Wednesday, August 29, 2007
A clean shaven, short-haired GCox25, then just 28 years old, stood at the front of the Oklahoma City Episcopalean church in downtown OKC, anxiously awaiting his beautiful bride to join him in front of lots of friends and family. They would exchange the vows of matrimony in just a few short minutes and would become husband and wife.
I remember that day like it was yesterday, every single thing about it. Of course, we have a billion pictures scattered around the house to remind me, but the vividness and reality of that day are etched into my brain for what will probably be the rest of my life.
-The red carpet.
-My Dad in a tuxedo beside me.
-My daughter Alex as the flower girl in the cutest dress on the planet.
-My Mom and soon to be Mother-In-Law in the front rows on their respective sides of the aisle.
-My wife's step-dad, fighting cancer with all of his 140 lbs. walking her down the aisle with a huge grin all the way across his face.
-My wife, stunning in that beautiful white dress, taking my arm at the front of the church.
-Turning to face her Uncle, the priest, who would be marrying us.
-Wondering why the kneeling was necessary and why it was taking so long.
-Hoping my black Nike socks weren't showing as we were STILL kneeling.
And then, finally, just like that, it was over and we were Mr. and Mrs. GCox25. We stood and greeted all of our guests outside the church, went back in to take the billion pictures that adorn our house to this day and finally, about an hour after it began, we got to head to the reception. Woot!
When we got outside to the car, it was, of course, decorated to the hilt with shoe polish and streamers and cans, etc. So, after a quick clean-up, we were off to drive the 8 or so miles to the hotel for the reception. Thankfully, everybody beat us there and no less than four of my friends came straight to me as we walked through the door, with a cold beer in each hand, one for them and one for me. It seemed as though I was behind, so I did what anybody would have done in that spot, I started playing catch-up, IN EARNEST!
After the obligatory pictures around the cake and all of our friends moving through the line for some sugary deliciousness, we adjourned, from the conference room.......to the bar. Now THAT"S what I'm talking about.
We sang karaoke, including a dedication from me to my new wife: "I'll Always Be The Man In Love With You" I did a pretty mean George Strait back then and there weren't many dry eyes from the ladies when I was through. Just seeing how much the Mrs. enjoyed it made it all worthwhile. Then we started getting down to the business at hand.
By 11:00, it seemed that the parents had made their way to their hotel rooms and all that was left were our friends. What to do? Shots all around, of course, and even more, drunken karaoke. We drank and sang until they turned the lights on in the bar at 2:00 am and told us to get the hell out. I'm sure they were out of Tequila and Jack Daniels at that point anyway, so I ordered one more beer, said my goodbyes to our friends and we headed to our "Honeymoon Suite" for the night.
As we made our way inside the room, I noticed something unusual. There were stacks and stacks of gifts lined up in the room that nobody had opened. Ha, let's get down to business. We tore into the gifts and opened every one of them before the night was through, saving the biggest, heaviest gift of all for last.
Somewhere during this time, I finished that last beer and found a nice bottle of champagne chilling in our room "for the newlyweds." I'm sorry, but at this point, I wasn't saying no to anything or anyone. I cracked it open and drank it straight from the bottle, knowing full well that all those tiny little bubbles were going straight into my brain, just waiting for the chance to play the drums there the next morning.
We made it to the last gift and opened it anxiously, wondering to each other, "what the hell could this be?" I need to preface this with the fact that several of our groups of friends have been in the plumbing business all their lives. So, we carefully tore the paper off our last gift and it was, of course, a garbage disposal. Wow, we laughed our asses off for at least an hour, because each of us was anticipating so much more. Now, it was a top-of-the-line garbage disposal, but a garbage disposal nonetheless and to say we were a bit let down would be an understatement.
After cleaning up the mess that was our hotel room, my wife casually mentioned that it was now 5 am. WTF? We have to be at the airport in two hours, I un-casually shot back at her. You are correct sir. We died, but not before getting a wake up call, setting two alarm clocks and a watch-alarm to wake us up.
As the sun was slowly creeping through our hotel room and everything in the room buzzing, vibrating or ringing, I suddenly remembered why it is that I don't drink champagne. My head was pounding and I couldn't figure out how to turn off any of the noise-makers in the room.
We finally came to, got our wits about us and started loading the truck. After making it back to the apartment, unloading everything and packing our bags, we headed straight to the airport and got on our flight to......................wait for it.......................that's right.....................sunny Las Vegas!!!!!
My wife, who I had been married to for all of 14 hours at this point, had us booked to fly to Vegas the next morning in what would be my first trip ever to the City of Sin. We had horrific hangovers, a little money in our pocket to blow and a special travel package to Las Vegas. Upon arrival, we bussed over to our hotel and lo and behold, it was the Imperial Palace! I had no idea what I had gotten myself into that day but I knew one thing, I didn't need no stinking nap! Let's hit the casino.
You read that right, 13 years ago, before I even knew what a blogger was, back when I didn't even have dial up access to the internet, when I was pounding beers on the flight out there, trying to numb the pain in my head, my wife had booked us at the Imperial Palace hotel on our honeymoon.
Needless to say, I was immediately hooked on Las Vegas. I played no poker that trip, didn't even know poker existed at that point, outside of nickel-dime-quarter games on the kitchen table, but I found my stride at the blackjack tables and the roulette wheels. I won a total of $175 in the first few hours there, playing blackjack mostly. When my wife pried me away from the table to go for dinner, I was, what I thought at the time, WAY UP for the trip. After paying for dinner, I realized quickly that I was no longer even UP for the trip and I needed to get back to the tables, damnit.
We gambled and partied and drank until we couldn't gamble or party or drink any more. Literally. When we landed at the OKC airport, we had enough money in our pockets to get our car out of the lot and buy ourselves a happy meal on the way home. We spent every single dime we took out there that first trip, which, to us, was a pretty big sum of money back then, but we had a blast.
I enjoyed the gambling, like always, and I enjoyed the free booze, but most of all, you know what I enjoyed? I enjoyed hanging out with the lady that had just become my wife at the time, sleeping next to her in the bed in that cheesy room at the IP. I enjoyed walking down the strip with her as porn slappers hammered away at us from all angles. I enjoyed the fact that, even though she knew full well of my tendency toward degeneracy, she still took me on my first Vegas trip for our honeymoon.
Now, 13 years later, I still enjoy hanging out and partying with that lady. Just last weekend, we had our daughter spend the weekend with a friend and we tied it on pretty hard. Starting with a karaoke show on Friday night until 2 am, we then followed that up with a 2 pm show at a bar near our house and, after loading out all of our equipment, continued on to another karaoke bar, as patrons, and hung out with friends until Midnight. We don't do this that often anymore, but on occasion, the little kid inside of us likes to get out and play and we are normally up for the challenge.
This December, I plan on returning the favor that my new wife laid on me those 13 years ago. I plan on flying her out to Vegas with me for the Winter Classic. It is very important to me that she gets to meet these invisible internet friends that I have ranted and raved about for the last 3 years or so. It is very important to me that these same not-so-invisible friends get to meet the person that is my soul-mate and that makes me tick. Very.important.to.me.
I understand that our buddy, Falstaff, who is herding the cats again this winter, has mentioned a possible trip upstairs from the hooker bar to the IP karaoke room this year, led by some type of redneck? Ha, I resmeble that remark and with the absolute love of my life by my side, we would be honored to lead that expedition. You might just even get to hear me dedicate a song to my wife, because I, most definitely, will always be the man in love with her.
We'll be there, will you?
Until next time, I fold.
posted by GaryC @ 4:27 PM, ,
Monday, August 27, 2007
Not this is going to turn into Gambling Blues any time soon, but the wife, mother-in-law and I made our annual trip out to Remington Park saturday night to watch the thoroughbreds in action. We have a great group of friends that rent a luxury suite once a year and all we have to do is show up with a little gambling mobney in our pockets and the eats and drinks are paid for. It's not a bad set-up, what with the air-conditioned box, the excellent food laid out for grazing, the 15 TV's in the room trained on every sporting event available and the bar, oh the bar. Dennis, our bartender, has been there the last three times we have made the trip and my Jack and Coke was already sitting on the bar when we walked in to the room. God bless you Dennis.
Anyway, last year at this time, I fired off an email to an invisible internet friend, who, out of the kindness of his heart, handicapped every stinking race for us. If you will remember reading here, we pretty much broke even on his picks and were only one or two stumbles off from having a big night. By the way, breaking even is better than we had ever done at the race track, ever, so we were mighty appreciative of the advice and the time that my buddy spent last year helping us out.
On to this year and, knowing by Monday afternoon that we were heading to the track this week, I sat down to prepare another begging-style e-mail for my buddy when, out of the blue, work stepped in and began bandying me about the head and face region, all the while kicking me in the ass and kneeing me in the nuts at the same time. I fooked up and never got the email sent, which, at about 4:00 pm on Friday, I finally realized. Damnit, too late for some miracle help, we would be on our own this year.
My normal "strategy" at the horse races has been to either bet the favorite and never win enough money to cover the bet OR to bet a cute name, ala Too Drunk To Call, and hope for the best. Needless to say, breaking even last year using BG's picks was as close as I have ever come to turning a profit at the track..................that is......................until this year.
I sat down with my fresh Jack and Coke and picked up the program. We always take enough money out of the bank on these trips and the wifey and I get the same amount, so, when the money is gone, we are through for the night. (and believe me, that has been the case most of these trips) So, I know how much money I have, how much the bets cost and I start to ponder, what bets to make and how much to bet to maximize my drinking time at the free bar.
I have $100 in my pocket to gamble with and there are 9 races tonight. Hmmmm, that means about $11 per race would get me through the night without digging into my hidey-hole money. I know that you married men out there know exactly what I am talking about, besides, that hidey-hole money is currently being saved for Vegas in December, no need to touch that.
So, I came up with a plan and here it is. I take a look at the local handicappers "top picks" and the program's "top picks." I then compare that to the odds prior to the race and I come up with two horses, one a solid pick with low odds and the other, a not-so-solid pick with much higher odds and a solid jockey. Two horses, two bucks across the board = 12 bucks. I only have to cash one ticket to be able to continue this strategy all evening and maximize my time at the free bar. That right there is a win-win situation if I ever saw one, so long as I can pick one nag that crosses the line inside the top 3.
After demolishing the buffet (perfectly cooked prime rib, btw) I took my seat with my second Jack and Coke and went to work on the first race. Unfortunately for me, the favorite, who I had bet on, stumbled badly coming out of the gate and finished dead last and the other horse I had chosen was off the pace as well, so I had no winners. From that point on, I was "in the zone" or "luckier than fuck" whichever way you prefer to look at it. I cashed 10 tickets in the next 6 races, including a mild long shot winner across the board at 16-1. I ended up winning about $150 on the night, for what was, by far, my best night at the track ever! I didn't even bet the last two races, because of small fields and poor odds, but we stayed and put a hurting on that bottle of Jack Daniels anyway.
Here's the funniest story of the night:
5th Race. There is prohibitive favorite that everybody is betting on, including me, the 6 horse. I am on such a roll and the Jack Daniels is talking for me now anyway, so I attempt to "box" the 6 horse and the 2 horse for $2, which I do, but the little machine spits out a $2 ticket and I was expecting a $4 ticket. Hmmm, I still have $2 in the machine. A quick scan of the odds and I throw $2 on the nose of the 3 horse to win.
The race starts and the 6 horse bolts straight to the rail out of the chute, ramming every horse in its' way and knocking the jockey off of.....you guessed it, the 2 horse, who I had boxed it with. Unbelievable finish sees the 6 horse hold on for the win, the 2 horse (rider-less) comes in a phantom 2nd and the 3 horse sneaks into 3rd (the real 2nd). So I have a ticket with the 6 horse acrross the board, with poor odds, a box with the 6 and the 2, which is worthless, and a Win ticket on the number 3 horse, which is also worthless, except, the race is under review. "That's okay" the lady at the ticket window explains, "they NEVER overturn these reviews." Down goes Frazier!!! They do overturn it and I make $5 more on my win-only ticket on the 3 horse than I would have made on the 6 horse ATB. Woot, I run goot on Saturday night.
So, don't be looking for any Thoroughbred selections here anytime soon, because I won't be having any until some time next year, but I just might have to look in to sharing my new "strategy" before I head out to Remington Park next year. Herer's a hint: When you are looking at the horses with better odds than the favorites, it pays to consider the jockey. Just a little tip from a "winning" horse bettor. (For one night anyway)
Until next time, don't bet on Blue Boy in the fourth!!
posted by GaryC @ 3:30 PM, ,
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
I've been asked to review the newest sponsor of this blog, http://www.internet-poker.co.uk/ and let me tell you, after just a few minutes tooling around their web-site, color me impressed. Now, you might be saying, what good can an internet poker site in the UK do for me, as I sit in my Mom's basement playing poker in the United States? Let me explain.
Not only do they have room reviews, deposit bonuses and strategy tips, they also have an entire page dedicated to the sites that still service the United States customers. You may think you know all of them, but trust me, I didn't and I think you will be surprised to see a few of them as well.
The entire layout of the site is extremely bright, easy to navigate and a pleasure to surf through. I have been through a lot of sites like this, but this one is right up there at the top, in my books.
Another handy addition to the site is in the left hand side bar. They have an entire listing of sites that allow US customers deposit methods that, at least for me, opened up a bunch of new opportunities to fund accounts that I did not know were available.
They give you the lowdown on nearly every poker site out there, from the number of people that play there, to the best feature of a particular site as well as bonus codes and current bonuses offered at all the sites.
I came away extremely impressed and I wouldn't be surprised if you don't, as well. Give them a try, it will be worth your time.
One more time, for the technologically impaired: http://www.internet-poker.co.uk/
Until next time, I fold.
*The preceding message was NOT a paid review, simply my thoughts on my newest advertisers. I was seriously impressed with the site, you should give them a look*
posted by GaryC @ 3:19 PM, ,
Loads and Loads
Thursday, August 16, 2007
We're back with the last issue of the summer featuring some of your favorite writers.
1. Pyramid by Paul McGuire I quickly discovered that Seattle was a bastion for the super weird. You needed to have layered eccentricies in order to stick out among the masses of freaks. Goth-dykes with foot fetishes might freak people out in conservative cities and small towns, but in Seattle, that puts you in the core group of "normal people."... More
2. Cross-word by Sigge S. Amdal Her hair was in explosive disarray across the pillow like the blood spurt pattern from a shotgun blast. It was slightly blond, streaked with brown and very beautiful. It looked like the crossroad of infinite options where only a handful suggested returning to the bed. She was fast asleep... More
3. Meeting Mama McGrupp by Change100 I had yet to meet Mama McGrupp. Pauly assured me it was for a good reason. All I knew about this woman was that she was five feet tall, chain-smoked, had a wicked New York accent, was overly fond of Amaretto, and never had anything nice to say about anyone... More
4. Kansas Clouds by Susan B. Bentley Click. I got a photo of Kat just before she gave me the finger. Lying back down, I moved the lens across the sky, trying to capture a cloud on its journey. I sat up and took a picture of the track ahead. Nothing but mud and dust, bordered by fields of corn slowly moving in the breeze, nothing but empty for miles ahead... More
5. Summer Story by May B. Yesno Friends are a difficult thing. As a matter of fact they are almost impossible. Difficult to find for the first thing and just as difficult to keep - especially in a mobile society... More
"my ticker's tickin' like they say it should, I got supper in the oven,
a good woman's lovin' and one more day to be my little kids' Dad,
Yeah, I'm a lucky man"
I doubt if many of you will recognize the lyric above, as it is from the country duo Montgomery Gentry, but suffice it to say, it applies to me throughout the song.
I was busy going through Google Reader on Monday afternoon at work and came across MiamiDon's latest post. I like reading Don's post because it is obvious to anyone that reads him and even more obvious to those of us who have been lucky enough to meet him in person, that he absolutely loves living in Vegas and loves his life right now. His sign-off usually includes something in the neighborhood of have a great week and stay profitable. Well, his sign-off this week really caught my eye.
"I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend and that you are truly happy with your life as it is in the present moment."
That really got me to thinking about things around here in GCoxville. I've mentioned on here many times about how lucky I am to be married to the gal that I am married to and how my kids are growing up so fast and turning into very nice young ladies. My Mom is still my Mom and I love her a little more everyday and my mother-in-law, well, let's just say that any one of you out there would be jealous and would envy me having the mother-in-law that I have in my life.
Things are damn good around here right now and it took Don's sign off Monday afternoon to re-focus me on just how good I have it right now.
My job-I've bitched and moaned and complained about my job numerous times on this blog in the past, but, whether it be the fact that I am getting better at it with less micro-managing or whether I am just maturing a bit as I get older, things are damn good at my job right now. I will pass the 10 year mark with my company in three short weeks and begin accumulating an extra week of vacation every year at that time. I still feel like I am underpaid for what I do, but I make a nice, easy living there and that, combined with the cost of living in Oklahoma make for a very comfortable spot to be in. I would still change a few things, but I really don't have alot to complain about right now on the job front.
My wife-What can I possibly say about my wife that I have not said here in the past or that was not said by other bloggers following last month's Okie-Vegas get-together. She was not feeling her best, but she was up for the challenge I put in front of her, as she always is. She helped me make everybody feel like they were at home and I got numerous comments and compliments on her cooking, singing, beer-slinging etc. over that weekend. I am truly blessed to wake up every morning next to my soul-mate and I hope that all of you have that or find that in your life soon. It is a blessing and something that, although I usually take it for granted, I always start to remember about this time of year. Three more weeks marks our 13th year of marriage and all I can say is the time has absolutely flown by. I tease her every year at this time about it "only feeling like 26 years" but it has truly been the best 13 years of my life and I look forward to spending the rest of my time on this earth right by her side.
My girls-as I have said many times, the older you get, the faster time flies by and my oldest daughter Alex will be a senior this year. She will turn 18 this November and it hardly seems possible that it has been 18 years since the doctor laid a kicking and screaming newborn into my arms and watched her nestle quietly in my arms and go to sleep. The big, strong man had tears rolliing down his face that day, I can assure you. All you guys out there that have just had babies come into your lives are starting to learn this, I know, but those little girls will steal your hearts from the day they are born and they will continue to do it for the rest of their lives.
My youngest daughter, Casey, will be 12 this coming March and again, that barely seems possible in my little world. She is growing into quite a little lady and her Mom and I are very proud of her. Yet another woman in my life that owns me lock, stock and barrel. She knows exactly which buttons to push and when to push them and almost always gets her way. I envision her being in some type of sales when she grows up, because she is definitely a people person and one that nearly always has the last word on any given subject.
My Mom-she's had a tough time since my Dad died four years ago, but she has come through it with flying colors. I had no doubt she would be strong enough to handle it and she hasn't let me down one bit. We both miss Dad tremendously, but she has re-claimed her life and her independence and enjoys herself much more today than at any time since my Dad originally got sick. She works part-time, takes care of my Nanny (her Mom) and travels all over the place with the retirement club and with her sisters. My Mom's strength is something that I use as an example at every opportunity and has really turned into a source of strength for me, as well.
My mother-in-law-what can I say about a woman that has become not only her daughter's best friend, but her son-in-law's best friend as well? The three of us are almost always together and if we are going to be doing karaoke, it is a given that all three of us will be there, if at all possible. I think I've missed one show in the last three years, done 2 shows by myself and the rest has always included all three of us. We are like a machine when it comes to karaoke and we all get along well at all times. She is our partner in the lake place and has become a great friend to me in the past few years. We've always gotten along great, but it seems that in the last few years, we've gotten even closer, if that was even possible in the first place.
My life-if you had told me that at any point in the next 13 years, you will own two very nice homes, I would have called you a liar just a bit over 13 years ago. Today we own 2200 square foot home in the city and we own a 1700 square foot home at the lake. We are working on getting them paid off and hope to have that done by the time retirement rolls around somewhere around the turn of the next century! It is amazing to me that we have been able to do what we've done and if things work out right, we should have the lake place almost paid off by the time retirement rolls around.
I can barely fathom already beginning to talk about retirement, but at 41 and counting now, it becomes more important every year. We both have solid 401K's rolling through our companies and with the housing market the way it is right now here, we already have a ton of equity built up in our house in the city. We are planning to sell our house in the city when Casey gets out of school and move to the west side of town into a smaller house. That would put me even closer to work and would also put us much closer to the lake place.
I guess I have rambled enough about how well I have it and about the place I'm in right now. There is no denying that, all things considered, I am indeed a lucky, lucky man.
Thanks to MiamiDon for pointing that out and reminding me of it. I would ask each and every one of you to sit back and think about that same thing, are you a lucky man? Are things going well for you right now? Have you told anybody that you feel that way?
I hope I just have, I love you girls, every single one of you.
So, poker goes as poker goes lately. I have still been focusing on my small stakes sng's to mostly good results. I've had particularly good luck at the HORSE tournies on Full Tilt lately, with two 1st's. two 2nd's and a 3rd in my last 5 tournies there. The cards have been pretty good, but my reads have even been better lately.
I played in a 90 person sng on Full Tilt last week at the behest of TripJax. He likes to play the $10 variety and seeing as I was already up for the night, I gave it a WTF? and entered right along with him. I think it was Thursday night during the Riverchasers event, if memory serves correctly.
I didn't write down any hands, but after being knocked out of the Riverchasers event and after Trip had been knocked out of the sng, I enlarged my table and started to concentrate intently on that one tournament. Surflexus logged on a bit later and I IM'ed him, expecting to request his rail presence at my table. He informed me that he was already watching and that I was playing great, to keep up the good work.
We had a discussion about him keeping an eye on my play during Okie-Vegas in an effort to help me break out of my slump of recent months, but I guess I was still a bit surprised to learn that he was really out there watching. A couple of hours later, with his constant encouragement and tips, I found myself at the final table with a stack of around 50K.
I went a bit card dead during the final table and ended up taking 5th for a pretty small payday. I had my eye on the $225 first prize and I played the entire tournament that way, it just wasn't to be. I want to thank Surf for the support and the encouragement, because, for the first time in a few months, I feel like I am learning again and I feel like I am practicing what I am learning. Thanks buddy.
Now to a few examples of what I am learning:
-A continuation bet is just that, continuing the starting story. What I have found, more often than not, is that a re-pop of a player's continuation raise will win you that pot alot of times. If you are on a healthy stack, I definitely recommend re-popping a leading bettor at least 1 out of every 3 or 4 times. If they re-raise you, it is easy enough to get away from, but if they are paying any attention to your (tight) image at the table and they are betting with air, the pot is yours.
-Position is key. This has been said a gazillion times by anybody that has ever played any type of poker and I have said it numerous times right here on this humble little blog, but if you do not factor in position in your decision making process at the tables, you are certainly missing out on a lot of opportunities. I have taken to raising in spots where I never would have raised before. Hijack, cutoff, LP, if it is limped or folded to me, I've been raising almost 100% of the time with ATC. Again, your chip-stack has alot to do with this option, but if you are healthy, I think this is the right play almost every single time.
-Play to your image. My image at the poker tables is tight, this we all know. Even in a single table sng, if the players are paying any attention at all, they already know I am the tightest player at the table. This can and should be used as an advantage throughout the tournament. I have struggled with being able to do this in the past, but, at least in the last week or so, I have been able to make a few plays and stick in a few re-raises that got immediate folds from the other players. It isn't something that I am entirely comfortable with yet, but it is definitely something I am working on. My timing has been good lately and I think that is the key to this type of play. When I originally began trying these types of moves, I was almost always met with a re-re-raise or a push. Bad timing on my part every.singe.time.
-This little gem applies to mainly the Hi/Lo varieties of Stud and Omaha and in my case, to Limit, as well. I read about "the squeeze play" quite some time ago, but have had the occasion to use this move quite often lately when I see other players who cannot lay down a hand.(which is most of the players at the limits I am currently playing.
Again, this example applies directly to Limit and when there are more than 2 people in the pot. Those times when you have a made hand and it is apparent that the other two (or more) players are battling for the opposite of what you have. Say you have made the nut low and the other players do not have a low draw showing, you raise at every opportunity and hope and pray one of them raises you back. One of them is losing this entire pot, if you are clever enough to figure out that you have half of it locked up. It doesn't matter which one of them is winning their half, you are splitting all the money of the "squeezee" in this case and you want as much of his money in the pot as possible. It has happened several times over the last week and is a great way to make some extra money from the hand. Cap it, in this example, as often as possible.
I fully realize that these are not earth-shattering examples for anybody that plays this game we love on a regular basis. It's just stuff that I am learning, with the help of Surf and others, and trying to incorporate into my game. Hope it helps you as much as it has helped me lately.
Until next time, I fold.
posted by GaryC @ 3:02 PM, ,
Maple Leaf Freeroll Series
Monday, August 13, 2007
Last year, it was a player from Canada who took the North American World Poker Tour title, and now the call is out for for people to defend the crown. Can you defend the Canadian poker tour title?
If you want to try and earn a seat at this years World Poker Tour tournament – being held at the Fallsview Casino Resort in Niagara Falls, then head on over to www.888.com/mapleleaf and take part in one of the Freeroll tournaments. They will be running over the next few weeks, and the winners of the Freeroll tournaments get entry to the Maple Leaf Satelite tournaments. Make it into the top 10, and you have a seat in the qualifiers.
It is easy to enter the tournaments – just register with Pacific Poker and download the online casino client. The Maple Leaf Freeroll tournaments can be found in the Money Play section of the casino – but don't worry – they are totally free to enter. The top 10 entrants from each Freeroll tournament will go on to play in Satellite tournaments.
Don't worry too much if you can't make a Freeroll tournament slot – you can enter a Satellite tournament directly for a very small fee – merely 1c.
The tournaments are held using the Pacific Poker casino client, which is very easy to use, and features a great 3D interface which brings the casino feeling straight into your home.
You don't have to be a poker expert to take part in the Maple Leaf tournaments. Sure, you have more chance of actually qualifying for the WPT if you know your game, but everyone can have some fun trying, and it need not cost you a penny.
Your country needs you to defend the WPT crown – or to take it from the Canadians, depending on where you live. So why not enter a free qualifying tournament with the worlds best online casino site?
posted by GaryC @ 3:13 PM, ,
Trials and Tribulations
Thursday, August 09, 2007
"My fundamental philosophy on making money in poker is to find the one thing that you are the best at... then maximize your earning potential within that genre. Since LHE cash game skills are the most profitable for me, I play those tables as much as possible. I encourage my friends to find their edge in poker, and then maximize it. Whether it's online NL MTTs or PLO SNGs or live cash games, you must figure out what your "bread and butter" game is... and stop fucking around the places where you are not profitable." - Dr. Pauly
Leave it to the good Doctor to make sense of it for all of us. Well said, Pauly, nh, sir.
My little, personal SNG challenge is under way and so far at least, the results have been pretty good. I'm in the money more than not and so far, I've finished first or second more times than I have finished third. The bankroll is climbing, slowly yes, but still inching upward.
I have taken to the limit SNG's this time around and I will explain why here. Everybody that stops by here is aware of my tight nature on the poker tables. It's a fact and it's something that, even though I have attempted to change, has not changed and probably won't change very much in the future.
The SNG's that I am currently targeting are the $5 HORSE tournies on Full Tilt and the $5 Limit Stud Hi/Lo and Limit Omaha Hi/Lo on Stars and Absolute. There are some downsides to these particular tournaments:
-They take a bit longer to fill up than a NL tournament.
-They take longer to play than a NL tournament.
-The payoffs are usually slightly lower than a NL tournament because of less people at a table.
However, the benefits, in my case, far outweigh the downsides:
-Most of these folks don't have a clue about most of these games. The most obvious thing I see is people not paying attention to the game changing in the HORSE tournies, but the number 1 thing is that nobody seems to have a clue when it comes to Razz.
-Playing Limit has eased the pressure I sometimes feel to get involved in the action. I can really sit back and wait for a premium hand and then if I brick out, I can easily get away from the hand later and save a few bets without decimating my stack.
-Playing the Hi/Lo variety of these tournaments allows me more play, due to the many numbers of split pots. I think this is self-explanatary but if there is a chance to make a hand two ways, my stack takes less of a beating. Of course, I am looking for scoopers, but if I make a low hand, I will stay in to split the pot. It happens alot in these tournies.
With the added play for myself in these tournies giving me the opportunity to sit back, relax and only come into hands with premium holdings, these things are set up perfectly for me. I haven't scoped out the $10 varieties yet, but I expect to see the same things there that I see at the $5 level.
Here's a for instance from Tuesday night. First hand of a HORSE sng on Tilt, I have A-A and it is raised before it gets to me. We cap it with one tag-along. The flop is A-A-J and my opponent and I cap every street and I rake a pretty good pot for these levels. I am off to a huge chiplead and pretty much coast to the money.
Same tournament against the same player a little later on. Razz - I have 2-3-4 and he has a 6 showing and we cap it. I catch a 6 and he catches an 8 on fourth street and again, we cap it. I catch an Ace and he catches paint and we cap to the end and he turns over a ragged 10 high. These are both extreme examples of the donkish play that is rampant in these tournaments, but I have seen it night in and night out in these particular sng's.
So, after reading Pauly's thoughts this morning and experiencing at least a bit of success over the last couple of days, I plan on sticking it out and playing as many sng's as I can in the coming weeks and work myself back into a playable roll on-line. Perhaps, I can even move up in stakes? You never know.
Thanks for stopping by and until next time, I still fold.
posted by GaryC @ 4:08 PM, ,
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
"Dance with the one that brung ya."
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
These are typical sayings that I heard around my house, growing up around my father and my grandfather. They were fairly simple men and they knew that if something worked well and consistently, there was really not alot you needed to do to try and make things "better" or "faster."
My poker game and my overall mentality at the tables would be well-served to step back and take a good long look at those types of sayings above. After being a marginally winning player for the better part of two years, I must admit that I have been a losing player since some time around February of this year. No, it's not a great sum of money, as I have stayed right around my comfortable levels, for the most part, but the fact remains, I have been consistently losing money at this game that I love so much for the better part of 6 months now.
It was relatively easy at the start to continually make money playing on-line poker. Once all the avenues to deposit bonuses, etc. were opened to me, I started building my little roll, albeit slowly, still consistently upwards. I would clear a bonus, withdraw that to Neteller and leave the portions of profit on that particular site and then move on to the next bonus, mostly through PSO.
Once all of the deposit bonuses dried up and we had our comfy little Netleller accounts closed, things started to get a bit hairy. I haven't opened an Epassporte account yet and to be quite honest with you, I don't see me doing that in the near future. I have been able to keep enough money on-line, either by a small win here or there, or a money swap with on-line friends, that I can continue to fund my habit without a new account. Whether that continues to be the case or not remains to be seen, but I don't anticipate going busto any time soon either.
Like I said, I have been a losing player now for about 6 months. Damn, that is hard to type. I never thought I would have to say that. I am still in the black over the course of the three years that I have been playing, but specifically, 2007, I am down somewhere around $700. I have all the numbers at home on a spreadsheet and I do count the ad money that comes directly into an account just like a deposit. I mean, it is my money and I could withdraw it or have it sent to another account if I wanted to, right?
I spent most of yesterday trying to formulate some type of plan for my immediate future in the on-line poker world. Certainly quitting playing is not an option, I still enjoy it too much to simply stop playing altogether. Limiting my time on-line is an option that I have looked at before and then never been able to really enforce. I've gotten much better about the late night, drunken chip spewing contests that I used to partake in on a fairly regular basis, but I still play at least four nights a week.
Taking a break is another option that I have discussed on several different occasions and it never seems to work for very long, at least not for me. I don't really have the discipline to NOT play. It's funny, I have the discipline to fold for two hours to make it into the money in a MTT, but I don't have the self-discipline to NOT fire up the computer when I get home and log in to play some poker. Funny how that works, huh?
I think I have come up with a bit of a plan though and I thought I would share it with you today. I am going to go back to basics and grind away at the SNG tournies that I used to be able to beat on fairly regular basis. SNG"s are where I was able to more than triple my original deposit and where I was able to more than double my bankroll last year during my SNG Challenge. I am going to keep pretty detailed records and hopefully soon, I am going to have a good idea which tournaments on which sites offer me the most opportunity for success.
Of course, after deciding this, I went straight home last night and bombed out of three Token SNG's in a row, in an attempt to win a token for the MATH last night. Apparently, I COULD have bought directly in to it, I just didn't know it at the time. Anyway, after bubbling twice and finishing 8th in the other one, I sat back and chose my options carefully.
One NLHE sng on Absolute and one HORSE sng on Full Tilt. One hour later, two wins.
One NLHE sng on Absolute and one HORSE sng on Full TIlt. One hour later, one first and one second.
So I've started out on a little roll, but two of the three wins were mainly due to others' ineptitude, rather than any brilliance on my part. But, that is exactly what I am counting on by gonig back to these one-table tourneys. The other players, especially at my $5 level, are horrible, for the most part. I ran into one guy at one of the four sng's I played, that even had a clue what was going on. The others were on auto-pilot-idiot mode.
Limp with a pair, flop a set, trap your opponent until he pushes. Repeat the process.
So, while I will probably still make the Mookie on a regular basis and I may sneak into the occasional Riverchasers tourneys on Thursday night, I plan on spending most of my time grinding away at the one-table sng's, at least for a while. I need to get my bankroll off of life support and this is the best way I know how to breath some life into that without a significant investment.
Until next time, I fold.
***This post sponsored by the good folks at GNUF poker room.***
From GNUF: Gnuf have an agreement with the German Poker Players Association whereby gnuf players can qualify for the London world series of poker.
posted by GaryC @ 4:01 PM, ,