Jordan Won $50,000
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
...but its the other Jordan.
When I first read about Jordan placing 6th at the PokerNews Main Event, I was absolutely floored. A week prior, Jordan and I were IMing. He was gearing up for the event, and he seemed elated just to have the opportunity to play. I wished him well and contemplated offering him a few bucks to buy 5% or so of his action. My accounts have been really low though, so I didn't ask.
Jordan's win is a win for all bloggers. I, personally, feel a swell of pride whenever I read about one of our crew succeeding in this game. Jordan's win was no different. I am entirely impressed. Seeing a friend and fellow blogger win just wets my appetite for poker. It reminds me that the brass ring is real. And it reminds me that the blogging community is a class of poker player above the rest.
Beyond all of that, I would also like to underscore the another great part about the blogging community. About a month back, blogger Kajagugu won himself a tourney awarding him a trip to Australia and entry into the PokerNews Main Event...an event he ultimately realized he could not attend. Kaja knew that Jordan was in Australia because of the blogs, and Kaja arranged, with some assistance from Pauly and the folks at PokerNews, for Jordan to take the seat.
So, cheers to Jordan for his amazing win, and cheers to the blogging community for making it happen.
Last night I played a little $100 max NLHE on Full Tilt. I was doing fine until I lost a pot that took my profit and about $35 of my starting stack. A player at the table typed something into the chat box. He clearly did not understand my aggressive play in the prior hand. My opponent was shortstacked, and once I had a nut flush draw and a weak pair, I figured it was worth pushing to either win the hand outright or take my chances from behind if my opponent called. My opponent did call, with a ten-high flush, but my nut flush draw didn't come and I lost. After the other player made a comment (something akin to celebrating my loss or the other guy's win), I got really annoyed. I didn't like the way the table was going. Having lost a hand to overaggression, I knew that I'd have to tighten up to win money, but I also knew that I was tilting. I decided to sit out and either go to another table where my image was clean or sign off entirely. I opted for the latter.
By quitting, I was ensuring that I would not chase my loss. I was also avoiding the negative table image that often comes with losing a bad hand. And finally, I was avoiding chat-induced tilt. But I still have to wonder why the other player would say anything. It amazes me to this day that players will criticize a losing player at the table. You want to encourage those losing players to stay put. I understand the benefit of tilting a person, but there is a very thin line between tilting your opponent and scaring them off. I left because of my own reasons, but that douschebag easily gave me the final reason to walk. If he really thought I was a donkey, he should've kept his mouth shut.
Until next time, make mine poker!
A Bluff Examined
Monday, October 29, 2007
I've recently wrote about the adrenaline rush I get when I play poker. This was a perfect example, a hand where I made a huge bluff. I also think this hand is worth examining, since I fired all two huge bullets and went all-in before taking down the pot with Ace-high. A quick, tight observer would consider my play crazy. However, I think it was wholly justified throughout, based on my read of the situation.
We were in the 100/200 level of the MATH last night, and I had 4290, up from the starting stack of 3000. I played fairly loose early on until I was down to 1500. Then I tightened up and doubled up when I got all-in against a player preflop with my AA vs. his AK. From there, I chipped up slowly. I was playing fairly tight, but my reputation usually causes people to think I'm still playing loose.
I was in the BB with A3o. Esquire80, a player I have never seen before, limped in MP with 4660. Rslocal, another new player to me, called in the SB with 8000+ chips. I checked.
The flop was 25T with two clubs. Rslocal bets 200. He has been pretty active, so I opt to call, hoping I'll steal it from him on the later streets, or hit a 4 or Ace. His 200 bet is tiny. I can afford to call without concern for my stack. I also think I'll felt him with a 4, and I can reevaluate if an Ace comes.
The turn was an offsuit 8. Rslocal bet 600 into the 1000 pot. I decide that this is my chance. I've basically put him on a flush draw. That would explain the small bet early, followed by an escalated by still weak bet on the turn. His betting also suggests a weak bluff. A lot of players min-bet out of position as a weak bluff. I can't define it specifically, but his earlier play suggested a weak semi-bluff on the flop, and a bigger semi-bluff on the turn, in an effort to force me out of the pot. I decided that it was time to check-raise. I bumped it to 1800, leaving me 2k+ behind. He called.
Interestingly, the call was a good thing. If he raises all-in, I fold. But a flat call leads me to believe that he was not confident in his hand. I only have 2090 left, so I was pot committed to a call if he pushed all-in and I had a good hand. If he had a monster, like 22, 55, or even a flopped two-pair, he may try to force me into the pot by pushing all-in here. By simply calling, it was a lot more likely he was on a draw.
The river is an offsuit Jack. Rslocal checks, and I push all-in for 2090. Even though he had me outchipped by almost 4k, he folds. He must've missed his flush draw, or he finally gave up on his single pair.
If anything, it was the fearless river bet that made this hand for me. I think many players fear going out so much that they miss opportunities. I do not mean to suggest that you should push in a lot. That's a foolish way to play large tournaments. You want to minimize the amount of times you are all-in. But if you are facing a hand where pushing all-in could secure an otherwise losing pot, sometimes you have to pull the trigger.
Looking back, I might have to rethink this hand. There wasn't anything in the hand history that immediately screams that he was semi-bluffing a draw. In fact, some may argue that his play looks like a monster. His flop bet is to induce calls. His turn bet is small compared to the pot (60% of the pot), to also induce a call. He called my re-raise instead of raising because he had a lock on the hand. And he checked the river to induce my all-in bluff. As we all know, that is not the case, but an argument could be made that based on a recitation of the action alone, I was potentially flying blind. Still, at the time, I felt fairly certain (never 100%) that he didn't have a hand worthy of calling the turned re-raise. A lot of times, players (including myself) will call re-raises too quick to realize that their smartest move is to fold. In this instance, he called 1200 into a 3400 pot (600 preflop, 400 postflop, 600 bet on the turn, 1800 raise). Technically, he is not getting odds to call for the flush draw (only), but then again, he may've had a pair also, or overcards, or whatever. The point is, sometimes players call the raise on their bet a bit too quick without considering whether it is advisable. Now, a re-raise is another thing, but a call is often made by players with draws or other bad hands who aren't ready to admit that they were wrong to bet out in the first place.
Eventually, I busted three spots from the money in 12th place. I was a shortstack and pushed in MP with QTc, hoping to take down the blinds. I was called by KQo and that was it. I was a bit disappointed in how I went out, but I needed to make a move, and I figured that QTc was likely to be called by a hand that did not dominate (like Ace-high). It just didn't work out that time. I was playing for first, after all, and not for 9th.
That's all for today. Until next time, make mine poker!
The Clouds Have Parted
Saturday, October 27, 2007
During a particularly exciting hand - it doesn't matter if I'm bluffing or holding the nuts - I'll get a rush of adrenaline. I usually notice it first when it reaches my heart. My heartbeat speeds up, and I can feel it beating through my chest. My hands seize up next, going from limber to shakey and stilted. When playing online, it makes it hard to type. When its live, I fumble my chips. Sometimes, if I'm in good company, I'll point out my shakey hands. After all, the heart beating and the shakey hands are just part of the feeling I'm talking about. It's the sheer feeling of elation that is the real centerpiece to this adrenlaine rush. All aches and pains seize to exist. I feel a rush of joy coming over me that I can only give into. After all, this is why I play, to get High on Poker.
The majority of that last sentence was written Friday night. I was dabbling online after wifey Kim fell asleep, and got involved in a typical NLHE hand where I held strong cards. My opponent called, and that adrenaline rush completed. I opened blogger and typed away quickly, trying to capture the feelings inside. I questioned posting it, now that my mother is reading my blog (hey mom!) and it tends to support the contention that poker is an addicting vice. But this is the reality of the game, at least as it pertains to me. I love that rush of adrenaline. It's why I named my blog High on Poker. So turning a blind eye to the intoxicating effect of poker is just disingenuous.
Things have been moving nicely for ole Jordan. I settled a case this morning for a decent sum, considering the potential problems with the case. I completed a great deal of the work that was keeping me occupied these last few weeks. And I had some success at poker.
Ah, poker. How I love thee. Last night, I was in the mood to play, but I wasn't in the right mindset. I had two parties yesteday, first wifey Kim's friends engagement party, and then wifey Kim's family-friend's Bar Mitzvah. Wifey Kim and I were all over LI, skipping the second half of the engagement party and the first half of the Bar Mitzvah. Amazingly, though, we got home before 8:30pm, and went about our evening killing time. After a while, I felt the poker bug, but didn't see anything that particularly interested me. Recently, my online bankroll took a dip. I was down to about $50 on Poker.com, Stars, and FullTilt ($50 on each site), due to usual variance at Poker.com and a withdrawal at FT. I rarely play at Stars, so that account is always like a last ditch poker fund. Whatever the case, I couldn't justify a $20 tournament and $10 tournaments didn't fit my mood. Amazingly, I checked out my FT account and realized I had four tokens, three $75 tokens and one $26 token. I had started collecting them in anticipation for the Hoys and the Big Games, but I always seem to miss the Big Game, resulting in my stockpiling of $75 tokens. I usually earn them through the 9:45 pm Token Frenzies on FT, a $14+1 buy-in tournament awarding $75 tokens. I can generally win a token about 2/3 times, which is a great return. And usually, its mindless poker, literally folding until I get a monster, then jamming. Win two or three significant hands and you can fold into the money.
When I won $3000 in a tournament, it was due to a $75 token I earned in a Frenzy. A couple of nights ago, before the last Big Game (that I missed for personal reasons), I asked Fluxer if he was playing the Big Game. He told me he had already used his token in a single table SNG. For whatever reason, this conversation stuck with me, so at about 9:30 last night, I signed up for a single table $75 SNG. It looked like it would take a while to fill up, so I also signed up for the $75-buy-in turbo single table tournament and the $26 Tier II token SNG. I also signed up for a cheapy $5 PLO tournament at Poker.com.
While I waited, I went about my business. Every few minutes, I'd check back to see if any of the tournaments were near full. On my last try, a window popped up, showing that the original $75 SNG was about to start. I considered multi-tabling, but ultimately opted to keep it single table, since $75 was a decent buy-in and I wanted to play my best. If I wasn't in the right mindframe, I would get myself to the right mindframe by sheer force of will.
I started off playing in my living room. Wifey Kim was in the bedroom watching a show I had already seen, so I turned up some Howard Stern on Sirius Radio and focused on the game. Or, at least I tried. On more than one occasion (and yes, I checked the last post for spelling), I caught myself distracted. In those instances, I muted the TV, or closed the browser window and recommitted myself to the game. I decided to play my game, instead of a tight strategy. I was far from manic, choosing to be selectively aggressive, and began chipping up relatively early.
All of this was predicated on my read of the table. In the early-goings, the table was very tight and a 3x or 4x BB raise was enough to take down the pot. This is very different from most single table tournaments (aka SNGs), where there are at least two or three terribly loose players, maybe another two super tight players, and the rest falling somewhere in between. I surmised that the $75 tournament was tighter for a few reasons: 1st, the stakes were higher, as were the payouts, so some players were probably playing for third. 2nd, the players were less likely to play these stakes, since they presumably got in through a $75 token. 3rd, the players are good players, having already proved themselves by earning their way into the tournament.
After a while, the tighter players seemed to revert back to a more expected style of play. Things loosened up and I began to see patterns in players' behavior. I learned that the guy on my immediate right liked to take stabs at my blinds, heads-up, and consequently punished him for his efforts. I discovered that the player three seats to my left was playing a slew of hands aggressively, so I reraised him when the time was right. I continued to plug along, building up my stack. I finally got a short stack all-in, my AQ vs. his TT, and spiked an Ace before turning a Queen to knock him out. He got mean in the chat, calling me a phucking fish. I ignored him. If he thinks a big stack shouldn't be willing to take on a shortstack for a cointoss, I wasn't going to educate him. I didn't feel the need to prove my skill or intelligence, and, in fact, I wanted to hide those two things from the other players.
When we got down to the bubble, I was in second place. The loosey goosey on my right was the chip leader by a decent margin. I just continued to play calmly. By then, I had joined wifey Kim in the bedroom, and focused on the game while she watched the end of her show. The bubble burst and I was still in 2nd place. The big stack and I took turns abusing the third place stack until he succumbed and we were heads up. I had about $3.5k. He had about 10k. And I won it. I simply played smart, focused poker. I fought back to about 4.5k to 9k, and then doubled through my opponent, leaving me with the big stack. Not too much longer, I got all-in with TT vs. AQ. This time, the TT held up, and I won $300+ for my efforts.
These Tier III token SNGs, as they are called, are just awesome. I love the fact that I won $300+ with $14 by winning an easy Token Frenzy and then beating 8 players in an SNG. I may look into using my other two $75 tokens later this week.
Winning felt great. My FT bankroll is healthy again. I may still withdraw $150 or so, since I don't trust online poker all that much, and I don't count a win on my spreadsheet until its cash in hand. In other words, after winning $300 yesterday, my spreadsheet didn't change. If I withdraw $150 of it, I'll add a $150 online poker win to my spreadsheet, since that is money I'll actually have in hand. Realistically, though, I don't need the cash, so I might as well leave it online.
I'm probably skipping the MATH tonight and the Mookie this week. The 10pm start time, double-stacks, and larger fields make the tourneys a good four hour affair, and I don't think I can spare the sleep. But don't hold me to it if you see me in one of the tourneys.
Until next time, make mine poker!
Because My Mother Reads My Blog and She's an English Teacher
Friday, October 26, 2007
You Decide #55
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Time for some poker!
With the recent underground cardroom busts, Jamie, host of the Wall Street Game, decided to throw a underground-room stakes 1/2 NL game. I only played for about 2 and a quarter hours, but left up $45. I'd like to get a viewpoint on one particular hand. So, here we go with
You Decide #55
It's a 1/2 NL game where you have a looose reputation. You are in the BB with AK. A tight player in MP bets $7. A clever player in LP calls. I opted to call. Should I have raised? At the time, I figured I'd see a flop and move on from there.
The result, 89T. I check. The tight player bets $10. The clever player calls. I opt to call. I'm not super happy with this play either. However, the pot was $45, and I had to call $10. I thought a King or Ace could put me ahead of a lot of hands, like JJ and QQ (for the tight player). I would also know if the straight draw hit (Q or 7), since I was wary of AJ.
The turn was a King of diamonds, making two diamonds. I hit my top pair, but I opted to check. The tight player bet out $30. The clever player folded. I think I raised to $60, leaving myself about $50 behind. The tight player called.
The river was an Ace of diamonds, completing and runner runner diamond draws. It also gave me two pair. I pushed all-in, and the tight player felt pot committed.
I don't think I played this hand terribly well, but my opponent was not pleased with my call on the flop with nothing. I read her as having JJ, or possibly AJ, so I felt my play was warranted, especially given her small bets. Even so, I could use some perspective.
You'll also notice that I did not mention what she had. The first person to guess right gets a $11 entry into next week's Mookie (or, in actuality, just a $11 xfer to your Full Tilt account).
Until next time, make mine poker!
Monday, October 22, 2007
It seems like there's a whole lotta changes going on in my little world of poker. Some good, some bad. Let's start with the bad.
There's bound to be some cheating in online poker, whether it be a couple of tools sitting in their mama's basement looking over at each others' screens while playing a ring game or a lonely pathetic man-boy opening multiple accounts so he can have 2 entries out of the 1000+ players in a given tournament. But this one is really fucked up.
In case you haven't heard, there has been a lot of questions asked about a possible player seeing hole cards at Absolute Poker. I had re-started playing there after I got rakeback from the site, but having since busted from my measely deposit, it doesn't look like I'll be returning any time soon. Apparently, one of Absolute's employees (current, I believe, and not former), wanted to show his bosses that they were wrong about the possibility of cheating. So, he cheated by setting up an account where he could see all of his opponents' hole cards. This netted him over $300,000, but he was eventually caught after he "cleverly" called down a player with Ten-high to win a tournament. Now he claims that it was all an effort to show his bosses about the security holes. Nice story, guy, but I wouldn't want to be you right now.
Absolute is returning the money to their players, since the cheater never withdrew a cent (thereby supporting his story, but not negating any legal problems he may have). But the real problem was Absolute Poker's original stance: that no cheating could be possible and the records could not be reviewed because Absolute does not retain complete hand histories. Well, they were lying, apparently.
What does this mean for Jordan's Wide World of Poker? It means that I won't be playing at Absolute anytime soon. But that's fine with me. Their software and players sucked anyway (and not in the good way).
Oh, and to make matters worse, the scandal is getting attention from national media.
Congratulations, Absolute, on making online poker look even worse in the public eye!
In other bad news, the Extra Big Bet Club was raided Friday afternoon, causing me to miss out on an evening of poker. I was at the club at about 6:15pm, when I rang the doorbell and noone answered. I tried again, slightly annoyed, until a young Asian walked by me, cupping his mouth and said quietly, "The cops are upstairs." I replied, "Thanks," and immediately began walking away. I didn't look back once. I didn't see any cop cars on the street, but someone else sent me an email independently asking if I heard of a raid. So, that's NiceLook down, EBB down, and Salami changing over to a higher stakes, higher profile format that'll likely attract even more police attention.
I suppose I can rejoice in the fact that the raid happened right before I entered the room, as opposed to after I entered.
In the good news front, it looks like AC will continue to grow. A mere five years ago, AC was a shithole. Now, it's a shithole with some amazing properties. Changes have already occurred, including some awesome extensions to established hotels like the Quarter, a Havana-themed section of the Trop Hotel, or the renovation of the Ocean One Mall, now owned and operated by Caesars under a new name with a vast variety of stores. AC has also developed an impressive outdoor outlet mall. All of these things might seem minor, but they signal AC's change from the boardwalk-based old school slew of casinos to a Vegas-like entertainment, gambling and shopping destination. Borgata, which opened in 2003, was a precursor to this new AC image and now we have at least three new additions coming up.
MGM has announced that they will build a new property in Atlantic City. The $5 billion MGM Grand Atlantic City will develop the new property in the Marina section of town, adjacent to the Borgata. There is no indication about whether a poker room will be included in the 60 acre site, but really, how could there not be a poker room. The new hotel plans to open doors in 2012.
If that isn't enough, Pinnacle Entertainment is building a new casino/hotel in Atlantic City in the old location of the recently-demolished Sands. The new property has a great location, central on the boardwalk. Personally, I prefer Boardwalk properties because of the ease of travel from one to the next. The new complex, set to open in 2011 or 2012 will cost roughly $2 billion. Sands was the first AC property to offer poker, so here's hoping that Pinnacle does the same.
And finally, Revel Entertainment is building a casnio/hotel next to the official casino/hotel of High on Poker, the Showboat. The casino/hotel should be ready for customers by 2011, making it probably the first of the three hotels to open for business. The location isn't bad, at the end of the boardwalk strip. The new casino/hotel is expected to have the most rooms in AC, and the first wedding chapel.
So, things change. I'm glad to see that AC will continue to expand on its rebranding, even though we'll have to wait until 2011 before any new additions. Online poker took a hit thanks to Absolute's failure to be honest inside and outside of the company. The underground poker scene is suffering due to the constant raids by the police. But I'm still here.
Until next time, make mine poker!
Longer Lasting (AC Trip Report Pt 3)
Sunday, October 21, 2007
I'm at the office. It's Sunday. I was hear for four+ hours yesterday, and I'm here again. Joy! But you don't want to read about that, my friends. So, let's get back to Atlantic City.
When Roose, Ruff and I decided to finally sleep Friday night, I set up my usual routine. I'm a terrible sleeper, but with the aid of a bandana used as a blindfold and my iPod to block out noise, I can make due. When traveling with Roose, the iPod is a must. The man snores like a Mack truck, but amazingly, he was the first to sleep and his snoring was not instantaneous. This was a real surprise, and I looked over to see him curled around an extra pillow. Whatever the case, I put my head down and, according to Ruff, I was asleep in about 10 seconds. I guess a long day of work, followed by three hours of driving and 7 hours of poker will do that to you.
In the middle of the night, I knocked my iPod off of the bed. I made a brief attempt at feeling for the iPod, but I was exhausted, Roose was amazing still silent, and I just drifted back to sleep.
I woke up the next morning at around 10am or earlier. I immediately went feeling for my iPod under the bed. In the process, I accidentally hit something that made a loud noise. I then hit something else. It was the worst attempt of silence ever, but I eventually found my iPod a good 2 feet under the bed. After rescuing it, I headed to the bathroom, where I broke one of Roose and my unspoken rules of wifeless AC: I showered.
By the time I got out of the shower, everyone was still lying in bed. I crawled back into bed myself, confident that we would be up in time for the 2pm Showboat tournament. At the exact moment that I resettled myself in bed, Roose shot up from the other bed. When Roose wakes in AC, its like the WWE's Undertaker getting up from a knockdown. Basically, he bends at the waist, his back flat as a board, as though he was some Voodoo zombie suddenly awaking from the dead. It's rather comical, especially since you know what's going through his head during his morning resurrection: POKER!
Roose and I decided to walk around the casino while Ruff slept on his cot. We were both in need of food, but nothing particularly appealed to us. We agreed that the buffet was no good, since it would make us sluggish during the tournament. The line for the diner-like Seaside Cafe was long, so we continued walking. We eventually opted for Adam Good Deli, downstairs in the Trop, by the Hooters, where we ordered egg & cheese sandwiches, clearly made from some egg alternative. The food was passable, certainly not good, but passable, and we continued our trek around the casino.
I hadn't played any table games or slots yet, so Roose and I sat down to two Wheel of Fortune slots and played $20 each, going spin-for-spin in a prop bet race to see who could hit Spin the Wheel first. The winner: the fucking slot machines, which took all of our $40 without a single god damn Spin.
After that we headed to the Asian game pit to play my personal favorite table game, Pai Gow Poker. It was still early morning and slow, so Roose and I got our own table. We joked around with the dealer and pit boss, who looked bored out of his wits until we sat. The dealer sucked. She paid me out to the tune of $200 profit, but she was just plain stupid. On two ocassions, he gave Roose bad advice, incorrect advice, to be precise, causing Roose some dough. On the first ocassion, after telling Roose to split his low two pair (if you don't know Pai Gow, just nod along), Roose pushed, instead of winning the hand outright. After Roose showed his set hand, the pit boss said, "You set it wrong. You should've kept the two pair." Shitty dealer chimed in, "Yeah," as though the advice he gave 20 seconds before was from some other shitty person. I told the dealer that he gave bad advice, and he looked confused, as though he did no such thing. "No, I told him to keep two-pair." Whatever, man. He was fun anyway, even if he was a fool. I believe Roose ended even.
From there, we met up with Ruff. We decided to head over to the 2pm Showboat tournament, instead of the 2pm Hilton tournament, which supposedly has a worse structure. Showboat tourneys are great, with 10k chips and reasonably escalating blinds. Still, they become a push-fest late in the tournament. We agreed to a $10 last longer bet, with the winner netting $20. The tourney was $100 buy-in and after getting our seats, we went over to the Chelsea Market sandwich place in Showboat so Ruff could eat. My stomach already felt like crap from breakfast, so I just hung around. Roose had an Italian hero, because Roose wants to be Italian so freaking bad.
After 2nd Breakfast, we headed to the Asian pit at Showboat to show Ruff some Pai Gow Poker. Unfortunately, it is always so crowded at Showboats two Pai Gow Poker tables, so it looked like all was lost...until I saw the empty Asia Poker table. I never played the table game Asia Poker before, but from the layout, it looked conspiciously like a hybrid of Chinese Poker and Pai Gow Poker. Each player receives 7 cards, and arranges them into three hands, in declining strength. The first, strongest hand has 4 cards, and can be a flush or straight. The second, middle hand is 2 cards, where flushes/straights don't count. The third, weakest hand is merely one card, so flushes/straights also don't count. It was actually very enjoyable and had an interesting skill element involved. For instance, I was dealt this hand: KKQ8732. That's a pretty shitty hand, and at first I was going to set it as KK32/Q7/8. However, with some guidance from the dealer and pit boss, I changed it to K832/K7/Q, and amazingly won. To win, you must beat 2 out of 3 of the dealers three hands. In this instance, I won the K7 and Q hands, but had I kept the pair together, I would've lost the KK and the 8 hand, losing $25 in the process. When we left, I was up $100.
We were on our way to the poker room for the tournament when I realized I forgot my new red hooded sweatshirt at the Asia Poker table. I told the guys to go without me and I headed back. The pit boss, who was friendly during my run, was happy to see me back so soon, until he realized I was there for my sweatshirt. I headed back upstairs, aware that I was now at least 5 minutes late to the tournament. Just then I felt the need to use the bathroom, and, having resigned myself to being late to the tournament, I decided to take my time.
When I got to my tournament seat, a woman was simultaneously looking around, right behind the table. I put down my stuff as a floor person told her to take my seat. MY SEAT! The seat that was listed specifically on the ticket I got when I paid $100 to play the tournament. Hell no, I said, or more likely, "This is my seat. Here's my ticket." If I was a minute late, I'd probably have a lot more to complain about. Still, I got my seat and settled in.
This was another one of those tournaments where I barely had a showdown. In fact, I don't think I showed my cards at all during the first couple of hours. Roose, Ruff and I were all doing well, but eventually, down from 90 players to about 30, both of my boys busted, netting me the $20 last longer bet. I, meanwhile, was about average in chips, from making steal attempts when necessary and winning a couple of cointosses in my more desperate hours. I apologize for the lack of particular hands, but I just don't have it in me a week later.
One thing was certain, though; I had my nemesis, a big stack regular who was the only player giving me any sort of trouble. He was happy to re-raise me and call me, which put me in a tough spot. However, late in the tournament (30 or less players), he had a complete meltdown and lost his whole stack in two hands to a moronic chick. He was a huge chipleader at the time with 70k+, compared to the nearest guy with maybe 40k. With AJ, he saw an AJ6 flop against the chick. He checked the flop, she pushed for probably 40k, and he called. She had 66, and he suffered a cooler. In the very next hand, he was clearly frustrated and open-shoved with 77. The chick called again, this time with KK, and that was all she wrote. It was actually quite humbling to see, and everyone at the table agreed (once he was gone) that he was playing exceptionally well until that blowup.
Over time I had worked up my stack to the point where I have over 110k, easily the chipleader at my table. We were down to 20 or so players, and I felt good to make the money (top 9 spots paid). But, well, I didn't. I suffered some losses to suckouts or cointosses, and then eventually busted around 16th. It wasn't too frustrating, considering the circumstances. Even though I had a little over 10% of the chips in play when we were down to 20 players, I still have to contend with the blinds, which by then were up to 4000/8000. Being chipleader is fine and dandy, but its a lot less impressive when you barely have 10x the BB. Right before I busted, Roose came by to tell me that he, Ruff and a mystery guest were heading back to the Trop. Luckily (I suppose) I busted so quickly thereafter that I caught them before they left. I met them in the parking lot and off we went.
The mystery guest, by the way, was Robbie Hole. On our trip to AC on Friday, Roose and I were chatting with Hole via cell phone. Hole seemed disappointed that he couldn't join us, but in actuality he was planning on stopping by anyway on Saturday. Seeing him there was a great surprise. Roose and I intended to just have a weekend of poker, so when Ruff and Hole joined, it was a nice change from a poker weekend to a guys' weekend...of poker.
Back at the Trop, the four of us discussed what to do. We needed food and opted for Adam Good Sports Bar, which was actually pretty adam good. I had some sliders (mini burgers) with chicken soup, since I was still feeling ill from AC's food and/or adrenaline rushes and/or excessive gambling. Post-dinner, we decided to check out the Trop poker room, but Ruff and Roose were really interested in the Borgata. Still, I had to put in 4 hours of poker to keep our $129 poker room rate (as opposed to the usual $369 rate), so I grabbed a seat at 1/2 NL.
My table was pretty great, mostly because there were really only three good players, myself included. The other two were an early-20s caucasian kid who played with intelligent aggression and an Asian guy to my right who played a wide range of hands excedingly well. In fact, both of them played a wide range of hands, so I did my best to keep out of their (and their big stacks') way. On the other hand, the 1 seat was a drunk hillbilly with a huge stack and some weird plays. He re-raised me a couple of times preflop and forced me to fold because of position. At one point, I finally said to him, "Should I be taking this personally?" After that, we had an official rivalry going. His wife was sweating him, and I heard him ask the floor if he could get a table at the Palms. By then, I had already gotten a feeling for his play, and I was upset that he'd be leaving with his chips intact.
I'm a big fan of getting info, in any way you can. In one hand, I bet out with AJ to $12, and my Drunken Hillbilly Nemesis raised $40 on top. I'm not calling $40 more out of position, but I took my time, since I wanted to get some info for my trouble. "Damn. You keep doing that to me." After shooting some talk back and forth across the table, I asked him (as though it would help my decision), "So, when is your Palms reservation?" "10:30" I waited a bit more. "Okay, I fold." I knew I was going to fold, but I really just wanted to find out how long my drunken nemesis would be at the table. Sadly, I never got my chance to stack him, but I was happy that I turned a $12 loss into a fact-finding mission.
Over the course of 5 hours of play, I ended up winning $365, mostly from about 3 hands. That's the way NLHE poker is at times. You can play for hours, but it all comes down to a few hands. In fact, I spent the last 2 or 3 hours simply folding. My cards went to shit, I had a nice stack, there were a couple of dangerous aggressive players who had comparable stacks, and I was merely trying to kill my 4 hour requirement. It was probably one of the boringest sessions I've had, saved only by the good company at the table.
As I've mentioned, there is an interesting push-and-pull in poker-table social situations. My drunken nemesis is a perfect example. We were gunning for each other, but when he got up for dinner he said, to me specifically, "It was a pleasure playing with you." It sounded 100% sincere, as opposed to sarcastic or mean-spirited (like "It was a pleasure taking your money"). I returned the compliment. In truth, even though we were playing off of each other and trading words, we acknowledged it for what it was: good fun. Similarly, the white kid who was playing well was my nemesis early on. We were clearly cognizant of each others' skills and while we didn't have any confrontations of note, there was a competitive thing going on. But sure enough, after a couple of competitive hours he says, "From what I hear, you probably play as much as me." I responded, "From what I see, I'd say the same." By the end of the night, we had built a comraderie. The same was true between me and the Asian kid who was playing well. Even though I took some pots off of him, we were buddying up.
I'm a crass sonuvabitch, and at times, I just can't control myself. Honestly, I think back on ocassions and think, "I shoulda kept my mouth shut" or "Why did I act like such a dousche?" At the poker table, anything goes, and its amazing that my usual antics are not only accepted, but in many ways celebrated (by profit and at times by mutual admiration by fellow players). I love poker for the money, the challenge, the gamesmanship. But I also love the social aspect of the game.
During my 5 hours at the NLHE table, Roose, Ruff and Hole came by. They weren't enjoying Trop, so I told them to go to the Borgata without me. I had 4 hours to complete. I didn't mind it either. At the table, I was all alone anyway.
After I had my fill of poker, I went up to the room to unwind. I turned on the TV and caught the middle of Real Sex 32 on HBO. Amazingly, the crew was just discussing this episode over dinner that night. Robbie Hole had done a street interview for Real Sex about 4 years ago, along with his female friend. They claimed they were dating for the sake of the interview. About that same time, HBO stopped making new episodes of Real Sex until this year, at which point they used about 10 seconds of Robbie Hole's interview. They were discussing masturbation, and Robbie, in his wacky-ass self, responded that his girlfriend, "goes like this - wobba wobba wobba" moving his hands in a weird fingers-flexed, open-and-close motion. It literally makes no sense, but the absurdity of it is hysterical. Sure enough, within 5 minutes of turning on the episode, I saw Robbie's TV premiere. What fine luck. If you get a chance to see it, its after the Masturbation-athon segment. Robbie is the shmuck wearing the bright yellow shirt.
The guys got back to the room and we went looking for drinks. None were found. It was probably 4am and all of the bars were closed. It was goddamn shocking. We played some stupid table games, where I lost another $20 or so, and then called it a night.
The next morning, Roose wanted to play more poker. I was okay with some more cash games, but I didn't have the patience or time for a tournament. Eventually, we opted for table games, where I lost $50 at blackjack and Roose won a couple of bucks at Roulette.
Before leaving AC, we had one last stop, the White House Sub Shop. It was recommended by Jamie of the Wall Street Poker Game. I'm not much of a meatball sub guy, but since he recommended it, I gave it a whirl. It was pretty good, but not as amazing as I hoped. The sauce lacked flavor, or maybe my tastebuds were dead from a hard weekend. Roose got...wait for it...the Italian hero, because Roose wants to be so Italian that it affects his freaking eating habits.
The rest of the trip was merely a drive home. Nothing too exciting.
I love AC, most of all when I can enjoy it with some friends. I'll be back for X-mas, but before then, I'll be in Vegas for the WPBT Winter Gathering. It's going to be a fun end to 2007.
Until next time, make mine poker!
Thursday, October 18, 2007
I've been very busy today preparing for my first ever deposition of a defendant doctor (sorry Raveen). I'm losing steam in my AC Trip Report too, but I hope to finish that up this weekend. In the meanwhile, I'd like to just throw something out there that may very well get me labeled as racist. Even so, I'm here to speak the truth (my truth), so you have no choice but to sit back and read. Well, I guess you do have a 'choice' to stop reading, but really at this point, you are going to keep reading? Don't believe me? Then why are you still reading? Checkmate!
As it were, I opened Yahoo to check my email and saw this article: Controversial DNA Pioneer's Talk Halted. Why? Because he said that based on his research (as co-discovered of DNA's structure) African's are generally less intelligent than Europeans.
Clearly, its a controvesial thing to say, but is saying it enough to get some guy thrown on the evil racist list? Admittedly, he also said some stupid things, like saying that people with black employees will find their lesser intelligence to be true. Okay, now you are personalizing it, and I can understand why people would be upset. No one wants to hear that black people are worse employees or are stupider employees. But I still take exception with those who would push the idea that one cannot discuss the scientific differences of races without being a bigot.
Fact: Black men had longer forearms than White men. (Note: I refuse to use the term "African-American" because it ignores the large population of the black population with Carribean or other descent, in favor of a PC term that is a half-step away from the now universally "bigotted" Afro-American).
Don't believe that last one? Okay, how about a more simple one?
Fact: Black people are generally darker skinned than caucasians!
YES, its true!!! Of course, by stating that black people are blacker than whites, I suppose I must be racist, since its a general term encompassing all black people.
Listen, folks, I'm not trying to argue that black people are less intelligent than white people. I'm just trying to say that we are all oversensitive to race-related conversations. See Imus' nappy-headed ho reference. After all, nappy is defined as "Tightly curled or coiled" by the American Heritage Dictionary. And guess what? BLACK PEOPLE HAVE DIFFERENT TEXTURED HAIR THAN WHITE PEOPLE.
Boy, I can't help but feel like I'm setting myself up for disaster on this one. But it must be said. When we ignore that there are legitimate differences between races and cultures and sexes, we don't become blind to bigotry; we become blind to reality.
Until next time, make mine poker!
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
I have never won a trip from playing poker, but after I heard about the BBTwo, it is now my number one goal.
In case you haven't heard, the one-man-party, AlCantHang, recently announced the second coming of the Battle of the Blogger Tournaments, otherwise affectionately known as the BBTwo (come get me, TripJax).
The BBT was a great event, and this one looks even better. Things are a bit different this time, with an amazing $18k Aussie Millions package for the player who wins the Tournament of Champions.
To enter the TOC, all you have to do is win a BBTwo event. There are a whopping 27 events over 8 weeks, kicking off with this Sunday's Blogger Big Game, hosted by Miami Don. I already have my token from the juicy 9:45 daily $7
On top of the Aussie Millions prize, the Player of the Week wins an entry into FT's big Sunday guarantee tournament. P0W will be decided based on a points system per week, with the top 25% of players recieving points. Once again the BBTwo boys did it right, resolving some prior concerns of players folding to the points by making the point bubble higher and shortening the length of the relevant point period. In other words, great job!
There are still a few details to iron out, but there will also be an FTOPS Main Event seat, an iPod Touch courtesy of donkit.com, and probably more than a few additional items before its all said and done.
If you have any questions, feel free to drop Al an email.
Until next time, make mine poker!
Four Hours to Even (AC Trip Report Pt 2)
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
I should probably go back to discuss the tournament briefly, since I neglected to mention the one hand that I think lost me the whole shebang. I was in the BB with KK at my last table (final three tables). There were a few limpers, and rather than fuck around, I raised 3x the BB, which was a sizeable amount at this point. I had maybe 12x the BB at most, but I didn't want to just push since I was afraid I wouldn't get any action and I wanted to put myself in contention to win. I got one caller, an old guy who seemed to call too much. The flop was Ace-high with two spades. It was the worst possible flop. My opponents' most likely holdings included an Ace, so I checked. He bet an amount that would essentially put me all-in and I folded begrudgingly. We even got into words. After announcing loudly that I fold, I hesitated before mucking. I considered showing him what I had to induce him to show. While I hesitated, he got loud, "Well, are you going to fold or not?!" "I said fold. Relax! I was just deciding if I was going to show you." "Well, I'm not showing you!" "No one asked you to. Jesus, man! What's your problem." "I never seen no one hold onto their cards after folding." "Well, for your sake then, I'll make sure that I always muck my cards within 1 second of announcing my fold. Is that acceptable to you sir? Is there anything else I can do for you?" He shut up and stacked his chips. My chips. I guess he got the better end of that altercation, but I couldn't let myself be stacked with KK and that ugly flop. After that, I played small stack poker and was busted when my overcards KJ lost to 44 preflop. I pushed, he called. So it goes.
After I busted, everyone at my table said good game. I shook a few hands and was polite with the older gentleman from the KK had mentioned above. Once again, I felt the old push-pull of poker table social interaction, where one minute someone is my enemy and the next, they are a compadre. I took my loss relatively well, too. I stood up, said good game and then walked off, hardly phased aside from a slight bit of joy for having made it so deep. Its a nice feeling to have after busting rather than the soul crushing feeling we are all so familiar with.
I walked to the desk to be added to the 1/2 NL list. I was behind two other guys on line, and as I looked down, I saw a red $5 chip lying on the carpet. The carpet was red with all sorts of designs, so the fact that I saw the chip in and of itself was pure luck. I bent down, picked it up and perused the nearby area. One of the two guys in front of me had chips, but his rack looked full. I considered my options and decided to consider it karma's attempt to pay me out a teeny bit for my tourney run. I sure as hell wasn't going to try to find the chip's rightful owner. I would have if I could have, but this was one of those situations where it didn't pay to put myself out.
After I was taken to my 1/2 NL table, I bought in for a full $300. The table was in the middle of the large poker room, but off to the side, abutting a wall. I took the 8 seat, directly in the corner, with the wall to my back and ample room on both sides. I used to prefer the 1 and 10 seats, seats that most people avoid. I liked them because I knew that in at least one direction, I could lift my cards without fear of an angle shooter catching them. But after spending 4+ hours in the corner, I had a renewed appreciation for the 3-4 and 7-8 seats. I had more room to spread out with the curvature of the table, I had, in a sense, a private group of players on my side of the table to talk with (generally about the other side), and I could see most players fine. This might be old news for the lot of you, and I suppose it is all common sense. All I needed was 4+ hrs to let it sink in.
When I sat at the table, it was full of Caucasian males from their 20s to 30s. This never bodes well for me. I can be profitable at any table, but a little bit of diversity usually just livens things up. In actuality, there was one hispanic guy in his late 40s who left about a half hour after I sat down. As I hinted, he was the only action player, even though he didn't have more than $100 the entire time he was there. Regardless, he'd limp or raise or whatever and then whoop it up, joking around and acting crazy during the hand and eventual showdown. When he busted, I was bummed because I was left at what appeared to be a Klu Klux Klan meeting, all solemn looking young white males. I even joked as two new white males joined our table, "Hey! Can we get some more white males here! We are running low!" I've used that line more than once.
All of these antics are to drum up some excitement at the table. Otherwise, its just a fold-fest, where the mood of the table curtails any extended excitement/action. Fortunately, a blonde chick with nice cans sat down to my immediate right. It was a vast improvement over the guy there before her, a scraggly looking dude with a soul patch beard curling over his chin. When I first sat down, I tried to buddy up to him, first by asking how the table was going. "Pretty boring," he said, so I replied, "Let's see if I can liven it up." When I finally did liven it up by getting some action going, I turned to him and said, "That's a start." But he was having none of it, and was lost in his own frustrations.
The chick on the other hand was a lot more interesting. I could tell that she was attractive, but my angle was such that I really couldn't get more than a glance at her. Frankly, I didn't really even care to look. I was intent on watching the table, since I had already developed a few nemeses that I needed to keep in check. Like the dude before her, I tried buddying up with my new female neighbor, and not so surprisingly, she was more amenable to a friendly chat. By the end of the game, we were discussing hands, reads and our opponents. I gave her a few pointers about one guy in particular that I will now impart to you.
I wasn't intentionally focusing on tells for this trip, but it sure felt that way. I have gotten better and better at reading body language, and there is little else to do while folding away, so I was looking constantly for signs that I was on the right path. In one instance, during the first break of the tournament where I busted 20th and Roose busted 18th, I walked past a 2/5 NL cash game. I decided to watch for a moment to see how the action went. One player was about to act and he put in a bet. I immediately knew he was bluffing from his demeanor and the pot size. The bettor looked uncomfortable in his seat. He shifted. He had his left arm folded over his right, and he was holding his right forearm with his left hand, as though he was holding on for dear life. Everything told me he was bluffing. He got one call and nodded as though he was saying to himself, "There it goes. Damn." The other guy called as well and the bettor looked unpleased. The river was dealt and both players check to the bettor. This time the bettor reaches for a big stack of chips. His river bet was much bigger than his turn bet, which told me that he was trying to end it without a showdown. He went back to holding his arm. Roose was walking by and I grabbed him. "See that guy? He's bluffing." Both of the opponents folded and the bettor voluntarily showed his bluff, Ace-high. How fortunate that I made a read, stuck to the table, and the bettor actually showed his bluff! I was hot!
The same was true at my new cash game. There was one player in particular who really annoyed me. He was in the 4 seat, and looked like a typical guy. There was nothing that stood out about him. He had short brown hair, wore an ugly but plain green sweater. He had some stubble, and was a bit chubby. But he had an aire about him that I honestly hated. He played too many hands for a limp, would play poorly post flop, and then be shocked that someone beat his K7 that flopped top-pair 7s. In a hand against the chick, he rolled his lips inwards following a bet. It's a classic tell that most people don't control: if you push out your lips, you are confident; if you pull them in, you are weak. Later, he showed the opposite tell, literally puckering up and whistling (WHISTLING!) when he had a good hand. Who was this guy!?
Aside from him, the other nemesis was the late 30s or early 40s guy in the 3 seat. He had a big stack and was willing to tangle a lot more than the other players. This was annoying early on, but thanks to terrible post-flop play by the 4 seat, let's call him Post-Flop Donkey or PFD, I got a reputation as a luck box and that cooled off all of my challengers.
My first significant hand at the table (before the chick sat down), was 56c. I called UTG along with at least 5 other limpers/blinds preflop. The flop was KJ7 with two clubs, and I bet out $10. I got two callers. The turn was an offsuit 4, giving me an open-ended straight draw to join my flush draw. I bet out $25 and got two callers. I got the sincere suspicion that we were all drawing. The river was a blank and I followed my read, betting out $30. In and of itself, the bet wouldn't force anyone out of the pot. However, I wasn't planning on betting pot, which was now over $100, and I couldn't bet $25 again (or lower) because it would look weak. The lower bet looked like a value bet, and as Layne Flak once said on The Circuit podcast, (paraphrased) when you are bluffing, bet small; when you have a good hand, bet big. It's a simple enough idea, so that you won't lose much on an unsuccessful bluff and you'll get paid off big when people don't believe your big bets. Whatever the case, it worked. Both players folded and I was up $100 in no time.
In the very next hand, UTG+1, I found AQo and raised to $12 preflop. I got one caller and then another player with a tiny $36 stack pushed all-in. It folded to me and I considered letting this one go. I didn't feel like playing a cointoss and I was concerned about AK. I thought it over and asked the player, "Do you want a call? Do you want to gamble?" He shrugged, but he wore the biggest most exaggerated frown I've seen. It was like a goddamn semi-circle. In situations like this, you have to analyze whether the over-exaggerated "tell" is real or fake. Often times, you'll see an over-exaggerated sigh and you'll know that they are faking because it is so clearly intended to catch your eye. This time, though, I got the feeling that he didn't know what he was doing with his mouth. That was a genuine frown of fear, so I called. He showed KQ and my AQ won.
After that, the kid left with his friend, and the Hispanic guy had already busted. We were down to 6 players when I was dealt AJo. I raised preflop to $10 and got one caller. The flop was Jack-high and I checked, hoping to get some action. The other two cards were random low ones, so I figured I was good. My opponent checked. The turn was another Jack. I bet out $15 and he raised me to $35. I thought about my options and chose to call. I had a weird feeling about his raise, but I still felt good about my hand. The river was a blank and he bet out $50. Rather than raise, I simply called. He mucked and said, "Good call. I got nothing." I was ready to show my cards, but he was already looking away. He didn't care, so as the pot was pushed my way, I mucked my cards as well. The moron should have at least made me show. But if he ain't asking, I ain't showing.
These hands were all good and fun, but I really earned my title of luckbox and the ire of nemeses in this fun hand. I had J6h in the BB, and there were a good 7 or so limpers by the time it got to me. This was after the influx of new players, including the chick and a new group of anonymous white males. I was only up maybe $30 at the most, but I don't recall how. Whatever the case, I checked my option and we saw a A28 flop, with two hearts. I checked my flush draw, it checked around to the Post Flop Donkey (PFD), and he bet $10. It was cheap enough and I had my flush draw so I called. The smartest and most successful player at the table, the 30-40 year old guy I mentioned earlier, also called. It was me and my two nemeses. The turn was a Jack, giving me second pair. I checked, as did the Smart Guy. PFD bet out $25. It was so typical. I called the $25, now that I had more potential outs and good implied odds. Smart Guy called too. The river was another Jack. I luckboxed into trips, but my play made perfect sense. Even so, all my nemeses could see was that I hit runner runner. Donkeys.
The next hand has me playing the role of donkey. With J6h again, I decide to limp along with a bunch of other limpers. I'm really playing for tilt value, since my two nemeses have been talking up seats 1 through 5, and I was fairly certain the topic was my luckboxedness. A bunch of us see a two heart flop. I check, someone bets $5, and there are a couple of callers before I called. The turn was another heart, and rather than mess around, I bet $20. It looked like everyone folded, so I flipped my cards face up to show that the J6h paid off again. Then one kid says, "What are you doing?" I look and he has two cards and $20 laid out in front of him. The river was also in the process of being dealt. I pick up my cards, "I didn't muck." I state and sorta ask the dealer. He nods, and says there was no forward action with my cards. The river is a blank and I stupidly bet out $40. I don't know why. After all, he knows what I have. I give him the opportunity to raise me all-in by betting (checking would be the same, though). Whatever the case, he folds. I dodged a bullet on that one.
In a few hands, I'm dealt 69h in the BB. There are four limpers, but we all check down to the river, where I go runner runner hearts for a flush again. Since there was no post-flop action, I bet out $10 out of position and get two callers, including the PFD. They look miserable when I show my flush.
From there, I went card dead. At my peak somewhere in the middle of those hands, I was up around $300. However, over time, that lessened, and by the time I left, I was up $135, enough to pay for my $100 tournament and have $35 profit. I cashed out fairly drunk. By the last hour, when I realized that I was near done with my 4 hours, I felt terribly bored. Rather than get fancy, I just opted to order lots of free rum and cokes, the official casino mixed drink of High On Poker. Six or seven later, I was cashing out, happy to have had a productive run at the tables. Sure, I made a few slip ups and I lost some of my profit (sorry for not recording those hands, but there were no suckouts; probably just a string of calling then folding or betting and then folding to re-raises).
I should probably mention my disappointment with the Trop poker room. The Trop is the third largest poker room in AC, behind the Borgata (1st) and Trump Taj Mahal (2nd). The Borgata is an uber trendy hipster vibe, which means lots of donkeys with too much cash and too little brains. The Taj is a dirty, but well established room, which means the potential for old timers colluding (and rumors of the same) and a general feel of sleaziness that I avoid. The Trop feels like a grinder's poker room. The size is great, and the variety of games is great as well. However, the players, while varied, tend to have a fair share of grinders and semi-pros, and the vibe in general is very impersonal, unlike a room like Showboat, which feels like a home game in a great environment. In order to get the poker room rate, I had to play for 4 hrs. This is tracked by the floor, who should come around every hour with a barcode scanner, scanning everyone's cards. However, they only came 3 times in the 5 hours I was sitting. I wasn't concerned about the poker room rate, since I was ready to give them shit the next day for their lax bar code scanning. Alas, I couldn't find anyone who knew anything about the poker room rate, so I just accepted that if there was a problem, I'd deal with it later.
After poker, I found Roose upstairs in the room. We hung out for a bit. I had some migraine medication to counteract the poker adrenaline and Roose had already offered some delivery from a nearby restaurant. Once the dust had settled, I realized that I hadn't seen Ruff in hours. After the tourney, I walked the poker room a couple of times but couldn't find the guy. Roose told me he was in the back corner, so after my the med, I went back downstairs to say hi. He was doing fairly poorly, on the ass end of a buy-in. I watched a total of one hand, when his 88 or 66 ran into AA. After that, we headed upstairs.
The first night of poker was a success. I got my 4 hours in, went deep but lost a tournament, and overall played well, using my reads and later, my table image, to abuse my opponents. By the time I went to sleep it was after 4am. Regardless, I knew I'd be up early for the next days' events. The plan was to play the 2pm Showboat tournament, a tourney that Ruff, Roose and I had all won on differnt occasions. Other than that, I knew I'd have to get at least another 4 hours of cash games done. What I didn't expect was the special guest who joined us for night two.
Until next time, make mine poker!
British Airway's Stole my Luggage
Monday, October 15, 2007
This is a 10 minute movie made from a friend of a friend I met through poker. It was so god damn funny that I had to post it. British Airways lost his luggage and he protested the British consulate as a result. Maybe its my migraine medication, but I laughed my ass off.
More on my AC Trip Report tomorrow.
Where to begin. I suppose the beginning.
I was desperately happy to leave the office at 2:00-ish on Friday, heading home to meet Dave Roose before we drove to Atlantic City. Right before I left, I had a meeting with one partner, where I learned that I needed to draft and send out a document as soon as my weekend ended, and then received a call from another partner, where I was asked to handle a minor task, and then was berated for doing it.
It's not the best way to start your stress-free vacation, but it had to do. On the train ride back to my apartment, I chose to silently meditate. Whatever was happening at the office could wait a few days, so it made little sense for me to bring the stress with me.
At home, I grabbed some food and changed out of my work clothes. My travel bag was already packed, and consisted of a couple of changes of clothes and my usual poker gear (iPod, hat, sunglasses, Buddha card cap). It was all packed the night before, while wifey Kim slumbered. My goal was to make a quick transition from home to Roose's car, and I was successful for the most part. Unfortunately, he also had to stop by his newlywed wife's office to drop off their laptop. She wasn't where she was supposed to be or we weren't where we were supposed to be, but whatever the case, 30 minutes and an spousal argument later, and we were on the road, with Roose carrying his marriage baggage and me carrying my work baggage. Ironically, the smallest baggage in the car were our travel baggage; Roose and I have a silent competition to see who can bring less on a weekend trip. He won again; my backpack was bursting at the seams. His small duffle bag looked hollow.
We had left NYC at about 3:15 and arrived in AC at around 6pm. Roose and I were staying at the Tropicana Casino Hotel, located at the opposite end of the Boardwalk as our usual hotel, the Showboat. In fact, we were originally booked at the Showboat, the official Atlantic City Casino/Hotel of High on Poker, but switched the to Trop to save over $350 over two nights. The Tropicana has a special poker room players' card. If you have an average of 4 hours of cash game sessions per trip or higher, you can get the special poker room rate. The room rate has one requirement, that you complete 4 hours of poker for each night that you visit (i.e., a 4-hr average requirement to get the deal, and a 4-hr per night play through to keep the rate). My average was only 3.5hrs, but I used some of my charm over the phone and got the deal anyway. I figured that playing 4-hrs of cash per day would be a walk in the park. But we'll get to that later.
Roose and I were settled in and decided to look for something to eat. The Trop has the best restaurant selection in AC, due to their new Havana-themed Quarter, essentially a little mall within their hotel. It may be fairly common to have that sort of shopping in a Vegas hotel, but AC is just catching up with the concept, which will be expounded upon in the three currently under-construction new hotels.
We opted for Ri Ra, an Irish pub, due to the lack of wait-time and the adequate menu. I opted for a simple burger to help settle my upset stomach. I got mac & cheese as the side. Roose opted for the spicy chicken sandwich. During the meal, we were both staring at the TVs around the room. It was clear that even though we were sitting at dinner, our minds were already in the poker room.
After dinner, we headed to the poker room. My plan was to start my 4-hour "shift" necessary for the cheaper room rate. Unfortunatley, Roose is a tourney whore, and wanted to enter the 7:15pm $100 poker tournament, which had just started. He inquired and we were added to an alternate list. Within 10 minutes, a new table was added to the tournament, consisting of Roose, me, and the other 5 alternates, and we were under way, about 15 minutes into the first 20 minute blind period.
The first table was calm enough. I pretty much just folded. There wasn't much to be done. When I bet, I generally got respect. There really isn't much to say because I did not reach showdown once. Eventually, our table broke (it was the first to break), and I was moved to a new table with players who were clearly more skilled than the first group. I remained relatively tight, with bursts of aggression when appropriate. With full tables and a 10k starting stack, I was in no rush. I got into a few hands with an old man and old woman across the table, but other than that, I just played a tight game and won most pots I entered. In fact, I didn't reach showdown once at that table either.
From all of this, I had gone from 10k up to maybe 18k at my peak. Roose, meanwhile, was making all sorts of noise at his new table...literally. I was sitting there folding away when I hear, "YEAH BABY!" Actually, it was more like. "OH YEAH BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I looked over and it was Davey Boy standing up and cheering like a mad man. I later found out that his pocket Kings held up against two all-in players. My boy had amassed a 40k+ stack.
A little while later, I felt my leg vibrate and I took out my cell phone. A text message was received from Dave Ruff reading, "I'm here." I checked the clock, 9:00. SHIT! On the carride to AC, Roose and I were discussing prop bets. We argued for a good 20 minutes to set a line for Ruff's arrival. I took 9:01 and under. He took 9:02 and up. I really wanted 9:05, but it is what it is.
To avoid any confusion, Roose and I agreed that Ruff's arrival was official when we first saw him. The text didn't qualify. I stood up at my seat and stared at the entrance to the poker room. If he entered the room, I wanted him to see me right away so I could win the bet. I stared at that door for 120 seconds but had no luck. I sat down, resigned to the fact that I lost the first prop bet of the trip. 40 seconds later, Ruff strolled in and said hello. I just handed him the prop bet money and told him to drop it off at Roose's table. Fungool!
I continued to grind it out until I was moved once again. This new table looked great. There was one tilting player from my old table and a couple of old guys, a couple of nerds who looked nervous as all shit, a rowdy black guy who musta been rich if you believed all of the gold dollar sign decals all over his velor jacket and matching baseball cap, and a punky-looking kid to my immediate left. I actually noticed the punk from my first seat in the tournament. From my first seat, I was pretty much staring right at him (he was at another table). I saw him chatting up the girl sitting next to him at the beginning stages of the tournament, and then I saw them cuddling up during a break. I figured out that they were dating, and I was incredulous that they would be seated right next to each other during a tournament. Once I was closer, I realized that she was just railbirding him. I wasn't concerned, and started a conversation with the cute couple. I was trying to get a vibe on the table, and the punk pointed out the dollar-sign-wearing black guy and said that he was super annoying. Apparently, he never knew what the action was, and would take 5 minutes per decision. "I'll bust him for you, then."
I busted him two hands later. I was dealt A9s and limped in late position. The black guy was in the BB and checked. The flop was AAx. It checked around (there were two MP players in the pot). The turn was a King. The black guy pushed all-in and everyone else folded. I called and took down the pot. It was the first hand I shown the entire tournament.
I joked with the punk and his girlfriend a bit more after that. She was friendly and he was pretty focused, so most of my conversation was with her. He jokingly turned to me and said, "Are you hitting on my girl?" He jokingly looked tough. "Nah, man. I'm just reading her for tells." I was friendly, but internally I was thinking that I could cream this pipsqueak. Poker makes for an interesting push-pull relationship amongst players. I saw this guy as a friend and enemy simultaneously. It would be a theme for the weekend.
He busted shortly after, and I was on life support due to escalating blinds. I don't even remember my last hand. It was likely a cointoss that I just lost. By then, we were about to collapse into two tables, so I busted 20th out of 70. Roose was still in it, so I went to play a cash game. I'm going to cut this short here, but I'll add that a long while later, Roose came to my cash game table to tell me that he busted. He went out in 18th place due to some suckouts. Still, he had a great run. Oddly, though, there was a long time between 20th and 18th place. I guess everyone just tightened up.
Until next time, make mine poker!
After a great weekend in AC, both because of the company and some modest financial success, I am pleased to announce that I will be attending the WPBT Winter Gathering in Las Vegas, Nevada. I will be riding solo (i.e., without wifey Kim), and if all goes well, I'll be rooming with a certain rock-climbing blogger at the Imperial Palace, for the sake of a central location and cheapness.
Because of time constraints elsewhere in my life, that's it for now. But keep an eye out for my AC Trip Report some time later this week.
Until next time, make mine poker!
What Poker Taught Me About My Work
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Back at my old job, there was one partner who always got under my skin. Everything I did was wrong. If I wrote a document, it'd be covered in red ink by the time I got it back. If I asked a question, it would be met with annoyance. As a new attorney, these things got to me. I've always been a bright guy, yet somehow, I could not please this one-man review board, no matter how hard I tried. Eventually, I started messing up the easy things. I'd photocopy a document, send it out, and realize after the fact that it was a two-sided document, and I only sent one side. That's just a small example, but it seemed like whatever I did was no longer just wrong in the eyes of the one-man review board. No, I was actually doing things wrong.
When I stopped working there and started at my new job, I brought a lot of the baggage from that partner with me. It took me a while to relearn that I am talented. I let my old partner's comments dictate how I saw myself, and the result was a very literal form of work tilt. When I'd see the partner, my heart would beat faster, I'd get nervous, and I'd make bad decisions, similar to the bad decisions made at a poker table after you get that tilty adrenaline rush when your hand gets cracked or your opponent foolishly calls your genius bluff. If you've ever tilted before, there are various forms, but for me, the most common is a form of anxiety. I'm so upset that I messed up or got unlucky that I'm anxious in the next hand. I'm not thinking straight and I don't perform well.
This morning I had a bit of an issue at work. The Big Bossman was at an arbitration on one of my cases. At Court, he called me to ask about a missing document. He had a form of the document that would work, but he have a newer form that's better. Ultimately, everything worked out fine, but even so, the phone call ended when the Bossman said, "I'll deal with this when I get back."
When he hung up the phone, my heart was beating in panic mode. I asked my support staff about the missing document, and we eventually located it. Even so, I was flustered, and unable to focus on the other tasks on my To Do list. Eventually, we were able to reconstruct what happened. In actuality the mistake had nothing to do with me. I did my part, but it was still my case, and I couldn't help but feel that I was going to suffer under the microscope.
In the end, everything worked out. Bossman was irked at the whole situation, but not necessarily at me particularly. But in that interim, while silently, internally panicking, I had a moment to reflect, and naturally, I reflected on poker. I recognized that feeling inside of me. It was tilt. Poker bloggers often write about work tilt or life tilt as a general term for when things are not going your way. I never thought of it as anything beyond shorthand for calling something negative. Something arrived late, so its delivery tilt. Your wife threw you out of the house, so its marriage tilt. You got fired, so its work tilt. If all of these things happen at once, its life tilt. But the feeling that I had this morning was different from those broad "tilt" uses. This was quite literal work tilt.
The thing about tilt is that it is by its nature out of ones control. Maybe it can be controlled before it happens, and maybe afterwards it can be recovered from, but if you are in the throws of tilt, it essentially means that you are out of control. Your behavior is controlled by raw emotions (often misplaced emotions); your actions are controlled by impulse; your mind is controlled by panic, frustration or confusion. I took some time to focus on my present work tilt. I had to re-establish control over myself. Worrying was going to get me nowhere except for the fast track to coronary disease. I needed to re-center myself.
A long time ago, slb159 (get better, buddy) and I were chatting about the tilt he experiences when he folds a hand that would've flopped a monster. I never understood that form of tilt. To me, you folded when your hand sucked, so the flop didn't matter. The decision was correct. At the time, I preached acceptance. Accept the fact that you would have flopped a monster, and accept the fact that you had already folded. Don't dwell on these things because they are not worth thinking about, once you've accepted the reality of the situation.
Acceptance in a key tenant in Buddhism and meditation. Its also a key step in most Anonymous programs (including GamAnon...hint hint...wait a second, did I just hint to myself? shit!). The reasons are simple. If you accept the reality of a situation, you can move beyond fighting what cannot be changed, and you can regain a sense of control by focusing on what you can change.
That was what I needed. I accepted that there was a mistake made somewhere along the way that had nothing to do with me. I accepted that I might become the fallguy. I accepted that whatever was going to happen, it was out of my hands.
It didn't work fully. I still feel the adrenaline and tension coursing through my body as I type this hours later. But I'm learning.
So, what did poker teach me about my work? It taught me that tilt can affect performance in any environment. It taught me that tilt must be controlled before it happens, if at all possible, by accepting life's curveballs as they come. It taught me that once I hit tilt, I need to take a step back to recollect my thoughts and accept the reality of my situation before I can move forward.
Until next time, make mine poker!
Observation = Profit
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
After last week's $270 win at the Financial Game, I have been reinvigorated for live poker play. Last night, I made my return to the Wall Street Game with the hope that I could start off strong in my first tournament of the Season 5 of the Wall Street Game. For those not in the know, the host pulls a few dollars out of each buy-in for a season-long prizepool, and keeps track of stats as the season progresses. The player with the best stats who has played a minimum of 1/3 of the tournaments wins 1/2 of the prize pool. The next 9 or 10 players get a winner-takes-all freeroll for the other half of the prize pool.
Sadly, I fell short in Season 4, but made it into the tournament of champions. Even sadder, I'll be away this weekend (okay, not so sad, since I'll be in AC), so I have to give up my seat to the next eligible player, Pervey Pauly. Fortunately, Jamie, the WSG host, is a smart guy and has a rule where if Pauly wins, I get half of his winnings. So, good luck, Pauly. You better not fuck up!
As I was saying before you so rudely interrupted me, my goal was to start Season 5 strong AND eke out a profit in the .50/1 NLHE cash game that followed the one tournament. In the past, I've had some trouble being profitable in the WSG cash games. Usually, I just donk it up, making bad calls and chatting way too much. Essentially, I have more fun, but less profit. A lot less profit. But then again, as I said last night to Bakini Mary, "I'm not trying to slit anyone's throat here." It is a friendly game, after all.
Still, losing sucks, so I decided to win some money. My first goal, however, fell woefully short. Rather than placing 1st in the tournament, I opted for 1st out of the tournament. Unlike the usual tournament vibe, this was a very tight game. Most of the hands were won with 3x BB preflop raises. I figured it was time to start utilizing the table's tightness after we entered the 50/100 blind level (2500 starting chips). I was in EP and decided to limp with J8s. It folded around to the SB, who called, and the BB, Alceste, who decided to raise. A minute before this, I was lamenting the tightness of the game, so I saw Alceste's raise as a preflop position bet. I opted to call, with the hope that I could hit a Jack and take down the pot. The flop was Jack-high, he bet out and I raised all-in. He called after thinking for a while (before realizing that pot odds dictated a call), and then showed KK to my top pair, Jacks.
After busting, I heated up some of the leftover ziti I brought with me. I grabbed a bottle of water and sat down on the couch, remote in hand. I settled on Wheel of Fortune in the background as I ate my dinner. One of the greatest things about the WSG is that its so comfortable. The proximity to home means I can always stop home and change after work (yesterday had me in full out don't-give-a-shit mode, with a ratty t-shirt and garish plaid shorts because, hey, they were 'clean'). After dinner, I checked the clock: 7:45. I had a good hour and a half before the cash game, so I considered what I could do with my time. Ultimately, when it looked like no one else was busting out anytime soon, I made a quick, discrete exit. Within 5 minutes, I was home, on my couch, hanging with wifey Kim. We watched the Big Bang Theory, which is a pretty good sitcom although a bit too sitcommy, and an episode of some other show that now escapes me. I helped her bring the heavy basket of laundry back to the apartment, and then I made my 2nd exit of the evening, running about four blocks through a sudden torrential downpour while my iPod screamed Elvis Presley's "A Little Less Conversation".
When I got back into the Wall Street Game, Bakini Mary and Tony were playing HU for the top spot. Mary won, and we eventually retook our seats to start the cash game. Skidoo remained on the couch, where he finished a PLO SNG on his laptop, moneying in 2nd place. In the meanwhile, I was playing .50/1 NLHE and doing my best to remain profitable.
I don't recall many hands except for the one I will go over in detail. What I do remember is that there was one action player at the table, and when I say "action player" I mean donkey. Its always dangerous posting things like that on this blog, and I hope that if the donkey, er, player, reads this, he understands that I must remain true to my readers. This player was in a lot of pots, and was clearly unable to control his nervous habits. I watched this player carefully, especially after he made a play on me in the early goings. This hand, I do sorta recall. I think I raised to 5 or so in MP/LP with decent high cards, but nothing really worth raising about. I hadn't played a hand yet and I felt that if I was going to play, I would at least play the role of the aggressor. The donkey called along with one other player, Scott, sitting directly to my right. The flop was J65, and both players checked. I put out a continuation bet and the donkey pushed all-in. That was a sizeable sum, so I folded when it got back to me. He showed his cards to Wendy, sitting at his right, and I quite loudly proclaimed, "Show one, show all." He flipped over his 67o, and seemed kinda annoyed by my request. I admitted, "I had no idea what you had, so if I can see your cards, I'm going to want to see them." He said, "I knew you didn't have the Jack," and I agreed. I admitted that he was ahead. Scott leaned over and whispered incredulously, "He was ahead with 6s?" It was true and I didn't hide it. But I did repeat under my breath (although loud enough for Scott to hear), "I got what I needed out of that hand." The truth is, I did get what I needed. I had been watching the donkey the entire time and I got a feel for his game.
As the game wore on, the donkey suffered a few big losses and I saw him unravel. I knew it was time to go in for the kill if at all possible. I was in the BB for $1 and was dealt 22. Dawn, who had been suspiciously quiet the entire game, raised to $6. The donkey called. I decided to call for an additional $5. By then, I was up around $50, so I could afford to gamble with $5 to set farm. I figured that Dawn had good cards, but I had no faith in the donkey's hand. He just seemed to want to play too many pots. Still, Dawn was very quiet, so I was cautious, even if I was willing to throw $5 away with a call preflop.
The flop was 974, rainbow, hardly the flop I was looking for. The one consolation was the fact that there were no high cards. I checked, and Dawn checked too. The donkey reached for his chips. His demeanor lacked confidence. He grabbed 4 redbirds ($5 chips) and bet out $20. I thought for a moment about the bet. $20 into a $15.50 pot was an obvious overbet. In the previous hand when the donkey hit 2nd pair with 67o, he check-raised all-in. In that instance, it was clear that he did not want a call. I saw the same thing forming here. His bet, $20, was designed to force folds from me and Dawn. Frankly, it was a reasonable enough play, since all indications pointed to Dawn and I missing our cards, so our folding would be imminent. But I decided that the donkey was likely full of shit, and I could get more information on the next card. I called, and Dawn folded. I was essentially setting a trap. I smelled bullshit, but I wasn't ready to take down the pot immediately. I figured that if I raised the $20 flop bet, I could face a problem from the oddly quiet Dawn, and/or face an all-in from the overzealous donk. I couldn't call a re-re-raise.
The turn was another 9, which was oddly the ideal card for me. The 9 was harmless. If he already had top pair 9s, I was behind anyway, so the fact that he hit trips would only make my life easier. Certainly, if he had a 9, he would be more fearless and more comfortable, two things I can pick up in body language. I checked, hoping to gather more information. I would have been also willing to check it down, if he checked behind me, since I did not have a definite read yet. Fortunately, my opponent bet out $20 again, and I had all the information I needed.
Its not always the case, but if your opponent does not escalate his bets from the flop to the turn, he usually has lost his confidence in his hand (if he ever had any) and it betting out of desperation, not to mention the fear that if he checks, I will bet with impunity on the river. There are other possibilities, but I had eliminated those. Other than lack of confidence, players might fail to escalate their bets when they are (a) trying to keep you in the hand, or (b) don't know any better. From his flop bet, it didn't appear that his goal was to keep me in the hand. The river didn't change much. It was not as though he was worried about his top pair on the flop, and suddenly confident with his trips on the turn. After all, if he did have top pair preflop, I was fairly confident he would have bet a lesser amount. And while he was a donkey, he knew how to escalate his bets, so that was eliminated.
After his bet, I raised to $60 with my sad pair of 2s. He took his time before folding. He later claimed he had JJ, but I don't believe that for one moment. Still, my play could have scared off an overpair since I seemed to really light it up after the 9s paired, suggesting that I hit top pair, shitty kicker to call on the flop and check-raise the turn. Whatever the case, by observing my opponents' behavior in previous hands, his general unease in the current hand, and his bet sizing signals, I was able to pick up on weakness and win myself $50+ in profit in that one hand alone.
On a side note, a little while earlier, Scott had lost a big hand when he correctly called out another player's set but called anyway with a overpair to the board. He was pretty upset with himself. It was like looking at a mirror to myself. In the last month, I've pretty much read a players' hand and called them anyway at least once a week. Usually, its for big money. Ultimately, its something Scott and I both have to work on. If there is any consolation, though, its that you cannot learn to follow your reads until you get reads. At least Scott and I are observant enough to make correct reads. The next step is to follow those reads every time.
I should probably mention that the Wall Street Game has continued to amaze me with its random cast of characters. I've said it before and I'll say it again: You just never know who is going to show up at a Wall Street Poker game. This time, though, was absurd. I stroll in to Kearns, Jamie and one other person cleaning up a spilt soda. As I make my way into the main room, I see the usual crowd. However, as I get to the far end of the table, who do I see but 23Skidoo in the flesh. Skidoo is an Atlanta blogger who has visited NYC on a handful of occasions for work. In the past, I had taken him to Salami Club, but when I heard he was going to be in NYC on Monday, I had to reluctantly pass on hanging out because of plans to spend some time with wifey Kim. I had assumed that he would be out of the area by Tuesday, but I assumed wrong. Skidoo, reading about the WSG, emailed Jamie and arranged to join the festivities. And frankly, that's just fucking awesome that (a) WSG is so freakin' open that a random blogger from Georgia can get in the game with little effort, and (b) that Skidoo took the initiative and made it happen.
So, it was a great night for me overall. I won $120 in the cash game and lost $30 in the tournament, netting me $90 profit on the night. I had planned to play at the Financial Game tonight, but it looks like that plan has fallen through. That's fine by me though. I was literally exhausted this morning as I dragged myself from bed. I left the game at 11:30 last night, the first player to leave, and I felt like a real gash for leaving 'early'. However, after poker, I'm usually on such an adrenaline rush that won't let me sleep for at least an hour. Last night was worse, and I didn't fall asleep until much later than usual. But the world keeps on turning, and I keep plugging along.
Until next time, make mine poker!
One of Those Rambling Posts
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
There is not much to write about today, but since I'm feeling like blogging, you'll have to suffer through it anyway. Let's go with a classic, "Last night I..." post followed by the ever faithful, "This week, I plan to..."
Last night I...played three HU SNGs and won them three in a row. The first one was a $5 SNG on Poker.com. I really love that site for HU SNGs because the blinds go up based on the amount of hands dealt. Because of this, I'll often gladly fold the SB and the BB to raises for the first 20 or so hands, in an effort to race to blinds that really matter. I don't give up on good hands. Hardly. But I am super happy to fold my J6o to a raise in the SB. The reasons are fairly obvious, but quite useful once laid out. By folding a lot early on, I get to the blinds (10/15-yawn, 15/30-whatever, 25/50-ka ching!) where stealing actually matters. By then, I've folded enough to condition my opponent to keep betting at me. I then start re-raising and winning 150 easy (he raises 3x the BB after I limp; I raise and he folds). That 150 easily covers the folds at the 10/15 level and after a few more moves like that, I'm usually the chipleader going into the all-important 50/100 and 100/200 blind levels.
I played a $5 SNG because it was the only one ready to go. As I've said before, I like the mental position of being the guy who strolls in and plays, rather than the guy waiting around for someone. It gives me the feeling of control early on, even if it is illusory. On a side note, I feel the same way with live games. I hate arriving early (or when others arrive late, delaying the game), because I get anxious while I wait. I am definitely part action-junkie, so I can feel that crave build in me. A lot of the time, I also feel an urge to flee, because I recognize that the action junkie in me is taking over. I may be a fun-time guy and an action player, but I don't like starting a game with the feeling that I have to start mixing it up right away.
Whatever the case, I made quick work of the guy before jumping into an open $20 match. I really used my early-fold, late-check-raise strategy, to a silly extent. By the time we were at 50/100, I'd limp, he'd raise and I'd push, knowing full well that he was full of shit (and I usually had solid holdings). It pissed him off to know end, and near the end, he typed, "r u ****?" I racked my brain trying to figure out what was censored. "r u shit?" makes no sense. Neither does, "r u fuck" or fuck in any of its forms. Is retarded censored, because that might make sense. All I could do is respond, "??," but he didn't say anything else until the end of the game, when I wrote "gg" and he wrote "go fuk yourself". Seeing that he was pissed, I quickly added, "rematch?" but he was apparently gone by then.
I headed over to FT next, where I played a HU SNG for a $26 token. These things confuse me, because I querry how smart they are for the player. Its essentially a cointoss for a token. If you win, you get in to a $26 event for half-off, but if you lose, you end up paying $39+ for that $26 game (assuming you then buy in with cash). If you lose the HU SNG and try another one, you are still making a bad play, essentially trying to "break even" by winning a $26 token by spending $27. But whatever. I guess they are there as a quick satellite. Whatever the case, I won after a long battle, but overall didn't enjoy myself as much. FT has great software, but I still like Poker.com's HU SNGs better. Its a shame Poker.com doesn't have more traffic.
Later in the night, I played one more HU SNGs, and lost. It was a brutal series of ridiculous suckouts that sealed my fate in the $20 match on FT, but I have to accept that variance will kick my ass every once in a while. Variance reminded me by screwing me in the $20 HU PLO SNG I played next.
After that, I took a break. Wifey Kim and I watched some TV, including How I Met Your Mother, which is easily the funniest sitcom on television. We then watched Heroes, and I was impressed by how the show fit a ridiculous amount of storylines into one episode. Let's count (semi-Spoilers, but nothing really other than broad plotlines): (1) Mohinder works with the Company, (2) Mohinder and Parkman reprising the roles played by Tom Selleck and Capt. Mahoney in Three Men and a Baby, (3) Nikki and Micah are out and about, (3) Hiro in Ancient China, (4) Ando in Japan, (5) Peter in Ireland, (6) Claire being boring, (7) Sylar back in play, (8) the Powertwins continue their journey to the US, and I'm sure there are a handful more that I'm forgetting right now. The show is still great, as it suffers through the usual difficulties facing a show in its sophomore season. Still, they are keeping things interesting, Peter specifically, and hopefully the softer parts of the show (anything with Mohinder, the Claire love story) will actually be worthwhile.
After it was over, wifey Kim wanted to watch The Hills in bed. I wanted to play the Hoy with my new token, but it was too late to sign up. Instead, I played the aforementioned losing HU SNGs, and then turned off the computer. I made my way to join wifey Kim and bed and for the first time in a while, we actively went to bed at the same time (instead of her falling asleep with the TV on and me staying awake due to my aversion to being unconscious).
This week, I plan to...make it through work and get to the weekend in AC. I'm freaking chomping at the bit in anticipation for the end of the week. Work is doing well, except for one project that is the very definition of round peg, square hole. But the Bossman wants me to make it work, and I'm nothing if not a sycophant, my gloriously wonderful readers. Meanwhile, I'm also gearing up for poker tonight at the Wall Street Game, and a possible appearance at the Financial Game tomorrow, contingent on whether it is happening or not. It's a bit too much poker, but I really love the Wall Street Game, and wifey Kim is busy on Wednesday anyway, so I might as well play at the profitable Financial Game. This all leads into the weekend, in which Dave Roose and I head to AC. I've already scouted out the Saturday tournament schedule. Friday and Sunday are scheduled cash game days, so I can keep the cheapo poker room rate at the Trop ($99 and $129). I have to play 4 hours per day in the cash games. How will I ever do it? Teehee!
Until next time, make mine poker!