Saturday, December 31, 2005

Posted by Dr Fro 11:58 AM
I read Cannery Row by John Steinbeck over Xmas, and the following quote struck me:

And if you don't get the relevance to poker without me pointing it out, well you'll never get it!

(1) comments

Friday, December 30, 2005

Posted by Dr Fro 2:37 PM
I just wrote a very long post and accidently deleted it. UGGGGGG!!! I'll paraprase

On the very first hand at Kleckner's, I flopped top 2 pair and Byron flopped bottom set. He doubled up. I lost $60 on the night.

I saw the final episode of the WSOP. You know that luck is a big factor when Andy Black (started with 20 million) busts out first and Joseph Hachem (started with 2 million) wins the bracelet. Playing 73o and flopping 456 is more fortunate than Evangeline Lilly knocking on your door and asking you to play "hide the noodle".


USC is getting a lot of pub. The Dallas Morning News, which is usually the best sports page in the south, wrote a retarded article a couple of days ago. The question asked in the article was "is USC's offense the best ever?" That seems like a stupid question to ask when USC does not have the best offense in 2005 (50 ppg vs, UT's 50.9). I found a great article on why USC is overrated.
I got my tickets finally, so I'll see you there!

(0) comments

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Posted by Dr Fro 4:08 PM
ARH and I played some poker last Thursday. Jackie's was spreading $5-$10 Round of Each (HE and Omaha). For 2 hrs I lost at Omaha and won at Holdem. Then the $2-$5 NLHE game started. I flopped a set of 3's with 4 opponents in the BB and thought to myself, "how do get heads-up and all-in on the flop?" The SB bet all-in $150 into a $60 pot. That answered my question, so I called. Turns out he completely missed the flop, but thought "he could buy the pot...since we all looked weak." I don't know what part of 5 players paying 2xBB pre-flop and not yet acting on the flop indicates weakness?!?!?!? Candy from a baby.

We are playing 25c-50c NL HE at Kleckner's tonight, so if you are interested, call my cell.

(3) comments

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Posted by Junelli 10:20 AM
I booked a large win last night playing $5-$5 NL at the Top Hat. McAndrew was out there with me, which always makes for a good time. But he had to leave a little early to catch the midnight showing of Brokeback Mountain (I was wondering why he was spitting on his hand as he walked out the door).

For those that may not know, the Top Hat, f/k/a Paradise, but originally known as the Top Hat, is now under new ownership. Jeb, Brad and Chris bought it about 2 months ago after running a $5-$5 game for a year or so at the Mongrel Club, and also dealing part time at Northside. They are very nice guys and run a good game.

Most days they play the smaller $1-$2 PL, but on Monday Roger still has his big $5-$10 round of each game, and Tuesday is usually $5-$5 NL.

Last night I bought in for only $300 and never looked back. I won several big hands to give me the chip lead at the table. I did however lose two big hands, as follows:

The first hand is a follow up to Dr. Fro's recent post about betting on the river. We all know that the river bet is sometimes a dangerous proposition. It often has no EV because the only hand that will call you, is a hand that can beat you.

Last night I flopped trips in the BB. I was able to see a free flop with 85 and the board came 88J rainbow. I checked, and a middle position player bet $20, and got 1 caller. I smooth called. The turn was a King, but put a second spade on the board. The 1st player bet $20, and the cutoff seat (a weak player) raised it to $150.

Now I'm faced with a decision. I have 85 against a board of 88JK. I think my hand may be good, but am clearly worried that he has an 8 also. He also might have two pair, a flush draw, or be on a bluff. The bluff wasn't likely as he was a fairly passive player and was elderly (in my experience, older people don't like to bluff as much as young people).

I consider raising, but he has a lot of chips (>$900), and I don't want to build the pot unnecessarily by putting in at least $300 before seeing the river card. I might've raised had his bet been smaller. I decide to smooth call the $150.

The river is a Ten putting a possible straight on the board, but missing the flush. He immediately checks to me. "What the hell is going on here? Why did you check?" All of a sudden, I feel certain that my 8 is good. He missed his flush or was trying to steal the pot on the turn and had to hit the brakes when I smooth called him. I am certain that my 8 is good.

I bet $200, which is just about half the pot. He smooth calls with A8, and I lose.

He was smart to check the river with the possible straight out there, but he wasn't going anywhere. I was an idiot for making that bet. If he doesn't have a straight, or trip 8's, he's not going to call one penny on the river. I gain nothing by betting the $200. However, if he has me beat, which he clearly did, he won't fold. Lately I've been getting much better about not betting the river with marginal hands, but last night I regressed back to my old ways.

On the second hand I found myself tangling with the same player. I held JT on the button with a flop of JJ8. 3 of us called a small bet on the flop. The turn gave us a 6, and the old man led out for $80. I decide to raise for several reasons: for value, because my hand is probably the best, for information to find out how much he likes his hand, and to get a check on the river, so I can check it down if necessary. I raise $100, making it $180 straight. He immediately reraises to $300, and it's $120 more to me. I think about folding, but it's only $120 more to me, and I need to see the river card. I call and the pot is $675.

The river brings a King [board is JJ86K], and the old man immediately leads out for $400. This is a VERY tough decision for me. I have JT against a board of JJ86K. No straight or flush possibilities exist. If I call and win I scoop a $1,475 pot. However, if I call and lose, I donk off $700 more to this Blue Hair. I can lose to the following hands: AJ, KJ, QJ, J8, J6, KK, 88, 66. I am pretty sure he doesn't have a pocket pair, so that leaves me with 5 possible hands that beat me.

I take an extremely long time to make my decision, but ultimately decide that he has me beat, and fold. It was a very tough lay down, but I just didn't think my hand was good. It turned out to be an excellent fold because he showed KJ for a full house. I was behind the whole way.

Although I lost the hand, I'm very happy with the way I played it. A guy next to me commented that he couldn't have made that lay down, and "that's the difference between a good player and a bad player." It made me feel much better even though I lost the pot.

Of course, the Blue Hair cashed out 20 minutes later and took home all my money. Luckily I beat up everyone else all night long, and left with a very nice profit.

(2) comments

Friday, December 23, 2005

Posted by Johnnymac 11:34 AM
My 3 sentences about fantasy football:

1.) Willis McGahee killed me this year; he is not as good as he thinks he is and needs to just play and quit pouting. 2.) Nonetheless, my late round picks and free agents like Jake Plummer, Mark Brunell (occasionally), Hines Ward, and Joey Galloway carried me to an 9 game win streak in the middle of the season and into the playoffs where the team finally just ran out of gas. 3.) I used to have an intense hatred for Derrick Alexander because he is a little bitch who could do it when nobody was counting on him, but who always got hurt and pussed out in the clutch. Now I have a new bitch new bitch that I will hate forever.

OK, make that 4 sentences.

(2) comments

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Posted by Johnnymac 1:05 PM
Something that's not poker related but just needs to get off of my chest.

It's one thing to put on a dress and "act" gay in a movie and sing showtunes and talk with a lisp and still credibly call yourself straight. Fine. I have dressed in drag before for parties and the like and it's actually kind of fun in a goofy way. But that's it. Acting gay in a campy way is OK, because really, limp wrists and mustaches aren't really what makes someone "gay". It's just another costume like a werewolf or Santa Claus or Craig Biggio. It's pretending.

But here's the deal - it's COMPLETELY another thing to get naked with another dude, spit on your hand to lube up (from what I have heard from people who have seen the movie), and get down with another dude. Even if you don't really have sex, there is pretending and there is just plain gay, and you can say what you want about "just a movie" but mugging down with another guy and filming multiple sex scenes isn't just pretending, it's gay. It's the very definition of gay. I don't care if you once dated Naomi Watts or banged Kirsten Dunst nightly for 4 years straight. I don't care if you have to beat the chicks away with a stick every weekend. I don't care if you swear up and down that you were just "acting" in a movie that is a "beautiful love story." Guess what? You got naked and bucked around in a tent with another guy and now you are officially gay. I hope you had fun, but no matter what Time Magazine or Oprah may say, you are gay and people will remember you for it for the rest of your public life.

I feel much better for sharing. As you can see, the press has been driving me crazy lately. Carry on with your poker blog.

(2) comments

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Posted by Dr Fro 9:30 PM
A couple nights ago, I played O/8 for just a little bit. Nothing went well for 45 minutes. Then, an Ah came on the turn to give me the nut flush with my KhXh. There was a lot of betting and by the time the river came, I was in for about $80.

His 2h3h gave him the wheel-straight-flush. Oh, I guess I didn't have the nut flush all along. I am sorry, please excuse me while I got beat myself on the head.

So today I took pen to paper to figure out just how improbable that scenario was. It turns out that agains 4 random cards, there is a 2.5% chance of making the wheel-straight-flush once three of the wheel-straight-flush are on the board and assuming I don't have either of the 2 cards needed to make it. I wasn't against "4 random cards" so the odds were higher than 2.5%. That is interesting and I guess it helps to prove the point that O/8 is a game of having the nuts or drawing to the nuts, nothing less.

That was not a bad beat story. My intention was to point out the fact that it wasn't terribly unlikely (or at least it was less unlikely that you may have guessed). I say this because I pride myself on not boring people with my bad beat stories. My friend ARH put it this way: "Nobody is as interested in your bad beats or your fantasy football team as much as you are. Nobody. You get 3 sentences, max, if you have to talk about either one. Otherwise, you lose your audience." I agree

So, now there is my fantasy football team... 1) I became a bandwagon fan of my own FF team lately. 2) I don't watch NFL, so my secretary picked the team. 3) we won the league, so that makes me obligated to take the coworkers out for happy hour. Three sentences.

I am hoping that somebody will invite me to play poker in Houston. I could wait for an invite, or I could antagonize them into it (e.g. "Your money, I am still up twenty grand from this last time I stick it in you.") Yale rules! Junell plays poker like a girl! Kim and David are gay! Morris is a Democrat.

Hopefully, I just got under their skin and they will go out of their way to organize a game to take all my money and get back at me. Hopefully.

LAYGO, you can get my email or cell # from Byron. Look me up if you want to play either in Htown or Dallas.

In response to KTL's comment on the best seat against a maniac, Rolf speaks. I have always liked Rolf because he doesn't c0me out with black and white, one-size-fits-all advice. Rather, he suggests some things to consider but recognizes that the facts and circumstances of your game may dictate a different strategy.

OK, is it just me or what happened with the final episode of the 2005 WSOP on ESPN? I TIVO'ed every episode, but I never saw this one. Of course, I know exactly how it ends, but either ESPN never showed it or something got screwed up with a sporting event running over its alloted time.

Tex Barch got 3rd place in the 2005 Main Event at the WSOP. Good for him. He is from Dallas and that keeps up quite a streak of big finishes by guys from Texas. Plus, he dresses like a million bucks. Well, Tex just opened a bar here in Dallas. It is just around the corner from Caden's house. I am sure he will spend a lot of time there.

And other Texans are in the news. I think I am about a week late on this one, but I have been busy drinking Christmas shopping. It seems Dolly is under the SEC lens. I know the SEC better than your average Joe, and let me tell you that you don't want these guys after you. Their bark and their bite are equally bad. My speculation (hello, slander and libel laws) is that somebody said something that was sincere, but that person was recklessly unaware of securities law in the U.S. My guess: this all goes away since there does not appear to be either a victim or a person that profitted unecesarily. But Junell is the lawyer here.

Speaking of Junell, shortly after posting a glowing compliment of him, I find a guy calling Junell a douchebag.

I guess poker is a full contact sport. Evidently, the 14 yr-old kid killer was half-Mexican, half-Whitey and bore a striking resemblence to Beavis. After the killing he said, "mi padre esta in Castillian"

And the Chronicle picked up a story about poker in Texas. There was no mention of legality.

(5) comments

Posted by Junelli 10:30 AM
This was the very first hand of a SNG. 4 All-ins and I quadruple up.

(2) comments

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Posted by Dr Fro 12:38 PM
Do you play every hand and raise every street? If you do this, you just might be a maniac.

A lot of people take a very common approach to maniacs: wait for a really good hand and then kick him in the nuts. I strongly disagree with this strategy. If you think about it, it really isn’t much of a strategy. I mean, isn’t kicking people in the nuts with really good hands already in the playbook regardless of your opponent?

I think that the goal is to end up heads-up with the maniac as often as possible. Here’s why:

1) If he plays every hand, and you are at all selective (for argument’s sake, let’s say you play 80% of all hands against him), then more often than not, you stand to be ahead pre-flop. So, when he raises, as he always does, pop him back for 2x more his raise with K8. You will get others to fold and now you are heads-up against a guy that is as likely to be playing 72o as he is AA. In the long run, you will have better starting hands more often than he does.

2) You have extra EV against this guy, because you know you will get paid off if you make a hand. Thus, lowering your starting hand requirements is justified. A perfect example from the other night was playing 57s, which hit 2-pair on the flop. Against an excellent player, I would have made $0 on that hand, as they would have tossed 2 overcards on the flop. Not Maniac. He gladly put all his chips into my rack. A factor in deciding how valuable starting hands are is the odds of getting paid off. This is what makes AK so beautiful: AQ AJ, etc will pay you a lot of money when the Ace hits. Now imagine getting 100% of your opponent’s chips every time you hit a hand. Kinda easy to make an argument to play more hands!

3) Similar to point 2, position becomes less relevant. If you are last to act, you obviously have a valuable seat. But if you are first to act, who cares? You check, maniac will bet.

So get heads-up and all-in as much as possible. Imagine a coin flip each time, but you get heads (hee hee) 55-60% of the time. He’ll win some, sure, but soon you will get ahead and once you have more chips than he does (and he will just keep on buying in), it gets even easier, because you can afford tails to hit a few times in a row.

When I was little, my mom told me what all moms tell little boys, “bullies bully you because they are actually scared of you.” It didn’t make a lot of sense then, but neither did my parent’s story about birds and bees. However, all their adages, anecdotes and other bits of wisdom make perfect sense to me now. Maniacs rarely like the flop and they will bet it to bully you out of the pot. My favorite move against a bully to call on every street and re-raise the bejeezus out of him on the river. Out bully the bully. Even the bully get scared will back down then.

Another problem with sitting around waiting for a good hand is that even the bully will notice when you finally play, and he will not pay you off (or at least he is much less likely to pay you off than if you dance with him on most hands.)

All of the above holds true with a shorthanded table, but becomes less true with each additional player you add to the table.

I played perfectly against Maniac on Sunday until I made two crucial mistakes:

#1 After he had busted out, rebought, busted out rebought, busted out, rebought, busted out, rebought, busted out, rebought, busted out, I dediced to spot him his next rebuy. That was greedy. I figured I would bust him for more, but he finally hit some hands and got back in the game. I’ve said before that many NL home games play like tournaments in that people eventually bust out and leave, narrowing the field to fight over found money. Thus, certain aspects of tournament poker strategy should be implemented in the home NL game. In a tournament, you would never let a guy buy back that had been eliminated, so why would you in a home cash game if you could guarantee that he would stay on the rail and watch everyone fight over his losings?

#2 We play “dealers choice” which usually translates into NLHE and Omaha only. He actually called low Chicago, a game I haven’t really played in quite a while. It was smart on his part; he was way outclassed in the normal games. So why not level the playing field? Greed made me twice play the 3s and 4s, both times losing a small fortune.

That is what I could come up with on my maniac strategy. I am certain that not all will agree with me, but I have a lot of experience playing with maniacs (mainly in college and shortly post-college) and the strategy has worked for me.


(4) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 8:40 AM
While I am off topic, I'll keep rolling:

Regarding their recent hire, this is on Texags. Even Aggies have a sense of humor.

Well, some don't, including their moderators. The below post was deleted from Texags:

I have gathered the following information from several folks on both here and other websites. I have verified each of these thru the following media: Star Telegram, Dallas Morning News, Notre Dame media guide, Western Michigan media guide and The Red and White from State, a NC State newspaper.

I have tried to put everything from various posts together so you can see everything in one shot. It's long, and it's sad.

Here is a resume of the past 16 years of Gary Darnell. For this analysis, I only went back to his Notre Dame tenure. Prior to that, he was at Florida and had several other stops along the way. However, I didn't go back that far with my research, so for this analysis, I will say that Notre Dame was his first stop. In reality, even if his prior stops were all glowing successes, if you have a 16 year track record of failure, does
it matter what he did prior before then?

First stop - 1990 - 1991 - 2
years at Notre Dame – TOTAL FAILURE

Here is what Darnell did at Notre Dame. He took over a defense that was top 25 before he came, and turned that defense into the 73rd ranked defense in the country. Then, when he left, his replacement got them back to top 20.

Two years prior to Darnell
1988 - ND total defensive rank = 13th
1989 - ND total defensive rank = 14th

Two years while Darnell was at ND
1990 - ND total defensive rank = 73rd
1991 - ND total defensive rank = 73rd

Two years after Darnell left ND
1992 - ND total defensive rank = 32nd
1993 - ND total defensive rank = 20th

TOP 20 TO 73rd and back to TOP 20!!

Second stop - 5
years at t.u. – TOTAL FAILURE

t.u. defense averaged 374 yards per game against HORRIBLE SWC teams. Darnell left t.u. (not sure if he was fired, or left on his own) with the fans hating him. His defenses were flat horrible. In fact, his tenure at t.u. was so bad, he burned almost every bridge with the Texas 4A and 5A football coaches. That's why the sips (who also know Texas High School Coaches) ran him out of town.

Here is a quote from The Star Telegram

Darnell spent five seasons as an assistant at Texas, the final three, 1994-96, as defensive coordinator under former coach John Mackovic. Darnell’s defenses allowed 4,396 yards of total offense in 1995 and 4,476 yards in 1996. Those marks rank as two of three highest-yielding Texas defenses since at least 1953.

TWO of the WORST defenses in 40 years!!! I'm going to be sick.

Third stop - 7.5 years at Western Michigan – TOTAL FAILURE

He did have some success early, but ended up getting fired. In fact, in every year xcept 2, the team he fielded did worse than his team the previous year.

1997 - 8-3, 1998 - 7-4 - Worse than previous year
1998 - 7-4, 1999 - 7-5 - Worse than previous year
1999 - 7-5, 2000 - 9-3 - Better than previous year

2000 - 9-3, 2001 - 5-6 - Worse than previous year
2001 - 5-6, 2002 - 4-8 - Worse than previous year
2002 - 4-8, 2003 - 5-7 - Better than previous year (not by much)
2003 - 5-7, 2004 - 1-10 - Worse than previous year and he gets fired.

Last year - UNEMPLOYED.

Basically you have the last 16 years of Darnell’s accomplishments as follows:
’90-’91 – TOTAL FAILURE - Took top 20 defense to a 73rd ranking for two years in a row. When gone, ND immediately returns to top 20 level.
’92-96 – TOTAL FAILURE - Took t.u.'s defense to their worst levels in 40 years.
’97-04 – TOTAL FAILURE - Fired in mid-season from a MAC school
’05 – UNEMPLOYED - About says it all right there


Staff, since this post is based on facts and not outlandish opinions, please don't ban me. However, if you do think that this post should be deleted, I will understand.

And then his post was deleted and he was banned. That is funny

And staying with college football, it seems 3 UT players have gotten themselves in a pickle. Notwithstanding the usual qualifications of "innocent until proven guilty" etc, you have to wonder - HOW FREAKING STUPID ARE SOME PEOPLE? Even if they didn't do what they are accused of, at a minimum, they were causing some trouble. Hey, I don't have the biggest game of my life coming up and even I don't get into fights / arguments / stabbings / impalings / buggery /shootouts-at-noon. It never ceases to amaze me.

Update: ESPN has picked up the story too. His attorney, Ken Oden, is a man with whom I am familiar. Anybody that was in a fraternity at UT in the 90's should remember him. If I recall correctly, he was the Travis County DA. That made him public enemy #1 if you wore dirty hats, faded Levis, Red Wing Boots and dipped Copenhagen while drinking bourbon and coke while on a date with a bitch that was wearing a dress from Harolds. That was my scene, and that was him.

Of all the glowing compliments thrown at Mr. Junell, this is the ultimate.

While Googling, I found myself out there too. "Wordy"?? Moi?? Never! So here are some more words: refried, flatulence, Tupinamba's, methane, morning. See if you can use them in a sentence.

Rather than bore you with an Ofoto slide show, I have picked and chosen 3 simple pictures that capture the essence of our vacation.

First, is the weiner adventure, an adventure that Morris would love:

And a lovely view of the river that divided the old cities of Buda and Pest. This is the view from our hotel room.

And last, but not least, we spotted a very naughty gnome. Naughty, naughty:

And I promised a little discussion of playing with maniacs...later today...

(1) comments

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Posted by Dr Fro 9:15 PM

T’was the night of the Rose Bowl…and all through the land,
All the Longhorns were stirring, even the band.
The tickets were purchased for the game, room, and air…
In hopes that “Saint Vincent” would soon be there!!
The fans were tailgating from their truck beds,
While a vision of a championship danced in their heads.
And Bevo in his bridle, and me in my cap…
Had just popped a cold one before the first snap.
When out on the turf there arose such a clatter,
I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter!!
My eyes fixed on the tunnel, and the thundering herd;
The roar of the fight song; I sang every word!!
They ran to the end zone, and knelt to their maker…
Giving thanks for TEXAS, and the victory later!!
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear.
Coach Mack in his glory, “THE HEAD COACH OF THE YEAR”!
And our hero from Houston that I haven’t seen since;
I knew in a moment it must be “Saint Vince”!
More rapid than eagles his posse they came…
And he whistled and shouted and called them by name!
To the top of the world for a championship crown!
Now dash away, dash away, to a TEXAS touchdown!
They fought with fury! They fought with might!
They fought like champions on this championship night!
Oh! The bombs they flew, and the holes blew open…
The Longhorns ran the ball just as we were hop’in.
The defense attacked, and oh, they played hard!
Stopping the Trojans, in their own back yard!
Mack’s eyes how they twinkled, his dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, the “crystal ball” he did carry!
He embraced his coaches, he embraced his team!
And “The Eyes of TEXAS” we all did sing
A season that will live forever in lore;

Merry Christmas, TEXAS!!! HOOK 'EM HORNS!!!

(0) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 9:08 PM
I may need to check this out.

LAYGO, of course I remember you. Work is pretty busy so I may not get in anymore poker in Dallas for a bit.

Houston guys - I'll be in Houston from the 23rd- 27th, but it looks like I have plans most of the time. If anybody knows any poker going on the 26th during the day, let me know. Surely something is open on Boxing Day.

John G - You owe us pictures and tournament summary. We are on the edge of our seats.

I played on Sunday, ran $40 up to $210 and lost all be $35 on a couple hands right before we ended. Plenty to discuss on those hands, not enough time right now. Plus, I need to get my thoughts together. The post will be called "how to play against a guy that raises every flop to 4xBB except five times all night" or something to that effect.


(2) comments

Posted by Padilla 10:05 AM
A hand from this weekends 3-6 LHE game at the Mirage. 10 players at the table.
Lately there’s been a big swing to the end of the table where these 4 players are sitting in a row, so there are chips to burn. In particular, Players 2 and 4 are the latest to build deep stacks. Player 1 was there prior to the others arrivals and has a nice stack, and Player 3 is the newest to the table, though he’s already won a pot or 2 since arriving.

Flop comes 9club-10spade-Jclub

Small blind bets $3 (pot = 18)
8 seat calls $3 (pot = 21)
9 seat raises to $6 (pot = 27)
Button raises to $9 (pot = 36)
Dealer announces the cap is $15
Small blind raises to $12 (pot = 48)
8 seat calls $9 (pot = 57)
9 seat calls $6 (pot = 63)
Button calls $3 (pot = 66)

Turn is the 4 of clubs
Small blind bets $6 (pot = 72)
8 seat calls $6 (pot = 78)
9 seat calls $6 (pot = 84)
Button waits and waits and waits, then calls $6 (pot = 90)

River is the Jack of diamonds
Small blind bets $6 (pot = 96)
8 seat calls $6 (pot = 102)
9 seat raises $12 (pot = 114)
Button folds
Small blind calls $6 (pot = 120)
8 seat reluctantly calls $6 (pot = 126)

What are the hands???

(2) comments

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Posted by Dr Fro 1:52 PM
The Friendship Social Club has loosened the rules on their dress code.

(1) comments

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Posted by Dr Fro 4:28 PM
Let the word out I've got to get out
Oh I'm feeling better now
Break the news out I've got to get out
Oh I'm feeling better now

I wasn't super happy with my results in the tournament primarily because it was likely my final chance to end the year positive for poker tournaments. I started out the year losing the $1,060 Bellagio tournament (cost me $530) and have proceeded to gross just about nothing in tournaments all year (I netted around $5 in a rebuy in Shreveport). So while my poker stats for the year now look fine excluding tournament results, those tournaments are dragging me down.

I went into the IAG tournament on quite a roll. I was wondering if the loss would ruin my mojo. Thursday night answered my question.

I stopped by Jackie's which usually plays $2-$5 NL on Thursdays. This night the players voted to spread $1-$2 with a minimum $5 bring-in. It largely plays the same as $2-$5 except that each orbit costs you $3 rather than $7. Put another way, it favors the tighter player, and believe it or not, I was one of the two tightest at the table.

Have you ever had one of those nights that everytime you call a big bet you catch a bluffer and evertime you fold, you learn that he had you beat? One of those nights where everytime you bluff, they fold and evertime you bet for value, they call? That was Thursday. I was at a table full of guys that I have played with many times before and I had the playbook on all of them. Without ever really getting dealt a good hand, I managed to win just shy of $400 in 2 hours. I didn't lose a showdown all night.

The wierdest and biggest hand of the night for me was when I got AJ. Longhorn to my right raised to $15 pre-flop and I called to make it heads-up. Longhorn has a terrible habit of never releasing a hand once he is in a pot, so I figured there was a lot of value in my call.

Flop comes Axx. He checks and I bet $25 into a $37 pot. He called.

Turn is a blank and I bet $40 and he calls.

OK, so now I am thinking, what could he possibly have? Even Longhorn should understand that I have hit the ace, so why would he keep calling? Maybe he hit a set. Maybe he hit two pair with Ax. I just can't imagine that he could hold anything worth calling unless he had me beat. With no draw to a flush or straight, I would only have him beat if he had a pocket pair even Longhorn would call. So I determined that he had me beat and that nothing on the river would change that.

River is a Jack. He checks.

Again, if he has me beat then a bet here would be devestating to me. And if I have him beat, I can't imagine getting a call. So, after a bit of a pause, I just flip over my two-pair without betting.

Do you think I did the right thing? Answer before you scroll down....


So, he sees my hand and breaks rule 14c by yelling out "Fuch". He had AK.

In summary, I was behind on the flop and the turn, yet I bet. And the only street on which I was ahead, the river, I didn't bet. Say what you will about how terribly he played that hand, but I completely misread the situation and therefore misplayed the hand - yet I won. And that is how the whole night went: no matter what I did, it worked out for me.

..and I know I'm dying for some action. Days like these, Sunday seems so far away...

So I take my lucky mojo with me to Joel's on Sunday and I feel ready to run over the table. This is for our poker league, which I haven't really discussed here before.

We have a group of about 10-12 guys in the league. We play every 3rd Sunday (a compromise between the wives' desire for it to be once/month and ours for every other week). League players pay a dollar into the kitty at the beggining of the night. We play a cash game. Points are awarded for various poker achievements (coming out positive, being the biggest cash winner) as well as for incentives for certain behaviors benefitting the league (you get a point for playing the whole night and yet another for hosting). At the end of the year there will be about $150 in the kitty and app $100 goes to 1st place and $50 to 2nd. I am out of the money right now due partially to my absence while abroad (it also paritally due to a terrible start!), but I am within striking distance.

It is funny how the kitty is so immaterial when compared to what one could win or lose cumulatively over the year in the cash game, but we are all gunning for it. I guess guys are just competitive that way. It would be a lot of fun to be able to tell your buddies that you are the Champion of the League. It has a much better ring to it than "I won more money, net, over the past 12 months than you did."

So if you have a regular home game, you might want to consider this format. It has been popular with the guys and, most importantly, it has made filling up the table much easier.

We are considering Year Two already. I think we will trick up the point system, juice up the kitty by raking huge pots and otherwise make it a bigger deal than it is now. But this year is plenty fun as-is.

Anybody want to bet on some basketball? I'll take Duke minus the points...

(1) comments

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Posted by Dr Fro 4:02 PM
I found a picture of Glaze making a move before placing 5th.

(3) comments

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Posted by Dr Fro 7:05 PM
The tournament was well run and a lot of fun. Big thanks to John as well as the Hocks. Medium sized thanks to those that brought chairs, etc. Small thanks to Ashley for the sunflower seeds. No thanks to the poker gods for my fortune.

I was not very happy with my draw of tables. At my table were no fish, even though there were a few present at other tables. I had Jeff Planck to my right. I guess if I have to be at his table, at least I can have him to my right rather than my left. Al bet a lot. Seth is twice as smart as I am. Canonico and Ashley are both smart enough to play aggressively in opportune spots. That meant not many free cards or opportunities to bully the table. I like free cards. I love bullying the table. It was apparrent I needed to change my strategy

I figured that to get too aggressive could put my chips at too much risk as these guys would probably re-raise me (or call), knowing that I usually play aggressively. So I decided that I had enough chips to wait 2 hours for a good hand to make a lot of money. After making a bigger stack, I would settle into my usual play - aggressive, creative and otherwise annoying to be around. That big stack never came. In fact, I think I only spent one hand with a stack > $3,000.

I passed on 3 opportunities to bet into a pot with nothing in my hand after it checked around to me on the flop. All three times, Planck looked at me as if to say, "who are you, and what have you done with Craig?" My logic on the conservative play was twofold: First of all, as stated before, I felt that there was enough time to eventually get something (in two hours, the best I saw was TT once). Second, and more importantly, Planck probably considered a bet from me on the button as automatic, and I was an easy target for a check-raise.

The only fortunate hand I can think of was when Ashley raised pre-flop. Ashley had been raising more and more often as the tournament progressed, and I felt like he may have gotten away with some theivery. So, I went all-in with 33 (looking for fold equity, but figuring at worst I had a race against Ax). He called before I said "-in" and I knew he had AA. He did, but I flopped a 3 and doubled up. That marked the brief period that I had > $3,000.

Planck took a nasty beat. Sorta. He ended up all in with a pocket pair (nines, maybe?) against AK - a classic race. The nasty part was that Planck survived the flop to become a big favorite only to lose to Al's runner-runner Broadway straight.

At my table, I watched Pinion make a desperation move with 66 and get 3 callers. His three oppoents had A8, A8 and A8. When Pinion made his straight, he quadrupled up. Obviously that was key to making it to the final table.

Around the same time, David Hock ended up all-in when he paired a 9 on the flop. Al called with AA. Crap. A 9 came on the river for trips. Awesome. David, of course, went on to get 3rd place.

He also went on to raise 5 out of the next six hands and picked up a lot of blinds (which were significant.) On a similiar path, I finally got AA and AK, but nobody called me pre-flop. That was about all David and I had in common.

I moved on to another table and the blinds were going to kill me quick. I was surprised to find myself heads-up against the SB on my 3rd hand without any pre-flop raises. The flop came up blank, he checked and I went all-in. Quite honestly, I didn't have a choice. It was my only opportunity to win the hand. He folded. I "pulled a Friou" by showing my rags and making a smartass remark, I got the "you're a dickhead" look from some of the other players at the table. (well, except for Junell that shot me that "attaboy" smile a dad gives his son that is in trouble with his mom for drinking his first beer) I rarely show cards, but I really wanted a loose reputation, because I needed a some calls; I needed some heads-up, all-in pre-flop situations, and I needed them quick.

Unfortunately, the advertising didn't pay off, as I was moved to another table, under the gun. The blind of 1,000 was to my right and I had around 2,600. I was planning on going all-in no matter what, so I was quite pleased to get dealt 77. Pinion calls, as does the BB. Pinion's QQ holds up, and he app. triples up. Pinion's pairs did him well Sunday.

I can't complain, I think I did about as well as I could have given what I was dealt. I won $12 in the cash game, had a lot of fun, and saw some old friends. Definitely worth the late, 4-hour drive home Sunday night.

Speaking of complaints, I want to address one. The guys were too cool to complain loudly, and I appreciate that. There were some soft grumblings about how quickly the blinds went up at the end. We have done 7 of these tournaments now, and we have learned that it is most fun for everyone to have a couple hours at the beginning with very low blinds and longer time intervals. But that necessarily means that we have to have bigger blinds and shorter intervals later in order to finish at a reasonable time. If you ask me, it is a reasonable trade-off. It sucks for the guys that placed app. 11th - 20th place as they were typically forced to play crap hands due to very large blinds, but it is a better deal for 21st - 50th place as these guys are somewhat gauranteed a couple hours of fun without the blinds being much of a threat. At least that's how we see it.

I think this is the first time there were no a-holes. Every year there is at least one guy that acts like an ass (that is, other than me!) and it was nice to have none around. Well, at least not that I saw.

Congratulations to El Jefe, Juan Miranda, for winning. I knew Juan when he didn't know a flush from a straight, and it is nice to see him doing well. My old wife, Todd, won a bunch of money which is a nice "how bout them apples?" to Boyd and Champ who were cracking jokes about him being the first out. The IAG bloggers represented well with JMG and Junell winning. But the biggest congrats goes to David Hock, who has been playing for a relatively short time. Discipline and "selectively opportunistic aggression" did him well.

We all missed the Nuclear Cockroach, The River Chief and Todd "Steve Danneman" Bryant, but I am sure we will see them at the next one. You'll see me at the next one for sure.

(1) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 7:10 AM
Someone left an MP3 player at the tournament on Sunday. It's not a video ipod or anything too fancy, but the owner is still likely missing it. If it's yours or if you know whose it is, send me an email (fix the address first) with a brief description and I'll get it back to you. Hell, it's so tiny I could probably just drop it in the mail.

Kim sent out some pictures last night; I (or Fro) will hopefully have them posted somewhere by the end of the week.

(2) comments

Monday, December 05, 2005

Posted by Junelli 10:19 AM
Great tournament yesterday! It was very well run on all counts. Thanks also to Kim & David for graciously opening their home to everyone.

I was very pleased with my play and was happy to be able to cash for the 3rd straight year (6th in 2002; 5th in 2004; and 6th in 2005). I won $480.

My table was very tight early and there were very few showdowns. The pots weren't big and everyone was playing pretty standard poker. It was a good table: Michael Marx, Lee, Chris DeLeon, Raj, Byron, Jason.

I was able to grind my chip stack up throughout the majority of the day. 20 minutes before the break, I was faced with my first tough decision. Raj raised all-in preflop after several people had limped. I was on the button with JJ. I had seen Raj move-in preflop 3 or 4 separate times over the past hour, and felt confident I had him beat. I called and he turned over TT. My jacks held up and I took down a nice pot and eliminated the 1st player in the tournament.

Several hands later I was dealt KK in the BB. After 3 people limped, I raised 4x the BB. Chris DeLeon was the only caller. The flop was 885 rainbow. I decided to slowplay since the board was pretty harmless. I checked and smooth called when he bet approx. 1/2 the pot. The turn brought a second diamond, and I checked again (waiting to trap). He made a pretty good sized bet, and I decided to put the hand to bed by raising all-in. I had him covered at least 3x, so it wasn't too risky on my part. He ultimately decides to call with a flush draw. The river is a 3rd diamond, but it's the King. My full house beats his flush and I take down another nice pot.

Those two hands, combined with some other good decisions allowed me to go into the break with a pretty sizable chip stack: $5,420. I decided not to purchase the add-on since it only gives me 1,000TC (about 20%). In my opinion, the add-on is not worth it unless it represents at least 25%-30% of your chip stack.

In my case, I was still the chip leader at my table (even after everyone did the add-on). And because I had everyone covered, there wasn't much sense in donating another $60 to the prize pool for, what would likely be, an insignificant chip increase.

Shortly after the break I ran my stack up to $7,500 and sat at that point for the next several hours.

I was able to bust Canonico out (and collect a bounty) when we were down to 4 tables. He moved all-in in middle position. I held AJs and barely had him covered. I would be left with 2,500 if I called and lost. I had a strong feeling it was a race at worst, and I could possibly be way ahead if he held Ax or Kx. I called and he turned over 77. It was a race. My AJ hit a Jack on the flop, and to rub salt in the wound, I rivered a straight to win the hand.

When we were down to 2 tables, I was forced to move tables for the first time. I was still in pretty good shape with about $14,000 in chips, but the blinds were absolutely racing up. The last hour of the tournament was a move in game for everyone.

My crippling hand (bad beat) occurred with about 13 people left. I had folded for 2 rounds and found myself with $10,000 with the blinds at $1,000-$2,000. I was dealt AKs in the BB. One middle position player limped and the small blind moved all-in for $8,600. I immediately moved all-in over the top. The middle position player folded and the small blind turned over KQo. Great news. I have him dominated and am a 3:1 favorite to win the hand. I flop an Ace, but he then catches a Jack and a Ten to make a straight. Absolutely sick.

I'm crippled and cannot even afford the next BB. The very next hand I'm dealt 55 and I move all-in. My hand holds up and I'm still alive. I fold the next few hands as players are dropping like flies.

Somehow I'm able to slide into the final table. We draw for seats and high card for the button. It was a very bad draw for me because I'm under the gun with $5,500 with blinds of $2,000-$4,000. I have 3 hands left.

I fold under the gun, but am dealt 22 in the BB. I am able to limp along with 2 players. The flop is AAK, and it's not looking good for me. Somehow everyone checks the flop and we get a free card. The turn is a 2 and I immediately move all-in. Both players call, and my full house holds up to win. I triple up and can last another round or two.

I am dealt garbage for the 2 rounds, and the blinds are eating me alive. However, during that time, 4 players are eliminated. I'm essentially blinded off when I have to pay the big blind of $4,000, leaving me with only $1,500. Pinion moves all-in under the gun, and I have to call with 63o. His AJ holds up and I'm eliminated in 6th place.

All in all I'm very pleased with my performance. If my AK had held up against the KQ I would've been in a very good position to make a run for the victory. Oh well, there's always next year...

(0) comments

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Posted by Johnnymac 10:42 PM
The tournament was a success today. The big winner was Juan Miranda, who cut a deal with Michael Pinion to end the tournament just after David Hock was eliminated in 3rd place. I'll have pictures and the final results sometime later this week. Yours truly finished in 9th place and got his entry fee back, which is my best finish ever in this particular event. Thanks to everyone who came out and to everyone who helped with setting up, cleaning up, running things when Fro and I were busy playing, and who lent us chairs, tables, chips, and other necessary items. More later this week.

(0) comments

Friday, December 02, 2005

Posted by Johnnymac 7:25 AM
1.) The tournament is just 2 days away. The excitement is growing.

2.) There was an error in the original published blind schedule (we accidentally skipped a level). That has been fixed and the correct schedule is posted to the tournament schedule.

3.) After some feedback from a few people. Junell and Fro and I huddled together last night and decided to tweak the rebuy amount a little bit. Rebuys (and the add-on) will still be $60 but they'll get you $1000 in chips each time. Yes, this will increase the number of chips in the tournament, but since the blinds will be doubling every 15 minutes at the end, it will likely not add much more than 15-30 minutes to the duration of the tournament.

Email me with questions - otherwise, see you on Sunday.

(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...



Home Page


What's this all about? Poker. Why we like poker. What we have to say about poker. How we play poker.

Why isn't it gambling?


09/01/2003 - 10/01/2003
10/01/2003 - 11/01/2003
11/01/2003 - 12/01/2003
12/01/2003 - 01/01/2004
01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004
02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004
03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004
04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004
05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004
06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004
07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004
08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004
09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004
10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004
11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004
12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005
01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005
02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005
03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005
04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005
05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005
06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005
07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005
08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005
09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005
10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005
11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005
12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006
01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006
02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006
03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006
04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006
05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006
06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006
07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006
08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006
09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006
10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006
11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006
12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007
01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007
02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007
03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007
04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007
05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007
06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007
07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007
08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007
09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007
10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007
11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007
12/01/2007 - 01/01/2008
01/01/2008 - 02/01/2008
02/01/2008 - 03/01/2008
03/01/2008 - 04/01/2008
04/01/2008 - 05/01/2008
05/01/2008 - 06/01/2008
06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008
07/01/2008 - 08/01/2008
08/01/2008 - 09/01/2008
09/01/2008 - 10/01/2008
10/01/2008 - 11/01/2008
11/01/2008 - 12/01/2008
12/01/2008 - 01/01/2009
01/01/2009 - 02/01/2009
02/01/2009 - 03/01/2009
03/01/2009 - 04/01/2009

The Doctor is IN

Dr Fro
aka "slow roller"

Which one is the fish?

aka "Sunday Stroller"

You go now!

Johnny Mac
aka "Chop Suey"

You got to know when to hold em;  Know when to Mo' em ...

aka "Mo roller"

Old School

"Baby's Daddy"

free hit counter


Beautiful handmade receiving blankets. Get yours today in flannel or seersucker.

Get Flash

I play poker at