Saturday, January 31, 2009

Is there anything sweeter then blogger money?

I am happy to report that I took down another of these crazy tournaments.

Thanks to the lovely Kat for hosting, it was fun. Why more people don't play the Friday Nite Blogger Donkament. It's a "grab a beer and hold on to your butts" good time. Rebuy mayhem, followed by deep stack poker. 

Thanks to pippo_rox for paying $2 to sign up for the tournament, and never rebuying. Thanks to Astin for never saying no to a rebuy. Thanks to dontknow for sitting out. Thanks to Pushmonkey for shoving the 2nd largest stack in to the largest stack and bursting the bubble for nzgreen and I to cash with our short stacks. Thanks to nzgreen for your graciousness in that sick beat you placed on me rivering the K so AJ loses to KJ. Thanks to muhctim whom I always hope gets lucky just one time and hangs for the entire evening. Friggin' RCG. And Julius's nice to see you out and play.

A huge thanks to Two Black Aces. Not only are you the zen master of shoving with ATC's, but there is no fear in your eyes when the max auto rebuy flashes like the bright lights of the paparazii. And hey, playing deep stack with you and nzgreen was a blast. There is a reason you consistently go deep in the big MTT's and it ain't the cards.

This victory would not be possible at all without Full Tilt Poker setting up a lovely final hand. Heads up. We both flop top pair with backdoor straight draws and totally ugly cards. I can think of no better way to finish up a Donkament then with these hideous cards.

Is there anything sweeter then blogger money? I think not :-P

Play Online Poker
Play Online Poker

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Waffles is a panzie

How Many 90 Year Olds Could You Take in a Fight?

25?  Waffles is a tit-baby.

I have no idea why I followed that link to Waffles blog...Take it as it is. He's got nothin'. Sorry for the interruption to your normal poker content. I saw a gauntlet. It was thrown down. What's a guy to do?

Monday, January 26, 2009

If I'm doing my math correctly...

Looks like I'm closing in on my 300th post. Not there yet, but I decided to do a little clean up in preparation.

On the left and down a little bit is my blogroll. Yep, those are the blogs I read. Sometimes I only give them a good scan, but the list comes from Google Reader. I've broken it up into 3 groups. Poker blogs, poker news and poker pro's. I'm seriously considering a group for blogs that consistently are NSFW. Nothing like coming across one of Bam Bam's or Al's posts with people walking in behind you at work...just sayin'.

Anyone missing? If you read my blog and I'm not reading yours, let me know. Want some link love? I link to yours if you link to

Sunday, January 25, 2009

How to become a very frustrated playing poker

As I mentioned in my last post, Tuesday night was the regional tournament for the last league event. Regionals take the top 15% of the point leaders from each bar in a region and play for entry into the state tournament. State tournaments are usually played in a casino so they can give out very large prizes. Poker cruises, WSOP/WPT entries...things much larger then $200.

My bar has a reputation for being some of the toughest poker you will find in the area. I've learned a lot playing here. There is a great mix of players from total LAGtards to rocks to complete fish, but at least there is a variety.

Tuesday. Oh, Tuesday. I knew going into these events that I'm entering a tournament filled with top 15% of the players from bars where the play probably sucks. Tuesday did not disappoint. I sat down to an 8 person table with 6 calling stations. These people would call every raise. It was not uncommon to have 4 people showdown at the river.

The range of hands people were playing were, any two suited cards, any king, any ace and cards that had been lucky in the past. Good gawd. I was putting people on any two cards. It was just easier.

Getting reads on people of this caliber can be extremely difficult. Sure, you know they think they are strong, but that could mean 3rd pair. I found reactions to the turn and river to be more telling about the strength of their hands. Most of these people didn't need much to call a flop bet, but their reactions to the turn was where the truth was.

These tables for me are the most challenging there is in poker. I get very frustrated because you know that tight aggressive play will not work unless you can show down a hand. Loose aggressive play only works if you actually connect big to a flop. On Tuesday night, I only played one pot that actually didn't go to a showdown, but even that one, I fired 3 bullets with only ace high. Had she hit her flush on the river, I'd be stuck.

So my question for you is how do you play tables of calling stations? Just one at the table isn't too bad when you spot them, just bleed them dry. But when there is a lot more then one, now you are staring at the numbers and know that someone has to have improved. This situation gets me very frustrated. Tight would seem right, but you can only fold for so long.

Friday, January 23, 2009

OhCaptain - Been playing any poker?

This is a poker blog. Really. I've actually had quite the poker week but all this pokering has left me with scant little time to write about it. Damn jobs and life and stuff...

Let's turn  the dials on the time machine to January 16th about 7pm. One horrifically hectic day. I muddle through my day, just trying to get everything done because, yes, Friday, but more importantly it's Bourbonators day! To make things even better, Bodie25 is hosting. 

He's got the house to himself. Saawheet! I'm running late getting out of the office and organized. BLOW! We had hoped to play a little heads-up, but it just wasn't in the cards.

Going into Friday night, my record for SNGs at his house was 2-0. I was undefeated. Bodie made no bones about telling everyone. That was me in the 7 spot with the target on my stack. Never fear, some scotch, some beer and a good suck out keeps me in chips and without the poker gods peeing in my Wheaties, I would have doubled through Zack to take a commanding chip lead.  Not sure how you score a second place finish...2-1?

Second tourney starts. More beer, skipped the whisky, but this time, I use the power of the healthy buzz to figure out we should be on BuddyDank Radio. That's the ticket. No real suck outs for me this time. I just played patient poker (while drunk?) and acquired all the chips. I'm now 3-1 at my good friends house. 

So Saturday morning comes hours before it should. OhCountess has to work. Most of the time, this works out OK. Not today. OhCountess wakes me up at 5:30 am. Seems OhPrincess1 is downstairs on the couch feeling pretty yucky. Sore throat, fever and an upset stomach. The Mrs. suggests I head down and sleep on the other couch...fair enough. The word sleep was used, good word. 6:15 am. Again, the wife is waking me up. Through eyelids that weight 8 tons, I see my bride and she tells me about water boiling on the stove. Will you make Jello for your daughter? I'll do anything for my family...of course. (inner voice used bad words...shh...don't tell) Jello made. Back to couch. 7:15 am phone is ringing. I'm too cheap to just break the phone so I make the hero call and answer. Sexy siren on the end informs me of a scheduled Dr. appoint at 8:15. Great! Brain cells fire enough neurons to realize that if go any where near a's all over. I head to the fridge and grab two bottles of Cranergy and a diet pepsi. Large bore needle would have been handy too. Work starts calling at around 10am. The department I work for is upgrading the single most important piece of software they use. I maintain enough cognitive abilities to answer questions through out the day. I have no idea how that worked.

To the surprise of no one. I really played no poker this past weekend. Saturday night, I was dreaming with my eyes open (jeebus - who knew that was a friggin' country song?). Sunday...narcolepsy.

The regional tournament for my poker league was Tuesday night and I wanted to be ready. I'm writing a second post to handle just this. I have no idea how to play an 8 person table with 7 loose/passive players at it. Seriously. 4 people see the river? Call, Call, Call, Call, Call....CHRIST! I played for 3 hours and shoved 74o into A3o. As my wife says, "you just aren't lucky, honey."

Wednesday night was regular league night. Things were a bit better. Usual crowd at our  bar is a bit more aggressive and a bit more likely to fold when you need them to. Not a lot, but enough. Made it down to the final six before I mistakenly shoved KK into A6o and JJ. Bodie25 held the A6 and delighted in the Ace on the River.

Thursday night was the first night of a new Twitter Poker Tour series. It was a fun time. I finished 8th suffering from my greatest leak right now. Overplaying medium -> medium high strength hands too hard when I don't need to play. Again...more on that later. I recommend checking it out. Who knows, you may get to say "Hey, at least I got busted by @OhCaptain!"

And that brings us to tonight. I played the Donkament for quite a while. For the first time ever though, I didn't rebuy while I still could. Ran TT into A7. Sometimes I hate poker. Well, it's was getting close to the end of the rebuy and I wasn't planning on burning another $37 this week.

If this weekend pans like it could, I will hopefully have ample time to catch up on a few posts I'm dying to write. More of my Vegas recap would be awesome. A strategy post about how to or not to play a table full of loose passive players (hopefully without killing one of them or yourself in the process). And if it goes really I caught up with Drizz at a local casino.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Vision of Hope

Today, we celebrate a tradition in our nation unlike any other in the world. Today, we transition from one president to the next.

The 12th Amendment to the United States Constitution has set January 20th as the date on which one president ends their administration and next begins. The President-elect is sworn in at noon by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court using the Oath of Office from Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution and reads,

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States
Every president since George Washington has had to state these words to the public with these words as their bond.

I like to point out these words to everyone for it demonstrates one of our Founding Father's most important ideals. This nation is bound together by one thing, the rule of law, as stated by the Constitution. No where does it say the president shall consider the Constitution or make sure to do their darnedest to circumvent the Constitution. There job is is preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. Period. The Constitution.

"The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one." This is a quote spoken by the fictional character Spock in the movie, "Star Trek II: the Wrath of Kahn." Yeah, I know, this is all serious and there I go quoting a sci-fi movie, but this quote has resonated with me since I first saw the movie. People believe we live in a democracy and in some ways we do. The majority opinion is used to determine many aspects of our society, but technically, we live in Constitutional Republic. This means our elected officials must represent the wishes of the people under the rules of law as defined by the Constitution.

President Obama is inheriting a nation in trouble. Our economy is struggling. Our stature throughout the world has never been worse. Let's face it, George W. Bush is leaving the nation far worse then when he got it. Many things about this departing administration has left me wondering how the nation could have ever chosen this man to lead us, but today, we must move forward.

President Obama campaigned as the candidate of hope. As a father, I hope for a world for my children that is better then the world I grew up in. Barrack Obama is our newest president. He deserves our respect, he's got a big job ahead of him.

The picture I chose at the top of the page is one of the few photographs I have ever taken that I would consider a concept photo. I staged this. I liked the symbolism of my daughter standing at the spot where Martin Luther King, Jr, gave his famous speech. It's at the top of the stairs at the Lincoln Memorial. My daughter stood their reading the words of a man with a vision of a nation united. I share that vision.

I didn't vote for President Obama but that doesn't mean I don't want him to succeed. In fact, I believe the opposite. I so much want him to succeed.

The magic of this nation is that every 4 years, we get a chance for a fresh start and a new beginning.

Welcome to Washington Mr. Obama. We have a lot of hard work to do. Today, it's your party, tomorrow we start fresh.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Noob's First Blogger Gathering: Pinball Hall of Fame

It all started with one one guys discovery. PirateLawyer had posted about inheriting a love of pinball from his father. In preparing for the Winter Gathering, he had discovered that there was a Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas. This post caught my attention and a few others. He definitely would not be travelling solo.

Being the married guy that I am, I realized that if I was taking OhCountess with me, I should probably talk this over with know, ditching the wife is never a good plan.

I think my wife knew that there was no way I was missing this. She's been with me before at Chuck-E-Cheese. When there are pinball machines in the room, she's got 3 kids to watch over. I'm worthless as a dad around games.

While still feeling the next day love from way to many Bud Lights from the night before, I joined up with PL at the Geisha Bar at 1 PM Friday. Through the fog and haze of the night before, that was one detail I had not forgotten.

We were joined by MetsFan, Zeem, F-Train, Muhctim, VinNay, BuddyDank,California April and I think a couple of other guys that weren't bloggers.

Everyone didn't fit in F-Train's car. Apparently, he hasn't joined the minivan lifestyle yet, so several taxis were needed. Riding in F-Train's car was great. He lives in Vegas and had taken the time to find this place.  A word of warning for anyone attempting to visit this place, write down the address. Taxi cab drivers have no idea where it is. Thankfully, Buddy had my cell number...wireless to the rescue.

This little adventure was just one more huge leap of faith for me. Before getting into this black car and leaving the hotel, I really didn't know anyone. I mean, you know them through online poker and their writings, but really, am I driving to the Hotel California? I had every reason to believe there wasn't a problem here, but growing up in a small town in Minnesota, I just really wasn't used to riding in cars with strangers.

Whew! There's the sign for the Pinball Hall of Fame!

You really need to experience this place for yourself. I'm sharing with you today the pictures I took while there, but the sounds and the feel of the machines is nothing I can describe with typed words. The place is really well kept up, the machines are in great condition. You can tell that it is owned and operated by people that love pinball machines. There were a few locals here but surprisingly only a few "kids".

Kids. I watched the faces of my companions as we enter. In everyones eyes you could see their inner 12 year old jumping up and down. I think we all had same overwhelmed feeling just walking in the place. My god, there were over 200 machines to play. Where do you start? Most of us just walked around for a few minutes. I had grabbed some quarters out of my pockets and was rubbing them with my fingers. I knew they wouldn't be mine long. So many machines and so little time and quarters....

These pictures aren't in any particular order. They are pretty much just randomly uploaded. Some are of people (look for the inner 12 year's there in their eyes). Some are of the machines that caught my attention. I actually filled a memory card, about 200 pictures, while wandering around. These are the highlights. If you are looking for something in particular, let me know, I probably shot it.

The pictures:

Not all the machines are old. This is one that just had to be on my poker blog...WPT Pinball? Who knew.
This sign was on one of the change machines. Come on, how funny is this. It makes you wonder though, did they need to hang this sign cause they were actually getting some?
Here's Buddy hitting the flippers. He's got that good form. One leg forward. Perfect balance.
PL, F-Train and Zeem. We were quite often joining for multi-player action.
Holy Crap! It's Play Ball! This is that game that the stealy comes out from under a metal flap. I played this with Muhctim for a while. We would hit the pitching buttons for the other guy. He's not as big a baseball fan as I am...I ran it up a bit...sorry.
I dropped way too much money in this machine growing up. I was shocked to see it here. The funny thing about pinball games, they were marketed with famous people or show or themes, but for me, it was the action that was important. This game rocked! Or it was the only one available where I played sometimes at as kid.

VinNay, a guy I don't know and MetsFan. Yep. Inner 12 year old spotted.

Tron and Centipede definitely brought back the memories. My Mom didn't let me see Tron but she couldn't stop me from playing this game. I was well versed in this game long before I ever saw the movie.
I had never heard of this one before, but this is a poker blog.
Zeem running up the score. This shot does give you a good idea of what it was like in here. The lighting was horrible, but that's just fine, glare on glass sucks.
Old school...and poker themed.
No one was immune from the allure of the old school games. Who needs digital scores?
As far as the eye could see.
There was one sound there that really got my attention. I hadn't heard it in years. For those of you that play pinball or wasted untold hours and days of your youth, you'll know what I mean. There is the crack of the machine when you win a free game. It's just the most beautiful sound you can imagine. It's here in spades.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Why can't this happen every day...

I'll admit. I 1 bet raised with KK. I was trying to set a trap.
I also checked the flop.

And he just wouldn't stop betting into me.

Um. Shove?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Poker Night at our house: Holiday Style

This past Saturday night was latest installment of our Co-ed Invitationals, but this time it was Holiday Style.

What is holiday style? We decided to experiment with a few twists on some old themes.

First, our 9 year old, OhPrincess1, thought our friends could do more to help those less fortunate. In school, they had a food drive and she thought we could do that too. Hm. How about an Add-on? That's the ticket! Bring 2 food items suitable for the local food shelf and get an extra 500 chips!

The next twist came in the form of something that I called a reverse bounty. Every participant was to bring an wrapped present. Nothing stupid but to be around $10. Instead of some card rack running over the game and taking all the presents, as you busted, you got to chose a gift from under the tree. First out, first pick with the winner getting no choice at all.

My hats off to everyone that came, we had some great gifts! I'm pretty sure, the booze ain't going to waste. We also had games, books and tools.

We had 20 runners start the tournament. PokerFool and his bride. Gentleman Jim made the journey from North Iowa. Bodie25 and his wife returned as well. One notable absence was the debut of Drizz. We were a little bummed to hear about the infestation of pink eye but glad to know he wasn't sharing it with us. The chance to create a foundation for Purple Vegas will just have to wait.

As has been my modus operandi, I perfected many methods of mucking. I was pretty much muck, muck, muck, muck, muck FOREVER. It was getting bad, even for me. The hand assortment I was mucking was the usual suspects. Undoubtedly, I'd get a solid starting hand and look up and realize that 3 people were all-in a head of me. Ace-ten to the much with you!

I'd write for you the story of some great hand, but frankly, there wasn't any. Just right hand reverse mucks followed by a left forehand twist. Sigh.

Before we got to the end, play was stopped a few times. PokerFool was all in and called by the Mrs. A little husband on wife action. That'll draw a crowd.

As is customary, a side game formed by the losers. Chasing sunk funds is always a fun way to cap the evening. The hand you see being played at right drew much attention.

The cash game is $.25/.50 NLH.

That would appear to be a lot of chips in front of Kathy and Bodie25. I think someone said it was $25. Yikes!

The battle on the TV table, named this evening "Bellagio" was heading towards the bubble. 4 people were going home from this tournament with a shot at having more money then when the left as long as they counted it before they paid the babysitter. Of the final 6, PokerFool and his wife were the last couple standing.

The bubble was burst on a 3 way all in. Ménage à trois can be both exciting and this incident, we had two guys and girl. Not my favorite combo, but's a cheap home game. The last two remaining males were jetisoned from the tournament Yep. We were heading into heads up guaranteed to be girl on girl. Yeah baby!

In the end, a first occurred. A chop. We've never chopped before, but as tournament directors, OhCountess and I agreed that any chop needed to end with an official tournament champion. We have a trophy on the line!

Here she is. Amy walked away with not only a trophy and a pile of cash, but the joy of lasting way longer then her husband.

There was no official last hand. Chops suck the drama right out.

All in all, I think a good time was had by everyone. We gathered a pretty healthy pile of food. When my daughter got home from Grandma's she was pretty impressed.

That's about it from the frozen tundra. It's back to work tomorrow and poker league on Tuesday night. The next installment of the Vegas recap should be coming soon. Stay tuned!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Look ma! The loser cash game

Chasing the lost money in the bust out cash game. Maybe I should sit

It's almost bubble time

6 people left. Top 4 get paid. Only PokerFool and his wife remain as
the last couple standing.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A Noob's First Blogger Gathering: Introduction

Let's see, the recap. I keep talking about it. I've started and stopped and deleted and started again and chopped and edited and deleted this so many times. I've even saved many of the recaps I found for references. Geez there are some good ones. There's also a lot missing so I must be in good company.

If I don't state this clearly enough, I'll just get it out right here, right now. The gathering is an absolute blast that if you've never attended, you need to scrape every penny together you can and go. Just do it. Think of it as a moral imperative.

A word of warning about your first Winter Gathering, you will be completely exhausted when you get home. No joke, make sure you take one extra day off just to transition. I tweeted about this. There really should be a halfway house for career people returning to normal life after a blogger weekend.

I had really hoped to write this sooner. I really had. When we got back to Minnesota on Monday, I knew our first night would be about the kids. As much as we like to spend a little time away, there is nothing sweeter then getting home and hugging your kids.

I went back to work again on Tuesday: Cue FAIL music.  Not really sure why I thought that was a good wasn't. Tuesday night was also a private tournament for my poker league. I was still running good, unfortunately, it wasn't good enough. Busted just shy of the money.

So Wednesday, I get an IM from BuddyDank. He wants to make sure I log into BDR and tell some stories from the Vegas weekend. No problem. I sign up for the Mookie and while waiting to donk off $11, someone reminds me of the WBCOOP freeroll is that night. It's free and PLO8. I have no idea how to play problem. I go deep and finish 29th. 

Christ. Still no sleep.

I think Thursday night I feel asleep around 8.

That's enough whining to last you through the cold, hard winter.

Before we left for Vegas, a co-worker and one of my best friends had commented that he couldn't remember seeing me wound as tight as I was the week before we left. It was true. The stresses of life and work were really wearing me down. But there was something else winding me up. I was actually really nervous about the gathering.

Wha? I'm really not a shy guy, but what was I dragging my wife and myself into?

Our flight was basically uneventful. We arrived at the airport, found parking in the ramp, got through security, found our gate and ate some lunch. Yeah, it is was pretty exciting.

For the most part, I just read "Elements of Poker" by Tommy Angelo. I had read on several blogs very positive reviews of this book and those reviews were spot on. This is an excellent book to get your head screwed on for poker. Reading this book got me really thinking about my A game and how I spend too much time playing my B and C game. Nice prep for a Vegas trip, huh?

We had only left Las Vegas a few months earlier. It really was only 7 months since we left McCarran and flew home. Land at that airport and getting around is starting to feel a little bit like home. I always love how you can tell where you are when you step off the plane. Stepping into the terminal fills your ears with the sound of slot machines. Unlike any airport I have ever been to.

When we booked the trip, Expedia had offered us some kind of deal for land transportation from the airport to the hotel and back. Seemed like a good idea, we just needed to find them. Piece of cake, let's just wonder a round for a while. McCarran is a bit smaller then MSP so this was surprisingly quick, but it gave me and the Mrs. a little time to talk about what was to come. We were both getting very excited.

Since this was my first gathering, there were a few details that I had seemed to miss reading the posts from previous years. The first detail was that it's rodeo weekend. I'd swear I was the only man not wearing a cowboy hat. Guys, I'm not a cowboy. I really don't like country music, at all.

The ride to the hotel took us past all the sites I remember on every trip to Vegas. When we travelled by the Hard Rock, my wife squeezed my hand. It was the location of our honeymoon. Of course someone on the bus brought up that crazy scene in the movie Con Air when the plan crashes. That's one of those just stupid things they do in movies. You can't take out the guitar in front of the Hard Rock and then slide down the strip...

The driver pulls into the drop off area in front of the Imperial Palace. My anticipation was palpable. I had arranged with Joanada and BuddyDank to meet them there. They were going to be at the Geisha Bar.

These people are like old friends, but I've never met them.

I called Buddy on his cell. I wanted to make sure they were there. No where did I find an itinerary on anyone's blog. Me and OhCountess really had no idea what to do or think. I did know. The friggin' line to check into the IP was LONG. They had one person checking people in. One. Christ all Friday.

It became quite apparent that the line wasn't going any where in a hurry. All the reservations and credit cards for this process were in my name. I convinced OhCountess to walk to the Geisha Bar and see who was there. Nice guy, huh? Well, I had two thoughts: 1) The could suddenly bring a whole crew of people and check everyone in in a hurry (not likely) or 2) I could be offered a beer, a conversation could start and I could become a total ass a leave my wife waiting in line. (Very likely)

I struck up a conversation with a couple of guys in the line. Like I said, I'm really not a shy guy. This helped to pass the time. Any of you that were there will remember that there were times my iPhone never left my hand. I had no service and no wi-fi in the line. Yep. I was getting twitchy.

The hotel check in is to the left up front in the casino. You walk in the front doors and you see casino straight ahead and to the right and the check in on the left. My segment of the line was facing toward the depths of the casino. While making small talk with a professional craps player and a guy that was dating a girl from Albert Lea, MN, I notice Jo, she was walking my way. I kinda waited to see if Brenda had made contact. Jo walked right up to me and gave me the first of many hugs that weekend. It was pretty cool. We'd final got to person! We said our hellos, probably hugged a few more times and she headed back. Really, no one wants to wait in this line.

As she's about to leave, I noticed Buddy making his way my way. He was taller then I expected, but the ciggy butt was right there. Of course the only place in the entire IP that you can't smoke besides a non-smoking room is this very line. He got that little problem taken care of and we too got to shake hands and final meet.

What felt like waiting for Christmas morning final passed. We had a room, and keys and a place to hang our hat.

What's so cool about the Geisha Bar? It's on the way to the hotel elevators, that's what's cool. You have to walk past everyone.

I should have probably brought a notebook and pen with me. There were bloggers already gathered and drinking. Of course I HAVE to get to the room. There are certain things that this blogger won't sit down to do in a public restroom

After QUICKLY dropping our stuff off at the room, we made our way back down to the Geisha. Over the course of some many hours, I drank a lot of Bud Light. I hate Bud Light but being the beer snob that I am, I just really wasn't impressed with the selection. No offense but as I learned in college, "Just get the first few down as quick as possible because after the 3rd beer, it just doesn't matter."

I got introduced to Pauly and Change100, two very nice people. I gotta say I was pretty surprised that Pauly had ever heard of me...a 'D' Lister.

Before getting to Vegas, I was told by Kat that Jo would introduce me to people. She succeeded with Pauly and got me introduced to PirateLawyer. I think after that, she just gave me hugs when I was near her :)

I was totally excited to fine PL. Before getting to Vegas, the only real event I had planned was beside the tournament at the Venetian was a trip to the Pinball Hall of Fame.

It wasn't too long before the place was just hopping with bloggers. We had arrived and taken over the Geisha. I seriously doubt they made any money that night. We did a lot of drink, laughing and greeting. It was a very good time.

Let's see how many I can recall meeting and please forgive me I miss you here. There was a lot of free beer and a lot of people that I've never met before and I took no notes. Note to self: bring the gawd darn notebook down from the room with you. Notes are good things.

CK, F-Train, Kurokitty, PokerGnome, Muhctim, Kat, RecessRampage, The Rooster, California April, California Jen, PokerPeaker, DonkeyPuncher, Derek, MetsFan, The Wife and Dr. Chako, Astin, Gracie and Pablo, Maudie, Falstaff and a lot of really fuzzy memories. I know there is way more and I'm forgetting them. Damn it.

OhCountess was having fun too. She loves the -EV machines. She sat at the bar next to Jo hitting quads like crazy. You see Jo and Buddy had already cleaned out a few poker machines. Drinks on the house! OhCountess was also the newest wife to hit the gathering. As Astin said, "Guys, it's time to marry up."

When you are comfortable in your marriage, you take it as quite the compliment when the guys take turns hitting on your wife. You guys ain't got a shot. She goes home with me, but you know what, it was sure entertaining watching you do ya thang. Rooster, dude, you need a woman.

For a first night, I couldn't have felt more welcome. Whew!

At some point, and I have no idea what or when that point was, we dragged our drunken butts up to bed. I'm pretty sure we found the right room. Security left us alone.

We needed to sleep this off for the next day was the trip to the Pinball Hall of Fame and cash games at the MGM.

But it's late. There are a ton of pictures from the pinball museum. I'll post them soon and regale you with stories of me fleecing the tourist. Fleecing is a stretch lie. This will just have to do for now. Like I said. This was a weekend full of rich experiences I just have to write about.

Drizz and Gentleman Jim are joining OhCountess and I for a little home game action this weekend. Boi! Anyone still need an invite? We have room for a few more.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Skip the dime bag

I blew just a bit more the $4 the last time. You can too. No stems, no seeds and no oregano after taste.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Goals can be good - Aspirations for 2009

I found it! My post from January 1, 2008. I was so young. What was I thinking?

Goal 1: Learn to play Pot Limit Omaha. FAIL/CHECK? I'm thinking this is a fail. I have no real idea what I'm doing when I play PLO, but on the other hand, I did qualify for the WBCOOP Main Event by going really deep in a PLO tournament. The goal did say 'Learn'. I didn't learn a damn thing.

Goal 2: Become proficient in the cash games. FAIL. Nope. Still suck.

Goal 3: Win another blogament. CHECK. Let's see. Live Poker Radio Tour & Donkament. They count, right? I probably should go for a few more this year.

Goal 4: Improve my writing skills. ???? I have no idea what the hell this means or how the hell I validate this. There are more people that subscribe to this blog then did at the beginning of the year. That's a huge plus. Let's add it to the list for this year too :-)

Goal 5: Win the Minnesota Poker League State Championship. FAIL. Ginormous failure. But on the other hand, I did cash twice in Vegas this year. Doesn't really count though.

Goal 6: Play in a live tournament with a 3 figure buy-in. SCORE!!!!! The buy in for the Blogger Gathering Tournament was $135. He shoots, he SCOOOORRRREEESSSS!

Goal 7: Finish reading more books. FAIL. I suck at getting books read. I read all day at work. I read to my kids before bed. I turn on the laptop and read blogs and the hit the tables. Maybe this year, hit the tables less and the books more. Well see.

I guess it's not a complete disaster. I did manage to knock off a few of these. 2009 looks like it will be a fun year. Poker is a game I still really enjoy. I think I'm getting better. My results are looking fair to OK.

For 2009, let's try these:
Goal 1: Play more large MTT's and win one. I just finished 2nd in a $2 180 person sng, let's try a bigger field and eventually some bigger buy ins.

Goal 2: Get to the casino and play some live tournaments. I played 2 this year, both in Vegas. There are several tournaments in the area...get out and do it!

Goal 3: Win another blogament. Duh!

Goal 4: Improve my writing skills. Sounds good to me.

Goal 5: Exchange beer with Mookie. It appears that this is actually illegal. But damn Mookie. Why the heck can't two grown men, fathers and husbands, exchange local brews? Where there is a will, there is a way.

Goal 6: Have Hoyazo link to my blog once this year. Nothing like doing something completely off the wall. I got Waffles to do it this year.

Goal 7: Develop some advertisers for this thing. I keep talking to other bloggers that actually seem to have revenue streams from their blogs. I sometimes feel like I'm the only blogger paying for stuff the old fashioned way, winning at poker.

Goal 8: Go to another gathering. Self explanatory and the recap introduction is almost done as well.

That's enough. I'll be willing to bet I fail at the same rate this year as I did last year. I gots high hopes.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Not quite the Vegas recap, but still a recap

I had high hopes for New Years Eve. Waffles being the gentleman that he is, gave me a suggestion for how to spend the evening. Unfortunately, he's not quite classy enough to hang with my lady. He will need to pay find for himself someone to share an evening like that.

New Years Eve poker wise was in some ways, my best and worst poker. Yep, I lost a buy in, but I actually think I played some of my best poker in the process.

To make a long story short and to not go into some Hoy or Wafflesque bad beat story, I flopped top set 3 times and lost to runner runner gutter balls. In limit hold 'em with limited time, this is bound to happen. My window of opportunity in the card room was only one hour, which sucks. No momentum.

My best moment on the felt is still something I'm quite proud of. I still lost a bit of cash, I'd like to hear how you'd handle this.

I'm in late middle position. There is a raise from a loose player early, a reraise from a guy that appears drunk but I have seen before here and in the hole for me is AA. I have already gone down 3 times on flopped sets and shown so I figure I raise it here. Duh! It goes back to the first raiser, he raises and now the guy I've seen before raises it to cap. I call.

The flop comes KJ5. I have two black aces. The original raiser checks. On previous hands, he'd cap it and check fold the flop. No big surprise there. The guy I've seen before raises, and again, this isn't any great surprise, he raises a lot, but this time he actually looked serious. Like he had something he wanted to protect.

Before I did anything, I really wanted to know where I was in the hand. I do have aces which can be a fairly big hand. I learned a while ago, that when I talk during a hand, I tend to give away too much information, but right now, I wanted to see where I was so I broke my silence just long enough to say something, "I know you couldn't have flopped top set with me, but are you on a big draw?"

It was funny, but his immediate reaction was to quickly look back at the board and his expression changed from calm to a quick "Oh shit!" In my heart, I knew he had JJ or 55. So instead of raising, I only called. I have only 1 good out and a backdoor straight draw and all of these are dodging one more heart. There were still others in the hand, this is $2/$4, but I knew where I was in the hand.

The turn was no help and added a diamond draw.  The guy I had seen before raises and I folded.

When the dealer called for a show down, I asked him to stop for a second and told him he had 2 5's. He turned them over and was a bit peeved. He asked after the hand what I had folded. I told him, two black aces. He proceeded to chastise me for folding such a huge hand. Only an idiot would fold aces.

I trusted my reads. They were right. This is the sick part of poker, it can sometimes be expensive to be right.