Saturday, March 20, 2004

Something else I know 

Don't play in your own home game.

Brutal. Absolutely brutal. That's how the first round of the poker marathon when for me. 6 hours the first night (not that long but I had to go Happy Hour). I got demolished. Not the worst but not that far off. 6 hours of sleep coming up then 18 straight hours. If I could bow down to the poker gods and type at the same time, I would be doing that right now.

This will get a fine post sometime post-brunch on Sunday. Assuming I don't run out of money around noon on Saturday. Then you'll get a nice, blistering, Southern-fueled, rant.

Oh the curse words that are dying to flow from my fingers.

Pray for me, my loyal readers. I need it.


Friday, March 19, 2004

Sports articles 

Lucky day. Two of my favorite sports writers have columns out today.

John Nicholson talking about the similarities between rock 'n roll and soccer. Not his best but always a funny read.

Rock 'n' roll, like football, is the only profession where you can be ludicrously paid for a job which entails no more than 16 hours a week. The difference is, there are still so many in football who insist that they are still over-worked and tired despite the fact that they do almost nothing, almost all of the time. It’s a pathetic whine.

At least your average guitarist has the good grace to admit that he spends his time off stage lying around, getting blown by women called Mercy, hoovering drugs up his nose and generally living H on the H.

Bill Simmons of Page2 talking about the media coverage of the Todd Bertuzzi incident.

I couldn't help it. I probably watched that clip 200 times. I caught it so many times on ESPNews alone, I wanted to fly to Bristol to console Cindy Brunson. I plowed through newscasts, columns and websites to share in the apoplectic reactions of others. I downloaded the Internet clip so voraciously, you'd have thought Paris Hilton was a featured player. We even TiVoed the clip in my office, then watched the different angles in slo mo, like we were studying the Zapruder film or something.


10 Things I Learned 

After playing for nearly 8 hours yesterday in 3 different sessions, I came up with 10 things I think I know 24 hours later.

1. I really really hate the fargin snow. I know it has nothing to do with poker but it makes me want to scare up a pistol.

2. Low-limit poker is unbearably boring. There's a reason they call it grinding. And I feel this way after a pretty decent winning session. You can't scare anyone out of a pot. "What's another dollar?". Yesterday, that worked great for me because I was able to pull some nice pots with pocket pairs and flopping the set. The fish just followed along with the bets and raises. I would throw a line in the water and the fish would jump into the boat.

3. Don't eff with the poker gods. After my nice little rush in the morning, I decided to play in only my second multi online. I wanted to see if my cards would hold up in a tournament setting. It was a 5/1 NLHE tourny with 1048 players signing up. Sure to be nice and fishy. Well Mr. Poker God slapped me in the head for leaving the fresh fertile waters, made my brain go a little fuzzy, and dumped me out at a finishing spot that I'm too embarrassed to even mention. It wasn't 4 digits but it wasn't that far off.. I was rolling right along and made a really stupid, out of position move and got caught big time. Just to prove I didn't learn my lesson, I played 3 SnGs and busted on the bubble every friggin' time.

4. It is possible to tilt me with table talk. I believed that I wasn't vulnerable to these knuckle draggers. For the most part, I don't give a flying rat's ass what vile filth comes flying at me from other players. Who hasn't had some jag off flip out after a losing a pot? You can almost picture them slamming their fist on the desk. In one of the SnGs, I came across such a person. Player Dumbass was short stacked in EP and showing no self-control. He goes all-in pre-flop for about T300. I was on the button (with the chip lead at the moment, I believe) and called the raise. I was holding AJd. Now Party doesn't flip the all-in's nearly as fast as TruePoker, but it went quick enough. He was holding ATo. He caught a 10 on the flop and I got my J on the river. Oh boy, let the fireworks begin. He starts spewing about idiots on Party getting lucky on the river. I think at one point he told me I sold my soul to the devil. Also a bunch of unprintable comments. The filth spewers have smartened up and started putting spaces in the nasty words to get by the censor. He stayed at the table ragging on me until I busted out in 4th. I took note of the username and sent an email to Party. But really what I want to do is catch the jerk on a table and take his crack money.

5. I'm moving up to NL ring games. After the lengthy low-limit session, I was in the mood for some fun and action. I sat at a loose $25 NL game on Party and finished up $10 after an hour. It could have been better because I made some bad moves out of position early in the session. But I got it all back plus some by playing good, solid poker. I didn't chase after the money I lost. I didn't get overly tight. I played a decent, tight/aggressive session. I have enough bank roll to handle the ups and downs of NL. I need to test / improve my skills at this level.

6. Shorthanded NL ring games are crazy. After about an hour on the $25 NL table, players started leaving and weren't being replaced. For about 30 minutes, we were playing 6 handed NLHE. I loosened up a little and reaped the harvest. The other 5 players must have thought I was god's gift to poker because just about any re-raise sent them scurrying into their holes. Another 30 minutes, another $10 profit. After 90 minutes, my $25 turned into just over $45. Time for the bar!

7. I know, I know, I know. This rush will end if it already hasn't. Be cool, bro. Don't get too excited about a rush and too bummed out after a loss. A rush and a loss are both short term events. I'm thinking long term (with a big nod of thanks to Felicia, see I can learn).

8. Bad Beats and good wins. If a hand is won on the river, two things are instantly going to happen. The loser is going to complain about a bad beat, the winner is going to declare it a good win. As the great and powerful T.J. said, "That's poker". So get over it and move on to the next hand.

9. We need to get Wil Wheaton to play in the next WBT event. I will re-issue my challenge. If Wil plays, I will send a copy of his new book to the winner of the tournament and the player who knocks Wil out.

10. If you wish to read some real poker content and not this poorly written rubbish, go to every one of the sites on the right. They are a much better at this then I am. Go forth and learn. It's like Christmas morning when you refresh and find a new post.


Thursday, March 18, 2004

Wil Wheaton post 

Another poker blogger made it onto Wil Wheaton's site. Grubby has a quote on there now attributed to Grubette. He calls her the inventor of "The Hammer". We've gotta get him in the next tournament.


Hangover cure 

I found a sure fire way to kick that ugly feeling after a fine night of drinking. Win a lot of money. Ok, I didn't win a lot of money but I did win a crap load of hands. After 90 minutes, +30 BB.

The cards are running so good that I'm going to try my first multi on Party. The only other multi I've played online was the WBT II Tourny.


All pimpin', all day 

Thanks to a well planned off day, nothing but poker and blogging. Since I have absolutely no creativity today, today's blog will be nothing but pimping other blogs. I found out last night that my site was pimped in an email for my friend's band. I've had a lot of new traffic and I'll be pointing them to proper sites.


Not a good start online.

First hand, 92d and I check to see the flop. A 9 hits on the flop but no diamonds and two over cards. I fold to the first bet. Of course, if I played like a fish everything would be peaching. A 9 on the turn and a 2 on the river.

Second hand, I'm BB and check my A5o to see the flop. I flopped an opened ended straight with my 5. I called the small bet and my straight came on the turn. Bets and raises around. Then the 5 hits on the river and a split pot.

Fifth hand, QTc with a flop of Q-Q-T. Bets and raises all around. 5 friggin' people still in the hand. Nothing worrisome on the turn or river and 4 people go to the showdown. Time to get paid. I don't know what two of the players had. But the other raiser, of course, had QT also.


It's taken me 40 minutes to write the above paragraphs and I am on a rush like a mother loader. High pairs, high suited connectors, and flopping the nuts. Here's the stats.

Hands - 38
Flops seen - 48% (Holy Monkey)
Show downs won - 100%

Sweet mercy. Apparently, the Thursday 8am crowd is the fishiest.

More later. Must concentrate.


Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Poker Weekend 

After just discovering that it's Bob's birthday this weekend (great friend, Al!), we've decided to celebrate by having a marathon poker session. Friday night until sometime Sunday morning. A true test of endurance and poker.

If anybody in the area is interested, let me know.


Mullets, mullets everywhere.... 

May God have mercy on my soul.

I attended the Y100 St. Patty's day party this morning to report back on the mighty 21 Spud Salute. The problems started last night. I have to get up at 5am to get there on time (how come nobody told me there's a 5 AM?). Logically, I would have gone home right after work to be prepared for the early wakeup call. Nope. With the snow and traffic yesterday, we decided to hit the bar and wait out the traffic. I'm here to tell you now that there wasn't any traffic at 11pm. At least the wifey tells me there wasn't any traffic.

Bob picked me up and off to Jillian's. When we walked in, my eyes kinda misted up. 100's of complete slackers drinking heavily at 7am. These were my people and I was their king. Scantily clad women, Guinness, liquor, and bowling (?) were in abundance. The call was then made for the potato gunners to arm themselves and head for the back door.

My god people have waaay too much time on their hands. 15 of the weirdest creations on the planet. And I'm not even talking about the guns. If you have a mullet, cut it or grow it out. Make a decision. I feel very strongly about this.

The creations these guys came up with were nuts. One was made out of copper and looked like Tim Burton's twisted remake of a tuba. One was mounted (I kid you not) on the back of a truck and had to be at least 15 feet long. It looked like a siege on Baghdad.

And then security showed up.

They were not going to be real pleased to have 15 Potato Militia loading up in the parking after loading up on booze inside. When the security guy was driving up to find out if this event was kosher, Preston from the station started the countdown. Boom. FREE POTATOES IN THE PARKING LOT!! Man was it loud. Apparently some were using lighter fluid as a propellant. Brilliant. We were told later that you couldn't even hear them over the radio. The audio clipped right out.

Even though FatAss Bob had his 'small' cannon, he easily outshot the biggest one.

After the quick volley of spuds, the entire group and spectators scattered like there was a police raid. Leaving, of course, the two mouth-breathers with the mounted guns. I'm not sure what happened but the security guy was obviously unhappy. No mention was made on the show about problems afterward so I assume everything was fine.

You go for the potato guns, but you stay for the booze. Alas, work was calling and my drinking would have to be postponed.

I took some pics and I'll upload as soon as I pull them off the camera.


In my fine tradition as a drunken Irishman, I will celebrate St. Patrick's Day by avoiding amateur night, going home and reading a good book. OK, not even I believe it and I typed it.

Maddies in Malvern for $2 doubles and a good band. At this pace, the hangover should kick in sometime Sunday afternoon.


Has anyone posted the results from the Sunday night tournament? I'm interested in finding out how it went and I haven't had a chance to look around for a writeup.

I've come up with a new ploy to try and get Wil Wheaton to play in one of our tournaments. If he plays, I'll put up a prize for 1st place and a bounty for whoever knocks him out. I'll send the players a copy of Wil's new book, Dancing Barefoot. Of course, if he wins it he won't need a copy.


My friend Brad just sent this to me and I thought it would be appropriate to post it today.


Thanks for stopping by. That was a true drunken / bar flu post. Not nearly my best post.

Remember to tip your bartender and waitresses. Try the veal.


Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Wil Wheaton quotes Iggy 

Wil Wheaton posted Iggy's 3 online low-limit tips via Pauly's site. It doesn't look like Wil's readers completely agree with the God Father of poker blogging.


Take a T.O. baby 

Newsday is reporting that a deal has been struck for Terrell Owens to play for the Philadelphia Eagles. A reported three-way trade between San Francisco, Baltimore, and Philadelphia.

Welcome T.O., now catch the ball.


Monday, March 15, 2004

When Rednecks get bored 

About 4 years ago, my friend FatAss Bob decided to pick up and leave suburban Philly for scenic Oxford, Pa. He left his growing rock star fame for piece and quiet. Not quite a 'has been'. More like a 'never was'.

Oxford is in Amish Country. You have a better chance of seeing a horse carriage than a 5 story building. For the longest time, the only fun to be had was playing chicken at 4am with the local Amish buggies. Until he came across www.spudtech.com, which is like crack for hillbillies. Have you ever felt the need to launch a starchy, edible tuber the approximate length of 4 football fields? This is the website for you.

After several attempts, Bob and Hubukai built a two-chambered compressed air cannon. Click here for Hubukai's video of the construction this weekend.

The Morning Show on Y100 made a call for anyone with a potato gun and Bob answered the call. In honor of St. Patrick's day, he'll be joining in a 21 Spud Salute.

As a well-traveled, cultured gentleman, I generally do not go in for these low brow shenanigans. But as a service to you, my dedicated readers, I will lower my standards and join this endeavor for the reason of reporting it later.

And there will be booze at sunrise so that might have something to do with it also.


Many apologies to the guys in Forty Ounces. I was supposed to catch their show this weekend and I got mixed up. I thought the show was on Saturday. Instead, it was on Friday and I was in my poker-haze in AC. I'll catch the next one for sure.


There is a big No-Limit Hold'em tournament on March 28th in Limerick, PA. I'm still waiting on the exact info. The buy-in is $60 and they're throwing in food, booze, and large screens for watching basketball. Email me if you're interested and I'll get you on the list.


In travel news, we just booked a trip up to Pauly's neck of the woods. A bunch of us are heading to NYC the weekend of June 4 to catch a couple of baseball games. I've never been to Yankee or Shea Stadium. That weekend is the only weekend all year that they're in town at the same time. Yankees Friday night and Mets Saturday afternoon. I'm sure Pauly can point to good bars to get my booze-on.


Sunday, March 14, 2004

Why play poker? 

First you need to go read HDouble's excellent post on the reasons people play poker. Hobby, sport, or profit. Hank states that he's somewhere between sport and profit. I think I'm probably different from most of the other bloggers in that I'm somewhere between hobby and sport. For me, poker is a way to move away from the drudgery that is my job. I think that's why I'm not the biggest fan of low-limit hold'em. The grind seems way too much like actual work. But I understand the need to constantly improve and low-limit hold'em is where I need to work on my chops if I wish to move up and play with the big boys.

That's where the sport comes in for me. Poker has a lot of similarities in my mind to golf and I play them for the same reasons. If you want to improve, you need to recognize your problem areas and work on them. Practice, practice, practice. And you need to play.

At times, I am hyper-competitive. I need / want to be the best I can be at whatever I'm doing at that time. I need more skins on my wall than the guy next to me. And that's another similarity to golf. No matter how good you are, you can always improve. And there's always someone better waiting for you.

I have set my goal. Consistent play at No Limit Hold'em. I have a looong way to go before I have the confidence and ability to sit at these tables. Limit Hold'em, even at the higher levels, feels too mechanical. ABC poker seems like work to me. But I've recognized it for what it is. Training. Training for my sport of choice. I will do what it takes to constantly improve and move up until I reach my goal.


Improving my game would be a crap load tougher if it wasn't for the blogger community. Go read the blogs linked on the right. I'm just a schmo who writes in one big "stream of consciousness" (BigMike's words). Check them out for invaluable information on improving your game. Come here if you just want a chuckle every once in awhile.


I received a couple of emails asking how the heck I could consider Friday night a positive when I dropped my bankroll for the night.

Easy to explain. I think I'm losing my fishiness. I stopped paying 3 bets to see a flop where I have a low probability of winning. I no longer chase the gut shot straights to the river. I'm making the other players pay to chase. I'm understanding / playing my position better.

Basically it was a $100 training session.


I have to report a weird, "it's a small world" story.

Shortly after Iggy posted my link on his page, I received an email from Russ in Philly. He was asking me to put him on my list for any of my future tournaments. No problem, on the list he went.

Then Thursday, Landow comes to me saying he was heading down to AC with his friend from Philly. Of course I said yes but I wanted to head down early. Landow said his friend Russ would just take the train down and come back with us.

I guess you can see where this is going. Unfortunately, Russ was unable to join us on Friday. When they started comparing notes, Russ from Philly (who started reading my blog from Iggy), is the same Russ who went to high school with Landow. Weird.


Well, just another rambling post. Thanks to anyone who actually comes here for this mess. Thanks a ton to the guys on the right for helping me improve.

I'll have two tournament annoucements on Monday. Stay tuned.