Sunday Night Update
Sunday, July 31, 2005
Send me your totals in the comments here and I will post the new leaderboard tomorrow morning. My current total for the SNG challenge is up to $220.50.
On the bonus whoring circuit, eh, up and down and then down and then down a little more. I'm trying to clear bonus money that Absolute swayed me back with - that one is going well. I'm up almost $40 and have only $25 of bonus money to clear. You have to clear 100 raked hands for every $10 of bonus and I'm almost half way to the next release. Overall, this one is going well.
Poker Rewards, the newest site I downloaded for a PokerSourceOnline promotion, is not going so well. The good news is I'm almost halfway to collecting the PSO promotion. The bad news is that I'm down about $50 doing it. Per DuggleBogey's advice, I am playing .50/1.00 Limit hold em and I am clearly not a Limit player. Normally, I clear these bonuses playing Limit Omaha 8b and have very little variance while I'm doing it. Nobody plays limit Omaha on this site. It is a skin of Prima Poker, I think, and just like Royal Vegas, all the Europeans love to play Pot Limit. Big swings=variance=bad bankroll decision for GCox25.
Oh well, maybe I will go on a rush this week and earn my money back plus the promotion from PSO.
On a completely unrelated note, I have run my bankrolls on BoDog and Paradise up a little over $25 on each site playing blackjack. That's right, blackjack. I know, I know, extremely -EV. I have been playing patiently and taking $10 and doubling it and getting off the site. So far, so good.
Lastly, I have a new blogger to pimp. Andersun, from RaiseOnTheButton, recently started his blog from the city I went to college for two years. St. Joseph, Missouri, home of the Golden Griffons. I played baseball up there for two years until the partying brought my GPA and fun back to reality. Anyway, go by and check out his blog and leave him a comment.
Time for bed, talk to y'all tomorrow.
posted by GaryC @ 7:07 PM, ,
posted by GaryC @ 7:40 AM, ,
SNG Challenge Lessons Learned
Friday, July 29, 2005
Since JediHog asked me for some things I have learned during this SNG challenge, I thought I would go ahead and oblige him. I had already been working on this write-up for when it was over, but since TripJax already posted some of his strategy, I thought it would only be fair to post what I think I know about the subject as well.
My lessons are really basic stuff and anyone who plays SNG's for any length of time knows them already, but in the interest of posting something about strategy, here goes.
1.Differences in level of play.
I have noticed that there is hardly any difference in the level of play at a $5 + .50 SNG and the $10 + 1 SNG's. That is where the majority of my experience lies and there are basically the same fishy plays at the $10 level as at the $5 level. I did play one SNG at the $20 + 2 level and the aggression at that table was slightly higher than the lower levels. I went out in 7th in my only foray into the higher level.
2.Sets are "Golden."
This has been said everywhere on the internet, but bears repeating here: Sets will make you money. I will gamble my whole stack nearly every time when I flop a set. The only exception to this is when I only have one of the "set" in my hand.
3.Fish are everywhere.
The fish are plentiful, even at UltimateBet. It's been said, and I fully agree, that the competition is a little tougher at UB than most of the other sites. Still, there's always 1 or 2(sometimes more) people who are there strictly to gamble and will nearly always pay off your big hands.
Patience is a virtue. A patient SNG player can almost fold to the money a large portion of the time at these levels. It's not uncommon for me to check my stats late in a SNG and find that I've seen less than 10% of the total flops. This strategy can be extremely boring but extremely profitable for a patient player.
It's been said in real estate that the three biggest factors for purchase are Location, Location and Location. I think the single biggest factor to being a winning SNG player is Position, Position and Position. Raising and calling raises from the correct position at the table is imperative to being a winning player. You can never steal the blinds enough from the button. Sooner or later, someone is going to play back at you from the blinds, but if you've already stolen his blinds a dozen times, you will have no problem laying down a marginal or even a poor hand when they do fire back at you.
I will often fold marginal hands pre-flop from under the gun, but raise to 3x the big blind with the exact same hand from the button. The key is recognizing where you are at the table and the recognizing who might play back at you.
6.Heads Up play.
Heads up play is crucial to beating SNG's over the long haul. When it gets down to 4 or 5 people, you will not see many "family" pots. Most of the play from here to the end will be heads up. If you aren't aggressive enough or good enough at heads up play, you will bubble out more than you place in the money.
I am relatively tight/aggressive(some would say weak/tight and I wouldn't argue) for the first half of a SNG. If I come into a pot early, I will have a large hand. When we get down to 5 handed though, I will play much more aggressively. I tend to get more respect late from my raises, because I've played so tight for the first half of the SNG. You have to constantly change up your play because someone out there is paying attention and will make you pay.
You have to learn when and how to to push with a short stack, because at some point you will become short-stacked. In order to survive the bubble syndrome, you need to be able to push around the other players, even though they have double or triple the chips that you have.
My simple rule is that I GO all-in, I don't CALL all-in. I had a player ask me one time why I would push all-in under the gun with A-A and take a chance on not getting any action. My answer is very simple, at least to me. If I'm short-stacked, I want to determine when all my chips go in the middle. I don't want someone else dictating to me when to push them in.
Doubleas is a wildly succesful on-line player who writes up some of the best strategy posts of any blogger. Dig through his archives and find "pressure points" (May 24, 2005) and "pressure points revisited" (May 27, 2005). In fact, if you have the time, read all of his strategy posts. Excellent information.
The pressure points post talks about putting the pressure on your opponent. Make him make a good decision prior to him putting you to the test. Of course, at the levels that I play at, that can backfire on you in a hurry. Still, very good advice and strategy.
9.Falling in love with a hand.
Realize when you are beat or behind and get away from the hand. It's probably been at least five times during this challenge that I've jammed the pot pre-flop with pocket Aces only to see a raggedy flop with other face cards or straight or flush possibilities. After I fire out my obligatory continuation bet (I'm a big believer in the continuation bet) to see where I'm at, my opponent moves all-in. At this point, I should decide that I'm probably behind and get away from my Aces. I'm not very good at it yet, but I'm working on it.
You have a big hand, say K-K, and raise it up pre-flop only to find two callers. The flop comes out A-x-x and the two callers check to you. I will always fire out a pot-sized bet here, just to find out information about your opponent's hand. Just because they called a pre-flop raise doesn't mean they have an Ace. They might have an Ace with a weak kicker and determine that your strong, continuation bet means that you have an Ace with a bigger kicker. Give your opponents the opportunity to fold in this situation. If they are trapping and come back over the top of you, then you know to lay down your Kings. Remember #9, don't fall in love with your hand.
Don't get discouraged. Keep a positive mental approach to every SNG you play. Sure, everyone is going to get sucked out on. Sometimes it seems like you can go days without your dominating hands holding up. Just remember, over the long haul, your dominating hands will hold up. Tell the drawing donkey NH and move on. That's the guy you want at your table.
Don't try to do too many things while you are playing a SNG. At least at first, try to pay strict attention to your opponents. Look for on-line tells:betting patterns, speed of response, etc. Watch what cards they show down and learn what hands they will play. The more information you can learn about someone, the better for you in the long run. You never know which of the 10 or 6 will be heads up with you in the end.
Finally, have fun while you are playing. It took Jordan to remind me of this. I can honestly say that playing at the same table as him was more fun than I can remember having at a SNG in a long time. Don't be that bitter asshat that hangs around berating everyone for their poor play. If you take a bad beat and feel like you might be headed for tilt, log off, walk around, watch TV or make yourself a sandwich. Take a break and come back to the game when your mind is clear and ready to focus again.
Those are just a few very basic things that I probably already knew, but that have definitely come to light since I started this SNG challenge. Hope they help you in your SNG's, I know they've helped with mine.
posted by GaryC @ 10:33 AM, ,
posted by GaryC @ 6:13 AM, ,
Thursday, July 28, 2005
How about a little fiction*? I've been working on this for a little while and thought I would share it with you. Let me know if it sucks.
......the sun burned down like a hot curling iron to the back of my neck. I was driving down to the casino for the daily grind, $8-$16 Limit at the Horseshoe. What a time for my fucking air conditioner to go out. Dry heat, my ass! I guess it isn't too surprising, driving a 12 year old Escort station wagon. Remember that god-awful color of green? Eh, at least it was cheap.
I walked into the casino, squinting hard as my eyes adjusted to their new surroundings. New, only now, as I had left this hell hole only 4 hours before, following an 18 hour marathon that saw me drop more than half my bankroll. I made my way to the scene of the crime and there they were, the usual suspects. Old man Thompson, the dead money calling station. Toby Simpson, the college aged Moneymaker wannabe, complete with the wraparound sunglasses. Vanessa, oh sweet Vanessa, if only her knowledge of the game could compete with her rocket ship of a body. Dead money indeed! The rest were nameless, harmless, faceless locals trying to grind out a living, just like me.
I took my spot at seat 8, my favorite seat at any table, by far. I could see all the action and everyone there could see my every move. I was twitching more than normal today. Perhaps it was the marathon session from yesterday causing it or perhaps it was the pot of coffee I'd had for breakfast. No matter, there was only one thing that could make it go away. Hair of the dog, you know. Jack and coke, make it a double.
I waited impatiently for my big blind and took in the action from the rest of the table. Crabby ass Jim was dealing, I hate that fucker. Toby was his usual hyper-aggressive self and was fully in control of the table at this point. That is, until now.
I post my big blind and the dealing begins. I look down and first spy the beautiful Jack of Clubs. Another glance reveals the Four of Hearts. Hmmm, I've had worse starting hands. What's the bet to me? Raised twice? No problem, make it three bets to go and yes sir, I will call the cap, thanks for asking. I did come here to gamble, you know?
We all take in a remarkable flop of Ace club, King club and the Nine of Diamonds. The small blind checks and I fire a bet. Eight dollars, I say confidently as I slump back in my chair. Call, call, raise, re-raise, what the fuck? These fish obviously don't know who the hell they're dealing with here. I raise, it gets capped and five of us head to the turn, which is the Ten.....of Clubs.
I'm seriously close to making a hand here. Can these people already have a flush or a straight? They sure bet as if they do and after a round of capping, the same five people head to the river, happily chumming as they go.
WoooHoooo!!!! The river brings the beautiful Q of Clubs. Man, they are still betting strong. Maybe I should reaccess my situation. Nope, I'm sorry, I have too much invested to lay this hand down now. Pot odds and implied odds you know. Two bets? I call.
That, my friends, is how yours truly, Mr. Guppy McDonkster, broke the table at the Horseshoe. Of course, I gave it all back on bad beats and suck outs over the next several hours to the fish and calling stations. I wonder what you have to do to get some of these people to lay down a hand?
It wasn't all bad, though, my day ended with sweet Vanessa whispering in my ear ... Room 221............
.........to be continued.
*Fiction-this is a somewhat true story and only the names and locations have been changed to protect the guilty fucking donkeys and fish. And yes, I used to drive that god-awful green Escort station wagon.
posted by GaryC @ 11:37 AM, ,
start 7-11-05 - end 8-7-05 (Sunday-midnight)
10 days left at this point and we have narrowed the field to 3 competitors vying for the prize money. SteelerJosh, Jordan from HighOnPoker and Dnasty13 have all played valliantly, but unfortunately, due to some bad beats and suckouts, they have played their stack into virtual non-playability. Worthy competitors all, this was just not their time to shine.
When we started this challenge, I had no idea what to expect, but I've learned a few things along the way, having played now 46 SNG's. I had never played this many SNG's for any period of time, like we are doing now.
I have to say I am pleased with my overall numbers, but things could be so much better if I'd won a few races where I was the favorite. No complaining here, though, as I've had my share of suckouts on my end also. We do tend to forget when we were the underdog in the race, don't we?
Kipper - He is the one person that I have talked to the most, other than Jordan, of all the competitors. He strikes me as basically a quiet guy, but I can assure you he knows how to push those chips around. I have railbirded him enough to know that he definitely knows what he's doing and he could definitely win this thing if a few things go his way.
TripJax - I haven't got to play as many SNG's with JT as I would have liked, because he has taken the slow and steady approach, not playing as many tourneys as I have. That being said, he has made the most out of the tournaments he has played in. Other than Jordan, I think JT is the funniest of the six bloggers in the competition. He might also be the best SNG player of the bunch.
If you have been reading and following this competition, you will remember that Jordan tabbed me as the favorite after just a few days. At that time, I tabbed Kipper and TripJax as my picks for the favorites to win this thing. Neither of those choices is a bad pick and at this point, I think any of the three of us could win. I look forward to some more tournies with all of us at the same table. We played one together last night with DNasty as well and a good time was had by all.
A couple of highlights from the SNG last night:
Some time early (either 2nd or 3rd orbit) I dropped the hammer and chatted "Hammertime."
A little while later, DNasty dropped the hammer on me. Doh!
We had a competitor at the table last night that thought he was a tad bit better than the rest of us. I forget what his name was, but he pushed all his chips in the middle with nothing and then blasted me for calling with an underpair to bust his ass. He proceeded to hang around the table and berate me and take shit from the others at the table. It was about this time that I gave him the classic HighOnPoker line: "Sorry, buddy, this is my first time to play."
He fired out a few classic retorts of his own, including the now infamous "Let's play heads up Cox, any amount." I responded that I didn't have any money, oops, except for his and that I couldn't play heads up as I didn't have enough experience. TripJax, DNasty and Kipper all chided this guy until he finally left the table. Thanks for the back up fellahs.
I forget when Kipper and DNasty went out, but they definitely outlasted the Professional $5 SNG player and TripJax busted out on the bubble after a long 4 handed battle. I was the short stack when we got down to three, but a well-timed and slow-played set of Aces got me back in the game. I ended up taking 2nd when the two big stacks did battle a little while later.
All in all, it was a very good time and I really enjoy sitting at the same table with the fellow competitors. It makes it much more interesting when you get cold decked and have to fold, fold, fold.
So, Kipper and TripJax, I wish you luck from here on out in the challenge. I look forward to sitting at the table with you a bunch in the next 10 days.
To Jordan, Dnasty and SteelerJosh: I've had a great time getting to know you guys through this competition and a great time playing at the tables with you. Josh, I hardly knew ye, but brother we must play together on the virtual felt in the future, perhaps in the heads up challenge. D, we didn't get to play together as much as I would have liked, but I enjoyed it when we did. You are a good competitor. I really liked your entry about your Dad, too. Those entries hold a special place in my heart. Jordan, Jordan, Jordan....what to say about Jordan?
You, sir, have been a blast to play poker with and a blast to have at the table at all times. I really enjoy reading your blog everyday and I just wish you hadn't busted out already, although, I must say that I'm glad I was there at the table with you the other night. You will always be at the top of my blogroll, brother, as you were the first contact I made when I started this. I thank you for taking the time to help a brother out.
I'll be slinging the virtual chips tonight. Come and find me, I'm easy.
posted by GaryC @ 6:16 AM, ,
A few of my favorite and not-so-favorite things
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
In no particular order, here are a few things that I like:
2.My wife's sense of humor.
3.Making the nuts on the turn in Omaha.
4.The Sopranos, Deadwood and 6 Feet Under.
5.A good steak-medium rare.
6.The Oklahoma Sooners.
7.Earning bonus while killing a cash game.
8.Watching golf and baseball on TV.
9.Swatting HR's in softball.
11.Playing SNG's with my new found on-line buddies.
12.Being early everywhere I go.
13.Red, White and Blue-my favorite colors.
14.Hanging out at the lake with family and friends.
15.Singing Toby Keith songs at karaoke.
18.Good mexican and chinese food.
20.Playing games with my wife as my partner.
And along those same lines, here are a few things that I hate:
2.The cost of gasoline.
4.This Oklahoma heat and humidity.
5.Traffic in LA.
6.People who are late everywhere they go.
7.Going to bed when I'm on a good run.
10.Getting up for work.
12.Someone who says "I have too much invested, I have to call."
14.Fast food order takers.
15.Liars and cheaters.
16.Waiting in line for anything.
17.Running out of beer.
18.Working on cars or home projects.
20.and finally, Party Poker, because I can't win there.
These lists are not at all comprehensive, because I could go on all day about things I hate, but just a few things that popped into my head. I was bored at work, so I thought I would jot a few of them down.
posted by GaryC @ 10:30 AM, ,
posted by GaryC @ 6:33 AM, ,
Side view of mullet.
posted by GaryC @ 4:51 PM, ,
My best side by far.
posted by GaryC @ 4:50 PM, ,
posted by GaryC @ 4:49 PM, ,
Some of you may be wondering why I use the number 25 after my name. Here is the story of how that came to be:
Back in the early 80's, I played 3rd base for my high school baseball team. At the time, Buddy Bell was the 3rd baseman for the Texas Rangers. Every summer, my Dad and I would drive down to Arlington and watch a series over a weekend.
My high school's colors were red, white and blue, but for some reason our baseball uniforms were powder blue and with red and white trim, almost exactly like the Rangers' uniforms at the time. I requested number 25 and to my surprise, I got it as a freshman. I came from a small school and lettered all 4 years in all three sports.(baseball, basketball and football - no time for band camp at my house)
Now, Buddy Bell wasn't a superstar or MVP type player, but he was a solid, sometime All-Star and almost always won the Gold Glove Award for his fielding prowess. We watched "This Week In Baseball" every Saturday and Buddy was nearly always on their top 10 plays on defense for the week.
Buddy was 6'2" and weighed 200 pounds. At the time, I was 6'2" and weighed 195 pounds. We both had long blonde hair, played the same position, wore the same number and our uniforms matched to a tee.
The biggest compliment I ever received on the baseball field came from an opposing coach. I dove behind 3rd base and caught a grounder, jumped to my feet and fired a strike to 1st for the out. The coach, who was a legend in Oklahoma high school coaching, stopped me on the way to the dugout and told me "Son, if I didn't know any better, I would have thought that was Buddy Bell over there at 3rd. Nice play."
The legend was born right there on that field and I've never worn another number at any time when I played baseball or softball.
posted by GaryC @ 6:01 AM, ,
WOOAHH! Stop the presses!
Monday, July 25, 2005
It appears that I indeed have a new reader. She goes by the name of anonymous and finally posted a reply to my "divorce" post. And here I didn't even think she was reading this lowly little blog.
That is, of course, MrsGCox25 and honey, I thank you for taking the time to read and to post a reply. By the way, I choose us, too.
I love you,
posted by GaryC @ 12:04 PM, ,
posted by GaryC @ 7:59 AM, ,
Envy, Jealousy and Friends
Sunday, July 24, 2005
Jordan admitted a certain amount of envy (only an ounce?) about my meeting and playing with two fellow bloggers this past Friday night in Okie-Vegas. I have to tell a story about an actual quote from the table a couple of nights ago.
I don't remember exactly how it came up, but the scenario went down like this:
GCox25:My wife reads BG every day, but I don't think she reads me every day.
Maudie: Oh, xxxxxx, he is such an awesome writer and an even more incredible person.
Now, first, let me preface this with the fact that I love reading BG's posts everyday also. He's almost my number one read (J, you will always be number one in my book). It wasn't so much that Maudie called him by his first name that impacted me, but it was the way that she said his first name that affected me the most. It was incredibly obvious that she not only knew him, but she also respected him as much or more than I do.
I have read BG's articles and knew what his first name was, but the way she said it made me so jealous. I really would like to meet all of the people that I have been reading for the past year or so and just shoot the shit, drink some beer and maybe sling some chips. I'm not sure if I will ever be able to work out the Vegas trip for Blogfest 3 or 4, but I would love to have the opportunity to sit down with BG and pick his brain, or to check raise BadBlood like the mini-blood does or even to have a shot of SoCo with AlCantHang.
The friendships that I have developed in my short blog life are very important to me. I've never met Jordan, TripJax, DNasty, Kipper or SteelerJosh but I feel like I know them already. I have no doubt that we would get along in real life as well as we do in the blogosphere. They are friendships that I very much appreciate, as I'm sure they do.
Maudie has that with people like Pauly, Otis, Iggy etc., entirely too many bloggers to list. I aspire to develop those types of relationships with the people that I read on a daily basis. It is indeed a special thing. I can tell by the way Maudie talks about all of them.
As I travel through this newest endeavor in my life, I plan to try and reach all my goals. Whether or not that happens will not be for a lack of effort.
posted by GaryC @ 12:26 AM, ,
Review of Okie-Vegas
Saturday, July 23, 2005
Wow, what a night. I cannot remember having so much fun while losing money in my life. I got to the casino about 5:15 and DuggleBogey was already seated at a 3-6 game. I put my name on the list and soon was called for that same 3-6 game, but as they called me to his table, they also called his name for the 4-8 game. I ended up taking his seat in the loosest, no fold em, 3-6 table on the planet. I swear the lady beside me showed down 8-2 off-suit for a winner and then folded the next hand out of the small blind. I really wanted to ask her what hand she would fold for half a bet if she would play 8-2, but I bit my tongue.
I played on that table for a couple of hours before Maudie finally talked me into switching to their 4-8 table. If I remember correctly, it was a 9 seat table and I was in the 7, Maudie was in the 8 and DuggleBogey in the 9. What a great time with some great people. The other players at the table obviously didn't know what they were up against and if DuggleBogey and I had actually caught some cards, we might have gotten to show them.
Maudie, sweet, little, demure lady that will check-raise your ass and make you like it. She had at least three guys at our table trembling every time she reached for chips. She is an excellent Limit player and I figured that out as I watched her stack up pot after pot the rest of the night. I hadn't been at their table three hands, before Maudie gets involved in a pot with a new guy to the table. He ends up showing down A-A and what does Maudie turn over??? The HAMMER, baby, with a board of x-7-x, 7, x. She confidently took that guys last chips and proclaimed hammer as she turned her cards over. A magic moment for sure at a table with fellow bloggers. If you didn't already know, Maudie kicks ASS! And she also is not afraid to share her thoughts about poker. Thank you very much for that.
DuggleBogey is much nicer than his GoBeRude blogspot address suggests. A great guy that also has a great knowledge of the game and is not afraid to share his thoughts with a newbie. I felt a bit out of place, as that was only about my fourth time to play live in a casino. It was obvious to anyone watching that they both knew what they were doing and were comfortable doing it. DB, I will be trying the raise/fold only at a limit table soon. Thanks for the insight and the kindness.
I won two pots the entire time at the 4-8 table, but thankfully one of those was a big one, with 4 or 5 people involved. The flop was Q-J-10 rainbow and three of us went to the turn. A blank on the turn, but another 10 on the river threw a scare into me. I had flopped the nuts with Big Slick in my hand, but luckily the drunk, raising guy was betting for me. I turned into a calling station but luckily, my hand held up. I never did tell the drunk guy thank you. By the way, DuggleBogey called my hand before the river came out.
At this point in my poker and blogging career, Maudie and DuggleBogey are miles and miles ahead of me, but they were both very welcoming and very nice to a rookie blogger and live player. I enjoyed myself immensely, but will listen to Maudie much closer next time and avoid the 3-6 table altogether. It was good advice about the rake and even better advice about the game.
So, to both of you, I say thanks a bunch. I had a great time playing cards and visiting. I was a good blogger and took a notepad and pen. Of course, I never took them out of my pocket to take a single note. I also only drank about 3 beers the entire 6 hours I was there, due to the long drive home and the fact that I had to be up this morning at 6:00 to come to work. Great times were had by all and I think the next trip will be to Lucky Star in El Reno. That little casino is much closer to my house, so I will be looking forward to that trip. I am also thinking of trying to throw a home game together at my house. It is sort of centrally located between the two of them and I could easily pull off a two table tournament at my house. We'll have to wait until a little later in the year, becuase of the heat. I set my two tables up in the garage and right now it is 100 degrees in the shade.
Have a good weekend and look for the pic's sometime this weekend. Of course, I'm an e-tard, so I may need help getting the pictures up.
posted by GaryC @ 5:04 AM, ,
Friday, July 22, 2005
Tonight after work, I will be joining fellow bloggers Maudie and DuggleBogey for a little live poker action at the T-Bird. I don't get off work until 4:30 so it will probably be 5:15/5:30 before I get down there. I will have shorts, sandals and a blue short sleeve polo type shirt. I will also be wearing my "lucky" navy blue Nike ball cap. No sunglasses for me, I have a hard enough time reading the board. I will probably be playing the 1/2 No Limit game, as I feel my No limit game is much stronger than my Limit game. I don't have the bankroll for multiple buy-ins right now, so I will be playing tighter than a bass guitar string. If I limp, it will probably be A-big and if I raise, well I'll leave that to your imagination about how big a hand I have.
No poker for me last night. I got home from my meeting about 9:00 and fell straight into the bed asleep. It's amazing how when you get older, a hard night of drinking will wear you out the next day and night. Song lyric "a rough night for me would make a helluva day." Bonus points for anyone that can come up with the artist of that one.
I am going to attempt a write-up in the morning from work and also will be attempting to post a couple of the pictures this weekend, following the leads of Kipper and TripJax. Have a good weekend all and here is the "no-frills" edition of the leaderboard. Jordan hasn't updated me today. I'll change it later if he does.
posted by GaryC @ 8:52 AM, ,
Thursday, July 21, 2005
I hate ESPN. I'm sitting at the computer with multiple conversations, SNG's and cash games all going at the same time and in the background I hear....."You're playing poker....they're playing YOU!" I was sorely dissappointed with that damn show the first 33 times I watched every episode, I damn sure won't be watching it again, unless there's nothing else on. And yet there they are, taunting me with that line after every inning of the ballgame I have on in the background. Enough already, I know these fuckers are all playing me. I've been donating to them for the last three hours and I'm sure that every foe I've run across has tagged me on their buddy list and written extensive, longhand notes about me in their fucking poker journal.
*Disclaimer* I couldn't function without ESPN, so it isn't really the station that I hate, but the sorry excuse for a series revolving around poker, that they threw out there last year.
On to other things....when I got home from work last night, I immediately sat down and started playing a few cash games to clear some bonus that I have built up at UltimateBet.(Thanks, Kipper) Jordan IM's me and wants to play a SNG and while we are waiting, Kipper logs on and joins as well. I went down in a blaze of glory when my A's got cracked by pocket Kings. Thinking back on that hand, Jordan, you were absolutely correct. There was no way I was going to get him off his Kings and no way I was going to lay my hand down. It was just a recipe for going broke.
While those two continued to battle, I jumped in another SNG and my cell phone rang. MrsGCox25 had an insurance rep in from out of town and apparently, his expense account needed a little gouging. Hmmmm, well sure I'm in. I ended up playing three more SNG's and took 3rd in all three of them before the wifey got home and took me out for the evening. It was a little difficult to get out of bed this morning after a hard night of drinking, but I finally dragged my ass to work. I would not have wanted to pay that tab last night. Thank goodness for expense accounts!
I've got a meeting tonight, so if I get to play it will be later, probably around 9:00 pm. Here are the updated standings. I haven't read or heard anything from SteelerJosh, so I will be leaving his total the same. I'm sure hoping that he's going to report a huge win to get back in the game and so all 6 of us can play together on the same table.
posted by GaryC @ 8:51 AM, ,
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
*No Poker Content*
It was certainly one of the darkest periods of my life. My first wife, after 5 years of marriage, decided that she didn't love me any more. Looking back now, some 11 years down the road, it was the best thing that ever happened to me. Standing in my shoes 11 years ago, it was absolutely soul-crushing.
First things first, we got married way too soon. I was 23 and fresh out of college and she was barely 18. She followed me to Arizona when I got my first job and three months later, we were married. I think we dated all of 6 months prior to that.
I grew up in a well-structured, god-fearing, bible-thumping, close-knit family. My wife's mother was married seven times and she hardly even knew her real dad. We were like exact opposites from the beginning, but I felt like we could make it work.
My job in Phoenix was a shitty, long-hours, low-paying management position with a major hotel chain, but after 6 months, I got my promotion.......to an even shittier, lower-paying(considering all the factors) but slightly higher management position in...Los Angeles. I grew up in a town of 12,000 people in Oklahoma. Culture shock would have been an understatement. Those two years would turn out to be the longest two years of my life.
We fought about everything under the sun. Money, jealousy, money, etc. I don't care how much money you make in L.A., I could not make enough to pay the bills, let alone set anything aside. We were plummeting deeper and deeper into debt every day and the traffic....don't even get me started.
It was during this time that my oldest daughter was born. It was both a blessing and a curse for us at the time. She ended up being the one thing that almost kept us together.
Finally, after two years, we packed up and headed home to Oklahoma. My parents sold us their house when they retired and moved back to my home town. I had a pretty good job and things were going pretty well for a while. That lasted about two more years before she decided that she'd had enough and filed for divorce. It was right about this time that I lost my job also. It was a very sad and depressing hole that I had dug for myself and there was only one reason that I ever made it out.
I was playing softball on a co-ed team and had become good friends/drinking buddies with our 2nd Basewoman. *Foreshadowing*(She who would become MrsGCox25) Unfortunately, I had also introduced her to my best friend at the time and she had moved in with him. They were planning on getting married in the future and I was completely happy for them both at the time. They both helped me through some of my depression as I struggled both emtionally and financially to get back on my feet. My parents were there for me, but could not fathom divorce and were little help to me emotionally. My two friends did offer that help.
Unfortunately, for my best friend at the time, he decided that living with my female friend was not in his best interest and impolitely told her to pack her shit and get out. I know that to this day, he regrets that decision, but his loss was my gain.
A month or so later, we had our first date and many green beers on St. Patrick's Day.
Six months later, we were married. I don't know what she saw in me, but I thank God that she did. It took a while, but I finally climbed out of that hole and things could not be better for us now. She has a great job and I have a good job and have been with the same company for 8 years now. We are working on our retirement programs very hard and preparing for the kids' education.
My ex-wife and I still do not get along very well, but thankfully, my wife handles most of that communication now. My wife and I also had a daughter who just turned 9 in March. All my girls are very special to me and I love all three of them (wife and both daughters) very much. I'm sure I don't tell them as often as I should, but girls: Big Daddy loves you!
I was at the end of a long, lonely street for a while in my life, but with the help of some very good friends, I made it back. One friend in particular, my very best friend. I love you, honey.
posted by GaryC @ 8:10 AM, ,
I played 4 SNG's last night and didn't place in any of them.
I played the first one with Jordan and took a bad beat on the 2nd or 3rd hand of the damn tournament. Of course, it was dealt out by Jordan, so it was all good. I had A-6 soooooted on the button and flop was A-6-9 rainbow. Both players(including Jordan) check and I fire a pot sized $200 bet. Jordan pushes all in and the other guy folds. I typed in the chat "I have to see it" fully expecting a set of 9's or A-9 at worst. He turns over A-Q and I'm ahead....for.one.freaking.second. Another 9 on the turn counterfeits my 6's and his kicker (the Q) plays and IGHN. It definitely did not tilt me though, because it was Jordan. I normally don't play a hand for all my chips before the 3rd or 4th level anyway, but since it was him, I took a chance. Just as much my fault as the 9 coming on the turn. I know to lay that hand down.
I also played a 6-seater with TripJax last night. He, as usual, played very strong and I, like all tournies of late, played like a complete donkey. So much so, that when I look down and see the HAMMER, I was all in before I could think twice about it. I'm still not sure that qualifies as a gutsy, ballsy, blogger-style move, but I did it anyway. I was inspired by Kipper from the night before. Of course, IGHN.
I will probably be ready to rumble tonight when I get home from work. Friday night and the weekend look pretty bleak on the poker front, at least on-line. I will be playing live Friday night at the T-Bird and have a party to go to Saturday night. I am going to try to do a write-up on saturday morning at work of my experience playing live and meeting Maudie and DuggleBogey. I won't have anything else to do at work until noon.
Have a good day and holler at me tonight at the tables.
Another personal post: "The Divorce"
By the way, I just checked my stat-counter statistics (Thanks, J) and I had a record high of 51 unique visitors yesterday. Somebody's reading.
posted by GaryC @ 6:37 AM, ,
Okie Vegas, Baby!
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Party Poker and Me.
When I first began to read blogs, I constantly read that Party is an aquarium and you are a moron if you aren't on there taking advantage of the fish. (bonus code, IGGY, damnit) So I decided to give it a shot and deposited $40 to try it out. I started out on the SNG's, like I had done at UB and had a few succeses, despite the horrible structure and the constant "push" mentality of all the players. I played my little roll up to $150 and decided that I would try the new(at the time) $25 NL tables. Three days later, I was broke.
Last week, while moving some money through Neteller to play in the charity tournament at PokerStars, I decided to throw $50 into Party and prove that I could beat that game. At least I didn't bother with playing it up to anything substantial this time. Three hours later, I was bust again.
So there it is, I am a losing player at Party Poker. I consider myself a winning player on-line and my bankroll verifies that, but at Party Poker, I am the big fish in the little pond. Hell, Iggy probably has me tagged!
SNG Challenge Update
I only played in one SNG last night, but it was an instant classic. When I got home I noticed that Kipper, DNasty13 and TripJax were all logged in, but not currently playing. I got in touch with all of them to see if they wanted to play a SNG together and all were game. We had a bit of a dilemna though. Jordan, our fearless leader in this challenge, was nowhere to be found. He had stated on his blog that he might be late tonight due to some husband-like duties. We held a quick meeting and made an executive decision to go on without him. We all got together and timed it perfectly, joining the same table as soon as a new one came open.
I have to say, I saw a lot of things I liked last night. TripJax caught a great rush of cards and played the shit out of them. DNasty did not catch many cards but played the shit out the ones he got before busting out in 5th. Kipper went out in 6th place, but brother he went out in a blaze of glory. True blogger fashion, all in with.........the hammer! He was cold-decked most of the tourney, but he hung in there and did the only thing he could do when he saw the 7-2 off-suit. Good job Kip.
I bluffed the eventual winner off a pretty big pot later, but screwed up and hit don't show, instead of show. I did get hammer typed in the chat in time, but it does not have the same effect if you don't show it. I ended up busting out in 3rd place due to a true "donkey" call. I'm in the big blind with A-10 and TripJax is the small blind. He has 1000 or so less chips than I did at the time and pushes. Now, maybe it was Jordan urging me to call in the background or maybe it was the fantastic (read:donkeyish, monkey, fishey, choose your own adjective) read I had on TJ. I call expecting a race situation and what does TJ have???A-A and I am crippled. I push with 10-10 the very next hand and am eliminated when an A hit the board.
All in all, TripJax played better than I did and definitely deserved 2nd. He did get all his money in against the chip leader with the best hand but got an unkind flop and finished 2nd. I thought everyone played great and I did my best to not get mixed up in too many battles with them. I enjoyed the hell out it and we definitely need to do it again soon. Next time I think we should let Jordan play also.
See y'all on the felt.
posted by GaryC @ 6:03 AM, ,
Monday, July 18, 2005
After a weekend filled with pokery goodness, it is back to the grind for 6 days this week. I have to work on Saturday, until noon, every third saturday and this is my week in the barrel.
I played quite a bit of poker along with mowing my yard in 98 degree heat. The heat wouldn't be so bad, but the humidity is also about 98%, so it was completely miserable.
I started off with a very cold Friday night, going one for five in the money in the SNG challenge. I also donked off about 20 more dollars on various sites. So, saturday I got up to watch the British Open and get seriously down to business.
I have a prop bet with a buddy from work every week that Tiger plays in the PGA tournament. I bet my buddy $5 and I take Tiger and he gets the rest of the field. Now, three years ago this was a very profitable wager, but the last two years or so have definitely been -EV. Thankfully, he held up this weekend, so Ronnie owes me lunch this week.
I played four SNG's on Saturday and made the money on all four. Three of the finishes were third place, but after Friday night, I'll take that. I got in a 10 + 1 for the last one saturday and managed to win it for a big boost to the bankroll. I also played in the PokerSourceOnline freeroll saturday evening. If you didn't hear about this, it was for PSO members only and there were only 232 people entered. They were awarding 500 piece chip sets to places 21 to 30, $100 to places 11 to 20 and $200 to places 2 to 10. First prize was entry, air fare and spending money to the U.S. Poker Championships in Atlantic City next year. It was a very cool freeroll. That's as far as I'm going to go with it, because after a lame bluff attempt, I was short-stacked and went out 81st of the 232. I could hear Eeyore braying in the background.
I also played in Charlie's charity tournament on Sunday evening. I think there were around 150 players, but not nearly that many playing. In fact, after my first table, I was moved to a table with only two live players for a while. We traded off stealing the blinds until they finally moved two more players to our table. I went out somewhere in the 50's in this tournament, but I want to congratulate Maudie on her 5th place finish. I was at her first table and she was playing aggresively and even got to show down the hammer for a winner.
Here is the recap for SNG's after one week:
SNG's played - 25 (1-20+2, 14-10+1,10-5+.50)
In the money - 16 (64%)
1st place - 5
2nd place - 5
3rd place - 6
I've only bubbled out of one tournament so far, so hopefully that little trend from before the challenge started has been turned around. I am sitting on my longest streak right now of 6 in a row in the money, coming into Monday night. I will be on tonight, but a little later than normal, probably around 7:00 pm CST. Good luck to all the challengers and here is the leaderboard after day 7.
posted by GaryC @ 5:51 AM, ,
Saturday, July 16, 2005
Saturday night, late. The downswing continued through Friday where I monied in one of five SNG's. However, Saturday was a new day. I played in 4 SNG's and monied in all 4. Here are the totals that I know. Update me and I'll update this.
posted by GaryC @ 9:28 PM, ,
Friday, July 15, 2005
I'm going to put up the leaderboard and assume that TripJax and DNasty13 did not play any last night. If that is incorrect, send me your new totals, guys, and I will edit.
See? I told you that sooner or later the downswing would begin. Thankfully, since UB's site sucked last night, I only played two SNG's. Big fat doughnut hole. 0 for 2. I finished 5th and 6th and didn't play particularly good in either one of them. Oh well, down to $169.00 for the challenge. I'm going to post the totals later, but I'm waiting for SteelerJosh, Dnasty13 and TripJax to update me. I don't know if D or TripJax played last night, but I'm sure SteelerJosh played. Jordan and Kipper have already given me their numbers, both up from yesterday.
I got a late start last night for a very good reason. My 9 year old daughter, we'll call her Shorty, went to tennis camp last week. Well, she has caught the bug to play, so the wife and I took her down to some local courts last night. The only problem with this is that right now in Oklahoma at 5:30 pm, it is about 197 degrees. The courts we went to are in a nearby park and sit down in a little swell. No breeze whatsoever. I've never been one for alot of activity outside in this weather and I am definitely not a tennis player, but I bit the bullet and went to the park.
It wasn't three minutes into this little adventure until we were all dripping wet with sweat and breathing like Chris Farley on a treadmill. We somehow endured 30 minutes and ran to the car to start the air conditioner. I don't know if any of you have ever been to Oklahoma, but when it is 95 degrees here, it is just like 130 in Vegas or Arizona. The humidity is so thick here that you can cut it with a knife. Stifling. Right, Maudie?
So, when I got home last night, I wasn't in the best of moods. It didn't help that my Rangers were getting their asses handed to them by the A's. I probably should have taken the night off from poker, but I can't say no.
I will finish my PokerSourceOnline promotion with Paradise Poker tonight. 750 raked hands takes a little longer than the 200 points on BoDog. I will confirm with them Monday and my new folding poker table will be shipped next week, I assume. The experiment at Paradise hasn't gone as well as BoDog either, but is definitely worth the time to get free stuff. I deposited $100 originally, earned my $25 bonus from Paradise for signing up and am currently $5 ahead of that total overall. I have played Omaha 8b exclusively on this site at the .50/1.00 limit table. The bonus might clear quicker than that at higher levels, but I didn't want to risk that much money on a site that I may or may not play on again. If you haven't signed up for PokerSourceOnline yet and you like free stuff, give it a go. Use referral code GCox25 or TripJax. We would both appreciate it.
I am staying home this weekend by myself and will have unlimited time on-line to play poker. The only thing I have to finish at the house is the yard work. I plan on knocking that out first thing saturday morning and coasting through the rest of the weekend. Wifey and kids are headed to the lake, so I am batching it.
Let me know your updates on the challenge and I will throw up a leader board later today.
posted by GaryC @ 7:15 AM, ,