Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Presto is not gold - presto hates me

I sat back down to the felt on Tuesday night exercising my weekly hall pass to get out of the house unchaperoned by the Mrs and kids. I was still feeling the pain of having played poorly at state and decided before the first hand was dealt, I was going to play a bit unorthodox, well, at least for me. I really just wanted to get my gambool on.

I did just that and I have to tell you, shoving K8o into JJ is a lot of fun, especially when that beautiful king in the door shows it's face.

Normally, at league, I play a very tight and conservative game. I think my record is not playing a single hand in the first hour and a half. Most of the time, this strategy works. The loose/passive play gets into serious trouble when I still have most of my starting stack and double through the likes of Q4h, but I the take away I'm taking from Saturday is I need to be able to switch gears and play a different style when the need arises.

I've been really enjoying the Yahoo Messenger app on the iPhone. Chatting with other donkeys while playing poker can be very rewarding. Waffles was playing online and chatting telling me the stories of being sucked out again for the billionth time that night, all the while, I was shoving 10 3s into a paired board with two spades on it. It was so fun to hit that 5th spade on the turn. The dude that called my all-in flopped two pair with his 10 9. I had to ask, why would you call an all in with pair of 9s and a 10 kicker? He figured I was on a draw, which I was, but failed to realize that while yes, I was drawing to a flush, and a back door straight and had an over card, it's damn near a coin flip and I was getting my gambool on. Cha ching.

By some miracle, I made my way to the final table. I was basically freerolling and enjoying a night away from the grind of tight/aggression. I figured I made it this far, I might as well play good poker now. Chipping up a little more, we whittled the table down to 5 people.

From under the gun, I did a standard 3X raise with the hand of the devil. I know, final table I should just muck AQo, it can't possibly win. The big blind calls. The flop comes J76 rainbow. Looking at the dude, he missed it completely but shoves all in. Me, being pulled by the devil to misplay this hand, knew that since he missed this flop, I must be good...he couldn't have a medium pair...

Unlike Fuel55 (posting soon?), presto was not gold for me but it was, however, gold for the dude holding it across the table from me. Friggin' donkey.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Can't you smell that smell

Saturday, I headed up to play in the state tournament for my bar poker league. I was pumped, I was psyched and I really had no idea how to play poker once the tournament began. Well, I might have known a little but that's not really how it looked in hind sight.

Curiosity (got a blog yet?) chimed in on one hand that precipitated my decline. She was the "villain" (actually seemed like a pretty nice person, but in forum lingo...she was not me) in basically the first hand I entered from a spot other then the big blind.

Take a deep breath and a step back and let's luck at my plan for the day. My plan was to play the first 190 knockouts as a satellite. The top 20 spots pay the same, so that's a completely valid strategy. To get there, I was going to play tight/aggressive poker like it was my job. Same way I play a token frenzy. Reality was a little different. It's how I played, but I failed to account for two things: 25 minute blinds and mostly passive pre-flop pay.

First problem: 25 minute blinds. This is way more like a turbo then anything. Even with the great Drizz dealing, no way my 10,000 charting chips last long folding like it's my job.

Second problem: really it was an opportunity: passive pre-flop play. There was a lot of people putting money in to see flops. Now, in some tournaments, this would be something of an opportunity to turn on the heat, but this is also a freeroll with a variety of skill levels. Seeing the river is almost a certainty.

I never called an audible and changed the plan. Damn it. I seriously thought about playing more flops from position but I really didn't want to risk chips for later when I would get a better hand, but considering that better hand never came, I'll play for about 4-5 hours for nothin'.

The hand Curiosity was talking about in the comment had to do with a the first big hand I got dealt, KK. A nice hand, even raised it up good pre-flop. Drizz put the Ace out there and I got quite cranky. I knew I was probably beat, but had to know for sure. That value bet on the river was too tempting to not call. It was pretty much how my day would go. Before 1st break, I played a bit more, lost with AK a couple of times to a smaller ace, thus the "Can't beat ace rag..." headline.

These tournaments can be so frustrating, adapting to them has always been a challenge for me. Play too tight, get crazy later, or start a little crazy and stay there. I just never know when to switch.

I stole blinds for quite awhile, hovering right around half a starting stack all day. Never really regaining ground or losing ground.

Much of this post game time has been spent thinking about how I could have improved my game and gotten deeper. Being able to switch gears and finding other spots to gamble would probably be a good place to start. Patience can only get me so far.

My quote of the day came from the lady that devastated my stack. It wasn't so much that she called me, I can see doing it too, but her words just took my breath away.

The blinds were at 600/1200, I'm under the gun. I open raise to 4200 which was just more then half my stack. I think I had around 7700. This bet size had been fairly effective at stealing enough blinds to keep me treading water for a while. It folds around to the little blind. She starts counting out her chips. I'm pretty sure the big blind is just waiting his turn to fold, he can't wait to release.

While counting her chips, she starts talking out loud:
Do I double up now or wait for later. Hm. I know I have you beat because there's no hand you'd raise with that could beat me. I have to be ahead, but do I want you to draw out on me.
If she's got kings or aces, so be it, but what in God's name is taking her so long to do this? Is she slow rolling me with aces?

The fact was she was ahead, I had AKs. All she needs is a pair to be statistically ahead. She moves all-in for her remaining 7,300. I'm not folding here anyways, so I call. Her hand? 55. Presto. The collective jaws on the table hit the floor. The guy on the button asks, "Ma'am, why would you possibly think that no one would raise with a hand that could beat you?"

Her reply, "Ha, this is a pocket pair. Not likely anyone would have anything bigger then this."

Sigh. The poker gods did hate me so, flop came King high. Yep out flopped her, but the 3 diamonds lead to her hitting the turn diamond flush. Poker can be so cruel.

One thing I took away from this was the complete lack of live tournament play over the last year. I don't think I've played a live tournament outside of the bar league Tuesday night game or whiskey club since the Winter Gathering. This has got to change. Anyone borrow me a few hours every week? Sit-n-gos are forming at the casino near me and I need to be there.

Back to the studying this crazy game. Another Tuesday night league is starting tomorrow.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I'm out :-(

Couldn't win a flip or even a 4:1 favorite to save my life. Better luck next time I guess. Thanks for all the support. It's time for dinner with the mrs.

-- Posted from my cell phone that starts with the i.

You can't out flop ace rag

Been pretty brutal so far. Played three hands in 2 hours and have 5550 left. Drizz just can't deal me anything. Ugh. Thankfully, he can't resist the call of the Pai Gow. No dealer after the break. Need some mojo soon.

-- Posted from my cell phone that starts with the i.

Shuffle up and deal

It's starting a little late but I did find Drizz and um he's dealing at my table. The format is two satellites. We play down to 20 and then play to 9 with the top 9 going to Vegas. As soon as I know the number of entries, I'll be able to do my satellite math.

Time to shuffle up and deal.

-- Posted from my cell phone that starts with the i.

Now, where's Drizz?

Made to to Running Aces Harness Park. Not a bad drive at all. Gonna walk around and check the place out. Time to relax and find my game face!

-- Posted from my cell phone that starts with the i.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Tomorrow is the big day.

Back in the day, you know, all of 2 and half years ago, I started this blog with Bodie25. Back then, the idea was to chronicle my rise to poker greatness by winning the Minnesota Poker League state tournament. Yeah, delusions, but delusions can keep us warm at night...just say'in.

So here we are, October and two years older. Yippee ding. My dad always says, "You are only as old as who you feel..." and thankfully OhCountess isn't old yet :-D but maybe I am wiser then I was back then. I've learned a lot about my poker game and the game itself.

Way back in August, I wrote a quick post about winning my bar poker league. Fun times. Tomorrow, I head up to Running Aces Harness Track for the state tournament.

I'm actually feeling fairly confident in my live game right now. To win the league, I did it quite convincingly. Check this out. You get 20 points for showing up. Depending on the number of people (we averaged 32) you get points for placing in the top 30%. Example: for the first week of this league session, there were 36 people. 11 people made the points, 11th got 61, first got 201. I finished the 8 weeks with 798 points, 2X1st, 2nd, 7th and 8th winning the 8 week session by 82 points. The even cooler part of this run, the total promotion was 16 weeks, with two 8 week sessions. The guy that with the most points total for the 16 weeks beat me by 13 points and showed up for every single week. Why is that cool? I missed 5 weeks of the first session and by miss I mean, I wasn't there. Show up for one more night, I win that too.

Rumor has it that this tournament's structure is gonna be a bizarre mix of tournament strategies. All the contestants will start with 10,000 chips and play down to 20 people, at which time, the tournament will be reset and we start over and play to the grand prize. I'm thinking I probably play phase 1 like a satellite and phase 2 like a 2 table sit-n-go. Thoughts?

This is my 3rd trip to the state tournament for a promotion. I think I've learned a lot about these things, I've also played more casino tournaments since then. Normally, I'm quite nervous heading into these. No idea why, but I was. Today, I'm pretty calm and actually mostly just excited to go. I'm really looking for to hooking up with Drizz as this place is right in his Minnesota relative backyard (relative backyard here is a bit larger then other places...). Gonna try me a nice cocktail before it's shuffle up and deal time. I think he's also promised to harass the other people at my table while being an obnoxiously drunk railbird. My guess, he finds a juicy PLO game and cleans the burbs of their milk money.

So, consider this a warning, if past performances are any indication, if my phone is working and with a functioning battery, I'll posting and tweeting up a storm tomorrow. Let's hope it goes on for hours!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

What a game

What a game. My hat goes off to the Tigers, this is probably the most exciting baseball game I have ever seen. I took an absolute ton of pictures and have many stories to tell, but alas, 12 innings and a really long drive home makes me really sleepy and way behind. For the moment, I'll just enjoy the moment.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Pregame warm up

Just having a beer at Huberts. 2 hours until first pitch. Must get the liver properly lubricated :-)

-- Posted from my cell phone that starts with the i.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

See you Tuesday night!

Tickets purchased! We will see you Tuesday night!

-- Posted from my cell phone that starts with the i.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

All tied up! #wintwins

Whew! Tigers lose (Thank you White Sox!) Twins win! What a day! Tomorrow, both teams are really starting the season all over again. This is what baseball is all about. You are in Twins Territory now. Win Twins!

-- Posted from my cell phone that starts with the i.

Be the win. We can do this.

Be the win. See the win. Visualize the win. We can do this. Bring it home boys! Win Twins!!!! All the pressure is on Detroit. You guys still want to start a rookie?

-- Posted from my cell phone that starts with the i.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Remember this - we call it a R-E-C-A-P: Mookie Style

Have you noticed, around the blogasphere, people are writing the death tome of the blogger tourneys? Hoy recently weighed in his opinion of the state of the blogger tournaments. His yadda, yadda, yadda and woe, woe, woe sounded like an old man, yearning for the days when the grass was greener, people worked harder, the Kaiser was crushed by the good ol' boys and the wheel had just been invented. sound like AN OLD MAN whining in the barber shop.

You know, the Mookie doesn't draw like it use to and have you noticed who isn't there??? I mean besides Mookie. Just about everyone that's complaining that the blogger tournaments are dying. If these tournaments are to be missed and I'm supposed to feel your pain for their passing, at least show up at the hospital and say good bye. Geez.

I haven't been playing the Mookie much at all. Why? Mostly time. My kids are older, they go to bed later (and for the love of all things holy, this doesn't mean I'll play it if it's later...I'm old and need to go to bed before dawn) and as I just mentioned...I'm old. I like going to bed a little earlier then I used to but that doesn't mean I haven't had interest.

One thing I know for a FACT that's really been missing from the blogger tournaments that used to be the highlight of my Thursday morning, and I mean that, was the Mookie recaps everyone USED to write. Remember when we used to play poker and write about it? Hm. Wonder what went wrong...

So here it is. My Mookie recap from last night: (you ready for's been a while. I think I'm rusty :-D )

My wife was working late last night and by some miracle, the kids were in bed, on time and no little feet were running about needing a stern holler, "For the last time, lay down and GO TO SLEEP!" I even managed to crank out and check off every damn thing on OhCoutness' honey-do list. With time to spare, I realized, holy crap! It's Wednesday, 8:30 PM (CDT)...I can play the Mookie!

I had just completed the Take Two promotion from Full Tilt and with that extra $50 about to hit my bankroll, I figured it was time to dust off a Hamilton and a Washington and play me some deep stack Mookie (Every Wednesday, 9pm central time on Full Tilt Poker. Private tournament $10 + $1 - Password: vegas1) action. I missed it.

Participation was light, which I figured might help me since it would be far few donkeys to wade through on the way to my second Mookie victory. I'm pretty much just good at playing sngs, so this is more or less what I'm used to. I didn't do a screen grab of the starting table because I'm lazy and woefully out of practice at this. Lightning36 on my left, with (as I remember) Mike Maloney on his, and some others at the table (which I could probably dig up from the hand history of it weren't for the laziness and the woefully out of practiceness).

For some stupid reason, I tend to change my play at the Mookie from what I normally play when I'm making money playing sngs. Which of course is stupid cause when it's ain't broke you aren't supposed to fix it, which I do every time I play the Mookie because for some stupid reason I'm trying to impress you people. Anywho. I steal some blinds to start a little above the 3000 chip starting stack. See, normally in a sng, I'll just sit there folding for the first hour and not show any signs of aggression, but this isn't my plan right now. Remember...dusting of a Hamilton and a Washington.

Things are chugging along nicely, I even stole some chips with AQo (for those of you that are new, it's the hand of the devil and should never be played because it's evil and can't possibly win). Of course there are no screen grabs because I'm lazy and way out of practice at doing these.

I'm pretty sure we were in the second blind level when I was dealt JJ in the BB. I remember this hand precisely because, well, you'll see. I think 25 people limped ahead of me, so, to disguise the strength of my hand, I just checked. (See, I'm being sneaky) The flop comes 2,3,4 rainbow (rainbow means one of each suit...kay?) I check. Here's where the details get fuzzy because some how, Lightning36 (remember - under the gun[UTG]) had limped and now bet pot.

Hindsight is a lovely 20/20.

It folds back to me. Do these people know something I don't? I think this through almost carefully in my head. I came to the conclusion that there is no way, he limps UTG with 56 or A5. Those hands are way to weak for his range to limp UTG. Right? I'm thinking he's got a medium pair or something like A6. Avoiding thinking about some other details that I should have, I get into a pot raising fight and we end up all-in.

I figure he's got no idea I've got a hand as big and powerful as I do and he'll lay down his draw/pair and oh, crap, he's got A5h. DAMN IT!

See moments earlier, he had said, "Damn, it's a bit nitty here." Which I promptly made some wise crack about the other tables guessing the sex positions that Jo and Buddy were doing on their honeymoon. Lightning36 is a damn good tournament poker player and I really should have read that as, "Damn, I should be limping more with a wider range of hands because no one is offering to show any aggression right now."

Next hand, I'm all-in because Lightning36 either didn't have the balls (which I'm sure he doesn't after spending the last few months with the White Sox kicking them) or he didn't have the chips to cover me, but this donkey went home on the next hand with King high and one Hamilton and one Washington lighter in the bankroll (which of course I just promptly turned around, played a $5 sng and got back)

Poop. (I know, doesn't count, but I don't really like Bud Light either)

So, there you have it. A blogger recap of the Mookie. This was actually really fun to write! Maybe you should try one. Let me know if you start recapping the blogger games again and we can have some fun listening to each other stories of playing poker together and laughing and teasing and laughing some more. I miss that.