Monday, January 21, 2008

In Da Club

I hadn't been to the Albany Club since late September. I decided that the only way to prep for Vegas this summer is to play live more. And lets face it I am a much better live player then I am online. Maybe its the cleavage, maybe its my intimidating COACH sunglasses (they are progressive lenses aka trifocals for my 47 year old astigmatic eyes). Maybe its the fact that I read my opponents better, heck that psychology degree is worth something. I can pick up on the young aggros with ADHD, the old geezers who tremble when they have a monster even the twitch of a single finger, the person aggravated because they are about to go on Tilt because their team didn't cover in the playoff game.

I managed to finish low cash for 6th place which freerolls me for the No Football Sunday Big stack next weekend. We also agreed to take $20 off our winnings (the top 6 of us) to pay 7th and 8th who got almost their buyins back ($50 buyin + $15 for food and the house).

Snake decided to pass and stay home and watch the playoff games but he texted me throughout my run much as I did him at Borgata. It makes all the difference in the world in the late stages of a tourney when you are tired to hear words of encouragement.

I got lucky on one hand when EP raised to $5k when we were down to two tables. I was sitting with about 12k at the time and looked down to TT in the blinds. His raise seemed a little fishy either small/mid pair or larger connectors. I tanked for a bit made the call and because I had been relatively tight and took so long he figured he was beat. He flipped up Jacks, one of my table mates had folded a Ten so I'm drawing slim. IG got lucky and the case ten appeared with two ducks or treys and I flopped a boat.

Now question for my readers: Do you make this call? One time chip leader. Aggro Italian Kid named Joe plays ATC, still healthy stack. I had already doubled off him once with a suited gapper. I raise 3X BB with AQspades UTG or UTG +1 .. I get a call from my immediate left from a dude with same stack size. Joe in the BB says sweetie not enough to get me out and calls. Flop came down 558 with two clubs. I check but think I'm good, check. Joe pushes all in. I tank it again. I'm beginning to take more time on my decisions live. Although Its quite possible for him to have hit the hand the all-in bet smells of a club draw. Why would he bet that hand if he had hit wouldnt he trap like I did with my 79h that hit trip 7's?. Plus he tells me in his cocky voice I have the nuts babe. HMM. I'm pretty sure I am ahead and dont figure him for an overpair to the board or any pair. But this is for my tourney life and the voice goes thru my head; "AQ screws you up the bum IG", you have no clubs just two overs"... I lay it down sure enough he shows A3c they ran the cards and I would have won. Do you live to see another day there or do you make the call hoping to avoid the draw?

One hand I raised with AK or AJ and it folds all away around and another young solid guy looks and says.. I really really like this hand. I really really want to see a flop. I look at him and say your 89suited is beat.... He looked at me in amazement and folded 89spades face up. We all laughed.

We had Joe on the ropes about nine times and like a cat he used every last one. He was down to 16000 chips in the big blind and the blinds were 2/4k. Three limpers and he moves all in. It was a sheer position stack size move and of course the three limpers all fold and keep Joe in the game. That is one of my biggest bet/pet peeves. Knowing his style of play why would anyone limp there?. Now with breathing room he had enough ammunition and was soon the chip leader once again. When I left he was heads up. Funny thing was I dented him at least three times (once with the Mookie) and everyone else kept him the game.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

No Online Poker in 5 Days....

Thought about playing the Bodonkey last nite, decided not too.

Thought about playing the Mookie tonite, as I was typing in Vegas1 at two minutes to ten PM EST, I said to myself "No, IG I don't want to stay up too late tonite".

I had played a swan song SNG on Full Tilt last Friday afternoon before live play and that was the last time, I put chips into a virtual pot.

I'm definitely not done with online poker. It's just such a hectic time of the year at work and its hard to clear my brain after taking 70-100 phone calls a day spewing out Benefit breakdowns, or explaining claim payments or lack their of and educating clueless members who pick their insurance plan based on cost, not on whether it suits their need. Plus I'm working 10 hours of overtime a week now doing my old Bangalored job which will feather my next Vegas junket. That is just too good to pass up.

I have the week of July 7th off from work which means I should be flying out to Vegas late on July 3rd or first thing July 4th. I'm going to see if I can get the entire week of the 4th off a little bit later but will be happy with Thursday the 3rd (or even half a day) and perhaps Monday the 14th.

Pocket 5's is looking for WSOP reporters (deadline to apply is January 31st). I thought about applying for the position but will pass this year. I want to enjoy this trip to Vegas and I should be able to as I will have at least ten days out there which is double any previous junket. Right now I have no intention of playing a WSOP event but that could change.

Snake5970 had a relatively early out in the first event of the Borgata Winter Poker Open. He had registered Monday night and when he texted me at 10:45 AM, 15 minutes before the start there were 200 then 500 trying to register. Two levels in there were still 1650 players left. He had about the starting chip count of 5k (1 hour levels) And said his table was tight. Me chained to my headset in my work-at-home office could only text him back with these little gems: Keep at it, Play opposite the table, Stay Patient. I am such a good little armchair captain! He busted shortly after 3 PM when his flopped set got flushed out by a chaser. He hit the cash tables and came out with $401 net there before he called it a nite after 1 AM when IG was counting chips and fishies in her sleep.

This morning right before he took his seat he texted me that Hevad Khan was in the house. Hevad got seated a table away from Snake. Snake got short early from his texts stating pocket pairs were killing him. Much as I had promised him that I wouldn't go busto so often on AK this year, I reminded him pre Borgata of Bobby Baldwins words of wisdom... Don't get tied to a Big Pair. Don't get tied to TPTK either. He survived the second break grinding but only had 4000 chips with the blinds going to 200/400 and the $25 ante kicking in. About an hour later he texted me that he was out... KK got stacked by 22 which turned a deuce for the two outer.

We haven't actually talked as hes been living at the tables so I havent heard all the details but boy am I green with envy.

He also told me that Salvatore "Sully" Erna of, Godsmack finished #2 at the Bellagio $5k event back in December to JC Tran. I had asked him to pick me up CardPlayer Magazine if they were lying around since I let my subscription go. And of course he did. He was combing thru the magazine back at the hotel room Monday night and had to give me the update since we saw Sully at Foxwoods back in November during the shootout which they both played in. As much as I love Cardplayer magazine the news is old by the time its printed. Much easier to go to the websites. I always felt the same way about my running and triathlon magazines. Did I really want to read about NYC marathon Coverage in January or February when I already knew who won and event held in November? Old News.

Anyway, Congrats to Sully and take a look at some of the name names behind him. Too bad he's not a Jambander or I would try to get an interview with him for the music blog next time he strolls by me like he did at Foxwoods.

Here are the final results from Event #12 at the Five Diamond World Poker Classic:

1) JC Tran - $523,075
2) Salvatore “Sully” Erna - $307,325
3) Mark Teltscher - $153,660
4) David Williams - $87,810
5) Jerry Fahim - $65,885
6) Marc DeWeerd - $51,220
7) Andrew Robl - $36,585
8) Shane Schleger - $29,270
9) Justin Bonomo - $23,415

Notice position three is none other then TheVoid who was the DQ'd WCOOOP Main Event Champion.

And for those of you not checking out PokerNews (shame on you if you are not reading Pauly's and Change100's reporting or Falstaff's articles) JeciiMD has moved on to Day II of the Aussie Millions.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Out of the Mouth of IG

While railing Snake5970 in the $27.50 8 PM Pokerstars guarantee and watching playoff game.

IG: Lets lay odds on what will happen first The bubble will burst in your game (191 or so left with 180 paying)or the game will be over 4:14 remaining on game clock.

Snake5970: The bubble will burst first.

IG: Really? (contemplating the stall tactics that take place before and during hand to hand play. I think you're wrong.)

IG: How many minutes will be left then on the game clock then?

IG: I cant believe I just thought of that

Snake5970: You're a gambler.

Snake was right and he burst thru the bubble before New England racked up another win.

I managed a third place finish in my live league game on Friday nite for a nice cash of $84. I'm solidly in 3rd place. I played well enough but the two huge stacks stayed huge and finished 1-2 And true to my word I played no online poker yesterday. I Unlike two of my other female opponents don't fold till the final table. I flopped a straight with 79h in a limped pot. I busted out threeway with 34c vs AK (I was live, short and failed to improve and I don't think Eric who went on to win did either). Oh, and I busted Donkey Dave (in only his 2nd appearance) from a few weeks back when I hit a set with Presto (with props to Fuel55) on a rainbow board and got the donkey to give up almost all his chips when he pushed in with just top pair on the turn... I definitely think our points system needs an overhaul. I have won more money then the Second place gal (down $202) yet am in third (I'm down $142 over the 16 weeks but not sure if that fee includes the weekly $10 that goes to the end of the year pool. Snake has three runner up finishes and is only down $70 and sits in 10th.

Online yesterday, I did see Snake take some horrific IG style beats which got me thinking I'm not only unlucky but I'm a cooler too. However as I railed him in the Pokerstars tourney he rallied back from a huge beat to cash eventually busting out 110th. His cooler hand was when he reraised a mid stacks bet with top pair on flop which if his opponent called pretty much pot-committed the donkey. The dude called with AJh (nothing) and rivered an ace. We talked thru lots of hands. And my poker instincts are dead on including one hand where he had AKos either on the button or in the BB. My position was he fold to a raise and reraise and another all in, as I figured he was looking at another AK at least and a pocket pair. Sure enough it was 77 vs AK vs another Apaint and the 77's survived.

As the Sheryl Crow song says A change will do you good. I'm going thru some old pocket 5's threads and really digging some the stuff that the moderator Jennifear has offered. I'm reading blogs and following Change100's and Dr Pauly's coverage down under. I worked a good part of yesterday making some nice extra cash. I watched two great football games. I helped my mom put away all her Xmas stuff (BTW an epidural block in her back is working and since the trouble is in her SI joint she is not a candidate for back surgery).

Today two more football games, plus I have to check out if a clearance Compaq Presario tower is still available at Staples as I told my dad Id take his unused Dell Laptop off his hands in trade for me buying him a new tower. That will eventually make me mobile when I return to the online game.

Snake told me last night he secured a condo for two weeks end of June-July 13th during the WSOP including the Main Event at an unheard of low price. I'm definitely in for hopefully July 3rd thru the 13th. I have enough points on a credit card accumulated to secure a nice $100 gift card to Ruth Chris's Steak house and use for a dinner. We checked out the menu's for Nob Hill in Vegas and I suggested Snake dine at either Michael Mina's Borgata Restaurant or Bobby Flay Steak in Atlantic City when he's there this coming week. Oh crud will have to mention Whitehouse Subs to him too. Cant go to AC without a grinder, hoagie, torpedo, submarine from Whitehouse. I of course didn't know about it the one and only time I went to AC.

Friday, January 11, 2008


--Ive been thinking about it for a while now. After bubbling two tourneys this week where I got my money in both times with the best hand 4 handed with top three paying only to lose to a weak rag Ace (A4 2x) and a host of other suckouts I am convinced that I am the female version of Waffles and the unluckiest person in the world. It wasn't always this way. I definitely don't have a blessed account.

Ive made some big improvements in my game over the year and I'm probably only a subscription to PokerXFactor away from tweaking my game in the right direction. Time is a precious commodity for me though and I cant justify the subscription expense if I cant commit to studying the videos etc to get my moneys worth out of it. The sad fact remains, the big online score continues to evade me. I am tired and jealous of seeing my friend push through the plateau and raking in some big scores, while my bankroll heads south or stays the same online.

I like immediate gratification and if I don't get a payback from something I put time into then I figure its time to move on. Maybe its time for a break, maybe its time to become a cash game player. Maybe its just time to work on the music blog or create a food blog and work lots of overtime to feather my retirement.

And frankly I have tons of books and DVDs to catch up on and could survive on playing live once or twice a week. I keep feeling that the time I spend spinning my wheels online is frivolous and would be better served doing something better with my time. I can get pretty much anything to grow and I can bake and cook up a storm, but I cant get out of the way of some donkey chip leader who calls with a redonkulous J2S and flushes me out on the river chasing.

I still will get my weekly live fix in and once the club is remodeled they well hopefully be spreading games on more nites. My live league goes till the end of March and Vegas will soon be around the corner. But I most be honest, Id be just as happy eating out, shopping and railing friends then shuffling chips in Vegas. Ive even thought about returning to my Blackjack roots.

I'm not happy that poker is making me unhappy. I'm not happy with the person I'm becoming. I'm restless, irritable and discontent and its making me surly and angry.

I've seen the disenchantment with poker in Pauly, Otis, Kat and CC. I'm at a turning point and taking time off is probably the best thing to do. Heck I'm more interested in talking football playoffs and Roger Clemons and Into Thin Air with Snake5970 (who is heading to the Borgata Monday-Friday next week) then detailing my bad beats and why I suck as a player.

There is a saying that This too shall pass. Im not so sure that a Kirk Morrison break from poker isnt due.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year

Its snowing... again. We got about ten inches yesterday here in Clifton Park and another 3-8 are expected. UGH. The trees did look beautiful yesterday AM. I said to my mom that it reminded me of when we used to ski Killington and ride the chairlift up thru the glades after a snowstorm.

Well I spent yesterday AM/early afternoon driving my mom to her appointment with her primary doctor who got her a referral to the spine doctor, then to the really good deli so she could get a sandwich, to the bank to pay a bill, the drugstore for morphine patches which she cant take because she has no tolerance (discovered after reading the instructions) and the market. Tomorrow she has another appointment with the Back surgeon for a consult which a friend will be taking her to as I have to work as January 2nd ushers in three months of hyperactive phones for the major insurer I work for. My mom had a visit to the spine doctor last year but she opted to go for nerve burn number 4 or 5 last year. Unfortunately because of the degenerative discs the burns (radio waves are used to deaden the nerves) are only temporary fixes. I was exhausted from getting up early, cleaning the car off of snow, driving in bad weather and not getting much sleep the night before. My TMJ is acting up (I'm a clencher) and my asthma was acting up. I didn't play any poker yesterday as I was too distracted and over-tired to concentrate. I couldn't nap and I made the mistake of drinking a peppermint mocha from Starbucks. The caffeine caused me to really not be able to sleep. I couldnt sit still, sleep or do much of anything last night or evening.

So I woke up early again and played the 8:15 AM deepstack $20 + $2 NLHE on Pokerstars which had a very small turn out full of Europeans. I wound up losing most of my stack about halfway thru when I flopped top to pair out of one of the blinds, bet the pot and an idiot with bottom pair only called with A4 and turned his Ace for a better two pair.

I then caught up with Snake5970 and we talked about his Cowboys impending meltdown and how the Giants are looking good as are the Redskins heading into the playoffs. Well probably watch the Divisional playoffs together in two weeks along with our marathon watch of the 2007 WSOP Main Event Final table. With hunting season and the holidays we have never watched a whole football game together. We caught snippets of games at Foxwoods and I have heard some of the hilarious remarks that come out of his mouth as we've talked on the phone while watching the games so I should be in for a real treat. Snake rarely spews playing poker although I do no the signs of him tilting. But lets just say he is capable of a Hoy rant or MiamiDon tirade when it comes to Football and his Cowboys.

We talked about poker goals for 2008. His only goal was to win his 4th seat to this years WSOP Main Event. I of course mentioned a few others he should strive for. Like hitting a live cash for over $5k (he's done it online but live his best cash is $3k plus) and working on his no-limit ring game play. He should be pwning the $1/$2 tables (He raked in $188 profit Friday nite from our live league-mates). I have one of the same goals: cash in at least one live tourney for over $5k. He wants to see me cash/final table in the Ladies Foxwoods Spring tourney and his number one goal for me was to not see my go broke so often with AK. I promised to try to tilt less. I have noticed I get really annoyed and have meltdowns (aka a bad case of the Fawkits) in our live league, especially when someone I deem to be an inferior player sucks out on me. The other nite I busted out 9th when I got flushed by someone who is a decent player and who had chips to make the call (TJ went on to win) while Snake busted in tenth on a loose call by someone who chased the gutshot straight and of course hit. In the meantime, while we are talking I am coughing my dry asthma cough intermittently and he mentions how good I sound. I hang up with him feeling and looking like death warmed over and hit the shower and I immediately proceed to throw up the contents that have been swimming in my stomach all nite. UGH.

He had some success on Full Tilt yesterday after reloading, so he sent me some seed money and gave me my marching orders. Needless to say, I had no luck on Full Tilt donking off my last $10 and now I'm left with his bankroll. Ah the Random Flush Generator on Full tilt still shows IG no love. I am however, currently about ready to satellite into this weeks 100k guarantee on Pokerstars on my first attempt after coming back from scraps off about T200-350, after having KK run down by a donk re-reraising me for all his chips all in with AT and rivering an Ace. I was able to get my money in good with a suited gapper and hit my flush and then proceeded a nice comeback.

I am in for next Sunday, once I came back from the abyss I accumulated enough chips not to have to worry about bubbling the tourney. I actually was able to pressure the shorties and did so. Will probably unregister from the $100k though and use the T$ for a tourney with a structure I do better in. Im getting the hang of the satellites on Pokerstars and hopefully will try some WSOP sats over there. Now if I could just get the hang of the shootouts which Snake and his brother Silo do well in.

Oh yeah, after discussing sealing our personal leaks and PokerTracker with Snake5970(neither of us currently use it)I downloaded the trial version. Not surprisingly the biggest leak in my game is AJ/AQ and KJ especially early on. I'm probably going to purchase PokerTracker as it seems to have a lot of good stuff and its a mine of information that I have just scratched the surface on. Just curious what you bloggers prefer PokerTracker or PokerOffice.

After reading Tao of Pauly, I'm getting worked up for his March Madness Pool which should fall during the Spring Foxwoods Poker Classic too (Another Foxwoods run is in order Snake!!) I had a good run last year in one of the brackets that Hoy I think did. And I won another pool against the AcesCracked boys last year so I'm feeling college basketball MoJo. And I do reckon FTOPS and Bracelet races and BBT Trey will be beginning their starts late February or March. Oh and I cant forget Kat's Eh_Vegas coming up at the end of February. Here's to a happy and prosperous New Year!!!