Thursday, February 25, 2010

Online Poker Hands Part 2

Here's a couple more to pick your brains. Feel free to constructively criticize. I'll try not to be thin skinned, but I'm back in Poker school. Hand 3... Actually, in reviewing it, not sure why I clipped it...

Seat 1: S77R (45947 in chips)
Seat 2: Boulabally (11218 in chips)
Seat 3: dtimeonetime (17925 in chips)
Seat 4: gengis kal (2668 in chips)
Seat 5: hogwild426 (9566 in chips)
Seat 6: 430MIA (3464 in chips)
Seat 7: ME (4243 in chips)
Seat 8: Marcio-Milet (23900 in chips)
Seat 9: nwaeditor (8648 in chips)
S77R: posts the ante 25
Boulabally: posts the ante 25
dtimeonetime: posts the ante 25
gengis kal: posts the ante 25
hogwild426: posts the ante 25
430MIA: posts the ante 25
ME: posts the ante 25
Marcio-Milet: posts the ante 25
nwaeditor: posts the ante 25
nwaeditor: posts small blind 150
S77R: posts big blind 300
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to ME [Jd Js]
Boulabally: folds
dtimeonetime: folds
gengis kal: folds
hogwild426: calls 300
430MIA: folds
ME: raises 1200 to 1500
Marcio-Milet: folds
nwaeditor: folds
S77R: folds
hogwild426: calls 1200

I don't like my bet as it kind of screams my hand.

*** FLOP *** [2s 8d 9s]
hogwild426: checks
ME: bets 2100
hogwild426: calls 2100

I put a big bet out there trying to take it down while ahead with 2/3rds the pot. I don't like it when he calls. Maybe with my stack size I should just shove? Oh, that's the reason I saved it. That bet right there, thoughts?

*** TURN *** [2s 8d 9s] [Qh]
hogwild426: bets 900
ME: calls 618 and is all-in
Uncalled bet (282) returned to hogwild426

No choice but to call even if he has a pair of queens now.

*** RIVER *** [2s 8d 9s Qh] [Jc]

*** SHOW DOWN ***
hogwild426: shows [Td Qs] (a straight, Eight to Queen)
ME: shows [Jd Js] (three of a kind, Jacks)
hogwild426 collected 9111 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 9111 Rake 0
Board [2s 8d 9s Qh Jc]
Seat 1: S77R (big blind) folded before Flop
Seat 2: Boulabally folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 3: dtimeonetime folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 4: gengis kal folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 5: hogwild426 showed [Td Qs] and won (9111) with a straight, Eight to Queen
Seat 6: 430MIA folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 7: ME showed [Jd Js] and lost with three of a kind, Jacks
Seat 8: Marcio-Milet (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 9: nwaeditor (small blind) folded before Flop

Obviously, I don't like the way that hand ended, but is there anything I could have done different?

Seat 1: weeniedog17 (3720 in chips)
Seat 2: Arkadyev (5625 in chips)
Seat 3: ninjaganja (3120 in chips)
Seat 4: sundiverPS (16035 in chips)
Seat 5: tunacoco (12100 in chips)
Seat 6: zztopi (17752 in chips)
Seat 7: alekioGreece (2810 in chips)
Seat 8: ME(6925 in chips)
Seat 9: Che Olaiz (16550 in chips)
alekioGreece: posts small blind 100
ME: posts big blind 200
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to ME [Qh Ah]
Che Olaiz: folds
weeniedog17: folds
Arkadyev: calls 200
ninjaganja: folds
sundiverPS: folds
tunacoco: calls 200
zztopi: calls 200
alekioGreece: folds
ME: raises 600 to 800
Arkadyev: calls 600
tunacoco: raises 1200 to 2000
zztopi: folds
ME: calls 1200
Arkadyev: calls 1200

okay bet size question again? Did I raise enough.

Whoa... what are your thoughts of tunacoco's bet?

*** FLOP *** [3c 2d Qc]
ME: checks
Arkadyev: checks
tunacoco: bets 1600
ME: raises 1800 to 3400
Arkadyev: folds
tunacoco: raises 1800 to 5200
ME: calls 1525 and is all-in
Uncalled bet (275) returned to tunacoco

Tunacoco c-bets. AQ also? Hard to give him deuces or threes but maybe he got lucky with a weird button call, reraise preflop? I guess because of stack size I should just shove there. Kind of trying to get Ark to stay in the and though. Thoughts?

*** TURN *** [3c 2d Qc] [2h]
*** RIVER *** [3c 2d Qc 2h] [Qd]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
ME: shows [Qh Ah] (a full house, Queens full of Deuces)
tunacoco: shows [As Ad] (two pair, Aces and Queens)
ME collected 16150 from pot

Wow, I ran good right there. What do you think about that play with AA by tuna preflop. I don't think he could bank on either of us blinds doing the rasing for him. It worked out until he got unlucky but, not so sure I like his play. Justice?

*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 16150 Rake 0
Board [3c 2d Qc 2h Qd]
Seat 1: weeniedog17 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 2: Arkadyev folded on the Flop
Seat 3: ninjaganja folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 4: sundiverPS folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 5: tunacoco showed [As Ad] and lost with two pair, Aces and Queens
Seat 6: zztopi (button) folded before Flop
Seat 7: alekioGreece (small blind) folded before Flop
Seat 8: ME (big blind) showed [Qh Ah] and won (16150) with a full house, Queens full of Deuces
Seat 9: Che Olaiz folded before Flop (didn't bet)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Some Online Poker Hands

ME is... Me... here are three hands. I have been playing a lot online, trying to learn Omaha and improve in hold'em. Well, figure before I learn a new game and start soliciting Omaha tips
I should solicit some Texas No Limit Hold 'Em tips. Here are three hold'em hands. The first had a good result but might have been garnered by making donk decisions or maybe I played it well. Thoughts appreciated to my commentary intermingled in the writeup.

Seat 1: WilEKoyotee (8173 in chips)
Seat 2: The_Mayor_BT (1575 in chips) is sitting out
Seat 3: nolimitsfmx (10242 in chips)
Seat 4: ME (10528 in chips)
Seat 5: XJaguarX (1275 in chips) is sitting out
Seat 6: ZERZEM (2575 in chips)
Seat 7: tugapescador (3125 in chips)
Seat 8: HeikePface (5505 in chips)
Seat 9: fishhawk84 (3755 in chips)
ME: posts small blind 75
XJaguarX: posts big blind 150
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to ME [2c 2h]
ZERZEM: folds
XJaguarX has returned
tugapescador: raises 300 to 450
HeikePface: folds
fishhawk84: folds
WilEKoyotee: folds
The_Mayor_BT: folds
nolimitsfmx: folds
ME: calls 375
XJaguarX: folds

I call here... it's right on the border of tug having enough chips to set mine. I might have the best hand and despite playing out of position I feel like I have a pretty good idea of where this guy is on most hands. Auto call? Auto fold? Auto raise? The raise makes a lot sense if I get a flop that doesn't look like it hits him to just take it down there.

*** FLOP *** [8d Th 6c]
ME: bets 450
tugapescador: calls 450

I think this is a pretty good flop for me. These hands are all within the range of blinds calling. I bet out it. He doesn't buy it. He doesn't raise so i don't give him a decent 10 like A10. Had I raised him on the flop a bet here just takes it down. Thoughts?

*** TURN *** [8d Th 6c] [Jh]
ME: checks
tugapescador: bets 600
ME: calls 600

He could easily have KJ so I'm not too thrilled by this card. QJ is worrisome and KQ too. I check to see where he's at. The bet seems weak though in relation to the pot size, I think I'm still ahead. If that's my read should I have just put him to the test here, instead of having to endure a scare card on the river?

*** RIVER *** [8d Th 6c Jh] [5d]
ME: checks
tugapescador: bets 1625 and is all-in
ME: calls 1625

5d was not a bad card. Unless he had pocket 5s why shove here? 97 already made the straight on the turn so doesn't be weak, 74 is close to an impossibility for this guy. So many drawing hands on the turn. I call feeling like a made hand value bets instead of shoves.

*** SHOW DOWN ***
tugapescador: shows [Qd Kc] (high card King)
ME: shows [2c 2h] (a pair of Deuces)
ME collected 6400 from pot

*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 6400 Rake 0
Board [8d Th 6c Jh 5d]
Seat 1: WilEKoyotee folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 2: The_Mayor_BT folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 3: nolimitsfmx (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 4: ME (small blind) showed [2c 2h] and won (6400) with a pair of Deuces
Seat 5: XJaguarX (big blind) folded before Flop
Seat 6: ZERZEM folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 7: tugapescador showed [Qd Kc] and lost with high card King
Seat 8: HeikePface folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 9: fishhawk84 folded before Flop (didn't bet)

Here is an example of me playing poker backwards. I'm not really applying the pressure. I have a very mediocre hand, yet I still end up playing for the guys entire stack and let him dictate the action. Much easier to be the aggressor no? One of the basic tenants of poker yes?

Seat 1: WilEKoyotee (7873 in chips)
Seat 2: The_Mayor_BT (1175 in chips)
Seat 3: nolimitsfmx (12442 in chips)
Seat 4: ME (13803 in chips)
Seat 5: XJaguarX (1025 in chips)
Seat 6: ZERZEM (2275 in chips)
Seat 7: 69grs69 (6360 in chips)
Seat 8: HeikePface (5805 in chips)
Seat 9: fishhawk84 (3655 in chips)
The_Mayor_BT: posts small blind 100
nolimitsfmx: posts big blind 200
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to ME [Ah Kh]
ME: raises 400 to 600
XJaguarX: folds
ZERZEM: folds
69grs69: raises 400 to 1000
HeikePface: folds
fishhawk84: folds
WilEKoyotee: folds
The_Mayor_BT: folds
nolimitsfmx: folds
ME: calls 400

Standard 3x on my part. I get minraised which in live poker is almost always a monster in that situation. Bigger lattitude in online poker the land of the three-bettors. I feel like 69 isn't trying to resteal here because it's frankly a bad situation and at this point I haven't really been flexing my stack's strength.

*** FLOP *** [Ad 2c 3s]
ME: checks
69grs69: bets 1000
ME: raises 2200 to 3200
69grs69: calls 2200

Yum. If he has kings I just passed him. If has AQ I'm getting his stack. I check raise him. Perhaps my bet size is too small? Thoughts?

*** TURN *** [Ad 2c 3s] [Qd]
ME: checks
69grs69: bets 1000
ME: calls 1000

AQ is in his range, though in retrospect I don't know if he three bets it preflop. Weird thing is Queen hit and I felt beat, maybe it's because he called my check raise (well... it was too small to really give me any information). Then when he bet small to me it felt like he wanted to milk me on the turn and price me into the river call of his stack. Maybe I should lay down here?

*** RIVER *** [Ad 2c 3s Qd] [9h]
ME: checks
69grs69: bets 1160 and is all-in
ME: calls 1160

Yep, he shoves. If I call the turn I kind of have to call here? Am I sweating a laydown that i shouldn't even worry about? Results oriented? Maybe.

*** SHOW DOWN ***
69grs69: shows [Qs Qc] (three of a kind, Queens)
ME: shows [Ah Kh] (a pair of Aces)
69grs69 collected 13020 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 13020 Rake 0
Board [Ad 2c 3s Qd 9h]

I think my mistakes include bet size on the flop and maybe not listening to my gut on the turn. To be continued with two more hands.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Random Poker Thoughts and More

This will be totally random.


High Stakes Poker is back. Great show. I watch online. I think I've linked to a blog in the past that always has the youtubes in one place so you can watch the entire show there. I'll look for the link. Got me thinking about these online players vs. the live players. On full display was new school vs. old school.

Take this hand Minieri bets with basically any two, Dwan raises with QJ and Phil Hellmuth in position (the button I think... but 20% I could be remembering wrong and he was out of position in the blinds) folds AQ. This fold seems to tilt him when he discovers he would have won a nice pot off Dwan, and he later blows up playing a starting hand he'd normally never consider that busts him. Somebody needs to take Hellmuth aside and give him a lesson on new school poker.

On we link to a Daniel Negreanu blog where he discusses new school vs. old school and rips Phil Hellmuth. Anybody else think that Negreanu has way too much to say about Hellmuth all the time. Be it interviews or blog posts or on television he can't stop talking about Hellmuth.

It's now gotten to be that making fun of Hellmuth is the easy joke. It's kind of like lazy writers on Sportscenter fall back on the making fun of soccer joke. There's no thought behind it. Even with the rest of the world picking at the Brat, Negreanu can't seem to stop himself from mentioning Hellmuth at every turn and poking fun of him whenever possible. Is it Jealousy? Man Crush? Or what?

Negreanu's behavior behind the scenes at the Gulf Coast Poker Championship have me questioning his impish playful TV reputation. Truth be told I don't think he's too far from Hellmuth in the Poker Brat category, he just hides it a LITTLE bit better.


-Anybody else see that Education Connection commercial basically played on a loop late night? The one where the waitress raps/sings with what might be an autotuner that is ironically out of tune? Do I have the TV on the background too much if I know all the words to that song? And the silly little hand motions she does.

-Tiger Woods statement. Yawn. The robot is back. You can tell he is terrified but you can also tell he's spitting his apology through his teeth like he's still blaming everybody but himself. People are coming out of the woodwork to get their shots in on Tiger and you wonder if like the Negreanu-Hellmuth thing if its jealousy raising its ugly head or until now everybody in Golf was too worried about tarnishing the golden boy because they had a good thing going, but they privately hated the dude.


-U... S... A... I've bitched before about this tired boring chant of dominance we insult the rest of the world with as we kick their asses in every sport possible. Back when the Russians used to give us a run for our money I think I would despise them even more if they endlessly chanted C...C...C... P! I heard a guy in bobsledding with a drum (I think it was bobsledding) who finally did a variation on the chant with some rythym behind it instead of the monotous U... S... A.... That was refreshing. We need an upgrade to our battle cry. Something a little more WhoDat.

-Am I the only idiot that thinks they should add some sports or events to the Winter Olympics? What do they have for team sports? Two man luge--where everybody's related to each other or else it'd be bobsledding for figure skaters? Bobsledding and pairs skating? Yawn, yawn, and yawn. How about we move gym sports that got their start because... it was too cold to play outdoors you know because it was... the winter... to the winter olympics.

Shouldn't they be in the winter olympics too? Yes... I'm talking about Basketball, Volleyball, and underrated Handball. Who cares if there isn't ice, snow, slush, sleet, or risk of death involved. BTW, I also advocated Bandy being added even if only four countries, none of whom are the U.S., are good at it. Team sports are always more compelling especially in underdog movies.

-Is Canada doing the worst job ever of hosting the competition. A cross-country skier breaks four ribs on their course? Not familar with Cross-Country skiing? It's like the fast walking in the summer olympics... basically meaning short of pulling a Martin Grammatica it's impossible to break bones in it. Yet, the world's best female Cross Country skier did because Canada didn't think to cover the ravine at the base of the only slope on the course. Might want to fix that eh? We really want to follow these guys for the future of health coverage?

Then the guy dies in the luge and they blame the racer. As the Georgian Olympic official replied, "You shouldn't die because you made a mistake." No kidding. Also, the jump on the downhill and it's terrible conditions are flinging racers 200 feet through the air like grannys on runaway wheelchairs in San Francisco.

Not to mention the conditions that are terrible in just about every sport from skiing to speedskating (that's indoors there is no excuse for that). Um... Canada get your act together. We expect this in four years when Russia attempts to build a winter resort on the Georgian border (granted is not Chechnya but anybody else questioning this placement) out of nothing, not in Vancover.

-As big as the winter olympics are, the cameras seem to be giving more access to the stadia and it shows you how small these little niche sports are in terms of fan support and communities. It's like a state tournament where all the athletes know each other and each others families. As grand as it used to appear on TV now you get a sense of how little the international sporting community is for say Short Track Speedskating or snowboarding. Kind of weird. I liked it better when I thought everybody hated each other and there was rampant nationalism. I don't like seeing the Chinese cheer for an American, an American cheering for a German, or any of that stuff.

The Olympics are best used as a venting device. Instead of fighting the French because their insufferability has finally gone too far we kick their asses in the pool or the Velodrome. Once the athletes are friendly and NBC does too many stories that endear us to the opposition the venting is less effective. Want less war? Make the Olympics more like it used to be with Professional Wrestling like charactircures of the rest of the world.

-Alright random ramblings over for now...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Weekly Donkley Poker Tournament Up Again

So, I played the Donkley after some time away from Harrahs. I love to play online poker, and it has been going well fitting into the fatherhood lifestyle a little better but I'll never quit playing live poker. Such a fun environment to play poker.

Course there is a huge difference between hand ranges in the two. When I play poker online I give my opponents too much benefit of the doubt and have to widen my calling ranges. In live poker you have to severely limit those ranges unless you get strong tells or obvious opponents.

Couple of hands of note. I resolved recently to open any pot in late position if folded to me to just get some experience playing a wider range of cards post flop. I was tired that wednesday morning and when on the button with an ignominous K2 offsuit it dawned on me that action was on me and 7 folders were waiting expectantly.

Well, I guess that means I'll open with a bet.

I 2.5 it and the small blind folds. The big blind calls. Perhaps, to give myself an additional way to win the pot I should adjust my bet sizes but oh well... The flop comes Ace high with two middle cards. He checks and I suppose I should have just c-bet but as he was a youngish player and I had diddly, I decided to check behind and see what happened.

The turn was a deuce. He led out. This is a classic case of me playing poker backwards. I guess had I c-bet life would have been easier but here I felt I might be good. Perhaps, I should raise but I opt not to. I determine to pot control a weakish holding and just call the river too.

The river is is a Q which is a little offsettling. Hence the need to raise the turn. He puts in a bigger raise. Now, I'm a little scared. Preflop I put him on one big card one little. A and Q out there are the big cards. My gut told me he had nothing based on the way he bet. After some thought and studying him I feel I have to at least call.

He sheepishly turns over K2. I show the same hand.

Okay, felt like it was going to be a good day.

Funnily, I watched the kid play a pot a couple of hands later and the board is scary and he's leading into it. An older gentleman is just calling him on every street. On the river it's bet call. The kid turns over a boat, and I was reading him for big time strength, and the old guy turns over basically rags. I guess he thought because of my call the kid was wild.

Later I got into a little bit of trouble from the button. I had 910 of hearts and put in big raise on some limpers from late position. The sb sticks around and so does an older tight gentleman. Flop gives me a gut straight draw. It's checked to me and I put out a pot sized bet to represent protecting my hand from the flush draw. The sb stews forever. He's barely got enough in his stack to make the call and then does. Oh.

The other player folds.

The turn makes the flush draw, we have a weird meeting of the eyes. He checks and I look at his stack, he can't fold here if I bet so I check. The river pairs the board. He checks and here I guess I should put him in but just about everything I put him on has me beat and calls. No, he shows queen high for a gutterball straight draw and the table is stunned I can't beat it. Not sure why he thought he should chase in that spot but oh well.

Later on... Bad Beat alert, I get busted when I move tables. Guy raises from early position he looks tight and older. The dude on the other side of the dealer, a regular, calls. Okay. Then I look at AK in the Big Blind. I got 6 times the bet. I decide to ship it.

First guy folds but has his hand almost halfway out into the table when he does. To me, if were the other dude on the other side of the dealer I'd see what he folded. That guy stews a bit and I say "I'm going to get called with AJ here." I get that feeling in the pit of my stomach as I know the tournament is about to be over despite "wanting" the call.

Still my bet is for most of his chips and this gentleman is normally pretty solid. He amasses the will to call and throws his chips in. I turn over AK and he seems less than flustered to show AJ. What?

The other guy says, "That's what I folded..." yeah you know it's coming...

Jack ball on the flop and that was it for Wild Bill.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Saints Superbowl Part III

You can compare it to the frustration of the Red Sox fans until their epic run a couple of years ago. Word of warning New Orleans, almost everybody not a Yankees fan rooted for the Red Sox to end their 90 year drought, but within three years the Red Sox and their fanbase already had more in common with the Yankees then anybody else. The Saints may have the rare opportunity to get dynastic, depending on the comings and goings of players, and hopefully the fans will stay humble (which is hard to do when your team is great). You get tired of anybody winning but the Saints for a night were America's team, what a great place for the bagheads to be.

Now, word of warning, if the Clippers and Cubs win championships we should definitely get ready for the apocalypse (just this decade... White Sox, Phillies, Red Sox, Tampa Bay Bucs, and now the Saints). I mean besides Cardinal fans, White Sox fans, and whoever they are playing who wouldn't pull for the Cubs to win. Same with the Clippers (except Lakers fans would probably pull for them to). Are we all cheering the end of humanity as we know it. I think not, but with all the wackos worried about the Mayan calender I might get just a little bit worried if the Clippers pull a cinderella this year in the playoffs, and the Cubs don't get Bartman'ed again.

As far as the sports betting, the Saints meant a profit for Vegas this year.

This guy's Vegas trip watching the Super Bowl brought back a lot of great memories I had there during March Madness in V2k (Vegas 2000). The camradery built by picking the same random team and watching them win, is a tie that bonds in a sportsbook, no matter that you have nothing in common with the guy across the aisle in any other walk of life. Betting opposite, and cheering opposite and those dudes suddenly are your mortal enemies. This guy chanting Who Dat with the other guys who just bet on the Saints had to be a totally awesome experience. The fact the entire casino was in on it later just shows you how much this win resonated across the country.

When my mom, who is less knowledgeable about sports than my wife, called to tell me about her experience watching the superbowl and ran through the plays with an emotional involvement... that was pretty significant. This is a lady who used to cheer at the wrong times during my games as a child. I'd be on the field and hear somebody cheer a foul from the wrong sideline and know it was her. Though, to her credit, she rarely misses an Auburn-Alabama football game but that's about it for her must-see sports. She doesn't even watch the Olympics.

Also at the party was my mother-in-law and unlike her daughter she's a sportsfan. Which is cool. She's a retiree that also plays xbox, recently bought an xbox 360, and enjoys the Wii. Pretty cool. She Tivos more sports than I do sometimes. She had a heart attack this summer but thankfully the excitement of the game wasn't too much. She was as passionate as everybody else in victory.

I really enjoyed getting to share that momentous win with a long suffering fanbase. My son will have something to tie him to his family that is more important than him following Daddy's footsteps as a Cowboys fan. Cowboys have enough fans I don't care if he roots for the Saints. The passion the rest of his family (members on my side included) have for them is something I want him to be able to share in as he gets older.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Saints Superbowl Part II

BTW, lots of people are slamming Peyton. You kidding me? Reggie Wayne didn't run his route correctly on one pass, and Peyton who was almost as good as Drew Brees on that day, did everything he could for the Colts. Sure Addai decided to show up but for anybody attacking Peyton he played a hell of a superbowl. Kurt Warner won a superbowl by playing awful except for one perfect pass and then lost one by playing great.

Peyton will be back. And maybe I will forget about his terminator face as he strolled into the stadium, his lack of sportsmanship, and his sulking on the sidelines but maybe I won't. I wouldn't be surprised in the next two or three years if we see a rematch of this game. That would be like 3rd or 4th level poker strategy as these opponents are starting to get to know each other a little bit.

Strange thing in the lead up to this it just felt like the Saints were destined to win and would not be denied. Very similar to that post Katrina game against the Falcons were they could have been playing the undefeated Dolphins team--you just knew they'd prevail.

Anyway, since I don't have a video that would humiliate my wife forever, turned her into a Youtube sensation, and maybe headed for divorce court here's a pretty good reaction video from Baton Rouge:

As I mentioned my son who was given to both New Orleans institutions, the Catholic Church and the Saints, is undefeated watching the games at a Saints party and in his Saints outfit. Apparently Drew Brees' one year old also is undefeated when attending games. Before my son's birth, I took a Lamaz class where the instructor mentioned she had built a relationship with the Breess and then Duce McCallister showed up and he enjoyed the class about as much as I did but was a nice guy. So from the very beginning it was destiny my boy was going to be a Saints fan. Now, if Ed Too Tall Jones walked in, maybe it would have been a different story.

I thought it was really cool to see Brees, a young father share that moment with his son in the Super Bowl and I could totally see myself doing that, just awesome.

Here's some pics of Brees-us (as he's called) with his son:

I had to go the quarter after the game. I'm a little too old for all that but I forgot for a moment. Awesome, simply awesome. Hearing what felt like the entire quarter chanting Who Dat in unison, watching bands march through with herds of people singing behind them, and high-fiving two city blocks was crazy. Everybody was in black and gold and everybody was euphoric. I heard somebody say New Orleans is used to throwing parties for other people, this time the party is for them, and that was the way it felt.

The connection of the city to the team is almost overplayed in the media but there is something very special here. There are the obvious and much repeated reasons why this victory resonates but it's even deeper. Even before five years ago it was a lot like Green Bay in terms of the loyalty and fervor and how the Saints tied into the city's identity. Sure they had lovable losers, and a rare year or two of glory (you know they've only had 8 or 9 winning seasons in their history... their history) but these fans stayed true, buying season tickets year after year. All they got was disappointment and heartbreak.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Saints Superbowl Part I

I was going to record my inlaws reactions to the fourth quarter of the Saints game in case it came down to the wire. For my wife's sake thank goodness I did not. She hates the stress of sports and felt like she was going to throw up before the game. She's not really sure what 3rd down means or how many chances a team has to get to the yellow line but she figured out the action pretty well by just knowing when her long suffering relatives cheered she should cheer.

Good thing I didn't video tape it because my wife would be a Youtube star right now. I've never seen a reaction quite like hers. The rest of the room exploded and her dance which consisted of limp-wristed stomp/run in place head shaking like she's at a church service where people talk in tongues was unbridled joy.

Yes, she roots for the Saints to win, but no she can't bare to watch most of the games, this year they've mostly won, but it was brutal experiences for her to endure in the NFC championship and Superbowl. So, that reaction was crazy, awesome euphoria. I imagine only the folks doing the sports gambling at the books in vegas could have seen a comparable sight not on the Gulf Coast.

After the game her uncle who went with his father to SuperBowl IV in Tulane stadium and saw early Saints game there too said, "I don't know what to do, what to feel, I never thought they'd ever win a Superbowl." His father who is 95 or 96 but could pass for 69 was pounding the beers and dancing with everybody else.

The entire room was high fiving and screaming, the fireworks blasting off outside and people running in the streets yelling Who Dat, was a fun thing to be a part of. I've gotten some flack as I've given my son to Who Dat nation and the kid is undefeated in his Saints outfit (I put him to bed early against my Cowboys--you're welcome Tex and RoRo) unlike his great-grandfather all he knows is the Saints win every year.

Though the Saints are definitely a strong number two for me and I've probably pulled harder for them since Katrina than I have Dallas. Really tough to stay loyal to a football team that signs every Pacman Jones that becomes available but somehow I can't help but pull for the Boys. Drew Brees just entered Deity status in the Crescent City.

If you thought Massholes man crushes on Tom Brady were a little over the top, or New Yawkers lovefest with Derek Jeter, that's only the tip of the iceberg. Brees has said and done everything right and his connection to his adopted city will one day translate into a statue outside the Dome.

Watching him during the Pro Bowl sitting next to Peyton Manning made me feel like I was watching a sports movie. You know where the bad guy has an incredible relationship to the media and says and does everything right on camera, but as soon as the camera is off he's kneeing his enemy in the balls, twisting nipples, and getting his Shooter McGavin on. Brees, dwarfed incidentally, just seemed the cooler of the two and while both were saying everything right Drew seemed more genuine. I just imagined when the two walked away Peyton would try to Ivan Drago Brees and Brees would laugh him off.

Which is odd because Peyton Manning has been an incredible scion of this city, him and Eli donating money, time, and effort to the rebuilding effort. He's a nice guy... still, I couldn't shake that feeling. Then when Peyton walked out without shaking hands it seemed like the cheesy sports movie had its required ending and he was definitely the angry, bested douchebag.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Online Poker Deep Runs... less delirium

So of late I've been the guy to play a late night multi-table texas hold'em online poker tournament, play all night, and play all morning, crack the cash and then bleary eyed watched stunned as some donkey makes a play that just doesn't make sense. So, when I say that I'm that guy, I know I'm one of you, we all do this it seems. Play patient, gamble when necessary, get a mini-rush and cruise.

Warning Poker Bad Beat Story paragraph ahead. Here it is: When I sat down to play online poker tournaments, I know they are coming, half the field gets it, but they still sting a bit. So I got pocket 10s, there are 13 of us, I'm one of two big stacks. First place pays over 1k. I think the buy-in was $2.20. There were over 4000 players that decided to play poker tournaments online, 4600 maybe. It was soon going to be daybreak again. My wife will not be happy, course if the bank account grows by a G, how can she be mad. I bet fairly large, guy on the button calls. Flop is fairly safe. 763. Would it be fair for me to say fairly again. Fair enough.

Uh-oh, another paragraph of the same, keep skimming down. I make a large bet just trying to take the pot down, the guy raises. 54? Impossible, not him. He's done this before with two high cards and then gone into check mode when called. No way bub. Not this time. Out of all the hands I can put him on 77 and 66 are the only two that beat me I crush the rest (he'd reraise with JJ or higher pairs). I think it's worth just taking it down, if he's got a set so be it.

Sorry, still at it, whining, keep scrolling. I basically shove for his whole stack leaving him a little left if he called... only because I didn't calculate the interface correctly. He shoves over the top for that tiny amount left. Alright I call. I'm flabbergasted as he rolls over 55. How can he think he'd be good there. Well, he got good real quick.

Okay, that's over, you can continue reading if you want patient reader. Then I was short stacked and snapped off non-memorably in 13th place. Yay! So, this happens a couple of more times this week, in one I misplayed KK. This is not a bad beat, but a poor play on my part.

Small blind limps. I raise with KK. He calls. Flop comes 783 rainbow of suits. He checks. I bet. He raises. I call. He checks the turn. For some reason I do too. I think I wanted to induce a river bet (... yeah, stupid I know). River is a 9. He shoves. What? I've got a big stack and this is for most of it. I try to go through the action. 7... 9? 3... 9? Pocket 9s?

I know I'm beat, but I also know these idiots at the low stakes will shove the river 7 out 10 times because they think it's the only way they can win the pot. I have to make a lot of thin calls but it enables me to acummulate chips. He could have anything a ton of hands A9?

Still, I think it's the right move to fold here. A lot of players also overshove when they hit their hands at this stakes. Plus, I could bust him... why shove. I call 39. Nice.

Still, I can't complain I'm growing my bankroll. Even though I've had a number of big scores within my grasp all from a tiny buy-in none have manifested themselves. What I am getting from it is confidence playing online poker tournaments and better being able to put people on hands where I'm kind of intuitively knowing their range without having to plod through the permutations. That's good.

I'm also running good and having big pairs (for the most part) holding up and winning me pots.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

From Online Poker to Live Charity Poker Tournament

When on the online poker treadmill, seeing things when sleep deprived is one thing (see last post), but I know a lot of players that struggle with the raison d'etre of a poker player. True like any other gig you are chasing the dollar, and if you really step far enough back, your pursuit of that dollar and your winning of that dollar costs somebody else that dollar--there's really few jobs with the moral high ground as long as somebody else desires that job.

In that respect poker is no different than any other job just more immediate and more direct. You could argue, in other pursuits, you win the dollar that is up for grabs where poker consists of you taking it from somebodies stack (or pocket). Even tournament poker there is an ebb and flow of cash that is more in your face than traditional jobs.

So naturally. it feels good to play poker for charity especially tournament poker. There were times where I wished I knew more people that would volunteer for a charity tournament or would play in one to help friends of mine. We know a friend who has battled and hopefully bested cancer and we had thoughts about throwing one in his benefit. I think the only reason we didn't was we wanted to see how things went. I figured we'd only be able to pull it off once (if at all) so we wanted to save it until it was really needed. Currently, with another friend that is something we want to save as an ace in the hole should things worsen.

That's the thing about charity is we seem to give in certain spots, a specific time of the year, an annual fund, or immediately after a great calamity like Haiti. Some people will do it once and then feel guilt free about declining to give again, even if the need is more pressing. I'm an advocate of charitable giving, I wish I could give more, or in regards to those friends been able to give enough to eradicate the problems.

Let's say you are a selfish person, here's my one appeal to you, I think even the selfish benefit from charitable giving. Some selfish reasons: 1. You feel better about yourself. 2. Good karma. 3. When you are willing to help someone else out more likely someone will help you out down the line. 4. If you are religious or a moral atheist you are compelled to do it by faith or by logic.

Okay... that was a weird tangent. On Friday, Joe C and I headed to Lafayette to participate in the Acadiana Poker Series to benefit the Lafayette, United Way. I hope those of you on our email list and that read our site regularly braved the weather for the cause. I got to meet my contact there, Mary Arton, for the first time when I registered and she was just as nice in person as she has been in email.

Gene D, David Anderson, David Spicer and Derrick Sonnier were also in attendance as well as a number of other friends of GCP. It wasn't a particularly memorable night in terms of poker for any of us. The play was just south of awful and the must be over by midnight mandate meant faster than doubling blind structure. Not much in the way of poker strategy there. Though the rationales these guys would verbalize for making a decision were unreal and worth the price of admittance. Then when the whole table agreed in unison with the most backasswards logic you got to wonder if you are the only person who can see Gurple (again refer to last blog post).

Last year, the event made it to over 500 players. This year the foul weather might have knocked it down to 300. We were a little late in promoting it and we wish we could have done more. I also noticed that the rebuys were a little more subdued, perhaps an effect of the economy.

Still as always a first class event by the Small Town Poker Tour, the volunteers from ULL, and from all the supporting partners like Chevron and the rest. I think Joe C out of the New Orleans group lasted the longest. Spicer was still in the event when we left hoping to duplicate his final table (3rd place) finish of last year. It was great to see him again. Really should be more than a yearly event, he's a funny man, but duck hunting has kept him out of the casinos. When I busted I had played two to three hands and that was it, but unlike most tournaments I didn't get unhappy as I headed to the rail.

After the tournament Dave A, Derrick S, and Joe C and I all dined at a classy little Italian restaurant nearby. Being a life nit I got the $8 spaghetti but it was terrific. Yes, I did say classy and that it had an $8 spaghetti (and meatballs!), the rest of the entrees ranged up to $30. I-Minelli's I think it was called. Dave and Derrick shared a lot of laughs and we had a good time. I hope if you are reading this and you didn't make it to the tournament you consider going next year. Might be good to get out of the house and do something positive for once.