Thursday, November 26, 2009

2 Turkeys, 1 Cup


Thought I'd play Dr. Pauly's annual Turkey Cup, and actually started off building a nice stack, until I misplayed TPTK against a -1000% ROI player who limped called AA against my preflop raise. When the Q hit the turn on an all raggy board, I really felt my TPTK was good. Put him on no better than AK, and called his turn shove.

Of course, I should have probably known better, when he min-raised my c-bet on the 8-high flop...

Still, limp calling AA preflop with three players to act is pretty dangerous poker.

Still had about 800 chippies left, and shoved AQo (yes, again) PF. I raised preflop, then a 3 bet and a call after me, so I shoved. It was my AQ v. AK v. AK. Hated my chances, but at least AK only had two kings left in the deck. Felt much much better with the Q high flop (though I was going to have to fade runner runner spades). Turn was pretty. River? Bah, a two-out K. If that flop had held, I've have recovered to a top 15 stack.

As it was, I was one of the first dozen or so out.

Bah. I fuckin' hate tryptophan tournies.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Click Your Heels Three Times

and say "I want to go home...I want to go home...I want to go home..."

The Good Doctor Mondo came home this week, on Monday, five months to the day when she first went into the hospital. Life is good. Allow me to rephrase. Life is fanfuckingtastic. We have so very much to be thankful for this year, her very survival being first and foremost, as well as all the support we've received from our friends -- local, virtual, bandmates, family, colleagues, and otherwise. Cliches often become cliches because at their very core, they are usually essentially truly never know what you have until you almost lose it.

That's not to say that there are not significant changes in our lives, even today. The Good Doctor Mondo is home, yet she will remain bed/wheelchair/walker-bound for a long time to come, in a way we can't really measure yet. Our home looks like some combination of a medical lab/dairy. You know those huge metal canisters that hold hundreds of gallons of milk? Well, we've now got four of those in our living room/den (now known as the master bedroom), except their full of liquid oxygen. Those, plus five portable oxygen cylinders. Plus two portable oxygen devices that resemble jet packs. Plus miles of tubing. Plus large, prominent, bold red type signs outside our house warning against open flames/smoking.

Anyway, that's our lives now. A schedule of medications, trans-trach cleanings, anti bloodclot injections, it goes on and on.

Yet we're thankful beyond belief, for this Thanksgiving, we do indeed have one another. And if you just hang on tight enough, you never have to let go.

So to you and yours, spare a thought this Thanksgiving for those in your own families who may be struggling with their issues, great and small. Because you never know what you have until you almost lose it.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sick Flop

Cliffnotes - 66 > AA > AA> QQ, and brought a howitzer, where a .38 cal would have done the trick.

PokerStars Game #35242067774: Tournament #211784419, $3.00+$0.30 USD Hold'em No Limit - Level IV (50/100) - 2009/11/11 22:10:28 MT [2009/11/12 0:10:28 ET]
Table '211784419 15' 9-max Seat #2 is the button
Seat 1: rafaberlin (1450 in chips)
Seat 2: mike_031000 (725 in chips)
Seat 3: tevoyarupiar (6100 in chips)
Seat 4: grant (1490 in chips)
Seat 5: heffs976 (7165 in chips)
Seat 6: Mondogarage (5593 in chips)
Seat 7: lupri30 (3000 in chips)
Seat 8: BecomTheBull (13265 in chips)
Seat 9: The Rogue (5790 in chips)
tevoyarupiar: posts small blind 50
grant: posts big blind 100
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Mondogarage [4s 2s]
heffs976: folds
Mondogarage: folds
lupri30: folds
BecomTheBull: raises 250 to 350
The Rogue: raises 550 to 900
rafaberlin: calls 900
mike_031000: calls 725 and is all-in
tevoyarupiar: folds
grant: calls 800
BecomTheBull: raises 12365 to 13265 and is all-in
The Rogue: calls 4890 and is all-in
rafaberlin: calls 550 and is all-in
grant: calls 590 and is all-in
Uncalled bet (7475) returned to BecomTheBull
*** FLOP *** [6c 6d Tc]
*** TURN *** [6c 6d Tc] [Kc]
*** RIVER *** [6c 6d Tc Kc] [7s]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
BecomTheBull: shows [Qs Qh] (two pair, Queens and Sixes)
The Rogue: shows [As Ad] (two pair, Aces and Sixes)
The Rogue collected 8600 from side pot-3
grant: shows [9d Qd] (a pair of Sixes) (oh, and wtf is this guy calling 4-bets here with, so LOL, but irrelevant)
The Rogue collected 120 from side pot-2
rafaberlin: shows [Ac Ah] (two pair, Aces and Sixes)
The Rogue collected 1450 from side pot-1
rafaberlin collected 1450 from side pot-1
mike_031000: shows [6h 6s] (four of a kind, Sixes)
mike_031000 collected 3675 from main pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 15295 Main pot 3675. Side pot-1 2900. Side pot-2 120. Side pot-3 8600. | Rake 0
Board [6c 6d Tc Kc 7s]
Seat 1: rafaberlin showed [Ac Ah] and won (1450) with two pair, Aces and Sixes
Seat 2: mike_031000 (button) showed [6h 6s] and won (3675) with four of a kind, Sixes
Seat 3: tevoyarupiar (small blind) folded before Flop
Seat 4: grant (big blind) showed [9d Qd] and lost with a pair of Sixes
Seat 5: heffs976 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 6: Mondogarage folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 7: lupri30 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 8: BecomTheBull showed [Qs Qh] and lost with two pair, Queens and Sixes
Seat 9: The Rogue showed [As Ad] and won (10170) with two pair, Aces and Sixes

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Where We Learn About Software Updates the Fun Way, and Pending Arrivals

I guess sometime in the maybe-recent past, Full Tilt Poker implemented a chopping feature? Duh. I would have never guessed, as I hadn't made a final table on that site in about a year. I honestly had no idea whatsoever that FTP had implemented this feature in their software.

It's actually a pretty neat feature, as it allows chops based on ICM, or chips, or a custom amount, and players have to click whether or not to accept.

Anyway, I got to see it in action first hand, when my opponent and I did a straight 50/50 chops once head up in last night's $5 Limit O8 tourney. Sweet. At one point with four left, I had about 75% of the chips in play, but finally managed to start running badly, and my HU opponent ended up knocking out the two short stacks. I still started HU play with a 2.5:1 chip lead, but with blinds at 6,000/12,000, I only had to lose one pot for us to have virtually identical chipstacks, so the split down the middle was appropriate, especially in a four card game where a single river can turn a scoop into a "ZOMG how did I lose that hand?!?!?".

At least now, I have enough of a Full Tilt teeny tiny roll to not have to avoid logging on there (especially as Bodog's "random" number generator continues to treat me as if I were on my way to a leper colony. And the overall roll (split amongst three sites) is as healthy as its been all real complaints.

Well, except for losing to the river three outer on the final table bubble of Stars' $3.30 triple shootout...everyone else was waiting for our table to finish, and HU took about 20 hands...had him right in my sights to have 95% of the chips, and someone flicked the doomswitch. Ah well.

Tonight is the Good Doctor Mondo's birthday. We had a small informal party for her at the hospital last weekend, but tonight it will just be the two of us, and some takeout Bonefish Grill...possibly while watching some of ESPN's final table coverage, who knows?

The one thing we do know is her hospitalization is coming closer to a close, and we couldn't be happier, though I'm really quite nervous about it. You see, the return home may not ultimately be because she's ready...but because her rehab hospital insurance benefit runs out 11 days from now. Fucking insurance companies. She's had some relatively minor issues (at least in light of everything else that has gone on) slow down her rehab and therapy over the last week, and I'm really concerned that when she's forced home, she would not have been able to have met the goals set out for her in rehab.

Nevertheless, we celebrate those things that we can, and today, my darling turns 40. There were times this year when I wasn't certain I'd ever be able to say this, but I can say to her now, "Happy Birthday Jenn, I love you."

Saturday, November 07, 2009

After Three Plus Years...

...and nearly 1300 tournaments, I've finally achieved Waffles status on PokerStars (check the ROI)

Friday, November 06, 2009

Like Crack On A Chipstack

Given recent developments in my family situation and schedule...well, playing MTTs like I've always enjoyed just doesn't seem to fit any more. These days, it's work all day, go to the Good Doctor Mondo's rehabilitation hospital fifty miles away for a few hours, and then finally get home around 9pm or so at night. This is my daily life, at present, and everything else has to work around that schedule.

But there's got to be something more than that, right? How to squeeze in a bit of poker, at least in the couple hours at home between dragging my hang-dog ass in the door, and merciful sleep? How to feed that jones and yet still be able to maintain responsibilities? How to stand being in that outsized house by myself at night, restless at bitter at one's lot in life, and find a way to squeeze in the one solitary activity that pushes all that sad bastard crap aside for a while?

Well, I found the answer over at PokerStars. 180 man, $3.30r turbo SNGs. That's right, rebuy SNGs. Woohoo, with lots of value. Damn, the whole things are over in just over two hours. Of course, variance is high. I manage to play one, sometimes two a night (if they register fast enough), and still get decent sleep. So far, they're not half terrible bankroll builders, as long as you have the discipline to rebuy upfront and not chase a mincash by rebuying 3-4 times afterwards. Of course, always, always take the addon.

Now, this is an entirely different form of poker for me, in some respects, because most players are already into shove-or-fold mode within an hour of the tournament. I've missed out a couple of good late position shove opportunities, probably because of not being particularly well-versed in ICM. But I've managed to cash often enough to make a tiny bit of scratch, and a couple final table appearances haven't hurt.

Typically, I'm in these for only $9 (once in a while I'll do a second rebuy to top off just before the end of the rebuy period, if I'm low enough). And either way, it feels like getting a lot of poker for the money because even when I don't cash, I'm going out anywhere from, say, 25th to 40th place, and outlasting enough of the field for it to truly be bedtime at the end.

Played one of these last night, and finished 3rd, for a nice chunk of change. Sadly, went out when AT couldn't fade A9, when winning that hand would have given me and the chipleader equal stacks, and leaving villian with about one BB. Even going out 2nd would have been worth another one-fiddy. Hope to actually take one of these down, it's been a while since I've been able to get heads-up in a relatively decent sized field.

At least it's helping me overcome the life-tilt that has been Bodog's 11:30pm EST $2k guarantee turbo. Won some nice stakes in that tourney over time, but I swear I've been knocked out early the last ten or so times I've played this thing. In fact, my Bodog $Ts are completely gone, so I'm spending a lot less time on that site. Their RNG hates me these days with a passion in a way I'm not sure even Fraud Tilt Poker's ever had for me.

May you find the felt to your liking.