Monday, October 31, 2005
"Judge, we do not want to have to wait until January for another meeting because we have an elderly plaintiff." I tried my best to convey to the prehistoric judge our need for a quick resolution. In truth, I knew little about the case. The judge knew I knew little about the case. Opposing counsel knew that I knew little about the case. But when the bossman has a family emergency and someone needs to show up at Court by 9:30am, the guy who arrives earliest usually gets that honor.
"He's elderly, you say? How old is he?" Finally, a question I knew the answer to. "He is in his seventies, your honor."
"His seventies!? You think that is elderly?" An attorney's tools are the English language. Words, whether written or spoken, must be chosen carefully. I already made an error. The judge was well over 80.
"Well, not elderly your honor. I am just trying to explain the need for a swift resolution."
"How old are you?" This one was out of left field, but at least it was an easy question...until he answered it for me, "Thirty-four?" I am twenty-five (twenty-six in December). I'm balding, sure. And I'm wearing a suit. But thirty-four? Shit, man. At least I'm not a female. Otherwise he would be stepping on dangerous territory.
Think quick. "Close, your honor. Actually, I am thirty-two." A little white lie wouldn't hurt anyone. Opposing counsel lets out a chuckle/surprised shock. Either he can see through the B.S. and can tell I'm a green kid, or he is finally fed up with the Judge's nonsense. The judge turns to him. "Let me guess, sixty?" "Actually, fifty-nine your honor."
This was my morning. Playing dress-up with the big boys. In the end, nothing significant got done, but I played my role. To let them know my actual age would've been to announce that (a) my bossman couldn't be bothered to send someone with experience, and (b) I'd be easy pickins to steamroll over. This game is about two things. One I've already told you about, words. The other is perception. So maybe my bald palatte is a benefit. I sure as hell will use whatever I got.
Ok, down to the reason you came by here. Poker.
This weekend was pretty blah. I played a lot. Maybe too much. I'm grinding out my Paradise bonus and should be done by mid to end of the week. Then I focus on Royal Vegas for my Vegas Poker Pro bonus. I suggest that you all click on the link and check it out. I plan on playing on Royal Vegas for Little Acorn Man's weekly UK v. US blogger SNGs (assuming that this past weekend wasn't an anomoly). I missed the SNG this weekend for my favorite burritos. Yep, there are few things that will get between me and poker. Baby Bo's burritos are one of them.
So, while I'm at Royal Vegas, I might as well grind my way into another $50 gift certificate to Best Buy in my quest to get a TV that doesn't run on leaded gas. If you are kind enough, you can even let me know that you are signing up at VPP and thereby allow me to possibly get an additional bonus. But hell, even if you don't take a look at VPP and PokerSourceOnline (referral code: HighOnPoker). Because, if you aren't using these services, you are wasting an opportunity. And waste-not, want-not.
I placed in an MTT on Titan, raking in $.10 in profit. I also played in a freeroll via PSO (another reason to sign up), during which I employed the All-in with crap cards strategy meant to knock me out early or get lucky and dominate. After all for 200+ players, they were giving out cruises to the top 2. I don't like them odds, so might as well play to lose. At least I succeeded in that goal. Otherwise, I grinded some more on Paradise's 5-card draw. When I'm done there, I plan on leaving $20 or so at Paradise to get my 5-card draw fixes here and there. I think I have a great grasp on the game, which isn't terribly hard considering the lack of NLHE nuances, and my 20 or so years of experience with 5-card draw specifically.
It doesn't look like I'll be playing live this week either, sadly. Mon and Tues are NJ continuing legal education classes (the last ones, that god!). Wed is wifey Kim and my one month wedding anniversary and we are using it as an excuse to go to Ruth Chris, an expensive steakhouse. It helps that we bought a gift certificate for someone and never gave it to them. So, it's almost like free, even though we paid for it months ago. Thursday is a prime poker night, but I need to get my shit in check. I think I might be overdoing it, and I need to spend more time with wifey Kim, for my sake mostly. She has a calming influence on me. Even though we live together, in our cell phone-Internet world, it's hard to actually find time to connect with someone face-to-face. Friday is Friday. If I could, I'd be at Genoa at their $40, 1 rebuy, tournament. But realistically, wifey Kim and I will be painting the town red, so I can't complain. Well, I could, but who would listen?
I'm working on a follow up to "Message in a Bottle," my story that was published in Dr. Pauly's e-zine, Truckin'. The new story takes place on a city bus, and is tentatively called, "Heroes." But the idea is constantly changing in my mind, and it may take a turn to something that would make "Heroes" only tangential. Regardless, keep a look out, because once I'm done, you'll see it here, and criticism is expected.
I want you to bluff me as hard as you can.
Saturday, October 29, 2005
I'm at the office. I came in today hoping to go over all of my files in preparation with a meeting with the head of the firm. According to fellow new employee JC, the boss man was pretty thorough during thier Friday meeting. I was able to delay the meeting until Monday when I told the bossman that I planned to come in Saturday to go over my cases. I'm sure that earned some points. In general, things have been going great here. I've been complimented on my work and attitude. They are giving me more responsibilities including an upcoming deposition (my favorite, and a rarity to be given to someone with my experience). Overall, it's all gravy. Mmmm...gravy.
On the home front, things are going well. I love wifey Kim. She is such a piece of ass, I don't know what she sees in this here shlub. She's been patient with my poker and busy schedule. I couldn't ask for more.
So, I came into the office today. Wifey Kim is spending the night at her friend's place on LI. Her friend, Suzanne, is a real sweetheart. Her hubby is out in the woods camping, so the girls wanted to have some time to do whatever girls do. In my head, it involves a pillow fight that breaks out into moans and groping. Damn that's hot.
So, as I was saying, I came into the office. After, I'm heading to Hole's place for a little bit before he, his girl, Roose and his girl go to some Halloween party in NJ. Damn. It's Halloween and here I am without plans. Last year, wifey Kim, bro Keith, his girl Jen (now fiance), and me threw a Halloween Bash, in which I was passed out in my costume by midnight. I can't help but overdo it.
Whoever can tell me who I was dressed as gets a gold star. Current leader on the gold star board is Fat Dan. Maybe I'll make this into a contest. Most gold stars by the end of the year gets a prize. I don't know what yet. It might be a crappy prize. It surely won't be expensive. Maybe a piece of Jordan art (I dabble, you know). Maybe a deck of Copag cards or something. We'll figure this out.
Anyway, I love Halloween, but this really isn't Halloween this year. I blame it (not terribly upsettedly) on my Honeymooon, just 2 weeks ago, which rightfully took up my attention. Boo hoo hoo. I was in Tahiti instead of perfecting my Amish costume.
Oh, I saw a bunch of Amish today in Manhattan. Must have been 40 of them waiting around. One of them was on a cell phone. I know what you are thinking, they must be Mennonites (Amish sect that allow some electricity). Nope, pure Amish. Apparently, the rule of the Amish has something to do with being wired to the outside world. While they don't use elecricity ala plugs, those Amish fuckers are pretty genius when it comes to rigging car batteries (I know, weird). So, there is a big issue in their community about people rigging car batteries to juice up wireless cell phones. Don't believe me? Check out last week's issue of Times! Yes, I read something besides poker books and blogs.
Ok, so here is where I get introspective. I have no plans for tonight. Good bud Dan called to see if wifey Kim and I were free to hang with him and his girl. Wifey Kim can't and I kinda waffled. I spoke to little bro Dave and he is going out in the city. I don't really feel like doing that either. In fact, I think I'll end up playing some MTTs. But this makes me simultaneously happy and bummed. I love poker, and I love MTTs when I have the time. But am I being anti-social in an unhealthy way. Am I allowing poker to keep me from interacting with the outside world? It probably isn't poker, as much as it is my tendency to sometimes withdraw at times. Poker just gives me an excuse or something to do. In the past it was videogames or namesake or TV or something else nonsensical. And, last night wifey Kim and I went out with three of her pals. The night before that, I hung with Roose and bro-in-law Marc at Genoa. So, I'm probably looking too much into it.
Anyway, I guess that is it for introspection and ramblings. Thank you all for the recent kind words. Please go to the You Decide #19 post and leave some comments. I know that it might be a no brainer, but if that is the case, just say so in a comment. I want Roose to see that when these things happen, it is not necessarily your fault, his fault or anyone's fault. It's gotta be like water off a duck's back. Poker is part luck and part skill. Most people think you need to master the skill. Mastering the luck is important too though.
Back there I could flop a nut flush, I could bluff a pot, I was in charge of million dollar bankrolls, back here I can't even hold a job PARKING CARS!
Devil's Advocate of Poker Bloggers
Friday, October 28, 2005
This is a quick one:
Why aren't there blogger conventions in Atlantic City? I mean, Vegas is great, but AC ain't too shabby. Can we make this happen? Of course, Okie Vegas comes first. Comments?
First off, look at the post below and help a blogger out.
Second, I was reading SirF's blog, and thinking about his self-proclaimed feelings of entitlement. It reminded me of a conversation I had with brother from another mother Dave Roose outside of Genoa club last night. Dave was the first player out of the tournament. I was the second. He was steaming from his loss and was angry about Kevin, a black guy who plays good aggressive poker. The hand between Dave and Keving went like this:
You Decide #19
Preflop, I limp, K raises from 50 (BB) to 200 0r 250. Joe (J) calls. D calls. I fold. All others fold too.
Flop is As2c4s. K bets 600. J folds. Dave raises it to 1200. K thinks for a minute and then calls.
Turn is 8c. K checks. D bets 400, and leaves his remaining 200 or so in his stack. K pushes. D and K have even stacks, so D calls the final 200.
The river is a 2h. Dave shows AQ for pair of Aces, Queen kicker. Kevin shows A8 for two pair, Aces and Eights.
Dave was steamed, but as far as I can tell, he played the hand perfectly. His reason for not pushing his whole 600 after the turn was not necessarily correct. According to him, it was an early hand and he didn't want to put it all in yet. However, to me, it still looks like a good play because K could've felt like D had a monster and wanted to look weak. In the end, K hit a 3 outer, and successfully got D to bet it for him. BUT, D should've bet there regardless. K knew that, but it doesn't make D's play necessarily bad. He could have been protecting from a flush or a two pair suckout.
What do you think? I'm sure Dave would love your input.
You like poker, don't you? How about bonuses? Want a new deck of high-quality, Copag playing cards along with the normal bonus offered for signing up to a new poker site? How about a poker table top or chips? Don't need those? Well how about a $50 gift certificate to Best Buy, eBay or Amazon.com? No? What the fuck is wrong with you people?
As for the rest of you who like free things, check out Vegas Poker Pro, a website that is akin to Poker Source Online (referral code HighOnPoker).
You might be saying to yourself, why is Jordan suddenly pimping VPP instead of PSO? Well, I'll tell you why. PSO is a fine site and is highly recommended. But when someone told me about VPP I had to see what the deal was. VPP offers the same or similar bonus prizes (but no point system like PSO), offers some different sites to play on, AND has lower bonus requirements on certain sites. The end product is that you and me, the consumer, benefits.
Specifically, VPP has deals for Poker Share, Royal Vegas, and James-Woods-endorsed Hollywood Poker. Minimum deposits at sites through VPP is merely $50 compared to PSO's $100 requirement, for the most part. At Poker Room, you need only earn 200 points for VPP's promotion, compared to 400 through PSO. At Absolute Poker, you need only ear 250 (VPP) instead of 400 (PSO). So, there you have it. You can't go wrong.
I personally will be signing up at VPP for Royal Vegas, where apparently the bonus (10%) is small, but you also get an immediate $10 bonus. I'm only depositing the minimum $50, but if all goes well, I should beat the 250 raked hand requirement in no time and earn myself a $50 gift certificate to Best Buy to go toward my soon-to-be new big screen TV. I was going to buy Kipper's off of him, but I like my TV with more colors than yellow.
Now, here is the part when I whore myself. I haven't made one cent off of this blog, and I never intended to. But it wouldn't kill me either. So, if you are considering signing up for VPP, let me know via email at Brodybanky@aol.com or leave a comment here. I need your email address to get any sort of bonus from VPP, so email is preferred. Please let me know the email address that you did or will use when you sign up at VPP.
So, how can you say no? Play on a new site (fun!), earn the regular bonus from that site (free money!), earn a gift from VPP (free gift!), and help a blogger out (I've already sold 3 pints of blood this month alone!).
The power of poker compels you! The Power of Poker Compels You! THE POWER OF POKER COMPELS YOU!!
Thursday, October 27, 2005
With poker rooms in the city being raided or voluntarily shutting down daily, I'm glad that Genoa is still open. Being small, have a license as a "social club," and offering the no-fee tournament seems to be the magic combination to avoid police involvement.
Even so, I did not win tonight. I'm keeping this short, but I wanted to blog this to get it out of my head. I was the 2nd person out of the tournament. I never hit my stride. I pushed all-in as the small stack in early position with the hammer and got two callers. A flop of AKT and I knew I was done. Of course, I always play the hammer, but I also have the no-all-in-bluffs-with-the-hammer rule, let alone doing so in early position when I had more than 10x the BB. So, er, I suck.
I then gave away $100 at the 1/2 NL table, which is about as loose as an online table anywhere. My loss came after my opponent held AT and hit a TT6 flop. I had 77, and thought I was ahead against AQ or AK. I wasn't. So, I'm home.
That's it. I shed $140, but I'm still up at the Genoa overall (and up for the year live AND online). So, don't cry for me Argentina.
The path of the righteous man is best on all sides by the inequity of the fish and the tyranny of evil cards. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak/tight through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost chips. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious suckouts those who attempt to poison and destroy my poker. And you will know I am the Shark when I lay my Aces upon you.
Hey everybody! Interesting statistic from Statcounter shows that aside from NYers, my 2nd most amount of readers come from the great state of Georgia. It reminds me of one of my favorite movie lines. First to name the movie gets a gold star. "Peach. I could eat a peach for hours." Enjoy!
Moving on, I've continued to enjoy success in the 6-person $20 Rio Jackpot tables at Titan. I placed 1st in the two Rios I played last night. The second one included a bubble by GCox at my hands. Sorry, good buddy, but when I paired my 4 (47o hand), I knew I had you. GCox held 22. Quack quack indeed.
That makes 2 wins in a row. Four more 1st place wins get me a cool $30,000 (confirmed on Titan's site). Four more 1st or 2nd places get me $300. Still not too shabby.
I'm starting to think playing Rios with other bloggers is bad for your health. I played one with SirF a couple of nights ago and bubbled. With top 3 places paying, I just think it is too tight of a structure to have both bloggers do well. It's usually one or the other.
Even so, I am starting to think that me and Rio were made for each other (sorry wifey Kim, but the heart wants what the heart wants). According to my blog, I've played 13 Rios. I've taken 1st place 4x, 2nd 2x, 3rd 2x, and lost 5x. I'm no mathamagician, but I believe that comes out to $100 profit, or 38% Return on Investment. Not too shabby. If I can keep this up, I can regain my old bankroll figures.
I've been earning Titan Stars toward my bonus as well. I've already earned $50 of the $241 bonus I have coming. Each $1 in tournament fees ($3 per Rio) gets me 20 points toward the bonus. It sounds good on paper, but I need to earn another 700 pts before my next $10 is released. In other terms, 12 Rios. Oh well! I was going to play them anyway. If I was starting from scratch, I'd need 17 Rios. So, to continue earning my bonus, my goal is to play 8 rios per week. This should not be too difficult, as 2 per night is fairly easy. I am also, ironically, keeping myself to 2 per night. No more, no less (except for maybe weekends). This will keep my game fresh, and avoid late night last minute games. Lord knows I wanted to play a third last night. But I'm changing my play.
Paradise has taken a back seat through all of this. I still a PSO bonus to work off there. I put in for their 9000 PSO points, which I plan to redeem for $75 in Best Buy gift certificates and still have points left over. If I can get another referral bonus by the time I finish Paradise, then I can get $100 in gift certificate. Yep, you heard it right. ANOTHER REFERRAL BONUS! A HUGE thanks to Aussie Dave, aka DaveE, aka Embuscade (french for check-raise, incidentally) for signing up to PSO using referral code HighOnPoker. Get on the bandwagon people. Only YOU can make my dreams of affording a large screen TV come true. I've recently put in for $150 in BestBuy gift certificates, so I am on my way. I don't plan to pay for it all through PSO, but every little bit helps.
In other news, the HUC2 Round 1 has finished, with nary a single HUC1 competitor advancing! To GCox, SteelerJosh, TripJax and Wonka, you let me down. Everyone expected me to lose. But you guys should've taken it down, damnit! Haha. It's all love.
Finally, tonight I return to Genoa Club for their $40 freezeout. Roose, bro-in-law Marc, and possible Dave Ruff and his Ruff Riders will be coming along for the fun. Ruff found Genoa advertised on the web, and he is right to be concerned. After all, that is how raids happen. I was thinking of mentioning something to management, but it ain't my business. Oh well. Wish me luck.
Frankly, Scarlet, I don't give a free card!
The First Step
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
**This just in. Look for my work of fiction, "Message in a Bottle" in Dr. Pauly's e-zine, Truckin'. Sweeet!**
I've taken my first step in my comeback trail. Last night, I revamped my game and came out with an overal profit of $36, which negates my SirFWALgman $20 HU loss and more importantly showed me a clear indication of what works and what doesn't.
I made my profit playing SNGs surprisingly. Specifically, I returned to an old favorite: porno. Er, I mean, Rios. Titan and Noble (god, I hate publicizing my private poker paradise) have a great $20, 6-person SNG, where (get this) 3 out of 6 players are in the money. For all of you mathletes out there, that is 50% of the players. Third place gets only $1 profit, but when you are trying to minimize exposure while maximizing potential profit, it's a great deal. If you place 3rd, it's a wash. 2nd receives $13 in profit. 1st get's $37 profit.
But wait...there's more. If you win 6 Rios in a row, you get a jackpot prize somewhere around $15K or maybe more (it's been a while since I checked). If that sounds too hard, win 1st or 2nd in 6 in a row and get a bonus jackpot of $300.
So, how did I do? Well, in the first Rio, I played ultra-conservative until I was blinded down pretty low. Whenever I'd limp in the SB after everyone else folded before me, the BB would go all-in to steal my pitiful 10 or 20 chips. I let him do it too, since I was usually cold-decked and did not want to put my money all-in even if I was ahead. Remember, the name of the game is survive until 3rd. I was shortstaked in the BB when the player to my left and the SB to my right limped in. I held KcQc. I believe I bet 3x BB, hoping to win it right there. They both called. Ug! Now, since I am playing an SNG and no side games AND since I have been running badly, I decided to concentrate on reading the players. Both were loose. The flop was Ts7s3x. SB checked to me, and I pushed. I had about the amount of the pot and knew that it was time to do something. The player on the left folded and the SB called. UG! Any Ace had me beat. However, he had Js6s for a flush draw...that never came. And suddenly I was back in it (and back to playing uber-tight). As it turned out, I made it to top 3. Then I sat back as the chipleader took out the other guy. I was outchipped by a longshot at this point, but the HUC2 practice helped my heads up game, and I took 1st.
In the second game, I kept my tight play strategy and made moves when appropriate, lasting until the top 3. I again watched the two other players battle back and forth, sticking my nose in only when I had the best of it. I bluffed a little more at this point (which I also did in the first Rio when it was down to 3) because I realize that at that point, players are tightening up AND with less players, most hands miss the flop. I placed 2nd after I hit mid-pair with a good kicker against the chipleader's top pair, shit kicker. But, hey, streak of 2!
Now I was excited. I was chatting with SirF, Veneno and 100-2-Infiity (hereonout, Trauma), and decided to play one more Rio with SirF. Unfortunately, I decided to celebrate in the interim with some namesake. It was a great time playing with SirF, and we got down to the top 4, but I was eventually shortstacked, along with one other player, and decided to make a stand with Ad5d from the button. SirF, in the cutoff, had already folded. The SB (shortstack) folded, but the BB called with AJo and I call it a night.
So, lessons learned include: (i) Stick to low risk games with potentially high payoffs, (ii) concentrate on reading the players at the table, (iii) do not play while under the influence. The funny thing is that I doubt SirF knew I was a little lit. But I knew it, and my play showed it. Sometimes when I'm inebriated, I can still play well. But I'm trying to grind my way up right now, so there isn't time for that sort of gamble. If I need any more proof, I just need to look at my recent success at Genoa, where I am stark sober. On that note, I'll be revisiting my card room of choice for the $40 freezeout tomorrow (Thurs.). Wish me luck.
Final thought: Veneno told me last night to stop with the bitching (my words, not hers) and play some good poker. She thought the PTSD post was an excuse or complaint. Well, V, and readers, generally, the PTSD post was just a thought, and nothing more. I'm doing alright. We all go through down swings (unless you are Scott, that man is a machine), and this was mine. Good times from here on out.
They can take our lives, but they can't take our POKER!!!
PTSD and Tilting
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Okay. I may have lost a few of you with the post on Deceptive Drawing. But this one is for the masses.
I was reading Maxim magazine while at my NJ Continuing Legal Education class (as you can see, I'm not doing much in the way of learning about New Jersey law), when I came upon a small sidebar article about war veterans suffering from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) . Tell me if this sounds familiar:
"When the brain is overwhelmed, it gets frozen in many ways at the time of trauma, resulting in flashbacks, alienation, aggressive behavior, and diminished problem solving abilities, not to mention inopportune checkraising."
Okay the checkraising part is all me, but the rest is PSTD. It is also a great explanation of tilt. When I go on tilt, I get stuck on a hand. It replays over in my mind like a flashback. I don't want to chat or talk to anyone. My play gets more aggressive. My decision making gets worse.
So, next time I go on tilt, I am applying for disabillity and downing some prozac. Enjoy!
I knew you'd be here...playing poker.
I guess it is a big posting day for me. Ironically, I am also getting a lot done around the office. My frenetic pace feeds on itself.
Lately, I have been playing $1/2 limit 5-card Draw Poker on Paradise Poker, and loving every minute of it. I have not see 5-card Draw online before, so I was happily surprised that Paradise had it. I used to play poker as a kid (10-17) with my misfit friends. We'd start with quarters, but moved up to $1-3 spread in no time, when oddly none of us had any discernible income. Chalk that up to growing up in the reasonably affluent suburbs. Regardless, the result was, I knew 5-card Draw well. Or at least, well enough.
On my honeymoon in Tahiti I conned wifey Kim to play some poker with me. She does not have the mentality for Hold'em (aggression, ultra competitiveness, deception -- ironically her lack of which is one of the reasons why I love her), but 5-card draw is the jalopy of poker, and requires little more than hand selection and intuition. This was especially true since we did not have any betting element. It was deal, draw, show. Even so, we played competitively and had a good time at it.
When I saw the game online, I just dipped my toe in the water, so to speak. Once I got the hang of it, I went on a $50 run. I've since given it all back (lay off! I'm on a losing streak!) but I have a much better understanding of the game.
One of the most interesting aspects of 5-card draw, and one that casual observers have probably not thought about in depth is the value of deception drawing. It's a term I have basically made up, but what I mean is, you draw is actually part of a deception play. Popular moves include:
Hiding the Trips: Three of a kind pre-draw is a strong hand. Most hands, from my experience, can be won with two pair (which, interestingly is the average winning hand in Hold'em). I want to keep players in the hand after the draw, when their pair of As are rewarded with a 2nd pair of Ks, or when their AK draws to AK4. So, sometimes (and only sometimes) I draw for 1 card, holding my three of a kind and whatever next-highest card I hold. As a result, my bet at the end gets a bit more callers. Sometimes, however, you may have players fear that you are drawing to a flush or straight and your bet on the end will scare them off. Even so, if you had drew 2, they would have known about your three-of-a-kind and folded anyway.
Standing Pat: This is a hardcore move that should only be used VERY RARELY. That is because you WILL lose if you get called. So, your timing must be right. Get to know your players and generally, play your regular game. If your players are making laydowns, then the time is right. I have seen a few players who call down post-flop bets with a pair of Js or even Ts. Those guys might be a little more dangerous. Also, only use the Standing Pat bluff when you are in position. The way to use the Stnad Pat bluff is as follows. When you are in position and no one has raised yet, bet pre-flop. You may even decide to raise if the other players have bet before you and generally are willing to lay down decent hands (or have been bluffing, themselves). When the players draw cards, watch them carefully. You are trying to avoid players drawing two cards, an indication of three-of-a-kind that they will likely not lay down. When players draw three, you are in decent shape, as they are unlikely to hit three-of-a-kind or better. If they draw 1, you may be in a tight spot, as they could have hit their flush or straight draw. However, more likely than not, they missed or wouldn't have called your pre-draw bet with a straight draw, so I suggest betting if they check to you. Of course, if they bet at you, duck and cover.
Faking the Trips- This is the reverse of hiding the trips, and can be successful when done right. It's simple enough. Have a weak pair or none at all? Feeling frisky? Bet out and then draw 2 cards. You'll be representing three-of-a-kind and can usually get anyone with 2-pair or less to fold.
Faking the Flush Draw- Same as the above, only check or limp pre-draw, draw to one, and bet out when your competition draws to three cards. Make sure they draw to three though, because if they draw to two, you know what they have (trips) and if they draw to one, they may have a solid two-pair.
Now, these are some examples, and there are probably more. But regardless, I find it to be an interesting aspect in the game. Notice that you will never draw for MORE cards because you do not want to break up your good cards/hands. You may, however, draw for LESS cards than optimal for deception reasons.
It's important to also realize that other players are doing this too. So pay attention, because if you see a player who drew to 2 cards and then wins with two pair, you know they are making moves. It is one scenario that I have been seeing a lot lately. Player X limps pre-flop, draws to two and then wins with As and Ks. Well, he only had ONE of those pairs pre-flop, if that many. So I know that for him, drawing to two might mean concealing a solid pair, holding high cards and hoping to make one big pair, or going for a three card draw (as well as the potential pre-draw trips.)
Draw poker is the jalopy of poker games. Lucky for me, I'm used to driving jalopies.
I was reading some old Poker Penguin posts (thanks to a link and recommendation by Dr. Pauly), and one of his posts reminded me of a recent altercation I had online. I was playing 1/2 limit on Titan, and playing poorly at that. As you may have noticed, my play online has been suffering. I think it is due to emotional playing and scared playing. Regardless, I was playing poorly and one player in particular was benefiting from it.
I chat a decent amount when playing online, so I was unimpressed when my opponent said, "Thanks for the money." I knew he was trying to rile me up, and I was playing zombie poker anyway (as opposed to emotional poker...note that both = bad poker). I responded, "My pleasure."
At this point, I thought that was that. I gave him a cursory response that said I ain't playing that psychological game. But he had to push the envelope. "Why don't you just mail me your money?" WHAT, MOTHERFUCKER? Okay. Relax. He is trying to get under your skin. It really wasn't working, so I gave him another blank response, "What's your address?"
But then I thought for a moment. Here is this guy who is making money from me, and I am going to let him talk smack also. I was playing poorly, and I knew I would only hurt myself by playing into him. I quickly clicked the Sit Out button. "You jackass," I started. "I may have given away some cash to you, but you could've had more. SUCKER!" I waited in the room for a moment, but when there was no response, I left.
You see folks, I DID win by walking there. I saved myself money. I would've continued to play zombie poker and throwing a party for another hour if Dr. Crane didn't get all uppity and try to play with my emotions. As a result, I packed it up and went elsewhere. Dr. Crane did two things by talking smack. He helped me realize that I was playing poorly, and he announced that my table image was weak. And if your table image is weak, you are going to get a lot of callers and re-raises, which doesn't mesh with my aggressive style.
That is how NOT to fish. When you have a fish at the table, you can talk a little smack. But listen to his responses. Because if he sounds broken in spirit, you need to pull him back in. Try a, "Ah, I'm just kidding. Sorry about that. Just trying to liven up this place a bit." You'd be surprised at how many times a player will suddenly flip to being you pal after you just called his mother a whore. If they don't, they'll often pull this line, "Well, that isn't cool." To which you reply, "I'm sorry. Seriously. No offense intended. I guess my sense of humor doesn't come across well in text." And suddenly, you are apologetic, and they are back to thinking that they are the player of the century and they put you in your place.
Have fun with the fishies. If you're lucky, you just might find me and win some cool cash.
I knew I shouldn't have, but I played SirFWALgman anyway in a heads-up at 12am this morning. It was for $20, the same stakes we played for a few days ago. I won then. I lost this morning.
What was the difference? Well, for one, I knew I shouldn't play this second time around. I was tired and impatient. I was also groggy and not confident.
This is NOT how you play poker.
The end result was that I lost $20 out of my $240 or so online bankroll, which is a sizable portion. It's time to regroup and play smart.
God, I can't wait for another live game. At least that hasn't been kicking my ass lately. Looks like I will be attending the Genoa Club on Thursday for their $40 freezeout. I hope they don't mind me swooping in for their no-fee tournament and then ditching when the lucrative cash game starts. I don't mean to be a cheapskate, but broke is broke.
I'm still looking for insight into the MTT-focus. Foolhardy move? Inspirational?
Also, it looks like we are moving along in planning the HUC2 Round 1 matches. I've sent emails out to each heads-up match except for the one involving Drizztdj, who is seemingly MIA. In late breaking news, High Plains Drifter defeated Aussie Dave in two matches in Round 1. He faces SirFWALgman in Round 2. It should be an interesting matchup.
That's all for today. I need to shake off the poker-loss hangover.
See Saw Effect
Monday, October 24, 2005
I'm dealing with a hemmorage in my online bankroll of late. I am now hovering just south of $240. It's a sad thing, and I will drop limits as a result. However, I take some solice in the odd see-saw effect I am beginning to notice between my online and offline bankrolls.
At the beginning of the year, I was doing well online and off. Then, in March, I hit a losing streak online while my live games were racking in the dough. It flip-flopped around May, when my live game was suffering and my online bankroll steadily increased. My online bankroll peaked around August, when I was actually in the red for the year in my live game bankroll. Well, after two recent scores at the Genoa Club, my live game bankroll is back to healthy. What happens next? My online bankroll takes a downturn. From $500 to $240 over the course of one or two months. What is a man to do?
The answers, nearest I can tell are four-fold. ONE, don't worry, because my overall profit is up since two months ago. TWO, limit my online play by only playing when ready (read: sober) and dropping limits. THREE, continue my live game play. And FOUR, determine if it is best to focus on MTTs.
Now, the FOURTH concept is the trickiest. The way I see it, if I win or place high in an MTT, I can be right back to my old $500 online bankroll. The obvious problem is that MTTs are not easy to win. However, I have won some before, and I've placed high in some as well. Still, I'd like you opinions, including whether an MTT focus (assuming that I am a good player) makes sense, and how much should I risk per MTT. With $240 online, is it irresponsible to play a $20 freezeout? How about a $10 reload?
Final note. I missed the PokerStars Blogger Freeroll, but placed 412th anyway! My grandparents were in town, and they had a higher priority level. Now, if I had paid for the tournament... Anyway, it just goes to show that you get what you paid for.
Hasta la vista, poker.
Welcome to Paradise
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Heaven, I'm in Heaven,
And my heart beats so
That I can hardly speak;
And I seem to find
The happiness I seek
When we're out together
Bluffing, cheek to cheek.
I'm leaving the green pastures of Titan, and the barren wasteland of UltimateBet, for the sandy shores of Paradise Poker! Why, you ask? Well, because of PokerSourceOnline (referral code HighOnPoker, damnit!!!). I've said this before, so I'll keep it short. If you like free money, gifts and prizes, PLEASE just check out PokerSourceOnline. You will not be disappointed. My goal to earn myself an iPod may be supplanted by my need for a large screen television. Now you ask, Jordan, how can you earn an entire large screen television by playing poker? The answer is that I cannot. But I can earn $200 BestBuy gift certificates, which will go some ways toward my goal.
Paradise Poker is no misnomer. In fact, I love the site. Unfortunately for Titan/Noble, I am a cruel, cruel man, and I only have love enough for one site. Paradise is the current site to be. (Note: Although I still have funds on Titan and UB).
Paradise is wonderful for the following reasons. Last night, I wanted to play 1/2 limit but all of the rooms were full. So I sat in an empty room and when a player sat down, I took all of his money. It was that simple. I've been hitting cards, but also playing well. And I think I am particuarly good at heads-up limit ring games. Even better, Paradise's graffics are great, and the sound too! I mean, when you win over another player your cards sometimes light on fire or get electrified or something. It's a minor detail, and probably one that your competitor in his home office doesn't even see. But I can't help but get excited and yell "BURN BABY BURN!" when my four of a kind is shown. I can't wait for the day when a site allows you to disembowel your competitor after a suckout, ala Mortal Kombat.
As I was messing around on the site this morning, I saw a heading called "Miscellaneous Games". Now, I've played Crazy Pineapple on UB before, but I wanted to see what else they had. Enter, 5-card draw. It's the jalopy of poker games, but I like me some jalopies. I sat down and won $30 at 1/2 limit draw by playing reasonably. It was actually quite easy. Playing with wifey Kim in Tahiti gave me an opportunity to get back into the game. That and 6 years of playing in junior high school and high school (which I was reasonably rusty from). The end result is that I am back over $300 and climbing.
Finally, I've already earned $10 of my $25 bonus (25%). AND I'm close to my 2nd payout. Unfortunately, I still have some way to go for the PSO promotion, but I'm willing to work it! By the way, if you are considering starting a PSO promotion, I suggest BoDog, Absolute, Titan or Noble for easy to earn PSO and site-based bonuses.
In other news, Wonka fell to SirFWALgman in Round 1 of the HUC2. Also, SteelerJosh fell to Veneno. That means that HUC1 competitors are 0 for 4, with GCox being the one last hope for HUC1 supremacy. Unfortunately, he is a clear underdog
Also, I might miss the first several HOURS (!) of the Pokerstars Blogger Freeroll due to family commitments. Damnation!
That ain't no woman! That's poker baby!
Why I Lost HUC1 and HUC2
Friday, October 21, 2005
Why I lost HUC1 and HUC2, a presentation by Jordan
It has been said that Life is something that can only be understood backwards, but must be lived forwards. Seeking understanding, I looked back on my play in the HUC1 (where I placed LAST!) and HUC2 (where I was the 2nd contestant booted!). Clearly, something was wrong in the land of Jordan. Here are the reasons I lost both challenges, not including the exceptional play of my competition.
1. Giving Too Much Information- I do not think that 100-2-Infiniti or any of the HUC1 competitors poured over my blog for information before playing me heads-up. However, they do read my blog and they know my personality. They also have probably picked up on my ebb and flow posts and my tendency to play aggressively and bluff often. As a result, I am sure that players intentionally or subconsciously adjust their play. This information I am sending is not helpful to me at all. However, I could always switch things up (as I attempted to do in game 2 vs. Infiniti) thereby using the information out there to my advantage.
2. UB is anti-semetic- Okay, not literally. But UB and I don't get along. I have never done well on that site. For that reason, I am planning on avoiding that site except for MTTs and the occassional blogger get-together. My problem with UB is an odd thing. I can't pinpoint it. But I can tell you this. Part of it is that UB sucks all personality out of the game. Is it possible that graphics or user interface could mess with my game?? I think so. See, I enjoy the social and psychological aspects of the game. Avatars and profiles give up a surprising amount of information. Even moreso, the ability to chat is invaluable when gathering information. UB has chat, of course, but it's a smaller window so your chat is only on the screen for a moment. I need long chat windows so I can have my words seen. Also, the hand-history option is great, but it is also hard to use heads-up. If you hit the hand history button when it is your turn to act, it flicks on the screen and then off, so you can make your move. The end product was that I could not look back at my opponents' mucked cards. (Note: I didn't have this problem in HUC1, so I don't know if this is something new, something I hadn't noticed, or some temporary glitch on my computer.) Finally, I haven't won really at all on UB, so this may add a psyche-out factor. Something about the UI (user interface) just causes me to expect the worst. Have the HUC3 on Titan or Noble and I'd be more confident.
3. Chasing Losses- Last night, I intended on playing one match. If I won and I had time, I'd play another, but if I lost, I wanted to wait for another day to play the second match. Unfortunately, my plan didn't work because I got the gambling bug. By not waiting, my mental batteries weren't refreshed. I was also clearly not playing up to my desired level, so it was stupid to play a 2nd game hoping I'd get there. In the first HUC, on the date of my first match (it was round robin) I played 4 games and lost three (I believe). Then, too, I should've stopped after losing one.
4. Bad Luck- Full house over full house vs. Infiniti AND Wonka (HUC1). My AK v. 22 when the flop is AK2 against DoubleAs (or something like that). Certain hands are going to break you. These are those hands. Unfortunately, 100-2-Infiniti may be right that 2 out of 3 is not the best indicator of skill (although I do not deny that he deserved to win and was skilled). Next time, we will have to go NBA style with best of 5 followed by best of 7 for other rounds.
That's all for my self-pity now. I've taken most money out of Titan and am moving on to my next PSO promotion. If you are interested in Great Bonuses (and I do mean GREAT!), check out PSO and use referral code HighOnPoker. You'll do me and you a favor and get me closer to my dream iPod.
This is the end
This is the end
My only friend, the end
100-2-Infiniti made poker history last night by saving me shame and time by taking me out of the Heads Up Challenge 2 in record breaking time. My two back-to-back losses mean that this humble Commissioner will have to watch the rest of the HUC2 from his lofty back office. At least I get free catering in my skybox.
I can't say that it was a good match either. I played poorly, plain and simple. In HU, luck is a big factor. It's probably even bigger a factor than usual. However, I do not blame luck entirely. I have to take some blame myself, and give some credit to Infiniti. It still sucks though.
In my estimation, there were two hands, one from each match, that decided my fate. In the first one, I held 55 with a chip lead. I decided to play it aggressively. The flop was 678. I bet, he called. The turn was 2. I bet the pot, which was sizable after my pre- and post-flop bets. He pushed over the top. I called, hoping that he was being aggressive and knowing that I could fall back on my straight draw if necessary. He held the hammer: 72o and won with 2-pair. The river was a Q or some such nonsense. Essentially, I followed my aggressiveness over a cliff. From there on out, I was a desperate shortstack and held on for a while before succumbing to fate.
You Decide #18
This will constitute my 18th foray into the You Decide posts. See the sidebar for more such posts. This was the crucial hand of the second game. I changed my strategy from aggressive to passive when I realized that Infiniti could see through my B.S. (You will read more about this later.) Plus, he was aggressive, so I wanted to rope him in.
I was dealt 45s while the short stack. I wasn't severely outchipped. I believe there may have been a pre-flop bet which was called. I honestly don't remember who bet. The flop was 544. Bingo! I minimum bet, hoping to either keep in a high-card Ace, pocket pair, or induce a raise (legitimate or bluff raise). He called. The turn was a 7. I bet out again, but this time, he pushed all-in. I typed in the chat, "Bad timing" and called. I showed my fullhouse, 4s full of 5s. He showed me his, 4s full of 7s (47!)! UG!!! I quickly typed "...for me!" refering back to my bad timing comment. In our yahoo chat window I cursed a bit. I also threw out a string of GG. It was a good game. Not for me. But for him. He deserved the win. Ug!
HUC2 and Other Business
Now, as Commissioner, I will continue to help the HUC2 move along. I'm still waiting on an email address or two. I'll send out an email to all competitors whose email I have today so you can start setting up game times. If you can, please post pre-arranged game times here or at the Heads Up Blog so you can have railbirds. In other HUC2 news, the reigning champ, TripJax, was eliminated as well. In fact, he beat me as the First Loser of the tournament. Riches to Rags, Trip. Sorry man. Maybe the losers of round 1 can have thier own mini loser's tourney. Any other losers/takers?
After that game, I played heads up against Veneno. I won that one, thankfully. It was a different type of heads-up because I bought a headset/mic, so V and I could hear and talk to each other via Yahoo Instant Messenger. All HUC2 competitors and online poker players who play with friends should get Yahoo IM and a headset. It's utter genius and adds a much-needed element to online poker.
I then played .25/.50 NL, and was up a good chunk until one guy re-raised all-in against my pocket Ks. I called and he showed T4o! Flop had two Tens. This table was very loose and I wanted to stick around, but after a while I realized I wasn't playing good poker and fleed the scene of the crime.
I'll post later on my analysis of why I lost the HUC2. Keep reading and I'll keep writing.
Put that cookie back, mother poker!
I'll give my analysis
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Oooooweeeee! I can only hope that the Genoa Club allows me to return next week for their $40 freezeout tournament, because if my streak continues, they are going to toss me out!
Last night, I went with Dave Roose over to our favorite NYC illegal card room to play in their $40 tourney.
To start off, each player pulls a card. At this point, we only expected one table. I pulled 3. Roose pulled 2. I didn’t want him there. First off, I know how Roose plays, and so I don’t need to act before him. Second, most of your action at a game happens with the persons to your immediate left and right. I don’t soft play my friends, but I didn’t want to get into it with Roose if I didn’t have to. I grumbled about it for a bit, until the second table was put into play because of latecomers. Cards were dealt around the table, and Roose, with the Ace of diamonds, was sent packing. His table was clearly the softer of the two. At my table were the two Jewish kids who placed top 3 with me from the last tourney I played at Genoa (who were not particularly good and sat to my immediate left and right…booya!), a black guy named Kevin who Roose overheard someone say “Oh, damn. He’s here” (presumably he is a talented player), a very aggressive player from my last go-round, and a few other shark-looking dudes. What’s a man to do? Let’s play poker!
In the first hand, I was UTG with QQ. I raised from 50 to 150 pre-flop and all fold except the BB. He calls. The flop has an Ace, which scares me, but is otherwise simple enough. He checked and I bet 300. He folded and I felt great. I never noticed it as readily as last night, but winning the first hand does a lot for a man’s confidence.
From there on out, I played relatively aggressive. I noted the one blatant fish at the table and picked on him when I could. He was in the BB when I was on the button, so this became easy as blinds increased and players tightened up. An unassuming Asian guy was slowly and quietly collecting chips. Kevin was also making plays, obviously the smart player at the table. I kept an eye on him and had him fairly read. I lost a huge chunk bluffing with Kd9d the entire way down to the river against Moshe, the SB who chopped 1st and 2nd with me last time. He was putzing around and hit his 3 on the flop. His hole cards were 93. Ug.
At that point, I had less than 900 or so chips, and the blinds were 100. We started at 1000, but at one point, I had 3000 or so, so I was definitely on a slow bleed. I decided to follow the Rule of 10 and either fold or push. I looked down at KK in MP. Before me, quiet Asian (QA) raised from 100 to 500 or 600. It didn’t make a difference to me, as I was going all-in. Moshe, interestingly, called the 500. I pushed. Kevin looked at me while sucking at his teeth. I knew what he was thinking. He wanted me out. We had already established ourselves as the dominant players at the table. He thought for a minute and pushed all-in for about 2000 total. QA folded. Moshe, with about 2900 total, called, leaving himself with 900 if he lost.
As you recall, I held KK, and Kevin’s hesitation told me he didn’t have AA. In fact, he had AK, which wouldn’t do him a lot of good. Moshe held AQ. I stood up. “No ace, no ace!” Five cards later, and I had tripled up. Back to 3000+, I went back on the attack.
All players folded to me when I held JTo. In the BB was Sean, another one of the Jewish kids (I’m a member of the tribe too, but these guys seemed more religious) who was a sloppy player, and the Fish. The blinds were 100/200, so I raised to 700. Sean folded, but Fish called. This was the ideal situation. On the flop, the cards were ATx. Fish checked and I bet 500, hoping to seem like I wanted a call. He folded. Kevin said, “Man you don’t have anything,” in an attempt to get me to show. I knew what he was doing and mucked. He admitted his plan and I said it was no big deal. Sean didn’t think I had anything either. This would help set up the next hand. On the next hand, I was dealt Td4d, to the right of the button. When it got to me and all players had already folded, I decided to raise it up again, to 600 this time. Sean, on the button, folded. Fish called. Kevin folded, clearly miffed at my blind poaching. This was what I was waiting for. The flop was all diamonds. The fish bet out 500. I re-raised to 1000. He thought for a while and folded. Okay, so I didn’t get much for my flopped flush, but the point was that I was aggressive and people were seeing it.
I took the fish out in the next hand, with a little bit of ebb and flow. I was pushing him hard. Now it was time to switch gears and watch him fall. I had AJ in EP and limped. Fish and Kevin limped. Moshe limped. The flop was AQx. I checked. Fish bet 500. He had about 1100 total in front of him. Kevin thought for a while. He looked over at me. Exasperated, he folded. Moshe folded as well. I pushed. Fish was tired of being pushed. He called with A8. Kevin was visibly impressed. My timing was good and I knocked out the Fish.
My radar was actually very good that day. I called Kevin’s hand on one hand precisely. I held 88 UTG, and decided to bet from 200 to 600. Kevin in MP called. Moshe, in the BB pushed for 900 or so. I had to call. So did Kevin. The flop had high card Q. I checked. Kevin bet 400. I said, “take it down with your AQ.” Sure enough, he had AQ, and took out Moshe. I’m sure I got some respect with that call.
Our table busted out 4 or 5 people before the other table busted their first. By that point, there were 11 players left. The player who busted out at the second table was Roose. His 2-pairs kept getting beaten by draws. I don’t know much else about what was going on over there, but I know he was having a hard time with that. Once the tables condensed, he got out of there. I went back to play some more pokah!
We re-drew for seats and I was in 10. Kevin was in 9. Perfect, as he was the one I was most worried about. By now, I was the chip-leader or close to it. So was Kevin. But it didn’t take long before he and I were the shortstacks. I lost most of my stack when the other contender for chip-leader, Rich, a white generic college student, called my bets all the way on a stone cold bluff. I believe in tournaments, there are times where you can just smell weakness across the entire table. When this happens, bet hard and fast. If they act like they can call your big bets, continue to bet big. You’d be surprised how many times large bets on the flop and turn are called, but the final bet is folded to. Unfortunately, my radar was off, because Rich held KJ (a hand we will see again later) to my 55. To make matters worse, the flop was 2KK. The turn was K. The river was a 5, but this didn’t do anything for me. I checked after two huge bets on both streets and he pushed. I folded, with 3000 left in chips. I lost about 5000 or so on that hand.
I got into the Rule of 10 with about 6 players left. The only female in the game, a British chick who was dating the dealer, told me that I talk a lot at the table. She wanted to know if it was nerves. I thanked her for her observation. I told her I get bored easily and talking is fun. I think that conversation also got players thinking. “Why is he talking so much? What is he up to?” Really, I just can’t help myself. I’m chatty at the table. Adrenaline, baby. Adrenaline.
Brit chick was knocked out by Richard, as was owner Joe. He took out Joe on a suckout, KJ v. K8 preflop. That left college guy Richard, QA, random Hispanic (RH), Kevin and me.
I had a couple of interesting all-ins.
I was all-in against RH and held A2. RH had min raised pre-flop and I went all-in for about 2400. He called with A3c. The flop had two clubs. The turn was a 2. The river was a blank. I doubled up on a suckout. Truthfully, I expected to chop anyway. Still, it’s a nice bit of luck.
I think Richard took RH out too. I had an opportunity and made a balsy all-in against Kevin. He was in the SB, when the blinds were 300/600. I had 3000, and he had about 3400. We were the shortstacks. Folds to him and he bets 1200. I go over the top all in for 1800 more. I held QJc. He thought for a while and I kept quiet. In the end, he folder KT. I showed to frustrate him and show my big cajones.
A little while later, he pushed with ATo in the SB. He beat me to the punch, as I, too, had AT and planned to go all-in. I thought for a moment and called. I had the Ace of hearts, and when three hearts fell, I thought I was golden. Not so. Regardless, I’m proud of my call. I knew he didn’t have me beat.
With four players left, I hoped to make it to 3rd and work out a deal. Suddenly, Kevin moved all-in. I looked down at 26o and folded. Richard called. QA pushed all-in with a large stack. He must have had near 6,000. Richard had him easily covered, with most of the chips on the table. But I was still surprised when he called. If Richard won, I’d backdoor my way to 2nd place. Richard had KJd. Kevin had 99. QA had 77. The flop had a J. The turn was a K. And I am in the money!
I usually play these things out, but I was tired and severely outchipped. Even so, I’m not taking the $200 and giving him $480. He’d have to sweeten the deal for me. So I made the offer. “I’ll make a deal, but only for $280. Otherwise, I’ll play for it. Doesn’t make a difference to me.” He agreed. That $400 I left for him is a good psychological payout. In the end, I earned $80 extra through positional advantage. Who needs cards?!
So, that is me and
That’s a lot of poker. I’m out!
I have so much to blog about and so little time. So let's do a lightning round.
HUC2 is FULL. We have 16 competitors, and the brackets were set using the ole skool names in a hat. Go to the Heads Up Challenge blog for the brackets. I thank GCox, Coordinating Chair of the HUC, for assisting with the brackets and posting.
I am very sorry that DoubleAs posted his desire to enter the HUC2 after we filled up. He is now an alternate, in case another player is unable to play. DoubleAs was a competitor of the first HUC. He is also one of the few blogs I read to improve my game. It is with a heavy heart that I cannot accomodate him. I still have some possibilities, but I try to be fair with these things. Unfortunately, I don't know how to make this work. Suggestions are appreciated. As Commissioner of the HUC2, I don't plan on pulling many "executive decisions", but if I can get DoubleAs in without rocking the boat too much, I am going to make it happen.
Here are the rules, very quickly. You can start whenever you and your bracket competitor want. Play tonight, for all I care. Best two out of three wins. I expect a lot of the matches to happen before, during or after the Sunday PokerStars Freeroll. Right now, let's keep it simple. I will post 2nd round rules later today or tomorrow. I'm considering a slight alteration to allow in more players and money. Anyone in the HUC2 who have a problem with Round 2's format changing to Round Robin or to some other format, please email me. I'll keep it confidential. But barring protests, I may alter it slightly. In the end, the cost will remain the same and the skill factor will remain the same.
You MUST have a UB account, and if you are openning a new one, contact their customer service to request the ability to transfer funds amongst players. This will allow you to easily pay the ultimate winner of the HUC2. Matches are $5 HU, NLHE. Even so, you CAN play your HU match at a different site or for different stakes if you and your bracket competitor agree. If you don't agree, $5 HU NLHE on UB is the standard.
I need all players to EMAIL ME!! (firstname.lastname@example.org) so that I can make one master email list and help coordinate matches. If you don't have AOL Instant Messenger and/or Yahoo Messenger, I suggest you get those free programs too. I personally have both. GCox has Triskelion or something, which allows you to contact users of both programs. Please take care of this ASAP. Email me with your screennames on UB, AIM, and Yahoo Messenger. Do this ASAP.
I played at the Genoa Card Club in NYC last night. The first time I went there, I placed 3rd out of 15 or so, but only top 2 spots paid. The next time, I chopped 1st and 2nd, out of 21 or so (11 competitors, 10 rebuys). This time, I took 2nd again out of 17, for a $240 profit. The payouts for 1st and 2nd were approximately $480 and $200. When we got down to heads-up, the other guy had 5x more chips than me at least. I know that Genoa likes people to make deals so the dealer can be used elsewhere or take a break. So, when talk of a deal came up, I made it really simple. "I have no problem playing it out. But, if you want, I'll take $280 and you get $400." This way, I get an extra $80 and he still here's that all important "four" (as in "four hundred"). He agreed, as he was tired anyway. I could've taken him, but I wanted to lock in my profit. I skipped the NL 1/2 game afterwards because most players had more than 300$ in front of them and I wouldn't play for more than $100. More details later, including some hand analysese.
Have you ever danced with the devil in the poker of the moonlight?
Are you HU?
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
We currently have 11 definite entrants. So, if you are on the fence, get moving, because it is first-come, first-served. I have updated the Heads-Up Challenge Blog with a list of the entrants along with links. You can also see my side-bar, which has a list of the present challengers' links.
By way of encouragement for the poor bloggers and readers out there, know that if you are horrible at Heads-Up games, the MOST you can lose in the challenge is $36! Here is the math: In round 1, if you lose your first two out of three matches immediately, you are eliminated. You lose $5+.50 or so on each HU match ($11 total), and $25 for the prize pool, payable at the end of the challenge (you can pay directly to me earlier if you prefer). That is it! $36! If you win one of those matches, you only lose only about $31. If you advance to round two, you are up about $4 or so dollars, so the most you can lose is $32 assuming you lose two immediate matches ($4 -$11 -$25). So, the max you can lose is $36.
What do you get for your $36? A whole lot. An opportunity to test yourself. An opportunity to rub elbows with other bloggers/readers. Maybe some more readers at your blog (although no promises). To me the best part of the previous challenges were meeting what GCox the Poker Mafia, a loose group of past-Challengers who are always good for company railbirding, playing, advice and comraderie. I don't know about the name though, G. Me personally, I'd prefer the Poker Degenerates. I've always liked that title. Mafia sounds too exclusive, and I can't help but think of us as a ragtag group of degenerates, in a good way of course. But no matter what you call it, it's good stuff. And that's all that matters.
So there you have it. Are you HU?
I had dinner last night with pal-o-mine Jefe. It was nice to have some time away from my usual routine. The restaurant that we went to, Houston's, was also fantastic. If you are in the NY area or any other place with a Houston's (I know of at least 3 NY locations), definitely stop in for their spinach dip. Damn that's a fine dip. I also recommend their fish sandwich, which is cheaper than most of their fare and delicious.
While having dinner, Jefe and I talked about a lot of things. One theme that came up was my general dismay at work. I hear it a lot from the likes of GCox and others. We just don't like work.
For me, I don't even think it has to do with my job per se. I like my job. In fact, prior to my wedding, I would have told you that I loved my job at times. I think it is the post-honeymoon adjustment, t0gether with my personality traits that make the 9-to-5 (or, actually 8-to-6) so damn hard. These same things are what makes me a poker enthusiast.
The way it is, I have a couple of traits not ideal for the usual work environment, and potentially ideal to a poker player lifestyle..
First, I am a man of leisure. I like entertainment, as we all do. But I think I might take it to a new level. I wake up to Howard Stern. During commercials, I switch to another radio station. Sometimes, I watch something on TV on Demand. I walk to the subway with headphones on. I get on the subway and read. I get off the subway and read-and-walk (dangerous!) or turn on my walkman again. I read in the elevator. I sit down at work and check my email. And then I have to work and concentrate. Part of it is me blocking out the world around me. I like my entertainment. Poker is entertaining for me. I could sit there for an eight hour stretch easily. The hard part would be getting my ass up. This said, I prefer live games for marathon sessions to avoid the monotony and solitary existence of online poker.
Second, I like my autonomy. I don't like being told what to do. I don't mind guidance. In fact, I crave it at times. But I don't like being an errand boy. This doesn't happen a lot at my current job, and when it does happen, it is usually not bad. But, even so, there is something in me that wants to choose my own destiny. I want to be in control of my hours. I want to be in control of how I handle a case. In poker, I have control over my destiny for the most part. Lady luck plays her role. But I know that it is up to me to decide what to do with her.
Third, I like to be confident in my abilities. Okay. This is an odd one. If you've played poker against me, especially online, you may have seen me talking up my own play. It is a strategy as much as anything. Hell, the other half of the time, you'll see me talking about how bad I am or how new I am to the game. I can do all of this (and I do do all of this) because I am confident in my actions. I know what I am doing and what results I am hoping to get. I know when I am getting them. And I don't care either way because in the end, I am good at this poker thing. In fact, I think I am damn good at it. Great at times, even. I think I can make a go at it seriously because I have what it takes for the most part. I need to work at discipline, but discipline is a lot harder when your game consists of hit-and-run sessions after work and between other responsibiliities. Or when you are getting in a game for leisure instead of serious reasons. At work, I know I can be great. But I'm not there yet. This is probably related to my second reason. I don't work as well as I should under others. I'm not good at taking criticism and this hurts my performance and my relationships at work. Even more oddly, I think I am well liked and well regarded here. Yet I can't shake that feeling that I'm not what I should be. Self-doubt will sink a man at the table or at the office. For me, it's easier to shed the doubt at the table.
Fourth, my mental image is 14. I have a theory. Everyone has a mental image that is associated with an age. It is almost an ideal to them. Some people go to school with an intense desire to be a stock broker. They exit school and get a job and make lots of money working ridiculous hours and love every minute of it. Those people's mental image may be in thier 40s. I know girls who still use baby talk when they chat to each other. Their mental image is probably 4. Me, I'm somewhere between 13 and 16. I don't see this as a bad thing necessarily. It just means that I like my leisure and games, I'm sometimes cocky, and I don't have the innate drive to be joe businessman. I'd rather wear a t-shirt and ripped jeans than a suit. I listen to hip hop music, and not opera.
Ok, so enough introspection. The truth is, I need to work and, yes, I do like my job. I still want to be a poker player though. So, I will strive for that goal, while looking for other angles. Maybe I will start my own practice, where I can do what I want when I want. Maybe I will start a side-business, which has crossed my mind a bit. Maybe I'll get lucky and actually make it semi- or totally professionally as a poker player. There are a lot of ways this can go. Certainly, I may just remain a cog in the machine. But that's just the way it is.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
I don't have anything particular to write about right now. However, I do feel like writing, so here's an installment of Mixed Nuts:
Robbie Hole sent me a text message today inviting me to play at his home game tonight. I can't go, but I sure want to. I have dinner plans with college pal Jefe, and I have to keep some semblence of a non-poker life. Stupid semblence.
I'm playing Wednesday night at the Genoa Club in NYC. At least that is the plan. The only problem is that I have to appear in court in New Jersey the next morning at 8:30AM. Another reason to hate NJ. That's # 14,256.
I'll still probably play at Genoa though. I want to become a known player there. Last time I was there it was the Friday before my Sunday nuptuals. I let players know that I was getting married on Sunday, mostly to play as a shtick. "You know, I'm getting married on Sunday, so it would be rude to re-raise." Even so, I think it had the added effect of making me memorable. That and my wiseass smack talking self. Favorite line of that night: it was me and one other player heads-up and he suggested a split of 400/360 (I get 360) because he had about 900 more chips than me (we both had about 20,000). My response was, "Even split or nothing. I don't even care. I'll just take first place anyway."
I've just been let in on the controversy surrounding a blogger who talked smack about other people's blogs. I'm a smack talking sonuvabitch and all, but I don't get smack talking other blogs. It seems like an attempt at publicity. Oh well. All communities need a villain. Smack-talker, you are it. I'm sure you will post a comment, and feel free. But I'm going to ride the fence on this one. I can't help but feel like the situation is akin to pro-wrestling, where the bad guy says, "Screw you Milwaukee" intentionally so that the Milwaukee crowd gets pissed. Well, whatcha gonna do, Smack-Talker, when the legions of High-amaniacs run wild on you! Ooooh yeah!
On that subject, poker blogging has been a very open community to me so far, and for that I am appreciative. I'm an inclusive sorta guy. Maybe it's from that traumatic childhood experience when Kevin wouldn't let me play Candyland. It wasn't my fault I sucked out and got the double purple card just in time to cut him off from the last yellow spot. He didn't even have the decency to say NH. Prick!
The HUC2 is humming along with new people emailing or commenting all day. If you are interested, we have about 8 spots open, but I expect them all to fill up. Any questions can be left via comment, or emailed to me at brodybanky (at) aol (dot) (communist). Email is preferable, so I can respond to you directly.
Look for the Heads-Up Challenge Blog to be updated in the next couple of days. I have to speak to the Outreach Chair to see if he wants to make a HUC2 blog or keep the old one. My vote is to keep the old one. I think we might want to change some things this time though, by having all updates go through one or more central parties. 16 bloggers are a bit too many to be editing at their own whim. Just a thought.
My poker blogging has been pretty weak, I think. At least the HUC2 is giving me some focus. I need to talk some more about strategy. A good topic might be high pocket pairs in limit at different table conditions. I could also go more into the Ebb and Flow poker style I employ at times. But that should really wait until after the HUC2.
I plan on playing some more HU matches tonight. I am 6 for 6, and am up approximately $45 since switching to all HU all the time. I want to move from $10 HU SNGs to $20, but I think I out to wait until I am up $80. My bankroll at Titan (where I have been playing the HU SNGs) is about $180 or so, along with $100 in Neteller and $30-40 on UB. So, realistically I can afford $20 HU SNGs. But I have mentally separated the HU SNG bankroll, and now consider it to be merely the profit. My real goal is to go 10 for 10.
In case HUC2 Challengers are concerned, I found playing HU in the last challenge to be very difficult even though I liked my skills and chances pre-Challenge. I placed last. Last!
I don't like working a 9-to-5 job. I called wifey Kim today to tell her that this poker thing better work. I love poker. I hate working. Why do I work then? Damn society!
Aw, what's in the poker?! What's in the poker?!
Monday, October 17, 2005
I got 21 outs, but a bitch ain't one.
If you havin' poker problems I feel bad for you hun.
I got 21 outs, and a bitch. ain't. one.
That songs for Veneno. It's all in fun, of course, but I must say, I've been whooping some poker ass tonight. I played 6 heads-up matches and won them all. The first one was against a stranger. I had him read and was playing him like a harp. Total overwhelming aggression. In the last hand, I held 44. I had been pushing and pulling, ebb and flow style, and had him ready to crack. It was a PL table, which I didn't realize for a while. I maxed the bet pre-flop and again after the 223 flop. He reraised the max and I pushed. He called after waiting a while. He held J9. You see, he was so desperate at this point that he tried to bluff me. I knew he'd bluff before he did. He thought I had crap, and rightly so, because my play was so overly aggressive. I was on the "flow" part of the ebb and flow, and I wanted him to think, "this dude can't have anything." Pot-committed or not, his call on the end is atrocious. Realistically, he couldn't beat a Q4! He would've had about 200 left, and we each had started with 1000. Feel the flow!
The matches vs. Veneno actually went about the same. I got her to call an all-in on the end with her top-pair J and a shit kicker v. my KJ. In the second match, I won when I held A6h and bet preflop. The flop was Xc3c5h with one heart. I think I bet small. The turn was a 4h. I had the nut flush draw and the open-ended straight draw. I also had, presumably, an overcard. I bet, she raised, and I pushed quickly. Again, I wanted her to think I was weak. Even if I lost, I had her covered. I had already fought my way back from 550 or so. She called with K5c. I hit my A on the river and won. Unfortunately, it took more than the 10 hands I predicted.
My fourth match was against a stranger for $10. I won in one hand. I held Q4d. I bet moderately pre-flop, got a flush draw and bet. Hit the flush and bet. He reraised all-in with T9, which at most was mid-pair. The rest, as they say, is hizzistory.
The next two were also against strangers for $10. I don't remember much about game 5, other than I felt good throughout. Game 6, however, is a whole different matter. I feel bad for my competition. He had me at his 1500 to my 500 when he lost his connection. I blinded him down to nothing. I felt a teensy bit bad as I did it, but what was I supposed to do? Even though I was down in chips, I must say that I still thought I could win. Luckily, I didn't have to exert myself other than hitting bet about 200x.
Heads-Up Challenge 2, here I come. By the way, anyone interested in playing is in, as far as I'm concerned. You can email me (see my profile) with your email addresses, which will be helpful. I'll address individuals tomorrow.
Good night. One more HU match for me.
Ladies and Gentleman, Boys and Girls:
HighOnPoker has received 10,000 hits!
I thank my readers for this major accomplishment for this humble
*Notes: Jordan from HighOnPoker was responsible for 4,500 of said hits. GCox was responsible for an additional 4,500.
I'm changing up my poker strategy. It needs to be done. I have said in the past that when I am doing poorly, a change in game usually helps my game. I guess it adds novelty to the game, gets my attention level up, and forces me to try new things. I need this, because my bankroll hemmoraging must stop.
As the first step, I will admit the error of my ways. I can't pinpoint it exactly, but I do know that I have been making good reads in my head, but calling down anyway. At least twice yesterday I predicted my opponent's hand but still paid him/her out. On one hand, I held AA at a very loose limit table. Three out of the five other players call my pre-flop raise and my post-flop bet. The flop was low rags. One player re-raises after the turn. I knew he hit two pair, but I continued to call him down.
Not much later, I held QQ on a 9 high flop. Everyone was calling me down and after the turn, someone reraised. I typed to SirFWALgman and Veneno that someone had a set. This was clear after the re-raise was called by most players still in the hand. And yet, I called them down, losing to pocket 9s (for a set on the flop). Now, this is directed at everyone generally but also Veneno specifically. After I made my grumbling prediction, Veneno said, "Well, you have to call though." The truth is, I didn't have to call. I had to fold. Because limit (as my mantra goes) is about saving individual bets by folding and getting individual bets by value betting or re-raising. Those two examples would've saved me a bundle when taken cumulatively, not to mention the benefit to my table image and mental well-being.
So, I know I have a problem. How am I going to fix it? I'm taking a page out of SteelerJosh's book and focusing on Heads-Up SNGs. This will prepare me for HUC2 (see the last post). It will also protect my bankroll somewhat (instead of playing 2/4 limit, it'll be $5 or 10 heads-up). Most importantly, it will make me fine-tune my reads and focus.
So, HU for me. Hopefully HU for you too in the HUC2. We still need participants!
I'm hemmoraging my bankroll and have dipped below the $300 mark. More on that when I feel like it!
Lately, I've been playing with some bloggers who are new to me, SirFWALgman and Veneno. While speaking to them online yesteday, Veneno mentioned that she was interested in entering the 2nd Heads-Up Challenge. I hadn't thought about following up the first one yet (hell, I haven't even paid GCox for his 2nd place finish yet...sorry, G). But, since it was requested and I think some HU action might get me out of my present funk:
I hereby announce that we are taking entries into the 2nd Heads-Up Challenge! The format will be slightly changed from last time. We can do it in one of two ways.
If we can amass a group of 16 combatants, we can have them face off by random selection into 8 best of 3 matches. The 8 winners will advance and repeat the process, until we are down to 4. The four players can play against each other in best of 3 matches (i.e., 1 v. 2, 1 v. 3, 1 v. 4, 2 v. 3, etc.). Finally, the finalists will face off heads-up in a best of 7 match.
If we have less players, we can retain our old format, in which all first round players face-off against each other player. See the sidebar Notable Post link regarding the original HUC.
All contestants will have to transfer $25 to the winner at the end of the Challenge. If we have 16 participants, out of the $400 prize pool, the winner will receive $200, 2nd will receive $100, and 3rd and 4th will receive $50.
All games to take place on Ultimate Bet.
So, who is interested? Priority goes to past Challengers, but we want to double the number.
Come with me if you want to play poker.
10 Reason I Want to Be Veneno
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Today I played online with a couple of bloggers, Veneno included. At the end of the night, Veneno and I had a HU match that lasted 3 hands. After playing, I was thinking how I wished I was Veneno. Here is why:
1. When you are a girl, your poker addiction can be passed off as "cute".
2. Sucking out is as easy as calling an all-in with pocket Aces vs. a set of Tens.
3. Other bloggers don't get weirded out when she discusses body shots.
4. She has a rocking cool headset with microphone so she can talk smack to fellow bloggers while playing online.
5. She doesn't qualify for the PokerStars Blogger Freeroll, so she doesn't have to spent 10 hrs just to lose on the bubble.
6. She enjoys playing on Party Poker, a site I despise.
7. She was smart enough not to post pictures of herself on her blog...now I've been getting stopped on the street by strangers. "Yes, I am the 9th most popular poker blogger. No, you can not have my autograph."
8. She's in the Pacific Time Zone, which is much cooler than the Eastern Time Zone.
9. She has a lovely speaking voice.
10. She beat me in a heads-up match.
Okay, so now that that is out of the way, let me tell you how the HU match went. In the first hand I held QQ in the BB. She folded in the SB. In the 2nd hand, I held TT in the small blind. She minimum raises. I minimum re-raise. She calls. The flop is 8c9cTs. I bet. She pushes. I call. She has AcAs. Runner runner flush, and I'm down to 10 chips. I get TT again, and I'm all-in automatically anyway. She has QdTd...and hits the flush. And that is why I want to be Veneno. Three hands, QQ, TT, and TT, and I lose. At least I chased my loss by beating someone else heads up.
A good day to you sirs.
Now, I expect that I am done with my Titan PSO bonus (referral code: HighOnPoker, damn it!). So, I'm onto Paradis next. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
So, that's it. I'm going to go downstairs to have some namesake with brother Keith. Adios.
Self-improvement is masturbation, now poker...
Profiting from the Poor
Saturday, October 15, 2005
First, congratulations to Kipper, for placing in a $15 freezeout MTT on Titan. I always feel a bit of pride when one of my fellow bloggers win an MTT.
The tables have not been particularly good to me. On that same token, they haven't been particularly bad. Lately, it seems like my wins and losses are directly dependent on the cards I am dealt. If I get dealt good cards, I win big. If I am cold decked, I lose. Seems obvious, I know. But this is not always the case.
Last night, I played 1/2 Limit on UB. I lost $15. This morning, I was down a bunch more when I noticed that two players were calling down with nothing. Absolutely Nothing! I mean T2 with an AAA67 board! I was down, but in one hand, I totally caught up and won back my $15 from the night before. I had AK and raised pre-flop. The K high flop put me in great position. I re-raised someone's bet and everyone called. I raised the rest of the way and continued to get callers. I knew I was ahead because no one was re-raising, and if anyone had 2-pair at this table, a re-raise was expected. Of course, I won the huge pot.
So, I realized that this is how I am going to end my losing streak: from profiting from the poor players. It's another obvious point. But in the land of 3-tables and auto-poker (when I make moves without thinking), a little bit of observation goes a long way. Thank you crappy players, for being slightly more crappy than me!
Listen Poker, we are bigger than US Steel!
Friday, October 14, 2005
I'm back in NY, but I'm feeling Bora Bora. My honeymoon was spectacular, and on my way home, I felt like it was time to head back to the States. Now that I am back, reality is setting in, and that just sucks.
Pre-wedding, I sunk about $110 of my bankroll playing sloppy poker. Actually sloppy and bad beat poker, a deadly combination. Last night, I lost 15BB, which isn't a big deal, until I consider that I was playing 2/4, for a $60 loss. That brings my bankroll around $300, again. Ug! I think I am going to switch to SNGs as soon as I finish my Titan PSO Bonus, (Referral Code: HighOnPoker!)
My losses last night were mostly due to 2 things: lack of time and bad luck. I hit a straight only to lose to runner runner flush. I hit two pair to lose to a higher two pair. This in and of itself is not a problem. In fact, it IS the game. But I couldn't stay on long enough to get my money back from two particularly aweful players who were begging me to take their cash.
As a result, I have decided a few things. FIRST, I will wait until I have time to play for at least 1 hour before I play again. SECOND, I will drop to 1/2, assuming that is where I should be according to the Limit Challenge structure. THIRD, I will reconsider moving to MTTs and SNGs for a while.
I have to cut this short, but I wanted to add that I am currently in the middle of One of a Kind: The Stuey Ungar Story. Let me just say that this has been another eye-openning book. In fact, it may make me reconsider my game and lifestyle. I am in no way the problem child that Stuey Ungar was. But, a lesson can be learned from reading about the tragedy that his life became.
My name is Anito Montoya, you've killed my Poker. Prepare to die.
Boy, I just flew in from my honeymoon, and boy are my _________ tired!
Friday, October 07, 2005
Haha! You mock me!
Tahiti is almost as beautiful as wifey Kim, and a whole lot of fun too (wifey Kim wins on that count too). This has been the best vacation and week of my life and there is still more to come. Some commentors asked how I could get away with blogging on my honeymoon. Well, first off, my pimp hand is strong. Second, wifey Kim and I had some down time between checking out of our hotel and waiting for our ride to the airport. As for today, I'm pretty burnt, and she loves the sun, so I'm taking 15 minutes to write to you wonderful people.
Obviously, there is no poker here. I played some 5-card draw last night with wifey Kim, and she thoroughly whooped me. I finally won the 8th or 9th hand and called it a game.
I haven't had the poker itch, really, but from time to time, I get that thought in my head: "Jordan, you really do want to be a professional poker player, don't you?" Amarillo Slim's fine book, "Amarillo Slim: In a Land Full of Fat People" isn't helping either. I've decided that I like autobiographical poker books the best. I'm tearing through this one and loving every minute of it, similar to Moneymaker's book. I'm just about done with Slim's book, and as per usual, I have a whole new respect for the author. The two other books with me on this trip are "The Godfather Returns" (sure to be a disappointment) and "The Stuey Ungar Story" or whatever it is called. Good stuff!
Tahiti is a paradise, but this ain't a vacation blog. So to keep it short, the weather is beautiful, the company (wifey Kim) can't be beat, and the activities (both outdoors and in our private bungalo) are more than a guy can ask for. It's expensive, but nothing moreso than going to the nice places in NYC.
I guess that is it for now. I want to make one more poker comment. Since playing at the Genoa Club in NYC, I think I have realized my own fear. I can't wait to return. This is why I've avoided going to NYC pokerrooms for so long. Knowing it is there is a great temptation. I will limit myself to once per week, and none at all if I play a home game (been a while since that has happened).
I'm off to get more sun poisoning, tropical drinks, and delicious food. Enjoy your cubicle, monkeys!
Are you feeling lucky, punk? Well, are you?