Sunday, July 30, 2006

A couple of days for dumb blondes

Went to Chicago on Saturday to watch the Cubs smoke the Cardinals. Before the game, a pregame ritual took place: the stop at the 7/11 store just across from Wrigley Field.

My brother and I, along with about 50 other people, were loading up on cheap eats and drinks to take to the game. We get to the front of one of the cash register lines, and this somewhat attractive blonde is going through her purse, digging for money. Finally, to get us out of there, I handed the clerk a few bills and said "I've got it." The blonde turned to me and said "Thanks. I forgot to bring my wallet."

Of course, I am thinking "Who goes into a convenience store without a wallet?" Dumb blonde."

Today, however, I am thinking that maybe I shouldn't have made such a quick judgment.

In an OPT money tour game at Absolute, I am one of seven at the final table. I get pocket rockets and decide to slow play since it looked like it would be just the chip leader and me. Well, you can guess what happened: he got the perfect flop, hit two pair which he turned into a boat, and sent me to the rail.

$1000 freeroll at Cake Poker - I am in the blind and get two clubs, Q high. The flop APPEARS to be three clubs. I go all in ... and notice that one of the clubs IS A SPADE!! I am called by someone who hit a set on the flop. He made his full house, so I would have lost anyway.

Years ago, I had my hair bleached blonde. Today I'd have sworn that there are some old thoughts and behaviors from those blonde days that have stayed with me.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Getting burned out ... or ADHD?

Just can't seem to stay too interested in tournaments anymore. I get in them, get bored, then do stupid stuff. Tired of sitouts too. I am finding the ring games and SNGs much more fun.

Maybe it is time to cut back my playing time a little. Or play in some higher stakes games. Or get some more live game action.

So yes ... if you have played against me in a tourney recently, you know that I have sucked the big one the past few weeks.

Added note: Must just be fatigue from my recent medical difficulties and going back to work. In my last tourney of the evening, I was falling asleep at the keyboard. I donked out, jumped into bed, and slept for 2 1/2 hours.


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

When the cards come your way ...

Amazing how much the cards can make you or break you some days. Last night, for example ...

OPT freeroll at Dream Poker: My trip Aces get beaten by someone who hits a runner runner full house. Having lost most of my stack, I go all in with pocket 10's. I get called by pocket Aces. You guessed it - I get a 10 on the flop. Later on, I have a straight and go all in after the turn, only to get called by someone with two pair. The river: you guessed it - a 3 to complete my opponent's full house.

Poker Host qualifier for Deep Pockets $15,000 guaranteed tourney in August: I am heads up against a player I know is good. He unfortunately gets pocket Aces and doesn't raise up immediately. My cards: 6-2os. The flop 6-2-rag. he bets, I call. The turn: a 2! I check, he goes all in, and I call. I imagine that he was quite shocked to see that I already had the boat.

Gotta love this game!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Going Psychotic Playing Poker

Last had to be the worst night of my online poker career. As best I can figure, I was just overtired and completely screwed up my tournaments.

I'd list the tournaments and details, but frankly I was so embarassed by my play that I want to forget as quickly as possible. Let's just say that I made totally idiotic moves. In at least one of the tournaments (OPT $10 buy in at Poker Host), I just made some poor decisions at the end. In the others ...

After the shock of it all set in, I turned off my computer and the lights in my bedroom and just laid on the bed. I told my wife that I was sulking. She left and I fell asleep.

I had this disturbing dream, but unfortunately, I can't remember most of it. What I can remember, however, is that I was wearing white clothes, and something happened to get mud all over them. Hmmm ... could this have been my subconscious telling me that I crapped all over myself in poker?

After I woke up, I decided to go through some of the garbage in my garage. My wife was in a cleaning mode today and decided to attack the attic. Files, letters, documents, etc of the last 26 years of my life were waiting for me to go through and save or pitch.

Geez - I had forgotten how many letters my mother and my best friend had sent me in college - especially during my first year when I was lonely from being away from family and friends. No wonder that the bond between some mothers and sons is so strong. And my friend, Mike, who sent me all the letters - always a friend for life.

Interestingly, I also found a stack of letters from a girl with whom I'd had an intense relationship. Although our actual face-to-face time was not very long, she is probably one of only three women that I might have actually married. Of course, I have a fantastic wife (who has so far not killed me for all my online poker time!), but the relationship with this other woman was a few years before I met my wife. How differently my life might have been if that long distance relationship had worked out ...

My favorite song of all time is Jumper by Third Eye Blind. One of the great lines from the song:

"Everyone's got to face down the demons
Maybe today
You could put the past away"

So ... I will hope that I can put the past away and move on. July 23, 2006 - here I come!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

lightning36: The original River Rat

Seems like the river has been my friend recently. In two small SNGs with OPT members, I got good river cards to hit a full house (which beat a flush) and quads (which again beat a flush) against the same person. My OPT buddy murrythecat (mtc) called me a river rat, so I even changed my chat siggy to read lightning36: The original River Rat.

In an OPT freeroll last night at the Purple Lounge, I was getting frustrated continually by the player on my left. Seemed to me that he was making a practice of raising and stealing my blinds, so with 10-8 in the big blind and a flop of 10-rag-rag, I checked. When he bet, I went all in. He called with K-10! I was already getting out of my chair when the miracle river hit - an 8, one of my three outs. Better to be lucky than good!

Finished the freeroll in third place, which should move me past one person into fourth place in the OPT 2006 Season Free Tour. I am holding in seventh place in the Money Tour.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Reunited Again??

In 2005, I spent a significant amount of my online playing time at Poker Host. Then, right before I got ready to cash in before Christmas, I hit this horrendous losing streak and run of bad cards. If I got pocket Jacks, I got beat by Ace-rag getting an Ace on the flop. If I had Pocket Rockets, someone hit trips.

I saw my hard-earned bankroll dwindle down to nothing. Dejected, I stopped playing at Poker Host and left all my buds behind. Fortunately, I did find the Online Poker Tour, which has now become one of my home bases.

I tried several other rooms, and found to my liking. Lots of good tournaments. After a recent trip to Las Vegas in which I killed at $1/2 NL, I decided to hit the ring tables at Had a great week, then went up and down, and lately have been faltering.

So ... since I had won some money in an OPT tournament at Poker Host, I decided to give it another try. I have been doing well at the low NL tables, and actually took a third place in a regular tourney there - something I had not done for eight months.

Will the reunion continue? Or, perhaps will this be like a divorced couple finding the passion of the past, but then having to face the reality of the present? Oh, the melodrama!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Another Freakin Backdoor Flush

Poker is a cruel game. Once again, I have someone just where I want him in a tournament, and I lose in an ugly way.

The skinny: Online Players Tournament $10 buy in on July 15 at Poker Host. I am at the final table with a middle-sized stack. I get A-K and raise to double the big blind to $1,600. I get reraised by the chip leader and call. The flop is rag-rag-rag, but all diamonds. Neither my Ace nor King is a diamond, but I think I have the other guy beat. I go all in, thinking he might fold. He calls me, and turns over Q-J, with one of them a diamond. The flop is a rag, and the river ... a diamond!

Instead of doubling up and being one of the chip leaders, I am out in seventh place.

If a Queen or a Jack hits, okay. But to lose on the stupid flush .........

Thus, almost ends a bad week of poker. I still have two good tourneys tomorrow - a $20,000 freeroll at, and a $25,000 event at Celeb Poker. It would sure be nice to write about a big cash tomorrow.

And oh - I did at least end the evening on a good note, cashing at a $1500 Guaranteed tournament. I was hovering at about 19th out of 20 with only a few chips left and only ten paying positions. I scratched and clawed my way to the final table. After being short stacked, going all in with A-K suited (clubs), and seeing two clubs fall on the flop, I was prepared to triple up and look for the victory. Unfortunately, the final club didn't come on the turn or river and I had to settle for seventh place. I have to admit - I kicked butt to get where I did at the end.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

In a Biiiiiig Slump

Well, it seems as though my playing skills have temporarily flown south. Ever since the Bloggers Championship, I have run into a streak of bad luck and bad playing.

After pwning the ring games at, I have been keeping even for the past week. Thanks goodness for Celeb Poker. Tried out the ring games there and have been doing very well.

My tournament play has been horrible. After two cashes last weekend, I have been seeing early exits to tournaments.

Early in a $4000 freeroll, I was dealt pocket Kings. There had already been a raise, so I reraised. The other guy then goes all in. I knew I had him beat, soI called. He had pocket 8's. Unfortunately, one of his 8's was a diamond. The flop comes diamond, diamond, diamond. The turn is a rag, and the river is a diamond. As you might guess, neither of my cowboys was a diamond, so I am gone.

This tournament was open to people who recently played a significant amount of hands at ring games. So someone who is on the tables a lot actually risks it all early on with pocket 8's expecting to win??

I hope he is at my table sometime in the future. Sounds like easy money. Just bad luck this time for me.

Don't even get me started on how I lost when someone flopped the nut straight ...

Sunday, July 09, 2006

At Least a Little Success

Saturday provided a few good moments - second place in a $5 buy-in event on Titan, and fourth place in an OPT $10 buy-in at

The OPT event was a blast. I played at a very tough table with many of the best OPT players and frequenters of the chat threads. I was not near the top of the pack for most of the tourney, so I felt like fourth place was not bad. It was the first July event on the Money Tour, so I start out in fourth place. I can live with that.

Didn't do as well in two other tourneys. Out of the money in both.

Lowlight of the day: Some donkey in the NL Championship Tourney followed a pair of threes to the river. Even knowing I had him beat, even knowing there were many overcards on the board, even knowing that there were flush possibilities on the board, even knowing that he risked almost all his chips ... and the damn three comes on the river.

Highlight of the day: Was playing $.50/$1 NL on Got pocket Kings and got a third King on the flop. Was up against A-A, and he couldn't let go. Eventually got him all in and turned over my Cowboys to show him the full house (there were two Jacks on the board).

Of course, this is a skill I still need improvement on - the tough laydown of a big hand.

Oh yeah - one other lowlight: I again have Cowboys and the flop is J-rag-rag. Some guy bets $8 with J-9 and I put him all in. Now he should be thinking that I have an overpair, hit a set, or at least paired the Jack and have a better kicker. But no, he calls. I have him dead to rights, but the damn turn is a nine, giving him a second pair. I hate it when you outsmart and outplay someone, and then the dude gets lucky. I hope he didn't pat himself on the back after that win.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Talk About a Bad Day ...

How's this for a list of nasty stuff for today:

1) Found out that yes, I do indeed have a cracked rib.

2) Need appt to address another medical concern? Yes - we have one available on the 25th!!

3) Wife is on jury duty and daughter needs to be picked up at a hotel.

4) Garage door has major problem. Will not open. Needs to be replaced. Cars trapped inside garage.

5) Only car available: one that needs exhaust system work. Couldn't take it in last week due to the cracked rib. You can hear that sucker blocks away!

Have you ever had a rib injury? I had one twenty years ago. I almost forgot how painful they are. Getting in and out of bed is pure misery. Turn the wrong direction and pain goes shooting through you. Don't even think about bending down and picking something up off the floor.

Tomorrow has to be better, yes?

Oh yeah - almost forgot - busted out of the Championship Event #6 - American Pot-Limit Omaha Championship - when I ran into quad 8's a few hands into the tournament.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Post Mortem

I have been reviewing my play in the blogger tournament and even read a "review" of the final four play, courtesy of another blogger. That was the first time that I had ever been in a poker situation with so much riding on it.

Would I do anything differently now if I could? I would probably challenge more aggressively for some of the blinds toward the end. The blinds have a way of creeping up on you at the end of a tourney. Looking back, I probably should have taken a few more chances at the end.

Of course - I did that exact thing last night in the 20K freeroll. I was in 41st place and someone pushes out a big bet. I was putting him on a small-medium pair. I had the Big Slick and knew I could go for the coin flip if I wanted. Decided to make a run for the big money and went all in. Turns out that the guy had 7-7. Unfortunately, no Ace ... no King ... no run for the big money.

I guess that is why we love this game ...

Well, at least my blogger performance won me an iPod Nano and some gear - which might include a polo shirt, flip flops, and maybe other stuff. I won't mind advertising for my favorite online poker room the next time I am in Las Vegas ... only two short months away!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Close, but no banana ...

Although I am disappointed at not winning the trip to the WSOP Main Event, I must say that I am pretty proud of my fourth place finish. Yeah - I am pretty sure that I could have slipped into third if I wanted to, but I really didn't want the third place prize anyway. And besides - I was playing to win this thing!

This tournament, played at, was excellent. Long rounds with slowly increasing blinds helped a player like myself wait for those premium hands and favorite hands on which to gamble.

I was getting no cards at all and just treading water, but when I got the cards ... POW !! Pocket Queens quickly followed by pocket Aces that held moved me from the middle of the pack to the front. I was as high as second place and was sitting in good position for much of the last half of the tournament.

Unfortunately, I just didn't seem to get the right breaks when I needed them most at the end. No complaints from me, however, as I took no bad beats nor gave any.

It was great to be playing with two players I highly respect, Shark Hathaway, leader of the Shark Army, and Mike "imjusthere4thebeer," prez of These two gentlemen have been most influential in helping to rid me of any donkeyness still within me.

A special thanks to my buds at the OnlinePokerTour - SeaWeed, shaggytrav, murrythecat, and pokerbrat89, who made for one hell of an online cheering section in the OPT forum. I owe y'all a big one!

A funny side note: Due to my many hours of ring play at this past week, I qualified for another satellite to the WSOP - and barely snuck in to the top five, which qualifies me for one more shot at the WSOP on July 14. This tourney overlapped with the tourney, so I was really intense at the computer today.

So ... for a day that started out with a trip to the doctor's office (to look at my hurting ribs), I guess you might say that things turned out okay.