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

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Know What's Fun? Regaining an Entire Day of Losses in an Hour

Tuesday was pretty uneventful. I went home for dinner with the fam, and after we chilled and watched American Idol.

Yesterday I played a lot of tournaments. I don't feel like writing them all down. Basically I had a chip lead going into the money of a $20 180 player SNG, as you all by now is the final two tables. I didn't play the best I could have I think and I wound up losing a lot of hands once we got down to 5 or 6 at each table. I wound up making the final table, but going out in ninth.

I also cashed in the $20 re-buy for $140 something after being in for $100. In that one I pushed a ten big blind stack UTG with QQ and got called by AA. Oh well.

Overall on the day I was down about $600. I was actually down $500 but I decided to play a $115 heads up match to try and alleviate the losses for the day. Luckily for me I ran into the third overall heads up player on PokerStars for the $100-$300 range. I learned this by looking him up on I lost by re-raising with 33, he pushed and I called instantly. I was hoping for it to be a coinflip, but he had 66 and I lost. When you are playing against better players than you it is important to play big pots pre-flop, to minimize their skill edge later in the hand. I thought that pushing with 33 and hoping for a coin flip was my best chance to win.

So today I woke up and showered, and before I did anything else I played a $60 45 man turbo SNG, with the same goal of trying to re-gain my losses from yesterday. Luckily I won. Here are some key hands.

With the blinds at 100-200/25, a player I see a lot on the site, (which usually means he is a strong player) raised to 500 one off the button. A calling station on the button with a lot of chips called. I had 1300 left in the big blind, and held 77. I know I have no fold equity, but I have both of these player's range beat. Also I knew that if I pushed, the strong player would probably shove over the top to isolate, increasing my chances of winning, and giving me better pot odds.

The strong player pushed, the calling station folded, and luckily my hand held. The next key hand occurred at the final table. As I discussed earlier, sometimes my ambition to abuse the bubble backfires, and this time it almost did again. With the blinds at 400-800 I was second in chips with a little over 10,000. The chip leader was on my direct right and min-raised to 1600 one off the button. He had me covered by like 1,000. I pushed all in with K 7 because I read him as weak since he only min-raised. There were eight players left, meaning that if he lost, he would be on life support and virtually out of the tournament one out of the money. He thought about it for awhile and called with 88. It's the right call for sure, but I think a lot of players would make the laydown, not wanting to jeopardize their chip position that close to making the money.

Luckily for me I hit a king on the flop and had a dominating chip lead. We got down to three handed, and I think I played well. I made a few close laydowns, once with K 5 getting 2 to 1 on my money, and once with A 8 suited getting 1 1/2 to one. In both cases, I thought it was a marginal spot, where I would sometimes make the call, but I felt that I had a better chance to win if I didn't relinquish the chip lead with a weak hand.

So I wound up getting first and winning $760, more than making up for yesterday. I'll check in maybe tomorrow or the next day.

Until Then,

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Freakin' Foos

It's around noon Tuesday, and I just got back from the Foo Fighters Concert last night. Pat picked up Deef from the train station in New Haven around 4, we all met here after 5, and left for the DCU Center. We got there around 6:30. We had to go in a special door, and get a bracelet, since we had floor seats, VIP style.

Against Me! was the opening act. They were pretty good, kinda loud and screamish, but I liked them. It's different when you don't know any of the songs, but I just downloaded a few. They're going to be at Bonnaroo, so by then I will probably be more familiar with them, and be able to sing along.

So after Against Me! was supposed to be the Foo Fighters, and as the lights dimmed again, and the band took the stage, we all started cheering. They came out wearing top hats, and the lead singer, has shorter hair. I was thinking how peculiar this was, since that usually isn't their style. Then, they didn't open with "The Pretender" like I thought they would. They sounded really weird. Wait a second, this isn't the Foo Fighters. Who are these nobodies? The banner behind them said "Serj Tankian" and underneath that it said "Elect the Dead". He introduced his band as "The Flying Cunts of Chaos" or something stupid like that. Ryan recognized the guy from System of a Down. I guess he is somewhat well-known, but at the time I had no idea what was going on, and was getting a little impatient to just see the damn Foos already. They were a little to bizarre for my taste. The weird kids in front of us started moshing too, much to the ire of me and my friends.

So finally the Foo Fighters came out. They opened with this song I didn't know, but they played their single off their latest album, "The Pretender" next. After that they played my favorite song by them, "Learn To Fly." They also played, Everlong, Monkey Wrench, My Hero, All My Life, Times Like These, Skin and Bones, Long Road to Ruin, and played a three song encore including "The Best of You."

It was a great time, especially being so close, on the floor. There were two stages, the main stage, and on the other end of the floor, was a smaller one where they did an acoustic set. Connecting the two was a runway that divided the general admission floor in half. We were closer to the back stage, so we were a little ways back for most of the show, but really close during the acoustic part. When the lead singer, Dave Grohl, ran back in forth between the two, he was literally like ten feet in front of me. I got some good up-close pictures on my phone.

After the concert, I had agreed to give Eric a ride back to Fordham, since the trains don't run that late. I was getting pretty tired by the time I got down there, so I spent the night there since I didn't feel like driving back to Connecticut. I left a little before 10 AM this morning. I proceeded to find a parking ticket on my car, which I have no intention of paying. Sorry, State of New York.

I'm going to be kind of busy for the rest of the day, but tomorrow I will hopefully get in a full poker schedule. (No practice this week because of school vacation.) I might not check in tomorrow if the rest of today is boring, but if not, I'll tell you how my Wednesday goes. Hopefully I'll win something.

Until Then,

Artists added to iTunes (since adding a second hard drive):
? and the Mysterians
Against Me!
Alice Cooper
Barry Manilow
Barry White
Bone Crusher
Dexy's Midnight Runners
Dolly Parton
Don Henley
Earth, Wind, and Fire
George Thorogood
Gretchen Wilson
Iron Butterfly
Jackson 5
KC & the Sunshine Band
Kool & the Gang
Lou Reed
Matchbox 20
Natasha Bedingfield
The Offspring
Patty Smith
Public Enemy
Queens of the Stone Age
Quiet Riot
Randy Newman
Roberta Flack
Right Said Fred
The Shangri-La's
Sinead O'Connor
Steve Miller
Stone Temple Pilots
The Sugarhill Gang
System of a Down
Ted Nugent
Teddy Geiger
Twisted Sister
Van McCoy
The Village People
Young Bloodz

Monday, February 18, 2008

Busy Sunday

Yesterday was Sunday, I had a Sunday Million seat, and all I did was play poker. The schedule looked like this:

7 $22 180 player SNGs
12:00 PM $22 20k guarantee, $11 Deepstack
1:00 PM $22 NLHE, $109 15k guarantee
2:15 PM $22 1 rebuy 1 add-on, $3 rebuy 25k guarantee
2:45 PM $11 Triple Draw Lowball
3:00 PM $55 50k guarantee
3:30 PM $11 Sunday Hundred Grand, 100k guarantee
4:00 PM $11 re-buy 45k guarantee
4:30 PM $215 Sunday Million, 1 Million guarantee
5:00 PM $55 25k guarantee
7:00 PM $109 25k guarantee, $11 20k guarantee
7:15 PM $11 1 re-buy 1 add-on
8:00 PM $27.50 25k guarantee
8:15 PM $55 shorthanded
9:00 PM $22 re-buy
9:30 PM $55 50k guarantee
10:00 PM $16.50 NLHE

Whew! That's a lot of tournaments. Overall I played 27 tournaments, plus 3 satellites to the Sunday Million, hoping to win a Sunday Warm-up seat before registration closed for that, but to no avail. So 30, count 'em, THIRTY tournaments in one day. I ended around midnight, I think, so it was a pretty long day.

I had six cashes, which isn't bad for the volume I played. It's actually right at my ITM (in the money) expectancy, of 20%. I wound up losing maybe $80 or so on the day, so it wasn't a bad day, but not a good one either.

My first cash was in the $3 re-buy. What else is new? That tournament is such a donkfest. It's really a good tournament if you're a solid player on a short bankroll, because if you can restrict your buy-ins, and avoid going re-buy crazy, you can really have a good expectancy. I ended the re-buy period with around 10,000 in chips, which is about where I like to be. In the first level after re-buys ended, I picked up QQ and made a standard raise. The player to my immediate right pushed in for something like 8,000. It folded back to me and I obviously called. He showed A J offsuit. That's right, over 50 big blinds on A J off, thanks for the gift. Now I was well over 100 big blinds around 18,000 and I was able to cruise into the money with this stack, but busted shortly thereafter. That cash was only for about $20.

My next cash was one that I'm sort of proud of I guess. The Sunday Hundred Grand is such a sick, sick tournament. It gets exactly 20,000 entrants every week. It would get more but Pokerstars caps it at that point. It's an $11 buy-in, and it's $20,000 for first. How freaking crazy. I've never had much luck in that tournament up until now, partially due to the fact that it has 10 minute levels as opposed to 15, which really takes a lot of the play out. By the time I busted, the average stack was 10 big blinds, which is a move in stack. I finished 235th, the top 1%, for $120. In the end, I just let myself get too shortstacked. I wound up having to push three big blinds UTG with A 2 and got called by A 5. Normally I don't let myself get below 5 times the big blind. You need to keep this stack because you have to have fold equity when you do make your stand. When you get as low as I did, the big blind has the odds to call with any two cards, and then you only have one way to win the pot instead of two. I think I was a little distracted by my other tournaments going on, and I wasn't always paying attention to stack sizes, just auto folding bad hands, when I should have been moving in to steal more often than I did.

I also cashed for $188 in the $11 re-buy. I had a good re-buy hour, ending with 17,000 and everything was going well thereafter. I got down to the final 120 or so, of the 3400+ entrants, and wound up getting it in good, but getting knocked out on a bad beat. Oh well.

My friend Kevin that I know from a card club in Bristol knocked me out of the $55 25k. He raised from early position and I pushed all-in for about 12 big blinds with TT. He called with AK and won the flip. Now we are even though, because that's the second time we've been at the same table, and I knocked him out on my way to a satellite win last time.

I also finished 43rd of 460 or so in the $22 rebuy for $140 after spending the $60 minimum. My biggest cash of the day was in one of the $20 180s. I came into the final table at a close second place. However, five handed I lost a big coin flip with QQ vs AK. If I won that pot I would have easily made it to heads up and probably won. No one got knocked out for awhile, and I kept getting moved in on every time I opened a pot. Eventually I was out in fifth for $280 after making a questionable call with ace high for my tournament life. I got ridiculed but I really thought he was making a move, and I wanted to get back in it.

I watched the new episode of Rock of Love 2 and an episode of SNL I hadn't seen yet with Lebron James and Kanye West. It was pretty hilarious.

Tonight is the Foo Fighters concert, so tomorrow I'll tell you all about that.

Until Then,

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sunday Morning

Hey there, don't worry I am alive and well. I haven't posted in the past few days, and I'm making a little change to ensure that that doesn't happen again. Instead of writing my blog each day before I go to bed, I'm going to write it first thing in the morning. I always stay up until I'm tired every night, so by the time I'm ready to go to bed, I just haven't felt like writing.

So when we last left off, it was Tuesday night. Well basketball got canceled on Wednesday night because Vernon had a snow day. Luckily we managed to get a gym for Thursday. Because of the short notice however, only four guys showed up, and Mom was busy as well. So Ryan came along and we just played a little 3 on 3.

Wednesday night I managed to get a good score. I was going for my first repeat win. What I mean by that is I was on the verge of winning the same tournament twice for the first time in my career. I played pretty well the whole tournament, but really I did well because I was winning my coin flips. A key hand came up when the blinds were 150-300. I had about 10k in the small blind. A shortstack pushed all-in. Another player pushed all-in over the top for 6k, and I called them both with AK. The shortstack had a worse ace, and the player with 6k had QQ. I hit an ace on the river and I was able to maintain the big stack all the way to the final table.

Once I got to the final table, it seemed as though I could not win a pot. I lost about four consecutive hands at one point. Leaving me with about 35,000 with 1500-3000 blinds. I kept my head in it though, and managed to get down to three handed. The player to my right kept trying to give me all of his chips. I had him out-chipped the whole way, and several times when I would raise the button, he would just shove in for over 25 big blinds. It was starting to get pretty irritating. I came very close to calling him, and possibly losing a big pot when I raised the button with A 5 and he shoved again. I decided to stay patient though and made the fold. We traded two large pots, (both of which I had by far the best hand mind you) and after a little up and down, we were back to me having him out-chipped about 4 to 3. So here I am sitting in the big blind with JJ. He is in the small blind with over 70,000, blinds still 1500-3000. He just goes all in. CALL!! He surprisingly made the overshove with AK, and I flopped a jack and busted him.

Now I was still at a slight disadvantage heads up. I came very close to winning an all in when we both flopped a huge hand and it wound up being a coin toss. I had A 9 of spades in the big blind, and only called a raise. The flop came Ah Qd 9d. I bet, he raised, I reraised, he pushed and I called. He showed AdKd, for top pair, top kicker, and the nut flush draw (TPTK and NFD). He turned a diamond and that was it. It was a total cooler heads up, but oh well. I scored a little over $1,000 for that finish.

Friday I played as well, and had a few decent runs including bubbling the final table in the $16.50 360 max entrants. It was not enough to make a profit on the day though. Saturday was game day. I watched the first game, and surprisingly the team who I thought was surely going to win, lost. Our game went well. They were missing their number one player, and we were missing the player who usually swings from A to B. This meant we got to put two of our A players on the B team (not simultaneously). The first quarter was pretty close the whole way, and with five seconds left, we had the ball and a one point lead. We hit a three at the buzzer to take a four point lead, and momentum into the second quarter. Our A team stretched the lead into 8 or 10 points. Again the B team gave up a long run of unanswered points, but we never relinquished the lead and held on into the fourth quarter. The A team stretched the lead even farther, and we held on for the win, with a final score of 60-45 (or something like that).

When they ran the inbound plays correctly, they worked perfectly, but sometimes they were still a little sloppy in that regard. Overall it was a fast-paced game, and executing the press helped us stay intense and keep them on their heels.

Next week is the championship. We beat this team during the regular season, and there is no reason we shouldn't do it again next week. We don't have practice because the schools are closed for break, but neither does the other team. As long as we don't let that affect us, and everyone comes executing the plays properly and playing with intensity, we should be able to take it home.

After the game, in the evening, I went to SCSU to visit a friend. We went out to this pretty nice Italian place for dinner on Wooster street. Afterwards, we walked down to Tre Scalini. I used to work there while I went to Southern doing valet parking. I chatted with my old boss, the bartender, and one of the busboys, who were the people I mainly talked to. I didn't get to know too many of the waiters or waitresses because I was outside most of the time. But we got drinks there and it was nice to see everyone and chat with them. Today I'm playing the Sunday Million and a full schedule, so I'll update you all tomorrow on how the day went.

Until then,

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Day in the Black

As I write this, it is 10:30 AM on Tuesday, and I plan on going to bed after I wrap this up and watch Dr. Phil. I woke up last night after 8 PM. I got up and drove to the gym without eating anything. I hadn't gone for awhile, so I ran/power walked only about a mile and a half on the treadmill. I think it was the lack of eating combined with the exercise and hot lights of the tanning booth (yeah, that's right, I tan, wanna fight about it?) that caused me to feel very faint. I had to step out of the booth two minutes early and hurry downstairs and drink a Gatorade. The guy at the desk was a little nervous but I was fine after hydrating.

When I got home, I turned on Deal or No Deal and started playing. This moronic lady who at one point had to sell her engagement ring to pay the bills, made easily the stupidest no deal of history. She had three one million dollar cases, and maybe five or six non-million dollar cases. The offer was $266,000. However since she thought she was a princess, the banker told her he would double the offer to $524,000 if she kissed a bullfrog. Still not good enough for Miss Greedy McDumbass. God. She stubbornly no dealed it time after time until she was down to her last million dollar case (surprise, surprise) and settled for $160,000.

I started playing at 10. The schedule looked like this:

3 $22 180 player SNGs
1 $11 45 player SNG
10:00 PM $16.50 NLHE
10:15 PM $55 shorthanded
10:35 PM $3 rebuy Sunday Million satellite ($18 spent)
11:00 $33 NLHE
11:15 $11 shorthanded

The first tournament of mention would be one of the $22 180 player SNGs. I had about 17,000 chips with the blinds at 300-600. The top 18 players make the money, so with twenty players left, I made an aggressive play to abuse the money bubble. A player who had only a few less chips than me made a raise one off the button. I was in the small blind with 3s3d. Given the fact that he has a wide range of holdings, raising from late position, we are just about to make the money, and that I have a pocket pair, this is an easy reraise. He made it 1800 total, and I re-popped to 6600. He thought for awhile and only called, leaving himself with a stack less than the size of the pot. Now I am obviously committed to pushing all in regardless of what hits the flop. If he is getting cute with AA oh well, there are too many chips in the pot not to put the rest of them in.

The flop came 7d 10s Js. I pushed all in, hoping he had AK or AQ. Well he did, but it was the AsQs. Giving him two overs to the board, a gutterball, a flush draw, and in fact a royal flush draw. In this instance, even though I have the made hand, he has so many outs that he is actually the favorite. There were 17 cards that could give him the winning hand. (3 aces, 3 queens, 3 non-spade kings, and the eight remaining spades, [I have the 3s, remember]). The turn was the 8s, and I was crippled, and eliminated on the next hand. That's alright though, it was still the right play, and that's all you can do in poker.

I also cashed for $90 in the $55 shorthanded, finishing 24th of 202. In that tournament I played against bparis and GB2005, both very good online players who also made the money. I didn't stick around to see how they finished.

My second cash of the night was in a $22 180. I finished 13th. I lost some hand, I forget how just short of the money and was somewhat shortstacked. Fortunately, I had 3 or 4 players to my immediate left who were also short/medium stacked. It was very easy for me to move in on them and steal their blinds before we made the money. I did a good job of chipping back up, and was in good shape heading into the money, and the final two tables. There was this one player at my table who was donktastic. He would minraise with weak hands often. He wound up getting it all in with J 8 against KQ on a Q 6 3 flop. You read that right, no pair, no draw, no overs to the board, nothing. Just J 8 high. nh bud. So a few minutes later I was in the big blind with A 8 and 12,000 chips. The blinds were 400-800. He minraised to 1600, and I had an easy shove. He eventually folded. We tangled a bit after that when this hand came up. I had KK in the big blind, and he raised on the button to 2400. I pushed all in for 15,000 more, having him covered by about 2000. I didn't bother to flat call or make some stupid small re-raise because I knew he was getting frustrated with me, and I was likely to get a spite call. He thought for awhile and called with 10h7h. That's right, ten high for his tournament life. The results of the hand don't matter, all I will say is that happened with 13 players left, 9 make the final table. I did not make the final table. F'ing variance.

Also I won a $10 45 player SNG for $139. Those are pretty donktastic. I would play higher buy ins because there's not much money in the $10s, but the SNGs don't really fill up higher than the $10 level, unless you want to play the crapshoot turbos, which I do sometimes, but the standard blind structure allows for more play, and I like it better. There isn't much too analyze in this one. I'll tell you about a few of the gifts I got from the various donks. The third or fourth hand I raised in middle position with KQ off suit. Both blinds called. The pot was 180. The flop came down Q 4 Q. They both checked to me, and I bet out the size of the pot. I think this is a good bet because no one ever makes this bet with a queen. I feel like I will get a call from a good ace, any pocket pair, any four, and a worse queen. The small blind pushed all in for over 1200 more, and I called obviously. He had 89. gg sir.

I had another hand where some guy made a comment on the horrible play going on. A few hands later he minraised to 800 on my big blind. I had TT and shipped all in for 5500 more. He called immediately with AJ for over half his stack. Some horrible play indeed sir. There were also two hands where ppl moved in with hands like 56 and 67. No match for KK. Even the last hand of the tournament was a total gift. I had 8d4d. The flop was 8 5 3. He bet the minimum of 1200. I raised four times his bet to 4800 and he made the call. The turn was a K and he bet 6k, leaving 5300 behind. I put him all in and he called with Q 9. The ol' no pair no draw again. Ship that.

I also won a $3 rebuy satellite to the Sunday Million. I only made about $50 cash, but the ticket is worth $215, and with my 80% ROI, makes it's long-term value a little less than $400. So overall it was a good day on the virtual felt.

I stopped playing around 3 AM. I retired to the comfort of my recliner to watch the season premier of Flavor of Love 3 and the casting special on the DVR. I found it quite comical that Flav eliminated Dimes on the first show because she was a criminal justice major, and he feared going to jail for a fourth time. He professed that he didn't want "the feds in beds." LMAO. He kept this one loud-mouthed girl I don't like named Shy. He named her after something she's not. The twins, Thing 1 and Thing 2 (Named after the Cat in the Hat characters) are also kind of obnoxious. After that I banged out a few songs on the Rock Band drums and did quite well on medium difficulty.

I failed to mention this yesterday but I also watched the Grammy's. I'm sorry but I just don't understand the obsession with that crack head Bride-of-Frankenstein-lookalike Amy Winehouse. I just don't think she is that good, and she is quite the eyesore as well. Kanye did a cool performance. I also thought it was great that he told them that "It would be in good taste to turn off the music" as he was dedicating his award to his mother, who recently passed away. They were starting to play him off, but he told them to stop and they did. Classic. The Foo Fighters won an award and did a performance as well. I can't recall if I've told you yet or not, but I'm going to see them next Monday in Worcester. We have floor seats, it should be awesome.

This morning I brought Buster to the veterinary hospital in Bolton to a reptile specialist. She sent me home with a list of several things I can do to improve his health. Firstly she said to take the sand out of his tank and replace it with some AstroTurf. Apparently bearded dragons can eat the sand and it's bad for their digestive tract. Also, his tail is broken in two places. She informed me that this is due to a calcium deficiency. She suggested dusting his crickets with calcium powder before feeding them to him, and also feeding him some liquid calcium through a syringe, both of which she suppled me with.

In addition, she gave me some two separate medicines to feed him that I will only have to do for two days. They are for parasite removal. She checked him for worms first, and didn't find any, but she also said that she didn't get a good swab. I'm glad she gave them to me anyways though because my sister's friend purchased a snake at the pet store where I found Buster and the snake died of mites.

The veterinarian recommended giving him two baths in warm water per day, and feeding him these other two gooey substances that are just food, not any kind of medicine. I let him soak in the bathroom sink when I got home. It was quite amusing because he was repeatedly attempting to climb out of the sink, but to no avail. He couldn't because the walls of the sink are too smooth, thus he had no traction and just splashed around helplessly for a few minutes. It was an entertaining spectacle.

One last thing to mention. I was chatting with Will the other day and he informed me that he was planning on traveling to a music festival this summer in Manchester, Tennessee called Bonnaroo. It lasts for four days and features artists such as Pearl Jam, Metallica, OAR, Ben Folds, Kanye West, Talib Kweli, Jack Johnson, Jakob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Phil Lesh and Friends, The Allman Brothers Band, Against Me!, The Raconteurs, and many, many more. I think I am definitely going now that I know about it. I can't wait. Here is a link to the website, so you can check it out.

Tomorrow is basketball practice so we'll see how that goes and what the day brings.

Until then,

Sunday, February 10, 2008

First Round Win, Rock Band, and a Sunday Million Run

Ok so I haven't updated in a few days. The past day or two I have been staying up really later than I had planned, meaning I've been really tired right before bed, which is when I write my blog every day.

Saturday I woke up around 1 AM and played a little poker. I didn't win anything except a Sunday Million satellite, which is always a good score. It was an $8 6 handed double shootout. I've described the format of those before. I won my first table fairly easily. The guy I wound up getting heads up with was a total donk. He had gotten lucky to knock out a bunch of the other players, but I was able to beat him heads up when he limped in with KK. I had J 4 and turned a third jack. The second table was easier than the first one! One guy was sitting out the whole time until he blinded away, so he never had a shot, literally. There was one other player who was so bad I had no idea how he managed to win his first table. So I won that table as well, and a seat into the Sunday Million. However, I had already won another seat, left over from last week, when I skipped it for the Super Bowl. So I played the Sunday Warm Up as well.

After that I played a little Guitar Hero, then got ready to head for the gym to watch the games before ours. I got their at the start of the 9 AM game. Ours wasn't until 11. The game before ours was very exciting. It ended being a one point game, with three lead changes in the final minute.

Our game went well. We had a one point lead at the end of the first quarter. The last time we played this team, they were beating us in the first and third quarter, when the B squad is out. They have us out-matched size wise in most spots. This week though, one of the faster guard players on their B squad was out with a broken wrist. One of our B players was also out with a sprained ankle, so his older brother played down. They are allowed to match up according to player rank, meaning one of their players can come in the game during the B quarters, but I think these roster adjustments was one of the reasons we did better this time around. Also, our full court press worked well as usual, and the guys were doing a good job of driving it inside, drawing fouls, and getting to the line like I've been stressing all season.

The A squad did well, maintaining a small lead for the second quarter, which we took into the half. During the third quarter, we stumbled a bit. They caught up, and eventually took a five point lead. The whole crowd was hooting and hollering every seconds, and their coach was ecstatic, one enthusiastic fist pump after another. We had to call a timeout, settle down and make sure everyone was focused, to keep their heads in it. A few minutes later, the player who was playing down from A, converted three three-point plays in a row. He hit two three's, and made a basket with the foul on the next play. We were back in the lead by three.

We ended the third quarter up by six. We extended the lead to ten in the fourth quarter. From there I told them to slow the pace of the game, so they wouldn't have a chance to catch up. But we wound up converting often enough to put the game out of reach and we won by about 20. I was happy with the way everyone played. They committed less fouls collectively, and they are playing good defense. The biggest thing we need to improve on is executing the plays during game time. Everyone knows the plays during practice, but during the games they sometimes need to be reminded of what's going on. I think next week at practice, we'll indicate a player on the A and B squad who will be the designated inbounder. I've told them before that the inbounder is responsible for making a play happen and making sure everyone is in the correct places before making the pass.

Next week we are playing the team that beat us by twenty during the regular season. In that game, we only had five players, who were exhausted by the third quarter. Next week however, we'll have our full roster, and their best player will be in Europe, so I think we will have a very good chance to win, and play for the championship.

After the game, I went out to Super Buffet with my sister, my brother, and his friend. After that I bought Rock Band, and we all came back to my apartment to play. I'm obsessed with the Guitar Hero games, I have all four. Now I finally have Rock Band to complete the collection.

After they left, my friend who goes to the Naval Academy called me to say that he was home, so we hung out for awhile.

So Sunday morning I was ready to play some poker, and play well. I was fortunate enough to be playing in two of three $200 buy in tournaments PokerStars holds on Sunday. Unfortunately PokerStars was having server troubles, and three of the tournaments I usually play got canceled. My revised schedule looked like this: (this is all from memory, so I might unintentionally be omitting a few.)

1 $20 180 player SNG ( I only played one because SNGs stopped running eventually due to the server issues)
12:00 PM $20 20k guarantee
12:45 $215 Sunday Warm Up 500k guarantee
1:00 $5 5k guarantee
$22 NLHE
2:15 $22 1 rebuy 1 add on
3:00 January top 1000 TLB Freeroll $20,000 added prize pool
500 FPP direct satellite to EPT finale in Monte Carlo, one package guaranteed
4:15 $11 rebuy, 45k guarantee
4:30 $215 Sunday Million, 1 Million guarantee
5:00 $55 25k guarantee
7:00 $11 20k guarantee
7:15 $11 1 rebuy 1 add-on
8:00 $27.50 25k guarantee
8:15 $55 shorthanded

The tournaments that got canceled were the 2:00 $11 15k guarantee, the 2:15 $3 rebuy, and the 3:30 $11 Sunday Hundred Grand.

So my schedule was pretty light, but I had the two majors, plus the freeroll, which is always good, because it's free money. The freeroll wound up turning out very well, because they were sneaky about it. Usually you get an e-mail, saying congratulations, as a top whatever TLB finisher for the month of whatever, you get to play in whatever tournament. Not this time though. You had to find the tournament on the schedule and register for it yourself.

Another interesting thing about the $11 rebuy is that it normally starts at 4:00. Today though, they decided to delay the start until 4:15 so that everyone who missed the 3:30 Sunday Hundred Grand which has the same buy in, could still play a big MTT if they wanted. This tournament usually gets around 1200-1500 during the week, and on Sundays, maybe over 2000 people. Today though, it had over 7700 entrants!! What a ludicrous prize pool! $38,000 for first!! When I finished fifth in that tournament a few months ago, I won $3,300 and first was a pathetic $13,000.

I had two cashes overall today. The first one was in the only $20 180 player SNG I played. I finished 9th. The big one, that catapulted my bankroll back up towards the comfort zone was in the Sunday Million. Early on, in I believe the second level, I won a fortunate hand. Sitting pretty, with 50-100 blinds, and over 11k in chips, I called an UTG raise with Ah2h. I only make this kind of play early in a tournament when the stacks are deep, relative to the blinds. The justification is that if you miss the flop, it is hardly a detriment to your stack. If you are fortunate enough to hit a flop like all hearts, 345, A 2 7, 2 2 K, or some other combination giving you a monster hand, you can win a big pot. All the other players folded, except the big blind, who called. The flop was 5h6h7h, giving me an ace high flush. The only hands that could beat me would be 8h9h, or 3h4h, for a straight flush. The big blind (who we will soon find out is a donk) checked. The preflop raiser also checked, and I bet right out, 500 into a pot of 800ish.

A lot of players would slowplay, here checking behind, or making some outrageously small bet. However if I bet right out, it makes it look like I am afraid of the potential flush. Also, I want to get a chance to get all the money in now if someone has a hand 777, 10 10, or a straight. If I check and a fourth heart comes, it would kill my action except for maybe the Kh or Qh.

So now it was on the big blind, who instantly minraised to 1000. He had about 8000 left. The raiser folded. I knew he was not about to fold so I reraised to 3500. This guy again raises to absolute minimum, to 6000. I pushed in and he called showing 8s9c, for a flopped straight, drawing completely dead.

Obviously I was very lucky have such a cooler go my way for such a massive pot, but the other guy still played this hand very poorly. When you flop a monster, you need to bet right out (like I did). If the raiser had a hand like KcKs, he probably would have felt the need to protect his hand and would have made a large raise. Then he could have three-bet all in, winning an even bigger pot if his opponent feels committed to call at that point, with more chips already in the middle. Also, Furthermore, his hand is strong but extremely vulnerable. He's giving us both the chance to check behind with the naked Ah.

So after that gift from the poker gods, I was able to win mostly small pots the rest of the way, and cruise into the money without any major confrontations. Once we got into the money, I never had more than 20 BBs, which is when I get into shortstack mode. I got to experience playing with Ryan "Daut44" Daut. He was directly on my right from the time we made the money onward. He won the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, an $8,000 buy in WPT event for over $1.3 million. I only played one hand against him, which was pretty standard. He raised on the button, and I pushed in from the SB for about 12 BBs with Ad7d. He folded.

It was kind of an unusual situation because at one point, I had about 18 big blinds, and was tied for the chiplead at the table. Every single player at our table was below average. I was grinding out the medium stack for a long time. I made some timely blind steals and treaded water for what seemed like forever. I feel that this is the most improved part of my game since starting my online career. Playing the 10-25 BB stack is the single most important aspect of online tournament poker, since the average stack for most online tournaments is about 25 big blinds. After losing a few tough hands that would have put me back in contention, I pushed an 8 BB stack UTG with JJ, got called in two spots, by AQ and KQ and lost. I finished in 169th of 7700 for a decent score of $1400.

Afterwards, I cleaned up from yesterday. Also I saw that the one and only Humberto Brenes was playing 10c-20c limit hold 'em. I was fortunate enough to notice as soon as he sat down, because once everyone notices, the wait list gets to be a mile long. So we were three tabling together, and I just raised and reraised every time it was my turn to act. It was a lot of fun and he kept saying his infamous "de chark is hungrrrryyyyyy!!"

Here is a fun hand where I completely outplayed him. ; )

I'm just kidding obviously I was just messing around and got lucky.

Tomorrow I'm going to bring Buster to the vet. Some of my brother and sister's friends have had bad luck with the pet store where I bought him. He is really motionless a lot. I often poke him just to make sure he is still alive. I'm going to bring him in for a check up just to be sure he is feeling 100%. I also want to get to the gym, since I haven't done that in awhile. Not sure if I will play tomorrow or what time I will start.

Until then,

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

My Introduction To The Bad Girls Club

Today was fairly uneventful. I woke up around 3 and watched my shows. Afterwards I headed over to the house, to pick up my brother. I agreed to let him activate an old phone on my account so that he can have a cell phone of his own. He's going to pay me for it, and it's fairly inexpensive to just add another line to my plan anyways.

We left the Verizon store and headed back to the house to eat before practice. Practice went well. Everyone showed up with the exception of one player who has an injured ankle. He is questionable for Saturday, but hopefully he will pull through. I told the guys that we all owed it to one another to be at all the games and practices for the rest of the season. It's only three more weeks at the longest, and we really need the full squad if we want to win it all. So far, we haven't always had the greatest attendance record from everyone on the team.

We went over what to expect from the team we're playing this weekend. We showed them how to play against a high two man trap, and practiced executing our press. Everything is really coming together now. I really like our chances in the post season. Saturday we're playing a team that we beat pretty badly during the regular season, but while their best player was out with a concussion. I told the guys that this factor means that it's not going to be a cakewalk, even though we are the number one seed, and they are number eight. Can't wait for Saturday.

After practice I came back to the house and chilled with the fam for an hour or so. When I got back home I just hung out for awhile. I had recorded a show on the Oxygen Network, per Josh's recommendation. He had informed me at Eli's this weekend, that The Bad Girl's Club was easily the greatest show on television.

I could not agree more.

The Bad Girl's Club is a reality show. It is not like your standard reality show though, due to the lack of contests, or any form of a winner at the end of the season. The premise for the show is maybe eight girls that live together in a house with a camera crew. All they do is live. Fortunately, with this group, that's all they need to do in order to create an entertaining TV show. They are all the type of girls who think they are the "Head Bitch" if you will. Each episode, you get to enjoy twenty minutes of wholesome family fun as the escalating tension erupts into verbal and physical attacks between the volatile house guests.

The episode I watched started off with footage of a house party that one of the girls had thrown the previous night. This did not sit well with Tanisha, the biggest and blackest diva of them all. She was not participating in the festivities of the evening prior, and her slumber was disrupted. She responded by awaking early the next morning, before all of the others. She collected two baking pans from the kitchen and returned upstairs banging them together, chanting "I didn't get no sleep cuz of y'all, Y'all ain't gon' get no sleep cuz of me!!" Pans and flaps of skin noisily clapping together, she returned the favor to each of the other girls. They were not amused.

The antics continued in the day as we saw Tanisha professing her love for juice. She shared with the viewers how "there's nothing like a cold glass of juice." So later that day, or maybe it was the next morning, Tanisha was about to enjoy a delicious gulp of tropical fruit punch. Unbeknown to her, one of the girls had retaliated by pouring a container of hot sauce into her beloved Tropicana. Tanisha was infuriated. She feigned difficulty breathing in a dramatic tirade. Immediately thereafter, Tanisha marched straight for her attacker's bedroom. She ripped all of her belongings from their proper containers and scattered them about the room. Charming.

After commercials, there was one girl who lost her temper, for a reason I failed to identify. The other girls reacted by screaming and fighting as she smashed various items around the house.

At the end of the show, one of the girl's decided she could no longer tolerate the "poisonous atmosphere" and left the house. Everyone was deeply saddened by her exit.

The Bad Girl's Club is easily the trashiest reality show of all the trashy reality shows. And I am a man who loves his trashy reality shows.

Tomorrow I hope to get in a lot of MTTs, and you can guarantee I will be playing my best, with a clear head.

Until then,

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Super Tuesday

Upon waking up this morning, I came to discover a text message I had received from a friend of mine. "Remember to vote today! (for Obama)," it said. Sorry friend, I don't even think I'm registered to vote. So I didn't make it out today for the primaries. Last year I was ridiculed by my family for not voting on one of the town issues. Many think it is irresponsible not to exercise my right to vote. I don't feel bad about not showing up at the polls today though. I don't think I'm fit to cast a vote, considering I couldn't tell you one major difference in any standpoint between Clinton and Obama. The deciding factor in my vote, were I to have made one, would be the fact that Obama made a cameo on one of my favorite shows, Saturday Night Live in the fall. Furthermore, my one vote will not make a difference in even the closest of races. I don't care what anyone says. There are hundreds of thousands of voters in Connecticut. Adding my vote to either campaign would be like adding the contents of an eye dropper to a swimming pool. Frankly it's not worth my time to fill out the paperwork at town hall and make the trek to the voting booths for such an insignificant affect on the outcome of the election. Sorry.

So what did I do today? When I got up around 1, I was undecided on whether or not to play poker. Instead I was thinking I would take today off, and use the day to cool off and reflect on why I did poorly yesterday. I decided that the way I busted from the $20 rebuy could have definitely been avoided. At first I bemoaned my bad luck, and I think many would be quick to do the same. But to become a great poker player, you have to be brutally honest with yourself. If you keep getting unlucky and losing, guess what? There's a good chance there are leaks in your game that you aren't acknowledging. For me, I think I have stopped making disciplined folds and trusting my reads when I know I am beat. I used to make great lay downs when I thought it was right. Nowadays, I am making hero calls whenever I'm getting a decent price. Let's examine how I busted from the $20 rebuy on Monday night.

With blinds at 600-1200 I was sitting in late position with JJ, and about 27,000 chips. The player in first position had about 10,000 in chips. This is less than 10 times the big blind, which is typically a push/fold stack, and everyone knows that. The player opted not to push, but instead made a standard 3x raise to 3600. He is clearly trying to make it cheaper for someone to call behind him. This should set off red flags every time. Now a player in middle position flat called. Another red flag. He may as well have typed in the chatbox, "Hello everyone, I have pocket aces." At this point it should be completely obvious that both of these players have me beat. The flat caller knows that the UTG player is strong, and still decides to only call, inviting more action behind him. He knows that the original raiser is committed, and doesn't want to push out any action from a third player.

The above-the-rim play, would have been to open fold. I have played several thousand online tournaments, I know what people have all the time. I always know. Sometimes, though I let my desire to win blind me. I have taught myself an all or nothing mentality. This is the correct mindset to employ in tournament poker. Roughly 40% of my gross winnings have come from top 2 finishes. You should always be giving yourself the best chance to win the tournament. You can't win if you fold right? As foolish as this may sound, this is the attitude I have lately. I need to do a better job of making the right fold when it is correct, to keep myself in the game, so that I can win.

An acceptable play would have been to call. Even though both of the players are representing extreme strength, JJ is still a big hand to just fold. A better than average player could make a case for calling here, and seeing a flop, whereupon one could reevaluate. I don't want to be a better than average player. I want to be the best. How will I ever climb to the top of the online rankings and win a WSOP bracelet if I settle for being better than average? I have so much experience, and I always know what people have. I should do much better than what I have been doing lately. I should have made the fold, as ridiculous as it may seem to an inexperienced player.

Instead I chose the absolute worst option of the three. I re-raised all in. I figured "JJ! This is a strong hand, this is my chance to nearly triple up and have a stack that will allow me to coast to the final table!" I should have thought "Wow, nice try guys. I don't know who you think you're fooling with that crap, but I'm southrnct-mother F'ing- owl, and I can easily read your transparent attempts at slowplaying. I don't get my money in with the worst hand. I'll fold this time, and leave myself in the tourney where most others would go broke, keeping my average stack and have a chance at turning it into one ready for contention at the final table."

It folded back to the original raiser who snap called. The flat caller called instantly as well. They both obviously had KK and AA respectively, and I was eliminated short of the money.

Another hand where I lost a considerable pot that I shouldn't have occurred earlier in the same tournament. I was in the BB with Q 9 offsuit. The player in first position limped in. This always sets off red flags to me. I immediately considered AA as a likely holding for him. I forget how many people were in the hand, but the flop came 9 rag rag. I checked, as I always do when I'm in the blinds, unless I have a powerhouse hand. I'll explain why I do that some other time. The UTG limper bet out about 3/4 pot. I made the call with top pair. He could have nothing, a worse nine (9Ts, J9s, etc.), or he could still of course have AA. The turn was another low card, and I again check/called. At this point the pot was around 12,000. The river was another low card. The highest card on board was still a 9, and the board was somewhat uncoordinated. The UTG player bet out 6,000, around half pot, after I checked yet again. This was an obvious value bet. There is no way he would triple barrel bluff there with nothing. He also wouldn't bet any hand worse than mine for value. AA is literally the only hand he could have in that spot. I knew this, but I called anyways, partially because I wanted to win, and partially because I wanted to if I was right. Low and behold, I was right again, like always, and he showed AA, and scooped a large pot, and I had lost about 1/3 of my formerly above average stack.

I need to have more discipline. The flop call is fine. The turn call is questionable, but you can still make a case for calling the turn. The river call is just plain inexcusable. Instead of wanting to know if I was right, and trying to win, I should have just known that I was right, and trust my instincts. This way I could have known that I couldn't win, and saved my chips to get them in in a better spot.

I could go on with more and more stories about how I have made stupid crying calls knowing I was beat, but I won't dwell on that.

So today's activities included watching Dr. Phil and Price is Right as usual. The guests in the Dr. Phil house this month are engaged couples questioning whether or not they are fit for marriage. I've concluded, not just from this show or exclusively from Dr. Phil, that I may not get married for a long, long time, if ever. Divorce is not something I ever want to experience, and marriage vows are something I would take very seriously. You all know that I am a numbers-0riented guy, and in a country with a 57% divorce rate, I don't like my chances. I cannot even conceive how long it would take, or what must occur between two people for them to know for certain that they want to spend the rest of their days on this earth together, no matter what. Is it really possible for someone in their twenties to know that they will want to be with a person into their forties, sixties, and on their death bed in their nineties? When you take your marriage vows, you say that you will take that person in sickness and in health, for rich or for poor, better or worse, no matter god damn what for the rest of your life. Take a minute to let that soak in. When you make that commitment, you're saying I love this person unconditionally and I will never leave them no matter what.

Clearly this whole "love" word is being tossed around too lightly in our society today. With shows like Flavor of Love, I Love New York, and Rock of Love, (all of which I am completely obsessed with mind you) young people can see how easy it is to fall in love. All it takes is a few weeks, right? Just ask I Love New York 2 winner Tailor Made. Shit, he wasn't even divorced with his first wife before he was professing his love (or infatuation, whatever, same thing right?) for New York.

When I dated my first girlfriend in high school, I was told that I should say those three magic words as well. I went along with it because she told me to, and I just assumed that that was the next appropriate step after two whole months of dating. So I told her I loved her once or twice. Talk about uncomfortable! All it took was one hesitation on my part before we put all those shenanigans to a stop. Let that be a lesson to all you high school sweet hearts out there. Guess what, it's not going to work out. Sooner or later you and the "love" of your short life are going to break up for good. Brace yourself.

All I'm saying is that I only plan on making that love/marriage commitment with one person in my life, because that's all it's supposed to be. Will I ever find that person, and the connection with them that so many give up on in divorce courts across the country? Who knows, surely not me. All I do know is that it's not going to be for a long time, because that really has to be someone special to commit your whole entire life to.

So after TV I showered and went to get some lunch at 99. After that I went over to Sears to try and find the parts I need for my carpet cleaner. After I talked to the guy at the store, and my Dad, I decided to wait until after my Dad gets back from Houston for him to bring over some new parts he have that will hopefully fit on the sink so I can finally get that done.

He also told me he would bring over another hard drive so I can fit more music into my iTunes.

So then I watched TV for awhile, and eventually decided I had learned my lesson from the previous day. I decided to turn off all distractions and focus on playing super-tight, and always making the right play. I only played three tournaments, so that I could do my best and hopefully get a good cash. I bought into the Nightly Hundred Grand($162), a $20 180 player SNG, and the 50k ($50). No luck in any of them. I still think I played well though.

I was crippled in the Hundred Grand when the blinds were 100-200. I had 5500 in the big blind, holding JJ. It folded around to a well-known, tight-aggressive player in the cut-off (one off the button), XtraCey. She raised to 500, with 3300 behind. Even though she is a tight player, JJ is well ahead of her range here. I re-raised all in and she called with AA. Obviously. I was out shortly thereafter.

The 50k was kind of interesting. There was one player on my immediate left who was a total donk. I was playing super tight. The blinds were 100-200. A player who had just lost most of his stack on the previous hand, pushed all in from middle position. I had K 10 on the button. I knew the shortstack player could have almost anything, so I re-raised all-in, in hopes of isolating against him with a hand that was ahead of his range. My plans were foiled though as donk boy called instantly for almost his whole stack with A 8 off. Nice call bud. He flopped an ace and I was down to only 30 chips. The next hand the blinds were 150-300 with a 25 ante. I doubled up on two straight hands with A 7 and KQ. I now had over 900! A few hands later I was in the big blind, which committed me no matter what. I typed in the chatbox that I was obviously calling anything, so I advised the table against doing anything stupid. I was happy to see A 8. Donk boy raised in first position, and it folded around to me, so I called. I was honestly not too worried about being behind against this player, even though he was representing strength by raising UTG. Sure enough he showed Q 7 of clubs, and I doubled up, flopping an ace. I was still on life support and hung in there for awhile. I made my stand pushing all in from late position with A 3. The big blind made the call and showed 22. I obviously lost the race and my heroic run was over.

Tomorrow I won't be playing because I have basketball practice at night. When I return to the virtual tables, (which might not be until Sunday) I am sure to be playing my best. Watch out fishcakes! It's getting late though, so I'm off to bed. I'll check in tomorrow after practice.

Until then,