Monday, December 27, 2010

400th Post

Seems somewhat cool, but not cool enough for me to actually care that I'm going to burn it on something silly such as this. I spent the last 4 days hanging out with Danielle's family, and my mother lands for a 5 day visit in less than an hour. Accordingly there hasn't been, nor will there be, much poker, posting, or blogging happening. Random facts that seem to be true:

1. Lots of people are interested in joining the hand review team. Thanks to everyone who wants to help out. At Pete's suggestion, and due to having so many people who want to help, I may start sending the same hand to multiple reviewers.

2. I am hoping something is wrong with my spreadsheet, because if not the amount of money I made this year playing live poker makes me a very sad panda. On the other hand I guess the actual thing I should be hoping for is to not find any errors and actually be happy that I'm about to receive a fat tax rebate.

3. Live poker has been going well and I'm already chomping at the bit to get back to it, which as I mentioned is kind of bad since I'm not planning to play for the next 7 days.

4. My Black Card appears to have been lost in the Mail Ether.

5. I received my first check from Google for proceeds from my blog advertising. I am averaging $5/month in revenues.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy new years!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Chronicles: Part 2

Right into it as per usual:

Laying Down the Ladies

SoCal 20 full game. I open QQ utg, older "soft" looking Asian man calls HJ, HU. He's basically unknown to me but obviously just cold called first in.


I bet/3.

K putting a club draw

I bet/fold.

There's no other way, is there?


Good fold. KJ and A4s are typical fish cold calling hands. You can't counterfeit his two pair or catch up to trips so you have 2 outs almost always. I really can't see any hand he would play this way that you beat given the read.


This hand was super easy as far as both Mr. Mom and I were concerned. Not a whole lot to it; I have a good hand but the action is screaming that I'm beat so I fold.

Big Pot Madness

I'm trying to review 3 hands a day. Can I put you in the rotation?

Live full 20, 3 folds, 3 limps, I limp OTB with 65hh. 6 ways.


4 checks, CO bets, I raise, sb fold, BB 3 bets, 2 folds, CO caps.....

Reads: BB is an old white guy who's not awful. He can be aggro, knows whenish to fold, etc. I guess he can have a FD but it seems unlikely.

CO is basically a fish. He does random things, limps terrible hands, etc. His cap honestly is probably draw heavy. However, 54s is 100% in his range.

Can I continue?

Hm. You're getting... 8:1? With a pair, a straight draw, AND a flush draw? I think you can sign me up.
The BB has to have a pretty big hand, right? I'd expect a c/3b to be a way tighter range than a c/r. Maybe something like 77-TT/JJ (Yes, I think there are players who fit that non-horrible description who might check TT-JJ here), sets, 54, two pair... some 6x hands but imr, is he going to c/3b 86?
I think it's pretty clear you're not going to fare well against either player's range since even the draws are going to be in good shape with either overs, pairs, or straight draws to go along with them. But the thing is that the more they can have overpair and better 6x types of hands, the more 4/5/6 outs you start adding to your hand.
I'd be a little surprised if you had less than somewhere around the high teens equity in the pot. And I'm willing to take the risk of making a decision in the worst case scenario that the turn goes check/bet because I think there's at least as decent a chance that you have an easy decision when it goes bet/call or check/check (or bet/raise too, that's usually going to be an easy decision as well). Your implieds aren't great on two pair/trips I guess but of course they should be excellent if you backdoor your flush.


You speak truths, technically. But my pair is of extremely questionable value, given our shared fear of an overpair or kicker problem, my gutterball could be at a chop and might need to dodge literally half the deck on the river, and the backdoor FD....well that's the bright spot. I thought about the hand more and realized without that I think I have a very clear fold, but with it I wanted to call. 8:1 is quite a price.....but I nit-folded. It's just tough to take two to the face with basically a dirty gutter.

Turn pairs the 3 or the 2, check check, river 5, check bet call, SBs 88 loses to A4o no spades. LOL-gambool!


results oriented = bad fold 5 outs 8:1 plus free look at river. ;-)
Seriously though, I forgot to add that I was thinking this was about the minimum price I'd want to have to call. Like, I don't know what the best pair you limp preflop here is, but I'd guess that your hand is better than 77. And 88. Would you fold those? Is this even a meaningful question?
I mean, I'm not saying your pair is good, just that it gives you a few more outs against the overpair part of SB's range. Admittedly, this puts us in a really crappy spot if it goes bet/call/? turn; bet/fold/? river.


It depends on my mood and table conditions. Sometimes I raise the 65s, and a low as 77. Sometimes I might limp 99.

I think with something like 77-99 I'm pretty committed to getting to showdown on safe boards; I just have the best hand so much more often, I think it makes up for the lack of outs. Thing is with 65 my outs are all filthy, since a 6 might be no good and obviously a 5 makes the board kinda straightening.


I'm one for two on predictions, as the eights fare significantly better than the sevens.

equity win tie pots won pots tied
Hand 0: 21.527% 18.94% 02.59% 1760929 240860.67 { 6h5h }
Hand 1: 46.638% 45.94% 00.70% 4271728 65218.67 { JJ-66, 33-22, A6s, K6s, 63s-62s, 32s, A6o, K6o, 63o-62o, 32o }
Hand 2: 31.835% 29.48% 02.35% 2741733 218624.67 { 88-22, AsTs, As9s, As8s, As7s, A6s-A4s, As3s, KsJs, KsTs, Ks9s, Ks8s, Ks7s, K6s, Ks5s, Ks4s, Ks3s, QsJs, QsTs, Qs9s, Qs8s, Qs7s, Q6s, Qs5s, Qs4s, Qs3s, JsTs, Js9s, Js8s, Js7s, J6s, Js5s, Js4s, Js3s, Ts9s, Ts8s, Ts7s, T6s, Ts5s, Ts4s, 96s, 86s, 75s+, 63s+, 53s+, 43s, 32s, A5o-A4o, 75o+, 65o, 54o }

equity win tie pots won pots tied
Hand 0: 19.861% 19.42% 00.44% 2286425 51689.50 { 7c7d }
Hand 1: 43.228% 42.85% 00.38% 5044261 44756.50 { JJ-66, 33-22, A6s, K6s, 63s-62s, 32s, A6o, K6o, 63o-62o, 32o }
Hand 2: 36.911% 36.64% 00.27% 4313680 31599.00 { 88-22, AsTs, As9s, As8s, As7s, A6s-A4s, As3s, KsJs, KsTs, Ks9s, Ks8s, Ks7s, K6s, Ks5s, Ks4s, Ks3s, QsJs, QsTs, Qs9s, Qs8s, Qs7s, Q6s, Qs5s, Qs4s, Qs3s, JsTs, Js9s, Js8s, Js7s, J6s, Js5s, Js4s, Js3s, Ts9s, Ts8s, Ts7s, T6s, Ts5s, Ts4s, 96s, 86s, 75s+, 63s+, 53s+, 43s, 32s, A5o-A4o, 75o+, 65o, 54o }

equity win tie pots won pots tied

Hand 0: 23.556% 22.82% 00.73% 2871250 91994.67 { 8c8d }
Hand 1: 41.027% 40.31% 00.72% 5070375 90655.67 { JJ-66, 33-22, A6s, K6s, 63s-62s, 32s, A6o, K6o, 63o-62o, 32o }
Hand 2: 35.418% 34.94% 00.48% 4395055 60362.67 { 88-22, AsTs, As9s, As8s, As7s, A6s-A4s, As3s, KsJs, KsTs, Ks9s, Ks8s, Ks7s, K6s, Ks5s, Ks4s, Ks3s, QsJs, QsTs, Qs9s, Qs8s, Qs7s, Q6s, Qs5s, Qs4s, Qs3s, JsTs, Js9s, Js8s, Js7s, J6s, Js5s, Js4s, Js3s, Ts9s, Ts8s, Ts7s, T6s, Ts5s, Ts4s, 96s, 86s, 75s+, 63s+, 53s+, 43s, 32s, A5o-A4o, 75o+, 65o, 54o }


I don't know what to say about this hand. I loused it up horribly. In retrospect the flop is an obvious call, even though two players really like their hands. I don't know how on Earth I folded and must have been on tilt at the time. Coach agrees.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Chronicles: Part 1

I've decided to go ahead and put up some of the hand reviews I've gotten over the last 2 weeks. So as they like to say on Deuces Cracked, let's jump right into it.

Pocket 6s

I'm going to review as many hands as I can with different people. You mind helping out?

Live 20

Unknown limps CO. SB calls I check 66.

Co is 40s white guy, never seen him before. SB is solid live winner. Raise preflop?


I bet CO calls SB folds.


What's the play against an unknown. If I bet I assume I must fold to a raise. If I check I feel like it's to fold also.


I'd raise preflop, decent chance SB folds after completing the blind.

Flop bet is good, in the 40, I'd c/f the turn. I think most flush draws are going to check behind, but the pot is small, I'm OK with giving up.

In the 20, it's closer to a bet because some people will peel with the most random shit like underpairs, but I think c/f is still probably good.


Well, what underpair hands are you suggesting? I feel like many would raise pre, and those that didn't won't ever fold, right? The only reason to bet IMO is if I have an equity edge v flush draws and whatever else he peels with (which I bet includes raggedy aces).

So I checked to fold, but he checked. River was the other black 4. C/C now? Bet and hope he calls playing the board?


I was suggesting that sometimes in the 20 they'll peel the flop with 22/44/55/77/KhTs/etc. for whatever reason, so it's more important to bet the turn in the 20 than in the 40 (where they are more frequently folding those hands). But in general, I think you're generally smoked on the turn, and c/f'ing is fine.

River you can't check, because he's not bluffing a chop on the river unless he is extremely bad, and even then he will call whatever he is turning into a bluff, so bet and hope to get paid off by ATC imo. Because you like, have a flush draw obv., so he'll call for a chop.


Pete was the reviewer for this hand, and I think he nailed it. I made two mistakes (I didn't raise preflop and for some reason didn't bet the river) which is going to be a theme in these hands; they are all spots in which I was unsure of how to proceed and therefore are going to make me look like a pretty big donkey. I promise I usually do play pretty good. Promise :)

Donkey Kong

I am making a pledge to discuss 3 hands a day with 3 different friends. Can I count you in for one a week or so?

Live 20. Megafish limps MP, BJ raises the HJ, I defend 22, fish calls 3 ways.


I donk both call.

I can't remember the last time I donked here, but protecting my hand is not important and BJ will not air peel the flop. Non-standard but I think it has merits. Collect a peel from the fish drawing dead, BJ probably still raises big hands. I lose a bet from hands he will peel with but the fish won't call two with pure air.

Turn red ace.

I bet hoping to 3 bet.

For the record BJ and I have very limited history, but obvs we both know the other is good.



donking is bad. bj is cbetting his whole range 3handed. you're probably only donking a strong polarized range that lets him play well against u.

what do protection and bj's airpeel have to do with it?


Protection: I'm not concerned with facing the fish with 2 cold. She will peel for 1 bet with literally ATC, but for 2 she needs to have some reasonable (describable) hand.

Airpeel: BJs range is pretty wide. I think by c/r he bet/folds a fair bit of it. Like I guess the question is does he peel hands like T9s and A7 or not. My gut says he won't.

Obviously this is a single use line that relies on him having never seen it before. My thought is that I have a chance to get 6 small bets in the pot a fair bit by donk/3, and c/r will often result in getting exactly one.

As played....turn?


sure bj folds a fair bit when you cr but you get the cbet out of him at least

when you donk he just folds a lot and you dont get anything out of him

turn seems standard


More I think about it you're probably right. I wasn't really taking into account the times he's like "haha I fold" which will happen a fair bit.

Do you ever donk spots like these multiway? Like 4+ handed?


hu and 3handed never without a specific read that they check back often (non existent online)

4handed+ sure, altho depends on position and tendencies of pfr


Thanks. The BJ folded the turn when I bet, so I'm thinking he air-peeled something anyway.


da beej


The reviewer for this hand was Big Bad Babar, and again he's spot on. I tried to get clever here and execute a single use "donk of death" line against a talented young villain, but I got it wrong. My thinking was that he'd raise with big hands and call with crappy ones, so that I'd get to 3 bet when he was strong and get the same number of bets when he was weak, while simultaneously trapping the fish in the middle for as many bets as possible. The flaw in my thinking is that my opponent should be able to just fold to my donk with a lot of his pure cheese ball hands and basically own me. As it turned out it didn't matter a whole lot what line I chose, as he peeled the flop and folded the turn. This hand got me thinking about donking in general, and I do think it has merits in a lot of multiway spots, ones in which the preflop raiser is likely to check a decent portion of his range. But 3 handed against a guy who's betting 104% of the time just isn't the time to get silly.

Simple Blind Defense

I'm making a commitment to review 3 hands a day with 3 different people. Can I count you in for 1 a week or so? This ones easy....

Live 20, CO opens seat 9. I defend A7o in BB in seat 5. I give seat numbers cause it's one of those spots where he's in the CO but it "feels" like he's MP cause of physical positioning. He is basically unknown to me (I'm new here), but not a fish and Asian. Range likely widish, but no where as big as it "should" be.

862cc I have no trump

I c/c


I c/c


I bet to fold

Classic WA/WB. Online I c/r this turn all day, but against a live player I can't imagine 3 bets going in good. Thoughts? Also, do you fold some turns, like a red picture card maybe?


Yeah I'm down for the hand review...

I like this hand. Preflop is super standard. Flop c/c is fine. Against nits I fold because they either have a pair or a bigger ace. But against an unknown Asian it's a peel. Turn sometimes I donk because so many players check behind 76, 98, etc. here and they have 5 outs. But since he most likely has a lot of air that he could double-barrel, a turn check is fine.

When he bets, we are either raising or calling. Since raising usually folds out all worse hands and never folds out better ones, your WA/WB plan is fine. Only the presence of the flush draw makes me want to raise to charge him; also, smarter trickier LAGs will often project their own play onto us and think we're FOS with a flush draw, but (at this casino) 20 players are more straight forward so your c/r will be given a lot of credit (and they'll folds hands like JJ etc.). That tilts me towards a call.

The river donk is fine because hardly anyone triple barrels (once you call the turn A, he knows you're never folding a made hand so he will check behind all of his air and weak hands); you've gotta get a bet in if you're ahead. And he'll never raise a worse hand for value. So I think b/f is perfectly okay. I take different lines against different players I know, but for an unknown Asian this works okay.


P.S. I fold pretty much all turns that don't give me a pair or OESD.


Wow super thoughtful good review. Thanks. I think a leak I need to quickly plug is not giving people credit for a hand on the second barrel in this game. Like this guy opens UTG and I defend 44 (meh) and the flop is Q73r. I call one time and fold to the turn barrel; I just have to trust him to take a free river with ace high. Is that reasonable?

On this hand I honestly think c/f might be comparable to c/c. Lol they are just so passive on the river, only the flush draw deters me.


The reviewer here is the illustrious Private Joker, internet celebrity and destroyer of souls. For once I seem to have gotten a hand sorta right, but it shows a general leak that may have crept into my game from playing 60K hands on the internet. Online, in a button v big blind situation you need a pretty solid reason to fold ace high. In a live 20 game, the opposite is true; you need a pretty solid reason to show down no pair. It's a big leak, I think, to just willy nilly loosey goosey show down ace high in these games. There are times for it, and admittedly this could be one of them, but in general I need to make sure I have solid reasons for getting to showdown without any fruit.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Round 2

BAL raises in EP and Mr. Lee (lol do these people have homes?) 3 bets. Like the dummy that I am, living in unicorn fantasy land, I cap jacks. Even assuming BAL's range is missing AA and giving me the benefit of destroying them postflop with my position, this is inexcusable on my part. But I mean...jacks! Both call and hilarity ensues:


They check I bet they call. The turn is less than ten, and they both check again. I bet and BAL raises. Mr. Lee agonizes over a super standard lay down with what he later claims to be KK (how does this happen? He runs KK into AA, gets a Jack high flop, and loses 1 small bet post flop) and I 3-bet, praying for a river ace to unlock the jackpot. Sadly we miss and merely collect the pot, with BAL muttering "how this happen, every day pocket ace lose".

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Let Me Tell You a Story

Live 20 can, from time to time, bring one great joy. My hind-parts are still smarting from running AKhh into AA on a 875hh board, during which my opponent narrowed his range to AA preflop by capping, but I obliged his silly c/r/4 line since we were four handed and obviously I wanted to chop up crazy tat man and bitchy Asian lady. So we are still kinda feelin' that one, with BAL just doing what she does best; bitching. She's one of those hard-core addicts who have been playing for maybe decades who used to kind of avoid getting destroyed but anymore is probably lucky to lose less than $80/hour. She has responded by getting extremely grumpy, I guess.

So we are a few hands further down the Long Run and she calls for a setup, as is her custom, but it's slow in coming as is also customary and an extra hand gets dealt, one that, were setup girl Johnny on the spot, would have stayed in the deck, never to be seen and forever lost to the world. But setup girl is seldom Johnny on any spot, let alone THE spot. And why should she be? She's a chip runner for Christ's sake! He job description is basically to bend over and flash some cleavage whenever a customer runs out of bullets. White collar she is decidedly not.

Anyway, our rogue hand enters the Long Run, and I must say does so in memorable fashion. BAL limps up front and yours truly raises the QTcc. The blinds both call, with Mr. Lee (lol every card room in America has at least one kindly old man known as Mr. Lee) declaring he will play his rush. But wait! BAL back-raises! I call, the SB calls, and Mr. Lee chastises BAL, asking why she did such a thing, then calls by dropping 4 chips directly in front of her and saying "bad beat".

Q 8 6 with a club

They all check, and for some reason I bet. Both blinds call, BAL raises, and now it is me Mr. Lee is displeased with. I call, so do they, and the pot has officially attained "hudge" status. Quickly now, what's the best card in the deck?


My lonely pair has suddenly become a double gutted flush draw! Aiyah, Mr. Lee. Ai-fucking-yah. BAL bets and as I call cannot resist. The entire table has been discussing which color her aces are for two streets now. "Bad beat coming" escapes my lips. Mr. Lee calls, and setup girl watches patiently from behind the dealer, waiting to change BAL's fortunes all too late. I mean, how can I miss? I have 20 outs to crack the bullets; it has already been decided, the card merely waiting to enter the Long Run.


BAL checks, calls, cusses out setup girl and immediately takes an out button. Mr. Lee reminds her that she could have just won the pot preflop. She is of course not amused and mutters something at him that likely is not flattering in some language neither he nor I can understand.

Chronicles Intro

I've made a commitment to review three hands that I have played with 3 different people for every day that I play live poker. So far I'm roughly on pace, and have about 10 reviews that I'm considering putting up here. My main concern with doing so is giving away too much information about the way I think and play. In the past this would never have concerned me, but that's mostly because thought I was invincible. Now that I'm quite sure that's not the case, I'm a little hesitant to be so open about everything. I'll make a decision soon.

Yesterday was one of those days that should have been awesome but ended up being kind of frustrating. I lost like a million (60) bets online in the morning, then came out to play and won 3 racks over the first 5 hours or so. So I'm happy as a clam but need to play past traffic and you know the rest; I lost two of the racks, and all of a sudden on a day where I had 5 racks of chips I basically broke even. Meh, gotta re-adjust to it I suppose.

Monday, December 13, 2010

You Just Can't Beat This

Pound for pound, live 20 players have to currently be creating the softest games you can find. I'm quickly remembering why I took so long to ever get serious about Internet poker; it's just so hard compared to these games. The rake is oppressive unless you play quite high, tables generally have at least a few solid players, and often I wonder if I'm even a winner. This live 20 situation, however, is just so easy. They make huge mistakes; they are extremely exploitable; they just plain stink.

So far my return has been so so, but I'm confident I'll be booking more wins than losses in the near future and am more confident than ever that if my current situation stays viable (I don't go kookoo from the commute and the games don't die) I'll make it to the Commerce 40 yet.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Back in Action

I have returned to my roots, so to speak. I've played live 20/40 the last two days and (gasp) actually enjoyed myself. I ran pretty well (up a rack total), posted, some hands, renewed some friendships, and in general am pleased with my decision. More details to come, but it's looking like a hybrid strategy is going to be the plan moving forward.

One thing I will say is that playing 60K hands online has sharpened my focus and made me appreciate the ability to zero in on a single hand at once and try to play it super duper perfectly every single time. Kind of fun, and something I shouldn't have had to 8 table on stars to figure out but whatever. Hide your chips degens, I'm a comin' for them.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Worst Online Day Ever

According to PTR I just posted my worst day ever online. Given that for a fair bit of the day I was seated at some 1/2 tables I think this was quite a feat. More impressive is that I played 2200 hands and broke even for the last 900 apparently, meaning I basically lost 150 bets in my first 1300 hands. Nothing went right, lost every pot, yada yada yada....

I have to admit, things are looking grim for me keeping this online business going. For the first few weeks it was kind of fun to sit around the apartment and click buttons all day, but now it's getting old and I've kind of stopped winning. Even if things go very well the rest of the month (I log 30K hands and win handily) it's not going to turn out very pretty. I'm considering gutting it out, or perhaps becoming what everyone eventually becomes, an online/live hybrid player.

This Legislative Business

Harry Reid has dropped his push to attach legislation to the great tax cut compromisation cluster fuck 2010 (tm) to "legalize" online poker, whatever exactly that means. I've obviously been following these developments with a bit of interest over the past week or so, but the truth of the matter is that really nobody knew anything. Here are some random facts that I believe:

1. The status quo for online poker is not sustainable for much longer. The lack of basic consumer protection (lol bye bye eWallet dollars) can only go on for so long before the vast majority of people (the fish) just say fuck this I quit. IMR, how many hoops are the people who lose tons of money on these sites going to jump through?

2. Some sort of legislation is needed, and some sort of legislation will eventually happen.

3. The proposed "blackout period" in the bill would have been an unmitigated catastrophe for the entire industry.

So for now though, the status quo is going to continue. To be honest I just realized when I saw the most recent news that I was actually disappointed. Part of me was hoping the bill was going to pass and I was going to have to quit playing online and either make or break myself in the Commerce 40. Things started off so well for me online, but honestly the more I play the more I am thinking that it's just not a long term solution. The games get so tough so quickly, I'm routinely finding myself in 2/4 games on FullTilt where I'm looking around saying well that guy isn't very good and that other guy has leaks and then there are those 5 guys who win according to PTR and just for crying out loud people it's 2/4. Aren't there supposed to be megafish running around? I mean sure a lot of the players are bad and whatever, but as you move up even a little bit you run into players who either seriously study the game and know what they're doing, or according to cold harsh Darwinian logic by way of still having money in their accounts are reasonably not awful. I dunno how much longer I can pay $10/rake per 100 hands to try and win $4.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Proposition

Danielle and I just cancelled a trip to San Francisco this weekend because as usual we got too busy during the holiday season and just can't justify spending 4 days up there. For the record I am turning into one of those people that simply don't like the holidays, and may eventually end up just skipping the entire thing altogether one of these years, Tim Allen style (it'd probably about as entertaining my way). There's just so much.....expectation. I dunno, I never used to be like this. Anyway, to the point:

We had to cancel a room reservation for one night in San Francisco, and are on the hook for it if they don't manage to book the room. The details are:

Inn On Castro (we specifically booked The Red Room), on Saturday December 11th. We were charged $186, which we won't be getting back unless someone else books the room. My offer is simply to split the price of the room with anyone interested, so please get in touch with me if you or someone you know might be interested in taking his/her sweetie to a bed and breakfast for one evening in the heart of San Francisco.

In poker news.....I am not happy. This month so far has been a bit of a train wreck. I've only played 9000 hands, 7000 of them at 2/4 at which I've won comfortably (although I am currently on a 100 or so bet downer at that level), but the 2000 hands I have played above 2/4 have resulted in an impressive loss of $1000 (given that 80% of them were at merely 3/6 I think losing 50 cents per hand is a pretty solid achievement). I'm also pretty sure that my computer setup is causing me ergonomic problems, primarily from keeping my hand on the mouse for hours at a time. I'm not really sure what to do about that, but I guess I could look into using only the keyboard but jeeze that'll suck so much. So yeah, nothing really good to report on that front.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Turkey Report

The last week (basically) I was home in Pennsylvania, basically just hanging out with my parents and marveling at how much things have changed over the past 10 years. I don't make it back there as much as I'd like, and every time I do I am amazed at some of the new developments. The primary one this time was the introduction of a great deal of gamble to my home state. My dad and I visited the Meadows Casino Saturday night, and I have to say that I was impressed with every aspect of the operation except (big surprise here) the actual games being spread in the poker room. The parking garage reminded me of Foxwoods. The casino floor itself made me feel comfortable, like I was somewhere on the strip in Vegas (except for all the people wearing massive winter coats). There were slot machines freaking everywhere. There were 4 craps tables going, two of them $10. Lots of blackjack and other table games were going, with higher minimums than I expected. The building itself was nice. There were bars everywhere, and a food court type thing just like you'd expect. The bowling alley was pretty nice, although we didn't get to bowl because there was an hour wait. And the poker room itself was very nice and seemingly well run; there was just the small matter of there being practically no action whatsoever. They had 26 tables, and my estimate of their usage was as follows (and it was 5:30 pm on a Saturday...not prime time but certainly not ghost shift either):

13 empty tables
4 tournament tables
3 two/four limt hold 'em games
5 one/two no limit hold 'em games
1 two/five no limit hold 'em game

They had interest lists for a lot of other games, but it was pretty clear that nothing above 3/6 limit or 2/5 no limit really ever ran. My dad got to watch me play a single orbit of 1/2 no limit before we booked it out of there (good grief 10 handed baby nl is probably the worst game you could ever play in a casino). All in all I give the casino high marks, but I fear they will never reasonably sized limit games going and that's just kind of a shame. Besides this little trip the whole time I was home I played only enough poker to get my last two days credit for iron man for the month (so something like 600 hands), which was actually relaxing, but perhaps a bit much as I'm finding myself having trouble getting back into it today. On a related note full tilt made some more changes to their rewards program, all of which are 100% just good for me and other customers (they added a 500 point per day level to ironman, adding ways to qualify for gold or iron in a month, and brought back ironman plus, where you get bonus medals for hitting 1000 or 2000 points in a day....both changes are something for nothing if I'm not mistaken).

While I was off eating turkey (and all other manner of tasty foods....somehow I weighed only 164 pounds this morning, proving that weight gain, like weight loss, really is an endurance matter how bad you are, you simply can't gain much weight in a week. If you could, I would have just done it. Trust me) Bellatrix was busy in her nerdery running limit hold'em tournament simulations, the upshot of which you can check out on her blog (which the observant will note has been linked over on the left in the "Of Which I am a Fan" section for a while now). She is promising a several part series, interesting stuff IMO.

And in closing, apparently a friend of mine from back home invented the NeoCube, and a very good friend of mine is working with him to market/sell the suckers. I played with one while I was home and have to say it was pretty entertaining. Having one at a casino to keep your hands busy while playing poker might not be a bad use actually. For me for now it's back to the grind; I'm hoping to play 50K hands this month, but realistically there is a lot Holiday stuff going on and it's' gonna be tough.