Sunday, January 29, 2012


Sometimes it really does feel like I am protected from on high. My devastating Thursday? A distant memory. I've done nothing but win since then. Everything I've touched has turned to gold; I've won, my horses have been winning, I even took a piece of a friend's friend in the 40, forgot I did it, then found out he won like 6 racks or something preposterous like that. And to boot I decided not to play the $340 limit hold em event at the LAPC and do an action swap with 5 or so friends and guess what? Not one of them cashed, and I didn't have to sit there playing for 6 hours. I play so good. Seriously those limit hold 'em tournaments are just such a horrible idea for pros. First of all, anybody who is any good whatsoever would be better served just to play whatever game he usually plays for however long the tournament lasts. Like, suppose you are just a moderate .5 bet per hour winner in the 20 and it takes 7 hours to bubble out (like it took Babar last night lol nice hand sir). That means you should have won $140, but instead lost $340. That's pretty stiff, and that's just for somebody that wins a little bit in the 20. For any player who could beat a bigger game it's just absurdly expensive. Then there's the other problem, that the fish are SAVING money by playing the tournament instead of losing their minds in the 40/80 games. The logic is just the reverse; if you lose $80/hour playing 40/80 (which is actually a pretty modest loss rate given the current rake environment), it makes a good deal of sense to play the tournament. Even if you had a ZERO percent chance of cashing you'd save money if it took you over 4 hours to do so. And let's be honest, all but the worst of the worst players in the event have at least 50% equity (for a $340 buy in they can expect a $170 return), so you can see how every quickly the tournament becomes a very compelling alternative for losing players. But nobody thinks this way so whatever...

Where was I? Oh yeah, winning. I just won and won and won and it was great. Yesterday I was sitting in the second commerce 60 game and just felt like I was king of the world. I literally probably knew 50 people in the room, and counted at least 10 or more of them as good friends, and I don't know I just felt...awesome. I'd stumbled into an amazing 60 for the second day in a row and just won a bunch of pots and then one by one the fish were actually going broke (which does happen from time to time, despite what everyone says) and then the last really live one just up and quit. She was on my immediate right (I run so good, i had no idea who she was when I sat down) and I was so on top of my stuff that I just insta-quit. I took an out button, went to the bathroom, came back to a full game, watched 5 or 6 hands and decided I just didn't need to play. So I racked up, said my fair wells (including stumbling upstairs to needle babar and La Peste and numbnuts for playing the $340 tournament I railed against for 10 sentences above), and 15 minutes later as I walked back through the top section my game was...gone. It had literally vanished into thin air, from 8 handed to no dealer no chips no players in I'm not even kidding less than 15 minutes. Now in fairness a large part of the reason I picked up was that I suspected the game was in jeopardy of breaking, despite the presence of 9 players with chips AND an active list. But whatever, once again, Jesse wins.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

[x] Hubris

I was going to write a long post entailing what just happened to me, but I need to curl up in the fetal position and sleep it off so I'll just hit the high points. For the second time this week I got picked up from the 40 literally minutes before my shift was to end (earlier this week the floorman got me by less than 5 seconds; my blind was out and if I took it I was safe), so I headed to LA's friendliest. I arrived at 4:15, waited until 4:45, got a 40 seat, didn't post, got a 60 seat in a must move game from 20th on the list, lost almost a rack in 30 minutes, got buttoned, and the game broke. So I got a 40 seat in a must move game, in which I played for about 45 minutes, lost a rack and a half (including KK < QQ on JT4-9-8 and red AA < KTdd on 943ddd to the same player in the same orbit), managed not to get buttoned, and the game broke. So it's 6:45pm, I've been in the room 2.5 hours, have lost about $3000 and have broken game status in both the 60 AND the 40. That's got to be a difficult feat to achieve, really it does. Eventually I got my 40 seat, played a lap, then got a seat in the main 60 which was amazing and lost another rack and a half in 2 hours, bringing the total damage up near the $6000 mark. All this after basically quitting my shift not sure if I was up or down.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

$500/day is A Lot of Money

So I'm playing the Commerce 40 with this guy yesterday and he's just a fucking gem. They really don't make 'em like this anymore, that or they still do but they are all hiding at Hustler (which is what I hear, but every time I go there the game is shit AND I can't even get into it but that's another story for another time). Anyway, he's just fish-botting his way through literally every pot, calling preflop well over 70% of the the time so long as it's been raised less than twice, and eventually seat changes specifically so that I can Jesus seat him. I mean really, it doesn't get any better than this. Now of course I'm losing because it's the Commerce 40 and winning pros just 3 bet second pair on a 3 flush board hu for straight value and get there every time (nice hand sir, nice hand), but that's not really the point. This guy is having a rough go of it, and as is occasionally the custom of people have completely lost touch with reality he decides to attempt to strike up a conversation And who could blame him, really? He's a 45 year old Asian man with 7th grade English skills, a debilitating gambling problem, and $600 in chips on the table. I'm playing 40/80 at Commerce, so we must have a great deal in common. In fact, we're very likely kindred spirits!

So anyway he starts chatting me up and it literally takes like 75% of the total mental effort I can conjure not to appear outwardly and obviously offended. I mean, I really shouldn't be bothered by something like this, and I do my best to provide good customer service whenever I can (especially when I'm on the clock), but sweet Jesus what the fuck is this guy thinking? Does he really believe that I give even a rodent sized turd about any of the countless inane topics he could attempt to discuss with me? Does he truly believe that he and I are the same in any way whatsoever? It's just so difficult to believe that the answer to either of these questions could be yes, given that the man has actually managed to keep himself alive for over 40 years that you need to look for other options. I mean, I get that he doesn't really understand that the only reason I am in the building suffering all these idiots is to prey on his idiocy, I really do. But can't we just leave it at "who do you like in the superbowl" and not go any deeper than that? For fuck's sake...anyway....

The conversation quickly becomes truly hilarious. First of all, he wants me to sympathize with how difficult it is to avoid the pit games because of how much fun it is to play them and how much you can win. On this point I cannot really agree with him. Were I on top of my game I would have fabricated some hilarious stories about five figure runs banking blackjack switch, but like I said I am using 75% of my total strength just to not call the guy a buffoon. So really all I can say is that I don't really play pit games, and he doesn't really understand that. He presses me a little, confused how I could not be drawn to them like moths to a bonfire. All the while, mind you, he's playing every other hand and typically losing in very straight forward fashion. I reiterate that I really "only play this game" and we eventually move on to more of him talking about himself, which is what this entire conversation is about anyway so I figure that's good because that means we might be closer to, you know, finished. The next thing he talks about, however, is how he used to be a big chaser, used to get himself hurt really bad, but now is able to "take the loss" and walk away. I nod in agreement that this a good thing, thinking merely sweet lord lock the doors don't you dare quit this game. He then goes on to tell me that he played the HG 20 game every day for 6 months, and literally every single day would win a rack and quit. Every. Single. Day. "$500/day for 6 months...that's a lot of money." At this I can only chuckle and agree because the man has a point...that is a lot of money. Like $50k, actually. And I'm sure he's exaggerating a little bit, but to be honest with the way he is playing if he's willing to go 8 or 10 racks deep just to win one I don't doubt that he could succeed very very frequently. So anyway as I'm marveling to myself at just how ridiculous and wonderful of a construct this "limit hold them texas poker" really is and how rigged the HG 20 truly must be if this man could take even half or a third as much money out of it as he's claiming, the narrative continues. Apparently just last week he was banking like pai gow or some other monstrosity and lost...wait for it...thirty. six. thousand. You read that correctly, but go ahead and check it again. The man lost thirty six thousand american dollars (that's a wad of benjamins thicker than some pillows I own) in one night playing...pai gow poker. I am...stunned. But there is little time or reason for me to say anything, because the narrative has reached it's climax. This is a new year, he says, and he has learned his lesson. He's not going to chase any more. He used to lose $100K trying to win back the first $50k, but no more of that. No no, he's going to protect his bankroll, because if you don't have any money you can't make any money, and if you can't make any money you aren't anybody at all. As he's finishing up he turns over A7o to chop a pot with ATs on a JTT-J-J board and I am left in sheer awe of all that he is; a stunning, breathtaking, clueless, well funded idiot. What a country.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Something May Have Just...Changed

Today, for the first time in what feels like and could literally be years, I felt like a fucking bad ass in a card room. I've mentioned a few times recently about how I've been regaining confidence, but this...this was a little different. I spent the day at Commerce and was confident that I could safely sit in any limit hold 'em game in the room. I played 40. I lost a rack and a half, as is my custom, mostly to horrendous beats and cold decks and what not, before taking a 60 seat. The 60 then broke, with me getting buttoned. I was not deterred, played 4 hands of 40 and then was informed we were restarting the 60. I drew the button because there is sometimes justice, and watched astonished as winning pros, players I respect, turned down seats in what to me appeared to be a just fantastic game. And it was exactly that; a fantastic game. I played some fun hands, and some not so fun ones, and on the day I ended up winning a little, but none of that was really important. All that mattered from today is that after years of missing in action my swagger may have actually come back to me. I can't say for sure yet, but something about everything today was just...different. I felt sorta like I did back in 2008, when the 20/40 game was shiny and new and every decision excited me and heightened my senses. This whole time I've been down in LA that critical element that all winning poker players seem to have has been missing from my arsenal. I've just been going through the motions, worried about money and the assholes and the angle shooters and getting out played and all manner of other things. But now, finally, I think I have it. And everyone better get out of my way.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Boom Shakalaka

I just loved that game. I mean really, was there anything better than NBA Jam for the SNES? I will always remember playing that game against Danielle in college when we first started dating, and still having our relationship be fragile and delicate enough that I couldn't tell her about CPU Assistance. It was pretty funny when we eventually did turn it off....anyway, I've pretty much been on fire the last two days. Between Friday and Saturday I won 134 bets and just a shade under a main event buy in. I simply could not miss a hand, under any circumstances. I came in Friday morning at 6am to save the game and sat with five and four handed for 90 minutes and just destroyed everything in sight. I sat again for like 20 minutes around 10am and won 2 more racks. Then I won and won and won, until finally yesterday 15 minute before my shift was to end we started a 6 handed must move game with 4 props and 2 customers, and I relieved the customers of another $2600 in like 60 minutes. It was, in a word, glorious.

On top of that the whole staking thing has taken a turn for the better. I guess I won't go into much detail, but will simply say that it is no longer true that all of them are stuck, which is...swell. I was starting to get a little frustrated that I'd spent so much time and effort hammering out all the details of the deals just to light a bunch of money on fire, which obviously isn't good for anyone. But things are looking up on all fronts poker wise, so I really can't complain. Now it's time to watch some football.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Silly Day

First of all I have a hand that just is so amazing I have to post it. It's sort of a bad beat in that I missed a flush draw, but really it just illustrates the awesomeness of life poker. Here we go:

3 players limp and the local maniac limps in the HJ. The CO raises and I insta-cold-call on the button with A4cc. I'm not sure if that's right, but folding such a promising hand on the button seems out of the question, and 3 betting really isn't going to accomplish much positive either (it's not like all those limpers are going to fold or anything) so calling seems just...good. The small blind cold calls, I don't remember if the big blind plays and all the limpers call and we see the flop at least 7 ways, maybe 8, for two bets a piece.


That is correct, I have flopped the nut flush draw in a 7 way raised pot hello Garden City 2007. And the sb...donks. Just a stupendous chain of events really. My read on the small blind is "super tight", but this hand is really what etched it in stone for me. Anyway, one of the limpers calls, the maniac calls, the CO just calls and I raise it right up for straight value/free-card/kittens/and awesomeness and all four of That's right, the small blind just calls. Keep that in mind. To the turn


In terms of cards that do not give me the nuts, that card is probably pretty freaking good. The small blind checks, the one random limper who has nothing to do with anything checks, the maniac checks, and the CO....Donks. LOL, are you serious? I almost had my free card and there you go just donking whatever it is you have over there OK so I call. The small blind calls (so remember, his line is cold call pre, donk/call, call so far), the limper calls and the maniac....raises. So much for that free card....We all call and if I'm not mistaken there are 22 bets in the pot, or just a shade under 2 racks. There are still 5 runners in this horse race and daddy needs a new pair....month's rent. Paging the river:


Brick. Total freaking brick, almost no chance it changes who wins the hand unless someone is holding exactly 65cc or MAYBE 87. And it...checks...through. And then the true hilarity of the hand can no longer be contained as the small blind tables....pocket tens. That's correct, he flopped a set and took the following line: donk/call. check/call/call. check. That's his line on that board, on a hand in which by the time the action gets to him on the turn it is impossible for ANYONE to have him beat. I can't have it, the maniac can't have it, the pfr can't have it, nobody can have the straight or the QQQ. It's unpossible. And yet after getting raised ONE TIME on the flop he shuts down completely, but somehow the poker gods and the maniac and the preflop raiser (who had AQdd lol seriously? that's almost as bad) conspired to make sure he still won an $1800 pot. It was so preposterous that the maniac and I actually had to laugh out loud.

OK so that pot was hilarious, but otherwise I personally have been running like ass for a while now. K9 < JT on KQ4cc-Kc - Ar (and yes he 3 bet me preflop and yes I got 4 bets in the flop because he never has it), AA < QQ on J65-Q (MikeL and Dos were in disagreement about that hand, but it's possible I was supposed to bet/3/fold the turn and certainly shouldn't be calling the river bet UI like I did). Blah blah blah, can't flop a pair can't make a flush etc etc etc, and yet somehow I'm only stuck like $5K for the calendar year. Yeah pretty stupendous actually now that I think about it, I must have booked some large wins that I'm forgetting about, because it feels like I haven't won a pot since Monday. Today I actually had to stop myself out of the best seat in LA because I was playing so bad (I missed some value bets because of mubs, failed to bluff once, and made a bad fold I think) that it just couldn't have been correct to stay. But tomorrow I'll go once more right back into the breech and hopefully will put a stopper to this madness. We've been getting 3 and 4 games these days, so my life has gotten way more interesting with me actually doing "proppy" stuff like "start the 20 start the 40 play for one lap get picked up start the must move 20 start the second 40 get picked up start the third 40 get must moved to the second 40 go off shift get moved back to the main 40" type days. It's stressful, but it's means we have customers at a minimum.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Jesse Plays 2-3 NL; Hilarity Ensues

So it's 9:55am and we don't have enough customers to start a limit game, but there are 4 guys trying to play 2-3 NL so Matt and I sit down and fire that shit right up. As usual I pick up hand after hand after hand and in general look like a spew monkey (something like 14 hours of LA baby NL lifetime up almost $2000), when in fact I just always have it. So anyway I'm spewing along and then boom someone opens to $10 (2-3 blinds) and I make smoov (that's how we play the NL) and there's a call behind and the button makes it...$20. Then villain calls $17 in the big blind. This is the pivotal moment in the hand. Villain is a 20, 40, and 60 regular in the LA area whose complete inability to manage the English is just one of the most amazing things ever. Last May he asked me so repeatedly "what time the dollah game?" that eventually I told him I thought the lottery drawing was at 7pm. He wanted to know when the Mavericks tipped. Anyway...he calls $17 more in the big blind and the raiser fails to re-raise and bang five ways for $20 each. I have 88.


Yatzhee. Villain and raiser check and I...check. Why on Earth would I do that? The caller on my immediate left has a piece and my LHE mentality is sure he will fire. But he doesn't...he checks. An hour later as he was blowing his brains out in the 20 he confirmed "that was the case 8 on the flop" and I just sorta shrugged. Anyway the 3-bettor checks and I cry.


And here is where it gets hilarious. Villain leads for...$20. 5 ways, into $100. The original raiser folds and I ask "did you really just bet 20?" and he says "yeee ess" and I say "not enough" and make it $100 straight. Let us take pause to realize how awful that is; I started the hand with about two fiddy, so there is $120 out there and I have $230 left and top set in a 4 way pot on a soaking wet board. Lol I am the second worst. Two players fold and villain proves why I am the second worst; he calls.


Villain snap shoves his rack into the pot. It has me covered, and I snap call. He declares "top pair" and shows K9hh. And here is the thing...he's value betting and quite sure his hand is good. Matt declares "that's no good" and I table my set and the table is just kind of stunned. This was a huge pot for them; for me and villain it barely rates as a blind steal. Welcome to baby NL, where you can play a hand as badly as you want and your opponents will routinely just stack themselves.

Friday, January 13, 2012

[ ] Google Wins

First of all let me say this; I love Google. I think they've done a lot of incredibly good stuff making the internet a much better place over the last decade or so. There are some things I don't like about them (like head hunting my entire Oracle group and de-railing my entire software development career, general arrogance, and being the entire reason I live in Souther California with someone who routinely comes home from work at 10pm and isn't done yet), but generally when it comes to products I think they get it right pretty much every single time. Sure Buzz was a complete cluster fuck and I hated it like just about everyone else, but that was a while ago and I'd basically forgotten about it. Until now.

About a week ago I logged into gmail for the first time in a few days (like 90% of my communication these days is done from my phone or iPad; I very seldom actually use my laptop for anything) and was just blown away by how awful the new user interface is. Like, it's stunningly terrible. There is no contrast, there are no boarders, and the moved everything around seemingly just for the hell of it. Apparently the new UI movement is called "kennedy" or some such, and it has been generally met with unbelievable displeasure across the board. But for some reason (probably arrogance) the company is moving forward with it. OK, fine, that I could kind of deal with. The UI on my email is now horrendous, but whatever I almost never use it and if it's really that bad they'll fix it eventually. But then just now I googled for images, I believe "end of the world" was the exact search, and what did I get? A bunch of pictures taken by a "college" friend"(where I use the term loosely since if I'm not mistaken I graduated before he enrolled) that have absolutely NOTHING to do with what I'm looking for (which happens to be a picture of the Earth exploding that I intend to use to bust that_pope's balls). There is no possible way this could ever be what I want to be shown, but the first twelve images, taking up nearly half my screen, are from his web album on google plus (which admittedly is titled "the end of the world in new jersey" or some such).

I don't really know what the point is, but I'm taking a sick satisfaction in them slowly but surely starting to make pretty big mistakes. That's probably wrong of me, but I can't help it if I'm bitter and jealous about the entire situation. OK that's not really true either, but whatever. Danielle is about to get home from her 4 day business trip to some mountain camp in Santa Cruz where they sang Kumbi Ya and drank Koolaid all weekend, which come to think of it....

That Guy is Such a Fish

So yesterday was a glorious day of texas poker (today was basically the complete opposite, with me spraying off some large number of bets I have no yet calculated, but I'm going to try to write this post from the positive light of "this morning" and not "now"). I got myself buried pretty good (as is my custom of late) and then went on a stunning heater, winning basically every chip on the table, mostly while the live one was off playing black jack. It was just great. The hand that made me quit, however, was not one of my finer moments. It folded to this random girl on the button and she opened. She'd been very active preflop during the 30 minutes that we had shared space in the universe, including taking three to the face with big gamble (four deuce suited), so I decided pretty quickly to 3 bet with the A4cc. Some people will tell you this is an auto 3-bet, and others will cringe in horror at my hideousness, and IMHO the real answer is "it depends". Anyway she just called and the flop came down:


LOL, yeah, that actually happened. So I bet and she raised and this little voice said to my brain "She never has it!" and so I 3-bet and she just called. At this point I was happy that she was about to call me down with pocket sevens. The turn came:


Which was fine until she raised me, at which point I immediately realized I was in deep shit but also could not fold; I had 15 outs to chop with a hand as strong as Ace Ten, not to mention three more to win. And since I had been employing the tried and true spray and pray strategy I was getting some absurd price, like 9:1, so my chips went into the pot without really a second thought. And that's the important part to note here; I didn't take so much as a second to think about how I wanted to handle the river. To be honest it didn't really matter much because there weren't many interesting cards, but that should have made the task even simpler. I should have known what I'd do if the river came:


So I donked and she turbo raised. Like she didn't pause, she didn't think, she just whipped 16 chips into the pot as fast as she could. I cringed expecting to see exactly pocket 3s (I'm serious, that's the hand I'm afraid of here) but dutifully put the 14th bet into the pot and she showed me...AK. Just the ace and the king, top pair top kicker. I grimaced and showed my hand for what had to be one of the dirtier beats I'd laid on anyone in a while, and immediately stood up to get racks.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Rebaked IMO

So Potato and I's text conversation didn't end with the story of what has to be one of the most commanding efforts to run a slow-roll I have ever heard. No no, he was just getting started. Here are two more gems from today:

Me: 40 actually loose passive and pretty good but I got last seat my calvalcade of terrible decisions continue to work out fine.

Potato: Terrible decisions are the keystone to a successful poker career. the thing to remember is that is is paramount that you run hot wrt those decisions.

Potato: Jeff Madsen bracelet run that one year is a prime example

Potato: Better poker player plus pulls hotter chicks; dominating at life as far as degen is concerned. Jackpot is good kicker. conclusion Steve > George and that's all there is to it.

Me: George should be able to bang 8s with regularity. Anything less he has serious leaks.

Potato: Speaking of I've been on a quantity over quality binge for awhile now. I'm way overdue for a good old fashioned hot chick that makes on lookers question what that girl is doing.

Po. Tay. Toe.

Today's post comes via text message from the big potato. The man has grown weary of winning $60/hour or whatever bumbling around the LA houses of ill repute playing $10 chip LHE games and now spends a fair bit of his free time playing NL and PLO (as big as 20/40/100 no gambool no future IMO). So he sits in a NL game, posts behind, and 3-bets a guy with the AQdd. The guy calls and they take a flop of


Potato shoves (beats me if this is a good idea or not...he could have the nut flush draw) and the guy calls. There's like $1000 in the pot and the guy immediately starts begging to run it FIVE TIMES. Potato is like no no it's a small pot (it is) just run it once. Guy begs. Potato stands firm. Guy asks for 3 runs. Finally potato concedes and says "ok dealer run it twice."

So she runs out two boards and potato bricks out on both and they arrive at showdown and the guy just sits there. He clearly doesn't want to show but eventually says "I have only 2 pair on both" and Potato says "that's good" and the guy actually looks kind of sad. "Just two pair?" he asks and again potato confirms he wins.

And the guy finally shows 44 for quads and a completely wasted world class slow roll.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

2011 Results

So right now I'm waiting for the Steelers playoff game to start, or more accurately I'm waiting to start watching it so I won't have to deal with the commercials during the game. Kind of irritating, but I just don't enjoy watching games with commercials anymore. I'm spoiled. Anyway, here we go....I've got a couple of conflicting issues here regarding posting my results. I know a lot of people want to see them, and I know that a large part of the reason my blog has been so successful is that I've been very open and honest during this entire 3.5 year experience. So I am going to report some numbers, but will hopefully end up leaving a little bit to the imagination.

The first thing that becomes apparent when looking at my results is that I need to play as much 40 as possible and start treating 20/40 games as merely something to do while waiting to get into larger ones. It was a pretty big surprise to me, but I actually played more hours below 40/80 than I did at or above it for the year (counting some 15/30 and 25/50 from the Bike and Hustler, and the 30 game at HG). If I were to have guessed, I'd have said 65% of my hours were 40/80 (or higher, although that's a very small number), and to be frank I'd have been WAY off. I kind of forgot that I didn't really play much 40 the first 3 months of the year, and even up through Halloween I was routinely logging 4 hours of OT 20/40, opting out of the tougher prop filled 40 games I had access to. So there is that, which is a little surprising. Then there are the total numbers, which are striking; I won more bets per hour in the 40 (and above) than I did in smaller games. And it wasn't particularly close. What are the reasons for that? Well, some of it could be run good/run bad. Some of it could be game selection (a lot of my 20 hours weren't played because I was in an amazing game, but rather because the 40 games I had access to simply weren't that great). And some of it could, sadly, be tending to play 40/80 earlier in the day (when I'm fresh) and grinding out longer 20 sessions at night (when I'm tired and likely making mistakes). The net effect is that while I spent over half my time playing "smaller" games, bigger games produced over 3/4ths of my profit for the year. So what does this mean? No more 20/40.

For the total year I won .65 bets per hour across all LHE games. The number creeps up to .72 if you remove "very small" games (anything below 20/40, which basically includes some horrendous results in the bike 15/30 that no longer exists, and also dusting off a rack or so in various 8/16 games for almost no reason at all). Given the volume I put in and the utter lack of table selection that most of my life entails, I am thrilled with this result. On top of all that, I was able to take home wages and rewards cards dollars averaging over $2500/month. So in short, the year was a raging success, despite finishing December with the worst down swing of my entire life.

If you have any questions about my results, please feel free to post a comment here or contact me via some other messaging format. I'm always happy to share. But for now, it's time to watch the first ever nationally televised Jesus-Ectomy.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Go Billy Go!

So last weekend in Scottsdale I found myself at a bar called Eli's, watching four beautiful flat screen TVs at once showing the four interesting AFC matchups that were currently running. Actually I got there an hour early and watched the end of the Lions Packers "game", which was amazing but also just a complete boondogle if you looked at it the right way. Anyway, I've got myself set up at the bar with the Steelers Browns up and to the left and Ravens Bungles up and to the right, and the reason for this was pretty simple; if the Ravens beat the Bungles, the Steelers game was meaningless. So in a way, THAT game was actually more important to me than the actual Steelers game (this fact was augmented by the fact that the Browns are 4-29 against the Steelers since 1994....go ahead, read that again. FOUR AND TWENTY NINE SINCE NINETEEN NINETY FOUR). Well I learned something, something that I probably already knew but had forgotten several times; there is nothing more frustrating that rooting for a shitty team that you have no respect for. Nothing. And that's exactly what I was forced to do, somehow find it in myself to root for the Bungles to pull off a monstrous upset of the Ravens.

It was not a fair match, a fact that became quite clear midway through the 2nd quarter when I turned to Danielle and said "I feel like I'm standing by watching my little brother take on the school bully. I'm really rooting for him, but I know I can't go in there and help him because he needs to learn to stand up for himself. Go little Billy, you can do it!" And that's literally the way I felt for the entire second half, just complete and utter disdain at having to rely on the fucking Bengals to somehow someway steel a game from the Ravens. And of course they couldn't do it. You know why? They're the fucking Bengals, that's why. They're an awful franchise, with a bad front office, a functionally retarded coach (more on that later, but his first challenge in today's playoff game was perhaps the worst use of the red flag I have ever seen), and a roster full of under-performing criminals. So they lose because they are terrible and I'm forced to wince as phase 2 of my "Steelers lose in Foxboro in week 2" prediction comes to fruition. The Broncos can't score a touchdown and go down in flames, except wait Oakland can't win either! Somebody has to win the AFC West, right? Right? Are you sure? We have to let one of these teams in the playoffs? OK, send in the Tebows, everyone will find that interesting.

So fast forward to today...Danielle and I spent pretty much 5.5 straight hours watching the two games, and I again was put in the position of being forced to root for the Cincinnati Billies. Why, you ask? Two reasons, really. First of all if they won they'd have to go to Foxboro next week, and the Steelers (assuming the business of beating Tim Tebow senseless is properly handled) would play Baltimore. To me that is basically a free roll. If the Steelers don't play the Ravens and instead get blitzkreiged in Foxboro, then the Ravens will have won the season against them. But if they could ride into Baltimore and knock the Crows out, that would effectively be like the punching the bully in the gut and taking back the lunch money; the previous beatings would go away. Remember, I have zero belief that the Steelers can beat the Pats in the playoffs; zero. It just can't happen, not so long as Mr. Uggs and Bellicheat are stalking around over there getting shit done. My second reason is actually a bit more logical; if the Billies somehow could win TWO games, and the Steelers ALSO won two games, the AFC title game would be held in Pittsburgh. Pipe dream? Sure. But who wants to root for a team from Texas?

So anyway I spent the entire game rooting on the little Billies, and boy oh boy did they shit the bed with gusto. The stat I heard before the game should have been all you needed to know regarding where to put your money on this game. The Bengals finished with a mark of 9-7, but lost ALL SEVEN GAMES they played against playoff teams. That's right, nine and oh against the chumps, oh fer seven against teams that actually had their shit together. Denver, San Francisco, Houston, Baltimore, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh...all losses. There was just no way Billy could pull this thing off. And it didn't take Marvin Lewis but 15 minutes to see to exactly that. Midway through the first quarter he decided to challenge the spot of the ball (which is a notoriously stupid idea) to try to turn a 3rd and 1 foot into a first down. Think about that. The current situation is that you have the ball, 3rd and 1 foot, somewhere around mid-field, and you decide that what you should do is throw the red flag to try to change the spot of the ball such that you get a first down. If you win, it will be first and ten. The ball will not change hands (for crying out loud it will only move a foot), and the scoreboard will remain the same. And that's if you win! If you lose you'll assure yourself of only having 1 more challenge the rest of the game (you only get 2, unless you win them both, in which case you get a third), and you'll lose a timeout. So of course they lose the challenge (if I were the ref I'd have called it that way just for pure spite) because guess what? The spot was basically right, which was clearly evident on the replay. So then what happened? Andy Dalton ran a QB sneak and converted the 3rd and 1 to...1st and ten. Worst challenge I ever saw.....

And the Billies did all sorts of other stupid stuff, most of which I can't even remember now because we then watched the entire Saints game, in which they mercilessly slaughtered Danielle's version of the Billies; Detroit. That game was kind of a fake out. If you just looked at the scoreboard at half time you would have thought it was a close one. But the stats were mind boggling. Brees was something like 16 of 18 for 175, and they had 120 yards rushing. They only reason the game wasn't over was that they kept fumbling. So what happened? The saints came out and scored touchdowns on 5 straight drives in the second half, only stopping to kneel down with 2 minutes to go with the ball on the Detroit 2. Brees threw for like 900 yards, and Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles also had stupendous games. The only thing I really learned from the game was that the Saints defense is even worse than I thought; anytime you manage to give up 28 points in a game where you offense DOES NOT PUNT you're simply not good. Danielle spent the game rooting for Detroit, and realized midway through the third quarter that rooting for Billy just wasn't that much fun.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

How Does This Happen

In just two short days I've gone from extremely well rested and chomping at the bit to play poker, to extremely fatigued, unable to sleep, and really having no interest in going in to work today. I guess it could be because I was out of the house for 15 and 13 hours respectively each of the last two days, and perhaps because the landscapers showed up at 7 this morning, but in general I'm just not super happy about it. And over the last two days I was actually able to feel my play degrading and slipping for the first time in a while, until last night around 7pm I was playing my usual "not that good" game and bailed. Here are some examples:

Hand 1, 20/40

Fishy limps, old school tag raises, a cold-call, I call in the blind with the mighty 74o, we see a flop of:


I check, fishy checks, old school bets, a fold and I...Raise! Fishy folds, tag folds, I pat myself on the back for a job well done. The play took awareness (fishy wasn't that interested) and cognition (old school will bet/fold a huge portion of his range on this board, giving me credit for exactly a king). Yah.

Hand 2, 40/80

Bad player limps, I raise, tag-fish calls, button calls, 4 ways. I have kings by the way.


Bad player donks, I raise, tag-fish snap calls, button calls, donker calls, I cringe. Tag-fish pretty much has a set of 3s or 2s here always, as I think he'd 3-bet a flush draw. There is a chance he has pocket tens, however, so I must bet/fold the turn to make sure.


I bet, tag fish raises, button calls, bad player folds, I fold. The river is a card and tag-fish shows the 333. This play isn't extremely difficult or anything, but it does qualify as a hero fold that, when playing poorly, I am unable to make. Like here...

Hand 3 40/80

Lady who just crushes me opens UTG but like 6 handed, I defend the QJcc


I c/r which is probably bad in and of itself right from the start. She calls. I cringe and try to figure out what to do when:


Seems like I still have a value bet, right? Fail. There is no value, whatsoever. She will play perfectly against my bet, and the only hands I even remotely want folding are gut shots which I'd imagine she'd have snap folded on the flop. I suppose I beat QT, but again, I don't think that's even getting here. Anyway, I value bet.


I check/call like a fish, see the A6o, rack up and go home.

Seeing my play deteriorate like that was a little disheartening, to be blunt. I like to believe that I am capable of playing well for an entire day, but it's possible I've been lying to myself all this time. And tonight's horrible sleep definitely isn't going to help, so I guess the plan for today is just to take it one hour at a time, take lots of breaks, and try not to fight too dirty against my money.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Run Good Continues

So that Commerce game got pretty mediocre after I'd played or two hours and won 20 bets, so I picked up and headed to work. Within 15 minutes of arriving the prop supervisor found with good news; I won a prize at the Christmas party! I went to HR to collect it ($325 spread over a dozen gift cards), then headed to the floor to start a 20. We finally spread the cards and I snap draw the ace of spades to win the button before anyone else even knows what happened.

Happy New Year to Me!

So I walk into Commerce at 7:02am with 9.5 hours of sleep under my belt (lol who says you can't goto bed at 8pm) and it does not look good. Upon immediate inspection there is one 20 with a list, one 40 with no list and no 60. I walk towards the lone wolf floor man and as I'm passing the 40 the 500 pound man in seat 8 literally throw his cards over the 5 and 3 seats' heads. His tirade is all the standard stuff, f this f that runner runner all the days etc etc etc.

Me: "I think you have a seat"
Floor: "You want this purple chair? It's well broken in"
Me: "Naw, just two racks"

Fatty was supposed to be on the button, so it slides one extra seat and I post behind as the 4th blind 90 seconds after walking onto the floor. Happy New Year to Me!