Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My life = open book

I caved in. It's official. I'm a fuckin dork. And to think I used to pick on them in school. Geeks and dorks were the ones that we picked on. I mean come on. It's the world's pecking order right? But now I'm entering into their realm. I opened a twitter account. If you want to follow my awesome daily life, my account name is dirtyvizzer.

You can see my past exciting posts at twitter.com/dirtyvizzer.

That completes my circle of dorkdom. Blog, facebook, and twitter. I think I'm gonna go read my calculus book for pleasure. oh wait, what am I talking about? How can I pick on a math major? I'm a fuckin CPA. I could just say I'll go make sure my debits and credits balance. God, I feel so dirty.

Monday, December 29, 2008

So I'm a hypocrite... shoot me

If you follow my blog, you know where I stand. Well, maybe. I probably come across as a guy who would never lend a helping hand to someone who is down on their luck. At least some of my friends (not the blogger ones - the nonbloggers, might I say) think so. But they're super f*ckin liberal anyways so even though I would never consider myself a republican, I'm no loony lefty either, and their views are... well, they are what they are I guess.

Anyways, so I always talk about how people get themselves in bad situations and they should suck it up etc etc. But, if you really know me in the blogger world, you do know that I tend to "give" towards stuff I believe in. It wasn't much but I donated to JamyHawk's cause and then later to Evy/Alcanthang "Save the boob" event. I'm not trying to say I'm great or anything cuz I'm not. I just know that as part of a community, I like to help out to the extent that I can for the things that I want to/choose to.

So, when I read about this tragic event that happened the night before Christmas, I felt that I should do my part... of course, being the cat person that I am, his pet dying just adds to the misery.

So, please go to the link below and help if you want/can. I'm not gonna call out any Christmas spirit or some shit like that (like the typical "you should help because it's Christmas" garbage). You should help if you want to and only because you want to. Not because you are nicer than anyone else or because you feel you have to. If you sympathize, then here's an opportunity to do something about it. But you're no less of a person if you don't and I truly mean that. I'm not using my blog to twist anyone's arm or make anyone feel any less about themselves. I can relate to this story so I want to help. But that's it. I'm no better for it, nor am I any worse for it. So, if you want to help, please click on the link below. Or even just for a good read. If after that, you don't do anything about it, there's absolutely nothing wrong. After all, he's not the only one who is suffering. But this guy just happens to know someone in the community.


Sunday, December 28, 2008

To twit or not to twit

I hope everyone is having a nice holiday break, regardless of what you celebrate. So while I was enjoying my brief time off from work, I noticed that Buddy is going to Canada. And he mentioned that he will update his status on twitter. I remember Pauly mentioning twitter and so now, I was kinda curious as to what this whole buzz is about. Between Facebook, blogs, emails, txts, and everything else, is there really a need for another status update thingy!?

So, I wanted to reach out to those of you who do use twitter and let me know what's so good about it... well, I was gonna... and then I found this video which pretty much answered my question...

Not bad. Not that any of you might care but if I end up opening a twitter account, I will let you know on my blog.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Oops I did it again

For a while, I vowed not to read the housing bailout related news... mainly because it puts me on tilt. You know the story. Poor family can't afford the mortgage payment when their ARMs (that they chose to obtain) reprice and the interest rates are reset to levels they can't afford. Well, it was a slow afternoon and so, I caught this article on money.com.

My favorite part:
"After the monthly payment on his adjustable rate mortgage jumped to $2,400 from $1,300, he got a workout with the help of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, a community advocacy group that offers mortgage-prevention counseling.
That workout may have pushed his payment down to $2,000, but it still represented more than 50% of the gross income he and his wife earn."

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww... poor thing, Maybe you shoulda thought about that when you first got the mortgage! Have fun on the streets, Mr Bagley.

Winter report - brief poker summary

Ok, so my trip report is essentially done. I'm not even sure if anyone cares about the poker portion of the trip but I feel that I owe it to the title of my blog to talk about it. After all, if I don't talk about poker... hell, I don't know where I was going with that sentence. Alright, so I'm just gonna recap the sessions, not to the detail that maybe Jordan would do in his 5 part post about a hand or two where he recognized the twitch in his opponent and pwned him because he read it correctly as a weakness... :) I love your blog Jordan, just giving you shit cuz I know you can take it.

I started writing out this huge post about each of the sessions but I got bored as I was typing it up. And I didn't take nearly as good a notes as I should have on winning sessions... Just dollar amounts. So, instead of going into each of them, I'll just post by dollar amounts. On second thought, I'm not even gonna do that. Overall, in poker, I ended up about +$700. I started off the trip -$300 but from Friday night on, I would go on a mini heater. But again, no crazy hands, nothing too interesting. I think it was more that the players were loose so they were calling me down with worse hands. However, I know I was able to extract a lot of value based on that because of one consistent theme that I enjoyed through this trip.

My hand reading was on point.

There were numerous times that I would literally call out someone's hand in my head and sure enough, that's what they flip over. Earlier in the trip, I was watching the other players when I wasn't in the hand and I would try to make a read on them. Now, I hardly ever play live poker. So, I may not recognize the nervous twitch, the mannerism, etc etc, but one thing that is the same online or live is a player's betting pattern. And based on that, I was able to really narrow down the hand range and like I said, for several instances, I was able to exactly pinpoint what they had. One example was when BaconMary (this was Sunday night poker) got it all in against two other players... I whispered over to the guy who wasn't in the hand that she had top set, the other dude next to me had to have a set and the donkey in the other seat must be chasing a flush. They get it all in, flip over the cards and sure enough, Mary has top set with her JJ, guy to my right who was fairly tight shows his bottom set (I think 4s) and the donkey who stacked off earlier chasing was on a flush draw that never got there. Mary scooped up a nice pot. And I was proud of myself for literally calling out the hand. Sure, it could have been that I was lucky. But that wasn't the first or the last time during this trip that I felt I had a good feel for what the players were holding. And when that happens, it really helps, especially in extracting value. There were numerous times that I made a fairly thin value bet to get an extra $30-40 out of a person and again, this was one of those trips where that worked out.

None of it mattered though because my whole poker profit was given back to the local economy via craps. Probably no surprise to the readers out there. But remember... I am due!!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

If you dance with the devil, the devil don't change. The devil changes you.

If you can guess what movie the title of this post is from, you get bonus points.

This always happens to me. I forgot that it does. And I don't really know why. But whenever I go to Vegas, I come back a little different... I'm not quite the same person as before the trip. I care less about my daily routine. The things that mattered to me before the trip seem to matter less. I get this "ah, I don't give a shit" mentality which tends to last for a few days before I am back in the groove of the daily grind. I don't know why. I flirt with the line of degeneracy in Vegas and I guess it takes me a few days before I become "normal" again.

The past few days, I pretty much had no desire to go out. I had some offers to join people for happy hours, christmas parties, birthday dinners, etc and I turned them all down. I just wasn't feeling it. Sure, I had other plans but they could have been rearranged. Pre-Vegas, I would have rearranged my plans. But this week, I'm just not feeling it. It's like the world around me doesn't matter. I'm numb. Vegas offers such a sensory overload with all the glitz and glamour mixed in with the filth and desperation that I think I become immune to anything else, at least for a while.

Vegas has such a distinct smell. Well, maybe it's the casinos. But I equate that to Vegas. You walk into any casino and you can smell it. And hear it. It's the weird smell of cigar and nasty carpeting. There's always some "peaceful" sound of water trickling into a fountain mixed in with the chaotic noise from the hundreds of slot machines. There's the feeling of excitement in the air as the tourists hope it's their lucky day... and the despair from those that are ready to leave after they got cleaned out by the house. There are people walking around with racks of chip colors you've never seen before, making you wonder what all this "economic downturn" is all about. But then you also see the guy nursing his last $20 stack at a 1-2NL table, folding to a bet on the turn when there's already $60 in the pot...

I know I'll be back to normal again. I'll be back to wanting to do things that I thought was fun before the trip. I know it because I've been there before and after a few days, I snapped out of it. Until then though, I think I'm just gonna be holed up in my house, trying to kick Vegas out of my system. But I know I can never completely get it out of the system. Because I love Vegas. It's like a drug and I'm addicted. See, the devil's changing me already.

I always thought Denver was cool...

American Cities That Best Fit You:

65% Denver

60% Austin

60% San Francisco

55% Atlanta

55% Las Vegas

Thursday, December 18, 2008

All skillz

So I only won a $22 pot. Details, details. I'm so good.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Things I missed in the recap

There are always things that happen during the trip that no amount of recap posts could cover. Astin had the same idea (but beat me to it since he posts like 5 times a day... seriously, wtf do you do!?)

- I never got to do dial a shots. I promised Schaubs and LJ over text messages that I would... I never followed through. I was too drunk and having too much fun to text/call people. I did notice that I talked some shit to Fuel during the Steelers-Ravens game. I didn't remember this until I looked through my text messages the next day.

- Bayne has a knack for creating a nemesis. At the craps table, he introduced me the concept of position. Poker lingo was frequently thrown around as he was "raising" my bets "in position." You really had to be there to appreciate it. Few "checkraises" by me were priceless. At least I got to exercise "pot control" when the shooter crapped out.

- I saw snow. In Vegas. The morning that I was flying out was when the snow started falling. I was in the cab towards the airport when I saw it. Bouncers at the Rhino were talking about it though.

- Pauly mentioned to me that this is still one of the few blogs he reads. I remember him saying that before too and it's such an honor to hear that. When he commented on my post about the stuff that my mom found that belonged to my grandpa, I remember feeling very honored.

- I'll recap poker part of the trip in another post so that people not interested in reading poker stuff won't have to be bothered during the trip recap. Poker turned out to be profitable... craps table, not so much.

- Bad beat on the luggage. I didn't get it in time so they had to deliver it to my house. I guess it's not a total bad beat. It's like winning the side pot after losing the main pot to a bad beat.

All in all, it was a blast. Like everyone mentioned in their recaps so far, it's never enough time. And really, it just leaves a lasting impression. I remember walking through Imperial palace in April when I went there for my friend's birthday and when I walked by the hooker bar, it just felt weird when it was completely empty. I feel like I should always be able to find bloggers there. Hopefully, it won't be a full year until I see most of you again.

Winter gathering trip report Part 3

After we were cleaned out by the sirens that is the craps table, we called it a night. We didn't want to stay up too late (read: we went back to the room around 3am) because we had to check out of the room by 11. We went back to the sandwich joint at Bally's to claim the breakfast sandwich that was not available at 2am or whatever it was when we went there the night before. Bayne of course has to rub in the fact that his plastic reads "Total Rewards" and is comped by the action he gives to the Harrah's property as opposed to mine that proudly displays my company logo. I'm already on card tilt. He tries to rub it in further by telling me about the points but is unsuccessful in putting me on points tilt since I'm not even in the game... it's like bragging to me about how many UB points you have... I couldn't care less since I don't play there.

Note: As of today, I am now officially a member of Total Rewards. I checked my points balance online. I am a degen...

After dropping our bags off at the IP luggage checkin, we went upstairs to the sportsbook to join the other bloggers. I was getting fired up since it was a big game for the Steelers... the game against the hated Ravens. But before that, there was the big blogger event. The Real Football Fan test of Dawn Summers. As part of the committee, I was very interested in how she would do. Quite frankly, I didn't think she would pass. I just didn't think she would be interested enough to really study. And believe me. This test was no joke. The list of questions were quite impressive and even those of you who think you are a football buff would still struggle with some of the questions.

Once the testing started, I was impressed. I stood by her as she filled out her answer sheet and realized that she clearly did her homework. She crushed the test by getting 23 of 25 (requirement for passing was 20 of 25) while CK got a lot less (though she was exempt from Patriots related question, I think she will admit that Dawn did her homework). This event turned out to be a win win situation. If she failed, we woulda ridiculed her and still had a good time with it. Instead, she passed and the Patriots have a new, real fan. Any time there's a new real football fan, even if it's the Patriots, I would consider that a win. (Bad beat would be if she were a Ravens fan).

Once the testing was done, Bayne and I were joined by Joanada, Buddy, and Joshua Carlson for the Steelers - Ravens game. We were surrounded by Ravens fans but strangely enough, they were all nice people. At one point, I had to encourage them to start talking shit because I warned them that if the Steelers scored, we would be going crazy. We had the shots of soco queued up for the touchdown celebration. Unfortunately, that did not happen in the first half so we did one for good luck at half time. I think we had more after that but between the buckets of beer and shots of soco, my memory is fuzzy. All I know that when the Santonio Holmes catch was ruled a touchdown, Buddy and I celebrated like a bunch of school girls jumping up and down, hugging, downing more shots of soco... My memory is extremely fuzzy after this but I barely recall chowing down on some meat loaf at the IP with Bayne. I remember it tasting pretty shitty but I was starving so I wasn't picky.

Afterwards, I went over to play at the 1-2NL table at IP, another incredibly soft poker game, and since my flight was at 6am, I decided to just stay up all night and not get a room. Once I started sobering up, I walked over to Caesars to get some more food... except I wasn't feeling pizza and that was all that was available so I went over to the Venetian to the Noodles bar... I crushed the food there and then proceeded to play 1-2NL at the Venetian. Another winning session and then I decided to celebrate the winning sessions at the Rhino to complete my trip. At 4:30am, I left the Rhino smelling like cigarette smoke and cotton candy and headed for the airport. I felt pretty ghetto changing in the airport bathroom but I really didn't want to fly the whole way home smelling like that.

Man, I am a filthy dirtbag.

And this concludes the trip report. All, it was great seeing/meeting you. There are plenty of you that were not mentioned in the trip recap but I was happy to see/meet you all. Especially smokkee and Tina since I didn't get to meet them in the previous gathering.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Winter gathering trip report Part 2

So I left off last time with the part about how we went to the Venetian to get some poker fix in. Friday, I played the part of Mr Unsocial and actually just hung out by myself, playing poker over at the Venetian and then at the Wynn for most of the day. It wasn't until the evening that I joined the rest of the bloggers over at MGM. That was also around time my roommate for the trip was arriving. By the time he arrives though, he's on airline tilt since his flight is delayed so he proceeds to start drinking... a lot. He describes it in his trip report but he's drinking out of this gigantic glass that he bought for $9 with $5 refills. At one point, he finishes the glass, goes for 2nds and then is like gone for like 15 minutes. I wonder what happened to him and then he comes back to tell me that he finished the second one while he was at the bar and he was already working on his 3rd. I made sure to get the room key and the room number before he was too far gone.

When I got back to the room, I was very impressed. We were staying at Bally's cuz he got comped and so the room was "free." But really, the room was awesome. Much better than the $40 room I had at the IP for Thursday night... I mean I'm not complaining. I love the IP. Cheap and great location and I really can't ask for more... esp since I only spend like 4-6 hrs in the room... tops...

Friday was really a poker day. And the action was starting to pick up. More tourists and cowboys were coming in town and so the tables were definitely starting to get juicier. Then, on Saturday, we had the winter poker blogger tournament. I bust out early when I reraise Doc's LP raise from the BB with AK and we see an ace high flop. I cbet, he calls so I immediately put him on a hand like AJ or AQ. Maybe a set but you really can't fear sets in situations like that... esp since my reraise was a good chunk, I killed whatever set mining odds that you would ordinarily need. Not that that matters but that's always my intention is to make sure that the person is paying the wrong price to make the call. Well, I took his call as a weak ace so I decided to value bet the turn... except when he raises, now I know I'm probably screwed. But I have 6k remaining and the pot is like $16k after he raises me so I'm not gonna fold there. Maybe I should but I'm really not interested in roaching in that tournament. So I shove, Doc calls with his two pair and just like that, I am out. I felt bad that I didn't have a bust out bounty to give him... esp since Doc showed me his before the tournament started which was a nice card protector coin from Iraq. Whoever busted Doc must be psyched to have that. And Doc, it was fun playing at the table with you sir!

Well, once I busted out of the tournament, I just played more cash games at the Venetian to kill time until Bayne busted. I was in the mood to redeem myself at the craps table so when Bayne went out in a sick but fairly standard situation, I felt a little bad for him but I got over it quickly. We immediately headed over in search of some low stakes craps table and we were rewarded by a table at O'Sheas. You know, the empty tables are usually an indication of a cold table. And sure enough, I lived up to my hype as Iceman on my first attempt at redemption. First time I get the dice, I roll. Point is set. I think I roll one number in between. Maybe not. In less than a minute, I crapped out. Hey, at least if you're the one that likes to go the come bet route, you wouldn't have lost much money. However, if you go the Bayne system, then... well... sorry dude, at least I lost just as much. Well, maybe he won. He had a don't pass bet at first... however, I did redeem myself somewhat and by the end of the night, he was betting the pass line and placing bets... probably hoping that my "I am due!" statement would translate into some fire bet wins. Alas, I don't run like Astin so no fire bet cherry was popped for me. Seriously, how much of a luckbox is he!?

The irony of the craps table was that it was really cold at first, then it got better and once we were leaving Oshea's I think I was about break even... or maybe down a hundred or two. Nothing crazy. So Bayne and I go to Bally's and we decide to get some late night grub. After we down our sandwiches, we start heading to the room... but of course, the casino knows Bayne... so they cleverly place the craps table right by the elevators. We CAN'T not play if we're passing the craps table, regardless of how empty it is. So, sure enough, we pull out our cash and start placing bets. Few rolls later, we're down a couple of hundy. I am ok to call it quits, regretting the decision to play at this obvious cooler of a game when they tell us that they are closing down the table. You know shit's not going for us when they actually choose to close down a cooler table. You also know Bayne is a degen when he takes another hundy to go place bets at the other table since ours got closed. It didn't take long before we were in the elevator heading up to our "free" room. Between me and Bayne, I think we lost a combined total of $500 (memory is a little fuzzy so I could be wrong).

Bally's 1 - 0 Bloggers

Note: LJ, no spooning or any inappropriate behaviors took place during my stay at Bally's with Bayne. For real.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Winter gathering trip report Part 1

So I see that some people have already started the trip reports. Hell, some even did trip reports during the trip itself. That's sick dude (no pun intended). Well, I guess I'll start at the very beginning.

This year, I haven't been as active in the blogging community as I have been last year. In hindsight, I do wonder if my shaky marriage had something to do with how involved I became with the bloggers last year. My exwife traveled for work a lot and was out of town during the week but since I was married, it wasn't like I was gonna go out and get drunk and try to pick up chicks on the weekdays. So, I turned to online poker and to blogging, and there, I met a bunch of people that I now refer to as friends (LJ, notice the lack of quotes please, tyvm). Fast forward a year and now, as my divorce gets finalized, I am going out a lot more, hanging out with my friends, unsuccessfully trying to pick up chicks, and all in all, having a great time. This meant less time for poker, less time for blogging, and definitely less blogger tourneys. And I am not gonna lie. I was ok with that. Sure, I miss gchatting with my usual unproductive counterparts but besides that, I was totally ok with it.

What all that meant was that to be honest with you, I wasn't really looking forward to this trip. Sure, it's Vegas. Sure, I will still get to see some of my friends and sure, I would be able to put more faces to names. But even then, I just wasn't so excited. I thought, hell, if I just wanna play poker, I could play online. And if I just wanted to get drunk, I can do that with my buddies here. So why was it that I was going there again? Most of the ones that I became really close with over the past year weren't gonna be able to make it. I mean it was just looking like a bad beat all around!

Having said all that, I wasn't gonna back out of a trip to Vegas. Afterall, it is Vegas. Funny thing is, now, I no longer feel the excitement when the plane lands or when I get off the plane and into the airport. I see the slot machines and it's kind of a "no big deal, been there, done that" mentality... which was kinda sad, only because I miss the excitement that I used to feel for Vegas before. So, with the nostalgia gone and the whole trip was something I wasn't eagerly looking forward to, I just hoped that I could still enjoy the break from the daily grind.

But you know what? I knew why I would make every effort to make it to the winter gathering every year the moment I stepped foot in the Imperial Palace and walked to the Geisha Bar. Initially, I checked in, got all my stuff to the room and then came back down. The moment I got there, all the familiar faces are there. Al, Pauly, Buddy were the first ones that I immediately recognized. Then I saw Gnome and Kuro. Finally got to meet OhCaptain whose blog I currently do not read (sorry! that will now change!) but is a friend on facebook. Joanada giving me countless hugs from the moment she met me and all that served as a reminder as to how cool and open this group is... and that even if you don't always email each other or chat online or play in the same tournaments, when we all get together, it's almost like a high school reunion (I just assume since I've never been to my high school reunion). So, we start hanging out, catching up, just chatting. I meet PirateLawyer for the first time and he doesn't disappoint... within 2 minutes of meeting him, he's already telling me a bad beat story. Dude, good thing you passed your bar exam... you must owe a lot of money to a lot of people for all the bad beat stories you tell!

Eventually, Gnome, Kuro, PL and I decide to walk over to the Venetian to play some poker. One other thing I noticed this year about Vegas was how dead it was. Sure, there are still people but man, the tables were tighter and all in all, the action was a lot less than what I remembered from last year. The economy must be affecting it because I can't think of any other reason why it would be so different from the same time last year. On the way to the Venetian, we ran into Astin who did the whole canyon dive thing that he described on his blog. Sounds like a freakin blast and maybe next year, I'll have enough balls to do it. Once we get to the Venetian, we all sit at different tables and I'm not gonna go into details because quite frankly, poker is a pretty minor part of this whole trip in relation to the fun factor of other things. I might eventually post some interesting hands but really, I don't want to make that a part of my trip report since I have a lot more to talk about. It's weird how a gathering of poker bloggers would lend itself to me posting about a bunch of nonpoker related stuff. But that's why it's fun.

Part 2 to come later.

I run so good! (not quite the trip report)

I just landed in Richmond... and as I sit here typing away at the airport, one might wonder why I'm not just picking up my luggage and going home... I mean afterall, I didn't sleep at all last night... In the past 24hrs, the only sleep I got was the 3 hr flight from Vegas to Atlanta. Well, that was cuz I got dealt a great turn card. Let me explain.

Preflop, my hand selection was perfect. Since CK pointed out while I was planning my trip that the Ravens - Steelers game would be on Sunday afternoon, I should get on the red eye Sunday night or take an early Monday morning flight. So, after weighing out my options, I chose to take the 6am flight out of Vegas on Monday. The only decision was whether I should get a hotel room for Sunday night but if I have to leave around 4-5am to get to the airport in time for my flight, I thought getting a room was pointless. I was already freerolling the hotel portion of this trip by staying with Bayne... well, maybe freerolling isn't quite the word since it was a very expensive free room... fawkin craps tables...

So, anyways, I stick to my plan preflop and stay up all night. The flop was just what I hoped for and I was able to catch my flight out of Vegas and pass out on the plane. Next thing I know, we are getting ready to land in Atlanta. As soon as I get there, I get off the plane and realize that the gate across from where I just got off the plane is boarding for a flight back to Richmond. My initial flight was supposed to be at 2:30pm but this one is also Delta and this one leaves at 1pm! I go across and ask the gate attendant if I could switch my flight. She says no problem! Nice turn! The only issue was that I checked my luggage in at Vegas so that will be coming back on the later flight. She asked if I still wanted to proceed. Hmmm, facing a raise I see. No problem. Free wi-fi in Richmond vs not free in ATL made it an easy decision. After all, that'll give me some time to write up the trip report!

So now, I just sit here typing away and hoping that the river doesn't fuck me. If my luggage somehow doesn't make it here at 4pm (my initial arrival time), then that would be a bad beat!!!

Huh? Oh yeah, I guess you guys will want the full trip report. That will be coming shortly.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Maybe I'll lose my friends if I do this...

In my previous post, Schaubs asked me why I didn't out the name of the firm. I mean I expressed my anger at the firm that cut two of my friends and I talked about how much I hated that firm. So, if I really hate them, wouldn't I just out them and say don't hire this firm or don't go work for this firm? Well... yeah, I guess that would make sense. The problem is, I no longer work there. So, there's a part of me that allows me to be more objective. Don't get me wrong. I am a very emotional guy and I sometimes let my emotions do the talking first before my brain kicks in. So, if I were still there and the things went down the way they did, I may have just walked out (even if I wasn't the one laid off - and not to sound cocky but I wouldn't have been and I'll go into why later).

Before I go into this post, I need to let you know how I operate. I am an ultra competitive guy. Not in the "keeping up with the Joneses" type of guy where if my neighbor has 3 cars, I feel I have to have 3 also. I'm not stupid nor shallow in that sense. But I want to perform better than others. I want to move up quicker than others. If that means that someone else has to go down, then so be it. It's like a poker tournament on the money bubble. If someone else has to bust for me to make the money, I couldn't care less if the guy loses to a sick runner runner one outer. Better him than me. Yep, I'm an ass. But you can't tell me that none of you ever feel that way. If you do, then you are a much better person than I am. But then, come sit at my poker table please.

From the way things went down, I was definitely pissed at the firm for handling the situation the way they did. It was low, classless, deceitful, and just petty. But, fairly typical of the firm that I remember. They talk about how they care about people but in reality, they don't give a shit about the people. My biggest gripe with them around the time I left was that they kept telling me they cared and that they valued my opinion. I remember telling one partner there that if the firm didn't care, I'd rather they just say "we pay you to do your fuckin job, not to give us your fuckin opinion so shut the fuck up and we'll handle our own situations." And you know what, I woulda respected that so much more than "yeah, we totally agree, we do need to make some changes blah blah blah blah blah *add slurping noises of them kissing my ass and sucking my you know what*" and then turning around and totally ignoring it. I mean what a waste of my time!

Well, so the other day, I told you that the firm cut a few people. Of course, my friends are totally baffled as to why it happened and you know, the layoffs are tough. Especially the one guy they let go is a close friend of mine, a pretty strong performer, dedicated, traveled a lot for the firm, never once complained, never left the firm (there are some there that left then came back), did everything he was asked to do, etc etc. He was a manager there and again, a pretty strong one at that as far as I know from when I used to work with him. But if I take my friend hat off and put my coworker hat on, this would be the reason that the people who got cut were cut.

The way an accounting firm is structured and works, basically, you have your partners at the top and then the each rank below. Once you become an equity partner (ie, have an actual stake in the firm), you get a piece of the pie... literally. You know, you get x% of the firm's revenue. Once the partner retires, you get a decent pension from what I was told... where is that pension coming from? Well, it's funded by the next generation of partners. In other words, the equity partner, once you make equity, have to pay into the firm. I mean when a firm is first set up, you raise capital right? So, it's kinda like that. It's ironic. You get promoted and then you get a loan to pay into the firm (believe me, in the long run, you'll come out way ahead). So, from the partners' point of view, they are looking for the next generation of partners.

Well, let's say the economy is shitty and so it's not like things are going great. Even then, as an accounting firm, you would always have jobs available but things aren't as great as other times. You decide you need to cut back on expenses. One option is the hiring freeze. But see, the other reality is that accounting firms by nature have a high turnover rate. So, if they were to stop hiring, they have to bank on the fact that no one would leave... which is possible with the job market out there but kind of a risk since they would be at the mercy of their employees. So, what's the other option? Well, it's simple really. They'll keep hiring new staff. But, they would have to make room so they would have to make cuts elsewhere. And that's where my friends came in to play.

The cuts have nothing to do with performance. Sure, one may argue that but in reality, it has more to do with their future outlooks. I've mentioned already that the accounting firms are always looking for the next generation of partners. If you're a guy who does solid work but doesn't make it known or clear that you want to make partner, or if you're not on a partner track, you become more expendable than the person who is clearly on partner track. And that's why I say that I probably would not have been cut if I were still there. While I was at the firm, everyone in the firm (even partners in other offices) knew my intention... which was to make partner. During firm retreats, I used to joke with some of the partners that I want to fund their retirement so it was their obligation to give me the opportunities to do so. I was driven, ambitious, and eager to make partner. In all honesty, for as long as I was with the firm, that's what I always thought. When my peers all mentioned that they didn't know what they wanted to do in the future, I never understood that mentality. I never understood how you can work in a place while wondering what the next step is. Of course, I went through that period once I started looking for another job and my performance was shit as a result. As long as I am with the company, I am gonna do whatever it takes to keep moving up. Even in a big corp like the one I currently work in, my thoughts are always, how do I put myself in position to run this dept, run this entire group, etc etc. I refuse to forever be a middle management figure... at least for now. That's not how I roll. I mean look at yourself in the mirror. Do you really want to do what you're doing now for the rest of your life?

In that sense, none of the four people that got let go seemed to be eager to become partner. Sure, my friend was committed to his work and loyal to the firm but I don't think he ever wants to be a partner there. I think the whole situation was handled extremely poorly but on the same token, the firm has no obligation to its people. Sometimes, I've heard people complain when they are let go that they were so loyal to the firm. I'm sorry all, but it's employment, not marriage. When push comes to shove, the company has no obligation to reciprocate the loyalty that you may feel you have given.

I'm not defending the firm for the way they handled it... but I would be lying if I said I didn't understand why they did what they did.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Everyday, the news gets merrier and merrier. I mean look over here. November had the largest monthly job loss total since December of 1974. Of course I'm being sarcastic. It's sickening. And yet it's one thing to read this online or see it in the news... it's so different when it happens to someone you know... in a city you live in.

Yesterday began as just another day for all of us. We go to work, talk shit over email about who's got the best fantasy football team, how much of a douchebag we are, etc etc... and then one of our friends responds to our email and says "guys, stop sending emails to this account, please switch to my gmail account because I was just fired." My first reaction? HA! Good one. Nice try dude but we're gonna continue to flood your work account! You see, I used to work in that firm. I know how that firm works and even though it's a pain in the ass for the IT guys over there, I knew it wasn't that big a deal. So, I didn't really take him seriously. Then about 30 minutes later, another one of our buddies respond with "we just got let go. NO JOKE." My response? Yeah, ok, dude, that's a pretty sick joke considering what's going on out there...

The sickest thing was, it was not a joke.

It turns out that two of our friends were part of an abrupt layoff that happened in my former accounting firm. The shocking thing is that about a month or so ago, a partner from that firm and I went to a football game and I asked him how this economy was affecting the firm. He said that even in times of poor economy and decreased spending, people hire CPAs because they want more work to be done around cost efficiency, internal controls testing, etc etc. So, in the back of my mind, I thought that hey, if I were to be let go from my current company (which as a financial institution, it's always possible), I can always swallow my pride and go back there if I'm desperate enough. You know, it was like your safety school.

So, needless to say, I was shocked by the news. We all got together last night over at a local bar to just hear about what happened. I mean, again, it was just so unthinkable. But I guess it goes to show that no job is safe. I offered to help but one of them said that he and his wife immediately started going through the bills and once they cut out all the things that weren't necessities (cable, gym membership, etc etc) that they could make do for a little while. The only debt they had was the mortgage (cars are paid off) and student loan.

I am fairly confident that being that it's right before tax season, if they didn't mind going back into public accounting, they would be able to find a job. However, it was quite depressing to see two of my friends get laid off like that with no warning whatsoever. It wasn't like the firm announced that the layoffs were coming or that they were cutting anyone. As a matter of fact, the firm managing partner called a meeting few days ago to say that the cuts were NOT happening... ah, so typical of that firm. I am so glad I quit. Like one of our friends said (a lot of us in our circle of friends met when we all worked in that firm), it shoulda been a sign when a bunch of us left around the same time.

Yeah, I'm not gonna lie. As great a career I had at that firm, that firm sucked ass in terms of taking care of its people or even caring about the people in general. They talk the talk but they stab in you in the back as soon as you turnaround. What a fuckin piece of shit firm. Thank god I no longer work there.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Bad Beat!

Despite the title, this is not so much a bad beat post... well, there will be one part I will talk about that but I will give you a fair warning. See, recently, my nonpoker playing friends even use that term when something doesn't go our way... which I find very amusing. Today, my friends and I got together at Ipanema Grill for lunch, which is one of those meat feeding brazilian joints. I was getting pretty full but then I saw the guy walking around with the stick of sirloin steak... so I ran up to grab a plate and flipped the sign to green so that they guy would come over (green = more meat, red = no more). And just as I did that, the guy gave the last slab away and walked away. BAD BEAT! Well, even funnier was that my friend who was up by like the soup station or something saw the guy walk away and he comes back to the table and goes "dude, bad beat!" So true.

The other night, this girl wanted to get Arby's... sent us a text to see if we wanted to join but we had both eaten. Her response? BAD BEAT! (I did end up joining her since she conceded by coming to the Arby's closer to my house)

The usage of bad beat is spreading and I love it.

Ok, here's where poker related bad beat post comes...

Generally speaking, bad beats are unavoidable and I am ok with it. Sure, I'll whine about it but it's part of the game. If your AA < QQ all in pre, it sucks but really, do you expect the guy to fold QQ? It's a cooler from his point of view if the statistics hold up so it happens. What about if you hold AK and the money goes in on a K high flop and you lose to the 2 outer on the river? Sure, that sucks too but what if it was him that shoved all in on top? As in, let's say MP raises, you reraised from the SB with AK. Flop comes K-x-x. You cbet and he shoves. Sure, you call, and he catches the Q for the rivered set. That sucks too but you could at least make a case of he was trying to make a play (a horrible one at that).

The ones that truly annoy me or upset me are what I like to call the WTF Beats. They're so bad, it's not even a bad beat. Like this one:

2-4NL FR
Relevant stacks:
Me - $402
Villain - $1600+

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Ad Ah]
2 folds
Villain calls $4
MP calls $4
2 folds
RecessRampage raises to $20 <--- from the SB
BB folds
Villain calls $16
MP folds

*** FLOP *** [8h 2h Jd]
RecessRampage bets $33
Villain raises to $66
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage has requested TIME

Ok, so this is an interesting spot. I raise from LP, he calls so he can easily have a middle pocket pair. I don't know much about him so he can also have like a suited connector. I think there are more hands than just a flopped set that he can try this minraise with so I decide that I'll pump this pot even more.

RecessRampage raises to $246
Villain calls $180

This is where I'm a little baffled. I raised to $246, leaving me $136 behind... in other words, I'm committed to this pot regardless of what falls on the turn. So, if so, why is he not shoving? Is he chasing something? Or can he just not let go of some medium pocket pair? Maybe like 99 or something?

*** TURN *** [8h 2h Jd] [4c]
RecessRampage bets $136, and is all in
Villain calls $136
RecessRampage shows [Ad Ah]
Villain shows [Qh Ts]

That's about as good a card as I can hope for if I'm ahead and since I'm not going anywhere, I just shove. I mean what else am I gonna do? Shockingly, this guy calls... and at first, I'm not even sure what he's asking for... well, that is until the river comes...

*** RIVER *** [8h 2h Jd 4c] [9h]
RecessRampage shows a pair of Aces
Villain shows a straight, Queen high
Villain wins the pot ($809) with a straight, Queen high

Um, nice 4 outer sir. You were a 10% FAVORITE to win so sure, why not call off the $136 on the turn. And THAT my friends, is a WTF beat... I mean really... what was he doing in the hand after my reraise on the flop??? What the fuck!?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Woot freeroll

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Registration code: 798665

The rare poker post

My blog should be changed to "Other stuff and poker." It's becoming increasingly rare for me to post strategy or any situational thoughts... but it seems like that's been the trend on a lot of blogs. I mean, you all are tired of reading about how to play AK in position, out of position, 200BB deep v 100BB deep, etc etc right? Well, I sure am tired of talking about it. Plus, as I mentioned few posts ago, I'm playing bottish anyways so it probably doesn't even matter... for now. I would want to say that I am gonna renew my resolve and start reading up more poker material etc etc but right now, I am having more fun doing other stuff so it is what it is.

Having said that, this is a poker blog so I figured, I should post something poker related. About a week or two ago, crushmastac asked about overlimping/reraising in 6 max games. I'm sure a lot of you have seen it before. You know, where some guy limps UTG or UTG+1, someone raises in LP, blinds fold and then the original limper 3 bets. Trappy.

His question was what do I think about this play and how to counter it. Honestly, I think this is a question better suited for Bruechips who thinks about stuff like this probably more often than I do. (here's your blog pimpage dude) Having said that, I do have some thoughts.

You can't really counter that play. In other words, just like any 3 bet, you just have to go by how often this guy does it. In other words, if you have seen him do it with aces and only aces, it's pretty easy. You figure out if you have set mining odds and if not, you fold. If you have seen him do that frequently, that you need to push back by 4 betting or calling (if you have position... if not, I would recommend 4 betting). But what do I think of the play in general... well, it really depends. Just like any other "move" in poker, it really depends on whether you are capable of mixing it up or not.

If you are limp-reraising with only AA or KK, it's a terrible move. You're practically announcing what your hand is so that's obviously terrible. If you're gonna do that, you also need to start doing that with some other random hands. The question is, what would the random hands be? Should you include AK? AQ? Is that still too tight? Maybe you should try to do it with JJ+ and AQ+? That's one thought but if you are only doing it with that range, I still don't necessarily like it unless you are so afraid of playing post flop poker that you just want to end the hand pre. The only danger is that there's no guarantee that someone will raise and do you really want to see a flop 4 handed with AA? But let's just say that you love that move... well, one way to make it alright is by polarizing your ranges.

I think this is key for any of the moves though. Instead of starting to do it with terrible hands that could easily be dominated like AQ, AJ, KQ, KJ, QJ and pocket pairs TT and belowm, you might want to polarize the range. Now, your initial thought might be, what the hell are you talking about? How are the above hands easily dominated? Well, if you are not polarizing your range and are doing it with let's say top 5% of your hands, then the hands that will call you will usually dominate/beat what you have. You don't want to be in a situation where you are out of position and you are unsure how good your hand is after hitting top pair... in a overinflated pot preflop. So, instead, one thought would be to mix in some sh*t hands when you do this. So, instead of saying that you're gonna do the limp-reraise move with AQ+ and QQ+, you could also include 22-44 and maybe some suited connectors like 89 or T9. I'm not sure that polarizing those ranges make this a good move but it's definitely a thought. That way, if you don't hit and you cbet but you encounter resistance, the decision would generally be easier. Also, more often than not, you could bluff off the better hand. In other words, if you do the limp reraise with AQ and you hit a Q high flop and you bet out and the other guy folds, you most likely had the best hand to begin with. So, you didn't really gain much of an additional value since you had the best hand and you took it down by betting. On the other hand, if you polarize your range and you do that, then let's say you hold T9 and you pull the same move on the Q high flop. It's very possible that you could get several better hands to fold such as lower pocket pairs, a few Ax hands, etc. The ability to bluff off some of the better hands will be adding value to the move itself.

Polarizing ranges are key in any situation I believe. I used to think that when people said I needed to open up my range, that meant that I needed to raise with the top x% of hands as opposed to the top y% of hands (obv x > y here). However, now, I realized that by polarizing, you might be 3 betting with the top x% + some random hands as situation dictates which I think will obviously increase the frequency so that they might start playing back at you more often, even when you have a real hand which adds value as well as being able to take it down with a cbet post flop (if not pre) or having to fold to pressure post flop without too much agonizing decision.

I don't have the math to support any of this but this is more or less a "thought about poker" post so that's all you're gonna get from me. Maybe this helps, maybe this doesn't. Feel free to comment.