Friday, September 29, 2006
It's amazing how I can manage to dissappoint myself two months in advance. After reviewing the Harrah's Atlantic City WSOP Circuit Event schedule, I found myself scratching my head. I had intended on playing two events, a $300 and a $500 buy-in. I had already set aside Monday through Wednesday on the office calendar as my vacation days, purely coincidentally. When I saw that the WSOP Circuit events would take place between Dec. 9 and 19, I figured I was in great shape to make it work. Sadly, reality set in when I got the final schedule.
Let me make this simple. The series starts on Saturday. My birthday is that Monday. The only $300 events are on Saturday and Sunday, followed by the $500 events on Monday (my birthday), Tuesday, and Wednesday. What does this all mean? Yeah, that's the perplexed part.
You see, to us degenerates, the idea of ditching your spouse for a WSOP Circuit event is not particularly off the wall. Ditching HER birthday is a whole other animal, and would never EVER cross my mind. But birthdays are a tricky proposition. Logically, we could celebrate on the weekend, and I can head up to AC on my birthday (Mon) and play on Tuesday ($500) and maybe Wednesday ($500). Of course, then I wouldn't be with wifey Kim on my birthday, and while I knew that there was something conceptually screwey with that situation, hearing her voice reminded me that it would be, in fact, a STUPID move. Just hearing her semi-resolving in with herself, I went on telephone tilt. If I'm in the game and I think of wifey Kim, I'll get down, and that won't help my game. Not one bit. So, Monday will be spent in NYC with the Misses. So far, so good.
That leaves me with two options. I can go up on Friday and play Saturday ($300) and retun on Sunday. This sounds like a good option, but damnit, I wanted to play a $500. Also, the weekends will have more people than usual there, and I kind of liked the idea of playing mid-week. Also the $300 have 45-minute levels, compared to the 60-minute $500 levels. It may seem like a minor thing, but I want to be able to play MY game, and for that, I need low blinds compared to the stacks.
Option 2 sees me heading to AC on Tuesday. On Wednesday, I'll be playing in the $500. On Thursday, I can potentially make the other $500 event. I'd be heading back on Friday. This, of course, requires more time off from work, but it could be worth it, since (a) I have vacation time, (b) the hotels will be cheaper, and (c) the tournament is more attractive to me.
Shit, it seems like a silly probably, especially 2 months in advance. But I just can't resolve it. I'm perplexed people. If anyone has any advice and/or knowledge regarding these WSOP events, hit me up with a comment or email. Until then, make mine poker!
I've been grinding away my bonus at Dream Poker, but taking my damn sweet time. The bonus, through PokerSourceOnline, does not appear to be difficult to complete. However, I've been favorng short 2/4 Limit sessions, often shorthanded, because practically every hand has a sufficient rake. All that said, there are definitely easier bonuses out there at VegasPokerPro.com and PSO, but I've already completed them. A while ago, I offered up my Bonus Whoring guide to any readers or bloggers who may be interested in running through the PSO and VPP bonuses. The benefit is that you can run up your bankroll a bit faster (PSO), earn free stuff so that your poker has tangible benefits for you or your loved ones without withdrawing money from your bankroll (VPP), or just plain find some new sites with either great software (Poker.com), great fish (Sun Poker), or great varieties of games (NinePoker). One reader wanted to get an iPod. With my advice, he was able to complete over 5 promos in less than 2 months. I've got the easy rooms staked out, and other strategies about clearing faster. I'd post them here, but my original intention was to save the info for another project. That's up in the air, so you may be seeing my bonus whoring guide at some point, but until then, if you are interested, email me at HighOnPokr AT yahoo DOT commoner (don't forget to leave off the last E for +EV!).
So, I was playing 2/4 last night at Dream Poker, and the players were practically giving me their money. It was another one of those situations where winning begets winning (or perhaps my opponents' losing begat more losing). My bullshit detector was on high alert, and I was making some beautiful reads. In one hand, I'm in the BB with J8s and the SB raises preflop when it folds to him. I call. The flop has an Ace and a whole lotta nothing, and my opponent bets. I call. The turn was another Ace, and when my opponent bets, I think, "Okay, I've been calling so far. What could he be thinking? He took the lead, and theres a very good chance that he was continuation betting after the flop. Meanwhile, I'm calling him, so he's got to be somewhat concerned that I have a baby ace or I'm slowplaying him. In limit, there isn't much variety in play since bets are standard amounts. So, if I bet here, its going to look like I had an ace and waited until the big bet on the turn to re-raise. If he has KK he's going to be hard pressed to call. The only thing I fear is an Ace." I then bet, and he folds. It seems simple enough, but it takes cajones to bluff re-raise in Limit.
A while later, another player tries the same trick on me. I'm continuation betting with KJ after a useless flop, and an Ace comes on the turn. When the turn comes and I bet, my opponent re-raises. I think, I've seen this before. I re-raise him back. It's my way of saying, "Listen, fuckface, I have this hand, and you are making a play." He sheepishly folded.
Now, before I get the comments about these donkey plays, put down your Winning Low Limit Poker book and listen to me. I had reads on these players. Sure, in both instances I was putting an unnecessary $4 at risk when I didn't have a hand, but I was willing to take that calculated risk. That's all poker is: calculated risk. It definitely helped that I was playing one table alone in my apartment with no TV playing in the background. I watched my players, took copious notes, and made calculated plays. It felt good, to the tune of $90+.
Of course, later in the night, I went back to play some tournaments. I played in a $20+2 18 person SNG on Stars, working off their most recent reload bonus. I went out 13th after some bad luck and bad play. It was one of the softest tables I'd ever seen, with players playing any 2 and betting out with bottom pair before calling the reraise and every other bet to the river. Consequently, I entered every hand as well. Some would tighten up, and they wouldn't be wrong. But I saw that if I could even hit middle pair, I was good against three or so players. That style of play means a higher variance, and it eventually caught up to me. But in the meanwhile, I had fun.
I also entered a $20+2 PLO8 MTT on Stars. When I signed up 5 minutes before the start, there were 70-90 players in it. By the time it started, there were over 180. This is the one shortcoming about Stars. You can't get into a smaller-sized MTT...unless you go for thier multi-table SNGs. So, I guess they have that going for them. For some reason, though, I'd rather play a $20+2 scheduled MTT with only 17 people on some small site than sit down for a $20+2 multitable SNG with 18 people (or hell, 45) at Stars. Kooky, I know.
This weekend will hopefully afford me an opportunity to excel in one of these large tournaments. Wifey Kim will be out with the gals Saturday afternoon, so that's my prime time. I have a bachelor party Saturday night and brunch with family on Sunday, so really, Saturday is it. Of course, Monday is my 1st Anniversary with wifey Kim, so I'm ecstatic for that. In the game of life, wifey Kim are those magical pocket Aces that always hold up.
Until then, make mine poker.
Upward and Onward
Thursday, September 28, 2006
The march toward the WSOP Circuit events in December at the Harrahs in Atlantic City continues to march forward. After a grueling day of work yesterday, which consisted mostly of traveling and dealing with malcontent and chromosome-short Court clerks, I decided to join the weekly Roose Home Game. I've played there before, but if they play once a week, I may make one game a month, if I'm lucky. The trip out there is a bit of a pain in the ass, but following the $100 win at the 180-person SNG and the $500+ win at Dawn's homegame, I decided to make the trip. There were three other reasons to go, too. Wifey Kim was going to be watching the season finale of Project Runway at her friends apartment (as it turned out, it wasn't the finale), I need more live game practice, and Backer Scotty was going to be there.
The game at Roose's is a bit slow. The room is generally impaired, so action can sometimes slow to a crawl. For the most part, though, you just grin and bear it, since the game, while competitive, is not intended to be a hardcore "LET'S GET IT ON" time poker game. The table was actually quite full at 10 players. The thing about the Roose game, especially when you aren't there weekly, is that the players are so unpredictable. For the most part, the players have gotten exponentially better. I've mentioned Petey here before, but usually in reference to his newbie poker status and underdeveloped game. There are still holes left to be filled (like taking 10 minutes to make a simple fold), but his play overall is miles away from when it started. In one particular hand, he was able to fold an overpair to the flop, correctly guessing that I had a higher overpair. To a seasoned player, such a play is not amazing. It just goes with the ole, "Don't go broke on an overpair" saying. But to see Petey do it was just plain impressive.
I'm used to playing with the same 6 to 8 people at the Roose game, but there were some players that I was less familiar with. I'd played with Eric before, but last night he was just wild. He's the type of player who pushes with 78h preflop when he is barely a shortstack (and sometimes not short at all). On one hand, I like the aggression, especially with 78h as opposed to A7o. But on the other hand, he made the same play with T5h and some other questionable hands. Needless to say, at the next game with Eric, if he's pushing preflop, I'm calling with any Ace or any 20 hand (think blackjack people).
Joe was there, and I hadn't played with him in a long while. He was never one of the better players, but I've seen some big changes. Perhaps the biggest is the way he became a complete poker nut. Apparently, he spends many weekends in Atlantic City at the Hilton, where his highroller buddy has a suite comped regularly. He invited us all down for October 7 weekend, and I at first said that I couldn't make it...until I realized that I could. Wifey Kim will be in Connecticut having a girls' night out with her friends, so why not head to AC? I've been checking out rental car prices, but I have to admit, they all seem damn exhorbitant, like $250+ for Saturday afternoon to Sunday late afternoon. I'd hate to have to travel back to LI (an hour out of the way) and then back to NYC (another hour), but I may just have to do it. Unless, of course, any locals (cough cough I Had Outs cough cough) felt like going to AC on Saturday October 7th. Oh, and any advice on alternative transport like busses and trains would be greatly appreciated, my dear readers.
In the end, I ended up chopping 1st and 2nd place with Scotty, my future backer. Scotty is damn excited for the WSOP and even suggested that we go a bit higher, into the $1000 event. Mmmm...sounds good, sorta. I want about 1/2 of my action, and I don't necessarily want to put $500 on the line in one tourney just yet. But maybe I'll get lucky and they'll be some satellites, similar to the $50 satellites that Surflexus used to get into the $500 event. Of course, backer Scotty wouldn't bat an eye at putting more than 50% in, but I'd rather walk before I run. Who knows though. If the timing isn't right, I might have to play a $1000 event. Poor me.
That's is for now. I look forward to a relaxing night with wifey Kim tonight. Until then, make mine poker!
I'm In the Money
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
A big thanks to Surflexus. He's one of those guys who always seems to win those damn -EV blogger tourneys, so when I heard he was going to play in some WSOP Circuit events in Tunica, I heard opportunity knocking. I've never backed anyone before, but I figured it was worth putting a couple of bucks into Surf. In total, I had 5% of his action. He played a $300 event, but busted out fairly deep. Last night, though, ole Surfy came through. He moneyed in 48th place! Sounds like I'll be getting some of my money back! Thanks also to BTheCloser69 for his great sports betting advice and for giving updates of Surf's action.
Oh, and in case you are wondering, I didn't necessarily need that money. After all, I placed 7th last night in a 180 person SNG on Stars netting over $100 in profit. It's not first place ($1080!), but I feel good about my game!
Until next time, make mine poker!
Turning Crap to Gold
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
I've read a lot of bellyaching posts lately complaining about donkey this or donkey that playing a crappy hand and getting lucky. I can understand where these posts are coming from. Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of the game is accepting losses, especially when you think you played the hand perfectly. However, sometimes it may be too easy to blame it on your opponent's stupidity. Sure, there are donkeys out there. But there are some really solid players who play a different game then the TAG style you've adopted and come to accept from your opponents.
What I'm really talking about is playing crappy hands and turning them into gold. This is actually a topic that I mentioned briefly in my recap of the game at Dawn's apartment last week. To the casual observer, I made some ridiculous plays, calling a 4x the BB raise preflop with J2c or T7s. In fact, I always had a strategy in mind, and I was able to utilize that strategy to get paid off when it counts.
The key to turning crappy cards into gold is all in the selection and timing. Your opponent, ideally, has a deep stack. You need this, because for every 100 times you call with crappy cards, 90 of those times you are going to miss the flop. Out of those 10 times that you hit, only about 5 or less will hit with enough force to actually propel your crap into that golden range. So, its a high variance play, where you will lose a small amount of chips (the preflop bet/raise) often. When you do hit, you want to get paid out by a big stack, otherwise the play lacks the necessary implied value. You also want position, more often then not, so you can take advantage of all the information before you. In a play like this, information is everything, and acting blindly will lead you to winning a small pot with a monster or losing a big pot with rags.
Let's look at two such hands from the I Had Outs game. I was in early position in one hand with J2c. I decided to limp, mostly because I was winning and I wanted to see a cheap flop. I'd easily fold the $1 if I miss, and if I face any real raises preflop, I can let my $1 go there as well. SoxWife, who has good hand selection (i.e., tight-ish), decided to pop it up to $5 total from the SB. The obvious move would be to fold. Who would call $4 with J2c? Here's the thing though. (1) SoxWife likely had a big hand, so if I hit, it'll be hard for her to fold. I put her on TT through AA, and maybe AK. (2) I had position on SoxWife, so I'd know how she was going to act before I acted for the rest of the hand. (3) SoxWife had a decent stack, so if I could get paid off, it'd be worth it. (4) I had SoxWife covered, so I could take all of her chips. Also, I had chips to spare, so the $4 would not break me.
As you may already know, I hit the flop with two-pair. I then turned a fullhouse. I also took her whole stack. I won't go into the betting, per se. It's the setup that mattered.
Similarly, I called a bet from Mary with T7s, another speculative hand. I ended up flopping a flush draw and turning the flush. As it turned out, Mary actually didn't have much (K6o) preflop, but by the river, she hit two pair. My call preflop may have seemed like a donkey move, but she had enough chips to make it worth my while and she hadn't played many hands, so I figured her for a high pair. I believe I bet my flush draw as well. If I did, that's a whole other issue (betting your draws to build a pot and hide your draw when it hits). But they all connect to the same principle: playing crappy cards because if they hit, you can and will win a maximum amount of chips.
So, next time some donkey calls your big bet from MP with 25d and you lose with your pocket Kings after the flop comes down 25Q, don't just label your opponent a donkey. Instead, consider whether that faux donkey is really a shark in donkey's clothing. You just may save your stack next time, and you'll hopefully save your sanity too.
On a wholly unrelated note, things are looking good for Jordan's WSOP Circuit premiere. Surflexus is right now taking his shot at some of the Circuit events in Tunica, and I'll probably make my premiere in December at the WSOP Circuit event at Harrah's in Atlantic City. I have my backer in place, and I'll probably have him back me 50% iun a $500 buy-in event. I'd also like to play in a $300 event, but I don't want to over reach his generosity or my current bankroll. Then again, my birthday is in the middle of the tourney dates (Dec. 9-19), so maybe I can get me some backing from birthday gifts. Who knows! All I know is that I wish Surf well (I have 5% of his action), and I hope that I can make my mark when my time comes.
Until then, make mine poker!
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Probably the most surprising part of my trip to the Bash at the Boathouse occurred before we even hit the road. SoxLover was kind enough to offer me a ride to the Bash, and I was glad to take the offer. SoxWife met me at the door and let me into their apartment. As I made my way to the couch, I heard Sox's voice, "Hey honey, are we going to take the..." I turned my head toward the direction of the voice, and was surprised to see Sox, buck fucking naked. I looked away, but frankly I didn't even have to. The momentary glimpse of full frontal had burned my retina. We'd be halfway to Philly before I could see clearly again.
When we arrived, my roommates TripJax and Poker Wolf were already at the Boathouse. They had come in the night before and had played in a tournament with the rest of the crew along with poker extraordinaire, WPT champion, and host of CardPlayer's The Circuit Podcast , Gavin Smith. I dropped my stuff in the room and met Sox and SoxWife outside (both fully dressed) and we made our way to the Boathouse.
Upon arrival, a charming female hugged Sox hello. She then walked right by me. I caught up with her outside. I could tell by the voice that she could only be Veneno.
After meeting V, I made my way around the bar. I saw Trip right away, and we sat down for a drink (him an Arrogant Bastard Ale, me a Vodka and RedBull...it was going to be a long day/night). Hell, it was barely noon and I was consuming hard alcohol. Not too much later, I found myself doing a shot of SoCo with AlCantHang, himself. What a host!
After drinks, I walked around and met the rest of the crew. It was a large group, but it all was very natural. I bumped into BG and we introduced ourselves. A while back, he and I had an argument (for lack of a better word) regarding some posts. It was refreshing that it was not an issue. In fact, I had a great time playing Chinese Poker with him. I have nothing but respect.
About 20 minutes after arrival, we started up the first Chinese Poker game. The first group was me, BG, Trip and Veneno. I was on fire, and took about $27 from the table ($1 per point). Meanwhile, Sox and Sox Wife had a .25/point game going with Katitude and Drizz (I think). Behind us, F-Train, Gracie, Maudie and probably a few other people were playing poker for a round of drinks. On the outside deck, Speaker, CJ, Gavin Smith, Brandon Schaefer and others were playing in the $1000 buy-in charity tournament.
Meanwhile, the drinks continued to flow. After a long while of Chinese, it was time to get down to the real poker. Sox, SoxWife, slb, Trip, Wolf, Veneno, Kat, Steve, Drizz, and perhaps one or two other people joined us for some .25/.50 NL. Overall, it went rather well. I actually lost $36 or so, but I was having fun the entire time. I had two side bets going, which helped a lot. If the flop was all black, I win $5 from Trip. If it was all red, he wins $5. Meanwhile, if there was a Jack on the flop, Wolf paid me $1. If there was a Queen, he'd get a buck. If there were both it was a push. If it weren't for these side bets, I'd easily be down $50 or more.
Man, I could go over it all, but I'll never do it justice. I even tried to list everyone who was there (all of whom I had an opportunity to chat (or play) with, but then all I would have is a laundry list. Instead, let's check out the highlights:
- Meeting Gavin Smith rocked. I'm not much for celebrity hero worship, but Gavin really is a man of the people. I think out of any of the various forms of media, you can learn the most about a person through talk radio. You get a lot of opportunity to riff, there is no script, and its weekly (or daily). I have to say that the Gavin Smith that you can hear on the Circuit is every bit the Gavin Smith you get in person. What a class act and all round funtime guy. That and he's taught me a lot about small pot poker from the Circuit podcasts. Two thumbs up.
- Having a dial-a-shot with GCox. Trip and I were at the bar, and when we were done with the shot, Trip stumbled off (he'd be sleeping back at the hotel before 11). I looked down at the bar and there was a cell phone...Trip's cell phone. Oddly, I was the one to call G, so I don't even know why Trip had his phone out. When I found him later, I asked him if I could borrow his phone. Boy, I love that look of panic!
- Having a long conversation with Wolf at the bar and hotel. It was a real pleasure.
- Finding Trip's credit card. I was chatting with Joaquin when the bartendress walked up to us. Do you know this guy? She showed us the credit card. "Yep, he's my roommate. I'll get it to him."
- The arrival of Dawn and Karol from I Had Outs. They got in late, and I only learned why later. They were in AC, having made the trip the night before...from Philly...after the Friday night game...and after going to AC on the Thursday before. If there were two people who possibly liked poker too much, it might be the ladies from I Had Outs. If there are two people who I maybe like too much, its them as well. They are some of the most easygoing, fun loving players in the bunch. And I think their degeneracy is a nice companion for my own.
- Putting faces to names. This pretty much covers it all, doesn't it?
Friday, September 22, 2006
Congratulations to the Myriad of Money Finishers at DADI 9: Back in the Saddle, our first foray into HORSE and Full Tilt! We had 43 players willing to compete in a five-game showdown. The ultimate winner: TRAUMAPOKER! Congratulations, Trauma! For his win, he gets an iPod Shuffle from PokerOnAMac.com, as well as the 1st place prize money. Chipper took me out, and so, whoever took Chipper out won a Revenge Bounty. As it turns out, this wasn't the smartest move in a tournament that has Hi/Lo games. So, who took out Chipper? Trauma...I think. Maybe CJ the Luckbox too, according to Trauma last night. And since I get to figure it all out, the prize money was split. Congratulations again to Trauma, and to CJ, whether or not he actually knocked out Chipper!
Second place went to Drizz! For his efforts, he wins 800 VPP Points from VegasPokerPro.com. The VPP Points can be used for a variety of gift certificates and poker-related merchandise. Third place went to CJ (who, apparently, has never Not Moneyed in a Blogger HORSE event), and the Bubble finisher was PatchMaster. They both win 400 VPP Points coming to them.
There was a bounty on VPP_Dave. I don't know who knocked him out, but hopefully we'll get that info soon. If it was more than one person, generally the Hi hand wins. The Trust is withholding the decision pending further review.
For all the winners, please contact me at HighOnPokr AT yahoo DOT commissary to claim your prizes!
Thanks again to VegasPokerPro.com and PokerOnAMac.com, loyal supporters of DADI and the Blogging Community. Thank you also to all who came out and joined us.
It Dawns on Me
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Somewhere in the middle of the .50/1 $100 max NLHE homegame, Dawn made this comment: "I'm glad Jordan won that hand. It's easier for me to take it from him." Dawn's plan seemed like a simple one. Let Jordan accumulate chips and then fleece him for all he has. Part one of her plan went very well. Part two, not so much...
I have been fighting a nasty cold these last couple of days, and work has been so busy that I've felt actually stressed out for the first time in months. (In fact, this post is my two-minute breather, to prepare for the rest of the day). So, when I realized it was time to meet SoxLover and wife and head to Dawn's homegame, I was actually on the fence. I had backed out of Dawn's games a handful of times and only attended once, so I felt somewhat obliged to go (not by Dawn, but by my own standards to which I hold myself). The game had changed from a $50 max to a $100 max, which concerned me a bit, but I decided to bite the bullet.
Before we entered Dawn's building in Brooklyn, Sox, SoxWife and I headed to a corner deli. I wasn't drinking, but I did pick out three $1 scratch off Lotto cards. I fanned them for my two chauffers. "Take one, for the ride." They both took their selections.
Scratch-offs are pretty normal for me. I don't get them more than maybe once every two or three months at most, but they make a fine impulse buy. In fact, one of wifey Kim and my traditions is to give her grandfather lotto cards as a birthday gift. If he's turning 80, we buy him $80 worth of cards ($1, $2, and even $5 and $10 amounts). One year, he ended up winning over $150. When he was done scratching, the dinner table was covered in the scratch-off shavings. But I digress.
To my delight, Sox and SoxWife were newbies to this absurd form of gambling. To their delight, Sox won $2 immediately. Ever the kind gentleman, he handed me back the $1 and kept the $1 profit. SoxWife took a bit longer, but sure enough, she picked a winner also, for another $2. She, too, redonated to me, keeping the $1 profit. I, on the other hand, lost....twice. I can't help but roll over a little bit of my psuedo-Sox-winnings.
So, basically, I didn't expect much. I was already down $2 before I entered Dawn's apartment. The players are a nice crew. As mentioned, Dawn, Sox and SoxWife were there. Alceste was there as well with his work underling, a friendly chap named Brian. Brad from Ship It Fish was there. He was clearly taking the game very seriously, and I heard that he played a lot of hands. What I saw pretty much confirmed the rumors. Whatever the case, I knew he wasn't just playing for the hell of it, so I kept him on my watch list. Mary was there as well. She's been friendly in the few occassions that we've met, and I regard her as a steady, tight player. That essentially rounded out our 8 person table. When the action got started we all had $100.
I was planning on playing fairly tight, since I respected so many of the players (and have a reputation as an action player). I got into my first hand in the BB with A9s. I limped, but Alceste, on my immediate left, raised the blinds to somewhere between 3 and 5. There were more than a few callers, so I called as well. The flop was 9-high. When it checked to me, I bet 20, which I think was about pot. Only Alceste calls, and my warning light started to blink. The next card was another 9, and the warning light stopped. I was now in extraction mode. I knew Alceste had a decent hand. I assumed he was on an overpair, like TT or JJ, but he may've been on an under pair to the 9s (probably in the pocket, but not a set), and thought I was just trying to bully with my flop bet in position. When he checked to me, I decided to look weak with another $20 bet. Keep in mind, that is a full 1/5 of our starting stacks, so it wasn't a weak bet, but it did appear weak since I bet the same amount on the flop. He called. The river was a blank undercard. I thought for a bit and bet $35 or $40. He called and I took down the hand.
Not too long later, I had KQs and when there were three limpers in the pot, I decided to bump it up to $5. They all called. The flop was T7x with two spades. I bet out $15, and Brian re-raised me $15 on top. The turn was a blank. I believe Brain led out with a bet, and I called. The river was another blank, perhaps a Jack, and Brian checked. He had been playing tight, so I figured that I could muscle him out of the hand. I bet $50, the largest bet of the night so far. Foolish me, he only had $29 behind, and he had to call. All my profit was gone when he showed that he had hit the Ten on the flop. I shipped it and sat dumbfounded.
I sat shellshocked for a bit, damning myself, but decided, after mentally sitting out a few hands, to get back into the game. I held 27o and decided to raise to $10. I got one caller...Dawn. The flop was K66 and Dawn was first to act. She mucked immediately. Dawn, Dawn, Dawn. Never voluntarily fold when there is no bet to you. Truth be told, I would've bet anyway, but you just made it so easy.
A little while later (truthfully, the order and timing might be off), I had Jc2c in early position. I was really enjoying suited cards, so I limped. There were a couple of more limpers, including Dawn, and SoxWife suddenly popped it up to $5. This told me that she probably had good cards. She had been relatively quiet and SoxWife has good hand selection. She also thinks that I'm a maniac. So I called, hoping to hit it or quit it. Of course, Dawn called too.
The flop was J2x, all diamonds. I had two-pair, but they didn't do much for me. SoxWife bet $10, and I decided to raise to $20. Dawn called, as did SoxWife.
The next card was a Jack, and I suddenly had a well-hidden fullhouse. SoxWife bet $50 and I pondered for a moment. There is a rule of thumb about getting the other player all-in before they miss their draw or before the scare card comes. With that in mind, I saw that SoxWife had probably $60-100 more in front of her. All I knew was that I had her well covered (okay, now I'm sure my order of hands is off). I said, "All-in." Dawn folded, and SoxWife called. She flipped up AA. The river was a Jack. I hit quads. Booya! Up some decent money.
Another fine hand saw me with T8s. I believe I limped in early position agian, and Mary in one of the blinds bumped it up to $3 or so. I called. The flop was a non-threatening combination of lower cards with two spades. I believe that Mary raised something like $7-12, which was about pot, and I was the only caller. The turn brought the flush. I don't remember what happened here. I think she bet and I raised a small amount. Maybe she bet and I flat called. Whatever the case, the river was a King, and she bet out. I raised back and she went all-in. I called and announced the flush. She had rivered 2-pair. Another one rebuys.
I had an exceptional hand against Brad from ShipItFish. He and I weren't in many hands together up until this point, and I held 55 in EP when I decided to raise to $3. He and SoxLover called. The flop was 743, with two spades. I bet out 8.50, which was slightly less than pot. Brad raised to $20 total, and Sox folded. I thought for a bit. $11.50 wasn't much, considering my stack, but if I called, I'd have no information about his holdings. I tried to work through the possibilities and the two greatest were TPTK (A7) or a spade flush draw. It took me a while to decide, but I ultimately raised him $40 on top. If he was going to call, he'd be pushing all-in too, for an addition $60 or more. I knew I could fold to that re-raise with confidence that he had me beat. He took a long time, but finally folded 99 face-up. I showed my 5s and raked in my pot. Brad reasoned that I had not re-raised anyone yet, preferring to fold or call. He was pleased that he got me to show, but I was just as pleased to see what he folded. And onto the next hand...
This is probably my largest money-maker of the night. I held AKd, and I was playing the role of too loose card rack. I decided to pop it up preflop, as per usual. This time, I think I bet $5. Brian and Dawn called. The flop was Kxx with two diamonds. I had TPTK with the nut flush draw. I had to bet. $15, about the pot. Brian considered and then raised to $30. Out of nowhere, Dawn says all-in. She had about $69 total. I matched her bet, and then Brian went all-in. He was a tighter player, and I was concerned, but I knew I could at least outdraw him with the flush and there was already so much money in the pot. I called. I was nervous as fuck, and Alceste and Brain went about separating his stack in preparation of the side pots. Fuck that. "Can we just run the cards? I don't mean to be a jerk, but if I win, we don't need to count anything out." The turn was a blank. The river was a diamond. I took it down. Brian had AA. Dawn had an inside flush draw. I had a pile of chips.
Those constituted all of my significant hands. When we left, I was up $545. Sure, I was lucky. But I also was able to maximize my big hands, and play with cunning.
Next up is the Bash this weekend. I have a bad cold which will make drinking miserable, but I'm a trooper damnit! Until then, make mine Poker!
The day is nigh! DADI 9 is upon us! Congratulations to On_THG, the winner of the DADI banner contest. Thanks to Chipper and SlimeFace for thier entries as well. On_THG has won a freeroll into the DADI event. THG, the money has been transfered.
Speaking of transfers, Iakaris is also freerolling tonight, after he took me out in the Mookie charity event for Tanner. Make good use of it Iak.
Those lovely folks at VegasPokerPro.com have donated 2000 VPP Points, good for gift certificates, poker chips and a whole lot more at the VPP Store. 800 Points go to Second Place . 400 Points go to Third Place and the Money Bubble, as well as whoever knocks out VPP_Dave. If VPP_Dave isn't there tonight, his 400 Point Bounty will be awarded to Fourth Place. Thanks again VPP!
PokerOnAMac.com, home of the Blogger iPod Freeroll, is also donating to the cause. Take First Place, and not only do you win some sweet sweet cash, but you get yourself an iPod Shuffle! Thanks PokerOnAMac.com!
I played some live poker last night at Dawn's place. I'd love to share the juicy details, but I'm busy then a fat kid at a pie eating contest, so it'll have to wait. I will say this though. I was nervous to start, but ended up winning $545 at a .50/1 NL table. A little bit of luck, and a little bit of maximizing my draws and big hands. More to come on that later...
Until then, Make Mine DADI!
Coming Soon: WWdn: The HighOnPoker Invitational
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Booya! Coming straight out of Compton, a crazy mother father named High on Poker, from the gang named White Boys with Attitude!
Don't forget about signing up for DADI 9 at Full Tilt. The game takes place tomorrow. And as usual, there will be prizes donated from VegasPokerPro.com and PokerOnAMac.com, because DADI loves to bring you the best in poker freebies.
Speaking of blogger tournaments, after winning $30 at .25/.50 NL at Dream Poker (working on a PSO promotion), I decided to play in the WWdn tournament. I rarely play the WWdn because of the early 8:30 pm start time, but it just felt right.
I spent most of the tournament at a table with Wil Wheaton himself. Mowenumdown was there as well, and other bloggers like WeakPlayer, Surflexus, and Iakaris joined our table at some point or another. If you bust Wil Wheaton, the next week's tournament is named after you. I didn't think much of this until I saw that he was shortstacked. Then my ego flared and I decided to do whatever I could to get the next WWdn to have the HoP moniker.
As for the tournament, I chipped up early with my usual aggression, but dropped to 900 or so when I decided to bluff a flush draw. When the flush hit on the turn, I bet out and was called. On the river, another flush card came. I didn't have one, but I decided to fake it anyway, hoping that my opposition didn't have one either. I was wrong. He called with a suited 9, and I looked foolish. From there, I tightened up somewhat, but continued my new trend of limping with a wide range of hands when I think I can see a cheap flop. I worked my way back up to a nice stack and then had my first chance to bust Wheaton. I had Q9c and limped from EP. He was in the BB and pushed. I called, and he showed AK. The flop had a King and a 9, but he kept the lead through the river and doubled up. Wil made a nice comeback, amassing 2500 or so chips (to my 3500 or so) when I finally busted him. I had QTs in EP and limped in. He was in one of the blinds and we saw a flop. It was As9sX. He bet out and I flat called with my flush draw. On the turn, the Ks came, so I had the nut flush. Wil checked to me, and I decided to do exactly what I did in my bluffing-flush hand earlier (when I dropped to 900). I bet out, about half of Wil's stack. He obligingly pushed. I called, and he showed JsXs, for the second nut-flush. As it turned out, my clever play was unnecessary. I simply got lucky.
So, next week we have the WWdn: HighOnPoker Invitational. I also took 7th place out of 69 players in the WWdn this week, for about a $25 profit. All-in-all a good night.
Tonight, I'm off to play poker at Dawn's place. It's a .50/1 NL game with a $100 max buy-in, but with my recent mood, I'm going to be looking to go for two buy-ins at most. Truth be told, I'd do only one buy-in, but I think most of us can agree that that attitude is -EV. That's all for now. Until next time, make mine poker.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
This one is for the Tripwife! Oh, and NO POKER CONTENT. Sorry, boys and girls.
When I arrived at Court last Thursday, I was way ahead of schedule. Being the only associate admitted to practice in New Jersey meant that I had my own niche in the firm. If there was an insignificant NJ court appearance that did not warrant a partner, I was there, usually with a big grin on. I don't mind NJ Courts. Compared to New York, its all clothe napkins at dinner time and "How do you do?" to your fellow neighbor. New York is a box of tissues substituted for napkins and a "Get the fuck out of my way!"
This was my first time to Essex County, a name that conjured up a 2 hour car drive. In reality, Essex County actually contained Newark, NJ, an urban blight, and the Courthouse was right smack-dab in the middle of it all. Newark was also a short 25 minute train ride from the city, but to be careful, I left extra early. After all, I'd never been there before, not that anything was going to go wrong.
The train ride was smooth, and when I stepped out into the big bad streets of Newark, I immediately headed to the row of cabs. The first one was driven by a dark-skinned Nigerian. I eased into the back seat and told him my destination, "The courthouse, please." "dugiubuduguba," he responded. "Excuse me?" His words started to make the semblence of a conversation. "dugubuga Boulevard? dugabuga." "Um, yes, Martin Luther King Blvd side, please."
As we rolled out, I began to sweat in my suit. I reached for the window button, but nothing happened. "Excuse me, can you please unlock the window?" "dugabuga," he mumbled. I guess it meant that the windows were broken.
The sweat was pouring pretty heavily, but according to my mini-Yahoo map, I was more than halfway there. I looked at the cab meter and readied my money. The meter read...vacant. "Are you going to start the meter?" "dugabroken." Did anything work in this cab?
When we arrived, my Nigerian friend got me near the Courthouse. NEAR, not at, NEAR. Happy to exit the sweltering heat, I told him it was fine. I asked about the price. "Seven dollars." Money, apparently, is the same in any language. I did the math in my head. The sign outside the cab said $1.55, plus some amount around .50 or .40 for every 1/4 or 1/5 of a mile. I wasn't sure which. Whatever the case, my Yahoo map said we were going about 1 mile. But I wanted to get the fuck out of there. I handed him a twenty and didn't mention anything about his tip. He handed me back twelve. "Hold on, buddy. I want the full change." He spread his twenties for me to see. No more change. Is this ok? "You know you are fucking ripping me off." I slammed the door, exasperated, but ultimately accepting of the fact that the firm would be reimbursing me $8 for a $2.50 ride.
I was near the Courthouse, but not AT the Courthouse. I got on the phone and called my office. Randy, a secretary with more attitude than a pack of Garbage Pail Kids, picked up the line. She confirmed the address of the Court, 470 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., and gave me the room number for the Judge.
Now, this may raise some eyebrows in the blogo-room, but I'll just throw it out there: If you are on a street called Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., be careful. You are usually in a bad neighborhood. This was no exception. There were also about 5 municipal buildings, each about a city block long. None of them had clear signs. I was smack dab in the middle, and I decided that I'd spend my 15 minutes before the conference, perusing the area to figure out which one was 470. None had numbers. From my vantage, I could see that one building was some public records building. The first building in the lot seemed like a good place to start, so I trekked over. The signs outside talking about Justice seemed to suggest it was the Court building. I walked up the large steps to the front door. There was no handle. I walked around the building, passing 6 entrances that were not entrances. Finally, in the back, I saw a sign, "Old Court Building. New Court Building across the street."
Shit, I thought. Across the street meant nothing to me. Across the street were the four other nameless municipal buildings. But I was short on time, so I hit the pavement. By now, I had a nice coating of sweat on me. I passed the public records building and saw the next building over. It looked like just the place. Much like the Old Courthouse, though, the entrances were all non-entrances. Finally, I found the entrance.
The New Courthouse didn't look new from what I could see. I was apparently entering the building at basement level...the unfinished basement level. A court officer sat with his feet up and his hat low over the brim of his eyes. I rudely interrupted him by placing my bag on the metal detector conveyor belt. I entered the elevators and hit my destination floor. When the doors opened, I was in a short hallway. A very short hallway. My room, 400, was on one side of the hallway. The only other room, 401, was across the way.
As I confidently entered 400, I looked around. I was in an empty room, with a huge sign "Jury Room". This was not my location. Nervous, I entered 401. There were three court employees pretending to work. I asked one about my judge. "He's in the Old Courthouse." Shit. My watch told me I had 5 minutes. I took off running.
By the time I got to the Old Courthouse (again), I was exhausted and drenched. I made my way to the elevators...until I realized that I couldn't find them. There was noone around to ask. I bounded up a flight of stairs, a looooong flight of stairs. Apparently, courtrooms require 30 foot ceilings. Once on the second floor, I found a Court Officer entering the john. "Do you know where the elevators are?" He looked around confused. "There....no wait, there. Yeah, I think there." His second guess was correct. I hit the button and waited patiently. Tired, wet, and patiently.
The Fourth floor looked right. There were a slew of attorneys waiting outside the room. I reached for the door and it openned. My watch told me that I was barely on time. Once inside, I went to the Court Clerk. She seemed a friendly sort. I'm always better with the ladies.
"I'm here for the L________ case." "Okay....I'm not seeing it here. Have a seat and I'll get back to you. We have a lot on today." I sat down and looked around. There were a half-dozen or more older attorneys chatting like they were old buddies. I sat alone, trying to compose myself and metally prepare for the judge.
"L______!" I heard my case called out. "Plaintiff!" I responded. No one else answered. "You can come here," the clerk called. Even without the other parties? Okay.
And then I was meeting the Judge.
"I'm surprised to see you here today." The judge stated matter-of-factly.
"Weren't we supposed to have a conference at 4?"
"Yes," he replied, "but a telephone conference."
My body deflated like a leaky balloon. "Maybe I should step outside and call you then, your honor." I tried to make light of the subject.
"Did you get the notice?" he handed me a sheet of paper.
"I suppose my office must have to think we had a conference. I was just told that I had to be here."
"Well, you were supposed to confirm it yesterday with the Court and the other parties."
I gave a blank stare.
"I'll put it over to next week. Follow the instructions, counselor."
"Yes sir. Thank you." I exited.
My first stop was the bathroom. I tossed my suit coat and tie into my bag. I splashed some water on my face.
My boss told me to cab it to the Court and back. He has a car though, and failed to realize that you couldn't just hail a cab in Newark. I didn't care anymore anyway. I started to walk.
To most people in my firm, the streets may have seemed dangerous. It was a low income neighborhood. To me, the breeze was blowing and I made my leisurely trek. My iPod kept me company.
Three hours wasted for nothing. I called into my office to find out how we had fucked up so bad. The Court never sent the notice. We had been told through another service about a Conference, without any details. Over the last week, I spent my time trying to get a new notice from the Court. I got it today, after the conference was ultimately waived by the defendants. It just goes to show, sometimes all the work in the world ain't worth shit unless you know where you are going and what you are doing.
We've got a new entry into the DADI Banner Contest. This one is from Res Ipsa Poker. Thanks for the time and effort that I'm sure this took. Solid job.
And remember, tomorrow night, I decide which banner wins the contest and a freeroll into DADI 9. If you have a small bankroll or just wanna play for free, here's your chance. Until then, make mine poker!
DADI is Going Full Tilt
Monday, September 18, 2006
This weekend, I had the pleasure of attending my grandparents' 60th Anniversary. Like most Jewish NY grandparents, mine live in the Retirement Community known as Florida. As a result, wifey Kim and I met at the train station on Friday after work to catch a train to the airport.
We flew Jet Blue, an airline that I know very well. There are a lot of great things about ole Blue. The TV in each seat with Direct TV is number 1. Nothing makes a flight a little easier than watching the Jets almost beat New England (on our Sunday return flight). Blue also doesn't cancel flights, but that cuts both ways. It was rainy in NY, so by the time the 9:50 plane took off on Friday, it was 1 am.
I'm not a particular fan of Florida. If it weren't for my family there and Disney World (ah, nostalgia), I'd probably never return. As long as a restaurant has an early bird special under $10, it will stay open, regardless of their pitiful excuse for an entree. It's really the Second Chance State, a place where people move after they failed elsewhere (excluding, of course, my family and all the elderly).
Whatever the case, it was nice to get out of NY, even if only for a few days of family gatherings and manuevering.
As a result of the trip, I didn't play a scratch of poker for the entire weekend. In fact, I skipped poker on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, which may seem like a minor detail, but is actually my longest stint without poker for some time. Its funny, though. I didn't miss it at all.
It wasn't so much the lack of bad beats, but rather, outside of my usual routine, things like poker don't factor in much. I am a creature of habit, and the nightly grind has become just that: habit. I still love the game, but I'm glad to have a few days off to gain some perspective.
Mind you, you can take the poker away from the boy, but you can't take the boy away from the poker. As per usual, I did sometimes find myself gravitating to poker in my head here and there. When I called my grandmother on Friday before the flight, we caught up a bit. She asked me, "And how is the poker?" This is where I get it from, of course. She was the one who suggested my family go to AC for Thanksgiving when I was a kid, after my mother had a falling out with her sisters. This was also the woman who taught me the finer points of blackjack and other card games, and fed my addiction for all things gaming when I was just a wee boy. She is also one of the few people in my family (only person, perhaps?) who affirmatively asks me about poker. The rest ask how things are going, and I unintentionally catch myself giving them an update of my recent poker pursuits.
Saturday, at a family gathering, I chatted lightly with my cousin Zach. I saw a photo of him playing chess and challenged him to a game. I don't know how the conversation turned to poker (although I'm sure its my fault), but we also discussed the game lightly. Zach is a newer player and has yet to deposit online. I hadn't seen Zach in some time, so I was going to suggest he get Instant Bankroll from Party or Absolute, until I remembered to ask him his age first. 17. I told him to email me on his 18th birthday and I'd hook him up. The kid is smart and competitive, so I'm sure he'll do just find, but I can't help but feel like the drug pusher offering the first hit for free... Of course, you can't win money smoking crack.
Aside from that conversation, the rest of my poker conversations happened inside of my head. When I got back to NY last night, I looked at my laptop with disdain. "Poker Temptress, you shall wait!" I had decided to abstain for at least one night longer. Tonight, I may just return, but part of me is challenging myself to hold off. One day at a time, I suppose.
No matter what, though, I do expect to be playing poker on Wednesday night. I received another invite from Dawn of I Had Outs, one of the lesser pimped but more interesting blogs out there. The girls from I Had Outs have a flare for humor (with a sprinkling of mind-boggling in-jokes), but balance it all with a great variety of commentary about poker.
It will be nice playing live again. I'm getting butterflies just thinking about it. It's such a different beast than online, and really just seems more...pure. Of course, that's a rather foolish statement to make. It's like saying that tennis is more pure than ping pong, but the truth is that both are pure forms of entertainment and gaming. They just have different parameters to work with. Whatever the case, I'm coming to the realization that my amazing poker career may have to involve more live games. Online is great fun, but I cannot escape the distractions, both inside of my head and out. This isn't in reaction to any particular game or hand. It's just a blatant reality for me. Online poker is a lot harder than it looks. The hardest part of all is consistency. Live poker might not be any easier, but its at least something to think about.
That's all for now. Keep on keeping on. Until then, make mine poker!
Same great tournament, same great prizes (compliments of VegasPokerPro.com and PokerOnAMac.com), but brand new digs. DADI 9: Back in the Saddle is moving to Full Tilt, and I don't care what the banner says (banner to be changed tonight).
Go to the DADI Poker Blog for details on the prizes to be provided by VegasPokerPro.com and PokerOnAMac.com, the Banner Contest, and the Revenge Bounty. Further details on the Banner Contest are listed HERE.
I'm busy as all hell, so until next time, make mine poker!
Congress Cracks Poker...
Friday, September 15, 2006
...and I don't care.
Why's that? Because, ladies and gentlemen, they ain't going to get me. I see a lot of chatter about how the Senate is going to sneak the anti-Internet gambling bill in with some wartime bill, a common occurrence in our corrupt, grab-when-you-can political system. But, frankly, I'm not breaking a sweat. And here is why:
Let's assume that the law does pass. I'm not even going to sweat reading through it. I'm just going to make broad generalization, and you can spit some hate at me about my ignorance if you so choose. But know that I have researched prior anti-Internet gambling law.
Remember Napster? Raise your hand if you used Napster. Ok. Now, raise your hand if you served jail time because of Napster. "But Jordan," you say, "didn't Napster get shut down by the government?" Yes, they did. But Kazaa became the new place to go, as did Morphius and a dozen other entities.
Now, you may be saying that this situation is different. It is, to a slight extent. But in many ways, its VERY similar. The government also shut down BetonSports.com, but what happened next? Mansion offers a $1k free bet as a promotion! There are still dozens on online betting sites in existence. The law won't change that.
Some sites no longer allow players from the US. But so freakin' what? Most of the sites are UK and Europe-based sites. In the UK, they actually have some sites that are licensed by the government. I would not be surprised if those are the same sites that are turning away Americans. But the major US-based sites (and by "based" I mean customer base) are in small island nations. These sites are not fearful of local retribution. In fact, they are probably one of the (if not the) largest source of funds coming into these nations.
Who should be worried? My first guess is James Woods. Then, maybe someone like Dr. Pauly. Perhaps some other bloggers as well. Probably a teenager, and maybe a really old man or woman. Why these people? Because they would make the news. Woods is an actor and is affiliated with an online poker site. Slap the cuffs on him and you're going to make all the rags and most of the legitimate news programs. Someone like Pauly, who gets millions of hits during the WSOP, would make niche headlines, not to mention be the talk of the blogosphere for a while. In fact, all bloggers should be somewhat wary, since we are essentially outting ourselves AND serving as a media outlet. The young kid and the old man are also meant for media attention. During the Napster lawsuits, a 12-year-old girl was sued. Why? Because everyone will see it and say, "damn, they mean business." They also sued an old man who didn't even know that his grandson had downloaded Napster onto his computer. Did they expect to win the case against the fogie? No. They meant to instill fear.
So, I guess some people should be concerned, but we are all gamblers. The chance of you being picked is minor at best. The chance of a major site shutting down is even more minor. You may have problems with some of the smaller sites or UK/European sites, so I would suggest keeping your dough with the major sites. But overall, the legislation is not going to change your world.
Am I ignorant? Maybe. But until they make online poker illegal and raid millions of homes nation-wide, make mine poker!
I'm Bringing Sexy Back
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Hey yall! Skip to my lew, and shiver me timbers, cause its another DADI, mother fathers! It's less than a week, so sign up now because it's first come all served. Here's a pretty picture alls about it!
Hey, what's your favorite part about July 4th? That's right, it's the smug feeling you get when you think that we Americans kicked some British colonial ass! Want your shot?
General Little Acorn Man has been rallying his fellow foreigners and it's time to remind them why the USA is the sole remaining super power in the solar system, Pluto included, mother fuckers. I need 8 more of the most badass, backwoods American poker players in the known blogosphere to send these pinko colonizing fascists back to the stinkin' cesspool they call the Rest of the World.
The game will held on a Sunday late afternoon/early evening, and will consist of three 18 person tournaments (9 of Us, 9 of them).
So who's coming with me? (Canadians need not apply).
It's been a bit difficult to blog lately. Two nights ago, I lost $220 or so due to some donkalicious play at the very moment I decided to take a shot at $200 max No Limit. Sometimes I wonder if I am destined to be a tournament player. At least in tournaments, when I make a stupid move my losses are capped. Sure you can double up quick and win $200 in a cash game, whereas it may be a lot more difficult to make the same scratch in a tournament. But the exposure in a tournament is usually a lot less given a $200 prize.
That said, I continued to work off my PokerSourceOnline bonus at Dream Poker, and won over $70 yesterday. This was all before 10pm, but after I stopped, I never went back. I was happy to lock in a profit, and I didn't want anything to mess with that feeling.
When I'm in the mood to play poker, but I'm not in the mood to THINK about poker, I've been playing Chinese Poker at Nine.com, a site that I first started playing through a VegasPokerPro.com promotion. The site allows you to deposit as little as $10, so I essentially deposit $20, which is the minimum to play $1/point Chinese Poker. If I lose any amount and come back later (with less than the minimum buy-in), I move to the less .50/point or .25/point games. Ironically, this was also my system for hold'em when I first started playing. Back in the day, I would allow myself $20 per month, a number I could rationalize as an entertainment expense, akin to a videogame. I was a student at the time, and I heard about Golden Palace Poker from the Howard Stern Show (and the backs of various boxers). Golden had/has a minimum deposit of $20, so I stuck to that amount. I'd play a $5 or even $10 SNG and if I lost, I'd switch to the lower $2 or $1 stakes until I was eventually felted. By the end of the month, I'd be playing .10 SNGs, where the first place gets a whopping $0.45. This was maybe two to two-and-a-half years ago. Now, I'm back to doing it with Chinese Poker.
I've explained the game on this site before, but I really want to direct you all to Nine.com's Chinese Poker Rules page. For anyone who will be at the Bash, I sincerely plan on finding a dark corner table and sitting down with some booze and cards. Chinese Poker is not a betting game. You set your hand up, showdown all at once and then calculate how many points you win. A point can be $.25, $1 or $100. It's up to you. For the bash, I'm thinking the ideal would be to have $1/point, with $20 buy-in. We can keep track on a sheet of paper and then settle up after, so that the fuzz won't be in on it.
Even with the Rules Page, I should probably mention how the game is played here. Each player (up to 4) are dealt 13 cards. The player then sets the cards into 3 hands, called a Front, Middle and Back Hand. The Back Hand consists of 5 cards, and must be the Strongest of the three hands. The Middle Hand is also 5 cards, and must be Weaker than the Back Hand, but Stronger than the Front Hand. The Front Hand consists of 3 cards, and must be the Weakest of all Hands (flushes and straights don't count in the 3-card Front Hand).
Once you set your hands, all players showdown at once. You compare your each of your Hands with each of the other players' Hands, individually. For instance, I'm playing with TripJax, slb and Veneno (all of whom are expected at the Bash). I am dealt Ah Kh Ks Qd Js Ts 9c 8d 8h 8c 7h 2s 2d (I picked these at random). I might set my Back Hand as 88822, for a Full House. My Middle Hand will probably be KQJT9. My Front Hand will then be AK7. After I set the cards, we all show them down. Now, let's assume Trip has an Ace-high flush, a King-high flush, and a pair of tens. We compare Back Hands (my full house to his flush) and I win 1 point. We compare Middle Hands (my straight to his flush) and I lose a point. We then compare the Front Hand and his pair beats my Ace-high. So he wins 1 point from me in total. I then compare with slb. He has AAA33, two pair (7755x), and Q-high, so I lose to his higher full house, but beat his two pair (with my straight) and his Q-high (with my Ace-high). I win two points, and lose one, for a total of one point. Now onto V, who has two pair (9944x), two pair and a pair of Jacks. I win a point because I beat her Back and Middle Hands but lost to the Front. I have +1 for the hand. The problem is, we now have to compare the others, so scoring might be tedious with multiple players. For Slb v. Trip, Trip wins 1 point. Trip v. V, Trip wins 1 point. V v. slb, V wins 1 point. So in total, I win 1 point (1 from slb, 1 from V, -1 to Trip). Trip wins 3 points (one from each player). V loses 1 point (-1 to me and Trip, but +1 from slb). Slb loses 3 points (one to everyone). And repeat...
If that sounds complicated enough, it does get a bit more complicated. In Western Chinese Poker, you get a bonus point for winning a majority of points against each player individually, but I don't usually play Western Chinese. In Eastern, you get bonuses for certain types of hands, such as Four of a Kind in the Back Hand, or placing 3 of a Kind in the Front Hand. But we'll also skip those for the Bash.
What we probably should not skip are the Clean Sweep Hands. If you are dealt one of these, you don't have to set your hand. When showdown occurs, just announce your hand and you win a certain amount. They are in descending order (with points per player in parenthesis): Dragon aka one of each rank (13 pts); 13 Colors aka all red or all black (13 pts); 12 Colors (3 pts); 6 Pairs (3 pts); 3 Flushes (3 pts) and 3 Straights (3 pts). Note that flushes and straights don't count in the Front Hand (3-cards) unless you have 3 Flushes or 3 Straights.
Hopefully, that is enough to chew on. Read up, play some on Nine (preferably through VPP, while you are at it), and meet me at the Bash. Until then, make mine poker!
You Decide #43
Monday, September 11, 2006
Last night was...interesting. I lost in the Hoy when my 88 went up against Iakaris' AQo preflop. Afterword, someone said that it was a tough break, but I just shrugged and said, "It was a cointoss. I'm just glad it went to Iak." That Iak's a good guy and a great writer.
After, I entered a $50+5 six-person SNG on Dream Poker, where I am grinding my PokerSourceOnline bonus. I was out first after two suckouts. The taste of failure was strong, but I didn't let it overwhelm me. When slb was ready to play, we started a 12 person shorthanded (6-players per table) SNG on Stars. These must be my favorite type of SNG, at least lately. As it turned out, I took 1st, replacing my $50+5 loss and a portion of the $22 Hoy buy-in. And all was right in the world.
Let's get into You Decide #43. This was straight out of the Hoy. This hand will really focus on following a read. Let's see what you all think, though.
We were in the second level (15/30 blinds), and I was in the Small Blind with 47h. I had 1565 in chips. Phin City, who I regard as a fairly sophisticated player, was in the Big Blind with 1965. The very last hand, I had folded preflop to a raise by the SB Iakaris (I was the BB). When it folds around to me in the SB with 47h, I decided to limp. Phin, though, min raises from 30 to 60.
Now, I can fold here and lose 30, which is fine. But I decided to call because, (a) it was a small bet and I could afford to lose another 30 if I miss the flop, (b) I have a feeling he is on two high-cards, like KJ, AQ, etc. He has position, and the min bet doesn't tell me much. I don't think he has a monster, but if he is holding AA, I can call 30 and fold even if I hit a 4 or 7 on the flop and face a re-raise. So, I call the small amount, figuring that I had implied odds of getting paid off if I hit.
The flop is a Hammerific 7d 2s Ks. I hit middle pair (with a shitty kicker, but realistically heads-up, the kicker doesn't matter for much). I bet out 60, 1/2 the pot, in order to figure out where I am. Either he has something like KJ and hit the K, or he had two high cards and missed. Maybe he had that high pocket pair, but if he does, I'll know it soon enough. If he has a lower pocket pair, like 99 or even 66, the bet might scare him off. It doesn't, though. He min-raises me, from 60 to 120. Once again, its a small bet, and its worth calling 60, because I still don't believe him 100%, and if he does have it and I turn a good card, I can get a lot out of him.
The turn is an innocuous 6c. I check, and Phin bets 230 into the 360 pot. Now, this is where I start analyzing why he is doing what he is doing. What could he have that would warrant an obvious value bet. If he wanted a call, he'd bet smaller. If he bet too high, it would appear as a bluff and also induce a call. His bet though seemed too-value-betty too me, mostly because my check indicated my weakness. At this point, I'm confident he has an Ace-X, maybe two high cards, but also maybe A8 or something similar. After all, preflop, he min raised from the BB against the SB, so he didn't need much. I call.
The river is a Kh. Its an ideal card for me. Either he has the K, in which case, this extra card didn't help him beat me any more than he already did, or he didn't have the K, in which case it doesn't help him at all. I check, and Phin bets 530 into the 800 or so pot. I call. He shows AQo (Ace high) and I win with 47h (pair of 7s).
Did I just donk my way into this hand? I give my reasons for my actions, but are they enough? Do you see the value in these small gap suited cards, especially against unpaired high cards. If that flop came down A72, how would the hand play differently? I think I could've folded a lot more easily. Thoughts?
Until next time, make mine poker.
I generally shy away from all things 9/11. I think Tommy Gavin from 'Rescue Me' epitomized my stance on the issue when, in Season 2, he knocks over a folding table set up at Ground Zero, from which an accented immigrant is selling 9/11 commemorative t-shirts, baubles and cookies. This shit really happens. In fact, it's happening as I type.
Because of this crass commercialization of 9/11 and the general need by many people to capitalize in some way from the events, I've intentionally shied away from discussing them here. Then I read Mean Gene's post about where he was when the Towers fell. Reading it brought a chill down my spine. Reading posts like that show me that not everyone is capitalizing on the tragedy. Some people just feel it, and they do us all a favor by sharing. Thanks, Gene.
When I woke up on September 11, 2001, I flicked on the radio to Howard Stern. I had to get my ass in gear for law school, and Howard always accompanied my preparation. At the present, he was discussing something innocuous, like Anna Nicole Smith or Pamela Anderson, but then producer Gary came into the studio and announced the news. At first, I though it was some sort of joke, so I turned on the television. There it was, one tower with a gaping hole in it. I immediately thought it was terrorism. The news announced that it was likely a radar error, and I was relieved for the 2 minutes before I witnessed the second plane collide with the buildings. I sat down and stopped getting dressed. I wasn't going to school.
That night, I played host to my aunt and her co-worker. They were both stranded in the City after the Towers collapsed. The trains weren't running, the roads were in gridlock. No one wanted to be in NYC, and I could understand why. I figured that we were only at the start of something. Anyone who could arrange to hijack two planes and fly them into the WTC would be smart enough to have a phase 2. I pictured planes flying into buildings across the US. I pictured car bombs exploding in parking lots under government buildings in the mid-west, and lone gunmen shooting up movie theatres in California. Neither happened.
My apartment at the time was at 34th Street. It was about 3 miles from Ground Zero, by a rough estimate, but to people unfamiliar with the city it was in NYC, and they thought I was right in the middle of it. I wasn't. I was safe in an apartment building. I could see the plumes of smoke from my rooftop, but little else on that day. I received calls from family, friends, and distant acquaintances. The distant acquaintances, I despised. I couldn't help but feel like these people just wanted to feel connected somehow, as they searched their mental contact list to find anyone in the NYC area.
Okay, I sound bitter. And I was. But let me offer some further insight into what it really was like in NYC after 9/11.
My buddy Platinum was working for CBS News at the time. On 9/13, after a 72 hour shift, we agreed to meet for food by his office on 62nd street. It was probably a good 5 miles from Ground Zero. On my walk over, I noticed an eerie silence in the City. There were no cars. There were no people. Those who I did see had the same shell-shocked look on their faces. This was after 2 days of fear. If you've ever seen Vanilla Sky, there is a scene in which everyone disappears from Manhattan and Tom Cruise is left spinning in the middle, shocked at the vast emptiness. This was Manhattan on 9/13.
Plat and I found a restaurant that was open. It was a hot day, and the big windows that made up the walls of the restaurant were gaping open. While we ate, I smelled the scent of charred rubber, metal, and flesh. We were 5 miles from Ground Zero, but the smell was still strong. I barely touched my plate.
A couple of nights later, I was lying in bed. I could still smell the burnt rubber stench of Ground Zero. My roommate and brother, Keith, was in Florida. In fact, he was there on 9/11, which was a good thing, since he worked in Bldg 7 of the WTC. Knowing Keith, he would have been standing outside the buildings gawking up when they fell. Knowing Keith, a part of him felt like he missed out by being in Florida. Funny how things happen. Anyway, I was alone, and I was still a bit nervous about the WTC. I was about 4 Avenues (in NY-speak, that means 8 blocks, approximately) from the Empire State Building, which was thought to be another major target. I was in that period of half-sleep, where you think you are awake, but you aren't quite sure. Just then, I heard the explosion. My eyes shot open. I turned on the radio and the TV simultaneously. I waited to hear news that the Empire State Building was bombed. I readied myself to head to the tunnel out of New York, or the East River, where I would swim myself to the safety of Brooklyn through syringe and sewage-infested waters. Nothing appeared on the TV. Nothing was said on the radio. I called my Mom to make sure that I was just dreaming. I don't think I was ever so nervous to sleep in my life.
Yesterday, I was talking to wifey Kim about how people feel connected to 9/11. We all have our stories, but it can sometimes be difficult to hear someone from the west coast talk about how their cleaning ladies' nephew was near the Towers that day. Others talk about how that morning they were thinking, Gee, I think I'll go to the Towers that day, but never did and were lucky because of it. These same people live 150 miles from the City and have never been to the WTC, and rarely, if ever, come to the City on a week day. But then I realized something. For the last 5 years, I've felt disgust for these people, but they were not wrong. We WERE all affected by 9/11. They may make their connection through some tenuous string of people or possibilities, but they do it because they were genuinely affected. I'm sorry I've been so bitter. It really just seems silly now.
I now live less than 4 blocks from the gaping hole that used to be the Twin Towers. I used to go there for lunch when I worked on Wall Street. My coworkers and I would sit in the middle of the towers, on the rim of the fountain, and eat our lunch while we shot the shit. Now, the area is fenced off. Nearby buildings are almost done with their repairs, but the hole remains. Opportunistic Asian and Middle Eastern immigrants sell their NYPD hats and 9/11 photographs, the kind that change when you move them left and right, like some sadistic Cracker Jack toy. Those people can all go fuck themselves, as can most of the people who buy from these opportunistic slags. But the rest of you, god bless. The loss of the World Trade Center rocked us all in different ways. I know that I have changed in ways that I cannot express to you in words. It's a sad day in New York. Thank you to the rest of the US for being with us that day. Thank you to the terrorists for being so short-sighted in their planning. I'm no Bush supporter, and we haven't caught Osama Bin Laden, but we haven't been attacked again on US soil either, and that's got to count for something.
This upcoming weekend, I will be in beautiful Florida to celebrate my grandparents' anniversary. One week later, though, I will be shirking my Judaic responsibilities in favor of the consumption of mass amounts of alcohol with a dash of charity. Yes, the Bash at the Boathouse is coming along quickly, and while I will sadly miss out on the Friday night festivities, I will be live and in person on Saturday. Saturday will likely be light on the poker. The Charity Tournament will be taking place, and I look forward to getting a good view, but the bar cannot allow other games to occur because of the usual whiny "gambling is illegal" nonsense. I don't blame them, of course, but I do suggest that players brush up on their Chinese Poker, since its a game that does not require chips (its easy to keep track of scores on paper and settle up after) and can be played on the fly. Yep, I'll be drinking in a corner with TripJax and a deck of cards, trying to get the unexpecting to play some poker from the Orient! Cause that's how I roll...
Onto other things. It was barely 18 months ago when I was looking to increase my bankroll by playing .25/.50 Limit exclusively. In that short period of time, I've made my way (slowly) up the ladder to the point where I'm comfortable with 2/4 limit and $100 max no-limit. However, with that increase comes something that is a bit harder to get used to: the greater swings.
Now, don't laugh. I know some of you are used to winning or losing $1000 in a night. I know that I am a NYC attorney, so there are obvious assumptions readers make. But whatever the case, I've always maintained that my anal retentiveness has kept my addictive personality in check. By that, I mean that I was never playing with anything I couldn't afford to lose, and I never could afford to lose much. Now, I have about $1500 or more online. A couple of days ago, I lost $260 in one night. $260! And yet, the idea of spending $260 on anything else is mindboggling to me.
Adjusting to higher stakes can be a difficult process. At this point, my mind is numb to a $60 loss (see yesterday). I was at Roose's and we were sitting on his balcony when I came to that realization. Roose was steaming about two suckout losses in a $20 and $10 MTT. I thought for a moment and replied, "I'm down $60 for the day, and I don't even feel it." It was less an admonishment of his steaming then it was amazement at my complacency. "For me to feel it," I continued, "I have to lose about $150."
To an extent, I think the recent downturn (currently over, thankfully) was exacerbated by the fact that the losses were affecting me. The new $150 or higher rule is just that, new. A few weeks ago, a loss of $80 would upset me, but that was only 20 BB at 2/4, or less than a buy-in at $100. I suffered losses like this almost constantly for a couple of weeks, watching my bankroll deflate along with my mental fortitude. It was only after I posted several $100+ day wins that I came to realize that I actually gained something great from my losses: perspective. At 2/4 Limit and $100 max NL, losses aren't going to be $11 or even $40. They may be like that sometimes, but they won't always be like that. $100+ losses are going to happen, and the only thing I can do is take them with a grain of salt.
Perspective is key. Going forward, I now know what to expect. A couple of days ago, I posted a $260 or so loss because I busted in two $100 max tables. In one, I had AKo and raised. My opponent went all-in and I thought for a moment before putting him on AQ. Sure enough, I was right, but the Q on the flop (with no K) left me shocked. My perfect read did not pay off. I was down $100! But, um, I didn't care. Why should I? The decision was right, the outcome was wrong, but I did everything I could do to ensure success. The rest was out of my hands. When I busted on the other table, I thought to myself, "I can't believe I'm down $200." And then I thought, oh yes, I can believe it. That's all there is to it.
I'm excited for when the swings get even bigger. $250 is a pretty penny, but when the roll grows, it'll feel like $25 eventually. At least I'm growing my thick skin. Without it, any gambler is bound to be ruined from exposure to the gambling environment.
No significant wins this weekend. No significant losses. Until next time, make mine poker!
Banner Contest Addendum
Saturday, September 09, 2006
I want to thank Chipper and SlimeFace for being so quick with their DADI banners. After tweaking my banner, it occurred to me that I should give some guidance as to what I am looking for. First, humor and eye-catching counts. Second, the more information you can fit, the better. Specifically, do your best to incorporate date, time, place, the game (HORSE), buy-in ($10+1), and the password (pokertrust; incidentally, I left this out of my first banner). Also, it would be a great sign of support to our sponsors if you mention them as well (VegasPokerPro.com and PokerOnAMac.com). Both companies have offered so much to DADI in the past and future, and without them DADI would just be another tournament. So show the love, and thank you for your submissions so far.
Friday, September 08, 2006
Too Low Brow for Me? This I got to see!
Yee haw! DADI is BACK after a one month vacation and better than ever. This month, we'll be paying homage to five different and delightful games as we make our way from H to E on our very own hobby HORSE. For the uninitiated, HORSE is a mixed game where the game changes after a certain amount of hands. H is for Limit Hold'em, easily the most boring of the games. O is for Limit Omaha Eight or Better (i.e., Hi/Lo). R is Razz, a version of 7 Card Stud where you seek the lowest possible hand (straights and flushes don't count). S is 7 Card Stud regular. And E is Stud Eight or Better (i.e., Hi/Lo). I'd be glad to offer additional information on how to play the various games, but since most of my readers have a vague idea, just send me an email at highonpokr AT yahoo DOT composte heap. And remember to leave off the last E for +EV!
As usual, we at DADI strive to provide you with the most exciting promotions around! That's why VegasPokerPro.com has provided another 2000 VPP points for this tournament, a true Paul Bunyon of generosity. Also, PokerOnAMac.com has donated an iPod shuffle in what is apparently PokerOnAMac.com's attempt to be the Johnny Appleseed of the iPod shuffles! As of now, the winner will recieve the iPod shuffle, second place will receive 800 VPP points, third place will receive 400 VPP points, the bubble will receive 400 VPP points, and a 400 VPP points bounty will be placed on VPP_Dave. Thank you PokerOnAMac.com and VegasPokerPro.com for their continued support!
Also as per usual, this cowpoke has come up with a couple of side contests. Since DADI is less than 2 weeks away, we could really use your help getting the word out. Therefore, we are having our first ever BANNER CONTEST! It's this simple: You create a banner for DADI 9 and post it on your site. Then let me know. On September 20th, me, TripJax, and GCox will meet at the DADI Ranch and determine who we think did the best job. The winner is freerolling at DADI 9! The best part is, no one even pays attention to these contests, so a quick crappy banner may just win the day, and if I know you, you've got at least one quick, crappy banner in you...of course, I don't really know you.
I am also providing a Revenge Bounty. It's a new concept that I was toying with. Here is the basic idea. There is a bounty on whoever knocks me out. If you avenge me, you win $11. Sounds good? Good.
DADI 9: Back in the Saddle. See you then!
Taking the Worst of It
Monday, September 04, 2006
First, thank you all for your comments. While I was tweaking HoP, some folks were kind enough to give me their honest opinions on the site design. It wasn't sitting 100% well with me either, and this is the result. Back to the same old colors, but with a cleaner design and some larger text. Of course, not as large as the debacled He-Man referenced post from yesterday (which has consequently been removed after it messed EVERYTHING up), but nonetheless, a smoother site. I have to give a huge thanks to TripJax for setting me up with everything I need to make HoP the beautiful eye-sore that it is.
Since the He-Man inspired post is down, let me give a quick recap for those who may've missed me tempting the poker gods. In the last five days, I've won about $500, mostly from small MTTs and SNGs. I placed 4th out of 30-something players in a $50+5 MTT on Mansion. I won two $20 SNGs and took third in another. I took over $100 off of a NL DreamPoker table in no time. And this was after weeks of losses, due in large part to the perils of variance. I'm not just blaming variance. That won't help anyone. But I did have more than a few good hands turn bad, so a comeback was much needed.
I played in Mookie's charity tournament last night and lost most of my stack to a donkeylicious semi-bluff reraise and subsequent call with second or third pair. My opponent flopped a baby set (2s) and she wasn't letting go. However, I'm proud to announce that Iakaris dealt the death blow (TT v. Q2 when I had all of 90 chips), and he wins my bounty, a freeroll in DADI 9. Now all we have to do is actually schedule the damn event.
After that, I played some Dream Poker, only to lose $1. So be it.
But now onto some random pontification of this silly game we call Poker.
After re-reading You Decide #42, I think both of my plays were contingent on one concept: at what point is it acceptable to take the worst of it when you have a chiplead. For the most part, we'll be focusing on preflop decisions, since that is where you will ultimately decide whether to play your hand or not. I think we all can agree that there comes a point at which you outchip your opponent so much that you don't mind making a call with the worst of it. I'm not going to focus on the You Decide #42 hands, but I do want to discuss where that line is where taking the worst of it is the right move.
This really works in any tournament situation (and potentially in some odd cash game situations), but for the sake of ease, let's just look at heads-up. Assuming that both players start with 1k in chips, when one player eventually has 1900 and the other has 100, the player with the lead will call any all-in by the player with 100 chips. The same could be said for an 1800/200 split.
But when does it lose its economy. Clearly, when you are even in chips and you have a bad starting hand, calling an all-in is NOT the correct move. I'd say that universally we can agree that for the most part, until you have a 3 to 1 chip lead (i.e., 1500/500) calling with the worst of it is definitely a bad play. At least when you lose with the worst of it when you have 1500 or more chips, your opponent cannot take the lead from you.
We also have to ask ourselves, how bad is the "worst of it?" I am confident that it is rarely a good time to take the worst of it with a low pocket pair facing a high pocket pair preflop. However, you rarely know what your opponent has exactly (especially preflop), so we are really dealing with a range of hands. In some cases, your decision to take the worst of it might be tempered by the possibility that your opponent actually has a worse hand. For instance, calling an all-in with AT may not necessarily be calling with the worst of it when you think your opponent is likely to push with KQ or even A2. In those situations, your range includes some hands that you are ahead of, so calling is easier, although you may be facing a lower pocket pair (at which point you are barely behind) or a dominating ace. But what about when you have Q9 and your opponent pushes. He probably has Q9 beat, but the question is, by how much?
This very situation happened to me recently. It was the last hand of a full table SNG, and I had been trading barbs with my opponent since about the 5th hand in the tournament. So, I had him somewhat acting over aggressive, because he had something to prove. I had taken and kept the chip lead and had him outchipped about 8.5k to 5k after he sucked out all-in with his 56c vs. my K6o. A few hands later, with Q9 and some momentum, I raised from 600 to 1800. He raised on top of me, and I decided to call with the worst of it. My thought process was that he likely did not have a pocket pair, and that was all that mattered. At the very worst, he had a Q or 9, but more likely, he had two random cards, at least one of which was above a Q. In fact, he had AKo, and was a 65/35 favorite to win...until the Q9x flop.
In hindsight, I don't like taking the worst of it there. If I lost, I would be down to 3.5k vs. his 10k. But I also had confidence in my ability to come back to a chiplead.
I'm not sure that I will come to any grand conclusion, but I do have some general theoretical ideas I want to throw out there. If you are a 35/65 dog consistently, you will statistically win at least once within your first three attempts. If you outchip your opponent on each of these three situations, you will eventually bust him (assuming you are all-in on each occassion). This is the very reason why you don't mind calling all-in when you have 1500 to 500 (or a bigger margin). You are using one of your three attempts to knock out your opponent. If you miss, get back to accumulating chips so you can try again. And if you completely dominate (think 1900 to 100), then you couldn't give two flying fucks what your opponent has, since you can call his all-in at least three times without breaking a sweat.
In the Q9 case, I had recently lost the K6 v 65, and I felt that I was due to win. It isn't a smart move, but if the situation was slightly different (say, if I had a 9.5k to 4k lead), then I wouldn't have batted an eye at the play.
I'm sure that my opponent saw my Q9 and thought I was fucking nuts. I'm sure he was also pissed at his "bad beat". But the reality is that in tournaments, we have a zero-sum game. You are trying to win everything and leave your opponent with nothing. Sometimes, it is CORRECT to take the worst of it, because even though your odds of winning the hand is worse than your opponents' odds, the benefit to you is greater, namely winning everything. Your opponent gets no retries. He just gets to think that he suffered bad beat.
To recap, I think the most important points are these: (a) the any two unpaired cards against any two other unpaired cards is at worst a 30/70 dog and that assumes that your opponent has suited connectors and you have unconnected cards with at least one from their suit; (b) if you dominate in chips and can comfortably call an all-in three times, you will most likely bust your opponent within those three calls; (c) if you are confident that you can fight your way back to a dominant position, calling an all-in with the worst of it may be a very smart move; and (d) there is added value that must be considered when you are calling an all in which may knocking out your opponent (in a tournament, generally heads-up or when near or in the money).
Is any of this helpful? I dunno. All I know is that I got poker on the brain. Until then, make mine poker!