Pokerama-rama! Now with more beer!

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

Friday, October 29, 2004

Seperated at birth?

Monday, October 25, 2004

Pokerslut blog?

I have no idea whose blog this is, but I found it while going through the latest poker blogs on Most bloggers go ga-ga over girls, and girls that play poker seem to get a lot of attention, so I figured I'd pimp it here. Not many current bloggers talk about blowing frat boys, do they?

Friday, October 22, 2004

Guinness and Poker Blogger Tourney

The first hand set the tone for the entire tournament, when I was dealt KJo in late position, called an EP raise, and was driven out of the pot on the turn, when a104I9 bet 400. If a104I9 ever reads this, or if anyone knows who this person is, ask them what they had, because I'm very curious. It was the first hand, I had top pair, but nobody wants to go out of this tournament on the first hand. That would warrant relentless ridiculing until the next blogger tourney. Thanks, but no thanks. As a result of my pansy nature, I was down to t1100 before our table had already filled up.

Shortly after this hand, our table filled with two people I'd rather not see; Hdouble, and Badblood. Fortunately, they were both on my right. Unfortunately, I had to ruin that edge I had over hdouble by reminding him that I was the one that crippled him in the Monty Memorial, when I held AK to his AQ. He was not pleased, and as a result, took it upon himself to exact revenge by raising me all in when I was in the BB. Every single time. You'd think this would've made me pissed, but this tournament was all about fun, so all I could do is laugh. Of course, I laughed even more when I outlasted him.

From the first hand, until I went out in 67th place, I was completely card dead. The highest pocket pair I saw were 4's, not exaclty something I can play aggressively with a raise and a reraise before me. I saw a few AQ's and AJ's, but nothing better. Even if I hit a flop with those hands and bet out, I got no action. That, my friends, is what we call respect. Don't argue, because that's what I'm going to believe even if you tell me that my opponents were trying to win with The Hammer.

On that topic, how many people did you count trying to play The Hammer? I counted 132. In that respect, this tournament was of the Bizarro variety. I'd gladly play with you shmucks every day, though, because it's a rootin'-tootin' barn burning good time.
Party Poker Tournaments
I haven't played a party SNG for awhile, quite possibly before they started the 3-table tournaments, so I thought I'd fire one of those up today. In my first attempt, I took 2nd. Maldito Rio! Compared to Stars, though, the whole tournament process on Party seems to be so slow. It probably isn't any different, time-wise, but the levels just drag on. Also, chips mean so much more on Party, and a T500 swing is a huge deal until late in the tournament. If I have the time, I'll throw more money into these. I didn't like that, to find out the lobby for a particular tourney, you have to find the tourney number, and locate it on the main lobby screen. This is much more of a process than on Stars, where all you have to do is click the "view lobby" button in the bottom right corner of the tourney screen. Of course, I could just keep the lobby open when I register, but that just clutters up the bottom of my screen.

At the same time I was playing in a 3 tabler, I noticed that there was $5 multi-table tournament starting at about 4pm. Playing one of these tournaments is painfully slow, but two simultaneously, and it made me want to stab my ear with a q-tip. It was bad.

I'm not going to recount hand histories, because the first couple hours were nothing exciting. It was after the two and a half hour mark, when I had to start pushing, and ended up stealing 5 times in a row. I'd worked my stack up to a little under average, which was about T8000, hoping that all the pushing would make people start calling me with crap. After the 5th push, I picked up KK's on the button. A few people limped before me(UTG/UTG+1), and with the blinds at 300/600, a push here was a no brainer. Both blinds folded, UTG, who was about equal with me, paused a bit and finally called. Much to my surprise, UTG+1 also called. I was pleased to see UTG turn over 9's, and UTG+1 turn over AKs, thinking that I was going to triple up. I can understand UTG trying to make a move because he was shortstacked, but how can you call two all-ins with AKs when you're not shortstacked, and have no money invested? Obviously I'm not that much of a gamber. An ace hit the river, and I was knocked out in 200th place, feeling like I'd been punched in the gut. Ooof.

I can't ask for much more in a situation like that, but getting knocked out never gets easier, does it?

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Last night and I fired up 2 tables on Party, and an hour later, I was happy for two things;

1-I'm able shrug things off easily
2-I'm not using my poker bankroll as a source of income

At the end of the hour I was down 2 buy-ins all over two hands. I should've known I'd have a troublesome night, when dealt the Hilton Sisters on my first hand of the night, and mistakenly hit "fold to any bet" after the flop came down rags. At least, that's what I think happened. Not having a chance to open PokerTracker before the cards started flying, my mouse moved over the icon do just that, and when I looked back at the table, my cards were flying across to the stone-faced dealer. "I didn't muck that!", I screamed. My roommate laughed at me.

Hand #1-

I'm on the button and dealt AcKc. UTG minumum raises to $1, and there are 4 callers, including me. There's only one thing I hate more than the mininum raise while playing Pot or No Limit, and that's slowrolling. Luckily, slowrolling is impossible on the internet. The minimum raise, however, is everybody's signature move. I don't play NL to watch people act like it's limit poker. Ugh. Anyhow, the flop comes 10c-Ah-Kd, and, as Vince Van Patten would say, there are "fireworks going off in his head". The initial raiser bets the pot, which is somewhere around $5, the guy to his immediate left raises the rest of his stack to $9.50. Odd. The 3rd guy folds, and I'm faced with a decision. There's no use in calling, right? I mean, if I call the $9.50, it's not like I'm in the position to fold this if I don't improve. In my head, I'm asking the question "Can I fold this?", and outloud I answer "No, you can't". The roommate gives me the "who in the hell are you talking to?" look, and I raise it to $22.50. And the first guy immediately calls. Ruh-roh.

This situation is one that bothers me about Party Poker. There are 3 people that are all-in before the turn and river are even dealt, but the program doesn't expose the hole cards until the chips are being pushed to the winner. I'd like to be able to see where I'm at before the turn and burn, damn it! Imagine my surprise when the chips are being pushed to the initial raiser, as he flips over AA. He medium-played his aces, and I'm down one buy-in. I can't even be all that mad about this, because I was behind the whole way, and the only thing that would've saved me was if I'd hit my runner-runner club flush.

Hand #2

I didn't want to be that guy that lost his buy-in right away, and quickly reloaded to exact revenge on the person who now had his money, so I shut down the 2nd table, and focused on the other, where I was up about $10.

I go on a folding frenzy until I'm in the BB and dealt AA. Alcoholics Anonymous. Bing! Bang! Boom! Kablammo! With the re-creation of a Batman and Robin fight scene replaying in my head, I raise it 3x, and the 3 people that had limped before me all called. The SB had folded, so when the flop comes down Xs-Ks-Xh, I bet out 3/4 of the pot (about $4), and everybody folds, except for the button, who just calls. Hmmm...trips? Could be, but when the ace of hearts comes on the turn, I know that I'm ahead. I bet out small hoping to induce a raise, he falls for it, and reraises me all in. I'm ecstatic. I'm elated. In my head, I'm already spending this chump's money on beer. I'm also stunned that the pot goes to him after he backs into runner-runner flush, while holding...are you ready for this? The impenetrable fortress that is the K-6h.

I don't normally type anything in chat, but this time warranted something, anything, to make myself feel better. I quickly told him exactly how I felt about his hand, and entered the best diss known to man; "WEAK." There, that showed him, even doubly so because I capitalized the whole word! Take that, you bitch! I silently closed Party and PokerTracker, a defeated man. And then I grabbed a beer and all was well.

My roommate had been watching over my shoulder while all this was happening, and I think he was more pissed about it than I was. And this is the exact reason that I told him that he's not allowed to ever play online poker. He couldn't handle it. There's already one Phil Hellmuth in the world, the addition of another-living in my apartment, no less- might be apocalyptic.

The Iggy Shuffle

Can I tell you how excited I am to be playing in tonight's blogger / reader /anybody tournament? No? Too bad. I'm not one that normally gets starstruck, but come on. What 11 year old boy didn't want to go on a Ray Brower hunt with Gordie Lachance, Teddy Duchamp, and a fat Jerry O'Connell? I know I did. I'm so giddy right now. Hell, I might even be twitterpated. Or it could be the hangover, I'm not quite sure yet. Regardless, this is going to be one hell-of-a fun tournament, one where I'd pay $20 for the chat alone.

Even though I displayed my skills (that don't pay the bills) in the last blogger tourney by placing 16th, it's my goal to make the money this time. And take out every Minnesota blogger along the way. I'm looking at you, Chris.

Note to self: If you're seated at the table with Fast Eddie, turn off his chat. Immediately.

Monday, October 18, 2004

"In communist poker, you don't earn money, the money earns you!"
-Me, doing my worst Yakov Smirnov

I don't know what it means, either, I was just using it as an excuse to display my exceptional impersonation skills. And really, can we ever have too much Yakov? I think not. I'll try to explain what I've been going through lately, though, and I apologize in advance if this is disjointed, and rambling.

At my 'career', I sit behind a computer 8 hours a day, making changes to a geographic insurance database that helps decide how much all of you crazy homeowners pay for home insurance premiums. Believe me, it sounds more interesting than it is. My job is neither particularly stressful, important, nor is it particularly hard. In fact, it's mind numbingly boring and easy. I'd be confident in saying that I could pick any random college graduate-even that's debatable- regardless of background, train them for a day or two on our software, and they'd be able to do my job. It would probably be tougher to learn all the ins-and-outs at McDonald's.

In the past weeks since my move, I've called in sick twice, text-messaged in once, came in later than normal a handful of times, and left early more times than I can count. It's not a huge deal, as I have the vacation time to back up my absences, and our work environment is really laid back, but still, if that doesn't scream out that there's a problem, I don't know what does. When I do muster the motivation to get out of bed, and into the office, I scour the internet for something, anything to waste time. Whether I process one state, or 15, I get paid the same, exact amount, every single day. Not a large sum of money, but much more than another, comparable, non-skilled job. And I'm complaining about this? Yes, I am. There's no reward for being competent, and doing a good job. I get paid the same, even if I trudge through my work in a half-assed fashion, and that's disappointing.

Bring on the poker.

On Wednesday, when I text-messaged in to my boss "My bed is too warm to come in today", I got up at about 11am, headed out to find a book, ate lunch and came back to the apartment. I played 11 hours of poker that day, and I can't say that I've been happier in the past year. I made a little money, and felt like I accomplished more in that half day, than I would if I worked for a month straight. It's sad, really. If you see where this is going, I'd contend that you're dead wrong. I'd love nothing more than to quit my job, and eek out a living playing poker, writing in my spare time, but I'm neither that stupid, nor that naive. I also don't have the skills, or the wherewithal to do that. I'll admit, though, that I'm a little bit jealous of people like Taylor,Iggy(though he hasn't spilled the beans yet, I'm sure I can take a guess as to what he's doing), and Pauly, not because they're making money playing poker, but because they're doing things their way. It's funny, in relationships, I'm the least jealous person you've ever met. If my significant other wants to cheat on me, that's her problem, and there's no use in me worrying about it. Why am I jealous in this instance, then?

Oh come on, it's not that tough. Anybody that's ever worked in an corporate, cube farm setting has the grandiose notion of quitting their job. I blame Office Space. A few years back, there was a great commercial for that fits well here. Basically, it's a series of kids talking about what they want to be when they grow up. Instead of saying "fireman", or "cop", the kids are replying with "I want to be a yes man", or "I want to have a brown nose". My favorite is "I want to claw my way to middle management."

Nobody wants that. Nobody. When I was a kid, hell, even as late as when I started college, I never imagined I'd be toiling away in a cube, and turning up my headphones in a failed attempt to drown out my coworker, who thinks it's his duty to over exaggerate every, nasty bodily function known to man, and a few that, judging by the ability of the odor to permeate my entire being, are probably alien. If I wanted to deal with another human's gas problem on a daily basis, I'd adopt a baby.

I take pride in living outside of the way that societal norms tells us we should. I'm not married, and don't plan on having kids. Shhh, let's keep that one a secret from dear, ol' Mom. I'd pity my own child for having me as it's father, that's how bad it would be. I rarely, if ever go to church, and get drunk way more than a 29 year old should. Hmmmm, I'm not quite sure why I put those last two in the same sentence, but they do fit together, I suppose. The one way that I conform is that I'm a walking, talking cliche, job-wise. I'm a "9-to-5er" working for "The Man", in order to "make ends meet". I hate it.

No, really, bring on the poker. For real this time.

In the last day, $135 million has been wagered in online ring games alone, that stat courtesy of Poker Pulse. Take a moment to fathom that number if taken on a yearly basis. I'm sure a lot of that is recycled money, of course, but you understand my point. At least, I hope you do.


If my math is correct-which it's possible that I'm way off-that's 49 billion dollars. Billion.

If you don't think that's a lot of money, there's something wrong with you. 1% of that is a lot money. I can't even speculate on how much has been wagered in all B&M's. I can say that no matter what amount of money I wrote down, I'd be lowballing the real figure. So, yeah, that's a shit-ton of money, is it not?

As I was sitting at home on Wednesday, it hit me-yes, I'm a little slow- that there is so much money out there-not just in poker,but many other areas- just waiting to be made. So much dead money. And here I am, wasting my time in a job that pays $30,000 when I'm entirely unhappy and I now understand how some people turn into alcoholics; it's because they become bored with life.

I could get a new job, but with the job market in my field being a little thin, that means I need to shift into new, life changing area. What are my options? I've wasted the last 5 years of my life doing something that I absolutely hate, so what would I like to do? What am I good at? Good question.


While the idea of being a professional drinker sounds great, the talent in this area is deep. I can't even count the number of times I've been at the bar, blotto, and have somebody even more drunk get thrown out by a bouncer. There's always somebody better, more attractive. I suspect the booze has something to do with the latter, though. I'd have to start out on a PDL farm team, and if I don't make the Big Time, all I'm left with is a liver that functions at less than optimal levels. Ah, if only I could be a dreamer.

And then there's soccer. Even though I'm almost 30, I still have all of my speed, even more than I had in high school, due to Osgood-Schlatters. I'm just not good enough to turn soccer into a career, enough said. And I grew up on the wrong continent.

Poker is a veritable money tree right now, if there ever was one. All you have to do is read 2+2, where there are so many "x dollar amount in x days" quests, that it's ridiculous. Look back 5 years and take a guess at how many 20 year olds were making $1000 a day. Well, unless they were selling drugs, my guess would be "not many". I'll admit that I've romaticized the idea of quitting my day job and making poker my full time gig, but there's that whole bankroll issue. As in, I don't have one. Damn, it's always the most important things that are holding me back.

And then, there's writing. I love writing, but I have no idea where to even begin on the path to calling myself a 'writer'. I'm not a writer, I just blab. Outside of an English class or two in college, I have no writing background. None. Hell, I don't even use punctuation correctly most of the time. The only reason I started is because a friend gave me a LiveJournal code a few years back, and liked when people replied to something I wrote. Who doesn't? I'm not optimistic enough to think that I'd be able to make enough money off of writing to be anything more than equivalent to those guys that drink Aqua Net(extra super hold) in Loring Park every day of their lives. To prove that point, scan the list of poker bloggers that you read regularly, and it's not hard to realize that, even in this small of a demographic, amazing writers abound. And I'm easily in the bottom 50% in terms of writing experience, and skill. How many of these gifted people are making a living at writing? Not many, if any, are there? They do it because they love it. I do know, however, that writing makes me happy. It makes me feel like I'm actually accomplishing something.

There really is no poker content, is there?

So, yeah, I'm a crossroads where I need to figure out what I want to do. Shit, or get off the pot, and I've been sitting here for so long, that I'm pretty sure my legs have fallen asleep. If I have to quit my day job, find a temporary bartending job, and supplement my income grinding away on the virtual felt, that's what I'll do. That seems to be the most feasible, and appealing option right now. Anything would be better than being the mindless drone I've become.

Look at me; I've spent the last 3 hours pounding this out, and it's bound to be most productive thing I do all day. That's not right, that's just stupid.

And now back to your regularly scheduled bad beat

Thursday, October 14, 2004

woke up to the sound of pouring rain...

Yesterday, while getting out of bed, I heard the sound of cars cutting through puddles on the street outside of my window, and made an executive decision to text-message into work, "unwilling to leave my bed". Yes, I text messaged my boss and said that I didn't want to come into work. I had a personal day that had to be used, so why not use it on a crappy day?

I scrubbed clean, walked to get some coffee and a book, and when I got back home, fired up Party at 1:30 pm for a marathon session of Godzilla proporations. By the time the dust cleared, and my session was over, I was up about $100, and 11-yes 11- hours of my life had miraculously disappeared. Poof, gone just like that. I'm not sure how professional players, especially the older ones, do it. My longest session before that had been close to 4 hours. By the time I closed Party and Pokertracker at 12:30am, I was exhausted. My ass hurt, my neck hurt, and both of my feet had falling asleep, causing me to tip and sway as I walked to my bedroom. One side effect of that much poker is that, not only is every minute you're awake filled with thoughts about it, but you also dream about it. As I turned my alarm off this morning, I half-expected to turn around and see a camera crew filming me. Imagine my disappointed when I realized my daily yoga session wouldn't be on ESPN.

I'm starting to feel more confident in my game, though I did catch myself checking instead of betting, or cold calling when I knew the correct play was to raise. The poker equivalent of The Yips; a little twitch that causes you to mishit the "call" button, instead of "raise". I'm not ashamed to admit that I've been no better than a break-even player over the past few months, but if I can't start padding the bankroll with how bad this new breed of players are, I need to quit. These players are that bad. Margaret Cho bad. Shaq-fu bad.

Poker Corner
After the Travel Channel aired the WPT Final from the Bellagio some time earlier this year, they had a commentary on it immediately after, in which Daniel Negreanu, Annie Duke, and Phil Hellmuth gave their impressions on the tournament hands showed on tv. I didn't get to watch it when originally aired, so I'd like to give my impressions as I watched the repeat last night.

It was terrible.

There, I think that about sums it up. If you're going to have someone on tv to endorse your product, please make sure that they're, oh I don't know, able to speak in public. If I had to hear any of the three say "ummmm..." or "You know, blah, blah..." any more, I would've stabbed stabbed myself in the ear with a pencil. All three, incredible poker players, but not all that great of commentators. Please leave the ridiculous to VVP, as he's already enough to laugh at.

Eh, I've been writing all day, so this is me, shutting up.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

I'd like to start off my return to poker, and blogging, to say this; Dog Bless Time Warner and their non-English speaking cable guy. Oh, he was American, and spoke something resembling english-some derivative perhaps- but nobody could understand a word he said. It could've had something do with enunciating like he had a mouth full of cookie dough that made him so incomprehensible, or that every word he spewed was slang that made him tough to understand. Who am I to judge, though? Oh, that's right, I'm the customer! How can this guy be hired? I can only imagine how the interview went.

Interviewer: So, do you have any cable experience?
Cable Guy Wannabe: Mumble mumble mumble....biaaatch!
Interviewer:I'll hire you on the stipulation that you never, ever talk again. Ever.
CGW: Mumble.

Ah, I digress. Let's get to some poker, shall we? We shall. I'll start out with the biggest change I noticed since my return; PokerTracker and Party in a blissful state of symbiosis. And there, I've finally filled my biology in poker reference for the next few years. It feels good.

I'd heard the rumors, I'd seen the posts on Two Plus Two, but hadn't had a chance to look into PokerTracker before my internet was shut off. I'll say that this is probably the best thing that could've been created for someone like me that, at best, has been lax in requesting hand histories. My data had more holes in it than Chris Halverson's no limit game, and that doesn't do me a bit of good. Now that I can lazily watch the data literally ooze into PokerTracker, I have no excuses for not sifting through my game, and picking key aspects to work on. By the way, the holes that are in Mr Halverson's no limit game are the ones that he thinks are there. I think he's just delusional.

Also upon my glorious return, I've also noticed that Party Poker has been ostensibly fishy. I haven't had enough time on the tables to believe that people are actually this stupid. Wait, before I continue, I have something that I need to get off my chest that's been bothering me. Something that needs to be changed. The blogger community is chock full of creative people, and good writers. Why can't we come up something better to describe a shitastic player than the moniker of "fish"? There has got to be a better word. Here's my proposal; outlawing the word "fish", and as it's replacement, we use "cupcake". Just follow along and nod like I'm making sense. The word "shark" will be replaced with "Fat lady wearing a muumuu", Mama Fats, if you will. The tables will now be highly "sugary" instead of "fishy.

Ok, my example is terrible, but you get my drift, right? I just feel that when I'm blogging about poker, I get a bit redundant, and my writing becomes vapid. And that one, 5 letter word is so overused that it's become trite and meaningless.

"Hello, hi, and welcome to the Department of Redundancy Department. I'm Chad, and I'll be your tour guide to guide you through this tour. By the way, my name is Chad.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

I'm happy to report that, by Sunday at the very latest, I'll be back on(off?) the wagon again, and employing my two-pronged approach to poker; playing more, and blogging about it. I haven't played for almost two weeks, save for two Stars SNG's I played yesterday, both with mediocre 4th place finishes.

Before the move to our new apartment, our cable was turned off due to non-payment. Apparently, Time Warner requires that to continue service. Who knew? It's not that I couldn't pay my part, I just refused to pick up the roommate's slack-ass again, and let TW shut off our service. And that's the reason I haven't been able to sit down at a virtual table in the last two weeks. It showed, too. In those two SNG's, I had absolutely no aggression. None. And it cost me.

We get our cable hooked up on Saturday, and I wish I could say that our apartment would be complete, but I'd be lying. I hate moving, but this was, by far, the absolute worst move in the history of worst moves. In addition to the horrible weather-it was 40 degress and raining-the apartment wasn't done. We had no hot water, no heat, no kitchen sink(still don't), laundry facilities weren't complete, and honestly, I could list about 15 more things that still aren't finished. Granted, it will be an awesome place, with more room to host bigger poker nights, but the last week has been literally hell. If hell were an unheated apartment located above a gay salon/spa, of course. That's a story for another time, though.

With that being said, I hope to be online Saturday evening before I go out to a bar, ultimately making an ass of myself in front of some marginally attractive women.