Pokerama-rama! Now with more beer!

Beer, brewing and poker, with possibly some inane drivel on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Who am I? Good question, and one that I've asked myself repeatedly. This really isn't a post on introspection, nor will it have much poker content in it. Hopefully, though, it will help you put a name to to a face, or as it is, a face to my writing voice, whatever that may be.

Through someone's blog, you get to know them in a myriad of different ways. Some are fairly anonymous, while other's a fairly open as to who they are. With the passing of the WPBT, I've gotten a look into some of my favorite blog author's lives, and in possibly more detail than I ever wanted to know about. Even if most of what I've read are just vignettes-jigsaw puzzle pieces-of that person as a whole.

I, personally, don't like being anonymous. When I sit on Party, I get the obligatory "Hey Rama", or some other, canned greeting. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate being noticed and acknowledged, even if the only reason you're doing so is because your PT notes have me listed as a big ol', bottom-sucking koi. Hey, I'll admit that I like attention.

I am not this blog, though. It isn't who I really am. With some, like Al, I feel what you see and read is exactly what you'll get in real life. I get the feeling that there is no let down, and he's every bit larger-than-life as he portrays in his blog. Others, like Iggy, revel in the pseudonymity. He's a caricture of that real person, mainly because he chooses to keep his anonymity. That's cool, I can respect that.

I don't like being anonymous. For the most part, I'm a fairly private person, but through my blog, I'd like people that read it to get a feeling for "me". That sounds weird, I know. I suppose I'll just cut through the tripe and get to work.


Hi, I'm Chad. I'm 29, single, very much by choice, and very much to the chagrin of my mother. I'm also childless, another fact that I'm reminded of each time I see my mother, and God help her grandchild's therapist if the day ever comes that I have a kid.

I've only been in love once in my life, and subsequently have had my heart-broken only once, leaving me, of all things, with an aversion to the name Emily. This explains most of why I am the way I am.

I love to travel, but have crossed only a few of "must-visits" off my list, including Ireland and Key West for Fantasy Fest. I went to Ireland with a girl named Emily, and oddly enough, I decided to attach my disdain, not to the country or the girl, but to the name. The country doesn't deserve it, but the girl probably does.

I don't need to make a lot of money, or be famous, but I do want to see as much of the world as possible before it's gone. That's my only lifetime "goal".

I love to read, but am admittedly a slow reader due to being distracted easily, which is why I prefer audio books. Yes, I'm lazy like that. I love to write, but sometimes find it hard to find the motivation, and am currently looking into ways locate it, because I'm nowhere near the writer I'd like to be. Not even close. One thing I've got going for me is that I'm honest. Which is nice. Ultimately, I'd like be one of those people that you read, and everything sounds so effortless, like they just pounded out whatever they're writing in a few minutes. Oh, and to learn how to punctuate. That too.

First impressions? If I'm priveleged enough to ever meet any other bloggers, I can guarantee two questions they will ask. I might as well clear up these common misconceptions right now.

"How old are you?" 29. Believe me.

This isn't so bad, and looking younger than I actually am isn't all that bad. The second misconception is a little more disconcerting.

"Are you gay?"

I don't look or act gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that, I just don't think I exude gayness. Sure, it doesn't help that I live in the neighborhood in Minneapolis with the highest concentration of gay men, or that I live above a very, very gay salon, but my location shouldn't determine my sexual orientation. It's gotten bad enough where I expect being asked that question. Come on, I don't even know what the colors mauve, taupe, or sage look like! I don't own a bichon frise! Those belong to my landlord.

Who else am I? I mean, besides assumed gay, of course.

Well, I'm a guy that likes to drink watery beer-a lot-I like football, American football, golf, and of course poker. I have tattoos and peircings, which according to some guy, that makes me dead-money. I could go on with this forever, but I'll just end it in such a way that you can really put a face with my pseudonym. If you're ever playing at Party with me, feel free to call me "Chad". In fact, I like it better that way.

My shirt says "I love to play Pac-Man". I guess I liked to lie when I was 6. Thanks to everyone who's come by and commented here. It's very much appreciated!

Have a happy and safe New Year!

Look at me, I'm Phil Hellmuth!

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Ship it.

Is that something normally said at a poker table? Am I getting so old that I'm out of the loop? And here I was under the assumption that a
humble smile and a sheepish "thank you" would suffice.

A few nights ago I was sitting at the blogger's $25NL table, when a new face sat in the 7s. I can't remember his name, but I know I have him tagged as a fish, but now I'm rethinking chasing him down. I do, however, remember that his name had "punk" in it. Boy, how that was the truth.

This kid was a punk. In a few hands, he'd built his stack up to about $140, all with suspect play. His 1-3 outers would hit without fail, and right before raking a pot, he'd type "Ship it!" in the chat box. Ship it. He had Iggy and Al, who was on the waiting list, licking their chops, about to prey on this unsuspecting rube.
Unfortunately, he left before anyone could dent his stack.

Now that I remember it, he left the table with $140, and came back a few minutes later with under the minimum buy-in, but bled that away in a few hands.

Right before he left for the second time, he asked me if I'd ever been to Canterbury, which is a half hour from my house. He must've noticed that my contact info listed Minneapolis as my location. I haven't been to Canterbury, but replied with "And what if I have?" He said that he'd be driving through the area on Wednesday and would be at Canterbury with some friends.

I remember reading, through Halverson's site and Twoplustwo's B&M forum, that there was to be a 2+2 gathering on Wednesday night. I did a little addition of my own and deduced that this guy might be from the TwoPlusTwo forum, but before I could type in the obligatory Brown Trout secret handshake, he was gone.

I didn't think much of it, until this morning. My morning at work started much like it always does--I came in through the side door, that way Lumbergh can't see me. And I, uh, just sort of spaced out for an hour. Interspersed with this highly focused spacing out, I looked through the 2+2 B&M forum thread about the Canterbury meet-up last night, and noticed this post. Go down to the bottom of the page to the last post by a guy named "Bicyclekick". He normally plays 15/30-30/60 at Canterbury, I guess. Read down the end of his trip report, and what does it say?

Ship it.


Now, I'm not 100% sure that this guy is the "punk" guy from a few nights ago, but there's a good possibility that is. What are the chances that there are two guys that use "ship it!" each time they drag a pot, and that just happen to be going to Canterbury on the same night? If it's not the same guy, then it's likely they're friends.

Unless I find out that bicyclekick isn't this "punk" guy on Party, I'm going to trail him to see how he plays and at what levels. I'm guessing that if it's the same kid, he was just blowin' off some steam at our micro-limit tables, and has a bankroll to toss $25 buy-ins around all willynilly.

It makes me wonder how many times players get falsely labeled as an ATM, when in actuality they're just toyin' around with limits far under their superior abilities. Or, for that matter, how many people purposefully play like a maniac in spurts, knowing full well that the little hit their bankroll might take in the short-term will be far outweighed by the money they'll make in return by the real fish chasing them, as a pseudo-fish, in the long-term. How do you know a fish is truly a fish?

Huh, not that we don't have a few of them amongst our ranks, though. Personally, I'd label myself as a fish in group amongst shark-eating bears.

Edit:Now that I look at my PT DB, his name had nothing to do with anything "punk". That's what my mind read, though.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Issue #1- Does anyone else have problems with PokerTracker hogging memory, so much so that everything bogs down when it's updating? Both Party tables slow down so much that I'll visually lose pieces of the current hands being played and they'll look like they're running at about 10FPS. It's no fun to play when it's so choppy. I can't even run PT and Party simultaneously--I just load all my hand histories after my session is complete. So much for "real-time". And yes, I've already compacted the database enough that it resembles smooshed ball of Wonder bread. My laptop is only a year old, and shouldn't be having this problem. I only have 15,000 hands and 5,000 people in it. There's got to be people that have PT databases that are 20 times that much, right?

Issue#2- I can't get either Gametime+ or Playerview to work on my laptop. It seems that most people don't have a problem with getting either of them to work right off the bat, but I am not one of those people. Has anyone else had "missing entry point" errors? Looks like I'm going to have to ask add-on creators for help, but I'm impatient.

I think more than anything, I just need to wipe my hard drive clean and start from scratch, but I don't want to do that until I get my new computer. Do I need that new computer I just purchased last night? No, but it sure will be nice to have a decent desktop and a laptop. Oh yeah, and a monitor that I can multi-table on without overlap, and run a tv tuner on at the same time. What can I say? I think I have adult-onset ADD.

Blogger tables:
I have no idea what people mean when the describe the Blogger tables as being "-EV". They're one of the few places that I'm actually a winning player! I'm not quite sure what to make of that, though. What do you mean 3 sessions doesn't make me a winning player? That's preposterous! POPPYCOCK! Outside of sucking out with my trip 10's river a full house over someone else's flopped straight, I don't think I've taken too much money off the bloggers. On the flipside, I don't think they've taken too much off of me.

I'd like to think that those tables are neither plus or minus EV for me, and that I'm just playing them for fun. It's a lot of waiting around for an unsuspecting non-blogger to mess up and then pounce, but with more sharks at the table than normal, it's tough to get a piece of the carrion. Only playing with all of you for a week has upped my aggression level, no doubt, and hopefully I'm migrating more towards the tight-aggressive end of the player gradient, and far, far away from tight-passive. While being tight has been an attribute I like and undoubtedly want to retain, it does me no good if I'm easily moved off the best hand time and time again.

Does anyone have data on me and be willing to share what it says? Not that it'll be all that representative of my play overall, because I'm sure most sample sizes are pretty small, but I'm just curious what most people have me listed as. Or, even if you don't have a ton of data, just any impressions of my play as a whole? Am I transparent? Am I really easy to put on a hand?

For example, I was in a hand a few nights with the The Good Dr. I don't have a hand history right now, but I'll try to recount it the best I can. Hey, I even think I was sober. Pauly open raised in EP to $3
and I, two seats to his left, called with AK. They may have been suited, I don't recall. I think 2 or 3 other called behind me. The flop was seemingly all rags, and it checked around. An Ace came on the turn, Pauly checked, and I checked behind him, partially fearing a check raise, partially hoping that if someone bet out behind me, and if Pauly dropped out, I'd check raise the originally bettor. Maybe I was wrong in my thinking, I don't know. I'm just starting get in the frame of mind where I can think ahead a few turns, depending of a few different sets of circumstances, so it's possible that I was beat a few different ways.

The river came down a 9, no flush or straight draws, and no paired board. Pauly underbet the pot by a few dollars, and I called, while everybody else folded. I paid him off, hoping that he'd had AQ, or AK, but in the back of my mind knowing he had made his two pair or trips on the river. He had trip 9's.

He told me after the hand that if I'd bet the turn, he would've folded without even thinking about it because "PokerTracker doesn't lie!" And I guess this is why I'm wondering what data other people have on me in PT--so that I don't bleed money to random people in the future.

I was going to expound on all of this, but I'm too tired due to last night's session. I need coffee and food badly before I dive into anything else.

Friday, December 17, 2004

I suck at live play.

There, I said it. That's never an easy thing to admit, but the more I play with real chips and 3 dimensional people, the more I realize that it's not just bad luck, or bad players sucking out on me--I just suck.

The main problem is that my aggression level is through the basement. It's located somewhere in rural China, or worse, possibly in Hell with Satan and Saddam. When I get online, I have absolutely no problem reraising someone if I want them out of the pot. I'm not afraid. Put real chips in front of me, though, and you can dub me King Limp. King Check-call-fold. The sad thing is that I know it's all mental. I know I should be raising in certain spots, but there's a roadblock in the receptors between my brain and hands. My brain will be screaming out "RAISE! RAISE!", but my hands will say "Nah, I don't think we'll be doing that". And I call.

"I'm afraid to get in a pot with Chad, because he's likely to be holding the nuts."

That wouldn't be a bad thing to hear, if it had only been a one time thing. Was it, though? Oh hell no, that's been said the last 3 times I've played with friends, by 3 different people. Just call me Action Chad. They think-they meaning a few coworkers of mine-that I'll enter a pot with no less than a group I hand, and that couldn't be further from the truth, even if that truth was sipping a Roofie Colada while sitting on a beach at the Rigel IV Club Med. I'll enter a pot with any number of reasonable hands, I just don't showdown with a crap hand. If there's one thing that's worse than a know-it-all that's full of shit, it's a lucky know-it-all that's full of shit.

Last night was no different than it had been the times before it. The first hand of the night I'm dealt pocket 10's, and before it gets to me, someone raises it 10xBB and someone reraises him double, making it 20xBB to me. I have no problem throwing this kind of hand, especially with absolutely no read on either of the players. Muck City, population: my 10's. It turns out the original raiser had 9's and the reraiser had AKs, I think, and they both slowed down post-flop, and if I'd called, would've been priced in to hit a straight on the river. Not a huge deal.

Second hand, I'm dealt JQs on the Button, and limp in along with 4 others. The flop comes down with a queen and 2 spades, which isn't too bad, considering this is the sort of hand I'd try to stay away from online. There's a minimum bet and two calls in front of me, so I call as well. The turn is a blank. Another a little-above minimum bet, two calls and I fold. Why? I have no clue! I wussed out like, well, a wussy. There's enough in the pot to justify a call, and if I don't have the highest kicker with my Jack, at least I have a halfways decent flush draw. Ah, there you are, King Limp-call-fold. We've been awaiting your arrival.

Suffice it to say, I bubbled-boyed both mini-tournaments I played in last night. The first one I was short-stacked by playing like a donkey. In the second, I made a push with a jack-high flush draw on an Ace high board, you know, like Doyle would, but I, sir, am no Doyle. I'm not even Doyle's second cousin's sister's illegimate third babysitter, and was eliminated when my final spade never surfaced. Phooey.

The money is not a problem, because it's not like we were playing for rent money. It's that I play online and know the correct play most of the time, but when I get to a real table, even though the players are just as terrible, if not worse than Party Poker, my brain seizes. Eeee-ahhh, I'm a donkey. Has anyone else had this problem with the transition from online to live play? If so, any suggestions as to how I can get over this hump?

Ok, I'm done with all that noise.

I just want to say a few things about the WPBT drinkfest. To put it lightly, I'm completely overwhelmed by this small blogging niche we have here. There are so many exceptionally talented people that come from so many different walks of life among us, and to finally see y'all come together in this sort of train-wreck, it can be summed up in one word; amazing. From the trip reports that everybody posted, I feel like I was there. I'm not sure there's such thing as a sympathy hangover, but if there is, I have one. And it's a doozy.

Like I've said before, I'm not on a costant talking basis with anyone from this community-outside of the occasional emails to Chris(that's not a rip on you, Chris!)- but I still feel lucky to be amongst the lot of you. I'm that one person in a group of people that sits back and surveys the scene, just taking everything in. Inhaling the atmosphere. I'm quiet until I get to know someone, and sometimes feel not part of the group. I can say without reservation, that if I'd gone to Vegas last weekend I never would've felt like I don't belong.

Am I a little disappointed that I didn't get to go? Of course, I bet there's not a reader out there that isn't! Will I be first, possibly second in line for the next one? You bet your ass.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Not much in the way of poker content, I'm just looking for validation of sorts, I suppose. Am I stupid for wanting to piggyback on 2+2er, Tenpercenter's, chip reorder? Obviously I don't need these chips, but I sure in the hell want them. Look at 'em, they're gorgeous! I understand when people say "they're just chips, Chad". I really do understand. Look at them, though! Is it ludicrous that I want to drop, at the very least, $500 on these?

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Party Poker $25 NL Blogger table:

Back in November, Pauly posted a screen shot of a Party Poker table consisting mainly of poker bloggers. Pauly, Iggy, Otis, Maudie and more--it seemed that everybody was there. I was intrigued. I thought to myself, "Hey, that's looks like a hell-of-a-lotta fun. I should get in on that some night." I always enjoy playing online, but not as much as I do when playing in WPBT sanctioned events. Those are just pure, hedonistic, booze-driven fun. And this is like an event every single day. Oh for cool.

Since that blustery November day, I've been looking for any of those bloggers online. I don't have a constant correspondence going with anyone from the blogging community, and the screen names on the .jpeg were covered to protect the not-so-innocent, so I had absolutely no idea what certain people played under at Party. And this is where my suppressed sleuth comes into action, and I decided to plug a plethora of names in the client search function. I'm high tech like that. Trial and error, baby. Trial and error.

Hmmmm...I wonder what Pauly could possibly use as a screen name? I wonder. TaoPoker? Nope, that didn't work. Well, how about DrPauly? Nope, that didn't work, either. Ok, this isn't going so well. I typed in "guinnesspoker", not really thinking that Iggy would be so stupid to use that, lest he wanted to be overrun by readers every single night. Sure enough, it didn't work.

I've tried this method for the past 10 nights or so, never locating the elusive table. Sure, I probably could've emailed any of blogging heavyweights, but I wanted to be sneaky. I wanted to fly in under the radar. I wanted to be incognito. And I've always wanted to use "incognito" in a post, too.

Last night, through an acetaminophen haze, I decided to look at the screen shot one last time. It was at this point in time that I realize that, yes, I was indeed stupid. His screen name was right in front of my face the whole time, I just didn't see it.

With my new-found knowledge, I typed his name into the search and-BAM!-Hello, Pauly. Hello, Iggy. Hello, other people I didn't know, but probably should know.

With sweaty palmed anticipation, I joined the wait list, and at the exact moment I was bumped into #1 position, my phone buzzed indicating an incoming text-message.

"What are you doing?

Crap. No, no, no. This can't be happening right now. I can't be taken away from this table. I just found it. Can't you see that I just found the poker blogger's Holy Grail? DO YOU NOT KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS?

"Just playing some poker. You?"

Why, of all times, would she have to text-message me now? This meant I was going to have to make a decision. A very important decision. Girl, or poker? Poker, or girl? Rephrasing it didn't make the choice any easier.

"Just having a cocktail. Are you winning?"

Oh, come on now, that's not right. Now you throw booze into the mix, too? Two against one is unfair odds. Stop playing dirty! It's damn near impossible for me to turn down beer on it's own, but a beer drinking girl? Get real.

"Yeah, I'm up a little"

Perhaps she didn't want to ask me out for a drink, after all? It's very likely that I'm just delusional. Again.

"Good. I'm all-in!"

Wait. Hold on. Back that train up, Conductor. What have we here? This conversation just took a turn towards the very interesting. This is my chance to be witty--my chance to be funny--my chance to 'wow' her.

"What are you all-in with?"

Was that the studio audience I heard groaning in disgust? Odd, I don't remember letting them in here.
What are you all in with. Seriously. Is that best you could do, Chad? You're how old?

"Ace King suited"

Sigh. Stop it. Please, before I give you half of everything I own. First, you try to lure me in by being a cute girl. That would've been enough. But no, you have to take it a step further by adding booze to the package. You could've stopped there, but did you? Oh no, you had to use poker against me. Stop being my Kryptonite. For the love of all that is holy, stop.

"Are you drunk?"

Yup, that stopped her.

With the end of that discourse, I turned my attention back to the bloggers where, wouldn't you know it, I was the BB.
And another one gone and another one gone...

Everyone I played with last night should feel honored, nay, priveleged, nay, honored and priveleged that I ditched an evening with a fine young lady, just for the opportunity to play with you gambling degenerates. "Ditched" is such a harsh word, though. "Fucked up" is more like it. And I blame it all one you.

Not that many of the bloggers that I played with even knew I was there. Incognito, remember? I wanted everyone to believe I was a nitwitted fishy, just like 90% of all other Party players. So, I was there, can you figure out which seat I was in?