Pokerama-rama! Now with more beer!

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

Thursday, May 27, 2004

After my last attempt at a home poker game, I was a little reluctant in trying to get another night going. What started out as only being 4 in for Friday night, it appears we have 7 more limpers coming into the game. While I'm happy that there will finally be a good turnout, this means that I actually have to tidy up the place and make it user friendly. Our apartment definitely isn't the greatest when it comes to space, and the lack of spac is all but taken up when you throw a big poker table into the mix. At any rate, it should make for a good time.

With that out of the way, I'd like to mention my take on the WSOP. I just wish it would be over, already. With the constant searching of updates, and articles written on it, my work productivity level is hovering right above nil. I bet in the next couple years, we'll see live, day-to-day internet updates. The NCAA got a clue about this, and the poker world can't be far behind.

Come on, though, how can you not enjoy this? I mean, if you get eliminated early today, you get at least $80,000, and that's something I'd gladly take for an apparently "bad" 30th place finish, and then just shuffle off into obscurity. You can't complain about 8-1 on your money, can you? I can't even imagine winning $5 million, but poker after that would be the last thing on my mind. The people that aren't saying what a horrible, lucky player you are, would be the ones that are trying to relieve you of that hefty payday.

Hmmm...looks like Matthias Andersson just doubled up. Andy Glazer is going to be none too happy about that.

I wish this was more fluidly written, but playing HU with Twanner until the sun comes up tends to make that difficult.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Getting hit by the deck

There are times when someone "gets hit by the deck", and last night, that someone was me. In fact, I think the deck hit me, backed up to get a running start, and hit me again. And again. In my first session, I was up $100 within the hour by getting just ok starting cards, but getting rewarded when the flop would make me a set. Time and time again, that happened. Shortly after the first hour, the table broke up, and I had to move. Hong Kong Phooey.

The second session, the deck continued relentlessly. In the span of four hands, I had 99(which caught a third on the flop),AA,AA,KK...all of which netted me some much needed ching for my bankroll. Poker is a great game, when you're winning, of course. I'm sure that tonight the deck will not be quite so kind, but for now, I'm just going to chalk it up to stunning and clever play.

Stunning and clever...I just made myself shoot water out of my nose.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Home game.

I've been trying to get people together for a friendly home game, and right now, I'm just downright frustrated. I've got the chips, I built the table, but the people that say they want to play, never do. Or, if we end up getting people together for a game, it goes badly. And, I'm not just talking spilled beer, badly. Oh no, I'm talking falling out of a third story window, while trying to pee out of it, badly. Not good. Just to give you some idea how things go, I'll tell about a night that happened a few weeks back.

I'd been itching to play in a real game for about a month, and as I've yet to make it down to Canterbury, a home game was the next best thing. Not a lot of my friends are into poker, but there's a group of 4 of us, or so, that consistently want to play. It's no fun playing 4 handed, though. Well, not that it's not fun, I'd just rather have more people there. 6 would be nice, 10 is probably too many, especially if they don't have a clue as to what they're doing. Sure, it would be easy money but the whole fun level of the night drops, and the pace of the game slows down tremendously when you have to explain hand rankings after each community card is dealt.

Anyhow, a couple weeks ago on a Saturday, I'd tried to drum up some interest in a home game. Unfortunately, with the Timberwolves playing, and other stupid reasons, people couldn't make it early on in the night. So, I did something stupid; I set up a little afterbar mini-tournament. Big mistake. Huge. At the time I thought it'd would really be no big deal, and I figured people would be able to comply to what I wanted; a nice, comfortable, fun $10 buy-in tournament. Easy, right? Wrong.

We started off with 4 people a little before 2am, with most of us pretty liquored up already.

Seat 1:Me
Seat 2:Jay
Seat 3:Jeremy
Seat 4:Jay-Two

I'd never played with the either Jay before, but judging by their enthusiasm level when I asked them if they wanted in, or not, I oh so wrongly thought they'd played before. Jeremy was not a problem, as he's one of my friends that I play poker with regularly. As it turns out, neither Jay had played much at all, so this should've set off bells, buzzers and whistles of all kinds in my head that it was time to cut the game short. Short as in, before it even started. We get everyone set up with chips, and are just about to start when a friend, Chaz, walks in with a random bar hook-up. She takes one look at the table and whines out "I wannnnna plaaaaaaaaaaaay!". Great, just great. After she finally half-convinced us that she knew how to play, we set her up with chips as well. She wedged her drunken ass-and I do mean wedged, yes- inbetween Jeremy and Jay-Two to make the table look like this;

Seat 1:Me
Seat 2:Jay
Seat 3:Jeremy
Seat 4:Drunk Girl
Seat 5:Jay-Two

Ok, so we're set. We deal for button, and the girl looks at me and said "Wait, what are we playing?". Hold 'Em, dear. Hold. 'Em. To which she replied "Oh.", and something about the look on her face should've set off the bells and whistles once more, but I passed her question off as being booze induced forgetfulness, and not downright stupidity. It was moreso the latter. I'm not very bright when I'm drunk, and I was hoping, wishing, praying, that she would be the only problem of the night.

"You can wish in one hand and crap in the other and see which one fills up first."
Grampa Gustafson- Grumpier Old Men

That quote perfectly sums up how far wishing got me. Not only did she not have a clue as to what game we were playing, she'd run off to smoke right as the hand was dealt, and even though everyone was yelling at her to play her hand, she wouldn't come back to the table until she realized that her cigarette was gone, and she was, in fact, smoking filter. Added to that, she didn't realize that her 4-6o was bad, calling all the way to the river with no pair. I think I knocked her out, praise the lord, when my AKo hit two pair on the flop. I can't even begin to imagine my annoyance level if she had actually won money. With her out of the running, the 4 guys could finally sit back and enjoy some real poker. Or could they?

Nope. As the girl got busted out fairly early, I didn't have a read on either Jay. As far as I knew, they had a grasp on, at the very least, the basics. After a few orbits, I had them both read pretty damn well. If we'd been playing Party Poker, I would've noted them as "Thinks he's playing blackjack". No more explanation is really needed, but seeing as how this has gone on for so long as-is, I might as well just continue being long winded. They knew nothing about the game, other than it's name, and perhaps a rudimentary understanding of hand rankings. Yes, that bad. Jeremy and I were growing increasingly frustrated, and wanted nothing more than to just to quit, but as we figured we could at least take some money home, we'd stick it out. Jay-Two busted out because he was too drunk to care any longer about his $10, leaving just Jay, Jeremy and I.

And this is when it happened; all hell broke loose. If my life were a movie, this would be the part where the antagonist snaps and starts beating the crap out of people, a la Falling Down. I'd also like some slow-mo, please. That'd be neat.

My roommate, Jon, works for a chain restaurant...hold on, just follow me here. Anyhow, he works for a restaurant that has those machines in the entry that gives out a crap prize, like a gumball, when you plug in a quarter. As a "perk" to his job, he gets a catalog of various trinkets(read:junk) to fill the machines with. So, what does he order? A whole bag of close to 200 hundred little, rubber balls. Get ready, here it comes.

Backing up to when we arrived home from the bar a little before 2am, Jon immediately went to his room and passed out. The only problem I have with this is that he left his room unlocked, and his bag of balls unguarded. How dare he leave his ball sack unguarded! Drunk girl, upon being eliminated from the tournament, decided to snoop in Jon's room. Unluckily, for everyone involved, she found the rubber balls. Not only did she open the bag, she also thought it would be a grand idea to rip the bag open right over the poker table, showering balls across the entire room. Drinks were plonked, chips knocked over and cards strewn to and fro. I'd always thought that, while growing up, bouncy balls were supposed to be fun. Now, I loathe them.

"That's it, everybody out. I'm going to bed. Take a rubber ball with you on your way out. They're free!"

Game over. I woke up the next morning and bouncy balls were everywhere. Under the couch, on the stairs leading up to our apartment, in the toilet; everywhere. At last count, I think we recovered 50, maybe 60 of them, leaving 150 of their brothers MIA, presumed dead. I'm sure they're just waiting for the next poker night to happen, so they can once again be unleashed on the throngs of happy do-gooders.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Novice competes in World Series of Poker

Wow, what a fine example of hard hitting journalism. What percentage of entrants into each WSOP event are actually novices? 75%? 85%? The headline might as well be "Random guy breathes"

Eh, it's too early for me to go into this. I need coffee.


Wednesday, May 19, 2004

No cards

I've just wasted the last 4 hours of my life on Party Poker, being a maniac. Now, before you all go and try to figure out my screen name, tagging me as a megafish, I'll let you know that I was a folding maniac. I was a folding machine. A folding freak, if you will. Check to see the flop in the BB? Yeah, all of those flops came nowhere near hitting. I thought I was still playing poker, but the cards I was getting made no sense. I'd blink, rub my eyes and take another look, only to see that, yup, nothing matched up. Pockets Jacks? Yeah, I had to fold that after the flop came up all over cards. I think I might've even folding the nuts once because the act of hitting the fold button had become so natural, that I just did it instinctively. Those pair of Jacks are the highest that I've seen all night, and the second place finisher is that pair of 3's that I saw about an hour ago, only to have the flop come up A-K-A. Sigh.

I can't even relay any bad beat stories, because you'd actually have to make it to a showdown more than once. Pathetic.

Wait, stop the presses. What's this, a win? I just won a $5 pot when my 10-5o from the big blind absolutely nailed the flop when I hit two pairs. $5. Nice, now I can finally put the down payment on that Hope Diamond I've had my eye on. Eh, who am I kidding? It's going back into one of two vices; beer, and Party Poker.

Ok, things are starting to look up again. Just a second ago, I mistakenly hit "call" on a J-9o that I never should've called, only to give me a straight draw on the flop. I limp wristedly threw out a weak $1 bet into a $5 pot, only to have the other 7- yes, you read that right. There were 7 people seeing the flop- people fold. No challengers. No raise. Nothing. I won my only hand in the last hour by complete accident.

I apologize about erratic nature of this post. I'm trying to play, blog, watch the new WPT episode, see my (yes, they are mine, all mine! Mwahahahahah!)Timberwolves squeak out a win, and drink a beer. It's not easy, I tells ya, being me.


I am seriously addicted to poker. I'm sure you're saying "Yeah, sure, we all are.", but I'll prove it.

My work day begins much like the main character from Office Space, but instead of zoning out for the first hour, I scour the internet for anything that might've been updated. I read every poker blog I can, check 2+2 and RGP and read all of the tournament reports to see who's winning what, and where. I check every damn day. And it's been this way for the last 6 months. On Tuesdays, I eagerly await the update about Signor Ferrari's Monday night home game via Tao of Poker. I don't have a clue who these people are, but it's intrigues me, nonetheless. I keep my fingers crossed that Iggy will make another Uberpost, which will, of course, eat up another 45 minutes of my work day sifting through all the links. On a side note, every time he mentions a "Guinness fueled post", my brain reads it as "Guinness fueled crap". Not that his posts are crappy by any means. Far from it, actually. It's just that I've had some not-so-happy results after drinking a lot of Guinness, so I'm just amazed, not only at his blog, but his intestinal fortitude, as well. Good work, Iggy!

Every night, I go home and check the cable guide to see which channels have poker on. I'll mark them, sift through hand histories with Poker Tracker, and hop on Party Poker until they come on. I've watched every stupid episode of the World Poker Tour, even the reruns. Hell, I've watched all the reruns of reruns. I'll even admit to watching that stupid Celebrity Poker show. Hey, I'm not proud of it, ok? Honestly, I only watched 10 minutes of the one with Scott Stapp on it. I can't stand the guy, and it doesn't help when he says crap like "Man, I'm better than David Cross. He just got lucky." Dude, man, didn't even have a clue what you were doing! In fact, you had to have Mimi Rogers hold your hand and walk you through while you played. It's a sad, sad world where Mimi Rogers and Scott Stapp are in the same room, let alone playing poker together. I digress.

Last night, though, I had an experience that cemented the fact that Poker consumes me. What's that? Yeah, I realized that I capitalized Poker. Anyhow, last night. My friend, Twanner(short for Anthony, but how, I'm not quite sure), went out for our weekly NTN trivia battle at William's. We finish up at about midnight with the usual outcome-the ass-kicking of Twanner, by yours truly-and head over to Old Chicago because it's karaoke night. Now, for some fucked up reason, the girls in the city go absolutely bonkers for karaoke. I haven't quite pinned down the exact reason, but I think it has to do with alcohol, and lower inhibitions. Color me crazy, I know. We walked into the bar, and there were tons of girls there. Pretty girls, not so pretty girls, drunk girls, painfully sober girls; the bar had them all. Whatever your tastes, there was a girl there for you and that works for me.

We head up to the bar, get a beer, and scan the crowd. The bar area is packed with very little room to move, and I'm one person that's come to appreciate his personal space, so I have to move to a less crowded area. Twanner has to use the bathroom, so we walk over near the restrooms and kill two birds with one stone. And that's when I see it; Late Night Poker is on the tele. Now, I'm not a huge fan of the show, and other than Jesse May's colorful commentary, there isn't much to it. It's all "Pass. Pass. Pass. Pass." and the entertainment value is just not there for me. Picture it, though; I'm in a bar, drinking, with a bunch of girls, who also happen to be drinking. The implied odds of that have to be good, right? Well, no, I'm off in the corner of the bar, by myself, watching a show about poker that I don't really like but, after all, it is poker. And I really like girls. Nice, huh?

Twanner comes back from the bathroom, and we started talking poker strategy. Yes, at the bar. Yes, while there are women within earshot. I'm sure we looked like two real winners, with glassy-eyed gazes affixed to the unspectacular drama unfolding before us, and talking about the value of a check-raise.

The outcome, you ask? Not good. Shortly after the show was done, we called it a night. It's as if our brains said "Welp, poker's over, so it's best we move along. Nothing more to see here".

Yes, I have a problem, and poker is it's name-o.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

I love today.

I started my poker "career" about 8 months ago on Ultimate Bet after seeing something on the Travel Channel about it. Dealing with play money, it was relatively harmless. It didn't take me long to realize that poker is boring without incentive behind it, so I made the smallest deposit possible. I think it took me all of 20 minutes to lose it. I didn't redeposit for about another month, and that money lasted a couple days. Poker bug, I'd like you to meet Chad.

After just randomly happening upon Iggy's (as if I have to link it) blog, I took his advice and migrated over to PartyPoker. I learned the ropes through SNG's because the risk vs. time invested wasn't as great as ring games. I could pay $6, sit for an hour and the most I'd be down in that hour was the initial $6, as opposed to the entire deposit that I'd probably lose in a ring game. Then I gradually moved to ring games because I didn't have to sit for an hour, which, with my super advanced adult ADD(that's right, AAADD), was always tough to do. Something happened yesterday that made me happier than ever to have heeded the PartyPoker call, moreso the Siren's song of raked hands. Sure, it's nice to have the nuts on the river, only have some sucker try to bet you off the pot with lower than low pair, craptacular kicker. I can't argue with that. That's not what made me so giddy, though.

I got home from work to find an odd package from some company in Canadia. "Odd, I don't know anyone from Canada". Strange Brew immediately bombarded my inner monologue, just as someone who hears the mention of Minnesota has Fargospeak pummel theirs. With sweaty hands, I pawed open the package, only to find the most beautiful "free" thing I've ever received.

I know, I know, get to the gettin' already, right? Fine.

Look, it's a scantily clad Shana Hiatt! I don't know about you, but to me, this screams out "Let's try to beat that rake!" Attractive lady, that Shana Hiatt. Yup. Mmmhmmm., and now this? The marketing people over there are genuis. Genuises? Geniuii? Eh, who cares, they're smrt.

Dear Shana,
Anxiously awaiting July.