Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Lockouts, Legislation and Lawbreaking

We've all been seeing what's transpiring on Capitol Hill this week, and while I can see the obvious advantages of poker regulation in the LONG term, I'm mystified by the events taking place that will effect the online poker landscape in the short term.

From a personal standpoint, let's face it - a 15 month lockout for US players is a major buzzkill. Mind you, I don't play for a living, so I can't even imagine what daily grinders must be dreading (a real job, perhaps?). Granted, standing alone this bill is a longshot but tacked on to the tax legislation, this thing might just have a 1 in 3 chance of being tacked on, Safe Port Act-style.

I think the pertinent question is this...US-friendly sites have flaunted the law once already - since they are well aware that they are going to the back of the line in lieu of Harrah's, Mohegan, Foxwoods and every other brick and mortar that might join the ring, do we really think sites like FT and PS will really honor the law like they did in Washington state? If the UIGEA laws aren't enforceable, will these be worth ignoring?

I pose lots of questions without a clear answer, of course. The blogerati have their opinions spread all over my Google Reader, so all I can do is speculate and offer my own viewpoint. I'm not a 'casual' player - I take my game quite seriously - and put in a lot of volume on these sites that may go away in a month, two months. Aside from all the licensing, regulating and taxing, again the question remains - will the US friendly sites flee Party Poker style, hoping that by abiding US law they will profit in the long run,or will they stick around and take their chances, leaving us to play in an environment that, in reality, won't feel much different than when the UIGEA was enacted?

Like a brazened gold speculator, Harrah's has positioned themselves perfectly by acquiring the technology and putting up for free. Surely 'Harrah' Reid and his constituency were gladhanding in anticipation of something like this - but besides Harrah's, who still has brand awareness? PokerStars has two successful Tv shows running - Full Tilt patches abound on Poker After Dark - and American players will still swarm those free sites. Which poses an interesting scenario...

IF this bill passes (a big if), how will the offshore sites implement their free portals? Will we see more freerolls into big events? It would seem a certainty- otherwise attendance to WSOP, WPT, NAPT and EPT events will surely tumble, and those venues will suffer a big economic hit - does Senator Reid realize what THAT might do to his state's economy in 2011?

If the bill DOESN'T pass...will the Republican congress commence the UIGEA witch-hunt? Will we all be in bigger trouble? Will I be shackled and bound for multi-tabling 27-man SNGS? If that's the case, I guess I'll wait the 15 months.

To be continued...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

WSOP-C trip

Hello to all as I travel back to New York City via WiFi to update you on the happenings of the WSOP Circuit event at Harrah's trip, hosted by myself and Jordan.

Before I even go into my episode, I debate whether to spring the conclusion on you or let it unfold in its entirety. I am opting for the latter....

I lollygag around a little bit on Friday before hopping on a 4:30 bus to Harrah's. Jordan would not be far behind on a 6pm train. Things got a little dicey on my bus, as halfway to AC a fight ensued between two passengers, and when one of them shouted "Don't make me stick you!" the bus driver immediately pulled over, called the cops(who arrived within 5 minutes) and took the men off, and we continued south. I know, crazy, right?

I arrive at Caesar's and decide to walk to the Trop in the brisk night air to meet Jordan. He arrives a bit later and we proceed to the room. After a quick trip to Harrah's to register for the event we decide it is necessary to drink free alcohol and dust off some cash playing Limit Hold 'Em. Both of us predictably fared rather poorly after a 4 hour session and several liquor+Diet Coke combinations. All I can really remember is that I beat J at showdown with a straght and that he owned a few people with some great drawing hands. Then, off to bed we went.

Tourney time! 11am and the cards were in the air. I can say I always get that exciting feeling at the beginning of a big buy-in, knowing all to well that out of the 1250 runners in the room (I lost the over/under on that one), only one of us will walk away completely satisifed, although one's satisfaction can be felt in you will see shortly.

My initial table was a fairly skilled group. Three players were obviously grinders of some kind - two of them sported Tournament Poker Edge patches, and another was in Full Tilt garb, ahoodie and all. The rest of the table was pretty soft. I had a maniac to my right who miraculously survied a lot longer than I thought he would. the blinds began at 25-25 and escalated to 25-50, 50-75, 75-150 and 100-200 every 30 minutes. During this period I won in a few spots with small pots and took my 10K stack to about 14K by the first break. The blinds continued to climb after the first break and here is where I remember two pivotal hands that I enjoyed.

Both were against one of the pros...the first against Tournament Poker Edge guy who looked like the guy from EastBound and Down. I have AK and raise his 575 open to 1700. He calls. The flop comes 6J4 with two hearts and he checks. I make about a half pot bet of 3700, and he tanks for a while, but eventuslly folds. This put me at around 16K.

My best bluff of the day came against Full Tilt guy. Holding Jacks, I raise his 500 bet to 1500, and he calls. I decide before the flop that regardless of what hits the board, I am going to punch it. He had been making this bet a lot in late position and getting no opposition. If the texture of the board was right and he made any sort of passive move, I was going to ship it. Ace-rag-rag flopped and he checked. I insta-shoved all-in. He folds, telling me later that he had QQ. Nice.

Our table breaks and we move, and I've got about 14K. There really wasn't a whole lot to say about this table. One fella there remembered me from a bluff I put on him at the Borgata Winter Event two years ago(nice memory!). I donk off 4K from a continuation bet where I got shoved on with AQ. He had AJ with a jack on the board, so that was wnjoyable. I shove with Jacks again, and get an AJ call and I hold, so now I am close to 20K, but as always, the blinds catch up. With about 10 minutes to go nd the blinds at 400-800 with a 75 ante, I have dropped down to about 11K. With another orbit knocking me down soon I knew that I would be needing to do a quality shove before long, and best to do it when I still have more fold equity. I get my chance with AK. Two limp and I shove. 99 calls me and though the A hits the window, the river is a 9 and I make my exit. On the way I pass Jordan who is extremely short stacked, and tells me he won't be long - I tell him I'll wait in the room at Harrah's, where we had moved to that morning due to the cheap rate I snagged there.

At dinner break, Jordan arrives with Ross/Alceste, who had also been playing, and was also short. Jordan had rebounded to about 12K, but was facing yet another moment to shove. I reminded him that a chip and a chair is all you need, and sure enough, before long he texted to announce he was on a major rush, and had rebounded , and while I'll let him document his rush in detail, Jordan prevails from near elimination and makes it into the money, ending at 2am with 97 players left!

Today I accompanied Jordan to the ballroom, inquired about the ME Satellite, which had (groan) 12 signed up. Lemon! I thought about the 1:15 tourney downstairs but they only had 15 signed up. Lemon! So, I play 2-4 limit, the slowest and cheapest game in the room, and try to chase the bad beat jackpot while I wait for Jordan.

CONGRATULATORY PARAGRAPH- Jordan goes on a rush again and makes it to 24th for a payout of $2.5K! Congrats to HoP. I wish I had taken him up on the action swapping.

So, back to the levels of satisfaction - though I didn't cash, I felt like I played optimally, and even better than optimally in some cases. I made the best possible decisions when they were warranted, and don't feel at all bad about the experience. Could I have predicted that one of the limpers was going to put me to a coinflip with a pair? Sure. But I had to get it in, and AK is the best you can hope for when you're facing 10BB.

Again, congrats to Jordan, and be sure to stop by his blog (link above) and hear his story!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I take down the PCL HU Final!

Very sweet, I must say. If you don't listen to the 2+2 Pokercast, you probably don't know about the Pokercast League. If you know about it, and don't play, you should! It spans twenty four events that usually run nightly Tuesday-Sunday at don't have to go to every one, as they take your 12 best finishes. Lots of money and prizes involved for winners, and the top 32 participate in the aforementioned tournament. While I actually qualified in the last cycle, I ended up 40-something but got selected as one of the wildcards. Amazingly enough, I won it! I admit, my HU game has been something I have been contributing a lot of time and study for a while it was my weakest game - but tonight I really applied myself and didn't get myself too far down that I couldn't rebound back. I think the lowest I fell to was $800 or so in any match. My PT3 is hanging or else I would post some pivotal hands (I am seriously considering that one-click transfer to HEM they're offering) Actually, it's now my first guy wasn't there for the first 5 minutes so I blinded him down to about $900 before he finally showed...this hand was the crushing blow:

Poker Stars $5.00+$0.50 No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t15/t30 Blinds - 2 players - View hand 1049932

Hero (BTN/SB): t2135 71.17 BBs
BB: t865 28.83 BBs

Pre Flop: (t45) Hero is BTN/SB with Q of spades Q of hearts
Hero raises to t90, BB raises to t240, Hero raises to t2135 all in, BB calls t625 all in

Flop: (t1730) K of clubs 3 of diamonds 5 of diamonds (2 players - 2 are all in)

Turn: (t1730) J of hearts (2 players - 2 are all in)

River: (t1730) K of diamonds (2 players - 2 are all in)

Final Pot: t1730
Hero shows Q of spades Q of hearts (two pair, Kings and Queens)
BB shows Q of clubs A of spades (a pair of Kings)
Hero wins t1730

The next big hand was in the second game...while the flush scared me, when I binked I think the flush draw scared him too...

Poker Stars $5.00+$0.50 No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t10/t20 Blinds - 2 players - View hand 1049933

Hero (BTN/SB): t1350 67.50 BBs
BB: t1650 82.50 BBs

Pre Flop: (t30) Hero is BTN/SB with 4 of spades 5 of diamonds
Hero raises to t60, BB calls t40

Flop: (t120) 6 of diamonds 2 of spades J of spades (2 players)
BB checks, Hero bets t80, BB calls t80

Turn: (t280) K of spades (2 players)
BB checks, Hero checks

River: (t280) 3 of clubs (2 players)
BB bets t140, Hero raises to t700, BB folds

Final Pot: t560
Hero mucks 4 of spades 5 of diamonds
Hero wins t560

We went back and forth for quite a while, and when I picked up 55, I felt like if the flop was dry, I'd make a move.

Poker Stars $5.00+$0.50 No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t50/t100 Blinds - 2 players - View hand 1049934

Hero (BB): t1325 13.25 BBs
BTN/SB: t1675 16.75 BBs

Pre Flop: (t150) Hero is BB with 5 of hearts 5 of diamonds
BTN/SB raises to t250, Hero raises to t1325 all in, BTN/SB calls t1075

Flop: (t2650) 2 of clubs 7 of hearts T of clubs (2 players - 1 is all in)

Turn: (t2650) 5 of spades (2 players - 1 is all in)

River: (t2650) 8 of hearts (2 players - 1 is all in)

Final Pot: t2650
Hero shows 5 of hearts 5 of diamonds (three of a kind, Fives)
BTN/SB shows K of diamonds J of hearts (high card King)
Hero wins t2650

So now I was in the small money, but felt like I had a chance to take this down so I plodded further. The next guy was someone I tangled with a lot in the PCL, and I had some good stats on him -- but of course they don't apply to HU NL, but I felt he'd try to call me down with some marginal here.

Poker Stars $5.00+$0.50 No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t15/t30 Blinds - 2 players - View hand 1049936

BTN/SB: t1020 34 BBs
Hero (BB): t1980 66 BBs

Pre Flop: (t45) Hero is BB with A of spades J of spades
BTN/SB raises to t60, Hero calls t30

Flop: (t120) 3 of spades 2 of diamonds 4 of spades (2 players)
Hero bets t90, BTN/SB raises to t210, Hero calls t120

Turn: (t540) 3 of hearts (2 players)
Hero checks, BTN/SB checks

River: (t540) 2 of spades (2 players)
Hero bets t270, BTN/SB calls t270

Final Pot: t1080
BTN/SB mucks A of diamonds 7 of diamonds
Hero shows A of spades J of spades (a flush, Ace high)
Hero wins t1080

I caught him with trip aces later and then it was down to the final four.

My next opponent was my toughest, and I think I just got lucky. He had me about 1800/1100, and based on his betting patterns I decided to raise him to 720 OOP with A10. To my surprise he called. The flop came J32 and I elected to push, he called and tables Q8, and I held up. A few hands later he was gone, and I found myself at the final table against the guy who actually took down the league this cycle. Interestingly enough, there were no exciting hands...he found himself down early, and I just played aggressively and hit some flops, and it ended in about 30 hands.

Nice padding to the PS bankroll. I'm sure a report of the Circuit Event in AC will be next. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

After a long return with some poker news.

Hello Dear Readers! If I have any left...

I have been quite remiss in penning a blog entry, but since this is primarily a poker-oriented blog, there hasn't been much new to report. Since the underground poker landscape in New York City has halted to a standstill (even if it recharged itself, I doubt I would return, for safety issues), I've been playing a good deal online as usual, mixing some tournaments wth .05/.10 cash games, as well as participating in my normal 2+2 events and Cardschat league events. Despite all that exciting online action, I do find myself yearning for some live poker action. Enter...

Now, I do find myself motivated by money, but this brand new installment in the New York Poker scene caught my attention. Basically, the gist is similar to the bar leagues that you see scattered all over the country that form a thin web to represent this thing called the WPT Amateur Poker League. You play in a free tournament, and if you win a tournament or place in the top third of the leaderboard you participate in a monthly tournament, which if you place high you get to a quarterly tournament, and then you go to Vegas. Or something like that. Honestly, I didn't really read that far. It was live, it was a place where I could feel felt again (locally), so I was going to go check it out, shitshow or no.

Well, upon taking two trains to Greenpoint, it was looking like it might fall on the shitshow end. Loud music, dark bar, tables crammed against each other...not a pretty sight. You were told to be there at 7 to sign up for an 8pm start...but no signup sheet to be found. I decided to be patient since this was their first attempt, and surely enough a signup sheet arrived, and quickly enough we were seated.

I thought it might be too dark to see my cards, or even hear the action, but the music was turned down and the lights came up slightly, so I was encouraged. I then learned the structure - 25 minute levels (not bad), but the blind escalation was of the atypical, speedy variety...25/50, 50/100. 100/200 THEN 200/400, 400/800, 500/1000...3000 chips to get the idea. the 25 chips go away after two levels. The dealers worked on tips alone, and you were strongly encouraged to do so at the beginning, but I wanted to see how good they were. And they were quite good - excellent in fact, surprisingly. Too bad the level of play did not equal the skill of the participants at the table.

I was immediately like a kid in a candy store. Never before, in my entire life, has it been so blatantly evident that the poker prowess at a table was sorely lacking. Confusion about first to act, small and big blind, fumbling chips...but of course there were a couple of sharks in the water, as you'll see soon.

But I was the first shark to bite.

I start picking out the fish quickly...Two hands in, Older Guy and NonDescriptGuy tangle. Non descript calls 50, Older Guy raises to 200, NDG calls. Flop comes Q75 rainbow. NDG bets 100...Older Guy raises to 400! NDG calls. turn is a 3...NDG checks, OG makes it 400 again...NDG calls. River is a 4, NDG checks. OG does 400 AGAIN. Again a call. NDG tables Q4os? OG tables KJhh? King Jack??? He checks the nuts, he raises with nothing? Hallelujah!

I find my mark the very next hand. OG makes it 200, I raise to 600 with AsKc. He calls. Flop comes 6K5 rainbow. He makes it 200 again? Geez. I'm still gauging, so I call. After all, he could be coming in with anything, who knows! Turn is a brick, and I make it 700. He goes all-in. Well...this is a free tournament after all and I snap call.

He proudly tables JJ. River is an A, and I quickly double up.

By the way, raises were rare...limps abounded. And I identifed the other guy licking his chops while I sat back with a big stack...he was raising limpers left and right, picking his spots, and it was that point I said to myself, 'it will be the two of us heads up.' Of course I wasn't even thinking about the other two tables, and as people dropped like flies and I was moved, the environment was basically the same. One or two good players surrounded by people asking what the minimum bet was.

A few chip ups and double-ups later - I never contested a big pot without being clearly ahead- I find myself at the final table. Sure enough, the guy I mentioned earlier...we'll call him Phil Ivey With a Tie (or PIWT), was still doing well. With 8 left, there suddenly was a FIVE-WAY All-in. Stacks were light, except for PIWT, who flopped a set of nines and took all the chips, making him the clear chip leader. So we are down to 4. Me, the NDG who somehow made it here, Dude with Full Tilt Poker Shirt and PIWT. I was roughly even in chips with NDG, with FTP shirt and PIWT clearly ahead. PIWT busts FTP guy with a river 5 in a 55 v KQ battle on a flop of Q5X...and now PIWT has us dominated.

With blinds now at 500/1000 I call 500 in the SB with Jh9h - NDG checks. Flop comes J9X - bink! I calmly check. As he was wont to do when I watched him earlier, he led out for 5000...about 1/3 of his stack. I shove, he calls, and tables K9. No King comes, and as predicted, it's me and Phil Ivey With A Tie, heads-up.

Now, I will admit I'm no heads-up expert - but I've been working on it, and it's now one of the better parts of my game. He had be my about 10000 chips, but I was going to take it down. We both cheekily acknowledged that it wasn't all that hard to get here, without actually saying it, but it was fun. And I had fun playing with him heads-up...I don't really remember all the hands, but we exchanged stacks for about 20 minutes, when I nailed himwith calling 8-10 to his k10 and hitting two pair with about 80% of the chips, and that was that.

So., now I guess I don't have to go again and I get immediately invited to the monthly, but I imagine I'll go again...they are at different venues and I am hoping the other one is a bit lighter and quieter, but it's free and fun...who knows?

In more competitive action, Jordan and I will be going to the WSOP Circuit Event at Harrah's next month for the $350 Event #1. I am looking forward to some live action there, and maybe some cash the night before at the Trop. A report on that will arrive soon enough.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fantasy Football, Phones and Wagers

Well, it's that time of year again.

This year I will be in three leagues - the stalwart Broadway Fantasy Football League(the BFFL, in it's 16th year) where yours truly is the commish, MattyEbs' Yahoo League, and the Mmm Mmm Good League, run by some other theatre folk. Actually, Mmm Mmm is interesting in that they don't use a kicker and instead allow an additional flex. I didnt draft particularly well in that league, but I am interested in participating.

I also got an HTC Evo 4G last week. The 4G capability is still not in New York, but otherwise my review of the phone is mixed, most likely due to my own phone proclivities. First off, the touch keyboard. As a longtime Treo/Pre user I've never had one, and a week into owning I feel like I have made no real progress in cutting down on mistakes. Also, there is no combined mail inbox. I keep three email accounts and I like to see them all at once...right now I have to go to them one by one. I could become accustomed to this but right now I am a bit frustrated by it. That said, there are some plusses - great camera and video, seamless access to my work remote desktop, app catalog that dwarfs the Palm offerings, and the promise of eventual 4G speed, but I am left suddenly empty, unfulfilled by the purchase today. I hope it will change, as it has set me back $200.

Also, I am in a bit more of a gambling mood than usual, so that means I am going to wager on some football this year on Bodog. Two years ago I made bets every week and ended up in the black, so I'm going to go at it again.

Not much happening in poker, as I have had to cut down on volume this past week, but I will be back to grinding soon!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Victory at the House of Dawn!

Well, I had no intention of bubbling this tournament for a third time, come hell or high water, and though the water high and hell nearby, I chopped 1st prize two ways with the hostess herself. A run-down of some of the highlights -

First off, no double rebuy to start, so all of us were stuck with 3K chips to start. The first three levels were uber-boring for me, chipping up once or twice with a PF raise and a CBet here and there, but nothing overly fancy or strange. Right before the rebuy period was over I risked all my chips with 66 and they held up, doubling me up heading into freezeout time.

Most of my tussles came against Mary tonight, and due to some antics by others she got rather angry, and I do not blame her. Basically folks, don't talk when you're not in the hand. Even if you think you have the best piece of advice in the history of the world to give, don't do it. We're now 5 handed I have about 8BB and my shoved KQ runs into Mary's AJ.King hits. So that tilts her a bit. She is now in shove mode as well and goes all in. I have an ace, action is to me and only me, and I say" Ouch...I have an ace." Someone still around says, "Oh, that's a definite call here." This tilts Mary completely. Now I know I should call, this is not news to me, but still, it's impolite and unprofessional and rude. I call, but Mary's hand holds up, and though she was plenty pissed off, play continued.

We lost one more, and blinds were getting steep. Dawn was the big stack, and the rest of us were varying levels of short. A lot of button-raising fold-fold had been happening - so it was only a matter of time before someone got caught. Mary limps her Sb into my BB and I check 56. The flop comes K56. I had been shoving a lot, so I was at a point where I felt if she was merely limping to trap me post-flop, re shoving her with two pair is going to be as good of a spot as any. Action is to her and she shoves, and I snap call. Two pair holds, and Mary is sent to the rail. I felt bad, although I know I shouldn't because it's poker, but I never like to see people I play with mad or angry, and doubly so if I'm involved in the hand in question. Granted, I did nothing wrong, but I still felt bad about it.

It was not long before the shortest stack busted, and Dawn and I stood fairly even, so we happily chopped $190 each. Nothing like a night where luck goes your way AND you feel great about how you played. Thanks always to Dawn for hosting!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

AC Trip - HoP and Edgie

So, yesterday Jordan and I ventured down to AC for the day trip. While the actual poker involved was an exercise in mediocrity, I enjoyed the other aspects of the trip, so I look forward to the next chance to team up with HoP for a trip down.

We used my ZipCar account - Jordan had yet to experience the pleasures of ZipCar, and also the heavenly franchise known as WaWa ( an AC mainstay stop for me), so indoctrinated to both, we made our way to the Jersey coastline.

Searching for tourney action, we made a decision to sign up for the Borgata Wednesday 15K, but when we got there at about 10:55, the line for the tournament was all the way out in front of Wolfgang Puck, so with only a day trip and in looking like a deep run would equal a 6 hr tournament, we headed back to the Showboat to play some cash and wait for the 2pm tournament.

Upon arriving...who else would we spot but Dawn Summers and Mary! In turns out the 50 hr+ Showboat freeroll was that day, and both of those degenerates were in attendance. Room for J and I at a 1/2 opened up quickly, and we bid them good luck in the freeroll upstairs.

The 2 1/2 hours I played prior to the tournament were probably some of the most boring hands of poker ever. For the record, I never saw a hand higher than KK the whole trip(once, in the tournament - more on that later), and for the most part ran extremely card dead. I basically fluctuated between 160-225 the whole session, playing players rather than the cards(of which I had none). Jordan was not so lucky the first session - if he wasn't being sucked out on, this guy who reminded me of what the neighbor in Everybody Loves Raymond might have looked like if we ever saw the rest of his face, was slamming the deck with cards, and Jordan was victim more than once. I'll let him report his hands - on to the tournament.

Again - so card dead I couldn't even begin to express it. For the first four levels I did not play a single hand other than the SB or BB, except I think I limped in once with 55(I was dealt 12 small to mid pocket pairs the whole day in cash/tourney, none of which hit the board - I did win with a few, though). In Level 5, with blinds hurtling hiigher to 400/800, I find KK with a little about 13BB. I raise to 2000, and a rather loose player raises to 6000. We've all been here before. Reraise on the Kings...I have to think that as tight as I was playing, no one would raise me with anything but the nuts, but he had about 10K more behind, so I felt AK, even he case KK or QQ as a possibilty, so I shipped it in, saw the aces, and they held up. I left the table having felt the KK to AA sting before, and tried to wash it from my brain as I sat down for more cash.

I arrive at a table with Mary and Jordan seeing that Jordan had recovered and was up about 100. I put the 185 in chips I had from before in my pocket and went to work. this table was a bit more crafty, and while I played some good poker in some spots, two in particular left me wishing I could have stayed longer to win my money back:

The first one was against a COM (Crotchedy Old Man) who had been pushing the table around a bit. Jordan and I disagree about the course of this hand, but I'll do my version. I limp with three other limpers with 10Qos. The flop comes JQK rainbow. I bet 15 and get a COM call. The turn comes a 10 and I get two pair, I bet 22 and COM makes it 50. A 9 or an A crush me, and I felt like an ace was possible, so, after considering I decided there were better spots, I folded showing my 10Q. He flips over 2s7s! Geez! Jordan thought there was a flush draw, which I didn't think was the case as I know there were three red cards and I had the Qs, but who knows really - I still was ahead there and felt bamboozled!

I was up and down, hitting 250 in the session when I suffer a beat due to a bad call on my part when LAAL (Loose African-American Lwyer), who had been splashing a lot of chips limps in and I make it 15 after he and 4 others limp. I get action from COM and LAAL. The lop comes K-10-blank, and LAAL checks. I make a standard C-bet for 20 and get a call., COM folds. The turn is yet another brick, and decide that I might just give up here, so when LAAL checks, so do I. the river is another uninteresting card, and LAAL bets out 50. 50? In looking back I'm realizing that I've let my JJ lose value against a K-rag, but it's a bit difficult to put LAAL on that specific line, as its a weak trap and as loose as he was I figured he would not have limped QQ-AA. AK could have been in his limp range, so could K10. However, there was a club draw on the board and put him on some sort of draw. I don't do enough analysis on this guy's range on the spot, and make the call. He tables K6. I'm down to 160 and stay pretty much there for the remaining hour. The room was running a buffet for free if you play for 2hrs deal, so J and I hit that before we headed back around 730.

So, the trip left me down about $125. Disappointing, and an odd day of poker, but I had a good time with Jordan and perhaps we will invade PA in the future instead. Off to redeem myself at the home of Dawn Summers on Saturday!

So, with tourne

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I know the Meister reads this so...

...first off, how do you get that cool 'My blog List' widget that shows the last time everyone posted? I need to get me one of those.

Also, after some thought, I've decided that with this potential broke-ass challenge looming, I am going to mix it about an hour of $5 NL play into my online grind schedule, probably 4-6 tabling. My success so far this evening....

So, though a little rusty, I think I am doing ok with this small sample. Once I get to about 2000 hands or so I might start looking for leaks, but I just wanted the world to know I am trying!

Still a SNG grinder at heart.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

NYC dead for live poker, so online I go...

It's true, the days of online poker in NYC seem to be dwindling...lots of games have shit down, and to be honest after hearing about how Scotty's game ended and the terrible story CK told me the other week, I truly doubt I'd even consider going to a live game in the city again unless I was very, very chummy with the clientele (like Dawn's game, for example - and yes Dawn, I know I owe you $20...I'll pay you at your next tournament in real dollars).

So it is online I go....and things are pretty good there...I'm rebuilding a bankroll at FT(currently $450 - I was at 2200 and had to cash out some life expenses) and at Stars($125), and am participating in the Pokercast League over at 2+2. I'm currently 20th out of some 200 folks...the big draw here is that every winner of the 24 events, the top 3 MVP's, and the top 20 at the end of 24 events get a freeroll into a Poker Stars-sponsored NAPT LA freeroll. Not to mention, money prizes for the Top 20 and MVP, along with whatever you cash in each tournament. Although I've had deep runs to help, my best performance, I feel, was a 14th place non-cash in 8-game, out of 92 runners. Considering I am a weak Stud player and am only just starting to learn the nuances of triple and single draw lowball, I was running really really well until I ran into trip aces against my trip kings in a PLO orbit close to the bubble. Not to mention, I really enjoyed some of the games! the variety is really appealing, and it's a shame that this kind of thing isn't spread live more often. Anyway, I am really enjoying the League, and if you are jonesing for some League action, you can still hop on and try your luck at an NAPT ticket, although you might be out of luck in the rankings by now.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Gambling regulation....Hold up.


I may be in the minority here, understandably. What is seen by many to be potential landmark legislation to regulate internet gambling would certainly prove to be a boon for the federal budget to the tune of 40 billion dollars. However, it is incredulous to me that countries like Russia and the entire Eastern Bloc can gamble at will on these sites, while we are subject to potential regulation, and as is, technically playing illegally in the face of a poorly written law that has more holes than the Wire Act? All that aside, our government, which we should all remember was established ahead of the footprints of Puritans who sought religious freedom, are once again flouting their inhibitions like the FCC. The United States has long been the laughing stock of more liberal societies for reasons ranging from censoring nudity and profanity to lambasting political figures entrenched in scandal. To dictate how we should not spend our money on gambling pursuits is just another in a long line of puritanical embarrassments.And unfortunately for all of us, the players are bound to suffer.

And here's why.

1 .For starters, Full Tilt and Stars will almost certainly be denied licenses as they have operated
illegally in the States, and one of the amendments on the bill essentially block the potential for any online site to get a license if they have committed that act. So, get ready to move your funds over, and welcome brick and mortar organizations like Harrah's and MGM to set up their online operations, and of course, welcome back Party Poker, who kept in line with the law

2. Licenses cost money. Therefore, look for the rakes to rise. Gone will be the days of firing up low-stakes tables in hopes of making profits, because rakes will increase and rakeback deals will dry up.

3. What little profit you will gain from the sites, it will now be rigidly taxed.

Granted, regulation may spawn a 're-boom' and litter the landscape with fish, but with Uncle Sam sweating our action, will we really reap the benefits?

I, for one, doubt it.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

At the house of Dawn Summers: I Had Outs tourney July

In truth I almost didn't go...I got up late and didn't really feel the poker juices flowing, but considering the recent decline of live poker activity in the Big Apple, I decided to go anyway.

Upon arrival I realized it was Dawn's birthday(although I suddenly re-remembered F-Train's humorus post and realized I forgot), and our host had already consumed a good amount of wine. Now, Dawn assured us that alcohol did not play a part in her slurred speech and birdie-finger pointing in the night's festivities, but of course, all we can do is take her word for it. :)

I bought in for double ($60) as I always feel empowered by starting with as many chips as possible, and I pretty muched hovered around tha starting stack of 6000 until right before the end of rebuy after 80 minutes when I shoved J10 on a J-high board, fully aware that I would gladly rebuy for $60 more if need be. Vinny held AJ, and I donated about 5800 to his stack at break's end. REEE-buy!

We got down to 6 players not long after that, with Ross, Kearns and I short-stacked. I had a fairly good feel of everyone at the table...Vinny was the big stack and at 400/800 he was 2.5BB raising about 30% of hands, Dawn was playing tight, so I knew it would probably inevitably come down to a shove showdown with Kearns, Ross or myself once I got below 10BB's, unless Mary got involved, who is a little more game than Dawn to get involved with a shove. I had KK and limped and let Mary call, flop came dry and she checked, and I shoved. This was the only time I had tried to extract any value post-flop, and it worked, but otherwise there werentt many other opportunities....I did hit QQ, KQ, 1010 which I all shoved and got no action and chipped me to about 6000 when we got to 500/1000, and I came across K10, Ross goes all-in and I feel like I can't really wait 6 handed...he shows KQ and it holds, out 6th.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Switch to Stars going well

After posting a pretty sweet profit multi-tabling on FT, I was forced to cash a good chunk of it out for life expenses, so I decided to start the SNG grind on Stars! Here's my graph so far, grinding 27. 45 and 90 mans at the oh so lowest of levels. Granted, when you only play $1/$2 SNGs, you're only going to average .30 per tournament, but this is how my grind started on FT 3 months ago and as I moved through the ranks I ended up with a healthy bankroll I've had much more variance in the early going this time, hovering right around a 20% ROI.

Upon reading Dusty Schmidt's book, Treating Poker As A Business(which I recommend to all), he pooh-poohs the concept of grinding SNG's, advocating that cash games are really the only way to go if you want to see poker profits. Well, that might be true, but I don't find cash games to be particularly fun online. I enjoy tournament structure, as that's where my strength lies, and while I could put some oomph into studying more and improving my cash game..why spoil a good thing?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

WSOP Circuits open up...

Read all about it here... I think it is great that they are lowering the buy-ins for the Main Events. It will definitely be a +EV call to try and satellite in here, and should you cash in one, it might be worth your while to travel elsewhere and try your luck beyond the two AC destinations(for us NY'ers), as the top 100 in points get to play in a championship tournament. Thanks to the minds at the WSOP for doing this!

Monday, July 12, 2010

AC Trip

In what was definitely one of the most anticipated trips this year, I was headed to AC with Bonnie while she helps run the Tribeca Film Festival event on the beach at Caesar's, and this could only mean one thing...four days of poker.

Granted, it didn't really turn out that way. A lot of events transpired which, since this is a poker blog after all, will not be discussed. I will leave it to say that while some parts of the trip were a bit stressful, in the end I think a lot was gained from the stressful interlude. Now, on to the trip.

The TFF people were treated in style, and we had a suite on the 43rd floor in the Centurion Tower, with awesome beach views. We were alos sailing on a $100/day dining credit, which we didn't really use as much as we could/should have. Anyway, after gazing out at the beach for a few minutes, I descended on the Caesar's poker room.

I had set aside $400 for the trip. I figured this was reasonable, as it would hopefully leave room for some cash and some of the smaller buy-in tournaments available. Things didn't start so well.

About 20 hands in my trip 7's were cracked by a straight, and my initial $100 buy-in was gone. I slide in another Benjamin, slowplay a nut flush against trips and make it back, and leave after about one hour up $25.

I heard lore about the sort-of new Bally's poker room, and let me tell you, it is a bitch to find. Once I found it, I was amazed to find what was one of the peculiar highlights of the trip...a $1/$1 No'Limit Table? It was sporting a $100 max, so I had to check it out.

What a table full of poker degeneracy. Basically the gist of this game was limp, limp limp limp, 7 handed pre-flop lottery. So, yours truly started raising, causing commotion. I was basically just doing this for information, so I could see who would play back. One Crazian was more than happy to, and about 10 minutes in he called my $10 raise with 4d5d. The flop came a crystalline 545, and I checked. Crazian makes it $17, and I call. Flush draw hits, and I Hollywood for about five seconds, and check. He makes it $40, I sit back in my chair, and after about 10 seconds of Tony-winning hemming and hawing, I call. I don't remember the river, but it was a brick of some kind, and I start thinking of what might end up looking like a blocking bet on my part. so I risk $20. Sure enough he shoves, and I call, and he tables AA.Woohoo! Then someone says 'Go spin the wheel.' Apparently, if your aces get cracked in the room, you get to go spin a wheel where you can win comp dollars and what-not. A large African-American fellow who appeared to be a regular said "Too bad they got no Ipod no more on that wheel," so I guess the eceonomy had affected the wheel's payout. Off the Crazian went, and he never returned.

After a few ridiculous drawing hands, I decided $1/$1 was not for me and I left the double having doubled up plus $25, and I'm now up $150 for the trip.

Then poker ended for a while. Too much to go into but let's just say I needed to set things right with the gf, so a trip to Tiffany took away my bankroll profit and an unnamed amount more, so let's just call it the new zero.

Right before the end of the trip, I go to Showboat to enter the $60 buy-in tournament. I chip up a bit here and there, one big bet with AQ on a q high board took down about 4000 to chip me up to 14K. About 10 minutes later, I find myself with AA UTG. an interesting error on my part...the blinds had just raised to 200/400 and and I threw in 600, thinking we were still at 100/200, so the dealer says, "That's just a call." essentially concealing the monster I had. Others limped, and we were about four handed, when an innocuous rainbow flop with a J appeared. I led out for 2200, and a guy in MP announced "All-in," and shoved in 10K and change. Well, if I get swung out with a set, that's fine. I call. He tables AJ and I find myself at around 30K by the first break.

Then the crash. I wake up with 99 after about 20 minutes of card deadness. Someone ahead makes it 1600 in 400/800, I call, and one other older fellow calls. Flop comes Q-10-9 rainbow, giving me trips. I make it 3200 and the older fellow calls everyone else is gone. While this guy was fairly tight, I felt like he might just be trying to draw to a straight, and if I saw what appeared to be a brick on the turn, I'd shove, exposing myself to JK or J8, with JK being a more likely possibility since he called the pre-flop raise. Either way, I don't see calling a raise with JK in MP as a completely horrible play, but when you consider the initial raiser was uber-tight and I had tabled monsters when I was in, it seemed unlikely that he had JK. Turn comes a brick and I waa already decided. I shove and he snap calls with the nuts, sure enough JK. I'm down to 2800 chips at 400/800 and bust three hands later. Oh well!

So, I can't really report on a definite bankroll total for the trip. For once, AC was not just about poker for me.

And that was just fine.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Turning to the Super Turbo

As some of you know, I've been putting in tons of volume across the SnG world, and have been achieving some pretty stellar results. The more volume you put in, the less variance you experience, as long as you put yourself in a winning mindset and make correct decisions. Sure, 12-tabling sng's is not finesse poker, but it is still a palpable skill, and my ROI overall is currently about 19% since May 15, when I started this endeavor.

I've found a new baby, though. I played these 54 man hyper-turbos back when jamyhawk was into them(he may still be), but I had never done the $2 ones. There's just, well, a lot of bad play going on down there, and they fit WELL beneath my bankroll...but there's 200% ROI on a win ($48). Well, I've recently been grinding these 6 at a time, and my ROI is currently about 250%. Either I am running insanely good or I am making the right decisions when they count! Granted, my bankroll is now dictating I could play these at $10 or even $12, but I am finding that I am getting, well...crushed a bit at the higher levels, as that is where all the regs are. So, without a doubt I am going to be incorporating these into my regular stable of sngs as I watch the bankroll slowly creep up to that $10K end-of-year goal!!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

I Had Outs w/ Dawn

Since I felt my I Had Outs experience should not be included with my incendiary post about the WSOP, I continue with a second entry about my trip to Brooklyn to visit the legendary Dawn Summers and her I Had Outs tournament.

I meet Jordan downtown, as we are neighbors, for the trip to Brooklyn. I had never really ventured much in this area before, but Dawn's neighborhood seemed really nice and residential...more Park Slopish than I had imagined.

We enter and the tournament almost looked like it might not occur, but before long we had a full table and I was introduced to some faces that I had read about for a while...Mary, Alceste, Kearns, etc. and of course Dawn herself! And play was underway.

Basically you're allowed 3 rebuys in the first four levels. I had only brought $60 and decided to double buy-in to usual strategy. Well, right off I am snagged by Jordan early on...he spikes the river to make a straight against QQ. I then bump into Mary's AK against my AJ. How do you say it? Lemon!

So, I rebuy once again, borrowing $30 from Jordan. I proceed to get bluffed off by Kearns, and then run into something that for some reason I have decided to block out, but since others were getting a fourth rebuy and I was at about 2200 chips at 100/200, I rebuy once again with 3000 more...and then I finally start playing some marginally good poker.

Occasionally you feel like you're in a bit of a zone, and my TAG appearance early on started to gain a little bit of respect, combined with a good dose of run-good. I was able to chip up into contention, with new guy Nikos and I fighting on the bubble against Eric and Jordan's big stacks. Nikos was playing rather loose, so I tightened, hoping he would run into some sort of mistake, but he managed to chip up against Jordan while making some good laydowns along the way to put him way ahead of me, and I was back into shove mode. With about 8BB four handed I shove with Jc10c and run into AK, and I miss a K and go out in fourth.

But hey....I Had Outs!

Ladies Event. WTF is the big deal?

Maybe the simple fact is that everyone in WSOP land needs to stir up something newsworthy, but I'm personally sick of reading about the Ladies Event over, and over....and over.

I am not going to languish over my own personal opinion here, but come on, folks! The Ladies Event attracts women who might not otherwise play. Do we not want more people to play poker? Or, do we want to focus on it as some sort of controversy so that more people with decision-making power think that it shouldn't be legal in many states? We are already getting enough bad press because Joran Van Der Sloot decided to thrust his hands all-in on a woman's neck in a we really need more bad press?

Guesss what? Men have entered many a Ladies Event before, at the WSOP, The Borgata, WPT stops, without a whole lot of fanfare. So, who to blame here? Personally, I'd blame the WSOP reporters and bloggers who have decided to make it newsworthy. All you are doing (Daniel Negreanu included) is giving these interlopers the attention that they are craving. Since it is exponentially more difficult for someone to gain notice in the poker world by ACTUALLY DOING WELL in a tournament, they are getting their attention the easy way. Why encourage it? Well, because while the WSOP is an exciting event, I have to agree with Bill Rini here. The WSOP 'news' community is preoccupied with finding something fantastical to write about instead of just making the chip counts accurate. Let's face it, the same shit goes on at every poker tournament. Bad beats, good runs, just like in baseball there are base hits and double plays. but where it is different is that the color commentary is about the GAME. It seems that the color commentary in poker has gone beyond simple Wicked Chops photos of hot women on the rail. It is no longer about the is about Shaun Deeb losing a prop bet and playing in the Ladies Event.

WSOP bloggers, I appreciate the work you do (and would probably rather be doing it for two months instead of my own job), but let's focus on the winners...not the losers.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

BBT5 Goose-egg, but good progress otherwise

Well, I have to say I am pretty embarrassed with my BBT5 showing. I think I went, what, 0-15 for the run? Not even a single cash. In reviewing my HH's, I made some unreasonable shoves in spots where I shouldn't have. All in all, here's how the 15 busts shaped up.

2 Bad Beats (set over set, boat over boat)
4 short stack shoves
and honestly, 9 bad plays. That equals nine mistakes. Big leaks. Lack of discipline, call it what you will. I have to own it, I guess.

In other news, my sojourn into coaching has been going well. Without going into too much detail(because hey, if you want to get coaching, you can pay for it yourself), it basically involves a large amount of volume in SNG's and MTT's. Now, because I started with only $200 in FT, I've been restricted to $1-$3 buy-ins, but over roughly 200 tournaments, I've made a $70 profit using the methods I've learned so far this month. for about 24% ROI. Right now I am only multi-tabling 6 at a time(as I only have one monitor) but for June I will be adding another monitor, and will begin grinding up to 10.I find that by grinding 45 and 90 man SNG's I'm getting a good amount of volume in a short amount of time, averaging about 15 per session in a 3 hr span. I hope to double that in June. The people I have been working with show great results when they put in the volume, as basically, it is a huge variance reducer. Unlike them, I have another job so I cant crank out 100 games a day like they do, but my goal for June is to play 500 SNG's with a couple of MTT's peppered in there.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

BBT5 Ooof! But other fun news

Well, it certainly added insult to injury after seeing Heffmike's BBT5 Rankings tonight. 14 tries, zero cashes. It's really flummoxed me, when you consider I'm playing pretty well in every OTHER tournament I enter...well, not every other, but I'm definitely up for the year tournament-wise. I guess I have only three more chances left, but one of them is during the LOST finale, and the other one, I think I almost certainly can't attend. So, this makes for a grand shitshow I've made of the BBT5.

In other news, I have been doing a bit of study with a coach I'd rather not name, as I don't want to quite promote what's been a nice result so far...but the emphasis of his tournament play hinges on, the volume they want me to have is impossible as I have a life, but I am doing the best I can, and so far after 10 days trying this particular method, I am posting positive ROI, so I can't complain.

I'm feeling a bit of WSOP envy as well...part of me wants to go and experience it for a few days, but the wallet isn't quite permitting it. I guess I will have to wait for the winter gathering to make my next trip. I will try to live vicariously with a couple of MSOP tourneys and Jordan's Fantasy League - which I think I tanked a bit. I was trying to decide between Michael Binger and Chad Brown and went with Brown, and then fooled myself out of Binger for my last pick when I started looking at Scott Clements' stats. If Binger wins 5 bracelets I'll be pissed.

ANYway, it's late here and I'm tired, but oh-so-ready to be disappointed at 11pm tomorrow when Cuse, Lindelof and Abrams drop the ball.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

BBT Bust, but hey, I'm all in for autism!

I was running ok in the BBT through two breaks, but with my M down to around 6 I shoved with 55 and was called with AQ, and a Queen hit the river. Meanwhile, over at the All In For Autism game that flashed in the message screen while playing the invitational, I made it through about 600 people to finish in 30th with a modest cash.

I'll be running again at PFTR!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Overall, not horrible

3 tournaments, two of them out of the money, one in.

5th in Josie poker, where Jordan crippled me on a hand I'd rather not look back at.

11th in the Mookie, where while I was sailing in the top 5 for a while, ran into about an hour's worth of dead cards to the point where I had to start shoving with everything, and finally got caught.

3rd in the Dookie! for a profit of $23 bucks, so the three tournaments only cost me 2 bucks.

I am home, kinda sick in bed today. I might try a miniFtops for kicks....

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wham-bam Rush

Now, I won't lie...Rush Poker, as, Julie Andrews sings in Sound of Music, is NOT one-of-my-fa-vor-ite things, but I've found a strategy that I enjoy.

Leave when you're up.

That many hands per hour, you're definitely going to run into a bad beat, you're seeing an hour's worth of hands in 20 minutes, so , if you're up by 3, 4, 5 bucks....why not leave?

I've been employing this strategy for the past week and have crawled up to about a $75 profit, more than covering my FT tournament deficits. Sure, I think I have a good handle on Rush Strategy and could probably make a lot more, but my bankroll can't handle the likelihood of busting too many times. The advantage of Rush is that you never really feel like you have to put your chips at risk because another hand is right around the bend. I'm not an addictive personality like most of you DG's out there, so I have no problem walking away with a modest profit instead of pounding out 1000+ hands and be 50 bucks up, only to have my aces cracked by a set of 6's, or what have you. I look forward to seeing you all at the Mookie and Dookie tonight!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Short, painful Thursday@ScottyCards

Scotty's place is turning into more of a 5/10 free-for-all than a 1/2 game. The action is ridiculous. At least on Thursdays. So, that kind of table usually turns me into a bit of a nit, admittedly. Essentially you just have to TAG your ass off until you grind out a profit. Facing PFR's of 20 every hand plus a run of marginal cards don't give you a lot of spots. A full house on the turn was the ONLY hand I won all night, and my night ended with a tussle with these crazy raisers.

AA in MP. Before me, a guy who has bet $50 more times than I can count, goes for $15 and Tal calls. I pop it to $45. Guy to my left calls! Crazy guy shoves in the rest for $97 more. I call with everything I have (at that point $93) and guy to the left calls with plenty behind. Crazy guy tables 77! Guy to my left AhJh!

Of course, a 7 comes up on the flop, AJ almost hits his flush, and my aces are cracked.
I'm a one buy-in kind of guy...I know variance is a bitch, but when I've lost my money at NYC home games, I go home. $200 is already way above my bankroll anyway, but once a week, you go where you have options to play live.

So, a question out there to you poker folks. I know it has been written about time and time again, but how do you deal with a crazy table? I think I'm handling it the way I should, just hit a bit of bad luck last night.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

This poker stuff is easy, except the Mookie! Another big score...

I run card dead in the Mookie, then I fire this up, and JUST like Monday....I follow it up with this....

What the heck? I don't mind the cash but I wish I could alternate the results!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Ah, sweet redemption.

This was a nice way to make up for my poor Rail showing tonight! Woohoo!

Well, that blew!

I bluffed when I shouldn't have, and exited The Rail early. I don't feel SO bad about it though, I only spent $9 on it as I grinded a satellite for a Step 3 ticket. That was at least some feeling of accomplishment.

I think I should do the steps more often. I think you're sort of fooling yourself if you think you can get all the way to the ME with them, but you could certainly get to Step 5 and enter a bigger tournment, even bigger ME Qualifier.

To be honest, I used to really bust my ass to try and qualify for these things and this year I am not feeling the motivation. I qualified for the PCA once, and I found out I couldn't even go because of work. Having the BBT5 is great though...if you end up qualifying you really feel like you've been involved with something along the way. that might be why I haven't felt the urge to qualify in any other capacity.

I'm contemplating doing some coaching again...I fond it really helped my cash game, and I'd like an experience with someone who does MTT's. I've been looking into RainMan and BFizz11. I've listened to them on Mediocre Poker radio and I'm impressed with their results. I've mentioned coaching to some people, and they're like, 'why would you do that?' Well, you never stop learning, Some people walk into a gym and have no idea what they are doing. sure, they might go through some circuit training and ride a bike, but are they really accomplishing something? Now, if you start out with a trainer, you might see some results...and it wouldn't hurt matters if it looked like they were in shape, so they know what they are talking about. A good analogy for my reasoning, I think. Well, onto the Mookie Wednesday!

Ouch! Nailed!

Well, the edgie917 experiment is no more. No more rakeback. No more new name.

I tried to deposit some cash into the new account and got hosed. They closed edgie917 and so now I am back to edgie212. Oh well!

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Why do I shove in early position with an M of 13 with a hand like this? I suck. It's a freeroll, sure, but I'm an idiot. Thanks to Rakewell for exposing me to a cool new tool.

Ass in gear.

BBT5 Invitational tonight...looking forward, but on to some non-poker content.

2010 for me, by and large, has been a bit of a 'treading water' sort of year so far. Many of you out there in the blogger world know little about me, or what I do, or did, so at least for some of you this might prove to be entertaining reading. For me, it's more about putting a list out there with some simple goals to achieve.

From a very young age, I knew exactly what I wanted to do when I grew up. However far-fetched it might have seemed, I dreamed of moving to New York City and being in a Broadway show. Or, less specifically, being an actor. I followed that goal step-by-step, doing the high school plays, going to one of the best theatre colleges, and plopping my ass in Hell's Kitchen. On what was supposed to be my first day of training at the ultimate cliche(waiting tables), I booked my first Broadway show - and for the next ten years, I did show after show in NY and all over the country, guest starred on TV shows, name it. I was making my living as a professional actor.

Then something happened - my dad passed away, and though I have a hard time admitting it, a gear shifted in my head. Sure, I had achieved every goal I had set for myself...but was I really enjoying it? Did it seem important anymore? Was pretending to be someone else for a job actually fulfilling me, or was it moving me away from who I am, or better yet, who I want to be?

And with that, more things happened...I distanced myself from friends in the business...I started working less...I left my agent...and started leaning more on what had, over time, become my survival job, real estate. And that's isn't my ultimate goal in life, but fine.

Which leads me to where I am...what IS that goal? Is it anything I can put my finger on? What would that goal be, and how would I achieve it?

So I've decided to start simple.

1. Live longer. This means finally getting back to exercising. Granted, I am at my target weight, but I'm not in shape. I LOOK like I am, but I'm not. So, the goal for May is to establish that for myself.

2.Find another agent. Here is where I have REALLY treaded. I could conceivably pick up the phone and find a boutique agent on my resume alone, but since one of my longtime visions has involved finding myself in Los Angeles someday, they need to be bicoastal. While this may seem to be antithetical to the way I feel about 'the biz' right now, it will help me decide if I really want to keep doing it, or change my life altogether.

3. Get up at the same time every day. I am horrible about this. If I have no real timetable for my day, I squander it by sleeping in. For example, I did it today. Not that it is unheard of to do on a Sunday, but for god's sake...let's at least try for 5 days a week.

That's three to start with. I found that in poker, I've really improved by writing about my play...maybe this will help me in non-poker life as well.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Up and down poker evening

Last night was a poker-filled evening of the live and online variety.

The NYC poker underground was greeted with a somewhat new entry, just a few blocks from my apartment. This game had a brief but unorganized life back in the winter and I attended a couple of times because Matty and ScottyCards were there to deal and play, but once they were no longer asked to deal, they stopped texting the game, and nights would go off without so much as a half-table, so it faded. Apparently the room s under new 'management'(if you could call it that) so Scotty promoted it via text, and I figured I could get a few hours in before the Mookie, or the Dank, or whatever people want to call it these days.

Upon entry at 7 there's already a full table! A second table is forming - but as the dealer went through the cards, it seemed like every deck they had only had 51 cards. Finally after about a half hour of dilly dallying I put down $200 and we started. A flopped baby flush against TPTK and then my 33 hitting a set against a shove, I was well on my way to $300 when this hand happened.

66 in MP, two limpers behind and I make it $8. For the record, it was apparent by this time that $8 in this game was going to invite callers, but I was still only 30 minutes into this game and I was still getting a bead on range. Button and BB call. I don't really remember the flop at this point - I think it was 8-J-X but I came out with $15, the button called, BB folded. The button was taking his time. The turn paired the board with an 8 and two diamonds, and I fired another barrel out. He ruminated for a while, and called. I'm thinking, ok, flush draw. His eyes were focused on the Jack, which was leading me to think I value bet on the river and fold to a raise. River is a 10 that gives the board three diamonds. I have him covered by a good $200, and I've been representing a big pair or maybe even AK or AQ with the diamonds, so I go on and represent the flush and shove.

He was not pleased to see that...he sat and was bewildered for about 45 seconds and I was convinced I had made the right play here. Finally he shook his head and said, " Flush? I have to call." And he turns over 10J. Well, no you didn't have to call! Aaand down goes my profit.

To even the tables out I am moved to the other table where I know more people...but a few people are sort of those 'gang attire' sort of people, one in particular with his arm in a cast. He's that like sneery unshaven too-cool-for=school type guy you'll often see at a table in NYC, not my type of people - and he was talking too much. We tangled in a hand that got me back in the plus column.

I make it 12 in MP with As10s, two limpers call. The flop comes 2-3-5 with two spades. I fire out 17, arm cast guy calls, other guy folds, I call. The turn was a face of some kind, a Q I think, but no spade. I check, he makes it 25. So I'm getting roughly 3-1 odds, with 13 outs. He's got me covered so my implied odds are huge if I hit so I call. Indeed, a spade. I make what looks like a block with 35 and he snap calls. I flipped over the nut flush a bit too fast so I never saw what he had. He muttered some kind of gang-speak under his breath and called me a chaser...well, don't give me odds to chase, I told him! One more big hand with 77 and a 7-A-A flop, and I left at 9:59 with a comfortable $127 profit.

I walk home to greet the Mookie, already in full swing. My Monday From The Rail did not go well, and tonight the Mookie would be no different. Out of 120 something runners I go out in 48th or something. I don't remember any critical hands, but I hope I run a bit better in the coming weeks of the BBT5. I have an invite to the Sunday invitational, so wish me luck!

Monday, April 19, 2010

An invite, but maybe a down side...

Well, it seems my pleading for an invite garnered some fruit, as alcanthang wrote me today and says I got an invitation! I don't know exactly what brought that to fruition, but there may be a sad ending. Full Tilt may qualify me as edgie212, but I am not edgie212 anymore...I am edgie917. Hopefully this will cause no hiccups, but it might....and I stand by my position about changing my name.

Now before you all accuse me of multi-accounting, I'm not. I took all my money out of edgie212 and have no plans of playing under that name. If I could delete the account, I would, but there seems to be no option to do that. I am just a tad superstitious, and I felt like the name was giving me bad luck, so I changed the number.

Friday, April 16, 2010

BBT5 Invitational Invite?

Well, crap - I haven't gotten one. I play in the Mookie, I do my part. Why hasn't an invite dropped on my doorstep?

I sort of feel like this doesn't give everyone an equal shot. Of course, I am the one without an invite at this point, so rightfully so I should be the one sporting that opinion at the moment, but while I am happy there is a BBT5, I don't think the current structure is really equitable if other folks get 6 more shots. Now, of course, if I get invited, screw the rest of you who don't get one. :)

Monday, March 29, 2010


I know some give me grief for entering such a donkament, but, hey, you gotta play within your bankroll.

Gotta love the profit!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Exercise in futility? My Mohegan Sun NAPT satellite jaunt.

I tend to like live satellites...I have a great record in them. Two Borgata Poker open Main Event Sats, one $500K Guarantee Borgata sat, one Foxwoods Poker Classic Main Event Sat...overall my rate of entry is around 70%. Maybe it's my acting background that gives the satellite some appeal. A satellite is an audition...the event you go into is a callback.

My percentage went down today.

Saturday approached and well, I'm not Jewish, and had nothing to do, so Bonnie and I decided to go up the 2 hr trek to Mohegan. She would shop and I would enter the NAPT 'Step 1 Satellite.' why Step 1? Well, this $230 satellite earns you a ticket into a $1000 Step 2 and THAT satellite earns you a seat...a new format for me, but no matter. Onward!

Well, we get there, and Mohegan is a shitshow. Packed. I mean, to the gills. We hear there is a show going on at the arena later, but I'm running late so I head to the convention center. More on the event later.

So, I stroll in...nice setup. Nice, open, clean space. A $600 buy-in event is currently going, sit-n-go satellites forming, and us, the Step 1 stragglers. The Step 1 attracts 56 so 11 get a Step 1 ticket. Cool, I thought, no problem. 20 minute blinds, escalating antes...a slight impediment. But still, seems doable.

Well, maybe a slight problem. Despite two full houses(which chipped me up from our original 6,000 to about 11K), I become the victim of my first royal flush...a FLOPPED Royal Flush, against my three Aces. I had this guy covered, but he played it masterfully, and I walked right into it. This crippled me with about 28 left, and when we got to 300-600-75, I had only 3800 left and had to shove with my first sensible hand, a2s sooted UTG. I would've been even more crippled a hand later, so I figured, let's see what happens. 1 caller at UTG+1, he flips over AQos. Two spades on the flop - hope! But I don't make it and I'm gone.

I meet Bonnie and we head to Bar Americain,t he Bobby Flay joint. Unimpressive lamb chops but we NOW learn that none other than Bon Jovi is playing tonight! No wonder it was crowded(and no wonder the quality of some of the attendees)! Bonnie was very sad that she would yet again miss another major concert(she got shafted out of Aerosmith some months back) and this true BJ fan would have to miss this too. A quick drive back...and that's the story!

I felt I played just about as well as I did at Foxwoods last week. In all truth, I played the three aces badly. With three diamonds on the board I shouldn't have played them so was a bad play. I could have waited for a better shot...I didn't. Of course, I hate analyzing this, but it's the only way you get better.

But I have not given up hope on the NAPT...I am on Step 3 of the PokerStars step sats. Can I finish in the top 2 for three more sit-n gos! YES WE CAN.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bad Mookie, good Ferguson

Well, I final tabled the Mookie but again it was not to be.

However....the evening proved to be interesting. I have been campaigning for the resurrection of the leaderboard and I am now in touch with Ben, and it seems I will be able to help him out.

A good thing I stuck around...BuddyDank and the ragtag band of fugitives still awake as the Mookie closed proposed a 'last shorter' in the $1 Ferguson HORSE, with everyone contributing $5 to the person out first. Now, considering it's all fixed limit, there is some strategy involved. I simply hit the worst possible hands with some other people calling courageously, and I was out in first. This pt me in touch with AlCantHang, who was participating, and since I met him at the Borg once or twice before, it was nice to reconnect with him. I even offered to blog for him somewhere...who knows, maybe my writing background will bear some fruit after all these years.

The mystery of the night...what happened to Jordan? he signed in and blinded out...FYI Jordan, you got a full house while absent that kept you around until you bubbled the final table! So, even're 'that guy.'

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My Foxwoods Poker Classic Experience

I felt a bit of a degenerate driving alone to Foxwoods by Zipcar, but my two traveling companions bailed, so off I went to scenic Ledyard, CT, home of the looming behemoth that casts a shadow on the Connecticut countryside, Foxwoods Casino and Resort. I had never been to the FPC before, but a comfortable $200 by-in with 40 min levels seemed alluring enough.

Let's start with the fabled WPT Poker Room at Foxwoods, where I played a little warm-up NLHE before the tourney began. First off, it is huge - I think it has to be bigger than the Borgata, but to get there you go down some stairs, and while some tables are exposed to the atrium way above, some are hidden away in low-ceilinged little lairs that are just plain cramped. Plus, it's mayhem down there. Nothing seems particularly organized, and it is LOUD. The sound travels up to the atrium and just bounces around willy-nilly. I lost about $15 and then it was time to head over to the Grand Ballroom where the event would take place.

This ballroom was ugly, stale and largely unattractive, but certainly quieter. And talk about a quiet starting seemed no one uttered a word for the first 30 minutes. I was the only one wearing St. Patty's day green, so they certainly weren't the festive sort.

So, everything up until the dinner break was pretty garden-variety. Caught some good hands and played tight aggressive and chipped my original 5,000 up to about 12K. I think I might have called two PFR the whole afternoon, but then right before the dinner break things got interesting.

22 in the BB. 3 limpers, I check. Flop comes 2 -6-8, two spades. Now, I'm at about 11K here, and blinds are now 400-800-50. So, I shove. If someone wants to chase those spades, they'll have to pay for it. I quickly get an all-in for less. DOINK! Crap, what could he have? He flips over 2-8. The turn is a 6 that gives me a boat, and I'm suddenly on a 20 K stack.

Now here is where, effectively, I should have left the tournament. Still 400-800-50, I raise UTG with AA to 2600. This way too light a bet for this table, and I knew it the second I put it out there. I didn't want anyone to catch anything on the flop, but I wanted to extract some value too. A guy across from me who is a self-proclaimed cash player calls sheepishly, and I put him on a connector of some kind, and well...that's exactly what he had.

Flop comes J-10-x and I've seen enough. I fire out 5K and he immediately shoves over the top. So, of course, I'm fucked here, he's got J-10, and I'm suddenly feeling like I'd rather go back downstairs to the poker room and play some O8. Although I think he has two pair, he could just as easily be bullying me around with A-J, or KK, QQ, so I call for all my chips and he tables J-10. Then, like a bolt of lightning from the sky....turn is a 7. River is a 7, and I get the better two pair. This guy took it well, but obviously tilted. He shoved the rest of his chips with someting like Q-7os and was gone the next hand.

So, I was comfortable for a bit with 45K, but the blinds were escalating. After dinner I noticed that my new table was kind of short stacked, so I went into small-ball mode, firing at almost anything marginal and met my quota of about 60% folding around. This got me up to about 85K and then I went card dead completely...I mean, not even playable smallball hands. Some might argue that any hand is a playable small ball hand, but we're talking 9-2, 8-3, 7-2....for at least a good level I saw no face cards. So things start to get dicey again. We're at 4000-8000-400 and my M is dwindling. So starts my shove fest. Uncontested, I shoved with these hands unopened during the next level


People were getting sick of me, but no one would contest, which is really what I sorely needed. I didn't want to just cash this fucker, I wanted to go deep(28K first prize) but no one bit, not once. Then I went cold again, but judging from the tables breaking down I saw the bubble looming. Could I hold on to at least go home with something? Fuck that, I said. Who cares about the bubble. And those words, dear readers, is just how I roll.

I'm at about 5BB and I pretty much have to shove with any two, so I do that. Q10s came and I shoved, another short stack tables a8, and I don[t get there. Bang. 12 out of the money.

For over 700 runners I wasnt upset with my play, but I have to say it was especially harrowing and taxing. I've played many smaller tournaments and big events, but this experience was especially exhausting for some reason. I think that people are jyst plain getting better. As I shifted tables and went deeper, the play was pretty tough..tougher than I experienced in AC or Vegas. I've still not made a big cash in a big event(my ONLY cash coming at the Borgata Winter Open two years ago) although as the smaller tournaments go, in the about 15 tournaments I've played in a 3 yr period in AC and Vegas, I've cashed in 5 of them, and won 2 of them. Granted, that is just simply not enough tournaments to play for a decent result, and I've estimated my ROI to be at about 2-3%.

In today's aftermath I don't want to see a deck of cards or a poker table for a week. But just a week. I'll come back refreshed and ready to kick some ass at a later date.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Holy Crapballs. Bad Beat of the Year.

Read it and weep. Mookie madness.

Full Tilt Poker The Mookie No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t20/t40 Blinds - 8 players - View hand 581841

The Official Hand History Converter

bayne_s (UTG): t2895 M = 48.25

pvanharibo (UTG+1): t3785 M = 63.08

Hero (MP1): t3000 M = 50

hoyazo (MP2): t2565 M = 42.75

NumbBono (CO): t2855 M = 47.58

Pig2dpen (BTN): t3640 M = 60.67

JOELPOKERGOD (SB): t5465 M = 91.08

Schaubs (BB): t2795 M = 46.58

Pre Flop: (t60) Hero is MP1 with 4 of hearts 5 of hearts

1 fold, pvanharibo raises to t120, Hero calls t120, 5 folds

Flop: (t300) 5 of spades 4 of diamonds 4 of spades (2 players)

pvanharibo checks, Hero bets t240, pvanharibo calls t240

Turn: (t780) 7 of clubs (2 players)

pvanharibo checks, Hero checks

River: (t780) 3 of clubs (2 players)

pvanharibo bets t600, Hero raises to t1800, pvanharibo raises to t3425 all in, Hero calls t840 all in

Final Pot: t6060

pvanharibo shows 5 of diamonds 5 of clubs (a full house, Fives full of Fours)

Hero mucks 4 of hearts 5 of hearts

pvanharibo wins t6060