Monday, May 30, 2005

Double or Nothing

Dr. Lawrence Gordon: What's your name?
Adam: My name is Very Fucking Confused; what's your name?

If I may deviate from poker for a moment, I just watched “Saw” on DVD over the weekend. Now I know it was released last year, and even opened at number 1 in the US, but since I saw it this year it counts as a 2005 movie for me. “Saw” is already the best movie of 2005. If you haven’t seen it, go see it. It is an awesome idea, and doesn’t rely on blood and guts to get it’s thrills. The ending is the best ending I have seen in a long, long time.

Watching this movie also left me very disappointed. This was because it was made by two Australians who on the advice of some talent agent, took the film overseas without even bothering with the local market. I don’t blame them, obviously this move worked for them. What annoys me is that they felt to get this movie made, they HAD to go overseas. Our local film industry would not have approved a movie like this. If the movie was about some Aussie battler or some middle aged women coming to terms with her sexuality, they would jump all over it. Other than that, Australia really only produces vehicles for actors. Such a shame when talent like this is forced to go overseas. But anyway, the movie worked for them and I’m sure they are getting whatever funds and approvals they need now.

Back to poker, and I had a small poker theory related post all ready to go before the weekend, and then at the tables something happened that was a perfect example of my thoughts.

Playing the $50NL tables at Noble, and this table has been pretty tight. After nearly 100 hands I am down to just below $40 with no big wins to speak of really and no big losses.

A new player joins the table, and first hand they raise all in. I have two beautiful red aces. It looks like perhaps he has just walking into Cowboys or Hiltons, so I am looking forward to dominating this match up. One player behind me also calls the all in. Amazing really, considering how tight the table was just one hand earlier.

On Noble, you don’t get to see the cards until the hand is over, so when the board showed no flush and no picture cards, I felt a little safe. Until the new player showed 24o, for a rivered two pair. The other player had a suited Jack. I saw a $120 pot slide across the table. I was in shock.

He did it three times in a row, and the cards were hardly any better for him. J6 flopped trips and then improved, 78o was good for a flush. He was 4x the buying in three hands by going all-in with junk and hitting. It had become a crap-shoot.

I thought the safe thing to do would be to run away, or do I rebuy and wait for this maniac to pay me off? Would I suck out again?

I decided that I have enough bank roll to rebuy and try to get my money back, which is usually how all these terrible going bust stories start. In two hands I got the cowboys, when I was UTG and he was the BB. I went all-in, just wanting him and him only to call. He did, and had J5o, and I think a short stack came along for the ride too. The turn gave him a gut-shot straight draw, but the river was another King to give me my money back plus a small profit for my time. Then I left the table immediately, as did every other player except him – who still had about 3x the buy-in anyway.

I don’t know if going back into the game was the right thing to do. I mean, it was still down to any two cards. I was lucky to receive a premium hand again so quickly, but I just considered that divine justice. I am now willing to sell his username to anybody interested for $5 a pop.

The thoughts I was going to talk about revolved around low levels of NL. Really, about 90% of the players are just waiting to double up. It is rare to see any pots in the 10BB-20BB range. They are either the blinds plus a few raises, or all-ins. I’m not sure that method is all that much fun.

It seems a little redundant to complain about the level of play at the $0.25/$0.50 tables, but it was just an observation of mine.

Noble will not have me as a customer for much longer – and not just because their software sucks. Do you know how hard it is to get a SNG going that is higher than $2? I guess that’s the difference between Party having 70,000 players and Noble having 400. They have tried to combat this with their Maui $5 SNG – if you win 5 in a row (I think it’s five) you get a bonus $15K. Worth a look methinks. I tried one and finished third when I lost a race with K-suited vs Ace-suited or something similar. But any profit is good with the wedding coming up.

I have recently also been inspired by Pauly’s “99 Things About Pauly”, and even though I am not attending Vegas for obvious reasons, I think I might try to make a list of my own. If I think it’s any good, I may even post it. Who am I kidding, even it is sucks I’m still going to post it.

At the moment, after watching “Team America: World Police” again over the weekend, we can’t stop calling people “Cock Bag” in our house. Even when we went through McDonalds drive through. It’s a fun little pastime, and you should see how often in your everyday life you can call someone a “cock bag” without them noticing. Helps the idle moments pass.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The Blogging Community

Ford: Don't panic... don't panic...
Arthur: So this is it. We're gonna die.
Ford: Yeah. We're gonna die.

Ford: No... no! What's this?
[goes over to control panel]

Arthur: What's that?
Ford: What's this...? What's this...?
[flips switch]
Ford: This... is... nothing. Yeah, we're gonna die.
”The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy”

Hello once again from the land of Oz, my poker loving public. The WGPBE has given over 100 posts to the mass of the internet over the past 9 months or so, and it is time to pay tribute to a special few bloggers who have helped me on the way. I present these in no special order, and to be honest I should list every single person in the blog roll here because I have learned something form everyone – be that strategy, what to do or what not to do or even just an affiliate link here and there. But here are some that have made a specific impact on my poker blogging career.

Kind of an obvious first choice I admit, but the truth is Guinness and Poker was the first poker blog I ever read, thanks to a link through Fark. And yes, I have used Bonus code Iggy on at least one occasion!

Also, the vast majority of my online poker reading has come from links or recommendations from Iggy and his site. Indeed, when my site was mentioned once a long time ago, my hits went from 3-4 a week to 20 a day almost instantly. I know that is miniscule in comparison to what some other sites get every hour, but it was a good little ego boost at the time and I’m sure every one was like that when they started.

Through a competition on his extremely entertaining but all-too infrequent blog, I won my first every poker book. Sure, I think I was the only one who entered, but it was a pleasing day none the less. I won a copy of “Tao of Poker”, which I noticed had been once thrown into the “sell at any price” bin when it was last in a book shop. However, Uwannabet having to pay the postage to Australia showed that he’s a top bloke. This was the first of many poker related things that I received for free due to my online addiction.

Dr. Pauly
No coincidence, shortly after I read the book “Tao of Poker”, I came across a website named after said book. The simple truth is, and this is no secret, nobody does a tournament write up like the good doctor. I put him here in this miny hall of fame mainly because his writing is what I aspire to.

This was a simple choice, not for his blog (which is very good and I read often) as much as it is for the comments he leaves on mine. They may be few, but when this valiant knight imparts some of his knowledge upon a lowly peasant such as myself, good things happen. When I was fighting against the flow, Sir told me to stick to what was working. Immediately I experienced my greatest single day profit – which was because of his advice and the confidence boost I received. Though I have received advice from Sir on few occasions, when I do, I listen intently. Some may say the advice was nothing profound, even basic advice to some – but it was all new to me.

And more than anything, what would a blog be without comments? Useful comments at that!

My bank roll is in the positives because of Seth – plain and simple. Last week me and my distraction flew to Adelaide for an engagement party, went to the races on Monday and then spent the rest of the week in my home town organising a wedding. That entire trip was paid for by poker – and I would not have had that bank roll if it wasn’t for his casino bonus whore guide. Through ups and downs, I turned my entire bank roll of $100 into $400 (and if I wasn’t stupid, it would have been double that). That allowed me to get back into party poker and play with a proper roll behindme and get maximum deposit bonuses at various sites – before long, I was over the $1K mark for the first time. Also, his Omaha tournaments were great fun, and lead me to Noble poker – a bad poker site in my opinion but I have been able to slightly rebuild the bank roll since withdrawing.

In summary, I am still playing poker because of Scurvy Dog.

Duggle Bogey
I could put Duggle Bogey here for his awesome, “raw” content. I could put him here for the poker comics, in my opinion the funniest ones I have seen. I could put him here because his last name is “Beer”. But that my friends is not the reason.

When I asked for help, Duggle answered the call.

When I had enough money to actually look like completing a bonus, I asked the blogging public for advice, and through him I became a member of Poker Source Online, which in turn led to my first set of KEM cards. Soon I will have enough PSO points to get more cool shit, and thanks to “Go Be Rude” for that.

Oh, and his site is pretty good too.

So there you have it, Heafy’s blogging elite. I’ve made a little commemorative medal for these fine fellows – which I conveniently stole from each of their sites - and if they wish they are more than welcome to print it out and put it above their bed so it is the last thing they see before they go to bed each and every night. That’s what I expect them to do with it at least. I will be looking through their windows to check.

Soon, I'll have some current poker content to update everyone on, as well as a half decent poker theory post - unbeleiveable!

Monday, May 23, 2005

The Return

Wow, blog wise May has been a lean month. I have had 3 major projects at work come to an end at work, which kept me busy enough, as well as a rushed trip back to my home town to plan a wedding in three days. Very busy as you can understand, and naturally everything is running over budget. I will elaborate on this trip later.

For now, I just wanted to drop by and say I am still playing poker, still intend on updating this blog regularly, and will get to my commemorative 100th post and dedication to the bloggers out there who have helped me get there (in one way or another). I am just far too short on time at the minute - and I have 2 weeks worth of poker blog reading to catch up on!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Maximising The Pot

Sheldon: When my brothers and I played cowboys and Indians, I was always the Chinese railroad worker.
”Death To Smoochy”

EDIT IN: On a whim, I went back through this blog today and counted all the posts. What do you know, this one right here is post number 100! That's my century up on the board, my first post next week will be a celbratory post on this milestone as well as my tribute to those bloggers that have helped me on my way!

Another short post for today, just keeping me busy with my monster 40 minute sessions per night.

I have spoken a few times about a major hole in my game, and it popped up again last night. I would love some comments on this play and what you would do:

I decided to kill off a few more raked hands and even try to play some decent poker last night, so I went to the $0.50/$1 NL tables at Noble. About the third hand in I get pocket tens, and I make it $4 to see the flop from middle position. 4 callers come for the ride, which had me a little worried.

Flop is QTx, so far so good. I put out another $4 bet, and get everyone to call. This is either going to be very good or very bad from here methinks.

Turn fills me up beautifully, with yet another T. Checked to me, I check my quads and hope that somebody will bet into me. I have a big problem of getting the maximum out of a pot when I have the nuts, so I tried to let everyone have a free card here on the river and hit something – anything!

The river was another blank leaving me with the nuts and there was a straight possibility. The pot was $30 or so by now, and I was 2nd to act. I decided to go for an obvious week bet and see if anybody attempts to raise me. I bet out $3 into a $30+ pot, giving miraculous odds to anybody who is game, and maybe this was too obvious of a move. I got only 1 caller and no raisers. Of course my tens were good, and I left the table not long after this as my free time had expired (the Distraction came home).

Maybe my moves were a little transparent – raise pre-flop, on the flop and then checked the turn. Maybe I was just unlucky that nobody else hit anything. I’d like to know what you think.

While I was wasting some time, I thought I would just have a look into the $5/$10 game, where the stacks were triple my entire bankroll – I don’t mind being small time. I like watching poker in casinos and on TV, so I thought I would become a rail bird just for this online game to see how the big money players go. I saw one of the most stupid plays ever get paid off big time.

Ok, so I have seen about 4 hands of action and I have no read on anybody, so I can only call this one on face value. UTG, with a stack of $450 goes all-in straight away. This is a ring game mind you, not late in a MTT or on the bubble of a SNG. It is checked around to the big stack at $1100+ who calls the all-in. He shows Kings. Now I thought this could have been a bad move, as UTG is representing Aces, which would obviously dominate the Kings – but how had is it to fold Kings pre-flop? Can’t blame him for calling I guess. That was until UTG flipped over their cards and showed QTo. That’s one “Queen” and one “Ten”, not of the same suit.

Oh the fucking stupidity.

Talk about throwing out a crap shoot. I don’t know why anybody would do that with $450. That is about $100 more than I have invested in online poker at the moment, and he bet it all pre-flop on QTo. A bluff perhaps? Pretty fucking stupid bluff if you ask me.

Naturally, the flop comes down QQA. The turn and river are both rags. The big stack is shell shocked, as am I. Well, as was everyone who witnessed this travesty.

It goes to show, the stupid plays don’t just happen at the micro limit tables.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


Chili Palmer: Whew, this movie business is tough. I might just have to go back to loan-sharking for a while to get some vacation.
”Get Shorty”

What always springs to mind for me about that movie is when I first heard about it. I was in the Gold Coast in Queensland, and Dad and I went to a baseball game between Gold Coast and Adelaide – it was a double header. They had a big promo night on for that movie and the guy over the PA kept mentioning it every five minutes. What was funny about the game was the pitcher for the Gold Coast team in the second game. I had no idea who any of the players were, but this guy had apparently just signed a deal with Boston and was off to their training in a few weeks. They really hyped the guy up, which means you know exactly what is going to happen next. Back-to-back home runs, plus another 4 runs and he doesn’t see the third inning. I got a laugh out of it.

Back to the tables last night, I had a 20BB session in under 20 minutes. It was on the $0.05/$0.10 tables, but that doesn’t matter.

For some reason, I felt like playing Omaha Hi and as usual there were no games available at Noble poker, except for one sorry soul sitting all alone at the above-mentioned pot-limit table. I bought in for the maximum $5, and he sat down with $1. In 9 hands he was empty. He dragged one pot, where I limped from the big blind and dropped it on the flop. I was getting nice cards and hitting, what else can you do? I think he tried to push me off one pot that I flopped quad Jacks. That kinda hurt him, as much as loosing 35 cents can. I figured that was a great bit of fun for $1, lets find a real game. But then another punter sat down and bought in for the minimum $1. Lets go again, and this time holding AQxx, I see a flop of AQx. I managed to get him all-in, and he hit runner-runner for the straight to bring him back to even.

A few hands later, I have the nut-flush draw and top pair, and he goes all-in. I call and see he has top two pair. I hit runner-runner for a straight this time and he says good bye.

What was weird is that I won $2 at micro-limit tables and loved it. My biggest wins ever have been just over $100 and I felt disappointed by those – because it should/could have been more. I don’t know if this is a good thing or not. I was just happy to be winning with good play at these pathetic levels. Afterwards when the “chips” become “cash”, obviously the other win is far more satisfying.

Now lets not get too carried away – I won 20 hands or so at the lowest limit against players who more than likely know nothing about Omaha. I got good cards and won. Why does this micro-session stand out for me when compared to the last few months? I guess because I won every cent that was available, and it was just down right fun.

It was good to be playing poker.

Monday, May 02, 2005

If At First You Don't Succeed...

Tom Cronin: He's making his first mistake.
Nicky: It's not a mistake. They don't make mistakes. They don't do random. There's always an objective. Always a target.
Pamela Landy: The objectives and targets always came from us. Who's giving them to him now?
Nicky: Scary version? He is.
”The Bourne Supremacy”

As expected, I didn’t get a chance to play a single hand of poker over the weekend. I wasn’t able to make the small satellite I qualified for, I was working all day Saturday and then all day Sunday was at the church for a pre-marital course. Basically it was to get a certificate so that we could be married in a church. Pretty long and boring, but necessary stuff.

I have a normal office job, Monday to Friday, so working Saturday only happens if there is something specific that is needed. This weekend was our first attempt at a Guinness World Record that I have been talking about here for some time. I was very excited about the attempt, but unfortunately our first test run was a failure. I won’t reveal the details of the record until we have it confirmed, which should be this Saturday. Our attempt was pretty good, but failed on one crucial component – one that I have been assured will take a few hours to fix and then we are good to go for attempt 2. Here’s hoping.

Looking forward to getting out and seeing “The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy” this week some time. Looks awesome, and from a few friends reviews it sounds like it won’t disappoint.

It is going to be hard to get some quality time in on the felt for the next few weeks, but after that I will be back to my poker fiendish self.