Thursday, January 31, 2008

Great article

I haven't been doing much lately, so I thought I would re-post some more informational stuff for you guys. I have been re-building slowly but surely. I played the Wednesday weekly at Boomtown last night, and played well. Lost one key hand where I had top pair with a flush draw where if I hit my flush, I would have been chip leader. No Dice though. I lost a race to get knocked out when I was called by A-10o when I had pocket 5's. In remembrance of Heath Ledger, I heard a guy call Pocket Kings "Brokeback Mountian".

I won 2 LLMTT's on Stars this week and get 2nd in a LLSNG. Not big wins, but it still felt good to do well. The e-mails are below:

PokerStars Tournament #75283099, No Limit Hold'emBuy-In: $3.00/$0.25
45 playersTotal Prize Pool: $135.00 Tournament started - 2008/01/27 - 00:17:01 (ET)Dear GCPGeneD,You finished the tournament in 1st place.A $42.00 award has been credited to your Real Money account.You earned 101.42 tournament leader points in this tournament.For information about our tournament leader board, see our web site at

PokerStars Tournament #75632737, No Limit Hold'emBuy-In: $3.00/$0.40
18 playersTotal Prize Pool: $54.00 Tournament started - 2008/01/29 - 22:06:31 (ET)Dear GCPGeneD,You finished the tournament in 1st place.A $21.60 award has been credited to your Real Money account

PokerStars Tournament #75038190, No Limit Hold'emBuy-In: $3.00/$0.40
10 playersTotal Prize Pool: $30.00 Tournament started - 2008/01/24 - 23:50:55 (ET)Dear GCPGeneD,You finished the tournament in 2nd place.A $9.00 award has been credited to your Real Money account.

I want to give a shout out to "Captain Stacks" and Johnny "Bubble Boy" Gomez...Where are you guys? Did you guys forget how to log on to your PC's ;-) .

This is a great article that was posted on 2+2 by "MasterLJ"...and re-posted on Full Tilt Forum by our own "Virge". I felt it was strong enough to re-re-post on my personal blog. Kudos to Master LJ:

(NL Theory) Approach to HU - beating loose/passives and BR management

As promised here are a few excerpts from the article I was going to submit, but decided not to.

Some of you might find this article a little basic, some might find it very useful. I think there's at least a blurb or two for everyone of any/all skill levels.

It's not as polished as I'd like it to be but I'm kind of itching to get some hands in today.Hope you enjoy my Carpal/Tunnel post!

Use this article as a guide to learning HU NL poker. Do not use this article as a 1-2-3 formulaic approach to beating HU NL. Although certain concepts are presented in a 1-2-3 formulaic approach it is important to try to understand and emulate the thought processes beneath the strategy. My biggest breakthrough in poker came when I started asking “why?” Why is this play profitable? Why is this bluff profitable? Why is this a leak? Why did my opponent call me there? Some of this material may seem basic, some might be slightly more advanced.

Hand ranges in HUNL are the widest of any format. Voluntary Put in Pot (VPIP), or the percentage a player sees the flop, are on average much higher than standard play in other formats such as 6max or Full Ring. This means that aggression and hand reading are going to be the two primary skills for besting opponents. The reason these skills are crucial is because the main profit in HUNL comes from forcing your opponent to leave equity on the table. This is easier (and hence, theoretical max win rates are so much higher than 6max or Full Ring) because the hand ranges are so wide, suggesting that the average winning hand is going to be fairly low. Many players come into HUNL with a 6max mentality for hand values (they need at least top pair to showdown in most cases) which creates a pocket of profit since the average winning hand in a HUNL situation is going to be much less than top pair.

Hand Reading: In order to learn to peer into your opponent’s soul, there is simply no substitute for playing countless hours of poker and reviewing your sessions. Hand reading inherently requires empathy. Some people have a natural gift for empathy, some don’t. Almost everyone can fine tune their sense of empathy and practice is the key to doing so. The first rule of hand reading is to ask yourself “if I were to have hand XY, how would I play it in a straightforward manner?” This applies to low and micro stakes where typically players are not that tricky because they do not assume (or care) that you are thinking critically about each hand. The second requisite skill for hand reading is recall. Recall is defined as one’s ability to remember past hands and to remember your opponents “line” or pattern of betting they undertook. Since almost all major Poker sites provide space for note taking, coupled with programs like Poker Tracker and PokerAce HUD, there is no excuse to not have excellent recall. To learn how to read hands better I strongly suggest playing heads up limit. Yes, low limit HU limit is a losing proposition due to rake but it will help you develop a sense of relative hand strength since you will be showing down much more often.

Aggression: This is the bread and butter of HUNL. Aggression is the key to success in HUNL. I have seen a problem with many budding HU poker players, they take the term “aggression” the wrong way, meaning they are constantly bombarding their opponent with large bets, firing 3 barrels with no pair and no draw and trying to win every pot. When you hear the term “aggression” in any hold’em context it should always be synonymous with “controlled aggression” or “constant pressure.” Generally speaking you always want to have significant (25%+) equity in any pot in which you are going to pursue aggressively. Imagine a typical $1/$2 HUNL game. Your opponent makes a standard raise on the button (OTB) and you call in the BB with XY. There is $12 in the pot. The flop comes down giving you an open-ended straight draw (OESD) which is generally above 25% equity even against a flopped set. You have a roughly 32% chance (using the 2%/4% rule you have 8 outs x 4% = 32%) of making your straight by the river. Your opponent makes a standard continuation bet of $8, and you raise to $24. What are we trying to accomplish? First off, simply calling out of position (OOP) with a straight draw is not going to be profitable long term unless you have extremely high implied odds. Implied odds take into account the amount of money you will be able to extract off of your opponent when you make your hand. Since we generally do not have the correct implied odds in this situation in standard 100BB situations, we must create another method of extracting profit. Enter Fold Equity (FE). Simply put, Fold Equity is the percentage that your opponent folds to your bet. In other words, how often can you make your opponent leave money on the table? Remember, making your opponent leave both equity and money on the table is exactly how profits are made in HUNL. In our example hand there is $20 in the pot ($12 pre flop + $8 from our opponent’s continuation bet) we raise to $24 making the pot $44. Some basic math tells us that our bluff needs to work 24 times out of 44 (risking $24 to win $20) or roughly 54.5% of the time. This may seem astronomical but there are a few key factors in our favor. First off, your opponent is only going to make a pair on the flop 1 in 3 times. With just that fact alone, our opponent should be folding 66.66% of the time. In practice we must add draws into the equation, but we also gain several advantages in a practical setting. Opponents are rarely going to continue with bottom pair, underpair to the board, gutshots with an over, and even second pair weak to mid kicker. Some opponents may fold mid pair good kicker and top pair weak kicker to flop aggression. But wait! There’s more! Since we decided to utilize “controlled aggression”, meaning we have equity in the pot, our flop check-raise doesn’t have to be nearly as successful as the math suggests since we make the nuts with our OESD roughly 1 in 3 times if we are allowed to see the river. Not to mention we have opportunities to semi-bluff the turn if we are called on the flop. In our example, let’s assume villain calls our raise to $24, there is now $58 in the pot. This gives us an even better chance to semi-bluff, since a bet of $49 into the $58 pot ($107 total) means that our bluff must only work 49 times out of 107 (45.79%) and of course we still have equity going to the river as well as the opportunity to bluff the river, as well as the chance that we made our hand on the turn.

Beating Down the Passive Players:
If you are a serious HUNL player you no doubt practice some form of game selection. While everyone will have their ideal match up, many players like to play loose/passive players. These players are identified by high VPIP and low PFR and a propensity to call OOP. Often these players can limp the button as well.

The best strategy to employ against these players is to go for value in position and pounding on them out of position. In fact, being OOP can be more profitable than being IP against these players assuming they have some key characteristics such as calling 3bets WAY too light and calling flop check raises much too light. On the button you should be raising with the top 60-65% of your hands. There is no need to play raggedy hands even IP against calling stations, their willingness to call makes very bad hands lose value. You can open up your button range against loose/passives if you have a very high success rate of taking down the pot on the flop, and/or getting them to fold with a bet on the turn. On the flop you should be c-betting 70%+ and betting all pairs for value as well as draws. All reasonable draws should be double barreled as to build a large pot for the river where you can get value when you make your hand or you can bluff a scare card, or check behind on a dismal river that doesn’t help you represent a hand.

When playing OOP there are a few things to factor in. First, is your opponent limping the button? If so, are they calling raises? I usually employ a 4-4.5 x BB bet when raising OOP. If they have an unwillingness to call I am going to raise with any two cards until they adjust. More likely than not they will catch on and start to call some bets or possibly limp-re-raise (LRR). When this occurs my range becomes 22+, JT+ and sometimes some suited connectors. I am cbetting 100% of flops and double barreling any scare cards. If I turn a strong draw I might elect for a check raise all in (CRAI) if villain has shown a propensity to bet when checked to. This shouldn’t happen often given that we are playing a loose/passive player, so more often than not I am simply going to fire a second barrel.Against a LRR I have to have a read in order to call lightly OOP and/or shove over. If I have a good sense that my opponent is simply frustrated from being bombed on IP, I will call LRRs with KJ type hands. Obviously you have to go with it on a K or J high flop, or any reasonable draw. With 99+ I’m going to 4bet shove if pot size permits as I find that villain’s will often call with small pocket pair when frustrated.

When the pot is unraised and a flop is seen I love to apply pressure. This works especially well against opponents who have a PFR of 10-20%. Those opponents tend to tell you what they have pre-flop so that when they limp OTB you can assume their hand is weak (and it usually is). In that respect, if the flop comes down A33 and villain cbets, I am going to raise with ATC. So long as you get your bet-sizing right you should be able to profitably run this play with fold-success rates of 55%. Imagine the pot is $4 and villain bets $2, the pot is now $6, if you raise to $8 that should be more than enough to raise out air and only needs to succeed 57% of the time. I generally don’t like raising with no equity whatsoever, but the aforementioned case is the exception. I will CR a wide variety of flops with as little as bottom pair. The key though is that ONE BARREL IS NOT ENOUGH! I can’t stress that enough, the “play” is two-fold as loose/passive players will call flop CRs with almost any piece, however the profit comes in on the turn where they are much more hesitant to continue in the pot without a big hand when you fire again. If villain calls flop CR and turn lead you can generally give up unless you get a beauty of a river to bluff at.

This aspect of Hold’em took me the longest to understand. I still certainly do not fully understand bluffing as I’m always amazed at what opponents are willing to call with. First and foremost, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO BLUFF PLAYERS OFF TOP PAIR AT LOW STAKES. Just save yourself the trouble. I can’t count how many times I said to myself “This guy has top pair no kicker, Imma bluff him out!!!!” It is just not profitable. The types of hands you want to fold with your bluffs are:
1. Better high cards (you fold JT, flop is 286r, you cbet and fold out A3)
2. Bottom or 2nd pair (you hold 29o OOP, opponent limps the button, you check, flop is 3 7 J, you check to opponent, opponent pots you CR, opponent mucks A3o
3. Underpair (you hold A3 you raise OTB, opponent calls with 33, flop is K97, you cbet to take down the pot)
4. Draws – You can only really take an opponent off a draw with a big check-raise or on the river. A good example is a hand like 86 on a T67 flop, check-raising this flop can make villain fold a large amount of hands that have very strong draws against you and tons of equity (J8 has about 35% equity in this pot but can’t call a raise). You can hopefully remove an opponent off of a flush or straight draw by a CRAI on the turn.

Pay attention to these cases when you are making bets. A bet should always accomplish 1 of 2 things:
1. Fold better hands
2. Extract value out of worse hands

Always, always, always bet for one of the two reasons. Notice “to see where I’m at” is not on that list? Good, because that’s the worst reason to raise or bet. Bluffing is no different, and if you can blur the line between bluffing and value-betting you are going to make your opponents continue to guess. For example, against certain breeds of loose/passives I will value-bet ace-high on the flop since they float with weird hands like Q9o on a 265 flop.

Finally, I will end this segment on beating up loose/passives by giving you the ultimate advice. If you’re not in the driver’s seat during the hand, you are probably behind. When your edge is massive there’s really no need to stack off in marginal spots. A marginal spot against a loose/passive could be as “good” as having an overpair or TPTK facing a push. They are called loose/passives for a reason, and if you aren’t driving the action in the hand there’s a really good chance you are beat.

Bankroll Management and Variance:
I had found, and digested, a very nicely done post on winrate and variance:
I had also created an Excel spreadsheet based on the concepts in the article:

What you can take from the article? Answer: Winrate is king. If you aren’t really beating up your stakes you should move down. A player winning at roughly 5.75 PTBB/100 has a 23% chance of breaking even after 10k hands. That’s reasonably significant. It’s my opinion that if you can’t beat the game for 5+ PTBB/100 or higher moving down one level will provide a much higher winrate and significantly lowered variance.

As far as bankroll you really shouldn’t play with anything less than 30 buyins for casual players and 50+ for pros (I prefer 100 personally). Shot taking against really bad opponents is completely acceptable but you should set, and stick to, your stop loss.

"If your going through some shit in your life chances are somebody else has gone through the same thing before ya. And they've written about it. Some poet or philosopher has been through the same type of crap, and they've written about it. And when you find that poem or piece of writing. You think bloody hell this bastard has just summed it all up. It's kinda comforting. Know what I mean?" A quote for a Heath Ledger film "Two Hands"

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Random Blog...

I apologize for the delay, but I haven't had much to talk about lately. The Dead Money tournament went off without a hitch last weekend. It was good to see Martin and Ed again, and the rest of the folks seemed really nice also. I want to congratulate "Philly Tom" on the win, and it is even more exciting that he will be blogging on with his exploits starting last Saturday with the win through him actually playing in the tournament. It will be cool getting blog updates from one of the players from our tournament. I hope we can do it again next year, and we will be looking for some more tables if anyone out there is interested in being a table captain. If you are interested, please drop Bill or I an e-mail. I don't have any cool party stories as I did not hit the bars/casinos with those guys.

I played in a tournament last Thursday, and will again play tonight. There were 42 people in a $50.00 freeze-out with the blinds going up every 15 min. Of course the drunk guy sitting to my left has been playing completely erratic...and has chips. They are paying 5 places and I make it to the final table with 8 people left. I am down to 12 big blinds when I look down at A-Jo. I ship it in, and the drunk guy with 21 BB's (not that he would know what that meant) calls. Everyone else pitches to the muck. He rolls K-Qo. Great...60-40 favorite. Flop hits the board 10s-9h-3c...Ok...I now jump to a 70-30 favorite...turn peals off the Jd...78-22 favorite...Ks on the river.

Last night I am playing online and I seldom get involved with the chat program...calling people donkfish etc. Last night, after a few frosty cold ones...I did. I am in a ST-SNG on stars and we are down to 7 people when I raise nice pre-flop from the button with Jh-Js. I bet enoght that there is no way I can get away from the hand. The only caller I get is one of a few player that had me covered...the Big Blind. Flop comes out Jd10h7h. I ship the rest of my chips in the middle and the villian calls. He tables 8h-4d. Turn is the 4s and the river is the 9d...and all the chat room eropts with ... "vgh"..."Nice" ...etc. I couldn't help myself. You know what he wrote back to me in the chat box? "I was getting tired and my back hurts...I wanted to go to bed"...Thanks buddy...I needed that. You were trying to end your tournament and give me your chips, but you couldn't even do that right. ;-).

The highlight of my last few online session was getting to mix it up with Lilholdem954. Thats right, seems Chad "lilholdem954" Batista was at my table, and the chat room exploded with lurkers asking questions...compliments etc. The strange thing was that I was playing in a NL turbo with a 45 a $3.25????? Stars run these in the SNG/Multi-Table/Micro section. They jump off every 30 seconds. The minute one jumps off...there are instantly 15-20 people already in the next one. Guess he needs some practice

Thats it folks...I will try to get in more action soon...

"Look, Ed, you put **anybody** on television sixteen hours a day, and sooner or later they're going to fall off a table and land on a cat" Adam Goldberg's character John in "EdTV"

Thursday, January 17, 2008

No end in site

We had the 2nd Dead Money Satellite tourney Tuesday night, and the host, Robert Dinger, locks up the 2nd Houma seat for the final table. We had a nice turn-out of 17 people, and I would like to thank all the guys and gals that came to play. We really had a good time, and sitting at the table with Davey and Parfait is always a hoot. Those guys make the game fun.

My play...well, I wasn't overall happy with my play, but I was in a good spot several times. I just could not hold on. I played a hand bad against Davey when I called off over 1/3 of my stack with a weak Ace. An ace hit the board, and I was trying to lose as little as possible if I was out kicked. After the river card, I thought that maybe my ace was good. I said, "I guess I am going to make the hero call"...You know, the ones that you are a genius if your right, but your an idiot if not...I was wrong. He had 2 pair.

I busted out with pocket 10's against pocket 4's. We got it all in pre-flop, and a 4 pealed off on the turn. I thought 4 to 1 would be a solid favorite...oh well. Then I played online last night...I bust out when my pocket Jacks ran into pocket 7's and 7 is in the window on the flop. Wait a minute...4 to 1 is a favorite isn't it? Oh well...enough sarcasm and whining. I will just keep doing as I am told...get it in with the best of it.

I read a blog that has really put my wheels to turning. The person who wrote it was a professional poker player at one time, and he went back to work. I tell people that I am a semi-professional because I still keep my day job. When I am running good with a pocket full of money, and people would ask me, "Your a solid player and winning alot...why don't you just play for a living...". I would tell people, "I haven't been forced to play for a living...I think I could if I had to". Its being the Poker Gods whipping post ...and reading blog post like this that keep me showing up for work everyday.

(Reprinted with permission from the author Matt Maroon)
November 27, 2007

Why I Quit Playing Poker For A Living, Pt. 1

A lot of people ask me why I quit playing poker. When people ask a question like that they're expecting a fairly brief answer, and unfortunately the full version is a long story that's hard to tell in any reasonable amount of time. So I usually give them the executive summary, which was that I felt it was time to move on. That's definitely true, though somewhat vague. But it's better than the answer they seem to expect, which ranges from "I went broke" to "I lost my house in a bad game of 5 card stud. Then my wife left me. And she took the dog," depending on how much they know about poker.

Luckily for me that wasn’t the case. At one point I just knew it was time to find another path through life. Like a bad poker player who just got his pocket aces cracked on the turn, though, I kept pushing it. I continued to play long after my instincts told me give up and suffered the consequences. Had I understood myself better, I could have saved a lot of pain, and a nice chunk of money. But I didn’t. I overstayed my welcome and paid dearly for it.

Why it was time to quit, and why poker eventually ceased to be what it used to for me is hard to explain to someone who doesn’t play it for a living, and near impossible for someone who doesn’t even play as a hobby. I'll try my best for both though. To understand, there are a few things that one has to know about playing poker.

The most important is that no matter how well you play, you often lose. It's just part of the nature of the game, and, for that matter, any game largely subject to random events. Even the best poker players can lose for a very long time. Depending on the variant you're playing that could mean months, or even, in rare cases, years. Losing streaks are an unfortunate fact of life. In fact, for a professional poker player, they're the most unfortunate.

Another thing to understand is that in poker you can't fake it, or at least you shouldn’t. If you're a writer, or an accountant, or a lawyer, or have just about any other occupation I can think of, you can phone it in when you need to and nothing too bad will happen. You can go to work, fly under the radar for a day, not be your fully productive self, and you'll still get paid. They won't cancel your health insurance and you'll still accrue your vacation time. It's likely nobody will even notice, and if they did, they might be understanding, since everyone is in that position sooner or later. At some jobs you can get away with this for days at a time, and a lot of people make entire careers out of it.

Not so in poker. You can play badly for a day, but you're just costing yourself money. You might get lucky and win, or you might not and lose, but you'll win less or lose more than you should have. Either way if you're playing badly you're costing yourself money. In a game where the best player has only a one or two percent edge, playing badly is far worse than not playing at all. It's the only job I know of where, 100% of the time, you will only hurt yourself by functioning suboptimally.

Moreover, there's a huge difference between playing at 100% and 90%. Poker is a game of very fine edges, where you are rewarded for making a lot of good decisions that are, mathematically speaking, only slightly better than the alternatives. So while a programmer who is having a bit of an off day but is still almost as productive as normal can make progress, a poker player who is making almost as many decisions correctly as he normally does can actually go from being a significant winner to a significant loser. If you can't bring your A game to the table, you're better off staying home.

Poker is also an extremely complex game. So much so that computers are unable to function at even a passable level. (Contrast this to chess, where they are able to consistently outperform even the best humans.) As such, nobody plays their best game of poker at all times. It's impossible. Sometimes you're going to be off of your A game. We are irrational, emotional creatures. That's not our fault; we're a product of evolution, and those same emotions that once kept us from choosing the wrong mate or being eaten by a lion hamper us in daily life. And nowhere do they hurt us more than at the poker table, a battleground where cold math, logic and objectivity are a person's only assets, and everything else is a liability.

Playing badly happens a lot more frequently than one might expect, even for the players with the tightest reigns over their emotions (which I was once one of, but am no longer). And it happens the most when you're on one of the inevitable losing streaks. A losing streak in poker is almost inexplicable to someone who hasn’t experienced it. The best way I can translate it to normal people is this:

Imagine you go to work every day and do your absolute best. You work as hard as you can, do everything perfectly, or at least as close to it as humanly possible, and throughout the day, every 15 minutes, your boss comes over and tells you that you are an idiot. Each time he tells you that everything you do is wrong, even if you know it's not. Then instead of paying you, he forces you to write a check to the company.

That's about how stressful losing streaks are. You question everything you do. Every decision you're faced with seems tough, and almost every one you make turns out, in hindsight, to have been wrong. You doubt your ability, because as a human, you've been programmed to equate success with good decision making and failure with bad. You tell yourself over and over that you just have to keep playing the way you always have and it will turn around, but deep down you start to doubt it. You have no choice, it's operant conditioning in action.

Because of the variance, poker is also a game in which very little can ever be known for certain. The high fluctuations make proving any useful theory only possible in hindsight. You can mathematically examine your past results and prove that you are a winning player or a losing player to a high degree of certainty, but it takes such a large sample size that once done, it's entirely useless. You can determine that your wins over the last year (if you played a hell of a lot of hands over that time) were outside of the range attributable to luck. You can discover your realistic minimum and maximum expectation for that time, and if the bottom of the range is above zero, you're mathematically certain to have been a winning player.

But that was last year. The game has changed. You've made changes to your game, and aren’t playing the same way anymore. Your opponents are different. Maybe you moved up a limit or two so they're a little tougher, or maybe you stayed at the same game but the field changed. You can't prove that you are a winner, only that you were. So on a losing streak, you can't simply turn to math or logic to console you, because it can only help explain the past. Ask it if you are playing well right now and the only answer you get is "I don't know. Play a year and ask me again."

The other option is, and many people take this approach, to simply never question yourself, no matter what. Just keep playing the same way and assume that any bad runs are simply due to luck. This, too, is extremely dangerous, because the minute you're wrong, you're headed for broke. The Peter Principle will ensure that you will, at some point, hit a level of competition that's too strong for you, and your ego won't let you adapt. You'll march blindly into the poorhouse.

So being good at poker, at least professionally, means walking a fine line between the two extremes. You must be willing to consider that you should adapt, but not be too hasty to do so, because changing a winning game can be just as bad as not changing a losing one. You must simultaneously have faith in your own abilities and question whether or not you could be playing much better. It's a delicate balance, and one that takes an incredible emotional toll on you.

This is, in a nutshell, why playing poker is often referred to as a "hard way to make an easy living." It's all the stress of the losing streak. To put it in perspective, I once met someone who quit a job as an air traffic controller, long considered the most stressful job in existence, to play poker for a living. He did it for a year and claimed to have made about 25% more than he would have at his job, but went back to his old career because, as he said, it was "far less stressful".

There you have it folks. This is the life that we all wish to live... The life that we all dream about. We read all the books, and watch all the poker superstars on television. It's all out there though...and we have to go get it!!...oh well...back to the grind

"Natural ability-wise, yes, he had the quickest mind. Stuey's problem is he doesn't understand the object of the game, which is to accumulate wealth, improve your lifestyle and provide for your family"...A quote from Chip Reese when asked is Stu Ungar was the most talented player he had ever seen.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Tunica trip doesn't come together...

As quick as a road trip comes together, it can evaporate. I am a little bummed out about not making the trip to Tunica this year in January, but it could be a blessing in disguise. I have been trying to re-build my bankroll recently, and not getting much help from the poker gods. I have been playing small ball poker on the internet, and just trying to see as many hands as I can as fast as I can. I am up to playing 3 tables at a time, but playing for nickels and pennies is tough. I have been trying to play more LL MTT's though which at least I can try to focus more trying to win 1st place. I have also downloaded Bodog, and am checking out the interface. The one thing that I was impressed with was I tried to put money on BD with my card, and it was declined. They have actually tried to contact me to see what they could do to help...even a phone call. I am also thinking of buying a cardrunner/Xfactor account and watching some videos.

We are having the 2nd Dead Money Table in the Houma this Tuesday if anyone would be interested in playing. The last chance table will be Friday in New Orleans, and the final table will be this Saturday. Just got off the phone with Austin Martin as he is on the road home from Tunica right now. He will be coming to New Orleans this weekend also for the annual pokerfest.

I caught the stomach virus that has been going around last week, and it was the most cruel ordeal I have had in a long time. I never get sick, so to be stuck at the house for days with not being able to keep nothing down. Everything that went in my stomach came out 20 min later. It was brutal.

I have been running so bad lately that I have again...started to re-read some of my books, and trying to take stock in my poker knowledge to try to figure out if the variance is torturing me or am I just playing bad. I am an active reader of lots of different forums, and I have read lots of different post from poker players about gambling, variance, playing for a living, debts, bankroll management...etc. I don't have a huge bankroll right now, but at least I don't owe anybody any money from poker debts. I talked about a post from Mark Newhouse about Dustin "Neverwin" Wolf in past blogs. Now, I want to point you guys to a post by a "Humbled" neverwin where he writes about something that I fear more that losing my bankroll. I will post about another topic I have read in a later blog...I think it is also posted on 2+2

"First principles, Clarice. Simplicity. Read Marcus Aurelius. Of each particular thing ask: what is it in itself? What is its nature? What does he do, this man you seek?" Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecture in "The Silence of the Lambs"

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Heading to Tunica

Thats right folks, getting in the Jeep and heading on down to burn up some satellites. It is so funny that I have told several of my poker playing friends in the last week that I had no plans on making it to Tunica this year. It was funny as Wayne Hatcher and I both said that we have no plans to go, but we didn't know...we might wind up there if the cards fall right. Then I ran into Mrs. Judy Rhodes at Shorty's last night who has cashed several times in the past 5-6 years at the World Poker Open. We both talked about how this will be the first times in years that we do not go to Tunica for January...well looks like I will be going.

I have played in numerous live sessions recently and have "Maintained". I know none of us play poker just to "Maintain". It sucks buying in for $400.00 and cashing out for $365.00...then the next night but in for $350.00 and cash out for $415.00. I was actually able to get up last night at Shorty's. I was $300.00 deep in the game and I was sitting with about $450.00 when the following hand went down. They had just moved an older lady to our table in the 2 seat and I was sitting in the 7 seat in mid-position. I looked down at AcKc and decide to limp along with 6 other people just to change things up a little. Flop hits the table 10c9h4s. I fire out $35.00 and everyone folds except this lady. The turn peals off with the Jc. I fire out $65.00 and she smooth calls. I am completely in the dark as to what she may have...I am stumped. The river comes the 8h and I fire my last bullet...she again smooth calls and table 7h3d. WTF!!!!!!. Doc and I just look at each other and both of us busted out laughing. Yes people...this is the way they play at Shorty's.

Everytime I watch "Rounders" I pick out more and more things that I haven't seen before. I think I may have blogged about this before, but one of things that bothers me the most is the first big hand he plays with KGB. If watch the hand closely once Teddy says, "No...I don't have the spades" will see that he turns over the Pocket Aces like he owns the he has the nuts. This bothers me because the hand never would have came out like that, because he did not know whether MattMcD had pocket 9's which would have gave him 4 9's to beat Teddy's Aces over 9's. Oh well...I also noticed that in the scene with Roman and Maurice that the actor that plays Maurice is actually that guy that plays Luca on ER, Goran Visnjic...Damn I watch too many movies.

"Jon Dillinger was killed behind that theater in a hale of FBI gunfire. And do you know who tipped them off? His fucking girlfriend. All he wanted to do was go to the movies" John Cusack's Character Rob in "High Fidelity"