Random Thoughts About Poker And December
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
I know most of you that stop by here on any sort of regular interval have to be pretty tired of the same, mindless drivel that has poured out of keyboard for the last six months. Bad beats, I run bad, suckouts, etc. etc. etc.!!!
I finally have a spot of good news to report. Although it hasn't carried over to any of the blogger tourneys (yet) it appears that the worm may indeed be turning for the better. Normally, the thought of a worm turning reminds me of Tequila, which in turn reminds me of puking my guts out the last time I drank it and that is immediately followed by other, different thoughts. Happy thoughts. In my happy place.
But, damnit, I haven't had a happy place for quite some time, but perhaps, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
The last two weeks have seen me play better poker, with a better attitude and yes, finally, with better results. I hate to be so results-oriented, but after running the way I have run for six months, even a MTT win with only 55 runners is a huge jolt to the confidence.
Friday night, I entered a 7 Card Stud MTT on Tilt just before the donkament kick-off. It was pretty uneventful as I played about 1 out of every 20 hands, usually for a raise and yet, someone would always call me down. In fact, out of the first 5 or 6 hands I played, betting or raising all the way, I got called down by one or more ass-clowns who would then fold after 7th street. It still amazes me that these people continue to join Stud and Razz tourneys when they have absolutely no idea how to play the game.
Anyway, after donking out of the donkament somewhere in the second hour (my K-K vs A-10 s00ted, I believe) I found myself nearing the final table of the Stud MTT......and I kept making hands.......and I continued to win pots.......and my raises got respect. It was like a perfect storm for about 45 minutes there into the 3rd hour. Finally, down to 5 handed, I believe, I was dealt K-K-J to start and decided to go to war with the big stack at the table. One Jack and one more King in there somewhere and I had a commanding chip lead, which I was able to wield, er, suck out enough times to finally win the tourney.
A paltry $100 added to my bankroll, but perhaps, just maybe, some of my swagger is starting to come back, as well. I can't wait. I won my token for the MATH on my first try Sunday night and then entered a FPP SNG on Stars and won it as well, for entry into the 100K on Sunday. So, things are looking better on the poker front around here and all I can say is "it's about damn time!"
Falstaff's email last week got me very excited about Las Vegas this coming December. In fact, it threw me into complete "save-every-penny-between-now-and-then" mode, because I will most assuredly be there again this year. I am also trying to make it work so that the lovely and talented MrsGCox25 can make the trip with me, but that has not been decided yet. Apparently, she doesn't have as much comp time left as she thought, so we are still working on that, but if I have my way, she will be with me this year and I will not be nearly as drunk or nearly as much fun as last year. LOL-just kidding, it will be exactly the same as last year as far as I am concerned.
I was involved in a conversation last night with a friend and the subject of Vegas in December came up and I thought I would take some time and expound on it here today. I cannot stress to you how much fun you will have and how many friends you will make if you take the plunge and book the trip.
It is a trip that is not to be missed. In case you didn't read any trip reports from last year and/or you have been in a cave for the last three or four years, I will highlight a few things that have been discussed over and over again, but bear repeating here:
-Not one time during the trip, did I feel the least bit out of place. Everybody, and I mean every single person there, treated me and will treat you like an old friend who they haven't seen in a while. This group is as welcoming as any group I have been around in my life and I was completely at ease the second I stepped off the plane and arrived at the Geisha Bar.
-The drunken Pai Gow, Blackjack and 2-4 mixed games on Friday are worth the trip alone. Imagine Drizz, fresh off a victory in the inaugural wheel chair races last year, sitting behind a mountain, and I mean a mountain, of chips playing 2-4. If you haven't seen the pictures, shame on you. You will receive Pai Gow lessons from the Pai Gow Princess herself and Dealertainer Garthmeister J at some point and always remember these two things:
"A push is as good as a win." "Bonus money is the best money."
If you can remember those two sayings and are still able to order another round from the cocktail waitress, you will be a succesful Pai Gow player, I promise. It doesn't matter how drunk you get, the dealer can always set your hand and more often than not, that's a pretty good idea.
Bobby Blackjack will more than likely be holding court at a Blackjack table. (probably Linda's table, if I remember correctly) You will learn the finer points of playing winning blackjack, like: When to hit that 16 and when to stay pat. When to request a hog-nut from the dealer and the official hand gesture that must accompany it. What to say when said dealer rewards you with said hog-nut. And, you will piss your pants at some point from laughing your ass off and not wanting to leave the table because you are afraid you will miss something.
-Craps. I missed out on the craps experience last year, but plan on jumping in with both feet this year. I will most certainly need lessons on what to bet, however, I have been working on the hard-to-master art of jumping forward in the air whilst tossing the dice down to the other end of the table. I saw a master showing off that style last year and will be doing my best to emulate her "shooting" style.
-Raging Solo-at some point during the weekend, you will probably feel like going it alone, at least for a little while. Where better to rage by yourself than Las Vegas? Assuming you still have some of your wits about you, nobody will say a word if you take off and disappear for a while. We've all been there and on occasion, more than once. Just don't get on an elevator with any hookers during your rage or at least keep them at arms length.
Like I said about Okie-Vegas last week, it starts with poker, but it's really about the people. We can play poker any time, with friends, without friends, but this group of people will restore your faith in humanity, if you let them. The best times in Vegas for me last year was hanging out at the airport with Maudie, Kat and Joanada. Sitting in the Sportsbook bar at the MGM during the mixed games, chatting up Waffles and Iggy and everybody else that made their way in there. Breakfast at Denny's with Daddy, Iggy, Derek and the Rooster. Getting to know Derek pretty well over the course of 72 hours and 720 cigarettes each. Talking up some softball with Drizz.
All great memories and did you notice, not one of them involved check-raising the douche-bag local in the four seat? Don't get me wrong here, I love me some poker and I love to play poker with bloggers, but that isn't the heart of this trip. Every one of us loves to play poker or we wouldn't be in this little community to begin with, but like many wise people have said before me, this trip is about the people.
If you can possibly make it, book that flight, you won't regret it.
Until next time, I fold.
posted by GaryC @ 7:50 PM, ,
Thursday, July 26, 2007
I had a part 4 all written up, but after seeing all the pictures and albums, I figured my write-up was fiarly ghey! So, you are stuck with all the pictures that I could gank off of others' albums. Thanks to everybody for sharing and I hope you enjoy these as much as I do.
If you have never had homemade biscuits and gravy, there is really not much hope for you. This is right behind turkey on Thanksgiving day as the number 1a instant coma-inducing food on the planet. This picture just happens to show my wife's B's and G's. I know you wished you had been here for Sunday morning breakfast at least.
I'm not sure there are any two MORE ghey looking poker bloggers in any picture album from any year EVER!. Had I worn the pink shirt that my wife had picked out that day, it could have turned out worse.
The group winding down on Saturday night. I want to send out a very special thank you to every single one of these folks. The host sometimes gets way more credit than he deserves and, as Maudie has said, I am a bit speechless to all of that. If you all don't show up in Oklahoma, there is no Okie-Vegas. Thank you again to all of you. I had a blast and it is all your fault.
This is for my buddy in Cincinatti, I know you would have made it if you could, bro. Don't sweat it, I will ALWAYS own that lake place and we will ALWAYS have to drive right by that water tower to get there.
One more time, I'm sure you can see that I have a Guinness in my hand, standing right in my own drive-way.
For my SOCO-loving Hippy buddy in Philly, I told you!!!! Evidence from the counter top at the lake!
This is absolutely, hands down, my favorite picture from the entire weekend. I just happened to be sitting next to Kat when she snapped it off and I instantly loved it. This is my daughter, Casey, and her new kitten sitting at the front door, awaiting her friend to pick her up from the movies. I love you baby.
This is truly the co-hostess with the mostest! Baby, I cannot thank you enough for making me and my used-to-be-invisible internet friends feel like we were at a buffet in Las Vegas. You are truly the love of my life and my one and only soul-mate. Thanks again for all that you do.
So, Okie-Vegas II is done for 2007, but rest assured, we are already working on the plans for Okie-Vegas III next year. Feel free to go ahead and book that flight now, because it is going to happen.
Until next time, I will have biscuits with extra gravy please! Thanks again to all who attended, you made it a very special weekend for us.
posted by GaryC @ 7:42 PM, ,
Okie-Vegas - Part 3 - Tournament Time
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Apparently there is a pretty big freeroll tonight, Huh? Oh, that's right, I qualified through stellar play, er, I had enough money online to buy into all the events. So, good luck to all the BBT freerollers!
We had our lunch and a couple of my local friends arrived to join in the tournament and waiting until 3 pm just seemed like a shitty idea, so Jordan and I distributed chip stacks and collected money and we were off and running at a little past 2 with a total of 14 runners. My entire first table took the add-on immediately and the other table waited until the break for that. My structure was set up very slow, so by break time we had nobody out and everybody at the other table took the add-on then. I believe F-Train was the leader at this point, although Jordan was right there also.
After racing off chips and starting the next level, it wasn't long before OoSsUUU was our Gigli. Nobody wants to be the first one out of one of these and Sean is no exception, but he took it very well and was very good-natured about waiting around for the weak/tight players to be able to start a cash game. He also provided 3 or 4 cases of beer for the party on saturday and I don't think I ever got to say thanks for that, so, thank you Sean, for not only the beer, but for coming out Thursday and Saturday to hang out with us. It was great meeting you and I look forward to slinging chips with you again soon, either at a casino or your home game.
Not much time went by when Gracie became our next ouster. Gracie flopped and slow-played a Broadway straight and accidentally allowed Kat to turn a full house. Live poker is so rigged and an addition to Fuel's long-standing series "Flopped straights never win" was added. One thing that came up on Thursday originally and was, of course, over-used the entire time after that was "I think I'm priced in." There was a local douche at the casino on Thursday night that came up with this gem and used it over and over again until he finally got stacked, so from that point on, whenever somebody felt like they wanted to limp in or call a raise, of course, we were "Priced in." It got so over-used at my first table of the tourney that we just developed a facial gesture and a grunt and everybody laughed out loud knowing what they meant.
We lost two more of my local buddies right after and we were on the final table bubble, as we decided to play 9 players at the final table. The unfortunate bust out on the final table bubble was by Maudie. She had flopped top pair with a flush re-draw and Kat held a gut-shot Broadway draw. The turn made Maudie's flush, but Kat held the Ace of spades and the four flush hit the river. Ugggh, live poker is SO rigged and Maudie was out and we combined for the final table. Maudie then presented everybody with a beautiful tall shot glass with OU on it. I think OoSsUuu was actually pleased that he had not made the final table at that point.
This is where the tourney gets really fuzzy for me. I folded until I found A-8 s00ted and pushed over Skidoo's open-raise. Yestbay1, behind me, stuck his last scraps in behind me and Skidoo, with a ton of chips, called as well. Brian had A-9 s00ted and Yestbay1 had K-Q. Somebody mentioned the possiblity of a chop was pretty good in this spot and for just a millisecond I allowed myself to think that might be possible. Of course, the flop of 9-9-K ended that thought and I was on the rail, out in 7th. Interestingly, on the live poker is so rigged front, Yestbay1 went runner Q, runner K to river a larger full house and more than triple up in the process.
No more memories. Kat won it all and was presented with the trophy. Yestbay1 continued his momentum from the hand above and finished in 2nd place and Skidoo rode the big stack to 3rd place, with Jordan finishing in 4th. I don't know the rest of the places, but Skidoo will be posting screen shots from tournament direct shortly.
Things become even more hazy at this point as a cash table is running in the living room, the tournament is still going on in the dining room and my wfie has fired up the karaoke in the front room. It is loud and I am starting to get drunk, so I buy in short to the cash game and proceed to play 2 or 3 hands and then join people outside for a drink or a smoke for 3 or 4 orbits. Then I come back to the cash game for two or three hands and then I go to the front room to sing a song and miss another orbit. In all, I think I probably only played 20 hands at the cash table, but man, did I ever suck out some huge winners. I ended up more than doubling my stack and I remember two distinct hands, one with 10-6 s00ted when I sucked out a flush on the river and one with the hammer against Maudie's pocket 6's. I received a bit of flack over the flush hand, but I had an excuse, "I was on 1/2 NL tilt and was trying to open up my play." He, play like a donkey was more like the truth.
We had neighbors stop over, we all sang a bunch of songs and continued the drinking and the dial-a-shots until late into the evening. I sure hope a good time was had by all, I know I enjoyed myself probably a little too much, because when 5:30 rolled around and I had to take Jordan back to the airport, I really didn't want to get my ass out of bed for it.
Much, much more to come. Stay tuned for Part 4 where we get to discuss just how lazy I can be on a Sunday and the road trip from hell back to the East Coast.
Until next time, I fold.
posted by GaryC @ 3:39 PM, ,
Okie-Vegas II - Part 2 - Friday
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
**Edit** If you need links to anyone's website, please see the previous post, because I am a lazy bastard tonight. Oh, and if there are any typos, sue me, I'm too lazy for that as well. ***End Edit***
Unfortunately, it came much earlier for me as Jordan text-messaged me at around 3:45 that he was off to the airport. Unfortunately, around 4:15 or so, I got another text that he was going to be missing his connecting flight at O'Hare and would not be in until around 2 pm. That changed plans up a bit and I called Maudie to inform her of our delayed departure for the Redneck Riviera. She was picking up Gracie and F-Train at about the same time as we were supposed to be picking up Jordan, so they had some time to kill in Norman before travelling to the lake.
We headed to the airport in two cars, since 6 people and a truck load of "supplies" would not work and Kat and I waited impatiently in the parking garage, sampling a couple of Keystone Lights and chatting it up, waiting for Jordan to arrive. Pretty soon, our boys emerged from the airport and I got to shake hands and give a little hug to my buddy from NYC for the very first time. It was awesome to put a face with his name and to have him involved in this little shindig, even though he had no idea what to expect in Oklahoma or where he was headed right off the bat.
We made a quick pit-stop at a 7-11 so he could pick up some supplies and I could drain my bladder and we were off to the lake. Sure enough, a few miles down the road, Kat had to make a pit stop so we wheeled over at a truck stop before continuing the trip. As we drove down to the lake place, Skidoo and Kat with me in my truck and Trip, Surf and Jordan in the car behind us, I couldn't help but think what Jordan must be thinking as we drove farther and farther out into the country.
Pretty soon, Skidoo got a call from his family and had to try to explain where he was and why his cell phone signal was so poor. After hanging up from his phone call, he casually asked me "So, Gary, you aren't a serial killer are you? Driving us out in to the country to dispose of the bodies when you are done?" I nearly peed my pants for what was already the 4th or 5th time this weekend, with more of that to come. I explained that no, I was not and that everything was going to be fine. I couldn't help but think that those same thoughts might be going through Jordan's mind in the car behind us.
As we zipped through the thriving metropolis that is Binger, Oklahoma, I had Kat lined up for the water tower picture on the way out of town. "Binger, Oklahoma Home of Johnny Bench" Her pics will be up soon and we had to take that one for our little buddy from the midwest, since he tried but could not make the jaunt. I know you wanted to be here, bro, and that is all that matters. Another 20 minutes and we entered the Crows Roost area of Fort Cobb Lake and I gave them 25-cent tour, consisting of the motel (8 rooms), the bar, the store and the volunteer fire department. We then proceeded directly to the trailer.
Everyone was hungry, so I dispatched the group to the store to order up some hamburgers for everybody. TripJax and I stayed behind and got everything set up and ready for the evening. I even had time to put together my new stainless steel cooler on wheels, which I promptly loaded down with Keystone Light, just to break it in properly. When they returned with burgers, we ate on the porch and sat around talking for a while longer.
It wasn't long until the degeneracy crept into all our thoughts and we were soon seated around the table, playing .25/.50 NL in the living room of my trailer. We played for maybe an hour when Maudie, F-Train and Gracie arrived from Norman. I squeezed my cards out quickly and looked down at A-A, American Airlines, the bullets. I quickly capped my cards and ran outside to greet my newest guests, explaining that I had to run back inside, cause I got Aces. Woot!
I get back inside and Skidoo, to my right, says it's $2.00 to call. I said, call? I have to bump it up, make it $10 straight to go. That's when I noticed........they had checked my hand and there was already a flop on the board. Doh! Fortunately for me, it was an Ace-rag-rag flop and I was in even better shape. After a meaningless rag on the turn, Skidoo was left to ponder whether to call my all-in and I put on my best weak/tight face, which is, believe it or not, my normal look at the poker table. He said he put me either on the hammer or Aces and eventually called, doubling me up in the process. I think it was a pity call, but who am I to argue when chips actually get shoved MY way.
The cash game kind of broke up then, as we all went outside to meet the new arrivals. We ended up sitting outside on the patio for a bit and talking, getting to know one another better over a few pops. There were a few dial-a-shots attempted and I believe we actually got to talk to Iggy and Pauly, but somehow, AlCantHang was nowhere to be found. I believe there were 13 missed phone calls from bloggers on his phone, 4 messages left in his voice mailbox and three or four text messages sent, but not returned. We found out the next morning that his phone had died and was on the charger, but he graciously arose from slumber very early on a Saturday morning to give us a few minutes of his time. Thanks again Al. Next year for you, for sure.
After a little bit, the girls took off walking down to the boat dock to try and catch some sunset action and to take some pictures. And take pictures they did, look for those pics to hit the inter-webs in the coming days, there are some fantastic ones out there, with the really ghey pic of F-Train and I being possibly the worst of the bunch. I told F-Train that the only way I could have looked more ghey (not that there is anything wrong with that) was if I would have had a pink shirt on with those ghey white shorts. Doh!
We then all proceeded to the Crows Roost bar for a bit of the local flavor. I ordered a round of beers and a few folks hit up the pool table and I was challenged to a game of darts with 23Skidoo. Of course, we couldn't play a friendly game of darts, we had to wager a little something. $5 a game was decided on and away we went. I used to be a pretty good dart thrower, but I don't play much any more, but I got a bit lucky the first game and was able to take it down. We then went double or nothing and Skidoo made quick work of me. He suggested raising the stakes for the tie-breaker to $10 and I agreed and proceeded to get red-hot for the rest of that game, taking it down in short order. Of course, the follow-up double or nothing ass-whooping meant that we were back to even.
I took some time to introduce my internet friends to my friends from the lake and......in walked shit-head! Ricky is the best dart thrower for miles around down there and is affectionately called shit-head by the locals because he always kicks ass on the dart board. I am introducing him around to my friends as Ricky and the first thing out of his mouth is "You can just call me shit-head!" Well, okay sir, shit-head it is. We decide on a friendly game of 301 and of course, as called by me, shit-head takes it down.
About this time, we hear a bit of a commotion and Janet, the owner of the bar, is off to get her paddle. You see, there is a tradition down at the Crows Roost that when it is your birthday, you get your ass spanked by Janet in front of the entire bar. Apparently Skidoo and TripJax mentioned something about a recent birthday and it was on. I tried to show them the broken paddle hanging on the wall and mentioned that she broke it on some guy's ass, but they were not deterred and both received a red ass post-haste. Funny, funny shit happens down at the Crows Roost Bar. I honestly think we could have skipped playing poker altogether and just hung out down at the bar for the rest of the night, but pretty soon, after prying F-Train and Skidoo away from the folks on the other end of the bar, we headed out for the long walk back. One block.
We got back from the bar to the trailer and there was a message on my phone. "Tragedy is on the road, save me a seat!!!" And, indeed, we did save a special seat for Sean. Jordan doctored up the deck, dealt and re-dealt the fateful set-up hand before Sean arrived. You see, Sean was to receive two Kings on the very first hand and was going to flop Quads, biotches, only to see Maudie get it all in post-flop with him and river a Royal flush.
After Tragedy arrived, handshakes and hugs from around the room and a prepatory shot of Crown, we all sat down for the fun to begin. Jordan dealt the cards and there was an eerie pause at his end of the table. Gracie looks a bit confused and says, "Um, dude, I have a King." Ruh-roh!!! Somehow the deal had become mangled and Sean folded his 2-8 off-suit much to our chagrin and our evil plan was foiled, yet again. After chastising Jordan for screwing up the deal, we unveiled our plan to Sean and we all had a good laugh about it.
At this point, Maudie, Gracie and F-Train were going to head back to the city to prepare for the tournament the next day. They had a bit of a long drive and I want to thank them all for hanging out until Tragedy arrived. I know it was important to him and I know that you would have preferred to be back home earlier, so thanks again, for hanging out with us for as long as you did down at the lake.
After their departure, we decided on a 7-Max Sng and the chips were distributed and the cards were in the air. I remember absolutely nothing about the tournament, other than Skidoo was a bit over his limit and his normal aggro game was ratcheted up another 4 or 5 notches. He was push-re-stealing, raising everything and generally running over the table until he finally ran into a hand with A-2 and he was dispatched to the recliner beside the table. He made quick work of that also and passed smooth out for the remainder of our time at the lake. DOWN GOES FRAZIER! There were several $20 offers for Sean to snuggle up next to Brian and pose for pictures, but none were paid out, as we could not get any takers on the action. In the fateful hand, at least for me, of the sng, I raised in late position with Q-Q and Surflexus re-raised me and we got it all-in. We didn't flip over our cards and the they were dealt out with a Queen in the door and one more on the river.
*Photo shamelessly ganked from Instant Tragedy-Thanks Sean!*
Jordan hit the sack first, followed by Skidoo and the rest of us plodded on. I was able to fold my way to the final three and a chop was arranged with everybody pocketing $40 and then the three of us playing for the extra $20. Katitude, Instant Tragedy and GCox25 played a few more hands, but it was obvious with this blind structure that these tight-asses were going to try and fold until they caught a huge hand. We then decided to push it all-in regardless of our hands the next time and I picked up A-J. I was happy to see 2-2 from Sean and 10-3 from Kat, until...brick, brick, brick, brick....and in true Full Tilt Random Number Generator irony....a 10 on the river awarded Miss Kat the trophy that Sean had brought with him from Texas. Congrats to Kat for taking down the tourney. Just so you know, this gal from the Great White North, who always talks down of her poker ability, played her ass off this weekend and made a shit-pot full of money. Nice going Kat.
The cash game commenced shortly thereafter and was short-handed for a while until shit-head, Janet and KK, my friends from the bar, crashed our little party and joined the festivities. In true No Foldem Holdem action, there were many K-4o's and 9-3o's shown down to drag fairly substantial pots. Shit-head had a bit of a problem with TripJax at some point when he sucked out on the flop and Trip re-sucked on the river, hitting the third Hilton Sister to shit-heads K-8o. It was a fairly comical exchange between two people who were well over the legal limit. Had I not been so drunk myself, I probably would have remembered it too. Doh!
The game finally broke up and after getting everybody in a bed somewhere, Surflexus and I cleaned up a bit. We hit the couch and recliner respectively at 5:00 am. Egad! Three short hours later and we were up to load and head back to the city for the tournament. We tried our best to talk Sean into finding someone to fill in for him at his remote on Saturday night, even offering money, but his sense of duty prevailed (which, by the way, mine probably would have, as well) and we decided on breakfast........that is, until I realized what freaking time it was. We had no choice but to direct Sean back to I-40 and get headed back to the house to get ready for the tournament. We said our goodbyes (yes, there were hugs involved again) and were on our way as Sean headed North out of Binger.
Instant Tragedy: You don't know how much more fun you made our trip to the lake and I am so glad that you were able to make it. I know it was a suck-ass drive out there and back, but I hope you enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed having you. Thanks again for driving in Friday night and for all the goodies you bestowed on everybody. Good, good times, buddy and we will have that conversation one of these nights on Yahoo, I promise.
End Part 2
Stay tuned for Part 3 of the Okie-Vegas trip report where Karaoke and 1/2 NL tilt collide in my living room.
Until next time, I fold.
posted by GaryC @ 5:15 PM, ,
Okie-Vegas II - Part 1 - Thursday
Monday, July 23, 2007
Whew! What a whirlwind four day bender the 2007 Okie-Vegas II turned out to be. I have absolutely no idea where to start, so this is liable to get ugly before it gets over. Please bear with me.
My thoughts on the entire event: Smashing success. I could not have asked for a better group of people to trek to the center of the country for this little outing. Sure, we had a few that really wanted to make the jaunt that couldn't, but of the people that made the trip, not a bad apple in the bunch. Of course, as has been my overall experience with bloggers, I knew that going in, so I was not surprised. My wife even commented to me some time yesterday about what a good, fun, fairly well-behaved group it turned out to be. She was a bit overwhelmed with the sheer number of people, as we only had 6 last year, but after all was said and done, she had a really good time playing hostess, as well.
Thursday-Surflexus, fresh off a 4-way first place chop in a Tunica tournament and TripJax arrived at my house around 7:30 in the Am on Thursday morning. GPS is indeed an amazing thing, as I walked out the garage door with a cup of coffee and saw two weary travellers pulling into my driveway. We exchanged hellos and hugs (Yes, I'm a hugger, if you didn't already know that) and went inside for more coffee. TripJax was struggling and found a place to crash, but Surf was all agog with the tourney victory and his first visit to Okie-Vegas, so he accompanied me to the airport to pick up Katitude.
I had a great little plan hatched to let Surf walk up to Kat and play a local yokel, but as soon as she turned the corner, she spied me and our plan was foiled. ****Eerie music and foreshadowing: It would not be the last devious plan of the weekend to be foiled. End music**** My airport parking timing was on the money the entire time, as we parked, walked in, met Kat in about 3 minutes and scooted out to the truck. As we exited the parking area, woot, no charge!
We drove back to the house and waited for a couple of hours, until 23Skidoo's plane arrived from Hotlanta. We finally woke Trip up and piled back in my truck to head back to the airport around Noon. We got to the airport, walked inside and stood impatiently outside the exit waiting for Brian to get there. Of course, he had already arrived and came walking up behind us, startling me and asking if we knew of any good poker games. Pleasantries were again exchanged (and yes, hugs were handed out again) and we piled in the truck to head to Norman, once again with no charge on the parking, home to one of my fellow hosts for the weekend, the lovely Miss Maudie. We were able to drive straight to her house, despite poor hand written directions by TripJax and were invited into her lovely home. She had the lunch plans and we made our way to a great little diner at the airport and were treated to a chicken friend steak that was bigger than the plate. The three sides had to be brought out on an entirely different plate because the steak was so big. You can see the pictures from the Thursday lunch here!
Interesting side note: As we approached the diner, one Barry Switzer was walking out to his car. (For those of you who don't know, Barry Switzer is a King in Oklahoma, the three-time National Champion coach of the Sooners and Super Bowl winning Dallas Cowboys) I mention this only because our guest from north of the border was a bit surprised to learn who it was. Skidoo was THIS close to asking if it was indeed, Barry Switzer exiting the restaraunt and our first celebrity sighting of the day had just passed us by.
Lunch was, in one word, INCREDIBLE! Check out the pictures at Maudie's blog to see the actual size of the Chicken Fry.
After lunch, we reconvened at Maudie's house for a few Keystone Lights and an impromptu SNG. The beers and conversation were outstanding. The results of the tournament: Expected! As is my usual trick, I stayed out of the way long enough to be bubble-boy and Maudie and 23Skidoo went heads up for the inaugural SNG title at OVII. A chop was offered by Skidoo, but as all of you already know, Maudie don't chop! She ended up taking it down shortly thereafter and a pic will soon be posted here of our winner, with the winning cards.
After the SNG, we made our way to one of the newest casinos in Oklahoma, Riverwind in just outside of Norman and a hop, skip and a jump from Maudie's house. Maudie called ahead and put us all on the list and when we got there, Table 1 would house the roughest competition for any unfortunate non-blogger that happened by with a short stack.
Shortly after sitting down, we were joined by OoSsUuu754, all the way from NW Oklahoma City and he soon got a seat from a stacked donkey on his way out the door and joined the table, giving us now 7 bloggers at a ten-seat table. Read Sean's report on Thursday night here! Hammers were dropped, some bad beats occurred and many bloggers made mucho money with me being the notable exception from that group. I made what I considered a tough lay down to save part of my stack and I wasn't able to make the other tough laydown and ended up nearly felted when my Kings ran into Skidoo's set of 6's. Fawking live poker is so rigged.
Not too much longer and were joined by yet another Oklahoma celebrity, Gary Carson. The poker author from just north of OKC drove down to join a bunch of donkeys at the 1/2 NL tables and it was very nice to meet him. He was unable to make the tournament on Saturday at my house, but he was very personable and we all enjoyed meeting him and the time he spent with us at the tables. This also locked up 8 seats at the NL table, so we only had two non-bloggers and they rotated rather quickly, as each of their stackings occurred. Sorry bro, nice hand and good playing with you, but K-10 is no power-house UTG!
Finally, around 11:00 pm or so, it dawned on me that Surflexus had not said a word nor played a hand in well over an hour. He was decompressing quickly and although I would have happiily stayed, along with Trip, Skidoo and OoSsUuu, I could tell it was time to get him to a place to crash. I think everybody won money except for Maudie, Surf and myself and I don't think anybody was too disappointed with the time at the casino. I certainly enjoyed myself, even though I left $200 at the table. Good times indeed.
After saying our goodbyes to Maudie and everybody else taking their two or three racks (I could carry my chips in one hand and riffle them all!) to the cashier and cashing out, we started the trek back to OKC. Fortunately, I only had a couple of beers and went with two cups of coffee for the last couple of hours, so I was good to go. We stopped off at a taco place and here's the conversation:
Tiffany: "Welcome to Taco Mayo,this is Tiffany, can I take your order please?"
GCox25: "Hello Tiffany, I'm gonna need a sack full of 20 tacos and lots of hot sauce."
Tiffany: Uh, ok, that will be $14.78, please pull around.
Skidoo graciously picked up the tab on the tacos and we drove to the house for some grub. I had mentioned to my wife that since she had to work on Friday, she might want to stay at her Mom's house on Thursday night and that turned out to be a good idea. Five folks at my kitchen table eating tacos as fast as they could would have surely woken her up. I drew Surf and Skidoo some quick directions to their hotel room and we actually crashed fairly early on Thursday night, somewhere around 1 AM.
Stay tuned for Part 2 - Friday when we pick up the Devil's Advocate of Poker Bloggers and Gracie and F-Train arrive in OKC.
Until next time, I fold,
posted by GaryC @ 3:28 PM, ,
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Un-fawking-believable!!! That is all I can say at this point.
Fun was had.
Good friends became great friends.
Many Keystone Lights were put in their proper resting place.
Some donkeys were put in their places, at the poker table, and some were not.
Great, great times.
I don't have the words right now, but have started the makings of an uber trip report, but alas, with a nap more important right now, you will have to wait until tomorrow to hear about the hijinx
The only thing I have to say before the post tomorrow is.................Thanks!
- Thanks to all my invisible internet friends that flew in or drove in or drove up or whatever. Okie-Vegas was a smashing success, at least in my humble opinion, and that would not have been possible if you all hadn't come to OKC or the lake in the middle of nowhere in Western Oklahoma.
- Thanks to my fabulous co-hostess with the mostess, MrsGCox25, as well as the little GCox25, my youngest daughter Casey, for helping me at every turn and for putting up with a bunch of degenerates shoving poker tables into all available openings in the living room, rapping on the karaoke machine like wannabe gangesters and giggling about ghey things all night. Thank you girls, I love you.
- Thanks to my fellow Okie-Bloggers, Miss Maudie and OoSsUuu, for helping out with that wonderful Oklahoma hospitality and for helping convince people to take that leap of faith and to travel across the country and even from outside the country, to make this happen.
See you tomorrow with a rather hazy recap of a great four days.
Until next time, I'll take another nap.
posted by GaryC @ 12:42 PM, ,
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
The lawn is mowed, edged and weed-eated and I have declared it: Ready for visitors.........
The beer and ice have been purchased and are currently residing in a nice cooler....co-habitating nicely...........
and I have lit the candle, it is officially on, would you guys hurry the hell up, please!!!!
Until next time, I will play the Mookie and I will probably fold.
***This post sponsored by the good folks at the gnuf poker room.***
posted by GaryC @ 1:23 PM, ,
Do's And Don'ts For Okie-Vegas
Monday, July 16, 2007
1.DO.....bring cool clothes. Other than Thursday night at the casino, where it can be frigid, most of your time will only require shorts, t-shirts and flip flops. It is getting hotter by the minute here in Oklahoma and with all the rain and moisture around these parts, the humidity is around 100%. That amounts to instant sweating when outside, so dress appropriately.
2.DO....use the OFF that will be provided for you while at the lake. Again, with all the moisture and general wetness in Oklahoma this spring/early summer, there is a bumper crop of horse-fly sized mosquitos in this part of the country. I know that OFF stinks like shit, but believe me, it is much better than being eaten alive by mosquitos. Besides, everyone else down there will smell exactly the same.
3.DO....use sunscreen liberally while at the lake. If you are as fair-skinned as I am, it won't take long for you to burn to a crisp. There is nothing worse than having to try to concentrate on cards through a severe hangover, but if you add in a toasty sunburn, it will become much worse.
4.DO......bring your camera and take lots of pictures of the festivities. DO NOT, however, post any pictures without the permission of all the bloggers. Some could care less if their picture is plastered all over the inter-webs, but some do NOT want their pictures up for all to see. Make sure you have permission before posting a picture of somebody on your blog.
5.DO....be extremely careful on the jet ski's. Our lake is up a good 6-7 feet higher than normal and that leads to hiding alot of obstacles that are normally in plain sight. I will direct you where NOT to go from the shore, but once you are on the lake, please stay in the middle of the lake as much as possible. Also, if the water starts looking red, you are about to run aground, so slow down. Oklahoma dirt is red clay, hence the mud is also red and when the water starts looking red, it is getting very shallow, right Josh?
6.DO NOT......expect anybody, other than a fellow blogger, to lay down a hand at the tables in Oklahoma. I like to compare the tables here to playing .10/.25 NL on-line and you all know what that is like, so be prepared, flop a monster or get out of the douchebag's way, because his 3rd pair, shitty kicker is GOLD, JERRY, absolute GOLD.
7.DO....arrive with a smile on your face, ready to have a good time. Me and my entire staff (ok, that's just the wifey and Maudie) will do our best to make you feel at home and to insure that everyone has a good time.
8.DO....feel free to make yourself at home at my house and my lake place. I wouldn't have invited you if I didn't want you here, so make yourself at home and enjoy yourself.
9.DO NOT.....attempt to ride the jet ski's if you are shit-faced drunk. I won't let you. The Highway Patrol boat will definitely be on the water and will also definitely write you a ticket if you don't follow the rules. Some of those rules are: Stay 100 yards clear of other boats, jet ski's, skiers, etc. Basically, do not follow anything or come close to anything while you are out on the water. We will take care of getting everybody on the water that wants to ride early enough in the day that this won't be a problem. The plan is to be off the water by late afternoon and either at the bar or the trailer for the rest of the evening.
10.DO.....feel free to drink as much as you like while here. I will make sure that you get a ride, if you need one, by somebody that will be much more sober than I. Also, at the lake, everyone is allowed to partake as much as they want. The water is 1/4 mile from the bar and the bar is less than 1/4 mile from my trailer. We can walk (or stumble) back, if necessary.
That's about all I can think of today. Basically, just come on down ready to have a good time and I will do my best to deliver.
Until next time, I fold.
posted by GaryC @ 3:00 PM, ,
Thursday, July 12, 2007
As anticipated last night, I had a great time playing poker in the weekly Mookie.
I ran a couple of errands after work, got home and finished mowing the yard and jumped in the shower. Then I settled in for what I hoped would be a fun night at the tables.
It started off poorly at the $25 NL tables. I bought in for the max and had chipped up to around $30 when I spied the Hilton Sisters in my lap. I raised in EP and the cutoff smooth called me. The Big Blind re-raises and we both smooth call his raise and see a flop of Q-10-3 rainbow. Bingo! I yell out at the top of my lungs. The BB leads out for $5 and I smooth call, hoping to drag the cutoff to the turn. No luck, he folds and the turn card is a 9 and the BB pushes his last $15 into the pot and I INSTA-call. He has J-J for the open-ender and a King hits the river and I break my wrist, slamming it into the desk as a $40 + pot slides the other way yet again.
I have grown so accustomed to this lately that it is sickening. Yes, I could have re-raised pre-flop, although I very rarely do that with Queens. Yes, I could have popped him after the flop, but he was calling and pushing the turn regardless of what I do there. I got all the money in needing to fade 8 outs and could not fade them. I guess it is safe to assume I cannot dodge bullets, baby.
After a break for dinner, I get back in time for the Mookie. It seemed like old times for a while last night with a nice chat room going, good music in the background and nearly 70 runners in the tourney. Of course, I donked off about 1/3 of my stack right off the bat when I misread a value bet for a steal attempt. Doh!
I hovered around 1500-2000 chips the entire first hour, but resisted the urge to limp and only came in raising. My raises were very seldom played back at and to be honest, I was ready to go to the felt with every one of them at that point. Somewhere in the second hour, Jordan was moved directly to my right and he had a big, powerful stack. He was also wielding it on the table, raising what seemed like more than half the hands dealt, regardless of position.
I mentioned to him in the chat box that, at some point, I was going to have to play back at him. He said something to the effect of go right ahead, so.....I did.....right then and there. He folded and I got a little healthier. Finally, after getting him to lay down a couple of more pre-flop raises, he had to look me up and I fully expected it when it happened.
It folded around to J in the small blind and he put in what was his standard pre-flop raise. If I called, I was pot committed and I figured my A-Q was ahead of most holdings, so I shoved. He thought for a bit and even asked me if I was making a move on him, but he finally called with K-10 and I doubled up when an Ace hit the turn.
At this point, I think we were down to three or four tables and I was somewhere in the middle of the pack with around 7K in chips. I managed to hold steady between 7K and 11K for the next hour or so, but when it got down to bubble time, I went completely card dead and the blinds and antes were kicking my ass.
When we got down to the final table of nine, we had three short stacks and a punch of big stacks. Sorry, I took no notes, but I know Jordan and I were two of the short stacks and only 8 spots paid with 9 players vying for the money. He doubled up fairly early and I became the smallest short stack, but I was able to double up once also. Finally, he pushed and was called and J unfortunately went out on the bubble. GG Jordan and we were in the money.
There was another quick bustout and my stack was shrinking mightily with every hand dealt. I made my stand with 6-6 in the big blind, hoping OOSSUUU was stealing from the button. He was, with K-5 of Diamonds, but when a King hit the flop, a 5 hit the turn and the river was the 3rd Diamond, he double wamboozled me with the old two pair-flush hand and I was out in 7th.
Respectable showing and my first in quite a while. No great revelations or epiphanies for me, in fact, it was basically my standard operating procedure when I get to a final table. I played very few hands, I played them aggressively when I got them, I got called and doubled up in a couple of key spots and I won a few coin flips. In other words, I played the short stack pretty well, but I also got lucky in a couple of spots that I haven't been getting lucky in lately and was able to make it to the money.
I spent a good 15 minutes talking on the phone with Sean (Instant Tragedy) last night during the final table. Katitude was the special guest on the BuddyDankRadio show last night and she zipped me the phone number and I rang him up. Very nice to talk to you Sean and I hope you can make it next weekend.
Overall, it was at best a breakeven night, but breaking even on Wednesday night is all good by me. I enjoyed the chat, the radio and the poker very much and congrats to all the final tablers and especially to Kat, for her nice 2nd place run.
Last post of the week, I'm headed to the lake after work tomorrow to put in some more work. I'm looking forward to 3 days off from work next week, but even moreso, to having beers and slinging chips with my invisible internet friends.
Until next time, I fold.
posted by GaryC @ 3:10 PM, ,
Poker And Friends
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
I have a pretty close friend of mine that says he doesn't play poker with friends anymore because of a bad experience a few years ago where he ended up winning quite a sum of money and lost several good friends because of it. That led me to start thinking about exactly how often I play poker with friends of mine and how often I have been a donator and how often I have pocketed some of their mobneys.
There has been alot of talk about the recently completed BBT and charts and graphs of leaders, money-makers and money-losers. I was one of the biggest losers over the entire ordeal, but I kind of expected that when I heard what kind of charts they were throwing together. I planned on and played in enough events that, standings be damned, I was still going to qualify for the freeroll. I was planning on playing in that many events, so the overall loss of money was, at least in some ways, expected. Yes, I thought I had a much better chance of final-tabling and moneying in some of these tournaments, but that isn't the way it worked out. In fact, if you take away a nice run in the Riverchasers events early in the year, I haven't gone very deep in too many events at all.
Regardless, I would have been playing the Mookie every week and the MATH whenever I could muster a token anyway. It didn't matter to me whether there were BBT points to be had or not, I would have still played in them and will continue to play in them now that the BBT is completed. Why, you ask? Because I like playing poker with my friends. Sure, some of them are still invisible internet friends, but I consider them friends nonetheless. I enjoy matching wits and trying to defeat my friends and I think we all look at this the same way when it gets right down to it.
I am trying to take your money on the poker table and you are trying to take my money at the poker table. When it becomes a problem that you have taken my money, or vice versa, then something has to change. I imagine that is where my friend is right now, but I honestly cannot fathom NOT playing in these weekly events right now.
Sure, I get steamed over bad beats, like everybody else, in fact, over the last couple of months, I have logged off immediately plenty of times, screaming obscenities and throwing shit around the room. It's nothing personal toward whoever knocked me out, it is my poor example of how I have been dealing with beats lately. Whenever I get to the point that it becomes personal with one of my friends, it will be time for me to pack it in for a while. Until then, I plan on playing the same events I always have and I plan on taking all the money every time I play with them. Of course, it doesn't usually work out like that, unless your name is Bayne_S, but until I can't stand the heat anymore, I plan on staying in the kitchen.
For one thing, the amount of money that we play for on a tournament by tournament basis is not going to break me or anybody else playing in these things. I think it was designed that way. Other than Don's Big Game, we can all afford to play in these weekly events and with the added opportunity of tokening into them on the cheap, it makes it that much easier on our wallets. I have to admit though, that I play the higher buy-in tournaments differently than the others. Perhaps not differently, but I am more focused and I tend to concentrate more and tune out distractions. I only played in the Big Game two or three times, but I made the normal GCox25 style look downright loose by comparison.
On a normal Wednesday night (much like tonight) I will have the Mookie tournament up, along with a couple of chat boxes, BuddyDankRadio and a baseball game going in the background. That all goes along with 10 or 12 Keystone Lights along the way and makes for a very enjoyable night for me. Win.Lose.Or.Draw. Could I take it more seriously? Sure. Will I take it more seriously? I doubt it. You see, this particular tournament started out as a social gathering and has turned into the best poker night of the week for me. Everybody makes it out to the Mook and everybody has a good time, for the most part. Do I still try to win? You're damn right I do, but I just don't get that upset anymore about losing in this one.
I will know my fire for poker is gone when I play every single night like I play in the Mookie. Oh, you sucked out a two-outer when I got all your money in the middle drawing thin? Mih, no biggie, see you next week. I know that fire is still there currently due to the bruise on the bottom of my wrist as well as the broken mouse from last week. I do still have the fire, just not so much on Wednesday night.
So, to sum up this drivel, I play in the Mookie to have fun, for the witty banter in the chat boxes and to listen to a few songs that you don't hear on the radio every day. And yes, I am the guy who requests Cocaine Bllues by Johnny Cash every.single.night. Sue me!
This leads me to my next point of observation for a Wednesday evening. In a little over a week, I am going to be sitting across the table from a great many people that I respect as poker players and genuinely like, as people. And yes, I am going to be trying to take their money and they are going to be trying to take mine. Anybody got a problem with that?
I didn't think so. Me neither.
Until next time, I fold.
posted by GaryC @ 4:04 PM, ,
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Why would you not be pondering a trip to fabulous Oklahoma City this coming Wednesday or Thursday?
Where else can you see or experience all or at least some of the following?
-Mosquitoes the size of small airplanes. We have had so much rain this spring and early summer that there is indeed a bumper crop of those blood sucking insects. Fortunately, you can cover up your Mennen speed stick deoderant smell with the wonderfully refreshing smell of Deep Woods OFF.
-World class poker, especially at the 3-6 Limit tables. The old codger in the four seat will call you down with fourth pair on a coordinated board EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. Guaranteed! And from what I understand, the play at the 1-2 NL tables is almost as bad.
-Temperatures hovering the high 80's to low 90's. That is a bit low for this time of year, however, we do also have that wonderful 100% humidity along with those temperatures right now. You will not mistake our heat for that pansy-ass dry heat out in the City of Lost Wages. Shorts and t-shirts will be the dress code for the get-together, except at the casino.
-The booming metropolis that is Binger, Oklahoma, hometown of one Johnny Bench of Big Red Machine fame. The water tower just outside of town would make an excellent photo op for any Cincinatti Red fan, proclaiming "Home of Johnny Bench."
-The wonder of Fort Cobb Lake. Nearly every lake in Oklahoma is out of its' banks right now and Fort Cobb is no exception. With all the rain we have had, my little lake is a good 6-7 feet above normal, but that just makes for easier loading and unloading of the jet ski's. You also get the side benefit of experiencing the Crows Roost Bar. Friday night will be hopping, although we will probably head out early and play poker at the trailer, you will at least get to meet some of the locals that provide the flavor down there. You might also get to hear yours truly on the jukebox, if you are lucky or unlucky, whichever way you prefer to look at it.
-Hanging out with assorted bloggers from all over the country and the Great White North, including NYC, Hotlanta, Florida, Toronto and North Carolina. The hanging out part is just as much fun as the poker playing part, as far as I am concerned. Kicking back and having a few frosty brews, dial-a-shots with those who can't make it and discussing the finer parts of the check-raise is always a great time and this year will be no exception with the following group already confirmed:
That in itself is a 9-handed SNG waiting to happen when we get to the trailer. Perhaps I should try check-raising some douche-bag at the casino on Thursday as this group will likely set me all in should I try that. I won't play a $20 SNG on-line for fear of damaging my bankroll, but make it live, with this group of folks and I am in like flynn. Unfortunately, I do not have a copy of Gigli to bestow on the first person out, but of course, that will probably be me and I don't particularly want a copy of that movie.
-The bad beat stories alone should make the cost of a plane ticket worth it in my eyes. Bad beat stories and dollars will be flowing like fine wine (not that I know what fine wine is either) by the time we hit the trailer Friday night.
-And finally, last but certainly not least, the opportunity to partake in as many Keystone Lights as you can possibly drink over a three or four day period. Now, some will say that this beer is watered-down or cheap-ass beer, but I beg to differ. When you drink as many beers in a week as I do, you will come to the realization that Keystone Light is indeed a nectar of the Gods.
So, I ask again, why would you NOT be planning a trip to the great State of Oklahoma next week?
Until next time, I will have another Keystone Light,
posted by GaryC @ 5:02 PM, ,
Okie-Vegas And Random Pimpings
Monday, July 09, 2007
I spent the weekend at the lake place, attaching rafters and covering the roof with plywood in preparation for the next step: Actually papering and shingling the roof next weekend. It was a hot son-of-a-gun on the roof last weekend, so we plan on taking care of the finished product late Friday evening and fairly early on Saturday morning to avoid the heat. Once again, we have to sing next weekend on Saturday night, so avoiding as much heat as possible during the day will make the evening more enjoyable.
The porch is starting to come together, as is the entire place at the lake. With concrete in place, all the walls framed in and the actual decking installed on the roof, it is starting to really look like a patio. The decking on the roof alone has already dropped the temperature in the front of the trailer at least 10 degrees inside, due to the shade. It will probably be this fall before everything is in place and finished up down there, but we are definitely making solid progress.
Sunday, we did something that we don't normally do. On a normal weekend at the lake, I take care of the yard work on friday night, right after my arrival from work. Saturday, we take care of things around the trailer (right now that includes all kinds of labor on the porch project) and then I go set up the equipment around 2 pm for our show that night. After the show, we get back to the trailer and eat something and hit the sack around 3 am. The next morning (sunday) we usually get up when we wake up and head home to the city to rest for the work week starting the next day.
Yesterday, when we got up, my wife fixed a big breakfast and we chowed down. After busting my ass on the roof the day before and then singing until the wee hours of the morning, I decided that I needed a little fun time. I already knew that a bunch of our friends were going to meet on the lake in the afternoon, so we prepped for that. Beer - check! Jet-Ski's - check! Cigarettes and cell phone in a plastic bag - check! Hit the lake.
And hit it we did! We ended up with 6 boats tied together and our jet ski's along side, as well. We played ferry man for a while, heading to the dock to pick up stragglers or late arrivals and haul them to the party on the water. We cooked out all kinds of meat and vegetables on the boat and had a fantastic time. Of course, at 10 pm, when I finally arrived at home, I was (and still am) worn completely out. Good times were had by all though and it was well worth it to get some fun times on the water after all the work we have done down there.
posted by GaryC @ 3:12 PM, ,
Playing Poker With Retards
Thursday, July 05, 2007
When you are essentially playing poker for pocket change, you cannot expect the people across from you on the virtual felt to really take it seriously, can you? I'm still playing my tight ABC game and these guys are raising with garbage and luckboxing their way to huge pots when they should have never been in the hand in the first place.
I sat down at a 10cent/20 cent limit game yesterday on Absolute and witnessed this type of donkery first hand for about an hour. When I first sat, there were two guys raising and re-raising and nearly capping every single street, no matter their holdings. They didn't slow down, check or fold for the entire first 15 hands or so. This rush saw one of them triple his meager $5 buy-in and the other guy go from $5 to $10 and back down to $5.
So, I sat back and waited patiently......and I waited.......and I waited, you know I can wait for a long time, right? Finally, I get in on the capping action with A-K and flop TPTK, only to be rivered by maniac re-raiser with 10-4 off-s00t. I play a few hands, fold a few hands and my $10 buy-in has dwindled down to around $5 when I go on a rush. I win 3 or 4 hands in succession and build my way up to around $15 when the funniest thing happened. The two maniacs left the table. Fawk!
Really, playing at the limits that I am currently stuck at, there is absolutely no recourse and no strategy involved in beating them consistently. You have to get good cards, play your hands well enough to get paid off and avoid the inevitable 2 or 3-outer that can ruin the entire night. If you don't, it is a losing session and if you do, you were damn lucky and you had yourself a winning session.
I have experienced plenty of both lately, winning a decent amount one night only to give it back the next night to almost the exact same donks. My play has been much better though at the cash tables and I actually feel like I am making some progress, even though my bankroll vehemently disagrees at this point. Breaking even, after nearly three months of losing, feels pretty darn good, even if it is only breaking even. I am headed in the right direction, I know, I just cannot seem to get where I want to be fast enough.
My tournament play, on the other hand, has been fairly horrid of late. No deep runs, no cashes and really, no well-played hands for probably 3 weeks in the blogger events. I'm just there, so, feel free to steal my blinds with min. raises and re-re-re-raise me off of pots on total bluffs. It can and has happened lately and unfortunately, I feel defenseless to prevent it. I'm still plugging away but the leaks appear to be too numerous to plug at this point and a possible break from tournament action is in my thoughts right now. I very much enjoy playing the HOY and the Mookie every week, because of the friends, but at this point, I feel like I am just a donator and that is something that is not very comfortable for me. I'm as competitive as the next guy, deep down inside and to continue playing these things with what amounts to ZERO chance of winning is stupid, in my opinion.
I am currently re-reading Super System and paying particular attention to Doyle's aggressive nature. Unfortunately, as we have all seen time and time again, aggression is not in my nature, at least not the aggression that Doyle displays. My play is ultimately weak/tight and to pretend anything different would be a lie,so, here's to catching some cards. It seems to be the only way I can compete of late.
After a 6 month long battle with a ton of shit that was almost completely out of control, things are starting to come together in the personal, home and family life.
As most of you know, my family and I have purchased a new double-wide trailer for our lake place. We sold our little trailer (16 X 60) and moved in the beheamoth (28 X 60) in its' place. We now have alot less yard (less mowing) but a lot more livable space with four bedrooms and two bathrooms. The last two months have been a constant battle of keeping the yard down there mowed while working non-stop preparing the place for all the things we have in mind.
We have removed three trees from our property to make parking more accesible and to also allow the trailer to be moved in to the spot we wanted in the first place. That was a huge chore, along with cutting back several other trees and then hauling off all the limbs and wood, but necessary if we are going to achieve what we want down there.
We have a large, screened-in porch designed for the front of the trailer and the good news is that they were finally able to start on it this week and I will be busting my ass this weekend in an effort to get as much of the walls up as possible. The first delay came when we realized we needed a new septic tank. That was ordered, installed and our front yard went from barely passable as a yard to a sandy, dirt-pit.
Then it rained..............and it rained.................and it fucking rained some more. 21 consecutive days of measurable rain here in Oklahoma and the wettest month in the history of the state! Ever! In 100 years, it has never rained more than it did this June of 2007.
So, the rain has finally relented (and with that the humidity and temperatures are both hovering around 100 now) and they poured our slab for our porch last weekend. This weekend will be the first time we see the porch floor and we plan on framing in as much of the walls as possible this weekend.
The trailer is completely livabale now with water, sewer and electric all hooked up and running good. The room that we have inside the trailer is fantastic compared to what we used to have. We just have a ton of work to do on the outside to get the place looking as we want it to look. No doubt, it will not be finished by the time Okie-Vegas rolls around in two weeks, but hopefully, you will be able to tell how much work has already gone on and we will have some light at the end of the tunnel by then.
Another thing that I have been working on for almost a year now is updating our karaoke system. With the new system came a new numbering system, which in turn meant re-doing all of our books. I'm happy to say that job, the last job, is finally finished and we can get back to some sort semblance of order when we do a show now.
It involved loading all of my music ( a solid three month job with assigning new numbers etc), then manually inputting each new song into our old books, then manually changing all the numbers to each and every song in the old master list. After that was done, I printed a new copy of our master list, complete with new numbers and sat down at night to pare down our list. I removed every duplicate song that was listed and left one version of every song that we have in the book. After finishing that job, we printed new books and I spent the 4th of July putting the new pages into plastic sheets and into our new notebooks. Job completed and alot less to do at home now, other than yard work and getting loaded to head to the lake.
I may have a bit more on-line time in the coming months, although I didn't let the jobs cut into my poker time for the most part anyway. It's really a pretty simple decision when you have run as bad as I have for this long: Turn off the computer and go to work on something constructive. And that's exactly what I've done for the past couple of months anyway.
With alot of the work behind me now, I am looking very much forward to enjoying the lake for the rest of the summer and early fall and being able to log on and play poker whenever I want to in the immediate future.
I have also started playing some fantasy sports at the behest of a lot of our friends and am enjoying the hell out of it. I'm only dabbling around in the low limit games right now, but so far, it has been a blast. I would encourage you to do the same if you enjoy that sort of thing, I know I do and besides, where else can you put me, Smokkee and Falstaff on fantasy baseball tilt?
Until next time, I fold.
posted by GaryC @ 3:43 PM, ,
Running In Neutral
Monday, July 02, 2007
That's about all I am doing right now is managing to stay afloat and paddling along in the online poker waters right now. At least it is a bit better than bleeding chips and money like the spewing donkey from a few months ago. I haven't booked any solid wins, but I have managed to book enough positive sessions to keep my head above water and basically break even for the last couple of months, so, I have that going for me.
Going forward from here though, I do have a much better attitude of late and am actually starting to look forward to playing on a bit more of a regular basis lately. I've basically been playing blogger tournaments and small stakes cash games, for the most part and, although I haven't really made any traction lately in the blogger tourneys, my play has been better and I have been lasting longer than I was during the downswing. On the cash front, I have taken to the 9-handed $25 NL tables on Full Tilt and Absolute and have booked some small winning sessions, which is much better than the losing sessions I experienced on a regular basis for the most part of February through May. Again, no huge wins booked, but enough solid sessions to off-set my blogger MTT play and keep my head above water, bankroll-wise.
This has been one of those slumps that I have had to "play through" although I have received and heeded alot of good advice during the slump. Unfortunately, heeding good advice and changing up your game quite a bit are two entirely different things. I have come to face the fact that I am a tight player. I know this, you know this, everybody knows this. It is a fact and is something that I have at least come to better terms with and am trying to understand better how to use this to my advantage on a more consistent basis.
Straight ABC poker, for the most part, is my game. The immediate goals for me are to toss in a little D and E poker along the way and hopefully, with a bit of good timing, use my tight nature to my advantage against better players. I have certainly opened up my starting hand selection of late, at least at the cash tables. Whenever I am in position and and have notes on a few of the players at my table, I will speculate on many more hands than in the past. I've even taken to sticking in a raise in that spot, on occasion, with less than a top 10 hand. Who knew?
I certainly have plenty more to learn and am nowhere near a winning player currently, but at least the drive to learn and to play has returned a little bit in recent weeks. I have to say, I am really enjoying the blogger tournaments with the Buddy Dank Radio broadcast playing in the background. Hell, I've been tuning in even when I'm not playing lately, when blogging or surfing the web. Good stuff there. I'm a bit too lazy to update the side bar, but there is a link to his page over there and from there it is just one more simple click away. I highly recommend giving them a listen, especially during the blogger tourneys.
My New Favorite Play
I thought I would actually talk about poker for a little bit today. Big surprise there, huh?
Anyway, this play that has become one of my new favorites is something that I use in the low limit cash games that I inhabit. The blogger tourneys, mih, it probably wouldn't work so well there. I am also very interested to find out what some of you cash game players think of this play and whether or not you think it is profitable long-term.
Imagine you are sitting at a ripe $25 9-handed NL table. You are sitting at the table with 2 or 3 players that you have notes on and the general nature of the table is fairly loose-aggressive. You are in mid to late position and pick up a monster. (Q-Q, K-K or A-A) Obviously, if it limps around to me, I raise it up right here and try to thin the field a bit, but imagine that a player before you has pot-raised it before it gets to you.
I have taken to smooth-calling here in hope of either A) flopping my huge set and taking his stack or B) seeing a raggedy, low flop and still taking his stack. I have seen, time and time again, the lead bettors in this instance CANNOT get away from their hand, no matter how much you telegraph that you indeed have a better hand. Of course, they occasionally suck out on you and also, after certain flops, you have to get away from your hand, but those times have been few and far between lately and I have made alot of money smooth-calling in position.
The bad flops (i.e. A-high to your Kings) occur and there are definitely times that you have to lay down your huge pair when you might have taken down the pot pre-flop, but more times than not, it seems, I have found myself all-in after the flop or turn as a prohibitive favorite, which, after all, is what I am trying to do night in and night out, right?
So, if you have any thoughts about this play and whether or not you think it is profitable over the long haul, let me know in the comment. I promise I am going to have more poker to talk about soon and I hope to get back in a groove on this here blog as well.
Okie-Vegas is just around the corner and as my pal says in her blog, y'all come on down to Oklahoma and we will take good care of you, I promise. I won't tell you that the guy in the 4-seat won't check-raise you and show down 9-4 off-suit to crack your Kings, but I promise a good time will be had by all.
I'm out and until next time, I probably fold.
posted by GaryC @ 3:06 PM, ,