Thursday, June 30, 2005

I Want My Three Hours Back

I am steaming. I warn you dear reader or two the post you're about to read is real. The participates names have been changed to demeaning pseudonyms for maximum flammage. Due to the mature nature of this bad beat story viewer discretion is advised.

I played, I grinded, I lost. Three flippin hours down the fuckin tube. $3 rebuy tournament for entry into the Stars $500K guarantee, 438 hopefulls, 22 lucky winners, one $32 booby prize, and the rest go home with a story.

I'll keep the story to a minimum.

Late into the 3rd hour of tournament play, I had caught lucky by snapping off JJ with 33 when I had only 3BBs left and the blinds and antes were more then enough to make it push and pray time. I pushed, I prayed, I flopped a 3. Then, after blinding down a bit more I found AJo on the button. With only 5BBs left and knowing AJo is GOLD, I shoved for a blind steal. But, one of the 4 chip leaders of the tournament that just happened to be at the same table as I, woke up with 99. But, Joe's favorite hand defeated mine and I won the coin flip *shock* *awe*. Yes, I know you're terribly excited about reading this already, bear with me because I nearly threw my monitor after the next hand.

Its wasn't so much the beat itself, which I've grown accustomed to receiving several of them over the course of my losing streak. But, it was how this poor excuse for ass lint explained his Sherlock Holmes like problem-solving conclusion. Elementary my dear Watson you see, if you CALL an all in and know you're dominated RiverStars' "random" junk kicking computer will make sure you're safe from being dominated. Like I said, I'm steaming, bear with my drivel and I'll probably come back and play this game again.

The hand: I'm in the BB with T8000 after posting T1,200 and an ante of T75 and its folded around to the SB who has me barely covered and he raises to T3600. I have 66 and this guy has picked off my blind the last two orbits and seems to be on yet another steal. I had three options:

1) Give and go, call and insta-push with no Ace on the flop, if an Ace flops accept being crippled and continue to grind
2) Fold and look for a better spot to put my money in (back to push and pray mode)
3) Figure he's on a steal and I have either a coin-flip or better and push him off his bluff by pushing all-in and take in a decent pot

After I used half of my clock, I pushed. He thinks for about 10 seconds and calls. Not horrible, I figured I would need to win some coin fl.... oh wait he flipped up 65o. Not even sOOOted. Called. Then why did I feel the dread? It was probably the best thing he could show....

pokenum -h 6h 6s - 6d 5h
Holdem Hi: 1712304 enumerated boards
cards win %win lose %lose tie %tie EV
6s 6h 1440161 84.11 190501 11.13 81642 4.77 0.865
6d 5h 190501 11.13 1440161 84.11 81642 4.77 0.135

I lost to a runner-runner straight, but that's not what set me off. He explained in the chat box that he CALLED because....

"you took too long to bet"

Wow, I'd like to hear the EV math behind time elapsed when a player is making a decision and CALLING with a hand that at best has two live cards for 80% of your chips. I think I'll order a "nice call asshole" chip from Paul P. for this waste of air. I flammed him despite knowing that arguing would do nothing but enlarge my internet penis. Stupid, childish, and retarded for letting my emotions get to me but I wonder how much steam control a person can have after four months of getting cold decked like this?

Like I said, I'm pissed but I needed to get the beat out of my brain and onto the virtual world so I can trudge on like the good little grunt I am. You can turn the volume back up now, I got the beat story sludge out of my system now.

On to better things... 4TH OF JULY WEEKEND WHOO WHOO!!!

We're packing up things and a-heading out North, where women come equipped with fish and fake nets. Cause I wanna be a fish-er-man, baby. With the boat on the water and sunshine shining. Fish-er-man, baby.

Stop your booing! Ok so I don't have a future as a white rapper from Detroit (which would be tough since I live in Minnesota), but I do have a future catching some walleye, northerns, and crappies up in beautiful Ely, MN. Burnsie's parents are welcoming the troops into their place on a private lake for the extended weekend. Close your eyes and hear the loons calling, the trees reflecting off the clear lake, and the cold feel of that first beer of many that you'll consume this weekend in your hand. Ah, utopia wrapped in flannel it is. I'll probably throw a post up this weekend if I'm not golfing, drinking, playing cards, or watching the awesome fireworks display that the town puts on each year.

Thanks for dropping by and listening to my whines, I promise to keep them to a minimum in the future. And if I don't get the chance to post... Happy 4th of July everyone :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Cruel Summer

I was thinking of how desperate Daniel was when he tried to get Ali (that's Ali with an I) back at the Golf n' Stuff despite her bitchy friends telling him to fuck off. But through determination, he got the girl, he kicked Johnny's ass, and got the trophy.

Poker has been tell me to fuck off for a while now. Do I listen? No, I'm still chasing curly haired, nicely shapened blonde around like a sex-craving frat boy. It seems that lately that I can't stop the bleeding but just pinch the wound enough so I don't get any blood on the carpet. I don't need to go into details because as many other poker bloggers mention, bad beat stories cause impotence and pre-mature male pattern baldness. I'd like to keep my locks of brownish-black hair and erection for another decade or so thank you very much.

I only played for an hour or so at Stars during its great double FPP happy hour. For those people out there who need/want to clear up some Stars bonuses, from 10-11pm EST you earn double the FPP points for cash games (not SnGs from what I've seen...). Excellent promotion, excellent site. I may sound like a shill, but I've been nothing but happy about the way this site treats their players despite the Atari/ColecoVision/Commodore 64 card graphics. Keep up the good work guys! And if I mention Stars, I gotta mention the awesome job of a certain elevator baron who's covering the WSOP.

Last night was another disappointing one for the co-ed softball team, we lost despite coming back from a 16-2 deficit to tie the game in the 6th inning. And man was it HOT. With the rainforest-like humidity, I was surprised some people didn't keel over mid-inning. The beers after the game were a pleasant surprise, but not good as the big banner I saw at our sponsor's bar....


I had to remove my cup to prevent discomfort.

The tournaments are put on by an outside company which name alludes me because I'm a douche who can't remember to take home a flyer. Next week I'll try to remind myself to pocket a promotional sheet. 5 tables with chip and drink holders and a "final" table complete with a soft ring around it made this look very professional. The company is sponsored by and after speaking with head honcho Alan it seemed like they have a solid backing to make this work, and have been running these tournies in other states for sometime now. Basically it breaks down to collecting points based on order of finish in their nightly tournaments at different bars in the metro area (there's three different bars per night during the week). Those who qualify, move to a regional tourney, from there to a national tourney on for a shot at the WPT or WSOP seat. My negotation skills from being a credit card collector weren't strong enough to convince the wife and Little Drizz to stay until their 10pm tourney :( I mentioned to her the level of play rivaled that of the Excalbur and that I'd actually have a shot at not coming in last place... but I got the same look I get in bed when she's tired and I'm not.

Yep, blue balls for this guy tonight.

Not being able to drive blows. Maybe I'll just make the 2 mile run both ways to play. Yes, I love poker even if she's having second thoughts about letting me go to third base.

Thanks for dropping by, now if you haven't been following Pauly's WSOP adventures you suck.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Hammer To Fall

"Yeah, toe your line and play their game. Yeah, let the anaesthetic cover it all. Till one day they call your name. You know it's time for the hammer to fall - yeah"

Queen "Hammer to Fall"

Play that hammer wisely and it will return its investment with interest :) I'm Queen fan (anyone else out there?), love their music, in fact I'm rocking to it while in my home for the next ten hours as a corporate building block. I think that's the latest motivational slogan next to "Giving 110%" and "You Are *Insert name of company here*".

Ok, so I'm not easily motivated, but I've worked for the company off and on for 12 years so that says something. I enjoy it here. Great people, bosses have usually been pretty cool, and even though the movitational posters/activities sometime get more syrupy then a hit Britney Spears song its a fun place to work.

Why do I feel like I'm missing something?

I found out the position I wanted to shoot for now requires an MBA. Sigh. By the time I'd complete the degrees, first my bachelors (I have an A.A.), then the MBA courses. I'll be not only belt high in debt again, I'll need to put in my teeth just to complete the first round of interviews. Going back to school isn't an option, unless I take down 6,600 poker players at the WSOP main event. Plus, I don't have the motivation to move up the corporate ladder anymore as I did 5-7 years ago when I was a lowly credit collector calling people and listening to their excuses on why they couldn't pay their $20 monthly payment because they added the Sports package from Direct TV and didn't want to miss out on that cricket game of Bangladesh vs. Vietnam.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a happy where I am at. I make a decent wage, the bills get paid on time, Little Drizz gets a new Baby Einstein video every once in a while, status quo and excessive commas are nice. But, there's a nagging in the back of my head that I'm missing out on something. Maybe I need to hop down to Deja Vu and get that 3-way in the champagne room that I've heard about (the women need to be tall and blonde of course). This limbo in-between being content and wanting more. I guess that's where online poker comes in.

I get to be daring, I get to wager money, I get to be a risk taker that I cannot normally be due to family obligations. Granted I'm moving slowly up the limits ladder but I'm doing it at a pace that gives me the freedom to take shots, yet not play so scared that I'm giving up bets. And it still gives me a rush. It sedates that need for adventure, night after night of playing. Yes, the suckouts hurt, but its the rush that keeps me going. I know its no complete substitute to sitting at a real poker table with some 3-week old cheese smelling guy or a stripper who was gracious enough to give you a full view of her new $3,000 chest everytime she scooped a pot. Its the satisfaction that can I compete with others in some medium nightly; a good thing for an aging athlete like me. In a few years I won't be able to hit that softball 400 feet, or hit that quick set straight down before the 10 foot line. But I'll still have poker... barring a bankroll declimination.

Oh, I broke a string of non-cashes in a MTT last night. Yes, its was a dollah tourney in my best game, but $2.61 for 27th out of 382 has never felt better :)

Thanks for dropping by, now its time for The Hammer to Fall!

Monday, June 27, 2005

Yes, I'll Take A Smile and a Coke

Don't forget the Captain Morgan.

*deep breath*

More exciting losing poker played by yours truly this weekend. A couple of times I thought I'd be in front of the keyboard this morning with a nice, pretty screenshot of my first MTT cash in 3-4 months, or conquering the extremely soft Omaha 8 games.

But it didn't happen.

I think JoeSpeaker summed it up nicely over the weekend after finally catching a high pocket pair after no playable cards for nearly an hour (Hilton Sisters, no less) and running them right into the cleavage of AA... and 99 who sucked out both of them.

"I hate poker"

This weekend I agree... to a point.

It started with a couple of dollar hungry bloggers who got together Thursday night in search of the perfect game. While on Stars, Maigrey was kicking ass in a Stud 8 tourney, JoeSpeaker was rolling along in a satellite, I was doing great in a $5 satellite myself, and Joanne... well she's from Canada. I kid, but she was playing great as well :)

But, then the thunder rolls, and lightning strikes because all of got busted within minutes of each other. House over house, Hilton Sisters got their trust funds cut off, and I went for some reversed implied tilt odds with the hammer and got called. No, I lost in my usual whinny "money in with the best of it" manner with AK vs. AT. I secretly wonder who made up these "numbers" of which hands are statisically better then others. According to the "books" I should be a multi-millionaire making fun of budget boys and scoping pluckworthy honeys.

Despite the horrible results I've been returning, I trudge on with the tenacity of a guy trying to get the attention of the class hottie despite her dad's obejctions.

No, I would not subject a female to my voice in song, with or without accompanying boom-box.

Friday and Saturday morning were spent licking my wounds at the cabin. Taking Little Drizz to the pool both days was definitely a highlight. Nothing like a kid with a healthy set of lungs and hatred for swimming to cure that rum-addled headache. It wasn't all that bad, he finally getting used to the water and as long as there's toys to distract him he does have fun. I even got a solo round of golf in. Shot a five over par on the executive nine hole course, including a couple of chip ins which brought a smile to my face.

On Saturday night Al, Tony "why the fuck is that donkey playing 448T" Nardi, Felicia and myself played for more low stakes PokerStars fun. First up, limit Omaha 8 or better. No McDonald's apple pies for myself, BG, Al, or Felicia as we all went down in flames. I played 3 hands to the river and almost made it to the second break. I think card death isn't a strong enough description.

Then CJ and G-Rob hopped into the Yahoooooooooo chatroom (I think G-Rob stumbled in, hopping probably would have caused bodily injury). I fired up a dollah SnG and CJ joined me, Joanne, and BG. 45 start for the holy grail of online first prizes.... fourteen dollars. Yes, that means you could afford to buy a drink by the pool next time you're in Vegas. Do you see the excitement I'm building up here?!?!!?

The whole point is... the cards didn't matter, the tournament didn't matter, and we had a blast. G-Rob spent most of the time as a teleprompter for Walker, Texas Ranger. Never did find out if Walker was able to right the tumbling plane while saving the baby calf and completing a roundhouse kick to the bad guy's face, I hope he's ok. There was a big discussion of the current bloggers covering the WSOP, envy more then discussion really. I think we got a visit later on from Chad, April and a country-hopping Glyphic, next time you guys better bring some dollahs to play along! Bust-out? Yeah, I busted out, on the bubble no less. Did I care? Actually it did hurt for about .5 seconds. It wasn't the money obviously, it was the continued bad luck. I got AA vs. 97o... runner-runner straight and IGHN. Sigh.

The point to all this? Poker is a social game. If you want to survive the beats, Hairy_Palm's online taunting, and bankroll fluctuations... find some friends who enjoy the game and discuss it with them. Even while I was steaming the following day due to a bad bust-out late in an another tournament, Joanne was there to tell me her similar experience with a long dry streak. Feeling better, I played a solid game and chopped a $20 SnG for a $50 profit and made up most of what I lost during the day.

And ended the weekend with a smile on my face. :)

Thanks for dropping by, now go here to see how YOU get a perfect set of pearly whites.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

No post today.

My condolences go out to the Spaceman, his family, and Charlie's family.

I'll post tomorrow before me and the family go up to the cabin for the weekend.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Yes I Can, But I Don't Do Windows

No poker to speak of last night because softball ran a little later than usual last night. Who knew an 8 inning co-ed game would take almost as long as my doubleheader men's league plus an Amstel Light in the parking lot. We won the game 5 - 4, no this wasn't fast pitch softball, no there wasn't a 35 mph wind blowing straight in, yes I did remember to wear my cup thanks for asking.

I was hoping to jump into a dollah tourney at Stars sans lock ups and shut outs (I hope conductivity issues have been taken care of....) but got home too late, sorry Joanne :( Tonight, I'll load up on all the bad beat stories and whining you can handle, pending some chores that have been laid out by the loving and patient wife. She's setting up another garage sale this weekend over at my sister's house and guess who's loading up all the heavy stuff? Lucky me. If I'm lucky we'll hit up Culver's for a delicious bacon butterburger and mint chocolate malt. That certainly sounds more appetizing then the mystery, ice-crystal'd leftovers I brought for lunch today. Should lunch be a flop I can fall back on the Rice Krispy treat I stole from my wife. I'm such the bad boy, livin on the edge baby! Sigh.

On the poker front, Absolute offered me a "please come back" swag package. I've been tentative so far in accepting it, because I'm on the fence about this site. Lack of direct hard drive recorded hand histories and funky NL slide bet bars are two negatives. But, you can't beat the availablity of their bonuses, freerolls, and fairly soft tourneys. The ring games tend to be a little more of a challenge but you can always count on two or three maniacs to score a profitable night for you. Just stay away from the sharks, and they'll let you know who they are with a subtle check-raise or a flop smooth call and popping the turn. Not to mention you can match wits with Mark Seif in the $25/$50 game if you feel like playing the newly minted WSOP bracelet winner.

Decisions, decisions. Then I get an email for an EmpirePoker bonus for a $100 reload bonus (is this a "bait" bonus???). I have enough to max both bonuses but I feel like this is slipping me back into bonus whoring mode. Exactly what I don't want. But, if I'm going to play higher stakes, why not take advantage of a little bit of overlay? I know its only $2/$4 and $3/$6 not exactly BIG games, well its barely low-stakes, but its a step in the right direction for me. Passing up free cash seems kind of stupid doesn't it? If one table gave back a dollar for every hand of blackjack you played in Vegas, you'd play that table over a table you can offer the dealer insurance when you get blackjack right?

Ok, R.E.O. Speedwagon just came up on the iPod, so its Time For Me To Fly :) Hey, hey no throwing stuff at me!

Thanks for dropping by, now if you're too lazy for to do your own chores I'd suggest these folks. A couple of friends worked there back in college and had some rather disturbing stories of what they saw people's homes. I won't repeat the stories to protect the innocent perverts.

Have a good hump day folks!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

A Step Back to Take A Step Forward


No, not that horrid thing you look at in the morning while giving your body the once over and wishing you hadn't eaten the extra side of twice baked potatoes, spare ribs, and yummy hot fudge sundae (with or without sprinkles). Its reflection upon the things that you've done, not things you wish you've done. I took time to reflect on a few things last night with a certain diminutive poker scribe. And during the conversation a question every serious/semi-serious poker player should ask himself/herself came up.

What place does this poker have in your life?

Are you studying the game to become the next WSOP champion? Are you enjoying the fact the MikeMcD420 at Stars is on tilt after you dropped the hammer on his aces? Are you grinding out bonus money as a second (or possibly primary) income? Do you play to sedate your problem solving side that you don't get to use at work? Do you want to become the "rocks and rings" guy? Do you wish to have twice confirmed huge junk? Hell, I'd settle for just plain ol' single confirmed huge junk.

Personally when I started playing online last year, I thought the reason I played poker was to make money only. Now, I realize its something different. Granted, the money is a nice but since the only thing I've bought with poker money is the iPod mini leads to believe that I play poker for a different reason.


There's always been a part of me growing up looking to be challenged. Whether it be playing sports or solving math questions. I would beat myself silly if I couldn't solve a math problem, almost to the point of tears. If I didn't make the local traveling team, I'd spend the winter up at the rink skating and shooting to get better for the next season.

Poker is no different of a challenge. It combines two of greatest loves I have in my life. Gambling and problem solving. I play for the action and solving the mystery behind my opponent's hole cards. I'm more upset when I don't "read" an opponent correctly then when that two-outer hits. I realize now more then in the past that Poker is indeed gambling (thanks to Felicia for that). When you "play correctly" you're just giving yourself a better CHANCE to win (I've probably stated this in past posts, and I certain its in one of five billion poker books).

Knowledge of the premium hands, how to slowplay that set correctly, and how combat tilt after TeddyKGB6969 sucked out on your Kings is just part of the poker puzzle. Corner pieces if you will, in a never ending puzzle that will constantly change in size and shape. Is it the perfect puzzle? I'd like to think so, because its a puzzle that cannot be solved completely. Quite possibly its the underlying reason why so many people have recently flocked to playing poker. Without knowing it new/old players are being challenged in a way that isn't found in a game of monopoly or paracheesi. Yet, the social and randomness side of poker makes it a game that can be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys card games.

My question to my dear reader or two. Why do you play poker besides the money? What motivates you to comes back after winning that SnG or losing to a runner-runner flush?

Thanks for dropping by, now go here to read about a little league team deemed "too good" to play (found on 2 1/2 hours a day, 4 days a week for practice? Sheesh, I don't think my high school baseball team practiced that much. Maybe this team will finally give the Chinese Taipai team a run for their money in the Little League World Series.

Monday, June 20, 2005

You Know Have A....

...Gambling problem

when you go to watch your friend play softball and start making over/under prop bets in the stands. My weekend started out innocently enough as my wife prepared the yard and garage for the yearly selling of junk at LOW LOW PRICES!!!! Another wise known as a garage sale, its a way to make enough cash for a dinner or two (if you're dining at McDonald's that is...). But, due to an error by the local paper her sale got listed in the antiques section of the paper. Granted my Transformers t-shirt from the 80s could go as priceable aged garments, the listing did not help with foot traffic. We got about half of the normal amount of people to buy our second hand wares. Its good for the Lupus foundation because they'll get a bigger then normal donation of clothes this year :)

When the garage sale was done for the day, the ladies went golfing, leaving me and my brother-in-law Burnsie to baby-sitting duties. Instead of sitting around the house and drinking the only beer left in the house (Mich Ultra *shudder*), we decided to go cheer on our friend BJ at the Dudley Softball Classic. In years past we would head straight to the beer garden and grab a souvenir mug for $8 and get sloshed with $2 refills. But, we're responsible parents now and we at least shared the mugs with our kids. I kid :) BJ's squad got beat badly by a top ranked team from out-of-town and during the 30-7 drubbing I turned to another friend and proposed this bet "7 runs over/under by the team on 'roids next inning", he took the under and I took his money when the other team decided a 5 run lead wasn't enough and scored 18 from 12-7 lead.

... Drinking problem

when you find yourself wishing a quick and painless death over the hangover you've been dealt. I don't get it, I can drink half liter or more of Captain Morgan and Coke and be fine in the morning but drink just seven Sam Adams Summer Ales and wake up wishing there was a 12 gauge nearby to take away the pain. I had a great time throwing horseshoes and playing a quick SnG with the boys but I wasn't drunk. If I'm going to suffer hangover that bad I'd like to at least get drunk! Not to mention I drank a good three gallons of water/juice/milk the next day and I'm still thristy this morning. Maybe I'll need to consult the Duke of Drinking should I ever insist on this type of behavior again.

... Horseshoe stuck up your ass

when you win your first three exacta bets at the races. I dropped by Canterbury on Sunday afternoon (Chad were you there? I looked all over for ya) after the hangover headache was at a tolerable level and Little Drizz had a long enough nap. Wow, three bets and three wins. Thanks BG for the tips you emailed, especially the one about watching the odds near post time. Gold. I wasn't a high-roller but walking away with +$65 is definitely +EV. Beautiful weather, a fun time with the wife and little one, and some poker. Yes, there's a card club connected to the racetrack (or is it the other way another?). Between races I'd sneak in to take in some of the action. This was the lightest I've ever seen the track for nearly five years, there were actually open tables and the list was no more then a five minute wait. I saw the new auto-shufflers being used, very nice, can't wait to try em out. The play was about as expected, somewhere between bad and stupid. I don't like to berate other players, but when you cap the turn and river and flip up a busted straight draw, then argue for the next five minutes that you won the hand over a full house and a nut flush, its time to consider that Three Card Poker game in the back room. Or please go grab my wife and tell her you're going to pay our next mortgage payment and let me play (by the way... this was a $6-$12 game that this occurred at).

After booking a win at the track, why not book a win online? A third and a second on two $20 SnGs when I tucked in the wife and little one gave this dad a perfect ending to a wonderful Father's Day. I also dabbled in the $3/$6 O8 game at UB. My draws didn't come in, but I was more excited to see that I can play at this level and I'm not over my head competition wise. Too often players bet their unsuited/no low high pocket pair way too hard. I know I said I'd $4/$8 but I'd like to try out this level for a bit since it looked very profitable even for this break-even player.

Thanks for dropping by, now go here and check out my first "major" purchase with my poker winnings. Now I can rock to Queen, Metallica, and Clint Black while serving my cube monkey time. Have a good Monday folks... oh make sure you're checking out Pauly (are we on for the last longer prop bet?) and The Prof's WSOP updates, and Otis soon.... charmed life these folks lead.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Sometimes The Best Laid Plans...

... just don't work out

I was going to post a photo-post of yesterday's St. Paul Saints baseball game. If you're a Twins fan, its sooooooooo refreshing to watch a game outdoors, not to mention the tailgating in front of the stadium starts four hours prior to the first pitch (some people don't even bother going into the game either). Beer was reasonable priced ($1 for a 12oz. Grain Belt). The constant in-between innings skits were fun (human bowling and karoke with a real Japanese guy were a riot). I'll put up the photos tomorrow sometime while the wife is beating quarters out of little old ladies in our gargage sale.

I got to chatting with JoeSpeaker last night and a couple of ill-advised, half-assed SnGs lightened my wallet through superb donkey play on my my part like pushing AQ from a re-raise based on a "read". I think my BS radar was down for the night as he turned over AK. I saw him min-raise with AA into five people in a prior hand (is this a new trend or something???) and his raise this time was 4XBB and smelled like Ax (X being smaller then a king... :P ). Oh well, learning experience noted, twenty dollars paid in full for the lesson. I broke the cardinal rule of playing online poker... I was playing with pants on and I deserved to lose.

I don't know why I didn't just jot down the other nine people's names and transfer them a share of the entry fee. I could have gotten some more sleep that way.

At least the ring game at BoDog was hopping with wonderful people who CALL all-in pre-flop with powerhouse hands like A4o and J9o. No, I wasn't playing the Chicklet ante games, this was a $100NL game.

"Dude my baseball parlay hit so I thought I'd play poker". Thanks for depositing at Banko De Drizz, come back for our low-risk CDs, mutual funds, and sometimes weak-tight play! Playing at a site with a casino or sportbook directly connected to it is gold. I can see why Josh Arieh and David Williams take up residence at this site when they're not busy winning bracelets at the WSOP. Congrats Josh!

Not much content today since all of my pictures I took yesterday are at home and not transferred into my Photobucket book. I'm forgetful like that. Ooooo shiny object. Sometimes it seems like I'm two steps from ending up like a certain fought over vegetable. SHE WAS IN A COMA AND NOT GETTING OUT YOU DOLTS, LET HER REST IN PEACE. Sheesh, fuckin idiots. The family is STILL on the husband's case post-mortem despite people with more letters behind their names then a week's worth of Seasame Street telling the parents she had been brain dead for quite awhile, and there was no signs of abuse.

Much like the clueless wonders who call your river raise on PartyPoker with Jack high... they just don't get it.

Deep breath, happy place. Ugh, I'm still at work and not at the MGM Grand with a Cap'n Coke firmly in one hand, holding 99 and facing a re-raise from BG (thanks again for demystifying the exotic bets, I'll be sure to toke you after hitting the Pick Six this weekend at Canterbury).

Thanks for dropping by, make sure you send your dad the very best on Sunday for coaching you in all those Little League games, and not laughing when you realized for the first time why you should never forget your cup while playing third base. Not that I had any personal experience with that... oh stop laughing at me, it hurt damnit! :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Different, But Same

Online poker to me used to mean, max out the amount of hands I can play to earn X amount of bonus dollars. Granted, when I sit down now to play I usually have multiple tables/tournaments up but its for a different reason.

To play profitably.

Its not to refresh the "bonus account" button every 15 minutes to see if I've played through my 1000 hand requirement. Nor it is checking the "raked hand" section of Pokertracker (I'll have a comment about this program later) to see if my Crypto bonus is near completion. When I find time to play, its to play to the best of what little ability I may have at this game/sport/gambOOling outlet. I can't tell you how refreshing this is to not feel tied to HAVING TO CLEAR A BONUS NOW NOW NOW. It allows people to enjoy and LEARN the game more by actually paying attention to the games when your bankroll isn't spread around 15 different sites with pending bonuses.

Sure some sites offer great cash back incentives like Absolute, which offers a reload bonuses with the consistancy of Pamela Anderson showing her tits in a magazine. But, what if you don't like staring at her cleavage and prefer Lindsay Lohan (pre-crack addict diet, please get those curves back!!!)? Does it make sense to put good money into a site that doesn't appeal to you, yet offers the warm, fuzzy blanket of financial security? For the wimp I am, yeah it does make sense. I could play .50/1 LHE at Absolute and with its never ending bonuses, make a profit without becoming a profitable player. But to break the mold I've weened myself off the nipple of chasing bonuses and its made poker enjoyable again (I admit, its not an adequate subsitution for live poker). I hope that the enjoyablity will turn into moving up the ladder of limits and with a little luck, some pots will be pushed my way.

Start rant.

Pokertracker. I love it. Great tool for showing me when I acted like a tool on the virtual felt. Here's the rub. Paying for PT Omaha. I'm sure it took time to develop the patch to the existing application and maybe financial windfall should come come from that effort....


Why should I pay an extra $50 for a variation of something I've already purchased? I plan on playing a lot of Omaha since its been a far more profitable game for me then Hold Em'. Without the use of PT Omaha it will make the decision to play Omaha only a little more difficult since I will not be able to analyze my mistakes with a program that I already paid for (I'm repeating myself, I know). I'm not sure how to catagorize this whole thing, is it like Microsoft charging you for Windows XP patches, or is it like Microsoft charging you for an upgrade from Windows 95 to Windows XP? Or is it like adding on Linux to a system that is already running Windows? In my mind, I've already purchased Pokertracker, the Omaha patch/addition should be included since its called POKERtracker, not HoldEmTracker. I'm sure there will be some disagreement and I'm not normally one to "rock-the-boat", but this subject to me feels like a mosquito bite that itches but don't want to itch it because it will make the itch worse.

End rant.

Thanks for dropping by, now go here to see the ball game I'm taking Little Drizz out to tonight. Stale 3/2 beer and brats will be consumed at a rapid pace :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Live WSOP Coverage...

Damn I'm a jerk. Pauly, Joe, and Flipchip have been busting ass and cigar girls at the Rio for our pleasure and I haven't even linked them up!

Go to the links below to get your World Series of Poker daily fix (and maybe a couple of strippers peddling rolled tobacco products will drop by as well).

World Series of Poker with Dr. Pauly!!

The LasVegasVegas crew complete with awesome photos!!

Things That Annoy You

A couple of thoughts swirled around me while fulfilling my stay as resident cube monkey yesterday that managed to annoy me despite my glow from the recent trip to Vegas (how many times will the Vegas trip get mentioned in the various poker blogs? too many and not enough.).

Sick Woman In The Cube Across From Me - Please if you find your lung hanging out on your germ riddled desk, go home. Coughing and spewing up the contents of your insides at work does not make for a pleasant workplace. Even listening to Styx and Dokken can't relax me while this walking bio-hazard comes to work everyday to pass on her wonderful strain of influenza. Thanks.

Adding Cost To Favorite Treats - I like ice cream. A lot. I didn't have my wallet yesterday as I entered the small "convenience shop" they have in the building so I grabbed $1.50 out of my change drawer to pay for a drumstick ice cream cone (vanilla is my favorite) and the local paper. $1.00 for the ice cream, $.50 for the comics and sports page, every day the same price for a year. Except yesterday. Much to my shock and awe the cost of the drumstick went up.... a nickel. Sigh. No ice cream yesterday left me a very cranky cube jockey. Who comes up with raising prices a nickel? Do people enjoy giving out $.95 in change? I'll be 12 tabling the .02/.04 tables at Stars so I can afford my next dairy treat. Greedy bastards.

From the workplace to the homeplace....

People who limp with monsters in a multi-way pot - Whoa, poker content. Granted it was small buy-in tourney at Stars, but this fancy play had me thinking. If you have KK (or AA) and there's 2 limpers, a raise, a caller and its on you wouldn't you want to take down the pot right there? It borderlines excellent slow-play (if the board cooperates) and stupid fancy-play syndrome. Joanne, who was playing the tournament with me last night (hope you made the money again) agreed it was pretty stupid to risk vs. potentially 5 people to see the flop. I'd like to wrack the brain-trust of other bloggers/readers here (especially since the majority of you have much more poker experience then I).

Should KK or AA be slow-played, early in a multi-table tournament with multiple players to the flop for the potential triple or quadruple up? The risk/reward to me doesn't make sense, you're only a few percentage favorite over 3-4 randome hands and if you can't get away from a big pair, you're risking your tournament life when you could have had a relatively risk-free pot that was already built. Please chime in if you have seen/done this in a tournament and the results.

Special thanks to Maigray who came to sweat me from the rails last night and dropped this golden phrase:

Jopke hats are currently outcashing Hellmuth in the WSoP

I woke my wife up laughing from that. She lacked the same amusement that I did.

Thanks for the dropping by, now go check out Paul Phillips' blog and see what a well-written blog actually sounds like. Or rather reads like because there's no.... I'll shut up now. Have good one folks :)

Monday, June 13, 2005

Back to Life, Back to Reality

Got this song stuck in your head?

Good. Me too.

If there's a blogger out there who didn't want the plane/car to immediately take a U-turn back to the land of sin please raise your hand.

No one?

Even with a tumbler of Cap'n Coke, turning on the fake casino noises on an online casino, firing up PartyPoker and having the wife walk by in revealing clothing didn't substitute throwing the cards in the air with you fine people.

Lets do it again sometime.

Soon. Like this afternoon. Ok, maybe Decemeber after I've won a couple of the $500K guarantee tourneys at Stars. Hey, a man can dream, right? Otis can I get a chip count? I kid I kid.

Lee Jones: Great game by by the drow blogger from the nordic state of Minnesota, how are you going spend that $125K?

Drizztdj: I plan on doing Vegas right and moving up to the $4/$8 tables next time!

Lee Jones: Wimp.

Yeah, that's me. Mr. Won't-Take-A-Shot. A three month slump will do that to you. Despite having plenty of roll to play higher in Vegas, I didn't. Hell, I bet more playing Pai Gow Poker then I did while playing the real thing. How to get over this hump? Yell at the monitor and beg the pixels not to call my semi-bluff raises? There's a comedy factor there but that still doesn't increase the most important number in poker.

Your bankroll.

You are playing for money (unless your playing for play chips which is fine), more money, more bankroll, higher limits, better lap dances. Its the difference between going to Vegas for the WSOP or watching it on ESPN two months later. But, as stated, I've been on a slide lately and the bankroll has stayed about the same minus the Vegas funds which will now be used as my live bankroll should certain other Minnesota bloggers want to take a trip to Canterbury in the near future (I'll be out there for Father's Day to watch the races).

Last night was the start of something promising. I cleared the recent Party reload bonus AND profited from my play. Making money while playing poker, what a concept! Unfortunately I resorted to four-tabling the .50/1 tables since I got back from the cabin later then expected last night and it had to be cleared by 10am this morning (No, I cannot play at work). I became a calling station while playing O8 which quickly depleted my winnings from the one NLHE game I was playing. Bonus whoring monkey mode poker just isn't fun, unless you have some sexy ladies to chat with. Thanks guys :)

To answer Joanne's question from last night: A Professional Baseball player

This week hopefully there will be rain (its wet already this morning) and I don't feel like playing softball this week. Playing four days in a row last week and getting 4-5 hours of sleep per night is too much for this old man. You may begin to play the smallest violin in the world blah blah blah.

Thanks for dropping by, now go here and wait two hours for your table to be ready. Wish the state senate would wake up and see that allowing them to expand would generate more tax dollars. At least they did see the popularity of the game when passing the bar poker bill last week.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

WPBT Aladdin: Day Three

Are we there yet?


Can I pass out now?



Saturday morning started with the downtown troops making their way to the poker tournament we all came to Vegas to play in (some others might argue the WSOP was more important pffffff).
AlCantSleep, EvaCANHang, Dr. Pauly, Derek, and myself piled into a minivan/taxi to make our way to land of Genies, Harems, and bouncy waitresses. Yes, I looked at the drink attendants, I may be married but I'm not dead.

We got there a little early and chatted it up with World Famous Poker Pro Chris Halverson who was there extra early for the missus spa treatment. Also chatted it up several other bloggers who's names allude me due to the consumpion of alcoholic beverages that these casinos serve at the poker tables.

I'm whining about forgetting the names, not the free booze.

At 10am and after several announcements by our gracious and seemingly sober host, CJ announced to the poker director we were ready to put the cards in the air! Shortly after, a certain famous blogger and Full Tilt team member Richard "Quiet Lion" Brodie took time to drop by our humble tourney. Thanks again Richard!

I drew a tough table, with Otis' brother, BG, Human Head, Derek, and EvaWillCrackYourAces (absolutely no foreshadowing used here folks). Unfortunately due to the rapid escalating blinds the only "moves" you could make were in the early rounds. And after folding almost an hour's worth of 73o and K3 sOOOOOOted, I was getting blinded down. I made one check-raise bluff on a A J J board with 33 that got me back to my starting stack. Meanwhile people starting dropping like flies, having to pick a less then great hand to bust on. EvaCanRock's KTs snapped off Derek's AA with a flOOsh. I picked up the hilton sisters with only T900 of the original T1500 given to us with blinds at 300/600 and they held up vs. Derek's 78s.

I played three hands total in the tourney. Worth $65 of poker, no. Worth $65 to play with 70+ bloggers, most definitely.

The tournament director moved me to Otis' table where he recently tripled up with the hammer. What I didn't agree with, is that he moved me UTG + 2 when I had just paid both blinds on the other table. There were two other open seats and I was basically forced to push with any two cards in the next two hands. Turbo tourneys at Party have more play then this. Granted we weren't looking to play a 12 hour tourney, but a push-fest took any skill out of the tourney (not that I have any skill, but I can rifle poker chips!).

But let me state that the tournament WAS professionally ran, the tournament staff was courtious, the venue was awesome, and the people there made it memoriable. The poker room is one of better places to play in Vegas, so if you're in town and want to try your hand at $3/$6 limit or $1/$2 and $2/$5 no limit hold em', definitely check on the Aladdin. I just wish we could have played poker instead of Let It Ride.

Professional Craps Shooter Bill Rini pulled off a similar feat to the 1987 Minnesota Twins in his worst-to-first finish. Congrats Bill!!! I'm sure he didn't miss getting Gigli again.

The after party set up by AlCanParty at LaCantina features too many shots of tequila and some rather disturbing karoke. Unfortunately I couldn't stay long due to my parent's being in town and I wanted to hang with them for at least one afternoon.

So, me and the wife headed back to Freemont Street via the 301 bus instead of a cab.

Great choice.

For the next hour we were on the bus to go from MGM Grand to downtown Vegas. I fell asleep due to the mix of overheatedness, lack of rest, and yeah I drank a little too. Unfortunately there were no crack whores hitting on me to keep me awake unlike certain metrosexual bloggers. Maybe I need a frilly shirt to attract these saucy (or is it sauced?) ladies.

Finally getting back to Fremont Street, we checked out a nice car show being displayed up and down the street. My mom pointed out a Chevy that my dad's parents once used to haul all seven boys on road trips. Stopped off to get a couple of 99 cent drinks that only downtown can provide. The maragarita was tasty from the Fremont Casino. However... the fruity drink from the casino with the seductive deep fried twinkie eater above it, sucked about as hard as she was working the pastry. I'm known for drinking just about anything and not caring, but that drink ruined my buzz. Bleh.

After a decent wings and pizza deal back at the Plaza, I watch mom play some more slots and continue to amaze me with her luck on these things. She gets a lot of comps from Mystic Lake back home, and if her play is any indicator of how much she plays through, I can understand how she's able to do it and get piles of comps without spend a grand or two per trip.

Night time fell and the family went back up to their respective rooms while I got attracted to the one place I wanted to spend my last night in Vegas.

The poker room.

Seeing the mixed blogger game was filled up, I joined in a 2-4 game that featured a guy who gave money like a NBA basketball player at a strip bar. I'll only post one hand history because I used my psychic powers to read his hand blind. If you want to know your future love life and potential wealth call 1-976-Drizz-99.

Pre-flop: 4 limpers and a maniac/calling station/fish value raises in the big blind.

Flop: K J 9 (9 and Jack are spades)

Maniac leads out, all call minus one limper

Turn: J

Manaic leads out, gets raised by grandpa-plays-any-two-like-its-going-out-of-style, re-raised by another limper, cold-called by the fourth limper, manaic makes it four bets, all call

River: K (of Spades)

Manaic leads out, at this time I make my prediction out loud (shouldn't have done it, I know, I know, the drinks made me cocky for a little bit) that he had a small pocket pair probably 4s. Grandpa raises, next guy re-raises, manaic 4 bets, Grandpa caps, next guy caps, manaic caps.

Manaic does turn over his pair of fours (are people REALLY this bad?)
Grandpa turns over J2o for the ass-end of the boat
The other guy flips up KTo for the winner

I thought for sure someone would nail the straight flush with all the betting but there's proof that if you wanted to grind these low limit games your risk would be near nil. I lost $40 at that table due to zero cards but it was educational and not to mention eye-opening as to how bad live players truly can be.

Ended the night with a couple of orbits at the mixed game blogger table and Al mentioned there's some SnGs going on in Pauly's room. Greeted by the Doc's thousand watt smile I settled in to watch the internet poker scribes at work. The only memoriable hand was Iggy's A7 took down Pauly's big slick all-in pre-flop when two 7's flopped.

Since there was still 7 people left in the SnG I started getting the itch.

"Pauly, what poker sites do you have on here?" me pointing to his laptop.

I'm horrible, I know. I came to Vegas to play LIVE poker not the online variety. But I needed some action.

Loaded up Full Tilt (BONUS CODE: Drizz99) and sat down at a $100 max no limit hold em' table. With one table up I was able to make some moves instead of playing ABC poker and push some people off their hands except.... as Pauly quoted

The best part was having Drizz hang out and play Full Tilt on my laptop! During a rare lull in the conversation during the game, I heard Drizz bark at the computer screen, "Why the fuck are you calling my raise?"

Yes, I yelled at a computer monitor. I rule. :D

I ended up around $10, but it should have been more when I flopped a boat with 88 and someone with AQ caught running aces. In the past, I would have lost my stack from pushing on the turn when the ace came out. Luckily the suckout didn't hurt that much due to the fine bloggers cheering me on.

Best. Vegas trip. Ever. You guys rock, can't wait to meet up again.

Thanks for dropping by, now go play some online poker and yell at Fuzzi_Nutz69 for calling your semi-bluff re-raise :)

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

WPBT Aladdin: Day Two

Hmmmm Day Two. Like I'm reading from other trip reports day two started pretty rough for those who were at the MGM Grand.

I was no exception.

I'm not a young buck anymore that can do tequila shooters with an Everclear chaser all night and wake up the next morning three hours later chipper like a newlywed who spent the previous evening engaged in marathon sex and passed out into a sleep only sex can induce. Wow, that's a sweet run-on sentence. Like I've stated, my English skillz suck.

Staring at the digital clock (I'm still surprised it was digital considering the TV was from the Carter adminstration) that stated 7am it was time for only breakfast food McDonald's can't screw up.

McGriddle me please.

I slugged my way downstairs to see if anyone was up at this hour. Passed by a Dora the Explorer backpack (his words, not mine :P ) welding Badblood and MrsBlood as they waited for the Plaza buffet. Didn't see any bloggers in the poker room (or maybe I did, I can't remember) so I headed to the mecca of fast, fried foods in search of my McGriddle.

The line was a bit long as casino service people were already up and on their breaks. But while waiting in line I saw something that was slightly disturbing to say the least. I looked to my left as there was a nice asian family playing along the benches and a young couple to the right looking like they got some action last night with their permanent shitty grins. Then there was a dirty old man. No, he wasn't under the table trying to look up some chick's short/skirt/skorts. He wasn't dirty in a need-a-shower-sometime-this-month way. He had a freshed unwrapped Penthouse magazine in full view of the kids running around, flipping the pages with one hand and the other was... um... otherwise engaged.

Welcome to Vegas.

Thank god I didn't eat prior to the gross visual because frankly I think my McGriddle would have become McPuke. Maybe its my Minnesota nice that I'm not used to the porn being used as morning reading material instead of a daily Star Tribune or Wall Street Journal. I don't consider myself prude, but damn grandpa go to the fuckin bathroom if you want to spank it.

Besides geriatric self-pleasuring there were less vomit-inducing things that went on in day two.

First was to spend a little time out in the sun on the 7th floor of the Plaza. The pool area was basic. Unlike the strip resorts which are complete with $15 drinks and supermodels wearing dental floss doubling as bathing suits, this pool area was strickly to lay out and get some sun. While laying there was an announcement for an noon poker tournament. The wife mentioned I should go play since that's why I'm here. That's my girl :)

33 players put the cards into the air at noon. I was joined by Maudie and MrsBlood at the second table with me. Hurricane G-Rob who was sporting a hair-do that Kid from Kid N' Play would have been envious of, he sat the third table. Dr. Pauly and Badblood sat at the head table. MrsBlood showed some poker skills early by getting someone who was out-kicked to pay her off on every street with big slick. Maudie flopped set of tens to double up in the later rounds. And me, well, my best hand was big slick good for stealing the blinds. I finished 13th after hitting top pair no kicker in the BB and K8o who called UTG out kicked me. Dem are da breaks.

After losing in the tourney, I left to place my first sports wager of the weekend Twins + 150 vs. the Bronx Bombers at the Metrodome. Also getting a side bet bet with NY resident Pauly. Twins win. Drizz happy. I still say collecting the $5 from Pauly was worth more then the ~$50 I got from the sportsbook bet.

The rest of the afternoon was spent with my wife and parents who were on a road trip and were coming thru town during the same time we were there. Nothing too exciting except watching my mom play slots with the same $20 for over an hour. $2,000+ play through on $20, I wondered why she didn't get a comp card, she probably would have earned at least a towel set or something.

Night time finally started to set in and I found myself in the poker room and a big, tall drink of water was playing craps. I introduced myself to Hank and his friendly friend Matt (I hope I got the name right), and a jovial Bill Rini decked out in Full Tilt gear made my first foray into the craps table a fun one. I rolled a couple of points and made $20, then cursed myself for not betting more while Bill rolled, and rolled, and rolled. You need a number? This guy hits em like a river card at Pokerstars. I think it was the Guinness hat and maybe foreshadow of things to come for him this weekend.

After leaving the craps table up, it was time to Storm The Castle!! Thanks again to Hank for picking up with cab tab, you da man :)

MIKE MCD - "Rounders": All the luck inthe world isn't gonna change things for these guys. Theyr'e simply overmatched. We're not playing together, but we're not playing against each other, either. It's like the Nature Channel. You do'nt see piranhas eating each other, do you?

I made a $700 buy in for the 2-6 spread limit table, just to make sure I didn't play scared. Ok, I just like having lots and lots chips and pissing off the dealer for "hiding" my cards. I think I got warned 15 million times to not have my cards behind the chips, even though they were in view of the person to my right.

Cap'n Cokes, just keep em coming.

I was a tad alcohol induced, when a WSOP qualifer sat down at the other end of the table, the professional craps shooter Bill Rini took up the 6 seat, I was in the 9 seat and we're ready to play some pokah!

Before the session started I proclaimed to several people the ONLY thing I wanted to do tonight was to spin the money wheel (a spin is awarded to quads or higher or if you get your Aces cracked). Onwards to the hand of the night:

Late position with JoeSpeaker in the BB, I raise up my AQs and get 4 callers when the SB called and three other limpers called the extra $6. Flop is K K Q. Checked around to me, I led out with a $6 bet fearing a King but I didn't want to show it. Lost one caller now down to 3. Turn is a Q. Ugh, now I hate my hand with the ass-end of a boat or a split with someone who flopped two pair with me. I checked, calling station at the end of the table fires in a $6 bet, lost the remaining caller and I check-called due to the fact that this guy would bet/call with any draw and any pocket pair, but could have one of those Kings. The river.... the case Queen. Calling station bet into me. Now even though I was assured a wheel spin my sights got even higher as this was a jackpot board. I raised, hoping he'd play back at me spelling out that he had quads too. But, alas all I got was a flat call and he flipped over TT.

That's right, he couldn't even play the board. Welcome to live poker, can I take your money please?

I took down the nice pot then stepped up to the wheel and won $30. Awesome. The wheel spin was more exciting then the $30. Then quite a few bloggers started coming up and saying hi. I wish I could remember all the bloggers I chatted and played with but my Cap'n Morgan haze was getting dark. -EV pulled off his perfect Fillmaff imitation while staring down a poor local rock.

With drunkeness seeping in Otis declared it was time to play some PAI GOW!!!! I couldn't refuse. I proceded to donate my poker winnings to the casino rather quickly. Otis seemed amazed by the shitty cards I was receiving. I got five pai gows in a row. I offered to switch cards with the Nordic dealer Sanja. She refused with a sweet little smile. I was hoping to spend a little more time playing -EV games but it wasn't meant to be and I wanted to take my frosty run of cards away from the table so the rest of them could hopefully profit more. A nice quiet cab ride back to the Plaza was very relaxing, thank god I didn't fall asleep.

Tommorow's edition: WPBT Aladdin tourney, Al's afterparty complete with mini-karoke, and poker at the Plaza

Thanks for dropping by, now go read about Minnesota's new Poker in the bars law (Star Trib registration may be required). Whoo Whoo!!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

WPBT Aladdin: Day One

Since I took ZERO notes, unlike many of the black mini-notebook holding bloggers, I'm recapping the recent excursion to the land that 99 cent buffets and Bugsy Sigel build... by memory.

But Drizz didn't you drink while there and might not remember every detail? Duly noted.

Arriving in the land of sin after a three hour flight with a drunk old hag who constantly kicked my wife awake. Thanks for pissing her off bitch (this will come back to almost ruin the night later...).

We disembarked the plane to see... slots.

Me love the slots, so easy to play, so easy to piss away hardly earned big bets from hours at the poker tables. But, this is a new day and a new Drizz. No Mo' slots, only table games for this degenerate gambler. As we went down to the shuttle area and settle into the waiting row for the downtown express, my wife turned to me and says "that's the drunk who kept kicking me during the flight". And now we were taking the same shuttle downtown too. For the next 30 minutes we listened to her constantly badger the nice rotund middle-european driver who offered to dance with anyone on the promise to split the Megabucks jackpot should you hit it.

Yeah, my weekend didn't start on the best of notes.

After the shuttle ride in which I should have kept my ear plugs in. We were standing in front of our home for the next 4 days. Plaza Las Vegas. With a big, shitty grin on my face I quickly scoped out the scenery.

Chicks wearing too little and boobs bouncing in every direction? Check.
Cowboy in a ten-gallon hat holding an oversized Coors Light? Check.
Freemont Street filled with people looking for the perfect 99 cent Margarita? Check.
Drizz about to explode if he doesn't get K4o and a Cap'n Coke in his hands pronto? Check.

But, I promised the wife we would spend the first few hours together before I headed over the MGM Grand for the blogger mixed game get-together. Set up by the lovely and always charming Felicia. Okay maybe not charming but definitely fun to talk to!

So, we hopped from casino to casino starting at the Main Street Casino. Very classy looks to this place and wouldn't mind staying here should the bloggers ever return to invade the land of sin. I won my first bet here (pass line + odds) thanks to a hot roller on the craps tables. Plus $11. First time I've been winning in Vegas. Maybe I can catch a quick flight home now and finally brag that I returned from Vegas a winner! Seeing that my winnings were too meager for the $150 cancelation fee on the tickets, I decided to press on.

We hit up the Lady Luck for a bite to eat (fried chicken was a little on the over done side, the wife's patty melt got good reviews). I dropped down my $5 free play on a craps table field bet where someone was rolling with $5,000 on the numbers and $10K behind. He rolled a YO! I walked away $15 richer ($10+ the free bet). He gave me the "stupid-tourist-idiot" look as I walked away with my three red chips. I didn't care.

Then went to a depressing California Club casino. Bleh. How anyone could consider this place to drop your hard earned gambling stash here is beyond me. This place reminded me of my job as a kitchen worker at a nursing home. Cramped spaces, air filled with a mix of ben-gay and hopelessness, and 60s decor (not in a neo-retro way). Not to mention when I collected my coin from the craps table it was nothing but a clay chip with no lettering on it. Can you say counterfeit easily? If you ever wanted to pull a Nick Cage "Leaving Las Vegas" style bender and didn't want anyone to notice. Do it there.

Seeing it was almost 11pm we hit up the 301 bus to head to the strip. After a much more pleasant ride on public transportation we arrived at the MGM Grand! And wow what a poker room! Because I don't hear very well (I'm sure you all figured that out trying to talk to me :P ), I didn't catch everyone's name so PLEASE let me know if I got anyone's name/blog incorrect or didn't mention it. We went upstairs to meet the bloggers. In the private room AlCantHang and Felicia were the only two I recongized immediately. -EV came up and intro'd himself. And I felt like I was home. Even though we all only know each other though our daily postings of online/live poker recalls and daily adventures its the sense of friendship that made meeting everyone that was only an avatar too easy. The wife was visibly still cranky from the plane ride so I walked her down as she gave me the third degree about this and that. Sigh. I could go and tell you about how she's very introverted and how it takes her a long time to open up to people she doesn't know, because of an prior abusive relationship. But, since there was only three days I just had to hope for the best. The best didn't happen, but she at least recognized how much I wanted to stay and she took off to go back to the Plaza.

Okay no more black cloud of martial issues. Lets play some poker! One problem... there's 20 bloggers and only one private table. Solution? Yell at the card room manager from the balcony and demand a table!

Let the weekend of poker and drinking (not in any certain order) commence! Before I even sat down a lovely waitress came over to ask what I'd like to drink. Cap'n Coke and keep em' coming as I showed off my high-rolling ways by tipping her $2. Mixed game were the games. Omaha 8 or better, Razz, Stud 8 or better, and Hold Em' (or other wise known as Kick Drizz in the nuts on the river during a coin flip). I shouldn't complain too much about losing though, AlCantBeatABlindStraddle got flOOOOOOshed by a blind straddle once by World Famous Poker Pro and Minnesota resident Chris Halverson when Al's top pair was good against one club as Chris flipped over a Jack of Clubs..... but not two clubs (and I lost $2 on a prop bet with -EV grrrrr). Then he lost to another straddle by -EV.

I'm terribly sorry sir you wanted a Captain Morgan and Coke correct? Yes... Well, I got a Hennessy (sp?) and Coke, not knowing nor caring what Hennessy was as long as it was alcohol I accepted the drink and waitress assured she'd get the right drink next time. Chris said it was a rather pricy drink, my taste buds accepted it.

AlCantWinAHand and -EV left and was replaced by... Bob and BG! And if BG ever writes about being shy again, ignore the statements. I didn't see one iota of wallflowerness. As for Bob and his "I Heart My Penis" card protector, he was everything you read about :)

I downed my first ever shot of SoCo (not bad with a Cap'n Coke chaser). And I remember only two more hands that I was involved with...

CJ (WPBT Aladdin host and similarly height-induced as myself) raised UTG while I looked down at the most costly hand in Hold Em'. AQs. Respecting his UTG raise I flat called or maybe it was because I was 6 drinks in and forgot to re-raise (this would come back to haunt me). Flop hit an ace and CJ led out. Like a fish, I called. Turn blank, he bets, I call. River a Six, suddenly the "you-just-got-sucked-out" radar went off. While initially I put him on AK, now I felt he hit the small pocket pair on the turn or river. Sure enough he flips over 66 for the set. I think if I'd re-raised pre-flop and then led out/raised the flop, he would have folded. CJ if you're reading let me know :)

Next hand was during Razz and I found myself with a rocking starting hand of 2 5 3. But three to a low in Razz is like that unattainable hot cheerleader in high school. Sure she looks good in her Guess? tight hip-hugging jeans and halter top that displays her natural DD rack, but you know that if you get the courage to go up to her some jerk is just waiting to kick you in the junk. I put on my cup and completed the bet.

The Fat Guy drawled about not liking Razz but called anyway along with 3 others. Fourth street I caught a 6 and TFG with an Ace 2 showing. I led out, he called. Next card a deuce. Commence brick laying! I tried to represent the strong board I had by continuing to fire out. But TFG wasn't having any of that as he re-raised when he hit an 8, dropping all the other players except us two. Here's where I think I played wrong... I gave control to him after the raise when I was showing a stronger board. After two paint bricks on fifth and sixth and calling his bets I started praying for an Ace or four. I caught the four and just called his river bet to my surprise he flipped up an 8 or 9.

Finishing down $60 wasn't horrible considering I pissed away $20 on a blind JackHammer vs. BGs broadway straight :P Lay down the nuts man!

Wandering by the table every so often was a man who was a little too well dressed and someone with a WSOP media pass. Pauly and JoeSpeaker were everything I thought they'd be. I couldn't get over how much both of them smiled so much. Then again smiles came easy this weekend and it wasn't from having too much to drink... well mostly it wasn't :P

Thanks for dropping by now go read all of the blogs to the right. I'm sure someone welding a black notebook can remember more about the weekend then me. But I'll try again tomorrow as the adventure continues at the WSOP and Stormin the Castle!

Monday, June 06, 2005

Me = Home

WPBT trip report to be oozed out slowly this week.

I can't wipe this smile off my face.

Pauly is offically a pro poker player now, just ask him :D

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


Do you hear the clock?

Its telling you something....

No, the TiVo will handle recording The Golden Girls marthaton on TV Land for you.


Everyone else is typing out their itineraries, why not join the crowd?

Thursday - June 2nd:

- Leave: Minneapolis-St. Paul (Were the two cities married at one time and got a divorce? Nevermind.) at 4:30pm
- Arrive: Las Vegas around 6:00pm
- Grab a cab/shuttle to The Plaza Hotel
- See the remains of Joe's welcoming party at the front doors, grab a noise maker and get a disappointing stare down from the local nickel slot jockeys
- Look around the casino and poker room for possible blogger sightings
- Get kicked in the shin by disapproving wife for not bringing the luggage up to the room first
- Play nickel slot on the way up to the room
- Hate self for breaking the one rule I had about this trip, receive another shin kicking
- Drop off luggage to have dinner with the wife
- After wife declares she's too tired, find bloggers who are not passed out or broke yet
- Spot Al in a Man YOOO uniform at the craps table, inquire about the mob of waitresses waiting to serve him
- Try not to blow entire bankroll for the weekend on the first night by playing $1 Blackjack
- Get drunk and start playing $25 Pai Gow Poker

Friday - June 3rd

- Wake up and immediately rush downstairs before McDonald's stops serving breakfast
- Remember vaguely why there's a seems to be a draft in the room while waiting in line
- Run back upstairs for clothes, out running the rent-a-cops
- Come back downstairs, order one McGriddle, Hash Brown, Cream Cheese Danish, and a Milk
- Play another nickel slot on the way back up to the room, DAMN IT
- Find some poker playing degenerates, join in a quick game, promptly order a rum and coke
- Head to the Rio with bloggers to cheer on our horses in the race to get interviewed by Norman Chad!
- Watch Helmuth get thrown out of the tourney when Bobby Bracelet's hammer outkicks Phil's 62o causing Phil to throw his iPod and glasses at the dealer
- 10 pm after several hours and more rum and cokes then the body should handle, I have a huge stack of $1 chips on a 1-3 spread table at the Excalibur... only because I bought in for $600 - On the way to the bathroom for the 15th time I play a Reel Em' In nickel slot (CMON PEOPLE HELP ME HERE!!!)
- Remembering the tournament tomorrow I head out to catch a cab back to the Plaza
- Sunshine?!?!?!? Inquire a fellow tourist for the time, find out its 8:30am Saturday

Saturday - June 4th

- After downing a quart of milk and a quick McGriddle, I arrive to see the soon-to-be-disappointed SC crew already playing cash games in the Aladdin poker room
- 10am the cards are in the air for WPBT Aladdin!
- 10:02am I thank the poker gods for bringing back the bouncy waitress from my previous trip, promptly order a rum and coke
- 10:06am table starts to get irritated that I haven't played my first hand yet while still staring at the waitress
- 10:08am bust out on first hand thinking I had a nut flush but was too busy ogling at previously mentioned waitress and forgot my cards
- Go play Animal House slots right outside of the poker room (INTERVENTION NEEDED HERE!!)
- Grubby sits down next to me, thus forcing me to play even longer
- Head over to Imperial Palace with WPBT winner Chad to play some $2/$4 before the tequila-fest, and try to earn another free lunch
- Chip runner quietly informs me that $600 is too much to play $2/$4, I advise her that I've never played before but I did watch the WPT the other night and the key to winning was to have a big stack and the ability to stare people down
- Local rock gets upset when take too much time chatting with the waitress from Brooklyn Park, MN about why Benchwarmer Bob's bar (my favorite hang out in college) went out of business in her hometown
- I tip the rock a $1 to shut the hell up, this causes the rock to leave while cursing the stupid tourists that ruin this town
- Tequila! I munch down on as many lime-flavored chips that I can find because nothing goes better with Tequila shooters (minus the insects please)
- End up with a hot load of ass-throwup due to dipping said lime-flavored chips into the nuclear salsa, finishing two bowls
- Climb into a random car hoping I get back downtown to play some craps with the bloggers
- Get woken up by the wife in the Sportsbook of the Plaza who inquires about the body glitter and hot pink g-string around my neck

Sunday - June 4th

- Hear sobbing and a thud as my casket reaches its desired depth, I wonder there's a nickel slot to play down here...

See you there folks :)

Thanks for dropping by, now go here to find book on how you can be a winner playing slots!!