Tuesday, September 28, 2004


(Eddie with his pistol walks up to the parrot in its cage)
Eddie : I know what you're thinking, parrot. Your thinking how many shots did i fire back there in Act 2 Scene 1? To be honest in all the excitement of Rik forgetting most of his lines, I've actually kind of forgotten myself. So do you feel lucky, parrot? Go ahead, make my day.
Parrot: You fired six you fat bastard!
Eddie : That's right.
(Eddie fires his pistol repeatedly shooting the parrot to pieces)
Eddie :
But I fucking reloaded!
"Bottom Live: The Big Number Two Tour"

No more poker to speak of since last post, I am still waiting for the money to clear from Aloha over to Neteller. Don't know if it may run into problems with me never having made a deposit into Aloha then trying to withdraw the cash, but anyway we'll wait and see. I haven't recieved an email from either site to say there has been a problem so who knows.

But now I have a new dilemma - where should I invest my new found wealth? The obvious choice is Party Poker where so many other people swim about the waters, but there is more to consider. I signed up with Poker Source Online and had a look at the bonus offers there. here is what they currently have going:

Party Poker - Free 300 11.5 gram chip set

Pacific Poker - WPT Season 1 DVD set

Absolute Poker - Free KEM cards

There are deposit bonus' with all of them - 20% to 40% and so on, and naturally there is the minimum raked hands to qualify for the deals. The dilemma is I already have a great poker chip set, but I could sell the 300 one for about $100 here in Australia - however it would cost me $50 to get it out here. This makes Party Poker the least attractive offer. Pacific and their DVD set could be good, but I don't know if I would watch it all and it is hard to find reviews on it. The KEM cards would be awesome, but I don't know much about Absolute and also their requirements to get the bonus is the hardest to meet. Please post your thoughts below.

Also, again I have to mention
SirFWALGman. After finally being able to put in a few hands into an online odds calculator (here) about when in a 1 cent game two ass clowns bitched and moaned when I called their all in with KJc, and they had 44 and A7. Turns out KJc is actually the favorite of the three, albeit very slim. KJc is 38.23%, A7 is 30.68% and 44 is 30.71%. I naturally assumed that because I was behind pre-flop that I was the underdog, and now I learn that I was in fact holded the best EV hand. this really makes me look at pokcet pairs in a different light. Big props to the good knight SirFWALGman, a true poker theorist.

UPDATE: How hard it is to get money to a bloody poker site? I am trying my hardest to get the money out of Aloha, but now they say I need to make a initial deposit of $25 before I can pull any out. No worries, but they only take VISA and not Mastercard. Ok, we'll go through Neteller - both my creditc cards were declined because the banks don't allow Neteller for some reason. I tried Moneybookers, and they want me to send them a scan of the back and front of my credit card - before it too gets declined I bet. Man, how hard can this be? Online support for Neteller was useless - they just said send an email to customer support. Why is PayPal so easy and everwhere else so difficult? Anybody who can offer help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Monday, September 27, 2004

I'm not shopping

Officer Palumbo : Bullets! My only weakness! How did you know?
"Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle"

Just saw that movie last night, and it was better than I expected it to be. I really enjoyed it, and while the movie goes absolutely nowhere, that's kinda the point of it. Besides, we had free tickets so it was win-win no matter what. Actually, that's not true - we once saw the Paul Walker movie "Time Line" or something like that for free when the movie we really wanted to see was snapped, and that wasn't worth the time to watch it. Piece of crap. Also saw "House of the Dead" on DVD this past week. It was recommended to us by a guy who said it was so bad you have to see it. Well, it was bad. Really bad. At the start, about 3 or 4 of the female characters get naked for no real reason, then once that little 10 minute raunch is over they start shooting Zombies and then th movie ends. Great little review there. Anyway, enough of that, I want to talk about poker.

Had a great weekend at the tables. I sat down at Aloha on the nickel and dime table to try to make some money and maybe even pull in the bonus for best hand in the hour. The bonus was screwed though as about 15 minutes into it someone would hit a Royal Flush and that would be the end of it. This happened 3 times, pretty amazing considering there are not that many players on there. Had a look at the tournaments at the same time and noticed there was a $10+$1 NL tournament with $1000 guaranteed - with only 12 people registered. That sounds like a bargain to me, so with 25 minutes to go I forked out the digital bills and entered myself for some fun. Naturally, a few others also noticed this bargain and jumped on board, but the field was still only 36 so I thought I had a good chance. On the nickel and dime table, I took down one big pot to win $2.50, that's a ROI of 50% an enough for me as I wanted to concentrate on the MTT. First place was $400 so it looked really juicy for me.

Started out well, and after folding a few hands I was able to pull a few pots when people where betting into me. I even managed to knock one player out when he tried to bet on the river with a board of AKJTx rainbow and I was holding Qx. Now here is a move I at first did not understand - he bet half his stack (which was about 65% of mine), then I raised all-in. He called, and then mucked his hand. Why would you call? I wish I knew what he had, but anyway he re-bought and was back up to $800 in chips. Ah yes, the dreaded re-buy. As I have said before, I don't believe in them. However in this tournament with 36 people starting, there was 43 re-buys. That's just nuts. Throw in about 10 add-ons as well, and I can see why Aloha runs these $1000 guaranteed tournaments. The end prize pool after level 5 (cut off for re-buys and add ons) was $1010, so they actually made a profit on it. Unbelievable. Top five places paid.

I was sitting in the top three for most of the time leading up to the final table, on occasions even taking the top spot a few times. I was up to $11K with about 20 left when I got my calculator out and worked out that for the final table, the average stack will be about $8300, so I would be in a great position to take home some cash then. Play was very slow, and I lost a big chunk when dealt QQ lost to AK when the king hit on the river. Not much I could do about that I guess, but now I was just above average with 19 left. Have to play smarter from here.

One big pot was won with QTh. I can't remember the board exactly, but there were two hearts and one of them was the King. The turn was a not heart and there was a bet from the only other player in the flop of $1K, or about 1/7th of my stack. I had a drawing hand, but decided to give this one a go. I caught the heart on the river and took a big chunk out of him and his two pair. He wasn't happy, said something like "Keep fishing", but I kept quiet and kept on.

When the final table came around (finally - seems like everyone is doing the waiting for the nuts thing.), I had managed to creep into 7th - still a few places out of the money and work to do. Again, I got a nut Broadway straight and had someone bet into me. I figured he probably has it too, but lets make him certain on it, and I went all-in. I thought that was the obvious thing to do when you have the nuts. He called, and mucked his hand. Wow, somebody must really like calling with two pair or something I guess. Slowly people dropped out as the game became one of all-in or fold. The big stacks were well spread over three players, and they only called if they had a premium hand, none of this bully stuff yet. When it was down to the bubble, I was in 5th. I was dealt KK and felt that this was it. I know one of my faults is that I can not be passive at the table. If nobody else is pushing the action, I take the lead and sometimes the role of Policeman. But in this case, I have the second best starting hand possible, I thought I have to do it and hopefully double up to make a run at the big money. Everyone folded, so I stole the $3000 blinds. Damn it, that was my chance. Very next hand, KK again. Thanks Poker Gods, this time the smallest stack calls me and we are into the money!

I knocked out 5th place again, and now had the lead by a few thousand. Here are two of the most stupid plays ever. With Q5 I limp, and see a flop of 543. The only other player in the pot, chip rank 2, checks it. I thought I might see if I can take it out here, and bet 2BB, about $6K of my $26K. He re-raises all in. I thought I had top pair, he must be trying to bluff now that the money is here. I called. He had A9, no suits and a straight draw. I had top (but piss weak) pair. Why the hell would he go all-in at this stage of the tournament with nothing but a straight draw? That had to be the second worse play of the day. The worst? WHY THE FUCK DID I CALL WITH A PAIR OF FIVES? Sure, in hind sight I was slightly ahead, and granted when he hit a nine on the river I was pissed, but I can not be proud of calling all-in with that crap. I was now down to about half the small blind ( a micro blind?) and was all-in the very next hand with T9c. It didn't improve, and I was out in 4th with a pay out of $114 US. Everyone else in the house was waiting for me from 12.30pm on to the eventual finish at 3.45pm for lunch and to go to the shopping mall. I said they can go without me, first prize is $400 I need to play. Well, I didn't tell them what first prize was, just that I wanted to play. When it came to 3pm, Mitch started to have a few jabs like "Lunch is so over rated" - I said again, they don't have to wait for me, but anyway when I told them $400, they understood. So after I nearly quadrupled my entire bankroll in just a few hours, how did I feel? Happy, but un-fulfilled. It was weird, this was by far the best money result I have ever had, but I knew I could do better. I was coming 1st with 4 people left, and made a terrible call that potentially cost me $300. I knew I should have won, but for a lot of the tournament I felt like I was out of my league, or playing in somebody else's club. I felt like the outsider that didn't belong and everyone else was gunning to push off this stranger. I guess this is something that I will overcome in time, but anyway it was good to get some money.

I set up an account with Neteller to try to get the money out of Aloha and over to Party so I can join in on the festivities there. I will keep some on Aloha as obviously there is money to be made. I might be in a bit of trouble trying to transfer the money across though, considering I don't have an American bank account or anything but we'll see. I may even put some of the winning towards poker tracker, but not just yet. If I hit $250 then I may do it. All up, a good day on the tables.

Reading back through a few comments and the like on these here posts, I am very grateful for them all by the way, but the one from
SirFWALGMan about KJ verus Ax and pocket fours. It made me look at these hands in a different light - especially when I had about a month where every time I got busted it was against a small pocket pair. Those pocket 4's were up against 12 outs (not including straight and flush draws) so even though they are ahead pre-flop, they are not really all that strong. They need the third 4 to make them a decent hand. Thank you Sir, you have opened my eyes somewhat and any more insight I get into my own game through this poker blog is obviously fantastic. Another reason why I am the "World's Greatest Poker Blogger Ever". Come on, you didn't think I would go a whole post without mentioning that, did you?

Also have to give a shout out to
ArturiusX, a new Aussie blogger on the scene. As of this post his blog is only 1 post old, but the fact that I found another Australian poker blog to me is phenomenal. Best of luck to him.

This will be all for now, I will post again when I have more to talk on. Been reading heaps of great blogs lately, and for the record I do not think poker has jumped the shark...yet.


Thursday, September 23, 2004

Pushing back

Brian McCaffrey : You see that flash of light in the corner of your eye? That's your career dissipation light. It just went into high gear.

I put the above quote in because I liked the movie (bound to be better than the new ladder one due out soon with John Travolta), and I think we all have that moment; where we see a light flickering in the corner of our eye letting us know this tournament is over for us.

I had a few tournaments running last night at the same time, and I have a bit of a bad habit when this happens - I pick the one that pays th most or I have the best chance at winning and try my best there, but the other one I just play like a mad man. All in pre-flop on KQ, pocket 6's or JED suited even is not uncommon. Having this in mind, I give you the following hand.

Hand Number: 123,370,569
Table Number: 1,309,518
Event Name: Bugsys Bonus Point N/L (#972095)MNHF
Event Started: Tuesday September 21st 6:15:07 AM CDT 2004
Event Type: PokerPages Tournament
Event Buy-In: BC Member (1,000 BBP added)
Game: No Limit Hold 'em
Level II: 25/50 Blinds (25 Minimum Chip)
Average Stack: 10,857.14 (10,000 starting chips)
Remaining Players: 280 (304 started)
Seat 1 : Andzz starts with 6,625
Seat 2 : runningkavu starts with 9,975
Seat 3 : welldone starts with 8,375
Seat 4 : labehr starts with 15,425
Seat 5 : old_joe starts with 11,600
Seat 6 : __2__ starts with 9,925
Seat 7 : cardsindark starts with 8,775
Seat 8 : steve3981 starts with 12,925
Seat 9 : Dreamscape starts with 10,125
Seat 10 : KING_OF_CLUBZ starts with 6,250
Seat 6 : __2__ has the dealer button
Dreamscape dealt down 8d 9d
cardsindark posts the small blind 25
steve3981 posts the big blind 50
steve3981: all these aces
Dreamscape calls 50
steve3981: gonna be a quick tournay
Andzz folds
runningkavu folds
welldone calls 50
labehr folds
old_joe raises 225 to 275
__2__ folds
cardsindark calls 250
steve3981 calls 225
Dreamscape calls 225
welldone calls 225
---DEALING FLOP--- [ Jh Qd Td ]
cardsindark bets 50
steve3981 calls 50
Dreamscape raises 9,800 to 9,850 and is all-in
welldone calls 8,100 and is all-in
old_joe folds
cardsindark folds
steve3981 folds
Dreamscape takes back 1,750
Dreamscape cards were 9d 8d
welldone cards were 9c Kd
---DEALING TURN--- [ Qs ]
steve3981: wow deram
---DEALING RIVER--- [ Jd ]
Dreamscape wins 17,675 with a queen high straight flush
welldone has left the table
welldone finishes in 280th place
Hand Ended: Tuesday September 21st 6:24:26 AM CDT 2004
Total Pot: 17,675
Board: [ Jh Qd Td Qs Jd ]
Seat 1 : Andzz did not bet, folded pre-flop
Seat 2 : runningkavu did not bet, folded pre-flop
Seat 3 : welldone lost 8,375, showed hand [ 9c Kd ]
Seat 4 : labehr did not bet, folded pre-flop
Seat 5 : old_joe lost 275, folded on the flop
Seat 6 : __2__ (button) did not bet, folded pre-flop
Seat 7 : cardsindark (small blind) lost 325, folded on the flop
Seat 8 : steve3981 (big blind) lost 325, folded on the flop
Seat 9 : Dreamscape bet 8,375, won 17,675, net +9,300, showed hand [ 9d 8d ]
Seat 10 : KING_OF_CLUBZ did not bet, folded pre-flop

I won't defend the play, as I may have gone in a little early with teh smaller straight but I did realize that I had a flush draw - I didn't think about the straight-flush draw though. This is my first ever straight flush in any form of poker, so I was pretty damn happy with it. I only wish it won more for me. I was knocked out of this tournament not long after when I went all in with AT and a flop of ATx, and was beaten by the chip leader holding TT. Oh well, I was not super into this tournament as I was already an hour into another that I had a better chance at getting into the money in.

The other tournament was 5 points + 1 point NL. With 78 players, it paid about the same as the free rolls with 500 players (all be it to far less places), so I thought I might be a batter chance here. I notcied very early on that this table was very tight - not too tight though, just good tight poker. After 45 minutes only 4 people had been knocked out - and I was repsonsible for one of them.

With pocket 7's I limped in the big blind with about 5 callers. Wow, nice community pot going on here. The flop could not have been better at 77A, giving me quads and a lovely Ace to help entice the others. Right, I'm UTG +1, so early position. How should I play this? I decided to let any aces out there make their bets and I would just call, then stamp them out when it came to the river. I was risking perhaps quad Aces, but that was a risk I was willing to make. Yep, I would just call or make very modest bets to the river and then beat those aces out there - what a plan! Well, the plan was fucked before it even started as UTG went all in with about half of what I had. Damn it, looks like I have to jump now. I called, and no one else did. He had Ax and of course my quads held up. I gained a little but it should have been much more. About 15 minutes later I was dealt pocket 8's which became a set on the flop, quads on the turn but no body wanted to meet my minimum raise, so the pot was small. I saw quads three more times from other players for the night, so they were on fire.

Pretty soon I had doubled up when the big chip leader, lets call him BL was moved to our table. He was at about $70K already and was really pushing everyone. No bet from him was less than $5K (the tournament average was about $14K at this stage), and more often than not he would bet so that everyone else had to go all in to see. This being the tight table that it was, rarely was there a showdown. But BL would show his cards after every take down - and they were usually something like Ten high or middle pair only. I know how this usually plays out - he bluffs and bluffs and then someone decides to call him the one time he does have a hand. Thats probably how he got to the chip lead in the first place. I decided it was not going to be me. Soon enough I was down to $17K, just above average, when I was happily moved to another table. I left some player notes on BL just in case out paths crossed again for this tournament.

The new table was much better for me, and by the time the final table came to I was in third with $70K - and BL was now over $150K. only the top six places paid, so I was keen to not bust out before the bubble. There was about 4 players less than 4BB, so I thought I should be pretty good. BL was still playing his game of massive bets, adn I notcied one other player in particular, who I shall call VX, was getting annoyed with it. There was another player up over $100K though, so at least he had that to worry about.

I did call a few of his big bets with marginal hands, and when they did not improve on the flop I was forced to throw them away. he still showed his 49o for bottom pair to rub it in, but I was not to be tilted just yet. 10th had only just left and I was now below $50K - blinds at $5K.

Shit...now I was down to below $30K after chasing a hand and there were still 2 non-paying places left to fill. BL was still pushing every one around, until when my stack was $22K I got dealt a life line in the form of Pocket Aces. BL bet $10K, I raised all in. I mean really, what else could I do? He called and showed JT or something like that which wasnt good enough to get rid of me. This put me up to above $50K again, and a chance to play again. It also meant for the first time in nearly two hours BL was not the chip leader. Soon we were in the final six and guaranteed some win - I now changed my goal from getting some profit to maximising it. I was happy to finish 4th now, and pushed on.

Vx took a big chunk out of the chip leader and adopted that position, still going on in the chat trying to get someone else to front up against BL (but not willing to do it himself?). I took another huge chunk out of BL when I met his big raise and went over the top of it all in, this time he folded. This was the first time I saw him fold to an all in, so I knew I cracked him. He was down, but not out yet. Vx took care of the other players and now it was just the three of us - I was now happy to just beat BL.

It seemed that ever second hand BL would go all in and say "Well here's your chance". Even with three handed I was not prepared to call that with 38o, but I did try at least when I had pocket pair of a couple of picture cards. To no luck, I might add. BL had doubled up twice to now be over $50K again, Vx at $230K and me at $140K.

Then the hand came, he was all in and I had ATo. Of course I called and he showed JT suited, but an Ace on the flop was all I needed and Bl was out of here! I was proud that the guy that was the big chip leader from about level 2 was knocked out by me to finish in third only. Vx was very proud too, but now I had a chance to play for the 1st place and imaginary trophy that goes with that.

I managed to take down a few big pots with straong agressive raises, and soon had the chip lead. With KQ suited I went all in and VX called with Ax. I got both a king and a queen on the board so that he was drawing dead come the river, and it was all over. I pocketed 400 points to send my bank roll into unchartered teritory of triple figures, but the satisfaction of how I played for 80% of the tournament was far more valuable to me. Things are coming along steadily.

On to my last post, it would seem that a few people are starting to stand up and take notice of this here "World's Greatest Poker Blogger Ever". The Knight in Shining armour that is JW over at Outkicked has jumped on the band wagon. And might I say I am not surprised, as this is surely just the first of many. But slightly out of character, I have to add that the criticisms I put in the last post were firmly tongue in cheek. I tried to make that as obvious as possible, so I hope people don't take offence. Nobody has yet, but I'm just saying that's all.

Annie Duke sure has got the poke world talking. Whether it is because people hate Phil Helmuth, people defending Phil (I liked this post from Go Be Rude), people who like Annie, people who are put off Annie or people who claim sexism works for and against her. First off, let me say I don't think any pro players take her lightly because she is female. Everyone knows she can play, she's proven that once again. Secondly, I think it is great that this tournament created so much talk amongst bloggers. I did not see it but feel I did because of so many different write ups about it. I even told Serena and Mitch (our flat mate) about her showing the nine - they are less poker keen than I am and still thought it was hilarious. Howard Lederer is kind of my favorite pro player (The only real tournament I saw was the clash of the champions or something where Bob Rose???? won, but I liked Howards play.) and Annie obviously deserved to win, so good for her. And hey, if this leads to more and more women in poker, then I'm all for it. Really, I mean ALL for it.

This reminds me a little about my current job. I've heard a lot of stories about the young women coming into a card room with a low cut dress and taking all the men for all their chips. Well, since I have an advertising budget to spend I get to speak to a lot of radio stations and their sales reps. One of the younger focused radio stations sent their sale reps out when I first started this job, and it was two (read it, TWO) very attractive women in revealing clothes trying to sell ad space. All the boys down in the store wanted to be my assistant for that day. But I always look on this in a different light - I see it as a poor sales technique and as them trying to trick me into buying their product. I see it as a challenge to get past it. The fact that one of them was playing shill ("Wow, that really is a good deal, isn't it" - Like you haven't heard the same deal 20 times today) was just the icing on the cake and they got sent home empty handed. Send a 60 year old man with glasses to me and he has my attention straight away - reminds me of my grandfather. Besides anything they say in their low drawl sounds so insightful and wise. But I digress...

All I'm saying is Annie Duke may fool some people because she is female, and like many industries and sports, Poker is dominated by men. I guess there are not many competitions out there that pit the men and women against each other. Being female is only an advantage against some players, and I feel against very few pros. Certainly not the new generation of poker player any way. But like I said, I'm glad she won.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Be gentle, it's my first time

Nicholas : I'm being toyed with by a bunch of depraved children
"The Game"

I've got some blogging to do man, some real catching up going on. I need to tell the people about a few SNG wins and losses, some more ass clowns in Internet poker and my first foray into a live game as well as just how much influence this here "World's Greatest Poker Blogger Ever" has on the world of blogging.

Firstly, I was nearly down and out on Poker Pages after some horrific river beats in the SNG. Good news was I never actually got pissed off about it - I was even happy enough to post a few "lol" in the chat box, and let the game go on. I did manage though to pull but in spectacular fashion and win my last two SNG for a total profit of 78 cents worth of bonus points, meaning my balance there is back in the 80's - much like my dress sense (Boom tish. Try the veal. I think my crappy joke and rim shot will become a regular feature now.). Good players there as well, not too stupid to lay down a hand when they are beaten, strong enough to keep going when they think they are not. But that's not to say my latest experiences were not ass clown free - not by any stretch of the imagination. At one stage I had four tables going in various MTT and SNG, so on the 1 cent SNG at Poker Pages I decided that KJc first hand was good enough to go all-in when two people ahead of me did too. They flipped over a pair of fours and A7o. The flop brought a King, the turn brought a Jack. Then it started. They went off in the chat box about how the worst hand won, why don't I just go all in with everything, this is why this poker site sucks so on and so forth. You know why this poker site sucks? Because morons argue over a silly call on a 1 cent table. The grand prize was a 4 cent profit, and they expect world class play. These guys just went on and on and on - man I hope they left notes on my screen name because I know I will win against these guys every time. And not once did I post a reply in the chat, I just let them keep going and going. Instantly though this one cent game became more important. I needed this win to piss them off even more. But before that, lets look at the offending hand (it was only one hand that pissed them off.).

I had KJc, against A7o and pocket 4's. Damn, the calculator on Twodimes seems to have gone missing. Oh well - anyway, neither hand is a monster. A pissy little pocket pair and a 6 gapper to ace. Wow, instant wins on those baby! Sure, KJ suited is the worse of those hands, but at least it looks respectable. I was ahead on the flop, farther on the turn and all over by the river. Why they bitched and moaned will remain a mystery to me. If they are such poker Gods as they claim to be, what the hell were they doing going all in on the first hand with that shit? I say it was divine justice that the "World's Greatest Poker Blogger Ever" smacked them back down. But boy, did my concentration level rise for this 1 cent game after that. I folded a lot and when I went all in the next time, I had another ass clown follow. He had JTh - and I had the rockets baby! It was all over for him. I finished in second or third in the end, I can't remember but it did mean I was in the money places and all was good with the world. With the abundance of stupid people in the world, and their tendency to gravitate to the Internet, it was nice to know that even on this miniscule scale I was taking some money away from them. I'm a bit like a good Samaritan in that sense - or Robin Hood even. Yeah, more like Robin Hood, and believe me this Robin Hood is the needy!

Having said that, in one of the MTT free rolls at Poker Pages, I was in about 4th position with 40 or so people left, going strong, when I go all in with the second largest stack on the table after the turn, and he hits a one-outer on the river to put me below the small blind amount. I told him if he wins he owes me 11 cents for the entry fee. I never did check to see if he won or not...

But on Saturday night I was finally able to play in a live game. Through some website I got in touch with a guy in the next suburb over who has invited me to a few games before and something always came up that stopped me from attending (distractions among the list.). I was wrapped when Serena had organized a girl's night in (means they are watching shit house Julia Roberts movies and drinking wine) on the night of the game. I was in dude, no doubt about it. Even though meeting people I have only spoken to over the internet is surely something my mother warned me against, I am glad to say I made it home by 2.30am without any back door action and with both kidneys still intact.

After taking only 1 wrong turn, I finally got to the place for a game of 6 handed, $15 buy in. The payouts were 1st $45, 2nd $30 and third get their money back. This was good, as at least only half the group would go home under for the first game. The rest of the group I learned consisted of two big WPT fans and decent players, another guy who was very solid, a calling station and the final guy I never got a chance to figure out because he took some huge pots that he was almost forced to win - more on that in a minute. I guess I was at an advantage because they had no idea what I played like but knew each other very well. Does this means I should be at agreater disadvantage because I knew what none of them were like? Well, surprising myself, I thought I picked up the jist to their games extremely quickly, I was quietly proud of myself.

On about the third hand, the host (very good player) sees the flop of QQT and calls all in. The guy to my right immediately calls, and everyone noted this was not a good sign. The host had QK, the other player had QT and flopped a boat. It didn't change with the turn or river and that was it for the host. It also meant that the other player now had a massive chip lead and would now see almost every flop and call almost every all in, so I never could really figure out if he was good or lucky.

Not long after this, the other very good player was busted when his brother called his all in and put him out on the turn. So, the two best players on the table were out first and second, this could get interesting. It also means I'm on the bubble now.

Man were my raises getting some respect. I have always prided myself on my poker face - solid as a rock baby! There were some time where I saw the other players agonizing over whether to see if I was bluffing or not and I thought either they are really thinking this through or are fantastic actors. Luckily, it was the first and they usually folded. It helped that on a flop of Kxx, I went all in and they folded quickly - the lucky guy said "It probably wasn't that big anyway" so I flipped over pocket kings straight away. I think that scared them off for a little while.

Soon enough I was looking down at AKh and saw a flop with two kings and a heart. I check-raised in early position and the lucky guy called with his massive stack (guess why I call him the lucky guy?). He had something like Q9o, but thought he should call being the big stack. The turn is the Jack of hearts, and now I have a flush draw as well as my trips to be well ahead. He needs a ten to make a straight, but the ten of hearts is no good because that makes my flush. Of course, he hits the ten on the river and I am out. At least everyone knew it was a tough loss, so I was happy at least. Lucky guy now had about 2/3 of the chips at the table, when one of the very good players says to the remaining in the game "If you get up and beat him, I'll marry you.". You could see it happening, Lucky Guy then wasn't so lucky and lost 6 all in calls in a row (he did have crap though). Eventually he went out in third and it was left to the calling station and the other decent player heads up. This was the first time either of them made it to heads up I found out, so it was really good for them. Eventually the decent player got up, and pocketed the cash. A really fun game, but the calling station and Lucky Guy had to leave so the second game became four handed, first pays $40 second pays $20.

The host again was out after about 4 hands when his trips didn't stand up. Pity, I know it might not sound like it but he did seem to be a very good player. Not only that, but because they had Foxtel (cable television) and since we moved we no longer have it, they were constantly talking about the world poker tour coverage on the channels there. I could not believe it, it is on every week now here in Australia on more than one channel - how awesome is that? I mean, it's still shit because I can't watch it but you get the idea. Poker is getting bigger here in Oz, it's only a matter of time.

Still three handed, I was dealt ATo and when the board showed Kh Th Ts 3h Qs on the river, the other good player was first to act. He put in a big bet of $5,000 (most bets for the night were $500 or there abouts). He had not bet up until this point, only called so I thought he must have either missed his flush or perhaps hit the straight. I have trips with a nice kicker, perhaps he has trips too? Here is what could have been on of the greatest or most stupid moves of the night - without any hesitation I re-raised all in. He was the chip leader by about 1/3 over me but this really made him think. On the board was a full house, a straight and a flush, all of which could beat my trips. After really agonizing over the call, he laid it down and showed us he had hit his gut shot straight on the river. I just said "Hmm, thought you had a baby flush." and mucked my cards. How I didn't show my glee is beyond me. Yep, I'm a player now.

In the space of four hands, I was dealt AA, KK, 78o, AA. Not a bad little run, and proof that online poker is rig...Oh, hang on, this wasn't online. Never mind then. By the way, AA got beaten by two pair the first time and by a full house the second (I laid that one down though. Flop was QQx and he went all in, an easy guess that he had the queen was right), and the Kings were won pre-flop for a small pot.

The decent player busted the very good player, his brother, for the second time on the night. This means that if I win I am up $10, if I loose I am down $10 on the night. After some more strong raises (bluffs were about 1 in 4 of those, and only one got called - screw that once a week crap!) he eventually calls all in with a flop of Axx, two clubs. He has an Ace plus rag, I had 5c2c but a massive chip lead so a flush draw seems like a good deal to me. I hit it on the river and that makes me a winner!

All up, it was great and these guys knew how to play, which was refreshing. They don't burn cards though which I thought was weird but hey, it's their game. They were real poker fans and made many references to professional players and funny moments that I knew nothing about but wished very much that I did - something about some amateur getting pocket aces three times early on a few years ago and always showing them saying "courtesy" in a very gay manner, and something about "Big chip mover" if that means anything to you. I am glad I ended up with a profit (well, who wouldn't be?) but also happy that I didn't win both games as the chances of me getting invited back would be slim. It was interesting though that the chips they had bought here in Sydney from some guy were pretty good, plastic and about 8 grams but they cost more per ship than the 13 gram chips I got sent over from America through eBay. There's a lesson for you there kids!

Also, big help wanted here: Does anybody have any reviews of the site
Poker.com? I just found out that it is run by an Aussie guy and he has some decent plans on his site on how to make a poker table. If somebody could give me a review on what the action is like on the site or point me to a review, that would be great.

Now, onto my influence since I proclaimed myself the "World's Greatest Poker Blogger Ever". Since I started that claim, the total number of people who have referred to me as the "WGPBE" is still in single digits - in fact, it is a single digit. Just the one, me. No fear, this will not stop me from continuing my crusade. However, since I began with that claim, I have noticed a few things.

Firstly, Dr. Pauly made a long post about he characteristics of poker players online based on their chosen screen name. "Why, that sounds awfully familiar World's Greatest Poker Blogger Ever" I hear you say, and you would be correct. Dr. Pauly's post is dated 15th of September is titled "What's in a name" where as if you look on Poker On Film, the post dated the 3rd of August what do you find? "What is in a name". Trying to hide the "I" in "is" with an apostrophe was not clever enough, Doctor! The fact that at the time my site had about 3 site views and hundreds of people before have done a post named the same about the exact same subject, and that Dr. Pauly's was far longer and more interesting than mine is totally circumstantial. Shenanigans I say, SHENANIGANS!

Then I decided to have a look at a poker site that shall remain nameless except to say it involves poker and Guinness...And a guy named Iggy, who some refer to as the "Blogfather" - but nobody refers to as the "World's Greatest Poker Blogger Ever" I notice. Anyway, this nameless site started his post this week with a quote directly out of the British comedy series "The Office". Hello, do we know anybody else who did this? Cast your minds back to a chilly night on August 17th, when yours truly did just that and started my post titled "It's all in the timing." Sure, the quotes were not entirely the same, one was from season one and the other from the final episode of season two...And they were two entirely different characters and all but I can see through this thinly veiled smokescreen for what is truly happening out their in Blogsville - Iggy doesn't call himself the "World's Greatest Poker Blogger Ever" because he knows I'm out there (and something else about modesty which is nothing nut hearsay). Sure, nobody calls me that either but I think you'll agree the evidence is irrefutable. In only 29 posts I have changed this little internet sub-culture, and surely endorsement deals are just around the corner. Shenanigans damn it, SHENANIGANS!

And I have noticed numerous Poker blogs out there using the same template and font type as Poker On Film. You should all be ashamed of yourselves. Imitation may be a form of flattery, but you could better show your appreciation by donations. I mean come on, a man's gotta make a quid you know.

End mindless rant.

That will do for now, work is busy as all hell so posts will be few and far between for the next few weeks. I am improving my play with every game and am enjoying it more and more as of late. Hopefully some more wins will follow.

Oh, and if you didn't get the humour above, don't blame me. (And that is how we spell humour down here, screw you spell checker!)

Friday, September 17, 2004

Hey, isn't that ...

Jay : Hey, wait a second! Aren't you the guy who fucked the pie!
Jason Biggs : You see! It's never "Hey! You're that guy from Loser" or "Hey you rocked in Boys and Girls." No, it always comes back to that fucking pie! I'm HAUNTED by it!
James Van Der Beek : You put your dick in a pie!
"Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back"

Very little happening on the poker front. Finally got hte computer fixed up at home, but I won't be going online until I can buy some protection programs this weekend to make sure this doesn't happen again. I've been too bloody tired to play poker at nights anyway, so maybe this was a blessing in diguise. The $55 to get the computer fixed up was not in disguise though, and hardly a blessing.

Party Poker screwed
Dr. Pauly and the rest of the people trying to win a trip to Australia. I hope they go to the effort to make it up to all those guys that lucked out on this. If Dr. pauly does manage to drag in a free trip to Melbourne, I'll have to fly down for a weekend and see what the action is like - but I think personally in is highly unlikely that I can raise $10K between now and Januaray to join in, so I'll just have to be a rail bird methinks.

Speaking of films (huh?), I love a good cameo, as I have stated before. Below in no particular order is my little list of top ten cameos of all time and why I thought they were so great.

Poker On Films "Greatest Cameos"

1 - Hulk Hogan, "Muppets from Space"
Let me just say I am a huge fan of the muppets. My favourite two muppets are Statler and Waldorf, the two grumpy old men up in the balcony. They are Gods.
This was an ok movie for the muppets, but is was funny to see Hulk as a bad guy. Keep in mind this was during the biggest boom period the wrestling industry had ever seen. Hulk Hogan was the biggest name in wrestling and after years of telling kids to drink their milk and take their vitamins, he turned into a bad guy. It was fantastic when Gonzo asked him about his fans, and Hulk...I mean Hollywood Hogan said "What do I care, I'm a bad guy now.". Gave me a chuckle anyway.

2 - William Dafoe, "Spiderman 2"
The Spiderman movies are awesome, this we all know. The second one though was a little different and it was weird how so many people got to see Peter Parker was Spiderman - inlcuding Mary Jane,which I guess had to happen eventually (but didn't Superman movies and the TV show go down hill once Lois Lane found out?). The ending sequence with Mary Jane running away from her wedding and then seeing Peter jump out of the window - as she gave her blessing to him with a "Go get 'em, tiger" was very moving - moving as in inducing gag reflexes. That was very cliche and I thought it was too easy. Now the scene just before that where Harry Osborne hears his father laughing, remnants of Norman Osbornes own madness, was brilliant. The movie should have ended with that scene instead as it left you drooling for the third installment. Honourable mention should go to Bruce Campbell for his cameos in both movies, but because his appearance was expected I gave the nod to Dafoe instead. Bruce is cool enough to not need me mentioning his cameos anyway.

3 - David Bowie, "Zoolander"
This movie was full of cameos, but David Bowie stood out - More than likely because they made sure you knew it was him which is usually a bad thing that means test audiences didn't recognise the fmaous face as they should have. I find that hard to believe in Bowie's case, but that is what they chose to do so life goes on. Bowie was bar far the coolest cameo in "Zoolander", so that's why he gets the mention here.

4 - Tom Cruise, "Austin Powers: Goldmember"
Another movie with shit loads of cameos, but Tom Cruise stood out because when the opening sequence was playing, I actually thought to myself that this looked like something Cruise would do in "Mission: Impossible". Besides, I don't think Tom does that many cameos so that makes this one all that more cool.

5 - Mark Hamil, "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back"
Full of cameos again, and again they had to announce who "Cock-Knocker" was to get a reaction out of the audience. I think it was justified on this occasion because it was crucial to the jokes to know who the actor was and he was also under a look of make up. The pay off for the audience is when he says "Not again" when he gets his hand cut off, ala Luke Skywalker. The pay off for Kevin Smith was he got to have a Bong-Saber fight with Luke Skywalker. I'm sure about 6 million people were jealous at this stage.

6 - Billy Idol, "The Wedding Singer"
Adam Sandler loves his cameos, even if it is just to hang out with a childhood hero for a little while. On the plane in the penultimate scene for the movie, Billy was an absolute perfect match for this mpvie dedication to the 80's. Sure, he did look a little older than what he may have really looked in the 80's, but we all cna't be perfect.

7 - Carl Wethers, "Little Nicky"
Carl Wethers, better known as "Apollo Creed" from the Rocky movies was great in "Happy Gilmore" as former golf pro Chubbs Peterson. Sadly Chubbs died half way through the movie only to look down upon Happy from heaven. This is what made the cameo of the character in "Little Nicky" so damn good. Sure, this movie again was full of cameos, but the story behind this one, and it actually does make sense, gives it all that more power. Sure, Ozzy later in the movie was a great cameo but it wasn't anything special compared to Chubbs. Remember, "it's all in the hips!".

8 - Kyle Gass, "School of Rock"
Awesome movie, and I am a huge fan of "The D". Kyle Gass pops up in most of Jack Black's movies, certainly since Tenacious D grew in stature. To be honest, I could have picked a number of movies for Kyle to have as his best cameo, but I liked this movie the most out of the list and the fact that he is playing a gym teacher is even better. I suppose technically a cameo should only appear in one scene for it to qualify as a cameo, but I'll let it slide for just this once.

9 - Kevin Smith, "Daredevil"
Piece of shit movie, which was very dissapointing. Even the product placement was pathetic - I mean, Ben Affelck's father was a poor, out of work, down on his luck boxer desperate for money - but he drinks Heineken by the case. It was sad that I noticed that. But seeeing an up-beat Kevin Smith playing a scientist was a very pleasant surprise.

10 - Frank Abagnale Jr, "Catch Me If You Can
I thought the book was fantastic, and while the movie strays from the truth a little (as all bio-pics tend to) it was still a good movie. It must have been a bit of a laugh for the real Frank Abagnale Jr to be the one that arrested his likeness for the movie. If only he dug a few cheap shots into Leonardo Dicaprio while he was at it. That would have made it awesome. Much like Erin Brockovich making a cameo in the movie of the same name, it is popular for the subject of bio-pics to pop up from time to time. But since that movie was really shit house, I gave the nod to Frank instead (and also because this movie had Christopher Walken in it - instant classic.).

Feel free to blast as you see fit. There are heaps more I could have mentioned, such as Lou Feringo in "Hulk" or...Damn, I so forgot to mention Victoria Silvstedt in "Baseketball", that was an awesome cameo. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has some fantastic ones under his belt too. Wow, so many more are coming to me now that I forgot about (Mike Tyson in "Crocodile Dundee 3". What, you didn't see that one?). I'd be interested to know what other people think and who would be on their list. Notcie I didn't mention Johnny Chan in "Rounders" - thats because I didn't think it rated up there with the other cameos. If you want a perfect example of how not to do a cameo, see James Van Der Beek in "Scary Movie". he climbs in a window, says "Wrong set" then leaves. Utter crap. Compared to Kareem, he is an amateur. Kareem rules. Also special mention to Mr T in "Not another teen movie" - which was a great movie no matter what the critics say. I'm a fan of the spoof films, especially Leslie Nielson. Anyway, I'm starting to ramble now ("The New Guy" - underated film with heaps of cameos, best for me was either Gene Simmons or Henry Rollins) so I'll sign off and hopefully have some more poker related content next time.

Monday, September 13, 2004

The Bad, the Good and the Ugly

[Tuco is in a bubble bath. The One Armed Man enters the room]
One Armed Man :
I've been looking for you for 8 months. Whenever I should have had a gun in my right hand, I thought of you. Now I find you in exactly the position that suits me. I had lots of time to learn to shoot with my left.
[Tuco kills him with the gun he has hidden in the foam]
Tuco :When you have to shoot, shoot, don't talk
"The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"

See, I didn't get the order wrong in the title, I know what I'm talking about (but then again, you knowing that I am the the "World's Greatest Poker Blogger Ever" wouldn't make a rookie mistake like that, wuold I?). This was how my weekend went - The Bad, The Good and the Ugly.


After a solid week playing, and some fine result especially in the SNG, I was pumped to get back into it on Friday night, and when I learned that the distractions would all be getting home late from work...well, everything was falling into place. I stepped into a few of the larger limit SNG and even took my money back to the $5 maximum $0.05/$0.10 tables. The SNG were over before the began, and I think I was out in 9th or something equally disgusting. At the Aloha tables, I bought in for the maximum $5, because I have already learnt that lesson, and tried my luck. I think my stack was it's largest before the first card was dealt, and I was going down in a hurry. It wasn't really due to bad play on my part, but it certainly wasn't good play. It was TPTK loosing to two small pair, or two pair loosing to a set, straights getting beaten by a bigger straight. I was disgusted when a smaller stack went all in and I followed with JJ and was beaten by 46s when three spades flopped. I am noticing that JJ seems to be one of the hands I loose a lot on - maybe because I put too much value in them. Any pre-flop raise I made with strength was folded around to me for the big win of 7 cents. Any pre-flop raise made by me in late position with no action before it was met with 6 callers. It was that kind of night for me. I had lost the $5 in very quick time. But at least I was aware now that title could be an issue - "Know Thyself" - and I can improve from here. I went to the fridge, grabbed a beer and came back to the computer ready to start again and I topped up with another $5. I mean, if you are going to have a bank roll, you may as well use it.

I have been reading the "Tao of Poker", as you know, and I am finding it very easy to read and interesting as a beginner's book. One of the rules (which I will try to recall as well as I can) was about how selective the human memory is. When we win a big pot with some hand, we remember that for a long time. We forget about the other 20 times we lost little amounts on this hand, and it becomes our "Lucky Hand!" I have seen people go all in with 69 because "it's just a thing with me and my buddies." There is no poker sense tied to this what-so-ever. You may as well bet blindly while clutching your lucky socks. I know this. I am not a superstitious person, I don't even believe in horoscopes (but then again, that's typical of a Leo. Boom-tish. Try the veal.). However, here's a little history lesson. In my home town of Broken Hill, football is very important. There are four teams in the town and my family has always been tied with the North Broken Hill Bulldogs. Dad, my two brothers, my two uncles, and my Grandfather all wore the number 3 for North, as did I at one stage or another. But when I was playing basketball for some time you were not allowed numbers below 4, so I wore number 6 and this became my favorite number. Fast forward to recent times, when I was first getting into online poker, on one hand I was dealt 63o in the BB and got to see the flop - a beautiful 633. It's back in the archives somewhere, but I couldn't be arsed to look for it. I won again later on with the same hand when it became a full house again. On this day in questions however, I am dealt the "lucky" 63o in middle position. I think to myself, this is my lucky hand, I should limp with this. The bet is raised, but only by the minimum. Come on, I can still call that. I'm only down to $3.25, what's another ten cents? Then finally the voice of reason comes over me and says "Hey champ, you may be the 'World's Greatest Poker Blogger Ever', but 63 off is a piece of shit. Throw it down and it will cost you nothing.". Damn that voice of reason, he always spoils my fun. So I did, I folded it and lost nothing. Of course, the flop comes 33T, and I chuckle to myself. Lots of action too, the pot is over $1 now. Then the killer...the turn is 3. I had quads. The final card was a Queen I think, but I couldn't see it properly through the tears in my eyes. The pot was getting bigger too, like $4 or so as both the remaining two people had a full house. I guess this is what they mean by making the right decisions and loosing. What can you do? It wasn't long before I lost when AQ lost to JJ and I had blown $10, 1/3 of my entire bankroll. I decided I had lost enough for the night and would be better served turning it off.


Saturday morning, and we have a few hours before we have to go shopping again. I think right, I am going to get one of my $5 chunks back damn it. I log back into Aloha and put another $5 on the table, and go into a smaller SNG at Poker Pages to boot. That was a great SNG, as I think I knocked out the first five players to eventually finish in second when a coin flip put me in the small stack, then lost with a kicker. It was good though, still a profit on the game and I was happy with my play. At Aloha, I had some early wins with absolute crap, but nobody would push me off the pot. I would have, say second pair, and I was able to limp all the way to the end - then somebody would try a see through bluff for like $0.20. I was folding a lot of hand though, which is fine by me. At these micro limits, you can't expect the standard to be too high, that's a given. I hate it when people come into a micro limit table (no doubt with money they won on the free rolls anyway) and bitch about the other people making bone headed plays. Guess what, that's standard down here. I don't care how much of a big time card shark you think you are, you have to adapt to the game. Anyway, this clown in mouthing off in the chat (the fact that his $7 was the biggest at the table didn't help matters), and I'm sick of it. One of my weakest points is that I feel the need to be policeman at the table - and the bouncer too. On one hand, me with $6 plus change and in middle position, I pre-flop raise $0.40. 1 caller then to the mouth in late position, and he re-raises me another $0.50. I think for about one minute about this mouth going off, and decide this is it, lets see how pissed off he really is. I re-re-raise all-in. He posts something in the chat box about beating up noobs or something similar, and calls me. He has AJs. I have the bullets, and the board helps neither of us. I take down the pot and start laughing at how I lost twice yesterday then made it all back plus some small profit in one hand. Life was good, and it was kind sad how much my mood really picked up after that. I won again on the next hand, but only about $0.40 and then got folded the hand after that post-flop. I took this chance to stand up and leave as my job was over. Hey, that reminds me, go and read the post titled "Pimplicious...so to speak" over at Project $10,000.00 No Limit Style about taking on the bullets. Live and learn people, live and learn.


After a few hours of shopping, we were back home with a few hours to kill before going out for the night. I decided my good fortune may continue and I fired up both poker sites again. I put another $5 down on the table at Aloha and got the bigger limit SNG going on Poker Pages. I was not getting any cards at Aloha but hadn't lost much money, only really playing a few hands and they were not good enough to see the river. I was down to just below $4. At the SNG, I was ready to play my first hand as I too had folded a lot but was just dealt pocket fives - enough to limp in my language - when something happened.

For no reason, my windows settings changed to the classic setting, and then back again. Somebody was on my computer. I am not an expert as I have stated before, but I know when something is wrong. In a matter of seconds I had turned the modem off and disconnected. Some hours later after getting advice from a friend who knows a little more about computers than I, I ran AdAware that can pick up any Spyware or key logger programs. Well, this thing picked up about 200 odd files that were suspicious, but before the scan could end a window popped up saying that "Windows will be shutting down in 59 seconds" because some process was interrupted. I believe that the rouge programs that were put onto the computer did this as a trap to stop the shit from getting erased. This means I could be in big shit. It also means the end for poker for now, and I can not risk going online at home until I get somebody out to have a look at the system and fix it, hopefully without formatting the whole thing. If anybody can give me a word of advice, that would be much appreciated.

So if my posts for the next week or so seem to be short, off topic or invisible, please forgive me as I have no choice. The good news is I am nearly 100% confirmed for live game action this Saturday night - with each closing day I feel I am closer to being there with the cards in the air.

On the movie front, we had a little get together yesterday to talk about one of the other projects I have in mind, and it looks like it is coming along just fine. No details yet, but if this one goes ahead it will be great because it is easy to shoot (kind of documentary format) but will take an entire year to do. It would make a great TV series when finished though, such is the format. See how we go.

Got to watch "The Girl Next Door" on the weekend, as well as finally getting around to "Office Space". First off "The Girl Next Door" stars Elisha Cuthbert, who my roommate Mitch is in love with. This movie is a lot funnier that I thought it would be, and I really liked it. He hasn't had a chance to see it yet, and we have him coninved that she does a topless scene near the end. It's not just your average teenage sex comedy, there is a little more to it which I liked. Sure, it's no "American Pie", but it is different is a good way if you catch my drift. "Office Space" is what it is, lots of people love this movie and for good reason. It's sure to pop up in my quotes before long.

Love this post from
Dr. Pauly" titled "Dr. Pauly, $11, and the the Australian Poker Championships". Man, that would be awesome if everything works out. This could help the Australian Poker Scene to no end, as I believe this is the first time the prize for the winner is over $1 million Australian Dollars, or about $690,000 US.The Crown casino is an awesome sight for somebody who has never been to Vegas. It is probably as big as all the other casinos in Australia put together. It is also the only casino in Australia that plays poker. Best of luck Dr. Pauly, hope I see you "down under".

Friday, September 10, 2004

The flood is over

Sergeant O'Rourke : Agarn, I don't know why everybody says you're so dumb!
Corporal Agarn : Who says I'm dumb?

Even though that show ended decades before I was born, I still thought it was good.

Just a very short post today as I wish to tell the world that after two weeks of drought on the poker front, I was finally able to quench my thirst. I am not sick of poker by any means, just that I have played solid hours the last few days and the "need" to play has now subsided. Suppressions, my play has never been better. Out of four SNG's last night my finishes were first, first, seventh and first - not a bad effort (if only they were higher stakes!). That means I made more than a dime on the night. Yeah I know, I'm Australian and we don't have dimes but all my winnings are in US currency, so I think it is ok.

At one of the tables it was me and nine Americans, 6 from California. Man, poker must be popular out there (from this sample size of 10). On one hand I had pocket Jacks and when two smaller stacks in front made a modest raise and call, I pushed. They both followed and showed pocket tens and nines to my Jacks. Naturally the nines made a set and took the pot, leaving me with $125, with blinds at $100/$200 it looked like I would be out in 9th. But I was dealt The Puppy again when UTG, and I pushed (well, what else could I do?). With lots of callers, a pair of kings on the flop was enough to put me up to $800. At least I had something to play with now. I plugged away and kept at it, eventually limping into the money in third position. I caught the big stack with his hand in the cookie jar (sorry, I've just read that saying on about 6 different blogs and I was feeling left out) and managed to take a big enough chunk out of him to even things up. I think the other two guys were sick of it by this stage, because they were going all-in on nearly anything. I waited until I had a good enough hand, and found 2 pair on the flop and pushed. Both met me, and I knocked them out at the same time to take home the big money (a nickel - of which 1 cent was my entrance fee). I was pretty happy with that effort and coming from so far behind to win, surrounded by foreigners. Made me feel like an ANZAC even (if you don't know what that means, look it up.).

Later at another SNG, there were 3 other Australians. I was amazed, but happy that it looks like the game is getting more popular down under. This however was the game where I dropped out in seventh. In one of the other games I won, I have to say it was the cards and not me that got me to the money. With about 7 people left, I had pocket 7's which became a full house on the turn - good enough to double up. The very next hand I am dealt A4o, which I thought wasn't good enough to call. But then I remember some body much wiser than me saying that rushes do happen, and when they do you should give yourself every chance of hitting those cards. Play the hand after you win a big pot, they say. I had already clicked the pre-action button to fold, but changed my mind with a nano-second to spare and called. The flop came AA4, and I was pretty happy with that result. Back to back boats - wish I could see that action more often. I was also able to lay down a straight in a three way pot later on, which turned out to be a good move. The other players had a higher straight and a flush so I was well covered. Good move, I was happy with that and didn't feel any anger at throwing away what would usually be a winner. I guess I am improving slowly.

It looks like I will be able to get plenty of play in this weekend, and my first live game for real money is 99% certain for the Saturday after next. Lets home the money keeps flowing my way!

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Jackass and loving it

Steve-O : You know it's when like your parents said "I'm not mad at you, just disappointed" You know that hurt so much more.
"Jackass - The Movie"

It looks like blogger is playing up a bit. I couldn't post yesterdays writing until earlier today, but at least it didn't get deleted this time. Remember guys, always save as a draft first even if it is finished!

had a good night playing poker online. I tried out the new (to me) site
Bet365 Poker for the $200 free rolls. Already I love this site. The display is very good without being too busy or anything, which is cool by me. The speed of the rooms is fantastic though, and you can really motor through the hands which is great, because after playing at Aloha I really get pissed at when it takes ages to go from flop to turn or from one hand to the next. This software and servers are by far the best I have used. Also, for a 2000 person tournament, you expect it to take some time so the faster the rooms move the better. Secondly, the free roll has no re-buys are add ons (woo hoo!) so once you are out, it is all over baby. And how is the competition there? Well, as you know I was only on the free rolls, but it was pretty easy with the odd decent player. No better or worse than Poker Pages or Aloha.

In the first hand at Bet365 I was dealt big slick and wanted to make a small raise. Since this was my first time playing at this site though, I made a bit of a mistake and instead of raising $40 I raised $400 (starting stacks are $1,000). Another player called and eventually I won at the showdown with two pair, Aces and kings. not a bad way to start and already I am well above the pack. I continued to get fairly decent cards and I moved up to $5,000 before too long. I was busting out a few people, playing very well and still being prepared to lay it down when need be. I still feel I only played one bad hand (isn't that always the way?). It was down to about 1100 people left, and I was ranked 58 or so, second at my table to somebody who must have been ranked in the 40's. I am dealt A5c in the big blind and get to see the flop for nothing. The flop shows 439, two clubs. Small bet, I call. The turn is the queen of hearts, and the other player moves all in. Now I have a straight draw and a flush draw, I think I look ok. This is usually one of my strong points - I don't get lost in a pot when I have a drawing hand. This guy was all in for about $6K to my $5.5K and I had about a dozen outs. But I do not have a hand, all I have is Ace high and a few draws. I don't really know why, but I called the all in and he flipped over a pair of queens and nines. The river didn't help me and I was out before the 1000 mark. I did enjoy it though, and I had a good run with hands like AK and KQ and the like. I'm not forking out for poker tracker to see just how well I did go and which hands work and how often I get them so on and so forth. I like the idea, it's very appealing to me and I would find it very interesting (and educational I guess), but I can not afford to fork out the $50 for it since that is more than my bank roll already. Anyway, moral of the story is Bet365.com is great, I'll be there more often from now on.

My Poker Pages account was getting pretty low, down to 20 odd points due to some shocking losses and crappy play. I went in there last night though with a mission. I was going to put half my bank roll into a SNG and play it like I wanted it. I made some good moves early on and busted out the first player to move myself into a very modest chip lead. From there I folded a lot, and even stole a few pots with absolutely nothing. I am learning more and more and people in these games are uber-tight (by the way, I love the word "uber" ever since SSX Tricky. Ok, so I'm a video game addict too). I was in there when I had the best of it, took it when nobody else did and kept my mouth shut when I didn't. This one little SNG was the most solid play I have ever exhibited, and I was quietly proud of the 50 cents I collected upon winning.

I also had time for two of the free rolls over on Aloha. The first one was kinda fun as I played as stupid as possible - a total jackass to be sure, and boy was it great. I was all in on every second hand it seemed like. As I always say, with these tournaments you need to make a move very early and double up when you can because the starting stacks are only 10 BB. I moved all in with AJo, and stole the blinds. Not what I wanted, but I guess you take what you are given. A few hands later, I go all in again with big slick. Again, they all fold around to me. This happens a few more times, and by now I have the full "distractions" in place. I get K9, "The Puppy" and decided that was good enough to go all in too. I get one other caller and we split the pot with a pair of kings. The chat box is no livid with me - I have become that asshole who goes all in every hand. They even said "He gets something above a ten, he goes all in" - all I can say is "welcome to the free rolls!" I never did double up (if I did, I would have stopped the all ins as my goal is achieved), but eventually I went all in with a's, and had two callers with T8 and A9. Both and 8 and a 9 on the flop, and I was out the door and down to the supermarket before the other players knew what was happening. It was a different experience being the one that every one wants gone from the table. I really wish I did catch one or two of them and double up then play properly. It was good though that I did not have to make any tough decisions, it was all on them. If they want to bitch and moan about how crappy the play or players are, maybe they should invest some real money! On the second tournament I was traveling well, up to about $2000 when I lost a decent chunk to one player at the table. I wanted revenge, and the very next hand I am dealt J'S. He calls, as do a few others and I decide to push. The others fold, and he thinks about it and then follows me in. Naturally, he had the bullets and I am gone when they turn into a set. Wow, he wiped me out from about 5th over all in two hands. I should have checked it out to see how he went and if my chips helped him to some cash.

Back on Poker Pages, in another MT I busted out early way out of the money (but the penultimate episode of season 1 Joe Schmo Show was on, so I really wanted to get off to watch that instead. Well, any excuse for my bad play). Again, there was some body complaining about one particular bad beat they had in a previous game. Big deal, but hey I guess they felt like getting off their chest. About 10 minutes later I again have J'S and after a flop of Jd Tc 2h, I push and get called by the whiner, who has a stack about two-thirds the size of mine. He flips over Ah 5h and gets their flush through the turn and the river. I had to laugh at that one, as who ever was on duty to rig the online card rooms that day certainly had a sense of humor. Lets have a look at the odds though. At the start I was a 66% chance, after the flop this becomes a 63% and after the turn I'm still at 63%. Hm, not really I bad beat I guess but it was funny in the moment to loose to a runner-runner flush just after he was complaining about loosing to a 6 outer or something. I hung around for a little while until I was knocked out on a hand I can't remember.

Naturally I was most pleased with the way I played in the first SNG, and that really put me in the mood to add a few more hours to my play for the night. While my net profit was a masterful 50 cents, I was just really happy to be playing. That's why I love poker I guess. I made a start on "The Tao of Poker" book as mentioned in previous posts, and it is good for a beginner like myself. It is just a set of rules you should follow for poker - stuff along the lines of not getting yourself into a hole early. Plenty of quotes from pros and other such noble men, I will post more about it when I get past the first 20 pages.

Wow, that's nearly an entire post without going off an a tangent. Oh well, I guess I better do that now. Kevin Smith is supposivly making a sequel to "clerks"...I am a huge Kevin Smith fan. I thought "Dogma" and "Mallrats" were hilarious, "Clerks" and "Chasing Amy" were great for their audience and "Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back" was the greatest gift to a directors fans there ever has been. "The Passion of the Clerks", which may be just a working title or hoax, might be just the wrong timing. I never saw "Jersey Girl", but understand it wasn't really a hit (but then again, none of the others were really box office smashes), and I don't know if this is the right move for him. Sure, some fans will worship it no matter what happens (which even if the answer is "nothing", doesn't differ that much from the first) and critics will no doubt hate it. I really hope if he does do it is it fantastic, but I am a little worried.

Plugging time, and I must say I enjoy reading
Go Be Rude by DuggleBogey. His most recent post is about the metamorphosis that (hopefully) most poker players go through from Rock to Fox. My thoughts are that this is one of the major steps in any poker players growth, and profit don't forget. Worth a read, and I have added it to the roll on the side.

That will be all for today, hopefully I get a few more tournaments in tonight and keep the bank roll on the rise.


Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Here today, tomorrow...

Frank : It's true what they say: Cops and women don't mix. It's like eating a spoonful of Drano, sure it'll clean you out, but it'll leave you hollow inside.
"Naked Gun"

Thanks to everone who responded to the request below for advice on re-buys and add ons. I think they confirm what I already thought but it was good to hear anyway, and some extreme examples to boot.

Last night's poker experience was pretty crap. Firstly, the distractions were present as she got home from work before I did, so all was not well from the get go. Secondly, it seems the structure at Poker Pages has changed slightly, and where before a few of the better paying free rolls were perfectly timed with my schedule, they are now worth a little less and at more akward times. Secondly, the sever at Aloha was down so I couldn't even get over there to have a crack at some more games. I played a few of the SNG at Poker Pages instead, and ended up with one second out of 3, but sadly one of the losses was at the larger limit. I got rivered by a pair of aces to kick me out, but not much you can do there. I was playing solid, and tried to loosen up little bit. From the big blind I was even able to take down a pot with 4 callers and a flop of A J J when I had the hammer. I solid bet of 3BB was enough to scare everyone off, and I was quietly proud of myself that I had the table image to pull it off. I recognised a few of the names at the table, so maybe they have notes on me that are actually working against them.

I don't know why really, but I was very concerned about Aloha being off line. As everyone knows, an online poker site really needs to be "online" in order to be turning a profit. I have already questioned the profitability of Aloha, but since the free rolls pay I will continue to stay there for as long as needed. But if the site goes bust, I guess my entire bank roll of $30 US goes with it. That would be a real heart breaker for me, and I think I will need to start my own telethon if that should happen. "Help save Poker On Film", I'm sure the celebs will be in for that cause. After all, who doesn't want to help the "World's Greatest Poker Blogger Ever". Do you think that statement looses any of its value if I say "WGPBE" instead? Probably not.

I have been inclined lately to extend the amount of starting hands I go with. it's weird, I don't mind seeing a flop with KTo, but shy away from something like 89 suited. A6 looks nice, but not 66. I know that when short handed I have to open up a little, and especially in the SNG where action is needed, but I think my tendancy to only play AA-AJ agressive makes me really pissed when they loose. Hey, we'll keep plugging away to see what works.

Damn, Aloha better be up and running tonight, otherwise I'll loose my mind. I also had another really tragic moment last night when I noticed a MTT for buy in of 30BBPs. At the time, I had a little over 40 but was already enrolled in a 10 point SNG. I tried to get out of the SNG so I could go in the tourny (first place was over 1000 points, or ten dollars in normal language) because there were only 80 people registered to play. Sadly I was not in time and the 10 points were taken from my account before i got to enter the tournament. I didn't place in the money either, and besides by the time I got knocked out the MTT had already started. I was disapointed, as that would have been more fun and of course any finsih in the money would be worth a lot more.

I will be trying out a new site very soon,
Bet365. Another player talked about the site during a game a few weeks back and mentioned that they have $200 free rolls daily. I had a look and the timing of these free rolls works well for me, but they do have over 2000 players in them. Oh well, I might give it a try and see what the competition looks like over there. You'll get my reports on this site as soon as I get a chance to play there. When I read all the other blogs out there, everyone sings the praises of party, empire, pacific and ultimate bet most often. All these sites mean nothing to me, as they require me putting my own hard earned down. Besides the fact that would be against the rules I have put into place for myself, do you know how damn hard it is to deposit into these sites from Australia? Well it's even harder to get the money back out! I don't think Australia will ever catch up to the rest of the poker playing nations. If we ever do, you can guarantee I will be at the front line waving the flag and asking for comments from Dawn Fraser.

True to form I will only add one mroe blog to the roll at the side here at a time. Again I find myself with a few decent ones in the pipeline to be added, and my list seems to be growing at a rate that soon I wont have much time to do anything else but read blogs.

Ok, the very first thing that impressed me about
Sound of a Suckout is Scurvy Dog's own description of the site (as recently pimped on Iggy's):
"Yet another blog about a wanna-be poker player cruising the lower limit waters, improving his fishy game, trying to build a bankroll"

Sounds good to me. Call it like it is! He seems to be on a bit of a run of late, and getting into the satelites, even if he doesn like calling himself a donkey. This is a really good blog to read, really enjoyable. Come on, you gotta love an endorsement like that from the "WGPBE"! Ok, I promise that is the last time I use that acronym. Oh, and I love the "Nice Bluff" comment from his post titled "El Burro". I wonder, I know that means the donkey in spanish, but did he get the idea from that title from Grand Theft Auto? I would have. But then again, here in Oz we don't learn another language unless we really have to. I mean what's the point, we don't share borders with anyone!

Not much else to go on with really. Can't find the New York, New York casino cards at home at the moment. They were the best ones too. I have a small hope that I may be getting some KEM cards for christmas this year, but that is just a fleeting hope. I will try to post again tomorrow with some more good fortunes from the land of the free rolls, so here's to ya!

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

A few new things.

Layla : So two guys you were best friends with in law school fell in love with each other?
Sonny : Yeah.
Layla : Is that strange for you?
Sonny : Uh, nothing changed really. They watch a different kind of porno now.
"Big Daddy"

Finally! I got to put in some quality time last night on the digital poker tables, and I tried out a few new things for me (see, it wasn't just a clever title). First off, I entered my first non free roll tournament, and then I tried my hand at some micro limit tables, and even ventured away from no limit holdem for a little while.
Over on Aloha, I had a look at the tournaments ready to roll, and the next free roll was a few hours away still. Having a look, I decided to try my hand at the $2 + $0.20 Seven card stud hi/lo. I have played a few free rolls and play money seven card hi/lo game before, and I have usually done very well at them. This is either because a) none of the others know how to play it properly, b) I have had a dream run with cards or c) I'm just really good at this game. I thought it was best to have a shot at this tournament to see where I stand, and here are a few observations of the tournament.

Most noticeably, it is far less popular than holdem, we all know that. Only 23 people sat down at the table to play. Nobody believes in folding pre-flop, which I think you still should do if you have crap like 3 8 Q or the like. I don't like having drawing hands in any type of poker, I need something to start with. Also as a general rule I do not use re-buys or add ons. I'd like to hear what other people think about this as in this particular tournament it was very popular - 23 re-buys and 6 add ons. The starting prize pool was $46, in the end first place got over $60. What are everybody's opinion on re-buys? Please post them below. I do not re-buy or add on because I prefer to win with what I was given, no mulligans no do-overs. But then again I suppose I didn't win and somebody that went the re-buy route did, so where does that leave me? Because of that style of play, every other player was seeing at least 5 cards, where I was the only one prepared to fold before seeing 4. Was this too conservative? I only pulled one half-pot when I was the only person who qualified for a low and took bugger all from that. I was out in 22nd, but really higher than that because there was already 15 or so re-buys at that stage. I never even looked like taking a high pot, but maybe that is because I was folding a lot more than everyone else. I would really like to hear everybody's comments on re-buys and seven card stud hi/lo in general.

Time marches on and I try my hand at the SNG at Poker Pages as I usually do. I play the 1 BBP mostly, and occasionally the 10 BBP + 1 BBP tables if I feel game. I won my first at 1 BBP in quite good fashion, and then placed 3rd in another when my AQo on a flop of (3 Q 8) was beaten by a pair of threes. There was a third Queen on the river, but it was no good by then as my set was beaten by a full house, but I was in the money anyway. Feeling good, feeling pumped I decided to throw in the big bucks ($0.11 to be exact) and try the bigger limit. First hand I am dealt AKs, and I raise. Two callers, one re-raise. Since you only start with 15 BB, the re-raiser had put in about 11BB to the pot. I went all-in over the top of him as I thought he didn't have AA or KK as he would have gone all-in instead of almost all in. He pauses for a moment, then calls and shows Q9o. What luck, that is a piece of shit hand to go all-in with on the very first throw. Naturally, a 9 fell on the flop and I never improved. Yesterday I get beaten by K9, today was Q9. I was surprised at myself how annoyed I was at that hand. That is something I will have to work on I think. I really like to make a move early and it cost me here.

I also decided that after loosing my $2.20 at the seven card stud I should win that back to make the day a positive, as I was now down about $2.30 or so, or nearly 10% of my bankroll. Everybody talks about table selection, and I know nothing about it. That's another reason why I like the tournaments because the table selection is done for me. But at least I did think about it this time, and I think I made a good call. I looked at the $0.05/$0.10 tables (the lowest possible here) and saw that while the maximum buy in was $5, the five people sitting down were all under that amount. Now everybody can afford to sit down with the maximum at this table, only an idiot would walk in with half of that amount (as I have done twice before), so this leads me to believe that somebody else was at the table, won a few dollars off these schmucks and then left. This means that everybody at this table could possibly be pissed off, and poor at poker. Well, with no more knowledge than that I put my $5 down and decided to sit for a while to make up for my tournament loss earlier.

Again, I decided to try something different. I am a very tight player, and not aggressive enough so I decided to see if I could change that just for this game and see how it went. First hand, dealt poker pair and I take it down. There, that was easy. I set myself a goal now of not only making back the lost tournament entry but I must turn a profit as well. Up and down I go, and I manage to scare a few people away from the pots I wanted. There seems to be one more player who is slightly aggressive but I keep pushing off pots. I know he is gunning for me now. In one hand, with very little action on the flop I bet with a pair of Queens on the turn, he calls. The river is an ace and I bet again, but this time bigger. 10 BB bigger, a full dollar. He thinks, calls time and thinks some more, then calls and shows a pair of aces. Damn, maybe I was trying too hard to be aggressive. That put me back below the starting point of $5. I work my way back up slightly then I see a smaller stack go all in pre-flop and I have the Hiltons. Yeah, I say it is worth a call - he shows 43 suited, and I take this one big pot to put me over $9 and it is see ya later, I'm out of here. I made my little profit and dinner was ready 2 minutes later, so it was a good night of poker for me. The hit and run was limiting my profit, but I had set myself a goal and then had achieved it, so I will leave the rest till some other time.

I did sit down at another free roll tournament a little later, but not much excitement happened for me. I did see on the very first hand again three people go all-in. They showed AA, KK and 77. A seven on the river means that AA and KK both got cracked on the very first hand and were sent packing. Wow, that used to be me that happened to. I was eventually knocked out when my jack high flush was beaten by an ace high flush. So-so play, didn't really make any waves but made it to about half way I think.

So that was quite a poker binge to quench my thirst, and I did turn a profit so I guess you have got to be happy with that. I am still really puzzled by the seven card stud, but I'm sure I will improve with experience on that.

Looking around the blogging kingdom, with me still being the "World's Greatest poker Blogger Ever", I have noticed some nice work from
TTRoadster over at Poker roadtrip. Nice style going there, and I have the nerve to complain about my "distractions" at home. This guy has a 10 month old baby to contend with! Well done on getting 4 consecutive second place finishes in the SNG's, any win is a good win I always say (but rarely adhere to). It is a nice blog and is now added to my poker reading activities.

That will do for now, and I hope to get some more quality time in tonight to continue my experimentation and maybe add a few more bucks to the tally. Please, if you have read this far then post some comments about seven card stud and re-buys in tournaments, I am really clue less about this so far.


Monday, September 06, 2004

The drought continues

Mordred :Die, dear Auntie Mab? Why, that's the last thing I shall do.

Well here I am after another weekend that was severely poker-deficient. At least I did get a few SNG's in, including a win and some places, and the book "Tao of Poker" from Uwannabet arrived today. That's not a bad effort since it was supposed to take 4 to 6 weeks. Speaking of Uwannabet, he has a good tournament write up over there at the moment, I say it's worth a read.

I managed to win the first SNG I played in on Saturday night, but I'll be damned if I could remember how I did it. I remember having about 2/3 of the chips going into heads up, other player pushed and I called with AJo, he had Kx or something and it was all over for a win. It's funny though, I remember the other games better where I finished 4th or worse. In one game, the very first hand I am UTG and I have AJc, I make the minimum raise of $50 and everyone folds. Wow, *that* was enough to scare them all off? This should be a laugh. What followed was some of the worst cards I have ever seen. I could not make a play if I wanted to. Every hand was raised pre-flop and I had nothing over a ten, and all of them 3 gappers at best. It was disgraceful. Meanwhile, the player two seats to my right has three consecutive hands of QQ, QQ and KK to knock a few guys out and take a major chip lead (although he eventually blew it and I think finished 4th or 5th, with top 3 paying). He is pulling pocket pairs out of his ass and I am stuck with the Rock Lobster (52 - I just made that one up too, because of the B 52's song? Ah, forget about it!). Anyway, after about 3 orbits of folding, I get AKo in the big blind. I have about 2.5BB left, so I push all in after 2 callers. They both fold. I know I was playing very tight, but come on I had no chances to get in except for this hand without going for a very risky bluff with rags in my pocket. Maybe I should have tried it? Never the less, I march on with my second pot win and second blind steal. Pretty soon after that I call a bigger stack's all-in when I have AJ. They flip over K9, and the first card on the flop is a K. The river is a 9 just to rub it in, and I am out before the money. This really hurt because I was so keen to play, but being very late at night and tired and starved of action, I was more than pissed at the level of cards I was getting. Oh well, what can you do?

So here is how the weekend panned out. I have Serena's parents staying with us for 3 days, so that means a lot of time spent doing touristy things. I get along fine with her parents, but besides the fact we have both seen their daughter naked at some stage we don't have a lot in common. I like sports, movies and poker, they like looking at mountains and shopping for hand bags. It's that kind of deal. Don't get me wrong, they are really nice people but I'm just saying the common ground is very thin. And I am a little resentful that their presence limits my poker playing hours quite dramatically, so that may be a part of it.

On Friday night I rush home from work with my new wireless broadband modem. No more drop outs, no more dial ups, no more getting blocked from poker by long phone calls - this should be the golden age of my online poker existence. I spent all of 5 minutes setting the modem up and it works like a champ. The signal is only half strength from our apartment, but that hasn't caused a problem yet. But then I have to explain why there is no hours limit on the broad band, and why ever single web page make you download something. No matter, life goes on. I manage to get in exactly 0 minutes and 0 seconds of poker right away. After dinner, we sit down to view photos from their recent trip to New Zealand. They were quite impressive, and you can practically see the Fellowship walking through those mountains. Lots of snow, ice and scenery. Then after that we settle in to watch Marry Poppins on TV. I am very displeased when I learn this has been decided upon, and even less impressed when nobody laughs at my Sherry Bobbins jokes. I guess you have to be a fan to get that one. I'm bloody tired after a week at work, and go to bed without any poker to stave off my withdrawal symptoms.

Saturday brings about a horrible beast - shopping. We went to 2 different markets on the Saturday and the dreaded Westfields Parramatta on the Sunday. I have seen enough shops to last me a life time now. Saturday night however, I had a plan. We were going out for tea, and I was planning on sneaking out after that for some live game action as I mentioned in my last post. My plan was foiled two-fold thusly: First, we were so busy looking at the markets and generally wandering around Sydney on foot that we had a very late lunch. Late lunch means late even later dinner. I was hoping to get out for tea as early as possible, but this was now shot down. Second of all, we decided to go to Hog's Breath Cafe for tea. Every body knows the Hog's Breath, the food is pretty decent and all but the wait is hell. We get seated 30 minutes after we arrive, have our orders taken 15 minutes later and actually get the meals an hour after that. This was not looking good. When we got home, I knew I couldn't leave for a poker game, so I would have to wait until everyone was ready for bed and then go out and hope they were not too pissed when I came home at 3am. Somehow, everybody was wide awake and looking forward to watching a movie. Ok ok, this isn't all that bad I guess. We have a great movie collection, they can't go wrong there. I mean, we tried to show them "The Office" the other night and it did not go well, but there is still hope right? Right? No, I should not have been so optimistic. Out of the three network channels available, there was AFL football on one, which I love. On another was the made for TV movie "Merlin" starring Sam Neil which I quoted above, and again I think is brilliant. I love this movie, even if it does go for 3 hours. What did the third network choose to show? Bedknobs and fucking broomsticks! After seeing Angela Lansbury in a mock cheerleaders outfit towards the end, I was finished. I had been beating into submission as footy and knights of the round for passed up for bedknobs and broomsticks. A pinball machine in the leaning tower of Pisa would be showing less tilt than me at the moment. There was no chance for me to leave now. My dreams shattered, I retired for the evening.

Sunday comes, I get a few quick games in before breakfast but cut them short when every one else gets up. Back to the shops and then I even went for an afternoon nap so that I could be awake all night to play some tonight after the parents have flown home. Well, to save some coin the opted for a really late flight out, and because the weather had turned foul Serena was not confident enough to drive them out there and back on her own. Coupled with the fact that the last time she drove to the airport in the rain she got a ticket for running a red light, and I am on driving duties. After a quick call to Dad for father's day (I got him "the Office" on DVD as well) we are off and by the time we get back, "The Last Castle" is on TV. I haven't seen this in a while and out of some sanity I know that if I play poker now, I will be throwing money away. Despite my afternoon nap I am still dead tired and thus the weekend ends with very little poker action from me. I don't know how long this will last, but hopefully with the new connection at home I will be getting in some quality time this week.

I have been noticing a lot of bloggers lately have really been hitting the SNG's big time. When I was first into the blogging scene, it was all $2/$4 and $3/$6 tables, with the odd tournament for laughs. Now the SNG's seem to be the main flavor. I like that, how the main games change, it keeps the interest up I feel. I always prefer tournament play because there is obviously a greater return if you win, be it more of a gamble. When you are starting from a bank roll of $0 though I guess "gamble" is a bit of a given. I like the tournaments though because I now have a sounds strategy (I think anyway) and everybody starts with the same amount of chips. There is also something in the competitive nature about being named number 1 after a few hours of play. Sure, the profit may not be the same as playing $2/$4 tables for the same amount of time, but being number 1 at the end of it certainly does give a nice little ego boost methinks. Same goes for SNG games, even if it is only a field of 10. I always find myself near the bubble being the one who has to do the final knockout or two to get into the money, regardless of what chip position I am in. It seems always the big stacks are too concerned on keeping their stacks to try to bust out the smaller ones. I guess I don't know what they are holding, but damn they seem to go against me with some crap and then fold away against the other players. Collusion maybe? Who knows. So I win a few, loose a few but end up with a profit from it so even though I got to play very few at least I am not in the red for the session.

Thanks to everyone who posted their ideas for new starting hand names, I love the "Gay Waiters" (not that there's anything wrong with that). I will keep posting more as I become aware of them (and the crappy ones I make up) from now on. I also want to send a link out to
Pope Rek, and his "Project $10,000 No limit style" blog. I really like his style, and after a top three finish in the MMPBT he seems to be going very well. He too is a big fan of the SNG, and seems to be doing quite well out of it. Go over there for a read...go on, you know you want to.

I will end this post with a quote for "Tao of Poker" - actually it is a quote from right inside the cover, very early on and is all I have read in the last few hours that I have owned the book. It is actually just the author's (Larry W. Phillips) dedication of the book. It reads as follows.

"This book is dedicated to my grandson, Mandius, and the poker players of the future. As a friend once observed: They'll be a lot like we were - and they'll go through all the same things. They'll gather around the same green felt tables, suffer the same bad beats, and experience the same agonies of seeing an opponent hit a two-outer. They'll know the feeling of being down to their last dollar as the light come up in the dawn, as well as the exhilaration of dragging in a mountain of chips on days when the angels hover around them. They'll experience high drama and low drama, hear great stories, experience laughter, and free food.
They'll meet people they otherwise would not have met - great people form every walk of life - some of the best people, it will turn out, they will probably ever know in life. If, as James Earl Jones once said, 'Children are the message we send to a time and place we will never see,' then these are our ambassadors to a poker future yet unseen. Accept this note of well-wishes from those who went before you - a message from the past."

While I have not yet read a word of the actual book, I really like that pre-introduction and it all looks good from here.