Poker Words - A Poker Blog

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

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Late April Tournament Summary

What's this? We actually had enough interest in our monthly tournament series to get two in this month? Inconceivable!

Game 1 - 21 Players
I don't have a lot to report about game one, other than I'm still frustrated with our starting chipcounts. Lose one big pot early and you have to rely on a whole lot of luck to catch up.

I didn't have much going for me in the first game. I went back to my try-to-see-a-lot -of-flops-early-in-hopes-of-hitting-something-big strategy and bled chips instead. And whenever I would try to steal a pot that looked like it should have missed everyone I got reraised.

My big downfall game when I was in the big blind and flopped top pair and a inside straight draw with JTo. The small blind bet and I raised. Early position called, and the small blind reraised. She was playing real tight all night so I had a feeling I was beat, and didn't want to try to draw to the straight, so I folded. Lucky for me I guess as early position went all in and small blind called. EP had pocket queens, and small blind had flopped the straight that I was thinking about drawing to.

That left me with enough chips for all-in or fold, but I was card dead and it seemed like the pot was always raised before it got to me so I had no fold equity whatsoever.

I finally tried pushing when I got 54o for the third time in four hands. Unfortunately I was called by a medium ace, and I didn't improve so I was out fairly early.

Game 1 - 20 Players

Only 20 players for game two. My starting table was almost the same as the starting table for last game. I had the same people on either side of me, and Pwerna(sp?) who had been my nemesis last game was across from me again.

The whole table was card dead, with the exception of one guy who pretty much ran over the rest of us. By the time we combined I think he had more chips than the rest of our table combined.

I basically just sat there and folded as the blinds slowly ate away at my chip stack. The only exciting thing that happened, was that I successfully pulled of a Hammer play (is that still cool with the in poker crowd?) which impressed most of table. The sad thing is that hand wasn't significantly worse than most of the other cards I had seen in the past three or four orbits.

The only reason I lasted as long as I did is as follows. Our friend Seabass (C-Bass?) had invited one of his friends to play, but he was going to be late, so we just blinded him in. I guess there was some road construction and detour on his way because he was considerably later in arriving than we expected, and he didn't have many chips left. He finally got there in the big blind, I think at the $T30/60 level, with me on the button. I looked down to see big slick, suited, the only decent hand I'd seen in over an hour and raised to $T200. He called. And then pushed all-in with his remaining one or two hundred on a ragged flop. I called more out of frustration than anything else as I was tired and ready to go home, and pissed that the only good cards I had seen weren't going to hold up. He turned over 83o grabbed his beer and said "thanks for the game guys". He had me covered by $T75 though, so he got to stick around, and actually built up his chipstack to rather impressive size before ultimately donking it off with a similar play at the final table.

The hand of the night involved a few of my coworkers who had been trading verbal assaults all night. We're at the final table with six or seven players remaining, and Aaron in was in the big blind. Jason raises 3BB preflop, which at this point in the tourney is a pretty sizable amount. Aaron looks genuinely offended that his blind was raised. To make matters worse, Jason flexes his arm looks over and kisses his bicep. I don't know if he wanted the call, but he got it. Aaron flexes both arms and asks Jason if he has tickets to the gun show. (Note, neither of these two will be confused for athletes/body builders by anyone with at lest partial eyesight in one eye.)

And we're off. The flop is JK7, two clubs, and it goes check check. The turn is another jack and Aaron leads out. Jason calls. The turn is a queen. Aaron thinks about it for a while then asks Jason if he has the stones to call as he lays out a rather large bet. Jason calls for nearly all of his remaining chips and turns over AKs for the rivered straight. Before he has too much time to gloat Aaron turns over his JQo for the rivered full house and Jason goes into shock for a while. Aaron says the only reason he called in the first place was because Jason pissed him off with his little pre-flop routine.

For the remainder of the night Jason offers Aaron a chop, or else he'll have to settle for second. And Aaron refuses every time, until ultimately Jason ends up winning the whole thing beating Aaron heads up.

My demise came with five players remaining. I had a comfortable chip stack, probably in second, but way behind Aaron after his gun show performance. I haven't played a hand for a while, as I've been card dead and hoping some of the smaller stacks would bust out. I was in the big blind with $T2900. Blinds were $T200/400 and Aaron min raised to $T800. My wired fours were the best hand I'd seen in a while so I called hoping to either flop a set, or be able to steal the pot with the right flop. The flop was AAx and I lead out for $T1000, hoping he didn't have an ace. His reraise told me he did I folded, going from comfortable second place to struggling to stay alive in a few quick seconds. I held on to get fourth place which got me my money back, but that hand was the one that did me in. I don't know how else I should have played it, other than check folding the flop, or not calling pre-flop, but if I do that the blinds are just going to bleed me dry in a few orbits.

Barney Frank

I was glad to hear that I wasn't the only one that knew about Barney Frank's new bill, although I'm either overly pessimistic or everyone else is naive or overly optimistic as the general consensus was that they were overturning the anti gambling bill. No one seemed to consider that submitting the bill doesn't actually make it law. It still has to be approved by both houses and signed by the President, so it still has a long way to go. Maybe they can sneak it onto some must pass bill like they did with the AIGIA

Originally posted at

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Thursday, April 26, 2007


Barney Frank has introduced a bill to repeal the AIGIA. His bill called the Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act of 2007 (IGREA) will attempt to regulate and license online gaming. There are proposed restrictions based on state and indian tribal jurasdictions, as well as sports betting for sports that don't approve of it. There will also be the expected filter to prevent underage and compulsive gambling. Who know how much of an affect this will have, but it is start. We'll see how far the bill gets.

Further reading:

Lou Krieger

Poket Fives


Originally posted at

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

$75 Challenge Update

So its been almost three weeks since I embarked on my $75 SNG challenge so I figure an update is past due. I'm happy to report that of my starting $75 I still have exactly $75 remaining. Now, while it is possible that I have broken perfectly even in my quest, neither making progress nor decreasing my bankroll, but it doesn't take a genius to figure out that I haven't played since my last post on the subject. I don't expect that to change in the next few weeks, but never fear dear reader, there is a monthly home game scheduled for this weekend, so I will get my poker fix before the shakes start setting in.

Originally posted at

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Tax Man Cometh

I finally finished my taxes tonight. After factoring in my gambling and gambling related affiliate earnings I think the amount of money I now owe Uncle Sam is what is generally referred to as a crapload. On the one hand that means I had quite a good year last year. On the other hand I don't like writing out checks with that many digits. It makes me rather sad in the pants.

This year, I'll be lucky to earn as much I just paid in taxes for last year which doesn't exactly make me happy. We always complain about how much money the government wastes, someone needs to add up all the potential lost tax revenue that the government will miss next year by clamping down on online poker. Bah.

Originally posted at

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Sunday, April 08, 2007

Early April Tournament Summary

Not wanting to wait until the end of the month for our monthly game we had a mini pre-Easter game this evening. We actually had a pretty good turnout considering the holiday and change in venue.

I had some work to do to make up for my abysmal performance last month where I went out early in the first game and first in the second.

For game one we had 16 players, two tables of eight. My table was weird. There were a couple of guys at my end that knew what they were doing, but at the other end were or four of the callingest calling stations in the world. And one of them kept hitting with his high pocket pairs hand after hand. I stayed out of the action at first because my cards sucked and then because I knew I wouldn't be able to push anyone off a hand and didn't have good enough cards to try to see if they would hold up. On the other hand, they were fairly easy to read. When there are a bunch of cards near each other and the guy looks at his hand, then the board, then his hand, and kind of nods his head as if he's counting the number of cards in a row that he has, and he keeps stopping at four, you might call that a tell.

I had a medium sized chip stack throughout the early stages. I really only had one hand that I played poorly. I limped on the button with KQo, and Ray, one of the previously mentioned calling stations called, and Jason in the big blind also called, although before calling he went to his chips like he was going to bet and then thought better of it. My impression was that he had a big hand, but since he was already in the hand he wanted to slow play it. That's usually what I'll do with big hands in the blinds.

The flop was KQJ two suited, giving me top two pair. At first I worried someone may have hit a straight, but didn't think it likely. I lead out, and Ray pushed all in. Now what I'm really worried about is a set, but more likely he has AK, or even AQ. This is definitely the sort of hand where he would risk all his chips even though there are a million ways he could be beat. Then Jason goes all-in over the top. Now both of them are all-in and while I have them easily covered, I should have folded right away. Jason's pre-flop actions confused me though and I put him on a high pocket pair. I settled on aces because what are the chances that he has the last two kings or queens left in the deck? Again I figured it was more likely he had big slick, or maybe aces. I convinced myself they were over valuing their hands, and so I called. Jason had AT for the flopped straight. Ray had JT for bottom pair, but he caught an ace on the river to chop the pot. The river had been particularly brutal to Jason tonight.

After that hand I didn't do much until we combined at eight players. I was one of the shorter stacks when we did combine. The blinds ate at me for a bit until I was at the all too familiar all-in or fold mode. I pushed with any pair or any decent face card, and actually won quite a few uncontested pots doing so. The only problem with that is that every time you do it you lessen your credibility and sooner or later someone will call. Depending on your cards you may not mind a call, particularly it they lower their standards because they don't believe what you're representing, but unless you've got a monster, you don't want too many calls when you're all-in preflop.

Fortunately for me, when that time came that I was no longer believable I had aces. It was the perfect scenario. I had pushed three or four hands in a row to the point where now I had just enough chips that I was no longer in all-in or fold mode. And it was folded to me in the big blind where I look down to see bullets. I make a slightly larger than min raise to make it look like I have nothing and am trying to steal the big blind and it works to perfection as the big blind pushes all-in with his Q9o.

After that I coasted as other players eliminated themselves, and soon found myself heads up with Archie. Archie is a pretty good player. He's generally good at sensing weakness in his opponents and punishing them for it. In fact I think Aaron is still whining about being check-raised out of a huge pot in the early stages.

Anyways, Archie and I battled back and forth for a while until once again I got aces, and again, raised preflop just enough to make him suspicious. He pushed all-in, as he had done a few other times when I had made weak raises, and I beat him into the pot. So far so good as I win the first tournament.

Game two only had eleven players and was not exactly run smoothly. I've been unsuccessfully lobbying for larger starting chip counts so we can actually afford to lose a hand or two, but we accidentally found another solution. When you forget to start the blinds counter and play 45 minute blind levels instead of 15, it accomplishes more or less the same thing in giving you more room to maneuver with the allotted chips as increasing the starting amount would have.

Game two didn't start out well for me. I had Shmoo to my right. As I've mentioned before Shmoo is impossible to read. I don't think there is any significant logic to his bets which would be brilliant if he did that on purpose, but I don't think he does. When you are in a hand with him, you just have to hope he doesn't hit anything, because he may call you with any two cards. I kept limping into pots with him because I was sure that if I could hit something he would pay me off. The problem is he would min bet on every street, and I couldn't hit crap, so I soon found myself as the short stack at the table as I missed draw after draw.

Then it finally happened, I flopped a straight with JQ on a AKT board, and he actually started betting into me. I couldn't believe it as he kept pushing and eventually got me all-in, doubling me up. A hand later I flopped a set with my pocket fives and took another large pot off of Rich, who entered the night atop this year's points leaderboard.

The final table for game two was largely uneventful. At least I don't remember anything significant right now so it must not have been too exciting. I did attempt to steal the binds with the hammer, but was reraised all-in and forced to fold.

Ultimately I got to heads up with Noah, who I've probably played more poker with than anyone else. Although we don't think we've ever been the last two remaining. At least not in recent memory. Probably because whenever we are at the same table one of us self destructs and ends up out thinking themselves and losing most of their chips to the other. Anyways, heads up was back and forth for quite a while and we were at nearly identical chip stacks when we got all in preflop, my fours vs. his twos. He spiked a third two on the turn, and I was all but done.

That last hand not withstanding, not a bad night. Outside of the last two hands of the second game I don't think I was ever in serious jeopardy. I was all-in a few times, but I think I was either a big favorite, or not likely to get called. Everything just kind of went my way. Hopefully I can ride this momentum back into the online poker tables. Or at least into the next big game later this month. We'll see.

Originally posted at

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Saturday, April 07, 2007

$75 Challenge

We interrupt this practically dormant poker blog for some actual poker content.

I haven't played online since Neteller stopped accepting transactions for US customers. I think that was mid January. What's the point of winning money if I can't get to it? Well, I can't take it anymore. I miss poker. Plus I know for a fact I can get money out of at least one site. And that is where my $75 challenge comes in.

I cashed out of PokerStars shortly after the Neteller fiasco, but have since earned a $75 commission as an affiliate for signing someone up. I usually get one such sign up every month or two, but as depositing options are becoming scarce I don't know if that will continue. Somehow I doubt it.

So, my challenge is going to be to play that $75 into some considerably larger sum of money. And I'm going to do it playing SNG's. Since that has to last for quite a while I'm going to set a schedule for the levels that I will play at in order to maximize my playing time. If I make it to some of the higher stakes games I'll be pretty happy with myself, but mostly I would expect to slowly climb up in stakes. Especially since I'm still not going to be playing all that often.

StakesMove DownMove Up

So I'll be starting at the $10 level, and have to get my bankroll all the way to $250 before I can move up to $20s. If I don't cash in my first three attempts, I'll be at $32 and down to the $5 level where I'll have to climb all the way back to $100 before moving back up.

I may occasionally enter some MTT's but probably not often because of the time factor and the fact that I have a very tight budget, and can't afford the long droughts that sometimes come with bigger events.

I'll keep you updated on how this works out.


In other poker news, since our second monthly event of the year won't happen until the last weekend in April, we're having a mini gathering tonight. I've been lobbying for increased starting chip sizes. I've gotten some support as well as the expected "our games take long enough as it is" responses. I'd push the more chips means luck is less of a factor, and skill more of a factor, but everyone seems to think that I'm one of the more skilled players there, so I don't think that would help my cause.

Originally posted at

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