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