Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Skill Jam

Mickey Mantle: Roger, are we feuding?
Roger Maris: They said so on the TV, it must be true.
Mickey Mantle: Well, fuck you then.
Roger Maris: Up yours.

Time to whinge and whine about how everybody is lucky and my skills are not getting rewarded again - in other words, regular poker blogging.

Only playing in two games last night - a $10 SNG and a $20 pot limit tournament. Finsihed well out of the money in both. The deciding hand in the tournament was with AQ, I made a riaase preflop to get three callers. The board came 6sTsQh, giving me top pair top kicker. It is checked by everybody around to me, so I put in a pot sized bet for only one caller. The turn was Qs, giving me trips with a nice kicker, but putting the flush on the board. The other player puts out a bet approximately 1/10 of the pot. So I back back over the top of him for another pot sized bet (which left me with under $100) and he sheepishly re-raises the other $100 to be all-in. He has me covered by about $10. I call, naturally, and am disgusted when he flips over 4s7s. No help from the river, and I go home now.

In the SNG, I did not win a pot. Not one. Down to $400 I go all-in with 77 against the big blind ($1200) who calls with A3s. Suppose that's not too bad a call, it was a suited Ace. The flop comes 25T rainbow, so I'm still just in front but he has 7 outs I guess. The turn is a 4 giving him his straight - so now all that can help me is an 8 for a four out chance. The river is a 7, which I swear I saw snigger at me. That was the end of poker for the night.

I did want to ask the bloggind world out there if they have ever heard of the site Skill Jam? I'm not looking for referrals or anything like that, but I thought it looked a little dodgey but gave it a go anyway. It's bascially a gmaing site where you can play little flash games against other people for money. The give you your first $6, so I thought I would see what I could do with that to waste some time. In one of the games I quickly figured out a way to get a fantastic score, and as such I was underfeated in it and turned the $6 into $18.10 by night's end. Now it won't let me play anymore games until I make a real money deposit. I was wondering if anybody else has any experience with Skill Jam at all? They rake at about 10%, so it is very brutal, I know the free games are always going to be easier that the real ones, but it did get my imagination going.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Win a little, loose a little

Robert Clayton Dean: What the hell is happening?
Brill: I blew up the building.
Robert Clayton Dean: Why?
Brill: Because you made a phone call.
"Enemy of the State"

Well my little streak at UB is over, but all is not lost. In a $5 SNG I finished 5th, playing an early morning game after getting to bed at about 4am the night before, and with many bodies still strewn about the lounge room. I was in first position after a trap early on, but lost some of it when TPTK got done by a very small two pair. I was trying to give hte Poker 101 talk while this was all going on. In the end it was a case of playing marginal hands too much, and all was lost when AK couldn't get over a pocket pair. I did come back and place 3rd in a $10 SNG immediatly after this, so over all the net profit was about $4 or so. When 5 handed, we had 8 hands in a row that did not make it to the flop. Twice in a row on the big blind it was folded to me when I had TT and KK. Eventually when in the money I pushed with 44 and lost to AK. I was happy enough with that though.

Party is still kicking my ass, but I was able to limit my losses there to a few dollars only. I sat down at one table and made a tidy little profit when my Aces over tens beat tens over aces. That guy was not happy. I was ready to leave when the very next hand he goes all in for about $6 and it has been folded to me on the small blind. I had KQc, and I should have folded. But I thought maybe he is bluffing, on tilt and wants to get out. I called, and so did the big blind. The flop came AKx, and I put out a bet, which the big blind smooth called. The turn was another rag, and I thought to myself that I had already lost enough on this hand, he obivously has an ace, lets get out. I checked, he bet another $5 and I folded. My read was good, and his A6o was good enough to beat pocket nines. I may have been able to push him off his ace, but I didn't like my chances. Isn't low limit fun? I was disapointed I went chasing on that hand as it ruined the tiny profit I had for the session, which I would have been happy with given my recent performances on these tables. Just remember people, when you go "slumming" on these $25NL tables, they are some people's homes so show some respect (please?).

I've been looking at my pre-flop play. I try to keep it pretty simple, but I can get lost at times. I don't know how smart or +/-EV these are, but it's working to an extent for me. Premium hands get a raise 99.9% of the time. For me, premium hands are pocket A-T, AK,AQ,AJ, and sometimes KQ,KJ,QJ,JT,AT if suited/late position/feeling lucky. I will limp from the small blind with absolutly anything if it is an unraised pot. I will limp with small pocket pairs about 66% of the time, but not raise or call a raise with them. I will push with them when my stack is small though. One kind of hand I seldom play is suited connectors. I just can't call with 76h from middle or late position, yet I am constantly running into people who do. This is still a gray area for me. What are your general thoughts on suited connectors? I know it all depends on the situation of the game and so on, but lets generalize for a moment. From late position, level 3 of a tournament and you are about average, un-raised pot with 4 runners, what would you do with 89c? Interesting to see what people think. As I have said, I would fold but I can tend to play extremely tight because I am still very green in poker.

One play I do employ on occasion is the automatic bet post-flop from UTG (or any position really). This may not sound very smart (or it may, I wouldn't know) but mainly for tournament play where you can afford to loose an extra $20 of your $1000 stack. The main reason could be seen as to scare people off who missed the flop, but to be honest I do it mostly to get the people who press the "check/fold" button out of the action. I don't know what the results have been for this, and I should start to take notes on this. On occasions I have taken down a pot with 5 runners, so there is some return at times. More research needed on my behalf for definite results though. Again, commetns are encouraged, don't make me beg.

Friday, November 26, 2004

They call this a streak?

Billy Madison: Whoa whoa whoa, Miss Lippy. The part of the story I don't like is that the little boy gave up looking for Happy after an hour. He didn't put posters up or anything, he just sat on the porch like a goon and waited. That little boy's gotta think 'You got a pet. You got a responsibility.' If your dog is lost you don't look for an hour then call it quits. You get your ass out there and you find that fucking dog!
"Billy Madison"

Had a read of a very popular blog over at Stripper by Night - just a warning, the blog is more poker than stripper. Don't get caught like I...I mean like so many others have before. Anyway, the reason for bringing it up was a 31 game streak of in the money in SNG's. Not a bad little effort there. Currently my streak is 6 and Ultimate Bet, which pales in comparison but hey it is something to shoot for. Besides, the last four have been 1st place finishes, it's hard to be disappointed at the moment.

Last night I (thought) I had a few hours before any distractions came home, so I fired up UB and Pacific to see what damage I could do. The MTT at Pacific we're too far away, so I thought I would register for a cheap ($2.50) SNG to keep me occupied. At UB, I sat down with 9 friends for another $10 SNG.

My goal was just to stop making bone-headed moves and play properly for the entire game. That lasted all of ZERO seconds, as on the second hand I was dealt pocket tens and I went to raise as any good little boy should. I think a raise of 3BB is in order...Guess what happened? For about the millionth time, I realized it was a limit tournament. Shit. I hate limit. But would you know it, I hit a ten on the flop. There was a flush and straight draw, but I didn't care so I kept jamming the pot. Capped, we went to the turn where someone must have been happy with the straight draw. We rammed the pot till it could take no more yet again (just me and two others now). I really didn't care if I lost out, it was a cheap tournament in a format I hate - what is there to loose? Well the river paired up and my boat was good enough to cut two stacks from the staring $800 down to below $300. I had nearly tripled up on the first hand I played. It was unbelievable the cards I was getting - and the draws I was hitting. I won the next 4 hands, then folded when holding A3 on a board of AQT8, which was won at showdown by a pair of queens. The numbers went in time, and then we were in the money with three of us left. One was playing tight, the other was raising pre-flop regardless of what he held. I guess he called it aggression. Problem was, I was on one of the great runs of all time. He raised from the small blind, so I re-raised with 79h. He called. I now knew he wasn't as strong as he would like - probably KJ or QJ. The flop came T99, very good for me. He bets, I raise, he 3-bets and I cap. What more could I ask for? How about a 7 on the turn? Thank you. Same betting pattern, it is capped again. On the rag river, he only got to two bets before he called for the showdown. No idea what he had, but I hope he liked it because he just would not let it go. Eventually I finished in second when my pocket pair were beaten by a flopped two pair, but it was great fun winning so easily. It's nice when the cards fall your way for a change.

On UB, I did care about this SNG. It was for $10 (still a lot to me, damn it), it was NL and it was to continue my ITM and winning streak (at 5 and 4 respectively). I took out one of the smaller stacks in 9th when my Aces held up. I didn't slow play them, but I certainly didn't ram the pot with them either. A minimum raise pre-flop as we we're already heads up on the small and big blinds. That move must have got me a lot of respect though, as I took down about 4 big bluffs. I normally wouldn't bluff that much, but when they kept getting respect I thought I should keep going. I folded a few when I was re-raised, so I guess they were not exactly folding the nuts or anything. I was not getting great cards, so I was spending most of my time watching the other SNG where the flops were amazing. When I switched back, the 8 players that were here had dwindled to 3 - I'm already in the money! After some back and forth action, my Aces knocked out third and then when heads up against the massive chip leader, I was not afraid to push against his initial raise with any two picture cards - JT, AT, KQ: he folded to them all or saw the flop then folded. When he went all in on a flop of KQ9, two clubs, I thought about it. I had T3 of clubs, so that's a straight and a flush draw - about what, 13 outs or so? I called (seeing as I was now the chip leader) and got a club on the turn. All over my dear, and the money went to the only Australian at the table. I hope I can keep the streak alive.

That put my bank roll at an all time high of over $500, something I was very proud of. But it's funny when you reach a "milestone" like that. $500 was always a mark I could not reach, and at one stage was even 6 cents short. Now that I have reached it, it doesn't seem like the massive amount I thought it was. I think my next milestone of $1K will be a bigger deal - that or $780 because that would mean AU$1000, something I have to take into consideration because of the mounting wedding costs already.

Tonight though will be poker free, as the Harlem Globetrotters are in town and they are putting on a NBL (our national basketball league) game after it - The Sydney Kings (2 time defending champions) vs The Western Sydney Razorbacks (only 4 years old). I've seen the Globetrotters once before and it was pretty cool, and my fiance (still sounds funny to say that) got cheap tickets through work so all is good.

Have fun with this "turkey day" I keep hearing about.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004


Melvin Smiley: Technically, you can call me a hitman.
Keiko Nishi: Really? A hitman? Does that pay well?
Melvin Smiley: Oh of course. I make a killing.
"The Big Hit"

Welcome one, welcome all to the written word of the "World's Greatest Poker Blogger Ever." And since that term is catching on like wildfire in an asbestos factory, I'm going to add a new monikor to my profile - "The King of the Freerolls!". Sure, I've only won 2 and placed in a few more, but I consider myself the KotF because I can, really. WGPBE and KotF - I can see the merchandise now...

Lucky I'm so awesome at poker blogging, because I was getting my ass handed to me at the tables. I was down 4 buy-ins I think on the $25NL tables, and they are just brutal. Twice I busted out to runner-runner flushes, and once when I had the nut flush I lost to a runner-runner straight-flush. Brutal. Just Brutal. To rub some slat into my wounds, at a full table one guy sat down with $5, one fifth of the maximum and most common buy in of $25. That's not much room to move, and sure enough he pushed on about his fifth hand. He doubled up when two queens hit the flop and he was holding AQs. Pretty soon he doubled again and now was about where everyone else would be when they started. 45 minute later he cashed out for $105. The only hands he won were all-ins. Unbelievable streak. Some of it was just pure luck (AA getting smacked by his 77), while other times players were hoping his luck would die and go all-in when he held AA-KK and so on. Not a bad effort, 21x the buy-in in under an hour. Tournaments don't even let you do that!

Sick of the losses, my party account was now down to $77 from it's original $160. I thought about it, and obviously every one else is far too lucky at those $25NL tables (I mean, it wouldn't be my play that was causing me to loose, could it?) and obviously there is a problem there. So I set myself the challenge of 3 $20 SNG to either win back some of my losses or just about cripple the account all together. Sitting down at my first one, I mostly folded my way as the first four drop out. There are a couple of smaller stacks that I hope will bust soon to bring me closer, but damn it both of them double up off the big stack. This leaves me at $455, well below the average of $1600. I can't remember exactly how it happened, but the cards started to fall and I was able to bluff people out when I thought I knew what they were holding. Perhaps my reads were just getting luckier even if my cards were not. When heads up, I made a great move to slow-play the nut flush and get four to the board to make his King high flush pay me off. He is now below the small blind, and after he wins the first automatic all-in, he looses the second. The $100 win gives me back the majority of my losses thus far at party. Perhaps I should stick to the SNG's? I decided I had enough poker for the day and let it go for now.

A few hours later, naturally I reconsider. I fire up Ultimate bet, and regular readers would know that I am on fire in their SNG's. So far it is a second and three firsts. Why not go again I say? a $10 SNG this time. Very interesting game, nice people too and no real idiots so it was fun. After the first few drop out, I am getting slaughtered and win very few small pots. I am way down yet again, coming last out of the six left. I get pocket Tens. Well I say to myself, this is it. I push from UTG and it is folded to me. Ok, I guess my tight image is working. Next hand, AQs. From the big blind, I push again against 2 callers, and again it is folded. Hmm. I get QQ not long after, push, fold. Nice. They let me get back up to $600 before somebody finally called my all-in. This time I had AJs vs 99, and I got both a jack and an ace on the board. On one hand, me in the BB I am dealt 83o. The small blind make a raise, and I call. The flop comes 725 rainbow. I make the minimum bet, he thinks and call. Turn is a T, I make the minimum bet, he thinks about it and then calls. Yep, we're dealing with overs here (or he is slow playing something...). The river is another 2, and again I make the minimum raise. He folds. How weak is this guy? My bets were screaming weakness, I don't think I played it very well at all. But I guess he never paired up at all, so a fold might have been the right move from his point of view. I thought he might try a re-raise, which I would have folded to but never mind. Eventually we whittle it down to the money, and then I am heads up with the massive chip leader - $7500 vs $2500. On the first hand he raises from the small blind. Is this a steal attempt? Lets find out. Sure, I only had K6s, but they we're suited! I re-raised all-in and sure enough, he folded. I never looked back. I took the next 6 pots, of which I think 2 made it to the flop. Eventually he went all in with A6 when I had A9, and neither improved. Nice little earner there also. Ultimate Bet has now become my SNG haven.

I did try a pot-limit tournament at Pacific, but I guess it just wasn't my tournament today. With two spades on the board, KJs went all-in and I called with my flopped set. The third spade came on the turn, and that was it. No board pairs and I'm out very early, about 180 out of 260 or something equally un-remarkable. Oh well, what can you do?

So all up I am nearly back to where I was before I made my first withdrawal. The balance sits at $476. I finally received the check from Neteller, and the bank will have a freeze on it for 21 days before it is made available to me to spend up big on - which is not as fun as it sounds since the wedding costs for next year are already being tallied. In the end the conversation rate was 78.9 cents, and it too is frozen to the day I deposited the check. I get home that night and the dollar has moved to 77.2 cents already. DAMN YOU! That cost me about $1.18 right there! How can I work under these conditions?

Monday, November 22, 2004

A 3 hour tour?

Greg: [pointing on a zombie in the water] Shoot it!
Captain Victor Kirk: What do you think I am trying to do you fucking moron...
"House of the Dead"

I don't know if it was intentional or not, but "house of the Dead" was so hilarious because of how bad it was. I saw it a couple of months ago, and it is now the benchmark for bad movies. "The Punisher" was close, but in the end seeing a human nose pock out of a corpse costume got Dead over the line.

I was fortunate enough to poke around at Star City Casino at about midnight Sunday morning. The website says they will have Omaha, Texas and so on that I listed before. When I got there, they had four tables. Not of each, four tables all up. 2 tables of 5/10 Manila, and 2 tables of 5/10 Texas Holdem. Sydney has 4 million people. Lets say in any given year, another million people visit the city. Texas Holdem, the most popular form of poker going around, has been granted by the Star City powers-that-be one table for every 2,500,000 people. Ok, maybe not all 2,500,000 people were trying to play on the opening weekend, but most of them were. The wait for a seat was "capped" at three hours - meaning that when you registered, or more correctly went over to the registration desk to be disappointed a few seconds later and walk away, they told you it would be impossible to get a seat within 3 hours minimum. Even though their website says poker will be 24 hours on the weekends, they shut up shop at 4am. They play it funny too, there is no rake. Every player is required to "buy" their cards from the house for 75 cents. That means every player is paying $7.50 in rake every orbit. That seems pretty crappy to me, but then again I didn't bother to do much more of the maths besides that.

Got to say though, even though I did not sit down for obvious reasons, the dealers seemed very competent considering this would have been their first time dealing in this casino. There seemed to be a lot of American players at the tables too. You can tell, because they try to tip the dealer which is illegal in Australian casinos. So I guess the 75c per hand is ok when you consider you can't tip. Probably all comes out even in the end. The play was very passive, lots of callers. Every flop had at least 5 runners, some times more. A few people needed the rules explained to them a few times, like introducing new chips to the table mid-hand. It was funny too seeing a bunch of players under say 25 doing their "chip-tricks" at the table. There is a school of thought that if you do chip tricks at the table, it gives off the illusion that you are a seasoned player. This however is lost if you keep dropping your chips and knocking your stack over when trying to shuffle them. Take it from me, the "WGPBE" - don't drink and chip-trick. Drive home very fast instead.

Since I could not sit down at the casino, I sat down online over the weekend for mixed results. The $25NL tables at Party have been brutal. I am down 3 buy-ins, two of them due to runner-runner flushes, and the third was on a pre-flop raise of 3 BB, the board cam QQ3, 2 spades which looked good for my KJs. Short stacked, I re-raised the minimum bet all in for about 7BB. The minimum raise turned over Q3 for the flopped full house, and not even for a second do I think I am getting my runner-runner outs here.

I have signed up to Ultimate Bet for the first time though, and I have a great record there so far, even if it is some an extremely small sample. From 3 SNG's, my finishes have been 2nd, 1st and 1st. The last one I have to admit I did deal out a bad beat which was very kind to me. Being the big stack, I forced the third place (out of five) to go all in on the big blind, when I had KJs again. He called, and flipped over the Rockets. You wouldn't believe how often this happens to me. I had a Jack on the flop, then a Jack on the turn and a King on the river. I was nice about it though, and she wasn't a dick so all was good. Anyway, the SNG's cut my losses back to about $30 for the weekend. I also placed 12th in a $2.50 MTT at Pacific Poker. I have to confess, I kind of threw it away because I was going nowhere. I was also most pissed off when with about 20 or so people left, I had the absolute nuts and I went to make a small raise on the river, but the Pacific software didn't recognise it and let my timer run out to "check". At least the other player checked too so I didn't fold them, but it should/could have been more profitable and catapulted me into the top five. Every body was folding, waiting for the final table and trying to limp into more money. I had a $6 profit, or 300% (yeah, that sounds better) so I went all-in on a marginal hand that escapes me right now. I was called by the Rockets again and sent packing, but it was still ok. Just as Iggy swears by the fish at Party, I am telling the blogging world - The MTT at Pacific are the best on the damn net. Reasonable size tournaments (I'm not interested in 1000+ MTT, 400 is enough), guaranteed prize pools, no rebuys or add ons, and pretty reasonable play. If you like tournament play, I say that Pacific is where you should be.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Star City Poker - Sydney, Australia

Poker - Star City Casino

Operating Times

Launch Date: Friday 19 November 2004 from 6pm
· Monday to Friday 12pm-4am
· Weekends 24-hours
· Public Holidays: Above operating times apply.

"Oh the humanity! "

They have 5 and 7 card stud, 2 and 3 card manilla, 5 card draw, Omaha and Hold em. No word yet about tournaments or if they have no limit play, but man this could be either the worst or best thing that has ever happened to my poker game.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Bonus me

Jewel Bentley: That was the best safe sex I've ever had!
Jimmy Dworski: That was the best sex I've had in 2 years, 11 months, 3 weeks and 5 days!
"Taking Care of Business"

Just a very quick post, as I have no poker play to speak of still. I have been able to withdraw all my bonu smoney from Pacific Poker (whihc I tried just to see if I could), but since their tournaments are so regular and don't have re-buys or add ons, I'm going to re-invest some of it back there exclusively for tournament play. Tournaments may be very -EV, but damn their fun and hey, I only need to win one a month to make it worth while.

But this now leaves me with a little dilemma - where to put the rest of my bank roll? Party is the obvious answer, and I tried but it looks like I missed out on the reload bonus by a mere matter of days. All these affliate programs and offers - wow, I have become dependant on them. To tell you the truth, I have pretty much lost most of the bonus money I have ever earned, and I have only recieved one gift through Poker Source Online. Does anybody wish to refer me to Poker Now, Empire or any other Party skins where I can still get a decent bonus of some description, while helping out a fellow blogger or reader? That is provided that you are allowed to have an account on Empire or Poker Now AND an account on Party. Either email me or post your thoughts in the comments section and I will hopefully choose the best offer for us all. The last offer I went with netted me $50 cash from
JW. That was a great deal, and if there is anything similar out there, I am all ears.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Poker in Australia

Rory Breaker: If you hold back anything, I'll kill ya. If you bend the truth or I think your bending the truth, I'll kill ya. If you forget anything I'll kill ya. In fact, you're gonna have to work very hard to stay alive, Nick. Now do you understand everything I've said? Because if you don't, I'll kill ya.
"Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels"

To wind up yesterdays increedible events, there is now a "Mrs PokerOnFilm" in waiting. On my way home from work, I resigned to the fact that all the cards were on the table and there was no use bluffing anymore. I bought some very cheap flowers from a supermarket and some very expensive alcohol from the liquor store next door. I listened to the messgae left by the jewllers on my mobile, the same one Serena listened to, and then spent the rest of the night on the phone calling family and friends. We are now looking to submit the story to some of the women's magazines here in Australia to hopefully get some coin to help pay for next year's wedding. Bloody hell, it was a big day yesterday.

On good poker news, my withdrawal from Neteller finally went through, and I will be diving back into the Party waters in no time. In even greater news, I checked up the local casino website today and they proclaim they will have poker tables before the end of the month. Yes, the poker boom is FINALLY hitting our shores. Party Poker is starting to advertise in prime time television, and the second biggest casino in Australia decides to pull thier head out of the sand and make some money of it. Don't know what the quality of the dealers will be, but it should be interesting to see what kind of games they will have. You can bet I will be sitting in for my first casino game before the year is out.

So with yesterday's news, I had no chance to actually play any poker, which was a shame because I really felt lik eluck was on my side...Well, perhaps it was better that I didn't. Thanks for those who read and made comments about a subject that had very little to do with poker. I will let you know if my story makes it to print.


Monday, November 15, 2004

I don't like this "Variance"

[Joe falls off a swing]
Joe Dirt: And at that moment I thought I might just lie there and never get up. I would just sit there and rot there, but then I looked up and saw the moon and got this weird feeling that Brandi was looking up at that same moon. Then I realized I had a home all along, in Silvertown.
"Joe Dirt"

I sit here today a broken man. The reasons are numerous, and quiet poetic. I would cry, but for fear of laughing - And I would laugh, but for fear of crying (That is a gem right there, expect to see that in one of my movies one day). There is a little poker content in this, but that is only the beginning.

My bad luck run started at the tables, where I took a massive hit over the weekend. To cut to the chase, this one hand was capped pre-flop, capped post flop with AT3 (I held AQ), and then the turn was 3, the river was 6. The other guy had 83h. That's an "eight" of hearts and a "three" of hearts. A few hands later, I was all-in with AKc, and I knew he would call regardless of what he held. He was holding A2o, and hit a 2 on the flop which was enough. I was still in shock from the 83h. To go with this, I tried two SNG's and finished 9th and 6th (out of six mind you.). Cold decked, I tried chasing one hand and couldn't find the flush. Short stacked, on a flop of JJx I checked my trips (I had J6o - a hand I had 37% on the night), as did the only other person in the hand. On the turn rag, I bet, he raised to put me all in, and I called. He showed AJs, and that was it for me. I seem to be getting outkicked a lot lately. And to rub this all in, I was ready to put my final line on a big post about these hands when it was all deleted. Why does blogger not have an "undo" button, why?

Then later last night, we were playing a live game with my girlfriend and room mate, but not for real money. I could not get anything better than a pair. My best hand was 99, which was folded to me on the big blind. After not winning a pot for God knows how long, severely short stacked I got my first Ace, and it was suited no less. A2h, with 5BB in my stack, I am forced to go all in. Both the other players call. What did they hold? AJs and A6o. Right. A pair of sixes won that hand.

Why this variance? Why can't "variance" happen in only my favor? Why does alcohol give you a hang over? Why is stealing a sport car illegal? Live is truly unfair.

That's where the poker element of this debacle ends, my dear reader, so if that is all you are interested in, then please leave a comment and run away.

Here is how "variance" kicks you in the ass when you are down. A few years ago, when I decided I would start planning to get engaged, I thought about my options. Now, my girlfriend and I live together, and she has no problems going through my wallet for no reason. If I brought a receipt or anything signifying that I bought "something" from a jewelry store, she would find it no matter where in the house it was. I also could not pay for it in cash or via our bank account, as we have a joint bank account and being an accountant, she has eyes on it like a hawk. If a jewelry store showed up on there she would be able to jump to conclusions to the fact that it was a ring (I have never bought her jewelry before, as I have told her the first time I do it will be a ring). It would be hard to save up enough in cash to pay for it without her wondering what happened to the money, let alone trying to hide it in the house. So I had a brilliant plan - I'll get a credit card that she doesn't know about. It was pure genius how I did it too - because I even decided to get a second card issued in her name, which meant I needed her signature. I managed to get her to do 5 signatures for me so I had plenty to copy off, then I forged it. It was flawless. I sent the application away along with identifying documents. This was a perfect plan - because I was always home before her, I was always the first one to look at the mail - except for one day a month when I had a staff meeting, but that was ok because she would come home through the back door, and in two years she had never checked the mail.

except the one day the credit cards arrived. Which just happened to be the day of my staff meeting. For the first time in her life, she checked the mail. One was addressed to me, which she opened anyway, and another was addressed to her. She called me in the staff meeting, thinking someone had broken into the house and stolen documents to get the credit cards. I tried to say it was just marketing, but the credit cards had our names on them and activation codes. I fessed up, and although she was very excited, I was disappointed that my surprise was now gone. I wasn't planning on buying the ring straight away, I was just going to get ready for it in a few years.

Fast forward to now, and regular readers know that I have bought a ring and am currently waiting for it's arrival. I gave the jewllers my mobile phone number and not the house number, because I don't want them leaving a message on the answering machine and her hearing it on the off chance that another statistic abnormality occurs again. I was taking extra precautions this time - and even had her whole-heartedly convinced that we were not going to get engaged until at least a year from now. Again, I thought it was flawless.

She has been talking about taking a day of work because she is so stressed and over worked where she is, which I thought was a top idea. I even considered taking a Monday off myself so we could go away for a weekend and then I could give her the ring. Unfortunately, the ring wasn't ready and she wanted to take this Monday off. No worries, there will be another time.

So she took Monday off - today. As part of my job, I use my mobile phone frequently and it never leaves my side. Except for today. I forgot to grab my phone before leaving the house. The one day she takes off work. The one day I leave my phone home.

Guess who called?

Guess who answered?

To boot, the call was only to tell me it would be another 2 weeks before it was ready. I don't care how many one-outer bad beats I get dealt - I don't care how many rivered straight flushes, back door straights or runner-runner quads come up on the tables. Nothing can beat this incredible circumstances. It really has taken the wind from my sails. I know it should be a really happy time, but as you could detect from my dreams in the film industry, I like to put on a show. I wanted to put on a show, the element of surprise. I had put great effort into this super surprise ending, and it is now ruined. I can not bluff her anymore about it. She now knows, and there is no surprise. Sure, I could have the old "but you don't know when you'll be getting it" thing, but it is just not the same.

I would cry, but for fear of laughing - And I would laugh, but for fear of crying.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Just a little joke.

No movie quote, I just go this joke in my inbox and I thought I would share it (especially with you, Skitch). It's probably a really old one, but it's the first time I heard it and it is related to the cards so why not?

A blackjack dealer and a player with a thirteen count in his hand were arguing about whether or not it was appropriate to tip the dealer.

The player said, "When I get bad cards, it's not the dealer's fault. Accordingly, when I get good cards, the dealer obviously had nothing to do with it so, why should I tip him?"

The dealer said, "When you eat out do you tip the waiter?"


"Well then, he serves you food, I'm serving you cards so you should tip me."

"Okay, but, the waiter gives me what I ask for. I'll take an eight."

On the tables last night I took a hit, one of my biggest single night hits in a long time. over $30, which isn;t much really but it did hurt. In a $20 NL MTT, with about 130 odd left I had worked my way back to the strating position of $800, when I get the Cowboys. The made a big raise ($400) in late position with 4 callers, and the big stack re-raised to put me all in. He has been doing this with anything so far, even J7 at one stage, and I was the only person to raise pre-flop so I called. Naturally, he had the Aces and hit one on the flop to rub it in. See ya later. Then in a $8 SNG, I never got above the starting amount. Constantly I was in the bottom three out of 20, but I clawed my way into the final table. I had some guy trying to play professor at the table too. With a flop of Q82o, I was holding A8o, and he made a small raise. I didn't believe him, so I re-raised without delay (this was early on). He thought about it and called. The turn 4 and river 9 did not help me, but put a straight and a flush on the board. I checked it, and then he did too and showed T9 for a pair of nines on the river. In the chat box, he typed "Just a bit of free advice, A-8 isn't that good." Well, I don't take too nicely to his tone, so I typed back "Well I didn't think you would call a re-raise with a gut shot draw and then spike a pair on the river, I had outs but well done, you won." He replied with "good poiunt". Just running it through the odds calculator now, I was 66% on the flop, 77% on the turn, so I guess he had the outs. Oh well, I guess winners are grinners.

Another funny thing happened later on, when I was the small stack yet again. The blinds were about to go up in under 1 minute, and I would have the next big blind of $200, which as you can imagine would really dent my stack of $416. The chip leader on the table was on the botton for this hand, and he used up every damn second he had to call the big blind. On the flop, he did the same again. Now there was less than 10 seconds after the turn, and as soon as that expired, he made the minimum raise that was when auto-mucked bythe only other hand in the pot. That's a big fuck you right there, and it was obvious what he was trying to do. I hate it when people try to do these kind of tactics - like waiting for the bubble to burst, but I think this was even worse - especially when you consider he was $2500 and I was far less than that, and there was still 8 places to go until the oney (5th). Anyway, this gave me more motivation - and here again is the stupid part. I am now forced to put nearly half my stack in as the big blind, and it is folded all around to me. You idiots. Not only did I get my big blind back, I got the small blind paid for me. Now I had great motivation to continue on. Unfortuantly, when on the final table my pair of queens were out-kicked to send me packing in 8th. But it was a noble effort. When I sent through the hands again I assured myself I played well enough, and was just unlucky that it didn't work out for me today. After those plays above, I couldn't say I was outclassed, but anyway that is how it went.

Quick plug for another blog I have added to the reading list -
Ryan at PokErrata
- who has one of the better qualities of appreciating my bad jokes. You have to read his post titled "Status as of today", which was actually the status of September 10th, but I really liked it and again I certainly can relate. have a read, you'll be better for it.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

General Ramblings

Frank Miller : God you guys make me sick. What is this, a fucking feel good convention?
Shannon Bell : Listen, we have a long journey ahead of us. Its important we all get along. Now, you're hurting people's feelings. Your gunna have to find a more constructive way to express your anger.
Frank Miller : Okay. Well, fuck you! How's that for constructive?
Shannon Bell : That's great, now go to time out Mister.
"Cannibal - The Musical"

Not a single hand of poker to speak of since last post, mainly due to the release of Halo 2. My one sentence review is it seems harder to pick up than Halo 1, but I guess I'll get used to it. Oh, and I wish they didn't change Blood Gulch at all. On poker, I have been doing some hardcore reading lately, many many new blogs to explore, cherish and forget about. Hopefully the first two more than the last.

I must point out these two blogs in
Big Slick Poker and Skitch-o-rama. I have become a regular reader on both and my life is now better for it.

I have to say, while my blog does not get the sheer number of visitors that others do, or 100 comments per post every comment I have got so far has been helpful. From the constant string of wisdom from SirFWALMan and DuggleBogey, to the advice of "Anonymous" a few times, I have no doubt that my play and attitude towards the game is better because of this blog. I learn far more from my own blog than I do from reading many others, thanks to these all-too-infrequent comments. I suppose my style of blogging (purely stream of consciousness on play, hardly any theory) doesn't lend itself towards discussion, but when a reader throws in a comment they have been pure gold. And believe me, when you are trying to turn $0 into a feature film while really only playing on weekends, you need all the help you can get.

Which brings me to something else about poker theory. I read all about the different stages of your game, how to adapt and what to look out for, all the common traps new players fall into and so on. I really think you need to walk the mile yourself to learn these lessons. Sure, I don't need to go loose
$10K to learn THAT lesson, but in general terms you need to see for yourself, for example, the risk/excitement/change/danger/benefit/humiliated of jumping up a level. There is nothing better than walking that mile yourself - and besides, it might just make for a good story when you are done.

Reading another article about some dude playing in his first "live" tournament, and how intimidated he felt and considered himself "dead money", I felt a kinship. I mean, at one stage I felt intimidated in free rolls - like I didn't belong there, out of my league. Now I know that anybody with an IQ high enough to maintain a pulse is probably over qualified for these games, but it was fun finding out. Slowly I am gaining in confidence that I am good enough to be at this table, damn it. It really is a big thing trying to "bluff" yourself into this belief, if you will. And believe me, at the start it was pure bluff. Like I said in a few posts ago, when I went back to the old tables I used to play on (all those months ago) I felt like I owned those games, as few as I played. I had, shock as it may seem, too much confidence that I could just run over these micro limit tables that used to intimidate me. My my, how we have grown. No longer intimidated by a 10 cent buy in - yep, I'm a player now!

End ramble here.

On a quick note, still waiting after 3 weeks for Neteller to send my cash out check, and also still waiting for the ring to come from the jeweller. Why am I always waiting on others? As someone wiser than me would say, "Oh the humanity"!

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Table Selection

Coach Boone : I don't scratch my head unless it itches and I don't dance unless I hear some music. I will not be intimidated. That's just the way it is.
"Remember the Titans"

I'll get the self-serving poker content out of the way early - played in one $5 SNG last night and took home first prize of $21. Play tight people, play tight. I waited for hands and eventually they came. I did have to fold a lot in the first two orbits, and then in one hand it was just me as the smallest stack and small blind and the second lowest stack as the big blind. I am happy to say I under-bet the pot beautifully and he tried to come back with a straight draw when I had already made my flush. That crippled him, and then I was able to knock him out the next hand when my Ace-rag paired up. He quickly posted the obligatory "Fuk u" in the chat window, to which I replied "cheers." I never looked back from there, but something terrible did happen. When another player was chopped down by me to 1.1BB, and in the big blind, I thought for sure they are gone. I had 53o so I folded. The small blind (and chip leader) called for the $100 big bet, then the small stack went all-in for a total of $116 - an extra $16. The big blind folded. Yes, with his stack of $3000+, he folded for the sake of $16. I don't care if you have that little card that comes in the deck with the instructions on it - you HAVE to call that $16...Unless you are trying to prop up that player. I convinced myself this was the case and then set about teaching this cheating beatnik's a lesson. Very next hand, I cut out the small stack and sent him packing. Thanks chip leader, all you did was make my win more worth while. When we were heads up against the massive chip leader - 4:1 over me - I was not taking no for an answer. With T8d, I raised. He re-raised back, but not enough to put me all-in. So, I went all in and he folded. Weak. We went back and forth, exchanged the lead a few times. Usually any pre-flop raise was met with a fold or an all-in. When I was chip leader I was dealt my best hand of the game, The Cowboys. Should I raise or go straight all in? I'll call for a change. Let him try and make a hand. This goes against everything I normally stand for, but I feel I had to adapt to the situation. The flop came 743 rainbow, not too bad. He raised, and then I pushed. He thought about it and called. The turn was a King and the river an Ace, and I showed my trips while he handed his cards back to the dealer. He was surprised to see the Kings I think, as his last chat post alluded to. This put my Pacific account to the $499.49 mark. I thought about that, as a $500 bank roll has always been a goal, I could just squeeze out a 50 cent win on some table and get it over that mark, couldn't I? No, not today, I walked away and left it there. Why? Because I had played enough poker for the day. This is the first time in a long time that I didn't let my bankroll dictate when I should stop. A small improvement in my overall game, I was quite pleased.

No onto table selection. I have read many blogs and poker articles about table selection specifically, because it is something that I know very little about. Everybody preaches that table selection is a must, be very careful who you are sitting down with and so on - but rarely does anyone say HOW to go about table selection. I guess the obvious answers are to sit and watch a few orbits and see how they play - perhaps look at the flop percentage or average pot. As I have said before, this is probably why I prefer tournaments because the table selection is done for me - that and you generally get more hands for your dollar. I have something to add to it though - don't confuse a maniac with someone that is on a nice run. If you look at a table and see four hands where the same guy over-bets the pot, massive raises and even pre-flop all ins. This one day in particular I remember seeing it, and all that happen was he had good hands. Pocket Aces, Jacks, hitting trips on the flop and so on. He might have looked like a maniac, but he was just showing strength. But then again I guess anyone that judges a player or makes their "informed" table selection after four hands really gets what they deserve.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Could it be true?

Mickey : Your nose is broken.
Rocky : How does it look?
Mickey : Ah, it's an improvement.

Would you believe it, I think poker might just be making it big here in Australia. For the first time ever, Party Poker has started advertising on Australian free-to-air television. This is great news, as obviously their interest in the country is growing as the country finally learns about the big poker boom going on in the rest of the world. Our National Poker championships next year will attract a record crowd and prize, and I just learned that the casino in Canberra (our nation's capital, about 4 hours from Sydney) has a few No limit tournaments a week. Man, I wish I could afford the time and money to go give it a shot. Poker, my friends, has finally landed on my soil.

Had a quiet weekend poker wise, but still a small profit or $24 or so. On pacific I played in 2 20 man SNG, finishing 9th and 2nd. Nothing super to note about either tournament, only that I am doing well at getting into the top four early then staying there for the majority of the tournament. Happy to say when I was knocked out it was by a 3-outer on the river so you can't help that. When I came 2nd it was on a coin-flip when I had AK verus pocket nines I think. I was happy to walk away with a profit on the week, although if I had won it would have moved the bank roll to $499.99. Not a bad effort, but just short.

And something dreadful happened. Bored on Saturday, the distraction decided she wanted to play poker. I really didn't feel like playing against her heads up as it is boring, but it did not matter because she wanted to play online. Ok, sure, there are plenty of free rolls she can have a crack at. Uh, no. She has heard me speak of the evils of free rolls (lets get this straight. My bank roll would be $0.00 if it wasn't for free rolls, ok?), she wants to play in some low-limit stuff. Oh shit. She wants to "experiment" with my bank roll. This could be disastrous. Salvation came when I remembered that I still have about $2 worth of bonus points over at Poker Pages. So with myself watching and coaching from the couch, she gave a couple of micro limit SNG's a go. The first was a 10 cent game, where maniacs go all-in first hand with 89 suited. With me throwing a few comments out there ("I don't care if they are suited, 4 and 5 are shit - fold.") she managed to get into the money. After some silly plays from the others, and some tight play from her, she managed to win the 50 cent first prize. Joy! I was happy for two reasons, obviously because the win adds ever so slightly to my over all bank roll and secondly because now she has won she won't be pissed off. If she had lost early, I would be forced to find alternate means of entertainment for my now very-annoyed distraction. But alas, she was not satisfied and wanted more (don't start, I know what you are thinking.). She sat down at the 50 cent table, keen to make more profit. While still very low limit, the tables can be tricky. It usually has a mix of the "It's only 50 cents, screw it" maniacs and the "I need to win this to convert into real money" tight players. What do you know, she was going well - but I must admit every semi-tough decision was referred to me. "What about Queen 8?" I replied with nothing. "Does that mean fold?". Damn straight. She was learning.

I did notice something as this game progressed. It didn't seem as hard as before. I haven't played here in probably two months. Maybe it was just a good run of cards, I'm not sure, but everything was working. When I told her to under-bet the nuts to induce a bluff, it worked. When she over bet the flop of AQ6 with 62 it worked. When heads up, the board showed QQJJ2, and the other player went all in. We had Ace high, and she was about to fold when I said no, I reckon the Ace is good, give it a go. With $13K of the $15K available in this one pot, I told her to call his all-in and he showed 9T for a busted straight. Not a bad bet really on his behalf, but an excellent call to take home the $2.50 first prize. All up the profit was $2.34 (once you take out entrance fees) which doubled the bank roll for the site. Not a bad turn out in the end.

With Halo 2 due out in less than 24 hours, it looks like my poker playing opportunities will be limited for the next few...well, months. When you consider all the bloody Christmas functions coming up and a trip to Melbourne for the big day, poker doesn't look like playing a big part. No matter, at least I can still catch up on all the happenings with the other bloggers out there.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Election 2004 - We all flip a coin

Stifler's Mom : I got some scotch.
Finch : Single malt?
Stifler's Mom : Aged eighteen years. The way I like it.
"American Pie"

I was going to find a movie that is some what related to elections and all, and I was about to go for "The American President" but I remembered that Micahel Douglas is a bit of a dick (I mean come on, how many rich white collar guys characters can he play? Poor guy, getting type-cast like that), so I went for a much cooler choice.

Hello my fellow Americans. I say "fellow" because really, we love you guys. You guys going to war? Can we come? Please? We won't get in the way, promise! So in a way, the American election is also very important to us. We had our election about a month ago, and that was not very important at all - except really for our local member got voted out because he cheated on his wife.

I take voting seriously - even though it is compulsary here in the land of Oz. We have two choice when we vote - put the number one in a box above the line, or number every box below the line (79 boxes this year). Well, we don't vote often and we have to wait in line forever, so your damn right I take my time and number every single box. Afterwards, when our Prime Minister (is that supposed to be one word?) was voted back in, I came to realise that I have never won an election. We had a referendum a few years ago to change our constituion so we could be a republic, and I lost that election too. Man, why do I always pick the underdogs? I keep voting for 9To when the other team is holding AQ suited. Which candidate has the better stance on how to correctly play Big Slick from the small blind? Have fun voting guys - and remember, commedians everywhere need more material for the next four years.

On the poker front, I have not been playing much mid week. I did place in a 20 man SNG, taking home $32. It was weird, I never took a big pot for the entire tournament. There was a few times I had to be carefull, like when I had trips and the board showed a flsuh and straight chance. When it came to the final table, I was in last place. I was playing like a true rock - for the last 3 orbits the only time I willingly put money into the pot was AKh which stole the blinds. Constantly I was getting 8-high hands, with the odd J5o to boot. But I was tight damn it, real tight. 5th got their money back, so I needed at keast forth to make it worth while. Down to the bubble, I was the short stack still with one other guy just above me, and the last 3 were about even. With 75s I see a flop with Q89, two spades giving me four to the flush and four to the straight. I had about 2.5BB left in me, and now I think is the time to throw caution to the wind. Is it still lucky if it is your plan? A few years ago in the winter Olympics, Steve Bradbry won Australia's first every Winter Olympics Gold medal, when the other three skaters in his race all fell 10 meters before the finsih line. Lucky? Well, before the race he said his plan was to wait for everyone else to fall over and that was the only way he could win. It happen, so I guess he is a master tactition. Well, I planned to hit my gut-shot straight draw on the river, and I did, trippling up in the process. I went back to folding away everything, then eventually limped into third - I was quiet pleased. Eventually I went all in with AJ as I was still short stacked, and I was beaten by Q9 I think, when he hit a 9 on the flop and Queen on the turn. It was a good grind though, suprisingly I was happy with the 3rd place out of 20 as I never had a monster hand at all. I just refused to chase (except the once) and I made no attempt at bluffing. Nice little earner in the end.

I read many blogs out there, some every day others when I feel like it or have the time. There are many different styles - purely poker theory, current poker events, individual play, incoherant ramblings and so on. I'm glad we have so many different ways of talking about the same subjects. Obviously my blog is for my own amusement, and I treat it as such. Sure, I give a shout out every now and then, but really it is just a reflection of what I am reading. I like talking up my own game, making big news out of a $5 win. I love calling forth the wrath of the Poker Gods after I have been rivered for the 8th time in a row. But I think most of all, I think my little journey would make a great story one day. All I'm saying is, my blog is very self-serving, and that's why I do it damn it!

Got my fully uncensored version of Grand Theft Auto yesterday, and had a bit of a go last night. Dude, this thing is huge. Halo 2 due out next week means poker may take a back seat for a little while due to the demands of a new video game. I can never see myself growing out of them to be honest, but we all have our vices, don't we? And you have to support GTA5-SA as the poker blogging prodigy himself Wil W is a voice actor on one of the radio stations, as a recent post on his site tells us. I have not heard him yet, but it is still early days.

That will do for now, not bad for a post that really says nothing. Hope the cards are treating you well, and FOLD THAT DAMN HAMMER!

Monday, November 01, 2004

Poker flood

Rusty : Why do this?
Danny : Why not do it?
[Rusty shakes his head]
Danny : Cause yesterday I walked out of the joint after losing four years of my life and you're cold-decking "Teen Beat" cover boys.
Danny : Cause the house always wins. Play long enough, you never change the stakes. The house takes you. Unless, when that perfect hand comes along, you bet big, then you take the house.
Rusty : Been practicing this speech, haven't you?
Danny : Little bit. Did I rush it? Felt I rushed it.
Rusty : No, it was good, I liked it. The "Teen Beat" thing was harsh.
"Ocean's 11"

Been some real poker action lately, lets get straight into it. First up, the live game was back on Saturday night, with three new guys I have never played with before. One was a quiet guy, new to the game but not clueless, the other two were pretty good, one very aggressive funny bastard seated to my left. It was a real laugh having him throwing jibes in all the time. On one hand, he went to the bathroom while the cards were dealt, came back and decided to play this one hand blind. He limps in with 4 others, sees a flop of AAx. Everybody checks it to him, and he says "You all checked to me, I bet I have an ace in here" so he raises it. Two people call, not me thank God, and one guy tries to go All-in after he has called, but was told he had to wait. It was kinda a tell that he had an ace I guess, but never the less he got his chance to go all in on the turn. The aggressive/blind player was a major chip lead, so he called for $8K (start with $30K), and what do you know, the other guy flips over pocket rockets for flopped Quads. Blind player had KQh. Funny hand. I had a crap game, down to $2K I fought my way back with 4 consecutive all-in wins to about $13K - two all-ins were back to back A7s. Eventually, on a flop of 77J, I had QJ I threw it in again and was called by the host holding one of the 7's. I didn't improve, and was out in 6th out of 6th. My previous finishes in these tournaments are 4th, 1st, 1st, 2nd, so I was a little disappointed but it was great fun once again. We only played one game as it took nearly 5 hours for 5 people to bust out.

Back to pacific poker, once again I took a deep breathe and told myself if every one is playing limit games and making a decent gain on it, then I have to as well. I have tried and tried but to no avail on the micro limit games (5c/10c), so I thought fuck it - I'll make the huge jump to 50c/$1 and see if it gets a little more like poker there. I laid down $40 on the table, fully aware that it could be gone in an hour or so.

Ok, so what's my strategy? Lets just have a bit of a look, fold a few hands and maybe limp to see what the action is like. Well, the Poker Gods said no to this, and gave me The Red Aces first hand dealt. I am trying to get slow playing out of my game as I try to use it too often, so I did the right thing and raised it pre-flop. It must have looked great, this newbie to the table coming in and raising up a storm. Another player raised straight back, 2 callers, I re-raise and he does it again! Two callers stay in for the capped pot pre-flop. The flop is As7h5h, and I open the betting. He raises back at me, 2 callers (????) and I re-raise, and he does it AGAIN! In the first sign of intelligence, one of the callers drops out. The betting is capped again. The turn is a horrid 8h. Oh shit. One of these chasers has just hit the flush. I bet first up, and again the same guy re-raises me. 1 caller, and this time I just call. The river is a salvation in 2h, giving me the nut flush (barring the straight-flush of course, but surely he could be re-raising with 6h9h, could he?). I bet, he raises, 1 caller, I re-raise, he re-raises, finally the other caller drops out and once again it is capped. I flip over my Ace high straight with my pockets Aces, he flips over a Queen high straight with pocket Queens. My God, he really didn't want to believe me did he? This was a 30BB+ pot on the first hand. I folded the second hand and on the third I limped with QJo. Flop comes QJx, I raise and get the calling station again. Turn is another rag, bet - call. River is a Q, giving me the nuts so I bet, he calls again. A 10BB+ pot. That's pretty good going for three hands, and then nearly everybody stood up. Once the fish leave, it is time to go so I did not feel guilty about this little hit and run. But man, what an introduction to low level hold em.

Then on Sunday, I sit down for a $20 + $2 tournament on Pacific with none other than
JW. This was to be an interesting deal - I knocked back the $50 bonus he was offering for his referral and said we could use that to enter a tourny and split the winnings three ways, with his charity being the third. With 280 other people, I was seated at table 28 - with JW two seats to my right! Early on I cracked some fool slow playing Aces. He failed to raise them pre-flop, so I was limping with 88. The flop was Q89 rainbow, and NOW he throws it all in. What can I do? I double up and take out the first of...Well, 1 sadly. He was the only guy I busted. After about 7 rounds, our table was broken up. JW was doing slightly better than I after some nice strong moves. He even pushed me off a few pots, but I push back damn it! My first hand at the new table, I double up again when AJ become a boat. The last hand before the break, JW goes bust with a semi-bluff I believe. After the break, and with the burdens and hopes of little kiddies suffering from a terrible disease (the charity is actually The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training), I soldier on. Really I was lucky to limp into the money when there was 30 left. Severely short stacked, I was now in push or fold mode. I was able to last out a little while, but then with 55 and no raise, I push from the big blind. The small blind calls with 99 and I fail to hit another 5. I went out in 27th, with a prize of $23.95, a profit of $1.95. JW was kind enough to forfeit his share of the winnings and let me keep them. It was great fun though playing with a fellow blogger, as this is rare for me considering the time difference and me not playing on Party at the moment (I know, I know. Don't start.). JW was also good in giving advice, such as "Why the hell did you call that?", which I replied "No fucking idea!". This happened on more than one occasion. I think I have found a new flaw in my game. These times it was when I had, say, KQ and see a 8 high flop that gets a strong raise in front of me. Calling is a stupid idea, it should be either raise or fold. But we live and learn.

Don't know how much poker I will be getting in for the next few days. Coming up this week is the four year anniversary of me and the distraction - and even though we are not married or even engaged she tends to take the anniversary very seriously. VERY seriously. Funny how women are like that. Anyway, the good news is - and nobody here in "real life" knows this, I have the ring ordered and *hopefully* it will be here before Thursday. That's an exclusive for all you bloggers and readers out there, I'm getting ready to give away half my bank roll and go all-in.