Friday, May 30, 2008

Bottom of the 9th inning. Two men out, a count of 0 and 2 on the batter. The crowd is on their feet ...

Yeah, I screwed myself but good this time. WSOP dreams are fading away as the Battle of the Blogger Tournaments 3 and the Bodog Poker Blogger Tournament Series draw to a close in the next week.

My failure to win one of the BBT3 tournaments has me on the outside looking in, although I still keep hanging around the leaderboard anywhere from 12th to 18th place. My best chances were thwarted by lucko, who beat me heads up and then in a three-way in a couple of the tournaments. We all know that lucko is an excellent player, but the slimy b*st*rd sucked out on me heads up in the Mookie when I had him where I wanted him. Nothing like being good AND lucky. Only one chance left -- this Sunday's Big Game.

The Bodog season was more surprising. I had always done well in the Bodonkey, then seemed to just play some terrible poker there this spring. Only one chance left here, also -- the regular season finale on Tuesday. A win or top finish could possibly push me into the top 18, but once again, my back is against the wall.

I imagine that I feel like a lot of players do. We're grateful for the jobs that AlCantHang and Smokkee did in lining up these fantastic oportunities, but they seemed to drag on forever. Having these series follow almost immediately after BBT2 didn't help, but you have to grab those opportunities when they present themselves.

So ... a big congrats to AlCantHang and Smokkee. I hope that Full Tilt and Bodog find some way to compensate them for all they did -- a free trip to a WSOP tournament, maybe?

Coming up this weekend and next week ...

I have my home game tonight, so that will help fill my jones for live poker. I finished second last time, and hope to get in the money again.

Saturday, I will give a try at event #2 in the Bodog Mini-SOP. It should be fun.

Sunday: The Big Game. 'nough said.

Tuesday: Final Bodonkey of the season.

Yeah -- the pressure is on. Time to kick it up a notch.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Just When Things Seemed to Be Heading the Right Way ...
Not exactly a successful past few days on the real and virtual felt.

I decided to play at Illinois Charitable Games on Saturday even though I was worn out from a few days with a spring cold. The main event was scheduled for 7pm, and I had a hard time seeing myself playing that and then having a long drive home. When I got to the ICG location, it was evident that there were not going to be enough people playing the main event to make the prize what was advertised -- a buy in to the WSOP Main Event -- so ... I just played the cash tables.

Funny thing -- my friends at ICG all know me as a cash game only player since I so rarely play the tournaments. After getting sucked out on more than a few times, I have tended to leave the tournaments alone.

I hit two sets in the first six hands, so I thought I was in for a great night. One guy was slinging chips left and right, but he hesitated when I entered since I was new. Damn. I would have loved a quick double up in those first six hands.

After several hours, I ended up ... geez -- dead even! Talk about kissing your sister!

My play at Monday's MATH was less than stellar. I didn't even make it to the first break.

Tonight's Bodonkey and Skillz Series: Lost a tough hand in the Bodonkey to PokerPeaker -- JJ vs QQ. The flop was a rainbow of low cards, so we both pushed. I climed back up with some aggressive play, but couldn't hit a flop or win a coin flip when I needed it.

Same thing with the Skillz Series, which was pot limit Hold Em. I was doing well for some time, made an error or two, then went out on a coin flip -- A-10hearts vs 3-3. A three on the river sealed my fate.

Time is running out. Only three more chances at the TOC, and, I think, one more Bodonkey left.
Upcoming Las Vegas Trips
I have a rather unique trip coming up June 11-13. For years, my youngest daughter delighted in hearing Dad's tales of that great wonderland, Las Vegas. She has always wanted to go there, and, pending her final grades, she will get her wish next month.
For me, this will be a ... gulp ... non-gambling trip. We plan on seeing the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay, the Lions Habitat at MGM Grand, M&M's World, the Secret Garden & Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage, Fantasy Faire at Excalibur ...
If anyone has any additional suggestions (my daughter is 11 1/2), please let me know.
I know that a number of bloggers will be in town, so if there is any plan for a meet-up, I will try and stop by for a quick one.
My next trip to Las Vegas is planned for September 1-5. No animals this time -- only poker.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Hand That Did Me In
I raised at the final table with JJ and was put all in by the chip leader, dwal78, a player who always seems to give me trouble. Wanting the victory and hoping he had a smaller pair or at worst A-something, I called. Once again, Full Tilt showed its typical play, bringing an Ace on the river to felt me in 9th place. It is always an Ace, and always on the river.

In looking back at my posts this week, I said, "It is balls to the wall time. I need to get myself adequately pissed off before the tournaments this week." Well ... I did final table them all, but 5th, 6th, and 9th wasn't what I had in mind.

Next up: Looks like I need to go on the road to Illinois Charitable Games and attempt to satellite into the main event, where first place is a trip to the WSOP Main Event.

Short in The Mookie ... Again
Another frustrating finish in The Mookie. My decision making in the last hour was below average. Too sick, tired, and frustrated to write more tonight. Nothing like getting a spring cold to make everything seem out of kilter. Oh yeah -- that and another final table opportunity blown all to hell. Shit.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Improvement in Bodonkey
I got to the final table in last night's Bodonkey and at least cashed and picked up my T$109. I was hoping for a little better than 5th place, but I'll wait to see how far that moved me up in the standings.
At the end, was short stacked and went all in with K-9suited. Unfortunately, I was called by someone with K-J. A Jack on the flop sealed my fate.
Next up: The Mookie. Watch out - I'm picking up momentum.
Screw it -- time for some action. I'm taking the sucka down. Don't get in my way or it will be Hasta la vista, baby ...
Goombye to the WSOP?
In what has been a nondescript spring, I let my poker game falter and now appear to be heading for merely spectatorship at the upcoming World Series of Poker.

Bodonkey Woes
After having an excellent run in the Bodonkey last fall and early this spring, I have failed to win one since the WSOP prize package was announced. Surely the increased numbers and better competition had something to do with it, but those magic cards that had been coming at Bodog just stopped coming. I made some final tables, but am sitting on the outside looking in as the final chances to hit high enough on the leaderboard are fading away. Frankly, I can't believe that I am sitting in 26th place instead of winning on a regular basis. I need a big win tonight.

BBT3 Win Needed
Over at the BBT3, I am sitting in 17th place, but have no victories among my finishes. I had a few close calls, but no victory. Last night's MATH was a disaster. I lost some chips to lucko early one, then went out when I ran up against a flopped boat. I need a win at The Mookie or Riverchasers this week.

So there you have it. It is balls to the wall time. I need to get myself adequately pissed off before the tournaments this week. I seem to do much better when grouchy ...

Friday, May 16, 2008

Screwed Over by Full Tilt Once Again

I was going deep the the Full Tilt 28K on Friday when I ran into this beauty. I raised pre-flop and was called by a big stack. With the nice, low flop, I went all in and was called. The turn: you guessed it -- he hits his two-outer to send me to the rail. I went out in 157th place instead of doubling up and sitting pretty in the top twenty.
Gawd - this is what sucks so badly about poker. You play a strong tournament, do virtually everything right, then lose to a two-outer. I was an 89% favorite after the flop when I went all in.
It's funny that some of my co-workers think that I am lucky, mostly because of my trips to Las Vegas. Myself -- I see myself as unlucky. Some people seem to hit every flop and suck out left and right. Me -- naaaaaah.
And yes -- I will have a little cheese with my whine ...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Illinois Charitable Games
I had another good cash day at Illinois Charitable Games. A wickedly good cash player joined the table and sat next to me, so I treated him very carefully. Fortunately, there were enough bad players to give all the better players a cash boost.

I actually played in a tournament -- the special 10 Dolla Holla. It is a winner-take-all ultra-turbo tournament. Deals are allowed at the final table. We had about 40 runners and I was able to make the final table, but had one of the short stacks since everyone at my original table was tight, generating very few extra chips via rebuys. I went out with K-J sooted vs A-rag. I caught my Jack on the flop, but an Ace on the turn sent me to the rail.
I played more aggro than usual and was doing okay, then made a donkey call that decimated my stack, which then ran into A-A. Just not a good night.

I made it to the final 12 of Tuesday's Bodonkey, but my A-10 sooted ran into A-K. Not good when the flop brings K-A-A!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

An Unsolicited Pimp for
We all bitch about the lack of service we receive from a variety of businesses and providers, so I find it only fair to pimp a business that showed me absolutely outstanding speed and ease in making and filling my online order - Tire Rack.

Buying new tires for your vehicle is, in my mind, one of the worst experiences you can have -- second only to buying a new car. It seems like everyone is out to get your last penny, gives you different information about what kind of tires you should really have, and really makes the whole experience quite distasteful. I wanted to buy locally, but got nowhere with the local shop of a national discount tire business. I went online to the store's national website to get a price on tires and was told that it would cost much more to buy those same tires at the local shop -- "you know, shipping and added expenses." I said no thanks and went to the online place a friend recommended, Tires are at a reasonable price and are shipped out of South Bend, Indiana and a few other places nationally. You have them shipped to a local approved installer, who, of course, charges you to put them on.

I ordered the tires and was amazed to see the confirmation email that they had been shipped less than three hours after my order!! They were received at the installer the next day, and I had them put on that afternoon. From original online order to installation -- less than 27 hours! And ... they came from out of state.

I got a brand of tires I really wanted and saved $125 from the bid given to me by the local "discount" tire shop.

So ... a tip of the hat and a well-deserved pimp to for making online ordering easy, selling tires at a reasonable price, and providing exceptional service.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

He would have been 84 years old today.

I miss you Dad.

btw - I celebrated by taking my son out for a late-night restaurant run. It is just the kind of thing I hope he remembers some day long after I have gone.

Fathers and sons have such a difficult time getting along sometimes. I guess we need to be reminded every once in a while to take a little time with each other ...

Monday, May 05, 2008

Set vs. Set (vs. Set vs. ...)
Yesterday, I was in the situation you can do virtualy nothing about -- set vs. set. You call the raise and see the flop: Bingo -- a set with an uncoordinated board! You check since you know the aggro player will bet, then you raise. When put all in, you know that the only thing that has you beat is a higher set. You make the call ... damn. One buy-in out the door. Typical Full Tilt poker hand, right?

Well ... this past Saturday at my local $1/2 "home game" at Illinois Charitable Games, I saw something that I had not even seen in online rooms.

An initial raise was made, and there were immediately two callers. The big blind, however, bumped it up to $25 all day, and got three callers. The board was Q-7-3 rainbow, which elicited ... four players going all in! They turned over their cards, and we saw that three players made their set on the flop. Now, I had seen this one time before on Bodog, so I was not entirely shocked. However, the only guy who didn't make his set on the flop had A-A!

The turn and flop brought no help to anyone, and the Big Blind, who had Q-Q, scooped one hell of a nice pot. One big hand, three very disappointed players. Glad I was on the sidelines for that one.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Nice Finish in the Weekly Shark Home Game
For once, Absolute Poker did not get the best of me and send me to the rail when I was a clear favorite. This was actually a chop between first and second place, however. SsexyAzz had a huge chip lead on me going into heads up, but I quickly pulled even. I needed to get some other things done before I went to bed, so I offered to chop, and SsexyAzz agreed.

Riverchasers, on the other hand, did not go so well. There was nothing that I did terribly wrong, but it was just a night when the cards did not fall right at all. I was a short stack and went all in with A-Qspades. I was called by wwonka69, who had A-K. End of Story.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Dastardly lucko Stops My TOC Bid Again
Another deep run in Wednesday evening's Mookie came to an abrupt halt in third place, thanks to none other than lucko. I was the short stack of the final three (columbo was the other player), and pushed all in with K-10os. lucko called with Q-10os, so I was a 72% favorite to win the hand and double up. The picture above tells the sad story. lucko already had two BBT3 wins and added number three in the April 30 Mookie.
Although I had a good feeling about tonight since I had been getting to 6-8th place in recent blogger tournaments, I thought the mojo wouldn't be with me when I flopped a boat early against RecessRampage, only to see him catch some lucky cards and tie me for the pot.
I played a patient game tonight, then took down a huge pot when I hit a set of 9's on the flop. Unfortunately for Iakaris, he hit a set of 7's. I more than doubled up since one other player was already all in.
As I predicted, I actually caught some cards tonight, seeing A-A and Q-Q two or three times late in the tournamant. I don't remember any big missteps, so I have no regrets. I do, however, have one request: lucko -- stay the hell away from blogger tournaments until I win a TOC seat!