Pokerama-rama! Now with more beer!

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

Monday, October 31, 2005

I'm away for one day and my blogroll goes abso-fucking-lutely catatonic. I need to get some of these entries that are stuck in my head, out. Now. So, I'm foregoing the reading of your blogs, so I can update mine.


I think I shall start on Friday. It's the only logical place to start.

WWdN Invitational

This recap is going to be shoddy at best. It's three days later, and I don't have the time, nor the unlaziness to go back and look at hand histories, so you get what I remember, which comes down to only a few random hands.

To start the tourney, I was seated a few seats to the left of the man, the host; Wil Wheaton. We were the TV table. I never made a conscious decision to change my play based on his, but now looking back, I might have. Who knows.

Hand the one: I'm dealt JKh on the button. Wil raises it 3 or 4x the BB in MP and I call, along with a few others. The flop is J-x-A. He leads out with a smallish sized bet(damn it would be nice to look back at the hand history right about now, wouldn't it?), a player sandwiched inbetween Wil and I folds. I thought for about 3 seconds and I decided to pop him back with a pot sized raise.

I was pretty sure I was behind, but I was trying to represent something other than middle pair, and I figured that Wil would make a contiuation bet regardless of what fell. I also thought he'd lay his hand down if he didn't have an ace. He took almost his whole time bank to make a decision, even going so far as saying "AJ?" in the chat box.

Wil Wheaton was talking, somewhat, to me. Well, to my donkey x-ing avatar, but I'd like to think that we're one in the same.


And then he called and I knew I was behind. AK? AQ? I don't know. Heads-up, we checked through the turn rag and the river king and my two pair beat his A9o. I know, I know, I'm a pussy for not betting my two pair after his river check. I'm pretty sure that he would've bet out had he held AK and hit his two pair. I'm a pussy, stop telling me that.

Hand the two: A few hands my JJ hits another on the flop, and I knock out a guy holding AQ that had top pair. Can we say "chipleada"?

I can't. I can't even spell it, but I was in first place very early in the tourney.

Hand the three: Crossing of the Donkey.

I was getting shortstacked, and Wil was just starting to get into double up mode. He needed chips, and fast.

Once again, he open raises and I jam with AKo, and my hand holds up to his smaller ace. WGHN. I'm sure he was already home, but whatever. It's just a figure of speech.

I knocked out Wil Wheaton. For one week, I am famous by association. Woohoo! I didn't feel so much "famous"when I was knocked out on the absolute bubble(top 18 paid, I was 19th) by Daddy, more than I did "violated". There's something about being a donkey fucker's bitch that's just not right. Or admirable, either.

Full Tilt Tourneys:

I've played in three MTT's in the past weekend on Full Tilt, two NLHE tourneys and one PLO, and I will openly admit that I like them a lot better than Stars tourneys.

Field size: Stars-1000+------------------Full Tilt-<500
Level times:Stars-15 min----------------Full Tilt- 10 min
Player skill:Stars-Horrid---------Full Tilt-equally horrid, if not worse

It looks like the Full Tilt structure is a little fast, but when you take into account the small increments that blinds increase, it seems, to me at least, that their tourneys benefit the better players, especially in the later stages. On Stars, I continually find myself having to push to double up when in the second hour, and I realize that has more to do with my playing style not being able to adapt to the Stars structure rather than one being worse than the other. I know many people can accumulate chips on Stars, easily, and I am not one of them.

In the first NLHE tourney, I was crippled by someone calling my early level all-in with AQo to my KK, and hitting an ace on the flop. Who does that? Who calls an all-in with AQo in the early levels? Should I be playing kings differently? Should I not be getting all my money in pre-flop like that? I can't see any other way to play that.

Which leads me to the second NLHE tourney I played in on Sunday. Going into the second hour with a top 10 stack of chips, and then running my KK into AA, goddamn that's such a buzzkill. I prayed for a king to river that asshole, but alas, it was not to be.

It's now 11:30pm, and I'm blasted(tired, not drunk) so I need sleep.

Coming up:

PLO tourney

Canterbury: I took the day off for another reason altogether, and when that reason had to get up and go to class at noon, I drove my work-skipping ass down to Canterbury.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

End-of-month is a slow time at my job, leaving me with too much time to do, well, absolutely nothing. So, to prepare for the impending catastrophic liver failure--as opposed to minor liver failure--that's sure to be brought on by the WPBT event looming on a very ominous looking horizon, I have updated my bloglines to include almost everyone that's attending.

I have a tough time keeping up as is, what with the previous number of feeds I'd try to read almost daily, but now with 104 feeds? In midwestern, white bread speak--forget about it. Now say that again, but enunciate and talk like your brain has been set to "sloth-like". Forget about it.


I can't imagine how anyone can read all that, let alone be a comment whore like Drizz. How do you do it, man? If I'm away for a weekend, I spend a few hours clearing out my bloglines, and most of the time, absorb very little of it.
I'm not so much of a commenter. Oh, it's not like I don't want to comment, or that nobody piques my interest enough that I don't feel a desire to say something. That's not it at all. I can't count the number of times I've composed a comment, hit the preview button and realize that it doesn't look as good in print as it sounded in my head, and click the "x" to scrap the whole thought. Can't have myself sounding like a retard, no sir, which is funny considering that I constantly say things that make me sound like helmet-wearing Troglodyte, but that's only because my brain's delete button is a little unreliable. Almost completely inoperable when I've been drinking.

During the bloglines update, I also noticed that my semi-recent Blogger template change completely wiped out my blogroll that you'll not see over on the right of the screen. See it? No? That's because I just told you it's not there. Sometimes, I wonder about you people. So, instead of dickin' around on Fark, or looking for hoodrat-hoodrat hoochie mamas on MySpace, I'll be doing my best Blogroll Updater impersonation. I'm not a real blogger, but I play one on TV! As much as I like having a place to write my inane gibberish, I'm not so big on the maintenance.

WPBT/poker blog ramble ahoy!

I attended the June event, but I'm going to go ahead and dub myself the anti-Maudie of the inaugural WPBT winter classic at Sam's Town--not because I'm a 30 year old guy from the upper midwest, which might qualify me for that monikor . No, that's not it. Maudie didn't really know anybody attending that event, not in the 'real-world' sense at least. But she took a chance, stepped outside of her normal comfort zone and traveled to Vegas, alone, not knowing if she had anything in common with the other attendees outside of the love of poker.

Me, I pussed out and waited for the write-ups. I was this close(yes, my thumb and forefinger are about a quarter inch apart, thanks for picking up on that), but I just couldn't do it, couldn't allow myself to stray outside of my comfort zones. I wish I had, though.

Ok, where was I? Oh yeah, the Aladdin in June.

A few weeks before that event, I did the same exact thing I'm doing now, as there were plenty of attendees that I was unfamilar with. I didn't know which April was which(not sure I do even now, for shame), had barely just started ingesting the superfluous words of Joe Speaker(is that the word I'm looking for? superfluous? It means super fluid, right?), and wouldn't know Iggy from Grubby if they were standing side-by-side.

And when I arrived in Vegas and met my first bloggers--outside of the few Minnesotans and an Eagles fan I had met--the whole scene was a little overwhelming. It's also a little surreal trying to introduce yourself as "pokeramarama", or "ramarama", and last, but certainly the most fun to say, "ramalamadingdong".

Oh how I hate you Joe Buck.

There's also someting surreal about other's introductions by their screen name(if they have one), and immediately having to sift through your mental blogroll in an attempt to attach a name to a face, and a face to a writer's voice. That, in addition to the drunken conversations, were probably the best part of the trip for me--it's so much easier to read and associate with someone when you've talked to them in real life.

This niche, the poker blogger niche, it's a little odd, don't ya think? You have the Iggy's, the Pauly's, you know, the core that, even though they sometimes don't want the responsibility, they hold the group together. And then you have the wave of bloggers that followed them, and then so on, and so on, expanding outward in concentric circles.

They've been around this arena for over two years, where I've been around for close to a year and a half, sitting firmly in the middle set of circles. After that time, and after traipsing to Vegas the last time 'round, I don't feel that I got to know many people as well as I thought I would. Or as I wanted to. Probably wholly my fault, with the only other option is that everybody else is an asshole.

You're right, my fault. That and the voice in the back of my head that was doubting whether the person I was talking to at the time actually knew who I was, or just humoring me. I tried my best to "get to know" those bloggers beforehand by reading their blogs, but I feel as if I failed in that attempt.

I don't want to fail in that now. I don't want to sit there while someone is talking to me, and in the back of my mind say, "Who are you?", or vice versa. Most of all, just like everybody reading this, I want to be able to relate.

A few questions to end this, and hopefully satiate my curiousity-

1. If you're participating in your first WPBT event, how are you feeling right about now? (looks like about 20 or so newbies, not sure any are reading this right now)

2. How did the rest of you feel before attending your first WPBT? How about after?

3. Be honest, how many of you even knew who I was before June? Ok, don't be honest. See if I care.


Monday, October 24, 2005

With the addition of the Deep Stacks, 20 table tourneys and the 6-max tourneys, it almost seems that Pokerstars is trying to get me into bed. Believe me, I'm this close. It's almost as if they actually want my business. All they need to do is add free booze to their site and off come the pants. Just say the word, Lee. Just say the word.

Even though they're going to take so much more time, I'm going to sit down(hopefully) in one of the Deep Stacks tourneys later this week. It just sucks that the PLO tourney is on a Tuesday night, and Tuesday night is a bar night.

Dear PLO,

I am a big fan, but please stop with that whole "behind when you're really ahead" shit. I can't take it.

Forever clutching his crotch in your presence,


All things said, this weekend was good to me, poker-wise. After losing out pretty damn early to an old lady in a motorized cart (I never even saw it comin'!) in the morning PLO tourney on Stars, I wisely decided to enter another that night with The Princess and CJ.

15th/600 or so isn't anything to scoff at, but I'm still not happy with a few things. For one, CJ outlasted me by a few spots, and that's just not right. And second, the nature by which I was knocked out, well, even two days later it still blows. Runner-runner club flushes happen all the time, but that doesn't mean that I have to like them happening to me.

At least the guy that knocked me out won the damn thing. And I can always be happy in the "move" I made on CJ--I was holding top and bottom pair and check-raised him all in on an all heart board. I figured he didn't have two hearts in the hole(I held the ace of hearts, so if he did, I figured he might lay down a non-nut flush for a large portion of his stack).

In truthitude, I thought my two-pair was good, only to find out in the Yahoo! chat that he laid down a set. I am a PLO GOD.

I don't even want to talk about the Blogger Championship yesterday, but I will whine for a bit.


Are you serious? Get the fuck out. AKo is not supposed to lose to 49o in the form of a runner-runner crub frucking frush.

Disgusted by the variance,

"No nut" Chad.

But hey, at least I'm the 419th best blogging poker player in the world!. Let's see Bobby Bracelet say that!



Saturday, October 22, 2005

Worst aspect about PLO:

Getting all your money in on the turn when you hit your super double-secret Aces full, only to see that you're drawing absolutely dead to their turned straight flush wheel.

It doesn't get any better than this.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

I finally--finally ordered that damn laptop this morning. After some thought, a call to my bank to have them temporarily up my debit card limit, and an order cancellation, I settled on the Dell Inspiron 6300.

Yeah, yeah, Dell pre-loads a bunch of crap on their computers, but after all of that's deleted, they, for me at least, have been downright reliable. I was originally planning on buying an Inspiron 9300, with it's huge 17" screen, but that's the same reason I decided against it. I already have a decent, more-than-powerful desktop computer and didn't need another, slightly more portable model. I wanted a laptop I could lug to the bar with me, and the 9300 sounded just a tad too cumbersome for that to be comfortable.

So, how does the new laptop relate to poker? Glad you asked, my fine feathered friends.

My desktop computer is in my room right now, which means that to play any poker whatsoever, I must sit there, secluded from the rest of the house. I don't like it. I'd rather have the choice to sit on, say, our deck in the summer, or up near the couch in the living room while watching a Wild game, or the Vikings JV team get beat down by the Pack. I get bored sitting in my room.

And boredom, for me, is the precedent to lapses in attention. That's not good for me, or sharpening my pokering skillz. Yes, it endz in a "z".

I looked back at the last few months, and I noticed that the lack of desire to sit down and play, and the stagnant state of my bankroll, roughly coincides with the time I made a stupid decision to inspect(read:destroy) my last laptop. That's not a coincidence.

Back in June, I had the luxury of playing in a number of Vegas cardrooms rooms-- the IP, MGM, Alladin, Harrah's, Mandalay Bay, Excalibur--some of which I felt comfortable playing, others, not so much. The rooms I did feel comfortable in--the Alladin, IP--I played well, concentrated without conciously having to talk myself into paying attention, and came out ahead. In the rooms I felt uncomfortable, or maybe just slightly uneasy--MGM, Mandalay Bay--I lost the most money, I was nervous and couldn't concentrate even if I was promised sex, if only I'd focus for 30 minutes.

I don't know why the MGM or Mandalay Bay's rooms had me so uneasy, as they are two of the nicest around. I mean, come on, the MGM is gorgeous in every respect. Gorgeous. It could've been the lighting, the unnssst, unnssst, unnssst of the music in the bar nearby, or the racetrack design tables with the marble inlay, I don't know. Whatever it was, it made me uncomfortable. And I feel that, along with other factors, I'm sure, aided those days becoming a negative in the win column.

I'm hoping the ability to quickly change my surroundings will help me concentrate. If anything, I'll now be able to look porn in the Panera a few blocks away. Nobody will mind.

So here I sit, at work, constantly mashing the F5 in hopes that the screen will update from "In Production", to "Kitting", and really, how long does it really take to pull the parts from a warehouse? I think Dell could hire a monkey to do it. Or a robot. But what I'd really like to see is the collision of those two worlds; RoboMonkey.

Ok, I'm going to open the floor up for debate here--Is your comfort level at the table, or in a particular room, dictated by the surroundings? Or are you able to tune all that out and just play?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Last 3 days
Touraments played: 4
Cashes: 4
Final tables: 2
ROI: 9750%

These pretzels are making me thirsty.

That has nothing to do with much of anything, but the line has been stuck in my head for the last few hours, so by writing it down, I'm hoping that it will leave me alone.

So, how about that kickass ROI, huh? If only the buy-ins had been more than, well, from zero to $2, I'd be rolling in my large wads of cash.

We interrupt this insipid self-fellating(don't you mean "inflating", Chad? No, no I don't.) post for an important announcement...

That's it, folks. My shit is booked, I'm goin' to Vegas. For realsies this time! In June I stayed at the IP, and while the actual casino is downright depressingly full of oxygen tanks and silver-haired sirens, the poker room is something to behold. In fact, that's where I spent most of my time playing that weekend.

Why? Well, it wasn't because the room is as nice as, say, the sparkling MGM room. Oh no, that's not it. I loved playing there because of the free coffee, finger sandwiches, and the cookies, my god, the cookies. Also, the tables are big enough to accommodate at least 8 wheelchairs. Let's see the fancy-shmancy MGM room roar about that.

That's right, it can't.

It's no so much a room as it is a hallway, but oh boy, I don't think that hallway realizes what it's in for. Can't wait. And let's not even speak of the Cantina(why is there a cantina in a orient themed casino anyhow?) and their 2-4-1 shots of Patron. Nope, we're not going to talk about that.

[end this portion of post by making hands motions akin to Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar's dream sequences]

Ah, where was I? Oh yes, tournaments and how well I've been doing in them. I think, but I'm not sure, that I received a compliment from The Princess when she said that she'd rather not face me head up in the WPBT in December.

While I feel I'm getting better at picking my spots in tournaments, I am, admittedly, a terrible player head up. Always a bridesmaid. And my plan for right now is to see how much cash I can accumulate with action points in the next few months, without putting much of my bankroll on the line.

Honestly, I feel that's the reason I'm running well in these tournaments; my brain doesn't register the buy-in, because it really isn't a buy-in. For the low amount of risk, there's a decent amount of reward. My head isn't clouded with the thoughts of dropping even more of my bankroll, and that allows me to play without the fear of being out of the tournament.

That, my friends, is the skill necessary for me to succeed in the higher buy-in tournaments.

One more thing: The IP has free Wi-fi, so here's my proposal--If you have a laptop computer, bring it. I think someone--not me--should set up a private, online, late night SNG session. Though I was extremely exhausted when we did this with real cards and chips at the Plaza in June, think about how much better it would be to not have to use three round tables as a poker table. Oh, and this way Drizz won't feel like he's alienating himself from the group by yelling at his computer--we'll all be doing it!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

While I have been getting absolutely pounding(in a not so pleasant location) lately at Doyle's Room on the 6 max ring games, I still can't believe that more bloggers don't play there.

Sure, there might not always be a low-limit PLO game running, and most of of their tournaments are horrendously structured, but I just can't stray from something that's provided with me with fairly consistent results over the past few months. I will not talk bad about my Shmoopy. The site, not Doyle. The only thing that would make me cut back on my play there is the lack of PokerTracker compatability, which I'll get into why I have such a problem with it, more than most people would.

I don't even have much money at the site. Like I said, ass pounding. In fact, on Sunday I didn't even have enough for a full buy-in for the .50/$1 NL game, not that I had much more than that in my account before I blew it all away on a super kickass wrap draw while watching the Vikings implode. Again.

But, one of the main reasons I stick around a site that's not as slick or pretty as PokerStars, or doesn't have as many players as Party Poker, is that I feel you're compensated better for your play than at those other sites. Action Points. Does anyone else hear the monster truck rally announcer?

This...SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY! At Doyle's room! ROOM! ROOM! Freeroll. FREEROLL! FREE...

Just me? Fine.

The big catch with Action Points is that you can use them for freerolls that are actually worth something. Not like at Stars, where I don't play as much, obviously, where most FPP's are used for a freeroll into a freeroll, Doyle's has freerolls with pretty decent cash prizes.

Each day there's at least a few $1000-$1500 freerolls with a "buy-in" of 4000 Action Point where the top prize is around $250. Not too shabby. When I first started playing at the site, they'd draw from 100-200 players, but I was surprised to enter a tourney last night with almost 400 people.

398 people, and another damn 2nd place MTT finish later, my bankroll is $170 heavier. And for what? A piddly 4000 Action Points? Hell, I have 60,000 of the damn things! Now to do that in the Monday, $5000 guaranteed tourney with a 25,000 action point entry fee, and win it, I'll have a real bankroll again.

There is something seriously flawed with my heads-up strategy I think. I've made numerous final tables at the site, and been down to the final two, uh, four times? And I've been whipped, scolded, and told to sit in the corner reserved for 2nd place finishers. Unfortunately, there is no "In the even that the winner can't fulfill their duties..." clause in poker.

So, there are many reasons for me to keep playing on a site that very few people like. The kickbacks are plentiful, the rings games were, at one point, very soft(might have changed recently), and the tournaments still prove to be marshmallow-esque. Come on, if I can final table in a PLO tournament, the fields aren't that tough.

But, there comes a point where I need to figure out how to get off this plateau I've been stuck on lately, and start the climb up to a higher level. And one of the major things that's holding me back, I feel, is my severe lack of bankroll management skills.

So, so bad with my bankroll. And that is why, unless I figure out how to get my shit under control, I'll never be a winning player. Ever. It's hard to keep trudging along in a money based game, when you have no idea where your money is coming from, where it's been, and definitely not where it's going.

I look back through the data I have in PokerTracker, and I can see that I'm "ahead"on Stars and Party, but I won't use the "winning player" title just yet. I can't look back through my Doyle's Room data, though. Why?

Because there isn't any. I haven't kept track. I was so caught in the fact that I was finally consistently winning without the aid of bonuses, that I didn't concern myself with the "why?", or the "how?", or even the "where is this money going?"

I figured, illogically, that it would sort itself out. Durrrrr, I'm a cretin.

I know, that's horrible. I'm poor at keeping track of things like that. Hell, I don't even keep track of my daily checking balance because I can view, and track anything I spend my money on, online. It's easy, automated, and I don't have to do much more than remember my username and password. Yes, I'm lazy. And terrible at keeping paper records.

Sure, I can look back at all my deposits and debits on Doyle's Room and guess that I'm ahead a decent amount. And I could pour through hand histories, but in the rudimentary form they're offered in on the site right now, it's tedious and time consuming; time that I always would rather be playing poker, than trying to locate and decipher key hands.

So, until I can figure out how to keep track of my ring games on Doyle's in an efficient manner(or the hand histories become compatible with PokerTracker--which is supposed to be soon), and learn better bankroll management skills, I'm going to steer clear of the site. It's only detrimental to me to keep playing there without a clue as to where I'm going astray. And going astray I have been.

If I continue down this path, I guarantee that I'll really go bust, sooner rather than later, and not just in regards to money.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Yesterday afternoon I received an email from Party saying that I had a fitty dolla biwe (pitchas of POW! Pitchas of POW! I've been saved by my pitchas of POW!) waiting in my account. Before yesterday, I had whittled it down to .87; not even enough to play one hand of blackjack. Boo.

And today, I woke up with enough phlegm in my throat to choke Taylor Rain, and decided to stay home from work.

Coincidence? I think not, Party Poker. I think not.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I have a large post sitting, stalled, on my home computer that I've been working on for the past few days. I've decided to title it "Why Chad Will Never Be a Winning Player".

Sounds harsh, I know, but if I continue fucking around in this one, absolutely necessary facet of the game, I'll never be able to move up, to take shots, or improve. Simple as that. Two years from now, I'll still be considering the $1/2NL game to be out of my comfort zone, and that makes me sad. Not in a "grandma's scooter just crashed into a school bus full of cripples" sort of sad. More pathetic than sad, I guess.

So, am I going to give you a little hint? No, you wait.

The past few months I've been on the fence as far as the WPBT event in December goes, but I woke up this morning and thought "Hey, I think I'm gonna go to that shindig". No, really, I used the word "shindig". At least nobody was around to hear it. Even if I don't have a much of a bankroll to toy with, it will be worth it to just to show up and drink with the lot of you. And honestly, I played far too much poker in June, to the point that the vacation became much more work that it should've been.

Even though I did well, well enough to take some shots out of my normal bankroll zone later in the weekend and even bankroll a buddy in the small NL game, by the time I got home, I didn't feel that I accomplished anything with the dog-chasing-a-fly mentality.

Gotta get the fly, get the fly, get the fly, not gonna stop until I catch it...

As it is, I have two months to attempt to get make enough money to not only get to Vegas, but have fun while there. Consider this your warning.

This game wouldn't mean much to me without the comaraderie and friendships I've made over the few years I've been playing, and to let all of that lapse, well, that would be a downright shame.