Monday, March 31, 2008

Appropos For Opening Day

From a Sporting News article a couple weeks back:

Hurdle calls the concept “showering well.” You go out, you prepare, you focus, you let it all out on the field. After the game, you honestly self-evaluate, then take a shower and go home. Don’t carry it with you, don’t wear it. Yes, there will be save opportunities blown; yes, there will be outs made with winning runs in scoring position. Yes, there will be managerial levers pulled that don’t work. No one is perfect. There are, Hurdle acknowledges, nights where you can’t help but wear it, individually or as a team. But the sooner you get rid of those things, the better to show up the next day with, as he says, good ears and fresh eyes and the freedom to let your skills play. “Patience,” Hurdle likes to say, in both the large and small scheme of things, “takes courage.”

Yes, there will be missed value bets, yes, you will have hands where you're 95% on the turn go down in flames. Yes, you will lose tourneys on the bubble where you were already in a safe $$$ position. Yes, you will run QQ into AA and get coolered. And yes, there are nights when you can't help but tilt.

"But the sooner you get rid of those things, the better to show up the next day with, as he says, good ears and fresh eyes and the freedom to let your skills play." - Clint Hurdle

I just can't emphasize that statement enough.

Much like the Rockies' 1-9 road trip from last June (once thought to be disasterous), where Brian Fuentes blew four save opportunities in a row (two on walkoffs), a bad run does not define you or your play, nor does it mean you've suddenly lost the ability to play poker. That is, not unless you let it. Maybe you have to drop back in levels, and play a bit more small ball, instead of swinging for the fences. But the game itself does not fundamentally change.

Another concept Clint Hurdle likes to talk about is "slowing the game down". Very very rarely in poker will you need to define your play in a session by a single hand. This is much more so in cash games than tournaments, of course. It's one thing to get a read on another player, but another thing to recognize the situation when to take advantage of that read. Stealing blinds/antes is important, but stopping to consider when you're most likely to be played back at is equally so.

Anyway, today is Opening Day, one of my favorite days of the entire year. We picked up snow last night, and it's cold, so I'm pretty pleased the Rockies are opening on the road. The home opener on Friday can't get here soon enough, though, especially given the quality of tickets the Good Doctor Mondo and I are holding. I'm sort of on work tilt, because I don't have an AM radio at the office, and I don't seem to have the bandwidth available to make buying worthwhile today. But it's the start of defending our 2007 National League Championship, just the same, and I'm all decked out in purple and black.

Hopefully, I'll be able to take Hurdle's lessons to the tables later tonight, though.

Friday, March 28, 2008

TOC Seats and Blogger Gatherings

A few days ago, I mentioned how, after finising 2nd in the Skillz game, I was initially really bummed that I couldn't finish one spot higher and pick up a seat to the BBT3 Tournament of Champions.

Well, upon further review, I'm not so much bummed. In fact, I may end up being more bummed out if I am to actually win a TOC seat? Why, do you ask? Because as of now, I'm scheduled to be working a trial in Ohio for the first two weeks of June. The TOC is Saturday, June 7th, but that's the weekend in between two trial weeks. Though I can't say with 1000% certainty, I've a pretty good idea I'll be working around the clock that entire weekend on prep for the following week. Of course, this also means missing the BBT3 freeroll on the 8th, as well. Most likely.

What is actually most likely is this: If I end up not winning a TOC seat between now and then, the case will settle, or the trial team will head home on the weekend, leaving me with no work, and I'd otherwise be available to play a tourney I'm not in. If I do win a TOC seat, I'll be crushed and dominated like a KK facing a flopped set of AAA, and I won't be able to play. That's the way these things usually go.

However, I once nearly lost my job when I begged off a trial team because of some long-ago arranged recording sessions and good-paying gigs to pay for those sessions. And being the weekend warrior I am (and never selling any records), I know never to pull a stunt like that again. So work it is.

The real bummer is, I am definitely a no-go for the summer blogger gathering, making me 0-for-forever at showing up for drunken paigow or IP Geisha Bar shenanigans since the start of my blogging days. At least there's a chance the next winter gathering will incorporate my birthday, and I'm fuckin' entitled to go, lol.

But no worries - I'll continue to donate mightily in the Skillz series, and may even start playing the Mookie in about four weeks time...though I'll probably use my current $75 token in something other than the Big Game, given the futility of the BBT3 for moi.

In the meantime, I'm going to see a truly amazing indie band from Syracuse, NY tonight -- Ra Ra Riot:

I'm sure 101% of you have probably never heard of them, but I saw the band last summer at Monolith. I must say, it's been many many years since I've seen an indiepop band just be so joyous and infectious on stage, which takes on more import, given the tragedy that's befallen this band in the past.

For you crusty strictly metal types, there's probably not a lot here for you. However, if you like your pop bouncy, hopeful, with lots of jangle and strings, you may find something truly special here. My favorites are "Each Year" and "Ghost Under Rocks", though "Dying is Fine" is utterly moving, given the story.

Anyway, good luck all on the felt this weekend.

Oh yeah, the Heartland Poker Tour's stop in Blackhawk begins today. I haven't decided my level of participation yet, given my poor SNG record, and unavailability until late for the $340 qualifiers....

Thursday, March 27, 2008

In the absence of a real post at the moment...

...please enjoy this.

Anyway, it's a very simple matter. Fo'sho.

Now translate that to your ability to read an entire table at one time.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

booooooooooooooom! (with a lower case b)

I'd really like to thank LJ, CK, and Donkette (and anyone else I may be forgetting) for railing me last night towards the end of the Blogger Skillz Series Razz event. My 2nd place finish is both my highest placement in a blogger tourney ever, and also my highest finish in a Razz tourney ever.

It's a pretty rare thing these days for me to make a final table, it seems, and rarer still that anyone anytime ever rails me. Rarer even more so when the railbirds are players whose game I respect.

While I was initially really quite bummed at not picking up the TOC seat, the truth is, "tilt away" and I had quite the raucous heads up match, lasting maybe a good 25-30 hands? He started HU with a 3:1 chiplead, and I was twice able to even things up, but could never dominate a pot once even.

When the final hand, for a 130k or so pot, I had a made 8 on 6th street (a rough 8, but it was HU and I was committed by 5th street), but "tilt away" had a made 7, also on 6th street. I was drawing to a better 7, but didn't hit:

Overall, however, I think I played a strong game and carried a strong image. As you can see, I pulled down half the pots where I saw 4th street:

The best part of the whole tourney, really, was taking out that fish XGod_of_WarX, who seemed to be constantly calling down strong plays and either hitting miracles when he'd have something like QT showing, or, in one particular instance, calling me on 7th street with two pair, when I'm showing up cards of something like 5443 (and I'm betting/raising every street). Miraculously for him, I actually boated that hand on 7th street, yet he still called my 7th street bet with a two-paired, J-high hand. Anyway, taking the last 30,000 or so of his chips felt great.

When the night began, I thought it was going to be a total repeat of last night, especially after my flopped TPTK went down in flames in the Bodokey to a flopped set of tens (to Donkette, if I recall, but I'm not certain). I went out 40th or so of 52, on a night when I really needed some serious pointage. But as you can see, things definitely improved.

At the same time as I was making hay in the Skillz game, I was working on a truly deep run at PokerStars, in a 1980-runner $5 NLHE tournament. I had to overcome a short stack early, but through a few judicious steals, and a few hands actually holding up, I found myself in a strong position to run for the $1750 first prize.

For instance, there was the hand where I flopped a set of snowmen on the button, and tne UTG mid-stack who slowplayed his AA did not actually catch his two outer. There was the obligatory blind-vs-blind battle where the player in the big blind, who called my 3x raise from the small blind with a stack three times my own, opted to try to push me off a flopped set:

Thanks for the near triple up, donk! (btw, he made that move with K5...why he called my pf bet there, I dunno, but he's welcome to do so anytime).

So things were going exceedingly well. I got in very serious trouble a bit later, when we were down to 16-17 players, when, on an 864 rainbow flop, I bet pot from the small blind (I'd raised preflop). The button shoved, I called, and ran my AQo into the button's pocket 33. I think his shove was a horrible play, given the previous action, but I was in deep deep kimchi. However, the turn and river came pretty much perfect perfect, and his baby pocket pair was completely counterfeited:

At this point, I was 5th of 17, and feeling a final table, but once again, it was not to be. Down to 11 players, after the inevitable bout of card death (and having to fold to a resteal), with me sitting 10th of 11 in chips, I pick up AKo in the small blind. The table folds to the button who puts in a pretty standard raise. I instashove, he instacalls, and we're playing for a 4th or 5th place chipstack, and a near certain final table spot, when the miracle three outer hits:

And I go home with $66 for my trouble, instead of one of the rapidly escalating final table payouts:

Of course, that pot gave sanders26 a huge chiplead (he was already comfortably ahead of 2nd prior to that hand), which he held on to, for not only his only win, but his only cash at all since last November ($9), and only his second cash ever higher than $25. Take a look at his OPR.

Seriously, he won $1739 last night, and he has total winnings on JokerStars lifetime of $1998, and a ROI of over 244% over 99 tournaments. His only other cash was obviously equally luckboxing a $4/180 for $216 over six months ago. He's also a lifetime $100 loser over 64 games (even including his $4/180 win) currently on "SuperTilt" at Sharkscope. That's the type of player I'm losing to these days. Unfortunately, that's also the type of player typical of the low buyin stakes I play, and unless/until I actually take down one of those MTTs, that's pretty much the level of play my bankroll will allow.

On the fact of it, calling there is defensible, but sanders26 could fold there and still have a 100k lead over 2nd in chips, but calling and losing there drops him to 6th (and only one big blind ahead of 8th). Do you really want to be, at best, racing with AQ in that spot?

I'm not sure who it was last night who said OPR doesn't tell the whole story (for one thing, it doesn't track private tourneys like the Skillz games), and I absolutely have to agree. It is truly better to be lucky than to be good, I suppose.

Anyway, last night really was a positive night overall. I wish things could have turned out a wee bit better in the Skillz, and that I could have one one more pot on JokerStars, but the bankroll did actually move forward a bit...

Before I forget, tonight's the Mookie. You should play, even if I can't.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

To Those Who Have Taken My Chips...

I say, enjoy them for now.

To the old fish who thinks limping into multiway pots with 32 offsuit is good poker, because you're on the button, I say, enjoy them for now, because they're not long for your stack.

To the aggro callfish who thinks calling a 4x BB raise out of position with A7 offsuit, I say, enjoy them for now, because they're not long for your stack.

To those of you who like to bring your little V44 and V66's to the drag strip to race, I say, enjoy them for now, because I won't go 0-for-ever in races.

For the last two weeks, I've played poker only on Monday and Tuesday, and I must say, the last two weeks have been soulcrushing and destructive, to my psyche and bankroll.

Writing a post about how Bodog was not punishing solid play was probably a bigger mistake than calling a 4-bet out of position with AKo. Because I haven't made a single final table since then, and in fact, have not even cashed once since then. In fact, you could say I hate poker today. Since my last Bodog final table, I've lost 1/4 of my overall online roll (counting all three sites). And usually in ways like those described above.

But hey, that still leaves a good three quarters for you to take, by continuing to call 2/3 pot bets on the turn with nothing but an underpair on a board with four overs and no draws, right? Come and get it, becuase I'm clearly giving it away, one $10+1 buy-in at a time.

In the meantime, come over to Chad's place, aka the Blogger Skillz Series, and chase me down with your (xx)J in Razz. I fully expect tonight's winner to have won at least three pots with a rough ten high all the way to showdown.

My Message For Josh Arieh

I drink your milkshake!

That's the plan, anyway.

Tonight, Tuesday March 25th 2008, Bodog Poker Pro Josh Arieh will compete in the Bodog Blogger Tournament Series. A $100 bounty will be on Josh Arieh's head and the poker blogger who takes Josh's last chips in this tournament will receive a $100 credit to their Bodog Member Player Account. If Josh wins this tournament, he will receive the $100 credit.

Bodog is proud to host the Bodog Poker Blogger Tournament Series. Join up and challenge other Poker Bloggers each Tuesday in our Bodog Poker Room and live to tell about it. Earn points and work your way up the Tournament Leader Board for a spot in the final tournament for your chance to win a $12,000 World Series of Poker* prize package and be a part of Team Bodog 2008.

How to Participate
This tournament is open to poker bloggers worldwide. Players must have a Bodog Member Player Account to register.
If you are new to Bodog, please sign up at

Players are then required to go to and sign in with their Bodog account information in the upper right hand corner. Once this is completed, they must then click on "REGISTER NOW" to register themselves into the tournament series. Bloggers will each have to do this once in order to play in the series. Once this is done, they then need to find the "Online Poker Blogger Tournament" in the software and register as they normally would each and every week.

Players are encouraged to register early. If you need assistance with signing up for the tournament or with starting a Bodog member player account, please call Bodog's Poker Customer Service at 1-866-909-2237 or contact us prior to start time at

Tournament prizes, leader board and tournament schedule available at

Not only are there bounties, $Ts overlays, and lots of juicy goodness, but there's also Buddy Dank radio! Tune in, tune in!

If all else fails, as Karl Hungus would say, ve vant zee money!

Much more posting to come, but after this morning's Red Sox extra inning victory over the A's in the land of the rising sun, be prepared for ESPN to spend yet another season pretty much fellating all things Fenway for the next seven months. Gack. Good thing we've got Fox Sports Rocky Mountains out here.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Tags - Not Just For Graffiti Artists Anymore

I've been tagged by Pokerpeaker, and while I have no intention of passing it on (because most everyone I would is already linked, and because it's my 4th job to put a stop to all memes, heh), I will sorta play along with answers. I truly enjoy Peaker's blog, I enjoy sitting on his right on the virtual felt, and his Jayhawks dominated my 'Horns in the Big 12 conference tourney.

1. I once broke a vertebra in an unfortunate rugby accident, while playing a "B" side game for Queen City against my own club. Speared by a teammate. I suppose it beats "touched by a goombah". (This is on top of five concussions, a broken leg, a broken hand, and various other bodily gaffs.)

2. I attended twelve schools growing up. Six elementary schools, two junior highs, and six high schools. Why you bet so much? That's what happens when you a) live in a musician family, b) whose father remarries, eventually c) moves cross-country, and you eventually d) turn into a sorta juvi delinquent. Two of the schools were for "gifted" and one was an alternative school for kids in trouble. They all beat the hell out of my 31 days in juvi lockup, though.

3. I love love love love snow, though it wasn't always so. When we don't get several feet a year, I feel ripped off. But back at my first military assignment, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan during the mid-80s, where it would snow four inches a day with not a cloud in the sky, and you could get lost walking 80 feet from your dorm to the chow hall, it kinda sucked. I have experienced 30" blizzards in three different locales, though. Marquette, Michigan...Longmont, Colorado...and Washington, DC. Okay, the DC snow was actually two separate blizzards over three days, but it was there.

4. I've made records, either full-length albums or 5-6 song EPs, with six different bands. None of them were ever properly pressed, shrink-wrapped, etc. One of them is available on the iTunes store. All of them are very different from one another, yet all of the projects remain special to me in some way.

5. I've been married twice. The first time was on top of a mountain. The second time was with Elvis as my witness. The second time has been a far far far better experience. There will not be a third.

6. I am a bit of an organized packrat, in the sense that I never get rid of anything I ever first purchased for enjoyment. I still have thousands and thousands of mostly worthless baseball cards (though some good ones) that I've never contemplated selling. I haven't been able to find a new band to play with in over 18 months, yet I still keep four basses, two of which I never play at all. I never trade in CDs, even though I almost exclusively use my iPod to actually listen to them.

7. My dream cars are all old British sporting cars, (Jaguar E-types, Austin Healey 3000, Triumph TR-6, etc.), but I have zero mechanical aptitude whatsoever, and cannot maintain one.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Why Even Play Poker?

Not when I can just keep riding new issue Visa shares. (Obviously, I'm not planning on selling, given what happened to Mastercard shares over the last two years, but I digress...)

We all know short term is pretty meaningless in poker, and in life, but damn, V made enough positive ground today to exceed my entire online poker roll.

Kinda puts things in perspective.

Now, if the FCC would just get off their asses and allow the inevitable Sirius/XM merger to go through, I might actually be able to erase some other losses....

No poker last night, no poker tonight, but good luck on the felt, all you poor poor Riverchasers. :-)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

So Close, So Far, But A Token For My Trouble

Last night being my bloggerment night of the week, it seemed like a good night to sit down for some serious internet pokerz, and things got off to a good start.

Won a $75 token in the Token Frenzy, in what was probably only my 3rd or 4th time playing this event. The interesting thing about this tourney was that I pretty much quintupled up during the first two orbits, and damn near folded my way to the token from there, even folding JJ and AQs preflop when out of position to known pushmonkeys, when down to the last 10-12 eliminations. Aside from one or two preflop steals, I didn't play another hand.

Now, I know conventional wisdom amongst bloggers is to use these $75 tokens in Don's Big Game, but I generally cannot play poker on Sunday nights. I'd like to play in this, but assuming I can't, I'd like to hear from you guys on the best way to utilize this. I'm not a SNG stud, but the Tier 2s that reward 1st through 5th with $216 in tournament dollars, and $162 cash for 6th, are inviting. Or, do I use it in a random $69+6 guarantee event? Or in a satellite for something else?

Anyway, this would turn out to be my best hit of the night.

I was crippled in the Bodog $10k when my AKs got four-flushed on the river to lose to AKo.

I went out of the Blogger Skillz event on the money bubble (well, bubble +1) to this kick in the junk:

Winning the hand was worth a 2nd or 3rd place stack at the time. Do any of you get away from rolled up 9s here, especially rivering the boat? (Betting on every street, but it took the river to be all-in.) You could even say I was HOSE'd.

The Bodonkey seemed to show a lot more promise. The deck slapped me hard in the face early, where I picked up AA twice, KK twice, and QQ, all in the first 2-3 orbits. Unfortunately, virtually all of my standard pf raises (3-3.5x, depending on position) were folded to, and after all those early premium cards, I was up to a grand total of about 3200 chips.

Then, came this:


Yeah, I think I might just check a couple streets here, and let TFG do my work for me:

After that, it was a long slow grind, lots of straight ahead TAG, lots of pf folding, until the bitter end, where I got it all in with what I think was KK, and got called by two unders who flopped a straight, and IGHN...yup, you guessed it, on the final table bubble. At least I picked up points and a $T11 return of my buyin, and I'm now up to about 27th in the standings, but this one hurt, as I felt primed to run much further. Still, congrats to TripJax and especially to RedKoi (who came back from a very short stack), on your top finishes.

Every other Bodog guarantee I was in last night started off with me chipping up nicely early, then going card dead in Hour 2, and then getting turned or rivered for all my chips in the last 1/3 or so of the field. I probably should have never blogged about my hands holding up there, because they sure haven't since.

Oh yeah, one other fun event, a late nite $3.30 KO MTT over at FullTilt, which saw me in early double-or-go-home mode. Second hand, I have a couple smallish clubs in the BB, and the flop is Q97, 2 clubs. Blinds check, and cutoff or button bets pot. SB calls, I shove. Cutoff calls, SB folds. Cutoff turns up bottom pair no kicker (no club) and berates me for the club turn that takes most of his chips. He proceeds to be an asshole all night, even after he went out just in the money. What really pissed him off was the table learning of his amazing -47% ROI. ;-)

Anyway, after about 10-12 knockouts, I was again poised for a nice-sized cash (which I could use, after running badly ever since my hit last week). Late in the game, there's a player on my right who has open shoved my last three big blinds from an unopened small blind. I know he's playing ETC (every two cards), and I'm just waiting to pounce. Next orbit, he shoves, and I've got KK baby, KK. Call, duh. He flips 97o (obviously), and flops T86. Gack. The only showdown I lose in the whole tourney, and I go home...yup, you guessed it, on the final table bubble. Aaaaagain.

Two final table bubbles and one money bubble in one night, and an evening that began with so much promise, with a quick big token win, ended up breakeven (at best). I do feel like I'm playing really strong poker the last week or so, but I just can't avoid that one gross late suckout when I'm way ahead at a crucial time. At least I can ponder how to use the token...

Oh yeah, thanks for tagging me, Peaker -- I'll put up my random junk later this week, as long as I can.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tuesday's Night's Alright For Donking

When the job's got ya by the short and curlies, the only answer is to sign up for the most awesome Bodog Blogger Tournament Series, and take your crack at getting one of eighteen seats into the Main Event freeroll!

Yeah, work's really been kicking my ass for the last several days, and it's been real difficult for me to find time to blog over the last week, much less keep up with my reading. Which means less bad beat stories, and no mention of the lesson I learned this weekend, that AA is never a better hand than J5o, whether online or live (yeah, cracked by Michael, Marlon, and Tito both ways). And I'm still trying to find time to blog about some wisdom from one of my favorite baseball managers that is quite applicable to sitting down at the felt. I hope to get to that on Thursday or Friday, but I digress...

In the meantime it is still Tuesday, which means:

Anyway, the Tournament Leader Board is available at throughout the course of the Bodog Poker Blogger Tournament Series. It will provide the point totals for every player that has played in the qualifying tournaments. The top 30% of players in each tournament will receive points according to finish which at the end of the qualifying tournaments will ultimately determine who will move on to the Final Event. The top 18 players on the TLB at the end of the qualifiers will earn their way to the Final Event.

As of today, "former" blogger NewinNov is holding down the fort, and I suspect he, kurokitty, and yestbay1 have their seats locked down. I don't see them falling out of the top 18. But there's still time to join them!

How To Register
To register for the Bodog Poker Blogger Tournament Series, poker bloggers must first go to and sign in with their Bodog account information in the upper right hand corner. Once this is completed, they then must click on "REGISTER NOW" to register themselves into the tournament series. Bloggers will each have to do this once in order to play in the series. Once this is done, they then need to find the "Online Poker Blogger Tournament" in the software and register as they normally would each and every week.

Tonight is also another edition of the Chad's Blogger Skillz Series, where the flavor of the day is get HOSEd by a blogger. Come join the party.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Back to Poker (long), and With A Happy Ending, Even

Before going further, I just want to tip my three or four readers off to CK's great post discussing relative hand strengths in Omaha (aka 4-card Bingo, or alternatively, Omatard) here, especially, how a given hand in Omaha is not nearly as powerful a hand as it is in hold'em. A great analysis on the subject. Thanks for the thoughtful post, CK.

I don't even remember how I went out of the Skillz PLO game. I know I picked up a lot of good draws early, which I had to fold after whiffing and lots of potting by others. Very few premium pocket pairs. I think I ended up going out about 40th or so?

The reason I can't recall is because I was, and still am, on enormous tilt from two things. One is FTP's $10+1 90 runner KO Turbo SNGs. According to Official Poker Rankings, ever since I won my first ever attempt at this thing a few nights ago, I'm 0-fer my last 13. Which still leaves me up in $$$, but that's not the point. The tilt comes not from not cashing, but from the four consecutive events where I was within one craptacular table from the final table (only 9 pay), and in each case but one, got rivered when I was at least 75% or better to win when chips went in, finishing 15th, 16th, 15th, 14th, and 17th. So gross. The fields are, in fact, soft as hell, but those contributed to me going twenty tourneys in a row without a single cash, and this was after moving up to take advantage of my early hit.

But the real tilt last night came from the Bodog Blogger Tournament last night. I really wish I can remember the name of whom I'm talking about, because I'm not familiar with them previous, and they have NO points, as far as I can tell, but I digress. We're down to the last 27-29 players, with 15 getting precious points (my real motivation), and 9 cashing (with the next five getting buyins back), when I raise 3x late position PF. And this asshat calls out of the big blind. Fine. I got a fix for that -- a flopped Broadway (GIN!) No, I don't slow play, but I bet about 1/2 pot for value. As I recall, he shoves. I call. He's crushed. I'm counting my soon to be top 6 chipstack, when he runner runners perfect for the chop on the river.

Ugh. But that's cool, there were antes, picked up a few. The very next hand, I find QJs, and open raise 3.5x the big blind. (Not the strongest hand, but I like open-raising suited Broadway connectors in this spot. Cutoff or hijack, I can't recall. Aaaaand, he calls. Flop gives me four to a flush, and a gutshot, and top pair. Aaaaaand, he goes all in! He's got me covered by a very slight margin. I've got about 35,000,000 outs, so I call, and find he has nothing but three to a flush, and ye olde OESD. Which wasn't really, because the top end of his OESD fills in my higher gutshot.

Naturally, he hits the bottom end. On the river. And IGH. My god, it felt like Riverchasers must every week. All I really really want is a seat in the final Bodog tourney for the ME seat (where asshats like this guy will never be), and I'm denied.

Still -- I almost have to thank you, because your tilt made me money. How? Because I just couldn't leave well enough alone, and I sat for a $3.30 90 player KO, took it down for 2nd. At the same time, I was playing my first ever $5.50 HA MTT (rotation of pot limit HE and PLO), and took it down in 1st:

(pasted for posterity, because 1st places are rare birds, indeed, for me)

And...for the creme de la creme....drumroll for tilt play...

I dumped over 20% of my Bodog bankroll, at 11:30 PM (mountain time), into Bodog's $4.5k guarantee rebuy tourney. Obvious signs of tilt include the following:

1. Staring a rebuy MTT when it's already your bedtime.
2. Playing a rebuy where the initial buyin is 8% of your bankroll.
3. Rebuying after losing your stack, for another 7% of your bankroll.
4. Doing this rebuy when it's already after your bedtime.

But I managed to survive rebuy hour, and in fact, was above average stack after hour 1, which started with 108 runners and ended with about 85, with 18 paid. Naturally, I added on (another 7% of my bankroll).

Here is the part where I say again how much I adore Bodog. You see, the tourney fields here are soft, even at the $20 level, and as I found, at the $20R level, as well (at least late at night). Lots of weak/tight play, certainly enough hands shown down that would embarass me to have to take to the felt. And unlike those fuckers over at FTP and JokerStars, the nice folks at Bodog haven't yet let me know they possess a doomswitch. My hands pretty much play mathmatically correct (e.g. my 81% AA actually hold up around 81% of the time; my draws hit about as often as they should, and my races are actually races, and not blown engines at the starting line).

So I'm heartened by the fact that if I play the cards I know I'm capable of playing, I may not always win, but I'm winning about as much as I should, which is proving to be a +ROI proposition. And once we're down to three tables (1 off $$$), and I finally start catching real hands, even though I'm like 24th of 27, I know it's just a matter of time before good things happen. By the time we sit for final table (at 2:53 in the motherlovin' mornin'), I'm 3rd in chips:

Final table bubble boy was in the chatbox obnoxiously going on about what a bad player chipleader hectk1 was, and as play proved, he was right. Big time. This cat is horrible, yet I won't begrudge him. He took out player after player after player, usually by calling 3-bet shoves with an unsuited A-rag, and either hitting a 3-out A, or a 4-flush, or something obnoxious. But not against me, because this was one occasion where it really only made sense to play big hands, and they weren't forthcoming for a while. hectk1 is the kind of player who, with blinds 3,000/6,000 will open shove over 200,000 chips with 22 or 33. My kinda player.

So we get down to four players, I'm about 3rd in chips, and I pick up AA under the gun. I choose to call. hectk1 raises, I shove, he calls, with something like a sooted paint+rag, and next thing you know, I'm 2nd in chips, and only about 20% behind the fishdonk. Unfortunately, that was as big as my stack got. A couple of hands later, with three players left, I pick up sooted A2 and make a standard button raise, which fishy calls. Flop comes something like 762 rainbow, with one spade. He checks, and I know I'm ahead (because he overbets every time he hits a flop or an overpair, the dude knows nothing about value). I want to see where I'm at, but want to show strength, so I bet about 60% of the pot. And he actually raises me.

Now, I know I'm ahead, because I've sat with this guy for about 50 hands and have him down cold. But I don't feel like I can shove because my hand really isn't strong. And, there's at least some chance I'm behind to a K7, or an A4o, or any of the crap he'd call preflop raises with. So I call. And the turn comes an 8 (not a spade. And he shoves. Gack. Well, here, I think I pretty much have to fold, because there's just too many hands that beat me here. Aaaand, hectk1 flips over T2. He shoved with bottom pair and a gutshot. NH, sir. I folded what would have taken me to a massive chiplead. Mostly because the difference in $$$ between 3rd and 2nd was huge, and folding left me with nearly the same chips as 2nd place.

In retrospect, my mistake was either not raising more PF (since the fish doesn't seem to understand ideas behind bet-sizing), compounded by not betting more aggressively when I knew I was ahead, but only marginally. Maybe the latter's not really that large a mistake. Still, I have to say I was outplayed by the worst player at the final table on that hand.

Anyway, I'm out two hands later. The very next hand, I get AA in the big blind. Donkey calls, small blind completes, and I instashove (trying to sell it as a tilt from the fish showing his previous raggy hand). But no one calls. And the very next hand, I shove K8 soooted from the small blind and, you guessed it, hectk1 (I keep his name in bold so that you can remember to sit down at his table if you see him) calls with his Q7o, and hits QQ on the flop. Funny thing is, I can't really fault his call there, because I'm shoving ATC in that spot.

Nevertheless, my rollercoaster night ended with my 2nd largest ever MTT cash (not even 1st would not have matched my $1800 from a couple years ago). Not even close to Hoy, Lucko, or LJ levels, but still:

Have I mentioned how much I love Bodog? Begins Anew

"Alexa Ann weighed in at 6lb/4oz, 191/4" with a beautiful head of dark hair. Mom & Dad are doing great!"

No pics yet, but I'm a Mondouncle again.

For a couple of reasons, this was not the easiest pregnancy in the world for my sister to go through, but there's now another niece in the family, named after our dear grandmother, and I couldn't be happier for sis. I can't wait until I can get up to Milwaukee in June to see them.

Poker post later -- another night of the worst of times, but the best of times, and a very deep, near bankroll doubling, run.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

It's Tooosday, not Blooosday

Tuesday, and you know what that means!

Yup, another edition of the wonderful Bodog Blogger Tournament Series, where those of you who like to write about chip-slinging can work your way into a 1 in 18 shot at a WSOP Main Event seat.

Anyway, the Tournament Leader Board is available at throughout the course of the Bodog Poker Blogger Tournament Series. It will provide the point totals for every player that has played in the qualifying tournaments. The top 30% of players in each tournament will receive points according to finish which at the end of the qualifying tournaments will ultimately determine who will move on to the Final Event. The top 18 players on the TLB at the end of the qualifiers will earn their way to the Final Event.

How To Register
To register for the Bodog Poker Blogger Tournament Series, poker bloggers must first go to and sign in with their Bodog account information in the upper right hand corner. Once this is completed, they then must click on "REGISTER NOW" to register themselves into the tournament series. Bloggers will each have to do this once in order to play in the series. Once this is done, they then need to find the "Online Poker Blogger Tournament" in the software and register as they normally would each and every week.

I finally managed to place in the points for the first time last week, and am hoping to build on that success. Of course, that could mean unseating this guy, who pulled down last week's top prize and overlay, to move deep into the points.

Yet he continues to whine about his bankroll. I have a feeling, however, that Drizztdj won't be wining after tonight's companion on the bloggerment schedule, Chad's Blogger (No) Skillz Series. Why am I confident in the far northerner? It's PLO, booyah!

Hmm...I might like this one, too. No more whining about Stud, Limit HE, or any of those fake-azz pokerz, this is Pot Limit Omaha, the real deal.

Even you donks out there can't fade me today -- it's 65 degrees, three weeks from PLAY BALL, and the real Purple Mountains' Majesties are rouding into form. The Ventures (one of my original inspirations to play music) are even finally in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Life is perfect.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Problem With Taking Shots At Higher Levels

Summed up in two words, "False Confidence"


After tiring of the disheartening and recockulous suckouts I've been dealing with in various of FullTilt's $3.30 90 KOs, and other $2-5 buyin tourneys, often enough just before the money spots, I thought I'd take a flyer at a $10+1 90 player KO tournament, as an experiment to determine if the play quality was any higher.

And the worst possible thing happened.

I won. The whole tourney. Ship the first place monies and several KOs, for a nice payday (at least at my bankroll level).

What happens next? Later in the weekend, I chase further success. At least seven times. Only to not cash a single time, aside from a couple of KO bounties. The causes...plentiful. A couple suckouts, a couple of coolers (JJ v. QQ, or QQ v. AA), and yes, one recockulous suckout where someone determined to defend a blind calls my button all in with J3 offsuit and hits. Often, I would get off to a good start, but then being so card dead once the blinds kick in, that I can't even try to steal with a shrinking stack and even worse cards.

This leaves me in the position of not really knowing what to do -- I realize the sample size is small, but I think it's also axiomatic that the lower the buy-in, the categorically worse play becomes. (And yes, I do know that even the Sunday Majors see their share of horrible plays.) Do I stick it out another 4-5 attempts first? Or do I just fold my tent and go back to $3.30?

The worst case, though, was the beat I put on myself yesterday, when I went out 15th. After raising UTG with AQo, and being re-raised all-in (about 3x my original raise), and then called by a blind, I called, running into AK and JJ. I think I had the odds to call the re-raise, but with one of the blinds calling it, can I really fold there and have no better than 14th place micro-stack at that point?

Even Bodog was unkind to me yesterday, with the three tournies I played unceremoniously dumping me within two tables of $$$. So gross. I one, I went out six spots before the cash where I shoved late with 99, only to run into TT, and not catching the miracle. As with FTP, I'm running into these situations where I'm seeming to chip up very nicely indeed in the first hour or two, and then just when I need to be stealing, I'm either getting just truly horrible cards, or I'm having to fold to resteals when I try with barely-marginal cards (which compounds the problem).

I believe I've identified a current leak in my game to work on, though. AQ has gotten me into trouble repeatedly over the last couple of weeks. Not as much to pocket pairs, as to AK, which means I'm most likely failing to see something. Time to work on that.

Anyway, even with my nice hit, my bankroll is no better than it was heading into the weekend, not after seven failures in the $11 KOs, accomapied with an 0-5 in PokerStars WSOP Steps. I believe that particular experiment is over.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Politico-Economic Rant

This is what Reagan/Bush/Shrub economics have brought:

"U.S. CEOs earn vastly more money on average than their peers abroad, and about 600 times more than the average U.S. worker, up from just 40 times in 1980, according to academic studies of executive pay." (from Kevin Drawbaugh's article here)

The single largest transfer of American resources from the middle class to the highest 1% of Americans, like pigs to the trough, sucking up more and more of the slop off the backs of the very Americans whose hard work enables your CEO to buy his 4th Ferrari.

Of course, in the aftermath of the single largest monthly decline of jobs in five years, McCain says, "Today's unemployment figures are not good. They're not terrible but they're not good," McCain said.

They're not terrible...

By "not terrible", McCain means over 300,000 construction jobs lost in 15 months is "not terrible".

By "not terrible", McCain means that over 52,000 factory jobs lost in a single month is "not terrible".

But that's okay for the current administration, as their friends in the oil business get to sell gas at $3.50 a gallon.

This is what Reagan/Bush/Shrub economics have brought:

"U.S. CEOs earn vastly more money on average than their peers abroad, and about 600 times more than the average U.S. worker, up from just 40 times in 1980, according to academic studies of executive pay."

The single largest transfer of American resources from the middle class to the highest 1% of Americans, like pigs to the trough, sucking up more and more of the slop off the backs of the very Americans whose hard work enables your CEO to buy his 4th Ferrari.

Of course, the CEOs used to be able to argue that they bring value to shareholders.

Um, not so fast.

"In 2007, Mozilo was paid $1.9 million in salary, received $20 million in stock awards based upon performance and sold tens of millions of dollars worth of stock. In that year, Countrywide, the largest U.S. mortgage lender, announced big losses and weathered an 80 percent drop in its stock price."

"O'Neal's retirement packet from Merrill was $161 million. He got it despite being ousted days after the world's biggest brokerage reported the largest quarterly loss in its history."

So, either of you two asshats want to point me to the shareholder value?

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Point(s) Well Taken

Woohoo! Yeah, I'm feeling jazzed. After the fifth week of the Bodog Poker Blogger Tournament Series, I finally managed to score some points, taking 7th out of a somewhat smaller than usual field of 43 runners. And boy, what a weird tournament that was. First off, we actually lost 4-5 players in the first hour, which is very unusual in this particular tournament, where the big stacks and low blinds offer lots of early play.

Even weird was the fact that after Hour 1, I was in the top 2-3 in chips. But alas, I got a bit bullyish in Hour 2, and went from big stack to the shortest stack at the table. But after one double up, I caught AA in the next hand in early position. Still on the short stack, I was hoping someone would consider me shoving light and call my monster, but all I did was pick up blinds/antes. The same happened a couple hands later, when I picked up KK in late position. At any rate, I now had chips to play with, and managed to massage them until past the points bubble....but just before the money bubble, when KJo beat my A9s....not with a K or a J, but with four hearts, the last on the river (of course). I think it was Lightning36 who took me out there.

Anyway, it was nice to get off the points schneid, though getting some of that loverly Bodog $Ts overlay would have been even nicer, especially since I'm still well out of the top 18. With the slightly depressed turnout last night, 7th place points weren't as much as usual. A final table next week should get me real close to contention, however. Special contratulations go to Drizztdj for overcoming a 5:1 chip deficit heads-up, to take that mofo down. You, sir, know how to race.

Speaking of congratulations, everyone's favorite luckobox21 took down a rather huge MTT last night, the $25k Guarantee over at Stars -- you should all go over to his blog and either beg for a stake, or offer HU4ROLLZ.

Last night was also the Lack of Skillz game, where about 85 ignorant bloggers and a couple of actual Stud players tossed chips around the table. I'm one of the ignorant ones, and went out 40th, when NewinNov either didn't buy my untrue story of a set of fours on 4th street, or he just thought his AA would improve. (I raised on 3rd street with a four showing, and picked up another 4 on 4th street) I suppose if I had to do it again, I could have folded on 3rd, with a stack that was still Top 20 at the time, but what I really had was rolled up spades, and my real draw was to a flush. However, once he re-raised on 4th, at those levels, I was already in for 1/2 my chips, and would have been crippled folding at that time.

Anyway, one of the hands folks in bloggerland are talking about today involved a huge 4-way pot, in which I, even with my nut frush, had no business being in. Talk about a momentum killer, I was table chipleader until this:

Obviously, a classic FullTilt setup hand. Seeing the screen cap, I'm not sure where any of us gets away from this (at least other than CEMfredMd, but he's from Dannenman-land, so we know he's 80% to suck out). By 4th street, I'm four to the nut frush, GCox25 has a set, and LJ's got a couple of draws. By 6th street, there's too much in the pot to fold. My biggest mistake in the hand was not raising 4th street, but when the worst hand 4-way at showdown is a nut flush, and given the action on 5th and 6th streets , I have to believe nobody was going away that hand, and the best I could have hoped for was to minimize my losses.

Anyway, here's the actual hand history -- if anyone has comments on how any of us could have worked this better, please feel free:

Full Tilt Poker Game Setup Hand #5504872463: Skill Series (40521319), Table 9 - 80/160 Ante 15 - Limit Stud Hi - 22:19:40 ET - 2008/03/04
Seat 1: Shabazz Jenkins (3,496)
Seat 2: cemfredmd (2,290)
Seat 3: pvanharibo (2,945)
Seat 4: GCox25 (2,264)
Seat 5: Mondogarage (4,696)
Seat 6: corron10 (3,334)
Seat 7: bayne_s (2,120)
Seat 8: peacecorn (2,855)
Shabazz Jenkins antes 15
cemfredmd antes 15
pvanharibo antes 15
GCox25 antes 15
Mondogarage antes 15
corron10 antes 15
bayne_s antes 15
peacecorn antes 15
*** 3RD STREET ***
Dealt to Shabazz Jenkins [4c]
Dealt to cemfredmd [8s]
Dealt to pvanharibo [2h]
Dealt to GCox25 [9c]
Dealt to Mondogarage [Qs As] [7s]
Dealt to corron10 [Kd]
Dealt to bayne_s [2d]
Dealt to peacecorn [4h]
bayne_s is low with [2d]
bayne_s brings in for 25
peacecorn folds
Shabazz Jenkins calls 25
cemfredmd calls 25
pvanharibo calls 25
GCox25 completes it to 80
Mondogarage calls 80
corron10 folds
bayne_s folds
Shabazz Jenkins calls 55
cemfredmd calls 55
pvanharibo calls 55
*** 4TH STREET ***
Dealt to Shabazz Jenkins [4c] [Th]
Dealt to cemfredmd [8s] [Qh]
Dealt to pvanharibo [2h] [2s]
Dealt to GCox25 [9c] [5s]
Dealt to Mondogarage [Qs As 7s] [6s]
pvanharibo checks
GCox25 bets 160
Mondogarage calls 160 (I really should have raised)
Shabazz Jenkins folds
cemfredmd calls 160
pvanharibo calls 160
*** 5TH STREET ***
Dealt to cemfredmd [8s Qh] [Js]
Dealt to pvanharibo [2h 2s] [3h]
Dealt to GCox25 [9c 5s] [8h]
Dealt to Mondogarage [Qs As 7s 6s] [Tc]
pvanharibo checks
GCox25 bets 160
Mondogarage calls 160
cemfredmd raises to 320
pvanharibo calls 320
GCox25 raises to 480
Mondogarage calls 320 (Unless I put LJ on 5th street boat, my draw has to be best?)
cemfredmd calls 160
pvanharibo calls 160
*** 6TH STREET ***
Dealt to cemfredmd [8s Qh Js] [Jd]
Dealt to pvanharibo [2h 2s 3h] [Td]
Dealt to GCox25 [9c 5s 8h] [7c]
Dealt to Mondogarage [Qs As 7s 6s Tc] [Kh] (should I have let it go here?)
cemfredmd bets 160
pvanharibo calls 160
GCox25 raises to 320
Mondogarage calls 320
cemfredmd raises to 480
pvanharibo calls 320
GCox25 raises to 640
Mondogarage calls 320
cemfredmd calls 160
pvanharibo calls 160
*** 7TH STREET ***
Dealt to Mondogarage [Qs As 7s 6s Tc Kh] [4s]
cemfredmd bets 160
pvanharibo raises to 320
GCox25 raises to 480
Mondogarage raises to 640 (because I really am that bad at Stud)
cemfredmd calls 480
pvanharibo calls 320
GCox25 calls 160
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Mondogarage shows [As Qs 7s 6s Tc Kh 4s] a flush, Ace high
cemfredmd shows [Jh 8c 8s Qh Js Jd 7d] a full house, Jacks full of Eights
pvanharibo mucks
GCox25 shows [9s 9h 9c 5s 8h 7c 9d] four of a kind, Nines
GCox25 wins the pot (8,225) with four of a kind, Nines
The limits are now 100/200 with an ante of 15
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 8,225 | Rake 0
Seat 1: Shabazz Jenkins folded on 4th St.
Seat 2: cemfredmd showed [Jh 8c 8s Qh Js Jd 7d] and lost with a full house, Jacks full of Eights
Seat 3: pvanharibo mucked [5d 3s 2h 2s 3h Td 3d] - a full house, Threes full of Twos
Seat 4: GCox25 showed [9s 9h 9c 5s 8h 7c 9d] and won (8,225) with four of a kind, Nines
Seat 5: Mondogarage showed [As Qs 7s 6s Tc Kh 4s] and lost with a flush, Ace high
Seat 6: corron10 folded on 3rd St.
Seat 7: bayne_s folded on 3rd St.
Seat 8: peacecorn folded on 3rd St.

Anyway, that's pretty much my Stud story, where one donkey makes about four stupid moves for 1/2 his chips, yet again.

Finally, I made a deep run in Bodog's $20+2 $10k Guarantee, which started a while after the Bodonkey. In fact, at the end of the first hour, I was tournament chipleader, and thought this was going to be my huge breakthrough. But once we got around the bubble, I went completely card dead, and when I open shoved 4x the big blind with Presto from the button with 40 left, I was just hoping to steal, when a mid-stack big blind (who's only in for aboutdecides to make the recockulous call of the night with...drumroll...Q2 offsuit.

Yet again, the real fish at the table is rewarded with QQx on the flop, and instead of a chance at a major payday, I go home with just 2x the buyin, after dominating the tourney for large stretches. The lesson here? Presto is not always good when the fish pond is stocked. Still, it was a very fun night, I finally scored some points, and my bankroll gained a small sheckel or two.

Don't forget, tonight's BBT3 event is the Mookie -- I'm here to tell ya, if there's not at least 160 entries, I'll be shocked. Unfortunately, being Wednesday, I won't be one of them...but you should be.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Passing of a Godfather (of sorts)

So Gary Gygax has passed into the hereafter?

I suppose that after all these years, he finally missed a saving throw.

Without his creation, Dungeons & Dragons, there's probably never a Magic: the Gathering. And without MTG, there's probably never a Dario Minieri. So there, pffft, there's yer poker content.

Giddyup, Bodoggies! Show Us Yer Skillz!

Yup, it's Tuesday, and you know what that means. First up on the bloggerment slate, at 7:05pm (Dems Mountain Time Zone, bitches), is Week 5 of the Bodog Blogger Tournament Series

Only 14 weeks left (including tonight), and your intrepid Bodonkblogger is still trying to get off the points schneid. The top 30% of finishers in each qualifying tournament will earn points based on their finish. These points will be used to rank players over 4 months of qualifying. At the end of the qualifying series, the top 18 players on the Tournament Leader Board will play in the Final Tournament on Tuesday, June 10th, 2008 with the first place finisher winning a $12,000 WSOP* prize package!

Tonight's the night, I can feel it in my tummy. Either that, or it's just anticipation of Tuesday special lunchtime orange chicken from Wall Street Deli. Orange chicken does, in fact, taste like Bodonkey.

Anyway, the Tournament Leader Board is available at throughout the course of the Bodog Poker Blogger Tournament Series. It will provide the point totals for every player that has played in the qualifying tournaments. The top 30% of players in each tournament will receive points according to finish which at the end of the qualifying tournaments will ultimately determine who will move on to the Final Event. The top 18 players on the TLB at the end of the qualifiers will earn their way to the Final Event.

How To Register
To register for the Bodog Poker Blogger Tournament Series, poker bloggers must first go to and sign in with their Bodog account information in the upper right hand corner. Once this is completed, they then must click on "REGISTER NOW" to register themselves into the tournament series. Bloggers will each have to do this once in order to play in the series. Once this is done, they then need to find the "Online Poker Blogger Tournament" in the software and register as they normally would each and every week.

Also on deck tonight, at 7:30pm (Dems Mountain Time Zone, bitches) is another installment of Chad's excellent fun Blogger Skillz Series. Why is it excellent? Because it's not recockulous NHLE. We get pounded enough in that game, let's drop some buyins at something else! Tonight's version is Limit Stud Hi, which for me is a bitch of a game, but I don't care. Either way, count me in. Come get my bounty, because Stud Hi is my worst. possible. game. Double stacks and knockout bounties, Happy Happy Joy Joy!

Last night, the bar game easy. Got called down in the river by a dude who rivered bottom two pair...managed to triple up with AA, two hands later, KK gets cracked, and I 4 bet the LAGiest player at the table (known to bluff with 53o) with AJs...and he's got AKo. But at least I got to fire up some online tournies and run AK into limpcalled AA twice for all my chips.

I did manage to take 16th in a Bodog $3k Guarantee for 5x the buy-in. I heart Bodog's tournies, even if their $20 buy-in $10k guarantee is kicking my butt lately. I was table shortie, and with payouts not going up until 9th, I decided to open shove UTG with KJo (with an M of 3), and it was AQ, I believe, that did the deed. I'm interested in hearing whether or not, even with an M that low, I can wait one more hand or two before shoving something as vulnerable at KJo in early position.

Checking the PokerDB, it turns out I've cashed in a full 1/4 of my Bodog tournaments, final tabling 10% of them. These numbers are far better than what I'm getting at at FullTilt or Stars. What I can't figure out is whether that's a result of the larger fields at Stars, or worse play at Bodog (which I don't get, because I've seen plenty of horrible play everywhere else), or just low sample size variance.

Something to think about while trying to watch election returns and stacking chips at the same time.

Anyway, I hope to see a bunch of you tonight on the digital felt. I'll even crank open my girlie chat for the first time in months if anyone wants to hit me up - I signed up for Trillian, but I think my user name is still Mondogarage...

Monday, March 03, 2008

Monday Morning Randominity

It's rather hard to blog a lot about one's poker play when...well...when one hasn't exactly played a lot of poker. Donked around a few on Saturday, and scored once again in Stars $3 rebuy, for about 3.5 times what I was in for. But since I was only in for 1R+1A, it wasn't exactly a big payday. Donked out of a few other tournies in the session, and probably dropped a whole $20 from my bankroll...That was pretty much the extent of my play over the weekend.

Lisa Lampanelli was definitely the Queen of Mean, and she performed for a good 80 minutes or so, but as funny as she is, her insult comic routine didn't really have enough breadth to keep me engaged that long, as it was pretty much entirely focused on racial stereotyping. Don't get me wrong -- she was funny, sometimes outrageously so. However, I would have liked to have seen a broader range of comedy. Her emcee/opening act was high-larious, however. Unfortunately, I never did get her name, but her 15 minutes of semi-fame were of a higher quality...

So Scott Fischman wins the first BBT3 event? Meh. I know these things aren't just for bloggers, but something just feels a bit greasy when a FullTilt red name pro takes down the first TOC seat. Scott's a very well known and successful player (and I'm told he's even very recently begun to blog), and this is no criticism of him or his play. But goddamn, when the end result of the BBT3 is, in at least some way, intended to send someone to the WSOP Main Event who would otherwise be extremely unlikely to play it...well, having a FullTilt signed pro in the running just. seems. wrong.

Oh well, BBT3 is an unlikely thing for me, anyway, since over 90% of my online play does not involve the nights when the Big Game, Mookie, Mondays at the Hoy, and Riverchasers take place. I'm going to keep pushing on in the Bodonkey, and maybe even luckbox a Skillz game. But even the idea of a chance at a chance at a ME seat really isn't enough to retract my commitment to give my Wednesday and Thursdays to my Good Doctor Mondo.

And, for the next few weeks at least, as long as I'm still in the top 3 or so of the Monday bar poker league, it's hard for me to bail on that, as long as I have a chance at taking down the $75 top prize. Yup, you read that right, the top regular season prize equates to a single buyin at Don's Big Game. But, as Marcellus Wallace said, that sting is pride fuckin' wit' ya. Whether it's truth or ego, I feel like I am in the single handful of best players at that joint, and though I've won two final tournaments there, I've never taken down a regular season title. I want it so bad I can taste it, and the fact this is the season in which I once turned in enough chips before 2nd break to more than double cover anyone else in the field (thus costing me nearly certain top 4-5 points for the night) just makes me want it more.

So, that means no Mondays at the Hoy for now, though that could change near the end of BBT3. Ultimately, I'm pretty damn certain I won't be playing any any BBT Tournament of Champions, and will simply wish you all good luck, and beg for luckboxery at Bodog, where it seems I can final table anything I play...except for the Bodonkey, dammit.

If you have a moment, please stop by The Poker Enthusiast and leave a few words of support and condolence. His father passed away most unexpectedly this past Friday -- PE, all of us out there in the blogoverse send you vibes of support and empathy in what is clearly a very difficult time for you and yours.