Thursday, September 30, 2004

Fantasy Pauly

It's that time of the week for updates of my fantasy pools. I am winning the Grid Iron pool and I'm making a run in the College Football Pool. My pick'em picks in the NFL pool aren't panning out. I'm getting taunting emails from other group members making fun of me because I'm losing to the only female entry in the pool. I'm not worried. I always make my run in October!

Pigskin Pick'em - Week 3 Update

Team of the Week: Snot Bubbles (11-3)

Week 3 Results:
1 Snot Bubbles 11
2 Smokin Ricky 10
2 Uwannabet? . 10
2 Well T'anks For Nuttin' 10
2 All In 10
6 The Brooklyn Embeds 9
6 Drunk Norsemen 9
6 Chico's Bail Bonds 9
9 Austin Drunks 8
9 manny and ortiz 8
9 Coach's Picks 8
9 Twinkle & Turquoise 8
9 McNamara Entry 8
14 MoshPit badblood44 7
14 Lovelace Leapsloth 7
14 Shakedown Street 7
14 Ugarte's Last Stand 7
14 Oyster Bay Moore 7
20 AlCantPickEm 6
20 Punch You in the Eye 6
22 Running Back Ribs 5
22 All My Sweet Bitches 5
22 WhereMy NillasAt? 5
22 Cumberland Blues5
26 Bobby BigBalls 4

Overall Standings:
1 Well T'anks For Nuttin' (Jerry!) 30
2 All In (Landow) 29
3 Snot Bubbles (Sean from Anistropy) 26
4 Smokin Ricky (Senor) 25
4 Chico's Bail Bonds (Derek) 25
4 Austin Drunks (Matt S.) 25
4 Uwannabet? (Uwannabet?) 25
4 The Brooklyn Embeds (Gil) 25
4 manny and ortiz (B Singer) 25
4 McNamara Entry (Spider) 25
11 MoshPit badblood44 (Bad Blood) 24
12 Coach's Picks (Coach) 23
13 Drunk Norsemen (Halverson) 22
13 All My Sweet Bitches (Ty) 22
13 Lovelace Leapsloth (S. Lovelace) 22
13 Punch You in the Eye (Pauly 2) 22
13 Twinkle & Turquoise (Jenna & Haley) 22
18 Shakedown Street (Pauly 1) 21
18 BiG PERM BiG WORM (Armen) 21
18 Oyster Bay Moore (J. Moore) 21
18 Bobby BigBalls (C. Hardin) 21
22 Ugarte's Last Stand (Charles Star, comedian, esq.) 20
23 AlCantPickEm (Al Cant Hang) 19
23 Cumberland Blues (K. Hungus) 19
25 Running Back Ribs (Schanzer) 17
26 WhereMy NillasAt? (BG) 16

The Skinny: Sean and Snot Bubbles took team of the week after and moved to third place over all. Jerry and Well T'anks for Nuthin! is still winning it all, with Landow and All In behind by ust one point. There's plenty of time to make a move. I haven't been too impressive, but I always make a run in October!! Watch out, some crazy games this week with plenty of injured players out there throwing a wrench into everyone's picks. Jerry is winning with an insane 62.5% winning percentage! The previous winners usually never get more than 55%.

Grid Iron - Week 3 Update

Team of the Week: Uncle Jodd's Band

Week 3 Results:
1 Uncle Jodd's Band 187
2 Mary-Kate's Nosebleed 168
3 The Brooklyn Embeds 158
4 Rib Boy's Latrells 149
5 Robber Barons 143
6 Your Enemies Friend 140
7 Porkchops & Applesauce 132
8 Trained Professional 118

Overall Standings:
1 Uncle Jodd's Band (Senor & Pauly) 435
2 Mary-Kate's Nosebleed (Pauly) 413
3 The Brooklyn Embeds (Gil) 412
4 Rib Boy's Latrells (Derek) 395
5 Trained Professional (BG) 391
6 Your Enemies Friend (Spider) 381
7 Porkchops & Applesauce (Joe Moore) 371
8 Robber Barons (Armen) 356

The Skinny: BG and Trained Professionals slipped out of the top spot after a huge surge from Uncle Jodd's Band. Lots of injuries this past week and with bye weeks upcoming, it's going to be another tough week.

College Football Pool - Week 4 Update

Team of the Week: TIE (The Venetian Blinds & WhatyaTalkin AboutWillis?) were 9-1

Week 4 Results:
1 WhatyaTalkin AboutWillis? 54
1 The Venetian Blinds 54
3 Porkchops & Apple Sauce 52
4 Austin Drunks 51
5 AlCantHang 50
6 Chico's Bail Bonds 49
7 Ugarte's Last Stand 47
8 Sheer Entry 43
9 Killer Gophers 37
10 Muff State Pie Boys 33

Overall Standings:
1 Austin Drunks (Matt S) 191
2 Chico's Bail Bonds (Derek) 188
3 AlCantHang 181
4 WhatyaTalkin AboutWillis? (Pauly) 177
4 The Venetian Blinds (Poker Nerd) 177
6 Ugarte's Last Stand (Ugarte) 159
7 Sheer Entry (Senor) 153
8 Killer Gophers (Halverson) 143
9 Buckeye! (Signor Ferrari) 124
10 Landow 119
11 Porkchops & Apple Sauce (Joe Moore) 107
12 Muff State Pie Boys (Spider) 104

The Skinny: Virigina Tech missed a field goal and cost me a perfect week! It seemed like Week 4 was one week when the favorites prevailed. Notre Dame is still undefeated. Austin Drunks is still in first place with Chico's Bail Bonds in a close second. The Venetian Blinds and WatchatalkinaboutWillis are tied for fourth. Still plenty of time left in the season to make a late charge!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

The Boathouse Game
"Sun Tzu? You're barely Sonny Bono!" - BG to Lewey
The last time I played with Al Cant Hang's crew, I got slaughtered. Lewey cracked my KK with 23o! I knew better this time. I was prepared to play against a table of loose cannons. And I was ready to win back some of the money I lost at the Borgata the night before. We arrived at the Boathouse after Mrs. Hang and I picked up Derek at the train station and BG at the airport. Big Mike, Al Cant Hang, and Lewey were already drinking heavily. I tried to catch up quickly and inside a half hour, we sat down inside at the "bankers table" for the first part of the game.

$40 buy in, NL hold'em, blinds: 25c and 50c. The rules were the same; Keep hands inside at all times and don't feed the animals.
The Players:
Seat 1: Big Mike
Seat 2: Lewey
Seat 3: BG
Seat 4: Landow
Seat 5: Dr. Pauly
Seat 6: Derek
Seat 7: Al Cant Hang (and later JDubs and Brian)
3:15pm EST... On the first hand, Al Cant Fold sucked out a runner runner flush against BG who flopped two pair.

3:51pm EST... With a flop of 542 and two clubs, Lewey pushed his stack all in with K2. BG thought for a while and called. He had A-10s and spiked a 10 on the river to double up against Lewey.

4:09pm EST... UTG, I raised with nothing. It was a drunk bet, trying to play Q9s fast. Only AlCantFold called. The flop: 954. I bet the pot and AlCantFold called even after I outflopped him. I put him on A5 or A4. The turn: K. I bet and Al Called. The river: another K. I moved all in and Al took his time. He eventually folded thinking I was going to outkick him. He had K3 and laid down his hand. I had to show the bluff. I almost walked into a mine field. Good job to Al for considering the kicker issues. He said he put me on King-face.

4:20pm EST... BG lost a hand to Lewey. He had 65s and flopped a flush draw which he never got on the river.

4:44pm EST... +36. Lewey bet $8. I declared to the table, "Lewey, you are full of shit!" Everyone laughed as I moved all in. He called with 88. I had A10s. The board: 9-6-5-10-2. Big Mike folded 5-10 and he almost called! I busted Lewey for the first time that day. He quickly did a rebuy and ran upstairs for another round of drinks.

4:51pm EST... Lewey's Big Slick went heads up with AlCantLimp's A10. Al flopped a ten and busted Lewey. For a second time, he dug into the pockets for a rebuy. Landow finally joined the table.

5:07pm EST... BG had the Hilton Sisters vs. Big Mike's 10-9s and doubled up when Big Mike flopped top pair and they both moved all in.

5:15pm EST... +35. With AJ I flopped a Broadway Straight. No callers.

5:31pm EST... BG moved all in and survived once again! Big Mike's Q3 lost to BG's J7 when BG flopped a jack.

5:42pm EST... Landow's AA hold up when he nailed a full boat.

5:44pm EST... +105. On the button, I played a hand blind, since Big Mike announced he was going to play his hand without looking at it. Lewey peeked and he called. The flop: K86. Big Mike checked, Lewey moved all in (short stack). I pushed my stack all in and Big Mike called (I had him covered). We flipped over our cards. Lewey had nothing... 92o. Big Mike had a monster 10-10! I sheepishly rolled over my hand. An 8... then... a 6! I flopped two pair. Lucky fuck, eh? Rags fell on the turn & river and I knocked out both Lewey (for a second time) and Big Mike. Lewey had his third rebuy. It was time to move the game outdoors.

6:20pm EST... +195. I busted AlCantLimp with 10-10. He called with A7s and flopped top pair! I pushed him all in and he called. JDub, the bass player from Petey and the Bandcampers sat in Al's seat, who had to start greeting the guests as they arrived.

6:26pm EST... The party had officially begun. Lewey's decent into Hades had begun a few hours before. The alcohol that seeped into his bloodstream had taken control of his poker faculties. Landow's KJ was good enough when they flopped a Jack and Lewey moved all in with J6.

6:37pm EST... Derek had been playing tight all day. He wasn't getting any cards. I called a raise on the button with A4s. Derek and Big Mike were in the pot with me. The flop: A43. Derek checked, so did Big Mike and I bet the pot. Derek reraised all in. Big Mike folded and I was left thinking about calling with top two pair. The first thing I said to myself, "Derek would never play 2-5 to a preflop raise!" Maybe he has a set of 3s or 4s or he could also have two pair. I called and he did in fact have 25o and he doubled up against me. He said he was sick of Big Mike always raising his blinds and he wanted to see a flop. Nice flop, eh?

6:47pm EST... +100. BG played his hand blind and ended up with AK.

7:07pm EST... JDub moved all in with a shortstack and AKs to triple up. Lewey dug into his pockets for his fourth rebuy. He was down $160. He was screaming, "Lot's of bleeding, right here!" as he emphatically pounded his chest. Perhaps he was just foreshadowing the hijinks later in the evening? JDubs left to get ready for the opening set and Brian took his seat.

7:16pm EST... +80. In my notes, I scribbled: Lewey = Belligerent. He announced to the table that he was in fact Sun Tzu. BG quickly quipped, "Sun Tzu? You're barely Sonny Bono!"

7:34pm EST... +140. El Diablo Rio. It was one of those moments when I had A10 and raised the pot to $10. Lewey called and pushed his entire stack all in on the flop: J75. No way he had J7 or J5, right? Nope. Lewey turned over J7 and I foolishly called with A10. I was doomed. I needed running cards to hope for a miracle suckout. The turn: 5. Wait a second... I just got the first miracle card. An ace would now give me a better two pair. The turn card was dealt... and bam! And ace spiked and the table exploded in a drunken symphony of loud hooterin' and boisterous hollerin'. The guests at the bar looked over to see what all the commotion was about. I was pumping my fist in the air, celebrating in true Hellmuthian fashion. Lewey sunk his head and sighed. He quickly whipped out a $50 bill and bought some chips off of me. He was down $210. BG whipped out his ATM card and tried to swipe it in Lewey's mouth thinking he'd shoot out $20 bills.

7:53pm EST... +110. I gave some of the money back to Lewey when I flopped two pair and Lewey caught a straight on the turn.

8:01pm EST... My notes say: Lewey was screaming at the top of his lungs! A few moments later he knocked over his beer, which was the point where we ended the game and headed inside for some food and the opening band.
The Final Tally:
Pauly +110
Landow +93
Derek +45
AlCantFold +10
JDubs +5
Brian -15
Big Mike -60
Lewey -170
A five hour game before the party was exactly what I wanted. I got to play with BG again as well as Big Mike and Lewey and Landow and some new guys. Those games are seat-of-your-pants-wild-fun. Home games take on the personality of the players, and as you can tell from AlCantHang's stories and pictures... his home games are always wacky and wild adventures.

If you'd like to read about the non-poker happenings of this weekend, visit Tao of Pauly.
Private Table Birthday

I logged online to just check my email. I got home after walking several blocks in the pouring rain to be invited to a private table in honor of AL Cant Hang's birthday.
The Players:
Seat 1: Dr. Pauly
Seat 2: Maudie
Seat 3: AlCantFold
Seat 4: Bad Blood
Seat 5: Carter from Cubanlinks
Seat 6: Iggy
Seat 7: Lord Geznikor
Seat 8: Sean from Anistropy
Seat 9: Daddy from Snail Trax
Seat 10: Otis B. Dart
I was still dripping wet during the first few hands. Can't recall much aside from raising Al's big blind every orbit from the button! As always, a blast even though I lost a crushing $8, which is about the price of one drink in NYC.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Happy Birthday, Al Cant Hang!

Another shot??

In honor of America's Favorite Wingman and North America's foremost SoCologist's birthday, I penned a poem for him.
Ode to Al Cant Hang

Happy birthday, Senor Al No Puede Colgar! Hope it's a good one.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Borgata Blogger Misadventures
"You might wanna check in on your boyfriend, I just put a bad beat on him." - Al Cant Hang
24 Sept. 2004... Atlantic City, NJ

It took exactly two hours to drive from midtown Manhattan to the Borgata, with a piss stop along the way. Not bad time for a sunny Friday morning. I forgot that Atlantic City is actually a few minutes closer to NYC than Foxwoods. As soon as I parked, I called Al Cant Hang and the lovely Mrs. H. They were just five minutes behind me. We arranged to meet at the B Bar, centrally located in the middle of the casino. I had only been to the Borgata once before during their first opening week but never had the chance to play cards.

By 11:43am, the ever generous Senor Al No Puede Colgar bought his second round of drinks... the usual for himself, a cranberry and Malibu for Mrs. H and a pint of Lager for yours truly. We toasted to Iggy and Sean and everyone else who couldn't make the journey. We were awaiting the arrival of Grubby who had passed out at 8:30 that morning after a late night session of poker. He finally wandered downstairs and recanted his previous night's performance. A few minutes later, Helixx popped in (he got carded!) and within seconds we had four degenerate gamblers drinking at noon in a bar in an Atlantic City casino yapping about all things poker. We could have probably sat there all day and night knocking back cocktails and comfortably discussing our deep passion for gambling and other related interests, but alas, we were in AC to play some poker. The three beers on an empty stomach made me a little tipsy and I needed food. I never like to play serious cards when I'm pounding beers. I'll drive after a few drinks, but I hate playing poker when I'm liquored up. Why is that? I know that my decision making processes are heavily impaired while I'm on the sauce. Just think about the five ugliest women you ever hooked up with... then you'll understand why I need to have a little more self control at the tables. Conjuring up those nasty mental images is enough to rapidly drive a man to the nearest AA meeting.

After a kick ass General Tso's special from Noodles of the World (and thanks to Grubby who graciously picked up the tab... on his birthday I think!) we invaded the downstairs poker room. Within ten minutes we were seated. Helixx was called first for his $2-4 game and then they announced open seating for a new NL table. I bought in the $300 max and sat down ready to play. The blinds were $1 and $2.
The Players:
Seat 1: The kid (had his girlfriend sitting behind him)
Seat 2: The suit
Seat 3: The mechanic (and later Carter)
Seat 4: Al Cant Hang
Seat 5: Grubby
Seat 6: Boston Guy 1
Seat 7: Mrs. Hang
Seat 8: Boston Guy 2
Seat 9: Dr. Pauly
2:38pm EST... Mrs. Hang got dealt AA and KK in the first four hands. She took a huge chip lead early. $15 seemed to be the opening bet.

2:46pm EST... -50. I was in the big blind and saw my first flop and nailed two pair with Q2s. Mrs. Hang on the button had QJ and called all of my flop, turn and my river bets. She caught two pair on the river when a Jack spiked. That was a costly $50 hand.

3:31pm EST... I played my second hand in an hour when I found cowboys in late position and fired out a $30 preflop raise. I had two callers... Al Cant Fold and Grubby. I put Grubby on AK or 10s figuring that he would have come back over the top with any other big hands. I put Al on big suited cards or something like AQ or AJ. The flop: 6xJs9s. I opened up with a $50 bet. Al Cant Limp folded. And Grubby thought for a second and moved all in. That's when I should have folded. I was used to being bullied around by my fellow poker bloggers and the guys at the Blue Parrot. I had $80 already in the pot and $160 left. I foolishly called and of course the Grubster had JJ. He took my $240 in what was a $500+ pot. I was busted in the first hour! I looked at the time. How was going to last until Midnight with just $200 left? I only brought $500 with me out of my thin (Eastern European model-thin) cash bankroll. I wanted to cap out my loses in case I was on a bad run. I didn't want to have to go to the ATM but I pretty much decided that would have to happen if I lost my rebuy. I walked back up to the cage and got $200 in red chips. I took my seat again. Like that old Chinese proverb said, "Fall eight times, get up nine."

4:32pm EST... -320. I raised in MP with KK and got no callers. That was just the third hand I played since I sat down. Grubby's stack of chips led the table. Al Cant Limp was up and down. Mrs. Hang was probably second in chips at the table after she put a whooping on the Boston guys.

4:41pm EST... -265. The suit was a calling station. With AA in the BB and three limpers in the pot, I raised to $50, well over 25% of my stack. The suit called and before the last card was dealt on the all rags flop, I pushed my chips all in. He took his time and for the first time all day, my heart jumped out of my stomach while my breathing intensified. I live for those moments. Some folks jump out of airplanes, others climb misty mountain tops, and some party themselves into frenetic highs. The rare instances in my life when I never felt more alive and in the moment... were at poker tables. At 4:41pm EST... that moment was no different. I'll be chasing that high for many days in the future for sure. My heart was thumping harder than Monica Lewinsky rushing down the street to Krispy Kreme first thing in the morning. Sweat was dripping off my face harder than Patrick Ewing at the free throw line. The suit was staring me down. I couldn't decide if I wanted him to call and chase or fold. He took more time before he peeked at his cards one last time, sighed, then folded. I wish he waited a few more seconds. The rush of adrenaline sobered me up and kept me going for the next day or so.

5:17pm EST... -205. The mechanic in seat 4 next to Al was a loose player who liked to see a lot of flops. I got KK for a third time and threw out a $50 bet preflop. The mechanic called. The flop: AQ6. He checked and I thought about it for a second and checked. I put him on Ax suited and thought he was trying to slow play. On the turn he checked again and I should have fired out, but I checked a second time. On the river my hand did not improve. He checked and I flipped over KK. He lost with 77. Afterwards Grubby gave me some great advice on that hand, suggesting that I should have bet on the flop... to at least get information from the mechanic. That was the correct play but I was worrying two steps ahead thinking... "What if he just calls? Does he have a little ace?" I realized that after losing that monster hand to Grubby, that I slipped into that Passive Pauly phase. I don't play my best poker in that mode. I'm at my best when I'm playing aggressive and fast. Grubby knew that was my style and was wondering why I was playing so timid giving that guy two free cards to catch up to a hand. Shit, I know for a fact that I would have bet the pot online at Party Poker if I was in the same situation, but I was on tilt... I was afraid at losing my chips. I made my second biggest mistake of the session that time, unscathed.

5:29pm EST... -270. I called a preflop raise in LP with AKs. The flop was QJ6. I folded when another 6 fell on the turn.

5:53pm EST... -255. With 88 on the button, I raised driving Al Cant Fold outta the pot when he tried to limp in with the hammer. The flop: 10-7-2. I was heads up with the mechanic again and even with two running Kings on the board, I still took down the pot. He had 67s.

5:57pm EST... -260. I folded AQ to a preflop raise with two callers. Of course K-10-J hit the flop.

5:51pm EST... Al Cant Hang with a shortstack moved all-in in the dark. Grubby took his time before he called with K10s. Al Cant Hang showed his monster... 49o! And yeah, a 9 flopped and Al Cant Limp doubled up.

6:13pm EST... The hand of the day... Al Cant Hang raised in LP with A10. The kid in Seat 1 called with K6s. The flop: K92. The kid bet and Al raised. The kid called. The turn was another rag, but it gave a second club to the board. The kid bet and Al moved all in with nothing but an ace high!! The kid took his time. That's when I put him on a small King. He called with top pair but was worried if Al had him outkicked, or even had paired the board with his kicker. It seemed like a couple of minutes before the kid made up his mind. His girlfriend wasn't there at the time (she had gotten up to got for a smoke or bathroom or boredom break) and he kept staring at the board. He finally called and showed his K6s. He almost jumped out of his seat when Al Cant Limp showed A10s. The guy next to me whispered, "I folded an ace." Al had a flimsy two outs to win. In dramatic fashion an ace fell on the turn followed by the chorus of "Wow!" and "Holy shit!" Grubby's jaw dropped. The kid punched the empty seat his girlfriend had been occupying. He smacked it a second time and then a third. I heard the muffled shout of, "No!" over him trying not to cry at the table. He smacked the chair a fourth time. If his sweetheart had been sitting there, chances are she would have had two black eyes by that point. Al slowly stacked up his chips then left the table which was blanketed in an uncomfortable silence as the kid pulled his shirt up over his face to hide the tears. He was visibly shaken (for the following next forty minutes). The guy next to me made a comment (in jest) that the kid lost all the money he was saving up for his wedding. If true, that would have been fucked up. At the time, I was cracking up on the inside because Al Cant Hang made some kid cry after a vicious bad beat and possibly took all his wedding and honeymoon money! All I could think was two things:
1. Thank God that wasn't me.
2. I can't wait to blog this!
When Al went out for a cigarette, he saw the kid's girlfriend and said something like, "You might wanna check in on your boyfriend, I just put a bad beat on him." Tragically funny, kinda like when a clown dies. Like a vicious storm ripping through a trailer park, Hurricane Al Cant Hang terrorized the poor kid. He was lucky to still have the shirt on his back.

6:33pm EST... -215. Carter joined the table. He had been on a different table and he got a seat change.

6:50pm EST... The Hilton Sisters were flashing me. I raised preflop and Al cold called in the BB. The flop: 8JJ with two clubs. He bet $30 and I called. Did he have the Jack? Would Al Cant Limp smooth call when he flopped trips? When a 4 hit the turn he bet $100 or roughly the size of the pot. Was he on a flush draw? I took my time and went through all the possible hands. I figured he had a AJ or something like that. I folded. The dealer pushed him the pot and he flipped over A7s. I expected the ace, but not the 7! I pounded my fist on the table and in Hellmuthian fashion, I stormed away intoxicated by a haze of ire. Seething? Yep. Irked? You betcha. Did I lose my composure? You would have too. Those damn Hilton Sisters. I didn't want to loose my entire stack to three Jacks again. I should have moved all in against Al and folded against Grubby. I sat down completely embarrassed that I lost my cool in a casino. The dealer never said anything and we moved on to the next hand.

7:14pm EST... Mrs. Hang was knocked out with KK. She flopped two pair and lost to a guy with 33 when he caught a full boat on the turn. He pushed her all in and she eventually called. Mrs. Hang getting busted was a watershed moment ... because ten minutes later she returned to the table with the largest smile I've seen. She hit a $1200 slot win! In ten minutes Mrs. Hang went from down $300 to up $900!! The jackpot was enough to cover Al Cant Limp's poker loses.

7:22pm EST... -350. I limped in a pot with A-10 with four other players. The flop: KQ6. Everyone checked all around. The turn was a Jack which gave me a Broadway straight. I should have moved all in with two spades on the board. I bet $50 and everyone folded except Carter, who I put on a flush draw or two pair. A spade fell on the river and I checked to carter who bet $50. I should have folded, but called. Carter caught runner runner for a flush and I lost another big hand to a blogger. Fellow Bloggers + Spouses 4, Dr. Pauly 0.

8:24pm EST... Karmic revenge fell into the path of Al Cant Hang. The kid bad beated Al and took his entire stack. Al flopped a straight and bet out. The kid called with 67s. He had two pair and caught a full boat on the river to take down Al. Talk about heavy swings, eh? Al was busted and he left the table. I asked him later how many drinks he had during the session because everytime I looked up, a very busty cocktail waitress was handing Al another double SoCo. I think he lost a $20-30 in tips! He told me he gages his drink intake by the number of water bottles he orders. He gets one bottle of water per drink and had "eight or nine" empties underneath his seat.

8:41pm EST... I didn't hear that Carter was playing his last hand. I raised with AQs. He called with AJ and we ended up checking it all the way down to the river. I caught a Queen on the river and that was the last hand I played. I walked away down $325 for the session.

Overall Grubby came out on top netting over $200 (most on the $500 pot he won against me!). Carter only lost $25 (on his last hand to me) and Helixx had a $50 loss at the $2-4 tables. Al Cant Hang and Mrs. H lost their buyins at the table but the big slot win made the trip a profitable adventure. Mrs. H had some meal comps so we grabbed a late night dinner at their diner. Cheeseburgers for me and Grubby! I think Al Cant Hang was eating pancakes. We chatted and rambled on. I got bogged down into an "industry chat" with Grubby and we shared not just poker, but writing as a collective interest. Carter encouraged me to get a full RSS feed so he can read my blogs at work (I think I fixed that... lemme know). I wish I had the chance to play with Helixx especially since we all had a blast a couple of Friday's ago at the micro limit, drunken, blogger convention on Party Poker.

We said our good byes and I drove with Al Cant Hang back to chez Hang. We blasted Led Zeppelin the entire drive home and I eventually had to slow down near Valley Forge Park when I saw all the friggin' deer grazing all over. It was freaky because I could barely see all the deer through the faint moonlight and the low fog. I had this fear that Bambi would sprint out in the middle of the road and I'd slam on the brakes and Al Cant Hang would go flying through the dashboard (he'd be OK of course... a half a bottle of SoCo makes men bulletproof) and we'd be spending the rest of the night explaining to Mrs. Hang why we needed a crowbar and a bucket... to remove the bloody hoof from the front end of my rental car.

Day 1: -325

Next up... the Boathouse Game which is tentatively titled Lewey's Soused Implosion.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Boathouse Bash Preview

This is just some of the things I'll be addressing in a future post.

1. After picking up Boy Genius at the airport and Derek at the train station with Mrs. Can't Hang, we were drinking at the Boathouse by 3pm.
2. We played poker on the outside deck for 5+ hours.
2. I won $110 for a $40 buy in NL game. I was almost up $200 at one point.
4. I won all the money back that I lost from Lewey in June. I rivered Lewey on a really bad beat.
5. Lewey had to do 4 rebuys.
6. Big Mike had these cool "dirty" cards from Greece with all sorts of orgy scenes and guys with cranks the size of a 7-iron.
7. I bluffed Al Can't Hang out of a huge pot. He actually folded trip Kings!! I had nothing.
8. Boy Genius was shortstacked most of the early part but hung on surviving all of his all-ins.
9. Landow won a hand with AA! They weren't cracked.
10. Derek flopped a straight with 25o, went all in and doubled up against me when I flopped two pair.

Some non-poker things...
1. Carter arrived a little late and very tired after a day long sessions in AC!
2. I heard one of the bands play the infamous "Al Can't Hang" song.
3. One of the bands were called: The Al Cant Hang Experiment
4. One of our fellow poker bloggers... puked. I'll reveal his identity later!
5. Two words: SoCo Shots.
6. I went with Landow to drive an extremely inebriated Lewey home.
7. BG had me cracking up all night with his observations of the crowd.
8. There was a female singer in one of the bands (an 80s cover band). She had huge watemelons. BG described her as "chunky enough that she probably has self-esteem issues."
9. We chatted up the "watermelon" girl at the bar. She kinda blew us off.
10. Another random blogger passed out for a few minutes. I'll have photo evidence very soon.

More to come.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Borgata Blues Preview

1. I started drinking with the Hangs at 11:15am, Atlantic City time.
2. Met fellow poker bloggers Helix, Cuban Links, and the infamous Poker Grub.
3. I dropped $325 in 6 hours playing NL.
4. Played at the same table with Al Cant Hang, Mrs. Hang, Grubby, and Cuban Links.
5. Grubby won a $250 pot from me and busted me. His Jacks cracked my pocket cowboys.
6. I lost my entire $300 buyin within the first hour.
7. Carter from Cuban links sucked out a runner runner flush to beat me out of a $100 pot.
8. Al Cant Hang made some kid cry after he won a $300+ pot when he bad beated the poor kid on the river when Al Cant Hang caught a near impossible two outer.
9. Al Cant Hang bluffed me out of a $220+ pot. I folded on the turn. I had the Hilton Sisters and all he had was... ace high, which he proudly showed me. Why didn't I call?
10. After the AlCantHang Bluff, I lost my temper and smacked the table loudly and had to walk away from the table to collect myself.

More to come.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Hilton Sisters Challenge 6

I'm going out of town this weekend, so how about another Hilton Sisters Challenge?!?

Your mission: You must crack AA with QQ on Party Poker this Saturday, September 25th only. Any ring game and any tournaments (except $5 and $10 SNGs). You must write: Dr. Pauly loves Paris in the chat.

Prizes: The winner gets either a Pauly painting or the new Paris Hilton book.

No, I'll never ever pick this up.

Past Winners:
Hilton Sisters Challenge 1: Chris Halverson and Bad Blood
Hilton Sisters Challenge 2: No one
Hilton Sisters Challenge 3: My brother from Poker in the Weeds
Hilton Sisters Challenge 4: Jordan from Hurty Gurty
Hilton Sisters Challenge 5: No one

The Hilton Sisters Challenge 6 is only open to poker bloggers (as always with the exception of Nemo D, Jerry, Hank987, and Landow). The contest will be held from 12:01am EST on Saturday and end at Midnight. You must email me the hand history to be eligible. Best of luck!

On the Road

I'm off to Atlantic City and the Bogarta today with Senor Al No Puede Colgar and Senora No Puede Colgar and Saturday will be the epic Bash at the Boat just outside Philly. The weeeknd will be featuring cameos from everyone's favorite poker bloggers. Expect full write ups on both my sites. The poker stories will be posted here next week and the sordid tales of deviant debauchery will be posted to my main blog. Stay tuned. In the meantime, why don't you read the latest issue of my blog-zine Truckin'. Have a great weekend. Best of luck with the Hilton Sisters.

September 2004 (Vol. 3, Issue 9)

September's issue of Truckin' is short and sweet. I'm excited to add another new writer to the roster. Ignatious J. Reilly shares a story about his recent trip to Aruba during a hurricane. Diane Roy is back with a touching piece of fiction. And of course I have two stories; an Amsterdam tale, and another Coventry, Vermont story. Sit back, enjoy, and please spread the good word about this site. Be sweet, McG.

1. Charlie's Albatros by Tenzin McGrupp
She barely touched her tea, instead she put a hefty dent into the pack of Gitanes she bought during our desperate search for hash and French smokes in the early afternoon... More

2. Mausoleum by Diane Roy
The answering machine was the only thing alive, waiting like an exasperated lover, waiting to be released from the duty of reliving that day, over and over and over... More

3. Ivan and Aruba by Ignatious J. Reilly
Hurricane Ivan was on it's way and everything was closed up or shut down. Arubans were twitchy and dumbfounded, and that alone made me nervous. A hurricane, much less a category 4 storm, had not hit this lovely island in nearly 200 years... More

4. A Vermont Wake Up Call by Tenzin McGrupp
Sure it might have been the first strange thing I saw that day, but I was guaranteed that by Midnight, the naked pregnant chick taking a shit behind my tent would be the 136th weird-ass-happening that I'd experience... More

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Fantasy Pauly Updates

I have some updates for all my pools. I'm not doing too hot. I managed 9-1 week in college football, only to be outshined by my brother who had a perfect 10-0 week. My fanatsy football team is sputtering along, and my NFL pool picks aren't panning out.

Pauly's Pub Pigskin Pick'em - Week 2 Update

Team of the Week: TIE (All My Sweet Bitches; All In; Snot Bubbles; Well T'anks For Nuttin') 9 wins

Week 2 Results:
1 All My Sweet Bitches 9
1 All In 9
1 Snot Bubbles 9
1 Well T'anks For Nuttin' 9
5 manny and ortiz 8
5 Smokin Ricky 8
5 Running Back Ribs 8
9 Oyster Bay Moore 7
9 Chico's Bail Bonds 7
9 Cumberland Blues 7
9 Twinkle & Turquoise 7
9 Ugarte's Last Stand 7
9 The Brooklyn Embeds 7
9 Austin Drunks 7
9 Uwannabet? . 7
9 Drunk Norsemen 7
9 Bobby BigBalls 7
9 Punch You in the Eye 7
9 McNamara Entry1 7
9 Lovelace Leapsloth 7
9 WhereMy NillasAt? 7
9 Shakedown Street 7
9 Coach's Picks 7
25 MoshPit badblood44 6
25 PayMeNow 6

Overall Standings:
1 Well T'anks For Nuttin' (Jerry) 20
2 All In (Landow) 19
3 Bobby BigBalls (C. Hardin) 17
3 manny and ortiz (. BSinger) 17
3 McNamara Entry1 (Spider) 17
3 All My Sweet Bitches (Ty) 17
3 Austin Drunks (Matt S.)17
3 MoshPit badblood44 (Bad Blood) 17
9 The Brooklyn Embeds (Gil) 16
9 Chico's Bail Bonds (Derek) 16
9 Punch You in the Eye (Pauly 2) 16
12 Snot Bubbles (Sean - Anistropy) 15
12 Lovelace Leapsloth (S. Lovelace) 15
12 Smokin Ricky (Senor) 15
12 Coach's Picks (Coach) 15
12 Uwannabet? (U Wanna Bet) 15
17 Shakedown Street (Pauly 1) 14
17 BiG PERM BiG WORM (Armen)14
17 Oyster Bay Moore (Moore) 14
17 Cumberland Blues (K. Hungus) 14
17 Twinkle & Turquoise (Jenna & Haley) 14
22 Ugarte's Last Stand (Charles Star, comedian, esq.) 13
22 PayMeNow (AlCantHang) 13
22 Drunk Norsemen (C. Halverson) 13
25 Running Back Ribs (Schanzer) 12
26 WhereMy NillasAt? (Boy Genius) 11

The Skinny: Jerry and Well T'anks for Nuthin' are leading the field. Landow and All In sits in second, just one behind our leader. Their 9 win week kept them up top. All My Sweet Bitches and Snot Bubbles had solid weeks and moved up in the standings. A lot of wild upsets thiin Week 2. It's a long season, so there's plenty of time to make a comeback!!

Don't forget to do you picks!!! If you don't do them, the computer automatically takes all the HOME teams for you... that way you still have some points if you forget to do your picks.

Andy ideas for a "Last Place" bonus prize?!?

Grid Iron Week 2 Update

Team of the Week: Uncle Jodd's Band

Week 2 Results:
1 Uncle Jodd's Band 134
2 Trained Professional 128
3 Mary-Kate's Nosebleed 120
4 Rib Boy's Latrells 119
5 Porkchops & Applesauce 118
6 Robber Barons 117
7 The Brooklyn Embeds 110
7 Your Enemies Friend 110

Overall Standings
1 Trained Professiona (Boy Genius) 273
2 The Brooklyn Embeds (Gil) 254
3 Uncle Jodd's Band (Senor & Pauly) 248
4 Rib Boy's Latrells(Derek) 246
5 Mary-Kate's Nosebleed (Pauly) 245
6 Your Enemies Friend (Spider) 241
7 Porkchops & Applesauce (Joe Moore) 239
8 Robber Barons (Armen) 213

The Skinny: Senor and I had a monster week (despite Priest Holmes getting injured and taken out of the game) and jumped up in the standings. Boy Genius and his Trained Professional team are still on top. With a slew of injuries and a bye weeks upcoming, it's going to be a long season.

College Football - Week 3

Team of the Week: Chico's Bail Bonds (10-0) and a perfect 55 point week

Week 3 Results
1 Chico's Bail Bonds 55
2 WhatyaTalkin AboutWillis? 53
2 Austin Drunks 53
3 AlCantHang 50
4 Landow 45
5 Buckeye! 43
6 The Venetian Blinds 41
7 Sheer Entry 40
8 Ugarte's Last Stand 39
9 Muff State Pie Boys 34
10 Killer Gophers 32

Overall Standings
1 Austin Drunks 140
2 Chico's Bail Bonds 139
3 AlCantHang 131
4 Buckeye! 124
5 WhatyaTalkin AboutWillis? 123
5 The Venetian Blinds 123
7 Landow 119
8 Ugarte's Last Stand 112
9 Sheer Entry 110
10 Killer Gophers 106
11 Muff State Pie Boys 71
12 Porkchops & Apple Sauce 55

The Skinny Week 3: I thought I had a great week, but it looks like Derek and Chico's Bail Bonds had a perfect week going 10-0 and is just one point off the lead, held onto by Austin Drunks (for a third straight week). Anyway, Derek and I both called the Auburn win. Tennesse won on a 50 yeard field goal, West Virginia needed OT, and Notre Dame keeps on rolling.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Annie Duke on Letterman

A friend of mine sent me an email this morning telling me that "some poker chick" is going to be on Letterman tonight. I just checked CBS and the Late Show's website and it confirms that tonight's guests are: Kelly Ripa, Annie Duke, and Elvis Costello. I dunno if this is a new episode or a repeat. Either way, I have never seen it. Check your local listings. Last night, I watched Annie knock out her brother to go heads up with Phil Hellmuth to win $2 Million. It was cool watching a prime time "SNG" with some of my favorite players.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Late Night Weirdness at the Blue Parrot
"Swish, I'm right fucking here!" - Ugarte scolding a player for continuously acting out of turn
I had a great birthday yesterday. I wrote for several hours, played a few hands on Party Poker, ate dinner with my brother, then ventured off for a late night game at the Blue Parrot. Signor Ferrari had not hosted a game in several weeks. He pushed back the starting time a couple of hours and suggested that everyone bring a lax attitude this week, along with alcohol. Lots of it. Most of the regulars were back... Coach, Ugarte, and even Swish made the game. He was in town covering the Giants-Skins game and stuck around an extra day to play. Weirdness is the norm when the games get into the late hours. You can imagine what it was like when we left his apartment at 6am. At one point I was down almost $200 and left at 3am. I'm glad I stayed because I stormed back, saved face, and walked away only down $30.

It was a full table at the Blue Parrot, with the MNF game on in the background.
The players:
Seat 1: Joel
Seat 2: Om
Seat 3: Matt (first appearance at the Blue Parrot)
Seat 4: Signor Ferrari
Seat 5: Ugarte
Seat 6: Swish
Seat 7: Diane
Seat 8: Coach
Seat 9: Dr. Pauly
9:35pm EST... I won the button and called a round of $2-4 hold'em. Swish scooped the first pot and Joel won two of the next three. LJ Smith scored a TD. He's the starting TE on my fantasy team and I needed three TDs from the guy to win the week.

9:56pm EST... Coach won a pot with one of his trouble hands AQ. He flopped top pair and escaped both a flush and straight draws to take down his first pot of the night. It was a little hectic because I had been wasted from celebrating all day. I swigged my Rolling Rock, and in between folding all my junk hands, I bravely attempted to carry on eight different conversations at once since I had not seen everyone in weeks; Coach dropped 27 points in a lawyer's league hoops game, Swish just got back to America after a month covering the Olympics in Athens, Matt and Om were quizzed me about the origins of The Hammer, Joel spoke to me about my short story Lost Puppy, chatted with Ugarte about his recent stand up gigs, Ferrari talked up college football including his Buckeyes, and Diane told me about her new poets group.... all within one orbit of hold'em.

10:19pm EST... -20. Ferrari took down the biggest pot of the night in $2-4 hold'em after calling a preflop raise with 46o. He was defending his blinds, flopped his pair, then nailed his trips on the turn. Swish's KJ, Diane's pocket 9s and Om's 10s all went down when everyone bet to the river with their two pair.

10:43pm EST... -25. Playing another round of hold'em, Diane, went heads up with Swish. The flop: KsJs7c. Swish had the reputation to play any two cards to the river, taking down gigantic pots and cracking pocket pairs in the process. Running aces made the board extremely terrifying, filling up a flush in the river. Swish raised, Diane reraised, and Swish went back over the top. There's no limit to raises heads up at the Blue Parrot and it looked like someone's flush was going to lose to a full boat. Diane folded and Swish flipped over Big Slick. It was a nicely played hand especially since he didn't raise preflop.

11:01pm EST... -31. Ugarte called a round of Omaha hi/lo and I found A23J, double suited. The board read: A2356 with no flush possibilities for me. It could have not been a worse flop.

11:19pm EST... -50. This is what I scratched in my notes: OMAHA KILLING ME!.

11:43pm EST... -35. I took down one of my first pot of the night after playing for over two hours. I had Ah-10h UTG and raised. I drove out all but four players and. I flopped two hearts and pushed the action. When an ace fell on the turn I checked-raised and everyone folded.

11:57pm EST... -45. Hold'em. Coach opened up with a raise. I called with 10-10. The flop: Q76. Coach came out firing and I folded. He got a few callers to the river including Matt and Om. He had a set of 7s and scooped a decent sized pot.

12:17am EST... -70. Most recently, we rarely played games with wild cards. Om called Follow the Queen (Stud where Queens AND the card following the Queens are wild) and I lost a pot when I had 88/Q to open. I could not even fill up a full boat, which would have been a marginal hand in a game with so many wild cards.

12:30am EST... -75. I was waiting for Stud hi/lo. Unfortunately I got nothing and folded. Since I had been playing a lot of stud in the last ten days, I got more accustomed to seeing different starting hands. I have a better feel what to muck and what hands I could draw out on.

12:44am EST... -55. I went heads up with Diane. In LP, I raised. The flop: A22. I raised Diane and she called. The turn and flop: 6 and J. I was worrying about a 2, but more concerned about getting outkicked. I didn't raise on the river and Diane showed A3. I won the pot with A5s. It was one of the best hands I had seen all night and I got a few grumbles from the peanut gallery for my questionable preflop raise.

1:08 am EST... -40. Matt called Baseball and I got three 3s with the King and 10 of hearts. My Royal Straight Flush took down Swish's quad 4s in a great example of the insanity of wild cards games!

A couple of folks left and the game got shorthanded. That's when I knew it was going to get ugly.
Late Night Players:
Seat 1: Om
Seat 2: Matt
Seat 3: Signor Ferrari
Seat 4: Swish
Seat 5: Diane
Seat 6: Dr. Pauly

1:21 am EST... -115. Anaconda. Man, I have lost so much money on Anaconda at the Blue Parrot that I could probably buy an entire bar in Southern Mexico somewhere, a place that Al Can't Hang and Mrs. Hang could vacation, and where the locals would shout out, "Senor No Puede Colgar!" everytime our favorite Socologist entered the premises. I cannot fold hands in Anaconda. I know better too. I feel like one of those battered wives, with two black eyes and a broken collar bone, who constantly runs face first into the fist of her pugilistic husband, unable to break free from the sadistic nature of life that we all crave, yet lack the self-esteem to walk away. I had a fullhouse, Queens full of Jacks. Diane was showing 77A. I knew Om was going for the low. He had one ace covered up. Did she have the other two? I paid to see the next card and Diane showed an Ace. That's when I folded when I should have called. In the past when I called that last bet, I always lost to a higher full boat. That was the first of many poorly played Anaconda hands.

2:03am EST... -120. Om took down five 5s in Follow the Queen. Ferrari had been doing well at that point. And Matt had two huge stacks of chips which slowly bled away. I bought 80 off of him for my first rebuy of the night. Om had a few swings back and forth. He started out hot. Diane and Swish were sputtering along, having to rebuy after a trip downstairs to the ATM.

2:11am EST... -155. Swish called Baseball. I lost to Ferrari's quad cowboys to my quad 2s. We played Midnight Baseballl or no peek. Om's quads beat out Diane's trips.

2:36am EST... -165. In hold'em, Diane raised perflop with the Hammer but lost to Swish's A5s. Matt left and the already loose game got five handed.

3:10am EST... -190. Ferrari bad beated Om when his 73o took down K-10. Om flopped top pair, Ferrari bottom pair, then caught his trips on the turn. The next hand, my A-10s lost to Q9. I had just a few chips left. I was going to leave but decided to stick around for a few more hands.

3:17am EST... -130. I started my run. Swish called Seven card Stud with 2s wild. My fullboat took down Swish's set of 9s.

3:41am EST... -90. Hold'em. I raised preflop with 88. I got two callers including Ferrari. I flopped a set (Q78) and raised. Ferrari reraised, I played back and he called. I put him on top pair or a straight draw. I paired the board on the river and my full boat took down a well needed pot. I was off running. I was gunning to win my rebuy back.

3:50am EST... Karma found it's way towards Ferrari's hand. He had K8 and Om had the Hilton Sisters. The flop: 2K9. Ferrari had him and raised. Om proceeded to catch running cards for a Broadway Straight suckout!

3:57am EST... -60. I raised preflop with QJs. Swish called. The flop: AK3. I caught my straight on the turn. Swish hit two pair on the river and raised me. I played back and I thought we were going to chop the pot. Nope. He had A2 and I scooped it all.

4:20am EST... -70. Om called Follow the Queen. I bailed right away but the pot was huge by the time it got to the river. Ferrari had quad 6s, Swish had qaud Aces, and Om flipped over five 9s!! He added to his stack with another huge hand in Follow the Queen. Ferrari had been playing great all night and was up over $300 at one point. But he made some loose calls. It was late, the table was loose and no one was folding when he raised to drive people out so plenty of us hit their hands when they probably should have been folding.

4:34am EST... -49. I limped in with 34o. I flopped a straight and was heads up with Diane. Huge pot. Lucky flop.

4:47am EST... -70. Swish found a flight back to DC and was going to stay until he left for the airport. He put a nice play on me and bluffed me out of a pot. I had 35s. The board read: 837J2. Swish check raised me on the river and I folded my ugly pair. Swish flipped over 62o. Well done! He also bluffed out Diane in a similar pot. She had K6 and paired the board with her 6. He had bottom pair with 34 and won it.

5:09am EST... -45. I called Ferrari's preflop raise with 10-9. The flop: 332. I caught my top pair on the turn and got a full boat when another 3 fell. Ferrari had A9s. And I won back over $150 in two hours. All I could think was, "I'm happy I didn't leave to hit the bars just before last call!"

5:47am EST... More Anaconda adventures. Diane made a great call against Om when heads up for the low end of the pot. She bet and Om raised. She said, "I don't believe you." and raised. Om came back over the top and they got into a weird staring match for a few seconds. Om wasn't going away, but neither was Diane. She said it again, "I don't believe you." and reraised. Om folded and Diane took down a big pot on a great call and a better read. On the last hand of the night, I had a full boat Queens full of 8s. Swish was showing: 9h-7h-8h-6h. He kept jamming the pot and raising me. That told me he didn't have it, but I still had some doubt. I ended up calling his last bet and said, "Show me the straight flush." He shrugged his shoulders and said, "I wish I could. Take it down." It was a great bluff because I almost folded. he was impressed I stayed in all the way.

I finished the night only down $31!! It was one of those sessions where I gutted through all the misery and waited until I had the chance to get better hands and take advantage of a short handed table. I was pumped about only losing $30 because it could have been a lot worse. My cash bankroll is more thinner than the anorexic Olsen twin and a huge loss at the Blue Parrot would have made this upcoming trip to AC uncomfortable with a limited bankroll.
The Finally Tally:
Signor Ferrari +202
Om +120
Matt +30
Ugarte +21
Coach +14.50
Dr. Pauly -31
Joel -34
Swish -140
Diane -190
It was just a few moments before sunrise when I left the Blue Parrot. Ferrari had to crash for a few hours before he went into work. I grabbed breakfast with Diane where we chatted about the night's game. She made a few mistakes but also made some great calls. She reads people well sometimes and that's her best asset. As I walked past Penn Station to get to the subway, I was nearly run over by a horde of bitter, early morning commuters heading to work. I smiled. I pulled an all night poker session on my birthday of all days, gutting out only a $30 loss after almost losing my buy-in and rebuy. I rode the subway home in silence, my eyes heavy, and my body wedged in between two NY Times reading, Starbucks drinking yuppies. They were just starting their day, while I was ending mine. Well, not really. I got home and wrote for several hours, including this rambling review of another wild late night of poker at the Blue Parrot.

My next big report will be about my tales in Atlantic City on Friday with Senor No Puede Colgar, El Comida del poker, and friends. Stay tuned.

Other Write Ups

Ugarte wrote up the game in his latest entry Ugarte's Poker Grovel #43, or Two Tabling Again where he touched on some topics like poor poker etiquette and semantics. Here's a bit:
The poker wasn't particularly interesting most of the night. I was steaming early, managing to lose almost $50 without really getting involved in much action. I can't even guess where the money went (with the exception of an Omaha hand where I had the second best hand both ways). The play wasn't the important thing anyway. Most of the fireworks came when two recurring themes from the game again reared their ugly head: poor poker etiquette (Swish) and semantics (Ferrari)...
I kinda missed the drama, I was taking notes during both instances and I usually stear clear of two lawyers in a heated exchange. But Ugarte is right about one thing involving acting out of turn:
I don't mind when people make mistakes; I'll point them out and calmly explain why they were wrong. But when someone so consistently flouts the rules - whether intentionally or becuase he can't be bothered to care or pay attention - it becomes a question of respect. So I was more than a little upset with Swish. Waiting your turn is essentially a kindergarten principle, and it steams my ass that the table considers me the petulant one for having the audacity to care. The argument that the game is loose and casual doesn't cut it with me. Most of the simple courtesies of poker play are designed to enhance fairness, not just order. Pretending that a game with pots that get over $100 shouldn't require just a little bit of attention is bullshit. So I guess I'm still a little upset.
Of course Diane blogged a little bit about the game on her site called ...Night at the Blue Parrot:
"Why are you staring at me so hard? Either bet or fold."

His body language reveals his cards. And that voice in my head is getting louder, so in order to make sure I push him, like Hamlet when he put on the play, I pushed and pushed until it was obvious to me that he was afraid, very afraid. His shoulders sank, there was a quiver in his voice, he was agitated, impatient.If you've got the nuts, you just sit there and wait. Who care's how long the other person takes if you're going to win. Then he bets and he almost scared me off because I was totally short stacked and I'll scare myself, but I didn't believe him and as I kept betting/raising I kept talking shit, as if to keep reminding myself to do what I knew I needed to.
Yeah Diane is a young player that will eventuallty mature over time. She hasn't been afraid to sit down with some great players and took away some lessons from her losing session. Lastly, here's what she wrote about me...
Something about sitting next to him (Pauly) while I play makes me calmer. He's about as close to a friend as you get in this game (*see obscure Rounders reference). It's not easy being the only girl, not to mention the only black person at this table. No one respects my pre-flop raises, All my bets get called and none of them have ANY issue with taking all of my money, in fact some are just straight gunning for me. Playing without him there just isn't the same, isn't as fun.
Aww, thanks!

Monday, September 20, 2004

Push On Til the Day
Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. - Sun Tzu
This weekend was the last weekend of Summer, so I'm told. July was my sole losing month in this sun-filled season. If I didn't take so many days off to travel, and if I didn't fleece my bankroll to fund my excursions... I'd be sitting pretty right now on a mountain of cash. Instead, I'm grinding away at the tables on Party Poker, building up my courage, confidence, and bankroll ...eventually with my eyes set on a bump up in levels. I refuse to advance unless my bankroll can withstand a several bad sessions. It's been taking me longer to rebuild than I expected. I'm back to my hit and run strategy at the tables, winning enough to play in a few tournaments at night, and pocketing the rest.

Stud and Oamha

My Stud play is the best it's been in years. I never played online until just recently. There's no middle class in the online stud games, I'm quickly finding out. Either players are really good or they're very fishy. I understand that one week of crushing the micro limits doesn't make me a world class player. It has, however, given me the confidence that I can improve my game while make a few dollars at the same time. My Omaha play is slightly improving. I finally won another SNG. I discovered that I have a tough time playing shorthanded in Oamha hi/lo. Heads up is where I'm struggling. I'm really making stuff up as I go along, but having to factor in split pots heads up is tough. But that's something I don't have to worry at a full ring table.

Bad Beats of the Week:
AA lost to KJ
KK lost to QJ
KK lost to 66
QQ lost to 10-9
AKs lost to Q4
AK lost to Q3s
AK lost to A7
AK lost to A8
AK lost to 64
AQs lost to J2
Yeah, my AK hands got slaughtered this week. My pocket aces held up at a decent rate. They were only cracked once in five times. I got booted from tournaments with the Hilton Sisters twice this past week.

Aussie Million Satellite B Write Up

If you haven't heard, I came in 34th place out of 73 players. The buy in was $600 + 45 and I won a single table Qualifier free roll for my seat. The top three places won seats/prize packages. Fourth place won $3000, Fifth $1800, and Sixth place won $1200. I originally was slated to play on Wednesday but the tournament was canceled by Party Poker due to technical problems. No less than a dozen bloggers and readers showed up again to cheer me on. And I must have bored them to death folding hand after hand.

Level 1: The levels were 20 minutes long. My plan was to play super tight, survive through the first break and then I'd make my move with a short stack. I expected at least half the field to be gone by the end of the first break and I liked my chances attacking with a short stack with three tables of players remaining. About the fifth hand in, I'm dealt the Hammer in the big blind. Four players in the pot, which was checked all the way down to the river. The board was terrible. But I made a pair of twos... and guess what? I won the pot.

Level 2: Loose player raised 3x the BB. He had been seeing a lot of flops, limping in with any suited two gappers and any ace or king. I had a bad feeling. If he had garbage he would have limped. Since he raised, I was suspicious. I folded AK in MP. If I was going to see a flop, I was going to re-raise. I didn't feel comfortable pushing my stack all-in if he came over the top of me. I wasn't prepared to get knocked out of the tournament with AK in level 2. I also folded 88 UTG before I limped in a pot with AK on the button. I should have raised to drive out the blinds and two limpers, but I wasn't comfortable having to play back at anyone so early. I also didn't want to build up the pot at a semi-loose table. I probably made a bad move trying to slow play Big Slick. I didn't hit my flop and folded right away. By the end of the level, I had T860 with 60 players remaining and the average stack was T1200+.

Level 3: I was moved to Table #1. I hoped that was going to be a good sign. I folded A4s and 44, both in MP. I made it to the break with T665. I was 41st out of 47 and about 3x behind the average stack.

Level 4: I found the Hilton Sisters and moved all-in with the short stack. No action, and I won just my second pot since the fifth hand. Who would have thought I would have made it for over an hour playing only two hands... the Hilton Sisters and the Hammer? I pushed my chips in when I had 10-10 and AJs on the button. I picked up the blinds and could have been a lot worse off with T895. I was 32nd out of 34 with an average stack size of T2200.

Level 5: On the first hand of the new level, I moved all-in with the Hilton Sisters in LP. The BB called with AKs. I lost again with QQ, booted in 34th place. Not very impressive, I know. I folded my way into 34th place. I'm lucky I made it that far with no cards. I was dealt exactly 100 hands in the satellite. I won 5% of those hands, won 2 out of 6 showdowns, and saw just 8 flops.

Tournament Binge

Since the Australian Poker Championships are in January 2005, I'll have a few more chances to win another seat via a qualifier. I've also been trying my hand at a few multi-table and SNG qualifiers. I bubbled out of both... winning prize money instead of a seat on the $300 European Open Satellite.
Tournament Results on Party Poker this past week:

$5 Omaha hi/lo SNG (3): 4,4, 1
$5 Multi-table NL (2): 703 out of 1018; 857 out of 1684
$9 Euro Open Sat. Sub-Qualifier SNG: 1 (won a seat in the $36 Qualifier)
$10 Euro Open multi-table Qualifier: 4 out of 80
$10 Multi-table NL (2): 177 out of 330; 90 out of 496
$10 Stud SNG: 5
$30 SNG (3): 6, 1, 4
$36 Euro Open Sat. Qualifier SNG: 2
$600 Aussie Million Satellite: 34 out of 73

Money invested: $194 + 2 Freerolls worth over $636+
Tournaments I made the prize money: 5
Gross Winnings: $240.20 + $36 freeroll
Profit/ROI: +46.20 + $36 freeroll
Felt good to win a bunch of different tournaments and SNGs. I was close to winning seats in the Euro Open Satellite, but bubbled out in both. I was a bubble boy twice in Omaha hi/lo and a $30 SNG. Those are tough to stomach. I still make plenty of mistakes when I play, and if I just made one less in each of those instances, I could have netted a little more prize money. Ah, but like I said, I generate all the entry fees from my winnings grinding away at the NL ring games. This week, I expect to play a few more Stud and Omaha SNGs as well as a few single table sub-qualifiers to the Aussie and Euro Open satellites.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Dingos and 34th Place

Do dingos really eat babies? I wanted to find out. Alas, it was not meant to be. I finished in 34th place last night out of 73 other players in the $600 Aussie Million Satellite on Party Poker. Top 3 places won seats/prize packages to the Australian Poker Championships, with some cash going through places 4-6. I pretty much folded everything last night (eveen folded AK twice!), and when I was shortstacked I moved all in with the Hilton Sisters and lost to AKs.

Thanks to everyone, bloggers and readers alike, who stopped by to root me on. You guys rock. I wish I could have made it a little more interesting for you. Next time for sure. If I could win a seat in the satellite for just an $11 investment, I'm sure I can get back for a second chance.

Due to time constraints, I will be unable to write a complete report this morning. Stay tuned, because tomorrow I'll recap my week including a bunch of random tournaments I played online at Party Poker, including last night's satellite.

Thanks again!

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Pot Freak Busted!

I got the friggin' munchies, bro!!!

Breaking news... a former child star tragically falls victim to the dark side of marijuana abuse! Ex-Child Star Macaulay Culkin Arrested on Drug Charges in Oklahoma During Traffic Stop is another sad story about a child star's decent into refer madness. Here's my favorite part:
Photographers captured the scruffy-faced former prodigy strolling from jail dressed in a "New Yawk" shirt, a jacket and a baseball cap with "Pre-flop" written on it, an apparent poker reference. The young star is slated to play a celebrity poker tournament next month.
So the Home Alone kid likes to smoke doobies, pop pain killers, and play poker. He can crash my party anytime. Does he have a poker blog too? Macaulay give me a call. We'll play heads up for your stash.
Friday Night Blogger Convention

Last night, I went slumming at the 50 cent tables with some of our favorite poker bloggers on Party Poker. It's been a while since I let loose and had a good time. I wonder what the four or five other players thought about the wretched insanity we all brought to the tables? I'm sure they had no idea that we knew each other. It was like that scene from Rounders... except they were playing with some seriously demented, distrubed, drunk, and disorderly people.
The Players:
Seat 2: HDouble (later)
Seat 3: AlCantHang
Seat 4: Otis
Seat 7: Dr. Pauly
Seat 8: Helixx
Seat 9: Iggy
Seat 10: Ugarte
Over an hour, I dropped $19 most of it to a hand with AlCantFold. Party Poker's wild and loose tables at micro limits especially suck when you flop a set and still have five mentally unbalanced players rampantly jamming the pot with two gappers. I flopped four sets and only once did they hold up. Alas, I wasn't really there to win money.

Poker used to be a social event for me. I love a good party. In the last year or so, I adopted a more serious approach to poker. And at times, that new mentality took a lot of the fun out of the game. Sure I have plenty of poker passion, but the fun had slowly slipped away in my most recent sessions. Last night was unlike so many other nights. I actually had a blast... losing. I guess technically everyone was on tilt, playing garbage starting hands and trying to outbluff each other. Maybe it was the liquor or the pain killers or the excitement, but that table was one of the best I ever sat down at. Even the rock-solid Ugarte loosened up a bit. I swear I saw him play A7o in early position! When HDouble sat down, he busted out the $1000 stack. Iggy wanted to show everyone he had a bigger one, so he whipped out his $1000 stack. I wished I could have stayed longer, but I had a few things I had to write before I crashed and got up early this morning to write some more.

As always it was a pleasure to sit at a table with everyone and enjoy such fine table commentary. I got to play with Helixx for the first time. I heard a rumor I might see him at the Borgata next week. Here's what he had to say on his blog:
How do you take a table where you're up 50bb and turn it into a scary proposition? add about 5 bloggers who regularly play 15/30 and up (who are 3 sheets to the wind), that's how.

last night i found a bored iggy and, after bullshitting for a few minutes, found him seated to my left at my .50/1 table on party. carson says i want loose/maniac players to my left, so i figure i'm good but with iggy at your table, anything can happen.

by the time he arrived, i had already won a hand or two but after he sat down, i literally could not lose a hand. i was hitting draws, having good hands hold up (on party, no less) and generally just doing pretty well. i was up to about $72 from my original $25 buy in when i noticed someone abusing iggy (as opposed to the other way around, like usual). alcanthang was in the house.

the banter was bordering on "i really should be writing this down" level hilarity. al went into "RAISE OR FOLD" mode and it all went -ev from there for me.
Great observations!


Ah, I almost forgot. Tonight at 11:15 pm EST on Party Poker, I'll be playing in the $600 Aussie Million Satellite B (#78880). Check the special tournament tab. I have a shot to win a trip to Melbourne to play in the 2005 Austalian Poker Championships. See ya then.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Wild Weekend
"A fashion is nothing but an induced epidemic." - George Bernard Shaw
On Saturday night, I have the Aussie Million satellite on Party Poker. That should be one of the biggest events I ever played in online. I'm itching to go to Australia.

I got a few bets down on the Bloody Yanks in this weekend's Ryder Cup golf matches. I was watching Dan Harrington's cousin play against Tiger Woods and Phil Mickleson (in between flipping back and forth between CNBC and Dawson's Creek). Of course it's always an event when the Yankees go heads up with the Red Sox. This weekend's series will have an October-post-season flavor to the the greatest rivalry in baseball. There's a lot of tough college games this weekend. Auburn-LSU could be a thriller. Week 2 of the NFL has a few trap games... like that Atlanta-Rams game. The local bookies (Vinny and the infamous Cologne Brothers) are putting the Hotlanta at a 3 point favorite. My brother smelled a trap right away. I'm tempted but I won't go there. Instead let's double up on my Jets! They never play well on the road in California, but after last week's glimpse of a rejuvenated Curtis Martin, I can't help but think he's going to run all over them and show LDT that he's still the dude. I'm 1-0 in my fantasy football league ($2200 to the winner) and Uncle Jodd's Band is 4th in points overall. Last year we only won two games so we're excited about our victory in week one.

Next weekend, if you haven't heard, has the potential to be one of those epic adventures where at least someone goes to a hospital or jail... or both. Al Can't Hang has his yearly monster party. He's be telling me about it since May. I had my calendar marked since then. OK, that's not entirely truthful. I don't own a wall calendar. But, I've been carrying around a piece of paper in my pocket that says, "Al Can't Hang Party 9.25 Philly." So far, we have confirmations from Iggy, Boy Genius, and Carter from I heard that Sean might be dropping by... as well as the Grubmiester.

Before BG and Iggy committed, I already made plans to hit the Borgata in Atlantic City with Al and Mrs. Hang. Now, Iggy can bankroll me into the $30-60 game. Just kidding. We'll be combining bankrolls and staking Mrs. Cant Hang.

My brother can't make it for the festivities. He's got a friend in from outta town and he has to show him the city. He's bummed out. The only poker bloggers he got to meet were Felicia and Glenn.

How many bloggers have I met? Well, I met Felicia and Glenn in Vegas in April. I met Ugarte (and through him Signor Ferrari and Rick Blaine from Rick's Cafe and Asphnxma from Riding the F Train.) I met Daddy from Snail Trax at one of the Phish shows in Indiana. On my way back from Phish tour, I stopped by Boy Genius' home game and met Lord Geznikor and one of the brother's of BG. Hopefully I'll meet Monte Christo soon. I had a chance to meet up with Poker Chronicles and Double As on Thursday, but never had the time to go down to Atlantic City. Speaking of which, I'm still waiting to hear how Riding the F Train fared yesterday. He played in the $1500 NL event at the Borgata.

More Wacky Adventures in Stud

Felicia mentioned some simple, but great advice in my comments. "Patience is another word for Stud." I've taken many of her suggestions to heart. Within the first few minutes of meeting her last April she told me that I played too many hands in tournaments. This time, I applied her suggestion towards cracking the low limit Stud tables on Party Poker. I had another 70 BB winning session. I would have won more if I wasn't beaten on two seventh street flush suckouts. I lost a monster pot with rolled up Queens. I never paired the board before he hit his flush. Overall, I tightened up my starting hands... and I still think I could play a lot more tighter!

I played a $10 Stud SNG earlier with poor results. I was third in chips at one point and I folded hand after hand until I found 6K/K and limped in. I was pumped by fifth street with: 6K/KAA and heads up with the chipleader, a loose cannon who played every hand to the river. He had xx/10-7-5 with no possible flushes. I never caught another A or K and had to settle with my two pair. He caught running cards on sixth and seventh streets to hit his straight. I got bubbled out in 5th place. Stud SNGs are eight-handed and the top 4 get paid. I'm improving every session and getting a better feel for my opponents. I am putting them on hands a lot easier than before. Playing Stud as compared to Omaha hi/lo has done wonders to my confidence and bankroll (outside of hold'em). I feel positive about my Stud game, whereas in Omaha hi/lo, I feel as though I'm constantly struggling just to break even.

Late last night I bubbled out of an Omaha hi/lo SNG. Late in the game, it was four handed. I was second in chips. With Ad2d3cKc, I flopped the Wheel... only to lose to a higher straight on the river and chop the low pot with two other players. The next hand, as the short stack, I moved all-in. I was booted with AAJJ, double suited. I flopped a set of Jacks and a nut flush draw. I lost to a straight. Bubbled out again.

Hilton Sisters screwed me royally last night in a NL ring game. I lost to pocket 88s when the guy hit his set on the flop. They always make me scream somehow.

Motherless Child

I recently commented on Maudie's site that I think she might be my illegitimate mother. Here's how she responded:
Pauly I can't think of a better illegitimate child to have than you... I'm sure my girls would allow an addition to the menagerie as long as you follow Maudie's rules:

- Smoking (all kinds) outside.
- Take out the trash.
- Do your homework.

And at least introduce me to the sluts girlfriends.
Hmmm. Paris isn't exactly the kind of girl you bring home to meet Aunt Maudie. Now, that Katie Holmes... she's a whole different story.

Recent Poker Playing Music Included...
1. Charlie Hunter
2. Trey Anastasio Band
3. The Grateful Dead
4. Toots & the Maytals
5. John Coltrane

Thursday, September 16, 2004


Thanks to everyone who showed up to root me on in the Aussie Million Satellite last night on Party Poker. Twenty-seven players entered with one first place Aussie prize package going to the winner. Second place would have gotten $1800, third place $1080, and fourth place $720. Due to a problem with their server, the tournament never started at 11:15 pm, and I sat at my table for twenty minutes before I called up support. Everyone was seated but the tourney never began. I was on hold for ten minutes before support told me that the tournament would be canceled. That was thirty minutes after the scheduled start time.

I was irked. A lot of people contacted me during the day asking me for my screen name so they could watch. I felt bad for them. My brother stayed up late to watch and had to get up early to go to work, as did plenty of the other players. Party Poker failed to properly communicate the problem status with any of the tournament players. I never would have found out what was up unless I called them.

Here's the email they sent me:
We apologize for the inconvenience caused to you.

We have refunded back the freeroll to your account and you can go ahead and register for the next week tournament. Our technical department tried hard to start the tournament, but due to technical constraints they were not able to start it and that is the reason why it was canceled and it was later posted on the lobby.

We thank you for your support and cooperation in this matter.
I don't know how some of you prepare for a big poker game or a tournament. For me, I try to have a mellow day leading up to game time. Since the tournament was scheduled for 11:15pm and I got up very early, I had a full day in which I did everything possible not to slip into an anxious groove. The half hour before the event started was when I began to psyche myself up. I was mentally prepared by the time I sat down. When the delayed happened, I had to wait without knowing the status of the tourney. That was taxing. I tried not to get too outta whack and lose my focus on the game, but I was agitated due to Party Poker's fuck up. I was treating last night like a fist fight. I was ready to viciously throw down and get my ass kicked. If I was going to lose, I was going to go down swinging. You didn't expect me to just fold away my chance at a shot at $1 Million Aussie bucks, did you? You can imagine the state of mind I was in when I was told, "You won't be brawling tonight."

The tournament has been rescheduled for Saturday Sept. 18th at 11:15 pm EST. I have a free roll to play in that one and I'll be signing up. My only problem is that I think there will be more players in this event. I really liked my chances when I had a 1 in 27 chance at winning. A Saturday night satellite will probably draw more entrants than a Wednesday night one. I'll drop to a 1 in 50 shot now. All because Party Poker dropped the ball.

Thanks again for everyone who stopped by. Your support is humbling. If you have nothing to do on Saturday, feel free to stop by and say hello.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

What's in a Name?

A quick note... in ten hours I'll be playing in the $600 Aussie Million B Satellite on Party Poker. I'm gunning for a free trip to Melbourne to play in the Australian Poker Championships, and the chance to meet Heafy from Poker on Film. Stop by if you like at 11:15 pm EST.

So... what's the significance behind people's online poker screen names?

With the recent poker boom, all the good online names are being snatched up quickly. And if you have a common real name, your chances of getting something unique on Party Poker is very slim. Some names make me chuckle. Others make me shiver in disgust.

Most of the names break down in a few categories. And I'll briefly speak about each.

Rounders' Characters: You've seen those guys. I call them the least creative of the bunch; Worm36, MikeMcD14, and JoeyKnish69 to name a few. And so many players have adopted these names that if you try to ask Party Poker for TeddyKGB, you'll end up getting TeddyKGB23145566. Outside of the pokerati, no one understands that reference, but inside my apartment I poke fun at you and label you a big Rounders geek in my notes. Hey MikeMcD14, try slowplaying a flopped straight against me and I'll shove every one of Teddy KGB's Oreos up your least favorite orifice.

Poker Pros: There are a bunch of online players in cyberworld who take on the personae of their favorite pros; AnnieDuke1234, TexasDolly54, GusHansen618178, and Fossilman666. Unfortunately, sharing the same online name as a pro is about as close they are going to come to making a final table at a WSoP event, especially when they chase gutshot straight draws or call all-in raises with bottom pair. I wanna play against those folks.

Poker Terminology: Those folks decide to use a cool catch phrases as their screen name and sometimes try to tweak it. RiverBeat. FloppedQuads. JacksUp. Some of them are cheesy. But others are very clever. Those might be some of the creative names out there.

Jumble Guys: Those are the folks who use an odd mixture of letters and numbers as their names: ksiiik474kfoek or dhduggt2831142. Good luck getting Party Poker Support on the phone and telling them your account name if you ever run into a glitch and your table freezes.

Drug/Marijuana References: For some of you older hippies, you might be digging on the vibes of the younger-drug-MTV-chic-culture. If not, I'll clue you into various slang that some slackers would use in their screen names. Anything with Bong or 420 or Puff or Blunt usually indicates that the player at your table is a proud pothead, and usually (but not limited to) from the Northern California or Pacific Northwest area. Chances that they are stoned while playing are... well... pretty high. These are the players with names like: Fatty420, PuffintheAM, Bluntorama, Deadhead69, HighGirl420.

Fictional Characters: I play under a name of a popular 70s TV character. I had to change my first name after I realized I had people stalking me at the tables. Lots of James Bond references and literary ones too. The Simpson's references always make me laugh; DuffMan765, AllyMcBeal4, Frankie007, Morpheus541, and KilgoreTrout4.

Musical References: I've seen a few Phish and Grateful Dead related names, as well as a few titles of random Motown tunes and old jazz standards. Some of the younger generation likes to use rappers and other hip hop references to spice up their screen names.

Inside Jokes and Nicknames: Those are players using their real world nicknames, like BigMike33 or SmellyEd.

Location: These are folks who can't come up with an original name, so they use their city or state as part of their screen name. AmarilloSteve, JoeyTX, HawaiiMary, CincyLou. I always ask them how the weather is.

Year of Birth or Graduation: Here's a tip. If you see a number after someone's name and it's the last two digits of a year, chances are that person was born in said year, or graduated college or high school in that year. JonJay56 is either 56 years old, or most likely born in 1956. AlexD82 id probably a college kid. And HellBoy06, is probably also a college boy and will get his degree in two more years. Sure, I could be totally wrong here, but again, I'm making a snap decision on the fly. You have to attempt to size up online players quickly and age, to me, makes a huge difference. Chances are older players play more conservatively than younger players and will trap you when they have the nuts. On the other side, younger players who were influenced by TV and the popularity of the WPT, tend to play wilder, looser, and more aggressively than they folks in older generations. Some of these people could be using their old numbers that they wore during high school athletic glory days. My old hoops and hockey number was #3, so I like to add that sometimes. But I'm willing to bet that some folks are too lazy to come up with anything else, so they pick their year of birth to make their screen name unique.

Location, Location, Location

What's in a location? It wasn't my intent to speak about a player's location, but it's something I'll address for a few moments. On Party Poker, you can see where someone is from. Will that give you an edge? Sometimes. Here's some more broad generalizations.

European cities: Most European players are aggressive preflop bettors. This is not to say that they are loose. It's just that they don't play as tighter preflop as so many of the Sklansky disciples out there. I'm not telling you to call every single on of their bets preflop. But if you see a city of European origin and the guy ends to raise a lot, you might consider calling with one of your marginal hands (especially in late position) because you could have the best hand.

Las Vegas & Henderson: If I see either places mentioned (Henderson is a suburb of Vegas), I try to avoid playing with them, especially heads up. Are all online players from Vegas sharks? I'd rather not find out.

Canadian Players: Our Northern neighbors breed some of the toughest and fiercest competition in the poker world. There's some good players out there, so beware. Canadian players make a living off of greedy, stupid, fat Americans who chase nut flushes and call top pair all the way to the river. Knowing the big cities is easy. But familiarize yourself with some smaller Canadian town names and suburbs, like Carberry, Moosejaw, and New Glasgow.

College Towns: Ann Arbor, Pullman, Madison. Those towns are filled with bored, inebriated college kids with tons of free time and Daddy's money on their hands. Back to my generalization about younger players under the age of 24, especially with parentally funded bankrolls... those are loose and aggressive types, and a young gun with a belly full of cold pizza and a six Jello-shots from a college town is more likely to bluff with second pair and an inside straight draw.

Retirement Communities: Places in Arizona, New Mexico, Arkansas, and Florida are filled with bored, retired Americans looking to waste their time away blowing their social security checks on Party Poker. Older players tend to be more conservative. When a player from Jupiter, FL pushes me all in on a flop with all rags, chances are he has a bigger hand than then hungover frat boy from Madison.

Again, all these are just generalizations that I've encountered over my last six months playing online at Party Poker. I'm sure there are fish living in Vegas who are playing online. I'm sure we have WWII vets in college towns and Europeans aboard playing tight. But for the most part, you have to quickly profile your opponents if you wish to seek a greater edge.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Pauly's Pub Fantasy Pools Update

For complete updates and standings, visit: Pauly's Pub. Thanks to everyone who signed up. Austin Drunks tops the College Pool, Bad Blood and Jerry are tied for the lead in the pro football pool, and BG and his Trained Professionals are winning the Grid Iron pool. How are my teams doing? Not so good. Last year's co-champ in the pro football pool, Shakedown Street, got off to a slow start and my second sheet Punch You in the Eye is barely in the top 10. I thought my team for Grid Iron was going to be the best on the league. Alas, Mary-Kate's Nosebleed sputtered to the middle of the pack and my college picks haven't been panning out.

Pro Football Pool - Week 1 Results

Team(s) of the Week: Mosh Pit Badblood 44 and Team Engel

Week 1 & Overall Results
1 MoshPit badblood44 11
1 Engel Entry1 11
3 McNamara Entry1 10
3 All In 10
3 Bobby BigBalls 10
3 Austin Drunks 10
7 The Brooklyn Embeds 9
7 Chico's Bail Bonds 9
7 Punch You in the Eye 9 (My 2nd Team)
7 manny and ortiz 9
11 Lovelace Leapsloth 8
11 All My Sweet Bitches 8
11 Uwannabet? 8
11 Coach's Picks 8
15 Smokin Ricky Entry1 7
15 Oyster Bay Moore 7
15 PayMeNow 7
15 Cumberland Blues 7
15 Twinkle & Turquoise 7
15 Shakedown Street 7 (My first team)
21 Ugarte's Last Stand 6
21 Snot Bubbles 6
21 Drunk Norsemen 6
25 WhereMy NillasAt? 4
25 Running Back Ribs 4

The Skinny: The heavily favored Rams failed to cover and the Browns upended teh Ravens for another wild start to the season. There were a handful of games that were decided by a point or less... those can make or break your season. Week 2's games look tougher than week 1. Best of luck and congrats to Jerry and Bad Blood... who got off to a nice start.

Grid Iron - Week 1

Team of the Week: Trained Professionals

Week 1 Results and Overall Standings:
1 Trained Professional 145
2 The Brooklyn Embeds 144
3 Your Enemies Friend 131
4 Rib Boy's Latrells 127
5 Mary-Kate's Nosebleed 125
6 Porkchops & Applesauce 121
7 Uncle Jodd's Band 114
8 Robber Barons 96

The Skinny: Boy Genius and his team got off to a hot start in a week where some players put up huge numbers (Culpepper, Holmes, TO).

Week 2 - College Football Pool

Team of the Week: Austin Drunks & Chico Bail Bonds

Week 2 Results:
1 Chico's Bail Bonds 38
2 Austin Drunks 38
3 Ugarte's Last Stand 37
4 Killer Gophers 36
5 Buckeye! 35
5 AlCantHang 34
7 The Venetian Blinds 34
8 WhatyaTalkin AboutWillis? 33
8 Sheer Entry 33
10 Landow 31
11 Porkchops & Apple Sauce 19
12 Cumberland Blues N/A

Overall Standings:
1 Austin Drunks 87
2 Chico's Bail Bonds 84
3 The Venetian Blinds 82
4 AlCantHang 81
4 Buckeye! 81
6 Killer Gophers 74
6 Landow 74
8 Ugarte's Last Stand 73
9 Sheer Entry 70
9 WhatyaTalkin AboutWillis? 70
11 Porkchops & Apple Sauce 55
12 Muff State Pie Boys 37
13 Cumberland Blues 0

The Skinny: Notre Dame threw Michigan for an early season upset. Iowa made their game closer then it should have been. Georgia Tech came from behind and upended Clemsen. Another wild week in college football.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Escape to the Tables
"We cling to our own point of view, as though everything depended on it. Yet our opinions have no permanence; like autumn and winter, they gradually pass away." - Chuang Tzu
I had my second full week of poker since my traveling binge ended and I was able to actually return to my hectic mix of trying to squeeze as much time on Party Poker and writing into my waking hours, despite having to deal with my Fantasy Football draft, the last bits of Hurricane Frances, moving into a new place, and some tragic family issues. Poker has been a forum where I have been able to escape from certain frustrating aspects of my real life. That's what I did last summer after the death of one of my best friends, and that's what I did this weekend, after I found about some messed up family stuff. Throwing myself into poker worked, because I ended up winning a $70 Single table Qualifier and won a seat in the upcoming $600 Aussie Million Satellite.

Sometimes the past reaches up to bite you in the ass when your not looking. And sometimes you have to keep moving forward. I was spawned and reared by two families composed of insecure idiots. My life often resembles a sullen Shakespearian play or a badly sung Country Western song. But that's the hand I was dealt. I decided long ago to muck it and move along. Just like Hunter Thompson once said, "Don't take any guff from these fuckin' swine."

I finally made it to the positive side of September. The first week of the month was tough after several bubble finishes in $30 SNGs. This past week, I broke out of the bubble funk and took down first place finishes in four different SNGs. I finally won an Omaha hi/lo SNG after several humbling defeats. I had to tighten up my game even more and I finally took down a first place money finish. I won first place in a $30 SNG after making the money in just one out of my last seven. It always feels good to win and a first place victory in a $30 SNG definitely helps boost the Party Poker bankroll. Of course I won a sub-Qualifier (on my second try) and then the Qualifier to the Aussie Million Satellite.

I didn't do very well in any of the multi-table tournaments. I played in a multi table Million Dollar Qualifier and a European Open Qualifier failing to make the money in either. I found myself getting spanked in the $20 + $2 multi table tourneys and I never made the money in any of those. Those are just as fishy as the daily $5 ones at 11am.

My bankroll was inflated by solid play in NL ring games. I would try to win as much as possible during the late afternoons and early evenings so I could use some of my daily winnings to play in SNGs and other tournaments later in the night. That formula worked this week and I hope to continue the same blueprint for the rest of the month. Sure, I'm bleeding most of my bankroll away playing in all these tourneys... but I'm getting more experience playing in tournaments and I have an outside shot at going to England, Estonia, or Australia... via a free roll.

Stud Boy Reprise

To keep my brain fresh on other games, I found myself in the middle of some low limit Stud adventures on Party Poker. I've been doing better than expected. I've tightened up my starting hands against players who will see any draw or pair to seventh street. I won about 70BB in three sessions this past week. I am considering bumping up in limits, but I might just keep playing ABC stud at the micro limits to keep up the discipline. I'm trying to devote a small portion of my poker time towards improving my play in other games. I'm attempting to become a better overall poker player, and besides, my photographic memory comes in handy when figuring out drawing odds in Stud after four players folded all their cards on fifth street. Stud might be boring for some, but it's not as gut wrenching as Omaha hi/lo. If I played as much Stud as Hold'em on a daily basis, I might have the opportunity to become a better Stud player. Let's face it, I've been playing Stud longer than Hold'em, but I've ignored one of my poker strengths and focused on the fast paced action in Hold'em. I'm going to try to set aside more time towards improving my Stud game, including reading and re-reading Felicia's insightful posts on Stud.

Bad Beat City

I dished out more bad beats this past week than ever before. I took down some monster pots and knocked people out of tourneys with inferior hands. I know everyone bitches and moans about bad beats, but how many do you actually win?
A list of my victims...
A5s beats AJs
J10 catches a river straight and beats AKs
JJ beats AA when I flopped quads
Q9 beats AQ
89s beats AJ
You have to bad beat opponents in tournaments if you expect to advance. That's just the way it is. You have to win your coinflips and you have to hold off and dish out bad beats over the long haul. And of course, I'll list a few of my bad beats.
Bad Beats of the Week...
AA lost to K7
KK lost to JJ
QQ lost to 99
QQ lost to J7s
10-10 lost to 84o
AKs lost to Q10
AK lost to Q7
AK lost to J9
AQs lost to Q3
AQ lost to 10-8s
Ironically, I found AA eight times and only once did they get cracked when some nimrod caught his second pair on the river. I found myself with pocket 88s a shitload of times. I usually muck 88 in early position, but aggressively play my middle pairs in late position. Twice I got booted from a tournament with 88... losing to A4s and I ran into a guy slowplaying KK.

Big Slick fucked me a few times. It's probably my most overrated starting hand and I either have problems playing it too strongly or I'm at fault for not being disciplined enough to lay it down after a troublesome flop. I lost two big coin flips with AK... losing to pocket 10s and pocket 9s... getting knocked out of both tournaments. How many times are you booted with AK? It's such a dangerous hand. For the next decade I'll be pondering how to correctly play AK. Someday I'll figure it out.

Hand of the Week

Sunday morning, I found KK in late position. With a few limpers in the pot, I raised 6x BB. I got one caller. The flop: Js-8s-Jc. The first player checked, and I bet the pot. He check-raised me all in and I had a decision to make. Did he have the J? How about just AK? Or two suited cards? He's the type of guy that would call a huge bet preflop with just KJo or with 54s. The correct move was to fold. You have to play the cards on Party Poker. I typed in the chat... "I got KK. I've only laid these down twice!" poking fun at Phil Hellmuth in a recent WSoP episode. A few people got the reference and thought that was funny. The guy decided to show me his hand... the Hilton Sisters! I would have won if I called.

I had been trying to get myself to lay down big hands when I think they are beat. Normally, I would have called his bet right away. And as it goes, when I fold a big pair, I end up folding the winning hand. When I call in those situations... I'm almost always drawing dead. Bad timing with my big pocket pairs. If I can take anything away from this hand... is that I had the sensibility to lay down a hand when I thought I was beat. Good players fold good hands. I haven't been folding as much as I should.

Tournament Results on Party Poker this past week:

$5 Omaha hi/lo SNG (2): 5, 1
$5 Multitable NL: 835 out of 1534
$10 Multitable LIMIT: 97 out of 239
$10 Multitable NL: 129 out of 457
$10 Sub-Qualifiers Aussie Million B, SNG (2): 5, 1 (won a seat in the Qualifier)
$10 Qualifier, Million Guaranteed: 63 out of 366
$10 Qualifier European Open Satellite: 58 out of 150
$20 Multitable NL (2): 633 out of 1601; 224 out of 930
$30 SNG (2): 5, 1
$70 Qualifier Aussie Million B: 1 (won a seat in the Satellite)

Money invested: $194
Tournaments I made the prize money: 4
Gross Winnings: $175 + freerolls/seats in a $70 Qualifier and $600 Satellite
Profit/ROI: - $19 + two freerolls valued at over $670 + fees

I still have a shot at turning $11 into a trip to Australia! If you wanna watch from the rail, I'll be playing on Wednesday night, 11:15pm EST on Party Poker... $600 Aussie Million B Satellite. In the meantime, I have plenty of holes to plug in my game this week while trying to win enough money off of loose newbies to feed my Midnight $30 SNG habit.