Thursday, May 31, 2007

Priorities, man

Tripled up in a PLO table in early evening trading and won a lowly $10 SNG when K Rose called me and I had to hang up the action.

She said when she was 20 (three years ago, gulp) she unplugged her then-boyfriend's computer when he was playing poker online and they got into a fight.

I hope I'm never that into poker. I mean, did the dude have eyes? lol

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The T-shirt that pays for itself

Started a brand-new shirt last night, a shirt from the Chattanooga Lookouts baseball team and it performed marvelously, nearly giving me 3 buy-ins in profit in last night's "away" game in Middle Tucker.

I realized I was playing too many hands (barely turned away 3,4,J,Q single-suited in Badugi) and hunkered down. The CR offense gave me some chips after I raised pf with AQ in hold'em and then bet out a flop of KTx. Doug just called and the turn was a J, giving me Broadway.

Also finally put an end to Josh's uber-chip run over the last few weeks _ I had A,4,8,8, single-suited in O8 and flopped an A with a nut flush draw. I raised a flop bet and he called, I bet it out when I made the nut flush on the turn with a 3 and he went all in. River was a 5, giving me a scoop with a wheel for the low and the nut flush for the top.

Monday, May 28, 2007

A real addiction

Whenever someone says I'm addicted to playing poker, I know they are wrong because of how different I am playing video games.

I don't play video games too often, but when I do, I'll sit there for hours upon hours at a time, even days, until my contacts become dried out and the cats come whining about wanting to be fed.

I think I tried to land an ARC-170 Starfighter inside a CIS capital ship about 20 times yesterday, with mixed success. Time flew by!

Video game playing is a REAL addiction. Don't confuse the two with your n00b diagnosis.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

A busted mouse, a blonde, Battlefront

My poor HP mouse, once indestructible, was the latest casualty of poker. It finally gave up the ghost after I threw it Friday when I went something incredible like 0-13 in SNGs, bubbling to outrageous beats like Presto made on the turn against my TPTK AQ.

Of course Presto never misses. It's like insurgents blowing you up with your own C4, though. Our weapon, not theirs.

Also for the first time in a while lost some small fan bets in games: Tim Hudson for the Braves in Thursday night's game, Spurs +2 against the at-home Utah Jazz and, the one I wasn't expecting, Liddell (-170) vs. Jackson, who TKO'd him with a chop to the right chin in an early round in the UFC last night.

Can't win 'em all.

Yesterday was pleasant, however, as I caught an afternoon game (Phillies-Braves) at Turner Field with my friends and, um, my financial adviser. It's cool that I found her at random but have since really clicked well with the blonde. Mysteriously enough, K Rose called me at 2 a.m. as if she could sense something was up.

My visit to The Man of electronics yesterday yielded a cordless laser mouse that just plugs into a USB port and worked immediately, and Star Wars: Battlefront II as an impulse buy. I've only had time to do the training missions so far, but it's pretty fucking cool to be a Clone Trooper.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Being a good host

Yesterday, I was pretty much in a groove, low on chips, (<$10) yet not wanting to be a dick and buying for, say, 5 to 10 buy-ins more just so I could stack the big stack when the moment came.

Why? I was trying to be a good host.

It's one thing to be in true toaster-killer mode and another to look toward the long-term. I want my game to be fun and friendly, although I do want to make money every time I sit down there.

It's been an interesting thing for me. Experience says you keep enough money at the table when you can to cover the big stack, but there's been some reticence among some of the better players to do so.

Caps are so limiting. It's no-limit, remember.

Be that as it may, you'll often see me calling plain 'ol NLHE if players are busting out multiple times on games like O8 or Badugi.

Why? As host I want to slow down the pace a little and not have inexperienced players bust out each time a high-variance game is dealt.

I'll also just deal hold'em if there are players who are new to the game. The other games are fun (Dorie picked up badugi pretty quickly and nearly always calls it on her deal), but I don't want people to think poker is complicated or they have to learn too much on their own.

With that, I found last night that things take care of their own. I made a str8 in the sb with 43o and tripled up against a 4-flush draw from Surf and TP 7 from emac.

And then Sham dealt me Presto, which hit against Doug's bluff attempt with the hammer.

So I ended up more than a buy-in for the night, despite not doing everything I could to do so. It also helped that both of my fan bets (Braves, +113 and Spurs, -6.5) came through last night, making me as much profit as the biggest stack in the game! lol.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Thinking of a faster plan

I'm thinkin of a master plan/
I get money but I'm thinkin of a fasta plan/
I'm trying to cash it in/
I got five in the garbage can and the Wrap Saran/
I need a cash advance...
-Lil' Wayne

This afternoon, thanks to a reminder from Gnome that 'Stars' deposit bonus expires today just before midnight, I found myself at a Hispanic grocery to make my deposit via Moneygram. You just follow the instructions, and it was deposited by the time I got home. I did have to send support an e-mail asking about the bonus.

Even when sleeping, a suckout

So I'm at a casino and I get all my chips in an Omaha hand with AAxx. Flop comes, 33x, and the toaster turns over a mishmash of trash cards that include a 3.

My heart sinks.

But then an A comes on the turn and I am clenching my fists and screaming at the top of my lungs. Yeah!

The tuxedoed dealer scoops up a pile of gold coins and jewelry and I try to keep it in my hands as I wander my way to the cashier.

Damn, it was just a dream but still nice to make the nuts on the turn.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Ridiculous hand of the day

.50 for $16.90? OK.

Full Tilt Poker Game #2472680562: Table Harmon - $0.25/$0.50 - Pot Limit Hold'em - 22:18:37 ET - 2007/05/20
Seat 1: birchwood lakes ($50)
Seat 2: graham025 ($23.30)
Seat 3: kurokitty ($50)
Seat 4: bad call sue ($18.45)
Seat 5: ShawnCash ($25.40)
Seat 6: DOCFORD ($33.40)
Seat 7: KING DAVIGNON ($18)
Seat 8: adsfasd ($20)
Seat 9: jpeje ($17)
ShawnCash posts the small blind of $0.25
DOCFORD posts the big blind of $0.50
kurokitty posts $0.50
adsfasd posts $0.50
birchwood lakes posts $0.50
The button is in seat #4
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to kurokitty [Ts 7d]
KING DAVIGNON raises to $1
adsfasd calls $0.50
jpeje folds
birchwood lakes calls $0.50
graham025 calls $1
kurokitty calls $0.50
bad call sue folds
ShawnCash folds
DOCFORD calls $0.50
*** FLOP *** [8d 7c 3s]
DOCFORD checks
KING DAVIGNON bets $1.50
adsfasd folds
birchwood lakes calls $1.50
graham025 calls $1.50
kurokitty calls $1.50
DOCFORD calls $1.50
*** TURN *** [8d 7c 3s] [8h]
DOCFORD checks
birchwood lakes checks
graham025 bets $0.50
kurokitty calls $0.50
DOCFORD calls $0.50
KING DAVIGNON calls $0.50
birchwood lakes calls $0.50
*** RIVER *** [8d 7c 3s 8h] [3d]
DOCFORD checks
birchwood lakes checks
graham025 bets $0.50
kurokitty calls $0.50
KING DAVIGNON calls $0.50
birchwood lakes folds
*** SHOW DOWN ***
graham025 shows [4h 4d] (two pair, Eights and Fours)
kurokitty shows [Ts 7d] (two pair, Eights and Sevens)
kurokitty wins the pot ($16.90) with two pair, Eights and Sevens
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $17.75 | Rake $0.85
Board: [8d 7c 3s 8h 3d]
Seat 1: birchwood lakes folded on the River
Seat 2: graham025 showed [4h 4d] and lost with two pair, Eights and Fours
Seat 3: kurokitty showed [Ts 7d] and won ($16.90) with two pair, Eights and Sevens
Seat 4: bad call sue (button) didn't bet (folded)
Seat 5: ShawnCash (small blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 6: DOCFORD (big blind) folded on the River
Seat 7: KING DAVIGNON mucked [Ad Qs] - two pair, Eights and Threes
Seat 8: adsfasd folded on the Flop
Seat 9: jpeje didn't bet (folded)

H-U poker semifinal

Nothing's so fetching as a bruised ego on a beautiful angel
-Grindhouse, Death Proof

You lost today, kid, but you don't have to like it.
-Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Omg, I don't think I've ever seen anything hotter than Shannon Elizabeth after she lost the NBC Heads-Up Poker Championship semifinal to Paul Wasicka. It was televised today so I got to see it while at work.

He basically made runner-runner straight with his TT after she flopped a Q with AQs. It devastated her mentally and she was never able to recover. Before that, she was totally outplaying him. I hope she sucks it up, like the rest of us do when we lose, and continues to work on her game. You could tell just by watching her actions she doesn't have the hundreds of thousands of hands down that Wasicka and the rest of us have.

At the end, when she had to stand there and watch Shana Hiatt interview Wasicka, she looked like pissed-off-hot-girl, looking down at the ground, looking back up at him.

I'm really glad to be alive to catch that moment. Last week K Rose was pissed off at me for two days, one of them she spent trying to ignore me but she was still sending me terse two word replys. I went into over-the-top optimist mode, mainly to make fun of her as I am want to do but also thinking I'm really screwed if she ever made professional issue over the hundreds of e-mails we fire off to each other weekly.

But the pissed off girl came around, things seem better than before and she sent me a picture, ostensibly to show off her new puppy but maybe subconsciously to say "This is how hot I am. You WILL obey."

And I do, I do. Anyway, long story short, I hope Shannon Elizabeth comes around. I wish she had used her smiling personality to dismantle Wasicka but it was an incredible range of powerful emotion when she was simmering and hurt. It touched a nerve, since that's how personal poker can be.

Maui Jims

Love how Shannon Elizabeth is wearing Maui Jims at the NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship.

The look like they are brown tints in the Pali style. Cat has the Ka'anapalis in black tint.

The Poker Prof has good pics here.

Boxed. (Was it ever in doubt?)

Date placed:
May 18, 2007 5:41p

Date settled:
May 20, 2007 12:10a
Single # 75464240
Boxing - Lines (Game)Moneyline
(17) Jermain Taylor-850 Sat@10:45p

Final Scores
Jermain Taylor1
Cory Spinks0


My boss' boss said this was a gimme. Of course, in Vegas, the line was -850, meaning you had to put up a chunk of change to make something. But to me it looked like an 11 percent short-term CD. I thought about leaving my winnings in Vegas as an easy way of having someone hold the cash I would use for the blogger trip in June.

But I didn't. I thought well, I could always come back and use Bocat. But that site had a $500 max.

So my earning potential was less. I kind of sweated it out, but I guess it was never really in doubt. The venue was in Memphis so Taylor would have lots of supporters. No way he would lose this one.

And like a 11 percent CD, this bet has matured. Thanks boss' boss!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Min betting

I wonder how much money has been wasted on people min betting the flop in early. When I see it, even if I don't have a good hand, I'll usually throw in a pot-sized, or near-pot-sized raise.

That nearly always results in a fold.

A push

So on the very last hand at Drew's, I busted out with a 6,5,3,2 badugi versus Josh's 2,3,4,5 Badugi. I kept looking at it like, how the fuck is a straight better than a 6-high, but them's the rules. Maybe I'll have to create a 2-6 variant of Badugi. It's why I always prefer 2-7 TD instead of A-5 TD.

It sort of was my fault, since I pushed all in when I made my draw with a 3 into a pot that was no more than $5. I could have gotten away from the hand if Josh raised me, I imagine he just would have called.

It's part of the risk, though. Against a table of weak players, I'll stay up all night because it's +EV. Sometimes you bust. More often, you don't.

So I lost $5 for the night (although my stack was upwards of $12 or $13). It was a push, since I washed three loads of laundry at Drew's and was able to dry two of them (would have costed me $5 at my coin laundry). Drew is an awesome host.

Friday, May 18, 2007

A home game (plus laptop plus laundry)

MIDDLE TUCKER, Ga. -- I'm sitting here, pretty fucking full given that I just ate half a pizza. Elsewhere, there are chips on the table and everyone else is sitting in the living room or going for a smoke.

It's a home game, but a really more relaxed one. Everything about it reminds me of higher games -- the Emory game, for example, but it's just a $5 buy-in. It's just as fun.

Tonight I've had some good hands, made a straight with 2346 on an O8 hand and got paid all-in. I had TPTK with AJ against Ben's TP, K kicker. Also made queens full of aces in another O8 hand. My Broadway cards were only good enough for Omaha high, but I'll take it.

The pots are getting full of chips. Maybe a lot more action than my $5 home game.

I told Drew I couldn't make it because I had to do laundry. Lots of shirts, all of the starters from Las Vegas. And about a week's worth of other clothes.

So I'm doing the laundry here. LOL.

Afternoon trading (with a horseshoe)

This afternoon I played in a gazillion SNGs at the same time on Full Tilt, hitting my Presto twice on two different SNGs and getting all-in action on both to give me a nice lead and even once having to push with 22 3-handed against 88 and KK and making a set on the flop and quads on the turn.

When the dust cleared, I:

--won an 18-player Tier 2 $24+2 (although 5 places received $75 tokens and the sixth received cash
--won another $75 token in a $24+2 9 player SNG
--Placed 3rd in a $24+2 Tier 2 SNG for $66 cash
--Placed 2nd in a $20+2 SNG for $54
--Placed 2nd in a $20+2 SNG for $54

I came close but placed 2nd in a super satellite for the $100+9 satellite for the Full Tilt Main Event on Sunday
I also totally came apart and placed 4th in a $69+6 SNG for Event 8 seats (three places paid).

So not a total horseshoe but I'm up for the day in afternoon trading.

Why ginormous burgers are +EV (Field trip to Ann's)

Instead of heading straight home to the tables yesterday, took a trip through horrible stop-and-go cross-town traffic to meet up with co-workers at Ann's Snack Bar, which has been touted by the Wall Street Journal as having the best burgers in America.

It definitely was quite an experience.

First off, it's a restaurant in the older part of town and its "snack bar"-style smacks back to the 1940s. There are eight stools, and you'd better be sitting in them, because otherwise, you're going to be sitting outside in the patio that juts out into the parking lot.

"Go outside," Ann tells a duo of black guys who try to go in.

Later, when I'm sitting in the stools inside, I see what's afoot. Ann is making giant burgers on her grill, huge patties (two go on a single burger), while a sign above states specific rules like DO NOT LEAN ON THE COUNTER. You also can't sit or stand your baby on the lunch counter, or be cussin'.

A couple comes in.

"Go outside," she shoos them away.

The lady comes back in, telling Ann she's just getting something to go.

"I can't take your order until I finish these," Ann says back, making me fear the lady will be ejected, like the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld.

We get the burgers. The "Ghetto Burger" is two huge, well-seasoned patties topped with American cheese, with onions, lettuce and tomato on a huge bun. The combo comes with a styrofoam container of fries.

Since our order was to go, we also got a 32-ounce styrofoam cup full of ketchup.

If anyone wonders why I was sluggish online later on, this is why. It also saved me $25 to $50 because I missed the chance to bet on the Bulls (-1) while I was resting and relaxing with my friends after taking down the burger. The Pistons won by 10.

That's why burgers are +EV. LOL.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Presto no good

Donking around at a NL$50 table last night on Full Tilt, I got this guy with 99 to get all his chips in (half-stack) on the flop when I hit my Presto.

Turn was a 9.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Seven random things about me

I didn't realize I had been tagged by Gnome and Scurvy! Normally i ignore these kinds of chains, but here goes:

1). I have extremely quick reflexes, I can usually catch things that tumble off of tables without even having a good line of sight on them. Gnome is faster at air hockey though.

2). I run like a cat. The bottoms of my running shoes after 500 miles have hardly any wear on the soles, even though I run everyday on concrete.

3). I believe in miracles. I've walked away from a 60 mph crash on Interstate 40 in North Carolina vs. concrete. No one in the car was wearing seatbelts. My namesake, my would-have-been uncle, drowned in the Merced River near Yosemite when he was 13 and I've always thought he's always looked out after our family (my other uncle routinely piloted American Airlines' Flight 11 from Boston to LAX but didn't happen to be flying on Sept. 11). My parents made sure I was a really fucking strong swimmer.

4). Every time I face the Pacific (whether from Cali or the Far East), I always put my hands in the ocean.

5). Every time I board a plane I touch the rivets and the outer skin as when Geordi La Forge and Data inspected the warp drive ship in Star Trek: First Contact.

6). I have an unbroken streak of trips in Europe where someone at some point in the trip stops me and asks for directions.

7). One of my favorite images ever was looking out the window at a Japan Airlines pilot inspecting his Boeing 747 before taking we took the all-night flight from Narita to LAX. It demonstrated to me a dedication to his craft, a relationship between human and flying machine.

Big blind special

I didn't even realize until the turn that I had a boat instead of trips...

Full Tilt Poker Game #2435561740: Table El Parque - $0.25/$0.50 - No Limit Hold'em - 0:27:15 ET - 2007/05/16
Seat 4: pdg1514 ($34.60)
Seat 5: JOHNNY BULLOCK ($25.65)
Seat 6: lisalovespoker ($29.35)
Seat 8: FF_Gabe ($10.35)
Seat 9: kurokitty ($49.25)
FF_Gabe posts the small blind of $0.25
kurokitty posts the big blind of $0.50
5 seconds left to act
pdg1514 posts a dead small blind of $0.25
The button is in seat #6
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to kurokitty [7s 3s]
pdg1514 calls $0.50
JOHNNY BULLOCK calls $0.50
BuyTheBook sits down
BuyTheBook adds $20
lisalovespoker folds
BuyTheBook is sitting out
BuyTheBook has returned
FF_Gabe calls $0.25
kurokitty has 15 seconds left to act
kurokitty checks
*** FLOP *** [3c 7h 7c]
FF_Gabe checks
kurokitty bets $2.25
pdg1514 calls $2.25
FF_Gabe folds
*** TURN *** [3c 7h 7c] [Th]
kurokitty bets $6.75
pdg1514 raises to $13.50
kurokitty raises to $46.50, and is all in
pdg1514 calls $18.10, and is all in
kurokitty shows [7s 3s]
pdg1514 shows [7d Ah]
Uncalled bet of $14.90 returned to kurokitty
*** RIVER *** [3c 7h 7c Th] [5d]
kurokitty shows a full house, Sevens full of Threes
pdg1514 shows three of a kind, Sevens
kurokitty wins the pot ($66.95) with a full house, Sevens full of Threes
pdg1514 is sitting out
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $69.95 | Rake $3
Board: [3c 7h 7c Th 5d]
Seat 4: pdg1514 showed [7d Ah] and lost with three of a kind, Sevens
Seat 5: JOHNNY BULLOCK folded on the Flop
Seat 6: lisalovespoker (button) didn't bet (folded)
Seat 8: FF_Gabe (small blind) folded on the Flop
Seat 9: kurokitty (big blind) showed [7s 3s] and won ($66.95) with a full house, Sevens full of Threes

Late trading

The $5 home game tonight was actually an "away" game -- Matt was having it in Middle Tucker. I got unlucky in a hand and bought in for some more chips, went down, then came back up in a badugi where I gave up KK, kept 52 and then got rainbow 37 to win a hand against Doug.

I dropped $2.40 with the Bally's shirt starting (1-1). I doubled up on a Full Tilt NL25 table that I was playing and then won a nice bet with Tim Hudson (Moneyline, -200) starting for the Braves.

(Breaking News: I finally am the recipient of a nice suckout -- I'm playing a NL$300 table at Bodog and I call a min raise in the bb with JT. Flop is AJT, villain bets $7, I make it $28, he's all-in. I insta-call and he shows AT, for aces up. I get J on river and stack him! I also win a nice pot when utg bettor bets flop with 4-flush draw, I call with my A8s, he checks turn and on river I half-pot it when an 8 comes, he folds).

Dinner was at the table -- my financial adviser called me up and said she had 5 pounds of ribs that she made for a cookout Sunday at her place when me and Sham were in Vegas. (Sham's long-awaited and well-written trip report of Day 1 is here). Unfortunately most of my pals are vegetarian so I was the only one munching on them, although Empire is a switch-hitter and had one for the road. lol

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


...on the seventh time I hit my Presto at a Bodog NL$300 table!

Presto slump

My Presto hands have not hit the last six times...

A John Smoltz decision

Before I left town, I was just flipping through a newsletter from Atlanta Community Food Bank and was reading this cheesy profile (lede sentence: "Many would say, 'To know him is to love him.'") of Atlanta Braves star pitcher John Smoltz.

It talked about his contributions to the food bank and the time he donated. What caught my eye was that he also makes a donation to the food bank for every strikeout in the regular season.

So I've vowed to do the same for each player I felt, in live games and online. This weekend in Vegas I felted five people and will be cutting a check today. I hope other players think about doing the same, especially since it's good to donate back to the community.

The first place I'm making a donation to is The Carter Center. Professionally, the former president has a terrible relationship with the media and he told me once in a news conference that he would answer my question later and totally dodged it and in my eyes when you say you're going to do something you should actually do it.

But I feel that the center does good things for people around the world and I've taken advantage of its location by parking there frequently and using it as a staging ground for my Middlebear loop course that I run. I also love the fact it's based here in Atlanta.

Anyway, Smoltz didn't do so much for me yesterday when I lost a bet after he dropped a game to the Nationals but I think his donation decision will do a lot of good in the future.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Vegas -- Action at Bally's

In the long term, I play good poker. In the short term, I play like you guys.
--Seat 8, Bally's NL$1/2 table.

LAS VEGAS -- There are only a few hours left before we have to catch our redeye back to Atlanta and I'm not even thinking of leaving.

Both Sham and I have stumbled on a couple NL$1/2 tables at Bally's that are out of this world. Sham, at the other table, has amassed about $1,000 in chips from his $200 buy-in through a flurry of RPGs.

At my table, I'm not going anywhere because I'm directly to the left of this Platinum-level Harrah's card high-roller who has $1,400 in chips -- he keeps felting people by chasing with trash cards and catching his 2-pair or trips.

There are a couple other players that make small raises that are called multi-way every time. I'm playing lots of multiway cards. The variance is higher in this game but I feel like it could be worth it.

Seat 8 loses about $400 in chips before going off to dinner with his daughter. The table becomes six-max and I'm just about to leave before my blinds when I get AA. Some guy re-raises me, another guy calls. I 4-bet it, the second guy calls me with KK and I double up. The 15-game winner Sabre-toothed lime T-shirt also is showing why it's one of the best starters in the game.

Sham and I leave very happy. Flush with cash, we go by The Mint at the Palms and incredibly, of the eight bottles of beer they serve there, one of them is our favorite, Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat! Happy with the win and wanting to share the love, we pay for the bottles with $20 bills, letting the blonde bartender keep the change each time (like a 70 percent tip).

It's always great to leave Vegas with money and erases in my mind a lot of the bad beats of the last few weeks.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Vegas -- protect your children

Sham hits quad 4s at a video poker machine Planet Hollywood, 5/11/07
LAS VEGAS -- The ten of diamonds hits the turn and pairs the board against my flopped Broadway. There's not much else I can do, with two callers.

I push my stack all-in. I've got to protect my children (chips in the pot), right?

This Indian guy at the end of the table calls and immediately I know I am in trouble.

The river is a blank. He flops over KT for trip tens. My AK-induced Broadway holds up and immediately the 15-game winner SPAM T-shirt hits a leadoff home run.

Today is our last day in Vegas and it's been plenty good. I'm up for the trip after yesterday morning, when the Biscuits T-shirt made some money by cracking a guy's AK with a set of tens at the Flamingo. I also went on a nice 20-bet run playing a shoe at $10/hand blackjack at Bill's Gaming Hall (formerly the Barbary Coast).

I feel like I've really solidified my full ring game of late, able to conserve bets and fold'em when I'm beat.

It's been a fun trip. I learned how to play pai gow (I feel like it's a boring game because of all the pushes) and was happy to learn that the Mirage even has $5/hand blackjack, a rarity these days (not even the casinos I went to in Tunica had that).

But it's not over yet. There's still a bunch of play left. I'm thinking I'll also put a bet on the Pistons-Bulls game and also on Jermaine Taylor for Saturday's fight (although at -850 it's not a great deal, but still about 11 percent return if he wins).

Friday, May 11, 2007

Vegas - The Sham Effect

Las Vegas Boulevard, early in the morning. Sham and I stayed up all night to fight toasters at Bally's. 5/11/07

LAS VEGAS -- It's no secret that anywhere Sham plays, there is always some kind of controversy at the table.

A few years ago, while holding his own at a $4/8 limit table at the Bellagio, two players to either side of him started hurling racial epithets at each other and nearly got into a fight.

Early this morning, we were both parked at a $1/2NL table at Bally's. This dealer snaps at the drunk guy to his right that he can't talk to other players when the hand is multi-way. The drunk guy keeps asking the dealer why and when everyone else folds, this unassuming older Asian guy mischieviously grabs the drunk guy's muck cards and peeks at them before showing the rest of the table.

That sets the drunk guy off, telling the dealer and later the floor supervisor that that isn't right. The drunk guy later gets ejected because he keeps insisting that he is former special operations and wants to fight the dealer.

It was a nice table though. As soon as I sat down, this Japanese kid to my left basically thinks that no-limit hold'em is a combination of blackjack and bluff fest. It's not too long before he commits all his chips to a gutshot that loses to TPTK.

I bust an old guy who four-bets me with QQ. Only thing is I have KK and that's that. A Swedish guy also helps me by calling near-pot bets to the river with T5s. No good.

I'm glad I'm back -- the middle reliever California T-shirt did very well in its role and I'm looking to a whole weekend of starters.

But first a nap. I've only had two hours of sleep...

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Best. sendoff. ever.

Me: "Wish me luck in Vegas."

K-Rose: "Ohhhhhh....You don't need luck."

Why I love the CR offense

Dealer: kurokitty shows [7h 7d]
Dealer: KGB_DK shows [As Kc]
Dealer: kurokitty shows a full house, Sevens full of Twos
Dealer: KGB_DK shows two pair, Kings and Twos
Dealer: kurokitty wins the pot ($50.30) with a full house,
Sevens full of Twos
Dealer: Hand #2388724671
KGB_DK: omfg
KGB_DK: go to hell
Dealer: kurokitty has 15 seconds left to act
kurokitty: thank you cr offense

Is it luck if they never see you coming??

Full Tilt Poker
No Limit Holdem Ring game
Blinds: $0.15/$0.30
4 players

Pre-flop: (4 players) Herocat is SB with :7h :7d
UTG folds, Button raises to $1.05, Herocat raises to $3, BB folds, Button calls.

Flop: :js :7c :kh ($6.3, 2 players)
Herocat bets $5, Button raises to $15, Herocat raises all-in $66.1, Button calls all-in $8.
Uncalled bets: $43.1 returned to Herocat.

Turn: :2s ($52.3, 0 player + 2 all-in - Main pot: $52.3)

River: :2c ($52.3, 0 player + 2 all-in - Main pot: $52.3)

Final pot: $52.3

A pot sweetener (Low Stakes Poker)

Ben contemplates how he will win the plate of chocolate chip cookies as part of the pot in the most recent session of Low Stakes Poker. 5/8/07

OK. So maybe there are no cookies in poker. But they're great to eat at the table! LOL. We had a great game last night at my $5 home game, with lots of crazy action. Josh came well from the brink of extinction to roar ahead with a very nice profit. I had him on the ropes with a set and a straight in a PLO/8 hand but he made a flush with 32 of diamonds and also took the low! He also made another hand later to force a rebuy from Doug, I think in Omaha.

It was a great night for visiting bloggers. BrainMc came by sweet motorcycle and zoomed away with profit, continuing his nice recent run. Surflexus made the most of his time by building up a nice stack with Sham to his right.

It also was a great night for cookies. Dorie baked snickerdoodles and chocos after Empire and Brigid brought over the dough. It helped make the evening even better! I also had my new HDTV on, although I won't have cable installed for two weeks. Still, I love the stereo sound. Empire advised me that its VGA port should be able to support computer play almost immediately.

After Sunday's game in East Atlanta where I didn't feel too secure, I liked being in the comfort of my home court (Poker Cats Arena) and playing for much less money. I feel freer to move when the decisions only involve a few dollars instead of more. But of course, I'm happy to jack it up at higher limits, too. LOL.

After most people left around 11 p.m., Eliott, Ben, Surf, Hal and myself played on. I originally intended to play until midnight but stayed up until about 12:40 a.m. playing four-handed after Surf took Sham's last buy-in in a 2-7 TD hand.

Both Emac and myself saw horrible cards during the night (I did have a set in PLO that turned into eights full of aces against Doug's pf-raised AKxx but lost most of that to Josh in the hand described above) and at the very end, I decided to go with a prime hand of K983, single suited (three spades). I flopped a K, then trips on the turn, which prompted Ben to re-raise me all-in for $3.50 more, about half my stack. Eliott called.

I basically put Emac all-in on the turn when the 3 came, giving me Kings full of threes. He called and made his presto boat (fives full of Kings) on the river.

That ended me up more than a buy-in up for the night and I was happy that the Biscuits shirt was able to make a save in late innings!

Free money?

The comments in the last post refer to something I came upon last week while clicking on a link on BrainMc's blog to see the latest winner of the Mookie tournament.

ABaird is a SNG player who promised to give $500 to the first commenter on this post if he does not play 1,000 SNGs this month. I had just come to work that Saturday and happened to be the first one!

I do hope he attains his goal, but I'll be happy with the free $500, too!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Potentially Biloxi-bound

It turns out that K Rose's business trip has been pushed back from May 15 to May 31, so I am freed up for Monday-Tuesday May 14-15.

I got this flier in the mail giving me a free room for a night at Island View Casino in Gulfport, Miss. and $25 in free slot play, so why not? If there's a room then, I'll just jump off the redeye from Vegas that Monday and drive on down...

This morning I signed up for Comcast again, getting HDTV service and Internet cable. Won't be installed until two weeks for now, but I'm excited...

The Mother of All Monitors

Kuro the franchise kitty sitting next to the Mother of All Monitors and thinking, how many fish do we have to bust to make this up??? 5/7/07

So last night I was about to go to bed when I realized that 1). Kuro was camped out on it and 2). The mother of all monitors was taking up all the space.

I went over to my financial adviser's house to pick up the 32" HD flat screen after work, with an envelope full of $20 bills in my back pocket (the ATM doesn't dispense anything higher). I felt like I was buying into a $2/5 game at the MGM Grand. lol.

Today I have to get my cable installed again-- this time for HD and for cable Internet. It's so on. I may have to forego a quick trip to Gulfport, Miss. where I have a free room at the Island View Casino -- I was going to go down there after my Vegas trip with Sham. But I'd rather stick around and get my cable installed.

She also happened to have a garage full of other great office furniture from a leasing deal that went sour -- I had my eyes on this awesome all-leather Italian office chair that goes for $2,400 retail. If I do well in Vegas, I can imagine myself picking it up and carting it to work in place of our terrible cloth chairs just to be obnoxious.

I love poker.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Busting your boss and other stories

LILBURN, Ga. -- Thank goodness for the CR offense. It's four handed at my boss' boss' house and I have 88 utg. I raise. My boss calls.

Flop is menacing. 89T, two suits. I bet it out. He calls.

Turn is a T, giving me a boat. I put him all-in. He calls, with JJ.

No problemo.

As I later told my boss' boss, my boss wasn't the one under pressure not to lose chips -- I'm the one under pressure to not lose the chips to him. LOL.

My boss' boss had a game at his house for the DeLaHoya/Mayweather fight on PPV. He has this 42" HD screen and it is simply beautiful. I think of the 32" one I am about to buy from my financial adviser.

It's a little like Marc Anthony calling up people to fight before he and Cleopatra in the TV series Rome, though. He wants to play as long as he can. We get up into the early hour -- 1:30 a.m., 2:30 a.m.

The fight finishes and it turns out I win a bet on Bocat on Mayweather by decision. (It's a push, as I lost an equal-sized bet -- both small-- to Chicago vs. Detroit in Game 1 of the second round).

It's total comfort zone. I raise with abandon. I get folds. When I get calls, I continuation bet and get folds. Unless I have monster hands like the one from above.

I can typically get away from hands because this IT manager at work has a gleeful smile when he's made the nuts. The boss' boss has the shaky hand thing down pat. My boss is careful with his money, which means he's usually not in the pot.

It wasn't much profit at the end of the night -- $8 in a .10/.20 NL game ($20 buy-in), but I'll take it for the brownie points of downing my boss! LOL.


Today I spend a few hours at my financial adviser's house on the pretense of the 32" HD flat panel screen I'm going to get from her for a steal. I learn a little about betrayal and trust and rap music artists. I also learn there is the dark side of the moon regarding finance -- almost immediately from listening to her I'm convinced I will save thousands of dollars in taxes from poker in the years ahead.

I leave and go to the Sunday game in East Atlanta. It starts out slow. It's six-handed and I raise utg with KQs. I get reraised and just call because I think the raiser, the host, is using a CR technique.

Flop is QQx. I bet it out and immediately get raised all-in.

"I guess this is going to take my first buy-in -- I call," I say, expecting to see a sensible hand like AQ.

But he has AA. I sigh relief.

The turn comes -- an A.

And just like that I've burned up my first buy-in to a player willing to commit with one pair when another pair is on the board.

I buy-in, later reload from my bankroll from an ATM and then buy enough to cover the host. More people come to the soft game and we split into two tables.

The CR offense goes into action and my Biscuits T-shirt is on a tear. I make two sets, including one with Presto and get paid. I make an A-high flush against a guy who has a J-high flush and bust him.

I double up my stack in the $50 NL.50/1.00 game and am sitting with nearly $300 chips when the players return to our table for full ring.

I'm dealt AA in late, I raise. The host calls.

Flop is A8J. I bet it out. He raises and at this point I know that he has a good hand. I go all in.

He calls after a few moments of decision.

He turns over 88.

The turn, of course, is an 8, and I have to pay him $197.

I rebuy for another $200 (I still have <$100 in chips on the table) and fight. I made a wheel straight flush (actually A-6) of diamonds versus this guy who raised with QQ and gets his set on the turn. It's pretty awesome.

When it gets to be 4-handed at the end of the night, I'm pretty frustrated because my monster hands (AJ, AK, etc.) keep missing to pocket pairs from a short stack. Elliott ends up busting him with JJ vs 66.

I end up down $123, down 2-1/2 buy-ins when I was down 4 ($247), so I can't feel too bad. It's variance. You just try to lose the minimum when you get dogged. Every dog (and toaster) has his day.

I liked the outcome because each time I got busted by a bad beat, I didn't get flustered and was very polite. It didn't affect my game at all and I went back to work each time, just trying to recover my chips.

My Biscuits shirt was just amazing. Twice I had my money in when I was a 92 percent favorite and a 98 percent favorite. I'm just glad that it happened for only that amount of money and not more -- the last time I lost overset to quad was at the Flamingo in Las Vegas about two years ago. That was for $500.

The host and players were friendly and again, the tables were extremely soft. I doubt I'll be going back in the future, though because I feel that the security isn't really that great. It's not a huge money game but I have no idea whether the location will attract attention from neighbors and others (it's a little weird to see lots of guys and their cars in the backyard). Once you've been robbed at a game you really don't want to go through that kind of stress again.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Back on the wagon?

Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.
-The Godfather: Part III

Today started out normal, cats wailing for kibble, a six-mile run in a cool mist of a morning. Later on I may have gained the value of 3 buy-ins over a slice of key lime pie.

So after my run and before work, I drove over to my financial adviser's zombie-fortress of a home (thinnest wall is 18 inches of concrete) to drop off a rollover IRA check from my last paper. I've finally consolidated all of my non-401(k) retirement funds into one, saving me a bunch of annual fees.

At the end of it all, we have key lime pie on her huge deck. It was about 11 a.m. but I didn't say anything. I just sat there, before the blonde, eating my pie and drinking ice tea while her dog crunched ice cubes that I had dropped on the kitchen floor.

It turns out that she has this 32" HD plasma screen from her old office (she works out of home now) and gave me a pretty good deal for it.

I could pay her cash. Empire says it's not too hard to 1). mount on the wall, 2). convert it as the Mother of All Monitors. I have to find out what brand it is, etc.

I know I previously said that I didn't need my cable. In fact, I ditched it last month (in archives, here) because Rome went off the air and BSG finished until 2008. My only show was Heroes, and I can watch that online or, as it turns out, my rabbit ears on my TV gets the basic channels fine.

It never made it on this blog, but I did have a caveat -- if I ever had a mall-mounted plasma screen TV, things would be different. My TV is too low for my poker table during my $5 game and takes up a bunch of space. Plus, plasma screens and poker rooms go together, like, say iced tea and key lime pie.

Of course, I'd have to have the cable again. But I guess I wouldn't mind that, especially if rakeback from the use of the monitor goes toward paying for cable (and cable internet!).

Friday, May 04, 2007

A weekend of poker (was it ever in doubt?)

Just trying to get through the day -- have a pretty decent weekend lined up. I wasn't going to have a game tonight, but why not? Poker Cats Arena will be hosting another $5 game, with a tasting of Trader Joe's Two Buck Chuck on the side. Can't wait.

Saturday my big big boss is having a game in his suburban Atlanta home as part of the DeLaHoya-Mayweather fight.

Sunday Eliott's friends, who also work for the other ginormous media organization based here, will have an afternoon cash game. Can't wait.

Prolly will have my normal $5 cash game Tuesday as well

Of course, all this is just window dressing for Thursday's trip to Las Vegas, totally can't wait!!

Also: Surflexus' Tunica trip report here.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

From Gibraltar with love

This afternoon after I biked home from work a nice $221 check was waiting for me in my mailbox.

It was from Cassava, which owns Bet 888, Casino-on-Net and the site I like to call Klingon (Pacific) poker.

I don't recall having any money in these sites. Perhaps I cashed out and it took the really slow boat of getting back to me.

Either way, it came at a perfect time!


I am Chicago bound June 2-3, the weekend before bloggers. My dad booked the tickets and gave me some options for Satty day -- possibly going to one of the riverboats, or if the Bulls are still in the playoffs, catching the game at a sports bar.

But the Braves are playing at Cubs that weekend (I'll miss them when they're in Atlanta the following weekend because of the blogger weekend. So it would be great to see them then! (I'd also love to drive up to Milwaukee to check out the casino there). I'd love to tackle the NL$2/5 game at Resorts in Indiana...

And I'd love to see K Rose on her home turf, hopefully things will work out on her May 15 visit. So many options...


Probably some of the best advice I've learned from Fuel (other than don't draw the low card when you're up against Kurocat and Gnome to see who pays the bill at a steakhouse) is to play my Presto. I hit my Presto set three times today and got handsomely paid off once.

The play on Bocat has been awesome, it's like I never left Sam's Town in Tunica! LOL. People calling my bets with K6 and not hitting against my AK, getting blown up by RPGs or simply folding to continuation bets.

Tuesday e-watercooler

DanTraveler: do you remember the scene in When Harry Met Sally when Billy Crystal says that he asks this younger girl where she was when Kennedy was killed and he says she said "Ted Kennedy was killed?" This girl just asked me "Who the heck are the Pixies?" She's 23. lololol
DDamonG: Nooooooo ...
DanTraveler: so i sent her a wikipedia link. lololol.
DDamonG: To her, that's classic rock.

Something more exciting than Taylor Caby coming to ATL -- K Rose will be in town mid-May, just after Sham and I get back from Vegas.

Guess then we'll see if there's something to the hundreds of e-mails, txt msgs and phone calls we've had the last few weeks.

The song that brought it up:

The day since i met her
i can't believe it's true
she came here from memphis
across the ocean sailing
and i saw her and i pleaded
why do you come so far and she said
trying to get to you
how i tried to get you
trying to get to you...