Returning the Favor and other Slices of Life

Returning the Favor
Returning the Favor
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Friday, November 30, 2007

So now I'm starting...

To get a little excited about next week's trip. I've tried hard not to get myself too worked up about the trip, but Suzy is really excited, and it's starting to get me as well.

I helps that it's Friday and my busy-ass week, with some uncertainty in the workplace (not my uncertainty, I know where too many bodies are buried) is coming to a close. As the end of the year rolls around, this is the one time of the year when I think a lot about sales numbers and shit like that. We have a profit-sharing program at work, and all the divisions need to hit their goals for us to make their profit share.

In other words, no matter how good you do, if the organization as a whole sucks the big one, no X-mas bonus.

Not unfair. And I don't mind, as it's a quantifiable amount coming, and a target to shoot for, rather than some type of voodoo bonus thing that no one can figure out. But as the year draws to a close, we're going to be a close thing to make our nut to get a profit sharing check.

Really, if you structure your goals right, along about November it should be a close thing every year. If you set your goal too low, then people work hard for half the year, get to the goal and fuck off for 6 months. If you set the goal too high, people realize by summer that it's unattainable and fuck off for the rest of the year. If you set the goal right, at the end of Q3, you're probably +/- 2% of goal. Which we were.

Now my group is probably going to miss our goal by 10% this year. That's due in part to the vagaries of construction scheduling, with over $500K of projects that I expected to bill this year getting pushed off until next year. It takes a long time to build a church or a school, and the lighting and rigging is one of the last thing in, so if the project is delayed, we're delayed, and our billing gets pushed. That's just the way it works.

But that just means that I'm a little more focused at work lately, as the year is drawing to a close and I have to focus on things like profit sharing, projections for 2008, wrapping up 2007, and shit like that. Not to mention long-range planning for myself and my team. God, I sound like middle management.

God, I am middle management.

Anyway, nobody who reads this stuff is at all interested in any of that, other than to say that it's why I've been able to put off getting really psyched about next week until now. But now that it's on the horizon, I'm getting stoked. There are a bunch of new people that I'm looking forward to meeting, and of course old friends that I can't wait to see again.

7 Things I want to make sure I have time to do in Vegas -

1) Buy Pauly a drink of seven. He put in a good word with Schecky for me and that led to a nice gig. I owe him one.

2) Buy Schecky and Linda a drink or three. Linda took a big chance on me a couple years ago and actually started paying me to write about poker, and now she and Schecky fund these trips to Vegas through PokerWorks and PokerNews. I'd buy Haley a drink too, but she's wussing out on the trip, so it'll have to be a rain check.

3) Listen to Johnny Hughes. I'm really looking forward to meeting this dude, and watching him play. I don't know that I'm in the right league to play with him, but I'm really grateful that Iggy has brought him into our fold.

4) Ogle Carmen. A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.

5) Buy Al a birthday drink. Since I couldn't make it down to Key West due to rehearsals for a play that was cancelled before it ever saw the light of day (not only did I kill the play, the whole company is now defunct. I rock!), I owe the man a shot.

6) Karaoke with Gary. Just for the entertainment value alone, this drunken hillbilly doing karaoke is not to be missed.

7) Meet new people and have fun hanging with old friends. It's typically unavoidable, and some of my most memorable moments from past trips have been spontaneous, unplanned events. Like a quick dinner with California April and Shelly in 2005, a really ridiculous breakfast at 4AM last year with Penner and Biggestron, playing Badugi with Karol and Dutch Boyd at the IP, random events like that are the special moments.

I'll see you all next week, I'm looking forward to it. I'll be easy to find, I'll have my Full Tilt jersey on Thursday night, and Saturday I'll be the guy in the kilt. There might have to be suspenders, but I promise to wear the kilt!

Thursday, November 29, 2007


The FAQ has been updated.

Go there.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Holy shit! The commercials were right...

This thing is a whole fuckton of fun!

And I have to admit that my dork friends were right, Guitar Hero is really cool! So for those of you coming to the home game on Friday night, there is Guitar Hero available for early arrivals.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

And then there was variance...

So I was on a bit of a heater, running $8 into $392 playing almost exclusively 6-max SNGs.

Yes, I had one MTT cash for $50 and then there was the nice monthly stipend from the kind folks at Full Tilt, but almost all of that was winnings. I understood somewhere in my heart that it couldn't last, that I couldn't continue to have my good hands hold up and keep hitting my draws with mathematical regularity.

But the past two days have been freakng ridiculous!

I'm not gonna claim that it's all been bad beats. There has certainly been enough evidence of poor play on my part (why do I insist on trying to make fancy plays with marginal holdings in a $10 SNG?), but cashing in 1 out of my last 15 SNGs has certainly taken a toll on my bankroll, not to mention my confidence. Saturday night, I crushed the last three that I played in the evening, pushing my fledgling roll ever-closer to the 25 buy-ins I want to have before trying the $20 SNGs.

Then there was Sunday, when I played the first 3 SNGs poorly. Too loose early, too tight late, not paying any attention to my position, all the bad things we do.

The last 4 I played on Sunday were better, at least from a play standpoint, but at some point in a tournament, you have to hit a draw to have any hope of success. I failed in that attempt. Sometimes I bet my draws, got raised off my hand, and still missed. Sometimes I called with the correct odds, missed, and folded. Sometimes I called with incorrect odds and missed. Sometimes I called out of position to draw in enough callers to manufacture the appropriate odds (this is what we call and advanced play, which loosely translates into - one which will lose you lots of mobneys), succeeded, and missed my draws.

If you miss every flush draw and open-ended straight draw for four consecutive tournaments, you will likely not cash in them. Trust me.

Then last night the Beats came along. The first couple SNGs I just sucked. I thought my head was in a good space to play, but about 5 minutes into each game, I realized that it wasn't. By this time, it was too late, as I had three tables going and couldn't get my head right. So I losted those, too. Then the next set I managed to get my thinking straight, and batten down the hatches for better play.

And three consecutive bubble finishes. After sitting through a couple of games where I realized that I was playing like a big pussy on the bubble, I decided to play more aggressively, which is likely the correct strategy.

If you can get a hand to hold up, that is. You would think that a short-stack shove in the SB into the big stack, while holding Aces, would be a great move when the big stack calls with AJ. And it is, until two Jacks flop. Left with a handful of chips, I shoved them into the middle on the next hand with A-6. I was unable to return the favor and crack his Aces.

You would also think that a short-stack shoving with As-5s would be thrilled to see an opponent call with Ad-3d. And he was, especially when the flop came down 5x-4s-Xs. Then the 2 on the river managed to give him his 3-outer, while not giving me my flush.

I know it's variance, coupled with my typical bad play, that's led to the disappearance of 1/3 of my online bankroll in 48 hours. I also know that when your bankroll is not quite $400, losing 1/3 of it doesn't equate to much in real-world dollars. But when you go out of your way to actually adhere to sound bankroll management strategies for a change, it still blows.

So I'm gonna suck it up and drop back down to the $5 SNGs until I break back through the $300 mark. The overall goal is to be able to run this meager roll into enough for a low-level WSOP buy-in next summer, because I still think that the Shootout is the best event for an amateur. I'd like to test that theory, and if I can get to $2,000 by June, we'll certainly find out.

Anyway, can't wait 'til Vegas next week, especially as I leave the office to go to a meeting where I play around in the basement of a theatre. We get to the IP around 4-5PM on Thursday, so we could be good and liquored up in time for the Geisha bar meetup that night. And I promised the wife I'd drink enough to sing karaoke with her, so bring earplugs.

No really, I appreciate the fact that I'm dead sexy, with a speaking voice that makes women purr, but my singing voice verges on the tortured rhinoceros variety.

And if you've never heard a tortured rhino, ask Uncle Bracelet about that time there was a really fat chick and a mohawk in Cleveland.

Monday, November 26, 2007

More Winter Gathering Update-ish stuff

So if I were better at organizing things, I'd put all this info in a central repository, like the 2nd tab of the spreadsheet that I've emailed to everyone.

Which I'll do here in a minute or so.

But anyway, the kind folks at the MGM Grand are gonna hook us up with a couple of tables for Mixed Games on Friday night, so I needs to know how many folkses wanna play. Because it is a Friday night, and the room will likely be full, we're gonna get the tables rolling early, like 7PM. So grab an early dinner and come over for some donkage.

Or come for some donkage and then go for a later dinner. Whichever. Just lemme know who's gonna play so I can know whether to have one table or two. With nearly 100 people already signed up, somehow I think we won't have any problem filling two tables for mixed game donkitude.

You know the email addy.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

So about that poker thing...

In an ongoing effort to shed my title of the World's Worst Internet Poker Player, I've actually been working on my game a little bit.

I know, some of you who have stacked me in person might take exception to the word "Internet" in my title, but I believe that there are live players out there who suck more than me. Not fucking many, but they exist.

There's always Waffles, for example.

I kid, I kid. But that was too easy to pass up.

But I truly suck online. So lately I've been applying a modicum of thought to my game selection, and actually playing within a bankroll, of sorts.

I may have mentioned the night I put the remaining $8 in my Full Tilt account in play and actually cashed in a $3 MTT. That gave me a little seed money to play the $2.25 6-handed SNGs. I played a few of the 9-handed, but the 6-max SNGs fit my style of play a little better.

Some people have said that I'm a little aggressive at the table. They might be right. As such, the 6-max games are a better fit. So I decided to play the $2 SNGs until I had 30 buy-ins for the $5 games. Then I'd move up until I had 30 buy-ins for the $10 games, and so on, and so on.

Well, last night, as I was 2 cashes away from moving up to the $10 games, I hit a rough patch. I went 1 for 7 cashing in $5 6-max SNGs, and ended up dropping $25 last night. And this is certainly a case where I don't really give a shit about the mobneys, but rather I'm interested in the experiment. I'm seeing just how far up the ladder I can go before I begin to encounter consistently decent play.

I'm not looking for good, I'm questing for mediocre.

Right now, I'm still not very good at internet poker. I have to open up 3 tables to keep any interest at all on the games, and frequently still find myself reading a book between all the fold, fold, fold that I'm doing. I'm playing around 25% of the hands in the games that I'm cashing in, and that's about enough to consistently cash. I've run my $8 into about $250, and think that I might be able to actually do this with some consistency for a little while, at least.

But I'm not making any money because I'm playing particularly well, it's more because my opponents suck soooooo bad they make me look like a genius. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm playing online again, although I haven't thrown my hat back into the cash game ring, which is where I go broke online time and again, and while I'm profitable, there are no worries about my expectations of performance in our little gathering in a couple of weeks, because I still suck at poker.

Home game at my place Friday, bring leftovers.

Monday, November 19, 2007


Way tired. I'm back from Orlando and still trying to figure out why I always think I'll have a bunch of downtime at these trade shows. Because I'm an idiot, I guess.

So I got to Orlando around 3ish, and it was right about 5 by the time I dealt with bags, rental car and got to Tampa. The Tampa Bay Hard Rock is a much better place to play now that it's nonsmoking and the games are different. Used to be, the poker in Florida was a max bet of $2, which made for some of the worst poker in the world that doesn't feature games like Anaconda or Follow the Bitch. Well, the Florida legislature passed laws allowing poker rooms to have no limit poker, but now the deal is you have a max buy-in of $100.

And they spread $2-5.

With a $100 max buy-in.

Let that sink in for a sec. Because they also spread $1-2.

With a $100 max buy-in. Not sure why you would bother.

Oh yeah, the minimum buy-in is also $100 for the no limit games.

So I lost my first buy-in on the second hand in truly unspectacular fashion when I thought I was willing to take a $100 coinflip and really I took an 80-20 dog to a gunfight and got the shit shot outta me, but I played for about 5 hours and managed a $250 win. The game was very loose, but I felt like I played well, except for one big hand where I lost a shitpot full of money.

I'm in the big blind and there are a million limpers. I look down at Kd-Jd and rap the table, because Tony G says KJ sucks, and I knew I wouldn't really thin the field unless I threw out more mobneys than I wanted to invest in KJ in early position.

Flop is K-K-2 and I hear sirens, choirs of angels and all that shit.

I check, because I figure no one limped with a better King than me, so let's be a little trappy. Guy in MP bets out $10, one other guy calls, and I call. Turn is a 6. I check again.

MP bets out $15, other guy folds, and I call. River is an 8, and I lead out for $50. I'm stacked with about $400 at this point in the hand, and the MP guy goes all in. It's about $160 more to call, and I think very briefly about what he could have.

All too briefly.

I call, table my trips, he shows pocket deuces for the flopped boat, and stacks my chips for what seems like an hour. I'm very happy about 20 minutes later when he loses a suckout to the lucksack on my left who catches a straight on the river to double through him, because the lucksack is awful and I know I have a much better chance of getting my chips back from him than the rock that took them in the first place.

Which I do when I get all my money in with two pair against lucksack's top pair and it holds up. Not a terribly eventful session, but one moment of blindness turned a $500 profitable session into a $250 profitable session. But at least it was still a good session, just need to make sure that I'm paying attention to all the information I'm given, because the old guy that took all my chips gave me every indication that he was very strong with his river bet, and I didn't take it, so more fool, me.

There was a trade show, too, and I'll give you a little bit about that later, including the fatass karmic payback I experienced on the plane and why I hate leaving Orlando. Not that I particularly like being in Orlando, I just hate leaving it.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Really Important WPBT Update

At the request of the Venetian, the Tournament on Saturday, December 8th has been moved to 3PM from 2PM. Please drink more on Friday night to allow for the extra hour before the tourney.

Also, if you haven't contacted me or put your info on the spreadsheet, please do so soon. We are nearing the 100-player mark. There isn't a limit on how many people can play, but I'm trying to keep the venue apprised of our numbers.

See you soon!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Yeah, there was kind of a weekend

I went for a short ride Saturday midday, but it was cold so I said fuck it and went and rode on the stationary.

Yes I realize that to some of you the low 50s does not constitute "cold." But you have chosen to live in places that are not the South, so your taste in geography and climate is obviously retarded. So fuck off, I got cold and went home.

Finished my part of the run in Dearly Beloved, which included exposing my fish-white belly to hundreds of startled theatre-goers. Bet they didn't expect to get their recommended daily allowance of vitamin Studly when they came to the theatre!

It was fun stepping into the role, and I think I did a good job with it. I got some laughs, but let's face it, anytime you've got a stoned hillbilly motorboating a blonde with a big rack on stage, there's going to be a big laugh.

And yes, I did indeed motorboat the boobies on stage.

Sunday we had a little game at the house, a 7-person tourney. I played so g00t I finished first.

First onto the couch to finish watching the Giants/Cowboys game, that is. Got no cards, got nothing going, then ran QQ into KK and went to the couch. Crazy Nate was the steamroller and built up a stack that no one could compete with, and after about 20 minutes of the most pussified, skirt-wearin, nutless wonder bubble play I think I've ever seen, Jim managed to hang on until Dave busted and then he picked up 2nd place.

Fortunately Nate used up all his card rack mojo on the tournament and bled off all his winnings and most of his other cash in the cash game, where I put on the card rack hat for a little while, then loaned it to Special K and then passed it over to T until I finally took it back late in the game.

I stacked Dave early when I caught the four-flush to the nut flush and his third nut flush was no good. I stacked him again later, but don't remember how. Nate and I passed a bunch of chips back and forth for a while, and then we ended up giving a bunch of chips to Special K. T picked up a bunch of chips with Aces, but left a pile on the table in the same hand by not betting out on every street. She did better later when she fired at the pot on several streets with a strong hand, and I folded my draw on the turn.

The last big hand was me against K, and it turned out to be a big one for me. I picked up 44 in either the big blind or the straddle, I don't remember which. Special K raised to $4.50 in middle position, and I called with one other player (almost certainly Nate, because that's how it happens at my game). Flop comes down A-10-A. I figured I was done with the hand when the first Ace hit, but when the second one came down, I thought it possible I could be good. I checked, Special K fired (I think it was about $6), and Nate folded. I raised to $15, and Special K called. Turn was a blank and I fired out $25. Special K thought about it for a while, and finally folded, remarking that it wasn't worth it to draw for a miracle river.

I was a little surprised, because that meant he had a 10, and put me on an Ace. Admittedly, that's what I wanted to happen, to get him to fold, but I thought I was likely ahead with my 4-4, and didn't expect him to lay down the better hand. But I'm not complaining, and next time we play I have to remember not to bluff into him, cause I'll gt picked off for sure. It ended up a good night, with my profits far eclipsing the $30 I lost in the tournament, and it was one of those rare nights when I didn't have to rebuy, so that makes it all the sweeter.

I've got a lot of work travel this week, and then on Thursday I head down to Orlando. I'm hoping I can keep the diet and exercise going. I'm down to 212, so I currently owe F-Train $65. I made the bet with him that for every pound I weigh above 199 when we get to Vegas, I owe him $5. That's contingent on him making his goal weight of 142, but he's only got another pound or so to gain, so his end of the deal is lock. At this point, with travel and Thanksgiving looming, I'm hoping I can trim down to where I only owe him a greenbird or so by the time we hit the Pai Gow table on Thursday night.

But I am down 53 pounds since I started this mess, a pretty remarkable accomplishment for me, and I'm typing this while wearing my favorite shirt. Why is it my favorite, you ask. Because it's a Large, no Extra in the size. For the first time since college I'm wearing a Large shirt. And that's pretty damn cool.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Not hard to tell what I've been thinking about...

So in my dream after herding a bunch of kittens around the Seminole Hard Rock Casino, which looked an awful lot like the Showboat in AC, I wandered off by myself to the poker room to pick up some commemorative chips. The girl at the cage, who was in fact Amelia, the stage manager for Dearly Beloved, was very helpful, and then I meandered off to find myself a table.

After making sure to relieve myself of any extra $50 bills.

As I wandered around the poker room, which looked an awful lot like the poker room at the Imperial Palace two years ago when it was tucked away upstairs and no one could ever find it, I finally asked for a seat in the black chip game (asking why they even had black chips in a casino where the max NL buy-in as $100), and as I reached around to get my cash, realized my wallet wasn't in my front pocket where I usually keep it.

And my cell phone was also gone.

As panic began to set in, I raced out of the poker room to begin to assess my options.

1) I had enough for a buy-in. That was covered.

2) Al was there, and Al would cover me for food and booze if I needed him to.

3) I needed to find someone with a cell phone so I could call Suzy and cancel all my credit cards, and see if anyone could Fedex me a new card to Florida. (Yes, in my dream I was at a WPBT gathering in Florida) It was Thursday, so they could ship it Friday for Saturday delivery.

Then I realized my car keys were missing as well, and really started to freak out, until I found my car keys in a jacket pocket instead of clipped to my belt loop, and my cell phone was actually in my pocket.

Then I realized that I actually had my wallet, but someone had lifted it out of my back pocket, emptied it, and put it back in my pocket.

At that moment a blogger with an accent walked up and asked where everyone was. He looked kinda like Devilfish, and was even more incomprehensible, but he offered to buy me a drink. So I looked up Karol in my cell phone speed dial and told folks where we going to drink. And that somebody else was buying my booze for the weekend.

Then I woke up, and realized that I was still in NC, still in bed with my wife, and that my wallet was still in my pants pocket from the night before. But I checked anyway.

So what have we learned from Falstaff's nightmare, kiddies?

1) Don't carry your wallet in your back pocket in crowds.

2) In a pinch, you can count on Al, even in your subconscious.

3) I need to be in Vegas with all you degenerates.

See you next month!

Thursday, November 08, 2007


Since you're not gonna be playing in any underground card rooms next weekend, go to the Fillmore and see Robert Earl Keen! I personally guarantee you will have a good time and enjoy some absolutely kick-ass music.

I promise. Really.

If you go, and hate it, I will pay you in alcohol for the ticket when we're in Vegas next month.

But you won't. I know it. REK is one of my favorite live acts ever, and I'm truly bummed that he's not gonna be anywhere within 2 hours of Charlotte in the forseeable future.

But he's in Asheville this weekend, so please, somebody get a babysitter for the Otis and G-Rob households so they can go!

Wow, it's been a while

Since I updated my blogroll. I'm sorry. I suck. If I haven't linked to you, and you have linked here, or you read here and would like a link, please leave a comment or email me, and I'll get that fixed right away.

I play poker g00t

I'm trying something new - different posts for each topic that I want to ramble on about over the course of the day rather than one long uber-post. So here's my poker content.

I played some SNGs.

I won them all.

I didn't suck out, except to re-suck out after the money went in with AA preflop, got cracked by some guy who hit two pair on the flop, then survive when I picked up a bigger two pair on the turn.

My current strategery is to fire up 3 SNGs (at a massive $2 per) and play them as I wind down from rehearsal each night. If I do well, it takes about an hour to complete, and I'm ready for bed. If I do poorly, it takes far less, and I'm still ready for bed. Since I am the worst internet poker player I know, this is about all I can afford to play, and it gives me my fix, so that's my plan - play cheap-ass SNGs for a little while, and maybe on rare occasion try a MTT or two. I gotta only play cash games live, because I just can't focus long enough to play online cash games. I get bored too easily. And I'd rather talk to my wife.

Look, it still is a poker blog.


Opening Night, again

I didn't really expect to experience an opening night until the new year, when I hope to be cast in a local production of Dog Sees God (any play that the illustrious BigMike approves so heartily of automatically gets my stamp of approval as well, and when I read the script I decided that I have to play one of these characters), but here it is - opening night all over again.

Last night I got my final costume, and it's pretty much a doozy. Since I'm playing a redneck drugged off my ass and dragged to a wedding, the costume works. I'm in my jeans, my black cowboy boots and belt. Suzy dragged a pale blue ruffle-front tuxedo shirt out of costume storage, and paired it with a Herb Tarlick inspired blue tux jacket, complete with blue velvet lapels and a blue velvet clip-on bow tie. It's an impressive sight, lemme tell you. I'll try to get a picture before the weekend is through.

This is an odd experience for me, because it's like I'm just figuring out who the character is, and now we're opening. Technically tonight is a preview, but in my opinion, if there are people in the seats, it's an opening. And I don't get to finish it. The actor I'm replacing will be back next weekend (good thing, too, since I'm in Orlando on business), and he'll do the final three performances. So I get to start the run, and just as I'm getting comfortable with the routine, I'm done. It's definitely a new experience for me, and wouldn't have been nearly as enjoyable if the cast wasn't a bunch of people that I already know. I'm very familiar with about half the people in the show, so it was no problem jumping right in and becoming one of the team, as it were. I don't think I would have ever volunteered if it had been a cast full of strangers. But I did, and tonight we're gonna put it on its feet.

I think the show's very funny. It's much better than I expected it to be, from a script standpoint, and everyone is milking every laugh out of the show, so I expect audiences to enjoy it a bunch. Like one of the other actors told me last night "I know all of these characters, they're people I grew up with!" So I hope folks will come out and see it. It's not gonna change the world, but it's a good time.

And the Falstaff World Tour Continues...

I leave on Thursday for the weekend in Orlando. The largest trade show in our business is down there next week, and I'll be working our booth. I'm flying in mid-day Thursday and plan on heading up to Tampa to check out the new improved Florida Poker at the Tampa Bay Hard Rock casino, so if anybody's in the area, gimme a call. And if anybody lives in that part of the world and wants to hook up for dinner one night or wants to come wander around and look at the pretty lights, lemme know, I can get as many free floor passes to the show as I want.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

That's a helluva way to start a SNG

First Hand of a 2-table SNG.

Full Tilt Poker Game #4092778524: $2 + $0.25 Sit & Go (31096988), Table 2 - 15/30 - No Limit Hold'em - 22:27:01 ET - 2007/11/06
Jhartness posts the small blind of 15
mikeyrolls posts the big blind of 30
The button is in seat #9
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Jhartness [Qh Qs]
hill8331 has 15 seconds left to act
hill8331 folds
dannybnyc folds
bigdog1426 folds
freakc0nnect folds
buffrph folds
jimihoppa raises to 180
Edco91 calls 180
Jhartness raises to 750
mikeyrolls has 15 seconds left to act
mikeyrolls raises to 1,500, and is all in
jimihoppa calls 1,320, and is all in
Edco91: hmmm
Edco91 calls 1,320, and is all in
Jhartness calls 750, and is all in
mikeyrolls shows [Td Th]
jimihoppa shows [4s 4h]
Edco91 shows [Ac As]
Jhartness shows [Qh Qs]
*** FLOP *** [4d Qd 5c]
*** TURN *** [4d Qd 5c] [Ts]
*** RIVER *** [4d Qd 5c Ts] [6s]
mikeyrolls shows three of a kind, Tens
jimihoppa shows three of a kind, Fours
Edco91 shows a pair of Aces
Jhartness shows three of a kind, Queens
Jhartness wins the pot (6,000) with three of a kind, Queens
Edco91: lol
Edco91 stands up
jimihoppa stands up
mikeyrolls stands up
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 6,000 | Rake 0
Board: [4d Qd 5c Ts 6s]
Seat 1: Jhartness (small blind) showed [Qh Qs] and won (6,000) with three of a kind, Queens
Seat 2: mikeyrolls (big blind) showed [Td Th] and lost with three of a kind, Tens
Seat 3: hill8331 didn't bet (folded)
Seat 4: dannybnyc didn't bet (folded)
Seat 5: bigdog1426 didn't bet (folded)
Seat 6: freakc0nnect didn't bet (folded)
Seat 7: buffrph didn't bet (folded)
Seat 8: jimihoppa showed [4s 4h] and lost with three of a kind, Fours
Seat 9: Edco91 (button) showed [Ac As] and lost with a pair of Aces

As requested

An update -

The link to Maudie's Poker blog has changed - she's now at

Well, that was unexpected...

So this is tech week for Suzy for the show she's costuming, which typically for me means a lot of sitting at home catching up on my DVR'd episodes of Heroes and trying my new yoga DVD.

Yes, I said I have a yoga DVD. It's way harder than it looks. Yes, I'm a big redneck hippy now. Move along, nothing to see here.

Anyway, as I was planning my week of nigh-bachelorhood yesterday, Suzy calls.

"Hey, what's up?"

"Guess what?" There is nothing good that can come of a 'What's up?' during tech week. It invariably means that something catastrophic has happened.


"[Actors in the show]'s grandmother died last night."

"Wow, that's a bummer."

"He's leaving town to deal with family stuff."

"Wow, that really sucks."

"We don't know if he'll be back for this weekend's performances."

"Wow, that really, really sucks. What are you going to do?"

"I don't know, I guess [director] is going to do the part for rehearsals and hopefully he comes back this weekend."

"Well," as I open my mouth and insert foot all the way to the kneecap "you know I don't have anything going on this week. I could come stand in for rehearsals."


I think I may have just been played.

So I'll be performing this weekend in a show I've never seen or read. Fortunately I have very few lines. Like seven. Basically I wander in at random moments stoned outta my gourd and fall down a lot.

This could be a stretch.

It's a funny show, and I spend one entire scene with my face planted in an actress's cleavage, so there are some fringe benefits. Last night I went into rehearsal, got my blocking and learned my lines. Tonight I'll have most of a costume.

And I'll be DVR'ing House.

If you're a local, and get a chance, come out and see Dearly Beloved at CPCC this weekend. I'm only in the show for two performances, so hurry up!

Monday, November 05, 2007

You Decide - Conclusion

Let's start by my saying that I think this is the best-played hand by Jim all night.

As I was thinking about the call ($68 to me, about $105 in the pot already) I looked back at the board and thought about what he could have. Board was Ah-6d-7d.

Best Case: A-J, A-10, A-9

Worst Case: 6-6, 7-7, A-7, 6-7 suited

Most Likely - Ad-Xd, Kd-Xd, 8x-9x, 4x-5x, two random diamonds

Least Likely - Ace-rag, A-6 (one of these is very bad, one of these is very good for me, but both are exceedingly unlikely)

So I thought about the hands he could have and figured that I was probably ahead of 60% of his possible holdings. Note that I never for a minute put him on Aces or A-K, or any pocket pair 9-9 or higher for that matter. If Jim had any of those holdings he wouldn't have limped in late position in a straddled hand with a million other people limping already, so I figured it was about 99% unlikely that he had any of those hands.

So since I figured I was ahead of around 2/3 of the hands he could possibly hold, I made the call.

He tabled 8d-9d for the open-ended straight flush draw, and I was drawing dead after the 5s on the turn. The 5d on the river was just the icing on the cake.

I really do think this was an excellent play on both our parts. As Special K said, "you got your money in ahead. You weren't the favorite, but you were ahead." And if I'm not going to be willing to put my money in ahead, I shouldn't be playing. Jim made the best possible move, ensuring that he was going to get the greatest possible value for his hand, because if he just check-calls the flop there, I'm done if another diamond hits, and might not invest much more if a 5 or 10 hits. I'm not sure I have that flop bet in my arsenal, but it's a good move.

I still think it wouldn't have been a huge mistake for me to make the laydown there, but I made a read, stuck with it, and was correct. The next two cards sucked out loud, but that's poker.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

You Decide

With apologies to Jordan, here's my very own episode of You Decide. I know how this hand went down, and want to know how you would have played it. It's friendly home game with $.25/.50 blinds. You're about $100 into the game, and there's probably $600 on the table. Some folks have bought in for $50 once, some for $50 - 60 several times. You've built your stack up to a respectable amount, probably around $160 when you're dealt Ac-Qc in the straddle. You have straddled, because that's what you do. Every. Orbit. You have a loose table image, to say the least, but you've played fairly tight so far tonight. Player in Middle Position limps in, as do a couple of the others, and you raise the $1 straddle to $6. Middle Position limper calls, as does the Big Blind.

Your read on MP limp/caller is pretty straightforward player, but you haven't really played much with him. He's not used to playing for this much money, but plays fairly good ABC poker. Big Blind is aggressive, and sees about as many flops as you do, so his calling range preflop is pretty massive. He didn't re-raise, so the Hammer is not in play.

Flop comes down Ah-6d-7d, and Big Blind leads out for $15. You think for a second and decide to find out where you are - you raise to $45. MP limper folds, and BB goes all in almost immediately for another $68.

What does he have, what do you do, and what do you think I did right or wrong in the hand up to this point? I'll post the real life results on Monday.

UPDATE - I initially posted the flop incorrectly as having the Qs. I later remembered that it was the Ah. It's been updated. This is what happens when I don't take notes.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Less than important update

Irrelevant to anything other than my pride, I've moved into a tie for 9th in Pauly's Pick 'Em pool. Yes, I am still trailing the Aussie, but I have finally passed the chick.

I'm sure to be an 0-fer this week now.

Why did the background change color?

Oh, that's what happens when you make a final table? I'd forgotten!

No, I didn't FT any of the BBTwo events. I didn't have the money on Full Tilt Poker last night to actually buy in to one. So I settled in to piss away the last $8 of my online bankroll, and signed up for a 9-person $1 turbo, a 45-person $1 SNG, and a $3 Turbo MTT, with something like 620 people in it.

I spent most of my time focusing on the 9-handed turbo, since I managed to re-suck out on a guy who flopped a set to with 99 to crack my aces, but I rivered an Ace to crack his suckout to take the chip lead early. I didn't really play it very much like a turbo, playing generally pretty tight until we got to the money. The main difference is, if I raised preflop, I just pushed, since any reasonable raise was going to pot-commit me anyway. I picked up a bunch of orphaned blinds that way, and finally managed to take the whole thing down, adding a much-needed $4.50 to my FTP account. That in itself didn't mean much, except to set me freerolling for the rest of the night.

At that point I realized that I was the chip leader in the 45-person SNG, but managed to make a couple of unfortunate decisions to kill that buzz. Unfortunate like taking a look at too many flops with marginal hands and calling off too much of my chip stack on mediocre draws rather than being patient and waiting for better spots. So I busted there in 9th, respectable but out of the money, so in the end - useless.

When I finally turned my attention to the MTT, there were about 300 people left, 99 would cash, and I was hanging around average in chips. I picked up pocket Kings, pushed, picked up the blinds. Picked up AK on the next hand, pushed, picked up the blinds. Picked up AQ on the next hand, pushed from the button over top of the cutoff's raise, and was less than thrilled to see his AK. I liked the Queen on the flop, though. Faded the King and I was off to the races.

Basically, I didn't employ a whole lot of strategy, just wait for big cards and jam a shitload of chips in the middle. I figured that there weren't very many people there who could fold an ace or a pair, so if I raised preflop and an Ace came on the board, I was done. I picked up the chip lead when we got down to three tables, and re-took it when we condensed to two tables. That was the end of my chip leader days, as I lost a couple of significant pots when I called with ATC defending my blinds against a short stack.

As the big stack at the table (nearly 200K in chips with the blinds at 1,000/2,000 - my nearest chaser had 150K in chips) I felt like it was the right move to call an all in from a shorty when it cost me less than 15% of my stack. It might not have been the exact right move, but I was willing to take a couple chances to eliminate another player late in the event.

Other chances I was happy to take were coinflips late. When we got down to 2 tables, I re-raised a MP raiser with As-Js. Action folded around to the raiser, who shoved. She had me covered, but I figured anything from 77 all the way up to AK was possible, but I eliminated Aces and Kings, thinking that she may have flat-called with a real monster. So I thought for a second about the hands I thought she may have, decided that I was at worst a coin flip, and that late in the tourney I was going to have to win a couple of coin flips to survive, so I made the call.

She turned up 99, I hit a Jack on the turn, and I doubled through her. I think it was the right move given the escalating blinds and the fact that it was a turbo. I probably lay that down in a live event with longer levels, and I definitely lay it down early in the tournament, but at that point, I think it was the right call.

The only hands that stand out to me as misplayed are the AQ hand where I ran into AK, because I read him for a steal and was very wrong, but got my lucky suckout, and my last hand. I was in the BB with KJs, and the SB made a 3xBB raise. I thought he might be stealing, as he had been at or near the top of the chip counts for most of the later rounds, so he was decent. I decided to go against my first instinct and just smooth called. My gut had said SHOVE, but I didn't, and in retrospect that likely cost me my tournament. The flop came down 10-high, which missed the range of hands I put his on, all of which including either two face cards or an Ace-paint. I thought briefly about him holding AT when he led out on the flop, but decided he was making a standard C-bet, and shoved all in.

In retrospect, it was a shitty move on my part. The only thing that calls me in that spot is a hand that beats me, so I should have let it go. I think for the most part, I played well in this event except for those two hands. There were a couple other suckouts I made and a couple I took, but I'm not one of those people who thinks you can win a large tournament without sucking out, or at the very least winning multiple coin flips. So I picked up $50 for my 7th-place finish, and may give a few more MTTs a shot here and there in the near future.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Alright, Aussie, I'm in

So I decided to give the NaNoWriMo thing a try. And I'll be posting my scribbles out there for public consumption, on this site. Why not, right? If you guys will read the drivel I post here, then there's obviously an audience for pretty much any damn thing somebody could write.

So there it is. It's out there, it's begun. I have only the barest idea of what the story is about, but I think it might be a road trip story. Or it might not. It might also be aborted in a few short days, but it might not. Like most everything in my life, we'll keep doing it 'til something better comes along. That's what I told my boss when I started at Barbizon. Next week marks my 12th anniversary with the company.