Monday, July 31, 2006

Posted by Johnnymac 11:09 AM
We had a great time on our trip, although the short time I got to play poker was not particularly kind. Total poker losses for the weekend, which were offset considerably by some lucky race picks from my little brother and a couple of lucky blackjack sessions, were $560, of which $780 came on just four big hands. Most of my time was spent playing $1/$2 NL at Mandalay, but on Friday morning I played in the $60 MGM daily NL tournament with Kim and David (the hosts of our tournament in December) who happened to be there this weekend, too.

The infamous four hands (remember, all hands are 1-2 NL at Mandalay Bay):

Friday morning, starting around 5:00AM. LOTS of drunk guys. Great game.

Big Hand #1: QQ from the button gets one caller from early position for $40 preflop raise. Flop is 10-9-2 rainbow. I lead for $100 and get called. Turn is 4. I put my remaining $60 in the pot and get called. He turns over 44. Shit. Shit. Shit. Lose $200 buy-in.

Rebuy for another $200.

Then, ten minutes later:

Big Hand #2: KK from middle position. UTG had raises to $10. I come over the top for $40 more. SB calls cold and original raiser folds. Flop comes J-8-4 rainbow. SB checks and I lead for $100 (a recurring theme). He calls. Turn is 3 of spades. He leads for $20 (!). I raise with my remaining $30 all in. He calls and turns over QJ with just one spade. I am a huge favorite. River is a Q. Jesus. Lose $200 buy-in.

Rebuy for another $200.

Win a bunch of medium and small pots for the next two hours and get half of it back, then it’s time to go to the airport and pick up my dad.

(Incidentally, this game also had one of the best prettyshirt instances I have ever seen. When I sat down in the game there was a VERY drunk hispanic kid at the end of the table – so drunk that he was literally holding onto the edge of the table to keep from falling out of his chair –who had taken to betting $50 or 60 and stealing the blinds on nearly every hand. Some of the drunker/worse players at the table played with him a little bit, but the rest of the players, myself included, were just patiently sitting there waiting for a decent starting hand to play back at him. Eventually a new player came into the game and on the very first hand doubled through this kid’s 6-3 with QQ. Why, oh why, can’t that happen to me every once in a while? But I digress.)

After the airport run was the MGM tourney and when I arrive there is a line out the door to register. Thanks one more time to Kim and David for saving me a place in line or I wouldn’t have gotten in. The Floorman says they normally have 50-60 in the tournament. Today they have 80 and they expect to use 30-40 alternates. Normally this thing pays $1500 to the winner and today it will be pushing $4000. Sweet. The structure is good too, and I last until just before the first break when I flop the lower full house on the board and go all-in over the top of a couple of underbets and get called by another player whom I have (barely) covered up. He has the nut full-house and I’m crippled and last until my BB. Not fun, but it was a tournament and I’m not going to kick myself over playing very aggressively with a made hand.

When the tournament was finished there was no more poker playing for me until early on Saturday morning. The rest of my family started arriving and I was occupied with dinner plans and sightseeing for the rest of the day. I eventually went to bed fairly early and again woke up at 4:00AM to get back into the drunk game downstairs. Unfortunately, I had similar luck.

Big Hand #3: My old nemesis showed up again when I’m dealt KK in the cutoff seat after only 5 minutes in the game and, after a bunch of raises and reraises, get all in against the player on the button. He, of course, has AA and I lose the $180 left from my buy-in fairly quickly.

In hindsight, I very clearly misplayed this hand because despite his appearance, in the time afterwards I quickly saw that this particular player was one of the tighter people at the table and I might not have been so eager to get all of my money in if I had had just a few more minutes playing with him. But then again, this kind of game is notorious for some of the macho loose plays that go on and it’s quite common for someone to put all of his chips into the pot with any small pocket pair or even hands like AQ or AJ and from my initial impression this guy looked like he could be one of those types of players. I really don’t know what the right answer was, but I do know that TJ Cloutier would just shake his head and smile and say, “that’s just poker,” so I’m not going to get too worked up over it either way.

Rebuy for another $200 and win a few nice pots to get it up to about $300 and halfway back to even. Then I lose another big hand for about $150 where my AJ catches trips on the river and loses to the guy who flopped a set of eights and filled up on the river.

Now I am down about $375 for the day and decide to reload back up to the $200 max because I still have about 2 more hours of poker time left. Over the next two hours I got onto a little run of small and medium pots and eventually managed to get all of it back but $100 when 9:00 rolled around and it was time to go meet everyone for brunch at Bellagio. I love brunch at Bellagio.

The rest of the day was spent shopping and sightseeing with Mrs Johnnymac and the rest of the family. We also spent some time at the Mandalay Beach and I must say that it lived up to expectations.

Right before dinner, my little brother and I had 90 free minutes so we went down to bet on the horses and play some poker. The room was packed and I got a seat in about 20 minutes. I enter the game in the BB and throw away rags to a $10 raise. The older man next to me shows me 2-4 and says, “All damn day I keep getting this crap! Man I wish I could get some cards to play!”

“Be careful what you wish for,” I said, “it’s an undeniable rule in this poker room that all big pairs get cracked by flopped small sets.”

He laughed and the game continued.

Big Hand #4: Then came the hand that absolutely positively set the tone for the weekend and will be what I remember about this trip forever. Less than 10 minutes after I had sat down I was on the button for just the second time and I look down and see KK.

The rest of the details are irrelevant. I lost my $200 and I think you can pretty much guess what hand the other guy had (hint: not AA) and how it turned out for him. All weekend long I flopped one small set and I ended up having to throw it away against two obvious flushes. Jeez.

I'm sure there are some of my teeth still laying on the floor of the Mandalay Bay poker room, because it sure felt like that's where I got kicked on that hand.

(1) comments

Friday, July 28, 2006

Posted by Junelli 3:24 PM
Nickel Pool Trick

A true classic!

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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Posted by Dr Fro 12:45 PM
We live in a litigious society.
Yeah, I get the gist of the lawsuit, but overall I have to say, "If you don't like the WPT rules, don't play in WPT events, biotch."

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Posted by Dr Fro 12:35 PM
I guess this is a 5-card stud hand. Otherwise, I don't understand why only 4 cards are shown.

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Posted by Johnnymac 12:03 PM
With my chances of getting onto an earlier flight this afternoon going nowhere (who would have thought that flights to Vegas the day before the WSOP would be full? Gee.), I'm passing my day off from work with S&G's and web surfing until my flight leaves at 6:30.

So I was looking for information about some of the hospitality freebies I've heard so much about - hats and shirts and the like, which led me to a post on the PokerStars blog, the "WSOP Primer." There's some good stuff in there, for sure, like where the restrooms are, where the food is, how the satellites work, etc etc, but one thing that really blows me away is as much as it is a primer it is on the WSOP itself:

Q. What is the procedure for calling the clock?

A. Calling the clock (a fair but rarely-used method of hurrying up an opponent's decision) is done simply by asking the dealer to put the clock on the opponent. The dealer will call for the floor person who will give your opponent a pre-designated amount of time to make the decision..

...It's also a primer on simply how to play casino poker:

Q. How should I handle my cards?

A. Don't pick your cards up off the table. Use one hand to cover them, and peek at the corners. Cover your cards with a chip or other tchotchke (you'll probably get one in the goody bag that all our qualifiers get). If you don't cap your cards, they may be "fouled" by other players' folded cards or picked up by the dealer. If there's an all-in, do not turn your cards up until the dealer tells you to do so (to be sure that you don't turn them up prematurely). For instance, if you are all-in and more than one other player is still in the hand, you must keep your cards hidden until the side pot is resolved. In short, just wait for the dealer to tell you to turn up your hand.

I'm not pointing this out to judge or make fun of people at all, I just find it extremely interesting and I would have found it more than a bit counterintuitive just four years ago before the WSOP blew up. Now it makes perfect sense because a vast vast majority of the players in the Main Event are online players who have probably never heard of the terms, "brush" (I still don't quite know the origins of why they call it that) or "play over" or "sweat" or "railbird" and many others and I can bet that they're intimidated as hell. I would be.

No, not making fun. Just something that I find bit interesting, that's all.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Posted by Dr Fro 10:33 PM
Is this Kaplan related to the Gary Kaplan that won the 1st ever Dr Fro / IAG poker tournament?

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Posted by Johnnymac 10:29 PM
Also, one of the worst calls I have ever seen. Each of the three had roughly the same number of chips and checked all the way to the river:

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Posted by Johnnymac 10:22 PM
An interesting point I found while surfing this evening:

Online poker and the WSOP are more intertwined than ever.

In the past, online poker rooms merely were avenues for a few players to win seats to the WSOP. Some online sites were also small advertisers on WSOP broadcasts. Now, it is clear that online poker rooms play a crucial role in the popularity as well as the bottom line of the WSOP.

Not only is it expected that the vast majority of WSOP Main Event entrants qualified through online sites, the online sites have a huge physical presence at the WSOP. Most have hospitality booths right outside of the Amazon Room. Party Poker is one of the major sponsors of the WSOP; its logo is front and center on every poker table at the WSOP.

Let's not kid ourselves folks. The future of the WSOP largely depends on the online poker rooms. In a time when some politicians are fighting to restrict online poker, we have a feeling that Harrah's and the other major land-based casinos are going to try to defend what is certainly helping them butter their bread.

I hadn't thought about the effect of the online gambling bil's effect on the WSOP and Harrah's. Not that it will make a difference, but an interesting thought that Harrah's certainly has quite a vested interest in keeping online poker legal when you consider the issue in those terms.

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Posted by Dr Fro 10:07 PM
All within 10 minutes:

I won a few more hands after that to bag an $82 win over about 18 minutes.

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Posted by Johnnymac 9:47 PM
You know, it's funny and I kind of don't like to admit it, but anytime I get dealt KK online these days, I am ALWAYS expecting one of the other players to have AA. Always.

I'm not sure if it's a sad commentary on my personal (bad luck) experience - probably not because I've seen it happen plenty of times to people other than me - or the inherent shadiness of playing online poker, but it's the truth.

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Posted by Johnnymac 5:51 PM
My results lately:

1.) On Wednesday night I played in a small 10 person S&G with the Rosedale Crowd and ended up finishing 2nd and cutting a deal for a (very) small piece of the 1st place money with Jayson at the end. My biggest made hand in a whole 3.5 hours of poker was making a runner runner ass-ended gutshot 8 high straight from the BB and with one caller for 1xBB bet after checking around twice. No big straights, no flushes, and no boats, for sure. I was pretty proud of the results that night because I feel I played good poker without ever crushing people with monster hands. I was patient and I played strategically. At least that's the way I remember it, others might say I got lucky a couple of times in even-money situations at best, but I'm still happy with it.

2.) On Saturday I played in Juan's monthly rebuy tournament on the North Side and basically ended up sitting there for four hours until the blinds got too big for me to play anymore. The cards ran cold all day and the only pots I ever won were just barely enough to get me back to even. I was disappointed in the results, but not angry or bothered by anything - the difference between Wednesday and Saturday, besides the size (10 vs 50) was that the Rosedale Crowd - guys like Jayson, Pinion, Pat M, and Morris - is a lot more sophisticated than Juan's crowd and thus some of the moves I made last week worked because those guys I just listed are generally much better poker players than most of the guys who were there on Saturday. Timely aggressive bets had a lot of fold equity on Wednesday, on Saturday they were worthless because any bet, no matter how large or aggressive, was always going to get called if anyone else at the table had any piece of the board. If you didn't get good cards to showdown on Saturday you were not going to win. It was disappointing in the sense that it was a pretty soft tournament and I never even contended.

3.) I was a little down after Juan's tourney so I went home and decided to play a small microlimit 5 table S&G on poker stars after Mrs Johnnymac had left for the evening to go out with a friend who had a pair of 4th row tickets to the Faith Hill concert at Toyota Center. I won the S&G. The cards were better all around but once I got to heads up I won easily because the other guy called way too many hands and hardly ever raised from his BB. Nice. (Aggressive does not necessarily = Loose, btw)

4.) I was feeling big with my $14 win so I parlayed that into a $20 two table S&G and finished third and ended up winning all of my money back from Juan's game. Nice again.

5.) I went back to the microlimit 45 player tourneys and played once on Sunday and twice yesterday and finished 11th, 12th and 15th, respectively. The first two ending on bad beats and the second one last night ending because I had one too many glasses of wine with dinner last night.

Those are the result from the past 7 days. Mrs Johnnymac is sick today with a sinus infection and is already asleep at 6:15 at night, so I am probably going to play another small S&G before I go to bed tonight.

Tomorrow, there is another of the free broker-trader boondoggle tournaments that I am planning on attending. So far, in the four I have competed in since these guys started these things about a year ago I have either been done in the first hour or have made the final table and not quite made it to the prize level, which generally is pretty nice for something that is free. At the last one first prize was a pair of Continental 48-state travel vouchers, at the one before that it was 4 dugout tickets to a baseball game, and at the one before that it was an Ipod Nano. They're not fooling around and I need to quit missing out.

Then it will be Vegas on Thursday night. I get to town at 7:30 and I think I'll head to the hotel to check in and then, since I will have a car, I'll drive by In'n'Out burger for dinner, seeing that we have no InO here in Houston, and damn I love those burgers. After that I'll go to watch the pre-WSOP freak show at the Rio, as described yesterday, and then I'm not so sure. I think it will be either the 11:00PM tournament at Sahara or the 2:00AM tournament at Aladdin, or maybe both, because my dad's plane arrives at 9:30 the next morning and I'll be going back and forth to the airport all afternoon to pick everyone else up and there will be no time for any of the 10:00AM or Noon tournaments on Friday. Maybe I'll just end up at MGM playing NL there, instead. I have no idea.

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Posted by Dr Fro 2:27 PM

You probably know that the odds of getting AA on any hand is 1 in 221.

If you played 221 hands, do you know what the odds are that you would be dealt AA at least once? This may surprise you. It is 63% chance.

At 30 hands per hour, you would need to play 5.1 hours to even be more likely than not (i.e. >50%) to get dealt AA.

There is no amount of hands you can play to make it certain, of course. But do you know how many hours (at 30 hands per hour) you need to play to even have a 90% of getting AA at least once? Just under 17 hours. So if you play at about 3 hours per session, you would have to play 6 sessions to be 90% sure that you would get AA once.

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Monday, July 24, 2006

Posted by Johnnymac 6:42 PM
I have been meaning to post about my travel plans this week and never got around to it. Beau's WSOP news today is a good excuse.

My dad turned 70 in June and in celebration he wanted to foot the bill for a big family vacation: his girlfriend (my parents are divorced), me and my wife, and both of my brothers and their wives, plus his lone granddaughter. Being the degenerate gambler that my dad is (how do you think I turned out the way I am), he naturally wanted to take the family to Vegas and so that's what we're doing. And it so worked out that the cheapest weekend that fit into everyone's schedule happened to be this coming weekend.

Now you might say that I did this on purpose but the truth is that I had completely forgotten about the WSOP when we made our reservations late last month and it never even crossed my mind until I bought tickets on the telephone to Penn & Teller's show at the Rio on Saturday night. The email receipt for my purchase had a banner ad for the WSOP.

"Holy crap," I thought, "my wife is going to be so pissed and think I did this on purpose and I am never going to get out of the doghou-... aw screw it, who am I kidding, this is going to be AWESOME! Hell yeah!"

It was cool enough to think that we might at least get to be there in person to at least see the tournament and some of the famous faces that are bound to be there, even if only for a few minutes, but then one day last week my boss heard about my trip and made a startling suggestion, "Since you're going to be there anyway, would you mind flying out a day early to represent us in person for that conference call scheduled for Friday morning in the Vegas office?" (yes, we really do have an office in Las Vegas, I'm not kidding, this is a true story)

"Um, sure. No problem."

"Great. I would say that I hope it's not too much of a problem, but I'm pretty sure it's not. And I really do appreciate your help here."

"Um, sure thing. You're welcome. Happy to do it.... very happy to do it."

So I changed my flight and added a night to my existing reservation at Mandalay Bay. And not ten minutes after I had done all this, the conference call got pushed back a week. Holy. Crap. YES!

So here I am with a non-refundable ticket to Las Vegas and a hotel room the night before the main event of the 2006 WSOP and my wife and the rest of my family not showing up until Friday afternoon.... what will I ever do?

One thing is for sure, all joking aside, I am not going to all of a sudden decide to play in the main event or any satellites and probably not any super satellites, either. Padilla posted a link to the schedule a couple of months ago and all fantasies aside of missing work for an extended period in expectation of making the final table, the first two rounds with all of their splitting and tiering and flighting and off-days span an entire week.

So that's not going to happen. But I am almost certainly going to head over to the Rio sometime on Friday to see some of the action and I'll probably go over on Thursday night, too, to see if this book's description of the night before the WSOP with throngs of railbirds and poker nerds and desperate satellite players is accurate. And if it is, I think that is something I am going to want to see. In fact, I might have to say right now that it's in fact not accurate because that book was written before the Moneymaker Era and I am pretty sure that all of the action going on in the book is exponentially crazier nowadays. Exponentially exponentially crazier.

And I'm pretty sure I'll get some poker playing of my own in, too.

Just 3 more days, baby. 3 more days.

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Posted by Dr Fro 5:11 PM

Top five thoughts on Beau Ryan's success:

5. Two members of the IAG community have played in the WSOP; both have finished in the money.
4. Beau profited more from the IAG tournament ($2k) than he did in the WSOP ($700).
3. Beau was a Naughty Dog. To the best of my knowledge, ND's are now 100% on finishing in the money at the WSOP. Hopefully this is still true in 2 weeks.
2. I am jealous.
1. Mike the Mouth and I have (at least) one thing in common: we both have been eliminated from a tournament by Beau Ryan.

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Posted by Johnnymac 11:00 AM
Well, we can now claim that a reader of our blog went to Vegas and knocked both Mike Caro and Mike Matusow out of a single WSOP event on his way to a finish in the money. Jiminy, the readers of this blog are good. Congratulations to Beau Ryan.

Go Houston poker!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Beau
Date: Mon, 24 Jul 2006 10:16:16 -0500
Subject: WSOP Event #31
To: Johnnymac

I sent this recap out to a few of my friends and thought you guys might be interested in hearing about my first trip to the WSOP as well...

Event #31 - No-Limit Holdem - Buy-in: $2,000 - 2,050 players - 1st place pays $822k

I flew out Thursday night right after work and got into LV about 9pm, checked into the hotel and took a cab over to the Rio. Once I got inside the pavilion I was stunned with how big everything was and how many players and tables were in there (they were finishing up the first day of the NLHE short-handed $5000 event). Anyway, I registered and paid for the next day's event and then hung out for awhile and watched the Seven Card Stud $5000 event final table.

So... fast forward to the next day...I show up about an hour early and see just about every pro that you can imagine plus several celebrities.
After awhile they announce that the event is about to start, I find my table and take my place in seat #2. The table gradually fills up right before the start, but seats #9 & #10 are still empty. The tournament starts and after about two hands I hear a loud voice coming from behind me saying...Oooh, look at all these fish...ooh, fishy, fishy, fishy.

Yep, you might have guessed it...Mike Matusow was assigned to seat #9 at my table. I was a little nervous about playing in this type of tournament to begin with and this certainly didn't help. To make things worse, a few minutes later seat #10 shows up. He's a younger guy who looks familiar, but I can't place the name. I later find out that he is Prahlad "Spirit Rock" Friedman, a huge online player and also a 2003 WSOP bracelet winner. Not exactly the people I wanted to start playing with at my first WSOP event.

Ok, on to the tournament. We started with $2000 in chips with $25-$25 blinds. I take down the first 4 out of 5 pots and start to feel pretty good. I run my stack up to about $6k pretty quick and then run into a big hand. I have KQs in the BB, get one caller, plus the SB. Flop comes A-J-10 rainbow (Sweet!). SB checks, I check, Seat #8 bets out $500, SB folds, I'm loving it and just call. Turn comes another 10. I decide to try $600. #9 thinks about it for awhile and calls. River brings a blank and I bet out $1000, #9 raises $2k and I get a bad feeling, but call... he flips over Jacks full. Ouch, that's going to leave a mark. Thankfully, that was the last one of those for awhile.

During this first hour or so Matusow does a lot of talking, but not much playing. He eventually takes one of the worst beats I've seen in person. He and another raise and re-raise and end up all-in pre-flop (Matusow with about 600 or so more in chips) both flip over aces. Seat#9 has black aces, Matusow has red. Flop comes 3 clubs, turn a blank and the river - the last club. Aces crack Aces... freakin brutal.

This sets up the next hand. I raise with pocket 9s and it's folded around to Matusow who goes all-in with 10-8, everyone else folds. Flop comes 10-8-2 diamonds, turn a blank, and river a diamond. I knock out Matusow in the first hour with a lucky flush. In the next 10 minutes or so Prahlad Friedman is down to about nothing and is forced all-in against me and I knock him is out as well. (Even though they were ultimately short-stacked, it was a little bit of a confidence booster to send home two pros in the first hour regardless of how it happened.)

(Level 3 $100-$200) Right before our table is broken down I catch the suckout of the year. I am in the BB, UTG calls, everyone else folds, SB calls, I raise $500 with JJ, UTG calls, SB folds. Flop comes A-Q-4. I check and UTG goes all-in for his last $500, I'm definitely behind, but call and he flips QQ. I am almost dead. What's the only thing that could save me? Running Jacks or yep you guessed it, turn was a K and the river was a 10. I need to calculate what the chances of that actually happening are.

I continue to keep catching people with good hands when I have great hands and making well timed bluffs and I am able to run my stack up to $17,000 at the dinner break (6 levels into this).

After the dinner break and over the next 4 hours my luck starts to change, my bluffs on the button are getting raised by the blinds and my stack gets shorter and shorter and every time a table I am at is broken down I am sent to a table that is about to collapse under the pressure of all the chips on the table. However, I am able to tread water long enough to get down to 205 players out of the 2,050 that started. At this point though I have about $6k in chips with $200 antes and $600-$1200 blinds. Because we are so close to the bubble (198th and better get paid) they play round by round. Somehow, I have just enough chips to fold until that is over and they announce that everyone left is in the money. At that point I had $800TC. Because I've made the money and have so little chips (avg. chip stack was about $25k) I don't really care anymore and go all-in and get two callers. I flip over J-10 and hit two pair and take the main pot which came to about $3k. I go all in the next hand with 99 get one caller and more than double up again.
Next hand I look down and see AKs. Seat #3 which happened to be a short-stacked Mike Caro went all-in for about the same amount I had and I called. He had AQ, the board didn't improve him and I had knocked my third pro out for the day. (Funny story about I was right on the money bubble and talking about it to the table, he mentioned that he could care less about the $2800 he'd win now that he was in the money, he had just lost $30k at the BJ table during the dinner break...I really felt out of my league). Two hands later I push all in with A-10s on the button (in retrospect I'm not sure why, probably something to do with playing for my longest stint ever) and get called by QJ (table chip leader), he spikes a Q on the turn and my tournament is over and I am out in 167th place, 14 hours after I had started playing. Getting my money back plus some was nice ($2798), but I'd sure like that last hand back. Hey...but I had a really good time regardless.


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Sunday, July 23, 2006

Posted by Dr Fro 9:35 PM
My online tournament win percentage is astronomical lately. I just won first in a $20 SNG. I thought some of you would enjoy this exchange (especially the "I get that a lot" but not-so-much on the misuse of the 2nd person possessive):

There are at least three readers of this humble little blog that regularly accuse me of being "lucky". I figured they would want to give a virtual high five to this guy.

I disagree with them all. There is only one person on this planet whose luck defies all laws of statistics, and that is Seth Wexler. The rest of us have to obey the Law of Averages and stuff like that.

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Friday, July 21, 2006

Posted by Dr Fro 10:37 AM
This and that

Last Friday night I played in an online O/8 tournament and got first place. I have definitely risen from "suck" to "better than suck" at O/8. More than anything, I am focussed on scooping. If I can't scoop, then I run away.

I followed that up with a 57 person NLHE tournament on Saturday. The tournament payed out 1-10. I got 11th. I do that a lot. I lost with AT. I do that a whole lot.

The poker league is winding down with only two more Sundays to go. I can still catch first place, but the most likely result is second place. I think first gets a bi $75 payday and second gets $25. It ain't about the money. It is all about the bragging rights!

I was shocked to see Jackie's own Josh win a nice $6k in a WSOP second chance event. He is a good poker player, so I am happy to see him win. I can see from the pictures that everybody's favorite dealer, Beti was there, as were several other not-as-pretty members of the Jackie's crew. Congratulations Josh!

I got my Party Poker magazine, Party Life, in the mail. I am so sick, I read it cover to cover. It is a bit silly, but it is interesting enough. I also read the WSOP "article" in Maxim (actually a special advertising section paid for by Full Tilt Poker). There was absolutely nothing of interest in it. Well, I liked the picture of Clonie, but that was about it.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Posted by Johnnymac 2:12 PM
It seems that car enthusiasts have a new fad these days. When they're not killing people with their drag races on Westheimer, apparently the cool thing to do is to climb out of the still moving car and dance on the hood. It's called "Ghost riding the whip" and I just can't quite grasp the point. I have two examples, though.

First watch this one:

Then you will more properly appreciate why I laughed my ass off at this one:

I can laugh at morons all day.

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Posted by Dr Fro 8:11 AM
As a follow up to my previous post, here are two more gems:

At the Bay 101 Shooting Stars, the money was brought out not by hot chicks but rather by people dressed in one of those crazy Chinese dragon costumes, all the while banging on bells. Vince first says:

"OOooo those dragons are tough on a hangover"

and follows it up with:

"I'd go on a date with one of those dragons for all that cash."

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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Posted by Dr Fro 5:26 PM
I TiVOed the entire season of WPT and have been catching up the past few weeks. Vince Van Patten makes some obscure one-liners from time to time that just tear me up.

Example #1: The hot chicks come out to dump the money on the table. One leans over and two enormous breastesses take up the entire TV screen, and Vince pipes in "Oooooo...Take me to your leader!"

Example #2: Five players call the BB to see the flop. Mike Sexton says, "This will be fun. It is just like a home game with everybody calling preflop." Vince pipes in, "Oooooo...Pass me a pastrami sandwich and spill some drinks on the table!"

What a buffoon. A very, very funny buffoon sometimes though.

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Saturday, July 15, 2006

Posted by Johnnymac 4:44 PM
Fro, I hear what you are saying but many many many more people are in favor of these laws than are against them. This isn't the Dubai Ports deal or the Senate's unbelievably arrogant and short-sighted "comprehensive" immigration bill. In those circumstances, the Rush Limbaughs and Sean Hannitys and Fox News Channels (your favorite sources of media, I know) all helped worked the "public" into a tizzy and then naturally the politicians had to listen to their base and they let those dumb ideas die. A quick check just now doesn't show anything on either Limbaugh's or Hannity's website even mentioning this bill (as compared to how crazy they were over the other two topics) and I watch Fox News all day at work and I have yet to see it mentioned outside of the normal newsbreaks.

There are a lot of vocal poker players out there, I agree, but there are a lot more people who probably wouldn't vote to make B&M legal or not to eventually enforce the law againt the online rooms. This is because, politically, it's a losing deal: no politician is going to give his opponent a chance to use it as a campaign issue by saying, "Senator Bob voted to let your kids play poker on the internet, next he'll probably vote to let your kids drink absinthe while having unprotected sex with illegal immigrants in our public schools and emergency rooms. Vote for me instead!" You and I both know that's the way it works.

Maybe in the far far distant future things will change, but you're dreaming if you think that a bunch of vocal Chris Moneymaker and Dutch Boyd types are going to somehow cause this to change.

I wish none of this was true - I like playing online poker, don't get me wrong - but at the same time, as I have said in similar situations, my liking to gamble or play poker doesn't mean that I think everyone should be doing it. I think government lotteries are TERRIBLE things. I think the relatively recent proliferation of casinos all over the country and outside of Vegas and Atlantic City are probably not good for the public welfare as a whole, but at least B&M casinos and lotteries are at least regulated a little bit and the government gets some tax revenue out of it. I think easy-to-find gambling preys on those people who can least afford to do it and I don't think it would be such a bad thing if there was a little oversight in place. I would rather see online gambling regulated and taxed instead of done away with altogether, but as I said, that's probably not going to happen and we're more likely to see it go away. I don't think that would be the end of the world, but that's not my point. My point simply, is that someday soon, it WILL be unequivocally illegal to play online poker and people will begin to be prosecuted for it. Period.

With regards to the WTO/Antigua comment below - the complaint is that blocking the offshore gambling sites is "protectionist" in the sense that if the offshore sites were to be blocked, some states' domestic horseracing and lotteries would theoretically still be allowed online and thus from a world trade sense the US would be unfairly favoring its domestic gambling industry at the expense of a foreign one. That whole complaint is unrelated to this bill, but at the same time this bill doesn't fix the underlying contradiction because it still make the same lottery and horseracing exemptions. If the US were to ban ALL online gambling, then that would be compliant with the WTO because the WTO isn't meant to dictate law or public policy, just the terms of trade and if it's legal to do something domestically then the WTO forces you to make it legal internationally, too.

I can see the argument that his has the real potential to trip things up, but, from what I understand right now, really all it would affect is the tactic of blocking the sites. Kiddie porn is still illegal, too, and I'm sure (although I wouldn't personally know... of course) that there are foreign websites featuring kiddie porn that are easily accessible on the internet this very instant and not blocked by Time Warner Cable. And who's to say that the government just won't subpoena the ISP's for names of people accessing the gambling sites just like they do the perverts who access the porno sites or the P2P music sharing sites? I would bet that the FBI might even like to keep them open because then it's a ready-made trap to go shoot gamblers in a barrel, so to speak.

(0) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 4:15 PM
Man, I'm really getting short stacked. I'm running out of time.

Please please please give me a playable hand when the blind gets to me!

Oh yeah!

Go ahead and raise me this time fucker, and see what you get!

Aww, man. I hate f'ing Pokerstars! Shit.

(0) comments

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Posted by Johnnymac 9:32 PM
First, an explanation. I know I don't post much here any more on poker topics, and that is mainly because I came to the conclusion about 6 months ago that the fantasy football analogy really is true: nobody gives a damn about anyone else's big winning hands or big losing hands. Sometimes a hand can be used to illustrate a particular observation or mathematical truism, but very few people can do that particularly well and I am not one of them. I have also found that writing about particular hands, especially if they are not internet hands, requires quite a bit of reconstructive memory or note taking and I have found that either my hand reconstructions never work out quite right or my playing suffers when I try and take notes and thus I've just quit trying to reconstruct hands at all.

Fuck it. I pay the bills here so I'll just blog in whatever style I please, eh?


I do, however, have an opinion on the impending "internet poker law" and I've been meaning to post it here. I ended up writing a long treatise at 2+2 a couple of minutes ago and instead of recreating that, I am just going to cut and paste. My comment was actually in response to a particularly clueless question about the legislative process, and even thought I didn't intend to write a long response that's what I ended up doing. Enjoy.

Well, here's the deal. Online gambling and poker is already illegal, according to just about any judge, prosecutor, or lawyer you ask. The new bill just clarifies some of the terminology since the internet wasn't around back in the days of Al Capone or whenever the first law was passed and it also adds certain banking prohibitions as well (much like what the New York AG already did a couple of years ago), since credit cards weren't around back then, either.

I've been playing online for a couple of years now, but it wasn't because I was under any foolish misconception that it was legal, only that with so many people doing it for much higher stakes than me (literally, my favorite game is 1c/2c Omaha on P-Stars) it is unlikely that I would ever get in any kind of trouble for it. And I think that probably applies to most people these days - unless you are gambling thousands of dollars a month online, the government probably isn't going to come after you because there simply aren't enough resources to enforce the law. Most likely, if the government ever did decide to start enforcing these laws, there would be a general "amnesty" announced and then the sites would start being monitored and only the people who kept playing after the "we're really serious now" announcement would likely ever get a letter in the mail or a visit from a federal agent. I think that the new law, in making the definitions more precise and taking away some of the more common defenses (rationalizations, really) that people use, is the beginning of that "we're really serious" process. Once this new law passes (and don't kid yourself, eventually, someday, maybe not this year, but eventually, it will) they are probably going to begin holding ISP's responsible for aiding and abetting a felony by not blocking the sites and then even if you wanted to break the law and play online it will be much harder to play.

I know I'm kind of long-winded here, but the short answer is that yes, internet poker is already considered to be illegeal by a vast majority of the legal community, the laws just haven't been enforced yet to a great degree. This new bill doesn't change anything with regards to the legality, it just clarifies things and will make it easier to enforce the law once the feds finally do decide to start prosecuting online poker players.

Feel free to disagree or tell me I am full of sh*t, but the facts are the facts: it's an election year, the b&m casinos are lobbying their butts off because they have a massive interest in squashing the competition (if they can't get a piece of the pie themselves), and this country has always had quite a puritan streak when it comes to gambling. I personally don't think internet poker should be illegal - like recreational drug use, it could be regulated and become a major source of tax revenue - but that doesn't change the fact that within the next 2-3 you will be risking arrest if you logon to PS or PP or Bodog or whatever. It's gonna happen and there is no amount of lobbying or protesting or holding your breath that is going to stop it.

A lot of people had very principled arguments in favor of free music downloads, too, and never believed that people might be held legally liable for using Napster, either, and we all know how that turned out. It happened then and it's eventually going to happen to online poker.

With regards to the original question about the legislative process, for chrissakes go back to 8th grade civics class. In its most simplified form:

1.) House (or Senate) gets an idea and passes a bill
2.) The other house passes its own version of the bill
3.) A committee of members from both houses gets together and drafts a combined version of the bill
4.) Each house votes on the new bill (or proposes changes but the rules vary and are complicated)
5.) If both houses pass the final combined version, then the bill is sent to the president for his signature
6.) If he signs it, then it's a law. If he doesn't then it's not a law (yet)

We're only at step #1, so no, the new bill is nowhere near becoming a law.

(4) comments

Monday, July 10, 2006

Posted by Dr Fro 7:43 PM

(0) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 2:17 PM
From the mailbag (I have no idea what the answers are):


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Beau
Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2006 13:31:10 -0500
Subject: question
To: johnnymac

I've got a couple of questions for those of you in the know...

I am heading to Vegas either on 7/20 for event #31 (NLHE $2000, 3-day, 12pm start) or 8/4 for event #41 (NLHE $1500, 2-day, 10am start)...logistically these are the only two that work out for me. Does anyone know how close the satellites run up to the start time? (ie- If I wanted to play one at 6am on the day one of the events started, could I?

Which leads me to my second long is registration open for all of these events? Does it close an hour before the start? Two hours?

- Beau

(3) comments

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Posted by Dr Fro 4:31 PM

(3) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 3:53 PM
Junell, I was always under the impression that to play at a cardroom in Texas is legal, but to run one is not. This was based partly on knowledge of busts where the players were only told to go home yet the hosts were arrested. However, the recent events in Dallas have involved players getting tickets.
Notwithstanding the arguments out there that gambling actually isn't illegal (a view not held by the DPD), what is the nature of the trouble a player can get into vs the trouble the house (e.g. a felony, a misdemeanor, etc.)?
Thanks. Pls don't bill me for this.

(1) comments

Friday, July 07, 2006

Posted by Junelli 11:23 AM
Look at the "HUGE" bumper sticker...taken at the Hula Hut boat ramp on Lake Austin, July 4, 2006.

(1) comments

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Posted by Junelli 5:29 PM
"I wanted to throw a party for 2 reasons. The first is because I wanted to see everyone in an environment outside the office. The second is because my roommate doesn't believe that Dwight exists."

(0) comments

Posted by Junelli 5:26 PM
When Dr. Fro lost that 30 lbs, the first place he went was to the beach...

(4) comments

Posted by Junelli 10:25 AM
I know it's only a $1-$2 game, but this one stung particularly bad. Not because of the money involved, but because of the way it happened.

Needless to say I put "sincall" on my buddy list so I can find him forever...

***** Hand History for Game 4667236369 *****
$1/$2 Texas Hold'em - Thursday, July 06, 01:14:13 ET 2006
Table Mount Fuji (Real Money)
Seat 3 is the button
Total number of players : 6
Seat 1: Myrnittalove ( $46.37 )
Seat 2: sincall ( $60.91 )
Seat 4: essie999 ( $35.99 )
Seat 5: junell ( $57.50 )
Seat 6: Pyyratt ( $31 )
Seat 3: BIG_CHIPS_1 ( $18.50 )
essie999 posts small blind [$0.50].
junell posts big blind [$1].
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to junell [ Ac Ad ]
Pyyratt folds.
Myrnittalove calls [$1].
sincall calls [$1].
BIG_CHIPS_1 folds.
essie999 calls [$0.50].
junell raises [$1].
Myrnittalove calls [$1].
sincall calls [$1].
essie999 calls [$1].
** Dealing Flop ** [ Kh, 8d, 4d ]
essie999 checks.
junell bets [$1].
Myrnittalove calls [$1].
sincall calls [$1].
essie999 calls [$1].
** Dealing Turn ** [ 6s ]
essie999 checks.
junell bets [$2].
Myrnittalove folds.
sincall calls [$2].
essie999 calls [$2].
** Dealing River ** [ 6c ]
essie999 checks.
junell bets [$2].
sincall raises [$4].
essie999 folds.
junell: suckout?
junell calls [$2].
sincall shows [ 2h, 6h ] three of a kind, sixes.
junell shows [ Ac, Ad ] two pairs, aces and sixes.
sincall wins $25 from the main pot with three of a kind, sixes.

Here's what the chat box looked like after that one:

junell: suckout?
sincall: yep
junell: frigin donkey
sincall: dont abuse pls
junell: that was XXXXing sick
sincall: it was but it's no excuse for abusing
junell: 26?????? what the fck were you thinking before the flop and on the flop?????
sincall: that u had AA
junell: so you call on the flop with 26 no pair and no draw??
sincall: i had a draw
junell: what draw???
sincall: bkdoor str8
junell: hahahaha
junell: flop is K84 and you have a 26
junell: great draw
sincall: worked
junell: yeah keep playing like that.
sincall: i will
junell: go xxxx your mother.

(0) comments

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Posted by Dr Fro 10:05 PM
Two very funny exchanges

#1 Jimmy the Fish

The 1994 World Cup final was on and Ferruzzo and I were in college. Italy was playing Brazil. Being an Italian American, Jimmy the Fish (aka Ferruzzo) was pulling for Italy. Being a contrarian and an antagonist, I was pulling for Brazil.


JF: "I can't believe we lost to a bunch of Mexicans."
CF: "They aren't Mexicans. They are Brazilians."
JF: "You know what I mean. They speak Spanish, so they are basically a bunch of Mexicans."
CF: "They don't speak Spanish. They speak Portuguese."
JF: "Whatever. They have freaking dark skin and greasy black hair."
CF: "So do Italians."
JF: "Get the f^ck out of my room!"

#1 Talkie Talk


Hickey and I drove to Winstar on Monday to play some Holdem. (We made a tiny amount in $4-$8 fixed limit and lost it and a bit more at $1-$2 at NL HE. A fun time.) I am at a $1-$2 HE game that is pretty boring until a guy sat down that I will call Talkie Talk. He talked for four straight hours. Evidently, according to him, he is the greatest gambler of all time. Perhaps you believe him. I am skeptical. He sat next to a very nice guy in a Party Poker visor. I called him Party Poker.


TT: "Dude I just won $750 at black jack. I should quit my job and play blackjack."
PP: "How can you possibly expect to make money at blackjack without counting cards?"
TT: "With 6 decks you can't count cards. You can't. No, I got an approach." (Notice he didn't say "system". That would have been too perfect) "
PP: "What approach?"
TT: "If I sit down with a bunch of losers that don't play by the book, I get up and freaking leave. You can't freaking win when they mess up the shoe like that. But then I find a table where everybody plays by the book - hits when they should, stands when they should - and I just rake it in."
PP: "But what the other players do can't affect your long-term expectation"
TT: "Huh? If they hit, then they took my card. How does that not affect how I do?"
PP: "Whether they play well or poorly, you can only hope to minimize the house's edge to 0.5% (unless you count cards.) Play $5 tables for 40 hours a week and you will lose hundreds of dollars."
TT: "Bullsh!t. I've probably won like ten grand this year alone."

If you don't find that conversation hilarious, send me a note. Let's play cards sometime!

(0) comments

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Posted by Dr Fro 5:13 PM
So yesterday was the Grand Final of the Blogger Poker Tour. As you may recall, your favorite blogger won an entry (and $125) when I placed first in a preliminary event. There were merchandize prizes yesterday for 2nd-10th and an entry to the Main Event at the WSOP went to 1st place.

I didn't take too many notes, as I wanted to focus on my playing, but I did take a few:

The blinds started out at 5/10, and we were given $5,000 as an initial stack. Blinds went up by app 50% every 15 minutes; sometimes they doubled every 15 minutes. There were supposed to be 50 players, but there were only 39. I think that is because some people qualified multiple times. So there were only 38 people between me and my dreams becoming a reality. I liked my odds.

I really liked my odds when I played K9 out of the gate and flopped top two pair. I won a small pot and immediately became the chip leader. It wasn't much longer that I got A9 on the button and decided to raise. I got re-raised the minimum. I called. I slowed down on the next three streets to see a final board of 4455J. He checked, and so did I. I really thought about betting, but reason got the better of me. I am glad it did because he had KK. For a rare instance in my life, I took my foot off the gas and was glad I did. The hand did cost me though, as I went down to $4,400 in chips and fell to 37th place.

I was a bottom dweller for a while when I got lucky and turned a flush. There were a lot of cards out there that indicated to me that my opponent could either be drawing to a straight or maybe he could draw to the K-high flush still. I decided to slow play and let him catch up. Catch up he did, and I won a big pot. Once again, slowing down paid off for me.

At 4:27, I called with 66 on the button. The BB raised and I called. I flopped my set (as I seem to do with uncanny frequency) and take him for a lot of money. He had TT. Lucky me.

At 4:54, I get disconnected (damn SBCYahoo!!!) while holding 89s in the BB. When I finally get reconnected, I am in the BB again and get diconnected again. I am livid. I get back on, and then we go to the break. I am in 18th place out of 31 remaining players. I have $4,790 in chips. Shortly after the break I get disconnected again and miss 4 hands (inlcuding the SB, BB and button). I get reconnected and am steaming. I finally calm down.

At 5:23 I got dealt 77. I am heads up against another player with KK. I flop a set. (I do that.) I take all of his money and end up now in 7th place out of 28 players. I have $8,330.

When the blinds get to $200-$400 (the 9th level), I am at $6,700 and am in 12th out of 24 players. Somebody makes it $1,000 to go and I pay the extra $600 holding AQ. The flop comes Q-rag-rag. By the river we are both all-in and I find out he had AK. A pattern has clearly developed of me starting out preflop with either very inferior or completely dominated hands only to pull ahead on the flop. In all of these hands, I was getting the right price to see the flop. I think my opponents hurt themselves by betting too little pre-flop. That is what having a $10,000 prize will do to your play. I now have $10,225

I am 9th out of 19 when when we consolidate to 2 tables. Playing with 21 players is tough becuase the blinds are eating you alive. It was nice to get some relief from the blinds. Everybody was playing super tight because there was no prize unless you made the final table. The 2 chip leaders were bullying everyone and gettng away with it. I stole the blinds a couple times just to stay alive.

At 5:55, the blinds are $300-$600 and I play 44 only to flop a set. Of course I flopped a set.

We get down to 13 players and blind stealing gets a lot easier, so I do it a lot. I get AQ, call a small raise and win a big pot off of a guy holding JJ after I flop a pair. We are now going to call this "Friou-ing".
Friou - \Free-yo\ v. - 1 to be behind on the flop, connect on the flop, and end up with all of the other guy's money.

Things are going very well for me, so I am due something bad. When you know that you are due something bad, the sight of JJ in your hand gives you shivers. Although not scientifically proven, most experts agree that only very bad things can happen to you while holding JJ. Three of us end up all-in before the flop. My opponents hold AT and QJ. SWEET! I am a favorite to win. There is a decent side-pot, too, so even if the small stack beats me, I will just about break even on the hand. The flop comes Qxx. Crap. The turn brought a J. YEEHAW! The river brought a Q. UGGGGHHH! I take the side-pot and basically break even on the hand. There are 11 guys left and I am in 11th place. A second later, some guy gets eliminated at the other table and BINGO - I am at the final table.

It is now 6:32 and I have been playing for 3 hours. I have $8,616, which makes me the smallest stack. The blinds are $400-$800. In short order I find myself with $7,816 and on the break.

We get back from the break, and the blinds are at $750-$1500. My "M" is not very high. On the first hand, I get 22 on the button. The chip leader raised to make it $4,500 all day. This is not surprising because he raises just about every hand. I doubt he has a very good hand, so I consider my fate. This may be my best chance to double up. I am so severly short stacked that if I double up a few hands from now, I will be doing so with much fewer chips (and maybe only double up to my current stack!). In a cash game, I'd toss 22. But I can't afford to. All in! He shows KQ. The race is on.

He wins it. He caught a Q on the flop. He Friou-ed Friou. Good for him. did an excellent job of running this thing, and I am very pleased with them. If you haven't checked out their site, you should do so. Since the entry was free and since I won an Ipod, I can't complain. The guy that won it was the guy that knocked me out. He had an enourmous chip lead for most of the tournament and he played it well. Good for him.

(1) 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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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"

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