Wednesday, April 30, 2008

There are ants in my pants - but I like it

Take yourself back to 1987. The Minnesota Twins were getting ready to charge into the playoffs, OhCaptain was a freshman at a Midwest private college and a spin-off from the Tracy Ullman show was debuting on the upstart Fox Network. This last one was a transforming event in the universe of this author.

A little know fact about me: I've watched every episode of the Simpsons since that first show in 1987.

Why am I telling you this? I have no idea. I spent part of the morning looking for a movie clip of Homer that really describes me lately. But I'll be damned, no one has spliced it together on YouTube. I was looking for some video of Homer doing the "The Happy Dance". You know, the dance with the waving hands and the bouncy feet when he's really excited.

Last night, I did something I haven't done in ages. If you are guessing its falling asleep on the couch playing a SNG, yes that happened, but that's not something new. If you are guessing its busting out of poker league by thinking I had a hand when I didn't. You are correct. How distracted am I? I thought I had 96o when in all actuality I had J9c. Wow. Nice job. Thankfully, poker for points is ghey.

The real fun last night started after I picked up my card protector and got my butt home. I got home in time to pack my suitcase for this weekend. I packed my suitcase and we don't leave until tomorrow night. Tonight, I pack my camera. In case you are interested, my other hobby appears at my photoblog. No real poker content there, some pictures of tournaments, but if you like tasteful photography, its there for ever you do.

I'm getting nothing done at work. I'm playing $1 SNGs because, my mind wonders so bad that they are about the only people bad enough that I can completely space out and still cash. Remember, OhCaptain is cheap. I like a positive trajectory in my bankroll.

Are the any places in Las Vegas, you my minions, my ginormous audience (hehe), or things you want to see you humble scribe photograph and post here? Something I'm really excited about is this trip merges almost all of my passions. My wife (yes, I love my wife), poker and photography.

There are ants in my pants. I can't get anything done. Is it the end of the work day on Thursday yet? My feet just won't stop bouncing!!!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Captain, I don't think the Enterprise can take no more

Bad poker blogger. Bad, bad, bad.

Sorry, I've only been playing a little poker lately and have had to sit out of the blogger donkaments. And sadly, tonight I'm going out with OhCountess sans kiddos.

Let's recap the week.

Last Friday night, Bourbonators. I played crappy. I didn't see any cards. I found my inner rock star and tore up the plastic guitar playing Guitar Hero III. GAWD! I love that game!!!! Missed my new favorite tournament, Katitudes Donkament. No repeat for me as champ.

Spent the weekend with the kids while OhCountess getting ready to host baby shower at our house for her sister. Too tired from running around with the kids all day Saturday to play any poker. Sunday, ahh, Sunday. It was the first 70 degree day since the recent Ice Age began. I miss global warming. Any Minnesotan will tell you, the temp reaches 70 degree for the first time in the spring, no way in HELL you are playing poker.

Tuesday night. Poker league. I over played AKh to a guy who could let go of top pair with a J kicker. His pair of queens beat my Ace high flush/straight draw. Drawing to the nuts doesn't always work. It felt good to be home early.

Mookie on Wednesday night. Nope. I was falling asleep in the living room at 7:30...Not good. Missed it again. invited out with the wife again. So donkament. I now officially miss the donkament.

I'm sure this weekend will be all about getting ready to go to Vegas. Thanks a bunch for all the help so far! We REALLY appreciate it. Heck, if you are going to be in Vegas next weekend, let me know!

Gotta run. Babysitter is here and the wife has the van started. That's a good sign!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Just a little help from my friends

Poker bloggers...ya, you guys. I'm asking for your help.

It seems OhCountess has won us a kid less weekend in Las Vegas, NV (of course its the same time frame as Weekend At Mookie's). Everything is arranged, we even got tickets to see Wayne Brady at the Venetian on Sunday night (don't ask me - it will be good, right?). So...anyone out there got recommendations about where to play a little poker? Fun things to do that AREN'T in the brochures (and hopefully are legal and not likely to give us a disease)?

Looks like the Bellagio would be, ah hum, a bit out of my price range. $4/$8 NLHE sounds cool, but the wife would fall over dead if I bought in for a grand. We are actually looking for some tournaments to try and lower stakes cash games (mixed games are fine, razz would be stellar). Hopefully in the $50-$200 range. Hopefully also run by people that know what they are doing and played by people that don't.

So, lurkers, regulars and fresh faces...please leave a comment at the beep (or where the link says..."comment") with any advice you think we should have.

This will be our second trip to Vegas. Unfortunately, the experience we gained from our honeymoon in 1996 is probably a bit dated.

Thanks for your help!!!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Lucksackary: How I bluffed, cheated, folded and laughed my way to $137.50

The secret to winning a tournament of this caliber is education. If you work hard enough at learning about poker, you too can win the Donkament.

My education comes from reading the excerpts of the coming book "Stupid/System" by Julius Goat. In the last chapter published, I found the gem that pushed my game over the edge. Its a concept called "Table Image."

Most people don't realize how important it is to chose the correct background to their Full Tilt application. Bayne, a noted authority on the game of poker, commented on the latest chapter about how hacking the app and making the final table your default view will "... (give) me a more confident mindset."

I'm always looking for an edge...this seems to be the edge I was looking for. In my first tournament with the hack in place, I won it all! The grand prize. A cool stack of green backs. Two Black Aces retirement fund. $137.50.

With my confident mindset intact, it was time to put some cards in the air and play some poker. Since this is a rebuy, we never speak of what ACTUALLY transpired during the rebuy period. If you weren't there, all you need to know is that raises were made and raises were called. Fortunes were won and fortunes were lost. The only thing of public note was Two Black Aces set a new record for the number of individual rebuys. For his heroic efforts, I am truly grateful.

Here is my starting table:

A general observation that I came away from this period of the tournament: if you REALLY want to confuse a group of bloggers during the rebuy period of a donkament, do a standard 3.5XBB raise. Stops them dead in there tracks. Seriously, they look like the proverbial deer looking into the headlights. We actually had hands the LOOKED like poker during the rebuy. It was a beautiful thing. I heard Scooby Doo in the background, "Huh?"

In these rebuys, my goal is to get a nice size pile of chips and then sit on them until the end of the rebuy. Give myself enough to play without fear in the beginning of the poker portion of the evening. At the break, I bought the add-on and started the post-rebuy period with T$22,330. I was second in chips. Kajagugu (3,800), Donkette (3,650) and Baywolfe (7,260) had steep hills to climb. Julius_Goat seemed still hung over from last weeks donkfest, but still had enough chips to play with (11,735). IslandBum1 was easily our table captain with (49,645). Joanne1111 was 3rd in chips with (18,080). We lost jimdniacc towards the end of the rebuy period. I believe this was to allow him to focus on his BDR duties. It was now time to play some actual poker.

This first phase of the tournament I employed a classic technique called "Cleaning the kitchen." You see the wife was away for the evening helping the SIL with her birthing classes. I still had a will to live so I stayed home. Unfortunately...I also had no desire to clean up after supper. Since the will to live was stronger than my will to die at the hands of my wife...I used liberal use of the fold button to buy me the time needed to clean up the kitchen and dining room. Success was had as when the wife got home she thanked me for taking the time to clean up. All was well.

I spent several blind levels folding. The antes kicked in, so I did start stealing enough to tread water. I hover right around T$20,000 for several blind levels. There was plenty of action to watch, I took this as a signal to just sit at the sidelines and let every attack each other. We lost Kajagugu when he ran second pair into Donkette's pocket kings.

Several hands later, we lost a player to the first time AA got cracked after the rebuy period. Baywolfe called the all in raise from Julius_Goat. Aces were just no match when Goat turned over the 7 high flush draw and hit it on the turn.

Since we were now down to 5 runners, I stepped up the pace in which I'm playing hands. I had hoped by now that I was seen as playing very tight.

Julius_Goat learned the hard way that top pair and second kicker is no match for Donkette's pocket aces, and the master scribe goes home to contemplate why he was unable to grasp the concepts in his own book and go deeper in this tournament. After the dealer yell, "Dead man walking. Seat open!" RaisingCayne, also known as "Massive Chipleader" joins us in an empty chair on my left. Let me tell you, nothing made me happier then to have the tournament chipleader and darn good poker player sit down on my left. Yippeee!!!

I countinued to just keep treading water. My stack never really changing size much. It was at this time we started getting a brand new appreciation about just how HOT Joanne1111 really is. Everyone at the table was listening to BDR. Joanne1111 was broadcasting with the rest of the game and right around this time in the tournament, she had some of the loudest orgasms ever broadcast by Instant Tragedy. Well done! I was surprised she could still play poker. I figured she'd been out for a LONG smoke break after that. OMG!!! OMG!!!

The five of us just kept shifting the chips around the table. I really hadn't been paying attention to the other table. Without much warning, I found out that my hack had truly worked well and the table filled with 4 new background and "Table Image" were still intact. The final table had come to me!

I started the final table 3rd in chips. I was happy with that but felt I could really do more if I had less chips. In this next hand, I show why I hate AKo

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to OhCaptain [Kh Ac]
twoblackaces folds
OhCaptain raises to 2,775 <-I'm out of position. I've been playing tight. Hit the pot button and then the bet button Donkette folds
RaisingCayne calls 2,775 <-OK...whatch ya got
BuddyDank folds
InstantTragedy folds
Joanne1111 folds
muhctim folds
IslandBum1 folds
*** FLOP *** [Qd 3d 5d] <- Could there be a worse flop for me? I'm ace high with no draw. Son of biatch
OhCaptain bets 7,125 <- How about a got the stones to hang with me here?
RaisingCayne has 15 seconds left to act
RaisingCayne calls 7,125 <- Shit!
*** TURN *** [Qd 3d 5d] [Js]
OhCaptain checks <-WEAK!!! WEAK!!!!
RaisingCayne has 15 seconds left to act
RaisingCayne bets 5,650 <- paired your queen, or are you screwin with me? OhCaptain calls 5,650 <- FOLD!!! FOLD!!! Wait...damn it...why are you calling?
*** RIVER *** [Qd 3d 5d Js] [7c]
OhCaptain checks
RaisingCayne bets 8,000
OhCaptain folds <- Nice job! I just gave RaisingCayne my chips.
Uncalled bet of 8,000 returned to RaisingCayne
RaisingCayne mucks
RaisingCayne wins the pot (32,675)

I hate AKo. I should have just gotten out of the way on the flop. I didn't play that very smart and I'm pretty sure RaisingCayne knew it. I got the feeling that he knew I was weak. You knew I was weak didn't you.

With Muhctim falling with King high, I was still stinging from my deflation with AK. The BDR guys finally got around to doing the picks. New guy Jim From Nothern Iowa picked me. Sweet! Of course he picked me because we don't live that far apart. Joanada also mentioned she would have picked me next. I felt very honored and just knew this new table image thing was working!

Again, I did much folding and enjoyed much chatting. When this hand occurred, I figured it might just be a good time to double up or go home...

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to OhCaptain [Ac As]
IslandBum1 folds
OhCaptain: This is better then judy blume
twoblackaces folds
OhCaptain raises to 2,400
Donkette folds
RaisingCayne folds
BuddyDank folds
InstantTragedy folds
Joanne1111 has 15 seconds left to act
Joanne1111 raises to 10,000
OhCaptain raises to 25,385, and is all in
Joanne1111 calls 15,385
OhCaptain shows [Ac As]
Joanne1111 shows [Kh Ks]
*** FLOP *** [6c Tc 8c]
*** TURN *** [6c Tc 8c] [9s]
*** RIVER *** [6c Tc 8c 9s] [Jc]
OhCaptain shows a flush, Ace high
Joanne1111 shows a pair of Kings
OhCaptain wins the pot (51,970) with a flush, Ace high

Yes, I after I pushed them all in, I closed my eyes and waited for the chip dragging sound. Holy Crap Batman! I won! I won! Aces held! Now to make these last. Yeah, right!

A time warp now occurred. The author of this post realized just how long he was running. During the warp, we discovered the Buddy was gay. He also found out the KK is not a favorite to AA. I found out that AK can beat 66 when I removed the burden of chips from Donkette. Joanada keeps everything trim, she doesn't like unkept shrubbery. TBA took a sick beat when he flops top pair vs an unimproved AT...only to witness the A on the turn.

We played 4 handed forever! I also learned that this particular blogament is for a seat at the tournament of champions. Unfortunately, this is a rail seat...but hey, a seat is a seat, right? We also made an agreement after about 9 hours of play (it may have been shorter, but it felt like 9 hours) that the winner of the tournament would pay the 4th place person $10. Seemed fair. I was hovering around that spot, so I agreed.

With the bubble essentially burst by the agreement, I opened up my game a lot and turned on the agression. I was stealing puts and pushing people around for a while building a nice tidy pile. I was getting some bigger pots this way. This had been the first time I'd been fighting back the whole tournament and I was taking advantage of some of the players agressive tendancies.

Here's a hand for you scoring at home. I had a healthy stack of chips when this happened...(I thought I was gonna be rich)

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to OhCaptain [7d 2c]
NumbBono (Observer): Joanne, you up for Corn Vegas?
InstantTragedy folds
Joanne1111 folds
OhCaptain raises to 7,000
InstantTragedy: were on bdr now numb
RaisingCayne calls 5,000
*** FLOP *** [2h 7c Tc]
Joanne1111: dude if I get my passport in time, I'm there
OhCaptain bets 15,000
NumbBono (Observer): Can't listen right now
RaisingCayne has 15 seconds left to act
InstantTragedy: ah ok
RaisingCayne: only 'cause it's a hammer flop
RaisingCayne folds
InstantTragedy: Got a gitl
Uncalled bet of 15,000 returned to OhCaptain
OhCaptain shows [7d 2c] two pair, Sevens and Twos
OhCaptain wins the pot (15,000)

RaisingCayne was having nothing of it. Was I bluffing or did I actually raise it up with the hammer. Yep. That was the hammer.

The stagnation of 4 people was huge. Our stacks were huge compared the blinds and antes so basically we were waiting for hand over hand or someone to get impatient at the wrong time. And just when I thought I'd be the one...the suckout angel appears to grant me one wish...

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to OhCaptain [Kh Ah]
InstantTragedy folds
Joanne1111 raises to 33,300, and is all in
OhCaptain raises to 63,600
RaisingCayne folds
OhCaptain shows [Kh Ah]
Joanne1111 shows [As Ad]
Uncalled bet of 30,300 returned to OhCaptain
*** FLOP *** [4c Th Qh]
RaisingCayne: 88
*** TURN *** [4c Th Qh] [2d]
*** RIVER *** [4c Th Qh 2d] [2h]
OhCaptain shows a flush, Ace high
Joanne1111 shows two pair, Aces and Twos
OhCaptain wins the pot (71,200) with a flush, Ace high
Joanne1111 stands up

A flush. Again - the aces get cracked. I don't think I'd ever play this had different.

Down to 3 handed. I'm getting paid for the evening. Not like I needed the money. I was having fun and laughing a lot. Poker was fun again. We really weren't that far apart in chips and several times the lead changed. I really wanted to win this tournament and had made my mind up to take some risks to see if I could get there.
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to OhCaptain [Kc Qs] <-Its 3 handed, I'm on the button. Its time for some pressure.
OhCaptain raises to 15,500
RaisingCayne has 15 seconds left to act
RaisingCayne raises to 35,500 <-Not atypical. Could be a resteal, might be real cards
InstantTragedy has 15 seconds left to act
InstantTragedy has requested TIME
InstantTragedy folds
OhCaptain calls 20,000 <-I'm taking a risk, but I'm will to take a look at the flop and see where this goes. Cayne had be kicking me around a bit. I'd been doing some of my weak leaks. *** FLOP *** [As 5d Jc] <- Hmm...I'm drawing to broadway. I've got position.
RaisingCayne has 15 seconds left to act
RaisingCayne bets 10,000 <- Something about this just tells me weak. This feels like a continuation bet for a hand that's missed. Could it be QQ?
OhCaptain calls 10,000 <-If I'm right about the QQ, I can actually be in a good spot to steal this later, or better yet, hit a ten for the nuts.
*** TURN *** [As 5d Jc] [4s]
RaisingCayne checks <-I'm convinced he's got QQ. There are now 3 draws, the wheel, broadway and now spades. He's got something to fear.
Baywolfe (Observer): this is delicious
OhCaptain checks <- I'm taking the free card. A raise is something I won't call here.
*** RIVER *** [As 5d Jc 4s] [Th] <- welcome to the nuts.
RaisingCayne checks <- Can I bet something here to get value out of this check? Was he just bluffing this whole time? To me, this is just such a pivotal hand.
OhCaptain bets 12,000 <-I know I have the nuts. I'm hoping for a value call. A shove would more fun, but I'm not holding my breath. This is a good, solid player.
RaisingCayne calls 12,000
*** SHOW DOWN ***
OhCaptain shows [Kc Qs] a straight, Ace high
RaisingCayne shows [Qd Qc] a pair of Queens <- Wow. My suspicions were correct. Nice hand sir. I know I got lucky.
OhCaptain wins the pot (120,500) with a straight, Ace high

This crippled RaisingCayne. Not long after this, we were heads up.

InstantTragedy and I didn't really play all that long heads up. I was wearing my gambling shoes and came to play. I also got my money in behind. No need to dig to deep into them. I was calling his all ins with one of my favorite hands heads up JT and I'd call with any ace or any king. It paid off, two suckouts later, I rake in my fortune. $137.50. That's the prize minus the $10 to Joanada.

Wow! That was fun. I haven't played much poker since then. We've been preparing for spring. Seems it might get warm here after all.

I strongly recommend you read Stupid/System. Its helping me. Improving my "Table Image" explains everything. With the right image in place...the world is my oyster. Great job everyone! I had a blast. I'll be back to give this money back, someday. Well, I'll be back, not sure I want to give back the money.

This is gonna leave a mark

Hey! What do you know, NBC will let us embed the video from the Heads Up Championship!

The 3 hands that will live in infamy.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

I got a seat at the TOC!

Well, its at the rail seat.

The wife was out tonight, so I entered the Friday Night Blogger Donkament. Again, for those of you scoring at home, this is my second rebuy tournament.

Yes, I won one of the blogger tournaments with no TOC seat. No problem. I had a blast and will be writing more about this once the rush of watching 654 go down in flames by 6ths street every time I had it. Ugg. I love razz!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Day Without Rain

It could very well be the winter that will never end.

Living here in Minnesota is a wonderful thing. I sometimes wish that people never find out just how amazing this place is.

And then global warming sets in.

Mother Nature is definitely dealing us sick beat after sick beat. April 10th, its been raining since yesterday, the rain is only going to stop because when it freezes in the atmosphere its not called rain any more its called snow. Its going to snow here, again. For Pete's Sake!

My mood has been pretty somber lately. The trip to the casino was a lot of fun. Since then, I've actually been spending most of my poker time on the nickel/dime NLHE tables. And after playing a few hundred hands, I can safely say...I just don't seem to get it.

I worked my way up for the month of April $12 in the cheap seats. Last night, the wheels came off, the sharks smelled the blood in the water and 2/3 of that was gone. I'd swear my cards were face up.

UTG+1, I'm dealt KK. I haven't played a hand in 4 orbits. UTG limps. I hit the pot button and raise to .45. As if to say, look!!! Mr. Tighty has raised! I bet I can bust him with {two random cards}, I'll call! With damn near a family pot, the flop come AQ7, all diamonds. I haven't got a diamond. I give up the hand. With 6 people in the pot, what are the odds that someone isn't already flushed or at least paired an ace. Ugg.

It seems to be the way my cash game is going lately. I try to play tight, but when I do see a hand to raise with, everyone at the table wants to see the flop and my two cards seem to have nothing in common with the 3 cards turned in the middle. I just don't see how you can be profitable at this.

I switched back to SNGs tonight. Played one. It felt like riding a bicycle. I just knew what to do. I only finished 3rd, but then again, I didn't really see much for cards either. Weird thing, I didn't even realize the button had burst and we were in the money. Auto-pilot was definitely engaged.

I really don't know if I'll be able to take another winter storm announcement this month. Hopefully things will start to bloom and green up around here.

We conquered our first Co-op career Hard song tonight on Guitar Hero! OhCountess and I were hi-5ing and woke up the oldest kid. Oops. Kids just don't understand.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Heading to Iowa - Live poker recap

Bodie25 and I headed south today to Diamond Jo's Casino in northern Iowa.

They've been running a $40 + $10 +$5 tournament on Sundays for the Hearland Poker League. 66 max players. The $40 gets you 3000 chips and the $5 Delear Tip add-on gets you another 1000. The $10 house fee seems pretty high if you ask me.

We got to the casino at 10:30 AM in order to be sure we could enter the tournament without trouble. Also, its nice to sit in the cash game and start eyeing up the competition. What's this you say? OhCaptain is playing in a cash game?

Yes. I played the $1/$2 NLHE cash game. I actually feel much more comfortable playing cash games live than I do online. When I play live at the casino, so many people appear to play with their cards face up. I feel so much more comfortable live at knowing when people are weak or strong. The players at these casinos in southern MN and northern IA just don't put much effort into hiding. Maybe I'm fooling myself, but people just look scared when they are bluffing around here.

There were no tables seated when we got there. Lists were forming, but no action. Bummer. No problem. We got legs and feet, so the two of walked around the casino to see what there was. Our first stop past the slot machines was the Craps table. I have no idea how to play craps nor do I really care to spend too much time there, but Bodie explained many things to me. I really wasn't persuaded to give it a try. It just seemed like such a -EV.

Next stop, Mississippi stud. This game looked interesting, but they pay-offs were REALLY slanted to the house. Definitely -EV. Not to mention, it would cost a MINIMUM of $25 to see the river. Yowch! And all you have to do is beat the house's hand. Nice!

The PA announced that our table was seating.

When I sit down in a cash game, there is one thing I really hate to do. I hate being at a table with a friend and especially seated in the same corner. Bodie and I were going to be at the same table, but thankfully, we got to be on opposite ends. It makes for a long drive home if one of felted the other.

As the table formed, I started to gather as much information on each player as I could. There were quite a few regulars that the dealer knew by name. I've never gotten intimidated by this because I've watched many of the regulars at the casinos I play suck at cards. When the action started, a lot of pots got limped and limped a lot. 5-6 people to a pot. Uff da! I took this as an opportunity to mix it up and raise it from LP. For the most part, this strategy worked.

One gentleman at the table, an older man with a ponytail, he liked to call my raises, but he hated the second bullet. I'm not sure what he was calling me with, but a second bullet would turn his face a bit scared. One hand, he had called the second bullet, we saw the river and he mucked when I started counting out chips. Most of the time, I was firing with air, but by progressively betting pot, each raise just seemed scarier.

This strategy worked but wasn't making me rich. I'd give some back by being aggressive but having to give it up when I knew that I was beat. Splashing it around was fun. I don't normally play this way but when I do...

This first session lasted until 12:45 and then we were supposed to cash out and get to the tournament. I really considered cashing out at 12:30 when I was up about $40 and take a break but I sat at the table and ran it down to a $21 profit. Not much, but its better than losing money.

I wasn't really happy about my table placement. I drew table 3 seat 1. I hate seats 1 & 10, and to a slightly lesser degree seats 2 & 9. To me, they have too big a blind spots. My favorite seat is seat 7. Wow...that's the seat I sat down to at the cash game...go figure?

The tournament structure seems to start slow. Blinds were 25/50. But they basically double every 20 minutes. The play of the players wasn't great, but people were calling second pair or worse. Unfortunately, in order to beat second pair, you need to have hand better than second pair. CRAP! I wasn't really getting much for cards. I stole a couple of pots and stayed at around 4000 chips for as long as I could.

The blinds got to 200/400 and I still had 3900. A fairly weak player raises from M-EP to 1000. It folds to me in the BB. I found JTo sitting in front of me. I really figured him for a middle pair. He didn't look like had a big hand and I'd seen him lay a few hands down. I counted all my chips and raised it all in. He snapped called me and turned over his monster. TT. After the turn, I had a flush draw and straight draw, but alas, no love on the river. I got the usual chatter about pushing all-in with JT. He only had 4800 chips in front of him and my read was right...what would you do?

I walked around for a while, I was steaming a bit. Was that play stupid? How could you call with TT? How could I be playing poker for 3 hours and never see a pocket pair bigger than presto? Why can Fuel win with presto and I lose? Do those people really believe that a slot machine is a +EV?

This casino is small by comparison to some that I have been to. Not sure how common this is, but there is a Burger King in here. An order of fries seemed to answer the call for some comfort food.

I got back to the poker room to find that Bodie had busted and bought back into the 1/2 game. At this point, I was yawning pretty good. OhPrincess2 woke Mom and Dad up at 6am to tell us that she couldn't find the remote for the TV downstairs. I wasn't aware the television even worked at this time, but such is life for Mom and Dad. Could I really rebuy? I was +21 on the first session. -55 on the tournament. Was I satisfied with -34? Fine. Rebuy!

This next session was a lot different from the first. Bodie was on my left. My immediate left and these new players were splashing the chips around. Bodie was also up an amazing $200 since sitting down. How long was I gone?

I tried grinding it out for a while but fatigue was getting the better of me. Well, fatigue with a health dose of 93o. I blinded a way, raising only once on the button with AQo. That missed, as expected. The next hand I played was about 4 orbits later. UTG +1 raises to $6, 2 people called and I found JJ in the BB. What to do? I raised it to $17. I really wasn't sure I wanted to see a flop. The cash games are such a mystery to me. Everyone folded and I made $19 on the hand. One more steal a few hands later and I was +10 on this session and getting more tired. This session lasted about 2 hours as well.

Something I found very interesting about my cash game sessions: I never showed my hands down. Not once. I have no idea what the other guys had and no one at the table ever saw my cards. Is this common? How can I play 4 hours of poker and never show a hand?

So, the day ended up costing me money. 21-55+10=-24. Not bad. I'd really like to get better, but each live session really builds my confidence. I spent the day getting pretty much nothing for cards and still didn't end all that bad. Bodie tells reminds me of this all the time, really, we should never expect to get good cards. Most of the cards we are dealt suck. Deal with it and make the best of your situation. Heck, if you read this far, thanks for stopping by! I'm beat - Good night!

Oh!!! Congrats to Surflexus!!! Takes the $11 satellite and cashes is the Poker Stars Sunday Million! Well done sir! $460 makes for a nice ROI!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Throwing Caution to the Wind

I played my first rebuy tournament tonight. Of course it was in the safety of a blogger donkament. I haven't had this much fun in a long time playing cards!

I usually shy away from rebuys. They are crazy things and frankly, I don't like rebuying. You see, I'm a bankroll management kind of guy and these things don't compute.

The cash game experiment has been failing miserably. I'm still working on the evidence, but it would appear that top two pair is my biggest leak. I got felted 6 times with top two pair. Ugg.

But back to Katitude's Friday Night Donkament. I'm not really sure what possessed me to play in this tonight. It might have been the Chipmunk movie on the tellie.

My first table had Julius Goat, IslandBum, ElSnarfGrande, Baywolfe, Muhctim, chitwood, HighOnPoker and Surflexus.

It was obvious from the get go that Goat and Baywolfe were aiming for the rebuy record. Unofficially, I think Goat got half of the 271 rebuys. That number may be high, but its probably close. They tell me that this was a record. I rebought twice. Yeah me!

The table chatter at this table was truly the best part of my week. If you see this line-up again at a table, this was definitely not politically correct. Well played guys!

I survived the rebuy period. Not a huge stack, like Kat or Donkette or Surflexus, but a respectable, middle of the list stack.

I don't think I really I played particularly well. I got myself in trouble a couple of times. I called an obvious value bet from Surf. Called all the min raises from Donkette with only ace high.

The tournament just ended. I can't wait to hear how Donkette bubbled. At one point in the tournament, she had 3 times as many chips as the person in 2nd. Congrats to Kat for taking down her own tournament! Seems a bit rigged to me :-)

I finally finished 6th out of 27 people. Not too shabby. Of course it only paid to 3 spots. on that. Donkette raised my button from UTG for the umpteenth time and I shoved my JTo into her AK. Turned the jack! She rivered the Ace. D'oh!

Thanks Kat for hosting. I had a lot of fun. Time for this rounder to go to bed. The Bee Movie is playing for free at a local theater. Me and Bodie25 will probably be taking the kids to that one.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Poker League Recap - The hunt for nuttin'

MNlogo Bar league poker is changing for me.  It used to be a place I'd go and really try to win every week.  Through time and experience, I've come to realize its true value: practicing live poker skills and laughing with some nice people.

I think the idea that skill in poker will translate to success in our league is a bit misguided.  There are some competent players there, but for the most part, its like navigating a freeroll online.  You are going to get called.  Someone is going to shove.  At the end of the night, you will need to get lucky more than once just to survive.

And this is no ordinary kind of luck.  You will need to realize that you are going to be all in with AA and be called by any two suited cards or any pocket pair.  You are, at best, a 31% favorite to win the hand.  You will get called by more than one person.

In online poker, we see plenty of hands per hour.  This is a factor that will favor some skill in the long run.  Patience and level headedness will bring rewards.  At poker league, we are lucky to see 10 hands per hour.  Ugg.

Last night, I did my best to be in small pots with small hands.  I would like to have been in a big pot with a big hand, but alas, third pair was my best hand for the first 2 hours.  It won, a very small pot, but it did win.  Yeah! and there was much rejoicing.

At my first table, I think I've had the most fun just sitting with the people there in a long time.  My wife, OhCountess, made a very rare appearance.  She's in grad school right now with her class day on Wednesday.  Bodie25 was sitting on my right.  Jon B, a home game regular and Bourbonator, was on Bodie's right.

OhCountess was picking up the chips, while Jon, Bodie and I were slowly dwindling.  Bodie eventually busted out before the first break.  Remember that pair of 7s I mentioned earlier.  That was me taking a small pot from Bodie.  We run g00T?

After first break, the table broke.  None too soon either.  We were playing 5 handed and Jon B and I were short stacked, card dead and bleeding blinds too fast.

I made it to my second table of the night with a mere 700 chips.  Blinds are at 100/200.  Yeah, this sucks.  I tell OhCountess I should be able to get home and pick up.  The kids were with a sitter, so it looked like I would be the one at home, alone.

My first hand at the new table was AJo.  I only know how to play this hand in this situation one way.  If you know another way, be sure to leave me a comment!  UTG shoves all his chips in.  I seriously doubt I can wait for another hand that is better than this.  Heck, its gotta be better than the hand of the devil.  The CO shoves in over the top making this a 3 handed shovefest.

Oops.  This could suck.  Well, UTG tables 99, CO shows his KK and I have 2 live cards one being an over card!  Sweet jebus!  We all know the outcome, the pretties card in the deck shows me the promise land!  A nice little triple up at the expense of UTG who goes home.  Not sure I'd push a healthy M all in with 99 from UTG.  Not like anyone cared about my 700 chips.

As fun as tripling up can be, I'm still just sitting there with 2400 chips and a couple of passive players on my left.  A few more steals and I'm getting the feeling like I can make a comeback.

I shove preflop with AKo after a battle of raises and his TT loses with another flopped ace.  For those of your scoring at home, I actually won a coin flip.  Make a note on the calendar, this may not happen again for a while.  I'm no Surflexus.

You gotta love a rush.  I pushed and shoved my way to the tournament chip lead in a matter of a few minutes.  Its fun when it works.  The only thing I'm grateful for was resisting the urge to shove them in with lessor holdings earlier.

People bust all around, the blinds are starting to get silly.  A final table congeals and we find two married couples.  This is was interesting.  OhCountess and I and another couple formed half the table.

OhCountess busts out in 6th place and my rush ended with my unceremonious shove of ducks.  I got called with AK and K8.  No 8s, Ks or As appeared in the middle.  Only 2 pair.  Tens and threes.  Yes, I was counterfeited on the river.

In the end, I had fun.  I laughed a lot.  I'm REALLY looking forward to Sunday.  Bodie and I are heading to Diamond Joe's in Iowa for some live poker action.  The run a tournament and have a little NLHE cash action for us.  Anyone else want to join us?  Let me know!  Maybe a little warm up for Corn Vegas?