Thursday, February 26, 2009

Spanked... (2nd last night on the Coast)

You ever get that guy at the table that you just want to spank. Just bend him over your knee and through brute force induce some common sense into him and his game. "Don't cold call, no pair no draw." "Don't say you got a feeling it was going to go spade-spade."

You look at that guy, always with athe sad-sack face contrasted by a I'm- indestructible-on-this-rush-smile and your knuckles start throbbing. It's like your saliva glands start firing in advance of a good meal you can smell heading to your table, but this guy just casues your hands to brace for the beatdown you want to lay on the guy. I'm not a violent guy but I swear I've looked down at my knuckles swelling with blood in anticipation of some sort of subconcious primal urge fullfillment when I sit with these types.

His mere presence is tilting. He stumbles through hands and yet the chips are drawn to him like flies to a decomposing corpse. And yes, that's the image you get when you look at the dude, even though he's across the table you can see the folks near him all look like they are ducking away from him into the frame of some picture being taken of their other neighbor. He repels everything... but the chips.

Even the chip-runners are giving him wide berth, and choosing to squeeze into a milimeter wide space between two hippos back to back between tables, then make the easy trek by the Guy-that-needs-a-spanking. The drink girls despite having all the room, in the room, would rather pass a drink down to the guy then get near him.

I hear Eskimo Clark had a repellent funk like that, but I imagine he wins his chips correctly so as disconcerting as it is to sit next to the guy with Au Natural "I've eaten at Superior Grill" odor you don't feel compelled to go prehistoric on the dude.

Last night, I didn't have that urge, but my buddy who got flown into Biloxi by the Beau to gamble there for a few days did. Two or three times during the tournament as my stack size was wildly growing and shrinking he'd come over to bitch about the moron.

Yes, idiot player induced tilt was in full effect. "I just want a hand to crack the guy" he'd shake his head at me, and then say "Hey, where'd all your chips go?" The next time he'd be back telling me how the guy "chased" a King with his almighty King-6 on a flush and straight heavy board and got there on the river after a competent opponent made all the right size relinquesh the hand bets. Then my friend asked me where my new stack came from.

I knew with the frequency my boy was coming to me to bitch that things didn't bode well. He got it all in when he flopped 654 with a pocket pair of 7s. Pocket Jacks made the call and no help came his way. Still, he constantly bemoaned the poker leper that was stealing from everybody via idiocracy.

Then my boy jumps into the 5-10 game that was shorthanded with no discernable soft spots. Ummm. After I surveyed the table and saw some discernable HARD spots I thought, "You might want to move." During a break with my newly short stack down to 3k of the 10k starting chips, I informed my friend, the whale, just that.

Too late. He was already down 2k in cash. He didn't believe he could win it all back on a 2-5 table so he wanted to stay there despite the odds. I uged him to reconsider.

He was adamant and now, I looked menacingly at the dullard who put him on tilt, as I saw the potential for it being a very pricey evening for my friend. Now, it was my fists that were clenching. Empathetic Tilt--I'm such a wussy. I consciously decided to take our minds off of the lunchbox and talk about something I really enjoy discussing, myself and my "brilliance" (sarcasm) at a poker table.

Why were my chips coming and going like a crackhead to a... crackhouse? Unfettered aggression.

On one I was in the small blind and I limped. The flop came 44K. I had none of it. In fact, my hand was so bad and irrelevant they might as well have been taro cards or Wilt Chamberlain and a Magic Johnson in Topps Legends of VD series. Okay, they might have been like 39. One loose guy bets. (King ball or nothing). He gets a smooth caller. (Flush draw or weak king). Second caller softly puts in his chips(Ummm, captain obvious this guy has the hand as he's shown down nothing but winners but why observe the obvious).

I decide the proper play here, and the line I can sell is the flop hit me in the small blind like a Mac truck running over PeeWee Herman on his bicycle, and I pound a giant raise. I have the four, I'm protecting it from flush draws and dumb kings. I shuffle some chips out there.

Fold, Fold, Acting job. Maybe not acting, maybe a decision of when to pound me back. He calls in position. Turn is brick city (and neither one of the two bricks I got in my hand--not that they would help). After a moment, Boom! 1/4 of my chips fly into the air, get off your hand biatch. Now, the real acting, chip shuffle, fake chip count and the famous "I might as well go all in" with a shrug for effect. I don't even know if the poker corpse on my friends table could make that call with my hand.

I laydown. I suggest I had a four. Most people believe it.

There goes a big chunk.

Let's discuss some more "brilliance" on my part. I get a stack back, by basically being wide open in position and keying on the old tight players at the table (yeah, sorry, I'm not as much the nit as I advertise, oops the secret is out) with three bets and stiff c-bets.

Time to give it away again.

This one guy has gone all in on three out of four hands. I had marginal calls but folded each time. The last time I say f it, I got some chips KQ o/s (yeah, that... powerhouse) is probably racing with a lot of what he might be holding. He shows AK. Suhweet.

Again, the small stack I've given myself is quickly grown and I catch a lot of hands. Yes, I got AA, AK twice that hit the flop vs. QQ, JJ that I made a solid isolation play on a lower pair (shedding some late callers) and the flop just came AKQ, so yeah, somebody did get spanked and it was me with the deck.

Then I had a superdraw with overs and a flush and a straight draw and hit NOTHING and had to lay down on the river, back to a baby stack.

Basically, I focused on the bad hands and my newly small stack. As my friend reminded me, I was still alive.

We get back from the break and I grow my stack... again. We get to two tables and three or four players basically announce they are on shut-down because of the bubble. Yes, that's my cue, and I'm punching it.

Limp, Limp, Limp, me on the cut off. 4-2. That'll work. I drop some of my yellows out on the table. Guy in the small blind, who has sat two to my left for over an hour and been about as noticeable as Casey Affleck in any of scene in the Oceans 11 movies, stews and shoves.

I realize, I know this guy. Where do I know him?

Folded around. I count out the antes limps, my raise and his shove and I'm getting over 3 to 1. Feeling like Brandon Cantu on that WSOP table where he made a brutal call, I just focus on the math. This guy might be desperate... he hasn't had a hand all day. Any ace could be in his range. He really sweated the push.

I stopped accessing the memory banks and focused on my cards maybe being live. I call and show my impressive 4-2 hand.

A good player on the other side of the table audibly critiques my play. Everybody's is guessing at the small blind's hand "Kings? Aces?" He's still trying to figure out mine so he hasn't turned his over. Wait, a second I know that guy from the IP's mega satellite! He's one of the tightest nits I've played with... he can probably only squeeze out a deuce bomb once a week.

He shows pocket 10s. I spike a two on the river beating the hand I wish he had Ak but doing nothing against his 10s. It's funny pocket 10s are probably outside the range I'd put that guy on shoving with once I realized who he was. Minimum Jacks.


Still, we are on the bubble. I keep firing. Chip stack regathered. Oh yeah, one time I overplay AQ (there's that hand again) and it runs into AK. I get a Queen in the door and I'm set again. Told you the deck liked me.

We get to the final table and my buddy's nemisis is sitting directly across from me. The two guys on either side of him are almost sitting at other tables. To top it off, to my right (better than my left) is this guy's evil clone in ineptitude with 40% of the chips. He's sporting a "do" that looks like George Costanza's father's hair, and strangely it looks like a toupee. How do you pick that out at Bosley's?

Maybe it matches the hair he used to have. If that was the case, I'd be praying to go bald and certainly, if I chose to wear a wig I would pick out any one but that one.

I can tell George's dad is probably the lesser of the two clones. As bad as my friends nemisis is the other guy is worse. He's an open book to read. I got another irrelevant hand. Flop comes 987. I fire out into two nits and that guy. Fold. Fold. That guy eyes the board and calls. I look at him, and say "You got a six?"

He smiles. And like so many people do flat out tells me yes. O.K. Jaime Gold. Turn is another 9. I bet my fake trips again. He of course calls.

River is a five. He checks (?!?!?) and I check behind. He shows J6. I muck.

So now, I'm on the short stack. However, 6 eliminations later, I'm second in chips. George's dad doesn't river bet his flush and enables a guy to jump him a spot in the money. Both guys get sent to the rail by the poker corpse and then it's just us two. Me and the guy who might have just got us to heads-up by his mere presence inducing his neighbors to commit chip suicide.

Like a gun-fighter at the O.K. Corrale armed with a broken super-soaker he's got me about 10 to 1. He couldn't resist calling and sucking out on everybody and now I could feel the magnetic tug at my chips.

Still, I liked my chances.

Two hands later, I flop top pair, and insta-shove. He calls and has me outkicked. So much for outplaying him over the long run.

My friend who, meanwhile, has been comped a dinner at the steak house for the both of us, had intermittantly come from the restaurant to peak in at the final table with just one request... ruin that guy. Comes back to see I couldn't close the deal and grumbles.

Then he heads back to the 5-10 table as I eat my porterhouse (boxed it up because the restaurant closed-which was amazing) in the corner and watch him play very solid poker while being card-dead. Situation averted.

Maybe, one day soon I'll finish this tale with the epilogue about the winner of the tournament showing up on my cash table. I also left that table a winner. Of course I wasn't playing too many 4-2 o/s there.

And btw, next time you see me, I'm going back to being a nit. I promise.

Monday, February 23, 2009


I busted out of the $300 Coushatta event around the 60s. Paid 20.

Weird day.

Early on, the table was passive and I gobbled up some chips just being aggressive. Then I got into some hands where my opponents let me draw cheaply and for once, I hit them. A high flush got paid off by a king high flush. That kind of stuff.

In one stretch I was betting any unopened pot with little more than min-raises and not getting any action. But chipping up and up.

Got into a big hand with a guy on the button. I'd describe him as older but everybody there was older so that doesn't help. I bet out with AQ. He smooths. AQ, is definitely a trouble hand recently for me.

Flop comes out 10109. I check. He bets. I don't have a tell, but I have a feel that he doesn't have anything. Probably a subconscious tell.

I listen to my gut and call.

The turn is an 8. I check, he bets leaving about half his starting stack left.

I call.

The river is a brick. I think he's going to stop bluffing. ERROR ALERT! ERROR ALERT! Right here I should have shoved on him. Make him make a decision for his chips.

I don't, thinking he's going to back down from his bluff, and check his QJ, or KJ or AJ. He shoves.

I go into the tank... forever. I know he's on air. There is just one hand I'm feeling wary of... AK. The one hand, had I beat him into the pot, he folds.

I finally call, trusting my gut.

He murmurs nice call. I'm waiting for him to muck. He turns over his AK face up.

Everybody oohs and aahs. I say, "Not quite so nice," and decide to show the table AQ. I figure nobody's going to try and bluff me out of pot after that.

I get some wows, great reads and that kind of shit, but I'm just pissed that I gave away so many chips when the river was my opportunity to take what was mine.

Two hands later I got 107 and raise the big blind. Kid who monkey mentioned in his blog that looked like Scott Fischman didn't take kindly to that. He bet back. I called.

Flop comes k10x. He bets. I call.

Turn is a brick. He bets. I call.

River is a brick. I ship it. He stews and folds.

Tilt bluff? Maybe. Bluffing with the best hand? Maybe. I think he had air too. I'm back to being a big stack. I deliberated showing 107 but opted against it.

From there I bled off chips. I switch to a table that wouldn't give me action on the real hands I caught, and the flops we saw they'd shove and I'd whiff. A steady diet of 26 and less was troubling.

Anyway, the fischman kid ended my day when he woke up with pocket 8s and snapped off my steal attempt with K7. Oh well.

Thank goodness for the cash games, enabled me to freeroll the tournaments and the trips. Not quite lucrative enough to buy in the 1k. Otherwise Coushatta would have been one big ball of frustration.

Have to say I was pissed that Jess called in the reliever and needed me to head home. I was looking forward to hanging with Monkey and Brandon that night. She had been feeling sick and had a bit of a fever so I guess I made the right decision. Fortunately, Coushatta let me off the hook for the hotel room I booked when I discovered those guys were there.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Coushatta runs a pretty sweet mega satellite. You win and you win a seat into every one of the their tournaments. The 7 Clans tournament.

Played today. Didn't really get any hands. Won a coin flip early when I got a little out of control with a10 v. 88 had to call his shove when I tried to take down the lippers from the small blind and he woke up with a hand in the big blind. I also caught AA (only pair over sixes today) and tripled up after I bluffed off most of my chips early. Then I just steadily chipped up and kept getting involved in bad timing.

Made a huge laydown when I checked in the dark and flopped top two 87. Unfortunately, the other four players also checked. The turn is a 10. I fire out a big bet. Guy calls for almost his whole stack (yeah... why not shove... I don't know but his story gets worse). Then the button shoves all in.

Errrr. I stew. He's barely got me covered and I would still have plenty of chips left if I fold. I kept going over hands that this guy might have. J9 seemed the right one especially as it was limped to him on the button. He didn't look like he was making a move and it didn't make sense not to. I finally fold and know at least the other guy had to call. He didn't.

Guy flashes me the straight after weirdly stalling on his winning pot muck. He was an awnry fella but we had been getting along. He was stewing that I didn't call when I told him I had top two. Stewing.

So anyway, I picked my spots and just moved up. It's an odd tournament as they are no antes. So stealing is done a little bit differently. Good thing is there were a lot of old tight players and I watch them make silly nit fold after silly nit fold. The table was so tight I was the loosest player there. Yeah, that tight.

Anyway, I'm off to bed. Tomorrow's event starts at 10am. Huh?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Great Day Yesterday Part II

It actually makes it two days ago.

The morning before the positive outcomes in the two rivalry games, I played in the Harrahs tournament. I endured a crazy morning of swings and finally became "THAT" guy, I'm always so jealous of. Though in retrospect it comes with a bit of a cavaet. Usually, when the money got in I'd get outflopped and then I'd catch up. So, even though I'd win the hand after a wild set of cards I wasn't just throwing money in bad and being a card rack.

So, I start out early being patient through the first couple of levels. I'd get in cheap and I was making hands. I hand 910 suited in late position. Flopped a boat. Somehow a guy with K9 (board 9910), didn't get felted to me. Well played by him. Poorly played by me.

The one overpair I got all day was Kings. We had a couple of short stacks and I saw one like his cards and look at his chips. I limped, got another limper and that guy shoved. Around to me I called, middle limper folded. Short stack had queens. Kings held.

Later I rivered a boat after flopping a set. Guy turned a straight. I felted him but he had nothing in chips. I laughed to myself. I had more than doubled up early and I was pissed for not having more chips.

I got to bully a little bit and rake some pots. Then they broke my table.

On the new one a guy from out of town who's a pit gambler who loves roulette. He was on holiday taking advantage of the comp he got in the mail and was to my right with a heap of chips. Everybody at the new table had chips. They had knocked out most of the people that were eliminated. I quickly fired on my first hand, as I love to do when switching tables. Another pot for me. We started comparing poker to roulette and he said the tournament was fun because you got more value of time for your money.

I asked him if he would ever play online roulette. Of course, he laughed. "Now, is one of the only times I'm not playing roulette. I play roulette online all the time." Deep pockets I surmised.

Course, I'm at a poker table, so you always take things with a grain of salt. That didn't stop me from taking a mental picture of my new buddy in case I ever saw him at a cash table. I also was going to watch where he went if he busted.

I keep picking my spots and building my stack. Not so bad. Roulette player on my right has revealed his inexperience so I'm not afraid of him. In fact, I'm busy trying to sell him on playing 1-2 or 2-5. He asked if they had higher games? I said yes, but there are some good 1-2 and 2-5 games. He seemed interested though he repeated he preferred roulette to anything.

As I watch him play, he played like an inexperienced numbers guy. He was going to play good cards and good cards only. I figure if we get in a hand to take him seriously as he's probably just an ABCer.

Some time passes and I've amassed some more chips. A guy I've frequently played with opened from UTG. I respect him as a player but I think if he bets a certain amount it's kind of a steal. He did that. Mr. "I Play Online Roulette" to my right called. I think it was a 2000 bet, blinds 200-400 antes 50. On the button I look down at AcKc. By the way, I had got the table to accept slightly more than 2x as the standard opening bet so 5x was a big raise.

I made a mistake but I'll explain my incorrect thinking. I didn't give the opener credit for a hand despite his early position. I also thought even if he did have something like 10s or so if I came over the top I could squeeze him especially with the tightness of the player to my right who showed an interest in the hand. Then I looked at the guy's stack and I now had him covered and we were two of the bigger stacks in the dance. F it, I'm taking that 5100 with a shove of almost 20k.

First guy, who I got covered folded, though he sniffed something was up. He may very well have put me on AKsuited. Then Mr. "I Play Roulette Online" stewed. He played with his ear-ring and said "I don't think I can lay this down."

I perked up a bit, AQ, AQ, I think to myself. Don't be something like 8s. He stews some more and then calls. He's got Queens.

What's my mistake? ABC. Mr. Online Roulette called a big raise. Not smart enough to isolate with his Queens but I should know that would be a very likely holding for a guy like him.

Oh well, part of the action was I still had a chance to win a coinflip if a pair called. I didn't. I got less than 2k left when all is said and done. Awesome.

I get that warm feeling of tilt sweep over my body. I sit there fuming.

I don't dislike the play, and I had a ton of ways to win it, but at the same time, I'm an advocate in those tournaments of picking the right spots. I didn't have to stick all my chips in there with AK. I could have flatted and left when the flop came out empty and the Queens bet it.

Even better the EP guy would have c-bet, Online Roulette might have raised then or just called but I'd have more reason to just leave the hand. I could have folded preflop. Wouldn't have, but could have.

As I sit there with half the field gone out 120, I'm so mad at myself for deserting my small ball strategy I could have just waited to exploit the weak spots. I give up a lot of value in this things in particular hands but I think long-run the field is so loaded with inept players that I make it up.

We cycle through and I'm about to get blinded out. Even worse I'm getting more and more on tilt, as I get beat to the pot by open raises with hands I wanted to shove with. Once I have A6, guy UTG raises, and he hasn't played a hand in 20 minutes. Ace big. I know it. I fold Late position shoves, and UTG calls. AK vs. AJ. Flop is Axx. Turn is x. River is 6 and I would have tripled up.

Rachet up tilt factor.

I have like k2 again I'm beat to the pot. I see some other guys ready to play behind me. I fold. Guy calls. Another guy shoves. First guy folds. Caller calls. Yeah, that would have been a quadruple up plus. The hands are AQ and K10 (see I told you... bad players). Kxx flop. 2 on the turn. ARGH! UBER TILT.

I hit the big blind and I can't even complete a real raise. Guy leads out on me. Another guy calls. I throw the rest of my chips on top of my blind... blind. Score. I don't even remember the hand. I think I hit a gut-shot straight and my hot run commenced....

I'll get to some of the crazy hands that followed in the next installment.

By the way, in honor of Mr. I Play Online Roulette and my running like an onfire craps player, I should mention the roulette they got on Spin the wheel, instead of hitting gutterballs get paid for hitting your square. Don't quadruple up, get 30 to 1 on your money. The roulette section is here.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Great Day Yesterday

Was looking forward to the rivalry double-header last night. UNC-Dook and USA-Mexico. The right team won both games. It's crazy, our biggest national rival in team sports is in a sport most people don't know about or care about. Our games with Mexico are as fierce as any event with the Russians used to be. The Mexican players hate us, their fans despise us, the entire country went out and bought voodoo dolls that were supposed to look like Landon Donovan (they screwed up the number, it's 10 not 01 genuises), and the hatred bubbles over into the game.

People think soccer is a fairy sport just need to look at the montage of cheap shots the Mexican players have taken against Uncle Sam over the last decade and a half. Rafa Marquez head butted Cobi Jones in the world cup and last night he went studs first into our goal keeper Tim Howard. Go to the around the 5:05 part in the below video to add a new sports villian for you to hate.
Howard is one of the few Americans in the top five at his postion in the entire world. Marquez is the captain of Mexico and the living embodiment of its contempt for the U.S. He's also been one of the better players in the world the last 5 or 6 years. Studs up is standard fare in this game. I'll kick you in the knee with metal cleats and you tell me how much a fairy game soccer is.

The game is everything a competition between two countries sharing a border but little else should be. We are also fairly even. We have the edge at home, and the have a huge edge in Mexico City. They play in a venue so smog filled American players are often time on oxygen ventilators at the end of the game. It's like L.A. in the 70s but worse.

In the game lively action ensued, Michael Bradley burdened with being the son of the coach, scored twice to put his critics, suggesting preferential treatment for daddy's kid, to rest. The fans in Columbus, Ohio gave the game and almost EPL like feel, and despite the small, vocal contingents of Mexicans it was truly a home game (not true when they play this game in L.A.).

So after a hard fought victory, a post game scuffle where a Mexican coach slapped one of our players, I turn to UNC-Dook. Which I've suggested is the best rivalry in U.S. sports. Over the last 20 years the game has had so much national significance with both teams being in the top 5 as often as not and them hating each other as much as they do.

Still, my appreciation of the under-the-radar soccer rivalry only grew by comparison. I could not help but look at Dook-UNC as separated only by shades--of blue literally. That makes for a good rivalry too, no doubt, but I'd argue the more unlike the teams are the more compelling the drama. Dook-UNC has it's roots in such a dichotomy, with Dook being the small private school in an urban setting eight miles away from UNC, a state school in a college town.

The student bodies, therefore the student athletes were as diverse as possible. Rich kids from out of state vs. in-state kids at a public university. Then something happenend in the pursuit of wins on the court Dook laxed it's standards for basketball players.

At one point in the early 90s, a reporter touted Duke's edge in the classroom, and Dean Smith pointed out the higher SAT scores of his two black stars vs. Duke's two white stars as evidence one of the racial bias still prevalent in judging intelligence and perhaps, the state school-private school bias. The truth of the matter, no matter how many geeks populate Cameron Indoor Stadium, and how many frat parties saturate UNC, there is little difference between the players.

Both groups are high-school All Americans, both in academic settings with old-school coaches that make them go to class, and get something out of their four years. In fact, they spend most of their summers playing one another, and Duke players are often spotted at the better parties at UNC or nearby NC State and vice versa.

The players are no longer representative of the rivalry. The same can't be said for U.S. Mexico. Our team still mostly represents everything Mexico hates about the U.S. Most of the players come from well-off families, the type that send their kids to Duke, and it's the most suburban of sports in the U.S. That's changing with guys like Clint Dempsey and Eddie Johnson coming from hardscrabble backgrounds, and now Mexican-Americans making the team, but our squad is actually becoming more representative of what the U.S. really is.

The Mexicans come from villages, from metropolitan Mexico City, and the team has weathered the kidnapping of family members by rebel groups seeking ransom. The cultures clash. The players are the embodiment of that clash. What's funny is in soccer terms, it's the inverse of cultural differences as Mexico is the regional power, the organization with a better structure, and the side that feels entitled.

As much as I revere the UNC-Dook rivalry, I couldn't help but watching the professorial Coack K and Roy Williams as small kings in their own fiefdoms. It may be interesting on a national level but outside of the U.S. it's as relevant as an Aussie rules football "derby" is to us.

The U.S. Mexico game featured Landon Donovan, who recently went on loan to one of the biggest clubs in the world, who spending like the New York Yankees, have an all-star roster. Rafa Marquez plays for a similar club in Spain. In fact, you could argue, everywhere in the world that Dook-UNC would be greeted with a blank stare, a random person on the street could name you a player on Bayern Munich or FC Barcelona.

There was passion in the Duke-UNC game. There was intensity and an elevating of play that comes with playing your rival but somehow it didn't match up. Two blue-bloods battling. The Yankees-Red Sox rivalry lost a little of its venom once the Red Sox starting spending as much as the Yanks. Once they won a World Series or two, it's been like the Sox are Yankees North.

I said lost a little, it's still one of the most intense rivalries in all of sports, the dramatic differences still exist in the fans and the organizations. New Yawker vs. Masshole. IBM vs. dirty uniforms, facial hair, and rebel defiance. But there is a reason the Miracle on Ice is considered the greatest upset ever. The Russians at that time were our biggest rivals... ever. The cold war, the clashing of ideologies, the cultural differences, it's all there.

Switching the channel from one positive outcome to another, I realized just how compelling the U.S. Mexico game is. It's what UNC-Dook and the Yankees-Red Sox used to be but on an international level. It's a shame that most Americans are blithely ignorant of the scale and passion of the game. As a kid, I could care less about certain sports, but if it was U.S. vs. USSR I'd be rooting like heck for the U.S. For soccer haters, there is one game you should tune into and enjoy and that's U.S.A.-Mexico. An Auburn-Alabama for North America.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Just some quick notes

I want to echo Jason Lipscomb's thoughts and let Monkey know we are thinking about him and Squirrel right now. We know they'll make it through this dark time. Also, a shout out to the Tiltin' Texan in Houston for the next few weeks. Said he'll be battling online and our thoughts are with him too.

I know Gene D will keep his head up after bubbling his final tournament in Vegas. Guy went deep everyday and is knocking on the door. Thought he did a great job on the radio segment we did as well.

Speaking of the show, very happy with how it went. The show is broadcast in Bay St. Louis and Baton Rouge. You can stream the KKAY feed from the Baton Rouge station off the internet. Might turn into a weekly segment or something like that. The first go round was mostly an introduction. We hope to get our bloggers on there too, as guests, if they are interested.

Upset I missed the 20k guarantee at the Beau on Saturday. Was looking to play but my wife didn't feel good, so I stayed home with her. Her family has been sick all week so I hoped she wouldn't catch it.

Tonight, I enjoyed the Grammys. Maybe the first awards show I've watch in years. Maybe I saw the Academy Awards with my mom when I was real little. Only reason I watched is in the lead in I heard Chris Brown had gotten arrested for assaulting a girl. And, he and his girlfriend wouldn't be appearing on the show--where they were both scheduled to perform. I likes a trainwreck...

BUT, Al Green filled in for Chris Brown for a duet with Justin Timberlake and they killed it. Al Green has some lungs. I'm not sure who filled in for Rihanna maybe the Welsh girl, but the show was seamless. You'd never know it much of it was revamped. Plus, the acts really put on shows. L'il Wayne brought it and represented the Gulf Coast well.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

25 Interesting Things about me

I don't play well with others so instead of posting this on Facebook I am putting it here. After I'm done I'll "tag" others to put their lists up. You can do it anywhere that I can read it.

1. I have a fetish. Two words: bingo wings. My wife unfortunately has none. Seeing a documentry about Indian guys that hang weights from their... you know whats I asked if I could clip barbells to the flesh under her upper arms. Because she declined I've been force feeding her donuts and pulling at her triceps when she's been sleeping.
2. I want to fondly recall a memory of my first pet so anybody can hack all my accounts by answering the security question correctly. I'll do so now Boss Hogg Tweetledick was an awesome parrot who would only mimic the whining of my cat. In case anybody is curious my social security number is 227-69-0210. And I'll randomly mention that when chosing passwords I use anniversarys with underscores between the numbers. My favorite anniversary is the Bicentenial.
3. I haven't been worried about bird flu since a robin shitted on my head. I haven't cared for Batman since then either.
4. Unlike most people, my first friend was not an imaginary one, he is still my oldest and dearest confidant, my most loyal and most inspiring pal, and we should remember he can't help being spoft-spoken and mostly invisible.
5. I think every leap year we should have a leap week, where we add an extra day to accommodate it, like after sunday we have leapday, but unlike normal days of the week I don't want it to end in Day, so we could have to call it leapzay or something. But I'd make people go to work Leapzay through Friday, so people wouldn't be so happy about a leapyear and cheating the calender.
6. I sometimes think that blackholes compact all that stardust and matter to create souls and they spit them into our babies when they are born. I haven't worked out the physics of it yet but I think it involves gravity.
7. I have had a near death experience. Actually multiple times. Now I try to avoid funeral homes.
8. I'm well read but don't read well. It's a burden. For example if we ride an elevator and it's an Otis I've read the manual, but if you asked me to push a floor button I'll probably tap your bellybutton even though the manual has instructed me the floor buttons are always to the right of the door.
9. I have a hard time completing things.
10. I have a fear that when I die I won't be wearing my lucky dirty underwear and that's why I died. I'll probably get hit by a VW bus with a Fuckingroovin sticker on it driven by TV's Miley Cyrus. That would be unlucky, especially if I could hear her singing along to her own music.
11. The only compulsion I have is to do nothing.
12. I think people that overbet middle pairs are pussies and sometimes I make poker references at inappropriate times like at my compulsive gambler meetings.
13. When I see a shooting star I always use my wish to see another one so I'll always have another wish. I'm good at beating the system, but I'm getting tired of looking at shooting stars.
14. It gives me a weird visceral pleasure to see people suffer from schaudefraud.
15. If they did an infomercial for me, Vince from Shamwow would get the honor, not Billy Mays, not Chuck "Two Months?" Norris, not Ron Popeil, but Vince. I like to think I would be absorbent too.
16. I never have bad intentions when I'm being greedy or selfish.
17. I was born with a third testicle, Trois, he's fluent in french, in fact, if he could talk he could prove it.
18. I'm an overachiever, but I set low standards.
19. I would trade my pinkies for extra thumbs.
20. Nothing is more overated than a surprise party, because only one person is surprised. That's why I crashed a party one 5th of May and said "Surprise!" and hung up a banner with my face on it and the words Bill's Surprise Party. The kids parents asked me to leave and I've been banned from the rollerrink ever since... but it was a surprise party we'll all remember. I still have Salma's Pinata.
21. Left to my own devices, I'd be surfing the internet in my car talking on my cell phone and listening to my ipod.
22. I think James Bond movies are just clips from an English reality show, but I don't know why spies would let those cameras follow them everywhere, so I suspect it might be scripted like the Kardashians.
23. At night right before I go to sleep I wonder why hippies don't have potbellies.
24. My favorite movies are formulaic and unoriginal or are made by Tyler Perry.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Donkament at the IP, Bad Structures in General

Headed up to the saturday tournament at the IP. Big Smoove and I planned out a day of tournament action but his littlest one got sick so I went solo.

The plan was threefold play some small buy-ins at the IP, the Isle of Capris or Hard Rock, and then check out the Island View at six. I got about 1/3rd through the plan and bailed--ie I played one and went home.

Not much to say. I started out on a table of alternates and basically blinded away 1/5th of my stack. Lots of novices splashing around with weak hands. I figured out who I could steal from but was never first into the pot. It's charming to see inexperienced players trying to play correctly but not quite doing it.

Yes, they get that aggression is important but applying it is often a problem. They'd make min raises on draw heavy boards, or flop the stone cold nuts like AJ and hit AAJ and go all-in. Their opponent folds and they show their hand proudly. Yes, you essentially had all the outs you can't get paid that way buddy.

Or even better in a limped 5 way pot they'll throw out a little bigger than a min-raise with a hand they should be pounding to isolate one opponent. Then they'll c-bet (or donkbet) some ridiculous holding.

It made me reminscence about how far I've come as a player, was I really that bad once (yes, I was probably worse) and also made me imagine what a higher level player must think of my decisions. Do they also cringe at my relative inexperience. I see people struggle over no-brainers, to my own interior anguish, and wonder when I go in the tank if people are flumoxed by my Hamlet impersonation with a hand that would be on insta-action for them.

Anyway, I get moved and the new table has the jackass kid without a clue that he's got a horseshoe wedged up his ass and is believing he's the new Phil Hellmuth. I was kind of entertained. He makes one terrible play after another and gets rewarded for it. He makes terrible bluffs considering the texture of the board and runner-runners his way to a huge chip stack.

It's funny how a lucky player is a hated player. My side of the table groused every time and wished the kid ill in every pot. Yeah, he's bad but lucky. Personally, I couldn't think of a better player to have the chips if not me. His luck will change and he'll stay bad.

Not many notable hands, I called an all-in from the BB with pocket 9s, but I had the guy covered. My 9s held. Then I realized just how fast the structure was. 15 minute levels and no antes until 500-1000 (100 antes). They jumped to that from 300-600. Egad. I was playing my entire stack at the 300-600 level but I probably would have played even more agressive if I had known in one level we'd all be short stacks.

I began picking on the horseshoe kid. If he raised preflop he'd be willing to play for anybody's stack no matter how ill-advised the strategy or holding (A7 for one) BUT like many players he limped with his garbage. He'd still call a lot of raises UNLESS it was for a players full stack. That's how I was building my stack before the blinds turned the tournament upside down. Shoving on his limps and everybody afraid of the all-in. I wanted to outplay people after the flop, but I wasn't getting the cards nor did I have the time.

I said this is a strange structure to the dealer. Strange how, she asked. How strange? It's quite fast. She replied we were lucky because they used to start the antes earlier. Lucky? Who wouldn't prefer the chips be forced into play a little earlier to be able to handle this level? Instead the pots to start the action jumped from 900 chips to 2500. This after being 600 before 300 before 150 before and well... you get the idea. In two rounds you don't win a hand you've pissed away your starting stack.

In defense of the IP, they have a promotion where if you play 4 hours of cash the day before you get a free entry into the tournament so it's a bit of a freeroll. I didn't know that at the time, but I have no quibble with a fast freeroll. Course I wouldn't have bought into a fast freeroll either.

In the bb I get a limper UTG who is a solid player but I've gotten him to fold for two levels so I'm halfway wondering if he's limping with a monster. Horseshoe kid, who has done nothing to endear himself to the table by aggressively showing bluffs to folding opponents (to make it funnier when it was obvious he was bluffing with the best hand), also limps. The button a nit also limps.

Action to me I look at the paltry A4 o/s. Pot is now, 5500. I got a couple k more than that in my stack. I decide the hell with it, if the UTG limper was on a big hand so be it. I shove. He stews. He keeps eying horsehoe and the button.

I think he clearly planned to limp and call my shove from the BB. With two players to act, and me putting the squeeze on him he reluctantly skipped that play. Horseshoe kid instamucks. The button is stewing.

Bad news for me, I know he's got me beat. His friend comes over to tell him he just busted. Worse news, that's the pressure release he can call and almost bust and then after a hand or two get up and play blackjack with his buddy. He says he's making a bad call and turns over 8s. No Ace came. Under the gun is irate. Pocket 9s, Pocket 10s? Odd.

Oh well.

I'm usually good about analysing a structure before playing but this time for some reason I didn't. Can't make that mistake again.

I decided to pass on the 3 pm tournament and get home to the wife and get some extra credit for making it a short day. I went home and played some online, because the wife who was delighted that I would hurry back, by that time was to tired to take advantage of our saturday.

So, I pop on the computer and start looking at online structures. The tournament structures there are so much easier to find. I mean two clicks later and I can see the general structure is a reasonable one like this:


1 10 - 20
2 15 - 30
3 25 - 50
4 50 - 100
5 75 - 150
6 100 - 200
7 150 - 300
8 200 - 400
9 300 - 600
10 400 - 800
11 500 - 1000
12 600 - 1200
13 800 - 1600
14 1000 - 2000
15 1500 - 3000
16 2000 - 4000
17 3000 - 6000
18 4000 - 8000
19 5000 - 10000
20 6000 - 12000
21 8000 - 16000
22 10000 - 20000
23 15000 - 30000
24 20000 - 40000
25 30000 - 60000
26 40000 - 80000
27 50000 - 100000
28 60000 - 120000
29 80000 - 160000
30 100000 - 200000

And at any tournament lobby there is a button for you to review the structures. It's not that hard to get a posted blind schedule at the IP but it's also not at the buy-in window (good for them it's not) or sitting by the tables. What's also good about say, bwin's tournaments is also they don't have a SUPER level where a round isn't suddenly almost 3x the previous one.

As I ramble about structures, I truly hope Harrahs realizes how bad things will be if they don't take Jason Lipscomb's parting structure submissions. I think a lot of players will just go elsewhere this time around. I know a lot of people from New Orleans that will play the better structures at Harrahs' sister casino in Tunica rather than play in their home city.

It's a shame the May Event is mostly $500 buy-ins. Right now the smaller events are drawing people in everywhere as everybody is "saving" by moving down a level or two. Get some massive fields and you'll have captive blackjack players that might not have enough confidence in their poker skills to throw down $500 or a $1000 but will come in town to play some $200 or $300 for fun. Even better they'll spend the bulk of their time in the pits. Seems like a profitable strategy.

Course, in the chase of the almighty buck, poker led by casinos have been overfishing the waters. You seeing fewer people taking their shots? Thank your local brick and mortar and the idiots at the tables that chastise novice bad players with big bankrolls. Sit down and shut the f up and take your beat like the professional you are trying to portray yourself as. Even better congratulate the play.