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Oh, Dem Quads Beeches

posted by Jordan @ 9:23 PM, ,

Running Hot

Last night I was able to fit in three SNGs, with some fine success. The first SNG was a $6 9-person turbo on PokerStars while Ingoal watched. We tried to sign up for one together, but those SNGs fill up faster than a Cher concert on Castro Street! Yeah, I guess the analogy is a stretch.

Since Ingoal was in a rush and I didn't have much time to play, I decided to have some fun with the table. I played much looser than usual and talked smack the entire way. I eventually went out 7th or so with 88 against one player's KJ. The player who called my all-in preflop of 800 (the blinds were 50/100) was one of my smack talk targets. I have to admit that he probably called because of my smack talk. I would've preferred it if he folded, but it is what it is. At least I clearly had him tilting. If I could do it again, I'd simply wait for a better hand to push and he would've paid me off. Some follow up smack talk and he'd be gifting me the rest of his stack.

With that loss behind me, I took some time to myself (and wifey Kim). She eventually got on the phone, as she does. It amazes me how she can make 6 phone calls in a row, each with a different friend, gabbing away about this or that. I, meanwhile, can have a complete telephone conversation with any of my friends in less than a minute.

Seeing my opporunity, I fired up the comp and saw DP online. He had won a $15 turbo on Stars earlier, so we decided to go for another one together. Interestingly, my $6 loss more or less busted me at Stars. My SNG play there has been, how shall we put it, less than profitable. Of course, my net loss was only $50, but for my life-support bankroll, it was a pity.

With no money on Stars, I decided to reload another $50. The $15 turbo 9-person SNG was off to a fine start with DP sitting on my immediate right. Let me say this about DP and his play. DP knows what he is doing. He is selectively aggressive, and most of the time, he's right on the mark. I'd much rather act after him, no matter what the situation. That said, I didn't want him right on top of me. After all, you play most of your hands against the two players on your left and right.

As it turned out, DP and I were able to chip up early. We were both playing relatively loose due to the Turbo format and DP's natural inclinations. I used to be a looser player, and I'm starting to see/remember the benefits of that style of play. However, I also remember the shortcomings, namely the big swings. It seemed like every other orbit, I was chipleader and then back to middle or back of the pack. I blame some of that on the quickly escalating blinds, but it also had to do with limping or betting with crap cards.

It got down to 4 and DP and I were still in it. The blinds were so high that DP was the only one not in the Rule of 10 (when you have less than 10x the BB, you either push or fold). I did my best to keep out of the fray, but eventually I had no choice but to give some action. I was hurt by Q4 v K4, but I was deep enough to keep going with 2.5K or so and 200/400 blinds, 50 ante. Luck eventually ran out for the two other guys, and DP and I were the only two left. In the very first hand, I was up about 1.5:1 in chips or less, but I got A3s. DP moved all-in. It didn't matter at this point, with the marathon all-in fest I was calling. He had 57o or some other crap hand. I can't blame him for trying. I took 1st, he took 2nd. Very successful overall.

I signed on later and decided to go play another SNG. Unfortunately, time being tight, I decided I wanted to play a 6-person turbo. Stars doesn't have these for less than premium dough (I don't think) and besides, I wanted to try something different, so I went for a Rio $20 6-person SNG at Titan. I have to pimp these SNGs because I love them. 6 players, with 2 spots paying. I eventually won the thing, for a $40 profit, but gave about $15 back in the casino games (damn you three card poker!) I am once again vowing to never play the casino games again. In their defense, I won $15 on them yesterday and used that to buy into the Rio. But...NEVER AGAIN! I felt like such a donk after losing to a fucking table game.

Here we go with some pimpage action. People, if you are interested in Titan or any other new site, first go to Poker Source Online and Vegas Poker Pro. Both sites offer bonus prizes for completing promos on new sites. I highly recommend the Royal Vegas and Poker Time promos on VPP, because they take about 2 days or 1 weekend day to complete. For your trouble you get the site's cash bonus, plus VPP will send you either a $50 gift card (from Bestbuy, Amazon or Ebay), a poker DVD and book (both for one promo), a poker table top, poker chips, or a couple of other things. Free stuff is great!

You can get the same type of things from Poker Source Online, but I suggest that if you do go for PSO, you go for the PSO points (6K) because all of the prizes can be bought at the PSO Points Store for 5K, leaving you with 1K left to spend at the PSO Store along with your gift. PSO also offers Party Poker gift certificates (10,000 pts for $100, 20,000 for $200), which is great for building the bankroll. If you are using PSO, I suggest the Absolute Poker and Bodog Promos. Also, check their forum under promotions, because every month they offer bonuses to their bonuses for certain promos. So, you may be able to get 9K for doing the Party Poker promo, or some other deal. Check it out!

posted by Jordan @ 9:36 AM, ,

Devil's Advocate

I'm the self-titled Devil's Advocate of Poker Bloggers for a reason. I've got to jump on this one, which I read in Iggy's most recent post (not his words, but a 2+2 post he quoted), but is seen in many places.

One player stated that if you can be successful at poker, you can be successful at other things that are better for you than poker.

Well, I say thee Nay!

This is one of those self-perpetuating fallacies. Here's the deal. If you are good at poker, you might have some transferrable skills. You might be a good people person, or a good math person, or a hard worker, for instance. But just because you are a good people person, it doesn't mean that being a waiter is a better living for you than poker. Just because you are good at math, it doesn't mean that you would succeed as a scientist, computer programmer, or even mathemagician. Just because you are a hard worker at poker, it doesn't mean you will be able to work hard at med school.

Poker is poker, and while you need some transferrable skills to play well and succeed, there is a reason why a given person chooses to play poker. That reason is also the reason why they will not necessarily be more successful in another career. Note the "not necessarily." Some people may be better off in some other career.

The only general thing I will concede is that some poker players would be good entrepeneurs, because they are self-starters, like to be their own boss, are committed, and hard-working. BUT (and this is a huge BUT) some of those players are also bad at organizing themselves, are committed and hard working at poker because it is a passion, and are not so much self-starters as they are action junkies. So, even the entrepeneur angle isn't locked up.

I guess I've made my point. I just don't believe the general rule that a poker player could excell easily and have an easier lifestyle if he chose another profession. It just doesn't work that way. The heart wants what the heart wants, and for many of us, the hearts wants poker.

posted by Jordan @ 5:31 PM, ,

You Decide #28

My posting output is through the roof following the most recent AC Trip.

One of the reasons why I was successful in the two MTTs in AC was my unwillingness to be all-in. I wouldn't allow myself to be in any situation where my fate was dependent on a coin flip, unless, of course, I was shortstacked and desperate. But I kept myself un-shortstacked and un-desperate by avoiding second best or coin flip situations.

With that in mind, I present:

You Decide #28

We are in level 7 (100/200 blinds, 25 ante) of a 45-person MTT on PokerStars. We are fairly shortstackde with only 2235. We only outchip one other player.

We are in the Small Blind with Qd8c. The button (5500 in chips) calls. I call. The BB (about 3500 in chips) checks.

The flop is 5h Qs 3s. I bet 2010, and am all-in. The pot was 750 at this point. Both players fold.

So, here is my question: With top pair and a medium kicker, but on a short stack, does it make sense for me to intentionally push out the competition here, or should I have given a massage bet to induce a call? I could use more chips, and this may've been my chance. Thoughts? Questions? Comments? Thanks, people.

posted by Jordan @ 11:22 PM, ,

A Cherry on Top (AC Trip Report Pt. 4)

That's a whole lot of trip report! Let' s wrap this up.

The next morning, we woke at 11:15, all shocked that so much time had passed. The guys wanted to play more, but I wanted to go home. Roose particularly wanted a tourney, and I finally convinced him and Hole over breakfast to go to the Taj for the SNGs. They hate the Taj, and I know why. That place is huge, as far as poker rooms go. It's the largest in AC. But it's also the dirties and loudest.

We decided to play in a $50+15 SNG. We all sat at the same table. Winner takes all, for $500. We agreed that if any of us won, the others got their money back. Might as well spread the love. At the table was a motley group. There were a couple of timid internet players. One woman was all miffed at the 1K in chips and quickly escalating blinds. At least, she was miffed before the tourney. As it turned out, it didnt' matter. In the first hand, a guy limped with AA, she bumped it up with AT and then hit an Ace on the flop. She pushed, he called and that was that.

I tried to play loose, but lost a couple of early hands. I was at about 600 left and looked down to AA in the BB or SB. A big doofy guy on the button limped. I pushed. He called with QhJh. With some chips behind me, I began stealing blinds when the timing was right.

I should probably go back a bit and mention something humorous. A black guy on my right, who I'll call Questlove, because, hell, he looked like Questlove, raised preflop. Hole is a loose mofo. He called. The flop was Ace high. Hole bet. Quest raised all-in. See, Quest was a seasoned player, but he wouldn't stop table coaching. Hole took his time, a rare thing to him. When he finally called, he had AK to Quest's AQ. Quest was short stacked, but managed to make it to third place (I took him out).

Now, after this hand, Quest started saying, "Weak tight man. That guy is weak tight." Quest missed the first hands of the SNG, doing god knows what. He didn't realize that Hole and I were buddies, so I decided to exploit that. Hole is anything BUT weak-tight. But that's not what I was saying. From there on out, with any of Hole's raises, I was mumbling to Quest, "He must have KK or AA to be raising like that. He's so weak tight." A little subterfuge if you will. Ultimately, Hole lost, but I was happy that I could play a little bit of mind games.

When it got to three, I took out Quest. I was left with the guy who doubled up on the first hand. We were about even so we agreed to a chop. With a lesser payout, I gave Roose and Hole half of their buy-in back. Most importantly, I felt terrific. 9th out of 58, 5th out of 38, 1st/2nd out of 10. I kicked some serious poker ass.

This trip wasn't financially successful. All in all, I was up a small amount. Poker alone, I was up a bit (I don't count Pai Gow, where I lost $75, in my poker ledger). I avoided table games for the most part. I played solid poker. I made some amazing runs, including 2 final tables in one day.

It made me feel like I could really do this. I could be a successful poker player. That's the plan. I'm taking this for real now. Slow and steady, but progressing. I couldn't be happier.

posted by Jordan @ 7:03 PM, ,

On the Mend (AC Trip Report Pt 3)

At the Resorts, we went through the regular rigamarol. Only this time, the lovely Indian woman at the counter was willing to give us our upgrade. Word to the wise, asking for a smoking room upgrade may be easier. It worked for us. The room was an odd one. It was like they just stuck a room in whatever shape could fit in the corner. But it had 2 beds and a couch, so Roose, Hole and I were good to go. Mind you, Hole was still at work, but he planned to arrive at around 8:15pm. The $60+15 tourney, meanwhile, started at 8pm.

The poker room at the Resorts, well, it kinda stinks. It's out in the open casino, so you can hear the slot machines going the whole time. Plus, its new and not well frequented, so only 2/4 was spread. Now, I'm already a day and about 20 drinks removed from the trip, so I'm going to have to start writing in broad strokes. Bear with me.

Roose and I finally settled down to the only game in the place, 2/4 limit. The table was something from the Twilight Zone. I mean, I've heard of people referring to "No Fold'em Hold'em" but I'd never seen it firsthand, at least to this extreme extent. The beauty and the beast of it all is that when every player is limping into the pot and you are in late position, you have to call, even with 48s, because the pot odds are there. So, my $100 was down wot $50 or so, from limping into huge multiway pots and calling the flopped raise, only to fold on the turn. Fortunately for me, I was finally dealt AA and played it standard. Raise preflop, and got 5 or 6 callers. The flop was all unders, but there was a straight draw. I raised, someone re-raised. Everyone called. The turn was an Ace, so at least I didn't have to worry about two pair. I bet, the field thinned to three players. The river could've helped a straight draw, but I wasn't concerned. I bet. One player called. He had K-high. Fuckin' Bizzaro poker!

When it was all said and done, Roose and I walked from the table, with me up $30 or so. He was down. It was a good thing that I won. My bankroll needed it. I could barely afford the $75 tourney buy-in and still have $100 for more grinding afterward.

A trip to the buffet was interesting. $8.99, but the spread was something straight out of a college cafeteria. When we were done, we went back to the poker room to figure everything out. The tourney was a mess to start. No one in the place knew what they were doing.

I was seated to the 2 seats to left of Vick Mackey of the Shield (or at least his look-alike). I played the same as the day before, keeping to good hands, but also taking opportunity when available. In one peculiar hand I held KK. It occurs to me now that most of the hands I wrote about involved a high pocket pair. I guess that was because those were the main hands I was playing. I mean, I did bluff preflop with 26o in the first tourney and followed with a continuation on the flop. I wasn't entirely a rock. And my image, with my Superman shirt and loudmouth demeanor was that of a loose player. But no doubt about it, my hand selection was tight.

So, I had KK. I had been playing big pairs hard, hoping to take blinds only. A squeamish young kid limped in EP. Mackey, who I respected (it was mutual), bet out from the 100 BB to 300. I re-raised from 300 to 1K total. The kid pushed for 1,200. Mackey folded. I called with KK. The kid had A7o. I won. Mackey then mumbled something. "You know that guy?" "What?" "That'd be a great way to dump chips on a guy, if you are colluding." I took off my headphones. Mackey was a fairly tough looking guy, but damnit, I was pissed. "Are you suggesting I'm cheating? If you are joking, that's one thing, but if you are serious, you've got another thing coming." Our voices escalated. And then if fizzled out. He said he wasn't serious. He didn't think I was cheating. I was cool: "Hey, no problem man. I can see that the kid made a stupid move, but don't hang it on me." We went back to poker. In a little while, Mackey and I were back to buddies.

In another hand against Mackey, I was dealt A5d in the BB. Everyone folded to him on the button and he raised from 100 to 300. I called. The flop was AK5. I checked, hoping he'd continuation bet. He checked. The next card was a 5! BINGO! I checked, he checked. The river was a blank, I guess. It was sure as hell a blank for me. I had to get something out of this. I bet 1K, which was a little under pot-sized with the antes, but a usual bet from Vick or I. He thought for a while. "I know you don't have anything. I'm just trying to decide if you have a Q." He showed me his cards, J-high. He stood up and walked away for a bit. I started jabbering. I started with my usual line: "You don't want a peice of htis." He seemed to think some more. I decided to change it up again. See, when you want someone to call, you gotta do something. You can't just sit back and let them realize that they are fucked. "You know, it's only 1K though. You are pretty deep stacked." It still needed some time to marinate. And then: "I call." I showed A5. "You were right. I didn't have a Queen."

I continued playing smart, staying near chip leader at the table. We took a break and when I returned, I was dealt AA. I bet big and followed up big, and continue big and get paid off big. I then get JJ and get another guy all-in pre-flop to his A-little. He hit. On the very next hand I get TT and get another player all-in with his KT, but this time it holds up. Booya!

The tables were down to 2 and I went back to tight. I had to really. But i did make one move that was stupid and yet successful. It'd make you all proud, at least by the time the story is over. I held 72o. We were down to 5 players at our table, with 6 at the other. I was getting short, probably already in the rule of 10 because of the blinds and antes. I decided to make a play. On the button, I raise from 1K to 4K. The SB folds. Then I notice the BB. He is severely short, with 1K in the BB and about 1.6K behind. He had to call. With KJ, I was in trouble, until the flop. A 7 came down, and that's how I made the final table. Of course, I yelled, "HAMMER!!"

Final table time. With 10 players and only 5 spots paying, I got my game face on. Mackey made it, as did a very drunk black guy from the No Fold'em 2/4 game. He didn't know what he was doing. I'll fast forward. We are down to 5 after Drunk Black got lucky on a short stack, tripling up with his pocket 2s. He then minimum raised from 3K to 6K and another player with a short stack pushed. DB called with Tc5c. Yep, he was raising with trash. He stunk of alcohol. The other guy had 22, but DB got lucky again and hit his T. And we were down to 5. I didn't bubble, hallelujah.

I did, however, go out 5th. I held 77 and DB tried to minimum raise from my left. Only, this far into the tourney (and into the Whiskey apparently), and he still couldn't follow the rules. His min raise wasn't accepted and he was forced to just limp. As the small stack, I needed to make a move. I thought DB was playing trash again. Why wouldn't I? He min raised with T5 a moment before. I pushed for 15K. One guy and DB called. I missed the flop. DB raised and the other guy folded. And then DB showed JJ.

I was out in 5th, netting a measely $29 profit and a Resorts poker room hat. DB ended up winning the thing. Mackey took 2nd. He pissed me off I lost by saying it was a bad play. I tried to explain the min bet with T5 and he said, "Get over it man!" I wanted to kick his teeth in, but instead I went to Roose and Hole to steam.

9th out of 58 people. 5th out of 38 people. Not a bad run. Not a bad run at all.

I eventually went to play some 2/4. I ended up even there after another No Fold'em session. I met up with Roose and Hole at Pai Gow and ended up even there as well. Finally, we went to 1/2 NL. It was almost 3AM and I sat between two girls. There were only 6 people at the table, including Roose, Hole and I. The girls were clealy good players. And then I noticed something. The girl on my left looked familiar. When I was in AC for one day with Ruff a while ago. When I was there, F-Train, Joaquin, SoxLover and some other bloggers were there. I didn't know anyone really, except for Joaq and F at the time, but one of the crew was a girl...a girl who looked oddly like the girl on my left. "This might sound odd, but you look familiar. What is your name?" It wasn't Dawn though, so I assumed I was mistaken. "You look like a friend of a friend named Dawn." The girl on my right piped up. "Do you blog?" "What? Yeah. High On Poker." "Dawn is her blogging name." Yep. I bumped into a couple of bloggers at the Resorts at 3AM on a Thursday night. How random. So, without further adieu, check out their blog, I Had Outs. The girls are damn good poker players, as verified by me, Roose and Hole. Fortunately, I was able to keep out of their way.

When they left, we found out that the room closed at 3:15am. One guy at the table proposed a bet. We all would bet 25$ on the next hand, blind. It's essentially a 5-way coin flip. I decided not to play. I was there to play poker, not gamble. But Hole, having recently busted out, played my hand with his money. Roose ended up winning it with 29 when he flopped a 9. He had the worst hand preflop.

Final day, coming up...

posted by Jordan @ 1:08 PM, ,

Scraping By (AC Trip Report Pt 2)

The alarm clock went off at 7AM. Unfortunately, it was the neighbors alarm clock and the neighbors either didn't exist or were not answering the call. The sound through the wall was unbearable. Not only was I suffering from a rum and coke and Corona hangover (the official alcoholic beverages of High on Poker casino play), but I was also suffering a $330 loss hangover. I tried to force myself back to sleep, but by 7:07, I had enough. I called the front desk and complained. In five minutes the alarm stopped. But I was still awake. Roose was sleeping away, god bless him, so there was only one thing to do. I got dressed and headed to the poker room.

The Showboat poker room is great. It's away from the main floor, but not hard to get to. The tables and room are nice. But, unfortunately, the action was a little light at 7AM on a Thursday. There were 2 games spread: 2/4 limit and 1/2 NL, and neither table had more than 3 people! I decided to play 2/4 limit, given my depleted bankroll ($170 left out of $500). My goal was to grind out a $50 profit, enough to pay my way into the 11AM tournament.

When I sat, the two players were middle-aged patrons taking the game semi-seriously. One gent went to the bathroom, so I found myself playing 2/4 limit heads up. It felt like I was online. Unfortunately, variance and his selective aggression got the best of me. When the third guy came back, he too was catching cards, although playing very passively. With 22 I raised and he called. The flop was K44. I bet, he called. The turn was a 6. I bet he called. The river was a blank. I bet, he called. He had KQ! I don't know why he didn't reraise. I don't know why I didn't check.

Other players joined the table. Two black dudes sat down. They were of the friendly variety. They played to win, but they weren't exactly sharp shooters. An old guy to my right was fun to hang with. At one point I was down to about $40 of my original $100 buy-in. That's when I started to play better poker, working my way up with a few large pots, including one where I rivered a straight because of pot odds. I love dem pot odds! Suddenly I was up $15 or so. That's when I started announcing: this is going to be my $35 hand (remember the goal). Well, it didn't work out that way. At 9:30 I had to leave to meet Roose. I was up $14. I don't remember the last hand, but it was playable. Unfortunately, my neighbor also had a playable hand, and at showdown, I had lost. My net profit for 2 hours of poker: $0.

With $170 left in my wallet, I met Roose upstairs. We threw on some clothes, me opting for the Superman shirt that had done me so well. We skipped the -EV showers and signed up for the tourney. A breakfast later and we were ready to play. We got into a small conversation with two other players, young guys who looked barely 21. I joked that we'd see them at the final table.

At the tournament, I was seated with a fun group. There were two ladies, one who looked liked my grandma (I felt a tad guilty when I made huge pots off of her). The other was a friendly lady on my left. Besides them, there was a mix of older players. One guy was in his late 20s or early 30s. He was an aggressive guy, but he showed down some crappy starting hands. I tried to be cautious of him. Hell, I tried to be cautious of everyone.

I have to admit, I played the perfect balance of hand selection, considering my opponent's personalities and actions, and aggression. In one orbit, I'd fold A9s. In the next, I'd raise. I coasted by most of the tourney, amassing chips and staying in the top 3 chipstacks at the table. I don't even thing I reached many showdowns. I wasn't chasing. I wasn't taking coin tosses. I was on my game. Roose held strong too, but eventually went out when he was in the Rule of 10 and pushed with TT. Someone called with J8o preflop and hit a straight. Meanwhile, I did my best to keep it moving. I sat at my table, alternatively playing my mp3 player and leaving it paused while I pretended to bob my head.

I'll cut to the chase, since I don't remember a lot of hands. There were 58 or 59 players. I wasn't getting any good cards. About 3 hours into the tourney I got my first premium hand, AA. It was folded to me on the button. Even without premium cards, I was playing premium poker, so that was all that mattered. The two young kids got moved to my table. We had fun bantering. I had especial fun raising the timid one off of hands. Each time he'd say, "you've been playing tight, so I'll believe you" I had been playing tight...but not against him.

I was in heaven when the three of us actually did make the final table. With 10 people left and 8 spots paid, I decided to focus on making the money. The blinds were 2000/4000, and because of cold cards, I was down to less than 15K. One player went out. Only one more to go. I raised all-in with 99 in EP and all players folded. With 500 antes and 15,500 in front of me, I knew I'd have to make a move. There were two other small stacks, but I was playing for 1st, not 8th. I was dealt AcQc on the button and decided to make my move when it folded to me. I pushed for 15K. The SB folded. The BB thought for a while. I was going to talk some smack, but didn't have the heart. I didn't want to give anything away, especially since I got the BB to fold with 99 by saying stuff like, "You don't want a piece of this!" He eventually called...with KQ!!!! And then he turned the K. AQ v. KQ preflop. I still couldn't help but feel like I fucked up. Roose was right there. I got up and grabbed my stuff. I said goodbye to the several players who I had spent the day with. They all had a lot of respect for me and my game. I don't mean to hype myself up. But that was how they reacted, and I was flattered. I didn't say a word. One guy asked if I was okay. I nodded. I flipped up my hood and walked away as techno music played on my mp3 player. Roose joined me. He was starving. It was 3pm. I told him we should eat when we got to the Resorts. I was starving too, but I had to get out of the Showboat as soon as I could. My heart was broken and I was ready to explode. We grabbed a sandwich on the way out. I could hardly eat.

Sounds like fun, right? Down $350 or so (after winning $30 somewhere doing something...I swear I can't remember what), my prospects didn't look good. I placed 9th out of 58, but I was wiped from the bubble finish. So close, yet so far. Resorts, here I come...

posted by Jordan @ 11:49 AM, ,

A Rough Start (AC Trip Report Pt. 1)

Well, where to begin. I guess I'll begin at the beginning, and go on till I come to the end: then stop. Sounds about as good as a plan as any one.

As expected, Roose showed up before my work day officially ended, but I still high-tailed it out of there. We got to AC in just short of 3 hrs, arrive at 8:51. Yep. 8:51. I was practically staring at the clock in anticipation. We checked into the Showboat and dropped off our stuff in our (un-upgraded, but not for lack of trying) room.

Robbie Hole had to work on Thursday, so he was going to meet us out Thursday night. I paced the room while Roose got settled in. Its uncanny how some things are so predictable. We walked around the floor games. Roose had a hankerin' for a Pai Gow spankerin' but I was a bit more timid. My goal this faux-weekend was to control the temptation to gamble. I was going to AC to play poker, and play poker well. After pacing the floor for 10 minutes (it was a desperate sight, quiet and a whole sesction of tables closed), I laid it out to Roose: "I've been here 20 minutes and I haven't had any action!" I was incredulous.

Not surprisingly, Roose, a full fledged fellow moderate to extreme degenerate (my how he's grown!), complied in no time. We both were sat for 1/2 tables...2 different tables. I remember when we were about to be seated, one table were all younger white males, and the other one was a women's lib meeting at the UN. I was shipped to the yound white males. It didn't take long until I dropped this line: "Floor! Open seat! We beed another white male over here!" Yeah. I'm a real riot.

The white male table was great though. In seat 1 was quiet white guy. 2 was jolly fat pothead white guy. He actually had a bong as a card protector. But we'll learn more about that later. In the 3 seat was skinny, jerky, slightly older white guy. When I got to the table, he was holding his head like he just walked in on his girlfriend and his father. He might as well have worn a target. That tilting mo fo was gonna pay me off. Then there was the preacher's son. He claimed he used to have face rings and really long hair. Hahahaha! Sorry dude, that's a bluff if ever I saw one. To his left was a succession of players that could all be described as timid white guys. One was as scared as a fish on his first day in the big house. I had fun raising him off of hands. To my right was a real by the book guy. A little nerdy. One to his right was Pat, my official table buddy for the night. I have a lot of respect for his game, even though he did bust me eventually. That's the kind of guy I am.

Here are the highlights. I was pretty aggressive, but only when opportunity arose. I got into a hand against Pat that got me a lot of respect. Preflop, I raise with QQ in BB to 22. There were two or three limpers. Everyone folded to Pat on the button. He called. The flop were all under cards. I check. He bets 20. I raise to 50. He looks down and goes all in. Now, Pat was a sharp player. No doubt about that. He had me outstacked. At this point, having started with 160, I was up to about 230, not including what I had already thrown into the pot. I decided to lay the QQ down, but I wanted to confirm my suspicions. I announced rather loudly that I was laying the hand down while I put the two ladies face up on the table. Now, call me crazy, but this was not an amazing move to me, folding QQ. I thought I had lost, either to a flopped set or to an overpair. I could just read it in the hand. He's smart. Calls my raise, hits a flop, go absurdly over the top with an all-in bet because it'll make me (another smart player) think that he is bluffing. That was my thought process. When I tabled the Queens I thought nothing of it. But when he showed his KK faceup, the table sorta lit up. A bunch of the players near me and across the way were talking about the hand. "Would you've laid down Queens?" Most wouldn't have. That made me feel...special. For a while at least.

I played the suited hammer and bluffed big on a flop. I had to show it. Jerky guy, across the table, must've noticed it. A little while later I had AKs. I bet preflop and Jerky called. Remember, this is the guy wearing the target. The flop was all unders, 873 or some such nonsense. I thought for a moment and checked. He hadn't played many hands. He checked right back at me. I let out an inner sigh. The next card was another 8. I decided it was time to take my hand. I bet 20 or so. He went into the tank. "I know you have nothing. I know you do. God. I think I have the best hand. Gah!" He folded face up: KT! HAHAHAHA! Don't waste my time buddy.

Not too long after, I hear Jerky talking to Fat guy. Suddenly, Fat gets up and raises his voice. Jerky shoots up too. "You wanna go outside?" Jerky asked. "Hell yeah, I'll take this outside."

Now, rewind. From what we pieced together later. Jerky was bitching about his bad luck. Fatty was finally fed up after several hours and told him to stop bitching. Jerky replied, "Shut the fuck up you fat fuck!" That's what did it.

Suddenly, Jerky is stepping through the "windows" of the poker room. Basically, instead of a solid wall, the poker room's walls have huge open-air "windows" into the main hallway that you can pretty much step over. Fatty made his way over too. While he was doing it, Jerky yelled, I'll meet you at the garbage. Fatty replied with this golden oldie: "The garbage? What's in there? Your mom?! I'll fuck her up too!" From there, we went back to poker while security came in. When Fatty was getting his coat, Jerky's friend was getting Jerky's stuff. Fatty started up with Jerky's pal, so the pal said, "Let's take this outside!" Fatty's response: "What's wrong with you people! It's always outside! I'm right here! Why do we always gotta go some place!"

But, um poker. It went well. My reads were good. I made a couple of great laydowns, if I must say so myself. I was selective and picked my actions considering everything, especially the players. I seem to get a loose image, what with the hammer (which I dropped a 2nd time) and my large bets. But in reality, my hand selection was good, and I made the most of it.

At my peak, I was up 160 or so. But, um, that didn't last. I don't remember a lot of the specifics, but I do know how I ultimately busted. The cliff notes are this: KK v 34o, 34 flops a straight. I had raised big pre-flop and he called. But I then was stupid, because, frankly, the flop had an Ace. I don't remember the specifics, because now, I'd never get deep into a hand (either he or I were all-in) with KK and an A board in this situation unless I had more info. But, sure enough, I was in that situation and lost a chunk. I think I lost the rest after in QQ v A5. I had QQ, all in pre-flop. It was one of those nights. I rebought in for 60 since I left the remainder of my cash upstairs. Good news! I have a new rule. No buying back in for lesser amounts if I bust at a NL cash table. I always get desperate, feeling short stacked and get myself in trouble. I think there was another suckout in there, but that may've been my imagination.

I pulled Roose away from the NOW/UN meeting and we headed to the room...until we ran into Pai Gow Poker. The min bet was 25, so I agreed to play only 100. Roose and I proceeded to play and not win one hand. That was how I spent my first night at AC, down $330, expecting to play a tourney tomorrow morning worth $50 when my total bankroll and spending money ($500 for the trip, $170 left) was on life support. I said to myself inside, "You are going to play great poker tomorrow. You have to." I called wifey Kim and left her a voicemail. I admitted to being down almost $330. To wifey Kim's credit, when we spoke the next morning and I brought up my losses, she was very cool. I felt terribly guilty that I was in AC losing our money, and I heard in her voice the concern. But when she heard how crestfallen I was, her voice changed. Wifey Kim is an angel, and that was what I needed right then and there. With her support, I was ready for the next day...

posted by Jordan @ 11:29 PM, ,


Well, the cat is out of the hamper! The head secretary, office manager and I were talking briefly when it came out that I wouldn't be in the office tomorrow. They asked why and I've decided not to bluff. I told them the truth...AC.

"With wifey Kim?," they asked, minus the "wifey".
"Um, no, with the guys." They were shocked.
"Wha? Let me get this straight. You are newly weds and you are going on vacation without her?"
"Well, it isn't like that. It's just a couple of days."
"And she allows this?"
"She does when I come home with a couple of hundred extra."
"What? You expect to win?"
"I play poker, and you'd be surprised."

Not such a big deal, outting myself to two secretaries (essentially). However, the close proximity to the big boss man may not have been the smartest move. Not 5 minutes later, the Big Man comes into my office.

"So, you are leaving tomorrow?"
"Um, actually tonight. Right from work." I nodded over at my backpack. Degenerate alert! Degenerate alert! Abort conversation!
I foolishly tried to recover. "One of the guys got some free rooms (notice I didn't mention that I had the free room) so..."
"You're not going with Kim?" Is that so weird? I guess so. Damn. This'll be the last trip without her for a long time anyway.
"No, just the guys this time."
From the other room I hear it, "Tell him why she lets you!" Damn!
"I told R______ that I'd be back with a couple of hundred for Kim."
"You plan on winning!?" This idea is apparently incredulous. "What do you play?"
Here we go. If I'm going to out myself, I better put on the best face possible. "I play poker. And I don't mean to brag, but I'm pretty good. At least with poker, you aren't playing against the house. You are playing against another guy at the table, and he can be a terrible player."

And then I heard it:
"I used to play every week with some friends. We play real low stakes, where you lose a hundred at most. One night I won $350 and I came home to tell my wife. She yelled at me, 'You don't take $350 from your friends!'"
I smiled and chuckled.

I'm outted. Fuck! Nothing to do but ride the wave...

AC. T-Minus 45 minutes.

posted by Jordan @ 5:05 PM, ,

Tick Tock

AC is near, and certain things are already falling into place. I'm trying to get through my psuedo-Friday at the office. I have to tell a client today that we cannot continue with her case. It's going to suck, but it's part of the job. I must admit though, I'm nervous as hell. It's not that I am concerned about the client's reactions. Its that I know that these laypersons don't know everything that we do, and they don't understand the intricacies of the law. To the client, they underwent surgery, something was done wrong, and now they have pain. That's an easy case. To us, the client underwent surgery, something was done wrong, and now they have pain, but the pain cannot be connected legally to the surgery problems and the current problems are also documented as not existing in certain records. The law is the law, and this case is a clunker. But the poor client doesn't know this. They just know that they came to us for help, we acted like we were helping, and then we dropped her cause. It's kinda like a new player holding AK and missing the flop. They think AK is still good, but sorry, its time to fold.

My predictions for AC are coming true. I spoke to Roose and he already gave me shit about timing. He gets off of work at 5pm. Well, sorry guy, I need until 6 or 6:30, and even then I'm cutting it close. I expect to probably wimp out and meet him at 6.

Meanwhile, when I spoke to Hole, he announced that the first thing he is going to do is hit up roulette and then poker. It's like a goddamn ritual. First roulette, then poker. God bless!

Last night I played in the 180-person $20 Stars SNG for the first time. I didn't play any hands for the first hour and a half or so. When I finally did, I doubled up. But, alas, it wasn't meant to be. Eventually, I got all-in preflop with TT v. AQ. I ask the same question again: Aside from when you are shortstacked, is there ever a reason to push all-in on a coin toss, assuming you know it will be a coin toss? I think the answer is yes. More often than not, you'll win. Of course I'm talking about those tosses when you are ahead by a narrow margin, not the ones when you are behind.

After losing the tourney at about 57th place, I called it a night. I was a bit steaming, and I think I had my fill. I planned on hitting the sack early, but then realized I hat yet to pack. I threw some clothes together, and then realized that I needed to update my mp3 player. You might have your iPods, but I got me a ghetto $30 Sandisk that holds about 3-4 hours of music. Yep, its not your 20,000 song iPod, but 4 hrs is enough for me, especially when I'm playing poker. The music of choice were a couple of hour-long live Paul Oakenfold sets. He's techno, for those who don't know. I find techno to be the music of choice. It sets me up with a rhythm, doesn't distract me with lyrics, and helps me hit the zone. I also threw in some classical music, Ave Maria by Pavarotti and some other Italian song from the GTA soundtrack, some hip hop from the Wu Tang Clan, Jay-Z, and Dr. Dre, some random rock music, and Uncle Fucker from the South Park Movie, for when I need a mental break. Ah, I love my portable poker-inspired music!

T-minus 7 1/2 hours. Wish me luck!

posted by Jordan @ 9:52 AM, ,

You Decide #27

If you haven't read my Razz post, check it out. It's just before this one.

I love it when this happens. To me, this is the flipside to You Decide #26, where I pushed all-in with AA preflop on the first hand of a tournament. Here, I was dealt QcQd in the SB midway through a single-table SNG. There were 5 or 6 players left. The blinds were 80/160. I had about 5K. The player on my left, who I will dub ChickenHead (for his FullTilt icon) had about 4.5K. The BB had about 1.5K.

All players folded to the button, ChickenHead. Chicken minimum raised. I, in turn, minimum raised back. The BB folded, as I expected. Chicken minimum raised me back. I minimum raised him back. He minimum raised me back. I minimum raised him back. He flat called. So, to recap, we reraised back and forth 6 times. The pot had about 10x the BB because of the three initial blinds (mine, CH's and BBs). Let's just estimate it as a 1600 pot.

The flop was As9s8x. I check. ChickenHead pushes all in for about 4K more. If I lose the hand, I'm under 1K and severely short stacked. I folded.

So, did I play this hand well? Did the min raise war save me money rather than pushing? Should I have made a significant re-raise instead. Did I give him an opportunity to bluff raise when I checked?

My initial opinion: The min raise war was useless posturing. When he finally flat called, that let me know he didn't have me beat pre-flop. An AA or KK would've kept min raising. On the flop, my check could have been a slow play, so it is not absolutely an invitation for him to bet. Even if he did bluff, I had to consider him for an AK, AQ, AJ, or even A9. He may've also had a flush draw instead. Either way, I had to fold. Betting out on the flop would've left me open to a reraise I couldn't call anyway.


posted by Jordan @ 1:32 PM,

Filler Up

Another winning day! Why, that must be two in three weeks! Do I sense a streak?!

Probably not.

It's been meager pickins online for me lately. I've resolved myself to losing $10 to $15 a night. No, I'm not broken. I haven't given up on winning. I just have been hardened to losing. I won't entirely blame anything either. My game isn't atrociious, although I could plug some holes, like loosening up when I'm losing. My luck isn't the only thing wrong, but I did suffer a long spell of lost coin tosses.

Yesterday, however, those things never got to be a factor. I was playing well. I made several calls, including a couple that were almost perfectly correct. In one instance, I pushed pre-flop with AJ, knowing that a late position caller would call with "AT or A9". He had A8. In another, I called an all-in preflop with AK, after calling a player as having TT. He had JJ. Whether I should've made the call is another story (I lost the hand). But I had a good grasp on what people were playing and how they were playing them. Granted, those two examples aren't anything spectacular. BUT, those are just the ones I remember easily and could verify.

The night started off with some 1/2 Razz on Full Tilt. I ran my $47 up to about $70 before cutting out of there. Razz is a new favorite of mine. Most of the time, I was playing heads-up or short handed. The key, at least when short handed, is to put a lot of pressure on your competition. I'm sure there are many players who are willing to call all the way down with a J or T high. BUT, they are the exception. AND, when its heads up, its easy to exploit the boards and their timidness.

As an example, I'd like to go through a Razz hand and discuss why I might play otherwise poor hands with the opportunity to capitalize later in the hand. This applies mostly to heads-up and three or four handed games. I can't speak for anything higher than that, because usually the tables are short handed, and besides, that was what I was playing (so successfully) yesterday.

You are dealt A8/K. Your opponent is dealt xx/9. So far, it looks like you are beat, right? So, you bring it in and he flat calls. Good, free card. If he raises, you can fold. No sense in chasing what looks like a lost cause. Or you can call and hope to get lucky. But let's assume he simply calls. You get dealt a 9. He gets dealt a J. So, now he STILL has you beat. He can see from the board that he has you beat. But often, he'll check. And even if he bets, you can call here. His original call indicates that he isn't sitting on A2/5. Slow playing just doesn't seem to happen at Razz. It may be the level that I'm playing, but I suggest that you always assume that no one is slowplaying until you have reason to suspect otherwise (like a A234 board where the player continuously checks, or when he shows a slowplay in an earlier hand). So, you "foolishly" call his raise, even though you are behind. The next card is crucial. If you hit a good card, you can smile. However, if he hits a bad card, you can officially dance.

Let's go through a couple of scenarios. Remember, the cards so far are: (YOU) A8/K9. (HIM) xx/9J.

Scenario #1, The Fold
- He is dealt any card from A to 7 and bets out. Unless you are dealt a real low, like 3 or 4, you may consider it time to fold. This is a fold situation. Now, the A through 7 is slighly less than half the cards in the deck, but no one said Razz was going to be easy. You are going to have to take some chances early on and fold when it looks like you are dead. will need to catch a couple of perfect cards for any chance of winning, while he catches two bricks. . So, give it up boys.

Scenario #2, Taking the Hint- Let's say that he gets a card between A and 7 and doesn't bet out? Hmm... Well, this is likely a sign that he has paired up with his hole cards. For instance, if he slows down once he is dealt xx/9J2, you can bet, because he probably has a x2/9J2. Assuming your board doesn't pair and you are dealt anything 6 or under, including an A, go for it. That's right. Even if you paired a hole card, i.e. A8/9JA, you can bet out. Why? Because betting just increased (in my case from 1 to 2), and he now shows a sign of weakness. If he did pair cards, he will likely fold. If he calls, no problem. Now, your 2 bet isn't about whether you have the best hand. You are really betting on the next card, or more accurately, whether the next card will hurt him more than it hurts you.

Scenario #3, The Easy Choice- Now, this one is fun. He gets dealt a J, or 9, pairing his board, showing you that he has a pair. As long as you are not dealt an exposed pair (i.e., a 9 or J), then bet out. He will more often than not fold. I caution you, however, if you are dealt a T or higher. Some players will call you here, because they expect not to pair again AND you clearly have an inadequate hand if your opponent can get anything going and you continue to get crap cards. But, once again, when in doubt, bet. At the very least, you may win on the next card when your opponent catches another brick.

Scenario #4, Taking Advantage- This is similar to #3, but warrants its own inspection. If your opponent is dealt a Q or K here, you can bet out, unless your board paired or you are dealt a card over 8. Remember, 8 is great, 9 is crap. Your opponent will be showing xx/9JQ. You will be showing xx/K98. 8 may not look good there, but you are showing a draw to a 9-high hand. There is no way he is going to put you on a pair if you bet out. Meanwhile, he is drawing to a J high board. Most players will freeze up in his spot and consider the hand lost. Easy pickins! Now, if you are dealt a card higher than a 8, just check and hope for a good card coming up. If he bets out with his Q high, consider calling. The pot had been built up and you know he is drawing to poop, even if you are drawing to poop as well.

That is how I'd play fifth street. On sixth, I go through much of the same processes. The difference is that if I don't have a decent draw to a 9 (or sometimes ten) low and he does have one, I'll just check it. No use throwing good money after bad. I'll also fold if he suddenly livens up and bets.

By the river, I know that I have to call unless I'm sitting on a low that involves a pair, or anything higher than a J high. Sometimes I'll call with J high, because your opponent may be just as aggressive as you. At the very least, you can see what he is playing with for a cheap $2, after investing more than $5 already anyway.

Ah, that was exhausting. I didn't even know I'd be writing about Razz today. I thought I was going to drop a NLHE You Decide. Maybe for later.

Aside from Razz, I also took 1st in a single-table SNG, bubbled in a 6-person with GCox, lost a 2-table SNG, and took 2nd in another 6-person SNG, for a net win. The 1st place was a $10 game, and the rest were $5, so I can't complain. When I asked G if I played poorly in my bubble finish, he thought not. Good, it isn't just me.

Have a good day everyone. I'm living New York, but feeling Atlantic City.

posted by Jordan @ 9:42 AM, ,

AC Itinerary

Because I have T-Minus 50 hours until I'll be on my way to Atlantic City, and because I can't freaking wait to get there, I'm going to take a minute and map out the most likely course of events for the upcoming AC trip.

5:00PM- Tired from a long day of work, and with three hours of work to finish before leaving, I will receive a phone call from Dave Roose telling me that he will be outside of my building in 20 minutes. Robbie Hole will call shortly after to explain that he has to work and therefore will meet us at AC on Thursday night.

5:15PM- Roose will call me from downstairs, busting my balls about not being there. I will explain that I need an hour, and he will stop somewhere for Sushi and Saki.

5:25PM- I will leave the office, feeling somewhat guilty but very relieved, and meet Roose as he downs the saki and sushi. Hole will be with him. He too will feel guilty and relieved. We are on our way to AC.

7:00PM- We still have about an hour and a half to AC, but the poker jitters already start. I will be sitting in the back seat bouncing both knees and staring at each road sign, hoping that it tells me how much longer.

8:20PM- After going 200 mph on the last stretch oh highway, we manage to arrive 10 minutes early! We check in at the Showboat for my free room. Roose asks something inappropriate to the attractive black female clerk. She ignores us. We try to tip for a room upgrade but she doesn't take us seriously.

8:25PM- We are in the room. While the other guys settle in. I pace around wondering how we could be in AC for 15 minutes and not make any wagers. I will get everyone to join me downstairs after annoying them for the next 20 minutes. We will start with craps and roulette. Robbie Hole will go on an amazing rush. Roose will do very well. I will lose.

10:00PM- Have a greasy late-night dinner at the nearest moderately-priced diner-like restaurant. I will have a grilled cheese, the official gambling food of High On Poker.

11:00PM- Sit down for some 1/2 NLHE with a bunch of whackjobs at the table. Win a couple of hundred dollars.

3:00AM- Crawl upstairs and sleep. This may occur as late at 8AM.


6:45AM- Wake up, ready for poker. Force myself to go to sleep when I check my watch. Repeat for the next two hours, every 10-15 minutes.

8:45AM- Slowly get up. Put on clothes in the dark while Roose and Hole sleep. Here them stir and say, "let's play poker," as though it were the most natural first thought of the day.

9:45AM- Go to the buffet, unshowered, unrested, and wearing most of the same clothing as Wednesday. Eat crappy food. Large quantities of crappy food. Have my morning chocolate milk.

10:30AM- Sign up for the Showboat $40+10 daily 11AM tournament. Wonder what I am going to do for 30 minutes. Realize I have to check out. Put everything into my back pack and throw it in Roose's car in the self-park lot.

11AM- Place in the top 33% of the tourney, but out of the money.

2PM- Eat a grilled cheese sandwich, even though I'm not hungry. More accurately, I'm starving, but the nervous energy from poker makes eating seem like a nuisance. Then go play craps and 1/2 NLHE.

6PM- Squeeze in a quick, but unnecessary dinner so that I have energy for the 8PM tourney at the Resorts. Convince Roose and Hole to join me, since they were annoyed at losing the earlier tourney.

7PM- Head over to the Resorts for our second free room. Try to tip for a better room but fail when Roose asks another inappropriate question, shaming me into silence. Throw our stuff into the room and immediately head downstairs. Head downstairs and navigate by poker sonar to the mini-poker room where the $60+15 8PM tourney is held. Play the tourney. I will place ITM, but not far into the money. Roose will get sucked out on and be very angry at me for convincing him to play. Hole will play ultra-aggressive and bubble. My ITM finish is a dream, admittedly.

9PM- Play some 1/2 NLHE. Finish at around 1AM, when the three of us decide to get some late night food and play Wheel of Fortune slots. Hole will win big. Roose will lose small. I will lose and lose and lose.

7AM- On the way up to the room, call wifey Kim. Smile as she thinks that I woke up early to call her. Don't dissuade her from her thoughts. Try to sleep. Listen to Roose's snoring for 40 minutes until I stab myself in the ear with a q-tip. Deafened, I am able to sleep...until...


9:45AM- Wake up and check watch. Go back to sleep. Repeat until 7:30AM.

10:00AM- Put on exact same outfit as yesterday, hoping to fool players into thinking I haven't slept in a day. No one will notice. I will smell. Play NLHE. Lose all my winnings. Roose will say that I should never play in the morning. He will say this as he is signing up to play.

12:30PM- Pull myself away from the table, and grab some food. Face reality that I must return home at some point. Play some last minute desperation craps. Complain about craps being a ridiculous $10 miniminum all week!

2:00PM- Head home. Sleep until wifey Kim gets home. Avoid online poker for three days.

Wow, that was great! I had so much fun! Now I don't even have to do a trip report. Enjoy fellers! I can't wait.

posted by Jordan @ 5:22 PM, ,

Sports Betting Impressario

It's 11:15am and I have yet to post. Part of it is because of my $100 loss at the tables this weekend. I thought I was running bad, after several rivered suckouts at 1/2 limit. I changed it up to NLHE, which is obviously the wrong move if you are running bad, but logic has no control over me! After losing it all, I sat there staring at the screen trying to discern what the hell happened. I thought to myself that I just got unlucky, over and over again. That is somewhat true, but in hindsight, I see that the lack of luck was really not as ridiculous as I first thought. Most of my big losses in NLHE were to coin tosses, preflop, or other hands where I was ahead slightly, but by no means a lock. For instance, my QQ all-in preflop, after raising and re-raising, was not that far ahead of my opponent's AK. I should not be shocked that my JJ all-in pre-flop would lose to an A7, even though I'm the favorite. That's poker. So maybe my play didn't suck? Maybe it did though. Because, after all, as a self-proclaimed good player, does it make sense to put myself at the hands of fate like that? OR should I be playing in a way that doesn't allow fate to decide. Should I not push all-in preflop with JJ facing a re-raise (assuming I know I'm ahead), if I can call and see the Ace flop and then fold? Should I lay down the QQ vs. the AK with the thought that later I can bust the guy with a dominating hand? Hell, I don't know. But at least I'm starting to ask the right questions.

I tried C-Mitch's Step Heads-Up Challenge, playing 2 NL HE games for $5 and winning. I then moved up to $10 and lost. I can't stand that damn challenge! If you don't win 3 in a row, you get zilch for your efforts. But I guess it is like and MTT. You will get zilch most of the time, but when you hit, you can hit big.

Veneno and I are playing a mixed-game HU Challenge against each other. The first player to win 3 heads up games gets a poker-related item from the other player. I can't wait to see what I get. After all, I took the first NLHE game and the second Razz game. I'll be a gentleman and let her choose what's next. All games have been taking place on Full Tilt, the new favorite site of High On Poker.

Excuse me for being lazy, but I have yet to choose a date/time for the i-PokerTable WPT Satellite Swarm. I do see, however, that they have a $9+1 freezeout satellite, which will be our game of choice, since I-PokerTable will refund our whole buy-in after the fact. If you want to do this without waiting, feel free. Just email to request your refund. As a reminder, that is an i-PokerTable email and NOT MINE. I got them to set up the promo, but I'm not working for them and I don't get ANYTHING for any referrals.

Who woulda thunk it? If you know me, you'd know that I was never a sports nut. In fact, I barely know jack about sports in general, and I have the athletic skill of a 5 year old traction. But I do like gambling, so, using the techniques in Blink (i.e., just choosing something from a gut feeling), I put $10 on the Steelers +3.5 and $10 on the Seahawks -3.5. I won both. Bro-in-law Marc piggybacked off of my bets and took down some dough too, so this made me doubly proud. Oh, and for the record, I did it all on i-SportsBook, through i-PokerTable. The next step is to take my original $20 and put in on the Seahawks. My reason? I just have a gut feeling.

That's it for now. I have a busy work week ahead of me in preparation for AC on Wednesday night to Friday. I can't wait!

posted by Jordan @ 11:13 AM, ,

Sex with a Pizza

I feel like a drunk with the shakes, an irritable cigarette smoker with no smokes in sight, and a junkie addict puking his guts out, all rolled into one. In a figurative way. And it's all because of Poker. Stupid, stupid poker.

Lately, it seems like I just can't itch that poker scratch. It's seen me do some stupid things like book from dinner with two friends in order to show up late for a live PL Omaha H/L game. It's got me planning weeks in advance for days when I can make it to the card room. It's got me wishing that I didn't have a birthday party to go to tomorrow so I could get some time in with little miss MTT. It doesn't take much, but it added to my dread over having wifey Kim's dad and stepmom stop by on Sunday!

What's a man to do?! I'm going to Atlantic City on Wednesday night next week until Friday afternoon and even though it is right around the corner, I just can't wait! This is not good people. It's really about the live game more than anything. I just want to play live. And in a poker room with strangers, preferrably (with some of the crew in tow). It's not even home games that I'm gunning for, even though the competition is usually softer, the stakes more reasonable and the atmosphere kinder.

What the hell is going on? When I feel like this, I think 3 things in this particular order: (1) My desire to play is probably not healthy in this manner. (2) It's probably a sign that I am unhappy elsewhere and trying to escape. (3) Maybe it's just that I love the god damn game!

I can't say that there is anything outright bothering me. It's a little of the ole malaise. I've had a lot of thinking to do about nothing important. It's worrying for the sake of worrying. Okie Vegas has me concerned because of money issues. And there is the fear of the unknown. Again, stupid, but nonetheless one of those things hanging over me (for no reason). Work is moving smoothly. Wifey Kim is still the best thing to ever happen to me, but I can't help but feel a bit distracted.

Where DOES poker fall on the priority list? #1 is Wifey Kim, without a moment's hesitation. That's why I'll be with my angel tonight, at dinner and drinks, instead of hanging out with the rest of the degenerates at the WPBT event on Full Tilt (it's killing me, but it's gotta be this way). #2 on the list HAS to be family. That's just the way I roll. #3 is work, and understandably so. #4 is Poker. It's that simple. Friends fit in there, no doubt. I'll put them at #5, but I want to make something clear. Some friends are family. Roose is family. Hole is family. Platinum and JDubs are family. #5 are for those other friends.

But let's get back to #4. How do I justify spending so much time playing poker? The answer, my friends, is that I consider it training. Yep, training! Every day, Olympic athletes go to the gym and practice. Every day, I sign online and play some poker. Sometimes its recreational, like last night when I played and lost 4 SNGs (4-person HU, 2-table NLHE, 1-table Omaha H/L and another 2-table NLHE). But even then I'm exposing myself to the game. I'm absorbing the plays and the nuances.

Online poker, though, is like masturbation. I need other people around to really enjoy my poker. That and a lot of lube, and by lube I mean money, and by money I mean sex. Wait, I think I've confused myself.

My point is, I just can't get no poker satisfaction. Even when I'm not into it, I'm into it. It's like pizza and sex (again), even when its bad, its good. It's like sex with a pizza. Yep. Sex with a Pizza.

posted by Jordan @ 4:59 PM, ,

You Decide #26

First, let me say how deeply disappointed I am that I will be unable to play in the HORSE tournament tonight at 10pm on Full Tilt. Weekends are for wifey Kim, and I'm looking forward to spending some time with my girl. But you can all have a great time playing NL Hold'em, Omaha H/L, Razz, Stud, and Stud H/L with ThisIsNotApril and other bloggers and readers. When you win, dedicate it to HighOnPoker!

This You Decide is a demonstration in Donkosity by yours truly. I don't like the play I made, but I do think it may have had some redeeming qualities, regardless of the results. The set up is easy. Here we go:

I am in the BB in the first hand of a $5 18-person NLHE SNG on PokerStars. I am dealt AA. Four players limp in. The SB completes. I have AA. I push all-in. Everyone folds.

There you have it. On one hand, pushing all-in nets me 100 profit (1500 starting chips, 10/20 blinds) without fear of KJ hitting two-pair of A9 hitting a 992 flop. On the other hand, I could have thinned the herd, potentially, with a lower raise and been more profitable while minimizing (but not removing) the chance of a suckout.

Discuss. I'll be here waiting.

This You Decide is brought to you by the letters STR and the number 8!

posted by Jordan @ 11:03 PM, ,


I'm reading a book called Blink because, well, my boss mentioned it and I thought it would be good to follow up and see what it was all about. Yeah, I'm a bit of a suck-up, but I like reading and the book is both interesting and different from my usual commuter book. The basic concept of Blink is that we call subconciously make decisions or formulate ideas in a blink of an eye. Those decisions or ideas are sometimes wrong, but are often surprisingly right, even when we don't know why we decided or thought something.

In that vein, last night I went online to play a quick SNG while wifey Kim chatted on the phone and subjected me to American Idol. I chose my games with a sorta Blink strategy, going with what felt right. I ended up at a 6-person (turbo, I think) $12 SNG at PokerStars, and I placed in 2nd. I would've placed 1st, but when we got heads up it was back and forth, with me finally having to bite the bullet on a weak hand when my opponent got lucky and caught a card on the turn. Up until that point, I was ahead and knew I was ahead. But that's how it goes. In the very next hand, my flush draw didn't come through and I was out, from chip leader to 2nd place in no time. But my table selection was right for my mood, mind, and bankroll, and the decision was made in the blink of an eye. Up $13 or so, I wasn't feeling like squeezing anything else in before Lost, so I shut down the comp.

A half-hour later, wifey Kim insisted on watching some of Skating with the Stars (never again. NEVER AGAIN!!) I hopped online again to play a little more. Having no time for an SNG (my recent game of choice), I decided to play what felt right in a blink. Although I hadn't played limit in some time, and I hadn't played limit on PokerStars ever, this was where I ended up. The results were fantastic. In no time, I was up over $20. All in all, I couldn't have played for more than 15 minutes at 1/2. I was hitting cards AND I was playing well, maximizing profits on hands like A2 when the flop comes down A25. Of course, the preflop raiser in late position will bet on the flop, so I check to him. He bets. I hesitate and call. The other player folds. The turn doesn't really matter, because I have this guy pegged on AT, AJ, AQ, or AK, or a mid to high pocket pair. I check the turn, and he bets. I wait a moment and re-raise. He calls. The river, well, who cares? I bet the river, he calls, and I take my money. Good timing, active listening (i.e., paying attention to my players), all of these things came together. I even got PokerAceHud to work, but I still haven't worked out the nuances of what anything means.

A winning night, and all because of instinct to choose the right games. I'm already anticipating tonight.

This post was brought to you by the letter T and the number 6, and the hand Royal Flush.

posted by Jordan @ 8:28 AM, ,


It's true, it's true. This blog has been viewed 25,000 times! This is a watershed moment for the blog. Let's take a moment to reflect....

Okay. Enough of that. But check it. On October 17, 2005, I had 10,000 hits. That took seven months or so, from March to that date. Now, in just three short months, I've more than doubled that figure.

I'd like to give thanks, but there are too many people. So, let me do a short version. Let me thank all of the established bloggers who helped me get started and read my blog. Thank you to all of my contemporaries who grew with me in our blogging endeavors. Thank you to all of the new additions.

In that vein, I'd like to give back. So, I present you with THIS GUY! I know what you are thinking. Who the hell is that tool? Be nice! Well, he's a new blogger, just like some of you. I recently found his blog because he had a link to my site up. Once I read what he had to say, I was floored. This gentleman, known as the Poker Champ, is either the craziest mofo blogging around (and not in an Animal House way, more of a self-grandizing delusional way) or he's a freakin' genius. Some of his plays and opinions are absolutely off the wall! Now, a lot of people don't agree with how I play certain hands. But this guy actually encourages not raising with premium hands because he doesn't want to chase out the other players in what he calls, tourist-filled SNGs. I mean, I'm not doing a good job of explaining why I think this guy is off of the wall. But check it out. It's like watching Phil Hellmuth Jr. (and he'll take that as a compliment).

By the way, I don't mean to just slam the guy. I like the outrageousness of his posts and his attitude. That goes a long way at High On Poker.

Also, I-PokerTable and I have been discussing and we've ironed out some kinks. If you go to their website and check out their promos, its been made a lot clearer. Unfortunately, you have to email them to get the 20% bonus (up to $100, when depositing through Neteller). In addition, I've ironed out details on the promo offered only through HighOnPoker. If you sign up, you can play up to $10 in WPT Satellites and get comped the entire buy-in after the fact. You can potentially play 3 $3 Satellites, but I plan on blowing my load all at once. Once you've played the satellite, just email my main man Nermin at But, once again, that's Nermin, not me, and I do not work for I-PokerTable.

I plan on going online tonight and choosing a weeknight for the I-PokerTable WPT Satellite Swarm, where we'll all play in a satellite together. Keep an eye out, ladies.

As always, be good to yourself, and each other.

posted by Jordan @ 4:56 PM, ,

Omaha Live

Last night, after a dinner with college buds JDubs and Jefe, I bolted from the restaurant and hoofed it ten blocks to an indistinct building in mid-town. While JDubs and Jefe were taking their time using the bathrooms and preparing for the winter cold, I was heading out the door like a bat out of hell, with the look of crazy in my eyes.

That indistinct building on an indistinct street in that indistinct neighborhood held something particularly important to me....a card room. And when I arrived at 7:45, fifteen minutes after the scheduled start of the nightly tournament, I was hoping that they would let me jump in late. As it turned out, the table was full and I was 2nd on the waitlist. But what made the night even more interesting was the game being played...Pot Limit Omaha 8b!

By the time I sat down, the blinds were already 50/100. I started with a 3000 stack, but the blinds were moving every 15 minutes, and the action was slow. I mean s..........l..........o.............wait is that a split pot? What about the side action? He had a low, didn't he? Split the side pot and then split the main pot? What is the pot right now? I bet the pot? No way is that the pot! That's too low.....................w.

But grin and bear it I did. I chipped up after folding a bunch of hands. I then lost to a river against the chipleader, putting me on a small stack (just like everyone else at the table, seemingly). In the end, I pushed when blinds were 150/300 and the chip leader called. She rivered me with a flush (to my made straight) and rivered my low! Keee-rist! 6th place out of 13th, $60 down the drain. But what a time.

Besides the slowness, it was an odd table. There were four elderly ladies who all came together. No one was feeling any of my humor, but the Golden Girls and I all got along well enough in a grandmas/impetulant grandson sort of way. One guy was the worst table captain I ever saw, harassing the old ladies on every play. It was unbearable to watch.

In general, it was one of the most annoying games I've ever played in because of all of the tension. I mean, people were constantly second-guessing the dealers and each other. And in most instances, they were right. At one point, the blinds were 200/400 and I was UTG. I said, "I bet the pot." I let the dealer count it out. "600." I thought nothing of it an put 600 in front of me. When it got to the blinds, the BB was confused. "I only have to put in 200 more?" Then I realized, I didn't even make a minimum bet (which would've been to 800 total), let alone a pot sized bet. To make it even more ridiculous, the dealer asked me if I'd like to call the floor person. Floor person!?! Fine, let's do it. But understand that he is going to look at you like an idiot. 600 my ass. In addition, the dealers in general were given bad directions. They weren't considering "calls" when players wanted to be the pot. What I mean is, if the blinds are 100/200, and you are first to act and want to raise the pot, you can raise up to 700 total (100 SB + 200BB +200 your call = 500 RAISE, on top of your 200 call). All too often, the dealer would say, "You can raise it up to 500 total." Most players had no idea that this was a mistake, so I kept quiet. I just wanted the action to move. After all, in any given blind level, we were barely getting in 6 hands anyway. Nuts!

Next week, they are switching to Limit Omaha 8b. I won't be able to make it, but hopefully I will the week after. The Omaha 8b tourney was nuts and annoying, but it was also interesting. Because, NLHE is a great game, but every now and again, it's good to change it up.

I'm heading to AC next week and I'm fucking giddy. I got a free room at the Resorts and Showboat, so I'm using them both for Wed and Thurs night. My usual partners in crime, Roose and Hole, are planning on attending. The tournaments are building up there, in number. Its the week of the Borgata Open, so maybe we'll stop by there for some star gazing, but otherwise I plan on getting in on the $40+10 at Showboat and $50+15 at Resorts. I can't help but feel, though, that I'd be better off at NLHE cash games, so I'll be doing that too. The possibilities are endless.

This post is brought to you by the letter J, the number 7, and the suit club!

posted by Jordan @ 11:08 AM, ,


I had some minor problems with the computers yesterday. One would freeze. The other was having connection problems. Its kind of funny how these things tend to pile up.

I feel like crap today, and I can't quite put my finger on it. Last night was great. Wifey Kim had off from work, so I asked her to cook me dinner. I am the chef of the house, so I didn't know what to expect. I was even more concerned when I was on the phone with her while she was cooking and she said, "Uh oh, I think I need more orange juice!" Orange Juice? I thought. Well, maybe she's doing breakfast for dinner. As it turned out, wifey Kim made a orange-glazed chicken dish that fantastic. I can't lie though, I was skeptical at first.

After that, I put together a new shelf system for wifey Kim's closet. There is something about putting together furniture that I love. However, like many times in the past, I worked faster than I read (the directions) and had more than a few troubles disassembling the peice before putting it together the "right" way.

When that was done, I squeezed in some Razz at FullTilt. I got GCox to join me, but then I left the comp to find my headset. I couldn't find it anywhere, to my dismay. I then returned to the computer for a couple of hands. GCox can vouch for the fact that I ran roughshod over a player to my right. I held 44/4, one of the worst hands in Razz. I looked around and saw that few low cards were out. I was also ready and willing to gamble, so I completed the bet (essentially, raised) and watched all but one player fold. The next card dealt to me was a J, to my opponents low card. I decided to continuation bet. Hell, maybe his low card paired one of his hole cards. No luck though. My opponent called. The next card for me was an Ace, if memory serves correct. My opponent got a K. I bet, he folds, and I show my blatant bluff.

On the very next hand, I am dealt 37/6. I decide to push it as far as it would go. As the hand progresses, I'm dealt a an 8, Q, and K and T (37/68QK/T. My opponent, the same guy as before, is dealt (approximately), XX/46J6/X. We take turns betting or calling, with the aggressor changing with each card. With Razz, at some point, you are priced in. I mean, if you lost you lost, but what I saw was that my T8763 may have been good. I knew that before the river I had a good chance of drawing to an 8-low if an Ace, 2, 4, or 5 came down. I'd also have a decent chance if a 9 came down. Knowing that my opponent was tilting, I thought I was a 50/50 chance to win with the river dealt. I thought that he may have had two low cards in the hole, but it was just as likely that he held a crappy card in there. In the end, he called with T9/46J4/7, for a T9764 hand, and I won the pot. It was all about getting him to a point where he thought my aggression was pure posturing. Ka ching! Up $20 or so, my connection or computer gave out.

The rest of the night was really just jumping around. I sat at a NLHE table for about 20 seconds. I went back to Razz and lost $9. It was pretty aimless.

Maybe that is the malaise. I feel aimless. Everything is in its place, at the office, at home, at...well, everywhere else. Yet I feel like there is no direction. Nothing to strive for. Nothing to reach to.

I love this poker and I need to spend more time on it. I have to play at least once a week live. I really need to play twice a week live. Online play has lost its luster (for about the 6th time since I started playing online), and I need to find it again. I think the key will be MTTs, which offer the chance for a larger reward. Lately, though, it seems like I can't get a chance to dedicated 4 hrs to a game. It's a conundrum. I love poker, but I can't let it take over my time too much. Damn you delicious vice! Damn you to hell!

This post was brought to you by the letter Q, the number 8, and the suit diamonds!

posted by Jordan @ 9:20 AM, ,

Coming Out

I came out of the closet to two of my co-workers today. We were chatting about general work delirium. I've been going back and forth between several files all day, and after a while it can be pretty mind numbing. Yvonne, a secretary/filing clerk mentioned, "So, when are you going to Atlantic City?" suggesting that I need a break. "Next Wednesday!" I'm damn excited.

Monica, a secretary/translator overheard and perked up. "You are going to Atlantic City? What are you doing there?" Here we go. "Um, gamble. Well, not really gamble. I play poker." "Oh. Are you careful? I know a friend whose son won $200,000 one night and then lost it all." I gave my usual line, but modified it. My usual line will be in parantheses, "Well, my interest in gambling (my addictive personality) is kept in check by my anal retentiveness." I then took some opportunities to lightly explain how poker isn't against the house, so I actually win fairly steadily. "Not that much. I made about $400 last time." I failed to mention the $350 in losses at table games.

It's an interesting thing, coming out. I try not to discuss poker in the office. Just today my boss and I were in a meeting with another partner when my boss said, "You only bluff in poker so many times." I wanted to chime in, "unless the other players are timid fish!" but instead I put on my best poker face and tried to show no interest at all in his analogy. When we had the conversation about taking time off for my vacation, he asked whereto, because I may have to cancel my trip last minute if a trial doesn't settle before then (as it turns out, I'm now in the clear). I couldn't lie. At least not convincingly and over the long run. "Just AC with some friends." That assuaged his concerns about the ability to cancel my trip. I'm just glad he didn't pry further.

But my question is, why do I feel so shy about discussing my hobby (interest/love/part-time job that pays crap/ambition)? It's plainly because poker is a vice. It's like announcing that I'll be going on vacation to Ireland so I can drink till I puke blood, or that I am going to Amsterdam to smoke mary jane until my lungs give out. It's also because I don't want to open my floodgates and profess my pokery love to people who just won't understand. I'll tell you one thing: if people do find out about my poker hobby I won't mind, BUT they will never find out about this here blog. I'm too smart for that.

Do you have similar experiences? Thank god I'm a married man. I'd hate to meet a chick and then have to explain that I enjoy spending hours daily gambling. Do you keep your "hobby" on the down low at the office or among some religious friends (I don't have any of those either!)?

It's an odd thing, because I think the poker aspect of my personality has a lot to offer this office and the world at large. It shows my aggressive, competitive nature. It shows some form of ambition and committment. It shows intelligence and skill. This all assumes that I am a winning player (I am, but I play low stakes) and am competent overall about the game. Bottom line is that I feel proud of my poker playing. I just don't think everyone will see it the same way.

Until then, I'll keep it in the much as possible.

posted by Jordan @ 4:34 PM, ,

Jumping Weekend

My poker attention span may have hit an all new low this weekend. But first, I finally received my bonus from I figured I owed somewhat of an update. I plan on continuing play there, especially with my recent poker play.

See, lately I'll hop on a table, take a small lead, and then get antsy and move on. My recent patterns have me start at Razz on FullTilt. I love Razz. I can't get enough of the freakin game. Even so, after a while I'll get up and move to the mirco NL tables .10/.20 or .10/.25, $25 Max Buy-in. I'll play there for a bit and go back to Razz.

I've found out some interesting things. First, Razz is a lot easier than some other poker games (I'm looking at your Stud and Stud H/L). Generally speaking, you just play the board cards.

For any newbies, Razz is 7-Card Stud Lo. Basically, you are trying to get the worst hand possible, but straights and flushes don't count. The best hand is razz is A2345, followed by A2346, and A2356.

With the monkeys playing at FullTilt (1/2 and .50/1 levels), you can play it pretty simple. If your cards beat the other player's board, bet. If not, check and call if you have a decent draw. Even if you don't have a decent draw, if your opponent's next card is pairs their board or is a high card to your low, you can bet out and take it there.

I can not tell you how many times I had a board like Q6/3 (3 showing, Q6 hidden), and called a bet. The other player with xx/2 gets another 2 or a Q and I get a 6, so I have Q6/36 and they have xx/2Q, and suddenly when I bet, they go into the tank. Or, more realistically they call and I can scare them away when their next card is a J and mine is a 7.

Now, I'm not suggesting that this is an overall winning strategy. It's just that it worked with the monkeys I was playing with. I mean, real banana-loving freaks. It helped that the table was severely shorthanded usually, with only 3 or 4 players.

I tried playing some Stud later in the night with Waffle, but it was to ill effect. I was forcing the action, hoping to make some hands. Plus, I was still in Razz mode, where a well timed bet was all that it took (at FullTilt's tables, at least). And once you throw in flushes and straights, memorizing the exposed cards becomes a lot more crucial in Stud. That and hand selection is key. One thing I know about stud is that your starting hands better be impressive. Otherwise, you are asking for trouble.

I'm itching to play live. I wanted to play today, but wifey Kim wants to spend some time together after work. My work, that is. Lucky girl has the day off for Martin Luther King, Jr. He was a great man, but I can't help but feel like his holiday is neglected by most people who just want a day off. Ha! Listen to me, champion of the people! I'm choking on my own self-righteousness.

That is all for today. Have a great Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. day or as I call it Rev. Dr. M.L.K. Jr. Day, for short.

This post is brought to you by the letter K, the number 9, and the suit heart!

posted by Jordan @ 8:51 AM, ,

Jumping Weekend

My poker attention span may have hit an all new low this weekend. But first, I finally received my bonus from I figured I owed somewhat of an update. I plan on continuing play there, especially with my recent poker play.

See, lately I'll hop on a table, take a small lead, and then get antsy and move on. My recent patterns have me start at Razz on FullTilt. I love Razz. I can't get enough of the freakin game. Even so, after a while I'll get up and move to the mirco NL tables .10/.20 or .10/.25, $25 Max Buy-in. I'll play there for a bit and go back to Razz.

I've found out some interesting things. First, Razz is a lot easier than some other poker games (I'm looking at your Stud and Stud H/L). Generally speaking, you just play the board cards.

For any newbies, Razz is 7-Card Stud Lo. Basically, you are trying to get the worst hand possible, but straights and flushes don't count. The best hand is razz is A2345, followed by A2346, and A2356.

With the monkeys playing at FullTilt (1/2 and .50/1 levels), you can play it pretty simple. If your cards beat the other player's board, bet. If not, check and call if you have a decent draw. Even if you don't have a decent draw, if your opponent's next card is pairs their board or is a high card to your low, you can bet out and take it there.

I can not tell you how many times I had a board like Q6/3 (3 showing, Q6 hidden), and called a bet. The other player with xx/2 gets another 2 or a Q and I get a 6, so I have Q6/36 and they have xx/2Q, and suddenly when I bet, they go into the tank. Or, more realistically they call and I can scare them away when their next card is a J and mine is a 7.

Now, I'm not suggesting that this is an overall winning strategy. It's just that it worked with the monkeys I was playing with. I mean, real banana-loving freaks. It helped that the table was severely shorthanded usually, with only 3 or 4 players.

I tried playing some Stud later in the night with Waffle, but it was to ill effect. I was forcing the action, hoping to make some hands. Plus, I was still in Razz mode, where a well timed bet was all that it took (at FullTilt's tables, at least). And once you throw in flushes and straights, memorizing the exposed cards becomes a lot more crucial in Stud. That and hand selection is key. One thing I know about stud is that your starting hands better be impressive. Otherwise, you are asking for trouble.

I'm itching to play live. I wanted to play today, but wifey Kim wants to spend some time together after work. My work, that is. Lucky girl has the day off for Martin Luther King, Jr. He was a great man, but I can't help but feel like his holiday is neglected by most people who just want a day off. Ha! Listen to me, champion of the people! I'm choking on my own self-righteousness.

That is all for today. Have a great Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. day or as I call it Rev. Dr. M.L.K. Jr. Day, for short.

This post is brought to you by the letter K, the number 9, and the suit heart!

posted by Jordan @ 8:51 AM, ,


And hopefully, you will too.

If you recall, I mentioned recently that a website contacted me about putting up a banner. Now, I'm no advertising whore (although maybe I'm a bonus whore), so I told the guy that I'd have to check out the site. I really liked what I saw. But it doesn't stop there. I decided that I wanted to pass along something to everybody. If the site was willing to do something for readers and bloggers, I was willing to do something (put up the ad) for them.

So, here is the deal. On the right, you'll see the new picture and link to I know, I know. Apparently all of the other websites with "poker" in the name got taken. I hear is a Crypto site now.

Once you've signed up for the site, keep an eye out at this here blog. Nermin, my unfortunately-named connection at I-PokerTable, has set it up so that we bloggers and readers can enter one of their WPT Satellite tourneys for $6, $10, or $20 and have the enire buy-in refunded back to us after the tourney. Details on the Satellites are HERE.

Now, here is my official review:

This site is great. The software is clean, clear and easy to use. The games offered are Hold'em, Omaha, 7-Stud, and 5-Card Draw. I do not know about Hi/Lo variations. So far, the gameplay has been good and the players have been fairly loose. I've doubled my original buy-in of $50 playing Omaha, Limit Hold'Em, NLHE, 7-Stud and 5-Card. Yep, I hit them all, and won on each one. I like variety.

It's a European-dominated site, so be ready to curse in German. Even better, curse in English. Yep. There is no censorship. Say 'fuck' all you want. I sure as fuck did. European players (in my estimation) are often looser, especially in limit games, so have fun with these Old World losers (New World ROCKS!!). The traffic is a bit light, probably because of the time-zone difference. The site has all different currency tables (I stuck with the ole USD), so if you are willing to try playing for Euros or some other silly foreign currency, I'm sure the traffic will be better.

There are no avatars, which to me is a shame. However, unlike Party, Hollywood, and PokerRoom, they don't have automatic avatars either, where if you sit in seat 6 you are automatically the bald guy (tell me about it!). To me, this is crucial because I find that in sites with auto-avatars, I focus on the avatar and ignore the fact that the same avatar has been four different players, each with different styles. Chat is clear, especially with the pop-up bubbles on the page. It's a little easier to play and pay attention when you got them bubbles and to know instantly who said what. Smack talk is highly encouraged (by me).

I'm also a huge fan of 5-Card Draw, so the site floats my boat. If anyone ever wants to play 5-CD and sees me online (yahoo IM: highonpokr, leave off the e for +EV) shoot me an IM. I'd love to join.

Now, I have to add some caveats.

  1. As for the WPT Satellite Refund, I'm not sure if that includes the fees (i.e., if it is $20+2, we may have to eat the $2).
  2. The link on the page doesn't tell I-PokerTable that you were referred by yours truly, so you will have to email me ( with the email account you use when you sign up on I-PokerTable. I, in turn, will tell Nermin and he will make sure you get your refund.
  3. I would like to set a pre-determined date and time to swarm the site and fill up one of these Satellites. I am aiming for early February right now, so people have some down-time from the last DADI event.
  4. You can play a Satellite whenever YOU want. You don't have to wait for the swarm. No matter what, you'll get your refund. You can even play a Sat, get the refund, and then play with us anyway, using your own cash.
  5. Nermin stated that if he was going to include the $20 Satellites in the offer, he wanted players to also play on the site aside from the freeroll. Essentially, if we all did a $10, got our refund and booked, the site would be non-plussed. If we, however, do the $20, out of kindness and decency, we should stick around for a bit. I think once players use the site, they'll want to stick around. Even so, I'm thinking to avoid problems and help out those who can't layout $20 (remember you get it back), we might have to do the $10. I'll put it to a vote. Comment, damn you.
  6. I don't work for the site. I don't get paid per referral. I don't get any bonuses for referrals. I just think this would be a fun opportunity to play for a WPT spot with a bunch of bloggers. I also don't want people bitching and moaning to me if they have any sort of problems on the site. So here is my disclaimer: Jordan from HighOnPoker does not in any way guarantee anything. Suck it up, ladies. That said, I don't anticipate any problems. I just don't want emails like, "How do I deposit at your site?" or some such customer service nonsense.
Guys, maybe this sounds like a complicated promo, and maybe it is. On top of all of this, the site offers other $$ bonuses. Check out the site for details. Regardless, take a look, and if you like it, give it a go. I thank you and yours for your time.

posted by Jordan @ 4:13 PM, ,

Transitional Tilt

I'd like to take a moment to discuss a phenomenom I've been experiencing for quite some time, but could only identify yesterday. The subject today, boys and girls, is Transitional Tilt, which I define as Tilt that occurs when one transitions from a live game to an online game. But first, some background.

I played at Robbie Hole's home game last night. The game started shorthanded, Hole, Roose, me and Ilan. We played some .50/1 stud which was a nice change of pace. My one big hand came when Ilan and I were heads-up. I had 82/2 to start. He hit an Ace on the fourth or fifth street and began betting out. I knew he had Aces, but I decided to go forward hoping to two-pair. My next cards were 82/24Q4. On the last card, Ilan accidentally dealt the cards up. I hit my third 4. Rather than re-deal face down, I said it was no big deal and bet out. He folded. The pot was big enough at this point, and since he was dealer, I figured this was the logical solution. If anything, it saved him $1 and secured me the pot without being penalized for his error. After that, the rest of the players came in. It seemed like a good time to change things up and we agreed to a $20 rebuy tournament, with rebuys for the first hour. Upon calculating the cash game results, I was down $0.25. Another player was up $0.50. In the end, we decided to pretend that the cash game never happened, and left our cash game buy-in as the tournament buy-in.

Excuse me for all of the details. I will get to Transitional Tilt. But first, the tournament. The table was set up list this: Seat 1: Me, Seat 2: Ilan, Seat 3: Randy Hole, 4: Rob Hole, 5: Scott, 6: Roose, 7: JR, 8: Peter. Peter was a rookie, and I gave him tips along the way, even telling him at one point that if he was going to call, he better just move all-in. He had 2x the (very high) BB at the time. For newer player without the requisite logic skills (which are by no means standard), this move may not be as obvious to the rest of us. No one complained when I helped. It was that type of game. Scotty particularly is a social player and plainly said so.

The beautiful thing about the tournament is that I didn't bluff at all until we were three-way. Instead, I just overbet my premium hands and more often than not got paid off. For instance, I had QQ in the BB. Ilan raises from 50 to 100. There re 4 callers. I raise it to 500 (we start with 2000 and it was relatively early). Ilan calls but everyone else folded. The flop was Q23. I bet out 500. He folded. I showed the table. Later, I call a minimum raise (100/200 blinds) with AQ from the SB. The raise came from Roose, so I knew it meant business. I even said, "Min raises make baby jesus cry." Several people laughed. In total at least four people called the min raise. The flop was QJx. I bet 1000 and took it down.

I later took out Peter and Scotty with my QQ pre-flop. I raised big, Scotty pushed, and Peter, god bless him, called with QJh. I called, and Scotty had me slightly covered in chips. Fortunately, no help came for his AK or Peter's QJh. Booya.

In the next hand I was dealt AKh so I bet it up the EXACT amount I bet with the QQ, and several people called. The flop was As6s6c. I bet out again and got two callers. The turn was a Xc, giving two flush draws. I raised big again and got a caller AND someone to call all-in. The river was an offsuit blank. I bet out and Ilan, the other caller, folded. Both players were on the club flush draw and I took down the pot.

I was so damn on and I think a lot of the table knew it. I didn't get Roose's usual crap about betting with nothing. Damn it, he probably has me read. Scott and Peter clearly had high regards for my game. In fact, in a conversation about the WSOP Circuit Events, Scott, who is already generous with cash, offered to buy a piece of me....without me even asking. Damn that felt good. He flat out said that I take the game seriously and know what I'm doing. Now, Scott isn't a pro, but it's nice to see that someone has high regards for my game. This confidence booster does a lot for my mental state AND my game. So, thanks Scott. I look forward to taking you up on your offer.

In the end, it was between JR, me and Ilan. JR is a steely player. I mean, he actually THINKS about his hand and the action at the table, which is uncommon for this homegame. I know that when he bets, he means business, especially early on. When it got down to three, he minimum raised my big blind a couple of times in a row and I folded. Finally with J4 in the BB, I decided to see a card. I called. The flop was J-high. He pushed. I called. He showed AK and I took down the pot.

Ilan and I decided to chop. He had me covered by a little bit, so I took $110 and he took $130. All in all, it was a +$90 night, which brings my 2006 total to +$40 (because of a $ 50 deposit online earlier this month; I'm seriously considering withdrawing $50 online just to offset that deposit).

When I got home, wifey Kim was sleeping on the couch. I sat down to read some blogs, but GCox and TripJax were online, so I decided to chat with them for a bit. In the meanwhile, I openned the new site and played a hand or two of Limit Omaha 8b. Or at least I thought it was 8b. In fact, it was just Omaha hi, so when I hit the nut low and jammed, I was being an uber donkey. After that hand, I closed the poker sites for the night.

Now, before I started playing online, Trip suggested that I play and "donk off my winnings." He was joking, of course, but the truth was that I knew I'd lose. I was not in the right mood or mode to play online poker, but I still had that residual urge from the home game.

I think when I make the transition, I naturally start on a sort of tilt. I'm not playing my best game at all. I think it may be because I'm playing out of an urge, the urge to continue the live game. And plainly the games are different. I either over-compensate for the difference and play too loose or under compensate and play too timid. No matter what, it's never a good thing. And, if I play more poker live, like on vacation to Vegas or AC, I need even more downtime from online poker before I can go back with a level head. Hell, I needed 4 days or so when I went to Vegas!

So all of that talk about the game comes down to this question: Do you feel a form of tilt when you switch from live games to online games immediately? I do.

This post is brought to you by the letter A, the number 10, and the suit spade!

posted by Jordan @ 9:59 AM, ,