Saturday, April 29, 2006

Of Red-headed Sluts and Dead Live Play

BB's to go: 567.3 or 56.73

Came home from work yesterday with an itch to play the Hardware Bar freeroll. The Mistress dispensed mercy and let me go, after I cleaned the bathroom and put the Little General to bed.

The metro-sexual bouncer waved me through without even looking at my ID. Must be getting old. I walk past the band going through its soundcheck. Now I know I'm getting old because I don't recognize the song they're blasting out.

The tournament starts at nine, but I show up at eight. Usually, it's crowded by now and a bit iffy as to whether there's any seats left, but tonight it's empty. As in, I'm the only one in the back room/poker hall, besides the waitresses.

Here's another hint that you're getting old. When you say to yourself "Where did all these hot girls come from, and where were they when I was single?" As annoying as the Hardware Bar can be, the waitresses are one shining positive.

They're just hot, freaking grade-A hotties. Long legs, big boobies, pretty, just the right amount of ink. Shocker- they dress in next to nothing. Shocker- I'm nervous just being in the room with them.


Even the (relatively) plain-jane bartender is smoking. She's the only one not dressed like she'll be dancing on a pole later, but she's still looking good and sporting ample cleavage.

(My best friend in the world would, when he was drunk, growl "Ample boobies!" like a caveman at any well-developed chick that walked by. He never got laid much.)

I actually have a some what coherent conversation with the bartender that doesn't make her smile politely and walk away. Finally, some other people get there and a Hardware Bar Personality Type A sits next to me.

Type A: Young, college slacker/hipster. Probably pretty smart, except for trying to be the next Doyle Brunson instead of getting a real job.

Type A sits next to me and I find he's probably more socially inept than I am. Doesn't let me finish a sentence, talks like he was on the committee that originally invented poker, is generally a doofus. He probably doesn't get any either.

At any rate, Type A tells me how he's been playing for a month and recently won a tournament in a points league. He tells me how he completed in the small blind with 54, then hit two pair on the flop like its a sign of the Second Coming. Then he tells me again. Then he tells his buddy about it.

I try to give him some advice, as this is the first time he's played at the Hardware. Basically, I tell him it's better to play tight, because no one folds.

"Yes they do," Type A says, "If you bet enough."

"No, they don't. It's a free tournament, alot of people don't care and are willing too..."

"It's two-hundred fifty dollars!"

I don't care that much, so I don't bother trying to explain why a winner take all freeroll for 250 with over a hundred players isn't that big of a deal. Instead, I go on to say that the blind structure makes it hard to have a big stack by the time you reach the final table. Which I've done twice, I make sure to add.

"Oh no, it's easy," Type A says. "All you need is to get the cards."


Behind me, I hear another sentence I really never expected to hear in my pathetically un-hip life.

"Do you need a red-headed slut?"

I turn, to see one of the uberest of the uber-hot waitresses. I catch my breath. I rip my eyes from her Ample Boobies and check her hair.

Pretty, but light brown. Damn.

I see the tray of shooters she's holding and I piece things together. Red-headed slut=drink, not Red-headed slut= most amazing, unbelievable offer I'm going to have to turn down.

I do however, reach way back into the humor bag and say "Hon, who doesn't need a red-headed slut?"


I'm seated at a table with mostly Type A players, with me and another Type M player (middle age, middle class) and an odd Hardware Bar anomaly: the mother half of a mother-son team.

I'm amped a bit, so I decide to practice my chip riffling before we start to play. I'm getting pretty good with three chip stacks. Then someone riffles a five chip stack, someone else riffles stacks with both hands, and the mother starts riffling. Okay, I get the hint.

First hand, AJ soo-oo-ooted. (I've blogged long enough to use that term, haven't I?) I'm on the button and I double the big blind, no big deal. Type A (in this case, also means a-hole) goes all-in.

"This is a lesson that you never raise my big blind," he says to me as I go into the tank. Fucker. How can I put him on a hand? Literally the first hand I've played with him. I know, know he's probably bluffing. I remember some poker psychology I read about how many people in a tourney are scared to gamble at first, because of the expected disappointment of busting out so early.

I look at those two beautiful cards like I know I'd never see them again and mucked them. Big blind showed me his 9-5 offsuit.

My timidity must have offended the poker gods, because I get every combination of offsuit, unconnected 10 or lower cards for the next hour. Oh, excuse me, I got A3 sooted once and had to fold it when I got re-raised.

And yet, I survived the break-up of that table. I had a choice of which one to go to and picked the closest one without bothering to look at the stacks or the players. There were huge stacks and good players. One Type G player (gansta) and the young woman who is real good, if a bit TOO tight.

There was also a Type NL player. This is the guy who doesnt' know anything about playing poker, at least playing it live, but is a super-luckbox. He had three racks of chips, but didn't think to put the rack with an open row on the top so that the entire thing is more stable. Need I say his little tower tumbled over into a pot?

He got in an argument when the Type G player asked him to count his chips. "I don't want to," he said. Someone else had to explain to him that he'd just bet enough to put the Type G player all in and the guy wanted to make sure that was the case. Then, when he did count his chips, he forgot how much the red chips were worth and lost count several times. Took at least five minutes for the whole thing to get worked out.

As is my luck, I am destined to be all-in heads up with any Type NL present at the Hardware Bar. I have A10 versus his A6, so I know I'm doomed.

Go figure, he hits his straight and I miss my eight out open ender. Tourist!

Bah! At least the band was playing Nirvana when I left.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Blue Veiner Memorial

BB's to go: 603.4 or $60.34

Note: I made a slight error- I didn't realize there was a level between .05-.10 and .25-.50. So, the new goal is $60 dollars, which is 300BB's at the .10-.20 level.

Password: Monkey

I think, just for the sake of irony, I should win this thing.



First, here's a quote from the Champ:

"Faggle Bogey don't know jack about shit. "

This was directed at
Dugglebogey who'd highlighted some of the Champ's enlightened thinking earlier that week.

Now, I give you exhibit 2:

"Did he call you "Faggle Bogey?" I was especially proud of that one."

That comment was posted by BG here.

Misleadingly written sentence? Intentional admission?

Also, the reason behind the Champ- the whole idea, really- has the same dark, introspective, dare I say somewhat masochistic, qualities that many of BG's posts have.

My theory is that many of what Jordan would call "B level bloggers" knew what the deal was. I'd include Jordan and Duggle on that list, and probably many of the linked bloggers on the Champ's site.

Will we ever know the real truth? It's probably more likely we'll find out who exactly was on the grassy knoll on that fateful afternoon in Dallas. And yet, perhaps the poker blogging community will be better for having it's own mystery...(cue spooky music)

Meh. This post was a lot more interesting when I was thinking it up.

Edit: Okay, I suck. Apparently, the real identity of the Champ is Daddy, and it was revealed here. Two weeks ago. On a very prominent blog that I should be reading more frequently. Unfortunately, I can't give you back the time you spent reading this worthless post. However, if you play in the Blue Veiner, you might have a chance of winning my buy-in, which, considering my play, is pretty much a donation.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

MTT Mass Murder

BB's to go: 1507, or $150.70

The only thing that offset my losing night in the cash game and going out early in a $1 MTT, was going deep in one of Stars' cut-rate ten cent tournaments.

I won one of the most amazing hands I've been involved with. I had an above average stack, but was sitting with an M of about 10, so I was pushing relentlessly. In this hand just about everybody limped, and I went all in with wired 9's on the button. My computer lagged a bit, then caught up all at once. Stacks and stacks of chips sprang up on the table. It looked like a petrified forest or a Roman ruin.

Four players went all in. I had all but one covered, so everyone showed before the flop. I can't remember exactly what each player had, but there was at least one pair of queens and a pair of jacks. There were a dizzying amount of face cards visible.

The flop comes...and it's blank, 9, blank! I actually threw my hands in the air and gave a yelp. I think I heard someone groan somewhere in front of their computers.

The best part of it is, I've got a witness who was checking in to watch the action. I'm sure he'll be sitting around a camp fire soon, telling a group of bright-eyed poker bloggers the story of how I busted out half a table in one hand.

Seriously, is there any literature on turbo MTT strategy? The tourney last night quickly became a push-fest, as the blinds became painfull quickly. I didn't really use much strategy after the first 45 minutes to an hour- I was constantly short stacked and just waited for optimal hands to go all-in with. Towards the end, every hand had someone going all in. I think this method is fine and profitable- as long as you're hitting good enough hands regularly.

So, what's the optimal strategy for this type of tournament?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

At the Top of the Mountain!


Go CL, it's your birthday, go CL, it's your birthday!

I have done the unimaginable, the unattainable! I've made it to territory no other poker player has ever dreamed of! Yes, I have built my limit HE 'roll to thirty whole dollars and I am moving up to the airy heights of five and ten cent limit!

Dealt K 10 offsuit UTG. Bet and called one raise pre-flop, with four participants. Flopped a ten and bet. Three folders, one caller. Turn is a king. Bet, my opponent folds, and I'm in the promised land!

Played half an hour at .05-.10 and made $1.08. I could get used to this!

Here's my final .02-.04 stats:

Total hands played: 11.6k
BB's earned: 300
BB's/100 hands: 2.6

Now, only 1500 BB's to go to move up to .25-.50!

Actually it's:

BB's to go: 1489.2 or $148.92

Wish me luck!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Poker Weekend, with More Poker for added Pokeriness

'BB's to go' count remains the same!

Here's everything poker that happened this weekend:

1. On Friday, went deep again in a Poker Stars budget MTT. Finished fourteenth out of a 1000+ field. Won six bucks! Okay, $5.94. As with all my good finishes, I built a big stack early. It took me some time, but when I finally realized my advantage I started wielding the big stick. Took down twenty pots without a showdown. Ah, the power of a big stack and winning some showy hands early.

I did something I'm not sure I should be proud of. Of course, I ran into the same issue I did in the last MTT I moneyed in. It started at ten and was still going around 1:30am. I had a full day of work getting ready for my poker night, including the Big Monkey's gymnastics, grocery shopping, etc.

So...I hit the "sit out this hand" button, logged out and went to bed. I was in the mid thirties, place wise at that time, with about two hundred players left. Either way, I was winning some money and I really didn't want to be up another few hours and not be ready for the event which I've been planning for months. I'm not sure where this is on the scale of ethics. Technically, I just used a different strategy, one that easily could harm my chances of doing better as it could enhance them. On the other hand, it always bothers me when someone builds a stack then goes away until he makes the final table. There just seems something...unsporting...about it.

2. The inaugural CLRusso poker night went off pretty much hitchless. Nine people out of the thirteen I was expecting showed. More than I thought, quite frankly. I have a pretty low opinion of myself in general, and I never believe people have a good time or even want to come to our parties.

It seemed like it went well. Except for the whole going out first thing. Yep, I was out after about twenty hands. I had big slick and everyone folded when I bet 3x's the BB, except an aggressive guy, who called. He'd played most of his hands and was easily the most aggressive player at the table. I was sure he was playing a lot of crap and, when he called, I thought I was in the lead. I barely looked at the flop, which was 8 2 blank, and raised about four times the BB. He thought and called.

The turn was an 8. I (do you see where this is going?) went all in and he called. Flipped over a pair of deuces. Thank you for playing sir. Can you get me a beer?

The three money finishers were the Mistress' co-workers and one of their friends. They all play together and were clearly better than I and the rest of the field. I had a brief thoughts of collusion, but I see that now as the sour grapes they are. They were very nice and I didn't notice anything hinky. I think they could tell the rest of us don't play much, however.

The worst part was that I didn't get to play on the one poker table top I had (the guy who had the other one backed out) and I didn't get to play with the Copags. Oh well. There's always next month. There were three or four people who are interested but had other commitments or had been invited at the last minute who said they'd come the next time.

Also, no one was interested in a cash game, so I think we're going to just up the buy-in on the tournament. People can play afterwards, if they want.

The funniest thing of the whole day was when, at around noon, the Mistress stands up and says "I think we need a new television for tonight."

I stop my mad cleaning to stammer "Wha?" True, the TV in our living room sucks and is on its last legs, but, My God woman, people were coming in a few hours, we hadn't showered yet, nothing was set up and the kids needed to eat lunch and take naps.

None of this I actually said, mind you. My wife's the Mistress for a reason, and not because she runs an English private school. I'm so whipped that I must have subconsciously realized I was going to lose, because I talked myself into it.

To make a boring story short, we got a new TV and still had time to be ready and relax before the guests arrived. It's schweet too! LCD flatscreen, stereo sound. Not HD ready, but 'enhanced digital' ready, whatever that is. Probably something cheesy the marketing team came up with so schleps who can't afford HD feel better about themselves.

Finally, the Big Monkey was exposed to poker. I can check that off my "Perfect Parenting" to-do list. She was all proud of her old man and stuff, playing poker and all. When I busted out, I went upstairs and kissed her good night. She asked "Did you win?" I told her no and she said "Yes you did!" and went to sleep.

3. I wanted to start this post by saying how I'd finally cleared those last few BB's and was about to move up to .05-.10 limit. It's, what, less than a dollar to go? Shit, I can clear that in a night. Except when you have a losing session, then make a whole .75 BB the next night.

I've been plagued lately by being tired, not paying attention to the board (I was sure I had broadway, but didn't. Of course I capped the betting before PS helpfully told eveyone I had ace high versus someone else's made straight. As usual, I was also guilty of everyone's favorite, playing hands too long.

Last night I was stung at least four or five times by stupid hands played by other people. Want to play 2,4 offsuit under the gun for two bets and crack my aces with trip fours? Go ahead! Say, why not cap the betting with 7,8 offsuit in middle position, then flop a straight!

And yet, I was still able to scratch and claw to a three cent win for the night. D'you think I signed off as soon as I was in the black? Damn right!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Just Hang in There

BB's to go: 19, or $0.76


Too tired to post. Too late to post.

Coming this week:

  • A recap of my pokeriest weekend ever!
  • A discussion of my irrational dislike of the Barefoot Contessa from the Food Channel.
  • A further discussion of how the previous topic does not necessarily make me GEIGH.
  • I make my case for the blogger behind the Champ, as I pimp the Champ Memorial Tournament.
  • And much, much more!


Friday, April 21, 2006

BB's to go: 26.5 or $1.06

So close...

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Home Game, Poker Rituals, and Your Advice

BB's to go: 53.25 or $2.13

Note: if you're interested in an interesting in-depth treatise on life with psoriasis (and, really, who isn't) check out BG's latest post.

I'm about half-way ready for the inaugural home game this weekend. Cleaning isn't done, although most of the tidying is. With two kids under five, you have to be philosophical about housework. You can be proactive and get things done early, and more than likely end up doing everything over again, or you can wait and get it done right before the guests arrive and hope the Big Monkey doesn't decide to glue her construction paper to the kitchen floor before people start showing up.

Otherwise, most of the other stuff is done. Got chips. Enough for the tourney, assuming no one shows up unexpectedly. The cash game will have to wait until we color up and free up the lower denomination chips. Got the Copags and the canceled casino decks. I've got the blind structure, house rules and general rules for Hold em and some other games all written up. I'll print them out at work tomorrow. Still have to buy snacks and soda.

Got one table top and another player is bringing one as well. Hopefully that will be enough. Realized yesterday that we didn't have enough chairs, so I've got some people bringing some.

I hope everyone shows, and is on time. Someone said they're going to be late, and I'm resigned to the fact that I'm going to have them pay blinds even when they're absent. I don't know of any other way to be fair. Dear reader, let me know if this is too harsh for a home game. Personally, I wouldn't mind if we just let him buy in late, but I'm not sure everyone else would agree.

I hope everyone gets along, and has fun. I really, really don't want any serious disputes over pots or rules. That's why I wrote some home rules. Here they are:


1. In the case of a split pot, any ‘extra’ chips go to the involved player closest to the dealer’s left.
2. The dealer will be decided by dealing cards face up to each player. The first person who is dealt an ace is the dealer.
3. A new dealer will be dealt whenever two or more players join a table.
4. Anyone absent from the table by the time the action gets to them will have their hand automatically folded.
5. Blinds will be posted for absent players.
6. No advice from people not playing in the tournament is permitted!
7. In the event that the first hole card dealt is revealed to all players, the dealer must reshuffle and deal again.
8. If any other hole card is revealed during the initial deal that card is taken by the dealer and replaced with an unseen card. The revealed card then becomes the burn card for the flop.
9. If a community card is dealt before betting is complete, it is removed from play.
10.If the flop is misdealt, the deck must be reshuffled and the flop redealt.

I don't think they're too rough. There's a husband and wife playing, and I don't want him sweating her cards. That happens at some of the places I play live, and it just pisses me off. It really shouldn't matter at this game, since I'm looking to have fun more than win big bucks, but I know it will upset me.

I hope, if I'm still in the tournament, the other guys can set up a cash game without my help. I really can't decide what chip denominations to give people. It's going to be low stakes, probably nickel and dime blinds. I'm thinking of giving five, ten, and twenty-five cent chips. That should be plenty, as I don't think people will be buying in for more than five or ten bucks.

I really shouldn't worry- everyone there are adults, they want to play, they'll work it out. Like anyone else, I just want it to be a success. If it goes off well, it has a better chance of being a regular thing. If not, some people probably won't come back. I've invested a lot of time and money in this for it to be a one and done.

How do I expect to do? I'll probably crap out in the tournament. There's enough experienced people playing that my suckitude at NL will be exposed. In the cash game, I've got a better chance, especially if I can get a limit game going. In fact, if we play LHE, I'm probably going to pillage the table.

Also, I fully intend to laugh at and ridicule anyone who does the following:
1. Use a card protector
2. Wears shades
3. Brings an IPOD. In fact, I'm tossing anyone with one out of my house. Not that anyone I run with can afford one.

Got a problem though. Since I play 95% online, I'm going to be out of my element. Most of my rituals aren't really going to transfer too well to a live game. I'm used to playing in my underwear (more than likely scratching the twig and berries.) Wouldn't really go over well on Saturday.

Secondly, one of the first things I do before I play is apply lip balm. Carmex is my brand of choice. I'm addicted to it. By the way, I have preternaturally soft lips.

Jesus, I'm just realizing how GEIGH the last few paragraphs are.

I could use the little jar as a card protector, but then I will have to laugh at myself, and worry about getting my beautiful, new, plastic cards all greasy. Also, by friends from college will skewer me and be overwhelmingly convinced that I am a fagula.

Of course, who's going to notice a little lip balm when it's being used by a big fatty stripped down to his tighty whiteys?

Monday, April 17, 2006

Laying an Easter Egg

BB's to go: 111.5 or $4.46.

Paint Easter Eggs with the little'uns? Check.
Sing "Here Comes Peter Cottontail?" Check.
Not one, but two Easter Egg Hunts? Check.
Allow a grandparent-instigated sugar pig-out? Check.

Still find time to play about five hundred hands?


I think I might have pissed the Baby Jesus off by playing not only on Good Friday (kind of unseemly. You know, that whole casting dice for His clothes thing) not only Holy Saturday, but what the hell, Easter Sunday too!

With five of my last ten sessions (four of my last five) being losers, I'm officially declaring this a slump. I've come up with some reasons, other than ethereal, as for why I'm running bad.

1. Variance- I'm not getting as many good hands as before. The playable ones I am getting aren't particularly strong, and I've had to bail out on them. When I'm not coming up second best, that is.

2. Variance- I'm getting killed by the flop. I'm not getting bad beats as much as my suited big slick is running into three-flushes on the flop.

3. Variance- Of course my small pairs won't catch on the flop, of course my draws won't fill. It's a slump, damn it!

4. Bad table choices- I'm sticking with tables that are overly aggressive and I'm not adjusting. I'm playing too many hands out of position and getting stuck having to decide whether or not to make a three bet call on my pocket threes.


Hey, you. Yeah, I'm talking to you. I know your junk is still smarting and you can barely walk, but I've got a neat new trick for you.

See that big, mean-looking dog over there? Right, the one that's sleeping in the sun. Take this here stick and poke him right in the ribs. Go on, now!

That's pretty much what I've done. So what if I've got no idea how to play No-Limit. Who cares if I've almost never placed in the money outside of the Stars' .10 donkathons?

Heads-up skillz? Forget that, sucker!

I'm gonna take me some Poker Poison! That's right, I've expressed interest in going mano-a-muchacha with Veneno. Hopefully next week, 'cause I'm getting ready for the home game this week.

And I'll have the time to spend some final quiet moments with the money I'm going to lose to Veneno!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Response from Rep. Platts

Sorry, no BB update today. I'm at work and I forgot to check before I left. It was down to around 63 before yesterday, until I lost about 25BBs last night. I'll guestimate and say around 85.

So, about a month or two ago, I signed an e-petition against the anti-internet gambling bill and sent an e-mail to my House Representative, Todd Platts, a republican. Damned if I didn't bring Rep. Platts' letter to work, but it was a generally unremarkable response letter. Thanks for the letter yada yada yada.

There was one part I'll paraphrase that was a bit puzzling:

"...the proposed ban will only eliminate money transfers to illegal online gambling."

What is considered legal internet gambling? I'm not being facetious, I'm genuinely confused. Can you buy lottery tickets online? Bingo? I don't understand. If I have the time, I'm going to write a follow-up letter to Rep. Platts about this.

And by the way, how is bingo legal but poker isn't? If the Catholic Church had started playing poker instead of bingo however many years ago, I wonder if we'd be in the situation we're in now.


The Mistress and I are working on re-financing our home. Completed a Lending Tree-type form and were contacted by a large mortgage company. They presented some very nice options to consolidate our 80-20 mortgage and pay off our credit debt. Very nice indeed.

Until the Mistress did an internet investigation and found that the company might be a tad shady. I understand that's a relative term. Most mortgage companies seem shady to me. I think it's because I don't know enough about the minutiae of finance- I always feel like I'm being bent over (and not in that good "thank you Mistress, may I have another," way.)

So, I do some of my own research at the Better Business Bureau site. The company has 1.62 million locations in the US, and I could only find one complaint registered against them. I spoke with the guy I've been dealing with and most of my questions were answered sufficiently. My social worker's "liar radar" didn't go off, for what that's worth.

I'm inclined to go for it, as it would be really good for us financially. The things that are important to me- no PMI, fixed rate, lower monthly payment, no out of pocket closing costs- are there. We can walk if the numbers show up differently when it's time to sign, and we've got a 7 day back out period. No other company has been able to offer as much. Still, I can't help thinking we're going to get screwed.

The Mistress isn't sold. I don't necessarily feel that good about selling her on it. The whole thing is ruining my mood.

And to top it off, I've got to go home and plant six trees this evening. Ugh. No use playing poker tonight (although I'm sure I will.) Bad mood equals losing night for me.


So, there's going to be a Poker Champ tournament on May 4th. I'm not sure where it's going to be- I'll pass along more info as it becomes available. I suggested the buy-in be $10 in honor of my stupid prop bet, but no confirmation on this as yet.

Edit: I just learned the Poker Champ tournament will be at Pokerstars on May 4th, at 8pm. Buy-in? 10-1. Password: Donkey.

Thanks, Wes!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

DOJ Scrutiny?

BB's to go: 93 or $3.72

I got a response from my U.S. Representative concerning the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act that I will post with comments when I have more time.

At the risk of sounding paranoid, or just idiotic, has anyone noticed any visitors from the Department of Justice to your blog?

I was checking my stat tracker account and it listed a visit from the DOJ that lasted over two hours.

I'm sure there's some reasonable explanation (doesn't the person who says that in the movie get always gets framed and sent to jail) but, in today's climate, it took me a bit by surprise. Could this be some pre-research into future law breakers? I think that's unlikely, considering that the anti=gambling bill isn't close to passing.

I imagine there's someone in the DOJ who's a poker player and enjoys reading crappy poker blogs that otherwise don't get any readers.

I'd be interested in learning if you've had similar hits or any info that could shed some light on this.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Tourney Success!

BB’s to go: 163.25 or $6.53

PokerStars Tournament #22380064, No Limit Hold'emBuy-In: $1.00/$0.101554 playersTotal Prize Pool: $1554.00 Tournament started - 2006/04/06 - 21:02:00 (ET) Dear bluto392, You finished the tournament in 23rd place.A $4.67 award has been credited to your Real Money account.

That was a lot of work for $3.67. Considering my general lack of skill at NL and tournaments, I’m quite pleased with myself.

I was in the zone. Most times I play a tournament format I feel like I’m fumbling in the dark, and generally clueless. This time I felt like I could ‘see’ under the surface of the game and look at how it worked.

It was mostly a blur, but I was tight, patient, and aggressive. I saw only about 25 percent of the flops and won around sixty percent of the time I saw a flop.

I started out not doing so well and fell into a fold or push strategy. For once, this small stack judo felt comfortable. And it paid off. I hit with big hands two or three times, then people began folding blinds to me.

Once I’d built myself back to about 20 BB’s I ramped up the aggression a bit. I went on a rush of cards, and got lucky enough to suck out a few times.

Before I know it, (okay, three hours later) I’m playing within a range of 80-100k chips and was even the chip leader for a bit. I get moved to a new table, which I just put a hammer-lock on. Again, I’m lucky to get some premium hands, bet hard and win, then proceed to muscle people off pots.

Unfortunately, a few things then happened. First, a player just moved to my table went on a rush herself and slapped me down a few times. Soon I was in the middle of the pack stack-wise, and I’d lost my advantage. Near the end she had a quarter million chips and was the 500 pound gorilla in the room.

Secondly, I was too damn tired! It was 1am, we were losing only one person every ten minutes, and I was having trouble keeping my eyes open. Plus, the payouts were so small until the top five places or so, and I just couldn’t imagine how long that was going to take. Would it be worth it to get an hour or two of sleep to go out in fourth and win twenty bucks? Even the top prize of around $250, although enticing, wasn’t good enough to risk having to take a half day off work to get some sleep. (I’ve been up late all week, and I will reach a point where I can’t safely drive the hour commute to work if I don’t get at least five hours on a consistent basis.)

I guess I had the option of just sitting out and folding into a better spot. I know that’s not against the rules, but it just doesn’t seem right to me, for some reason. At any rate, I busted out around one-fifteen and I’m paying for it today. (As I’m sure my crappy writing is demonstrating.)

This was strictly a bonus for me. I’m not going to play any tournaments until I have the desire to spend time studying and practicing that type of game. It’s still a –EV proposition to play in SNG’s and MTT’s. However, I imagine I’m not going to be able to resist playing in the cheapest 45 seat SNG tonight. Busting out in 21st place will cure me of that jones. Anyway, there’s always the 10 cent turbos!

My only goal for what tournament ‘roll I have is to have enough to play in a blogger tourney once in a while without fretting over going broke.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Pseudo Uber-Post

BB's to go: 194.75 or $7.77


Obviously, I’m not the Champ. I wish I could say that my assholic douchebaggery was the result of a cheap attempt to drum up hits to my site, but it wasn’t. So, now I have to face the fact that, not only did I act like an ass, but a stupid one at that.

I guess the identity of the infamous PC is still not known, although many have been quick to claim authorship.

Here’s my take:

I think the Champ’s ghost writer is Dugglebogey. He was the first, I believe, to bring the Champ to our attention, and the first to get into a flame war with him. There was also that cryptic post that was only a picture of the Champ and a statement about how the internet only exposes one’s stupidity to the world.

I think there’s also an un-indicted co-conspirator that we’re overlooking. Jordan has said more than once that he’s spoken to the Champ.

What do you know, sir, and when did you know it?

Hey, wait a minute, as I'm writing this, I ran across this. Falstaff, selling Neverbluff t-shirts. Hmm...


Now that the secret’s out, I have a suggestion. Why not keep the site active and let other bloggers submit posts as the Champ? It could be a running story/joke amongst our community?

Of course, this would depend on the cooperation of the man behind the Champ. Given the small number of hits this sucky blog gets, I’m willing to bet he/she won’t read it. So I ask you, my loyal handful of readers, pass this along.


6:37 AM.

My two-year-old, the Little General, walked up to me while I was guiding my eldest through her morning routine. She had something in her hand.

I asked her what it was.

She gave it to me.

It was a piece of shit. She started to raise her hand to her mouth.

“No, no, no, honey!” After the hand-washing and teeth-gnashing were over, I tried to debrief her. The Little General is quite good and directing us as to where our shoes go when we’re not wearing them, whether or not we need to wear coats, and what she wants to eat (Cheese, now!) but her verbal and comprehension skills aren’t up to rather abstract questions like “Where did you find the poopy?”

Luckily, my four-year-old helpfully told me.

“From the hat, daddy.” She pointed to a dress-up hat lying on her bedroom floor.

A hat, of course, how could I be so stupid? Sure enough, the hat had the immediately recognizable odor of human feces.

“Hon,” I asked my eldest. “How exactly did a piece of poop get to be in your hat?”

“I think Charlie (the LG) put it there.” Her sly smile told me all I needed to know. Never has her nickname, the Big Monkey, been more apt.


Rudy! Rudy!

We live in a four-block chunk of nice homes, sandwiched between an industrial park, college student ghettos, York College, and a typical York inner-city neighborhood. As a result, we get such free entertainment as people smoking pot openly in the park behind our house, random, senseless crime (our neighbor had a tree dug neatly out of his yard and stolen one night,) and semi-annual productions of public domestic disputes.

Rudy! What the fuck are you doing?!

As I’m switching child seats from my car to the Mistress’, I look up to see Rudy walking down the sidewalk, being tracked by an obviously upset woman in a mini-van.

I catch the Mistress and the little boogers at the front door. “We’ve got another domestic disturbance out there.”


“What’s a mestic ‘sturbance?” The Little Monkey asks.

I peek out and the pair are down the road a bit, obstructed by the arbor vitae bordering our back yard.

“Okay, let’s make a break for it.”

Ah, free from the drama of the unwashed. But wait, just as we make it to the car parked at the end of our back yard, Rudy turns down our alley, followed by Angry Driver Lady.

Rudy, what is your fucking problem? You are not FUCKING walking away from me!

Apparently, Rudy was going to walk away, if possible, and the pair pulled next to us just as the Monkey says in a loud voice:

“Mommy, is that the ‘sturbance?”

“Get in the car, girls,” the Mistress says, clamping her teeth so as not to unleash a torrent of sailor-like admonishment at the ghetto-rats.


I hit the local gas station/mini mart for coffee and gas. I pay two dollars for the privilege of getting access to my own money.


Out pops what I think is my receipt. But no! It’s a message, not only thanking me for using the ATM, but also giving me three dollars off my next purchase. Cool! I get my fee back, and free coffee!

Hey, I’m up three bucks today! I figure that’s about as good a break as I’ll get this week.


I turn the radio to NPR and hear a quick blurb about the managers of a German nuclear power plant that lost the keys to their security offices. They apparently looked everywhere for them, but they still couldn’t find them. Now they’re going to pay to have 150 locks replaced.

I can relate. I lost my keys last week. When it was all said and done, I paid about two hundy for two new car keys. Are you kidding me? That doesn’t take into account the doctor’s appt. the Monkey had to miss because I couldn’t get her there, the vacation hours I had to use to straighten this mess out, and the duckets I’m doing to drop to get my house locks replaced.

The top headline was the arrest of the Deputy Director of the Department of Homeland Security being arrested for trying to seduce someone he thought was fourteen over the internet.

Are you kidding me? Isn’t Homeland Security cracking down on kiddie porn and this type of exploitation? We are truly seeing the end of days.


Station surfing…stop on C-SPAN, where two GOP House members are explaining how we need to keep flushing money down the Iraq toilet at the expense of such terrorist-linked programs as Medicaid and energy assistance programs.

“Next we go to Brambleton, Kentucky,” the host announces. (Fake town. I would never impugn the dignity of such a noble state.)

The caller spends about five minutes explaining how the GOP needs to act like fiscal conservatives for a change, etc. He then asks a question:

“Representative X, what’s wrong with your chin?”


“It looks like you have something on your chin…oh, I see, it’s Karl Rove’s ballmark.”

Had I been in an accident at that point, I would’ve gotten a transcript to prove that I’d been incapacitated with laughter and that was why I swerved into the other lane.


Played live poker for the first time in about two months. It was the World Tavern Poker Tour thingy.

People take this no-money tournament way too seriously. Sunglasses and IPOD’s abounded. I mean, come on, it’s a two hour tournament. Can’t you keep yourself occupied for that long without music?

Secondly, people are trying to read everyone, everything’s a tell. I mean, you don’t know me from Adam, how can you possibly think I’m bluffing just because I rub my chin after I look at my cards? It’s silly.

I was the official Recipient of the Wired Pairs. I saw probably twenty hands the whole tournament and had the following pairs: Q’s (won), 5’s (folded), 9’s (won), J’s (lost), 7’s (busted out.)

Despite there being no money involved, it’s a tough tournament because of the starting chip stacks and blind structure. You need to win pots early or you’re going to get blinded out within two hours. At least they did a better job of keeping my table full.

I busted out one person and took down another large pot, before my set of Jacks ran into a flush draw that filled and my 7’s ran into ANOTHER flush draw that filled. Damn.


We're planning a trip to the shore in May. This is one hotel's 'Pirate Weekend' Package:

Treasure Hunt · Return of the Dolphin Contest · Parade · Free Swords · Free Pirate Hats · Craft Show · $1,000 Grand Prize · Lots of Other Prizes!
May 18 - 21 $1503 Days / 2 NightsFamily of 4
Type B 2-Room Efficiency Suite
Late Checkout on Sunday - FREE
Upgrades: Type C, D, or E - $10/Night (if available)Extra Person - $10/NightDeposit in FullLimited Availability

Um, I'll think I'll pass on giving my kids swords.


Click on the link to Bobby Bracelet's blog and see how you can help a little girl who lost her mother recently to cancer. Ever since I became a father, stories like this really hit home. The Little General's about the girl's age, and I can't imagine how awful it would be to lose a parent at that age.

If her story doesn't encourage you to give, you need to take a look at your soul.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

YOU can't be the Champ...

...because I'm the Champ.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Counterfeiting Hands

BB's to go: 256.5 or $10.26

Caveat: Again, these types of posts are more my effort to consolidate and solidify my own poker knowledge. I understand most of the people reading this are familiar with the ideas of counterfeiting and comparing your hand to a range of possible hands your opponents might have.

Hidden Outs: Counterfeiting Hands

In order to correctly evaluate your hand, it's necessary to identify 'hidden' outs and danger signs that can affect your decision on how to proceed.

One important thing to consider is how your hand may be 'counterfeited' or neutralized by potential cards your opponent may have.

For example, you're in a low-limit game and you have:

Q 5 and the board reads:

9 Q 5

You are in the BB and there were three limpers pre-flop. You have opened the betting and there was one raiser. The two other limpers fold and it's your turn to act.

Your two pair is a strong hand. Or is it? Because you are not depending on a paired board to make your hand, it's unlikely anyone will be able to put you on your two pair. But, there are several things to take into consideration here.

First, let's assume the raiser has only a queen. If she's got the more likely hands, like AQ, KQ, QJ, or QT, you are ahead, but that means there are two chances for twelve cards (3 aces, 3 kings, 3 jacks, and 3 tens) to come that could put you badly behind, leaving you with two outs to win (2 fives.)

Now, let's assume she has a somewhat less likely card: Q 9 suited. Again, you are already behind and drawing to two outs.

Your position is somewhat better if the raiser has Q 8-6. You are ahead. If an 8,7, or 6 comes on the turn, your hand will be counterfeited and you will be behind. But, in addition to your two outs to win, you now have two additional outs to tie (2 queens, giving you both trips with a nine kicker.) If the nine pairs, you are behind because you have a lower kicker.

If, in the unlikely event that the raiser has Q 4-2, you are well ahead, even if she makes her two pair. If the nine pairs, you will have the raiser outkicked.

Sets and overpairs:

We haven't even talked yet about sets. If the raiser has a set of queens, you will need runner runner fives and are nearly drawing dead. If she's got a set of nines, you are drawing to two outs (2 queens for a higher full house.) You have a little better chance if the raiser has a set of fives, as the two nines and two queens will give you a better hand. The consolation with this is that, if you hit your full house, the raiser will probably be likely to raise and re-raise, as she will probably assume she's got the best hand.

Now, you've taken all of this into account, but you might as well forget about it, because you've run out of time (that's what that annoying beeping was) and Pokerstars has folded your hand. Clearly, you don't usually have enough time to run through all this in real life.

"But, CL," you may ask, "how can I use this information to decide what to do?"

Well, what I do, is simply try to get a rough idea of how many hands are possible that beat me, compared to the number of hands where I'm ahead. Using the example above, I might think:

"Okay, the only hands that beat me at this point are sets and Q-9. I'm ahead against anyone with overcards and slightly ahead of anyone with J-10 (open-ended straight draw) and Q-6 and up. I'm dominating anyone with Q-4 and lower."

Based on this analysis, I'm thinking my two pair is vulnerable, but strong enough to call. Usually, I'll start the betting on the next rounds. If an A, K, J, T comes up, I'll likely bet then fold if the raiser bumps it up. If an 8 comes up, I may also bet/fold because of the straight possibility.

If the nine pairs, I'll likely check/fold, as my chances of running into someone with a Q and a higher kicker are too high.

If I see a 7 or 6 on the turn or river, I'll check/call.

If a 4, 3, or 2 comes up, I'm betting hard- I'll take my chances that the raiser has a set.

That's what I would do. What say you? Am I way off base, or am I on the right track?