Monday, December 31, 2007

Reflections on 2007

2007 was my first year blogging. There is no post of my goals for 2007 so guess what I'll claim? I did everything I set out to do! Yeaaahhhh, that's the ticket!

I had started a personal blog a couple years ago and never really got into it. Earlier this year, I decided I'd start updating it more regularly. OhCapatin has many facets. I'm a proud father, I have a deep passion for constitutional law and governmental policy, I'm an avid poker player and an semi-pro amateur photographer. When I started mixing all of this together, some more vocal readers weren't as interested in one subject or another. So something needed to change.

About this same time, Bodie25 was starting his blog. He was focusing on poker. I really loved the idea and started OhCaptain Poker. I also spun off my other hobby and created a blog focusing solely on my photography.

This year I've gone through many highs and lows in poker. Live poker and online poker both seemed to show growth this year.

I started the year fighting my way up the leaderboard at the local bar poker. The nearest casino is a hour drive, about 50 miles, one way, so I don't get there very often. Bar poker and home games have to do. By the end of the spring 10 week league, I'd been the league leader, but let it slip and found myself finishing 3rd. This meant I need to to battle my way at the regional tournament to get to state. Ironically, I finished 3rd there as well. Besting about 90 people there.

The regional tournament taught me a valuable lesson. Play the opposite of the table. This tournament was like the wild west. People were flinging chips around with little regard for the the strength of their hands. I folded every hand for 90 minutes. Then they started talking about how I wasn't playing any thing. When the table leader says, "You gonna fold your way to state?" I knew I was golden. I shift gears gently and moved up the chips. When I started getting some solid hands, I was able to set the trap and double through...I final tabled and made it to state.

I recapped that here because it happened just before I started blogging. The first real attempts at blogging. The rest of the year was pretty chronicled in the blog.

I got to state. I had hoped to go deep enough to win something, but 15 didn't pay. Would have been nice. 163 runners and only the top ten got anything. Pretty steep if you ask me.

I pretty much sucked at bar poker all summer. I played with emotion and contempt for bad play. Never good. But turned it all around in the last 16 week league of the year. I'll be on my way back to the state tournament!

Bodie25 and I went to a casino in Iowa, Made a little money in the cash game and made a bit more in the SNG. My second experience with live poker in a casino and I go home with a profit! One more trip this year to a different casino taught a lot about playing limit poker. I learned quickly and made a profit there as well.

OhCountess and I hosted 5 home games this year. These are really fun. I love hosting home games and can't wait to host another one. These were profitable as well. Of the 5, I cashed in 3, and bubbled 2. Worst part...I never finished better than 2nd (did that twice). See goals for 2008.

Bourbonators was as fun as it should be. We play poker, but I really consider it more of a night out with the guys. I keep no records other than what I write here. The guys are really starting to improve their game. This makes for some fun poker.

I think my live game is stronger than ever. I am never more comfortable playing poker then when I'm in person. There have been many times this year that I felt like Doyle Brunson. I looked into people's eyes and saw their cards. Ok...I'm no Texas Dolly, but still. Even during the limit session at the casino, the longer we were there, the more clearly I could see the cards. Poker league, I can play several people as if their cards are face up. I think you'll understand one of my goals for 2008...oops, but that's another post.

Now, online poker had the most going on. I had run up my bankroll to double its starting size, and then late this summer drove it write to the edge of the toilet. All my gains were washed away and I was playing my own money again. Ugg.

I put my tail between my legs and went all the way back down to the $1 45 person sng. For some reason, Poker Tracker showed these to have the least variance for me. I played hard, regained my confidence and moved back into the black.

November, I just turned up the heat and recorded an absolutely sick month.

This brings me to December. December is my most profitable month ever. And that's all to do with one tournament and the trip to the casino. I made a mere $31 dollars at the casino. Fairly impressive if you consider the fact that I really have never studied LHE and before this night, considered it my worst game. The real cake was delivered just last week. I won the friggin Mookie! I know, other bloggers have won bigger tournaments and there are some who've won it more than once. Heck, I know the MATH is even a bigger buy in, but heck, as far as my poker history is concerned...It's my biggest win...EVER!

Well, that ended my year well into the black. I'm looking forward to 2008...put that's the next post.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Ah, Captain Smith, sir. I think we have a leak

The Hero Call
There is a major leak in my game and I'm not sure how to get rid of it.

I like making the hero call. There, I said it.

When I'm at a table with a player I deem Loose/Aggressive, I will call off huge portions of my stack with modest holdings because I believe they are on a draw or worse...bluffing. I get it right once and while, but even then, I'll lose before all the cards are dealt.

My first Mookie, I read the situation perfectly. There was no way that fluxer had a hand better than pocket tens. I was right and he only had bottom pair. But I risked my entire tournament that his hand wouldn't improve. It did improve and I'm out of the tournament holding nothing more than pocket tens.

My second Mookie, I found listening listening to BuddyDank with my headphones on. The same way I play live poker. OhCountess wasn't suck a big fan of BDR and didn't want to listen. But when I wear the headphones, I tend to concentrate on the task at hand and think about things. That and I was never really desperate for chips, meant I wasn't compelled to call huge raises.

My bankroll was flush with new money on Thursday night, so I figured I'd back up my performance with a strong showing in the Riverchasers. My confidence never more inflated. Well, I made a hero call and pissed down my leg (top pair - Ace with a 4 kicker...ugg). Out early when I had been so in control and building a solid stack.

I now my personality has a desire to stick it to people that are doing wrong to others. I love a good trap, or whacking a bully. How do we as poker players over come these leaks? I've had this one for a while and I'm not sure how to get rid of it. I can be a solid player when I'm on my game, but then I go and donk it off putting someone on bluff or a draw when all I have is top pair and a 4 kicker.

What do other bloggers and players do when they know they have a leak like this?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Wow! Holy Crap! I won the friggin Mookie!

Please excuse my French...but did you see who won the Mookie?

Wow. My biggest cash ever! I'm sure a few people that play bigger tournaments will see this and some of you watched me play. Hopefully, I didn't donk it up too much.

Thanks a bunch to Bodie25. He talked me into entering this just minutes before it started. I'd been having a horrible stretch at the tables. $10 seemed like a lot money to throw away considering I couldn't even beat a $1 table today.

Congrats to KngofKngs. One heck of a match heads up.

I read bayne_s' blog every day. Congrats on your deep finish as well. It was an honor to play with you.

A very special thanks goes to all the guys at BuddyDank Radio with the extra thanks to Chad. When given the option to take the field (KngofKngs and myself), the crew took the pass. The show was fantastic as usual. Great job guys!

To basically sum up the tournament...I played tight and avoided being caught with my pants down. Last week was my first Mookie, I made a hero call and went home. It was the right call, but the aggressor had way to many outs and me covered. Not a good combination.

Tonight, I scored a bit pot early. The blinds are 20/40. The table folds to me on the button. I raised with J♣10♠ to 140 and JoeSpeaker calls from the SB. The flop comes Q♠10♣2♣. JoeSpeaker bets 240. Seemed like a weird bet to me, I have second pair and call. The turn was a 10. Joe raises to 640. I don't like the flush draw or the straight draw and decide to end it right here. So I push my all my chips and which has him covered. He calls and tables KJ for the straight draw. My set holds!

Another first for me tonight was the fact that when the Mookie started, I was playing a $5 9 person sng that just wouldn't end. So the Mookie is going on and I'm heads up in the tournament I need to win to pay for the Mookie...geez. Nothing like a little extra stress.

With my attention more highly focused on the SNG, I trudged along in the Mookie. Raised and bought a few blinds, just enough to keep me at my current chip level. I also tried to keep my BB a little less tempting. I was defending my blind. Be ready to call a reraise when you go for my BB.

I really seemed to like having a stack around 6000. I stayed at that level almost the entire tournament. I briefly got her up to 10,000 but the donked off 3500 to IslandBum when I ran 10s in to aces. CRAP!

Staying the course, it got down to two tables. The guys at BDR were spouting the praises of some the really good players still left and I'll be honest, I wasn't really ready to put the money on me yet. 18 people left and I'm in the bottom third of the leader board.

With the blinds and antes starting to get painful. Much more stealing was going on. This also provided many an opportunity to resteal as well. I kept myself alive playing this game for quite awhile. Staying in the pack and not doing anything stupid until we got to the final table.

I got to the final table with 7256 in chips. I wasn't the short stack, but definitely not a fat stack. Muhctim had gotten there with 59,632. I stayed out of the way and stealing from the people that seemed to be playing tight and avoiding the loose cannons as much as possible.

One by one, people dropped from the tournament. When the table was down to 8 people, I found myself in the BB. The blinds are 800/400 + 100. It folds to cemfredmd on the button. He raises to 2400. I looked down and found KJ, My gut tells me that this is a steal and this is the kind of hand that can beat a steal. Even if it's not a steal, this this the kind of hand that will draw well and win. I push it all in and put the pressure back on cemfredmd. He calls and turns over tens. I hit the king on the flop. Whew! I won a race. This also moved me up to 13,412 chips. I actually started think i could cash in this thing. avoid doing something stupid.

I kept the pressure up and not trying to get to weak. Since we were short handed and I came to win this thing without making a fool of myself, I opened my range of hands up for bigger raises. I was also switching it up a lot here too. Sometimes I was making loose calls, but mostly playing tight. Heck, finishing 4th would be my biggest cash to date.

One by one, people leave the game. I watched in amazement as muhctim went from a monster chip lead to out of the tournament in 4th place.

We were down to 3. Bayne_s was the only name I knew of the two, and his record is quite impressive. Watching him play inspired me to be patient and think through my actions. I never saw him do anything quickly. Everything seemed to come with thought.

With one last race before heads up. Bayne_s and I found ourselves racing to destiny...him with AK0 and me with QQ. Help never came and my queens held up.

This is now clearly my biggest cash ever, but I surprisingly feel very comfortable. I play a LOT of SNGs. MTTs just aren't my thing. They take a long time and my window of opportunity to play poker is usually limited. But I've definitely been in this spot before. I technically didn't take him out until the next hand, but he was totally crippled.

Heads up arrives and it looks like: Seat 2: KngofKngs (110,446)Seat 3: OhCaptain (42,554)

Not quite a 3:1 chip advantage, but pretty close. One advantage of playing a lot of SNGs, I feel very comfortable playing heads up. All I needed to do was ignore the fact this win would represent 66% of my current bankroll.

I started playing with the idea that I had nothing to lose. I'd be proud of the fact that I took 2nd. This is only the second time I've played this tournament, but I definitely wanted to win more.

We battled on for a while and I grinded my way back to a more manageable ~70,000 to 80,000 stack sizes. This helps by making my pressure more useful. He calls and looses and he finds himself with a big hill to climb.

The tide turned when KngofKngs found his JT behind my QQ. I doubled through him! Whew!

This swung the chip lead 6:1 in my favor. I kept the pressure on, trying to avoid doubling him up and letting him back in.

The final hand of the night was both exciting and a little disappointing. I really didn't want to win this by sucking out, but I did. We got all the chips in. Me with AT KngofKngs with AJ. A luck ten on the river and it was all over.

Wow, what a ride. Many thanks to Bodie25 for not only talking me into playing, but getting most of these screenshots. I kept forgetting to click the button.

Way past my bedtime! Thank god I'm on vacation this week. Hopefully I didn't donk this up too much. BTW...welcome to my blog!

See you next week!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

FTP Pro slumming in the cheap seats

Wow, you I've never seen this before, but Full Tilt Poker pro Lynette Chan decided to play $1.25 45 person sng tonight. She busted in 27th position. Got mixed up in a horrible spot with 99. Not sure a pro would realize that 5 people will likely call her with dang near any hand.

I played no hands with her and our table got busted pretty fast. When our table broke, she still had most of her chips. I'm still in the tournament, not sure about this crowd, I haven't seen a hand yet, but floating appears to be working against most of the chip leaders.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas From Our Home To Yours

(Please ignore this ad below. I have no idea where it came from or why its there. If you have any ideas...let me's driving me crazy!)

Merry Christmas!

It's Christmas Eve morning. The OhKids can't wait and are already jumping and bouncing. OhCountess is getting our stuff ready before we go visit the in-laws. A family tradition that dates back many years, St. Nick himself will join us tonight.

No poker for me (maybe) today. Tis the season to spend time with family.

Enjoy everyone!

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

A trip to a brick and mortor

I got a message from Bodie25 on Thursday, he's got a itch to go play some limit hold'em at Treasure Island, an Indian casino in the area. In Minnesota, all they can have is limit and spread games. I've never really tried to hide the fact that, frankly, I suck at LHE.

My live bankroll has been doing just fine. I'm in no danger of going broke and hanging out with Bodie25 before the Christmas insanity begins sounds like fun!

We call ahead, and get on the list for the $2/$4 and the $3/$6. I'd prefer to play the $2/$4 cause I suck at LHE, but I've got enough with me to play either. Surprisingly, we really only waited about 20 minutes when we got there which was awesome. The last indoor places you can smoke in Minnesota are the Indian casinos and the only real place you can escape the smoke is in the card room.

I sit down first. I feel more comfortable right away. It seems that Mike McDermott knew what he was talking about and I spotted the suckers almost instantly when I sat down at the table. Profiling the people here was about as easy as it comes. Tourists and gamblers but amazingly, no rounders and by that I mean, there were no students of the game at this table.

All of this is good and all, but I still suck at LHE. Priority one: figure out how to play at a table full of tourists and gamblers.

I started out kind of tight. On the very first hand (in the BB of course), I'm dealt 75o. No one raises so I see the flop. The 34T rainbow. After being at the table for a few minutes, I figured out that the guy that raises the flop, will continue to raise every flop, but being new here I fold to the raise. As it turns out, this guy is the only one at the table that ever raises. Without hesitation the dealer delivers a 6 on the turn. With a table full of calling stations and a guy that never stops raising...I miss out on a nice big fat juicy pot. A pair of tens took it down. Ugg!

I steam on this for a while and decide I need to see more flops and call more myself. Not sure originally why I thought this was a good idea, but I'm trying to learn here.

Bodie25 joins the table shortly after this. He's got a lot more experience than I do at LHE cash games and proceeds to build a stack of chips. I'm impressed that he was really never into his buy in and just starts winning.

The original strategy runs my $100 right down to $32. CRAP! This isn't working! I'm down $68 and this is only the $2/$4 game. While playing, I've been concentrating on what makes this game work. The original guy that raises everything had left and the table now sat with Bodie25, myself and 8 calling stations. I realized at this moment, the table needed a maniac or at least the image of one. So I change the plan to adapt to this table. I start to raise in the blinds and LP when I have hands that draw well. Suited and connected cards. But more importantly, I change my table image. Instead of just sitting their quietly, I start chatting it up and talking.

This new strategy does the trick and I start winning some pots and I did in a way that was causing other people to get off their game. It was apparent to me that it was more important to be drawing to a strong hand then sitting there with top pair. Most of the people at the table would call everything to the river with a pair. So to win more pots, you need to be willing to gamble on getting to something bigger. I'm also raising the whole way now. I'd raise before the flop, on the flop and on the turn and much of the time, with only a draw. This show of confidence and strength was often winning me pots by getting the stronger hands to fold and the middle pair players to keep calling.

A new guy sits down to the table. He looks to be a working stiff kind of guy. Not particularly crafty and probably just plays this game casually. Since the table dynamics were changing a bit, I find the hammer in MP and raise it up. The flop comes AK9 rainbow. Not particularly good for the hammer, but let's see if we can do a little advertising. I raise the flop and he instantly calls. I'm pretty sure he's got an ace or king...duh. The turn is something unimportant, I check and he checks. The river is a card that I could care less about because my marketing budget has been spent. He bets out and I fold, turning over the hammer. He gets this really surprised look on his face and the table gives up a nervous chuckle. Let's see if I can get this to pay off.

In the mean time, Bodie25 is turning up the heat as well. This guy is a limit machine. He's just grinding away and building a stack.

My stack is trending in the right direction. I'm using my live poker skills of reading players and situations the best I can and its working well. Most of these players have no idea how much information they are giving off at the table and their betting patterns and card ranges are very ridged.

I get back over my buy in again. Whew! That's a relief! I'm in the black and in the SB and find a suited A7. So raisy daisy it is! Unfortunately, the guy to my immediate right had raised as well. He's just recently sat down. He's an late 20's early 30's responsible looking guy. Nice jacket, button up shirt. His range of hands for this move I guess to be a bigger pocket pair or larger ace. My raise here is to test his metal. This clears out the calling stations. The flop is A9? rainbow. With my top pair in hand, I raise it up and he also raises. I call. let's not get crazy here, I have top pair and what I can only guess to be the worst kicker. I put him on AK to AJ to KK, QQ or JJ. The turn gives me a 7. Cool!, my kicker is now a made pair. If my read is correct, I'm ahead! We do the raising dance one more time. The river is a blank. Something low. We raising dance one more time. I turn over 2 pair, he turns over a set of 9s. On the turn, the set had entered my brain...I should have listened. This cost me ~$40. Not good. I'm back below par, again.

In the mean time, Bodie25 continued to just fleece the table. I'll let him tell the story, but I watched him win the most amazing pot with J2. Most of the streets were capped, and he was the one betting out! He felted one person and devastated 3 others. Absolutely amazing!

I continued playing the loose but smart strategy. I recovered all my money and made a bit more. I was also getting some people ticked cause I was "sucking out" my draws. What these people failed to realize was that I was playing hands that were drawing more than one way. I usually had at least one over card, a straight draw and a flush draw. So when I hit something on the river, I could usually beat top pair.

Now this total isn't really impressive. I started getting too tired to play my best and decided that a $31 profit was enough. The best part was I figured this game out. Had I not been tired and decided to stay, I'm quite positive I could have made even more money. Bodie25 was making a fortune. He more than tripled his buy in.

With profits in hand, we drove home. The fog was intense and the trip took a lot longer than normal. Which was fine, the conversation of the game was plenty good.

Let's hope we can keep finding tables this soft!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

My First Mookie

The question is, could I have done this any different?

I played my first Mookie. I've been watching the past few weeks. It's definitely a gambler's paradise. L9t's of crazy plays with hands that are...not as strong as you'd think. It was very interesting to have Columbo on my left. How bad could I be playing, I hung right around his chip stack until...

I decided to start it playing passive. Letting people get the better of me. Not bleeding chips like crazy, but just not playing very strong. I really figured that this would give me the best chance to get action when I have a strong hand. And for the most part, this really worked for me. I finally get one hand, pretty strong and I get action from fluxer. Not sure which blog is his.

I raised in an MP with TT. A bit loose for me, but I've pretty much been a folding limp monkey, so this raise should seem out of place. fluxer insta-calls from the BB. Now I've been trying to pay attention here and as far as I could tell, he likes his aggression. Lots of big raises to push people off hands. The flop comes JJ3. I raise it pot size to 450 and he instantly goes all-in. Just like he has been doing to people. This tells me he's really not likely to have a jack. He'd want value if he's got a J. It also tells me that he thinks my hand is too weak to call so he probably doesn't have QQ or better. I'm actually thinking he's got ace something. As it turns out, he's got just that. A3. I called him because I knew I was ahead, but the poker gods decided it just wouldn't be the Captains night.

My Mookie dreams are dashed for the week. Maybe again next week.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A weekend of poker happenings - but surprising short and sweet

I went into this weekend thinking Friday night would be all there was. Friday night was Bourbonators. My monthly home game...with the whisk(e)y, scotch or bourbon of the month. Num num!

We had 11 guys show up this month and pony up the $5 for booze and $5 sng. Yeah, this is definitely not High Stakes Poker. The range of these guys goes from almost need cheat sheets to some pretty solid players. One guy is a regular at a local indian casino playing limit hold'em.

The first hand of the night told me it might just be one of those long poker nights...8 of the 11 guys called the first hand. Wow. I played button down tight poker all night. It only helped so much, I got a guy to call me all in when the blinds were big and my stack was small. My AK of course lost to's just one of those nights. The second game didn't go much better. Since it was my house, I got everything pretty well cleaned up before the game ended. Yipee.

Saturday morning, the OhKids were up bright and early. Dad was not real excited, but that's life in the fast lane (I could feel the love of Sam Houston). For some reason, while I collect my thoughts in the mornings, I fire up the laptop and play poker while the different areas of my brain come back on line. This particular morning, I must have had enough brain function to win a satellite token on FTP. As you've already read...I used it in the AIPS Main Event.

AIPS ME was fun. This was the biggest pile of dough I've ever spent on an online poker tournament. Here's the run down...I played for 43 minutes. I saw the flop 4 times. Folded the flop twice. Took the blinds once. I even flopped 4 of a kind. It might have paid better if I'd only chosen to play 93o from UTG. For some reason...this tight player folded it preflop. When I finally grew a pair and played hard QQ...I ran into KK. He didn't fold them either. It was pretty cool to have Shamus from over at Hard Boiled Poker and Chris from Ante Up! at my table. They are taking comments over at the Ante Up! blog. I'm sure they'd love to hear your suggestions for next years AIPS events. I know I'll be playing more of them!

Final poker news for the's official! I'm going to play in the Minnesota state poker Championship in Fargo! Whew! OhCountess and I booked a room and are arranging proper care for the OhKids. I'm totally excited for this. I'd really like to cash this time, but I do need to make it through a field of about 150-200 people. I just really wish Fargo wasn't so damn far away. Wish me luck!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Well...that sucked - AIPS is done

Well, that sucked. After folding almost ever hand in 47 deals, I get QQ. The board has nothing scary...and KK won't let go. D'oh! My AIPS II Main Event is over. I busted in 78th place. POOP!

Good luck to everyone else still in this. OhCountess had a list of things for me to do...thanks for getting rid of my only excuse!

See ya on the felt!

The stars began to align - I got a Satellite Token!

Bourbonators was last night. I'll post about that later...bigger news this morning. First, OhCountess is home from work sick today. She's on the tail end of the flu. She's a nurse and works with people with weak immune systems, so there department has extra tight rules for sick calls...I'm so jealous.

Second, I took one last swing this morning at a $26 Satellite Token. A long hard fought battle and some choice words for each other. The guy that took second and I will probably not be friends in the near future...but I'm registered for the AIPS Main Event! Shamus! Where are you?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Is Full Tilt down for everyone?

You guys playing the Riverchasers, did Full Tilt go down? I'm seriously in the running to cashing in a micro buy-in MTT! DAMN!

Here's the last hand in my log.

FullTiltPoker Game #4495714432: $1 + $0.25 Sit & Go (34067267), Table 3 - 500/1000 - No Limit Hold'em - 0:00:48 ET - 2007/12/14
Seat 1: 31fordtudor (7,630)
Seat 2: Sweetcafe (18,100)
Seat 3: OhCaptain (15,290)
Seat 4: BBSpen (4,260)
Seat 5: we3kings (2,850)
Seat 6: maverikdr (4,000)
Seat 7: 19Kaylee69 (5,915)
Seat 9: drliu (9,455)
BBSpen posts the small blind of 500
we3kings posts the big blind of 1,000
The button is in seat #3
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to OhCaptain [9d 2s]
maverikdr folds
19Kaylee69 has 15 seconds left to act
19Kaylee69 folds
drliu folds
31fordtudor calls 1,000
Sweetcafe has 15 seconds left to act
Sweetcafe folds
OhCaptain folds
BBSpen has 15 seconds left to act
BBSpen has been disconnected
BBSpen has 90 seconds to reconnect
BBSpen is sitting out
BBSpen has timed out
BBSpen folds
we3kings has 15 seconds left to act
we3kings has timed out
we3kings checks
*** FLOP *** [Ah 2h Qh]
we3kings checks
31fordtudor has 15 seconds left to act
31fordtudor has timed out
31fordtudor checks
*** TURN *** [Ah 2h Qh] [7c]
we3kings checks
31fordtudor checks
*** RIVER *** [Ah 2h Qh 7c] [Kd]
we3kings checks
31fordtudor checks
*** SHOW DOWN ***
we3kings shows [Ks Qd] two pair, Kings and Queens
31fordtudor shows [Qs As] two pair, Aces and Queens
31fordtudor wins the pot (2,500) with two pair, Aces and Queens
31fordtudor is sitting out
we3kings is sitting out
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 2,500 Rake 0
Board: [Ah 2h Qh 7c Kd]
Seat 1: 31fordtudor showed [Qs As] and won (2,500) with two pair, Aces and Queens
Seat 2: Sweetcafe didn't bet (folded)
Seat 3: OhCaptain (button) didn't bet (folded)
Seat 4: BBSpen (small blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 5: we3kings (big blind) showed [Ks Qd] and lost with two pair, Kings and Queens
Seat 6: maverikdr didn't bet (folded)
Seat 7: 19Kaylee69 didn't bet (folded)
Seat 9: drliu didn't bet (folded)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Poker League Week 16 - The Finale

What a grueling thing 16 straight weeks of poker is. I think this format helps the more solid players and the players that take this seriously, rise to the top. But I also think, we will continue to see lower numbers because of this. In the past, we'd seen an average attendance in the 70's. This time, we saw attendance only in the 50's and it might have dropped to the high 40's.

If Brook Lyter and the guys at Minnesota Poker League are reading this, we could use some more promotion down here. I know you probably leave it up to the bars to do it, but stopping by would be cool and probably good for a boost in the numbers.

Last night was our final week in the Gold Rush league. We are fighting to win a chance to play Bay 101 Shooting Star Tournament. This is one of the events on the World Poker Tour.That would make for a nice profit. Zero money out of the bankroll and a chance winning some serious cheese!

Going into last night, I was in first place in the league. The top 2 spots are going straight to the state tournament. I was 94 points a head of 3rd and 23 points ahead of 2nd. I'm by no means a lock.

To make things interesting, OhKid2 has decided to fore go sleeping through the night and has instead decided she misses her Dad if she's not sleeping. The last few days have been just brutal. I fell asleep at work yesterday. Then I went to poker league where the cold hard reality set in. Don't play poker when you are sleep deprived. I was impatient and emotional. Two things I haven't been in quite a while.

I busted out just after first break. I took some medium know the ones, you hit trips and the other guy wakes up with the little flush. Hit top pair, lose on the river to an over card. Each one sapping you confidence and you patience...which were already in short supply. I busted with two pair, when the flush card came on the river. Why not call an all in with a gut shot straight draw and a ten high flush must be the best hand. It gotta have at least 16 outs...GAWD DAMN IT!

Well, enough of that. I really did just play bad. I didn't get cards, but I still found myself buying in for a peak, when that wasn't optimal strategy. I knew better. I just missed my pillow.

The real drama for the evening occurred after I left. Attendance was low again, so getting points went to fewer people. I really don't care if I get second. First would be nice, but second almost pays the same. I'm sweating 2 people. First. Ryan, the guy in second, need to make the points for me not to go to state. Second, only one player has a legitimate shot but still requires Ryan to get points. As it turns out...both guys make the final table. Jon needs 95 points to beat me. I already went home. Tired and frustrated.

Bodie25 called me with an update. Jon doesn't get enough points...I finished the league in second place. Next stop Fargo. I'm still tired. I must rest now...big day in January...Time for me to win it all a play in the big time.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

My Quest for a token - and a milestone

I'd like to thank Short-stacked Shamus over at Hard-boiled Poker for the plug in his blog today. Funny thing about that, I was actually playing in a $4 token sit-n-go at Full Tilt trying to get me one of those tokens when his post showed up. I sometimes like to read my favorite blogs while playing poker.

Well, that tournament was a complete disappointment. One poor sap at the table just couldn't lose. I minded mine own business, playing quiet sng strategy. I should warn you, that most of this weekend was spent either donking off chips on the one hand I'd chosen to "mix it up," or running AK in 88, when I was all-in preflop. This tournament was no different. My M is fallen to just below 10, I get AK suited, push it in and get called by the poor sap that couldn't lose. His 88 holds up.

So let's do the math. 4 X $4.40 = $17.60. I've won back 2 X $10 = $20. So my grand total for quest for a token sits at +$2.40.

Another snag has also reared its ugly head. It would appear that now OhCountess has to work next Saturday. Ante Up! Intercontinental Poker Series II: Electric Boogaloo Main Event starts at 12:30 PM. Long before she gets home from work. I have no idea how to pull this off. The OhKids have never been big fans of Dad playing poker all day with no other parental figure in the house. Any ideas on how to play online poker with two kids running around the house?

The Milestone:
While Sharkscope has its good points and bad points, it also shows that I've played my 1000 online real money tournament. My results aren't the worlds most impressive and many other bloggers have way more skills than I do, but none the less, I've only made one deposit. Put another 1000 online tournaments, I've never gone broke. I've only made $171. Yep, 1000 tournaments and my average win is 17 cents.

I'll keep reading, keep playing and hopefully improve.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Here you go Kaja - a run for you money!

Welcome back to town! Sorry your not making the Mookie!

JustSayHi - Science Quiz


Boston Dating


Milwaukee Dating

1,887,480How Many Germs Live On Your Keyboard?

Milwaukee Dating

71% Geek

Nashville Dating

Poker League Week 15 - 1 week to go

I'll start today by telling you about a really good audio post. Thanks to Bodie25 for sharing this with me. Over at, Barry Greenstein post a very touching ramble about his good friend Chip Reese. Also, Gus Hanson wrote a very touching post on his blog to Chip as well. I really encourage you to go check them out.

Going into last nights edition of poker league, I was second in points, but there was still quite a group of us bunched up at the top. In leagues past, I've really let that mess with my head. I think last night, I was really helped by reading an article by Eric "Rizen" Lynch in a recent poker magazine (not sure which one right now). In the article, he describes coming in second at the WSOP in an event that he had never played live before in a game he's got very limited experience at. He tells the story about how at some points in the tournament, it's not so much being better at the game, but better at playing a tournament. The cards, the game and to some extent, the people don't matter. What you must strive for is being a better tournament player.

The last 4 weeks, I've really be working on this. Before last night, I had made the final table 3 consecutive weeks, finishing first once. I've really worked hard at making the right decision for the situation I'm in. Not the cards, or this bet or that, but what is the best decision at this moment in this tournament.

Last night I had a blast watching Bodie25 play like an utter maniac. He was raising everything, and firing 3 bullets at pots with absolutely nothing. It was truly fun to watch. I could also tell that for the first time in a long time, he was having fun at the felt. We were sitting at the same table for a while, but I'm not playing a pot with a maniac that early in the tournament without cards. Ultimately, you know he's bluffing, but do you really think 6 high is good? I'll call with your money.

I stayed tight aggressive all night. Folding for most of the night, seeing a few flops here and there. Even hit a couple. Just getting by and not running out of chips.

I doubled through a guy when my AK connected with A rags. I got called by A4, which was the only rag NOT in the flop...whew! Figured I was done for there.

This got me to about 5500 in chips when the blinds are 100/200. I'm sitting pretty...until...I lost my friggin' marbles.

I'm on the button. It folds to the cut-off, who limps. I look down to find A2 so I limp. The LB raises another 600 to bring it to 800. The BB calls, the CO calls, dear God, I'm getting some pot odds (Mistake 1, how many aces do you think are already in play?) I call. Flop comes AKK. One heart. The LB immediately pushes all in. My first reaction (someone please shoot me)...he's got QQ. Why...I don't know...that was just my first reaction. So now I start thinking through everything. I basically think all through and think I must be way behind (Duh!), but I can't get this QQ thing out of my head. He's only in for 1500, so I add up the pot. I'm getting great odds to call, if he's got QQ (What's with this QQ shit anyways). Even if he has an ace, I could chop the pot (dear God, I'm hoping to chop the pot if I call). So let's score this...Gut says "Call! He's got QQ." Logic and reason, "What the hell did you call the preflop raise for?" As any good donkey does, I call. Of course he turns over AK. I'm drawing dead to another FREAKIN Aces! There weren't many of those left. So I just handed over half my stack, cause, for one moment I lost my mind.

Well, I stewed and steamed about this for a while. I never really recovered. I also never really saw a hand after that anyways. The closest I came to a hand was KJo from UTG at a full table. Sure...let's mix it up with that!

But one thing was happening around me...people were busting out like crazy! There were three people left from the top 5 point leaders when it was down to two people. And then BAM! The both bust. We had another snow storm yesterday, about 5 inches of snow, so attendance was light. Points didn't start until 9 people were left. But heck, there are 12 people. I might be able to fold my way to the points.

This point structure stuff becomes important this time of year. If I make the points, I'll be in first place going into the final week. If I can go deep, I can pull away now since no one else in the top 5 has a chance. I buckle down and keep track of the census. Remember, if I bubble, I get nothing. If I place 9th, I move into sole possession of first place.

Bam, boom, bam! People start dropping like flies! And I didn't need to wait as long as I thought. It seems like it just took a couple of minutes and all of a sudden, they merge the two tables. We are down to 8! I in! I'm guaranteed first place now!

Bodie25 is still there too. He's still playing it loose and moving his chips around. I'm getting 62 or Q3 or J4 pretty much every hand. And raising is very common now. Luckily for me, anyone raises and I'm all in. Poker gods don't grace me with an amazing comeback this week. I get to the button. It folds to me. I look down at Q♠7♠, this is serviceable, so I push them in. Get called almost instantly by the LB. He's got the monster K9o. He gets his two pair and I go home.

Congrats to Bodie25, he lasted longer than me. I'll be glad to pay him off his soup. It wouldn't be fun to win it every week...or would it????

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Chip Reese: 1951-2007

According to, David "Chip" Reese has passed away. I was a huge fan of his. I really enjoyed watching his composure at the table. He took bad beats the same way he took monsters, with class.

I will certainly miss watching him play. My prayers go out to his family.

We need some kind of blogger salute for this...any ideas?

Chris at Ante Up! has a great quote from Joe Sebok about this story. Please give it a read as well.

Monday, December 3, 2007

When are we gonna stand up and end this

I saw this video over at I just wanted to make sure this got spread as far as possible. If you haven't already joined. Follow the link on my page here to the Poker Players Alliance. Become a member.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

November in review - a toot of the horn

I've never really recapped a month before, but for reasons I hope you will soon understand, I think this time it deserves a little attention.

I had planned to do this last night, but I found out when OhFamily got home from movies (we see Enchanted), our Internet connection was dead. Seems Charter Communications thinks we were attacking their servers with a virus and shut it down.

Well, after all the scanning was done, I remember what the downside is to the beautiful snowy winters here in Minnesota. We got 5 inches of snow followed by freezing rain. We still haven't completely dug out yet...but we've got a good start. More pictures and stories of the rest of this fun filled day on my other blog later.

On to the recap!

Minnesota Poker League: 3 out of 4 final tables this month. One 1st, 4th and 6th place finish and I moved from 12th to 2nd.

Bourbonators: A 1st place finish, a nice cash payment to the live poker bankroll.

Home game: 2nd place finish and an even nicer addition to the live poker bankroll.

All in all - live poker was pretty successful. There was even a trip to a couple of new locations that turned out to be positive. One night at a different free bar poker location and a final table. The only real downside to the month live was a reaffirmation that I suck at Pot Limit Omaha.

Online poker seems to be on track again as well.

Poker Tracker Totals (November):

  • 69 Tournaments ( wonder nothing else got done)
  • $144.70 Buy-ins + Fees
  • $200 Amount won
  • $55.30 Net amount won
  • 38.22% ROI
  • 46.38% Finish In the Money

That's a definite improvement from a couple of months ago when I couldn't cash to save my life. The real surprise comes from the $2.25 9 person SNG. 37 tournaments, Net Amount Won - $46.35, 55.68% ROI, 51.35% Finish in the money, Avg Finish - 3.73. Wow...I almost averaged finishing in the money.

Now that I got my confidence back, I think I need to look ahead. Continuing my better bankroll management, I hope to move up a pay grade soon. The online bankroll should allow for a larger buy-in again. I'd also really like to play more of the larger tournaments online. Time is the biggest hurdle to this, but it should be something I can do. I think I'll be giving the Mookie a try real soon and AIPS II Main Event...I'll keep trying for the token, but if that doesn't pan out, I'll have some really thinking to do. But at this win rate, it's hard to justify a $26 buy-in.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Week 14 - Poker league recap

I think I figured out where all the pocket aces I was missing were...they were hiding in week 14.

I came in to week 14 5th in points. Top 2 finishers go directly to the State Tournament. Since the top 2 pay essentially the same, my only main focus is finishing in there. With three weeks to go, I was only 71 points out of first place and 65 points out of second. I have a shot!

My plan the last 3 weeks has been this. Make good decisions, play each had one at a time and think about who's in the pot with me and make sure everything is optimal. What the heck does that mean? Too often, when I'm play free bar poker, I didn't take into account the other player and what motivates them. Some people want to win the tournament, some just want to win the hand and other just want to make points. Also, there are vastly different skill levels and experiences...this needs to be considered.

I muddled along for most of the first part of the night and only played 4 hands before the first break...couriously...3 of those were AA. I had almost forgotten what they looked like. Too bad though, they didn't really pay me big...just big enough to keep the stack growing. But it also gave me more respect moving forward.

I played the player most of the night. One thing with free poker is you can't out play people that only see the two cards in front of them, so when you make moves, be aware of the person you are doing it to. Lucky for me, people don't do this. I won 2 larger pots making the correct call on the river. Each with no better than a pair. One of the calls was a 200 chips raise on the river when blinds were 75/150. This just seemed odd. The pot was 750...and I had bottom pair. Getting almost 5;1 to call with bottom pair, turns out everyone else folded to a stone cold bluff. Two hands later, the flop comes all junk, it's 9 high and rainbow. It checks around on the flop. I paired my Q on the turn. The UTG player raises 300. This gets everyone to fold. I know this player...he would have raised with anything higher that QJ preflop UTG. Why would he bet a Q if it hit him and not raise preflop. I had QJ, so there didn't seem to be a hand he'd play that would be 2 betting the I call. The river is a blank...and lower than Q or J. He raises again...and I still have the same problem...what would he have? As it turns out...NOTHING! I called the river bet and take down the pot. Hmm...this thinking stuff worked.

It wasn't long after this that I lost half my stack in 2 hands. 5400 to 2500 in 2 hands. I'm not really sure why I played this hand, AJo UTG, I decided to raise 3X for 1200. It folds around to the BB...the guy in 4th place, 1 point ahead of me...he moves all in. Wow. Ron is the kind of guy that will use pressure to win pots, but he knows I'm a tight player and one not prone to raise with crap. He's also seen my only raises all night were with AA. I just can't imagine him doing this with AA, KK or maybe even QQ. I don't think he would do this with AK or even JJ. He didn't get to be in forth place in a 16 week league by being an idiot. I lay it down and he turns AA. I'm out 1200, but still alive.

2 hands later, I get 88 in the LB. It folds to me and I raise it one bet and get called. He had folded to a raise early with junk, so I'm guessing he's not completely junky. The flop comes 9 high and 2 clubs. I bet it one bet and he calls. I really get the feeling he's got something. He's trying to trap me. I just know it. We check the turn and the river. The river brought an ace, so there is no way I'm taking a swing. I turn over my 8's and he turns AQ of clubs. My stack has been halved, but at least I made the right call.

I play some small pot poker and raise and steal my way to the final table. Double up once when a checked river brings me a flush and straight draw and a king in the whole for an over. I hit the river!

At this stage in the tournament, the blinds are ridiculous. No one has an M greater than 15. I held out until there was 6 left. Each orbit is costing 3000 in chips and I only 12000...I push it all in with J6d when it walks to me in the LB...BB finds KQ...and it holds. So I'm out in 6th. Not bad though...3 weeks and 3 final tables. One hell of a turn around!

So here's how the top 5 look now (and keep in mind - the top two go directly to state)

  1. Ryan - 1266
  2. OhCaptain - 1226
  3. Jon B - 1193
  4. Prof Jens - 1160
  5. Ron - 1130

I need a much bigger lead...or the next 2 weeks canceled...buckle up! We're in for a fun ride!

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Hunt For a Satellite Token

I really want to play in the AIPS II Main Event. My online bankroll is hovering just over 3 c notes. So a $26 buy-in seems like a pretty big investment.

As I wrote in "I tried something new and survived," I was going to try and win my way in by getting a satellite token. My first attempt, I finished second and won $10. My second attempt, same result. So I figure that gives me $11.20 more to spend in my quest for a token.

I tried for a third time tonight and busted way to early. I just played it badly. Flopped second pair and a got shot straight draw. On raise, surprisingly low for the pot size, so I called. The turn pairs the Q on the flop. Again, the villain raises, but it's only about 60% of the pot. I just don't feel like he has anything. The river was the J I needed to make my straight. Unfortunately, the villain had JJ for the full house. This devastated my stack.

I really think I gotta figure out how to quit with these momentary calling station plays. UGGG! Anyone got a good way to get rid of a leak?

So the quest for the token now sits at $ more loss and I'll have to make a decision. OhCountess hasn't given me the day off yet anyways...I think I should clear up that little detail too.

Overblocking and the UIGEA and my frustration with humans

Short-Stacked Shamus challenges the brains of all who read his posts. More than once now, he's sent my brain into a logic loop trying to solve an enigma.

In a recent post entitled "Overblocking and the UIGEA", he discusses his frustration and analysis of the Annie Duke's premise that UIGEA will cause "Overblocking." Banks will block transactions that are probably legal, but since there is a hint of grey, they will block in anyways just to be sure.

The entire movement to ban online poker just pushes me to the limits of what this libertarian can stomach.

I've written about this subject in the passed and on other blogs, but what is with governments desire to protect me from myself? And why do the people allow this to happen? I personally find the idea that the government should protect me from me is ludicrous. So why do we continue to allow the government more and more control of our lives?

I personally think its because people don't care. Most people pay so little attention to their government that don't even know what's happening. Fat, dumb and stupid. Just the way they need us. The only time people notice is when the government gets too close to something they are paying attention to, their wallets.

My daughters school is doing a pretty good job of teaching her about government, but the problem is...she's 8. My sister-in-law recently graduated from High School. In there, they learn almost nothing of government and what they do learn, is taught so quickly that it is forgotten within minutes. It seems we as a people work harder to make sure kids learn about Creation than we do to teach them about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

For me, I've taken matters into my own hands. I've called my congressmen more than once. I've sent them emails and I also spend time talking to my kids about democracy, freedom and government. I take my kids to the polls with me when I vote so they can see how it works. Most of my neighbors stay home. Its sad.

Now keep in mind, my greatest concern with the leaders of this country is that our political system is currently designed and built for the maintanance of parties. It used to be the parties were there to support politicians. This is no longer the case. The politicians serve the parties...but that's a whole other post, but this fact is keenly important to this conversation.

Each party derives its finances from donations from people that care. These people tend to be the people that pay attention to government and how it can server them, but no one should be suprised, these people are looking out for the issues that matter most to them, not the country.

During the Regan administration, we started seeing the rise of the fringe groups. The religous right rose and showed how much money it could raise for a candidate. This bought them power and influence. The Democrats have been overwhelmed by their fringe groups now as well. So this country derives most of its political will from both the far left and the far right. Not only do these people bring money to game, they also bring votes. The middle, while more numerous, provides neither money or votes.

So Shamus, I share your pessimism. I really don't see this problem lasting forever. Outside of dissolving the WTO, I see no way for the US to avoid this little fiasco costing them billions of dollars. The pressure is building to get rid of this law, but I think you are right, its gonna get worse before it gets better.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Holidays and Full Tilt Poker me paranoid. Tell me I'm thinking like Chirs on Ante Up, but is it just me or do the players and the play at Full Tilt Poker just go goofy on holiday weekends.

When I go through Poker Tracker and examine my results and ROI, there is always a dip over a major holiday.

My theory has always been that the truly casual players become more numerous on these weekends, but why do I seem unable to keep winning at the same rate I usually do? Yesterday, I got it all in preflop late in a tournament with KK to a little pair only to come up bust...3 times! I'd expect to loose this 1 out of 5 times, but each time I had it yesterday...WHAM! Variance. Not to mention, putting someone to the test for all their chips and have them call with 33 isn't frustrating enough.

It just seems like variance gets a boost...where is my foil helmet...I think they are listening.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Can someone check Bodie's Pulse?

Bodie25 and I have had an on going bet for poker league, a lasts longer bet. I've had the upper hand in this one and continued to find ways to just make it longer. Last week, I won the tournament for the second time this season.

To spice things up, we changed the bet. This week it was all on me. He laid me 5:1 that I couldn't win back to back poker leagues. I really thought a fair spread would be 20:1, since there are roughly 50 people in tournament and the variance is's a freeroll for Pete's sake.

I should probably mention what the stakes are. We play for the Zuppa Tuscana at the Olive Garden. Arguably the best soup ever made. That's another post. He's been feeding me well and to be honest, just winning the bet would be way worth anything.

My attention this week continued to be just making good decisions. I've really been trying hard to make sure each decision I make is the best for the situation. I've found that be making myself think more aggressively, I don't consider the fact that a calling station doesn't care and will be all-in cause - "it was suited!" At first, I was angry at them and the league but then I realized that it wasn't their fault I lost, it was mine for not considering it and taking appropriate action.

So this week it was all about the right play. Early on, I tried playing a few more draws against people that over value their hands....this failed cause...I never hit my draws. Well, that was the risk of calling them. I got as low as 1000 chips in a tournament that starts with 2000.

This week, it was all about the thinking process, the M was important. In many weeks past, I've let the stack dip too low before turning up the heat, thus I get in there with a submarginal hand and lose. This week, when the M was starting to hit the red zone, I'd make moves based on more than just my two cards...whose in the blinds, whose left to act, did they look at their cards, if they did...did they react, where am I (LP, MP, EP). I even found a nice trick for players that are paying attention...I shoved once and got everyone to fold (QQ). hand J9...I pushed again (my M was 6). It folds around again, the limpers even folded. Comment by one of the player, "The first time I figured it was just a move, but the second time in a have to have it." Hmm...something to think about, I just played it cause it's my favorite hand. Lesson learned.

I played the M game for a while. Just hanging on. I'm currently 5th in the league points (gawd I wished I had those tilt nights back for a couple of extra points). So making the points is increasingly more important. 3 of the 4 people in front of me have already busted. This adds to every decision now. I want to win, but I also want points...

Eloise double me up again, I had asked her if I should promise her again to make good use of the chips...I tried hard to win the bet and keep this promise...

I made the final table. Whew! Of the remaining 7 people, Ryan is on my left (currently 4th in points). After that, a random selection of luckboxes...DANG, I might actually have a chance to win it all. Bodie25 had stayed to watch me play. I could tell he was both cheering me on and thinking about the bet. I was trying to keep the bet out of my mind. It's still all about the decision for me.

I win some big pots, but the blinds : stack size for everyone is at the point where you just gotta push. Baldie, not the best player ever, is a loose player. Bodie25 called him aggressive, but I think that aggression just comes from him thinking that a flush draw is strong, not anything more than that. He pushes from UTG with his 18000 chips. I'm already in for 6000 and it folds to me. I have 18500 left. I squeeze JJ. What would you do? I called. He turns over AA. A on the runner runner. I busted 4th, but what a hell of a ride it was.

Bodie25 really gave a great recap of this on his site. I highly recommend you check it out.

The Name is Hoyazo - The Hammer Player

Just read this article on Each day I grow more and more disappointed with the state of journalism on this site.

Under Texas Hold'em Tips, you will find an article called "The Rise of the Hammer". Let's see how they mention Hoyazo...

One online poker blogger came up with the name "The Hammer" and ran a contest to see who could win with this hand, and the name has caught on.

Hmmm...did we forget to mention who the blogger was or even mention the web site??? Nice...spew the big names for playing with the hammer, but forget the guy that named it.'s in the details. the details.

UPDATE: I was informed that the blogger actually mentioned in the article is Grubby. Not sure who that is yet...even still MENTION THE DAMN BLOGGERS NAME IN THE ARTICLE!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Free bar poker that's not hold'em...really???

Sunday morning, Bodie25 called our house. He's sounded like a kid on Christmas Day, hoping to get an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle, with a compass in the stock and 'this thing' which tells time. He was interested in going to a neighboring town to play a little free poker at a bar. The bar pays cash to the winner (we like cash), and to really get you going...they are playing Pot Limit Omaha (PLO). Yes, you read it right, PLO.

The event was being run by the Big Doc Poker. I'd recently played hold'em at the Whiskey Bones Roadhouse and finished fifth. He runs an interesting tournament, but there are some rules that I don't agree with...but that's not why we are here.

As previously noted in this blog of higher thought, I suck at PLO. To be perfectly honest, I felt like a virgin to the felt again. All the cards and the chips and the people, it was quite exhilarating!

I've never felt more comfortable in my NLHE game. Both my online and live bankrolls have positive trends and when I sit at the table, the universe just seems to be in order...and then they deal me 4 cards and tell me 2 from the hand 3 from the community. Draw to the nuts. 2 pair rarely wins. Lots of suited connectors are good. Oh bother! (Been reading a lot of Winnie the Pooh books to my 4 year-old lately)

Needless to say...I stunk. I didn't win a single pot. I made it past first break by not doing anything. But hey! My iPhone tells me this place has Wi-Fi and guess who brought their laptop with them (does this finally prove once and for all who the geek is?)

Bodie25 drove together, and I'm not one to just ditch a guy when he's winning...unless he just took all my money and I think he's cheating...those rules didn't apply here. He's actually got a monster chip lead! So after a phenomenal cheeseburger and some quiet time reading a book and listening to 'Beyond the table', off to the minivan I went, and retrieved the laptop.

I sat down to the table that had been a side game that vanished, played a cheap SNG and waited for Bodie25 to take this thing down. Geez...PLO takes a long time.

Big Doc and his girlfriend sat down and we started a game of SHO. Seems Big Doc's girlfriend HATES lowball games. Oye vey!

Well...playing short handed mixed games seemed to work for me. I played them all with a good understand and had a lot of fun. Even in Omaha! All the while, I was checking out Bodie25's table, he's mountain of chips just kept getting bigger until finally, well, I let Bodie25 tell you what happened.

Tonight, the return of Free Poker at Brother's Bar & Grill. I find myself in 5th place in the league. I should be a lock for regionals, but maybe there is still hope to be the league champ with a free pass to state...we'll have to wait and see.

Friday, November 16, 2007

A Replay of my shortest SNG...

Thanks to TK over at for creating the video for me. Hopefully this works. This is a replay of the shortest SNG I've ever played. Note the complete lack of losing hands...I probably played this too loose, but when you are 5:1 in chips to the next stack...whatcha supposed to do.

Click here to view a larger version.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

D'oh! I didn't make it past Scott!

I finished 84th. I really suck at most of these games. Plus the whole limit thing...uggg. It was fun though and Bodie25 is still in it!

I finished 84th...just one spot sooner than Scott.

Next event is the AIPS II Main Event. Time to go win me a satellite token.

AIPS II - Stud H/L me, this game can be vodoo to me. But when I hit trip 3s with a good low draw by 5th street...IT HELD and scooped.

Now, I keep bringing in 3 to a flush and the nut low draw...that would be good????

So Chris Cosenza is out and so is Columbo. Can't wait to read what happened with those guys!

It's break time, and I'm still in this. Stud H/L was very good to me. Now...Omaha...a game I suck at. Let me get to razz and hook up with some cards. First time through I never had 2 cards smaller than a 9 at one time...ugggg!

Played AIPS II Event #11 5.50 HORSE 11.15.07's begun. I hate LHE. Is it possible to win this whole tournament just cleaning up during RAZZ? Oh well...this will still be fun. It's pretty cool to see the player with the names.

Columbo is over 2000 in chips already...hmm.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Promises Kept

This week, I was rested, calm and ready to play. My focus, to make the best decisions possible with each hand and get inside the heads of the other players.

Nothing fancy this week. Not many hands of the week to be honest. What we have is vindication for those good players busted by the morons...because, in the end, I put my money in with the best hand and won it all.

Why promises kept? Eloise, a regular at my home game, asked me to win since I was playing with her chips. She found herself with the second best hand against me twice. We sat at the same table all night. She fought hard and got her way into a pretty good chip position only to loose two big pots to me. So when she busted, she just told me that I better win it all...Eloise...your chips were not squandered ;-)

Bodie25 and Mrs. Bodie25 were there, but I could tell by the look on his face that it didn't go well. Let's hope you finds your groove again. Poker can be a twisted game.

Probably the hand with the most satisfaction for me wasn't the last one. And to be honest, the pot wasn't all that large. I was in the pot with the lady that slow rolled me a couple of weeks ago with AA. This time, I flopped the an open ended straight draw. She bet the flop, I called. I hit the straight on the turn. She bet, I called. Now, I hate slow playing and this was turning into the second time of the night was going to slow play because I just new that if the board didn't pair, I had the stone cold nuts and she'd pay me off. Sure enough, there are no flushes or pairs on the river and she's betting, I raise to put her all in...she calls and just scratches her head...she's done. Ahh...sweet, sweet revenge.

I suppose now that I mentioned this is the second time I slow played a hand I should tell you that the first time was up against my previous nemesis..the well manicured man. I flopped the set of jacks and he couldn't stop betting...he had pair the 7 and I had flopped the set of Js. I think that demon is done.

I stayed the course of my plan for extremely tight aggressive play until the final table. I switched gears at the final table and started pushing all-in with just about any two cards bigger than 10 or a pocket pair. Funny thing is, people assumed I was on a rush and just folded a lot to me. Faith A. even made the comment, "He's gotta a lot of chips, wow...take a risk like that he must have something big." I had KTo. Steal the blinds twice each orbit and you are making a profit.

When the table was 4 handed, I actually believed I could win the whole thing. I felt in my heart that I could out play each and every one of these guys. I watched as the impaled themselves on each others chips and even took a one out myself. The only hand all night I got into behind. He called one of my all-ins with AQ. I had K T and paired my K on the flop.

When we got heads up, my Villain was a decent player, but I don't think he has much experience heads up. It only took about 10 minutes at the most for me to win with a flopped set of 4s. Wouldn't you raise with 45o heads up?

Promises kept. This ones for you guys!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

If it was always this easy, I would quit my day job

Last night, I got hit by the deck, and hit hard.

The first $2 9 person SNG of the night, I busted early...stupid mistake made by me. I knew it, made a note on it and moved to the next one. Something very strange happened the next game...I was getting just sick cards. I'm mean REALLY SICK!

From Poker Tracker

Yes, 17 minutes. I wouldn't even blame the other players in the game...I just couldn't get bad cards.

First Hand: I'm the BB and dealt K2♣. UTG+1 raises to 60. It folds to me. I call the one bet raise. Flop comes K♥ 7 7♣. OK...I hit my K and I seriously doubt I need to worry about the 7s. I lead out with a pot size bet (135) and he calls. The turn K♣. Ok...I now have the nuts. I again raise out of position for a pot size bet (405). The Villian here raises all-in for 1305. Is there any way possible I could lay this down? Seriously? He would have to have pocket 7s! I call. The Villian turns over TT. Yep...TT. A meaningless river card is exposed. One player busted. It's nice to start out a SNG with a double stack.

Next Hand: It folds to my in LB. I raise one bet, BB folds.

Hand 3: I'm on the button and dealt A♣K♣. MP Villian raises pot to 105. Folds to me, I reraise it to 180 and it folds around again to the Villian that just calls. Flop comes A♠7♠9The Villain raises to 150. I hit the pot raise button and make it 855. Villian comes over the top all-in. I assume he's got the Ace and make the call...remember...I have a fairly large stack here. The Villian turns over not two pair, but AJ Wow! I was hoping to be a head. 3 hands in, I have a triple stack.

On the very next hand...two other players go all-in and one is eliminated...and not by me. This is hand 4 and we are down to 6.

2 hands pass without much action, but on hand 7...

I'm the BB and dealt KQ. Not the greatest of starting hands out of position, but let's just see what happens. It folds to the cutoff who raises it to 150. LB (the other big stack) and I both call. Flop comes Q♣Q♠6♣. Well, isn't that special. The two blinds...we each check and original raiser bet 30. We all know what that means...SWING AND A MISS! The LB raises 300, I think he's trying the resteal...why wouldn't he...the 30 bet was just plain dumb. I raise it to 1380 to see if anyone wants to dance again...everyone folds. I was hoping this looked like a big stack bully move, so I didn't show. That's still a nice pot at 1080 chips.

The very next hand. Action folds to me in the BB. I call with K♠K. I kinda figured everyone is getting sick of me running over the table by now. I might not get action for being a bully. This seemed to work. The flop comes...T♠42. My chip stack at the beginning of the hand is 5220. The LB stack sits at 1455. I have some room to gamble...he raises to 80 (a 2XBB raise) I raise it back to 160, he raises to 560 and then moved him all-in. I'm positive he has hit something and I was right...he had top pair with a 3 kicker. He hits no more

8 hands into the tournament, I now have almost half the chips in play (6675).

I'm quite sure that no one else at the table is enjoying this as much as I am. The other weird thing, I haven't exactly been sucking out on people either. I've had the cards. There seems to be a general state of shock at the table, and I steal and bully my way around for a while. I don't normally play this loose in a SNG, but my goodness...this is ridiculous.

5 hands since I've eliminated someone...I've built my stack to 7075. I'm back in the SB and dealt K2. The blinds are at 20/40 and it folds to me. I raise it 2 bets to 120 and get called. The flop comes J♠T♣Q. I bet the flop (240), and this hands villian moves all-in. This raise is only about 10% of my stack. He's probably hit something, but I make the call any ways. I seriously planned on losing this to keep up the idea that I'm an idiot, but fate intervenes. The villian turns over K♠J♣...he's ahead and drawing to the same straight as me. As it turns out, it was all for naught...the turn and river are both diamonds...I win with a flush and we are down to 4. Bubble time and we are only on the 2nd blind level.

I figured it would calm down after this...I mean really...this is getting sick even to me.

5 hands after the last bust out, I have an unimaginable chip lead (8040). The rest of the stacks look like this 2465, 1855, 1140. I'm almost priced in to calling any all in...just because. The button raises to 175, and I call with...KQ...again. The BB joins the action as well. The flop comes 6♣6J. This time, everyone all checks. I really get the feeling that no one wants to be in the pot with me. The turn is the K♣. My guess was everyone missed the flop, so this should make my two pair good. I bet it pot (525), the BB calls and the button folds. We are off the river where we find T♠. I fear no evil and put the Villian all in. Not like I have to worry at this point. I lose to him and I still have more than half the chips in play. I show my 2 pair and he mucks! He had pair the J and was trying to trap me. D'oh! Children...this is why we never bet the universe slow playing top pair.

And now, the bubble burst, I'm embarrassed. I have 10,040 in chips.

Needless to say, I didn't donk of my chips to anyone and within a few minutes, the table was empty. 17 minutes was all it took to clear the table. GAWD I love getting hit by the deck!

Monday, November 12, 2007

I tried something new and SURVIVED!

I've been reading a lot of other players blogs regularly lately. Many of you guys have a winning track record or at least have won some real cake at some of the bigger buy-ins. According to SharkScope, I've played ~900 tournaments on Full Tilt Poker. But reading your blogs has inspired me to try and join the regular blogger tournaments. Unfortunately, they are out of my usual buy-in range.

A little back story...when I started playing online poker oh so many years ago. I played the play money tournaments. I started winning those very regularly. My wife actually encouraged me to try the real money tournaments. I'd played live poker for money, but mostly just small buy-in home games ($5 and $10). I was also successful at those. Regularly scoring some real money wins. Since I had the OK from the Mrs. to give it a try, I transfered some money up to NetTeller (this is back in the day). One thing about me is that, while I'm not afraid of risk, I don't generally go seek it without preparation. The money sat at NetTeller for a while. $200 just sitting there. I wanted to make sure I moved the money and didn't just blow it into the Ether.

After about 6 weeks of sitting on the money, I pulled the trigger and deposited the $200 into my account. I was now officially vested into playing online poker for money. Now that the money was there, I needed to play with right? Well, no. I played like 2 $1 SNGs and lost them and started wondering if I was doing the right thing. I mixed it up for a while between the play money and the micro limit sngs.

One day, I realized that I was taking down the $1 + .25 45 person SNG on such a regular basis, I was actually profitable. This got both comfortable and extremely BORING!

Well, I moved my game up to the $5 level and found it was harder to make money on the MTT SNGs, but I could cash 40% of the time at the STT. Well we did this for a while and even got to the point where I had double my initial deposit! All the while, I was getting more confident in my game and trying my hand at the cash games. I got to the point where I could win about as much as I could lose between the SNG and the ring game. Nice. I suck at ring games...but that's another post.

I played at the $5 level for about 9 months and notice a real see-saw balance in my account. A lot of the money was being lost in the ring games, and then made back up in the SNGs. But then something happened to my tournaments...I started to suck at those too. I sucked so bad that not only did I lose my run up, but then I lost my seed money as well...not all of it...I was down to $125 in my account. Ugg! I'm not playing other people's money! This ain't good.

I had purchased Poker Tracker real early on and started pouring through the numbers. That's when I noticed that at one time, I was really good at the $1 + .25 45 person sng. Could I drop back down to the dollar tables? What the hell, at least I'll lose money slower. You see, I have a fear of losing my bankroll. I don't know what I'll do if that balance ever hits zero. My live play bankroll has plenty and I could always deposit more, but the point is, I failed. I lost the deposit. Weird? The amount of money isn't a problem, it's the idea that I would be a failure that keeps driving me.

Well, from my low point a couple of months ago, I've grinded my way back to a profit again. My game is also much improved after a period of long introspection. I had started making stupid calls and stupid bets when I KNEW I was behind. But would get mad at the donkey for calling my opening raise. The key to being better than a donkey is not to donk away all your chips being mad at someone.

This weekend, I took my first steps in joining you big boys in something bigger than a $5 or $10 game. I played a $4 Satellite Token SNG. I've never played in one of these before. I figured that if I won it, I was out $4, but I'd really like to play in the AIPS II Main Event. $26 would exceed my bankroll management rules at the moment. I have never played in a tournament that represented more that 10% of my bankroll. So I figured I could give the satellite tokens a try.

My philosophy for this tournament was that while 2nd place paid $10, I am really just after the token. Most of the people in this tournament genuinely seemed, well, weak. They were extremely tight and no one was taking risks. I switched gears and reminded myself that it was only $4 and the chance to play in the Main Event was worth it. I also really focused on this game and paid close attention to what everyone was up to. As it turns out, I battled my way, making some sick calls along the way...cause those all-ins didn't match their play, until I was heads up for the token! Sad part coming...I had this guy all-in several times ahead, and he just kept hitting what he needed. I busted to him and finished 2nd.

According to my calculations, this make me ahead in my attempts to get into the main event. I've made ~$5 trying to get my token. So this should mean I get two more chances at the prize.

How do you figure out this buyin stuff? I'm sure many of you just buy-in. But you micro-limit do you account for Tokens and buy-in to events bigger than you usually play? Someday I really hope to play Mondays at the Hoy and the Mookie. I'll get my token someday...