbor's phone.
I am currently on the Verizon network.
My entire family is on the Verizon network.
I get a 22% discount.....on the Verizon network.
My current phone is a Blackberry Curve.
My contract ends in June of 2010.

Options available to me:
1. Wait until June of 2010. Switch over to AT&T, leaving my family with Verizon. Get the latest, coolest available iPhone. Wipe drool off the box before I open it and make sexy time with it.

2. Go to the local Verizon store. TODAY. Purchase a Motorola Droid phone. Play with it. Understand it's still a cool toy. Stay on Verizon. Manage my conflicting emotions of the pleasure of buying a new toy and the lustful yearning of two more years without an iPhone.


Oh wait. There's option 3. Perform option 1 TODAY and pay early termination fee at Verizon. Because I am a lustful, non-logical individual addicted to tech toys. Now. Must have. Now.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Root, Root, Root for the Home Team

I'm a pretty big sports fan. Not all sports mind you, but enough of them such that most of my live TV viewing is dominated by athletic competition. Since I was born and bred in the North Shore area of Massachusetts, you can imagine where my allegiances lie. Moreso than anything, I've been a diehard Red Sox fan since 1976 when my parents took me to my first game at Fenway. I remember asking why everyone cheered so hard for that Yaz guy.

Beginning in 2001, I became a very spoiled sports fan. The Patriots won 3 Superbowls, the Sox won 2 World Series and even the Celtics grabbed another NBA championship. (I actually used to be a huge hockey fan and would live and die with each Bruins season. Go Terry O'Reilly!) One thing that all those championships taught me was how to appreciate being a fan. Not just a fan of the teams, but a fan of the game, of the competition.

A bunch of my blogging friends are huge fans of particular teams, and I'll be honest, I start rooting for them to experience the same feelings I had when my favorite teams won.

AlCantHang's a huge Phillies and Eagles fan, so when they're successful, I'm happy for him.
Drizz is a huge Vikings fan. It's hard not to hope the Vikings eventually nab a Superbowl victory.
My friend Randy at work is a huge Peyton Manning fan. As a Pats fan, you think I could root for the Colts? I do actually, only if the Pats have been eliminated though. It's hard not to respect Peyton Manning and his accomplishments.
MeanGene - huge Steelers fan, along with my buddy TheAxeman. Am I glad they got to see a couple of Superbowl victories in their lifetimes? Absolutely.
G-Rob and Kentucky basketball. As long as they're not playing Cornell, I can root for them. So that would mean always.
Joe Speaker and the A's? I know he can't stand the Sox, but even I can respect the A's for competing the way they have for years in the Moneyball era.
StB and the Cowboys...I could go on and on.

Anyway, without being too holier than thou, one of the things I hope for is that people can root for their teams without hating on other teams and their fans. Hatred is obviously too strong a word, but is it a requirement that to be a fan of one team, you must hate all others? I understand rivalries have their places in sports, how could I not being from Boston? Again, perhaps I'm spoiled from the success my teams have had, but even I can recognize and respect when the teams and players I'm supposed to hate succeed.

Just curious what everyone else thinks? Maybe that's part of the enjoyment of sports that flies over my head. Only one team can hoist the trophy each year and I do know that misery loves company.