Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Spook!!!! Happy Halloween!

Tonight was a fun night. Work is starting to wind down a little (at least not as chaotic as it was until yesterday). I had two big bags of candies that I bought from Costco for the kids in the neighborhood. I didn't get home till like 7pm but that still didn't deter the a bunch of kids coming for the candies. I was giving out candies like they were going out of style and this one group of kids made my night when as they leave, they go "this was the best house ever!" Oh yeah!!!! SWEET!

So then, it's the usual Wednesday where I played the Mook, then the Dook, and then the Spook. After I donked around at the tables earlier in the night, I was set to take the Spook down... when the voice of temptation came... from none other than lucko himself.

It's such a pity that I missed the screenshot... it's classic. And I didn't even get to save the chat... Dammit!!!!!

This was the part of the chat I was able to salvage. Basically, lucko and I decided to do a last shorter bet on the Spook.

lucko21: $20
lucko21: ?
RecessRampage: sure
RecessRampage: in
lucko21: done

Then I see lucko do the only thing you can do in a last shorter... he pushed all in on the very first hand. And what do I see? A delightful 95o. So this ensues:

lucko21 raises to 1,000, and is all in
SirFWALGMan folds
pushmonkey72 folds
Joshuacarlsen folds
AlCantHang folds

RecessRampage: ship it lucko

RecessRampage calls 970, and is all in
lucko21 shows [4c Jd]
RecessRampage shows [5h 9s]

The J on the flop basically sealed it and the final board was like this.
*** RIVER *** [Jc 2d 7h 6s] [3s]

Best part about that? Click on the picture and check out the 2nd place prize money!

Yep, that's right. Less than 30 seconds in to the tourney, one hand in, and I win 2nd place money. Good times!

Happy Halloween, and good night now!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Must pimp spook

Tomorrow night, at midnight, there's a shortstack turbo 6 max tournament... the SPOOK! I imagine this tournament will end before the Mookie ends. And it's only $2.50 to enter... so there's really no reason to not enter... unless of course, you just want to maintain your sanity.

Sorry for the lack of posts recently... for those that care. I am finally starting to see the end of this super hectic work life (try 9:30am - 10pm on SATURDAY even followed by another all day marathon on Sunday)... anyways, I know no one is interested in me bitching about my work hours so that's primarily why I haven't blogged much. My brain's a little fried right now but I'll be back to posting regularly again. See you all tomorrow!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Short stacks in cash games

As I sit here at work on a freakin Saturday, I'm getting ready to take a lunch break... it's weird to be getting ready to take a lunch break at work and not listening to Rome... No reference to Chad in Portland and Mike in Wichitard? Jeez, how am I gonna survive the afternoon???

Alright, before I really start, I'll give credit to where it's due. Gnome posted this the other day and it got me to thinking... He referenced this article which advocated that you could buy in for whatever you want to buy in for in a cash game because there's no inherent advantage in being a big stack vs a small stack. Personally, I think that's a very bad advice. Now, since I'm obviously taking excerpts of what the article said, please go read the full article to at least understand their point of view. Here's mine.

First and foremost, let me say that like everything in poker, the answer to the question of how much you should buy in for is "it depends." But generally, I would never buy in short. If you've followed my hand histories and other posts, it's no secret that I generally go for homeruns with my big hands. So, when I have a big hand, I have to maximize that value. In order to do this, the bigger the stack I have, the better off I am. This is obvious right? I mean doubling up when I have $400 is better than $80.

More importantly however, I think buying in short takes away your ability to play. Or at least limits what you can do. Let's say you have pocket 7s in MP. Do you raise? or do you just limp in? Well, let's say you like to limp in with mid to low pocket pairs. You limp, it's folded around to the cutoff who puts in a standard pot sized raise to $18. It's back to you and now, you have to call $14 more into a pot that contains $28 ($18 from CO + $6 in blinds + your $4 limp). That would only leave you with $62. So, preflop, you're calling off 22.5% of your stack for a 12.5% chance to hit a set. I could be wrong with my percentages but it really does take away your set mining odds.

I also feel like some other hands become less playable. Let's say that you tend to call a raise with suited connectors and one gappers from late position. Well, can you really do that if you buy in short? Or is that just not part of your strategy? Personally, I don't mind seeing a flop with hands like that if I'm only up against one raise and I have position on them. Why? Because now, the burden of proof is on them. I can act after them. So what if the flop doesn't hit me. The more important question is did the flop help him? If not, I can try to take the pot away with a bet or a raise. Or, I can flat call the flop and see what ensues on the turn. Again, I feel that there would be many different options in how to play a hand when you're deep. When you're short though, wouldn't you pretty much have to make the decision about the hand on the flop? You can't call and see what happens on the turn, can you?

Maybe I'm too narrowminded about this whole deal. But I feel like I can make a play more often than not with a bigger stack because also, keep in mind that if you're the opponent, you have to worry about subsequent bets. If both players are deep, you can't chase draws as much as you might want to because your pot odds are down since you know that if you call and the card doesn't come on the turn, you'll be facing another bet. If the opponent is short and can only put out one bet on the flop, a lot of the drawing hands could make a move because with two cards to come, the odds are much better.

Now, of course, I went with both extremes. One was buying in with the minimum and the other was with the max. Sure, I'm sure there are middle grounds but I think you need to buy in enough to at least give yourself some room to play. And I say all this to basically state that I hate short stacks at the table. In a cash game, I'm not looking for a 50-50 race. I know a lot of people easily call off their chips with AK or even AQ. In a cash game, I'm not eager to do that because quite frankly, if I just want to flip coins, there's no reason for me to play poker. Craps table with the pass line bets will give me similar odds. But short stacks will easily shove because usually, they are playing above their roll and are looking for a quick double up. Don't get me wrong. I have no problem adjusting my strategy with the presence of a short stack. But that still doesn't mean I like them either.

Damn, I'm starving. Enough poker talk, it's time to eat!

Friday, October 26, 2007

I am not dead... I think...

For those of you that don't have me on bloglines or some other blog monitoring tool and just visit me every day to check if I've updated my site, I apologize for the lack of updates. Not to really bitch about it (because though I feel tired quite a bit, I'm surprisingly not too upset about it) but I've been working from like 7am to 9-10pm the past several days (yes, I do run out to grab a quick lunch and dinner) so I just haven't had time to post anything meaningful. I mean that's like 14+ hr days... That's gotta be up there with the New York lawyers, no? When Jordan mentioned that he was working last weekend (and I was at work also), I didn't feel so bad. At least someone else is suffering too...

There's so much I want to get to but I won't have time to post them all right now. One thing I do want to point out is that BBTwo has been a huge success so far. And I know that from FullTilt's point of view, it's been a great hit so far since it has practically doubled the number of players in these blogger tourneys during the BBTwo vs the nonBBT time. But to me, the best thing about the BBT/BBTwo is for some strange reason, during this time, more people update their blogs. I mean on my bloglines, I have like 40+ posts that I need to catch up on. During the nonBBT time, there aren't nearly as many blog entries so in that sense, it's kinda fun. Too bad I haven't had time to read or write much this month. At least I've been making my monetary contribution to these tournaments.

Alright, like I said, even though there are so many things I want to get to, I really don't have time. Again, thanks for stopping by and I'll be back to posting on an almost daily basis starting next week. Good luck at the tables, the sportsbook, or whatever else you do.

Monday, October 22, 2007

I'm gonna rant...

So, if you don't want to read all the bitching I'm about to do, now would be a good time to stop reading.

Ok, you've been warned.

What a fuckin day this was. Mondays suck in general. When shit doesn't go your way, it's even worse. What a fuckin waste of a day. First of all, I was at work till like 9:30 (I did take a quick dinner break) tonight and I got home just in time for the MATH. And I don't even know why I bothered. Basically, I couldn't get anything going and I, unlike many of these participants couldn't draw out on a two outer so I go home when my 99 can't beat TT. Sorry, I don't even remember who busted me. Does it matter?

Actually... just as I typed it, I remembered. It was RaisingCayne. Apparently, I'm not pissed enough to not link him...

So then, in one of my fantasy football leagues (I'm 1-5 in that league), I got LJ, Reggie Bush, and Ronnie Brown... of course, Brown goes out when the idiot QB for Miami throws a pick and so Brown tackles the guy... and now he's out for the season. Fabulous. Anyways, so I'm up by like 17 pts going into Monday Night Football and my opponent has Peyton Manning and Dallas Clark going. That alone might seem like I'm in trouble except I have David Garrard going so I figured at least he could help me out... except he gets hurt before halftime and didn't play the entire second half. And as if the fantasy gods are spitting on my dead body, Peyton completes a pass to fuckin Clark for a TD. Fabulous. I'm 1-6 in that league so obviously, my season is over. One of my best RBs done and who knows if I'll even have a QB next week. Aw, fuck it. What do I care.

At least I was able to hold off Ryan who also had Peyton going tonight. That's what you get for starting a bunch of Steelers on your team, just to spite me (and it worked... I couldn't entirely cheer for the Steelers last night... I attribute their loss to my not giving 100% in cheering for them).

And speaking of the Steelers... what the fuck are they doing? I love how few weeks ago, all the idiots were talking about how Steelers are definitely playoff bound. And I was NOT on that boat. I kept saying that they hadn't played anyone. Even worse, they lost to Arizona... well now, they fuckin lost to Denver and so they're 4-2. Tied with the god damn Ravens and only one game ahead of the Browns. Mike Tomlin better step it up soon or else there will be some seriously unhappy people in Pittsburgh (and in Richmond).

What a fuckin start to the week. Fuckin Peyton Manning.

One night later...

Ok, let me revisit my quick post from last night. Basically, I just wanted to know from a lot of the tournament players how to play a situation where you have a pretty big hand but all of a sudden face a lot of opposition. I just wanted to elaborate on some of my thoughts some more. I was in no mood to really type much last night since I was on tilt from being busted out of the tourney early and that I had to work all weekend... I tend to wear my emotions on my sleeve so if I sounded bummed or pissed on my post last night, well, that was how I felt.

Just to recap, early in the tournament (4 minutes in), blinds at 15-30, I was fairly active at this starting table. I'm dealt JJ from UTG +2 so I make a standard pot sized raise to 105. Everyone folds to SnailTrax on the BB who calls and we see this:

*** FLOP *** [3s 9d 5s]
SnailTrax checks
RecessRampage bets 195
SnailTrax has 15 seconds left to act
SnailTrax raises to 600

This check raise could be anything I thought. Could be spade draw, a set, etc. So, I decided to define my hand here and see what he does.

RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage has requested TIME
RecessRampage raises to 1,800
SnailTrax raises to 2,895, and is all in
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage has requested TIME
RecessRampage folds
Uncalled bet of 1,095 returned to SnailTrax
SnailTrax mucks
SnailTrax wins the pot (3,825)

Anguila who is a much better tournament player than I am commented that he would let the hand go on a checkraise here. Again, his thought is that it's so early in the tournament and we are so deep that there's no reason to get into a monster pot situation where you're not sure where you stand. He also commented that after the reraise though, he might be inclined to call because the pot is now so big.

Well, I did not think of folding after the initial checkraise. I thought about calling but at that point, I guess my desire to define my hand was bigger so I reraised. When he immediately came over the top, I thought that I was probably crushed. However, there were a few more interesting thoughts that entered my mind.

I thought about calling because of the monster pot odds. Basically, I was getting 5:1 so I really thought about calling. The other bigger conflicting thought that made me lay this hand down was because of how early it was in the tournament. If I fold, I still have 1,000 in chips and with the blinds at 15-30, I figured I could still make a come back. So, based on that, I folded.

I think my play would be different if this were in later stages of the tournament. As a matter of fact, I know that my play would be different in the later stages in the tournament. Another thing I didn't take into account was that with 1,000 chips, I was still alive but I was starting to tilt... if I could have kept my composure, I think it would be a different story but being short stacked early and tilting was probably not a good combination.

Oh well, you live you learn. We'll be back at it tonight at the MATH. 10pm ET, $26 buy-in. You know the drill. See you tonight.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

26 more to go...

After spending most of the weekend at work, I can't say that I'm in much of a mood to blog... And god dammit... the steelers just fuckin lost. Fabulous...

Anyways... this hand crippled me in the big game and I actually want some thoughts on what you tournament players would do.

Full Tilt Poker Game #3927392757: Blogger Big Game (29406550), Table 6 - 15/30 - No Limit Hold'em - 21:34:02 ET - 2007/10/21
Seat 1: rpinner (3,300)
Seat 2: RecessRampage (3,135)
Seat 3: BuddyDank (2,790)
Seat 4: katitude (2,865)
Seat 5: a104l9 (3,000)
Seat 6: ck31 (2,910)
Seat 7: SnailTrax (3,000)
Seat 8: Blinders (3,000)
ck31 posts the small blind of 15
SnailTrax posts the big blind of 30
The button is in seat #5

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Jd Jc]
Blinders folds
rpinner folds
RecessRampage raises to 105
BuddyDank folds
katitude folds
a104l9 folds
ck31 folds
SnailTrax calls 75

*** FLOP *** [3s 9d 5s]
SnailTrax checks
RecessRampage bets 195
SnailTrax has 15 seconds left to act
SnailTrax raises to 600

This check raise could be anything I thought. Could be spade draw, a set, etc. So, I decided to define my hand here and see what he does.

RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage has requested TIME
RecessRampage raises to 1,800
SnailTrax raises to 2,895, and is all in
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage has requested TIME
RecessRampage folds
Uncalled bet of 1,095 returned to SnailTrax
SnailTrax mucks
SnailTrax wins the pot (3,825)

So, that left me with about 1,100 in chips and I never quite recovered. But here, was this a must call? Was this an instance where I shoulda called? In other words, if he had a draw, there's no point in calling so he would shove there right? His instashove made me think he had a set... In a cash game, this wouldn't really be a question for me but in tournaments where you only have a certain amount of time to accumulate chips and such, was this a situation where I should've gambled? Do I need to loosen up my calling requirements? Any thoughts are appreciated.

Friday, October 19, 2007

I am not dead

Wow... It's Friday already and I haven't posted a thing since Monday. Did I not have access to a computer? Did I quit blogging? Have my poker results been miserable? No, no, and no. Work is kicking my ass though. And instead of using my lunch break to blog, this week, I chose to just chill out and read the other blogs instead. One interesting topic for the week is the Absolute Poker cheating scandal. Holy cow. I can't get to 2+2 forums or P5 from this donk work computer but check out this blog. Gnome and Cmitch has pretty good links too so you might want to go check their blogs out too. I'm not gonna summarize what you can read in the links but it's just crazy. I mean the whole "cheating in online poker" thing has always been swirling around as rumors (bots, etc) but I'm actually surprised that this shocking news hasn't gotten more press. I mean you would think all the online poker haters would be all over sh*t like this.

Alright, well, I'm feeling like crap this morning after I went out to drink with my friend last night so I leave you with one more article about this whole scandal. Very entertaining stuff.

Have a good weekend everyone. Oh and don't forget. Don's Big Tournament will kick off the BBTwo!

Monday, October 15, 2007

If it sounds too good to be true...

You know how the saying goes... "If it sounds too good to be true, then it's probably a scam." Well, not according to Al. I believe the comment I left on his blog was "I just shat myself." And no, this wasn't when I was reading blogs on my treo on the pooper. I mean holy cow. Not many things cheer me up on a Monday morning but this certainly did!

The Battle of Blogger Tournaments held earlier this year was a huge success. Though there were tons of discussions/arguments regarding the points system (mmmmmm, points), all in all, I think everyone would agree that it was a success considering the number of participants, consistency of the bloggers showing up for the events, and just in terms of getting to know bunch of people. I know that I just started blogging late December 2006 but this BBT was how I got to "know" bunch of other bloggers. So, suffice to say that I couldn't wait for BBT2 (or BBTwo) if there ever was going to be another one. Well, Al and FullTilt came through big time... again.

Go read his blog to get the details. But to summarize, there will be 27 events in the next 8 weeks and the winner of each would be entered into a tournament of champions where the 1st place prize of the 27 maximum runners would win a $18,000 Aussie Package. Yeah, that's right. That's EIGHTEEN THOUSAND. DOLLARS.... I'll give you a minute to wipe yourself too...

Craziness. So, all you bloggers and nonbloggers alike (remember, you don't have to be a blogger to play in these events), come and join the madness. That means you, PouringReign and InigoMontoya76. Even you donkeys might have a chance. If you read this blog and you're interested in playing but don't have a FullTilt account, click on the banner to the right and use the bonus code "pokertachi" (shameless marketing plug).

And what's even crazier is that there are many other prizes. Basically, they're giving away money. How can you not participate??? Again, go read Al's blog for more details. But you might want to keep a roll of toilet paper handy... (sorry for all the pooping reference. Just watched SouthPark last night where Bono was #2... you'd get it if you watched it. YEAH YEAH YEAH HELLO HELLO!).

And I'm sure that some of us will keep gunning for the win every time... I say that because there are 27 events... well, if you win, that's one less contestant in the Tournament of Champions. So, let's say you win 3 events. That's one seat for you and 2 less seats for everyone else, thus increasing your chance to win the Aussie package even more. This set up is just downright sick. SICK.

And it all starts this Sunday. Don will be hosting this so start getting your tier 2 tokens... or if you're a cash gamer, start earning your cash to play in these events. No matter what the case is, get in there!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Ode to JamyHawk aka How to Fold KK??

It wouldn't be fair if I used a title without directing readers to the originator's site so go check out JamyHawk's blog if you haven't yet.

Well, I'd love to get your thoughts here. It was a very tricky spot and I wasn't sure what to do.

Full Tilt Poker Game #3828157071: Table Copper Mesa - $3/$6 - No Limit Hold'em - 23:00:39 ET - 2007/10/11
Seat 1: blumpster ($710.10)
Seat 2: budco33 ($496.65)
Seat 3: angelsach ($609.75)
Seat 4: RecessRampage ($512.50)
Seat 5: Fold U Fool ($326.50)
Seat 6: DaBruns ($797.90)
Seat 7: bose2 ($120)
Seat 8: jurassicjesus ($538.15)
Seat 9: SecretSurface ($703.10)
angelsach posts the small blind of $3
RecessRampage posts the big blind of $6
The button is in seat #2

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Ks Kc]
Fold U Fool folds
DaBruns folds
jurassicjesus calls $6
SecretSurface folds
blumpster calls $6
budco33 folds
angelsach folds
RecessRampage raises to $27
jurassicjesus folds
blumpster calls $21

Pretty standard. I'm in the BB, everyone limps so I bump it up.

*** FLOP *** [8s 6s 7c]
RecessRampage bets $52
blumpster raises to $683.10, and is all in
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage has requested TIME

This is where it gets interesting. I hated this board. This board is almost worse than seeing an ace on the flop here considering he limp/called my raise. And then I bet out and all of a sudden, he shoves? I had approximately 70 seconds in my time bank and I used up almost all of it. I couldn't think of what he had. 99? AsKs? As7s? 88, 77, 66, 67, or 78? If he had AsKs, I am assuming he would raise preflop so unless this was his version of a variation play, I'm tossing that out as one of his holdings. As7s? That's very possible. A pair with top kicker and nut flush draw. Any of the pocket pair that becomes a set also makes sense. TT or above would surely raise preflop and the all in really doesn't make sense. After a while, I read this all in as not so much a way to get me to fold but rather an overbet for value. Only hand that I could see him do this with really was narrowed down to a set or two pair or As7s. Maybe I'm just too tight. But this is what I did...

RecessRampage folds
Uncalled bet of $631.10 returned to blumpster
blumpster mucks
blumpster wins the pot ($164)

The following chat ensued which was interesting. I wasn't sure if he continued to just play me or not but I don't care. That wasn't a spot I wanted to put my money in. A lot of people say you have to push marginal edges. But if I know that I could find better spots, that's what I would do. This was not an instance where I thought I have that "marginal edge." In fact, this was a situation where either I had a marginal edge or I was a significant dog.

blumpster: noooooooooooooo
blumpster: you fold qq?
RecessRampage: dude
RecessRampage: you have no idea
RecessRampage: it hurt...
blumpster: ill tell you what i had if u do
RecessRampage: you have AIM?
RecessRampage: or yahoo chat?
blumpster: whats wrong with here
RecessRampage: ok fine.
RecessRampage: I don't like to admit to the whole table
RecessRampage: I had KK
blumpster: you had outs
RecessRampage: lol
RecessRampage: yeah, I figured

He ended up not telling me what he had but I didn't press either. I really didn't care. I felt that I made a good fold regardless of the chat. And if he didn't have it, it illustrates the power of the overbet for value.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

3 different themes

My writings are sometimes so unorganized... Oh well, so why attempt to organize it now, right? I'm gonna put the best one first.

Part 1 - This is why you bet flopped sets

Full Tilt Poker Game #3818558083: Table Centennial - $5/$10 - No Limit Hold'em - 23:25:50 ET - 2007/10/10
Seat 1: Big Eye Fish ($1,245)
Seat 2: sunfish2 ($1,097)
Seat 3: JPhil007 ($1,000)
Seat 4: cmglive ($1,441.50)
Seat 5: BLACKBART 36 ($2,182.60)
Seat 6: RecessRampage ($1,471.50)
Seat 7: josh3336 ($400), is sitting out
Seat 8: childressd ($871.15)
Seat 9: agate50 ($992.50)
Big Eye Fish posts the small blind of $5
sunfish2 is sitting out
JPhil007 posts the big blind of $10
The button is in seat #9
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Qc Qs]
cmglive calls $10
BLACKBART 36 calls $10
sunfish2 stands up
RecessRampage raises to $55
childressd calls $55
agate50 folds
Big Eye Fish has 15 seconds left to act
Big Eye Fish calls $50
JPhil007 folds
cmglive calls $45
KINGS777Kid adds $1,000
BLACKBART 36 folds

*** FLOP *** [5d Qh 4c]
Big Eye Fish checks
cmglive checks
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage bets $140 <--- cuz I'm a man
childressd has 15 seconds left to act
childressd calls $140
JPhil007 adds $10
Big Eye Fish folds
cmglive folds

I have to admit... When I bet out the $140 into what was like a $220 pot, I started regretting it. I mean top set, I thought maybe I can allow one more card and hope that an ace falls on the turn. I also hoped someone was slowplaying presto. Nonetheless, I do what I do best which is betting sets when I flop them. The only other concern was that I thought my bet amount might be a little too small for a c-bet and that it might be construed as a bet that was meant to look weak (which is exactly what it was). I thought because of that, I might not get much action. This is also potentially a tell if in other hands, I bet a bigger percentage of the pot when I'm actually defending hands (ie, bet sizing between monster and vulnerable hands would easily be a tell against an opponent who pays attention). But, all my concerns aside, I got one caller. I wasn't exactly sure what he had at this point to call. Maybe he flopped a set? Seems unlikely he has a Q since there are already 3 out there.

*** TURN *** [5d Qh 4c] [Jd]
RecessRampage checks
childressd has 15 seconds left to act
childressd bets $375
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage raises to $750
childressd INSTAcalls $301.15, and is all in
RecessRampage shows [Qc Qs]
childressd shows [Ac Kc]
Uncalled bet of $73.85 returned to RecessRampage

This is just a classic move. Throw out a c-bet looking bet on the flop, check as if I've given up, induce a bluff, and go in for the kill. The only shocker here was that he instacalls. With A high. I did think the moment I saw his card "10 would be sick."

*** RIVER *** [5d Qh 4c Jd] [As] <--- then I remembered I'm not Fuel
RecessRampage shows three of a kind, Queens
childressd shows a pair of Aces
RecessRampage wins the pot ($1,869.30) with three of a kind, Queens
childressd is sitting out

No way I'm stacking this guy had I checked the flop. By the turn, he probably felt committed with the size of the pot. Who knows what he thought. Nonetheless, I still think the key was betting out on the flop.

Part 2 - Variation plays

This is one that turned out to be profitable. But in the long run, I'm not sure if this is +EV or not. Keep in mind that I don't raise with this hand every time UTG. Hence, it's called a variation play. And actually... on this hand, I'm gonna hide the names to protect the innocent (or rather, not give away too much info).

It happened at a 5-10NL table (9 handed) and I basically had a bet or two more than the initial buy in of $1,000. The villain who was sitting in the BB had over $2k behind him.

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [6h 7s]
RecessRampage raises to $35 <--- from UTG
Villain (BB) raises to $110
RecessRampage calls $75

The raise from UTG with 6-7 was just meant to steal the blinds. I rarely raise from UTG unless I have a big hand so I occasionally throw in a raise from UTG as a variation play. Again, I'm not sure how +EV it is in terms of the variation alone but it's got more to do with metagame factor... at least in my mind it does. Of course, I hated to see the reraise from the BB. I mean I raised from UTG so everyone should expect me to have a strong hand. He then reraises so he clearly has a big hand. The key factor of me calling here is that I assumed that he must have a hand like AA or KK. So, if I flop big, I could double through. I mean it's similar to the set mining concept. Plus, how can I raise preflop from UTG and then fold to a reraise? If the board doesn't cooperate, I'd play it off like I had TT or JJ or something but folding here against a deep stack was not an option. Now, note that if the reraiser was shorter (like if he only had $400-$500 behind him), this would be a different story.

*** FLOP *** [8h Qd Ah]
Villain checks
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage bets $180
Villain has 15 seconds left to act
Villain: kk
Villain has requested TIME
Villain folds
Uncalled bet of $180 returned to RecessRampage
RecessRampage mucks
RecessRampage wins the pot ($222)

This was obviously a pure steal. Any c-bet here would've gotten me off the pot. Well... unless it smells too much like a c-bet which then I may have made a move. But again, when it was checked to me, I had to bet. I mean what other choice do I have? Either I bet and if I get raised, I fold. But betting is the only way I have a chance so I obviously bet out here. Villain tells me he has KK, thinks for a very long time but eventually folds. He seems like a pretty good player so I have to believe him. Unless he was seriously making a move from BB against a UTG raiser who just recently joined the table. Doubtful. He didn't seem to like the fact that I didn't show though. Cuz during the next hand, he was like "come on, I folded KK, no show?" To which I had to respond "sorry, I never show. But I had you. Obv." I don't like to show my bluffs because I'm aware of my inability to capitalize on the information I give off like that. So, I'd rather maintain a "solid" image rather than a gambler's image.

Part 3 - Slow play to no pay

Yes, I sometimes donk play to no pay also.

Full Tilt Poker Game #3818527513: Table Rose Canyon - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em - 23:22:56 ET - 2007/10/10
Seat 1: RecessRampage ($364.20)
Seat 2: soulcaliber ($80)
Seat 3: uscjustallin ($430.60)
Seat 4: sourpuss1 ($245.70)
Seat 5: Skiperade ($273)
Seat 6: FoldTOcash ($400)
Seat 7: HEPennypacker ($224.40)
Seat 8: CastleRock4 ($324.20)
Seat 9: bmb013 ($400)
sourpuss1 posts the small blind of $2
Skiperade has 5 seconds left to act
Skiperade posts the big blind of $4
5 seconds left to act
soulcaliber posts $4
The button is in seat #3

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Ac Ad]
FoldTOcash folds
HEPennypacker folds
CastleRock4 folds
bmb013 raises to $18
RecessRampage calls $18
soulcaliber folds
uscjustallin folds
sourpuss1 folds
Skiperade folds

*** FLOP *** [3s 2h 9d]
bmb013 bets $32
RecessRampage calls $32

*** TURN *** [3s 2h 9d] [8c]
bmb013 bets $65
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage raises to $130
bmb013 raises to $350, and is all in
RecessRampage calls $184.20, and is all in
bmb013 shows [8h 8d]
RecessRampage shows [Ac Ad]
Uncalled bet of $35.80 returned to bmb013

*** RIVER *** [3s 2h 9d 8c] [4c]
bmb013 shows three of a kind, Eights
RecessRampage shows a pair of Aces
bmb013 wins the pot ($735.40) with three of a kind, Eights
RecessRampage: damn
RecessRampage is sitting out

No much to analyze here. Title says it all. More often than not, I reraise with my aces preflop and I might raise on the flop (if I didn't reraise preflop) so again, this was just me playing aces differently and then losing a stack based on that.

Easy come, easy go.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

PAPT and that list that everyone loves to hate

Quick update on our little home game we call the PAPT. As usual, Tuesday nights are reserved for the PAPT (which means no points on FullTilt). Based on all my recent comments about how I love points, you would think that's weird until you remember that there are points involved in the PAPT (as you can see on the side bar). Ramel still holds the lead for the PAPT Player of the Year award but guess who's closing in quickly? Yep, yours truly, the famous RecessRampage. Considering I haven't played in as many tournaments, I think I'm doing fairly well. You know at one point I'll recap that as a brag blog post. Anyways, last night, I took down the whole thing... a win in back to back weeks propelled me to 2nd place in the POY standings, passing Tyke. Again, 5pts go to 1st, 3 pts to 2nd, and 1 pt to 3rd. I really wanted Ramel to bust out early but his aggressive play, mixed in with good cards kept his chip stack healthy and in the end, there were just the two of us left. I'm not gonna go into too much detail here but if you want to know how aggression helps in a poker tournament, just watch Ramel. He is very very aggressive by nature. He plays his strong hands hard and bets his made hands very strong. And the thing is, his idea of "strong hands" is a lot looser than an average player. Which is clearly what makes him dangerous. When he raises preflop (esp when the blinds are like uber high), you don't know if he's got AA or 22... AK or K-10 (or Q-10 for that matter)... his range is very big. The only weakness he has is that his post flop game is not as strong as his preflop game. However, in the tournament structure of the PAPT, the blinds escalate at an almost ridiculous pace towards the end so uber aggro preflop takes down a lot of pots. Again, it's not just coincidence that he's got as many points as he does.

Alright... so on to my other main topic of this post. I'm not sure how it started. But I had a bad feeling when I first saw this post by RaisingCayne. Why? Because he then "tagged" Matt. I just had a feeling that this might eventually come my way. Well, I kinda let my guard down when I didn't see any "10 things about me" post from Matt in a while... until yesterday, on my bloglines, I noticed that it finally came up. Well, this is dated October 4th so at first, I was really confused as to how I missed this... until he mentioned that this was backdated since he started working on it almost a week ago. Shit.

Well, like Matt, I did this a few months back. And I love how we all allegedly "hate" doing this and yet we all follow... what are we, Lemmings? Well, apparently I am. So here goes my list of 10 things about me that not many people (ie mainly bloggers) know...

1. I was born and raised in Tokyo. Located in Japan for those globally challenged. I went to an international school called St Mary's (go Titans) where I spent 13 years there (K-12).

2. When I linked St Mary's above, that was the first time I visited my school's home page. Ever. And most likely the last.

3. Until I roomed with my friend after college, I was afraid of dogs. When I was a little kid, I was bitten by our neighbor's dog on my right arm. I still have a pretty nasty scar on my right forearm and have been deathly afraid of dogs until I had a roommate with a dog. That's also where I learned how dirty dogs are. At least Marlie was. My roommate would clean her and the first thing she would do is run out the backdoor into the lawn (ie, her personal bathroom) and roll around in the piss and shit covered lawn.

4. I really miss the atmosphere of St Mary's. The school was a true melting pot, at least in terms of race, nationality, and religion. When I was growing up, my "best friends" would include people from countries that today, might have negative connotation in some people's minds depending on your nationality. Pakistan, South Korea, Kuwait (I think no longer exists), Burma (used to be Myanmar, I think), etc. And tons of Europeans in our school as well as a fair share of Americans. Of course, there's the usual school stuff where people make fun of others but it was never (at least as far as I was aware) about race or nationality. It was about how geeky you were, how short you were, etc. Mean. But again, color blind. It was nice. And considering how things are here in the US today, I notice myself missing that atmosphere more and more.

5. I was arrested for speeding. I mean handcuffs and everything. For going 91mph on a 65mph zone. The cop was a dick. In a place called Norlina, NC. Apparently, I was speeding on "his" highway. I believe his exact quote was "You can't be speeding on MY highway, son." FUCK YOU. I had to pay $200 for bail.

6. I love NY accent. I don't know what it is. You know how a lot of people like British accent or Australian accent? Well, NY accent is my thing. "Wanna cup o' cawfee?" uh, yes please!

7. I've been arrested in 2 different countries. Once here in the U.S. as I described above. Once when I was growing up in Japan. Actually twice in Japan, now that I think about it. Actually, twice here in the U.S. now that I think about it... The other time, in the U.S. was when I was caught buying beer for underage kids. I was in college. That sucked. 100hrs of community service took care of that though. So, no record. Which is all that matters. In Japan, I was caught shop lifting once when I was a kid. I don't remember how old I was but I do remember everything else. I decided to steal these little weights that you strap on to your wrist so I took them to the bathroom, put them in my backpack and walked out the store. I was busted by a store clerk and taken to the police station. Another time, I was caught stealing someone's bicycle. I was riding this stolen bike to get home and I was busted by a cop. Taken to the station. My parents get the call at like 2am. I still remember the look in my dad's eyes. That memory will make me never steal again. EVER.

8. My favorite room in a house is the bathroom. Something about the privacy of bathrooms. I just love it. And just as important, I love pooping. And I take a long time to do so. Because I always bring something with me when I poo. Newspaper, magazine, lap top, book, etc. I typically spend about 20-30 minutes in the stall when I poo. And I'm obviously not pooping the whole time. I'm reading. At work, I take my treo with me and read blogs. Fun times.

9. My two favorite blogs to read in the pooper are Hoy and Dr Pauly. No offense guys. You guys write long posts so I don't have to "browse" as much on my treo which is obv not as fast as the network. So I always try to hold until the afternoon when their blogs are updated for the day. I just cry on the weekends.

10. I can't think of #10... so I'm gonna bail here.

And you know what. It's not fair that I do this without me tagging and unlike RaisingCayne or Matt, I'm gonna tag a bunch of people so maybe some of them will partake in this crazy ritual.

Bayne, LJ, Hoy, Fuel, Lucko, Cmitch, Gnome, JamyHawk, Mike_Maloney, Sean, and Schaubs. You're up!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

I'm famous!?

Just like Anguila, I get hit by quarter end hard because of my role in financial reporting. I do have some good news on that end though... they are putting me in a "stretch" role where I basically take over my boss's job and after like a 6 month eval period, I would get promoted, if I don't f*ck it up. I guess if you're the glass half empty kinda guy, you could look at it as taking on a bigger role without the bigger pay for 6 months. But, I'm not that guy.

Well, anyways, where am I going with that? I was at work till about 8ish last night and then I got home, made myself a quick dinner, etc. Well, unfortunately, I didn't get to play poker till about 10:30 so no MATH for me. However, that doesn't mean I can't 3 table in order to earn my daily 200 point quota (which I have, in numerous occasions, admitted is very negative EV for me). So, there I am, opening up my cashier window, adding 200 to the current points total I have, writing it down, and going to work.

I wasn't totally in a poker mindset since I was hoping Romo would help me get the win over Chad, formerly known as KOD (or I guess still is?). Chad had T.O. and Nick Folk going as a "blocking bet" against Romo and was up by 7 pts going into last night's game... well, it didn't matter since Romo kinda did himself in. That's a pseudo bad beat in my book. Ok, not really but I really thought I had a chance.

So, anyways, this is my excuse that I'm setting up... because yesterday, I realized that maybe more people are actually watching me and reading my blog than I realized. I was sitting at this random 2-4NL table when out of the blue, DaSwam (nonblogger as far as I know) broke out with this gem:

So... that means that other people sitting at my 2-4NL tables might be reading this too? I know this was like normal for guys like Hoy who has a very nice blog, what with numerous screenshots and all, and great strategy topics but for me, this was the first random compliment I got so that was nice. Too bad I was playing pretty poorly... (replace "poorly" with "weak tight") Ended slightly up over 3 tables but most importantly, I got my 200pts and went to bed (AND missed the crazy finish of the Dallas - Buffalo game... I cut the tv off when the Cowboys missed the 2 pt conversion).

So anyways, DaSwam, if you read this, thanks for the shout out. If you do have a blog, leave it in my comment and I'll get you linked up.

Monday, October 8, 2007

HUC, Dirty Vizzer, and Points

This is one of those posts that I figured to be all over the place so hence the title. Before I forget, as most of you know, Lucko won the Heads Up Challenge 5. And yet somehow, I got suckered into have the honor of organizing Heads Up Challenge 6. We intend to kick this off in December after the bloggers' gathering where we will certainly spread the word and convince more people to join. So, Lucko has at least a few more months to bask in the glory of his victory.

Last night, after I racked up 200 pts on Full Tilt, I moved over to PS and continued the low stakes adventure of Dirty Vizzer. My account is up to $550ish from the starting $95 about 3 weeks ago. Not too bad considering I really haven't spent much time there. I would hope that by the time I put in enough hands to achieve the silver status, I would have cracked a grand and then I can start playing 1-2NL. I know that's not ideal bank management but if I drop a few buy-ins, I'll drop back down. I'm pretty sure I can beat the 1-2NL so I'm not too worried. I was tempted to try some last night but if I drop a couple of buy-ins now, I'll be down to $150 and then I would be back to the grind...

So, for those of you reading my blog regularly, you know I'm a poker degenerate but I am even more so a points degenerate. I love points. Well, not all points are unhealthy. Last weekend, when I was at the YMCA, I inquired about this "FitLinxx" stuff that they have. Basically, they have like 10 stations of nautilus machines set up with a little touch screen that says FitLinxx. I had no idea what they were but I decided to inquire about it. Well, it turns out it's like a workout program and it's "free" to the members (I put the quotes cuz you know, we're paying for it by the means of membership fees). So anyways, I set up an appointment to sign up for this. Well, this past Saturday was my appointment and this dude set me up and walked me through all the exercises. Basically, what this does is it keeps track of the weights you lift, how many sets you did, what settings you had, etc. It's like an electronic clip board basically.

Well, where is all this going? At the very end, you log out at this main station. And at this main terminal, it shows you your workout summary and stuff. Well, as the dude is showing me this stuff, what do I see? Points! During the initial set up appointment, we just did 1 set on each machine just cuz it wasn't meant to be a work out but rather a set up thing. I lifted a total of 3,750 lbs (sounds impressive right? Except that's the total over 10 stations and I did 10 reps each at each station so that's an average of 37.5lbs that I did per rep). And with the 3,750 lbs, I got 37.5 pts!!! I was like "whoa, you earn points?" The guy proceeded to show me a screen where it shows all the "cool" prizes you can win with the points.


The prizes suck. YMCA t-shirt, water bottle, key chain, etc. But do you think I care? Hell, no. All I know is that every time I work out, I earn points baby! So, sure enough, I went back to the Y on Sunday and got a full workout in. I can't remember exactly how much I lifted but it was somewhere between 25,000-30,000lbs. More points. And, you can manually enter in any cardio that you do. I play ball twice a week and I generally squeeze in a run during the week so you know I'm gonna put that in also. This could be the best discovery I've ever made. See, so there are some positives to being a points degenerate.

That's about it from me today. Sorry for the lack of poker content for those of you that come here to read that. Hopefully, I'll start posting some more HH's soon.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Because everyone else is doing it

Texas Holdem Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

This Online Poker Tournament is a No Limit Texas Holdem event exclusive to Bloggers.

Registration code: 2059979

Friday, October 5, 2007

Reading your opponent

I guess the appropriate title will be how I got read by Lucko. Even though last night, I mentioned that I wasn't going to put up any HH, I thought this was worth while since it illustrates how good players remember the sequence of certain hands and aren't afraid to act on their reads.

FullTiltPoker Game #3757965488: $20 + $1 Heads Up Sit & Go (28636367), Table 1 - 10/20 - No Limit Hold'em - 20:34:29 ET - 2007/10/04
Seat 1: RecessRampage (2,020)
Seat 2: lucko21 (980)
lucko21 posts the small blind of 10
RecessRampage posts the big blind of 20
The button is in seat #2
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [7d 7c]
lucko21 raises to 60
RecessRampage calls 40

*** FLOP *** [3d 5d 9c]
RecessRampage checks
lucko21 bets 80
RecessRampage raises to 280
lucko21 has 15 seconds left to act
lucko21 raises to 920, and is all in
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage calls 640
lucko21 shows [Tc 9h]
RecessRampage shows [7d 7c]
*** TURN *** [3d 5d 9c] [Kc]
RecessRampage: sh*t
*** RIVER *** [3d 5d 9c Kc] [8h]
lucko21 shows a pair of Nines
RecessRampage shows a pair of Sevens
RecessRampage: nh
lucko21 wins the pot (1,960) with a pair of Nines

The above was from the first match. One of the things I was determined to let Lucko know was that I was not a pushover and that I was willing to make marginal calls. Now of course, the fact that even if I called and lost, it didn't really cripple me helped but I wasn't afraid to play back and I wanted to instill that image. In hindsight, it looks like a bad call since Lucko probably doesn't reraise all in without top pair there... maybe a monster draw if he had like 6-7 of diamonds (double gutted and flush draw) but he probably wouldn't put a third raise all-in with A5 or something so that was probably a bad call on my part. But then again, there also was one hand where I made a hero call with A high on a river bet (which lost to his two pair or trips or something) so maybe I'm just a calling station. The pot was small and he either had air or a monster, so I called. I don't regret that call and I would make that call almost every time. His bet sizing was perfect.

So, two matches later, this hand comes up.

FullTiltPoker Game #3758395929: $20 + $1 Heads Up Sit & Go (28639209), Table 1 - 15/30 - No Limit Hold'em - 21:20:01 ET - 2007/10/04
Seat 1: lucko21 (1,150)
Seat 2: RecessRampage (1,850)
lucko21 posts the small blind of 15
RecessRampage posts the big blind of 30
The button is in seat #1

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [4d 4h]
lucko21 raises to 90
RecessRampage calls 60

*** FLOP *** [2c 5s 9c]
RecessRampage checks
lucko21 bets 120
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage raises to 460

Personally, I actually thought my 44 might be good. It was a fairly ragged flop and it was quite possible that it missed him. I could easily be representing a 9 here.

lucko21 has 15 seconds left to act
lucko21: hmmm
lucko21 raises to 1,060, and is all in
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage has requested TIME
RecessRampage: I can't call
RecessRampage folds
Uncalled bet of 600 returned to lucko21
lucko21 mucks
lucko21 wins the pot (1,100)

That obviously swung the momentum his way, as well as giving him a decent chip lead. The chat that followed basically was something along the lines of how he remembered that I made that move with 77 on a 9 high board before, so when I pulled the same move, he read that as me not having a 9 (on this 9 high board). He told me he had a 5 and I don't know if it's true or not but obviously, I have to fold here. But I just thought it was interesting that an hour later, I made a similar move and he didn't miss that detail. I know when I put hands like these back to back, you might think, yeah, that's obvious but in the heat of the moment, sometimes it's hard to exactly recall how the first hand played out and to use that against the opponent. I thought it was a good illustration of someone paying attention to the game and acting on his reads. Well played.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Move over Fuel, there's a new champ in town!

And his name is Lucko. I have to admit though. I had A LOT of fun playing HU with him. At least I didn't get blanketed. He won 3-1. I won the first match but my luckboxery wouldn't continue and he eventually outplayed me when I made moves at the wrong time. I thought about going back and analyzing each hand but quite honestly, I'm not even sure I can do that. I guess I can post some of the hands that we ended but even that's not that exciting. 1st match, I had him outchipped so when we both flopped a pair and I had the better kicker, he wasn't going anywhere because of his chip stack. 2nd match, I was getting outchipped and I reraised all in with A6s, only to be called by his A8s. I was reraising fairly light so he probably made a good read on me and called. Generally, I want that call... but then again, generally, I want to be doing that with a hand better than A6s...

The last two matches, I had pretty decent draws on both. The third match, I had As7s on a 9d5s4s and all the money went in. He had QQ (one of them was a spade), turn gave me additional outs when the 3c came but my 14 outer didn't hit. The last match, I had K7 of clubs, 9-T-J, 2 clubs so I figured I have straight draws (even if one of them is a sucker end) and a flush draw and an overcard. Turns out he has KJ, but I miss my 15 outs twice and that's all she wrote. I'm generally not crazy about shoving flush draws but I knew that I had to gamble at some point.

I also raised frequently which has been a tactic of mine that worked pretty much until here and I reraised fairly light. In the end though, Lucko played well and picked off some of the hands that I had. I don't think I got totally outplayed but again, it was very fun playing because he kept me on my toes and I was constantly thinking of what to represent, what he might have, etc.

Lucko, if you are reading this post and you have any thoughts or suggestions or anything you noticed about my HU game, please comment or email me. I would appreciate your input.

To the rest of the readers, sorry for the lack of HH's and a fairly crude recap of the heads up match. I'm just not in the mood to really post them for a heads up match.

Honest, I'm a luckbox!!! and being a collection degenerate...

The flop was ok but I really liked the river.

I played in the Mookie and that didn't go so well. I ended the night 22nd out of the 53 players. I don't really care about that. Hell, I don't even really care about winning that thing right now. Sour grapes? No. I just want to knock Mookie out so that I can get a banner for this empty site of mine. That's the only reason I've played the past two weeks... and yet this week, I never saw Mookie at my table... that's a bad beat in my book.

On a different note, there were some funny discussions that happened at my table. Jamyhawk read my blog about how I'm obsessed with points and pointed out how he got a kick out of it because he has a similar mentality... with the McDonald's Monopoly promotion (am I violating some sort of copyright laws here???). Then PokerBrian joined in on the discussion about how he's hooked on that as well. I think someone else may have joined in on the convo but I can't remember off the top of my head so if you are reading this and you wanna get linked for your valuable comedic input on the McDonald's Monopoly pieces, let me know in the comments. It was funny though... cuz I can totally relate.

"Hi, yes, can I have the quarterpounder combo with coke. Oh, and can you supersize that?" (so I can get an extra game piece)

Then the discussions that followed on the table were anywhere from eating McDonald's twice a day, several times a week, to seeing if you can get a job there during the promo or have a family member work there during the promo, or being a fake health dept inspector, etc. It was degeneracy at its finest. Of course, Mike will probably advocate donating any winnings to charity cuz he is morally superior to myself (which my friends will tell you isn't really that hard). But hey, FYI, I do donate money to St Jude's every year so stick it! I also donate (or used to) money to VA Home for Boys... of course, in return, we get to use their gym once a week for 2 hrs to play basketball... Hey, if I don't get anything in return, that's -EV right? Huh? Am I missing something???

And btw, my Vegas plans are set, vacation time has been approved, flights are booked... I just need to get myself a hotel room. Degeneracy at its finest. Can't wait for December!

Oh, and one more thing... tonight, I'm playing Lucko in our Heads Up Championship. I have no idea what time. If we hash something out during the day, I'll post it here... not that anyone would be interested.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

I'm a sucker (nonpoker content)

I think I've mentioned this before. I'm a sucker for points. Just assign points to anything and I'll start going after it. For example, these days there are tons of credit card incentives where you can earn points by simply making purchases and you earn x amount of points per dollar. But if you shop at certain stores, you make 3x that amount or maybe 5x that amount. When I hear that, I start by looking at those stores first. Then, you know, you can trade your points in for some cool prize you'll never use. It's perfect, really.

Our home game league, PAPT (Park Ave Poker Tour) also has the point system. Every Tuesday, a similar group of 8-10 players show up for a $25 buy-in SNG style game. Each week, $15 of the total pot is set aside for this main prize that goes to the Player of the Year. The POY is determined by the points that you earn based on coming in 1st, 2nd or 3rd (5, 3, 1 pts, respectively). I swear. If it weren't for that stupid points system, I wouldn't go as frequently as I do. I love the company there and it's always a good time but Tuesdays are generally tough because I play basketball in the mornings. So, I'm out of bed at 6am, go to play ball by 7am and then work all day, and at 8pm, this thing starts. And since I always expect to win (I mean don't we all???), basically, I'll be there till about 11pm on an early night or midnight. It just makes for a very exhausting day. So, there are times around 7pm, I'm feeling the effects of the long day and I'm in the mood to just sit around and maybe play online for an hour or two... But what gets me off my ass to go play? Why, the points of course. The prospect of the points always make me coming back for more. Last night, I took it down and with 8 runners, 1st place prize was $125. That was nice but really, that's like nothing compared to the 5 pts I got. No, really. I mean it.

And then now, there are these stupid poker sites and their freakin points. Fulltilt has the stupid Ironman Challenge where you earn more medals by earning certain amount of points each day. So, I have to try to maximize that. Now granted, my video ipod should be on its way now so I can't really complain about the points. And now, Pokerstars just sent me an email saying they are giving me 750 points for this month so I only need to earn another 750 points to be upgraded to silver level. You know I'm gonna go after that... Please... marketing departments... stop with these points... it's literally killing me...

Ok, really. You wanna know how bad it is for me? Last night, before the PAPT, I booted up my laptop and I three tabled for about an hour just for the sole purpose of earning my 200pts on Fulltilt. How? Before I sit at the table, I open up the cashier screen to see how many points I have. I add 200 to that number and write that down. I keep my cashier window open in one corner and I have three cash tables going on at the same time. As soon as I passed that "magic number", I quit. So what I was down $300? I got my 200pts. These fuckin points are definitely -EV for me... and yet I can't stop it.... must... earn... points...

Oh... and one more thing that really has nothing to do with points. But I'm in the mood to babble on so here it comes. I'm a sucker for stick figures too. Stick figures crack me up... actually, any sort of crude drawings crack me up. Wes's blog just reminded me of that. So, I leave with you, a few pictures that my friends drew... they, like me, obviously are hard at work since these came during work hours (we don't have time to do shit like that after work!!):

HA HA HA HA HA... these make me laugh, just by looking at it on my blog... Yeah, so I'm a freakin 12 yr old. Leave me alone. It's my blog.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

DQB and HUC5

I love lucksacking when I'm "trying out" the 5-10NL table. It's no presto but 66 has been good to me. Not quite the largest pot I've won but close. Dem Quads Bitches!!!

Alright, so on to the main topic for today. I haven't really mentioned much in my past posts but over the course of what feels like the past few months, I've been a part of this Heads Up Challenge 5. Now, admittedly, Fuel had to twist my arm a little to enter because I wasn't too comfortable with my heads up game so I kinda thought it would just be a waste of money. Nonetheless, after some coaxing and trash talking from him, I decided that I'll enter and see how it goes. Surprisingly, I won all three of my matches so far in a complete sweep and so I'm currently 7-0... 3 more wins for me to take the title. Along the way, I beat a former HUC champion (HUC 3), WillWonka and in the Final 4, I beat Matt in the best of 5 series to advance to the Finals... against none other than lucko himself. Now for those of you that don't know... Lucko's blog was one of the first blogs I've read. I'm not even sure how I found his blog because until I started blogging one day, I wasn't even a reader of blogs. I guess maybe I did a random search or something and found his. Nonetheless, from the moment I saw his blog, I kinda became a fan... and by kinda, I mean totally. And I actually learned a lot from the things he mentioned in his blog. So, to say that taking this title by defeating Lucko would be sweet is an understatement. When I first entered this challenge, I didn't really care... I wanted to keep it respectable and advance to the second round or something but I didn't think I'd make it this far. Now that I have, I want the title sooooo bad... Yes, Fuel, so I can be like you, as you so cleverly pointed out in your email yesterday. See the bracket below to see my road to the Final.

Now so far, I didn't really post anything about this challenge because I didn't have much to say... or rather, I didn't have much that I wanted to share with my readers. Especially because I knew that some of my potential opponents read my blog, I didn't want to tip off anything. I don't think Lucko really reads my blog (he might occasionally stop by but that's about it) and I don't think anything I share here is gonna give him any advantage since he probably already knows this stuff.

So, I will say one thing to any of my former opponents who read this... I have one confession to make. I lied to you guys. I wasn't quite the cardrack that I told you I was. Did I get good cards and timely cards? Definitely. But I didn't have good cards every time I raised. And I think I raised often. And by often, I mean 99% of the time. I was gonna do that until I got pushed back and no one so far has pushed back at me. I also did switch gears every now and then so that I didn't become predictable. So I would sometimes call down with top pair and win at showdown, I'd bet top pair at other times, etc. But even in between matches, I'd tell them how sick of a run of cards I was getting... I wanted to give them the image that I was actually catching cards so that my frequent raises would be moderately respected. And that's all I needed. I didn't need them to totally believe me but as long as that was in their heads, I felt that my mission was accomplished. Am I a jerk for lying? Hell no. This is poker. Friends away from the table, war on the felt. Right?

And btw, I'm not in any way indicating that it was easy for me to win. Don't get me wrong. Again, getting timely cards and also being able to hit the flop and avoid bad beats in a close race-type situations (even a 60-40 or 65-35) was key to me winning. So don't take this is a "I actually schooled you but I was being nice about it" type of way. This is not, in any way, intended to come out that way.

I'm pretty sure Lucko will give me a hell of a game and I look forward to it. I think our showdown is tentatively scheduled for Thursday. God, I really hope my Friday post is something along the lines of "I'm the HUC5 Champion!!!" or "Move over Fuel, here comes the new champ" or something along those lines. Oh well, if not, back to the drawing board for HUC6.

Lucko, if you are reading this, just remember that every time I raise, I have AA. Just FYI.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Ignorance is NOT an excuse!

So today, I'd like to discuss a topic that surely excites all of you. Taxes. Ok, so I guess I just lost most of my audience right there. Well, I want to talk about taxes as it relates to poker. Why now? Well... interestingly enough, maybe this should have been discussed earlier. But like they say, better late than never. Now what am I talking about? I am sure you are all aware but you know that you have to pay taxes on your poker winnings right? Well, you also do know that the government is out to screw you anyways, right? What do I mean by that? Well, let me clarify two main points in regards to reporting your poker winnings:

1) You must report your gross winnings, not your net winnings, as other income. You may then deduct all your losses UP TO the amount of the winnings but you can only report them under itemized deductions.

2) You must keep a detailed record of your "sessions" in order to report the correct amount of your gross income.

Ok, what did that just mean? Well, you're not gonna like what you are about to hear. But let's say for example that you are NOT a winning player. Sure. You scored a few wins here and there. Maybe took down a big MTT for a nice score. But let's also say that you played in enough tournaments that by the end of the year you broke even... or maybe even lost some money. Does that mean you don't have to report any gambling income? No. According to the rules, you are supposed to report your winnings. Let me reiterate that. Let's say you played in $100 tournament. Let's say you play in one every week and that's the only game you play. So, you spend $5200 in one year on tournaments. Let's say that during that time, you've won one for $3k and cashed a few times for another $2k, bringing your total winnings to $5k, for a net loss of $200 in one year. If you think you don't have to report anything, you are wrong. According to the rules, you are supposed to report $5000 in gambling winnings under other income. Then, you can put $5,000 under itemized deductions (not $5,200 - remember, you can deduct only UP TO your winnings) to at least ease the pain.

Now let's just say that you're single, living in an apartment, and so you don't itemize your taxes. In other words, you just do your standard deduction and that's it. What happens? Well, this is where you get screwed. Again, according to the letter of the law, you're supposed to report your winnings but now, all the losses can't even be used to offset the winnings. You think I'm making this up to make your already miserable Monday morning even worse? Check out this article.

And this one section I thought was very interesting:

"The government has no way of tracking how much I win, so I'm not going to report it, and they'll never find out." If you're not audited for some other reason, the government is not likely to find out. However, if for whatever reason you are audited, and you have unreported income that the government finds out about, you will, at a minimum, pay tax, penalties and interest. If the IRS determines that you willfully evaded taxes, you could even be subject to imprisonment.

So in other words, sure, most of you will probably not be audited. But IF you do, you can be in some serious shit. And "I didn't know" excuse doesn't get you out of taxes and penalty.

Well, how did all this come about? I was just curious so I asked a former coworker of mine who works in the tax department to do some research for me. And that's how I got the link to the above. Well, as a CPA, even though I did not do any taxes, I knew that part. (For those of you that immediately thought, oh, CPA = taxes, consider this... you won't go to a divorce attorney to defend you if you're a murder suspect right? I mean they're both lawyers. You'd rather see a cardiologist if you have heart problems instead of a podiatrist, right? They're both doctors. All this is to say that taxes aren't the only thing CPAs do and I, for one, clearly did not do any tax work).

Anyways, I digress. Well, the above example with tournaments were easy... the question I then had was what about for a guy like me who plays in cash games online? I play on multiple tables at the same time and I could potentially jump into a table, just to see that 15 minutes later, the table breaks and so I close that table down but reopen another one, etc. Do I have to keep a detailed record of EVERY SINGLE one???? Unless you use some sort of a software to keep track of those things, it would be nearly impossible to keep track of? Well, when I posed that question, my friend came back with another great article.

A simplified summary of that article would be this:

When you are playing 3 tables at the same time, and they are all Texas hold'em, then they are considered one session and you log the total win or loss. But if you are playing hold'em and blackjack at the same time then those are two separate sessions, and you must log a total for hold'em and a total for blackjack. Also, if you play for an hour and then logout, and later that day you play again, those are also two separate sessions as well.

You might not enjoy reading tax related articles and believe me, I don't either. But I found these two articles to be fairly entertaining, mainly because it pertains to what I do.

For those of you that are killing the game, you might want to consider declaring yourself a professional poker player and claiming self employment... At the very least, it's worth consulting a tax professional to see what saves you more in terms of taxes. Of course, these only pertain to US taxpayers. And it's probably very unlikely that you get audited by the IRS. But IF you do, you better be prepared. Because an "I didn't know" excuse won't get you out of it.