Sunday, July 31, 2005

Sorry Everyone!

I realize I haven't posted in over a week but I promise to remedy that very soon. As a matter of fact, my schedule opens up a bit after Tuesday night. I have a paper to turn in, a 5 minute presentation to give and then I will be finished with my summer class. I still have one on Saturday morning but it's more of a pain in the ass to get up that early than to actually work on homework. In other words, I could pass it with my eyes closed (and they usually are).

As for poker, I have been playing (I can't seem to stop for too long) but I have shortened the length of my limit sessions. I was finding that sitting longer wasn't really increasing my bankroll and, most of the time, I was giving a lot of my winnings back. Basically, I am learning "when to walk away". My SNG game still sucks. I had two bubble finishes and a last place finish over the weekend. I was doing well at SNG's before Vegas but I seem to have lost something since I returned and I still haven't figured out what. I've also played a few tourney's but I have no major cashes to report. Mostly I am just working on building the bankroll.

Speaking of which, I now have money at Party. A couple of weeks ago they gave me some "we miss you" bonus money and I haven't lost it all yet. I actually had it up to almost $50 at one point but I forgot to walk away while I was up. Anyway, I'm building it up again so we'll see how long it lasts. I also still have money at Stars and UB so those are the places you will likely find me playing if you ever go looking. (April98 is my name on all three.)

That's it for now and until next time...........(did you really think I suddenly figured out how to end a post?)

Thursday, July 21, 2005

If It Weren't For Luck

I just finished 19th in the $2000 guaranteed, $10 buy-in tournament on Ultimate Bet.

Basically I was bored with limit play over on Poker Stars, they didn't have any interesting tournaments starting up, and I am on a break from SNG's so I headed over to UB to see how quick I could lose the last $14 I had left in my account. It was nearing the start time for the $2000 guarantee and, even though it was more than I usually buy-in for, I said "fuck-it" and signed up. There ended up being 241 entries and the top 30 payed. Oh, and it was a turbo tournament. Nothing says "take my money quickly" like the all-in crapfest that is a turbo tourney.

My first table was fairly tight-passive. I won a few small pots and managed to get just above the average when I got moved to table that was a little more interesting. Unfortunately my cards sucked. Finally I got a pair of 8's and made a good sized raise. The guy across the table from me called and I got annoyed. On an earlier hand he got me to lay down AQ by going all in after a flop that I had missed completely. I felt he was on a steal but I wasn't ready to find out. Anyway, back to the pair of eights. The flop came something like 2 4 5 and I knew that I liked it. The other guy was first to act and pulled his all-in trick again. All my B.S. alarms started going off and I called. He had AQ and didn't improve. He was out but turned out to be a good sport and complemented me on the call.

At this point, I was sure I had enough to make the money, even with the fast rising blinds but I hate just sneaking in like that. Fortunately, the cards made the decision for me as I didn't get anything worth playing. I was moved again and this time, with 2 of the 3 chip leaders at my table, I decided to wait for a premium hand. I made it to the break with 11 to go before the money but, since I was on the button I could afford to wait at least an orbit before I had to start worrying. The action finally got back around to me and it looked like I was going to bubble. That's when the luck really kicked in.

I was in the SB when I was dealt the evil AK. Since I couldn't even complete the BB, I once again said fuck-it and went all-in. A full boat and a couple hands later, I found myself in the money. Now it was time to get serious. All-in or fold were my only options if I wanted to compete with the big stacks. That's when I got a pair of 7's in mid to early position. I put all my chips on the line and had 2 callers. Flop comes and there, staring back at me, is a third 7. I'm feeling good but one of the other guys has Q's and I think there was a flush draw. The next two cards came quick but I remember the flash of the 4th 7 on the river. The four of a kind gave me about 15,000 in chips and I was confident I could get to the next payout level.

Sure enough, a few hands later we were down to two tables. Again, I was going to wait for a decent hand and push. That's when it happened. I looked at the screen and saw two beautiful Aces. One red, one black. I bet out 5k and it was folded to the guy across from me. He went all-in and, without hesitation, I called. He had 8's and I was feeling good. I could actually see the final table on the horizon but luck always finds a way to turn and bite me in the ass and this hand was no exception.

The flop was harmless but the turn brought the ugliest 8 I've ever seen. I received no help on the river and I was out in 19th with a profit of $7. For a moment I was in shock (because we all know that aces always win) but I remembered that I had entered the tournament with no real expectations so I had absolutely nothing to complain about. If I repeat that to myself a couple more times, maybe I'll actually start to believe it.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Bad Timing

I can't believe my computer decided to shut off three minutes before the start of the Charlie tournament. I was ready to kick ass and, instead, ended up going out early because my brain decided to go on vacation. Having to re-boot the computer twice just threw off my focus. I would look at my hand and have no idea how to play it. It was like I had just sat down at the table for the first time ever without any clue of how to play. Oh well, it was for a good cause and I was able to railbird Joanne and Shelly after I got knocked out. Of course I also had the "celebrity table" open the whole time. That lucky Shelly actually got to play there for awhile! Maudie ended up taking Shelly out with what I would call the play of the tournament but I'll let them tell that tale.

Right before my computer shut off, Jason was talking about hockey and I was in the middle of my reply when the damn thing rebelled. I am excited that hockey will be back. I'm not mad at anyone anymore and I just hope the NHL can recover after a year of no play. The only bad part is that I can't afford to keep my season tickets. It's just not possible. I have switched to what is called Shark-Pak which is a 10-game package with some of the benefits of season tickets including priority for playoff tickets. As my dad reminded me, all the games will be on TV and I should have no problem getting tickets for any other game I may want to go to. It still kind of sucks though.

Actually what really sucks is that I have to go back to work tomorrow. I've been enjoying my time off even if it was for surgery recovery. I like my job but I am sick of one of my co-workers and I am not looking forward to seeing her again. The only thing making it better is that I have a job waiting for me with a very new business that my dad is involved in. Once they get the necessary capital and can start paying people I will be leaving the hospital and working from home (or Vegas, or anywhere I can hook up my computer). I can't say much more right now, but wish them luck as I think it will be a very profitable venture.

That's it for today. Thanks to everyone who planned the Charlie tourny and to those who donated. 144 people at $20 each equals a nice gift for the charity. May the poker gods shine down on you all!

Friday, July 15, 2005

"The Mouth" Is Out And I Am Sad

If you were waiting for the broadcast on ESPN in October, I'm not sorry for ruining it for you. It's the fucking WSOP main event and no real poker fan or player is going to wait to see the edited version on TV, besides, how can you not be reloading Pauly's site every five minutes for updates.

So, I will admit, I have been rooting for Mike Matusow for most of the tournament and that is after seeing his behavior on TV last year and without knowing the details of his arrest shortly thereafter. I've been reading on blogs all week about how he shouldn't win and how it would be bad for poker and all I have to say is that is a lot of bullshit. Who cares if a few more jackasses start mouthing off at the tables, most of them will still be making donkey moves and will eventually be giving away all their chips to the better, quieter players at the table. The difference between these loud mouths and Mike, is that Mike actually knows how to play the game. The last hand was played perfectly and Mike should have won. He got unlucky but he kept his cool when he had every right to go off on a meltdown. He was very calm on the Cardplayer audio broadcast almost immediately after and said he would be sleeping well tonight because he played his best game ever this past week. Doesn't sound like words that someone who is "bad for poker" would say, at least not to me.

Does he rub people the wrong way? Sure, but he's not the only one, he just happens to get the most press. Speaking of which, if he's so "bad for poker", why was he at the featured table so much and why did he seem to be the most quoted player on every update web-site? Because we need a villain, someone to dislike and I'm sure there will be a few morons who will try to emulate Mike's style but I doubt that behavior will be tolerated to the extent that Mike's is. I think the nickname gets you a bit more leeway.

Personally, I'm sorry he's gone because I like me a good villain and Mike "The Mouth" Matusow plays a great one.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

I'm Such An Idiot!

I knew I was going to forget that Full Tilt is having a live poker tournament on Fox Sports tonight. Luckily Phil is still in but I still feel like an idiot for forgetting. I have no doubt that Fox will re-run it to death but I wanted to see it from beginning to end while it was LIVE. I guess all I missed was one player being knocked out. If you're not watching, turn the channel now!

Also, if you haven't signed up for the charity tournament yet, what are you waiting for? Yes, I realize I haven't signed up yet but I have a good excuse. I need to win about $10 and I will have enough in my account to play and continue building the bankroll. I should be able to accomplish that tonight so expect to see my name on the list very soon.

Necessary Information:
July 17th 3 p.m. PST
Buy-in of $20, all goes to charity
Look under private tab for WPBT "Charlie" Tournament

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

WPBT Tournament For Charlie

Join the WPBT for a tournament in honor of Charlie. All proceeds will go to a charity chosen by Charlie's family.

Necessary Information:

July 17th 3 p.m. PST
Buy-in of $20, all goes to charity
Look under private tab for WPBT "Charlie" Tournament

Monday, July 11, 2005

Some Shameless Promotion

ESPN Original Entertainment’s 2004 World Series of Poker Now Available on DVD

NEW YORK (June 28, 2005) — The poker phenomenon is still raging and so is its highest stakes game, No-Limit Texas Hold’Em. To the delight of poker fans nationwide, ESPN Original Entertainment and DVD Marketing Inc. have compiled the complete 2004 World Series of Poker’s Main Event, a six-day shoot-out between the crème de la crème of the poker world and wildcard amateurs to capture the multi-million dollar cash prize, onto an ultimate must-have three-disc DVD set.The DVD set, packed with bonus features and more than 11 hours of poker action, will be available for online purchase as of today at and with a suggested retail price of $19.95. Availability in retail outlets will follow.

“Our fans will really enjoy the 2004 WSOP DVD collection because we’ve loaded it with four hours of bonus content,” said Victoria Stevens, vice president, ESPN. “It’s great for people who enjoy poker and dream of someday making it to the final table at the game’s biggest stage.”

A record-breaking 2,576 players, more than triple the number from last year, came to Las Vegas for the 2004 World Series of Poker. Once again, it was a virtual unknown in the poker world that would beat the poker masters and garner the top prize. Greg “Fossilman” Raymer, a patent attorney from Connecticut, parlayed a $160 online entry fee into $5 million in winnings and the coveted WSOP title.

This DVD set contains ESPN Original Entertainment’s final 10 programs from the telecast of the 2004 World Series of Poker, which earned a 1.7 rating for more than 1.5 million viewing households. Hosted by ESPN commentators and poker aficionados, Lon McEachern and Norman Chad, the DVD is presented in fullscreen (1.33:1) digital video without commercial interruption, and includes revealing interviews of star players, basic rules of No-Limit Texas Hold’Em and four hours of bonus features. Chapter points set at the key rounds allow the viewer to jump directly to the action putting them in control of every frame of video as ESPN captures the emotion, strategy and luck in route to crowning the champion of the World Series of Poker.

The unprecedented four hours of bonus features include:
* Top-10 moments from the 2004 tournament
* A Greg Raymer commentary
* A Greg Raymer All Access
* Greg Raymer’s Bio
* A Stu Unger feature
* Beyond the Felt: Poker Talk segment
* Coverage of the $1,000 Buy-In No-Limit Texas Hold’Em
* Coverage of the $2,000 Buy-In Pot Limit Omaha
* Tournament of Champions feature
* Coverage of the Kansas City Lowball event, exclusive only to the DVD

Friday, July 08, 2005

I'm Alive!

I'm finally home and my dad just walked through the door with my pain meds, fresh from the pharmacy. I have four small incisions on my abdomen and a swollen hand from where the IV was inserted.

My twin was nice enough to call me yesterday and let me know that Wil had been knocked out of the WSOP. That was sucky news but it was nice of April to call and fill me in.

Thanks for all the get well messages. I'll try to return to my regularly erratic posting schedule as soon as I feel up to it.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The Big Day

In a few hours I will be "under the knife" and though I don't feel nervous, I haven't slept well all week which is a sure sign that I am, in fact, nervous. I spoke with my anesthesiologist earlier and he has promised me some good drugs before I go into the operating room, especially since I tend to start shaking uncontrollably when I'm about to do something scary. This was so much easier when I had my appendix taken out. That was emergency surgery so there was no time to think about it. This gall bladder thing I've known about since just after Vegas and I knew surgery was the only option so I've thought of nothing else for about three weeks now. Finally planning it gave me something to focus on but hasn't relieved the fear. The funny thing is that it's not really the surgery that scares me, it's the fact that people I work with will be seeing me at my worst, not to mention the fact that some will see a little more of me than my self-conscious self would prefer. What do I care, I'll be unconscious....Yeah, that's comforting.

Anyway, thanks to everyone for the well wishes. My surgery starts at 8:30 a.m. PST so feel free to send some good vibes in my direction if you get a chance. I'll be staying in a private room (working there does have some advantages) and I am sneaking in my cell phone so if anyone still has my number and wants to call me with some WSOP news or to make sure I'm still alive, please feel free. I figure I'll be semi-conscious around noon and probably driving the nurses nuts by 2 p.m. Otherwise I'll make a quick post when I get home on Friday so you'll all know I made it.

Don't forget, the main event starts tomorrow so make sure you check the sites on the right for the best updates on the internet. Good luck to all the competitors, especially Wil and Phil.

Monday, July 04, 2005

I'd Rather Be On Vacation

My nice four day weekend is slowly coming to an end. My poker game has been okay but I still haven't recovered all of my "lost" bankroll. I do feel that I am getting better as a player though. I can identify the donkey's at the table rather quickly and just sit back and wait for a hand to take the chips they seem so eager to give away. On one hand I flopped the nut flush and a couple of players called my raises all the way down to the river giving me a nice little payoff of $11. For a twenty-five cent table an eleven dollar pot is huge.

So this week I work exactly two days and then I am off until July 18th. I wish I was flying to Vegas for the WSOP main event but this isn't vacation time I am taking. As my regular readers know, I have had some health problems recently. In trying to find out what is causing these problems we came across another problem. It seems I have several rather large gallstones in my gallbladder and this probably explains the chest pain I had that first night in Vegas. It also explains other problems I have been having but hadn't gotten around to getting checked out because the passing out thing seemed a little more important at the time. Well, the passing out thing has been put on the backburner and on Thursday of this week I will be having surgery to remove my gallbladder. It's an easy surgery that my surgeon has performed over 6000 times but he likes to be cautious and is having me stay overnight in the hospital. It sucks but it's probably the right thing when my other "stuff" is taken into consideration.

I'll be having the surgery done at the hospital that I work at. Luckily I get a huge discount by having it done there plus I'll probably get a private room for the night. The downside is that I will have no computer access for 24 hours. This really isn't a big deal as I have gone without computer access before but the part that is killing me is that I won't be getting any updates from the WSOP and Thursday happens to be the day that Wil starts playing. Knowing my luck, it's probably the day Phil starts as well. Maybe I can convince the insurance company that I would get better faster if I spent my recovery time in Vegas. Don't laugh, it could work (in an alternate universe maybe)!

Friday, July 01, 2005

I Want To Be Like Doyle

Un-fucking-believable! 72-year-old Doyle Brunson won his tenth WSOP bracelet at 4 a.m. this morning. Again, un-fucking-believable! From the first moment that ESPN introduced me to Doyle on one of their poker broadcasts I have had a tremendous amount of respect for the man. He is the epitome of what a professional poker player should be. I've never seen him go off on a Hellmuthian rant or give his buddies high-fives when he sucked out on the river. He just sits quietly at the table and gives each and every player his respect while slowly building up his stack of chips. He moves in for the kill but it seems to hurt less coming from a poker legend of such skill, almost like he's doing the other players a favor by knocking them out of the tournament. I stayed up until the finish and I can't wait to see this event on ESPN later this year. I bow down to you Mr. Brunson as you represent everything I hope I can be.

Now go read Pauly's write-up of the event over at Las VegasVegas.