Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Buck Stops Here... or here... or here?

It was Russ. Russ Hamilton. He bares all responsibility.

He acted independently and defrauded the company he was merely an advisor too. He cheated your friends out of millions of dollars. He was a rogue employee.

Yes. Just like Absolute Poker could not possibly have a cheating scandal. Nor could Ultimate Bet, remember, their security was airtight.

The Absolute guy, he too, was working by himself.

This smells like rotten fish.

Surely, a ton of evidence was presented to the investigators showing all things leading to Hamilton. Surely, everyone interviewed pointed fingers Hamilton's way. And in all likelihood the guy was complicit, but acting alone?

Come on. He's the latest sheep thrown to the wolves. He's the latest fall guy, and just maybe, him being a Main Event champion makes him a big enough name and a compelling enough figure to appease the masses.

Right now, you'd think the best thing to happen would be Russ Hamilton coming out and naming names and all those other criminals being exposed, but what if he is his own fall guy. I hope he talks and rats out everybody else. . . because if he doesn't the real story here, might be him offering himself on a silver platter to protect his own site (to which he is merely a "consultant").

It was Russ's fault. Okay, eveything back to normal. Please come back to our site and gamble. We are honest... now. Wonder if he'll keep drawing a check. Is he even looking at jail time? What jurisdiction? Without regulation or oversight is the company and Indian tribe outside the law? They pay a fine to who? The reservation? Doesn't half the reservation own the company anyway? Does anybody know who owns what?

This stinks like fetid feet.

Everything Absolute Poker or Ultimate Bet has done has smacked of obfuscation and hidden agendas. There is a shady and there is darkness. These guys have done the minimum until urged on to do more. Then it's a breadcrumb or two.

The guy in the AP scandal, isn't he sitting on a beach right now drinking daquiris? Is Russ Hamilton merely going to be forced into "early retirement" and joining him?

This stinks like roadkill.

Gamble on Absolute Poker or Hamilton Bet at your own risk. Sorry, Ultimate Bet, odd how many letters "Ultimate" and Russ Hamilton share huh? Remember these guys were printing money by owning an online casino and it wasn't enough for them. They had to go and screw it up by stealing from their "customers" or their marks. You think they won't get greedy enough to do it again? Once a thief always a thief.

This stinks like a heated Russ Hamilton.

Check out our front page for an update.


Monday, September 29, 2008

Cowboys Decide my fate...

In the Harrahs weekly, MP bets. Guy two seats later raises significantly. I look down at KK.

The blinds and antes were, I believe, 50-200-400. First guy made it 1000. Next guy made it 2300. I had about 7k in front of me. I shove. First guy calls. Second guy calls (both have me outchipped. First guy substantially and the second guy moderately). Flop bricks out. First guy reaches for his chips. Second guy says, I call if you push. He induces the check, and then shoves, and first guy feels obligated and looks almost ashamed to call probably because of the goading. First guy AK. Second guy JJ. Turn blank. River A.

JJ is incensed. "He should have known we had monsters."

Maybe preflop he can get away from that when I'm indicating Kings or Aces, but probably 3 or 4 people in that tournament can fold AK preflop. Also, with AK in your hand less likely you are against bullets or cowboys... but with this type of action almost always. However, I had just shoved two out of three previous hands and in short order like that it's around hand three were people start questioning if you got it... again. I only had to sweat 5 outs so I don't mind losing, won't be the first or the last time an Ace peals off, but the guy with Jacks was pissed.

Arguably you could say he had less business being in there than the first guy. Now he's facing a raise, a re-re-raise, and a call. AK has three (obvious) outs to beat Kings (and one of my re-outs if the ace hits) vs. the two outs for Jacks. AK vs. Aces is all but dead, where Jacks have two outs. However, AK is 50.50 almost vs. queens and Jacks still have just their two outs.

So, jacks are basically looking for a set and he's not getting the right price for that. Whereas AK is almost even with one of my holdings (though my least likely holding). I guess, people make my move with AK too and AK is tied, but both dogs to any pair because we share outs.

So, reviewing the action, did JJ wanted AK out of the hand after the flop? Unfortunately for him, he didn't really have enough chips to prevent the guy getting to the river. Another play, though riskier, is to check and then shove on the turn. Everybody should call that bet anyway, but some people will call an all-in to see two cards but not one. Instead of the stop and go, it's a stop, stop, and go. However, the initial check was evidence the guy hadn't yet hit, the board indicated as much anyway. He wanted a free card. Never give a free card they say, BUT it would have been creative for the JJ to protect on the turn. Might have been the only way to win the hand if he knew the A was coming on the river.

Problem is he didn't know the A was coming on the river. Far better reasoning against that play (a stop, stop and go) is to build a sidepot vs. AK. In that regard he wants the dude in the hand and shoving after the flop is to win money not to protect a hand. He probably realized that as he was playing, but did the classic, I did not want what I wished for. That idiot should have realized we "had monsters" how can he have called--even though at the time I wanted him to call.

In the Boomtown tournament, in the first round of 25-25, I played a hand poorly. It's like a turbo with the short starting stacks (1k). The standard raise is an absurd 125, so I decide I'll make it 75 with 9-9 and see I can get these guys to slow down a bit. With the first smaller raise, generally the respect it is accorded is decided by the next guy to act. This guy looked like he was trying to find the bathroom and landed in a poker tournament. He called quickly. Sweet. A regular, a capable lady, calls and I roll my eyes, the waterfall effect is on. Next dude calls, and I'm expecting to be 10 handed (better hit my set I think). Then people fold to the button. Okay.

The button is a player who is a regular in the 1-2 games at Harrahs and a pretty steady winner. I think I haven't given him enough credit in the past. His aggression leaves him bareassed sometimes but it also earns him money. So he fires in 500. Is he overplaying a hand again? He's also just pushed a few hands in a row.

Argh. I should fold here. The tournament has too many weak spots to capitalize on that I don't need to get involve in the donkfest behind me with a holding like 99. Can't call, because they will all call. I make the decision where I hope they have common cards and I might be a favorite. Course I know better and I'm just wishing.

So, I shove hoping to isolate the button. Surprise, surprise, the first guy calls. The woman, the only one of us with any sense folds. The next guy calls and the button calls saying he's only worried about my hand. Smells like Jacks or 10s, pretty good but vulnerable. The guy to my left, who fell into the game, had Arag. The button had JJ. The other guy, the dude who just called the initial 75, yeah he had... KK. Go back and wrap your brain around that one.

So, I've got the third best hand and not only do these dudes not share cards, I'm dominated. Didn't hit my set. Goodnight.

It's funny, that in my mind I was critical of the JJ play earlier in the day by my opponent, yet I get myself into a ton of trouble with 99, a weaker holding, and arguably a weaker situation. I'm the donkey.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Monkey Business


The 2+2 pages are alight with accusations about Monkey. My gut tells me he's in a pretty bad spot. He could be the ultimate con man and I'm his next victim or dupe, but I think he's the one that got scammed. Right now, I'm near a 100% he's not involved. While I won't be wiring anybody any money any time soon, I believe the guy.

He's told me he's willing to work with Jonathan Little about this and go to the authorities. Or work separately with the police to get this righted. I've advised him not to play this out in the forums at 2+2. The people that are involved in this doubt him, and he needs to regain their trust and show due diligence in getting the guys. If he's forthcoming in doing this, he should clear his name.

And if Jonathan Little is swayed, the rest of 2+2 will follow. Really, they are the only folks that should be involved. 2+2 needs to be aware of what's going on, so nobody else gets duped but Monkey doesn't need to get baited into spurious arguments that hurt his credibility. From this point on, he and Jonathan Little should be working with the police to solve this.

From a logic viewpoint, I don't see how anybody can think it's Monkey (maybe that's the genuis of it--if it is him, although looks like he wouldn't have made any money). This would be the dumbest possible scam, yet it's rgured he had the foresight to write that fake aim conversation and wire himself money in Peru (pending sight of the Western Union slip). They also suggest he and his girlfriend are one and the same. One rationale was because she referred to him as her fiancee people thought she was refering to herself. There's too much preparation for such a dumb plan. If you were going to cover your ass that much wouldn't you be smart enough to not put yourself at risk in the first place? Think this out people.

He's the fall guy. Anybody that's read his writing will notice the guy soliciting the money on AIM talks and writes nothing like him. Where are the "..." and the ALL CAP WORDS. Just rings fradualent.

I still don't see motive on his behalf. How hard would it be for somebody to track down the
money that's been transferred to him. No the smart thing is to put a guy that's willing to wire money offline in connection with a lot of money to wire. That's clearly the plan here. They get money to Monkey at a substantial profit, he thinks he's helping out a pro he admires and profiting from it, so he'll keep going as long as they can fool people into giving him money. At the end of this little plan, the fake Little takes him for everything and the only name connected to this scam, besides the pick-up in Peru, is Monkey's. Actually pretty clever had they been able to pull it off.

Monkey is a polarizing figure and has probably pissed off a number of people. He's also a guy that I think leads his life via his emotions, making him an easy mark, so there are two reasons for people to target him. For the record, I put his posts on blogger. I'm sure he could do it if he wanted to, it's just as easy as writing the emails he sends me, but his reticence to do so indicates a relunctance to use technology in a manner that would jibe with him hacking into AIM or anywhere else. This isn't the guy. I've sent a couple of emails to Shannon Shorr saying the same thing. I don't know Will well, except for a couple of phone calls, emails, and playing with him in the past. My read tells me at heart he's a principled honest guy. I think his name and reputation means a lot to him and he's going to battle like hell to protect it.

Unless the dude is friggin' Keyser Soze none of this makes sense.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I run gud

Gearing up for the weekly again. Had an alright night Monday night but once again didn't even come close to a sweat for the football squares. Though at least this time I had football mathmatical chances to win (TD and FG vs. FG, FG). Normally I need some sort of saftey and missed extra point madness to get to my number.

Will cover, a couple of quick hands. Trying to overload on my suckouts as I've hit a few recently. Not to mention this past weekend I ran like Jesse Owens at my friends wedding for tiny stakes (cab fare money). Three handed flopping straights and nutting full houses on the river. Why can't I get that in a real tournament? Yes, I'm bitching because I'm running good. I'm a bitcher.

On Monday night, I flop two pair, A9, bet and the tourist calls it. He's chasing and the magic flush card turns and he does the microtell stare at his chips. Suh-weet. He checks his temporary nuts, I'm certainly not going to bet his hand for him-check. River 9 ball. He bets, I raise and he does the all in shrug and he's dumbfounded the nut flush is not the nuts. (BTW, can you call a nut flush a nut flush if it doesn't win the hand? And do you call a straight flush, the nut flush... not if there is royal flush out there? I've had arguments with various people about this).

Let's see... finally got one of those disguised bets to win when I bet 43. Flop two fours. King turned and killed some of my action as one of my opponents figured my tight nit ass was on AK or something. Other dude paid me off pretty good though.

Let's keep it going and make my third final table in a row and go up again in the money. No, bad greed this time, either, only good greed right.

Alright, enuff for tonight.


Friday, September 19, 2008

Who do they pray to when they need a one outer?

Got some feedback on my new logo from two of ya'll.

1. Looks cool.

2. Looks like your first day experimenting with Photoshop. Maybe you'll get better.

Kind of right down the middle there.

Here's a picture of something a little bit sacrilegious.
Expect radio silence from me the next couple of days.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Take the money and run.

Yesterday, I finished in 7th at the Harrahs weekly. Another cash which is good. I cost myself money which is bad. My blog post two days ago was prophetic as I needed to hit a miracle set on somebody in a pair vs. overpair matchup and it hit.

At that point, I felt confident the final table was in my future.

I said I wouldn't be greedy this time. Shockingly, greed won that internal battle and I cost myself money.

A chop was offered by the overwhelming chip leader. I saw three short stacks and demurred. I was the only one to pass. The money started moving about the table like it was water and I went absolutely card dead. Anytime I thought about just trying to steal with nothing, and didn't, somebody showed down a monster. Sweet.

The chipleader at one point had to make a 6k call from the BB against a woman who was pretty nitty to knock her out and didn't. The BB had him invested 4k. Yeah, 6k to win 21k. 3 to 1+. At that point, I thought Uh-oh this isn't going well. So, I decided if he wasn't going to play I'd steal his BB. Guy on the button, an old rock wasn't haven't any of it and called my bet. Flop came out ace high and brick city for me. I check, he bets, I fold. Position is underrated.

I thought back to writing I wasn't going to be greedy and thinking this was going to bite me in the ass. Finally, we lost a couple of people, and though I liked my chances vs. most of the table, I was ready to chop. Unfortunately, I was now basically a short stack.

Later I ran into aces preflop and they held. Oh well.

Here's the capper. After turning down the chop, I get a call from my fiancee saying she took her car into the shop and owes a ton of money. Sweet. Left $400+ on the table because I was greedy. Had I known that, I might have taken the guarantee and had less to win this week.

So, I sit down in the cash game with a figure it mind, determined to nit it out. I catch kings on my first hand and double up.

Fast forward 7 hours... and that's the profit I left with. Took some sick beats and made a ton of tough lay-downs that were all right. You add them up and I should have been down multiple, multiple buy-ins. Once again, all the critical swing hands went the other way.

Big hands on the day.

Tournament: I folded two overs and a flush draw when a guy made a move on me thinking I was c-betting with air. He had top pair. Didn't want to flip a coin early in the tournament. Laid down AK suited fairly late in the tournament for half my stack, because I decided to nit my way to final table land. Darrell was my dealer and he knew what I laid down. DaRock gave me Aces once and I checked to an agressive player on the flop, he shipped it and I insta-called. Poker is fun.

Cash game: For a one hour stretch we had a "maniac" turn the table upside down. The action was fast and furious. Course I couldn't catch. Any limped pot was bumped to 20. The table limped around to me on the button I look at AQ suited. I know I have the best hand. Limp. BB (maniac) makes it 20 (shocker) and gets 1 call. I ship it having the BB more than covered but the caller has almost as much as me. BB calls (just as I planned). Caller folds (just as I hoped).

He turns over QJ. Domination. Flop gives him flush and straight draws. Turns the straight. I didn't even see it at first as I was wishing for a spade not to hit.

Later I'm getting a little short and a guy calls me down to the river, with me betting hard every step, I got trip 9s, and when I shove there he calls. I table my 9 crappy kicker with a little bit of fear. He shows Jack high. Wow. No draw, nothing, jack frickin' high. I was the guy that got the Christmas gift for once.

I laid down AK preflop when A10 and KK battled it out. KK held. I lost nothing on that hand.

Later I got a hand. I make it 10. Same guy with the KK fires out to 60. I haven't seen him bluff all day. Guy to my right folds. I stew, the $60 bettor is staring at the table. My alarm bells are going off. Just to be sure I should lay it down I ask, "How much you got behind?" (***This dude courtesy of a hot streak with the maniac was the chip leader by about 2k). For a split second he looked up thrilled, micro expression tell, and then saw that I was joking. I say I'm laying down to 10s. He shows aces. The guy to my right folded 99s. Dealer throws out a flop just to see what happens. It came out 9... 10... A. Set, set, set. Of course, that would be set, set, set, if I actually had 10s, which I didn't, that was my lie of the day but I thought I might be able to get him to show his monster.

Oh yeah, one more weird tourney note. My first table which ended up being the actual final table in the tournament, had 5 players progress to final table. And the guy that went out on the bubble was from my starting table too. 6 out of 11 of us started together. That's hard to do. Real hard. I never seen that in a tournament that big.

Course a couple of guys got moved off it during the day but we played for a while and battled it out all morning with the same faces.

Oh yeah, here's a bonehead play I made. I bet out from midposition with QJ suited. SB min raises (hello, big pair) and he gets a caller from an EP limper (call station). I like my price and that dude is sitting deep. I call the minraise, hoping to nail the flop or pitch if dry. Comes out Ace high. Dude looks like he got nailed by a baseball bat straight to the jaw. Oh, you got kings do you. He puts out a bet that screams feeler bet. The EP stews and folds.

How would I play this if I had AK. Well, I might just minraise here. I minraise. He makes one of those saving face calls. I used to do it. Don't want to make it look like your bet was zilch and call. Turn is brick, he checks. At this point I should shove. I don't. I check because I want him to think I got him on the line. He checks the river to me and I put him all in. After forever he calls. Tables kings.

Here's what I got wrong in that hand. Let's start from the back end. One of the things that SuperBill does well at the table is after getting a read on his opponent he puts the guy in a corner of pride. He boxes the dude in. In this situation SuperBill would have said, "You are thinking about calling with pocket kings. You can't get away from them?" And two things would have happened. 1. He folds and shows, besting me because he saved himself some money. or 2. He folds without showing pissed I read his hand and doesn't want to call with kings and be a loser and have to show the table he called after I told him his hand. You'd think the third action would happen a lot more than it does and that is he calls makes me show and is ready to fire into the muck if in fact he is a loser. Which is what I do.

My next mistake, going backward through the hand was not shoving on the turn. Giving the guy a chance to check twice to me, in my experience increases the liklihood he'll call on the river. All I've done is increase the possibility in his mind I'm just feeding on his shown weakness or tentativeness. I also didn't put him on the defensive any where in the hand by asking him how many chips he has. As Ray pointed out to me, I could have gleaned how married he'd be to those kings by that simple question.

Now go back even further. I should have shoved on the flop. None of this, how would I play with AK bullshit. I wasn't at the final table at a tournament. I was in a Harrahs cash game. Just apply brute pressure. No min raise. Just open shove the guy when he was feeling his weakness.

What's the first mistake? DON'T TRY AND PUSH PEOPLE OFF OF KK AT HARRAHS! Big deal I knew where he was 80% of the players can't lay that down with a ace on the board, 4 to a straight on the board and 4 to a flush on there too.

Afterward, I say, you couldn't lay those kings down huh? He replies, "I knew when you just called my preflop raise (the min raise I might call with anything in that situation) you had a pair in the hole." Oh, really.

Alright, back to the grind today.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A man and his lion

Good thing help got there. Pretty soon a lion's got to eat. Ticking timelion.



Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Short one...

I've gotten some sick, sick updates from Monkey in Tunica. His next blog will be interesting.

Some cliffnotes: he sat down in a room with a 96k jackpot, then was told to get up because the guy decided he didn't want to leave. Before he can gets re-seated somebody hits the jackpot.

Next he had kings flop came out 999. Turn was a king. His opponent held A9. Ow.

I'm headed to Austin on Thursday for a friend's wedding. It's an interesting affair to say the least. I'm not sure he's formally asked his wife yet for her hand in marriage. That's the way he... rolls.

I decided today to get the Absolute account off my computer and trash the software. Had some money left on it. What should I do? Play on a crooked site? Cash out? What would you do?

I'll be playing the Harrahs mid-week tomorrow morning. I won't be greedy this week. We'll see if I hit a set when I have to.

Alright, more to come tomorrow.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Looking for a new logo. Welcoming all submissions. Here's one.



Alright the latest edition of the timelion is coming soon. I promise.

In the meantime, my tagline on gulfcoastpoker.net says I'll talk about issues facing the coast, so here's one of those.

1. Next time you are evacuated and some asshat tells you they have no sympathy for you because you are too stupid to move out of a city that is below sea level explain to the ignoramus some simple facts. The port of New Orleans and the oil from the gulf that comes through here are too vital to the NATION's economy to simple desert the city. In fact, though the sane thing to do might be to build a new New Orleans round about Baton Rouge or a little further North up the river the costs for that are so exorbitant and prohibitive it's actually better/cheaper to slowly build up the levees here and hope the huge storm doesn't come before the city is secure. Course should New Orleans ever get eviscerated then yes, a move upriver is the smart thing to do.

So in effect, all us "idiots" are doing the rest of the country a great favor in living here, and risking life, livilihood, and family. "Well," they'll retort, "you don't need everybody there to do that." Point of fact, we still need most of the people to support this city which though incredibly poor is a hub for almost 1/3rd of this country's business. So, those asshats should be grateful we let all those dollars go up north and line their pockets.

2. Those people are just ignorant, and if after you educate them they still chose to be, stop wasting your breath. No need to compare New Orleans to cities near forest fires areas out west, earthquake zones, states comprised of volcanoes, mud-slides, blizzards, ice storms, cities in flood zones, avalanches, drought areas etc, etc. Most of those urban areas contribute far less to the economy than New Orleans does and point of fact living there is a much more a lifestyle choice and burden to the taxpayer then living here is.

They also won't get that Katrina didn't wreck the city but government failure (city, state and federal) did. They also won't get that as the people in New York state found out during the falilure of their levees during flooding or the folks in Michigan found out when their bridge broke that government isn't looking out for anyone. No they'll buy in to the fact we live in a tolietbowl and the water's coming over the edge but we are'n't going anywhere. It's our fault. They'll be singing a different tune when it's in their back yard.

3. You can also thank your fellow Louisianas for some of the hate steered our way. I heard about a shelter in Louisville Kentucky where the following things happened. A beautiful gym lined with cots and supplies was set up for the evacuees. A play area for kids was set up, so that the evacuees could drop their kids off so they could do grown up things like track the storm or track down relatives. They organized trips like to the Louisville slugger company to keep these people occupied. Here's what happened. Every toy was broken when kids acted up. When the VOLUNTEERS asked where their parents were to discipline them they parents came after them. When a FEMA representative showed up the entire crowd started chanting "Where's our $2,000 dollars."

Most turned down the free field trips. Kentucky Fried Chicken donated food (it was in Kentucky) the crowd started angrily chanting, "Where's Our Corn on the Cob." Oh yeah, the few people that went to the bat factory and were given free bats proceeded to come back and fight each other with the sluggers. A liquor store in walking distance had to shut down and put an armed guard out front because so many people had shoplifted. The bathrooms were destroyed Superdome style with nobody using the trash cans, and on the floor were spent condoms and other trash. The grown up activities the daycare was there to supplement weren't exactly those kinds of activities. Needless to say, those volunteers in Kentucky will probably never lift another finger to help us again. When the people that will be actually grateful for their assistance in the future and not just looking for a hand out will be the ones that suffer. Though I didn't hear of anything like this in Chattanooga, I wouldn't be surprised if this scene was repeated elsewhere and often.

4. Those are my rants for now. Clearly in #3 you can understand where all the anger comes from. It's also biases people's opinion against the real issues surrounding the city every hurricane season. The people that chose to be ignorant in 1 or 2 probably know somebody that volunteered.


Monday, September 08, 2008

Bar Poker

Still evacuated. With my two dogs and all the hassle of getting everything together to head north, I'm waiting on Ike before I head back. Of course that storm has taken forever to get into the gulf and nobody knows what it's doing. Yesterday half the computer models had it going to Texas the other half had it going to Florida. I just checked and almost all of them having it go to Texas or well west of New Orleans. Looks like I might be headed back tomorrow. The latest models: http://www.nola.com/hurricane-ike/wide.ssf?http://my.sfwmd.gov/sfwmd/common/images/weather/plots/storm_09.gif. I found that on NOLA dot.com. There also have a pretty good interactive graphic of Gustave's storm surge on there, and some news such as the first post-Gustave muder (what a milestone).

So, bored I drive down to the ATL to visit two college buddies on Saturday and watch Richmond upend UVA (or so we planned). I felt we outplayed UVA for much of the game just couldn't score. UVA did enough to win and had a few huge defensive plays such as an int from the goal line late in the fourth returned deep into our half to put the game away. Would have been sweet for the little spiders to pull off the upset. Course they might just win an FCS national championship and probably only Appy State was better than them last year. Also, Tim Hightower our stud running back and rookie fantasy sleeper on the Arizona Cardinals got his first td yesterday.

So we were about to leave and head on to other things when we notice the bar we are in, a smoker's paradise and a lung cancer patient's hell, started to set up some poker tables. I ask the guy the deal and it's a league of sorts. Okay, what's the buy-in. It's free of course. What do you win. If you finish in the top three you can come back in two weeks and play for a couple of grand. I ask if that was real money. Yeah. I ask again. Yeah. Well, that's not terrible. If I'm still stuck in TN because Ike turns into a monster then I might like some more live action. Or I'll just let one of my friends play for the pot. Alright, we'll scratch my poker jones and play.

Small problem, my friends don't want to commit to the four hours of play to win nothing that night. Oh. Plus, we have to meet a guy named Michael Scott (I wondered if he was going to bring Dwight Shrute and Pam and Jim) who was from the same office as one of my friends. Hmmm. I really want to play.

We are going to play elite pro in a donkament style. Where the 1500 buy-in is less than a big hand they'd play so they just try to build a huge early stack or go home. And based on the pre tournament chatter I felt like I was about that much better than the lunchboxes who were going to play. My friends weren't really grasping the concept. Okay, just go all in every hand until you get called down. You either win a big pot or we leave. It's a freeroll right. Either you got a legtimate chance to play in the finals, or we get knocked out in 5 minutes--win, win.

So we sit down, and it's a typical bar room game, at least at my table. Limp, Limp, raise, call, call, call, call, all the way to me in the blind. 94 o/s Ship it. Passive table folds. Second hand the exact same thing happens, I think I might have a Jack. Ship it. Table folds. Looks like I won't get my double up but I am accumalating chips. Third hand more of the same. Ship it. Table folds. Fourth hand I look down at AJ. Okay, I don't mind being called with this. The idiots try to limp their way to another pot. At this point, if I were one of them I'd limp with a monster to induce my shipping it, and call. Nobody has a monster. Fold. yes, four hands and I'm chip laden with all the small chips and nobody's called me a maniac yet. Fifth hand I look at 72 o/s and there is a raise, a reraise (substantial) and a call. I laid down. The board was all faces and the reraiser connected pretty good and the other two fold to his bet.

I actually have enough of a chip lead that I going to play a little bit of poker. My friends on their tables have been doing the same and have some chips. Pure maniac agression might just be the optimal strategy. I get two fours and don't shove. I want to hit a set and felt somebody. I hit my set and there is two spades on the board. I tell the table they know what's coming. They are going to have to play for all their chips. I shove. Folded around to one guy who insta-calls. Set over set maybe. No, meager little flush draw. Alright, I've probably doubled or tripled my stack, I don't care if he hits. This is just the situation I wanted anyway.

Turn is a spade. Table celebrates because the maniac has lost a pot. Blissfully, unaware that the board could pair. I contemplate interupting their celebrations a bit but the dealer fires off a river brick. Okay, what do I owe.

I'm told he has me covered. What? I've won just about every pot we've played. He hasn't won a hand. What do you mean he has me covered. The guy shows me a stack of huge chips he's got at the bottom of his stack. Where the f did those come from? The "floor" comes over and says you get extra chips for drinking. Like for every drink you get 20% of your starting stack. He says I'm gone. Wait a second, Scooter, I've been drinking in that bar for four hours. Me and my friends just cleared a $100 tab to walk over here. Where the f are my extra chips. I needed to ask for them before the hand. Just then I notice a waitress come to the table and give a guy a drink and drop two of the big chips in front of him. WTF. Alright.

I'm steaming a bit. And railbirding my two friends, in a bar freeroll. Yeah. Fun.

One of my friends had a big stack, and apparently had been honoring the all in or nothing strategy no matter what. I tell him to buy a drink and he can get more chips. You can just drink your way to the victory here. That's got to be some huge liability for the bar and the poker league. So I get over and he's got some big hands and people call him down with crap (I guess you do that when the guy goes all-in every time). And he wins enough to stay ahead or at least wins vs. all the little stacks.

F this, people are still getting seated. I go to the car take off my hat and my top shirt and decide I'm going to SuperBill my way back into this little fiasco. I ask the floor guy if I can still play. He tilts his head like a confused dog. "Yes... But..." another head tilt as he's staring at me"Not..." the head goes back and forth from side to side "If... You already played?" The jig is up. "Yeah, I've played poker before." He sizes me up and down and despite my clever disguise of taking off my hat and shirt recognizes me as the guy who five minutes okay bitch about the secret stash of chips. I WAS SO CLOSE! "No." He says. Like the time me and my friends got kicked out a bar in DC, we walked down the steps and turned our hats around and walked back up. The Bouncer goes, "Is that literally the best you come up with?" "Ah, it was worth a try right?" "No."

Hmmm. Still railbirding... a bar game.... A freeroll bar game. People are bragging about the one time they got a full house. "Does that beat a flush." "You know my son plays a lot of online poker." "Does he play on one of those online sites?" (he plays online... online? You don't say). "He plays on Yahoo." I want to shoot myself listening to these snippets of dumbness, such as this debate "But two pair is more than three of a kind. I got to hit four cards to make my hand you have to hit three (can't argue with that). Well, two pair should be worth more." Karma I guess for talking my friends into playing.

I tell my other friend about the drink trick to get free chips and he's like "Oh, yeah." He's got a mountain of chips. Oh, he's the one that got the credit for our four hour tab. He's at a table with 8 women. He's flirting with a 50 year old with a garish Poker t-shirt. She works for the league and is playing.

My first friend gets eliminated after never stopping going all in. He won a hand with 7-2. No wonder he was getting called with anything. The guy with the chips and the chicks isn't going anywhere.

More table banter assaults my brain. "I tell you something about that World Series of Poker on the TV, on the ESP...N I heard that Chris Moneymaker was a plant by ESPN and the casino and the entire final table was scripted. If not for them the game would have never taken off. And I know that Moneymaker gets a million every year from Harrahs just to keep his mouth shut. " "I heard the same thing." "All those TV tables are like that. The ESPN puts so much money into the prize pool they get to decide whose going to win (which is wrong on so many levels)."

Argh. I'm really bored. Well, why not try my ruse again. Back to the car I put back on my hat and shirt.

I walk up to the same floor guy. Fully aware of the transparency of my plan but more for a reaction than to actually get in. I have the hat pulled down really low and I tap him on the arm. I change my voice a little bit to a ridiculous comic rasp, "Can I buy in?"
He's more than dumbfounded. "Did you just change shirts... Did you think that would work?"
I don't look up, "Is that a no?"
"No, no, no." He doesn't grasp any of the humor that I'm getting out of this.

Railbird again.

That's it for now. Oh yeah, the surviving friend at the urging of the other friend at one point started an all-in convoy and got knocked out.

Can't wait for some real action. I might just head west to Tunica.


Friday, September 05, 2008

Gustave update.

Sounds like GeneD made it out the storm okay. No power and minor roof damage. He is bunking up with a friend.

I'm still evacuated. Headed to Atlanta tomorrow for some football. Bringing the dogs so hopefully they'll be on their best behavior.

Couple of vendors for the wedding have been hard to get a hold of. Tried to get wedding insurance but nobody will sell to me if there are storms near the gulf.

Nothing much on the poker front. Will play some online as I'm jonesing a bit. Hope everybody else did well. Looking forward to receiving updates from the other bloggers once/if power is resotred. Hope anybody reading had minimal damage too.


Thursday, September 04, 2008

Football is upon us... And so is the smack talk

Email Thread of smacktalk before the season begins which came through my inbox today... It meanders, there is some solid smack, some weak smack, some themes and in general like the crunch of leaves in the Northeast under foot a sign football is upon us. So I posted it here. mmm beer. mmm football.

"Sent: Tuesday, December 26, 2006 12:05:55 PM

Hopefully everyone in New Orleans now realizes that Eli is not a good QB. I've held off for a long time as the bandwagon has fallen off but I can't defend his awful play anymore."

Merry Christmas, I stumbled upon that email in the vault though it was a good way to kick off the new season in honor of the reigning SuperBowl champions and their fans. The weather isn't pretty in December. I guess there is a reason they are called fairweather fans.

My pick: The Over of 41. Tonight. Involving the gnats and foreskins.

Sent: Thursday, September 4, 2008 11:13:55 AM

Juicy, very juicy. I like that your "sleeper" emails have been saved for almost 2 years, conveniently ignoring that when I wrote that email, I had stuck it out through some of the worst football played in years, only losing faith briefly for the last game of the year. Last year, however, Manning learned from that year and while he wasn't by any means a top 5 QB, he learned how to avoid mistakes that had previously crippled the team. Not coincidentally, this somehow came about when team cancer Jeremy Shockey went down with a year-ending injury and stopped complaining after each and every play. I fully expect him to have a redemptive year in NO this year as he will be playing with motivation for the first time since he was a rookie, which I might point out, was also his best year. Since then, he has had declining statistics each season and is coming off of a broken leg. Getting 2nd and 5th picks for him with no other offers was a great job by Jerry Reese.

However, I must admire the faith the Cowgirls fans have in their own non-Super-Bowl-winning QB after each of the last two years and his immense, absolutely brutal playoff meltdowns. I have not seen non-clutch performances like that since Nick Anderson bricked 4 straight FTs for the Orlando Magic. First, there was the "hold" choke, where his butterfingers cost Dallas the game. Then, there was the final play of the Cowboys offensive season last year where he threw an interception in the end zone. Yes, you've got a good team, but this is the guy who is going to lead you to the title? Win a playoff game before you act like the champs on HBO.

I haven't even gotten to the part about Pacman Jones, Tank Johnson and the rest. I'm surprised that JJ hasn't sprung Rae Carruth yet. The Dallas police department must be on Jerry Jones' payroll for a big chunk of cash this year. I hope Dallas plays Cincy this year, they might as well call out the marshals to serve all the papers to those teams.

So what you are saying is we are not fairweather fans because we haven't given up on our All-pro SuperBowl potential quarterback after setbacks in December? (Thank you?). We cowboys fans learn that kind of loyalty before our first birthday party at a McDonalds. I grew out of MickeyDs, but never the Cowboys. However, fitting I bring that up, because the G-men are a Ronald McDonald organization.

Why is it the cowboys best players can't get pushed out of the town, even when the writing is on the wall, and by comparison the G-men's best players can't retire or get out of town quick enough? Take Michael Strahan, that leather fetishist gap toothed Grimace, and his partner Mayor McCheese Tiki Barber, and you got an Unhappy Meal of discontent retiring in their prime. Tom Coughlin, the Hamburglar himself, looks like he only cracks a smile when he spreads honey mustard on his grundel and lets the McNugget Buddies Oshi and Plaxico lap it off. That's what you get with the Gmen, drive thru service every 8 years, a post superbowl/Big Mac stomach hangover plus the sharts that go with it, and a goofy clown lining up under center calling the shots.

Ummm.... Somebody must have spilled the orange drink, because you just got... juiced.

By the way if Strahan asks if you want a Hot Fudge Sunday, just say no.

Sent: Thursday, September 4, 2008 1:23:16 PM
Subject: Re: STONE COLD, LEAD PIPER oh hamburgers...

Credit for the last line, you actually made me laugh with that one.

Kind of like how the entire Cowgirl franchise makes me laugh. You are seriously going full on at two Hall of Famers because they both chose to retire before they were seriously injured and when they had lucrative television careers lined up? (Side note: someone should have told Tom Landry about this plan. And headsets.) One of whom just won a Super Bowl and helped take down arguably the greatest team never to win it all? Going out on top after a great 15 year career is now to be derided? Really? That's your comeback?

And your spin of my email would make Rafael Nadal proud. I didn't say that you should give up on your QB, I just said that until he wins something significant, like maybe a game that involves another playoff team, and stops choking like Mama Cass when things get important, that maybe he and the rest of the inmates might want to tone down the whole "We were the real champs" act. While it's nice that Wade Phillips can pad his regular season record, face it, when the playoff game came down to crunch time, he and Romo both were ready to hook up a catheter so they wouldn't get their pants wet. And this one year after he couldn't hold onto a snap for the GW kick in another playoff game. That's more than coincidence, it is a trend.

I can't wait for mid-October when T.O. holds another press conference in his driveway doing reps on the bench press and crying about how much he thinks everyone is being so, so mean and unfair to Romo, the big bullies.

There's a new show on the NFL Network that is a complement to Hard Knocks that documents everything you need to know about Dallas. You should check out. It's called "Crossfire" and it stars Pacman and Tank. It's sure to be a "hit".

Yes, it is to be derided when you are so scared you'd rather lay down like Brett Farve gifting somebody a record than to play football one more year. Of course it is to be derided and the juicing has only begun. In fact, I'm gonna punch them right in the ovary, that's what I'm gonna do. A straight shot. Right to the babymaker. They are fairweather players for fairweather fans. They should play in San Diego (***Discovered by the Germans in 1904, they named it San Diago, which of course in German means a whale's vagina..)

Every year those two guys had to be pulled out of retirement. Tiki Barber-soll, Mayor McCheese, or the ugly twin... whatever you want to calll him, should have known he couldn't cut it in TV. Sweet Lincoln's mullet, did anybody watch him on the Olympics? He has a face for radio... to complement the personality of a dirty diaper. You watch him and you immediately feel sleazier like you took a late night bath in a septic tank with Ro-ro the groper. You also feel dumber by just listening to him as he stumbles over lines like he did the painted one yard line always shy of the endzone. That guy makes W look erudite. One time during the olympics I saw Rulon Gardner put him over his shoulder and I prayed he would eat him to put us all out of our misery.

If the Today show wasn't a place for equally vapid personalities I'd be surprised he still has a job. Granted I don't have much to do with daylight a.m. hours but I imagine he's filled Bryant Gumball's shoes and original RONALD MCDONALD Williard Scott's bigger shoes pretty well. Who's on there now? Chiahead Matt Laurer? That guy makes cardboard look witty. Who else? Brian Fantanna? Veronica Corningstone? Brick Tamland?

As for that leather-fetishist-gap-toothed Grimace Michael Strahan that guy is a stain on humanity and a blight to the nearest swingers party. He'll turn a game of car-key mix-up into a debacle as bad as a dodgeball game at fat camp. He's a lazy professional. He was gifted a record and was proud of it. He probably steals children's milk-shakes for fun and unlike another overrated New York icon Namath he wears his panty hose for free. (Namath had one shining moment--far more Trent Dilfer than Joe Montana). Now there's nothing wrong with being gay, like Strahan's wife admitted he was, but just come out of the closet already and bring the Barbers with you. From ESPN.com: "Inside the Helmet: Life as a (Hot Fudge) Sunday Afternoon Warrior," said Strahan came in for a fair amount of ribbing about the gay rumors, at one point getting this text message along with a photo from Tampa Bay defensive back Ronde Barber: "I don't believe your denials. Meet me behind the 12th tee box. Love, Ronde."

Yeah. True. Can't make that up. He's also evil like Shaquille O'Neal but everybody is a sucker for lazy eyes and big smiles, I guess.

Newsflash, an accuweather update, for our fairweather man: real men play until they can't play anymore AND then get the lucrative television career: moose johnson, troy aikman, emmet smith, michael irvin, darren woodson, etc. etc. etc. At least when those guys figured out they were more capable at trying to eat the microphone then talking into it they had already accomplished everything they could on the football field. They didn't half finish a career only to suck at a new one. Robert Smith, Tiki Barber, Barry Sanders and in some ways Jim Brown... puasssies. It's fitting they don't have super bowl rings because they weren't willing to pay the price for it. God bless Sweetness, Emmet Smith, and even that tough little s.o.b. giant running back under parcells that was as old as dirt, they earned those rings.

It's a joke Jack O'Lantern face Strahan got a ring. An absolute joke. One day when my future child says life is not fair, I'll pull out an old sports illustrated point to Strahan at the Superbowl and say "No frakin shite... and jazz flute is for little fairy boys."


---Stay classy San Diego. I'm Ron Burgundy?




Monday, September 01, 2008

Smell like a poker player and look like one too?

So, I'm evacuated. I'm looking up a book for my book of the month feature on Amazon and I input poker. I had no idea just how bad this game has jumped the shark. Some of my favorites follow.

Hmmm. What's in this? Stale cigarette smoke, the thin reedy reek of alcohol, a heady mixture of B.O. and unbrushed teeth, with just a smidge of cheap casino cleaning scent? Sounds delisch.

Don't fall over yourself buying this. You too can smell like a guy who hasn't left his seat in 30 hours--any time of the day. One spray of this and your nose will be flooded with the gentle, romantic odor of unwashed feet.

Of course this probably taste better than Johnny Chan's All-in poker drink.

You have to see this watch to believe it. With two important messages for the discerning poker player. "Go All-in" across the top and "Stay off Tilt" on the bottom. Product endorsement by Phil Helmet, "You know, if not for this $439.00 watch (yes, you could buy 8 Swatches for that), I might have got steamed when that dude hit his one outer on me, giving him a straight flush to my ace high flush, BUT I read the Stay Off Tilt emblazoned on it, emblazoned stylishly I might add, and I maintained."

It's also got a removable "bezel" to use as a card protector. One other feature, after you go broke you might be able to add it to the pot to match a $5 bet by your opponent. It's got diamonds, hearts, clubs, and spades on the outside so you know it's a poker watch.

"The Silver Wire Mesh Poker Bracelet is elegant enough for the sophisticated poker player, but flashy enough to be the envy of the poker table.Shining in the light like platinum, and accented by 95 genuine Swarovski crystals. The Silver Wire Mesh Poker Bracelet is perfect as a prize for your home game!"

Yes, the mesh wire... IS elegant enough for a sophisticated poker player. I can just see the guys at the Wynn rocking this (pair it with the poker watch and you'll have a wrist to die for). It would be the envy of the poker table unless of course you are with a player that has won a real bracelet or seen one. It shines in the light like platinum or... aluminum. Oooh, shiny.

This would make a great prize for your home game. You win this and next week you flash your bling around your and opponents will have their hearts in their throats. Even better get it engraved and wear to a real tournament. "What did you win that for?" "Oh, this little thing. This shiny bracelet, this shiny winner's bracelet, on my wrist. Don't be intimidated. It's nothing I won the WSABB." "What's that?" "It's the World Series at Binky O'Briens. We played heads up. I won the Series, best three out of five, second Sundays of every month."

"You can bet the bank that they'll absolutely love this Poker sneaker from GEOX. Its patented breathing technology will keep their busy feet refreshed and going strong, while the dual hook and loop straps will secure the best possible fit, and the padded collar and tongue will deliver even more comfort to this already perfect sneaker."

Yes, bet the bank on a pink poker sneaker. But who are we kidding that's not a big girl poker shoe... This is a big girl poker shoe...

Combining two great things, stripper apparallel (which is always fashionable on any night but Halloween) and poker. Okay, maybe this one is genuis!