Free money down the drain. Maybe you fucktards are right. Last night I finished my PSO promotion through Gaming Club. I am now trying to withdraw that money, which has been slightly more than difficult.
In the meanwhile, I decided to work on my free money at Royal Vegas. Not heeding my readers' advice, I stuck with 2/4, under the misguided belief that my bankroll at Royal, $79, could take it. 20 BBs lost later and I've busted out. Ouch! I was sitting to the immediate right to a Luckbox of Biblical proportions. I decided to play it loose and follow up if I hit the board, which would be a great strategy given his decision making. However, it was a terrible decision given his inordinate amount of luck. I mean, dude calls me down with J4 every street. I hit 2 pair on the river which gives him a baby straight! That was the last hand I played. It'll probably be the last hand I play there for a while.
So, now what? I'm going to try some SNGs to see if that helps the bankroll. I'm also considering doing the final VPP promotion that I am eligible for, Poker Time. I'm hesitant because I may want to first work off some of my dormant Titan Poker bonus. I've always done well there and I may want to focus on Rio SnGs, which are 6-person $20 stakes, with 3 out of 6 places paying. Folks, I can't say it enough. Check out VPP. Not only are the free stuff, like gift certificates and DVDs, awesome, but the people who work there are solid upstanding people. That and their bonuses are easier to earn than PSO. There really is no reason not to check it out.
I'm working on getting a new poker site to offer a private freeroll for HighOnPoker readers. Of course, if/once that is finalized I'll publicize it and encourage all bloggers to spread the word. After all, it isn't about keeping it small and tight, but including as many people as possible in an environment where online poker meets the socialness of live poker. Live poker with a bunch of sarcastic, smack talking buddies.
I have to go concentrate on my SNG now. It's about time I stop losing. This shit is getting played out.
Goals and Bankrolls
Friday, December 30, 2005
Damnit! I just can't take it any more. If you look at two posts before this, I set my goal for 2006 at $1800 for the year. This began a string of discussion about moving up in limits and bankroll management.
I am by no means an expert at either thing. But I have my opinion and I am the master of my domain so you have little choice but to read it or move on. Here we go...
I believe HIGHLY in the Limit Challenge Structure, which originated, as far as I know, from DoubleAs. If you have not seen it, please click the link on the right side of the page under Notable Posts.
I estimate that I have a $300 bankroll. It may be more and it may be less. Under the Limit Challenge, I should be playing 1/2. However, in order to earn my Gaming Club bonus, I've had to play 2/4. I will return to 1/2 now, because bankroll management is the 2nd most important factor in being a successful poker player. The first is general poker skill.
I do not believe in arbitrarily moving up in limits without first running the bankroll up at the lower limits. It would be very easy for me to put an extra $500 online and go after the higher games. However, I feel that to justify that sort of gambling, I have to earn my way there. I earn my way there by beating the lower stakes.
Never having played anything higher than 3/6 online, I can't say for certain that players at 10/20 are any better or worse. My thoughts, though, are that they are probably more similar than different. The difference with those players are that they have more money to gamble. Some will be great players that have worked there way there, whereas others are donkeys with money to burn or gambling habits to feed.
So, there it is. I do not believe that you need $1000 to play 2/4. Sorry Wes. If you loose 250 big blinds (4 x 250 = 1000), then you shouldn't be playing 2/4 in the first place. PLUS, once you lose 150 or so (4 x 150 = 600), then you should slow down and play within THAT bankroll. Put plainly, I think that $1000 for 2/4 is overly cautious. Now, overly cautious is 1000x bigger than too risky. But I'm looking for the happy medium.
Comments? Inquiring minds would like to know.
Two posts in two hours? Yeah, I know. But this is something I'd like to write about. Here goes:
Daddy has packed up Snailtrax. The rumors were going about a month ago, but it seemed like he decided to stick it out. I linked to him very recently and when I followed the link, everything was different. Apparently a porn site took over his URL.
The today DoubleAs put up a post about wanting to quit his blog. I could tell that DoubleAs' postings have changed. I didn't realize that he was holding back stuff for his book, but that is apparently part of the cause. The other cause seems to be boredom.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Blogs are like literary masterbation. There really is no purpose other than self gratification. I don't get paid, per se, for this. Okay, I have been making a little from ads and referrals, but it is definitely more a drop in a bucket then a rainstorm.
I don't get any accolades really for this either, aside from some readers comments and the occassional compliment.
So what the hell do I get from this stinkin' blog? Honestly, I don't know. I was thinking about an odd subject yesteday. What if one of the bloggers I knew suddenly passed away? Would I mourn them? I would, but it may even turn me off of the whole blogging thing. Surely, there are better ways to spend me time.
Well, this is just musing. High On Poker isn't going anywhere. It's my way to play poker when I am not able to play poker. I guess that is what it is most of all.
Double, don't quit. Just take a break. Take it easy. Don't post for 2 months if that is what it takes. But don't draw that line in the sand that says, it's over. Because, buddy, lemme tell you, blogs are literary masterbation, but even when you shack up with the hottest chick in town, sometime you just need a quick release.
Last night I received my $50 bonus from Gaming Club....and then proceeded to give it away like a certified donkey.
The game was 6-handed .25/.50 NL ($50 max buy-in). I was a little lit from some sangria with dinner (which is a whole other story) and I was anxious to play. Unfortunately, it was one of those second-best-hand nights. That said, I blame myself for playing marginal hands and being aggressive and passive at the wrong times. Repeatedly. Consistently.
Stated plainly, I sucked.
Bottom line is, I was in not in a poker state of mind, regardless of my impulse to play. This is the largest leak in my game, and I will have to defeat it in order to move up to the next level. If I get to pay tonight, it will be a test. Usually after a night like last night, I'm on extended tilt for a day or two. So, I'm going to try to avoid that all together by only playing if I am ready (yeah right!).
I've decided that it is time to use the $50 BestBuy giftcard that I got from VPP. I plan on buying a dinky MP3 player for under $30 and then buying some PC game. I may go Chipper's route and try WarCraft. The key for me is to find a game I can play INSTEAD of poker when I feel like playing but are not focused. As for the MP3 player, I don't need anything that holds 10,000 songs. A good 4 hrs of music is MORE than enough. All I need is something that has FM radio and can play some trance music when I'm playing live. A little bit of trance music goes a long way for calming the nerves and focusing my attention.
As for the ESPN Fantasy Poker, I've changed my mind. Let's just lay it out there and have whoever wants join up. If we can work out some sort of betting pool after the fact, then great. If not, we'll play for pride. Go to ESPN Fantasy Poker, Donkeys Always Draw game, password: HEEHAW!!! Don't forget those exclamation points. That's 3 in total.
With HUC2 done, could there be an HUC3? Maybe, but probably not for a while. These things are tricky because they involve coordinating people from all over the world. The HUC1 was quick because we had 8 devoted players. HUC2 lagged because with 16 players, it's a bit harder to coordinate. People are now asked to pay their bet ($25) straight to the winners after the fact, a good month or so since the payer played their last match. I have to imagine that there is a better way. An HUC3 could be very interesting, but right now it seems like the DADI events are the way to go. Maybe after another DADI or two we can get a really large field that is willing to give their $25 immediately. One can only hope.
Final thought. It's time to set a new goal for the next year. This year's goal was to win $1200 for the year, $100/month. I've reached that with $55 to spare as of my AC trip. That doesn't include the $450 in gift cards I earned through VPP and PSO, which arguably should be considered. After all, my goal was to see if poker was worth the time, and I got just as much benefit from those giftcards (my large TV purchase) then I did the other $1200.
But that is this year. Next year my goal is $1800. Joaquin suggested that I make it 3x my current goal, but I don't think I can realistically expect that sort of growth. The bottom line is that I don't play high enough stakes online and I don't play enough live to really justify anything higher. If I go over and above, then so be it. I just think $150/month is an appropriate goal right now.
Look, Daddy. Teacher says every time a bell rings, an angel gets the nuts.
Thursday, December 29, 2005
WOW!!! What a day!!! I've got lots of exciting announcements. Let's start from the top!
The Donkeys Always Draw Invitational was a HUGE success. To keep things interesting, be on the lookout for the 2nd event, The Donkeys Always Draw Special Omalypics. The game will be Omaha H/L, with a $10 buy-in. Tentative date (emphasis on tentative) is Wednesday, January 11, 2006!
Looking for more Pokery Goodness? Well great! Play with me in the ESPN Fantasy Poker League. You get 30 credits to buy up to 7 players. I don't know much more than that, but I've started my own private game titled Donkeys Always Draw. Join up! I'm going to do things slightly differently. Let's do a $10 bet. If you want in on the action, leave me a comment with your email address OR send me an email at email@example.com. Depoending on how many players we have, we'll work out a prize pool. For this reason, I am leaving the password under wraps. Contact me and I'll give it to you.
My roster includes: Chris Ferguson, John Juanda, Antonio Esfandiari, Jennifer Harman, Fossil-man, David Williams, and Dutch Boyd. I know Boyd is a Looooooooooooong Shot, but I'll give him a go anyway. I'm not too happy with my picks overall, but they'll do for now. Damn, I forgot. I need to add Johnny Fucking Chan. Back to the drawing board!
If things get going, we can even set up some prizes for the winner! Maybe have everyone toss in $10. If we do this, we'll arrange payment of the $10 immediately, as opposed to how I ran the HUC2.
On that subject, Trauma Poker won HUC2! Trauma, as many may recall, first got noticed (by me, anyway) when he was involved in a controversy with TripJax. Trauma was talking smack, so when I invited him into the HUC2, I didn't realize he was who he was. I was concerned that the controversy would cause problems, but I like to be inclusive rather than exclusive. I was also hoping to knock him out of the first round, but that clearly didn't happen. But, Trauma, you proved yourself, not that you had anything to prove. And the rest of the contestants, including Trip, proved themselves also by not believing the hype. People talk smack in this world we call Pokeronia. And even Jesus smack talked! "You Pontius Pilate, you one straight trippin' bitch!" It's in the Bible people. The Bible!
That's it for now. Join me in the ESPN Fantasy Poker League. Also, I have to thank Matt on Poker for turning me onto this.
The Donkeys Always Draw Invitational was last night and it was more of a success than I could have imagined. 62 players joined the fray, and rumor has it, we had a better turnout than the Wil Wheaton tourney one night ago. I have to give a huge thank you to all of the players, TripJax for helping set this thing up, and all of the bloggers who announced the tourney on their blogs or amongst their friends. It was a fantastic time and I can't wait to do it again. Without further adieu, the winner of last nights DADI was:
So, who knocked out Jordan to win the right to rename this blog: Change100! The one-woman wrecking ball finished me off when her 88 beat my 87. I was forced all in after C-Mitch from O-Poker crushed me with his AK v. my QQ. We were all-in pre-flop, and the bastard caught his Ace...twice. If I had played better earlier, maybe I wouldn't have been in such a rush to push. However, generally speaking, I like pushing with Qs in tournaments.
I had Aces twice within 10 minutes, and each time I raised 4x or 3x the blinds in EP or UTG. The entire table folded to me...twice. Keerist!
JoeSpeaker wouldn't let up on me in the early rounds. He also played exceptionally well (with a suckout or two for good measure). He placed 2nd, so a hardy congratulations to him as well.
Mowemdown is a new blogger, if memory serves correct. He took 3rd. I look forward to reading his blog and learning more about the player. Scott "The Dream Machine" McMillan took 4th. Even when he was the shortstack out of 4 I thought he'd take it. He is no mere mortal poker player. He is a machine! I later learned why he ONLY took 4th...he was 2-tabling a tourney on Full Tilt at the same time, and took 4th there as well. Yep! Scott's my role model. He's one of the only players, aside from possibly DoubleAs, who I wouldn't think twice about bankrolling. Of course, they don't need my money. They could do it all themselves.
Also, congrats to Trip for making the final table. GCox made it to the top 20 as well.
So, overall the tournament was a raving success. I didn't want to do them too often. My mental plan was once a month. But after last night, I came up with another idea. In two weeks, we should hold the DADI Omaha tourney. That'll shake things up a bit. This is still a work in progress. We may even go with a new title. How about the Special Oma-lympics!
In other news, I finished my Gaming Club promo and I expect the bonus to be released soon. I have no idea how much it is. I should probably check PSO. Even though I'm done with the GC bonus, I still have about 100 hands or so to burn through before I get the PSO bonus, so I'm no done there yet. The 2/4 limit has been a break-even or slightly profitable game for me. I expected to lose following the Hollywood Poker debacle, so this will do for the time being. Meanwhile, Veneno continues to rip up Royal Vegas. She earned the VPP bonus there in about a week. For anyone looking to bonus whore for free prizes, that's the easiest promo by far. So, check out VPP for their Royal Vegas promotion.
"Your fame is well deserved, Change100. I don't think there's ever been a gladiator to match you. As for this young man, he insists you are Moss reborn. Or was it Ungar? Why doesn't the hero reveal herself and tell us all your real name? You do have a name."
"My name is Wrecking Ball."
DADI and Grinding
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
The Donkeys Always Draw Invitational is tonight, and I can guarantee a good time. Several bloggers are offering bounties, so there will be a whole lot of mail sent out following the tourney. I invite you to play. For more info, please see the post below!
In other news, I am working on overhauling this here blog. If you look at Notable Posts, I have a new listing, Glossary, which is probably useless to most readers. However, if you were ever befuddled by my use of initials like UTG or terms like rainbow, take a look. I know, bloggers, to you UTG is clear as day. But we all can't be as cool as you!
I've also added a page called Trip Reports which provides links to my various trip reports since this here blog started in March 2005.
Soon, I will be adding a You Decide page, instead of the current long list of links on the right. I do this all for you, dear reader. That and because I like to procrastinate the important stuff.
Last night I got several hours of 2/4 limit in at Gaming Club. It'll only take another 50 or so raked hands to release the $50 bonus (I believe its $50), but after that, I think I need another 100 or so to finish the PSO promotion. I was thinking about getting another Best Buy giftcard through PSO, but now that I have the new TV and surround sound, I don't know if I need anything else. I already have a $50 giftcard through VPP that is gathering dust. Maybe I should finally get myself a decent MP3 player. But not too decent. I'm not made of giftcards!
As a result of my play, I brought the Gaming Club bankroll up to almost $200. This is far from spectacular, but it is a positive move from the original $150. While I was playing, Sox Lover and I were chatting. He suggested we play heads-up, but I told him I wasn't feeling up for it. "Let me rephrase that," he added, "Do you want to play heads up, bitch?" His tone of voice was flat. The sentence was the same one he asked a mere 10 seconds before. But that five letter word was all it took. Let's do this!
Or not. As it turned out, I was having trouble with UB, so we decide to do PokerStars. Now, Stars rooms fill up very fast. Unless you are doing a private tourney (DADI, achem), you'll have trouble coordinating. This is especially true in HU matches. As a result, I ended up playing against a stranger. I won, but for a while I was the short stack. In fact, I won about 2-3 hands in a row at the end after losing most hands. That was all it took. I went from a low of under 300 chips (you start with 2000) to winner in 5 hands or so. The entire time, I was calm and cool. I didn't mind loosing chips. The blinds increased slowly and I knew I could win it back. Sox seemed concerned about my shortstack, but I let him know it didn't phase me in the least. Either I lose or I win. That's all there is to it.
I finally had the advantage with 2900 or so chips to his 1100. In the last hand, the flop was 2d3d4h, and I held Ad6h. Preflop I bet small and he called. On the flop I bet small and he raised. I re-raised, he pushed. I called. He held Q4. The turn was an Ace and I won.
Sox thought it was hysterical that I sucked out. I didn't see it that way. I had momentum and the chiplead. I had two overcards, a straight draw, and a backdoor nut flush draw. Out of all of those things, I think the chiplead was most important. In these games, you have to take chances. BUT you want to take those chances when they won't wipe you completely out.
After that win, Sox and I tried again...and failed again. The new competitor ended up beating me. So be it. I was done for the night anyway.
Tonight is the night, and I'm excited as hell. The DADI. Bring your friends. Bring your family. But most importantly bring your money and bounties.
It's all in the chips. It's all in the chips...
Donkeys Always Draw Invitational
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all sizes. Presenting due to self-indulgent demand, the SNG to end all SNGs. The hype-master himself Jordan from HighOnPoker and blogger of the stars TripJax invite you to join them and a plethora of bloggers and readers alike in the first ever:
Wednesday, December 28. 2005 9PM
PokerStars, Private Tournament
But wait there is more!
- On top of fame, fortune and respect, the winner of the DADI will receive two decks of Copag high-quality poker cards, made to withstand spills, bends, and diaper rashes. Prize provided by Jordan from HighOnPoker.
- Knock out Jordan (HighOnPokr), and you can rename High On Poker for one week (prize inspired by DoubleAs)!
- Knock out TripJax and win a glass card coaster!
- Knock out Surflexus and win a cool "poker package" of assorted goodies and a framed autographed copy of his first blog entry!
- Knock out Al Can't Hang and win a copy of Al Can't Hang and BadBlood's Thrash Metal CD!
- Knock out Daddy and win an autographed copy of your favorite Snailtrax post!
- Knock out LadyFalcon and win an autographed copy of Double Stuffer Pt. IV!
- Knock out Boobie Lover and win the book Professional Poker!
Let the Games Begin!!!
Read Parts 1 and 2, below, first. But if you couldn't figure that out, then I doubt this announcement will do much.
When I arrived at the poker room on Xmas night, the room was substantially more packed. I was in the hole for $355 due to -EV table games and slot machines, so I had a determination about me. Roose and Hole were already seated at a 1/2 NL game, and seemed to be doing well. Hole looked short, but he's an aggressive players, so I expected some swings. Over the course of the evening, they seemed to take turns being ahead and behind. Roose finally busted late in the evening. Hole ended ahead over $100.
I, meanwhile, placed my name on the 1/2 NL, 3/6 Limit, and 1-5 spread 7-card stud game. I wanted to play, and the NL list was long. Meanwhile, parents Roose came down and we talked about my mother. After dinner, she slipped on some grease on the floor, injuring herself. I heard about this earlier in the night and spoke to my Dad, but he insisted that she was okay, aside from a high blood pressure (odd for my low-blood pressured mom), an injured knee, and injuries up her entire left side. They had gone to the infirmary and were treated as though they were conmen looking for a quick buck. Fuck Harrah's for that. But as a lawyer, I knew the reason. Harrah's didn't want to look guilty. Well, fuck them anyway.
I went up to see my mom. She was okay, considering. My parents wished me luck and my dad put $200 in my hands. "This is for you AND Kim. Make sure she gets her $100." Shit, pops. I'm a degenerate but not THAT much of a degenerate.
When I returned to the poker room, my name had just been called for 1-5 Stud. I sat down with the old fogies and watched the hand play out. I knew that I'd need to play smart and use my young gun image. After all, Stud is an old-timers' game. But before I could get chips, they opened up a new 1/2 NL table and my name was called. I immediately got up.
The table was a mix of caucasian white males. One female sat down. It was her birthday and she was atrocious. To my left was an intelligent late 30 year old player. We chatted for a bit and immediately made friends. We had the rest of the table pegged as a bunch of amatuer college students or just-out-of-college kids. We were right too. Two players in the 1 and 2 seat were tight. The next guy had crappy hand selection and was loose post flop as well. I could just about say the same for the guy to his left too. 4s was eventually replaced by a guy who insisted on trying to raise me out of pots. I was playing tight, and I guess he knew it. 5s was a real mongoloid retard. Turns out he went to my High School too and was 2 yrs younger than me. I played against him the first night and he joked with me about how crappy he played. He added, "When I left, someone said, 'that is the worst player I ever saw.'" I quietly said to the guy on my left, "That was me. I said that." Mongo (that's what I'm calling him) said, "What?!" "Just joking." HAHAHA! We all laughed. I wasn't joking though. He sucked. To his left was a non-consequential guy, followed by the girl and an Internet player, and finally some prag to my right who I busted. He was followed by an Asian guy named Blue. We got along well. Clearly, he, I and the guy on my left were the only good players. On this, the three of us agreed.
Now, specific hands have sort of left me for the most part. I played tight. I limped when I could and folded whenever I could as well. I have learned that at these tables, you make most of your money on a handful of hands. Leave the other ones for the raising donkeys.
I had won a few smaller pots early and then folded for what seemed like an hour. I knew my image was tight. I looked down to see Qc4c. I decided, in LP, that it was time to make a play. I bet 12 total. The loose guy in the 3 seat, who I'll call Orange for his shirt, and the 4s Re-Raiser got in on the action. The flop was 426. I had made the low pair. I decided to continuation bet for $10. Orange folded. Re-Raiser, well, he reraised to $20. The turn was a 2. I checked and re-raiser bet $20 to 40. I don't exactly recall. I called. The river was a 4. I rivered a full house. I bet $50. He called. When I showed my full house he mucked his hand. Oh well oh well.
That got the ball rolling. I was chatting away when Hole came over to see what was happening. At that moment, I held AA. I bet big pre-flop and got two callers. The flop was K high with two low cards and I bet again. Orange pushed all-in. I called and took down the hand. He held 77 and had missed the board. Another one down. He rebought (probably 3 times at least while I was there).
Let me add here that I am probably mis-representing a lot of the action. As I write, I am losing the specifics. These hands look like I got lucky. But rest assured that I was playing the players AND the cards. I made good decisions and got good results.
In one hand, I held the nut flush draw with AQs. I believe I raised pre-flop to 12. After the flop, I bet out 20. Orange pushed for 25 more. I called, and then hit the flush on the turn. Unfortunately, he had a set (pocket pair hit the flop) and the river paired the board. I was just happy that he had won it instead of another player. I knew I could get it back.
There was one hand that I was particularly proud of. I held AKo. It was getting late (3am) and some new players just joined the table, including the Nerdy girl from the morning session. I didn't want my crappy image from the morning hurting me here. She had about $800 to 1000 and had to actually take chips off of the table. The table max was $200, but since she was moved from a breaking table she could only hold as much as the chipleader, me. I held $450.
I was thinking that it was time to move on and I was UTG+1, so this would be my second-to-last hand. I looked down at AKo. I bet $20. I get two callers, Orange and Mongo. Joy of joys.
The flop was KQ3 with two spades. I looked across the table at Orange and said, "I bet what you have." He counted it out. $54. Orange looked sheepish and folded. Mongo called. The turn was a 2d. I looked at Mongo and said, "It's your turn now. I bet what you have." He had about $50 more. He folded. I guess I could've gotten more, but I just felt so damn good about beating down the players. I got up and left. Rob joined me. I was up $322 in that session alone. The result was that I was down only $33 or so for the whole trip. I couldn't wait to get upstairs and wake up wifey Kim with the news. But first...
Robbie and I walked the casino trying to calm down. He played some Wheel of Fortune and I sat back. We decided to go upstairs and relax, but first we wanted to check the table game limits. They were all $15 minimums and it was 3am in the morning! And then we passed Pai Gow.
I shouldn't play, I thought to myself. I am almost back to even and I don't want to lose it now. But I figured that I could play one hand for $20, the minimum, just so I can break my Pai Gow cherry. I felt sheepish and I apologized to the three Asian players when I sat down with one $20 bill.
Now, let me go over pai gow for a minute. You are dealt 7 cards. You bet once, and only once, unlike most other poker table games. Once you get the 7 cards, you arrange them into a 5-card hand and a 2-card hand. The 5-card hand MUST BE higher than the 2 card. 2 card flushes/straights don't count. The dealer then arranges his 7 cards. If you beat both of his hands with both of yours, you get paid, minus a commission to the casino. So, basically, 20 pays 19. I guess this is because, for the most part, you push. So, if you are dealt AAKKQJ4, you can arrange as AAQJ4/KK or AAKK4/QJ. The first makes more sense, since you will definitely win the KK, absent a dealer getting something like a straight plus AA.
In total, I won $95. Hole joined in and won $83 or so. In the whole time I played, I only lost twice. It was a real pleasure. When we were done, Hole and I retired for the night. I crawled into bed next to wifey Kim. In her half-asleep haze she asked, "how did you do?" "I won it all back...and then some. We are up $62 overall." I then enjoyed some sweet dreams.
The rest, as they say, is history. Roose and Hole stayed a bit later than me the next day. I decided to actually not gamble in the morning. The $200 88 v. AA taught me an expensive lesson. The ride back was fine. I couldn't help rehashing the last night in my head, over and over and over. By sheer will I was able to win back all that the Casino took and then some. Even better, I felt like a great player. I played well and I know I can do it consistently. In poker alone I won $394. If I didn't make that 88 v. AA misread, it would be $594. If I had avoided all table games (aside from pai gow) it would've been a nice score. But the games were entertaining for wifey Kim and I and this wasn't a trip about poker. It was a trip about her.
Best of all, I did it. In January, I set a goal to win $1200 in poker this year. It was a modest goal, but at that point, I was a micro-limit player with a $50 online bankroll and my home games were for $40 profit if I was lucky. I rarely played/play in casinos and I never had entered an underground card room. In the early summer I was more or less wiped out. In half a year, I was able to climb back to a profit AND meet my goal. For this, I am proud.
Thanks for reading.
I woke up the next morning with a spring in my step. Wifey Kim and I were officially up about $150. I had gotten to bed at 2am, but at 7am, I couldn't help but wake up. The dreams were many that night, and the anticipation for more degeneracy was foremost in my mind. Wifey Kim, however, was still in sleep mode. I forced myself to put my head back down, but what little sleep I had was interrupted.
When we first arrived at the casino a half day before, Roose and I discussed gambling strategy as we made our way to the check-in desk. "We are not playing in the morning, no matter what," Roose insisted. He was right, too. We never win in the morning. But I wasn't going to allow myself to be boxed it by superstition (ignore the fact that I wore my lucky Superman shirt to the poker room the night before). "Okay. But I'm not making any promises."
This conversation flashed into my head at 9am when my cell phone beeped. A voice message from Roose read: "U Up? Lets Play Poker." Um...um...okay. I called him back to tell him I could play in a few. Wifey Kim was finally stirring and I was figuring out timing issues. Fortunately, unlike Roose and I, wifey Kim insisted on showering and doing her hair. I took the advantage and headed down with Roose.
We were placed on different tables, but I couldn't complain. My table was short-handed and the players looked weak. On my left was an old fogie and a foreign greasy player. On my right was a nerdy looking chick and a young upstart. There may've been more but they came and went. This was the core. A 4-handed game. I thought this would be key to my success. I likee the short handed.
Unfortunately, it didn't likee me back. The greasy foreigner and I played a bunch of pots together. I checked in the SB with 34o, and he checked in the BB. The flop was 256. Check-check. 3 check-check. T. Bet-fold. No action.
A little while later, I held 26o in the SB against the greasy foreigner. The flop was 346. Check-check. Turn was a blank. Check-check. River was a 5. I bet 10. He re-raised to 20. I called. He had the 7 for the better straight.
Now, somewhere in there, I had this disaster of a hand. I was on the button with 88. The young upstart was in the BB. His fat, hairy buddy was sitting next to him and attempting to be funny and vulgar. He was definitely vulgar, but funny... Anyway, the upstart raises from 2 to 15. I call with 88. If he had checked, I would've raised. I was planning to do so. But here I was facing a bet. Mind you that this was actually before the two hands I mentioned already. The table was still somewhat new to me. I saw the upstart betting fairly aggressively, but I didn't have more than that and his attitude (and goofy friend) as a read.
With just upstart and I in the hand, the flop came off K73, with two spades. Upstart bet $45. Now, this was an overbet. Easily the biggest bet I saw all morning. I was watching him, and I felt, from his attitude and his big bet, that he was trying to steal the pot after he missed the flop. I couldn't help but put him on AQ or TT. TT had me beat, so I had something in mind. "I'm all-in." There must've been $120 more in front of me. "I call." He flipped over AA. And that was how I lost my initial $200 buy-in.
Skip ahead an hour and I am back to $100 (my re-buy after the $200 loss). Most of my work from the previous night was down the drain. Up $72, I had to justify the loss to my dad and wife by saying that I was playing with profits. I sincerely believe that with enough time I would've won it all back. I had grinded back some of the money, but right before walking away, I was brought back down to my $100 and decided that enough was enough.
Roose, Allison, wifey Kim and I headed over to the Fantasea Buffet. The food was adequate. Like most buffet meals, I ate until I was satisfied. I then got a second and third plate. When we left, I was ready to pull into a food-induced coma. However, Clam Dave and Andrea had joined the group.
Clam Andrea hadn't been to AC before and had never been to the Boardwalk. Harrah's was off of the Boardwalk, so we hopped in our cars and headed out. First, we made a stop at Borgata. I foolishly lead the caravan into the employee parking lot, and we were walking out when an employee was kind enough to point out the errs of our ways. After moving the cars (thus saving us from a ridiculous walk), we hit the casino and pulled a walkthrough. Wifey Kim dabbled at Roulette, the only affordable game in the place. It was packed, as usual. Roose was impressed by the size of the poker room, but not the wait times. We gathered up the group and headed out.
At the Boardwalk, we started at the Showboat because of the free parking for card members. We played a variety of table games, with wifey Kim losing at Roulette, and me losing at 3- card poker. We moved onto Trump Taj, next door, because the weather was horrible outside. God bless interior corridors between casinos.
Wifey Kim and I were already hungry, so we went with Allison and Roose to the Stage Deli for some grilled cheeses, the official gambling meal of High On Poker. While we were waiting, I introduced Roose and the girls to prop bets, bets based on propositions. I proposed that Roose's chopped liver sandwich would be placed on the table before my grilled cheese. The bet was on, and I won, putting my prop bets at 1-0. We then guessed the bill size, and I won again, with a mere 1$ difference. 2-0.
After the meal, we all felt like it was time to head back to Harrah's. When we arrived, Roose had spoken to Robbie Hole. Hole was on the annual trip last year, but had not returned because his girlfriend, Joyful, was a gentile. However, Joy had to work on Monday, so he arranged to drive down on Saturday night.
When Rob arrived, we were at the Fantasea Buffet again, this time having dinner with the whole familys (Roose and High). Wifey Kim and I weren't particularly hungry, but we ate nonetheless. Before this, we had been farting around the casino, playing craps, roulette and even slot machines. Specifically, we were like flies to a bug zapper whenever we saw Wheel of Fortune. According to my father (who passed this news along last night), it is the tightest of the slots. But damn is it fun spinning that wheel. I walked passed Pai Gow a couple of times and watched a few hands, but I couldn't get the balls to actually play. Besides, no one else wanted to play anyway.
With Rob around, the urge for poker hit a new peak. But wifey Kim and Allison were not poker players. Instead, the 5 of us went to Roose's room for some wine. It was relaxing, but Allison was dozing off and Roose was itching to play. He and Hole headed out, and wifey Kim and I went to play more slots and table games.
I'd eventually go upstairs with Kim, down $355 for the trip. It was about 10:30pm when she began dozing off. She gave me my cue. You can head down now. Have fun. I took the opportunity and off I went.
What happened? That's for another time. BUT I can promise you this. I did not leave the trip down $355! Stay tuned.
AND if you haven't done it yet, do it now! Sign up for the Donkeys Always Draw Invitational Tournament hosted by yours truly, on Wednesday at 9pm. And for the record, I get nothing out of this at all besides a chance to play with some readers/bloggers/friends. Check out the link for details on bounties, buy-in and start time.
AC for the Holidays - AC Trip Report Pt 1
Monday, December 26, 2005
Happy Holidays! Man, I almost want to skip the trip report. After 2 nights and three days in my own wonderland, Atlantic City, I almost don't want to do anything. But, for the sake of completeness, I'll do my best.
This was one of my best trips to AC. It had a wonderful balance of family, friends, gambling for pleasure and gambling for profit.
The trip started out on Saturday morning at around 11 am. An hour before, I woke my little brother, Clam David and his girlfriend, Clam Andrea, up. I was gitty with anticipation. Even though AC was 3 hrs and 200 miles away, I could hear the shuffle of chips and the ringing of slot machines. I must have been particularly overbearing (Clam Dave is a notoriously heavy sleeper), as Clam Andrea asked if I was a Dad. "What do you mean?" "Only a Dad could be that annoying." Mission accomplished. We hit the road and started down to AC.
The ride was uneventful. Along the way, I kept in cell phone contact with Dave Roose and his girlfriend Allison. I also spoke on and off with the parents High and parents Roose, who were driving down as well. On the way down, I entered my first prop bet between Clam Dave, Clam Andrea, Wifey Kim and I, to see who could predict our time of arrival. The prop bet was voided, however, when the parents and Dave Roose stopped by Smithville a "Ye Olde Shoppe" time of place near AC. I mean, every freaking store was "Shoppe". Old Fashioned Candy Shoppe. Wifey Kim's favorite Candle Shoppe. Ye Olde Fashion Internet Shoppe. It wasn't a bad place per se, but I could still hear the distant calls of nearby gambling.
When we finally got out of there, I drove like a bat out of hell to our hotel, Harrah's, one of the few casinos off of the Boardwalk. We stayed there because I had a free room at Showboat or Harrah's (same ownership) AND Harrah's was significantly cheaper for the night I had to pay for. As a result, prior to tax, the room would only cost $85. After taxes (on both nights) and a snack put on the room bill, it came out to about $120. Beautiful. The hotel was great. The buffet did its job well and the take-out style restaurant was convenient and reasonably priced. The table games were mostly $10 minimums for the first night, Xmas Eve. Late night, they had $5 craps. On the second day, the minimums moved to $15 for the most part. I like my table games cheap, and those rates didn't go down even well into the night. But at that point I had my fill of -EV games.
The poker room, which we will get to in depth later, was not small, but not large. There were probably 25 tables, with only 10-15 in play for the most part. The hotel was nicely decorated, lighted and clean, and the poker room was no exception. They didn't have a cage at the poker room and the drink girls took there sweet ass time, but aside from that, I liked the players , which were rumored to be solid, but were anything but. More on that later.
When I arrived at the check-in counter, I began my attempt at a room upgrade. At Tropicana in AC, a room upgrade at the front desk costs $50/night. I didn't know what to expect at Harrah's. I was happy to hear from the less-than-enthused desk girl that upgrades were not charged. I was unhappy when she told me that none were left. I was downright annoyed when, after getting my room, I listed to Roose, about 2 steps to my left, getting a room upgrade from HIS counter girl. Well fuck me! As soon as he was done, I moved over and smiled wide. "Any way you can get me an upgrade? I promise to lose a lot of money." "I'm going to get fired for this, but it is Christmas." I didn't see the need to point out that her Christmas spirit was used on a Jew. A couple of hours later, even Clam David was able to upgrade.
The rooms were nice. We were in a smoking jr. suite, but fortunately, the smell of cigarettes was near non-existent. The suite had a decent bathroom, but regular tub. Call me picky, but when I hear jr suite, I expect a jacuzzi tub. The living room area was a nice addition, especially when I stumbled into the room at 4AM on the last night, high on poker and in need of some time zoning out with the TV while wifey Kim slept in the nearby bedroom. Our view was of the water, and it was a beautiful sight. I don't really get the point of a "room with a view". I mean, how long are you going to be standing staring out the window. But, that said, this was a room with a view and it was fantastic.
It didn't take long before I was rushing to the tables. If I never played table games, I'd be a lot richer, but sometimes you have to enjoy yourself. I couldn't remember specifics if I tried, but I can tell you this. I played some Roulette with wifey Kim, and we both lost about 20$ each before quitting. I switched to craps and lost about $120 or so. I saw Roose over at 3-card poker and decided to watch him lose some money. Out of all of the games, I consider table poker games to be the worst, but somehow Dave was holding his own. I gave in and joined him. As a result, I won over $100, after hitting a straight and flush consecutively when good luck charm Papa High stopped by. After playing that game for the first (and hopefully last) time, I really felt like it was easy to win. We all know better though, don't we.
Odd as it is, I like when my father watches me gamble. It feels like having him at my little league games as a kid, except I'm not an embarrassment. Yep. I sucked at little league and I still throw like a girl. But when it comes to gambling, I like to think I can hold my own.
It was time to pack it up, so I went upstairs with wifey Kim and prepared for an annual tradition, dinner at Rafici's. Rafici's is a local Italian restaurant. There wasn't much poker at the restaurant, but there was a whole lot of food. Too much actually. When wifey Kim and I got back to the hotel, we decided to hang out in the room for a bit and relax. The sleep sniped must've been across the way, because wifey Kim was taken out at about 10:30. Roose, a couple of floors down, was experiencing the same thing with Allison. He and I remained in contact via text messages. When both of us were ready, we met at the elevator lobby...and off to poker...
The room was pretty dead. It was Xmas Eve, and there was only about 4 tables going. The list for 1/2 NL was fairly long, so I put my name on it, as well as 3/6 limit and 1-5 spread Stud. Fortunately, a new table was started. I took the 1s. When possible, I like to be next to the dealer so that I can raise my cards a little higher without fear of flashing them to a player. I also find that it provides a decent view of most players, except for the 2 guys on the other side of the dealer. I told Roose beforehand that I didn't want to sit next to him. It's fine chatting, but truth be told, you play most of your hands against the guys to your left and right AND I wanted to pretend like we didn't know eachother.
The table was almost full when a fat bald guy with arm tattoos and a long goatee sat down. "So, are we all Jews at this table or what?" A guy with a yamika replied, "I'm not." The rest of the table chuckled. One player read my mind. "We need an Asian over here." I added, "preferably with glasses." The Asian dealer looked unimpressed.
That was how the table went. It was a fun group. A bunch of Jewish white males (for the most part) playing poker on a Christian holiday. Halfway through the game, a large woman sat at the far end of the table. She made some god-aweful plays and some of the guys were quietly critiquing her. One of the more boisterous (read: drunk) guys at our side remained quiet. Finally he said, guys, that's my mom. We all laughed for about .5 seconds, until we realized he was serious. At least it started a new round of jokes. "Dude, you are going to bluff your mom?" "I'm folding, because I don't like to get in the middle of family issues."
But let's get to some hands. I always like to play the first hand. I don't know why. I guess if they see me play a shitty hand, then that'll loosen them up. If I take it down without showing, I look powerful. If I limp and fold, there is no real loss.
I started off with 88. I raised it up from 2 to 7. I was in MP and the little guy to my left called. I believe we had one other caller. The flop wasn't pretty. QT3. I could do better. I thought for a moment and bet 15. The guy on my left called. The turn was a Ace. I was probably in trouble. BUT, this was the first hand. Let's flex some muscle. I bet 20. He looked at the board. He was clearly upset at the Ace and finally folded. A loudmouth who thought he was a poker genius said, "He pushed you off the hand with nothing." I grinned large but didn't say a word. Yeah, he was right, but I wasn't concerned. When the next hand was dealt I whispered to my dimunitive neighbor, "IF you were ahead before the turn, you were behind after it," thereby implying AT. Let the games begin.
In general, I just kept on folding. I did a lot of talking and a little bit of limping. I got my stack up a small amount through grinding, maybe 30$, but then had it drop back down. Roose, meanwhile, was getting screwed. His AJ hit a J high flop only to go against JJ. There was another crappy situation that I can't recall. Long story short, Roose eventually busted, and was sent to the rail. He returned 10-15 minutes later. I was down about 40 or 50$ (from an initial max buy-in of $200). I was tired, and Roose was hanging around looking bored, but I had to lay it out for him. "Dude," I whispered behind my hand, "I can break this table. I just know it." I agreed to one or two more orbits and that was it. As soon as I was done talking I looked down to KK. Now, I was card dead for a long while. I didn't even think I remembered how to play KK at this point. I was UTG+1 and decided to bump it up big to try to keep one or two players in, at most. I raised to 20, if memory serves correct. The table folded around. Now, even though I had been card dead, I remained chatty at the table, so I don't think people saw me as tight. Fortunately, the player UTG, who limped in before me, called. I had been watching him and he was recklessly aggressive post-flop. The flop was all undercards, with two cards to a diamond flush. BB bet out $40. I thought for a moment and raised $50 on top. He almost instantaneously pushed all-in. I knew what was happening. He was trying to be uber-aggressive and win the pot right away. I called. He showed AdJd for a nut-flush draw. The turn and river did nothing to help him and I doubled up. BOOYA!!!!
Not two hands later, I get AQo UTG. I raised it to $12. I got two callers, a nerdy looking Jew and a player who was relatively new to the table and seemed overall outclassed and uncomfortable at a real casino. He was anxious to play, and anxious to put on a play. The flop was JK3. It was hardly what I had hoped for. I checked, and the nerdy guy bet 10. Anxious called. I wanted to fold, but I had odds so I called. The turn was a Queen. I checked. Nerd checked too. Anxious bet 10. I had to call. Nerdy called as well. The river was a T. I rivered a straight. Even better, the turn had made a flush draw, which didn't hit. I had the nuts. Now, let's see who I am splitting it with. I bet $25. Nerd folded. Anxious called. He had J3, for two pair on the flop. He slow-played himself to death. The river bet was a bit low by me, but I figured I was chopping anyway. I got mine and immediately stood up. The Nerd looked shocked. "You are leaving after that?" "Yep. I promised my bud that this was my last orbit." I didn't look back. I was up $272...but I wouldn't be up that much for long.
That's it for tonight. Keep an eye out for part 2, which will include my 2nd round of morning poker. Good night!
Ziggy on Online Poker
Friday, December 23, 2005
Last night, I sucked at the tables. Some .20/.40 PL Omaha H/L with Veneno and GCox cost me about $8. In 2/4 on Gaming Club (earning my PSO promotion) I was up $50 and then down $50. At Noble, I played the $10 SNG and was doing well. But a suckout followed by a cointoss spelled disaster. All in all though, I did make a whopping $4 or so from the HU SNG Step Challenge created at O-Poker. The shortcoming of the HU Step Challenge is that you only make significant profits when you got on a big winning streak. Meanwhile, you can consistently lose (at least lose the fee), which all in all makes for a sticky proposition. The good part is, if you think of it like an MTT (where you won't hit every time but when you do, you will hit big) it isn't so bad. And it's downright interesting.
So, there it is. A poor night at the tables. One of those nights where you go to bed thinking "why didn't I quit when I was ahead!" Well I'm not going to let that get me too down, even though I have a sour taste in my mouth. Fortunately, I've also got some good news, which I will get to in my 2nd post of the day. I plan on separating the posts to emphasize the announcement, so bear with me. Hell, it's probably already up, by the time you read this.
Atlantic City, here I come! T-minus 28 hours before I reach Atlantic City. It'll be interesting resolving poker and time with Wifey Kim. I'm a degenerate, true enough, but I know where my priorities are, and if it came down to it, I wouldn't play a lick of poker all weekend if Wifey Kim so desires. Partner in crime Dave Roose will be joining, and if I know him he'll find a way to fit poker in. Lucky for me, Wifey Kim is cool as ice, and I'm sure Roose and I won't have to try too hard to play poker.
Look for the announcement in about...5 minutes.
"Flush me, beautiful."
"What did you say?"
"Flush me, beautiful."
"Friends call me maker, as in Money Maker."
"Jeez, you don't have to laugh at me."
Slow Workday Update
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Because I am very lethargic today (lack of sleep and big holiday luncheon be damned!) I'm going to quickly post some announcements.
First, the Subway strike is over! Hallelujah! I'm going to LI tomorrow and then to AC on Saturday morning, so at least traffic will be a little lighter.
Second, I think we have enough consensus for a blogger/reader SNG on Wednesday next week. Start time will be 9PM EST at PokerStars. Trip, I'm going to ask you to create a private room. If we need a password, let me know what you choose.
The format will be $10 SNG, NLHE, single table. I don't know what happens if we can't fill the table. I need some verification from people on how that works.
I'm thinking about creating a bounty for taking me out or giving a prize to the winner, such as a deck of Copag cards I have lying around. As a matter of fact, hell yeah. Let's make that happen. Copag are top quality cards, so if you win the tourney, on top of everything I'll mail you the deck of cards. AND if you knock me out of the tournament (I'm stealing this from DoubleAs), you get to rename my blog for a week. I'll even make a new banner for it!
So, let me know who is in. Hopefully we can get a full 9.
In the Zone
I had a lovely evening last night. Wifey Kim, aka Trooper Kim, has been getting up at around 5am to get to work thanks to those MTA duesche bags. As a result, the sleep sniper took her out at about 9:45 last night. With the Mrs. out, I decided to sit down for some pokah!
I was hoping to see some of my blogger compadres online, but the only folks were DP and Kipper. DP was watching a live feed from the Bike in CA, in which Phil Laak and Jean Roberte Bellande were going at it. I checked it out for a few, but I wanted to play more than watch. Besides, I had the Borgata Open WPT event on the TV, and was enjoying the final table of all-stars, including Ivey, Negreaneu, Williams, Arieh and some random old skool shlub. Kip was tearing it up at the Party Poker satellites. So, with no SNG partners, the logical choice was to play some 2/4 limit at Gaming Club in pursuit of GC and PSO's promotions.
For the first time in a long while, I was in the zone. I can't even say that I had great cards. It was more that my timing was superb, my hand selection was fantastic and I made the right value bets and folds. When it comes to limit, it is all about getting and saving those extra bets. As a result of my hard work, consisting of playing two 2/4 tables (one 10-person and one 6-person), I ran my GC bankroll from about $150 to $210.
I could feel the cards turn bad and my patience waning, so I closed GC at about 11:15. I still had an itch to play, so I decided to go back to Noble Poker and see if I can run the $4.15 left out of the free $10 they gave me. My strategy was to play using O-Poker' s step-HU challenge, in which, if you win 2 HU matches, you move up to the next $$ amount. I started with a $2 HU and plainly dominated my opponent.
Upon completion, I moved up to a $5 HU because the last time I played on Noble I had played and won a $2 HU (constituting my 2 $2 wins, before moving up to $5). This one started back and forth, but once I got up in chips I never looked back. His loss came when he was all-in with ATo against my ATo preflop. By the river, my Td filled a four-card flush. Somehow when the flop came off with 2 diamonds I already knew that I had this one in the bag.
With a good feeling, I started my 2nd $5 HU SNG. The player was reacting very slow and timed out a couple of times. I was getting annoyed, but when he timed out for longer than a hand, I started auto-raising and stealing his blinds. I normally don't see anything wrong with this, since it was his fault that he was playing with a shitty connection. However, I did feel bad when he started chatting with me: "What the hell is wrong with this room?" "It's working fine for me." "This sucks." It's one thing to steal the blinds of an absentee player. It's a whole other thing to do it while he is frozen and can watch it all happen and even chat. To his credit, he never gave me any shit for blind stealing. To my credit, I kept doing it whenever I could. It went off and on for a while, during which I stole as much as I could. I finally said to the guy, "Trust me when I say that I'd rather be playing poker." I meant it too. Give me a choice between playing poker and hitting the Bet button for 10 minutes, and I'll choose poker...at least at the $5 stakes. For $10 or $20, I'll take the button. Every man has his price, and mine is apparently $10!
I finally put the fucker out of his misery and decided to call it a night. It was about midnight. I wanted to play more, but I also wanted to leave the night on a high note. I am looking forward to playing a $10 HU SNG later. This will constitute my 3rd Step.
Out of the Zone
It's time for everyone's favorite segment. Jordan's F-bomb laden Subway Rant. Today's topic is the NYC Zones. The Zones have been created for taxis to determine how much to charge. If they went by the meter, we'd be spending $10 every block because of traffic wait times. Instead, I've been paying $10 flat for a fare that would normally cost $15 (but take 15 min instead of an hour). Today I found out that I should have been paying $15 a fare according to the chart, so I've been earning a bigger discount from cabs than I got from the MT-fucking-A's dollar off discount.
Now, here is where the F-bombs come in. I get in a cab and tell him to go to 58th Street for work. We take the FDR, a highway that wraps around the city. We get to the 60th Street exit and...it's FUCKING CLOSED! Why? Because of a minor fender-bender! No big deal, right?
So we head to the 96th Street exit, the next one available. I resign myself to the fact that a trip from 96 to 58 will be another 45 minutes. But when we get to 96th, the cabbie starts heading uptown! I'm thinking, what the fuck man. But then I see that he is looping around to go to the FDR South. We get to the entrance and more po-po are there. Now we are told that you can't get onto the FDR without 4 fucking passengers! Fine then, local streets it is, right?
So we get to 96th and Lexington (the street I want to take downtown) and there are more 5-0! Now they tell us that we can't go South on Lex but we can go to 5th Avenue. Fine then, fucker.
We get to 5th Avenue and guess who are there? The ever present police. "You can't enter Manhattan without 4 passengers in the car!" What? What?? WHAT??? I'm stuck at 96th street because of a fucking closed exit ramp and sent outside of the Manhattan Zone!!!! No getting in with more passengers!
It's a good thing I'm a resourceful motherfucker. "Let me out here, cabbie!" I get out pissed. I stomp my way two blocks, from 96th to 94th, and I get into another cab. A cab that's already IN the Manhattan Zone. And I'm off to work. One hour and a fucking half! Fuck the MTA! Fuck the Transit Workers! Fuck the Police (for this at least)! Fuck em all!
"Ortisha? Where you at? I can't hardly see!"
"Damn baby, what'd you do to yo cards?
"Orlando, you like it? It's "nut straight.""
Notes Pay Off & You Decide #24
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
I'm at a 10-person 2/4 limit table. I'm barely paying attention because I'm two-tabling at a 2/4 limit 6 person table. I only have the 10-p open to play top hands and otherwise fold and collect the raked hand point for the PSO and GC bonus. I look up and I'm the BB with Ah7d. One player in EP/MP has raised it up. Everyone else had folded. I look at the EP/MP (I'll call him NH) and immediately recognize his name. I decide to call.
The flop was 5h6d§As. I check. NH bets. I call.
The turn is a Kc. I check. He bets. I call.
The river is a 4s. I check and he checks. He shows KdTd, and I win. So, what do you think?
By the way, my note on this guy, which I only noticed after the hand: "idiot." For reference, I remembered that he was loose at the beginning of the hand.
Should I have folded preflop regardless of the results? Should I have pushed my Aces further? Post a comment!
Damn it! When writing a comment to my last post, I had a thought. I need to play in an SNG with a shit load of bloggers very soon. So, I'm throwing it out there to discuss. I'm busy this weekend (in AC), but maybe we can find a weeknight next week to have a blogger get together. I would suggest PokerStars because of their larger SNGs, but its near impossible to get that coordinated unless we go for a 45 person SNG.
Now, I know that the WWDN tourneys have all bloggers, but I'm talking about something I can definitely commit to and would involve the people I know from this here blog. Non-bloggers are welcome. For some of the newer bloggers, like RiverRun, this might be a fun time to see some mass hijinx.
So, here is my questions, which I EXPECT you to answer in a comment below. Let's see if we can get this going. I'll answer my own questions in RED.
1. Are you interested in playing in a tourney with Bloggers? YES.
2. What site would you prefer? POKERSTARS, UB or FULLTILT
3. What limit would you prefer? $10 to $20
4. What day and time? ANY DAY, as long as there is advanced notice. 9 PM EST start time.
5. Would a nightly MTT do with a much larger field or would you prefer an SNG? MTT will do, because we'll all know which one to enter. In this regard, TITAN or any other site will do.
6. If we do an SNG, how large of a table would you prefer? 20-45 players
Hopefully, a bunch of the HU Challengers will join. I emplore you all to get in on some of this merriment. Off-hand my suggestion is for a freezeout MTT at Titan or another small sight on Wed. Dec. 28th, 2005 at 9pm.
Let's start with an interesting topic in online (or even live) poker. I was chatting yesterday with Veneno and Sir Waffle about live poker. The three of us also played an SNG in which Sir Waffle went the furthest but bubbled out. Sir W has a great track record on these things when I play with him. I have to say that I am duly impressed. But let's get to the thick of it.
I play a psychological game. It works even better live, but I can get it going online too. Last night, Waffle and I were leaning pretty hard on a player named Mr. David. The guy had his pic up as his avatar, something I highly discourage. I started calling him frat boy (ironically, I was a frat boy in my day) and Waffle joined in. I don't remember much in the way of specifics. I just remember that by the time we were done, he was in a defensive mode verbally (verbally = in the chat box) and was clearly annoyed/pissed. We let him stay pissed and moved onto the next guy.
After a while, Mr. David won a big hand off of me. My response: nice hand. He paused a bit and then responded "ty". It's a minor gesture, thanking me. Frankly, saying nice hand is a minor gesture as well. But after that, I could feel the friendliness.
It's like breaking in a new pair of shoes. No, it's like dating. Treat the girl bad, and then when you show the glimmer of kindness, they are all over you. And that's how it is at the tables. Act like an asshole. Attack, attack, attack. And then switch it up. Say, "Just kidding" or just a simple "nh". Enemy becomes friend. He stops playing back at you hard. He starts softening up. You have succeeded. You control the table and the players. Congratulations.
Now, typing this, I think I've made a similar post before. So let's go a step further. This is a great strategy to control players at the table. It works well online, but it works especially well live. Most loyal readers will see a pattern in my casino write-ups. I start off with an enemy at the table, and then we become friends by the end of the session. I think it works for me because at first my loud personality can set some people off. If that player plays better when fired up, I switch it so that suddenly we are compadres insulting a new player or laughing off our past differences. People want to be liked. People want to have a good time. I won't say that I give them that good time, but I do try to keep things entertaining. When people like you at the table you can get away with a lot more. Sometimes, getting them to hate you is the first and quickest step to getting them to love.
So, now that I got some poker stuff out of the way, let's talk about Subway Strike Day 2. It took me over an hour yesterday to get home by cab. The ride usually takes 15 minutes. This morning, I got in a cab, which already held 3 customers, only to discover that the cabbie was going to be all over the city before he gets to my stop. The result, I get out of the cab 16 blocks from my destination. I could use the exercise.
It's about time I sound off on why the MTA has pissed me off so much. Last year, the MTA insisted that they needed to raise fares from $1.50 to $2 per ride in order to cover a budget deficit. They were permitted to raise prices, but afterward there was rumblings of accounting errors that created the deficit. There was no way they were going to roll back the fares, as people had finally, begrudgingly gotten used to it.
Fast forward one year. The MTA is facing a surplus of a billion plus that they MUST SPEND!! Now here is where I get pissed off. FIRST, why the fuck do they have a surplus!!! It' s because I have to spend more money to take the fucking subway. SECOND, why don't they give it to the city? Because their budget next year will be cut if they don't spend the surplus. THIRD, what should they spend it on? I'm bracing myself because I'm ready to kick in the monitor just thinking about the MTA's response.
They spend the fucking surplus on CHEAPER FARES FOR THE FUCKING HOLIDAYS!!! Every weekend since Thanksgiving, the fares have dropped to $1. For Xmas week they drop to $1 for the whole week. Whoop-dee-fucking-doo! I've saved $6!! Meanwhile, the subways are fucking disgusting. They are cutting the token booth jobs thus making it less safe at quieter subway stations AND leaving tourists to fend for themselves. They are instructing token booth clerks to sweep and clean up instead of hiring more staff to keep the subways sanitary. They are refusing wage increases and consequently CAUSING THE FUCKING STRIKE!! I blame the MTA workers too, but the surplus should have been spent on them.
So, my final question is, who benefits from the reduced fares provided by the MTA? The answer: NOONE! Locals get a minor benefit, free or cheaper rides. However, this is short-lived and quite frankly not worth the difficulties we are presently facing due to the subway strike. The tourists, both from far away and from the suburbs, don't get squat either, really. See, the people from out of the area don't realize that fare is usually $2. They just think it's $1 because that's all they know. And if they do know that they are saving $1, who fucking cares. They aren't going to show any extra good will to the MTA or NYC because of a buck! People from nearby but outside of the city are also reaping the benefit of the discount, since the non-commuters are mostly in the city on weekends and holidays to see the fucking tree at Rockefeller Center or do their Xmas shopping!
So, to recap: MTA has tons of money. MTA spends tons of money on short-term goodwill from customers who don't realize they are even saving money. MTA workers get jobs and benefit cuts and more responsibilities but no raises. MTA workers strike. I get pissed.
Killian, you have what you want. Give the people the flop!
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
This hand is brought to you by the wonderful folks at Gaming Club Poker and PSO:
I'm at a 2/4 limit 6-person table in the CO. UTG calls. UTG+1 folds. I call with 3h4h. Button, a smart player, calls. SB folds, which is nuts, pot-odd wise. BB, who is very aggressive, raises (thereby making SB look smart). UTG calls. I call. Button calls.
The flop is Js7h5h. I have an inside straight draw and a baby flush draw. I also have an inside straight flush draw.
BB bets. UTG calls. I call. Button folds.
The turn is the 6h. Well I'll be damned. That there is a straight flush! I best bet. But let's see what they do first. BB bets. Good. UTG raises! What? I call. BB calls.
The river is a Qc. BB checks. UTG checks. I bet $4. BB folds. UTG calls. I win $52.50 with a straight flush.
While you are sitting down with your family to a nice Christmas ham, with the fire roaring in the fire place and the tree lit up for all to enjoy, thinking about all that is good in the world...
While your children wake up extra early to see what Santa Claus has left them under the tinsel-covered tree, with wide-eyes filled with glee...
I'll be gambling until my eyes bleed.
Yes folks, it's almost time for the best family tradition ever -- The Annual Christmas in AC trip!
The trip had its origins about 5 years ago, but before then, it actually had its origin in Thanksgiving, circa 1989. I was a ripe 10, and my mother was in the middle of a fued with her three sisters. Now, my Mother High is always to epitome of reason and her good natured self was undoutedly not at fault for the sister on sister hate. But, nonetheless, she was upset that this year, the sisters would have to split up for the holidays. My paternal grandmother, always the wonderful and generous undercover degenerate, heard about my mother's problem and came up with an ideal solution. "I know what will treat you up! Atlantic City!" And off we went.
For the next three or four years, Thanksgiving in AC was the norm. My brothers and I spent our time playing massive amounts of videogames, both on the Sega Genesis in the room and at the various arcades, which were a staple to any AC casino and the boardwalk. Ah, the boardwalk. I remember one day, I must've been no older than 12, that I entered into one of the arcades and saw a little-known new game by the name of Street Fighter II. Yep, II. I didn't even know there was a I. I must've spent $5 in 25 cent games, but damnit I beat that sucker using my main man Blanka. SFII and I began dating after that. When I see her from time to time, I still get choked up.
There was another time when a bunch of "urban" youths surrounded me, my bros, and my two cousins on bikes on the boardwalk and threatened us in order to get our dough. Thank you old man, who came over to step in the way of a sure-fire pride assassination. Thank you much!
Unfortunately, time heals all wounds, and Mother High and her sisters restarted the holiday gatherings. The turkey sandwich at the Carousel Cafe in Tropicana Hotel was replaced by a real turkey. The dealers and floorpersons were replaced by aunts and uncles. The urban roughnecks replaced by cousins.
Fast forward. I had just finished college at the University at Buffalo. Wifey Kim, then a mere Girlfriend Kim, and I were deciding what to do for the holidays. My family no longer had any set tradition. Her family did the generic Xmas stand-in: Chinese food and a movie.
The idea struck like a light bulb. A-fucking-C. That year it was just Wifey Kim and I. Xmas time in AC is an interesting thing. There are fewer people, but it still feels crowded because most of the restaurants/bars are closed. It almost feels like its late night all of the time because so many places are closed. There is a sea of Jews, geriatrics and Asians everywhere you look. The Christmas decorations add a touch of extra spirit to the already gambling-crazed crowd. It may not sound like it, but it is sheer bliss.
The second year, Platinum and JDub joined us. Apparently, it was a hard sell for either of their women. Wifey Kim, always the trooper, hung tough with the boys. The year after that, Wifey Kim and I went solo again. However, we met up with my parents in AC. They had came to the same conclusion as us. AC was the place to be free, and I got what it takes to rock the mike right, yeah! We met them out at one of AC's local restaurants, Rafici's, way off the boardwalk in some nearby suburb. My parents grew up with Mother and Father Roose, so they were there as well.
Our yearly trip snowballed, and last year consisted of me and wifey Kim, Roose and his girlfriend, and Robbie Hole and his girlfriend. Hole's girl was actually not a member of the tribe (of Israel, if you catch my drift), but Hole, the degenerate that he is, still brought her along and then left Christmas morning to drive 4+ hours to Connecticut to be with her family. The six of us had a chance to bond and know each other a litttle bit better. AC will do that. The High and Roose parents also made the trip, along with Dave's bro Ian, and we all had our usual dinner at Rafici's. This was the location of the famed Mama High tasting incident, in which she looked at our neighbors at another table and said to me, "I want to get a bite of that food." Five minutes later, I saw them hand her a plate. They were complete strangers, but apparently Mother High's friendly demeanor and chatty self (and possibly a little of that Xmas magic) had the table neighbors OFFERING her a bite. She never even had to ask.
This year, Hole and woman will not attend. Apparently, 2 Xmases in AC was not in the cards, and they will be sorely missed. On the upside, my little brother Clam David will attend with his lovely girlfriend. They are a welcome addition to the crew, which also will include parents High and Roose, and Ian and wife.
So, what's the point of all this? I guess for me it is partially just reliving old memories. I'm also psyched up for this weekend, but not for the usual reason. Poker is great, but on these trips it takes a back seat to spending time with friends and family. Sure, we do it at a craps table rather than a dinner table. Sure, we go to the cashier's cage instead of openning presents. But in the end, it's all the same. Christmas is a time to enjoy the company of family. Even I, a tribe member, understand and appreciate that.
So, lots of -EV games with Wifey Kim. Lots of time shooting the shit with friends and family. It's Christmas time and I couldn't be more excited!
I'm eating humble pie today. My prediction that the MTA strike would not occur has been derailed. As of 3AM last night, all Subways and Buses stopped operating. As a result, people are hoofing it to work when possible and are otherwise getting around however possible.
To me, my initial thought was 'Adult Snow Day'! I take the subway to work daily. The walk is about 80 blocks, or 4 miles. It seemed like a no brainer....BUT stupid taxis are still operating. So, I am going in to the office late probably. I have some work that I could do at home, but overall I suppose I should go into the office. Keerist!
Last night I attended an impromptu live game at Robbie Hole's apartment in Queens. At first, it was just Robbie, Randy Hole, Roose and I. We played a $10 winner take all tourney. I placed 2nd. I had a couple of great hands in which I maximized profit. Maximizing the good hands seem to be my specialty. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough. Roose took 1st. More power to him.
J.R. and Scotty showed up and we played a .25/.50 NL cash game with a $20 buy-in. Scotty is an interesting character. He is near twice the age as the other players. He plays for leisure and, while his game has improved overall, at times he reverts to very fishy play. I think he ended up losing 4 buy-ins ($80), maybe 5.
Luckily for me (and Roose, I believe), Scotty is in many ways an open book and wallet. He'll call pre-flop bets with crap. He'll call you down with crap. If he bets pre-flop get out of the way. If he bets at all slow down.
And that was all there was to it. As for JR, he is definitely a better player than Scotty, but he's tight as hell.
So, let's look at the hand that helped me win $55 for the cash game ($45 total profit after the $10 tourney loss):
I held Jh3h UTG. It was late and near time to leave. I decide to just play it, hoping to get lucky. Scotty calls in UTG+1. Roose calls in the cutoff. JR raises to $1.50. Randy calls in the SB. Rob calls in the BB. I feel obliged with implied pot odds and call. Scotty calls. Roose chucks it in.
The flop had two hearts, QT4 or thereabouts. I check. Scotty checks. JR bets $2. Randy raises to $5. Rob begrudgingly calls. I call. Scotty folds. JR thinks it over and pushes all-in for $8 or so more. Randy calls. Rob hesitates and seems to be having a real hard time with this hand. He calls. I call. Everyone is surprised that we have so many players.
The turn is 5h. I've made my flush. Now, I'm a bit worried about an over-flush. That was always on my radar. But now that I had my flush made, it seemed like I only had one move. Randy and Rob check. I push all-in. Randy calls relatively quickly. I pushed all-in with 15.50 and he only had 8.50 left. Rob is trying to decide. After a while, I start goading him. "Hey, if you beat me only you get $7 back" (our side pot). Rob verbalizes, "You are acting like you want me to call, so you don't want me to call..." I'm salivating. Clearly he doesn't have the heart (literally). He finally mucks his hand. Damn! A good decision by him.
I show my flush. Randy never showed his cards. Robbie had top pair, Qs. JR, my real competition in this hand, held AA, with one heart. The river was a blank, and I grab my fat pot.
That's pretty much one of the few hands I recall. Robbie's games are often hazy, and slow to boot. Some of the players are there to socialize more than to play poker. It was tough for me because I didn't want to seem overly excited or anxious to play. There is definitely a social aspect of the game that I love. If I didn't, I'd be playing online and not at Hole's homegame. BUT, and this is a big but, I am there to socialize while playing poker. So when you are UTG and you say, "I really want to play some hands but these cards are horrible" and then start a different conversation without folding, I'm saying something. When you are constantly distracted, I'm saying something. Will any of it help? Temporarily. But overall this is the largest problem facing Hole's game. I don't knock Hole for it though. It isn't him, but rather some of the players, and those are the same players that buy in multiple times, ensuring my $45 win.
That was my 4th winning live poker session in a row. It's nice being on a winning streak at the end of the year. According to my ledger, I am up a little over $850 for the year, not including any online profit that is still online. My goal for the year was to be up $1200, or $100 per month. My theory was that if I could win $100 per month, then this time playing poker was worth it at least somewhat. I mean, $100 a month is a drop in the bucket, but at least it is better than losing AND it is a comfortable sum to win per month for a guy who started with $50 online and played micro games live once every two weeks in January. As you can see, I'm short of that goal, but hopefully I can win $350 in AC this upcoming holiday weekend. Even if I don't play a lick of poker for the rest of the year, I still consider this year a success. With the $450 in BestBuy gift cards (I just got one recently) I received from PSO and VPP this year, I have in a sense "earned" over $1200 in poker. Yep, it wasn't by winning pots entirely, but without poker I'd never have that $450 in gift cards and my TV would've costed a couple of hundo more.
So, there you have it. I'm looking forward to the rest of this year. Things are going well at the tables and at home. Work is super. One of the attorneys just resigned, which oddly makes me the attorney with the most seniority in the firm, aside from the partners. A new attorney starts in January and we are going to replace the resigning attorney, so there will be two new faces soon. This means less of a work load which is also a good thing.
Have a great day everyone.
No other factory in the world mixes its chocolate by suckout. But it's the only way if you want it just... right.
Monday, December 19, 2005
Sometimes, I feel like I have a poker hangover on Mondays. This weekend, I had some success at Genoa, followed by some minor success online. If you haven't read about my Genoa trip, check out the last post. To sum it up, I dance on the grave of those I have vanquished.
But, onto yesterday, when I placed in a 250+ person MTT at Royal Vegas. I am a big fan of Royal Vegas, mainly because their bonus via VPP is very easy to earn. After that, they sent me a free $10 to use at their site, to entice me to return after I left for more Bonus Whoring (more on that later). Soon after, when I was centralizing my poker funds, I found an additional $50 in my Royal Vegas account, provided as a Refer a Friend bonus. Lucky me! I don't know who signed up there, but thank you!
So, I sign up for the 12:10 pm $10 freezeout MTT with GCox. I double up on the first hand with KK, when some yahoo re-raises me all-in with AJo. Gary doubles up as well, when his suited connectors flop a straight flush. An hour later and we are seated at the same table. Veneno railbirded for a bit, and then disappeared. GCox and I were well into the field when he suffered a string of losing hands which I don't presently recall. As soon as he lost he was gone from the comp. I don't blame him one bit. DP railbirded for the remainder of the tourney. I was in great shape when we were near the bubble (30 places paid), but my KK (I think) ran into AJ again, and the AJ hit a J on the flop and a J on the turn. At least I think that was the hand that crippled me. I stuck it out until I was in the money and finally made my move when the timing was right. I still lost, but at least I placed. Yeah for small victories!
After that, I took some time off the comp. I went back a little later to do some bonus clearing on Gaming Club Poker via my PSO promotion. I'll get back to that later. But let's fast forward to late last night. It was 11pm and I decided to fire up the comp one more time. This time, Veneno, DP, Weak Player, Sox Lover and I decided to play an SNG. We played on PokerStars, which was a mistake. Those tables fill up so fast that V got left out. I wish I was left out too.
DP was on my left and catching cards. He also was playing extremely well, and took me for a couple of hands. I busted out in 6th or so when I was on the button with KJ. I called someone's small raise and hit my K on the flop. The player, a big stack, bet small to me. I bet back small expecting and hoping he would re-raise all-in. He did and I called. He had a flush draw and hit it on the river. God damnit! That's poker.
Now, let's do a little discussion about Bonus Whoring. I discovered something very upsetting from Gaming Club. On top of the PSO promotion, I was trying to earn their promo, which I believe is a free $50 after 350 raked hands. I was at 300 raked hands (.25 or more raked, .50/1 limit or higher), when I realized that the counter for the bonus wasn't increasing. After contacting Gaming Club, I was informed that their bonus was only available if the raked hands were at 2/4 or higher. I believe that the other raked hands will count for my PSO promo. So, what is a man to do? Yep. I moved to 2/4. Oh well oh well.
I still hope to get back to Hollywood and finish my bonus there. I was fairly close before I last busted. Then I'd like to finish my bonus at Titan, which is still over $100, released in $10 increments. I love Titan/Noble too, so it'll be nice returning. Noble gave me a free $10, which I lost half of in an HU SNG. Damn you, free money!
AC this weekend. I'm damn excited.
I don't muck him as far as I can throw him.
And with your bad knees you shouldn't be mucking anyone.
4 for 6
Saturday, December 17, 2005
Yep, 4 for 6. That's my record playing at Genoa's tournaments. Today, I entered their 3pm $40+10 NL HE tournament, which included an added $300! The result, a solid 2nd place payday of $100 profit, after I made a deal with the uber-chipleader (he had more than a 3:1 chiplead). It was touch and go, too, after a failed semi-bluff early on that left me with 525 (down from 2000) within 20 minutes of the game's start.
It was an interesting tournament. When it started, there were only 5 players, so only the top place would get paid out. As is Genoa's policy, three players jumped in within the first 3 rounds, raising the pot and the competition. I was able to withstand my short stack and make some great moves to make it to 2nd.
With only 5 players starting, I knew I had to play a little looser than usual. To my left was a guy who looked like Will from Will & Grace, a handsome, well groomed and dressed guy. His look and more importantly his very calm demeanor screamed that he was a player that was not a show-boater.
To his left was a guy who I've played with a number of times. He looks similar to me, with a shaved head and similar figure. He's the type of player to overvalue his good cards that miss the flop. He's also willing to mix it up with crappy cards. In the end, he was shortstacked and lost when he stupidly pushed pre-flop in the cutoff with 67o. Sucker! He was the first of the late players.
To his left was Josh, a guy that really pissed me off. I can't exactly explain it. He was over-confident, a bit of a wise-ass. When I doubled up from 525 (my 66 v. his 33), I said, "back in business." The prick jumped all over that line, "I hope to say 'back in business later'". I shot back, "you can do it. I've been watching you and you aren't completely hopeless." As it turned out, he was. He busted in 5th place. On my sunglasses: "Those glasses are making it impossible to read you." (Wiseass prick!) My response: "Maybe you should get them and I wouldn't have been able to peg you on 33." I took particular glea when he busted out...with 33. Prag!
Following him was the eventual winner, an Aussie named Jordan (hey, two Jordans won), who was actually quite obvious and bad. But, he was getting good cards and the other players were playing stupid against him. God bless them, because I'd rather have him win than Josh.
Next up, the latest-comer of all, Asian dude. Good thing he showed up. It ain't poker without an Asian dude or chick, hopefully with glasses. This won wore them glasses. He was really never a factor in my game. Another donator to the pot.
Next was the owner. I think his name is Billy. He told a story early on about how he busted last time with KK v. AA. Fifteen minutes later, he busted when his KK ran into AA.
Finally, Fat Slob rounded out the table. I tried to keep out of his way, not because of his skillz, but rather, I don't like winning pots off of him...his chips are often covered in bacon grease and smell of cheatos.
So, that was the field. Will & Grace won an early pot off of me when my TJ flopped an inside straight draw. It checked around. I bet on the turn, which gave me a T-high flush draw. He called. The river gave me the flush. I bet big and he called with the 2nd nut flush. Oh well, oh well. He had me the whole was with top-pair anyway.
With only 525 after a couple of blinds, I finally saw 77. I limped, with slightly more than 10x the BB, and Josh pushed all-in. There were a few limpers, so I thought, here is a guy who doesn't want callers. He wants to take it down with an overbet. I pegged him at AJ. But if I wanted to win, I'd have to make a move. I called after everyone else folded. I took down the hand when the turn gave me a full house (626/7/8).
I lost a couple of small hands and was back to 550 UTG, with 50/100 blinds. I was hoping for any Ace to push with the entire orbit. UTG I get JJ. I push all-in and the Asian calls with KT. No K and I doubled up and effectively put him out (he had 75 left). The next hand, the button got messed up, and I was the SB. I didn't complain. Asian went all-in. I called with Q2. Will & Grace called in the BB. Other Jordan (OJ) called as well. The flop was 228. I checked. Will checked. OJ bet 400. I called. Will folded. The turn was another low card. I checked, and OJ checked. The river was a T. I bet 750 (of my 1250 chips). OJ thought and then folded. Asian was upset. His A5 meant he was out. Sucka!
At the end, it was Will, me and OJ. I was the shortstack but doubled up when my AQ hit a 9QK flop with two hearts. I pushed. OJ insta-called with A5h. He missed his flush and I had 4K+ in front of me for the first time of the night.
Will was still well over me in chips. However, he messed up in the SB when his pre-flop raise was called by OJ. The flop was 9JQ. Will bet big. OJ pushed. Will called, as a lot of chips were already in the pot. That said, he should've folded. His K9 lost to OJ's KQ.
OJ and I played 2 or 3 hands, and I was down to 3500 or less. We had bounced around the idea of a deal. I figured $100 was a decent payday. I offered a $150-470 split and he agreed. Overall, if was counted out our chips and did it by proportion, I'd receive less. I could've played for it, and he even suggested that we play for honor. "Sorry, guy, but I play for money, not honor." I was tempted to jump into the cash game, but players had stacks of 400, and my $150 would've been wasted.
I should also note that I played the hammer both times it was dealt to me and won once with a pre-flop bet and once with a flop bet. I showed both times and said, "hammer." Saying hammer is a lot less effective live, but if I don't do it, I just feel empty.
So, there it is. In 6 attempts, I've placed 4 times and bubbled in 3rd place once, with fields ranging from 8 to 18+ players. Not a bad record at all. Love my Genoa.
Take care of yourself, and your poker.