Sunday, July 31, 2005

Friday Homegame Results and G-Vegascan...

accept the apology. We all want to be you. Otis just bought Copags? We've been playing with those for months here in the 'Lou. Next your going to tell me you have 2g plastic chips.

We don't have a fancy "table of blood", we have my crappy table top cover. We don't have G-Rob and tequila, we have FishNuts and his White Castles. We don't have Mrs. Otis and her shooters, we have soon to be Mrs. TooloftheMan and her Salsa dancing. We don't have BadBlood and his guns, we have "Fat Jesus" and his belly.

We don't have $50 buyins either, we have $10 pansyfests. We're working on getting a bigger game together. FatJesus, me, ToM, are looking for bigger games. We have the $25 2 table freezeout that a friend of Dimebag is hosting each month. Where are our $50 ring games.

TooloftheMan is going to do a big write up. He took a book full of notes and told me on Saturday. What ever he says I have never, ever touched my lips to a motorcycle.

We played 2 $10 SNG's with rebuys. I busted rebought and didn't cash in the first game. I was not playing well and I didn't catch any cards either. Except the KK that I dog walked ToM for most of his stack. I underraised the pot as I had QQ a few hands earlier and it folded around to me. I was UTG with KK. I raised by 2 or 2.5 BB. Folded to ToM in the BB. He called. Flop comes J high. I underbet, faking a stab at the pot. He comes over the top of me. I don't remember how the rest of it played out, except I pulled in a big pot.

The second SNG I made the last 2 with about a 3-1 chip lead against Dimebag. We played for a quite a while. He made it back to 7000-6000 in chips. He said chop and I said okay. I pulled in $50 and he took $46 I think.

Anyway, good times were had. ToM will have the big play by play write-up.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Marked Man

Its been rumored that ToM is going to put a bounty on me at tonights home game. Gawd. As if the weaknes in my game needed the attention of a bounty spotlight hurled upon it. Don't look for me to push early. Look for ToM to try and move me off of pots. ToM just emailed and said he doesn't have the sack to put up a bounty tonight, but maybe in the future. He also said we're playing with unlimited rebuys through the first 3 levels.

We have an update to the previous line-up. #6 Dave is out, #7 Paul is out, # 8 Friend of DMcC is out. In is Voss. So we stand at 7, with only one true fish. Anyone in St. Louis wanna play? ToM and I are in agreement that this is the best homegame lineup ever put together. Up yours, G-Vegas. We don't need no TV celebrities in our games. We have 4 lawyers including Walt "The Butcher".

ToM says:



"I actually think the game tonight will be pretty solid. My prediction for the first game:

7th - McBride (drunk by level 3)
6th - DMcC (Will play too many hands and fail to connect anything)
5th - ME (ToM) (I'll bust with 2 pair losing to a rivered set or riveredstraight)
4th - Voss (he won't respect the rock like quality of Walt...he'll push w/ A-K vs KK)
3rd - BMcC (he'll get blinded off shortly after Walt busts Voss)
2nd - you (Chilly) (you will lose to Walty's pocket 4s when you K-9o fails to improve)
1st - Walt (will play approximately 10 hands the whole night, but will double up each time)

I predict we see Walty show down nothing lower than pocket 10s before 3 way play."



Nicknames for tonights players:

McBride = Fish Nuts.
Voss = Lil' Nicky. This guy looks just like a miniture version of Nicolas Cage.
Walt = The Butcher. Walt's dad is a butcher, yet Walt insists on ordering beef from Omaha Steaks. And there's that good at poker thing.
ToM = ToM's real initals are MM. Otis calls him "Melts in Your Mouth"
DMcC = Dimebag
BMcC = Big Mac
Me = Chilly, of course.

Party Poker Blow Out - Stats included.

In preparation for tonight's "Battle in the Basement", a homegame at TooloftheMan's place, I logged onto Party and played for a few hours. I have wanted to play the Party SNG's to compare to PokerStars. I love the Stars SNG's. Of course I am not telling you people things that you don't already know. But I will continue to blather on anyway. Further down I present my playing stats in Party ring games thus far.

Basically I like the structure of the Stars games and I like the quality of the fishy play in the Party games. I just don't see why both sites insist on paying 3 places. I think 2 is plenty for a SNG. Party plays 10 handed and Stars plays 9. There is basically no difference here as you will be 7 or 8 handed by the end of the second level at Party. If you are a nut peddler you can easily double up on people looking to race (or worse).

Last night I played 2 $5+$1 SNGs. I chalked up a 2nd and a 4th. So that is a tight profit of $3. A $15 second and a $0 4th. The first match ended heads up with me at a 3-2 chip deficit. I pushed the first hand with 99 and he folded. The second hand I pushed again with AQo. He had 56o. He called my all-in reraise pre-flop. He flopped a straight. IGHN.

The second SNG I played much the same way. I was tight early, found a spot, pushed an doubled up. I was chip leader when we were down to 5. I also coined a new poker word. The "blow out"(: to re-suckout a suckout. For example I had AJs vs my donkey opponents KJo. He flopped a K and I rivered an A). At the end it was 4 handed and I was in the BB. A guy made a move to steal my blind. He slightly larger than standard pre-flop raise. Since I was short stack I hesitated, but called. I could have moved in, but I only had 45o. The flop came down 67K. I have a OESD. I push all in. He calls with KQ. Turn and river are AA. IGHN.

Go read this post and then come back and tell me where all my donkeys are.

So I decided to fire up a 6 max $25 NL ring game. The third hand I see...I'm on the button with 33. I limp and we are 4 to the flop of 366. I flop a fullhouse and the third nuts. I am behind only to pocket 6's or 63. I get all my money in after a raise war. I assume he is holding a 6. That gives him 7 outs. The other 6(1), the board to pair Lewis wilbanks(3), or to pair his other hold card(3). The turn is x and the river is K. He shows K6o for a rivered bigger boat. Hmmm. Why did I limp on the button again? I have him covered and get $10 back. One of the guys sitting out comments that "this is the wildest table he's ever seen". I guess he's right to some extent. Was I wrong for getting all my money in on the flop with that hand in a ring game?

So as I sat there and blinded down another couple of bucks over the next hour I started thinking about my Party experience to date. Here are my Party Stats.

SNG's
Played: 2 (2nd, 4th)
ITM: 1
Return: $3
ROI: 25%

Ring Games (Mostly $25 NL with a little 6 max $25 NL)
Hands Played: 156
Hands won: 14% (22)
Showdowns won: 81%
Flops Seen: 30% (47, about 30 of these are in the blind, right? discounting the 6 max which makes me even tighter.)
Flops Seen not in Blind: 11% (about 17)
Win% if flop seen: 27%
Profit: -19.01

So where is my fucking Party paycheck? Well I don't think I can play much tighter. I am seeing less than 1 flop per orbit, not in a blind. Is it my aggression, am I too passive? Yes, I think so. I am tight passive a little in ring games, as opposed to the tight aggressive I play in SNG's. But why?

I have lost one big pot described above that make up the majority of my losses to the tune of $15. That means I am still -$4 in the rest of the hands. Should I worry about my ring game or chalk it up t variance? After all I have only played 156 hands.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

This is why I blog

I was checking ye old sitemeter today. I ran across this referral.

Please, take the context of the search words into account. Then actually read the first result on the page. Read the description.

Chilly + Dr. Pauly = Hell

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Return of the NL Homegame

The last homegame we had was over July 4th weekend. Someone decided it would be a limit game. Not too much fun. I take that back. I had a lot of fun. My bankroll didn't fair that well. I prefer the fish limit waters of the MGM.

TooloftheMan is hosting and making us play in his basement. I have never seen his basement but he claims we may be able to shoe-horn 10 people in. It looks like we'll run two 7-9 player SNGs for $10 per person. Assuming an 8 person turnout we'll probably pay 50-20-10 or 55-25. We like to keep it friendly. I'd prefer a 100% to the winner, but that's just me.

I will likely spend some time on the SNG's tonight and tomorrow to warm up. I have yet to play a Party SNG. How do you sign up for those things anyway? I might load up the Stars reload bonus and play there too. I like the Stars SNG's.

I have yet to put any money into Full Tilt. I loaded the software, registered and browsed around. That was when I was contemplating entering the bracelet chase events. I might yet, but spreading my limited bankroll across 3 sites doesn't seem to be a great idea. Maybe if PokerGeek transfers his $18 to me then Full Tilt will gain one whole new customer.

The line-up for Friday night is a split right down the middle. Fish vs. Sharks.

1. TooloftheMan - Very good player in this game. Makes good decisions with good cards. Will be drunk by start of 4th level of first SNG, therefore wait to play pots against him. Also reads this blog. Odds to win- 4-1, 3-1 if sober.

2. Chilly - Up to now best player in this game. I have fallen off due to lack of play. I am scared of going out first. I will likely play passive the first few levels. To feel out the table. I'll down some redbull and crank it up. Look out cause here I come. Odds to win- 3-1.

3. DMcC - Contender for POY honors. Winner of suckout artist award for calling two all ins with AJo beat a race and a dominating AK when he turned a J. Has game. Plays in a weekly game he calls "The ATM". Makes good decisions. Also known as "The Clock". Played a four-way pot with him a long time ago. Flop comes down all hearts. I am holding A-4 clubs. I am first to act. I push for a good size bet. DMcC goes into the tank for about 15 minutes. He frets and fawns and finally pushes over the top of me. I fold. He takes it down with pocket Q's. Odds to win- 2.5-1.

4. BMcC - Knows the game just doesn't push hard enough. Would rather get blinded off waiting for pocket rockets than push with pocket 10's. Will probably try at least one move on me after reading this. May drop the hammer. Shows flashes of brilliance. Usually hosts. Racing TooloftheMan to the wedding alter. Odds to win- 5-1

5. McBride - Total fish and calling station. Is playing for the beer. A good guy. Odds to win-20-1

6. Dave B. - Lacks experience. Playing to get out of the house. Got burned last time he played when his 10's full of A's ran into quad 10's. Odds to win-15-1

7. Paul - Plays out of a sense of obligation to TooloftheMan. Would rather be combing his hair. Has the sense to make a go of it but really doesn't care. -20-1

8. Friend of DMcC - Never played against him, but he hosts an extremely fishy $25 MTT once a month. Guessing Odds to win- 8-1

9. Walt - A total rock and yet most dangerous player at the table. I pushed to get him invited because beating him gives me great joy. He played with us long ago when I hosted. He posted a 2nd. I beat him. Second to last hand I hit a straight, last/next hand he moved in with K high. No Goot. I had rockets. Yes I love to beat him. As much or more than the rest of the guys love to beat me. Will sharpen my skills if he shows up. Odds to win-2-1.

Monday, July 25, 2005

How to decorate a cubicle

Poker Geek asked for help. As a very experienced cube dweller I thought I'd weigh in with a few suggestions. More importantly I work for a publishing company, one circuit through the editorial area and I have a good idea of Cube Geek Chic. Follow these directions and your cube will look like you've been there since 1998.

1. Red Stapler. If you have to ask why, you need to spend more time in your cube.

2. Large number of a Rainbow of neon post-its. Yellow post-its are so 1993. The range of colors make impromptu art projects possible. Can you say origami?

3. Photos. Half of people you care about and half of famous yet obscure people that can start conversations. My very white friend B.S. has a photo of his girlfriend and one of Smokin' Joe Frazier. When people ask "who's that?" he says "That's my dad." May I suggest Phil Brown, Peter Cushing or David Prowse.

4. Something that will drive your co-workers crazy. Not in a "your music is too loud" sort of way, but in a "hey, why does he get that?" sort of way. A mini-fridge is the obvious choice. An apartment size fridge would fit in the trapezoid portion. Other items that would do the trick are a second monitor or even a wireless keyboard/mouse. A special chair due to a back condition or extending the height of cube walls are always winners.

5. A calendar is required.

6.The "don't be the guy that wears the t-shirt of the band who is playing at the concert your attending" rule applies. That means that poker stuff can't be FullTilt related. One allowance would be an odds or outs chart that is modified to include a "vs. donkey and vs. Ivey" columns. You know, the donkey column would be the normal numbers and the Ivey column would be all zeros.

Here are some other suggestions. First , the more obscure the better. A flyer from the WPBT Aladdin Classic perhaps? You could even get Bill to sign one for you. A life-size cardboard cut-out of Maverick would be perfect.


7. If you want to have people hanging around all of the time then a candy dish is needed. Like moths to a flame are cube dwellers to chocolate. If you like your solitude then a "Do not disturb" sign swiped from a swanky casino will do.

8. Old school rolodex and a PDA. No geek would ever leave the house without belt and suspenders.

9. Magnet poetry collection. The one I have is a vendor giveaway from Qwest. It has all sorts of geeky tech terms like internet, server and optimize.

10. Personal free standing coat rack. No community coat closet, no cube wall hanger, but a real coat rack.

11. Bose I-pod dock.

FUMU

When I worked at the State of Illinois many, many years ago we had a saying. Foo Moo or FUMU. Stood for Fuck Up Move Up. You see in state servitude with all the political connections and such it was difficult to actually fire someone. If you didn't want them in their current position anymore it was much easier to just give them a promotion.

Funny thing was the real FUMU's often would get a bigger title, bigger paycheck and less responsibility. If you were good at your job you couldn't get promoted because your boss wouldn't want to risk losing an actual productive member of the team.

I arrived a work today. There was the usual Monday email of news and announcements. It typically consists of "AB got canned, CD got promoted and these 34 poor SOB's got laid off."

There are few people at this office who get to me. I can think of 2 off the top of my head. These are the people that I would wish bad things to happen too. You know, violent diarrhea followed by a zipper accident, something that is only a little embarrassing but manages to reveal to the world what an idiot they are.

So this douche bag I worked with on a project a year and a half ago is one of these guys. He didn't do his work, he took credit for my work and he had the nerve to act like he was supervising me on the project.

Even more important, a similar project came up later, after he was promoted (to director) based on the the project we'd worked on together. I know another guy on the project and the numbers he used were straight from vendors or straight from our first project. Original thoughts are too much for Hatty Douchebag to handle.

Hatty Douchebag just got promoted to vice president.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Rockin' the Suburbs

Entertainment choices were many for a Friday in St.Louis. First there was Duran Duran. Second there was Weezer with Ben Folds and special guest, The Fray. Hmmmm, a shitty rehashed English pop band that sucked when they were in their hayday or a couple of really good bands and one I never heard of? Sorry TooloftheMan, I disagree. You enjoy Nick and the boys, I'm just not hungry like the wolf for Eurotrash.

So we imported the wife's dad to babysit the boy. Grandpa was more than happy to come over and watch the Cards destroy the Cubs WARNING: Rant Ahead {nice pick oddjack, dopes. Has there ever been a more -EV adventure than betting on the Cubs? Gee, Zambrano vs Carpenter, I could have never come up with betting the under on that one.} and spend time with his favorite boy. Off to the Savvis Center we go. This is the first non sports event I have seen at Savvis. The wife saw U2, but I have only ever seen the Blues beating the crap out of teams like the blackhawks and the phlyers.

We missed the Fray. Tha was on purpose. I don't know their music and didn't feel it was good use of time. According to the wife's brother who was also at the show we saw about 2/3 of Ben Folds. Wow. I have seen Billy Joel, Elton John and Billy Joel. Ben Folds is the piano man of my generation. Much better show than Billy or Elton.

Weezer rocked it really hard. Really good show.

PLEASE NOTE THAT NO CAMERAS OF ANY KIND WILL BE PERMITTED FOR THIS SHOW.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Meeting BadBlood

BadBlood asked for a story. Here it is.

The Aladdin Classic had just ended, for me at least. As CJ continued to dominate the tournament he and Bill had rigged I wandered around, had a few drinks and chatted with BMcC, RTT and Toolof theMan. We sweated Otis and watched him triple up with the Hammer. I kept an eye on the 1/2 NL table. I saw several bloggers over there. Poker Geek was there with G-Rob and ........BADBLOOD.

I had met G-Rob earlier, Poker Geek had already taken more than his fair share of my bankroll, but BadBlood and I had not had the pleasure. I kept checking back with the table, not wanting to disturb him while he was in a hand. You know, poker etiquette and all.

I sat there and watched a hand. BadBlood and G-Rob were heads up. G-Rob out of position in the 9 seat and BadBlood in the 10. Long story short due to bad memory but I think G-Rob bet out the whole way and BadBlood called him down. G-Rob's pocket twos held up.

"Hi, I just wanted to introduce myself. My name is Chilly."

Sidenote, blogger spell check for BadBlood is bodybuilder, coincidence or blogger conspiracy?

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Iggy Revealed

Did you see that Iggy put his/her photo up on his/her blog. Check out this post. I won't tell you which set of photos is his/hers, but I will tell you they are there. Go check him/her out.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

......MOVIE CHECK BANKY

BG wants us all to get real. No, not real drunk, just real. Here is really the reason why my game has not improved in 2-3 months. Bill wants us to take inventory of our game.

I have identified a problem. My poker game has not progressed. I think I know why. It dates back to my high school trigonometry and calculus classes, high school in general. I was a smart kid in high school. As a freshman I was in geometry with sophmores and juniors. This progresed accordingly. I was in Algebra II, Trig and Calc.

Trig and calc are the key. Like I said, I was a smart guy. I had the same teacher for both classes, Mr. Bagby. Bags was a 5'8" diabetic who drove a corvette and carried a modified .357 as a part time body guard/jewlery delievery guy. He mentioned one day that he had the 9 lb version versus the 7.5 version of the .357 (or .44 I don't remember the early 90's that well). Anyway, this was the guy teaching me math. He didn't require that you did homework. He didn't check it or ask that you turn it in. Instead he would ask for volunteers to recreate homework problems on the chalk board for extra credit.

Hmmmm. So I don't have to do my homework? So I didn't. Now here comes the problem. I am just smart enough to be able to cram and pull a B. You needed 80% to score a B with Bags. I spent 2 years thru trig and calc at a solid 80.5%.

I rarely did homework in high school. Just enough to get by. Nothing extra. I took 4 years of high school spanish with the same teacher. The first semester she gave me a C, the second a B and it was A's the rest of the way. It was easier to schmooooze her than it was to do homework. I was in the band for 4 years. Why? You show up you get an A. I didn't practice, I didn't care. I graduated 23/448 in my high school class. If I had spent 2 hours a week doing math homework.....where would I be now? Other than in the top 3% I could have a whole different outlook on life, or at least in my approach to it. I could go on and on about how college and grad school were more of the same, but I think you (I) get the point. Doing enough to get by will only get you so far.

This of course carries over to my poker game. I have done just what I need to get by. I have done enough to get my game from poor to mediocer. The amount of work it will take to move my game to the next level is exponetial compared to the amount of work I have done to this point. I read some books and played some games and performed some experiements to get the feel for it. Why? Because the first time I went to TooloftheMan's place for a night of freeze outs I didn't place in the money. I wasn't getting by. I looked and watched this game and I knew I could crush it, but I didn't, why?

Well there are a lot of reasons. Mostly things like not raising with the nuts on the end, seeing a 2nd A on the turn and knowing that he just made trips thus forgeting that I just made a boat and checking it down, not stealing blinds, calling off chips etc. Basically I knew the rules and I could spot bad play in others but I couldn't make the right plays or make any moves. So I did some research and patched enough leaks to take down this game. I probably progressed quite a bit past that point.

So to start on a road of improvement I need to take inventory. Compare me to a 10 point Phil Ivey-Chip Reece scale If CHIPPHIL is a 10 then....Lets run some numbers and see how I stack up.

First, the rankings. I'll use 5 criteria. Each is a score of 1-10. I'll add the total and divide by 5 for a total possible of 10 points. The criteria:
1. Pre-Flop Play (hand selection, betting strategy, blind stealing etc.)
2. Post Flop Play
3. Reading Hands (Board and other player's hands)
4. Patience (waiting for hands, ability to release hands)
5. Aggression

1. Pre-flop play. My hand selection is very solid, but a little too solid. I am right tight UTG and in MP, but am too tight in late position. This results in me being perceived (or just being) a rock. This means I often don't get action on premium hands, and I don't steal enough blinds. I am too willing to flat call when I get re-raised. I often see 10%-15% of flops outside the blinds. This is slightly too tight, especially when its 10%. This is generally due to being too tight in late position. Overall score 4/10.

2. Post Flop Play. Should I put in a continuation bet? I am far to willing to check and fold. I seldom make moves like re-raise unless I have a hand. I am willing to semi-bluff and bet my flush draws and OESD's. In my favor I have a better than average understanding of the odds and when to draw and when not to. Overall score 3/10.

3. Reading Hands. Not bad, a strong part of my game, missing a straight in my own hand not included. I usually know when I am ahead, when I'm behind and when my draws will be good. I can put my competition on a range of hands and narrow as the hand progresses. 4.5/10

4. Patience. My best trait. I tend to not get bored. I wait. I don't get frustrated when the 97o I dropped in the small blind flops a boat. I can drop it when I need to. I don't show down a lot of losers. 7/10.

5. Aggression. I get moved of of hands by moves. I am usually unwilling to re-re-raise. I am aggresive pre-flop more so than post flop. This is due to my hand selection being better than my post flop play. I will push with nothing and I will semi-bluff. I will trap and check raise (both passive aggressive plays). 5/10.

Total score 23.5/50 for a 4.7/10.

So if your are one of the guys that I beat all the time, where do you rate? What are you going to do when I am a 7 next July? How much is just enough to be a 7?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

When I started this....

....I was 19 years old. I was a sophomore in college and was fresh off the end of the football season. She was 18 and a freshman. We cast glances at each other in the training room. At least I did.

The first time we spoke .... My friend Sandy and I convinced all the freshmen in the training room that we were brother and sister, twins even. Our parents were divorced and I lived with our dad, she lived with our mom, the story went. She bought it, they all did. Dumb freshmen.

The season was over and the boys in the Annex were throwing a rager. Kegs, shots, chicks funneling, puking, passing out. All the standard, "The semester is almost over lets get fucked up" kind of partying was going on. I found myself in the kitchen talking to her for most of the night about who knows what. She could have been speaking backwards Farsi and I would have nodded and umhummed all night.

What's that? You're in 8:00 am chemistry, me too. I think to myself, "self, guess I'll have to start waking and making my 8:00."

That was the extent of the relationship for a while. I'd go to lecture hall chemistry MWF at 8:00. I'd sit near the back and wait for her to arrive and depart. I was a stalker. Not really. I got the word from her teammate Sandy, that word was boyfriend. I'm not the dick guy that will move in somewhere so I admired (her ass) from a far for the rest of the semester. I spent part of my winter break thinking about her and the other part getting effed up with my high school friends.

Next thing I know I need a date to Valentine's Day date party. I get one and its the one I want. Thanks to some maneuvering by Sandy and Craig. We start with a trial run date. We double with Sandy and Craig and go see "Passenger 57". A truly terrible movie. That gives us something to talk about while eating a late dinner and drinking a few beers at The Library (a bar next to campus). Soon the date party comes and goes. We start talking frequently.

Then the confluence of these events. In the same weekend her boyfriend comes to campus, I get my car towed and a ticket for possession of an open container. The container wasn't mine dammit. Of course my grandparents live in town and hear my name and details on the police scanner. My parents call to find out what hospital I am in because the grandparents are sure I was in a wreck.

Major incarceration is averted. I get a minor in possession charge (that's right, I have record(its been expunged)) and the boyfriend crawls back under his rock. Did I mention that she's a 5'10" middle hitter on the volleyball team and he's 5'7.5" ? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, dork. I spend the next week licking my wounds. We work into a pattern of me going over to her room every night after dinner. She goes to formal with me in Galena, IL.

Spring Break. She dumps the boyfriend, but tells me she doesn't want to be exclusive. That lasts about 3 seconds. That was spring of 1993. We've been together for the 12 years since. Today we've been married for 8.

Happy Anniversary honey, I love you.

Back into the swing

I played a freeroll last night. I played well enough. 800 people started and I went out in 53rd. 27 spots paid. I had an less than average stack at the end, but always plenty of chips and never the short stack. We started with T5000 in chips. When it was down to 75 I was moved to a new table, with the chip leader. I had T30K, the leader had T535k. He was all-in on any face, any suited etc. Just trying to bust people. He sucked out everytime. KT vs JJ he'd spike a K. 34s vs TT, can you say straight?

I tried to play my normal game for a few orbits. Raise with good hands, lay down anything I couldn't raise with. He kept coming over the top. Finally, KK, UTG. Wild man pushes all-in and I call. KK vs ....TT. Here it comes. River me a T. The funny thing was the cards came out fast but the river hesitated. It looked funny. Just a coincidence, I know, but still. The flop and turn laid down smooth and the river came out after a hesitation and fluttered. I busted out with my Arieh "Thats so sick!" comment and slumped off to bed.

Good news is I played well and didn't many showdowns. I got out when I was beat and pressed when I had it. I was at 20xBB or more for most of the tourney. I made good decisions and got busted by a 2 outer. Losing still stings. Doesn't matter that you made good decisions or are 90% to win on the flop and are in a freeroll, losing sucks. I don't play to lose. Why am I not the one sucking out on these chumps? This is a common theme amongst our cadre.

The answer is simple: "you are too good to be a suckout artist." You get your money in with the best of it. If you're always ahead, you can't suckout.

Oh well, the only thing lost was a hour of sleep.

Monday, July 18, 2005

New Year's Resolutions

The end of the WSOP signals the end of the poker year. As the new year begins we can again start a new with our dreams of being the next Moneymaker, Raymer or .... Lebonese-Austrailian. I digress. It is time to set some goals for both poker and life in general. You know, its the start of a new poker year. Have you played in a $200 double shootout for a seat at the 2006 WSOP Main Event yet? Neither have I.

I have decided to sit here and make some resolutions, goals, statements of fact and a few acusations that I look back to at the end of the coming (poker) year and say, "Wow, you really didn't get off your ass at all for the last 12 months."


  1. I hope to be still playing poker next July.
    This may seem like a no-brainer, but my game has fallen off due to my lack of playing. The last time I played I folded a straight and didn't realize it until after the next hand played out. I haven't been online much, forget going to the boat and there has been one homegame since May. The best option I have at this point is a bi-weekly freeroll homegame. In otherwords, the guys playing don't even want to pony up $5 every other week, they prefer to play for free. AAARRRRGHHHH!
  2. If I am playing I want to be in black numbers. BIG BLACK NUMBERS.
    Once upon a time I started a bankroll. I put $300 into it. I kept the money out seperate from all other parts of my life. This way I knew if I had a problem. Quickly that roll grew to about $2000. About that same time the bankroll came under the scrutiny of of one Wifeous Spousious. "Why is all that money just sitting there?" Well I started using the roll to pay for everyday expenditures. Then I blew some of it in Vegas and now I have a single solitary $100, that I carry in my pocket, just in case a poker game breaks out. So here is the deal. $500 in, starting today. That $500 will fund my year long gambing problem poker game. I will not use this money to pay the pizza delivery guy, the maid or other random leaks. I will allow myself one $500 reload, but only becasue my rudimentary math and memory have my $2000 bankroll down somewhere between $500 and $1000. I will track wins and losses in homegames, live game and online games. I will start with a $100 deposit to PokerStars and a $100 to Party or FullTilt, I still haven't decided (suggestions?). That leaves the $300 to buyin to the $2-$5 NL game a Harrahs or somewhere else.
  3. If I am going to do this I should do it right.
    This means getting poker designated and accredited as my official hobby of choice. The governing body charged with such accredidation is of course the wife. She has her volleyball at regularly scheduled intervals interspersed with random shopping adventures. I should get my poker at similar intervals. I am looking for 8 hours per week at 2 four hour sessions. Extra time can be squeezed in as possible. Currently poker is something I do for fun. It should be moved up in the pecking order to something I do with my free time. What I will likely end up with is one 4-6 hour session every two weeks and some random online as possible. This should also include two monthly homegames. I just got a line on a weak ($50? buyin) monthly game. In addition I'd like to play If we could get some practice in, the guys I usually play with would be pretty good. Right now I think they might crush me. You know, build th skills of the STL Squad. Maybe bring Felicia in to consult.
  4. Books, read and re-read.
    I have read Theory of Poker and Hold'em for advanced players. I will pick one or two others, in addition to re-reading the titles above. My brain is a poker sponge, just ask my Adderal dealer.
  5. Move up in limits, Expand Games.
    I already play in the biggest regular no limit game in the area. The $2-$5 NL game at Harrahs. I think I might scale back to the $1-$2 NL game at a competting establishment. I think the max buy here is $100 or $200. This fits better with my bankroll plan. The 2/5 game is a $500 max $200 min. I usually lowball and buy-in for $300. I see how this is bad, but I am adverse to to blowing $500 as I have dropped 2 $300 buy ins here. However I am lifetime up on this game.

    ALERT: BAD BEAT STORY>>>>
    The first $300 I dropped with pocket AA. Donkey played A9o into a $15 (3xbb) preflop raise and made trip nines on the turn, calling a pot sized bet on the flop. I just couldn't lay it down. I knew he had it the whole time. The second, my nut flush lost to the nut full house. Donkey played QJ off, flopped two pair, turned the boat, checked, let me make the flush on the river and took all my chips. Maybe I'm the Donkey.
    >>>>>>>>>END ALERT
    .

    However there are the occasional $5-10 NL and 6-12 Limit games and a rare 10-20 limit game. I need to build to a point where I am looking to get into the bigger games when available and to buy in full at the 2-5 game. You need to sack up to stack up.

    Online I play 5+ .50 SNG's and $25 max buyin NL ring games. I have ventured out to $10+1 SNG's. I'd like to be in $20 SNG's and $100 max buy NL game, starting with my $100 bankroll. I also want to branch into other games. Mostly Stud and Razz. This will have to happen online. We are in STL afterall.
  6. MTT's
    I have never won one. That has to change.
  7. I need to workout.
    A long time ago in a city far far away.....I was a college athlete. I once ran a 6 minute mile. I couldn't run a 10 minute mile at the moment. I once played 4 soccer games in a day. I once could do pull-ups, many, many pull ups. Its gotten to the point where I need to drop the hammer. Yep, the hammer. 72 lbs. Thats 6 lbs a month for 12 months. This will help my poker game as my focus and endurance will be better. When in Vegas I will be less reliant on the sugar free Red Bull.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

If Poker isn't luck then.....

....how do you explain this?

The WSOP Main Event started with 5,619 players. I am pretty sure that 1,100 1,116 were PokerStars qualifiers (please provide the exact number if you have it handy).
That is 19.58% 19.86% of the total field.

When today's (Wednesday) action started there were 58 players remaining. 11 were PokerStars qualifiers. That is 18.97%.

11.5 would be about 19.83% and 12 would be 20.69%.

If this holds then we should reasonably expect 2 PokerStars qualifiers in the final 9.

Update......

Thursday will start in 8 or 9 hours. There are 27 left and 4 are PokerStars entries. 1 is Raymer. So 14.8% of the field is PokerStars guys. I think that the 2 at the final table is do-able, but I think they slipped a little yesterday. They are 1 short of keeping the 18.5% pace.

You might ask why I care. I don't. I am a numbers/stats/probability freak when it comes to things like this. And I only play at PokerStars.

Final update.

I can predict the future.

2 PokerStars players, Brad "bogey54" Kondracki and Daniel "berka" Bergsdorf made the final 9. Just like my friend statistics said. 2 at the final table is 22.2% When the field started as 19.86% PokerStars players.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

What wins, 3 pair or a straight?

The wifey and I are taking her 13 year old brother and cousin to 6 flags tomorrow. That means they are spending the night with us tonight so we can get a jump on the crowds tomorrow. You know wake up at the crack of nuts or the taint of dawn and get there first like in NL Vacation.

So we have to entertain them tonight. All on their own they came and asked for a deck of cards. Cards, I have cards. How about these Copags?

Sure enough they were up and running playing heads up hold'em. Not well, but they were playing. I get the following questions:

"How many cards in a straight?" That induced a fold.
"What wins, three pair or a straight?" Um, the straight, there is no such thing as 3 pair.

I hope they brought some milk money.

A radio interview with a WSOP main event player

On of our local STL poker bloggers, radio host Paul Harris had a WSOP player on his show. He posted the entire interview on hos blog. Click here to get it.

The guy he interviewed was Ken Adams. Ken has article posted here.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Just like when I was in School.....

I am the one that busted the curve. This report has outed me. Sorry. I must apologize to my fellow co-workers. Your worktime activities will be more closely monitored for the next several weeks and I must admit that it is mostly my fault. Just be glad that you don't live in Missouri with me or you'd really be screwed.

So I sincerely apologize, really.

-Chilly

Poker is not a Sport

In entry #3 of his diary in Slate, Paul Phillips indicates that he believes poker is a sport. I don't know if Paul is jesting here or not. He is just unpredictable enough that it could go either way. However, there are a bunch of you out there that truly believe that poker is a sport. As a poker player, former college football player and former high school football and soccer player I think I am qualified to "weigh" in on this matter. For those of you who know me, the pun was intended.

I think a somewhat (in)formal proof is in order. Those of you who are math inclined may (not)enjoy this.


Proof Poker is a game.
_____________________________________________________
Fact: Football is a sport
Fact: Football played on a computer or gaming console is a game.
Hypothesis: Like Madden 2005, poker is a game, both in online and B&M environments.

Proof by comparison.
Case: Compare all forms of poker to characteristics of the sport and game versions of football.
  1. Football players sweat from actual physical activity.
    Football gamers sweat from eating doritos and drinking too much beer.
    Poker is more like the game.
  2. Football players practice and train, doing things such as lifting weights and running.
    Football gamers practice with a round of "Hitman 2" while simultaneously watching porn.
    Poker is more like the game.
  3. Football players have coaches.
    Football gamers have burnout friends with "Cheat Codes".
    Poker is more like the game.
  4. Football players use performance enhancing drugs such as steroids or HGH.
    Football gamers use performance enhancing drugs such as SoCo, Marijuana and speed.
    Poker is more like the game.
  5. Football players make a lot of money.
    Football gamers live in their mother's basement.
    Poker is more like the game.
  6. Football players schedule events far in advance so that others can pay to come and watch them play.
    Football Gamers roll out of bed at the crack of 4pm and fire up a game.
    Poker is more like the game.
  7. Football players have television shows dedicated to analyzing their performances.
    Football gamers have people who blog about being at their friends house and watching as he somehow came back from a 47 point 3rd quarter deficit to win.
    Poker is more like the game.
  8. Football players wear uniforms.
    Football gamers wear boxer shorts and dirty t-shirts that don't match.
    Poker is more like the game.
  9. Football players shower when they finish for the day.
    Football gamers shower when the neighbors complain about the stench.
    Poker is more like the game.
  10. Football players pull chicks, lots of chicks.
    Football gamers made it to 2nd base once in 10th grade.
    Poker is more like the game.

Football is a sport. Football played on a computer or gaming console is a game. All forms of poker are most similar (exactly like) football played on a computer or a gaming console.

Therefore: Poker is a game.

________________________________________________

For those that want to get into a definitional pissing match over this issue....

Sport n. 1. a. Physical activity that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often engaged in competitively. b. A particular form of this activity. 2. An activity involving physical exertion and skill that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often undertaken competitively.

Sport -1 a : a source of diversion : RECREATION b : sexual play c (1) : physical activity engaged in for pleasure (2) : a particular activity (as an athletic game) so engaged in


Game n. 1. An activity providing entertainment or amusement; a pastime: party games; word games. 2 a. competitive activity or sport in which players contend with each other according to a set of rules: the game of basketball; the game of gin rummy. b. single instance of such an activity: We lost the first game. c. games An organized athletic program or contest: track-and-field games; took part in the winter games. d. period of competition or challenge: It was too late in the game to change the schedule of the project.

Game 1 a (1) : activity engaged in for diversion or amusement : PLAY (2) : the equipment for a game b : often derisive or mocking jesting : FUN, SPORT

Poker n. Any of various card games played by two or more players who bet on the value of their hands.

Poker 1. any of several card games in which a player bets that the value of his or her hand is greater than that of the hands held by others, in which each subsequent player must either equal or raise the bet or drop out, and in which the player holding the highest hand at the end of the betting wins the pot


From the above definitions:
A sport is by definition a game.
A game is not by definition a sport.


Therefore: To be a sport it is a necessary but not sufficient condition for an activity to be considered game. Poker is a game but is not sufficient to qualify as a sport.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Play in this Charity Tournament

Who: Every poker blogger with $20 to donate and within an ethernet of PokerStars. Anyone else with a heart.


What: A Tourney to benefit charity and to honor the memory of Charlie. No you don't get any money. This is for charity.


Where: PokerStars

Why: Because playing in an event such as this is good for your soul. In addition, you get to talk smack, drop the hammer, share some stories and possibly play with some PokerStars pros. Cool guys like Otis, Dr. Pauly and Iggy may even stop by.

When: Sunday July 17 @ 6pm Eastern.

How: Sign up on PokerStars. Tournament, #9680072 under the "Private" tab.

How I would change the WPT

There has been a little bit of discussion over the WPT, Doyle maybe buying it and my post that discussed the issue. So I think I will lay out a plan that I think would make the WPT a stronger organization, make the players better organized and give the fans an overall better product. Some of this is repetitive from the earlier post, but I think my analysis is/will be better organized here. I will be revising this over the next few days. I haven't even read this draft so be a little nice in your critiques (okay I read it once and ran the spell check, its a little better now). I will also add that I did no research for this. I didn't go to the WPT website or google a thing, so what ever facts you see may be totaly wrong and therefore not facts at all.

I think a good place to start is with a B-school 101 SWOT analysis.

First we should look at the strengths of the WPT.
Second are the problems, or weaknesses with the WPT.
Third are the opportunities.
Fourth comes the threats.

Finally I will wrap this all up with a with my recommendations for making the WPT the best poker tour and fan experience possible.

Strengths

The WPT is all ready a recognized brand. Along with the WSOP it is one of the most recognized Poker Brands out there. I have no facts to back this up but I am sure the Wednesday night show is the top rated offering on the Travel Channel. I will also go out on a limb and say its the highest rated poker show other than ESPN's WSOP coverage.

The top pros not only play in the WPT tourneys, they (or their sponsors) pay their way in and they cash in these events. The pro's, at least on the surface, like the events and the possibilities that the TV exposure offer. The stars of the games are playing this game and leveraging their gained popularity and notoriety into endorsements and sponsorships. Many of the events on the circuit existed before the WPT. Vince and Mike are an added feature to the festivities as is all the dead money and the expanding prize pools.

amateurs vie for the WPT titles either through direct buy-ins or satellite events. This is an important link to the fans that similar forms of competitive entertainment can't offer. If I want to swing for the fences I am relegated to my beer league softball team or memories of waistlines past. The WPT gives each of us the opportunity to buy-in directly to the game and play against the Albert Pujols, Babe Ruth and Tiger Woods of poker.

The world is still poker nuts. Although I predict that 5 years from now the number of fish on Party Poker will drop to at least half of what it is today, poker has grown its legion of hard core fans forever. Homegames are going off 24-7. Poker room managers can charge juice on tourneys they used to run for free. Poker tourneys have gone from marketing techniques to profit centers for the casinos. Overlays from the manager are a thing of the past, although they will be back once the fish are gone and we wise up.

I'll make a couple of assumptions. The WPT has long term agreements with the Travel Channel and with the Casinos that sponsor the tour events. In addition are the sponsorship deals with companies like Anheuser-Busch.

Weaknesses

The WPT seems to lack direction and focus in its brand identity. The current brand is multi-faceted and unfocused. Is it a 1.) TV Show? 2.) T-shirt and book merchandiser? 3.) A tournament sponsor? My mother thinks its a TV Show. My grandma thinks that WPT makes poker accessories for Wal-Mart. My brother-in-law thinks that the WPT is a path to fame and fortune. What is your brand WPT? What are you trying to sell?

The current strategy seems a bit short sighted. The WPT is trying cash on the poker boom with books, t-shirts, chip sets and cards sold at Wal-Mart. What happens when every household has a chipset, deck of cards and "E-Dogs Guide to Poker"? What happens in five years when the boom is over and only the hardcore among us remain? Do you think I am going to buy a WPT tshirt or an E-Dog book? WPT paper cards? The WPT has not identified/segmented or marketed to its core audience effectively.

The quality of the merchandise does not match with the concept of the programming. You are showing me high stakes poker, but selling me bargain basement crap. This is creating an image problem. Are you the place for high stakes poker or are you the lowest common denominator? Are you the Bellagio or the Excalibur? You can't put your million dollar face on TV and then sell me the $19.95 knock-off version. There is an air of exclusivity to the WPT events. Why is there no similar air to the merchandise?

The main stars of the WPT, the pro players, are not employees nor are they under any obligation to play in the WPT events. At any time they can decide not to play.

The WPT revenue streams seem to be from merchandise sales at places such as Wal-Mart and from Sponsorship money from companies such as A-B. I am a big fan of the WPT. Big as in I have seen every episode/tourney at least twice. However the WPT has never received any revenue from me. I already drink A-B products, I live in St. Louis. Do you really think I'd take beer recommendations from Mike "CoonskinCap" Sexton anyway?

I may have to break the law to play in a satellite event online to make it to a WPT event. What if I don't want to break the law. Hey Mike and Vince, thanks for announcing on national TV that I won the $10k entry to this event via an illegal online satellite tourney. I am sure nobody from the IRS or law enforcement is watching this.

In short the WPT needs to decide on a business model. Is it a TV show or is it selling the high stakes poker experience? Right now the WPT is missing the boat.

Opportunities

Identify your core audience. Focus the brand and marketing efforts at your core audience. Right now the shotgun method is working because EVERYBODY is a poker player. My grandma will buy a Walmart WPT chipset for me because its there, she knows I play poker and the rice is right. That Live satellite events at my local casino so I don't have to break the law to get in and play in the WPT. I'd pay $50 to enter a supersat for a specific weekend at my local casino.

The pro players are looking for an opportunity to lock in steady income. The pro players are likely cheaper to buy than you might think. Some of the pro players are very popular and very broke. Go ahead and take advantage of them. They won't mind a bit.

Last time I checked there were not any good tourneys at my local casino. All of the tourneys I know about here are overjuiced crap shoots. There is an opportunity to sponsor a mini-wpt tour or satellite circuit.

There is a booming industry of local freeroll events. These consist of vendors setting up regular freeroll events at local restaurants and watering holes. The events generate traffic for the bar, the poker vendor gets a cut of that nights bar profit or a fixed fee. More importantly the poker vendor collects contact information from the poker patrons. Gee, look at that, I now know some of my poker playing fans. If these events were sponsored/run/owned by the WPT great things could happen. Take a chain such as Buffalo Wild Wings and/or Hooters. They could sponsor national poker night every Thursday, brought to you by the WPT. The winner gets some prizes. Not junk, but good stuff, maybe pay the bar (SoCo tab) of the final 5 runners up, just like the WPT. Each sites weekly winners get to play for a seat at a satellite event for the next WPT event. You get a co-marketing deal with a branded restaurant, you connect and identify your fans and you gain a source of revenue.

Threats

No legit organization with the backing or the brains has decided that they can out Poker the WPT. The WSOP is the closest thing. There is a WSOP tour, but I don't see it on TV. I do see it at various Harrahs owned properties around the country. The Ultimate Poker Challenge live from the Plaza sucks. Celebrity Poker Showdown, sucks. That abomination of crapshoot poker on Fox Sports, sucks. You need the pros with just enough fish sprinkled in to keep it interesting. The only thing better than Dale Jr. beating Jeff Gordon and winning an event is having some no-name run Jeff G into the wall and then Dale Jr. winning.

Harrah's already has a deal with ABC/ESPN. ESPN owns bars. ESPN has the best tourney coverage, Norman Chad not withstanding. More people watch ESPN than the travel channel. Are you getting the picture. WPT could be crushed inside of 8 months. CRUSHED. They could televise the ESPNZone freeroll satellite event. Then you get to see how this amateur does against the big boys. Its reality TV. Its great poker action. Its not cheesy VVP lines. They could be at a different Harrahs each week.

Additional Recommendations

Poker accessory co-sponsorship deals. Why not get Copag or KEM to sponsor the WPT final table? Why not tell me who manufactures WPT chips? I think these items might be venue specific. But there is no reason that the WPT couldn't step in and say that it will provide the cards and chips for the TV table. They might have to throw a little cash back to the casino, but no casino is going to say no. Provide participation WPT casinos with WPT branded tourney chips for all of there weekly regular poker tourney events.

Locking the pro's into your organization while giving them freerolls, yet still allowing the general public the opportunity to play is a major challenge. However I think the PGA has set up a good model with their exemptions system. Go back in time to the start of the WPT. Everyone who made the final 10 or 6 (or some number) of a WPT event gets a certain number of event exemptions they can choose to cash in for a freerolls at future WPT events. This is where the sponsorship money is flowing back to the players. So the 10th place finisher would get 1 exemption and the 1st place winner would get 10. The number of exemptions given per event could be dependent on the number of entries and the prize pool. The WPT championship might cost 2.5 exemptions to enter. Didn't earn an exemption? Pony up the cash or win a satellite event.

Cut the juice. The WPT should generate enough cash to eliminate fees and add-ons. This should take priority over a free-role exemption system. The Casino sponsoring the event is getting a huge commercial. Make it bigger if need be. Make it more pronounced. Where's the harm in having VVP pimp for the casino. "Call Linda in guest relations to book your poker vacation her at _________." Each event should be a co-sponsorship event between the venue and the WPT.

Get the promotions back on the players shirts. No more black tape. Think NASCAR. The PGA has tasteful ads on hats and shirts.

Start a WPT loyalty program. Comp players and fans with points for attending or participating in WPT events, freerolls, as spectators, etc.

A WPT credit card? Might be a little gauche. A little like a SoCo branded "The Club".

Charge admission to WPT events. Railbirding the final table should cost WPT Loyalty points or $$.

Form an alliance with one online casino or start/buy your own and rebrand it the WPT. The rights to hold the WPT co-brand could be auctioned off like NFL TV rights.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

The boy at 6 Months

Last weekend we took the boy for photos. Here are the results.






Friday, July 08, 2005

Doyle tries to go "Legit"

(Ed. note, part two of this discussion can be found here.)
Doyle and his scooter along with a cadre of unnamed backers are bidding to buy the WPT. Why?, you might ask. Well there are several reasons, both poker related and business related. Go see how Doyle is doing at the WSOP. And thanks to Pauly for all the pics and coverage.

Poker Reasons:
  • Freerolls, overlays, appearance fees, unionization of the players. These things can all be accomplished if a Poker Guy is in charge. Someone who realizes its the pro players that make the TV ratings. Sure Moneymaker and Raymer (don't forget Varkonyi from 2002 with his QT's) are great stories. But if I wanted to watch dead money suck out on good players I 'd go down to Harrah's and pull up a chair.

    With a percentage of the WPT revenue flowing to the players, more of the top players will come to the events. You could actually have a tour where the same 200 pros show up for 10 tournies a year. Its time for poker people to run the pro poker tour.

Business Reasons are very simple: The WPT is poorly managed.

  • The WPT sees more value in the relationship with the all mighty TRAVEL CHANNEL than they do in the relationship with their players and fans. Why is my hat covered in black tape? The Travel Channel said so. Once again the players should look like NASCARs or Bass Fishermen. Or they could just wear a D&G suits if they choose. Phil could wear "Bratwear". If Golden Palace wants to pay Phil Gordon $100,000 to shave his head and tattoo GP.COM so be it. The structure is much like NASCAR. Players get sponsored, get to wear the clothes they want without black tape and many get to freeroll or even receive appearance fees on top of the prize pool.
  • The NFL gets to auction TV rights of every few years. The WPT should realize this power and take advantage the next time the contract is up. The NFL also sells $250 jerseys in addition to $10 walmart t-shirts.
  • Merchandising with the WPT is a joke. Even the Dukes of Hazzard had action figures. In this case merchandising should be more about live satellite events, pro appearances, book signing, lessons, demonstrations etc. Brand extensions into what you do best, sponsoring poker tournaments. How about a WPT sponsored Poker Room in Vegas? Can you say Donkeyfest? The smell of the fish is making swoon for Vegas all over again.

    Freerolls at national chain resturaunts and bars and satellite events at local casinos. The WPT crap you can buy at Wal-Mart is a start, but it is the the type of stuff that builds no loyalty.

    Crappy 300 ct. chip sets and paper cards are just that, crappy. I'm sure VVP and Mike Sexton's book is great. Jen Harman has a WPT book as does E-Dog. Great. When is E-Dog going to be at the Border's or Harrahs for a signing? Who is springing for his appearance fee. Crap doesn't brand well or set a good image. Besides that who's strat books are you going to read? Harrington, Brunson, Sklansky or Lindgrin? The WPT should be selling the human interest side of these guys. Jennifer Harman is a great story with her transplant and all (benders not withstanding). The Magician could do a seminar on Betty's and chip tricks.

    In other words, leverage and expand the brand. I can get t-shirts from PokerStars. What I can't get is a B&M event where I sit next to IM. Show me you are the place to play poker, watch poker - experience poker. Get the pros to pay a little attention to me. Pay some of the pros to toot your horn. Or freeroll the pros in exchange for tooting our horn. Build your brand, don't capitalize on the free equity you received as a result of the poker boom. That is the quickest way to jump the shark. Quit trying to sell me crap. I already own crap. Crap sits in my attic and is forgotten. I want you to sell me the poker experience. Careful you're going to end up like hockey.
  • Paying players eliminates share deals, chopping and other forms of legitimate collusion that the general public would see as cheating. Nothing kills an enterprise quicker than a little cheating scandal. Even if they want to do it, they can just have exclusions written into their contracts.

The WPT is a mismanaged brand that will be "on the respirator" in a few years without intervention. It is on the path to being the Izod of the new century. Why didn't IZOD ever make pants? What ever happened to Snapple? Build a reputation of quality and loyalty with your customers. Why don't you sell tickets to railbird the tournies? Or reward loyal fans with VIP Railbird passes? Does the WPT even know who their fans are? No.

What have they done to lock me in to their show? What happens to the WPT when ESPN/Disney/ABC and Harrah's launch a tour that pays the pros and treats its fans like customers? Get a chance to knock out Johnny F. Chan. Or just get your book signed. How about a PGA style Pro-Am lesson event before the tourney? Partner me up with a pro for a shootout event.

Hey Doyle, when the transaction is finished email me. I want this job.....

Chilly: Director of Brand Management WPT.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

OP Thursday Night

So the wife is in Miami. I am at home serving my Vegas penance with the boy (actually as much fun as Vegas without that nasty -EV). So what do you do when the boy is asleep at 9pm? You fire up PokerStars for some SNG action. I started th night with P26.90 in my account. I played 3 SNG's. Two P5+50 and one P10+1. I was Bubblicious in one 5+50 and the 10+1. I was Gigli in the other 5+50. Right now I am at the $10 max NL ring game with my last P4.90. I double dup on my first hand from the BB. More on that later in the new feature mentioned in the next paragraph. (ed note I busted with 99 that rivered a straight to a full house 6's full of T's)

My bad beats and suck out losses are too numerious to mention. Instead I'll tell you about someone elses bad beat and one of my hands holding up. Then we will all play the new feature. A game I like to call "WTF did the Donkey hold?" Or WTFDTDH?.

I am in the 10+1 SNG. First hand! I watch as JJ sucks out on the river vs AA ala Dr. Pauly vs Shannon Elizabeth. The suckout artist comes up with
"If it makes you feel any better, I was due for that." .

Yeah that makes the guy feel a lot better

2 hands later I am in MP with AA!. I make a 3xbb raise and get re-raised by the button or SB. I re-re-raise and he moves all in. I slow roll him and finally call. Not really. I insta-call and see that I am against QQ. (Side note: I hate those bitches. They're not so bad together, but with my friend the King and his dad the Ace they turn into real no-show c&%t$). Annnyyywhhoo..... I turn an A and my AA not only holds up, it improves! The table starts with the obligatory GG's and TB's to our dearly departed in 8th place. I call out GG and then bust out with:
"If it makes any dif., I was due."
The crowd goes wild. The sad thing is it's only funny because its true. Since Vegas, unfortunalty I mean since my plane touched down in Vegas, I have been on a rather cold streak. I am still seeing cards, I am just not making the most of them. I am doing three things that I have to get figured out.

1. I keep getting dog walked. For example I flop TP with KQ. I make a small bet, get raised by the button, who also raised pre-flop. I re-raise and then the button smooth calls me the rest of the way, pushes a little on the river and shows me his pocket K's. AAARRRRGH! I also keep chasing my straights that never hit. I chase becasue I have to odds to do so.

Typical situation is a multiway pot preflop. This has likely been raised 3xbb by yours truely only to see the flop 3-4 ways. I have suited connectors that flop an OESD. I chase with odds. I guess I should be raising at some point? The straight never gets there, ever. Unless of course I flop the ass end with 56 in the BB only to lose to the JT.

2. I keep calling bets on the river when it has been checked down post flop. I give way to many free cards. Only to be severly beaten by someone who was either trying to trap me the whole way or who caught perfect on the end. I ALWAYS think they are trying to move me off the pot with nothing.

3. I don't see enough flops and and often unwilling to bet into a flop to which I only hold overcards. I end up not getting action on my quality hands because I am seen as a rock. This is related to my SNG strategy. I don't get real involved in the first 2-3 levels. I play my blinds, defending as is resonable and I attack with quality hands. I don't limp into pots. If I come in its for a raise. I go with the theory that I can't win the tourney here, but I sure can lose it.

All of these problems are only magnfied in ring games.
__________________________________________________________

Now it time for the game sensation thats sweeping the nation:
"WTF did the Donkey Hold?"
Here is the hand history. I am the hero. Names have been modified to disguise the Donkey's.
Hero: posts big blind $0.10
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Hero[7d 9h]
Ndob: calls $0.10
G: folds
A: folds
williamda: calls $0.10
500co: folds
scottyw: folds
BLACKICE: folds
PornStar0: raises $0.10 to $0.20
Hero: calls $0.10
Ndob: calls $0.10
williamda: calls $0.10
*** FLOP *** [9s Kd 7s]
PornStar0: checks
Hero: bets $0.40
Ndob: raises $0.40 to $0.80
williamda: folds
PornStar0: folds
Hero: raises $3.90 to $4.70 and is all-in
Ndob: calls $3.90
*** TURN *** [9s Kd 7s] [7h]
*** RIVER *** [9s Kd 7s 7h] [Ks]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Hero: shows [7d 9h] (a full house, Sevens full of Kings)
Ndob: mucks hand
Hero collected $9.70 from pot
My guess is AA. I think I cracked AA with 97s. What other hand could have called that bet? I figured I was SCREWED when the K hit the river making my opponent K's full of 7's. If I wasn't already all in I would have check/folded for sure. But he mucked and we'll never know.
If it makes any difference, I was due."

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The Poker Playlist

So what is on the "Poker" playlist? Let me preface by saying that this is a WIP and is not finished. I spent about 10 minutes throwing this together. I have 27 gigs of music on I-Tunes so it can take a while to refine and distill a good list. In other words I know I am a tasteless shit and I can't find my damn Metallica CD's! Anyone have the Bullet Boys on CD? I'd love to add a little "Smooth Up In Ya" to the list.

The main thing is that the songs move, keep me awake and/or pump me up. I play best when on edge (and on serious caffine). I have to able to sing along. Yes I can rap along with Dr. Dre., although Snoop moves a little fast for a cracker from Iowa.

Bush
Cake
Kid Rock
AC/DC
Beastie Boys
Billy Squier
Blur
Black Crows
CCR
Cream
Dr. Dre
Eve 6
Fountains of Wayne
Guess Who
Green Day
House of Pain
Jimi Hendrix
John Williams (The Imperial March aka Darth Vader's Theme.) Heres a tell. If this is on you should fold. I am on a rush. I have the nuts. I am the dark side.)
Led Zeppelin
Lenny Kravitz
Derrick and the Dominoes

Coming soon....
Metallica
Van Halen
Weezer
The Smashing Pumkins
Violent Femmes
Foo Fighters
Jet
Eminem
Blues Traveler
The Donnas
The Cars
Glenn Miller
The Killers
Moby
Nelly
The Ramones
J. Geils Band
The Shins
Sleater-Kinney
Steve Miller Band
The Strokes
Van Morrison

That leads me to the end of this post. But before I go I will ask what is your favorite song lyric right now? Not your all time favorite. The one that is stuck in your head now. The one that now matter if you are singing along to a song or not you stop what you are doing and sing that one line.

Mine is from Cake, the song is Short Skirt/Long Jacket.

"....with fingernails that shine like justice and a voice that is dark like tinted glass."

Tight Passive instead of Tight Aggressive

Ed. Note: I originally titled this post "ramblings from a bored cube dweller" but alas this post ends up going somewhere and I came up with the above title. So read on for a little about me and not a lot about poker.

I've got the i-pod cranked up with my "Poker" playlist on as loud as I can possibly stand. Yet I can still hear the shrill non-sense coming from the inconsiderate lump next to me. The lump across the aisle keeps firing up his speaker phone for conference calls.

Lumps indeed. (yes I put this in during the edit)

The only thing keeping me sane are a few "normal" touch points in the office. GI is a great guy who is under-utilized and wasting away here. He will be the boss somewhere someday. BS is finally making a move and gaining some recognition. JI is content with her lot in life. Without my daily lunch therapy/bitch session I think I'd go insane.

Isn't it funny. Here I am making the money I should be making, doing a job that I somewhat/sometimes enjoy and yet I am not all that happy in what I do. I am under appreciated by the establishment. I have been working in this office, doing this job for 23 months. That ties with my record for longest time in one place. I am not a full-time employee, I am a "contractor". By IRS standards I am an employee. But the company continues with this charade so they can avoid counting me as headcount, avoid taxes, benfits and whatnot plus I get stuck with the employer and employee tax burden.

I have ants in my pants. I want to move on. I have no place to go. GI is constantly on the prowl for next, better thing. I am stuck. I only get motivated to move on by necessity. You know, layoffs or total insanity.

I left my first 23 month gig due to insanity. I worked for the State of Illinois while my wife was in medical school. After about 16 months I needed an escape plan. I decided to go back to school. That brought me to St. Louis and living away from my wife for about 9 months. Thats how bad it was. I had to leave the entire city and my wife behind. She caught up and made it to STL, but none too soon.

My next gig was after grad school. I was there for 21 months. Our 3 person consulting firm went belly-up in February of 2003. That was by far the best, most rewarding job I ever had. My boss was a great guy who gave me free reign to get my work done. He asked my opinion. He asked me to write a marketing plan for his company. He put me in front of the executive boards of our clients.

I was unemployed from Feb 03 to July/August 03 when I landed this gig. It started as a 1 month consulting engagment to write business plans for new products. I gave up a full time job with another company when my boss asked me to stick it out to the end of the year. He "promised" a fulltime gig starting Jan '04. I am still waiting. Not that the issue hasn't been addressed and "re-promised". Its just the way it is. I don't get benefits which sucks, good thing the wife has a good deal with all the perks and such. I don't get paid vacation, except for one day when it helped my boss get a day off too. So things like going to Vegas cost me two days "revenue" in addition to my airfare, hotel and gambling. The week I am going to spend fishing in August will cost a bundle. One weeks pay. Oh well at least there is a poker room within 10 miles in addition to the lake out the front door.

What should I be doing? I should be a product manager for a fishing tackle company. I should own a chain of vet practices. I should be a pro bass fisher/poker player. I should be doing something, anything, that gets me out of bed in the morning for a reason other than logging hours to collect $$. Oh but that sweet, sweet cash. How I need you.

I am a whiney bitch.

I have a job. I have a great wife and a spectacular kid. I am mostly healthy. I should be content. I should have a smile on my face, but I don't. Maybe its me. Maybe I want it all to fall in my lap. Maybe I have to grab "it" by the nuts and make up my mind to go in a direction. Maybe I am playing life tight passive instead of tight aggressive.

Limit Homegame Results

The biggest result is that I didn't catch many cards. We did end up playing .50/1.00 instead of .25/.50. That was an improvement.

I played the straddle 3 times (once 4 way action with 3 to the river blind), I check raised and did everything in my power to put a hurting on my fellow players it was not to be. I could not suckout no matter how hard I tried. My straights never made it past four cards, my flushes were anything but nut. My pairs were out kicked.

Sets. If I am supposed to hit a set 1/8 times I have a pocket pair, how come I don't remember hitting one since Vegas. I think it may have something to do with flopping a set of fours, getting all my money in and watching as the flush fell on the river. I swore to the poker gods that they could keep their f'ing sets to themselves. Well, they listened. I haven't caught a set in forever. BtW if ou can't hit a set you can't make a boat or quads.

My dad showed up, bought in and cashed out up $5. I was down $29.25.

We played a $5 NL sng at the end of the night. I played exactly 2 hands that weren't the blinds.

I tried to make a move with KJo and had to lay it down.

Almost to the start of the 3rd level I find AKo in middle position. Brian had limped UTG, folded to me and I push all in for T700 (started with T1000). Short stack RTT calls for (T250). Dave Moves all in with T800. Brian calls all in with something like T500.

4 way action with AKo is a bad, bad thing. Thus, why I was trying to steal the blinds.

Brian flips QJs
RTT flips 34s
Dave slips AJs

WTF????

Needless to say a J falls at some point and I am out. Like I said, if I could make this a daily $200 buyin SNG I could quit my job. All in all I am bitter. I am still on tilt. Those guys all suck. Especially Dave. He is much to good of a player to call 2 all-ins with AJo. Suckout artist.

Sidenote. Rebuy did not play. I wonder if this has something to do with my poor showing as I always double up against him?

Online poker this weekend. The wife is spending a 4 day weekend in Miami for a little R&R and some "Vegas Revenge" so I will be spending the weekend with the boy. I plan to teach him how to deal. That way we have a full time dealer for home games. Don't forget the tokes, he needs to go to college.