Poker Words - A Poker Blog

Mostly a recount of my poker exploits along with a bunch of random other stuff just for fun.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Whats on TV?

What’s on TV?

If you haven’t guessed by complete lack of posts, I haven’t been playing a lot of poker lately.  So what has been occupying my time?  I’m glad you asked.  That will give me something to blog about without actually having anything to blog about.

First off, most of the time I would normally dedicate to poker is being filled with Battlefield 2142.   I refused to play games like World of Warcraft because I know how addicting they can be, especially for someone like me, and I wanted to have some sort of a life that didn’t involve sitting in front of my computer.  So I got Battlefield instead and can’t seem to stop playing.   Sometimes it’s just more fun to stab an unsuspecting sniper in the back than it is to slowplay that full house you picked up on the turn.  I think I have problems.

Also, with the end of summer there’s new TV shows to watch and it’s so much easier to turn on a TV than to play poker.  The following shows are all TIVOed or at the very least watch with some regularity.  All times are central.

  • Football.(FOX/CBS 12:00) Specifically the Bear’s games, but I’ll watch just about any game that’s remotely interesting or involves some player on my fantasy team.

  • Football. (FOX/CBS 3:00)

  • Ummm.  Football? (NBC 7:30 I don’t usually watch the whole third game, but I’ll check in now and then to see if anything exciting is happening.

  • Simpsons/American Dad/Family Guy  (FOX-7:00-8:30) Usually by the time prime time rolls around I’m sick of watching TV, but I’ll flip through these while making/eating dinner.

  • Heros.  (NBC 8:00) Heros is this year’s Lost.  Hopefully they can keep people interested longer than three seasons.  They’re still in the character introduction phase so there are plenty of new things to explore.  Everything is leading up to some momentous event and where they go after that will determine how long the show lasts.  And does anyone else hate when the preview next week’s episode saying that someone will die, and be ready for the surprise ending?  You ruin the surprise when promote it before hand.  Killing off one of your key characters isn’t a shock when you already told me it’s going to happen. It’s a crappy stunt that should be reserved for shows on that are about to go off the air if they don’t get their viewer ship up.  I don’t think Heros is suffering from that problem.  Nor was Lost when they did the same thing this time last year.  

  • Studio 60 (NBC 9:00) I guess I’m a huge Aaron Sorkin fan.  This show’s great, I loved West Wing, and apparently he also did Sports Night which was by far my favorite show when it was on.  I think Sport Night’s downfall was the name which probably eliminated half the audience.  I think you can still pick up the DVD’s and I’d recommend it, especially if you enjoy Studio 60 and West Wing.  

  • High Stakes Poker.  (GSN 8:00,9:00)  Well what do you know?  I am going to mention poker in this post.  Was it me or did season two end rather abruptly?  Unless I missed the last episode, I could have sworn they had another day of play to broadcast.  I was also starting to get sick of Gabe Kaplan and what’s his face’s announcing.  I’ll start watching again when season three kicks off.  This is the only poker show I still watch.

  • I don’t think I watch anything on Tuesday.   I have the WSOP Tivoed, but I usually just delete them.  

  • Lost (ABC 8:00)  I looks like I’m one of the few people who still watches this show.  It’s no where near as good as the first season, but I still enjoy it.

  • My Name is Earl (NBC 7:00)  I probably wouldn’t watch this if it wasn’t on just before The Office, but it is pretty funny and if you haven’t already, you might want to check it out.

  • The Office (NBC 7:30)  If it wasn’t for my wife, I would have given up on this show after the first few episodes.  Now it’s second only to Scrubs as my favorite comedy.

  • Scrubs (NBC 8:00)  Best. Comedy. Ever.  (post Seinfeld that is)

  • CSI (CBC 8:00)  The original is still the best.

  • Battlestar Gallactica (Sci-Fi 8:00) It costs me $10-$15 a month extra to get the group of channels that includes the Sci fi channel and this show is why.  If you don’t watch it then drop everything, go to Blockbuster, rent the miniseries from a few years back and watch it.  If you aren’t hooked after that there is something wrong with you.  The reason my wife and I don’t go out on Fridays is because if we did we might miss Battlestar.  

  • Nothing  I’ll watch college football if I’m bored, but it better be  really good game or Notre Dame getting upset/blown out.  I might start watching college basketball with some regularity, but probably not.

  • Daily  Show (Comedy Central 10:00).  I’ve been watching the Daily Show since it’s inception with Craig Kilborne.  I stopped for a while when John Stewart took over, but now I can’t imagine any one else hosting it.  Is it bad if the only television news I watch is the Daily Show and the Colbert Report?

  • Colbert Report (Comedy Central 10:30)  This one had to grow on me, and his interviews are still often painful to watch, but the first half of the show is brilliant.

So that’s how I spend a good portion of my time that I could otherwise spend playing poker and coming up with exciting poker related stories with which to entertain you.  


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Campaign Ads

I was pleasantly with the election results last night. It would have been nice if it had happened two years ago, but better late than never. The best thing about the elections being over is that I won’t have to see any more political ads for about a year.

I have an idea in regards to fixing political ads. Everyone hates them. 9/10 ads are viciously negative and misleading which turns everyone off of the whole political process. We always have to choose between the better of two evils because each candidate repeatedly tries one up the other in showing how evil their opponent is.

While I’d like to see negative prohibited, I don’t know how realistic that is. If your opponent really is a douchebag you should be able to point that out. You should also be able to talk about his record even though he may see that as a negative attack. You should not however be allowed distort things he may have said or done in an effort to make him look like more of a douchebag than he is.

I remember in the last presidential campaign they wanted to paint Kerry as a chronic tax increaser and said that he had voted to increase taxes some 280+ times (Yes I pulled that number out of my ass. I think it’s reasonably accurate but not worth the time to look up. First person to try to correct me and tell me they only said 267 times gets a kick in the balls). Where was I? Right 280 tax increases. That number was technically correct, but incredibly misleading. He had been in the Senate for 18 years and they counted every single line that related to an increase in taxes as voting to increase taxes. If there was a bill to legalize online poker and it among the many lines of pork that got attached to it was a line that instituted a $0.01 tax on all purchases of private jets, that was counted as a vote to increase taxes. It wasn’t. It was a vote to legalize online poker which happened to contain a tax related item. The point is he that while technically he may have voted to increase taxes that many times, he wasn’t specifically trying to raise taxes as the ad implied. I would bet that anyone else who had been in the senate as long as him would have a similarly high count. Both sides do it. I’m not trying to say that only Republican’s do, it’s just the first example I thought of.

My point is that kind of advertising should be stopped. Its destroying the country’s desire to participate in the democratic process.

Here’s my solution. Every ad has to be run by some auditing body such as They would then rate the ad for accuracy and the ad would have to include a disclaimer. Similar to the “My name is John Doe politician and I approve this message” this would say: “The preceding ad has been rated as 34% accurate by” or “The following ad has been given 4/10 stars for honesty by CrazyPoliticalClaimAuditors Inc”.

If they had to admit how full of crap their ads were, maybe they’d be less likely to sling mud and more likely to talk about themselves and their plans. If you talk about what you plan to do in the future, you can’t get bad honesty ratings because there’s no way to refute your claims. So not only do we get to stop listening to the vicious verbal assaults, but we might actually get to find out what candidates actually stand for. These rules would also apply to the various party commissions, and PACs that purchase ads on behalf of candidates.

So there’s my idea. Now someone else go do the work and get it implemented. Just make sure you call it the new law the “ZeRat11 guideline for accuracy incampaign advertising” Or something.

Originally posted at


Sunday, November 05, 2006

I hate the Dolphins

I hate the Dolphins.  Seriously, I hate the Packers as much as any Bears fan, but I have my own special hatred for the Dolphins.  There is no team whose losses I enjoy more than Miami.  Had it been any other team to knock the Bears from the ranks of the unbeaten it would have been ok.  I wouldn’t have liked it, but it would have been ok.  I don’t honestly expect them to go the whole season with out a loss.  

But the fucking Dolphins?  Again?  Anyone but them.  I hate them.  I hate everything about them.  And I especially hate their obnoxious undefeated 72 team.  I wanted the Bears to go undefeated this year to shut them up more than anything.

Did I mentioned I hate the Dolphins?

Oh wait, I think the Bears just fumbled again.  

Originally posted at


November Tournament Summary

November Tournament Summary

Game 1

We had a record turnout for our monthly tournament.  Usually we struggle to get two tables going.  Our previous high water mark for attendance was in the low 20’s, but that was the only time we’ve ever needed the third table.  This time we had 32 players for our first game, requiring an unheard of fourth table.  

In past events I’ve felt like I played too tentatively in the early going which resulted in me being short stacked and unable to gain much traction once the blinds started getting up there.  I would be too tight preflop, and unwilling to take stabs at orphaned pots, instead letting everyone else take them from me.

This time I had resolved to be more aggressive in at the lower blinds levels.  I wanted to play more pots, and make more of an effort to pick up chips rather than waiting for a monster hand.  Unfortunately this strategy didn’t work out very well for me.  I won a few pots that I normally would have missed, but I ultimately ended up betting into better hands post flop resulting in my being short stacked at more or less the same spot I would have been had I played like normal.

One amazing thing about tournament poker is how quickly chip stacks can change.  We start with $T600 in chips and I was at a little more than T$300 with the blinds at $T40/$T80.  I look down at A2o in middle position.   Two players had limped, and I took a chance by pushing all in.  I was expecting to get called, and to be behind, but I this might the last time I have enough chips to get someone to fold so I had to take a chance.  And everyone folded, doubling me up.

A few hands later I’m in the big blind with a pair of cowboys.  Paul V, raises 3xBB and its folded to me.  Paul has a huge chip lead at our table. He flopped a full house with pocket tens and a T33 board and the players with Q3 and QQ were unable to get away from their hands.  From there he had been successfully bullying the table.  

Paul is a pretty good player.  When he first started playing in our game I hated having him at my table. Now I don’t mind so much because I’m completely in his head. I’ve doubled up through him, or knocked him out more than anyone else we play with.  At one point I had tilted him so much that he was scared to get involved with me in any hand.  

The problem is he’s a good player.  He knows that I’m a good player.  He knows that I know that he’s a good player.  Because of that he thinks that I think that I can bluff him off of hands because he’s good enough to lay down a hand when he needs too.  So he over thinks my play and gives me more credit for bluffing than I deserve.  He thinks I’m messing with him and as a result he calls my bets when he probably knows he shouldn’t and when I have him dominated.  

So of course he called when I pushed all-in.  Now I still didn’t have enough chips where this move should make him fold, but its funny that he always seems to be the one to pay me off.    Back to the hand, he had A2, which I wasn’t thrilled about. I had a bad feeling I’d see an ace on the flop.  It was even worse.  The flop was T22 and I was in bad shape.  But I spiked a king on the river and was still alive.  

Fast forward a bit and we’re down to two tables.  Noah and Scott are in the blinds to my right, both incredibly short stacked.  I have aces.  I min raise because I don’t want to scare everyone else out and just take blinds, who are almost guaranteed of going all-in with any two cards.  Middle position helps me out and pushes all-in, both blinds call and I knock out three players in one hand.  The chip lead is now mine.

Shortly there after I have kings again, and again Paul V raises me.  The two of us are the chip leaders at the table.  I push all-in again, content to pick up his raise and not necessarily wanting to sweat a flop.  But he calls, this time with AQ.  The flop is AKQ, and the turn and river don’t help. Paul is gone and I’m now a huge chip leader.  

When we are down to eight we combine to one table.  I had about a quarter of the chips in play, and the guy to my left had another good sized portion.  I think his name was Jeremy.  I’m going to call him that anyway.  Jeremy more or less owned me.  I couldn’t do anything.  Any time I would try to steal a pot he was there, coming over the top of me.  It didn’t help that I had couldn’t get a hand worth defending for about four or five orbits, but he showed no fear in going up against the big stack.  Before I knew it, he had most of the chips, and I was down to little more than what the other remaining five players had.

I was more or less resigned to waiting for a big hand and hoping to catch him being overly aggressive.  It came when I had big slick in the small blind.  I raised my usually amount and as usual he came over the top, this time going all-in.  I called and he turned over AQ doubling me up and putting me back into the chip lead.  

Down to three players I knocked Jeremy out when I mad a horrible raise with 34s.  I screamed weakness and I regretted it as soon as I made it.  There was almost nothing he couldn’t push with at that point, and nothing he could have that I would be ahead of.  He pushed, and I called, knowing my cards were live.  He only had 95o, but I was still in bad shape.  I caught a three on the flop and he failed to improve.  

John is my heads up opponent.  He’s an OK player, but he tends to be overly tight and passive and fairly predictable.   The match went as many of my heads up battles do.  I’ll constantly raise preflop, often stealing the blinds, and then he’ll catch a hand and win back all the chips I stole.   We went back and forth like that until I got him all-in with my AK against his A9.  He caught a nine on the turn and lived to fight some more. After some more back and forth we go get all-in again, although this time its my tournament life at stake.  Again I have AK, and he has A9, and again he catches a nine, this time knocking me out in second place.

Game 2

We had 29 people for game two.  Game two is always a little crazier than game one.  People have been sitting around for a while waiting for the second game to begin, and they aren’t as worried about going out first because they can go home.  

The first orbit at our table was a bloodbath.  In the first two hands Paul S. eliminated two people.  I knocked someone out when my pocket queens turned into a full house.  I think Paul claimed a third victim before the round was up.

After that things settled down a bit.  I didn’t do much until we combined to two tables.  I lost quite a few chips when I called an all-in with AJs.  I put him on a weaker ace. Instead he had a medium pair and I failed to improve.  

I stayed alive by stealing blinds and doubling up with a few pocket pairs.  I made it to the final table with an average chip count.  I’m not real happy with my final table play.  I lost a significant amount of chips when my people kept going all-in after my preflop raises.  After that I made a number of laydowns in situations where I was probably behind, but still had live cards and probably should have stayed in.  By folding I left myself with too few chips to force anyone out of a pot and I ended up having to go all-in with 95o, and I went out on the bubble in sixth place.  Not a bad showing, but I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t manage to cash.

Originally posted at


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Mookie

I've been meaning to play in the Mookie for quite a while, for some reason I just never managed to actually do it. Tonight I actually signed up and I had a great time... for the entire ten minutes that I lasted.

I had AQs and my preflop raise was reraised by a newcomer to the table in the BB. Flop was AK7 and he lead out. I was positive that he was on a bluff/steal. No doubt about it. I pushed and he called with AK. So much for my reads. And unless the Mookie changes the night of his tourney, this will probably be the only one in which I participate since volleyball season kicks off next week. Oh well. At least I won't have to worry about trying to watch Lost and play in this tournament at the same time. I'm pretty sure that playing poker while watching a show that requires you to pay attention doesn't work out so well.

Originally posted at