Tuesday, May 30, 2006

A piece of the Sands

I sort of lucked into my new financial advisor. For the last few years, I had a hodge-podge of 401K rollovers from previous newspaper jobs in a mutual fund managed by this older guy in Little Rock. But earlier this month, the fund company completely lost track of him. I tried to call his number, but it was disconnected. I hope he's ok.

So I got a letter from this fund company that said I needed to find a new rep -- and quick. So I did -- I looked up on their Web site and found the closest rep to me -- .4 miles.

So today that's what I did. And we really hit it off. Susanne presented me with a new mutual fund that's performing better than the one that I had. And its top position (the others include The Man, Google and Apple) is the Las Vegas Sands Corp.

No, I swear, I didn't tell her anything about poker! And I intentionally didn't wear a pokery T-shirt.

It was meant to be. The prospectus says the Sands likes to "build signature casino resorts and then connect convention facilities in order to drive more predictable and respectable customer traffic midweek to its properties." Maybe more pokery customers instead of casino war afficiandos? LOL

They also are banking on their development of the Cotai Strip in Macau. "The Macau gaming opportunity over the next five years is attractive."

Now I know where to direct people who can win $10,000 in a table game and lose it the very next day. Come help my retirement plan! LOLOLOL


Speaking of pieces of gamblos, I can't wait for Full Tilt to reintroduce their "Piece of the Pros" campaign like they did last year. Especially since people actually saw what it was worth -- imagine 1 percent of Juanda, for example. And he won't be playing in the WSOP like he did when Mark took his buy-in. LOL.


Looks like I won't be in Seattle for the time being. Just was informed today, although it may be a good thing. Part of it might have included a poker blog for a publication but I enjoy being totally free in what I can write. And it probably wouldn't do to write about online poker in a state where it's totally illegal.


Donks still abound in the B2B system. Today I won a nice 277 Euro ($348.26) pot in pot-limit Omaha. Someone raised it to 4, it got called by 4 people before it came to me. I had AAxx, I jacked it up to 26, got three callers.

I flopped top set, I bet pot, about 112 or so, got one caller who was all in for 89. I was afraid he might have made a wheel (like the joke goes, "What the fuck is a wheel?") and I was praying for the board to pair up.

And a second four came on the river. Thank you, poker gods!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Freakonomics and poker

So if crack dealing is the most dangerous job in America, and if the salary is only $3.30 an hour, why on earth would anyone take such a job?
Well, for the same reason that a pretty Wisconsin farm girl moves to Hollywood. For the same reason that a high-school quarterback wakes up at 5 a.m. to lift weights. They all want to succeed in an extremely competitive field in which, if you reach the top, you are paid a fortune (to say nothing of the attendant glory and power).
The problem with crack dealing is the same as in every other glamour profession: a lot of people are competing for a very few prizes. Earning big money in the crack gang wasn't much more likely than the Wisconsin farm girl becoming a movie star or the high-school quarterback playing in the NFL. But criminals, like everyone else, respond to incentives. So if the prize is big enough, they will form a line down the block just hoping for a chance. On the south side of Chicago, people wanting to sell crack vastly outnumbered the available street corners.
These budding drug lords bumped up against an immutable law of labor: when there are a lot of people willing and able to do a job, that job generally doesn't pay well.
-Freakonomics, by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

On Saturday, Daniel Negreanu said he hit $1 million in the Big Game this year.

Sometimes I wonder about the ripple effect announcements of huge poker prizes _ like last year's $7.5 million for the WSOP Main Event win _ cause. I think of one of the theories of poker _ if someone is winning money, someone else is losing money. I eagerly hunt and seek toasters, but rarely think about their losses. It's been estimated that maybe 6 percent of online players actually win money.

From a previous Negreanu blog, I happened upon Freakonomics. I didn't really catch the things he mentioned about the book after reading it (if you clear $1 million playing poker cash games, you don't have to be the world's best book reviewer). But I did come across a fascinating look at why crack dealers are forced to live with their moms.

And the reasoning, as partially given in the block quote above, seem very similar to poker and gambling. Lots of people want to win lots of money without doing much at all. Few are any good at it and even when you become proficient, you find throngs of others who are just as good (or better) than you are.

The authors say that what all these low-level job entrants have in common is they are playing "a game that is best viewed as a tournament" one where you have to start at the bottom to have a shot at the top. They say the work is long and the wages are substandard. (Sound familiar?)

"In order to advance in the tournament, you must prove yourself not merely above average but spectacular. ... And finally, once you come to the sad realization that you will never make it to the top, you will quit the tournament," they write.

This may be where the comparisons end. Certainly there are those who may become completely broke before even realizing they won't make it to the top. Others will donk countless dollars before they quit. Things can become even worse, as a recent news service series on gambling shows.

That's why it's important to keep track of your play, monitor your bankroll and evaluate whether it's best to continue.

As a game, poker is something that can be done forever, for small amounts of money or even pebbles. But once you start looking to the apex, the stacks of $100 bills, the fancy cars, it's best to look inward. Endless bling may be the American dream, but it likely won't be your reality.

"Dream on, but don't imagine it'll all come true," the Billy Joel song says. You likely won't be climbing to the top if you aren't successful at it already. Don't get lost in the process.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

All I have to say

I kept asking Clarence why our world seemed to be collapsing and everything seemed so shitty. And he'd say, 'That's the way it goes. But don't forget, it goes the other way, too.' That's the way romance is. Usually that's the way it goes, but every once in a while, it goes the other way, too.
-True Romance

I've used this quote before. But this is all I have to say. I'm pretty sure Drew knows what I'm talking about.

A new skill

Way to go, furball.
-X-Men: The Last Stand

Right now I'm sitting at my desk and am as happy as I would be if I actually won a tournament. The smell of magic marker is in the air and I love the smell of permanent ink in the morning.

If evolution comes in fits and spurts, then this kitty has learned a new skill: filing cabinet cracking.

The key to my desk's filing cabinet was on the ring of keys that got stolen in November's poker robbery. For months I asked to get that cabinet open. Nothing was ever done.

Until today. After I figured it out, it only took a few seconds. I cracked that toaster with a screwdriver.

The locks to these things are nearly impenetrable. In prevous attempts, I tried to pick it using a combination of paper clips and other keys. I've turned the cabinet upside down numerous times, hoping that the Slot Gods would reward me with a payout -- the twin key to the one I lost. Salt and pepper packets, paper clips and a ketchup packet spilled out of it.

But today, in an act of desperation, I wiggled a screwdriver along the side of it, heard a "pop" and it opened.

The lock activates a small bolt to pop out on the right side of the cabinet, near the track that the drawers run on. The screwdriver, given enough leverage, pushes the track beyond the bolt's reach and pop, it opens.

I spent a few minutes touching up the scratches on the metal cabinet with a magic marker. It reminds me of the time I beached my rental car along the sidewalk of the Bank of America on Flamingo last September with Drew in Las Vegas. I put all kinds of scratches on the bumper when I drove up to the ATM.

The next morning when I arrived at the Silverton Casino to pick up a chip, I spent a few minutes coloring in the distinctive white scratches along the bottom part of the bumper with a black ink pen.

Not much other pokery talk today. I caught the new X-Men movie last night and enjoyed it. All of the reviews panned it. But hey, it's a summer holiday movie. It's not supposed to be Oscar-quality.

I've been managing to tread water on the B2B but really haven't found much joy in it. I accrue points so slowly on the site it's up in the air whether I'll make the bonus in time (30 days) or not.

But it's OK. Staying afloat is much better than the alternative.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Well, there's always online

I got off the phone with a certain Michelle (who may be reading this, ahem) and then proceeded to unwrap my car from its cover and drive over to Drew's for his game.

Almost immediately I lost a few dollars in a badugi pot with Sham. I knew he had a good hand, but I thought that since I had A34x I could outdraw him. No such luck.

I ended up down about $19 or so but I made more than $160 while playing at the same time online, mainly two-tabling Sucky Room NL tables. Three sets in that time. At the time, I joked with Mark over IM that I should be playing a tournament. But the more I think about it, it's prolly better to have had those scores in the cash games.


Card Player's Web site apparently doesn't have the new issue up yet, but it has a really good obit-like story on Puggy Pearson. Wearing all those different costumes at the WSOP made him look like a fun-loving grandpa instead of one of the most feared players in poker history. His challenge said it all -- "I'll play any man from any land any game he can name for any amount he can count" and in small letters on his rv -- "Provided I like it." Mike Sexton has a good bio of Pearson on Poker Pages.

CP also has a nice interview with Greg Raymer, but they are in dire need of an editor who can edit feature stories. Too much windup, not enough cut to the chase.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Hello, Michelle!

...since you're reading anyway. LOL

Cat on the road

Today I had to take my car OTP to beautiful Covington to cover a story. It was so nice to get out of the city (Atlanta). The car handled beautifully.

Of course my old beater, with a much smaller engine, handed well but I think it has a lot to do with the driver. You can drive better defensively when you have good reads of the lanes and traffic.


Coming up on the weekend and I've been doing pretty well at B2B and Sucky Room. I need a third computer or monitor because I feel like I could tackle a third bonus at the same time. I like that I have redundancy in using my broadband card for my laptop and (free) wireless for my desktop. If something happens to one computer I can quickly switch over to the other one.

If you aren't already doing so, you should look into diversifying. When I find a lot of tight hold'em tables, I immediately look over to pot-limit Omaha and Omaha 8 or better. Some of these tables are wickedly loose and worth burning a bonus on.

I've also wondered whether sucky room's pot-limit players are worse than your run-of-the-mill NL player. I've been surprised at how many times I can get a PL toaster's chips in the middle of the pot, given the pot-limit constraints. Perhaps it's the "new" NL.

Inducing bets gives me more joy than anything else. It kind of pays homage to my old slowplaying days of the past when I first started playing poker. If you bet, someone may just fold, but if they feel they have a chance for a pot, you may see a bet on the river.


A friend sent me this link to some cool stuff for guys using old casino chips. If only they took Neteller instead of PayPal.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

No, I'm not a sellout...

... I'm just following Scurvy's lead...

Online Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

This Online Poker Tournament is a No Limit Texas Holdem event exclusive to Bloggers.

Registration code: 7330476

Bloggers sign up now!!

Sometimes feathers

In Texas, we say 'Sometimes you get chicken, sometimes you get feathers.' Today, it's feathers.
-Robert Williamson III, commentator on Ultimate Poker Challenge (2004)

Yesterday on my day off, I made three quads after not having a single one for more than a month.

I don't have much to show for it, as I busted out of two tourneys I made quads in (a $9+1 Stage One SNG in Poker Room) and placed 14th out of 266 in yesterday's Full Tilt WSOP Bracelet Race (6 handed). Six places paid, including three $2,000 seats. I don't feel bad about my play -- in the end, it was pure aggression -- I was stealing crucial blinds with any hand possible -- 83o, K2o. I pushed with the good hands, too, QQ and JJ, but still no one built up the courage to call.

I felt like Samuel L. Jackson in True Romance when he was saying "I'll eat the pussy, I'll eat the ass, I'll eat everything." Everything was playable for me and all the people at my table were too afraid they'd lose their chips. They shoulda known that by that point, first through third were locked up and the only way they had a chance was to start doubling up.

I really enjoyed the bracelet race event, because I feel that six-handed NL is my game and it's the event that Doyle won his tenth bracelet in last year.

About 30 minutes into the second hour of the tournament, I was in 7th place and was talking to a recruiter on phone who later asked me if I played poker -- she and some of the other higher-ups plays $4/8 half-kill at the Muck. It's a small world, you know. I had no idea what I was even doing at the table. I'd either raise or fold. Strangely, I felt it made no difference, although I was much less nervous playing when I was talking to the recruiter.

Yesterday also I started back into the world of B2B -- the same world that bounced me for $500 when I played Martinspoker in January. I decided, what the hey, I'll give it another chance -- no way those Eurotoasters could suck out on me again.

The play volume is the same -- scant -- and the play still is terrible, even in games that Euros traditionally play, such as PLO. I got reraised preflop by a Eurotoaster in PLO and when I put him all-in, I naturally assumed we had the same hand -- AAxx. But no, he had an A, he had a J, he had a Q and his two pair wasn't as good as mine.

I've also gained sick joy in taking small amounts of money from Eurotoasters who dare play deuce-to-seven Triple Draw. I'll go in these rooms and play them heads-up. Lowball is traditionally a game played in the South (note the $500+40 deuce-to-seven Triple Draw event next month at the Gold Strike Classic in Tunica) and I feel like I get additional Ruckbox points by playing from the city that is the heart of the South. Plus, 2-7 TD knowledge is required when you play with the Crew, as it'll get called at least once a round, as is razz (which I like to call as dealer when I'm low on chips) or badugi (just for the sickness of it all).

I'm amazed at what people will call with. If I see you dumping out three cards each hand, I'm going to pretty much only discard one or two and be betting it out regardless of whether I have a hand or not. This prompted lots of folds on the last round of play with heads-up Euros. Additionally, heads-up, 9 high is pretty decent, so I didn't waste any time trying to draw and get a bad card like a K or a J. Those 9-high hands really did hold up.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Who's the wise guy?

Who scheduled the WPBT tournaments during the Sopranos? Missed out on those beauts but Mark had a very nice showing -- second in one and fifth in the other. Congrats!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Tosca and tilt

I suggest a new strategy, R2. Let the Wookie win.
-Star Wars

Giovanna can tilt me like no other. I considered leaving a third into the performance of "Tosca" last night but was glad I didn't. It was way too good.

Tosca is sort of like the Empire Strikes Back of opera. It involves an evil king, a real slimeball, who has his eye on a painter's girlfriend who is an actress. The painter has been sheltering a political prisoner and had been hiding the secret from Tosca. The king tries to use Tosca's fears that the painter is cheating on her to drive a wedge between the couple and help him root out his political foe.

Calm the fuck down, I tell myself when the lights are low. She didn't mean it that way and you can laydown a hand every now and then. I did and we got along fantastically for the rest of the performance.

I am glad we are pals. We have similar backgrounds -- both from the Midwest, both fantastic air travelers and Third World explorers. Many times we'll even say the same words in conversation. Still, it would have been nice to have seen the opera with Kelley, who performs in orchestras and was out of town this weekend.

I think of others who make fun of anything personal that people post. For me, I think your life is always relevant. You blunt your growth when you try to block it out from what you try to write -- it's like leaving out significant context. Forgive me for going Mason Malmuth on them, but these are the same people who aren't very interesting themselves.

The personal is always a part of poker -- you are weighing choices, odds, successes and failures all the time in daily life, just as you do on the table. It is no different. To write something allows you to reflect in a more objective way. It may be a reason why you're playing well, or poorly.

Plus, blogging solely on poker stats is pretty boring to read. Writers will put you where the action is -- as a reader, you are there to share and experience, not just be served up whatever has been gussied up for you.

After the race, I was completely exhausted and I nearly didn't go to the opera. I spent much of the day comatose. I hadn't played poker in about 2-1/2 days, mainly stressed out over the dilemma over whether or not to buy a car, whether the finances were in line, whether the price was right.

I'm glad I did but of course don't like the idea of having to make a payment every month, having my insurance much more than it was. It's like a cat being told the price of domestication.

But I think it's the right thing to do. My 16-year-old car was born long before air bags, my new car has anti-lock brakes, it has lots more space. Everything works well. Black and sleek, it looked like it belonged in the opera parking lot, with similarly buffed and honed other, much more expensive cars.

I did hobble out several times yesterday just to make sure it was still in the parking lot. To pinch myself that I actually do have a new car and that it wasn't some dream.

When I was fully convinced that my shiny, gleaming car was OK, I finally got myself playing yesterday afternoon when I received an e-mail warning that my free $10 in Absolute Poker would disappear if I didn't use it by Sunday (today).

Oh no! I jumped in a $.05/.10 NL table, built that up to $11.40 and then played in a $10 + 1 SNG. Had a couple great hands. Tripled up when it was three-handed with AKs near the button. UTG pushed all-in, I had to call and the big stack thought he was priced in with J5o.

I flopped the nut flush.

Heads-up, I took blinds and flops away from my opponent. I raised with 89s from the sb and he was all in for $1500 more with A5o. I call and make an 8 on the flop and a boat on the river.

It may not be Chris Ferguson's $0 to $20,000 run, but I'll take it. Anytime you can add value to something that's free -- a chunk of online change, a fiery friendship with a fellow adventurer -- it's totally worth it.

Sure there's risk involved. Others who cling close to the shore may make fun of you. But risk is our business.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Turn and burn

Approaching the final turn of the 5K race on the new runway at the airport here, I realize that the strategy here isn't so different from a tournament.

After staying up until nearly 2 a.m. testing out the new 4-color deck at Sham's house (Little C.S. the kitten is totally cute and playful) -- I almost missed the race, as I overslept but had enough time to get down to the staging area. Too much badugi. Razz. Omaha 8 and PLO. Deuce-to-seven triple draw.

Because it's a short distance, a 5K is all about pure aggression. You want to get a good start and attack as early and often as you can. That said, you want to be a little conservative right out of the gate, to make sure you have enough chips at the end.

At about the first turn (this was a loop course that started in the middle of an adjacent taxiway, turned on the length of the 9,000-foot runway and then back on the taxiway to finish) you see the maniacs on the side of the road, who've already dumped their stack for a chance to have an early lead.

You pass them.

In the middle of the race, during the long stretch, you kind of settle in and make some moves here or there. You draft off some runners, pace off the police Segway on your left, break down an oncoming runner with a fast, untenable burst of speed. All the while you're keeping your eye on the final mile and turn.

"Burn and turn," I hear KGB from Rounders saying with disgust.

If you have a good miler's kick, you start here, mowing down people until you run out of pavement. If you don't, you have to bide your time until you can push, gradually increasing the tempo.

The finish line is similar to a tournament's increasing blind structure since being only a few seconds behind someone else means nothing when there's no more race left.

I see the finish and I'm slightly amazed. I haven't run this distance -- 3.1 miles -- at all this year, and I wasn't sure if I'd need to stop and walk some part of it. My leg muscles were pretty tight at the beginning but loosened up on the long stretch so I didn't have to end up hobbling in.

But there's no bursts here at the end. I maintain my speed, trying to run as fast as I can. But I have to settle for less than top gear. Like in poker, tight-aggressive wins it out in the end, as you leave nothing left on the table.

I pass the line under my artificial bubble (I wanted to run under 30 minutes), even though when I'm running I'm usually somewhere around 23 minutes. Some races, and tournaments, you're just happy to sneak in under the cutoff.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Downtime/a new car

Last night I stupidly fell asleep when I got home and woke up around 10 p.m. Then I couldn't go to bed until 4 a.m. or so.

I didn't play any poker because I was too tired to do so. Instead I did a lot of ironing. Another use of a portable DVD player: I set that thing up right on the ironing board and watched another couple episodes of Ultimate Poker Challenge (2004).

Robert Williamson III (2002 WSOP Pot-limit Omaha champion) was the guest commentator and one of the best pro commentators I've seen after Howard Lederer. Brandi Williams easily could have been a good heir to the color commentator slot previously filled by the WPT's Shana Hiatt and Courtney Friel -- she has much of Hiatt's charm and eye-candy appeal.


Tonight will be the debut of the 4-color Copag deck in the home game, which I might end up being a little late to -- because I'm getting a new car!

I crunched the numbers and found I didn't necessarily need to sacrifice my bankroll. I got a good deal, thanks to a nice ad from a competitor (lower price) today, which the car dealership I'm working with immediately matched. Even so, I know I'm the toaster in the deal.

That's ok, though because I've freerolled a car for eight years. In Chicago my parents offered me their 1996 Dodge Intrepid, a sleek shark of a car that I drove through Caesars Indiana and Casino Aztar in Indiana before I returned it to them after they returned from three years in Thailand.

I'm just ready for a new car. I'm ready for it to be black, the color of my poker cats, even though silver is the safest color out there, according to safety studies.

I can't wait. I think it's a little anti-climactic because today I didn't expect to buy a new car but prepared for it just in case.

And now we're going to see the last card.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Lucky Charms

This morning I checked the mail from over the weekend. Inside was a bubble mailer. It rattled.

Immediately I was a little pissed because I had recently ordered a book from half.com and thought they had sent me an audiobook instead of the paperback I wanted.

But I opened it up. It was a pair of Copag decks. I looked a little closer at the top card -- it was a green ace of clubs!

The mailing said it had to do with a partnership between the plastic playing card company and Full Tilt. Maybe FT is trying to prove they are "the best online poker site" out there.

I love seeing blue diamonds and green clubs. Mason Malmuth doesn't like four-color decks in brick and mortars because of the off-chance that a card counter could receive a lot more information if a card flashed showed a particular color for a suit, instead of the two-color red and black that I'm used to.

These will be awesome for the home game! Can't wait!


On the plane ride back from Chicago I finished up the rest of E-dog's "Making the Final Table." I bought it used from half.com as a sort of poker equivalent to a Harlequin -- a lot of pulp, not much substance. But I was pretty impressed with his philosophies of breaking down hands, using tells and not being predictable. He even has a section on how not to leak all your winnings if you do hit it big. It's a fast read. There are a couple bonus Matt Matros chapters at the end of the book as well.

When I finished that, I turned on the portable DVD player to the second disc of the 2004 Ultimate Poker Challenge at the Plaza. I've had this Netflix so long I probably could have bought the entire series by now compared to what I've paid to keep holding on to it. I've long since pulled these discs from my queue because I find that when I'm home the last thing I want to do is watch poker when I could be playing it.

But up in the sky, it's a totally different manner. A portable DVD player makes it a more personal experience. I found myself focusing on the hands and trying to predict how the players, especially the pros, would make their moves. This disc contained several pros, including Mel Judah and Chris "Jesus" Ferguson at one table and Kathy Liebert at another.

I was totally impressed by Liebert after watching her work and respond to a table. She made every move perfectly, the way you'd expect a pro to go about business. It was almost like watching pro tennis, to see them hit the balls into the corners of the court until eventually someone made a mistake. And Liebert wasn't the one doing it. She was correctly folding to raises with weak cards, calling with good-enough hands and staying out of trouble. It was impressive stuff.


Really enjoyed the United Express jet I was in -- the regional Embraer ERJ-170 jet. The interior was nice and it seemed like it could scoot. We took some tight turns coming into the airport (I wondered if it was because there wasn't any other traffic out there at 12:30 a.m.) and it seemed to handle itself well. Today I was trying to find out if these 50-seaters are the same planes that make the corkscrew turns into Baghdad airport but couldn't verify that.


Today I was out to cover a ceremony for the new runway out here in Atlanta. It was really impressive. The events were out on an unused taxiway off to the side and the backdrop was a 767-300 and a 737-700 from a couple of the airlines that fly out of the airport the most.

Those planes are so big! And it was cool to be up close to them. One of my best memories of planes was once a few years back waiting to take an overnight flight on Japan Airlines from Tokyo/Narita to LAX. Just before boarding, you could see the Japanese captain making a final check around the plane, he looked very prim in his uniform but very small standing underneath the giant 777, examining every piece of the underbelly of the plane with love, the kind that in Firefly makes Serenity a ship and brings you home.

Back to today -- an unloaded 767 can really scoot and the Delta captain took the plane up in a hurry, a cloud of dust from the previously unused runway in its wake. With the chief of the airline and some other dignitaries on board, he landed in an equally spectacular way -- after the rear wheels touched, he kept the nose up for as long as he could, rolling down the runway, in a demonstration of his skills handling such a huge beast. It was fantastic and just another joy of being a reporter.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Chicago -- A good trip

O'HARE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT -- I have just a little bit of juice in this computer left, no outlets near me actually work, but it'll be enough to get me to boarding time.

The trip was good. I got a lot of play in, got to collect some goodies, but not a lot because...

I always do this. I pack a pretty small bag to fly here in when I'm not flying on Delta, since without elite privileges on other airlines you don't get to board first.

I brought a pair of sandals that were unecessary since it was so cool the whole time I was here, a T-shirt less than I needed, a few pairs of underwear more than I needed (I basically brought laundry, whatever was in the bin at the time).

Today I had my bag packed full of macamadamia nut chocolates from Hawaii, seven cans of macamadamia nuts.

And then I hit the mall.

What can I say? I hate driving to Buckhead to go to Lenox Mall back home. But I was in dire need of pants -- many of my old ones have pen marks on the legs, from too many times of juggling phone while writing directions while driving on assignment. And a few, the Banana Republic ones, have holes in the pockets. I discovered this at the Sahara when a few of my chips and quarters for Diet Coke tips, made a bouncing line down my leg out onto the floor.

So three pairs of pants, a pair of shorts had to make their way into my bag. Out went the macamadamia nut chocolates. I ate a small bag of macamadamia nuts and was able to fit two of the seven cans.

A few hours ago, we hit a great restaurant, Mama Luigi's in Bridgeview, just a stone's throw from my parents' first house and a great old-fashioned Italian restaurant. Ate my fill of pasta and, maybe not the best idea in the world, but then slugged out two miles of running around the neighborhood before it was time to go.
(I've never thrown up while running but I've seen a bunch of my cross country teammates do so in high school so I don't recommend running after dinner for most people).

I need to make my way back more often. It's too easy not to do, given the importance of burning bonuses and taking down toasters. But R&R and home-cooked meals are only 1:45 away.

Can jets fly on ethanol? I asked my dad.

He said they probably could be made to. One less worry off my list.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Chicago -- Feet to the Fire

WESTERN SPRINGS, Ill. -- The cats would love this.

I played two Full Tilt tourneys today -- the $24+2 Bracelet Race and the $24+2 $8,500 guarantee -- sitting with my feet to the fireplace, nice and cozily warm. The weather is cool today and doing nothing but tourneys and tending a fire is a different kind of weekend for me.

When I bust out (JJ vs. AA on the flop for me in the Bracelet Race, 44/77 and my short-stacked A6o vs AK to put me out about 135th of 420 in the 8.5K) I go and munch on some homemade cookies and brownies. I should do this more often.

I promised myself that when I busted out of the 8.5K I'd actually do some running. This is one of those trips where not everything I thought I'd packed came with me on the trip. I don't bring enough T-shirts. My running shorts somehow are at home and so I'm left running in regular shorts around the neighborhood.

If you're ever looking for some dependable running shoes and you don't overpronate or have really narrow feet, I'd recommend Nike's Air Pegasus cushioned trainers. These shoes are awesome. I've already put more than 500 miles running on them (and countless other miles walking) and, long since retired, I use these shoes whenever I'm on trips. And they're still good to run in.

I hoofed it around the neighborhood, noticing my dad doing gardening wearing the Lucky Chances Casino hat I brought back for him from San Francisco. They've added some huge homes on one end of Western Springs, right next to the Tri-State's sound barrier wall. The noise just screams right through. I can't imagine living there. Not so good from a ki perspective, I would imagine.

The running is good, although I've been doing more biking lately and can definitely feel it in my quadriceps. I try to run backwards for a while, just to test it out since I'm working on a story about the topic, and I get about five steps before my calf muscles say, uh, no way and I have to turn back around.

I like and hate running in my parents neighborhood for the same reason -- it is so flat. You can see all the blocks you have to do all at once, you're running in a grid like some mouse in a test.

But it's nice and tranquil at the same time. I think about all the places I've been from here, how this little suburban village has been a jumping off point to so many places. Maybe people from the prairie make good explorers because they're always curious to see something that's not flat and similar all the time.

I make it back and am tired yet am curious to play some more. I probably will, even though some columnist in Card Player this month quoted Barry Greenstein, who suggests that people only play about three hours a day online. Well, how do you get anywhere doing that? The online gaming world -- especially its bonuses, is measured in days at a time, not 1/8 of a day chunks.

Chicago -- Tri State Poker

WESTERN SPRINGS, Ill. -- I groan when my baby flush with 47s is beat by the person to my left -- who has a 95s flush. The only difference is that mine was an OT blind and he chose to play his hand.

I'm riding down Interstate 294 -- the Tri-State -- from O'Hare back home. I'm normally so used to driving, since I have quick reflexes and generally don't like others to drive, that I forget for a few minutes that my Verizon air card will let me two-table on the WP and also clear a blackjack bonus at InterCasino on the way home.

Already, I made about $150 at the gate in Atlanta -- I made a couple pretty good reads -- in one hand, I flopped two pair with A2s. I got raised on the turn when a K came. I correctly put the raiser on KJo and let him bet to his misery.

The second hand, I re-raised a minimum raiser preflop from the big blind. When KT9 came on the flop I tried to represent the K, so I bet it and automatically got raised. I decided to call the $18 bet, then a 7 came on the turn giving me a double gutshot. I checked and the EP bettor bet something like $14 -- enough to pretty much price me into seeing if I could hit my gutshot. The river was an 8 and I put the EP all-in and he had AA. Why do fish like to min-raise with aces?

On the plane I read Alan Schoonmaker's pretty good Card Player magazine article about whether people should switch from limit to no-limit and how a lot of the stuff on NL printed in books doesn't adequately address capped games. Elsewhere, I read some good stuff on playing non-traditional hands in NL.

Also was eyeing Tunica's Gold Strike Classic ads for June. I am very tempted to go over sometime and play in their cheaper $200 events. I'll try some satellites I guess. Anyone else going?

On the plane I saw nearly an entire episode of the Ultimate Poker Classic (2004) at the Plaza in Las Vegas on my portable DVD player. The table had Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, Mel Judah and some other players. It passed the time.

Also started to read Erick Lindgren's "Making the Final Table" when our plane landed 20 minutes early but sat for 10 minutes while waiting for another plane to leave the gate we were assigned to. It looks decent so far.

It's been a long while since I'd been in Chicago. Pre Verizon card. Pre-robbery. I guess it's easy to let time pass when you're busy with other things. I think the last time I saw my folks was Halloween weekend, when we and my grandmother and aunt were in Las Vegas. (When you work in news and have no seniority, it's super difficult to travel during the Christmas holidays).

While my mom talked about things she was up to, I continued to burn off the InterCasino bonus, my dad was busy watching San Antonio drop another game to the Mavericks. I don't even care enough about either team to say whether I'd even want one of them to lose.

I learned that my dad was pretty good at bridge, had card smarts. One of the Card Player articles talked about how bridge players could make pretty good poker players for their ability to break down hands.

Sounds like my dad is eager to hit one of the local riverboats. If there's poker, I'll play. If not, maybe I'll do a Negreanu and have a party day, trying to strike my luck at some other game. I'm down about $55 in live casinos this year, so I'll welcome the chance to break even.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

A cat with wings

In the last 3 years, how many times have you visited Las Vegas for pleasure (not business)?

Three to six times
Seven to ten times
Eleven to fifteen times
More than fifteen times
None/don't know
-online survey

Ah. "Just when I thought I was out, they keep pulling me back in!" LOL.

After at least a dozen trips to Las Vegas last year, I've only been to Sin City once this year, at the end of February with Sham. In three years, my visits there are off the survey charts.

I'm trying to be good. I feel like I can do just as much with toasters online than in Nevada's most glamorous poker palaces. Multitabling, bonuses and rake-free poker sweeten the pot against surly fish, smoke from across the rail and the boredom of waiting for a single table.

Still, I can't wait to go there in July for the blogger weekend. I won't know too many people there, but it'll be fun. It's my second city.

The Venetian. Red Rock Casino. South Coast. I can't wait to see the new poker rooms and pick up chips from there. But even more, I can't wait to settle into my routine NL toaster hunting at the Excalibur. Being around when Count Dooku dumps his chips again at the MGM. And playing in Bellagio, which has the Yankee Stadium of poker rooms.

It's a slow day at work. Giovanna is planning a trip to Cancun. I think of days back before the War on Toasters when the cat would explore. I went to Cancun in 2003, during the last week of U.S. spring break and, on the townie side, Carnival. It was an interesting difference in cultures. Twice my rental almost ran out of gas on the Autopista but it was worth seeing Chichen Itza and other ruins on the other side of the Yucatan.

Since poker, I've really cut down on my travel. I do regret not going to London last spring with my folks -- I could have been like CC and met up with Mr. and Mrs. Poker Sweet Home and played at the Gutshot and elsewhere.

My folks have wanted me to return with them to Thailand, where my folks lived for three years, but I've turned it down. I've been there twice and nearly 24 hours of in-plane time really cuts down on your ability to burn bonuses.

Today is a great flying day. In four hours, I could be in Costa Rica. But I'd rather be sticking around, eating popcorn at my desk and multitabling. I'd rather be doing that than, say, spending a weekend in nearby Tunica.

Is it addiction? Maybe it's realizing that after countless trips, there's no place like home. Not home as in Seattle, where next month a state law will kick in against online gaming.

Maybe I should be traveling, to a non-pokery place for non-pokery purposes. But not right now.

The slowest tourney ever

I totally can't decide whether my car is at the very end or not. It seems like things have been going ok, and the longer I can hold onto my bankroll, the better.

I haven't been concentrating very well recently in poker, but luckily my bad decisions have cost me little or no money.

Last night, I was on Absolute Poker to try to burn of another $10 that they put in my account to try to get me to play. Usually that means I'll try to put that in a NL .05/.10 table, try to build up to NL25 and then I'll usually donk that off in a SNG.

But I never got the tables I wanted. Instead, I noticed there was a freeroll to the Quarter-Million qualifier. There were about 1400 people in the tourney for nine seats.

I doubled up early, but the tourney was so dang slow! After the second hour I decided I should push as often as I could to either 1). end my misery or 2). double up for an actual chance at a seat. At that point, I had about 5,000 chips but the chip leaders were up to 47,000 or so.

Some guy with a large stack was extremely tilty at this freeroll. I pot bet with my T7o, top pair, no kicker and he raised me with his two pair. I pushed all in and he was totally mad when another 8 came on the river to chop-chop.

Then I had KK and pot bet it in late -- four other people called. The flop was under cards but all diamonds. I pushed all-in anyway with no draw and was looked up by J8o, two pair, no draw. Oh well, it was time to go to bed.


About an hour earlier, I found my way out of Full Tilt's $24+2 $17,000 guarantee. This guy after me kept on reraising me so when I tried to steal with A5o on the button (good choice, right?) he raised me and I was all in. Of course, he had AJs and immediately flopped the nut flush.

I also lost $11 in a NL25 game I was playing at the same time when my KK got raised all-in. The flop looked like rags and I thought it was a set but I also thought it was a puny amount of money. I called and was looking at T7s, a totally decent hand to be calling raises with. The two pair held up.

Today I'm headed to Chicago after work to spend Mother's Day and in keeping with my general philosophy to not spend any part of the winter there, which pretty much means that I'm not in Chicago from November until May.

Well, it's May now. I doubt I'll seek out any of the suburban poker rooms such as Resorts or Trump in Indiana and instead will use the time to play online.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

"I can dodge bullets, baby!"

A funny scene at Full Tilt's NL.25/.50-6 max while I was writing the last post:

It's folded to the sb, who calls and I have KK in the bb. I raise pot to $1.50. He calls.

Flop is 752, all rags, I bet pot. He's all in. I roll my eyes and fold. He shows AA, prompting me to say the famous Phil Hellmuth line.

Yesterday I lost $200 in a NL $1/2 6-max game -- I was in the bb with J2o and it suddenly was to me for $2 more and everyone called. So I called. I flopped two-pair. I checked, let the utg bettor bet $5, raised him pot to $15, suddenly he's all-in. I call. He has KK and has to spike his K on the river to win. Didn't like losing $200 but was fine with it because I definitely had an advantage (although on the flop, KK has plenty of outs to make a better two-pair by the river).

I told Mark that it was the first time in a month that I had lost an entire buy-in. Part of it is having a good run. The other part is avoiding the obvious from noob toasters. Normally they cut and run to your bets. Now they're playing over the top? Sure, sometimes you may fold the better hand. But not all the time against these people.

Amarillo Slim always says "Guessers are losers" when it comes to gambling. Don't be the guesser. Know what you're paying for.

Cut and run

In the TV series, before the Galactica met up with Pegasus, it basically was on its own. It had no way of replacing lost Vipers, no spare parts other than what it had.

In the series, every time a Cylon basestar would show up fully loaded with raiders, the Galactica would send out its Viper squadrons to buy the fleet time to jump to safety.

Yet in a real model, faced with overwhelming numbers of the enemy, the right strategy would be to cut and run. Playing against a big stack only means you're going to get your smaller force whittled down. The Cylon losses would be insignificant because they can reload at any time. While you end up with less Vipers and a less effective fighting force. U.S. air war vs. Japan in World War II, for example.

I think of this in this offbeat way because in poker terms, it seems very similar. There are countless people playing above their bankroll, playing at a disadvantage, and yet it's still done.

I think of this because soon, I'd say by the end of the year, I'll have to purchase a new car. I'm going to commit a large chunk of my bankroll toward it and basically will be starting anew, or nearly anew.

The convenience of having a good-sized bankroll is that it allows you the flexibility of having multiple garrisons in multiple accounts at the same time plus, like in a previous post, being able to weather huge $2,000 downturns without being less effective.

I've never been accused of bonus whoring and booted from a site because I can just leave the money in that site after the bonus clears and ocassionally play there without having to worry about getting picked up by the bonuswhoring police.

I've been playing lower than my bankroll in recent months anyway. I haven't felt totally comfortable with mid-limit play online and I consistently can bag low-limit fish, especially on NL tables. Of course $2/4 NL has been plenty profitable for me and will be something I'll miss.

I haven't bought the car yet but have been playing like I have. I only have a few hundred dollars at my main sites: Full Tilt, William Hill, UK betting. The only site I have a regular garrison of money is at the WP.

But then playing becomes a matter of spare parts: Everything you lose cannot be replaced immediately (for those limits) and you will end up not playing as well unless you step down.

In the end, I'll likely end up committing less of my bankroll to deposit, possibly having enough to play at least NL$1/2 on a regular basis and working up from there. I could even end up getting a smaller, or cheaper, car, as most days I can just bike to work and the car just sits in a parking lot in urban Atlanta.

What's more important anyway, a car or a bankroll? I say bankroll.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

14 of 1056

Just finished up 14th in the 1,056 person $17,000 guarantee on Full Tilt. $172.34 from the $24+2 tourney with a $25,344 prize pool. John Juanda (87th place) and Huck Seed (31st place) played in it and I had a few hands with Huck Seed at one of my late tables.

More later. Mark received money (a big $29.20) in our 20 percent agreement! But I wish I could have made good on other promises: 1). I'd split any winnings over $1,000 with him (6th place or better) and 2). I'd pay him a reverse bounty of $100 if I knocked out Huck Seed. LOL

Sunday, May 07, 2006

So this is how Kobe felt...

...out in 281st place of the 944 player $200K guarantee tonight on Full Tilt. A hundred places paid.

There will be other times, maybe I have to build my experience in these large-field. Or maybe it is totally random.

On blogging

I've really bit my tongue these last few months (both easy and hard for a cat to do with long fang teeth, but teeth that have a huge gap) reading about how people should write their blogs.

As one of the few poker bloggers who makes a living writing, I have these thoughts.

1). Scurvy's thoughts are probably the best advice, and the only advice, that should be given -- write about what you like and write often. If it's interesting to you, it may be interesting to others. They'll stick around if they like what they see. Plus, the only way you'll get better at writing is by doing it often, undeterred by what other people think.

2). You don't listen to advice from non-poker professionals (you really don't, do you?) so why should you listen to blogging advice from amateurs? You should steer clear, especially if you see the way they play.

3). It doesn't matter what anybody else thinks. Having a blog is like singing in the shower -- you can write about whatever you like, only many people have access to it.

4). Stick to people who are constructive. I don't even read the blogs of those who try to tell me how I should write.

5). Harping about other people's blogs only means you're not playing poker like you should be. And why exactly is that?

Bubble again

Placed 86th of 847 in last night's $18,000 guaranteed on Full Tilt last night. I feel like I managed my chips the best I could -- I was down to 1,000 but doubled up twice and held my ground at 5,000 chips almost to the end.

My very last hand I called a raise in the bb with AKo -- when your M is less than 5, what other hand could you hope for? The early raiser had A8o and reverse dominated me with two pair. Eighty-first place would have been in the money.

Oh, well. Kitty said there would be days like these.

Friday, May 05, 2006

A matter of adjustments

"The important thing is the adjustments that a veteran player makes. They see a game, they play a game, and come back the second time and improve on their first game."
-L.A. Laker Coach Phil Jackson, on November game against the Denver Nuggets, Nuggets Web site

Going into Sunday's tourney on Full Tilt, I feel like my tourney play has been very good and bad of late. I've had pretty decent focus, up to a point. Twice I made final tables of small-field tournaments, was very close to winning a $216 satellite seat with a good lead, and I totally blew it.

First time came with a min-raiser with less chips than me. I called with QQ, big stack also called in the bb. Flop was all rags, I pushed all-in, hoping to get the big stack out. He did drop out, but the toaster min-raiser had KK.

Another time was late in a $69+6 WSOP 100 Seat tourney satellite. I called a raise that pretty much put me all in with just 1,000 chips left in the sb with K9s. What the fuck was I thinking? Raiser had KJo. Bounce, bounce and out.

I feel like I'm getting better at making moves, making laydowns for all but the final minute of my play. It's that final minute I'll have to keep in check.

I'm not going to say I'm going to have the perfect storm to victory. But I feel good about my consistency and will work hard to make sure I stay that way throughout a tournament.


I like the latest WPBT idea -- the next event involves twin $10 + 1 tourneys, play in both is needed for the standings. I mean, I'm going to be multi-tabling anyway, so it might as well be for the WPBT.

On the cash game side, things have been much better. No pressure to make moves dictated by increasing blinds. On a hunch, I bet 2x the pot in a 1/2GBP 6-max game in the Crypto system, hoping that a toaster made his frush. He was very frushy -- Q-high -- and he thought about it for four seconds before not wanting to be outplayed. My boat made me 380 GBP, or a $702 pot.

The conceit of monkeys

Me: I'll have to get a jar that's just a little bit bigger than the width of your hand so when you get a piece of candy it gets stuck to your hand, like in Aesop's Fables. Then try taking pictures.
Baze: You should know that I'm different from most monkeys.
Me: That's the conceit of all monkeys.

The night shifts from last week have horribly thrown me off my sleep schedule, so I've found myself wide-awake at 4:30 a.m. or so. I get 2-3 hours of sleep and then wake up for work like Kara Thrace coming off a bender.

I've put the sleepless time to good use, rereading the blackjack sections of David Sklansky's "Getting the Best of It." The book contains some essays on poker but he also spends time discussing the beatability of The Dark Arts, casino games from roulette to progressive slots.

Regarding poker, he notes that for good players, poker is the best casino game to play, but for bad players, poker is the worst.

Why? In most of the other games your edge (or disadvantage as the case may be) is very closely defined. But if you don't know much about poker, and perhaps NL games, the game quickly can skewer you.

I've been thinking about this and I think that the Sklansky wisdom easily applies to good players. We always think we're better than we actually are.

What does it take, then? Well, you could have talent, in the form of good card sense, good money management sense, good human reading sense.

Or you can do it through hard work and rise to the level of your incompetence, ala the Peter Principle.

But do we do what's necessary to eke out pokery success? Sometimes I wonder. For me, it's the same reason why I'm not some accomplished pianist, an uber-fast runner or even some kind of mad genius of poker. I do not have the focus and, even with the amount that I play, I certainly do not have the time in.

Whatever happened to "I'm a remain a soldier until the war is won," ala the Boondocks' theme song? We do not have the intensity, there's always something else to do, attention deficit disorder sinks in.

When it takes me a week to write a blog, I take that as a good sign. That means something's going on at work, I can't write then. That means both of my computers are on full-auto at home, cranking out hands, I can't write then.

There is no time to navel-gaze, to wonder if I'm going to succeed, to wonder if I'm going to take a break. If I want to take a break, I don't need to tell you. I'll pick up with you later.

The conceit of monkeys is that we think the rational side of ourselves knows better than the other thoughts that tend to keep track of reality much better. We think we can quit and start over over and over again without admitting we are losing focus in the process. Sure, Jordan went to play baseball and came back. But then he quit again and came back until time dictated he could never be as he once was.

When you know you can't get your hand out of the jar anymore, walk away. Don't keep trying to come back. Some don't ever realize they can't beat the jar and they never realize who the monkey is in the process.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The $182 blackjack bet and other things not good for the game

So today I was cruising along on autopilot, working off a William Hill casino bonus through 2 GBP ($3.65) bets at blackjack and when I looked up, an odd brown chip was in the center of play, instead of the two white chips that I'm used to.

I looked closer. It was a 100 GBP chip! Or $182.55!!!

I had accidentally clicked it insteead of "re-bet," which is above the betting chips and hit "Deal."

I've always wondered what it would be like to bet $100 a hand at the Bellagio's blackjack tables. Now I know.

At the very least, when the deal came I was relieved that I was dealt 18. Of course I hit "stand."

But the dealer drew to 19, and away the brown chip went.

I'd made mistakes before with 25 GBP chips ($45.63) but never like this.

What did I do? Go on tilt? Keep hitting 100 GBP chips until I was even?

No. I calmly selected 2 GBP chips and then kept playing out my bonus until the end.

In the end, I was down $100, which is fine for a category that I'm up $1,400 for the year in.

But I saw it as a test. If you choose to gamble, do so selectively and analytically. Don't succumb to your emotions to try to get even. You'll win the money back eventually. If you don't think about what you're doing, you're no better than a toaster.

Scurvy today mentions the plight of John Daly the golfer who is stuck at least $50 million over a decade of $5,000 slots in Las Vegas.

It's a terrible thing to learn. For one, are the casinos any better than toasters? Sure it's one thing to help the profit margin.

But news like this is terrible for the industry. The sheep they are skinning (you know, like Amarillo Slim's comment on toasters -- "You can shear a sheep many times, you can only skin him once") are future customers.

This kind of thing only adds to people's perceptions that gambling is a degenerate activity that leads to personal ruin. I bet the money they will lose by scaring away future business more than overwhelms the paltry millions they made off a pro golfer.

Casinos should be grateful for the poker boom. It's really one of the few things recently that has given the industry any legitimacy. If they can't manage their high-profile customers in the brick and mortars, then they in no way are ready to take the helm of online gaming here in the United States.

Cats play razz in their sleep

Even a monkey can hit a ground-rule double from time to time.
-my response to toasters

So Sunday night I was still wide awake and was going to bed but Mark pointed out there was a 3:30 a.m. razz freeroll. How can a cat resist?

So I jumped in there and was amazed at how little people know about razz or lowball starting hands (or even 7-Stud starting hands for that matter LOL) and poker theory in general.

Long after Mark busted out, poor ol' kuro was grinding it out with a decent lead -- like 54th out of maybe 150 or so.

It was 4:30 a.m. The birds were chirping outside already. A cat was plenty tired...

So I selected "sitting out" and went to sleep.

Later that afternoon when I woke up, I learned I placed 51st! Not playing, just being ante-d away, and Kuro gained position!! LOL Mark said ol' Kuro won a few all-ins at the very end.


So last night, it was the final table of a $24+2 satellite for the $200,000 Winners Choice tourney on Full Tilt and I completely made a blunder.

Six places provided $216 seats to the Winners Choice tourney and everyone at the final table would get money. There were eight people left and two of those people had $1,800 in chips each left. It was something like $150/300 blinds and $75 antes, so these people would be eaten away in no time.

I was pretty much assured a seat.

But then some toaster goes all in for $5,000 pre-flop and I'm sitting on the button with JJ.

I told myself three times "Don't do it, don't do it," but I hit call anyway.

Flop was QTx, turn a J for my set and his broadway str8. River was a dud.

I was crippled and out in eighth place, in the money but out a seat.

I had been so lucky just to make the final table (which paid out money or seats) -- With ten people left, I was a low stack and was facing all-in with 66 vs KJ. Flop was 8T8 Turn was a T, giving the other guy the better kicker, river was an 8.

But that didn't matter, as when the hand ended, we were all whisked away to the final table. Some guy at the other table with 9,000 chips decided that was a good time to bust out.

It was like the Galactica fleet jumping away to safety in the nick of time.

I have always been saying I'd rather have the money, as in three $216 seats I have nothing to show for it. But winning $43.20 instead of $216 when I had that seat all but wrapped up is totally bittersweet.

Those tourneys are so toastery though, I know I'll be back playing for a Winner's Choice tournament if I want.


The exciting thing at least is that Mark and I both are in the $200,000 guaranteed tournament Sunday night. We've both pledged to give the other one 10 percent of any money we make out of it. That's a good thing, as significant money can be a real bankroll builder for both of us.


Anyway, cat is plugging right along. Tripled up this morning in NL$100 on the WP, which made me nearly feel like I could take the rest of the day off. We'll see. I'm sure more play is in store.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Another $216 buy-in

So I placed 2nd in another $24+2 tonight, giving me entry in the $200+16 $200,000 guarantee next Sunday night.
I had crazy luck in this one after nearly blinding out! I won a race with AK and never looked back.
This donk donked off all his chips to me when I had a set and he had A high. Then I busted up two people when I made a CO raise. The sb went all in with AQ and the bb called. I reraised all-in with KK and they held up.
Not too excited about the entry this time around, but it would be nice to have that kind of luck again for some real money!!