Saturday, April 29, 2006
Sitting in the airport waiting for my flight....I do like some free wireless!
Fantastic weekend, great pokery goodness, blackjack is +EV for a change and I met some great new friends.
MiamiDon and Carmen met me at the Sahara for the 11 am tourney. Nice tourney, nice structure, good turnout, friendly dealers and the COLDEST cards on the face of the earth. I played one hand before the break and ended the first hour with my starting stack. Same story, second hour and by the end of the second hour, we were all reduced to pushing with any two decent cards. Bleh!
Cash game at the MGM Grand=much happier results, as I was able to be the rock and win back my buy-in from the tourney. I flopped TPTK three times and flopped a set once. I got a little excited with the set and chased off the fish, but was happy to take down the pot I had raised. There were some serious tourists at the table and I wish I could have stayed longer.
MiamiDon and Carmen were very nice and I am happy to have met them. Thanks you two, for showing me around and hanging out with me. Very cool times, indeed!
The blackjack was fantastic all weekend and, after buying all the requisite gifts for the family, I am leaving Las Vegas AHEAD! Woo hoo!
I gotta go get on a plane, I may have a write-up tomorrow, if I wake up in time.
posted by GaryC @ 4:18 PM, ,
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
This will be my last post until at least Sunday, and maybe more like Monday night, we’ll just have to see how it goes. I’m out the door at 4:00 Thursday afternoon and headed to the airport. My flight takes off at 6:30 pm CST and I have a little lay-over in Denver before arriving in Las Vegas at 9:07 pm on Thursday evening. After picking up my rental car and making the drive over to the uber-luxurious, er, stinky dump of a hotel, the “New” Frontier, I will be phoning my buddy and meeting up with his crew, hopefully by around 10:00 pm. I haven’t seen Butch in at least 15 years, but I am sure that once we get together, the stories will be flying and the drinks will be flowing. I’m hoping that the chips will also be stacking up in my pile, as well, but I don’t want to piss the gambling gods off just yet. I will save that for the rant after I return.
I’m looking forward to playing in at least one smaller buy-in tournament while I am there. On that note, can anyone answer this question for me? Why is it that in a live cash game or tournament, $100 is nothing to plop down at the table, but on the virtual felt, I have never put $100 in play at any one time, ever! I realize that I am probably under-funded on-line and probably, at least well-funded for live play, but I could never think of risking $100 in a tournament on-line, where I have played a live tourney in Topeka that was $100 buy-in and I am looking at that much in Vegas, if I have to take the add-on at most of the tournaments that I have read about. It’s funny just how protective I am of my on-line roll, knowing that I do not want to have to re-deposit any of my money there, but heading to Vegas with a decent roll (at least for me) and not batting an eye at some of the larger (again, at least for me) buy-ins I will be paying to play out there.
After a few e-mails this afternoon with MiamiDon, I will be joining him and Carmen at the Sahara for the 11:00 am NL tournament on Friday morning. I'm really looking forward to meeting a couple of new bloggers and to playing in my first live tournament in Vegas. Wish me luck and I will try to take a few notes.
I haven’t played a ton of live poker. We used to have a weekly game out at the Elks Lodge, but with my schedule lately, I haven’t been able to join them for a few months. I’ve been to our Indian Casino card rooms a few times, but the $3-$6 Limit tables out there are like playing the .01/.02 tables on-line. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, will fold a hand for anything. The last time I went I saw a guy show down 7-3 out of position TWICE to win large pots. I’ve gotten to where I can deal with these beats on-line, but it is MUCH harder for me to look across the table at a donkey with flames shooting out his ass dragging pot after pot with J-3 soooooted! I suppose I will become immune to that once I’ve played a bit more live.
The only tournament I have ever played live at a casino was in Topeka last year. The wife and I drove up and met some friends on a Thursday night and gambooooled it up all night, when I realized they were having a NL tournament the next day at Noon. I paid my $100 and jumped into the fray. I believe there were between 40 and 50 players and the blinds seemed to increase at a fairly quick rate. I ended up making the money and coming in 7th to more than double my buy-in, but was completely card dead the entire time. I basically sat back and played good hands strong and folded the rest (can you believe that?) sort of like I do right now on-line. I can make a pretty good run when I get some cards, but, if card dead, I go out without much of a whimper.
I can’t promise anything, but I am taking the digital camera and a legal pad. I do plan on trying to put together a good trip report, but usually when I get to drinking and slinging chips, the note-taking goes right out the window and I have to rely on my ever-decreasing memory for some of the facts. That is never good when you have killed as many brain cells as I have in the last 20 or so years.
You might see me bouncing in and out on-line Thursday and Saturday night, as I have a lay-over in Denver both evenings. I am taking the lap top and will probably try to play a little on-line during both layovers. Does anybody know if there is wireless internet on the plane, while we are actually in the air? I think that would be pretty cool, to be playing on-line poker on a plane, while flying to Vegas to play some real poker. I don’t think you can ever get enough practice and I do love to practice.
Have a good weekend and I will see you on the other side.
posted by GaryC @ 3:08 PM, ,
Donkey On Parade
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Hee Haw ------ Hee Haw!
Well, the DADI V No Limit tournament was last night. The good news is that we had enough players sign up that we were able to secure a spot in a $1500 event at the World Series Of Poker. A total of 78 bloggers and/or readers signed up for the tournament and were all eagerly eying all the wonderful prizes that TripJax and Jordan had put together with the help of a few sponsors. Nice tournament, guys, and great job of hosting, as usual.
Now to the tournament play. Okay, it wasn’t so much play as it was “shove all your chips in the middle like a flaming lemur, knowing full well that you are behind!” I’m a moron, it’s that freaking simple.
I started out raising and getting respect, taking down a few uncontested pots with very good starting hands. Once, when I held K-K and raised pre-flop, Miss Maudie looked me up, but when a beautiful K hit the flop, as well, she went away quickly. Then came the hand of destiny. I’ve played in quite a few of these blogger tourneys with Derek and know full well that he is a very strong player. He is aggressive, but more often than not, when forced to show down hands, he has the goods, as well.
On to the hand--------> I make a standard pre-flop raise from middle position with A-10 of hearts and only Derek, in late position, calls. The flop is A-10-9 and I make a continuation pot-sized bet, which is immediately raised. Ding, ding, ding. This is where the bells should have been going off in my head, and in fact, rather than pushing right there, I simply smooth-called his raise, fearing the “golden” set. After a blank on the turn, I fired again and there was no turning back. My worst fears were realized when he flipped over 9-9 and his set took down my top two pair. Well played, Derek. I don’t really see me getting away from this hand in too many situations. If I were my uber-tight, normal self, I might possibly have folded this hand pre-flop in middle position, but after the flop, I can’t see how I could get away from it. A tip of the hat and Cest La Vie! IGHN in 77th place out of 78. Thank the lord that one person went out before me, so I don’t have to worry about the Gigli Award.
I stayed up and watched DNasty and SteelerJosh make nice runs to near the final two tables, but in the end, I was so tired that I just logged off and hit the sack. I have a long weekend ahead of me and needed some sleep after two long weekends behind me. I guess I’ve probably mentioned this before, but just in case you didn’t hear, I’m flying out to Vegas Thursday night after work. He he. Unfortunately, I am missing Dr. Pauly by a few days. I was looking forward to meeting him at the Bellagio and maybe getting a few pictures for this humble, little blog. Oh well, maybe next time.
As Drizz pointed out in my last Vegas rambling, I am staying at the dump of dumps out in Vegas, the “New” Frontier. I think it was “New” when Elvis was performing out there, but it serves the purpose. I’m pretty sure it has a bed, which I will not be in very much anyway, I’m only there for 48 hours. It is close to the Wynn, where my buddy is getting married on Friday night. It was CHEAP, which is a big factor for my tight ass, as well. The LESS I spend on a hotel room, the MORE I have to gambol with! I definitely have my priorities in order, even though, when I do need to pass out, I will be passing out in a dump.
I will probably be playing a bit of poker over the course of the next two nights. I do have a little yard work to take care of before I fly out Thursday night, but that shouldn’t take too long and I will be back to grinding away.
After the tournament last night, Trip and I entered a one table SNG on Full Tilt. With about five people left in it, Trip and I found ourselves with the shortest stacks. Luckily for both of us, I doubled him up first and he doubled me up second. This is about the time that Trip mentioned we should stay away from each other and go ahead and take 1st and 2nd, which is exactly what we proceeded to do. He got 1st and I got 2nd. No huge paydays in these things, but after my withdrawl last week for vacation money, I am back to low limits and booking profits, hopefully building that roll back to where it was before.
After the withdrawl, I am down to about $550 in the on-line bankroll, which is almost identical to where it was last year at this time. I plan on playing quite a bit while I am on vacation this year, assuming the hotel offers wireless access. I even plan on playing some in the airports when I am on my way to and from Vegas this week, if my lap top has enough power. We shall see.
Congrats to whomever won the WSOP seat last night, I will be reading about it later this evening.
Have a good week.
posted by GaryC @ 4:12 PM, ,
DADI V and Okie-Vegas Update
Monday, April 24, 2006
I'm signed up, are you?
First off, the dates are June 7th through 11th of this year in Oklahoma City. If you are the least bit interested, please feel free to contact me and I will get you all the necessary information. It is approaching rapidly and we would love to have more bloggers show up. The plan is to play poker, play poker and play poker. The itinerary is more or less up in the air, but we have three card rooms within an hour of my house and I am planning a NL tournament home game at my house for Saturday night, the 10th.
The lovely and talented Miss Maudie, from Poker Perspectives, will be joining us on both Friday and Saturday, hopefully. She has entertained the idea of bringing some of Oklahoma’s finest barbecue up to the city on Saturday for a little feed prior to the NL tournament scheduled for that evening. I plan on filling out at least two tables and hopefully three tables, with some of my local friends. The meal portion will be earlier than the tournament and will give the bloggers a good opportunity to sit down and visit with the people that we read on a regular basis.
TripJax is flying in here on Wednesday, the 7th, at 2”06 pm, followed closely by SteelerJosh at 3:25 pm. These are the only two arrivals as of right now on Wednesday. SurfLexus and his buddy will be in some time on Thursday, after crushing the tables in Tunica on the way here. They are driving and planning on a stop-over in Tunica for some pokery goodness before getting here.
Jordan’s plans are still up in the air, but hopefully by the middle of next month we will have an idea when he will be joining us. I would imagine the party won’t be near as raucous until he joins the fray. He mentioned today in an e-mail that he really wants to play some “backwoods” poker and I am quite sure that he doesn’t know exactly how correct he was with that statement. He refers to anything outside of NY as “backwoods” and his idea of that is probably nowhere near as “backwoods” as it will get around here, especially if I can get him down to my lake place and the beer bar down there. Their idea of an “import” beer is driving to town for some more Pabst Blue Ribbon.
DuggleBogey is another that has yet to make concrete plans, but I know he plans on joining us, if at all possible. With his current job status in Tennessee, he could be a last minute addition or hopefully, he will be able to schedule it so that he can join us for the entire time. Here’s hoping for that.
The last blogger that I know of that is planning to attend is TenMile. He might be the one that I am most excited about meeting face to face. He has been a good friend, albeit virtual, and has always shown the type of support that would make him a good friend of mine, regardless of my never having met him face to face. I know for a fact that we will get along fine at the poker table or sippin’ whiskey in the back room.
That really goes for all of these guys and gals. With the exception of Maudie and DuggleBogey, I haven’t met any of these bloggers in person, but I have no doubt that we will get along great. We’ve played too many times together on the internet and been in too many chat rooms for there to be any chance of us not getting along. Having met and played poker with both Maudie and DuggleBogey, I can speak from experience that you won’t meet any nicer people or any tougher competitors at the poker table. You had better plan on bringing your “A” game, which, truth be told, you better bring if you plan on playing with any of these bloggers.
I am really starting to get excited about this coming to reality and again, if you are interested, feel free to leave me a comment, shoot me an e-mail or hit me up in a chat room and I will get you any information that you need. I would hate for you to miss it if you want to attend, because it is definitely going to be a large time.
posted by GaryC @ 3:15 PM, ,
Thursday, April 20, 2006
There it is right there, folks. If you haven't signed up yet, get over there and sign up.
I'm posting this today, because starting tomorrow, I have a very busy weekend ahead of me. I've got somewhere to be every minute between Friday morning and Sunday night.
I surely wanted to pimp the DADI 5, so here it is. It will be up all weekend as a reminder. This Monday night will be a good time, I guarantee that, so get over there and join the tourney.
Thanks to everybody that commented yesterday. I appreciate the support and so far, so good. I've had my moments of craving, but so far, have resisted temptation. I don't know why this time has been easier for me, but it appears that I am actually going to do it this time. I've tried before but could never do it. This time will be different.
BTW, thanks baby, I wasn't sure if you read my blog or not. I love you and appreciate the support. You rock my world too.
Playing With The House’s Money
We have all read stories about people 20-tabling $50+5 SNG’s. Where do they get the money to play these kinds of games? It’s very simple really, they are beating the shit out of lower limit games until they have enough money to move up. These moves “up” in buy-ins and bankroll requirements are something I am none too comfortable with.
I have tried twice to move up past the $10 + 1 level buy-in and been smacked back down after a 4 or 5 tourney string of losses. I don’t think the competition is any better at $20 + 2, but the fact that I am uncomfortable at that level is my own little problem and one that I am going to have to get over if I am ever going to make a lot of money at this game.
I’ve talked several times about my original foray into on-line poker. I played for several months on the play money tables, before finally convincing the wife to let me deposit $50 and give it a go. I busted out twice before the third deposit of $50 (in about a months’ time) finally allowed me to win a few sng’s and get ahead of the game.
Since that time, I have re-deposited a total of $200 into my on-line accounts. Also during this same time, I have withdrawn nearly $1800 to Neteller and back to my bank account. It has mostly been $100 here and $100 there with the one exception being the $1000 I withdrew to help the wife re-do our front room. I paid for last year’s softball vacation with winnings and I am again going to pay for this year’s softball vacation with poker winnings, as well.
I am a winning poker player, albeit at some of the smallest limits played by most serious bloggers. I do consider myself a serious blogger and a serious poker player, as well, but being handcuffed to these lower stakes is often frustrating and a bit intimidating at the same time. The frustrating part is the fact that at the levels I play, your upswings aren’t really very big for a given night, week or month. Another frustrating part is dealing with the donkeys who do not recognize when a ROCK is playing a strong hand correctly. They continue to chase their draws and wind up all in and catching the miracle two outer on the river when they should have laid the hand down to begin with. The intimidating part, at least for me, is not the quality of play at the higher levels, it is the uncomfortable feeling in my stomach when a larger chunk of my bankroll is on the line. I see mostly the exact same plays at $20 + 2 as I saw at the $5 + .50 tables. There are still table captains, offering up free advice and mostly making an ass out of themselves. There are still the weak/tight morons who fold until their stack scares nobody and then move all in, only to be outdrawn by the big stack at the table, then hang around and bitch about the bad beat. There are still the aggressive lemurs who will put all their chips in the middle with any two cards at any time. I’ve never played higher than the $20 + 2 level, so maybe the play gets a little better when you move up higher, I just haven’t seen it yet.
Within the next week, I will be moving more than half of my current bankroll to Neteller in preparation for my Vegas trip and my softball vacation. This will leave me enough money to continue to play my normal $5 sng’s and small money cash tables. Looking back at it, I guess the name of this blog will probably never change from Low Limit Grinder to Middle Limit Grinder or High Limit Grinder. I play at the levels that I am comfortable with and I’ve done alright so far. I would like to take a shot at higher stakes, but until I hit a big payday in a MTT, I will be grinding away at my comfort level, continuing to show a consistent profit.
It works for me.
I hope you all have a great weekend, I'll see you all Monday night at the DADI.
posted by GaryC @ 7:35 PM, ,
Life Changing Decision
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Reflecting on the events of the last two weeks and looking forward to the events coming up in the next three weeks has me in a very melancholy mood. Sad, dour, even a bit depressed. After reaching the age of 40 back in January, I messed around and let you folks convince me that 40 just ain’t that freakin’ old. Well, folks, after seeing my 41 year old buddy last weekend following his heart attack, 40 is getting’ on up there in a hurry.
Randy is in way better shape than I am, physically. He worked out at the gym five nights a week and for him to have had a heart attack at 41 is almost unfathomable. I can’t imagine what is running through his mind, but if it was me and I was in his shoes, I would have some serious questions as to why?
I spent about 4 hours in the truck on Saturday thinking about a variety of things on the way to and from Wichita. How the hell could this happen to someone seemingly in better shape than I am? If it could happen to him, why couldn’t it happen to me too?
Two years ago, I weighed almost 300 pounds and was horridly out of shape. After pulling my hamstring on my first at bat of the tournament the year before, I decided to change some things. The decision actually came about when I bent over to tie my bowling shoes and nearly passed out. My wife and her mother were doing the Atkins Diet and I told them that night at the bowling alley that I was going on the diet the next day. I had no idea what the diet entailed, so they sat me down and made me a list of “can’s” and “cannot’s” of the diet. No more French fries or baked potatoes, no more bread, no more pasta and worse yet, no more Mountain Dew or sugar of any kind. I had never even sampled a diet soda before and by far, the hardest part of the diet for me was giving up the Mountain Dew. Suffice it to say, I had good will power and I lost about 70 pounds. I am hovering right in the 225 range now and have been able to keep the weight off without a lot of effort, other than watching what I eat and not drinking regular soda any more.
Which brings me to the title of this post. I made one life changing decision when I went on the diet some two years ago. It was a great decision for me and I feel much better about myself and my health than I have in probably ten years. It’s suddenly time for another decision.
The men in my family smoke. Both of my Grandpas and my Father smoked all their lives. I’ve smoked since I was 18 years old. I’m almost ashamed to admit it nowadays, but I enjoy smoking. I’ve made passive attempts in the past to quit, but I’ve never made up my mind fully that I wanted to quit. As a matter of fact, I’m not sure I want to quit now, but, after watching what has transpired in the last two weeks, I have come to that exact decision. I am going to quit smoking.
Nobody in my family has had any real heart disease. My Father died of a heart attack, but it was only after nearly 8 years of dialysis, which puts a huge burden on your heart. When he was first diagnosed with kidney failure, he was an excellent candidate for a transplant, because his heart was so strong. My paternal Grandfather lived to be 79 and smoked three packs of Camel non-filter cigarettes every day of his life. I don’t ever remember seeing him without a cigarette. The only reason he died was because he gave up after my Grandmother died, his heart was broken and he didn’t see any reason to go on without her. I still miss him dearly.
Which leads me, in part, to this decision. I want to be around for a long time and be able to enjoy my grandchildren. My girls are 16 and 10, and while that is not grown by any means, they are getting older every day and it won’t be long until they are out of the house and on their own, getting married and raising families of their own. I want to be there to help them as much as I can and to spoil the grandchildren as much as my Mom and Dad have spoiled my two girls.
I’m definitely making this decision now, based on what happened to my buddy. He was a part-time smoker, a social smoker, if you will. He didn’t smoke hardly at all, unless he got around me and we cracked open some beers. I understand that his heart disease is probably hereditary and that smoking probably had nothing to do with his heart attack, but I can’t get that helpless feeling out of my mind. He told me he was laying there on the floor, just knowing that he was going to die that night. That image will stay with him and me for a long, long time.
I’m going to do my best to not let that happen to me. I’m still not sure I want to quit, but I think I have reached a point that I know I need to quit and maybe that will be enough to get me through this. I used to worry that I would gain a lot of weight if I quit smoking, but I already know how to get the weight off again, if I do gain some back, so that will no longer be my excuse.
Wish me luck on this little adventure. I’ve been there before and I know it won’t be easy, but I am going to do it this time.
Call me a quitter.
posted by GaryC @ 5:46 PM, ,
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Did I happen to mention that I was heading to Vegas next Thursday night? I fly out after work on Thursday the 27th and fly back home to OKC on Saturday the 29th. It will be a quick trip, heading out there for a buddy’s wedding, but I plan to make the most of it at the tables. My buddy, actually my college roommate, is a blackjack player, but I’ve already persuaded him to spend some time with me at the poker tables. I’m not sure where I will be playing yet, but I plan on doing a little research between now and then to find a good little tournament to play in either Friday or Saturday morning.
Cash games are not my strong suit, but as long as I can find some limits that I am comfortable with, I will probably saddle up there, as well. He is getting married at the Wynn on Friday night and I am staying across the street at the “New” Frontier. I think the “New” was added back in the 60’s when Elvis was still performing there, but it was cheap and I won’t be in the room very much anyway. If anybody has any tips for smaller stakes cash games or smaller buy-in tournaments for early Friday and/or early Saturday, I am all ears and would appreciate the information.
Did I also mention that the very next week after the Vegas trip, I am leaving after work on Thursday evening and heading to Kansas for my annual softball trip for 11 glorious days away from work. I will be spending half of my time in Topeka and the other half in Great Bend. Not your idea of glorious? Well, not mine either really, but it is a tradition and any time away from work is glorious, in my biased opinion, and Great Bend beats the hell out of Liberal.
We will be playing a one day tournament in Topeka on Saturday the 6th and a two day tournament in Great Bend on Saturday and Sunday, the 12th and 13th. We drive back home late Sunday evening and then I usually take Monday off to recover from the 11 day bender of beer, liquor and cigarettes. I also use that Monday to catch up on yard work that will not have been done during those 11 days, as well.
We have played with the same 12 or 13 guys during the entire 13 summers that I have made this trip, but we are going to be one short this year. Randy is doing pretty good after his heart attack and is home resting comfortably. He plans on making the trip this year, if his doctors okay it, but will not be his normal drunken, ball-playing self. His physical activity is limited to sitting and sleeping, for the most part and he is forbidden from drinking any beers with us. Thanks to everybody for the well wishes, I am headed back to Wichita this Saturday, as well, to help him and his family again and then back on Sunday to take care of my own yard work.
I’m really looking forward to vacation this year. I look forward to it every year, but I have been so busy at work for the last six months that I can’t wait to get out of here for a little while. Unfortunately, taking this much time this early in the year doesn’t leave me with a lot of time for the rest of the year, but tradition is tradition.
For any of you that have been asleep under a rock, the dates of June 7th through June 11th are set in stone for a blogger gathering in Oklahoma City. I have heard from 4 or 5 people that will definitely be here and another 6 or 7 that will probably be here. If you can’t make it during the week, feel free to fly in on Friday night. I will make arrangements to pick you up and get you to where the party is happening. I encourage anybody that wants to meet a few bloggers, sling some chips with some local poker-tards or just kick back and enjoy a nice 3.2 beer with me to make their plans now. The earlier you book your tickets, the cheaper they will be.
I had a nice chat with SurfLexus last night on Yahoo, while losing, losing, losing at poker, and he mentioned that he was going to do a pimping post for Okie-Vegas some time this week. That’s what reminded me that I hadn’t said anything about it in a while. I have so many other things going on right now that it is kind of on the back burner, but it is definitely still happening and I am very much looking forward to it, as well. It will be a great time, no matter how many people show up, so if you can make it, come join the party.
Poker still sucks right now. I am consistently going deep into MTT’s and SNG’s only to be outdrawn or outkicked every.single.time. No money for you old man, go home now! The final SNG last night was the perfect example:
I made it to the final table of an 18-person sng on Stars with Surflexus. I am fairly short-stacked and make my move with 5-5. My caller flips up K-J soooted. The flop is 6-6-8. The turn is a meaningless 2 and when the river shows another 8, I am at a loss as the chips all slide over to the King high. That is exactly how my luck has been running since last Friday night. I’ve donked off about $160 in tournament and sng fees since then and, while that may not be much to some of you, it is a full 10% of my bankroll. I have been working extremely hard to build it back up since my slide at the first of the year and have been pretty successful doing it until the last week or so. Variance is a bitch, but I will get my turn soon enough. I have to remain patient and continue to play the way I know how to play and my breaks will come soon enough.
I am withdrawing a chunk of my bankroll this week in order to pay for my shenanigans in Kansas. I will be leaving enough to continue to play on a regular basis, but I will be moving back down to the $5 variety of tournaments for the time being. I do plan on playing in the DADI V next Monday evening though and taking another shot at a $1500 WSOP seat. I have no grand illusions of winning the thing, but if I play my game and get some cards, you never know. I came much closer than I ever thought possible in Iggy’s tournament a few weeks ago, so I will continue to take my shots.
***EDIT-I am going to play the WWdN tonight on Stars, I may blind off for a few minutes but should be home in time to play.***
Thanks for stopping by, now go read somebody with something interesting to say.
posted by GaryC @ 2:56 PM, ,
Monday, April 17, 2006
The cards have been running cold around here lately. I’m not particularly unhappy with any of my plays, other than a poorly-timed dropping of the hammer on Saturday night at a blogger cash table. I had dropped it once on Wes earlier, but the next time, there was another player in the hand who called my pre-flop raise and could not see it in his heart to get away from A-J. He then proceeded to tell me what a poor player I was for the rest of the time I was at the table. Thanks, Coach, I appreciate the advice.
Here are a few examples of hands that cost me money or booted me from tournaments this weekend:
NL Tournament-I flopped a set of sixes and couldn’t really put my opponent on 4-5 for the flopped straight. Broke.
NL Cash Game-This is a good one. I sit down with SoxLover, BoobieLover and Hoyazo and buy in short for $10 at a .10/.25 NL table. SoxLover immediately starts goading me about my short buy-in, so I buy up to $25. First hand, FIRST FUCKING HAND, I am dealt 6-6 after posting my blind. It is checked around and the flop was A-6-x. Bingo, show tunes are going off in my head, as I’m sure somebody has a weak Ace, right? Uh, not so much a weak Ace, the big blind felt the need to limp in with A-A and proceeded to take my whole stack. Oops. Bad luck here and I wouldn’t have played this hand any differently any other time, minus a pre-flop raise from the Big Blind. Also, of course, had I been in the big blind and slow-played the Aces, that miracle Quad 6 would have hit the river. Boo!
NL SNG-All my money goes in pre-flop with two callers. I have A-A and they both have A-K. A flop of Q-J-10 quickly sends me packing from this tournament.
The 2nd best cards continued yesterday and I logged off and decided to wait it out. I will probably be playing some for the next three nights, but the weekend is out, since I am heading back up to my buddy’s house this Saturday. He is home and getting better, but is unable to do anything normal around his house, so I will be heading back to take care of those things again this weekend.
That’s all I have for today, feel free to hit me up on Yahoo, I will be looking for a game.
posted by GaryC @ 5:48 PM, ,
Friday, April 14, 2006
..................................... my ass!
Jeebus, what a day this turned out to be at work. My partner that works right beside me decided to take today off, since my vacation is approaching and he will be stuck back here by himself. Thanks a lot Dave. My customers and mechanics have been kicking my ass since I got here this morning in a TripleDraw-induced hangover. That’s right, I said Triple Draw.
Never being one to be unsociable, I took an invite from SoxLover to join him in a “Low Limit” Triple Draw game last night on UB. Um, his “Low Limit” and my “Low Limit” are NOT the same thing. Suffice it to say, you can burn through a short buy-in at ½ Triple Draw in no time at all. I didn’t actually lose the whole buy-in, in fact, I made a nice little comeback to get back near even, but ended up down about $25 because, as Sox says, “you really are a donkey.” Indeed, I am at Triple Draw. Last night busted my cherry at that game and I’m not sure I had enough fun at it to go back anytime soon. I wasn’t the only donkey at that table, but I might have been the biggest donkey there. Oh well, chalk it up to my poker edumication. BTW, for those of you who don’t know, Sox is a very good teacher and I appreciated his efforts to teach us some of the finer nuances of the game. (Like not showing down a stone cold bluff holding K high after drawing 0 cards twice, Doh!) Trip joined us for the Triple Draw action, as well, and I think we both learned a thing or three last night. Very good times indeed.
Earlier in the evening, we were once again joined in the chat room by Iggy and another internet/international celebrity, Mr. AlCantHang. He was holding court at the boat house and dial a shots were happening faster than you can say “V=Vomit.”
Funniest line of the night by Jordan:
“Every time I hear Garth talk I can’t help but think about Outback. Mmmm, I love Outback.”
I’m sure there are more that I don’t remember today, but it was a rollicking good time. I’m really starting to feel like a part of a great big home game every night that we have the chat room. It’s a great feeling to log in, pull up yahoo and instantaneously receive an invitation to THE chat room every night. Thanks to all of you for the invites and the good fun. I’m enjoying myself immensely and the company is excellent.
I will be out of pocket Saturday and part of Sunday this weekend. I had planned on playing quite a bit of poker this weekend, but tonight will have to do. I am heading north to Wichita in the morning to help out a buddy and his family. It appears that he isn’t going to get out of the hospital this weekend, so I’m going up to lend a hand. If you pray, please add my buddy Randy to your list.
Thanks and I’m out. See you tonight.
posted by GaryC @ 3:40 PM, ,
Big O Tourney And A Visit From The BlogFather!
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Good night, great tourney. Nice job, Mookie, thanks for hosting and another belated Happy Birthday. I also want to send out a congrats to DrewsPop and SirFwalgman for their 1st and 2nd place finishes. Great playing, guys.
I went out in 11th of, I think, 29 competitors last night, when I substantially overplayed my 7-2 off-suit! That's right, I went out like a true blogger, shoving my whole stack in the middle with the HAMMER! Nice turnout and I’m sure these will continue to grow as the word gets out around the blogosphere. There are lots of Mookie’s friends already playing and it seems more and more bloggers are showing up every week now. It’s a good tournament and the fact that it is on Wednesday night makes for a good time for me to be able to play nearly every week. If you missed it this week, be sure to check back next week for all the information. You will enjoy yourself.
The Yahoo chat-room was filled with internet celebrities last night. From Veneno to TripJax, Kaellin18(congrats on 3rd) to Surflexus, Jordan to Garthmeister to Katitude to ………. Iggy. That’s right, we were all graced with the presence of the Blogfather last night. I almost fell out of my chair. This may seem like old hat for many of you out there, but for me, it was about as cool as it gets. Any of you that have not downloaded Yahoo and have not bought a cheap-ass headset in order to chat and hear other bloggers: Shame on you! You absolutely missed out last night.
That’s the great thing about this little (albeit, ever-growing) poker blogosphere that we have out there right now. You just never know when you are going to get thrust into a situation where you are speaking to somebody that you have read and respected for more than two years and let me assure you, almost without fail, they treat you with respect and are eager to get to know everybody. It doesn’t matter that you haven’t been blogging very long, it doesn’t matter if you post nothing but bad beat stories, they are always nice and always eager to help in any way they can.
Iggy, it was great chatting with you and thanks for stopping by our little corner and hanging out with us. It was a real treat.
Friday night is the night for MTT’s. My wife has a little something to do after work and the littlest GCox25 is staying over at a friends’ house, so the poker machine will be in full effect, as soon as I get home from work and get the beer iced down. I am off this weekend from work and will be cranking through as many SNG’s and MTT’s as I can get through. Feel free to hit me up on Yahoo if you would like to join me. The handle is GCoxy25 on Yahoo and I’ll be happy for the company.
There is a possible change in my plans on the horizon. It appears that my friend is not going to get out of the hospital before next week, so I will probably be driving to Wichita sometime this weekend to visit him and to help his wife out around their house. Right now, the plan is to play poker Friday night and ignore my yard work in lieu of going to Wichita to do his. There is a slight possibility that I will leave after work tomorrow night, but right now, the plan is to leave Saturday morning.
Vacation is just around the corner for me and I am starting to get extremely excited about it. I am planning on trying to post a few times during the 11 days I am off from work, but I can make no promises. I am taking the laptop with me, but don’t know if I can hold it with all the beer I will be drinking and the cigarettes I will be smoking. I will try to give you at least one little update during the hiatus, but there won’t be much poker going on, so it will probably be a little boring.
One more day to the weekend! Have a good one.
A little addition here. I saw this on Kat's blog the other day and I liked it so much I thought I would steal, er, borrow it.
I'd like to send out a big fat fuck you to Gaming Club Poker. After clearing 750 raked hands to clear my PSO promotion, they finally replied to my e-mail regarding my deposit bonus. It seems that the PSO bonus clears at 1/2 limit, but in order to clear the deposit bonus, you have to play at 2/4 or higher. Fuck you very much. Withdraw!
posted by GaryC @ 1:24 PM, ,
Someone Beat Kat, Please!
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Quick plug for Mookie's tourney tonight on Stars. I plan to be there, so come catch some fish!
Dangit, I didn’t get home from the bowling alley last night until 10:30 and I really was tired, so I did the smart thing and went to bed. Believe me, I wanted to stay up and play, but the prudent thing was to go to bed and get some rest. I’ve got tonight and Friday night and all weekend to play poker if I want and I will surely get my fill by Sunday night.
Speaking of bowling, this will be the last update for a while as last night was the last night of bowling for my Men’s League. My team finished in 8th place of 12 teams, so we will not be getting very much money back. On a more positive note, I shot 276 – 209 – 225 last night for a 710 series and I finished the year with a 217 average. It’s not the highest average I have ever carried for an entire season, but pretty good nonetheless. Considering how much I struggled during the middle of the season, I am very happy to have maintained that average for the whole year.
I would have liked to have played in the Freeroll last night with everybody, but I was proud to hear that TripJax took 3rd in the event. Congrats Trip, I wish I could have been there to see it.
I’m looking forward to Friday night, as I will get to spend most of the evening playing poker. I’ll be playing a little bit tonight and tomorrow late, but Friday will be set aside for me to enter some MTT’s and SNG’s.
I’ll be spending the entire weekend around the house, working on my yard work and beginning to pack for my vacation coming up in three short weeks. I have to start packing early, because I take so much stuff with me that I will forget something if I don’t pack and re-pack three or four times before I leave.
Apparently, my buddy is resting comfortably but has a pretty goodly amount of blockage in one of his arteries. He will not be getting to play with us this year in the softball tournament, but is hoping to be able to make the trip and take everything in, like normal. Here’s hoping he can make it just to hang out with us as he has been a regular since we first began going back for the tournament and it certainly would not be the same without him there.
I’ve known Randy for 24 years now and he has always been a great friend and a stand up guy. It is amazing to me that, at 41 years old, he could have heart disease. Like I said yesterday, he is in better shape than I am and he goes to the gym and works out 4 or 5 times a week. Sometimes, life just doesn’t make sense. It sure makes you stop and wonder about your own health when something of this nature hits so close to home. Hang in there brother and if there is anything you need from me, do not hesitate to call.
That’s going to have to do it for me today. I hope everyone has a short rest of the week and gets to check-raise with the nuts on the turn two or three times this week. Have a good one.
posted by GaryC @ 3:10 PM, ,
Getting My Groove Back
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
My good buddy and right-fielder on my softball team had a heart attack last night. Jeebuz, he's only 41 years old and in better shape than I am. Apparently, they caught it early enough that no major damage was done, but nonetheless, brother, my prayers are with you. Take it easy and get better.
No more pity party for me!
After nearly a week of playing a paltry amount of poker, mostly in a daze, I am back to my old self. I am thrilled with my results from last night and am once again looking forward to playing tournament poker. I will be focusing for the near future on SNG and MTT tournaments for the most part. Thanks again to everybody for the kind words.
I finished up my 750 raked hands last night on Gaming Club Poker and am finished with my PokerSourceOnline promotion. I’ll be receiving my 6000 PSO points and applying those with my previous balance to get the $100 gift certificate at Absolute Poker. The Stud experiment at Gaming Club to clear the raked hands was a definite success as it was very easy to clear that number of hands in a relatively short period of time. I ended up down $20 from my original buy-in, but that was mostly due to a lack of concentration last night while I was playing in other tournaments as well. Had I been one-tabling Stud, I feel like I most certainly would have posted winning numbers overall.
I think the PSO promotions have been good for my overall poker game, as well as allowing me to earn valuable points toward merchandise and gift certificates. As far as being good for my game, it almost forces you to play cash game tables in order to clear the raked hand requirements, rather than just sitting at home playing all tournaments, all the time. I can assure you that sitting at a cash table with fully 1/5th of your bankroll at that site in front of you is an entirely different story than sitting at a SNG table with a $6 buy-in, regardless of your chip stack or standing in the tournament.
Playing cash games is something that I wasn’t very comfortable with when I began doing PSO promotions. When I first began playing the cash tables in order to earn bonuses, I started out playing the NL tables. At first, the strategies were not a lot different than my strategy in a NL SNG. But, after figuring out that the higher limits you play, the higher the rake for every hand and the quicker your bonus will clear, it became obvious to me that cash table strategy and tournament strategy were two entirely different things, especially when dealing with better players at higher limits.
At the cash tables, especially moving up in limits that you are not all that comfortable with, aggression is one of the most important factors. I am not an overly-aggressive player and despite all my attempts, it is still not something I am entirely comfortable with. I found out rather quickly that I needed to be playing Limit cash tables in order to clear my bonuses, thus risking less of my paltry bankroll at each table in the process.
Through the bonus clearing, I discovered games like Razz, Omaha and Stud. Nothing new to anybody out there, but after a little reading and a lot of practice, I fancy myself at least an average Stud player. I play it a lot like I play tournament hold em, but so far at least, it has been relatively successful for me. Top hands, bet when you think you’re ahead, bet the turn to get a free river card, etc. All simple little tidbits but over time, they can and will make you a lot of money at the lower limits of Stud.
So, all in all, I would rate my experience with PokerSourceOnline a 10 out of 10. Their promotions are all fairly easy to clear. Their giveaways are as good as anybody in the industry. Their selection of poker rooms is as good or better than anyone in the industry. AND, their customer service is second to none. I don’t know how Mike and his crew do it, but they treat every comment, whether it be positive or negative, big problem or little problem, like it is the only problem they have at the time. I have had two “instances” that were dealt with in a timely manner and fixed to my satisfaction perfectly. They really get it when it comes to customer service and I haven’t even mentioned their freerolls. They are constantly offering bigger and more frequent freerolls than anybody else in the industry, consistently giving back to their customers. Did I mention they just recently went over 25,000 customers? Seems to me that they are offering a huge freeroll in accordance with that milestone, as well. If you haven’t checked them out or signed up yet, do yourself and me a favor and click my link on the right and try them out. You will not be disappointed, I promise.
I plan on spending my free time through next weekend playing in MTT’s and SNG’s on all my sites. I feel like I am back in the groove and ready to take on a few larger fields. I might even try that Crazy $3 re-buy tournament on Stars this Friday night with SoxLover and Weak_Player.
Don’t forget, DADI 5 is two weeks from yesterday on Monday, the 24th. Check out Jordan and TripJax for all the information. I will post the banner later this week as a reminder. I hope everyone can make it. Speaking as someone who stepped out of their buy-in comfort zone for Iggy’s tournament last week, the experience of making it so close was well worth the $30 buy-in. Trust me on that.
posted by GaryC @ 3:11 PM, ,
MTT - I had a feeling!
Monday, April 10, 2006
I had a feeling when I left work today that I was ready to get my ass back in the saddle and DAMN! I was right. Woot! Woot!
Turbo $10 + 1 on Paradise Poker
582 runners and the top 60 get paid.
I finished 8th of 582 and received $158.89.
I lost one hand the entire tournament at showdown. The last one.
I raise pre-flop with A-K. I get one caller.
Flop is K-x-x. Caller checks and I move all in. He calls with 6-6 and hits his two outer on the river to knock me out. Lucky for him too, because had I doubled up, I would have been 2nd in chips and had a real shot.
Guess what I did. After a short outburst of cursing, I laughed out loud and told him NH, Sir. It feels good to be back.
After a long session of finishing my PokerSourceOnline promotion, I joined one more $10 + 1 single-table SNG on Ultimate Bet and, he he, I won it. Plus $39 and I feel damn good.
posted by GaryC @ 8:46 PM, ,
What a great weekend!
I got home from the lake yesterday about 4:30. I had every intention of doing a little fishing when I got down to the lake on Friday evening, but a cold front blew through and the dropping temperature, mixed with some light rain, changed my immediate plans to drinking beer and watching my Rangers lose yet another game on Friday evening. I ended up going down to the bar and playing in the dart tournament (3rd place, bubble-boy again!) and drinking more than my fair share of liquid refreshment. We polished off a bottle of Seagrams VO and a small bottle of Crown Royal in the parking lot between dart games. When I hit the sack around 3:00 am, I was out like a light.
I woke up around 10:30 am the next morning and started some spring cleaning around the trailer. I got all the leaves bagged up, the yard mowed and the patio cleaned up from a winter of neglect. It’s amazing just how much dirt collects down there when you pay absolutely no attention to it for about 6 months. I also pulled the jet-ski’s out of the barn, cleaned them up and got the batteries charged up. They fired right off and are ready to run for the next trip down, if the weather cooperates and the water warms up some.
Saturday night was our normal show down there. Tiny little beer bar, jam-packed with every Karaoke wannabe for miles around. It’s a great time for everybody, if you like that kind of stuff, and I do. We also made a little scratch and that always makes it better.
I am quickly drawing near to my busiest month and a half of the year and I absolutely cannot wait. It’s also the time of year that I take most of my vacation days for the year, so anything would be better than work. Here’s a sample of what I have coming up in the next 45 days or so:
April 27th-48 hour bender in Las Vegas for my college roommates’ wedding. I plan on actually attending the wedding on Friday evening for an hour or so, but other than that, I will probably be seated at a poker table the rest of the time. I can’t wait for this one, even though it will be a quick trip.
May 5-15th-My annual softball trip to Kansas to hang out with my buddies. This will be my 13th year in a row to make this trip and it is always a drunken, softball-filled bender that last nearly the entire 10 days.
June 7-11th-Okie-Vegas! A blogger get-together in the great state of Oklahoma. While we are not known for our gambling here, they have recently passed laws enabling our Indian casinos to spread poker. I anticipate another drunken, poker-filled 5 days here also, as well as the chance to get to meet people that we all read on a daily basis. I encourage anybody that has the time and money available to try and make this trip. I promise you, you will not regret it.
I have played a grand total of one tournament and a few hands of Stud since Wednesday evening and I feel like the break has done my attitude some good, at least. I probably needed a break and the bubble finish in the WSOP qualifier just confirmed that for me. Looking back at it now, it is an accomplishment that I am very proud of and I am still pleased with my play for the most part during the tournament. I wouldn’t change a lot about the way I played and the experience gained will pay dividends in the long run, I have no doubt.
Thanks again to everybody for the kind words last week and I look forward to the next one. Hopefully, my posting will take on a brighter outlook this week also, as my attitude swings back to positive. Have a good week and let’s shuffle up and deal!
posted by GaryC @ 3:20 PM, ,
Thursday, April 06, 2006
What to post about today? Mentally, I find myself still drained from the tournament on Monday night/Tuesday morning. Perhaps the sleep deprivation is still bothering more than I would care to admit also.
I got home last night just in time to receive an instant message from both Veneno and Mowenumdown. “Mookie’s tourney on Stars starts in two minutes, hurry up!” Without even hesitating, I fired up Stars, got the password from V and registered.
I found my table and typed into the chat, “anybody page bubble-boy?” He he and lol were the common responses. Mookie then said he was going to mention that, but didn’t know if I was over it yet. I told him I was not over it yet and thinking back, I’m sure that was the right response.
For some reason, I had a horrible connection on Stars last night. It’s happened a time or two since I hooked up the wireless connection, but for the most part, it has been fine. Last night was the exception. I was timing out nearly every hand or the buzzer would go off and my time clock was ticking down before I had a chance to act.
I played most of the tournament in some sort of daze. I called an all-in with a broadway straight even though there was an obvious flush on the board. I doubled up off of SirFwalgman when my A-K met an King high flop and I dodged his two outs.(He had Q-Q) I managed to run my stack up to around 4K by the time we got to the final table, but it was not meant to be and I went out around 7th of 21 players.
It was a good time, but confirmed something that I wondered about early on in the tournament. I am not quite ready to get back in the saddle. Hopefully, by Sunday, I will exorcise the demons and get back to my normal game, because the game I played last night was not it.
I will probably be playing just a little bit of Stud at Gaming Club tonight before bed and I am leaving town for the lake straight from work tomorrow evening. There aren’t many things better than getting down to the lake place around 5:45, sitting on the front porch drinking a cold beer and having the sun up for a few more hours. I love daylight savings time. I can sit there on the front porch, listen to nature and the loudest noises I hear are boats going across the water. No ambulances, no police, no loud traffic, just nature in all it’s glory. That and the two day break will probably do a huge amount of good for me and my psyche.
I found it interesting that Drizz mistook me for Jordan during the tournament on Monday night. I assume this to mean that the reason he laid down his hand to the all-in bet was the fact that he thought it was me raising all-in, and not Jordan, who actually did do the raising. I guess my reputation for tightness precedes me to most bloggers and readers that have been to this site.
SoxLover wrote about me in his post regarding the tournament. “If GCox raises, you better have a hand if you want to play.” He gets no argument here. I’ve tried playing fast and loose and it doesn’t work for me. I even tried it with Sox and Weak_Player once in a crazy $3 re-buy tourney on Stars. 10 re-buys later, I was out the door in the first hour. Re-buy craziness does not work well with my game. Now, the deep stack structure that we played in Iggy’s tournament on Monday, THAT definitely fits my style of play. I really felt comfortable the entire time while playing Monday night and will definitely be looking into some of their deep stack tournaments in the future. (when I have about 12 hours to devote to a tournament)
I think the thing that brought it home for me was Monday night though. I am a total e-tard when it comes to nearly all things computer-related. I asked TripJax to snap off a screenshot of the final table, so that perhaps I could post it on my blog when I did my write-up. He dutifully takes the screen shot, saves it and transfers it to me so I can save it. I pulled it up last night to have a look and damn if Trip doesn’t have notes on my ass at PokerStars. That little N icon is right there as big as Dallas. I certainly don’t begrudge him for having notes on me, it just makes me think that I really need to work on changing up my style on a more regular basis in order to stay competitive with the people I play with regularly. For the record, I busted out laughing, Trip, and thanks again for sending me the screenshot.
I’m beginning to feel better, I think, and the break I am taking this weekend will definitely have me in the mood for poker on Sunday night.
Until then, “May all your cards be live, and all your pots be monsters.” Sorry, that’s the best I could come up with today.
posted by GaryC @ 3:06 PM, ,
Emotional Bubble Boy
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
After near 36 hours to review the tournament in my head and replay some of the hands I played, I still have a rather sick feeling in my stomach. Nothing wrong with the way I played, for the most part and no real problems with the way any of my opponents played during the tournament. Just that really sick feeling, deep in the pit of my stomach, the kind you get when you eat way too much food at the fair and then go on one of the rides that you really know better than to get on. Thinking about it just seems to make it that much worse.
Most of my friends know that I play poker on-line on a regular basis and a lot of them hit me up first thing every morning, wanting details and information on what happened the night before. Replaying the same story over and over 20 or so times yesterday did not do my mood any good at all.
My emotions ran the gamut leading up to, during and following the tournament. Here’s a recap:
4:00 – ANTICIPATION – I got an e-mail from TripJax saying that he was planning on playing and I came to the conclusion that my bankroll could handle the loss, so I was going to join what, to date, was my biggest buy-in tournament ever played on-line.
6:30 – HAPPINESS – I am proceeding to money in a SNG and run over a cash table, making enough money in 1-1/2 hours to pay the entry fee. Freerollin!
7:30 – NERVOUS – The tournament is filling up quickly and there are many more people than I expected. This will most definitely be a tough tournament and I know many of the names to be very good players.
8:00 – RELIEF – Okay, it’s finally started. I picked up K-K on the second hand and I now have breathing room. I am also a bit relieved that the structure is as good as it is. I can definitely sit back and play my game and wait for the right opportunities. It will not become a push fest.
8:05 – WONDER – I wonder if this is going to be over in time for me to go to work tomorrow?
11:00 – INEBRIATION – Okay, this isn’t an emotion, but I was well into a case of beer by now and I was feeling rather inebriated.
11:30 – ANGER – at myself, for donking off about 6K in chips to an over-pair. Bad play by me, good play by opponent.
12:00 – BOREDOM – setting in at a rapid pace. I’ve seen like 8% of the flops, so I am not in the action very much. I need to pick up some good cards so I can stay focused.
1:30 – JOY/RELIEF – I made it to the final table and am proud of my play thus far. I am a shorter stack than most, but I still feel like I have enough chips to play good, solid poker.
2:20 – EMBARRASSMENT – I just got it all in with A-Q and sucked out a gut-shot straight on TripJax to double up. I needed the chips, but it was still a bad play on my part.
2:45 – EUPHORIA – I just won a race with the Poker Champ when my A-K made two pair to beat his Q-Q.
3:00 – GRIEF, SORROW, PAIN – I don’t have the words to explain the feeling I had when I was out in 3rd place. I sat back and stared at the screen in disbelief. Eventually, I got up and retrieved another beer. I sat back down and watched the last few hands in complete silence, stunned by the complete shock I was feeling at the moment.
I sat there for nearly 20 more minutes, muttering the occasional thanks to well-wishers and stubbornly refusing to accept that it didn’t happen for me. I had spent the last hour dreaming of sitting down at a table in Vegas with Negreanu or Hellmuth or some other poker player that I’ve seen on TV. Perhaps even Moneymaker, as he is the reason I started playing poker on-line in the first place. I’m gonna be ……..what?........Out?.........No!
But of course, the answer was yes and I was sent to the rail. You’ll notice the only anger I had the entire evening was with my own self. I never saw any play from anybody else that sent me toward tilt, in fact, I was trying to figure out how to incorporate some of the aggressive play I saw from others into my own game.
The final table was a great game of cat and mouse. Whoever held the chip lead was applying constant pressure to the smaller stacks. I know this because I was a smaller stack the entire time at the final table. I got my chip count as high as 90K at one point, but was never able to break through and get out of small stack status.
Looking back a day and a half later, I am very pleased with my play for the most part. I won quite a few races, I played good solid poker and the one time that I got my money in behind, I sucked out. It takes some luck to make it as far as I did and I certainly had some good luck along the way. I also played very solid poker, for the most part. My raises were received with respect most of the time and I even laid down a few hands where I might have been ahead. I emphasize the word might, because with this group of bloggers, a re-raise symbolizes strength. If they were making a play, kudos to them, but I still think I made the right plays more often than not.
The sickening feeling in my stomach has not gone away yet. I can still remember yelling “Come on Nines, hold up for me, ONCE!!!! I don’t remember another word I spoke until I awoke the next morning. (actually about three hours later) I stumbled through the day yesterday at work, partially from sleep deprivation and partially from being hung over. Rehashing the story to my buddies at work may or may not have been what I needed to do, only time will tell. I really like the fact that I had a great run, but the disappointment that follows the “he made a straight on the turn and I was out” part of the story is close to unbearable. My soul was crushed for a while Tuesday morning, but I know I will be a better player in the long run for having made it as far as I did.
When I got home from work yesterday, I worked on the post prior to this one. I then headed straight to the bowling alley (236, 196, 243) and then straight back home. I didn’t play a single hand of poker last night. I did something I haven’t been able to do in a long time. I grabbed a beer and sat down and read blogs for two hours straight. I left more comments on blogs yesterday than I have in the two or so months since I was cut off from reading at work. It felt good and I realized that I need to take more time like that in the future. No poker? I honestly did not even want to play poker last night. I don’t know if it was because of what happened in the tournament or if I just needed a little break. Either way, it was good for me.
I will be back at it soon enough. I plan on playing some limit Stud tonight at Gaming Club and get back to clearing my raked hands so I can get the gift certificate from PSO. I am more than 2/3 of the way there and hope to be able to knock it out by the end of next week.
I won’t be playing any on Friday or Saturday this week as we are headed to the lake. I have a ton of yard work to catch up on down there and we are singing on Saturday night at the bar. I’ll be back on Sunday evening and will probably be itching for a game, so if you’d like to join the “Bubble Boy” for a tourney or SNG, give me a shout.
Again, thanks to all the replies and kind words regarding the tournament on Monday night. I am beginning to feel more and more like a part of this community every day and all the compliments made me feel all warm inside. I had to let the wifey read some of the comments and you all made her cry. Thanks again to everybody.
posted by GaryC @ 6:44 PM, ,
I TOOK My Best Shot
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Son of bitch, shit.
I felt like a total sonofabitch this morning. I had neon dreams of Vegas poker tournaments last night for approximately 7 and a half hours and just like that! Poof! The rug was pulled from beneath my feet.
Was it a bad beat, G? Tell us, tell us. Yes, it was a bad beat, but after some of the beats I laid on people during the tourney, who am I to complain? He had lots of outs and I was back to dodging, ducking, shucking and jiving. I’ve never been worth a shit at dancing. The final hand was my 9-9 against A-3 and a flop of 2-3-4. Looking back now, he had 9 outs the way I see it and I would have been tempted to call in his shoes also. I begrudge nobody, as this long battle was wearing on everybody at the end and we were all ready for it to be over. Congratulations to MyRadioHead and Lucko21 on their huge win and good luck to both at the WSOP.
For anybody that wasn’t aware of it, Iggy held a WSOP seat qualifier last night on PokerStars. It was a $30 + 3 event and drew in over 90 bloggers to do battle. You may be asking yourself, why G, why would you enter a $33 tournament when all you ever do is whine about your paltry bankroll? Well, damnit, I felt like supporting my fellow bloggers and taking my shot. There may not be many of these shots in my future, so I wanted in and last night was a good night for it. Iggy also ponied up the $210 defecit in order for two people to win seats, rather than one seat and prize money. Very big gesture Iggy and very much appreciated by the community and this blogger.
I took some notes last night but you will have to pardon some of my rambling. I was drinking when I took the notes and I’m not working with much sleep this morning as I type this up.
I got home last night and immediately signed up for the tourney. I then proceeded to try and win my entry fee back before the big tournament started. I fired up a 27 person SNG on Stars and a cash Stud table at Gaming Club. I ended up finishing in 4th in the SNG for a small cash, but luckily the deck hit me in the face on the cash table and I won more than my entry fee in the tourney, as well as clearing around 100 raked hands toward my PSO promotion.
A few notes about the tournament structure. Fucking fabulous!!! It sucked that it was a Monday night and we all had to work the next day, but the set-up and structure allowed for a lot of wiggle room and a lot of play for everybody involved. That being said, I still saw around 8% of the flops for the entire tournament. Ha! Over-aggressive maniac I am not! The starting stacks were 5,000 chips and the blinds started at 10/20, increasing every 30 minutes, giving us a true feeling of a WSOP event. I hated being up that late, but I truly believe that the structure played a huge part in allowing me to last as long as I did. Even as a short stack at the final table, I still had more than 20 big blinds in my stack and was not forced to push with any two immediately. I was forced to do that eventually and was lucky enough to win numerous coin flips, most of them against the Champ. Sorry, buddy.
I picked up K-K on the second hand of the tournament and raised 4x the big blinds. One person called and the flop came King high, rainbow. I put out a medium sized bet and he called. Hmmmm. The turn was a blank and I fired out a little bit bigger bet and he flat-called again. After another blank on the river and approximately 3K in the middle, I pushed it all in and he finally folded. The only hands I can put him on there was A-K or A-A and if that was the case, it was a great laydown. I would have surely gone bust there. 8K in chips and the early chip leader.
K-K again in the second level wins me a large hand and I am up to 12K in chips at the first break. (3rd place)
During the second hour, I wrote down absolutely zero hands, but somehow was able to chip up to 16K and 2nd place at the second break.
I picked up A-A and called an all-in to chip up to 20K. Short time chip leader and as I told Jordan and TripJax in the chat room, “it’s easy with Aces.” A very wise and patient poker player told me that a long time ago and I still believe it. I ended the 3rd level with 18K in chips and still sat in 2nd place overall.
During the fourth level, I ran A-J into Q-Q and when I flopped a Jack, I lost a bundle of my stack. I ended the fourth level at 13,700 in chips and in 16th place out of 35 players left.
-------- I didn’t write any hands down for a good while, so fast forward to 5th? Hour-------
16 players left and here are a few of the bloggers that are left.
Yours truly-11th place.
I spent most of the rest of the tournament as the short stack, fighting, scratching and clawing for every pot I could take down. By the time we were down to 7 players and a possible chop was mentioned, I was more than game. That was quickly shot down as we all agreed that with Iggy’s own money involved in the pot, we should play it down to the two seat winners.
Here’s the final 7 bloggers left:
SoxLover was the first one out and Trip followed him in 6th place. Both had substantial chips at one time at the final table, but the timing was bad and the bad beats were laid. I put one of them on Trip when I rivered a gut-shot straight to take down his two pair. I should have been out there, buddy, I’m really sorry.
Down to five players and the Champ went on a huge tear. Fortunately for me, I caught a big hand at the right time. It was a coin flip, but my A-K made two pair on the river to take down his Q-Q. Champ, I thought you played a great tournament and you are a worthy competitor.
After Maigrey went out in fourth place, there was a bit of jostling and blind stealing and I was again looking at the short stack compared to the other two. Kudos to both of them, because they kept me off balance and kept the pressure on my blinds all.night.long.
I already typed out the last hand above and I went out when my 9-9 ran into a straight on the turn. Bad luck on that hand, but I had plenty of good fortune the rest of the tournament and was really lucky to have made it that far.
Dissappointed?? Unless you’ve been there, you can’t fathom the amount of disappointment in my body at that time. It felt as though somebody had walked up behind me and sucker-punched me right in the nose. I believe disappointed would have been the biggest understatement imaginable this morning at 3:00 am. Heart broken is more like it. But, you know what? I plan to learn from the experience. I took my shot and I played well. I can play with these guys and if confidence counts for anything, I am a step ahead of where I was yesterday at this time.
I want to send out a huge thank you to everybody that railed, cheered and supported me throughout the night. I know I’m going to forget somebody so I will apologize in advance, but here goes:
See, I told you I was going to forget someone. If I didn’t mention you, it is sleep deprivation and alcohol poisoning to blame. Thanks to everybody.
Lastly, I want to say a special thanks to TripJax and HighOnPoker. Guys, I can’t tell you how much fun it was chatting and playing with you last night. I know you already know, but I had a blast. Thanks for the support and encouragement. I couldn’t have done it without you.(even though I didn’t really do anything, LOLOLOLOL) And, by the way, I am the PokerChamp.
It was a fun ride and I think I will be a better player for having taken it.
It’s still a pisser though.
posted by GaryC @ 3:22 PM, ,
Takin' My shot
Monday, April 03, 2006
First, let me echo Iggy's thoughts regarding opening day in baseball. It could not have come sooner for me. Thank goodness it's finally here, even though my Rangers started off with a big fat L on the first day. Spring is in the air and the first pitches have been thrown.
Secondly, thanks to everybody for the comments on my weekend “Donkey” post. I agree with everybody’s assessment regarding the play and I did indeed go broke on that hand. The only problem I have with my play is that it was the first hand of the tournament, but looking back, I would not change the way I played it at all. All our money goes into that pot at some point every single time, unless one of us makes a large raise and is able to get the others to lay down their mid-pair. That probably is not going to happen, so in that example, two of us are going broke every single time.
I'm taking my shot tonight in Iggy's Blogger tournament to send a blogger to the WSOP. If you haven't seen the information, here it is:
$30 + 3
9 pm EST
Be there and support one of our own. I know it is a bit out of my bankroll, but what can I say? I'm feeling frisky tonight. Come and join us.
I got a letter in the mail from Noble Poker on Friday announcing a special 10K freeroll for qualifying members. After doing a little research, it appeared to me that to qualify you have to have removed all your money from the site and not played there for a while. I signed up Friday evening as soon as I got home and the tourney was limited to 1050 players. When it started yesterday at 3 pm, I had high hopes of making a strong run and replenishing my bankroll on that site, but it became apparent early on that I was in big trouble.
First off, of the 1050 registered players, it appeared that more than half of them were sitting out, signed up early for the tourney and either had something better to do or forgot all about it. With the time change Sunday, I logged on at what I thought was an hour and a half to spare, but turned out to be only 30 minutes before the start. I also immediately set all the clocks in my house forward one hour to reflect the correct time. With more than half the field sitting out, that made every full table short-handed. Short-handed tournaments are not my forte, not in the least. I played A-K early on for a raise and was called down and lost to a 9-2o. Soon enough I was down to around 600 chips from the starting stack of 1000 and it was apparent who the luckbox/maniac at our table was. He had a commanding chip lead and was bullying everyone at our table at every opportunity.
I managed a double up on him with 5-5 vs his all-in raise with 9-6 sooted. I stole some blinds here and there and soon enough had almost 1500 in chips. Then came the hand of destiny. Luck-box lost a big hand immediately prior to this hand and was down to under 1500 chips. A short stack pushed all in before me and I called with 10-10. Luck-box raised all in with A-J and of course, hit his jack on the river to cripple me and triple up. I went out shortly after in 557th place of 1050. I remember why I left Noble in the first place and their freeroll tournaments have not gotten any better. Regardless of the overlay, there are still too many people sitting out in the early stages and the short-handed action does not fit my game very well. Overall, I thought I played pretty well, but the rising blinds forced the action and I had to make a move. Oh well, like TripJax said in the chat room, it was free. A completely free waste of an hour and a half.
I got up Sunday morning with an agenda. We had a big thunderstorm come through on Saturday night and my yard work was screaming to be started for the spring. I got up Sunday morning and went to work. I got the entire front yard mowed, weed-eated, edged and the hedges trimmed. I also managed to bag up four jumbo bags of leaves. I still have at least that much work left in the back yard, as well, but at least now I am half way finished with the initial clean-up. I also now have the time to knock out a portion of it in the evenings after work, thanks to daylight savings time, rather than having to wait until the weekend. I also have to get started on the clean up down at the lake place this weekend. I’m hoping for good weather this Saturday so I can make that happen.
My promotion at Gaming Club Poker is going well thus far. I am 500 raked hands in so far and am exactly break even, dollar wise. I have 250 hands left to clear and should finish those this week. I three-tabled 7 card stud yesterday for about an hour and lost the $30 profit that I had built up, but I also finished off more than 200 hands in about 2 hours. I will be concentrating on one table at a time and try to finish it up with a positive run. I have completed the required hands for the deposit bonus, but for some reason, their software doesn’t show that yet and my account has not been credited with any bonus money. I sent them an e-mail last night and hope to hear something from them today. Once I complete 250 more hands to finish the PSO promotion, I will have enough PSO points in my account to get the $100 gift certificate to Absolute, so I will be back on there toiling away.
For any of you that are new to this blog or have had your head in the sand for the last year or so, PokerSourceOnline is the promotional company to join when you are playing on-line poker. If you enjoy playing on new sites and being offered a ton of great free swag to do it, you should click on the banner at the right of this page and go try them out. Their customer service is second to none and their array of poker rooms offered is top-notch, as well. PSO is a company that truly gets it when it comes to on-line poker players and I give it my heartiest “two thumbs up.” If you are interested in more information or have any questions, post them in my comments and I will be happy to answer them as truthfully as I can and/or get the answer you need from someone who knows better than I.
Now, go ahead and read somebody else, I am done.
posted by GaryC @ 3:10 PM, ,
Donkeys On Parade
Saturday, April 01, 2006
Rated R and starring GCox25 as “The Donkey!”
I have consistently made fun of those people at the single table SNG’s who get all their money in on the very first hand of the tournament. Oops, apparently I was making fun of myself the entire time and didn’t know it. I was just jopking!
Ultimate Bet $10 + 1 single table SNG
I am dealt 6-6 in the big blind.
UTG raises from 20 to 70.
UTG + 1 and UTG + 2 insta-call. Small blind also calls, so there is 300 in the pot and it costs me 50 to call. That gives me 6 to 1 on my money even though I am not thrilled with my hand after seeing the action that took place before it got to me. I make the call and the flop comes out 3-6-9 rainbow.
Bingo! Sets are golden, right? I check with the intention of check-raising a substantial amount when it gets back to me, but that opportunity doesn’t materialize as two players are already all-in by the time it gets back to me. I no longer like my supposed “golden” set, but for some reason, I cannot get away from it. I make the call and the cards are turned over and it’s set over set over set and my set is only “silver,” not golden! Boo! The 9’s hold up and IGHN on the very first hand braying all the way. Hee-Haw!
Here’s the question? Can I really give them credit for the set of 9’s there? Obviously, in review of the hand, it seems pretty obvious, but I don’t think I’m getting away from my set there in very many circumstances. I suppose I could use the argument “live to fight another battle,” but the opportunity to more than triple my chip stack and take control of the sng on the very first hand makes that a tough argument to sell.
I’d be interested to hear any differing opinions on how that hand played out and how you would have played it differently, if that is the case. I’m not particularly upset with my play as I feel like I had the odds to make the plays that I made, just maybe not enough smarts to smell out the higher sets and to survive.
posted by GaryC @ 2:27 PM, ,