Thursday, August 31, 2006

Now THAT's Refreshing

Ah, did I sleep well last night! You know those nights where you go to sleep and then wake up almost immediately, like you’ve been in a coma? I feel ten years younger (the cuppa joe didn’t hurt either.)

The Mistress reports that I snored loud enough to shake the house. I told her she should’ve nudged me awake and she said that she did. Oh well. My theory about snoring is this:

1. I didn’t hear me, so I’ll only tentatively agree that said snoring actually occurred.
2. It didn’t wake me up. So what’s all the fuss?

Actually, we both snore loudly. I’ve been downstairs watching TV when her Mistressness is taking a nap and thought “What is that noise?” only to go upstairs and be buffeted by the loudest, most painful snoring I’ve ever heard. I’ve woken her up a few times because I’m afraid she’ll stop breathing.

Apnea? I know I personally can’t sleep on my back anymore. I don’t hear her actually stop breathing, and she doesn’t snore every night, so I’m going to say no to that.


Had two much more satisfying, if not completely satisfying, hold’em sessions last night. Played about an hour each of .5/1 on Party and .25/.50 at Stars. Won about six or seven dollars total. In both instances, I ran up a good bit, then slowly whittled it away. I had the presence of mind to stop while I was in the black for both sessions. Also played some funny-money HORSE and came out ahead, thanks to the luck of the ignorant (me) in PLO and Razz.

I know the Grinder has noticed that Party is now pretty tight. What I was surprised at was how loose Stars has been recently. Sure it was still a penny ante table, but I’ve always found Stars to be much tighter. The table I sat at was routinely 4-5-6 limpers to a flop and had the worst players. Took down a 12+ dollar pot (24BB!) Those are the type of games I like. I’ll put my good pre-flop and serviceable post-flop play against the chance of being sucked out on every time. I can play more of those marginal hands for one bet that can net huge pots. Mmmmm…huge pots.

In contrast, Party has become 2-3 to a pot, usually with a pre-flop raise. Tough for someone who’s still closer to a neophyte than an expert.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Tuesday was Poker Night last night. Started early and was up about 18BB's for awhile. Ended the night after hitting my loss limit of 10BB's. Very frustrating.

I'm trying to analyze my play and I can't put a finger on what happened. I got sucked out on a few times. I got stuck in at least one large pot where I just had to call down. Turned out I sucked out, then got resucked out on on the river. I have a suspicion that I'm betting out and calling in small pots too often, but I can't say this definitively.

Two things I screwed up for sure were my concentration and my 'roll management. Hard to play well when you're reading blogs and downloading fight videos from youtube. Also, my winnings had whittled down to about 3BB's and I decided to press on, instead of locking in the win. On the one hand, I had reason to believe that I was going to win more, but my concentration was so bad that I should've counted my blessings and stopped.

Oh well. Today's a different day. I'm starting to turn a mental/emotional corner in that I know, even though the heater's over and I've not been an overall winner for the last few days, that I will win again and I have a good chance of increasing the roll in the future.

Two funny things that happened last night. I couldn't get anyone engaged in a conversation at my table, until I pondered out loud if I was playing with a table full of 'bots. I never thought this would be such a touchy subject, but everyone chimed in to make sure I knew they were humans.

After taking my limit lumps, I played some funny money Razz. (That game seems really pretty easy to me, so I'm sure I'm in danger of getting seriously hurt playing it.) There was a guy talking with someone else about how he wants to play in the Sunday Millions and how he thinks he can take it down. He said he'd probably just buy in because the satellites are full of really good players. I have no idea how he thought that those good players wouldn't end up in the main event. I commented about how funny it is to hear someone at a play money Razz table saying how he thinks he can win the big one. The guy got all pissy and said how he was having a private conversation with his friend. He said how he'd made a final table at a MTT before.

Me: "A dollar tournament?"

Him: Pause. "3 dollar"

Me: "High Roller."

Him: "What do you know?"

Me: "I know I wouldn't be playing funny money Razz if I was good at high stakes tournaments."

Me: "High roller."

Internet harrassment can be fun sometimes.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Fantasy Football Draft

It's 88 degrees in my office today. Fucking second-rate office space. Now I'll have to drop a deuce in less than optimal conditions. The proper temperature for this activity is 72 degrees F or lower. Preferably lower.

Last Saturday was draft day for one of my two Fantasy Football Leagues. I got into this one through a neighbor. Draft day for this league is boring. People take way too much time making picks, and everyone is so serious that there is very little conversation. It doesn't help that most of the people don't know each other that well.

On the other hand, I took third or fourth last year which covered my entry fees with a bit left over.

Here's as much of my line-up as I remember:


Tom Brady

RB: Obviously, Alexander's a stud. Jones and Bell are in RB by committee situations. Betts might start, but possibly not, if Portis gets healthy or TJ Duckett starts. He should get some goal line work, though. There is very little value at this position, in my opinion, after the first two rounds.

Saun Alexander
Julious Jones
Tatum Bell
Ladell Betts

WR: Aging Ward was my first WR pick and was probably a mistake. Aging Galloway I picked up a couple rounds later and I was happy with that, although he is admittedly still a gamble. Lloyd and Edwards are flyers, quite frankly. I passed up on Lee Evans and I'm not happy about that. This is my weakest position, I think.

Hines Ward
Joey Galloway
Brandon Lloyd
Braylon Edwards


Tony Gonzalez- Will he return to form?


Neil Rackers: This is my way of getting on the Cardinals bandwagon.


Tampa Bay: The Sports Illustrated cheat sheet had the Bucs as second or third ranked, but others I saw (after I drafted them) had them much lower. Oh well. I heard today that there is very little difference in total points between the best and worst D's.

Overall, I'm not that disappointed in this draft. My GM strength comes from picking up free agents in the first few weeks of the season. I'll let you know how I do.


How do you know when your heater is over?

When you can only win money playing Razz.

But, CL, didn't you JUST make this statement?

Make no mistake, you will not find me playing Razz for money in the near, intermediate, or far future...

Shut the fuck up, you. Stupid lack of discipline.

Yep, the heater is over. It's funny how, when I'm on a run, I feel almost like I can read the whole table. I know where I stand when I'm in a hand and I seem to have no problem knowing when to fold or bluff.

When I start losing, though, I feel like I'm starting as a beginner again. Forget the marginal hands I get and play correctly, but have to give up when they hit the flop, and the daggers on the river that kill my winning hands. In fact, I didn't have many suckouts at all over the last few days.

I mean I'm not laying hands down when I should. I'm making marginal calls when I should be folding. I'm bluffing or trying to take the blinds before I have reads on my opponents. I'm taking too many risks that were probably bad decisions but were not hurting me when my luck was good.

So, my goals for this week are discipline, 'roll management, and attention. My cutoff is -10BB's. I'm comfortable getting stuck for more when I'm running good, but I'm not confident I can dig myself out when I'm on a downswing. Plus, my frustration level rises when I'm stuck on a downswing and I seriously risk getting too loose and wild.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Okay, against my better judgement, I'm going to make the following announcement: I'm on a freaking heater. I'm crushing .50/1 on Party. Since August 5th, I've played just about every day and logged only two losing sessions. I'm up over 100BB's in that time, including several winning sessions in the 10-20+ BB range.

I have been paying big time attention to how my opponents play, and I'm finally using the notes feature to flag donks and good players. Also, I'm reading my moods a little better and quitting when I'm not focused or tired. In fact, one of my recent losing sessions was after last weekend's poker marathon and I was going stir crazy with poker. I knew I didn't really want to play, and I paid the price. I've been REALLY good at stopping if my winnings are being whittled away or if I feel like I'm going to start nodding off. Believe it or not, I used to play and fall asleep between bets.

Also, I've been more aggressive than usual, especially in heads up situations or if I'm first to act with only two other weak players in the pot. I've always thought I wasn't aggressive enough, but Dave was nice enough to put my Poker Tracker ranking on his site: Tight Aggressive/Aggressive. Pretty gratifying.

In fact, I think I'm bluffing too much and I'm making some questionable calls that haven't hurt me too much yet. Why?

Well, first, I'm running in to more heads up hands than at the lower levels (go figure.) I feel pretty much locked into betting out if I'm first to act. Unless I've got a hand strong enough to slow play, I think checking is pretty much conceding the hand. So, if I've got second pair and my bet is called, what do I do if I don't improve on the turn? Checking only puts me in the dilemma of whether to call or not. As odd as it sounds, being aggressive in these situations feels right to me, even though the pots are small and I risk losing more money than if I was more conservative.

The main reason for my creeping looseness is this, and I hate to admit it: Even though I'm just wringing money out of the games I sit at, I'm getting bored and antsy with limit hold'em. Ack! Limit is the ONLY +EV game for me at this point. I have no interest or inclination at this time to sacrifice my gains learning a new game or paying my dues in NL. Tournies- forget it.

So, where do I find myself for about an hour last night? At a play money Razz table. Razz. May the Lord Baby Jebus forgive me, but I actually seem to like this game. I immediately had a better feel for it than Stud, which is just a confusion of cards to me. I had a better handle on what hands to play, and what my opponents might have. I even won a few hands and finished ahead.

Still, it would be nice to have a handle on a few somewhat important aspects. Like what the betting structure is exactly. Make no mistake, you will not find me playing Razz for money in the near, intermediate, or far future, but it might be enough of a distraction to help get over the monotony of Limit HE until I can move up to 1/2 and satisfy my action habit in a relatively safe manner.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Look Away, Felicia!

Two of the three reasons why I'm still the luckiest guy in the world, even when I do run my aces into an obvious flush:

Little General

BIG Monkey

The Mistress has been somewhat...averse... to any pictures of herself being public ever since that bank job in Tacoma went horribly wrong.

Clearly, I'm not exactly motivated to work today.

Six Degrees of Separation- The Only Universal Truth

So, I find out that someone I met recently through work is the niece of Pol Pot. That means I 'knew' him through only one degree of separation. This, and the other people I know through Six Degrees: Bush (Father and Son), Clinton (Pres. and Sen.), Queen Elizabeth, Joe Paterno, the Hillside Strangler, Pope John Paul VI, the author Toni Morrison, and, yes, Kevin Bacon have convinced me that not only is this theory true, but it is the only universal law that we can put any faith in.

The Law of Six Degrees is the new bedrock that I am building my life upon from this point on. Look for future posts such as :

"The Law of Six Degrees and Low Limit Hold 'Em" and

"Family Finances, the Six Degrees Way"

Join me in furthering the philosophical revolution of the 21st century!

Or die!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

High Stakes Fun

Check out highstakes railbird when you get a chance. It's a peek into the games where they're winning a salary's worth of money each hand. I couldn't care less about the hand histories, but there're funny gems like this. Spirit Rock just got a lubeless anal violation for about 20k from John Juanda:

Spirit Rock: everything ok?
Spirit Rock: you played it so obvious too
Spirit Rock: im a dummy to call
Spirit Rock: but i guess you put me on dummy to make that small raise on turn
Spirit Rock: its fun to run well sir
badlydrawn (Observer): JJ doesnt speak to his donkeys
John Juanda: ty badlydrawn
John Juanda: no PLO today?

Damn, where do I get a railbird to act as the middle man between me and the donks on the .50/1 tables?

What makes this funnier is Juanda's last line. The day before, Spirit Rock, who is a guy named Prahlad Friedman, went on tilt and lost about 100k in PLO, so Juanda's question was a polite little dig.

Live Blog Experiment

It's been a poker playing extravaganza this weekend, and I'm having trouble staying focused. I thought I'd try something new and live blog a poker session. Hopefully not too boring.

11:00am EST I'm up about two bucks and haven't had many good cards so far. Table is tight and pretty passive and I've had some luck bluffing in position. Otherwise, nada. Fold, foldy, foldalot.

Whatever happened to table chat? No one talks anymore, and I can't draw anybody out. There's someone who claims to be from Compton and I've been asking him if he knows Ice Cube or Snoop Dog.

No answer.

11:09: Won four fifty with AQ in the BB. Called a raise from the cut off. Hit a Q on the turn and my opponent folded. Next hand was AJo and folded to a raise and a caller pre-flop. We were briefly six-handed, now back to nine.

11:18: Tested a blind steal with A5o on the button and was successful. Next hand was A3sooted, hit an A on the flop. Heads up- guy in front of me (BB) bets out. I fold. I didn't know what he's capable of here, very few hands are being shown down.

Fold, Fold. Then folded to me in MP with QJs. I raise, and win the blinds.

11:23: A5 in the BB. I check and three of us see a 3d kd 5s flop. Check, bet, and I raise, since I've got middle pair and a backdoor flush draw. The checker folds and the original bettor calls.

Turn: 4s. My opponent bets. I estimate I have seven outs and there's about six bucks in the pot. I call.

River: Ac. My opponent checks, I bet, he folds. I drag pot. I'm up $6.50.

Whew this live blogging is harder than I thought.

11:30: This may be the day of ace-rag in the BB. I made some loose bets in with A7o, but the aggression paid off and I won the pot uncontested.

11:33: Had to give up AJo after the flop, then found pocket 5's in MP. Hit my set, but there were two spades on the board, so I bet out. Ended up heads up with someone trying to push me off the pot. Dragged $10.25. Up +12 bucks.

11:38: Lost three bucks. Had TP with a jack kicker. Called down by someone with the nut flush draw who spiked an ace on the river. Stupid river.

Finally we're seeing some showdowns and I'm getting some info. Is a table tight if only three people are seeing the flop but two of them are playing terrible hands?

How is it I'm getting to play on a Sunday morning, you ask? The monkeys are at their grandparents for the weekend! I'm feeling a bit guilty because I should probably do something a bit more constructive, but WTF, I don't get that much time to myself.

11:55: I've had my BB stolen twice by the button. I need to make a stand soon. Also, I'm playing too loosely post-flop. I'm up $5.50.

The Mistress came upstairs and gave me a ration of shit for playing poker again. I gave it back to her for watching three movies in a row. When you're parents, you sometimes have trouble feeling comfortable with down time. We'd have had a better time if the AC trip had worked out.

12:05 Drug a middle pot with a set of sevens. Then, tried to steal with Q10 in the cutoff. The BB reraised, but he'd done that before and since I had a somewhat legit hand and I was feeling fiesty, I capped it. Hit a ten for top pair, and he called. Turn was a blank. I bet, he called. River, a ten, I drag pot. Might have sucked out on him, but maybe not. He might have had an ace or two overcards. Up 10.75.

Well, I think I'm done for the day. I'm a bit bored and it's making me make bad decisions. The Mistress came in and tried screwing with me again, I think she wants some attention. Hope I didn't bore everyone too much.

Friday, August 18, 2006

I'm Gonna Burn the Fucker Down

Tonight’s the night I p@wn, whore out, bend over the tourney at the Hardware Bar. I’m gonna stomp a mud hole in the ass of that thing. I'm gonna take the fucker, wrestle it to the ground and...


Why do I beat my head against the wall with this tournament? It’s about the only way I can play any live poker and since AC is not going to happen this weekend, I’m jonesing to hear the click-click of poker chips and itching to squeeze actual playing cards.

Oh yeah, and the waitresses are shizzle my nizzle hizzot. Someone asked me in comments to get some pictures, but that’s not going to happen. I am not smooth enough to take pictures and not come across as a creepy stalker type individual. Plus, I don’t exactly have a digital camera. Yes, I realize how lame this is. Yes, really lame.

I know, it’s lame.

What’s going on with SirFwalgman? He’s really getting worked up by the flamers from the peanut gallery. (Did that sound somewhat gay?) He’s always been a bit of a lightning rod with his unorthodox play and his penchant to wear his emotions on his sleeve, but he used to either ignore or laugh his haters off pretty well.

Now, he seems to let things get under his skin. What’s going on, I wonder? Could he still be emotionally and physically rattled from pissing into his own face? If so, this would be completely understandable.

Hopefully we won’t be getting some bad news later on down the line.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

More Verbal Diarrhea

Damn, looks like I’m going to get my blab on again. It seems the Aimless Stream of Consciousness is at flood stage and is about to overflow its banks, so either get in the rescue boat or start filling sandbags!


Two Dreams for Ye:

Two nights ago, I dreamt about a vine that we planted near our house. It started growing thick tendrils so fast it threatened to engulf the house and suffocate me, the Mistress, and the Big Monkey. I don’t know where the other honeychile was, maybe at her grandparents.

So, we ran from room to room, cutting ourselves free, and trying to save ourselves, until we threw the BM through an upstairs window and jumped out after her.

I called an exterminator because, really, who else are you going to call when you’re being attacked by a giant vine? They came over in armor and helmets shaped like dog heads. It reminded me of a modern version of an Egyptian God like Anubis or Horus, although I don’t remember which one was the dog. They came and made short work of the vine, and then made fun of me for being such a cry baby.


Last night I dreamt that a good friend from college was involved in some uber-ultimate-super-poker tournament that had the highest stakes, best players, and was kept on the hush-hush. It was a ten-day long tournament and the payouts, apparently, were huge.

My friend told me to sign up and play in it, because, apparently, you could buy-in right in the middle of the darned thing, even when everyone was in the money. Sure, I said. It seemed logical- I can’t money in a stupid dollah SNG on Stars, I’m sure I qualify for such a prestigious event.

The tournament was held in an otherwise empty office suite. There were about ten players, none I recognized besides my friend, playing on your average folding office tables. There was a huge flatscreen on at the other side of the space. In front of it was a love seat, where I sat. Next to that was Joe Hachem, reclining on a big plastic tub of cash, which I took for his winnings from the tournament.

I sat there for about two hours waiting for someone to bust out so I could play. I was wearing those wraparound granny sun glasses and a combination of sweatshorts and t-shirt that can only be described as “fatty slobwear.” My friend came by and told me to register, stupid, you can play any time. I go to the receptionist and try to sign the list, but she grabs it.

“Have you won the WSOP, a WPT event, or any other major tourney?”

“Um, no. I finished in the money in the Mookie once.”

“Oh, I’m sorry, you don’t qualify for this tournament. You can sign up for our Bahamas cruise promotion. If you win that one, you can play in next year’s tournament.”

I passed. On the way out, I visited the restroom and promptly dribbled/splashed pee all over my shins.


I really tried to watch “Hero” last night. What I really wanted to do was play poker, though. Since I have no control and since baby does what baby wants, I played poker instead. Won 11.5BB’s too.

The Mistress called me at work this morning and asked if I’d watched that damn movie yet.

“No,” I said. I heard a sigh on the other end. Damn it, watching a movie should be about wanting to watch a movie, not about having to. I promised to watch it tonight.


To continue on the Mistress front, she and the Big Monkey went to Hershey Park yesterday. I was asleep by the time they came home, which was around midnight. My daughter needed new sheets on her bed (can’t make it dry through the night yet) so, instead of doing it herself, the Mistress wakes me up and asks me to get her some clean sheets from the laundry room.

Excuse me? WTF!? Do it your damn self! Heaven would’ve come crashing down and the Hounds of Hell would be unleashed on my sorry ass if I’d have woken her up for anything other than a terrorist attack or a tornado, but you can’t walk down to the basement and get a sheet by yourself?

Of course, I did it.


I’m not sure why this works, but I got another fish to rebuy last night. I don’t know if people just want to be accepted, but asking them to rebuy, then doing something funny like ‘chanting’ “rebuy!” in the chat seems to work.

I’m one of my upswings again, apparently. These are so much damn fun. If only upswings didn’t turn downward…


Is there no one who can do anything effectively?

I heard a report on NPR this morning that the National Guard forces sent to the Mexican border to help out the border patrol aren’t authorized to carry weapons. So, border patrol officers have been assigned to provide security for the NG troops.

The result is that the number of officers freed up to catch illegal aliens by the NG is lower than the number of officers who are now TIED UP doing ‘nanny patrol’ (their term) for the NG troops.

WTF?! When stupidity and silly ineffectiveness reaches this proportion, you have to start wondering what the real agenda is here. Clearly, the Bush Administration isn’t THAT interested in stemming illegal aliens and never was. However, they need to LOOK like they are. So we have this idiocy.


I think I need to do an informative poker post. Something limit hold’em related. Perhaps overcalls, or river play. I need to work on that. Or, I could go in-depth into some pre-flop theory. I need to really learn that stuff, so I can be more flexible when I play.

Or, I could just continue to spew some more inanity. I should poll my six loyal readers. What say you?


Speaking of loyal readers, a big shout out to my one regular international reader in Zakinthos, Greece. I know no Greek, so I can’t make you feel at home with a taste of your native tongue. Oh well, thanks anyway for reading.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Down with OPM

My most recent calculations indicate that my 'roll is ever-so-slightly within the magical realm of Other People's Money.

For some, this is nothing to brag about, they've been able to free-roll with various bonuses and skilled poker play.

I, on the other hand, have scratched, clawed, and earned all my seed money back by stopping a major leak (NLHE tournies) and grinding out the BB's.

The last time I was livin' this large was about twenty-four hours before my 'roll got slaughtered, so I'm a little nervous. But not so nervous that I won't say BOO-YAA!


Wildwood Impressions and RSC

Ah, beach vacations! The sun, the beach, my loving family, ogling hotties in bikinis, laughter, memories, the lights of the boardwalk.

Mmmm...hotties in bikinis.

A Sampling of T-shirts for sale on the Wildwood Boardwalk:

1. "Real Boobs"
2. "When da police are around...Warn A Brotha!" (With a Warner Bros. logo in the background)
3. "I'm Sotally Tober!"
4. "Who Let the Mexicans Out?"

The best overheard cell phone conversation:

"Yeah, that's right, 7500 dollars. Half now, half upon delivery."

That was said by the shady Italian guy in the room next to ours. He spent the better part of a night making phone calls outside our room that suggested that he was either trying to set up a deal or was an out of work wiseguy trying to hook up with another crew. Yeah, a generalization based on his ethnicity, but I'm a guinea wop too, so I'm allowed, nigga.

Here's some free advice: If you're a sixty-something, chainsmoking retired factory worker, the question "Should I wear my bikini?" IS ALWAYS NO!

Only in New Jersey: We were walking along the beach when the Mistress nudges me. "Look at that!" she said, pointing to the sand. There was a clear circular, something, on the sand.

"It's a jellyfish," I said.

"No," the Mistress replied. "It doesn't look like a jellyfish, it's too clear. It looks like a...a..."

"No, it doesn't.."

"...a breast implant!"

Considering where we were and the history of medical waste appearing on the beaches in south Jersey, I admit that I was almost convinced. Finally, we dissected the thing with a shell and discovered that it wasn't silicone, but jellyfish.

Later that day, the Big Monkey collected a whole bucketful of the clear nasties and dumped them at the feet of her grandmother. Ahh, the laughs we had!


Now sit back, relax, and let the warm currents of my Aimless Stream of Consciousnesstm wash over you:

Frank DeFord had a commentary today on NPR about legalizing sports betting in general, and on the internet in particular. His take: legalize, tax, and regulate it, we're all going to do it anyway. I sort of came in on it midstream, so I don't know if he mentioned poker, but I believe the poker cause is helped by this.

DeFord's said that, yes, people will become addicted, but people become addicted to alcohol and tobacco and those are heavily regulated and taxed, and they're not going anywhere anytime soon. He also said that people who feel his view doesn't show enough 'caring,' need to realize that society doesn't care enough about people to demand a liveable wage for people, or provide health care for everyone.


Personally, I think the internet gambling legislation will pass. There's enough support on both sides of the aisle to get it done, and, in this closely divided Senate, you don't need that many swing voters to get a bill pushed through. Also, the disgraceful GOP is going to whiff on a lot of the bigger legislation this close to the elections, and the anti-gambling bill is perfect for them to try to seem like they're both effective and on a first name basis with Jesus.

It feels wrong to say this, but I think the only chance of it not passing is if the Congress gets tied up into a big debate about new anti-terrorism legislation. Even then, they could tack it onto a bill the Dems can't vote against, like their cynical and shameful attempt to do so with the minimum-wage hike.


The Mistress has told me that under no circumstances will I be allowed to circumvent any anti-gambling legislation that passes. There are times when I know I have wiggle room. This is not one of those times.


AC is a no-go this weekend. I doubt we're going to get a poker player room-rate and we don't have the money to pay full price. Also, we just got back from that neck of the woods and the thought of driving out there and back for one night isn't that appealing. I'm going to set up a weekend in October. I think the somewhat higher stakes I'm playing now is providing enough adrenaline to keep me satisfied.

We still have a monkey-free weekend ahead of the us! I predict some reading, relaxing, movies, a dinner out, and some Mistress-centered freakiness.


Dragged a seventeen buck pot last night! That's my personal online record. Lost a 25 dollar pot as well. Had pocket queens against three opponents with flushes and straights possible on the board. Check-raised the turn and got criticized for it by someone else after the hand.

He/she was probably right, but my thinking was that the pot was quite large by then and I figured I was still probably drawing live and I wanted to knock some people out of the pot. Given the opportunity, I should have bet out. Optimally, I would have liked to straight raise instead of check raise, and force people to call two bets instead of calling an additional one, but I didn't have that chance. Next time I talk to Sklansky I'll ask if I did the right thing.

BTW, the winner had two pair on an unpaired board. He put in four bets pre-flop with 6-7 sooted, so I WAS drawing live to a set and to counterfeit his hand. Still, the check raise probably wasn't a great idea, decision-wise.


All in all, I do notice some difference in the play at .25/.50 and .50/1.00. Many more hands are won before a showdown, and there seem to be more players playing mostly premium hands. Still, there are still donkeyfish out there.


My jedi-mind tricks continue to work. I got another calling station to rebuy after busting out. Yay, me!


I like Netflix (I hope I don't give anyone whiplash with this sudden topic change) but there's something that bugs me. To get the most from our money, I now feel obligated to watch movies as soon as possible to get more DVD's per month. We have "Hero" now, and the Mistress is hounding me to watch it so we can get it back into the mail.

There's nothing I hate more than feeling I 'have' to do a recreational activity. It sort of takes all the fun out of it.

That's it for now. Dismissed!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Back to Hell

I'm back from the beach and on work tilt, as it seems I've scheduled everything at the same time. Hate wasting the work day unraveling stupid calendar errors. Also on backlog e-mail tilt. If you're going to get bad news about projects you're working on, you'll get them either right before your vacation, or you'll find it in your e-mailbox on the first day you get back.


Up two bucks last night. I've been 'graduated' from the beginners' tables at Party since I've "had enough time to practice." So, I'm forced to move up levels again, to .50/1.00. Not too happy about that, but I have about 150 BB's so I'm not in too much danger, I hope. The table I was at was weak-tight, but I caught cards and came out ahead. Had alot of those "would've won if I'd played..." hands. Decisions, not results.

Hopefully AC this weekend and a nice soft 2/4 table. I'm on the waiting list for a discounted room at the Trop and I guess I'll find out tomorrow if I'm going to get it or not. Outlook: pessimistic.


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I Feel Dirty

Bagged work yesterday and put in a six hour session. I started way too loose at a table that was mostly fighting over the blinds and found myself down 10BB's in short order. I hovered at that range for an hour or so, before being whored for about ten bucks (20BB's) on a series of hands.

First, I had an OESD to the nut straight and a draw to a flush and hit neither, but did lose a chunk of change in the process. Then, I drew to the second-nut flush and paid the guy with the nut flush handsomely. Lastly, I had a set of Kings on a board that held straight and flush possibilities, and couldn't let go of it because the pot was too big. The winner made his flush on the river.

Lunch Break. Down around seventeen bucks (-34BB's)

Found a better table and slowly crawled back to the -20BB range. Then came the rush. I got pocket queens numerous times, pocket kings, AK a bunch. I made some good bluffs (good in that they were successful, I have no idea if they were smart or not), caught someone bluffing on a three-flush board. There were players who didn't notice I kept showing down premium hands and were happy to pay me off. At one point, I encouraged a fish to rebuy if she busted.

She did.

I proclaimed my love for the table. I should've collected their e-mail addresses so I can get them all together some other time. By the end of the session, I was up 11BB's. Whew! Exhausting!

Why, then, did I feel like complete crap as I lay down for a short nap? Look at the first sentence of this post. I called off work to win five bucks playing poker. That's just not right. I have responsibilities at work, and to my family to not put my job in jeopardy.

Was I tired and didn't feel like working anyway? Yes. But this is a common symptom of depression and I can't use poker as a way to avoid responsibility and to self-medicate. I'm trodding some dangerous ground here; I need to start making adult decisions and suppress the selfish child.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Busy Busy

I'm slammed at work so I won't be writing much this week. The Mistress is in Reno with her sister. My family clearly doesn't think much of my parenting skills because my sister took the monkeys on Saturday and my parents took them on Sunday.

Suffice it to say, my weekend was full of Mexican whores and blow. Or whatever.

Big ups to Ryan at Absinthetics. Very cool to follow his progress to the cash in the WSOP Main Event. If I ever have the $$$ to play a blogger tournament again, I'm going to pray not to be at his table.

Finished up between 10-20 BB's for the weekend. Flopped quads. Made my straight on the turn, then my flush on the river.

So, the pattern seems to be this: On downswings, I'm going to complain like the world is ending. That's just how I roll. I'd like to say it won't happen again, but it probably will.

I'm not going to call this current downswing over yet, either. I'm very skeptical about what I can do on the felt at this point.

Beach again this weekend then hopefully AC on the 19th (kiss it, suckahs!) So posts will probably be sporadic.

Russo, out!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

I am not good at Poker

There, I've said it.

I'm not good. I am at the complete mercy of variance: I don't believe I mitigate the downswings or maximize the upswings in the least. Whatever burning runs I get are taken away a few weeks later. I am at a disadvantage anytime I sit down at a table without at least one or two people who are completely ignorant of the game. I hamper myself by playing when I'm tired, angry, distracted.

You may think this is whining. (BTW, why do I see bloggers spell whine as whinge? Is this a pokerblog inside joke?) That would be a fair conclusion, as I've lost 40 BB's over the past two days.

Yet, I don't agree. This is simple realism. I believe I can improve to become a better player- I work hard at doing the right thing when I play- however, this is not going to happen now or in the immediate future.

This is important to know and accept because, while I enjoy playing poker, folding for half an hour only to go too far with QJs and give away 10BB's is getting a tad boring and frustrating. I need to come to grips with the fact that I'm probably going to lose money over the next year and accept it as the price of getting better, or I need to drop poker altogether.

Why? Because if I'm going to play, I'm going to play every day, tired or not, sick or not, angry about work/wife/kids/fantasy football team or not. So I need to develop patience and a healthy level of acceptance of how my game is, or I need to pack it in.

This is an issue with all the other hobbies (read: obsessions) I've had in adulthood. I need to be the best at it or I get frustrated and stop. In other words, I don't do things for the intrinsic fun it provides, I do it to excell or 'beat' it. A counselor I used to see told me that this is a self-esteem issue: I'm valuing myself on how well I play golf, how many stories I can sell, or how many BB's/hr I win. I can't accept myself as someone who isn't good at a particular thing and I'm too scared to do the deep soul-searching that will help me dedicate more effort to improving at it or at least allow myself to be happy and enjoy it just because I'm doing it.

In other words, I have to learn to enjoy the game of poker itself more and not worry about winning so much NOW, while still trying to improve. That's so much easier said than done. I may not be wired to do that.