Friday, December 30, 2005
After writing my post yesterday about where I'm headed in 2006, I went home last night with a new attitude. You know what? It freaking worked. I logged in last night and sat down and played good solid poker the entire night. Felt damn good, too.
I didn't go on any huge runs or catch any great cards, but I played the cards I did get very well for a change. I started out by taking first in a UB SNG and then moved to Full Tilt and Stars for some Stud 8b action. The cards were cool, but I made the most of the opportunities I had and ended up ahead by a little bit.
I entered one last $5 18-person SNG on Full Tilt before hitting the sack. The deck was absolutely frigid and I made it to the final table as the short stack. (+/- 700) I then had a beautifully timed, slow-played pair of Aces that more than tripled me up. Two hands later I flopped a well-hidden set of 7's and doubled through again. I ended up bubbling out in 5th when the other short stack couldn't let go of A-5 and beat my pair of threes. Overall, I still felt like I played well.
No real light bulb moments, I just had my head in the right place for a change and made pretty good decisions for the most part. Believe me, it was a welcome relief after playing poorly for two+ months.
Today is it for the rest of the year around here. I am off at Noon and headed to the lake to get ready for the New Year's Eve Party tomorrow night. We'll start it off tonight with the dart tournament and then top it off tomorrow evening with Karaoke and my birthday party. Thank the lord I am off work Monday, because I'm sure I will need all of Monday just to recover from this bender.
FYI, I will be home some time on Sunday and slinging chips if anyone is around and interested in playing. Hit me up on Yahoo IM and we'll find a table.
I don't normally make New Years resolutions, but I'm going to change things up a little bit this year for a variety of reasons. Here's my list of (hopeful) resolutions for 2006.
1. Lose 10 more pounds and get my ass in shape for my softball tournament this year. The last two years have been so much easier, but I'm going to put some effort into getting my old legs into better shape this year.
2. Quit smoking. This has been something that I've meant to do for a long time but I'm not sure if I can or not. Wish me luck on this one, because I'm sure I will need it.
3. Continue to make more time for my family. This has been much better since my "intervention" 4 or 5 months ago, but I need to continue to make that extra effort for my wife and kids.
4. Continue to enjoy my new friends and continue to play on-line poker. This includes part of yesterdays post also, by continuing to play with the correct attitude and make good, solid decisions the majority of the time.
I'm not sure how interested any of you are in my resolutions, but I thought I would write them down as a way of reminding me what some of my goals are.
I hope everyone has a prosperous and healthy New Year and in the words of Mike Sexton: "May all your cards be live and may all your pots be monsters!"
Happy New Year,
posted by GaryC @ 5:41 AM, ,
New Year Musings
Thursday, December 29, 2005
Nearing the end of 2005, what does one have to look forward to in 2006? For one thing, I will be 40 next Tuesday, and although I was not looking forward to it, the support and comments from other bloggers in my shoes have allowed me to relax about it somewhat. It's still a milestone for me, but I'm not dreading it as much as I was. As far as poker goes...
I've been on a bad run lately at the tables and have dropped a serious amount of coin (for me) in the process. Of course, it was all profit and I am in no danger of busting out, but still, spewing off 8 or 9 hundred bucks still pisses me off to no end. This slump, downswing, bad run, etc. seems to have no end in sight. It has me in the worst of moods even before I sit down at the computer and after that first loss of the evening, it eventually only gets worse.
It has carried over into my very being. I'm in a bad mood when I get up in the morning, when I get to work, when I go to lunch and when I get home, before I've even played a hand that evening. I realize that this is not the correct attitude to sit down and play with, but damnit, right now I can't seem to shake it.
I've written about the beats and about my own donkey moves with regularity as of late and in the future, I hope to get away from that. I know that nobody wants to read about how my A-A got cracked by 8-3 off-suit. It happens every night to nearly every one of us. I wrote yesterday that I didn't want sympathy but what the hell is it that I'm looking for? If not sympathy, what is it? Validation?
At this point, I don't really know the answer. I know why I started this blog in the first place. It was to try and fit in to this little community of poker bloggers and to meet some new friends, etc. Mission accomplished on every street. Now I'm in a rut and I need to make some headway in an effort to get out of said rut.
I don't have any concrete plans for the new year regarding how I'm going to do it just yet, but I am working on a few ideas:
Attitude-first and foremost, I have got to sit down in the right frame of mind every.single.night.
If I can't get myself in the right spot, then I don't need to be logging on and donking off chips with a piss-poor attitude. Get your head straight and play good, solid poker or don't play at all, dumb-ass!
Bankroll Management-I am moving back down to strictly the smaller limit games and the $5 tourneys, whether SNG or MTT.
I have not done a good job of managing my bankroll during this downswing. I've too often found myself playing higher limits than I'm comfortable with, trying to make up for losses already suffered.
Change Sites-I will still be playing at UB, Stars and Party, but I plan on loading some money on Full Tilt tonight in an effort to change things up a bit.
Results Oriented-What is that Raymer says? Don't worry about the results as much as the decisions. Make good decisions the majority of the time and the results will take care of themselves.
I'm going to take the information that I learned from Harrington's books and put it to use. The books are a wealth of knowledge for any level of player and especially for someone like me, who hasn't played a million hands of tournament poker. I also plan to delve into more tournament play than in the past and get away from the ring games more often.
Change Games-in an effort to balance my game and learn more about the other games, I plan on playing a variety of new games in the future.
I've been doing some reading and messing around at the lower limits of Stud Hi/Lo. The results are typically mixed, but the more I play and read, the better I think this will go. I am enjoying the learning process right now and anything to get me away from Hold Em, if even for a little while, is a good thing, in my opinion.
So, I have some plans, although I haven't written anything in stone yet. I have some ideas and will be experimenting with alot of these ideas in the coming weeks.
Boring, re-hashed drivel, but changes have to be made (or written about, if only to say later, I thought about changing a few things.) It's time to buck up, grand-children, cause Grandpa here is coming back with a vengence after the first of the year.(and maybe later tonight as well)
Have a good one and tie one on for me Saturday night. I will be tying one on for you.
posted by GaryC @ 8:11 AM, ,
Wow, it never ceases to amaze me. The power of this little community that we all strive to be a part of on a daily basis. 62 freaking players showed up last night for the first Donkeys Always Draw Invitational. I was expecting............maybe..........15!
A hearty congratulations to Change100 for taking down first place along with a set of Copag cards as a bonus prize. Also, congrats to Joe Speaker for taking 2nd place and to all the bloggers who made the final table and made some cash. I bombed out in 15th with a desperation push against the chip-leader's J-J.
I was basically free-rolling though, after an ill-advised push against Pauly out of my BB. He had Kings and I donked an Ace on the turn to take him out. I think it's fair to say that I mentioned yesterday that I would be playing the part of the donkey in the tournament. Doh!
I also want to congratulate Mowenumdown on an impressive 3rd place finish in his first blogger event. He just started his blog, so go by and say hello when you get the chance. Welcome to the community, buddy.
A huge thanks to Jordan, TripJax and to PokerStars for putting on a great tournament. I was lucky enough to bust out Surflexus and will be looking forward to receiving my "bounty" in the mail after the first of the year. It was a great tournament and I'm looking forward to the next one. I need to also mention that our buddy, LittleAcornMan, stayed up until the "wee" hours of the morning across the pond to join us in the tourney. He was gone quick after he busted out, which is understandable, since he had to get up in just a few hours to go to work. Thanks for playing buddy.
I also want to send thanks out to some of the "big boys" for getting on board and pimping the tournament on their blogs. Undoubtedly, that is why the turnout was so good for the first tournament. AlCantHang, Pauly and others who mentioned it on their blogs drew in alot of players. Thanks again for the help guys.
The hammer was in play throughout the evening. I dropped it twice on my first table and I heard that Will-Wonka cracked pocket Queens with the hammer later on. Don't ever underestimate the power of the hammer, particularly when playing against a table full of bloggers.
I'll be around for some poker this evening as I am skipping bowling and watching my OU Sooners play in the Holiday Bowl tonight against the Oregon Ducks. It should be a pretty good game.
Talk at you later.
posted by GaryC @ 5:33 AM, ,
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Invitational sounds so stuffy.
-Donkeys Always Draw Invitational-
A tournament put together by Jordan at HighOnPoker and TripJax at Poker In Arrears. But, alas, it isn't a snooty, high-browed Invitation only affair. If you read this blog or any of the blogs in my blogroll or have your own blog and don't read any of us and want to play: YOU are invited!
It is an open invitation to anybody that reads a blog, has a blog or left a blog in your toilet this morning before you left for work. If you would like to sling chips with AlCantHang tonight, feel free to join us in the first and soon to be regularly scheduled Donkeys Always Draw Invitational.
9:00 PM EST - PokerStars Private Tourney Tab - password: blogsaregay
There will be several bounties up for grabs if you knock out certain bloggers, so get signed up now and join us for an evening of hi-jinx on the virtual felt. Thanks to Jordan, Trip and to PokerStars for hosting the tourney. It will be a good time, I guarantee it and I will be playing the part of the donkey.
On my own personal poker front, the slump continues. I'm not sure what to do at this point other than maybe just try to play my way out of it. The last three months, with the exception of about two weeks has been one consistent downswing. I've suffered every type of bad beat imaginable, made every donkey move myself imaginable and in general, have played very poorly.
Will-Wonka and I were chatting last night and he mentioned how getting stuck every night right off the bat was a disturbing trend and that has been the case for me nearly every night. I'm either stuck a buy-in or half a buy-in or a tourney entry fee right off the bat and spend the rest of the session trying to play catch-up, which hasn't happened near enough.
My attitude right now is in the crapper and I apologize for that. It is difficult to pretend to be happy-go-lucky when I seriously want to crush the mouse into my flat screen monitor. I'm working on that though and I haven't actually broken anything yet, so I got that going for me.
Here's a sample of how I'm running from last night:
I'm in LP with A-Q of spades on a particularly loose 6-max table. I raise it up and it ends up capped with three of us going to the flop. The flop is 5 spades, 10 clubs, and 8 spades. Cap. Turn is J of spades. Lose a player, but one guy caps it with me. River is 6 of spades. He, of course, turned over 4-7 of spades for the straight flush. Typical of my luck of late. NH, sir.
It's nearly impossible for me to imagine this downswing after running as well as I did for the first year, but right now, I would compare it to the Titanic and the ice berg. I'm going down and going down fast and I have to find a way to turn this thing around.
I'm not necessarily looking for suggestions or for sympathy at this point, just giving you an update of my struggles. I'm looking forward to the tournament tonight, even though I may be a few minutes late. I will be there.
Hope to see you tonight.
posted by GaryC @ 1:55 PM, ,
Please join fellow bloggers in this private tournament on PokerStars.
NEWSFLASH: GCox25 is in and will be pre-registering tonight. Watch your ass!
Wednesday December 28, 2005
9:00 PM EST
$10 + 1 Entry Fee
Private Tourney Tab - password - blogsaregay.
This tournament is open to bloggers and readers alike, so if you feel like slinging chips with us, get your butt over there and pre-register. I'm not sure how many are planning on playing in this one, but I would love to see more than 20 people sign up and make this a monthly event or maybe more often than that in the future.
There are several bloggers offering prizes for busting them out of the tournament. Check out some of their blogs for the details and HURRY UP and pre-register.
See you there.
posted by GaryC @ 11:21 AM, ,
Monday, December 26, 2005
It was a good holiday season for the GCox family all around. We had a wonderful time around my family on Christmas Eve night, 35 people crammed into my Grandma's 800 square foot house. Gifts were had by all and the kids had another fine Christmas. The adults here had a fine Christmas again, too.
The time off was a welcome relief from the rigors of 40 hours a week and is welcome again this week, as I am off at noon again this week on Friday and off again the following Monday. I am ecstatic about the time off again this week, as I will probably need it following the birthday celebration that my wife has planned at the beer bar at the lake this Saturday night. I won't actually be 40 until a week from today, but she is planning the party for Saturday night, New Year's Eve, as we will already be at the bar doing Karaoke for their party. When would be a better time to do it? I will probably need at least Monday off to recover from the drinking and partying of the New Years Eve celebration.
I didn't play a lot of poker this weekend, but when I did, the results were horrible. I played a total of 5 SNG's and placed in only two of them. For some reason, my mind is not in the game right now and I may indeed take a break from the virtual felt.
I am going to do my best to play in the blogger tourney this Wednesday night, but it might actually be a blinding down to nothing before I can get home. I haven't decided yet, but I have something very important Wednesday evening after work and I'm not sure I can get out of it. I plan on doing my best, but not sure if it is possible or not yet.
The good news is that I finished both Harrington books and I must say, like everyone else, I am impressed by his writing and strategies. I tried putting some of the things into use this weekend and unfortunately, I value bet when I should have folded and got extremely quick answers to all my probe bets. Damn good information though and I would recommend them to everyone that plays SNG's or MTT's on-line. They are definitely worth the time to read.
Finally, for anybody that might have missed it:
Donkeys Always Draw Invitational Blogger Tournament
Wednesday Night - 9:00 PM EST - PokerStars
$10 + 1 entry fee - Under the private tourney tab
I'd like to see a nice turnout and I will probably be registered even though I might have to miss it. In other words, it will be just like I'm there, so abuse my BB and I will fold meekly to even a call. LOL.
Hope to see you there and have a great, short week.
posted by GaryC @ 5:40 PM, ,
Happy Holidays To All
Friday, December 23, 2005
First and foremost, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone that stops by this humble blog. I hope you get everything you want for Christmas and enjoy your family and friends. Oh, by the way, Jordan, have a great time in Atlantic City, you lucky bastard. I am so jealous. My wife is cool as ice too, but she would never go for Christmas in Vegas or Atlantic City. That would certainly be over-stepping my authority.
Wednesday, December 28, 2005 - 9:00 pm EST - PokerStars
The First Semi-bi-weekly DONKEYS ALWAYS DRAW INVITATIONAL. It is set up in the Private tourneys tab on PokerStars and the password is blogsaregay. It is open to bloggers and readers alike and word has it that Jordan will be paying off a bounty when he is eliminated from the tourney.
I'm not sure if I will be home in time to play, but I might pay the entry and let them blind me off until I can make it home. I might have to be the "game time decision."
The tourney is a $10 + 1 entry and the more the merrier, so if you feel like slinging some virtual chips with the likes of HighOnPoker, TripJax, DNasty and possibly, GCox25, get by there and sign up.
END BIG ANNOUNCEMENT
......and, end this pre-holiday post. Have a good one, I will be home late Saturday night and probably itching for a game, so if anyone is up late Saturday evening, give me a shout and we will play some poker!
posted by GaryC @ 6:43 AM, ,
A Little Humor
Thursday, December 22, 2005
I received a humorous e-mail today and thought I would share some of it with you. If you've already read all of these, just be happy that I didn't forward you the e-mail for the 372nd time.
Top 9 Surgeon General's warnings about alcohol.
9) WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may leave you wondering what the hell happened to your bra and panties.
8) WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may create the illusion that you are tougher, smarter, faster and better looking than most other people.
7) WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may lead you to think that people are actually laughing WITH you.
6) WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may cause you to think you can sing.
5) WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may cause pregnancy.
4) WARNING: The consumption of alcohol is a major factor in causing you to dance like a retard.
3) WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may cause you to tell your friends over and over how much you love them.
2) WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may make you think you can logically converse with members of the opposite sex without spitting.
1) WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may make you think you are whispering when you are not.
And a couple of old quotes:
"To some it's a six-pack, to me it's a support group! Salvation in a can." - David Howell
"Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza." - Dave Barry
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." - Benjamin Franklin
"24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not." - Stephen Wright
"I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day." - Frank Sinatra
posted by GaryC @ 10:21 AM, ,
Please, just move along to your next regularly scheduled blog.
We had Christmas at my mother-in-law's last night and a HUGE mexican dinner before-hand. I was DONE by 7:00 pm. When we finished at 8:00 and headed home, it was all I could do to drive home and pour myself into the bed. That mexican food was delicious and apparently, if you eat as much as I did last night, it has the same effect as turkey on Thanksgiving, because it threw me into a coma almost immediately.
I got to open a few presents last night, all clothes and some very cool OU gear for a big OU fan. They said they had troubles this year shopping for me because I hadn't given them any ideas like other years. I told them you can't go wrong with OU gear, ever.
I played about 10 hands of Stud when I got home but could not keep my eyes open, so I closed her down and went to bed. I watched the WPT re-run for a little while with Arieh, Williams and Negreanu. What the hell was Arieh trying to pull? He must have had something to do once it got down to three handed, because he played atrociously at that point. I though Williams was going to pull it off, but when Daniel caught K-K and A-A against him, it was pretty much over.
Next week's re-run is the one with Tony G and Surinder Sunar. If you haven't seen that episode, be sure and watch it next week and answer this question for me. If you were Sunar, would you have busted Tony G's ass right there at the table? I know there is a certain amount of gamesmanship that is expected at the table, but in my opinion, Tony G goes over that line again and again. He would have caught a fist with his face if I were sitting there listening to that shit. He may have kicked my ass, but I would have gotten in the first blow, I promise.
It is liable to be pretty quiet around here for a few days. I have to bowl tonight and then I am off at noon tomorrow to head out of town until late Saturday night. I probably won't get in much time at the tables until Sunday and Monday. I'm looking forward to being off on Monday and doing nothing all day long.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and holiday season. I'll try to post something tomorrow if the mood hits me before I leave town.
posted by GaryC @ 5:30 AM, ,
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
....like a snowball headed for hell. - Merle Haggard
That pretty much sums the last two months of my poker playing up in a nutshell. The "slump" continues, even if it was only a few BB's last night after I got home from the bowling alley. I could never gain any momentum and the few primo hands I held were cracked by someone wielding J-3 off-suit or the sort.
Enough already. Poker Gods: I fucking apologize, please forgive me and let me back into your good graces for more than just one evening.
I am up to my eyeballs in work today for some reason. Normally, this is a very slow time of year for us, but this year has been an exception all year long. My company has had the best year, profit-wise, in their 2o some odd years of doing business. I guess that's a good thing, but I'm tired of being covered up.
Before I let it get away from me, I want to wish everybody out there that stops by this humble blog on a regular basis a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday season to you and your family. I hope you all get exactly what you want for Christmas and you get to spend as much time with your families as you can stand. I will be hot-footing it out of here at noon on Friday and heading to my Mom's in Tulsa. We will do the Christmas thing on Christmas Eve at my Grandma's house and then head back to OKC late that evening. No work for me on Monday and then next week, off again on Friday at noon and heading to the lake for Karaoke on New Year's Eve. We also have Monday off following New Years and then I'll be back to work just in time to celebrate the big 4-0 on January 3rd. I've been dreading that birthday for a while, but after hearing everybody else's comments about it, I have a little better feeling now. Screw it, I'm finally 40, I hope things do get better with age.
Have a good rest of the week, if it doesn't slow down around here at work, I may not be posting too much.
posted by GaryC @ 9:10 AM, ,
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
I found my slumpbuster last night when I got home to play some poker. I logged on to Titan Poker, who has been less than friendly to me lately, but with whom I still have alot of bonus money waiting to be earned.
I decided yesterday that I was going to move back down to .25/.50 and go back to grinding. (Low Limit Grinder, remember?) I sat down at a short-handed table and before we had played a round, I had notes on two people at the table. The first guy, we'll call him the Table Captain, was already abusing a player for a "retarded" play and the second guy, Svenneman, is my newest, bestest, big toe, er, friend. He has some very technical notes by his name on Titan, donk-raiser. He raised with any two cards and re-raised with any two cards. He also called any raises to the river with any two cards. He may have personally been responsible for me coming out of the Limit funk I've been in for the last month.
The first hand I noticed, he had raised and capped with Q-10 off-suit. Not a horrible hand for 6-handed, but when the Ace came on the flop and there were three people betting before him, I think it was time to get out. He didn't see it that way and continued calling to hit runner 10, runner 10 and take down a nice pot.
The Table Captain, meanwhile, is on flaming tilt and undressing the guy in the chat box. I made a mental note right then to try and play pots only with these two.....that is........until another donkey decided to join the table. Another classic raise and re-raiser with any two, he immediately started spewing chips and he was added to my list, as well.
I bought in for $25, Table Captain had about $18, Svenneman had about $45 and the third, nameless donkey bought in for $10. The other two seats were rotating fish buying in for $5, busting out and leaving.
The fateful hand was me on the button with A-A and two raises before me. I raise and, of course, my main man Sven caps it and four of us see a flop of J-x-J. A bit of a scary flop, but I still think I'm ahead and Sven, TC and I cap it again. Turn is the money card, Ace of diamonds, making my boat and putting a flush up as well. Thank you poker gods. Needless to say, Sven and I capped it to the river and I don't know if he had a flush or a bare jack or a smaller full house, but I took down a nice pot.
This continued for about 30 minutes with the other three at the table. I raised with A-Q in LP, was called down to the river with absolutely nothing and still took down the hand. I think Sven really wanted to bust me. Unfortunately, when his stack sunk down to under $20, he finally left the table. I want to send out a very special thank you to my slumpbuster, Svenneman, and welcome anyone who reads this to tag him as soon as you see him. +58 BB for about 45 minutes of work and it was all due to him. Thanks again buddy.
I then moved over to Poker Time and decided to play my newest game, 7 card stud. I've been experimenting with a few different things since I've been slumping and 7 card stud has become a nice change of pace for me. I've mainly been playing Stud High/Low on Ultimate Bet and Poker Stars, but on Poker Time, they don't offer high/low, so I joined a .50/1.00 limit Stud game.
Apparently, the people playing low limit stud are just like the people playing low limit Omaha. I'm no knowledgable professional at Stud yet, but when you can't beat the cards that are showing on the board, you are supposed to fold, right? I was called down twice last night with unimproved Aces showing and still won the pot. Now, I can see them calling to the river and folding if they missed their draw, but why call that bet on the river if you can't beat the two Aces I have showing? Lemur-tastic, thank you sir, I'll be back to deal with you again. +23 BB in about 30 minutes.
On to the Aquarium that is Party Poker for some 7 Card Stud, high/low variety. Same calling station morons and same results. +20 BB in about 45 minutes. Had I been able to avoid the 5 + .50 Stud tournament, I would have gone to bed extremely happy. But, alas, TripJax called and we joined the tourney at the last second.(Yes sir, we are on crack!) I lasted exactly one hand past the first break. A combination of cold cards and donkeys hitting their hand on the river pushed me out. Trip was still playing when I logged off and went to bed. Surflexus was playing in the 40K and had joined us in the chat room, as well. Good times, fellahs, I enjoyed it alot. Better results for all next time.
Weather has been uncooperative here in Oklahoma lately. Icy cold winds as well as a dusting of snow yesterday and more of the same today, although the wind has died down somewhat. There is a possibility of bowling being cancelled tonight and another night of poker before the holidays for me. I have my fingers and my toes crossed at this point. I love to bowl, but driving 30 minutes home after 8 or 10 beers in slick conditions does not appeal to me in the least. So, I am hoping for quite a bit of snow today and the cancellation of bowling tonight, so I can get in some more time at the tables.
The attitude is slowly taking a turn for the better, I think. I made several calls last night where I just felt like I had the best hand and I was rewarded for my feeling. Maybe it's coming back and maybe it was just that old bitch, variance, swinging back my way. Either way, it still felt pretty damn good. It's a fickle damn game that we play but when you play correctly and are rewarded for it, it is a damn nice feeling.
Have a good one and try and stay warm.
posted by GaryC @ 5:20 AM, ,
Poker Night Tonight
Monday, December 19, 2005
After some not-so-decent weather here today, my plans to play some live poker have changed. It is about a 30 minute drive out to El Reno and back and with temperatures hovering below freezing, I am not going to risk that drive home after what would certainly be the intake of more than a few beers. I will be heading straight home from work tonight and will be playing on-line for a while.
This might be the only night I get a chance to play for more than an hour or so for the next couple of weeks, so if anyone is interested in joining me tonight, let me know. It will be a low-limit marathon for sure.
posted by GaryC @ 1:30 PM, ,
The holidays are upon us and it seems I have something going on every night for the next 2-3 weeks. My poker play will be very limited for a while, which, unfortunately, is probably a very good thing, at this point.
First, let me say thank you to everyone who commented about my last post. It was a bit of a pity party for myself and I appreciate everybody's comments, whether on the post or via e-mail. It is nice to know that there is that much support out there.
I honestly had no idea that so many were so close to my age. I knew that a couple of bloggers were a bit older than me, but had no idea that so many were right there with me. Other than my grandson, most of the comments were along the lines of "stop feeling sorry for yourself, you aren't that old." Thank you to everybody, that is exactly what I needed to hear.
I am going to play a live tournament tonight for the first time in nearly a month and am approaching this tournament with only one goal in mind. I am going out there tonight with the idea of playing solid, aggressive poker and winning the damn thing. Anything else will be considered a failure, so plan on a trip report of some sort tomorrow in this space. If you catch me on-line later tonight, you will know that the trip report will be short and considered a failure.
I played a bit this weekend with limited success. I had an idea after Friday night that maybe I had turned a corner, but Saturday and Sunday provided no evidence to back up my findings. Friday night, late, I found myself at a 2/4 Bad Beat Jackpot table with Surflexus. The jackpot is getting on up there again, just in time for Christmas, so I bought in short for $50 and eventually found A-9 suited somewhere in MP. I get in cheap to see a flop with 6 others at the table and the flop is A-9-9. Bingo, I think, but apparently others thought the same thing. After capping the first round post-flop with 3 or 4 others, I eventully took down a near $100 pot. I really felt like that one pot was going to turn around my game, but, alas, it was not to be. The rest of the weekend was back to the norm of getting my money in with the best of it, only to see the other guy catch the cards he needed. Oh well, I'm not desperate yet and I'm sure my cards are going to start holding up again soon. I look forward to that day.
TripJax has a nice post up about sending a blogger to the WSOP Main Event, if enough money can be raised. He, as usual, has qualifying ways around a $100 buy-in tournament that make a lot of sense, if we can get enough bloggers interested in playing. I would be up for these, as well as possibly paying a straight $100 buy-in in hopes of qualifying. It would represent a large portion of my bankroll, but the opportunity to play in the Main Event would be a dream come true, for I'm sure, all of us. Hopefully, we can get a major site like Full Tilt or PokerStars behind us on this idea and make it happen. I know they have supported the blogging community in the past and would expect them to do it again.
Welcome back to Veneno, glad you got things worked out on the home-front and are able to join us again, not only playing poker, but blogging, as well. Hang in there and keep it in perspective and you will do fine.
That's all I've got for today. Thanks for stopping by and I will try to do better tomorrow.
posted by GaryC @ 5:46 AM, ,
Musings About Age
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Funny, as I approach another milestone in the "years on this earth" category, I find myself in a bad mood in general about everything around me. I wonder if facing my own mortality is taking its' toll on my attitude?
Two and a half weeks and I turn the BIG 4-0. Now, I realize that there are other bloggers out there that are older than me, but certainly the much higher percentage is MUCH younger than I am. I also know that age is all in how you treat it yourself. If you don't freaking act like your 40 years old, then people won't perceive you to be 40 years old, right?
The problem I have right now is that the closer I get to 40, the more I have started to act like a 40 year old. I've become more and more angry over my situation at work and though my wife, God bless her, tries to comfort me and help me get past the problems I'm having, none of it seems to help right now. Work has me down, but it isn't just the work, it's life right now. I've been in a personal rut now for about six months and the main reason, I figure, is that I'm getting ready to be 40 real soon.
I remember well my days of glory in my youth. My high school football team is playing in the State Championship game tomorrow for the first time since......1982......my junior year of high school and the last football game I ever played. Think I don't remember it well? It was 23 years ago and I was only 17 at the time. Wow, I still remember making a jarring tackle during the last series of the game and the referees ruled that it wasn't a fumble. Bitter? Damn right. I still remember that it was 17 degrees and sleeting during the game and I remember throwing my cleats in the garbage can as we left the locker room after the game. That was just.....23 freaking years ago??? You must be joking.
I still remember the joy on my face and my ex-wife's face when my first daughter was born on Thanksgiving Day........1989......16 years ago? I thought about that November day three weeks ago when I handed her the keys to her car and told her exactly what my Dad told me, "Keep it out of the ditch." A real charmer back then, my Dad. I truly understand the worries that I put my parents through so many years ago now that she is out on the road. I remember the day she was born like it was yesterday, bawling her head off until they handed her to me, less than a minute old, and the hush that settled over her as I cradled her against my chest. There are alot of earth-stopping events in our lives and that certainly ranks up there with the highest of them for me. 16 years ago???
I remember 11 years ago, standing at the front of the church, waiting for my wife to walk down the aisle. I wasn't the slightest bit nervous, I knew what I was getting and I was damn proud to get it. She has never disappointed me in the least, although I'm sure there have been times that she was disappointed with me. It seems like just yesterday, I walked into that little dive bar on 10th street to meet her for our first date. 11 years ago???
I remember 9 and a half years ago when my second daughter was born. My wife was born to be a mother and after waiting some 34 years to get married, she and her mom were thrilled when they found out she was pregnant. I remember the day like it was yesterday. She came home from the doctor with the news and nearly pissed in her pants. Of course, she nearly pisses in her pants EVERY time she gets excited about anything. When they told her she was going to have a daughter, she was ecstatic and disappointed at the same time. She knew how badly I wanted a son, but at the same time, she really wanted a daughter. I knew this as well and went with the company line, as long as you and the baby are healthy, it doesn't matter to me. Knowing who my youngest is growing up to be, I wouldn't trade her for three boys. 9 and a half years ago???
I've lived alot of places and done alot of things in this first 40 years of my life. I've had a lot of triumphs and a lot of disappointments, but you know what? I wouldn't trade any of it to be anywhere else right now. I'm in a good spot, with a good woman and a good family. Who could ask for more?
Staring your own mortality in the face is something that causes a double-take, I promise. I've been double-taking for the last six months and the only thing it can possibly be is my pending birthday. It's time to suck it up and move on. I'm not really going to change on January 3rd, am I?
G, get over yourself and move on.
posted by GaryC @ 1:59 PM, ,
Wednesday's Gone, Too!
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Wow. I know of no other words to describe what happened last night, other than just plain fucking WOW!
I ran into the most obscene beats in my short history of playing poker last night. I know what you are thinking, just another bad beat story, but I have a few of them and they are actually pretty fucking good bad-beat stories. If you don't like reading about bad beats, please, do yourself a favor and click on a link to the right and move on, because this might get ugly.
Bad Beat #1
I wasn't even involved in this hand but it was so ugly, I feel compelled to write about it. Medium stack has A-A and makes a large raise, which is called by LP with K-9 soooooted. Flop is A-K-x rainbow. Medium stack makes a pot sized bet and LP comes over the top all-in. Turn is a King and river is the CASE, FUCKING KING. I sort of wish that this had been me, because I would have saved alot of money. I probably would have logged off right then and there and called it a night, either that or thrown my monitor out the window. The guy that sucked out then defended his play and said that it wasn't a bad beat he laid on the other player with A-A.
Bad Beat #2
I have A-A late in an 18 person SNG on Stars. I slow play to lure more into the pot and get 5 callers. I'm also one of the short stacks, so I was trying to get more than one caller. Flop is Q-x-x and I move all in under the gun. I get one caller with Q-J. Blank on the turn and the 5-outer on the river is his Jack and IGHN. Not horrible, but he would have called pre-flop had I moved all in, so I don't have a huge problem with my play. I ended up with exactly what I wanted, top pair against my over pair, it just didn't work out.
Bad Beat #3
I get all my money in with 4 left in a $10 SNG on UB with K-K and am called by A-2. Flop is x-x-4, turn is 3 and the river is of course, a 5. Again, just give him an Ace on the god damn flop and put me out of my misery, please. For the love of God!
Bad Beat #4
I was playing a little .50/1.00 cash game(short-handed) and hold A-Q in the Big Blind. It folds around to the small blind, he calls and I raise, which he also calls. The flop is Q-10-10. He bets and I raise and we end up capping it. Turn is a 5, same betting scenario. River is a 3 and again, we cap it and he turns over 3-3. Nice, 2-outer, nh sir.
Bad Beat #5
I wouldn't have even written this one up, except my buddy, TripjAAx, was sitting right beside me at the table and chatting it up with me and he witnessed it. It's late and I am short stacked in a Maui SNG on Titan. I pick up A-J of hearts and move it all-in with a pittance of chips and am called by Q-J of Clubs. The flop brings Q (diamonds), x(non-club) and 10(Clubs). The turn is the Ace of Clubs and I take the lead for a second. Of course, the river is the King of Clubs and I don't lose to a suck-out straight or flush, it's a ROYAL, FUCKING FLUSH, runner-runner Royal Flush. Are you fucking kidding me????? I'm pretty sure I threw up in my mouth a little bit, also.
This post is brought to you by all the fish at Titan Poker, PokerStars and Ultimate Bet, of which, apparently, I am the biggest one. This is not a bad-beat story, had this been a bad-beat story, you would have been notified where to throw your monitor before the two-outer actually hit. This has been a public service announcement from the Fish and Game Wardens of your local, state and national Park and Recreation departments. Please be careful out there.
Fuck this hobby.
I'm probably still going to play on Friday night, but right now, I'm considering taking the weekend off. I really want to play, but the way things have been going, it is probably a better idea if I wait a while.
My senses are off on my reads and I find myself always expecting the worst card to hit that could beat me and, at least for the last few weeks, that card has come with cruel regularity.
I think I will spend the weekend reading. Have a good one.
posted by GaryC @ 8:46 PM, ,
Okay, Tuesday is finally over and we are officially at mid-week! I am proud to see that because after my Monday and Tuesday at work, I was in no mood to do much of anything. I have to admit that I let my overall attitude slip a bit when I'm having a bad day at work. Oh, you don't ever let your work effect the rest of your life, well, then, fuck you too.
Sorry about that, just had to get that off my chest. Most of my struggles lately all stem from the fact that I am unhappy at work right now. When work goes poorly, I struggle outside of the office also. My bowling sucks, my home life sucks and my poker sucks, mainly because I'm sitting down to play poker with the wrong attitude. I'm working on it, sorry.
I finally broke the string of piss poor results/attitude last night at the bowling alley and then later when I got home and played two SNG's. I bowled a 676 with all three games over 200 for a change. I got home and fired up a SNG on Stars and one on UB, as well. I finished fourth in the Stars tourney and third in the UB tourney, but played well for the most part. I pushed some edges hard and overall, played solid, semi-aggressive poker.
The critical hands were exactly the same hand. A-K on the button. I wouldn't play them any differently, after reviewing the hands either. I was a middle stack at both tables and raised enough to put the short stack at the table all-in. They both called and turned over ...... wait.......ready yet?........ K-3. Needless to say, they both caught a three and I was crippled at both tables, but still, I wouldn't play those hands any differently, just bad luck.
It's funny to me that we (I) can remember with great detail when our dominating hands don't hold up, but when they do (like, say 60-70% of the time) we brush that off as standard operating procedure. Anyway, like I said, I played solid, so I'm happy about that.
I received Harrington on Hold Em, Vol. I and II, last night when I got home from work and have read about 50 pages so far in Volume I. I'm very impressed with the writing and the detail that they are going into so far. They explain a hand from the 2003 WSOP so vividly that I can remember it exactly(since I've seen the relays 6,453 times). The hand where Farha flopped a set of 9's and Moneymaker says "you boys have fun" when he mucks his cards. I remember it like it was yesterday. I will try to do a review after I finish them and that probably won't take very long. So far, it is a good read.
Tonight will be a poker night for me. I have nothing to do tonight or Friday night and will be spending the bulk of my time playing SNG's and maybe a MTT or two. Feel free to join in if you like or IM me on Yahoo and we will set one up to play together.
The trip reports are starting to show up across the blogosphere and I am still green with envy. I am going to do eveything in my power to make the next meeting in Vegas. Sounds like a good time was had by all.
posted by GaryC @ 5:37 AM, ,
Monday, December 12, 2005
I'm going to attempt to convey to you exactly what I think my poker playing style is in two words:
There it is. I know, I know, it's hard to believe, especially for any of you that have ever played, say, a 245 hand heads up SNG with me or any of you who have sat through a 200 hand marathon of a normal SNG with me. Believe me when I tell you, I have absolutely worked at trying to be more aggressive and have found out one thing from all that work. It ain't my style!
Being more aggressive and reckless has paid some small dividends in the short term, but in the long run, it has cost me more money than it has made me. I need to be myself at the poker table and, unfortunately, that is just a weak/tight player who plays strong hands aggressively and folds about 82% of the time.
Consistently checking my stats during long SNG's that I've made the money in shows my flop percentages anywhere from 13% to 18%. If that's not weak/tight, I don't know what is. In a ring game, be it limit or no limit, the success does not translate as well, because it seems the ring game players pick up that I haven't played a hand in three orbits and, when I've just raised under the gun, I might actually have a hand this time. This translates into not getting paid off with your big hands and in the end, specualating with less than stellar hands in an effort to make some money at the table. Very bad combination.
My experience in the one table SNG's leads me to believe that a patient, weak/tight player can make the money more often than not, if he catches a few good starting hands. It is not difficult to double up when you flop a monster, at least at the levels that I play. If a patient player flops two monsters in a SNG and gets paid off both times, he is almost a shoe-in to at least make the money. This is my standard operating procedure.
I have taken to a bit looser starting hand requirements in the first two or three orbits, in hopes of catching a monster flop, but for the most part, if I raise, I'm holding a good, solid hand. I don't know the differences in SNG players and ring game players, but it seems to me that the players in a SNG give a person less credit for a hand than players at a ring game table. Could it be better players at ring games than SNG's? I don't think so, because I continually see people out of position, calling raises with J-2 sooooted, flopping two pair and cracking somebody's Aces.(usually mine)
That is not good play, in fact, it's downright horrendous. Of course, the same thing happens at the lower limits in a SNG also. I can't tell you the last time I played a SNG that there wasn't at least one person gone on the very first hand. It seems like it is the same way every single time. A MP player raises the pot pre-flop only to be re-raised by a LP player. After the flop, no matter what it is, they are going to get it all in 98% of the time at the $5 level. I see it continually, even at Ultimate Bet.
I personally think the competition at Ultimate Bet SNG's is as good as any site on the net. I've moved up to the $10 and $20 SNG's several times and the play is infinitely better than the play at the $5 level. Comparable SNG's at Party Poker are an absolute joke compared to UB, in my opinion.
So, what does all this mean? It means simply that I am going to take a break from all things ring game related. I will be concentrating heavily on SNG's and only SNG's for the foreseeable future. I need to stick to something that I've had some success at and that has helped me build my bankroll in the past. I'm going to hold off on any more VPP or PSO bonus chasing for a while and find out just how good I am at SNG's. I know how good I haven't been at the ring game, so any improvement will be a bonus, at this point.
I haven't gone and bled off half my bankroll, but the constant ring game losses, offset by SNG winnings is doing nothing in the way of building my bankroll. It has been a constant roller coaster ride for the past three months and I need to do something to turn the tide. This time I will be sticking to my guns and staying away from the ring games for the most part, until I know I am either headed in the right direction or logging off indefinitely.
My weak/tight ass is going to start doing some reading as soon as my new books get here. Harrington on Hold Em, Vol. I and II should be arriving any day now. I'm looking forward to kicking back and trying to learn something from his books. I've heard nothing but good things about them and if I was hard pressed to peg a pro that plays most similarly to me, it would be him. (at least the 2003 version, he seemed a bit looser in 2004)
I'm not sure if SNG's are the answer, but I know something has got to change or I'm never going to get off this plateau or further up the hill if I don't do something different. It is frustrating as hell to me to continue to lose to these monkeys that are a) seeing entirely too many flops and b) raising every single hand they play. I know they aren't holding a raising hand every time, but too often I do not have the cards to play back at them.
I'm not sure if it is frustration or stupidity on my part, but I plan to find out in the coming weeks. I'm sick of losing and I plan on doing something about it and trying to get better.
The trip reports are starting to trickle in from Vegas last weekend. I can't wait for everyone to get their write-ups done, so I can kill an entire day here at the Cube.
Trip, that sounds good on the qualifier to the 180 person SNG's. Do you know how long the 180's take to play? I will be up for it either Wednesday or Friday this week, for sure. I have a ton of shit the other days, so those two days or maybe, Sunday, would work for me. Let me know and I'll be there.
That's all I have for today. Frustration, disappointment and you've got to be fucking kidding me! That's the story of my on-line life right now. I'm trying to get over it.
posted by GaryC @ 12:54 PM, ,
I'm sitting here at the office this fine Monday morning, waiting......impatiently......for the trip reports to start showing up. Come on, people, don't you know that all of us bloggers live vicariously through all of you that were lucky enough to travel to Vegas this past weekend. I've already mentioned to my boss that he should leave me the hell alone all day today, because I will be extremely busy today with a "side project." That always intrigues my "Lord of the Cube Monkeys" Parts Manager. So get with it people, I'm ready for absolutely zero workplace productivity today. Kill it.
I had an extremely busy weekend and only got to play for a little while yesterday. I was nursing a biggie-sized hangover after an all-pro bender display on Saturday night. Granted, I got down to the bar at the lake a little earlier than normal, but just how in the hell do the wifey and I finish 63 beers in one night? That's how many beers were on our tab. Sixty-freaking-three beers in about 7 hours. That might explain why I don't remember singing Cowboy by Kid Rock and really don't remember much of the drive home yesterday morning. Good lord, I feel like I could be inducted into the AlCantHang Experience after Saturday night alone.
I still managed to donk off a little money yesterday and then won a little back toward the end. Same old story. I'm calling bets with proper odds, hitting my cards and then being whiplashed on the river when the moron hits his cards harder. Oh well, no bitching here, I want those retards at my table, right? It's just getting old sending them away with more of my money every single time.
I've almost decided that I am going to become a SNG specialist, with a few MTT's thrown in for good measure. After my experiment from a few weekends ago and the lack of any real success since then, it is obvious to me what I should be doing. I am going to abandon the ring game for a little while and concentrate on the areas of my most success. If you feel like playing some SNG's, give me a shout, it's always more fun to have a blogger along for the ride.
I need to keep this post short today. The plan for the week is Wednesday night and Friday night poker playing. I am pre-bowling tonight for Thursday and bowling tomorrow night, as well. I have a meeting to go to on Thursday night, so any playing on these nights will be late and probably not for very long.
Have a good week.
posted by GaryC @ 5:39 AM, ,
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Having read SirF's post yesterday about being a better player than his opponents (and everybody else for that matter, LOL) it got me to thinking about how often in NL tournaments do I get all my money in with the best of it? How often am I an overwhelming favorite? And, how often am I calling off my chips when I know that I'm facing a coin flip, at best, with the possibility of being dominated.
Stay with me here, because I'm not sure where this is going to go, but I feel like ramblin' for a while.
Obviously, table conditions, amount of BB's, looseness of opponents, etc. all figure into whether or not we call off all our chips or push all our chips in the middle. Let's look at a few instances that seem to happen over and over.
You are a larger than average stack, but the blinds are increasing and there are three short stacks at your table that are pushing or folding, hoping to double up. Exactly how good does your hand have to be for you to risk doubling them up?
Obviously, A-A through Q-Q we will consider gimme's, since nearly everybody is going to call here given the range of the hands that they could be pushing with. Let's say you have A-9 suited and one of the short stacks pushes ahead of you and you have three players behind you. How easy is the call here and do you really want to take what could be a coin flip or worse, the pusher has you dominated with, say, A-Q, leaving you only three outs.(not counting flush possibilities.)
The gamboooooling big stacks probably call here. I, being the weak/tightie that I am, probably wait for a better spot to spew chips. Tight aggressive probably lay it down as well, although they probably think about it longer than I do.
What's the correct answer? There is never only one correct answer. Of course, Mr. Aggressive makes his flush and knocks out another short stack. Mr. Tight Aggressive lives to fight another battle and Mr. Weak/Tight sees the 9 on the river that coulda/shoulda/woulda knocked out the short stack, if he would have had the guts to call.
I think the correct answer in this case depends on the amount of gambool you have in you. Me, I'm waiting for a better spot. TripJax, he probably thinks about it longer than I would, but probably still lays it down. Jordan, he can't get his chips in the middle fast enough and probably beats the all-in raiser in the pot. Not major differences in the way we all think, but major differences in the amount of gambool we all have in us. Am I right, fellahs?
So, which way is more profitable? Certainly, being weak/tight can be profitable in a one table SNG, but in order to make the money in a big field, MTT, it requires two things: 1)I have to change up my patterns and go from tight to aggressive constantly during the tournament in order to disguise my big hands. I try to accomplish this by changing my betting patterns from minimum raises to pot-sized raises constantly. 2)The only other way for a weak/tight player to have success in a MTT is to be a complete luckbox and win all your coin flips, because you will face many coin flips on the way to the final table.
Just rambling this morning after a tough night at the tables. I won a SNG on Stars, busted out of an entry chip MTT on UB with three tables to go and dropped two buy-ins at the 1/2 Limit tables while all this was going on.
I bowled like shit last night, it's colder than shit here this morning and I have to fucking work tomorrow until noon and then sing until 2:00 am tomorrow night. Is it Sunday yet?
Look for me tonight if you feel like playing.
posted by GaryC @ 2:16 PM, ,
Wow. 6 degrees here in OKC this morning. It certainly doesn't take long to wake up when you head outside today. Of course, we got just enough snow to make everybody drive like idiots and to freeze over your windshield if you don't have the luxury of parking your car in a garage overnight. 15 minutes of my life wasted, never to return, scraping ice off my windshield and freezing my ass off this morning.
First off this morning, I want to send a shout-out and a big thank you to one of my readers, RealIfOnly, for signing up for VegasPokerPro through my link and completing a promotion on Royal Vegas. I am in the middle of moving some money around, so I will try to get you your $25 tonight if Royal Vegas allows transfers. Thanks again for reading and for using my link on VPP.
I failed to mention this yesterday, but the offer continues. If you sign up for VPP through my link and complete a promotion with them, not only will you recieve the gift you sign up for from them, but I will send you half of my referral bonus, which equals $25. If you do this and want the $25, leave me a comment here when you finish the promotion and I will get in touch with you about transferring the money.
The meeting that I had to attend after work yesterday was a typical wasting of two hours. One of our manufacturers had a new web-site to show off with lots of great, useful information to show us. Of course, after it wouldn't load, we spent two hours discussing all the great features that we will be able to use, once all the bugs are worked out. Total waste of two hours and then had to drive home in the snow. Dinner was cold, also.
Suffice it to say, I was in a horrible mood when I got home and ate my cold hamburger and fries. I logged on and tried to play for a little while, but it was apparent that I was in no mood for it. I moved some money around to Neteller and logged off and went to bed early. I watched Eli Elezra school Lee Watkinson in a rerun on the Travel Channel. WTF was Lee thinking calling off 400,000 chips with a 10-6? I thought he played great until that call and that basically handed the match to Eli. Welcome Back Kotter also played well, I thought. He made some good reads and just ran into some bad luck. Scottie Nguyen certainly spewed off chips left and right, going from 2.1 million to the rail before the fourth commercial break.
After the poker ended, I cranked up the electric blanket and hit the sack. It's amazing how much work can affect my mood for the rest of the evening. If I had gotten out of here at 4:30 yesterday, like normal, I probably would have played all night, but I was in no mood for it after sitting around listening to excuses for two hours.
I have to bowl tonight, but will probably try to play a little bit when I get home and Friday night looks to be a good night for poker. I have to work Saturday morning until noon and then drive to the lake Saturday night for Karaoke, but will stay in town Friday evening and I could have the whole house to myself. That'd be nice. Maybe we can try the "Qualify yourself" method designed by TripJax to qualify for the 40K on Party Poker this Friday.
After reading comments by Jordan and moving some money around, I will be taking on Poker Time next in the VPP promotional trail. I probably won't be able to start until next Monday, but I think I will be heading there as soon as the money hits Neteller. I have withdrawn from Hollywood (wasn't impressed) and from Pacific (software is killing me) in order to join Poker Time and beef up a couple other accounts that are down right now.
I'm going to try to compress my play to just a few web-sites for a while, rather than jumping back and forth every hour or half-hour. I will be concentrating on SNG's on UB and Stars and doing the ring game grind to clear the bonuses at Poker Time.
Not much useful information today, but maybe I will have something else this afternoon.
Have a good day and stay warm.
posted by GaryC @ 5:45 AM, ,
Big Pimpin' Myself For A Change
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Sub-Titled: Help a brother out.
I haven't done this in a while, but having noticed that my referrals have come to a grinding halt on both PokerSourceOnline and VegasPokerPro, I feel the need, the need for greed!
If you aren't using one of the two promotional sites listed above AND you play poker on-line, you are missing the boat on a ton of great, free stuff. That's correct, FREE! Yours for the taking and you don't even have to pay the freight charges.
Here is a list of the swag I have earned so far through PSO and VPP:
(2) 350 piece chip sets. - PSO
(4) Decks of Copag playing cards. - PSO
(1) Folding poker table. - PSO
(3) $100 gift certificates to Party Poker. - PSO
(2) Harrington on Hold em poker books(Vol I and II) - VPP
(1) PokerTracker - PSO
Again, these items cost me absolutely nothing! $0! Nada!
You simply sign up for an account on PokerSourceOnline (using referral code GCox25 if you like) and play poker. They have a lot of different sites to choose from and plenty of variety for people that already have alot of accounts set up. I have done 6 promotions through them and still have two rooms that I am eligible for and will be completing in the coming months.
Most of the rooms are pretty comparable with their requirements and nearly every one of them offer a little better deposit bonus, along with the free promo items you can get from PSO. So, if you are looking for some cool gifts and free stuff just for playing on-line poker (like you aren't already playing) hit them up and use my referral code. GCox25. My wife, my daughters' college fund, er, scratch that, my on-line poker bankroll will thank you.
VegasPokerPro is another promotional site, offering various swag for completing the requirements on their site. Their requirements are often easier to accomplish than PSO and easily attainable for even low limit players. I have the Harrington books in the mail from them right now. They don't have as many sites as PSO, but I expect them to keep expanding in the future as more and more poker rooms pop up on-line. If you would like to sign up for them through me, there is no referral code. You have to click the banner I have positioned above the links on the right hand side of the page and set up an account with them after having clicked through my site. They track this automatically and you don't have to enter a referral code.
*After typing up the majority of this post, I checked the VPP site and presto! They have indeed added a new room, PokerTime, which I will be checking out soon and very soon.
Ah, shameless self-promotion, does it get any better than that? I don't think so.
I think I'm done, except to say thank you to all the people who have already used my referral codes and joined these sites and thank you to anybody that is considering using it in the future. You will not be disappointed, I promise.
posted by GaryC @ 8:17 AM, ,
Big Pimpin' Wednesday
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
I haven't done a Big Pimpin' post in a while so I thought I would try that this morning. First things first, I want to send out a hearty thank you to Veneno. If you haven't been to her site in a while, she has ranked her favorite blogs to read in numerical order and this humble blog received the top spot. High praise indeed and praise that I'm not sure I'm worthy of, but nonetheless am honored to have been given. Thank you, thank you, thank you and you hit on it in the last sentence you wrote about me, I am indeed enjoying the experience a great deal.
I am not going to attempt to rank any of the people in my blog roll, but suffice it to say, if I linked up to you, I read you on a regular basis. I have a lot of different criteria that make blogs interesting to me and they don't really relate to everybody else. Plus, I wouldn't want anyone that I happened to leave off the list getting upset, so I will refrain from a ranking.
Blogs that you should be reading(in no particular order):
SippinWhiskeyandPoker-TenMile has a knack for telling very humorous stories and, apparently, for sippin' whiskey. I had no idea we had that much in common. I love the way he tells a story and enjoy reading his blog on a daily basis.
LittleAcornMan-written by a self-described toyboy from Scotland. He describes his adventures moving up in the NL ranks and always has well-written hand accounts and his thinking behind them. He has recently been moved into an honorary position in my own little Poker Mafioso since we have gotten to play poker together several times in the last month. I enjoy his company and his sense of humor along with his style of writing.
Poker With Will-Wonka-Will has been in a terrible downswing for a couple of months, but continues to plug away at the game we all want to get to someday. 15/30. Big stakes, indeed. Though his luck has not been great lately, I expect a turn-around any day, because I know he is a good player. His hand histories, critical thinking and strategy posts are among the most interesting in the blogosphere.
Gambling Blues-Since the demise of OddJack, BG has gone back to writing on his blog more often and I, for one, am damn happy about that. I'm sorry the OddJack thing didn't work out, but am glad to have him back posting on a regular basis. His posts are usually either very funny or the kind that really grab you by the balls. A great read either way.
On_THG-He has recently started incorporating cartoons into his blog on a regular basis and I find them particularly funny. If you don't know anything about tin-foil hats, check out his cartoons for an explanation. I believe he is also headed to Vegas very shortly with a ton of other bloggers.
Scurvy and Mourn-I'm including them in the same group because they both play much higher limits than most of us and they both post excellent strategy posts that really make you stop and think about how to play a hand. Excellent content on both of these blogs.
HighOnPoker-Jordan has the blogging bug as bad as I do and he posts some damn good material every day. His "You Decide" posts always make you think about different ways to play a hand. I nearly always disagree with his style of play, but that's what makes this game so damn interesting. There is never a "right" way and a "wrong" way to play a certain hand. Jordan is the Devil's Advocate of Poker Bloggers and has become one of my best on-line friends.
Poker In Arrears-TripJax is another of my best on-line friends and continues to put out quality material. He has been around alot longer than most of us and it continually amazes me that every single poker blog on the planet has him linked. He's been posting some killer ideas that the on-line poker sites should be taking notice of in the future. He's also an expert at changing diapers while raising to 3X the big blind.
Nickle And Dimes-I love Drizz's sense of humor, maybe because it is as close to mine as I can find. I just wish I could get mine to come across the way that he does in his blog. A very entertaining read and I always look forward to a new post. I wish he would post some more strategy regarding PL08, because I know he has alot to offer.
PokerSweetHome-Colin is a brand new blogger that I linked up a few weeks ago, but just by reading his first couple of hand/strategy posts, it's easy to tell that he knows what he's talking about. Keep up the good work, Colin.
Dugglebogey and Maudie-I'm combining these two also simply because they are both members of Okie-Vegas. Maudie tells fantastic stories and her poker posts are among the most entertaining of any blogger. Dugglebogey has a weekly cartoon that is funnier than hell mmore often than not and he is on top of most of the promotions being offered out there. Both great reads and if you plan on coming to Okie-Vegas next June, you'll want to know a little something about both of these bloggers.
Surflexus and Fairnbalncd-Two relatively new poker bloggers, but it is obvious to me that they both know what they are talking about when it comes to the virtual felt.
These are just a few of the blogs that I read and enjoy on a daily basis. If you didn't make this list, don't sweat it, because I just threw it together off the top of my head. I'll do another list in a while and try to include everyone that I missed on this effort. Believe me, these are just the tip of the iceberg of what I read on a daily basis.
No poker content from last night. I played for about an hour and spewed off about $20 at the 1/2 tables. I'm still getting used to the swings, but I think I have found my new home for a while.
I bowled a 130 last night at the bowling alley. You read that right! 1-freaking-30. I started out the first game with three splits and, as you can see by the final score, I never got lined up. I finished with 216 and 237, but the night was a total waste after the first game. See Jordan, I do post scores when I bowl bad too.
On a comletely unrelated note, I am so jealous of all the bloggers that are headed to Vegas this weekend. All the trip reports from their last adventure are one of the main reasons that I started blogging in the first place and I look forward to next year, when I can make the plans and attend. I think that would be way cool and I am already planning on attending next December. Jordan mentioned something about Atlantic City after the first of the year and I might be down for that one as well. Okie-Vegas in June, I'm definitely looking forward to that. That's all I got right here from cubicle-hell.
I've got another freaking meeting after work today, but should be home in time to sling some chips. Have a good hump-day.
posted by GaryC @ 1:47 PM, ,
My thoughts today are centered on moving up in limits at the tables that I play. I'm wondering if you see less monkey play at 1/2 and 2/4 Limit Hold Em than at .25/.50 and .50/1.
I got home last night and played 1/2 for about two hours on Hollywood and unlocked my $50 of bonus money. I basically broke even on the site (-$8) but I have the Harrington books coming for my efforts, so we will call it a minor victory.
Just as I logged on to the table, a player two to my left showed down 8-2 off-suit and won a pot. He took some abuse in the chat box and continued playing any two cards he was dealt for a raise. He had about $130 in front of him and after about two orbits, he was up to about $175. I tagged him immediately and waited patiently. I flopped a well-disguised set and checked it to him and he bet. Of course, we got into a little raising war and my set held up.
As soon as the cards were shown down, everybody at the table started limping except him. Nobody else ever raised a pot, in hopes of flopping a monster and trapping him, like I had done. He ended up leaving the table with about $40 and leaked off over $100 on idiotic plays.
This is what led me to question moving up in limits. I moved over to Pacific at the same time and fired up a 1/2 Limit 6-max table. The swings are enormous for my little bankroll, but over time, I think a patient player can beat that game. I blew an entire buy-in with an under flush to a complete luckbox who was catching insane cards. I fought my way back, choosing some good spots to bluff and catching a few big hands and pretty soon, I had won my buy-in back plus more.
I started bouncing around the 6-max tables, looking for short-stacks. Now, first let me say that I buy in short on these tables, usually $50, but it truly amazes me how many people will buy in for $10 and try for the big score. I began actively searching for these tables and punishing the short stacks. I must have busted 10 shorties last night while cruising around. One table, in particular, I was dealt the Hilton Sisters on my first hand and flopped a set to bust two short stacks at the same time.
So, I'm finished with Hollywood Poker and considering my next move. I still have two rooms I can do promotions on with PokerSourceOnline, but am not sure if that is the way I want to go right now. I have the overall bankroll to justify moving up to 1/2 full time, but the swings are so much bigger than I am used to that I'm not sure I want to risk that yet.
So far, at least in my experience, the play is no better at 1/2 than at .25/.50, so the suck-outs and bad beats still occur with regularity. I've played a little 2/4 (which I don't have the bankroll for) on the Bad Beat Jackpot tables at Party Poker. It is difficult to gauge just how easy those tables are because of the fact that it is Party. The 2/4 table reminded me of a .25/.50 table also. I'm not sure if it is that way on their regular tables (Yes I am sure) but the Bad Beat Jackpot tables are loose.
I'm also considering re-depositing on Full Tilt Poker. I've already been there once and earned bonus money, so a PSO promo is out of the question, but I'm debating on going back there. My question to anyone who plays there regularly is this: Are the games any easier to beat now? My first time there, I ran into a lot of solid players and I mean a lot. The NL tables were just 9 guys waiting for huge hands and playing them hard every single time.
It is also the site where I took the worst beat of my short on-line life. I flopped Quad Sevens and got my entire stack in the middle against two players and the case Ace hit the river to cost me about $100. I've lost more money than that since then, but back when it happened, it drained the life out of me. Anyway, if any of you have suggestions about Full Tilt, I am all ears.
I was chatting last night with Jordan, Veneno, SirF, SoxLover and Weak_Player and was abruptly cut-off from my Yahoo connection. I took that as a sign that it was time to go to bed. It's not like the Eagles were going to make a stirring comeback at that point anyway. Sorry, Al. And I apologize to the other bloggers for the D/C, but I was ready to hit the sack anyway. I'll do better next time.
Have a good Tuesday and wish me luck carrying that fucking ten pin tonight.
posted by GaryC @ 5:30 AM, ,
USA vs. ROW-Part 4
Sunday, December 04, 2005
Well, it happened yesterday and most of the usual suspects were there, plus some new contestants as well. I had a good old time until busting out 5th amongst the bloggers in about 13th place. Bad mood+stupid poker=Time for G to log off for a while.
I apologize to all the other bloggers for bolting so quick, but my head was in the wrong place and I needed to take a break. Next time will be better, I promise. Go read the others' blogs for write-ups on the challenge.
Final Results for my own personal SNG Challenge this weekend:
19/33 ITM 57.5%
If I am reading Surflexus' advice right, my ROI was 1.508%. I'm not sure if that is right or if it is just 50.8%. I paid $221.00 in entry fees and won $333.33 in prize money. Or, is it 221.00 divided by 333.33 for a ROI of 66.3%? Hell, I don't know. I just thought I was good at math.
Absolutely no complaints here. The bankroll recieved a much needed boost of $112.33 over the weekend and it all came from playing SNG's. I even counted the USA vs. ROW challenge as an 8-10th place finish. I also played a 20 person SNG with LittleAcornMan friday night and busted out of it before the final table. I guess the message to me is to play by myself and play single table SNG's.
All of my SNG's were single table and at the 5 + .50 and 10 + 1 levels. I never put too much of my bankroll at risk and I turned in a tidy profit for the weekend. I'm very happy with my play and even the times I busted out, I nearly always had my money in with the best of it.
It reminded me alot of the SNG Challenge that we did earlier and alot of the things I learned playing all of those came flooding back while playing all of these this weekend.
Good weekend all the way around.
Where to go from here?
I plan on playing plenty of SNG's in the near future, that is for sure. After the success this weekend, I would be an idiot to go right back to the ring game only. Of course, I am an idiot, so we'll have to wait and see which direction I go.
I do have 50 more Hollywood "points" to accumulate before unlocking their $50 bonus. I plan on working on that in the background at the .50/1.00 Limit table. It clears much slower at that level, but the swings are more like what I am used to also and I only have 50 points to go, so I think I can finish that up tonight.
After finishing up the VPP promo at Hollywood, I plan on heading back to PSO for my next promotion. VPP has alot of rooms, but unfortunately, I already have accounts at every other room they offer, so I will have to wait until they add some new ones. I only have three left at PSO that I can do, so I'm hoping they both add some new rooms after the first of the year. If you haven't joined either of these promotional sites, feel free to use bonus code GCox25. My family will thank you.
I'm also considering starting the Crypto sites soon. I've read about them on Scurvydog's site and on Chris Halverson's site, but have never downloaded the software. I believe they offer monthly bonuses every single month, so that is something I plan on looking into soon also. If anybody has any information on that, I would be interested in hearing your recomendations or tips. Otherwise, I will head to Scurvy's site and dig through his archives.
I can't believe it's already December. This year has flown by so fast. It doesn't seem possible that I have already been blogging for 6+ months. On a related note, I am absolutely green with envy reading others' blogs about the upcoming get-together in Vegas. Green, I tell you. I plan on trying to make this trip next year, should the bankroll allow it. I'm pretty sure that the wifey would allow me to go if I could finance it out of poker winnings. Hell, she might even be up for making the trip with me, assuming everything goes as I expect it to in June here at Okie-Vegas.
On a completely unrelated note, it is blistering cold here in Oklahoma this morning. If you stumble out the door to head for work, like I do, in a bit of a still-sleepy frame of mind, it doesn't take long to wake up when that old North wind blasts you in the face at 20 mph when the temperature is 20 degrees. I think it is supposed to get colder and we are supposed to get some white stuff later in the week. I think it's time to start a roaring fire when I get home tonight.
Have a good week and suck out on somebody for once.
posted by GaryC @ 6:23 PM, ,
Saturday, December 03, 2005
7/10 ITM 70%
4th-0 (most proud of this stat)
I would love to tell you ROI but again, I forgot how to do it. Sorry.
15/23 ITM 65.2 %
Suffice it to say, the bankroll is up and I plan on continuing the SNG onslaught tomorrow and maybe from now on, who knows? I'm definitely running well and it seems like even the losses have been bad beats, for the most part. I've had my chips in with the best hand more than 75% of the time.
Things are good so far. I'm playing the Blogger SNG tomorrow on Stars if I get home in time. I will hurry. Have a good rest of the weekend.
posted by GaryC @ 9:20 PM, ,
I will probably regret posting this some time tomorrow or Monday, but here goes. I've played 9 SNG's since I got home from work last night and have placed ITM in 7 of those.
7/9 ITM 77.7%
The thing I am most happy about, besides the infusion to the bankroll, is that I have not bubbled out of one since Thursday night's 3 buble-boy finishes.
10/16 ITM 62.4%
The good news is that even though I have more thirds and seconds than I would like, but have had my money in with the best of it nearly every single time.
I'll be continuing on for the rest of the day today and tomorrow. Join me if you'd like.
posted by GaryC @ 9:12 AM, ,
USA vs ROW - Part 4
Friday, December 02, 2005
If you are interested in playing in a SNG with a bunch of bloggers, here is your chance.
Sunday- 5 pm EST - 4 pm CST - 10 pm GMT?(across the pond) - 9 am(monday morning) Australian time.
PokerStars is the place. We will try to assemble a short time before this via Yahoo chat or AIM. If you are interested in playing and have not before, leave me your information and I will include you in the chat.
The last time I think we had 8 or 9 players and chose an 18 person tournament, but could move up to 27 or even 45 if enough people are interested. Again, leave me a comment of go by LittleAcornMan's blog and leave him a comment.
I might be a little late, so don't be in a huge hurry to start. I will try to be on-line as early as I can before the start.
Attention: USA bloggers.
The ROW's dominance in the first three of these tournaments has overshadowed what I would call a total lack of dedication and a run of horribly played cards by the US.(with a few exceptions along the way) We need to buck up, people. Anyone interested in joining on our side, feel free to do so. We need all the help we can get.
posted by GaryC @ 9:34 AM, ,
The Plan started in earnest last night and will continue through the weekend. I played in 6 SNG's and the Shootout Tournament on Party, as well. Three monies out of seven attempts, including one win. The discouraging news was three bubble finishes, but I think that will get better.
Here are the results, so far.
7 games played.
3 In the money - 42.8 %
1st - 1
2nd - 0
3rd - 2*
4th - 3
5th-7th - 0
8th-10th - 1
*I am counting the Shootout as a 3rd place finish, since I made the 2nd round.
1.went out 4th when short-stacked with K-2 against chip leaders A-3.
2.3rd-river suckout-my A-J against K-J-spiked a K on the river.
3.4th-K-10 vs. A-A-slowplayed Aces and I caught a King and pushed.
4.Shootout-made 2nd round-pushed with 6-6 and lost to Ace-little.
5.4th-4-4 vs K-J-flopped a boat which was counterfeited when the 3rd 9 hit the turn and K hit the river.
6.9th-pushed with two pair (J-10) against K-10, King on river.
7.1st-A-9 hearts made a flush and K-J(one heart) made flush on river. Slow played him.
Not exactly spectacular results, but okay for the first night. I have to work on my aggression, for sure, to make sure I'm not short-stacked when we get to the bubble, but that is always a problem for me and something I continually have to work to improve.
I actually enjoyed playing the SNG's last night and, for a change, I wasn't nearly as tight as I've been in the past at the cash tables.
I chatted it up with several of my on-line poker buddies last night. Jordan, DNasty, Will-Wonka, Veneno and Surflexus all made time to stop by and check in. Thanks to all of you, I do appreciate it.
Bowling was the same old, same old last night. 189-197-245 for a 631 series. Again, a little under my average, but after that start, I was proud to shoot that much. The lanes are changing a bit as the temperature outside drops and I haven't found a comfortable spot yet. It will just take a little time. No worries yet. The good news is that my Mixed league team (wifey and two friends) is in 2nd place right now out of 24 teams. It is a fairly big league and should pay decent money at the end of the year.
Tonight will be more of the same for me, unless the head cold that I am battling breaks me down. I woke up this morning feeling terrible and not that hungover-terrible that I'm used to but a much worse, sneezing, watery eyes and coughing terrible. I took some medicine and hope it breaks up before long. Otherwise, I might head home after lunch for some Nyquil and a nap.
If you catch me on line, feel free to IM me and join in my SNG Challenge. I could use the company, for sure.
Have a good weekend.
posted by GaryC @ 5:26 AM, ,