Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Not exactly a new post, but...

Mondo Makes Everything Better.

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Having finally jumped onto the Google Reader bandwagon, I'm inspired to try to start blogging again, and will do so soon --- probably by comparing this year's pathetic accomplishments to my somewhat loftier goals at the start of this year. (I did actually win a tournament in Blackhawk, but that was about it....) For now, I leave you with this:

Devon Knows How They Make Mondogarage So Creamy.

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So, who the fuck is Devon?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

When the Good Doctor is away...

Mondogarage will play. Poker, that is.

After having my online poker pretty much be hit, miss, or the occasional random donk event lately, it felt good to just get back in there any multi-table 3-4 tourneys at a time last night. Real good. Unfortunately, no final tables, but I was able to cash four times:

166 of 1302
13 of 133
110 of 1646

and last, but not least,

10 of 1285 in a PokerStars $3 buy in, when my AJs went down to AKo.

All in preflop on the final table bubble, and he'd only called me in the BB. I was 9 of 10 at that point, and me and bottom feeder were pretty much way behind everyone else, so I didn't think folding here and hoping he goes out first was a good option. AJs in preflop position is not a bad situation.

Nothing of great interest really happened there, other than when there were about 20 tables left, I was near the bottom with 4k in chips, when I picked up six pocket pairs in a row, won with them all, and after a couple hours of patience, had picked up the chips to actually play. Felt good. Ya'll bloggers best be ready.


Monday, October 08, 2007

So You Wanna Be a Poker Blogger?

Now THIS looks like a whole lot of fun!

Texas Holdem Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

This Online Poker Tournament is a No Limit Texas Holdem event exclusive to Bloggers.

Registration code: 3466898

Oh yeah, and GO ROCKIES!

I promise to start blogging more after the World Series. In fact, I should be blogging about baseball, but my purple wonders just can't stop winning, and the Good Doctor Mondo and I just can't stop going to games. From the Dodgers sweep, to the final weekend against Arizona, to the Wild Card Tiebreaker, to last weekend's sweep of the Phillies, Coors Field has been thee place to be. And with tix for NLCS Games 4 and 6...well...let's just say I'm not counting on getting to use the tix to Game 6. ;-)

Back to poker soon, though sadly, I won't be trying to qualify for the first ever Heartland Poker Tour event in Colorado this week. Can't get up there, and still am not truly sure I can be in town for the main event, should I qualify. I is a Sad Mondo. GO ROCKIES!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

LOL Banaments

"Your account has been banned or locked.You are going to be unbanned in 7 hours, 9 minutes and 59 seconds.Ban reason: lol -aments "

2+2 is an awesome poker forum. You can learn an awful lot about MTT strategies, SNG strategies, cash game strategies, and you can also unnecessarily pour sand into the occasional moderator mangina in subforums that have nothing to do with poker at all. Woohoo!

As much as 2+2ers like to talk about this place being full of inanity, Pocket Fives has got nothing on 2+2's OOT forum for hypersensitivity crybabyish-ness.

I'll tell you what OOT needs -- a really good dose of this guy. Go get'em. I'm predicting lifetime ban after two posts...

When others have said it so much better...

I probably should have blogged about this a few days ago, but for whatever reason, have not done so.

If you've not heard by now, two men were arrested in Lakewood, Colorado (a Denver 'burb) for allegedly trying to kill a bar poker tour operator who stiffed one of them out of a $36,000 investment. If this is all news to you, I'll simply refer you here, here, or here for the basics.

And yes, feel free to make up your own Samuel L. Jackson references. I like "I have had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking poker tour!

I used to play this tour, on occasion, and even qualified for a couple of their quarterly finals, where the play was, truly, at the same level as a $1 turbo MTT on FTP. Anyway, the rumors of financial boondoggling had been trailing this company for some time. The Land Rover Discovery given to the tour's first "National Champion" was repossessed. Binion's cancelled their Vegas tournament, but the APT didn't tell the players until after they'd all flown to Vegas, and most of the money was never refunded (not a Binion's issue, since the tourney buy-ins would have been done in person -- I'm referring to trip money). Paychecks to dealers bounced. Prize checks bounced, even after prize pools were cut in half. Wow.

And here we are in Colorado trying to get casino limits expanded, trying to get HPT events approved by the Division of Gaming, etc. And yet, we can't even get these motherfucking snakes off these motherfucking poker tours. Ah yes, Colorado -- we are still the wild wild west.

In more mundane poker news, I managed to final table two online tournaments I played last Sunday, but went out 4th and 9th, and got three outed in my new favorite tournament (the $15k and $30k guarantee $3R's at Stars), when AK < AJ on a KJ8 board, thanks to the J on the river, to go home 39th of 2699 runners, instead of a huge payday. That said, I feel like I'm playing solid aggressive poker lately, and am ending up in the money more often than I have been in a while, around 20% of the time, between FT and PS. Still, I'm coming up short of that elusive big top 3 finish to really help the bankroll. But in most cases, it's been through variance, as opposed to bad plays. There was one all in raise with Q9c on a Q86 two club board that didn't hit on KK, however...

Anyway, as always, may all of you continue to make mad mobnies at the tables!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Nice day at the tables (and coulda been soooo much more)

First off, I apologize for the distinct lack of screenshots today. Honestly, I just didn't think I'd last long enough to worry about them, and even so, there weren't that many actual specific hands of interest.

Anyway, being 100+ ass hot degress in Colorado, I thought it would be a nice day to fire up ye olde poker machine, and give a run at my new favorite tournament, the weekly PokerStars $100k guarantee -- which is actually a $175k tournament capped at 17500 runners. Yup, that's right -- well over 17,000 donkeys, all fighting for a piece of the pie. At $10+1, it attracts the low buy in fools like myself, and the play is often freeroll-worthy. Just before this, I joined about 580 other runners in a $1 tourney over at FTP, just to give myself a few more hands to see.

Long story short, I Final Tables the $1 tourney -- 5th for something like $29 dollars. SHIPPIT! Around that time, we're into the 2nd hour of the madhouse. It is truly amazing to see how fast players can fall. 17,500 runners, and we're on the money bubble (2,650 paid spots) at 2nd break. It was around this time when I caught my one and only break (um, I mean major suckout), when I ran an A into a bigger A, but board paired twice on the river to chop a full house. I would have gone home just into the cash, but fortunately was saved for a while.

Late in the 3rd hour, I witnessed one of the sickest beats I'd ever seen. Stack sizes are getting pretty healthy, and the table chipleader (with around 100k, and blinds maybe 800/1600?) makes a standard 3x raise in early position. Mid position player with about 60-70k goes over the top all in, and gets a call. Original raiser has AQ. All in has KK. Flop comes JTT. Turn comes T. River comes... T. So sick. I really felt bad for the guy, be way ahead on flop, turn a boat, and lose quads to higher kicker on river. Wow.

Anyway, as for myself, I managed to pour it on for a bit, and made it to the 4th hour, and the 5th. Monies started going up here, and I had visions of my first $1k payday in about 18 months in my head. Any finish 7th or higher becomes my highest score ever, and 1st was good for $19,000.

Down to about 60 players, and I'm playing aggressive. Blinds are 30,000/60,000, with antes either 2000 or 3000, and any move here is AI, including my button steal with T4 offsuit two hands before., from blinds on my left who were truly tight. I felt if I could double up once, I'd be able to truly go deep (as if besting 17440 of 17500 wasn't deep enough). Still, I had to be careful. Noted 2+2er BadgerPro was on my right, with about 2,000,000 in chips, but there wasn't a runaway chip leader.

So early position raises to 240,000, and I look down to find AKo in mid position. Early raiser has me covered. I could call and see a flop, but if I'm already behind in a race position, do I want to risk running all my chips into the flopped set that always gets me? No, I came to play, and I'm probably ahead. I'm either slightly behind, or way ahead at this point, as I don't put this particular Nederlandse player on AA or KK so I shove.

Too bad for me, my opponent called time to think about it, because when he called with A5o, I knew I was toast, when he caught his 3 outer on the turn, and IGHN in 58th spot.

PokerStars Game #11081026536: Tournament #55537478 $10+$1 Hold'em No Limit - Level XXVII (30000/60000) - 2007/07/22 - 20:16:51 (ET)
Table '55537478 276' 9-max Seat #2 is the button
Seat 1: Mondogarage (529472 in chips)
Seat 2: psidamage (872716 in chips)
Seat 3: narnuce (362872 in chips)
Seat 4: Mr. Sparco (1010172 in chips)
Seat 5: Heros_Fan (1191698 in chips)
Seat 6: Pascal@NL (2335150 in chips)
Seat 7: Mezosius (1434096 in chips)
Seat 8: Riley1_777 (1087008 in chips)
Seat 9: BadgerPro (1256280 in chips)
Mondogarage : posts the ante 6000
psidamage: posts the ante 6000
narnuce: posts the ante 6000
Mr. Sparco: posts the ante 6000
Heros_Fan: posts the ante 6000
Pascal@NL: posts the ante 6000
Mezosius: posts the ante 6000
Riley1_777: posts the ante 6000
BadgerPro: posts the ante 6000
narnuce: posts small blind 30000
Mr. Sparco: posts big blind 60000

Dealt to Mondogarage [ ]
FOLD Heros_Fan
FOLD Pascal@NL
RAISE Mezosius, 120000 to 180000
FOLD Riley1_777
FOLD BadgerPro
>>>Pascal@NL said, "ja is goed kom je dan ook???"
RAISE Mondogarage , 343472 to 523472 and is all-in
FOLD psidamage
FOLD narnuce
FOLD Mr. Sparco
CALL Mezosius, 343472
>>>Pascal@NL said, "ja hoor dan geef ikwel een rondje"

[ ]

[ ] [ ]
>>>Pascal@NL said, "oei"

[ ] [ ]

Mezosius: shows [ ] (two pair Aces and Fives)
Mondogarage : shows [ ] (a pair of Aces)

>>>BadgerPro said "ugh gg"
Mezosius collected 1190944 from pot
>>>Mezosius said "srry"

So sick. Anyway, this is still my new favorite tournament, and my $10 became $260, so I can afford a few more runs at it. But still....ohhhh sooooo close....

As an aside, damn, there were a lot of Dutchmen at that table!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Ye Poker Gods and Their Sick Sixth Sense of Humor

So, on Sunday, I'm kicking around in the PokerStars $10+1 $100,000 guarantee, which was capped at 15,000 donkey for $150,000, when I decided to 2- and 3- table tourneys, to give me a bit more play. I don't get how folks can grind eight or nine tables at once, but running a couple tables is really kids play.

However, that sometimes leaves the door open for sick, twisted events such as this one. I have found the quality of play in your typical $5 or $10 buy-in tourney to be, really, no better at all than your average freeroll. I suppose this should be an obvious conclusion, but nothing brought it home to me more than on Sunday.

While I was going out of the $150k tourney by having a fonkey with pocket 8s call my AA all the way down on a two face card board, only to hit trips on the river, I was doing this in a 2,700 player freeroll:

Of course, the difference between winning this 300 table donkfest versus winning the $150k could best be summed up here:

$15 v $18,000? Naturally.

Still, it's nice to know the cards can be kind once in a while.

Anyway, speaking of donkeys, go over to Lucko's blog and wish him continued good fortune today, as he takes his stab at Day 2B of this year's Main Event, and may the deck hit you upside the head.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

In the Summertime, and the livin' is...

rather la vida loca. The Main Event is going on, and I'm not there. Following the updates at Pokernews has been fascinating, though. Lots of top names out already, and there's two Day 1s left.

Anyway, my recent Blackhawk trip didn't turn out so great. Since it was the 1st of the month, the Gilpin changed up their tourney schedule. Instead of a $70 for 7,000 tourney, it was a $60+60 tourney for 6,000 chips. Not nearly the same value, though hardly a turbo style. Yet, because there were seven full tables, they reduced levels to 15 minutes from 20 (new policy for their noon tourneys), and it was pretty much go time. I managed to win a couple of pots early, with pretty standard pre-flop bets.

Unfortunately, after a bit of card death, I was down to about 7x the BB, where I woke up in the small blind with AQs. As it was folded to me, I didn't want to simply shove to take the 800 in chips (blinds were 400/800, and I started the hand with about 5700), so I min-raised to 1600. On a K-x-x board, my C-bet was raised all in, and after my fold, the BB shows KQo. Good read, but lost over half my chips. The BB (who ended up in the money by the end) said he would have folded to a preflop all in, but I still think I made the right play in the spot at the time. I'm always interested in hearing comments, though.

Anyway, I'm out an orbit later when in the BB with ATo, UTG raises enough to put me all in, and shows A7s. I'm feeling good until the 7-9-7 flop, and IGHN. Ick. But the tourney was fun, and I'm feeling okay about my game. Okay enough to buy into the new $10+1 $100k guarantee at Stars today. Capped at 15,000 players, and with 10 minute levels, this should be a donkeyfest that far out donkeys the nightly $26k at Full Tilt. We'll see.

Good luck to all bloggers in the Main Event!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Poker players aren't the only ones running bad...

Okay, so I finally start blogging again, and what do my Rox do? Lose seven fonkey-ing games in a row, all on the road, including not one...not two...but THREE effin' blown saves by Brian Fuentes, who was well on his way to another All Star Game appearance before he decided to become 2007's version of Mitch Williams. Eeshk.

Anyway, had to bitch and moan to someone. Not looking so positive at our club level seats for the Mets game on Monday now. Even if the brats are sick good.

On to poker -- it's been a fairly quiet week. I haven't really played any tourneys, since the Good Doctor Mondo hasn't been working real late, and I've been wanting to spend some time with her. But I have gotten in around 400 hands of 2-7 Triple Draw over on Stars, which I got into after the dealer's choice home game I played last weekend, where every 4th or 5th hand was either 2-7 Triple Draw or Badugi. (Aside...Badugi is hella fun, though it sucks having 2nd nuts on final hand of the night, to get run down by the nuts...ack.)

350-400 hands is hardly a huge sample size, but in this rather limited experience, I've learned a couple of things. The play at .50-1 limit is terribly soft. Rough eights, and even some nines were worth standing pat in position from the initial deal. Folks take 2-3 cards on the first two draws, and you bet out every time, most would let it go. Got up about three buy ins at that level, but took a single shot at 1-2, and found it much different. Gave up nearly two full buy ins there, because every 7-6 or 8-5 was beat by a 7-5. At any rate, it was fun, though 2-7 TD still seems more like a game of just trying to outdraw. But my ROI seems to be better there than in micro limit NLHE, so if it can fund a few MTT buy-ins, then I say what the hell.

Not much more to add today -- no fun screenies or hand histories. But it looks like I'm going up to Blackhawk for the $70/7,000 chip tourney on Sunday. It'll be my first crack at this particular tournament, which is clearly one of the best values in Blackhawk, in that it offers quite a bit more play than nearly any other tournament there. I believe the levels are still only 20 minutes (30 would be awesome), but the blind structure is the same as in the $30, $40, $50, etc buy-ins there. And if there's one thing I've learned, it's that I like deeper stack poker.

I wish for many large pots for all of you this weekend, and that the current road trip doesn't end 0-10...

Friday, June 22, 2007

Fire Up the Bandwagon?

Yeah, with my beloved Colorado Rockies doing so well, I'm finding it inspiring. Gotta start writing again. About what? Dunno. No band right now, but auditions forthcoming.

About poker? Sure! It's actually been a fairly eventful spring, as far as that goes. Finally won a live tournament at the Gilpin (3-way chop for $600 each, on a $45 buy-in), and then promptly gave it all back on two final table bubbles and a horrendous $2-5 session, but then, that's bingo.

Anyway, I've managed to reload online, and even took 2nd in a $5.50 PL Omaha Hi tourney a couple of weeks back, to pad the online bankroll a bit, but it's been hard to be engaged in the game lately, as I'm trying to spend more time with the Good Doctor Mondo. Most MTTs, I'm going deep enough in, but as per before, not cashing for much.

But it feels different these days. I am trying to steal/re-steal more, limping less, and generally playing more aggressive. But if someone wants to call your T140,000 re-raise AI with ATo, when you're AKs with K on flop, and K on turn, whatcha gonna do when the J on river kills you.

At any rate, I know I have not blogged in ages and ages, and that by doing so at this particular time, I'm no longer as cool as fuck as this guy would think. But I can't help it. After continuing to read all of these guys on a regular basis, and missing out on the oh-so-awesome WPBT event in Lost Wages, I'm feeling lonely. Or lame. Or something. Time to jump back into the pool.

By the way, go visit Sucko and tell with him luck in the Daddy Of 'Em All, and to continue to take up pen and keyboard when he comes back a supastah.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Absence Makes the Heart...

It wasn't until this morning when I turned around and realized I haven't posted a blog entry in a while. For shame, for shame. Fact is, there's been very little blog-worthy in my world, these days. The new lounge/exotica project continues as a six piece, and as soon as we can find a cool combo organ player, we'll be ready to start doing Dean Martin covers, busking in the parking lot of the Barbary Coast. Or not.

I've hardly touched my FTP account in the last 10 days or so. Partly a function of spending more time with the Good Doctor Mondo this week, what with valentines, and roses, and sushi, and such, and partly because I'm down to $50 in ye olde online roll. Weird, in a way. I'm finishing in the money in around 25% of all my tourneys this year, which is my highest ITM rate ever. But at the same time, I'm not making it deep enough in my one cash to cover the three times I'm buying in and crashing.

But no big deal, as I'm doing nicely in live poker thus far. As defending champion, I managed to take down 2nd in the 2nd semi-annual Fogelberg Invitational, a $20 rebuy home game...and yesterday, in our end of season bar league finale, I managed to outlast 74 other runners to bring home the prize. A medal (nothing worth smelting down...) and $300 samolians. SHIP IT!. LOL

Not a lot of dosh, but then, it is a free bar league. Anyway, the proudest part of the day was probably the fact that I both a) played my best poker ever in a live field of that size, b) was only all in once the entire tournament, and perhaps most importantly, c) got lucky never to get sucked out on. How does one define their best poker? In this case, I played the best TAG style I could, and only played pots I was willing to raise. Except for the first pot I played early (one of only three pots I played in the first two hours), every time I played a hand, I was ahead
when I bet, induced calls or folds when I wanted to, and always felt in command of the situation. All of this while the normal chaos of free poker...stacks doubling, tripling, and wilting away like it was the last game on Earth...was swirling around me. It felt good. Yes, even though it was a bar league, and even though the prize was small potatoes. Just having that feeling of complete control of my game was awesome.

Anyway, there was one hand of note that will burn me for a bit. Down to about 16-17 players (11 player final table), and The Good Doctor Mondo sits down at my table. A couple of hands later, she's in the big blind with her last 4000 in chips. Blinds are 1000/2000. Action folds around to me on the button, where I find myself with 33. I can't fold here. And the SB has a few chips, and is a pretty TAG player whom I respect more than about 85% of the players in this league. Not a great hand, but I'm very likely in front at this point. So I raise it to 4k. I don't really want a call. I had around 25k in chips (2nd or 3rd in chips at this point), and if I lost the 4k to The Good Doctor Mondo, I could certainly live with it. I don't like doubling anyone up, but if I'm going to, it may as well be my lovely wife. But still, I'd like her to fold.

Well, after two hours of relative card death, she wakes up in the BB with AQo, and has to call. And doesn't improve. And goes home. Not happy. I dont' see how I could have played different. I was hoping the raise would be an incentive for her to fold, and be able to survive another orbit, where she might have made final table. But if I call, she's shoving there, anyway, and I have to call 2k at that point. Oh well. We did find a lovely new pan-Asian restaurant last night, and SNL had Justin's re-run, complete with Dick in a Box. So it was a good night...

Today is the FTOPS Main Event. Of course, I'm not taking part, but some of your favorite bloggers are. Personally, I'm pulling for Hoy, but I will you all good luck and deep cashes today.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

All Your Bass Are Belong To Us?

Not much going on in Mondo-land these days, but just because bandwidth is cheap, ya'll get an update. Very little online poker the last few days, other than truly donking out of a couple bigger tourneys just short of the bubble, on truly horrid plays. And not by my opponents, if you know what I mean.

Like this one. 38 players left in a $5k guarantee tourney, paying 36 spots. I'm somewhere between 34th-37th in chips at this point, and have been card dead/tight for a couple orbits. On the button with T9o. SB is a big stack, top 4-5 of the remaining players. What do I do? Shove my ass off, thinking that this pot will ensure I break the bubble, where I can then focus on actually trying to win...yeah, duh. SB calls. yeah, dun. Two overs. Dumb play by the button, if you ask me. My M may have been small, but it wasn't 1.

Of course, even when I push with good cards, like on button with AQo at final table of a $5 90-player SNG (I'm 4th of 4 at this point), and get called by 88. Race on? Yeah, duh, until the flop comes 88T. IGHN.

Okay, enough poker. Actually, I'm cashing about 23-25% of my recent tourneys, but since I'm not making it deep enough in the higher buy-in tourneys, the bankroll is still dropping. Down to about $50 or so, so, aside from Hammer Day tomorrow night, I'm going to focus on $5 SNGs until I busto or robusto. Still haven't decided about trying to reload, given the current environment. I've got the budget for it, but not the aggravation tolerance level. Besides, I just can't rant nearly as well as these guys, so why take action bound to lead one to want to try? As I mentioned before, there's no way to withdraw easily now anyway. And as I learned last night, I can still have fun playing with my half million or so free chips on FTP, even if the play isn't nearly as good.

Now that's enough about poker. At least until Hammer Day.

Of much more interest now is this new potential band...having answered ye olde Craigslist ad from a woman I know from another band. Lounge/exotica? Check. Martin Denny? Check. Tiki music? Check. Surf guitars in luchador masks? Check. Hahah...we're just two years of rehearsals away from being the perfect Vega$ cocktail band. Get that job, and we can shuck it in and move further west, where I can join some of the coolest bloggers around at donking it up all the time. Actually, I'm excited about this. Surf music isn't exotica, per se, but they're really sorta on the same family tree, and a lot of surf instro tunes have either been reverbed-out covers of exotica, or inspired by the compositional style. And for years, I've wanted a surf combo, but could only put together indiepop and rock bands. This could be way cool. Vibraphone, theremin (oooo-weee-oooo), etc...

Anyway, after being bandless and gigless for a few months, I'm really itching to get a new project together, before I get too curmudgeonly to haul my amp and speaker cabinets around to Denver's best dive bars any longer, maybe even make another record. Besides, won't we all need something to do with our time when FTP and PS go tits up in the post-UIGEA apocalypse?

Thursday, February 01, 2007

"Dude, don't play today. You might eat poop and stab a dude."

Ever get hit up on by those asshats panhandling your tourney rooms?

It was hard work not having left over chicken w/garlic sauce not coming out my nostrils after reading this. And the best part? "You have my permission to recreate the story."

You bet I will. And to think, all Brandi would have had to do is give up some buttsecks.

The Mookie was a lot of fun last night...was actually running real good early, until QQ ran into KK, crippling me.

And the 2nd chance? More like "no chance". First hand of PL O8, either flopped or turned the nut flush with a good low. Lost it all to straight flush with a wheel -- gg me, I suppose. Anyway, good crowd, and it was great to see Poker Peaker took it down. One for the Rockies.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

2+2 Tomfoolery, and it barely mentions Neteller!

In on ongoing discussion about whether or not a "rake free" poker site would actually be legal in the U.S., I felt compelled to participate.

The thread is here, but I wanted to share my most recent post with you all, and ask for thoughts/comment. Am I smoking crack here, or what? I don't think I'll actually get a good explanation behind the alleged legality of such a site from anyone in that thread, but I know there's some really bright poker bloggers here. And unlike lil-legal-beagle me, actually some that have been to law school.

Anyway, here's the post:

The UIGEA does not differentiate between poker-only sites and sites that combine poker with a sports book.

At any rate, I'd love to see a rake free online poker site. Hell, I'm just hoping there's any sites to play on a few months down the road. I'm just saying there's no chance in hell anyone's ever going to actually open one up under the current legal environment, because anyone who does under this environment is risking the wrath of the DoJ.

For all those who beg to differ, I kindly invite them to be the next to open up a site.

You know, it's like all those who rampantly support the invasion and occupation of Iraq. When I ask them why, if they support the war so much, and think the US is doing the right thing, they didn't volunteer and enlist, I get nothing but "uh...uh...uh...," or worse, some lame ass excuse like, "well, I can't quit my job", or "I'm still in college". In other words, for you folks who think it's stone cold legal right now, why aren't you putting together such a business?

It's easy to sit and sideline quarterback. And it's certainly possible that no near-future prosecutions result in convictions. But no smart businessman is even going to contemplate entering the online poker space in the US at a time when those businessmen are getting picked off like target ducks in a shooting gallery.

As for the Wire Act, it covers gambling. And, it is clear that poker involves gambling. Now, I'm not going to sit here and pretend that I know each and every minute detail about the application of the UIGEA. However, the implications of the UIGEA to the banking sector that must process the transactions funding poker sites and accounts are obvious. So you set up a rake free site. How do you fund it? Your bank's not going to accept a transaction funding that site any more than they will a transaction to FTP or PS. You think an argument that "rake free means it's legal" is going to hold water with Citigroup's 1000 strong legal department?

I'm sorry, I'm not trying to get into a pissing contest with you. I am not an attorney. But the fact is, I am in fact, in the legal industry, and, while I'm not an expert in federal regulatory law (I work in complex commercial litigation), I think I've got a pretty decent understanding of why there is no difference in the eyes of the Wire Act or UIGEA between a raked poker site and a non-raked poker site.

The fact that the OP is asking why the PPA doesn't actually create and run a poker site themselves is instructive here. And while I entirely agree that current state law vis-a-vis poker (whether online or off) is a veritiable varietal feast of differences, none of that makes a rake free site legal, where the financial transactions involved would appear to violate other federal laws. Remember, this isn't really even about whether it's legal or not for you or I to play a game of poker online, it's about whether or not it's legal for those sites to operate and execute transactions involving money.

Anyway, if you can make a colorable argument as to why a rake free site would be legal under existing law, I'm all ears. I'd like to be encouraged about the prospect of continuing my own ongoing FTP odyssey.

But if there is one inalienable truth about 2+2 (and probably all poker forums...I only cite 2+2 because it's the only one I frequent), it's the fact that the overall online poker playing populace is, for the most part, far too pollyanna-ish about what it is they do and its current legal predicament. If all the information folks use to form their opinions on comes from poker forums, poker websites, poker blogs, etc., you're only going to get the analysis of others in the poker community - *all* of whom have a vested interest in the outcome, and *all* of whom are subject to have their analysis and opinions colored by that vested interest.

Right now, Capitol Hill has no stomach to change the UIGEA at all, and frankly, their priorities are better placed elsewhere. (Contrary to popular belief, a poker carve out of the UIGEA should only be about the 83rd highest priority on your elected congressman's list right now, given the war, energy issues, etc.) The current DoJ administration is clearly on some kind of crusade that won't end until at least the next presidential cycle. These two factors make it pretty much dead in the water, any idea of a company stepping in and filling the gap that's being created by poker sites and transactional companies closing themselves off to the US.

Anyway, I'm really not trying to sound (very) snarky here, but comparing the legality of a home poker game to the legality of an online rake free poker site is just silly."

Monday, January 29, 2007

80% Guarantee to Busto (aka AA in 1st Position)

Had a weekend that was both fun, and frustrating. Played a few MTTs on Saturday, and finished 4th in a $10+1 PL Omaha...of course, I'm wondering where the hell Drizztdj is during all then, when I'm actually playing Omaha successfully for once. But anyway, it was a blast. I love playing PL Omaha, but the evening tourneys just take so much longer to actually crack the bubble, so I don't play as many as I'd like. Also picked up a couple Tier One tokens, and a bit of SNG cash. All in all, a good day, and added to the roll, if only just slightly, overall.

Anyway, Sunday was far more frustrating. In the FTP $7,500 guarantee, I picked up AA 4 times in the span of about 100 hands. GG me, right? Nope. Every time, I was in either 1st position or 2nd. So the first time, I don't want to get cute. I'm pretty short stacked, and just shove. Get one caller. Double up. Yay.

2nd time? 1st to act, standard 3x raise, all fold, pick up the blind.

3rd time? 2nd to act, standard 3x raise, all fold, pick up the blind.

Unfortunately, aside from AA, I was pretty card dead, so as we get towards the bubble, I'm looking to extract value from hands I do get. Which eventually leads me to...

4th time? 1st to act. No more standard raise, I want action. We're close to the bubble, another 30 spots or so, and I'm near the bottom of remaining players. I'm looking for a double or more. I think blinds were 200/400 with an ante of either 50 or 75. I want chips.

So no more 3x BB. I raise to 2x BB. Get one caller from SB. And then I blow it. On a 3-spade flop, I push, to show power. Duh. SB called with 54s. Boom. Lost to the flush. Out. 94th of 504, paying 54. Not quite as heartbreaking as Saturday's $7.5k, where I went out 76 of 476, paying 45, but damn. One more standard raise, buy the blinds and antes, and I'm probably in the clear...

What's the phrase? "Sucks to be you?"

Anyway, Sunday was horrible all over. 9 tourneys, not a single cash, including a few just a spot or two off breaking the bubble. And a couple more tantalizingly close to the bubble, where the difference was one or two pots. 65th of 347, 20th of 90, 26th of 77...that kinda day.

And to top it off, my pub league was having it's annual year end tourney. I know, it's almost February, but they do things slower in Longmont. Once again, AJ < K5. Always. And AT < 85. And once again, Mondo megatilts in public. Not a problem until my last couple power mucks. I can lose to donks daily and nightly, and ever so rightly, online, and always remain dead calm. But to hit the rail yet again to the same donkeyfucker whose done it to me 4-5 times before, and always with a hand far worse than mine when the money goes in, in a live situation...

Anyway, it's nearly the end of January.

The online BR has wavered between $400 to it's current low of around $120 + one token, as I donked off about $110 or so in buy-ins yesterday with nothing to show for it. Time to get a'movin. With the uncertain nature of ever being able to withdraw from sites, I don't have any intention to reload if it comes to that. Not that I'd mind reloading, if need be, but I couldn't stand the idea of actually reloading, then hitting one of the big tourneys, and never being able to withdraw. This is still a hobby for me, and a learning process, and since I only reload in smallish amounts, and rare occasions, busto isn't really busto. But, I'd rather just save my ducats for live tourneys in Blackhawk, for a payday I can actually take home. So, I'll take my shots for the next few days or weeks, and see what happens. Most likely, you don't see me buying Gift2Go Visas, no matter how useful they may be. I've been encouraged by my play, especially in last week's Daily Double, but I only have enough BR to take a couple more shots at that. Or 20 $6 SNGs. Or I can just keep working the $5/$10 MTTs...but if you don't see me at the Mookie, or the next Riverchasers, you'll know what happened....busto.

Maybe the guvmint's achieving their desired effect. But they're turning a golden goose into a eunuch at the same time, dontcha think?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A Donk's Call to Arms

Okay, with apologies to Falstaff, who surely is no rank donk, I wanted to pass on to the three people who read this blog, his clarion call to arms in an attempt to save this wee entertainment we call online poker.

From Midnight on February 8th (EST) through Midnight on Sunday February 11 (PST), do not play any internet poker.

And not just online. Any poker. Brick and mortar casinos (at least Harrah's) helped get the UIGEA in place, indirectly, by funding the warchests of those who are most responsible for it becoming current law.

The online sites aren't doing nearly enough to preserve the American market, either through short-sightedness or intimidation.

I plan on joining, do you?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Watching the Rebuild

As a 2+2 lurker, usually in the MTTc section, I am often entertained, and sometimes confounded, by reading the subjects of the day. Today, I was inspired. A Stars player, gdsdiscolfer, somehow picked up a keylogger, and his entire PS account was cleaned out, by someone logging in from Vietnam, in 11 hands of 30/60 LHE. A bankroll of around $1400, completely vaporized in minutes.

So what does the MTTc community do? You can read all about it here. That's a whole lot of generosity. Anyway, $420 in small donations later, and a good SNG session to start out, and gdsdiscolfer is on the long road to recovery.

Why post about it here? Well, as a way to thank the community for their generosity, and to share with them progress of his recovery, gdsdiscolfer has started a blog. It should be interesting to follow his progress. Please join me in linking his blog.

While I don't have a $$$ account at Stars, gdsdiscgolfer, I wish you all the best.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

That didn't take long...

Went out 81st in Daily Double B, to this (money in preflop):

That one kinda hurt. Left me with about 400 chips, and nearly pulled the next hand off until my KJ was crushed by J8. Oh well. Cash is cash, and I get to share in the 3% jackpot ($677 tonight) that everyone who cashed in both tourneys gets. Since, at most, 126 players could cash in both, that's an add it up...$4 minimum, woo! Unfortunately, I suspect that even if I manage to ship first place in Tourney A, the average finish of 41st won't be the best combined finish of the night. I was 11 of 11 in showdowns (combined in both Daily Double tourneys) up until those two hands, and played (for me) incredibly tight, seeing only 12% of flops combined.

Frankly, I dunno how many made it into the $$$ on both, but I'd reckon at least 40-50, most likely. After sitting around short stacked in the money for a while, shoving or folding, I run into this:

Woohoo! That put me up to 20th of 29, but still 1/2 of the average chips. But now, I'm cooking with gas and can actually play cards.

Anyway, it's all over. Found out that JJ < T9, when you're the SS and chip leader is on your left:

Oh, and my last hand before break in the $5.50 Omahi Hi? Kinda speaks for itself. Knocked my ass outta the tourney on this one. Sometimes, the nut flush ain't the nut flush. Oh well, I was bottom in chips, and I feared what villain showed:

Funny thing of all this is, out of over 2700 players, I'm still alive in the Poker After Dark. Currently 56 of 76 going into third break...

There's just something about KK....

I haven't posted much in the past few days, mostly because I've had nothing worthwhile to say. The Neteller is quelle bummer. Especially because if I lose my bankroll, I don't like the options available to reload, so I'll probably be done for a while. Well, that's not entirely the case. I have about a half million points in the free side of my FTP account...that should last me about 47 years.

But KK has played a fairly significant role for me this week, in ways good and bad. I've taken to playing the $11+1 SNGs, even though my current about $150 or so doesn't come close to supporting 1oox the buy-in. Why? Because I like the competition at that level, and because there's a bit less donking than at the $6+.50 level. At least that's been my perception.

At least that was my perception until last night. Down to 4 players (3 pay). I'm in 4th, but 2nd-4th are real close in chips. The former chip leader, who got where he was by instashoving nearly every hand. Anyway, he's back to our level, and he tries to rise again the same way. I sit in the BB with KK (yeah, baby!), and ask him if he wants a call. He says "of course!", so naturally, I oblige. I'm gobsmacked delighted to see him turn over K2o. Decidedly less so when the flop comes 345. And even less so with the A on the turn. Ack. I'm out on the bubble again.

Anyway, tonights the night of the Level 2 Poker After Dark that I won my way into. Dumbass that I am, I had no idea you could directly enter level 2 for 100 FTP points, but what the hell. So, since I'm home playing, I decide to take my first crack at the Daily Double, when what do I run into? Yeah baby, KK. Yet this time, it had a decidely different ending:

Dems Quads Bitches! Yeah. Being relatively short-stacked at the time, and being raised to 600, the shove seemed like a good thing to do at the time. And it even worked! This was in Daily Double A, and ironically, at the VERY SAME TIME, in Daily Double B, I also had KK, all in, called by TT, and it held. No screenie of it, but just the same, more evidence that FTP is fixed (cough, cough). At least the suits were different. I like KK these days.

In another stroke of irony, as I write this, it sure looks like there's no way I'll final table the Poker After Dark dealio, but I'm already in the money in both Daily Doubles. We'll see how they turn out, but just inside the bubble (153 in tourney A, 126 in tourney B), I'm about halfway up the standings in each. Not counting any chicks just yet, but money is money, and DQB is DQB.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

If Wichita is for Linemen...

...then Council Bluffs can only be for self-flagellation.

I entered Year of the Blogger with the stated goal of playing one of the $1500 NLHE events at this year's WSOP. In fact, given the emerging details of this summer's McAwesome WPBT Summer Classic 2007 (thanks, Falstaff!), I had everything laid out just dandy. Hit Vega$ for the WPBT, play WSOP Event #15, and sweat the Good Doctor Mondo in the $1000 Ladies event.

But alas, once a hamster gets on a wheel, you just never know what's going to happen. On a slow morning at work I read a thread over on 2+2 (which I can't link to at the moment), and everything changed in an instant. I went into this year willing to take $1.5k off my non-poker bankroll just to give it one shot. The way I figure it, my proper poker bankroll won't get enough play to actually build a buy-in this year, but I'm feeling good about my tourney game, and given good non-poker fortune the last couple of years, I can afford the beat.

That said, I'm not stoopid. Okay. Maybe I am. But I'm not unwise. Okay. Maybe I am. But I'm not unwilling to mitigate a risk, even if I'm foolish enough to take one in the first place. There we go. That nailed it. It hit me in the face like folding QQ pre-flop to a 3rd raised hammer. I may be willing to dump $1.5k tilting at windmills, but if I can spend that on three shots at the sterling silver ring, rather than one shot at the brass ring (or WSOP bracelet, as the case may be), why not take it? That is, because given time considerations, I'm looking at a $300 event and two $500 events, not even the circuit main event, because...well...because that's still a $5k buy-in, and I have to be back at work on the day it starts, anyway.

This means no WSOP for Mondo, though, if I don't make a serious cash whilst playing in the amber waves of grain. It also means no WPBT Summer Classic 2007 , since if I busto in Iowa, I won't be going to Vega$ this summer. The Good Doctor Mondo and I would wait for the Winter Classic instead, now that we've gotten quite used to subzero weather on the high plains.

Anyway, what few readers this blog has...I'm interested in your thoughts on this. Is Council Bluffs a +EV versus the WSOP? I know the weather is massively -EV, and there will be no drunken Pai-Gow at the Horseshoe for me this trip. It should be the softest circuit of all, given that the big rollers will be at the World Poker Open (Borgata) at the time and because....well...because it's freakin' Council Bluffs, Iowa.

And I say that meaning no disrespect to Iowans, or even those across the river in Nebraska, because I've been through there, and it's far far far prettier than the bare soul torturous landscape I spent five years in, in Cheyenne, WY. Yup.

As a side note, I seem to be pushing back half my 2007 goals with this decision, and not playing ring NLHE at all, but am finally starting to find success at STTs, and enjoying the pursuit. Still taking a few too many beats and most of my cashes are 3rds and 2nds, but I'm not losing any bankroll yet, having moved up to $11+1. Maybe a new goal?

Then again, I may just bag the whole thing until I can find a circuit event that's in a nice place, at a time of the year when the Good Doctor can come with, and ratchet up my live tourney stakes more slowly...

Friday, January 12, 2007

Something I haven't gotten to say in a while

Dems Quads, Bitches!

Full Tilt Poker Game #1586882619: $6 + $0.50 Sit & Go (Turbo) (11540602), Table 1 - 60/120 - No Limit Hold'em - 20:18:44 ET - 2007/01/12
Seat 1: Mondogarage (860)
Seat 3: samuelsosa (775)
Seat 4: Pistols at Dawn (2,835)
Seat 5: jseabourn (940)
Seat 6: vallette (2,680)
Seat 7: cdawgbooya (4,370)
Seat 9: JackTheKing (1,040)
samuelsosa posts the small blind of 60
Pistols at Dawn posts the big blind of 120
The button is in seat #1
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Mondogarage [7s 6s]
jseabourn folds
vallette folds
cdawgbooya calls 120
JackTheKing folds
Mondogarage raises to 540
samuelsosa folds
Pistols at Dawn folds
cdawgbooya calls 420
*** FLOP *** [7h 6h 7c]
cdawgbooya checks
Mondogarage checks
*** TURN *** [7h 6h 7c] [7d]
cdawgbooya bets 320
Mondogarage has 15 seconds left to act
Mondogarage calls 320, and is all in
cdawgbooya shows [Js Kc]
Mondogarage shows [7s 6s]
*** RIVER *** [7h 6h 7c 7d] [Ts]
cdawgbooya shows three of a kind, Sevens
Mondogarage shows four of a kind, Sevens
Mondogarage wins the pot (1,900) with four of a kind, Sevens
cdawgbooya: ahhhhh dude
Mondogarage: DQB
Mondogarage: dems quads beetches
Dealer: cdawgbooya has 15 seconds left to act
cdawgbooya: yes they are
Mondogarage: sorry...first I've seen of them in a while ;-)
cdawgbooya: no need to apologize. dat's poker yo

Oh, and just for a bit more fun and games...I was not involved in this hand, but the SS is priceless:

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Something to help the 10-table crowd, and non-pokerin' foolin'

I haven't been playing a lot of poker lately. The Good Doctor Mondo and I were in sunny and bloody hot FLA for a wedding last weekend, and we've both been sick ever since. Delays come and go, but sitting on the DIA taxiway for two hours waiting to be de-iced...that's just priceless.

Flew back on a plane containing far too many fuckers wearing Gators t-shirts. Took me half the flight to realize why...Denver's a United hub. Duh. 'Grats to the boys, but it was fun to make the Hook 'Em Horns sign to many of them, since we were still current national champs until the following night. But since OSU delivered the 'Horns their first loss of the year, it still seemed like just desserts.

Anyway, I did manage some game on Monday. Played two Tier One tokens and came away with one, played three MTTs and cashed in one (Omaha Hi, around 15th, paid 18), and a $10/90 SNG, where I donked my way to final table bubble. After being 2nd in chips, and finding my single biggest nemesis hand (AJo) in the cutoff, thought I'd push. BB woke up with AK suited, and that was that. Dumbass, I had no business being in that hand. Big difference between cashing around $18 and maybe cashing $200+, but a valuable lesson learned. No screenies, since I was on my wife's laptop at the time...but the sum total was, six tourneys, three cashes, and barely any change in my bankroll at all.

Speaking of which, the boys at Beast Buy finally finished installing this on my bedroom wall today. It has a computer input, so I wonder how many tables I can fit on the screen. I may never have to leave bed again.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Off to a good start!

That's the way, uh-huh, uh-huh, I like it.

It's been a long time since I've made it deep into a large MTT. Armed with a token, some irish coffee, and a free night to play, with the Good Doctor Mondo down in sunny F L A, I thought I'd give the FT $25k guaranteed a shot. With nearly 1700 players, the prize pool turned out to be around $39k, and I was determined to get a piece.

Anyway, I knew I'd been too passive early on in previously MTTs, so I went in with an attitude of being more aggressive, trying to steal where appropriate, but after getting shot down a few times, I again found myself somewhat short-stacked and just trying to get to the bubble. Instead of chasing dodgy draws, I patiently looked for all in opportunities, and much to my surprise, the high pocket pairs finally started coming my way. AA late position called by KK, QQ called by KJo, pairs in steal positions called by thing you know, I was 10 for 10 in showdowns, and well past the bubble. Things were looking good. I was playing super TAG, seeing only 10% of flops for the tourney, but moving up through the money. Even though I never really got off a short stack relative to remaining players, and never had an M higher than 3 or 4, it seemed, no one could knock me out. If you were gonna play me, you were going to take me out or double me up. Visions of sugar plum fairies and four-digit payouts were in my head.

Alas, it wasn't quite to be. After a strong run, I was still pretty short with 40 players left, when I woke up to 55 in the cutoff. For once, I didn't push, I simply went 4x BB. The BB, who was shorter than I was, went over the top for an additional 4k, and I called. Felt good to see his K-something offsuit, as I was winning raced. Flop was pretty, turn was prettier still, and villain nailed a K for a three outer on the river. That pot would have finally put me firmly midstack, instead of last few of who remained. But I still had chips, if only a very very few. Sadly for me, I only had them for a moment, because later in that same orbit, the following happened:

So after going 10 for 10 in showdowns (where I was ahead 9/10 times when the chips went in), I lost my final two on the cruel, heartless river. In a snap of my fingers, it was over. Still, I can't complain about turning the token into around $140, but it could have been oh so much better. As for the guy who donked off my 55 with his rivered K, he lasted about two hands after his win, utterly wasting his chips going AI with K3o (or something similar) in late position.

All in all, a good night. Much fun was had at the Mookie, and following sage advice from Smokkee and slb159, I've been playing lots of SNGs, as well. Typically, I used to stick with the $8 tokens, or more recently, the single table $6 turbos. It's been working well -- cashed in 3 of my last 4 $6 turbos, and also cashed in a $10+1 5-table. So, having reloaded for $250 to start the year, the bankroll's now up to $400 in one night. I think I like this SNG strategy. Hopefully, I can turn $6 turbo winnings into $8 token buy-ins, and then keep using the tokens the best way possible.

This weekend, it's off to sunny F L A for a wedding, so there won't be any poker action for Mondo. However, I may try to squeeze in a couple SNGs tonight while packing, if any of you low buy-in grinders wanna join me.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Goals for 2007

Okay, since setting goals appears to be all the rage, I've decided to come up with a few of my own. I have no idea how attainable any of these really are. Some are probably more realistic than others. But it will be interesting to go back a year from now and see if I've been able to take my game forward any this year, and these goals are as good a barometer as any.

1. Play an event at the WSOP - I thought I would do this last year, but between timing, and turning chickenshit, it didn't happen. I hope to satellite my way into a preliminary event, but if not, I'm prepared to buy in to a $1,500 or $2,000 event this year. And, there's a couple playing friends of mine here also willing to, so there will actually be an ad hoc Longmont crew, of sorts. That enough is reason to go. As for the Main Event, not a chance. I mean, I'll try to satellite, but I don't think my work schedule will allow me to take off the amount of time that the Main Event would require. And absent willing a bracelet in a prelim, there's no way I can give up ye olde day job.

2. Win a Blackhawk casino tourney - I actually won my first Vega$ live tourney last year (a $60 at Sahara). Winning is addictive. But I've only ever played three Blackhawk tournaments, and the closest I've come is to bubble a final table. I think if I work the schedule well enough, this is attainable, as long as I stick to freeze-outs. The rebuy events up there get crazy donkinsane, and my comfort level isn't there.

3. Attend a blogger weekend - 'nuff said. Guess there will be one or two chances this year, and I really hope to do so in Vega$. Too many of you out there fascinate me, and I want to be yelling PAIGOW! while watching Waffles drink a sixer of Soco from a plastic baseball hat.

4. Get a positive win rate at NL ring games - Ring games have pretty much kicked my ass the last few months. I'm not sure whether it's because I'm pretty much sticking to really low stakes, which let donks afford to make bad turn AI calls and catch rivers, or because when I do have the best, I'm not extracting the most $$$ out of them first, or a combination of both. But most of my losses this past year came from ring NL. And even in low limit ($2/5), I barely broke even. So clearly, there's something about my ring game that needs fixing. My goal is to have a positive year.

5. Play .50/1 NL comfortable - I'm not nearly there. I tried my hand at .25/.50 and got felted five out seven tries, ultimately. Doubled the two times, but that rate won't work. Jumped in to ring game NL at too high a level for someone who really only plays MTTs, I suppose. We'll see where I'm at in December.

2006 was a good year. Won a couple of home tournaments, won a Vega$ tourney, but in then end, I only finished in the black by a couple hundred dollars, whereas I made nearly $2k in '05 having played a lot less poker. My hourly EV can't be more than pennies. And unlike 2005, I did not make a single FT in any $26 buy-in online MTT. My real hope is to improve upon that in 2007.

As things stand now, my FT account has one token and $5.50 sitting in it. I'll load up this week (either $200 or $250, haven't decided), and we'll see where it goes. I'll start by rolling .05/.10 NL, and every time I win a full buy-in, I'll allow myself a crack at a Tier One. I'll also play the low buy-in Omaha MTTs when time allows, as well as the $3 turbo HL MTTs. If this plan succeeds, I won't have to reload again this year. If it doesn't?......