Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Ugly State of Affairs

I have already admitted that losing online poker briefly helped my game. But now its killing it. Only play 2-3 times a month is no way to pursue a skill set. You can listen to guitar playing to know that! And MTT play is so feast or famine. I finished 5th and 25th in a couple of 3 table tournaments. Played both pretty well, but in the second one a short stack flopped a set on my KINGS, and then I am the short-stack. 8 hands later, I run a stop-n-go with AJ on a garbage board, just to get called by the big blind's improbable AQ. Cant say I would play either hand differently based on the situations and circumstances. So, there you go. But if I have online games, I can whenever I want to work on something. And now that Full Tilt has been found "short" covering deposits, it creates a longer road for all of us.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Omaha post!

It looks more and more credible that there will be some sort of regulated on-line poker in the US in the next couple of years. When it does return, I will not be playing much hold'em. The more I play any other game, the more I see the common mistakes I used to see in Hold'em years ago. Mostly, players overvaluing hands.

I play Omaha relatively snug pre-flop, and I understand the "Deeb Rule" that most Omaha decisions are made on the FLOP (not the turn or river). So, when I sit down at an Omaha table, I commonly note two things:

1. Early in the session, players are wacky, stupid gamblers. Somehow sitting at a PLO table with just a buy-in, seems to make people feel inadequate and they will play volatile poker on purpose chasing the most unreasonable draws.

2. If they call a bet pre-flop, they will call ANY RAISE preflop.

I am at a 1-2 PLO table with a straddle. I am in early position with a marginal (very marginal) hand and I decide because of my middling connecting cards to limp and hope that we see a flop. Guy on my left raises to $25, 4 people call and I fold. Guys looks at me and asks, "How can you fold?'

Turns out he has a worse hand than me and had to fold to a bet on the flop. Two guys flopped pretty solid hands, but when someone now bets POT, its an all in this early.

After the hand, I explain to the guy. Look, when you guys "juice" the pot because you want to play big pot poker for some reason with marginal hands, all you do is create a situation where the first to bet the flop is all-in and the callers are chasing draws and gambling. If you want to gamble, play roulette. If you want to play poker, you dont make it $25 from early position with 23QJ two suited. WTF?

Needless to say, I never limped again from EP. Never should have. But I am not going to compound a marginal play with an awful one.

I did create a what I thought was an interesting situation when I was later dealt AA9x double suited and limped from EP. But when someone made it $25 again and everyone started calling, I got pissed and POT pre-flop all-in. EVERYONE called. Stupid. Two of the hands should never have called $25 and the third hand should never have called the $225. But one of the stupid hands flopped a straight with Q9 and STILL I was live to ANY HEART on the river. In the end, I did not improve and lost a Buy-in. Wow. What a game.

I pushed chips around for another hour after that, but it was clear that over the long haul, this was a game I was going to profit at. And each player played every hand consistently for his play, no guessing necessary. Like watching a movie after reading the book.

(I had taken $1400 out of this game a month ago, so despite the minor setback, feel even more confident now.)

On a side note, just to comment on Hoyazo's comments on the craptacular WSOP play. I never got the see the bubble bustout as my DVR cutoff. In watching that now, how does KQ call there? Ever? Just how did you get that far? Just wow.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


What many expected to be inevitable was finally announced today.. That's right, the NBC heads-up tournament is cancelled. Ha! I fool you. Ok ,really, did ANYONE watch two people playing "battleship" on TV? It just is not good TV. But, in a final coup for poker on TV, ESPN pulls the trigger on ending bad, edited poker and will open up the screens to their new, "See a flop, see the hole cards" philosophy. This worked so well in the early week of the WSOP, that I taped and watched all of it, sparing me the onslaught of pointless cutting to celebrities getting it all in, numerous interviews with Jason Alexander or 2 stupid dogs alumni Brad Garrett, and Norman Chad's "jokes". I actually just deleted the edited footage because why watch the highlight of a game that you already watched?

Bring on the future!

As for the future of the Full Tilt brand (today was employee cut-down day), it was widely publicized that there was a sale pending "Groupe Bernard Tapie", which broke in late Sept-early Oct. It was supposedly contingent on the settling of the DoJ suit. There are 3 notes here, which are speculation (but good speculation) on my part:

1. Subject to settlement of the issue means that they want the DoJ to unfreeze the funds and let the company keep them as assets. This would be used to attempt to pay back players of essentially (25%) of its liabilities/deposits. Why 25%? That's all the cash there is! This would end the new companies liabilities to depositors*.

2. That the DoJ will in effect, attempt to go after the Pocket Kings owners* and release the new owner from those liabilities and thus also potential lawsuits.

These are significant to both the DoJ and to the purchasers. Taipe could NEVER get item 2 if everyone washes their hands of the current liabilities to current depositors.
But the brand value is not there after paying 100% back, as the price is now to high. So, they offer to refund all the monies that the government unfreezes. Smart. and limits liability to what is already on hand. "everybody" wins. After all, do you want 25cents/dollar back or zed?

As for what Taipe PAYS for Full Tilt... Tapie has Pocket Kings over a barrel here and can pressure that "board" (if you can call it that) to "take what it can get before the value goes to zero". But it can't possibly be enough for the officers-owners to avoid bankruptcy and potentially a permanent ban from returning to the business. Not to mention the players who might literally "Beat the money out of them in a dark alley". If I were those guys, I would consider living LITERALLY outside the US.

And as I continue to maintain, do not compare this to poker-spot. It's like comparing a bank-failure tin 1930 to 2008. They are different animals.

3. And this is a big one... its in the best interest of Taipe to stall until they can see where H.R.1174 is headed. If it passes, they can recoup their investment relatively well. If it does not pass again and dies, they can pay rock bottom dollar for Full Tilt and take their sweet time drafting paperwork.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Repeat Offender

Was there ever a lesson that no matter how hard someone beat it into you, just did not take? Mine is middle pairs on a single overcard board.

I worked my starting stack early and often Saturday, but kept running into "great places to peel a card to no avail" situations which kept giving back my marginal profits. Still, they were all good spots and I had options because of my accumulation of chips through a combination of some good reads and good situations. But with 12k in chips, the MP makes it $1100 (blinds were 200/400) with $5500 behind. I have 88 on the button. Such a bad spot. Folding is too weak, raising is too reckless (and really gets called 99% of the time). I can out her on any decent hand AK-AJ, pairs, even KQ/KJ. I call.

The flop is Q66 and she leads out for $3k.

And I just ship the $5500 thinking, "what are the odds? " In the moment, I felt I was unlucky there. But I really wasn't. I felt that way because I saw the hands.

Thinking about it NOW, what does she have here? She put in a standard raise, despite a short stack. If she raises all in and does not get called, she adds $600 to her stack of $7600. Not bad... But not necessary if M is between 10-11. Its very gray.

But what hand leads out there? I think a Q checks there. I really do. So I expect that a PAIR or AK leads out only. BUT if you are willing to BET on a missed flop with AK, you should have shipped it pre-flop with that stack size.... So, I am looking at a pair between say 55-AA. and I have 88. Sure, sometimes I can see 77 there. So, the entire time I am probably behind a hand like 99 or JJ.

Yet, I let two things cloud my judgement. "It's hard to make a pair in this game" and "she has a short stack". Neither of which really apply to a LEAD BET on this flop.

In my defense, I think it was a misread of her playing the hand poorly with a small pair. I was WAY off and she tabled AQ. I was floored and in retrospect she played the hand in such a way that she should not have gotten paid off. Yet there I was, counting out 1/2 my stack.

I never really recovered at the blinds quickly jumped to 400/800 and then at 500/1000 with my $7k stack I had to resort to stealing. When your 6 handed, 9dTd is a great steal hand because it hard to run into monsters and rare to run into A9 or AT so you are always live if called. But this time I run into KK and I finish 13/28... which SUCKS.

Still, I know I am not awful. Early in the night, I flopped middle pair and peeled another card vs. some running an aggro line. When he let me get to the river and a 3rd diamond fell, I think I am beat so I turn middle pair into a bluff and bet out. Top pair folds. Good spot to do that, and just a decent play. The comment that "I must beat top pair because I wasn't good enough to turn my hand into a bluff" was both amusing and mildly insulting. But it did speak to my image in some ways. When I do pick a spot to run a bluff, its because it makes sense.

Friday, September 30, 2011

So it finally happened

Full Tilt Poker and Groupe Bernard Tapie Sign Acquisition Agreement

To whom it may concern: If you don't payout the monies, we'll all know this was a sham. If you DO pay back the monies, then we can go fore bore towards US online regulation and launching of online poker. After all, in not America then where? Oh, wait. Better backpetal...

In other news, is it just me or is the level of play in local poker rooms just horrendous? Didn't anyone learn anything? I sat down at a 1-2 table, first hand, FOLDED AJ. Why, because pre-flop betting was like 10x. Instead, I waited. Took a flop with 44 for $2, or so I thought until the BB raise to $25 and told me to fold. so I did. He flashes AA. That's right, I ran 44 into AA and lost 2 bucks. One rotation later, total loose cannon bets $20 and THREE people call. So, ok, I will call with KJ suited from the cutoff. The flop is JACK HIGH and RAINBOW. 3 checks and I simply ship it ($160). I get no callers. ONE HAND, $100 bucks. Cost to be patient, $19. Total profit: $81 Time Elapsed: not exactly sure, but it was the remainder of the 4th quarter of the Bucs-Falcons game so about 45 minutes. Had I been able to stay, the cannon (or should i say FOUNTAIN) on my left would have spewed the entire $500. That's right: The WORST player at the table talked the poker room manager into raising the buy-in level. WOW. Just WOW.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Spring Forward, Fall Back

I am mostly optimistic, but I also cant claim ultimate victory. I played 2 MTT's this weekend and the entire "count 10" method of thinking has worked really well for me. And just to drive the point home, I went out on a donk play where I did not think the hand through. I made one bad decision all weekend, ending up 15th and 4th. The Lions came on strong to start the season, racking-up such dominance in the first half, that despite a second half full of player and coaching mental errors, practically coasted to victory over a team that is supposedly their equal. This may be the last time you see the Lions 3 point underdogs to a non-playoff team for a LONG time to come. Playing KC at home next week: EIGHT point favorites. How long has it been?

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Testing out the new interface

So I am composing this on the new blogpsot template. Even if its better, I dont think it deserves the exclamation point. Anyway, due to the holiday, this weekend is Double-Bonus Poker Weekend ! (deserving of exclamation point). In month 1, I finished a pedestrian 14th, after my AQ got called by A6 and LOST. Argh. I battled on from the short stack, but had to win 2 races and lost the second one. I am looking forward to improving on that finish this weekend. In league #2, I finished 2nd playing good solid blinds-are-high poker, where many cash game players get lost. When I played online, I spent more time on this than reading hands (for both the good and the bad) and now that online poker is lost to us, I am concentrating on hand reading. I am getting better, so its a mixed blessing (which apparently I paid $6k for).

Friday, August 19, 2011

Easy does it...

Last night, the wife was working late so I stopped by the local charity card room on my way home. This time, I was the one felting players. I played pretty well, but went down to $40 on this call. I raise pre-flop and two guys call. I have 77 and the flop is AA6. Check, check, so I bet $15 and I get one caller, OOP. The turn is a second club and this time I bet $25 (into $50). He call, OOP with a naked 6. Really? The river is a 6c and he bets out $40. I sit there thinking, there is no way he would club draw from OOP with a pair on the board and one card to come. so I call to see his rivered sixes.

So armed with $150 I again take a flop via a limp call with 77. Flop is 722 and I check, two checks behind. Turn is an Ace, but to be honest, I already decided to bet $20 into the $30 pot regardless of the turn card. Bully for me, since the turn hit Mr. AK on my left and he ships in $100. Call.

So I am at about $250 when a regular players with whom I am familiar (cough* John *cough) raises to $10 and I min -raise from position with AQ. He calls and the flop ia AQJ. top two on a somewhat action board, but turns out he was cold-decked for the third time of the night when he calls my big turn bet with AJ.

so then the wife shows up from work and we have a nice dinner.

Interestingly (somewhat), was the nice little video I saw today on the power of simply thinking you are going to do well:

Apparently, thinking your better than everyone does improve your play. So uncheck that ego!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Catching up

Two leagues have started this month, and its time to start thinking about poker again.

My first night was a bit frustrating. I watched a guy who seemed pretty readable, take an EP limp. I figure him for a small pp like 55. In the cutoff, I have 44 and limp to. The blinds come along and the flop misses everyone. On the river, I feel like I can turn my 44 into a bluff, but under bet (?) and he calls with 66. Perhaps he calls there no matter what. But I have about 8k in chips through the first 8 eliminations. Just before the table break, I button raise with A8 and short big blind shoves. I call and he shows A6. A 6 on the river and I am crippled. the table breaks.

I double up at the new table with TT getting me to $8k, but then I 3bet all-in with AK (because the blinds are 500/1000) and TT takes me out.

In the second league, a better result. I am frustrated and had to let go of a couple of hands after being out drawn (but good lay-downs!) And again, find myself with a starting stack size after 4 -5 levels. I end up getting my AQ all-in vs. Kings (in the blind?) and hitting the Ace. From that point on, when I was the smaller stack, I won the race. When I was the shorter stack, I would lose horribly like AJ vs. J8. But I cant complain as I woke up with JJ both times I needed a big hand, and both times JJ held. I finished second, despite not having a huge amount of strategic hands. I did bluff far more than usual after we were down to 4 handed, but in the end finally got caught heads up with 74s vs 88.

Interesting part of self awareness. My heads-up game is terrible. Which is funny, because my short handed game (6-3 players) is pretty darn good. I would practice this online, but alas I still dont have my freaking FT monies, nor do we have an online poker bill yet.

Monday, August 01, 2011

What I learned in the absence of online porker

This might surprise you, but my game has improved since online poker has gone away. A strange thing was happening to my game based on the quantity of hands I could play in an hour. I did not value each hand.

It's a big hard to describe, but it became clear while watching the live WSOP coverage (which, by the way is boring as hell due to the Jamie Gold rule). Hands are won and lost through pattern recognition. If I can identify what your action means, then I should know the correct counteraction. This can be as simple or complex as you like, but there are so many more hands online that you can err on the side of caution, make mistakes, and still have opportunities. Live though, I cant afford to throw away an OPPORTUNITY to win a hand and wait for the next window. When an opponent check-calls the flop, and he check calls the turn, and a 4th spade falls on the river, Ben Lamb is betting out that river with air. More often than not, those check-calls are WEAK and a signal to pressure. But in online action, often we'll not fire that barrel because there is another better spot coming up based on quantity of hands. This is not CORRECT thinking, but a trap I was falling into. I would even justify things by "keeping the pot small" or some other line of reasoning. But in the end, NLHE is a game of position and manipulating opponents into making bad decisions. And if you make those decisions easy, then your opponents errors mean less.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Online poker coming to the UK!

Is the US close behind?


More NLHE, more of the same. After running my $200 up to $400, I purposely changed tables to the harder competition. Then, over the course of two hours, made not one but THREE huge mistakes that robbed me of the entire stack.

Mistake 1: Allowed a player to bet flop and turn and when he "gave up" on the river, I did not bet when I had no chance to win the showdown with my broken draw. He won with Ace high.

Mistake 2: More of the same, but I FAILED to fire a third bullet from position and her missed draw beat my missed draw. SO BAD.

Mistake 3: See previous post. Flopped Top against flopped 6-8 straight. Standard for 1-2 poker and the fault is clearly on the RUST from NOT PLAYING.

In other OLD news:
Despite conversations that Full Tilt was selling off (7/7/2011) in about a week, a week has passed and I have not heard anything.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Omaha explosion

One day after posting that I found a leak in my low-limit NLHE game, I went to the charity poker room to play some 1-2. I ran my $200 up to $300 and the floor person came over and said, "did you want the omaha seat that just opened up?"

DO I!!!

I dont know WHY I practically leaped at it. Perhaps it was the novelty of playing live omaha? Perhaps I figured on a bigger edge. Perhaps both.

I played for 2 hours... My win rate? $700/hr. at 1-2 PLO. really.

I am at the table for a few hands, when I take a flop with QQJx (dangler). Flop is QT3 rainbow. Since the pre-flop action was $10*4 players, I bet $40 with TOP SET against what can only be straight draws. Fold, Fold... but then the player in the 9 seat makes it $100. If he has straight draw, which is almost a given, my odds depend on if its a WRAP or not. But, even if it IS a wrap, I cant be worse than 50/50. If he has anything else but that nice KJ9 I am probably closer to 4-1.

I commit my stack of $165 over the top of his $100 and his calls. I always table my hand right away in Omaha (unlike hold 'em) and he says he needs and Ace. The turn is an Ace. "Really?" I say. "No, just screwing with you he says" and mucks his cards on the river blank card. (Set of tens?)

so now I have $600 and play for another hour or so laughing it up and having a good time when I get dealt an AAxx hand. I am almost always going to see a flop at least with this hand and this time I raise from early position to $10 and get 3 callers. (Remember I open raised this hand...)

I am somewhat excited to see a flop AsKs5c (2 spades). Top set against a ton of plausible draws. If someone holds the Ks here with another broad-way card (especially a spade), I could be in big trouble here. I am first to act and decide to put out a blocking bet of like $15 bucks. I get TWO callers. Ok, what card do I want on the turn?

BAM! 5s.

So its the 3rd spade, a possible quads for bottom set and I have the second nuts locked up. I have this great blank look on my face (another player says this after the hand, so that is not my comment) and I check.

the next player, thinking I hated the 5s, bets out $125! The player to his left goes all-in!

Now, you could argue that I should think this through, but I dont. I shove my chips in there like Hellmuth playing a cash game on TV. And the original raiser now calls.

Someone (same guy who will comment on my face after the hand) says "who has quds?". I confidently reply, "No One". and I am right.

I table my second nuts and both players fold. The second player had third nuts (Kings) and we are left to speculate what the original raiser had, but I suspect he made an uncharacteristic mistake and made his flush and missed the paired board somehow in his excitement. Its all I can think of.

I rake a pot of like $1k (in a $1-2 PLO game).

How am I so sure there was not 55 hand? I raise it pre-flop to $10. What hand with 55 calls? Some, but not all probably. And these guys seem to understand Omaha. But when you flop bottom set, its the worst feeling on all of Omaha. It FEELS like a strong hand, but more often than not, its a NOOSE. I bet the blocking bet now. On this board with AK and 2 spades, how could a set of fives just call? What, he is hoping to improve on his 1 out? There are just ZERO good card coming for the set of fives. If he has that hand and does not raise, then he in effect "gives up" and should not call the $15. He could raise pot and then fold to a re-raise, which may also be negative EV. (As I write this, I could have bet more on the flop but I dont think it changes much if I do.) But you NEVER try to call down an Omaha pot with TWO streets to come, with bottom set and no redraws. Its just a losing play.

When the turn pairs the five, if I DO have the immortal nuts and the pot is getting large, why do I risk betting a huge $125 pot bet or even RAISING that bet as the second player did, in a 3 way pot?! The other 2 players would BOTH be dead money and you want BOTH their stacks, not just one. As the holder of nuts-central, you are NOT doing anything to lose either of those players yet. I CHECK that turn. When the first guy bets $125, if he has quads he is hoping my action as the third plays is just stupid. He has to expect me to fold and that would be insane here. The second player re-pots to $300, and again if he had quads, he would NOT want to lose me yet when he can simply call and watch me put in another $100 and hope one of us remains stubborn on the river. Heck, he might lose BOTH of us here.

Perhaps I am over analyzing an action based game, but I am not hesitating with second nuts the way this played out. My money is going in. and it did.

-Fun with Omaha

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Double Trouble

I mentally inventoried my low-stakes play and found a HUGE cash-game leak. I am always paying off a flopped straight if I flop a strong hand. Terrible! In a tournament or higher stakes game the issue is more complex, but in a 1-2 or 2-5 game, its just not solid.

Friday, July 08, 2011


Day 1a had under 1000 players! The impact on poker by the DOJ is brutal. Now, what comes next? Is this the poster child for NO online poker
or is it a call to arms?

I hope ESPN joins the lobby to get a poker bill passed. I am ON the regulation bandwagon (always was), and UB proved there is a benefit.

It would also be nice to avoid another FT like meltdown in the future.

I saw the final table of the $50k on and I really enjoyed that. More raw footage please!

Full Tilt SOLD Rumor

Interesting. If its true, they would be paying out the balances and we would get our money. I hope its true. Saw that over the holiday weekend out of the LA area.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Full Tilt is DEAD?!

Full tilt is being shut down for being insolvent! So, there goes my bankroll.

Look, if I EVER hear one more bad word about Dutch Boyd, I am going to punch someone in the face. Talk about being vindicated. Here was a guy at a young age who took a shot and got arguably screwed by his bankers, and took over a decade of abuse for it. Now, the "experts" show everyone how it's done, right? Lessons learned and all that? Bull. Just lip service. These guys actually KNEW they were not covering bank. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? HOW DO YOU NOT MAKE MONEY AS A SOFTWARE SERVICE? ALL YOU DO IS COLLECT RAKE AND PASS ON FEES? HOW THE HELL DO YOU LOSE MONEY DOING THAT? I mean, what are you costs? Servers? You dont even use up that much bandwidth.

This is a TRAVESTY on so many levels. You know what this is reminiscent of? Adelphia. And Enron to some extent.

Now, what comes next? Is this the poster child for NO online poker or is it a call to arms for regulation of online sites operating as a bank?

Want me to venture a guess as to what happened? Full Tilt "executives" decided they did not have to act like Poker tars did (professionally and ethically)and told the US that they would pay back the money when they were "darn good and ready". So the US called UK and said, "Hey, these guys are making a mockery of International Banking, shut it down". The arrogance that they were above US law eventually did them in. Poker Stars was very smart. We got away with it for a while. When the hammer comes down, we take the profits, refund the money and live to rake another day. THAT, readers, is the way its done.

Shameful. And what of Ivey and his suit? Well now, what better way to DISTANCE yourself from the others who may FACE CRIMINAL CHARGES? And poor Clonie Gowen, who was seemingly on to something, will never get a dime AND will have to get dragged into courts as a witness for the prosecution. I would not be feeling very good if I were say, Howard Lederer. I would be selling off assets and HIDING MY MONEY. Which is what I presume is happening and thus the elongated posturing and delays and avoidance of the press.

So dont talk to ME about Poker Spot and Dutch Boyd. Absolved fully as far as I am concerned (and probably long overdue).

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Playing poker outside the US

So as FullTilt continues to hold bankrolls hostage, has anyone taken them up on playing (i.e. moving) to outside the US? Could I get a Mexican drivers license, using a friends flat, and open a local bank acct to play out of?

On the other side of the coin, can I play Canadian and pull something similar? I mean, Ontario is less than an hour from me. This seems like an idea whose time has come: an international address instead of just a local address.

Perhaps 50 of us can rent an apartment in Ontario? Only 1 person has to physically sleep there and pick up the mail...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Rise Poker

If you ever want to witness the greatest weakness of the internet, google up Rise Poker looking for reviews. Every single one is a post ASKING for feedback and then 2 or 3 posts with wide ranging opinions on everything BUT Rise poker.

What drives people to post responses that are based on ready 1 sentence of a post and then addressing whatever is the free-range thought that pops up? Stoopid.

Let me step up here. I loaded up Rise poker last night. I played a "free" SnG.
Here is my initial feedback

1. I KNOW its real poker software because I got sucked out on AND lost a race in a single SnG.

2. The FREE version with the Ads is so painful, that either you pay or you don't bother. Really, the fee play is there for the people who will never join. The ads themselves were crippling my laptop.

3. The engine is sub par, in that I cant change seats, re-size, etc. All the things we loved in the mature engines.

Ok. That being said, I cant really tell you how the subscription play is or how the tournaments are... YET. I intend to SOAP UP for the $240/yr (which I put down in a single tournament online, so how can I complain?!). I will report back shortly.

It helped immensely that heard of the site through Dr. Pauly and F-Train, otherwise I would still never even had Rise poker on my radar.


Tuesday, June 07, 2011

League it up

I missed online poker this spring. I had stored a bankroll to make a WSOP run and now that $$$ is caught in limbo. So I added a second league to my games next year and hope its enough poker to keep me going. I need my bankroll back Full Tilt!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Woe is poker, but more to the point...

It's all gearing up for phase III in the evolution of poker (the next NASCAR). ESPN is going to go with "live" hole card play in the WSOP, the government plays hardball with the rouges to set up the sanctioned. And all of us in the meanwhile, await mystical Full Tilt payouts, complicated by rumors, impatience, and speculation.

That being said, it cant be good for Full Tilt... I wonder if Dutch Boyd is smirking?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Full Tilt impending doom?

I don't know how else to take the fact that PokerStars returned my US money and Full Tilt continues to "work on it". I fear that working on it is actually a euphemism for 'trying to decide what if anything they are going to return'.

I am sure the situation is complex and multifaceted that it seems on the surface, but there is no downside to timely return of funds. Expect for the fact that you would no longer have them! And so what happens with Full Tilt reneges?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Flush over Flush

I went into league night with a strong aggro desire. This worked well early and I pushed action pretty well and put chips to work. But when you take a flop with 74s and flop a flush, your going to get cracked by a bigger flopped flush (much like set over set). So be it. Was not deep enough to warrant different play, and believe me I took the time to work that out.

In then end I went from FIRST overall last year to unqualified this year. UGH.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Changing Landsacpe

The beginning of the next era is coming soon. This year, the WSOP will be telecast tape delay 2 hours with hole cards on ESPN2. (the more events the better.) Expect regulation and a play by Harrah's to roll out the first domestic online sites.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What's to write about?

I would like... (I would like? I would like a trip to Europe.) I would like to play in WSOP satellites online. I even stored up a bankroll to do it. Now that bankroll ($>1K, <$10k) is in limbo until the US Department of Justice can determine how to order that money returned (or so we assume at this point).

What's the use of debating or pointing out the issues here? Like with so many other political events of the decade, we are a nation divided. And no one speaks of what we have lost as a result. By being polarized by politics (right vs. left, religion vs. religion, etc) we have lost our sense of nationalism. You can ask any nut-job about what he loves and get the stoic reply of "God and country", but is it really the truth? If we love our country so much, then why do we fight so hard to defend what is WAS instead of what it IS?

The 1940s are not coming back (thank goodness). And everyone remembers the good parts of the 1950s but not the fact that it lead to the turmoil of the 60s (don't get me started on this dissertation on repressive society). And those golden financials of the 1980s? That came from the dawn of the Age of Information, not from superior monetary policy. But I digress...

The US is an amalgamation of conflicting agendas, conflicting religions, conflicting politics and conflicting people (see incarceration rates). Bad? who is to say? Chaos brings change, change avoids stagnation. But our common ground has eroded through "philosophical wars", widening income gaps, and the dawn of "opinionated news" (Edward R. Murrow is now John Stewart?). Instead of the UNITED states of America, we have been somewhat reduced to the Bickering States of America.

Let me detour to Wisconsin for a second and please put aside your polarized thoughts for a minute if you have them. There we some very important issues in Wisconsin, but to me there was a good set of ideas on both sides. Yet what we SAW was slanted public relations and rhetoric. Absolutely no attempts were ever made to sell the plan outside of the "inner circles". And you could even claim that it was purposefully avoided as to not be seen as "collaborating with the enemy".

The NFL labor dispute went the opposite way, with both sides quickly trying to sell their agenda to each other and to the general public. In listening to the radio, many people have listened to the arguments and formed opinions. But to me it is clear that without being able to operate as a league instead of 32 competing businesses, the NFL is doomed to be 6 teams. In their case, they already had a working model and tore it down.

Whatever happened to debating a decision until it was made, but once it was made, getting on board and making it work? Don't we all do that everyday of our professional lives? Then why is it so damn hard to support a president (any elected president) for a lousy 4 years? (NOTE: I am a REPUBLICAN and I am saying this!) So you cant get $5 Gagillion (sic) cut from the budget. Take the compromise and move forward. (We live in an age where they brought back the Tea Party. Really? Are you kidding me? Is there a monarchy I don't know about?) Instead we reach some middle ground and fight tooth and nail to NOT be there. WTF?

Here is where I choose to wrap this up. It's not that we cant find any middle ground on anything but rather that we are choosing to fight against being there. Against inevitability itself. Because if you crush down 48% of the people, you crush down 48% of America. And where is the "victory" in that?

-Joe Consumer

p.s. why do I get the feeling that after 40 years of verbal mocking, Canada is laughing at us instead of with us?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Time to recycle my last header

Ummm, WTF? No more online poker for 2011? Really? is that what its come to?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

WTF? What is going on?

I have really let this go, eh? I have not been playing enough to develop new thoughts on strategy... but I have been thinking quite a bit about it as of late.

I am playing in an invitational this weekend, and lets see what I'll be concentrating on.

2. See #1

I have been readying quite a few war strategy books lately, and there is a common theme. There is no substitute for making you opponent have to adjust. To anything.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

Frustrating Bubble

Played great poker this evening. I mean, really close to perfect. But in the end went out on the bubble when I lost 3 hands in a row, all getting my money in ahead. No coin flips the entire route. So, frustrating as it was, played well.

But its trying to convince me to skip WSOP this year.

MTT and a somwhat spoiled attitude

I do have to admit that I am a tad frustrated that playing ABC good poker is so incredibly ineffective lately. I mean, I had a lucky break when my AK flopped an Ace on KK, but then it all went downhill as I lost 4 straight all-ins with dominating hands (AQ vs. A8 for example), pushing me from the top 25 to out in an hour.

But, I will say this. I LOVE CAP ENTRY TOURNAMENTS. I was so sick of playing with 800 people, then after an over an hour there are 900 people, because 600 late registered.

I played a 500 cap. under 300 started, and sure enough players keep coming. But in a cap, it STOPS. If I could, I would play ONLY CAP entry MTT online from now on.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Embracing the Future

Would you in today's day and age build the DIY table, or go for the all electronic table?

I, for one, am impressed not by the electronics, but the effort put into the software. Looks better than the electronic casino tables.

Monday, February 14, 2011


If there is one thing that always frustrates me about cash games, its watching a player spew chips and when I finally get a crack at the fountain, he draws out. But this is not a bad-beat complaint. No, rather my inability to spew small amounts of pre-flop chips in order to trap people with boats made with Q2o. Yet, across the table is a guy who saw 3 turns all night. Each time he had a boar. And each time the other player with a pair would keep betting into him and paying him off.

I remember now what I love about tournaments. You cant just sit there and spew chips hoping for the perfect flop one day.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Talk about Cliche

If you want to win a tournament, you have to win your share of races. Once again, I played well but went 0 for 1 in the results column. Avoiding getting my money in behind and not calling off with 44, got me to 13th (of 30), but was surprised when KT called my eventual all-in. He had 1600 in the BB and I moved in for only 8.5k, so its not awful. But he is very lucky there I have 99. King on the river and its over for me.

So much comes down to a big race. And I made two huge moves on pots with air just to get that far, so I cant hide behind being passive. I doubled up early (to 20k), but ended up having to release 3 hands in big pots over the next 90 minutes, that put me back to 12k, which forced the inevitable cliche.

You got to win a race. Especially the FIRST.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Multi-entry tournaments

The beginning of the end. And to think that today a majority of the MTTs $24-$150 seem to be ME, I have to ask myself, "Am I no longer the target customer for FT?"

OOPS! This is ME week at FT!!! April fool? ok, I did not know that. Although I still hate MEs.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


The schedule of events has been released and I am meeting it with new trepidation. I have to admit, I had a lousy time last year. I not only ran bad, I scheduled poorly and spent undo hours not having fun. Not this time.

Get it, play an event (two if I flame out of the first), visit the new "retroarcade bar" and get the hell out of dodge.

#32 is NL $1500 Sat the 18th at noon with a consolation $1k Sun at noon. Quick and dirty. $2500 max exposure.

A more ambitious route would be the following weekend.
#41 is the SHOOTOUT, Friday the 24th at noon, followed by the Saturday $1500 NL at noon and again the consolation $1k on Sunday. Now that would be $4k and that is alot of dough, so I am not prone to take this lightly.

Perhaps some qualifying efforts are in order. If I DONT cash in my league, and boy have I run bad, I won't spend $4k. No way.

Let the satellites begin!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Signs of the times?

The two things I noticed in that last couple of days are changes to the FT withdrawal options due to "temporary complications" and the Home Games offering on Stars. I dont know how either are going to work, but I am testing both so that I DO know how both are going to work.

Its interesting that stars is offering this option, but I have ALWAYS felt it was ridiculous that I had to work through support to schedule reoccurring online games. Let's hope this is a permanent trend.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Yup, longtime MTT only player is sitting at the $3/$6 ring and $50 or $100 SnG tables as of late. Mostly due to time constraints. But I am also seeing some pretty darn bad play out there also. I did get stacked once when my overpair ran into a set, but other than that, its been going pretty well.

Thank goodness I dont bet on football. Gez, what a couple of weekends.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Online Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker! The WBCOOP is a free online Poker tournament open to all Bloggers, so register on WBCOOP to play.

Registration code: XXXXXX 717130

Monday, January 10, 2011

Harsh Reminders

Sometimes I forget that there will be days where you sit down at a table to play cards and get dealt dreck for 4 hours. And worse, trying to represent non-dreck results in running into real hands. I made some great folds, escaping 99 when he had KK and things like this, but all-in-all, just never really won any pots Saturday.

As I play the hands back through my mind, MAYBE I dont fold 76 (BB) on a K73 flop when he c-bets, but I would be pot committed with even a call.

Middle pair was my best flop of the night. I did not even flop a single DRAW. So, it was home to watch football and SNL.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Getting my feet wet

I sat down and fired up the virtual tables, encouraged through bonus clearing reinforcement. (It's just like MMORPG gold mining?). I played some $2/$4 and some 10 mix. Wild variance in the 10 mix left me even, and a moron at $2/$4 had my down $60 on a any-two-card-shove pre-flop until I took it all back from him and took a big hand off another eastern block player overplaying aggro poker. So I was up about $130.

Yesterday, I gave it all back in SnGs. A $24 SnG killed me when I was happy to have A6o call my KK pre-shove. Only to see it go down in flames. Meh. Starting with only $1500 in chips, I'll take that situation every time. In the larger $100 SnG I finihsed 4th, bubbling when I lost two significant hands on a dominated call. Not expecting that 4 handed.

But I did get some play in for a couple of days, and played relatively well, so there is that. I am looking forward to some live poker this Saturday!