Friday, March 28, 2008


On my last post it read like I was on Beer 30. I meant the time was beer 30. For anybody that thought I had expired from alcohol abuse your worries were premature. Unto matters of more importance...

Congratulations to Goondingy!

Went to his wedding on Saturday and enjoyed seeing the big man getting hitched. Jessica enjoyed meeting him and other poker names that have so far lacked faces. Fun day and we were happy to share it with him. If not for the terror on four legs that is my new puppy, Bella, we would have stayed longer.

Speaking of the puppy, I feel like I'm the one on the tether now. Can't leave the house for more than a couple of hours at a time. Trying to figure out how to get to the coast to play and it's just eating me up to not be able to take advantage of this opportunity. The Live NCAA blog took a break as we left to go to the Fox and the Hound to see all the games at once. 20 minutes after tipoffs that hadn't set the channels yet.

One waiter was rocking out to a video concert and so the rest of the bar was forced to endure Lifehouse or whatever he was subjecting us to on the big screens. Showing what a basketball town this isn't, we were the only ones concerned about it.

The waitress then gave us some brackets to fill out to join their contest. "Um yeah, the games started yesterday." After some beers and chicken drops we steamrolled through these worthless but at the time heated debates
1. The Mos are of the opinion Chris Paul is already better than Jason Kidd. I think they forget just how good Kidd was just a couple of years ago and though not a scorer, plenty of times, when needed he filled it up. Also, they underestimate just how hard it is to consistently get triple doubles.
2. I was of the opinion Appalachian State was a top 10 college football team in all divisions last year. I backed off of that and went with top 15-top 25. They informed me I was certifiable. Despite their win at Michigan, they are not as good as Michigan (which I found interesting considering just how hard it is to win at the big house). Big Mo also said everybody in the SEC would beat them. Ummm... no. Ole Miss, Miss State, Vandy... I don't think so. I think LSU, maybe Georgia, and... maybe Florida were the only ones better. Not Auburn, not Alabama, not South Carolina, not Arkansas, not Tennessee, and not Kentucky.
3. The third argument was so important I don't remember it. Just as I shouldn't the first two.

Anyway, I might try and watch the hoops games tonight at Harrahs and get some more live play in.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Ginty at the line part deux

1 for 2 Again. Uconn at the line to tie down two. Makes the first. UCONN ties it.

So much pain at the Ginty household. I can just hear Grandpa Ginty answering "Haberdasher" to the question "Name a Reigndeer."

Ginty at the line

Last time I saw a ginty under this much pressure was a repeat of a Richard Dawson family feud episode. San Diego's Ginty makes the first but bricks the second. I can just hear Grandma Ginty answering "Bits of Painted Glass" to the question "Things kept on a window sill." Uconn down 1 20 seconds to play. Brando calling it a tie, stellar job Tim. The Line unkind.

This ain't Carmen San Diego

Tim Brando is in the lead for worst line of the day (if you don't count mine). Atrocius.

Earlier he did his obligatory "The iron IS kind," because the shot fell even though he wanted badly to say the more well known "The iron unkind," catchphrase.

UCONN two fouls from the penalty and down two. The coach of San Diego is protege of Mark Few, who earlier turned down offers to stay in scenic Spokane.

I wonder if Mark Few in about, 1 year, starts to regret not leaving Gonzaga. Got to think the Gonzaga era is over, having crescendoe'd with Morrison and still having nothing to show for it.

The Mos

Meeting up with the mo bros tonight. Actually Beer 30 is around the corner as Jmo is on his way over. Sorry for the typos in this, my cordless keyboard's battery must be waning because I keep losing letters. This is a hell of game. Puss said his team was a year away. I guess he was right. I don't know if Thabeet sticks around another year but if he does they'll be good. Right now he's altered two big shots, but a Toredore just made a sweet reverse outside of his wingspan. Great game. Dogs up 2. 1 minute left.

Who wants to Mount Mutombo tonight?

I have heard from different sources--so it must be true,--Dikembe Mutombo used to walk into parties at Georgetown and say in his deeper than Darth Vader african voice, "Who wants to mount Mutombo tonight?" and "Who is going to suck Dikembe's dick tonight?"

I wonder if Thabeet does the same at UCONN?

West Coast Conference

St. Marys and Gonzaga lay an egg and San Diego is doing this? I'm confused.

Watching Oprah right now

Actually, I'm not but that's what the guide is telling me. Don't know if the local CBS station realized they couldn't leave a game like SD-UConn with SD leading (AJ Price out). I got creamed today. Except for Texas just missing the daily double I'd be shut out. Right now it is 7-1. I have San Diego, but as said I'm kinda pulling for UConn to win.

Love these Coke Zero commercials. How these lawyers don't realize it's a bit is kind of surprising.

I'm positive Kansas or UCLA will win this tournament. Anybody want to take the field against me. All I want is 8 to 1.

By the way, this is the best episode of Oprah I've ever watched.

Took a break from the games...

Playing with the new puppy and letting my girlfriend have the remote. She was watching "I should have died" on the discovery channel. This ahole from Australia or South Africa or somewhere else that has an accent that isn't quite British but still has the haughtiness in it. Anyway, this dude is 6 feet away from a croc so decides the best course of action is to rush it. Yes, he bumrushes the animal which not suprisingly bit the f out of him. He was in death roll.

As I got back, I realized I'm in a bit of a death roll. Gtown looks like they'll cover, Texas is well on their way to covering the daily double for Puss and Butler is treating South Alabama like the directional school they are. I hope TN comes out vs. Butler with as little passion as they had today. Butler will eat them alive.

If there has been one game these last two days with a less deserving victor it's TN. Even Puke or Dook, who I hate wanted it more when they played Belmont, at least they just got outplayed and scrapped away a win, TN was terrible. Behind the back passes, alley-oops, and a general lack of respect for American (which apparently they deserved). I guess that line was so light at 20 because the money knew TN would job like Hulk Hogan right before his last second leg drop victory.

Even worse... UCONN is down at the half. If they lose that game, Puss will be in mourning (like I will be when UNC loses) and not answering his phone. I have no idea how my 40 brackets are fairing. I'm pretty sure I'm not perfect in any.

Apparently picking games isn't the only projection I'm bad at, I'm surprised by the number of hits this live blog is getting. Didn't think anybody would be reading I guess I was wrong as they are a fair amount of you on here.

Update vs. the Puss

Yesterday, I phoned him and asked if wife was complimenting his sheen because I waxing his ass. Today, I'm taking it like a newbie in the big house.

Right now, the onslaught is continuing. Butler was a juicy line and undervalued and is waxing Deon Merritt, Richmond transfer, and USA. Texas is covering the line in the first half, Georgetown has enough of a lead and another buzzer beater (at the half) to salt away a victory against a game UMBC. The other game is UCONN, which is his team, so he gets them anyway. To be fair, I'm pulling for the Huskies a little bit, because if they lose the Puss will probably get disinterested in the tournament and not allow me to make up my losses by dodging my calls. He doesn't play phone tag he plays hide and seek, or duck hunter, I'm hunting and he's ducking.

Potentially an 8-0 start for Perry Puss today. I'm stunned. Meanwhile, as the law of averages corrected itself, in the morning session all three dogs covered. Miami was a pick 'em. That makes it 13-6 chalk in the first round.

This is from yesterday...

Was watching the games and got two pics from Tex in my inbox. This one titled: Krushin Lunchboxes. Well done. Hopefully Tick Rogers in AC will be sending me another pic soon just like this one. Also, Congrats to Poker Lusky who has quit his day job, because of enough online scores just like this one. Any day now, he and Virge will be moving to Vegas?

The Puss Gloats

4-0 in the early games against me.

Accused me of dodging his phone call. "Dodge Bill, dodge it Billy..."

In this set of games, I have USA (+4.5) vs. Butler, second chance to be proud to be an American today, Austin Peay (+16 and +21.5) in Puss's Daily Double (I think he'll cover both, Let's Go Peay looks terrible), I also have a 15 seed that I think can give GTown a game with UMBC a 17 point dog.

Our First Buzzer Beater

Western Kentucky goes Deee-eep for the win. But it's against Drake. So instead of Bryce Drew as a double digit seed smacking Ole Miss (?) upside the head it's vs. Drake a team nobody has heard of except for on Seinfeld and in filling out their bracket the first time. Had the commitee bracketed appropriately, that shot could have been against Clemson, or Notre Dame, or Michigan State--and just felt bigger.

Also, it's the first true buzzer beater in a while. I like the 10ths of seconds on a clock but ever since they added it, the whole nail a big shot and run off the court effect has subsided. Now, as in the Western Kentucky game, the only time you get that effect is if the clock expires while the ball is in the air. Otherwise, there will be 7 tenths of a second left for the other team to fumble an inbound pass and take the air out of the play a little bit.

0-4 in the morning

After Tennessee plays as flat and passionless as can be, yet, playing a terrible opponent and still almost getting a backdoor cover, Western Kentucky laying the smack down on Drake, Stephan Curry drilling Gonzaga for 40 (after a shot of Adam Morrison in the stands I wondered if he thought oh that's what it means to be a stud and show up for an NCAA game), and Miami pounding St. Marys, the Puss is killing me

Stephan Curry

Remember when the NBA used to have a ton of guys that could just drain the three pointer. They were specialist and almost every team had them. Now there is Michael Redd and Michael Redd. Those guys, white or black, used to be interchangeable. Dell Curry, Dale Ellis, Tim Legler, Craig Hodges, Rex Chapman, etc. etc. Dell Curry's son is lighting it up for Davidson right now. He's getting his Harold "The Show" Arceneaux on. After Davidson loses, it might be Michael Red and Stephan Curry in the NBA.

Beer thirty?

Might be time to crack the first beer. As I'm watching the games with two dogs and a fiancee it's not exactly the right environment to pound bud lights so I'll probably wait until the night session. The lady is a litle confused about why I've flip-flopped on Tennessee so many times ("Pick one, you are either rooting for them or against them, I don't know who to cheer for when they score a goal") and one of my dogs keeps trying to high five me anytime I get out of my seat whether I'm happy or angry. Bad training on my part. Any exclamation apparently means high five. It was supposed to be just "Yes!" Now, it also includes "F Bruce Pearl!", "F Tennessee!", "What are you doing American?" "F Jeff Jones!" and "Have you ordered the pizza yet?"

Gonzaga-Davidson all tied

New sweethearts of the media back in it with Davidson tieing Gonzaga.

Miami must have gone on a 17-2 run because they are now up big vs. St. Marys. St. Marys was Tick Rogers pick to do damage. Hope the poker is doing better than his upset special..

Harry Carey

When he used to call the Cubs game, his drunkeness was a part of the enjoyment of watching the Cubs lose. Pat Sumerall, a fellow drunk, at the end of his career lost it in the booth probably from alcohol induced dementia more so than the flask in his pocket. The latest announcer to lose it has been Verne Lundquist. His has been a slow downward slide. Misreading players and teams and plays, laughing way too hard--like that one guy at every party who's just a social cripple and bellows laughter--at lines that weren't jokes but he thought they were by his partner in the booth, and then just odd cryptique observations.

I just realized he's calling the TENN-American game. I'm waiting for him to confuse the F out of Raft as much as I am eager to hear Raft's "onions" call. My favorite Lunquist losing it remark was during an Auburn-Georgia football game where they showed a bunch of Auburn fans tailgating and one of them owned a bulldog and put it in an Auburn jersey. Cute, right. Of course Lunquist completely missed reread the entire scene. He says, "Oh, that Uga!" (the name of the bulldog mascot of Georgia), Oh, that UGA!" Har-har-har chortle, chortle, chortle.

It ws the funniest thing he had ever seen. Yet, it clearly was not the Georgia mascot and even if it was, not even close to being that funny. Putting on an Auburn jersey. Why is that funny?

Meantime UT has gone back up 10. I wonder if they get close to covering again if I'll start pulling for them, again. Ah, the fickle gambler.

Officially an American Fan

F Tennesse.

Can you tell I'm bitter?

If Western Kentucky beats Drake--do we really call them a Cinderella. I mean it's Drake. They beat nobody.

Davidson looks like they will finish the year without beating a decent team.

So far the Puss is beating me 2 to 1 for the day. If he called win half the games a comeback I'm sure this will be dubbed a blowout.

The other half of Tick Rogers is playing poker in AC right now watching the games. I thought about doing so at Harrahs. He hasn't called with an update. That's probably a bad thing.

Yes! My new team American just tied it up with TN.

TN doesn't want to win...

They are hotdogging it in a 6 point game. Way too overconfident. Maybe if their coach didn't get his Putty on (chest-painting last year) they wouldn't take early round foes so lightly. You'd think they'd learn.

Tick Rogers-Wink Adams

When I was in college, me and a friend of mine told some local girls we met in a bar, we were in a band named Tick Rogers. Perhaps, inspired by the fact that Pearl Jam's original name was Mookie Blaylock, who Jeff Ament saw in his Tourney loss to Danny Manning and his Miracles in the 88 (?) finals, we devised this strategy over some shots. My friend also looked like Alexe Lalas, six foot seven ginger with a goat-tee to his chest. He was the personfication of a funk-ska-gararage-gheto-funk band that we became.

So we met some girls, told them we Tick Rogers, who played for Georgia (?), that year in the NCAAs and we were good to go. After the ask us for a copy of our CD, we went back to campus (where we were shacking up for the "night") and I said I go to the car to get it.

30 minutes later I comeback and annouce I couldn't find the car. Good times.

Anyway, this years candidate for Tick Rogers faux band name is Wink Adams a guard for UNLV.

Seth Davis' "upsets"

His upsets are a lot of 10s and 11s wining. In games that are esentially pick 'ems according to Vegas. Way to go out on a limb. The NCAA selection commitee seems to be intent on killing their own product. Anyway, Davis likes St. Joes (a one point dog), Davidson (a 1.5 favorite), and to give him a little credit he likes Siena too (which is actually a 6.5 dog to Vandy). Siena is a team I took in a few of my brackets. I don't know much about them other than they beat Stanford early and played well against a couple of other big teams. Word out my man in Albany new york is they are good.

This Davidson-Gonzaga game is up and down. Davidson played UNC, UCLA, and a couple of other big boys close in noncon but lost them all. I tend to think this means they can't get over the hump. Course that was the rap against Princeton until they beat defending National Champions UCLA 10 years ago. A couple of guards by the names of Mitch Henderson and Chris Mooney played in that game.


TN trailing 9-5. We switched to Davidson-Gonzaga but TN was taking a lot of early bad shots. Oops.

Gonzaga up 10-6 over Davidson. Remember I'm Gonzaga's bitch. This game seems to be waiting for me to pick Gonzaga or not. Remember they'll do the opposite. They are 1.5 dog despite being the higher seed.

Some other tidbits of knowledge to go opposite of..

The 4 team #1 seed parlay is 2-0. The Puss took Memphis today as his first game off the board. We also think UNC should be a 30 point victor over Mt. St. Marys. UNC has thrashed better teams this year by more, though the fear is they'll call off the dogs. We think Memphis makes a statement and coach Cal let's them pummel UTA a bit. I also fear UTA might try and run with them. Ugh.

17 is alot for Georgetown vs. UMBC. I'm thinking dog. The puss likes the favorite.

Miami limped into the NCAAs going 3-3 and somehow still getting a higher seed then Indiana. I like St. Mary's in a pick 'em.

It sucks when the upsets today may come at the hands of Gonzaga, Butler, and Drake. Those teams should be doing the upsetting not losing in the first round. Still, I think there is value in the Butler and Drake lines (4.5 and 4) because they aren't name brands. I'd take the favorites. Should be a compelling couple of games as W. Kentucky and USA are both athletic teams and offer an interesting matchup to those precision teams. In a similar contrast yesterday, Wisco seemed to handle Fullerton yesterday pretty easily, so don't be surprised if Drake and Butler do too.


Me and my friend took all the games yesterday, he is the Puss. After the daily double of Stanford I was up 9-2 in the morning. In the late session, he mounted what he called a comeback, and we split 4-4. I call that treading water.

Today, we love TENNESSEE to obliterate American. The line is 20. Don't worry it'll be 30+. I say that as American is up 4-2. This is the DC's school's first ever NCAA appearence, can you say just happy to be there. The only thing that has changed for head coach Jeff Jones, since his annual early round exit while at the helm at UVA, is his pant size. He's pushing a size 40.


I'm going live today for the NCAA coverage. Feel free to comment.

Some thoughts before the early tips: Yesterday the favorites were a whopping 13-3. Had you gone opposite of the rule to take dogs in round 1 you'd be up a LOAD.

I loved Stanford vs. Cornell, a team seeded 14th because of Penn and Princeton's former reputation, but nothing to do with the current state of the IVY which was pretty awful. Plus, none of those guys had ever been there. Perfect mixture for a blowout. Plus for the first time in a long time Stanfraud isn't fraudlent. They have some big time talent there. Not only did I take Stanford, I gave a friend 5.5 more points and took them again.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Brackets, Baby

For the first time in years I didn't fill out a bracket immediately after they were published. I will probably do 40. Invariably, I'll be able to say I predicted every game correctly, of course by the same token I'll also have gotten it wrong more times than right. I focus on the positive though, not the negative. I knew a guy that used to only buy 1 powerball ticket, because as he would say if I bought two, even if I won, I'd also lose. That's actually a pretty good point... but back to the brackets.

Some rules to live by in filling out your bracket.
1. There are no rules.

That was quick. Like spotting patterns in the stock market once you see a trend it bucks itself. 5s always lose to a 12 seed. Last year every 5 won. 1s and 2s never lose a first round game. The little Spiders of the University of Richmond were the first to upend a 2 seed when they beat Syracuse and that has since happenend three more times. So now the rule is 1 seeds are invulnerable. Well, a couple of years ago Albany almost took out UConn, in the year of the midmajor. In that same year, the truism "mid-majors can't make the final four anymore" was overturned, by the improbable George Mason Patriots.

It's only a matter of time before a one seed falls. Will it be this year? In women's basketball it's already happened. And the answer is... well that women's basketball. Except the seperation between the really good teams, 1 seeds and the like, is arguably much greater than it is in men's basketball. So we are overdue.

For those that bet the games some rules to help you out.

1. There are no rules.

That was quick as well. Used to be a pretty simple formula that would win you money through the first two weekends of the tournament. Bet the dogs round one. Bet the favorites round two. Bet the dogs in the 3rd round. After that the favorite-dogs are about 50/50. Unfortunately, they aren't just printing money at the casinos or at your neighborhood bookies. The lines are tighter and more on the money then ever. I would tend to agree with this strategy for a logical viewpoint, but I think you are better off considering each game uniquely.

In the regular season if a line looks too good to be true it usually was, which is another rule that is worthless come tourney time. Many of those times, those games were more crooked than a tennis match involving two russians or an ice-dancing contest with an all french panel of judges. The fix would invariably shown to be in--just five years later. Or there are injuries the rest of the world knows about that you don't like, the starting point guard O'Ded on NyQuil the night before.

HOWEVER, in the tournament, as of yet in the modern era, there has never been a fixed game that anyone knows about. If you do your research, and there are no injuries or latent storylines, then you can at least feel safe the game isn't fixed. There are some juicy lines out there especially if you do your research. Is Georgetown 18.5 points better than UMBC? I'd advise looking into that little known team nobody is talking about.

Alright enough with the gambling. Wait, what else and I going to talk about on a poker blog. Once upon a time I took a four team parlay (sucker bet) with all the number 1s covering, even though they never cover (remember go opposite of a rule), and they all covered. Well, I tried it the next couple of years running and beside one case of almost losing all four, which I started to cheer for after losing the first two, I never even got a fourth game sweat. Still, it's due to hit again, also, it's brainless, and it will give you something to root for during the likely 30 point blowouts those games will be (remember 1 seeds never lose).

Back to the soft-gambling, picking brackets. There are some conventional wisdoms that always turn out to be untruths. Again, somebody is trying to make a rule. Guess what, in a paragraph I'm going to contradict this, but bare with me for now. Teams that got slighted in seeds always overachieve is a popular theory. Actually it's just the opposite. This years test case will be Indiana who got screwed with 8 seed and possibly face UNC in the second round (1s never lose right?). As much as UNC would rather not face Indiana, which two weeks ago you'd say would only happen in a regional final, don't be surprised if Indiana comes out and lays an egg vs. Arkansas.

BTW, one March rule, (though it will probably be bucked this year), is bet the NIT. Take any team that felt they should have been in the NCAA and got shafted, and then bet against them. Bet them all. If there are four, one will cover and three will lose outright--which is a nice score for you. Until, the market self-corrects, this is the current immutable law. Didn't I just violate my only rule--there are no rules. Except it's the NIT, so remember for the NCAA there are no rules.

It used to be the talking heads would pick the same Cinderellas and the real ones would come from nowhere. So the rule was ignore what they say. Then the past couple of years, teams like Winthrop actually won when everybody picked them to. Who is everybody salivating over? Well, they like 3 seeded Xavier to go deep (and I do depending on Drew Lavender's health) and Davidson who beat nobody but played a lot of somebodies and played them tough.

Three years ago, I would have crossed Davidson off the list immediately upon discovering they are this years unofficial sweetheart but now I don't know. Which brings me to my final team. Whoever I pick in the Gonzaga game: pick opposite. Me and a friend of mine in DC are Gonzaga's bitches. We wanted to make up T-Shirt's for March Madness that said, "I'm Gonzaga's Bitch," because every year I pick them they choke. Every year I don't they win.

Oddly, people are saying they struggle as a low seed and succeed as a high seed. This sounds pretty close to a rule. So you should do opposite, unless I do, because whatever I do they'll do opposite. They are a seven seed this year. Which means you should pick them to lose... unless I do.

Okay... finally some real tips you can use. If you are in a small pool. Pick conservatively. Most years cinderellas don't make it to the second weekend and certainly not the second game of the second weekend. If you are playing a small field, no need to get crazy. Pick a team 1-4 seeded to win it all and pick low seeds in your final four. When it doubt go with the higher seed.

If you are in a big pool, this strategy is less effective, but be a little daring. Like poker in a huge field, you take some risks to amass some chips, because you are going to need them. If there are 500 in the pool, 200 of them are going to do conservative, and odds are one of their conservative will be slightly better than yours. So your best chance to win a nice chunk of change is to take some risks. If the risk hits you are going are going to be sitting pretty. Who cares if you are 499 out of 500 for three years running, the year you hit, you are taking all the cheese. And the real money like in poker is for coming in first.

Participate in a tournament that uses a site that rewards the biggest price for a perfect bracket. You won't hit it... but if lightning strikes you want be cursing yourself either. I'm doing a bracket on Yahoo, which rewards 5 million for the perfect one. If you want to join email me.

Anyway, good luck.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Slumped Over

When you are in a slump, you body position usually literally becomes a slump at the table. Not the kind of image you want to give off when making a bold bluff, or a raise with a marginal hands. It screams weakness. I'd say recently I've been in a mini-slump and have had to catch myself from sinking into the felt.

Recently the Harrahs wednesday tournament has been my personal Iceberg, my reads have been outstanding yet, I've had nothing to show for it. This wednesday I had a strange, strange hand play out. I raise from EP playing on my tight image with 64 suited. I like to do this because it gives me three options. I can c-bet like I have an overpair or a big ace that paired up. I can muck the hand easily if my "bluff" c-bet isn't going to work or the texture of the board mandates calls by draws. And three, I hit it, inevitably I'll get paid off because the table is putting me on high cards or a pocket pair. So, the flop comes 765. Big blind checks. I'm open ended with middle pair. Let's see where I'm at.

I lead out. The first two preflop callers ditch and then the guy in the big blind who barely called the preflop raise throws his chips in with some hesitancy. I've pinned him as a guy who defends his BB with nothing but calls just because it's his BB and maybe to him that's a form of resistance. The turn is a Q. Not the card he needed.

He fronts like he's about to bet and defensively caresses his chips before checking. I realize I'm probably ahead right now. Well he's going to pay to see his overcards plus there is two to a flush out there (though it's my baby flush). I fire. He's commited and makes a crying call, he's looking for something.

River is a J. He missed and checks. Funny thing here, I win the hand had I checked and turned over my pair (I told you this was a strange hand) but I decide maybe he's got a weak 7, let's get him off his hand. I push another big bet out there. He's about to muck and then looks at his cards one last time.

Suddenly, the passivity is gone. He's energized bouncing up and down, and then goes into acting mode. He's hemming and hawing and throws his "hapless" hands up in the air "I'm all-in." Uh beg your pardon. I can't figure it out. I ask, "Where you chasing a straight and forgot you had a jack?" He can contain an authentic smile. What's weird is the strength he is conveying is even more than that. I stall. I really want to know his cards. I know I'm going to fold but I hope my agonizing will get him to show after I do.

I fold, and he shows 89 for the nuts. He then revealed he didn't realize he had the straight (which he flopped) until he was about to muck at the end. Had I turned over my pair, I think he would have simply folded quickly without looking again, but betting into him, he felt the need to represent he was making a big decision. Odd, huh.

Great, crippled I make a move with a low pair in early position (in my defense I was two hands from the blinds which were going to empty me) and get called by JJ and QQ. JJ hit his set and knocked out two players and didn't even give me a sweat.

That night, I hit the boomtown tournament and snapped it off. I played strictly ABC poker and won my races and had my hands held. Got crippled twice, but stayed patient and got my money in good and rebounded when my hands held. Of course it was boomtown so the hand of the night was when I saw a guy ship it with K7 o/s on the final table with about 30 times the blinds and get called by a guy with Q10 suited with 31x(!)--this was preflop. Crazy minefield I got lucky enough to get through. Must say, I was pretty good at hitting the gas on the bubble and playing at the bigger stacks during the money play. So, that's a postive sign. There are also a few players there that I can see marked improvement in.

So I guess, slump busted, so at least I'll be sitting high at my next table and be back to bettting with confidence. So when you see me remember just fold.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Met up with the Spice Rack on Friday

We bled as slowly and as painfully as a chinese water torture. I enjoyed getting run down, and having to call value bets when my opponents hit their straights. I also loved having three, and they were the same three opponents, call my preflop and post flop raises with air, then hit something on the turn and then the river. Third or fourth time I've played at Harrahs and had the multiple opponents playing at me every time.

One memorable one included me having my sole overpair to the board. 10s I believe. Board comes out low but an odd straight out there. I bet, raised, and re-raised. Fine, one of them has me beat, whipsawed or not, I fold. Other guy calls. Turn is an 8. Player A raises. Player B calls. River is an 8. There is some more action. A8 vs. K8. Okay, I think they were both open ended and my postflop fold saved me some money even if I was ahead. Still, frustrating.

Fantasy poker was no more fun. Fantasy poker is the imaginary game I play when I have to fold all the dreck I've been dealt, and where I see if I could have won the hand with crap or if I hit my hand had I played it. Never did I hit a hand folded (or played for that matter), so that part was boring and as for the timing issue, generally my reads were good, but when I'd pin a bad hand on a player, I'd see him call with it so I wouldn't have been able to bluff him.

That really made the night painful, these donkfishes and gutshot chasers, were paying off made hands when they'd miss their chase--yet, I COULDN'T CATCH A HAND.

Spicer, ran well early, and showed more aggression then he displays in his tournament style, and until the table dynamic changed to the chasers was turning a profit. My typical style of trying to buy a small pot or two here and there to stay even until the cards turn positive for me, gave me three hands where I c-betted. When the table changed and I played 3 on 1, they all had hands and I had no avenue for profit. Felt like I was on a 3-6 table and just waiting for the best hands.

Nothing worse then calling a value bet at the river knowing you are beat but not knowing why. I got lucky when one dude caught his straight and checked it in a threeway pot. I sniffed something was rotten in denmark. I was sitting with QJ and two Jacks on board. I checked and he showed his straight. Yay, I didn't lose as much money as I could have! Yay, I priced him and the other passenger out with my post flop and turn bets, and they called. Boo. I lost again.

Enough whining. Poker is a numbers game. I had a miserable run, and bore the brunt of variance, but I didn't get stupid. I didn't make mistakes, other than opening my range of starting hands after getting frustrated (which is a pretty bad mistake that cost me a fair amount of limps), and I didn't make moves fearing it was only way to win pots, despite being tempted, only to discover they would have called no matter what.

Not sure where I'll be this week. Could be New Orleans. Could be AC. We'll see.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Starting a New Blog

It's called "Watching Grass Grow."

Here's the link:

If I do everything right in two weeks it will be over. Is there nothing more boring then watching grass grow? Arguably this blog is. We'll find out if that holds true in two weeks.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

I'm a donfish does it matter if my oponents are too?

I ask myself that after these hands... one online in my now stuttering zero bankroll to a million
attempt and one live today.

Online: People are folding to min-raises like they are real bets. I min-raise, and a guy pounds it to 20x. We all fold. He says, "I hate minraises." Oh really. I min-raise the very next hand with a smiley face. Everybody folds of course. I keep doing it, and dragging small spots with c-bets and just waiting for the chance to reshove on him. Under the gun I get AQ suited. Ahh... min raise. Next guy calls. Lots of callers, it's losing its usefulness. Guy on the button makes a big raise. Fold to me. I call (mistake number 1?), thinking we'll play heads up. Guy next to me goes all in for 1/3rd of my stack. Button calls. Huh? Huh?

Button barely has me covered. I reckon I have the best hand or a coinflip with one of them or maybe overcards to them both. I shove to isolate the guy to my left. Button must be weakish to not push. Button deliberates forever. Call. I'm all in, in threeway action with AQ. Okay...

Flop is 7JA. Okay, I might be ahead. Turn is a J. Hope KJ ain't in this hand. River is 7. Villian number one shows AJ for a full house. Villian number two shows pocket 7s for four of a kind. Now, I don't hate my play and I do question the rationale of the other two fools, but ultimately I got it all in with two opponents with AQ suited. Who cares how bad they are... better spots for me to make my move. In that personal challenge I don't have the bankroll to spare for arbitrary races. Course had 7s folded, I would have been delighted to know I was up against AJ. Still would have lost. "online poker is rigged :)."

In live MTT play today, I flop a set in a big multi-way pot. First to act bets. I call eyeing a guy in late position with a lot of chips who usually raises in this situation and has his chips ready to act. Call, call, guy kind of shakes his head and just calls (ARGHHH!), and it's called around. River is a Jack with an AK board. I bet, and a guy pushes on me leting me know he has his straight on the turn (Q10 introduced itself to the table) I know he's got it. I'm hoping for one of my 12 outs to hit and getting almost the 4 to 1 on my money. I also told myself I was going to try and accumulate chips early today, so I call and miss. That big pot gone... I find myself short.

After a flurry of hands, where I quickly build my stack without showing I look at AK suited. I raise from the button. BB who's been tight all day calls with a couple of others. Flop is 976. He leads out with a weak bet based on the pot size. Everybody folds. I decide to see another card and maybe push him off his hand. Turn is a 2. He throws another weak bet out. I contemplate pushing on him now. Maybe he's on a straight draw and he'd be forced to call (and instead of weak betting he's trying to keep it small unless he hits), so I tell myself to wait for the river. River is an 8. Another weak bet, each one only a little bit bigger than the last. It's screaming "Go away, let me have this little pot." I look down at my chips, those two calls ate into my short stack a bit.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see him frozen stiff and eyeballing me. He's got nothing, no straight, and not even top pair. I trust my gut. I ask him how much he has left, he's basically hiding his chips (WEAK), and he's got me pipped by like $200. F it. Trust my read I tell myself.

Over the top all in. He almost folds. Then starts what I think is face-saving posturing asking how much it is, I'm confident I'm going to win this hand when suddenly the table is aflutter with commentary, the dealer goes, "It doesn't matter you got him covered," Somebody says, "He's only got like $1600" (Off by $200), another guy talks to a guy next him at my side of the table but loud enough for the donkfish at the other end to hear, "he's got to call, he can't fold." Donkfish, under the advice of his team of advisors calls, and shows down K7 offsuit. Throwing his chips into the pot in defeat. And not wanting to show his hand.

Again, I'm not sure I should be calling him a donkfish. I wouldn't make that call. My move screamed I hit the straight. Maybe he had a read on me and made a hero call, more likely he was goaded into it. The dealer is normally a chip runner who jumps in when they are short and didn't know better to quell the talk or not sway the action. I leave a tad bit angry.

However, here I am pushing with air, calling with air, and grousing about losing with air. So what if their moves were bad, even though my reads were right my actions or stack size or table chatter, mandated calls. Just because you can put somebody on something and realize you'd fold in their situation doesn't necessarily mean pushing on them will have the correct result. Going to try and hit Boomtown tonight maybe.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Hole in my game...

I've had a bit of revelation recently, shifting gears is not my strong suit, or at least when I've noticed that the table or the regular players are adjusting against me, I'm too slow to hit the gas (in cash games).

I sat down on Sunday night to catch some hands at Harrahs because I met up with a friend downtown in on business. A healthy convention crowd was out with him, so I was happy with the turnout at Harrahs. Of course, I once again sit down at a table of mostly regulars, the ones that weren't regulars were tight and not the loose tourists we dream of, so again I felt like somebody else was making money.

I get into an early hand with the big stack who had been hitting everything. I bet out the limpers and he sticks, I'm holding 88. Flop is 10107. I bet, he calls. Turn is a 6. I check, he checks. River is a 6. I bet, he folds.

Now, maybe I should have bet the turn, but I was ready to play back at him because I thought he might take the lead given what was said around the table. Also, I thought a check might give me more info. If he checks, I'm right that I'm ahead and only a big card would warrant caution on the river. Say, he bets, I check-raise and he calls or pushes, then I reevaluate and my read was wrong and he's got a 10 or maybe Jacks or making a good bluff.

Anyway, that pot ended up being my profit for the evening. I won some pots in late position where I was trying to trim the field of limpers or small callers (idiot makes it 7 and everybody calls and I push to 40 or something) but, I didn't capitalize on the fact nobody was playing back at me. I didn't need hands at that point. Granted I didn't want to get caught in a big hand with zippo, but I certainly had some opportunity to push the passive players at my table and didn't. The good players and I weren't ever in pots together.

Here at this point, I need to start pushing a bit. Isolate a novice and outplay him after the flop. Put some money at risk, knowing I'm behind preflop, but I can win it postflop or get out if he strengthens. This is definitely an aspect of my game I need to improve on. It might be some expensive lessons but I gotta pay the tuition.