Friday, September 30, 2005
Oh, I'm in too. Apparently Poker Stars is having a freeroll tournament for bloggers only. So, when I get home from work today, I'm going to use PSO (referral code: HighOnPoker) to sign up at Poker Stars and enter their freeroll. Unfortunately, to use PSO, I'll need to deposit $$ and the only money easily accessible is from my UB account, which has a paltry $50. At least this will be a start. Maybe I'll withdraw from Noble and move that money to PokerStars once I'm done.
HOLD THE PRESSES! Upon a review of PSO, I realize that they do not have a promotion for Poker Stars. This is actually GOOD. Now I'll just sign up at PokerStars and not deposit anything. I'm still entering the blogger-only freeroll for a chance to win a seat to the Poker Stars Carribean WPT event worth $12,000 ($8K buy in, travel, and spending $$). Also available are LCD TVs, X-Box 360s, and iPod Nanos (which would make mu PSO Quest for an IPod irrelevant). I can smell success already, and it oddly smells like an everything bagel with cream cheese.
In other poker news, I have reached my September goal of $500 online. This is an amazing achievement for me, for several reasons. (1) This is the 2nd goal accomplished in a row, after my $400 by Sept. 1 goal; (2) I was way behind of my target not long ago and made up those losses quickly; (3) I've effectively multiplied my $50 buy-in times 10!
The funny thing is, I beat it nonchalantly and only realized my accomplishment a half hour later. Last night, after a long day of work, I finished my NJ homework, went to Kinkos to copy and mail it out, went out to pick up dinner, did my laundry, shaved my head and beard, showered, packed for the honeymoon, cleaned the apartment, and a couple of more odds and ends necessary before my Sunday nuptuals. All of this, and I finally had 10 minutes to relax at about 11pm. I signed on to Titan and played some 2/4. In no time, I was up $24. I was reading players perfectly and eventually beat the table into folding submission. It felt great. But fiance Kim wanted to spend some time together (as did I), so I signed off in under 20 minutes. 30 minutes later and I've realized that I hit my goal.
I mentioned this to fiance Kim, who was already in bed at that point waiting for me. The conversation went like this:
"You know what?" Me of course.
"What?" Fiance Kim, in all her glory.
I thought twice. We are about to get married. Poker isn't that important. "Nevermind. It's stupid."
"No. Tell me now."
"Okay, but it's poker related. I just realized I reached my goal of having $500 online. I made it all from $50."
"You have $500?! Online? That we could use? We need money?"
Shit. I should've kept my big mouth shut. Damage control, bring in the roundabout logic.
"Yeah, honey, but you are missing the big picture. I made it all from $50. That is 10x the money I started with. I still see it as $50 right now. And I'm going to build it to $1000. And the real goal is to hit $2000 and buy a new TV." I just locked myself in to depleting my bankroll. Ug.
Fortunately, the converation stopped there. We'll see what happens when I hit $2000. Of course, I really want a new TV, so I would like to withdraw at some point. But in poker, money begats money, and I want to get to the point where I can live off of my poker money. Or at least live partially off of it. This is a long term goal. Very long term. But it's a goal nonetheless. And goals got nothing on me.
Final note. I will be returning to the Genoa Club tonight, for some 1/2 NL. I'd like to play their $40, 1 rebuy tournament, but I'd have to arrive by 7:30 and I still have some odds and ends to tie up. Wish me luck.
Poker, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the blogger HighOnPoker.
When I told fiance Kim late at night about reaching my goal
OK with OK
Thursday, September 29, 2005
I just got an email from GCox about the possibility of a blogger get together. When I read about the blogger events, I always felt a sense of envy. I was missing out on these big get-togethers. When I met Pauly, Joaquin, F-Train, Derek and a few other bloggers a while back at a NYC game, I got a good vibe from the group. I was a newbie blogger and didn't know anyone's blog except Pauly's and F-Train (by name only). But I could feel the sense of community.
Since then, I've missed out on a bunch of blogger get-togethers. I felt envious, but I also felt, in my own antisocial way, that I didn't belong anyway. Most of these guys don't know me or my blog. I'd be riding solo with a bunch of people who really knew each other. I have no reason to really feel this way. It could be my antisocialness, shyness, low self-esteem (haha), or whatever. Regardless, I knew that those trips weren't for me, necessarily. I'd probably still go if I could, because as long as there is poker, I'm cool, but I didn't make any effort to jump in on the plans.
Enter a conversation less than a week ago via IM with GCox. Life has been hard lately, with class, work and the wedding coming up. I've been stressed out and bitching and moaning constantly. G has heard a lot of it and he's been supportive. Hell, a lot of the reader/bloggers have been, and I appreciate that. Through the Limit Challenge, I met DNasty and SteelerJosh. Through the SNG Challenge, I became better acquainted with DNasty and Steeler, and met GCox, TripJax, and Kipper. Finally, with the Heads-Up Challenge, I met Mourn, Will Wonka and DoubleAs.
I know these guys. I "speak" to some of them more than some of my groomsmen. That's not to say that I'm not tight with my groomsmen. I'm very lucky to have such good friends. It is to say that I really like these blogger guys. They are good people. We share similar values, senses of humor, and, of course, hobbies (read: poker).
So, I'm IMing with GCox. Remember? And I'm realizing all of this. I've spoken to GCox's wife and kid even for a moment, until visions of my parole officer danced through my head...um...ignore that. So I typed, "Dude, we have got to hang out in person some day." "Definitely." But the problem was, I'm too fucking busy right now and I'll be broke and out of vacation days by the end of the month. So, it'll have to be far in the distance.
That doesn't stop us from planning. GCox has recently been on a brainstorming blitz, posting about a 2006 blogger get together non-stop. Looks like the place will be Oklahoma, which excites me to no end! I've never been to OK. Shit, I don't even know where it is! But that's cool. And so, in my head and on his blog, I was down for the trip.
Enter self doubt. What about fiance Kim? She won't have fun if I'm gambling the whole time. I won't have fun if she is waiting around the whole time. But we'll be newly weds still (I think...doesn't that last for a year?) so a vacation without her seems out of the question. Plus, we want to go to Europe together, so a lot of funds will be going in that direction.
I got an email from GCox with possible dates. Most are in the summer of 2006. I sheepishly picked up the phone. I couldn't wait any longer.
"Honey, you know I have a blog right?"
"Sure." Fiance Kim sounded distracted.
"And you know I am friends with other bloggers, right?"
"Sure." Was she even paying attention? Here goes.
"Well, we might be having a get together sometime next summer. You wouldn't be interested in going would you?" I set up my chess pieces.
"Bloggers? Um, no. But you can go and have fun." Fiance Kim is the best woman ever. I defy you to challenge that. And if you do, I will stomp on your chest until you heart squishes out and messes up my shoes.
"It's going to be in Oklahoma though." I had to disclose everything.
"Oklahoma?! I want to go to Oklahoma." SKREEEEEEEEEEEECH! Hold on a sec.
"Um, I'm going to be gambling the whole time, so I don't know if it'll be any fun."
"Hmm. No problem then."
"I can go?"
So there you have it G. Your answer. Fiance Kim gave me "permission." And for all single guys laughing at me for asking permission, you can suck it. Because asking for permission is a sign of respect and love, AND NOT a sign of weakness, you turds. Do I sound defensive? Good!
OK is OK with me. I just hope I'm OK with OK.
Okie-Vegas here I come!
I'm really too busy to be typing this, but here goes:
I went to the Genoa Club last night. Roose and Hole joined me there at 7:30pm for the $40 freezeout. The game started with only one table of 10 people. As players showed up late, they were placed as alternates, filling seats of busted players. Each time, Roose would grumble about the game never ending. I proceeded to tell him to shut up. Late entries with the same starting stack = shortstacked dead money.
Early on, Roose, Hole and I were the three shortstacks. I made a big hand when I raised pre-flop with 3s4s in MP. Two other players were in the hand. The flop was 3XX with one spade. I bet out 300, about the size of the pot, knowing that the table was tight. One folded, one called. I was out of position. The next card was a spade. I now had a spade draw. I bet 500. The starting stack was 2000, but I was there to gamble. He called. The river was another spade. I thought for a bit. I tried to look desperate. I pushed all-in. He called with his remaining 500, and was taken out by runner runner flush. Someone at the table said, "I think he was ahead of you on the turn." I replied, "I knew he was ahead of me on the turn."
Unfortunately, not too long after, Hole was taken out when his QQ faced KK. The same hand would screw me later. Roose held strong for a long time, and went out 5th out of 15. Only the top 2 spots paid, so I was excited when it was down to three. Me, some lucky large guy who was playing his big stack well, and Joe, the proprieter. We suggested splitting 2nd place between Joe and I. It would net me $90 ($180 for 2nd, $420 for first), for $50 profit. But at that point, Joe and I were about even and I felt like playing for it. I was playing well and I was confident with my shorthanded and shortstacked abilities.
You Decide #17
I still think playing for it was the right move. Unfortunately, I went out 3rd. Blinds were huge (500/1000) and I was in the BB with 4T. Joe on the button folded. BigStack called. I checked. The flop was 348, with two diamonds. I liked my 4s and was ready to push. Instead, BigStack raised $2000. I had about another $1500 on top of that, so I thought for a moment. I read my opponent, and I liked what I saw. It was nothing specific. He didn't want to look me in the eye. He wasn't acting because nothing was over the top. I knew that I was ahead in this hand. He had a 3 or maybe a draw. I called, and he showed his flush draw. He hit it on the turn. He hit it again on the river. Without a diamond, I was out.
So, was that a bad time to push? I didn't have much left in chips and I thought he had the flush draw, but is it smart to call there? I think I had the pot odds, but when you are on the bubble, should you discount the pot odds.
And finally, should I have chopped 2nd. Is $50 profit better than playing for $40 loss or $140 profit? I was confident in my abilities and I was about even with the other "shortstack". I still think it was the right move, but I'd like your input.
They can take our lives, but they can't take our POKER!!
Big Boy Poker
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
I played some big boy poker tonight, and whooped some serious ass. To me, "big boy poker" = anything I can play at a casino. No micro limits. And, sadly, that means 2/4 limit. But hey! I won! That is key. In fact, I won $60, which felt like a lot more before I typed it. This is probably because I lost $10 earlier today and $5 in a Maui SNG. So, really, I won $75 in my session. Booya!
So, what was it that made me a winner? I think it came down to individual bets and raises. I started with one table, getting a feel for the players. When I was comfortable, I started a 2nd table (well, actually, the table finally openned up once I got comfortable). I started the SNG next, but once that was done, I went to another 2/4 room.
My reads were great, which to me is the key in these things. More importantly, I followed my hunches. This led to some key laydowns, that, at times, I may not have made. We all ("we" being lower limit players) have a tendency to get married to our good hands. We call someone down thinking, "He has me beat, but my TPTK is a good hand!" Well, buddy, your TPTK is only as good as the next guy's cards. And when he calls you down the whole way and leads off with a bet when that river hits, you better think twice.
That's what it is all about. Saving a bet here. Value betting there. Keeping notes on players help a lot, too. Nothing extensive. But if someone is playing like a newbie, I type "fish." If they put on moves, I'll type "good player." If they are plodding calling stations, "stupid." It's a very scientific system.
Here is another thing. I try to play tight, but I can't help but raise here and there with A9o. It's not the best hand, but in a short-handed 6-person (or less) game, it gets a lot better. So maybe my looseness is good. I'd like to think so. So would my bankroll.
Tomorrow, if all goes well, I'll be playing at the Genoa Club with Roose and Hole. $40 NL freezeout, with 15 minute levels. I'll have to play loose because of the quick blind increases. This will be an experiment to see if changing my style for a tournament's set up makes sense. On paper, sure. But in reality, as Chris Ferguson said in a Full Tilt email, if you play your best poker, the tournament structure won't matter.
That's it for tonight. See you all tomorrow, bright and early.
You want the poker? You want the poker? You can't handle the poker!!
It's another epic day in Fuckjordan Land. It seems like it is coming from all ends. The sum of it all is that I technically don't have time to write this, but it actually is quite cathartic.
The bossman has rightly pointed out some changes that need to be made in certain documents and general actions. The problem is that I am bad at taking criticism. That, and I get no guidance. Usually, there is just a skeleton crew here, of which there is little in the way of substantive advice. Bah humbug!
I have to do two status reports on huge cases today. In one of the cases, I barely did anything but research, so it will take an excrutiatingly long time
I also have a doctor's appointment at 9am today. I've been feeling under the weather (a severe cold, really), but fiance Kim had the same problem last week and got on some antibiotics. By the grace of gods, the doctor is in the same building as my office, so I shall discretely go and waste as little time as possible.
I also have the pleasure of doing an ass-load of homework for the NJ CLE (continuing legal education) mandatory classes. New Jersey, you suck!
And poker. I want to play poker. Titan and Noble were not working last night, so I deposited money on UB finally. After a loose 1/2 limit table, I left down .50. Good for me that I won $1.25 in bonus! Yeah, small victories will have to sustain me for the time being.
Wednesday looks like a prime day for poker. Fiance Kim will be on LI doing wedding stuff, so I'll either be online or at card room. Genoa Club here I come! They have a $40 freezeout that looks interesting. The only shortcoming is the 15 minute blinds. By the end of the first hour, it looks like I'll be shortstacked unless I make some moves. I'll have to change my strategy if I decide to go for the tourney.
The doctor awaits. Please wish me luck with everything. Lord knows I could really use a 2 week vacation in Tahiti right about now.
Moneymaker on Luck
Monday, September 26, 2005
A while ago, I mentioned that Moneymaker, in his book, makes a very interesting point concerning luck. Everyone knows Moneymaker as the winner of the main event of the 2003 World Series of Poker. He is also a fine author, and if you get a chance, read his book. It gave an interesting perspective on the man and the WSOP.
A lot of people see Moneymaker as one lucky SOB who sucked-out his way to winning the WSOP. Once you read his book, you'll see that he did have his fair share of suck-outs. However, he also earned his suck-outs by amassing chips enough that he could take a chance.
Moneymaker's comments regarding luck were particularly interesting. The best way to explain it is to use an example from the WSOP (and his book). Thank you DP for setting me straight on the hand history. I was way-off originally. But the principles are there, so bare with the errors. Chris Moneymaker ("CM") held pocket AQ. He was the chipleader or thereabouts. Phil Ivey ("PI") held 99. There was a lot of betting pre-flop. The flop was QQx. CM and PI bet back and forth. A third player in the hand laid down his cards (allegedly pocket JJ). The turn was a 9. CM bet and PI went all-in. The river was an A, and Moneymaker won the hand with a higher fullhouse.
People think Moneymaker was lucky. But as Moneymaker put it, they were both lucky. He was just lucky last. Ivey had a slim shot of hitting his 9 on the turn. He got lucky when he hit it. In the exact same way Moneymaker was lucky to hit his A on the river. In the end, people see Moneymaker as getting lucky. But that was not the whole picture.
While Moneymaker does not go into depth on the subject, another aspect that is overlooked is that Moneymaker put himself in a position to get lucky. He had a chiplead and a table image, and was willing to push his hand. Had be been timid, or shorstacked, or whatever, he woudn't have made it to that point.
So, I guess the moral of the story is that luck is definitely as aspect of the game. However, you have to put yourself in a position to get lucky, so to speak.
On that note, I was extremely lucky this weekend. I almost saw it as a pre-wedding gift from the poker gods. I hit quads on three occassions. I flopped full houses, nut straights, and flushes. I could do no wrong. Seems that the same thing is happening to GCox too. Sometimes it makes you wonder.
I have too much to do, and I'm under the weather, and blah blah blah.
So, go poker youself.
Saturday, September 24, 2005
On Thursday, I flew from NY to FL for my grandmother's funeral. It was a weird, surreal experience, one that I may write about in the near future, but not right now. I just wanted to ask for everyone's patience over the next 3 weeks. I spent a lot of time writing and building this humble blog, and being away from it for this sad moment in my family's history, followed by an upcoming 2 wk hiatus for a happy moment, my wedding and Tahitian honeymoon, made me realize that this blog may get the short shift for a while. I know that none of you will fault me for this. But you may read some other great blogs (see the links on the right) and forget about the Highness of Poker. Well, don't. Because there is lots of exciting poker and non-poker content in weeks and months and years to come.
On the poker front, I've been trying to clear my PSO bonus (referral code: HighOnPoker) at Titan, and much like Noble (of which the two share the same players and tables) it has been going well. I've been making lots of hit-and-run sessions at .25/.50 NL, and have been winning consistently. I'm up from $240 to just short of $300, with an additional $120 or so gathering dust at Noble. The cards have been good to me, and the other players have been bad for themselves. In my first hand today, I'm the BB with JJ. A player in EP/MP raises to $3.50. Everyone folded to me except for a player in EP yet to respond to EP/MP. I raised to $6.50. EP folds. EP/MP pushes for another $4 or so. I called. He had TT, and I was up a quick $10. That's how it has been going. Let's hope it continues.
On the live poker front, I plan on playing Thursday and/or Friday. Thursday will likely be a game at Robbie Hole's. Otherwise, I may play in a $40 freezeout at an underground club in the city called Genoa Club. They have a tourney on Friday which is $40 with one rebuy, which also may be the way to go. I've never played in a tourney with a set amount of rebuys, and I'm curious if it changes playing style. I guess it means that players will be loose until they rebuy, at which point they'll be tight. This is of course just a hypothesis, based on how a player ought to play. But as we all know, most players don't play rationally.
On that note, I was thinking about the difference in playing at a NYC underground club and an AC casino. Without much to back this up, I believe that NYC players are probably better and therefore more aggressive. The logic is this: any player can go to AC to play some poker. There are going to be a range of players. At my lower limits, there are also going to be a fair share of newbie players who play like scared kittens. I love these players. At NYC rooms, scared kittens are, frankly, too scared to play or even approach the room. The players who do come are probably people who are very into poker. There will be some foolish gamblers, willing to push with ATo, preflop. These players are there because they love any type of gambling and see poker as another way to toss a coin and win money. But there are also players who are students of the game (or worse, professors). These players love poker so much that they've probably read a bit on the subject. They also probably have more experience, as, presumably, they didn't learn the game at the underground club. So, there is my theory.
Now, I know some people, such as DP, have more experience than me at these clubs. So, please let me know if you think my theory is accurate.
That's it for right now. As I typed this, my luck has turned and I lost a chunk of change. That just goes to show that blogging while playing is trouble.
Take care of yourself, and your poker.
Odds and Ends
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
I must make this quick. I was thinking about skipping the tourney yesterday because of my grandmother. I didn't do it though. As a result, when I returned from my class, I rushed to the computer to take over for Roose, my stand-in. I played with focus. Fiance Kim was a little upset when she hit the sack that I was still at the comp. I think I played for mostly one reason. Poker allows me to block out the things around me, for better or worse. I'm a thinker. My pledge name in my fraternity was Playdoh, half a riff on my boyishly round head with then-dyed-blond-hair and half because of Plato the philospher. The philosopher part came first. (Note: I used to tell the girls they called me Playdoh because no matter how much you play with me, I won't get hard.) Well, poker helps me dampen out all of the things around me. It relaxes me, while cranking up the adrenaline, if such a thing is possible.
I didn't have to think about the loss when I found out yesterday. I was concerned for my mom, and at the office, and had to go to a mandatory class afterwards. As time is wearing on, I'm thinking about it more. It's sad. But this is life. I just hope that she was happy before she passed. Happy and accepting. I know when it is my time, I want to be able to smile at the fun I've had. I want to be able to accept that death is part of life, and should not be feared. Hell, I don't even know if I want to be mourned, per se. I want to be cremated rather than stuck in a box in the ground. I don't want money spent on my husk of a body. But my mother, whom I love dearly, wouldn't have that. God forbid I pass, she wants to be able to visit me. And cremation isn't exactly Jewish (not that this is a heavy factor for me or mom).
Well, I guess this wasn't what I intended to blog about. What I wanted to mention was that I'm actually looking forward to the completion of the Heads Up Challenge. Gcox v. TripJax in an all out battle for HU supremacy.
I have a proposal to all comers. I am willing to make a side bet for $25 that Gcox will be victorious. I called Gcox to win this thing a long time ago, and I'm sticking to my story. I particularly invite other members of the HUC to take up my side bet (I am offering it to the first taker, though). Trip has a solid record (9-3 to GCox's 7-3) and even beat G twice already. If a member of the HUC is interested, then leave a comment. The loser will pay the winner's entry fee to the HUC (i.e., will send the $25 to the ultimate winner on behalf of the side-bet winner).
I'm making this short, because I have to leave for work. Your humble author placed 19th out of over 60 bloggers and readers. I was in good shape until I played a stupid hand against the chipleader. I won't go into it now, but I will have to remember in the future that you do not intentionally play against the chipleader. Once that wiped me nearly out, one all-in with K9 from UTG (I would've had to go all-in on the BB, so K9 was looking good), was enough to do me in. The chipleader held KQ, and the flop had a Q. The rest was academic.
Unrelated, my grandmother passed away yesterday. I've debated discussing it here, but there doesn't seem much harm to mentioning it. My grandmother was one of the big reasons I got interested in cards in the first place. As a kid, we used to play blackjack and other games. She and my grandfather lived with us for the summers growing up. I guess I was blessed to have so much contact with her. I don't know what else to say. This is all so new and surreal for me.
I'll be going to Florida tomorrow and Friday for her funeral. Don't expect a post. The AC Bachelor Party Mayhem finale will hopefully get done today. If not, it'll have to be on backburner. Besides, I got to the good stuff.
Have a good day. Enjoy it.
Atlantic City Bachelor Mayhem (Pt. 3)
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
The group all met at the bar to decide the next step in the bachelor party mayhem. Jefe, J-Dub, Dre and soon-to-be-bro-in-law Marc had brought enough alcohol to drown a herd of elephants. We transfered the assorted booze to the party room...my room...and filled the tub with ice. After some hanging around, Robbie Hole, Randy, Roose, Ilan, Marc, bro Keith, bro David and I headed to the buffet for some much needed sustenance. We also were able to sneak a salt shaker, lemons, a bunch of small cups, and some larger cups so that our makeshift bar was complete.
With some time to kill before the musical theatre (read: strippers), Marc and I decided to play some craps. Or, more accurately, craps played us...again. Fucking craps! If it wasn't so much fun, I'd stop playing all together. Marc and I finished up at blackjack, where I lost the mesely amount of money left from the craps donations.
Once done, we headed upstairs. The entertainment was due to arrive in a half-hour, but meanwhile, stragglers of the group were already pre-gaming in the hotel room. Tequila is my shot of choice, and fortunately, my friends know me well. I cracked open my first beer of the day, and a shot was ready in no time. After a couple of rounds, I was ready for some action, but this time it wasn't poker action.
When the girls arrived, I noticed immediately that Jasmine wasn't with them. Jasmine was the girl on the company's website. She was supposed to appear specifically, but the two stand-ins weren't bad. Noel was a tall girl with large bazoombas (read: eyes) and bad curly blond hair. She was acting the part of the headliner, but I was more interested in Stripper #2, whose name I never got. #2 was a brunette, with a nice set (read: three-of-a-kind) and a cute face. She had personality, and pretended like she was interested a lot better.
The details are better left unsaid. There were lapdances and whipcream and lollipops in bad bad places. I kept dressed, for the most part, and did a fine job of blocking out the 15 guys surrounding the action. At the end of the soiree, we were all with empty pockets. But guys being guys, the idea of private lap dances came up. The only thing accurate in "private lap dances" is "private". I knew the guys had something planned. It was fairly obvious with my group. What they didn't realize was that they hired the wrong girls (or at least the wrong time). No extras from these girls, especially since they had other appointments. No wheeling or dealing worked, and the guys were resigned to see me embarass myself in public without the added hilarity of going into the private room for god knows what. Humorously, Noel (the bitch!) said to me, while grinding away (read: playing super-tight for a small profit), "I'm preparing you for marriage." Then she announced it was time for them to go. I replied, "Damn right you are preparing me for marriage. You get me all hot and bothered and won't put out!"
The truth of the matter is, I was super glad that nothing happened. I don't even think that it would be much of an issue with fiance Kim, believe it or not. Rather, I'd enjoy myself for 10 seconds of climax (read: all-in with the nuts) and then immediately feel remorse and want to muck those chicks out of there. I'd also be several hundred dollars broker. No. My mistress is lady poker. She might be a whore, but I haven't gotten any diseases yet...if you don't count the gambling addiction.
More to come...Patience....
It took some wheeling and dealing, but I will be playing in Dr. Pauly's Birthday Bash tournament on Titan Poker tonight. The tournament starts at 9pm, but I won't be home until 9:30 or even 10pm. Enter Dave Roose. After his amazing run at 1/2 NL in AC (more than quadrupled his money), Roose has been kind enough to cover me for the beginning of the tournament. So, if you see HighOnPokr (leave off the last "e" for +EV) and it is before 10pm, feel free to shoot out a good ole "Roose!" I'm sure it will be greatly appreciated.
Please excuses the trip report delay. Monday and Tuesday are busy as hell. But I'm halfway through Atlantic City Bachelor Party Mayhem Pt. 2, so your patience will be rewarded. Wish Roose and I luck tonight.
Atlantic City Bachelor Mayhem (Pt. 2)
Monday, September 19, 2005
Uh oh. Here we go again.
When I woke up Saturday morning, it was about 10:30am. I had gotten a whopping 7 or so hours of sleep, a good deal more than my usual AC trips with friends. Mikey Aps had crawled into the room at about 7am after a marathon at 6/12 limit. Aps plays higher limits than the rest of my buds, as is commiserate with his poker degeneracy. He ended the night up $400 or so, as his mad skillz held up against the competition. Over the course of the night, he even played some 7.50/15 limit Omaha, because apparently the room manager was trying desperately to spread the game.
Dan, Aps and I got up begrudgingly, and called over to Roose's room. Roose, Randy and Rob Hole and Ilan had already gotten up and showered. I had left my stuff in Roose's room (technically my room but in AC, you sleep wherever is most convenient), so I headed over there to change. I quickly noticed that my toiletry bag was MIA (found this morning in my office), so I did my best with what I could. I sure as hell didn't shower, as this was AC, and showering was on a need-to-shower basis.
The Roose crew and I got into our cars and headed over to the Showboat, owned by Harrahs. We couldn't check in until later, so we found a diner-type restaurant in the hotel and got us some breakfast. Breakfast for me was a grilled cheese with bacon. I only eat grilled cheese sandwiches in AC, and I guess that is almost all that I eat there. It definitely harkens back to growing up in a family that visited AC four times a year, at least. I used to always have grilled cheese at the Trop, so I guess it is some sort of AC comfort food thing. Regardless, the grilled cheese was up to par. Midway through the meal, Dan and Aps arrived. The group was all together, and ready for some more action.
When we left the restaurant, we decided to play some table games. I have got to commit myself to NEVER PLAYING TABLE GAMES AGAIN. I consistently leave these AC trips up (a meager amount) in poker, and down overall because of table games. The one exception was my Vegas trip, where I lost miserably in poker, and won a lot in craps and roullette. But I'm chalking that up to a fluke.
Roose, Hole and I hit up the craps table. In no time at all, we were all up over $75. I ran hot for a while. Someone wanted to walk, so I took it as a sign. Unfortunately, not too long later, Aps was talking about how he wanted to learn craps. I gave him a clinic, during which I lost my winnings and another $75. So, I guess the table actually gave the clinic. A clinic in ass-whooping.
After that, it seemed like poker was the only smart solution. I was feeling tired of 2/4, and arranged my buds to play 3/6. The Showboat poker room is a really nice place. It must be a year old at most, and it shows, with new tables, good chairs, and a nice atmosphere. I sat at a table with Aps, Dan, and Roose, along with about 3 old dudes and a black guy. Notable hands were few and far between. As time passes, my memory goes too. But I do know that I lost $42 before I had to walk. By that time, J-Dub and my bros had strolled into the poker room and the majority of the group was in AC. Poker had to take a back seat.
More to come...
Atlantic City Bachelor Mayhem (Pt. 1)
Sunday, September 18, 2005
I don’t think I have the stamina, after a weekend in Atlantic City, to do the trip justice. But I’ll do my best, in as many installments as it takes.
The reason for the soiree, which involved me and 16 or so of my best buddies, was my coming nuptials to fiancé Kim (who may remain “fiancé” Kim post-wedding, as “wife” Kim doesn’t roll off the tongue as well). Bachelor Party in AC? Where do I sign up!?
As soon as I got the call from Roose, I stuffed all of my stuff in my bag, and headed downstairs to get a ride from Roose and Ilan to sunny AC. I was heading directly from work, so I spent 15 minutes before my chauffer duo arrived switching from my lawyer gear to my degenerate gear. Knowing full well that I would have to walk past some co-workers, I wore my Superman t-shirt underneath my polo shirt. Visions of Clark Kent danced in my head.
Like a speeding bullet, I was in Ilan’s car. We had decided to go to AC on Friday, while most of the crew planned to arrive the next day. When we got to the Tropicana Hotel at 9pm, we met up with Rob and Randy Hole, fellow poker degenerates and all around fun-time guys. We checked into the hotel, making the usual flirty/self-deprecating/shticky chitchat with Andrea, the check-in clerk. She even laughed at my story from our last AC trip, when the check-in gal had the amazing ability to entirely block me and Roose out.
We got into the room and did much of nothing for 20 minutes. Well actually, the guys were chatting and relaxing, and I was pacing with intermittent whining regarding my need for action. I finally mobilized the troops, and we hit the poker room. Roose, Ilan and I sat down for a brand new 2/4 limit table at the Trop. I wanted to nurse my bankroll, so the 4/8 would have to wait. The game went well. I made friends with several strangers at the table, like Dirty Bob (his own nickname), his chick, and JS. JS was a chick on my right with whom I shared reads and general opinions regarding the table.
Now, I was having fun. That’s the most important thing. But I was also kind of loose, which is the exact wrong way to play at 2/4 no fold’em. I was down around 40, but it couldn’t matter less. The table was going well, and I was getting reads. Dirty Bob was playing well at first, and began showing cards. He even won a hand on a bluff, which is practically unheard of in 2/4 Limit, home of the no-folding policy. Whenever he showed, I called across the table, “nice hand.” After all, I want to encourage him to keep showing. There were three notable hands. Two were back to back and the last was my final hand of the session.
Now, as a disclaimer, my memory isn’t so hot, but this is the best as I can remember, so play alond.
Ilan was two seats to my left, just past JS. I held Ad3d and loosely limped in. I called, as did about four or five others. Ilan raised. There were 2 or 3 callers before me, and I called as well. The flop was AQ8. Ilan bet 2. All other players folded. I thought for a moment and called. The turn was a blank. Ilan bet again and I said, “Ilan, I gotta tell you, I don’t think you have it.” I re-raised, putting Ilan (on the tail end of a less-than-great session) called, putting himself all-in. He has AA. And I grumble as the useless river is dealt.
So, of course, I’ve had a couple of drinks. I like nothing more than drinking casually at 2/4 limit. It is highly recommended. See, if you get little loose (booze- or cards-wise) it’s not a big deal because the limit is so unthreatening.
As a result, I’m bantering between Ilan, Dirty Bob, and Roose. Of course, I’m giving Ilan a hard time for beating me. It’s all showboating nonsense, amongst inebriated friends at the table. While I’m busting his chops, I looked down to see AcAs. BOOYA! I’m ready to go, as the action gets around to me. I’m in early to mid position and bet, hoping to thin the field. There were already two limpers before me. JS folds. Ilan calls. Dirty Bob’s Girl calls. Dirty Bob calls. And I think someone else in there called as well. And do you know why? Because my bets get no respect as a result of my showboating style and loose play. It’s 2/4 also, which doesn’t hurt. But there were no hands as big as this all night preflop. Several people called me cold.
Anyway, I lean toward JS and joke about how I get no respect. I show her my cards too. To allow her to enjoy the show, I guess. Maybe to have some company for my merriment. Not the smartest move, I know. But it just seemed like a good idea.
The flop was sweet. AJx. I checked and someone in MP bet. Dirty Bob’s girl called. Dirty Bob raised! Ok, well now there are six or so people beside me in the hand, and there is a lot of action before me. I need to thin the herd because two board cards are suited. I raised. Two players folded. Some random dude calls, and is all-in. Dirty Bob’s gal folds. Dirty Bob calls.
The next card is an A. Soak it up, ‘cause I’m packing quad Aces. I check. Dirty Bob bets. I raise. He calls. The river was a K or something. Hell, I wasn’t paying attention by that point. I bet, and he called, reluctantly. I show my pocket Aces and take down a huge pot. The best part was that I got a load of value out of a quad Aces hand. Realistically, often you are not going to get paid on this hand, as most players are scared of 3-of-a-kind Aces, and therefore shut down. The timing was right and it felt great.
At the end of the game, I held JQo, but I had already determined that I was near done with poker for a bit. I limped, as did about 4 other players. The flop was T98, rainbow. It’s easy winning with the nuts. But the key is to get as many bets as possible. This time I bet out. It was a weak passive set of players, including Bob’s lady-friend. He was already busted, but still railbirding and chatting away. I got a couple of callers, including Mrs. Bob. I bet the next inconsequential card and only Mrs. Bob called. On the river, I bet once more, and she reluctantly threw in her chips. I showed my flopped nuts.
A little while later, Bob’s wife(?) went broke. The couple up and left the table. As the did, Bob shook my hand and wished me good luck with the game and the wedding. With my gregarious group, my bachelor party came up quickly.
As he left, I realized I was the man to effectively break Bob and wife. And yet, I got along with him better than most of the players at the table. Hell, we even half-jokingly invited him for the bachelor party entertainment. I think this happens a lot. I play better against those players I get into a rapport with, especially when it’s a friendly rapport. I definitely study those players more than most. My attention is on them anyway, and usually it’s a low-brow type guy, so his play might just mesh with my style (to my benefit, fortunately).
The other thing is, Bob knew I was at my bachelor party. If you want to get treated to a good time, get engaged and have yourself a bachelor party. Roose did a phenomenal job getting this thing together. When I first got in the car, there was a bag, complete with unmentionables that would remind me that this was a weekend of debauchery. When I got to the hotel and met up with Rob and Randy, they handed me a lucky chip that had been personalized for the bachelor party. Even more amazingly, they also had a box of cigars with personalized and wholly inappropriate wrappers. While playing poker, Dan strolled up behind me. I didn’t even know he’d be there Friday night, so his surprise, courtesy of the expected poker-degenerate Mikey Aps, made for a very nice surprise.
After poker, the group met at the bar for drinks. I had several drinks paid for by the guys, and we decided to head to the room to regroup. Damn, the rest of the night was a blur. Some guys went upstairs to the room. I drank some with Dan. Aps continued playing 6/12 limit, and would remain there until 7am or so. He’s a trooper! Eventually I got some food and hung out with the bros and brews until gambling seemed to lose all meaning.
I’ll hopefully get to more of this later. Tomorrow will be busy, so I’ll have to do it as it comes. But there will be more. Thanks for reading.
Friday, September 16, 2005
Tonight I leave for AC with Dave Roose, Robbie Hole and a few other early starters, for an action packed gambling and bachelor party fiesta! The official festivities kick off tomorrow, but tonight should be filled with gambling, gambling, and more gambling. Here is Roose's expertly written email, sent to the many participants. It was so well written, I just had to share it with my audience.
There you have it! I'm excited as shit. Now to just make it through this day. I'll be arriving in AC at around 9 or 10 pm, so it's going to be a late night.
Ooooh weeeee. Poker time, baby.
Thursday, September 15, 2005
I wanted to make this a You Decide (see links on the right), but it would be disingenuous. At the end of this post, I will post the last hand of a tournament I played tonight. I think I played the hand perfectly. But I am the self proclaimed Devil Advocate of Poker Bloggers, so please feel free to tell me if I'm wrong. (I'm not though).
I played in 2 games tonight, a Maui SNG and a Million $ SNG. If you don't know the drill, I'll give it to you one. more. time. I have already placed 2nd in a Maui. With a streak of 5 1st or 2nd place finishes, I get a bonus $200. But that is irrelevant. Why? Because I lost, so my streak is 0. I played with Kip and my KK ran into JJ ran into AA...and the Js won. The truth is, even with Ks, I shouldn't have gone all-in. It was too early. If you put yourself in situations like that too often, you'll lose sooner or later. Maybe TT sucks you out, or AJ hits an A, but you'll lose. And our goal is to set up a streak. So you cannot take that chance too early. Now later on...
When I started with Kip (who placed 2nd and thereby avenged me), I had already been in the beginning of a Million $ Jackpot SNG, where if you can win several different jackpots up to $1 Million for a streak of 7 first place finishes. My immediate goal is to reach the lowest prize (1st or 2nd, 5 in a row for $250), but the next step (5 1st place finishes for $25K) would be a real hoot. Yes. I said hoot. Fuck you.
As it turns out, I won the damn Million $ SNG, thereby giving me a streak of 2 wins. Three more and I'm getting paid. I want to play one right now, but, as I told DNasty, I will only play one a night to ensure that I am fresh. Consider this. I placed 2nd in a Maui. A night later, I place 1st in a Million. Tonight, I place 1st in a Million again. I also played a second game a duffed it. Hypothetically, if I stick to one game a night (at least one that matters), I think my game will be sharper. I can still play inconsequencial (for streaks at least) SNGs, but not those Million $ SNGs. That's for when papa's got time to think. I'm playing strong. Which brings me to the final hand of the tourney.
Heads-up is so much easier post HUC, especially when the blinds are high. Aggression goes a long way, as does a little mind
So, when it's down to me and him, I fire out. "Just you and me, rookie." I'm going smoke his ass like it was salmon. I played a bit aggessive, but only with min raises and continuation bets. And here we go:
I have 5150, and m2j has 4850. I'm dealt 55 in the BB (400). He calls in the SB. I want him to call, so I bet minimum. He's conditioned to think it's a mere reflex for me. The flop is AQ5, rainbow, which is as ideal as it gets. I check to him, praying he has an Ace. He bets 400. Okay, I'll call. It was too early to check-raise. The turn was a 3, offsuit! It couldn't get much better. Check. He bets 800. Time to act. I re-raise to 1600. He pushes all-in. If I lose, I'll only have 300. But who are we kidding? I'm not losing. I call, and he show A3s. I took it down fierce-like. My instincts were right and my timing was right. God bless me.
Atlantic City tomorrow. Ahhhhhhhhhhh................
The busy schedule eases up today with absolutely nothing to do after work. Granted, I'll have to stay at work late for face-time purposes, but I stand a 90% chance of getting home by 8pm. So far this week, I haven't been home before 10pm.
I have to apologize because I don't even really feel like blogging. It's not you, dear reader, it's me. My poker last night was abysmal. Fiance Kim put up with day 2 of, "I need some time to play poker...goodnight." I probably owe her an apology, but, as many of you know, when you live with someone, even someone who you love like I love fiance Kim (which is a heck of a lot), you still need time to yourself every once in a while.
I logged onto Noble, and GCox, my usual online poker buddy, was online as well. He was in the midst of two-tabling, so I registered for a Maui ($5, 10-person) and a Million $ Jackpot ($10, 10-person) SNG. Maui started first this time, so I set my sights on 2nd or 1st place, hoping to string a 2nd win to my streak. If you recall, two days ago, I placed 2nd in a Maui.
Well, I played well. I kept out of the way of the action in the early rounds. Actually, on the first hand, I held the suited hammer, aka the modified hammer, aka suited 27. I limped, as did about 6 players total. The board was K62, with two spades (I held clubs). I thought twice about making a move, but checked instead. Someone made a meke bet, but I folded. About three or four players saw the turn, another 2. I'm kicking myself in the ass until a player pushes all-in. It would have been a tough laydown for me at that point, so I'm glad I didn't put myself into a situation.
The game moved along, with me stealing some blinds when in position, but generally playing conservatively. I changed gears when we were down to 6 or so, and soon we were down to 4 and I was the big stack. Unfortunately, I misread a player and lost a huge hand. I don't remember the specifics. I think I had A2 and he had AJ. The flop was AA4. The rest, as they say, is history. On the short stack, I tried to survive. Finally, I was blinded and cold-decked down to 420, with 200/400 blinds. I had no choice but to push when I held KK. Two callers. The flop was AQx, and I considered myself cooked. The turn was a J, and I prayed for a T. The river was a 9. No such luck. But, as it turned out, neither player had an Ace. Unfortunately, one of them had QJ, and I lose my streak and bubble out.
It was like a kick in the groin. I said as much to GCox, who was in a limit table with me, where I had lost another $7. I can't seem to win in limit lately, probably because my focus is elsewhere. I signed off and hit the sack, sad that I ruined my one-game streak. At least I still have a one-game streak going in the Million $ Jackpot SNGs. I reviewed the Million $ Jackpot rules and was glad to see that there are some nice consolation prizes. If you win 7 in a row, you get a cool million. If you win 6, you get $75K. If you win 5, you get $25K. If you place 1st or 2nd in 5, you get $250. I'd be glad to get the $250. So that is my new goal.
I finished Moneymaker's book, and I can only say this: I respect Chris Moneymaker. His book gave an interesting perspective on his WSOP win and his backstory. It's right up there with Rocky, complete with lead character who is probably more of a fuckup than anything, but rises to the challenge that faces him. His book doesn't granstand or make him out to be some uber-poker machine, but it does tear away at some of the ESPN imagery that is edited to make the public's image of Moneymaker.
I'd like to discuss something that was prevalent in Moneymaker's book: getting lucky in poker. I'll get to that later, as right now, work is demanding my complete attention. Thanks for reading. I'll keep writing. Odd, how, now, I AM in the mood to blog.
Poker poker poker poker.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Damn I'm busy. I've said this before, and I'll say it again: I am a man of leisure. This work at 8 and class till 10 routine is killing me. The class is only Monday and Tuesday, but tonight I have the pleasure of traveling an hour to LI right after work for fiance Kim and my "engagement photo", which of course ignores the fact that (1) we got engaged over a year ago, (2) we are getting married in less than a month, and (3) I look like shit, as the first thing that goes when I get busy is my personal hygeine. Yeah I said it. I still shower and everything, but I ran out of face wash a week ago and I am in desperate need of a shaving (face and/or head). At least the pic will look different from my wedding photos.
Ah, but this is a poker blog. Sorry for the recent lack of in depth poker thought. I think I had a nugget yesterday that I wanted to share. Hopefully, recanting this story will help. (Bonus points if someone is able to verify that I used "recanting" in the wrong context, as I'm want to do.)
At about 11:15pm last night, I was looking to play another Maui tournament on Noble. I figured that since I placed 2nd in the Maui yesterday, I should try to string together a full 5 wins to earn the $200 bonus. Unfortunately, thanks to the Million $ Jackpot tables on Noble, the Maui room could not get any love. I must've sat in that room with one other guy (it's a 10-table tournament) for 15 minutes, until I got fed up. I also registered for the Million $ Jackpot SNG ($10, 10-person), and a six-person $5 Omaha SNG. Hey, I was here to gamble. The Million $ Jackpot was the first to start, so I quickly unregistered on the other tournaments and set down to play some pokah!
The tournament went excedingly well. I was chatting lightly with GCox for a bit, and also playing some .50/1 limit (just enough to earn my last $10 bonus, but not enough to feel the sting of a bad session). I decided to stick to a proven strategy at Noble SNGs (or any SNGs, I suppose). I played tight. I didn't get involved in any big hands, because, frankly, it only takes one big hand to break you in an SNG. Even if you think you are good going in with 55 or ATs or KJ because of the weakness of the other players, you still might get stuck in a situation where your hand is outdrawn. Or, with cards like those and 10 players, you are dominated and don't know it. Hell, set over set. High-pair vs. Overpair. Out kicked. Seen it, wouldn't wanna been it. Um, you get the idea.
And suddently, when I did bet, I got respect. I switched into what Sir Hellmuth calls Eagle play. I was staying out of the way for the most part, swooping down to pick up opportune pots, both big and small. I took out a couple of players. Suddenly, there were four players left and I was the big stack. This didn't last long. By the time I told GCox, I was already crippled in a hand I've conveniently forgot. On the shortstack, I got into my solid shortstack game. I made a few well-timed all-ins. I stole some blinds and doubled up. And suddenly I'm the leader again. Fourth place goes out and I'm in the money. Third-place goes too, and I'm heads up, outchipped about 4500 to 5500.
Thank you Heads Up Challenge! If it weren't for those games (of which I only got to play 7, plus about a half-dozen practice games), I would not have had such control when we were heads up. Thanks to the HUC, I knew the value of raising the minimum pre-flop. If the other player has nothing, he'll likely fold at first. If you do this a bunch of times in a row, with hands like Ace high, low pocket pairs, K9o, etc. he'll eventually start calling you with his 6To.
I even got a little fancy. I had shown him a 2c3c bluff pre-flop. The very next hand, I had 26o. Knowing that I just showed a silly bluff, I decided to raise the blinds again. He called this time, which ironically was what I expected. The flop was nothing special. There was a T high, or maybe a Q. I bet out and he called again. Okay... The next card was another blank as far as I was concerned. I thought things over. He has been calling me the entire way and I just showed a bluff. There is no way he can think I am bluffing here, because who the hell shows a bluff and then bluffs right away. I bet big. He folded. I knew he was getting desperate and was probably drawing to an inside straight draw or had a small pair. Otherwise, he would've put the pressure on me, happy that he finally had a hand. Some might not think this was a wise play. Well, the situation called for it, and I took the advantage. In the end, that is the core of poker. Timing.
In the end, I took it down. Down to China Town. It was a $50 win ($38 profit, as the buy-in was $10 and the fee was $2). It was an unexpected win too, due in large part to my expert play. Hell, you know I'll admit it when I'm lucky. Not this time. All me.
That win helps replenish some of my depleted bankroll. With that, I am about $100 on Noble again. I think I stand at $117. I have about $240 on Neteller, awaiting my return from my honeymoon, at which point I will sign up for another bonus through PokerSourceOnline (wait for it....wait for it....NOW....Bonus Code: HighOnPoker, infidels!). I wish I could start a promotion now and get the September PSO bonus for 9000 PSO points instead of the usual 6000. But I cannot realistically expect to clear any bonus requirements before my wedding in early October, and hence, it would be a waste of a promotion (you have 30 days to clear it, I think).
This weekend is my bachelor party in beautiful Atlantic City. The night before the official Saturday night festivities, I'll be in AC with Dave Roose, Robby Hole and Randy Hole getting in some pre-party poker. The Friday night plans all came together kind of quick, but I'm glad they did, as I might have to share some time away from the tables Saturday. Unfortunately, not all of my buddies (16 or so are coming) are poker players, so blackjack (shudder) and craps (joy) may have to be worked into the rotation.
Final thought. I spoke to good friend Dave Ruff yesterday about the bachelor party. I mentioned that I have to go to the stupid NJ classes and he replied, I know, I read about it in your blog. Wha? I didn't know he read this drivel. So a sincere apology to Ruff for any crap I said about him here. HAHAHA! I never said anything bad about Ruff, I swear! I bet he's just reading this so he knows how to play against me in AC. Well, we'll see about that! The real interesting thing is that people I know actually read this. I know Roose and Hole do from time to time, but now Ruff too. I'm glad overall. I guess I just won't be discussing my herpes outbreak. Ah, who are we kidding. I don't have an edit button.
Paging Mr. Herman. Mr. Herman. There's a seat at 1/2 NL..
Basics are Good
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
At 11:20 or so last night, I finally leveled with fiance Kim. "Honey, I'm going to be selfish and play some poker." "But I'm tired, cuddle with me." "I've had a hard day, and all I want to do is play some poker and relax." "Okay." And that was it. See, fiance Kim is a wet-dream. She is an early sleeper, and I usually lie with her. Once she falls asleep, I either watch some drivel on TV that she wouldn't be interested in, or head back to the living room to play some poker. Last night, I cut to the chase. "I'm playing poker." And she was cool. She always is. That is why I am marrying her. Not the poker, ass! Her easy going personality.
So, I log on, but I don't have any direction. It's already late, but GCox is online, and he is usually good for a game. Unfortunately, he, too, has been running bad at the tables, so he was grinding away at the .25/.50 limit tables at Titan/Noble (they use the same rooms and blah blah blah). It ocurred to me that I, too, needed to curb my action a bit. A bad run at the tables has brought my nearly $500 bankroll to just over $300. But .25/.50 would feel tedious. That is when it occurred to me. Let's get back to the basics.
"$5 SNG on Noble?" I asked, knowing full well the answer. "Sure." GCox is always one to comply when it comes to poker. We fired up a ten-person Maui SNG (where if you win 5 in a row, you get $15,000 or something, or if you place 1st or 2nd in 5 in a row, you get $200). I started the game playing very tight. One player in particular took our about four other competitors, two at a time, both times on suckouts. Meanwhile, another player, whose name was Sweepster or something, was playing a very interesting game. It wasn't a good game. No. Rather, it was a very predictable game. He was making often low stabs at pots. Continuation bets. The whole nines. I realized that I was watching my own unsophisticated game. It's not how I play all of the time, but sometimes when I get in a rut, I think I play Sweepster's brand of mindless, relentless poker. I literally called his action BEFORE he acted for an entire hand. Limp. Small raise. Raise of 200 (2x big blind). 400 raise. That is right. I KNEW he was going to bet 200 exactly and 400 exactly. In the end, I paid him off on that hand, mostly because I knew he was drawing and hit, and I wanted validation of my theory once he hit on the river. But even so, I turned my read into a cash cow, as I continuously re-raised Sweepster.
Suddenly, we we down to four player, and GCox and I were still in it. Sadly, GCox made a move with A2, and ran into AT. Out on the bubble, he closed up shop before I could say goodnight. G, take a breather man. I know your game and you are good. A bad run of cards and maybe some tilting (not that I saw, but I don't watch you all of the time) is probably to blame for your recent dip. Keep your head on straight and you'll be fine.
As it turns out, I took 2nd. I played well on a shortstack for a good portion of the game. This is my hallmark. Good shortstack play. The rule of 10 is a god send. If you don't know it, I'll pass along the gem: If you have less than 10x the BB in a tournament, either fold or go all-in. Even if you are the SB, do NOT call. Just fold or go all-in. You'll pick up a bunch of blinds usually, and suddenly you are healthy or you've outlasted the 3rd place played who had 5x your chips.
The win is $10 profit which is a nice round number. It also puts me on course for 4 more Maui 1st or 2nd place wins for the $200 bonus. I am crossing my fingers.
I'm still busy. I'm reading Moneymaker's book (good so far), and I've finished The Professor, The Banker, and the Suicide King, another solid read. So, poker is everywhere, even when I'm sitting in the stupid NJ continuing legal education classes.
Love that Poker.
Monday, September 12, 2005
As in, I have no time. For anything. At all. Today, I got into the office ar 8am. I skipped poker yesterday because I was very busy with fiance Kim doing wedding stuff and I was running bad at the tables anyway. Today I start my night classes in NJ. The classes are mandatory in order to practice law in NJ, so I have to suck it up and take it. The classes start at 6:30pm and finish at 9:30pm. As a result, I will return home circa 11pm. So, it doesn't look like I'll have time for much today or tomorrow. The classes are Mondays and Tuesdays for five weeks (spread over 2 mos) so, you can officially cry for me now. I'm a man of leisure and this, sir, is leisure-less. Since I am uber-busy, I'm keeping this short. Have fun for me. And play a little poker.
Sunday, September 11, 2005
I'm burning through my bankroll lately, and I don't have any idea what is going on. I'm down to a little over $300 after an atrocious night last night. None of my cards were holding up. I was playing too loose in 1/2 limit. I was not maximizing my good hands in NL. I was playing like poop, plain and simple.
So, why was I playing like poop? Well, some of it wasn't me. I had people draw out on me a couple of times (see Donkey Pic).
But then there were my errors. I hit the nuts or two pair or another solid hand, and then I'd either slowplay it into nothingness or bet it into oblivion. Where were my value bets? I think the issue was part fear of being drawn out, but mostly a failure on my part to evaluate my table image. In some of my homegames I can bet big and get paid off, because I know the table and they think I am an over-aggressive bluffer. But, clearly, at the tables I was playing at last night, that was not my image. I guess I looked like a rock-light. I mean, no one was pushing me around, but also, no one was calling my large bets. Hell, the truth is, I still don't know what my table image was.
The other problem was loosening up at limit. I ended up playing some 2/4 for a while with GCox, which was disasterous. This is a reoccurring problem for me. I'll lose some hands and all of a sudden I'm a drawing donkey. I want to win it back, so QJo is ok pre-flop for a limp. I swear, I must've seen QJo or QJs about 2 dozen times last night.
So, now I need to finish up my Noble bonus (only one $10 bonus remaining), and then re-evaluate my game. I also have to wait for my money to clear at Neteller (from Noble and PokerRewards) and start a new promotion. It occurs to me that I have to finish any promotion within 30 days, so I'll have to work extra hard, as I am getting married in less than 3 weeks. Ah, goals!
Okay, time to shower. Poker anyone?
Donkeys Always Draw
Saturday, September 10, 2005
My new piece of poker-inspired art. This one is a shout out to TripJax, who often says, "Donkey's always draw." Then color me donkey, cause I likee me some drawing.
Wow! What a difference a day makes. Last night, fiance Kim and I had an easy night. She was feeling under the weather, and wanted to go to sleep on the early side for a Friday. By10:45pm, she was crawling into bed. I covertly signed up for the $20 freezeout on Noble and shot GCox a quick IM with my plans. When Kim was out cold, around 11:05pm, I snuck back into the living room for my poker game. DNasty and GCox were signed up, and TripJax was railbirding. Kipper was chatting too, but seemed pretty engrossed in his game.
84 players entered the tournament. I didn't keep notes or copy-and-paste my IM play by play, so I'll cut to the chase. I placed 6th and won $139 for my troubles. GCox and I also entered the midnight $5 rebuy MTT on Noble, where he bubbled in 11th. I was out in the 20s, but at that point, fatigue had set in. DNasty also had a very impressive 20th place out of 400 on UB's midnight $10 freezeout. While we are all disappointed for GCox's bubble finish, it was a very impressive night for my blogging crew.
The big win was very necesary. I've been running cold all week, so this brings my bankroll back to just short of $400. It would be higher, but this morning I also finished the PokerRewards bonus, for $50, which I promptly gave up (and then some) while finishing the additional 100 raked hands required for the PSO PokerRewards Bonus. I withdrew $141, my whole PokerRewards bankroll, which means that I actually lost $10 during my tenure there. This last day had been bad. But overall, the $50 bonus kept me up, and that, frankly, is good. Good enough at least. After all, my goal is to continue to break even until I earn my iPod (no thanks to you!). On that subject, are you thinking about signing up for PSO, where you can get free stuff along with the usual bonuses offered at various sites? Well if so, bonus code: HighOnPoker, fuckface!
Ah, so I withdrew the $141.50 to Neteller, in preparation for my next PSO promotion. I also withdrew $100 from Noble, for use at PSO or UB (where blogger friends often congregate).
As for PSO, this time I'll be sure to use the code: PSOSEPT and receive 9000 PSO points instead of the meager 6000 I got for the PokerRewards promotion. Next destination is a toss-up between Titan Poker, Pacific Poker and Carribean Sun Poker.
Titan is the same as Noble, which has generally been good to me. The biggest reason for Titan is their juicy 100% bonus. However, I'm trying to diversify over different sites, so that I can play more with bloggers on the spur of the moment. So, this is the same as putting my money back in Noble (they share the same games/tables). Plus, I think I should wait until I can put a shite load of cash there and really get a nice bonus. One can hope.
I don't know much about Carribean or Pacific, so any information is greatly appreciated. Paradise seems to have a low bonus requirement (250 raked hands), but they only count hands where you put into the pot. At Carribean, the raked hands requirement is 750, but they count any hands while you are sitting, even if you don't put a dime into the pot. The obvious benefit is that you can play uber-tight on several tables and rake in the bonus. Another thing to consider is the size of the cash bonuses at each site. For Carribean it is a mere 50$ max, but it also says $40/mo. I have no idea what that means. Paradise is up to 100$, but is only 25%. Do you see the problem? I'm only depositing $200 max, and probably only the minimum $100 (as per PSO's promotion). So, Carribean looks like the winner.
Other possible sites include: Paradise (750 pts, any raked hands count, 25% up to 50$), and Gaming Club (2400 pts presumably earned at a different scale, any raked hands, up to $300 with no details offered).
So, any suggestions or info? It would be greatly appreciated.
On the live poker front, I don't expect to play any this week. On Friday, I have to go to South New Jersey for work. It's a 2 and 1/2 hr drive. On Saturday night, I have my bachelor party in AC, which is a 3 hr drive (AC is in South Jersey too). So...I booked a room at Tropicana Friday night. Roose is going to join, and there will be more poker action for Jordo. Interestingly, the room was $250 on Trop's site. On Orbitz.com, it was $100! That is absurdly low for the Trop on a summer-ish weekend. Done and done!
That's all folks. Drop me a comment and lend me some advice on those sites if you know anything.
Can't Keep a Good Man Down
Friday, September 09, 2005
Let me adjust my most recent statements. I will continue to blog during the day, but to a lesser extent. My boss called me into his office at this morning. I didn’t expect anyone to be in, and my goal was to do some last minute file reviews before heading to court. When he called me in, I was slightly nervous. However, he led off with, “
Last night I had the supreme pleasure of leaving work and rushing to Penn Station to take a train to LI. Fiance Kim and I arrived in LI at , in time to catch a ride from Mama High to our wedding place (Caterer?
We caught a train back to the city. By the time we got home, it was 10:45 PM. My brother Keith needed some help in his apartment, a mere three floors away. When I got back upstairs, fiancé Kim was mostly asleep. I let her sleep and fired up the computer. GCox and I played some 1/2 limit on Noble (he was actually on Titan, but they use the same tables). I simultaneously, I had two 1/2 tables open from Poker Rewards. It’s been a while since I’ve played 1/2 limit. It was actually fun to grind away the boni.
On the poker front, I have my bachelor party next weekend. Boy time flies. The party is in beautiful
After this week at the 523 Club, I received an offer for another underground poker room, known as the Genoa Club. They have $30 freezeout tourneys on Tues, Wed, and Thurs, which is ridiculously low for a NYC club. I look forward to potentially attending next week.
With everything happening, a live home game is the last thing on my mind. Hole played at his place last night, so I hope that went well for my poker crew. For me, it’s online poker tonight (fiancé Kim and I have decided to have an easy night, and she is a little under the weather) and for the near future. Can’t say I’m unhappy though, as I’m looking forward to some ole school online poker action.
Thursday, September 08, 2005
I may have to discontinue blogging at work. Today, my boss came into my office to discuss two things: (1) I needed a white shirt on hand in case any clients stop by. I have no problem with this suggestion. In fact, I have an "emergency suit and tie" at the office already. I do feel stupid, though, as this implied that my recent attire (a dark wine-colored dress shirt) that I wore yesterday was too casual for client contact. My boss did say, however, that casual is generally okay. Criticism accepted.
(2) I need to cut down on personal calls. I didn't realize this was a problem, but according to my boss, a support staff complained. My money is on the receptionist, who fiance Kim believes was getting annoyed whenever she called. Regardless, this, too, I will keep in check.
The problem is adjusting. In my old job, personal calls were unfettered. You had your own direct line, and the office was large, so no one even noticed whether you were on the phone. That is not the case here. Adjusting is key. I will adjust.
I just have difficulty accepting criticism. I know that I need to change this too. When I am being told that I need to change something, I just don't know how to respond. I nod and say "absolutely", and I mean it. But I also feel like I give off a blank stare to the talker.
Now, since I knew that this office keeps tab on email and voicemail (and now frequency of personal calls), I will change my online behaviors. I will try to stop any non-work related WWW activity. I think I might have ADD, because I am most comfortable when I am jumping around doing a lot of things. This inevitably leads to an openned web page that really just sits in the background while I grind away at whatever task is actually at hand. While I do not know how much of this is being watched, I MUST stop it. I am not in a position where I can dictate my style of work. I have to play ball.
With that in mind, if anyone from my office is reading this via a list of sites I visited, I ask for your understanding. Everything is getting done. I just have an odd style of doing it. But, as I've said, this will change and I will adjust.
Oh, and no poker content. Sorry.
Club 523 & You Decide #16
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Last night, I went with Mike Aps, aka Duesche Boyd, to a NYC card room, known as Club 523. Ostensibly, we were going to play in their $25 Freeroll. The entry fee would cover food and non-alcoholic beverages (no alcohol allowed), and the prizes would be from the cardroom itself.
Unfortunately, when I arrived at ten to eight, the place was near empty. Joaquin Ochoa, fellow blogger and winner of a large screen plasma TV at the last 523 Freeroll, was there, so I was glad to see a familiar face. After some small talk, Gene, one of the three apparent owners (although there are likely more) of the club took me on the tour.
On the first floor is a large room with about 10-12 tables. A bar setup is used as the cashier’s cage. A water cooler is set up for guests, as is a nice, clean bathroom in the back. No one was playing, so there wasn’t much to see. However, I was impressed by the layout and size of the place.
The second floor, which serves as a lounge, has the same hard wood floors and clean interior. Near the front of the building/room are several couches and a wall-mounted television. In the middle area of the room is a free, well-kept pool table. Near the back is a kitchen area with black formica-topped counters, and an island with stools. The fridge was packed with soda cans, and presumably other items, for guests.
The third floor is the smallest of the three, and consisted of a room that more than comfortably fit two tables for “private parties.” According to owner Gene, a Wall Street stock broker firm had an upcoming private party at the club. No surprise there.
As you can see, the place was no joke. Gene and Alex, two of the owners, seemed to be guys in their late 20s. They were unassuming characters, and friendly overall. There was no need to feel worried or uncomfortable in the room, which to me is a key factor when playing in a semi-legal environment.
Unfortunately, the poker room’s email was experiencing some technical difficulties, so turn-out for the freeroll was non-existent. Even so, Gene or Alex suggested that we play any game we want in a ring game. I suggested 1/2 NL, which was commonly played in the club. Realistically, with my lack of bankroll, I wanted something more akin to 2/4 limit, but damnit I wasn’t going to look like a wuss on my first time at the club.
Mikey Aps was kind enough to lend me $100 with which to play. The game started off slow. The table consisted of (in seat order): (1) Me, (2) random Russian [by my estimate], (3) owner Alex, (4) Mikey Aps, (5) owner Gene, (6) Joaquin Ochoa, (7) random Art Student. The Russian joined halfway through. Early on, Gene was talking about his poker experiences. He’s used to playing $25/50 NL, so this was baby-stakes for him. Because of that, I expected him and Alex to play extremely aggressively. After all, a $40 river bet on a bluff that has been called the whole way down won’t mean much if you are used to posting $50 as a big blind! (Not to mention the fact that you are playing with house money, presumably.) In fact, on the first hand, Gene did just that, betting at his busted flush draw, but turned pair of 8s, consequently pushing Joaquin off of his top pair of aces with a queen kicker! We all though Gene hit two pair. We were all wrong.
I didn’t play particularly well. I had 36o about 5 times, and 25o another 3 or so. Sometimes I feel like I complain about the hands dealt to me. The truth is, I was getting NOTHING. My best hands of the night was AQ and AJ. I had 55 once and 66 too. But the rest were garbage like 29. Boo hoo hoo.
I lost a relatively big hand when I limped in the blind with J7o. I bet pre-flop from $2 to $7. Alex and Art Student called. The flop was J-high, so I thought I was good. I bet out $12 and Alex called, Arty folded. Now, Alex didn’t re-raise, so I put him on mid-pair. The turn was a low card, so I pushed, knowing full well that Alex only had $25 or so in front of him. He called. He had J9 for high pair with a better kicker. I misread my opponent and paid for it.
I wasn’t doing well in general. My A4 went against Alex solo after I raised to $7 preflop in the SB with no limpers. The flop was TKx. We both checked it down the whole way, and I didn’t hit my straight or any pairs. He had T4o, for mid-pair. He said I had him from the get-go, but I knew better. He would have called any bet, so I think my checks were well played.
Random Russian sat down and things were looking bad. I lost a hand to Gene when my cards, AQ, failed to hit the board. I checked until he bet a huge sum, and then I promptly folded.
You Decide #16
This is a two-part test. Here are my final two hands of the night. Where did I go wrong, and where did I go right?
With $20 left, in the BB, I received A4s. The Russian raised to $7 UTG, and Alex called in UTG+1. With my short-stack, I called. The flop was three diamonds, Ace high. I pushed for $13. Russian called, Alex folded. My pair of Aces held up against his pocket 9s. He knew I had him. Still, any little victory was nice.
The next hand I was dealt 66 in the SB. It was practically a family pot, but I merely called hoping for my third 6. The flop was 456! I reached for my chips ready to bet, but I knew that someone else would do it for me. I checked, and the Random Russian bet $14. Everyone folded to me. I pushed my remaining $29 or so chips. He called. When I flipped my top set, some people were impressed. The Russian didn’t flip his cards. He mumbled to me, “I’m on a draw.” The next card was a 3. He hit his straight, and I go home now.
After losing $100, I had to leave. Fiance Kim was cool about my loss, although money is tight, and I should be more responsible. I’m expecting my first pay check from the new job, which will make things a bit easier. Until then, I’m using food stamps.
Overall though, I give the poker club 4.5 out of 5 diamonds. The only shortcoming was the lack of patrons, but if anyone is interested in the place, let me know and I’ll pass along the info. It’s a great place, with good people working there.
Gene, Alex or the dealer (whose name I cannot recall), thank you for a good time. I hope you are reading this. Also, check out SurprizePoker.com, which is owned by Alex. I haven’t seen it yet, but from my understanding, he is planning on only doing freerolls, so it might be an interesting site.
Enjoy the Poker! There’s plenty to go around.
Excitement in the Air
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
When I play poker, I usually get a bit excited. My heart beats faster. My legs tend to bounce if I'm sitting down. My energy level is generally up, anticipating the high I get when I push all-in with a solid hand but don't know if I'm going to get paid off or going to lose big.
Yes, this is the REAL reason why I play poker. I love the excitement of the gamble.
Tonight, the excitement is amped up times ten. I have a good hour before I head over to my game, but I feel like going right now, just to get the ball rolling. For tonight, I join fellow blogger Joaquin Ochoa at a New York City cardroom for a $25 "Freeroll". The $25 ostensibly covers food and drinks (non-alcoholic, of course). The freeroll has prizes such as free entry into an upcoming Borgata tournament (in Atlantic City), and possibly a large screen TV, which Joaquin won at the first freeroll held by the room.
I've never played in a NYC cardroom before, but this one seems ideal. They have daily tournaments ranging from $50 rebuy, to $100 freezeout, to $250 freezeouts. They may have higher stakes tourneys too, but they aren't for the likes of me.
The location is great too. It's close-ish to my apartment, and is around the corner from one of fiance Kim and my favorite restaurants. I may stop there before the game for a drink.
Wish me luck. I'm downright jittery in anticipation.
Calm, cool and collected, I'm not. Regardless, it's time for Poker!
Hmmm...thanks a lot Dr. Pauly! Pauly has taken the #6 most popular blog spot on BlogsOnPoker.com, relegating me back to #7 status. Your Seventh Most Popular Poker Blogger is mildly perturbed. At least I lost it to Pauly, who was my poker blogging inspiration.
By the way, check out my two new links to the New's All-In, and Little Acorn Man's blog. The New has been a great contributor to the comments section of this blog, and I thank him greatly for it. Little Acorn Man is blogging out of the UK, and is a regular commentor on GCox's blog. I welcome both of you into the link section of the 7th Greatest Poker Blog West of the Mississippi.
Your Former 7th Favorite Blogger....
Monday, September 05, 2005
Is now your SIXTH favorite blogger. Check it out people! I've been checking out BlogsOnPoker.com awaiting my opportunity to write my "It Was Good While It Lasted..." post. But surprisingly I've actually moved up in the "Most Popular Blogs" listings. Take that Las Vegas and Poker Blog!
I shall celebrate with Poker!
As is often the case, I fired up my computer late Sunday night to play some poker. I found two compadres, GCox and DNasty, online and we started up an AIM chat. It wasn't terribly late, but fiance Kim had nodded off and I felt like playing an MTT. GCox, who just finished the $3 rebuy in the money, and DNasty, who just signed online, decided to join me for the $15-rebuy shorthanded MTT on Noble. I've been running bad, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. The chat was particularly interesting, and I've copied it for use as notes. I'll sprinkle some excerpts throughout.
On GCox's prospects in the $3 rebuy:
BrodyBanky (me): congrats G
Gcoxy25: not there yet, 22 left
BrodyBanky: trust me, congrats
Gcoxy25: 7-4 big blind (at which point, GCox is forced to push since only the SB is left and G has less than 3x the BB. G loses to A5.)
dmmoreno (DNasty): damn
BrodyBanky: aw G! on the bubble?
Gcoxy25: I made the money
BrodyBanky: sweet. then i dont feel bad about the pre-congratz
So, the tourney starts with 66 players, and 6-person tables. G, D, and I are on different tables. I decide to play very tight. Early, however, I get AcQc. I'm in the BB. Before me, someone raises and another player re-raises. It's too early, and AQ is too weak. I lay it down. The two other players had AK and QQ. The A comes, and the QQ guy rebuys. After a couple of more hands, I can tell I have a solid group of players at my table. Tight is right with these guys.
Or so I think. I have AsKs. I raise preflop and two players call. The flop is ATT. I push, which may or may not be a good call. It turned out for the best because one player calls...with KJ. I double up. There are a lot of rebuys at my table. At this point, I have 1930, G has 950, and D has 1115. We started with 1000.
On playing while using the namesake:
BrodyBanky: 4 minutes until the add-on
(5 minutes later)
BrodyBanky: um, i cant beleive i thought the rebuy period was over (it was actually 44 minutes to go. I had only been playing for about 15 minutes!)
BrodyBanky: high on poker. fuck.
With AdTh in the SB, the flop comes down Ah7x6h. The BB and a limper are still in the hand. I bet out and take it down. Another risky and potentially stupid move pays off.
BrodyBanky: man, its quiet here
dmmoreno: getting no cards
BrodyBanky: G, I'm railbirding
Gcoxy25: I'm just sitting here folding my ass off
BrodyBanky: got you too, D
dmmoreno: sweet watch me fold
I take a big hit on my chips. I didn't take good notes, which is probably due to my shame. Meanwhile, DNasty doubles up.
I'm dealt the hammer on the button and limp. The flop is 5A7. I consider a bluff, until someone pushes before I act. Seeya hammer!
With KK I get some callers pre-flop. With all under-cards on the board, my pot sized bet pushes out the competition. I think I played this too fast, but a win is a win. Scorecard, Me: 1640, D: 2685, G: 2890. Can you see what's happening?
I hit the bathroom and auto-fold JJ. If I had stayed and played the hand, I would've called the all-in preflop from the guy with AT. I would have lost when the Ace came on the turn. Whew! Thank you bladder!
After being moved to a new table, it takes me 5 minutes to realize I am playing at the same table as Gcox. I get 99, but the flop is AKQ, and I'm out of there. I decide that I am playing to double-up as we near the end of the rebuy period. I have approximately 950. D rivers trip aces against a guy who hit trip 6s on the flop. Go D! Scorecard? Me: 970, G: 4130, D: 4590. D and I add on. GCox is too good for it!
GCox loses a big chunk and is down to about 1000 when he calls someone's is all-in preflop with a high pocket pair. The other guy sucks out on G. I feel a slight feeling of joy when I think I won't be the first blogger out (as I had 1900 or so after the rebuy). I then get TT and push. AJ calls and hits a J on the turn. I thought too soon. I close the window and fire up PokerRewards for more bonus grinding.
Online poker had been kicking my ass this week. I was down a good $100 from my high, and probably more than that. Thankfully, a little while ago I went on a run on PokerRewards, upping my cash from $70 to $175! I turned $20 into $100 at one PL .25/.50 table, and $2o into $45 at another. Two key hands involved pocket pairs (88 and 99) that I ram and jammed preflop, hit the set, and slow played. In one hand, a guy hit a straight, only to lose to me on the river when the board paired for my boat. Slowplaying might have hurt me. However, if it wasn't for the slow play, he would never have bet so low on the turn when he hit his straight, and I would have never called hitting my flush on the river.
I've been getting whooped at Noble lately, due to inattentive play and poor hand selection more than anything. I lost $30 in the MTT and $20 in a Rio the day before. That's $50 right there, not counting my recent dry spell at $2/4, where the swings can be brutal. However, with approximately $226 on Noble (down from $375 at it's peak!), and $175 on PokerRewards, I have a total of $401 or so online. The new goal is to reach $500 by the end of September. Wish me luck. The PokerRewards bonus (50% of my initial $100 deposit, or $50 total) should be earned within two weeks. That's a modest estimate, considering that I am already 258 hands into the 600 hand requirement (actually 500 hand requirement for the bonus, and an additional 100 hands for the Poker Source Online bonus...bonus code: HighOnPoker). I still haven't received any referrals, you ingrates.