Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Posted by Johnnymac 12:10 PM
I just "officially" filled seat #50 for the tourney, so we are now starting a waiting list. The 50th player is net of the two people who have dropped out over the past couple days, so it is likely that at least one or two more seats will open before Sunday (or simply just not show up). Email me if you want on the waiting list - at this point you would probably still have a good chance to play if you are at the top of the waiting list.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Posted by Johnnymac 11:53 AM
The promised email went out last night. After checking my list there are still 4 open spots left. Email me if you want one.

Also, if any of you are playing and know someone who might want to show up and play, bring'em along. I am fairly certain we will have 2-3 no shows and thus they might get to play. All extras will be first-come-first-served, although once the last 4 seats are taken I will be starting a waiting list with the same rules as being registered - show up on time and any open seats will be filled in order of the list.

Finally, I think we are all set with chips and tables, but are still looking for a few more chairs. If you have some we could borrow, we would be quite grateful.

UPDATE (7:05pm): spots 47 and 48 are now taken... two spots left

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Monday, November 28, 2005

Posted by Padilla 4:40 PM
When playing in this weekends tourney, remember this………….

One of my worst leaks in NL tourneys is over-raising pre-flop in early or mid position.

When I’m dealt K-Q suited, middle pairs, or similar teasers, I’d like to win with them, but I don’t need much of a pot to keep me happy. I also don’t want much resistance, as I know these hands are junk when there are multiple players yet to act, and my subsequent poor position post-flop.

Though I recognize the danger, I can’t bring myself to fold these hands in most spots. The reward is too high when they hit, if played correctly, to continually let these hands go every time. (maximizing profits is another topic)

When you play vulnerable hands from middle or early position you’re usually the first in the pot, so you raise. (don’t we always open raise in NL??) The size of the raise is what’s getting me in trouble. A minimum raise invites others into the pot that may sense a multi-way pot growing. When my K-Q sees a K-7-8 flop with 2 to a suit, I know I’m not very strong against 4 other players. Raising the standard 3 or 3.5 times would be sufficient, but could appear to be a steal since I’m the first one in. So I over-raise. This induces a bluffer in better position to come at me with an all-in, wasting unnecessary chips. Obviously, limping might induce a bluff-for-information from a late position player.

Notice that you can always find fault with your hand, but deciphering between bad hands and bad position/bad play is what’s important here. Let’s look at the positives now.

Your middle set will be well disguised. Barring straight or flush DRAWS, you wouldn’t mind seeing 2 overcards accompanying your bottom set. You’ll probably get your money all-in post-flop against 2-pair, or even better, top-pair Ace kicker. Likewise, you’ll recognize the same play when you hit 2-pair. You might be able to check the flop through if you miss or flop a strong draw, as the pre-flop raise may plant the idea that you just hit a monster and are planning a check-raise. Getting all the way through is unlikely, but you shouldn’t bluff a multi-way field, so you may be done with the hand.

Personal Solution: Stick to a standard raise, let your opponents figure out when you’re stretching and when you’ve got the goods, and learn to fold attractive hands. Also, note your opponent’s tendencies to allow or disallow you to sneak into pots without pounding you back. Getting re-raised over and over in poor position will drastically cut down on your tournament lifespan.

Note: Folding is not a bad option here if the re-raise to you is too high to call. This shows weakness, and you can use that to your advantage later by making the same play with big pocket pairs.

Note: It’s usually someone else raising you the 2nd time around. The first guy that re-raised you out of the pot won’t be so inclined to do it with junk, fearing retaliation, so if he comes at you again, he may have something. But the idiot that saw him do it, and thinks it will work every time is the guy you want to re-raise all in if the pot odds do not have him committed. You don’t want him shrugging his shoulders saying “you caught me, but I have to call”, to find out he’s ahead of you with just an Ace.

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Posted by Johnnymac 3:50 PM
The tournament is now very close to full - I have received a handfull of entries today at work but my list is at home so I cannot say for sure if there is any room left. About half of those entries are prepaid.

I will be sending out an email tonight with the tournament location and instructions for getting registered on Sunday. Basically, now that we have reached the limit, anyone whose name is on the list and is unpaid has a seat until 1:30 pm on Sunday, at which time any extras can take their seat if they don't show up by the start time. Alternatively, everyone who has prepaid is guaranteed their seat, even after the tournament time.

The email will be out tonight.

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Sunday, November 27, 2005

Posted by Dr Fro 8:05 PM
Junell, you are still as famous as ever for your tables.

Your poker tournament is also out there on the net. (click on link and ctrl-f for 'Waring Poker Tour").

I wish I could be you.

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Saturday, November 26, 2005

Posted by Dr Fro 3:32 PM
Last night I played 4 hours of poker at Jackie's. I bought in for $300, had a high water mark of $540, cashed out at $330. I have to say that I am proud of myself for cashing out because a year ago I would have played until I lost it all. I can leave a winner now, and I like that, even when it isn't much of a winner.

The key hand was one where I was heads-up against a guy that I had quite a read on. He had played lots of hands and always aggressively. He raised pre-flop 6x the BB, which I had seen him do with 33 through 88. The one time he had Aces, he raised 3x the BB. So, I thought I was up against 88 or worse. I had 9hTh on the button. You may question why I called, but I was so confident that I knew what he had, I was certain that I could call with anything at all. The flop brought an Ace, 2 hearts and a little bit of betting. On the turn, a 9 came giving me a pair and a draw to the flush. Since I thought he had 88 or worse. I considered myself to be ahead. So, when he bet $210 into a $120 pot, I was certain he was trying to run me off. I called anc caught a third 9 on the river. He showed A8.

The table went apeshit, saying that I was lucky, blah, blah, blah. "You hit a 2-outer!" one guy said. I disagreed with everybody's analysis at the table, as it failed to consider any of the below:
1. Nobody mentioned that I had a flush draw too, 9 outs.
2. Nobody mentioned that in addition to the two 9's, there were three 10's in the deck that would help me.
3. Nobody mentioned that I was on the button, a very nice place to be when heads-up.
4. Nobody mentioned the fact that he was seeing 90% of the flops and raising every time.
5. Nobody mentioned that he raised 6x the BB with only A8, a horrible play.
6. Nobody mentioned that he bet almost twice the pot, a fairly good indicator that he is bluffing. A pot-sized bet would be more appropriate for pairing the Ace.

The above should have been obvious to them, but the final part of the analysis was my biggest reason for calling:

7. I thought he had a baby pair, so I thought I was actually ahead. Of course, it turns out that I was wrong about that!

Here's a little something for your Christmas list. I heard KTL has already made his order.
Did anybody catch the WSOP episode where Raymer got eliminated? I have a lot of respect for him. Obviously the results speak for themselves, but it is also clear from interviews as well as his table chatter that he knows what he is doing. That said, I was surprised that he told his opponent that "he was worried about quad Kings." I guess that should be taken to mean he boated up, but it also tells his opponent that he didn't have a king. It seemed not only unnecessary to say anything, it appeared to me that it was instrumental to his opponent's call, which knocked Raymer out.

Some college football notes:

1. The announcers tried to pretend that the fans at Folsom Field throwing crap on the field were outliers. This is untrue. Colorado fans, particularly their students, are the worst fans in the Big 12. If I had a penny for every story I have heard about a Colorado fan being violent or throwing things, I'd be a rich man.

2. When things get really bad in College Station, the shit hits the fans. There was an artist's rendition of it on Hornfans:

And since these pictures are on the internet, they must be true. (sorry, KTL & Padilla! )

3. Colorado tried their best to avoid the Longhorns in Houston, but Fatty McFatpants managed to beat ISU and send CU. Archie Manning said it best, "Colorado shouldn't go. If the Big XII North sent an all-star team to Houston, UT still would win.

4. Mark May used to really bug me, but I have actually come around on him. I think that sitting next to Assclown Alberts made him stupid by osmosis. Evidently sitting next to Lou Holtz had the opposite effect.

5. Stanford plays their last game at Stanford Stadium today. That is sad. Not only is it an excellent venue, it is where Jane agreed to marry me. (I proposed the night before and she said that she would only if we won the following night. We lost, but she agreed anyway.)

6. If you Tivo'd the UT - A&M game, rewind to shortly after the final 4th down of A&M's. There will be a long part where the camera is on VY and then it quickly goes to the UT cheerleaders for about 2 seconds. I won't ruin it for you, but trust me, you will pitch tent.
7. If you are going to the Big XII Championship and want to tailgate with us, comment below.
We had a great vacation. I netted about +$1,000 in 3 trips to the casinos. Oh yeah, we also saw a lot of old stuff. The highlight was seeing Don Giovanni (Mozart) in Prague, where it premiered. I also finally finished my book, The Prize, which may be the best book I have ever read.


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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Posted by Johnnymac 3:39 PM
Indisputable evidence that the Henderson actually crossed the goal line in Tech's win over OU on Saturday:

Via Hornfans... and before that, I have no idea.

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Posted by Johnnymac 6:16 AM
I played in a zero buyin poker tournament last night thrown by some brokers in our market as a "business function". There were 40-something guys playing in a tourney that was supposed to last 3 hours and the blind structure reflected it. This was good, because lately I have been wanting to try and be a little more aggressive in the opening early rounds of tournaments after reading this article and I figured last night was going to be a good opportunity to give it a try - at least it was going to cost me anything. Now, that's what I wanted to do, but it really didn't work out because after 33 minutes of glory I ended up being the 3rd one eliminated in the tournament.

In the two hands that took all of my chips, I made big preflop raises with AQ and AK, respectively, caught an Ace on the flop both times, and then lost each hand when the guys who called the big preflop raises and big flop-bets their Ace-crappy kickers paired their crappy kickers on the turn. Oops.

I would have at least doubled up if not more. But hell, it was free, and they had food and free beer.

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

Posted by Dr Fro 6:29 AM
Stacks and stacks of Czechs I can't even see over

Two nights after I won $550, I got even drunker and went back to the casino. On one spin of the wheel (it hit 23), I won $680 more.

Gotta go, headed to Vienna...

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Thursday, November 17, 2005

Posted by Junelli 12:57 PM
This is pretty funny post from Negreanu's blog.


"Murphy's Law"
by Daniel Negreanu

Now, since I have been playing in the Superstars III all week it's been difficult to write a blog without revealing any information as to who won, etc. so I just decided not to write one for a while.

I did have a brutal day yesterday, though, when my trusty Treo 650 got picked up. It could have been a mistake, but somebody definitely took it otherwise we would have found it.

Losing the phone itself isn't that big a deal, especially since you can back up all of your information on your computer. Unless of course, you are an idiot who never bothers to back up his information! That'd be me.

When I got home, I tried logging on to my laptop. I had a guy come out and look at it recently because the fan just wouldn't turn off. He just said there was nothing you could really do about it, followed by, "That'll be $88 please."

Well when I went to log on, I couldn't even turn it on. Apparently, the mother board was totally fried. So now I'm sittin' there with no phone, all my information was gone, and my laptop was fried along with all the info I had saved on it.

Trying to change my procrastinating ways, I decided to go replace my phone immediately once I realized it wasn't going to be found. I headed to Sprint and got a brand new Treo 650.

When I asked the sales rep how long it would take she said, "within two hours." It felt like things were turning around when the phone was working instantly. Sweet.

My next stop was Best Buy to pick up another laptop. I don't know a ton about laptops so when I got to the computer section I asked the sales rep, "Hey there, I'm looking for a laptop. I am looking for the 'kick ass model?"

The guy kinda looked at me funny, but then directed me over to the SLG GHB 400 XLP 680 Turbo PCP Windows modem Vaio 340kp. It did this, and that, and some other stuff, but one thing I noticed was that it didn't have the CP L 460 GH gigabyte addition which is supposed to be able to cook you breakfast and acts as a humidifier also.

So I buy that laptop when he offers me the super, deluxe, Best Buy special, primo lap top deluxe edition package which would install Norton, Ralph, Fireflies, Jitterbug removers and all.

That was going to take an hour so I decided to cheer myself up after a horrible day. I headed over the home theater section and started looking at some of the home theaters that might make sense for me.

So again, I asked the sales rep, "Do you have the GHB XLR PCP CSP 720 Kick ass big screens available?"

He showed me what they had and I didn't understand a word he said. There wasn't a complete sentence to be found.

He says to me, "You can add the sub woofers to the HP's and download the RPY's to the exit engine of the flux capacitor. If you hook that up to a Wondoni XL 360 version turbo charged pixilated THX version you'll have 45 rams of gig in your home that'll desensitize the power of the AB cables that you'll need to connect to the PLS 46894 series 3 model amplifier... you get all that?"

"Sure, sure, that's exactly what I was looking for- the kick ass model." I replied.

So these dudes hook me up with a home theater that totally rocks. It set me back a pretty penny, but I was in a bad mood so I found a way to justify spending $22,000 on a TV with the surround sound package.

I ended up spending almost two hours at Best Buy hanging out on the couch talking to the crew there while I waited. They all played poker and are trying to build up a bankroll so they can get out selling XL PR 340's to people all day, you know what I mean.

I also ended up talking to a cop for a while. He was there putting a criminal in jail (no, not me). Some guy came in there with fake ID and was trying to pass a phony check.

The cop seemed like a really nice guy and complimented me (I think), by saying, "It's nice to see you don't dress like a rich guy." Is that a compliment? I'm not really sure, lol.

I was wearing jeans and a "Life of Sports" T-Shirt that Chris from sent me.

Anyway, the cop and I talked poker, taxes, rich people, and thugs. We then talked about the area that I live in. It's time for a move and I already knew that. More and more robberies are happening in my area and while it's a nice place to live, I plan on moving shortly to a much safer area. With Lori to think about, I don't want anything to happen while she’s at home.

So that was just one day, and I've spent a lot more time recently playing video games. I do that when I want to unplug from the world. I don't want to think about anything important, I just want to make my mind numb.

NBA Live 2005 has been the game of choice, and I pretty much suck at it. I was really good at NBA 2K3, but this game is totally different.

Aside from that, well, I played in the Poker Superstars but I can't tell you what happened there (sorry).

The plan for this week is undetermined. I have a few things on the schedule,, but I'm considering moving those things out of the way so that I can play in the upcoming circuit event. I'm playing a mean game of no limit right now and am pretty hungry to play more.

I'm seeing things so clearly now, and feel like I'm playing "above the rim."

If I don't play in that tournament, it's going to be a while till I play any poker at all. I'm headed east to Grand Rapids for Thanksgiving, and then will be spending a couple weeks in Toronto to spend time with my mother and also do some media related things there.

Oh, and one more friendly reminder to those that may have missed it. If you are a regular reader of this blog, or just an FCPer at heart, you'll definitely want to sign up to be a charter member. You can sign up right on the front page of until November 30th. After that, no new charter members will be accepted.

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Posted by Junelli 11:15 AM
Rumors of my death have been exaggerated. I haven't been inspired to write any posts lately. I've been playing as much as usual, but haven't come up with any good stories. Here's some updates:


Last night Camp Bailey called me from Las Vegas. He was about to sit down in a WSOP Circuit tournament. The buy-in was $225 and I think there were about 180 players. Camp was on the lifeline early, but ran into some key hands to keep him alive. He ended up finishing 14th place and won about $400.


Last week I donked off a big profit in a $6-$6 NL game. I had played great all night and should've left before the game got out of control. At about 3am several people left and we were 5 handed. All the players were good, and all had big chip stacks (>$1,000). The betting became very wild and the pots were enormous (much bigger than they had been all night). I got caught up in the action and wasn't thinking rationally.

On the button I get AcKc. I make it $100 to go before the flop (somehwat common raise). Jeb Hutton is the only caller (from the BB). Jeb is a good player. He's aggressive and tricky. I have a hard time putting him on a hand (previous he had raised a 5-way pot preflop to $300 with 57o).

Jeb calls my $100 and we see a flop of Jc 2c 8h. I have the nut flush draw and 2 overs. When Jeb checks to me, I bet $500 into a pot of $250. I made the bet expecting to pick up the pot right there. It was a nice semi-bluff: I didn't have a hand yet, but didn't necessarily mind a call because my hand stood a good chance of improving. Also, I was likely going to get a free card on the turn if I wanted it.

He quickly calls me, and the turn is a Qs, another good card. I now have the nut flush draw, nut straight draw, and 2 overs. When he checks to me, I decide not to take the free card, and I move all-in for $460. There is a chance I'll pick up the pot right there, but even if he calls, I have an enormous draw.

He immediately calls and turns over 26o. Duece-Six offsuit??? What the ****?? He has bottom pair, no kicker and no draw. He called $1,050 because "he put me on AK". Sick!

No matter: I have 18 outs straight up, and that's a huge draw. I can win with any Ten; any King; any Ace; or any club.

Of course, the river is a blank. Why should I expect anything different?? I never (and I mean never) get to enjoy putting a bad beat on people. They just don't hit for me the way they do for some people.

Dimitri can catch a 4 outer and win $12,000, but I can't catch an 18 outer to win $2,100. Poker is a cruel game.


Lately I haven't been doing too well on Party Poker, so I decided a change of scenery was in order. I opened up an account at Poker Stars, because everyone I talk to seems to be playing there.

I have to say that I like Stars better than Party. The tournaments are structured much better: You start with 1,500 TC, instead of Party's 800 or 1,000. The 1 table SNG blinds go up every 10 minutes instead of every 10 hands. Most other tournaments are 15 minute blinds. Most tournament tables are 9-handed.

I also like the fact that people have unique avatars (pictures) by their name. Sometimes it provides some useful information about the player, but mostly it helps me remember them if I play against them later on.

Although Stars is a very big site (2nd behind Party), it has a small feel to it. I have bumped into the same players on more than one occasion (even in different games). I also played with Yonny Demeris (from Demeris BBQ) the other night at a $1-$2 NL table.

Finally, I have been winning over here. I deposited $100 on Tuesday, and have played several tournaments and mostly $1-$2 NL 6-handed tables. I am up over $900 in 3 days.

I still like Party Poker, but if you're looking for a change, Poker Stars is a good site.


Tomorrow I'm playing $6-$6 NL again. Look for a report next week.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Posted by Dr Fro 11:03 AM
It IS Gambling!

My second night in Prague I was overserved by the restaurant as well as the lobby bar as well as the casino in the hotel. When I am very very very drunk and in a casino I have absolutely no inhibitions. I will gladly throw out bets >$100 as if it is $1. This was one of those nights.

When playing roulette in Prague, it is hard to keep up with how you are doing. First you have a combination of roullette color chips and regular casino chips. You have to translate those into one denomination, which you translate into Czech crowns, which you translate to US$ at a rate of 24:1. Of course, with large bets being won and lost, it is a moving target. And, of course, the drinking hleps nothing.

I think that at one point, I was up over $800. I cashed out at 2:30 a.m. up $550. I felt like ass at work the next day, but everytime I felt that wad of cash in my pocket I cheered up. With pints of beer running around $1 each, I can actually afford to buy a beer for every single member of the conference. Not that I will.

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Posted by Dr Fro 11:01 AM
I updated the list for those that have signed-up / paid. I'll do another update tomorrow and then will be away from the PC for a while.

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Posted by Johnnymac 10:21 AM
There are still ~ 10 spots left in the tournament, about half of the 40 claimed spots are already paid.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Posted by Johnnymac 12:29 PM
Many of you guys know that I am not a particularly big fan of state-organized gambling, but am I missing something with tonight's $310 million jackpot?

With the addition of California's 35 million population base to the Mega Millions game, the participating states have voted to change the matrix of the game from 5 of 52 and 1 of 52 to 5 of 56 and 1 of 46. This will change the odds of winning the grand prize from approximately 1 in 135 million to 1 in 176 million. The overall odds of winning any prize will be approximately 1 in 40.

Maybe I should buy a ticket for once.

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Posted by Johnnymac 8:55 AM
So in the latest episode of my inept, yet sometimes butt-lucky, football handicapping, I was sweating the Cowboys +2.5 last night and was having a miserable time. I finally decided to give up after they yet again went 3 and out with about 9 minutes left in the 4th quarter and I went and climbed into bed with Mrs Johnnymac. Then, after laying there for about 15 minutes, I decided that I needed to go to the bathroom and as I was walking in the hallway I figured I might as well check on the score. Just I was turning on the TV, Marion Barber was running out of bounds at the 24 yard line.

"Holy Sh*t!" I think to myself.

The very next play, Terry Glenn scores a touchdown. Then there is a kickoff (I was surprised there was no onside kick) and then on the next play there was this:

Mrs Johnnymac was a little annoyed with the noise I made, but can you blame me?

UPDATE: I didn't catch it, but did Al Michaels make one of his typical enigmatic allusions to the point spread when it flipped? I know that I was thinking to myself that the people who hung tight at MGM or Bellagio or Mirage were probably going nuts. Wow.

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Sunday, November 13, 2005

Posted by Johnnymac 11:49 AM
1.) The tourney is up to 36 entries, 9 paid. Tenacious is in, but I think he will be going by his real name at the tourney.

2.) If you live in Houston and want a cool idea for a cheap night away from the house, the new Hilton hotel next to the convention center is making rooms available on Priceline for ~ $60 on weekends when there are no big conventions in town. Mrs Johnnymac and I stayed there last night to check it out and it made for a nice in-town getaway. It's is the newest hotel in town and is pretty nice for the price - you can do a lot worse for a $60 hotel room.

3.) My brother and his wife in Austin had their first baby on Friday night, so that now makes me Uncle Johnnymac. Little O is the first grandchild for my parents and looks just like me (if I looked like a baby) and she has my hair, which of course means she has no hair to speak of. I am excited and get to go meet her next weekend -

Have a good Sunday -

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Saturday, November 12, 2005

Posted by Dr Fro 9:01 AM
Blogshares is a fantasy stock market for weblogs. Players get to invest a fictional $500, and blogs are valued by incoming links. IAG is in their market.

There is a graph of our stock performance:

Looks like it is time to buy!

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Posted by Dr Fro 8:39 AM
It's a real house of mirrors I tells ya...

I am reading Paul Samuel's article, and I see that he mentions Junell. I re-read it and then realize that Paul is quoting me (writing about Junell). He says

"After my rant a couple weeks ago against the Art of War article, I find this
gem by Paul Samuel. I like everything he writes. The article seemed appropriate
for this forum given that we play in Junell's add-on tournament. Most people go
by the rule "it is always correct to add-on, unless you have a monster stack."
Paul sheds some light on this rule"

I wrote that in August 2004 on IAG, referring to an older article of Paul's.

Paul's articles are some of my favorites on the web, so it is nice to know that he reads mine (I know, I know, he probably just googled me!).

Which brings us to a recent gem on playing pairs. The point made is that you come to a very different decision on how to play pairs if A) all overcards flopped scares you vs. B) you aren't afraid as long as the flop only has 1 overcard.

This may seem like a small difference, but it is quite profound, particularly with JJ and below (definitely with TT and below).

I'll come to the same conclusion but with a different spin than Paul. Ask yourself pre-flop what you will do if 1 overcard flops. Consider position, opponent and stack size and say, "I have 99, what will I do to a flop of A86?" If the answer is attack, then use the aggressive player tables and if the answer is run away, then use the passive player tables.

Paul simplifies this a bit by discussing players as if they are in a mold, but I think that the good players (like readers of IAG of course) switch gears a bit depending on the situation. This is good, but I don't think people properly consider what gear they will be in post-flop when they are making their decisions pre-flop.

Anyway, despite the typos, it was a good article.

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Friday, November 11, 2005

Posted by Johnnymac 1:14 PM
You may remember that a couple of months ago, Mrs Johnnymac and I took a trip to California. Whenever I travel I take along a new book to read for the trip and on this trip, I took Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, about the process of decision making and the value of gut instincts. I trade electric power for a living and we have to make many quick decisions every morning on a regular basis, so when I heard about the book and its positive reviews I wanted to check it out.

It turned out to be quite fascinating, and one of the most interesting chapters was the one about research into subconcious facial expressions: research has shown that while nearly everyone may be able to say anything verbally, hardly anyone alive can hide the subtle facial clues left by the subconscious mind. And when you are properly trained and know what to look for, it's possible to tell with a very high rate of accuracy as to when someone is telling the truth or not simply by looking at their facial expressions. Naturally, I thought about poker.

So I googled some of the scientists mentioned in the book and then went and bought some of their books and DVD's on the subject of facial expressions and have been doing a bit of reading on the subject. It's a fascinating field of study and quite exciting to know that there are universal subconcious clues that just about everyone (aside from autistics and other non-normally developed people) exhibits when relating to the outside world. By no means am I an expert now, but I know more than I did and I am also pretty sure that this is the kind of stuff that the great old pros mean (ie Doyle, TJ, Johhny Chan) when they speak of the "next level" of poker. They might not be able to verbally define what these traits are, but years of poker playing have probably trained them subconsciously (here we go again) to look for them and act on them in addition to all of the other things they do when they play poker.

My excuse for those three paragraphs was that someone sent this to me this afternoon, and to my surprise I got 19 out of 20 correct. What does this mean? You guys better all be wearing sunglasses and elmo masks on December 4th, because I am on fire.

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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Posted by Johnnymac 5:49 PM
Lee wins the award for being the first person (who's not a host or organizer) paid and into the tournament. I received his check today and his entry is guaranteed. Apparently Lee really really wants to play poker.

The other 34 of you might get squeezed out, if, say, a 2 whole 1st grade classes or 3 football teams decided to play and paid me right this minute. Funny how that works, but luckily for all of you we don't allow first graders in.

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Posted by Johnnymac 10:43 AM
31 entries now in the tourney. Once Fro gets a dedicated website running, we'll put a list of entries up. A lot of familiar names on there, for sure. Tenacious is even in.

Does anyone have Bill Fellmaff's personal email address?

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Posted by Dr Fro 7:49 AM
Czech, please!

In 1996 I went backpacking around Europe. I was living pretty lean, often getting by on $20 / day (bed, food and my penchant for alcohol). I went to Prague (twice) that summer. On the way out of town, I had a few hours to kill before my train left. I saw a casino and stopped in for a little blackjack. I was the only customer there, so all the dealers were just hanging out with me and I had free pivo (beer) flowing.

I started out with the table minimum (which was something less than US$1 I believe) but as the winnings mounted, I kept increasing my bet. When it was time to leave, I was up US$720. This at a time when I quit Coca Cola Light because it was eating up too much of my daily budget.

That was quite a windfall and it had the effect of significantly improving the quality of food and hostel for the remainder of my trip.

I hope I am similarly lucky next week.

Golden Prague Poker, Prague

Poker Club Fanatic, Prague

(1) comments

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Posted by Johnnymac 10:54 AM
We are now at the 50% mark for tourney registrations - Fro is even bringing a few guys from Dallas. If you want to play, send me an email so I can get you on the list, but remember that your registration is not guaranteed unless and until you prepay for your entry.

(0) comments

Monday, November 07, 2005

Posted by Johnnymac 9:38 PM
And here is the official announcement for the tournament. We decided to do a rebuy tourney this year simply because we wanted to get a little more money into the tournament without cutting some people off by raising the stakes. Junell had a rebuy tournament a couple of years ago that turned out to be awesome, too, so we figured we might just go ahead and try it again. You might also notice that the format is also for a slightly quicker tournament this time around - that Sunday was the only day we could really get to work for the tournament and none of us here wanted to be up all night playing and then cleaning up. As you can tell from the blind schedule below, there is ample time to play tight for the first couple of hours before the blinds start going up.

Here is the flyer (click to open the linked word doc and print copies):

Also, here is the preliminary blind schedule. This is subject to change slightly but the general idea is what's important. Your $120 entry fee gets you $1000 in tournament chips and each $60 rebuy (and add-on) gets you another $400. All players have the option of taking an immediate rebuy at the start of the tournament and then may take unlimited rebuys whenever their stack falls below $501 during the rebuy period. At the end of the rebuy period, everyone is entitled to pay $60 one more time for an optional $400 add-on. Remember, all of the rebuys are optional and you do not have to rebuy at all to participate. All you MUST pay to play is your $120 entry fee.

The rules that will be used for this tournament will be the same as the game-play rules we used in the Spring, subject to our discretion and common sense adjustments of a single-table shootout format versus a one day freezeout tournament. Please don't try and pick nits or try to argue about the rules. If you have a legitimate complaint or suggestion towards improving the rules, we are always willing to listen and fix things, but just remember that no matter what you say, we will have the final word and you can choose not to play if you decide that you don't like how we do things. (As an aside, saying things like, "Fix _____ and I will play" usually don't go over well, if you are curious)

The payout schedule will be determined at the day of the tournament, depending on the amount of money in the pot. For the most part, the top 8 or 9 will be paid something and in addition to the entry to the Spring WSOP series that goes to the winner, we will likely also pay bounties like we did last year for knocking out past champions. And obivously, all of the money goes back into the prize pool - we are not doing this to make money off of you guys.

I think that's everything for now. I have set up a new email address: for this thing. If you have any questions or comments or if you want to register, send me email there.

Oh yeah - that reminds me - We are going to limit this thing to the first 50 PAID players who show up on the day of the tournament. If you want to prepay and therefore guarantee yourself a spot, please include that in your email to me and I will tell you how to do it (basically you mail me a check). What this means is that if you do not prepay, you run the risk of not getting to play if you get there too late on the tournament day. Something to consider. And as always, we kinda sorta have the discretion to invite and disinvite whomeever we wish. Those of you who have been playing with us forever (Huge, Baird, Canonico, Gordon, et al) have a little more precedence than Joe Blow from Klein, but that said, anyone is pretty much welcome if they have the money, so feel free to invite your friends and their babies and their babies' mamas if they want to play.

OK, now I think that is everything. I will also be sending out an email to many of you with this same information. I am certain I have forgotten something, so please email or leave comments if there is anything else you need to know or that I need to fix.

Good Luck and see you in December.

UPDATE (11/8/05): When you prepay your entry it is only for $120. All of the rebuys will done on the day of the tourney for cash. You cannot prepay your rebuys. (actual questions from actual readers...)

UPDATE (11/8/05): Here is the link to the results from last year's tournament (Beau has already signed up and will have a bounty this year) and the history of our old tourneys both before and after I started helping Fro put it together. When Fro is gets done negotiating a truce to the French Civil War (once he's done with the Bird Flu cure thing), he says he will update the website for this year's tournament. Keep in mind that ALL OF THE INFORMATION IN THE LINK IS OLD AND FOR LAST YEAR - there is not a tournament on Whitman Street next Monday and this year's format is different. The only reason I post this link is to show you guys that we have been doing this for a while, we know what we are doing, and to subtly point out that the money gets better every year.

UPDATE (11/8/05): And yet another update - it is fine to forward the tourney along to your friends and acquaintances, but like I say above, we kinda sorta need to know who you are before you can enter the tournament. If you are unsure whether you meet the "where do I know you from?" test, just include a line in your email that answers the question. I know a whole whole lot of you from the Spring tourney, so it's not a problem for most of the people responding... you can probably tell yourself whether you fit the criteria. But even if you don't think we know you, please feel free to sign up to play - you are perfectly welcome. Something vague like, "I am a friend of Jimmy who knows Junell from _______" is just fine, but "I read your website everyday and think Fro is cute" might not cut it. Think of it as the Kevin Bacon game and you're probably going to be good to go.

UPDATE (11/8/05): Mr G is already in. Sweet.

UPDATE (11/8/05): We now stand at 17 entrants - 33% filled. I have a feeling we will reach 50 entries pretty quickly.

UPDATE (11/11/05 dr. f.): You can see who has signed up here.

(5) comments

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Posted by Johnnymac 7:57 PM

I just got back to town this afternoon after a weekend of "blast and cast" fishing and quail hunting in south Texas with Rambo, Rambo's 9 round riot shotgun, and this guy. We stayed at this place (I highly recommend it) and while you can probably tell that we had fun, you can also probably tell that we had so much fun that nothing whatsoever was done about the poker tournament. No problem, by this time tomorrow night I will have all of the details posted here. What I can say is that the format will be slightly different than what we have done the past two years, except that it will still be NL holdem and it will still be a good time.

Also, here are the final four bathroom pics that I will ever post here:

I have also created a collage of the project from start to finish using Picassa. It took me awhile to figure out just what Picassa was able to do, but now that I have gotten a little comfortable with it, I highly recommend the program.

There is still some MINOR stuff left to do, like touching up the paint in a few spots and sealing the grout, but as far as Mrs Johnnymac and I are concerned, it's done. I also need a couple of finish inspections, but as you can tell, that hasn't stopped us from moving in. She is excited because she has a nice bathroom to use; I am excited because I can finally have a little bit of my life back and spend my weekends doing other stuff.

Come back tomorrow for the tourney announcement.

(0) comments

Friday, November 04, 2005

Posted by Dr Fro 2:46 PM
Brian farts, charts, tarts and the Ace of Hearts

Everybody has different strengths and weaknesses in their game. Some people have mathematical minds and can quickly and accurately figure out odds. Some people can give off a misleading image. Others are great at reads. Some benefit from dicsipline and others from fearlessness.

My strength, without a doubt, is my ability to quickly figure out my opponent and adjust appropriately. I don't play a terribly conventional game, but 9 times out of 10, my apparently unconventional means are just the result of my adjusting the 'conventional move' for the opponent and situation.

For example, I previously wrote about making shallow (and therefore not meaningful) assessments of others. You could describe Mr. Pink as loose, but you would be more accurate to say that Mr. Pink calls all bets before the river but puts his tail between his legs on the river with anything short of the nuts. The two assessments differ not only in their depth but also in their ability to add to your EV. The more in depth, timely and accurate your assessment of your opponent, the more money you can make. Of course that assumes that you know what adjustments to make given any timely, deep and accurate assessment, but if you can't do that then you are probably already bankrupt.

So that is what I do well. Within an hour of playing with a new group, I am adjusting my play to players and making money. They don't catch up until hour 3 or 4 or 5. Or the next week.

This is all just great except that I have a major weakness here. I have so much confidence in my reading of others, the following happens without me noticing:
- they switch gears (or in the longer term, they simply improve)
- they recognize what adjustment I have made (e.g. always bet into Mr. Pink on the river) and form an appropriate defense.

You see, after winning two or three nights in a row, I gain a sense of invincibility and inevitably I take one in the pooper when the playing field changes without me noticing. Often I get beat down a few times before I wake up and realize what has happened.

I have demonstrated it graphically below:

You will notice that I not only lose my relative advantage, but I actually start losing money over time as my assessments become outdated and therefore costly.

We have been playing with the same group in Dallas for 1.5 yrs now. My experience has largely been the same as what you see above and what I have experienced with virtually every crowd I have ever joined. I initially won several times in a row. I got beat up a few times and I have now emerged bigger and badder (that is, the good kind of bad) than before. I won $120 last time (480 big blinds) and it was due to two things, both of which are represented in the timeline above:

- There was a new guy and my immediate assessment was good and won me a lot of money (can you say 'ma-ni-ac'?)
- The rest of the group was recurring and I have moved past the phase of outdated assessments.

There was one hand where I had AhTh and had top pair, ace kicker on the turn. Maniac bet big and I lost my appetite to challenge him there. Although I figured to be ahead, I also figured that I would be further ahead before the night was through. It happened twice in the next four hands that I was way ahead, check-raised him and won. Fun.

Strange the things you notice when the walls are closing in
And the walls are closing in on me today
So where, oh where, can I find someone, anyone?
'Cause there's no way outta here
Well, here is where I live and so I guess that means
The carrot's gonna dangle for at least another year

This is pretty funny. People will buy anyting.

Mark, I think you should buy this for Dabney.

Party Gaming is in the business page again.

I played PP the other day and gave into the temptation to play BJ. OMG that is addictive. On the poker screen, I just fold, fold, everything but very good hands on and all the while pass the time playing black jack on the other screen. My poker improved because I wasn't giving into the temptations of playing hands out of boredom.

Yes, I really did build a windmill for my backyard. My sister told me I have too much time on my hands.

John is right that I am headed out of town to find a cure for the Avian Flu. Well, half right. Starting Sunday, I'll be out of Dallas for all but about 23 hours for the next 3 weeks (DC, Prague, Budapest). Fortunately 1.5 of the 23 hours is the UT-KU game and I expect to be up by 28 when the plane leaves. I return to see the UT-A&M game. I predict a blowout, and almost all of it taking place in the air. I think we can win by 100 points with VY never leaving the pocket. You heard it here first.

Call me if you are going to Waco. We will be there, but we are headed back to Dallas in time for the Miami-VT game. That should be a good one.

So, I will pretty much be signed out for a while. I hope to see yall at the tournament in Houston. If you have suggestions or if you want to offer to help, pls comment below.

(0) comments

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Posted by Johnnymac 10:52 AM
I think some plans have been firmed up for the one-day tournament and the TENTATIVE date is Sunday Dec 4, the day after Texas wins the Big XII Championship. Mark your calendars.

That said, before we make any more announcements, I need to firm up some details with the two people with whom I have have been dicussing the use of their respective facilities, so the rest of this post is directed at them.

To the two people to whom I am speaking, you read the blog regularly and you know who you are. My problem is that I don't have your email addresses with me here at work and I cannot access my personal email from here so if you don't contact me, I have no way of getting in touch with you until I get home tonight.

If you read this post, flash me an email here at work so I can hammer out some details with you. The address is easy to guess - you both know my first and middle initials and my last name and I am pretty sure the two of you know the name of my company. Hopefully I will be able to talk to you by the end of the day, otherwise you will be receiving an email from me tonight. Sorry I have been so tardy in getting back to you.

(0) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 8:05 AM
It seems the Poker Brat and the Baseball Brat have been hanging out.

I find it interesting that they point out:

Playing at such clubs is not illegal, though it can be against the law to
operate them, the Daily News reported.

That fact is not often recognized in the Dr Fro household. I know that New York and Texas have different laws, but it is my uneducated understanding that this is true in Texas. Comment if you disagree.

(0) comments

Random thoughts from a lawyer, an accountant, a commodities trader, an ex-Marine and a WSOP Main Event money finisher that don't know as much as they wish they did...



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