Thursday, June 28, 2007

What would you do?

I've had a pretty amazing experience with the small Poker Site that I have been with almost since their inception 3 years ago. It either involves fraud or incompetence or both. I'm not sure; but would be interested in hearing what others would do.

But first, it is Thursday so there must have been a MOOOOOOOOOOOOOKKKKKKKKK last night. I did get to a Walgreens and got a Visa Card so that I was able to play. 72 runners and I did get to the final table. I was on the bad end of two big hands where my AQ didn't outrace eventual champion RecessRampage's pocket pair and the real big one where my KQ on K24 board didn't finish the deal against IronGirls Q9 when she rivered a flush. Isn't it funny how I remember those and hardly recall rivering and Ace on BuddyDank's QQ. Anyway, I finished 4th so I can't be too unhappy about that. OK, I am; but I'll get over it.

Nice win for Alan in a long, heated battle over Wes which was more like a game of catch as they just kept throwing chips back and forth in an almost 40 minute HU match. BTW, we already know of Wes's great blog; but if you haven't had the chance to get over to RecessRampage's blog, stop right here and go read his blog. Truly, some great stuff.

Now for the topic of the day. What would do?

As I've mentioned before, among the poker sites that I play, there is a small site that I play. I originally started due to the enormous overlay for a WSOP satellite and it was also one of the first sites that I played. Fast forward to last week. I went into the cashier and financial history and noticed that there were 3 transactions of transfers to another account. They only totaled $12 and I was unsure if they were truly successful transactions. I don't get to this site very often and I was unsure of the exact balance that should be in there. I made a number of calls to their support and ultimately they did nothing saying that they don't know passwords and it is the responsibility of the player to keep their system and password protected. Obviously, I did not like that response. So for now (or should I say then), the only thing I did was change my password and make it where it did not automatically log on (which I have now done for all of my sites). Bill Rini wrote about this stuff a while ago and like the big dummy that I am, I really did not heed any of his warnings.

A week goes by without anything suspect so I'm thinking everything OK. I couldn't be more wrong. This week while checking my email, I got an email from the site saying that they have received my request for a DEPOSIT. HUH??? I did not make a deposit. The request was for something like $500. Next email, We have received your request for WITHDRAWAL. WHAT!!!!!! This request for $1000. I immediately called them and had them disable my account until I could get home and investigate further because I was not getting anywhere with them on resolving the problem.

I get home and give them a call. Looking at my history, there were actually 4 requests for withdrawals. They were all denied because they were trying to withdraw to a Neteller account. Of course, I am a US citizen and they were all denied because of this; but that is beside the point as there is obviously some fraudulent stuff going on here. I was really getting nowhere with the site as I could hardly understand them in the first place. The lady I was working with was pleasant; but just didn't seem to have a handle of the urgency or seriousness of this issue.

Now, here is the added kicker. I have about $1000 in this account. When I got home and finally got my account re-enabled, I saw over $2200 in my account. I repeatedly told them this isn't correct. I had two concerns. That this money belonged to somebody else or that there was a glitch in the system as she told me the deposits were via "Automatic Deposits" which is another way of saying that they are deposits via winnings at the poker tables. Another possibility is that somebody was using my account as middleman. Putting deposits into my account and then trying to withdraw them. I discounted that theory after my talks with support. This was my 3rd phone call of the day and we left it at that would check their system for any problems.

I called for the 4th time about an hour later. According to them, the only activity on my account in the last 60 days was from the same IP address that I had used the prior day which makes thing even more confusing. After talking with my brother, he says it is possible to "spoof" an IP address. They also said or confirmed that there was nothing wrong with there system and that everything looked legit. After many back and forths, I finally ended it with.... "OK, for the last time, you are saying that you see nothing wrong with your system".. this is after repeated efforts of telling them that I shouldn't have that much money in my account. They said "Yes, everything looks normal". Yikes!!!!!

So, I now have over $2200 dollars in my account. What would you do? I'll say what I have done so far below.

So many alarms are going off right now. I'm running spyware checks and doing everything that I can do confirm my security within my home network. I do use a router and have it encrypted so I would think that it wouldn't be easy to break through.. plus I haven't seen anything suspicious on any other stuff that I have on my computer; but I obviously still have my worries.

The person or persons doing the alleged fraud. They were trying to withdraw to a different Neteller account than the one I used and tried it repeatedly; however, he didn't change any other information on my account. You would think, that he would change email address or physical address or something if he/she were serious about stealing money. So something is fishy there as well.

So, what did I do? First off, I know that isn't my money so any thoughts of withdrawing that money didn't really ever have any serious intent. Somebody mentioned that they would withdraw it all for the reason of keeping it out of the hands of the suspected bad guy knowing that the excess money would have to be returned. In a backwards kind of way, it made sense. The thing that gets me is that as of 3 days later, the excess money is still in there. You would think that they at least have some sort of daily balancing and would have caught this by now. At the worst they have to be doing some sort of weekly or monthly balancing.

I obviously can't feel comfortable playing there any longer so what I did was made an immediate withdrawal request for my almost $1000 that I knew was mine. I changed my password again so we will see what happens.

Very, very strange.

Have a good weekend!!!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Why do all the Good Shows Go Busto

One of my favorite TV shows is be cancelled this year. Well, truthfully, after only one year. More on that later. (of course).

Poker. How I love and hate you at the same time. Speaking of Busto, I went busto again on Full Tilt last night. Nothing particularly interesting. I did play one SNG where about mid way through after getting my Cowboys busted, I was down to 80 chips. I somehow worked my way back to the lead with 4 people remaining. I actually knocked the 4th place person down and we were in the money and I had a pretty big chip lead. I get AK in the SB and push all in against the semi shorty BB. He would have been left with about 4BB. Anyway, he calls with QJ of clubs and the flop is all clubs. The very next hand on the button, I get KT and push again only to get called by the same person who has AK. From rags to riches back to rags.

I went back to playing Ring play. Normally, you like to win a little over 50% of you pots when they go to showdown. I was at the impressive number of 34% over the past few days. I know what you are thinking. He must be playing every hand. Not so fast. I was playing at a normal clip for me around 28% playing 6max. My preflop raising was a little low around 12%; but not too surprising giving the cards that I was getting. Truly incredible river beats; but nothing worth repeating.

So unless I get to Walgreens tonight (to pick up a Visa Card), I may be missing my first Mook of the year. How depressing will that be? Which leads me to another subject. I'm one of those guys that never did sign up for another ewallet after the Neteller fiasco. Well, I believe it is probably time to get that going again. Anybody with any experience with ePassporte? Of course, nothing can really compare to Neteller as far as fees goes; but ePassporte might not be too out of whack?

I'm thinking I might return to the NL game as obviously the Limit game is kicking my butt. I've been playing a smaller site at the NL tables and have varied success getting my balance to around $1000. So until I get Walgreens, the only money I have now are on this small site called Poker World and Bodog. I will be getting some rakeback money to FullTilt; but not until the middle of next month. I could ask them for an advance which they have done before; but with the small amount (around $70), I may just wait.

Since I obviously don't have much to talk about regarding Poker, I'll switch over to TV. Now, to tell you the truth, I am not much of a TV watcher; especially pre-marriage. I was all sports and movies. Mrs Wonka, on the other hand, was all about TV.. network TV. She didn't have cable prior to getting married. So Anyway, I watch a few shows with her.

Without a doubt, my favorite TV show of all time was a show called Sports Night. It only lasted 2 or 3 seasons before it went Busto; but it was my favorite. I've even purchased the DVDs. The writer of that show was Aaron Sorkin. He has written movies such as the A Few Good Men and American President (both of which I liked). He also was the writer for the West Wing. I'm not into politics too much so I didn't really get into that show. Aaron's Sorkin's next show was something that is called Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. To me it is just a truly amazing show. Currently, it has about 4 or 5 subplots going on and he pulls it off like no others that I have seen. I'm not sure what Aaron Sorkin has on his plate next (other than some Tom Hanks movie); but I will be eagerly waiting.

Anyway, this week will be its last show as it is being cancelled. It just amazing to me that these well thought out and written shows make it to the cutting room floor amongst all the other trash that is being put out these days. I mean come on.. why are we watching things like "Am I smarter that a 5th grader?" or some of the other reality shows that are way out there.

I did a little tabulation. There are about 98 shows in Primetime. About 20% of them are Reality Shows, 32% are Dramas which does not include the 12% which are specifically Crime Dramas, 16% are comedys and 17% make up Sports, News and Game shows. I don't know what that really means other than I like stats. I was really expecting the Reality shows percentage to be higher and then I was going to go off on the overkill of reality shows. Don't get me wrong, there are some good reality shows (such as Extreme Makeover: Home Edition); but some of them are way out there and only there for shock value.

That's it for now. I do go to Harrahs on Sunday to hopefully take down there Monthly Tournament of Champions with a first prize of 10K. We'll see.

Have a nice Day!!!!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

OK, so maybe it is alright to be lucky sometimes

I have written many times about whether you have to be luck or good to win MTTs. And about everytime, I say that you have to be both.

I am two days into my dream long weekend of golf, poker and softball. It started off with Wed night and as usual in my online tournaments, I was a little impatient and went out early in the mook... Mostly on a hand where I flopped 2 pair on an all spades board where somebody had flopped the flush.. .such is life. I went out a a little bit later. Luckily, I have qualified for the season ending BBT due to 20 tournaments. I am in the top 50; but the averages aren't real good.

Thursday was a day of what supposed to be all day golf; but only ended up being 36 holes. It was a little hot (mid 90s); but I don't think that was the real reason. Since I only get to play 3 or 4 times a year, my game isn't doing that well so we weren't that enthusiastic. I did drop my second round score 10 shots going from 98 to 88. As usual, when you don't play very much, the short game is what costs you and that was no different as I gave up at least 7 to 10 strokes each round. So anyway, we called it a day a little earlier than normal.

That night was a live poker game. About 20 of us got together for a $30 buy in. And here comes the 1st reference in this post about being lucky or unlucky. We are down to 8 or so.. 4 get paid. I flop Top pair with T9s.. We get all of our chips in the middle and he has the open ender which he hits on the turn. He had over cards so it was probably about a coin flip. A little later, I go all in with A9 against KT and lose my 60-40 when he spikes his K. No worries, that is poker.

Friday was then a day to go play at Harrah's. There was a 1PM $55 buyin tournament. It ended up getting 60 players. Anyway, I get there a little early and fired up a litte 1/2 NL action. I only got to play for about 1 1/2 hours; but I did when about $75 which basically paid for my tournament entry which as cool.

As usual, there was some pretty bad play at the beginning of this thing and I really didn't get any cards so I was pretty much a spectator. Right before the 1st break, I was able to triple up when a shortie went all in and with one caller, I felt ok calling with K4 for just a little bit more. A King came on the flop and I checked down to the river where a Queen came and I just threw in enough chips to basically bust the other player. Luckily, he did have a Queen and called and he was left with 1 chip. He went out few hands later (after the break).

During the 1st break, another one of the tournament players from another table came up to me and called me by name. It turned out to be a guy I hadn't seen in probably 20 years. I knew him and his older brother when growing up. How weird is that? We caught up for a little bit and of course before we went back to the tables, we said "see you at the final table". Unfortunately, I'm having the same cold cards and again just spectating until again right before the 2nd break and this time I pick up KK which was my first premium hand of the tourney. Of course, I got all my chips in as I was a short stack and unfortunately 4 players total came along; but fortunately (and lucky), they held up and now I had some chips to work with for the latter stages of the tourney. The good news was that my buddy was also still in and he definitely had some chips.

We finally get to the final table (both me an my buddy.. how cool is that?). I am not the shorty; but definitely in the bottom half. Nothing has really changed and I spectated until it almost became obvious that it would be time for me to gamble. Foreshadow alert. I ended up gambling 3 times and each time it was while I was on the button.

Button #1. Chip leader who had been raising most pots and playing very good big stack poker min raised for what seemed like the 4 thousandth time. It folded it around to me on the button with K7s. I pushed my chips in which was probably about 2 1/2 times his raise. In other words, he didn't have to call if he was just playing big stacks. Well, he wasn't. He had AQo and unfortunately a Q came on the flop, but a King came on the turn and I got lucky. I told him that I didn't believe him and that I now I do... he later showed AK from an EP raise and said that was for me.. OK.. it was funny, but I guess you had to be there.

Button #2. This time it is folded to me. I have KTs. I anguish a little (outwardly... inwardly, I know I am pushing). The SB thinks for a bit and also pushes over the top of me. He had A4s and again I luckily catch a K to win.

By this time, my buddy has probably taken over the chip lead getting some nice cards and also pushing his big stack around nicely.

Button #3. My buddy, I believe limps UTG and look down to QTs (clubs). Blinds are pretty big so I go ahead and push and I think only my buddy calls. To my dismay he turns over AA and I stand up getting ready to leave; but wait... the flop has 2 clubs on it so I have a slim chance. No club on the turn and an Ace on the river seals my fate... but wait again.. it was a club and his pocket aces that hit a set lost to a river flush so for the 3rd time and the final table, I got lucky (unlike the night before). I knock at the 4th place finisher and we are down to three which qualifies the top 3 to a month end tourney of champions where 1st place is 10K. Very nice. The bad thing is that it is on a Sunday morning so there is a chance that I may be a little late depending on how long church goes. A little more on this later.

We are down to the final 3 with my buddy still with a big lead. He probably had over 1/2 of the chips. The 3rd guy jokingly asked my buddy for an even chop. Again, you probably had to be there, but it was pretty funny. I ended up knocking out the other guy. I can't really remember the hand and the dream scenario ended up with me and my buddy making the final 2. We played for about 10 minutes and by this time were about even in chips. I then offered for us to chop it up 2 ways. He thought about and said... let's play for another 10 minutes and see what happens. 1st place paid close to $800 and second place about $550. We played break even for a little bit and we decided to chop it up. He ended up winning as we played pretty loose from there on out.. so he got around $700 and I got a little under $650 as we tried to compensate for the tax issue as Harrah's will send him a W2g on his 1st place winnings.

A kind of funny thing is that they wouldn't handle the chop and they watched us like hounds to make sure that we didn't split the chips. We had to cash out and then chop it up which of course is OK.

Back to the tournament of champions thing. I told them that I would be a little late and after a while they asked me why? When I told them that I go to church on Sunday mornings they thought I was a little crazy to do that instead of playing poker for a chance at $10,000. To me, it was really a no brainer. It is hard to explain to others, but God is really one of the top priorities in my life even though I fall short of His expectations all the time, I try to live up to those expectations. I made a comment about how money is temporary and stuff like that. I think they understood my position; but probably still thought I was a little crazy. Our church does have Saturday night church so I suppose I could go to that; but it just seems weird doing that so that I can play poker on Sunday. Anyway, they didn't have a problem with me coming a little late so that is what I am going to do. The tournament is on the 1st of July so we will see how it goes.

I'm off to another home game tonight where we just play a bunch of low limit SNGs. I'll have just as much fun doing that as anything else. It has definitely been a fun weekend up to this point.

Have a nice rest of the weekend!!!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Random Raises???

Did I ever mention that I am really slow at reading books. Well, I got a good start on Harrington on Hold'em Part I; but as usual, I have slowed down. I am determined to finish it up. One thing that he repeats over and over are about Raising; but as usual, I will get to that in a minute.

I, first, wanted to give you a line on my weekend. Weekend??? It's only Wednesday? OH, but it is Friday for me as I am taking off Thursday and Friday. So, what does the weekend look like?

Of course, Wed nights are made for the MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOKKKKKK . After a pretty good run in the blogger tournaments, I have found myself really impatient in these. In fact, Poker in general has taken a little hit. I have only played poker twice in the past 6 days which is extremely rare; but I am ready to get back into it.

Thursday is June 21st. Summer Solstice.. Longest day of the year.. etc, etc. This has always been a day that me and my brother go and play golf all day. There is a course that you can play all day for something like $30 (including cart). Now, it is not a championship course; but it is really nice and parts are pretty challenging and the scenery is very nice since it outside of St Louis (about 30 miles North of St Peters). We used to play as many holes as we could. In fact, one year we actually played 76 holes in one day. Yep, over 4 rounds of golf. We started pretty much straight up at 6AM and played until about 8:30PM. We could have gotten a few more holes in; but that would have put us pretty far away from clubhouse. Needless, to say we have never even gotten close to that record again. Usually, 54 is about the tops these days. Neither one of us get to play as much as we used to; but it is fun to get out there every once in a while.

Thursday night will be a home tourney. $30 buyin with about 25 - 30 people.

Friday.. Off to Harrah's for some Gambooling.. If any St Louis types are interested in the 1PM Harrahs tournament, let me know and we can meet up. I believe it is a $55 buyin (which already includes dealer toke). I'll be the guy with the khaki Texas Longhorn cap. I usually have my sunglasses on top so I should be pretty easy to spot.

Saturday.. Another Home tournament. Mostly low dollar SNGs; but will still be fun.

Sunday.. Weekly double header softball league.

Dream Weekend!!! I'm sure that it will be too short.

Now back to HOH.

One thing that he continually reiterates in the first half of the book is about randomizing your opening preflop bets. First, let's set some conditions. We are talking about Multi Table tournaments in its early to middle stages where you stack has plenty of play left in it.

Let's say that you get Pocket Queens in an early level of a tournament where most of the stacks are mostly even around avg stack. By the way, I'm not going to take any direct examples from the book. If you want that.... Go buy it . Anyway, he talks about open raising a certain percent of the time and calling the other percent. He has some pretty good ideas on how to figure that out that would be pretty "random".

I've always had a problem with this. In my mind, if you preflop raises are always the same regardless of what you are holding, nobody can ever put you on a hand. In an earlier post , I called it unpredictably predictable. In other words, if you hold AA or 87s, raise it up the same and nobody can ever know what you have; but I continue to think calling with QQ+AK+ is a huge mistake. I guess there are pretty many circumstances that would cause you to limp in with big hands such as an overly aggressive player or table where you can reasonably expect that there is going to be some raising. Maybe there are some short stacks that you can reasonably expect to push with a wide range.. Stuff like that; but I don't think that I could ever be convinced that NOT open raising with premium hands is the right play.

Another thing that he mentions is perhaps making your raises different amounts. For example, UTG you get KK and sometimes raise 4x the BB, sometimes 3x, sometimes 2x and sometimes limping. Yes, you may confuse others by doing this; but my contention is that if you raise whatever amount the same every time, then there is no way that they know what you have. I'm guess I'm just trying to see the point of why you would make your raises random.

Now, conversely, I think Random Calling/Re-raising makes a lot of sense. Again, based on your image, the image of others and perhaps stack sizes (depending on stage of tournament where stack sizes could be different) makes perfect sense to randomize / disguise your action after the pot has been opened.

Let me know what you think..

Have a good weekend!!!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


There are many things that I love such as Poker, a good movie, Dallas Cowboys winning football games and then there are many things that I despise such as bad beats, a bad movie and the Dallas Cowboys losing football games; but if there one thing that I could say that I really hate are hypocrites... or should I say hypocrisy in general. Saying one thing while you do the opposite just ain't right.

It just makes sense that you need to watch what you say to cover your own tracks.

Before I delve more into this, I want to first and foremost, Congrats are in order for the HoyMan for cashing in a 6 handed WSOP tourney. I was living the excitement through his words. My hands were sweating and the whole nine yards.

Speaking of HoyMan, one of his hands will be the subject of this here post.

I found it very ironical, funny (not funny haha; but funny peculiar), interesting and yes even hypocritical on one of his hands.

Let's go back to around April 10th where I wrote this post about my play in one of the MATH tournaments. The basic gist is that early in this deep stack tourney, I limp with JTs and call a raise out of position and get lucky on the flop and bust none other than Hoy himself when he pushed with ATs on a TJ7 flop. He of course went on a rant about my play.

Not to repeat everything that said there; but I realized when I made the call that it was a loose call and knew I had plenty of chips behind me (over 65BB) and could get away if need be. It is what it is and I don't have a problem with how I played it and probably would do the same given the same circumstances.

Anyway, I was reading Hoy's exciting recap of his great tourney run in the WSOP, I could not help but notice the following (taken from his blog )

"Nonetheless, when I had been at this new table for maybe just 15 minutes, nearing the end of hour 3 of the tournament, I raised preflop from the cutoff with JTs in diamonds, and everyone folded to the big stack guy in the big blind, who raised me about 2.5x the size of my raise. If it had been against anyone else, I am probably folding here, but against the only other big stack I could see, I decided to play the deep stacks and take a chance with a call, reminding myself not to do anything crazy with this flop unless it hit me good with either two pairs or a primary draw"

The last sentence bears repeating... "I decided to play the deep stacks and take a chance with a call, reminding myself not to do anything crazy with this flop unless it hit me good with either two pairs or a primary draw".

Hmmmmmm... sounds very familiar... funny how that call works for him but is uber-donkish when other people do it to him. Yes, there are subtle differences as far as position goes and reads.. yadiyadiya... We are still more or less comparing apples to apples here.

Then last night when I was railing a little bit of the MATH and the other wonka was building a stack and Hoy asked him which wonka he was... the A3 or the JT one... Very funny that he still does remember the hand. BTW, congrats to wwonka69 for his 2nd place finish. I'm happy to see that one of the wonkas did well. I ended up push AK thinking the cmitch was weak ; but he called with his pocket 7s and that was that. Bad Read...

So back to Hoy's JTs. Let me the first to say or most likely the 30th to say that I'm glad that it worked out for him as well as he was able to take out a deep stack or severely cripple him (I can't remember). It just goes to show you that you make your calls and live with them. Sometimes that work out great as they did from him in the tourney and for me in the MATH in April. Sometimes they don't. Just don't beat up others because you lose. Although, truthfully, I hope he continues to do it as they are most enjoyable to read.

I never took it personally and really enjoyed the exchanges afterwards. I heard from a few other accomplished MTTers that said it was a loose call and kind of bad limp to begin with and I appreciated them all. I'm here to learn. limping for 40 chips with a stack of nearly 3K is worth the risk to me as was calling an additional 200 OOP. It was my feeling and read at the time and I went with it.

BTW, I just realized that Hoy stole a little of my thunder as he also mentioned the comparison of the hand we had vs the hand he had in the WSOP. Oh well. That's blogging.

Have a nice day

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Bubble Boy Minus One

Well, it was Wednesday night last night so what does that mean....


Another final table and another suckout..

I had a work deal so I almost didn't make it. I made it with 3 minutes to go; but I did not get back to the computer for about 5 minutes. Let's just say that I got back right at the right time. I had lost one set of blinds so people obviously knew that I was gone... or did they.

I am in the Big Blind and BobRespert is in the SB and it is folded to him... Hmmm.. I guess that didn't know that I was gone. I did only miss 9 hands so it makes sense that they did not notice. Anyway, I have K5 of diamonds. Let's test out the waters to see if they do think that I'm gone (although it is fairly obvious that they don't). I raise it to 100 and I get called.

Flop comes 4h2d3d. Wow... couldn't really have asked for a better flop. I bet 150 into the 200 pot and get called again. OK.. Now I might need to hit my hand before I fire another bullet. Turn card is a nice 6d. I'm still betting here; but only bet 1/2 pot of 250. The intention here is to keep betting; but make it look more like a probing type bet. This time I get raised to 750. Obviously, there are only a few things that I'm afraid of such the nut flush.. straight flush or maybe a set with a redraw to a boat; but my old saying is to "never fear the monster" so I just call and hope that he will push the river. The River card comes 2h which of course alarms me to the possible boat. Bob does push in his remaining 635 which does have me covered; but I'm obviously not folding now. He shows a straight with T5 and I double up. Nice!!!

Nothing happens for a long time and I finally get Pocket Aces and a short stacked ScurvyDog pushes with QQ. I, of course, call. BTW, Scurvy had just had his QQ cracked by a lower pair a few hands earlier and got AA in BB but nobody challenged him. He says... "One of those nights". Well, a bar karmic move by me... before I call, I say... "one of those nights" and call with my AA. Q on the flop sealed my fate and Scurvy is back in business.

51 Players started this player shortened tourney as many are on their way to Vegas. I wish them all well. I pretty much hung around the top 10 for most of the tourney; but as we approached the final table, I went totally card dead. We make it to the final table and I believe I am in 6th or 7th. I, again, resign myself to play pretty tight as I would like to make the money one of these times. 6 people paid.

Well, we get to the bubble and I that I can think is don't bubble again. There were only a couple of us that were in danger as my chips leaked, and leaked as I folded and folded. It got to the point where I had to try and steal blinds and luckily, I was successful every time.

Well, finally the Bubble burst and I was not the victim. This time in was pushmonkey72 when his KK lost to AK on an interesting JAQ flop.. No T or K and he was out. A collective sigh or relief from myself and NumbersGame.

I continue to fold and finally get AJo UTG and take down the blinds.. Next AK. This time meanhappyguy puts in a typical Blind Steal as he has been raising a bunch as the chip leader... including going all in 7 times in a row. The 7th one was the unfortunately one for PushMonkey. Anyway, drmindbendr calls from the SB. Now, I started the hand with 4824 and the blinds were 250/500 with antes of 50 so I don't have too much time. I breifly thought a stop and go; but that doesn't work very well from the BB some time so I push my AK. Meanhappy calls it a squeeze play (which I guess it was kind of) and folded. Truthfully, I was hoping for another fold as AK has been my Achilles heal late in tournaments. Well, he called and turned over A7 of hearts so I'm hoping that I am good shape.

An awful flop of 3c9h9s giving him some outs to a chop and sure enough the 3h comes on the turn now giving some flush outs. I was of course wishing for the chop; but it never came as the ugly 7 showed up its head and I am out on the Bubble Minus One.

This is obviously better than bubbling; but wow, that is two tournaments in a row that I final tabled and the cards were against me. What can you do... That's poker.

Congrats to doogman77 playing in his first Mook and taking it down.

I did play a few SNGs going a disappointing 1 for 4 only garnering 1 3rd place finish. Again, the bad beats were a plenty. (not just on final hands seen below)

1. 5th - Just short stacked and pushed with A7 only to get called by AK and AT... Ooops
2. 7th - AK lost to K8 on a K68 flop
3. 3rd - QTs lost to J7o on a river J
4. 5th - No cards ... finally pushing K4 into AQ... Ooops..

That drops my SNG ROI to a paltry 5.99%. You think I would learn by now not to mention that things are going pretty well. Well, now I can say that they are not and maybe I will have some reverse fortune.

I'm trying to get FTP bankroll to $400 to start playing $10 or $11 turbos. I can't remember which. I have a ways to go.

Have a good day!!!!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Bubble Boy!!!

I did something last night that I rarely do. I just played one table at a time. It was kind of refreshing just to pay attention to one table. I actually did some chatting which I normally never have time to. First, I played a HU SNG to win my token into the Hoy.

Of course, I'm speaking of the Mondays at the Hoy . Things went swell for me early on. AK was nemesis the other day, it was my savior at the MATH... at least early on as I went 5 to 5. The only problem was that I never went to showdown with it. I even hit the flop playing a variety of ways.. re-raising... cold-calling and open raising... I did try limping one time (the 6th time). Flopped a Gut shot on a QQT; but the host himself bet out and I wasn't getting good enough odds to draw to the inside straight.

That was a common theme. Not going to showdown. Would you believe that out of the 244 hands that I played, only 7 of them went to showdown? That's about 3%. That seems really low to me. And not that I was playing overly tight.. At least in my opinion. I was seeing about 18% of flops and preflop raising about 13%. All that seems normal. I mixed things up and bet draws, played fast and slow on flops that hit me. I just didn't get any action. The bad news is that I only won 37.5% of them. A few of them really hurt.

About midway, I did win a hand that went to showdown against Garthmeister's steal attempt when his T9s lost to my pocket 9s. Things continued to go well and when we got to the final table, it looked something like this.

Buddy Dank 28K
Willwonka 23K
NewinNov 21K
VinNay 21K
Mtnrider81 15K
Patchmaster 14K
HighOnPoker 11K
Hoy 10K
PushMonkey72 9K

I kind of resigned myself to playing tight until we got to the money. Sometimes, I wish I would listen to myself. About 2 hands into the final table, I pick up pkt 4s in MP. Blinds are 600/1200 with 150 antes. I raise to 3,750 of course just wanting to pick up the blinds. It folds around to Hoy who thinks for awhile from the button and pushes his remain 9.4K remaining chips.

Sidebar... Hoy must think that he Chris Ferguson as he often takes a lot of time to make his move whether it be Fold, Call or Raise. Maybe he is playing some cash games while playing the Hoy... nope.. just the one table.. at least at FTP at the time that I looked. Not that it bothers me (too much ;-); but for crying out loud... Chris Ferguson he is not.

Back to the hand. Now we have heard many a time that Hoy never makes moves and blah blah. Well, his all in was A9o... which last time I checked was even worse that JackAce. Getting almost 3 to 1 and knowing that you have to win a race or two, I called and lost the race when the 9 came on the turn.

That immediately brought me to 3rd to last place and now I know that I will be fighting to make it to the money.

Sidebar 2.... I know you need to get lucky and Hoy, himself got lucky early on as his hammer outflopped ChapelncHills AJs. so call it what you want; but you got lucky. Of course CH only limped with this AJs and allowed Hoy to see the flop for free since he was in the BB.... oh wait, no.. Hoy raised it from the BB. It is what it is. He is obviously going to play this hand. Best of luck to you; but I'm in the camp with many others that the hammer is a little outdated; but on the other hand, you need to bluff a little in these things to win and it might as well be 72o.

One hand that would have been lucky for me was Presto... I raise from EP.. cause you know.. 55 is gold. two callers (oossuuu754 and J from HOP).. flop comes A34. oossuuu checked and I wimped out as well.. Mr HOP did not and led out with a pot sized bet and then Mr OSU went all in so I obviously had to fold... needless to say the 2 came on the river and presto is gold, indeed. That would have put me in 2nd place about mid way through. Oh well..

Back to the final table. We lost two players and we are down to the bubble. I'm sitting at 10K and the big shortstack at table. I'm on the button and I look down and find an OK hand... K9 off. Blinds are 800 and 1600 with a 200 ante. It is folded around to me and I paused a couple of seconds.. why, I don't know (Chris Ferguson, I am not) and I moved all of my chips into the middle. Hoy in the BB doesn't wait until the 15 second warning and calls with KT and my night is over... but wait... Flop comes 9KQ. I've flopped 2 pair... Turn is a meaningless 3... River.. A crushing J to give Hoy a 4 card straight. The old suck, resuck.... which... you know... sucks. So I am out on the bubble... and yes Hoy, got lucky again... He won his races.. he got his good flops and got the river cards when he needed them. Lord knows, he has been on the other side of this so maybe it is Justice. I just wish it wouldn't have been at my expense.

BTW, he ended up 2nd so congrats to Hoy and congrats to VinNay for taking it down.

That's Poker..

UPDATE: BTW, speaking of suck, resucking. I had a little discussion with my brother yesterday whether or not resucking is considered a bad beat. His contention is that if you get all you chips in the middle as a favorite and win, that it is not a bad bead regardless of how the board has been prior to the river card. For example, in the WPT when Joe Hachem had QQ for AQ and an Ace came on Turn but his one outer Queen came on the river. My feelings is that when anybody lays a one outer on you, it is a bad beat. Similarly, when Hoy got his straight on the river, I consider that a bad beat. So, maybe the question is... can you have 2 bad beats in the same hand. I guess I'm saying that you can. What do you think?

Have a Nice Day!!!!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

That just my opinion, I may be wrong

UPDATED... Since this was a post about opinions, I just heard about this and wanted to throw two cents in. First, read the post by Richard "The Quiet Lion" Brodie. This has to top the list of the most ignorant things I have ever heard. Basically, RB was banned from all (yes All) Harrah's properties. That is Harrah's, Ceasers, all other states... and yes the Rio. So what does that mean. No WSOP for one of the "good" guys of poker. He must have done something really bad to deserve this and he did. He won at Video Poker. Unbelievable!!!! A game that has a built in house advantage. The only other game he plays is.... Poker... I am absoultely stunned at this and wanted to make sure I did my part about getting the word out. I'm not sure what can be done about it. Just publicize it, I guess.

I usually don't go off on opinions on people or things here; but what the heck. A couple of things that have crossed my mind in the past few days.

But, as usual, more on that later.

This is a poker blog so let me talk poker a little bit. I had a Tier-2 token and I decided to use it this weekend as I probably won't be able to use it in "The Big Game" as I play softball on Sunday nights. Anyway, it was the 11PM Central one which I don't remember the guarantee; but it didn't matter as I don't think that there was any overlay anyway.

I ran about average for the most part which isn't unusual for me. Anyway 354 people started this $75 buyin tourney and we are down to about 70 and I get KK. Two all-ins before and I was more than happy to call with my Cowboys. Even happier when they turned over A4o and JJ. My elation was flattened a bit when the flop went 537 and turn 6 to give A4 his straight; but at least I had him covered and would win a small side pot; but the J on the river sent me packing.

That pot obviously puts me squarely in the top 10 and looking good; instead, I'm out around 70th where 36 pay. Again, I will say it, you just have to be Lucky to go deep in these things and yes, the luck means mostly your big hands holding up. Oh well, what can you do. It's poker.

SNGs for the month having been going good with 47.62% ITM and 30.55 ROI but could be a lot better. A big difference so far is that my hands aren't holding up and I'm about even as far as the counts of 1sts, 2nds and 3rds. Case in point... my last SNG that I played we got down to HU and I have 11K to 2K lead. Lose about a 60-40 fav with K5 vs J8, Lose a race with AKs vs 55, fold to his all in (I had 62), then lose a race with TT vs AQ and I'm out in about 6 hands. All weekend, AK was my nemesis. I lost at last 4 times with it when I was dominating to AQ (twice), KQ and AT not to mention races that I lost with it. Brutal.

I'm about 1/2 way through HOH vol 1. Hope to have something in the next few days.


I was reading in our local paper's sports page. Somebody had an article more or less about being an ambassador for your sport. The gist of it was that he was comparing Michael Vick to LeBron James and pointing out how they are going in opposite directions. I don't think that is too hard to agree with him. He went on to say that LeBron is probably the most popular and visible player in all of sports. Oops.. While, LeBron has vaulted up to the elite, he has not reached the top. I'm not sure who it might be; but certainly, Tiger Woods might have something to say about that; but that's OK, it wasn't too far off.

Watching LeBron over these past couple of years and so far culminating to the NBA finals has been kind of fun to watch and I definitely am not a NBA fan. And it just more than him athletically. They guy just seems to be a genuinely good guy and it is quite refreshing to see (especially in the NBA). I wish him well against the Spurs. I will be pulling for them. I do really like Tim Duncan; but the rest of the Spurs don't do anything for me.. plus they have their championships.

Now, Michael Vick. I might have said the same thing a few years ago about him. At least the special part about watching him. Off the field seems to be a different story. On to the dog fighting. While I am 100% against this and realize that this is a felony, I just don't get it. Somehow, it is OK to go hunt and shoot birds, deer and whatever else that people hunt. It's OK for two humans to get into a ring and box and now with this UFC stuff even more than that. Other than one being illegal, I would love for somebody to tell me the difference. In my mind, it is kind of like alcohol vs pot. More or less the same thing; but one is illegal.

Anyway, I hope Michael and other pro athletes get their act together. I know, pipe dreams.

Kind of funny, related thing. I mentioned to Mrs Wonka about the writer saying that LeBron was the most visible and popular athlete today and... actually, I asked her who she thought might fit this description. After a pause and some thought, she came up with...... Barry Bonds... I just said, I don't know why I try to talk sports to you. Again, taking nothing away from Barry's accomplishments, the guy is about as unpopular as you get except for maybe in the Bay area.

Now, that article got me to thinking about poker. I recently watched two shows this week. One was the latest World Poker Tour event and was a replay of the 2005 WSOP Main Event final table but they had Joe Hachem and Steve Dannemann narrating. I love it when they do that to get their perspective during the game. One of those two guys came as totally refreshing and the other guy rubbed me the wrong way which was confirmed during the WPT event. Of course, Steve Dannemann was the refreshing one. Joe just seems overly cocky to me. While he has been an OK guy in relation to representing poker. In other words, he is no Mike Matusaw or Phil Hellmuth; but again, he just rubs me the wrong way.

One thing that got to me was the during the WPT event. He had QQ vs somebody's AQ. Flop was nothing; but an Ace came on the turn. He totally went off and was just like.. hey I'm Joe Hachem... that shouldn't happen to me... Well, of course he gets his one outer on the River and just starts jumping and yelling like a teenaged school girl. Let's have a little compassion for laying a bad beat on somebody. Also, he got bluffed off a pot and again... it's like... do you know who I am.. I am Joe Hachem... WSOP champ. Well, Joe, just play cards.

To me, Greg Raymer was and is a much better ambassador for poker. That is probably why he is my favorite poker (or least tournament) player. Daniel Negreanu is also one of my favorites.

So there you have it. As Dennis Miller always said. That was just my opinion, I may be wrong.

Have a good day!!
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