Friday, February 09, 2007

900 Miles to go

I've got my diaper on, my mace, and my 'tubing' and I'm driving non-stop to Florida to stand in a silent vigil outside of the morgue where Anna Nicole Smith is buried. I might sing "Candle in the Wind."

Oh, wait, I've got stuff to do this weekend. Never mind.

Did I mention I'm fully 'rolled for the .25/.50 tables at Full Tilt? Yay me. I'm down big time though. If it wasn't for bonus, I'd be down close to a hundred BB's. On the other hand, I've put a couple consecutive winning sessions together, so maybe I'm back on my way up.

With my limited skill, I'm finding it very hard to win long term in this new environment. The pots I drag are so small that it takes an inordinate amount of wins to make up for the hands where my decent two pair are counterfeited or my nut flush draws and OESD's don't come in.

At this point, I'm just playing for practice for live play in Atlantic City. Who knows how long internet poker's going to last, or if I'm going to ever get the money back? This gives the advice: "Don't bring to the table more money that you can afford to lose" a whole new meaning. I'm glad I'm not a Ship It Holla Balla with a huge 'roll online, I'd be pulling my hair out.

I think the situation's bleak. The DOJ's all up in poker's ass, and there're rumors that Neteller may be handing over individual account info to the IRS, as well as Justice. Anyone who believed it when lawmakes said that they didn't intend to 'get' poker players are suckers. Let's remember the America we live in now, folks.

Did I mention Atlantic City? I'm going there you March. Unfortunately not for Jordan's get together. PLUS, I'll be going at least one other time this year, as I have a bus trip to use. Hopefully I'll have the same luck I had the last time I went.

This time, my game plan is to play limit the first day, most def at the Trop, where I'll be staying. I'd also like to try another poker room, maybe at the Taj or Caesar's. Before I leave the next day, I'm considering playing in a SNG somewheres, maybe the Borgata or Bally's, not really sure.

The other thing I'm going to do is bust my sports bet cherry. This is just something I want to try, just for the experience.

Based on my posting frequency, I won't be back until I give the trip report, so wish me luck and any suggestions are always appreciated.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Bullet List

  • Back to work for a half day today, same tomorrow. Felt good, physically and mentally to do something productive for a change. Not too many disasters waiting for me, none unsurmountable.
  • Apparently, I can't beat the two-four cent limit tables at stars. By definition, this means I apparently don't know the rank of hands and can't name the four suits. I'm busto there and completely frustrated. Following Sklansky as straight-up as possible, really focusing on not chasing, but still getting crushed.
  • Not much better at .25-.50 limit on FTP. I'm methodically turning 22 bucks into dust. Same story. Play a hand badly, get nothing from Variance to help me dig out.
  • Playing live on Saturday- $20 NLHE tournament, with rebuys. I'll be there twenty minutes, I'm sure.
  • Discovered 2+2's BBV4Life forum. Hours of entertainment. I can't get anything out of the disjointed posts and confusing hand histories, but give me a bunch of silly topics, and I'm happy.
  • As you can tell, the blog is dying.

So, how was your day?

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Back on the money tables. Surprisingly, when on a tear in the Cheapskate Specials (freerolls) and won a whole dollar total on Poker Stars. With some work at the good ole .02-.04 tables (limit) I know have about 1.20 there now.

THEN, I went onto and got a free roll for Ablsolute Poker. Fifty dollars now, fifty dollars of bonus.

I don't like this site at all. Why?

1. Can't clear the bonus unless you play at least $1/$2 limit. So, I have twenty-five BB's to work with to clear 75 raked hands (at least fifty cents) for each ten bucks. So, I'll probably lose it before clearing any of it.

2. Very few tournaments. Plus, the juice depends on how many people play. So, I could pay a dollar to join and as much as a dollar of juice. Ridiculous.

3. Can only play one freeroll at a time. Wha? How stupid.

4. No 9 table micro limit games. I don't like six max.

It's free money, I guess I shouldn't complain.

I'm ready to write an original story except for one problem. No ideas. I was up late last night trying to think of something worth a damn, but there just isn't any 'there' there. I need to get off the computer and start reading more and watching more movies. That always gets the creative juices going.

I'm going back to work part time next week, thank God. My day is all messed up- up way too late at night, then sleeping a big chunk of the day away. Bored, lonely, and depressed.

Boo hoo me.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


Yeah, I suck. Busted out last week. No money. Stuck playing freerolls until I get my rake back for the month.

Bad thing? It sucked when it happened, but I think I needed the limit break. I was burned out, playing day in and day out anyway, then ALL day everyday since my surgery. I was on tilt, plain and simple. Worse, I don't think I knew it. Surely, I was getting no cards, no flops, and sucked out on more than Ron Jeremy ever has, but I still played poorly, didn't manage my money, didn't move down limits soon enough. At this stage, I'm simply not good enough to play 1/2 on Full Tilt.

I might still be tilted, which makes it a good thing that I can't risk any money upfront right now. At any rate, I'm going deep into these freerolls, doing better than 90 plus percent of my opponents. Not making the money, though. I'll be able to play ONE .10 cent $50 buck guarantee on Stars, and I have a somewhat good track record with these. Maybe I should pull a Chris Ferguson and try to build a roll from nothing.

I'm reading "Phil's Little Green Book" and I'm getting into playing tourneys

I've been playing some more razz for play money and even the new five card draw on Poker Stars. I need to read a bit about that game.

Not done with limit poker though. Going to AC in March for two days, and a bus trip to AC at a time TBA. Must also reread SSHE by Sklansky and get away from bluffing too much.

In the meantime, I've been editing and submitting stories again. I was about to start a new story, but chickened out.

"What?" you ask. It is very difficult to start a story, the hardest part of it, sometimes.

Saw the doctor today- he's suggesting another FIVE WEEKS before I can drive to work. That's fine, buddy, but are you going to give me a job so I can pays me bills?

Week after next, I'm going to try to go back part time, then hopefully driving myself soon after. Going to be tough working again.

My schedule for today:
Go to bed at 2am.
Up at 5:30, help get monkeys ready for school
Breakfast, back to bed at 7am.
Wake up at 10:30am.
TV, early lunch.
Write until about 3pm.
Shower, Dr's appt., dinner at inlaws.

Where can I fit working 9-5 in there?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

An Experiment

I live!

Surgery went swimmingly and it feels as if the nerve problems in my arm will be solved. Yay me. I mean, I have it tough. I hung out in my bathrobe and nothing else (hear that ladies?) and watched TV or played poker for the last week, and I'm (grudgingly) exempted from housework and most childcare by the Russo Family Labor Committee, of which I'm not a voting member. I can't decide if this makes me closer to Hugh Hefner or your average fat slob.*

But let's get down to brass facts, if you'll allow me the liberty of my speechification. I'm off for about a month, maybe five weeks. I'm going to read, write, get caught up on some stuff.

No I'm not! I'm going to play professional poker player!

If this is what's it like, than is there any more of a soul-killing job than grinding online? It could be that my pattern of late is this: lose thirty bucks, win some of it back, win/lose the same ten bucks over the course of a day, keep afloat with bonus and rakeback. Repeat.

This could be that Full Tilt is tough- very tight games even at .25-.50- and it's basically a battle for the blinds all day.

Or, it could be that I suck.**

Anyway, the anxiety of grinding out 1bb/hr is not for me- I'd be dead of a stroke in a month. I mean, how good do you have to be to grind out a living reliably? The only thing that could be a silver lining would be those days that you've got a ton of luck early and make your nut in an hour or so and then have the rest of the day for other things. (I'm sure this only happens when you're a recreational player though. It'd never happen with my luck!)

Now, at the risk of being seen as a dope, I'm going to offer up some actual poker theory that might be of use at FT's lower limit ring games:

"check-raising on pots that no one wants:"

I'm talking about the hands where everyone might check the flop, then check to the last guy, who throws out a bet and everyone folds. Surely, a significant percentage of the time, this guy has a weak hand like second or third pair, or a naked ace, or even two overcards.

My theory is, on occasion, when the situation is right, it may be lucrative to check-raise this guy.

What are the conditions?

1. When you have two or fewer opponents. Having more makes this play less likely to succeed-i.e.- have everyone fold to you.
2. When you have a marginal, but not too marginal, hand. Fer example, nines on a two-flush,
A-6-10 board.
3. When you see this pattern of checking, betting, and folding as listed above, without challenge.
4. When you are in early position, preferably in first position. I wouldn't do it in last position if the second player calls, as it's unlikely that both will fold to a check raise. As long as you only have the original bettor in the position of calling one bet, and the other player either folding or forced to call two bets cold, this might be a safe trick to try.
5. When there has not been a lot of action pre-flop, or any other situation that might cause you to believe you're being slowplayed.


Obviously, the first benefit is that you might steal a pot every now and then. Next, you might keep others from stealing even more pots by encourging more people to check at the end of the round, thus getting you a free card.


If you do this too often and people figure you out, you could be sunk. You may have to make a continuation bet on the turn or river, which could get pricey.

When to do this:

Because of the drawbacks, I would use this SPARINGLY. Only in games where these types of a pot are common and frustrating. Perhaps once or twice a session, unless your opponents are paying no attention at all. I wouldn't use it against the same person twice in a session either.

Knowledge from a novice- thank God I'm not charging for this crap. What do y'all think?


Pennsylvania may soon deal with a bill to allow table games in the upcoming slot parlors. I caper every time I say that because one of these ersatz casinos may be opening fifteen miles from my house.

I've tried to get some 2+2 er's organized to lobby for this bill, including a mayor from a nearby town, but interest has wanned, mainly because of problems with communication.

Anyway, I've e-mailed the future sponsor of the bill, pledging support and asking him how I can help, but I haven't gotten a response. I've had more trouble trying to get involved in politics on the local and state level. Why is it so hard?

*Suggestions from my readers not encouraged or appreciated.
** The more likely option.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Stream of Consciousness Wednesdays

Me: “Hey, how did you like going to New York City with Mommy?”

Big Monkey: “There was a huge line at the Vampire State Building!”


There was a report on the news today that Steve Hadley, the director of the National Security Council, told Bush that the Iraqi President might be working with the militias to consolidate Shiite power.

No shit? I’m not anywhere close to be a political analyst, but I thought that seemed to be pretty obvious based on what I’m seeing in the news (all the news, by the way, so don’t bother lecturing me about the commie-liberal mainstream media.)

Is the incredibly obvious the best that the NSC can come up with? The lack of coherence, innovation, and plain brainpower in this White House is scary. If you don’t believe me, read “State of Denial.” It’s amazing we were able to invade Iraq- no one knew what everyone else was doing, and no one seemed to want to take responsibility to lead the damn thing.


I’m predicting I’m going to bust out at Full Tilt. The past 2-3 weeks has been disastrous: I’ve managed to turn $350 to about $65. I’m in a nihilistic shock- I’m not going down in limits, I stubbornly stick to 1/2, risking an ultimate defeat.

It’s been a never ending mélange of long stretches of crappy starting hands, missed flops, not getting paid off for my good hands, and soul-killing suck outs. Playing hands poorly in this situation just magnifies the damage. It would be funny if it was you. But it’s me, so forgive me for not laughing.

I’m afraid, if things don’t turn around, that I’m going to have to do something that I’ve pledged not to do: reload. I would content myself with playing freerolls until after Christmas when I get some mad money if I wasn’t having surgery in a few weeks.

Here’s the paradox: I’m going to be paycheck-less for about a month due to the surgery and I don’t have money to spare, but I'll go stir crazy if I don’t have poker to occupy some of my time.

This really sucks. I was playing well for a while and, between winnings and bonus, I was able to cash out $200 bucks last month that was going to go towards a Disney World vacation in 2008. Now it'll put food on our table instead.


God, I hate Baltimore. It’s full of stupid, lazy people who don’t care about anything. It’s amazing anything gets done here. While the people in my office are competent and work hard, for the most part, most of the other agencies and ALL the city government offices I’ve come in contact with are inefficient and ridiculously ineffective.

For example, it’s taken three years for a residential agency to get a form completed for a consumer who wants to join Special Olympics. THREE YEARS! And that’s with me and the person’s mother whipping and flogging them like stubborn oxen. Come to think of it, I’m still not sure if the person’s signed up yet.

Between the snobbish, nouveau riche who follow the most hateful brand of conservatism, where everyone is either a patriotic rich person like themselves or living only to serve them and the feral, out of control urban population which has not the least shred of politeness, shame, or a sense of civility, Baltimore is full of the most unpleasant, rudest people I've ever had to associate with. (And I grew up in South Central Pennsylvania- you'll know you're there when people go out of their way NOT to hold the door for you.)

Bah, I'm in a bad mood today! My arm freaking hurts-feels like it's not a part of me. I'm actually counting down the days until my surgery.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Percocet: A Warning

Okay it's like this: I have a ruptured disk in my neck. On of the fragments is pushing against the root nerve that runs to my right arm. Numbness, cramping, extreme uncomfortableness, yada yada yada.

Surgery in a couple weeks. Whatever.

In the meantime, my doctor prescribed me percocet and muscle relaxants for the pain. Mmm, drugs, you dull the pain.

percocet+muscle relaxants=good times!

Percocet, besides making you feel all warm and squishy inside (I knew when it kicked in because I'd have to hug the Mistress and tell her how I'll love her until the end of time) causes an unintended consequence. A side-effect, if you will.

Intractable, unbearable, mindbending constipation.

I found this out last night as I sat on the pot for an hour, pushing, panting, sweating, all with no production. I adjusted my posture, rocked back and forth, even got in the shower and aimed the jets at the place where it would do the most good. All to no avail. I would have better luck trying to push my house an inch to the right.

Thoughts of emergency rooms, having the Mistress test our marital bonds by administering an enema (I ran that by her afterwards and she said 'hay-ell no,') or, worse, going out like Elvis. Panicked, exhausted, I got the phone and called my mommy.

I know. I know. But she's a nurse too, okay?

With only minimal snickering, she gave me directions.

"Go to the drugstore and get Senekot (laxative) and Colace (stool softener.)"

"Okay, but what about my immediate problem?"

She told me.

"Wha, What?!"

She told me again.

"Well God damn."

"It's your only option, unless you want to get an enema..."

"No way." I said. "Okay, I'll do it. Um, I won't have a heart attack will I? I've heard that you can doing that."

"No, don't be silly."

I assured her I'd let her know how everything panned out, hung up, and did the unthinkable:

I administered, well, I administered digital assistance.

I couldn't look myself in the mirror for the rest of the night.

However, I was the recipient of one of the most emptying, mind clearing movement ever. It was one of those that makes you take stock of your life and realize that you've never been so in touch with the universe as you are at that moment. It makes you gather the family and reaffirm your eternal devotion t them.

So, a word of warning! If you're taking percocet, make sure you eat plenty of fiber, drink a lot of water, and take a stool softener regularly!