Friday, November 30, 2007

The Mookie and Riverchasers

wtf - Am I just getting too old, or what? I can barely remember playing in the Mookie. Not that I did anything memorable in it this time ...

Ahh ... Riverchasers. I should have known it was time to bend over since Full Tilt had been a little too good to me lately. I thought I was gold when I flopped a set of 4's. Yep -- should have known that someone else would flop a set of 7's. End of story.

A Little Live Poker Action

Time for a little in-person action at Illinois Charitable Games this weekend. I scored big in the $1/2 NL action last time, so my main focus will again be on the very weak NL cash game players the games seem to attract. I am thinking about playing in the tournament Main Event, but my history of bad beats at ICGA tourneys makes me skittish about getting boofed again.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bodonkey Victory

After winning two early Bodog Blogger tournaments and getting a second place in another, I had been in a major funk at Bodog. The nadir was when, in a $1/2 NL game, I flopped a set of 9's against K-K and was all in. One King was already mucked, so I looked pretty good until ... the river! That King wiped out my bankroll and left me with just tournament credits. They were almost all gone until today's Bodonkey.

I knew that if I didn't donk out early that I would have a little problem: I had to pick up my son at his middle school when he came home from an evening field trip.

As the tournament inched toward the two-hour mark, it was time for me to leave. So ... I got my high school sophomore daughter to sit in front of the computer and tell me my pocket cards and the situations by cell phone. Fortunately, I got mostly poor cards and was just telling her "fold ... fold ... fold." It was a crisis when I hit trip Jacks.

"Do you mean I have two Jacks or three? What else is on the board."

"Dad - hurry up -- what do I do?"

"Raise ... hit the Raise button ..."

She kept me in the game while the field trip came back LATE (naturally). I got home just as the second break started, and was surprised to find that we were already at the final table. My goal was to finish at least 5th to get the T$109 added to the payouts. I won a coin flip -- my 10-10 vs A-K, to get there. Once there were five left, my next goal was 3rd and a cash. After BuddyDank went out in 5th, I played tight until ChayseTilton went out in 3rd. coxlaud was the big stack, and when heads up with him, I doubled up quickly and was even. We jousted for about ten minutes until I bested him with a few slightly-better hands for the victory.

Thanks to smokkee and Bodog Poker for setting up the sweetest overlay around.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Tournament Action

I saw a little success Friday with two tournaments at Full Tilt: Bad Beat on Cancer and a 90-person $10 SNG.

I played the Bad Beat tournament since two pros, Rafe Furst and Thomas Wahlroos, were playing, and there was a small field of 33. Unfortunately, I didn't get to log in any time playing against either pro. I did, however, finish in 4th place -- better than the two pros, at least.

In the SNG, the final table went on forever. I finally bailed out in 6th place -- a tad disappointing.

Poker Edge Profile

I looked up my profile at, and this is what it said:

Pre-Flop Tendency: SEMI LOOSE - The Poker-Edge software automatically color codes neutral players in BLACK for easy identification.

Player Type : You are a Bomb (Aggressive/Aggressive). Your Aggressive play Pre and Post Flop makes the table fear you. The Poker-Edge software shows you the Bombs by placing an icon next to their name at the table!

Strengths: Your aggressive nature is your biggest strength. You win many pots on bluffs and semi-bluffs.

Weaknesses: Your biggest weakness is you sometimes lack discipline. Your aggression is unwarranted sometimes. People slowplay or check-raise you because they know you will bet.

Best Advice: Work on your discipline, and you will be a shark.

Wow - is that really me??

Friday, November 23, 2007

Poker Results

Not a great week for poker, but I am thankful to get a few days off work. November is one of the busiest times of the year for me, and I was just crawling to the finish line on Wednesday.

I started off on a good note in the Bodonkey tournament on Tuesday night, but fell a little short of making the added T109. This site, which used to be very good to me, has really gone downhill ever since I lost my bankroll in a NL game on a one-outer on the river.

Wednesday - The Mookie. Ha ha - I don't even remember a thing about it already. I guess that work really did fry my mind.

Thursday - Riverchasers. I was doing well until a crucial hand. Blinds were 80 & 160. I (5,325) was dealt 9-9. sellthekids (2,800) raised to 480 in middle position. I was reading A-K or A-Q, and I raised to 800. I got a call. The flop was 4h-6s-Ts. sellthekids raised 1,000, which I took as a c-bet and bluff. I went all in and and got my call -- from 10-9 hearts! Raising and then calling my re-raise and risking over 28% percent of your chips with 10-9suited? And then raising 1,000 with TPMK and calling my all in? What a hand. Did his play make sense? Did my play? Comments on it are welcomed.

I went down from top ten to one of the short stacks, and I went out soon afterward when I ran my A-Q into A-K. I did, however, win my second hammershangout tournament, a one-table affair this time. However, I did get to face off head to head with my old pal MurryTheCat, so it seemed like one of our old OnlinePokerTour battles from 2006. Those were some fun days.

And just for a giggle, a saw a small buy in Omaha tournament on Full Tilt in the afternoon, so I gave it a try. I have only played about three Omaha tournaments, so it was actually pretty exciting. Unfortunately, my inexperience with Omaha led me to make a poor call late in the tournament when I was only two away from the money. However, it was fun playing something other than Hold Em, so I'll try a few more of these.

Thanksgiving & Black Friday

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. My wife outdid herself (as usual) and cooked a fantastic spread of traditional Thanksgiving food: turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, rolls and butter, pecan pie, cherry pie...

I did nothing on Thanksgiving day except eat, sleep, and play poker. What a great way to spend the day! I needed a day like this to recover from the busy period at work.

Black Friday used to be one of my favorite days of the year. Many years ago, I would have my shopping route made out ahead of time, carrying a list of all the sales on toys and gifts for my young kids. As they have gotten older and as Black Friday has now become an unmanageable traffic snarl in my town (inside and outside all the stores), I now stay as far away from the shopping areas as possible. It kills this ol' bargain hunter to pass up all the great sales, but the days of waiting hours in line to save a few bucks have passed . If you are venturing out today -- good luck!!

**** "As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly." ****

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I had a terrible time in the MATH Monday evening. It seemed like I was given second best hands almost every time. At least I wasn't there long enough to feel more pain ...
Thank goodness there are always little tourneys at places like Pitbull Poker to cheer me up.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

New Forum for Poker Players

If you are looking for a new, upcoming forum to try out, check out hammershangout. The forum is being run by scottdrader.

I first met scott when he jolted the Online Poker Tour community in 2006 with a grand entrance -- troucing all the regulars near the top of the freeroll leaderboard. scott has also been one of the mainstays of the K9 Poker Tour and is one tough hombre at the tables. You can be sure that the tournaments sponsored by hammershangout will be fun tourneys with good, challenging players.

Men vs. Women: One Big Difference

I was feeling sicker than a dog Saturday afternoon and was in bed when my wife came home from some afternoon shopping. One of her friends had recently been married on a cruise and was having a reception in town tonight.

My initial though was, "I feel like shit. No way I am going." However, I started thinking that getting out might make me feel a little better, so I told my wife that I would accompany her. She needed to be there early to help set up the laptop and projector for the movie of the wedding ceremony which would be shown at the reception, and it was almost time time leave. I, of course, told her, "Hey - I'm a guy. I can be ready in ten minutes even if my hair looks like shit." So ... I sprinted into the bathroom, had water, towels, shampoo, and clothes flying in every direction, and ... was ready just as my wife was ready to leave. Imagine that.

Ladies -- do any of you carry that male gene that means you can get ready for a public appearance in less than two hours???

btw - the reception was okay, but I hit the sheets as soon as I got home. I was blissfully asleep when I awoke feeling like the house was on fire. It seems my wife was feeling a tad cold and went to sleep with our fireplace heater on. The result: I am posting this at 4:30 a.m.

Isn't married life grand?

Tough Thursday Evening

Made a mistake Thursday night in playing in three tournaments at once. I planned to play the Riverchasers tournament (part of BBT2) and the opening freeroll of hammershangout. Unfortunately, I forgot that I had also signed up to play in a Full Tilt $75 token frenzy tournament to try to play my way cheaply into the Big Game. In the hammer game, I tried to chip up and pushed A-8 in position since no raises were made and I was somewhat short-stacked, only to be called by someone with 4-4. No help came, and I was out. In the token frenzy, I was in one of those typical Full Tilt hands that always leads us to question exactly how random the cards are. I limped in with pocket 8's and saw a flop of rag-8-Queen with two diamonds on the board. I ended up all in ... as did the guy with pocket Queens ... as did the guy with two low diamonds. I guess I don't have to tell you who won the hand. Unfortunately, after that hand, and probably because I was dog-tired from a long week at work, I tilted, and made a horrible call at Riverchasers, losing a significant amount of my stack. It was then only a matter of time before I petered out.

Friday night did bring a bright spot in that I won the opening buy-in hammershangout tournament. At least I'm not totally hopeless.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

4th Place in The Mookie

Made a deep run in The Mookie on Wednesday. I was patient throughout and pushed when necessary. The final hand is posted above. I raised pre-flop and Astin put me all in. I was a 60% favorite, but those damn spades just ended the night for me. However, it was a decent cash, and the first time I even made a blip on the BBT2 standings. This will just motivate me to concentrate even harder on my game, which has shown a little life lately.

Congrats to Mike_Maloney, who took down the Mookie, and to Astin, who finished second.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Little Midnight Madness
After finishing the MATH last night, I decided to get in one more tournament before I hit the sheets. Midnight Madness was coming up, so what the heck.
I played a decent game and was hovering around 38th place for some time. Unfortunately, a little after 2:00 am, I dozed off for a second and woke to find Q-Q. I put in a big raise and was raised all in by one of the bigger stacks at the table. Thinking that it was now or never and wanting to get a shot at decent money, I called. Oops -- I ran into A-A! No help on any of the community cards, unfortunately.

I had to settle for 77th place. Geez - a suckout would have been nice!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A Little Success at Illinois Charitable Games

Despite my past nasty beats at Illinois Charitable Games events, I was hoping to be able to get out of town in time to play ICGA's One Year Anniversary $2,500 Freeroll. The problem: The Online Forum Challenge tournament at BigJuicyOdds.

I was actually doing okay at the forum challenge at the first break, but during the second hour I lost two crucial hands back-to-back: Q-Q vs A-K and A-K vs A-Q. Had I won the coin flip and had my opponent not hit his three-outer, I would have had a stack that would have put me in contention. However, with those two beats doing damage to my stack and with the blinds quickly excellerating and my M getting low, I decided to push with A-9os. I got one caller, and then a big stack went all in. The original caller then also went all in.

The hands I was up against: 5-5 (the original caller) and 7-7 (the big stack who went all in). So ... I was not really in bad shape with two overcards. The flop: 9-rag-9! I was all ready to triple up when the tournament came to a thundering halt for me when the river brought a 5, giving the initial caller a full house. In my opinion, he should never had called the all-in of the big stack and risked his tournament life with a the lowly 5-5. Looks like Presto works for many players!

Having about an hour until the ICGA freeroll, I jumped in my car and cruised on the interstate at a, shall we say, rapid pace! ICGA events usually run late, so I was not surprised to find that I had plenty of time to register and hit an ATM for some cash.

The donk-a-thon (1000 starting chips with blind that increased every eight minutes) started off well when I was able to double up with Q-Q. However, a long, dry run of cards (certain death at a tourney like this) forced me to go all in with J-7 diamonds in my big blind. It was the best hand I'd seen in several orbits. Unfortunately, I went up against K-J. If that wasn't bad enough, the flop was K-J-K! Talk about bad timing!

Knowing that making it far in the freeroll was a long shot anyway, I sat down to play some $1/2 NL.

After sitting on my hands for several orbits, I was dealt A-K. I smooth called a raise (maybe I should have re-raised here?) and saw, along with a few others, a Q-A-Q flop. Okay -- did anyone have a Queen? It turns out that two other players had one. One unfortunate soul lost almost everything with his trips when he was outkicked. I stayed in for a bit in case I got lucky and an Ace hit on the turn. I bailed on the river, knowing I was beat by at least one of the others.

After hitting trip Aces with a poor kicker, I scored a nice win when someone bluffed at the pot. I was afraid that he had an Ace with a better kicker and I would be out a buy-in, but fortunately I decided to go for it.

The big hand: I was dealt A-10 os in early position and stayed in a raised pot with a few others. The flop: K-Q-J rainbow! I checked, and someone raised $15. There was one call, then a re-raise to $45. Of course, it was thespian time, as I tried to look perplexed and worried and undecided about what to do. Figuring that a few minutes was enough, I re-raised to $120, and watched people scurry out of the hand -- except the guy who re-raised, of course. He went in the tank and decided ... to re-raise! I ended up all in, and he had me covered by about $35. He turned over K-J, and I prayed that the turn and river wouldn't make his boat. The turn: a 3. The river ... a Queen. Sorry, but three pair does not beat a straight.

Within about 15 minutes, a few of the players had to catch a ride, and the table emptied. I decided that that would be a good time to call it a night since I had not had any dinner and had a 50-mile drive back home.

So ... my plan was to play in the freeroll -- which I did -- and then hopefully score at the $1/2 NL tables as I recently did in Las Vegas -- which I did. Amazing that things sometimes just work out ...

Playing great in the CardsChat loyalers freeroll and down to the final three. aliengenius (a great player, btw), had the nut flush draw after the flop. I, of course, raised with top pair, and he went all in. I called, and you can see what happened. Shit. If he caught the flush ... oh well. But runner runner trips? What a way to leave the tourney.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

I had a decent showing in The Mookie last night (20th out of 107) and played a generally respectable game. However, I made one big error -- called a large re-raise that I should not have -- and had to fold after the flop when my opponent put me all in. This lowered my chip stack significantly. I then couldn't get a decent hand to push. I finally had to push with a less than stellar hand and went out. But ... at least my play was much better than it had been.

I did get some good starting hands (mostly in bunches in the first hour or so), and doubled up when I flopped a straight and an opponent hit trips on the turn.

Next up is the Riverchasers tournament tonight.

I guess I am a fool, but I will give Illinois Charitable Games one last try. After all, a live $2,500 freeroll is kind of hard to pass up. With 1,000 starting chips and blinds increasing every eight minutes, this should be one heck of a donk-a-thon.

Update: Finished 34 out of 96 in Riverchasers. Has A-J and saw an Ace-high flop. Ran into Aces and lost over 60% of my chips. Had a couple coin flips with my pair vs two overcards and won them both. Unfortunately, had J-J and ran into K-K preflop. End of story.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Just when things seem to really get you down, salvation is just around the corner. Having flamed out of the bodonkey tournament earlier in the evening, I went up to my room to watch some television and pout. What comedy episodes were on right after one another? The final episode of Seinfeld and the famous Andy Griffith Show "Citizen's Arrest" episode. Nothing like watching a cast of Seinfeld characters relive some of the show's best moments, followed by the great Don Knotts (with an assist from Jim Nabors) to help brighten the night.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I Suck

Okay, it is now confirmed: I can not do a freaking thing right in tournaments anymore. I was sailing along fine until a run of bad beats online and in person sent me into a tailspin. The result: I am in a deep slump. I can not seem to cash in a blogger tournament anymore, I can't get into the money at CardsChat tournaments, and I haven't been doing well in independent tournaments. The only success I've had recently has been at Rounders Radio events -- and the success has been limited at that.

I was in my tournament slump before my last Las Vegas trip, didn't do well there (although my cash game kicked ass), and have been a non-factor in most tournaments since my return. How frustrating.

The funny thing is, I can't seem to identify one or two things that are not working. Nothing seems to be working.

Any suggestions will be appreciated.

Oh, by the way, a big congrats to Kajagugu, who took down the MATH this week. Kaja seems to have upped his game the past few months. Good luck in the finals. I hope to break out of this slump and join you there.