Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year 12/31/05

In the old days it was Happy New Weir!!! Most New Year's Eves were spent going to see Maxcreek play somewhere in CT or RI with old beau Rob; his bro Chris; and of course Woodstock (Jeff); and my life-long best friend Kim. We then would follow up the Creek by listening to the radio broadcast of the Grateful Dead's New Years show. One of my biggest regrets is that I never made it out to California to see a live New Years show. I did see the dead play at Irvine Meadows several times in the 80's. No Dead tour this year, but Phil and Friends is playing tonite at the Bill Graham Auditorium in San Francisco

Well now that I am clean and sober (16 years on January 2nd) I dont go running out to bars to party. Last year I was in bed early with a bad cold and laryngitis. I wound up losing the last part (about $22) of my original $50 party poker deposit over the course of the new years holiday playing limit holdem. Shortly thereafter, I won my first no-limit MTT. In retrospect, my learning curve was short and sweet. Ive probably invested no more then $135 total and turned that into over $2000. In fact I withdrew off my original investments and have been building my bankroll up from profits.

Today I capped off the year with a win in a small tourney for the Ladies of Holdem. Yesterday I did my first $20 buy-in since the Carribean Sun Poker $25 buyin I did in July which was a fiasco. I played on AP and played absolutely flawlessly. I built a nice stack early on and then went card dead. That was coupled with the fact that I got moved 4 times and each time I was moved I was reblinded. In other words, I had just sat thru my blinds on my original table and was literally back in the blinds at my new table. This didnt happen just to me, but it was pissing me off and I lost quite a good chunk of my stack. I remained patient and regained the chips I lost in the middle rounds. 79 entered the tourney. Top 12 moved on to the AP challenge and the top 9 paid. I get dealt AA I raise to $1600 4x BB. I get reraised all in. I love it... the dude had been on a blind stealing frenzy and I knew I had him. He flips over QQ. FLOP is blanks... Turn blank.. and horror of all horrors the third Bitch comes out and sends me packing 16th. If it hadnt been for the river I would have been set up nicely for the Final table and a very nice payout. The good thing was it showed that I can easily handle that level buy-in now and I'm definitely ready to move up. Even though that event didnt have the outcome I wanted. I went on to final table in two other tourneys last night both which were league championships.

So time for some New Years goals. We wont call them resolutions:

1)Become a ring game no-limit player. I intend to accomplish this by hopefully being selected for a 40 week school thru one of my forums. Limit holdem causes me great AGITA as we Italians say. I know it should be my bread and butter but I hate the chasing that goes on in limit. So, no-limit shall be my ticket.

2)Make 10K from MTT's. Lofty goals but I did net out $2k last year and that was when I was predominately a freeroller. I only began steady buyins in July and have adjusted nicely. Hopefully, the first week or so of January will see me attempting a deep stack on Pokerstars ($10 buyin no limit). I also hope to book my first $1000 payday.

3)Make my first trip to Vegas. Been to lots of states, Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico but never to Sin City. I hope to be out there during the WSOP. I hope to be playing in at least one of the events and it doesnt have to be the main event. I still have two definite satellites that can earn me seats. OPT finals still are unscheduled but the PA seat will be played for on TITAN on 2/2/06.

4). Continue to improve. Take the time to study hand examples and really work thru them, work on my blind stealing, work on my short handed and heads up play (although Poker Princess my good pal had about enough of the blind stealing today in the tourney I won). The problem is most of the gals are seat of the pants players and arent into the discussing of hands. Jdawg and I often discuss Harrington hand examples and of course Jaykedog and I are always talking poker (among other things). As much as I love my poker gal pals, the guys keep me sane and are the ones to talk football and poker with.

5)Begin running again and perhaps have Lasik surgery on my eyes. Have to look good for the cameras if I happen to wind up in front of one!!!! I hate my contacts and look like a librarian in my glasses. My sister said to me over Christmas, "I never knew Deadheads could be so vain." That was coupled with my mom telling me that I might want to cover up my cleavage.. My sister's reply to that was... "Mom, women spend about $5-$6 grand to get boobs that look like hers"

Monday, November 21, 2005

Jennifer Tilly has the Coolest T-shirts

Thats right IG is jealous of the vintage(?) T shirts that Jennifer Tilly always seems to be wearing. WSOP saw her sporting a Grateful Dead Skull and Roses T that made this old Deadhead proud. I've seen her in a Madonna T-shirt and a Psychedelic Furs T. Just too cool. Wonder where she gets them from? I must also give Jennifer props for snagging a younger man. I dont have much luck with the men my own age, Probably because I look about 8 years younger then I really am. The ones that do hit on me are usually married or have more issues then Time magazine. Goal for 2006: Pull a Jennifer Tilly by winning a WSOP bracelet and snagging a dude 14-15 or 10 years my Junior!! Women live longer then men right?

So Jennifer, if you and Phil (Laak) happen to be goggling your name and you happen to come across my blog please stop by to tell me where you get your shirts. I can trade you for old vintage Tye-dye from the 80's!!

Last Sunday, I made three final tables and bubbled in 11th in another one. A 6th, a 7th and a 10th. The 7th place finish was for the Shark Army tour and was held on Bodog (check out )I was kind of devastated about that one because the top three places earned spots into the $100k guarantee Bodog has each weekend. The buyin is $100+ $9. Pretty sweet prize. Plus first and second got some nice cash. I was the mid tourney chip leader after my AA held against a A9 and AK. I normally dont like multi-way pots playing my pockets but I knew one of the players from PA and figured I had him and I actually did put the other dude on AK. Good read by me. My aces held and I moved into the lead which I held for a while. Then I went completely card dead right around bubble time. I couldnt defend my blinds or attempt to steal with the short stacks moving all-in once they made the cash. I found myself down to about 22nd place and in a bit of a pickle. I had JetSet up and was talking to Jaykedog about my sucky hands 53os, 92os, A2. I then doubled up which got me back in the game and on to the final table. I made a valiant attempt at a comeback. I doubled up off Sharky, when I was about to blind out with 10-2os in the SB (figured I'd go out honoring Doyle) Sharky had 23 in the BB and I caught a ten. Then on the next orbit my luck didnt hold. Same scenario pretty much I made a move on him with A2 or A3 figuring I had him covered with the Ace. I did he had 65os with a spade. I hit two pair but he hit a spade flush and my luck didnt hold. Ouch but that's poker. I called it a night after that...I will get a second shot at a similiar tourney scenario when PA plays there in December. Top three will move onto the $100k.

In more news I now have a second shot at a WSOP seat. Next month I should play for a $1000 seat thru OPT. El and Syn from poker analysis have worked a deal with AP that they will award a PAer with a $1500 seat. By virture of earning 100 points in the buyin league this month I have booked my spot in the satellite. The field should be relatively small. 9 total from the freeroll league. The buyin league 100 pt baggers for the next three months and a few other surprize seats to be awarded. I cant imagine there being many more then 50 or so in this. Ideally I keep playing the buyins to prevent others from securing their spots. Not nice but heck this is poker!!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

How you can never get out of Walmart for less then $100

Once again this is not poker related just rambling musings from every day life.

My condo is right around the corner from a Walmart Supercenter. The original concept frightened the heck out of me. Why on earth would I buy food at the same place I can buy tires, DVDs, potting soil, and other assorted household items? Costco (my ultimate favorite store but there is not one near me), Sams Club and Bj's is one thing but the idea of the supercenter filled me with horror. I think the Italian in my tells me to go to the fishmonger for Fish, the butcher for Meat and the Bakery for my bread... You just dont buy food in the same place as other nonperishable items.

But Walmart has a lure.. 10% off magazines and I will admit to being a magazine-a-holic...Bluff, All in, Cardplayer, Bon Appetit, Fine cooking, Lucky, Cottage Living, Domino, SHOP (my favorite form of cardio is shopping) Instyle, Cooks Illustrated, Money, Celebrity Living (not proud to admit that but heck Im honest) and lets not forget Running Times and Inside Triathlon fill my magazine rack monthly. Budget DVD's that I must buy but have no time to watch, and just good old junk. Im a bit of a snoot about labels so Im not a Discount Department store clothes shopper except for the occasional t-shirt.

The ghost of Sam Walton routinely haunts me and into the store I must go..

A recent trip led me there for Halloween Candy and Cat Food for Bailey plus an Insulated Lunch Bag.. What did I march out with.....??? Everything I didnt need and then some:

2 pair of Halloween socks at $1.96 each

2 T-shirts at $7.93 each-one says TRIX IS FOR KIDS with the silly Wabbit, and the other is the Lucky Charm Leprechaun which says LUCKY!! Figure good shirt for poker. Goes with the Some Girls are born Lucky Tshirt I have. I should amend that to say, Some girls are born Lucky just not on the River!!

3. A glass Libby Pumpkin shaped Candy Jar $4.47... Good for my Lindt Chocolate Truffles this time of the year.

4. Two DVD's at $9.44 each- Big Fish and Somethings Gotta Give (gotta add to my Keanu collection- as a side note my crush on Keanu has been surpassed by the one on Phil Gorden)

5. 4 half pound Hot Pockets at $1.25 each.. Loaded with fat and calories all the things one doesnt need but good in a pinch when you are glued to the computer and only have time for the mad dash to the microwave. I hope to God my mother doesnt read this.

6. Two bags of Halloween Candy- Nestle Bar Bag Mix at $8.44/A Kiddie Bag mix at $3.50 with Dubble Bubble, Jawbreaker, Now and Laters, Sweet Tarts for my inner child and trick or treaters.

7. A bag of Meow Mix Kibble For Bailey (aka Le Plume, Baboo, Mr Meowgi- Resident Maine Coon Cat extraordinaire) for $3.22

8. The Insulated Lunch Bag (no I didnt Forget it!!) $4.84 and two blue ice Rubbermaid things to freeze to keep lunch cold at .97 cents each!!

9. 6 pack of diet caffiene free pepsii $2.98 plus NYS bottle Deposit of .30 cents!!

10. The magazines: real simple, $4.05, Cuisine at Home $4.49, Fine Cooking $6.26, Family Circle (halloween issue) $1.79.

11. Egg Rolls!?! WTF $2.50

12. A Garlic Chicken Frozen dinner $4.78

13. Another item for .97c that I cant figure out what it is

Total Visit to Walmart $103.34

And I didnt even buy Halloween decorations for the cupcakes I didnt have time to bake!! After that it was time to hit the tables.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Blogger Championship 10/23/05

Well I wanted swag and I wound up going out in 129th place out of 1473 entrants. Top 99 got prizes. So all in all I did pretty good. I may have played a little too tight. But I also had a 7 card stud tourney going on and the CDPT weekly winners tourney overlapping. When will I learn.. I got bluffed off one big hand that I would have won (GRRRRR, I had better nothing then he did).. and early on while multi tabling I folded a big pot when I had a made flush on the river.. The Ace was on the board and I had a Jack.. Not sure if he had the k or Q or any spades but he bet big with a bigger stack and I laid it down not realizing I even had the flush.

I outlasted PAers.. Mackie, Jdawg, Salvarus and Tilter who was a no show.. All the guys talk of winning the Dell LCD monitor etc was for naught.

I also outlasted resident Pstars pro Will Weaton, Micon of the Neverwin forum, Felicia Lee (famous blogger), Gary Carson (poker author and rec gambling poster ala extraordinaire), Blackstone of Texas Holdem Forums/Freeroll Forums.. Sharky of Sharky Army tour (who I did launch from one of his tourneys.. MUHAHAHAHA!!), MissT74. Will wait to see if Tilter notices anyone else I may have missed.

Hope pokerstars does it again next year. I expect I will continue to improve.

And in other news since the buyin league started on PA in July I am third on the all time money list. Not bad at all.

***Edited 11/25/05--Felicia was a sit-out for the entire blogger championship (see her comment on my blog) . Her hubby entered her into the tourney and they were out of town on a cruise at the time. Hope she had a great time (I certainly did on the two cruises I've been on). She's had one hell of a year and certainly deserved it. As I add more to the blog I hope to add links to the great ones (subjective of course) and hers certainly is going to be on my list of favorite links.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Week #4 NFL Pool- By the Fabulous Sports Babe

This has absolutely nothing to do with poker but I'm a well rounded gal!!

Year #2 of playing in Rob's football league (my old deadhead beau, who is married and residing in Ventura, California with lovely wife Toni and their gorgeous little gal Lauren who just turned two), Last year I was leading the pool until I choked and had a horrible week in week 16. But I did win one week and covered my pool fee for the year!!

Anyway, I got off to a 50/50 start thru week #3. Rob emailed me to chastise me for my bad showing to date. Last year I was the only gal this year I was joined by one other and both us gals were in fact stinking up the league. But as Rob pointed out, I was still ahead of him..

Week 4... I am 11-2 heading into the Monday night game I am tied with two others with Carolina to win and 36 points. The other two dudes had 38. One dude had GB but I knew Carolina would win. Needless to say i lost on points. Oh the sheer horror.... especially since I originally picked San Diego over New England and then changed it. Football is like poker.... Go with your first gut instincts.

Hopefully this will turn the season around for me!!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Happy Belated 1 Year Poker Anniversary to Me!!

September 26, 2005 marked my one year anniversary as a player. I initially deposited my first $50 to Party Poker (a site on which I no longer play) on 9/26/04. I cashed in my first tourney there the $1 new player tourney finishing 13th of 413.

I've been remiss about posting to the blog cause Ive been busy playing.. To summarize the last few months:

I've won two legs of the Online Poker Tour... Later this year, I believe in December I will play for one of the WSOP seats being awarded. Believe they are $1000 seats. Right now there is one dude with 3 wins and about 6-7 of us with two wins each. If I can win one more, I am eligible for a share of a $500 bonus. I've final tabled a bunch of times besides my two firsts, so it is possible. My wins came on Fair Poker and Royal Vegas Poker. Visit for upcoming events.

July saw me finish as runner-up in the Poker Analysis Freeroll league to Doekiller. I was a little disappointed because I had two wins a and a fourth but my fourth and fifth scores werent enough to give me the title.

August started off poorly. I had a bad week getting stung by a yellow jacket, threw $1000+ into my SUV for new brakes all around and was just getting no cards at the tables. On the Saturday of August week #1 we had a $10 buyin on Absolute Poker for the buy-in league. I wasnt going to play and waste $10 but decided if I got back from the recycling center in time I would play. We had Mark Seif (AP's resident pro) playing with us (two time bracelet winner at this years WSOP). Besides Mark... Billinga leading or was leading the Bluff Poker Tour, Regit and Racking Guy both WSOP qualifiers from PA, and Mitchell/Zacaroni who had just cashed for $20k at Tunica WSOP circuit event (getting bounced in 14th or 15th by Kathy Liebert).. Throw in old pro Shadrak and it was a murder's row of PA poker excellence... My motto is fear no one and respect everyone, including a two bracelet winner!!.. .Well I never got to play against Mark he was polished off by Regit I believe but I did win the whole darn thing for $135.55 payday. After the week I had, I had a Annie Duke moment and shed a few happy tears

September was a great month.....I started off strongly in the PA buyin league( with a win and runner up finish and won the Freeroll league. Unfinished business from July I might add. I had no overall wins but had a #2 at Omaha Hi, a #3 at Omaha Hi/lo and a 4th and two 7ths at No limit. The championship is determined by the best total score over about 11 league games with top 5 counting and you have to have 5 scores to win. It came down to the final event on Gaming club poker with Hench having to finish 4th or better to overtake me. He couldnt do it and I held the lead I pretty much had from mid month on. As a matter of fact I had 8 scores of 11 in the top 25 so I was pretty pleased with my consistency.

As I started blogging this entry I was entered in the revamped CD tour event on CDPoker. They had changed the format to a raked hands requirement and new players auto entry from the original $1 buyins. I wasnt too pleased since Im not a ring game player yet. So I didnt play August and September. Now you can buyin for $3.30 and there are 6 buyin qualifiers. Top twenty move on to the weekly and monthly finale. Well, interspersed with blogging I managed to pull the win out of the old arse. I was so intent on qualifying I pitched JJ from EP and QQ from EP just to make top twenty. Good thing on the JJ because one dude had AA and the scenario would have been ugly..... Getting much better at short handed and heads up play and use of suited and gapped connectors.

To close and summarize my first year consisted of 12-13 MTT wins. 15-16 MTT runner up finishes.. Lots of final tables...One monthly League championship. A love for the Omaha's and No-limit.. Progress at 7 card stud. Up around $2k in freeroll and $1-$10 buyins, with one $25+$2 fizzle.

I kicked off month 1 of year two with a win already. I see good things in store for 2005-2006. Next year WCOOP and Aruba here I come... Caffeine and Tilter pack your sun tan lotion and board shorts... WOO HOO!!

Blogger Championship Pokerstars 10/23/05

Poker Championship

I have registered to play in the
Online Poker Blogger Championship!

This event is powered by PokerStars.

Registration code: 5223815

Monday, February 28, 2005


-----"When things are going well, this is the easiest game in the world. But, when things are going badly, I ask myself, 'Do I even know how to play this game?' " - Daniel Negreanu

Thursday night I miss my chance to qualify for the Atlantic City Showdown thru our Weekly WPC tourney. Two seats for the $50 main event were up for grabs and two seats for the $25 super satellite were available. I do okay for the most part there are 200+ gals in the event but go out in the mid 40's on a bone head play. One of those moves where you just keep putting chips into a pot because you think your opponent is bluffing. I very rarely bluff against the girls. It doesnt work on people who will call you with anything. I find that attacking with just tight agressive play and playing fewer hands works a lot better.

Ladies night is also tonight!! 10 PM start which means Iron wont get her beauty sleep. This week there are twice the number as the previous week (the one I won). The prize pool is bigger this week. Winner gets $135 I only got $80 but top 20 positions pay. I manage to do well enough for an 18th place finish and a nominal cash of $5. Thats half my buyin covered for the WPC satellite coming up on Saturday.

Saturday AM I work over-time at Aetna. 5 Hours at $25.74/hour is some cool dough. I head home in time for the 2 PM satellite. $10 + $1 buyin is the most I have spent for a buy in too date. I had done one $10 one prior but $5 went to charity. Compared to entry fees for triathlons and roadraces, $10 is pretty cheap. For some reason I find it easier to write a check for $45 for a triathlon then I do paying $10 for a poker tourney.

I am seated at a table with GODDESS (WPC forum owner) and a few unfamiliar names. There are only 14 entered so we are playing relatively short handed. I observe early on knowing that if I am patient and play good starting hands and raise, I will get callers. I put a beating on a gal when my JJ flops the set and then a boat. I take out one gal and am early table leader. Another aggressive gal (a fellow NYer) Iwanawin(?) gets moved to table after we are down two. On one big hand the short stack calls all- in I call her as I have a fairly decent hand and have plenty of chips, In fact I have about 1/3 of the outstanding chips. The second short stack calls all-in I have her covered and I wannawin calls all in too. I have them all covered but lose to Iwanawin. My chip stack takes a hit, but I still am in above average position as compared to the rest of the table. We lose the other two and it is down to final table...

Now the other table which I peeked in on now and then is much tighter and passive. No one has an advantage on the other. Rachelkat who is an aggressive player may have been in observation mode herself. We are now playing a full handed table of 10. Back to 10 means you need to play better hands and and be patient.... We lose three and I am not involved in any of that. I lose a good sized pot to GODDESS when she hits a set off a low pocket pair and wind up going out in 7th when I again tangle with GODDESS and I believe she lands trip dueces or treys. Complete misread on my part. I was too busy trying to get something going and didnt pay attention to the board. Not sure I would have put her on the hand anyway. There was a lot of showing of cards going on and I was surprised that some of the better players were actually playing some of the hands they were. 7th place means IGH.. I GO HOME actually ISH- I STAY HOME as I am playing at home!!! Top two advance and next three cash and I am semi bubble girl.. Iwannawin goes out right after me in 6th.. Rachelkat wins... I am happy for her as she is a returned to school gal and is studying at Columbia University and could use the overall win to get her to Atlantic City...

Why does it seem that when I am early chip leader I wind up losing but when I win I am usually the comeback queen? Maybe it is the ebb and flow of poker tournies. I'd rather get the goods later on in the tourney when the blinds are higher. I have a lot of confidence in my short game and I also play well short handed. Something to think about. I am now feeling well, like Daniels comments above.

GODDESS Got pocket rockets or bullets or AA (ace-ace) three times in this tourney including two times in a row. Her karma must be really good because of all the things she does for us women poker players. Like my buddy Ed N from the running club who gives selflessly of himself, goddess has done the same for Women and poker. True altruism is rare indeed and I am fortunate to know of several people who are so giving and dont expect anything in return... Thank you Goddess for all you do!!

To be continued with the two steps forward

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

WSOP Qualifier POKER HOST 2/23/05

Didnt feel like working overtime tonight. So I left early to find the salon my hairdresser is now at. Went to wrong one first as there are two right next door to each other. Found Decisions but Colleen wasnt in. Need my hair done soon as my grey roots are peaking thru.. Used to think I would grow old graciously and not stoop to coloring my hair like the old Hippie chick I am. Didnt take long before I said to heck with that and started coloring. Well, actually I started coloring/highlighting it to do something different to the light-medium brown it naturally is at about age 37 or so.

Anyway got home and read my email and signed into Poker Host. They are holding daily WSOP freerolls. Top 25 move on to a tourney each Sunday for a seat in a $125 buy-in tourney. I had qualified about two weeks ago on a friday. Was so excited as I finished 12th of 522. Bad news was I thought the tourney was at 7 PM on Sunday... Knew it was 17:00 hours and I knew it was 5 PM converted but for some reason when I woke up on Sunday I wrote down all my games for the day and put down 7PM for the WSOP tourney. I never double checked myself. Note to self dont do that again.... I was involved in a Poker Analysis league tourney that started at 4 PM. One of the gals (Shyababy) hubby: PAIROFJOKERS had also qualified for the tourney. In fact I took Shya's chips and made good use of them in the qualifer.. Shya was out of the PA game but stuck around to railbird. She asked how I was doing on PH and I said not there till 7 PM. It was then she told me that Jokers was playing the tourney as we chatted and I was mired in Final Table of league game On Poker 333. BIG OOPS. Anyway I managed to Win the tourney on Poker 333 so all was not lost. A little disappointed but I got over it...

So onto another attempt.. Could get nothing going on early. NADA. But I stayed out of trouble thru the early blind levels and doubled up to about 2500 then up to 8k then my AK hit a K and held up with top pair only to bring me up to 16k or so. Made it down to top 50 and figured if i stay out of trouble I could cruise in. I get a pair of 88's and call the bb for about $1600 think about calling an allin by the short stack but get moved in on by chip leader first. Figure if I stay conservative I will be okay and cruise into top 25. Well an 8 comes on river and would have definitely given me all the chips I needed to cruise in. Around and around we go and I am losing my blinds and realizing I have to steal a few blinds to let me coast. Not happening. Too many callers in the pot and I dont think my cards (good suited connecters and JQ K10 and Aces with medium kickers) will hold in a multi way pot but I could land a monster if they did. I play timid and finally go in on AJ only to hit nothing and go out in 35th. 9 spots short of the next round. Oh well.... I am still pleased that I am showing extraordinary patience and playing good hands.

While that was going on I also attempted to win a spot into the Masters Millions next freeroll round on Paradise poker. I lasted all of about 5 hands. 1) because I was doing well on PH and wanted to focus on WSOP 2) because I had QQ and raised nicely only to get called by pocket 8's. Which landed the set. I laid my hand down reading the board correctly. THe dude was called and sure enough I would have been a goner. So I find myself with AJ a few hands later and raise only to get called so I raise back and then we are all in and My AJ either doesnt hit anything or I get outkicked. Cant remember it doesnt matter and I didnt keep track. I still rely on recall for a lot of my hands. Need to invest in Poker tracker or some other software to keep hand histories etc. I do have a near photographic memory but I play so many hands I need to keep them straight. LOL. Try again some other day...

So for tonight Omaha Hi Lo for Freepoker League on JetSet at 8 Pm and NLHE on Noble for Poker Cartel at 9 PM. I final tabled on Noble for the same league last week and cashed in 5th. I played aggressive with my big pockets as I had KK early on and when they all held up, I had built quite a stack. It is kind of hard to play omaha 8B and NLHE at same time but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.

Oh yeah.. Im in 4th overall for the monthly PA league. Only 25 points out of first which is a final table appearance. Have a chance tomorrow night to unseat the top three. Didnt do it last night. Finished 15th of about 140 and just missed Final table. That matched my third highest score of 24(?) points. I have my three scores in the top 25 for the league final so I am tickled about that.

Sunday, February 20, 2005


Thursday night I had what Phil Gorden would characterize as a defining moment in my poker career. I participated in my second Ladies night tourney on Poker Host a relatively new online poker room that I have been playing on of late.

I should probably back track a bit and fill you in on how I became a poker player. Its all Ben Afflecks fault!! Somewhere in the midsts of the tabloid trials and tribulations of Bennifer the commotion about Ben and his poker playing caught my interest. You see I work a part time job at a major bookstore and during my breaks I would catch up on all the latest gossip by reading and skimming thru People, US Weekly, Star and Intouch. So when I heard he was going to be on Celebrity Poker Showdown I decided to try to see just how good Ben really was and what the hubbub was about. I didnt catch Ben's edition, I caught the one that Willie Garson won but as I was watching all I could think of was boy these celebrities suck. Mind you I had really never played poker except for a few games of drunken strip poker with an old beau in college. And I only had the rudiments of the hand rankings down but just by the little tutorial given my Phil G. I said to myself I can play this game. I was intrigued by the game and I thought Phil G was pretty damn hot!! Then I happened to catch the reruns of 2003 WSOP on ESPN and that sealed the deal.. I pulled out an old deck of T-ROCK (Turning Stone Casino) castoff cards I received in a race packet from the Utica Boilermaker, bought a few books and set out to teach myself No Limit Texas Holdem. This was probably at the end of 2003 beginning of 2004.

Fast Forward to August 2004. I hadnt played a hand of poker yet. I had just closed on a condo and moved in June, my grandmother had passed away at age 93 in May, a dear running friend decided he didnt want to be with us any longer in July. And my 18 year old Maine Coon Cat Chrissy was succombing to acute kidney failure. While I was nursing Chrissy trying to tell myself I could get her thru this I logged onto Full Tilt Poker which was pretty much still in Beta mode and played my first play money tournies. I didnt keep track but Believe i finished 7th of 9 in my first play money STT (thats Single table tourney for you non- poker players). Reloaded my chips tried it again and placed 4th. Did it again and Placed third earning play money chips!!! By the second day I had won my first Play Money Tourney and was hooked.

September 2004: I make my first deposit on Party Poker because I hear about Party all the time and the Party Poker Million. I love cruises having been on two so delusions of cruising the Caribbean and playing poker dance thru my head like sugarplums. Party has a new player $1 tourney. Big spender that I am I finish 13th of 413 for a couple bucks and am tap dancing. I am not playing often at this point a $5.50 3 table MTT or a STT here or there, largely on weekends and I am still nervous about losing money so I am cautious and conservative. I join two of my favorite forums in October 2004.... Poker Analysis and the Women's Poker Club. WPC has weekly Thursday night freeroll games and I play in as many as I can cashing in and finishing third in my first Omaha Hi/Lo tourney on Jet Set Poker and winning $10 after crash coursing a few books the night before. I am kind of busy at this time of the year with the bookstore and am not yet eligible for the Poker Analysis Free Roll league.

I fall into the trap that many a poker player does. I want to be involved in the action so I get away from the playing style that won me so many play money games and become a loose passive calling station. Poker is a game of POSITION POWER PATIENCE & PSYCHOLOGY. Its back to the books to seal the leaks. I am a quick learner and have a near photographic memory and easily recognize what is wrong with my game. Back to what worked for me in the beginning.

December 2004 busy busy busy. I play one forum challenge for PA and finish a respectable 38th of about 100+. Lots of good solid players there, some old pros, a few that have cashed at WSOP. I respect them all and figure I will learn from some very adept players. I am now eligible for Freeroll League. Top 25 earn points in each league game as well as the chance to have some nominal cashes. You need three scores in the top 25 to get invited to the monthly league final. I bubble (26th) in my first and make the final table in the other two. Pekabo invites me anyway because the league was a little shy of the 50 desired for the league final who had posted scores in three games. Have to miss the tourney as I am scheduled for the bookstore... GOOD THINGS COME TO THOSE THAT WAIT.

Sick over New Years weekend normally I do registration for the HMRRC Hangover Half Marathon and Sober Up 3+ miler. Since I can barely talk and dont feel great I decide to stay in and get some rest. Its active rest: Marathon Poker weekend playing oodles of freerolls. But I Play like crap & lose all the rest of the money I had on Party Poker (about $22) by getting antsy in a Ring game of limit holdem. Another Lesson learned. Dont expect to perform well when Sick... Having finished off 2004 on what I considered a high note, 2005 wasnt looking too good.

On January 6th PA has a tourney on Royal Vegas Poker for a $5.50 buyin. I want to support EL and SYNERGY and buy in. Lou Krieger is a special guest with a bounty on his head and El has one on hers as do a couple others. There are about 31-32 in this tourney. I accumulate a nice stack early on when I knock out one of the gals. Lou Krieger gets moved to my table. Fortunately he is on my right. The guys at the table are exhibiting Fancy Play Syndrome and lets impress the pro. I stay out of trouble get moved and find myself in second chip position but am a distant second to the tourney leader. I make the final table and play fairly conservatively till we are down to 5 and then completely change gears and go on to win with my biggest cash to date of $58.75!! WOO HOO CHA CHING. Big confidence booster... I can play this game.

Fast Forward ahead to 2/17/05. I have now won two more tournies including one on 2/13/05. I had final tabled and finished 5th in a POKER CARTEL league game for a small cash the night prior. And I had final tabled for 7th in the WPC Champions league on Monday night. I am goaded by one PAer on our forum that I am the luckiest gal he has ever seen. Just so happened that my pocket ladies (QQ) held up against his JJ and I decimated his much bigger stack. I will admit that the two hands that won me 2/13/05 were luck. I caught an Ace on the river to take the lead from the chip leader and then my Kx outkicked a pair of dueces to win the game when the board played with a 10 8 x 10 8.. I never said Poker was fair..

Anyway Thursday night 10 PM way past my bed time and I was up till midnight the night before. I am grumpy because a cadre of loose women are seeing flops with Q2 sooted (ill explain that sometime) and hitting their two pairs. Flushes that arent the nuts are winning. 5 way action when the blinds are low. Not my style of poker. I am a raise and isolate gal. I stay out of trouble and am almost disinterested in this tourney. By level 5-6 I only have $1100 in chips or so and the leader has 25k but I move all in with one hand double up and make a run up the leaderboard which as one of my poker forum mates who was watching said was one of the most impressive things he had seen. I had aquired a ton of info in those early levels and used that information to my advantage when the cards started coming for me. When you are on you are on. I have really been focussing on putting my opponents on hands and I was dead on...To make a long story short I finish first of 244 women for a nice cash of $80. Thank you Poker Host for holding these Ladies night tournies.. There you have it my Defining Moment.

Where am I hoping this will lead me? First things First: a solid performance at my WPC Atlantic City Showdown. I am going to play to win because thats what I now do. I have gotten rid of the baggage of just wanting to make the points or make the final table. On any given day IG (Irongirl) when at her best is a force to be reckoned with. Since I have largely been a freeroll player or small $$$ buyin gal, I need to start entering a few $10 and $20 MTT's to see how I fair. Larry S tells me the same fishys inhabit the upper ranks too so I expect to be able to reel them in so to speak as I move up.

All for now.. gotta get ready for 72os league game #6 at 8:OO PM (missed the first two, final tabled the next two, was doing well in event 5 until the event got cancelled and rescheduled and I had an okay finish) Then its PA freeroll league on Noble at 8:30 PM at my second favorite game Omaha Hi/LO