Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Well, the regular Monday night tourneys have been put on hold until after the holidays, but I managed to close out the year in style. I won the tourney with the hammer. You just have to love the look on peoples faces not only when you heads up with it, but when you win with it, it's a priceless moment. Usually requiring a very large round of drinks to be bought. I was pretty sweet, once we got to six handed, for some reason the other five felt compelled to give me all of their chips. The only time I gave some away was when I was in a blind and it would only cost me one more blind to two to finish them off.

By the time we reached heads up, I had Mike out chipped by around 7-8:1. He was in pretty much push or fold mode, if I did not bet at least 2/3 of his stack, he would push, and he was not really defending his blinds that strongly. Eventually, with the blinds a 10/20K and on the button I look down to see a beautiful 72o looking up at me. I made it a respectable 80K to go, and what does he do, he pushed for an additional 50K. What can I do but call his all in? The flop comes A 7 2 and everyone just starts going with the oh-my-god laughs as they see the almighty hammer pummel his 69o (in the battle of the suck-outs as Matt the dealer called it). The K 3 on the turn and river gave Mike no help and I took down yet another Monday night tourney with the hammer. I had done it last month too, so that made this one all the better.

For the record, this hand is being played around 12:30 AM, I have a 20 min drive home and have to get up for work around 5:30 (actually got up at 6:15...oops). That's the one thing about the Monday and Thursday night games, they just run so damn late for me. Oh well, what can you do when you need your fix?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

So-So (not SoCo) Mookie

Had a so, so Mookie last night. Pretty much card dead the entire night, only a couple of big pocket pairs and some lucky draws. Think I went out in 16th if I remember correctly, and we were just shy of having enough people to pay 18. Oh well, with Full Tilt's fubar payment schedule at the crossover points I would have been getting paid $10.50 on my $11.00 buy-in. Full Tilt, please feel free to either change the number of people getting paid and/or the amounts being paid so the bottom tier can at least get their full buy-in back (assuming it's not a rebuy of course).

Oh, and it seems the not too much booze at the table actually helps. I was at work late last night so I did not have the time to stop by the store and replenish my Bacardi 8 stock. As a result, I only had two all night, one that started just before the game and the last I had during first break. As a result, the head was fairly clear all night long and helped me choose my spots to push when the chips got low. Of course, due to the sleeping pills I took with my first drink when the Mookie started, by the time third break rolled around I could barely keep my eyes open. By the time I busted out, the average chip stack had an M of around 9, so there was a fair amount of pushing going on. I think I got all my chips in on the flop (I had 77 with one club) and the flop gave me the chance for a straight and a flush, and (I think) were all below my 7 (though there may have been one that was over, maybe a 9, can't remember as I was almost asleep). My straight draw was pretty weak, gutshot I think. Anyways the person who called me (sorry don't remember, don't think we've played before) had KK, also with a club, thereby decimating my outs from 14 to 5. Ah well, at least I picked up a few more points, though probably not enough to make a difference.

I may make a run at the Big Game this week, but I'll need to score my token Sunday before the game. Have live games tonight, Friday and Saturday and the cash games that develop after the tourney are just so juicy. Nothing better than playing from 9 or 10 PM on a Saturday until bar close at 2 AM in a .50/1.00 game and have all your expenses (gas, food, bar tabs) for the week covered. One of these days I might just have to start up an official bankroll for these games as opposed to the entertainment budget. Heck, I at least have to put some aside for the annual 1/2 NLHE game on New Years Eve!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Won a Mookie

Well, I finally won my first Mookie!! And for a set into the TOC on Full Tilt's Battle of the Bloggers II no less! I really only did a couple of things different that night, one, I was out of booze so I did no drinking at all, and (probably as a result) I played a much tighter game than usual for most of the night (except for one hand against Hoy, and I'm sure we will all read about it soon).

When we hit the final table, I was one of the shorter stacks, but lucky for me most of the other shorties to mids kept making their moves and before too long (and the blinds/antes ate me up we were down to four). Previous to this, I was just making enough to keep me in the game (at lest three had gone out before I really played more than my blinds if memory serves me correct). Then I got lucky. We were down to four, blinds were 1000/2000 250. With only 14,120 I figured I had to push with any picture card (I'm sure you would all agree that this is a no brainer). On the button, I look and see 72o. Well, with the blinds and antes there is 4k in the pot and LJ makes it 5k to go. I look at my cards, and what is there other than 72o!!! I figure I can go out with honor with the hammer and take a reasonable amount of cash in the process. Much to my surprise the table folds to me and I get just enough to let me stick around for a bit more, and possibly even put a small amount of pressure on my table-mates. And for the record, I did show my hammer and the guys at BDR were amazed that LJ did not call (she was getting about 3:1 on her money and had about 100k preflop).

After that, I managed to eek my way up until the other three (Hoy, Donkette and LJ) were 71k to 75k and I was just shy of 50k when this hand happened. Blinds were 1,000/2,000 250 I was BB and Hoy had the button. Donkette folded and Hoy made it 8k to go. Well, as an avid reader of Hoys blog and having played my share of blogger games, I decided to min-raise Hoy with my KK. Donkette folded Hoy pushed and LJ also folded (well technically she folded to Hoys 8k). I called Hoy, he showed AQ, and it played out J44 J J and I took it down and doubled up with my Jacks full of Kings. It was kind of fun to hear the guys on BDR (it was Buddy Douche, CrackinAces, Instant Tragedy, and Biggestron if memory serves) debating the hand, Hoy losing with AQ, but not really being a bad beat with my KK, but still with only four playing AQ, should, in theory, be good.

And now for my donkey hand that you will all be reading about soon on Hoys blog. After taking most of his chips on the hand above, Hoy was naturally playing quite aggressively and pushing quite a bit (he had be about the same before (In the mid to low 20k), with lower blinds and pushing quite a bit as well). The blinds were 1,200/2,400 300 and I was in the small blind. Hoy pushed (for 24,876 in total) and it folded to me. I had A8o, and I took some time to think about it. Everything said to fold, the odds, my cards, the fact it was Hoy, everything. But somehow, that little voice in the back of my head was screaming for me to call, and for the first time of the night, I listened to it (it had been accurate the other four times that I had ignored it, and in fact I would have tripped up earlier). The only way I can justify my call is that Hoy had been pushing a lot, if I lost then three of us would all be playing with about 50kish to Donketts 96k, and that gut feeling/voice in the back of the head was screaming for me to call. It turns out Hoy had and A7o and I had A8o. The flop gave me an 8 and the river gave Hoy a 7 and I took him out. Not my proudest moment, but at least I will get a spot in his blog, and for the record, it was not an instacall, and I agree with the guys who discussed it on BDR, it was not the best call in the world to make.

During the same blinds, all three of us went all-in. LJ had AK, I had QQ, and Donkette had 88. Fortunately, I had them both covered, and Donkette was second in chips, but LJ hit an Ace on the flop and no love for the rest of us and Donkette was out.

When we were heads-up, we spent most of our time roughly even, I did get one earlier that helped me get within site of her. Then, our big hand. Blinds were 1,500/3,000 400 and I had the BB. LJ made it 7,500 and I raised to 12,000 and she called. The flop was 622 and I bet 24,800 and LJ pushed (133,488) and I called. LJ had A6o and I had KK, and they held.

After that, LJ doubled up on me once more, but then I took her (I assume) out when I had 8T against her 98 on the flop of 587. Lucky out-kick for me and there I am in the ToC.

For the BDR crew of the night, yes, I should have been out if LJ called me when I had the hammer, I got lucky, and yes, I should never have called Hoy's all-in with my A8o, but thus far my gut feeling had not let me down all night (even though I did not play the others, and yes, I do agree that, in general, that is the type of player you want at your table, but as all of you eventually pointed out, Hoy had been pushing quite a bit and I had been playing tight most of the night).

So now, just to clear up a thing or two, yes, I do have a blog (for the two or three of you who stop by every now and then). I also play the blogger games mostly for the social interaction (it is fun to watch most of you rag on each other, but there are maybe about three that I chat with in the girly chat). I play mostly blogger games on-line (largely -EV) and play a lot of "home games" that are actually "bar games" that play at .50/1.00 or 1.00/200 that I do fairly well at (i.e. win a fair chunk more than I lose).

In all, I got mega-lucky. I got some very good information. And yes, I will link all the sites later on. See ya'll at the ToC (wish me luck, I'll need it).

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A recent study, probably the most important one in the history of space and time, has finally revealed what we online poker donkeys have always known, bacon improves heart health, cures cancer, prevents ED, makes you sexy and irresistible to the opposite (or same, if that’s what works for you) sex, doubles the mileage of your vehicle while reducing emissions, makes your portfolio double in value every eighteen months, and can also reverse the effects of global warming on the environment. Maybe I exaggerated just a bit there…..

From the article in Science Daily:

In contrast to nitrite, nitrate in the diet comes mainly from cured meats such as bacon, sausage and luncheon meats. Consuming nitrate augments our nitrite supply: Once absorbed in the bloodstream, nitrate circulates to the salivary glands where bacteria convert it to nitrite, which is then swallowed in our saliva. About 10 percent of dietary nitrate is converted to nitrite in this way.

As with the mice and nitrite, the Einstein researchers spiked drinking water with nitrate and then induced heart attacks. A protective effect was found yet again: Compared with the control animals, the nitrate-supplemented mice had greater stores of nitrite in their heart muscle along with significantly less heart-muscle damage, although the reduction was not as impressive as in the nitrite-fed mice.

"This new appreciation of the health benefits of nitrite and nitrate is ironic," says Dr. Lefer, "They've traditionally been regarded as toxic because they tend to form chemicals called nitrosamines, some of which are carcinogenic. But recent research has found no convincing evidence that nitrite and nitrate pose a cancer risk."

So there you have it folks, scientific proof that bacon is indeed the food of the gods.

Nothing exciting on the poker front, live game has been pretty much break-even for the past couple months (if you don’t include the bar tab that is) and online has been pretty much up and down (finally won a Monkey Tourney Main Event) but I have not really been playing that much online (and mostly the blogger games at that) so it’s to be expected. I broke down and opened an account on Bodonkey, but alas I had it set up too late to make it to last nights Bodonkey Blogger Tourney. Oh well, that’s why they invented next week!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Well, week one of the new assignment has gone well so all is good. This job should go at least six months, with a possibility of contract-to-hire, so let’s just hope for the best. One of the best things about this gig, it’s the commute. It’s about ten miles closer, but the drive time has been cut in half. It’s pretty much full highway speeds the whole trip, and as a result I’m getting about 2 MPG more!

Speaking of MPG, Wisconsin’s minimum mark-up law has been ruled unconstitutional. The law was put on the books to help those small mom and pop gas and grab type businesses stay afloat as the big companies moved in (not that I’ve ever seen of them mind you). As it turns out, one of these small stations took one of the big guys to court for selling their gas too cheap (the law states that gas must be marked-up at least 6% of the states cost or 9% of local wholesale, whichever is greater). By the time all was said and done, the judge found that the law violated part of the state constitution and therefore could not be enforced. You know that place can’t be pleased, they finally get to take someone to court over it only to have the judge smack down the law, the irony of it all.

As for poker, well, after months of playing on-line once a week at best I finally sat down to two blogger games this week, The Monkey (where I bubbled in third) and The Mookie (19th of 62 if memory serves). All in all, I consider the results not bad, if only due to the lack of playing that I’ve had over the past three or four months. I doubt that I’ve played more than 25 games on-line since mid-July, so now I’ve got to get my game back (not that I had one before). Of course with BBTwo on the horizon, it seems my timing is looking pretty good.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Puter Tilt

I actually made it to the Monkey this past Tuesday night. Due to projects at work I had not been making it out there much this month, so it was going to be nice to be back.

About 15 min before game time I powered up the PC. It pretty much insta-freezes during the Windows load forcing me to do a hard reboot. That should have been my first clue. When it came back up, it took about ten minutes to load everything before I could fire up Stars. That was clue number two. It seemed as if Stars was taking about a month to load as well, then I noticed that my virus scanner was running and using up about 270% of the puters resources, so I shut it down. Once Stars finished loading, I noticed that the virus scanner had frozen in the background while it was shutting down. Clue number three.

With about two minutes to spare, I managed to get myself signed up for the Monkey. Moments later the table pops up, I can hear the whir of cards being dealt, but oddly enough I can see no cards. I hear blinds being posted, bets being made, and my table is still 100% card free. I hear the beep that lets me know that it’s my turn to act and then about five seconds later my screen refreshes and I can see my cards and the action to date. I fold the junk I was give and sit back. My cards are still on the screen in front of me, I hear the buzz of “You have 15 seconds to act.” Finally my hand gets folded. Rinse, wash, repeat. Three times. I figure people must be getting annoyed with me in much the same way that I am getting annoyed with ye old PC. I contemplate reprogramming it with a hammer when I notice that the screen hasn’t changed for a bit. Then the “Network Connection Lost” box pops up as it tries to reconnect. Until the PC freezes again and I get to reboot again.

The puter must be getting warmed up now, cause it only took eight minutes to go from reset to logging back into Stars. Only to see my AQo in mid/late position insta-mucked for me. Obviously the PC felt bad for that so it tried to make it all better by spontaneously rebooting for me.

I take a deep breath, get it all back up and running and see a perty AKs when I get back. I attempt to make 4BB raise, but now have that annoying system lag again. I try to enter the bet again and when something finally goes thru, I had somehow managed to put in all but 30 of my chips. I don’t recall who it was (possibly Smokey) but someone called me. Two more hearts on the flop, I got put all-in for my last 30 chips as my opponent flopped a set, but no more hearts for me and the board paired so my busted flush went down to a boat. I said my gg’s and gl’s and then ripped the power cord out of the socked to give the PC the shutdown it had earned.

This weekend—say it with me—Format the HDD’s and reinstall!! Thank the gods that it’s a long weekend!

If you actually made it this far, go check out the Bloglines Beta! They have been long overdue for an update and my-oh-my is it sweet!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Late Nite Monday=Missed Monkey Tuesday

So sad, missed last night’s Monkey Tourney, no good reason, just a late day at work, get home exhausted, grab a bite for dinner, then promptly fall asleep on the couch before signing up for the game. Oh well, such things happen, so it will have to be next week all.

The reason for the exhaustion you ask? Well it may have had something to do with me staying up until 12:30 am playing in one of the local bar freeroll games. I love these freerolls, not so much for the play (most of which is terrible) but rather for the massive amounts of free drinks one can consume.

Free drinks you ask? Well our little freeroll tourney is actually a re-buy tourney. It’s free to sit down and play, but if you bust out and wish to get back in the game all you need to do is yell out “buying a round” and get everyone at your table a drink. I get very drunk. Actually the re-buy period ends after the fifth blind level is over, gives you a chance to sober up some before the drive home. The games typically last 4.5-5 hours and re-buys can be done during the first two hours. I always plan to be there in the game for at least two and a half hours.

These games are actually a challenge to win. You will see plenty of absolutely horrible plays and suck-out’s a plenty because it’s “free poker” (says the guy who just did his fourth re-buy of the night). It is just far too common to have four people go to showdown, so you all know how tough it can be to win a pot. The blinds are pretty brutal too. They go 10/20, 20/40 and 50/100. After that, just add a zero and repeat the cycle. Oh, and each level is 25 minutes long.

Anyways, after nursing my short stack for most of the night, I somehow ended up at the final table. I never quite understood this, but is seems that final table=forget how to play. Final tables usually go very quickly from nine players down to three. There seems to be only three ways to play. There is the ‘raise, call, call, all-in’ pre-flop or post-flop, the ‘raise, re-raise, all-in,’ and of course the all-in with atc for the shorties. It seems almost magical, but you can be assured that if there is a raise with two callers there will be an all-in somewhere down the line and the re-raise is an all-in magnet. Knowing that magical formula allowed me to take out five players just by saying ‘re-raise’ knowing that at least one person would be going all-in.

The guy I played heads-up with told us that he had never actually won one of these games before even though he had been heads-up several times before. It didn’t take long to find out why. He folded way too many on his small blind, folded way too often to any raise, and would never go to showdown without at least a pair. He won one huge pot off me early on when he hit a set to my TPTK, leaving me a 10:1 underdog, but thanks to his weak-passive play it didn’t even take me 20 minutes to eventually take him down to the felt. And the beautiful thing was when he was down to his last three chips he said “Well, I gotta do this sooner or later,” and threw them in, I said call without even looking at my cards. He showed AQo, and me, I flipped over the almighty hammer! With the board scattered all over the place, that two on the river allowed me to help him keep his record of never winning a tourney and also losing one to what some misguided souls call the worst hand in poker. So with $50 in my pocket for winning the freeroll I took him and the TD over to bar and bought us all a nice well-deserved drink.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Monkey Around

Well it has been a bit since I scribbled here last so I figured I could take a moment a post. Nothing new to report. Man that was easy!!

The job search continues to go slow, several hits on the resume, lot’s of phone interviews, a few live ones, but nothing leading to an offer thus far. The temp jobs are not too bad; I’m getting paid about the same as my last job, but sadly no benefits at this time. If I remember correctly, you need to work at least 1,000 hours in a nine-month period to qualify or something crazy like that.

As for the poker front, haven’t been playing much online at all, just the tourney formally know as the Wheaties (WWdN), now know as The Monkey Tourney. It fills the spot nicely but is quite a bit smaller with only 20 or so players and usually about 16 showing up on any one night. Still Tuesday night on PokerStars, still starts at 8:30 pm ET, still only $10+1, and yes, the password is still Monkey. I also have started a nice little Monkey Hammer web album, so far they are coming in slow, but then again it takes a bit to get used to taking screen caps.

Last nights game was kind of fun in a different way for me, I actually got to play host. As you all know, playing host carries with it enormous responsibility. Keeping track of who takes out the bounties so next weeks games are named and set up properly and doing the write-up for the website. Having never done the write up before, my fellow players advised me that it should either be funny or ghey. I think I may well found a good balance between the two. Here is my favorite excerpt from The Monkey Tourney website write up that I did, inspired by all the stories and news clips going on over that baseball homerun record thingy. It is virtually all a lie, except for the part that is true:

In all, it was an excellent game, but not without controversy. After playing a record breaking 756 hands, 65 pony boy took down the game. But this event has been overshadowed by rumors and allegations that pony boy had been using performance enhancing substances, namely ginseng (for energy and stamina) and ginkgo biloba (a memory enhancer).

Listening to ‘the man on the street,’ the prevailing opinion is, “It looks like poker has finally got its wish. It will now be viewed as a sport, performance enhancing drugs and all, just like cycling and the Tour d’ France.”

According to officials, Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), who introduced H.R. 4777, the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act into the SAFE Ports Act at the last moment in 2006, will be requesting hearings into this matter on Capitol Hill when Congress returns from its August recess.

So what do you think, funny, ghey, or both?

Outside of the Monkey, the rest of my poker has been live in the bar games. I have been doing much better in side games that develop after the freeroll tourney has completed. I had been getting worried about my cash game because for quite sometime, I was feeling lucky if I just broke even. Then I had that moment of clarity, I realized that because I was worried about the job situation and the tightness of the funds, I was too afraid to lose anything in the cash game, and my game suffered. Once I realized that, I just pretty much gave up on the cash games.

Now that I have been working assignment regularly for awhile now, I am much more comfortable. Nowadays when I sit at these (low buy-in) cash games I typically cash out two or three buy-ins up, so I can feel good about that. Once I have a ‘real’ job I can get back to setting up and building a bankroll for the live games and move to one of the big games in town.

For the bar games, the buy-in is quite low and quite light based on the game. Buy-ins are $20-$40 and the game is $0.50/$1.00 NLHE, usually 8 max due to the size of the tables and the traffic in the room. It’s a bit whacked, I know, but it is run in a bar, so most people are playing with either a real good buzz or are smashed, the place is full of other drunken people, and we also want to keep it friendly. Still, buy the end of the night there is typically between $300 and $700 on the table.

With a bit of luck, one day soon I’ll be back into full bankroll management/development mode and not just playing with that little bit left over from last week mode.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Jobs, Poker, Lost Dogs and Jury Duty

Well, it looks like it has been awhile since I’ve made a post. Since last we blogged, I was re-organized out of a job, won $1,300 in a live cash tourney (the very same week mind you), and then my poker winnings went into a massive downslide. On the job search front, a few calls only to be told I’m “over qualified,” man, does that get old. On the poker front, I may have gotten my game back somewhat, I’ve had a few cashes in tourneys and a couple of decent live cash games (though it only takes the wife two days to drink away my roll at the bars). Keep in mind that we play our games in the bars, and she usually pisses away a buy-in then socializes until I’m done, oh well, what can you do. Had to get her playing so I didn’t have to spend four to six nights a week sleeping on the couch, lol!

But as of now, I feel the winds of change are blowing my way. I had jury duty this week, so after waiting around for four hours, we were released for the day, and when I called back, I found out that we were not needed and our ‘service’ was over. Never even saw the inside of a courtroom.

When I got home, just as I got to my door I saw two pit bulls looking at me on the sidewalk. I popped inside, got a leash, and saw them at the end of the block. I did my best to try to catch up, but they were really moving. I last saw them well away from my ability to catch up, so I started home. Just as I started home, a woman in a truck asked if I saw two dogs. I told her where I saw them headed; she thanked me and headed that way.

About three houses from home, two pit bulls ran past me with the Animal Control van right behind. I got the attention of one of the pit bulls, got it to the side, got it to sit, then lay down, hooked up a leash and handed her off. The Animal Control guy thanked me, got in the van then headed after the other one, who popped out a few houses up the road. I got her attention too, and got her to come to me. I then got her to sit, lay down, then leashed her and handed her off.

With the dogs contained, I told the Animal Control guy that I had sent the owner a few blocks away to where I had seen them headed and asked him to follow me to her. He said fine, I got in my car and he followed me to the owner, where the Animal Control guy proceeded to hand off the dogs to her. One family reunited, two dogs did not have to go to the pound, one owner who did not have to pay any tickets or fines, and one Animal Control guy who didn’t even have to catch the dogs (he even asked if I wanted his job, lol). Everybody was happy with the results.

Today in the mail, the day after my jury duty concluded, was a questionnaire from the Clerk of Circuit Courts to see if I am eligible for jury duty, anyone wanna lay odds on that one?