Monday, February 26, 2007

One Year Ago Today

One year ago today, at probably this minute, I was rolling through Tucson AZ in my $10 minivan finishing the last leg of my 2650 mile three-day cross country journey. Day One was 850 miles and 12 hours from Delray Beach, FL to Baton Rouge LA. Day Two was the monster 1050 miles and 15 hours from Baton Rouge to Las Cruces NM. Quite a way to spend the weekend. Today was the last portion, Las Cruces to Vegas including two unbelieveably beautiful hours spent on US 93 between Wickenburg and Kingman.

I had sold my house, nearly all of my possessions and my half of a business in Florida, finalized a divorce and was starting a new adventure in my life. I left basically everyone and everything I knew to take a chance if you will on a cross country move to a place I'd been to twice that had a reputation of chewing up and spiting out event the saviest individuals yet offered the thrills and potential fortunes of no other place on the planet.

My circle at the time thought I was fucking crazy to give up my decent live in Florida, a place I loved and thought I would never leave, to go to such an evil place as Las Vegas. Ironically most of that advice helped me to decide to make the move.

Why? I found these people, like 90% of everyone I'd ever met, were not risk takers, they were too conservative on both a social and professional level, they were trapped in a sort of "I tell myself I'm happy but life is just a duldrum of routine." They were too worried about what other people thought forcing them to live and work and censor their thoughts towards others expectations. They were also afraid of the unknown and lacked a true passion towards anything.

I've just never been the 9-5 get married have 2.5 children buy a house with a white picket fence kind of guy. If others are so be it. But really I do question if not sometimes they are living a dream from the 40s and 50s that was passed on to them as children instead of finding something outside the norm that would be there true passion of being.

I grew up in St. Louis but as an adult have lived in Worcester MA, Minneapolis, MN, Secuacus, NJ, Delray Beach, FL and now Vegas for a variety of reasons. At 29 I gave up a decent career and moved to Minneapolis. At 31 I gave up a decent life and moved to Florida to wait tables, play golf and lie on the beach. Now at 40 I was doing again, giving up a decent life and career to start a new chapter in my life.

No I'm not a restless spirit but there came a point in my life that I never wanted to say what if. It had happened too often and my insecurities and fears were the reasons. That and I was always trying to fit in or live up to others expectations instead of being my own man with my own thoughts, and ideas, and desires.

Perhaps helping that cause were some life experiences; battling heroin addiction for much of the late 80s and early 90s, having my best friend die in my arms from said addiction, being diagnosed with and surviving cancer in 1999. I don't think life is too short that we have to do everything we possibly can but I do know that life is not worth living if you are going to be unhappy or not yourself.

I came to Vegas to start the exact same business I had in Florida. Once I got to Vegas I realized I didn't want to start that business. Eventually I decided to try and make a living playing poker and betting on sports. Again most people that I was crazy. My sports betting history was average at best and though I was a recreational poker player on and off for years my first ever live cash game was last March playing 1-3 NL at the Excaliber.

I have a little cushion from selling my business but its certainly not enough to consider myself retired. I will have to succeed in the poker/sports gaming world or at some point I'll will have to find a way to make a living. I hope it never comes to that but in life there are no guarantees, it can all be gone tomorrow you just never know.

I do know I wake up with a smile on my face every single day of the year. I do know the sunshines hear about 350 days a year. I do know that if online poker becomes dried up I can drive 12 minutes and find 40 games at least. I do know in those same 12 minutes I can be at a sports book watching any sporting event thats on a TV. I also know that if these things no longer appeal to me I can find many other things that do because I have the freedom from living in this great country to find my own happiness.

I'm my own man, I'm confortable with who I am and what I am. I don't have to lie or embellish or be ashamed or worry about being judged. I'm true to myself and I sleep like a baby every night. I might not have all I want at this point but I consider myself to be extremely fortunate to have the realization and self awareness to be who I want to be.

I can only wish others are as happy as me. What I would say if asked is to live life and be yourself. Find out what makes you happy and do it. Stop living life trying to conform yourself into what you think others want you do be. Learn to communicate, which includes listening, and be honest to a fault. Set goals and work for them. Play above your bankroll on occasion. Get outside your comfort zone often so you can grow as person. Smile more. Complain less. Lose the sarcasm and cynicism. Be someone that is dependable and can be relied on but also learn to say no. Take a risk. Try something new. Drive home a different way. And hopefully go to bed every night and wake up every day happy.

I can remember the feeling I had one year ago today. The anticipation, the excitement, the freedom, it was true happiness. As I finish this today I have the exact same feelings. I have a huge smile on my face, my life is wonderful and I wouldn't trade it right now for anything. If my aces get cracked today oh well. I can only wish you all are, in your own ways, as happy as I am.

Friday, February 23, 2007

February Odds

All right boys and girls. As we near Event #2 in the WPBT season the updated odds have been posted. Here are the current standings if you need a reference point. All bets are negotiable.

SnG Machine 2/1.....3/1 still enthused?
Lucko 3/1.....3/1 ever dangerous
Field 18/1.....3/1 donk city
Drizz 5/1.....4/1 chalk for this event
Wwonka 10/1.....5/1 solid
Byron 7/1.....6/1 consistently close
Hoyazo 5/1.....7/1 well-rounded
Otis 5/1......7/1 always threatening
Absinthe 5/1.....7/1 perhaps a DNS
G Cox 30/1.....7/1 running well and mixing it up
Dr Pauly 15/1.....8/1 big game victor knows his PLO
Double As 5/1.....10/1 a threat if he plays
StB 7/1.....10/1 tough player
Iggy 15/1.....10/1 must respect the godfather
Mattazuma 15/1.....10/1 will be ready
Smokkee 20/1.....10/1 can he adjust
Lifesagrind 10/1.....12/1 should be close
Sox Lover 10/1.....12/1 can play more than hold'em
Change100 20/1.....12/1 is more than due
Miami Don 25/1.....12/1 PLO donk
Derek 25/1.....12/1 been hot lately
CJ 10/1.....15/1 always a luckbox
Weak 12/1.....15/1 math will play
StatikKling 12/1.....15/1 will play tough
Smizmiatch 15/1.....18/1
Garth 15/1.....18/1 daily double threat
Surflexus 15/1.....18/1
JoeSpeaker 20/1.....25/1
Gracie 20/1.....25/1 riverchasers a nice prep
Bad Blood 25/1.....25/1 will he play
CC 25/1.....25/1 trying to recover
Bracelet 25/1.....25/1 can he hit the board
Donkey Puncher 25/1.....25/1 from what euro country
Trip Jax 25/1.....25/1 what out
Veneno 30/1.....30/1 can go deep
Falstaff 30/1.....30/1 perhaps
Easy Cure 35/1.....35/1 gigli again
AlCan't Hang 35/1.....35/1 money in riverchasers can he repeat
Katitude 40/1.....40/1 darkhorse
Waffles 60/1.....99/1 will he be financed

The Big Game is here to stay. Start winning your tokens and sign up now.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Fluff and Stuff

For the best review of All-Star weekend or as Bill Simmons dubbed it Hip Hop Woodstock. Funny and yes true.

How about a few hooker quotes?

Now I'm thinking that women should have to apply to dress like a hooker, then be forced to renew that license every two years like it's a driver's license. Let's protect the country from itself. On the bright side, now that every female in Vegas dresses like a hooker, it's impossible to tell the real hookers from the fake ones, which means we'll probably have a Vegas-themed game show called "Hooker or Looker" some day.

A friend of a friend went to a bachelor party at a Venetian suite that featured strippers, including one who had a Nextel phone with a credit card swipe on it ... $50 per lap dance, every credit card was acceptable.

Next time the All-Star game comes to Vegas I won't make the mistake of playing anywhere else but the Bellagio. It's easy to get in and out of the North Valet so that alleviates what was a 72 hour grid lock and all the gangstas and thugs were busy reeking havoc on other (MGM) parts of the strip. Nelly was deep stacked enjoying the $10/20 NL game but amazingly he was sans posse. Impressive. That is until Iverson showed up with his 15 person entourage for a meet and greet.

I did get a good laugh at Iverson and his crew. The all had the baggy jeans, timberlins, plain white T-shirt, doo-rag, sideways cap look going on. 15 persons dressed identical. Good luck picking out the perp in that line-up. Nelly had it going on with his matching Louis Vutton cap and jacket. One large expensive purse is what it looked like to me. Unfortunately no pics. Hey Carm will that short review get me in your new fashion club?

The Big Game will continue as a monthly format. We had 17 turn out on Sunday and the word from the regulars that play is to keep it going. You have four weeks to get a token so let's shoot for 30 in March.

Is anybody planning to head down to Austin in April for this spectacular Live Mookie Event?



Confirmed that I know of so far besides the Austin crew is me, JJ, Gary and Weak. Make plans and come join us. You know that Mookie is the host with the most and also Weak and I are flying in a few days early to play underground with Mr. Dreamy so it should be a great time all around.

Hey degenerates go visit Peaker where we can wager on the birth date of his twins. You still have a few months to get in but don't wait to long as there are only so many people selected date and you don't want to be shut-out.

That's all the fluff I have today. I'm heading out to the Bellagio soon so hopefully I'll have some good winning hands to post tomorrow to go along with some from last week.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Big Game Dr. Pauly

Thanks to the 17 bloggers that made it out to the Big Game and congrats to Pauly for taking down the top prize.



Pimp the big game on Saturday win it on Sunday. Well done Pauly.

I ran KK into QQ and went out in 16th but outlasted our dear boy Gigli by about three hands. Go there for what I'm sure will be a rant.

The strip was a zoo on Friday and Saturday and I got back on the winning track at my new home the Bellagio. Three big loose donks on Friday kept the same 10 players at the table for about 8 hours straight which is the longest I can remember not one person leaving the table.

One of the donks hurt me on a big pot when my flopped flush got chased to the river by the sooted Ace but I won a big hand back from him with AK on low board and him again chasing. I won another huge pot when my 99 held up vs AK on a 566 flop J turn X river. All the money suprisingly got in on the turn. I'll go into more details on that hand and a few others this week as I have some interesting hands to post about.

Monday I'll be playing Bellagio again and Tuesday will be an online/errand/cleaning day.

Hope everyone had a great weekend.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Alas

Played the Bellagio $2/5 game today and man was my table horrible. Seriously I think the level of the game was equal to most $1/2 games at the MGM where the players have basic Level 1 skills. I'm not sure if all the games at Bellagio are this way but I really found the game to be $1/2 with $500 stacks. I will be back. I did get killed again BTW.

Sorry for more horror stories its part to vent and part to share how I played particular hands and to get some input from others on the hands and the situations.

Here goes. Very first fucking hand. BB I get 78. It's limped around maybe 6 way action and I check. Flop is 554. I check, MP bets $20, CU calls, so I call hoping to either catch a lucky card or to win the hand on a scary board. Turn is a 6 and I catch the gut shot and but there are also two hearts. I make it $60, MP folds and cut-off smooth calls. Similar to the other day I believe I'm ahead to either a draw or trips but I'm slightly wary of the smooth call.

River is a 2. I have the top straight and I can only hope the other dude has a 3 or misses his draw. I make it $100. He immediately makes it $300. Fuck Fuck Fuck. I'm thinking full house but I'm also thinking maybe a three and he's testing me to see if I even have a 3. I ask the donk if he has the FH and he gives some smart assed answer. In most instance I lay this down but since I have the big end of this straight I call. He turns over 56. Great start.

Second hand now in the small blind I see my best hand of the day AA. There is a raise to $15 in EP it gets called twice and I push. Initial raiser calls, it's folded around and he shows AJ (the hoyazo)and I slightly more than double up. I cap my stack back off and since this is a must move game soon enough I get sent to my home for the rest of what proves to be a rather short day.

The table is extremly tight-passive, tons of limping and tons of limping then calling raises. I take advantage and open things up and start winning lots of small to medium pots. Raising the limpers from either the SB or button and taking down the pots with C-bets, bluffing at scary boards representing flushes and straights. I then catch a rivered flush and get called down since I'd yet to have to show my cards and I get paid. The opening hand is a faded memory and I'm ready to aggressively take this table down.

I raise four limpers from the button with Q9 sooted and the flop comes Q92. It checks to me I fire and get one caller. I put him on a a draw as the turn is a T. He checks, I fire, he check-raises. Now the only way the T helps him is as a set or a gut shot unless he played JT and now he's got 2nd pair along with a straight draw. I call.

River is a 6 and goes all-in. Fuck me. It's either KJ or J8 both of which beat my two pair so I show him my hand as I muck and he turns over J8 for the gut shot? Later this exact hand plays out again against the same guy in the exact situation with the exact cards except a 3 instead of a 2. Q9 two pair to a gut shot J8 although this time I fold to the check-raise. Before I did fold though I look at him and say what the fuck and he's cracking up. I ask him, "Again?" he says yes and shows J8.

I chip back up playing aggressive when I get 44 in the SB. It's limped around five ways and I check looking for set value. Flop comes 347 two hearts. I lead out for $25 its folded around to the button who makes it $50. Higher set, straight draw, flush draw? Let's finds out. I make it $125. He makes it $250. No fucking way. I ask him does he have 56 and he says yes. I fold my set face up and he turns over 56. Now the table thought that was impressive for some reason but we all know that I was beat and again had to lay down a set.

I work my way back up to just over $600, raking a nice pot when I represent an Ace and get a tightie to fold KK on a board that wound up Q4325, when this beauty came. I get 49 sooted in the BB. EP makes it $20 and there are five callers so with odds naturally I called. I almost re-raised this fucker but decided one of these donks will call and then I'm be dependent on them not hitting the flop so I didn't. Flop comes 993. Yikes I hit this but is that 4 kicker worth a shit? Let's find out. I fire $100 at it.

I get one caller who is a typical European, actually Eastern European for a change, who barely speaks English and had been winning and losing decent sums of money due to the calling down to the river mentallity odds be damned. He hit a couple flushes, one for a huge pot to a guy who couldn't lay down a set on the river, to bail himself out after calling down a few times with 2nd pair. This could be really good or really bad.

Does he have a 9 with a better kicker or does he have a 3, maybe a pocket pair between 4s and 8s? The turn is a 3. I can live with that, maybe for once a double paired board will work out in my favor as I'm thinking worst case I'm chopping. I bet he pushes. Okay seems like we're chopping which doesn't exactly suck due to the dead money in the pot so I call and turn over my 94. My man turns over 32 sooted. I'm fucking golden right! This pot will get me a few hundred up for the day even after all the tough losses and who knows maybe it will start a nice long hot streak.

Turn and burn and I throw up in my mouth. I thought this shit only happens online but the the case 3 hits on the river giving dude his four of a kind. (Its not quads since you need two in your hand for that) I for an instant thought about turning the table over but smartly kept my cool. I picked up my remaining chips, told the boys good-bye, cashed in those chips, told Weak I'm out and left.

I'm fucking angry as I write this. They just keep getting worse and worse. At least I do know the beats can't get any worse than a one outer now hopefully things will start getting better and I don't stay stuck in this rut. I'm back at it tomorrow and I'm starting at the Bellagio to see if my table was a fluke or not.

Do you have those tokens yet? Get them and get your satellite seats to the FTOPS ME and come out Sunday for a really good game.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Time to Make A Move

What's the plan when you have a small bad run playing live and you need to clear your head? For me it was a variety of online games to make sure I still saw hands yet did not pull too far back mentally.

Friday I knew I was not going to be in the mood to play live and with little basketball to watch I decided to try and satellite into the FTOPS Event #1. I found a $50+$5 Satellite where 386 players competed for 91 seats and figured my game could ease into the money and sure enough it did without much effort actually, although after some deep thoughts it's the same place my tournament game is stuck.

The FTOPS Event #1 was my first attempt at one of the online majors ever. Sad I know. I doubled in the first hour then went card dead the next two when I lost restealing with Ad8d and getting called by Qd9d and losing to a flopped straight?! That's my tournament game too much lately waiting for these perfect preflop hands that never seem to show up while my stack suffers a beating.

Enough man. My cash game is in good shape and I need to finally realize that tournaments are a different animal. No sense being cautious and waiting- I need to get comfortable following the leads of players like Lucko and Raveen and take a leading role at my table. I'm used to playing deep stack poker and my reads have been very solid lately so I need to transfer that to the tournaments and make the hands I play first get to post flop then once they do use my reads to keep pressure on my opponents to make decisions. I can almost see it, similiar to when I really started excelling at chess years back and could see those lines along with the next hour of probable moves.

I finished 708 out of 1900+. I think I see the big picture. I also cleared my head of anything lingering.

Saturday I watched about 10 college basketball games and barely played a hand. After Friday's long satellite and nearly three hours of Event #1 made it was easy to take a day off. I have been watching a lot of basketball these last two months and I think I'm well versed on the MWC and PAC-10 which I hope comes in useful during the Conference then NCAA tournaments.

I've been reading a lot lately about opinions on how the games are playing in this post Neteller era and to offer my opinion I find them maybe easier. I've always been one to buck the trend and I like going against the public as you all know from my love of betting the dogs so where most people are dropping in levels and tightening up their games I'm moving up in levels and loosening my game. I played $400 NL tonight and did rather well.

The books explain to amp up the aggression when it gets to be bubble time and I think that just might be what time it truly is in the online poker world right now--bubble time. Players are playing tight, they've either withdrawn most of their rolls or they're guarding what they do have left exactly the same as way a tournament donk is just trying to get in the money. My strategy it to play at them hard and contest lots of pots and make them make the tough decisions. Go get that tight money.

HAHA me calling someone tight. "I see said the blind man."

It's NBA All-Star Week in Vegas which brings out that special player, the type who certainly chooses style over substance types easily someone typical to those who follow the NBA, Rap Music, Hollywood Entertainment and/or their entourages. More bling than chips, more calls then raises, more self-important "don't you know who I am " types than Vegas can hold. What a great time for a walkman BTW.

The games this week will be wide open and aggressive and I hope to be on the right side of the money transfers. One week could make a month this one might be it.

Sunday is the FTOPS Main Event and its also the Big Game. What a perfect compliment. Since most everyone will be playing online lets see if we can't get 30 players.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Frustration

Another day at the MGM and another day just shaking my head. I can't close the deal lately and all my favorites are getting run down or I'm getting coolered. Another buy-in gone and another day where I should have had a big day.

Not to piss and moan but venting helps. Today within ten minutes I get rivered AK vs KJ for a big pot and right away I'm stuck in a hole. I chip my way back up to $475 and miss a couple good drawing hands with odds and I'm back down to $350. I chip back up to almost $500 and this fun hand happens.

The game is very loose and aggressive with almost every hand strattled and rarely does the limping hold. I get 8c9d in the CO and play for $10. There are no raises and five of us see the flop of 6d,6h,7d. Wow straight draw, flush draw and already a paired board so this hand can go anywhere.

Stattler leads out for $15. This guy, probably the worst at the table, has been playing shitty cards, leading out out of position, any too suited. I call getting a look at a cheap card and waiting to see what the turn brings before I decide if I want to play at this pot of not. It will be a tricky hand but I feel like I'm the best player still with cards so I'm confident I can outplay the remaining players.

The button calls and we are three way to the turn. I think about the players in the hand and I put one on a flush draw and the other on either the 6 or 7. Turn is the Ts so no flush as of yet, I have what is now the nut straight, so its time to see if anyone has a six and if so what kicker.

First guy again bets out making it $30. I raise it making it $75 and the button immediately calls. Alright he seemed very confident so is this the 6 and is he full? Initial bettor thinks for about 30 seconds and calls. Flush draw. No way he's figuring out odds and I'm sure it was mind discussion about, "hmmmm will I hit a diamond or not."

Now I figure I'm probably 62% which is by no means a monster favorite but the pot is built up nice I think I'm in the lead and if the river is a weak card I won't get the flush draws money but it's probable I'll get the guy with the sixes money again provided he's not full.

In an almost identical situation as the other day I get one of the worst possible rivers card the 7c. Un fucking real. The board is double paired and my straight just went down the shitter. Check, I check, no way I can try and bluff this pot, and the button checks too. First guy shows the busted flush draw, I show my nut straight, and the button turns over 46 for the trips. Almost any other non-diamond card I get the rest of the guys stack but no I loss about $100 instead of scooping a $900 pot.

Its been instances like this hand, same as yesterday, that are preventing big winning days and setting me up to get hammered.

I chip back up to $550 and here we go.

Three new dudes sit down and they are waiting to play $5/10 and they are maniacs. The game was loose before but things really got started now. Every hand a strattle and there was no more limping. $40 or so raises every hand with 3 of 4 seeing the flop.

Well I catch AA UTG and I limp knowing this pot will get raised and I can fire a big bet on the way back. Sure enough $20, $20, $20 back to me and I make it $100 hoping to isolate. Fold, Fold, maniac goes into the tank and calls. Flop is T73 rainbow and he checks. Okay is he set mining or is his playing a cracking hand? I bet $150 and he calls.

I'm thinking I'm good against the set as I'm sure he would have reraised me if he hit. Turn is a Jack he checks I push he calls. Unless he has KK or QQ that call is not a good thing to hear. He gets up slams over 89 sooted for the straight. The same fucking 89 I get counterfeited on he busts my Aces.

Another day of shaking my head. I played well. Every time I went backwards I worked up my stack playing aggressive with a wide range of hands in position taking a lot of small uncontested pots. The big hands I played I got run down. So really even though I wrote about a bunch of tough loses the past couple a sessions I was basically even, getting felted was running KK into AA and getting AA cracked by 89.

Not to mention in four of the last six MTTs I've played I got knocked out in SB vs BB HU situtions with three coolers and a race. QQ vs AK, 63 vs 69 on the 66K flop, T6 vs AT on an AT6 flop, and K9 vs KQ on a KQ9 flop. It's beating me up.

I got out results from last year, I looked at the ups and downs of my streaks and I have to remember it happens. I had two to four straight losing sessions and they were all followed by decent winning streaks anywhere from five to a high of ten straight sessions. I'm down $1000 I could easily be up $4000. It's frustrating but I'm confident that if I keep on playing well the results will turn and I'll be back on top.

Thanks for listening.

Don't forget about this. Go get some tokens.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Oh Well

Ever have one of those days where you felt like you played awesome poker yet wound up down a buy-in or perhaps more? That was my day today. I was pissed for awhile but the more I think about it the more I think it was a day of growth.

I've always read about maximizing winning hands/session and minimizing losing hands/sessions but I truly feel that today I really understand what that means and right now I'm able to look at the big picture and know my game is progressing in a very positive way.

Today was a day if my hands held I win $2K but they didn't and through it all only I was only down a buy-in. If I didn't make the right reads, and my reads were dead on, I could have lost $2K just as easily. When I was good I got paid and when my good hands turned bad I was able to get off the hand and keep most of my chips. Until the last hand that is where KK lost to AA all-in preflop.

I've really been digging the $2/5 game as its mostly played post-flop and there are lot of decisions and/or moves to make on every street unlike MTT's or $1/2 where so many times the game is played pre-flop or directly after the flop. It allows for more slowplaying and trapping but it also allows players to float or play position in the hopes of taking down nice sized pots later in the action.

Early on I limp JT sooted in MP and flop a flush. I wind up with a higher flush than the guy on my left and start off up almost $350. After that with shit cards I was stealing limps from either late position or the blinds and was raising and taking down pots from aggression or floating and manuevering.

First tough hand was KK on the button. I raise it to $40 over two limpers and get a call from the BB. Flop was T73 rainbow, he check calls my C-bet, turn another T again he check calls my C-bet, which has me very suspicious, river a 7 he checks I check and lost to AT. Yes that was an easy play on the button but even though I didn't fire on the river it was still a costly pot.

I complete from the SB with K3 and six see the flop of Q33. I lead out get re-raised, I call, turn is a blank I bet get called, river a Q, I check he goes all-in I fold he shows a Q. Another extremely unlucky and expensive hand but really an easy lay-down.

This has me back to even or so and I win 4 or 5 decent pots over the course of an hour to get back ahead. In the SB I find JJ and raise it to $60 after 6 limpers and get a call from the UTG. Flop is A87 two spades. I think about the hand and decide no way he played Ace/anything UTG to a raise so he definitely has a pocket pair so my JJ is probably good. I bet $100 and get raised to $250. I go into the tank hard on this one and really go over everything about this player and decide he doesn't have an Ace but a set. I lay it down face up and he shows 88 for the set. Again not so hard a lay down with the Ace but a good read and money saver yet still expensive.

Finally I pick up KK in the CO. This Super donkey who I've seen either bluff off thousands or suck out for thousands all weekend raises to $15 UTG. I re-raise it $50 and he makes it $100. AA definitely crosses my mind but I think this donk is on a lower pair and I'm good. I re-raise, he pushes, I call he turns over AA and even flops an Ace to put me out of my misery.

I left pretty pissed off. After I settled down I realized I played well, made some tough yet not impossible laydowns and wound up going broke KK vs AA pre-flop which I can't regret one bit. It could have been a much better session and it could have been so much worse. What it did do though is give me confidence as I move forward trying to make a living in Vegas playing poker.

The goal is to lose as little on the rough days and win as much as possible on the good days. Today I lost the least amount possible and it was a very good day.

Tomorrow is a day of errands and lots of online poker. No way I'm missing this.



See all you Super Donks there.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Venetian $540 and Super Bowl

As a shock to I'm sure everyone I didn't bet a single dollar on the Super Bowl but if only I had the inside information made clear after the game I could have won some major money. Indy won thanks to "The lord and savior jesus christ." Dungy in his trance like post game interview seemed to praise this christ fellow way too much for my comfort but fuck why hadn't I heard this info before kick-off? Did anyone get any of this info pre-kickoff and use it to there advantage?

Now I'm not entirely familiar with this jesus christ dude other than he's the supposed leader of some right wing fanatics but I guess since Sunday is his day of rest he took time out of his leisure to watch the game and insure victory for the Colts. I am baffled though that jc is a chalk player and bets favorites. Isn't this dude suppose to help the poor and suffering? If so it seems to me he would have made Chicago win because they were the meek and humble underdogs. Oh well reason number 1,284,786,385 why I'm baffled so many people blindly follow this character.

Bud Light was clearly the winner in the commercial contest as Coke donked it up hard. Also, and I say this every year, what's the deal with the halftime show. Halftime is suppose to be fifteen minutes with highlights and analysis not forty minutes of some has been lip synching on stage. WTF? Boo NFL.

I'm sad that football is over but I've already made the transition to full-time poker mode. I had a decent January although I spent more time and money than I probably should have working on my online tournament game. Perhaps it helped me go deep and Final Table the Venetian $180 on Friday but my tournament game is still a work in progress so I'll have to see how things shake out over the next few months.

Saturday's $540 at the Venetian had so much potential but down in flames I went. First hand of Level 4 with the blinds at 100/200/25 I get QQ in the BB. Perfect, the antes had just started and my starting tables was still intact so I felt I had a decent read on the opposing players and I was ready to play agressive deep stack poker and what better way than a re-raise out of the blinds.

Well unfortunately the blinds fold around to the SB who raises it up to T600. I immediately pop him to T2000. He thinks for a second and asks for a chip count. The count is T5200 behind so after thirty seconds or so he goes all-in. Now the player is some older Asian dude who had been semi-aggressive in the early going and had accumulated about T4000 in the first three levels with most of it coming with his 64 sooted rivering a fullhouse and beating K6 on 662 flop.

Anyway at this point there's no way I'm laying this hand down no matter what and I figured with his stalling at worst case I'm in a coin flip and and its even more probable he has a weak Ace or a smaller pocket pair and he's drawing to either two or three outs. He turns over AK and we have a coin flop.

Flop is 994, turn is a T, river is a K and my done. One coin flip one loss. If I double there I'm the big stack at my table and I'm feeling confident that I use my cash game experience to be both aggressive and to float and try to outplay the other players after the flop. Oh well.

I plan on playing this event at least once a month and I'll probably even try to satellite in on occasion. If anybody is planning a trip to Vegas soon this is a must play event. T10K 40 minutes levels, soft field, $20K first prize makes it the best tournament of its kind in Vegas.

Enough for tonite. I'll post some tournament and cash games thoughts this week and review some of my January results as I enter my first full year, scary as it sounds, as a pro.

BTW I decided on keeping the Big Game alive so the tournament is up and ready. Win those Tier II tokens and join us for the excitement in two weeks.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

MGM and Venetian

Quick update before I have to get ready to play the Venetian $550. This should be fun with T10,000 and 40 minute levels. It's by far the best structured local tournament and with it being Super Bowl weekend they are expecting at least 150 entries and probably in the neighborhood of $25K for first place.

I played cash and got stomped buy the donkeys on Thursday. Lost with top two to an rivered open ended straight then KK to a straight(mistake on my part). I also lost a big pot when I flopped a set of 3s on a T73 rainbow board. The initial raiser overbet the flop, I re-raised and the SB, who is a very good local player, re-raised me. I have a very good read on this guy and no way he goes over the top of me with an overpair so after a few minutes I lay down my set. He shows 77 for a higher set and even though I lost a lot of chips I saved myself a lot more.

Friday Smokkee rolled in to join me and Weak at the MGM for some cash action. I started off slow losing with AA to a shorties set of 9s all-in pre-flop and was thinking here we go again. Soon though I got AA again and doubled through some Eurodonks AKo all-in preflop.

Finally with some chips I trapped some loud mouthed internet know-it-all and some other tourist for a nice pot. Internet Donk (ID) raised from MP to $20 with CU calling, me calling from the button with QT, and SB calling.

Flop was QT9 rainbow. SB who was a bit loose led into the pot of $50 with only ID
calling before me. Now I don't usually play a hand on a scary board this way but I decided to take a chance and trap these two. Yes a very risky play but I didn't think I'd get paid off if I re-raised so I called. I was prepared to dump my hand if another scare card came on the turn or river.

I read the SB to have a draw and the ID to have AQ, KQ, or QJ since he didn't re-raise the post flop bet. The turn was a 3 and again the SB led out but only with $100 into the $230 pot. ID called and I again smooth called hoping they put me on a draw. River was a 2. Perfect. I'm certain I'm ahead and I think I'm going to get paid too.

SB leads out with $175. After his weak turn bet no way I'm buying I'm behind him. ID calls although he only has about $165 behind him. So I immediately call. SB slams his hand in the muck and ID turns over QJ for TP and busted OESD but thinking he's got it. I show my two pair and the ID goes nuts. "How the fuck to you not re-raise that hand on that board? Man you played that hand like shit you donkey." Blah Blah Blah. I told him the only thing missing was a chat box and reminded him to keep coming back. So risky play nice reward.

We then met Chad at the Venetian just as he was taking down a satellite into today's $550. Weak jumped immediately into a $2/5 game and I took a breather. Chad was playing the nightly $180 so Smokkee and I decided to join him. T4000 and 30 minute levels with 90 entrants. Too bad we didn't have a last longer as yours truly, the cash gamer, outlasted the two MTT donks and shit I even made the final table.

Top 10 got paid and I went out in 7th. I was crippled when my AJ/Hoyazo (AJ from this day on will always be considered the Hoyazo) ran into AQ. 6.5 longs hours but good experience going into today's event which with the prize money I will be freerolling.

More updates for tomorrow.