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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!!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

iOur iLives....

So yeah, my Twitter/Reader/Facebook exploded after 7pm last night with everyone's reactions to Steve Jobs' death. My wife even teared up a little bit - more so because you're talking about someone passing at 56 after battling cancer for most of the last 7-8 years - but also because as a former photojournalist like me, we both have been avid fans and users of Apple products for over two decades.

I wouldn't be where I am today without Apple's influence - from the Apple II's I remember in our elementary school classes that let us program BASIC - to the all-Mac newsroom I walked into as a freshman in college, with a bunch of Mac Plus stations for writers and editors, running System 6.x with floppy drives - to the house I live in now with four MacBooks/iMacs and about 8 iPods/iPhones of various makes, models, and sizes.

We probably would have gotten to where we are today one way or another - but we wouldn't have gotten there as fast, or with the same refinement - if Apple would have gone under any of the multiple times it was on its deathbed since 1976. There's an obvious influence on all of our ways of life, on how we choose, ingest, and manage our media consumption, that's been incredibly disruptive over the last 40 years, and it's largely due to Jobs' reality distortion shield and force of personality as a product visionary.

To expand upon I point I made elsewhere - I find his comeback to Apple after 1997 far more compelling and influential than the original creation of the Macintosh in the 1980s. Hey, even Microsoft finally figured out GUIs after 10-15 years: the concept wasn't that hard to execute.

It's the aesthetic approach, the attention to detail, the overall package, the user interface - combined with the ability to ENFORCE that philosophy from concept to design to implementation to manufacture - that made all these iMacs, iBooks, iPods, iPhones, and iPads such pleasing, entertaining, almost addictive products.

It was arbitrary and tyrannical at times - but the consistent ability to deliver an experience that eliminated the product itself as an obstacle to what the customer wants to do - that's the true legacy of Steve Jobs.

Probably just thinking in this framework to prep myself for the first day on the new job Monday.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Are you there, muppets? It's me, Heff!

So yeah, I left this blog in the dark after July 1st. At least there aren't too many cobwebs...

Basically, while I was seeking some kind of new job, I thought it was prudent to take this silly blog offline and keep quiet in the cyberworld. I quit paying attention to a lot of distractions - let my roto baseball team plummet into last place and stay there all summer, cut out live and online poker almost entirely except for one trip to Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh on a U2 concert junket, skipped the monthly BBT in Exile tourney in September, and instead worked on the resume, networking, and interview skills while being a househusband and watching BabyGirlHeff.

Well, it finally paid off at the end of September. I haz job.

Fulltime, for just a touch less $$ than I was making for AOLolol, but with a lot of growth opportunities and future development, which is the way I needed to go. Cliff Notes, I'll start off performing functional business analysis with some product management/webmaster responsibilities to come.

The downside is, I'm leaving photojournalism and the communications industry, which is how I've made a buck ever since I was 15. But, no one is going to pay me the kind of salary I need to support this family in 5, 10 years if I continue to do what I've done all my life and stay in a comfort zone. So, it's time to put myself in an uncomfortable spot and learn some new skills and tricks…

In the meantime, I will continue to post occasionally here - mostly a look back at odd unemployment adventures - while I figure out what I'm going to do with this blog - I keep thinking I will eventually move it to a hosting site where I can combine some ongoing web development work and work examples with personal branding, yaddayaddayadda… The content will likely become less cards and more life and other observations… (the wife keeps saying I need to post a daily "AngryAsianMan" rant just for laughs and see how entertaining I can be)

Speaking of cards:

- I finally grinded out the iPad2 bonus on Lock - it only took me almost five months… so we'll see if and when I get it. I spun up the original $250 deposit up over 1K twice - right before the little climber fell off the mountain twice, leaving me with… $250 in the account. I will likely either cash it out to break even - or more likely do a NewInNov thing and play way over my head one day to either go BUSTO or ROBUSTO first. Either way, I'm pretty sure it's time to retire from online poker for actual $$$ unless and until it comes back as a regulated industry in the U.S.

- Hey, so we're getting FTP moneys back? Maybe? No? Does anyone really know? I'd like my roll back, even if the DOJ takes a finder's fee out of it. At least then the wife and I can have fun on some cardroomjunkets.

- Lightning had a heart attack? VeryJosie made bank and is mad at the Borgata? Waffles is waffles? Ok, some things haven't changed that much. Good to know.

Here's to grinding and perseverance.
It's the only way I made it through the last three months.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

No really, I am awake and working now.

Ok, last minute BBT in Exile tourney tonight, since it's the first Sunday of the month and I forgot about it last month... actually, forgot about it until today.

9:30ET on Stars for play money, you know the drill.

Club ID: 415619
Invitation Code: wolverines

At least I can celebrate finding a job now, so all is relatively well. :-)

More details TK in the days ahead.

Friday, July 1, 2011

New Day Rising....

So, what does starting the second half of 2011 bring us?

*** How about a holiday BBT tourney?

Shorter levels this time so the whole thing should last under two hours. I've been a little busy over the last couple of weeks (see below) so I've been a bad advertiser, but I'll try over the weekend to see what we can do and get some peoples out for mixed games...

*** More FTP rollercoaster shenanigans?

One thing pointed out earlier this month is probably in play here. I tweeted about it, but the software/IP attached to FTP is its most(or only)valuable asset now and might actually be worth what is allegedly being paid for it.

Hopefully it bodes well for U.S players. I'd like a few K back in my pocket, plsthx.

For sure, Hoy's post whipped everyone into shape and set the stage for this.

*** And, end scene.

Thursday was finally my last day at work. All in all, I spent over eight years at everyone's favorite online company, AOL. You can shoot me now.

God knows there are all sorts of legitimate and justified reasons to crush the company for everything it did over the last decade, for being a directionless, second rate media company lacking unique, compelling content. However, at the worker bee/front line level I operated in, it was a wonderful place to work with the least amount of friction and workplace annoyance I've ever been around.

Then again, I came from a journalism background, what the wife loves to call "the land of misfit toys" with all sorts of office static, so I may not have the best perspective on this...

Regardless, business models and priorities change, and leaving was long overdue - after all, I was originally cut in March with 90% of my department, brought back a week later, and quickly figured out no one really knew why I was back or what I was supposed to be doing for three months. (#insertfavoritefacepalmhere).

I'm not sure if the AOL/Huffington Post media model has enough maneuvering room and time to boost their ad revenues and traffic to cover expenses and keep everything afloat - I'm not exactly bullish on that - but we all will see.

The upshot of all this is I have about three months worth of salary to float with while I look for a new gig. It means I will probably cut back on this blog and some other distractions (I already blew off Pokermeister on heading out for a live poker run today b/c I have so many loose ends to square away between the job/house/family this weekend.) while I focus on figuring out whatever I'm going to do with myself moving forward.

For now, I'm going to enjoy the holiday weekend with the family.
Tuesday will be odd, free, uplifting and weird all at once.

See you all Sunday. Bonus for recognizing this post's title reference.

Friday, June 24, 2011

More LOL Rise-aments.

So I wasn't going to bother with all the freeroll qualifiers for Thursday's WSOP ME satellite on Rise, mainly because I didn't feel like wading through hundreds of chipstacks for one seat like this guy. But, I kept seeing posts on how, if you decided to sign up for a VIP membership, you'd have an automatic entry to the satty. So WTF. It's a two-week trial before you get charged, let's give RISE another shot and see what happens, and after noticing only 2200 players registered Thursday night, I decided to give it a go.

So I signed up for VIP, tried to register for the tourney, and no dice. Didn't work.
A review of Rise's twitter feed and mentions (search rise_poker) is in order:


Today's the day! Our $12,500 World Series Main Event Championship starts at 9pm ET / 6pm PT. All VIP members can play!

@JamesDaBear We always intended that VIP players should be able to play w/o qualifying. We screwed up when the qualifiers were implemented.

@JamesDaBear Again, we screwed up and only realized the error this week. We apologize for our growing pains. This error won't happen again.

@lasvegaspokers You *will* be able to play. Our tech dept will manually add you to the reg list before the tourney starts.

@nowitrocks We are manually adding all VIPs to the tourney. If you're not already on the registration list (pls check) you will be shortly.

@lasvegaspokers @JenShahade All you have to do is sign up for VIP but there was a technical screw-up on our end.

@lasvegaspokers @JenShahade We are manually adding VIPs as a result. We are on the phone with tech right now to make sure it happens.

@JenShahade @lasvegaspokers Tech assured me 2 minutes ago that every VIP *will* be added to the reg list manually. Good luck in the tourney!

If you signed up for VIP but got shut out of the WSOP tourney pls email with your RISE name and email.

Correction on email address--contact


Basically, you finally pitch a tournament that was advertised as qualifiers only for weeks, as something now open to all VIPs.

You do this for two days or so, finally figure out that VIPs aren't being auto-entered, but can't technically puzzle out how to fix it with an hour's worth of notice.

When you are alerted that people didn't make the tournament - you say you will email people (which hasn't happened), then instead put out an email address seeking contact (passive response) - which is wrong and has to be corrected.

This makes FTP support look supergenius.

I could give Rise credit for having a Twitter presence that looks like it really tried to be proactive and customer-friendly - or rip all of this as a ploy to gather more VIP signups and credit card information w/o actually delivering anything.

The truth, as always, is somewhere in between.

But actually backing this kind of innocent yet bumbling incompetence for $20/month? No thank you.

I just went ahead and cancelled that membership around 9:10.


Of course, the Merge experiment finally fell off a cliff where I dropped like all the profit (six BI) in the span of 500 cash hands by playing bad and running worse. If I didn't run into the top of someone's range, I got it in good and got three outed. I should have stopped the bleeding halfway through, but since it's play money anyway, I figured I was either going to double back up to where I was or flatline - and thus I'm back where I started...

There are other crazy life things happening as the month closes. Maybe I'll know more next week.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

this is my life...

I get to read about all sorts of people heading to Vegas and tossing cards around, and yet I am spending my Saturday getting up at 6:45am to work swim meets and mulch the yard.

But at least I get a neat picture out of it.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

catching up, profit time....

*So it was nice - I finally made a short-term investment backing a blogger in a live tourney that paid off as NumbBono cashed in the $1500 HORSE tourney at the Rio over the weekend. Man can nurse a stack far deeper than anyone should be able to - well done on his part.

*More and more I'm wondering if the increased WSOP entry numbers are the classic dead cat bounce as everyone scrapes up the last of their bankrolls for one final push.

*I did run the BBT in Exile #3 tourney last weekend - and it was pretty obvious that I wasn't paying attention at all b/c I donked off 60BB preflop in an obvious 80/20 spot by four-bet jamming fives or something stupid like that right into Kings to Gigli out.

1) NumbBono
2) wolfshead
3) CEMfromMD
4) PinkyStin771
5) xkm1245
6) FullHouse538
7) SmBoatDrinks
8) KingDonk himself.

Thanks to all that came out - accelerated structure got it done in just over 40 minutes, which is a little too fast but closer to right - I think I'm going to just keep this a once a month deal on the first Sunday night - and make it a mix game, simply because 1) that's probably the right amount of interest we can sustain over time and 2) everyone can play NLHE whenever they want, you can't always generate mix games, and that should make the tourneys a little more notable and unique.

After that spewage, I ended up focusing a lot more on the Merge experiment - where I'm still managing to spin that imaginary bankroll up pretty consistently - I really thought I'd run into... I don't know, better/more solid/not so predictable play, but the games are nothing like they were pre-Black Friday at the levels I'm running - $20-30 SnGs, $10-20 MTTs, $50 cash tables. It probably makes me think I'm better than I actually am.

*Both the NBA and NHL Finals have been nothing short of awesome, especially since I have nothing invested in any of the teams and can just appreciate the games w/o the horror of watching my team go busto.

*For anyone who actually remembers - Supposedly my return to the job runs out at the end of the month. I have no idea if that will actually happen. Maybe I go permanent, maybe I just hang out another few months, maybe I get to take my original severance and have three months to find another gig. The fact I'm completely ambivalent to any or all of these scenarios isn't a great sign.

What I do know is that my wedding anniversary is this week - and by the end of the week the house will be filled with the mother-in-law and niece/nephew on a summer visit, one wife, three kids, one nanny, three cats - and one dude just trying to survive and puzzle it all out... :-)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Rise against wha? More BBT in Exile too...

In the pokah for free realm this week..

-Yes, I have taken the RISE Poker plunge... Ran a freeroll last night for 15 minutes and played so lol awesome NOT. Played a couple of quick SnGs... And um, look, I know they're trying to push a subscription online poker site, there's quite a few bloggers doing some work for them at the WSOP, I really hope they succeed...

But the software is just dreadful. I mean, it's borderline unplayable. Maybe if I was a VIP member and didn't have the ads flying around, that would help - but even then...

Look, as much as everyone wants to crush Full Tilt now, the one thing they always had going for them was a friendly, fun, inviting user interface. It sounded fun, looked good, was customizable - and even though many people complained about lag, I never experienced it. The software worked - it was pleasant to use.

I've had moments where I couldn't type a numerical bet into RISE - the dialog box wouldn't work. Nothing feels like it's where it should be, from the labels and menus to the controls at the tables. I can't find a MTT structure anywhere. Dragging a window around the screen makes it vibrate like an earthquake's hit. The lobby's horrible - and don't try to flip through any list that's more than 20 deep...

Basically, the RISE software does everything to make me want to uninstall it at the slightest drop of a hat. It makes Bodog look good. Merge is so mediocre, and it's ridiculously better than this. I hopehopehope it gets better. It has to.

Put it this way, I'm going to wait and see before dropping $20/month on RISE, and this is from a donk that tossed moneys onto Merge... And none of this even addresses the kind of players you run into on a freeroll site - subscription sites should be able to work long-term, but not like this.

-Played a pseudo-Dank/Mookie Wednesday with 9-10 runners and won that. Ended up with a very loud and cranky daughter that wouldn't sleep throughout the night, so didn't really chat or listen in to anything during the tourney. Still was nice to drop in and play a Stars Home Game...

-Which is a segue to this: yes, this Sunday is another BBT in Exile event.

I haven't pimped it that much at all, so I don't expect numbers to be too big. Bigger stacks with quicker levels, so hopefully the end game moves faster than the last NLHE tourney we ran. I will try and publicize effectively over the next few days.

Now in real poker news....

-Merge experiment is going well. Running smooth, sir.... Hope to get out live again soon, whether it be to AC for an Ante Up meet up or out to Charles Town sometime in June.

-I know I will buy a piece of a blogger for a live tournament and be rewarded soon. I can sense it... ;-)

-The whole Ivey/FTP debacle... sigh. The lawsuit is something he has to do for a number of reasons - and player cashouts is like #206 on the list - but it will make those cashouts harder if they ever come. Brilliant PR move, though, even if it doesn't accomplish anything of merit...

FTP's pissant response, though, makes me wonder if their PR department consists of one angry twentysomething chick who just got dumped by her man and SHE BE ONE BITTER BITCH BABY! I mean, you are (or were) a multi-milliondollar company. This is your professional, measured response? Really?

Anyhow - it all makes for some random times.

In someways, poker, especially at the WSOP (nicely large fields for the early events, almost live-streaming on ESPN3, the improved production/FT setup) seems like it's never been better, but there's always that sketch underneath the surface to remind you this isn't all for fun - that's there's big $$$, and the greed to snag/milk/steal as much of it as you can, driving it all.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

the grind keeps on and on

and on.

Decided to piddle around in a couple of Lock Poker MTTs tonight.

$11 freezeout with over 300 runners. Finish 4th. Win only 20 buy-ins and feel completely hosed.

At 300/1500/3000 seven-handed, someone opens for 7800, donk threeballs to 18.9K, I flat AA in the cutoff. Folds around, opener jams for 45K total, donk folds, I snap call. Naturally KK hits a King in the door, I could've had a third of the chips in play. Booooooooo.

Other tourney, I crush a $22 FO with 180 runners for a couple of hours and finally stall out near the bubble - and run TT into JJ after it breaks and mincash 15/180 for $40.

So, I should be up +$1K or something, and instead it's just plus $200 or so. PFFFFFTTTT.

People play MTTs weird on Merge. So many insane resteals for 25-40BB effective where the risk/reward just isn't there. Overbet jam flops with one pair. Strange play, but it can be dealt with.

At least I've doubled my deposit. But will I ever see it?

It's a lot easier to play when you don't think you're playing with real mobney.. ;-)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

so what about Delaware Park anyway?

Let me preface this by saying I haven't had the chance to visit a live room in over two years - having a baby will do that to you. So I don't really have an updated frame of reference for this - but here goes.

Delaware Park is closer to NoVa/DC than any other card room except for Charles Town. That is its main good point. Because every good thing that the cardroom management accomplishes is undercut by the fact that this is an old facility with a meh environment and player base.

Now, I'm sure I could go to any of the Hollywood venues in the mid-Atlantic like Charles Town and really go ewww - and to Delaware Park's credit, it's not that blah - but it's still a converted track. It's not AC or Biloxi. It's like Florida and Pennsylvania with animal racing around an oval.

Anyway, right now there's two card rooms at DP, as they just switched out the tournament and cash rooms on the second floor. Supposedly the room in the middle of the casino will be the tournament room, and the one all the way at the west end of the facility will be the cash room.

I played the 11am in the west room, which has older tables with cupholders, quite a few bigscreen TVs, and a decent bar and rail just outside of it that's shared with the horse bettors. The West end wall is actually a large window that was screened off for more of day, which lends a light, open feel to the room (though not a gigantic cavern like the main Borgata room)

and the 7pm in the middle room, which is a darker, more upscale looking area with a lot of wood and newer tables ringed with that marble racetrack everyone hates, but without any bar or rail near it. (although a badly working beverage station is a few feet away if you want to pour yourself a Pepsi with no ice...)

Now, I'm not sure why you'd move the cash tables away from all the foot traffic - because not only do you miss out on the casual dropins from other games - but when there isn't a tournament running, there's this giant empty space in the middle of the building that isn't generating any money. Someone said that eventually both rooms would be consolidated at the west end of the building, but I'll believe that when I see it.

So, the good of playing at Delaware Park as they hit one year of table games in June.

-Autoshufflers and that check-in card system at all tables, no glitches

-Dealers reasonably good, although they struggled with dealing Omaha and chopping the split pots.

-Support staff - floor, cage, brush, people behind the desk - were all efficient and professional. You didn't even notice them doing their jobs, as it should be.

-They pay out tourney winnings in chips. less paperwork.

-Player base was generally well behaved and knew how to conduct themselves at the tables. Very little grumpy bullshit, petty angleshooting, etc. Of course, maybe I just caught a good day.


They spread an 8/16 LHE game with reduced $2 rake that ran pretty well, until the 4/8 Omaha8 table kind of cannibalized it. I know they will run mix games on occasion. They actually run Omaha tournaments twice a week.

In general, it's an extremely player-friendly room. Much kudos for that.

And the down side...

- It costs extra money to go there. Thanks to silly Maryland and Delaware, tolls from NoVa to Del Park run about $15-20 round trip, and you've got the gas for a 250mi trip as well. Drinks cost $$ as well. It all adds up. Of course, this was always true of AC as well for me.

-Drink service was pretty sketchy. Wait staff was pleasant enough, but there just wasn't enough of them. With Delaware gaming law preventing comped alcohol, you're basically in for a five spot for every beer or drink including tip. Coffee was uh, a coffee-like substance. I already pointed out the sort-of-working beverage station, which was sad and depressing.

-Tournament chips were sticky. Not Taj-level sticky, but damn, they needed a wash. It got to the point that I'd announce a bet, and by the time I could cut the chips and push them forward, the pot was already coming my way.

-There's nothing else there - for me, anyway. Meaning it's a racino and nothing else. There's a couple of restaurants, but if the deli is any indication, God help who ever eats there and pays those prices. Of course, there's no hotel or entertainment of note, and although they have a golf course and occasional live horse racing, I don't play or bet horses, and I avoid slots and the pit like the plague.

-There are few small things about Delaware Park tournaments that raise a eyebrow.

* They didn't quite make their Friday guarantees for either tourney I played, so there were slight overlays both times. They do try to give away 10 tourney seats to players at the cash game tables - not sure how many got used, but even with that, the two tourneys I played barely hit 80 players, and the PLO 3pm tourney only had 30 or so.
* Even with the $5 staff/chip bonus tacked onto every tourney, and the fact they do takeout 3-5% of the prize pool for staff - which they don't hide - I'm still wondering if they make any money hosting these tourneys. In June they will run four tourneys at day (Noon/4pm/7pm/10pm) - and while I'm hoping Del Park will remain a great low-buyin tournament room, I'm not so sure it's a viable business model in the long run.
* Yeah, the structure is what you deserve for $100. However, the end game moves too quick - blinds doubling every other level just makes for too much allin-or-fold poker. Those intermediate levels (500/1000, 1200/2400, 2500/5000, 5k/10k, etc) should get tossed back in at some point, especially once you hit the last two tables. You're only burning up one or two dealers, and that stage is where all the money's actually decided. Then again, I'm actually good maneuvering around a 10-15BB stack, so maybe this isn't such a good idea for me.

- It's just a blah buzzless, downer place - atmosphere just doesn't feel upbeat or happy. That's probably because I ended up walking around a bunch of oldster slot players and wasn't around the table games - and also because people can't get as sloshed for free. The poker areas themselves are fine, but they are attached to the rest of the building, unfortunately :-)

Of course, I'm a critical dude at heart - but despite all of that, I still liked playing at Delaware Park, and it's an acceptable substitute for AC since it's 90 minutes closer. I just wish it was another hour closer and not located off a toll road so I could run a tourney on a whim instead of doing it as a special day trip.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

From morning to night at Delaware Park... more $$$

So after the 6th place cash, I checked emails/made phone calls and decided to wait in the looonnnnggggest deli line ever for a $4 hot dog which was - well, it was grilled, hot, and on a bun with sauerkraut, so at least it was as ordered. By the time I wandered back to the main room, it was almost 6, and the only game without a list was... 8/16 limit?

Well, what the hell, why not, give me two racks of yellow and let's spew chips...

On the good side, they were running the game with reduced $2 rake, and the two chip/four chip structure should have made it a fun action game. What it actually turned out to be was a bunch of older momos limp/calling everything, so you ended up with fourway raised pots on the flop and turn needing to show down a pretty good hand to scoop the pot - and that wasn't really what I had in mind. Then again, it was live limit poker - so I was expecting that and adjusted - but I never made anything except a running straight to bink someone's flopped set, and ended up down 5-6 bets after 30-40 minutes. Then the floor finally announced that the 4/8 Omaha H/L game was starting - a game I put my name on the list for like five hours earlier.

So I figured I should get over there and at least make sure the game started - see how it was for 30 minutes, and then decide if I was going to play the 7pm tourney or just donk around at a cash game until midnight, when I'd have to leave and drive back home. We got a full table and started the game - but after watching the first half orbit, with people limping behind preflop with A23x and the dealer almost biffing quartered pots twice - I got up and bought into the 7pm tourney before I really went on tilt.

That's the bad side about no online poker - you just can't run a split pot game with any kind of speed or pep to make it worth playing. Live PLO or PLO8 might be worthwhile - but limit Omaha live is pure agony, and this is coming from someone who actually likes four card bingo.

The 7pm tourney crowd was an older mix of players - the morning tourney had quite a few guys I could tell were slumming b/c they couldn't play on Stars or Tilt - not so much on a Friday night. I don't remember as much from this run b/c I didn't take as many notes - but I was on another heater of chip accumulation throughout the tourney. From 10K starting chips to 52K at the second break to 130K as we got to two tables left (which was 2X average stack, but only 20 big blinds.)

I was always well ahead of the average stack, was able to win a lot of pots without showdowns, and then took those extra chips to gamble with small stacks for the knockout. I remember having to ask for a count from the dealer a lot, b/c I was always having to call someone's shove or big turn bet. In fact the only time all day I was allin and covered was when I jammed into the aces during the morning tourney - and that's always a good thing.

*I boned one player early in a couple of smallish pots (Ax over KK on a AAx pot, Aces full over Kings full on a AAKKx board) , and he tilt-went out of his way to try and win a hand against me, calling every hand I opened. I ended up taking his original stack and his re-entry as well.

*Got all in with someone preflop on a coin flip, they hit a set on the flop and I runner runnered a flush on them.

*Heffed Hand #onebillion - With two tables left, I open in MP with 98s for a standard raise, big blind defends. Flop J67r and villain instantly shoves for a little over pot, about 40K, which is about 1/3rd of my stack. I think for a minute, count it out, feel like GAMBOOL and say "hey, it's only chips" and toss in the call. I'm up against JT.

Turn T. Half the table goes "whoa." Villain doesn't fill up. My only reaction is a barely audible "boom" on the river. I don't think he was very amused.

By this point all the old nits start talking about chops and bubble saves - which I'm really trying to ignore. I mean, I didn't buy in to play 4-5 hours and end up with a 14-way chop. I finally say I'll listen with 12 players left just to get a couple of the more insistent ones to shut up, hoping they just go busto soon - which they do, thankfully enough.

In the meantime, I actually start hitting some rough waters.

I open AKo, a short stacked big blind decides to properly call off with T8o and hits.

That player then jams into my blind and I call with 33. He shows 88. I call for a three ball which hits the flop. I didn't call for the eight on the turn.

When we get to 10 players, we consolidate to one table, agree to a $100 bubble save for 10th out of our pockets - and then I get to jam aces into the same player's open raise. He calls, I show, he says, "I need Broadway" as he flips over AKo. Flop is QJT. Ahem.

I turn a flush draw, but I ended up under 70K and a below-average stack for the first time in forever. But, I did just let it all go after the hand was over. It's poker. It happens. I cracked aces to cash in the morning, it's all karma, blah blah.

Luckily, there were still shorter stacks to pick on and I can play a 10-15BB stack better than most people. Soon enough the bubble burst and I had scrounged just enough chips to where I could start raise/jamming/winning pots for free like it was my job or something, I was up over 200k seven-handed and 300K six handed, which was over 1/3 of the chips in play. Got to admit, it was fun to play like that.

It was past 1am, though, I still had that drive in front of me, and I started to run out of gas at the table. My opens started getting flatted a lot more, and I couldn't hit a flop. Basically, I kept maintaining my stack and let everyone else knock each other out.

When we finally got heads up, I was probably down in chips 2-1 or so with that same 250-300K stack, but we were at 3K/10K/20K blinds. First was 2400, second was 1500, it was after 1:30am by now, there wasn't any postflop play left for us - and so I figured I had nothing to lose by offering a chop to the 40ish woman across the table who looked like she knew enough to do some business.

"You really feel like flipping for $900? I'll play it either way, but hey, one double up and I'm back in front. How about we chop?"
"What's the chop number?"
TD runs it - $1950 for an even chop.
"Give me $2000 and it's a deal."

Hell yeah it's a deal. $400 free mobneys. Yeah, I would have loved to play it out and see, but that was too good of spot to pass up. We signed for the adjusted payout, I got my chips, left about $100 for tip (with a 3-5% takeout already, that's perfectly fair) cashed out the rest, and I was in my car 10 minutes later on the way home. Not that I got home before 5am thanks to overnight construction and a couple of accidents that blocked traffic on the interstate.

But, it was a fun drive back with a roll of C-notes in my pocket. That's actually my biggest win in a single tournament ever. While I've final tabled some 50-50s before, I never cashed for the big bucks - well, except for the Main Event satellite I won once, but that's not the same thing.

This is obviously sustainable and real and means I should expect to final table a live MTT oh, every other time I play one..... Not.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Delaware Park trip report... $$$

So, I finally got the chance to go out an hit a live session of poker Friday. I took some of the Stars cashout and headed up I-95 to Delaware Park. It's funny, I had no idea I hadn't played a real live tournament since this over two years ago.

Long story short:

I final tabled the $65 11am tourney - about 90 runners - in 6th for $275.
I final tabled the $100 7pm tourney - about 80 runners - and chop it HU for $1900.

So that was nice. Live poker can be fun.

Long story long:

Since it had been awhile between live sessions, I didn't really want to jump right in and play cash - so even though Charles Town is a lot closer to me, they don't run anywhere near the amount of tournaments that Delaware Park does and I ended up driving there.

Took me about 2 hours and change to drive Friday morning, I pull up and valet park at the main entrance on the East end of the building - and realize that the poker room is at the complete opposite West end of the building.

LOL walking through all the slots, but since I'd only been there once before to check out the place pre-table games, it wasn't bad to get up to speed on what it all looked like now.

Get to the room, get a player card, buy into the 11am tourney, find my seat, and we let it rip. 7500 starting stacks, 20 min levels, standard fast AC/East Coast daily tourney structure.

At first it takes a little while to get back into the feel and flow of things. I'm used to handling chips and whatnot - but at a bar, not on green felt with padded rails. I don't have a hat on, but I've got my prescription sunglasses and my little Eeyore, so I'm trying to look a little noobish.

Anyway, I start making hands quickly. I stack a poorly played AA when I flop a set on a monotone board and villain jams 60BB, extract value from KQ with AQ in a limped multiway pot after a QQx flop - and then I pull off the first of many Heffed Hands on the day.

I get frisky at 100/200 and open 86o in EP for 600 and get flatted in LP and by the big blind.
Flop 873r, I decide to lead 1200, LP flats, blind folds.
Turn 4, I check, LP jams for a little over pot. Again, I'm thinking online (hey, people try to take pots away from you all the time in these kind of spots) instead of live (people don't bluff spots like this), decide I can bink a 5, 6 or 8 if I need to, and I've got enough of a stack built up to take a shot like this.

I call, see I'm up against 99, say, "Ooh, I've got some outs" - and watch a 5 hit the river.

This is how the AM tourney ran - I just kept building up a stack. 20K at 100/200, 28K when the antes kick in, 45K (3x average stack) by the second break. I kept picking my spots and decided to station people when appropriate..

Another table, I think this was at 75/300/600. EP opens to 1500, I flat behind him in MP with KJs.
Flop Jack high rainbow, he donks like 2500, I call.
Turn blank without any realistic draws, he donks 4K, I call.
River blank, he donks 5500... and I don't get an overpair/JackAce read.
I call and win vs. ATo.

I get moved around a lot, end up next to a local dude who 1) could play 2) was funny and 3) was on a stupid sick heater. I get moved to his right with a nice 50K stack and proceed to tread water while I watch him go from 30K to like 170K in two orbits.

But, at least I was amused with some decent live poker banter while I turtled up in massive card death as we neared the final table bubble for payouts. That nice, 2x, 3x average stack was rapidly becoming a shortie as we got through hour four. I wanted to play the 3pm PLO tourney, but I'm not going to punt a stack. Not really.

13 players left, I'm down to like 45K at 400/2k/4k. I look down at QTs UTG and figure why not, it's a suited one-gapper and likely live vs. Ax hands that will call. I ship, folds around to some Asian kid in the small blind who instantly reships. Oops.

Now earlier, he opened 3K from MP, I repopped the button to 11K with air, and he jammed 30K more with AJo (he showed after I tank folded and asked to see a card) But of course he has Aces this time.

Flop JJ7. That's not good.
Turn 9. Hey I have a chance.
River 8. So, so silly.

Kid only had 10K more than me. Naturally he was next out. He came back to the final table later and said he ran a boat into quads for stacks at a 1/2 NL table. So yeah, I basically cost him at least $400 or so.

After that doubleup, a few hands later the local grinder busts two short stacks in one hand - and we pop the final table bubble without anyone even realizing it. Yay cash and no bitching about chops or bubble saves...

Final table was pretty nondescript. I actually got up to about 140, 150K, which was above average six handed - but we were playing 2K/6k/12k blinds, so like that actually matters. Last hand, it folds around to me and I ship about 130K with A9s from the small blind. Big blind who covers me tanks and says, "I know I have the best hand here." and I think, well hurry up and call me then. He calls with 55 and I don't hit.

I was a little surprised to see a pair that small, because he's essentially flipping 2/3rd of his stack if he's right and crushed if I actually have it. But hey, it's a short stacked low buyin live tourney final table, like there's time to wait around for a bigger hand.

So I go to the cage, sign for sixth, pick up my chips, and have a little under two hours to kill until the 7pm starts.

More TK, including a mini-review of Delaware Park....

Monday, May 16, 2011

BBT Exile #2, and more silliness

I was pleased and surprised we had almost three full tables for a blogger mixed game Sunday night. It was nice - and I ran like I usually do for a couple of hours - until I ran out of gas at the final table. I open jammed TT fourhanded BvB in unlimited hold them for about 16BB and wolfshead called with A9o.

Flop QQ9. I might actually have this one.

Turn 9.
River Ace.

Pfft. 4/16. Thanks to everyone who came out, though. It's fun to do this.

Next game is June 5th - standard NLHE with deeper stacks (3K) and shorter levels (3 minutes) - reminders will go out as the date gets closer, but I'm planning on doing this the first Sunday of every month until no one shows up...

1- sportingimag
2- wolfshead
3- yestbay1
4- heffmike
5- xkm1245
6- PinkyStin771
7- PokerBrian22
8- SmBoatDrinks
9- lightning36
10-the mortal 1

In other news, Full Tilt continues to a be a textbook example of how NOT to communicate with your best customers in the 21st century. While I still believe that U.S players will get cashed out at some point in 2011, with the rapid PokerStars cashouts and the WSOP starting next month - players want some transparency and legitimate answers.

You give the people Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, they get pissed.

Regardless of the situation, the communication, to not only the frequent players at 2+2, but the rest of the U.S. market that doesn't visit an internet poker board, has been dreadful.

it will shake down in a simple fashion, but I'm not so sure anymore.

Declaring that FTP points will be redeemed in merchandise, not straight cash bonuses like Stars declared, is a huge red flag IMO. Smarter people than me say that things should still be fine, but we shall see.

Friday, May 13, 2011

phoenix time...

News and notes:

**LOL Blogger for being down for half day and eating posts since some Wednesday maintenance. Oopsie.

**Ron Swanson fucking rocks:

**Yeah, I'm trying play money MTTs again for the blogger nation.
This time an 8-game on Stars Sunday night. Details here....

As it's 8-game and I'm sure a lot of people came out to game #1 for Last Call, as it were, I'd be surprised if there was more than one table for this. But you tell me where else you can play a mixed game MTT right now for less than four figures?

**It's annoying that FTP still can't puzzle out where all their player vs. operational funds are - I would figure cashouts should happen by the WSOP next month, if only to quell all the griping and chatter that would happen if they end up weeks behind Stars in getting moneys back to players. I still believe funds are coming, so I'm not that worried yet... at least I haven't had money on UB since 2007, so I really don't care about the angleshooting scum that run that company.

**In the meantime, I've managed to get a small amount of funds onto Merge - nothing I won't miss if it vanishes tomorrow - and have started playing again, mostly $5-10 tourneys, SnGs and some $25NL and PLO8 tables.

Won a SnG last night, final tabled a $3 turbo - 4th of 100 - for $24 (payout structures are too flat and blow) and am basically just screwing around for enjoyment's sake more than anything else, and to keep the rust off my game.

It's a refreshing change of pace - no notes or history with anyone, everyone's a random, I've even got a different screenname - so it's like being born again, now I'm just another anonymous momo....

Software's OK, game selection sucks, players seem fairly straightforward - and are probably better than your average online donk at this point - but it's not what it used to be by a long shot. I haven't run into anything I can't handle at the low buyin levels I'm playing - but I'd shoot myself if I had to play higher there for a living.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

more free play if you want it...

Ok, we'll try this a couple more times and see what happens...

BBT in Exile Tourneys

Next Sunday, the 15th - #2 will be a silly 8-game tourney, 2K in chips, 5-minute levels.

And the first Sunday of June, the 5th - let's run #3 - back to a straight NLHE tourney, but this time with more starting chips (3K) and much shorter levels (3min) to speed up the endgame once the final table gets shorthanded...

Full details to register here:

In the meantime, I'm still a little disappointed and frosted over how meekly the Caps got pwned by the Lightning last week. Something must change with the team - but I think we're talking more of a GM issue with George McPhee and the construction of the team than the players or coach.

While the team is talented, I don't think it's as good or deep as the locals think once you get past their top lines - and while Bruce Boudreau hasn't come off well in the playoffs or in the HBO 24/7 series, there's no denying that he's developed a lot of young talent the last few seasons. However, the team's made a pretty paltry effort at upgrades through free agency or the trade deadline over the years - and if the Caps are viewed as soft and lacking enough grit - well, if you don't have those type of players, you've got to try harder to go get them, right?

I would like to believe that Ovie = Steve Yzerman, who struggled early on in his Red Wings career in the postseason and didn't win a Cup until year 12... but that's pretty much wishcasting at this point.

When you look at the D.C. sports landscape - it's pretty damn bleak - to have this one bit of actual competence flame out so badly in the spring every year...

Gee, it's almost as annoying as Black Friday or something...

Monday, May 2, 2011

BBT in Exile, Game 1 of ???

We had 30 runners for the first BBT in Exile game.
So that was super great.

However, the freaking Caps lost in OT to go down to the Lightning 0-2, which took up most of my interest for the first half hour - and I did not play very well overall.

Never really had a stack, and when Jamyhawk opened the button with a big stack, I three-balled with fives from the SB - and when Lana reshoved from the big blind - well it's a great spot to make a move light - so I got dopey and called off over 40BB - and ran right into sixes for the super notch.

Board ran out low too, so I'm good v AK/AQ/random trash.
GG me, 23/30, I get pwned.

Anyway thanks to everyone that came out. Seemed like structure was about right - about three hours for 30 players, good without being too long

1 jamyhawk
2 NYRambler
3 SmBoatDrinks
4 yestbay1
5 PokerBrian22
6 HighOnPokr
7 NumbBono
8 mooninjune
9 CKBwop
10 princeharibo
11 md_joel
12 MiamiDon
13 on_thg
14 bayne_s
15 Katitude
16 FullHouse538
17 IAHawx985
18 texar
19 LunaPiena
20 BuddyDank
21 veryjosie
22 lightning36
23 heffmike
24 joanne1111
25 nonSensible
26 Mike_Maloney
27 Bone_Daddy84
28 xkm1245
29 the mortal 1
30 Julius_Goat

(let me know if I need to add/edit/take off a blog link as needed...)

If there's moderate interest, I will try and do this twice a month/every other week, and maybe play around with some odd structures and different games just to keep things interesting and sustain a little bit of blogger community through what looks to be a looooooong Dark Age of online poker.

I know NumbBono's working on some things, Grump's still got a private game, so does the PokerSlut series... there are ways to make this happen for the long term...

Oh, and yeah, the last part of the game got overshadowed by events.

It's important. I hate to soft pedal it, because I know it's so meaningful to a lot of people - but it would have been so much more important 7-8 years ago.

But there still are plenty of evildoers out there.
Smoking Osama doesn't make them all go away.
Channel Winston Wolfe - let's not go celebrating too soon yet.

But it is a good thing.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Come play tonight! - Home game on Stars...

Well, today's the day - log in and join the home game club, and don't forget to actually register for the tourney once you join - it's a two step process.

Hope to see a bunch of you there... Hopefully I will have a lovely Caps victory to finish watching so I can change the counter in the right rail of the blog...


The long story is here:

- Open the Stars main poker lobby, then click on the Home Games tab
- Click the 'Join a Poker Club' button
- Enter my Club ID number: 415619
- Enter my Invitation Code: wolverines

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sunday Sunday Sunday

The long story is here, cliffs below:

- Open the Stars main poker lobby, then click on the Home Games tab
- Click the 'Join a Poker Club' button
- Enter my Club ID number: 415619
- Enter my Invitation Code: wolverines

You have to be registered to play.

So far we got two tables easy: I think we can double that easily by Sunday.


The home office is pleased that the Washington Capitals finally managed to win a series without going seven games - it would be nice to see this team again..

but whatever next round, 12 more wins please thank you.

I will have to ruminate some more on non-poker/hockey things when I have a moment.

Probably some profound observation on the Internet's power to isolate and connect.
Or a review of the clusterfuck that is Glee Season 2.

It's a tossup.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Let's all freaking play cards one time.....

"Remember, Red. Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies. "

OK, here's what I figure.

What most of you really miss after Black Friday is sitting down and playing cards with each other.

Some of us played for fun, some for side money, some for an actual living... That's the big uberpicture, and it's being well covered in many, many places...

The smaller, Blogger Tourney picture - is that with all the tourneys people hosted over the years -

the WWdN,
the Mookie/Dank,
the MATH,
the Skillz game,
Friday Donkaments,
Survivor Island, yadayadayada
(and sorry if I missed something!)

People were essentially playing for pocket change and entertainment.

It wasn't really about the money. It was about the play, the competition and the win.

While you can recreate a lot about online poker by going to play live, what you can't recreate is bringing everyone together from across the country in one virtual place at the drop of a hat.

So, just because the DoJ stopped everyone in the U.S. for doing it for money - doesn't mean you have to stop playing period.

I'm setting up a Home Game for play money on PokerStars.
I assume most of Blogger Nation has a Stars account.
You can still get a .net one if you don't.

There will be a tourney on Sunday night, May 1, at 9:30ET.

There is NO LEGAL DANGER for doing this.
No money is at stake.
Come out and play, or don't.
But I think by May, people will want to push some chips around and just see what's up with everyone else.

2000 chips/10 minute levels with standard Stars setup, so it'll be a decent structure without taking all night.

Let's just play some cards and have a few hours of fun.
There might be 3 players, there might be 30.

If it works out OK, maybe there will be some occasional tourneys that are something else besides unlimited hold them on Sundays. That's probably the best time of the week to do something like this, with no football/Sunday majors/like you're really watching Brothers & Sisters anyway you momo...

If not - we'll that's OK too.

I know it's hard to sit there and play for a couple hours with nothing but pride at stake.

I just figured that it's silly to just throw in the towel when there is an avenue for everyone to get together and play. While I doubt anything about online poker will be the same whenever it's legal for Americans to play for real $$ again, this is what we have right now.

It's a small gesture of civil disobedience. Club is named BBT in Exile.

- Open the main poker lobby, then click on the Home Games tab
- Click the 'Join a Poker Club' button
- Enter my Club ID number: 415619
- Enter my Invitation Code: wolverines

EDIT: Hey, since I don't know everyone's Stars' SNs, drop me a line if it's not something I'm going to recognize right away. heffmike at aol, send the email there.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Weekend and more De-Throning...

Since there's nothing better to talk about at the moment, let's revisit our last little bit of glory - the De-Throning of VeryJosie, Part the Second!

Game 2

VJ gets out to a small lead early - then she opens 3x to 60, I flat with T8o.
Flop 997, two hearts, I check/call 80.
Turn Td, now two diamonds as well, I check/call 180.
River 4d, I check/tank call 300, see Ah5c, I win and take a 2-1 chip lead.

veryjosie: i am soooo on tilt
veryjosie raises to 80
heffmike: obv/
heffmike folds
Uncalled bet of 60 returned to veryjosie
veryjosie: lol
veryjosie shows [7c 2d] Seven Two high

She does know how to fill up, though

Seat 1: veryjosie (735)
Seat 2: heffmike (2,265)
heffmike posts the small blind of 15
veryjosie posts the big blind of 30
The button is in seat #2
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to heffmike [8d Ad]
heffmike raises to 80
veryjosie calls 50
*** FLOP *** [Qc 4s 7d]
veryjosie checks
heffmike checks
*** TURN *** [Qc 4s 7d] [7c]
veryjosie checks
heffmike checks
*** RIVER *** [Qc 4s 7d 7c] [9s]
veryjosie bets 655, and is all in
heffmike has 15 seconds left to act
heffmike: I should call you with Ace high, but no easy chips.
heffmike folds
Uncalled bet of 655 returned to veryjosie
veryjosie shows [7h 9d] a full house, Sevens full of Nines
veryjosie wins the pot (160)

A little later, I open/limp 5s3s for 40 with a 3-1 chip lead. VJ raises to 120, I call.
Flop 432r, she jams 640 into a 240 pot. Even if she has an overpair, I have a lot of outs.
Bet sizing screams Ax more than a second-level bet for value.

I call, see AKo, I hold and win, and I'm up 2-0.
Took about twice as long as game 1, but I felt in control both times and was just riding the wave.

Game 3 was a hell of a lot more work and lasted over 30 minutes.

First hand, I limp the button, VJ raises, I fold, she shows AA.

Second hand, VJ raises her button, I fold, she shows 66.

Third hand, the one time I make a move all night:
I raise AJo to 50, she calls.
Flop Q66, two clubs, she donks 60 and I call.
Turn Ks, she checks, I check behind.
River 5c, completing the flush, she bets 60, I raise to 200, she calls with Qd2d and PWNS.

Fourth hand, VJ completes, I check A5o.
Flop AT5 with a heart draw, I bet 60, she calls.
Turn Jc, I bet 80 and she calls again,
River 9c for a backdoor flush, I check/call 80 and beat her QQ no club.

VJ turns on her boat switch later. She makes them twice and notches me, once when I have an underboat and the other with top pair - and I'm down almost 3-1 pretty quickly. I grind it back to even, then start falling behind again when I gambool silly...

VJ opens 3x to 150, I repop to 450 with KTo, VJ jams 1745 and obviously covers.
I figure I've got a 1/3 of the stack in already and with a 2-0 lead, it's gambool time.
Flop KT8.
Turn Ace
River blank. Now I'm up 5-1.

Of course it's not that simple.
Twice I get it in pre with overcards vs. her small pocket pairs and lose flips, but I still maintain a small chip lead until we get it in for the last time.

I openlimp to 60 with A8, VJ repops to 240, I decide to jam,and VJ tank calls off with 55.
I flop an Ace and fade the the two outer FTW.


Looking back, man I was playing passive/trappy on purpose.

Limping a lot of buttons, keeping pots fairly small preflop, flatting preflop raises with a wide-ass range - then trying to play more postflop...

It wasn't really by design - well, not entirely.

But I do have a pretty good bead on VJ's play, recognized some tendencies over time... and adjusted what I normally do accordingly.

Anyhow, we were going to try another best-of-five sometime this week... but unless there's some other avenue for HU SnGs for free on the interwebz... so much for that.


I did decide to have a last call/one more session Friday before all the doors slammed shut - burned up all my FTP points for $26 tokens (and a deck of cards, whee!) and jumped in a bunch of 90-mans and Rush MTTs. I ran into overpairs a couple of times - but I did manage to final table the last tourney I'll probably ever get to play on FTP, the ol' reliable 90-man $24+2.

I do my usual silly shit:

I jam A7s into an openlimped 44, board runs T85T8 and I counterfeit on the river.
I jam KTs into the same guy openlimping A2s, board runs J95AQ and I spike the river again.
I jam QTs into 22 and AK, board runs AJ5K5 - and I'm a genius again.
On the final table bubble I call off to a 10BB shove with ATs and hold vs. KQo

I hit the FT 3rd in chips with 20BB.
Nothing happens until we're five-handed, I shove 8BB with K8, get called by A7 and make trip eights.
I'm jamming a lot, so when the button opens four handed, I have an easy 25BB reshove with AKs - he tank calls with AQo and suddenly I've got the chip lead with a little under half the chips in play.

So of course I finally quit hitting everything.
KT vs. a shorty KJ.
99 vs. AQ
I jams 15BB BvB with A2 and run into A7 - and that's that.

4th/90 for $190 more I won't see until the DoJ figures out what it wants to do...

Microcosm of the overall run online run for me.

I only get deep when I spew and donk around early and hit - but I play really well with shallow stacks near bubbles - and naturally, when I'm close enough to get the W that's when I quit spiking everything and miss the big pay bumps.

So it's fitting I close this poker chapter this way - consistently profitable, but never making a really big score.


This blog won't go dark - although there will be less to talk about obviously, there still are some loose ends...

- Caps playoff run, of course... 2 down, 14 to go...

- Hey, I still need a new job - the old one is extended until the end of June, but the half-life is rapidly fading on it.

- Maybe some live play to talk about - although I was going to do it out of the online roll, so we'll see how that will work out in the near future...

Regardless of what happens with the future of online poker - the sad thing is, good luck finding a low or mid-stakes live game that's NOT unlimited hold them - or finding a quick one-table SnG - or playing a friendly blogger game like smboatdrink's 10-game tourney.

All those type of things are going by the boards without some kind of virtual poker room to support it.

Maybe if something was organized as a free home game on one of the sites for teh bloggerz - but somehow I don't think that would fly longterm - it's not really poker if there's not money at stake, even if it's only a five spot.

Just keep up with the smart bloggers and posters out there, and we'll all see what transpires...

Friday, April 15, 2011

Iike a dinosaur watching the asteroid hit.

Could be worse, I suppose.

I don't make a living at this, and I have mobney stuck on the sites rather than in payment processor limbo.

However, I would have liked to have an offline roll - I've got enough online poker-only mobney to play indefinitely live, but that's what I get for being slack in 2011 and not pulling it off sooner. Who knows when/if it'll ever be freed up or not.

I guess this means I'm not playing the Ante Up PLO tourney tomorrow.

At least I'll have some more free time now.

EDIT: just read this and sit tight. Nothing else to do at the moment. Nothing else you can do.

The De-Throning, Part The First:

So VeryJosie and I are playing 1500 starting stacks, starting at 10/20.

Very first hand, I limp the suited Grump (4s2s) on the button, VJ raises to 80, I call.
Flop A82 with two clubs, she donks 1/2 pot, I call.
Turn another deuce. She checks, I bet 240 into the 320 pot, she folds, I show.

We're off and running now.

VJ opens 3x to 60, I flat with das Hämmerchen (72o)
Flop 743 with club draw, I check/call 80.
Turn 8, it checks through.
River 2, I donk 1/2 pot, she folds what she says is AKs, I show.

So I'm playing fairly wide open and free, obviously.

VJ opens 3x to 60 again, I repop to 225 with AQo, she folds.

I'm up 1800 to 1200 when she opens her button again 3x to 60.
I repop again to 225, this time with TT.
She types grrrr in the chat and flats.
I don't really like that. Probably walking into a big hand.

Flop T53 with a spade draw. I can like that.

I check, she bets 120 into the 450 pot - sketchy, like it's meant to induce.
I can either jam or just reraise - trying to figure out what gets the rest in better.
I reraise to 450. VJ tank jams for 975 total, and I hold vs. her KK no spade for the 1-0 lead.
Spade draw with the 2s got there on the river, so my other likely semibluffs would've hit as well.

Only 20 hands, one level of play.
Six minutes, Doug E. Fresh, you're on.

Of course, I basically coolered VJ with a two outer to win Game 1.
If the flop comes all undercards, I certainly double her up.
I probably get away on a rainbow flop with a couple of overcards.

But that's poker. 60BB on the flop with an overpair should be good more often than not HU.

Heff 1, VJ 0.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sweep the leg, and everything else of Joe C's

Ah, what a glorious night.

New Office and Parks and Rec episodes. Caps won Game 1 Wednesday night.

And then I get the email I was waiting for.

VeryJosie wants to go best-of-5 in a HU series.
I offered the challenge after her post about pwning Jordan earlier Thursday.

Game 1- Heff
Game 2- Heff
Game 3- Heff.

Games 4 and 5, not necessary....


I'll post some hands over the next five days - because VJ owes me a link every day, bitches.

So she's not a Terminator after all.

The rest of you guys can thank me now for revealing the wizard behind the curtain.

To be fair, she played well. Definitely a dangerous HU player.

But I played and hit better. Dangerous combination. That'll happen.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Winz at Grumps....

So there was a very late email about a quickie $3.30 Stars home game Grump was putting together - since I was watching the baby while all sorts of other stuff was going on around the house on a Friday night - sure, why not?

A good mix of nine players, including cardgrrl, Goat, Captain, and Boat - which meant the prize pool was winner-take-all for the top 10% - and that happened to be me. I got HU with Grump down 2-1 and hit enough hands and boards to grind out a solid W.

I hit so many 40/60 hands with live cards it wasn't even funny.


Rereading all the recap Donkey Island posts, including Jamyhawk's Hoy-length review... It pains me to say this, but Hoy's analysis is the most spot on -

"Josie undeniably played a great game, but this shit was also handed to her. Absolutely handed to her. I mean, not literally handed to her. But the Donkeys had Josie and the entire Fish team dead to rights, and then they fucked it up. They made a terrible decision like four straight weeks, and just stood there and let Josie's rise to power be consummated."

I'm still not sure why Jamy and Jordan decided to reach out for a cross alliance to VJ in the first place - WHEN SHE NEEDED THE HELP A LOT MORE THAN THEY DID - and then decided to tell us Donkeys about it to boot. Did you think we were just going to let that happen, instead of making the logical connections and start to cut you off pre-emptively?

To fill in some knowledge gaps for the record beyond this post:

- I had already decided to be Goat's humble servant from the get-go, way before anyone else even asked, for a lot of reasons. You have to trust someone - I decided it was him. Maybe he was going to screw me in the end - it's certainly possible, although I'm pretty sure we had a solid working relationship. Everyone else I talked to, I basically told them what I thought they needed to know.

I didn't really have a Plan B, and after the Donkeys got out to a big advantage in team play, I didn't bother to find one. I never watched Survivor and don't have patience for all this alliance building and breaking everyone else loves. I picked a horse and strategy and was going to ride it into the ground - way too simple, I know.

- In retrospect, we should have realized that Jordan would have reacted a lot better to clipping Jamy than the other way around. We had to stop this cross-team alliance momentum while we could, figured Jordan was a more dangerous organizer and plotter - and it looks like we came pretty close to pulling it off. But, I think Jordan would have realized the overall danger of working with VJ and the Fish and figured out another way to make things happen within the team of Donkeys.
Instead, Jamy basically gave VJ free reign to use him to flip the power structure to the Fish and take us all out. She's too nice to say so, but there's really no way she wins anything in Survivor without that gift.

- Once Goat got voted off, it was pretty obvious I was a dead man walking b/c I really had nothing to offer to VJ (she already had her people lined up) and I was not about to listen to anything Jamy had to say (b/c there was no way I was going to trust his decision making).

Still, it was strange because the night Jamy got voted off, because both VJ and Jamy were IMing me at the same time asking for my vote. Of course I amused myself stringing them both along until it was obvious my vote didn't matter - but the fact that VJ worked so hard to get my vote when she had to know that she really didn't need it - told me she wasn't missing any angles in this competition.

So it was just a matter of time - by then my only hope was to manufacture a tie vote and get to play my way on or off the island - but I couldn't manage that. Still fun, though. You got to learn a lot about other people's thought process, and I got tighter with some blogger players as a result. Plus, I spewed back close to $200 with all the Mookie bounties I offered during the series, so at least I made it rain for everyone else and paid it forward.

If I do it again, maybe I'll try to actually "play" the Survivor game - but to be honest I'd probably just duck my head, try to winz as much as I can, and finish in the middle of the pack again.

Oh and to complete a lingering question from the other night - the Heff is..

*half-Okinawan (hello Miyagi-san! - Mom grew up on the island. Not really Japanese, Okinawans have an odd relationship with their bigger Northern neighbor that annexed them way back in the 19th century.)

*half-Eastern European Slav (Austrian, I think, or maybe further east than that. Pop's family came over around 1900 - very Eastern Orthodox, so they know about pierogis, kolackies, Easter bread and what not. Pop grew up a few clicks from Apalachin in a heavily Italian town and remembers that infamous 1957 mob raid.)

So that's that. Half grinder bee, half crasian gambool. Figures.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spew times two. Boo (hey, that rhymes!)

So let's see, that was a night of running into the nits... POOF!

Spew around in the VeryJosie for a half hour until I hit AQs in back to back hands.

Texar opens 2.5BB in the cutoff, I jam 20BB, he snaps with AKs.
ATT flop, 6 turn, Q river. Yeah, I'm really good.

Next hand, BamBam opens for pot, I reraise in position to 960, he flats.
Flop A65 with a diamond draw...

BamBamCan checks
heffmike bets 2,140, and is all in
BamBamCan: folding slick heff
BamBamCan folds
Uncalled bet of 2,140 returned to heffmike
heffmike wins the pot (2,040)

So apparently I dodge a bullet twice. Unreal.

So when this happens... well, poker>karma>instant, you know.

EP limper for 40, texar raises 3x to 240 from the SB, I threeball with AKs to 975, limper folds, texar FLATS.
Flop QT6r, texar jams for LESS THAN POT, I snap, I see AJs.
running hearts for the nut flush, I loser... :-(

and then of course, I get slowrolled by JOELPOKERGOD when I openshove 13BB from the cutoff with KK and he does his standard tank douche move with a big covering stack...

Dealer: heffmike raises to 1,360, and is all in
Dealer: wolfshead folds
Dealer: 1racerx folds
JOELPOKERGOD: think im calling for the 2$
JOELPOKERGOD has 15 seconds left to act
JOELPOKERGOD calls 1,260
Dealer: heffmike shows [Kh Kc]
Dealer: JOELPOKERGOD shows [Ad 7d]

Dealer: The flop is [Th Jd Kd]
Dealer: The turn is [4d]
Dealer: The river is [As]
Dealer: heffmike shows three of a kind, Kings
Dealer: JOELPOKERGOD shows a flush, Ace high

JOELPOKERGOD: bounty game is why i called sir
heffmike (Observer): whatever. you were calling anyway don't try to make it out like that.
heffmike (Observer): but nice slowroll.
JOELPOKERGOD: i dint slow roll did i?
JOELPOKERGOD: i acutally have an once of respect for mike
heffmike (Observer): uh, you always slowroll people. It's what you do. no surprise.
JOELPOKERGOD: i called in 3 secs
JOELPOKERGOD: and told u i was calling

So anyway, 12/17. Karma's a bitch during the long run.
Given I burned up two lives early to survive, it all balanced out...

Meanwhile in the Dank, I got ate up in another NIT spot.
Although honestly, I probably wouldn't bet/fold here either.
However, in real life, I can beat an overpair here every time, or at worst have a 50/50 to get there.

Full Tilt Poker Game #29690015526: The Dank (230456659), Table 2 - 30/60 - No Limit Hold'em - 22:32:49 ET - 2011/04/06
Seat 1: heffmike (3,725)
Seat 2: muhctim (2,425)
Seat 3: Joanne1111 (2,830)
Seat 4: jimdniacc (3,165)
Seat 7: xkm1245 (2,280)
Seat 8: MiamiDon (3,295)
Seat 9: AgSweep (3,280)
muhctim posts the small blind of 30
Joanne1111 posts the big blind of 60
The button is in seat #1
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to heffmike [Ac Tc]
jimdniacc has 15 seconds left to act
jimdniacc calls 60
xkm1245 folds
MiamiDon folds
AgSweep raises to 180
heffmike calls 180
muhctim has 15 seconds left to act
muhctim folds
Joanne1111 folds
jimdniacc calls 120
*** FLOP *** [8c 4h 7c]
jimdniacc has 15 seconds left to act
jimdniacc checks
AgSweep bets 660
heffmike has 15 seconds left to act
heffmike raises to 2,000
jimdniacc has 15 seconds left to act
jimdniacc folds
AgSweep raises to 3,100, and is all in
heffmike calls 1,100
AgSweep shows [Kd Kc]
heffmike shows [Ac Tc]
*** TURN *** [8c 4h 7c] [6h]
*** RIVER *** [8c 4h 7c 6h] [Td]
AgSweep shows a pair of Kings
heffmike shows a pair of Tens
AgSweep wins the pot (6,830) with a pair of Kings
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 6,830 | Rake 0
Board: [8c 4h 7c 6h Td]
Seat 1: heffmike (button) showed [Ac Tc] and lost with a pair of Tens
Seat 2: muhctim (small blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 3: Joanne1111 (big blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 4: jimdniacc folded on the Flop
Seat 7: xkm1245 didn't bet (folded)
Seat 8: MiamiDon didn't bet (folded)
Seat 9: AgSweep showed [Kd Kc] and won (6,830) with a pair of Kings

Earlier villain check/called the nizzles HU on the turn to me BvB, so I was really certain my Ace was a clean out, oddly enough.

OK, I'm a moron. Seriously.

Anyway, who cares, I got PWNED again, 19/20.
Basically a waste of $22 and 90 minutes.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Played SmBoatDrinks 10-game tourney last night.
I miss the old Skillz Series, at least this fills the gap...

Ran OK, went runner runner on VJ in NLHE as a short stack after I called off with no pair/no kicker to stay alive early on.
People obviously forgot I play O8 like it's my job, that's where I got most of my chips.

Again, I build up a big ass stack as we get to HU play, a nice 3-1 chip lead.
And I lost to wolfshead. 2/9.

Went through five rotations, so we played for like 30 minutes.
I probably let up too easy in Stud/8 and didn't force the action enough - and just got pummeled in 2-7 TD.

To be honest, I'm a lot torked right now.

Bottom line, I should not be losing a mixed game HU with that much of a chip lead, period.
I don't care how high the blinds are or who I'm playing.

But, at least I cashed in a blogger game on FTP for the first time in a month, so that's nice.

Although, if I'm this annoyed, I obviously don't do this for the mobneys.

Wednesday is VJ/Dank time? Fun. Maybe BBT6 info will be revealed.
Too many hints in the air for the details not to drop soon.

Oh, one last game for the day.
Questions about my background came up in chat last night.

Yeah, I'm a half and half mongrel. Guesses on the halves in the comments, please!

The wife is Irish/Italian, btw. Explains the red hair and hot temper....

Monday, April 4, 2011

Survivor: Donkey Poker Round 15 - Finale

Why dime rebuys are LOL - I win the first hand calling a shove with J4 v. 84 and doubled thru.
I keep doubling with QJs, A6o, and QQ, all in the first orbit, and get up to 23K just like that. So once you've got that kind of stack, you really don't want to punt it against other big stacks - you'd rather just keep pecking away at the double rebuys 2K at a time. But no, that's not how a dime rebuy works, obviously... :-)

I basically lose it all getting it in good in multiway pots with AT, AK, and JJ, the last in a nine way allin.. Meanwhile I keep folding good stuff (for rebuys) like A6s and A9o against multiple shoves like a dummy and watch the nizzles get made without me.

So I actually did start rebuying in Level 3 after going busto and played the way I'm supposed to play a rebuy.

Of course, after the break I actually ended up winning big four way allins with JJ and KK and made it back to 30K to be 3/18 once the rebuy period ended. But when BrainMC has 130K - well, who cares about my stack.

I only was in for 70 cents, though, so it wasn't that bad. But this sure was a tourney that could have used the AlCan'tHang free mobneys from FTP - which dried up as soon as he got voted off and the Sunday tournaments started changing formats.. :-(

Later I got coolered with the second nut flush vs the nuts and should have resisted raising Muhctim's donkbet for pot on the river and saved 5K in chips. It's hard to stop going for thin value when you have 400BB behind.

Nothing good really happened to me after that. Numb decided to keep flatting me and screwing around with a big stack in spots where even if I'm good I'm ridiculously vulnerable. I spiraled down pretty quickly to 10K at 150/300, I restole KJ into JJ BvB for 25 BB like a momo, basically played like shit and bounced 14/18.

Which is a stupid, lame way to be done with the Survivor series - but for under a dollar buyin and less than $20 for first, I did not want to fuck around all night at this. I still played pretty bad regardless. Plus I owe at least $10 in a Brain vs. the field bet I made at the second break to jamyhawk and gpjacobs. I run horrid at prop bets.

Oh, yeah, so Boat won the last longer for 40% and VJ wins voting for the other 60% of the prize pool, almost $200. That seems about right...

I did remember to play PokerSlut and finished 2/7 in the razz tourney. I had a ton of chips and then got pwned HU by Gadzooks. I played way too loose and she kept catching every hand when I decided to look her up. So I got steamrolled as bad as you can get in HU Razz.

After all of that, I got my ass handed to me for a while in SnGs- bubbled 2-3 in a row- but then finally broke through with a 1st/3rd/3rd in a quick PLO8 set for +$150. So maybe I am finally breaking the seal on a shitty March and will enjoy April a lot more.