Saturday, March 29, 2008

This Oughta Wrap It Up

So I've decided not to update my blog anymore. I'm going to leave it up because, why not? This was pretty short-lived, but I just don't care enough about it to keep doing it anymore. If you want to know how I'm doing, or chat poker strategy, give me a call.

Before I wrap it up, I'll give you all one last update. I decided not to do the play at UHart. They cast me as the baby in this family of mice, and I only had two real lines aside from babbling like a baby every now and then. I didn't think it would be the kind of experience I would like to begin with if I'm going to get into acting. I do plan on taking a class at the Hartford Stage this summer however. Also, I will continue my efforts to somehow get on TV.

Also I'm having second thoughts on the whole Bonnaroo trip. Tickets alone are going to be close to $300. When you add in travel, lodging, food, and spending money, it's going to be probably over $1,000. I've already seen Ben Folds, Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, Against Me!, OAR, and I'm seeing Pearl Jam this summer at the Meadows anyways. Other than that, I'm missing the Allman Brothers, Willie Nelson, Metallica, Robert Plant, Talib Kweli, and Jack Johnson. The only people I care about enough to see in concert out of all of those are the Allman Brothers and probably Robert Plant. Below is a list of concerts I plan on going to this summer:

Eric Clapton
Dave Matthews
Pearl Jam with Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
Billy Joel
Poison with Sebastian Bach (from Skid Row) and Dokken

I also might see:
Chicago and the Doobie Brothers
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
ZZ Top

As far as poker goes, I haven't been playing as much or as high volume as normal. I'm down since my last cashout, and haven't had any scores worth mentioning, but I'll be fine.

Also, I'm probably going to start taking voice/piano lessons from my uncle, and maybe eventually guitar again as well. (I used to play when I was like eight, but I don't remember hardly anything.)

Here is a list of the artists I plan to add to my iTunes within the next few days:
Alice in Chains
Arrested Development
Collective Soul
Dashboard Confessional
Digital Underground
Dream Theater
Fiona Apple
James Taylor
Kriss Kross
Marcy Playground
Miranda Lambert
Shania Twain

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A St. Patty's Day Celebration and A Trip to the Woods.

So last time we left off, I had a potential audition to be on TRL. Unfortunately however, I never got a call back from the casting people. : ( That Wednesday night, I went to UHart to watch Eli's improv group do a show. We were in for a special treat, because the group from Trinity was performing along with them. The cast was much larger than usual, but the show was outstanding comedy, as usual.

Thursday I can't really remember what I did, to be honest. I tried to put the word out for the party. Oh yeah, I went grocery shopping and paid some bills too. Friday I slept pretty late, and then had to start getting ready for the party. I cleaned everything up and went out with Vito to get the beverages. I also made my way over to the gym, mostly just so I could let those hot girls that worked there know about the party, but they said they were busy. Oh well. The party went well, even though there were a few people who couldn't make it. It was kind of weird because this girl came who I used to talk to a few years ago, the summer before I went to college. We had some brief relations, and I never really talked to her again after the fall of 2005. She showed up with a few kids that I knew, but I wasn't sure if it was her at first, because her hair was much shorter, a different color, and she had a hat pulled down kind of far. It wasn't like "Oh heyyyy! How have you been?" though. It was more like we were both pretending we didn't recognize each other. It was definitely an awkward turtle. The one bad part about the party was that someone stole all of my liquor. I couldn't find it anywhere at one point, so that irritated me. If someone came up to me, and just said, "Sorry, man I finished it all," I would have just been like whatever, it was for sharing anyways. The fact that someone actually took it though is just low.

Saturday I slept until 7 PM. I drove down to Montville without even cleaning up. My entire house was trashed, but I didn't feel like doing anything about it so I just left to go hang out with DJ, Jimmers, and Adam, at DJ's house. They let me know that there was going to be a surprise for me when I got there. Oh, boy. I wasn't sure if I wanted to know what the surprise was, given our history. I arrived around 9:30. It was a small little shin-dig, but still a fun chill night. DJ came downstairs with my surprise. It was my liquor! He decided that since he knew he was going to have a party/get-together the next night, that he wanted to save it so that it "wouldn't be wasted on all those other people." Lol. Well at least now I knew no one stole it, but I didn't feel much like drinking two nights in a row. I mostly took it easy, and left when the party died down around 12:30. I still didn't want to clean up though, so instead I decided to pay a visit to Foxwoods, which isn't far away.

I bought in for $260 at a 1-2 NL table. As it gets later and later into the night, the games get smaller and smaller. Eventually the table next to ours came over to consolidate, and we were back to a full table. One of the new guys at our table said he was new to poker only having played for about six months. He was hilarious. He kept introducing himself as Horatio every time a floorperson came over, even though that was obviously not his real name. He was very outgoing, and cracked jokes with each of the dealers. We chatted for awhile about a few different things, including when I tried to convince him that online poker is safe, far more convenient, and not rigged. It was so sick, he cashed out with over $2,000 in front of him! He kept hitting the nuts (the best possible hand), and getting it all in. Once with Ac3c on a 9 K Q 4 board with three clubs against J 10. It was funny, he was completely overwhelmed, and in a state of utter glee. He was throwing basically all of his white $1 chips at the dealers for no reason whether or not he was in the hand. Clearly this had been his best night ever. It's always fun to have that kind of casual environment with a person like that at the table. That's one of the few things I like about live poker as opposed to online.

I did well, winning most pots I played, and never losing any big pots, except for one moderate one to this donkish older gentleman. He was playing nearly every hand, often calling to the river, and re-buying once every two or three orbits. It's kind of a bad beat story, but I played it well. It always feels good to me when I have a strong read on a player's tendencies and exploit them perfectly, even if the results aren't ideal. I had 45 o/s in the BB and two or three people limped (so standard). The flop came 4 5 10. I bet out big, and everyone folded except the player I was just describing. The turn was a Q and again I made a pot-sized bet. The river was an 8 and I put him all in. He called instantly, proudly displaying his now-a-powerhouse 10 8 o/s. Whatever to that. nh bro.

There was one other big hand where I got pretty lucky. The player UTG limped in, and the chatty gentleman raised to $7, two players called, and I re-raised to $35 in position, with AK. Everyone called, even the guy who only had $2 committed. Jesus Christ, here we go, come on ace. The flop came 9-high, rainbow, and uncoordinated. Everyone checked to me and I bet like $45 or $55 I can't exactly remember. Only the first player called. He checked in the dark, to the turn which was a Q. I knew he was not confident in the strength of his hand. It's not likely that he had a queen, or any kind of two pair. I really couldn't figure out what he had, but I was positive he was weak. If I bet $100 there's no way he's going to call, I thought. That's like 40% of his stack. I quickly pushed an entire stack of red chips into the middle, planning to fold if he went all in for his $160 more or whatever it was. He called immediately. Barf. Way to go, Andy, you had a nice profit for the night, now you're going to blow it all on a bluff and go home without stopping at the cashier's cage at all. Great. The dealer delivered a beautiful card, the A d. Now if my opponent went all-in I would probably throw up, expecting to see a set or something, but I would have been forced to call given the size of the pot. Instead, however, he checked. Now what do I do? I hit my hand, right? It seems kind of counter-intuitive to put $200 in without a hand, them check when I make my hand, but it makes sense if you think about it. My flop bet was a continuation bet, representing a strong hand after a preflop re-raise. My turn bet was a total bluff when I read weakness. Now on the river, I felt like I had a medium strength hand, with only one pair out of seven cards, and I still had no idea what my opponent could have, and that's the main reason I checked. At the time I couldn't figure it out, but after giving it some thought, I think he had either 88 or 10 10. Either way, I don't think he would call on the river with any hand that I have beat. I showed my AK and he grumbled something about how he should have went all-in on the turn as he mucked his cards. Whew, that close. I managed to play some small pots, and stay out of trouble for the rest of the night. I even got away from 10 10 on an 8 3 2 rainbow flop, and the chatty rich guy showed JJ. Around 7 AM the game broke. I stopped at Dunkin' Donuts, went home and went to bed, still without cleaning up.

Sunday I woke up around 7 PM. I cleaned up the house, and started playing online at 9. I got third in a $20 180 SNG, but still broke about even on the day. I was mostly frustrated with my results in the $20 re-buy. I was chip leader with 35 left, and went out in 24th after losing a series of tough hands. I won't get into it, but that just basically made me not want to play for a little while again. I haven't been as motivated lately, mostly due to bad days on the last two Sundays. Tomorrow I will try to exercise and start at noon. That way I can be feeling good, and hopefully get a good score so that my bankroll and attitude can get back where they should be. By the time I finished it was about 3 AM or so. I just hung out for the rest of Monday, until about 5 PM when I went to bed.

This morning I got up around 4:30 AM, and worked on my iTunes, adding exactly 350 songs. I don't know if you noticed, but I went through an entire sleep cycle in the past five days. That's not bad, and I'm getting better about pushing myself through the days where I'm completely opposite a normal human. I stay up until I can't take it anymore and finally go to bed. Since I'm more tired, I often sleep 10-12 hours those nights, which makes the whole thing go a lot faster. This way I don't feel like such a freak most of the time.

Tomorrow my Mom and brother and sister are coming over in the evening I think, so I actually won't be playing all day. Oops, make that Thursday, for the poker. I'll try to check in again soon.

Until Then,

Artists added to iTunes:
Annie Lenox
The Bangles
Bow Wow Wow (not to be confused with Bow Wow)
Boy George & Culture Club
The Clash
Crime Mobb
Cutting Crew
The Cure
Depeche Mode
Duran Duran
Edgar Winter Group
Electric Light Orchestra
The Fixx
Flo Rida
George Michael
Hall & Oates
The Human League
J. Geils Band
Jefferson Starship
Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
Jordin Sparks
Judas Priest
Manfred Mann
Neil Diamond
Night Ranger
One Republic
Pat Benatar
REO Speedwagon
Rick Springfield
Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock
Rusted Root
Sara Bareilles
Talking Heads
Tommy Tutone
Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Wang Chung
Young Berg
Young MC

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse

I have played absolutely no poker for the past two days, and this will be three now! I took Monday off, after an atrocious Sunday, and was planning on playing on Tuesday. That plan quickly changed however. On Tuesday, I did all of the things I said was going to do on Monday. I cleaned the bathroom and kitchen. I dusted in the living room, and took out the trash that was starting to overflow. I paid my phone bill, after getting it lowered when I called customer service. I even did my income taxes! It was a pretty productive day.

Also, I decided to become proactive about trying to get on TV. I googled "casting call" and found all kinds of things I could apply for. MTV had at least 20 shows they were casting for. I applied for maybe five of them, since not all of the applied to me. They were mostly dating shows, including "Shot at Love with Tila Tequila 2." That's the show I want to get on most. I also applied for a few other dating shows, including one which is a segment on TRL called "Music Match". It matches you with a date based solely on your taste in music or something.

There were a few you have to make videos for, such as 1 vs 100, Deal or No Deal, The Bachelorette, Real World 21, and Big Brother 10. (In fact, all CBS shows require a video).

That night I went up to UHart. Monday night I was talking to Eli about how I wanted to get on TV, and told him all about the applications I was going to make. I told him I was considering getting into acting, and maybe taking some classes. Eli has been involved with theater for awhile now, and is a member of the improv comedy group at his school, (who are hilarious, and putting on a show tonight that I am going to see.) He told me that he was directing a children's play through his school called "Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse" and that he was having audition's Tuesday night. He said it would be a good way to get my feet wet and see if I liked it. So I went to give it a try. Also I think I was more comfortable auditioning with one of my friends.

So when I got there, we warmed up by doing this exercise called Wizbong. What you do is throw an invisible energy ball around the circle, if you throw it sideways to the person next to you you say "wiz". If you throw it across the circle, you say "whoosh". If the person you're passing it to puts their arms up in an X, and says bong, they are blocking it and passing it back to you. Then he threw in a few variations, where the person with the ball could call "Salad Bar" "Alfred Hitchcock" or "Zombie Attack". Salad Bar, everyone goes to the middle of the circle and selects some items from a salad bar, and brings them back to their spot. Alfred Hitchcock, you search frantically through all kinds or drawers and closets. Zombie Attack, you turn into a Zombie and meander over to the other side of the circle.

When we started auditions, we were reading from the script, everyone taking turns at different roles. There were about ten people there altogether. I'm not sure what the exact storyline is yet, but I know that it's about a family of mice and it's supposed to be really cute for the kids. I had fun with it and I think I'm going to keep it up, possibly participate in the show, and if I'm not selected at that, I'll take a beginner's acting class at the Hartford Stage or somewhere.

Before I run off home to dinner, I'll let you know that as I was writing this I already got a call from MTV!! The music match people asked me if I would be interested in doing something else. It's a VJ competition. Auditions are tomorrow and the next day. The lady told me to put together a personal story of heartbreak, since the competition is geared around a new movie coming out called "Forgetting Sarah Something-or-Other." (That's not the real movie title, I just couldn't remember the full name.) It's a comedy about heartbreak with a lot of the same people from Knocked Up and Superbad. So the VJ competition is this Monday. From what I gathered, you go on, tell your story of heartbreak, and the winner gets to go to the red carpet and interview all of the actors from the movie!! It's an all expenses paid trip. Auditions for the VJ contest are tomorrow and the next day, and the show in this Monday! OMG!!! That was fast! I'm really nervous now.

I had scheduled my Spring Break St. Patrick's Day party for this Friday. But now I might be in New York, and might have to re-schedule.

I gotta run now, but I'll keep you all updated on this crazy new adventure.

Until Then,

Monday, March 10, 2008

I Really Need to Stop Going Weeks Between Posts

Geez I have really been lazy about keeping this blog updated recently. After logging in just now, I have become aware that the last time I updated was last Monday.

Throughout the week, I took a few days off doing some things I enjoy, since poker hadn't been going so well. I went to the mall for a little while one day and picked up some CDs and DVDs. I bought two best of albums, one by Green Day and one by Journey, both of which I still have to upload. The DVDs I bought were all "Saturday Night Live" DVDs, obviously. They were the best of Mike Myers, Phil Hartman, TV Funhouse, and the 80's. I now have a collection of sixteen SNL DVDs altogether.

Friday, during the day, my brother had no school for no legitimate reason. That was one of the things I always liked about Catholic School. We would often have random days off for selling magazines, visits from the Bishop, etc. So we both headed off to Showcase Cinemas to see a matinée viewing of Semi-Pro with Will Ferrell. I'm glad we paid the discount price because it was only semi-good. Will Ferrell's movie characters are all the same. Blades of Glory, Anchorman, and Semi-Pro, are all basically the same movie. He plays a middle-aged, slightly overweight white man who is a sex icon. At first it is amusing to see his protruding gut and prominent chest hair portrayed as sexually appealing. In the most recent movie, he performs a provocative rendition of his character's hit single "Love Me Sexy". It was funny the first time I saw Anchorman, but by now it has gotten a little redundant. Overall, I'd say the movie was mildly amusing and predictable.

This past week was pretty bad on the poker front. After cashing for $2,000 in last week's Sunday Million, I proceeded to have two days where I played a high volume, resulting in no major cashes over thirty plus tournaments. I had lost about $1200. Fortunately, all of that changed on Friday.

I was feeling pretty dejected about my lack of recent success. I was debating whether or not to play at all. I called up my friend Josh, considering driving up to Marist for the night. He told me that Saturday would be better, so I started playing at 7 PM with the $11 1 re-buy 1 add-on. It turned out to be for the better that I stayed home. I finished second in the $55 shorthanded tournament which had 136 entrants. I won over $1100 for that. I played well, but came into heads up at an 8 to 1 chip disadvantage, which proved to be an insurmountable lead. Later that night, I became the chip leader early in the final table of the $27.50 25k guarantee, (which I won last June, effectively proving to be the start of my career as a full-time player.) I was feeling good about my chances, and I was easily the best player at the table with seven players left. I got down to three handed, and lost a race with 99 vs AJ for the chip lead and finished third. That payed $3944. Overall on the night, I was up around $5,000.

The next day was Saturday and I took the day off. My mom came over and picked me up around 10:30 AM to go hang out at the house. I showed her a skit from last week's SNL with Ellen Page, where she comes home from a Melissa Etheridge concert. She was describing in detail her experiences with the all-female audience, and her boyfriend was worried that she had "gone lez" at the concert. I knew my mom would think it was funny because she is a big Melissa Etheridge fan, and has attended many concerts like the one described in the show. We got donuts and all hung out for a little while before my sister had to go to work, and my mom to an appointment. Everyone was excited to hear about my big win.

My sister brought me home on her way to work and I got ready and packed up to head out to Marist for the night. A bunch of us went out drinking and bowling. Apparently, an upward trend in the amount of beer you consume is reflected directly in a downward trend on the score board. However this proved to be no deterrent to betting on scores with Josh. He beat me two games in a row, and I was forced to give him beer and a small sum of cash, once the bar closed. After awhile, I was getting frustrated with my diminishing scores, and resorted to rolling two balls down the lane simultaneously. It was to no avail however, as I only managed to knock down one pin. As the bowling alley prepared to close, they shut off our lane in the middle of our last game, much to the ire of Josh, as he had money on it with one of his other friends. However he made sure to get vengeance by conveniently forgetting to return the shoes he rented for the evening. Hilarious.

Sunday I played a lot, including buying in directly to the Sunday Million, and only managing one cash for $230 in a $20 180 player SNG. It was another bad day. In fact, I was the first one out of the Sunday Hundred Grand. Technically I finished 19956th out of 20,000, but I was out on the first hand. Altogether on the day I lost about $700.

I was watching some PokerXFactor training videos, and saw that they have recently added a lecture on re-stealing. I touched on this in one of my recent posts, but this lecture gives a very technical analysis, including all the math required, and an equation you need to become comfortable estimating on the spot. Basically it says everything I was trying to say, but much more thoroughly. If you care to watch it, or watch any other videos at PXF, you can use my log-in after clicking the link below. You can log in as and the password is southrnctowl1. Click on Sheets - Reshoveaments: Analyzing Reraising from the Big Blind.

Restealing Lecture Link

Today I'm just kind of hanging around, taking care of some cleaning and other business I have been putting off, such as handling my phone new phone bill, this Jury Duty notice I got in the mail, and my income taxes. That's actually a complete lie, designed to make me sound more productive than I actually am. I intended to do those things, but haven't got around to them yet. Perhaps I will do them later tonight, but I will probably just put it off until tomorrow, and then I won't do it then either.

I'll share an interesting story about my phone bill before I go back to watching TV. Last month, I opened another line on my plan with an old phone that was lying around the house, so my brother could have a cell phone. Unbeknown to either of us, he didn't have the same texting plan I do, which allows me to send unlimited text messages to anyone on any network for $10 a month. His plan was 45 cents per text, received or sent, no matter what network they are sent to. He managed to rack up a hefty $60+ in text messages. I went down to the retailer to change this so that the bill wouldn't be so outrageous in the future. The gentleman who assisted us when we first added the line was there, and he was very nice about it. Not only did he change the plan but he gave me the customer service phone number as well. He instructed me to call them and say that I was supposed to have the unlimited texting plan all along, but that he made a mistake in not adding it in the first place. He said that they would most likely re-assess the bill and send me a new one. I thought that was a very kind and selfless gesture.

Tomorrow I hope to play a full schedule, so I will try to check in on Wednesday after that.

Until Then,

Monday, March 3, 2008

Monday Morning

A few days have gone by since the last time I updated. I forget what I did on Thursday, but Friday was February 29th. PokerStars was running a promotion, since that day only comes around once a year. They would give you FPPs (Frequent Player Points) at double the rate as usual. I took this opportunity to try and play a higher volume of SNGs as usual. When I first started playing for a living, I would sometimes sit and play 9-12 one table sit n' goes at a time. This is a good, fast way to get FPPs, but it's almost like work, because it's so mechanical. So instead I just played a bunch of the $60 45 player SNGs, and some of the $27s as well. I was getting my ass kicked in the $60s, just really getting too short on chips in most of them, losing coinflips, whatever. Fortunately though, I managed to win one of the $27s which pays about $350. After all of the 45-man turbos, I was close to even, give or take a few dollars. Luckily I managed to do well in some of the other morning touraments.

At 5:15 AM there is a $5 rebuy tournament. I did well in that, but unfortunately bubbled the final table, finishing 12th for $100. At 6 AM there is a $33 MTT. It had only 164 entrants, and I finished 4th for over $400. I only remember a few things about that tournament. When we were getting down to the final table, six handed or so at each of the remaining two tables, I had a player at my table who I recognized, TheWombat. Usually when I recognize a player it means he is a solid player. The player to my immediate left was playing tight, and also did not have very many chips. I noticed that when TheWombat was one or two off the button, I was in the small blind, and the tight player was in the big blind, he would raise, and everyone would fold. I figured that he also noticed how tight the player to my left was playing, and was stealing. So I waited for the perfect spot to resteal. With blinds at 500-1000, TheWombat had about 22,000 in chips, I had about 16,000, and the big blind had maybe 11,000 or so. He raised to 3,000, and I pushed all in with 7c 4c. He folded rather quickly, and I showed my hand. Then I typed in the chat box that I'm not an idiot and I notice the same things he does, alluding to the tight player in the big blind, who he was robbing all day. I did all of this so that hopefully he would slow down, and I could steal from the tight player.

It's important to wait until the stacks are perfect when making a resteal. You can't get so short, that you don't have enough chips to force the player off his hand, but you don't want to have so many chips that it's not worth it. 15 big blinds is the perfect re-stealing stack. Let's use the hand from my tournament as an example. 500 (SB) + 1000 (BB) + 600 (100 ante from six players) + 3000 (the original raise) = 4100. With 15,500 in my stack after posting my blind, winning this pot preflop would increase my stack by over 25%. My raise is enough to get him off a mediocre hand because once I make the raise, the pot will be 19,600. It would be 12,000 for TheWombat to call. Getting 19.6 to 12 on his money is not quite the right price. If you are getting better than 2 to 1, you have to call with any two cards, because even 23 offsuit is only a 2 to 1 underdog against AK. Therefore, this 16 big blind stack is about the lowest I'll allow myself to get when making a complete resteal.

Let's say that both of us had 25,000 or so, instead of the stack sizes I indicate earlier. If I made this same all-in resteal, I would only be increasing my stack by about 16%, meaning it would have to work better than 5/6 times to be profitable. If I only had 9,000, it would be 6,000 for TheWombat to call, and the pot would be around 13,600, giving him over 2 to 1 to make the call, and he certainly would not fold. Learning how to play each stack size is very important in online poker, since you will usually have 8-30 big blinds in all online tournaments.

Furthermore, restealing is a very underrated way to pad your stack. Most people make open raises from late position trying to just steal the blinds and antes. In order for this to be merely break even, you would have to be successful exactly one per orbit. When restealing, you only have to be successful once every 2 1/2 to 3 orbits, depending on the raise amounts. Also, you win 2 1/2 to 3 times as many chips when you are successful. Thus, re-raising all-in, (with a good hand, or sometimes without one) has become the more prominent way to steal in my game, as opposed to open raising.

I came into that final table eighth of nine. My patient play, and good fortune in some coin-flip situations allowed me to get some chips. By the time we got down to the final four, I was short stacked again. I pushed all in for ten big blinds on the button with K 4 suited. The small blind called with AA and I was out.

Saturday was kind of a bad day. I lost maybe $400 or so. I went really deep in the $11 re-buy finishing 80th or so out of 2300. I would have gone much deeper, possibly to the final table, but I got donked really bad for a 300k + pot with blinds at 3000-6000. If I won that pot I would have been one of the chip leaders, but you have to let the donks win once in awhile, to keep them coming back. I did manage to regain about half of my losses though by getting second in a $27 45 player turbo SNG on Sunday morning.

Yesterday was Sunday, I got up around 7 AM and watched the SNL from the night before. Hillary Clinton made a cameo which I thought was really funny. The past two weeks, which have been the first episodes since the writer's strike have both opened with skits about how Obama is amazing and how everyone at CNN and MSNBC hates Hillary. She was a good sport about it, and she got to say "Live from New York, It's Saturday night!" Obama did the same thing in October in the last episode before the writer's strike.

After that I went to the gym for a quick jog on the treadmill. When I got home I couldn't find my wallet. I knew it was in my sweatshirt pocket when I left, which I had taken off and left on the floor next to the treadmill. I called the gym to see if it had fallen out on the floor, and sure enough they found it. When I went in to retrieve it, there were two young girls at the counter, probably about my age. They were giving me a hard time about the fact that the ID in the wallet was not a picture of me or my actual name. Oopsy daisies, forgot that was in there. They were saying how they were going to call the cops if I didn't hook each of them up with a fake ID as well and all this crap. The point is they were both pretty cute and might inspire me to be better about consistently going to the gym.

After that I met Ryan at J Timothy's for lunch, and we both came back for a good day of online poker. My schedule looked like this:

6 $22 180 player SNGs
12:45 $215 Sunday Warm up 500k Guarantee
1:00 $109 NLHE 15k Guarantee, $22 NLHE
2:00 $11 Daily Fifteen Grand
2:15 $22 1 re-buy 1 add-on, $3 Re-buy
3:30 $11 Sunday Hundred Grand
4:15 $11 Re-buy
4:30 $215 Sunday Million
5:00 $55 25k Guarantee
7:00 $109 25k Guarantee
7:15 $11 1 re-buy 1 add-on
8:00 $27.50 25k guarantee
8:15 $55 shorthanded

Nineteen tournaments in total, and I had four cashes.

My first cash was in the $22 1 re-buy 1 add-on for $84, which is only a profit of $22. I had quite the turnaround getting into the middle stages. I doubled up after pushing A 8 from the big blind after a late position raise, and won a race against 44. Then I flat-called a raise with QQ, and had a player behind me push all in for over 20 big blinds with 99. Then, I raised with KK, and someone pushed behind me with QQ for 20 more big blinds. All of the sudden I was huge stacked. My table had a lot of tough spots including JCamby33, TheOmaholic, and one other player that I can't remember.

My next cash was in the bottom pay tier in the $11 Sunday Hundred Grand, for $20 which had over 20,000 players in it. I finished 2400th or something like that. That tournament was won by online beast and WSOP Europe champion, 18 year old Annette_15. It's pretty crazy that of 20,000 players, a well-known would win, especially in a crapshoot like that.

I also managed to get deep in the $11 rebuy again, this time finishing 150th of 3700 for $174.

My biggest cash of the day though, was in the Sunday Million. I couldn't get anything going at all for the first two hours, and was treading water as best I could. With blinds at 400-800 with a 50 ante, I pushed all in for 8800 with AQ, getting called by AK. Luckily for me, I spiked a Q on the flop, and was still in. From there I managed to play well, win coin-flips and abuse the bubble a little. I had over 30 big blinds going into the money. I was really feeling good about my chances with an average stack and 130 or so players left, of the 8000 plus that had started. However I lost two hands in a row, then the blinds went up, and I was short stacked again. A late-middle position player made a small raise, one that I knew as weak. I pushed all in with 44, and he called with AhJh, hit a J on the turn and I was out. I finished 99th for $1935. It's a good payday, but it's still a little disappointing to get that deep in such a huge tournament and not have a shot at the final table where all the big money is. I know I'll have my breakout score eventually.

After poker, I caught up on Rock of Love 2 and went to bed. I'll try to update a few more times this week.

Until Then,

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Taking One Down Again, Finally

Yesterday, I woke up around 6 PM. I made some food, and started playing at 7.

Here's the schedule:
5 $22 180 player SNGs
7:00 PM $11 20k guarantee
$109 25k guarantee
7:15 PM $11 1 re-buy 1 add-on
8:00 PM $27.50 25k guarantee
$3 re-buy
8:15 PM $55 shorthanded
9:00 PM $ 22 re-buy
9:30 PM $55 50k guarantee
10:00 PM $16.50 NLHE
11:00 PM $109 20k guarantee
$33 NLHE
11:15 PM $11 shorthanded

I also played three satellites, later on in the night because it was one of the days where, for whatever reason, all tournaments after midnight are turbo's, which I don't really like for large field MTTs. The three satellites were all SNGs. They included a $2 triple shootout to the Sunday Million, a three-table $16 satellite to the Sunday Million, and a $5 5-table SNG to the Sunday Warm-up. Pokerstars also stopped running all SNGs from like 10- 7 AM, which was moderately annoying. These satellites were the only SNGs available, I'm assuming because they were the last to fill up.

Now for the results. I took down one of the 180s! Recently, I have had several final tables in these 20 table tournaments, but have had a bad run of not getting to heads up. In this tournament though, I was getting very lucky. I already had a big stack in the money, with blinds at 300-600 when this hand came up. A player with about 15,000 raise in early position, and I had 88. This is sort of a tough spot, because he was not deep enough to justify making a call only in hopes of hitting a set on the flop, and busting him if he had a big hand. If I had 22-66 I definitely would have folded, but 88 is too big of a hand to just fold, so I decided to just call in position and reevaluate on the flop. Both of the blinds called as well, each of them having about 7,000 behind. The pot was around 8,000. The flop was 8 5 3 with two clubs, giving me the niggity nuts. The small blind pushed all in, the big blind called all in, and the original raiser shoved over the top for over 14,000. I CALL!!! One of the blinds had Ac2c for the nut flush draw and an inside straight draw, the other had 99, and the original raiser had JJ. The turn was an offsuit ten, and the river was an ace. I dragged a massive pot that put me over 90,000 in chips with blinds still at only 300-600.

That was so lucky for me, imagine flopping the immortal nuts, and having three people go all-in in front of you. At this point, there were 14 players left, and I had one third of the chips in play. I would have been disappointed with anything short of a win. We got down to three handed, and the short stack had over 30 big blinds. This is an incredibly fast tournament, usually short stacks have ten BBs or less. Again I got very lucky when he raised on the button and I had JJ in the big blind, I re-raised, he pushed all-in and I called. He had 77, and I hit a J on the turn. I now had a 2 to 1 chip lead heads up. Still my opponent had over 50 big blinds, so this could have made for a very long match. However during the first blind level of hour number four, I coolered someone again. We raised back and forth preflop, eventually getting it all in with my AA vs his TT. I won $1,080 for that.

I also cashed in one of the $109 tourneys for $266. In that tournament, I knocked out Devinr12, a high volume player who won the TLB (Tournament Leaderboard) for 2007. I raised in middle position with 88, and he went all in for about 15 big blinds. I made the call and he showed 44. My two other cashes on the night were in the $27.50 for $49 and the $11 shorthanded for $36.

I was also fortunate enough to win the $16 three table satellite, which was my second time winning a $215 seat this week. I'll be playing the Sunday Million and the Sunday Warm-Up this weekend. In that tournament I got lucky as well, pushing a shortstack with Q 6 off suit from the small blind, and getting called by A 10. He flopped a 10, I turned a Q that gave him the nut flush draw, and I dodged everything on the river. Whew! That was close. At the final table, I picked up AA back to back, eliminating three players in the process. I easily coasted into the top two after amassing another massive chip lead.

Sometime in the middle of the night, PokerStars shut down completely until 10:30 AM, which was pretty annoying. I played a little Guitar Hero 3, and watched Dr. Phil. I was pretty upset to find that for some reason, all my progress had been lost on Guitar Hero 3, so now I have to go back and beat all the songs again. So I worked on that for awhile.

I'm going home for pizza in a little while. I'll check in again soon.

Until Then,

Artists added to iTunes:
The Doobie Brothers

Monday, February 25, 2008

Ship The T-Shirts

The last time I posted, I had just finished winning a $60 45-player SNG for $750. Later that night, I finished second in the $55 shorthanded tournament for $1300. Overall on the day, that put me up over $2,000 and put my bankroll back where I like it to be.

The next day was Saturday, the championship game. Our game was at 10, and I set my alarm for 9 AM after staying up until about 3:30 AM the night before. I pushed what I thought was a snooze button, but it actually turned the alarm completely off. Also, I had set my phone to alarm only, so I didn't hear any of the five times my sister called me. So I wound up sleeping until about 10:15 AM and missed the entire first quarter. I felt really bad.

When I got there in the second quarter we were up by about eight, and that's how we finished heading into the second half. We held the lead throughout the third quarter, but on two occasions we were down by two in the fourth quarter. Our press worked well again in crunch time, as did our inbound plays that the guys finally started to run well. With about nine seconds left, we were up by three, and had just gotten possession of the ball. I was screaming for a time out, as we still had two left. After what seemed like an eternity they finally granted it, and we regrouped. I told them to just get the ball in and hold on for the win. They fouled our leading scorer, and he made both foul shots to put the game out of reach.

After the game, they had a little ceremony where they called each of us out to get a "League Champions" T-shirt, and they also named the MVP of the game. It was a good feeling to get the win, after the close second we got last year.

Saturday night I played a little poker, finishing fifth in a $20 180 for about $220, and also a cash for $90 in the $11 rebuy. Overall on the day I was down about $200, not such a bad day. After my tournaments, I went down to Uncasville, to my friend Matt's house. He just got engaged, and his fiancee is having a baby in a couple of weeks. I'm really excited for both of them. It was their friend's 21st birthday, so we went to Mohegan Sun to screw around for a little while. Don't worry though, I didn't put any money into those damned -EV table games. They have a few of those automated poker tables, without dealers. It's pretty cool. Everyone has a screen in front of them, and there is one in the middle of the table. I was going to play, but you have to give him your ID, and set up an account with Mohegan Sun. It seemed like too long and elaborate of a process to go through without a valid license, so I passed on that.

So we got back around 3:30, and I was too tired to drive back, so I spent the night there. I woke up around 1:30 and didn't get home until around 5. I didn't play any poker yesterday. Once I got back, I went grocery shopping, and did some chores I was getting backed up on. After that I put some music on my computer, and caught up on the new episodes of SNL, which was the first new one since the writer's strike ended. It was hosted by Tina Fey with musical guest Carrie Underwood. It was alright. They have a new cast member, I forget her name. The new Rock of Love 2 was on Sunday night as well.

I'm going to try to get back to posting more frequently, so I'll make a valiant effort to post Wednesday morning.

Until Then,

Artists added to iTunes:
Burt Bacharach
Elvis Costello