Monday, January 31, 2005

Let it snow!

The roads were rather slick this morning and after a weekend of bad luck I fully expected to get into an accident on the way to work. Sure enough we almost slid right through an intersection into a car with DWI plates. Luckily the driver wasn't drinking this morning and saw us sliding to avoid the crash.

Trip to Treasure Island started off good enough. My mom picked up a little after noon to start our journey to Red Wing, MN (about an hour's drive). We dined at McDonald's splitting a McNugget value meal (I wasn't very hungry). While at McDonald's I got the pleasure of viewing the bitchiest little female manager I've ever seen since my days of working at OfficeMax (hmmm... possible future flashback post perhaps). All 80 pounds her berated the cashiers and cooks the entire time as I waited for my value sized fries to come out of the fryer. Turning the cups a certain way, greeting with proper enunciation, etc... I fully thought she was going to correct my posture and tell me to stand exactly 5 feet from the counter while waiting for food.

The rest of the trip was uneventful. I did have fun while hitting an array of bonus games while playing the slots. Monopoly was the most interesting, you can "buy" houses on the game board and receive extra bonuses when you land on the properities. If you don't land on enough properities you could actually lose money. Neat little gamble. I can't seem to enjoy blackjack anymore, I buy in and after winning/losing a little bit I want to quit before losing my initial stake. I did get plowed for $100 in 5 hands but won over half of that back doubling down on one hand and spliting aces when the dealer finally busted. The dealer was nice enough but I could only make out one in five words he was saying since I was getting dizzy from all those slots (maybe another why I've started to play poker?). Treasure Island sure has grown since the last time I had visited the place. Its fairly clean with its smoking/non-smoking rooms, unlike Mystic Lake you CAN drink there ( but I didn't and its not free). The biggest downside is no poker room of course or I'd be writing more about raising with the hammer and less about how the stupid Men In Black game never gave me an Alien Bonus. The trip cost me $120 but well worth the 5+ hours with my mom, but it also mean I need to withdraw a little more next time from online to cover my Vegas trip coming up.

Maybe some fishies will give me some good luck while I try a WSOP party tourney at Absolute tonight. I could use it after this weekend.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Going to Treasure Island

No, not the one in Vegas... at least not for another month or so. A friend of mine's birthday party is taking place there and being the weakling I am when someone mentions a casino trip, I agreed to go. My mom of course is playing taxi this time as she's the only one I know who gets more excited about donating to the indian reservations then I do. I'm hoping they've added a poker room. I recently got a flyer from Grand Casino Hinckley and their poker room is up and running. It listed Omaha hi/low as an available game WHOO WHOO! My wife sighed when she saw the poker room info since the casino is only 5 mins from our cabin in Hinckley. "Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeease can I go honey". I'll definitely have some trip reports this summer, as I plan on playing at least a couple of times when we go the cabin.

Joined up at Pokerroom today. A couple of observations....

- Lobby chat room is your basic AOL "Troubled Teens" chat group. Trying to read it was about as welcoming as taking a dump after you've eaten the tails off all 20 of the jumbo shrimp platter at Red Lobster (trust me on this, it hurts and not recommended).

- Interface is nifty with an array of characters that do not change per sex of the player. There's the coked out stockbroker, James Bond, a Jessica Simpson looking blonde, and Aunt Ethel. Somethings I didn't like... you can't reload on the tables, you'd need to go out of the game, then go back in (or I'm retarded haven't found a way to do it yet, which is very possible seeing that my IQ is in the single digits). The games seem to move along fairly fast, I haven't tinkered with the different buttons yet for stats. Not being able to show hands kinda sucks (a.k.a can't throw the hammer down on the table). To get your bonus updates you need to check a website link, your balance amount does take a minute or two to update so do not expect a real-time update.

- The competition. I'm starting to wonder why the hell I played limit for so long. It seems that people's brains go to mush while playing no limit. Yeah they do hit their hands once in a while AKs vs Q4o cost me a stack when he hit his 4 cards to a straight and I got TPTK. Wasn't expecting someone to call my 5XBB raise with a 4 but hey I'm glad they do (just not on that hand...)!

- Bonus whoring is a little tougher here since you get .5 "points" for a .50 raked and 1 "point" for $1 in rake. To clear the bonus from (20% up to $200) its 7 "points" per $1 in bonus so 1400 points to clear it. After three tabling this morning for 2 hours I got 250 "points" playing $1/$2 limit and $.50/$1 blinds NLHE. There seems to be a lot of different freerolls and cheap tournaments for earning these points. I'll report back earning a freeroll as to how the competition is.

Played on Empire for some $5,000 freeroll. Tournament limit HE is something I'm fairly confident with but the cards were not with me tonight as I went out in 277th betting out AK and running into KK when the case K flopped. Oh well, you win some and sometimes you just suck.

Ugh, just noticed its 11pm and I've got some slot playing tomorrow to rest up for!

Friday, January 28, 2005

NL is here to stay?

I was rockish on Crytpo last night while clearing the 300 hands for the Poker Plex $50 monthly bonus. But that didn't prevent someone from giving me their stack when I turned the nut straight with JTo vs. his AK. He bet his TPTK with a K - Q -3 board, I called his $2 flop bet, then a lovely 9 falls and I lead out $2, he min raises, I come back for $20 which he flat calls. Just to sweeten the deal an Ace falls on the river. I led out $25 and he pushed :D

I would to improve on the red ink flowing through PokerTracker under $1/$2 limit. But, NLHE has been very good to me and with the players play not improving at many of the sites I check out, I may stick with it for a while. Its nice to clear a bonus and actually make money playing! Limit can be profitable as well, especially since I did get through the .50/1 limit with 3.82/BB win rate after 10K hands. But, at the moment NLHE is the bread winner.

I got my BoDog calendar in the mail the other day. Meh. Its glossy and the women aren't wearing parkas and snowpants at least. The players at BoDog continue to define the word "fish". Got my all-in pre flop raise with KK called by... 88, yes I got sucked-out when an 8 flopped but when the player got pissed about me shutting the other caller, I kindly reminded him he hit a two outer. He told me I should be more careful about raising him in the future. You're right, because the next 4 times he does the same thing, I'll be taking his stack (theoretically of course). At least this place will probably be paying for my wife's spa treatment at Treasure Island in March. The bonuses here aren't much to shout about but the soft games make this a decent site to play.

Superbowl predictions, anyone? I still need a site with weird prop bets, if you see one let me know!

Thank you all of the kind words of encourgagement about my work drama! They decided to ship me back to my previous position unfortunately. I could have stayed if I had not made my decision when I was not thinking straight on Monday (note to everyone: never make job/life decision without a clear head, and if you're offered time to think about it DO IT!). But, once the wheels for the move were set in motion it was a done deal. My sup gave me the cliched saying "everything happens for a reason", and maybe she's right. I'm still trying to figure out what exactly is my goal at work. I have no desire to become a supervisor despite my people skills and an A.S. degree in Business Management. I just want to provide for my family, that's it. Anything above and beyond that is a bonus but not a necessity to me. Poker helps this out a little bit, I'll be able to make a little profit and buy things for Little Drizz and my wife that normally we couldn't. Poker also gives me the risk/reward thrill that I won't get working to satisify me personally so I don't go through the week like a punch clock zombie. Plus, I can live vicarously through the bloggers who have more adventures in one night then I do in a year!

Thanks again everyone, good luck at the tables!

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Not too shabby

I played on Party Poker for about 1.5 hours last night and left up $35 after a nice run at 4-tabling $25NLHE. I WAS up $70 but of course when I was ready to log off for the night I got caught in a hand that I shouldn't have even recieved the hole cards. I got AKs on the button with 2 limpers behind and raise it up to $3. SB folds, BB calls, UTG + 2 calls, other limper folded. Flop is a rainbow A - T - 4. UTG + 2 leads out for $3, I put him on AJ or AQ and raise it up to $10 (seemed like a good idea at the time), BB folds and he min re-raises. WARNING DANGER WARNING DROP YOUR WORTHLESS TPTK NOW!!! He was a decent tight player with a similar 1.5 x buy-in stack but did I listen to the warnings? Noooooooooooooo. He turns over the TT set and a King on the turn mocks me. Sigh.

At least it was a profitable night, and fishes were out in full force. I got my 6xBB raise with KK called by T8o which caught SECOND pair on the flop and he pushed. Good call and thanks for the chips! I was able to lay down AK when faced with a re-raise by the big stack, and lay down KK was min re-raised by a flopped ragged two pair. I need to play more often when I'm motivated enough to play good poker, instead of the mindless bonus whoring/multi-tabling I do sometimes. I was able to pick off the fish and stay away from the tighter players for most of the night... except that one costly hand.

Before poker me and the wife watch the Professional Wrestler bungle a big lead on The Amazing Race because the chick with microwave breasts (see Tao of Poker for a better appliance to breastial tissue explaination), forgot her ticket to get into this temple and everyone passed her up. This show is growing on me, exotic locals, hot chicks, and cool little games they play for "detours". One couple got to play elephant polo to complete their challenge last night. Not that I'd want to ride on anything that could swat me like a fly, but it was interesting to watch.

Work is still up and down, had a great talk with the sup about everything, not sure how its going to play out but however it ends up it was nice to realize what's been going on. Sorry to be so vague. One of my frusterations has been not knowing what's expected of me Sadly, I didn't find that out till yesterday, wish that I'd known months and months prior to having this potential change in jobs. Sigh.

Thanks for dropping by, and don't forget to hug your kid today :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Better then spending $3.30 on a extra value meal!

Al is up for sale!!

Trip Report: Applebee's

Just kidding, but the family did go to Applebee's last night for a rare night out since the new house stuff is sucking our bank account dry. I swear my Texas-sized piece of Chicken Fried Chicken more then made up for the lack of potatoes. Little Drizz spent the night trying and getting the attention of the lovely waitress, he even offered her a fry which she accepted (good way to earn a nice tip too).

No poker last night as I have been spent with the whirlwind that's been happening at work. Getting moved into a new position wasn't something I had been planning on, but because of my ups and downs I have from the accident it wasn't totally unexpected. They demand more then I can give, simple. Life isn't fair sometimes, if life was fair I'd probably would have gotten a huge settlement from my accident and my wife wouldn't have to work. But as Ferris Bueller once said "Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop to look around once in a while, you could miss it". I'm going to try to make the most of a bad situation but I am limited in what I can do. Somedays I'm the old Drizz and able to multi-task 4 things at once while sipping on a lemonade, other days I'm lucky to put my boxers on correctly and remember what I ate for breakfast. Thanks for the encouragement Doc, I need it :)

Tonight I need to get to Party and get some of my money back from the yahoos that took it over the weekend and finish up 300 more hands to complete the 20% bonus being offered at the moment (Bonus code: BONUSJAN). I might hit up Poker Plex to chip away at that bonus as well. The NL game there seemed mixed at my crack at it on Monday. Couple of rocks and a couple of gambOOOOOOlers made it tough to push people off their hands, so I'm going to try peddling the nuts and see how that goes.

I need to start writing down my Superbowl bets, and of course lose my coin flip bet for the 6th year in a row (I've never won betting on heads or tails). I always take an NBA vs. Football bet, Kobe and Shaq vs. Corey Dillion's first half's rushing yards or something like that. Love those types of bets. If anyone sees a good prop bet on or let me know.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Should have seen it coming

I'm being involuntarily moved to another department within the company I work for. With all the bad luck I've been having this really took the cake. It is unfortunate but I gotta trudge on like a good solider. Ever since my accident, my work performance and standards have gone in the toilet. I can't remember and retain things like I used to. Its hard to get motivated for a job that doesn't challenge the skills that you have (or used to have in my case). At work I feel like an aging athlete with bum knees just trying to get through the season. It hurts since I used to have awards and thanks from everyone on how I was such a good workers and look to be moving up in the company. Now, I'm the trouble child that no one wants and get passed around like a potato with eyes growing out of it.

Sigh. I don't think any kind of monetary settlement from my accident could possibly give me back what I've lost over the years. My zest for work and success is gone, the only thing remaining is my personality and friendliness work with others. But, its not about me anymore, all I want to do is provide for my son and my wife, that's it. I just need to find work that I can be proud of so I can get back some of my pride in work. And maybe retain some of the things that made me leader before the accident.

Sorry for the whiny drivel today, but I feel like shit and I needed to put it somewhere.

As for poker content.... not much except BoDog continues to swim high with the fishies, I flopped a flush draw and top pair with QJs in the small blind, flush didn't hit but I continued to bet the flop and turn. One person stayed with me. When the river was a under card blank I checked the river to get raised all-in. Slowplaying Aces, Kings? I thought about it for awhile and decided to call and he flipped over K2o. This wasn't penny poker, he wagered $65 on a stone-bluff with someone who led out the betting. I thought dead in the water with a better kicker or even two pair but it was a stone bluff and I got a nice $100 pot!


Monday, January 24, 2005

Tin foil hats look good on me

I tried so hard not to become one of those conspiracy theory poker players. You know them... in chat phrases like "only at Party Poker", "that's the 4th set over set I've lost tonight", or "I like sheep". God, the suckouts were horrible yesterday, mix some tilty play by me and I'm down $100 from the $25NL tables at Party. Sigh. There was one table at which I was trying to take a shot at someone who had 15-20 buy-ins ($430 when I left) but I couldn't get into a hand with him. I ran TPTK into an overpair, overpair into a set, overpair into a rivered inside straight, hell I even burned my cream cheese toaster strudel!! I was waiting for my hair to burst on fire and my dick to fall off, but luckly this morning I can still call myself a male with hair on the top of his head.

Deep breath......... ahhhhhhhhhh.

Ok, it wasn't a total loss. Eagles and Pats are going to the Super Bowl in Jacksonville! I can't imagine the party plans AlCantHang has brewing for The Boathouse and I'm sure the distillers of Southern Comfort are going to be working overtime for the next two weeks. I had a bet on the Pats (-3) which covered 25% of my losses playing poker. Typical. Maybe I should handicap football games and stop getting pissed about the joker playing K5s and hitting a runner-runner boat vs. my nut flush. Eh, its all good, I love poker too much to stop just because of a bad night. Besides, the deposit bonuses help ease the pain and variance.

If you haven't checked out the reader's mail post from the Tao of Poker (Dr. Pauly), please do yourself a favor and click on the link. Way... too... funny... Thankfully I read his blog before my co-workers get in :)

Props to customer service -

Interpoker - I had received an email regarding a $20 bonus for reloading there, didn't get the bonus immediately as stated. I sent off an email to the cardroom manager (Ryan Hartley I believe) and he responded within 1 day and the $20 was in my account! Thanks Ryan!

Absolute - I received a coupon for $50 free for playing 300 hands of $1/$2 Omaha, sent in the code after completing the 300 hands and within 12 hours got the bonus and a reply by their service department. Excellent job guys, keep up the good work and I'll will return to play :)

Barring get hit by a large semi on the way home from work, I'll be braving the $25NLHE tables again tonight to finish off my bonus at Party and maybe drop by the blogger table to bleed some money off to my fellow scribes. Thanks for reading :)

Oh, almost forgot.... I entered in the $10 MTT 7-card stud tourney at Party on a whim since it looked cool and I could bug Felicia for advice if I busted out too early. Well, after 3 hours I did bust out 83rd out of 803. No money but made it pretty far for not playing in a Stud tourney before. Felicia if you got some quick pointers for me, they would be greatly appeciated as I'm going to play a couple more of these, since it was surprisingly fun!

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Crazy Friday... written on Saturday

While my son is pushing around Elmo in a laundry basket I thought I'd punch up a quick post.

Mystic Lake -

No, I didn't win the $800K Wild Cherries jackpot but I did win at blackjack for the first time there since I was a college student (we won't mention how long ago that was). Ok ok it was $20 BUT I WON! Only to get lured into bonus game heaven of the nickle slots. Eh, it was entertainment and my wife was having a good time so I'll chalk up my $35 loss as a moral victory. Plus Little Drizz got to go swimming and he didn't scream the entire time thank god. He's still a little afraid of the water (yet loves to take a bath for some reason), but by the time we got out he was splashing away :)

Friday morning poker -
Played at Party to start working off the newest re-load bonus (Bonus code: BONUSJAN 20% up to $200 but must be completed within one week). I was in full out tilt mode after 30 mins. AA, KK (twice), nut flush hit by runner-runner boat, running QQ into AA. Sigh. Just one of those nightmare starts that really tests your patience. But, I got it all back with AA vs. KK vs. QQ vs. AQ pre-flop and a 5 high board :) I need to be more patient at the NL tables, I tend to push hands too far without concidering the opponent (unless I'm at the blogger table). This has been a big leak at Party for me, and I need to plug this hole when I finally get the nads to move up in limits. Or else, I am the one who's going to be the sucker at the table.

Bowling -

Yes, I bowl and I ENJOY IT! I only have a 175 average but its a fun way to see my family (my parents, sister, brother, and brother-in-law all bowl in the same league). I know it would be healther to step back onto the volleyball court, but playing co-ed volleyball at a lower level isn't very fun. I bowled decent after a sober 138, hitting a 233 and a 212 when the Cap'n Cokes were finally hitting the spot.

Short posts as Little Drizz is tearing up the place and needs someone to play with. Thanks for reading :)

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Going to Mistake Lake

My mom received yet another free room at Mystic Lake Casino for tonight, and since I'm off of work tomorrow we thought we'd bring the little one to take advantage of the pool out there! I also heard there's a casino (WITH NO ALCOHOL!!) in the lobby so I may slip away from the pool fun for a couple of minutes for some slots action. I wish I could get dropped off at Canterbury to play some poker but I can't pass up a chance to bring Little Drizz swimming.

Any advice to prevent my slot tilting if I don't get the super-cool bonus games? I don't feel like blowing through the remainder of my home bankroll just because Kenny Rogers refuses to line up correctly for the bonus game. Maybe I'll just play video poker. I've heard good things about these machines but they seem so boring. I like cartoons flying across the screen just to tell me I've won fifteen cents! Eh, its entertainment for the night, and maybe I'll actually win too!

I watched Sportscenter this morning and there was a story about hard liquor products being able to advertise on NASCAR racing teams. And of course the long spiel about younger viewers drinking because they see it on the cars, and drinking and driving, and blah blah blah. Ok, what's the name of NASCAR's junior circuit.... the Busch series, and what do they sell? Hint, it ain't carpeting or power tools. So what's the problem folks? Its ok to have a watered down beer sponsor the entire circuit, but Jack Daniels can't sponsor one car? Do they figure that the drivers are safer drinking a can of Busch but not taking a shot of JD before the race? Sigh.

No poker to speak of last night, I spoke some gibberish while trying to have a conversation with the wife and that told me its time to go to bed early. I'll probably be on tonight at UB and/or Absolute, maybe even make an appearence at the blogger table if I'm drinking after I get home. Thanks for reading :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Things that make you limp

Or go limp. My poker chub was at a high this weekend, playing as many as 5 games at a time and enjoying it! Then my wife dropped the proverbial hammer (yes even non-professional women players use this hand) of telling me we need to use some poker funds when we move into the new house next month. I tried playing some Omaha hi/lo last night on Absolute (which wouldn't even boot up this weekend) and found myself more entertained by the fly that somehow survived the winter on my ceiling. Needless to say, I wasn't in the mood to play. After 4-5 orbits of taking in some nice pots, but pissing it away when my 20 outers never hit the river, I finished 8BB up and felt bleh. And I enjoy playing Omaha the most since, to me, its more exciting and thought provoking having wrap straight-draws, flush draws, nut low, etc...

Maybe I'm just overreacting to my wife's comments, surly I can be profitable enough to withdraw $100-$200 a month to help with monthly expenses (go go bonuses!!!). I don't think that's the problem. The problem lies within the reason WHY I and many others play poker. For entertainment, relaxation after doing the 9-5 grind, and the thrill of winning a nice pot. I know Joey Knish would disagree about "just playing for the thrill of victory", I never want to "play for rent or my kids to eat". Its more psychologial than realistic at this point. The thing I fear right now is playing too passively and start playing only nut hands. I know you can make money doing so, its how I played for the first 6 months of online poker. I've become much more profitable since I've started semi-bluffing, defending my blinds more, and shooting out more button raises even with only semi-decent holdings (thanks to SSH).

Actually I probably just need a drink and handjob or something. Damn I'm starting to sound like a whiny little bitch. Tonight, no poker unless its in the bedroom. Thanks for reading :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Wife puts the scare into poker

I play poker for fun and entertainment. It is an enjoyable game for me to play for many reasons (and I've met some really cool people because of it... Al, Chris, and Chad!). But, this morning on the way to work my wife inquired about my poker playing. Yikes. She asked "how much do you make a month playing poker?". Yikes. So I told her, due to bonuses I usually come out a little ahead. She says "well, with the new house we may need to supplement our income a little". Yikes.

After playing online for about 7-8 months, I've finally at the point where I have a comfortable bankroll (at my level....) so I'm not playing with scared money, and she springs this on me! Maybe I'm overreacting a little, but just thought that we would need to lean on poker winnings to make bill payments or buy some extra groceries make me a little uncomfortable. Granted with deposit bonuses I can keep variance to almost nill, but that's not the point. If you're playing NL and you faced with a decision to take a shot at a pot with a big bet (and you have nothing), do you go for it and not think twice about not being able to buy those Toaster Strudels and breakfast sausage (I love breakfast by the way, it is the perfect meal at any time) at the grocery store if you get called?

Bleh, bad way to start the day after a decent night at the tables. Don't tell the people at Interpoker but.... I WON MONEY PLAYING POKER! I hit an inside straight, a full house, a nut flush, and some doofus thought A3o was cool to 4 bet vs. my AQs all within my last 1.5 hours of clearing their monthly bonus. And for the first time in three months, I actually made money on top of the monthly bonus WHOO WHOO!!

BoDog still continues to show some horrible play on their NL tables, its too bad I caught 3 fishes with only short stacks betting with nothing and me holding a premium hand. The software runs fairly smoothly and they seem to have quite a few tables of NLHE running at prime time (i.e. lots of gambOOOOOOOOolers). The decent players are easy enough to pick out, they're the ones who call your 6xBB raise with something more then sOOOOOted cards. Aggressive play is rewarded here, but people will call you down with middle or bottom pair, so make sure you're going in with a little something :P

TGC didn't have good results last night due to a doofus sucking out on me twice at the NLHE tables. Sadly he lost all of my money I donated with three hands. Sigh. I gained a little back but still finished 10BB down for the night after my top two ran into quads on the river (luckily at a limit table). Ouch.

I played a little at UB to chip away at that bonus (its a triathlon not a marathon clearing a bonus there....). Won 15 BBs at one table of $1/$2 limit and lost a little at a second table. With the mini view I had 2 UBs, 2 TGC tables, and BoDog up last night. I like UBs interface so it wasn't very fun with with mini view but effecient since I'm only using one monitor to play.

Its back to work for me... real work, not the virtual cards kind. Thanks for reading :)

Monday, January 17, 2005

I survived the AlCantHang experience

I'm still buzzing (not from the alcohol...) about the mini-blogger get together yesterday. Myself, AlCantHang, Chris Halverson, and Pokeramarama met up at the Prairie Pub on Sunday afternoon to watch the Vikes self-destruct vs. Al's Eagles.

Chris was gracious enough to pick me up at home for this occasion (I know I said thank you 15 million times but he it is again THANK YOU CHRIS!) and on the way I thought I'd bring a little snack for Al from Krispy Kremes. We chatted about my new house that I'd recent bought (and moving to next month whoowhoo!!) . Chris had mentioned how he's got family (a brother if I recall correctly) that lives very close to him, whereas I'll be 2 blocks from my parents.

We arrived at the Prairie Pub around 11:00 am at the same time Al and his two friends get there. This was no ordinary bowling pub either, they had about 9 pool tables, big screen TV, about 12-15 smaller TVs in every direction. Excellent spot of venue to view the game, AlKnowsHisBars. The bartender was a very friendly guy and explained the $1 shot deals. Apple Pucker for the Eagles Scoring, Purple Pucker for the Vikes (Al described the taste as Welch's Grape Jelly, I agreed). Since I'm not a fan of straight shots of alcohol (a.k.a SoCo), I opted for the collector Vikes glass with $2 refills of Miller products.

Chad from Pokeramarama joined us around the start of the game. Ah, yes the Vikes game. Impending doom on the TV screen as we watched Culpepper make a couple of bad throws, a couple of plays/calls don't go our way, and the Vikes slog to a 27-14 defeat. Al was talking up how big a Pittsburgh/Philly Super Bowl party would be. It was sad to see the Vikes lose like that, I thought they came out flat and stayed flat. Of course a couple of plays would have turned the game around drastically but it wasn't meant to be. During a game, Al happened to find the only other on-line poker player in the bar besides us four (ESP?). I can't remember his name but he was a friendly guy in a personalize Vikes jersey like mine and mentioned his affection for (which I'll be trying out as soon as this current round of bonus whoring is done). He said there's a poker chip set under the bar if we'd like to play...

So, we started up in a little SnG between the 5 of us with $10 a piece and winner take all. I'm fuzzy on the hands but I'll recount what I can...

I was the dealer, Al sitting on my left (GREAT!!, hope you catch the sarcasm), Pokerroom dude, Pokeramarama, and Chris H. on my right.

- Chris cripples and knocks out the Pokerroom guy with a turned straight taking down his flopped top pair.

- At the 15/30 level I make it 120 to go with AA in the hole and Al starts counting up his chips. At this time I'm a little "woozy" from the several beers, shots of "Pucker", and a hard shot of Rumple Minze (everyone else had a SoCo shot...). Still dazed I finally figure out WHY Al was counting up his chips, he was going all-in! I slowly think about it, and kept staring at this blonde in a tight velvet top with her black bra straps showing... yes I got off track from seeing a Minnesota woman in something less then a full Parka and snowpants but then remembered my hole cards and causally called. Al flips over A5o, but the board was no help and I doubled up.

- I believe Chris was crippled vs. Rama when his turned inside straight draw came through. As I said things were very fuzzy for me and my lack of tolerance (I prayed I'd sober up before going home to the wife that I promised I wouldn't get drunk)

- Heads up with me and Rama... I hit TWO full houses, tried to slowplay twice, won the blinds, whoo whoo! I had a massive chip lead but Rama came back full force. Two hands in a row he doubled up on me to bring it to a virtual dead heat. Then came....

- THE HAMMERS!! Yes, two hands in a row I caught the Hammer. First one, I made it 150 to go for Rama at the 25/50 level, he laid it down. But the second time he raised me and since it was a blogger table I felt confident with having the best hand in poker (are you listening Taylor????) to push all-in. 72o vs. Rama's A6s.... flop a 9 - 8 (I think) - and... a 2!!! RAWR! Turn and the river show 9s for a full house!

After the game was done I'd gotten a round for the blogger folks (a small token since the tab was taken care of by Chris). And saw the time as it was getting late and that I should get going. If this get together was any indication of how the Vegas blogger trip was, I can't tell you how comforting it was to be around these guys. The generosity, the friendliness (including Al's friend who confide in me that he once had hair longer then Al's!), and of course the love of this game we play. Being able to chat about poker and hear Al's stories about the Vegas and Bahama trips made me glad that I had an understanding wife to not question me meeting a bunch of guys that she'd never met (and gave the green light for the next Vegas blogger tourney!!).

Thank you again guys for the great time, and I sincerely hope we meet up again in the near future (next time Chris, I'm buying you a couple of rounds at least!). Thanks for reading :)

Friday, January 14, 2005

Baby its cold outside

What are you doing read this?!?! Go to PartyPoker now and get in on the BBJ madness! $650K+ when I was playing this morning. Sadly I dropped several bets due to trying to raise with Aces vs. 2,481 callers. Sigh. But seriously, people are on stupid mode trying to win the jackpot, very easy pickings!

I got an email from a certain Eagles fans blogger who's confirmed his visit to this state and still thinks his team will win this weekend HA! Luckily for Al there's a Krispy Kreme store about a half mile from my house :D

Friday's are to spend with my son, its something I look forward to all week, its even better then sex... well maybe not, but spending the day with the little guy make the long work weeks all worth while. A rule while giving your kid a bath... if you splash the water he/she will come back ten fold, least to say I had to change afterwards.

Glad to say the final inspection on the house we're buying went through great, just a minor detail on a window and we're good to go!!

Sorry for the short post but like Chris H. said, my liver hurts just thinking about watching the Vikes game with Winter Storm CantHang coming through. Time to rest up and pray for forgiveness from the porcelain god.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

-2, -8, -2

No they're not my scores from my last three rounds of golf, its the high temperature for the Twin Cities area for the next three days. I HATE THE COLD. Yet I live in Minnesota, sigh.

I was too tired for poker last night, so I watched the Travel Channel's continuation of Vegas Week. Cool stuff, and it gave me some possiblities to check out on my trip in March. I also watch a bit of the 2004 WPT Championship replay. WTF was that guy thinking going all-in vs. a pre-flop re-raise on a ragged flop with KT? I know they only show the "big" hands but if someone re-raised pre-flop AND re-raises post-flop you'd guess they'd at the very very least have an ace if not a pocket pair. But again I don't know how the table was playing and if Hasan Habib turned over the hammer or something in the previous hands.

I got an email from a certain all-star blogger saying he might be coming to this humble state for a visit. The liquor stores gave a collective groan after reading it. All I gotta say is DRESS WARM if you're coming big guy :) I hope I can entice the wife to bring me out since I can't drive (due to a work injury, see past posts for this). I want to view his facial expressions first hand when the Vikes upset the Eagles.

Short post today, short work day due to the final home inspection on the house we're buying. Barring any Tom Hanks and Shelly Long Money Pit moments, I think its a go. Hot tub, big porch to lounge in, and a nice big backyard for little Drizz to run around in, its looking good.

Tonight I'm on a bonus whoring mission, Crypto and Absolute hitting up the $1/$2 6-max games and a possiblity of TGC to continue to chip away at that bonus. Thanks for reading :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Biggest Leak

As you read through the many wonderful poker blogs that are out there you'll find many of the bloggers discussing their strength and weaknesses at the poker table. One particular weakness I seem to see a pattern with is "making the right read, and not following through". Now the consequences of this can be positive or negative. Either way you are losing bets if you're attentive enough to make a read on an opponent and not following through on your observation.

(For ease of use, these example are for a full ring limit game)

Some excuses:

1) Its only one more bet to see that he/she has me beat

Unless it is limit poker and its last bet on the river, why throw away an hour's worth of profit (if you're making 1/BB an hour, but I know most successful players are making 3-4BB/hr) if you know you're beat. The only other exception would be to validate your read on this player once and only once. "Paying for information" as Danny N. has been known to quip about.

2) I was tired and didn't care

Then you shouldn't be playing in the first place. If a poker player is to become successful he/she needs to be attentive of all the things happening (virtual or real) at the table. Figure out who's the table coach and telling others how to play their cards. Who will call you down with middle pair even if you're raising. Who will fold to a river bet. Who will fold top pair to a strong raise on a scary board. Make notes on the players you are playing against either mentally, through jotting down notes on paper, or using the notes system within most of the internet site games. I have been guilty of playing poker tired several times and my losses (tracked on Pokertracker) are mostly in the later parts of the night or it could be due to the nocturnal blogger's table that lures you in like the hookers in the red light district of Amsterdam.

3) My opponent made a donkey call and won last time

This happens to everyone, why not profit from it? Having JJ and get called down by K5o only to have the king spike on the river. It pisses you off and makes you want revenge, so you start going into aggressive-tilt mode which usually leads to bleeding chips that you normally wouldn't play. Toss that Ace+rag in early position even if the donkey is still playing J6o directly to your left. You tagged him as a fish, wait for your chances like a good tight-aggressive player should. Wait until he overplays his middle pair/no kicker again and punish him for it. Again, you made the observation, now follow through on it.

4) Make notes (as briefly stated above)

If you are going to be a serious poker player, making notes on your opponents is crucial. Other then table selection, you make your money based on the bad play of others (and maybe the deck hitting you in the face once in a while). Whether the notes are favorable (i.e. player is a calling station, will call down any pocket pair) or not (good tight-aggressive player, proceed with caution) you make money. Because of your observations and notes, if the good tight-aggressive player raises UTG you can expect he/she has a premium hand and can fold ATo with relative ease and save money. Or if someone raises $3.72 at a blogger table make sure you have anti-tilt hat on because either you're going to get bluffed by the hammer or the blogger will turn over a monster.

Wrapping up my rambling here... following through on your observations WILL improve your BB/hr average. If you're still wondering why you have not been able to move up in limits (like me), more then likely its not you playing the wrong cards, it is probably you incorrectly playing your opponents and not following through on your reads. Anyone can get good cards and raise the heck out of them and make money. Its knowing when to 3-bet and when to fold that you will hold an advantage over your opponents. And if your IQ is over 45 and you're not playing PartyPoker under bonus code IGGY, you need to have your lobotomy reversed and start fleecing the fish!

I know I'm not the accomplished writer that many of the bloggers are (see blog roll for much better poker verse and tips) but I will try to share what I learn based on my experiences all while butchering the English language. Thanks for reading :)

Go read Otis' final table of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure write up (linky to the right). I could feel the wind coming in while sitting at that table after reading. GREAT JOB OTIS!!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Randy, Randy, Randy

Good god, he did something in a football game that the Packer fans do AFTER EVERY HOME GAME TO THE OPPOSING TEAM (minus the pasty white asses of course). That's not even my problem, my problem is the way Sportcenter and the local news has made this little "incident" into a "major" news issue. As I emailed to my friend yesterday, I wagered $5 they'd drege up the squirt-bottle incident, the running over the meter maid, and the words w/Daunte. Sure enough some "Behind the Lines" mini-segment was on Sportcenter as I turned it on, re-hashing all these "incidents". Luckily for me CSI had a better show on Spike TV. There are more important things going on in sports then to devote one-half of the show to everyone's reaction (including Michael Irvin who denounced Moss' actions). Irvin, the NFL pillar of conformity and virtue with his touchdown dances and recreational drug and stripper use says "I would not want Randy as a teammate". Yeah, you set a great example for your teammates as well there kid. Moron.

Poker wasn't the greatest to me last night, well the cards sucked but the blogger tables were running in full force. The chat took some of the sting out of the suckouts at the BBJ tables. I did manage to work off some of The Gaming Club and Absolute bonuses and was going to bed... till I saw the BBJ @ Party was near 300K. Then I saw Pauly, Iggy, and Chris Hal at a table and decided to sweat them for awhile. Beastiality and Woody Allen made for some interesting chatter. I ended up playing a few orbits with Pauly, BadBlood, and one other blogger that I didn't catch his name, with no success. Me and BadBlood went all-in after I raised it up $3.72 both showing down the hammer of course :P Then I catch AA immediately in the next hand (A week ago the same thing happened but I lost a decent amount there), I raised it up $3.72 again but all of the limpers dropped BOOOOOOO. I'll need to confer with BadBlood on how exactly the hammer-betting-triple-deke works.

We found out late last night that the mortgage company goofed and gave us a wrong quote on what our payments would be, not good. I hope today brings some better news because coming home to that yesterday wasn't exactly a Randy Moss highlight moment.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Vikes Win?

I'm still in amazement as to how bad Farve choked. Moss limping around dropping trou and Culpepper (gotta give him props for another great game), and the defense coming up with big turnovers helped send the hick back to Mayberry. I was all set to play poker by the second quarter but the Vikes put on a show yesterday. In the case of Moss... a burlesque show :)

Which brings the question.... which gimpy ankled wide out will have a better dance from the sidelines next weekend? T.O. or Moss?

I'd make a bet with AlCantHang and his beloved Eagles but this fairy tale will probably end quickly in the house that Andy Reid build. Instead I offer a toast (if the Eagles win of course), I'll buy the first SoCo shot for you and your lovely wife if I can make it to the next blogger tourney if its held in Vegas again. Should the Vikes somehow, some way, manage to moon the Eagles you can buy me a 6 pack of Krispy Kremes to be shared of course :) Deal?

Good luck this weekend keeps coming...

#2319283 (sorry if the linky sucked balls)

this is my new place... pending inspection of course but we signed off on the papers this weekend. It needs new shingles but the porch area with a nice view knocked my socks off.

And even more good stuff:
I made money while playing poker and not just from bonuses!! TGC yielded some big wins (for me...) 25BB and 30BB on a $1/$2 and $.50/1 table as well as a stab at the NL game where I won $85 (very soft and full of gambOOOOOOlers in my humble opinion). Empire bonus got cleared also over the weekend and made a whopping $15 from playing plus the $200 for the bonus. What does a bonus whore do after clearing a bonus? Sign up for more of them of course! I put money into Absolute and Interpoker to clear their monthly bonuses. I gotta save up for the Vegas trip in March since closing on the house in February is going to tighten things up for us.

Happy Monday to everyone out there, thanks for reading :)

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Tourney cash

Finished 21st out of 349 people for a whopping $11 win! Sigh. I gotta stop with the fancy play when I get further into the tourney.

Seachickens drop the ball, Driz is out $10 for the over. Sigh.

Since I'm storing up the negative karma, maybe the Vikes could squeeze out a win? Just maybe?

Friday, January 07, 2005

Short and sweet

Nothing much to see here. Just cleared 1000 of the 1400 hands for the Empire bonus and currently sweating Iggy in a PPMillion qualifier. 4 left with 4 to go. Go IGGY!!

Make that 3 left... and he got rivered by a two outer BOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Here's a song for everyone... BANANAPHONE!

Forgot to give props to The Poker Chronicals "IBustChumps" for qualifing for the PPM!! Make sure you sweat Otis while there. Two bloggers already in... will the bar be sufficiently stocked should two or three more qualify?

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Cut off

This morning while coming into work my wife was about to make the final right hand turn into my building I work at when someone from across the intersection was coming in a little too fast. Our direction did not have a stop sign, hers did. She blew right through it and my wife's horn to cut us off. Sigh. At 5am I don't think anyone needs that kind of stimulation outside of a cup of coffee or your bedroom.

We went house shopping for 2 1/2 hours last night and found two potential Casa de Drizz's. One had a whirlpool spa and a very nice porch area (which I liked). The price was decent but there was questions about the aging roof and furance. The second house was cleaner then an operating room. No nicks, no fruity pebbles on the floor, no cobwebs, no dust bunnies... nothing. It was like they had the house detailed or something. The price was on the higher end of our budget though. So, we may have to keep looking if the first house doesn't pass our fathers' inspection (mine is a master electrian, hers is a general contractor). The other 3 houses were just assy. One, we opened the door and I thought I was back working the Berkshire nursing home. It reeked of old folks and stale cigarettes, plus the basement's "family room" was long and narrow. That's fine if you're going to put in a bowling alley. The other two had some good features but nothing worth noting or looking at again.

After a quick stop at Wendy's for a baked potato and chicken nuggets, I fired up Empire to start knocking down this month's bonus. Code: Happy2005 will get you 20% up to $200! The work rate is 7 times the bonus and must be done within 14 days (not 7 days like Party's most recent bonus). So I 4 tabled and knocked down 325 hands in a couple of hours and cards seemed to come my way for most of the night... except a couple of "second best" hands again. Sigh. I set up a perfect trap on one table, picking off 4 limpers with a $5 raise with the hammer in the BB. Then getting AA and raising $5 again to get a caller... board of 3 - 6 - T (two diamonds and I had the Ace), lead out $10, called... hmmm something's fishy. Turn was the 3 of diamonds, and he goes all-in. Sigh. So, I've got an overpair plus a draw to the nut flush but the flat call on the flop worried me that he flopped a set and now filled up... which he did even though my flush fell he had 66. Poorly played on all streets, yes I know Iggy. That pot killed my decent night where I was up 2X my buy-in on 3 of 4 tables. If anyone would have laid that down or played it differently, please drop me a line and let me know how you would have played it. After that $80+ pot went the other way I still managed a $25 profit for the night. Not bad, but getting my Aces cracked didn't help my spirits. I'll be back tonight, and probably late since I don't work on Fridays.

T- minus 80 days till Vegas

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Wings and National Champions

I was already meeting up with my attorney and realtor (separate issues) and was planning on crashing on the couch for the Orange Bowl when my friend calls me up to go to Buffalo Wild Wings for the game. An offer I can't refuse. Luckily the meetings with the attorney and realtor went quick (we sold the house whoo whoo!!), and I was off to the land of beer and spicy wings (not to mention $.35 wing night!). We were met up with 5 other friends and had a great time. I dined on the Caribbean Jerk wings (a lot more spicy then I remember) and watched another friend polish off a truckload of Thai flavored ones. It was nice to be a semi-barfly again for a night, after having Little Drizz come into my life there isn't as many chances to go and hang out with the guys and not worry about a sippy-cup flying by. My wife rocks for taking care of the little one (note to self: backrub and foot rubs for her tonight).

The USC vs. OU game looked tight in the first half except for a couple of boneheaded plays that gave USC 2 easy scores. But, a 38-10 halftime score didn't leave for much drama and work unfortunately starts at 6am the next morning so we headed out at halftime. In fact we were paying more attention to the Wolves game where the 20 point Suns' lead was more interesting then the football game.

We did have an arguement at the bar... how unlikely are the Vikes to win this weekend at Green Bay? My friend (who ate the truckload of wings) is a die-hard fan (like me, but I'm a realist when it comes to the Vikes) he said that they'll play hard and will have a chance. But... they've got two very big statistics going againist them. Their record playing outdoors and Green Bay's record when the temperature is below 32 degrees. I'm thinking another quick exit for the purple from the playoff this year.

When I got home my poker jones weren't satisified from the night before, so I fired up TGC to continue clearing that bonus plus a BBJ ($260K!!!) PartyPoker $2/$4 table. The $2/$4 table was uneventful, got rockets they won, got TPTK they won, lost on a couple of other second-best hands (damn those things kill a good night!) to finish down 5BBs. Didn't have much in the way of draws and such and PartyPoker did not deposit 50% of the jackpot into my account. Bastards.

TGC was a little better by the way of cards but a couple of second-best hands at the end killed my profitable night by finishing down 6BB on the $.50/1 table and only up 1BB on the $1/$2 table. I was unimpressed by the AQ vs. my AT only raising on the river when AAJ flopped and I was betting into him. I would have paid him off probably capping a street since it was a blank on the turn and no raise pre-flop. Good for me, bad for him.

81 days till Vegas and god I need it. I'm so sick of my hands going numb just getting into the car in the morning. I'd rather have my finger going numb from chasing the bonus rounds on the Kenny Roger's Gambler slots and the 15 Cap'n Cokes I drank throughout the day :)

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Relaxing Night... kinda

A note of condolence goes out to Iggy and his family as he's attending a funeral here in Minnesota today. Wish I could meet the blogfather under better curricumstances and better weather, its fricken cold here at the moment. I hope you and your family get through this, as I too have a family member who's currently terminally ill from cancer. My prayers go out to you and your family.

No poker except to watch some BoDog tables while I was on the phone with Sprint for 30 minutes. There's nothing that gets me more riled up then a bad call center. I worked at one for 5 years as a collector, bad debt collector (fun stories about how people couldn't pay for 1-7 years), and finally in quality control. First the call took 15 minutes to get someone live on the phone. Luckily my Hungry Man Beer Battered Chicken Strip and Cheese Fries dinner wasn't
done to clog my arteries yet or I'd really blown a gasket on the phone. So, after the wait I'm greeted by a nasally sounding woman with the standard "how can I assist you" line. Being the professional, I reserved my anger by calmly stating the wrongful long charge on my bill. For the next 7 minutes she repeats herself over and over about having local and long distance carriers being one and the same. I repeat over and over "I don't use long distance on my local phone, I use my wife's cell phone like everyone else in the US". I told her I've never had Sprint as a long distance company nor do I want it, and once I said something about "slamming" (get your dirty heads out of the gutter) she clammed up and put me on hold. All the while I'm watching some uneventful NLHE table on BoDog where someone claimed to be a pro player playing .50/1 ante NLHE (did the bloggers move somewhere?). After another 5 minute wait she comes back to politely tell me she's changing my long distance carrier to "no carrier" and crediting the $5 back to my account. MISSION FUCKIN ACCOMPLISHED! Was it really that tough to see I've never had long distance in the past and suddenly its on there? Sigh.

The good news last night is that we sold our house! Bad news it I got a little over 30 days to move. We got a little less then expected but enough to make a little down payment on the next mansion. We're looking for some houses around where I grew up to be close to the daycare (my parents, yes we're very lucky) and the elementary and middle school for Little Drizz and Littler Drizz (coming in early 2006). I just hope we find a place we can afford and not resort to eating Ramen noodles for dinner every night at least until I go on a card rush and win a tournament or something :P I do hope the move doesn't mean the end of playing poker as money as going to get tighter, but hopefully not so tight that I need to withdraw my bankroll (which is getting healthier thanks to the kind bonuses and fishy at PartyPoker).

Sprint = Bad
Selling house = good
BoDog = to be continued
Hungry Man TV Dinner = heaven in a plastic dish

Monday, January 03, 2005

Happy New Years... a couple of days late

Holidays are finally done so we can get back to our normal spending patterns, work schedule (BOOOOOO!), and eat up the remaining Christmas cookies that no one else wanted. Little Drizz got a king's treasure trove of babbles and toys but still goes for his ratty Mr. Lizard more then anything. I've got SSH and Positively Fifth Street to keep me busy for the next few weeks. My wife has one of those cushy pillows that sold out at Kohl's in two seconds flat, plus some massaging slippers (which I can't steal because my big ass feet don't fit). All in all a great Christmas minus the running from house to house and getting only a little rest.

New Year's Eve was fun again when all my friends came over for a little TV poker (with two betting options min bet or all-in!) and some drunken penny poker on PokerStars. I didn't even notice the betting limits went down to .01/.02 but given the amount of Goose Head beer and Korbel (sp?) in my system I figured to play it safe and not trash my bankroll on the $15/$30 game. My friend found a heads-up penny poker match vs. someone with $1.40 left in his bankroll. I suck at heads-up play (as seen at the Grublog tourney), but I was the master of the suckout rivering top pair and straights since I was just trying to give the kid my .60 that you start with. But my hyper-aggressiveness pushed him out of pots more then anything. I think he shot a parting "you suck" after his bankroll got down to $.14.

Of course this effected the cards to go in the opposite direction when I started playing in my usual $1/$2 game. Sigh. After being down nearly 50BBs over 2 hours, I hit a couple of nut hands and finished off the bonus at Stars +$145. Whew. Now I have some FPP to spend, but I'll probably hold off till the next bonus offering and grab a nice polo shirt or jacket with the points.

The Gaming Club's new bonus structure has been a breeze thus far to clear. Bad play at the Prima network makes this bonus very lucrative. I've heard the bonus is tiered however (must move up to certain limits after clearing parts of it). I haven't been able to find the rules so if someone knows them shoot me an email.

I threw some money into BoDog Sportsbook/Pokerroom for a %10 initial bonus. The graphics were a little bland at first glance but I haven't really played there yet so I'll be reporting back on this site once I start playing. I did however see several MTT with huge overlays. This is mainly a Sportsbook site so I'm expecting the same type of competition as the Crypto sites with their casino gambOOOOOlers playing poker.

Do I sound like a bonus whore yet? Well, if I'm going to get paid to play this game hell yeah I'm going to take advantage of it! I love poker and as long as I still get upset when Bald_Fat_Guy69 rivers his two-outer after capping every street, I know this is the game for me. Everyone needs a hobby they can be enthusiastic about. My wife enjoys her scrapbooking, Little Drizz enjoys hearing his parents saying "no" 15 million times, and I love poker.

In 83 days I'll be matching wits with the poker fiends of the Mirage and Excal poker rooms (or possibly a couple of others after I check out the Poker Prof's site). We made reservations for TI this weekend for our yearly trip to Vegas. Its something to look forward to when your fingers fall off from frostbite trying to get the car started at 5:00am to go to work. I hate winter, I hate cold, and I live in Minnesota, bleh. I love Minnesota but hate the weather and I'm sure 95% of the other residents of this state would agree. The other 5% are sadistic macho Nordic-types who live to have their teeth shatter when you accidently open a window in the house.