Friday, October 17, 2008

Live Tournament Win!

So yesterday afternoon I got a text message from Matt, inviting me to join him at a local casino's weekly Thursday evening deepstack poker tournament. Being intrigued, I promptly inquire with the roommate about his interest, and we quickly decide that we're down to take part. Call Matt and get the details of the event, skip out of the office a little early, jaunt home to let the dog out, (literally, not a metaphoric reference to ghey activities with Joshua... we had to let his elderly pooch relieve himself before lockin' him indoors for another ~4 hours,) and we were quickly off to the live game with plenty of time to spare before the 6:30 start.

Well, fast forward a few hours, and ... I won! Took down 1st place out of 29 entrants for a $615 score on the $60 buy-in! Since I apparently love the bulletpoint format, following are some miscellaneous details & thoughts about the experience, (my first ever non-home game live tournament cash... let alone victory)...:
  • Never underestimate the incompetence of humankind. While there was definitely a handful of players there that knew what they were doing... there was far more that certainly did not! To me, as far as skill level is concerned, ~$50-$100 LIVE tournaments are similar to the $10 buy-in MTTs online.
  • My reads rock! People don't seem to try very hard to mask their holdings. I was surprised by the number of physical tells that were easily picked up on, not to mention betting patterns being very easily decipherable. (Pardon my floating my own boat here, but that's my arrogant nature, and if you visit this blog you're used to it by now.) Every single time I made a move that was due to a read, it worked out exactly as intended. Love it when a plan comes together.
  • Some people just don't have a clue! This one OLD bitch, (who actually started the tournament giving Matt an angry earful about his bad attitude / poor etiquette, for his choice to only show one of his hole cards after winning a pot,) couldn't understand the game if she was Doyle Brunson's mistress! The old hag (who wore a nasty looking perpetual scowl on her face, as if someone had put poison ivy in her Depends,) had just 9k in chips w/blinds at 1,500/3k, and she chooses to LIMP from MP... her and the BB see a flop of 389, BB checks, she shoves for her other 6k into a pot of 8,500, and the BB makes the call with 73o. She turns over AJo... and after bricking the turn & river she vents about her bad "luck," and the big blind's "gamble" of a call!!!??? WTF?! Some people should stick to Pinochle!
  • It's my belief that building one's own table image, or at least understanding of what one's own table image has become, is as much, if not more important than getting reads on villains themselves. After purposefully illustrating a very weak/tight nature throughout the first couple levels, I was able to easily exploit the tables' belief that I only played top holdings.
  • And, (in this week's note from Captain Obvious,) winning tournaments does require a bit of luck. While I cannot recall ever getting it in behind, I did have the fabulous good fortune to be dealt QQ and JJ while five handed, and in the cash... each held up to knock out competitors' Ax hands that had pushed into me, and this catapulted me to a massive lead going into the final three. Without these two huge pots, taking down the tournament would've required much more of a grind.
  • Taking first place not only won me the $615 prize, but also entry into the casino's monthly $1,500 freeroll, which takes place this Sunday. That's where I'll be to watch NFL games this week. Evidently the handful of tourney winners, and those with the most hours logged at their live games for the month get free entry into a 3table tourney where the top 9 make the cash in a monthly giveaway.
  • I suppose I really didn't "net" all that much, considering I did tip $75 to the very friendly dealers, and gifted my two buddies a return on their buyins, to make it a freeroll for 'em... and, of course, spent a decent chunk on contraband before the night was over. But still, I've got ~$350 I didn't have at this time yesterday! Good enough to put me in a good mood going into the weekend.
Curious of readers' thoughts on the dealer tip after the tourney win. Any insight into what's standard? I was informed ~10% is considered pretty decent, so I just sort of picked an amount a little higher. But after tipping the $75, the staff seemed almost overly appreciative... lead me to think I may have gone overboard, although didn't think this was the case. Maybe they just weren't used to a nice guy winning, I don't know.

Hope all is well with you and yours. Have a great weekend...

'Til next time...
Respect is all you have left in the morning,

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mookie Win

I won the Mookie last night! So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

Unable to provide any real recap of the tourney, as I wasn't paying any attention. Played from a buddy's house and just donked it up during sessions of bong hits and bad television. Fun time gettin' down to head's up versus Donkeypuncher. Won a key flip when I shoved AJ into his 77 and sucked out, and that was pretty much it from what I recall. Gettin' me into position to compete for the win was a wicked 4-outer at the Final Table when I over-shoved KK on a 299 flop against 4 villains, and one havin' 22... rivered King was nice.

Thanks to Zeem for hittin' me up on the IM with a reminder/inquiry about the tournament just minutes before it started! Would not have remembered to register without the reminder! (Not sure if this merits a financial reward, or share of the winnings, but it at least deserves a blog post thank you.)

Well, 'til next time...
In the immortal words of Jean Paul Sartre, 'au revoir, gopher,'

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

October Update

Long time no post, and lots of recent happenings. So, here's a long personal rant, with zero poker content. Read at your own risk.

I quit my job! ...

  • A little while back I received my formal offer to transition to Memphis, TN, and suffice it to say, my employer was not willing to make it worth my while to consider a cross country relocation. Realizing my future wasn't in the organization, I lost the necessary motivation to dedicate myself to time in a cubicle, and decided to quit my job in favor of other opportunites.

  • Provided 8 weeks of notice when I presented management with the news of my decision a few weeks back, and am working through the end of this month. My last day, fittingly, being this Halloween.

  • Looking into a few different specific local opportunities, but updated my resume and just gettin' it out there in general as well. The future is really up in the air with no even vague plan yet reached. Que Sera Sera...

  • Considering 'going pro' by just playing poker for a living. Yes, a ridiculous, laughably unreasonable idea, considering my four figure bankroll and all. But hey, a guy can dream!
  • So... let me know if anyone's aware of a need for a lazy, unmotivated financial analyst in the area of South King County, WA. (I swear my resume is more selling.)

Went to San Francisco a few weeks back...

  • Went with ten friends down to the Bay Area for a weekend adventure. Pretty fun city.

  • Stayed in the most ghetto hotel I've ever passed out in. A buddy arranged the trip, and booked us at the 'Grant Plaza' in Chinatown. It was ridiculous. It didn't spoil the trip or anything, it was just hilarious how poor the accomodations were.

  • My friends drink, a lot! Vacationing with them to states where hard liquor is sold on every corner is likely not a great idea for my liver. It was ridiculous how many bottles were bought and polished off immediately by simply being passed among us.

  • Cocaine's a hell of a drug. Just for the record.

  • "Exotic Asian Massage" establishments have nothing to do with massage. There wasn't a single Ashmead Degree in the place! One would think illegal brothels would go about their business a little more nonchalant, but evidently that's not the case. (Don't judge me!)

  • Street performers sure are an odd lot. Crazy what some people will do to not have to "work" for a living.

  • The San Francisco warf was real entertaining. Some great food choices, neat tour & activity options, plenty of killer shopping opportunities, etc.

  • Unfortunately did not have opportunity to hook up with LJ, Lucko, or Bayne while in the same city as they were over the specific weekend. Hopefully I'll get to meet 'em in Vegas over the weekend of 12/13.

  • For the record, taking co-ed vacations to celebrate forthcoming weddings is nothing like the traditional bachelor/(ette) party! My friends kept trying to refer to the trip as a bachelor/slash/bachelorette party... but this does not exist! I'm very confident that had I been in charge of the itinerary, the trip would've been a bit more memorable. But I digress.

My country, tears of thee...

  • The proposed "bailout" that worked its way through legislation is the worst idea since I tried to patent the DVD-rewinder for video stores. It wholly defeats any remaining idea that this remains a laissez-fairre economy. Free market my ass! The government is attempting to charge taxpayers for the mistakes of a specific industry. Ridiculous. John Adams is turning over in his grave.

  • I've always been a very liberal democrat in most all senses of the terms, and this bailout makes me sick! I'm damn near a Socialist in my basic idealogies and this level of government involvement in the economy seems despicable. A presidential candidate with any party label that would've stepped up and questioned this thing's logic could've won my vote.

  • While I do hope Barack Obama is our next President, I again feel like my vote is simply picking between the lesser of two evils. But dude a better choice to me if only for the minor benefit of possibly salvaging some international respect for the US. After the last 8 years of that fucking monkey 'Dubbya' representing our masses, this seems necessary, and I'm afraid the rest of this world would see McCain as simply more of the same.

Miscellaneous notes...

  • Missed Al's "Bash" in favor of my San Fran adventure. All the many writeups out there make it sound like a great time was had by all. Maybe next year.

  • Evidently a couple of bloggerment regulars had HUGE scores recently. Jamyhawk's buddy 'closerx5' took 3rd place in Full Tilt's Sunday $750k, for over $50,000!!! AND, sprstoner took down FTP's $109 rebuy for ~$58k!!! While I don't know either of these guys personally, it's still pretty freakin' cool to just know of their stories, and I can at least share in the excitement a little bit.

  • Watched Ironman the other night. That movie Rocks!

  • Tried to break up with that slut I've been sleeping with for awhile now, but, like George Costanza, evidently it didn't take. Despite my consistent, blunt, repetitive communications that I'm uninterested in any real relationship with her, she remains adamant that she'd still like whatever company I'm willing to offer. So yes... I'm going to a special place in hell for this one. ... Now I've got a gal coming over every other weekend, buying me pot, cleaning my house and preparing meals and shit, all between passionless sex sessions. (Don't judge me!)

Well, 'til next time...
Yes, that will be all, Ms. Potts,

Monday, August 25, 2008

LPR Win. ... And a PokerStars Weekend.

Took down the LPRT last night! Good times. Don't go giving me too much credit though, as I did have some wicked suckouts go my way to get to the victory. Most notably was my hammer besting big slick AIPF. (Sorry Closerx5!) Also had QQ overcome AA at the final table to knockout Neo3gs. Not to mention turning a Queen when my pocket ladies were heads up against Waffles' K5s on a 55T flop. I run good. Other than those three suckouts for huge pots, also contributing greatly to the victory was the fact that I dropped the hammer like fifteen fucking times. I had 72o so many times it was funny. Given it was a bloggerment I of course took these hands as opportunities to represent monsters, and I was fortunate enough to not get called out on my shenanigans too many times, and these bluffs helped build and maintain a decent stack throughout. Thanks again to IT for hosting!

Got an insane amount of online tournament play in last weekend, as I probably logged twenty hours of play between Friday evening and Monday morning. I 4-tabled various PokerStars MTTs all day on Saturday, with very "meh" results. Netted a couple hundred bucks over the weekend, but was without any real decent scores. Won another (my 3rd) seat to the Sunday $1.5million which I promptly again cashed out for the tourney dollars. (Double shootouts rock.) Also ran real deep in a $40k tourney, but ended well short of the Final Table for just a ghey cash. Didn't get anything going in the Sunday $1.5 million, and fell out far short of the cash. (Although the donkey play witnessed did make me optimistic for future chances, and ambitious to make this big tournament a weekly routine.)

Well, 'til next time...

Friday, August 22, 2008

PokerStars... and James Lipton

PokerStars rocks! I had another halfway decent night at the online felt last night, cashing in both the tournaments I played, albeit for petty sums. Again just squeaked into the cash in a $11 180seat SnG, and did the same in the ~$33 23:00 MTT, netting around ~$50 on the night for the small cashes. But more valuable than the petty profit is what my recent PStars success has done for my confidence. I'm back in that cocky frame of mind where I expect to win when I register for something. Really looking forward to the Sunday $1.5million now! And without many other big plans for the weekend, I hope to get lots of MTT play in over the next few days, and am optimistic of my chances for some decent results. We'll see...


Unapologetically ripping off Riggstad's recent blog idea, below are my answers to James Lipton's ten routine questions from Bravo's Inside the Actor's Studio.

1. What is your favorite word?
2. What is your least favorite word?
3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
4. What turns you off creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
5. What sound or noise do you love?
~Applause. (Stadium sized applause like concert or sporting event... NOT the faux-plause heard after a coworker's speech, or manager presentation, etc...)
6. What sound or noise do you hate?
~Small dog's bark/yap.
7. What is your favorite curse word?
8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
~Broadcasting... sports announcer, radio dj, or just a voiceover guy.
9. What profession would you not like to do?
10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

...'til next time,

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Problem Solved

So I discussed a small quandary yesterday regarding playing in this Sunday's $1.5 million guarantee tournament on PokerStars, given my lack of sufficient bankroll it was difficult to justify not unregistering to get the tournament dollars despite my significant ambition to play. Well... I solved the dilemma last night, by simply winning another seat! Took down the identical satellite tournamant two nights in a row! I rock.

...I'm humble too,

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tuesday Evening Poker

Quick rundown of last night's session...
  • FullTilt blows for me lately. Didn't cash in a single thing yesterday, failing in: both the Daily Doubles, the $28k, the $4k HORSE, and the Skillz game.
  • Regarding that Skillz game, evidently I still suck at Stud. While I love me some Razz, I just can't ever seem able to find a comfort level with Stud-high, and last night's Skillz game was definitely no exception.
  • PokerStars rocks for me lately. Was out of all five of my tourneys on FullTilt by 8:30 last night so switched sites to my lesser bankrolled option. Played a ~$12 satellite and an $11-180-peep SnG... took down the Double-Shootout satellite for a $200+$15 seat to Sunday's $1.5 Million Guarantee, and squeaked into the cash in the SnG for a tiny profit.
  • While it's completely irrational for me to justify playing in the big Sunday tournament, given my PStars bankroll is under $200, and I can unregister for $215 in tourney dollars, I still really want to play in the event. The tournament was the source of my biggest online score ever (20 months ago,) and I haven't taken part in this huge Sunday tournament in a long long time. Got plans to play nearly exclusively on PokerStars the rest of this week in hopes of increasing my bankroll there to a point where I could at least feel less guilty for not taking the $T. I got five more days to think about it. We'll see.
  • Got a call early this morning from the poker-incompetent uber-donkey good buddy of mine, HitmanBobby, bragging about his 3rd place finish in FullTilt's Daily Double A last night for ~$1,050! The biggest online score of his brief online poker career! I'm completely happy for him, and ecstatic to hear he finagled his way to a four figure score, albeit I do have to admit a level of astonishment. While the dude's a great friend of mine, our routine poker discussions consistently display his lack of real insight into fundamentals of the game as well as an unwillingness to improve via any other means other than personal experience. Don't get me wrong, I've witnessed him become an exponentially better poker player over the last two years, it's just I was not yet predicting a Final Table finish in a significant MTT... let alone 3rd place finish in a ~1,100-person tourney. (Insert blind squirrel/broken clock analogy here.) Nice work Bob.

Hope everyone's doin' alright in their own adventures on the online felt. 'Til Next time...

...I'm RaisingCayne, and that's news to me.