Saturday, February 26, 2005

Home for a week or so...

... and yes, April caught me at UB this week. But, I figured since I was away from home anyway, I wouldn't be spending time with the wife and kids anyway. Yeah, I can rationalize like a sum'bitch.

Played some SNGs at PS, PokerRoom, and UB, and did very well. I was multi-tabling them, and got 24 in while away. ITM on 13, with 4 firsts. That's good for me. Also, I re-deposited at UB to work on the bonus from earlier this month. Made great progress, and even managed to win a little, in contrast with my previous experience at UB.

But, I'm back out of commission. Next trip is in 2 weeks, although I'm probably not going to be able to play from my laptop anyway. I heard the company is getting new firewall software that's supposed to cut down on unauthorized programs, and there's no sense risking a good job for 50-cent poker. I'll have to start playing from the home desktop, when I start playing from home again. Although PokerRoom does have a decent interface to allow play from a webpage, as opposed to their proprietary client. So, maybe I'll have to re-deposit there and stick to the SNGs.

If anyone else knows of sites with access to games via a webpage rather than an installed program, please let me know. If you techies can tell me if I'm still playing with fire, though, I'll cut that out as well.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Absolute Poker Market Research

So, I received an e-mail earlier this week from AP. They had noticed that I had a number of click-throughs from my banners, but none had converted into registrations, and wondered why. There were a number of other questions they asked about the affiliate program, but I thought it was interesting that they cared enough to ask "why" when results were not as expected.

I gave them my thoughts, but I'm going to keep them to myself for now because I'd really like to hear what YOU have to say. I started AP before I started UB, but UB is giving me more click-throughs for the same period, and I have one registration. As a matter of fact, UB is nearly equal to AP in clickthroughs despite having only 10% of the number of banner impressions as AP. Having played at both sites now, I gave AP my feedback as to why I thought this was happening.

Anyway, I'd like to hear from you. Naturally, I want to be sure I am getting the benefit of the affiliate program, and the only way I do is if you register. A number of you clicked-through but did not register. Please tell me why so I can give this feedback to AP. It seems to me like they are sincere about wanting to create an playing experience that is desirable for players, so the better the information we give them, the better the site gets for US.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Business Trip This Week

Should be a snoozer, but I'm happy to get out of the house. Going to DC for a conference. I won't bore you with the details, but every conference in DC basically revolves around the same basic premise: The US government has a couple trillion dollars to spend, and here's how to get your share.

No poker happening beyond the live action over the weekend.

However, BuccnaeerMike told me about some good heads-up action he got last week. Seems one of this wholesalers fancies himself a decent poker player. He would never come to da' home game, however. Instead he challenged BuccaneerMike to a heads-up game for $100.

BuccaneerMike took him down in 5 hands.

Of course, they kept playing for what was left in the guy's wallet. Here's what he had to say about it:
We ended up playing heads up and I took the first 100 in 5 hands, then we played for a 20 pot and I took it in 4 hands, then we played a bunch of 10 pots and I took another 40 off him, I had to give the bitch a handful of singles to pay tolls back to the airport!

Yeah, da' home game gets tougher every time I go. Can't remember the last time I cashed. And yes, BuccaneerMike is really that arrogant and really talks that way about people. In his defense, he'll call you a bitch to your face - nothing fake about him in that regard. I should know. He's my brother. If any of you road-tripping bloggers wants to get a piece of him in sunny Florida, I'll let you know when he sets up the next home game.

Hope I don't see this guy today...


Yeah, funny...

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Stealthy Live Action Today

Visiting the in-laws in Jacksonville this weekend. Everyone went to lunch in St. Augustine today, so I slipped over to the track, where they have a cardroom to play some of Florida's low-limit, 1/2 no fold 'em.

I was seated at a new table within 5 minutes. Play was actually pretty decent starting out. Only two old guys at the table, the rest being in their 20's and 30's. I figured that most starting hands would be decent.

Well, play wasn't that good, but better than usual. There was a lot of Ace-x and King-x being played. Too much bluffing, though, especially considering the burn-out calling station on my right. He was probably within a year or two of me, but he'd lived those years a lot harder than I had. I appreciated having position on him. It took about 45 minutes for me to get a read, but he always raised pre-flop if he was first to bet. I think he realized I was tight and was driving me out. I am tight, but I was also cold-decked, so it looked to him like his aggression was working. So he kept it up. With everyone else, though, was calling station extraordinaire.

The only truly bizarre hand during this time was when the betting was aggressive from the start, being capped by the guy to my left. The guy to his left calls 4 bets cold. So do a couple others. Flop comes rags. Still lots of action. After the turn and river, he's raising. Two callers, one of them a solid player.

This guy, who called 4 bets cold PF, turns over 3-4d for a 6-high straight. Solid player looked like he would explode as he turned over KK, but he kept it in. I giggled and said, "Well, at least they were sooted!"

I was getting frustrated with the deck after I folded 7-8o and saw a flop of 8-8-8. After the hand I mentioned that I had folded the 8, and of course nobody believed me. So get this: the dealer - I repeat, The DEALER, goes through the muck to find the card! I wasn't mad or anything since I wasn't in the hand, but I found it hilarious that he "had" to know that badly.

He said, "Oh, you folded 8-3?" Now, if the hunting wasn't appropriate, I know this question is.

I saw no reason to lie.

"Nope, 7-8."

Eyes rolled and mouths dropped around the table, unable to believe I folded connecting cards at a no fold 'em table.

"Hey, they weren't sooted!"

I enjoyed the irony of my comment.

So, I reinforced my whitey-tighty image.

Next hand was A-5o. I fold. Flop comes 2-3-4. I believe I am truly fucked today. I start some chatter.

"This one time, I forgot my glasses, and misread the board. I mixed up clubs and spades, thought I had the nut flush, and only had 4 clubs."

That started everyone off on their biggest fuck-ups at the table. Even the dealer, who admitted to misreading the table when a woman showed down 10's full of Aces, and another player turned over a royal and he told the guy to sit down because a flush doesn't beat a boat.

You could tell it was killing this dealer not to be in on the action. Nice guy, but during his story his mis-dealt. It didn't stop him from talking about the cards, and other hands and games the cards reminded him of. He said he had a friend that always played T-5, because you can't have a straight without a T or a 5 (BTW, I hadn't actually realized this, so I learned something new). At the end of the hand, which was checked on the river, a guy in the 3-seat turns over T-5 muttering, "I wouldn't have played it except he was talking about it like it was good."

Anyway, I start getting decent starters, but no flops. But, the table had loosened up through the chatter. It got real loose. I knew I would never get any action if I caught good cards, though, so I played a couple hands cheaply just to set 'em up for later.

I shouldn't have worried.

Each time, I played aggressively pre-flop, then checked and called post flop with second pair. I won both times. So, I realized that they mis-took tight with weak, figuring they could push me off hands. Probably could, if I hadn't been just trying to set up a play for later. The first time was TT, with a J on the flop. I played like I had the J, someone raised, and I check-called him down to win. The next time, I had J-9, flop came QJx, and the guy to my right was betting into me. So I called him, but an older asian guy raised it. He'd been playing solid, so I was tempted to drop it, but there was no re-raise so I figured I could use this as one of my 'giving action' hands. Yeah, my J was good, they both had been trying to bluff. Oddly enough, they were both trying to bluff me out, forgetting that each other was in the pot. The asian was solid enough that he should have noticed he'd get called down (he had nothing) by the calling station on my right. And the calling station was calling raises with bottom pair. Weird hand. I laughed at them both, and announced loudly that I couldn't believe I won with second pair AGAIN!

After this, the table began to change over, and I figured the family would be returning from St. Aug soon, so I packed it in a whole $12 up after 2 hours. Better than the last trip at Christmas when I blew an $80 buy-in in 90 minutes to a lady that played every hand (even busting my KK that I played hard and fast with 2-3 offsuit, catching runner-runner for a 6-high straight; yes, that was as close as I've ever come to smacking a woman, and I used to be married to a woman that screwed around on me - my priorities are so out of whack.) and a whole bevy of flushes by the rest of the table.

$6/hr. At least I got to play live, though.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Pssst...

Over here, baby...

Yeah, you, come on over and spend a little time with me...

That’s it, just sit down right there and put your hands on me...

Mmmmmmmmmm, yeah, that’s the way I like it...

Now, run your fingers over me... Oh yeah... Now, grab it, baby… it’s a perfect handful, isn’t it?

Now, go ahead, press my button... Yeah, that’s right, that's what I like...

Now, get ready to play online poker at PokerStars...


Yes, Temptation can be a Bitch.

;-)

Monday, February 14, 2005

Refer-a-friends?

Earlier, I wrote about moving my bankroll around and building up bonus credits while in my down period. As I check around, though, I realize that alot of these places have refer-a-friend programs. Since it's borderline in a lot of cases as to whether I'll get more money from a deposit bonus vs. a refer-a-friend, I'd be willing to let you readers in on the action.

So no one wastes alot of time, here's a list of the sites I already have accounts with:

Absolute
PokerStars
Pacific
UB

So don't send me links for those sites. I downloaded Party and Empire in the past, but I do not remember if I deposited money. I'm willing to try signing up there as well.

Before I sign up, I'll be checking out the refer-a-friend bonus vs. the normal sign-up bonus and will do whatever's best for me; but as I said, most of the time I think the refer-a-friend's will be best. In most cases I'll just go with whoever sends me their refer-a-friend first, but if I see one from someone that I read regularly who has run on a bit of bad luck lately and needs a stake from me clicking through their refer-a-friend (hint, hint), I'll be nice and do so.

I'm not sure how they release the money to you, but I am not planning to actually play until Easter. Just moving the money around for now, building up credits to be worked off later. If I can help anyone out in this way, please send me the refer-a-friend at bigslicknut@yahoo.com

NOTE: There is no "s" at the end of -nut.

Friday, February 11, 2005

How's this for irony...

The church I attend is having a Hold 'Em tourney as a fundraiser:

**********************************************
"A Texas Hold'em Tournament"

Saturday, February 26, 2005 @ 5:00 pm
at Heffernan Hall
(Space is limited to 128 players, so call today for tickets at 796-2096)

A $50.00 donation gets you 5,000 chips
and a chance to win great prizes
The GRAND PRIZE will be a very special prize
that you TEXAS HOLD'EM FOLKS will love

You must be 21 and over to play
There will be a CASH BAR and FOOD available
The FUN starts at 5:00 pm and runs
until the GRAND PRIZE is WON

There will be an introduction on how to play the game in the Parish Hall on Sunday, February 13th & 20th at 12:00 pm. If you are interested in the Texas Hold'em and are unsure of the game, come to the training session and learn all about it. We also need volunteer dealers. For more information, call Karen Rey at the Parish Office.
*************************************

If you're wondering why it's ironic, read a couple of posts below. What's really funny is that I had decided last month not to participate because we wouldn't be playing for cash, just merchandise. Then I read in the paper that they would be holding 'teaching' sessions the next two Sundays after Mass (?!?!?!? hey, I need to start going more often!). Talk about gathering the fish into one bowl! I mean, if I were the kind of person that would show up and pretend I knew nothing and convinced a couple of them to go back to my house and play for cash 'for practice'... well, I couldn't actually be consigned to Hell for that, could I? ;-)

God is definitely testing me.... LOL

Thursday, February 10, 2005

New Poll!

Just a follow-on, really, of the theme of yesterday's post. I'm just trying to get a feel for how much poker everyone plays. My assumption is that most of the people that answer are part time players/hobbyists. For 'professionals' (meaning, poker is your primary source of income), please just click the button at the bottom. I'm just trying to get a feel for how other people fit poker into their lives.

As you can imagine, there will be a follow-up poll in a week or so to determine whether the number of hours you play is positively or negatively correlated with performance. So get those PT stats out, folks, and let me know!

Thanks!

Monday, February 07, 2005

Horoscopes

Cool.

****************************

Scorpio

You never bet on anything -- or anyone -- unless you're sure it's a well-calculated risk. The same holds true for today, with one exception: the universe is feeling exceptionally generous, so any risk you take will have a safety net built into it. Does this mean you'll win the lottery? Well, it might. After all, someone has to. Just don't get crazy. If you're really meant to win, one ticket will do it. Besides, some things are even better than winning the lottery. Not many, but some ..."

I like it when Gus plays on TV....

...because, no matter where I play, I can find some wild and crazy games afterward. Perfect for someone as tight as me. On all 3 sites I play currently, I found NL games with 60% seeing the flop. Doubled up my buy-ins on all 3 by being patient. You'd think I wouldn't get any action, but that counter-intuitive thing kicks in with these guys. They want to play for big pots, so when I get my cards I throw out oversized bets, and they come running with anything.

Makes me want to start Gus-TV - All-Gus, All-the-time.

It's funny, actually. They all watch Gus play any two cards with all that aggression and think they can do it also. But, they have no clue how to play post-flop; to them, they just bet and raise and pray the other guy loses his stomach for it, or that they river the card they need. They don't realize that Gus does a pretty good job of getting away from garbage. They also don't seem to understand that Gus puts his opponents on a range of hands, then bets that they won't call him. He's a master at manipulating pot odds.

Not saying I'd ever play like him, but I sure like playing other guys that want to be like him - without the brains for it!

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Making Adjustments

So, I slowed down on the poker yesterday. Even blew off da' home game. No sense making matters worse. Instead, I used the meager amounts I had left over at PS and AP to play a little .25 NL in the fishy waters of a Friday evening. The usual tight ABC poker paid it's usual dividends, and I began to feel better about things.

Back at UB, where the tables are so tight they squeak (even at .25/.50!), I made adjustments to my game. I stayed very tight, even more than usual (sometimes at AP I might play hands out of position - not at UB) but I had to really bear down and focus on how to maximize every pot I decided to contest. Sometimes, it was straight-up aggression; other times, it was check-raising; occasional traps kept people off-balance, which worked out better than calling people down to let them know not to bluff me. Show one trap, and they don't bluff at the big pots because you may have the goods. I had two extremely lucky hands that insured I'd get action. I had TT in the blind, raised it, and the flop came Q high. I came out firing on all streets and picked up a third T on the river. If anyone had played back at me along the way, I might have let it go. About 30 minutes later I picked up AKs, flop came Q high, J on the turn, and I was raising and firing as though I had the nuts. The Ace drops on the river. While someone might have had the straight or two pair, I fired away anyway to win.

Yep, lucky. But, I recognized the luck and knew I'd get a lot of action from then on due to my table image. So I adjusted, made sure I had playable hands post-flop, and picked up a few more.

No matter what cards I have or what strategy I'm using on a particular hand, I'm feeling much more aggressive, and certainly more engaged. If you like this type of game, I can definitely recommend UB.

I said in an earlier post that this experience should improve my game if I survive it. I hope so. I've gotten so used to tight ABC poker that I may have gotten lazy. No need to mix things up when people at AP call you down with anything regardless of how many times you've played straight-up.

So, between the improved play and bonus money, I'm feeling better about my chances of surviving UB with the bankroll intact. I'll continue to rotate my play with AP and PS, rebuilding those accounts the way I built them in the first place. Then, I guess I'll combine them again and hunt for another bonus/rakeback deal and repeat.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Taking another deep breath...

Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you're going to do now and do it.
- William Durant, founder of General Motors

Ok, I've been totally card dead, and getting hammered by suck-outs, but I've managed to keep my head on enough to stem the bleeding. I've learned not to push it at times like this - the laws of probability tells me it will turn around, and I need to be ready to play aggressively when it does. If I keep pushing through this period by playing 'defensively' - just-in-case I get sucked out - I won't maximize my profits during my upcoming rushes.

UB has been a cultural change for me. The biggest difference is that people don't hop in and out of tables as frequently as I've seen at Pacific, PS, and AP. So, the good players get a bead on your game and try to exploit it. I think if I survive this bonus-clearing period with my bankroll intact, I will be a better player for it.

That's not to say there aren't weak players, also - there are. But when you're trying to put a move and someone, and this loose-goose keeps calling you down with bottom pair - yeah, he sometimes spikes that set. It happens. And it's happening to me right now.

IF online poker is rigged....IF.... lol.... I would expect it will turn around riiiiiight about the same time my bonus clears, so I'll stay.

Ah, conspiracy theories.... Russ G. would be proud.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

On tilt

Somebody come drag me off this table, because I'm going to bust the bastards or die trying!

I swear to god, if another one of these dumbasses spikes another 2-outer to beat my flush with a boat, I'm going to scream!

I'm doing some bonus-whoring at UB and getting killed by fishy play. I may have to leave the bonus sit until I get my head screwed on straight.

Mutha-f-ers!

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

I suck

Actually, I couldn't get cards. I think I had KQ twice. Made the mistake of playing them weak and lost a lot of chips.

I suck.

Then, I played 55, min-raising Ugarte's 4x BB raise. Shoulda pushed. He did. I called, he turned AQo and I was ahead for about half a second until he picked up his straight on the turn.

I suck.

Yeah, I know - better players than me went out first. Iggy... F-Train... but, let's face it, for $20, given the level those guys play, do you really think they were taking as seriously as me?

They were probably screwing around, and still nearly beat me.

I suck.

So, I couldn't figure out if I had real live jerks at my table, or just one of Iggy's friends having fun. Some excerpts from our chat:

Trafficant: i hate you all
larryvq: how can u hate me?
YouzaViper: You need a better picture of Traff. One that features his mop.
larryvq: this is supposed to be a celebration of blogger love
Trafficant: i hate bloggers
YouzaViper: Bloggers suck!
larryvq: nice phallus symbol, squaptor

Trafficant: almost as much as i hate janet reno
squaptor: maybe i should turn images back on
Trafficant: maybe you should consider suppukku

Trafficant: too easy
Trafficant: score one for the blog haters
YouzaViper: I prefer bukkake

Trafficant: who are you people anyway

Trafficant: i must have drank too much crown and coke
YouzaViper: <--- blog hater.
Trafficant: same
YouzaViper: came here to win this, and then maybe start my own, 'bloggers suck' blog.
Trafficant: if you do send me the url
YouzaViper: ok.
Trafficant: that might be the first blog that doesnt suck
Trafficant: at least for a short while
YouzaViper: oh, it'll suck.
YouzaViper: i'll make sure it sucks.
Trafficant: its about time that drunk midget put this tourney on a site that isnt run by jackasses

YouzaViper: most bloggers suck at poker.
Trafficant: that implies that one of them doesn
Trafficant: t
YouzaViper: they just have a blog because they have no life.
YouzaViper: this may be the worst table i've ever seen.
ephro [observer]: i'm a bukkake fan, read bukkake.blogspot.com
Trafficant: this table is excellent
Trafficant: though not very lively


**************************

Taking a shot at a new look. Please let me know if it's a bit more readable.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Poker Mountain

I'm thinking of chasing the 100% bonus over at Poker Mountain. I know with it being a new site and all that the games might be a bit sparse. I'm just wondering if anyone has checked into how long it takes to clear the bonus?

Any help would be appreciated...

No Poker Today

I was having one of those break-even days yesterday, the kind that do nothing for you except burn you out. Up a little, down a little. At the end, I was playing NL at PS with a $40 buy-in, played a quality hand fast and hard, and got busted by another quality hand. Well, not busted, really. I still had $3.38 of my buy-in left. But, I was pissed. So I left. Decided I should take a break, with how angry I got at myself. I want to be fresh and centered for tomorrow's tourney. $20 is a big buy-in for a low-limit hacker like me. While I don't expect to cash, I'd still like to make a decent showing.

*********************************

Thanks for the positive comments to yesterday's post. In the cold light of day, I can see that maybe my post looked like I was fishing for compliments or validation. Didn't mean for it to come across that way, but it's still nice to hear just the same. I appreciate that you took the time to read.