Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Cheap is Cheap

Man this sucks. When I got my company laptop a few months ago it came with a trial version off Microsoft Office Suite. I asked about getting a full license but was told to wait until the trial was up so I did. Well this morning I tried to write up some information and got a message that my trial was up. The real problem is the guy who takes care of this stuff is out and will not be back until tomorrow sometime. Kind of hard to do your job without the right tools.

So tonight is the Mookie and I will be playing. I’m sure I’ll go out early as I have lately when my big pocket pair gets cracked by some hand like 62 off suited after I re-pop an early raise to 10x the BB. I will also play the 2nd chance, Pot Limit Omaha HL, event if Razz doesn’t get in the way. I like Omaha HL and can donk it up with the best of them.

With the absence of blogger tourneys out there I’m thinking of holding a blogger Razz tourney. I may also look at adding a bounty on a particular Razz expert’s head. I’ll post some more on this in the future but I would like some input on the idea.

See you at the Mookie.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Life and Poker Thoughts

Tonight I get the pleasure of putting together an air-hockey table. It is a wondrous thing to read through the directions of any devise that requires construction by the person who bought said devise. Do we really have to put all those screws in it to make it run right? Anyway, it with be an act of attrition upon my soul to get through this. My thumb still hurts and is only at maybe 50%. Have you ever tied to tie your shoes when you can’t use your thumb? It is hard to do. And try to button your pants. At least my wife knows how to dress me. So hopefully I can get started on the air-hockey table tonight.


To date I haven’t said much about Neteller and my ability to get money on and off the sites that I play. For me it is more a question of managing the money I have. I’m not a person who will take random money from the family account to reload a poker account and try to stay within a budget. By budget I mean I manage the money I have. Not having Neteller is a hindrance though because I would move money for reload bonuses and other promotions. I know that I will play for as long as I want on the money I have just by managing the levels I play. What I see happening is the lower priced games will get bigger fields while the high level games will generate smaller fields. Eventually, the numbers of players will dwindle and the games will get harder for the average player.

This will happen unless there is a change. Regulating the industry would open up the avenues for us as players. The tax money our government could generate from legalized on-line casinos would be huge. Now I don’t like having my life regulated by my government but if it brings the fish back into the pond then I’m all for it.

The blogsphere is full of short term ways for people to get their money on to poker sites right now but they are short term band aids. We will always find ways to get money to these sites but the hoops we will have to jump through will get tiresome. Do I want to open an account with every new Neteller, Click2pay, or epassporte that comes along? No I don’t. A taxed and centralized system regardless of how it is regulated may be the only way for all of this to continue like it did in the past.

There are also IRS implications that surface with something like this. If it regulated then will we get a 1099 every year to claim our winnings? Do we have to keep track of our loses to offset the earnings we make? Will each session be a separate transaction so that we will have to log all of our play? It could become a pain in the ass. I’m sure the poker sites have records of every game that we have played down to each red cent we’ve bet so a report at the end of the year shouldn’t be hard to come by. I’d actually like to see one because I don’t track my play as well as I should.

Does this bring us closer to a conclusion? Not really but it I the thoughts of an amateur poker player who would like to keep playing.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Just Another Weekend

Friday was a day spent at home because of illness but that didn’t mean I didn’t take care of some business. By Friday afternoon I was felling better so I finished painting the basement and put together the foosball table the kids had received for Christmas….last year. It’s not that I procrastinate but I didn’t want to put it up before the room was done. We now have a place for the kids to go without destroying the house. The Enthusiast wife and I also went out on a date, that is without the kids, at a place called Mia Mori in a near by town. Our realtor gave us a gift card last year after getting the commissions from the house we sold and the house we bought so we ended up getting a good meal for free. I had the veal and it was spectacular. Now don’t go crazy on me about the cruelty involved with veal because it is probably only the second time in my life I’ve had it. I ended the evening playing pokah.

Saturday was a confusing day for all of us. L had a doctor’s appointment, a birthday party, and softball practice in back to back to back fashion. At the same time we had to help my mother move to her new home which was about 35 minutes away. In the end, grandma helped us out with L so the rest of us could help my mother. I still don’t know why we were there because she hired movers and thus my brother-in-law and I had nothing to do for the most part. We ended up making prop bets on who could through a small stuffed animal into various openings around the living room. Most of our time was spent tossing the little stuffed toy at a vase on an end-table. After each throw my son would bring back the projectile for the next throw. I ended up winning by 2 shots when all was said and done.

Sunday is a time for rest except when you have things to do. After church A&M had a Girl Scout thing so I was in charge of the other two kids getting their rooms cleaned. I’m pretty good a directing someone else doing work and they did a great job. As the evening approached I took L to her softball practice and B came along so we played catch as well. When we got home we watch Superman Returns and that was it.

The exciting life of the Poker Enthusiast in a nut shell.

I would have liked to play in the WPBT event but family does have to come first.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

WTF Full Tilt

So it's Friday night and I get home after a great dinner with only my wife just in time to fire up Full Tilt and play a Razz Tourney. The only draw back is that their server is screwed and I can't get on. This is confirmed by Waffles and Iak so I have to got to UB. Now this OK cuz they just gave me $10 to play with for free. I used to play there along time ago but I haven't had money there in a while.

I started out earlier today grinding it up to $15.54 playing HORSE and HU RAZZ. SO a $2 tourney is ready to start and I last almost 45 minutes before an idiot thinks A3 is gold and busts my KK. Mean while I start the $1 re-buy madness and chip up really well. I'm at 12K at the add-on and take it to move up a little. Players are fulling and with 200 people left I get dealt KK again. Ass monkey pushes with hoy's favorite hand (AQ) and hits a boat.

Around the same time the $1 tourney started a $5 tourney went off and I signed on. It was a 100 player max with 10 places being paid. It was a thing of beauty the way I stayed in front of the blinds and slowly stayed alive. With 15 players left I get dealt KK and a shorty pushes. I was sitting in 5 place but had to call. I was knocked down to 12 place after that hand cuz a 4 flush is better than KK. I doubled back up when 77 beat A10 and eventually I got here.

I had little table equity but held tight and doubled with 1010. From that point on I stayed tight and got to this position.

I ended up going out in 3rd when my Q5 lost to Q10. But It was nice seeing this.

A nice 670 % boost to my free bankroll. Let's se if I can do something with it.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

TheMoooookie and Razz

I played both Mookie events without any fan fair. It started bad in that I had complete crap for the first 3 orbits or so when I get pocket Jacks under the gun. Being the weak tight idiot I am, I limp into the pot and have to fold on the river because I didn’t raise the SB out of the hand. Then I get KK cracked by 63 on a flopped straight by my opponent. He raised from the button and I re-raised 3x his raise. Bad luck there. Anyway, I also played the 2nd chance event and didn’t last very long. It was stud h/l and being without the luck-box action didn’t help.

I also play the regular razz tourney I like to play and went out in the middle of the field. I chipped up early but didn’t get much for playable hands. In this tourney you get to a point that you have to make a stand and I did to no avail. Additionally I played in a $2 tourney and chipped up nice early and held the chip lead for a good portion of the tourney. But then I played 1010 like aces and got knocked out when I new I was behind. It was a $2 tourney and I made a stupid push. Anyway, the idiot winner types some rude comment in the chat box after I get beat and I go off. I’m on dumb-ass tilt and proceed to hit the Razz cash tables for a while.

This was a bad decision because the chasers were out in full force and hitting their cards. I dropped ¾ of a buy-in playing ½ so I move up to 3/6 to chase my loses for the night. This turned out to be a good move because I won back all my loses for the night plus some. The thing I noticed was that the play was super tight and that a good play could take advantage. In my case I hit good cards but I can see that the game here could be a money maker.

I tried to log on to Full Tilt this morning but couldn’t get on. They must have a server down or something because everything else seems to be working.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

This is a Test

This is the hand that killed me the other day. I'm just seeing how it works.

Things to Ponder

No poker last night. I spent my time watching American idol with the family and playing a video game with my son. And if there are donkey singers then they were singing last night. That’s all I can say about that.

I did watch JJ for a while as he played in my semi regular Razz event that I missed. His play was solid and the chaser followed him into a few bad beats but he raised from the felt and was top 10 when I left him at the first break. JJ has been fighting for position in the Razz King Wars and with a few more good showings will be able to stake his claim to the title and I covet. It will never happen because there is only one Razz King but everyone must have a goal.

Yesterday I checked out Click2pay while at lunch and they said I could sign up because I didn’t live in the United States based on my IP address. Now the last time I looked I was sitting in West Chicago at the time and thought maybe I had a teleportation spell cast on me that put me in Timbuktu. But then I saw the snow on the ground and realized I was still here. Timbuktu would be nice but the pay there sucks. Anyway, I figure this is based off of working for a Japanese company or something. I look at it again at home some time.

I was going to watch The State of the Union address last night but felt that playing with my son would be more fulfilling. Hearing people applaud at every other word spoken by President Bush didn’t seem to be all that great a time. It is all the same drivel anyway so I could just find an archive and pull up a previous speech and get the same thing.

Work is nuts as a punch in policy has been put into place for all employees….even managers. We are even required to punch out for lunch regardless of if we leave the building or not. You add this to the fact that there is no comp. time and I feel like a red headed stepchild. I understand that hourly employees should punch a clock but with all the hours I put in and donate i.e. spend the weekend flying to Japan, working long days there, and spending the next weekend flying home while having to use a vacation day the day before I leave is messed up. I’m not asking for the world, just understand that I worked hard to get to a managers position and that I am a grown-up for the most part. I guess I need a job that I can do at home so I can sleep in and lie about the time I work.

End rant.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

It's a Long Drive

Well I made my deep run the other day and I’ve played no poker since. The only competitive thing I’ve done is watch the Bears run over the Saints. But I did log on for a while and watch some tourneys and noticed one thing. That many of the guaranteed tourneys had smaller fields. I figure this is based off of the inability of players to move money and thus working within the constraints of their on-line bankroll. The 35K on Sunday had an overlay and I don’t remember seeing that before. Will this continue to be the trend? Only time will tell.

So I went deep and got sucked out on to knock me out of one of the daily doubles. This is not a revelation as many of us have been knocked in a similar way. But the way I moved into position was about the best I could do.

Within the first orbit I held 6500 chips as the ass-monkeys gave me chips early. The first hand saw me flop a straight while holding 108 and doubling up. Two hands later I flop trips and then came over the top of a weak player who folded to any aggression. Now with a big stack I chose to be the aggressor on random occasions and kept building my chip stack. About half an hour before the bubble I went card dead but the chip accumulation from early in the tourney left me with an above average stack and I started buy pots when the bubble got close. After moving deeper into the tourney I became a card rack and got paid. If I hit pocket queens then another player would get jacks. In the final stages of the tourney I hit AA twice, KK one time, QQ twice, and JJ-99 4 times. And they all won. I busted 3 players in a 2 hand stretch when QQ beat JJ and the I get KK vs. AJ and AJ. This put me in the top 3 with under 20 players left.

My last hand saw me with AJ suited in the SB. It was folded to me and I raise it to 20K (blinds and antes are around 10K at this time). The BB chip leader calls. My read on this player is that he is very solid and we been at the same table for the last hour and a half. I have shown nothing but the nuts for all of this time and have not lost a hand. I put him on AK, AQ, 1010, 99, 88 and maybe 77. Big pairs are out of the question because he has re-raised with these types of hands. He has also shown the ability to push with small pairs and even re-raise with AK or AQ. So the flop come 7J7 and there is 50k sitting in the pot. I’m first to act and I throw a pot size bet. I’m not committed to the hand and with 111K sitting back I’ll still be top ten if I have to fold. He insta pushes and I go into the tank. I’m chatting with waffles as he donked around with freeroll Razz and I ask his thoughts. I don’t have much time so I look at my read and put him on those original hands. He doesn’t have 77 and not very likely to have JJ. My gut says he has a pocket pair but smaller then the J and is trying to push me off AK or AQ. I call. He flips over pocket 10s and I’m counting the chips. I will be the massive chip leader and can play lucko style. Until the turn 8 and river 9 hits.

I looked at the screen with a blank stare for some uncounted amount of time. I reconstructed the car crash that happened before me and tried to make it go away. We’ve all felt that gut wrenching feeling when you’re a game is going and the stars are shining a little more brightly. And then the clouds come rushing in and obscure the twinkling lights and you sit in silence…alone and dejected.

Did I make the right decision here? I’ve always tried to avoid confrontations with the chip leader unless I knew I was way in front. This was a call for my tourney life and I could have gotten away from the hand. My read was spot on but is it a better call to fold to this aggression even if I think I’m ahead? I could have folded to the final table but should I be doing that. No.

Waffles and I talked about the hand for a while after and his thoughts were right down the middle. Either decision could be correct and that folding was a good option because I still had plenty of chips. I still like my call, based on my read. If I had just come to the table I may have folded but I knew what he had.


L had practice on Sunday and so she got to pitch a little for the first time this year. She was throwing smoke and her ball was diving down like a ball falling off a table. The best part of it all is that I know she’ll be throwing hard as we move closer to the season and with greater command of her pitches. She is so gonna rock this summer.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Daily Double

I made a deep run in Full Tilt's Daily Double B last night before getting hit by a 2 outer runner-runner style. I will post some more about this later after a review of the tourney but for the most part I got big hands at the right times and got paid off with them. I thought this was my night for a big win but it was not to be. I'll try to post the tourney breakdown on Monday.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Death of a Poker Player

I don’t want to talk about neteller to day so I won’t. Everyone else has said the obvious so my dribble will do nothing other then repeat what we all know.

I didn’t play poker last night. It was a night for my weekly soccer game and it didn’t disappoint. If you remember, last week I played and I thought I was on the verge of death as I laid on the ground gasping for breath as my lung heaved in convulsions. I even went as far as making a doctor’s appointment to make sure that I wasn’t at death’s door. Well I passed all the blood tests and basically I’m just an aging, overweight, out of shape guy trying to act young. So with all this in mind I hit the field running and ready to play. I made it through the whole game without a break and didn’t feel like dieing at any point. I was presented with an endless attack by the other team that didn’t let up at any point. In reality, I don’t think I’ve ever faced that many shots in my life. My defense, can you have a defense if they don’t actually come back, was all but invisible and I’m paying for it today. And other than the sprained/dislocated thumb I have it was a great time.

The discouraging part of this is that we have a lot of talent on the team. One of the players played for Everton in the English Premier League while another player played in the second division and for the Chicago Fire. The rest of the team is made up of former college players for the most part with a few division 1 players mixed in. Maybe it is a pre-madonna thinking by some of the players because many of the guys don’t want to work nearly as hard as I work. I have floor burns and scabs all over the place because I give it my all while other guys make a mistake and hang their heads as the other team attacks with a 2 on 1 break away. Suck it up and hustle you bastards. There is only one thing you can control on the field and that is how hard you play. Nobody can take that from you except your self. I will take 5 guys who never quit over ex-superstars who feel the deserve more. This being said, The Everton guy goes 100% all the time. It’s funny how the guy who went the farthest has a great work ethic. And most of the guys give a top effort but one guy giving up can make a big difference in the outcome.

So the doctor said my results were good for the most part. My cholesterol is 185 and both the good and bad are where they should be. My triglycerides (the level of fat in the blood) is a little high and my blood pressure still needs to be chemically lowered to a safe level. Basically get in shape you fat bastard.

Poker tonight will consist of a few tourneys and maybe some chat-box action but nothing to wild. I may play the token Razz tourney but we shall see. The daily double may also be in store but it is a little early so I may have to leave it for now.

Have a great weekend everone.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Poker is Still Fun

Dear pokerenthusiast,
As you may be aware, NETeller has announced that it will no longer accept transfer requests from U.S. customers to online poker sites or allow withdrawals from online poker sites to your NETeller account, effective immediately.
As a player who used NETeller or Instacash, we want you to know that any money you currently have on deposit with Full Tilt Poker remains completely safe and secure, and is available for play or withdrawal. If you are interested in withdrawing your money from Full Tilt Poker, please click here to find out how.
Rest assured, we remain committed to providing you with access to all of our games and tournaments, and these developments will not change your day-to-day playing experience at our site. Furthermore, any monies that you deposit with us - through any of our approved payment processors - will remain completely safe, secure and accessible at any time.
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I got this message this morning. Great news for us all.

I started off the evening with my usual Razz tourney at 8:45 and The Mookie at 9:00. As I have been writing about this Razz for a while I’ll start with the Mookie today.

Early on I got involved with hoyazo and bdidde. I raised from early middle position with 9T suited in hopes of using my tight image early. The flop comes 784 so I have an open ender and plan on check calling but it is checked around. The turn shows another 8 and I know that either of these guy can make a play at the pot. I don’t think they have a hand and I will check raise any bet here. Hoy comes with a pot size bet of 285 and I raise it to 630. This number is important because I’m trying to show that I want a call while not being completely committed to the hand. Bddide folds and hoy lets it go. Now even though I’m behind here I have outs if he calls and I know that my image is such that I must have a hand.

A few hands later I wake up with pocket aces on the cutoff. SteelerJosh raises to 120 and I re-raise to 360. Don Morris pushes and I’m hoping for a SteelerJosh call but he folds. I call and we both have aces. Unlucky there but that’s OK.

I lost a big hand to tripjax when I hit TPTK vs. his KK. He made a bet after the flop and I raised to but him all but in and he called. I figured I was going to call any raise after that so let’s move all the chips in. That dropped me to 1075 chips but some room to work.

Later, sitting on the SB I called for 40 more with K4 suited with three others in the hand. The flop gives me a king and with only 705 chips left I make a bet of 240 into the 320 pot. I may have been behind just about any other king but putting in that bet showed I was committed and got the folds I was looking for.

I bought 4 blinds inside of one orbit to get me back to starting chips before this hand happened. I’m in the SB and hoy calls 100 from middle position. It’s folded to me woth T7 and I call the 50 to see a flop. The flop hits me dead in the face as in two 10s and a 9. SO now I have trip 10s from the small blind and I slow play them into waiting for the hoy raise to come and he pushes. Now I know that the push is the new slow play but I’m only scared of a few hands here and I need chips so the there is no question about the call. His pocket 3s were no good and I chip up to 2500 chips.

I lost some chips on a steal attempt to put me back to 2200 before I got involved with Iak. I raised preflop with AK to 480 and he calls. The flop comes 2d10c7c and he insta-pushes. Now I going into the tank and try construct his hand. He could be playing any two cards from that position but he has to have my hand defined. He is on a draw, probably the flush draw and if it is AK of clubs then he is free rolling. I eventually realize that it has to be the draw so I make the call with 1 second left on the time bank and see his 89 of clubs. I have the best hand and I’m way behind. I get lucky and dodge all of his outs (like 21 outs) and double up. Terrible call here but I like his play because he was way ahead. My read was bad and good in that I had him on the draw but not that draw.

I also sucked out when my pocket kings busted the hammer to move me to the 6000 chip level. This is when card deadness hit and I got slowly bled to death. I bought a few blinds to stay alive but got knocked out on the final table bubble when I open pushed with JJ and got called by Krazybangs 44. You know the outcome from here.

Overall I played well and got very lucky one time. If that last hand holds up then I’m in a great position but it was not to be.


Razz returned to the fore front as I made a nice run only to be knocked out on the final table bubble. There were two hands that made the difference for me as a whole. I had a made 8 on 6th and I was drawing to a 56 and/or 7 while my opponent had a higher made 8. I pair the board and he makes a 7 to beat me. The other two hands of note were calling down what appeared to a losing board for me but ended up a winner. A player had changed his betting pattern and after he had made a pair on the board I felt that he was trying to push me off my hand instead of trying to get my chips from me. My read was correct as he held three pair for a crap hand. I was sitting well again but with 9 left and the final table holding 8 it was going to be work. I was the small stack with 8000 chips and blinds were huge. 1 bad hand will cripple a player and it did. I’m happy with my play and will continue to play this event.

I also played the PL Omaha 2nd chance event and ended in fifth when my AKQQ was no good vs.7766. I don’t play this game much but it was a nice change of pace.

No poker tonight as I have to go and try to stop my heart again playing soccer. I have not heard from the doctor yet about my test results so that must mean I’m OK. If you fail to see any updates ever again then you will know what happened.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Here Fishy

Am I losing the mystic draw of poker? I’m not sure but I think that in some ways I am. I relate it to catching a fish. The pond of life is poker in this instance and we are just fish swimming around playing our games and having fun. Some of us grow to be big fish and grow to legendary size while others of us get big slowly and though we try to grow we only get so bog. Then there are the baby minnows and fish that have had their growth stunted. They try to get bigger but just don’t have what it takes to take the food from the big boys.

So now we have a poker ecosystem, relating to the fish pond. The muskies are on the prowl. They need food and will attack any unsuspecting fish around. The bass and walleyes are trolling about, trying to avoid the muskies and make their own little place in the pond. The rest are just trying to survive. The dodge and dip and hide in the weeds to stay alive for their chance to live in the pond of poker.

Along comes a fisherman. This fisherman can be symbolic of anything in life so you make use anything you like. He casts his bait and the meal looks inviting to some and is while others look away. The fish takes the bait and a struggle ensues. Back and forth the fish fights for its life while the fisherman slowly brings his prey to the boat. After a while the fish gets tired and is carried by the line to the boat. And as the fisherman grabs for the fish, the fish fights and gives a last effort to get lose and back to his home in the pond.

Looking at my poker life I know I am a small fish in a big pond. I swim with the sharks and have avoided death by ingestion so far. But I think that I may be on the fisherman’s line. I enjoy my life in the pond but I’m wondering what is trying to pull me away. Is this an early struggle or am I trying to keep from being brought into the boat?

The real question I must ask my self is what am I doing? Is this just a degenerate habit that eats up time? Time that I could be spending on other more useful things. Or is this something that I feel can bring me to another level of understanding. Does walking away from poker make me a quitter? I’m not the type of person who gives up on things. But maybe this wouldn’t be quitting. All things have a beginning and an end so maybe the time for poker in my life if concluding. I don’t really know.

I love the game and have seen many improvements since I started this blog last year. The real problem is that without the proper bankroll and without the staying power to build it up, I’m becoming disenchanted with the game. I’ve many nice runs in tourneys and I know that I can do it a the higher levels. But one of the rules was to stay with the original plan and keep from putting any of my own money into it. I can play this game forever and not go broke. That is a fact. There are small enough levels of play that anyone with any skill can tread water indefinitely. But that is not for me. I will give the game another 2 or 3 months before I make a decision but as of right now I am on the clock. I’m caught on a hook and trying to spit it out. We’ll see if I can.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Just a Little Fun and Other Stuff

I made another final table in a Razz tourney over the weekend as well as going deep in one other tourney (26th place). The Razz tourney was very disturbing in that I hit the final table sitting in 3rd place and proceeded to miss every hand I got. A24 and 235 lost to shorties who came in with a J85 and a T92. So I double them up and lose part of my stack. All told I lost every hand at the final table and virtually every one of them started with 3 cards under an 8. In my deep run playing hold’em I played well by coming over the top of steals and pushing my edges. At the money bubble I had a good stack and caught pocket aces when a big stack tried a steal and doubled. I waited for my hands and continued to move up the ladder until I make a play at a pot when holding AJ. A player pushes and I call figuring it was a steal and it was. A7 is gold and I’m out.

So as far as the year goes to this point I’ve played 10 Razz tourneys and cashed in 4. Not a bad run and if you include the 3 final tables then it is really good. The play continues to be soft and I can see my self making a few more final tables in the near future. The way these players chase with inferior hands it mouth watering.


It was a wonderful morning yesterday as I walked out to the car and saw 1/2 an inch of ice on my car. It seems that the snow didn’t come but the freezing rain took its place. At least I didn’t have far to go and it didn’t knock out the power so I got to watch the Bears win. Super Rex was at the top of the hill and played a solid game. We’ll see if he can do it again. And I’m hoping for crappy weather next weekend so that the Saints attack can be put on ice.


I’m glad that the year has turned because that means baseball will be starting soon. Spring training will be here in like 5 or 6 weeks and I’m ready for it already. I need to see how the Cubs will spend another year of futility as I wait for them to get to the world Series.

L has been practicing softball and I am amazed at how getting even a half year older makes a big impact on a players skill level. She was one of the top players on here 12U team last year as an 11 year old but wow does she look good so far. I also think the fact that she grew about 5 inches and gained the strength that goes with it helped a lot also. She is also older and thus has gained more knowledge. I think she understands direction better and has a grasp on why we instruct and what those instructions will do for her. Right now she will be playing about 45 games or so on her travel team and maybe another 15 in a local league so that she can get some extra pitching in. anyway, I am so looking forward to her playing ball this summer and I know that she will have a great season.

M has decided to play in house softball but not travel ball. She didn’t have as much fun and didn’t like the time commitment that was needed. She is more of an individual when it comes to sports and I think her true calling will be in track or soccer. She is faster then hell and can run forever so either would be a great choice for her.

B will be playing ball for the first time this summer and he can not wait. He is going to be a player and wants to play catch or hit the ball at all times. By the end of October I was throwing the ball hard to him and he was hitting it almost every time. Not bad for 5. He lives for sports and can name every professional football, baseball, and basketball team there is. He’s trying to learn hockey now but we only Blackhawk games so it has been slow going.

That’s it for now and have a great day.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Never Give Up

Tenacity, persistence, and perseverance. These three words are some of cornerstones of my competitive life as well as my life in general. They are what drives me and makes me better in all facets of my life. Sure, my family is the most important thing but those things made me what I am today. Now stick with me as I get through some needed information.

Tenacity is many things. It is tending to stick firmly to any decision, plan, or opinion without changing or doubting it as well as difficult to loosen, shake off, or pull away from. It also means capable of absorbing and retaining a large store of information and of recalling details accurately. And finally it means holding together tightly or fused solidly.

Persistence is the quality of continuing steadily despite problems or obstacles as well as continuance of an effect after its cause has ceased or been removed. So in essence persistence is someone who works through walls to get to the other side if need be.

Perseverance is a steady and continued action or belief, usually over a long period and especially despite difficulties or setbacks. It is often associated with religion or Christianity but can be seen in many other areas of life.

Together the use of these three words is what drives people to greatness. Now I’m not saying that I’m an achiever of greatness but that I am driven by these forces. Greatness isn’t something a person can design on their self but must be generated by the observations of others. If Michael Jordan didn’t play in the NBA but was still a great player who never got a chance because of some misfortune, would we consider him great?

So where am I going with all of this?

Being the person I am I have worked through adversity in many aspects of my life. Being without a job last year was a trying time in many different ways. Playing ball for two years with a torn labrum because I loved playing ball and didn’t care if it hurt so bad I could cry when I threw it hard. Playing in 95 degree heat because I won’t let it bother me even if I want to throw up. Fighting threw all adversity because of the three words above drive focus.

Being 39 years old is not a negative thing. I’ve gained weight, gotten slower but smarter and generally live with some pain at all time because of the abuse I put my body though. I’ve had a great life and wouldn’t change any of it unless it was to do it again.

So back in late October or early November I played in a charity soccer game. I played very well and a few of the guys asked me to play on their team. Well a few weeks ago I was asked to play in a winter league that started tonight so I jumped at the chance because I love the game and it was a chance to play.

Now I played goalie my whole life from the time I was a little Enthusiast until I left college. So I show up to play and I’m going to split time with another guy so I don’t play other than a few minutes during the first 20 minute half. The second half starts and I’m on fire. I make a few good saves and stop two balls that were headed into the corner of the net. But after 10 minutes I have to take myself out of the game because I’m exhausted.

I can’t catch my breath. For 7 minutes I laid on the ground trying to suck all of the oxygen out of the atmosphere so that my heart would stop trying to break though my chest. This is a new fell for me and one that I don’t like.

Let’s go back in time to around mid Septemeber. This was about the time that I started having problems staying awake when I got home from work. I figured it was part of getting used to working again. It didn’t dawn on me that something else could be wrong. The issue has gotten worse but I chose to ignore the tell tail sign that something may be wrong. I’ve even gotten to the point that driving home is testing my stamina at times. And dozing off during poker right after I start a table cannot be good.

I used to work through any physical issue with guts and determination. Being tired didn’t mean that I gave up but meant that I worked harder and focused more. Now I’m realizing that this is not possible because either I’m so out of shape that I could have a heart attack at any minute or that I have a physical ailment that needs to be brought to a doctors attention.

I will be calling the doctor tomorrow to make an appointment because I am truly scared by what occurred last night. This sort of thing should not happen to a person my age.

And yes I do struggle at times to keep my eyes open for short periods of time because an overwhelming desire to sleep comes over me. It may be narcolepsy (Narcolepsy may be associated increased body mass index and disturbed nighttime sleep.) but that’s not all of it and I don't think that is it. Hopefully this nothing other then a fat guy trying to play like a skinny guy.

Mansion Poker and a some other things.

Played and lost over all when I saw a good table and blanked most of my good hands. I did do well in a hold'em MTT but missed my Razz game by 30 seconds as I was coming home from a meeting.

Think about playing this.

Also, sign up for Mansion Poker and take a chance at their 100K tourney. They have been placing around 50K of there own money reach the 100K level so the everlay is great. Click the link on the right to join when I get it up soon.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Not Much to Say

I grind some Razz last night and broke even for the time I put in. Ialso play the Razz tourney I like to play and was sitting at the top of the list with 25 left before My good hands went to crap and I got busted out. The killer was losing 60% of my stack when I held a made 7 from 5th street and had raises flying at me from guys showing Jacks and tens up. Now I figure the each have a draw but I have a made 7 and have an A2357. I have a chance at the nut and a 6 while they each have a made 10 at best. One guy is drawing to and 8 and the other is drawing to a 7. The worst hand raises and we call. The other guy scoops as he hit his A2347 to scoop me on 7th street. He had 2 outs.

I was discussing this hand with a guy at work and he said that with my chip stack I should have just check called all the best to lessen a suckout. I don't agree because I felt I was way ahead, and was, and want these guys to put their money in with the worst hand. Sure I can lay back and lose 35 or 40 percent but don't I want to take advantage of their bad play. I'm going to win this many more time than lose and I would have held about 15% of the chips in play if I hit.

Anyway, I waited for good hands and played them hard but 4th and 5th street were unkind and I lost one hand when my A36 were no good vs. a shorty with 47T. I got knocked at the bubble but I felt that I played well and could have won based on my play.

I also watched another good run by surf in the 25k. He got bumped around 58th place as he did his Dan Harrington impersonation but just staying alive.

Is this really Surflexus. I've never seen them together at the same time.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Crash But No Burn

There is nothing like seeing two cars hit each at an intersection to make your day start out bad. There is a bad intersection on my way to work and some guy made a right turn on red. The problem was that he didn’t see the truck coming because of a little hill that blocks your view. I was at the scene with in seconds of the crash and thankfully everyone seemed to be OK. Like I said, not a good start to the day.

I grinded out some Razz again last night. One session saw me lose most of a buy-in as my A24 and 345 saw flops of QQ and JJ or other such junk. None of my good starting hands hit for the most part. I worked hard and made much of the loses back but never got back over the hump. On another table I moved up slowly and had a marginal gain. In an hour of play I lost about $10 bucks.

Later on I played the 8:45 central time Razz tourney and chatted with Surf as he moved along in a MTT he was playing. As the bubble approached he was on the edge but made it to the money when the bubble burst. At the same time, I was trying to keep afloat in my tourney Early on 4th street was my foe as my good starting hands were killed by early crap. At the same time Surf started to make a move. He chipped up and got into the top 10 after being on the felt for much of the tourney. I kept a low profile in my tourney, mostly cuz I was getting no cards. I slowly moved closer to the bubble as dead money dropped out.

Surf made the final table. His run of cards was more than amazing and he took full advantage. And there I sat, card dead in a donkey game waiting for the chance to hit it big when I get A53 and get two callers to my complete. 4th street is an A and I bet it out as even though I paired, my cards look much better the either one guys J and the other guys 10. 5th street brings a 5 to me and I bet again. Though I have 2 pair I can’t back away. Both call. Next I hit a 3 on 6th street and I have to bet. The best either has is a made J and they have to fold, right? Nope, they call and I fold on 7th street. Now I’ve called down some players before but never on a board like that. The best part of it all was the comments that Surf made to me. He agreed that my betting was right and that I had to play it that way. I already knew that but it felt good to hear it from a guy I respect.

So now I’m crippled and get lucky when I push all my chips in and double up. I double up again and again a little later and I’m now in 5th place over all. I know have chips and made the money to boot so I get aggressive. My good hands start to come and become the chip leader in short order. And Surf gets knocked out in 5th in his tourney. I push every edge and the short stacks fold to pressure. As the final table bubble bursts, I’m second in chips and ready to work. The only problem was the guy who held 40% of all the chips left. He knocked out a couple of players and held over half in short order. I stayed tight aggressive as I held on to the 3rd spot but a few missed draws and huge bets costing almost 10% of my stack at a time and I’m hurting. I did double back on the big stack eventually got knocked out in 5th. Just like Surf.

He and I both commented about how similar our runs were. We were both on the felt near the bubble and had nice runs to but us at or near the top. I should have trade final table money with him considering he got more from his 5th place then I did.

Anyway, I went back to the Razz tables and played some 1/2 for a while and made a quick bit of cash before calling it a night. It is funny how the worm turns sometimes and can change your perspective very quickly. When I got up this morning I was happy about my play last night. And now I’m having a bad day because of someone’s misfortune.

Monday, January 08, 2007


I like Razz. Does that make me strange and unusual? I probably already fit that description bur in some ways I think it fits this game. The gut wrenching that takes place when you start with a superior hand only to hit blank and bricks and lose to a donkey who calls you down with a made queen is incredible. Those same player pay you off when you hand is gold.

One of the things about Razz is that you don’t have to have a great starting hand to win. You can have a 5 up with 2 big cards down and make people think that you have a hand. At the same time, other players will do the same thing and try to get you to lay down your hand when the have bricked. In the end, winning at this game isn’t really a question of the cards you get but is based on the reads you get from your opponents.

One thing that I try to do as early as possible is to put every player at the table into categories. This is no different then my approach to hold’em but is very important in Razz. Calling stations and chasers can be the bain of your existence. They will call down with their marginal hands because the have a chance to make a 7 low if they hit runner runner and beat your 8. They will also pay you off so you must watch the board closely to insure that you have them beat. Raising these players when you have an inferior hand because of your hole cards will not push them away.

LAGs, like in any other poker game, like to raise it with any good up card. They will push with any apparent draws and try to move you off your hand. Set these players up and be willing to call down with what may appear to be a lesser hand. They will bet hard when they know they’re beat and try to run you off. Look at their betting patterns to see if they give away information.

The tight players are easy to play with. Don’t be afraid to play them with one blank behind. If the board hits them bad they will fold to pressure. You may be able to see a free card on later streets if you raise back at them early when both of you have similar up cards. If you hit a blank get out when they bet because they will be sitting well. Also, don’t be afraid to raise it up when it looks like they may have paired up a low card. Test them to make sure they like there hand.

The solid players will play different combinations of cards and play them in a way that makes it hard to know what they hold. Don’t be afraid to re-raise players pre-flop to find information. You can do this with a good hand as well as a marginal hand so as to disguise your holdings. Many players will assume that you will only re-raise with all cards under a 5 or 6 put doing this with some higher cards may pay you well when it looks like you could have bricked the board.

This will work in both cash and tourney Razz but changes need to be made as the game indicates. Some of the moves you can make early in a tourney may need to be ignored in later rounds. At the same time, aggression with good up cards will win a lot of blinds in the later stages of a tourney. And finally, Don’t be afraid to push your great draws because being aggressive is always better than being passive, or weak/tight.

I’m sure I didn’t hit everything here but I think it looks good in a nut shell.


I did play some Razz over the weekend at the .50/1 and 1/2 levels. I didn’t see much difference in skill level and also saw many of the same players playing each. I had one small losing session of about $5 but had winning sessions the rest of the time. I got lucky in one hand when two guys were chasing my made 8 with them both having great draws. Neither hit and I scooped a $30 pot in .50/1. What they failed to realize was that many of they outs they needed were already used in each others hands.

I also had a couple of cashes in MTTs, Razz and hold’em, but not for big money. In the hold’em tourney I was above average right at the bubble when the button made a play at the blinds. I held AQ suited and re-raised 4x of his bet trying to take it down. He called. The flop was 1010x and I was unsure what to do. I wanted to push but being on the bubble I wimped out. He bet and I folded after using all the clock and watching to see if I had moneyed. I wasn’t crippled but had a smaller stack. I eventually went out with KJ vs. 1010.

The Razz tourney was OK except for bring it in 7 of 8 times with the antes at 200. I was in 6th place before that run and 13th when it was over. The bets were so big that I pushed with the first hand that looked good and got busted. Without that small run of bad luck I could have final tabled but it’s hard to play Razz when you keep getting Ks and Qs for you up cards.


I’ve read where many of the great tourney players out there support their tourneys by being winning cash game players. I guess it’s time to continue my efforts in the cash area so that I don’t have to count on tourneys to supply and build my bankroll. I’ve said this before but it’s starting to sink in. I spent more hours playing cash games in the past week than I had in the previous month. I also saw the increase that went with it so color me green for money cuz I like the graphs that go up.

By changing to Razz have I given up on the other games? No. It is a simple question of making some money. The player pool in Razz is not as good so I am going to the place I make money with the biggest return. I made about 15 bucks an hour while I single tabled Razz and played tournaments at the same time. If I can play at that rate for an extended time then making money should be easy.

Friday, January 05, 2007

A Night Watching Movies

I took rare break from poker last night. I know I’ve been spending way too much time playing and made the decision to spend time watching TV with the family. We ended up watching Herbie Fully Loaded with super tart Lindsay Lohan. Not my first choice of movies but this wasn’t about me. We later watched Live and Let Die as we all love a good 007 movie. Sheriff J.W. Pepper has to be one of my favorite parts of all times in any movie. This country boy cop makes my laugh as he chews his tobacco and acts like a stereotypical redneck cop.

It is Friday so I’m sure I’ll play at some point tonight but I do have a birthday dinner to go to with the family so I won’t play until late.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Moooookie and Superheros

I wasn’t sure if I would play the Mookie last night. My son has bronchitis and was having trouble breathing. L also had softball practice so we had places to go and thing to do. So returning home after a trip to Menard’s to get a humidifier and picking up L after practice I still had work to do. I got the humidifier going, changed the furnace filter, and finally sit down with my son on my lap. After about 10 minutes he was sleeping so I laid him down and notice I have about 3 minutes to sign up for the Mookie, so I did.

It was the typical hard field and I moved up early with a combination of good cards and non-weak play. I Pushed NewinNov off a hand while sitting in the SB. I had 66 and called a raiser from yancypants. NewinNov was the BB and also called. The flop comes5Q7 and everyone checks. At this point I think I’m good but NewinNov may have a 7 or 5. The turn is a 3 and I decide to go for the check raise. I’m sure one of the two players will take a stab. NewinNov makes a pot size bet and yancy folds. I raise it to 750 and after much thought New folds. This puts me up to 1935.

A little later I called a 135 chip raise from NumbBono while holding 88. NewinNov also calls. The flop comes 3Q4 and NumbBono bets 320 into 400 + pot. This could be a continuation bet but I don’t have a great read on this guy so I eventually fold. NewinNov pushes with AQ and Numbo calls with KK. I could have lost some chips but would have sucked out to the tune of 5500 chips. I made the right decision.

I got moved to a new table and get involved with smokkee and columbo on the third hand when I raise it with pocket 9s from early position. The flop comes A54 and I have two options. I can play weak and check to the ace or bet and represent strength. I bet and they fold winning me 420 chips.

A few hands later I raise from middle position with AcKc and get called by gap86 who is a shorty. The flop comes T96 all clubs so I give gap86some rope and he pushes his last 425 in the middle with his 2nd pair and I gain another 1225 chips. Really a hand that played itself.

I made a re-steal vs. hacker59 when I held AK just before my big hand. I wake up with AA on the button and make a 3x raise. I’m hoping someone will think I’m stealing and push but hoy just calls. The flop comes J104 and hoy leads out 400 into a pot of 520. I view this as a testing bet because the flop was lower and I come over the top to 1200. He pushes and I call to see his 2 pair. I’m not good enough I guess to throw away aces. I figured him for a strong J and will lose chips many times in this situation. Can I get away from this hand? Anyway, I didn’t last much longer.

The 2nd chance event went much better. I doubled up early when I hit a set of 9s vs. Jacklivia and waited for some cards to play. Now this being a 6-handed turbo, my starting hands were a little looser than normal and it paid off later.

Mondogarage raises to 120, a min bet from 4th position and I call from the BB with 54 off suit. The flop comes down 769 with 2 spades and he bets 270. I smell continuation bet and make a smooth call to show strength and see his reaction on the turn. The turn is another 6 and we both check. Now I could have bet here to win the pot but I achieved my goal of seeing the river so I didn’t commit anymore chips. The river is a lovely 3 and I make a half pot bet. He folds. Now I could have checked here but I don’t think he would have committed any more chips. I was trying to give him value but I think he was done after my original call.

I made a similar play later against xkm1245 when I saw a free flop while holding J8 off suit. The flop comes 76T giving me a gut shot draw. He makes a pot size bet and I call. Now I could be way behind here but he could have bottom pair or just testing me. Anyway, the turn shows a K and he checks. Now it’s my turn to take a stab so I make a 2/3 bet and he folds. I could have escaped that hand if he shows aggression but took it down instead.

As we moved deeper into the tourney I got involved in a big hand vs. iam23skidoo. He was the big stack and playing many hands. He was on the SB so I had postion and make a 3x raise from UTG which he calls. With his stack he could have about anything but I know it isn’t a top hand or he would have re-raised me. The flop come TT7 and ski checks and I check. The turn is a Q giving me an open ended straight draw I make a bet of 1000 into a 1200 chip pot. I’m pretty much committed at this point. The river is an 8 and I have the straight. He hoy’s me and I call all-in and scoop. This was the hand that got me to the end.

I knocked out ski a little later when I got 1010 and raised it to 600. He pushed and I called. His A7 suited didn’t improve and I’m now the tourney chip leader.

When the final table started I was 2nd in chips. I won an early hand with KQ suited when I hit top pair and stole a few blinds with good and bad hands. I eventually Knocked out Mookie when my kq beat his q9 to get us into the money. I had half the chips in play with 3 of us left. A few hands into it I call from the SB with J9 suited and flop trip 9s. Delisox makes a small bet and I call. The turn is a king and I check push his big raise and I now have a huge lead. Three hands later it was over.

I played as well as I could for the most part and got good cards. I folded a couple of strong hands and stole blinds when I had a big stack. Good times.


I did the Super Hero and Villain test and found out that I am each of these.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Luck Box is Good

Some times the world turns in your favor when you least expect it. I don’t know if that statement is truly relevant in this case but it was nice. I was working at home last night and decided to play a SNG before heading to bed. This isn’t amazing in its self but playing when not fully focused can cost money. Anyway, thought I was on my game as I called a raise from the big blind and hit middle pair on a low flop. I check called the flop with intentions of stealing the hand after the turn. The turn put a flush draw on the board and I check raised my opponent off the hand with my middle pair. I repeated this same action an orbit later vs. another opponent and I have an early chip lead without getting any cards. Later on I get JJ UTG and make a standard 3x raise. It’s folded to the SB who thinks for a second before pushing. She was short on chips and could be making this move with almost anything. Regardless, I was getting better than 2-1 and only feared 3 hands. She flipped over QQ and I’m now a shorter stack. I tightened up a little and looked for a chance to double. Eventually used my tighter image to steal blinds and maintain my chip stack until we got down to 4 players. One guy held a massive chip lead (8000) and me and one other guy were on life support. We took turns stealing each others blinds when I make the move with the Brunson. He called with A2 but a ten spiked on the flop and I’m now in a comfort zone. This when the game became a suck out fest with guy going in with the worst and coming out on top. The chips flew around the table until we eventually got to 3-handed. I held the chip lead and watched the third place guy put a tremendous beat on the second place guy. Heads up I had lost my lead but regained it with some luckbox action as my 64 suited was good vs. AQ when I tries a steal. He returned the favor when he hit a 4 flush and I got it back when I called his push when I held bottom pair after he made a raise pocket 10s. I hit a set on the turn and it was over.

Luck box action is fun.

I made a nice run in a RAZZ tourney but failed to cash. I was the chip leader about 10 from the money and got beat by chasers on consecutive hands to put a dent in my stack. In both cases I was ahead but vulnerable and my hands didn’t hold up. Winning either hand would have kept me in good position but it wasn’t to be. I eventually got knocked out when in the same fashion pushing against a big stack with the lead and a great draw and not hitting what I needed.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A Short Post for the Beginning of the Year.

I didn’t do much other than play some cash Razz games since Friday night. I’m going to give junk kicking card chasers a chance to humiliate me with their stellar play. I’m going to be two tabling .50/1 when I can and will try to log as many hours as I can while doing this. I will continue this until I play around 100 hours and will reevaluate where I’m at.

I’m going to stay away from MTTs during this time of exile for the most part. This will be hard because I love playing tourneys so to combat this I will play a Razz tourney once in a while. I will also throw a hold’em tourney on occasion but I will keep them at the lower buy-in level.

I did play a hold’em tourney last night and had this happen. I held QQ UTG and made a 3x raise to 480. I have an above average chip stack of 4500 chips. The next player pushes all-in for 4100. My thinking at this point is we have a race or I have him dominated as AA or KK would probably raise me back. Anyway, a middle position guy push for 3000. Now at this point I figure I’m behind. To make this move he has to have a hand like AA or KK. If he doesn’t then I’m way ahead. Anyway, if I fold I have 4000 chips. Very manageable. If I call and win, I will be at around 11,000. If I call and lose I will have about 2000. What is my decision.

I called and got knocked down to 2000 when the second guy gets pocket kings. The other guy had 99. Was this a bad decision. I think that getting those chips at that time would have put me in a position to win where I would have had a lot of work at the position I was sitting if I fold. I ended up missing the money by about 60 spots. I really would like to know what you would think of this move. I’m going to lose most of these but will be alive in each case. I also will have a top 20 stack about 15-20 percent of the time.