bowling balls and parasols
today is wednesday, which means, you guessed it, brently's day off (can i say that without sounding too ricky henderson-ish? ricky, pick-up the phone; it's!)

anyway, i have done a whole bunch of nothing today - well, at least nothing that counts as something - and i thought it would be wise to have a drink or few...all prior to 2:30PM. nice.

so when does poker officially jump the shark? i contend that it just happened. good ol' TiVo went ahead and pulled this gem for me: poker night at Macaulay Culkin's house. here's the kicker - his poker night consisted of the following people:

*Macaulay as himself
*Phil Laak as desperately seeking an oustide industry revenue source (and dealer)
*Wilmer Valderrama as sidekick metrosexual shill
*Brett Tabisel the heck is this guy?
*Hugh Sterbakov as the ivy league educated writer who loses his ass
*Mila Kunis as semi-hottie walldressing

btw - Laura Prepon is the creator/executive producer. so f-ing sad. it's like one big hollywood nepotistic gang bang.

anyway, i suffered 40 minutes of this for you, gentle reader. and why? oh, b/c i was waiting for the 3:45PM Poker Stars $11+Rebuys tourney. heh.

Macaulay ran away with it, but not before repeatedly groping Mila for the world to see; i don't care if these two are shacked up or not, i don't want to watch Casper the Childhood Actor Ghost fondle Friday's twin. eeeeeewwww!

b/c Hugh and Brett whined so much during the game about how broke they were (nice careers, guys), Little Mac spilt the $10K and gave it to them. awww, how sweet. probably was E's money anyway.

i'm off...pokertime, excellent!

~~~more to come~~~
posted on Wed, 03.30.05 @ 03:18 PM CST [more..]

"You Got a Killer Scene There, Man..."
this made me happy:

PokerStars Game #1422597495: Tournament #6256059, Hold'em No Limit - Level IV
(50/100) - 2005/03/26 - 23:01:47 (ET)
Table '6256059 153' Seat #5 is the button
Seat 1: betterdayzz (6305 in chips)
Seat 2: Willy7818 (4064 in chips)
Seat 3: Linzi (7117 in chips)
Seat 4: sellthekids (5340 in chips)
Seat 5: harpoon85 (3496 in chips)
Seat 6: 2tsofsch (7603 in chips)
Seat 7: 65 Nickie (1300 in chips)
Seat 8: psvegas72 (2260 in chips)
Seat 9: creeper222 (1815 in chips)
2tsofsch: posts small blind 50
65 Nickie: posts big blind 100
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to sellthekids [8s 8c]
psvegas72: folds
creeper222: folds
betterdayzz: folds
Willy7818: calls 100
Linzi: folds
sellthekids: raises 100 to 200
harpoon85: raises 100 to 300
2tsofsch: calls 250
65 Nickie: folds
Willy7818: calls 200
sellthekids: calls 100
*** FLOP *** [Qh 8h Ks]
2tsofsch: bets 500
Willy7818: calls 500
sellthekids: raises 1500 to 2000
harpoon85: raises 1196 to 3196 and is all-in
2tsofsch: calls 2696
Willy7818: folds
sellthekids: calls 1196
*** TURN *** [Qh 8h Ks] [8d]
2tsofsch: checks
sellthekids: checks
*** RIVER *** [Qh 8h Ks 8d] [Kc]
2tsofsch: bets 4107 and is all-in
sellthekids: calls 1844 and is all-in
*** SHOW DOWN ***
2tsofsch: shows [Kh 5d] (a full house, Kings full of Eights)
sellthekids: shows [8s 8c] (four of a kind, Eights)
harpoon85 said, "vnh"
sellthekids collected 3688 from side pot
harpoon85: shows [Ad As] (two pair, Aces and Kings)
sellthekids said, "amazing"
sellthekids collected 11388 from main pot
harpoon85 re-buys and receives 1500 chips for $10.00
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 15076 Main pot 11388. Side pot 3688. | Rake 0
Board [Qh 8h Ks 8d Kc]
Seat 1: betterdayzz folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 2: Willy7818 folded on the Flop
Seat 3: Linzi folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 4: sellthekids showed [8s 8c] and won (15076) with four of a kind, Eights
Seat 5: harpoon85 (button) showed [Ad As] and lost with two pair, Aces and Kings
Seat 6: 2tsofsch (small blind) showed [Kh 5d] and lost with a full house, Kings full
of Eights
Seat 7: 65 Nickie (big blind) folded before Flop
Seat 8: psvegas72 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 9: creeper222 folded before Flop (didn't bet)

finishing 186 out of 1295 made me a little more sad.
posted @ 06:38 PM CST [link]humility on the parade
Brently C. Davenport
6726 Unlucky Way
Missouri City, TX 77459

Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested # 1276ZX56Z90

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Immutable Laws of Probability
777 Trifecta Rd
Las Vegas, NV 89109

REF: Account # 7756341

Dear Immutable Laws of Probability:

1. You are hereby notified under provisions of Public Laws 104-208, also known as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, that your services are no longer desired.

2. You and your organization must CEASE & DESIST all attempts to collect the above debt and remand any and all bad beat loses. Failure to comply with this law will result in my immediately filing a complaint with the Offshore Federal Trade Commission and the Offshore Texas Attorney General's office. I will pursue all criminal and civil claims against you and your company.

3. Let this letter also serve as your warning that I may utilize keyboard recording devices in order to document any online games that we may have in the future. Screenshots and hand histories may also be recorded.

4. Furthermore, if any negative information is placed on my aura of tight aggressiveness by your agency after receipt of this notice, this will cause me to file suit against you and your organization, both personally and corporately, to seek any and all legal remedies available to me by law.

5. Since it is my policy neither to recognize nor deal with luck of any kind, I will no longer recognize your existence.

Give this matter the attention it deserves!

And have a nice day,

Brently C. Davenport
User ID = sellthekids

posted @ 03:02 PM CST [link]this is the thrilling conversation you've been waiting for
AKA - the sound of a suckout (title "borrowed" without permission)

PokerStars Game #1393625913: Tournament #6255811, Hold'em No Limit - Level VII
(100/200) - 2005/03/21 - 18:26:43 (ET)
Table '6255811 2' Seat #5 is the button
Seat 1: natdog100 (43945 in chips)
Seat 2: Im2Money (20772 in chips)
Seat 3: Angelhair (27065 in chips)
Seat 4: CookieDough (6255 in chips)
Seat 5: sellthekids (6510 in chips)
Seat 6: mcjimmc (3060 in chips)
Seat 7: ged roogle (27870 in chips)
Seat 8: Kasi-x (7115 in chips)
Seat 9: RiggsB (14875 in chips)
natdog100: posts the ante 25
Im2Money: posts the ante 25
Angelhair: posts the ante 25
CookieDough: posts the ante 25
sellthekids: posts the ante 25
mcjimmc: posts the ante 25
ged roogle: posts the ante 25
Kasi-x: posts the ante 25
RiggsB: posts the ante 25
mcjimmc: posts small blind 100
ged roogle: posts big blind 200
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to sellthekids [Jc Js]
Kasi-x: raises 400 to 600
RiggsB: raises 400 to 1000
natdog100: folds
Im2Money: folds
Angelhair: folds
CookieDough: folds
sellthekids: raises 2400 to 3400
mcjimmc: folds
ged roogle: folds
Kasi-x: raises 3690 to 7090 and is all-in
RiggsB: raises 7760 to 14850 and is all-in
sellthekids: calls 3085 and is all-in
*** FLOP *** [6s 6h Jd]
sellthekids said, "nh guys"
RiggsB said, "wtf"
*** TURN *** [6s 6h Jd] [5c]
*** RIVER *** [6s 6h Jd 5c] [7h]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Kasi-x: shows [Qs Qd] (two pair, Queens and Sixes)
RiggsB: shows [Ad Ac] (two pair, Aces and Sixes)
RiggsB collected 1210 from side pot
sellthekids: shows [Jc Js] (a full house, Jacks full of Sixes)
sellthekids collected 19980 from main pot
RiggsB said, "what did u think i had???"
CookieDough said, "what a call"
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 21190 Main pot 19980. Side pot 1210. | Rake 0
Board [6s 6h Jd 5c 7h]
Seat 1: natdog100 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 2: Im2Money folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 3: Angelhair folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 4: CookieDough folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 5: sellthekids (button) showed [Jc Js] and won (19980) with a full house, Jacks
full of Sixes
Seat 6: mcjimmc (small blind) folded before Flop
Seat 7: ged roogle (big blind) folded before Flop
Seat 8: Kasi-x showed [Qs Qd] and lost with two pair, Queens and Sixes
Seat 9: RiggsB showed [Ad Ac] and won (1210) with two pair, Aces and Sixes

as you can see by the guy beginning to comment, he went on total tilt/bitchfest for about 10 min. you'd think he has never seen aces get cracked by an underdog. wonder if he knows the odds of it happening.

in my defense, i was on the button, so when i bet this hand i was basically committing my whole stack to the pot, regardless of the flop; i was betting so that i assured myself of actually seeing all 5 cards. while having your aces cracked in this manner is disheartening, i did posses a 30% chance of winning, and in this case, i got all 30%.

anyway, i ended up finishing in 52nd place and making $79.66 for my $31. nothing to be proud of, but i did make the money. RiggsB, who took my bad beat and assured me that he had won more money online than i earned working last year, finished 45th and won $79.66. guess he wasn't as good as he thought. ;-)

tonight is $1/$2 NL at Northside...that is unless i decide to play $10/$20 Limit with a Kill. i am anxious to move up, but like most folks, not anxious to get stuck for $500 in one sitting. what's that old proverb? nothing ventured, nothing gained?

~~~wish me luck~~~
posted @ 04:09 PM CST [link]don't fear the reaper
if you haven't noticed by now, most of my post titles are either song titles or lyrics. i usually try to match them to the topic at hand, and yes, i do feel pretty witty most of the time. today's title has nothing to do with playing fearless or betting into dangerous boards or overcoming scare cards on the turn; no, today's title is in reference to the Darwin Award nominee who's parents decided that it was BOC's fault that their child shrugged off this mortal coil after listening to "Don't Fear The Reaper"; they then proceeded to file suit. ah, that good ol' American past-time of blaming others. so without further ado, i would like to blame last night's $250 commode flush to...Dr. Dre's The Chronic.

see, i like to play poker AND listen to music. call it my chocolate in the peanut butter. or the peanut butter in the chocolate. either way, i usually pack my iPod with me and listen to a playlist while in either ring games or tournaments. for the last several weeks i have been perfecting a playlist called "B L U F F". it is roughly three hours of music, running the gamut from Getz/Gilberto to Snow Patrol to Led Zepplin to Sinatra. last week i added Dr. Dre's The Chronic and 2001 to the iPod and my playlist, giving me enough old school rap to keep me from forgetting about Dre. during tournaments there are often times i need to pause what's playing (curl up in the think tank!), so a three hour play list usually gets me at least to the final table. last night we ended earlier than usual when, with four players left, we made a deal, so i had some playlist left for the $1/$2 PL ring game. about 30 min into the ring game i still had $250 of my $300 buy-in in front of me and then it happened - the playlist ran out. [cue ominous music]

i should have just restarted it, right? well, instead, high on "Crunk Juice" and feeling bulletproof and invisible, i thought maybe Dre would be good. you know what? it wasn't about 10 minutes into The Chronic till i caught those pocket nines. i think Jim Morrision said it best when he said, "this is the end, my only friend, the end." IIRC i was the BB, so i knew i would need to play strong, so that people wouldn't think i was stealing. fortunate for me, all the people in the ring game had been in the tournament: they had seen the hands i played, witnessed my tight/agressiveness, and were privy to my finish (remember: i was 2nd in chips out of 4, and seriously more chipped than places 3 or 4.) with four or five people already committing $2 to the pot to see a flop, i came out with $25, essentially raising to double the pot. as i wanted (and expected) all folded...except the small blind, who ponder for half a sec and kicked it in. i was not pleased, but with "Let Me Ride" thumping in my ear and a ganster roll in my pocket, i mentally commited to taking this pot down...all pre-flop! wait! what in the heck was i thinking? why would i make up my mind to win a pot with a measley pair of nines all pre-flop? hubris? ah yes, good old arrogance. my only friend, the end. when the flop came out ten high, two spades, i wrong-headedly made a bad assumption: the small blind bet out $25 and i figured he must be on the flush draw, holding the nut ace of spades. so what do you do when you are full of arrogance? why re-raise, of course. "make it $50," i said, with what i am sure sounded like bravado worthy of a Clint Eastwood movie. with "Nuthin' But a "G" Thang" in my head, the small blind smooth-calls. smooth-calls? SMOOTH-CALLS? ^$*&&%^%*&%^$. i now have $75 in the pot and i feel like there is no way i can get away from this. why? i dunno. the blinders were on and i was being lead to the glue factory. giddy-up, Mr. Ed. fortunate for me, the river brought an undercard that was not a spade, so we both checked. now i certainly put him on a flush draw and was actually feeling better about the hand; check that - i was feeling like that damn pot was coming home to papa! when the turn brought yet another undercard that wasn't black, the small blind went all-in. i figured he was trying to make a stab at it after he missed his flush, so i called him down, leaving me $33 in my stack. as i started to turn my cards, the small blind said something to the effect of "you got me, you got an overpair, right?" um, no. i wish i did. he played his A10o all the way, even though he thought he was beat. *^(*^&%*^&$%$#%$. i rapped the table, smiled meekly, and turned off Dre.

so you see, members of the jury, if my client hadn't been swayed by the swagger and pomposity of this gangster rap, he would have laid this hand down, more than likely on the flop, and only have lost his big blind. you honor, we are asking for immediate summary judgement and an award of damages in the amount of $250.

moral of the story: don't over play small pairs (again, same damn moral that i had about five posts ago) and don't listen to music that might get you over-excited.

posted @ 11:44 AM CST [link]i'm gonna change
just got back from playing at Northside: we got down to 4 players, i was 2nd in chips trailing the leader who had about 3 times my stack; the other two players had about half my stack of 400K. we all agreed to split the prize pot four-ways even, making $720 per player. a good little profit for my $100 buy-in!

i then proceeded to get stuck in $1/$2 PL for $300. ouch! i rode a wired pair of nines all the way down, and got busted by A10o, who pair the board with his ten. poor play, poor play, poor play.

so i still ended up making $300 for the night. all in all, another good take. but i am most happy with my tournament play, where i was able to wait for hands, be aggressive, and win some pots. i only sucked out once and that wasn't much of a suckout since the other player checked it to the river where i ended up flushing. maybe the key is going in for the full $100 straight out.

anyway - i will ruminate on this some more and talk up some key hands tomorrow!
posted @ 08:32 PM CST [link]

What U Gon' Do
how much gamble is a bad gamble? said another way, what is the lowest percentage that you are willing to risk for losing? fifty percent? thirty percent? twenty percent?

i guess i should qualify this and say that it of course matters whether we are talking cash games or tournaments. cash games, when you go broke, you go home or rebuy; tournaments, when you go broke, you are out. so of course, i would expect many people to say that the percentage they are willing to accept is much higher for tournaments than cash games, and that is true for me too.

yesterday, just screwing around after i had closed the shop and while i was waiting for all the dogs to do their dirty business outside, i joined a ring game on Full Tilt, a $.50/$1 no-limit game. i bought in for all that i had deposited, a little north of $30. it didn't take long for me to be in the big blind and be presented with suited connectors, 10 9. i got to see the flop for 2xBB, so i am playing for a $2. the flop comes 4 J 2: hmmm - so i am first to act and i am four-to-the-flush (plus, should god smile on me, i have a possible draw to a straight.) number outs? 9. rough percentage = 36% chance of winning. so if i have properly read my two opponents, the flush will be the winner. i am first to act and i check and i want a free card, which of course i know i am not going to see. the pot is $6.50 and the player to my left raises the pot, making it $13. the player to his left re-raises $24, making it $37. well now, what's the story morning-glory? obviously we have an over-pair, kings or queens maybe, versus maybe AJ or J10? and here is my quandry: do i put all my dough in for a chance that 1 out of 3 times i will win? i still got the turn and river to come? do i gamble with the implied odds?

the answer is yes, i did gamble. with the pot at $37 and one to still act behind me, i put my remaining $27 into the pot, making it $64. by the end of betting, headed to the turn, the pot is a little north of $90. i have put close to $30 in it, meaning i should have a hand that is better than 33% to win and i barely do. was this smart? was it prudent? was it close?

truth be told, it seemed loose to me, but pot odds are tough to escape. i missed both the turn and river and we saw the original raiser turn over the nuts, trip jacks; the re-raiser had the Gabor sisters.

while i would never do this in a tournament (or at least i hope i wouldn't) it was such a close percentage for me to play (36% to win versus 33% in betting odds) that i accepted the risk. looking back i think this is an area where i could develop more control. the goal in poker is to make money more often than not and if you play too many hands where you will only win one in three, you are not going to win more than lose. while it was fun to gamble, successful players will limit plays like these. sometimes i feel like i don't limit them enough. you live and you learn?

today is Sunday, so that means the Northside tourney is at 4PM. another chance to redeem myself and make some good plays. today i am going to rebuy straight off at the beginning. why? my hope is that i will be able to overcome the psychological problem of looking down and seeing so few chips while it feels like the blinds are rising so fast. this is just a perception problem i have, but i want to see if maybe today i can counteract it and help calm myself into waiting for the hands i want to play, to get my money in when i have the best of it.

we'll see!
posted @ 12:11 PM CST [link]how ya' like me now?!
as you hopefully noticed, the site has undergone a bit of a metomorphisis (no, not like Jame Gumb...a bit more subtle.) i am very happy with the new look and owe all my thanks and admiration to Heather Cobb, who is the Graphic Bad Ass of Houston (i think her business card has G.B.A.H. on it.) if you need a banner or image lemme know and i can put you in touch with her.


ok, back to work!
posted @ 01:09 PM CST [link]bitches brew
today is a hodge-podge of links and info, just things i have found to read or that interest me.

first up, great link on the true randomness of shuffling a deck. interesting info. i too have yet to see a deck get shuffled seven times before play.

Otter shot me a link to the Houston Press article on rise of poker and underground poker rooms. good sidebar links to Matt Dean and Sam Farha.

a Yahoo group set-up by Texans for Poker, a group who is trying to create a grassroots movement to legalize poker (such as it is in CA.)

lastly let's end with a hand summary from a tournament game of poker on Poker Academy:

Poker Academy Pro #1195 [No Limit Table 1]
Mar 15, 2005 3:42:36 PM

1) bcd_050221 $1110 Ac As
2) Trogdor (sitting out)
3) Nervous Ned $370 5s 3d
4) Amanda $2537 9h 8c
5) Chuck Reese * $1660 6s 5c
6) Enoch $1320 Ad Kd
7) Syd Pott (sitting out)
8) Max Bette $783 Jc 7s
9) Oliver Chips (sitting out)
10) Jack Pott $2220 6d 4s

Enoch posts $20 small blind
Max Bette posts $40 big blind
Jack Pott folds
bcd_050221 raises $40
Nervous Ned folds
Amanda folds
Chuck Reese folds
Enoch raises $1240 (all-in)
Max Bette folds
bcd_050221 calls $1030 (all-in)

FLOP: Th 4c Qc

TURN: Th 4c Qc Jh

RIVER: Th 4c Qc Jh Js

bcd_050221 has Ac As
Enoch has Ad Kd
Enoch wins $2260 with an Ace High Straight.

what are the odds? going to the flop i was almost a 90% favorite - this is the definition of domination, where catching either card still won't make a winning hand. yet, thanks to the immutable laws of probability, the board provided my computer opponent a straight, proving that sucks out happen everywhere (online, B&M and simulation.) weee!

now for the good news - thanks to the Geek Squad (which is really just the name for Best Buy's techies, since they bought the company and rolled it into their stores) my home PC is now up and running. diagnosis? dead power supply. total cost to fix it? $90. total time elapsed? 15 minutes.
posted @ 03:38 PM CST [link]get in the ring
(sorry for the G'NR titles...i think i am done with them as of today. heh.)

so i decided to forgo my trip to Lake Charles and play at Northside on Tues night. saved myself six hours of driving plus $50 in car rental; means i can add $50 to the money total i won Tues night, right?

arrived at 8:15PM. there was a small tournament running, i didn't ask the particulars, but sure wish i could get there at 6PM when they open, b/c i would have loved to play in a SnG there. the $1/$2 no-limit game was already running and i had to get on the list to wait for a chair. and wait i did.

round about 8:45PM the tournament ended and they set-up the $10/$20 limit game. i was still down the list for the no-limit game by one person, so i chipped up for $500 and sat in. i have never played $10/$20 - a level certainly above what i would normally play - but i was bored and figured that if i started to run bad i could always bow out and still wait for my seat in the no-limit game. as it happend, i got to play all of three hands before my seat became available and i cashed out of the limit game up $92. heh.

the max chips you can buy into the no-limit game is $500, so prior to sitting down i had to cash out $100 of my chips. no biggie. i sat with $492 and had the biggest buy-in stack on the table. next closest guy had roughly $350. game was ten handed with a pretty tight group of players: 3 guys on Spring Break from UofH, couple of older men, and about 5 guys round my age. the cards ran well for me all night and i was able to play my game and maintain a good, tight/aggressive table image. i was dealt pocket aces twice over the course of the evening, bringing it in for $50 and $25 respectively, neither time got any callers and i showed the hand so that everyone understood i wasn't stealing the blinds. i had AK a few times, although i know at least once i had to throw it away on the flop when it missed and two guys to my left bet out strong; this was a prescient move b/c the guy to my immediate left had AA and ended up busting out the other guy who was drawing to an open-ended straight. i didn't take down any huge pots, but slowly accumulated a small stack and ended up $240 for the night, earning roughly $48/hr for my time there. better than what i made programming - take that ADP!

overall it was enjoyable and i might consider doing this each Tuesday night. certainly still want to play in the Sunday tourneys and i am eyeing the $10/$20 game. i would like to move up and see what i could do there.
posted @ 08:59 AM CST [link]use your illusion, II
wow, two posts in one day? wth?

proving you should never check your email: my plans for tomorrow are now in question: should i take a whole day, rent a car, go to Lake Charles and play in two tournaments

- OR -

should i go play tonight at Northside's $1/$2 NLHE ring game, something i have yet to do


see if i go tonight to Northside (and forgo my trip to Lake Charles) i could play late into the night tonight. i am not real sure how late they play during the week (better said, i am not sure what the demand is for NLHE during the week.) on Fri and Sat nights they play until the sun comes up. anyway, theoretically, i could see a lot of hands playing there tonight and only be 35 min away from home, which when compared to the six hours of driving that it takes in total to go and come from Lake Charles...well, it is very compelling.

- BUT -

tonight is all ring games. i am not sure what my addiction is, but i really like tournaments. a lot. a lot a lot.

ok, i think i do know why i like them better: tournaments are a lot like lotteries; limited risk for a semi-decent payout. for instance, the tournament at Harrah's is a $15/$15, meaning $15 chip buy-in and $15 fee to the casino. you then have the option of three rebuys at $25 a piece. total cost is as little as $30 or as great as $105, if you do all the rebuys. 1st place generally pays out around $2K, or roughly 20 to 60x the cost to play. i generally have played for $80, sometimes for as little as $55. conversely, when you play ring games, you are only out when you stop buying chips. you can buy in for a maximum of $500 or as little as $100 and when you go broke you can rebuy again. and when you go broke you can rebuy again. and when you go broke you can rebuy again.... i think that is the thing that makes me like tournaments more: limited risk.

don't get me wrong, when in Lake Charles, if given the chance, i play NLHE. it is $100/$300 buy-in with $1/$2 blinds. last time i played i made a little over $400 in 45 min (right before the start of the WSOP Super Satellite. heh.) so i do play it. the question is, will i play it tonight?

not having to make that drive sure is appealing.

well, either i'll post the haps from tonight tomorrow, or i will be in Lake Charles and sleep-deprived when i post on Thursday.

posted @ 05:10 PM CST [link]

use your illusion
ahhhhhhhhh! nothing like being back to pre-Spring Break normality. don't get me wrong - i like making money, so being busy is nice. but anyone who tells you that owning your own business and working 60-80 hours a week is easy is both a fool and a liar. so as of today there are 10 dogs left boarding and as usual per tuesdays, no grooming. Dar is off today and last i spoke to her she was sleeping. mmmm, sleep - that's where i'm a viking.

tomorrow is my day off and a glorious one will it be! tomorrow also has some key factors that are leading me to my decision of what to do on my sole day off of the week:
#1 - our groomer is off till friday (his family is in from New York.) so tomorrow will be a stress-free day for Dar.

#2 - my home PC has gone putuzzzzzz! dunno wassup: it blue-screened on Sunday and now will not even power up. it is a Dell with less than a year on it (i think.) i gotta either call Dell or take it somewhere local. very odd crash and i r pissed. thank god there is nothing on the HDD worth keeping.

#3 - i have $700 cash burning a whole in my pocket! normally i keep most of my poker roll in Neteller, for easy access to online play, but with Sunday's windfall, i have a wad of cash on hand and b/c yesterday was so balls-to-the-wall with Spring Break check-outs, i haven't made it to the bank. hmmmm - that spells one thing.....

L A K E &nbsp C H A R L E S, B A B Y !

so i have made my car reservations and i am off for another day of poorman's gambling. same plans as usual: noon $30 freezeout at Isle of Capri, followed by 6:30PM WSOP Super-Satellite at Harrah's. hopefully somewhere in the middle i will get some NLHE in, but usually during the day between these two tourneys i have to put up with $3/$6/$12 limit. ugh.

anyway, i will have to check my books, but i think this will be my sixth WSOP tourney attempt at Harrah's and so far i am not batting very well. one 4th place (money). two 5th places (money). one 6th place (money). one blow-up with about one-third of the fields still alive (eeek - no money). only the top two places get seats in the satellite, which is held at the end of each month. will this be the time for me? dunno - but i gotta do something or else i am going to have to convince my wife i need to go to Vegas and try the satellites there for the WSOP. yeah, good luck with that one!

well, nothing going on today but the rent. i'll try to polish up a few books and watch all the dogs and get some rest for tomorrow!
posted @ 12:54 PM CST [link]i'm not dead yet; i want to go for a walk
played in the usual Sunday tourney at Northside. i did some pre-tourney prep by reading and re-reading the AK, big pairs, and small pairs sections of McEvoy & Cloutier's Championship No Limit & Pot Limit Hold 'Em. i wanted the simple ideas of how to play these hands fresh in my mind so as to keep me true to more solid play.

one of the big facets of playing the Northside tourney is that the blinds rise so quickly (a lot like online tourneys: every 10 minutes, starting with $1/$2) and your starting stack is so small ($40 in chips for $50 buy-in ($10 goes to the house for the dealers)) that you have to (a)wait for a quality hand, and then (b)get all of your money in, while (c)hoping to not be drawn out on; that is the nature of these small tourneys - luck is much more of a factor. but there is a rebuy! the first break comes at the one hour mark, at which point you can rebuy/addon or you must surrender your opportunity to do so. there is only one rebuy/addon, meaning the total cost of the tourney is a maximum of $100. for the past two weeks i have successfully spent $100 and gone out before the break and this week would be no different. yipppee!

in order of apperance, this week i had one semi-suckout and two semi-bad beats:

the semi-suckout
i was a 3 to 2 favorite with A J vs 8 9. with the blinds at 3/6, i lead out with a little over 3xBB, making it 20 to go. the 89 called and we saw a flop that brought the United Nations - A, 10, J, giving me top two pair! BUT, the 89 was a real noobie; he had a little less than $40 in chips left and he had already of course he is going to call. i put him all in and he showed his straight draw versus my made two pair. i was already counting his chips in my mind! alas, what's that old saying about chickens and hatching? the turn brought a king and (ISYN) the river was a queen, meaning the board had the nut and we split the pot; i went from pretty much doubling through to making a $5 chip profit. harrumph!

semi-bad beat one
i was a 2 to 1 favorite with my JJ wired vs. A 10. i was all in on flop which brought a rainbow 8 9 2. the turn brought a jack, giving me trips but making the river queen an all but certainty; my opponent made his straight and topped my trips. luckily i had him covered by about 20 chips but had to immediately use my rebuy to have some chips to continue play.

semi-bad beat two
again a 2 to 1 favorite with again wired jacks (will i ever learn?) vs. A J. i was all in pre-flop and my opponent hit an ace on flop and that is all she wrote. this was the second time in 10 minutes that my wired jacks got crushed. i sulked off to sit in the "consolation" bracket.

freed of the $100 that was holding me back, i moseyed over to the $1/$2 PL table and waited for some more peeps to bust out of the tourney. round about 5PM we got a 9 handed game swinging. now you may often read that many of the top pros love the WSOP, not because of the tournament, but because of the juicy side games. well, last night lady luck was on my side in the side game and in a single hand i tripled my $200 buy-in. after tipout i ended up cashing out with $560 - $360 profit, erasing my tournament loses for the past three weeks and giving me beer money to boot - woot! so how do you take $200 buy-in and turn it into $560 in roughly two hours? pocket kings, of course.

at a nine handed table i was in the big blind when i looked down and found the Maloof brothers staring back at me. i look to my left and watch the players work it around the ring: the UTG player raised it to $5 and seven of the eight players called, making it $38 in the pot (the small blind folded, ending the hopes of a family pot.) when i anted i put $5 out, expecting change - instead of leaving it and calling, i raised and made it $50 straight to play. i figured i might get a caller or two; instead i got four! so headed to the flop, the pot was a cool $266. let's see some cards! the high card on the flop was a 10, with one other card being a heart. the flush possibility and the idea that someone had wired tens worried me, but despite this, i immediately went all in - hoping to shut out the flush draw and isolate someone heads-up. yet the $95 i had left was obviously not enough to stop people from gettting pot odds: the UTG went all in with her remaining $38, the two middle players called for the full $95 and the cutoff man went all-in for $22. pot = $611. now i am seriously worried. the SB (who was out from the beginning) and i begin to chat about what is out there and we're both thinking two pair has it, with tripped 10s being possible. at this point i have resigned myself that my money is gone and all i can hope is that the turn or river brings me a king. turn is a J and the only two guys still in go check-check. river is a brick and both players check-check. i meekly flip my kings and the UTG quickly punches me in the shoulder and reveals her wired queens. one player down! two to her left, the table big stack (he bought in for $500 when we all bought in for $100 or $200) flips A K - he was on the nut flush draw from the flop forward! rack him! the middle position guy mucks his hand without showing (we can assume he was on a lower flush draw or held and ace and smaller kicker), and the cutoff man reveals A10 offsuit. i stare dumbfound as the pile is pushed my way.

so for the remainder of the night i pondered: did i play this right? did i play it wrong? was i just lucky? did the laws of probability switch to my side?

looking back, i really don't think i would have played this any different, regardless of the outcome. i was not going to put $195 all in pre-flop, but once i saw that the flop brought ten high, i had to shut down the flush draw (which unfortunately/fortunately i did not have enough money to do.) ideally i would have put $250 into the pot on the flop, so i was pretty short. it begs the question if i had bought in for my usual $300 and pushed all in on the flop with $195, would i still have gotten callers? would the A K have folded to $195 or even $250 on the flop? it is pretty doubtful. he would have had $300 in the pot at that point and would have still had $200 in his stack to keep playing if he lost; i doubt i could have pushed him out, esp since he had roughly a 36% chance of hitting the nut (34.88% for all you math geeks.) still, with the kings and that flop, it was all or nothing for me and that is the beauty of cash games.

~~~until next time~~~
posted @ 02:23 PM CST [link]and now for something completely different
well, today is the 7th day of spring break for FBISD and i am about worn out. currently, with grooming, boarding, daycare and my dogs there are seventy (yeah, 7-0) dogs in the shop. we have 35 boarding this weekend and have had roughly 30 boarding for the last ten days or so. while i enjoy money, if i had to be this busy day-in and day-out, i would go nuts. thank god our kennel help works on sunday so that we get a full day off. whew!

so i continue to play piss poor poker. last sunday at Northside i went out in roughly 30th place out of 40 people. why? b/c i continue to be impatient and make questionable bets/calls with marginal hands. why call all-in with A10o? um, no reason (i mean, there was a reason: there was already one other person all-in and i put both these guys on hand without an ace. so i was gambling that i would pair my ace and win the hand. sure 'nuff, one guy had JJ and one had tens, but i did not pair my ace, missing roughly 20% chance on a bad gamble...bad!) so what if you have put 25% of your stack in the pot pre-flop...walk away! well, i didn't. i also still seem to have control issues when holding wired pairs, 10 down to deuce. i have experimented with limping, 3-4xBB, even overbetting the pot; all have been disasterious. yesterday i read Tom McEvoy and T.J. Cloutier's section on how to play them and this sunday i am promising myself to stop and think prior to acting. Cloutier espouses that he doesn't even play these pairs unless in middle to late position and then he usually limps with them. he also pointed out that a raise or two in front of him might also cause him to fold his small pair, since the raisers would be showing strength, particularly out of position. it all sounds very simple, and in practice it should be, but for some reason i have had difficulting controlling my impulses. patience, patience, patience.

after blowing up and bowing out in the tourney last week i played a little $1/$2 pot limit - didn't see many hands in the hour that i played and ended up with only $12 in profit. ugh. the guy next to me? no lie, he was up $500 for the hour that i played. $500 in $1/$2 pot limit. one hand raked him in roughly $300 when he limped with A3o (and called a raise behind him) and made a full house on the flop. two callers both had aces, one with AQ and one with AK. it was a car accident waiting to happen. i ended up playing about 5 hands, winning 3 to make that big money. this week my goal is to play long enough in the tourney so as to not need to play the ring game. ;-)

well, work beckons....
posted @ 11:05 AM CST [link]how to handle a rope
it has been a day. wednesdays are my days off, so i got up early to hit the 7AM Poker Stars $11 Rebuy tourney. after blowing through four rebuys for an extra $40, the decks finally warmed and gave me some winners. but how about the first bad beat? that would be 7 min into the tourney when my wired 9s trip on the flop and i get all-in'd by a guy holding two pair. his out? he hits his full house (aces full of fives) on the river. anyway, by the first break i was in 48th place out of the remaining 195 players (258 started) with 8750 in chips. i spent another $10 to make it 10750 after the break (and the end of the rebuy period.) at the end of the second break i am in 42nd place with 17825 in chips.

during this second hour hand # 1292572466 played out interestingly: the blinds are 75/150 and i am in the small blind, where i pull KQ. 3 callers, plus myself and the big blind head into the flop. flop comes K 9 6 and i am first to act. i have hit top pair, but don't have top kicker, plus the board has a flush waiting; i bet out the pot - 750. the BB folds, middle seat calls and the guy in the cut-off seat (absinthian, with 13480 in chips) tacks on an additonal 900 to make it 1650 to go. hmmm, now i am thinking maybe he slow-played AK or KK. i study for a sec and call. middle positon calls and we are three handed to the turn with 5700 in the pot. the turn brings a 9, pairing the board. i am in a bad spot b/c i am first to act. absinthian's re-raise has me worried, so i check it around to him. middle postion checks and absinthian bets out 1900. now i am faced with either calling or raising but i have at least one advantage - i had been playing with this guy for the four previous levels. during this time, i put him on being loose/aggressive/possibly maniacal: he was playing lots of pots and hit chip total was swinging wildly. while this is pretty standard for a re-buy tourney, i watched him get called down a few times where he either had to show his hand or he mucked, which allowed me to see his cards via the "Request hand history" function. he seemed to be playing looser than most, certainly looser than me! so with a smidgen of trepidation, i smooth called his bet. the middle player folds out - we'll never know his hand, but 1900 more was too rich for his blood. on to the turn where a Td comes out; a brick for me but if this crazy fool was playing J Q on the draw for his flush, well bingo-bango b/c he just pulled a straight! again, i am first to act; i check and absinthian bets out 3200. with so much in the kitty i am pretty much forced to call, with a wide range of hands that could be crushing me. my calling makes the pot a whopping 15900 and leaves me with 4075 in chips. moment of truth: absinthian turns over Jh5h - not only was he on the flush draw the whole time, but he was betting into it! winning this pot catapults me into 14th place with 19975 in chips.

i realize this was a risky hand, esp since all i had was top pair and a semi-poor kicker. BUT - i think this is a little bit of what Malcolm Gladwell was talking about in Blink: after playing four rounds with this joker, i was able to thin-slice the data and go with my "gut." now the immutable laws of probability could have given him his flush and had it i would have probably laid down, but the flush never came and something told me this guy was on the draw.

anyway, i ended up in 10th place, taking a crushing bad beat when my pair of kings (made on the flop) fell to trips tens (made on the flop & turn!!) i was a 78% favorite headed into the turn and would have doubled-through to become the chip leader. the guy who beat me, Hawken24, went on to win the tourney. my cut: $130.44 less the $61 cost = $69.44/ 4 hours of play = $17.36/hr. umm, i made more than that programming. geez.

anyway - while i was happy with my play, even more with the fact that i only sucked out once in four hours, i still was very disappointed to miss playing for first and the almost $3K it paid out. oh yeah, one other weird anomaly: i got KK wired 3 times in less than 10 minutes, one time which doubled me through to 23rd place.

currently i am playing in the afternoon version of this morning's tourney and since we are now past the first break (and the end of the rebuys) i need to go pay attention to my opponents. btw - i am in 284th place out of 455. crank it up!
posted @ 04:47 PM CST [link]

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