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A Thin Line Between Self-Critique and Shame

I'll be getting to This is True #4, the wrap up for Which is True #4 later this week. In the meanwhile, I would like to take a moment to discuss something that seems to be a repeat occurrence for me lately.

I am ashamed. Plain and simple. I wish I was being self-critical. After all, self-critique is the way in which we learn. But that is just not the case. I am ashamed. But why?

Last night, after making a strong performance throughout that Hoy, leading the pack in 1st place out of 20, and holding a spot in the top 5 for a long time, I eventually went out 9th, when I made a stupid play. It's something that I am prone to do, especially (or at least apparently) during blogger tournaments. Up until that point, I was playing smart poker. I was also getting hit with the deck, but I kept taking enough stabs at orphaned pots that I was getting paid off when I wanted it, and incidentally, winning pots uncontested when needed as well. And then, I just gave it all away in one hand.

Heading in to the final table, I thought I was playing screwed down. I had made some good laydowns preflop, choosing to use my stack to get me to the final table. I wasn't planning on making any moves. But then the background changed as we entered the final table and I was dealt TT. From there, I just can't explain it. I did exactly what I did not want to do, and if I had taken an extra minute, hell, an extra second, to think things through, I wouldn't be typing about how I am ashamed of myself today. I would be typing about how great I played.

All that work to get to the final table, and I essentially fell on my sword. In the hand, a player UTG raised preflop, a player to his left called, I raised with TT, and the first bettor folded. The raiser pushed all-in, which would put me all-in (I was slightly covered). And I called.

Let's not worry about what he had just yet. Let's look at all of the things going on. First off, we have a smooth call-reraise. If memory is wrong, then at the very least, we have a raiser who re-re-raised after I popped it up. In both instances, the player is showing strength. What could this strength mean? Well, at the widest, it could mean any pocket pair (realistically, I'd argue 66 and up, and all high Aces. However, this player was willing to put most of his stack at risk when he re-raised all-in. If he lost, he'd have less than 400. We were both gambling with 7k+ stacks, so he had no reason to take any huge chances. Now, adding that to our widest range analysis, we can pretty much eliminate all of the underpairs, except for maybe 99 if he was desperate. So, now our range consists of dominating hands (JJ-AA) and coinflip hands (AJ-AK) mostly. This begs the question, WHAT THE FUCK WAS I THINKING?!

I wasn't. That's the problem. I was admittedly intoxicated, but beyond that, I was just not thinking it through. Part of me figured that if I doubled up, I would be in great shape to take one of the three money spots. As it were, I was probably at 5th or 6th. But realistically speaking, I should have folded TT and waited for a better spot. My shame is that I made a purely amatuer play, disregarding all of the information available to me and playing ONLY my cards. Disgusting.

The shame continued this morning. I missed a Court deadline and had to make a motion for an extension. To win, I needed to explain the extenuating circumstances. The only problem: there weren't any. I just fucked up. It was a matter of lack of experience, and it is going to cause the upcoming trial and settlement talks to be much more difficult for our firm. I had to face my shame by telling the Big Boss Man, and while I took my licks like a man, I still found the most difficult part to be the personal shame.

I hold myself to high standards. That applies in poker, work and life in general. I strive to be self-critical so that I can analyze my faults and make plans to address and overcome them. But sometimes, faced with my own fallability, I can fall into shame. Its a thin line, no doubt, but its an important one. In shame, I do not think about how I can improve. I think about how I let myself and those around me down. I think about how I failed. I am essentially on life tilt.

With this in mind, I'm foregoing live poker tonight. Fortunately, I'll be at Salami Club tomorrow for the nightly tournament with 23Skidoo and maybe F-Train (if anyone else is interested, send me an email using the tab at the top of the blog). But not tonight. I may be shamed of my play, but the self-critical part of me knows I am in no condition to win money playing poker. At least I have that going for me.

Oh, and he had Queens.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 2:50 PM, ,

Quinn's Test

This is just a test to see if this solves Quinn's request. Well, does it? I have no idea.

posted by Jordan @ 2:12 PM, ,

Which is True? #4

Man, I'm starting to really miss poker. I was slated to play Saturday afternoon on Long Island in an underground club while wifey Kim got her hair done and whatever else chicks do when they are gearing up to be in a wedding party. Alas, the wedding ceremony was to start at 4pm and after checking with Robbie Hole, it would appear that the $20 rebuy tournament starting at 12:30 would last until 4-5pm, and Jordan doesn't start anything he can't finish. I had hoped to salvage my pokerless weekend by hitting the game on Sunday while wifey Kim caught up with some of her out-of-town friends who were in for the wedding. But her plans fell through, and regardless she wanted me there to show off her hunk of man meat (that's me, not my appendage of the same name), and wifey Kim trumps poker, so there went those plans.

So I am now over a week since my last live game at the Wall Street Game, and I'm aching to play. I have nothing officially planned this week other than 23Skidoo's NYC return on Wednesday, so maybe I'll squeeze in an underground poker room run. Nice Look has reopenned, and I have been dreaming of my big win days there. Really, its just a matter of time before I return. Its also just a matter of time before the place gets raided by the cops again, so its a race to the finish!

I mentioned on Friday an upcoming Which is True and this one truly baffles me. I've argued both sides of this seeming conflict before, never in direct opposition with the other point, but always inherently in conflict. I'll get right to it after I ask for your kind input on the subject. I don't even mind if you just echo someone else's comment, since I'm looking for some sort of consensus on the subject. So without further adieu:

Which is True?

Statement A
A great poker player must be able to adapt his style to the table conditions.

Statement B
To play poker optimally one must stay true to their own personal style of play and not imitate another person's style or another general style of play.

There you have it. Meanwhile, I have a big deposition today and a long week ahead of me.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 8:07 AM, ,

Nothing to See Here

I've started and abandoned about three posts this week, leaving me wondering exactly where I went wrong. It all comes down to stasis. I went out last night for wifey Kim's friend's engagement. We met up with a bunch of people at a random lounge in Chinatown (although on a map its technically the Lower East Side, but if 9 out of 10 signs are in are IN Chinatown...unless you are in China, in which case you are in a Chinese town, but lets not get into semantics).

A couple of people we hadn't seen in months asked how things are going. The best I could muster was that things were moving along. Everything is calm between wifey Kim and I (she's as great and as fine as ever), work is going well, and poker has been steady since my 3k win. Of course, most of these people don't much care about how my poker is doing, but since that is the lion's share of my free time and always in the front of my mind, when I went through the "what's going on" checklist, poker always appears near the top.

But Nothing going on is better than most times when Something is going on. I guess I got that going for me. For instance, Something is going on this weekend, and its going to make my weekend less than optimal. Tonight, I have to head to LI straight from work to join wifey Kim at her friend's wedding rehearsal dinner. The next day, wifey Kim is going to be doing all sorts of things with her friends preparing for the big day, whereas I will hopefully be check-raising douschebags at the LI underground poker room that Roose tipped me off to. Roose and Hole aren't working tomorrow, but I'll still have company since Matty Ebs is down for some poker. It's the $20 rebuy tournament that I lost $140 at a couple of weeks ago, but I'm confident that my skill surpasses most of the field. I'm already licking my chops.

Saturday night is the wedding and Sunday is me trying to politely extricate myself from wifey Kim's plan to spend quality time with various of her friends in from out of town. If I am able to escape, the plan will be to return to the city and hopefully get into the 4pm Brit Bloggament, which I was recently invited to from Wolverine Fan. Snikkity Snikt! That reminds me. I now have $22 over at PokerStars, so I can actually play there again. Noice!

Meanwhile, I have a new Which is True which I have opted to save for Monday, lest it get mired in the wordy garbage of this post. I also plan on seeing 23Skidoo make his NY re-appearance on Wednesday, where we'll find some booze to drink or donkeys to raise. All this and I'm still recovering from Okie Vegas.

Hell, maybe Something is going on. Who woulda thunk?

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 3:37 PM, ,

Decent Players

As I got up from my seat at the Wall Street Game, my opponent joked about how I was going to call him a lucky donkey on my blog. The truth was, inside, I felt my chest constricting and my shoulders tense up, but I was doing my best to find my inner Zen. Of course, I told him that I would do no such thing, but, well, he was a fucking lucky donkey.

I kid.

There is nothing productive in attacking the play of your opponents, even though it might be an initial and natural impulse. However, critiquing other's play is not going to improve MY game (unless I make the same mistakes), so all I can do it look at my play.

In this case, the first ugly loss from that player, whose name I sadly cannot remember, came during the second tournament (I have a lingering memory of a suckout from the first tourney, but I can't remember it exactly). I held QQ and raised from LP to 300, a 3x raise from the 100 BB. The player called from the SB. The flop was J23, rainbow, and it checked to me. I bet out 300, hoping to get some more money out of my opposition. He called. The turn was another Jack, and I bet out 600 when it was checked to me. I was suddenly slightly nervous about my opponent having Jacks, but his demeanor didn't suggest it, and he would raise if he did hit his trips. He called and we saw a river, 2. At this point, my opposition bet out. I don't remember what the amount was, but I folded and he showed 25d, for a rivered full house. That loss stung, but I had enough chips to still be among the chipleaders and I was happy that I played it so well, betting when I was ahead and folding when I was behind.

Later, I held 92o in the BB when the same player limped in MP. He had limped before with 23o, folding to a raise and showing his cards, so I knew his range was wide. The flop was 963 with two spades, and I checked, hoping to check-raise the loose player in MP. He bet out 300 and I min-raised him to 600. He called. The turn was another 6, and I bet out 1500, about half of my remaining stack, hoping to just take down the pot or get him to make an error with bad cards. He thought for a moment, said, "I can't believe you have the fullhouse" and then finally, reluctantly, pushed all-in. He had me covered by this point and I essentially committed suicide, calling with my top pair, bottom kicker. He showed 67o, for flopped middle pair, and turned trips. Busto for me, and I got up, shook hands and the donkey comment was made.

I could really feel it in my chest, that tension you get when you suffer a brutal suckout. Its the same feeling that makes you want to say, "Nice call, fonkey." or "What the FUCK!?" But there is no benefit in those statements. If you are leaving the game, it'll only make you look like a poor sport (not good if you want to return to that game), and if you are rebuying, it announces to the table that you are on tilt or tiltable. Frankly, that tilt factor is just as damaging when you are leaving. If players know they can tilt you, they'll do it. Just ask Woffles.

Realistically speaking, I fucked myself on that second hand. It wasn't his fault at all. First off, the check-raise on the flop wasn't bad, but the bet sizing was horrible. I was correct that he was likely to bet with marginal holdings, but this was a tournament, and not a cash game. In a cash game, it made sense to bet the minimum and keep him in the hand. In a tournament, I should have just taken the pot by raising a lot more than a min-raise. If I bet 1500 there, instead of on the turn, I probably take it down with minimal effort. I also ignored the flush draw and the fact that my top pair was in trouble if a Ten through Ace came up. So, railing against HIS "stupid" play would have just been silly. Like most things in poker, I did it to myself and I didn't have anyone else to blame.

Another funny thing came out of the game, Steve, a decent player, told me that he had read my blog post about the last time I was at the Wall Street game. I grumbled. Its nice getting new readers. After all, a blog without readers is like a poker room without players. It might look nice, but its just a waste of space. However, there are games where I don't want the players knowing that I have a blog. First off, it means I can't give honest reactions to players and plays, lest I insult someone. I don't write to insult people, but there are times when a game or a player can and should be described as lacking skill. Ego is a big part of poker, so no one wants to hear that statement with their name attached. Truthfully, though, if there was a game to be outted, it was the Wall Street game. While there are some soft spots at the table, players seem to generally have a good understanding of the tools available to them, which makes for a great, challenging game. There is a decent range of styles and experience, but even the players I would mark as the soft spots tend to pull out moves that are fairly advanced, whether or not they know it.

Steven also found it humorous that I referred to him as a "decent player." Personally, I consider that a compliment. If I label a player as decent, I don't mean decent as in passable, but decent as in someone that I actually pay attention to at the table. After all, there are the crappy players that I can get a read on quickly, the decent players who I have to be cautious of, and the great players that I just avoid. So, in the grand lexicon of things, being decent is, well pretty decent. Or maybe I'm just covering my ass because he's reading this right now.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 11:30 AM, ,

Okla-Home-a (OKC Trip Report Pt. 2)

I woke up Saturday morning when I heard the door creak. I'm a lousy sleeper, so it doesn't take much to awake me, and huge GCox (in fact, everyone was so tall, I felt like an Iggy) was peaking his head into the room, clearly a precursor to waking me up. He said something, and I let him know I was half-awake. Once he left, I threw on the same clothes as the day before and packed everything up. I entered the living room where Skidoo was still fast asleep on the recliner and other people were milling about. Over the next 30 minutes, we all got up and loaded up G's truck. I prepared to hop back in the car with Trip and Surflexus when I heard them discussing who was going to drive. Trip apparently didn't want to drive and Surf didn't seem to mind, but didn't seem thrilled either. "I'll drive," I volunteered.

When I talk about NY and my lack of a car, most people take it to mean that I think cars are some form of crazy super futuristic technology beyond this humble man or otherwise some mystical beast, like a dragon-headed unicorn. In reality, I grew up in the suburbs of NYC and always drove since I was 16. In fact, I consider myself a very good driver. Once I convinced them of this (it didn't take that much convincing, likely because they were both exhausted), we hit the road. Truthfully, a brick on the gas and some duct tape on the steering wheel could've made the drive. Straight, straight, straight, turn, straight, straight, straight. And I mean barely any curves on the road. I guess that's what happens when everyone owns acres of square cropland.

During the drive, Surf and I discussed all sorts of things. We are an interesting pair, too. Surf might only be 42 (I'm 27), but he's a grandfather. GRANDFATHER. I flew to OKC to hang out with a grandfather. Admittedly, I'm laying it on thick. No one would ever see Surf and think, "Hey Grandpa, when does the nursing home expect you back?", but the point is, it is not as though on its face we'd be two peas in a pod. But two peas we were. I suppose poker, writing, and even moreso, our values allow disparate lives to actuall get along pretty well. In fact, I've spent many an awkward drive with all sorts of people, but Surf is not on that list.

Notice how I didn't mention Trip? That's because during all of this, he was lying in a fetal position sucking his thumb in the back seat. Any port in a storm.

When we arrived in Casa del GCox, his wife and daughter were pulling into the driveway. We helped them unload a bounty of groceries and I dropped my bag into his daughter's room, where I would be staying with Trip. I chose the second pink fuzzy bed, as Trip was already napping on the other one. I changed into my poker gear, including my standard $uperman shirt. Meanwhile, Mrs. GCox was cooking up all sorts of breakfast concoctions, my favorite of which were the sausage on biscuits. That and a couple of mini donuts helped me feel human again, and I resolved to stick with water until I had fully recuperated.

I forgot to mention it earlier, but the night before, after returning from the bar, someone suggested a group shot. They poured me Soco, and I, being fairly drunk already, reluctantly agreed. As soon as I took the shot, my Spidey sense began tingling. Or was it my vomit sense. The Soco wasn't the usual stuff, but rather a 100 proof version, 10% more alcohol than regular Soco. Super Soco triggered my I'm-Going-to-Die reflex, and my throat closed up. I got up and started to move to the front door, as we were on the covered patio. Trip, meanwhile, was slowly stumbling up the stairs. I pushed him forward and told him to step aside. "Gotta puke?" he asked as I moved past him. I think I said, "Yup," as I made way for the bathroom. I didn't actually puke. Instead, I spit into the sink and stared into the mirror as I attempted to get control of myself. Feeling better, I returned to the crowd, but that, my friends, was my last drink for the night. I've said it before and I'll say it again (especially since it relates to poker as much as drinking), "A man has got to know his limits."

So, with that hangover dissipated, I did my best not to overeat. Maudie was coming over with some Southern BBQ and I couldn't wait. Mrs. GCox, after cooking, went over to the Karaoke machine at the request of some fellow bloggers and began belting out some amazing country and classic rock tunes. The GCoxes actually host karaoke shows on weekends, and I knew she was going to be good, but when I was in the other room, I could swear I was actually hearing Carly Simon (one of my favorites) or some random country act (of which I know nothing). G sang a duet as well, and I was impressed. Even LilCox got in there. It was like hanging out with the Partridges without the future of drug dependence.

Let me add that Mrs. and Lil GCox are both wonderful people. Skidoo's post hits it right on the nose. I was so comfortable, it felt like I was at my own house...except for the fact that I was wearing pants. So constricting. But still, I felt so welcomed and at ease in their home. We literally just hung out while we waited for everyone to arrive. I even gave in and did some karaoke when G started rapping Nothin' But a G-Thang, a Snoop & Dre classic that essentially was the absurd soundtrack for my Jewish suburban upbringing. That's when I learned that I love signing karaoke. I should also give some karaoke credit to Surf and Skidoo, two guys with very different karaoke styles. Surf would get up there and sing like a man with a purpose. Skiddo would stumble to the mike and before anyone knows it, start singing one random song after another in a almost trance-like, possessed-entertainer manner. Both were highly entertaining.

Maudie came by with Gracie and F-Train and most importantly, delicious succulint slow-cooked meat products, that I gorged myself with over the next hour or so. Finally, four of GCox's local friends arrived and we were ready for the tournament.

The tournament was a $40 buy-in (5k in chips), $20 single rebuy or addon (2.5k) with 30 minute levels. I rearranged the chip denominations and stacks before the tournament to add to the ease in play, mostly because I'm a controlling douschebag, but overall it worked out extremely well. When we "drew" for seats using Tournament Director software, I ended up on Table 2 with F-Train, Yestbay1 (who, I neglected to mention, arrived at GCox's house a little after the BBQ), and all four of G's local friends. On one hand, I was disappointed I wasn't with the majority of poker bloggers. On the other, I expected G's local friends to be easier competition. In fact, the blogger table all took the rebuy immediately, and no one at our table took it until the add-on period.

I started the tournament loose because of the low blinds and deep stacks. I believe I won a bunch of early pots and began my table chat, all friendly but with my usual snarky, sarcastic blend. No one minded, and we were having a good time. I noticed that a lot of pots were either between all locals or all bloggers. To be fair, the all blogger hands were really between F-Train and I, as Yestbay remained relatively quiet and tight early on. In fact, F-Train was my only concern in the beginning of the tournament (and for a looooooooong time thereafter), as he knows my play pretty well and, from what I could see, had no problem getting into my head and deciphering what some of my plays meant.

I chipped up but eventually got knocked back down when I flopped a K-high flop with AK against F-Train's KK. He bet preflop and I chose to call in position. The turn was a blank and he checked. Something seemed suspicious so I checked as well. He bet reasonably small on the river and I called it down, still suspicious but willing to pay the price. Even though I lost that hand, I was proud of my seemingly uncharacteristic restraint. It was all in the read though.

After the first three levels, we had a 15 minute break. When I stood up, I noticed that I stunk. I wasn't sure if anyone else noticed, but it occurred to me that I had not showered since Thursday night and I had spent hours on a plane and more hours playing poker. I took a speed showed during those 15 minutes and came out refreshed.

Returning to the poker game, I began to chip up once again. My banter continued and I noticed Mrs. Cox in the abutting open kitchen smirking at some of my lines. I looked over and said, "I just got started. You stay put and you'll hear my witty poker banter for hours." "I was thinking of asking if you ever quieted down." "I chat when I'm winning. If I start losing, it'll get a lot quieter in here."

At some point, LilCox came to the table and watched some of the action. She was waiting for a friend to pick her up to go to the movies. I thought it a bit odd that a 12 year old girl would be sitting watching poker played by a bunch of random degenerates in her house, but it was all perfectly natural. That kid is such an obviously good person (I won't limit it to being a good 'kid') and so open and friendly that I was just amazed. By the end of the trip, she practically felt like a kid sister, and I sincerely wish her the best of luck as she grows up. I can't see her being anything other than a success in life. I guess having great parents help.

By the second break, I was the table chipleader after doubling through someone (F-Train?) and amassing some nicely sized pots. I joked to the second chipleader F-Train that he had spent such time and effort steadily building his stack, whereas I'd been bumbling around and still caught up and took the lead. From there I went on a tear, knocking out several players. But first, I got two players to go all-in against my AA. The matchup was AA vs. AQ vs. A2, and by the river, we all had a Broadway straight. Curses! Still, I busted one of those players eventually and a few more and we were down to one table.

At this point, there were 9 people left, and I was in about 4th position. By the first break, it was clear that there were two chipleaders (Skidoo, who had joined our table earlier, and Kat), the second teir (F-Train and me), and the shortstacks (Surf and Yestbay). I did what little I could with my lack of cards and escalating blinds. By now, we had probably been playing 4-5 hours worth of poker. Surf went out next and we were down to 5. Yestbay doubled up on a suckout, and then went uber aggressive. From there, he suddenly leaped into third, and I did my best to outlast F-Train and make the money. Luckily, Yest busted F, and I won back my $60. After being manhandled by the table and Skidoo's aggression particularly, I eventually called Skidoo's all-in with A7h. He had 88. It was a stupid call, but based upon my short stack and his ruthless aggression. I busted and joined the rest of the crew who were mulling about and playing a 1/2 NL cash game. Eventually, Skidoo busted in 3rd and Yest in 2nd, leaving Kat the winner.

I should take some time to mention some of the conversations I was having before the poker game started. I haven't mentioned him yet, but Oklahoma-native OSU joined the party somewhere between BBQ and poker. Interesting guy, that OSU. I kid you not, with his baseball cap on, he looks just like Eric Lindgren. The face is near identical. His play is pretty damn good too, although we only got to share some time at the cash game.

So, before the poker tournament, Yest, OSU, and I were chatting about strategy with maybe a couple of other bloggers. It had occurred to me during the trip that I had a slew of great poker players around me. I always believed that bloggers were naturally better than most players. After all, we are largely obsessed and we critically think and process the game when we write. However, I also had a particular small group of bloggers who I jokingly deemed the HighOnPoker Poker Role Models. These were the guys who consistently cashed or had big scores. At Okie Vegas, my admiration for players grew, though. I mean, just consider the line-up.

Surf had won a freaking tournament at Tunica two days before. I had seen him in action, and he plays smart poker. I can say this for most of the crew, but it definitely applies to Surf: this guy knows what he's doing. Skidoo has won the two tournaments I've taken him to in NYC and has an amazingly aggressive live tournament game that sincerely impressed me. F-Train is a fucking machine. He knows the game moreso than most if not all of the players at Okie Vegas, and he plays it like he means it. I suppose its hard to quantify it in words, but I can explain it best by saying that I didn't want him at my table. I never want him at my table. In the room, sure. At my table, no thanks. Kat likes to think that she has trouble with the game, but it just isn't true. She has a good feel for the rhythm of poker, something that I think is crucial, and seemed to make all of her plays at the right time. Trip and GCox, well, they are donkeys. Haha. Nah, really, I've played with them so much, they are like an afterthought. I know they know what they are doing. And for the most part, I echo those sentiments with most of the players. OSU and I were able to discuss theoretical plays before the game. Yestbay played a great Harrington-on-Holdem-esque game to win 2nd place. Maudie, well, she was tilting by the time I got to the cash game, but I know what she has in her. Gracie...did I play any poker with Gracie?

The point is, this is a formidable group of players to be against, and a great group of players to be with, as part of our poker blogging community, as much about the social aspects as it is about improving our games through group interaction.

After the tournament, I sat down for some cash games. I ended up losing about $100 fairly quickly on loose play. I had begun drinking and soon karaokeing, singing Dre Day, Nothin' But a G-Thang with GCox for the second time for our new expanded audience, What I Got from Sublime and Ring of Fire from Johnny Cash. That was all split up throughout the night as I took poker breaks. I also slowly feasted on the spread layed out by Mrs. GCox, including her funny-named sausage balls. They were the best balls I've tasted since that short stint in prison.

They had really good meatballs in prison. What were you thinking? Sicko.

At the cash game, I switched to drinking rum and cokes, the official mixed drink of HighOnPoker. I also tried my best to be patient, something I woefully lacked. Eventually, between karaoke and socializing, the game temporarily broke. When we resumed, it was shorthanded, and I eventually had my one big hand against Skidoo.

I was having fun with weird preflop raises, grabbing a $10 chip and two $2, holding them above my $2 BB, and then dropping only the $2, for a min raise of $4 total ($2 more). I did this again with A5h and got called by OSU and Skidoo. The flop was 556, with two spades. I believe that Either Skidoo or I bet out a small $6 or 8 bet. All of us called. The turn was a red Ace, giving me a boat. Skidoo bet out $25. I hemmed and hawed before calling. OSU liked his odds and called behind me. The river was inconsequential. Skidoo bet out $64, all-in. I hemmed and hawed again, to try and dupe OSU into overcalling. It didn't work. I called, OSU folded, and Skidoo showed his 5 for three of a kind. His other card was no match for my Ace full house, and I took down the pot. This brought me up $134. The game broke shortly after and I cashed out up $120 exactly for the trip. I probably didn't even spend that much.

We all hung out and took group photos. It was getting late and I had to be at the airport at 6am. By 2am, the house was quieting down and most of us were exhausted. I hit the sack after having a long conversation with G and Mrs. G about what a great group of people attending Okie Vegas, and what excellent hosts they were. It was like reminiscing with old friends.

Back in Lil'G's room, I packed up my bag and prepared everything for an easy wake-up and go. I hit the sack with my cell phone alarm set for 5:40. I awoke naturally at 5:30 and got dressed in the dark. G was at my door in no time and we hit the road.

From there it was just a flight to Chicago and a flight to NYC. Nothing terribly exciting. I went to bed at 11pm on Sunday, an hour or two earlier than usual. OKV took a lot out of me, but it was all worth it.

So, thanks to GCox, Mrs. GCox, LilGCox, and all of the bloggers who came to Okie Vegas. I had a great time, and I look forward to future opportunities to hang with this group.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 5:21 PM, ,

Into the Heartland (OKC Trip Report Pt. 1)

At 3:15am, Thursday night/Friday morning, I woke up with a fright. I didn't remember the dream I was in the middle of, but I did remember that I was heading to Okie Vegas early Friday morning, and my eyes immediately shot over to the clock. 3:15. I had a whole 45 minutes left to sleep. And this wasn't the first time I woke up either.

I remember as a kid, I used to wake up every 30 minutes before the first day of school. It was due to a mix of excitement and anxiety. I hadn't felt that way in years, not since I first took the job at my present firm. However, come Thursday night, it was in full force.

After all, I had a lot to be anxious about. I had received a free flight thanks to my credit card air miles, but the flights available were all at atrocious times. If everything went according to plan, I would be on a flight headed toward Chicago at 6am, arriving at 7 and catching a connecting flight at 8. That meant that I needed to be at Newark Airport for my flight at 4:30am, a good 1 and 1/2 hours before takeoff. That also meant that I had to arrange a car service, because it'd take too long in the wee hours of the morning for me to go by the variety of trains (two transfers, three different train entities).

It wasn't all anxiety, though. I was also damn excited. Okie Vegas officially kicked off Thursday when most of the crew arrived in beautiful Oklahoma City to meet up and check-raise the local douschebags out of their weekly checks. I hated being Johnny Come Lately, but the free flight helped make the trip viable and I was at the mercy of United Airlines.

After waking up another two or three times, I finally dragged myself out of bed at 4am. It had to be the earliest I woke up in years. I sleepily got dressed in the clothes laid out the night before (I knew I'd be too tired to remember to wear socks, for instance) and grabbed my packed bag.

I was at the airport at 6am and made my way to the gate. One of the greatest innovations in the airline industry in the last 10 years is online check-in. Nothing is worse than getting to the airport, waiting in line for your boarding pass, waiting in line for security and then waiting in line at your gate. At least with online check-in, the first line is out of the way.

I arrived at the gate and checked the flight time. Everything looked fine. I strolled over to a bench and sat down, facing a bank of TV screens. On a hunch, I walked over and looked for my flight, and then I saw it: DELAYED 7:15am.

Surely, that couldn't be MY flight. After all, if it was delayed, I'd miss my connecting flight and be stranded in Chicago (I can think of worse places to be stranded, but I had poker bloggers to meet, damnit!). I looked over to my gate and saw the United jet outside. The weather was perfect, which was unexpected, since the weather reports were all doom and gloom for the last three days. Shit, I thought. This is just fucked!

I pulled my phone from my bag and called United. "Sorry sir, but the flight is delayed and you are going to miss your connecting flight." "Okay, when is the next flight I can get on to Oklahoma. "Let me see..." She went silent. For four minutes. "Hello?," I asked. "One second sir. All flights are booked." "WHAT?!" "Let me check Tulsa" (I have no idea how far Tulsa is from OKC, mind you.) "Nope. Booked." "WHAT??!!" For a second there, I thought through how I was going to tell GCox and the rest of the crew. Then I thought about my weekend, and how crappy it was going to be sitting around thinking about what I was missing out of in Oklahoma. Then, but the grace of god, the customer service rep got her head out of her ass. "Oh wait, sir, you were already automatically booked on the 10am to OKC, arriving at 2:12." Fucking moron.

It was still around 6am, so I texted G to let him know about my 4 hour delay. Later, he would tell me about how is cell woke him up at the asscrack of dawn, but at the moment, my only goal was to inform him before he hopped in his car at 9:45 to pick me up.

I then found a nice corner, laid down, turned on my iPod, set my cell phone alarm, and attempted to sleep. A few hours later, I was in a plane, attempting to sleep some more. Any port in a storm, I figured, and I knew that I needed some sleep to make it through the weekend.

When I arrived in Chicago, I went to a kiosk for my new boarding pass. The computerized kiosks are the second greatest innovation in airiline travel in the last 10 years. I love any opportunity to avoid human contact! Unfortunately, my ticket told me that they couldn't give me a seat number until I got to the gate. This sounded suspiciously like Standby, so I hustled around the airport before I saw a United Customer Service desk. I figured they'd be helpful and, luckily, I was right. Apparently, United has two types of Economy Seats, Economy and Economy Plus. The Plus version has a whopping 5 inches of additionaly legroom and costs $30 extra per flight. Ironically, about 1/2 of Economy seats are Economy Plus, so its just another racket. Those were the only seats available, so the kiosk wouldn't freeroll me the free 5 inches. In fact, the customer service rep wouldn't either, first telling me it'd cost $30. I would've gladly paid it too, to avoid this nonsense, but first I did a little ole customer service complaining...and it worked. Freeroll!

I got to the gate and stopped at a little place serving sandwiches. Thank god it wasn't another fast food joint, and I got an egg, cheese and bacon sandwich to help build my constitution. Once done, I settled into a seat near an outlet and watched an episode of Battlestar Gallactica on my laptop. The flight finally was ready to board and I was off to my final destination. I took some time during the flight to squeeze in a a few more Zzzzs, but like my other attempts, it was mostly broken rest with little cumulative effect.


I arrived in OKC and strolled into the airport. I kept my eye out for poker degenerates and finally came upon them by the exit. I had met Tripjax and 23 Skidoo before, but the other guy was new to me. I knew, however, that Trip had been traveling with Surflexus, and I had known Surflexus from the Intertubes for a good two years. Blogs are interesting things. In a very real way, you can know a person more from a month's worth of blog posts than if you were to work in the same office with them for a year. There is something about the sheer amount of information out there, including style as much as substance. Add in the various Challenges I ran in the past and the blogger tournaments and chat rooms and I felt like I knew Surf even if I couldn't identify him out of a line-up.

We walked out into the hot Oklahoma weather and met up with GCox and Katitude in the parking lot, where they were polishing off a quick beer. From there, I hopped into Surf and Trip's rental and we began the hour-long drive to G's lake house in the boondocks of the boondocks. The year before, Trip was at Okie Vegas with SteelerJosh only, and as he told it, during the drive into Nowheresville, he began to wonder if G was actually an axe murderer. Luckily, he was my guinea pig, so I was able to enjoy the drive into the Sticks. "Ooh, a HORSE!" "That's a donkey." "Seems appropriate."

Surf also regaled me of their poker odyssey taking place over the last few days. Trip and Surf had driven from Atlanta, stopping at Tunica where Surf chopped a tournament four ways. As a souvenir, Surf kept a $5 chip for me. He also told me about their trip to the Oklahoma card rooms the night before where almost everyone won money except for our host GCox and Surf. Gary Carson was at the festivities that night and I went on mini-tilt when I learned that I missed meeting the poker crumudgeon who was so often cited by Iggy and seems to have a problem with Linda from Pokerworks (how you can have a problem with Linda is beyond me).

In my head, the lakehouse was a small trailer about 30 feet from the edge of a huge expansive lake. In reality, the lakehouse was a huge trailer that appeared more like a new home to me. As a NYC resident, I am not versed in the ways of trailers, so I was picturing a silver steed or something similar. This was more like a pre-fab house, a fab pre-fab house at that. There were four bedrooms total and a closed off porch that felt as big as my apartment. I dropped my bag down, and the majority of us decided to head to the local bar/market/restaurant for some quick eats.

Kat, 23Skidoo, Surf and I took the 1 1/2 block walk and ordered up our assorted burders. When we discovered that it'd take 30 minutes, I contemplating waiting at the lakehouse, but Skidoo, always up for a good time, had a better idea. "Let's go to the bar."

The bar was a simple room with a nicely sized squared off bar in the corner. There was a pool table with the balls already racked and three dartboards. Three drinkers were already mulling about, one of them on one of the 6 or so old computerized slot machines. I never asked if they were actual slots.

We ambled to the bar and ordered 2 Buds and 2 Bud Lights. The tab came to $7, paid for by Skidoo or Surf, and I laid out the tip. I used the NYC calculation of $1 per drink, which came to $4, over half the tab. I handed it to the elderly female bartender and she asked if I was looking for quarters. "Nope, that's for you." "For quarters?" "No. For you." She finally accepted and tossed the bucks into the tip jar.

As we waited for our beers, I noticed a sign above the bar for $1 Zimas. I pointed it out to my compadres and Kat asked for the 8th time that day, "What's _______?" I explained that it was a second-generation wine cooler, the first generation being the Bartles & James era, and the third being the recent Schmirnoff Ice genre. Zima was marketed heavily in the 1990s and then seemed to fall off of the globe as most people mocked it as girlie. I thought they had went under, which led me to wonder if the last bottles of the 1993 batch of Zima had somehow made its way to this random corner of the Earth. I was too manly to order one though. Yep, that's me. All man.

We grabbed some darts and Skidoo shamed me with his skill versus my weak ass throw. By the time we were done with the drinks and darts, it was about 30 minutes so we returned for the burgers.

From my eye, there was no progress made on the burgers, so we waited around another 15 or more minutes. Once we were ready to go, someone else paid (Surf this time?) and we started our walk back. The food was great, particularly the juicy burgers. After eating, we decided it was finally time to sit down for some poker. We gathered around the kitchen table and dealt out some .25/.50 NL, $50 max buy-in.

I played as I would play the entire weekend, early and often. Maybe I should look into some form of rehab, but I can't seem to play tight. I like to get in there and mix it up. By the end of any game, everyone thinks I'm full of shit (at blogger games, they think this before I sit down), but it works for me. I don't remember particular hands, but when it was all said and done, I was up $6.25. By then, the other members of the soiree had arrived, namely Maudie, Gracie and fellow NYer F-Train.

We all hung around and had a couple of drinks. Eventually, the girls decided to take a walk, and the guys hung back. I don't remember what we were even talking about, but it was all very comfortable and natural. We realized that no more poker was going to be played (for a while, anyway), and cashed everyone out. Then we headed back to the local bar to enjoy the usual Boondocks, Oklahoma evening festivities.

Picture a bar in the middle of a wooded/farmland neighborhood in a Southern state. Picture all the locals gathering weekly (or maybe nightly?) to get out of the house, have some brews, and visit with neighbors. Now picture the scene 10 or so degenerate online poker players from disparate parts of the US make when they enter.

Luckily, everyone was very friendly, including Kay Kay, the owner, who misunderstood my quick NY speech and thought I had called her an ugly hag. By the end of the night, that confusion was all cleaned up, but it probably wasn't my smoothest moment. Meanwhile, F-Train and I showed Trip and Surf how to play pool, er, or at least tried, losing 2 out of 3 games. I also always had a beer in my hand, complete with a can cozy that was apparently the official way to drink canned beer in Oklahoma. The locals had laid out a bunch of Southern food like fried catfish and hush puppies, but first Trip, Surf and I ordered some of the bars' pizzas. The staff was great and friendly, and the locals were mostly glad to have this ragtag group around. The ladies particularly seemed to liven up at the site of fresh meat, and the guys, who all greatly respected GCox, were happy to introduce themselves and then attempt to crush my puny hand bones with their kung fu grips. One guy in particular, nicknamed (I kid you not) "Shithead", came over to where I sat and talked to me about NY vs. OK. He thought it was great that we were all in OK to hang out with G, and he was amazed that I came all the way from NYC. When I want to explain how NYC is different from most places, I simply explain that I don't have a car. If I need to explain further, I go on about the amazing variety of things that can be delivered. That, generally, is enough to show them what a different life it is. The old catch-all is the idea that every five blocks in NYC is like a different neighborhood, but in hindsight, when a town only has 5 blocks, each a mile long, maybe that doesn't illustrate the craziness of NY too well.

Whatever the case, I didn't have an empty can (no glasses that night, just cans of beer) for the entire evening, and I even got a chance to try Miller Chill, a lime-flavored beer that I hadn't seen advertised until, ironically, Sunday night in NYC. One of the local ladies at the bar was drinking, and when I got into a conversation with her and another person, I asked about the beer. "Want a try?" she offered the bottle. And, with no shame, I took a sip. Not bad, but it will fall into the same trap of Tequiza. Its good for one or two beers, tops, and then it'll likely taste like crap.

I had no concept of time, but after an hour or two, we left the bar to return to the house and play an SNG. Instant Tragedy was on his way to Oklahoma from Texas, a 6 hour drive, and was heading out the next morning. I was exhausted from all of the travel and booze, but I was in OK to party, not sleep, so I hung around with everyone as we waited for Tragedy to arrive. In the meanwhile, we set up the SNG and came up with a clever way to bust Tragedy's chops. I arranged the deck to deal him pocket Kings and Maudie AQs. The flop was going to be KxKsJs, the turn Ts, and the river another Jack. The goal was to make him lose his flopped quads to Maudie's turned straight flush. To make sure we stacked the deck right, we ran the cards twice and then ran them again without removing them from the deck, announcing "2nd seat, 3rd seat, KING, 4th seat, and so on." As it turned out, Maudie, Gracie and F-Train weren't even planning on staying around for the SNG, but they were in on the prank so they stayed put to meet Tragedy.

When Tragedy arrived, he shook hands all around. He is the co-host of the Buddy Dank Radio Show, so it was nice to put a face to the voice I hear so many Wednesdays. To add to our merry prankster ways, we also introduced him to Iggy, played amicably by a very quiet Surf. Once we all sat down, Kat dealt out our doctored hand. When it got to me, I folded. The player to my left folded as well, but showed me his cards as he did it. It included the King of Diamonds. After Tragedy folded, I called the whole thing off. "DAMNIT! I can't even set a cold deck!" We admitted the failed prank to Tragedy and also pointed out that the towering Surflexus was not actually a midget housewife. Tragedy was a good sport and actually suspected that something was up on both accounts. At least it was fun on paper.

Once Maudie, et al., left, the rest of us sat down to the $20 SNG. I was first out when my KK ran into Kat's AA in a hand she played well and I played horribly. Namely, when she pushed on the Queen-high flop, I put her on pocket Queens but still made the call. Even though my QQ read was wrong, the result was the same, and I was dominated. I only had 50 chips left and got all-in with my AJ vs. A2 vs. T9, but a rivered Ten sealed my fate.

At this point, it was 2am or so, and having had little sleep the night before (3 broken hours, to be exact), I was aching for bed. I said goodnight to the crew, thanks Tragedy for the Sopranos pens he gave me as a Gigli prize (they write amazingly well, by the way; much better than Sopranos creator David dump dump dump), and chose the smallest bedroom. I hit the sack and woke up once or twice to the noise of poker in the next room. Little did I know that the rest of the crew was up until 5am or so, except for Skidoo, who passed out on a recliner right next to all the noise but didn't wake up (or move) once the entire night.

More coming up later, including my singing debut, a long tournament, and my invasion of the GCox household.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 12:57 PM, ,

More Info on Defending My Career


Hi folks. I am working on my Okie Vegas write up, and will hopefully have the first installment up later today. But in the meanwhile, I wanted to post some information that I recently recieved. A couple of weeks ago, I posted about the medical malpractice insurance "crisis", and explained how it was not the lawyers or the lawsuits that cause the insurance rates to increase. There was some great debate in the comments, and I thought I'd offer some more information to explain why the focus should be on reforming the insurance companies and not on legislation limiting the injured patient's right to sue.

"Over 80% of doctors have never paid a cent in malpractice payouts, while a mere 5% of doctor's account for over 50% of all payouts. Clearly, the Office of Professional Medical Conduct must do a better job of identifying and disciplining or removing errant doctors."

That information was admittedly provided in a newsletter by the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, so the source must be considered. However, I feel that way about ALL information, generally speaking, and this topic particularly seems to be one that can be twisted by statistics. Still, I cannot imagine that NYSTLA could realistically put out these numbers if there wasn't some actual support for them. So, even when you discount the source, the idea remains the same. If most of the med mal lawsuits are against the same doctors, then the insurance companies should be targeting those doctors for rate increases ONLY, or refusing to cover them, AND the medical boards need to stop these doctors from practicing. Likewise, it makes NO SENSE to allow these doctors to continue to treat patients while LIMITING a patient's ability to recover if that doctor commits medical malpractice.

I don't mean to renew the debate, but last time I lacked these numbers. Thanks for reading. More poker later.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 12:12 PM, ,

Prop Bets and Chess

I'm getting my ass whooped in a slew of Chess games as part of my Poker Blogger Chess Challenge. Essentially, me and five other bloggers (technically, four bloggers and Matty Ebs) are in a Round Robin tournament for $10 per person, with the winner taking $50 and 2nd place taking his money back. I'm pretty sure that I am soundly in last place, not having won a single game so far. In fact, I think I just screwed myself with one of my remaining games, moving my piece before thinking it through. I guess in that way, it is a lot like poker, and I know that at least one participant has said that playing Chess has helped his poker game. Que sera. It's all about having fun and doing something different, so the $10 was well worth it.

But let's celebrate instead of focusing on the Chess. How so? By discussing Jordan's Amazing WSOP 2007 Prop Bets! As you may recall, I made various prop bets with a slew of bloggers and (once again) Matty Ebs and overall, came up winner. Let's recap (and consider this a reminder to the LOSERS to pay up via Full Tilt to HighOnPoker, chumps!).

MeanHappyGuy- Brandon Schaefer and Carl Olson vs. Carlos Mortensen and Phil Ivey ($5/final table, $15/bracelet).

Sorry, MHG, but I guess being a Name Brand whore paid off for me this time. While Carl Olson seemed to have a good run at the beginning of the Main Event, he sure as hell didn't final table it or any other events. Same goes for Mr. Schaefer. Luckily, Ivey was kind enough to final table one tournament, netting me $5.

Unimpressed- Phil Hellmuth and Joseph Hachem vs. Mortensen and James Van Alstyne ($1 final table, $5/bracelet). In our Over/Under bet, I chose Under 7592 Main Event participants ($5).

I was Impressed with Unimpressed's picks, and chose against my better judgment to allow his Hellmuth pick. Alas, that didn't work out for me, since Hellmuth won a bracelet, but at least his naivete as per the Main Event numbers (I believe he overestimated the 2006 total) worked to my advantage, leaving us EVEN. Good game, Unimpressed.

Bayne- Jeff Madsen and Tim West vs. Mortensen and Raymer ($5/final table, $10/bracelet).

Choosing Raymer was a godsend for me, since he final tabled two stud events. Alas, West and Madsen returned a fatty goose egg for Bayne, netting me $10 for my troubles.

Matty Ebs- Ferguson and Negreanu vs. Mortensen and Raymer ($5/final table, $10/bracelet). I took the Under 5840 for $5.

Once again, Raymer hooks it up with his two final tables. Negreanu, however, matched that feat and Jesus made a final table as well. I also lost the Over/Under bet, for a -$10 loss. Good thing Matty Ebs hasn't paid me for his Chess entry yet. Freeroll, my friend.

In total, I ended up with $5 profit. SWEET! This must be how Jerry Yang felt.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 3:37 PM, ,

This is True #3

I seem to be on a Kamikaze kick. Its not so much that I'm trying to bluff players off of hands, as much as I keep thinking that other players are making plays back at me. Of course, my stubbornness doesn't help. I suppose that's a good explanation for my play in You Decide #54. I decided to raise preflop and just was unwilling to give up the hand. Meanwhile, I lost in a tragically similar way last night in the Mookie. While the hands played different, it was the same shortcomings by yours truly that paved the way for my exit. I believe I raised in LP with J9h deciding to gamble a bit, and got raised by the BB, Irongirl. For the life of me, I don't know why, but I called. The flop was Jack-high and when she open pushed for an ass load of chips, it didn't make sense to me. I put her on AK or AQ, making a play, or maybe even TT or 99, believing that I didn't hit the Jack, so I called and she showed AA. Well fuck me sideways! Nice hand, Irongirl, and my apologies to Buddy Dank, who chose me as one of his picks to win the damn tournament.

Before we get to the wrap-up for yesterday's Which is True #3, I'd like to discuss a hand from last night's Mookie. I have 2860 after losing a big hand early and clawing my way back (as I often do). I was dealt QTo in the BB when it folded around to the small blind, LGkiev, with 4250. LG decided to raise from the 100 blind to 325 total, and with two high cards and a wide range for LG's raising in this situation, I decided to flat call. The flop was a gorgeous QT4, rainbow, giving me two pair. LG bets out 650 (pot) and I take a moment before flat calling. I'm selling a story of a player who is calling but not confident. I didn't want to raise because I am confident that he'll be the turn, and if he doesn't I can make a low value bet on the turn. The turn was 3d, creating a diamond flush draw. LG pushed all-in. I called. He showed AT, for second pair.

I mention this hand for one reason only. It may appear that I got lucky, calling with a dominated hand and then hitting two pair, but there was a lot of skill in getting all the money into the pot. All too often, we focus on the "luck" of getting great starting cards or hitting flops, but there is more skill than we sometimes recognize. After you get those lucky cards or flops, the skill is in maximizing your payout. Likewise, in those unlucky hands and flops, the skill is in manuevering the hand so you can either save the most money, or ideally, steal the pot away for the cheapest possible price. Just something to contemplate...

Onto bigger contemplation. Which is True #3 occurred to me last weak when I was thinking about my success in the recent 8.5k guarantee ($75 buy-in, 167 runners, I took 1st for $3k) and a 1008 person tournament from many moons ago where I took $650 for placing 4th in a $10 tournament.

For those who missed it, the question I posed was:

The greatest accomplishment out of the three options listed is (choose one):
(A) Winning (1st place) an online 50 person tournament with a $50 buy-in for a profit of $1200.
(B) Placing in 5th in a 1000 person online $10 tournament for a profit of $650.
(C) Making the final table of an online 9,000 person freeroll, winning $250.

This is a tricky one, because there are a lot of variable factors between the three options. I'm going to start backwards with (C) Making the final table of an online 9,000 person freeroll, winning $250. Not surprisingly, (C) got no votes, but some players did offer some valuable insight into evaluating tournament wins. I almost wonder if (C) would've done better if it was a Freeroll with 100 players with the top prize paying $3000. But alas, that wasn't the option, so let's see what people thought.

The main point of contention that I personally have with (C) is the fact that it is a freeroll. Plainly, the majority of people do not play freerolls the same way they play actual tournaments. If the freeroll was for a greater prize, that might change, but if you have to beat 99.9% of the players for a mere $250 over 6+ hours, it just isn't worth it, so players are going to be, well, acting like monkeys for a good portion of the field and tournament. Play will get better as you near the money, but its still a lower caliber of play overall. In fact, we have some great insight from Chipper, a player who actually accomplished (C):

"Freeroll play is one big luckfest. However, outlasting all of the pushes and horseraces and getting to a final table is one piece of luck in my opinion. The time investment alone is just NOT worth the measly reward. A patient player can pick up a lot of chips to those LAG-tards who push on any draw or top pair. Certainly a lot less payout and the quality of poker is less than good. I finished a final table of a 10,000 player freeroll once but felt less than accomplished because the money just wasn't worth the time. Never the less, to get that far is in a field that large takes a bit of skill."

In the end, its that feeling of satisfaction that we are really looking for, and for some its about the money or the pride. In Freeroll tournaments, you get little of both (money and pride). Which brings us to (B) Placing in 5th in a 1000 person online $10 tournament for a profit of $650.

There were three players who chose (B) as the greatest accomplishment, Hoy, Chipper and AlCantHang. It's interesting that these three stand alone, largely because they are so influential, Hoy producing in depth poker analysis on a daily basis and Al being the life of the blogger party (not a small feat, and one he does excellently). As Hoy explains:

"I think I'm going to go with choice (B). 5th out of 1000 players in a $10 online tournament is pretty incredible, IMO much moreso than just winning a 50-person mtt outright...Choice (B) represents the best combination of strong performance against a real field playing real poker."

Its that combination that I can really appreciate. As I said, for some players, its about the money and for some its about the pride of accomplishment. For (B) you get a mix of both, with a nice score of 65x your initial buy-in (or $640 profit in hard terms), and the accomplishment of outlasting about 1000 players. Still, with such a great combination, why did most players (7 out of 10) choose (A)? Interestingly, there are two separate camps of thought, and they both have to do moreso with the inadequacies of (B) than the greatness of (A).

Let's be frank for a moment. (A) is great, winning a big buy-in tournament and taking down some money, but its not exactly a lofty goal. Beating 1,000 players is amazing. AMAZING. Beating 50 players is, well, 'routine'. It's a great routine. Don't get me wrong. But its a lot more likely to happen and a lot easier than the several additional hours it will take to win the 1,000 tournament. So why did most players choose (A)?

It all goes back to what I said earlier, pride and money. Let's start with pride.

A couple of players correctly pointed out that it feels 1000x better to win a tournament than it does to place high but fail to finish it out. For some, like Bayne and Cayne, there will always be a disappointment when you get so close to 1st but fall short. As Cayne explains, "5th place would leave me with a little bitter taste in my mouth for not wrapping it up. " It's definitely something the majority of us can recall at one point of another. On the flipside, Raveen (aka Psuedo Dr.) commented, "Personally anytime you win a tourney regardless of the money is one of the best feeling's in the world..." Truer words have not been spoken. This is exactly the High I mean in High on Poker. Likewise, MeanHappyGuy said, "I'd have to go with option A, for the pure fact that it is the only one with a "winner" flag."

Once again I find myself with a wish that I could revise the options. I won't, not for now at least, but it would be interesting to compare winning with a lower payout vs. taking 4th with a higher payout. After all, the players above all seem to revel in the idea of being the Winner, something I can certainly appreciate. But would that Winning pride be enough to overcome the fact that they could have won more money placing lower in another tournament?

It would seem that Matt, KajaGugu and DP would rather place 4th for more dough if those were the options. Even though both chose (A) as the greatest accomplishment, they relised on the ole poker scorecard, money. As explained by DP, "poker is about money" and Matt, who takes seems to lean more to the middle, "it's the bigger score of the three and it's an actual victory."

I can definitely appreciate their analysis. When I think about my 1000 person 4th place for $650 vs. my 167 person 1st place for 3.1k, I think I have more pride about the $3.1k. Think of it outside of the world of poker blogging. When you tell someone about your poker accomplishments, would you rather say, "I beat 167 players last night" or "I won $3.1k." Inside the poker world, I'd argue that the first statement probably has a stronger impact (assuming that we are dealing with people who have good bankrolls). Outside the poker world, however, people care about cold hard cash. So, in a public setting, I'd be more proud of dollar figures vs. the amount of players I defeated. In the end, I guess it depends on the audience and what you are out to prove. Are you trying to show that you can beat large fields or that you can be profitable? They are often one in the same, but they don't have to be.

Before I head out, I would like to touch on something mentioned by Matt and Kaja. One of the factors they considered was the idea of beating better competition in the (A), the $50 event, as opposed to the $10 event. Logically, this makes sense. Matt explained, "...although A is a smaller field than B, it is a larger buyin so, presumably, the players may be less donkalicious," and Kaja explained, "Beating better competition is also a plus for me."

This makes sense on its face. It is essentially an extension of the argument against (C), where the slew of freeroll players are disregarded because of the tendency for people to play freerolls like, well, they were free. However, I am not so certain that it extends between (B) and (A) so readily. While the play between a freeroll and a $10 tournament is drastically different, the difference between $10 and $50 buy-in events are not very dissimilar. From my experiences, the play is not much different. There are donks at every level, just as there are some great players in some $10 events. So, overall, I see the logic in that rationale, but I don't think it should be a deciding factor (notably, it was mentioned as an aside from both players, and not as the sole deciding factor).

Final thoughts: It seems like the real question is whether you play tournament poker for the pride or the money. The money speaks for itself, but the issue of pride can be broken down into smaller considerations. Is it about being the Victor amongst a field of losers? Is is about beating a large amount of players, but not necessarily needing the top spot? These are all individual considerations for each of us to consider.

My opinion is that (B) is the greater ACCOMPLISHMENT, but I get more pride from (A). I, too, want to be the Winner. Not 2nd, not 3rd. Initially, when I lost the 1008 person tournament in 4th place, I was a tad bummed out. There is always that feeling of wanting to grab the brass ring, and the disappointment when you miss, but after that feeling went away, I had to acknowledge to myself that I played great poker for hours and beat over 1000 people to win a nice chunk of change. Winning the $3.1k, on the other hand, definitely gave me that high from winning, and the amount of cash still blows my mind. BUT in the end, I beat 167 people, something I have done at least on two other occassions that I can think of off of the top of my head, and many more if I were to consider when I merely beat 167 players out of a larger field tournament. While winning gave me that short term high and the big bankroll boost, it didn't leave me in awe the same way beating 1000 players did.

Did we get to any final conclusion other than to say that it depends on each person's priorities? Hell no. That's not what Which is True is about. But it is interesting to consider poker accomplishments and how they are viewed by a variety of players. I thank all of the commentors for your input on Which is True and the You Decide post. Now I have to finish out the work day, see Harry Potter, and get about 2 hrs of sleep before my 4am airport pickup and trip to Okie Vegas. Get ready for a real hootenanny of a Trip Report coming up.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 10:55 PM, ,

You Decide #54 & Which is True #3

We have a two-fer for you today. After tabling my most recent Which is True, I came across a hand ideal for a You Decide analysis. I'm looking for some discussion on these two topics, mostly because I feel that they are worthy of debate. So, let's get right to it by starting with

Which is True #3
This one will be slightly different than the past Which is True posts. We are going to have three options and its up to you to figure out which is accurate. Let's get right to it.

The greatest accomplishment out of the three options listed is (choose one):

(A) Winning (1st place) an online 50 person tournament with a $50 buy-in for a profit of $1200.
(B) Placing in 5th in a 1000 person online $10 tournament for a profit of $650.
(C) Making the final table of an online 9,000 person freeroll, winning $250.

I'm not quite sure what my vote is, but I'm curious to hear yours. The heart of the question is how you evaluate tournament winnings across a variety of circumstances.

And while you are chewing on that, lets examine a wacky and wild play from last night's Wall Street Game (where I incidentally lost the first tournament when I got T8o to call my all-in preflop with AA, and by the river, the T8o made an 8-high straight, and then chopped 1st and 2nd in the 2nd tournament). Here is

You Decide #54
You are in the second or third hand of a single table tournament, live, with a mix of players with varied experience against you. In the preceding hand, you limped along with 5 or so others, the BB raised to 250 (from the 50 BB), and everyone folded. In the BB, you are dealt AJd. By the time it gets to you, there are 5 limpers, none of which look like they are holding very good cards (its usually an aggressive table, so no raise reads as weakness). You raise to 250. First question: was this too little? too much? unnecessary with AJd out of position? My plan was to either push out most players and then outplay the remaining players depending on the flop, or get some more information while I am playing out of position with likely the best hand preflop. I only get one caller, a newbie to the game who I have read has having marginal cards.

The flop is KQ7, with two hearts and one diamond. Out of position, I decided to raise to 350, hoping to force the opponent to fold. The bet was sized so it didn't look like a blatant attempt to get him out of the pot AND it didn't overcommit me to the hand if he decides to raise back or even call. He calls after a brief hesitation.

The turn is a Qd, making me a nut diamond flush draw. I bet out 600, hoping that my opponent does not have a Queen. To my surprise, he pushes all-in, for 1200 more. This will put me all-in if I call. This is really the biggest question for you all. Up to this point, I'll admit that my overaggression was misplaced, and I was digging myself a deeper hole. I was slightly worried about KQ too, but he wasn't that confident in his cards. I thought for a long while until I ultimately called. He showed KJ, a surprisingly weak hand, given his play. The river was a Ten and I hit Broadway to take down the pot.

So, I think its safe to say that my overaggression was a bit unnecessary, even if I was ahead preflop and had good draws on the turn. But was that all-in call correct? I figured that it was so early in the tournament that I'd be willing to shake things up with a bold play. Still, I doubt that my play was stellar, and I am wondering how others would have played it. Is simply checking preflop the right move and folding on the flop. Perhaps.

Overall, I had a great time at the Wall Street Game last night. Its so freaking close to home that I even stopped off home for a few minutes between the games. I was in great shape in the first tournament, at a point where there were only 47.5 big blinds on the table (thanks to escalating blinds) and about 6 players left. I had been repeatedly stealing from the button until I conned a played into calling my all-in from the button with my AA vs. her T8, but you know the rest. After losing that way, I steamed quietly for a bit, went home to gather my senses, and then returned and had a great run in the second game. I was dealt some monster hands, AA at least twice, KK and QQ once as well, which is definitely something I don't get to say a lot. I joked with new player Lynette (who was on my immediate left for both games) that I always do better in second tournaments (true) because players recall my loose play from the first tournament (meant as a joke, but now in hindsight probably true).

Oddly, I've played tournaments twice at the Wall Street Game and won one tournament each time, but I lost in my cash game attempts there. I need to figure out what the hitch is, but it may just be card deadedness. After all, the sample size is small.

While talking to Lynette, we also mentioned how poker really does provide a high. That's when I outted my blog, since I appreciate fellow players that can acknowledge the euphoric state that poker can bring. Truthfully, if it wasn't for that adrenaline rush, I don't even know if I'd play the game. But really, that rush is intrinsic to gambling, so to imagine poker without the excitement is like imagining drinking booze without the concept of drunkedness. Its possible (non-alcoholic beer) but its stupid as fuck.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 9:26 AM, ,

Rush Rush

I don't have much time lately. I'm running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to get everything done at work and my post-work schedule isn't much lighter. Last night, for instance, I cooked dinner for wifey Kim, bro-in-law Mark, and his girlfriend Coco (nickname, people). The menu was my specialty, teriyaki skirt steak with red onions, served with sweet potato fries, corn on the cob and green beans (aka string beans). The dinner went over very well, but from the time I got home at 6:30 until dinner was served at about 7:30, I was going nonstop in the kitchen heat. No complaints, really, as it was nice to spend some time with family and friends, but by the time the couple left at 10pm, I was exhausted. Luckily, no online poker for me. It's the devil!

This morning I headed out to NJ for a deposition. I got back tot he office at about 1:30 and since that time have received a tidal wave of tasks from the Big Bossman. I'd stay late, but instead I make my return to the Wall Street Game tonight for two tournaments. I played there on Sunday, losing $160 in .50/1 NL, but having a great time the whole while. Since the $3000 online score, my results have been less exciting, suffering a string of losses broken up by modest wins, but I'm hardly concerned. I've heard it said that great players can expect to win anywhere from 60-55% of the time, so if I'm losing now, it isn't a reflection on skill, but rather on luck or variance. Truthfully, I'm going through a card drought, and I'm too active a player (read: I'm too stupid for my own good) to fold for hours on end.

I recently came up with the theory that my activeness at the table benefits me in homegame tournaments moreso than cash games. Part of it is my lack of fear of busting. It can be a big help in a tournament when everyone else is scared. It is, essentially, what allows me to overwhelm the table with my aggression. However, in recent cash games, I merely find myself getting into hands I don't need to get into. I'm not sure if I'm doing this any justice, but essentially, I just can't get people to fold as easily in a live game. My goal, I suppose, is also different, or at least it should be, but whatever the case, my live cash game has been fairly weak lately, so its something to keep an eye on for the future. Maybe I'll watch some High Stakes Poker on the computer to get some new perspective. I should probably read a poker book too, but I don't know if I can take poker guide books anymore.

On Friday of this week, I'll be flying out to Oklahoma for Okie Vegas. Until then, I'm just a hollow shell of a man waiting for time to pass.

I have an idea for another Which Is True post that I'm excited about. It addresses the valuation of different types of tournament wins, and I'm very curious to see what people think. I'd include it here, but if everything keeps going as roughly as it has, it'll make for a nice quick post tomorrow.

I guess that's all the drivel you get from me today. Wish me luck tonight. I'm fairly close to the top of the leaderboard in fifth place after one showing, and if I can take the top spot by cashing twice tonight, I'll be a happy man.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 3:55 PM, ,

Poker on TV: Life on the D-List

I was watching Kathy Griffin: Life on the D-List because I saw that she was going to prison. Like some other people, I like shows about prisons, so I decided to give it a go. And then it happened. Or more like he happened, he being Mike "the Mouth" Matusow. So, now I'm live blogging Life on the D-List for all you pokerfiles out there.

11:03am - Kathy mentions that her assistant got her a blind date tonight with a "celebrity poker player". For a second, names race through my head, but then she says it: Mike Matusow. The reason why Mike is a good blind date, according to Kathy: he's straight and his fans are straight, so it'll help Kathy get into the straight demographic. That Kathy's got high standards!

11:04am - Kathy unveils her cleavage-laden outfit. I'm sure Mike won't be staring at her knockers. Kathy's mother hopes Mike is a nice guy. I guess she doesn't know about his jail stint for drug dealing.

11:05 - Mike meets Kathy's mom and admits he doesn't know her 'work'. Smooth, Mike. Smooth. Way to read her body language, poker impressario.

11:06 - As Mike escorts Kathy out of the house, he says loudly to her mother: "Mom, I'm going to take care of her. If she gets out of line (kicking) right where it goes." And with that, we have Mike's first threat of physical violence, made before leaving the house. Mike works quick.

11:06:30 - At the sushi restaurant, Kathy asks if Mike has the typical poker intellect, meaning that he is really smart at math, but an absent minded professor in everything else. Ironically, Mike is probably bad at math AND everything else, so while the question is absurd, the answer is still no. Ironically, Mike doesn't answer the question because (I kid you not) he gets distracted by the shiny silverware. Nothing kills conversation like shiny objects. Kathy: "He emotionally is about four..."

11:07 - Kathy confirms, "He is definitely straight. He looks at my boobs instead of my eyes." My guess is that he's checking for tells. He then burps...twice. Kathy: "I like Mike. He's a pig."

11:07:30 - Mike threatens to "beat her ass" if Kathy doesn't eat the sushi. This is his third or fourth threat of violence, as explained by Kathy, but as she aptly puts it "he might be kidding".

11:08 - They leave the restaurant and are confronted by paparazzi. "Mike was a little bit inappropriate when he saw my level of fame, which is three degrees higher than his." That would make celebrity poker players, the G List, except for top guys like Hellmuth and Brunson. I guess they'd be the F List. I'm not sure which list name I prefer.

11:08:30 - Date wrap up by Kathy: "I probably wouldn't go out with him again because I want to live."

So, there you go. Mike did a decent job of making poker players appear to be super degenerates, which will certainly help our mainstream media image. But all kidding aside, its good to see Mike and poker spilling over into the mainstream (even if Kathy is fringe mainstream).

That's all from High on Poker's TV Correspondence Desk, where, "We'll watch crappy television, so you won't have to!"

Until next time, make mine poker

posted by Jordan @ 11:58 AM, ,

Oklahoma Dreamin'

Lets start with a quick statement about yesterday's post. I posted about the BBT point system and how I personally felt that the system did what it set out to achieve: encourage widespread participation. I got a lot of comments, which I wholly appreciate, but I think its important that I state this, lest someone think otherwise: The BBT Points debate doesn't matter that much to me. So, I'm sorry if I may have seemed flippant in some of my responses, because ultimately, it really shouldn't be a point of contention. I do believe, however, that it will be impossible to come up with a system that everyone will appreciate, so any changes to the point system for the BBTwo (I refuse to believe that there won't be a BBTwo) will likely be met by another slew of critical posts and comments. That's the pitfall of these massive events, but in the end, I'm just glad we have them. I know for me, the BBT got me to play more of the blogger tournaments, which in and of itself is nothing great, save for the fact that it got me to spend more time with the blogger community, something that is crucial for the longtime survival of the friendships I have made through this blog, this blog itself and the poker blogging community as a whole.

Now onto brighter things. I haven't mentioned it here, mostly because I'm merely going to be a guest at the soiree, but in one week, I'll be in beautiful Oklahoma, drinking Keystone Light and slinging cards with a smattering of poker bloggers. For all of the details, I suggest you check out GCox's blog, as he is hosting and doing a fine job at that.

I have had occassion in the past couple of weeks to mention my Oklahoma trip, and I usually get one reaction..."Why Oklahoma?" Depending on the person, I'll give a variety of answers: "I've got a friend who lives there." (the most accurate, yet least detailed explanation) "To play poker" (for fellow poker degenerates who don't know or think highly of the blog/blogging) "To hang out with a bunch of fellow poker bloggers" (to those in the know).

I really don't know what to expect of Oklahoma, but I know I'll be in good hands. I leave in the ass crack of dawn on Friday, arriving in OKC after a layover in Chicago at 10:30 am. From there, we will be heading to G's lakehouse, more accurately a trailed by the lake. Interestingly, being a jew boy from NY, I don't think I've ever been in a trailer overnight before, and I'm looking forward to the experience. It isn't so much the trailer aspect as it is the lake itself. I'm not much of a nature guy, but its more due to availability than temperment. I can think of nothing finer right now than sitting lakeside drinking beer and enjoying the summer breeze.

On Saturday, we'll return to GCox's actual home for a poker tournament. Really, though, I'm excited about three letters, B, B and Q. In NY, BBQ is okay. But I LOVE BBQ, so I'm really looking forward to some authentic Southern cooking. Oh, and the poker.

Sadly, Monday, I have to catch a 7:30 am flight back to NYC. At least I'll be back in time to sleep off the weekend. I don't see me getting much sleep at all. Over/under for Friday to Sunday's flight, 8 hours of sleep total. 4 and 4 will do just fine. I may even have to take the Under.

Meanwhile, I have a week to go before any of this happens. Bloody torture. Ah hell, I've lost steam in this post. The point is, Okie Vegas, man! I couldn't be more excited.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 12:16 PM, ,

Why the BBT Point System was PERFECT

There's been a decent amount of chat amonst the intertubes discussing the point system in the recently completed Battle of the Blogger Tournaments. The two sides of the argument seem to be that the system was based on Poker Stars' system, and therefore is fair vs. the highest money winners did not necessarily correlate to the top 50 point earners, making a flawed system. Well, folks, I'm an opinionated prick, but I'm also fairly logical, and I'm here to tell you that the BBT point system wasn't just was PERFECT! But to understand that, you need to look at the BBT as a whole and discern what, exactly, the BBT is rewarding.

The beauty of an event like the BBT is its ability to drum up large playing fields. This is done by creating a hype around the event by way of a leaderboard, point system, prizes and publicity. The publicity certainly goes a long way, but its the points, leaderboard and prizes that keep the players loyal and consistent. If the BBT didn't have these things (leaderboard, points and prizes), there would be less incentive to play and we would essentially have had the same numbers in blogger tournaments as the pre-BBT days. This would have been fine, but the point of the BBT was to increase involvement, so right there we have the #1 goal of the BBT: Encourage mass participation.

Now we've established the goal of the BBT, to get poker bloggers into these poker blogger tournaments. Now, lets look at the best way to encourage this, with particular focus on the three things I keep mentioning, the leaderboard, points and prizes.

There have been three primary groups that must be examined to understand this issue: (1) those who won money but did not get many points, and (2) those who didn't win significant money but got many points, and (3) those who did not win points or money but played 1/2 of the events to get into the freeroll.

The first group, the Money Leaders, are the main opponent to the current scoring system, and from their prespective, their argument makes perfect sense. They won the most money, and therefore must be regarded as one of the better players in the field, since money is the scorecard of poker. It seems to make sense, but only if you lose sight of the number one goal of the BBT, to encourage mass participation. Take, for instance, twoblackaces, who is listed as number 2 on the money leader board and number 89 on the points board. On its face, it would appear that twoblackaces was robbed of his rightful position in the freeroll. He won the 2nd most money (behind my boy and number one stunna, TripJax, holla if ya hear me!) but he still wasn't considered in the top 50 of the tournament!

But really, twoblackaces has nothing to complain about, because he probably got the greatest benefit from the BBT giving the BBT anything worthwhile. Let me explain. Twoblackaces won over $1200 from the BBT by playing in only ONE even, a Blogger Big Game. If it weren't for the BBT, the Big Game would have had a smaller field, reducing that sole win from $1200 to probably $1000 or less. So, even though twoblackaces isn't in the freeroll, he already benefited from the BBT by winning from that larger prizepool. Meanwhile, did twoblackaces help the BBT? Hell no! The BBT was looking for loyal players to build the freeroll prizepool, essentially, the rake from each tournament, thanks to a great deal arranged with Full Tilt by the BBT organizers. Twoblackaces only put about $6 into the shared prizepool and didn't return for any other games. So, while it may appear that he is NOT rewarded for his great job, that isn't true at all. He is awarded by the larger payout during the tournament, but BBT won't bend over backwards and hurt its own goal just to make twoblackaces extra happy. He got his $1k+, so enjoy! (Mind you, I don't know who twoblackaces is, and I am merely using him as an example of people who did well on the money leader board, but not the point leader board).

So, those who won a lot of money but did not play a lot of tournaments benefited from the BBT with larger prize pools, while offering the BBT close to nothing. Hence, they got their benefit, and do not get the added benefit of the freeroll. The next logical step is to look at those who did get into the freeroll and determine why they should get into the freeroll when other more profitable players didn't.

One of the largest complaints is that the BBT encouraged players to fold into the points, bastardizing the game of poker and making the BBT tournaments somehow tainted. I heartily disagree with this notion. Those profitable players who are complaining about people folding into the money are really missing the mark. Instead of complaining about these players, they should be celebrating them. Players who are willing to fold into the points with no chips are essentially dead money for the second half of the tournament. Some of them might get lucky on a few occassions, but for the most part, the more active players can constantly take their chips until the points bubble and then have enough chips compared to the point whores (I mean that nicely) to dominate into a money spot. Again, the profitable players BENEFIT from the very thing they complain about, but because we are ALL so focused on the BBT leaderboard, we ignore that benefit conferred and focus on the benefit NOT conferred, the freeroll.

Does the BBT point system encourage people to go for points instead of cash? The answer is plainly No. Some people may have chosen to go that route, but it is not an optimal strategy. Why? Because getting into the freeroll just isn't worth it. The freeroll consists of 1/2 of all of the rake played in the BBT. Assuming a player plays ONLY one half of the BBT events, he is essentially paying his way into the freeroll. If he plays MORE THAN HALF of the BBT events, he is paying more money into the freeroll than his equity in the event. Some might argue that I am ignoring all of the other players throwing money into the freeroll via rake who do not get to play the freeroll. True. But you are ignoring the hundreds in actual buy-ins that were lost by the point whores in their attempt to get into the top 50 leaderboard spots. So, in reality, playing for points is like throwing money down the drain. So you may be wondering why we reward these "stupid" players who throw money down the drain. The reason: they gave the BBT what it wanted, loyal players mixed with some dead money. They were the chum that got the sharks (i.e., the profit leaders) to swim. They made the BBT as juicy as it was. Realistically, I'm not talking about anyone in particular and I don't mean to disparage anyone. I merely am offering another way for those profit leaders to feel about the apparent injustice of rewarding the point whores. I also want to add that this is exactly the type of thing that the BBT should be doing for these consistent players (either consistently scoring well or willing to play 20 events). They should be giving them something back for their time and money, and a freeroll is just that thing. Its not even handing them the money back. Its making them earn it. In this regards, the BBT completes its purpose, encouraging players to actually play multiple BBT events.

From those two groups, the money leaders and the point whores, we have one last group, the point leaders. That group consists of the top 6 point spots. If you placed in the top 6 spots overall in the points board, you won either a cash or electronics prize. This is the final group of competitors, those who benefited the most from the format of the BBT, if not from the actual event. I make this distinction because 3 out of those 5 players were actually net losers in the BBT tournaments, without considering any leaderboard prizes. Those players who were not profitable but still made the top 6 deserve a kickback, essentially, for their hard work. They played an obscene about of tournaments, since all of the top 6 played at least 31 of the 39 events. They put time, effort and prizepool money (both in individual tournaments and toward the freeroll prize pool) into the events and were able to perform consistently enough to accumulate the most amount of points. They are essentially the cream of the crop of the point whores, the Heidi Fleiss of point whores, if you will, and for thier time and sacrifice, they get a rebate/reward. In this way the BBT encourages extreme participation, its main goal, and does what it sets out to do.

The second subgroup of the point leaders is the most exciting, the Winners. This group are the players who got an overlay prize and profited during the BBT events. These players DESERVE everything they got because they fulfilled everyone's goals by playing in lots of events (BBT's goal) and making the endeavor profitable (by winning the most points). Hence, they receive the greatest benefit, a large guaranteed portion of the rake pool and/or free prizes. These players truly are the BBT champions because they balanced consistent attendance with good performance as opposed to the profit leaders (good performance, inconsistent attendance or results) and the point whores (consistent attendance and results, but bad performances).

By creating the varied "prizes," the BBT accomplished its goal, to encourage larger tournament turnouts. Some think that giving all of the prizes to the most profitable makes sense. After all, they are the best players based on the traditional poker scoring method, money. But the BBT isn't about finding the most profitable player. Its about getting the community out, so it just makes more sense to spread the prizes. Specifically, those prizes need to go to the people who are not necessarily the most profitable. They need to go to the players who would otherwise not play the events because they are not the great players that the profitable players are. They need to go to the players who played many events, making the BBT what it is. So, in the end, I think the BBT scoring system was perfect. It spread the wealth and worked toward the BBT's goal. And it doesn't hurt that I made a fatty profit of $25 and entered the freeroll in the high 40s out of 50. Yep, that's right, I'm a veritable point whore.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 10:20 AM, ,