Friday, June 30, 2006

Just a Little Better than Average!

And who can expect anything more, right?

Played the DADI last night. I overcame some early silliness on my part and was holding my own just fine, thank you. I played my tight game and it was both a blessing and a curse. I got a lot of pots folded to me but, of course, I didn't always get the action I wanted on my premium hands.

I decimated Tripjax when my set of aces rolled over his TPTK. This got me up to around 2500k. Almost busted VPPDave for his bounty. To his credit he didn't take the bait and made a good lay-down against my flopped full boat. Still, that pot put me up to about 5k in chips and 5th place overall.

I stayed static and hadn't had much to work with, until I got pocket kings. A guy from Regina (sorry, didn't recognize the blog) raised pre-flop. At this point, given the fact that I had a slight chip disadvantage, I should have put him all-in before the flop. Instead, I get tricksy and make a min-raise, which is called.

The flop is nine high and raggy. He bets big and NOW I go all-in, thinking he's got either overcards or a big pair. (Hey, how about even considering a set?) Of course, he's got top set. Turn and river are no help and I go from in the mix to on the rail. Stupid poker. Stupid lack of focus!

Played limit for about half an hour, finished down about two bucks. I've realized a few things I need to work on:

1. The money at low limit games is not made by being aggressive with marginal hands. It's in letting these hands go when appropriate and being aggressive with monster hands, counting on the less skilled players to call me down. In other words, if I have a pair of jacks and there's a queen and king on the board, AND, I'm getting bet into, it's time to fold.

I used to know this, but I've been losing some discipline in this area. What tripped me up is Sklansky's suggestion to be aggressive with marginal hands in LARGE pots, in order to potentially buy some outs. That doesn't mean always, or even usually sticking with marginal hands.

2. Playing limit for less than an hour at a time is -EV. If I do this, I need to do hit and runs. If I get up, I need to leave and lock in the winning session. I think you need to be ready to play for at least two hours in order to have a good enough chance to win enough to cover the blinds you fold away, let alone lock in a winning session.

Well, that's my two cents. I hope my few loyal readers appreciate it. There's getting to be so few of you, I might start referring to you by name in my posts!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

High School Moment Over

Okay, the DRAMA is over. CBS Sportsline screwed up the registration and put my friend's wife as owner of the team instead of him.

Really, I'm a bit ashamed. I let the over-reaction of the league commissioner get to me. I should've given my friend the benefit of the doubt from the start.

The vote was interesting. It was split down the middle to allow a woman to play. I'm glad I insisted on it because the commish was going to simply make a decision on it.

Personally, I could care less if a woman plays, especially someone I know already. As long as she stays interested throughout the year.

I might play the DADI tonight. We're getting ready for a yard sale this weekend and I might be too busy. If not, I'm there. My keys to winning:

1. Patience
2. Confidence- can't act like scared money.

I didn't try getting on a team 'cause I wasn't sure if I was going to play. If I do, I'm definitely going to try to win the smack-talk contest.

I can talk me some smack.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Aimless Stream of Consciousness

Howdy folks, we're gonna take a canoe ride down CL's Aimless Stream of ConsciousnessTM:

It's bad enough you can't find a Ceaser salad with anchovies around here, but they forgot to even put the croutons on today! So, I've got romaine lettuce and dressing, with a bit of cheese on top. I should sue for misrepresentation.


Just in case you're keeping track...

You can add two more rights to the list that we no longer have. The President has been snooping in people's private financial records, tracking overseas wire transfers, ostensibly to find terrorists.

"But CL, you bleeding-heart, commie liberal," some might say, "If you haven't done anything wrong, you've got nothing to worry about!"

Well...part of the problem is who is defining what's 'wrong.' We're closer than ever to critics of the President in general and, specifically, the War on Terror being charged with treason. W might be checking out leading Democrats as we speak. We just don't know.

Secondly, just think dear reader, what other group of citizens make overseas wire transfers. Say, to Costa Rica and Gibraltar? Transfers to pay for an activity that could be illegal in a year or two?

Finally, there is NO oversight for these privacy invading programs. The financial records searches are audited by a private company, Booz Allen. Jesus Christ! When did an accounting firm take over for the Judicial branch of government? What leverage does the Vice-President of the Illegal Search and Seizure Department at Booz Allen have over the Federal Government?

The other right that's in jeopardy is our right to vote. The Voting Rights Act has not been renewed.

There's nothing else to say about that, it sort of stands on its own.


I've made a deposit on Party Poker (Bonus Code Iggy). I'm going to play the .25-.50 limit tables. So far so good- up about two bucks. My handle is CLRusso, put me on your 'fish to track' list.


Why is it I can do so well at $2-4 live, but continually get crushed online at the .05-.10 tables? Probably has to do with how much easier it is to get on a table live as opposed to online. If you're going to go through the trouble of downloading, transferring money, etc., you're going to take it more seriously than when you're drunk and you've just dropped three hundy at the slots and wanna try that poker game.

Either way, I've played the last two days at the .02-.04 tables on Stars and I didn't win one hand. Not one hand.


I'm stuck in some drama in one of my fantasy football leagues. I could (and should) do an entire post on this, as there's a bunch of backstory, etc. Here's a brief synopsis.

I was asked to invite a friend to my newest league, which is made up of a neighbor and people I don't know too well. He accepted.

When the league website was set up, it was discovered that my friend's wife had signed up instead. I was informed by the league commissioner, who's also my neighbor, that our league is a "no chicks league."

Okay, whatever.

I asked that all the owners be polled to see what they think of the matter and the votes are coming in.

What makes this situation worse is that my friend left my other league, who are all my college friends, because his wife wasn't allowed to play there. That was not a 'chick' issue, it was because of some private stuff I won't get into.

So, now I have the great job of calling my friend and seeing what's up. To make matters worse, both my neighbor and my friend and his wife play in my homegame. So, if this ends up roughly, the home game will probably be shot.

I'm pissed at my friend. I don't know yet what the deal is but, knowing what I know of the previous situation, it seems like he's being tricksy. At the least, he should have let the league know he wasn't going to play. It's not his right to pick a replacement.

Really, I'm just pissed that both he and my neighbor have put me in this positiona. And I'm getting tired of this league. There's drama every year and it's getting tedious.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Atlantic City

Finally, finally, you point your car east and accelerate towards your destination. You've jumped the hoops your loving wife has put out in an effort to keep you home and safe for another few minutes. You're on no sleep again, but a cup of coffee and your excitement are enough.

You make pretty good time, despite trying to break the record for number of bathroom breaks by an adult male. It's rainy and cool, which is good, since you don't want to feel guilty about staying inside all day at the beach.

Your first stop is the Showboat. The first thing you smell as you step of your car is spaghetti sauce and garlic.

Damn, you love New Jersey!

The casino is much better looking inside than out. It's a maze of mirrors, flashing lights, and marble. You need to ask directions to the poker room three times, but you finally make it there. The AM tournament's already started, but you don't care about that. You're going to break your cherry in 2/4 limit hell.

The floor man is rude, and acts busier than the half empty room would suggest. You ask to be put on the list and he waves at a table to his left and mutters something about the cashier. After getting a rack and a stack, you take a seat at the first 2/4 table you find.

You drop into your seat and the weight of fatigue and adrenaline drops onto your head. Dizzy and sweaty, you post your blind and try to get your feet under you.

First thing, you realize you've passed the Rounder's Maxim. You can spot the fish. He's drunk and playing every hand. You're dealt 7-8s on the button and buy into the pot. You flop an OESD and complete on the river. It's you and the fish left.

He bets.

You raise.

You know you've got him beat, and you know he's going to call. You're so tired you're not even excited yet. "You won't even look at me," the fish says. You look him in the eye. "You don't have anything." he says. "No," you say, "I'm just zoning out, I've been driving all morning," you reply. You smirk.

The fish does just what you know he will, and you drag your first pot.

You split twice with the person to your left, a retiree on a bus trip, then the cards go cold and lifeless in your hand. You wonder if that rank smell is from the deck's rotting corpse or the street person who took the open seat to your right.

You develop a fatal attraction to two pair hands. With a pair on the board, you're bet into on the river. You know your opponent has probably faded your queens up with trips. You ask to have the pot counted down, and it's only five big bets. On Stars, you'd fold this hand without even thinking about it. Instead, your tired mind whispers false promises to you and you make a crying call. Now you're stuck about ten bucks.

An hour of folding later, you're sitting with top two pair. You're jamming, and everyone's folding. Almost everyone- a cranky old man holds out for the river spade, completing his nut flush. He says he admires your courage.

Now you're steaming and tired. And hungry. The time says you've played for four hours (Really? Didn't you just sit down?) It's time to check into your hotel and you jump at the excuse. You're weaving as you leave the Showboat, the intoxicating drone of hundreds of slot machines adding to the wooziness in your head.

Call home, shower, space out in front of a baseball game on TV, sleep. You feel somewhat better, but you wonder if you'll be able to pull off the poker marathon you've planned as you sleep-drive to the Trop.

The Quarter is as good as people say it is. Ten years ago, pre-marriage you would be all about the bars, clubs, and hoochie walking around. Now, you just want to get something fast to eat. You hit a cool market that has a hot and cold food bar. You buy some caeser salad, chicken, and fruit and nearly faint at the $15 dollar price. The nourishment improves your vitality a notch or two and you start the hunt for the Trop's poker room.

The place is full, but when you ask to be put on the list for 2/4, the floor person says "No."


"Get you're chips and go see Harvey." You do as you're told, but Harvey has already given your seat away.

You head back and succeed in getting on the list this time. Literally a minute later, you're called.



"Lock it up!"

As you squeeze in between the dealer and a cuban lady, that foggy, sweaty feeling comes back. You fold, fold, fold. The cuban 'accidentally' throws in too many chips in the pot when she's got second pair or worse and wants people to fold.

She's replaced by a young, pretty woman from Jersey. She donates like she hates money, pulling twenties and hundreds out of her purse every half hour. She's friendly and talks to you. She complains how everyone at the table is quiet (they are) and how much more fun Vegas is. She shares a bag of chips with you.

Later, she asks you to give her your pickle.

From the sandwich you ordered.

You win a few pots and are surprised to find that you've covered your 40 dollar loss from the Showboat. You take a smoke break. You realize you feel fine now and you're into the rythym of the game. Excitement and anticipation build.

You win more hands. You fold A LOT, and play those hands that your prophet, Sklansky, has ordained as worthy. You always have callers. An old man from across the table yells at you, complaining that you aren't playing enough. You tell him there's only so many opportunities to play 3-5 offsuit, and you're not here to throw money away. You say it with a smile, though, and make a joke out of it when you finally play a hand. You win that hand.

The night is a blur. You hit your nut flush twice. You call down someone with ace high on a two pair board. He flips over 8 high and congratulates you on a good hand. The pretty woman on your left is dragged away by her mother and replaced by another fish who, by the end of the night, is asking your advice on what poker books to read. He donates heavily. Another donator wins a pot with five high. You win a dispute with a dealer, who forgot to include you in the action, then demanded you pay the pot when you try to fold.

A drop dead gorgeous woman across the table re-raises you and looks you straight in the eye while you decide what to do. You cap it and she calls. The guy on your right ribs you about her staring you down. The flop is KJ9 rainbow. You bet, the woman folds. You show her your pocket queens.

You learn some things from your time at the Trop:

1. Chips really ARE as filthy as people say, and they do stick together.

2. Whatever short comings the system has when playing online poker, the ideas in Sklansky's and Malmuth's Small Stakes Hold'Em fits casino poker like a diver's wetsuit.

3. You now understand how people can play poker for one and two days straight.

Too soon, it's 2:30 in the morning. You're up a little over a hundred bucks and you have to drive home later on. With a pang of regret, you rack up, cash out, and stride out of the casino.

The slots are playing their siren's song, but you are leaving this enchanted world.

For now.

Friday, June 23, 2006

AC status...


Thursday, June 22, 2006

Whine Alert

Did you watch that game last night? Those guys sucked! They just plain sucked. They were the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked!
-Homer Simpson

Okay, I've had a dark cloud hang over me for the past day or so. Please make allowances.

My limit skills suck. I feel like I don't know what I'm doing anymore. I dropped over six bucks yesterday and I had to make a tough call: My 'roll can't support my current limits. I'm moving back to .02-.04 limit hell. FUCK ME!

I did money in two SNG's yesterday, though. I either do well in one or the other, never both. It's probably an attention thing, but it's not all that, as I played just limit for part of last night and still sucked. Has anyone had the some trouble? Is playing a limit cash game and a NL tourney at the same time a bad idea?

All I know is that I'd better pack my bathing suit for AC, I might get stacked within an hour. Oh yeah, that's right, it's supposed to rain all weekend.


I'm assuming, of course, that I even get to go. My car crapped out on me yesterday. One minute, okay, the next, no electrical systems. My guess is a bad alternator, as the battery isn't that old. My repair guy is real busy too, so I'm expecting a call that he won't be able to get it done before Monday. This is going to be a hellish weekend for me if I can't go. There's going to be a cranky CL with a really sore uterus around the Russo house. FUCK ME!


So, I miss work yesterday, which could potentially screw up my vacation plans both this weekend and down the road, as it's iffy as to whether I'll have enough leave time to go on our family vacations. Not to mention the fact that I had to cancel a visit with someone I work with for the third time. That's professionalism for ya! FUCK ME!


What else did I miss yesterday? Oh, not much, just an e-mail from a supervisor in another office reaming me out. Best part? It was sent to about thirty other people in the agency, including two of our regional directors. Completely classless, and without the common decency to talk to me privately. I mean, Jesus, call my supervisor if you're that pissed, but don't do the equivalent of dragging me to the city square and publicly humiliating me.

At least I have the solace that she was completely wrong and I have the support of both my self-directed team and my supervisor. Yay, I feel so warm and protected. FUCK ME!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Monkey Capitulates; Drops Deuce

BB's to go: 659.3 or $65.93.

The battle of wills is over, and everyone won.

The Big Monkey was a bit green about the gills when she came home yesterday. When the Mistress asked her if she had to go potty, she just nodded and walked to the bathroom. They didn't flush the results so that I could witness my eldest's milestone. To make things even more happier, she was even dry this morning.

It seems like we've converted her from savagery to civility, as she was more than happy to void her bowels twice this afternoon. (The 'potty presents' she got in return were good motivators, I'm sure.)

Okay, I'm just realizing how gross this subject must be to all (3) of you. I promise, no more updates, unless something particularly humorous happens.


I'm in a limit game, a bit bored, checking out where everyone is from. I notice there's someone from China playing, and I was hit with a revelation:

You can play online poker in repressive Communist China, but not in Washington State. Is there not something fucked up about this? The country, with the recent help of the Supreme Court and their frightening new interpretation of legal search and seizure, is moving towards a police state faster than I would have imagined.

Quite frankly, we're starting to look more and more like China. Gulags, domestic spying, expanded law enforcement powers, a sophisticated propaganda machine that protects the ruling elite and tries to destroy dissent...all we need to do is start rounding up the 'intellectual elite' and we might as well start memorizing Mao's Little Red Book.

Not to be overly dramatic, but the US has changed so much since 2000...I don't really want to think about how things will look five and ten years down the road if we continue in our present direction.

Monday, June 19, 2006

No Sleep 'Til AC

BB's to go: 653 or $65.30

I'm on no sleep, bro.

The Russo family is in new territory: The Big Monkey is sleeping commando. That's right, without a diaper.

Perhaps some backstory is in order. My eldest, aka Big Monkey, is four and is completely potty trained. During the day. At night, she relishes in pooping in a diaper as an act of daring individualism, flying in the face of parental restrictions.

Until last Friday, when the Mistress and I decided to Take Back the Night. "No diapers anymore, girly."


"You can't poop in your bed, either."

"I knooow."

Yeah, right. We woke on Saturday morning expecting to find a fecal wonderland in our daughter's bed. Thankfully, we were pleasantly surprised. The same result on Sunday morning as well.

The only problem is this: She wasn't pooping during the day, either. Last night, her belly was sticking out ominously.

"Hon, why don't you try to poop?"

"I don't have to!"

Yeah, right. I was so worried about the fudge explosion that loomed over us that I couldn't sleep. I kept waking up, thinking I should go in and put the Monkey on the potty and dreading what I might find if I went in there.

Finally, the sun rose and the inevitable could no longer be avoided. I pulled back the Monkey's covers mess! Ahh, relief. Only, how is she going to make it through another day without 'going?' Hopefully, she won't. Let daycare earn the money we pay 'em!

I can't imagine what it's going to be like if she holds out until tonight. I doubt I'll be getting much sleep.


Our AOL is on the fritz. We ALMOST made it a year before having to replace the software. Damn AOL, why can't I quit you!?

The break from Poker is actually a good thing, I think. My limit game is static- I'm not making any head way towards my BB goal. I'm not sure exactly what's going on. I know I'm not stopping when I fall behind, or switching tables. I get down two bucks and try to dig out instead of just accepting the loss. Worse, I'm getting way up and not stopping to lock in a winning session. I was up about a buck and a half on Friday and told myself that I was going to stop with a profit, but kept playing until I was down. That six cent loss was harder to take than other times when I've lost 2-plus dollars.


AC this weekend! AC this weekend! Got a lot to do- gotta get the car in for service, got to print out directions and my hotel reservations. The Mistress scheduled a play date for the Big Monkey this weekend and we want to have the back yard looking nice. After it's all done, though, I will have the payoff! Sometimes working your ass off before a trip makes the trip all that much more fun.

I'm counting on making money at the limit tables, so I hope my game picks up by then!

Friday, June 16, 2006


BB's to go: 624.9 or $62.49

I moneyed in another SNG last night. We'll just keep that between you and me, 'kay? No need bothering the poker gods about this, right? Not big enough news to tell the guy who controls the doom switch on Stars, got it?

We'll keep it on the down-low.

Mum's the word.

Let's not get too cocky here. Okay, I never had a stack higher than 7k, but made it to third place, but let's just let this fade like those dreams we can't remember once we wake up.

Nothing to see here, folks.

Keep the secret, my sweet.


I'm sorry, did you say something? Anyway, I WON 51 CENTS AT THE LIMIT TABLES LAST NIGHT! WOOOO-HOOOO!!!!


Yoo-hoo! Eyes down here, bud. Just ignore all that stuff written in the squiggly letters.

There's a chance that I'm going to be the beneficiary of something very nice regarding my AC trip. If it comes through, I'll let you know.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Finally, SNG Success

PokerStars Tournament #26469899, No Limit Hold'em
Buy-In: $1.00/$0.20
45 players
Total Prize Pool: $45.00
Tournament started - 2006/06/14 - 21:39:59 (ET)

Dear bluto392,
You finished the tournament in 2nd place.

A $10.00 award has been credited to your Real Money account.

Thank you for participating.

Bear with me, I know that for a lot of people this isn't worth posting about, but you've got to put it into context. In the past six months that I've been playing for money, I've cashed in one SNG. I have a great run of finishing either 18th or 17th in the 45-seat structures. In fact, I'd decided that these were -EV and I haven't played them for a long time.

Here are the things that stand out that I did that helped me be successful last night:

1. Patience: I waited for the good cards. The blind levels were around 10-15 minutes, so I felt I had time to pick and choose, even at the final table.
- In the last tourney I played, I was too active at the bubble and I finished out of the money. Last night, I literally told myself to sit back and let the others who were willing to play beat each other up and I slid into the final table and, later, the money.
- I was able to stay somewhat calm when I made good hands. I hit a set of threes at one point. Usually, I'd go all-in right away. This time, I was able to coax my opponent to put all of his chips in with the second best hand.
2. Aggression: When I got good hands, I tried to make the most of them by raising.
- Also, I looked for opportunities to steal pots. There were many of these in this tournament: over 25 pots won without a showdown. My short-stack all-ins got an amazing amount of respect as well and kept my M above water at key moments.
- Yes, I know I'm not breaking any new ground here. Here's the new part: I willed myself to be more aggressive. I saw early on that I was playing really timidly, probably because I was preparing myself for the 'inevitable.' I caught myself and forced myself to put my chips out there, try to steal pots, etc.

Thanks to Surflexus, who gave me a pep-talk a few days ago. I probably wouldn't have bothered with playing an SNG if I hadn't spoken to him beforehand. I promised myself that I'd take a stab at one of those $4.40 180-seat SNG's on Poker Stars if I moneyed last night, so I'm putting that on the weekend agenda.

I really, REALLY, wanted to play in the Poker Stars blogger championship on Sunday, but I've got other Father's Day plans. It's ironic that the father doesn't get to make his own plans for Father's day, but I really have no grounds to complain. My family's great and I enjoy spending time with them. Anyway, I'm off to AC next week, so it's not like I'm exactly deprived of poker.

Happy Father's Day!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Poker Weekend Wrap-up

BB's to go: 638.0 or $63.80

It's 85 degrees in my office for some reason, and I'm starting to sweat already, so I'm keeping this short.

I got a last minute dispensation to play at the Hardware Bar on Friday. I can sum up the hour I was there in a few paragraphs:

Registered, bought a soda, smoked a cigarette, and ogled the waitresses.

Met the other people at my table. I few regulars, some Type A punks and a senior citizen. The guy on my left looks like John Lovitz.

First hand: AA. Bet out 3x's the big blind. Two callers. Flop is QJ10. Checked to me and I 1500 and I'm called by both players. Turn: 9. Fuck. About the worst card I could have gotten. First guy bets all-in and I have to fold. He turns over 87 offsuit. I'm on Hardware Bar tilt.

Fold. Fold. Fold. Fold.

Finally see A8 of hearts. I bet the two-club flop and I'm called. Turn is a club. Checked around. River is another club and I laugh and shake my head. The moron on my right whispers "You're showing weakness." I reply "because my hand IS weak." I check-fold to the woman with the nut flush.

Fold. Fold. Fold. Fold.

AQo. I bet another 3x's the big blind and I'm called by multiple players. Flop is 2x2. I min-bet and I'm called. Turn is a 2. I think my ace-kicker is good and go all in. The same lady who beat me with a flush calls right away and shows me her pocket fours. Do I have to say that the river wasn't any help?

So, I go home and lose about five bucks playing tourney. Post a small win on the limit tables.


Saturday was our neighborhood picnic. Ugh. We know some of our neighbors, but have only really developed any sort of friendship with one other family. I'm not a social butterfly, and I had resigned myself to a night of sitting at a picnic table making small talk, interspersed with uncomfortable silences.

Until someone suggests a poker game. Ah! We play a six man, five-buck tournament that lasted a lot longer than I thought it would. The play was pretty horrible- at one point, there was a heated discussion about how playing any ace was a good idea. Another person asked if K-A-2-3-4 was considered a straight or not. Folding and raising was apparently considered bad form.

I got no cards to start and stayed out of the action. Turned it around when I went all-in with AJs and luckily rivered my straight. Made some pretty bad calls but generally didn't get punished for them. Finally, I was heads-up with a drunk guy in his twenties. I pushed with any hand with a queen or higher. Probably not the smartest play, but I was about pokered out and was ready for bed.

Go figure, I won! My first cash tourney win netted me fifteen bucks. Afterward, I made the smartest play: I gave the money to the Mistress for putting the kids to bed while I played.

Friday, June 09, 2006

I've Got Nothing to Post About

BB's to go: 647.9 or $64.79

Really, not much to say. Dug a big hole for myself on the limit tables, but scratched back to a meager win. Went deep in a dollah tournament, ended up 15 out of about 1250.

Just some observations: I did something in limit that I haven't been able to do lately- I quit when I was ahead. A few days ago I was up over three bucks (about thirty BB's) and kept on playing, even when I was getting tired and distracted. I slowly descended back to even, but didn't stop and lock in a positive night. Ended down about two bucks. That's not going to happen anymore.

Had over 100k in chips for the first time in a tourney. My tight game was rolling, and I was making good decisions. I discovered I can't really read players except in one regard- I have a pretty good sense of when players will fold. Won over twenty hands without a showdown.

Did I say I made good decisions? Well, I made bad ones too, one of which was strategic. I was thirteenth in chips with 15 players left. The blinds were high, but not too painful. I should have coasted a bit and tried to make the final table. Instead, I saw my six figure stack and tried pushing my edges. Eventually, it was my undoing. Now I know.

I think I can take one of these tourneys down, if I can stay awake. I was dozing off between hands and during breaks. Literally sleeping, with those just-falling-asleep dreams/streams of altered consciousness. Runs of bad cards were brutal and I nearly timed out once or twice.

Maybe I'll take a stab at a two dollar tournament. I know, I know, dare to dream.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

These Guys are Crazy Bastards!

BB's to go: 655.1 or $65.51.

Editor's note: Now, look, I'm not one to insult people whose parents aren't married. I would never even think about calling into question the legitimacy of the births of people I don't know but...

These guys are crazy bastards!

Not only does Wicked Chops openly link-whore right on their site, but they have the audacity to write up some freaking funny stuff as well. I dug into these bastards' archives and I am highly impressed. Just a word of warning: if you're a poker player, don't do anything stupid and illegal within earshot of Wicked Chops.

And Fridays, mmm, Fridays. Let's just say that part of me salutes whomever chooses the eye-candy each week.

So, to paraphrase the movie Patton:

"You magnificent bastards! I linked your site!"

Monday, June 05, 2006

Home Game II Highlights

BB's to go: 627.8 or $62.78

Home Game II went down at the Russo Casino and Resorts on Saturday. Only five participants this time, which was pretty disappointing. I was hoping to build on the strong showing from Home Game I, but it seemed like everybody's already busy with summer stuff.

Anyway, it was a good tourney even if it was shorthanded. On my left was a very passive player who hardly ever folded or raised, just called down with anything. The next person on my left was super-aggressive and it was a lock that he would bet if it was checked to him. Interestingly, the two are husband and wife and their poker play definitely follows their roles in their marriage. The lady (passive) finished in the money, while the aggressive guy went out first. Go figure.

I had a tough time against them, particularly the ultra-passive player. She had me flummoxed on how to proceed, especially since she had beginner's luck rolling hard for her. She'd be on a short stack and I'm thinking how I can't put her all in on a bluff because she'd definitely call. Yet, when I did have a hand, she'd have me beat.

Eventually, I was down to an M of about 10 on the button with AQo. I absolutely didn't want to go out first again, but I thought I could get the passive person to call with a worse hand, so I pushed. Heavens to Mergatroid, she actually folded! I told her that she must have been dealt a joker and the calendar card. The aggressive guy thought for about a second and called. The guy on my right, who'd been playing pretty tight, re-raised and put me all in (I had the aggressive guy covered).

The cards were flipped and, ugh, aggressive guy has pocket kings. My other opponent's got fours.

The flop: No help.

The turn: No help.

The river: Ace of spades! Woo Hoo!

Suddenly I'm the big stack and I'm thinking that this will be money time. Except that the passive luckbox doubles up through me and another player. Then she doubles up again by hitting her ace on the river. (She'd been dealt A2o and had called an all-in bet after the flop)

Now we come to the first controversial ruling of the Russo Home Game Series. I'm on the bubble and I've got a death grip on my last few cards. I fold the small blind and then deal the next hand. I've now got less than the big blind. A player says "You can't post a big blind bet, you're eliminated." I say "No, you're crazy. I can bet this. If I'm heads up with someone, they can pull some chips out of the pot." Another player agrees with the first guy. We agree to lower the limits for that hand. I went all-in and lost. I should have asked what would happen if I'd folded.

At any rate, I know I'm right about this. I've posted less than a full blind in tourneys before. I mean, what is supposed to happen with my chips then, if I can't play with them?

I think there was some confusion with between a tourney and a cash game. I can see how you wouldn't be able to play in a cash game with less than a big blind, because you can buy back in. In a tourney, you may not have that opportunity.

I've been asked to research this and let the other players know what I find out. What I need to know is: Does anyone have a resource that I can use to find an answer to this burning issue? Even if you don't know of anything specific, feel free to leave me a comment with your opinion.

After the tournament, three of us played some .05-.10 limit and I ended up down about a dollar and a half. I was pretty tired by then anyway, after running around all day, and it was more about talking and donking than serious play. I was so dull mentally that I cashed everyone in incorrectly, giving them way too few chips! I didn't even realize it until the next morning. The night was very much fun, though, and it scratches the live-play itch much better than the Hardware Bar.


Found two great tables on PokerStars and ended up about four and a half bucks last night. Boo-ya! A few more good nights and I'll be back out of the hole. I also ran off a couple of colluders as well. I wanted to post their screen names, but I've forgotten. I'm gonna hunt them out tonight and write them down this time and post them this week.


Jordan is musing about setting up an East Coast blogger event in AC. Definitely interested, but probably can't make any commitments until September.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Heat Renders Fat Man Immobile

BB's to go: 667.7 or $66.77

It's true, the heat ground me down until I couldn't do more than lay on the couch under our ceiling fan. The air conditioner was broken and it was 82 degrees in our bedroom on Monday night.

I took the day off on Tuesday because I hadn't slept in two days and I wanted to get the AC fixed pronto. I waited until noon for the contractor the home warranty company uses to call me back. I was told by a cheerily voiced young woman (who was probably enjoying her office's air conditioning) that no one could come out until Wednesday evening. No amount of pleading and begging was able to change her opinion.

By the time the Mistress returned from work with the Squirtlins, my uterus was swollen and achey. I jumped at my wife's suggestion to go to a hotel for the night.

Ah! Sweet hotel air conditioning. Takes a long time to warm up, but cools down the room to near freezing levels once it gets going. So, after a nice night's sleep, a complimentary breakfast, and a days work, I return to our baking house on Wednesday afternoon.

The HVAC guy is supposed to be there by 5:30. At 5:45 I imagine that he's probably running late with an earlier job. At 6pm, I think the same thing, but give him a call anyway. The guy answers and tells me that he's running late.

Fine, no problem.

Not satisfied, the guy tells me how they don't usually schedule appointments after 4:30 and that he's doing me a favor.

Excuse me? If I understand capitalism, I'm doing him the favor by giving him my business. Plus, I wanted him here on Tuesday, not late on Wednesday. Had the situation been different, I'd have told him these things and risked him cancelling altogether. But my vagina was really ouchy by then and only artificially cooled air would make it feel better.

Finally, the guy arrived and fixed our AC. This morning, our bedroom was a cool, comfortable seventy degrees. Ah, technology!

One side effect of this 'crisis' is that our house was too hot to use the computer. Not only couldn't I compute, but I couldn't play poker either! So it was a relief to log on last night and get a small win under my belt.

I used the non-poker time to do some poker reading. I've learned a bit on how to play overcards, and discovered that I'm not only not using the correct starting hands, but I'm losing money by not raising nearly as much as I should.


The home game is this weekend. Only five people playing, but we may be having it at a house party, so hopefully we'll get some drunkies in the tournament or the cash game. I'm not sure everyone will want to have the game there, which will leave me in a quandry. I should've simply made the decision. I'm too much of a consensus builder sometimes.