Returning the Favor and other Slices of Life

Returning the Favor
Returning the Favor
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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Some people never learn

And I'm one of them. So earlier this year (yes I realize that this year is only two months old and it's retarded for me to have absorbed a bit of information and forgotten it within that time frame) I read a post by F-Train about chasing losses and how dumb most of our behavior gets when we're chasing a loss.

So when I found myself in AC on Sunday morning stuck $250 after a $450 swing at Harrah's the night before (I know, Karol, I shoulda just gone to Resorts) I didn't retreat to the limit games. I didn't try the low buy-in SNGs. I didn't even suck it up and go home, confident in my ability even with a slightly bruised ego.

Oh no, none of that. I decide to try my hand at $2/5 NL for the first time in my life at the Borgata, a room I had already been warned was a little sharkier than most in AC.

Yeah, that's the kinda thinking that comes out of the SC public education system.

So I sit down at a brand new $2/5 table, look around at the stack everybody else has, and buy in for $300. That works, since I'm not really comfortable buying in for more than that, and yet it put me right about in the middle as far as stack size went.

For about half an orbit, til my top pair with an open-ender didn't improve against a flopped two pair when all the money went in on the flop and I got stacked.

Yeah, this game is fun.

So I rebuy for another $300 and tighten up. I generally play only decent hands and only speculate in late position, but things aren't looking good for our hero. I've missed the flops and gotten my continuation bets raised a couple times with AQ/AK and the like, and had to make those laydowns, when I look down at pocket Cowboys. Brokeback mountain. KK in the hole. I'm in the small blind, and as I'm trying to decide exactly how to play the hand, the gentleman in the 4 seat raises to $25. I have about $175 in front of me, so I stick it all in the middle, hoping to drive out the limpers.

I get called in two places, my Kings hold up on a board with every face card except a King, and I'm back to almost even. That prompts much more folding on my part, since the clear message from my tablemates was that they would call all my legitimate hands, so I may as well wait for them, play them strong, and not sweat too much about revealing the strength of my hand, because they won't believe me anyway!

So I sit back for a little while until I get chiseled down a touch from missing some draws and getting blinded off, when I look down at AQo. I'm in late position and there's an early position raise to $25. The standard raise has been $20-30, with 4-5 callers for that money, so there's no question I'm reraising here. Not just to find out where I am, but to drive out the cheap calls that were coming behind me. There's a call of the $25 by the same nice man in the 4s (who was a solid player, he just happened to be the guy who came out 2nd-best to me in these two hands), and then I raise to $75. Folds around to the original raiser, who mucks, and the caller in the 4s calls the extra $50.

Flop comes AJ6 rainbow, he checks to me. The pot is around $200 now, and I have around $300 in front of me. Any bet commits me, and any call commits him, so I shove. He calls almost immediately and I throw up a little in my mouth.

"Ace-Jack?" I ask.

"No," he says, flipping up his KT for the gutshot draw. I turn up my AQ and he hits none of his three outs, so I double up and the second-largest pot of my life. I'm now back to even for the entire trip on the back of two hands, and I have enough chips to breathe with. I manage to chip up a little more, when a new guy sits down.

"Man, that's some storm out there."

Returning to the vomitous theme, I ask in a nauseated voice "Huh?"

"It's snowing and sleeting. The roads are getting really bad."

I now realize that I'm 4 hours from my flight's scheduled departure time and 60 miles from the airport. I'll be driving unfamiliar roads through winter weather conditions to make my flight, which may or may not take off. I think about just taking a room at the Borgata for the night (that table was gooood), but decide that I should try to go to work on Monday and I'm pretty tired of sleeping alone, so I'm gonna try to get home.

I then realized that to make it home safely, I should rack up right then and hit the road. But I had just paid time, so I decided to stay through that dealer's down and leave in half an hour.

What? I'd just paid time. There was no way I was leaving right then. Besides, I made it back, so it must not have been too cracked-out.

Clint was good for the game

We're not sure what he was on, but we're pretty sure it wasn't organic. His name was Clint, and when he sat down at the $1/2 No Limit table at Harrah's Saturday night everyone's eyes got a little brighter. He was a skinny black guy around 25, and he didn't like to look at his cards. He didn't want you to look, either.

"He's cheating!" He yelled.

"What do you mean?" asked the dealer.

"He looked at his cards. I ain't looked yet, that's cheating. I ain't gone look, he shouldn't look neither!"

And he didn't. He didn't look when I looked. He didn't look when I raised to $15 preflop. He didn't look when I bet $25 on the raggedy flop. He didn't look when I bet $30 on the turn. He didn't look when I bet another $25 on the river. When I turned over my AQ for an Ace-high, he asked "Do I gotta show now?"

"Only if you want a chance to win, dear" said the dealer.

So he turns over his Q5. And rakes the pot with his turned pair of fives. I couldn't be mad. He won the hand, fair and square. But on the very next hand...

I didn't look either.

We only lost a few bucks apiece on that one, but Clint blew through his buyin (and part of mine) in very short order before wandering off. Some people call the trip from the poker table to the ATM the walk of shame, but in Clint's case it was better termed the lurch of shame, as he pinballed off one table after another in his efforts to find the bathroom and then the ATM, his Pirates jacket half on and half dragging the floor behind him.

Every once in a while you'll find a player like Clint. And this time, everybody at the table knew how to behave. Nobody ever got angry with him for playing like a drunken jackass. Everybody made sure Clint was having a good time, some folks would usually limp into a pot blind with him, just to make sure he stayed happy, and when he'd win a pot everybody would clap for him. Clint was good for the game, and everybody there knew it. Nobody wanted Clint to leave, especially the dealers, since Clint tipped every hand, win or lose, usually $2-3 per hand.

But eventually he got broke, and when he made his meandering way back to the poker room, he was shown to another table. We all looked around at each other, somebody muttered "they don't know what they're in for," and the seat change list got real full, real fast.

Good luck and godspeed Clint, wherever you are, I hope you're still flying high.

Something I learned in AC

I've known for a while that I'm not a limit poker player. I can lose a rack quicker at a $2/4 table than almost anyone I know. It really crystallized for me on this trip, though, that I am really not a limit poker player.

It was one thing when I was playing online, following four tables of $2/4 and keeping my interest that way. But I don't have the patience for live limit poker, and nowhere did I prove that more true than at the Tropicana.

I walked in to play the pink chip game, but wussed out and got on a list for a $4/8 game. I've never played as high as the pink chip game, and it looked like it was pretty rocking, so I didn't quite want to jump right in.

There was a list for $4/8, so I took a $1/2 seat while I waited. I picked up big slick early and got all in while behind on a 3-spade board holding one spade against a set. But my fourth spade came to bail me out and I was good. Then I got KK in early position and picked up another quick hundred bucks.

So I was freerolling my $200 buy-in when I sat down to play $4/8. Fortunately I was still up enough to be freerolling my $65 tournament entry when I got up a few hours later. It wasn't anything spectacular, just one speculative hand after another that didn't get there or one big hand after another that didn't hold up. No tilt, no bad beats, just mediocre play and one of my main weapons being taken away from me - pressure.

Suzy asked me last time we were in Vegas what I thought my best game was and I instantly replied "No Limit cash games." In those games I have all my tools. I can chase, I can push, I can apply pressure, I can shift gears. I can do the things that make me successful playing poker. And I just can't do that at low-limit fixed limit games. Maybe at a higher limit, but I'm too gunshy about bankroll to step up and try that.

Yeah, I know I mentioned playing $2/5 at the Borgata. Yeah I know that's a more expensive game than $5/10 or really even $10/20, but I'm kinda dumb that way. So I played a little $4/8 and decided, once again, that I'm a no limit player. Unless I want to drink and donk, then it's $2/4 all the way, baby!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Under the boardwalk...

Not really, but I pretty much spent the weekend out of the sun. Here are some of the highlights to come.

I may or may not have gone all in at one point in a tournament preflop with a suited 8-4.

I may or may not have lost $100 to a pair of fives that called all my bets blind.

I may or may not have lost my luggage on a one-hour direct flight from Philly to Charlotte.

I may or may not have masqueraded as Al Can't Hang during CC's Thursday Bash.

While sitting next to Al at the Boathouse.

I may or may not have pulled off a $300 bluff with a busted flush draw.

I may or may not have paid Karol off on every single hand.

I may or may not have pulled off a $100 bluff on a pair of 3s.

I may or may not have decided that $2/5 plays no differently than $1/2.

I may or may not have gotten called in 2 places on a $175 preflop bet.

Details may or may not follow.

Dawn and Karol may or may not have proven their true degeneracy by daytripping down to AC to hang with the Falstaff.

I may (no option for may not) still be on USAirways sucks donkey balls travel tilt.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Poker at the Boat

I would not suggest betting heavily with KK when the player three to your left has Aces. If you can avoid that particular move, you will last far longer in CC's Thursday bash.

Watching a drunken Al run roughshod over his table at the Riverchasers tourney is seriously amusing. Blogging from the bar wifi is seriously ghey.

But that's what you got, so live with it.

Do Stupid People have to Pay more for their Tickets?

So I travel a bit. Nothing crazy, like Pauly, but enough to know the drill. When I arrive at the airport, I move all my metal stuff into my backpack, take off my jacket, take my laptop out of the bag, the whole drill. Most folks seem to be fairly clued in to the whole TSA procedure by now, even the unnecessarily invasive BS of taking off our shoes for X-rays.

So of course today I end up in line behind the dumbass who's obviously not read a newspaper in the past six years, and can't manage to read any of the signs posted around the airport.

So he gets to the metal detector and walks through still sipping on his Starbucks. And looks like he's never heard anything about anything when he's made to go back through the detector, throw away his coffee, and come through again.

By the time he makes it back to the detector, his bag has gone through X-Ray and come back to him, flagged. "Sir, do you have any gels or liquids in here?"


"They have to come out." So Doofus takes his shaving kit out and puts it in a bin.

"No sir, the stuff has to come out of any containers and go through." So Doofus takes his hair gel and hand creme out of his shaving kit and runs it through. Then he makes it through security, to be stopped once again at the other end.

"Sir is this yours?" Says security dude holding his bin of gel shit.


"You're only allowed 100 ml of liquid, and this is a 200 ml tube. You'll have to throw it away."

I manage to leave before he gets too petulant, but I do manage to glimpse his driver's license in the bin. No, not a foreign national who may not have access to CNN. Just a NC resident with no fucking clue.

Ahhh, stupid people tilt. What a way to start a trip. Al, get the SoCo ready!

If you want a good laugh...

Come visit me in the glorious Rock Hill this April. I will be making my return to the stage (in front of the lights this time) as Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew for a newly reborn Shakespeare Carolina the last two weekends in April. I haven't acted in about three years, so this will be a reawakening of those muscles. It's a good cast, and I'm pretty thrilled to be part of the project.

Come visit if you get a chance. We can make a home game happen post-performance if folks wanna.

Oh, and this is what I've been doing all week.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

In which our hero departs the Southern Climes for the coasts of Jersey...

So tomorrow I depart the land of the Mason and Dixon for the Jersey coast. The city of Atlantic, to be more specific. Work is dragging me up to Delaware, and I'll be damned if I'm gonna be 90 minutes outside of a place with actual legal gambooling and not take advantage of it!

Plus, it's always cheaper for the company if I book myself to stay over a Saturday night and fly on Sunday, so I'm really being fiscally responsible, right?

Anyway, I plan to get into Philly tomorrow night and go in search of the wild CantHang, a beast easily flushed from hiding by the lure of a pecuiar amber-colored beverage and small white cylinders packed with tobacco. I have the utmost faith I may find him chasing a river, as that is his wont many Thursdays this year.

Then it's on to Cracklantic City, where I plan to play at least one tourney and dip my toes into the pink chip game at the Trop. I might return to the scene of the crime at the Borgata, if for no better reason than to run through the 3/6 tables screaming "No tapioca for you! No tapioca for you!"

You really needed to be there. Anyway, if you're gonna be there (DAWN), call a brutha. If you don't got my number, email me for 'em.

Monday, February 19, 2007


You ever feel like there's just so much to do that it's pointless to start ANY of it? That's kinda where I am lately. Just when I feel a sense of relief that I'm done with one show and only have to focus on one more this week, I get that little twinge of panic that starts saying "yeah, but you've got a show next week, then a conference the week after, then two shows the week after that, so what are you feeling good about?"

I hate that little voice. Couple that little bastard with all the other random shit I've got going on and it's just getting silly. I've started up a bunch of random websites, trying to take a page out of this guy's book on monetizing web traffic and all that jazz, but they take work to maintain and grow. So some are doing better than others. I'm also considering taking the content I've created on Full Shill Poker and moving it here, but I'm not sure. I kinda like having a place to just toss up poker news articles without any kind of real writing, but it also kinda makes sense to have all my poker content in one place. So not sure there.

My personal blog has become my theatre blog, since I've been doing so many shows lately and am trying to keep this one a little more focused, but who knows how long that will last. That will also be the home for any PayPerPost stuff once I get my 10 posts outta the way and can start putting stuff over there.

And there's my home page, which will eventually be a one-stop shop portal to all my interweb stuff, as well as my online portfolio, if I can ever get it built. Which could take a while. There's nothing there yet, thus no link.

Oh yeah, and I have a day job. And a marriage. We watched a movie together yesterday. Lady in the Water. Eh. I'm of the opinion that M. Night Shamalamadingdong's movies have declined steadily since the beginning, but Suzy still digs them. We're glad we rented this one, though. Not worth owning.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Pay Per Post offers new revenue-generating tool for bloggers

You may have seen a couple of my sponsored posts that I've done via PayPerPost. This is a site where you go over there, look up their "open opportunities," click on things that you want to write about, and get paid anywhere from $3 to $25 to write a blog post about them. There are some opportunities that pay a pile more money, like over $100, but they are typically a narrower field of blogs or have specific PageRank or Alexa requirements. So far I like them, they pay me on time and deposit directly into my PayPal account, which never hurts my feelings.

So they started a new tye of affiliate signup thing, called ReviewMyPost. The way it works is like this - you put their code on the bottom of your blog post. Any old post, not necessarily a sponsored PPP post. Someone new to the program clicks on your banner and signs up with Pay Per Post. They then get a custom review opportunity just for them to review your blog post that brought them to Pay Per Post. I can't say that I'm going to put the code at the bottom of every single post I write, but I might throw it in there from time to time.

They get paid $7.50 for the review of your blog post, and you get paid $7.50 once they get paid (usually 30 days after the post is approved). This is a pretty smart way to sign up affiliates and has some potential to generate traffic for your site as well. I don't know if it's going to really generate the "thousands of links back to your site" that the website describes, but it might be a decent way to add a few coins to the coffers every now and then.

Ass, meet dragging

Got done with the dance concert last night, then had strike. Ooohh, fun. head over to Arranger for more details if you wanna hear me whine about striking a dance concert. Then cruised of to K's house for a little pokery goodness, at least until he got tired and decided to kick us all out, which would be an indeterminate time in the future.

I bought in for $50, the max at our little home game, and quickly realized that it was going to be a little difficult. Warbucks had just won a huge pot, which meant he would call almost anything, and Brian had a big-ass pile of chips, which meant that he would be raising more than normal. T was short, and K was short, but both of them still had close to $50 in front of them. I farted around a little chasing an open-ender that missed and seeing flops that were more expensive than anything I should have seen, when I got the action I wanted on a hand, just not the result.

I pick up 88 (I don't remember position, but I wasn't a blind). I pot it, get a couple callers.Flop comes down 10h 6h 8c, Jim leads out $5, and I repot it for a raise of $18. Jim does exactly what I want him to do, which is call with a flush draw, then does exactly what I don't want him to do, which is hit the flush on the turn. It's another $18 for me to call his obvious flush and hope for the board to pair, so I even comment to the fact that I'm not man enough to fold to his flush, and call. Board does not pair, and I'm on my first rebuy. I add about $20 to that buyin by the time the night ends to put me down just a touch for the night. Jim ends up big winners for the night on the basis of a big hand he made before I got there, his flush on me and a two-outer he got on Brian, that went down something like this.

Brian raises pot preflop, Jim reraises pot, Brian calls the extra $5 or $6. They're heads-up, flop comes down JTx and I don't remember suits because they were irrelevant. IIRC, Brian led out with a pot-sized bet. Jim flashes QQ to me sitting next to him, and I shake my head a little thinking "he's gonna call and he's way, way behind. Brian doesn't call a reraise preflop and then lead out on that board without at least two pair, more likely a set." Jim calls.

Brian gives him a huge Christmas gift right here.

He checks the turn and Jim checks behind. River is a Queen and Brian leads with $20. Jim raises to $40 and Brian makes the crying call. Brian is steaming hard, and I bite the inside of my cheek to keep from asking why he checked the turn. We chatted briefly afterwards and he admitted that he might have been able to take the hand down with a pot-sized bet on the turn. It's not a given that he could have pushed Jim off the hand, but I don't know if he woulda called another $40 - $50 with just a pair in his hand and no redraws to anything.

It was good to hang with everybody for a couple hours after the stress of the dance festival week, even if I did continue to pay for the privilege, as has been my tendency the past couple weeks. Might be able to have a game at the house next week, but I'll be heading to Atlantic City this weekend. Call me if you're up there.

Friday, February 16, 2007

How bad did I play this?

OMFG! Poker Content! Warning, Warning, Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!

I sat down for my first cash game session on the internet poker machine of 2007 last night. Yep. So far this year my only online poker activity has been one Mookie and one hour of play last night. So an interesting hand actually came up at the $3/6 table on Full Tilt. Hand histories suck, so here's the narrative version.

I'm in the BB with 5h7h. There's one limper and the button raises. He does this a lot, and I caught him once doing it with T7o, so his hand range is wide, to say the least. I like suited one-gappers, and I'm getting good odds to draw (currently 4:1 with the implied 5:1 that the limper calls if I do) so I call. Limper calls.

8dAhJh - a pretty good flop for me, with the flush draw and a backdoor straight draw, but I'm only really looking at the pretty hearts at this point. I check, limper checks, Button bets. Call, call. In retrospect I coulda bet here to see where I was, but I was pretty sure the limper would call and the button would raise regardless, given past hand experiences, so I don't think I would have actually gotten any valid data.

6d on the turn give me the straight draw to go with my flush draw and I figure I can really garner information on the expensive street. I check, limper checks, button bets, I raise. I figure the limper isn't going to call 2BB cold with just the flush or straight draw, so if he calls he's got at least an ace. Which then means that all my 13 outs are good, at least as far as he's concerned.

He calls, button makes it 3 bets. there's good intel. He's led out every street, but putting the third bet out on the expensive street screams real strength, so he's got two pair at least, or maybe trips. I haven't seen anything to show me that he will bet a draw that hard, so again, my 13 outs are good. If I hit, I'm gold. So let's maximize my potential. I cap it. Limper calls, button calls.

River is 3h, one of my many gin cards. I bet, limper folds and button makes the crying call. I'm right, my 13 outs were good v. button's AJo for top two. So here are my questions on the hand -
1) how bad was the call of the preflop raise? I know it was a touch loose, but again, if I hit I'm paid off huge.
2) how bad was capping the bets on the turn? I put an extra $18 in the pot by check-raising and then calling and then capping. This was definitely the risky part of the hand, but if I'm going to chase, why not make the most money possible when I hit, rather than just trying to minimize losses?

I await the wisdom of the masses. I felt like it wasn't horrible play, just a little LAGgy. Obviously the guy I drew out on thought it was pretty horrible play, but I don't really care what he thought.

And anybody wanna buy some Full Tilt dollars? I'll happily transfer to someone for money I can actually use in the real world, especially since I don't play much online anymore and certainly won't have any time to play in the next several weeks.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


If you're looking for poker content, you'll have to look elsewhere. I haven't had time to even shuffle a deck of cards since the weekend, and that's a situation that's likely to continue until next weekend, when I hope to be hanging with the Reverend on Friday and then making a crackhed trek to AC on Saturday. If it doesn't all get fucked up by my client. Even if it does I might still go anyway. The ticket's already paid for, so why not, right?

Anywho, after rehearsal last night Suzy and I sat down for a nice dinner and a movie. Nothing big, just some good food and a little time together. We've both been so crazy in production for the last couple of months that these little moments when we can steal them have been great. She had to turn in early because she has the glory that is jury duty this morning. Hopefully she doesn't have to do anything on an actual trial, because we're supposed to have our new fridge delivered tomorrow, and she needs to be home to tell the guys where to put it.

I know, exciting, right? I'm working on a series of poker chip articles on my Gambling Blog, so if you're in the market for home game chips, head over there from time to time to see about upgrading from those shitty plastic chips you got for christmas from Aunt Louise.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Tony G is a stand-up guy

In the old-school, guy on the corner that you know has your back kinda way. Here's the deal:

Tony G started up a poker site. Like many others, Tony was told by his legal folks that he can't accept wagers from US customers anymore. Tony felt bad, and tried to keep the site open for as long as possible before succumbing to the UIGEA.

So far, sounds not dissimilar to many other sites, right? Here comes the shift.

Tony realized that he was going to be cutting a bunch of people adrift and recent developments with Neteller and other payment processors was going to make it very difficult for them to get their money. So he said "transfer your account balance to me, and I'll transfer it into another poker site for you."

Tony G personally is taking responsibility for the players on his site. I know just the barest minimum of what goes on backstage at this site, and I believe with my whole beady little heart that this is genuinely Tony putting his money where his mouth is.

So if you have money on Tony G poker, you can transfer it to Tony, and he'll put it into another poker room where you can get to it. That's a stand-up guy, any way you wanna look at it.

And Wil Wheaton is a motherfucker. Pure and simple addiction-fueling MOTHERFUCKER. And since he turned Wil onto it in the first place, Absinthe is a motherfucker-by-proxy. Transmetropolitan is the absolute fucking bomb! Imagine Pauly and Otis rolled into one body with a perpetual Waffles rant going on all the time. Warren Ellis is a genius. I gotta go sign up for more freelance work so I can buy the other 8 volumes of Spider Jerusalem. If you haven't read this yet, GET THE FUCK OFF THE COUCH, BITCHES!!!

Yes, I find I swear more in the hours immediately following reading anything by Warren Ellis. It's kinda like listening to the Sex Pistols, only really, really literate Sex Pistols.

By Popular Demand

This is Robin Goodfellow
And this is Miss OpheliaFor more Shakespearean goodies, go to my other blog, which will fast become my rehearsal journal if I get cast in Taming of the Shrew, which I auditioned for last night. I feel good about the audition, and it should be a smokin' show.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Tale of two games

It was the best of nights, it was the worst of nights. There's not much better of a feeling than taking your third buy-in of the night all the way up to a four buy-in profit in one night.

There's not a much worse feeling than giving it all away 24 hours later to the same people.

The running joke among some of us in our home game is that we've been swapping the same $100 back and forth between each other for the past two years. As silly as it sounds, it's pretty close to true. There have been a few people who come in once or twice, donate and never return, or swoop in once or twice, make decent scores and never return, but for the most part, it's a typical home game. The guy that wins this weekend will be down next weekend, and so on.

I was both those guys this weekend. Saturday night started off rough, with my typical inability to get anything cranking early on, and dropping two buy-ins pretty early. Then I ran my third buy-in up pretty hard, thanks in large part to this hand.

Blinds are $.25/.50, and I straddle, because, well, it was my turn, and that's what I do. About fourteen people come in off the street to call my straddle, because that's what happens when I straddle.

Brian raises pot (we switched the home game to pot limit a couple weeks ago to cool the jets of Captain Overbet, and it's making the playing field a little more level), which is $6 at that point. I think this might be a good time to look at my cards.

Hiltons. In. My. Straddle.



So I pop it up another $18.

Tresa calls, which puts her all in.

Fuck. She doesn't invest much into a pot unless she's got a decent hand. I may have just run my straddled bitches into KK. And yes, she has been known to limp with Kings, so it was possible.

NewGuyDon calls. NewGuyDon always calls, so this just means that he has an ace. This also puts him all-in, and creates a second side pot. Nate folds, which may be the first time on record Nate has folded preflop when there was a significant pot going. His usual MO is to call pretty much any stupid-ass raise preflop if there's a decent sized pot and hope to hit with his trash.

He usually does, which is why we hate him. But he sometimes doesn't, which is why we love him.

Brian looks at me like "WTF did you start?"

I shrug, trying to hide the fact that my nuts have shrivelled up to subatomic particles when my $24 bet has gotten two callers.

Brian folds, and my rectum de-puckers a little.

Flop comes Ace high. Nobody has turned their shit up yet. I'm sure I'm behind here.


Turn is a Q, and I table my ladies.

River is a blank. Don and Tresa both look like I just took a dump in their Cheerios. Don mucks, Tresa shows me pocket dueces and mucks.

I'm pretty sure Don had an ace, but Tresa had hit her two-outer on the flop, since the flop was Ace high, but duece-low.

Then I hit my two-outer on the turn. A little sick, but she's used to it, because I cracked her Aces with KK two weeks ago. Basically, if Tresa and I have all the money in preflop, I'm probably going to come from behind at some point to win. No matter how far ahead I was when the money went in, like this time.

That gave me ammunition and I was able to pick up a few big hands and build a pretty ridiculous stack by the time the night was over.

Then last night I gave it all to Warbucks.

All of it.

Again and again.

And then again some more.

My whole night could be summed up with the last hand. Jim straddles, and I call the straddle with 89o. I know it's trash, but I can easily get away from trash if I miss.

I didn't miss. I flop T9Q, Jim checks (still without looking at his cards), I bet about $5, pretty much the size of the pot.

Fold. Fold. Fold. Jim decides this is a good time to look at his cards. He peeks at the first one and calls.

Okay, Jim has at worst a nine. If he didn't at least have second pair, he would have looked at the other one before calling.

Turn is a J. Gin! I know Jim's only looked at one, and I know I'm ahead of what he knows he has.
Jim checks, I push all in for about $50. If I win, I'm less in the hole, if I lose, it's really easy to count my chips.

Jim turn his hand face up, showing the 10, and says "Let's see if I can call you." Then he slides the second card out from under then 10 (this is the first time he's looked at his second hole card) revealing the King.

I push my stack across the table. I wait for the blank on the river to not be a King and make a chop, then push my stack across the table.

That was my night in a nutshell. Cramped and dark is my night in a nutshell, but that's irrelevant. I got more action than I wanted on my medium hands, and no action on my big hands. There may be a two-week hiatus in the home game as I'm in production for the NC Dance Festival this weekend and the UNCC Opera production of Dido and Anaeas next weekend, so I can lick my wounds in peace for a bit.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

You know you want to...

Pre-order the last Harry Potter book from Amazon. Why not, it'll save you having to be one of "those people" standing in line at midnight. Because you will. I know, I saw you there last time.

What this Neteller BS means - I think

So I saw the press release from Neteller today telling us all that our great government seized nearly $55 million in US customers' funds that were in the process of being transferred out of Neteller. I feel bad for all of you who got fucked in this way, because I believe your money is gone, daddy, gone.

You see, our government has a tendency to sieze property and money that it thinks is acquired via illegal means. Couple that with the fact that our government has decided that gambling online is illegal, and it equals fucked. Now I'm sure a bunch of people are out cavorting with the illusion that the 270-day window of enforcement for the UIGEA hasn't closed yet, but you're wrong.

There was never a window. There was never a loophole. The minute the law was signed into effect, it became illegal to do the things that the law says are illegal. The 270-day time frame was for the Treasury department to figure out how to enforce the law. And it never said anything about not enforcing the law until 270 days were up, it merely told banks that it may take that long to figure out what they were going to have to do as a result of the law.

So if you were playing poker on the internet after the passage of the UIGEA, you were putting yourself voluntarily at risk. We were putting ourselves voluntarily at risk, because I am certainly one of the group I am addressing. If you were a financial institution transferring money to online gambling sites after the passage of the UIGEA, you were breaking the law.

So the Department of Justice saw a run on the bank after the arrests of the Neteller Two, and saw a bunch of money that they could latch onto. And they did. And there are enough murky legalities about whether or not we were all breaking the law to allow them to hold onto your money indefinitely.

Oh yeah, and since they're bringing in a team of forensic accountants (why do I get visions of Quincy with a green eyeshade?) to go over the Neteller books, they'll also likely be preparing a report to the IRS on everyone in Neteller's logs, not just the folks that have had their money seized. So if you think you dodged the bullet, don't count on it. The taxman is probably the next knock you'll hear on the door.

Sorry if I don't sound too optomistic or sympathetic, but we all knew better. I feel bad for my friends that have lost money in this debacle, especially folks that were paid via Neteller for other work that wasn't gambling, but we all shoulda seen the writing on the wall. I feel very, very lucky that I got my money out the day before they cut off Neteller cards.


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Additions and acclimation

So we went to PetSmart this weekend and adopted two orphaned kittys. I know, big surprise. We've named the girl Ophelia, and she is pretty much furniture. She'll lay on the floor or sofa and allow you to pet her, but I'm not sure she actually moves. I haven't named the boy yet, but I'm leaning towards Robin Goodfellow, because he is certainly a puckish little guy. He's all over anything that will sit still, and jumps and climbs and manages to frighten himself at least once each day.

They can't replace Bela, and Suzy and I were actually jsut talking about that this morning. But they needed love, and we needed someone to get underfoot as we walk up and down stairs, so it's a pretty good match. Unfortunately, he's a long-hair, so next time BadBlood comes to visit I'll have to make sure to have plenty of benadryl on hand. Anyway, thanks to everyone again for all the comments, emails and IMs, you helped us through a rough time more than you know. I'm always thankful for my invisible internet friends, and my visible poker friends, all of whom missed our big boy at the game last weekend.

Grr...Bubble Boy

No real excitement, I played the local tourney last night. This time it was just $120 freezeout without the usual rebuy/add-on. Started at 8500 chips after the $10 dealer toke for 1,000 in chips, so it was a $130 freezeout. Since that's what I budget for this tourney on a normal week it wasn't really any different other than tighter play early since no rebuys.

I didn't get any real hands of note, picked up KK once early, re-raised TT, he made a good read, announced my Kings to the table and folded face up. I played pretty tight, but never had enough chips to get aggressive and when my M got down into the red I got a string of non-pushable hands. Finally went all-in with QJo v. AQo and IGCGN.

That's I Go Cash Game Now for the unfamiliar. Cash game was fun, not a ton of money on the table, so I felt unhindered by buying in for $100 at a time for $1/2 NLHE. That was a little heavier than the average buyin, and I managed to make my second one last a lot longer.

I wish I were Dawn and had a great story about losing my first buyin, but I don't. I played like an ass and gave my chips away. Then my KK held against AJ and I got most of that buyin back.

But really, why not just CALL the re-raise with AsJs rather than coming over the top all-in? He raised, I re-raised, he pushed, I called, they held, HGATMN (He Go ATM Now). I didn't understand the push with a less-than marginal hand. Maybe I'm learning.

It's a decent game, but there's not enough money on the table to make it really profitable, and most of the players don't suck enough to make it a great game. I like the folks and the atmosphere, but I think my edge at that game is in the tourneys. I'm batting .500 in cashes there, but still lifetime negative since the nights that I don't cash I blow through even more in the cash games. I dropped about $200 total for the night, which isn't bad, but this is where losing online poker is really biting me in the ass.

I'm not bankrolled for $1/2 consistently live. And I'm certainly not bankrolled for a $130 tourney every week. Because the cold facts of tournament play are that you will lose more often than you win, so it's hard to watch my bankroll drop by 10% each week until I rebound with a 2nd-place finish for $300 or so. It's not really sustainable, so I need to find a softer cash game to fund those tourney buyins. There are a bunch of other games around town, but I've got a fuckton of freelance work coming up in the next few weeks that will severely reduce my playing time.

But I've got a game at my house Saturday night, a $120 HORSE tourney Saturday afternoon, and a $25 NLHE tourney Sunday night, so I'll be able to store up my poker jones for a couple weeks.

Monday, February 05, 2007


It was a year ago Saturday that my uncle committed suicide. I got nothing else, really. Just a sobering moment when I realized it while sitting at the Firestone place getting new tires for the PT Cruiser, which is running out its lease soon. I hate February. A lot.

Need a new Poker Table?

This is a sponsored post.

If you're looking for a new poker table, and want to do something considerably nicer than the old card table with ratty green felt that your brother-in-law Cletus has been sporting in his garage (complete with plastic chips and Bee cards), then cruise over to Cardroom Supply and check out their selection.

These are not your Dick's Sporting Goods $99 piece-o-crap poker tables, these are the real deal. From a customizable table with folding legs that can have your logo airbrushed onto the felt to a really pretty dining/poker table with expandable leaf and set of chairs, Cardroom Supply has something to fit pretty much every budget and sense of taste. Unless you're Cletus, then you might have to go back to Wal-Mart.

I had to look long and hard at the Weber "Elite" Table, with your choice of different colors of speed cloth, velveteen or several different racetrack finishes, but it'll be a while before I have a couple grand to drop on a poker table. Like after I buy a new couch, but that's kind of a given if you've had to sit on my sofa anytime in the last year.

They've got toppers, folding leg table, octagonal tables and racetrack style oval tables, with pedestal legs, furniture-style legs, casino-style feet, footrails, dealer cutouts, chip trays, whatever kind of options you can imagine, they've got it. They promise next-day shipping on most of their tables, and ship anywhere.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Spice up the home game

So because our home game is full of tightboxes and needs more action (yeah, right!) we added something into the game that I stole and adapted from the G-Vegas boys. Last time I was down there, they had a high had jackpot running. Straight flush ten high or better wins 80% of the jackpot. 20% stays in for seed money, and it's built by taking $1 out of every pot $20 or bigger. I don't know if anybody down there has hit it yet, but it's getting to be a nice little pile of cash.

Well our game is smaller, and I didn't want to deal with rolling the jackpot over from week to week, so we do a high hand jackpot each night. No qualifier, we just set a time of night, and whoever has the highest hand by that point in the evening gets all the jackpot money. We build it by taking $.50 out of every pot that sees a flop (the equivalent of one big blind). Since it's incredibly rare that it doesn't get to the flop, it ends up being $.50/hand. All the jackpot goes to whoever has the biggest full house by that point in the night, although Phil missed it by 20 minutes last night when he caught his one-outer against Nate to crack Nate's top set with his quads. So far it's been a boat that won each week, and it ends up being $20-30, but it's kinda neat, and nobody notices the drop because it's coming out in such small increments out of every pot.

The new clay quarters made their first appearance last night, as did the 100 clay Nevada Jacks $1 chips I picked up off of If you're into poker chips and haven't spent any time there, DON'T. It gets addictive. I have more chips than I need NOW, much less what I'm gonna end up with if I spend too much more time on Chiptalk. That reminds me, I gotta go to the den and make room for the 300 chips I've got coming in next week...