Sunday, October 28, 2007

MONDAY COLUMN--online play (sounds dirty doesn't it): why i want to be a fat norwegian chick

Annette somethingorother. She just won the WSOPE as an 18 year old. Her story is as old as time itself, or maybe not. Maybe it's only as old as two years. Used to be women at an early age would discover a hidden talent and then get stepped over by men with less talent and then get informed barefoot and pregnant was all they could aspire to. Of course before that, in say 2005, the only talent or industry a woman could go into was the oldest profession, so I guess this online poker pro business is a relatively new thing.

Anyway, enough with the chauvinistic history (and ladies, I'm joking) and on to Anette. Playing strictly freerolls about two years ago, the Norwegian Nightmare (her build is kind of Christian Okoye except instead of muscle she's all meat), did the closest thing to exersize a poker player can do and that's left mouse button click over and over again in 12 hour sessions fueled by Tobelerones and goat's milk. She parlayed her free rolls into real cash and never deposited once... that's right never deposited once (or so the legend goes) and is now one of the most feared and respected online players out there. She literally built a bankroll from nothing and is now a mulit-millionaire, did I mention she's 18 and she started with nothing.

There is also the legend of Jesus Ferguson. Maybe I should say myth or maybe I should say baldfaced PR lie, but it goes something like this. As a personal challenge, Chris freerolled his way into some cash on FullTilt, and then playing strictly microstakes built his bankroll up to $10k just to see if he could do it. Like he doesn't have better things to do. Oh, it gets better he did it the first time, alledgedly, anonymously. As the urban legend goes he repeated this feat under his real name and managed to do it a second time too just for shicks and giggles.

Ruling out superuser account access, that Mark Seif says any site could have, that's an impressive feat and not one that I disbelieve Chris couldn't or didn't pull off. My sarcasm just stems from the question why would he do it. Doesn't he have major tournaments to win? Besides PR for FullTilt what value would such an endevor be to Chris. Okay, maybe a personal challenge.

Well, my time is also worth a lot more than playing freerolls to become another Anette or to idly challenge myself like Chris... but I think I can justify the utility of such an experience far more easily than the guy whose face is on your nearest stained glass window. I want to see a lot of hands. The low buy-in live tournaments that I can currently afford have fields that are 70% donkfishes that populate those MTTs online. So, playing a lot of hands against those fools might be of some value to me. Even if the opportunity cost of not playing at Harrahs is high.

So even, if I do try and emulate a girl that has favorably been compared to a young Mimi from the Drew Carey Show, how do I go about it. Hmmm... I deposited some money in Absolute some time ago and built it up a bit. Maybe I should play some there. Except now it's basically common knowledge that the properitors of said site are alledged to be sleazeballs, really, sleazy, greedy, cheating, coke-sniffing, stupid idiots killing their golden goose. So my odyssey is not going to start there.

Prior to that I won some money online on a different site and didn't get all of it when it closed its doors with me up some cash. Firepay never got those funds. So what's a guy to do? Right now I'm about as eager to throw cash money to the unregulated online poker world as I am to throw cash money down in a well and wish for it to multiply. For all those pennys I chucked in fountains, mall fountains, the Trevi fountains, water fountains, the money trees I wished for as a kid should be growing in my backyard any day now. Maybe when they do grow I'll send some of that money to an online site. Still what's a guy to do? Play play-money? I don't think so.

As previously mentioned a week or so ago, I played on the freeroll on Pokerstars for bloggers. I won an iPod... but that did little to building a real money account from fake money. ebay the iPod and play with the proceeds. I think not, but still did Anette play for iPods all those years ago? No. Fortunately, one side effect of that entry was I started an account on Pokerstars. With no activity since, it was with a little surprise that I found an email in my inbox, giving me a ticket into two freerolls this weekend where you can win real money.

Okay. I'll bite, and like Greg Raymer at a lobster buffet, bite I did. I dove in with gusto. Last night in my first freeroll I got up a few thousand and had to go to a Halloween party with the lady pictured (much to her displeasure I might mention) somewhere on this blog. I asked GeneD and Austin Martin to take over my play. Yes, I know NEVER, EVER, EVER give somebody your account information. Right. Hopefully, they won't chip-dump my balance of zero dollars to anyone. Maybe they'll roll me by changing my mailing address to intercept the iPod that will be obselete by the time it gets here. Anyway, neither could play.

I must say as I drove to the party with no true fill-in I was disappointed because I thought my stack was big enough to get me pretty deep.

BUT... Apparently it was. In my mailbox today, I received word that I finished in 42nd place. Pokerstars had also deposited my cash prize into my account. Ooooweee. My bankroll has begun! Look out.

Tonight, I could have gone to Harrahs and taken care of the drunken revelers from Voodoo fest looking to kill some time before the buzzes wear off, but instead I found myself playing another freeroll. Again, I build up my stack and think maybe I should just put it on cruise control all the way to some more cold hard cash, ummm, actually since I won so little maybe I should call it what it truly is--cold hard coins.

Suddenly I look at pocket Queens. I raise big. I get a call. Flop comes KK5. We are the two big stacks at the table but he's got me covered. I tread carefully. Check. He bets small (I think he's got a king). I'll call and hope to hit... that lovely lady on the turn. Sweet there she is. Now, I'm going to felt him. No way he has K5. I rule out KK too because no reraise preflop. I check. He bets slightly bigger but still trying to reel the fish in and get some money on his set from me. It cinches it to me that he's got a king. I min-reraise. He fires back again. I re-raise anew (like maybe I'm trying to bluff him off the hand) and we were still under half our stacks. Finally he pushes me all in. Call. Sure enough he's got K-J. Delicious. First place actually gets you enough money to play some micro-limits. I'm going to be the big stack in the tournament... sweetness.

But... I didn't win the hand. The point of this story and this post, may now seem like a convoluted attempt to mask a bad beat tale, but it's not. The online-haters will talk about how much sicker the beats are online but that was a four outer and routinely the last month or so I have been beaten by one and two outers on the river live. So, I am not deterred!

My quest to be Anette will not cease because of one crappy turn of fate, or more accurately one anomoly of programming, in fact, as I type this I am folding hands in another freeroll. This one is a limit poker free roll. I feel like I'm playing 3-6 again. It's on like donkey kong. Once a week, I'll be playing online hands for nothing but experience and the dream that one day I'll be Anette.

Yes, one day, the legend of Wildbill and his now staggering bankroll of... wait for it... $1.75 will join the immortalizing tales of Anette somethingorother and Jesus' paid intern (you know it wasn't him come on) and I too will be an internet legend.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Congrats to Joe and Joe

Cash game expert Joe Bush got a piece of the bad beat jackpot at Harrahs on Thursday night. Pot was pretty big considering one guy flopped quad 10s. I hope he was just smooth-calling the pocket aces that got the needed third ace on the river. Also, Joe "Bullets" Comeaux got his aces cracked on the same night for $100. Nice wins fellas.

Played at Boomtown today. Once again I ran into the painkillers during the tournament and beat a hasty exit. Good thing is I picked up a tell on the guy that had them. He did two distinctly different things when he had nothing and he had something. Unfortunately, it took me calling with a pocket pair of my own to figure it out. Guy is a good player who I've seen at a number of local final tables so this might really help me out in the future so even without a cash I might have earned some money today.

I'm so tired of running into aces or losing with them in these tournaments. Pretty brutal stretch of late.

Going to be a busy week for me. Looking to play at the IP on Wednesday (and hopefully the final table Thursday) then I'm heading west to Lafayette to play in the Acadiana poker series. Then back to Biloxi for more IP tourneys. Also, on my schedule is Boomtown's $300 buy-in on November 17th (I need to double check the date). Maybe I'll stop playing like a donkfish in tournaments and actually be able to make some money over the next couple of weeks. Fortunately, I'm still running fairly well in cash so I hope to play a good bit of side action.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

MONDAY COLUMN--Can't get up from the table...

Couple of big hands from this weekend...

Dug a hole with this one because I am a donkfish sometimes. Raise preflop with AK. Had my standard Martian image at the table. A borderline LAG calls out of position from the blind. Flop is 443. I check or continuation bet (can't remember exactly but 90% sure I bet). If I bet he just called. Turn is a 10. I check. He bets fairly large in relation to the pot. I find myself being such a nit, that on flops like this I get a lot of action because people put me on AK or high cards and bet into me with air. I've made a number of profitable calls with nothing in just this situation. Course his air could have just improved on the turn as a 10 is a very playable hand with a huge range of for the second card for a lo0se player. All cards above it and probably down to the 7. Granted a pair, of say 8s ,on his part is good at this point but I'm not giving him credit for that hand based on the action.

I decide I'm going to let my image do the work for me. He can't be all that strong. I fire at him and I've not shown a bluff yet. He says he puts me on 3s. Only possible hand I could have. Keeps harping on it. Finally, I try a bit of trickery and react just a bit to his query. Trying to duplicate a strong player's face. Bad idea. I a donkfish. He insta-raises all in.

Uhhh. Now. I consider if he still has air. There is a part of me that wants to call because I may be still good and the hand felt like one of those where the first guy all in wins. I didn't read him for strong. Before I became an even bigger donkfish, I reviewed the chips and where I'd be at. I didn't have to make this call and could get away from it. Then I just got the feeling he had something. "J10," as Gene likes to say, "is played by everybody."

I fold. He shows 10-9 o/s and says "That's good right." I feign anger, not really feigning that much because I'm kind of stunned he faded all that action with 10-9 o/s (yeah, now that I recall that anger I definitely bet the flop), and my face convinces most of the table I discarded the better hand. I like for people to think I'm on tilt and attack me. If I get a hand I can get paid.

Not much to that hand upon review but it sets up the next one. Shortly, I look down at KK. Short stack calls my under the gun raise to 15. Villian from the first hand also calls. I get this feeling in my stomach I am going to double up or go busto. Flop comes QJ7.

Short stack moves all in for 50 more. Pot is 45 so I'm not giving him too much credit.

Then the villian moves all in for 750. Umm, slight overbet there.

It'll be all my chips if I call. I go over possible hands. Why would he want to isolate. I can't figure it out. If he had a draw he's probably got a chance of getting all my chips. If he has a huge hand, a set or even two pair (not huge but big enough), again why bet me out. I want to call but I never insta-call an all-in except with the nuts or AAs preflop (and sometimes then I'll even doublecheck my cards before doing so but quick enough for people to not think I'm slowrolling).

Normally the level of thinking at Harrahs is an overbet is simply to get me out the pot, and thus my kings are good. However, say he had a set of JJs and put me on a good hand that might just call maybe an overbet is a profitable move here. Is he making the overbet thinking I'd call. I got outplayed when he had 10-9 o/s maybe he was reading me as strong and trying to felt me.

Pissed I get up from the table take two steps away to clear my head a bit and remove myself from the action, I realize I have to call, my NIT deliberations are just that, and then I see the dealer reaching for my cards, and the guy next to me is encouraging her. "Whoa, whoa, whoa," I stop the pretty girl. "I didn't fold yet."

I sit back down and call.

Short stack never shows after I display my pocket kings. Other guy, I gave too much credit was on a draw and doesn't show at first. I say I hope you have AQ, a Q hits the turn, and an A is the river. Guess I hope he didn't have AQ. He tables 10-9 offsuit again.

I gave him way too much credit there. Really odd bet in my opinion. Maybe he can get me off a better holding and out of the hand, and then he has 2 to 1 on his money with a straight draw but why not keep me in the hand in case he does hit his straight. Especially because, to win the hand he'll likely have to hit that straight, so why minimize the pot in that situation. I still don't really see it. He jeopardized all his chips in a situation where only a better hand could call him and for what a draw? Not the place to semi-bluff in my opinion. If he hits his draw he could keep me around to do so. Plus, there was already a guy all in and he's pushing on me with nothing.

I don't know... Anybody have any more sophisticated thoughts on his thinking?

Now, the rest of the table harped on about how lucky I was and my hand was truly dead. It's a common rule everywhere that you can't leave the table or stand up they say. After a couple of hands pass, the dealer asks the floor and he says yeah my hand should have been dead. Then I go up to the rules board and it says absolutely nothing about that rule. I think I would have complained loudly and often had they folded that but everybody tells me it's an understood rule.

Quite a loophole there, posting the rules to your cardroom, but not including a rule that is in effect but is only "understood" to be so.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

online poker is rigged...

I have commented previously about odd happenings on Absolute Poker. Now there is verified proof cheating exists there. Ugh. Read all the ugly details...


Always a nailbiter in a series of close games. Every year you see something you've never seen before. This time was a battle of two highly respected coaches trying to outdo each other in the stupid department. Miles won the game but was he the winner in the "more dumb coach department of stupidness?"

Category 1: Back-up QB

Both brought in their second string quarterbacks for mediocre to horrible results. Tuberville for Auburn sought to stymie his momentum by bringing in his running qb at LSU's 20. The defense keyed in on the run and stopped it. The idea would have been a solid one at say, first and goal from the five, where a slash type athlete could do some damage. Bringing him in on the 20 to run was a waste. If they wanted to be clever, and offensive co-ordinator Al Borges is certainly that, as he is a creative strategian normally, why not tweak the obvious and line up with both in the backfield, but have Cox stand where the halfback normally does and then direct snap to Cox for a pass. Different twist and something defenses haven't seen. But this is the stupid contest and Tuberville wasted his ace at an ill timed moment and killed any momentum his team was building.

Les Miles, continued to bring in Perillioux for LSU, despite a game-shifting fumble, and then seemed to ignored the exasperating struggles for Matt Flynn's subsequent play when Perrilioux would get stuffed. Miles's stubborn continuance of a failing strategem gives him the decisive edge in this battle--though unlike last week it didn't result in a loss.

Category 2: Time-outs.

Miles blew through his left and right. Indeed their final drive was done with but one timeout in their back pocket.

Tuberville saved his for next weeks game for the most part and did nothing to stop the clock and try and get the ball back at the end of the game. If that wasn't bad enough the one he burned was after another terrible Perrilioux play and LSU on the heels on the previous drive. Flynn hadn't even broken the huddle, with around 10 seconds on the play clock and Tubs calls a T.O. to let Miles get time to call his play.

Hard to pick one guy dumber than the other in this one. I'll give the edge to Tubs. Even if I somewhat see the logic of thinking. I think he was waiting to to use the timeout just before the kick strategy twice. His guy had to make two winners vs. Florida could LSU's kicker make three against him. What I'm waiting to see is when the kicker MISSES the first kick and the opposing coach bails him out with a second chance by calling the timeout. I'd could easily seen the LSU kicker miss twice and then make the third.


As per usual the home team in this rivalry got most of the calls and some generous spots. On a third down with the LSU player no where near the first down marker on the last drive. Tuberville failed to call Timeout to let his booth guys review the play or even challenge the officials marking of the ball. I didn't realize you could challenge a spot but Mike Patrick said you could so there is at least 20% chance that is truly the college rules.

Miles only review brainfart was when his player clearly went headhunting on replay and he argued it like it was a clean hit. Hurts you credibility for later arguments when you yell at the refs for making the obvious calls.

Here I got to go with Tubs. He let the refs maybe decide that game and bailed out Miles from making a critical fourth and short decision. Man that would have been fun. The spot would have made it a long kick for his kicker with long range. Would Miles give to Hester again (for the third week in a row), would he passed, gone for the endzone, who knows. We didn't get to see him have to chose because Tuberville blew it. Had he gotten a review, then he's forcing Miles to make a big decision and Miles has a poor track record of late making those kind of calls.

Heck if the kicker made it, Cox still would have a minute or so to get a field goal back for Auburn (AND Tubs had two timeouts he had squirreled away for the Alabama game).

CATEGORY FOUR: Bone head moves of the century...

Tubs with a one point lead and needing to keep a fg off the board opted for a 20 yard squib kick instead of letting LSU's lightning fast returner get the ball. Besides the obvious like instead of going 60 yards for a chance to LSU only had to go 20, and that more time would be eaten off the clock by kicking it further, Tubs played not to lose instead of to win. Horrible decision. After his offense, and his qb in particular showed such courage on their final drive he pussed out.

Then Les Miles, one-upped him again, by going for six when he easily could have settled for the game winning kick. Here, going for the TD with seven seconds left was a spot his risk taking almost cost LSU the game. Twenty things could have gone wrong. The guy could have bobbled and dropped the ball and time expired. Auburn could have picked off the ball (it was pretty good coverage--hell of a throw by Flynn). Flynn could have been forced out of the pocket and stuffed at the one as clock expired. Anything. Why not play it safe and bang in the field goal.

Ultimately, Tubs loses this battle. Miles went for the win whereas Tubs played not to lose. And Miles brainfart worked and Tubby's didn't.

Ultimate Dumbest Good Coach: Tommy Tuberville.

Acadiana Poker Series

We are happy to help spread the word about the Acadiana Poker Series. It's a great cause. The tournaments promise plenty of play with starting stacks of $16,000 and rebuys of $8,000. Buy-in is just $100 and rebuys are but $50. You save the registration fee if you sign up online ($10). I'm curious as to what the blind schedule is. I imagine they won't be starting at $25 $25 but who knows. I'm looking forward to seeing a number of friends in Lafayette I haven't seen in a while. Should be fun.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Big Weekend...

I got engaged on saturday to this lovely girl.

Who somehow accepted this wrecked grill as good enough.

On sunday took 35th in World Championship for Poker Bloggers on Pokerstars. Really wanted to make top 10 to get the site's name out there. But I'll take the 80 gig iPod I won in the free roll.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Blogger freeroll

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: 1091710

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Crazy Night at Harrahs

Saw the impossible last night. An intelligent guys with a serviceable knowledge of poker, odds etc, but no idea of table sense lay waste to our table. He walked away with four racks of red (2k), 3 stacks of 25s, (1.5k) and almost the rest of the next rack with 5s. This was on a 1-2 table. I somehow was the only player who ended "up" against him. I pussied out on a board of AQQ7 (two clubs) with AK and didn't put my entire stack in. He would have called with his flush draw that didn't hit. I gave him too much credit for AQ or QQ. Still a big pot, but my winnings could have been $200 more.

That being said, I saw him twice make $300 calls with one card to come on weak flush draws and hit. Saw literally three big stacks come to the table and as one guy put it "I got tired of watching you push this table around" so he bluffs off $600 with 8-4 o/suit and no pair while the villian has top pair.

Literally, the dude couldn't lose. And people kept trying to bluff this massive stack.

I of course started him on his run. Early in the night. On a board of flushes and straight draws and him clearly annoyed by them, I pushed over the top on the river. He stewed for a while and said, "I just got to see it." He had QQ (maybe that's why I gave him so much credit for that hand at the end of the night) for the win. Took me 5 hours to replenish and get up.

Later, he changed his story and told me it was impossible for me to have the straight and he knew it all along despite it being a crying call. This was also after he said in a whisper, "I just can't help myself I have to call the river, I always have to know." As he'd keep bringing up that hand, his telling of it became more and more assured. By the end of the night, you'd think he insta-called (I wonder how much I revisionist look at my own hands--I like to think I don't because usually I go with my gut but I'm never certain. I think I've only insta-called with the nuts or Aces preflop).

As his stack kept growing, I kept trying to keep Danbury dude and his banker buddy drinking and at the table. I say Danbury because initially he went through all his cash, all his banker buddy's cash, and had to run to the hotel to access his money. He returned changed out of his suit in a Danbury shirt. He revealed he had lost a grand earlier in the evening. No kidding... with a strategy like "always having to see the river" it's hard to believe he ever lost (is my bitter jealous scarcasm obvious?). It was amazing. Everything was aligned for him for three hours or more. Huge stacks kept showing up at our table and losing money to him. Also, every time I had a monster he'd fold before I even looked at my cards.

Frustrating, but congrats to him on a hell of an evening.

One other note, he was cashing out grinning like a cheshire cat with his racks of 5s, meanwhile higher limit players with fewer racks but filled with blacks and greens are cashing out like it's a normal night for them.

Congrats to Geoff Roswick

He's in first place in the 536 pool and a fan of the Turning Stone.

Football Pool Picks

San Diego
San Diego
MNF: NY Giants
San Diego
San Diego
San Diego
San Diego
MNF: Atlanta
St. Louis
OUT 2 MNFers
OUT 2 MNFers
NY Jets
OUT 2 MNFers
OUT 2 MNFers

Football pool pick

I'm taking Oakland to lose. I hate relying on a 2-3 team (San Diego) for a win but oh well. In other news I'm taking Baltimore to NOT cover as my Lock of the Week. Way too many points for a defensive team.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Owned the Stone, it's the new Foxwoods... WEEKLY COLUMN Part 1

Went back to the Stone as I mentioned in last week's column.

I'll also say this, and sorry to let out the secret for the three or four decent players there but... TURNING STONE IS THE SOFTEST POKER ROOM in the U.S. They mostly spread 1-2 games with max buy-ins of $100, $200, and $500. The $500 table looked pretty good but by the time I got in they all had 5-10 type money. I guess I could have bought in for $500 and kept rebuying but my wallet wasn't that thick (especially after last monday). My friend and I decided to sit down at the $200 table. After I ran a bluff, unsuccessfully, on a guy I was one buy-in deep.
I realized this table was mostly going to be showdown poker and tightened up. It was almost insufferable to listen to the strategy conversations going on at the table. These guys made me feel a competent player. I wonder if a top pro ever overheard me and my friends talking and would also want to take a nail gun to their stomach to just end drivel. When gutshot chases are shrugged off with, "I had to call I had a draw," and greeted with enthusiastic "Oh yeah," in unison you know you are in good place.

The table was populated by one semi decent player, three guys that couldn't possibly be old enough to get in a casino, a gregarious dude with a Top Dog tatoo and a belly to prove it, and by gregarious I mean a guy who talked my ear off and whose prattle was eroding the rest of my skull away, his buddy who thought moving all in with his huge hands and three dollar pots was a good strategy (over and over again), and three absolute nits afraid to mix it up and just were draining the stacks away.

My friend bubbled in the tournament and told me about the guy in the one seat. Late, with a big stack, a guy went all in, another guy went all in, and he had them both covered (easily) and threw away Kings face up. He would have been against A4 and kq. Course an A hit and he got reinforcement that his terrible decision was right. Yes, we busted him.

The kids looked like they rode shotgun in the family Camrys to get there and not because liked being passengers, but because they are too young to drive. Initially, I thought the Stone must have the worst security ever. Then one idiot starts chirping off about how it's his 18th birthday. Normally, I'd encourage his stupidity just for the fun of seeing him get kicked out but he was target number 1. I waited, hoping for the dealer to do nothing, and then three other kids announced they were 18. Too much money about to leave this dream table. Then an old guy says, "Good thing they let 18 year olds in."

One kid raises and another says, "Under the Gun... It's the new button." Everybody nodded in agreement. CCline said, "Pocket queens they are the new kings."

A seat opens and a kid sits down with a helmet. Kind of skateboarder style, with the straps to the chin but kind of bigger. His speech is stilted. I think of Special Ed on crank yankers. I read about a northeast casino that took some heat for allowing a special person play in their poker room and wondered if the Stone was that casino. CCline whispered, "Phil Helmet."

Then Phil shows the table his skull which is missing a chunk of bone as he is waiting for a plate to be put there. I think to myself, maybe he sat next to the gregarious Top Dog too long. And when I say think to myself, I mean as I ruminate in the few spare moments I have that Top Dog is wheezing a breath in between rambling run-on sentences. I especially enjoyed his retelling me the same story for the second time in under an hour. Turning fully away from him and low talking with CCline to my left does nothing to discourage him. He drones on in one ear as Phil Helmet reveals he was in a bad auto accident almost a year ago and has been in a helmet ever since. Poor guy has a balloon in his head he has to inflate twice a day to keep the skin from shrinking too much for when they can put the plate in his skull.

Out of nowhere the decent older player, who somehow missed the kid showing his head to the table, rips him, "I've seen a lot of things at a poker table, but, ha, ha, ha, never a helmet. What's the deal with that." The kid looks over and says, "I'm worried the ceiling is going to fall on my head." Dude rolls his eyes. Kid says, "Nice stack, I'm going to chop your stack it's on... old man."

More to come...

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


MNF: Dallas
New England
New England
New England
New England
New England
MNF: Buffalo
MNF: Buffalo
MNF: Buffalo
MNF: Buffalo
Tampa Bay
MNF: Buffalo

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

My Pick

I'm taking Cleveland to lose to New England.

This game has trap written all over it, and is the reason why I'd avoid the 17 point spread. But a half-hearted New England will still be too much for the Browns even if the Browns do the impossible and keep it close. Monday night hangovers be damned New England wins this game.

My LOW is the over 47.5. I gave ya'll the gimme last week with the C0lts-Broncos and I think this one is just as good. New England might get there on their own and the Browns should score at least 10. Bet away.

Take your pick...

Goondingy likes to say, "I'm surrounded by lunchboxes," usually at Boomtown. One of our bloggers shows how it literally feels. Last night at about 2 am, folding a flush and pushing with 7s I was one of them. I think I was My Little Pony.

Owned by the Stone: WEEKLY COLUMN

Six years ago at a friend of mine's wedding in upstate New York, about 8 of us after the festivities made a late night journey to "local" casino Turning Stone. Cocksure that we were each going to win a grand, because that summer when many of us went to Vegas for the first time the theme was "Own the City," and own the city we did. Being first timers, and naiive and dumb gamblers we went on an incredible rush of good luck. Literally turning every craps table we encountered into winner. I think we even turned a profit by rolling dice on the late night buffet tables. So when all but two of us, all turned a profit it was reasonable to think the casinos did just print money and made their money on their shows.

One night we so decimated a craps table at the Venetian they literally forced us to leave and closed the table. We had a solid two hours of winning rolls after winning rolls. We all bet the same way and hit the same numbers. It was like a living breathing Vegas commercial. Finally the pitboss perplexed by our run of luck had them raise the limits to a $100 and denied the grandfather clause most casino uses. Maybe it was when we hit our 10th boxcars with 9 of us having thrown $5 dollar chips on there, we weren't shy in saying, "We own this casino" that turned them against us. We certainly were tipping well so it wasn't that.

Anyway, thinking all you had to do to win money was stand near a craps table we had visions of huge returns as we ambled about, quite lost, in the countryside of New York. And if anybody thinks rednecks just reside in the south, we learned otherwise. Pickup trucks, gun racks, and teeth like a five year old were all the rage when we'd enter a gas station to ask for a new set of directions. Finally, after two hours of futility, driving in circles around farms, our future congressman, tourguide of the back roads of New York and serial ignorer of road signs chanced into finding Turning Stone. ("You are going the wrong way!!!" "How does he know where we are going.")

After the 4 hour odyssey to get there it was evident, our luck evened out. We lost our money about as quickly as we would have if we used the revolving door and just threw the hundreds into the casino as we passed past it by on our way back to the parking lot. Everything that made Vegas wonderful was completely the opposite at the Stone. The energy level of the employees was about that of a teenager working the fries at Hardees. The dealers and employees only got more morose when they saw us, and instead of enjoying the glow of our optimisim they glared the foreboding stares of muggers about to kick us in the groin, steal our wallets, and take our clothes. I think Martha-Sleeps-in-Buffalo Poop and Johnny-Give-Us-Beads-For-Manhatten-I'm-Going-to-Beat-You-Blind-Cracker growled at us while they dealt.

So this weekend, I have a wedding to go to this weekend in Cooperstown, New York, and of course many of the same faces are going to be there and for some reason we have decided we are going to hit the Stone on Thursday night. Because of a miscommunication with Shoats, famous for his one post on the CCline blog :), I ended up getting a later flight into LaGuardia that cost more and meant I'd miss the poker tournament at 7 pm. Turns out he could have picked me up at noon, in time for us to get to the Stone. So when I tried to change flights Delta informed me now the flight was more expensive, I'd have to pay the difference and a changing flight fee.

Hmmm. I felt that familiar tingle at the small of my back. It must be time for me to get ass plowed in bumblefruck New York again. Hotel arrangements have been nightmarish at best with apparently Columbus day weekend being a huge occassion for Cooperstown. Who knew? Baseball hall of fame, a love for Christopher Columbus, and quasi-close to Turning Stone. What a hamlet!

The tingle got stronger when I received word of my grandmother falling and breaking her hip (literally after just receiving a birthday card from me saying how she was "hip" when other grandmothers were merely breaking theirs--moosch). She's still hospitalized and actually dealing with a pretty bad infection.

So in the midst of this omnious turn in the tide of a luck, I go to my Monday night at Harrahs. It's football box time, and I get the nonwinning numbers of 8-2 for the second week in a row. I should have known I was about to get abused like a common pit player. For the first time EVER they comped poker players. Free rooms in their luxury hotel all week. Why would they do that? Their inventory is so vacant there was literally dust on the Italian marble tile in the rooms when I walked in this morning. So I guess they throw us a bone rather than air-condition an empty building. I think I was the first person to turn on the flat screen TV in my room, the fact it was still in cellophane was my first clue.

Just before they announce these free room packages, I'm up a good bit of money at a fun table. Used to being treated like the no money generating dogs**t customers poker players are, everybody asks what's the catch. Nothing. Oh really? Now I decide to make it a social night as I don't have to drive anywhere if I stay in the hotel. On the rare social nights when I'm playing with a buddy or two, I'll play with a near empty wallet as I realize I'm not really working and more likely spending entertainment money. Course last night began as a working night so I came with some cash... not smart.

As is standard in these big loss nights... I was just about to leave having surpassed my minimum "up" standards for the evening and then I was corraled into staying by this out of the blue promotion. Of course it was the other dopes at my table that profited and not Harrahs.

Uh oh... Pwnage began. My big stack kept getting priced into hands and I'd proceed to lose flush to flush twice, set to set, full house to quads (all the while correctly check calling or folding and my opponents showing superior hands if I did fold). And as a drunk idiot once told me, you shouldn't bet so much on the flop because I have to call you and it's the turn and the river that decide the hands. Last night he was definitely right. I'd get my money in good and a card later it'd be bad.

Of course I got a steady diet of AK and boards of 225 with the kid to my left instacalling any of my raises with 7-2 offsuit and hitting a set, and me turning an Ace and rivering a king. Bruttle. I also enjoyed the chatising I got when after raising correctly for the fifth or sixth time in a half hour with the best preflop hand (Jacks I think) and having a guy catch a baby flush 10-6. "Maybe you shouldn't raise so much, you are telling everybody you have a strong hand," the chorus generously offered. Right, so you should of course continue to instacall my strong hands, which you know are stong, and my 7x raises with nothing. Because long run you'll win money and this isn't just a dreadful short run aberration (sarcasm).

My bad luck then turned into... me just playing badly. And I was the solely to blame for the hemorraging of my stack and wallet. After all the Shoats-in-Vegas type beats I was fully tilted, and when the late night shift came in I didn't leave because I didn't feel like watching TV in my hotel room. The trap of the comp rears it's ugly head, stuck there with nothing to do--why not stay and gamble when you are clearly off your game. Nothing like pushing with 7s when you know the guy has an overpair and also doesn't like to fold.

Rough evening. The way this week has gone it's like the four living members of the "tribe" in New York that owns the casino, have been informed of the shaman's vision that our group that combined for 30 ATM receipts in 30 minutes from six years ago is returning. They must have run to their sweat room to collectively cast bad luck spells my way.

Still I'm excited about the trip, even if I know I'll likely be "Owned by the Stone" again.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Chop at Boomtown

On Saturday Gene and I played at Boomtown. Weird tournament structure. I get to the final table with 12k and 8 of the other players were all at about the same ranging from 10k to 22k. Then the other guy has almost ~ 100k. Yet, the blind structure was 3-6k. He offered a chop where he got first place and we divided the rest of the money. I didn't know what to do and still don't really.

The button hadn't been placed yet so I had no insight on that but obviously we had 9 short stacks and a bully (who still had a small M for a standard tournament). As 8 voted yes, I took the chop fearing I'd say no and be put in the big blind because of my luck. It was going to be a haphazard all in fest but I invested so much time I wanted a higher return.

Compare that to Harrahs on Wednesday and I bubbled at 12th and 5 minutes later they all chopped for a grand each. The big stack at my table kept talking about how he was late to pick up his kid, so I knew he'd be generous (didn't think that generous).

Weird thing about the Boomtown tournament, you chop at Harrahs and they pay you out and tax you on what you won, at Boomtown even if you chop, 2nd and 3rd place still have to pay taxes for the value of the non chopped 2nd and 3rd place. Last time I chopped I suggested the small stacks get the W-9s. Apparently this caught on because I was informed that's the way they always do it, so I'm paying taxes for third (only about 100 more than I actually won). My computer keeps freezing up so I'm keeping this post short today.