Sunday, April 30, 2006

My weekend, err, day in St. Louis

Well, the tournament was a good experience. No, I didn’t win nor did I necessarily come close, which was disappointing. There were about 210 people on the invitation list for the tournament and about 160 ended up showing up in St. Louis at the tournament venue.

I came in 13th. The top 16 “cashed”. As I posted before, I had no idea of any prizes being given out for anything but first place, so I was happy being able to sneak into the money. The bubble period, as always, was pretty crazy. The blinds were huge and everyone’s stack was short, so it really came down to the cards at that point. The cards and whether or not the tournament director was watching your table. If he wasn’t, the play was ssssllllloooowwwwww to allow for others to get bounced out. At that point in the tournament, which really wasn’t a great structure, on every hand, we usually had a forced “all-in” because of the blind size, only one big stack at each table capable of making a raise at all, and the rest middle stacks (with M’s around 2!) who just wanted to stay out of the way until they were forced to play.

Obviously, the big stacks got bigger and walked into the money and the numbers of players left fell very quickly. I think we went from 30 people to 16 in about a half hour if I remember correctly.

Anyway, I was happy with the way I play overall, so I have no regrets. I basically got blinded out like most did near the end, unless they got the cards. I probably could have played a few more hands than I did throughout the day, but I got just enough good hands to allow me to build my stack steadily. I went on a nice run after the second break, which helped me make it far.

As I also posted before, the top prize was an all expenses paid trip to Vegas and a seat in the WSOP main event. It turned out that second received a buy-in into a $1500 event of their choice and third received a $1000 buy-in. The rest of the places were cash prizes and a prize package. 4th received $300 and each place went down by $50 until 9th when it stopped at $50 and that was the same for each of the rest of the top 16. Not exactly enough to cover my plane ticket but at least it was something.

I ended up breaking even on the rest of the expenses based on some winnings in the casino. I played some $3/$6 LHE for about an hour and a half and ended up about $50. My biggest score of the day was a big hand I hit on 3 Card Poker. I like to just play the “pair plus” bet and let the dealer turn over my cards. I have no decisions to make so there is no need to look at them myself. I was playing only $5 a game but I managed to hit 3 of a kind with 6’s, which pays 30-1. I also played some craps. I ended up about $150 on the gambling and that was about all it cost for food, cabs, and the room between the 2 of us.

I have actually only slept an hour until now this weekend. I woke up at 4am here yesterday to get my early flight from Boston. After the tourney, my buddy and I drank heavily, ate disgusting bad for you food very late, then gambooled some more. We decided to take off at 3am back to the hotel, but when we got there, decided to sleep for an hour, get up, and go to the airport and jump on the 7am flight back home. We had both had enough and I wanted to spend some time with my family before I leave for Munich tomorrow. I was home by noon so it worked out great overall.

I am posting a couple pictures here too. The first of them is pretty blurry because it is from my camera phone in really bad lighting. The last one is a picture of what Moneymaker signed for me in his book. He was a cool guy and walked around watching some of the tables during the tourney. He was watching my table for a few minutes. Mike Caro was also there. He did a great seminar before the tourney. He is quite a unique guy that is for sure.

Hope you had a great weekend.

Me getting my "big" award

How Moneymaker signed his book for me

Friday, April 28, 2006

The APL National Championship weekend has arrived!

No poker for me last night. I went out for a little while with some of my former coworkers and got home too late to play.

Tomorrow morning, I leave for St. Louis for the big tourney. My flight is at 7am so I will need to leave my house by about 4:45am to pick up my buddy that is also going, and get to the airport in time. It will be a long day I am sure.

We are supposed to get to St. Louis at about 9am, local time and hopefully get checked into the hotel. The plan from there is pretty open. I am sure we will head over to the Ameristar casino to get a couple hours of cards in. I have no idea how long of a wait it might be mid-morning on a Saturday down there though. The registration for the tournament, which is being held in a big restaurant down there called Luigi’s, begins at 1:30pm. The league also arranged tours of the Bud plant down there as a group, but I think we will probably skip that. My buddy actually works for the company that makes Becks, Bass, Stella Artois, etc. so he wasn’t that interested. We figured that some live card action would be a good way to warm up for the tournament anyway.

The actual start time for the tourney is 3pm. Budweiser is a big sponsor and the Bud girls are going to be there to greet everyone. Whatever. Anyway, apparently Chris Moneymaker is supposed to show up around 4:30pm, which I thought was kind of weird. I am sure it will be a distraction in the middle of the tournament. The schedule that they put out has the championship presentations being done around 8:30 or so, so they are expecting the whole thing to last about 5 hours. I am really interested in knowing what the structure is going to be like. The weekly games we play have a certain structure, and I assume, since they haven’t said otherwise, that the structure will be the same. Anything is possible though. With the seat to the main event on the line, hopefully it will make sense. In the weekly games, with only 50-60 people, starting with about 3500 in chips, by the time you get to the final table, it is a luckfest. Usually half the table has an M under 3. I understand they have to do that in the weekly games, to get them done within 2 and a half hours, but hopefully this structure will make the endgame more about the players involved, rather than just the cards.

We’ll see I guess. Send me good vibes/mojo. I will put a post out there on Monday with the results of my weekend. Have a great weekend all.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The weekly Mookie tournament update

I played in Mookie’s tournament last night while I worked on ripping CDs to add to my new iPod. After struggling until about 1:30am on Tuesday night to get the thing to work with my laptop, I had a ton of music that I wanted to get added before I leave for St. Louis this weekend. I also won’t have much time from when I get back from there and when I leave for my trip next week, so I need to get it done.

Anyway, I started off with some playas at my table with Hoyazo, Boobie Lover, smokkee, and others. I was catching some cards early but giving my chips back as I played looser than I normally did. It also didn’t help that I was playing with some aggressive players. It wasn’t the smartest strategy but it may have paid off later in the night.

The first huge hand was when I caught bullets and got all the chips in pre-flop with Hoyazo. He had cowboys and I doubled up. He had me covered so he was still in but wounded pretty bad. Tough one man. Gotta love rigged online poker.

I don’t remember a lot of details but I did manage to survive until the final table. I went in fourth, cashing again, but was put out by the eventual winner, Dog Lawyer. Matt followed me out the door in 3rd and it was left to Dog Lawyer and Sniper to battle it out for the title. Congrats to Matt and to Miami Don for a strong showing in the tourney.

I like the Mookie tourney a lot. It helps that I have had some luck in it but it is also nice that a large part of the field is friends of Mookie. They are very good players and the final tables are usually split between bloggers and Austin weirdos.

Give it a shot next week. I won’t be able to attend, but I will see you there the following week.

That was all the poker I fit in last night. I am getting psyched up for my big trip to St. Louis for the APL National Championship. I finished the Moneymaker book, which I thought was very interesting. He had a lot going on before he made it, and subsequently won. It sounds like he had even more going on after too. It didn’t get into the affect on his life too much, but it said enough that you got the impression that it might have been the best thing in the world for him.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

100 Boring Facts

Well, lots of people have done this so I guess I am a follower...

1. I was born in Honolulu, Hawaii.
2. I am 35 years old.
3. I am happily married to my high school sweetheart.
4. I have 3 sons ages 9, 5, and 3.
5. The only sport I played in high school was baseball.
6. When I graduate from high school, I was 6’ and weighed about 145 lbs.
7. I am a sports fanatic and love football and baseball.
8. I got my undergraduate degree in Accounting from University of Massachusetts at Lowell.
9. I played rugby my freshman year in college. Yes, I still weighed 145 lbs. I was a fullback. I like to drink and did a lot in college.
10. I don’t weigh 145 anymore. I weigh 195 lbs now. I am still 6’ tall though.
11. My parents couldn’t afford to pay for college after my freshman year.
12. I chose the college I went to because my parents told me that was the school they could afford.
13. The summer after my freshman year I went in the Air National Guard to pay for school myself.
14. I can be hard-headed and rash at times.
15. I went to basic training August through October in San Antonio Texas in 1990. It was hot as hell.
16. I went to technical school in Denver Colorado from October through December of 1990.
17. The job I did in the Air Force was a munitions systems specialist where I put together missiles used by F-15 fighter jets.
18. I am a risk averse person.
19. I was in the Air National Guard for 8 years but left after finishing college and finishing my obligation.
20. I still graduated from college with the same class that I started with by taking some summer classes to catch up.
21. After skipping the year for basic training and technical school, I returned to school and lived with the same roommates.
22. My wife and I went to separate colleges.
23. My wife wrote me a letter every day I was away at basic training and technical school. That is a lot of letters that I still have.
24. My first job was an accounting clerk at a small bank where I made $18k per year.
25. I only stayed in that job for about 11 months then made a whopping $22.5k per year in my next job as a portfolio accountant.
26. I work for the same company that I went to after my first job. I left for 2 years because I was underpaid. I make more money now.
27. They paid for me to go to graduate school where I got my MBA with a concentration in CIS.
28. It took me 4 years of night school to get my MBA. I started when my first son was born and finished when my second was born.
29. I don’t think I am overly smart, but I am above average in common sense.
30. I do well on tests, although I never have studied too hard. I got a 630 on my GMATs and the school I went to gave me a grant for my first class. I didn’t really care either way since I wasn’t paying for it anyway.
31. I think I “get the joke” of life. I know how to get by and succeed in most things I set out to do.
32. I now manage a group of business analysts that work on our financial services online reporting product. We are part of IT.
33. I am not a techie. Techies confuse me. I am a business guy in the IT world.
34. I would rather have a client service/relationship management role within my organization.
35. I am working on it.
36. My wife has been at home with our kids since they were born. It has been a struggle at times, but well worth it.
37. My wife was a teacher for 3 years before we had our first son.
38. I don’t have much of a Boston accent because my wife used to correct the way I spoke. I got used to it and stopped fighting it.
39. I live in the same town that I grew up in and have lived there my whole life with the exception of college and the military.
40. I don’t have a ton of high school friends, but I have a great group of friends that I enjoy hanging out with.
41. My neighborhood is a fun place to live because we have a lot of parties. Through the years, we have all had kids but continue to have fun together.
42. I have 2 younger sisters. The youngest is a nurse and lives in the same town as me. The other is a multi-hat wearer at a growing voice over IP company in NYC. She will be filthy rich soon. I can feel it.
43. I have never been overseas.
44. I am going overseas next week for the first time for work.
45. I am going to Munich and Luxembourg. Know any good poker joints?
46. I started playing live NL poker last September in a free bar league.
47. That got me back to the online poker scene and reading poker blogs to try and get better at this game.
48. I decided to start my own in December after reading about all the fun everyone had in Vegas at the gathering.
49. I am going to Vegas May 31- June 3 so I will be missing both the blogger Vegas trip as well as Okie-Vegas.
50. I plan to meet up with Carmen Sin City and Miami Don while I am in Vegas.
51. I am playing in the National Championship for the bar league I joined. It is this Saturday, April 29th in St. Louis, MO.
52. There will be 190 people in that tourney and the only prize I know of is a seat in the main event at this year’s WSOP.
53. I am hoping there are additional prizes because I don’t think I will win, and I don’t think I could do 2 weeks in Vegas even if I did win.
54. Chris Moneymaker is going to be at the tourney. I am reading his book now so I have something interesting to say to him. Have you read it? I never knew his story. It is a great, quick read. Amazing really.
55. I have never been arrested.
56. I have never done any drugs. None. Never had the desire.
57. I am a pretty confident person but not an egomaniac. I believe there is nothing that I am better than everyone at.
58. People generally like me. I can get along with anyone.
59. I do like to drink but it is unusual for me to drink during the week unless I am going out.
60. When I won the Mookie tourney 2 weeks ago, at the break, I wanted a beer but couldn’t find one so I drank a Mike’s hard berry drink. I felt like a girly man, but I wanted a drink.
61. I usually drink Jack Daniels but not when I need to keep sharp like in that tourney.
62. The girly drink worked so well, I had another one last Thursday night at the first break during the 180 SNG I played.
63. I think I might buy stock in the company that makes Mike’s hard liquors.
64. On my 27th birthday, I almost got run over by the Sunday paper delivery guy at 3am. I was crawling in my driveway after a night of shot after shot. It was ugly.
65. I own a timeshare on Cape Cod. I paid $2500 dollars for it about 7 years ago. We have never stayed there for the week because it is only 30 minutes from our house.
66. We have swapped the timeshare for a week in Disney world every year. We once stayed in a one bedroom suite at the Beach club for $200 for the week. If we booked it through Disney, it would have been $3700 for the week. Booya.
67. My 9 year old has been to Disney 10 times.
68. All of my boys have been to Disney once before they had their first birthday. They are spoiled.
69. My favorite vacation ever was my honeymoon to Hawaii. I guess that is the way it should be. If we do every make it back, it will never be the same.
70. I have a dog, Zoe. I am not much of a pet person, but my wife and kids are.
71. My grandfather was a big influence in my life. He taught me about sports, gambling and boozing. He died when I was 23 when he was only 72 years old.
72. My father was never a sports fan. He was a blue collar guy that never made too much money, loved to work in the yard, and has an explosive temper.
73. I got the temper, but I control mine better than him.
74. My father always favored my sisters growing up, but I know he is very proud of me now and I think that is why I tend to be tough on my oldest son. It is probably unfair, but I am really nothing like my father at all.
75. I have a good relationship with my father now.
76. I was the first person to graduate from college in my extended family.
77. I have never broken any bones (knock wood) and have had stitches just once in my life. I cut my leg on a can taking the trash out when I was about 12.
78. I am not trying too hard to build my bankroll online. My motivation in playing is to improve, meet people that have the same interest and are interesting, and at least break even. I am succeeding on all goals.
79. I bought an iPod video with some of the cash I won in the 180 SNG for myself.
80. I am buying my wife a pair of earrings with some the cash too. That’s what she wants and she does put up with my addiction pretty well.
81. I feel like a dork on yahoo voicechat but I love it. I have met a lot of cool people that way and I know I will continue to.
82. I have been to 11 major league stadiums to watch games. I used to travel more for work and would go a game whenever I could.
83. My favorite stadium, besides Fenway Park, is Pac Bell in San Francisco.
84. While I was in Colorado at a Sox vs. Rockies game, I caught a foul ball on a wicked carom off the façade of the upper deck. There was a little kid sitting in front of me with a Yankee shirt. I kept the ball.
85. If the little kid had anything else on, I may have given him the ball.
86. I have one tattoo and it is of the Red Sox logo. The one with the 2 overlapping socks. I wish I have gotten it outlined with blue because it is all red and everyone always asked if it is real or not.
87. I got the tattoo after they won the World Series in 2004.
88. I don’t understand NASCAR racing. Is it really a sport? That isn’t a dig, I just don’t get the draw.
89. The 5 places I want to visit in the US, that I haven’t yet are: San Diego, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Hilton Head, and Myrtle Beach. The first 3 to see a game. The last 2 to play golf, obviously.
90. I would have loved to attend Okie Vegas this year, but with my Nevada Vegas trip the week before, not gonna happen. Maybe next year.
91. My mother has a house on a lake in Maine. She just bought it 2 years ago and we love to get up there. It is a 4 hour drive but now that my kids are getting older, I hope to make it up more this year.
92. My favorite picture, which just about everyone in my family has blown up and framed was taken at her lake house.
93. This 100 list thing is tough without getting a little crazy.
94. I am speaking at a conference in Orlando in November. I still have to write the session brief. This will be the first time I have done anything like that, but I am looking forward to it.
95. I attended the conference last year and ending up skipping quite a bit of it. Business Analysis and Project Management conference can get boring. Orlando in November is too nice of weather to pass up.
96. Yes, it was at Disney world. I had a company paid room but my family didn’t come with me because we were already planning on going in January for a week and didn’t want my oldest to miss too much school.
97. I have held 3 large poker tournaments at my house since December. The next one is going to be a 32 person heads up tourney. If anyone is interested, let me know.
98. I bought custom made stickers that I put on the poker chips to make sure everything was on the up and up. I am a trusting person, but my buddies who are cops, and played, are not.
99. I didn’t have to worry about my game getting busted since there were no less than 8 local cops in the tourney.
100. I am not the Poker Champ.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Seeking feedback/advice on non-poker issue

I am very interested in anyone’s feedback on something that came up yesterday at work. I came to this company a year ago doing a job that I wasn’t that interested in, but with hopes to move into a more relationship/client service role after the first year. I recently got a new boss and I have discussed this with him. I am currently managing the business analysis for our online reporting product, but it is internally focused as far as interaction goes. The product team is closer to the customers and the business areas.

My boss got an email from his counterpart in product about a trip to Europe. The trip is a relationship building/requirements trip through a few of our overseas offices. Mostly to introduce the product we work on and meet some our future, internal clients. They will be using our product to deliver reporting to their clients.

My boss can’t go and he wants me to go. He said as long as it fit into my personal life, he thought it would be a good idea for me to go. It turns out that it is next week. Therein lies the rub. My 9 year old son has a play next week. It is one of those, once a year shows for the whole grade. He had tried out for a solo singing part and got it. Just last week my wife talked to the teacher and he said that my son had a great voice and he had the part before he even tried out. My son is very excited about the show.

So, what would you do? I have already made my decision but wanted other’s thoughts.

UPDATE: So after talking to my wife, I was feeling even more guilty. She understood how big of a trip it was for me, but also knew how my son would take the news. He is a sensitive kid. With that said, I am there for most everything for all my kids.

I felt like I had to make the trip work. Like most said, I thought it would help me in my career and more importantly, was an opportunity that, if passed up, may not come around to me again. I also have never been overseas in my life and was looking forward to the opportunity, albeit a quick one, on the company dime.

On the way home from baseball practice I told my son that I had to go and there was a 95% chance that I would miss his show. I still needed to work out certain details that would have allowed me to possible get him just in time if I skipped the last city and left a little early from the middle city. He was disappointed but seemed ok about it. He was bummed but thought it was kinda cool I was going across the world and would be bringing back foreign objects of desire.

Also, my wife called the teacher and found that on Tuesday afternoon they were having a dress rehearsal that he said I could come to if I wanted. Even though my first meeting was on Wednesday, I wasn't sure what time, so that was a possibility.

The bottom line is my meeting in Luxembourg isn't until 2pm on Wednesday. I will fly out of Boston at 6:45pm and arrive at 10:30am in Lux, in time for the meeting. That will allow me to go to the private viewing rehearsal and still get my flight. I am then going to Munich on Wednesday evening and have a meeting on Thursday. I am staying in Munich again on Thursday and flying home midday on Friday.

All in all, a perfect deal for me. I do have to fly the red-eye, but well worth it. I am also getting the extra night out in Munich on the back end of the trip, which is a nice bonus.

My wife will tape the show and, as Trip, suggested, we have already scheduled the screening for next weekend.

Thanks for all your opinions and comments. I appreciate it.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Weekend update and the blogger homegame

Happy Monday everyone. I made it back from NYC late yesterday after a great weekend with my son and my sister.

My son and I left on Friday intending to drive down to the city. We got going a little bit later than I had wanted to when we left at about noontime. My sister said it would actually take about 5 hours to get to her place and I started to worry about sitting in NYC traffic. A couple cell calls in the car later, we are heading to Boston to catch the train rather than drive.

Got to the city at about 5pm and walked to my sister’s place from Penn Station. I was really glad we had taken the train and didn’t have to deal with the drive and possible delays. We headed out to the Empire State Building and spent a little over an hour waiting in the line to get to the top. After we spent about 10 minutes up there looking around and freezing our butts off, we got to wait in the line to leave for another half hour. It was a long wait all around but my son seemed to like it a lot so it was worth it I guess.

At that point, we decided to head back to the apartment and just order dinner in. That worked well because I wanted to get my son into bed by 9pm for 2 reasons. The first was because we had a busy day planned for Saturday and he needs a lot of sleep to function well. The second was the fact that the NYC blogger homegame at Jordan’s was starting at 9:30pm. Couldn’t be late for that.

Jordan and Dave did a few recaps so I won’t bore you with too many details but it was an interesting game. It was great to meet a few of my blogger friends in person. Jordan’s post with the box of chocolate’s analogy was a good one. I walked in and was quickly introduced to everyone but said a quick hello and sat down to suck down a beer. I still didn’t know who everyone was, even after the intros. I knew Jordan, of course, since he had answered the door, but the rest of group was a mix of bloggers and friends of Jordan, so I wasn’t sure who was who.

After a couple minutes of sitting there, Hoyazo came over and introduced himself again as his blogger persona. Ah, ok, cool, now I know who will be trying to steal my blinds by face ;)

After deciding on the format of the tourney, I drew the 9th seat of 9. Again, I am not going to recap much here but 2 hands really stood out for me. The first one and one against Hoyazo.

Being in the cutoff for the first hand, I am dealt A9s. The action gets to me with a few limpers so I limp as well. We see an unraised flop and I connect with top pair of Aces but, which would prove more importantly, I had a flopped nut flush draw. The action checked around to me and I bet about ¾ of the pot to see where I stood and it was folded around to SoxLover who called. The turn gave me 2 pair when a 9 fell. Sox decided to take the lead in betting and fired out 400 (I think) so I raised it to 800. He thought for a beat and then called. The river gave me the flush. Immediately Sox said he had to go all in and I called. He said, “I got the flush”. Uh-oh, I had the nut flush. I had doubled up on the first hand. There was really no way he could have thought I was drawing to the same flush he was because of the betting. It was just really bad luck for him that I had a strong hand before the flush hit, but an even stronger one after he made his drawing hand.

I flopped around for a good amount of time and even called another all in because the push was a small amount of chips and I had the big stack to call. I sucked out with a pair of 4s I think to knock another guy out. Even with this big stack though, I would manage to screw it up.

A while later, I am in a blind, which I think were at 100/200 at that point. Hoyazo was UTG and he raised it to 600. He had about 1800 left at this point and, after it was folded to me, I looked down at AQs. I had a big stack and thought he might have just been trying to steal (shocker, yes) so I raised it up to 1200. He thought for a second and then called. He was pot committed at that point so I knew I was putting him in on the flop and hoping for the best. The flop came and I missed it but I bet the 600 that he had left and he called. He had pocket 3’s. They held up as I didn’t improve and I took a really big hit to the stack. Kid Dynamite looked over to me after and suggested I should have pushed pre-flop. I totally agree that would have been the better move with my questionable drawing hand anyway, especially if I had paid closer attention to Hoyazo’s stack before making the re-raise. It is good to play with people that know what they are doing. It helps donkeys like me learn.

There was another hand that I lost a good chunk to Jordan on, but I don’t remember any of the details. I was done shortly thereafter when I had to push in the BB after a raise.

I then sat in with Sox, Hoyazo, and 2 of Jordan’s friends for a 50c/1.00 NL cash game. We all bought in for $50 and I let everyone know before we started that I suck at NL cash games. That should have been a warning Sox, haha.

After donking off about $20 in 20 minutes, I got into a hand with Sox that he wasn’t too happy about. We were 5 handed and Sox was UTG. He limped in for $1 and I raised it up to $3.50, the standard raise at the table, with KJo. I just wanted to take down the blinds and try to chip back up a bit. I didn’t think he was that strong since he had limped, which he hadn’t done much of since the game had started. Also, after I put in the raise, as he was stacking his chips from his previous pot, I thought he kinda winced. It was folded to him and he thought for a second then raised it to $12. I took this as a resteal (am I paranoid or something?) and didn’t really think he had the goods that he was representing. I thought for a minute and decided to push in the hopes that he would lay his hands down. Umm, wrong. He had big slick and called me. As soon as he called, without even seeing his cards yet, I said “I’m dead”. He flipped them over and so did I. He had me dominated. Until, umm, the J hit the board. Again, he wasn’t happy. He wasn’t in the ‘das poker’ mode. I felt like the donkey that I played like.

I had almost wished I lost the hand anyway because it was starting to get late and I needed to get out of there. I had promised to go out with a friend for a drink and he called me right after the hand. I obviously couldn’t leave at that point so I played for a while until Sox got his stack back up, I gave some of it back and basically wound up even in the cash game. The tourney was just getting over so I was able to take off without feeling like too much of a loser for sucking out and then leaving with someone else’s money.

Anyway, everyone was very cool and I had a great time. The next time I am in town, hopefully we can pull it together again.

We woke up the next morning and went to breakfast, did a little crappy gift shop browsing, visited Ground Zero, Battery Park, grabbed lunch at the ESPNZone and went to see The Lion King on Broadway. The show was great and my son loved it. After that we went to a great Brazilian, all you can eat, meat fest called Plataforma. We all stuffed ourselves then went back to the apartment. The only bummer for the day was that it poured all day long. It continued to pour yesterday morning as we trudged around in the morning. We ended up grabbing the 1pm train back to Boston and got home about about 7pm after all was said and done.

Anyway, I haven’t played a hand since I finished second in that 180 SNG. I did cash out a big chunk to redeploy on various whoring ventures. Not sure where that is going to take me.

See you all tonight at DADI 5!

Friday, April 21, 2006

How did this happen?

Thanks to jjok, hoff, hoyazo, tripjax, and most of all, Sir Waffles. Being a rookie, I needed some guidance here and there. He gave me great advice. He almost had me win the damn thing even though I started off down 3-1 in chips.

Check out his words of wisdom in this one:

Sorry no links but I need to get to bed! Thanks all.

Mookie's update and weekend plans

FYI: I wrote this 4 hours ago and my pc crashed so I am not posting it until 2am. No time for links. Sorry peeps. You'll see why...

Very late post today. I actually worked from home today because my wife was going away for the night and we had someone to sit for the kids this afternoon but my youngest had a little fever and our friend that was going to sit has a baby too. Rather than expose his too, I just worked from here today.

Tomorrow, I am off to NYC with my son for the weekend to visit my sister. It will be nice to get away with my oldest alone for the weekend. Long drive ahead of us tomorrow, but as long as we get out of here early enough, we will be fine. Planning to leave by noon so we should get there around 4pm or so. The weekend has a broadway play, some siteseeing, and some poker involved. More on all that on Monday.

I played in the Mookie last night and did my best to repeat. It wasn’t meant to be as I called a late all in with AJ soooted and it turned out I had him dominated when he flipped QJo. Dominated that is, until he flopped a straight and I was crippled. Ah well, it was lots of fun in the chat until a little blogger brew ha ha almost erupted. I finished 9th out of 42 (yeah 42, good job Mookie!). I railed presdlee, Loud and Gcox after I was bounced from the final table. It turned out to be a great night for Mookie’s homies as they took the top 2 spots, although there was a 3 way chop with them and Biggestron. Good job to all.

After the tourney, I ended up playing some LHE with Waffles while he tried to gather his last few FPPs for silver status. Make sure you look him up when you are on Stars and if you can get at his table, DO IT. For the comedy alone, it is worth it.

I think that is all I have in me. I just finished my bonus at River Belle and just registered for my first 180 person SNG on Stars with Waffles. I am hoping the magic he has had in these things will rub off on me. If you see another update later, you will know why. Don’t expect it.

Oh, and one last thing, thanks for stopping by. I knew I was approaching a visitor milestone and when I checked sitemeter today, it was exactly after the 4 digit mark was broken. Cool. Thanks again. Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Pimpin Mookie's Tourney Tonight

Well, rather than have my 100th post be a whining, sniveling, I lost the Mookie rant, I might as well pimp the thing instead. It also helps that it has my name in the pretty, pretty jpg that Mookie created for this week.

See you all at 10pm EST.

WWdN and a little Omaha H/L

First 2 quick pimps. Both related to sending a blogger to the WSOP. First is sign up for DADI which is less than a week away now. I forget to check how many are signed up so far, but the more the merrier. There were 98 in the WWdN last night and this one replaces that next week, so sign up early. The second is sign up for PokerSavvy if you haven't already. Matt is working hard to send more bloggers to WSOP events so check it out. Tons of great rewards to check out there too so feel free to click on the pic in the sidebar and sign up so I get some of your Savvy points too ;)

I got home just in time to play the WWdN last night. I probably should have skipped it.

Within the first 15 minutes I was dealt pocket As twice, pocket Qs and big slick twice. I didn’t get any action with the rockets or big slick the first time through, but the second time I had the Aces, Ingoal decided to play with his pocket 8’s. He got unlucky when the flop came out a ragged 7 high. He bet out 100 and I bumped it to 300. After some thought, he pushed. He is a fun guy to play with, plus he plays these things at an ungodly hour, so I was sorry to see him go. Anyway, I was off to a good start.

Only a few hands later, I get the Hiltons and bump it up to 4xBB. Chauski calls it in the blind and we see a 10 high rainbow flop. He pushes and I call to see his A10o for top pair vs my overpair. Unfortunately for me, he got one of his 5 outs on the river and I was back to about even. As Trip would say, Das Poker. I think that kinda put me on tilt for some reason because I never made it past the break. I ended up going out when I played 56 sooooted and hit top pair of 5s. After some bets and reraises I pushed into CawtBluffin’s flopped straight and that was all she wrote. I played pretty poorly after getting unlucky vs Chauski so no excuses.

The highlight for me in the tourney was probably when I showed the table “The Tourist” with Poker Champ, err, whoever is TequilaMom, playing with us at the table. I think only about half the table got it, but it wasn’t lost on the Champ. I said that A7o was the new Hammer, to which Champ responded that the Hammer was soooo 1986. Good fun. See you in the Blue Veiner Memorial Champ.

Congrats to Denials on a deep run into the final table. Check out his live blogging action to see where I went down in flames. We started at the same table and is a fun guy to play with.

After that little bombing, I decided to play a couple SNGs, bombing out in an 18 person but getting second in a $10 single table. All in all, I think I was down about $12 on the night on Stars. Not good, not terrible.

I was going to try to work off some of my raked hands on River Belle but there wasn’t too much traffic so I jumped over to Full Tilt to see what damage I could do. It was starting to get late so I didn’t really want to get into a SNG or Tourney. I had been down to about $35 last weekend but after winning the SNG on Monday night with Jordan, Hoyazo, and Hoff, I was up to $70. Hmmm, what to play?

I read in Wes’s blog yesterday about how loose and bad he found the Omaha H/L limit play. He talked about Ultimate I think, but I figured, what the hay. I would give it a shot. I might have been bordering on the awwfukkits but decided if I was going to get any of my bonus cleared, I had to play at a reasonable limit so I sat at a $1/$2 limit table with $30.

All I can say is, it was insane. I haven’t played much Omaha H/L and never played limit before. I have only played PL to help clear my bonus on Interpoker a while back after signing up through Klopzi. Anyway, the first couple hands had pots of $20-$50! I won a big hand after about 10 minutes when I was dealt AK65 in the BB. It had been raised but there were like 7 people in the pot or something crazy so I figured I would see the flop for another buck. The flop gave me 2 pair with my 6 and 5. There was a bet after I checked and a bunch of callers so I called. The turn game me a boat so I bet out and the original bettor raised me. We capped it and the river was three bet. There were 2 high cards on board so there wasn’t a low pot and I scooped for a big pot. I don’t even know if I played that hand right or not but it worked. I ended up leaving after a half hour at the table with exactly $60 to double my money and push my HUGE FT bankroll to $100. wOOt.

It ended up being a fun night at the tables and I am looking forward to the Mookie tonight.

Lastly, this is my 99th post. Hopefully my 100th with be to say that I just repeated as the Mookie winner, but don’t hold your breath. Also, I am approaching 1,000 visits. Whodathunkit?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Bar and SNGs with broggers

I played at the bar last night and played like dog crap. I was getting no cards but had taken a pot or 2 so I was up a few chips when I was in the BB and someone in MP raised 3xBB. I should have folded but decided I would see a flop since 2 had called his raise already. I had K8c.

The flop came 3 6 8 with 2 hearts. There were 5 people in the pot so the total in the pot was about 1500. I decided to take a stab at it and bet out 600 when it was checked to me. The woman to my left immediately went over the top and pushed her last 2100 in. The original raiser reluctantly folded as did the other 2 so it was on me. I had her covered by about 2K so I started thinking about her hand.

It was possible that she had hit a set or an overpair. The set would have been the worst scenario but for some reason I didn’t think so. I also didn’t have her on an overpair because I think she would have raised the blind UTG and she had just called the original raise. I had played with her before and had seen her put all her chips in on a flush draw.

I figured with 3500 in the pot and 1500 more for me to call, I had the odds and actually thought I was probably ahead. It actually ended up being an ok read when she flipped over A6o for middle pair, top kicker (?). The original raiser grumbled that his Jacks were good…until the turn was her Ace and I was down to 2K in chips with the break fast approaching.

I was pretty steamed and, after she said, “I figured an ace would come up because a lot of them have hit the board tonight, heehaw, heehaw”, I told her it was terrible poker. The hand put me on tilt and I was a real asshole to say that. She was a little embarrassed but didn’t seem that fazed. Either way, the break came 2 hands later and when we all got back to the table, I ended up apologizing for being a poor sport. I don’t like when I act like that. But it was terrible poker. The problem is, it was pretty terrible on my part first. To call a raise with bad position pre-flop, then to call an all-in with top pair, nice kicker, I deserved to lose my chips.

After the break, I made my second and last mistake of the early night. The blinds were at 200/400 and I was the BB. With 3 limpers, including some large stacks, I decided to push with A10d pre-flop. I still don’t understand why I did it because I was down to an M of about 3 so I was almost surely going to get called. I also kinda have a target on me in these now because everyone knows I am going to the National tourney at the end of the month. It came up at the table again last night.

Anyway, the big stack called me with pocket 9s and I didn’t improve. I probably should have just gone the stop and go route but I didn’t think about it properly. How would you have played the hand?

I was out in a little over an hour total. Just a terrible showing for the last night I can play live before the big tourney. Maybe I will get in a live game this weekend when I go to New York City?

Being out so early and being on tilt, I decided to make it an early night and not wait for the second session. I got home and wifey was watching something so I jumped onto River Belle to keep grinding away on my deposit bonus. After a while, I played for about an hour and ended up leaving up about $20 playing 50c/1.00 limit on a couple tables. I am inching closer to even with about half of the raked hands done for my bonus. River Belle is pretty good. The players there are ok with an occasional maniac that you can really profit from.

I saw that Hoff was online and we decided to play a SNG on Stars just as Jordan was signing on. We all jumped into an 18-person SNG. I donked off half my chips with big slick. Neither Jordan or I was a threat but Hoff, after being down pretty good came back and ended cashing in 3rd. Well played sir.

While Hoff was still playing, Jordan and I decided to play another, single table SNG just as Hoyazo logged on. We all got to the same table. Hoyazo was the first of us to fall when his pocket pair went up against a bigger pocket pair. Not much you can do there. Jordan ended up on the bubble and I got lucky with the cards late and ended up winning it. It was a fun night on the virtual felt.

Before I went to bed, of course I jumped into another Extreme Turbo on River Belle because I am a donkey. I couldn’t find any filling up except for some 5 person tables. What the hell I say. I swear it was over in less than 5 minutes. I came in second for a whopping $2.50 profit. Not done with the addiction, I played. Just. One. More.

Came in 3rd, boooo. Ah well. See you at the WWdN tonight all.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Sox win... dramatic fashion no less.

Talking about the Red Sox running hot is about as -EV as talking about your poker game running hot. If you do, the baseball gods will get you. Growing up as a die hard Red Sox fan, you know that. You just do.

That is why I haven't made anything of the start that they are off to so far. That is until today's game. Mark Loretta, the consistent hitter that the Sox picked up over the winter, hit a walk-off home run to beat the Mariners in the annual 11am start on Patriots day.

Down by 1 going to the bottom of the 9th, it didn't look good when the first 2 batters struck out but then Kevin Youkilis reached on an infield single. Just as all of Red Sox Nation was hoping that Loretta could somehow get on base for David Ortiz to get a crack at HR number 3 on the day, the little second baseman did it for himself by hitting the big fly over the Monstaaahhhhh.

Check out the number of comments on Yanksfan vs. Soxfan for today's game. Are you kidding me? There are almost the same number of comments on this one post as I have had visitors at this crappy blog (which is approaching 1,000, I am so proud). Why am I not surprised?

Happy Monday

Hope everyone had a nice holiday, if you celebrate it. We had a great day of multiple easter egg hunts, too much food, then a really fun wiffle ball game in the yard with the kids. Playing wiffle ball with my kids is maddening but the weather was great so it didn’t really matter. Basically, the game usually consists of my 9 year old trying to do his Roger Clemens impression as he tries to gun it by me. He then tries to strike out his 5 year old brother so my wife takes over the pitching duties and he pouts when the 5 year old gets a good hit. And God forbid you get either of them out. It’s like making the last out of the World Series. Anyway, it was still a lot of fun and the multiple beer lubrication didn’t hurt either.

After the littles were in bed, my wife and son watched another movie so I fired up the laptop to get some of my money back at River Belle. It didn’t really work that way. I played 2 50c/$1.00 limit tables and over the course of about an hour, I managed to lose about $30 more. I knew I wasn’t playing well so I shut them down. I still had about 2/3 of the bonus the clear but the bankroll was in serious dwindle mode. Rather than keep playing bad in the limit game, I decided to take a shot at a MTT SNG to see if I could get back some of the money that way. I did a 20 person, $5 SNG. I didn’t cash. I came in 8th when I got my chips in ahead, dominated the other guy actually with KQ to his QJ (I was in push monkey mode) but he hit a 4 flush on the board and I was done.

Not to be a quitter, I decided to play a single table SNG. I hadn’t played in a full, single table SNG in a while so I gave it a shot. It was about 9pm at this point and my wife was watching TV until 10pm. I figured I had just about the right amount of time. I actually ended up winning it. When I got to heads up, I was behind about 2-1 in chips but was patient and got the cards at the right now.

That one ended at about 9:40pm so I only had about 20 minutes. Not being able to fight the addiction, and fresh off my win, I saw that one of their “Extreme Turbos” was filling up. This was another single, full table $5 SNG, but the blinds double after ever 2 hands! Basically, not a lot of skill involved, just getting lucky and playing at the right time is how you can win these things.

I was the small blind on the first hand and was dealt 34o, which I quickly folded, even though I could have limped in with 8 others. That is basically how I always play anyway, if I don’t like the hand, I check off the box and move on. Well, of course, I would have flopped a straight. Ah well. A few hands later and I had to start playing because of the structure. It went so fast, I really don’t remember any big hands but I won this one too. It was over in 15 minutes. When I got ITM, the other 2 were all in automatically with their blinds! I lost the first 2 hands or so but they could never get out of the rut with the blinds doubling on them.

It was a nice way to end the weekend by winning these back to back. Now maybe I have enough cash to finish the bonus? We’ll see. I am off to the bar for some live action tonight but I will be in the WWdN tomorrow. See you all there.

It is a slow day here in Boston today, although I do have to technically work. It is Patriots day which means that a bunch of lucky people have the day off, the Boston Marathon is today, and the Red Sox play at 11am. It is a little bit murky out, but if I can score a ticket, even standing room, I am going to make the short trip over for some of the game. Just a long lunch is all ;)

Have a good Monday.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Rough Saturday Night at the tables

Had a good time with wifey in Maine for Friday night. We ended up at some sports bar for about 4 hours. There wasn't a lot open up there, since it is still the off-season, so Haddock Jack's it was. We had a lot of food, drink and fun hanging out there.

We got home yesterday and it was a beautiful day. In the mid-60's for baseball practice. After putting my youngest to bed last night, my oldest and my wife decided to watch a movie, so I jumped onto River Belle for a little action.

I started off doing pretty well on the 50c/$1.00 limit tables. I was up about $20 when I closed out those tables and checked my balance. It seemed a little higher than I expected. I checked my email and had won some $25 award for playing those tables this weekend through some promotion. Cool beans.

I then made a mistake, although I didn't play bad. I just got really unlucky at a table that I shouldn't have been at. I played one $50 NL table. With the extra bonus, plus the money I had won at limit, I wanted to take a chance. I played tight and patient and was up a couple bucks when I was dealt QQ on the button.

Someone in late position put in a raise up to $4 but I still flat called. The flop was Q A 3. The guy put in a bet of $6 and I raised him to $12. To make a long story short, I didn't put him on the pocket Aces that he had and got stacked with my set of Qs. Wonderful.

If that wasn't bad enough, I decided to jump into a $1/$2 limit table with $40. To make a long story short, I had TPTK beat by AA, had my overpair beat by a bigger overpair, and on the last hand, where I lost the last of my money, I flopped top set and finished with a beaten full house to quad 5s.

Just terrible luck. The only thing that really pissed me off was the guy tried to tell me that I was bound to lose a lot of money on that flop? The board was 10, 5, 3 and I had a set of 10s. He flopped a set of 5s. The fact that he got lucky and hit his 1-outer on the turn did not make that flop bad for me. I didn't get his reasoning but whatever. It didn't matter, I lost my buy-in.

Back to 50c/$1.00 limit with 3 tables to hopefully clear my deposit bonus here.

We are just chilling here and waiting to go to my family's this morning for an egg hunt and breakfast. Then dinner with my wife's family this afternoon back here. The kids had us up before 6am today and we were outside searching for eggs by 6:15am. Hope everyone has a great holiday.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Weekend Pimpin

Had a nice early night to bed. After 3 straight nights of playing poker until after 1am, followed by getting up for work at 6am, I was wiped out.

Wifey and I leave for Maine in about an hour. A day of outlet shopping and fine dining will ensue. She is REALLY happy for us to be away from the laptop for a day and a half, right honey?

Couple of quick pimping opps that I want to take now. I ended up signing up for both Ace Flush poker for a nice rakeback deal, and River Belle poker, both through Klopzi. The man works his affiliate links harder than Trixy works the pole on the main stage so I figured I would give it a shot. Plus, he can hook you up with a rakeback that is a little bit better than what their advertised rake is so go check it out. I played a little bit at both the other night before the Mookie and did ok at both. The traffic was pretty good, lot of juicy games going on.

The second thing is Huma's new poker forum called OzBluff. He is just getting it started up and has been getting some people posting to it. Anyone that reads my crap can contribute much more thought provoking content than I can to the forum so join up and help some Aussie donkeys improve their game ;)

Last thing for you to do is sign up for DADI 5. I did as soon as Trip and Jordan announced it. THe tourney is on April 24th at 9pm on Poker Stars. It is going to be great to help send another blogger to the WSOP and you never know, it could be you. Plus, there are some other big prizes to be won. Go check out the site and then sign up. There are only 9 signed up so far. Lock in your buy-in now before you go and donk off your bankroll dammit.

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Suckouts and Lay Downs, the Mookie Home Game

I don’t usually play too much on Wednesdays. I had told my wife that I would limit the nights I would play online to Sundays and Tuesdays. When Mookie started his weekly tourney, and I saw the crowd that he was attracting, I knew I wanted to play. Most of the players are people that I read and talk to regularly. Much like the weekly WWdN tourney, this one would be fun.

Last week, I jumped in at the last minute while my wife was watching Lost and bombed out pretty quick. I think part of that was me feeling a little guilty about playing in it, when I knew I shouldn’t have. The other part was, of course, my normal donkey play.

Last night, a couple hours before the tourney, I asked her if she minded if I played it. She said she didn’t, but I still wasn’t sure. Surflexus shot me an IM and asked if I was playing and I said I hadn’t decided but it didn’t look good. When I pressed her about it, she really didn’t seem to mind, so I jumped in. I had been up way too late the 2 nights before playing but figured I probably wouldn’t last too long anyway, so I would give it a shot, knowing I would at least have fun with the crowd.

Mookie had been pimpin the tourney, trying to get to a new high water mark. The previous high for the number of players was 23 I think. He was gunning for 28+, which would bump the number of payouts to the top 5 spots. He does a great job with this tourney as he gets a loyal following of bloggers, plus a chunk of his buddies from Austin to play too. He ended up getting 32 last night. Check out the live blogging from last night here.

I had a pretty good feeling when, within the first 15 minutes or so, I was dealt some great cards that were hitting the flop. I can’t remember exactly, but I think I was in the top 5 in chips within the first half hour and never left the top 5. It was one of those nights where you are on the winning end of overpair vs bigger overpair, Betting your TPTK and getting a caller with MP. There were at least 2 occasions where I knocked out 2 players in the same hand due to having a no brainer preflop hand like KK and getting pushed into. I got the cards, and it felt gOOt.

It is easy when the deck is hitting you in the face like that and I just played it pretty tight after I got a big lead. I continued to get premium starting hands and raising a lot of blinds. In most cases, they were not steals, just protecting my hand. There were a couple times where I layed down a good starting hand to a re-raise that I was probably ahead, but it wasn’t worth it to find out.

To get to the final table, and then heads up, it really came down to one BIG lay down, and one HUGE suggout for me. The lay down came earlier. I was on the button and tied with Waffles in chips, close to the lead at the table and I have QQ. Waffles raised it up 3xBB, SoxLover then pushed! Hmm, I thought. I had Sox covered, but I didn’t need to take a that one of them had KK or AA. Waffles does a lot of raising, but I was pretty sure he was going to call because of the money in the pot, and he had Sox covered. He called and flipped over his KK vs Sox’s QQ! Basically, Sox was now drawing almost dead to a 4 flush or 4 straight. It didn’t come, and Waffles took him out. I don't know what possessed me to lay down the biatches but I figured they both had to have at least overcards and it was early enough to lay it down. I got lucky there. Sorry, here is the hand history :-)

*********** # 75 **************
> PokerStars Game #4607888964: Tournament #22851247, $10+$1 Hold'em No Limit - Level IV (50/100) - 2006/04/12 - 22:50:48 (ET)
> Table '22851247 2' 9-max Seat #5 is the button
> Seat 1: SirFWALGMan (3460 in chips)
> Seat 2: jjok (1105 in chips)
> Seat 3: SoxLover (2360 in chips)
> Seat 5: drewspop (3460 in chips)
> Seat 6: T Nails T (950 in chips)
> Seat 7: wesmotv (3485 in chips)
> Seat 8: GCox25 (2195 in chips)
> Seat 9: mookie99 (1820 in chips)
> T Nails T: posts small blind 50
> wesmotv: posts big blind 100
> *** HOLE CARDS ***
> Dealt to drewspop [Qd Qc]
> GCox25: folds
> mookie99: folds
> SirFWALGMan: raises 200 to 300
> jjok: folds
> SoxLover: raises 2060 to 2360 and is all-in
> drewspop: folds
> T Nails T: folds
> wesmotv: folds
> SirFWALGMan: calls 2060
> *** FLOP *** [2c 7c Jd]
> SoxLover said, "qq"
> SoxLover said, "my fate"
> *** TURN *** [2c 7c Jd] [6d]
> drewspop said, "i had the other ones"
> *** RIVER *** [2c 7c Jd 6d] [9c]
> SoxLover said, "is sealed"
> drewspop said, "sox"
> *** SHOW DOWN ***
> SirFWALGMan: shows [Kh Kd] (a pair of Kings)
> SoxLover: shows [Qh Qs] (a pair of Queens)
> SirFWALGMan said, "gg"
> SirFWALGMan collected 4870 from pot
> drewspop said, "both of them"
> drewspop said, "gg"
> *** SUMMARY ***
> Total pot 4870 | Rake 0
> Board [2c 7c Jd 6d 9c]

The suckout was a totally different story, although I don’t think I could have played it any different. For those of you that saw it, it was pretty amazing. I flopped a straight and put out a bet. Rocco and I had traded chips a few times on some tough hands but I had him covered at this point. I bet out and he min-raised me. Cool, I will re-min raise, figuring he was just testing me. After I did, he pushed! I gladly called figuring I had to be ahead and didn't want any drawing. He had flopped a higher straight! Oops. There were only 2 diamonds on the board and I only held one in my hand, which was lower than the one that Rocco held in his hand. It looked like the only card that would help me, for a chop, was another K. Instead, I unknowingly hit my miracle 1-outer for the straight flush on the river to take out Rocco and get us to 3 handed with Waffles and Matt. Gotta show you that one too.

*********** # 225 **************
> PokerStars Game #4609093104: Tournament #22851247, $10+$1 Hold'em No Limit - Level X (400/800) - 2006/04/13 - 00:30:06 (ET)
> Table '22851247 3' 9-max Seat #7 is the button
> Seat 1: drewspop (19209 in chips)
> Seat 4: kaellinn18 (7214 in chips)
> Seat 6: RoccoBoxer (11097 in chips)
> Seat 7: SirFWALGMan (10480 in chips)
> drewspop: posts the ante 50
> kaellinn18: posts the ante 50
> RoccoBoxer: posts the ante 50
> SirFWALGMan: posts the ante 50
> drewspop: posts small blind 400
> kaellinn18: posts big blind 800
> *** HOLE CARDS ***
> Dealt to drewspop [9d 8h]
> RoccoBoxer: calls 800
> SirFWALGMan: folds
> drewspop: calls 400
> kaellinn18: checks
> *** FLOP *** [Td Qd Jh]
> RoccoBoxer said, "mook wasn't good to me"
> drewspop: bets 1600
> kaellinn18: folds
> RoccoBoxer: raises 1600 to 3200
> drewspop: raises 1600 to 4800
> RoccoBoxer: raises 5447 to 10247 and is all-in
> drewspop: calls 5447
> kaellinn18 said, "wow"
> *** TURN *** [Td Qd Jh] [8d]
> *** RIVER *** [Td Qd Jh 8d] [Jd]
> *** SHOW DOWN ***
> drewspop: shows [9d 8h] (a straight flush, Eight to Queen)
> RoccoBoxer: shows [9s Kd] (a flush, King high)
> drewspop collected 23094 from pot
> *** SUMMARY ***
> Total pot 23094 | Rake 0
> Gilain [observer] said, "holy carp!"
> kaellinn18 said, "gg"
> mookie99 [observer] said, "wow"
> SirFWALGMan said, "gg"
> SirFWALGMan said, "lol"
> drewspop said, "gg"
> RoccoBoxer [observer] said, "unbelievable"
> Garthmeister [observer] said, "I uh, I uh..."
> mookie99 [observer] said, "one kick to the junk"
> RoccoBoxer [observer] said, "all time worst beat"
> kaellinn18 said, "thank God I laid down A4"
> RoccoBoxer [observer] said, "i need a bucket"
> RoccoBoxer [observer] said, "i feel sick"
> SirFWALGMan said, "lol"
> drewspop said, "sorry dude"

Again, sorry Rocco but it's not like I didn't have a hand. I just got ridonkulously lucky.

We flopped around a bit 3 handed until Waffles ended Matt’s night and I was heads up with Waffles, the man of $20, 180-SNG mad rush fame. What was cool was that during the tourney, we were in the same voice chat conference on yahoo. It really had the feel of a home game at this point. The blogfather himself even joined us, which was cool. Waffles is a much better player than I am, so I knew I was going to need the cards. He had a lead, we got even, I pulled ahead, gave it back, etc. It was a roller coaster, but in the end, I once again got the cards and was able to win my first MTT scheduled tourney. I have some MTT SNGs before, but nothing like this.

It was kinda weird at the end. I was pretty happy and Waffles was very gracious about it but it was weird that it came down to someone I enjoy tracking. The dude is a riot and has obviously had a lot of success lately. Like I told him after, I won the $100 tourney while he wins the $1K tourneys. Regardless, it was a high for me, as jjok can attest, as I hit him up on MSN messenger to tell him, and he already knew.

Thanks to everyone that hung out and cheered on the action. Again, most of the railers know both of us, me less so, but there was support for both of us anyway.

> Katitude [observer] said, "i honest to god don't know who to cheer for"
> kaellinn18 [observer] said, "Chris of course"
> kaellinn18 [observer] said, "waffles knocked me out"
> Katitude [observer] said, "lol"

Thanks to George, Hoff, Kat, Garth, Trip, GCox, Hoyazo, jjok and Mookie for various words of encouragement and to the Birthday boy for hosting. I am sure I am forgetting others as I make my hour long, early morning train ride here. It was a great time.

No more posts for me until later in the weekend. The wife and I are actually going up to Maine for the night tomorrow, alone! I promised no poker tonight, which means I will be out of the action until probably Sunday or Monday. I did mention to the wife that my new nights for playing are now Tuesdays and Wednesdays. See you next week!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

I actually freakin won!

Ok, not a seat in the WSOP or anything but damn, I won my first MTT blogger tourney in Mookie's tonight. It took one huge suckout (sorry Rocco) and almost 3 hours with just 32 people but I actually won something. Must get sleep now. More to come tomorrow.

SNG Suckout Madness on Stars

So, as I posted last night, I won an 18 person SNG on Poker Stars. Now I am not one that subscribed to the conspiracy theories that many people do about online poker, but this tourney made me think a little more. Everyone at the final table was actually laughing about it because you could pretty much predict that the river was going to save or crush someone. Sorry for the long hand histories, but I wanted to put out a few samples of hands for your review and comment.

There were 90 hands in this particular tourney. I will skip to about the middle to get started. I also cut out a bunch of the extra crap on each hand to save some space.

*********** # 42 **************
> PokerStars Game #4599476206: Tournament #22933913, Hold'em No Limit - Level VIII (200/400) - 2006/04/12 - 00:13:47 (ET)
> Table '22933913 2' 9-max Seat #4 is the button
> Seat 1: gypsyplayer2 (2385 in chips)
> Seat 2: tntamc (7385 in chips)
> Seat 3: Comma (840 in chips)
> Seat 4: tonsoffun37 (6145 in chips)
> Seat 5: taxi128 (1715 in chips)
> Seat 6: Red Spinel (1420 in chips)
> Seat 7: dickyd99 (1525 in chips)
> Seat 8: drewspop (2140 in chips)
> Seat 9: snipeU (3445 in chips)
> *** HOLE CARDS ***
> Comma: raises 415 to 815 and is all-in
> dickyd99: calls 415
> *** FLOP *** [Jh Js 8c]
> drewspop said, "oof"
> *** TURN *** [Jh Js 8c] [Ah]
> dickyd99 said, "sorry dude"
> *** RIVER *** [Jh Js 8c Ah] [Td]
> *** SHOW DOWN ***
> dickyd99: shows [Ad Jc] (a full house, Jacks full of Aces)
> Comma: shows [As Ks] (two pair, Aces and Jacks)
> dickyd99 collected 2455 from pot
> *** SUMMARY ***
> Total pot 2455 | Rake 0
> Board [Jh Js 8c Ah Td]

This one wasn’t that bad, both pretty good hands, but the pusher was way behind. It didn’t wait until the river on this one at least.

*********** # 47 **************
> PokerStars Game #4599515035: Tournament #22933913, Hold'em No Limit - Level VIII (200/400) - 2006/04/12 - 00:17:22 (ET)
> Table '22933913 2' 9-max Seat #9 is the button
> Seat 1: gypsyplayer2 (4260 in chips)
> Seat 2: tntamc (8060 in chips)
> Seat 4: tonsoffun37 (5220 in chips)
> Seat 5: taxi128 (2390 in chips)
> Seat 6: Red Spinel (695 in chips)
> Seat 7: dickyd99 (3040 in chips)
> Seat 8: drewspop (1415 in chips)
> Seat 9: snipeU (1920 in chips)
> *** HOLE CARDS ***
> dickyd99: calls 400
> gypsyplayer2: calls 200
> tntamc: checks
> *** FLOP *** [Ah 7s 7h]
> gypsyplayer2: checks
> tntamc: bets 400
> dickyd99: calls 400
> gypsyplayer2: folds
> *** TURN *** [Ah 7s 7h] [3c]
> tntamc: bets 1200
> dickyd99: raises 1015 to 2215 and is all-in
> tntamc: calls 1015
> *** RIVER *** [Ah 7s 7h 3c] [As]
> *** SHOW DOWN ***
> tntamc: shows [9s 7d] (a full house, Sevens full of Aces)
> dickyd99: shows [Ad Td] (a full house, Aces full of Sevens)
> tntamc said, "omg"
> dickyd99 collected 6630 from pot
> dickyd99 said, "sorry dude"
> *** SUMMARY ***
> Total pot 6630 | Rake 0
> Board [Ah 7s 7h 3c As]
> Seat 1: gypsyplayer2 (small blind) folded on the Flop
> Seat 2: tntamc (big blind) showed [9s 7d] and lost with a full house, Sevens full of Aces
> Seat 4: tonsoffun37 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
> Seat 5: taxi128 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
> Seat 6: Red Spinel folded before Flop (didn't bet)
> Seat 7: dickyd99 showed [Ad Td] and won (6630) with a full house, Aces full of Sevens
> Seat 8: drewspop folded before Flop (didn't bet)
> Seat 9: snipeU (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
> tonsoffun37 said, "only on joker stars"

On this one, tntamc was the BB, but what a killer flop against him.

*********** # 49 **************
> PokerStars Game #4599532145: Tournament #22933913, Hold'em No Limit - Level IX (300/600) - 2006/04/12 - 00:18:57 (ET)
> Table '22933913 2' 9-max Seat #2 is the button
> Seat 1: gypsyplayer2 (3810 in chips)
> Seat 2: tntamc (4795 in chips)
> Seat 4: tonsoffun37 (4770 in chips)
> Seat 5: taxi128 (2340 in chips)
> Seat 6: Red Spinel (645 in chips)
> Seat 7: dickyd99 (6605 in chips)
> Seat 8: drewspop (1365 in chips)
> Seat 9: snipeU (2670 in chips)
> *** HOLE CARDS ***
> tntamc said, "just lost with KK on my other table"
> Red Spinel: calls 595 and is all-in
> tonsoffun37: calls 300
> taxi128: raises 1690 to 2290 and is all-in
> tonsoffun37: folds
> *** FLOP *** [3d 6c 7h]
> *** TURN *** [3d 6c 7h] [Th]
> *** RIVER *** [3d 6c 7h Th] [8s]
> *** SHOW DOWN ***
> taxi128: shows [Qd Qh] (a pair of Queens)
> drewspop said, "always the river"
> taxi128 collected 10 from side pot
> Red Spinel: shows [Ah 9s] (a straight, Six to Ten)
> Red Spinel collected 2185 from main pot
> *** SUMMARY ***
> Total pot 2195 Main pot 2185. Side pot 10. | Rake 0
> Board [3d 6c 7h Th 8s]
> Seat 5: taxi128 (big blind) showed [Qd Qh] and won (10) with a pair of Queens
> Seat 6: Red Spinel showed [Ah 9s] and won (2185) with a straight, Six to Ten
> tntamc said, "this is gay"
> drewspop said, "it is happening all the time"
> tonsoffun37 said, "this poker stars is the most crappy s h it ever"
> drewspop said, "i am actually starting to believe the conspiracy thoeries"
> tntamc said, "startin to piss me off"
> taxi128 said, "7 out of 10"

Ouch is all I can say.

Now I am the beneficiary as I am at a really low M and have to push, this is what happened. Of course is fine Hoyazo/Jordan fashion, I taught it up a bit after I suck out. This is 3 hands after that last one too.

*********** # 52 **************
> PokerStars Game #4599551054: Tournament #22933913, Hold'em No Limit - Level IX (300/600) - 2006/04/12 - 00:20:43 (ET)
> Table '22933913 2' 9-max Seat #6 is the button
> Seat 1: gypsyplayer2 (3660 in chips)
> Seat 2: tntamc (4645 in chips)
> Seat 4: tonsoffun37 (5320 in chips)
> Seat 5: taxi128 (1300 in chips)
> Seat 6: Red Spinel (2485 in chips)
> Seat 7: dickyd99 (5855 in chips)
> Seat 8: drewspop (1215 in chips)
> Seat 9: snipeU (2520 in chips)
> *** HOLE CARDS ***
> Dealt to drewspop [7c Qs]
> tonsoffun37 said, "its all the time"
> Red Spinel: raises 1835 to 2435 and is all-in
> dickyd99: folds
> drewspop: calls 565 and is all-in
> *** FLOP *** [Qd 7s 9c]
> tonsoffun37 said, "never like this in real life"
> *** TURN *** [Qd 7s 9c] [4s]
> *** RIVER *** [Qd 7s 9c 4s] [Kc]
> *** SHOW DOWN ***
> drewspop: shows [7c Qs] (two pair, Queens and Sevens)
> Red Spinel: shows [Ac Js] (high card Ace)
> drewspop collected 3030 from pot
> *** SUMMARY ***
> Total pot 3030 | Rake 0
> Board [Qd 7s 9c 4s Kc]
> Seat 6: Red Spinel (button) showed [Ac Js] and lost with high card Ace
> Seat 8: drewspop (big blind) showed [7c Qs] and won (3030) with two pair, Queens and Sevens
> drewspop said, "new i would hit"
> drewspop said, "new i was behind"
> drewspop said, "or knew even"

This one held up, but the underdog did hit his dominated card. Luckily I hit mine too.
*********** # 57 **************
> PokerStars Game #4599582306: Tournament #22933913, Hold'em No Limit - Level X (400/800) - 2006/04/12 - 00:23:41 (ET)
> Table '22933913 2' 9-max Seat #2 is the button
> Seat 1: gypsyplayer2 (2510 in chips)
> Seat 2: tntamc (6765 in chips)
> Seat 4: tonsoffun37 (4470 in chips)
> Seat 5: taxi128 (2350 in chips)
> Seat 6: Red Spinel (1070 in chips)
> Seat 7: dickyd99 (5305 in chips)
> Seat 8: drewspop (4530 in chips)
> *** HOLE CARDS ***
> Dealt to drewspop [Tc Ac]
> drewspop: raises 3680 to 4480 and is all-in
> taxi128: calls 1500 and is all-in
> tntamc said, "good fold then.."
> *** FLOP *** [Ts 7s 4d]
> *** TURN *** [Ts 7s 4d] [8d]
> drewspop said, "4"
> *** RIVER *** [Ts 7s 4d 8d] [Th]
> *** SHOW DOWN ***
> taxi128: shows [Ad 4h] (two pair, Tens and Fours)
> drewspop: shows [Tc Ac] (three of a kind, Tens)
> drewspop collected 5350 from pot
> drewspop said, "gg taxi"
> *** SUMMARY ***
> Total pot 5350 | Rake 0
> Board [Ts 7s 4d 8d Th]
> Seat 5: taxi128 (big blind) showed [Ad 4h] and lost with two pair, Tens and Fours
> Seat 8: drewspop showed [Tc Ac] and won (5350) with three of a kind, Tens
> tntamc said, "lol and he still hit the four"

> *********** # 76 **************
> PokerStars Game #4599664142: Tournament #22933913, Hold'em No Limit - Level XI (600/1200) - 2006/04/12 - 00:31:38 (ET)
> Table '22933913 2' 9-max Seat #8 is the button
> Seat 2: tntamc (1900 in chips)
> Seat 4: tonsoffun37 (4375 in chips)
> Seat 6: Red Spinel (6830 in chips)
> Seat 7: dickyd99 (3665 in chips)
> Seat 8: drewspop (10230 in chips)
> *** HOLE CARDS ***
> Dealt to drewspop [Jd Ac]
> dickyd99: calls 1200
> drewspop: raises 3600 to 4800
> dickyd99: calls 2390 and is all-in
> *** FLOP *** [5s Ts Qc]
> *** TURN *** [5s Ts Qc] [9s]
> *** RIVER *** [5s Ts Qc 9s] [3c]
> *** SHOW DOWN ***
> dickyd99: shows [Ks Th] (a pair of Tens)
> drewspop: shows [Jd Ac] (high card Ace)
> dickyd99 collected 9355 from pot
> drewspop said, "nh"
> *** SUMMARY ***
> Total pot 9355 | Rake 0
> Board [5s Ts Qc 9s 3c]
> Seat 7: dickyd99 showed [Ks Th] and won (9355) with a pair of Tens
> Seat 8: drewspop (button) showed [Jd Ac] and lost with high card Ace
> dickyd99 said, "t"
> dickyd99 said, "luk"
> tntamc said, "must be nice.."

This was a BIG ONE.

> *********** # 79 **************
> PokerStars Game #4599682612: Tournament #22933913, Hold'em No Limit - Level XI (600/1200) - 2006/04/12 - 00:33:29 (ET)
> Table '22933913 2' 9-max Seat #6 is the button
> Seat 2: tntamc (3125 in chips)
> Seat 4: tonsoffun37 (2350 in chips)
> Seat 6: Red Spinel (4805 in chips)
> Seat 7: dickyd99 (8130 in chips)
> Seat 8: drewspop (8590 in chips)
> drewspop: posts big blind 1200
> *** HOLE CARDS ***
> Dealt to drewspop [2h 4s]
> drewspop said, "nh tnt"
> tntamc said, "thank goodness"
> tonsoffun37 said, "its me, im supposed to go out next"
> tntamc: folds
> tonsoffun37: raises 1075 to 2275 and is all-in
> Red Spinel: folds
> dickyd99: folds
> drewspop: calls 1075
> *** FLOP *** [3d Ac Ad]
> tonsoffun37 said, "watch this"
> dickyd99 said, "5"
> *** TURN *** [3d Ac Ad] [Jd]
> tonsoffun37 said, "5"
> tonsoffun37 said, "5"
> tonsoffun37 said, "5"
> *** RIVER *** [3d Ac Ad Jd] [2s]
> tonsoffun37 said, "5"
> *** SHOW DOWN ***
> drewspop: shows [2h 4s] (two pair, Aces and Deuces)
> tonsoffun37: shows [Td Kc] (a pair of Aces)
> dickyd99 said, "omg"
> drewspop collected 5525 from pot
> drewspop said, "sorry"
> *** SUMMARY ***
> Total pot 5525 | Rake 0
> Board [3d Ac Ad Jd 2s]
> Seat 4: tonsoffun37 showed [Td Kc] and lost with a pair of Aces
> Seat 8: drewspop (big blind) showed [2h 4s] and won (5525) with two pair, Aces and Deuces

On the very next hand, I was feeling it. I started thinking I better play crap with my stack now. Never a good idea. Except this time…

> *********** # 80 **************
> PokerStars Game #4599691975: Tournament #22933913, Hold'em No Limit - Level XII (1000/2000) - 2006/04/12 - 00:34:26 (ET)
> Table '22933913 2' 9-max Seat #7 is the button
> Seat 2: tntamc (3050 in chips)
> Seat 6: Red Spinel (4730 in chips)
> Seat 7: dickyd99 (7455 in chips)
> Seat 8: drewspop (11765 in chips)
> drewspop: posts small blind 1000
> tntamc: posts big blind 2000
> *** HOLE CARDS ***
> Dealt to drewspop [2h 9s]
> tonsoffun37 [observer] said, "I quit"
> drewspop said, "i think i had odds to call, 5-1"
> drewspop said, "poop though"
> drewspop said, "that is terrible"
> tonsoffun37 [observer] said, "im pullin the rest of my money out tonight."
> drewspop: raises 2000 to 4000
> tntamc said, "yeah you had to call honestly"
> tntamc: calls 950 and is all-in
> *** FLOP *** [Ks 4s 3s]
> tntamc said, "gosh"
> drewspop said, "spade"
> *** TURN *** [Ks 4s 3s] [8d]
> *** RIVER *** [Ks 4s 3s 8d] [As]
> dickyd99 said, "s"
> tntamc said, "god"
> *** SHOW DOWN ***
> drewspop: shows [2h 9s] (a flush, Ace high)
> tntamc: shows [Ah 7h] (a pair of Aces)
> drewspop said, "ugh"
> drewspop collected 6300 from pot
> *** SUMMARY ***
> Total pot 6300 | Rake 0
> Board [Ks 4s 3s 8d As]
> Seat 2: tntamc (big blind) showed [Ah 7h] and lost with a pair of Aces
> Seat 8: drewspop (small blind) showed [2h 9s] and won (6300) with a flush, Ace high
> tntamc [observer] said, "could i be more unlucky?"
> tonsoffun37 [observer] said, "can you belive this crap"
> tntamc [observer] said, "gg guys"
> dickyd99 said, "gl"
> drewspop said, "i thnk i will just play really bad poker, like i have no clue"
> tonsoffun37 [observer] said, "Im done with jokerstars"

> *********** # 82 **************
> PokerStars Game #4599703360: Tournament #22933913, Hold'em No Limit - Level XII (1000/2000) - 2006/04/12 - 00:35:36 (ET)
> Table '22933913 2' 9-max Seat #6 is the button
> Seat 6: Red Spinel (3530 in chips)
> Seat 7: dickyd99 (8555 in chips)
> Seat 8: drewspop (14915 in chips)
> drewspop: posts big blind 2000
> *** HOLE CARDS ***
> Dealt to drewspop [7s Jc]
> dickyd99 said, "ok"
> Red Spinel: raises 1430 to 3430 and is all-in
> dickyd99: folds
> drewspop: calls 1430
> *** FLOP *** [Js 9h 7d]
> drewspop said, "lol"
> dickyd99 said, "lol"
> *** TURN *** [Js 9h 7d] [6h]
> drewspop said, "A"
> dickyd99 said, "a"
> *** RIVER *** [Js 9h 7d 6h] [2s]
> *** SHOW DOWN ***
> drewspop: shows [7s Jc] (two pair, Jacks and Sevens)
> Red Spinel: shows [7h Ad] (a pair of Sevens)
> dickyd99 said, "gg"
> drewspop said, "incredible"
> drewspop collected 8160 from pot
> drewspop said, "gl"
> dickyd99 said, "gl"
> *** SUMMARY ***
> Total pot 8160 | Rake 0
> Board [Js 9h 7d 6h 2s]
> Seat 6: Red Spinel (button) showed [7h Ad] and lost with a pair of Sevens
> Seat 7: dickyd99 (small blind) folded before Flop
> Seat 8: drewspop (big blind) showed [7s Jc] and won (8160) with two pair, Jacks and Sevens

I absolutely steamrolled the dude heads up. He basically folded every hand until he was all-in with his blind only. He survived to forced all-ins of course, then I put him away.

Sometimes you just have to shake your head.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I won something tonight at least...

Lost pretty early in both the WWdN and the Titan freeroll, which was very cool and set up by PokerSavvy.

Anyway, I just played an 18 person SNG to close out the night and won it. It was totally ridiculous how bad the beats were. It got to the point where I played bad hands purposely, with the big stack, knowing I was behind and would suckout. I will post some tomorrow.

Hoping to play at Titan tonight too...

Poker Savvy

Spraying the Nest

This should easily go down as the dumbest post you will read today but I need to ask this question. Does anyone else have a problem with the self flushing toilets at work/in public places?

I am a nester, so I will go about lining the seat neatly for myself, then struggling awkwardly to pull down the drawers while attempting to trick out the sensor thingy so it won’t flush when I turn around to sit. There is one particularly aggressive stall in our men’s room that always flushes on me just after I line it up and the flush is so violent that the water from the bowl sprays the nest.

What to do? Ok, sorry I am even posting this, but am I the only one who has come across this?

What to listen to in St. Louis?

I am starting to get excited about my trip to St. Louis. I go down 2 weeks from Saturday for the Amateur Poker League National Championship.

For those of you that don’t know, the Amateur Poker League (APL) is a company that puts on weekly NLHE tournaments in bars and restaurants, across the country, for free. The point is that the establishment that hires the APL to conduct the tourneys gain customers on nights that they normally wouldn’t be very busy. The APL, in turn, collects a fee for their service of hosting the tourney. It is kind of like a bar hiring a DJ or someone to do Karaoke for the night.

For the players, like me, it is great practice for live action, it opens up your network of poker players, and you get an outside chance at a trip to the WSOP main event each year. The tourneys are held each week on the same night of the week at each establishment, with 2 sessions or tourneys per night. Some venues end up with only a few people, while others end up with over 100. The place I play at usually has about 60-70 for the first session, and about 40-50 for the second session. I usually only play the early session, since the second session doesn’t get over until about 12:30am.

The way it works is, if you finish in the top 16, you receive points based on where you place. The top spot gets the most points, while 16th gets the least. Overall, the “league” works like a bracket. You play each week to finish in the top 16 to gain points. If you finish in the points on any given week, you qualify for the next level in the bracket, which is the monthly championship. The first session during the third week of each month, the monthly championship is held for any players that scored points during the previous month.

If you score points in the monthly championship, that qualifies you for the next level, which is the venue grand championship. There is then a semiannual tourney, and a state final tourney. If you scored points in the state final, you qualify for the national championship.

I started playing in the APL in September of last year. I happened to stop into a local pub and saw a sign that said they were starting these tourneys over the Labor Day weekend. I figured that would give me some good practice. It was a great time, I met a ton of people there and I haven’t looked back since. By playing there, I really got back into online poker again and it fueled my desire to learn more by reading, etc. That is when I really started to get into everyone’s blogs and I guess that is why I now write this crappy one.

In any event, I ended up coming in second in my first week. I continued to do pretty well at the beginning and qualified for the first monthly tourney and ended up in 4th place. In November, the APL announced a promotion with Budweiser to send the top 5 players from each state to Vegas for a tourney. It was a 5 week promotion with the top 100 point gainers from each region qualifying for a local tourney. The top 5 in that tourney went to Vegas. As I said before, I usually only played the early session, so that put me at a disadvantage during this promotion. The region was made up of all the venues in Massachusetts, so a lot of people were playing every night they could, and both sessions, in the hope of gaining some points to qualify for the local tourney.

I decided to give it a shot, and started playing at another venue in addition to where I started. It was a new place, so the number of people was less, which gave me a better chance of finishing high, for more points. I ended up qualifying for the monthly championship at that place for December, since I gained some points there while playing for the Bud tourney. I did end up making the top 100, but couldn’t play in the tourney because I was on vacation. That was a bummer, but priorities being what they are, it wasn’t that big of a deal. I really wanted to give it a shot, but it just didn’t work out.

Well, I went on and won the monthly championship at the new place in December. I knew that by winning a monthly, you got to skip a level in the bracket. I thought that got me in the semiannual tourney. When the semiannuals started being planned and posted on the APL website, there wasn’t one at either of the venue that I played at. Since they hadn’t been in existence for 6 months, there was no semiannual tourney. I qualified for the first one next year I was told. Bummer.

Right on the heels of the semiannual tourneys, they started posting invite lists for the state championship. I had been told that I wouldn’t qualify because there was no semi to play in, but I kept my eye on the list. A couple days before the tourney, I noticed that 2 friends of mine were on the list. They were the only 2 from the place I played at on the list. It didn’t make a lot of sense since they didn’t play anywhere other than the places I did, but they had won monthly venue championship tourneys. Hmmm, I thought. I emailed the regional tourney director and asked him about it. Sure enough, since I had won the monthly championship, I did actually qualify for the state final. I needed to come in the top 16 in that tourney to get invited to the National. I posted about the tourney when it happened in February.

After I came in 9th and qualified, I found out a little more info. Basically, you needed to get your self to wherever they ended up hosting the event. They basically pay for nothing other than hosting the event. The winner wins a seat in the 2006 main event. I started to think about whether the expense was worth it. There was some talk about the event being held in Vegas or Kansas City. I was hoping for Vegas to make the decision very easy. When they announced the location, it ended up being in St. Louis. With that, I really wondered if it was worth the trip. Nothing against St. Louis, but I didn’t have a huge desire to go there. I didn’t know what was there, or how expensive it was going to be. Plus, with about 200 people in the tourney, if the only prize was the top spot, the chances are pretty damn slim that I win it, so why not sink the money I would have to spend on the trip into satellites for smaller events in the WSOP?

I talked to the regional tourney director and he said they gave away other things at last years tourney like seats to smaller events, trips to various places, etc. He urged me to give it a shot. One of the guys I originally met at the APL also had made it. We have played a lot of poker since September together and he is great guy. We both decided that we would be kicking ourselves if we didn’t give it a shot. Plus, the whole point of the APL is to move through the bracket right? If you make it to that point, don’t you have to go?

So now, that is where I am. We tracked airline ticket prices for a month and they were pretty high. It looks like only American flies non-stop to St. Louis from Boston. Since we were only going for the weekend, it made sense to fly non-stop. Plus, the difference between those prices and the prices to stop once were almost the same anyway.

Last week, we both booked our flights and paid about $365 each. Luckily we booked then. I checked it out yesterday and it had gone up to $495 per person! We leave at 7am on April 29th and fly home April 30th at 6:30pm. A real short trip, but if I am going to win a trip, I need to save my vacation days right ;) Hey, at least I will meet Moneymaker and see the Arch right?

So now, I need to prepare. If you are still with me on this post, this is my main question. What music do I load up on the iPod? What do you listen to while playing? Do you listen when playing live in a large tourney? Give me your top 5 songs so I can rock out in style while taking this thing down.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Weekend Ramble

Hope everyone had a good weekend. Mine was pretty good. It is nice when spring arrives in New England and you can start to forget the long, cold winter. Saturday morning was the coaches clinic for our baseball league in town. Basically everyone shows up and the commissioner of each of the divisions goes over rules etc. with the coaches. This year, they decided to have the meeting at the field, so everyone could help get the fields ready for the season. They usually have the meeting at one of the schools but the fields needed extra work, plus dugouts are being built on 2 of the fields so the more people they got down to the field, the more help they would have.

Well, early April weekends here are not very predictable. It would have been nice to have a nice day for everyone. Unfortunately, mother nature didn’t cooperate. It was a driving rain and in the mid-30’s. The fields didn’t get any help, but 2 of the dugout roofs were framed out. We only have 3 weeks until opening day weekend so the clock is ticking.

My oldest had his first practice Sunday morning. I have been coaching, or at least assisting with his team since t-ball when he was 5. I finally get to actually coach this year! With kids from 9-12, you can really teach them how to play the game, correct their mistakes, and expect them to pay attention. What a difference. It was another cold morning, but at least it was dry. The head coach really has it together and we spent the hour and a half on stretching, throwing and infield practice. The next practice is tonight where we are going to work on outfield and see which kids want to give pitching a try. We may get to batting today also. It is a lot of fun and should be a fun year. My son seems to fit right in, talent wise, with all the others, so it will be great for him to play with the bigger kids. We practice 3 times a week until the season starts, which is another big difference over the previous levels he has played, and I have coached.

After practice yesterday, we hung out for the early afternoon, watched a little of the Sox game (man, they are off to a hot start), until we had to leave for the Celtics game. The Celtics are pretty awful, as they showed by losing to the Knicks yesterday, but my oldest loves them so I got tickets to 4 games at the beginning of the season. This was the last one we had tickets for and I bought an extra ticket so my 5 year old could go too. Since the game was at 4pm, I figured it was a good time for him to go and this was his first game. He loved it. Every time the piped in crowd noise started the chant for “De-fense, De-fense” he was yelling it out loud. It was fun.

My wife had decided to go over her brother’s house for the afternoon with my youngest. My niece is his age so they could play for the afternoon and my wife could visit. When my cell rang just 5 minutes into the game, I figured my wife was calling to check and see how my 5 year old was liking the game. She wasn’t.

“Hey, how are you?”
“Hi, well not so great. Don’t worry, he is ok but I am on my way to the ER”
“What do you mean? What happened??”
“Well, he is ok, but I think I need to bring him. He was jumping off the stairs and hit his head on the bricks.”

Apparently, my almost 3 year old maniac was being himself by jumping off the stairs or something. He like s to jump from like the 5th or 6th step in our house, so it doesn’t surprise me. Unfortunately, this time, he smashed the back of his head on the front of the brick stairs outside their house.

She said the blood was everywhere instantly and she was freaking out. Luckily, my sister in law is a pediatric nurse. She said that once he stopped crying, he blood would stop too. She held a towel over the wound and it did, but he had a nasty cut so my wife went to the ER. After a lovely 3 hour wait, the stuck 2 staples into my kids head. Staples, wtf? We are talking like metal staples here. Apparently, the head doesn’t like that glue stuff, or stitches when the cut is like an inch and a half across or so. They had to staple his head back together. Wonderful. The doctor said he was the bravest boy she had ever seen. They put some type of numbing agent on but he could still feel it. The put the stuff on and said it had to sit for 20 minutes. An hour and 20 minutes later, my wife gently touched his head while he was looking the other way and he said, “oww”. When the doctor finally came in, my wife told her that, but she said that it was still a little bit numb, and to make it moreso, she would have to give him 2 needles, which would hurt more than the staples going in anyway. With that, she stuck the staples in. My wife said he looked at her and gave her the big bottom lip, but that was it.

I knew he was fine when he got home, 2 hours after his bedtime, after finally getting something to eat on the way home, and proudly announced to me, “look at my nice new tissues!”. The nurse had distracted him by giving him a small box of tissues in the office. Hey whatever works I guess. My oldest, being very concerned when he heard the news, bought his brother a little Celtics ball at the game. My 5 year old also got some gold colored ball at the game. The second thing he said was, “wow, that’s a nice magic ball you have!”. We all cracked up (no pun intended) knowing that he was back to himself.

He has to go back to the doctor in 5-7 days and get the staples removed. Wonder if they use those claw staple remover things to get them out?

The funniest thing that happened this weekend also came from my youngest. We went out to lunch on Saturday at a local restaurant on the water that gets really busy during the tourist summer months. It was pretty quiet other than us. There were a few older couples in there also but we were seated next to a window. My little one is standing on his seat and looking closely at the bottom edge of the window and I see a little gnat swooping around, which is fascinating him.

Boy: “There’s a mosquito right there”
Me: “Ok, sit down, you are going to fall.”
Boy: pfft
Boy: “I just blew him”
Wife: “That’s something daddy never wanted to hear.”

Doh, not that there is anything wrong with that or anything. Anyway…

As far as poker goes, not a great weekend. I didn’t play a lot, and when I did, I played pretty poorly. My bankroll on Full Tilt has been taking a beating while I donk it up in my SNG challenge. I think I have only cashed in 3 of 11 so far and I am down about $20. I have also been playing some NL. I have been having a nasty time getting up about half a buy-in, then giving it back and half of my own buy-in. I have had some bad suckouts against me, but for the most part, I am not playing very solid. I may need to give it a break for a while and only play the SNGs to see what happens. I still have the money I took from Paradise to put to something useful. I may even give Kent’s new place a try. Not really sure. The FT bonus has been ridiculously slow to clear so I think I am going to abandon that one. I was also thinking that another run at UB may be worth it, since I am playing NL now and I have a huge bonus to clear there. Just not sure how much quicker that will be either.

I am hoping to get to the bar tonight after baseball practice because I want to make sure my live play isn’t rusty when I head to St. Louis at the end of the month for the Amateur Poker League national championship. I haven’t been able to get there lately for one reason or another. They sent out my invite the other day and apparently Moneymaker will be at the tourney. Not sure what else is going on during the tourney but hopefully I will have some fun in St. Louis. If anyone is in that area, let me know. I am planning to play at either the Ameristar or Harrah’s the weekend of April 29th and 30th.

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