1.31.2005

Commerfe, Or, A Tale In Which Two Dollarf Are Loft, But More If Gained

This humble author invites you to imagine, Gentle Reader, a veritable city of gaming-tables and brewpubs, sequestered upon an unsightly stretch of highway. Upon this city did descend a horde of the lightning-writers and their kin, set to ... Yeah, enough of this crap. After meeting more bloggers in a day than I've met in my life, I figure there might be a few more hits coming to this page, and the King's English probably isn't the way to win pots and influence people. So I went to Commerce this weekend. First time I've ever played poker in a casino (I mean EVER) and the second time I've sat down at any table game, period. Thankfully, a host of bloggers made it an entertaining and nearly profitable experience. The Commerce owes y'all a piece of my rake, as I think I'll be back, probably with my wife, who was amused by my stories. I learned two things at the $100 NL table Glyphic and I sat at - okay, I learned more than two things, but these are the principal: 1. Some people really like to gamble. 2. I'm not one of them. This was a pretty loose game - people moving all-in on the flop with bottom pair and getting called by a pocket pair lower than middle pair, that sort of thing. It made for some entertaining viewing. I raked in exactly one pot, which came just after the first orbit. Picked up AA in the small blind and popped it up to 4x the blind, weeding out all but one limper, the craggy guy in the four seat who was there with his ancient mother. The flop came A23 rainbow, giving me, if not the nuts, close enough for this table. I checked and he threw out $20. I looked at him for a long time, mostly to give myself time to keep the shake off my hands, and called. Turn was a blank (7?) and I checked again and watched him move all-in. I called and he flipped over A3d, which given the way he moved chips around the next couple of hours, must have seemed like an absolute monster. His tough luck I had the only hand he was drawing dead to. That pot put me up around sixty bucks. The next couple of hours were an exercise in folding, watching any two suited cards take down big pots with middle pair, and occasionally limping with QJo or the like only to get raised out by someone behind me. I made one laydown early on I maybe shouldn't have - it was before I had a feel for the table. I had 88 on a board of 762, but they were all hearts. Pot wasn't big and I didn't have 8h in my hand, so if I was behind already or someone paired an overcard I'd just have been throwing good money after bad. In retrospect probably the big bettor had A7 or even K7s. Anyway, I limp-folded my way around and around until the blinds had eaten up my win. The best hand I saw for the next couple of hours was ATs, which missed the flop completely. Every time I decided to make a raise with any two cards someone behind me beat me to the punch and I had to lay down my J2o or whatever. After folding for three orbits straight it was time to go meet the bloggers for dinner. I'd been so tight I knew I wouldn't have any action on a decent hand anyway. Net loss: two dollars even, one of which was a tip to the dealer. So I nearly accomplished my goal of at least beating the rake. I went and had a surprisingly tasty dinner with a bunch of fascinating and friendly new people instead. After dinner the signup sheet looked too damn long and I wasn't feeling it, so I hung out with other bloggers waiting for the Last Blogger Standing to bust out of the NL rebuy tourney. A couple hours of wandering around the casino floor later, I was burnt and figured I'd better head for home while I could still drive. Kudos, thanks and recognition are due the following people, all of whom were welcoming and fantastically entertaining people: Glyphic, who encouraged me to come out in the first place; HDouble, Bill Rini, Glenn, PokerProf, FHWRDH, EvaCanHang, scholars and gentle(wo)men all; AlCan'tHang, whose status as a scholar might be denied by some but whose embodiment of gentlemanliness cannot be questioned (hope the bar restocked for you!); and Felicia, who insisted upon meeting me that I simply must be gay, on account of the stylish Versace frames, a notion which my wife will either find extremely amusing or grudgingly, half-jokingly accept, depending on her mood. She (meaning my wife) also tolerated my absence during what could have been a productive Saturday and hence is also due much love.

1.27.2005

I know a little German, he's right over there

me: danke schoen. guy who just showed me bottom pair even though he didn't have to: what does that mean ru cursing me Caught an upswing at just the right time as I multitabled some Party $2/4 last night. On one table I caught AA three times in less than two orbits, dragging two respectable pots and one monster with the top boat. I got lucky on one table (at which also was seated the PokerNerd) and rivered the nut straight in an unraised pot. Was in early position but since it'd been checked to the river I figured one of the three other players would have something to call with. Then a raise and a reraise and I actually had to look again and make sure - yeah, I've got the nuts. So I happily capped. Total voluntary investment in pot, pre-nuts: one dollar. Sadly that was the last pot of any significance I won at that table. The Nerd, on the other hand, pulled out a healthy win. And perhaps gathered a few new readers for his blog.

1.24.2005

Back to the grin...........d

After a hectic week (most of which was spent wrestling with video compatibility problems, and don't ever let anyone tell you THAT'S not a good time), I finally got a chance to sit down and play today for the first time in about a week. Three hours of $2-$4 later, I am up a cool fifty cents. Dig it. That's not even a cup of coffee at back-in-the-old-days prices for me. Though for quite a while it would have got me twelve ounces of frosty Mountain Dew, or, in certain places, a strawberry Crush in an icy-cold glass bottle, suitable for draining and then chucking across a parking lot just to hear the smashy sound. (This was before I learned about littering.) Treading water doesn't feel bad, though, and I'm feeling more confident about my play. Some days, people keep hitting their draws on you over and over. Most of the people I wss in pots with would call with any two cards; just so happens they kept hitting their draws out of position when I had TPGK or two pair, and these were the kind of players against whom I was comfortable betting for value. Still toying with the notion of going to Commerce this weekend for the blogger meetup surrounding the LA Poker Classic. I could use a spot of live $3-6, but that's about as high as I can go right now without the swings getting to me.

1.19.2005

New toys

I'd be more gleeful about installing Poker Tracker if it weren't so casually brutal about informing me what a lousy player I apparently am. Granted, I've only played about 600-700 hands since I installed it, but I don't even want to talk about my current BB/100 situation. (At $2/4, no less.) Also it thinks I'm a SLAP (or is it sLAP?). But this could be because I tend to play very tight at first, working to show down a good hand or two to get a modicum of respect for my raises, and this hasn't been working well at the moment because, well, I haven't been getting good hands to show down. As a result, my first experiences with Party haven't been grand. Sure, I SEE the bad play - the first table I sat down at there were two people with a VP$IP over 50%, and one settled in around 75% after eighty hands. So at that table I had the distinct pleasure of losing decent pots to the betmonkey on rivered two-outers, and then watching him redistribute my chips. I take a bit of comfort that I can't find a single flush in my Party hand histories. That's about how I remember it too.

Special to new computer, re: magical thinking

You realize that if you don't pay for yourself in a certain period of time you're headed for the junkheap, right?

1.13.2005

Piggety-pig

(Apologies for the title, which is an inside joke that no one who reads this blog will get. Or at least appreciate.) So I've returned to our charming apartment (which seems to have a much greater amount of crap lying around it than usual) and am presently composing this post with the aid of a spankin' new PC, which replaces the Compaq desktop that imploded about a year and a half ago and the Compaq laptop with common-problem-but-not-service-bulletin-corrected screen issues. The new PC is not a Compaq for many, many reasons. The less said about the latter half of our Midwestern trip the better. Except for the last few days which we spent with friends rather than family. Also there was a snowstorm so bad that for the first time ever I pulled off the road and got a hotel room - only an hour and a half from our destination. Being in a hotel meant a decent nights' sleep so I can't say I minded. I haven't played so much as a hand of poker for at least three weeks now, a situation which I plan to remedy shortly. My last real session before I left town was miserable - -35BB at $2-$4, the most I've ever lost in a sitting (and proportionally the most I ever plan to lose - there comes a point where you can't even beat a game you know you can beat, and I hit it last time). It's about time I waded into the waters at Party and started bonus whoring hither and thither. Anyone got any codes they'd like to share?