Monday, April 30, 2007

Now I have done it ... put myself further in debt. Better get to the WSOP final table in the next few years ...

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Sometimes things just seem real easy. I decided to play some Full Tilt token SNG's and did pretty well. First, I played an 18-person $8+$0.70 SNG (top five get a $24+$2 token), and battled into the money. Then, I used the $24+$2 token to play in an 18-person SNG where the top five got a $69+$6 token. It was interesting in that the play at the Tier One token SNG was actually a little better than the Tier Two game. Not that everyone was playing poorly, but a few people made some very questionable calls (calling an all in with A-6 suited???) without having their backs against the wall. Anyway ... a $75 token for $8.70? I'll take it!
Rounders Radio & Bodog WSOP Tournament
Today was the second freeroll and third game of the Rounders Radio RSOP (Radio Series of Poker). I crashed and burned in the previous two tournaments and was determined to make a better showing in this one.
There were about 215 runners with the top twenty scoring points toward entry into a final tournament with a WSOP seat at stake. I was cruising along toward the second break when I was in a hand with A-10 spades. The flop came 10-K-10. I checked, and the preflop raiser raised 400. The raise chased out one or two other people. I smooth called, hoping that he had a King or a ten with a lower kicker. The turn was a nine, and I checked again. The other player raised 400 again, and I went all in for about an additional 1,300. He called and turned over K-Q. The turn: a King!
I went bananas. The obscenities flew out of my mouth as I was stunned to have set the perfect trap, then lost on the river. I didn't berate the player, though, but did type in the chat box, "gawd, that really sucked." To the player's credit, he did realize that he lucked out and did offer a "sorry." Nevertheless, I was knocked out instead of doubling up, and left that tournament with a bad taste in my mouth.
The Week that Was ... Really Sucked
My wife had found what she thought was the perfect house for our family. Early in the week we made an offer and were waiting for the counter-offer. I fully expected that we would go back and forth in negotiations and that we would buy the house somewhere in the middle. Heck, I was even prepared to spend a little more than I would have liked so that we had a home that would seem to give a little something to everyone in the family.
Without getting into the slimy details, we were really screwed over by a real estate agent who made sure he pissed us off, then sold the house to someone with whom he had connections. Just wait, asshole -- karma will come back at you, you douche bag.
April is one of my busiest months at work, and I will be glad to see May come and bring some sanity back to my work life. I have not had the time to post much or even play as much as I would have liked, but I hope that will soon change.
Softball Update
With screwed-up little finger on my glove hand, I took the mound for game two of my softball season. As luck would have it, some guy hits a shot right back at me in the second inning and caught my pitching arm. Geez -- am I a magnet for punishment or what? I guess the old reflexes just can't get to the ball fast enough anymore. I survived the big knot on my arm and got the victory in seven innings. The team we beat was last season's champion, and we had never beat them before. Amazingly, I also got hits my first two times up even though I couldn't hold the bat right due to my messed-up finger. Sometimes the softball gods even things up for you, I guess ...

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Time for a break from poker. I am going to see the Cubs play the Cards on Sunday. This will be my first game at Wrigley Field this year, so at least the Cubs are still undefeated to my naked eyes.

Result: Cards win 12-9 in ten innings. Good game in that every time one team scored, the other team caught up the next inning. A miracle two-out bloop hit in the 9th inning kept the Cubs in the game, but the mighty Pujols hit a three-run homer in the top of the 10th. The only good thing about that was that I was in the bathroom at the time.
Okay - so I am not totally worthless ...
Crappy Week of Poker
What a poor week of online poker. No notable finishes, got sucked out on a few times, ran into pocket aces more times than I want to remember ...
The only poker highlight was last night's home game. Last year's bad luck player, Rich, amassed a huge chip stack early on to lead and dominate the entire night. I hung on and was able to get to heads up play with him -- his mountain vs my little stack. A few hands into hads up, he called my all in of A-2 with something like Q-6. He spiked a 6 on the river and ended it. Had I doubled up that hand, I might have had a chance to put some pressure on him. That's poker, I guess.
I am still waiting for some tournaments with WSOP implications. Rounders Radio still has one going on, and I am waiting for some 2006 and 2007 poker group finals that have WSOP seats at stake. It would be nice to know if I win one since the WSOP begins in about six weeks.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Got second place in the weekly CardsChat tourney at Bodog. I have cashed in this pretty regularly as it pays out several places and usually has a small field. Kenzie, a well-respected player, took it down. The following conversation took place in the chat boards afterwards:

Me: "Fun game, eveyone. Tough going up against Kenzie at the end when he had the mega-stack. Congrats, Kenzie."

Kenzie: "Thanks guys, Lightning I have no interest at all in going against you without a very big stack advantage."

Gee - that was a nice complement. That is one reason why I enjoy the CardsChat tournaments so much -- great level of play and a high level of sportsmanship.

Did not do well in freeroll competition today. Finished back in the pack in the Forum Challenge at Absolute Poker. Played the first event in the Rounders Radio/Bodog WSOP tourneys. Unfortunately, I came in 31st. Points were given through 20 places.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

He Haw !!!!!

Donked out of the WWdN and the Mookie fast. The busy days at work and renegade kids seem to have sapped the poker life out of me. At least these are my excuses for playing like crap.

At least my PS3 came today ...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Good effort in MATH, but short when it counted
Interesting day. It was a monster busy day at work. In one two-hour span while I was at lunch and busy handling the crowd, I got 12 phone messages. It was one of those days where you just put your head down and work your ass off all day.
After work, I got home just in time to change for softball practice. About 30 minutes into batting practice, my buddy Dave rips one back straight at me. I am the pitcher for my team, and when the ball comes flying at you, you don't have much time to react. I got my glove up to protect myself, but the ball nailed my little finger in the glove hand. Hurt like hell.
I left practice early to do some grocery shopping, then just barely got home in time for the MATH. I started strong, made a tough call (I sensed weakness and took a chance on a draw), then hit some tremendous hands. It's funny, but I had some excellent draws that I missed tonight (about 18 outs each). Near the end, everything just seemed to go in the crapper. Unfortunately, I dicked away my chips and had to settle for 4th place.
But ha - the day is not over yet. It is garbage night, and I still need to get stuff out -- not to mention somehow hauling out some heavy shit with a large, purplish finger. It hurts like hell and is hopefully not broken. I missed the last six weeks of the fall season with a cracked rib. This would be a wonderful way to start the spring season.
Makes me wonder if I am getting too old for this softball crap. At least in poker I only seem to get my pride wounded on occasion.
Time to ice down the finger. What a way to start the week.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Freerolls, Battle of the Blogger Tournaments, and Misc
I have played in several freerolls this past week, most sponsored by the Online Poker Tour. Now I remember why freerolls are good for beginners and bad for experienced players: all that time playing, but virtually no rewards except for the poker ego garnishing.
I actually got down pretty far in some freerolls -- final tabling one and just missing on two others. Not really bad when you are wading through almost 700 runners. But what does it get the experienced player? Several hours and 13th place in a Full Tilt freeroll netted me $.18. Not exactly a cost effective way to play. OPT has a month-long contest underway, but that it a lot of time to devote.
In other news ... the Battle of the Blogger Tournaments has begun. Scores from the MATH, Mookie, and Riverchasers tournaments will be used, as well as the occasional Big Game. The blogger tournaments are loaded with great players, so getting high on this leaderboard will be a challenge. I missed the first event but played the next two. I am currently in 19th place, so that is not too bad for a start. I had a middle-of-the-pack finish in the Mookie and came close to the final table in the Riverchasers event.
The next event in Monday at the Hoy (MATH) on Full Tilt. I already won my $24+2 token from a two-table SNG $8+.70 satellite. I thought I was going to bubble with nothing to show or hit the $14 "just missed" spot, but some doofus who was in the middle of the pack made an unbelievably bad play, going all in on an unsuited Ace-rag (four, maybe?) and was bounced out by one of the chip leaders. I and two other small stacks were battling like all heck to stay in, and this guy who should have coasted into the money made life easy for us.
The screenies are from a third place finish in the weekly CardsChat buy-in at Bodog, and a second place finish at a K9 Poker buy-in at PitBull. The PitBull tourney had only ten runners but went on forever. It probably had the highest level of good poker playing of any tournament I have been in for some time. I thought I would take it down when I was heads up with a slight lead and I had pocket Kings. However, my opponent flopped (I believe) a straight, so I had to settle for second place. Such is poker. Can't complain after my pocket 8's beat pocket Kings when I spiked an 8 on the flop earlier in the tourney.
Happy Easter everyone!!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Wow - I won a PS3 tonight! Thank you K9 Poker Tour!
During the month of March, the K9 Poker Tour was running an "incentive tour" -- satellite freerolls and maybe even a money event or so -- for a grand prize - a PS3. I played in and qualified in the second freeroll that was run and then waited out the month for the final. There were 41 runners competing for the prize.
It was one of those tournaments when virtually everything went right. I got some good cards early, chipped up, and then hit a torrid streak of cards, enabling me to become an early chip leader and control much of the action at my table. At some points of the tournament, I had a substantial lead. Of course, the inevitable run of poor cards came and I drifted back to earth and stayed within the top four or so.
I played well and, of course, got some of the breaks that you need to win a tournament. However, I created some of my own breaks by playing aggressively.
The final table was a well-fought match. Fortunately, I was able to make it to the final two, then came out on top of a tough heads up match with stri8up. Kudos also go to Heuvy31, the third place finisher. When it got down to the final three, we were all about even at 20,000. Any of us could have captured the prize.
Since I recently bought a Wii for my family, I am not sure if I'll keep the PS3. How do you find time for gaming when poker calls?

Chance #2 to go to the WSOP Main Event
Tonight was my second chance to win entry to the big show this summer. Unfortunately, winning was not in the cards for me.
The afternoon started with a Junior Stack Tournament. We got 6,000 chips with the buy in, re-buy, and "bonus" chip. Unfortunately, the blinds go up so fast in these charity events that it takes some doing to go far without taking big risks or getting excellent cards.
Actually, I was hot at the start and got a good chip stack before I went card dead while the blinds were rapidly rising. However, a few good plays and a lucksack play or two got me within spitting distance of the final table.
Since the tourmnament started 1/2 hour late and was in danger of running into the main event, the blind were increased even faster. They were at $40,000/$20,000 when I was in the big blind with $46,000 in chips. I got J-10 os, which was as good a hand as I had seen for several orbits. Unfortunately, someone else had A-rag, and I got no help on the flop, turn, or river. I went out in 11th place, after which they combined tables for the final table.
So ... 11th out of 243. At least I was in the money.
The main event was disappointing. I went out in about 120th place out of 308 runners. I lost half my stack when I called an all in pre-flop bet with K-K. My opponent had Q-Q and spiked a Queen on the flop. After that, I was just fighting to stay in. This tournament was a freebie, though. I had the entry fee waived for helping out as a Hold Em dealer at a charitable casino night last fall.
I did play a little ring table poker -- $1/2 blinds with a $10 limit on bets, capped at four raises unless heads up. I had a good hand and got up a bit, then decided to call it a night.
I guess I should feel okay about making some money in the Junior Stack and the ring game. The WSOP still is calling, however, and I have a few more chances to make it.