Friday, September 29, 2006

San Diego, Smelling Good and Micro Poker

I’m going to San Diego next weekend to attend a seminar at the convention center near the airport. I will fly in on Saturday afternoon, attend the seminar on Sunday and fly back Monday morning. This should give me some time to play at one of the local card rooms if I am so inclined. As a matter of fact, I’ve unload much of my online bankroll to give me some ammunition while I’m there. The Village Club will probably be the room of choice unless someone has a better idea for me.


I got hit on by a 10 year old last night.

M’s team had practice last night and we were doing a one on one drill when I decided to play defense for a few turns. During one of these turns I’m playing against one of the better players on the team and she is getting frustrated by my defensive skills. As she makes a move to get around me she stops, backs up and says”you smell nice.” I’m dumbfounded and start to laugh at this strange statement from a child. She then does a nice crossover dribble and leaves me standing as she proceeds unimpeded toward the goal. I guess I’m a sucker for a compliment.


I had a late meeting last night and didn’t get home until after 10:00. I fired up Party and jumped onto a $1 tourney to kill some time while I made my dinner. 1020 fine players who understand how strong J6 suited can really be. Anyway, I chipped up early when I can back over the top of a week continuation bet. From that point on I was card dead until this hand happened. I’m on the button with AT of diamonds and call wanting to see a cheap flop. 2,10,5 with two diamonds are what I see. It’s checked around to me and I make a pot size bet. I get called by the BB and the cutoff. I’m not worried at this point even though one of them may be sitting on a set. My true feeling is that the blind has a piece of the flop and the cutoff has over cards. The turn is an 8 and the BB goes all in. This is a strange move if he has a big hand unless he trying to eliminate my draw. At this point I don’t have odds to call but the cutoff makes me think when he also goes all-in. I’m looking at TPTK which is probably no go but I have the nut flush draw. I figure I’m going to hit the winner bout 20% of the time and I’m paying 2100 to win about 9000. The odds say I should fold but it’s only $1 so I call. I 6 on the river and the stack is shipped to the cutoff who holds 34 off suit for the straight. The big blind held pocket 2s.

Part of the problem here is that I didn’t raise pre-flop but I don’t think I would have shaken the BB’s pocket 2s anyway. I would have fold to him alone but the addition of the extra money made it worth staying in at the time. I guess for $1 I didn’t care but I don’t want this to follow me into higher buy-in games.
I went to bed after that and dreamt of southern California.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

It Happened One Night Again

It’s now about 11:30 and I’m heading to the party that would almost be my demise with 3 other friends. Sammy Hagar is cranking and I’m pumped to be away from my forlorn friend who just can’t seem to get any action from the opposite sex. Anyway, we pull into the field and park next to the truck of my old girlfriend and it’s off to the bonfire.

Waste of time is the first thing that comes to mind as the kegs are all empty and the idea of standing around a bonfire on a warm July evening doesn’t really appeal to me. Around this time, my old girlfriend has noticed me and gives me an alcohol induced kiss that was mixed with the fresh taste of tobacco. I still got along with her but our relationship just hadn’t done anything for me so we just stayed friends.

We decide that an alcohol run is needed and we, including the old girlfriend, jump in the car and we are off to the liquor store. In reality the last thing she needed was another drink but we, being gentlemen, felt it was honorable to fulfill the request of a woman in need so we reacted with her in mind. Anyway, as we’re heading back she falls into the” I miss you so much and I want to get back with you” routine that is caused by imbibing to much beverage. As this continues she starts to unzip my fly right there with the rest of my buddies sitting in the car. Now I’m not one to turn down oral massage but it is a little strange in the company of friends. It took some effort but I convinced her to wait until we got back.

After we get back and enjoy our new bought refreshments for a while, my old girlfriend asks me to drive her and her truck home because she’s to drunk to drive. Being the gentleman that I am, I agree and arrange for a friend to follow us so I’m not left stranded in the middle of the country. As we start to leave she continued the assault on my zipper in an attempt to show me her love for me.

At this point I’m at the crossroads of morality. Do I allow this young woman access or convince her she’s only doing it because she hammered? With my staff at full attention I calmly explain that if she wants to continue this when she's sober I will be more then helpful. She protested but after a minute or two she conceded to my request. Then she threw up all over the inside of her truck.

Was this a brilliant moral lesson or just luck? I’m not sure but I know I didn’t want hours of curdled beer sitting on my crotch. In the end I dropped her off at home and jumped into my buddy’s car.

The ride home was short and thoughts of the evening came and went as I drifted off to sleep that night. I got lucky twice that night without dropping my shorts.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

It Happened One Night

It’s 11:00 on the 4th of July. We’ve spent the last three hours looking for a girl that doesn’t even like him anyway and I’m hungry. Hours of drinking and additional time on an endless quest will do that some times. I don’t understand why he continues to stalk her because to me it is quite obvious that she wants no part of him.

So we head to Rockway for an Italian beef and some Fritos. It the kind of place that sells crappy pre-made sandwiches for way to much money but in the middle of nowhere it’s all we had back then. We shot the shit with the burnt out, 20-something, loser who ran the place, all the time realizing that he is the type of person we don’t want to be like when we grow up.

My buddy and I hit the road back to Hinckley in his 1977 Camaro by doing a donut in the parking lot before we headed west. This is about the same instant that a State of Illinois squad car decided to drive by. He didn’t see it but I made sure he understood the urgency of the situation as we drove back to our home town.

Within seconds we were flying westbound at a speed that certainly was greater the speed limit. Like 2 ½ times the limit to be exact. As we traversed the empty highway at idiotic speed we encounter a problem. He needs to take a leak and starts to head down a gravel road in search of a place to eliminate his bodily fluids.

Now it can be said that teenagers think they’re smart and can make good decisions but this was not one of those times. What the heck are you doing you idiot. We’re getting away and you stop to take a leak two minutes after we left a gas station. He informs me of a party down the road and that he really wants to head there when he is finished. &^&%)%!. Within 30 seconds the squad car was heading down the gravel road looking for the culprits. Us.

“Boys, I don’t know how fast you were going but I was doing 80 and had no chance of getting you. If it wasn’t for the dust from the gravel road I wouldn’t have found you. License and registration please.” was the first thing out of his mouth. Sitting in the passenger, I start to grab the wallet out of the back pocket of my pants in anticipation of identity confirmation when he screams” HANDS ON THE DASH NOW SON!!!”. “I’m going to jail” crosses my mind as the stupidity of my friend prepares to kick me in the nuts.

He gets us out of the car one at a time and does a search of the vehicle. This highly trained public servant finds a freshly opened case of beer with 22 cans left inside. He informs us of the legal drinking age and that we don’t meet the criteria of legal drinkers. Now at this point things lighten up a little as he asks us to dump the beer and throw the cans in the trunk. Of coarse my buddy doesn’t want to because he paid good money for it but in the end we open each can and spill the contents on the ground.

Now the time of reckoning appeared as he asked my buddy to do a field sobriety test. He did pretty well until he had to stand on one foot with his leg extended and arms sticking out to the side while counting to 30. When he got to 17 he lost his place and asked if he could start over.

“We’re going to jail” kept running through my head at a speed not unlike the drive that caused this problem in the first place. I was convinced my future was over as he brought us together and prepared to give us the bad news.

“It’s late and my shift is over in 10 minutes. I don’t want to deal with this and get home at God knows when. Don’t let him drive. You drive him home and keep his keys until tomorrow or until he is sober. And don’t let me find out that you’ve ignored my request or I’ll come get you. Have a good night.”

So I jumped into the driver’s seat and drove to my house and let my buddy drive home from there seeing that he only lived 4 blocks away. Within 2 minutes another group of my friends drove by and I continued my night like nothing had ever happened.

To be continued…


Sleep, beautiful sleep. It’s something I could have used last night and didn’t get enough of. My buddy Paul came over around 7:30 last night and before we knew it 1:00 AM was on the clock. When ever we get together we can talk forever about anything that crosses our minds. My wife got to hear a few new stories about my high school years that in reality I had forgotten. The funniest story, in her opinion, was the time that Paul and I were coming home from a party and hit a deer.

He was very concerned about the damage so we jumped out of the car and take a look. A headlight is smashed and the grill is messed up but no major damage for the most part. So the deer is on the road, laying on it’s side and I’m think that we can take this dead animal and get it processed at the butcher shop and feed our families. He wanted no part of helping me lift this carcass into the trunk of his car so I grab the tire iron incase I need to put the animal out of it’s misery. I walk up to and give it a small kick and confirm that it is indeed dead and turn to request his assistance again. His refusal doesn’t thwart me and I turn back to the deer in preparation for the physical exertion that is about to take place. That’s when I realize the animal is looking right at me. Not from the ground but at eye level. I went from macho man hunter to little girly man as I screamed and ran for cover behind the back of the car. Of course Paul mocks me with laughter and openly questions my manhood. The good times we remember.

I have an endless list of stories about those informative years in my life many of which shouldn’t be heard by my children. I’m sure I’ll bust loose with some more at some point because of the mindless essence they represent but for now, I leave it alone.


My old boss just opened a neteller account. I’ve been trying to get him to play other sites and so he now has the ability to do so. I’m hoping to play with him on Full Tilt in the near future because I’m trying to work off a bonus there so we have that in common.

No other poker stuff other than I will be spending some time on the felt Friday night but not before. Meetings and other obligation will limit me until that point.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006



Transitive verb

Definition: tease somebody: to tease or make fun of somebody


Definition: raspberry: a raspberry noise

These are the definitions for Razz. I think it’s quite fitting in that the game mocks us the whole time we play it. It will even make raspberry noise after making you believe you have a winning hand.

I 2-tabled Razz last night for about 45 minutes just to have some fun and see if I’ve improved my game. I’m not sure if improving my game is what I really want but I’ve been pretty good at having the worst hand for a long time no matter what game I’ve been playing. Anyway, one table saw me run over it as I pushed my strong draws and won early as well as forcing fold when I looked to have a good hand. I watched Lee Watkinson do this one night on a low level table, winning many hands without showing his cards. Now I know I’m not even in the ballpark with Lee but he is a solid player and I will take what I can from any player. By the time I left that table I had almost doubled my buy-in.

Table two saw a little different outcome. I played the same game for the most part but was unlucky on three different occasions. Each instance saw 7th street kick me in the nuts, bend me over and spit on my back. It’s the nature of the beast to be cruel and it was. It is funny though, how many players don’t understand that if I have three up cards that are 7 high that I probably have a made 7 and that there queen is way behind with 2 cards to go. I did have one hand that saw me with A3 down and a 4 up. I raised and had one caller with a jack up. I bet when I get another ace while he gets a 10 and calls. 5th street gives me a 3 and I bet into his 9 and he calls. I bet my 8 on 6th street and he calls with a 7. Now at this point I have a made pair of 3s but it looks like I could have a made 8 and maybe better. He has a made 10 and calls which I don’t understand. 7th street pairs my four and I bet hoping to get him off his hand, while knowing I’m beat and that he will call. He won with his 10. I think this is the right way to play this in that only an idiot would call me to this point. Just about anything else, other then three pair and I win easy. I’m hoping to play him again because he isn’t very good.

So I took almost all my money out of Noble in an attempt to start over and refocus. I’ve played 4 Dirty Dozen SNGs there and turned my $8 into $22. It’s funny how playing with a limited bankroll causes me to focus more. Or maybe I just got good cards. I should probably take my money off of Party and Full Tilt and just concentrate on Noble but I love that Razz.

On other things, my buddy Paul is up from Georgia for the week so I’ll be spending time with him tonight. We’re also going out to my home town on Friday for some of the Homecoming festivities and seeing other old friends. It should be a good time for all.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Midnight Madness

JJok and I had 10% of each other in a couple of tourneys on Full Tilt Saturday night. The first one was the Midnight Madness and saw each of us sitting really well and him with twice as many chips as me. As we were approaching the bubble I got knocked out when I tried to convince my opponent I had a better hand then I did. He called from the SB before the flop and I hit bottom pair. At this point my M is at around 4 or 5 so I push after he checked. He had to call off about 30% of his stack and did so with his second pair after a very long pause. I’m done about 60 from the money. JJok lasted longer but got caught on a steal attempt then all but crippled him and just short of the money. He eventually got knocked out when he had a pocket pair get beat by over cards if I remember right.

Our second tourney was 5+.50 event that saw him completely card dead and out a little before the first hour. I think he said he played 4 out of 40 hands. Anyway, I doubled up early when my KQ beat KJ as we got our chips in before the river. I pushed after what I thought was a weak bet and he eventually called with his weaker kicker. I hang around until we get to the 150/100 level when I get KQ on the cutoff and raise it up to 300. All fold but the BB who calls. The player is somewhat erratic but I figure him for a weak ace at best. The flop hits me as a Q93 flop can attest. He makes a strong pot size bet and I think I’m good. The only hand I’m truly afraid of is pocket A, K, 9, or 3. Maybe Q9 but that’s about it. So I push feeling that if I call the bet I wont get away from it anyway so lets get them all-in. I can win if he folds, if I have the best hand or if I suck-out coming from behind so let’s see what he has. 93. That’s right, 93. I just about fell over. I don’t suck-out and I’m done.

By the way, 10% of nothing is nothing.

At this point I’m a little ticked at my self caused misfortune and decide the correct action must be to play Razz. I had a great time and won back my losses for the night in a game of misery and self deprecation. It’s really fun to knock someone off a hand when they have a queen high showing and you have an 8 high but two pair for a made pair. I’m really beginning to like this game and seeing the power of the draw. Maybe I’ll take this game as part of a new challenge.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

What Does Poker Have to do With Life?

Has poker become a bigger part of my life then I wanted it to be? I’m going to look at it from two aspects before I answer the question so I can be sure to come to the correct conclusion.

To start I think I need to look at what my original reasons for playing were. The first reason would have to be competition. Competition was and still is a driving force in my life. The thrill of competing regardless of the circumstance has been part of me ever since I was a child and poker filled the void left behind by my retirement from playing competitive fastpitch softball. Another reason for playing was the mental challenge of the game. Using your intellect to out maneuver an opponent is taking competition to another level because physical ability has little to do with, other then tells, the success in the game. And finally, the combination of these two things allowed me to set goals and track my progress over time. This is a measured outcome that can be identified easily.

With my goals set, I approach the game with cautious optimism. I realized that patience was a necessity and focus was a driving force. Early on I stayed within the program and dealt with the ups and down in an analytical way. I look at correct decision making being essential to my long term growth and tried to avoid emotional reactions.

Around the time I had good control of these things I lost my job. It allowed me more time to play and concentrate on improving my game. So instead of 8-10 hours a week, I was playing 35-40 hours a week. Under the right conditions this would have been a good thing but things had changed. I started looking for the bigger score and the quick play-off. Grinding was not a viable option in my mind as I wanted to up the stacks to prove I could still provide for the family. In the end I burnt through about half of my bankroll quickly and was on the verge of continuing the chase after the losses. In some ways I was on an enormous tilt that was almost unrecognizable to me at the time. Eventually I saw my path and walked it to the point were I’m at now.

I think poker has become a bigger part of my life then I had originally planned. I’m not going through withdraw because I can’t play as much but I have become more considerate of my future in the game. I find that when I have a little time, I’ll play a micro level game just because I like to play but can’t afford getting deeply involved. I’ve also found that playing other games like razz or horse has opened up new avenues of creative learning that improves me as a player overall.

But I’m torn with the thought that I, deep down inside, would love to play this game at a higher level. A level that doesn’t care about short term loss or gain, but only longs to compete with the best.

I guess I don’t really have a clue what the answer is other then the game is there regardless of my participation and that I just want to be part of it.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Starting Over

I had the opportunity to play last night so I hit the felt around 9:00. I opened a full Omaha hl limit table as well as a turbo SNG. Things went well with the SNG as I cashed with a short stack when the two chip leaders got into a war and handed me a payable spot. The Omaha hl game was uninteresting as I was card dead for the most part. It’s hard to understand being card dead in Omaha hl but it does happen. 3 hours of play saw me make 1 BB.

Anyway I played a couple more SNGs and got hit in the nuts on the bubble twice so I took my shot at a $100 NL table. I short bought for $50 as that left me with about $10 in my account to rebuild. JJOK was at the table and I had the pleasure of him turning his $150 into $250 right away. Anyway, I played really tight early while I got reads on the other players. I started off loosing a pot and getting knocked down to around $30 but increased my stack some when this happened. I’m in the BB with J2 suited and call a raise from a middle position guy. He plays very solid starting hands so I put him on AK, AQ, or KQ. The flop comes down JTX. I check and re-raises his $5 bet to $15. He call paying $10 to win 26. Not a bad call and also my mistake for not pushing all my money in. Anyway, the turn is another J so I push my last $14.50 into the pot trying to push him off a draw. He calls with an open ended strait draw. Now by my logic he has at best 8 outs giving him about a 17% chance of hitting. That’s about 5.9-1 in hitting. He’s paying $14.50 to win $51. That’s about 3.5-1. He hits his straight and I lose.

With my read is this the correct play for me to make? I think it is because in the long run I will make money.

I almost reloaded but I knew I was chasing a loss so I just said my goodbyes and went to bed.

Monday, September 18, 2006

There are times when I really don’t have a clue

One of the things I enjoy doing is coaching. Now, I have expressed my interest in softball/baseball numerous times over the life of this blog including my passions for instructing young minds. Soccer is included on my list of enjoyable activities.

So Thursday, one of the girls on the U10 team I coach gets blasted in the face with a kicked ball. I run up to see if she is OK and all is good. That’s when the fun started. I noticed a pain on the top of my foot and realize that it is becoming more painful as the seconds go by. By the time I remove my shoe and sock I have a lump on the top of my foot that is at least ½ inch in size. The weird part about this whole thing is that I didn’t twist a body part or hit an object that may have caused the injury. By 8:00 that night I was in the emergency room waiting for a diagnosis from the on call doctor. No broken bone but I tore the soft tissue that sits between the bones in your foot. The only good part of this scenario was the prescription for Vicodin that I now have in my hands.

Now that I’ve had some success over more then a limited amount of time I am going to try an experiment. I’m going to empty all of my accounts and start over. I want to start over and see if I can repeat my previous success and how quickly I can do it. The reason for this experiment is that I want to get back to feeling the pain of loss and the joy of victory. Though I have become accustom the higher levels I know have a tendency to say screw it and make a bad call. I’ve read that other players have tried this to help regain focus and I hope to prove that it works. I have about $10 at Noble and $50 at Full tilt. When I get my Full Tilt account up to the $110 level I will make a run at a $100 NLHE table and start over if I go broke. If I have a good run I will put the winnings in Neteller and continue until I get hit in the nuts. It should be fun.
Overall I’ll have around $1000 sitting in Neteller when the experiment starts but I will attempt to stay away from those funds.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

More With My Life

My new days of obligation have really changed the way I approach playing poker. In fact I haven’t played since I took the job. That’s the change. I haven’t gone through major withdraw at this point but I’m expecting the shakes at any moment.

Looking back over the time of my unemployment I realize that in many ways I was selfish. Many of the things I did were done in a self-pity knee-jerk reaction that I justified because I wasn’t working. In reality I ignored much of what was and is important in my life to wallow in self absorbed cesspool of crap of my creation. I can not change the facts but I can move on and learn.

One of the few achievements, if you want to call it an achievement, was to increase my bankroll. The shear number of hands that I played while unemployed is almost incomprehensible. It is true that there are numerous people that play much more then I did but when you consider that I just started playing for real about 6 months ago then you can understand my point of view.

I don’t think that this experience, that I gained, can be overlooked. The only way of improving is through study and repetition. I fit this mold to a tee and can see improvements in my game because of it. A good example is note taking. I now use the note functions to categorize the players I face. When I see that I’ve played a player previously then I check for their tendencies as well as make adjustments to my earlier beliefs. I have seen this work on more then one occasion and expect the trend to continue.

I’ve also started to change my strategies more frequently to keep my opponents guessing. This has allowed me to steal pots with crap as well trap players when I hold the nuts.

Does any of this put me into the “good players club”? No but I know that I am a better player. My results attest to that. I just need to continue to evaluate my game and take advantage of the stronger areas. I think moving up to higher level SNG’s is mandatory for further success. They are my cash cow and are needed to inflate my bankroll. And if I want to continue to play MTT’s then I have to have a way to fund them. MTT’s are more variable short term and thus have influenced my bankroll more then I would like. I guess I need to eliminate them all together to achieve the goals of my original quest.

I just like playing them to much.

Anyway, I’ll try to spend some time at the tables but life seem to be running interference right now. We’ll see what happens.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I'm at Work Again

I feel strange as I work for the first time in months. It was the 15th of May when I last held a job and had to be some place other then home and watching the kids. My first day saw my head swimming through a sea of uncertainty as I tried to grasp the new concepts of my new position. By the end of my first day I started to get my head around the intricacies involved and as I write this on my second day I’m ready to go. Piece of cake and all that. I have plenty to keep me busy for a while.

As far as poker goes I’m continuing to have success playing SNG’s and unwilling to invest much time in cash games. The real problem I have is time now that I have responsibility again. My playing time will drop from hours a day to hours a week and thus, climbing the ladder of success will take longer.

At this point I have bonuses at Fulltilt and Noble that I’m trying to work off. Noble should be my choice as I need to play 25 $6 SNG’s for each $10 of bonus while I need almost 50 $6.50 at Fulltilt for each $10. Either way I wont complete the full bonus for either site so I’ll do Noble until my time runs out then jump over. I’ll move to the $11 games to speed the process at Fulltilt.