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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Games are still good: too good for me of course.

Of course this hand is a face up overpair by the action and I'm just paying someone off who's set-mining. I don't really worry about monsters here - I'd expect to see something like QxXd or T9s at least - not, uh, T8o,

 But hey, go ahead and call off half a stack OOP with second pair no kicker - wonder what the plan was on the turn, besides spike and hit, because I'm never ever folding getting 3-1 on fourth street.

At least I wasn't last. 30/31  Seems like a nice enough site overall. Will have to explore further. Thanks to Pokermeister and Seals With Clubs for hosting!

Hand #19447768-5 - 2014-02-26 21:04:21
Game: NL Hold'em (0+0) - Blinds 10/20
Site: Seals With Clubs
Table: Bitcoin Blogger Freeroll - Table 4
Seat 2: robvegaspkr (3081)
Seat 3: BloodOfKings (3842)
Seat 4: cidoncha (2970) - sitting out
Seat 5: edgie1 (2208)
Seat 6: heffmike (2970)
Seat 8: MichelleD (2980) - sitting out
Seat 9: KingQuesnel (2949)
heffmike has the dealer button
MichelleD posts small blind 10
KingQuesnel posts big blind 20
** Hole Cards **
Dealt to heffmike [Ah Ac]
robvegaspkr folds
BloodOfKings raises to 170
cidoncha folds
edgie1 calls 170
heffmike raises to 500
MichelleD folds
KingQuesnel folds
BloodOfKings calls 330
edgie1 folds
** Flop ** [Qc 8d 7d]
BloodOfKings checks
heffmike bets 900
BloodOfKings calls 900
** Turn ** [Th]
BloodOfKings bets 2442 (All-in)
heffmike calls 1570 (All-in)
BloodOfKings refunded 872
** River ** [Kd]
** Pot Show Down ** [Qc 8d 7d Th Kd]
BloodOfKings shows [8s Tc] (Two Pair, Tens and Eights +K)
heffmike shows [Ah Ac] (a Pair of Aces +KQT)
BloodOfKings wins Pot (6140) with Two Pair
heffmike finishes tournament in place #30

Monday, February 24, 2014

Really, longer than JFK's presidency?

Got one of these emails too Monday night.

Looked it up. Unbelievable, but we're a couple of weeks past the length of Camelot since Black Friday.

A payment in the amount of $xxxx.59 will be paid electronically via ACH to the bank account that you specified in your Petition. This payment represents the full amount of your Full Tilt Poker Account Balance, which you confirmed on the Full Tilt Poker administration online filing site.  Payment will be made within the next seven business days. 
Whee. Ready to splash around a little bit now. Went out Sunday and took down the opening session of the bar poker league.

Then again, the very next game I raise/4balled/folded QQ for 50BB effective to a tricky old man who 1) minraised me out of the big blind and then 2) did the pause/think/jam after my 4bet. So maybe I should keep the training wheels on a little longer. But I guess I should head to Charles Town/Maryland Live/Delaware Park soon.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Can I get paid in Dogecoins instead?

So while I'm waiting for a few K to finally land in my greedy little hands later this month, almost three years after Black Friday, here comes another attempt to get the blogger plates all spinning in the air again.


Bitcoin Blogger Freeroll


Hell, I'll try anything once. Good on Pokermeister for giving it a run.

Seals with Clubs. Sounds silly enough to toss a tenth of a Bitcoin or so, splash around again, and remember how much I've forgotten about playing decent, profitable poker.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Doing my civic duty...

(tl,dr - I voted. America whooooo! I have a silly mustache!)

...In November 2000, I was working in MSM as a photo editor at the St. Petersburg Times in Florida. I worked in sports, which meant a lot of late nights and tight deadlines, so at that point I really could have cared less about elections - to me, every night was election night in our department, so boofuckinghoo the poor news guys actually had late breaking news to deal with...

   I had moved from Virginia to Illinois to Florida since the last presidential election, and as usual for most 20-somethings, didn't bother to keep up my residency or voter registration. I barely paid attention to the campaign and really didn't have a stake in Bush v. Gore - one thing I did notice, though, is how incredibly left-wing the entire newsroom was. Dems were cool, GOP were morons, QED.

   Now, since I tend to be a bit of an iconoclast, and have always been suspicious of any kind of groupthink - that made me want Bush to win just to piss off all the journalists I worked with. But whatever, I didn't vote in 2000. I do recall most of the newsroom cheering as the early returns were running in Gore's favor, and I thought that was a violation of the "no cheering in the pressbox" protocol from sports reporting - but to be honest, most journalists can't help themselves when it comes to politics - and that's a conversation for another day...

   As history unfolded that night - and I was up drinking with a bunch of Times editors and writers as the calls for Florida were reversed and re-reversed into the wee hours - it was pretty obvious that one person (and a few hundred other momos like myself) could actually swing a national election. I still have the four variations of the Times A1 stored in the house somewhere (yes, the phrase "Stop the presses" was actually uttered that night - how quaint that seems just 12 years later) for the historical record...

  So I vowed never to miss an election after that.

------

  For the most part I've kept that promise - especially since I got married, bought a house, had a baby, yadayadayada - I do take these kind of civic responsibilities seriously. Which brings me to today's election...

  Like most people who pay attention to these things, I've about fucking had it with the chattering class of pundits all over the media who do nothing but analyze a horse race every hour of the day, dissecting polls, viewing every event through the lens of "Does this help/hurt Candidate Momo?"  The worst part is, at some point Election night, after a call has been made one way or another, a bunch of these bubbleheads will start talking about the 2016 campaign, because EVERYTHING IS A ZERO-SUM ELECTION GAME TO THESE IDIOTS.

  All these people could get swallowed up by the Earth tomorrow, and we would be better off as a society, guaranteed.

(This said, I do enjoy the work of Nate Silver, and hopefully one good byproduct of this election is a greater understanding and appreciation of statistical analysis. Oh, and I can't wait to see how the gap between this and this gets explained away over the next few days.)

  The only poll that matters is the one on November 6, 2012. So on the way to work, I pulled up at the local school, told all the paper pushers to please leave me alone, and waited in line to vote.

It's still amazing to me that we as Americans can hold an election in a reasonably peaceful, civilized fashion - sure, you get gripes and whines of "VOTER SUPPRESSION" and other political accusations, but for the most part we're allowed to assemble and express our opinions in a manner unlike anywhere else in the world. Try and see how easy this is in most of the Arab or Latin American world  - Democracy isn't easy to pull off, and we're lucky to have over 225 years of experience and tradition at it.

 The poll workers looked up my registration and address, I got a paper ballot (not voting electronically yet, I know how that system can be gamed, at least I physically filled in a circle and submitted the ballot for scanning and tabulating) voted, and was done in 15 minutes.

 I did actually put out a Facebook call to friends and colleagues asking why I should vote FOR a candidate, instead of against one, and got some good answers. I appreciated everyone's input.

I ended up voting for this guy's preferred candidate. I jknow I can feel better about my vote if I actually picked what I want, instead of a binary choice of what I feel like I have to settle for.

-Barack Obama is a charismatic, personable salesman - even when he's (justifiably) being a dick. I think he and his family represent a lot of good things about America. I also think the Democratic Party machinery behind him is systemically responsible for the growing dependency this country has on government and the nanny state. I wouldn't vote for him if he was Barry Owens from Georgia because of this philosophy, so I'm not going to do it just because he's a half-n-half kid like me.

-Mitt Romney represents a party has been on the WRONG, WRONG side of every major social issue in this country for most of my lifetime. Gay rights, drug policies, women's rights - even silly online poker playing -  etc, etc. The Republican Party has seen what the left has used Government for over the last 40 years - and instead of pivoting to, "Washington should just stay out of almost every social issue and simply preserve liberty and equality while leaving people alone" has joined in with "Washington should be able to enforce our morality and lifestyle choices on free adults because WE KNOW BETTER SILLY SHEEPLE."  I'm not going to reward that clownishness simply because I agree with general GOP fiscal philosophies, especially because in practice, the right spends just as foolishly as the left - they just have different caviar tastes....

There's a phrase amongst statheads when confronted with a false choice between two concepts:

"Beer or Tacos?"
"Both!"

Meaning, life is not binary - there's no reason, by making one choice, you exclude the other entirely. Most real choices in life involve a synthesis or compromise between competing ideas.

I'm not pretending I've done anything amazing here - this is essentially a wasted protest vote. But just because you're served a shit sandwich doesn't mean you have to eat it. I just decided to go off the menu, pour myself a Scotch and cook a steak instead.

Overall, I can deal with whoever wins this election - there really isn't that big of a practical gap between Obama and Romney when you pull back for the long view - not moving to Canada or anything. The issues we face as a country run much deeper than who sits in the White House.

At least I made my opinion a matter of public record....

Oh, and to wind up with some poker/life notes:

-FU FULL TILT UP AND RUNNING DOOON'T CAAAARRREE - Where's my money, DoJ?

-Played three games a couple of Sunday's ago at the local free bar poker establishment. Finished 1 - 1 - 5. Not too bad. At least I can close in a teehee live game still.

-Can't play dead when I show up for a Dank. Did win a AIPS home game last time out and have no idea how I did it.

-Sorry to see Joe C shut it down. A late comer to the scene but a definite bright spot.

-I am probably going to grow the worst Movember stache in the history of man. Already being called Pierre by the entire family....
 

Friday, August 17, 2012

I find many amazing outs...

Brief update of joyousness.

*** Grind a Dank Wednesday night. Manage to spew a lot and then slowly get it all back. Get four-handed with a good amount of chips and manage to get someone to raise/four-ball shove almost 35BB at me preflop with A5 when I'm holding AK. Trip 5s by the river. Wheee.....

*** Get even sillier and grind a triple stud AIPS tourney Thursday night - nice structure, sort of - 17 players with single stacks took over 5 hours!!!!. I think I spent three hours at a starting stack wondering where everyone learned to play stud. By the time we got three handed, I'm to the point where anything other than winning seems like a waste of time - as if it already wasn't....

So we get to Stud three handed and I'm rolled up with TTT. I raise third, get reraised, and flat - check/call fourth, and check/raise fifth - but when I get threeballed with xxA showing, somehow, the way I'm running, I just know this isn't a good sign.

I call down two more streets, catch an ace on the river - but hey, that case ace on fifth gave the other guy trip aces. Wheeeeeeee...... I run another buried pair into a bigger one a few minutes later to finish third.

Someday I'll figure out how to fade these two and three outers when it's kind of important :-(

Monday, August 6, 2012

The wife plays poker... and I'm on tilt. The two statements are not related.

Ah, so this particular Sunday, the wife and I decided to pop out to the late session at our local dive bar for some free bar poker. Usually, this means I go busto, she roaches her way to the final table, gets on a heater and crushes fools to a win. This time, not so much...

Not a whole lot happens early. Two notable hands.

-I pickup twoblackaces against an UTG and UTG+1 limper at 100/200 and raise to 900 in the hijack seven handed. UTG calls.
Flop KJT and UTG leads 500, I call b/c when am I getting called with a worse hand when I raise?
Turn blank, we go check check.
River blank, UTG leads 500 and I decide to thinly valueraise to 1500 b/c I'm 100% sure I'm in front. I get snapcalled by J4 and the aces are good.  LOLOL.

-The wife is on my right and limps behind an EP limper at 100/200 a few hands later. I raise with AcJc on the button to 800 and only she calls.
Flop AKT all spades, and Jenn instantly leads for 1500.
I snap fold and show. Probably too tight, but I really didn't think she was screwing around with me. Even if I'm right, she has to have a spade and a live kicker, or can beat TP, and I'm probably going to have to put it in the middle to find out.
She tells me later she had A2 with the 2 of spades. I don't think that's right, but w/e. I had a feeling and didn't want to flip stacks with my wife at a free MTT, go figure. I probably play that completely differently against anyone else.

Anyway, I start building a stack in my usual workman-like fashion, coupled with getting lucky at the same time.

- UTG limps, - he's a noob but knows a couple of the really good players, so he probably is better than the average bear - and a couple other momos limp behind at 200/400. I check A9o in the big blind. Four to the flop.
Flop 942 with a flush draw. I check, UTG leads 600, MP flats, Jenn also calls, and I decide to pop it to 2600 to clear out all the draws.
UTG flats (oops) and everyone else folds. Despite the alarm bells, I decide to shove on non-flush turns.
Turn is a nine ball, ding. I quickly jam anyway, UTG tank calls with 42o (srsly? on that turn?), and I hold up.

Jenn tells me she folded the case nine. I run goot sometimes.

- A few hands later Jenn jams on the button for 4800 after a raise to 1200 and a couple of callers behind. Initial raiser tank calls with 88, but Jenn's KQo gets there on the river. I like that :-) If he's tank calling with 88 he's folding a lot of hands you need him to fold.
So now that she has a stack, someone in front of her minraises to 800, she makes it 2K and I look down at AKo. Fuck. If I flat, a bunch of other donks come along guaranteed. If I raise, she's only putting in more chips with a better hand.
I make it 5K, all fold, but she flats.  FML.
Flop Axx. OK, that's fine. She jams, I instacall, she shows TT and I fade the two outer to bust the Jenn. I'm so dirty. But, now I've got over 25K and I'm starting to build like I usually do. Whee!.

Except I have a nemesis on my left. One of the women from this post - the odd one that flats everything preflop.  She comes to the table with a bunch of chips too, and I start thinking to myself, one of us is going to end up with the other's stack. Wonderful.

Anyhow, every hand I open, she flats and tries to outplay me or something. I raise A8s, flop second pair, play it careful and hold up vs. a junk flopped draw. I raise 33, I make a flush by the river but her 66 makes a four flush as well and I check/call/donate to a small river bet.

She acts really dippy and silly, but I know she plays enough - and I've had enough conversation with her - that she's not a dumb as she acts, it's more of a hamhanded flirty/silly persona (Jenn later asks if she meant to be that flirty with me with my wife sitting right there across from her - and I'm like, yeah, that's her thing...) Put it this way - when one of the LAGs at the table gets a bet/fold on a rag board and only shows one card, top pair - she asked to see the kicker. Dingbats don't usually do that in a friendly free game - either it's a tactic or she's REALLYREALLY silly.

So finally the hand comes up after the break. UTG limps at 500/1000, I decide to call on the button with KcTc and a 23.5K stack, blinds come along.
Flop Kh9c3c. Well, that's pretty nice. Flop checks to me, I bet 2500 into 4000, only she calls in the small blind, all fold.
Turn Th. Well, that's a pretty good card. I'm behind a set, but still have pretty good equity against almost any holding. She checks, I bet 7K into a 9K pot and she tank calls. Ok, she has a flush draw or a rag king at this rate.
River 3h. Ok, that's NOT a good card. Junk KJ/KQ hands just boned me and the flush got there obviously. She checks, I decide to shove my last 13K into the 23K pot, which is just about the rest of her stack give or take 3K.

Now, it's really hard to find a hand that she can call me with there that I can beat, obviously... T9, K9 - but when I've put almost half my stack in the middle already, checking behind afraid of what she's got feels really, really weak. So I stuck it in and let her figure out what to do with her hand. Probably my only real mistake of the hand - preflop is debatable, but if I raise light in position I am guaranteed to get multiple callers - so I like to do that with a polarized range and flat my medium hands with a positional advantage... probably stupid, but anyway...

After I shove, she hems and haws, asks how much it is, 10K or 13K... OMG it's almost all of my chips... and then finally calls... and then rolls over Ah6h for the runner runner nut flush. So I got floated out of position by Ace high nopair nodraw on the flop, she check/called off some more on the turn with just the naked flush draw without odds to continue, and then she slowrolled the effective nuts on the river.

If Jenn wasn't there, I might have really exploded.

Not because she got there - I mean, by the river, I'm vulnerable to a lot of hands, I'm hardly ever getting called by a worse hand - but because I got tank nitrolled by someone who should have just SNAPCALLED WITH THE NUT FLUSH BECAUSE I NEVER EVER HAVE A BOAT AND EVEN IF I DO YOU SPEWED HALF YOUR STACK OUT OF POSITION TO HIT SO JUST CALL OFF ANYWAY IN A REASONABLY QUICK FASHION AND IF I'M FULL THAT'S JUST POKER.

"It took you that long to call with a flush? You put half your stack in on the turn hoping to get there?"
"I'msorrydon'tbemadIdidn'tknowwhatyouhad boiawer;gonaodnaiusdhgiawhfgihawri"

I quit paying attention after that. I just walked over the where Jenn was sitting, we finished our beers, paid the tab and took off for home.

So really, either I run horribad or am not smart enough to just check behind when silly draws get there. I'm not sure if this means there's still a ton on money in poker - or if it means I'm just bound to get pwned by people who play terribad but know I will pay off if they get there, so it's worth it to do so.

Or, I could just follow the wife's advice:

"Do you really think they're actually thinking about the same things you do when you play them?"

And that's probably the best advice ever. Which is why I married her, after all.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Super Tuesday >>>>> Black Friday

Hey, I might be able to play live again! Thanks to the efforts of the DoJ and Stars, I should be able to unlock a not-insignificant FTP bankroll for some fall follies at a cardroom near you. Woot!

-Actually have played the Dank the last couple of weeks - nothing notable happens - and even if it did, I wouldn't remember b/c it's not like Stars saves hand histories for home games anyway...

-Al made some cryptic noise about more Blogger tourneys on Face Up Gaming, but I haven't seen any other news about this in a week. I guess this remains to be seen - as well as if these guys can figure out how to handle more than a few hundred logged-in players...

-One thing is starting to annoy me lately in the limited amount of playing time I'm getting - I can't handle success or close very well.

1) I played an AIPS Home Game tourney for the first time in forever last week, mostly because it was PLO8 and I used to light that game up in SnG/MTTs like it was my job back in the day. I started very very slowly, but by the time I got halfway through the final table I finally started making hands, valuetowning people and building a stack.
I ended up HU against a reasonably OK player, but one that was SOSOSO PASSIVE at PLO8. Like, he never raised his button preflop and never value bet his hands when he made them. So, I basically went on autopilot, ground him down over 15-20 minutes, had a 4-1 chip lead and figured that the only way I could lose is if I ran incredibly bad.

So I lost three straight allins after the flop and finished second.

2) Went back to the free bar tourneys last weekend after a week off. Managed to run a 7K stack into 50K in an hour by hitting every hand and actually had 50BB when we combined to a 8-handed final table. I probably had almost 1/3 of the chips in play, which isn't easy at that stage of the tourney.

And I finished 7th. Couldn't buy a pot and lost every flip.

3) Even in tonight's Dank, I built a big stack early (7K 20 minutes in) and blew it all to finish 16/27. I get pwned by every nit that shows up with a big pair behind me when I open a pot  - and either I never guess right and catch them with air - or bloggers never bluff when you build a big pot preflop.

Even to get to that point, I had to run bottom set into a flopped Broadway and fill up on the river after I got raised on the turn and decided to peel and check/fold if I didn't fill up - and I had to run AQ into KK all in preflop and spike an ace.

Sometimes it's just frustrating to play. Am I playing too tight - too loose... Am I giving villains too much credit - or not enough respect... I just need more time in the seat.

Maybe I can get that soon with my freed up roll. I do have 2.16 left in rackback on clowny Lock. 

Time for robusto playing 1c/2c or something, lol.






Monday, July 16, 2012

Stop completing Ax, muppet.

Well, that was a bit more respectable Sunday night. 3rd of about 25. Top 3 guarantees a seat in the quarterly Tavern Championship, so it's nice to get that out of the way fairly early in Week 3.

Once again, I'm only able to get out to one of the two games on Sunday, so I guess I'm doing OK only playing half the events. Some interesting hands came up, where in retrospect I'm really realizing how out of practice I am.

* at 200/400, I'm a little above the starting 7K stack after a couple of preflop raises/continuation bets with air take down pots when I get to check my BB with T6o against three limpers, then see a T65 flop with two spades. I lead half pot and get a call from an EP open limper and a MP cold caller (one of the women from week one, the good player).  So, 4K in the pot to the turn, a red Jack.

I lead 2500, EP folds, MP thinks, counts stack, and flats the 2500 with only 1600 more behind. Hmm.

For some reason I say I'm all in dark before the river hits. It's a black 10 that doesn't complete anything, and MP folds. She says she had a big draw on the turn that didn't get there (98s? Q9s?)

Anyway, WTF was I doing shoving dark? Uh, either she gets there and calls FTW, or she whiffs and folds. Is she really calling off with a worse two pair or folding a better hand? Sometimes I just don't think things through enough. I guess I was trying to make her hero call with a Jack, but that was never happening...

So I'm up to 13K at 200/400 but spew that off quickly enough, blind down to 7K at 400/800 and open shove K7s right into a BB's AJ. I river a four-straight to double up. The BB is a pretty good and sticky player, one I never seem to get it in good with.

"Dude, when's the last time I shoved into you and was ahead? Three years ago on a Tuesday?"
"No, you're always behind when I call, and you always seem to get there..."
"So there's a lesson there," I say. "Stop calling my shoves..."

Sure enough, I have to tread water until we get to a final table 9-handed, but somehow I end up with 21K when we take a quick break to color up at 1k/2k level. I'm not sure how I did this: I have basically quit trying to bluff too much once people have interest in a pot, and TARP when I flop a marginal hand, which costs me in silly spots... (Button minraises, I defend BB. I flop middle pair with a nine, we check the flop and turn, river pairs the 9 but backdoors a club flush, I check and watch the button check behind with a 4c to be nice. I suck.) ...but I still manage to pick up chips when appropriate.

We quickly get down to four handed, and I basically short stack ninja my way to the top three when the other short stack jams and doesn't get there. And then I start turning on my very annoying shove-or-fold switch... One player is very solid, very smart and tricky, while the other is a little more nitty. I start playing optimal short stack poker, shoving in good spots (at least 8-10 over a half hour), making people call off a substantial part of their stacks to look me up - I actually get a couple of folds from the nit where he's getting 3-1 and should never fold, so good timing by me.

Of course, they're noticing what I'm doing, so I try to shift gears and end up pwning myself.

-blinds 4k/8k. We've been at this for a good 30 minutes or so, and when I'm in the SB with a red A8o, I just complete and BB (the tricky player) checks.

|Flop A98 with two clubs. Whee, but I check and BB checks behind.

Turn Qs, so with two flush draws and other junk out there, I lead 10K and get a call.  Pot's 36K now.

River is the Js. I'm not really worried about the flush as much as I am about hands with a T that just backdoored me. I check, villain jams 26K, which I just barely cover, and I have to think if he really floated fourth street and turned his hand into a bluff in a spot where I almost have to call him regardless. I think and fold like a dumbass because:

1) I've been able to steal chips when I want to by open-shoving pots, so I can get that 10K back.
2) It's the leveling thinking: I have to call, so he can't be bluffing, and I don't think he would shove marginal hands I'm ahead of in an effort to get me to fold a better hand, when I really should never be folding here...

Well, I try to get him to talk - he says he noticed I didn't like the river, and I tell him I really wasn't worried about the flush draw, I thought he backdoored a better hand on the river (even though I beat almost all two pair hands - any better Ax hand should have gotten it in on the turn) He says he turned a rivered jack into a bluff... which, while slightly suicidal, makes sense - and emphasizes even more to me...

1) don't get fancy with Ax hands that shallow shorthanded
2) people in position will shove a wide range of hands when checked to on the river (I definitely do, especially when I can't win at showdown) and you have to look them up more than you're comfortable with...
3) I'm dumbass for playing a flopped two pair like that in the first place.

Strangely enough, over the next 10 minutes I stole and restole my way back to the chip lead, before I finally got boned in a limped three way pot out of the big blind. Q32 flop, I spike top pair, I check, Button minbets 8K, SB flats, I shove 40K more on top, button folds but SB calls off with 93o??? (nearly half his stack is in the middle already, but boy o boy) I barely get done saying that he's got a live kicker when the nine hits the turn and I don't improve on the river. My 12K doesn't hold the next hand and I'm done in third. That'll happen.

However, I like how I played overall despite the stupid mistakes. We played three handed a very long time - much more than usual in these tavern tournaments - I was enjoying the challenge, and I had no doubt that if the Q held up, I was going to win HU no matter how good the other player was.

So it's time to actually win one of these freebie MTTs. That would be nice. Oh, I won a $5 gift certificate for third, so at least I can get a free beer next week.. :-)



Monday, July 9, 2012

Crazy eights

-Because I have nothing better to blog about now, let's talk about the freebee bar poker MTTs...

Pretty straightforward evening at the fake tables over the weekend... Completely card-dead for an hour or so, got down to 3BB, then kept winning 60-40s until I finally lost a standard flip to go out 5th of about 23 or so.

The notable notes, with an actual pokery-type question at the end...

1) I'm always amazed by how people play. In the span of 15 hands I saw someone open-limp/flatcall a raise out of position with 99, AA, and QQ (twice). She won three of the four hands. Of course, she also paid off quads on a paired board with a pure bluff catcher, so I have no idea if these lines were a conscious plan or just her erratic style of play.

Naturally, every time I raised her blind she defended/floated, and then donked into me in spots where I can't call and she wasn't likely to fold to a bluff-raise. I run so goot.

2) One of the hands she won was this: Open limps UTG+1 seven-handed, I'm in the BB with Kx, but the SB decides to raise from 200 to 1200. While he's doing that, the button is in his own world and puts out two cards to a flop with a King in the door. I'm half tempted to flat but I'm not a complete muppet, plus I know the cards should get shuffled back into the stub anyway.

I fold, woman flats. Heads up to a reshuffled Qxx rainbow flop, SB checks, woman bets half pot, SB jams, woman snap calls with top set, he sighs and rolls over AA. Live poker is fun.

Then he starts grumbling about how the button's premature flop hosed him - which is kind of true, but

-shit happens,
-cards are random, yo,
-the third card on the first flop might have been a queen, you never know,
-oh well, shit happens.

Even though there's not a continuous RNG shuffling cards during the hand in the real world, I like to think there is. It helps me not fixate too much over silly mistakes like misdeals and dealer fuck-ups.

3) Ok, the pokery-like content. After I roach my way to the final table and win a flip with AK v 33, I actually have what passes for some chips at this point (anything over 10BB, lol). Then, two hands show up where I know what I would do online, but live is a different matter.

 A- We're six handed. UTG is a pretty solid player with chips. BB is a pretty nitty nit. Blinds 1K/2K and I have 28K.

UTG limps, all fold. I have 88 in the SB and just complete. BB then raises to 8K.
UTG folds, I ask how much more is behind and he shows me 12K more. I think and fold.

(Next hand he does the same thing out of the SB and gets a call from an openlimper in EP. He jams a seven-high flop with a flush draw, gets called by A7s (lolpreflop) and his kings get cracked when the flush hits the river. I ask if I was ahead the hand before and he takes a bit to remember before saying he had KQs. So basically I refused to flip, if I believe him.)

B- Five-handed now at 2k/4k, I still have the same 28K stack.
Same UTG opens for 14K. Folds to me in the BB and I look down at 88 again. I push, UTG has a simple call getting 3-1 and I don't hold vs. AQo and I'm out.

Naturally, in any online SnG or MTT, these are pretty trivial spots, especially spot B. I'm too short to stop and go, folding a 7BB stack with a pair is ludicrous, etc...

I SHOULD be raising in spot A, but the UTG limp seemed suspicious, and I just felt like something wasn't right.

But, this is a live (fake) MTT. In both spots I'm certain

-Villains are never raise/folding,
-Villains are pretty straightforward and are never making a move with air,
-I'm hoping I'm flipping against overs, but there's a good chance I'm running into a bigger pair.

As played, what the minimum you get it in with in spot A?

It's a snap shove with TT and a borderline call with 66, I think... But there I go trying to reduce variance by only losing 1K, finding a better spot, and refusing to flip - when it's exactly the kind of spot where I should flip to go big or go home, reads be damned.

Monday, July 2, 2012

And this is what passes for a MTT sweat now...

   After the Face Up debacle, it's pretty apparent that I'm not going to be making any huge online plays in the near term: I'm not very bullish on their future at all.

    The one place I had a little scratch on, Lock, just "downgraded" their software and left Merge: I wasn't really a fan of the changes at all, and decided to go big or go home with my $250 last week... ...and went busto in less than 24 hours - I've never run into so many flopped sets in my life, enough where I actually entertained, "mygodthissiteissoriggedobv" thoughts - and when it all went buh-bye, I uninstalled the software and called it a day. Hey, I got an iPad out of my play there, so that'll work....

   As a result, I don't have any online mobneys at all - except the 3400 I'll never get from FTP - for the first time in forever - at least since 2004, when I first tossed money on Party and Stars and FTP.

 Right now, I'm such a busto in real life - billsbillsbills - that I don't even have a real roll to go out to Charles Town or Delaware Park and spewtard at 1/2 NL or luckbox my way to a couple of final tables with some other locals, as pointed out in my last post.

 BUT, THERE'S STILL FREE BAR POKER!!!!

 Now, it's not real at all, but I try to play semi-regularly on Sunday afternoons at a local dive - I've done ok there, won a few tourneys and quarterly championships - but really haven't made anything substantial happen there in a couple of years, although if I've played 20% of the time, I'm doing really really well - sometimes it's hard to get out of the house for a few hours with family/life stuff...

 Basically, the player base there is pretty consistent and reasonably good like the old blogger tourneys - you get reads and overall history on players... and I have a rep as being a pretty strong player, albeit one that tards off on occasion and overplays weak hands (This is when I openshove A5s for like 7BB and get tank called by TT or AJo from the blinds for a third of someone's stack, LOL)

 With that in mind, Sunday was the first day of the fall season - and hey, it's time to redouble my efforts, play a good game, blahblahblah... We end up with three tables, starting stacks of 7K at 100/200 blinds with 25min levels - I get a 1500-chip bonus by showing up 15 minutes early - anyhow, I start at a table with three women, one of their fathers, and two older nits, so I think, hey, I should be able to do just fine here at a seven-handed table with 40BB assuming I don't get coolered like crazy... I mean, they all are solid players, but I think I'm smarter than the average bear, right?

 Oh no, you will learn you are still a dumbass padawan, yes you are Heff....

 *** First hand, I'm in the SB with J8o, cutoff (the third woman who I have no history with, though the other two know her) open limps. Button folds, I complete, Woman 1/Daughter checks her option.

 Flop J65 two clubs that I don't have. Check/Check/cutoff bets 400 into 600 pot. I call with TopPairBullshitKicker, Daughter folds, heads up to a turn.

Turn another 5, I check call 800 (this is really bad in retrospect, I know, I'm just throwing away chips)

 River completes a backdoor flush, I check, cutoff checks behind. Maybe I'm good - and in these tourneys, I'm not going to do the "I Called You You Show First" unless someone's an obvious prick - so I say, I have a Jack - and Woman 3 rolls over two black Kings for the first pot....

 Sigh. So pwned. But then again, WHY AREN'T YOU VALUE BETTING THE RIVER I NEVER HAZ FLUSH OR A FIVE! I expected to get pipped by QJ/JT, not crushed by an overpair. Anyway, there goes the bonus chips...

 *** Couple hands later, I raise AQo to 500 from EP, one of the nits repops me to 1500 from the cutoff - and I flat him OOP like a true dipshit.

 Flop AKx and he bets 2K into me and I count out the rest of my 5600 chips - and instead of folding or shoving, I decided to call and "freeze" him, reading him for NOT AA/KK/AK - but something AQ can actually beat?

 Anyhow, turn's a Jack (ewww) river's a 9 completing a flush (double eww) and we check it down, he shows AQo - and we chop it up and I really feel dumb now...

 We talk during the next hand - I wonder if I would have shoved the flop would he have called (of course!) he says he read me for a weaker ace and not a big hand because I didn't reraise (which is why I've started flatting a lots of three-bets preflop with monsters at these games - and it works!)

Anyhow, my game sucks now, bottom line. Basically, I forget that everyone else doesn't play like I do and end up valuetowning myself a lot in spots where I think, OMG this is a great spot for a bluff -and I never get shown anything but the effective nizzles when I call.

 *** My next big blind, there's like three limpers (three women, the dad, and me) and the flop comes KQx - my mighty Q4o checks the flop - it checks around - flush card on the turn checks around - and rag on the river checks through as well - so I say "I have a Queen" fully expecting it to be good or chop - until Kings woman from the first hand rolls over K-rag from the button.

 Sigh. If only she knew how to value bet.

 *** I manage to steal a pot over Woman 3 and Dad when they both limp and I have to juice it to 1100 from the cutoff to get everyone to fold - and then I decide to make a small open raise for 500 with AJo under the gun. Woman 1/Daughter calls, Woman 2 calls, Woman 3 calls from the small blind, and Dad comes along. Joy.

 Flop Axx rainbow, Woman 3 makes a really odd lead for 500, I call, and the Daughter behind me calls... Hmm.

Turn a low rag that puts out a flush draw. Daughter checks, I decide to bet 1500 - and both of them call. Not good.

River another junk card. Women 3 checks, I decide to check, thinking a bet never folds out anything better and only gets called when I'm beat - and when the Daughter checks behind, I figure one pair might actually be good here and show the all powerful JackAce - and Woman 3 bones me again with an oddly played AQo. Fuck.

Daughter had A9s with the turned draw, by the way. Landmines everywhere here.

 *** So now I'm a little frustrated - I should be like, see how I can dodge bullets, but instead I'm all about, man, how much can I get notched today?

Blinds go up to 200/400 and with 4700 in my stack I decide to open raise a little large to 1500 with 77 from EP instead of just sticking it in. Woman 2 (who is the best, and nittest, player of the three) counts out her stack from the small blind - it's a little less than mine - and FLAT CALLS. Uhoh.

 Flop Axx rainbow, she snap jams. Ah, a classic Stop and Go, haven't seen that in a while. Now, I don't really buy that she has an ace... But I can believe she has 77 beat, and can't see her doing this with a bluff when I almost have to call a pot-size bet getting 3-1 - and snap fold.

 So yeah, I'm really, really playing like a full on donk here in a freeroll. FML.

 *** Next hand I look down at KdTd under the gun and just stick it in for 3200 (8BB). Daughter to my left flat calls. Woman 1 in the small blind flats as well. Dad in the big blind also flat calls. Oh Fuck Me Hard, anyone else want a piece of this?

But, I scoop up all 12.8K in chips in front of me and think, oh yeah, here's where I flop the NIZZLES and get it all back, baby.

 Flop Qxx all black. Checks around (boo)
Turn pairs the Q. Checks around again (hey, maybe I can spike six outs on the river?)
River blank. (Oh well) Checks around a third time.

Woman 3 turns over TT (seriously, run a little better?)

Dad slowly rolls over twoblackaces.

Really? Was there a rule you couldn't reraise preflop? I love taking Aces four ways pre in a raised pot.


 I muck and get on my merry way. Daughter asks me what I had, said she had 99 on that hand. I just lie and say AKo but I knew at least one person had a pair, because I'm SO FREAKING TILTED FROM A FREE BAR POKER GAME WHERE I GOT PWNED AND BONED IN EVERY HAND FOR TWO ORBITS.

 And this is why as much as I'd love to go throw chips around for real, I probably need to completely rework my game from the ground up to stop being such dead money...

 On the other hand, since I busted out so soon and didn't feel like killing two hours for the night game, I up and left - right when our power came back on two days after Friday's derecho - we'd been crashing at the MIL's pad up the road while she's been on vacation - so it was all for the best as I had a ton of work to do to put the house back right as the weekend closed.

 So yay me. Let's hope I have more entertaining adventures soon.

 At least I didn't play like this or this for a million dollars. So I have that going for me...

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Face Up Gaming is going to die die die...

if it can't figure out how to handle a few hundred users on a Saturday afternoon...

Now, maybe there are extenuating circumstances (I live in Reston, where we had some weird-ass derecho storm take out most of the power in the area Friday night, along with Amazon's cloud servers for NetFlix and Instagram...not sure if the disconnects were regionally based or not) - but my god, the lobby chat and Twitter feed were all full of bloggers and regs that couldn't stay logged in, disconnected and couldn't log back on multiple times, you name it - just a huge technical disaster and fuckup all the way around.

I mean, it looked like the same number of players registered (149 vs. 144) - so why the site has such a hard time keeping players logged in... I mean, you wouldn't put up with this in a free Facebook game, much less a subscription model site... You are paying for the site to run RELIABLE tournaments, after all.

But that wasn't the worst of it. Poker players are whiners, let's be honest. The lobby chat was whiny, no doubt. And, I noticed that one change from the first tournament was that free accounts, like mine, can't chat - that's a feature reserved for paying subscribers - so I had no way of adding in my two cents or feedback to the mix

That doesn't mean the solution is that lobby chat should be turned off at the administrator's request - which is essentially saying, "We don't give a fuck what you say, you're too annoying, we have your mobneys, and we can't fix it anyway, go piss off."

Imagine Stars EVER doing this to their players.
Hell, FTP wasn't even that unresponsive while they still had a site ;-)

So, before anything else, this needs to be said.

DO NOT SPEND ANY MONEY ON FACE UP GAMING UNTIL THEY CAN DEMONSTRATE THE ABILITY TO RUN A STABLE, PLAYER-FRIENDLY SITE.

With that in mind, the tourney. Finished 40/149.

Nothing that notable. I did flop quads on a Grump board (422) the second hand in, so I still run goot on this site. Then I disconnected about nine million times, finally logged back in and shoved 97s into AQo for about 15BB and got there (who knew when I was going to get a chance to play a hand again?)

Then I ended up running AT into 33 and 55 and not hitting, and A9s into K8 and not holding, and I was down to 800 chips. I did get it back to about 3K by the first break by actually ninja-ing it up pretty good, then doubling through with QQ.

Then nothing but treading water during hour two (and another couple of disconnects), until I shoved QQ into Numbbono's AKo and lost the flip.

Anyhow, I may play more of these Al-sponsored tourneys, but there's no fucking way this site is getting any other action from me unless things change. In retrospect, maybe I was too kind in my evaluation of the Flash-based gaming engine. Flash does suck, after all.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

I played online poker today. Really.

Well, I saw the post come across my RSS feed where Al decided to put together a tourney and resurrect the BBT on FaceUpGaming. Well, if I don't have to sign up and pay for it at first, sure, I'm game on a Saturday afternoon for a quickie freeroll.

Anyway, I finished 16/144 after 90 minutes of work - and got 300 tournament points, which I'm sure I can trade in for some of my FTP mobneys any day now....

I can sum up my MTT play pretty easily - way out of practice. I sucked my way to (almost) a top 10% finish.

I raise/folded preflop far too much, mostly b/c I was always short stacked and didn't have a lot of room to maneuver postflop. I flopped sets with pocket aces twice in 30 minutes for double ups, won a BvB standard flip for another double up early in hour two, then basically bled chips until we got down to two tables. I moved in UTG+1 with Q9s for like 4 blinds, and this guy just had to look me up with AK from the blinds and hold. Typical... ;-)

So, pluses and minuses of FaceUp, b/c I'm sure part of the reason we were invited to play was to blog about the site, give feedback, yadayadayada.

-Software is a hell of a lot better than any other free/subscription site - especially that silly RISE site that tried to get some traction last year. No, that doesn't mean it's perfect - far from it. Let's list all the weird quirks.

-No observer chat - no chat unless you're sitting at the table period - and no chat once you're eliminated from the MTT. There's a plus to this (no pissed off tilty bon mots) but also a minus (you can't continue to talk to someone after you get bounced) - and obviously with blogger-style tournaments, it's a major drawback to NOT be able to chat with another table while playing on yours.

However, it is an interesting feature to have voice and video chat available - not that I really wanted to see and hear Lightning and Wolfshead while playing - it feels so weird after years of static avatars and text chat -  but it's a nice perk nevertheless.

-Really hard to type in bet sizes to raise, or even click the slider around to make a raise, as the slider clicked in increments of 1. Not real useful at 200/400/50 level.

-Not sure if it's because the game engine is Flash-based, or because my Windows machine sucks, but I couldn't resize the table at all. Either I had to go full screen or vertically center the table by hand so I could see the controls I needed. By the way, if I could play this site on my iPad - if there was an HTML5 version - THAT WOULD BE AWESOMESAUCE...

- What good are the Level reminders at the bottom left of the screen if I can't see them b/c they take up more space than allotted and I can't expand or rollover the text to read it?

-Tourney lobby doesn't update chip counts during the tourney, just shows eliminated players and final place. How hard would this be to fix?

-Generally, the UI controls just aren't very refined at this point. They work, with the exception of easily typing bet sizes, but they don't work as smoothly as they should.

Now, all this being said, the game engine seems stable and relatively quick, esp. with all-ins, and the average recreational player is not going to care about a lot of these issues.

For semi-serious players, though, they're fairly important. Especially the MTT structure.

I'm not going to go all Chainsaw on it, but when you eliminate over half the field in the first hour (144 to 49) and start with 80BB stacks, but the average stack isn't even 10BB at that point (288K in play/49 players = 5900 avg. stack entering 300/600/75) - that's awful quick.  Maybe it's the combination of 6 minute levels with blinds doubling every other level, or maybe it's because we don't even see antes until level 9 (150/300/25) - but it just seems too fast.

If I'm going to pay these guys $25 a month to play in an online league, I'd want better MTT structures for my money. Honestly, I'm halfway tempted to try it, because I love the idea of playing in a regular league and seeing how good or bad I'd finish up over time, and because as quirky as the software is, it's still playable IMO.

Not asking for superstacks that take 7-8 hours to play, but 3-4 hours with a little bit of postflop play for almost 150 players isn't unreasonable. It's something that could easily be fixed by a little tweaking and flexibility with structures, so it's definitely not a fatal flaw or anything...

All in all though, it was very enjoyable, I played with quite a few familiar names in both bloggerland (Gracie, Julius Goat, BuddyDank, Al at a couple of tables) and Ante Up nation (OffDeadline, BerniceQ, who won the whole thing..) - which was nice as there weren't a whole lot of people that played both BBT and Ante Up other than me - and I'll certainly try to make time for this again if it actually picks up as an ongoing series...

******************

So, since I haven't blogged at all in 2012, what else has been going on?

The family has been fine - BabyGirlHeff has been a very trying and high-maintenance two-year old, but she's also sharp as a tack, so I guess that goes with the territory of dealing with smart toddlers.  She also loves the hell out of some Phineas & Ferb, which isn't a completely horrible, vapid cartoon...

I'm actually switching jobs this weekend - working with the government really started bringing me down, so when I was approached to go work for Verizon Digital Media Services as a metadata engineer, it didn't take much to convince me to go back to a commercial media environment. I'm not 100% sure what this job will entail - and it might very well suck - but I'm more than willing to take the chance that it won't.

My wife went contract on her job, mainly to free up some time to build up her photography/marketing business - or rather, I should say our business, as I'm now part-owner after her previous partner wanted out at the end of 2011. We do everything from weddings to portraits to building websites for small businesses - and even though doing work like this can be very tenuous and cutthroat, I really think we have a sustainable business model moving forward. So we shall see.

Life does have a way of changing. Maybe now I'll have some time to blog more often than every five months...

Saturday, December 31, 2011

That was some year...

Man, the dust collects quickly when you're all distracted and busy and whatnot...

What's been up? Life, basically. Between this new job and a bunch of other things going on, I've barely had a chance to even think about blogging, or even what to write about.

I still have the same feeds in my Reader (oh, GFY Google for changing Reader's UI, booooooo) and keep up with things, whether it's LJ's little baby, or VeryJosie's evolving live exploits, or the various Vegas shenanigans in December - and still have a lot of opinions about all sorts of things I read and hear on a daily basis - but I don't really have an urge to write about any of it.

It's very strange, actually. The older I get, the less important I think my opinions are - or more properly, I don't think those opinions are really important or interesting to anyone but myself.

-BabyGirlHeff: Now 2 and incredibly demanding, as I'm told most girls are at that age.

Very verbal and intelligent (most fathers say that, I wouldn't unless it were actually true.)

She likes counting to 12, is a whiz with an iPhone, and continually asks to watch either Spiderman (the old TV cartoons of the 60s and 80s) on Netflix or that horrible, whiny bitch of a Canadian kid, Caillou (F U Pebble. Stupidest name ever.)

She photographs well, too, as you can tell from the top right of the page...

- Poker - What's that? Well, I do have an iPad2 now courtesy of bonus grinding, but hardly have time to play anymore.

I have the original bankroll I deposited post-Black Friday and when I have some time, I goof around, lose $$ at cash and MTTs, scoop it back up at SnGs, and try to tilt as many randoms as possible with idiotic chat. So that much hasn't changed... :-)

I haven't played live since that double dip final tabling two daily MTTs at Delaware Park in May - I don't count the silly free bar poker tourneys I dabble in around here - so I have to have a lot of rust in my game. It can't be in that bad of a shape - I still think about the game and try to read and learn about hands when I can - but I'm certainly not getting the trigger time in to remain on top of things.

Oh, and DoJ hurry plz and get my FTP money back to me. Part of the reason I haven't played since May is I don't have a live bankroll to splash around with - going job hunting for a few months will evaporate that in a jiffy.

- Fantasy Football -  I actually managed to ride Purple Jesus and Breesus to a nice 6-2 start - and then I couldn't beat anyone but this guy for two months and missed the money bracket of my league. That was disappointing. I think I've been playing with this same crew of bloggers for 2-3 seasons of football and baseball and keep pulling an 0-fer. I just don't research and pay attention as much as I used to.

- I'm not sure how I feel about leaving the media industry. I don't really miss it, and yet every day had a youneverknowwhatwillhappen feel to it, no matter how mundane. Now I work with much smarter people, in a more professional industry, and am a lot more challenged on a daily basis - but I do it for less pay over more hours. Still, I'm more blessed than most of my former co-workers - as difficult as 2011 was for me, I came through the other side pretty well all things considered.

So who knows what 2012 will bring.

Maybe I figure out a way to leverage 15 years of experience into something else and start another adventure...

Maybe I realize that I'm hitting 39 this year and have to get to the gym more often before I really grow a pot...

I just hope I get to play some cards this year and live to see 2013.

I have simple goals. 2012 being better than 2011 would be one of them.

Good times to all (any?) of you reading.  Happy New Year!!!