Pokerama-rama! Now with more beer!

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

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

I deleted the last post because I was being a whiney, hungover bitch. Nobody reads me to be witness to just how little I have to complain about. Now that most of the alcohol has either seeped out of my skin or been processed by my liver, I'll try my best to string some coherent thoughts together. Hey, I might even try to relate them to poker in some fucked-up, tangential way. Don't bank on it, though.

My life is easy. I have no real worries, and because of it, no real consequences in the event that I fuck up. I don't rely on anyone, and right now, there's not a soul that relies on me. I'm in good health for a man on the brink of 30. Hell, I might even be able to play through an entire soccer match this summer without having to wheeze "Sub..stitu..tion".

I live in a kickass, heated apartment in a great neighborhood. Though, there has been a rash of robberies in the area, which I suppose would've been nice to know before I walked home drunk last night with my laptop strapped to my back. I'll have to remember not to do that anymore. And soon, there will be short shorts sportin' women, and I don't mind that one bit. Ok, not at all. In fact, I'm highly appreciative of it.

My job, hell yeah that's easy. I arrive at work whenever the hangover wears off--which is usually right around 9, if you're keeping score at home--fire up a browser, check my email, and whatever else I can to avoid doing any real work. Around 11, I'll start playing poker and won't quit until it's time to go home. Internet poker is the second job that I can complete while I'm supposed to be doing my first. Honestly, the only thing that keeps me on track is playing poker, otherwise each and every day I'd reach the Fifth Level of Boredom, otherwise known as Hell.

A few weeks ago I bellied up to a $3/$6 table at Canterbury Park. It was only my second live session ever, so I was understandably still a little nervous. If you'd asked anyone at the table about my demeanor, all 8 of them could've described the look on my face with one word:"constipation".

That look of constipation quickly turned to one of fear, and I damn near shit myself as I was dealt two, wonderful, black aces. Do you remember the first time you were dealt pocket aces in live poker? Yeah, as opposed to dead poker, shut up. The feeling was relative to any time that you just knew you were going to get laid. No worries, no pressure. A sure thing. You were absolutely positive that by the end of the night, a hot, easy girl--or guy, if you swing that way--was ending up in your bed, naked. My heart was pumping, fingers were shaking and my palms were gooey. Next time I'll leave the KY part of that analogy at home.

Sorry, I've just been staring at my screen for the last 10 minutes. Girl. naked. bed. Lost my hovercraft of thought for a bit. Where was I? Oh yes, Canterbury.

I raised the hand and was happy to see that only one, stupid guy called my bet. He was an older gentleman with a slight paunch, and had a propensity to play a few too many hands. Well, that's a bit of an understatement. That would be like describing Kunta Kinte as "a smidgen black". He was a 90 years old fat asshole that played every damn hand. There, that's more like it.

The first card out was the ace of hearts, followed another heart and a brick. I bet out, he raised, I reraised and he called. I had him on the flush draw, and all semblence of sphincter control was lost as the dealer turned over a third heart on the turn. It scared me enough that I checked, hoping that he'd bet and I'd check-call him down to the river. He just checked behind me, though.


A fourth heart came on the river and we both checked it down again. He turned over A2, no hearts, for one stinking pair and I won the hand with my 3 aces. Sure, I won the hand, which was a nice way to start the session, but so what? I win lots of hands. I was pissed due to my horrible play and at least a few missed bets. I'll admit that I'm terrible at betting for value when a scare card comes down, even if I still think my hand is good.

The hand was an easy win for me. Low risk, low reward and if I don't overplay it, there's not a chance of losing my whole stack to some shmuck that will go broke more times that day than I leave the table to pee. And I pee a lot.

As I started writing this, I didn't have a clue where it would go. After a lot of staring and a few trips to the bathroom, I realized that the poker hand I just described, well, it describes me, too.

I'm afraid of something--what that is, I don't know--so I've effectively been checking the rest of my life down to the river.

My life is a fuckload of fun. But, I'm prone to being a pansy, thereby losing out on the possibility of so much more. And there has to be more than this two-walled cube and 21" monitor. Granted, the monitor is a nice touch, and it might grow legs and follow me home when I leave this place, but it's no reason to stay in a job that doesn't give me what I deserve. The only thing that makes my heart jump these days is sitting at a poker table, and the only thing makes me feel proud is writing something that other people appreciate.

That's it.

Come on, look at Otis, Pauly, and and that guy with the worst monikor in the history of self-given monikors. They're living the dream. They're value betting the fuck out of their hand, and it's paying off in--Wakka, Wakka--spades.

God how I miss Fozzy.

Me? I've been playing the game inefficiently. And life really is just a game, is it not? I've just sitting here, checking down to the river, hoping to have the best hand when it's all over. That's no way to play life. Abso-fucking-lutely no way. I might be lucky enough to win, but I'm missing out, man. Those bets add up, and I've missed a shitload so far.

Back in October, I asked Pauly what steps I needed to take to become a better writer, and the one that sticks out to me still, is this:"Move to a different city. Experience things from a different point of view". And I have to say, that right now moving sounds like the perfect idea. I do love Minneapolis, but I don't really know if it's the place for me if I don't experience another city, or even another culture. I couldn't imagine getting married to a highschool sweetheart, so why would I choose to live in only one city for my entire life? For all I know, Seattle could give better head. Or maybe Dublin won't nag on me like Minneapolis does in the winter. I can rule out Vegas, though. She'd chew me up and shit me out like confetti, but with very little fanfare.

Even BadBlood pointed it out in a response to my post this morning. I don't have any real reason to stay in Minneapolis. Sure, my family is close, but I can't be a Momma's Boy for my whole life. My distaste for a job, not a career, is no reason to stick around. And we all know that girls scare me. Well, that and I don't have a girlfriend right now, which makes it tempting to ask Emily to run away with me. Be the new locale exotic enough, I feel she'd jump at the chance. I can't ask the poor girl to move to Omaha.

Shit, I've stayed at work an hour past when I was originally supposed to leave. Huh. That's never happened before. So, I guess I better end this the only way I know how.


I've had enough of this check-call shit. I raise

Monday, April 18, 2005

Saturday was my second junket to the Palace of Cards and Horses. However, I wasn't quite so fortunate as my initial foray into B&M cards.

We arrived around 2pm, only to be greeted by a list 30 people long for 2/4 and 3/6. Yes, I know that I'm technically capable of playing higher limits, but right now, I'm just not financially capable of doing so. On Wednesday, the list was only 10 people deep for either limit, and was seated in less time than it took me to drink 16oz Miller Lite I ordered to "take the edge off".

Saturday, though, it took us over an hour to get seated at 3/6, and I suppose that's to be expected. I was the first to be seated, and as I scoped out my table, I realized the only empty chair was the 2s, right next to a very large man with cheesy white moustache and a tuft of heavy white hair spilling out the top of his too-small orange t-shirt.

This was going to be a long afternoon.

When I sat down, he immediately said that he was currently stuck for close to $250, and any and all elation I had of doubling up through him was immediately killed because he had the personality akin to Milton from Office Space. If he didn't get his way, I felt that he was about to burn the card room down.

As I waited for the button to pass, I realized just how he was stuck for $250 after 2 hours at a 3/6 table. He played shit hands like K5o and got so pissed that he berated other people--under his breath, of course--for having a higher kicker. He was not a happy camper.

In the next few hours, though, he went on the biggest rush of shitty cards hitting shitty boards, and in turn, erased his $250 loss, and turned it into a $500 profit. He had 5 columns of $1 chips stacked 50 high, and this is after he had colored up 3 seperate times for a rack a piece.

It was at the this time that he turned to me.

"I'm not really bad, I was just getting unlucky when you first sat down."

No, man, you're terrible. Beyond terrible. You're a shitty player.

He'd amassed this huge pile of chips on horrendous play, and he was too stupid to realize that he was about to bleed a lot of the back to the table. Two hours after his high-point, he'd bled close to $200, and requested a table change. For what reason, I don't know. It's not like he was going to find a table that would be easier for him. He was going to lose the rest of his stack.

Shortly thereafter, I went home--down for the night--because I knew that the table was going to dry up after he was longer at it. I might've even cried a little inside. I hope to see him out there again. If I do, I'm immediately requesting a table change.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Remember The Girl that, if I ran into randomly on the street, I wouldn't know if I'd rather punch or hate-fuck her?

Last night I had my chance, and I dropped the ball. I couldn't punch her in the throat, and it's hard to hate-fuck someone with which you hold such an unbelievably deep emotional attachment.

She lives in my neighborhood now, and as of today, Sunday, I am too wonkified to understand if this is a good development or leaning more towards the bad. Whoever said "There's a thin line between love and hate" needs to eat shit and die, because I'm tiptoeing that line after a late night of apologies and I'm sorrys, and all it'll take is a slight breeze to push me one way or the other.

If you don't hear from me for a few days, you know why.

One question before I go, though.

What should I legally change my name to: Rob Gordon, or John Cusack?

Thursday, April 14, 2005


Wow, wow, wow.

Are you listening to me yet? If not, fuck you. If so, you get a handful of Teddy Grahams. YAY!

Annnnnnyhow, I'm back at work today after a 9 hour session--my first ever--at Canterbury Park. If you re-read the first sentence in this post, and then the 2nd, that sums up the trip. And if you spell it backwards, what does it spell?


For as long as I was there, you can bet that I had my fair share of good hands to recount. To save you, dear reader, I won't. That's boring. The only hand of interest that I would like to briefly mention is the following.

I flopped quad queens and still had two people call my turn and river bets down to the river. Hello? What did you think I had? In keeping with the gunslinger theme from my last post, what I will do is give you the rundown on the Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

The Good:

  • +26BB--I was only playing 2/4, but that still comes to close to 3BB/hr. That's not bad, right? Right? I wasn't even expecting to come out ahead, but I realized that I am not a 2/4 player. Even a monkey with it's brain scooped out, a la 'Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom' is better than every 2/4 player I sat with yesterday. Well, save for one, but I never got in a pot with him.
  • De-virginized--Similar to Chris's first session, I was a little nervous. Now that I know how everything works, it's safe to say that I just might become a B&M whore. Ah, who am I kidding? Once a floozy, always a floozy.
  • Getting past 'The Jitters---I wasn't so nervous while betting or raising, but when I won my first pot, my hands were shaking so bad that I could barely stack my chips. Oh it was awful. After my 4th or 5th pot, I could stack them without looking like Michael J. Fox's poker playing twin. Oooh, low blow on Marty McFly. By the end of the night, I was tossing raises in like I'd been doing it all my life. Or, at least longer than a few hours.

The Bad:
  • Smelly people--When I first sat down, 1/3 of the people at my table smelled of funk. Not George Clinton funky, just funky. As in "I just sucked down a carton of heaters and a gallon of coffee while on my third day without a shower" funky. By the end of my session, I'm sure I didn't smell much different.
  • Raped by the rake--Online, you don't really notice the rake because hands are dealt so quickly and the digital cents are whisked off the table faster than you can count it. In a B&M, it's easy to see just how much the dealer is stealing for the rake and the jackpot drop. I finally understand what it feels like to be financially raped outside of by credit card companies.
  • Missed bets--I can goddamn guarantee that I missed more bets than I paid in rake for the whole session. A scare card would come out, and I'd check thinking that one of the 18 people in the hand had to have hit their flush, only to find out that everyone had bottom pair. Who knew that a normal deck had 18 2's?
  • Paying for drinks--Actually, considering that the card room is out in the middle of nowhere, it's better that drinks are expensive, otherwise I'd be liable to be in a world of hurt and end up sleeping in my car at least once in the next year. But come on, we're not at the Metrodome, are we?
  • Tipping--I am not a tight-assed tipper. I'm not against tipping someone that I know makes their living from my generosity. But, it wasn't until 6 hours into my session that I realized you could chop a $1 chip. I won a shitload of hands, and every time I tipped a dollar, even on the small pots. Is it normal to chop a chip for a tip? Say that 5 times fast.
  • My pot counting skills-- By the end of the session I was accurately counting pot sizes in terms of big bets, but it's just so much easier when it's calculated for you online. I was a little shaky at first, and there are so many distractions in the card room for a person like me. The waitresses, other players, beer--they all try to sneak into my peripheral vision and hinder my abiliity to count the pot. Fucking jerks.

The Ugly:
  • The players--The same old guy that cracked my aces with his two paired 2-5o also cold-called three bets and then called the cap with his J-8 of clubs, only to hit his inside straight draw on the turn. He would've won more money, but he was all-in on a 4 bet flop. Oh, and did I mention that all this action was 5-way? Jumping Jesus Christ, where's the ACHE when you need 'em? Where do they get these people? Enough about that, because anyone that's played B&M poker knows what I'm talking about.

I am going to add one more section here, called "The Funny".

The Funny:

The one good thing about this is that I did get an exceptional lesson in The Laws of Thermodynamics, and specifically Zero-Sum Games. (Of course, this isn't putting the rake, jackpot and tipping into the equation.)

An old couple sat down immediately at my start up table, both buying in for $100. By the end of their session, he had more than tripled up, and she had lost nearly, if not more, than that much. The two would always be heads-up by the turn and the river, where he'd pair his king or some other shit like that, while she missed her draw to nothing. No, seriously. She was sitting directly to my right, and would hold her cards in such a way that I could clearly see what she had. Now, I was never in a pot with her when I would notice her cards, and if I had been, I wouldn't have been looking over there in the first place. I have some morals, damn it. Each time I saw what she held, it was never more than bottom pair, and most of the time she was calling "just to keep 'em honest".

If passing chips to your husband is all you're going to do, why even come to the B&M at all? It can't be good on the ol' Social Security check.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Rebuttal to and Ode

This isn't so much a rebuttal as it is an explanation as to Felicia's post about bloggers that confuse her.

First off, I just want to say that I am a product of the online era. Even so, I'm not a big fan of using IM programs. And as such, e-mail is my favorite method of communication. With e-mail, I can send off something whenever I want, and the recipient can send me a response at their leisure. I don't feel like I'm intruding. Even though I may not be, I'm weird and always feel like I'm interrupting something. Hell, I'm naturally shy and don't normally approach people in real life until they approach me first.

Consider that the pixie in me.

This is another reason why I avoid using the phone if at all possible. I'd rather send a text-message, because there's nothing worse than calling someone, only to have them answer and say "Can I call you right back? I'm on the other line." This way they can get back to me whenever they damn well please.

Sure, if something is urgent, I have no problem picking up the phone. But, when issues aren't necessarily time sensitive, I'd much rather use email or text-messages.

Comments, on the other hand, are completely different. Of course I like comments. Who doesn't? Feedback is the main reason I write, and comments are always appreciated. I have a problem, though, with's comment system, and if anybody out there has a solution for me, please, please, please let me know.

The main gripe I have with blogger comments is that they're not threaded, a la Live Journal. Let's say that somebody leaves me a comment that I'd like to respond to. On blogger, they leave their name, homepage and email address, most likely. If I want to respond, I have to leave an original response under theirs--addressing them--and hoping that they check back. Or I could also reply to them by sending a response directly to their email address.

I'm lazy and both of those are far too much work for me.

Livejournal has threaded comments, meaning that I can reply directly to their comment, and that reply will be sent directly to their email inbox. Hey-yo, we've taken out that extra step! I've had a LiveJournal for over three years, and I don't want to start another one. I started Pokeramarama so that I could write about poker without my whole LJ friend list getting annoyed, and/or thorougly bored by it.

LJ comments facilitate conversations much better than Blogger comments do. So, does anyone know of threaded comments for Blogger?

Also, how is "pixie" any better than "fairy"? Both give off the mental imagery of me in a sheer, pink, tutu, ballet slippers and cute little wings strapped to me back. I'd say they're equally queer.

Ah, would ya look at that. It's lunchtime!

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

I just experienced what might very well be one of my most satisfying moments in poker.

I recently moved up in limits to the .50c-$1 NL tables because the buy-in is exactly the same, and the play is much, much worse. These tables make Jenna Jameson look tight. How does that comparison even work here? It doesn't, I just wanted to use her name in a post, you know, for Google reasons. And that's another retarded thing I can cross off the list. But that's not the satisfying part.

I started on the table a few hours ago with a full buy-in, and quickly moved up 50% of my original stack, when a player that I'd never seen before bought in for around $35 three seats to my left. Immediately, he started bullying the table with his lower-than-average stack.

Unfortunately for me, he bullied me the most, and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. I had great starting hands that would dissolve into absolute nothingness by the river. On at least four or five hands, I would fire on the flop and turn, only to have to back off on the river, and that's when he'd make an oversized bet that I simply couldn't call. Ace high for $45? Not likely.

But, we've all played with these types--they play too many hands, bluff far too much on scary boards, and wouldn't know the difference between weakness and being trapped, even if you said "Hey Buddy, I'm trapping you. READY? I'm not lying. I'VE GOT TEH NUTS! BOOYA!"

And this is what I banked on.

I sat there for an hour, waiting, watching him be the calling station that he was and by that time, he had tripled his buy-in. All I needed was a few good cards in order to set my trap.

Those good cards came in the form of the all powerful, suited JackHammer--that's right, Jack-four of hearts.

I was the big blind and the two people between us folded, when he limped. Everyone behind him folded and we were heads-up. It was like in old western movies when music started playing and you immediately knew that a shootout was inevitable. Townspeople cleared to the side of the street, and the two gun-toting madmen made their way to opposite ends of Main Street to prepare for the duel.

Unfortunately, the only gunslinger anthem being played was in the form of a whistle from my lips, and it was being badly whistled at that. It's a little anti-climatic when the whole song is off-key.

Oh good gracious me, would you look at that: the flop has two jacks in it. I might as well fire off a shot here.

BANG! I fire my 7 shooter. I never was one for accurate historical recreation.

Immediately after the bullet sprang from the gun, I noticed the villian put his weathered hand up to his mouth and pull a perfectly unscathed bullet from between his clenched teeth. He even guffawed once, but not more than once, because that would be un-villian-like. I have got to learn that trick. Not only will the ladies ceremoniously lift their hoopskirts in passionate surrender, but come on--it's catching a bullet. In your teeth. If nothing else, I can put it on my resume.

Where was I? Oh yes, the turn. Sorry, I got lost in a hoopskirt. It happens to the best of us.

The turn came a queen and I decided to play a little bit of defense. I grabbed the little floppy-haired Johnson boy as he was running by and used him as a shield. And just as I anticipated, the villian didn't fire.


This guy could very well have the case jack, and if that was indeed the scenario, I was out-kicked and wanted to limit the bleeding. You know, a band-aid instead of a gaping head wound. Also, I knew that no matter what came down on the river, he was going to overbet it. Perhaps being pushed around earlier had added to this cache of machismo, but I--like Bon Jovi--was prepared to be shot down in a Blaze of Glory.

I apologize for the Jovi reference. It was simply too good to pass up.

The river bought a second queen and I immediately thought that he'd backed into a higher full-house, but like I said, I was tied to this hand. Well, the only way I was laying it down was if he bet his full stack amount. I didn't feel like having to rebuy after losing with the ass end of a full house. Is it possible to have the "ass end" of a full house? No matter, I've written it down and it's staying.

The Johnson boy is too stupid to learn that playing in a gunfight just isn't that bright, so I grabbed him again. Yeah, yeah, that means I checked. And, true to form, the villian pulled out a BFG and fired an oversized bet worth $45. I still don't know how he hid it under his trench coat, or how he got it to work in the Wild West, but he did. And the Johnson boy is fucked.

I auto-called and he had to show his A8o. Woohoo, way to push your ace-high, Asshole. Exactly one hand later he called all but .16c of his stack while holding bottom pair. Johnny-fucking-Chan he is not.

So, the satisfaction was related to not only predicting that he'd lose all of his stack, but being one of the players that helped contribute to it. I also take a slight, sick satisfaction in wasting two hours of my employers day by writing this tripe, and getting paid to do so.

Whadda buncha schlubs.

Wow. I truly apologize to all the gunslinger buffs reading this. I just kind of trailed off at the end there.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Friday night I was at Doyle's, and things were running, well, odd. I dropped a whole stack when someone with pocket 6's flopped a set to beat my Ladies. I should've known better, but just couldn't lay them down.

A few hands later, I flopped a full house--kings full of tens--and my opponent just couldn't get away from his powerful pocket 5's. That hand brought me back to even for the night.

Then, a few minutes later, I was the proud father of a bouncing baby Royal Flush! Please forgive Doyle's Room's rudimentary graphic hand history. They're new at this. Which is why the pot looks nearer $15 million than the actual pot size of about $35.

In the course of 10 hands, I went from even, to down $100, to even again, and then back up $50. That's unusual for tight-assed, lil ol' me.