Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Have I finally hit the wall?

For whatever reason, playing online poker just seems to be getting less and less fun. 2006 was a tremendously fun year. I was playing at so many sites that I can't even remember, and having fun in the year-long tournament marathons sponsored by the Online Poker Tour (OPT). Then The K-9 Poker Tour began, and I still had Cardschat tournaments, Shark Poker Tour tournaments, and CheckRayz tournaments. I got involved with blogger tournaments, and I swear, I must have been playing twelve hours a day. I can't believe that my wife put up with it.

Howver, 2007 brought many changes. The Neteller fiasco almost ruined everything. Nice try, US government buttholes. OPT ditched its excellent tournament competition to focus on Rounders Radio. CheckRayz and the Shark Poker Tour both seem to have died. K-9 is still okay although infighting seems to have brought things down a notch. CardsChat is going strong and has been a bright spot. I overdosed on blogger tournaments and am thinking that I will play in less of those.

I wonder if my lack of play in b&m rooms these past several months has added to my disenchantment. I haven't been to Las Vegas in seven months, and have only played a handful of "live" tournaments. I hope that my trip to Las Vegas (only five days to go!) will help clarify things for me.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Mark was my neighbor for 13 years. I watched his daughters grow up from little girls into young ladies, admired his work ethic in keeping his house and yard looking fantastic, and enjoyed the conversations that we had. He was an electrical engineer, a regular church-goer, and a generally upstanding nice, moral, decent guy.

My family moved out of our old house last June and into a bigger house a few miles away. I would still occasionally see Mark on my trips back to the old house to take care of the lawn or check to make sure everything was okay. On Saturday, in getting our empty house prepared for an open house on Sunday, we were shocked to find that Mark had died that morning.

Apparently, Mark began having problems a few weeks ago when he had a yellowish tinge to his skin. After a trip to the doctor's office, he found out that he had bile duct cancer. Originally he was told it was inoperable, but then told that if he elected to have surgery, the chance of success was about 60%. He elected to have the surgery and was on the operating table for most of a day. However, he made it through and was released from the hospital. He was recuperating when he suddenly passed away.

Mark was 55 years old and seemed to be in good health. I would frequently see him walking or riding a bike, and he appeared to take good care of himself.

Mark's death serves as a reminder to me, and I guess, to anyone in general, that nothing in life, or even life itself, is guaranteed. Enjoy life while you can and live it to the fullest, for we never know when our time will come.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Pretty good run in the 24K -- 40th out of 1271. Last hand: My A-K vs 10-10. No help on the flop, turn, or river.

Fun tournament in that fellow Cardschat member combuboom finished in 61st place and fellow poker blogger Mike_Maloney finished in 29th. RecessRampage was railing along with iam23skidoo. It's nice to have other players to root for and get some encouragement from the rail.

My good hands all held up, but I had a long dry spells that caused me problems. I could not hit a flop to save my life in the first hour. I then had a couple of big hands and chipped up all the way to 20th place, then went card dead for almost two hours and had to rely almost exclusively on stealing blinds to stay in the second or third tier of players. When it looked like I was about to go belly-up, I hit a torrid streak of cards and chipped up really fast. Unfortunately, I then got another terrible dry run when the increasing antes and blinds turned my table into an all-in fest. I made some wise lay downs, but may have made a mistake in not taking a chance in some potential double-up situations.

In summary, it was a fun tournament and reaffirmed my ability to wade through a large starting field, but it left me wanting to get closer to the big money at the final table. Maybe next time...

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Time for a Change
My level of play and the hits I have taken lately have been really bad. Played at a new site today (BigJuicyOdds.com) and was dealt K-K in the big blind. Someone with twice as many chips as me raises, and I went all in. He thinks, then calls ... with Q-Q. Of course, you know what two-outer came on the flop...

Time to put the past away (no -- I'm not jumping ... yet [apologies to 3EB fans]) and start anew. The countdown is two weeks until my Las Vegas trip, so I am starting to get excited about that.

There is a charity tournament about 50 miles away next weekend. The cost to try to satellite in is $70, so I might give it a try. No way am I paying the direct entry fee ($300) to get in one of these donkfests with quickly increasing blinds.
House Update
My house has now been on the market for five weeks. Unfortunately, the housing market took a big downswing right when I was closing on my new house. There has been a little interest in the house, but no offers so far. Our next open house is scheduled for next Sunday. Looks like I will have to make another price reduction in order to encourage offers. It is a great house, but its unique features probably keeps some people away.

A few weeks ago, I tried trading prayers with a co-worker. She had a medical concern, and I told her I'd pray for her if she prayed for my house to sell. Seeing as how we are both competitive people, we had a fun time trying to "out-pray" the other. Fortunately for my friend, her medical test results were negative. Unfortunately for me, my house is still my house. Of course, I tried to explain that my superior Catholic prayers were answered, while her inferior Protestant prayers didn't quite do the job...he he.

So ... next we try the old standby -- we have a statue of St. Joseph to bury. I noticed that someone toured my house this weekend, so maybe I should make a night trip out there and bury the statue in the dark.
My Job
Working in higher education, I look forward to the start of the new school year each August. The added bonus for people in my profession (student services) is actually beginning to get your life back after working so blasted hard the past six weeks with all the last-minute students. So tomorrow is really the beginning of the end of a loooong season (as I like to call them) that began last April. This summer marked my 25th year in higher ed. Hard to believe that so many of the the top poker players in the world were not even born when I began my professional career.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Carnage Continues...
I mean, what can I say? It's not like I can do anything about this except laugh. Or cry...

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Doom Switch Extends into Another Site
PokerStars Game #11435324169: Tournament #54797428, $10+$1 Hold'em No Limit -
Level VII (100/200) - 2007/08/11 - 18:40:02 (ET)Table '54797428 1' 9-max
Seat #4 is the button
Seat 1: joker131 (10565 in chips)
Seat 4: holdin2s (3865 in chips)
Seat 5: The_PoolBoy1 (5850 in chips)
Seat 6: lightning36 (6720 in chips)
joker131: posts the ante 25
holdin2s: posts the ante 25
The_PoolBoy1: posts the ante 25
lightning36: posts the ante 25
The_PoolBoy1: posts small blind 100
lightning36: posts big blind 200
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to lightning36 [Kd Qc]
joker131: folds
holdin2s: folds
The_PoolBoy1: calls 100
lightning36: raises 600 to 800
The_PoolBoy1: calls 600
*** FLOP *** [9c 8s Qs]
The_PoolBoy1: checks
lightning36: bets 1000
The_PoolBoy1: raises 2000 to 3000
lightning36: raises 2000 to 5000
The_PoolBoy1: raises 25 to 5025 and is all-in
lightning36: calls 25
*** TURN *** [9c 8s Qs] [Qh]
*** RIVER *** [9c 8s Qs Qh] [Jh]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
The_PoolBoy1: shows [Qd Jd] (a full house, Queens full of Jacks)
lightning36: shows [Kd Qc] (three of a kind, Queens)
The_PoolBoy1 collected 11750 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 11750 Rake 0
Board [9c 8s Qs Qh Jh]
Seat 1: joker131 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 4: holdin2s (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 5: The_PoolBoy1 (small blind) showed [Qd Jd] and won (11750) with a full house, Queens full of Jacks
Seat 6: lightning36 (big blind) showed [Kd Qc] and lost with three of a kind, Queens

Thursday, August 09, 2007

It's Really True -- More Proof that the Doom Switch Exists!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Absolute Proof that the Doom Switch Exists
Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Full Tilt Poker Game #3185251762: Tier One $8+$0.70 (Turbo) (24348155), Table 1 - 25/50 - No Limit Hold'em - 21:59:08 ET - 2007/08/07

Seat 1: IM3 vultures (1,605)

Seat 2: lightning36 (1,485)

Seat 3: kixelsyd (1,405)

Seat 4: J_rock2300 (945)

Seat 5: IAM2WISE4U (1,485)

Seat 6: 187onamfcop (980)

Seat 7: 0strand0 (3,200)

Seat 8: NPL77 (1,085)

Seat 9: Dumont81 (1,310)

kixelsyd posts the small blind of 25

J_rock2300 posts the big blind of 50

The button is in seat #2

*** HOLE CARDS ***

Dealt to lightning36 [7d 7s]

IAM2WISE4U has 15 seconds left to act

IAM2WISE4U folds

187onamfcop folds

0strand0 folds

NPL77 folds

Dumont81 folds

IM3 vultures has 15 seconds left to act

IM3 vultures raises to 125

lightning36 calls 125

kixelsyd folds

J_rock2300 folds

*** FLOP *** [8c 7h Js]

IM3 vultures bets 250

lightning36 raises to 500

IM3 vultures raises to 1,450

lightning36 calls 860, and is all in

IM3 vultures shows [Ad Jc]

lightning36 shows [7d 7s]

Uncalled bet of 90 returned to IM3 vultures

*** TURN *** [8c 7h Js] [Jh]

*** RIVER *** [8c 7h Js Jh] [Jd]

IM3 vultures shows four of a kind, Jacks

lightning36 shows a full house, Jacks full of Sevens

IM3 vultures wins the pot (3,045) with four of a kind, Jacks

lightning36 stands up

*** SUMMARY ***

Total pot 3,045 Rake 0

Board: [8c 7h Js Jh Jd]

Seat 1: IM3 vultures showed [Ad Jc] and won (3,045) with four of a kind, Jacks

Seat 2: lightning36 (button) showed [7d 7s] and lost with a full house, Jacks full of Sevens

Seat 3: kixelsyd (small blind) folded before the Flop

Seat 4: J_rock2300 (big blind) folded before the Flop

Seat 5: IAM2WISE4U didn't bet (folded)

Seat 6: 187onamfcop didn't bet (folded)

Seat 7: 0strand0 didn't bet (folded)

Seat 8: NPL77 didn't bet (folded)

Seat 9: Dumont81 didn't bet (folded)

The Prosecution rests its case ...

Friday, August 03, 2007

Cash Games vs Tournaments -- Perspectives on Poker

It's always fun to read my fellow poker bloggers when they start to argue about cash games vs tournaments. I guess that I like both and don't have strong feelings toward one or the other. It seems to me that they each require a different set of skillz, some of which overlap. I've done well in both and sucked in both, so I am certainly not the person to make a judgment call here.

However, it does seem to me that a lot of poker attitude derive from our relationship to the game. Take a guy like me, for instance. I have a good professional job, am married, have three kids, own a house, never have been addicted to alcohol or drugs, never been in prison, lived a pretty clean and wholesome life... Poker is a diversion for me. I am certainly not a young stud thinking he can rule the poker world before the grey and white hair starts in. I play for the enjoyment, the challenge, the competition, and sometimes just for the fun of playing against known foes from the blogger world or one of the several poker groups of which I am a member. Sure -- I want to make money in cash games and win every tournament I enter, but if I don't, the effect on the rest of my life is minimal.

Others, however, may approach the game from a completely different perspective. In some cases, some of the poker ballas might be young and/or single, have no kids, may be in a transitional job (or gutting it out playing poker for a living), might not have a mortgage hanging over their heads, may be dealing with other addictions or staying away from them as best as possible... Poker might mean so many more things to them.

I do get a chuckle out of some of the bloggers who consider themselves on a different plain than some of the rest of us. Yeah -- they may be devoting a lot more time and money to the game, so you'd expect them to be at least a little bit better than the recreational schlubs, right? And no ... I am not flustered when I hear about the bankrolls taken to the NL tables or the big buy-in fees paid for the latest Full Tilt or PokerStars or b&m tournaments. Try having a family, two mortgages, and several hundred thousand dollars of debt hanging over your head to give you a little perspective about money.
The Mookie and the Blogger Freeroll
I finished third in the Mookie this week and donked it up the the blogger tournament freeroll. The Mookie was funny -- I was really in a pissy mood, got some cards at the beginning, and just started raising the hell out of every hand I was in. I then sat back for a long time and then came alive at the end. I certainly played well enough to win, but a couple of suckouts late cost me the contest. I really thought that I would take it down. The freeroll was completely different. I woke up from a nap just in time for it and played like I was half asleep. Next time I'll get my kids to piss me off at the start and maybe I'll play better
One Month until Las Vegas
I will be making my next trip to Las Vegas over the Labor Day weekend. Puting a house up for sale and moving took up most of my spare time this spring. It's been seven months since my last trip, and I can't wait. My brother, Mr. Slot Comps, got us four comped nights at New York New York and the Flamingo. Southwest Airlines ran a kick-ass special, so only $138 to fly round trip. Talk about a cheap trip to Las Vegas!

I've been reading about how Caesar's changed their poker tournaments. I chopped the last two I played (first and second in one and first through fourth in the other), so I don't know if I'll give some others a look this time. I like the low buy-in Sahara structure, but the place is such a dump. Sounds like I should play at least one Venetian tourney.