Monday, October 31, 2005

Things that make you go...hmmmm!

Ming cracked us up with this, "I'm businessman now. Play the poker business. Make the movie. People follow de batroom. I'm swear. People follow come to de batroom talk to me for the magazine!"

Daniel's Blog

Pauly, please let Ming take piss in private...

;-)

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Pokah free all weekend. Now, I'm sitting in a freeroll Stud tourney on AP in great position after the break with 3X the avg stack and in striking distance of the chipleader.

Alas, I will not be able to finish because of trick-or-treating with the bigettes this evening. So, my goal is to accumulate enough chips to see if I can get to the money before being antied-out.

Yes, folks, BSN is going to do the unthinkable: I'll be sitting out like a pussy.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Pi

While I was in all the honor classes and advanced math and blah, blah, blah way back in high school, I refused to join the High Q Club. That was just too nerdy for me.

Instead, the first club I joined was the Rocket Club… as in, Model Rockets. Because Model Rockets are cool, dammit. I liked stuff I could afro-engineer to blow up.

I was cool like that.

Anyway, the High Q guys spent a lot of time memorizing trivia and challenging each other to ever-dizzying heights of Pi-memorization. High-Q was one of those academic-challenge type of clubs, where they compete against other schools to see who knows more stuff that will never count for anything in the real world.

Just to prove I was their intellectual equal, I would participate in these ad-hoc challenges between classes even though I was not in the club. Memorizing the Presidents, state capitals, UN-member countries, and, of course, Pi to as many digits as possible.

I got to 100 digits before I realized how utterly useless this information was. To this day, I am a tub of useless knowledge good only for trivia games in bars. Except lately, that useless knowledge has begun slipping away in the fogs of the past. While a testament to my perennial geek-ness, I took a small amount of pride in my useless knowledge. And, then, I found

This

I am complete again.

One of those hands

One of those hands…

Got sucked into playing a Stud freeroll tourney with 4000 of my closest friends on Stars last night. I played well, chipping up steadily playing ABC poker, then taking some huge pots off a maniac when blinds were 100/200 where I got to cap every street.

Then I lost 95% of my stack with… one of those hands. I had the bring-in with a pair of split deuces and a nine kicker. The maniac completed as he usually did (with any 3 cards) and a couple of us called. Fourth street brings me another deuce for trips, and I go to war to punish the draws. It gets capped with a player with 8dTd exposed re-raising me. On 5th street, I pick up a nine giving me deuces full and I bet out. The fellow across from me had drawn an 8 to give him 8T8 showing against my 229 board, so he was raising me. I changed my read at this point from flush draw to two pair.

We capped every street thereafter, and when the cards were turned over I saw the damage: Eights full of Tens vs. my Deuces full. We both filled up on 5th street. I don’t think either of us played it wrong, we just pounded away with a pair of very strong hands. It’s hard in Stud to give someone credit for a better boat or quads unless you see more than a single pair on the board. Probably 19 out of 20 hands MHIG, so I have to bet it that same way every time.

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

Oddjack posted this earlier today:
· We’d like to ask recently unemployed Marty Ogden of Brookesville, Florida
what the hell he’s doing playing online slots instead of trying to find a job,
but he’s too busy counting his nearly $2M jackpot.
[Online-Casinos]

It caught my eye because this guy is from the (misspelled) town where I live. The article was updated with an e-mail questioning the veracity of the win. I don't know either way, but there hasn't been anything in the papers or gossip about it.

If true, then I have to say a few things:

1. I am jealous as hell.
2. Unemployed janitors have no business playing internet slots.
3. If you're gambler enough to play online slots, Marty, please send me an e-mail. I'd love to get you into da' home game.

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

Mrs. Big bought the family tickets to Disney's Halloween event back in the spring, when we had money to piss away on stuff like this. So, we're going to use them tomorrow eve. I've had mixed feelings about it, thinking we should probably sell the tickets, but honestly - I could use a break from the house myself. Haven't even seen a movie in two months. So, we'll burn some hotel points also, and use some free meal coupons we've gather for a rainy day, and enjoy a quickee overnight trip.

It also helps that I had a fantastic interview today. An opportunity that will be extremely challenging and require me to utilize all of my managerial, analytical, and negotiation skills if I am fortunate enough to get it. The next interview itself will be the most challenging interview of my career, with being required to give a presentation to the entire top management team of the company.

The subject? Me. My career, my qualifications, my experience, etc., presented as though I were recommending a strategy. A good way to test someone that will have to make presentations about strategy, I suppose.

Should be a character-building experience.

Next week is shaping up to be a busy travel week for interviews between this and other opportunities. I sure hope one of them sticks to the wall.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

If I claimed to be drinking Guinness, you could accuse me of copying Iggy...

...unfortunately, I'm stone cold sober, so I'm a pale imitation at best.

Quite the rant from Daniel today:


"Screwed! That's how I felt when I saw the schedule. The World Series of Poker is an inappropriate title for this mockery. The World Series of Hold'em, sure, but how dare they call this the World Series of Poker when they've eliminated most of the other tournaments in favor of even more hold'em events.

It's not about the poker anymore, it's all about the bottom line apparently. Not only was there no mixed game event,, but get this, there is precisely ONE stud hi-lo event with a... I can't take it... with a.... with a.... $1000 buy in! My goodness, how shameful!

Not to mention the fact that if you want to play in the $3000 Omaha H/L event, it happens to run two hours after the $3000 limit hold'em event. The tournaments that used to get their own day, multiple days in fact, are reduced to being 'after thoughts.'

I can't tell you how upset I am with the mockery that has become of the schedule. No longer is the WSOP about the poker, about protecting the integrity of the game, or about giving the players what they want. Nope, it's all about the bottom line. *Sigh* It just infuriates me and I know I'm not alone.

The best players in the world play in the biggest mixed games in the world:

Hold'em
Stud
Omaha H/L
Stud H/L
Razz 2-7
Triple Draw
Limit Omaha
Pot
Limit Omaha
No Limit Hold'em
2-7 NL Single Draw

These are the games that the world's best enjoy playing, but the WSOP has decided that these players know nothing about what poker is all about. Poker is Hold'em to them, and nothing more.

Poker is dying. Not hold'em of course, but poker as we once knew it is becoming extinct because the people in control aren't interested in helping poker flourish, they have a bottom line to think about that takes precedence over all else. I have no idea who is at fault so I won't place blame.

I'd sure like to know, though, who- who exactly is making these decisions? I don't even know what else to say. I am so disappointed and I don't know what else to do other then to vent my frustrations. I love poker, and "non-poker playing" suits are killing the game I love."


I can certainly understand his frustration, and I think he's on the money about the game flourishing if more mixed games were included (I also think it's an overstatement to say the game is dying). I've been enjoying my experiment with Stud and Omaha, and I think it's helping my game. It's also a great way for us mediocre players to avoid boredom or burn-out - who the hell keeps playing a game they lose/break-even in? At some point, us losers ask ourselves, "What's the point?", and stop pumping money into the game.

If you consider "Poker" a product, by promoting mixed games the 'industry' can extend the life cycle of Poker. I don't have access to the market trend data that other bloggers might, but if you assume that the rate (X players/time, or better yet, X Dollars/Time) at which new players are coming to the game (as opposed to moving from site to site) is nearing a peak for the developed, connected, core countries, the industry needs strategies to extend that life cycle and reach new peaks. Among those strategies would be development of a business model that allows poker to be an affordable pursuit in geographies where the mean annual income is $1500 + 2 goats/yr. Probably not do-able for the online world, and these folks won't be catching the red-eye to Vegas any time soon. Another strategy to pursue is to develop enhancements that increase the value of the product, and/or pursue evolutionary development of the product. This is where I see mixed games coming into play.

The online world already offers mixed games - most of the big sites get it. I've been able to play low-limit ring games and MTTs on most sites (SNGs for Stud and Omaha are only readily available in the evenings because there just aren't enough players to fill a game). The real "shame" of it all is that the biggest event in poker doesn't get it. The way the poker economy works is that the money winds up in two places: 1) In the pockets of the best players, and 2) In the financials of the casinos/online operator that collected the rake of 5% a pop. When the dead money in Hold 'Em dries up, you have to have the 'next big thing' lined up and ready to take it's place. Do you think if the WSOP offered more televised mixed games, the online world would offer more satellites to those mixed games? Do you think if more players played these mixed games and enjoyed success, they'd be more likely to bring more money to the game to experiment and find a game they play best? Do you think if the industry can create a Moneymaker of Omaha and a Moneymaker of Stud, they might attract more players to the game?

Without the benefit of data, and speaking strictly as a lay-person, I think aggressive promotion of mixed games could drive future growth and extend the life-cycle of the game.

As for Daniel, I don't think for minute that he's concerned about the integrity of the game. The fact is, with the fields as large as they are in NLHE events, the edge of the pro's has shrunk (they still have an edge, it's just not as large). But, in the mixed games, that edge is still HUGE! And, in an industry where marketability is directly proportional to the number of bracelets/WPT titles you've won, the pro's need events where they enjoy big edges.

Note to ESPN, WSOP (Harrahs), WPT, Travel Channel: I don't want to watch 3/4 of the "Big Game" players bust our on Day 1 to runner-runner flushes. I want to see the biggest names playing at the top of their form, and only occasionally do I want to see a 'Moneymaker moment' (it loses it impact when we see it in 2 out of 3 tourneys). It seems to me that the industry and the pro's have a symbiotic relationship, and should probably start developing strategies that leverage this relationship.

As for me, I'd rather watch Daniel, Annie, Howard, Phil, Doyle, Barry, et al, butt heads in O8 or Triple Draw, than watch Tom from Toledo, Dick from Dubuque, and Harry from Harrisburg push all-in pre-flop with AK vs. QQ AGAIN with Cringe or abNORMal making yet another bad pun for commentary.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Prescient...

...prophetic, if you Will:

Why shouldn't I work for the N.S.A.? That's a tough one, but I'll give it a shot. Say I'm working at N.S.A. Somebody puts a code on my desk, something nobody else can break. So I take a shot at it and maybe I break it. And I'm real happy with myself, 'cause I did my job well. But maybe that code was the location of some rebel army in North Africa or the Middle East. Once they have that location, they bomb the village where the rebels were hiding and fifteen hundred people I never had a problem with get killed. Now the politicians are sayin', "Send in the marines to secure the area" 'cause they don't give a shit. It won't be their kid over there, gettin' shot. Just like it wasn't them when their number was called, 'cause they were pullin' a tour in the National Guard. It'll be some guy from Southie takin' shrapnel in the ass. And he comes home to find that the plant he used to work at got exported to the country he just got back from. And the guy who put the shrapnel in his ass got his old job, 'cause he'll work for fifteen cents a day and no bathroom breaks. Meanwhile my buddy from Southie realizes the only reason he was over there was so we could install a government that would sell us oil at a good price. And of course the oil companies used the skirmish to scare up oil prices so they could turn a quick buck. A cute little ancillary benefit for them but it ain't helping my buddy at two-fifty a gallon. And naturally they're takin' their sweet time bringin' the oil back, and maybe even took the liberty of hiring an alcoholic skipper who likes to drink martinis and play slalom with the icebergs, and it ain't too long 'til he hits one, spills the oil and kills all the sea life in the North Atlantic. So my buddy's out of work and he can't afford to drive, so he's got to walk to the job interviews, which sucks 'cause the shrapnel in his ass is givin' him chronic hemorrhoids. And meanwhile he's starvin' 'cause every time he tries to get a bite to eat the only blue plate special they're servin' is North Atlantic scrod with Quaker State. So what do I think? I'm holdin' out for somethin' better. Why not just shoot my buddy, take his job and give it to his sworn enemy, hike up gas prices, bomb a village, club a baby seal, hit the hash pipe and join the National Guard? I could be elected president.

Just thought it was funny. Not meant to be a political statement. ;-)

Hmmm...

I can only conclude that I have created the K-Mart of poker blogs:


My blog is worth $15,242.58.
How much is your blog worth?



Not even close to some of you.

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Finally watched the WPT Ladies Night, and was groaning most of the way at Cringe Van Patten and Mike Sexiston. My God, if I were a woman, the next time I saw either of them I'd throw a bloody tampon in their face.

What was with Mike referring to one player as a 'poker-person'? What, "Player" is only reserved for men?

As for Cringe, I don't know where to start - if you haven't seen this yet, watch it with your TV muted. These two idjits added zero value this week. (No, don't post any comments about this not being any different than any other week!)

Monday, October 24, 2005

A BIG thank you to PokerStars!!!

A BIG thank-you to PokerStars

That was a great event, and the quality of play was outstanding. I managed to last ~250 hands, and I think I saw maybe 8 pots that weren’t raised pre-flop.

I busted out pushing with KQo when I was down to @ 6 BBs, running into AK. The hand that crippled me, though, was my donkey-istic calling with TT of Bobby Bracelet’s re-raise with QQ. So, no real bad beats for me, just a bad decision. Actually, two bad decisions if you count that bad-ass bad beat suckout I laid on Nuclearboy (Sorry again, dude.)

I’m proud I lasted as long as I did against that field. The aggression factor was high, and I had KK once with no other high pocket pairs until the TT against Bobby. Most of my chips were gathered with positional plays rather than real hands – I was only 3 of 10 on pots that went to showdown (what a frickin’ donkey!), but picked up 35 pots without showdowns. I’ve never had that many pots won without showdowns, a tribute to the tight-aggressive play of most of the people I played with.

One big improvement I've worked on, and was able to utilize to gather ALOT of chips was blind defense. Can't do it often, but when I did it I made sure I got paid for it.

Go look for the incredible chat over at Bobby’s site, when he busted some tool that never should have been in the hand – I think the guy called-off all his chips on a gutshot or something, then he went ballistic.

So, once again, a big thank you to Pokerstars. I hope this event was successful for you, and I hope we get to do this again.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Where am I

Where am I?

Man, I don’t recognize any of these people…

F-Train was at my first table, but we got moved…

Iggy38 just owned me…

Lots of sitting out going on. 4 at each of my tables, so far….

Just sitting back and taking my cold-deck like a man right now…

Just put a serious bad beat on Nuclearboy… sorry, dude, figured you were playing back because I was being so weak and I figured at that point I might as well just call when I still have 1000 chips left…. It sucks, I know…

At the first break… double the average stack, about good for 122/1059. Tough, tough field. Had to go all-in once to keep the maniacs off my stack, and made that terrible play to bad beat Nuclearboy above. Had one good hand get paid off. Other than that, a lot of small-stack poker.

Just dropped my first hammer… UTG…

I’m still not knowing anyone… the sit-outs are being busted… I’m in 49/665, about 2 ½ X average…

Bobby Bracelet just sat  my table… there’s a bounty on him from Pokerstars…

Second break… 55/263… tripled up, mostly with small pot poker… survive… survive…

I see Scott at DeadMoneyInc is in 2nd place… woo-hoo!

Bobby Bracelet just doubled through me, his QQ vs. my TT…I’m hurting, about 15BBs left

Bobby is owning me…. I’m now in push and pray mode…

… and I’m cold-decked… 4-2…. 3-5….4-7…. RIGGED! ;-)

And, I’m out in 160th with KQ vs AQ…

So, my big mistake was calling Bobby’s all-in with TT. I figured it was race, and I was way wrong. I had chips left, but going dead after that just killed me.

I bow before the Huge Junk!

Time to go update the hurricane blog…

Which BSN will show

Which BSN will show up tonight?

DamnifIknow.

Will it be the BigLuckNuts that placed 2nd at PokerProf’s May 11 freeroll at Noble? Will it be another of my ignominius bust-outs, wildly overvaluing TPTK and pushing all my chips into a chipleader to win a measly $100 pot in level 2? Perhaps another of my penultimate table appearances?

Hopefully, I make the good prizes. I have a strategery for how to play based on how much I value the prizes. Am I telling?

No. Gotta get there first. Survive, survive, survive…

Looking forward to it. 1400+ is a lot of players, but hopefully we can all find one another… still playing… at the end…

I’ve actually got butterflies, though, so that’s not good. I think I’ll be Nervous-Nelly, playing all weak-tight…

Ugh

Ugh!

Something has happened to left eye. It looks like I popped a blood vessel and is all achy and sore. Now, everything’s getting blurry.

Hope I can see the screen tomorrow afternoon.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Can't connect to Pokerstars











It's been like this all day. I have no problem connecting to any other website or poker site. Any ideas?

Anyone?

Public Service Announcement

Fifty-thousand children starve to death every single day, but Our Heavenly Father dropped everything because a spoiled, middle-class twit didn't know the meaning of the word moderation. What kind of wine goes with hubris?
- Viva Las Vegas



It ain't about poker, and even I occasionally get offended at some of the stuff he writes, but that quote up there is freaking brilliant. Go read.

Disclaimer: While I am just a hypocritical McCatholic weekly church-goer, I have no patience for the hoiler-than-thou amongst us.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

WSJ.com - 'Splogs' Roil Web, and Some Blame Google

'Splogs' Roil Web, and Some Blame Google

By DAVID KESMODEL
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE
October 19, 2005; Page B1


Spam, long the scourge of email users, rapidly has become the bane of bloggers too.

Spammers have created millions of Web logs to promote everything from gambling Web sites to ornography. The spam blogs -- known as "splogs" -- often contain gibberish, and are full of links to other Web sites spammers are trying to promote. Because search engines like those of Google Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc. base their rankings of Web sites, in part, on how many other Web sites link to them, the splogs can help artificially inflate a site's popularity. Some of the phony blogs also carry advertisements, which generate a few cents for the splog's owner each time they are clicked on.

The phony blogs are a particular problem for Google, Microsoft and Yahoo because each offers not only a Web search engine focused on providing the most relevant results for users but also a service to let bloggers create blogs.


Just this past weekend, Google's popular blog-creation tool, Blogger, was targeted in an apparently coordinated effort to create more than 13,000 splogs, the search giant said. The splogs were laced with popular keywords so that they would appear prominently in blog searches, and several bloggers complained online that that the splogs were gumming up searches for legitimate sites.

A typical splog might contain entries discussing how to play poker, with embedded keywords such as "online casino" and "Texas Hold 'em," making it turn up in searches for gambling Web sites. The splog may link to Web sites that receive commissions for sending customers to Internet casinos.

The splogs also are a big source of frustration for several search-engine start-ups that focus on blog searches, such as IceRocket.com LLC, Technorati Inc. and Feedster Inc. Technorati estimates that 2% to 8% of the 70,000 blogs created daily are phony blogs or splogs. Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and majority owner of IceRocket, recently went online with a complaint that Google's blogging service lacks sufficient controls to prevent automated software from creating splogs in bulk. Title of his message1: "Get Your Blogspot S- Together Google." (Blogspot is the name of the Web site where Google provides free hosting to blogs created with its Blogger tool.)

CLEANING UP COMMENTS


Fake blogs aren't the only tools spammers are using. Blog owners have long been frustrated to discover spam posted in the "comments" section of their blogs, an area designed for interaction with readers.
Peter Shinbach, a public-relations executive who created a Web blog about online communication called "Bach Door," recently closed the year-old blog2 after returning from vacation to find it filled with so-called comment spam. "I'm not in it to be a mechanic, and if it means I'm going to have to go in and clean up everyday, it's not something I want to do," he said. He said some bloggers have suggested he reopen his blog and simply bar comments from readers – one of several tools blogging companies now offer to cut down on spam. But he said he doesn't like that idea, since the point of the blog was to spur discussion.
Even corporate-sponsored blogs have had to take action against comment spam. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, a newspaper featuring blogs written by staffers, recently began requiring anyone posting comments to its blogs to register for the site first. Spam had exploded "astronomically in recent months," said Brian Chin, senior online producer, who writes a blog3 about technology and politics called Buzzworthy.
Aside from giving users the option to close the comments section of their sites, blogging services have also unveiled tools aimed at thwarting automated spamming software. One such tool requires those posting comments to first type in letters that appear in a distorted image – something a robot would have difficulty doing."It's the biggest problem on the Net right now after identity theft. We have to kill millions of the splogs per month" from IceRocket's index, Mr. Cuban said in an interview. He said that while spammers use a variety of blogging tools to create their phony sites, most that he encounters have been created with Blogger -- something Mr. Cuban attributed to the tool's ability to create blogs quickly, easily and free of charge. Following the weekend outbreak, IceRocket temporarily blocked new Blogger sites from appearing in its index.

Jason Goldman, product manager for Blogger, acknowledged on Blogger's official corporate blog4 Monday that the company had been targeted by what he called a "spamalanche." In an interview, he said he sympathizes with Mr. Cuban. But he said that spam is going to be an issue for the blogging community for a long time to come and that blacklisting Blogger would not be an effective response.

"Spam is a particular challenge for us because we want to continue to make the [Blogger] tool very simple to use but not encourage or make it easy for spammers to use," he says. Google's blog service, which hosts millions of blogs, began to notice a lot of phony bloggers using the service six months ago, he added.

Many spammers are buying special software on the Web that allows them to automatically create scores of phony blogs in mere seconds. One program cited by splog critics is BlogBurner, which starts at $47 a month. The tool "creates a unique blog for your Web site in less than one minute -- even if you know nothing about computers," according to the BlogBurner.com5 site.

BlogBurner's founder, Rick Butts, denies that his software is used by spammers. He says it is used by business owners to automatically create blogs based on content pulled from their Web sites. He acknowledges that the blogs being created by BlogBurner are often used to help draw attention to a company's main Web site. "I'm not going to pretend to say we're altruistically creating blogs for humans to read," he says, adding that other companies have mimicked his software and sold it to spammers.

Several bloggers say they are dismayed by the phony blogs. Jon Gales, who runs a popular blog about cellphones called MobileTracker.net6, says he has seen phony blogs that copy the content from his site, apparently in hopes of helping themselves appear higher in search engines.

Mr. Gales says one such blog, with the address of talkingcellulars.blogspot.com, copied a posting he made about a new Motorola cellphone last month. A posting on the site, using the gibberish common to spam posts, said, "Cool blog. I have a home equity loan lowest rate blog myself. It's goes over home equity loan lowest rate. Please visit, thanks!" It linked to a site pitching home loans.

Mr. Gales sent complaints about that blog and another blog to Google, which hosts both, claiming copyright infringement. A Google spokeswoman says the company responded by email, but Mr. Gales says he hasn't received it. Google's Mr. Goldman says the company complies with federal copyright law and may remove material if it violates the law.

Google recently changed the sign-up process for Blogger to make it harder for spam software programs to automatically create accounts. The site now shows users an image of a word that must be manually entered, but is distorted to deceive automated software. Still, Mr. Goldman acknowledges the security feature isn't foolproof.

Also, Google is striving to identify spam blogs and has canceled thousands of accounts, Mr. Goldman says. The company, which also recently launched its own blog search engine, has begun allowing anyone looking at a blog hosted by Blogger to flag content the viewer deems objectionable. Mr. Goldman says Google plans to soon require bloggers it suspects of creating spam blogs to manually type in a distorted word whenever they want to update an existing blog with a new posting.

Google, Yahoo, Feedster and several other companies have participated in two spam-fighting summits this year. Though no firm solutions to the splog problem have been agreed upon, one idea is for the companies that host blogs to rate blogs with a spam index, and then automatically share that information with blog search engines whenever blogs are updated. The search engines would have the option of filtering out particular blogs.

Some computer users, meanwhile, are launching their own responses to the spammers. Frank Gruber, a blogger in Chicago who became frustrated while encountering splogs in search engines, recently launched a site called SplogReporter.com7. It lets anyone submit the Web address of a suspected splog. SplogReporter has created an index to rate how "spammy" a blog is, and is building a database of splogs. Mr. Gruber, who says he was inspired by Mr. Cuban's crusade against splogs, has not decided what he will do with the information. But he says he may share it with blog search engines.

2004 Main Event Final Table player signed up for Sunday

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Whaddya gonna do

Whaddya gonna do?

So the weather guys on local TV down here are all scratching their asses and saying, “I dunno where it’s gonna go?” “What do you think?” “I dunno.”

Yeah, another bitch us out there. There’s no consensus on the track right now. Hopefully, another day will clear up the picture.

Right now, we’re at the extreme northern edge of the ‘cone of misery’, which means it’s very unlikely we’ll get more than some rain and a little wind. Seriously, my biggest worry is some damn power outage keeping me out of the tourney – that would seriously suck scissors.

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

No pokah today. Taking a break. I’ll sharpen a little tomorrow, then take another break before Sunday.

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

Have you ever questioned the value of the homework a teacher sends home with your kid?

And they agreed with you?

Had a meeting with the eldest biggette’s teacher today. She’s way ahead of the rest of the class (1st grade), and telling us she’s bored. Every night, she has a raft of math problems and reading words to go over, and she’s started doing them simultaneously – solving the math problems while spitting out the reading words.

No friggin’ way is she going to go through life on autopilot. I did that all through school (What? Show my work? Aw, come ON!), and still pay the price today. Solutions to business problems that seem obvious and intuitive to me are not necessarily so for others. They require that I do things like get multiple quotes for $100,000 + capital purchases and submit formal justifications and stuff like that. You know, explain myself. I seethe when forced to do 3 weeks of data analysis that only confirms what I already knew.

As a younger, less mature manager, my attitude was, “Fuck that, you’re paying me to do a job so just gimme the money and evaluate me on the results. If I’m wrong, fire me.”

Yeah, that doesn’t go over so well in the real world.

So, Mrs. Big and I are determined to keep our kids challenged and working to learn, right from the start. I’m sure there are schools of thought that say it builds self-esteem for kids to succeed quickly, but is that really a good thing? I mean, it’s kind of like receiving a car on your 16th birthday, versus getting a job when you’re 16 and earning the money to buy it yourself. You always appreciate it more when you work for it, and take better care of it.
I know there is a lot of debate over how much to push a kid and how much pressure is healthy. It’s a legitimate debate. I admit that we’re the kind of parents that push our kids. But, there’s a subtle difference:

We push our kids to challenge themselves and try more difficult things. We don’t push them to “succeed”.

We don’t focus on the results, we focus on the task and the process (hmmm, that sounds kind of familiar…). When she was 3 and learned addition, we started subtraction. She masters subtraction, so we’ve started multiplication. While the other kids are still learning ‘sight words’, we taught her to read several grades ahead using phonics. We don’t allow her think her work is done, and our reward is that she has grasped that the things she learns now are building blocks for the next challenge.

Also, the mechanics of applying pressure in this situation are critical. For instance, we didn’t sit her down and say, “Find harder work, this stuff is too easy”. Instead, we applied the pressure to the teacher: “Find her more challenging work, and teach it to her.” Again, a subtle but significant difference.

I won’t get into the results, but the meeting was very successful from our point of view in terms of the commitments that were made.

---------

Speaking up.

It always pays.

About 6 months ago, Mrs. Big and I were in an auto accident while on our way to our 7th anniversary dinner. Just a minor fender bender, but the other party at fault acted like it was a multi-million dollar claim or something. After going around with them trying to get them to send me a check for ~$400 to fix the problem, I said “screw it” and reported it to insurance and submitted a subrogration claim for my deductible.

After 6 months of hassle with both insurance companies, we got a letter from a FARM insurance company in the STATE saying they were closing the books on the claim and we’d have to pursue it with the other insurance company on our own. I blew a gasket and called everyone involved and read them the riot act about what a piss-poor job they did of handling the claim (the other driver was cited for accident for chrissakes – this ain’t rocket science!), one person got on the phone and got us a check.

In one hour. Bastards.

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The house passed final inspection today, and all of our furniture is back in place. If you’re a new reader, we tried to replace a door back in the spring and found decade-old termite damage. We managed to file a successful insurance claim under the ‘impending collapse’ clause (since removed from every policy in the country), and had the better part of the front of our house rebuilt.

I now call the front door our ‘$20,000 door’.

But, it’s nice to have it over and done – just in time to sell.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The best thing about playing the tournament on Pokerstars?

The best thing about playing the tournament on Pokerstars?

Otis won’t be laying wood on me.

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As for the rest of you, I hope your wives, husbands, mistresses, pimps, bookies…WHATEVER… keep you away from the tables for the first 5 or 6 levels.

Yeah, with 1200+ bloggers, a lot of them aren’t necessarily poker bloggers. So there will be some dead money. But, there’s probably 200+ that can give me an ass-whippin’ anytime they want.

So, stay the hell out of my woodshed for awhile and give me a chance, k? ;-)

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Picked up Ashley Adams’ book, How to Beat Low Limit 7 Card Stud Poker at the library today.

[Sorry to the authors out there, but I only purchase books when someone gives me a gift certificate. With Inter-Library Loan these days, I can literally borrow any book I want to read, free. To paraphrase a well-known midget, if you’re paying for books at Amazon, you’re just giving your money away.]

I haven’t read it yet, but based on my experience the last few months I’d bet it all comes down to one word:

Fold.

Ok, two words:

A lot.

They play anything, those people – no starting hand requirements at all. And your monsters always get paid off. Always.

I think I have a handle on starting hands now, but it’s post-4th street play I need to work on. Maximizing pots on my good hands, getting away from long-shots when I’m clearly beat. Two pair and trips are tougher for me to lay down than a straight when I’m staring at a flush across the board. Inevitably, the pots give decent odds by 6th street to keep calling to spike your boat. But that last bet or two can definitely have you gritting your teeth. With a straight, however, I can easily lay it down unless I have a redraw to a better flush.

It’s kinda weird to think about, laying down a stronger hand but continuing to draw with a weaker hand. Oh well, maybe I can learn a thing or two and clean up what’s probably a huge leak in my Stud game.

Monday, October 17, 2005

French Prostitutes

No, really!


Sex worker Camille Cabral, representing French prostitutes, poses
next to a European Union flag after a press conference organised by the
International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe (ICRSE)



[shiver]

Must. refrain. from. making. Iggy. joke. here.

Stud-muffin

Stud-muffin

That would be a real dorky poker screen name, eh? But, I’ll bet someone reads this and says, “heeeeeeyyyyyyyy……”

Played a Stud MTT last night for shits-n-giggles and placed 215/2000. Not as good as my last few runs, but I actually played with some people that seemed to understand how to play the game. There was one very aggressive player who was also making seriously good laydowns, too. He cost me a bundle when I held Aces over Queens and he had a 2 with two more deuces in the hole.

Ouch.

So, I played short-stacked for most of the tourney. Being short-stacked in Stud magnifies starting hand decisions. I was fortunate to avoid more than my share of bring-ins, so I was able to sit and wait for 3-flushes and premium pairs. At one point I slow-played a flush to triple-up, but even then I still only had half the average stack.

I actually enjoyed the short-stack experience and the discipline it forced into my game. In most of my past MTTs, I’ve been able to build up healthy stacks early and allowed myself to get a little loose. Unfortunately, that can carry over if you’re not careful, so a “calibrating” game every once in a while can be a good thing.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

PokerStars Blogger Championship Blog: Saturday's Daily Blog Winner!

Well, howzaboutthis!

Seriously, I wasn't expecting it but it feels good anyway! One of superstitions is that I like to wear unbuttoned denim shirts at the poker table (with a t-shirt underneath, because those that have met me can testify that my bare chest and large belly would have the rest of the table upchucking in their cup-holders), so that's what I requested.

Thanks guys!

Surprise from Mrs. Big


Received a new limited edition Disney pin for my playing card collection: Jack Skellington from Nightmare Before Christmas, the Jack of Clubs.

This was a surprise release, limited edition pin from Disney earlier this month. It was released in conjunction with the Ace of Hearts Zero pin, also from Nightmare. She didn't win that auction, but maybe when we're a bit more 'flush' I can round out my collection.

I'm definitely liking this new one more than the earlier ones. I feel much more heterosexual now.

Of course, that's probably in the eye of the beholder, After all, I blogged about a Disney Pin. That's still quite gay.


Friday, October 14, 2005

Friday Stuff

Friday Stuff

Finally got around to catching up on my WSOP episodes from this week. My mother-in-law was in town, so between the monopolization (is that a word?) of the TV for Oprah, Martha, and Antiques Roadshow, and my not wanting to antagonize the family that already thinks I’m too obsessed with Pokah, I figured I’d play it tight this week.

If my father-in-law were here, you could add The View and Regis & Kelly to that list, although he kinda has a thing for that Martha Stewart, also. Thinks she’s one sexy woman.

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So, I finally got to see what the hubbub was all about with the slow-roll. Remind me never to piss off Jennifer Harmon. That freakin’ staredown she gave him when she got back to the table was enough for me that I wouldn’t be able to get it up for a month if she shot it at me.

[shiver]

But, how about Daniel? I mean, that dude is running bad, but what’s so freaking scary is that it’s the cards, not him. He’s spot on with his reads, and good enough to make the big laydowns. Of the hands shown, I was impressed.

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Has anyone else checked out the Bravo tourneys at bravotv.com? They are freeroll satellites to a final tournament to win a spot in a televised episode. All for charity, the prize for us is the TV spot. Anyway, you’re given 1000 chips of play money. Or, at least I thought it was play money. I took it a while back when I registered and goofed around on the ring game tables and blew it. Now, the tourneys have started and I can’t register. Looks like that was the chips you get for some fake entry fee, and if they’re gone you can’t play. I put in a helpdesk question yesterday, but so far there’s been no response.

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I set a small goal earlier this summer to read a raft of Florida-centric novels and created a list from the Pineapple Press catalog and a number of websites. I’d already blasted through a lot of stuff by Randy Wayne White, Tim Dorsey, Carl Hiaasen and John D. MacDonald. I had a list of stuff ranging from the Cracker Western series by authors like Lee Gramling to the Alex Rutledge Key West mysteries by Tom Corcoran. Pounded through those now, as well. I thoroughly enjoyed the Peter Wake/Naval Civil War books by Robert Macomber. Heading into the home stretch now with some mysteries by Les Standiford.

I always hate coming to the end of a series or an author’s catalog. I love to read an author’s books in chronological order. It’s just a thing with me. And when I’m finished, it’s like an old friend has left and won’t return for another year.

Leaves me sorta wistful.

Not in a gay way, of course. ;-)

I’ve always enjoyed reading, but stuck mainly with techno-thrillers and political intrigue. A dear friend of my wife’s family is a poet and author, and is active in the Florida writing community. Speaking with her about the workshops and book festivals she attends and the people she meets opened my eyes to the rich literary bounty of this state.

Her son is a college professor, teaching creative writing in Houston, and he laments about the sad state of writing talent among his students. Last Christmas, he pulled me aside and let me know that he had saved my Christmas letter to show his students the following semester because it was an example of how to set aside the “rules’ and write with a clear, unique voice and just tell a story. I was shocked to say the least, and profoundly grateful for the compliment.

I have not revealed to any of them the presence of this blog. I fear being ostracized for setting aside too many rules.

As an aside, my eldest daughter’s birth was referenced in a passage from one of her books, Cruising with the Kir Queen: My Brussels Journal. She has led a fascinating life and this particular book was from a period a few years ago when her husband was employed by the US government and stationed in Brussels. I’ve read several of her books of poetry as well, and found them to be extremely passionate. Unsettlingly so.  You can imagine how strange it is to read about someone’s physical longing for her husband, whose funeral you attended, or any number of other passages that make you wince and say, “Wow, what bravery it took to write THAT down”. Brutally honest stuff.

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Did I mention that I had an actual interview with an actual company yesterday?

Probably not. I didn’t think it went too well. It’s never good when someone gets you on the phone and you can tell by his questions that the first time he’s REALLY reading your resume is right then. Things like his first question:

“So, you have an MBA?”

Um, no, it says right on my resume that I started, but did not complete my MBA.

“So, you have your Six Sigma Green Belt?”

Um, no, never mentioned Six Sigma at all, although I have been through a number of courses, read a vast amount of the literature, and have used the techniques many times. But I never claimed to have a certification in something I’m not certified in. Perhaps I’m a bit too honest, given that there is no real certifying authority for Six Sigma (“um, yeah I have a Green Belt – prove I don’t!”) and it’s actually quite easy to bullshit at the Green Belt level. But, I have a little something called professional ethics.

The rest of the interview was a struggle. He was an HR professional with a number of HR certifications I was familiar with because Mrs. Big had several also. So, not only did I know how the questions would be phrased, I had helped Mrs. Big develop a ‘train-the-trainer’ manual for a consulting project she worked to teach managers in a major healthcare insurer the basics of behavioral interviewing.

So, it was all behavioral questions, but he was asking about things that seemed to be from a textbook:

“Tell me about a time you had to identify critical success factors?”

Of what? I have to identify critical success factors everyday. And then I would launch into a 5-minute explanation to cover a single project or an entire approach to a marketplace. There were times where I knew I messed up an answer, wasn’t clear, and asked if he needed clarification.

“Nope, that’s fine.”

There was also no follow-up. Typically, in a behavioral interview you ask someone about how he or she handled a situation or how he or she might handle a hypothetical scenario. After they answer, you might follow up with a question like, “And how did you do that?”. Or, if their original answer already gave that away, you might ask, “Did you consider this?”. Anything to get to another level and reveal a person’s thinking, rather than a rote reply they prepared in anticipation of your question.

Nada. Question asked, question answered, on to the next question. In fairness, because I know the format of the answer should be Situation – Action – Result, I tend to answer fully and not leave a lot of room for follow-up, but still?

He was also playing that game where the interviewer (I’m sure Otis and G-Rob are masters of this) stays silent and waits for the interviewee to fill the silence (because a void must be filled) in the hope they say something idiotic. Of the classes I did take for my MBA, I aced professional development where the professor got a kick out of running us through a surprise mock-media interview with an antagonistic reporter. I was the only one out of 60 students with sense enough to keep his mouth shut and smile at the camera for 60 seconds of dead air when the surprise question came, rather than look like a corporate tool trying to explain away some corporate malfeasance where I was not in the loop.

Otis, G-Rob, CJ: Next to a politician that refuses to get off message and answer your questions, is there anything more frustrating than a corporate hack that says, “I don’t know anything about that, I’ll get back to you later.”

The particular surprise question was when our mock company was accused of environmental violations. I got an “A” that day for not filling the void with bullshit, and shutting the fuck up.

Unlike this post.

Anyway, I was left with the distinct impression that the most important questions were:

  1. MBA

  2. Green Belt

  3. Salary

  4. Nothing else, unless I said something racist, sexist, or any other example of profound retardation.

The salary was spot on their target. The first two, not so much. One out of three I get to the next interview. Don’t like them odds.



Thursday, October 13, 2005

EVP - Sales and Marketing: TheLadders.com, Inc. - Yahoo HotJobs

This isn't right for me since I'm not from the beverage or gaming industry, but perhaps some of you might find it of interest:

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We are looking for a talented executive from the On-Premise, Beverage Distribution, Gaming or Entertainment industry to take us to the next level.

We are the fastest growing Free Roll Poker League in the US and Canada, and are currently expanding to Universities and Colleges with the Free Roll 'College Poker Tour." We host over 150 membership based Tournaments weekly, with more than 6k members, and will double that by Dec. We are absolutely legal everywhere, because all Play is for Recreational and Entertainment puposes only, there is no 'buy-in' and no Prize Pools of any kind. Winners only receive 'Player Points' for bragging rights and 'standing' in the League.

We are a 100% debt free, closely held company, with about 40 employees, on our way to being a 50 MM + organization (conservative estimate) within the next 2 years.

First tier compmensation package, stock and options for the right candidate.

It is imperative that you know and understand Poker, and particularly Texas Hold 'Em at an advanced level. If so, and you have a strong National level Sales and Marketing track record in Beverage Distribution, Promotional Event Marketing to Bars and Clubs, or a major background in Sales and Marketing within the Gaming Industry, we need to talk.

We are only interested in a 'hands on - feet on the street' "doer", field friendly kind of person, and are not interested in theoriticians, consultants, investors, capital axquisition or any other non-sales candidates.

Our current Sales Team consists of 8 Field Sales Reps and a growing Tele Sales operation. We do not have any marketing, advertiisng or promotional staff. (So far have grown to to be the second largest in the country without it.) But it is time to start incorporating that into our business model.

As a final note, the President and Founder of this company is an 18 year old College Student, so you have to be comfortable working with young aggressive leadership. Its not a problem for the President, as long as it isn't for you.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

No poker here today...

No poker here today…

… move along…

The painters were here today. In this renovation process, the painters being here is equivalent to the river card being dealt. Once they’re finished, it’s time to steam the carpets and move the furniture back in the house.

Oh yeah, I’ve had a very large trailer in my driveway for 6 weeks with the words “…Catastrophe Team” painted on the side. Created a buzz in the neighborhood, I’m sure. About half of our furniture is in there.

Yep, we’ve put ~$30K into this place over the last 2 years and have gotten it just the way we want it. Just in time to sell it, most likely.

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So the Pokerstars Blogger Championship Blog is announcing merchandise giveaways to ‘random’ bloggers.

Ahem.

Look at the top of this blog. Doing my part, guys.

Although, my prediction is that the next one goes to Scurvy.

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Had to pick up a copy of my driving record today. Not important why. Good memories, though. Like the time I got 5 tickets in 4 months. That’s living, folks!

I got a ticket on my way to my first date with Mrs. Big. When the trooper asked me why I was speeding, I replied, “Because I was in a hurry.”

Duh. Ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer…

Yeah, he only kept me there on the side of the road for THIRTY minutes.

We were supposed to meet for lunch in St. Augustine. I lived in Orlando at the time, about a 2 hr. drive. This was Joeboddy’s bachelor party weekend, though, so I’d spent the prior night in various titty bars, and followed that up with an all-night dealer’s choice poker game that I had to leave to make the date. So, I was not in a favorable frame of mind to deal with law enforcement. 16 hours of beer, strippers, and cards, and the trooper never suspected. Not a lot of confidence in his powers of observation.

I thought the date sucked due to my inability to sit up straight and keep my eyes open. We met at Scarlett O’Hara’s, for those familiar with St. Aug. Had burgers and beer on the porch and the conversation kept getting drowned out by the revving motorcycles. I do remember being impressed that the then-next-Mrs. Big had already ordered herself a beer at 1 pm on a Sunday, and she had a burger rather than the same damn salad every woman I ever dated would order on a first date.

BSN’s First Law of Spousal Selection

Beef-eater woman > Salad-eater woman

Can I get a hallelujah from the choir?

I e-mailed her a few times afterwards, letting her know I was dating other people. When she started giving me reasons to break up with the other women, the light slowly dawned that maybe I hadn’t screwed up completely. FOUR MONTHS later we had our second date.

Our third date was only two weeks later, and lasted 10 days. I had to make up for lost time.

Sorry it ain’t the stuff of a Harlequin Romance or a JoeSpeaker post.

Penultimate

Much thanks to Paul Phillips for enlightening this public-school graduate as the real definition of the word 'Penultimate'. Like his writer-friend, I thought it was synonymous with 'zenith'. Go look it up.

For those that follow this blog from time to time, you may remember that I have a bad string of making MTT finishes where I make the 'second-to-last' table. Now, I know I can re-name this blog the Penultimate Blog.

Kinda has a ring, eh?

Anyway, add this one to the mix:


What can I say? I am nothing if not consistent. Not only the latest in a long line of making the 'penultimate' table, but I believe that's my 3rd or 4th time busting out 18th place.

This one was a AP points freeroll, and only paid top 9. So 2:40 of my life up in smoke.

Final hand: I have JJ in MP with an average stack. A mix of tight short stacks behind me with loose big stacks. One of the tight shorts called all of his chips, which was less than 20% of mine. But then the big stack calls.

Uh-Oh.

I turn over JJ, shorty turns over TT, and big stack turns over AsQs. An all-spade flop made for an anti-climatic finish.

Hmmm.... I definitely need to stop being greedy (or is it scared?) late in these things. If my raise had been a standard 3-5X, I might have been able to get away from the flop. Not sure, though. It was under-cards, and I had the Js, so I might have made a play at it. It's all academic now.

Monday, October 10, 2005

My Turn

My Turn…

Here’s what you need to know: loose-calling table, blinds at 15/30, about 800/2000 left. UTG raises 5X, been raising with anything. I’m first to call in MP, then the CO, button, SB and BB all call. Flop is A35, rainbow. BB bets out T120 into a pot that is nearly T1000. Called by the original raiser. I raise to T600, about 1/3 of my stack. Button calls, BB calls, all others fold.

Turn comes a 3. I have both players well-covered by over T1000, so I am pot-committed and put them both all-in. I am worried about 2 pr or a slow-played trips, but since the largest stack I am facing is T400 into a pot of T2800, there was no bet I wasn’t going to call.

Cards turn over and I am thrilled to see A8o and 2-2.

Who calls T165 pre-flop and T600 post flop, then the last of their chips, with 2-2 on an Ace-high board? Well, a guy hoping to catch his gutshot. But, he didn’t. He caught his 2 on the river.

My, my… these guys are cracking me up… just killing me… [BSN says while wandering around the room pulling his hair out and chuckling maniacly…]

Saturday, October 08, 2005

1021!

1021!

Wow, lotta bloggers signed up as of tonight!

Maybe playing those freerolls isn’t such a bad way to practice after all…

Friday, October 07, 2005

Just wondering

Just wondering…

…if anyone has heard whether any of the Pro’s with blogs (DN, Arieh, Williams, etc) are planning to play in the blogger tourney?

I haven’t seen a ‘Stars logo on their sites, and I’m sure there are endorsement concerns for some, but just wondering anyway…

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In Limit Omaha, why do people think it’s a good idea to raise every hand?

I couldn’t get a card post-flop, so they just sucked me dry 2 bets at a time. Of course, they were giving it away faster than me, but when one left, or when I got moved, there was always another to take his place.

And I mean EVERY hand. Same guy each time. Until his chips were gone.

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Played another NLHE MTT. Went deep again, right around 100/1800, then bluffed off over half my chips.

I suck.

I could not get anyone to fold all day. Big bets, small bets, nothing. I won a butt-load of chips early when I had the cards, but did that get me any respect late?

Not effin likely.

So, a top 5% yesterday and top 10% today. What’s that in a real money tournament – bottom 20%?

Yeah, that’s probably right. Once again, about 85% of the field was gone by the first break. So, seriously, it’s probably only equivalent to the 40-50th percentile of the players that actually tried to play.

Putting it into perspective makes me realize just how bad I truly suck.

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On the home front, the l’il biggette has some kind of virus and her temp started spiking today. Keeping a close watch, so I won’t be going with BuccaneerMike to his month-end league tourney tomorrow.

A couple of months ago I wrote about how my house was in danger of collapse due to a 10-yr old termite infestation, damage we just discovered this past spring. After a long and drawn out affair of estimates and negotiations, engineering and permitting, the contractor started working last month. The place is looking great, and that front wall that was replaced is so solid I fully expect it to be standing strong 200 yrs from now while the rest of the place has long since crumbled. Mrs. Big, the shark that she is, successfully argued for a number of cosmetic upgrades to the house for which the insurance will pay. For instance, we had code and ordinance coverage (get this if you are buying an existing home) so anything the contractor touched had to be brought up to current-day codes at the expense of the insurance.

Garage being worked on? New garage door.

One window replaced with code-approved window? Well, all of the windows in the front need to be replaced so they’ll look right and maintain the house’s value.

When it came time to engineer the job, we were angling for new siding. The engineer agreed that they could get away cheaper by leaving the existing wall intact, brace the roof, then pull out the bad studs and replace them, and buddy up the good studs with another set of studs. This would leave a tremendous amount of cosmetic damage to the existing siding however; so on went the new siding! Still cheaper than tearing down the whole wall and rebuilding it to look exactly like it was.

Mrs. Big = Angle-shooter extraordinaire!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Hrm...

Hrm…

Just reading Pauly’s post about getting bad-beat-ed out of the MTTs lately. Me too. My excuse is that I play freerolls where nobody gives a crap about the money. I took KK up against 5-5, AJ, and AQ. I’m loving it, with only 2 aces left in the deck.

Of course, an Ace flopped.

Played a Stud MTT yesterday and got rivered 3 times by hands that should never have been there in the first place.

Now, I can understand the point of just goofing around, and that’s all fine and dandy. But, if someone is playing a Stud freeroll to learn Stud, then I hope they think (3-8)-K unsuited is a winner every time.

Enough bad beat stories from me. Keep ‘em coming, I say.

I don’t want the variance bitch to turn around until 10/23.

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700+ bloggers, eh?

Hope Pokerstars checks ‘em all out, like it said in the rules. Imagine the uproar if someone wins that’s only had a blog up for a month?

Imagine…

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I just got called some rude comments for calling someone down with 2 pr on a flush board. The guy I called down had shown weakness when the flush turned, then goes all-in on the river?

It was for about 25% of my chips. Just didn’t feel right. I figured it was 50-50 it was a bluff, and the pot was giving me 3-2, so I felt I made a good call. Not sure I would have made it if was for all of MY chips, but for all of his, with the math in my favor and plenty of chips left if I lost, I gambled.

Someone took notes on it. A couple hands later, three of us checked down to the river, where one of my cards hit for middle pair. This time, a bigstack bet the minimum (thinking I’d suspect a value bet?), so the pot gave me 4-1 for 1% of my stack. He had nothing, of course.

We’re heading into the break shortly. If I make it, it will be the first break in a NLHE MTT I’ve made since starting while. Of course, I need to run out in another half hour to pick up one of the biggettes from school, so I’ll get most of my stack blinded away unless I get luck and double up before I leave.

How much dead money is in these freerolls?

To give you an idea, I have 80 BBs at the first break. My stack is below average, and 85% of the field has been eliminated.

Sick

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After getting brutally sodomized on the first hand after break slide all the way down to 13BBs, I quickly recovered and now have an average stack. Average right now is 60BBs. I’ll have to sit out (I know, I hate people that do that also) until I return. I polled the table and they agreed they’d rather I sat than screwed them up pushing all-in.

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UPDATE:

Got back to 16BBs and a stack that was 25% of average and 1/13th of the chipleader. It's the second break, and there were 90 players left. On the second hand, I pushed in the CO to open the pot with KQs and was called by the BB for 80% of his chips with A7s. I lost, of course, out in 85th.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Cool SNG this evening

Cool SNG this evening…

Starting to get back in the groove. Tonight’s game was outstanding. A little bit of everything – great play, fishy play, lucky play, etc.

I managed to bluff and/or semi-bluff off about half my chips on 3 hands early in the tournament. Had to shut it down and wait for the biggies. The chip leader was appearing to play patient until the blinds grew, then he started pounding. I spent a good deal of the tournament with only 3-5 BBs. Fortunately for me, he kept defending his pressure-raises when I came over the top. Why, I don’t know. Every single time, I had the best hand going in and coming out. Literally, EVERY single time. And we’re talking at least a dozen all-ins by me with 3 left. Towards the end he was defending sizable re-raises with 4-9o and Q-7o.

Except that last one. His 3-3 to my A9o. He was the short stack by that time, and I got to bust him. Satisfying, given that he went out of the way to bust me many times by defending in the SB when I was trying to knock out another short stack in the BB. Dumb ass only had to get out of the way.

Anyway, right now, he’s probably telling everyone about the luckbox that he couldn’t get rid of when he had over 75% of the chips.

Fact is, he was sure that THIS time would be the time I was bluffing. Funny how I didn’t have to change gears at all – he just completely outplayed himself!

Oh, and the lucky play – the other short stack and I managed to mix it up 3 times with 3 left and heads-up with the same exact hand. Only once did all the money go in, when both of us held the ass-end of the straight heads-up.

Anyway, it was hugely challenging playing the short-stack as long as I did, and fortunately I got my good hands when I needed them most. Also, a tremendous amount of fun, with us playing 3-handed almost 3 full levels.

*************
On the job front, things quieted down again this week. Towards the end of last week I received a call from a recruiter hiring for a position with another Fortune 500 company that I was perfectly qualified for – at least, he SAID I was perfect. When he didn’t get back to me on time I followed up like a 16 yr-old girl afraid she dreamed the captain of the football team asked her to the prom. He telephonically held my hand and promised to get back to me in a few hours.

Yeah, no call. If I had some Haagen Dazs in the house, I’d be elbow-deep in the container. Slap my ass and call me Shirley.

*************
OH!……….

BuccaneerMike focused all September on accumulating enough points in the bar league poker games to qualify for the month-end tourney for $500. He did it, mostly because the only people that show up regularly are the other drunks at the bar that have never played. Of course, I stayed home all but one night.

So, he plays this Saturday. I thought about clueing him in about a tell he has that I can drive a truck through – we’re talking 90% accurate here. The oldest one in the book – he uses small-denomination chips when he’s weak and big denomination chips when he’s strong.

How is this a tell? Players that do this don’t like having a lot of small chips cluttering their spot, or they don’t like taking a lot of time stacking chips when they win. So they figure, “Eh, I’ll just throw out 8 $5 chips and if someone comes over the top at least I don’t have to re-stack them” and “Hmmm, I’ll probably win this hand, so I’ll throw out these 2 $20 chips so I can re-stack them quickly”.

Of course, they don’t think these thoughts consciously (at least, I hope they don’t). It’s just their natural tendency towards efficiency and organization coming through. With BuccaneerMike, I hadn’t looked for this one until a few months ago, because frankly, he was the most disorganized and messiest of us growing up. But I was in his office one day and noticed that there was a place for everything and a folder for every paper. And I tracked his play in da home game, and there it was.

Anyway, I thought about telling him, but decided that with 150 people in a freeroll bar league tournament, 148 won’t know to look for this gem. He’ll be fine in that regard. I’ll just keep this little one for myself.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Sorry, Folks...

I had to turn word verification on in my comments to try to stem the tide of spam that is threatening to overwhelm me and this blog. Last step before turning them off until I drop back below the radar, I'm afraid. It sucks, I enjoy reading your views on the stuff I write. But, spam is moved beyond an annoyance to a time-waster.

Please don't ever click on these people's links. Any traffic they see from this site will just encourage them to drop in here even more.

If anyone has any ideas for how I can go on the offensive against these shitheels, please drop me a note at bigslicknut at yahoo dot com.

Muchas Gracias!

UPDATE: For the benefit of you spammers, allow me to provide you with my traffic: I get about 25-30 unique hits per day, and I think I have another 5-7 subscribers at Bloglines.

Hardly worth your while, eh? I am merely a lemming in this community.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Birds do it

Birds do it, Bees do it, and Pro’s do it, too

So, I’m watching my recording of this week’s Poker Superstars match and Freddy Deeb goes all-in with the Hammer.

Of course, everyone folds. That’s the power of the Hammer.

But…. BUT….. HE DIDN’T SHOW IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WTF???

C’mon, Freddy, you show the Hammer when you drop it buddy! It’s the law!

Checking in

Checking in…

Still building my $1 freeroll cash up into a whopping $10 over at AP. A 1000% return in 5 days. Why, at that rate, I’ll have $100 by the weekend!

Time to go pro!

Not.

Anyway, I’ve had a lot of fun learning the new games. But, I’m getting back in my uniform this week and focusing on NLHE tourneys.

No particular reason… [he says, whistling innocently]

Playing MTTs and SNGs at AP, where I can get $.50 SNGs and tons of freerolls. Cheap practice. The freerolls kinda suck because the first hour is basically a lottery, with some donk always screwing around. So, I just try to avoid the coin-flips during that period and get my money in with made hands. After the idiots bust out, it tightens up and plays more like a cash MTT. Unfortunately, I’ve still not made the first break, getting busted twice by bad beats, and once by a bad play where I screwed up and was drawing to 3-outs. Playing two tourneys simultaneously, I came in 370th… and 371st.

I am nothing if not a consistent loser.

The SNGs haven’t been much better. Four straight 6th place finishes. Disappointing, since I’m actually a decent SNG player. But, I’m definitely rusty. Again, though, I’m getting the ass-end of variance on the bad beats. I do a great job getting my money in with the best hand when I bust out. Just going through one of those suck-out periods. But, running up to those final hands, I don’t think I’m playing optimally. I am definitely not maximizing the value of my strong hands early in the tournament. If I were, I’d have chip stacks to handle those soul-crusher beats. So, I’m working against both my own sorry ability and bad luck.

Back to Harrington, methinks. Definitely need work on bet-sizing and pot manipulation. My reads have been strong, it’s mostly my play that stinks up the joint.