Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Time for the Holidays

There is something about having a dinner scheduled later that puts me on a heater. I finished at about 130th yesterday, when my pairs held and I won the race I gladly took in hour 3 (AK vs QQ). But in the end, 88 in the SB. Folded around to the button, who limps. I raise. BB folds and he re-raises. I call and the flop is 992. Unless he has a bigger pair, I am way ahead. But alas, he has Kings and he manipulated to pot to be large enough pre-flop that I went busto. There is a lesson here for raising with big hand (even if its a tricky limp-raise) to make the pot harder to get away from (remember prospect theory?).

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Strange Results

How after all these years do I DROP 1/2 buy-in at 1-2, but pick up 3x my buy-in playing 7game mix? Most unexpected.

As I get ready for the holidays, I would like to register a complaint as to how fast this year passed me by. Despite major events, including a broken back, it seems like its all rushed like watching a bullet train pass by.

Looks like for a job I was not sure I wanted, I have quickly become the go-to guy for the CEO, and with good reason. I am amazingly good at what I do, which in all modesty make me shake my head when I miss out on some opportunity I apply for. What are these people/companies looking for? [deleted rest of tirade was here]

Still, things are not bad in any way. As Joe Walsh said, "I can't complain, but some times I still do."

Monday, December 14, 2009

Worst Trip Report Ever !

Going to Vegas is always great, right? Well, there are expectations and there is reality. Thursday, I am already sick before we leave with a head cold. Nasty one. After we checked in, I had a associate who lives in Vegas pick us up and we headed to check out Frankie's Tiki Room.

I REALLY wanted to love Frankie's, as I love tiki and want to support it. But I was sorta let down.

First the good. Nice decor, great music selection, drink mugs are first rate.

The Bad?
I felt like correcting some of the drink recipes (ingredients), air circulation is terrible so its really smokey, small place, was not greeted with the attention I figure I warrant and covet, so dark I could not read the drink menus.

Now its off to the IP to meet and greet. It's great connecting with so many great people again. But just when the tables games started, my body gave out and I had to bow out by midnight. Sad really.

Friday was spent sleeping and it was not until 2pm until I got going again. I played some MGM poker and later transferred to the infamous "table 16". It was a riotous time, with Mark really creating alot of the hilarity. Still, I bowed out after about 2 hours for dinner. I roped the penners and Garth & company into going to Hoffbraus House.

We only had an hour for my favorite beer hall in the world, before walking over to Hard Rock for Pokeratti's famous rotation game, NL/PLO. I won my first PLO hand and spent the next hour donking away 80% of my profits. The game got a bit stale, so we headed back to MGM, where I played HORSE until 1:30 am. I won $25. (Did you like my poker bowling shirt!?)

Saturday was the big tournament and here I will digress a bit. When you play a tournament, you need to understand how fast to play. This was 20 min level. Now I am getting about 3 rotations a level and after two hours the level will be 400/800/100. With $7k in starting chips, what does this tell you?

Answer: To have an M over 10, you need at least 16k. You prefer to have over 30k, obviously. You want to double once per hour. This is not a recipe for deep stack play. It's longball all the way and you certainly need to win a race along the way.

I am down to $4k at 300/600, so my range is big. UtG raises, I shove. F-Train thinks for a while and somehow comes over the top with 55. I dont like his play, as in order to win this hand, he has to be right that the squeeze would work on a UTG raise and that I did not have a pair, and ever if right on both, he is only a small favorite. But KNOWING that he is a larger stack and given what I just said above, who can blame him? My AJ goes nowhere and I am out.

I spent the rest of the evening playing $1/2 at the Venetian. Again, F-Train was right. This is the softest game in the history of poker. Later, I was joined by Chad and Smokee which made it even more fun. Watching Chad roll over the table had me amused, bemused, and envious. I still won over $300. I did let Smokee bluff me out of a hand where the situation and my hand both said call. Yet somehow I folded. I played WAY too tight the entire weekend, and I paid for it. I lost $120 Thursday, Won about $50 on Friday, and Won $300 on Saturday minus $100 for the MTT. So I finish with a marginal profit, far below expectations. Of course, you cant measure fun and if I was there for money, I would have eat and slept at the V $1/2.

Sunday I was mercifully on a plane during the Lions debacle. Perhaps you all understand why the Lions are drafting FOUR d-lineman in the draft.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Hold On, 'Cause I'm comin'

I am already packed and ready to rage-hard.


Thursday its a dinner time visit to Frankie's Tiki Room to worship the girl-drink gods and hopefully I will then... wait for it... Rum-good. HAHAHA, I rum good! Then its off to the IP for extreme-networking. Its like networking, only EXTREME.

Friday its dinner at the Hoffbaru-House (across from Hard Rock) and YOU ARE INVITED. Come one come all and sing, eat and drink all in German-ish! (I'll be twittering, but assume about 6pm, so we can make MGM later by 9-ish)
Then its severe mixed games at the MGM. Its like mixed games, only SEVERE. (hopefully there will be $1 chips left!)

Saturday its the annual blogger last-longer, knock-out-waffles MTT @ Caesar's and I for one am wearing a bowling shirt! Long live the Hammer!

Monday, December 07, 2009

the $42k (now with more k!)

Wow, the $32k has ballooned to the $42k with 2200 runners instead of the usual 1200-1400. That is a big field folks.

I double up early vs. some dead money and then with a slightly above average stack, had to go pick my daughter at school (unscheduled). I 'sat out' and when I returned I was 20% below average. So.... when it was folded around to the SB and my opponent shoved for $4k (I had about $7k, avg was $9k), I decided to call with A6o. Loose? Maybe, but you know he has ATC. In this case K8o. No one hits jack-squat and I have an average stack again. Then, not a few moments later, I am moved to a new table and dealt JJ in EP. I raise and get a caller from the BB. So the pot is 2k and the flop is 789.

And then he bets POT. I think this was a mistake for 1 reason, I knew his exact hand at this point. TT. I figure he has 8 outs twice, so I shove and he calls... showing the expected TT. No changes on the turn and river and I am sitting pretty with 300 to the money.

I leaked and blinded down to average with 456 left (pays 234) with 14.5k in chips. Staying away from obvious trouble with an M just around 15. The blinds are beginning their squeeze now and its time to get some decent hands. Small ball is coming to a close.

I keep getting 88 in EP. I play it once and fold it once. Tough spot. Getting grind down by the blinds... Down, down, down. I have a tenancy to over react when this happens and shut down, playing only the best cards. But in this case, I was really getting a run of junk. I needed something good to come my way. I try to force something with KJs from EP and my tight image let me pick up the blinds for the first time in 2 rotations. 334 left, 100 to the money. M around 10. Antes killing me now, but BLO (big-little-offsuit) hands are not going to help.

And then, again with the 88, only this time in the SB. Looks like a re-steal hand opportunity. Almost like it was planned, the cutoff makes it 3200 and I shove 10k, which he calls. I look up to see he has KJo! 88 holds and I get to cash today. I am surprised that KJ does not fold to a 3x all-in, but there you are.

Or do I?, Two rotations later, the same guy shoves all-in for 9k from the cutoff and I have JJ in the BB and call. He has K6o and good goes to better when he comes up empty. I know some players steal based on tendencies, but K6o? Do my stats somehow warrant that after I already took half his chips with 88?

10 to the bubble and again JJ in EP. I raise it to 3x and get a caller from a MP. And the flop is AQ9. Gez. I make a very weak, check-fold. This guy has a tight range. I am still 2k above average. Until the blinds come of course. But we are at the actual bubble when someone gets the Kobiashi Naru. AA UTG and the BB is a giant stack that calls most all-ins. The guy shoves his AA and the giant stack calls with 78s. AA becomes the bubble boy, of course. The insanity continues when very shortly thereafter, I call a shorty all-in with my QQ and make DQB! I cant wait to yell THAT in the blogger tournament this weekend. See you soon!

Kicked in the Jimmy!

I finished 8th at league night, going out when my AQ failed to double up against A8. Happens. No news there.

But what happened AFTER that is the stuff of legend...

I am offered a +EV chance of a lifetime. To play and teach Razz to two guys (short-handed) with the nicknames yum-yum and pork-chop at $1/$2 with a $1 ante. Oh my god, pinch me I am dreaming...

Cut to 1 hour later, where said pork-chop has all the chips at the table, including my $60. And even 3 handed, I only recall 3 hands where and 8 or better didn't take the pot. How someone can catch gifts cards like a mother at her baby shower turns out to be far beyond me.

I run goot. See you in Vegas Thursday.

Friday, December 04, 2009

A dusting of snow...

I have not had poker posts here for about 2 weeks as I took the family to visit grandparents in Florida and got hooked on Borderlands (xbox). But I do have my monthly league game on Saturday, followed up by a weekend of poker debauchery.

I noticed something while I was in Florida. The Japanese have a word for it. Of course, I dont know what it is, I dont speak Japanese, but I know they have a word for it. It describes the feeling one gets when they grew up with the seasons changing (as all of Japan does) and then they relocate to someplace like California or Florida where the seasons are all similar. You get this sorta of melancholy angst. It happened to me in Florida and it was a first for me, a cold hater. Yet, as I watch my childhood visions grow old on the TV, and epic movie series relaunches, I realize that its ok. But to halt some unnecessary rambling, I need to hit the satellite circuit in January and start focusing on WSOP 2010. I was so close to cashing in the event 39 donkament (I just had to stave off an insane all-in call from AK with my big pair) that I know I am getting way better at this game.

I closed the monster leak I had, which was getting over involved with good hands pre-flop (ironically, NO ONE I player with at event 39 would, they would just shove and pray and 1 of them would have prayers answered) like AK, AQ, or even QQ when the call would be insanely large (like 50 BB). I hope this is one of the final pieces to the puzzle.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

WPBT goals 2009 edition

I love the winter blogger events, mostly because it is very easy to fall into the crowd and just inherit new friends each year. I have had fun, learned about life and poker, and stayed in contact with a group (not easy for me).

But I have been a bit of a corporate prude in my personal life. I was always afraid that there are permanent repercussions to bad behavior, including perhaps SOMEONE FINDING OUT! Being in a entirely new position now, I feel little need for restraint.

Mrs. Columbo just finished her final "junior" semester for her BS-RN (She is an RN now) which assures us an income even in a dour economy. But even with this sad economy, I am working at a small company helping them grow and survive. I even turned down a job last spring! Well, I did fall down the stairs and break my back, so that did have something to do with turning it down also.

So up comes my Vegas weekend and here are some goals:

1. Actually PLAY pai-gow instead of watch.
2. Win the blogger event instead of coming in lame 5th.
3. Drink
4. Go with the flow, even if the flow = "steel panthers".
5. Play poker. (in best Clint Eastwood voice) "Alot of poker". (remember to buy all $1 chips kids!)

See you next Thursday!