Saturday, April 29, 2006

Friday Night Results

I took 12th in 5+.50 MTT Noble last night. I made big mistakes that hindered furthure advancement.

My first mistake was calling a re raise of my blind steal. I raised 3x from middle position and a late position player went all-in over the top. I held AJ and thought he was pushing to by the blinds but I was wrong. His JJ was good. That knocked me down from 10,000 to 6,000.

A little later with the blinds at 500/1000 I was on the BB and called an all-in for 1250 more with 84 off suit. I was getting an OK prive for the call but new I was behind.

so now sitting at around 3500 chips I get doubled up by a bigger stack. If I fold the last hand I have around9500 chips instead of 7000 plus I knock a player out. This play came back to knock me out later in the event.

So I was 2 spots from the bigger money so I continue to have some success with these tourneys but I still need that big finish.

Have a good weekend.

Friday, April 28, 2006

My Hits Went Through the Roof

Thanks to Tripjax my hit count went through the roof yesterday after he linked Fish Are Friends, Not Food to his blog. Of course the roof to my domain is three inches high and of no use to anyone except my daughters mice. I did hit an all time high of 26 so maybe my readership will reflect this. I do have three or four loyal readers and do not want them to feel left out if I don’t give them my full attention.

In the past I’ve talked about my old boss and his playing style. Well yesterday I gave him a call to see if he’s back playing at Party Poker or not. You see he had stopped playing about a year and a half ago because of some business venture he started and couldn't commit the time to the game. Low and behold he fired it up for a couple of SNGs the other night. I’m glad he started playing again because I want to take his money. Anyway, we talked about poker and our families when I screwed up. This blog had been semi-secret as in a semi would have to run me over before I told someone about it. My blog is more about personal reflect than anything else so I haven’t really advertised it to my friends and family. So the cat is out of the bag in some ways and my burden has been lifted. And I have acquired a 5th loyal reader.

This brings me to another point.
High On Poker had a post yesterday that I made mention of. I thought it was thought provoking and caused me to personally reflect on the thought processes of other bloggers. That was the big bang you heard last night. Me thinking. Anyway, Gambling Blues has posted a response to High’s post from yesterday that will also give some insight to our brethren in this blogging community of ours. Check it out.

So with all of this blogging material in the air I guess I want to make a point. It’s nice to be linked up with the upper class of poker bloggers. It gives the upstarts like me a feeling of fellowship even if we may not really belong. I can’t put my self in a class with the veterans of the blogesphere but I do want to carve out my own little niche. Additionally, I admire the friendships that have been created through a common platform and would relish becoming a part of the society. But that’s not why I started this. It’s only a documentation of a quest. My quest to transform $5 into $3000 on Noble Poker! Will I gain cyber friendships along the way? More then likely because this is a community and communities like this must have dialog or it will cease to exist.

So what was this all about you ask? I’m not sure it was anything more then affirmation. Affirmation of my blogging journey. I’m not trying to skyrocket to the top of the blogging food chain. I’m just trying to enjoy my minuscule part of it.

Moving on to poker….

No poker last night as I had to many commitments to see to. With luck I’ll be able to hit the tables late tonight in some cheap buy-in events in my never ending quest for Noble Poker stardom. I’ll also hit the NL tables at some point If I’m not on family tilt.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Walking the Talk

I need to walk the talk.

When I started this quest I was relentless in tracking my results. I might not have tracked every thing I needed to but the things I traced were done diligently.

I’ve gotten away from this for some reason that I can’t explain. I have a vague idea of my successes and failures but no concrete proof.

One of the things I need to do a better job of tracking is on players. I know that this is hindering my growth but without tracking player tendencies I playing with a disadvantage. I know they are tracking me.

On other things….

I read a great post at High on Poker today about the different classes of bloggers in the blogesphere. If you have time check out how the pecking order of poker blogs relates to endorsements, site hits, and other relative information for our realm.

I was having trouble sleeping last night so I fired up Poker stars at around midnight central. I was playing two at a time but had limited success doing so. In all I played around ten and saw a small profit over all. What was discouraging was that I bubbled in 4 of the ten. In one I was a short stack and pushed with a pocket pair only to see the other shorty call with 83. His full house knocked me out. The other three were just a bad luck or bad timing in that if I had an advantage it was small and didn’t hold up. I can live with this because I did return the favor in one of my cashes.

I was sitting with 230 UTG and push. Is it a push when you can’t put up a full bet? Anyway, two others are in the hand and check it down. My 56 is gold. Next hand on the BB I push with KT and get called by the SB and survive. Two hands later I get KK and knock out the small stack. I end up winning this within 8 hands.

One other interesting hand saw me with an M of 1.5 so I go all-in with 64 suited and quadruple up. One player questioned my raise with this hand but I felt that two live suited cards were better then waiting for the BB next hand. I shouldn’t have been in this position except for over playing my top pair the hand before. Was this a bad move?

By the time I finished playing this morning it was 4:30. That makes for a long day and I have a council meeting a church tonight, practice with M’s team and any other fatherly duties that come along the way. I think I’ve already said I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed. Maybe I’m just a tool.

I also want thank Bloody P as well as High on Poker for their comments. At least I know that I’m not alone in the world of family tilt.

Check out Bloody P if you are looking for some tracking programs and spreadsheets. He hooked me up with a spreadsheet and will do the same for you.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Family Tilt?

We've all been on tilt at some time or other but what about family induced tilt?

I start every weekday morning by making sure the girls are up and getting ready for school. This doesn’t seem to be a huge obstacle in the daily routine but you may be surprised. L, being the oldest child and 12 years old is beginning to desire extra sleep. You know, like sleep until 10:00 extra. Now I understand this yearning for supplementary slumber because I was filled with this same longing when I was her age. So my request for her awakening is invariably met with disdain as she pleads for additional snooze time. For the most part I know I could give her an extra 10 minutes but it’s fun watching her mope around as she lazily wipes the sleep from her eyes.

M, almost 10, is a different person all together. She will get up right away and is often already moving around when I make my morning request. Her issue is that she wants to play or watch cartoons. That would be OK if she got ready first but she likes to procrastinate her obligations for the pleasures of animated thought consuming morning TV. So as I prepare my self for the daily grind I have to reminder her to put on her sock, shoes, brush her hair, and so on just so we can leave a couple of minutes late. I have to admit that she has gotten better the last few weeks so in reality it only took 27 weeks of the school year for her to conform to my expectations.

I’m sure I could find a correlation to the poker world some place in the paragraph above but I’m not going to try. Well maybe I’ll try a little. It does show how outside influences can distract us from optimum performance. L is often distracted by coveting additional sleep. In this case it is a mere inconvenience and is over come without any effect on desired results. M’s situation is different. Her personal desires actually hinder the result process causing distraction for other people in the household. As this continues on, she now becomes diverted from the original goal and is afflicted with morning ritual tilt. This self-perpetuating slide continues into an avalanche of further delays and interruptions as she scrambles to regain focus. The detrimental affect from all of this is that it also inhibits the correct processes for others around her.

I’m sure many of you have had situation similar to this at some point in your lives and in many cases it can be a regular occurrence. I’m wondering if these instances of distraction have a longer lasting impact then the immediate moment. Can a morning disruption influence your results later in the day? The severity of the said occurrence is absolutely a factor in determining the answer to this question. A bombshell revelation or other major distraction would more then likely cause us to perform at less then optimum skill but would minor incidents, many hour prior, be a detriment to your performance? I would like to think that it wouldn’t hamper me but it may. How would this influence your poker game?

Tell me what you think?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Fish Are Friends, Not Food

You know that sinking feeling you get when you make a call even though you know you’re behind. It’s the same feeling as when you push all-in with pocket 7’s only to see you opponent hit one of his two over cards on the river. That decision is the difference between making a run for the final table and getting eliminated early. The angst we experience when we lose that final battle rips at our being, especially when we are playing our A game. But we come back for more

We come back for more because we know that the lemmings, donkeys, fish, and any other derogatory name we can think of will be back playing in the same tournament tomorrow. But is there a chance that we are fulfilling a role in the grand scheme of things?

I don’t profess to be a great poker player. I think it would be a stretch to say I’m an average player but I play the game because I enjoy the challenge and want to get better. I think we all have forgotten that though we want to feed off of the fish we also need to remember we were also, at one time, that same little guppy in the lake of poker. Even the best players are fish food at times not because of skill but because of variance and dumb luck.

So our role as a player is to win money from other players. End of story? I’m not sure it is. You see as we play we have losing sessions. These losing sessions encourage the less skilled by letting them borrow from our bankroll and spread that wealth among the other players in our realm. This money will eventually find its way back into our accounts, with interest, if we continue to play our advantages over the long haul. It’s really an investment in our future in that if they don’t get paid off once in a while they will quit. If they quit the talent pool becomes harder to beat.

Encourage thy enemy when he hits his 2 outer. Praise her for the fabulous call when the gut shot hits on the river. Type” nice hand” to the idiot who calls your re-raise with 54 off suit and turns a strait, because they are your friend. Invite them to play with you in future events because they will pay you back.

Rethinking My Game

What is it that is so appealing about tournament play? The suck outs and other donkey play kick you in the junk repeatedly until you are numb from the waste down. How can players continue to be successful calling with 54 off suit to open raises? This is the quandary I’m suffering from.

I guess I should be happy that people are willing to go to battle with inferior holdings but my frustration boils over. Can you say tilt?

The $20,000 guaranteed on Poker Stars was the first to kill me. After the break I was above average and had a good feel for my table. As we moved closer to the money I continued to chip up and felt I had a good chance to make a run. I had a few marks and when the opportunity presented its self I was ready. I get pocket queens on the button. It’s fold to the cutoff who raise 3x. This player is loose and more then willing to give his chips away I have him out chipped 2500 so I raise it to half his stack. This act would pot commit him if he makes the call so I figured push or fold on his part. I was wrong because he called. The flop is T73 rainbow so I know I’m gold. I push over his min bet and he makes the call. He has QJ of clubs. I won’t go into the boring details of the incredulous result but suffice to say I didn’t cash.

My SNGs didn’t fair any better. Tournament tilt will do this sometimes. I should have been aware of my situation and gotten away.

The cash games were a different mater all together. I was hot on the NL tables and had made back everything I had given away earlier in the evening. That is until I tilted again.

It started off slow with a fear of giving back my winnings and cascaded into an avalanche of stupid calls and passive play. At least I didn’t go past my stop loss but I was willing to continue. I think the guy hitting trip 2’s with two 2’s on the board knocked me over the edge. He called me to the river with bottom pair and hit his 2 outer to win an $85 pot. That’s $85 playing .10/. 25 NL. Maybe I am a fish! I can hold my breath for a long time but have trouble breathing under water.

After this point I was the mark as I gave away pot after pot trying to make gold out of lead. I even re-re-raised a tight player with my TPTK. I called his all-in like an idiot and saw his trips take the money.

I need to make an adjustment to my game. There is no reason that I should have dropped the money I did last night. Some hands are un avoidable but I made mistakes that I haven’t made for a long time. I need to be more willing to give up on a hand regardless of how strong it is. I need to pay more attention to the players and not the cards.

Monday, April 24, 2006


No poker.

The girls each had their first softball tournaments this weekend but didn’t come out of it completely unscathed. The only real incident was with L who had an injury.

With L it all really started at practice on Saturday. She slid into second base and received a nice strawberry on her backside for her effort. Fast forward to our second game Sunday when she was thrown out trying to advance on a pass ball. She had to slide again and created a brand new strawberry just below here knee. Now we had talked about getting her a sliding pad but she felt she didn’t need it. That was my mistake in that I should have made her get it. Anyway, she went out to pitch the next inning, limping all the way to the pitching rubber, and started to warm up. She was grimacing with every throw so I went out to check on her. I could feel the pain in her eyes as she tried to battle through what was obviously an agonizing injury. She insisted on continuing but after two more warm-ups she came off the field.

As I prepared for her replacement she hobbled to the bench in excruciating pain with help from another coach. I felt honored by her misery as she apologized for being unable to continue. How can she feel that she let me and the team down while she thrashed painfully on the bench? I am proud of her and her commitment. As I inspect the softball sized abrasion induced by hustle and determination I explained that we needed to clean it out and that it will hurt, and hurt bad. Her face contorted as we poured the ice-cold water over her throbbing and mutilated skin. Tears welled into my parental eyes as her discomfort reached my heart. It wasn’t fair that this happened when she was doing my bidding. The counsel I give to her should not afflict her with pain.

So we get her all cleaned up and elevate her leg when she informs me that she thinks she can play. What? Did I hear that correct? ”It’s feeling better so I’d like to go pitch.” She said to my astonishment. I made her do some flexing and some running and then asked her this question. “Do you think that you will hurt your self further or hurt the team if you go out and play?” She answered, “No, I’m ready to go”. So with a bandage on her leg and a determination of three people she finished the game playing third base. Her father’s daughter.

Our last game of the day saw her back on the mound throwing the ball like she was ment to do it. I could see that it still hurt but her pride and determination would not allow her to give into something that was only a flesh wound.

By the time we got home that night and the adrenaline had worn off she could hardly walk. In all of my years I don’t think I’ve had a strawberry as bad as the one she has now. She soaked it in the tub moaning as the water seeped into the earth-ravaged skin on her body.

Today she had the joy of getting braces on her teeth.

Braces had to be easy compared to yesterday.

Every thing else went well yesterday. Both L and M had the privilege of playing against elite teams and having there lunch taken from them by the bully. As first year teams we weren’t sure how far their teams had to go to become competitive. We now know that the need a lot of improvement. All in all, I think all of the players from both of their teams were improved by the weekend. For the most part they were caught off guard by the speed of the game but that by the time they started the last game, they were making adjustments. As long as they are having fun and improving I'm happy.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Stupidity Comes in Many Forms

I do some stupid things but this was really bad.

I had practice with L’s team Wednesday night and we were doing a drill on base running. So I decide to show the team the correct technique for hitting the inside corner of the bag as you head to second base. Well as I hit the bag at full speed my foot slides across the bag and I fly head-over-heals in the air and fall onto the base path. I get up and continue with the lecture on the pitfalls of incorrect habits. As we continued with practice I noticed a stiffness developing in my back. I’m sure we’ve all had this at different times in our lives but this one didn’t want to loosen up. By the time I get home I can’t move without discomfort. Another fine example of an over-weight want to be kid getting hurt doing something he used to without thinking about it. Americas Funniest Videos would have had a field with my ballet like performance. The real problem is that my weight has been raised as well as being redistributed to unfamiliar part of my body. I think my center of gravity has changed from my mid-section to my neck. I’m now the opposite of a Webble wobble. Yesterday was terrible as in that I could almost dress my self.

Poker was good. I did well in some cash games, which increased my bankroll. I gave most of it back playing MTT’s looking for a big payday.

I was looking at my results for Poker Stars SNGs and see that I’m ROI is at about 10% on the $5 tables. My same size is only 17 so I’m not worried. These tables seem to be beatable with patience and aggression but I seem to be getting beat by myself at time.

I bubbled out yesterday second in chips when I flopped a strait. I check called the chip leader. The turn x and I check re-raised with him calling. The river was a 4 of diamonds and bet, he goes all-in and I call. I did notice the third diamond and lose to his flush. This was stupid play on my part. I could have folded pre flop and still would have been in great shape. The other two players were in dire straits and one would have been eliminate within a round or two. Next time I’ll just transfer $1.50 to three random players and log off.

One other interesting SNG had a LAG to my right who would see almost every flop. The deck was hitting him in the face. This gave him big stack power and he used it well. Anyway, when we got to the final 4, I was the short stack and looking to double through him at any opportunity. I raised all-in on his big blind 3 or for strait time and pushed over his min-raises when I was on the BB. This returned me to a workable chip count when he finally got tired of me beating him up. He called from the SB and I raised 3x. He comes over the top all-in and I call with my AQ to his Q9. I’m now the chip leader and his has around 700. A few hands later he sucks out all-in when his 69 beats KQ. Next hand he knocks a guy out with his T7. The short stack who would have been all-in the next hand lucks into third. When we get down to him and I he continues with his luck-box ways and cripples me out with when my pocket 4s lose to his 23 soooted.

All in all I’ve had a good week. My total bankroll has increased by about $55 and I continue to enjoy the game. One thing that I might start to employee is more hit and run action. I’ve read that many players will use this to increase the bankroll without giving money back to the table over a long session. Any opinions?

The girls have their first tourney this weekend and with luck I’ll have some good things to write about next week.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A fun Night

Well I beat exactly half of the people who entered the WWnd change100 tournament last night by taking 49th place out of 98 entries. Not the best result but it was great to play against some very good players. My staring table had Mean Gene, Boobie Lover, and Hermwarfair as well as a few others that I’m failing to recall. In one the first hands I re-raised a bet by Hermwarfair and folded to his all-in. I had to see where I was and he answered the question. My top pair was probably no good. I tried to keep my head above water and got back to starting chips after I re-raised what felt like a continuation bet. I moved up to higher levels and tried to steal some blinds but it was hard to grow my stack with some of the aggressive play in front of me. I saw mean gene get sucked out on two times only to have a reversal of fortune later on to become the table chip leader. When the blind were at 100/200 + ante I was dealt pocket 33 from the big blind. The button raise to 600 in what felt like a steal so I push with my 1300 chips and lose to his K9. I played a little tight but got respect from my raises for the most part. I could have won my last hand if I would have had fold equity but alas I had none.

After this I played a few SNGs, winning one and taking third in another. The one that I won was a marathon session that saw the Blinds reach 1000/2000. As we approached the end I was chastised by one of my opponents for calling an all-in bet from the BB for 153 more chips. I already had 2000 chips into the pot at this point. He expected me to fold? Any I called with 42 and lost. Later on I was in the same situation with the bitchy player and called 257 more with 53 and hit the 5 to knock him out. I am a donkey. With a 4/1chip lead I made short work of the final player to take the win.

I had read an article some place about pushing with specific hand when heads up and used this strategy to my advantage. The other two players were passively waiting for the other to be busted and thus let me steal blind after blind until they had to call. Good times.

After this was over I played some $25 NL and doubled up very early in the session. I was dealt pocket queens UTG and raised to .75. UTG+2 re-raised me to $1.75. It was folded to me and I re-re-raised it to $6 and he called. I don’t have a read on this player but my assumption is that he has a large pocket pair. I may be behind but he could be over playing any other possible holdings. The flop is Q55 and I check, he bets $5 and I cold call. The turn is the case Queen and I check again and call his all-in bet. He had pocket kings. Great flop for me. I played a little while long without much action.

At this point I go back to Noble Poker to work on my quest and sit at a $10 NL table. I busted one guy for about $2 dollars with a set of tens over pocket fours and immediately get involved with him on the next hand. He re-bought for $10. I look down at QT in late position and call with about five limpers. The flop hits me square in the face as a J98 come out. He bet I called. Turn x and he bets, I min raise, he comes over the top and I call. He had jack high.

I was a good night until I gave away some of my winnings on a donkey move a little later. I didn’t raise it before the flop and let the BB see one for free. I lose to his full boat of 5s over 7s with my two pair, Aces and jacks. Heehaw, heehaw.

I think that my game as a whole is better then when I started this quest but the bankroll constraints are killing me. I know that I can play at higher level but I’m not willing increase my risk of failure. At this point I have 3 buy-ins for the $10 NL tables. These tables have the ability to increase my bankroll by leaps and bounds but can also kill me at any time. The .01/.02 limit tables are the place I should be playing by the tedious grind of river runners and slow increases drive me crazy. I know that I preached staying within my means but it is frustrating work. And this shouldn’t be work.

What I rally need is one big tourney win to give me some breathing room. 3 place in a .50 tourney doesn’t do it. I need a bigger break.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Some Bitch'en, Some Poker

Last night was a bitch. After M’s practice last night I had a few things I had to straiten out before I could go home so she got a ride home with a teammate. It wasn’t a big deal because her teammate’s family was going to eat over anyway so I didn’t feel I did anything wrong. That was until I got home 20 minutes before a meeting I had to attend. My wife lit into me about being home in time for dinner and anything else she could think of. No big deal. A quick bite and I’m out the door for my meeting.

So I get home and she asks if Mike can stay at our house for the next few days until his spot is open at rehab. Now Mike has been married to Jackie for 14 years and are involved in a love hate relationship. She loves to bitch and he hates to hear it. It’s really no surprise that he has addiction problems with the crap he puts up with but I regress. He is bipolar but doesn’t like to take his meds. One of the problems associated with being bipolar is being susceptible to addiction. Along with his drug addiction, Mike also has a gambling problem that has interrupted his marriage to Jackie. He doesn’t see the problem with snorting and/or gambling away his paycheck. Well after understanding the whole situation I agreed to let him stay until he can start to get his life back together.

It’s funny comparing Mike and my buddy Bob who both suffer being bipolar. I can see the stages that Mike is going through by remembering the battles that Bob undertook. My wife and I also helped Bob with similar issues around 8 years ago and with support he has achieved guarded success. During a recent conversation with Bob he told me that there are still times when he wants to go back to his old lifestyle. The alternative has been to by him self a toy and put his energy into the thing he bought. It is an expensive game that he plays either way but it gives him focus.

On to better things like poker.

I played a few SNGs this morning with limited success. My first was an example of a trap and a donkey play all in one. Early on with the blinds small I’m dealt AT on the BB and raise it 4x. UTG calls and everyone else folds. The flop is 569 and I continue with a bet of 120 and get called. The turn gives me my T and I push just trying to take the pot down and get called by the 56suited of UTG. This is a great example of over playing TPTK and trapping the idiot who pushes with TPTK. I think I played 8 hands.

In my second game we got down to two players when my opponent became a push monster. If I min bet he went all-in and if I raised he folded or called depending on his cards. No big deal other then his stack was bigger then mine so I had to catch a trapping hand quick. I did and took the chip lead only to see him gain it back with my passive play. I finally got back to almost even when I was dealt A2 off-suit. I called his push and he flips over K3. I’m in great shape until he hits 2 pair on the flop.

In my final game, I cam back from near death to take a second. With 5 players left I have 2800, villain 1 has 2100 and villain 2 has 2200. I’m UTG with pocket jacks and raise it to 600. V1 goes all-in as does V2. I’m getting around 3-1 so I call. I figure that they are taking some of their outs away from each other unless one is holding a higher pocket pair so I think this a good call. V1 shows QT, V2 shows AQ. I figure I’m in good shape as only 5 cards put me behind unless there is a running flop. An Ace on the flop kills my hand. Is this a good call on my part?

I’m down to 600 on the next hand and get 86 OS and raise all-in to the SB who calls with K9. A 6 on the flop is golden. I steal the next three hands and get back to 2000. Blind stealing becomes the mantra of the game for the next three rounds until a player is knocked out and we get down to three and in the money. From this point I chipped up to around 6000 before V2 knocks out the other player and gets us heads-up. I really don’t remember what happened after this as we battled back and forth until blinds were at 400/800 with a 50 ante. I think I pushed with QT and lost to his King high. Anyway, I’m going to try and play the wwnd tonight. If not I try and hit the SNGs again.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Back to the Tables

We’ll we returned from our trip in time to make it to the Good Friday service at church. There is nothing like the anniversary of the crucifixion to cheer me up. Anyway, after we got the kids in bed I hit the tables by playing a .05/.10 NL full ring games. My original investment of $10 was increased early when I hit top pair on the flop and ended with quads. My only regret was that my opponent only had $2 with his pocket aces. I hit quads again later when my pocket 4s were met by pocket 4s and an ace high flop. I check/called the first two bets before coming back over the top on the river. He was another short stack but put me up to $16 when this hand happened.

An early position short stack raises it to .40 with the button, SB, and the BB (me) calling. I held QT and wanted to see the flop. The flop is QT5 and the fireworks start. EP goes all-in for .80. Late position goes all-in for $2.20. The SB raises it all-in to $3.40. I have to put $3.40 to win between 8-9 bucks with top two pair. I call only to see the river 6 giving the SB the winning set of sixes. The other two players each held AQ. After the hand the SB says “ there was to much money in there for me to fold.” What ever, nice play sir. He eventually gave it all back to everyone else but me.

I did cash in a $3+.30 MTT on Stars but got knocked out before the big money. I don’t think I could have done much better as I was card dead most of the night. I did give away a large % of my stack right before the bubble on a stupid play. I had an average chip stack when I get dealt J9 suited from the SB. It’s folded to me and I raise it to 600 (blinds are at 100/200) and BB calls. The flop is J high and I bet 800. I have him out chipped by about 800 at this point and a call will leave him at 1600. He calls after much debate. The turn is x and I bet half his stack with the intention of calling but giving him a chance to lay it down with chips left. He uses up his time bank before calling. The river is x and I’m not sure what to do. He wont fold if I bet but will he bet if I check? I check as does he. I lose to his JT. At least I cashed but that would have been a good pot for me. Anyway, he still got knocked out before I did but not by much.

That’s about it for poker.
We have practice tonight, Wednesday, Thursday, Three times on Saturday, and then our first tourney. We’ll see how we look as it isn’t an open tournament and should be able to compete.

Florida Trip Report

Well after a short respite I’m back. I know that everyone is jumping out of their seats waiting for a trip report so I’ll do the best I can.

Thursday the 6th.

After a grueling day of work that saw me inundated with last minute issues, we packed the van for the first leg of our trip. Of course no trip is complete with out an “oops, I forgot my swimming suit” or any other number of things. In all we returned home for the swimsuit, my hat, and some gogurt for the kids. We officially hit the road at 5:58, 2 minutes ahead of schedule. Dinner consisted of various food items from Culver’s. The kids watched Space Balls and Short Circuit. We arrived in Paducah Kentucky at 12:03, 42 minutes ahead of map quest.

Friday the 7th.

We have a breakfast of biscuits and gravy at the hotel. We hit the road around 8:00 and head for Chattanooga and the
Tennessee Valley Railway Museum. We get there around noon, which is now 1:00. They had an interesting assortment of old railcars and other memorabilia but it was a letdown for most of us. The highlight was riding a train to an area that has a turn-about and coming back to the station. The real excitement was seeing all of this stuff through the eyes of my son. He was in 4-year old heaven. So we continue on to Douglas Georgia by going through Atlanta during rush hour. It wasn’t a great time to be going through but it wasn’t like driving in Chicago traffic. Anyway, we at a Shoney’s and got to my friends house around 9:00. It was the first time I saw his new house and now realize how expensive it is to live in the Chicago suburbs. He bought his house for $105,000 but it would easily get $250,000 where I live.

Saturday the 8th.

We slept in because my friend was doing a live remote for the
radio station he works for and we wanted to see him in action. When we arrived at the remote we saw tons of racecars so we hade to check them out with my son. Anyway, we at lunch at a Huddle House and hit the road about 1:00. We saw numerous signs for strip joints but I didn’t think I could talk my wife into stopping so I didn’t bring it up. One of them even said couples welcome but I think the kids would have felt bad about being locked in the car. When we arrived in Apollo Beach at my mother we found the house empty so we took a tour of the town. 5 minutes later we were back and so was my mom. We hit the beach for the sunset and had burgers on the grill.

Sunday the 9th.

Went to the pool and waited for my nephew to arrive. He flew into Tampa Bay and stayed there at the same time. We also checked out a new beach because the one by my mother’s house was lame. We had dinner at the original beach and threw bread to the flocks of birds.

Monday the 10th.

We went to the new beach and looked for shells while my nephew scoped the high school girls. We also walked about ¼ mile into the bay on a sand bar. Later that night we watched the Devil Rays lose to the Orioles at Tropicana Field. My nephew wasn’t feeling good so he left early with M, mom, and step-dad. The rest of us stayed for the whole game and returned about midnight. The only problem was that the front gate was closed and nobody was answering our phone calls to open the gate. My wife decided to hope the fence and walk the to blocks to let us in our selves. After a few minutes she comes running back and says that the house is empty. After calling my sister we come to find out that they took my nephew to the hospital because of his stomach pain. He ended up with a flu bug and a bland diet for the next couple days. When we returned, my mom was checking messages and realized she left the message for us on her home phone. I only regret not taking a picture of my wife climbing the fence. She caught a shoelace on the top and couldn’t get it off. I hade to untie here shoe to get her loose.

Tuesday the 11th.

We went to see the Manatees but were disappointed as they had already gone for the season. We had lunch at Beef O’Brady’s and went to a nice beach off of the Gulf of Mexico.

Wednesday the 12th.

Busch Gardens. We hit all the roller coasters and ate much over-priced food. It was the best day of the trip because we are all big fans of any roller coaster and my 4-year old son was just tall enough to take his first ride on one. The Scorpion is a smaller ride that has one loop near the beginning. He was wide-eyed and giddy as we snaked through the line anticipating our turn. As we approached our seats, the attendant re-measured B and confirmed that the top of his head is exactly 42 inches, thus letting him on the ride. As we accelerated into the loop I looked at his face. It was full of fear and exhilaration as we climbed into his first ever loop. The pure joy exuding from his persona was all I needed to realize that he’d be OK. When it was all over he was ready to go again.

Thursday and Friday the 13th and 14th.

Drive, drive, drive.

One of the best things we experienced on our trip was seeing an eagle dive into a pond to catch a fish. It was a thrilling event to say the least. We also had the pleasure of seeing a different part of the country. Driving through the middle of no-place Georgia and seeing old shacks from well before my grand parents time made me realize how well I have it now.

In the end, the kids did OK during the long hours of driving and kept themselves entertained for the most part. I think we will make the trip again around Christmas time but will fly instead.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Picture Dump

Cool colors in the sky a few hours before a storm came in. Tampa Bay.

A picture at sunset with the storm rolling in.

Remembering the day of share-croping and slavery. This shack is in the middle of what used to be a forrest. They strip the land and replant trees to harvest again in years to come.
Another Picture at sunset.

A lot of driving but we arrived in time to see the sunset. The kids had the joy of seeing many trailers in the middle of noplace. There were many old shacks that had to be at least one hundred years old. Reminders of a time in our history when things were not plesant for everyone.

No poker at all.

We did get lucky and miss all the tornados in Tennessee and Georgia. Mother Nature's rath aborbs more distruction in the mid south. My mother called us, frantic that we were caught in the malstrom but relived we were safe.

My son B loved the train museum in Chattanooga, but it was a let down for me. I was looking for a bigger exibit.

Thats it for now. Ball game tomorrow.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

One for the Road

I dropped a good portion of my tourney winnings playing at the NL cash tables last night. I couldn’t catch a flop all night and saw my big pocket pairs go down in flames all night. Jacks lost twice and queens were a nightmare. The best hands I had were out of the blinds when I convinced my opposition I had something when there was a ragged flop. I ended up dropping 2 buy-ins when it was all said and done.

I don’t think I’ll be playing any poker for the next week as we traverse across the southeastern countryside of our great country. There is a chance I’ll get a late night session while staying at my mother’s house but I have serious doubts. My hands are already shaking from withdrawal.

The good news for the trip is that we have a whole slate of new movies to distract the kids from each other. As we all know long trips with children can lead to anxiety and anger so the 15 or so movies we acquired should help alleviate the tension.

A definitive plus with this trip will be seeing my buddy Paul. We stood up for each other in our respective nuptials and always start our conversation where we left off, even if we haven’t talked for a few months. I miss hanging around with him as we have been friends for many years and have carried each other through many trials and tribulations.

I’m getting mushy in my old age.

Anyway I’ll try to post while I’m gone but otherwise will give a trip report in about a week. I don’t know any bloggers so no guest posts. Good luck on the felt and read you in a week.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Stupid Stuff

My 4-year-old son is already a sports fanatic. If there is a game on TV he wants to watch it. This includes loading up any of my EA Sports games and having the computer play against it’s self. Is this strange? Has his logic been skewed by my insatiable thirst for the lazy boy, a cold beverage, and the remote control. I know that I’m a great influence.

Yesterday my wife says that our daughters are becoming me. They come home from school and immediately look for a snack and wrestle each other for the remote. Even though M is 2 years younger I think she’ll taken L best 2 out of three falls every day of the week. She is wiry strong and doesn’t give up. Anyway, I view this as a compliment as my children see me and want to be like me. Now I have to stop being lazy and get off my ass while I still have time to influence their future behavior.

So with my trip to Florida rushing in a break-neck speed, the lovely wife reminds me that the kids would like to see a ball game while we are down there. Now being somewhat of a fan, I had already looked into seeing a Braves game during the drive south. The only problem was that their game times didn’t align well with our travel schedule so I let it go. But wait. Isn’t there a semi-pro team in Tampa Bay? You know, the Devil Rays. To make a boring story short, I have tickets for the Devil Rays home opener on Monday. Section 149 rows JJ. I would find it hard to believe I could get 8 seats together for any other home opener in the country this close to game time. Each of us will even get a free mug and a chance to win more prizes.

For the most part this trip will be our first vacation as a family that didn’t revolve around me playing ball. We’ve been all around North America but only because of softball. Look at the places. Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Victory British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Las Cruces New Mexico, College Station Texas (go Aggies), and many others. We even scheduled our trip to Disney World to coincide with the AAU World Series. I’m not sure how I’ll react driving across the country without having my equipment bag getting in the way. At least I’ll have a high quality baseball game to easy my withdrawal.

I’m working on a project for work that is taking up a major chunk of my time. It is a result of inadequate communication between the production manager, engineering, and I. It also involves ignorance on my part. So basically I have to reinvent the hardware assembly line process for the purpose of assuring quality. In a nutshell I’m taking every product we create hardware boxes for and taking the paper system and converting it to an electronic system. I figure it will take about two months to see it to completion if everything goes well. I meet with the boss the Tuesday after I get back to promote my idea. I guess I’ll take work with me on the trip. If I only had a laptop!

Since the beginning of this blog I have written a few stories about my life as I experienced it. I will continue to do this from time to time as a way to freely express these things that have influenced me. This is not always a poker blog. It is about life and poker. Please feel free to express your feelings on both.

When I started this post I was thinking of writing an uber-post that would take hours to load from the shear magnitude of mind-altering inconsequential dribble it contained. But as I move along I realize that I don’t have the eloquence of the good
Dr. or the fluidity of Joe Speaker. How can I compete with their prose? I also lack knowledge of the game itself and thus feel unable to post quality articles on theory and/or new ideas. So I just ramble.

Who is the Poker Champ?

My first attempt into live blogging wasn’t very fun. Trying to express the situation with detail while staying focused is hard to do. I don’t think I did it.

We are driving to Paducah, KY Thursday night. In the morning we will travel to Chattanooga, TN to see the train museum and continue on to Douglas, Georgia to stay with a friend Friday night. Then we will arrive at Apollo Beach, FL some time Saturday afternoon. We will then hit the beach and burn our albino skin in such a way that I will be mistaken for a lobster or any other bright red object. Good times for all.

With my luck I’ll step on a fire ant and be engulfed by a brooding mass of the pain inducing insects. This happened on my trip to College Station but not to me. One of my teammates set his equipment bag on an anthill and they swarmed like killer bees. I really enjoyed the little red welts that grew on his legs. They made me laugh at his misfortune.

I almost got kicked out of a game one time for describing the length of my penis to an umpire. He said the ball bounced up and hit me in the crotch during a bunt attempt and I told him my groinal region is big but not that big and that it didn’t hit me. He wasn’t amused.

Along those same line I tried to get kicked out of a game at the ISCII Tournament of Champions a couple of years ago. I want to see if this idiot umpire would toss me if I didn’t swear. I made mention of his bad officiating and he glared at me with a look of disdain. I expressed concern for his sex life considering whatever sexual orientation he had and wondered out loud if his mother had apologized for what she had done. He wouldn’t throw me out. I walked back to the dugout dejected and alone. After the game the shortstop from the other team wanted my autograph. I charged him $5.

One of the girls on L's team is named Rhiannon. You think her parents like Fleetwood Mac?

I wanted 1,000 words and I got it.

A Recap of Last Night

It was an exciting night at the tables as I played a .50+.20 with 3 re-buys and an add-on. There was a total of 70 players with a 110 buy-ins and add-ons and 15 places paying.

I didn’t do a lot in the first hour other then chip up to around 2800. No significant hands to speak of. I took the add-on as I was only a little above average and wanted to get aggressive. I was a good move as I doubled up early with a flopped boat after calling a raise with 9T suited. From this point on I made it a point to put pressure on the smaller stacks and re-raise in position to steal pots after the flop. This worked well as I chipped up to around 13,000. As we approached the bubble, the small stacks got aggressive just in time for me to go on a rush and knock 4 out inside an orbit. When we get to the bubble, dealt QsJs and raise it to 6000 to buy off the limpers and blinds. Loose player in late position calls and has 12,000 left. I get a great flop of AsKsTc and check. Loose player goes all-in and I’m sitting good as my strait improves to the nut flush and his J9 is a loser. 35,000 chips and I start buying blinds from the medium stacks as they look to make the final table. 51,000 chips.

At the final table I lost a hand early after I raise and a player goes all-in. I was getting 4/1 on my money so it was any easy call. Hand #9 I get AT in the big blind and raise the limpers to 6000. Late position calls and SB calls. Flop is 3T5 and SB goes all-in for 8500 and we both call. Turn is x. River is a 5. Late position has pocket 4’s and SB has K5 for trips. How do you call half you money with K5. I don’t know but it worked. I’m at 32,000.

I win blinds with A9 and KJ when I’m dealt AJ under the gun. I was in the middle of doing my live report and folded without knowing it. The BB had pocket queens and hit quads on the turn with an ace on the board. Good fold. AK wins blind and then I lose a race with JJ vs. AQ. I’m down to28,000. 4 players left and I get AJ and come over the top all-in and get called by AT. I win and move to 40,000 with tree players left. I hit trips on the flop and get all-in with the chip leader and win to put me at 80,000. Next hand I get 82 on the BB and check as all three of us see a flop. The flop is 872 with 2 spades and small blind bets. I call (mistake) and other player fold. The turn is x and SB bets and I raise all-in and get called. He has 2 spades and hits his flush on the river. I’m the shorty now and get KhQh in for a raise with one caller. Flop is Jh8hTc and I push, he calls with an 87. No heart, king, or queen arrives and I’m done.

A little luck on my second to last hand and I have 85% of the chips in play. Both players were very beatable as their tendencies were easy to read but it wasn’t to be.

In the end it was only a $9 payday but it goes a long in the confidence department. I know that I can win one of these if I keep playing the game like I did tonight.

Other random crap….

I’m leaving for Florida on Thursday night and will try to post while I’m gone. For the 4-5 readers I have (I’ve gained one since the other day) please stay tuned for more useless information.

I will post on Thursday.

M’s in house 10u team is looking like it should be pretty good. They did well in all the drills put them through and most don’t have any major flaws we need to fix.

L’s in house 12u team is a different story. We have 11 players with 2 of them never playing the game before. We also have to develop a pitcher as a player may only pitch 3 innings in any given game per league rules. L will do fine for her three innings but I haven’t found the answer for the rest of the game. At least the other 9 players on the team are solid so we can hide the weak links.

The Cubs play in about an hour and the Sox play in about 2 ½. We’ll see if the Sox can bounce back from the crap they presented yesterday.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Playing at Noble Poker

I'm on a final table with about 28% of the chips, 10 players left.

11:52- fold 86

11:54-raise jT in late position,call all-in for a little more and lose.

11:55 fold84

11:56 fold 94

11:57 fold 63 and 92

I have 44000, next player has 23000

blinds at 750/1500

11:59 fold 74

12:00 AT bb and raise to 6000 2 callers one allin 2 callers hits trips I lose.
The guy who hit trips called my 6000 bet with K5 and floped a 5 then hit another 5 on the river. My ten no goot.

12:02 fold A4 to a raise.

12:03 fold T8

12:05 fold A8 to raise

12:06 fold T7

1 player down 9 left.
3 players at 30000+
1 at 23000
5 at 13000 or less
shorty has 7425
blinds at 1000/2000

12:12 fold 97 off suit

12:13 fold Q3
player down

12:15 fold QJ and 94

12:16 Q4 BB check fold

12:17 fold 85 from sb to a raise
player down

12:18 raise A9 frum button and get blinds

12:18 fold 56

12:20 fold K4

12:20 raise KJ winn blinds

12:21 fold AJ because I'm typing
Player gone

12:22 AK spades raise and win blinds

12:23 fold 24
player down

12:23fold 75

12:24 raise 44 and knock one out

12:25 fold 93

12:25 raise KQ hearts and call allin I lose

12:26 all in and win

three players now

12:29 allin and win chip leader

I lose chip lead as my two pair go down at the river to a flush

I'm done as a push with flush draw and lose.

good times for 3rd place.

Hit and Run

I had a hit and run session last night that was a nice addition to my account. It was a .02/.04 NL table and I sat down on the button. I folded for almost two orbits when I get 7h5h in the BB. There are 4 limpers when a late/middle position min raises to .08 with 6 callers including me. The flop is K96 with a heart. The raiser makes a min bet and all call. Turn is a 6 and raiser bets .16. This player had been many every pots without getting called down and his .16 bet seemed week so I pop it to .64 and all fold except the original raiser who calls. I put him on A9 at this point. I am behind but he is afraid. The river is x and I make a $1.50 bet into a $2 pot and he fold. Seven high wins. My attack on him forced him to slow down his attempts at stealing pots. A little later I get pocket kings in the cutoff and raise it to .60 as everyone has limped to this point and get one callers. A jack high flop and I call a .32 bet. The turn is x and raise his .32 bet to $1 and get a call. River pairs the J and he checks. I feel this is a trap as he may have been betting his jack so I check. He shows AK. Two good pots to this point. Right before I stop for the night I get KK again, this time from the small blind. The player on the button has been a real donator by pushing bluffs and slow playing big hands so I had a good read on his play. There are 5 limpers when the cutoff raises it to .20. The button calls and I re-raise to $1 all for except for the button who calls. T75 flop and I bet half the pot. The button goes all-in for $3 more and I call. He had pocket 2”s and I’m happy. When al was said and done I turned a $5 buy-in into $13 in about 40 minutes of play. It was a good session.

The Cubs started out the season with a 16 run effort vs. the Reds even with the poor pitching of Carlos Zambrano. Today Glennden Rusch is on the hill for the Cubbies.

The future of the Cubs middle infield?

I read some good stuff out in blogdom today. If you have time, checkout the links on the right and see what people are writing.

Monday, April 03, 2006


I had this whole post written when I lost my connection. I saved part of it but lost some.

Isn’t it crazy how we can be attacked by our own emotions while playing a game! Just a week ago I was spewing loads of trash about needing a new cup to protect my nuts. Questioning my playing ability vs. the lemmings of the world. Now I feel great because I’ve had a few good sessions at the micro level. I’m not God but I play one on the felt. The real issue is if I can stay focused after I get back in a comfort zone. At this point I just want to get back to the $60 mark. Right now I’m sitting at around $30 and looking to continue my prosperous ways.

Looking at my play I think that an area of concern is card selection. I need to open up more in late position and tighten up early. My play from the blinds has been ultra-crap as I’ve been completing bets and calling raises without regard to the other players at the table. The real adjustment I need to make is to raise/fold some of these situations. A raise or a re-raise can disguise my holdings and force the other players to respect my position.

I have this for those three or four people who read my blog. I will be in Apollo Beach, Florida from the April 9th thru the 12th. I’m just curious if there are any bloggers down there and if there might be a game I could attend. I believe
Gracie is someplace down there but I’m not sure of anyone else.

Here is the summary of what I lost.

Go Cubs, Sox, and anyone playing the Cards.

Baseball is spring to me.

The girls had fun at the tourney and learned a lot also.

Insert picture here

Insert picture here.

A coach yelled at a girl for not hustling and I reminded the girls that we wont yell if they hustle.

There was much more detail then this but I'm not doing it over.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

A Weekend Post?

It is a rare chance that I write on the weekend so you are lucky.

I playes a walkes threw a 6 player sng this morning for an easy win and a net gain of $6. Another passive table that allowed me to push people off pots. I had the right combination of good cards at the right time and the ability to drop a hand when I needed to. I did have a hand where I had AK suited when the player before me made a min raise and I folded. This player had not raised a pot all game so I felt I was behind. He showed pocket A's.

During my sng, I also play some $2 NL with some success as I almost tripled my buy-in. I made a good read with top two pair when a flush draw hit on the river. The other play had been cheeck calling my bets on the flop and turn and checked again on the river. I didn't bet and he shows the flush. Nice hand sir. I also gave away a $3 + pot on the river when I folded the best hand. The river paired the board and a caller came out betting so I fold my TPTK. Nice bet sir.

Anyway, I need to wake the kids as we are leaving for a ball tourney in about an hour or so good luck on the felt today.