Archive for April, 2005

Serenity Now!

Thursday, April 28th, 2005

Usually I try to limit my posts to poker content, or at least tie them to poker in some way. But, today I will make another exception. The new Serenity trailer came out on Tuesday – Joss Whedon’s film version of his TV show Firefly – and the world must be told. Sadly, the show, one of the best on television, was cancelled just halfway through its first season, but the sales of the DVD convinced Universal to get behind a movie. The wait until September has just become unbearable.


Tuesday, April 26th, 2005

First of all, I was very happy to hear all the positive news from Felicia. It’s been a rough stretch, but the prognosis is good.

Also, due to my early exit from the WPBT WSOP satellite on Sunday (and the less said about that the better) I never got a chance to officially congratulate the winner. So, way to go Bob! You earned it.
Once again, thank you to Iggy and Otis for putting this together. It was so much fun that they are holding another blogger satellite next week, same bat-time, same bat-channel (May 1st, 7pm EST – Pokerstars). I guarantee that I will do better than that week. Frankly, so would a donkey, but I don’t Hellmuth is invited. For full results from the tournament, hit Up for Poker.

And speaking of Otis, he is continuing his role as the official in-house blogger for Pokerstars with the launch of the Official Blog. Put another notch in the belt of the pre-eminent professional poker blogger.

But Otis isn’t the only one with big news. PokerProf recently announced that his new endeavor, Poker Player Newspaper, has entered into an agreement with Fox Sports to provide content for the new poker section of their website. And if you head over there right now, you can see that the byline of the top story belongs to none other than the Prof himself. Under his pseudonym, of course. :) Very impressive stuff.

Still nothing interesting to report about this rank and file member of the poker blogger community. But I can recommend that you take advantage of this month’s Party Poker reload. Don’t say I don’t try to look out for you.

Well, that didn’t take long

Sunday, April 24th, 2005

*sigh* Well, that was a spectacularly poor performance. Tonight I managed the dubious honor of being the first eliminated from the WPBT WSOP satellite. Third hand I found AQ of clubs in late position and I decided I really wanted to play them. I don’t know what to say, I should have known better and I had a couple opportunities to escape with some chips. Alas, I talked myself into believing that BG was on a bluff and donated all my chips on just the third hand. I knew my $30 was just a donation to buy someone into the big game, but I didn’t expect such an ignoble exit. *sigh* I suppose that it’s karma for not being a particularly good blogger in April. I guess I’m going to have to work on that.

I also learned that if someone offers to buy your opponents hand in a live game and any draw might have hit with the next card, it’s probably not a good time to get aggressive. But, I guess a dozen beer has it’s own effect on one’s poker game. At least I was able to make it back up to even on the night.

Speaking of beer, one or two of those might help with the crushing loss. At least I see that the chip leader is from TO. I wonder if it’s one of the Lord Admiral boys

Best of April Fool’s

Friday, April 1st, 2005

As expected from bloggers on April Fool’s, there were a few tall tales spun today. Here are some of them from across poker bloggerdom.

Badblood – the first blogger to report an arrest.
F Train – underground clubs are called that for a reason.
Double As – now you see it, now you don’t.

Frankly, I expected a few more of these. Of course, my reading list isn’t as large as it used to be, so I may have missed a few.

And unfortunately I did not win a trip to the WSOP last night. But I do have to confess it’s much easier to write an interested tournament report when you are making it up as you go along. I was supposed to play in the tournament, but the casino host I mention in the beginning once again managed NOT to get my invitation sorted out.

In other news, Pauly just announced an amazing new gig over at Tao of Poker. At first I thought it was just another fake, like most big announcements made today, but then I realized that he couldn’t possibly start an April Fool’s post by saying it wasn’t an April Fool’s post. Oops. Congratulations Pauly! It couldn’t have happened to a more deserving fellow.

In non-poker related April Fool’s news, the best effort of the day had to be the new production diary over at where Peter Jackson and crew announce two sequel films to the new King Kong where the Son of Kong ends up in Germany during World War II fighting mutated Nazi creatures. A very elaborate prank pulled off masterfully.

I’m tired

Friday, April 1st, 2005

But happy. Should probably have finished this post last night, but the adrenaline didn’t last as long as I expected and I crashed shortly after 2am.

I should probably start from the beginning.

A few months ago I got a call from one of Absolute Poker’s hosts and he talked to me for a while about a bunch of promotions he could hook me up with. I kept agreeing and in the end I had a 20% reload bonus with a extra 5% immediately up to $25 as well as an entry into the invitation only WSOP Monthly Challenge that was taking place the following week (on the last day of the month). Unfortunately I never ended up getting my seat in the February challenge due to scheduling mix-ups, but he was a great help and changed my entry to the March tournament.

And since last night was March 31st, I found myself seating with another 153 players battling out for the WSOP prize package. Now, it was nothing spectacular, just airfare and accomodations for the duration of the WSOP, not an actual entry to the event. I think they may pay your way into a few of the satellites, and I know that they give you all sorts of free swag for being part of the “Absolute Team”. But it’s not quite the same as winning your entry. Still, a free tournament is a free tournament, so I sat down at 9pm to play some no limit hold’em.

I had never seen cards like this. I was getting premium hands twice an orbit and even better they were holding up. And with the typical early tournament flair, people were willing to commit all their chips. I don’t think I’ve ever turned into the table bully so early in the tournament. After amassing nearly T6000 in chips by the third level, I had most of my table scared to get into a hand. My cards were no longer as spectacular, but my huge chip stack was enough to pick up a lot of extra pots. Even doubling up a few of the shorter stacks wasn’t enough to faze me.

Of course, that was when I got pushed to another table. Still, my T5500 was only slightly less than half of anyone else at the table. Unfortunately, this table was far more willing to call my raises, so I quickly worked myself back down to T3000 before I sensibly tightened up. Still, that didn’t prevent me from play 75s in a five way pot a few hands later. The flop came rags, but beautiful rags in the form of 864 rainbow. First position throws in a sizeable bet. It’s folded around to me and I call, hoping to extract some more money from him. The turn is an ace and I’m just praying my opponent has one. He doesn’t disappoint and pushes all-in. I make the easy call. He flips AA and curses when he sees my hand. The board doesn’t pair and suddenly I’ve doubled back up to a decent chip stack.

The next few hours were pretty standard, as I played tight to keep ahead of the median stack. This used to be the point in a tournament where I’d push small edges and end up losing huge chunks of my stack. I’m probably overly cautious now and rarely have the stack to compete when we get to the late stages of tournament. I’m going to have to find a balance. Or find my hands like I did last night.

We’re down to the last 20 players. I think spots 2-10 get some kind of Absolute swag package, but really it’s first place or bust. I find AQs in LP and call an early raise. Probably should have thought about it more when the flop comes QJT, with two of my suit. I’m feeling pretty good about my top pair and when it is checked to me, I bet half the size of the pot. My opponent makes a min-raise back to me and I call. The turn is another Q and I am feeling really good about my chances. And my opponent bets the pot at me and I re-raise him all-in. He quickly calls and turns over AK for the flopped straight. I don’t know why I didn’t see this coming, but looking back it was completely obvious. But I am not without outs, A, Q or a diamond. A lovely diamond hits on the river and I’ve crippled the big stack at the table and taken his place. In fact, I’m not the chip leader.

And that’s when the adrenaline kicks in. I begin to believe I can actually win this thing. And I start playing some seriously good poker. For the first time in my life I fold KK preflop in the face of a re-re-raise and and a call. I didn’t want to risk doubling up the second stack in the tournament. In the end they were holding AA and KK. Usually that would be the sign of the end of the tournament.

The one great thing about there only being a prize for first place is that you lose a lot of the stalling. Instead of folding hand after hand, the small stacks were pushing in an effort to double up. I think there was only once when I called them without the better hand, but my big blind K7 picked up a flush on the turn. Before long it was down to 10 and then down to 4. Even these were the most recent hands, they are the hardest to specifically remember as it was after midnight and I was exhausted.

Eventually it got down to heads-up and I had a 3-2 chip advantage over my opponent. And he retreated into his shell as I played my usual hyper-aggressive heads-up game. I think I raised 9 out of the first 10 hands. And he folded to all but 2 of them. Of course a follow-up raise on the flop was usually enough to send him running. It’s 2-1 in chips and I am starting to feel invincible. Now it’s 3-1. But then I hit a snag, when I double him up when my set of nines loses to a rivered third ace. Suddenly we are about even in chips. I still have a small edge, but I’m not facing a long slog once again. That is, until I look at my next hand and see AA. I rub my hands together eagerly when he raises from the small blind. I re-raise 3x the size of the pot and he goes into the tank. Then he re-raises me all-in. I gleefully call and flip my aces. The poker gods continue to smile and his two tens find no company and suddenly the tournament is over.

And I won. Looks like my trip to Vegas in June is going to be a bit longer than I first planned. Actually, I’m not sure if the trip is for the duration of the WSOP or just the final event. I am supposed to get more information from an Absolute rep today. Now I just need to win a few more tournaments so I have the coin to enter some tournaments. Maybe I’ll even be on TV. :) But at least I do know I will be in town, well, if I can get the time off work. Maybe Pauly will even be writing about my final table appearances.