Poker Cats

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Game time looms

I'm holding another game Friday, can't wait.

Btw, this is a good online reference for anyone wanting to know more about how to play the games in a mixed game format. It's the online version of Super/System2, which is pretty awesome.

Lost a buy-in in Matt's game last night, but came back to cash .30 (woo!) after scooping an Omaha8 hand with a straight to the 8.

We had 5-way all-in O8 triple-flop hand that was so crazy (and complicated to sort out) that it's been banned from my game and Matt's game from now on. Basicaly Ben won 1/2 the pot, Empire won 1/6 and Matt won 2/6...

All in a basket

"She's putting all her eggs in one basket," the elderly man says to the lady next to him after I crest L1 on my 5-mile Middlebear route, one of the best workouts in the city.

Instinctively I put my arm out in solidarity after I pass them. You can't live your life in the shallow end of the pool. You have to take chances, and when you do, you have to do it with overwhelming force.

I've been a subscriber to the Powell Doctrine when it comes to exercise -- I've run for 58 days in a row, and in the last 129 days, I've only missed seven days and logged 550.1 miles. I don't want to give myself any chance of slowing down or falling off the wagon.

I've added nighttime bike rides when I'm out to meet friends. Any chance I get to be active I'll take it.

I've been rewarded with dropping more than 20 pounds, all the while eating whatever the hell I want.

Of course, it helps to be biomechanically efficient. I've never had a major running injury and when I run, even on concrete, I hardly have any wear on the bottoms of my shoes, even after 500 miles. I run like a cat, so to speak.

I also have lots of experience -- I've been running since 10th grade. I know what to wear, how to breathe, when to conserve energy, and most importantly, when to fold'em.

I'm basically the running equivalent of a grinder. Day in, day out, it doesn't matter.

You can put all your eggs in that basket, just as long as you know what you're doing.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Another good outing

Yesterday's game was really fun. For such short notice, we were 8- and 9-handed for most of the evening.

Surflexus and his friend came to play and Vicky, another reporter, came to play as well as Matt, who hosts our regular game in Middle Tucker. I hope new players come to the game.

It was cool listening to the other games that Surf plays. It will be cool to get into the home game circuit and even play higher. But I like the $5 format of the Matt-Drew-cat home games that we have because it allows anybody to play.

Playwise, I was on the dark side of the moon regarding cards and the main pots that I won were won because of bluffs. I raised with the hammer in early position, got 4-way action but got folds on the turn when I bet it out.

Another time, later in the evening, I was heads-up with Matt in a 2-7 TD hand. I thought I had a 9-high early so I was pat. I didn't realize until after the third draw was finished that I had two 7s! So I made it $2 when Matt said that he had drawn an A. He folded and I showed my paired hand.

I ended up down about a half buy-in for the evening, Empire and Hal had nice cashes, though.

Many of us did pisco (a Chilean grape brandy that Mark introduced to us when he lived there) shots from an unopened bottle I found in my old apartment during the move and I had lots of Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat. It's funny because I typically don't drink when I'm playing poker elsewhere (I usually bring an insulated bag full of Diet Cherry Cokes), except for the odd tequila shot at Drew's.

So hopefully my game isn't spoiled too much when I'm having beer. I've found, though, that I usually run really well the day after drinking beer during a poker night. Maybe it's the carbs.

Also: Here's BrainMc's postmortem on the Tuesday game. And thanks for the pizza, Surf. We owe ya.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Avoiding laziness

"This won't be on any videos anytime soon," I said during Tuesday's home game.

Why? My play was really lazy. The CR offense be damned. No, instead, let's limp instead of raising, check-call, fold. How you like me now?

Only later I felt like I got into any kind of groove. Analyzing the strength of my hand in shorthanded or heads-up play was where I got my money.

Entering another game tonight and these points will be good to keep in mind.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A good game

So the second game at Poker Cats Arena was held yesterday, and I was really pleased with how it turned out.

BrainMc came to play, as well as the crew and a co-worker. Most times we were 7-handed, 6-handed at some times, and at the very end, it was Ben, Sham, Doug and I for four-handed.

The table worked out great, although at first it was a little daunting to deal out from the wing. That's one thing that you don't have to worry about in a casino with dealers.

I cashed out three more buy-ins, in part because of a big hand playing 2-7 TD -- I drew to an 8-5 after the first draw (drawing one card) and Sham drew three cards and abruptly pushed all-in. I didn't know for sure but I thought it would be really remote that he would get a 7-high from a 3-card draw. He had a 9.

When it was 4-handed, I called an all-in from short-stack Ben with A7o in the sb and won as well.

Empire had a nice outing as well. The cats had fun too, with Clonie jumping on the table before the cards were in the air and taking in the action.

Monday, February 19, 2007

The white elephant

I am now the proud owner of an official 10-seat poker table. Only thing is it takes up all kinds of space and is about as inconspicuous as a white elephant in my apartment.

Plus it needs Green Zone-style security to prevent the poker cats from attacking it when there are no cards to attack. The legs fold up, so it can be pushed against the wall.

But still, it's pretty awesome. It cost $140, much cheaper than the online prices ($179 was the best I could find) and I didn't have to pay shipping costs of about $60 by getting it at Dick's Sporting Goods.

In a casino, the table's size would accurately be described as a 7-Stud table. But there's no dealer's box and so you can fit about 10 people around it.

I guess in some ways, it's a little silly to have for a $5 buy-in game, but it's awesome to have now to provide authenticity to this more-than-a-hobby kind of hobby.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

A tabled decision

When I moved into my new apartment and entertained the thought of entertaining more, I told myself that I would NOT buy a fucking poker table.

So, on game day, I was in Target and bought a felt table-topper. You know, so the neighbors in my duplex wouldn't be bothered by the sound of clay chips hitting the surface of my kitchen table.

The Tuesday game was successful, even despite the six bottles of beer I guzzled that night. Nobody was really crowded around the table, the chips fit very nicely and the 6-bottle host was the only one to spill beer on the felt.

Yet ... the call of a regular-sized table still pulled at me. Part of it is the comfort of it all, resting my arms on the padded runners of tables at countless casinos for hours at a time.

I miss the old Emory Game, and gauging your opponents across a table, as opposed to crammed up right next to them in an octagon. Drew's poker night Friday actually also demonstrated that with short tables, people tend to overdeal by getting up and throwing cards down in a manner where you can see every card that is dealt out.

A tip that I learned from the Hux in Bluff magazine: Deal with the wrist. It's like throwing a frisbee. The cards are light so there's not really much of a need to put much force into it. Plus it's way nicer to see cards glide across the felt when dealt properly.

There seems to be some strange fascination with poker tables these days. My boss' boss, a very casual poker player, was just telling me about how he has plans for a table in the basement of the new house he wants to buy. The house comes with a pool table, he'll get a table-topper to cover it. When it comes to in-house entertainment centers, a poker table is the new pool table.

Anyway, I did some research online -- I didn't want anything fancy, just something like the old Emory Game -- a felted and padded oval with collapsable legs. Nothing made of rare wood, nothing in the shape of an octagon.

I found a few places and accepted the price, as well as the $60 for shipping.

But then I noticed that one of the online sites actually had a retail store a few miles away.

I enlisted Sham, who has an SUV, and we drove up there last night.

"What if some frat orcs buy the last five tables?" I asked out loud.

And when we got there, my fear became reality. That's exactly what happened.

"A group came in, they were having a party" and bought the store's last two tables, one of the store's managers said.

A poor cat and the mayor of Sham's Town had to walk away empty-handed.

But there are other stores in the area. Hopefully today I'll be able to pick one up, just in time for Tuesday's game.

But don't even think that I'll be lining the walls with plasma screen TVs that show stock information, games and even poker tournies ala the Bellagio or Tunica's Horseshoe.

Don't even fucking think about it.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Double flop, double pay

The three buy-ins I lost at my inaugural home game came back on Friday at Drew's, thanks to a slew of double flop overcallers and, indirectly, four tequila shots.

In those cases, I usually locked up one of the boards and raised when there were three other callers. I guess there could have been a quartering of the pot, but most times it just felt like the raise-callers were throwing in dead money, and that was the case.

There was another agonizing huge hand when I had a K-high flush on an Omaha-high double flop board. Brandie called me, and I was expecting the A-high flush. But she made a 10-high one on the same board. I had a pair of 3s on the other board to scoop.

The online tables were nice -- at most parts of the evening I was playing two NL tables on 'Stars and three on Full Tilt. I ended up increasing my non-replaceable 'roll on those systems, which is always nice.

I have to prepare the evite for Tuesday's game at home at the Cat Center.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Weird

While donking around on a NL$10 table on Full Tilt during breakfast I was dealt AA three times in a row. Only wish it was while at a $2/4 NL table though.

So QVC

We are still in the desert.
-Jarhead

Uncharacteristically I'm up at 3 a.m., using the time to take on any fish trying to burn off Valentine's Day, at 'Stars, Full Tilt and, Bocat.

I've seen my share of surprises, my King-high flush with KK turn to dust with a gutshot wheel straight flush with 43o. Or my set of tens-turned-boat lose to a KK overboat on the river. Variance for you.

I think I'm up late because of the also-uncharacteristic full nights' sleep I received the night before, plus a cocoon-induced 3-hour afternoon nap (it's been pretty cold outside) that forced me to run in the evening. My face felt numb and my hands were cold, despite the lightweight armor that Nike knows how to make.

I caught bits and pieces of average movies. Something with Debra Messing and Dermot Mulroney. The start of King Kong, which was pretty boring, despite Jack Black and Naomi Watts (spectacular blue eyes like pearls) in it. The end of Jarhead.

More and more I'm liking the new place. This evening I walked across the intersection to Moe's and Joe's for a take-out burger, where they were having trivia, while I read parts of Robert Baer's See No Evil. (What person gets the most valentines on Valentine's Day? Teachers. What does QVC stand for? Quality. Value. Convenience).

This apartment is so QVC.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Home game success

I'm happy to report the success of the home game. Sham really cleaned up even though he came late. I lost three buy-ins but I guess it's all good for the game. LOL.

No real tricky hands but it's usually good to fold to major raises on the river in Omaha.

Looks like we'll have another one next week. Can't wait to host another...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Thank you, toasters

Yay! BSG will get picked up for a fourth season! That'll preserve the Sunday lineup and give me something to watch once the excellent Rome series finishes.

I was debating not having cable for the new place, but I feel like the living room would be an empty shell without it.

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As I was moving this past weekend, my folks came down from the way colder clime of Chicago to take in a flower show and see other sights. It was nice to have them visit and a good reminder for me to get to Chicago soon as well.

Monday, February 12, 2007

The mother of invention

After the move, my living room was filled full of furniture. But BSG and Rome were on and when there's a will, there's a way...

Anyway, it was great to be on the couch, watching Rome and BSG last night. Clearing the living room made the new place, well, livable, and I really like making the move from my previous expensive shoebox.

I'm trying to have a little home game ($5 buy-in) tomorrow. It will be good to keep the skills up, keep learning new things as the online world drops off.

Friday, February 09, 2007

OK, I'll wait all day

It didn't take long to make some easy money on Full Tilt and 'Stars, thanks to the CR offense, hatred of short stacks and a little luck...

PokerStars Game #8354654124: Hold'em No Limit ($0.25/$0.50) - 2007/02/09 - 12:46:54 (ET)
Table 'Grus V' 6-max Seat #4 is the button
Seat 1: Tigey ($17.30 in chips)
Seat 2: mustang97 ($25 in chips)
Seat 3: kurokitty ($49.95 in chips)
Seat 4: steinyD1 ($47.45 in chips)
Seat 5: shankon13 ($36.35 in chips)
Seat 6: buskerns ($46 in chips)
shankon13: posts small blind $0.25
buskerns: posts big blind $0.50
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to kurokitty [6h As]
Tigey: calls $0.50
mustang97: calls $0.50
kurokitty: raises $1.50 to $2
steinyD1: folds
shankon13: folds
buskerns: calls $1.50
Tigey: folds
mustang97: calls $1.50
*** FLOP *** [Ac 6c 5h]
buskerns: checks
mustang97: checks
kurokitty: bets $5
buskerns: calls $5
mustang97: raises $5 to $10
kurokitty: raises $13 to $23
buskerns: calls $18
mustang97: calls $13 and is all-in
*** TURN *** [Ac 6c 5h] [Kd]
buskerns: checks
kurokitty: bets $21
buskerns: calls $21 and is all-in
*** RIVER *** [Ac 6c 5h Kd] [Ad]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
buskerns: shows [8c Kc] (two pair, Aces and Kings)
kurokitty: shows [6h As] (a full house, Aces full of Sixes)
kurokitty collected $42 from side pot
mustang97: mucks hand
kurokitty collected $72.75 from main pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $117.75 Main pot $72.75. Side pot $42. | Rake $3
Board [Ac 6c 5h Kd Ad]
Seat 1: Tigey folded before Flop
Seat 2: mustang97 mucked [5s 5d]
Seat 3: kurokitty showed [6h As] and won ($114.75) with a full house, Aces full of Sixes
Seat 4: steinyD1 (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 5: shankon13 (small blind) folded before Flop
Seat 6: buskerns (big blind) showed [8c Kc] and lost with two pair, Aces and Kings

The boredom of it all

I'm in my new apartment waiting for the cable guy to show up. The main part of the move is tomorrow, but I needed to bring my TV and my DVR so it could get hooked up to the lifeblood of society.

I could have at least brought a chair. LOL.

It's pretty clear sitting here that I don't have nearly the storage that I had at my old apartment. But in terms of living space, this one is bigger and cheaper and in a great location.

The first few poker books that I brought over are NLHE, SSHE, Theory, Book of Tells, Harrington's volumes and the Biggest Game in Town. I have four decks of Kems, a deck of reliably good plastic coated cads I bought in the French Quarter before Katrina and a host of random paper decks (including the set that Kelley gave to me in Las Vegas).

Most likely any games will be here in the living room where the TV is, but I could also see games in the Red Room, which is my kitchen (the girl who lived here before painted it that way). It's almost like that room was made for poker, since there are nice nails in the walls already that will support my huge chip display frames.

I'm going to troll around and see what I can find re: games online right now. But I just want to get this cable thing over with.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Building a game

"I keep my promises, Mr. Arora. A card laid is a card played."
-Cobb County Superior Court Judge James Bodiford


Doubled up last night while watching 24. Flopped a set in a 6-max game and the toaster was on a str8 draw. He actually made a flush on the river but I had paired up for a boat on the turn.

Thank you, Lee Jones.

I'm moving tomorrow to the Virginia-Highland neighborhood. Since it's in a more social setting, I'm hoping to be more of a host -- and that includes hosting a $5 or $10 buy-in game.

Can't wait. I have the 4-color deck of Copags that Mark sent me. And my 1,000-chip set.

Best thing -- I don't have to go anywhere and if no one comes, there's always online play.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Humvee down

Four buy-ins up at the home game this year, finally lost one when my JJ lost to KK played by a low AF player in late position. Basically, he just called my bets and did not rr me pf.

Turnout last night was really good, seven people. I like how everybody likes and is used to the mixed game format -- we get in PLO, O8, 2-7 TD and even Badugi.

The low AF guy actually won a PLO pot with unraised AAxx that must have been 6- or 7-way. It was amazing.

These days, I have a mixed sense of where poker is going. But maybe it will continue to be popular even when the online systems are being blocked off.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Like any other Tuesday

MARIETTA, Ga. -- Greetings from Marietta Square. It's an odd thing, chance and all, that of all the restaurants in the square to choose from, I select an obscure Chinese place that also happens to have the defendants of a murder trial I'm covering today, planning strategery with their counsel.

Otherwise, today is like any other Tuesday. I've been busy with the impending move to think very much about poker, other than to note that Scurvy had a good post recently about not using your primary checking account for gamblo-related things. Man, the wind has really been taken out of this fad.

Looking forward to the Carolina/Duke game on Wednesday. I'm not expecting fireworks since Carolina dropped a game to 'State recently, but it's always nice to eke out a win at Cameron.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

So much for value

I still think there was value in betting on Chicago, +7. Oh, well. I guess that's why we play poker. LOL.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Life After Caprica

Ambitious people force their will on others,
But content people are already wealthy.
-Tao Te Ching

The post-USS Neteller world to me is a lot like the situation on BSG -- the fleeing Galactica fleet is always having to make do with what it has, with little chance of replacing lost equipment, particularly Vipers.

Yet it still has to fight. I feel this way every time I log onto 'Stars or Full Tilt. The troops in these systems largely are on their own. Without easy and reliable ship-to-shore deposit methods, I'd say a loss on these isolated systems is worth about five times what it used to be.

That said, I'm still playing -- and finding value -- in games. Like a certain Gnome, I've found value in heads-up matches and extreme shorthanded play (I wish the sites would give you bonus points like on UB for starting tables).

This week has been pretty fun. I got to hang out with a former colleague from Little Rock who got stranded on Thursday because of the airport's infamous weather delays. Took him to Manuel's, which is where I love taking anyone from out of town. Dude is easily 6-feet 6, so the two of us were looking like something out of Fafrd and the Grey Mouser.

Despite the crunch in the online 'verse, there's still plenty of evidence that poker is popular -- and there are plenty of toasters who don't know how to play it.

As an example, that boss' boss' friend's game that Doug and I missed, it seems clear that those people don't really play much and/or don't really know how to play. I listened to stories about a guy who folded 9Ts to a pf raise and implications that AT is a monster. Can't wait to get in the mix here.

Empire and Brigid came over to watch some South Park on DVR when two of my neighbors, who know that I play cards, asked me if we wanted to play cards. We didn't at the time but I'll have to hit them up later on. Especially since one of the dudes is a cardiologist.

One of the things that I'm constantly trying to be vigilant about is to make sure that I seem like someone who gives action. By seeming too tight in small bets, whether they are props or even just silly games, you could be passing up opportunities for huge equity in much larger bets down the road.

Sure I'll play in these small home games. I'll act like a donk, pull some tricks (like showing 82o after everyone folds to a pf raise) but generally I'll be waiting for that great opportunity. If you act too tightly, people will pick up on it (because their radar can't pick up anything else) and that's going to shut off choice chances down the road.

It's life after Caprica, dude. There may be no resupply. So use all of your weapons carefully for the best effect.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

An uncoordinated cat

What happens when cats are uncoordinated? They fall off of things...

Full Tilt Poker Game #1714749260: Table Greenbrook - $0.50/$1 - No Limit Hold'em - 19:18:43 ET - 2007/02/01
Seat 1: McGhee8500 ($36.70)
Seat 2: MrsBudweiser ($77.50)
Seat 3: hunter73 ($97.50)
Seat 4: illelm ($73.05)
Seat 5: BPetro ($121)
Seat 6: kurokitty ($100)
Seat 7: tattoo55 ($43.20)
Seat 8: seaoharewhy ($97.85)
Seat 9: jrw43 ($31)
MrsBudweiser posts the small blind of $0.50
hunter73 posts the big blind of $1
The button is in seat #1
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to kurokitty [Ah Kd]
illelm folds
BPetro folds
kurokitty raises to $4
tattoo55 calls $4
seaoharewhy folds
jrw43 calls $4
BPetro stands up
McGhee8500 folds
WHOSEyoDADDY adds $60
MrsBudweiser folds
hunter73 folds
*** FLOP *** [Qh Ad Jd]
kurokitty bets $9
tattoo55 calls $9
jrw43 raises to $27, and is all in

Cat??? I didn't like the fact that tattoo55, just called because he appeared to be a tight player. jrw43 was a 90 percent VP$IP, so he could have anything...

I probably should not have bet here since I had two people behind me. I wanted to see if I could get the tight player out of the way so it would be me and the toaster.

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In other news, cat made some nice money against a semi-toaster on 'Stars NL$200. I had AQs utg and got called by JJ in the bb. He check raised me when flop was Qxx, 2 spades giving me a monster. I put him all-in and he called and I made the nut on the turn.

A rescued bet

Chalk another one up to the lucky penny. I just discovered that my free $20 futures bet on Chicago winning the Super Bowl is still live in my Bocat account (it made the transfer over when BetWWTS sold their US accounts to Bocat). That'll give me $200 for nothing if they manage to win.

My other free $20 bet was on New England winning the Super Bowl. Man. If they just made it, I would have been guaranteed a free $150 no matter what.

Even though I already bet on Chicago, I guess I should arbitrage the free Chicago bet to make sure I win money no matter the outcome.

The ice storm cometh

I can hear the chilly rain falling down outside my apartment right now. The looming ice storm is what prevented Doug and I from going to the next county over to play at our boss' boss' friend's game. Maybe it would have been fun.

Instead, we went to a Chinese restaurant with Empire and Brigid and then settled down to teach him Settlers of Catan, which I won.

I came home and then won two more Catan (also called Xplorers) games online. I played briefly at some tables on 'Stars and Full Tilt.

I should be trying to make money, not play free games!

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Yesterday, btw, Bocat sent me an e-mail saying I was eligible for the free Live Credit. Yay!