Sunday, July 31, 2005

Funny eBay sale

eBay: MONKEYS PLAYNG POKER

UPDATE: BG bought the one in the link, so here's the search link to a couple more:

Monkeys Playing Poker

OK, I may have shared too much...

... but it's out there. I should probably come back to my list and tell the whole story of a couple of them. Some are interesting. Most are not.

Other stories were told in that one sentence.

Moving on...

The more observant of you may have noticed a new addition to the sidebar, the feedburner headline thingy to a new blog of mine, "I'm Calling Bullshit!"

Sometimes (ok, daily) I come across stuff I read that is so asinine or outright dishonest that I scream. Mrs. Big has gotten used to my rants and just nods along while continuing on her business, not engaging me, just letting me blow.

Lately, I've gotten the impression she isn't listening.

Anyway, none of this stuff is really appropriate for a poker blog, so I set it up to just have a place to rail at people that come across like idiots. Maybe they are, in fact, idiots. But I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and say they are just coming across "like" idiots.
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Congrats to Bill Rini on his new position that FTP. While we've never met, I do enjoy reading his stuff. Best wishes, Bill.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Hmmmmm....

Does anyone else find Cyndy Violette attractive in a MILF sort of way?

Note to self: Switch to vegetarian diet, win lottery, stalk Cyndy

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

A couple days off...

No poker the last few days. My laptop is acting up again, and I'm just not motivated enough to set myself up to play on Mrs. Big's desktop right now. We all fight for time anyway, so I wouldn't get any extended periods to play anyway.
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Took Mrs. Big and the Bigettes over to Kennedy Space Center for the launch.

Glorious launch.

A few travel tips, though:
  1. The space center sells tickets to the visitor's center for the launch. Supposedly, it's the closest viewing without being a VIP. I'm not so sure about this. I've seen many launches from US 1 in Titusville that were more impressive. (I highly recommend night launches)
  2. The space center advertises the tickets as being very limited. The only limitation I saw was that they limited their sales to how many people were willing to pay. It was like a really bad Disney day - 95 F, with long lines for the good exhibits.
  3. They did a good job with having stuff for the kids to do, though. No worries about bringing little ones.
  4. Cheesburger, potato chips, and a pickle wedge = $10. 'Nuff said.
  5. Stayed at the Courtyard in Cocoa Beach the night before. I can highly recommend dinner and drinks at the Sunset Grille on 520 at the Banana River. 16 oz of Prime Rib served open faced on a sandwich roll, with a Ceasar side salad = $8.99. Yum!
  6. Cocoa Beach used to be my playground when I was a college student and struggling young worker-bee living in Orlando. Casino ships, bars, and strip clubs abound. All of them are still there. Some of the names have changed, but they're all still there. Nothing better than getting off the casino ship with a nice blackjack score, grabbing a great surf-n-turf dinner, hitting the strip clubs for $5 lap dances, and having money left over. (Note to self: Must go back without Mrs. Big and the Bigettes.)
  7. Only fools and yankees hit the beach in the heat of the day. Floridians go at Sunrise and sunset. Nice breezes at sunset, and it puts a hard stop on the outing for the kids.

Obnoxious Yankee story of the trip: A loud redhead with a strong Long Island accent was behind me at a snack bar in the space center. It was 9 a.m. and the temperature was already approaching "Broil". The water bottle bin was empty, and she pushed to the front of the very long line to ask if there was more. The guy behind the counter said it would be out soon. She reported this back to her quiet, hen-pecked husband, adding this: "He said it would be out soon, but this is Florida so you don't know how long that will be...". So, they left, moving on to the next exhibit. Literally, as they turned the corner, the delivery guy walked out with two carts full of ice cold water bottles.

The Floridians in line all smiled and shared a quiet chuckle.

Seriously, folks, I know a lot of you come down and say to yourselves, "Screw it, I'll never see these people again so I can be obnoxious and rude." But we remember each and every one of you. Yes, we do.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Damn You...

AL!

You just had to post that link to Online Battleship, didn't you!

I can't stop playing!!!

Argghhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

_______________________________________________

The perfect quote for the poker player:
You do not become a zillionaire by being a Boy Scout. You become a
zillionaire by snacking on Boy Scouts.
-- Mike Freeman, Florida Times-Union, July 22, 2005

_______________________________________________

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Stuff...

Wow, great press for the leading lights in the poker-blog community today. Well-deserved, too. After Pauly and Otis' herculean efforts this past month, followed by a thoughtful and spot-on examination by a mainstream journal, could this month be remembered someday as a watershed moment for poker bloggers?

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I've been experimenting with a looser, weaker style in the early rounds of my live home-game play. Our structure allows for a lot of poker to be played early with starting chips around 2000 and blinds at only 5/10. I'm limping with any two connected cards, s00ted or not, and allowing myself to be pushed off them when I don't hit anything.

My image has been tight-aggressive in this game, so I wanted to change gears. When I've only got .5% of my stack involved in a pot, why not? When I do hit a flop, I play it carefully and try to get full value out of my made hand, but I also 'allow' myself to be shut down when there's obvious straights and flushes on the board. Anyway, 90% of the time, I fold to weak bets.

Each time I've employed this strategy, it's opened up an opportunity later to trap when I limp or cold-call with a monster. Naturally, the opponent thinks he can push me off my hand, so he does my betting for me until I'm ready to create the pressure point, a la Double As May 27 post. Seems to be working, at least until they figure it out. The nice things about 10+ player cash games is that it's easy to blend into the woodwork during the first few levels.

This has turned out to be a very low-risk method for changing the momentum of a freezeout at a critical point. I'm actually playing just as tight as before, because I limp with the expectation of folding unless I pick up 2 pr or better on the flop. If I do pick up quality hands early, I still play it by the book, raising it up and pounding, partly because it's the right thing to do, and partly to maintain that tight-aggressive image. So, if I limp later, it's assumed I have nothing. What no one seems to have picked up on is that I play fewer and fewer hands as the blinds are growing. They only remember those 3 hands in the first hour when they forced me to fold when they bet their bottom pair hard. The only hands I let them see are the big ones, which also opens up the steal opportunities when the blinds are actually worth stealing.

So far, my change-up is flying below the radar. BuccaneerMike, the most observant of the players in the game, had this to say when I went heads-up with Big Mark:
"It's the guy that plays every hand (Big Mark) against the guy that
never plays a hand (Me)!"


So, that's a good thing.

I decided to try this a few months ago when I realized that I was using the big-pot move too often. No one would get involved with me unless they had a monster because they knew they'd play for all their chips. This made for way too many coin-flips, with predictable results. Now, I'm playing way more small pots against people with garbage hands, and they're creating the big pots when I'm holding monsters.

Holy crap, have I just figured something out about this game?

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I wrote a post titled, "What makes good home game", but when I read it I realized that it was repetitive with previous posts. Dunno what to do with it now. Maybe I'll just throw it into a thread at 2+2 where it can be ignored by hundreds of people, rather than the 8 or 9 that read this drivel.

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I need to experiment with something, a little psychological trick. I've tried it a few times online with good results, but my sample is much too small. I've tried to represent the card I want the opponent to think I'm holding, in the actual value of the bet. For example, I'm holding ATo and the flop comes A55. I might play the hand like I was slow-playing the trips, allow someone behind me to bet his Ace (or bluff), than throw out a bet with a 5 in it, like T500. Their brain is actually seeing a third 5. Sort of a sublimal bluff, as it were.

Ok, pretty lame I admit, but if any of you try it and find it works please send me a note. Something stupid to play with, anyway.

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Gonzo poker bloggers bring World Series to life in real time

Awesome guys, truly awesome.

I especially liked this quote from Iggy:

On the smarts of poker players: "I think poker is a deep subject to mine for the intellectually curious. It's a subject you can't master, it's a game of incomplete information like chess. There's so many different styles and ways to be successful. It attracts bright, curious, intellectual people. But there are a lot of people out there doing it [blogging] for themselves, to document their own play, their bankroll. That's why I started mine."

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

SIGH....

...Mrs. Big laid down the law - no poker this weekend.

...But Marky Mark is inviting his regular Friday night game buddies to our Saturday game. He's been playing them every weekend for 16 yrs., mostly Omaha, and says he counts on the game for his truck payment each month.

...And BuccaneerMike calls me every day to remind me that I have to play my rush.

...And Mrs. Big's mother and sister will be in town for the weekend, so I can look forward to being a non-entity in my own home all weekend.

...CRAP! Where are my testicles, dammit! They're around here somewhere, I just had them last Saturday....

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Home game report

It's a freakin' blur right now.

Yeah, that damn audioblog didn't work again. Bastards!

Shit cards, shit cards, shit cards all night. Oh, but Old Man busted BuccaneerMike on the first hand. That was nice for me. And Marky Mark didn't show until the the second game, so I didn't have much of an opportunity to validate their tells. I was worried about some dude with the name "Chance". If that ain't a poker player's name, I don't know what is. BuccaneerMike said he was good. He slowplayed AA into my monster, 9-5o. I have no earthly idea why I was in the pot except that blinds were so low and implied odds were so high that you could play any 2 cards that stretched. I paired my 9 on the flop, and he kept letting me bet it. Picked up the 5 on the river - ooooooohhhh! Then, he tried to raise me off the pot, putting me all-in. I was pot committed, though, even with the possible straight out there. That got me in the game.

A couple of monster stacks were limping with any two cards. With blinds at 200-400, and then 400-800, I started pushing a stack of about 3500 in and picking up blinds. Doubled up over the course of a couple orbits. Kept chipping away at the chip leader who played VERY aggressively. We basically had to go into calling station mode with the guy, because he turned over 4 or 5 hands with no pair and no draw when called on the river. He blew it all, and left it to me and Big Mark (not to be confused with Marky Mark).

Big Mark started playing with us about a year ago. He'd play any two cards, call huge raises with nothing and hit monsters on the river. The. Worst. Player. Ever.

And won at least one tourney a night.

Then, he starts watching WPT.

Hasn't won since.

[BSN doing his happy dance]

I had him 3-2 heads-up, but his loose calls scared the crap out of me and I offered a 60-40 chop of a total pool of $220. Joeboddy went ballistic and said there's no chops except in the last game. And went on... and on... and on... I finally had to scream at him to shut up, that I didn't know there was a 'house rule' against it.

I had A-Qo in the BB on the first hand, and pushed, like I was on tilt from my little argument. No dice, Big Mark didn't go for it. Ah, well, it was worth a shot.

We parried a few hands, then got it all in with my AJo against his KQo. An Ace on the flop, and no help for him on the turn and river gave me the win.

I shook Joeboddy's hand and thanked him.

In the second tourney, I busted out after 90 minutes with JJ to BuccaneereMike's ATo. Yes, I had jacks. Honest.

Profit on the night was $120. Mrs. Big was home when I got here, so I shipped over half my winnings as peace offering for going out. Her mood improved immediately. Nice to know my wife's affections can be bought.

Not sure how I feel about them being bought so cheap.

(God, I hope she doesn't read this....)
-----------------------------------

Just an FYI: I'm 3 for 3 as a winner when drinking Rocky Mountain Pisswater and playing poker.

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Had a couple of sportsbooks winners. Took the Braves over the Mets, straight up. Zambrano was pitching for NY, and I know from his time with the D-Rays that this was easy money. Now, if only Monty pulls off the come from behind win over Tiger...

Yeah, RIGHT!


---------------------------------

British Open, plus 'da home game

Tiger Woods Stumbles but Leads Open by 2 - Yahoo! News:
"Montgomerie stayed in contention for his first major title, tied with Goosen at 207 after the Scotsman's last putt hung on the edge of the cup before tumbling in for a 70, sending local fans into a frenzy"

The over/under was 70 1/2, and I had the under.

Ahhhh....

Anyway, after yesterday's round, I did the unthinkable: I bet against Tiger. I put $5 on Monty at 14:1 to win the whole thing. Now, with Tiger looking human (for him), there's a crack. If Olazabal gets the eff out of the way, my boy might have a shot. Monty's never won a major and Olazabal has, but he's known to be inconsistent. And, Monty's on his home turf. Now Tiger... he's a helluva front-runner, but he's been run down before. If Monty can shoot 4-5 under, methinks this'll be a dogfight at the end.

---------------------------------------------------

'Nuther home game at joeboddy's tonight. Mrs. Big ain't happy I'm going, but as BuccaneerMike sayd, "You ain't got no money tree in your yard, but there's damn sure one over at [joeboddy's] house and we gots to go pick it."

Spent a little time earlier this week trying to catalog the tells I've gotten off of the key players. I'm not trying to track all 15 or so of the regulars, just the guys that are the toughest against me. Right now, that's BuccaneerMike, Old Man, and Marky Mark. I think I've figgered out two things on Marky Mark: When he re-raises, he's always strong. Always. He never bluff re-raises. He also defends his blinds with a wide range of hands. So, I can't steal against him, but I'm going to get paid when I have a good hand against him. Finally, I suspect I've found a tell in his speech pattern when he opens a pot with a strong hand. I'm going to watch this very carefully tonight and see if I can validate it.

Old Man likes to be aggressive in MP or later with a wide range of hands. He also likes to trap with premium hands. He's an old-school, tricky bastard. He loves that smooth-call-on-the-flop, re-raise-the-turn move. Again, I can't steal against him, but I can damn sure set a trap for him. Early in the night, I can't call that re-raise without a made hand, but late in the night he gets sloppy (go big or go home), so I can pick him off TPTK. BuccaneerMike and I have pulled that one on him a couple times now. He gets too confident that we'll fold.

And BuccaneerMike. There's a real tricky fuck. If I re-raise his raise, he comes back over the top. I think I've picked up on a pattern, though: An all-in means he's weak, but a raise that screams 'please call' means 'please call'. Also, I think there's something there in the way he places his chips in the pot. I need to validate it, but I think a careful placement of chips after a raise might be a marginal hand he's willing to take a chance with. I want to track it tonight.

Joeboddy is easiest: when he touches his cards, he's weak. When he leaves them alone, he's strong. We all know it, we've all told him about it, and he still does it. I think he's trying that 'he'll think it's a false tell now, so I'll do it', and outthinks himself.

They all claim I have about a dozen tells. Probably why I'm their bitch heads-up. But, I'm probably the most consistent in making the final 3, so who really knows. I've been trying to put together a set of false tells, but I really think I need to be more of a counterpuncher with these guys. Hence, the focus on tells.
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What a tour de force by Pauly, eh? I can't wait for the book, if he's seriously considering writing one about his experiences. I can imagine a tome that rivals McManus in quality. If half the shit that he's claimed about the redneck riviera is true, I can easily envision this sucker going through the roof. C'mon Pauly, we want to read it, so go write it, ok?
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Thursday, July 14, 2005

Bad Taste

First day of sports betting... and bodog's site is down.

Bastards!

My pick of Monty to be low man in his threesome at the open was spot on, netting me a profit of $7.50.

My 'nostalgia' pick of the Braves over the Mets looked good for a bit. Then the game got tied. Then, Mike Fucking Piazza crushed a 3-run homer in the 8th. I hear he's gay. ($5.00)

My 'gimme' pick of the day was the Blue Jays over the Devil Rays by 1.5. I live in the Devil Ray's market, and I know they're a AA team masquerading as major league team. 28 wins in the first half, and only 8 on the road. And they're playing in TO. And the pitching staff throws it's first shutout of the year. I hear they're retarded. ($5.00)

Finally, the Yankees - Red Sox. I admit, I struggled with this one. Then, I figured, hell yeah, if I'm going to bet sports and not bet the biggest game of the day then I should just cut my nuts off and let Mrs. Big keep 'em in a jar. I took the Yankees, on the road, by 1.5. They win and cover the spread. Why'd I take the Yankees to win by 1.5? Arroyo. I live around the corner from his off-season house in his hometown. I've watched him pitch the Yankees a few times, and these guys have his number. Heck, I was looking around to see if there an over/under to place on which inning it would be when he tilted and beaned someone. Anyway, the Sox gave him a 4 run lead in the first, and it was gone by the 6th. Profit: $7.00

I've still got that outstanding bet of Woods over Mickelson that won't clear until Sunday afternoon, but the profit potential on that one is tiny. The *REAL* gimme pick-o-the-day.

So, it looks like I made a $4.50 profit in my first day. But, the D-Rays winning at TO is like getting busted by a 2-outer on the river.

Leaves a bad taste.
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Speaking of bad taste, how sick is it that The Mouth is still in the ME and Ivey and Raymer are out? Musta made a deal with the devil when he was locked up.

Ok, that's a bit harsh. You don't get where he is without playing great poker. Still, think of how many fish would have jumped into the game with an Ivey/Raymer final table, and then think about how many will give up the game if The Mouth goes all the way?

It'll leave a bad taste.

Final thoughts on Live Poker

I love the heart rate stuff. And, how spooky is it that Danny was sitting there at 72 beats/minute when facing such big decisions? Yeah, I know, this is nothing compared to the situations he's in day-in, day-out at the tables, but still - you'd think just his competitive nature would get his heart pumping! Either he didn't care a whole heckuva lot, or he's got his bodied programmed like a freaking swiss watch...

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Decided to try a little $20 bodog sportsbook action for the British Open. If the PGA website is correct, it looks like my first prop bet (head-to-head-to-head) came through,with Montgomerie finishing 3 strokes better than Toms and sqeaking out one stroke to the good over Lawrie. Made $7.50 on a $5 bet. Nice way to get my feet wet.

In the 'gimme' pick of the tournament, Tiger is kicking butt. I didn't make any picks for the whole tournament, instead choosing props that looked good. I took Tiger over Mickelson. It'll pay almost nothing ($2.25 on a $5 bet, I think) with Mickelson being a huge dog, but what the hell - it's free money.

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And tonight, we'll see how my Braves do against the Mets.

I've been a Braves fan ever since the rotten years, as the song goes. My best friend in high school broke his arm the summer between our junior and senior year. We were already huge fans and watched the games as much as we could, but since his ability to get out and do anything fun (read: dangerous and/or illegal) was a little restricted, we got hooked an America's Team in a bad way. I watched over 100 games that season, and my buddy watched over 140. We had each players stats down cold. Dale Murphy was our hero, and Rick Fucking Camp our goat.

A year later, I think (my memory gets a little fuzzy, I'm placing the year according to who was dating whom), we came home to find BuccaneerMike had thrown an impromptu 4th of July party and trashed my parents' house while they were out of town. I found the booze completely gone, a lake in the front yard from a busted water main, and a couple of 15 year olds engaged in a 69 in my parent's bed, so I had to chase everyone away, call the city out to turn off the water to the house, run out to the liquor store and then... um... deplete the new bottles down to the level the old bottles had been when my parents left.

After all of this was taken care of, we turned on TBS to find the Braves and Mets in the 14th inning. I think the game wound up going 19 innings, and in the top of the last inning, Rick Fucking Camp came in and gave up a run to the hated Mets.

We cursed that bastard for once again blowing it.

The Braves came into the bottom of the inning with the bottom of their lineup. They'd depleted the bench and there were no pinch hitters left, so Rick Fucking Camp had to bat. Fucker hits a 2-run dinger to win the game.

Yeah, we still hated him, but it turned into one of those affectionate hates, like the kind you have for a dog that craps in the house but fetches a ball and brings it right back to you.

Twenty year's later, and my buddy now lives right around the corner from me. We still talk about that game every summer. So, here in the middle of July, when I saw the line showed the Braves to be a dog to the Mets, I made the nostalgia pick of the day.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Live poker kicks ass!

Sitting in my living room, watching the Full Tilt live poker tournament, re-loading Pauly and Otis, while Mrs. Big and the eldest Bigette are down in Tampa watching the American Idols on Tour concert and the littlest Bigette is snoozing for the night.

Ahhhhhhh.....

My thoughts on this Full Tilt live poker tourney: Fascinating. Lots of tight play, lots of traps, and what's going on with Ted and Clonie playing so weak against each other? Its obvious these guys don't like playing for all their chips. Just keep chopping, chopping... very educational.

Do you suppose that cocktail waitress in the halter top understands that she's on national TV? Because I'm enjoying the view down her top every time she bends over?

Did I mention Live Poker kicks ass?
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Hey, I saw a comment from someone at Pauly's blog saying they don't have the bankroll to play in the Charlie tournament... I don't for a minute think that guy is reading this, but just in case he is: Dude, it's $20. It's the minimum deposit at Stars. Don't get married to the idea that ALL of your tournament entries have to come from your bankroll. If there was ever one to break down and make a deposit for, this is it.

Fork it over. Or, accept my challenge from yesterday - go win it.

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Live poker kicks ass! I'm loving this way better than WPT or ESPN coverage! We'd never see this soft-play between Clonie and Ted on one of those shows, and I'm trying to see where this goes. Ted setting a trap for later?
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Update: I am sorely tempted to rename this blog "Rocky Mountain Pisswater and Poker". I play so much better under it's influence.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Karma



I've taken on a new poker challenge in the last week or so - limit hold 'em SNGs. Just wanted to see if the waters were any fishier. Enjoyed modest success with a couple of ITMs, but I couldn't quite put together the end game for the win. This morning, I busted out of one, a series of bad beats, one after the other.

The problem with limit tournies?

The slow, agonizing death.

Then, I read about the Charlie tournament at Pokerstars. I won't bother to give y'all the links and stuff - anyone reading my blog has already read it somewhere else. Hell, I probably read it at YOUR blog already.

I stopped and thought about it - anyone that's done a tourny for Charlie in the last month has enjoyed success. I made up my mind - I was going to win my entry to the Charlie tournament.

It was rough going, folks. I was getting hit with the ass-end of the metaphorical ugly-stick when we got to the bubble. I had a solid chipstack when we got there. Second place, with two people below 800 and at the 100/200 level. Before we got to the money, I found myself as low as 275, unable to even post a blind.

I found myself all-in 3 times. For those that play limit tourney's, when you're all-in on the bubble 3 times... well, why bother, right?

Then, I started catching river card after river card. One suck-out after another. I couldn't miss. I just started raising and betting with anything playable. Didn't matter if I hit the flop, I always caught the river. I raced back into safe territory, shot into contention, and by the time we went heads-up I had a 3-1 chip lead. It took two hands - and two river suck-outs - and I won my first limit SNG.

And, acknowledging that I had NOTHING to do with the win except being the finger clicking the mouse, I dutifully signed up for the Charlie tournament.

For you mid-limit players, this is just a single big bet for you. But, for the micro-limit players like me, I'm challenging you to set a goal to win your entry fee in whatever game your most comfortable - ring games, SNGs, NL, Limit, whatever.

Then, take your offering back to the poker gods and register for Charlie's tournament.

Karma is good for the soul.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Hurricane Home Game; plus two audioblog posts...

... Off in the ether somewhere...
I called in pre- and post-Hurricane Poker Home Game last night. The posts never showed up here. Damn you blogger! If two audioblog posts show up in about 3 weeks, the first with me half-drunk and the second completely exhausted and running on fumes, you'll know where they came from.
So, a big game last night - eleven for the first game.
I had a Red Stripe with dinner in honor of Pauly, grabbed my cooler with the six-pack of Rocky Mountain Piss-Water, and headed out a little early to bend joeboddy's ear about changing the payout from winner-take-all to paying places. BuccaneerMike's instincts must've been twitching because he showed up right before me to lobby for winner-take-all. Lucky me, joeboddy grew a set of nads and I didn't even have to launch into my well-reasoned arguments - he'd already come to the same conclusion on his own.
BuccaneerMike likes winner-take-all; he has the game for it. He's way ahead of the game since going to winner-take-all. Although he's never played online, he has the exact style you see in the WSOP qualifiers - go big early or go home. lots of pressure, lots of coin flips. He's a great chip bully, and can't stand nursing the short stack. It's an ego thing. He absolutely can't stand to have anyone come over the top and will defend his raises aggressively.
While I BET aggressively, I stay pretty tight in this game as far as card selection. I probably don't gamble enough. So, spreading the prize money out has been a goal for me, because I can finish 1-2-3 about 80% of the time in this game. But, heads-up for all the cash, I'm their bitch.
So, we settle for a 70-30-10 split on the prizes. Not ideal, but at least I knew I'd break even for the night. At $25 a buy-in ($20 to the pool, and a $5 bounty for each bust-out) and 3 games a night, it was getting too expensive for me to keep playing winner-take-all.
So, eleven in the first game. We single-tabled it. I knew drawing hands were no good with this many people, but that didn't keep me from limping with them. BuccaneerMike adjusted as well, lots more limping, not much raising. This confused the other players, who'd nicknamed us the "all-in brothers". Five of the other 9 players were all related by blood or marriage. I'm sure we'd been the subject over Sunday supper a few times. 4 of the 5 tried to stay out of each other's way, and 2 were openly showing cards to the others when they'd folded. I didn't worry about those two, they were so bad they were announcing their hands before I'd bet.
"Finally, I got an Ace!"
"Crap, why can't you deal me something decent!"
Um, yeah. Not much trouble with reads. If two good players colluding can make for an exponentially better result, I figured two bad players colluding would implode. I kept my mouth shut. I was right.
The cards sucked. Nobody could hit a fucking draw (duh!), so I just limped along with anything decent. We started with 2000 in chips and blinds at 5/10, doubling every 30 minutes, so I had time to limp and wait for a hand. Three hours into the game, I hadn't won a hand. Not one. At that point, I pick up 66. Looked like aces to me. I came out firing and kept after a flop of all overcards. I got called, and was seriously worried. Turns comes a rag, I fire again. They fold.
Whew.
Hand of the night: I wasn't involved. Still around that 3 hr mark, and we have 7 of the original 11 still in. BuccaneerMike is out and watching a movie with joeboddy's wife. Five players to the flop of KT3, two hearts. First two go all-in, and I can see Hemingway and joeboddy really want to call. I knew they both had K's and suspected they had the same hand, K-Q. I started goading them both to go all-in.
"C'mon, you know he's overplaying that K-9..."
"He hasn't had a hand all night and that KJ looks like a winner for him..."
"Flush draw, flush draw, you've got him covered, call!..."
Yeah, they both call. Stupid.
Old Man, sitting on the button with a massive chi lead, announces HE's all-in. Hemingway and joeboddy are both pot-committed.
Five players all-in.
First hand: QJo, pushed on the straight draw.
Second hand: Ah8d: CALLED all-in on an overcard and backdoor flush draw.
Third hand (Hemingway): KQ
Fourth hand (joe boddy): KQ
Button (Old Man): 3-3, leading with trips.
Trips is good, and Old Man collects $20 in bounties and I'm ITM. I'm short-stacked, and I play the first hand fast and loose and get busted by nemesis, Marky Mark. I'm ok with it.
I announce to the table at the start of the second game that this is my game. And I play like it. I didn't get many cards, but I got maximum value for everything I played. Got heads-up with BuccaneeerMike, in position on him. Chip stacks are even. Despite the huge difference in 1st and 2nd place money, I don't bother asking for a chop. He just ain't interested. He played his usual aggressive heads-up game and I tried to trap. I picked up A8o, raised him knowing he would put me all-in.
Fucker had Jacks. No, really, Austin bloggers, he had Jacks. I get second place.
It was 1:30 a.m. I was ready to leave. They had 8 wanting to stay. I took my cooler to the car and saw I was blocked in by 3 trucks. I took it as Karma, and went back just as they were dealing for the button. We don't deal high card for the button. We deal first jack off. I giggle a little whenever they say announce it.
The last game of the night is always played a bit more aggressively. Most want to go big or go home. A couple times, I had people put me all-in when I had TPTK. Normally, I hate to call all-ins with just TPTK unless I have a decent draw. At 3 a.m., I know what they're doing, and become a calling station.
Down to 4, and we're chipping away at BuccaneerMike. He isn't happy on his short stack. Bwahahaha! Dennis the Menace is the second-worst player in the game, but he's wielding his short-stack well and rebuilds to a solid stack. I've got a massive chip lead, and I'm just looking for my spot. I raise on the button, and Marky Mark calls. Marky Mark always defends his blonds, I don't know what I was thinking. Actually, I do know: I wanted Dennis heads up, and figured Marky Mark would let his SB go. That pot wound up costing me about 4000 chips, 40% of my stack.
A couple hands later I pick up As2s and raise it up again. Marky Mark folds (!!!) and Dennis calls. Flop comes with two spades. Dennis really sucks, and I immediately read his 1/2 pot bet of 1K to be a flush draw. He was pushing with any pair, so I read him as trying to build the pot. A spade comes on the turn, and I check it to him. He pushes. I insta-call, and he TRIUMPHANTLY flips over 9s7s. I quietly flip my As2s.
It takes him a minute to realize what just happened. He keeps repeating, "I had to push, what else could I do?" He had me covered, barely. I now have a massive chip lead.
So, this cripples him. Its 4 am, and Marky Mark openly says that he's willing to chop with me once we get Dennis out. Hell, I'm hoping he runs into some bad luck and goes out first so I could have Dennis heads-up. Even if Dennis gets all Mark's chips, I still like my chances. I've never beaten Mark heads-up.
Of course, Dennis goes quickly, but not before I lose a chunk to Mark so we're about even. Stupid of me. I could've folded and had a 2-1 chip lead and negotiated for a better chop, but I got cards at the wrong time and played them. We take an even split, a good deal for me considering my record against Mark.
So, I finish up $85 on the night. This is like the good old days for me. Before we went to winner-take-all, I could count on $60-$100 profits each night. Maybe I'm not playing the biggest testosterone-laden game, but it's profitable and fun and that's what I was needing.
*************************************************
Quote of the Night: Dennis the Menace is joeboddy's brother-in-law. He went in to get a beer and came out a couple minutes later, saying "Hey, she's watching porn on Cinemax! I walked in and there's this chick with big titties getting it on with some dude!"
I replied, "Dennis, why are you watching porn with your sister?"

Friday, July 08, 2005

Ok, I'm feeling better....

Go read Pauly now. He's sweating away, having to put up with gorgeous poker-playing actresses and getting invites to the best parties in town. And he does it all for free, just to bring you and me chip counts of Joe Shmo from Kokomo. Give the man his due, you and I couldn't have made it this long.

**********************************************
I played one of my best games tonight. I needed to.

I took a brutal beat with about 6 left in the 5th level to leave me with LESS THAN ONE BLIND.

I did not immediately push the next hand. I waited. I picked a spot. It was a good spot.

Down to 4, and I'm now the chip leader. I don't know what level we were in, but we'd played for an hour. The short stack was treating the SB like his bitch when he had the BB and the SB tried to limp. I waited for a spot.

KK vs. KQ. He flops two Queens. A drop in the bucket for me, but I wanted him gone.

AQo vs. KQo. He flops a King. A big splash in the bucket this time. I soon find myself the short stack.

Blinds were so high that I stole with any ace or any two big cards. Hung in there, eventually building the stack back up while that short-stack guy bled chips. Got him all-in AGAIN with KK vs. AQ. JT flops, and he's calling for the K. I thought it was coming. Karma. But no, not this time.

Knocked out the shorter of the two left pretty quickly to give me a 2:1 advantage. We played maybe a dozen hands before I got all-in with A4o vs. his AKo. Yeah, I prepared to play another dozen hands, but caught my 4 on the turn to give me my first suckout of the SNG. Unbelievable. To play as hard and aggressively and WELL as I did, and I suck out the winner.

LOL.

Competing priorities

Helping Mrs. Big with the hurricane blog turned out to be more than I bargained for - yeah, I'm doing it all now. Because "you do it so well..."

Bah.

But day one was bigger than the best day ever of this here poker blog in terms of traffic. Yeah, I turned into a page-hit whore. So that's what happens when you provide relevant content, eh?

So... somebody go buy a generator or a table saw or something through my Amazon link and reward me for my slavery...

*****************************
Brutal SNG day yesterday. Played 3, bubbled in 4th in all 3.

The last one turned into 3 on 1. Seriously. I'm talking about collusion, implicit or explicit, take your pick. I was short-stacked through much of the latter stages, but had just enough to keep everyone honest. Any pair, and suited ace o suited big cards, I was pushing. Around $1000 or so, usually. With a couple big stacks, $4-5K each, I figured someone would call just to be rid of me. But, they didn't. They kept folding.

Instead, everyone got pissed off. WTF?

No wait, let me re-phrase that: WHAT THE FUCK??!!

Am I supposed to sit back and be blinded off? Am I supposed to limp or min-raise to let other people catch up? It's called 'playing the short-stack' - if you don't like it, call and knock me out! The blinds were 75/150 and 100/200 at this point, my raises were only 4x-5x - it's not like I was pushing 1000 to win 45.

So, to why I think there was collusion. I got one guy down to $293. I'm hanging on with ~$1500, and start folding everything to get a cash. The big stacks are each over $5000. Small stack is in the BB, with one big stack in the SB. Blinds are 100/200, and big stack limps. BB pushes his remaining $93.

Big stack folds.

#$%^&*(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This repeated and repeated until that itty-bitty stack was bigger than mine. I tried to take him out myself when I saw what was happening, and got rivered.

No, I didn't report anyone, nor did I throw a fit in the chat box. I desperately wanted that one, just because of the challenge of overcoming the collusion. Fuckers. I'm tempted to post the hand histories to prove it, but why bother? No one reads my crap anyway.

Anyway, I'm still tilting 12 hours later, so no poker for me. Yeah, I ought to let it go, but I can't right now. I'll move on to the other project until this fades like a bad blind date.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Hurricane Tracking

I don't want to clutter this place up with too much non-poker content, so I set up a hurricane-related blog for Mrs. Big and popped a headline feed over in the sidebar. I won't be talking about this year's storms in this space, so if you have an interest just pop over to the blog linked above, and in the sidebar.

Friday, July 01, 2005

There's a first time for everything...

#Game No : 2295295312
***** Hand History for Game 2295295312 *****
$25 PL Hold'em - Friday, July 01, 23:06:44 EDT 2005
Table Table 37383 (Real Money)
Seat 3 is the button
Total number of players : 8
Seat 1: termy555 ( $22.8 )
Seat 2: Rabbit226 ( $17.4 )
Seat 3: pidawg ( $5.5 )
Seat 6: kkunkel ( $29.21 )
Seat 7: TCH21 ( $29.2 )
Seat 8: BEAUTEQUEEN ( $41.95 )
Seat 9: snickers337 ( $6 )
Seat 4: ME ( $11.25 )
ME posts small blind [$0.1].
kkunkel posts big blind [$0.25].

** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to ME [ Qd Ad ]
TCH21 folds.
BEAUTEQUEEN folds.
snickers337 calls [$0.25].
termy555 folds.
Rabbit226 folds.
pidawg folds.
ME calls [$0.15].
kkunkel checks.

** Dealing Flop ** [ 5d, 4h, Jd ]
ME checks.
kkunkel bets [$0.25].
snickers337 raises [$0.5].
ME calls [$0.5].
kkunkel calls [$0.25].

** Dealing Turn ** [ Td ]
ME checks.
kkunkel checks.
snickers337 bets [$2.15].
ME raises [$4.3].
kkunkel folds.
snickers337 calls [$2.15].

** Dealing River ** [ Kd ]
buzzFlush has joined the table.
ME checks.
snickers337 checks.
ME shows [ Qd, Ad ] Royal Flush.
buzzFlush has left the table.
snickers337 shows [ Th, Jh ] two pairs, jacks and tens.
ME wins $10.35 from the main pot with Royal Flush.
buzzFlush has joined the table.
TCH21 has left the table.
---------------------------------
Why didn't I bet the river? He had .95 left. Getting to show the hand off was worth not getting his last .95.

As for the raise when I hit the nut flush, rather than the check? Well, I put him on exactly what he had, JT. I wanted to end it there, no free card to hit his boat. Even if he called, I haven't lost anything if my other option was to smooth call to keep the other player in - it nets out the same. Maybe I should've raised another buck to get his last .95 in when I had the best of it. If I lost a bet, it was there.

I'm such a pussy. ;-)
-------------------------------------
Today is my one-year anniversary of online poker. I estimate I played about 40K hands in that time. A nit to alot of you, but alot of damn poker for a part-time, single game, micro player like me. Guess the poker gods reached down from the heavens and granted me that hand to reward my perseverance (since I haven't been rewarded with riches!).

Austin Game

"So, how do you know they're, uh, normal?"
- A co-worker to me when I explained why I wasn't joining them for dinner
So that was fun, let's do it again!
Got to meet those Austin bloggers while I was in town on bidness. Scott was our gracious host, and there was a good table that included April, Scurvy, Broke Gambler, and the two guys at the end of the table that I forgot to get their blog names - help me place the faces with the blogs, guys? Scott's hospitality even extended to dumping all his chips to me on the second hand of the tournament when I flopped a boat and he flopped a set. It took no skill on my part to play that hand.
Well, despite squandering an early chip lead in the tournament to bust out 3rd (Broke Gambler doubled through me a couple times when we were down to 3, and I think April may have finished me off for good?), I managed to finish up slightly ($13) for the night thanks to the cash game and saved myself from the "I told ya so"s back at the airport this morning. Of course, a good chunk of that was from a donkey play to crack April's Aces with Q8 - it was sooted. ;-)
Many, MANY hammers were played, along with a few jackhammers. It was generally agreed at the table that the hammer was the most successful hand played in total for the table that night. April picked it up at one point when she was down to something like 75 cents and rode it to a little comeback. That's faith.
Hope I get the chance to visit again!