Archive for June, 2004

Home again, home again

Monday, June 28th, 2004

I just wanted to let everyone know that despite appearances here, I am still alive. I got back from my vacation yesterday and spent the majority of the day sleeping. Today it’s back to the slog at work and I was overjoyed to discover how many issues came up during my absence. So, it’s going to be a long start to the week, but I’m hoping that I will be able to reward myself with a little poker come the long weekend. If I can squeeze it in around other fun long weekend activities.

In the Wild

Monday, June 21st, 2004

Ok, perhaps I’m not quite in the wild, but I am on vacation north of Toronto. In a nice little cottage by the lake that just happens to be wired up for internet access. So far it has just been swimming, frisbee and crokinole, but I’m looking forward to a full, relaxing week away from the office. It’s a bit grey outside at the moment, so I decided to hook up my laptop to see if I could make a post here. Of course, now that I’ve logged on, it turns out I don’t have much to say. I’ll probably pop in again later in the week.


Wednesday, June 16th, 2004

Ok, I’m pissed. Or maybe I’m actually not. We’ll see where I am by the end of this post.

But I started out pissed. I was just perusing my web stats as I am sometimes wont to do and I discovered a new referring site called Poker reBlog. As I’m always curious to see who has linked to me, I hopped on over to check it out and discovered a meta-blog that was listing posts from all the usual suspects in the poker blogging world. It provides a short blurb and then a link to read the post at the corresponding site. I was little iffy that this person was running a site driven by other people’s content (without even asking) but then I noticed that they were also advertising. Not only that, they were taking offers for additional advertising. At this I got really pissed off and immediately started this post.

Now, in the few minutes it took me to write this post, I’m a little less certain that it’s clearcut wrong. Certainly many sites (such as Slashdot) make their living referring to stories posted at other sources. And many of them have paid advertisements. I know Iggy doesn’t publish an RSS feed because he fears his content being reused in this way. But the site is up front about it reusing others’ blog posts and only provides a small introductory paragraph and a link to the originating site, even if the RSS feed provides the full story. So people using the service will still be driven to the appropriate blogs, who can choose to use that traffic to endeavor to profit themselves.

My first reaction was to send an angry email asking for all references to my site be removed and follow it with an angry post here pointing out this site. On closer examination, I can see that the sitemaster actually points out some of the higher quality posts from across the poker blogging community and tries to categorize them appropriately. It’s not just an RSS parser that rips other people’s content off the web trying to make a quick buck. There is an actual service – that some people may even find valuable – being offered. And if it nets me a few additional readers visiting the site, I’m not going to complain

However, I am curious to see what other people think of it. Or if anyone has been using it for their poker fix.

ho hum

Wednesday, June 16th, 2004

    “Announcing your plans is a good way to hear god laugh.”
      – Al Swearengen, “Deadwood”

Not much new happening at the tp table. Played some 25PL last night and had a decent $60 night. But nothing much to write about – though I did hit two more quads, making it three in two days.

What I have been doing is working on a longer post about poker, gambling and addiction. I’ve always been a bit worried about addiction, whether it be alcohol or gambling, because I’ve known a few people who’ve had problems. So, I’ve been working on putting together a bit of a self-analysis/commentary on the subject. And to prevent myself from putting it off too long, I’m mentioning it here to force myself to get it done. Of course, I’m not too worried about having a poker “problem”, but I am becoming a bit concerned about my blog addiction.


Tuesday, June 15th, 2004

Not much new to report here. Hit quad aces last night and was able to extract some money from them. That was in the middle of two hours or so of pretty solid, if a bit cautious, 25PL play. Then I managed to throw away most of my profit in 10 minutes of truly foolish play.

I read the second volume of 100 Bullets last night and it was even better than the first, if only because many more aspects of the mystery are revealed and many more questions posed.

I also watched the season finale of Deadwood last night. A truly excellent show. At the end of the episode when the camera briefly touched on all the characters, highlighting various relationships, you had to admire the excellent job the cast and crew has done in establishing the thriving community of Deadwood in the minds of the audience. A remarkable task.

Excellent read

Monday, June 14th, 2004

I just read Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso’s first volume of their comic series 100 Bullets. I had opened it up to read just one chapter before bed, but I was unable to put down the tales about Dizzy Cordova and Lee Dolan and quickly devoured the whole thing.

Now, I don’t know which side most people fall on the graphic novel debate, but I have read a number of compelling pieces of fiction in this format and am a huge fan of the artform. I guess 100 Bullets would best be classified as conspiracy noir.
The premise is that a shadowy figure enters the life of our protagonists and offers them a briefcase with an untraceable gun and the titular 100 bullets along with the evidence against someone who has wronged them – in quite serious ways – in their past. The protagonist is then left to decide how best to act with this new-gained knowledge and means. The internal and external conflicts experienced by the main characters ring true, even if the situations are extreme, and this is probably the greatest strength of the series. But while the individual stories of the gun’s recipients are fascinating, there is the also the underlying conspiracy behind the provision of the weapon and the lengths these mysterious forces can go to in preventing police involvement. I am looking forward to putting the puzzle pieces together as I read the further volumes in the series.

Azzarello’s feel for dialogue, particularly the prevalent street-level slang, is uncanny. And Risso’s dark and moody art – of which I was not a huge fan, at first – suits the tone of the stories perfectly. When the action leaves street level, where much of the story is grounded, and moves to the high-powered business world, the artwork makes a similar shift to brighter colors and sharper lines that demonstrate why the graphic novel can be a powerful storytelling form. Highly recommended.

Sunday poker

Sunday, June 13th, 2004

Another so-so day at the tables. Thankfully I had an old friend come say hello on IM and had a good time chatting, so it wasn’t a complete write-off. The deck contiues to be cold for me at Pacific 2/4 and I dropped another 12BB there before I gave up and focused on the 25PL at Intertops. I don’t know that I have ever been cold decked quite like this before. I think I won 2 in 2 hours, and they were pretty marginal hands.

My hands at 25PL were a different story. I received back-to-back pocket rockets for the first time ever and though I was able to hit a big pot with the first one, I only managed a few dollars with the second. I would have thought my betting would get no respect just after having the buried aces, but alas, people weren’t even willing to call bets for 2/3 the pot.

I hit another milestone however, as my bankroll now officially sits at 2008.53. That’s keeping to the pace I set in May (or a little ahead) so hopefully I’m looking at another good month. *knock on wood* But I am heading to a cottage for a week later in the month, so I may not reach the same mark. But as long as I continue to play solid poker, I’ll be happy.

Poker tidbits

Sunday, June 13th, 2004

With my new purchase, various sports, and a bout with the cold taking up a lot of time, I haven’t spent many hours at the poker tables for the majority of the week.

Thursday I dipped my toes in at the 50PL tables at Intertops. I’ve been running very well at the 25PL tables, so I thought it was time to take a shot. Well, it went extremely poorly as I managed to run through a buy-in and a half due to some bad play and a couple bad beats. But, it did make way for my best session at the 25PL tables when I went back later to make up for some of the loss. I finished the night at $152 at one table, $101 at a second and $36 at the third (which I started late). So, that was just shy of 4x my buy-in of $75 at all three tables. Not so bad, and more than enough to make up for my $80 loss earlier. Unfortunately, I hit sub-zero cards at the 2/4 table at Pacific and managed to pay most of those profits back in blinds. Unlike my usual cold cards, there were no beats, there was just three hours with maybe 4 legitimate starting hands that missed so badly I had to give them up before the river. Usually I get a few bad beats thrown in there when my cards are cold, but there wasn’t even anything to compete with.

My games yesterday were not much more profitable as I finished my hands at Paradise to unlock the last 5 dollars of my bonus. Of course, I managed to lose twice as much as I unlocked in bonus. The site was full of maniacs and few of my hands held up. But, I did get a 1-year subscription to Canadian Card Player out of the deal, so I’ll consider it breaking even.

I also had a completely crazy hand at Poker Stars. I find AA in the small blind and it’s raised ahead of me. I re-raise to try to thin the field further and the big blind caps it. We’re down to three for the flop (the original raiser called the re-raises while the rest of the field decided that the extra two bets weren’t worth calling). The flop comes rainbow rags and I bet out, raised from the big blind, I re-raise, he caps. At this point I start to wonder what he might have. Possibly a set, but I’m thinking overpair is more likely. Suits me fine and when the turn comes out a brick and I bet. Called again by both players. An offsuit ten on the turn and there are no flush opportunities and a couple unlikely straights. So, I bet and am called down again. He had 75s and hit two pair on the flop. I couldn’t even conceive of not only calling 2 extra bets from the big blind but capping with this hand. Oh well, I suppose he’ll be donating to my bankroll in the long run, but I had been anticipating picking up a fair sized pot on this hand. I guess my hand reading skills need work.

I also just finished reading Cloutier & McEvoy’s Championship No-limit and Pot-limit Hold’em. It was alright. Not many new insights although I found Cloutier’s suggestions on playing risk prevention poker in tournaments interesting. Of course, it’s difficult to apply to the crazy world of internet poker due to the sheer amount of poor play, but I have been finding recently that sometimes it is just better not to get involved with some situations because anything short of the perfect flop will leave a lot of questions about where you stand.

New post on a new toy

Sunday, June 13th, 2004

Well, as my loyer readers might have noticed, I’ve mentioned purchasing a new toy recently. It wasn’t my intent to tease it, but I was really wanted to have it set up so when I explained what it was, I could do it while typing on it (in bed no less, which is sadly only a few steps from my computer, as I live in a 1-bedroom apartment).

Yup, I bought myself a new laptop Tuesday night. A Toshiba Tecra S1 to be precise. Unfortunately, what I anticipated as some easy networking turned out to be more of a pain than I expected. I had trouble using the default Windows XP connection sharing when I first wired up my two machines, but since I wanted to get a wireless router anyways, I only endured a few hours of that frustration. I then had the good fortune of having a co-worker offer the use of a wireless router that he had no need for at the moment. I jumped at the opportunity and packed it in my bag Friday night.

Unfortunately, I got a bit sidetracked on Friday, as I mentioned in my last post, so it wasn’t until yesterday that I got to discover why the router had been unused. I tried various things on and off all day and eventually got things working about 8:30 last night when I finally tracked the firmware updates down on the CompUSA site, but after only 5 minutes of connectivity, I lost internet and could no longer connect to the router. At that point I decided to give up and made plans to hit Future Shop the next day to pick up a brand new router.

And that’s what I did and when I eventually I got around to setting it up this afternoon, it took the anticipated 2 minutes. That was followed by updating, registering, installing and configuring on the laptop until I was happy with the barebones. And that brings us up to now, where I decided to break in the new laptop by writing this boring blog post. But, there was a little bit of poker in the last few days so this will probably be followed by a highlights post.


Saturday, June 12th, 2004

Ugh…that’s the last time I let Dave convince me to go out instead of following the regularly scheduled programming. Ok, maybe it won’t be, but it probably should be. Instead of unveiling my mystery purchase tonight (though it hardly qualifies as night at this point) I’ll have to postpose until tomorrow. I did have a good time telling him how few hot chicks there were at this cool place he found a few weeks ago even though few hot chicks was definitely not a high point of the evening.

Free chips

Friday, June 11th, 2004

When I got in this morning I found a nice hefty box sitting on my desk. I pulled out a handy exacto-knife and extracted my prize. A nice shiny new 300 11.5g Poker Chipset in aluminum case from Poker Source Online that I received for signing up at Aztec Poker (which I won’t link, because there isn’t much to recommend them). Of course, I had no real pressing need for more chips or a fancy case, but it’s pretty cool nonetheless. And I ended up with an extra $30 at Aztec to play with. Unfortunately, raked hands at Aztec means hands that were raked that YOU contributed money too, so the 150 hands required took a long time to play. At least they dropped it from 250, as the original terms stated.

But while I can’t recommend the poker site, the Poker Source Online folks were great. There was a quick response to every question I had and they helped resolve any issue I had. I just wish I wasn’t already signed up at Pacific so I could take advantage of their deal for the WPT Season 1 DVDs, since despite the site’s other drawbacks, it at least has incredibly soft games to recommend it. There are probably better deals if you have a lot of money to deposit to take advantage of the various 15-50% bonuses at many sites, but there is something about receiving free loot in the mail (and I’m still expecting a book from my sign-up with Poker Stars, which also took advantage of the 25% back-to-back champs offer). If you do end up signing up via Poker Source Online, you can use my referral code (TravisP).

Ack…my first real shill. Leaves a dirty taste in my mouth. But, I’d already written the post, and if anyone decides to try it, someone might as well get the referral bonus.

Blogs are…again…

Wednesday, June 9th, 2004

I’ll reiterate what I said just a few days ago, blogs are a very interesting thing. It is amazing what can affect you. My thoughts go out to the Blogfather‘s cat Monty. I hope he pulls through.


Wednesday, June 9th, 2004

Well, it looks like I took notes for the wrong tournament. I went out early in the 15+1.50 $10000 guaranteed tourney at Pacific by managed to make it deep in $250 NLHE freeroll at Intertops. It’s getting to the point where even if I finish first in the $250 freeroll, there’s a good chance I would have made more money playing ring games. But, it is practice, and I can use some of that if I want to keep playing in the multi-table tournaments. After some so-so play in the first two hours, I managed to turn it around, catch some lucky cards, and arrive at the final table with nearly a third of all the chips. I put some pressure on the smaller stacks trying to sneak into the better money (it wasn’t until 4th place that payouts were greater than $20). My luck holds and I end up heads-up with fairly even chips.

The first hand I steal, the second he folds to my big blind. This could take a while and I’m already falling asleep at my keyboard. Then I get 88. I call, he raises, I re-raise him all-in. I want this over with. Unfortunately, he mucks. Next hand I have 77 and I re-raise all-in. I figure he’s not going to believe me doing this twice in a row. He calls with AJ and we have a race. It’s looking good until he spikes a J on the river. Now I’m less than 10% of his stack. So you know what that means. I push all-in with Q9 and he folds. I push all-in with A7 and he calls with JT. Unfortunately, my luck again breaks when he hits a T on the river. I’m out in second place, but I’m grateful that the heads-up confrontation didn’t take any longer, which it certainly could have with blinds at T500/T1000 and our stacks at T80000.

So, I earned $38.75 finishing 2nd of 162. This is the second time I’ve cashed in about 4-5 freerolls at Intertops. And two of those probably don’t count because they were limit tourneys and I don’t seem to have the discipline anymore for a limit tournament. So, not too bad. And combined with some time on the 25PL tables at Intertops and Pacific 2/4, I had roughly a 100 dollar night. Which is a good thing, because I plunked down a good chunk of change on a new toy last night. But more about that later.

Blogs are…

Monday, June 7th, 2004

Blogs are a many splendored thing. It is amazing the people you can come to care about, however briefly, through a shared monologue. It can only be my hope that people remember me half as fondly or half as oddly.

Monday Night

Monday, June 7th, 2004

If you are here about poker, I encourage you to leave already. This is about another subject altogether.

First off, my sympathies to Pauly. Unfortunately the Flames were not able to pull it out tonight. The Lightning played strong and took the Cup back to Florida.

Usually I’d be more upset than this but Tampa played hard and deserved the Cup. I was cheering for Calgary with every fiber of my being, but seeing Anderchuk, Richards, Khabby, St. Louis and Lecavalier win it is not as painful as I thought it would be. They fought hard through the whole series and deserved the victory. Some people are going to say that Calgary deserved the goal in game 6 that was not counted but I say hogwash. Goals are missed all the time. Referees cannot be held responsible for everything. They called a very good Game 7 and the better team came out on top. At least I can be happy in that Calgary is not likely to lose many players and they can make another run in the years to come. Congratulations Tampa and I hope you sell out that arena next year!


Monday, June 7th, 2004

Played at Paradise and Stars .5/1 on Sunday to work towards my bonuses. Played 2/4 Pacific for pure profit. The crazy loose players at Paradise continued to smack me around, but I managed to turn a small profit after the bonus there. My afternoon at Stars was about average, but I was hit with the deck in my evening session and managed a nice $67 profit. Pacific 2/4 continued to be an ATM and I managed to pull out 60 bucks between server disconnects.

But the big game was the 10K guaranteed no-limit hold’em tournament at Pacific. 15+1.50 buyin. Actually ended up with 620 entrants, so the overlay was pretty small. When I registered earlier in the day there were only 93, which obviously had me pretty excited. Still, it’s a big tournament and I was interested to see how I can do. 1st-2nd-3rd pays 2300-1400-700. Pretty flat, but it pays $40 out to 60th, so there’s a decent chance at money. The structure is pretty fast, with 800 in starting chips and blinds rising every ten minutes.

JJ, raise to T50 from EP. One caller, undercard flop with 2 diamonds. I bet the pot and take it down.
Manage to give most of those chips back when I lose the next hand.

44, try to limp from EP. Big blind raises to T300. I fold. Would have flopped the set and filled the boat on the turn. But, the blind did have 77, so I was a big dog pre-flop.
15 minutes in and we’ve lost our first 100.

Down to T670 thanks to the blinds and a few disconnects. Pacific has to be one of the flakiest sites out there. Had a bad table move from button to UTG.
25 minutes, down to 417

Only have T585 left. Still haven’t seen any kind of hand since the 44. Gonna need to make a move soon.
AJs in the big blind, 3 limpers. I push all-in for the rest of my chips. Two fold immediately and the small blind eventually decides to let it go. I’ll take it.
AA and the short stack pushes all-in in front of me. I just call and as expected everyone folds. T403 comes my way when the rockets hold up. Could probably have made a bit more off it if he hadn’t pushed, but I can’t really complain.
37 minutes – 303 players remaining.
Took a few hits, need some more chips.

Fast structure, hope I get some hands before I don’t have chips to back ’em up.
Lucked out and someone went out passing the BB over me. Don’t know why most sites don’t play with a dead small blind, but I’m not going to complain.
Argh…another disconnect, going to miss my button.
QJ in EP, try to raise to T400, but only double the blind. BB calls. Flop comes 2A9, 2 diamonds. Well, I don’t figure him for an ace, so I push all-in with my remaining T575 as if I’m guarding against the flush draw. He mucks.
Now up to T1173 after being hit with the small blind. Still not much breathing room.
49 minutes, 212 left

It would be nice to get a hand here. Unfortunately, Pacific is not cooperating and I see nothing this level.
First break, only T873 left. And 191 players. I have a whole orbit before the blinds to try to find the cards to make a stand.

Two hands before the blind hits me and I fold K2. Flop comes 242. I needed to take that opportunity. Particularly as the buffer I had before the blinds went all-in and busted.
BB with J8o, have to push. Called by KT and my night is over.

Well, that a quick 7 levels of tournament poker. But, I like the buy-in and the stakes. And if I’d held just a couple more hands, I would have had a decent shot at the money. And if I’d had a few chips to play with, it would have allowed me to make a few more moves. Checking the tournament schedule, it seems that Pacific holds these 10K guaranteed all the time, so I’m definitely going to try to take a few more shots at it.

It’s Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals tonight with the Calgary Flames visitng the Tampa Bay Lightning. I’m cheering for Calgary, but at this point, I think both teams are very deserving and it could go either way. What I do know for a fact is that it’s going to be one hell of a game and I’ll be enjoying it with friends at a local pub.



Monday, June 7th, 2004

Got to hate it when you accidentally post a draft posts. I put up my tournament notes from a 10K guaranteed tourney last night at Pacific. I’ve yanked them again so I can polish them up a bit later today.

Saturday Night

Sunday, June 6th, 2004

Went out to watch the Flames game at a bar last night. Was a very exciting match but St. Louis’ goal 33 seconds into the second period of overtime means we’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see the Cup hoisted. Of course, a hockey game in a bar means beer, lots of beer. And two periods of overtime means it keeps flowing into the wee hours. Suffice to say, when I came home, I still had quite the buzz going on.

So, I decided to sober up at the poker tables. Maybe not the best idea, but I needed to kill time until I was ready for sleep. I actually ended up at a table with Ash from Casino Gosain last night, or should I say this morning. He identified me under one of my name variants, but he had to drop me a comment here before I figured out who he was. It’s always a great night when you get to chat with a fellow poker blogger at the table. Fortunately he wasn’t around to witness my horrible beats at the other table. I did manage to recover to post a small $1.50 lost on the night as the sun was coming up. Ugh. I’ll have to remember “less beer” on Monday.


Sunday, June 6th, 2004

Same table, 33 again. I actually call a pre-flop raise. Flop comes 399 rainbow. I call someone else’s bet. Turn is a rainbow blank. I call again. River is another blank and I reraise for a decent pot. Not enough to make up for some of the nonsense I’ve seen tonight, but at least I’m not down nearly 20BB anymore. Ouch…while I’ve liked the larger 2/4 BB when I’m winning, it also hurts a bit more when I’m losing.

Bad Beat

Sunday, June 6th, 2004

33, call from UTG. Flop comes J3J. Check for the possible check raise. Turn comes J. Well, no more dicking around, I bet here. I am called. The river is a 4. I bet and am beat by the 42o that has called all the bets so far. 42o! Someone for the love of god, please explain. *sigh* It’s late. I’m still a bit drunk. And the Flames lost. (all somewhat related) How does that happen? Even more frustrating than starting a table with KK and running into AA (which I’ve also done tonight).