Monday, December 12, 2005

Poker Doldrums

Not much to update. I am still struggling. I have found some good play at Poker Stars and I am still figuring out all the types of games they offer. They seem to have some interesting Sit N Go formats… from 180 people mini tournaments to 4 person SNG shootouts. I have tried two SNGs there. The first one was a 45 person SNG that I played well in. I thought I was going to money, maybe even win… but I went out 10th. 7 spots payed. Oops.

I also played in the 4 person shootout and took a bad beat exit in the first stage. 0 for 2 in the tournaments there, but not discouraged.

I only loaded $50 on the site and lost just over half of that in my 2 tournament tries. I am sad to admit that I lost the other half on limit hold ‘em. I would prefer to chalk this up to variance as my stats in PokerTracker are the best they have ever been. My VP$IP was around 15 (just under I think) and the other stats (aggression and showdown) looked great also. At one point, my Showdown win % was above 80. It has since come back down, but is still over 50. I was really trying to nut peddle and play position hard. I think the biggest problem I had was not getting the nuts to peddle (I went 73 hands before I had a pocket pair) and I played AK too aggressively. I had it 5 times and only won with it once. I don’t think I was getting too many cards. Down to my last 10, I fired up a NL table and got rid of it. Not my intention, but definitely the result. Should I embrace my inner fish?

To recap on my previous post about questioning myself and my game, I am a net loser for the year. I am a better player, but a losing player. This bothers and perplexes me as it seems paradoxical. Am I good fish? If I have improved, why am I now losing? If I was a loose aggressive luck box before, why am I not a tight aggressive luck box now? You know those times where there is a ridiculously hot seat in a ring game or single table SNG? The seat is playing just about any 2 and winning every race? You get KK and try to push them out the hand. They call and the flop comes with a straight draw possibility. You groan, know you are ahead, and jam hoping that they will fold or risk most of their stack on a gut shot. They call and river the magic bullet. We (blogger community) see it all the time and sometimes even get that seat. Not me, not lately. I am playing the game to the best of my instincts and knowledge, and still coming up short: battling with players that are playing way too many hands, yet are winning more showdowns than they lose. I guess that is what makes this game great; you can win with pure luck.

I have learned to accept this and tell myself, “In the long run, they will lose all of their money playing that way. Stay tight and keep working on your reads”. I have even seen empirical proof of this. Players I have tagged as fish on UB at the higher levels (2/4, 3/6) are invariably logged in playing at the play money tables within a week or two. I feel a small sense of satisfaction that their evil suckout strategy ways have caught up with them, but I am just a losing session or two away from joining them. Who is laughing now?

I have loaded two minimum transactions onto Party Poker and Poker Stars in the last three weeks. As of Thursday, I have nothing to show for them. The Party $55 buy in I dedicated to $10 SNGs. I placed second in one, lost the rest. The Poker Stars $50 buy in I decided to see what I could do in low limit (.50/1) HE and see what SNG’s they had. I liked the taste I had there and think that I may load some more money on there and dedicate it to low buy in SNGs and tourneys. Overall, I am feeling kind of turned off by poker. When I get free time and I am faced with the choice of poker/SOCOM3/going to the gym, lately, SOCOM 3 has been winning. I just feel like I have “more control” in that silly game and I do not have control on the virtual felt (at least not lately). Not self control, but control over my fate in general. I think a high finish in a MTT would be a great shot for the bankroll and the poker state of mind. I think I will be taking some cracks at these games. Jordan, Dnasty, Chipper, DoubleAs... most of the other blogs I read have all had at least one of these wins. GCox, do you have any big MTT finishes? I don't, but I plan to keep on trying.

On second thought, perhaps I would be best served by choosing the gym! We shall see about that…

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Some Geeky Holiday Gift Ideas

Some Geeky Holiday Gift Ideas

I already got the big Christmas gift from my wife (can’t use it yet, but I know what it is), but that does not keep me from perusing the e-stores. Here are some of the more interesting gifts I have seen.

1. A USB Powered Coffee Warmer

From, this little guy plugs into a USB port on your laptop and keeps your drinks warm while you are cracking Aces using the WiFi at your local Starbucks. As if… is a great site for all you other cubicle monkeys out there. Get your USB Dancing Santa or singing Christmas tree on. Get yours here.

2. A Water Powered Clock

This clock seems pretty cool, it generates its own power from water. It needs no batteries, no plugs, just a fluid with electrolytes (coffee, soda, beer) While GCox25 might think this contraption a waste of perfectly good and slightly dented Keystone Lite, I thought it was pretty neat. According to the site, “We've had ours running for weeks so far and the water levels have barely descended and we haven't had to refill it at all”. Cool. Check it out here.

3. A Keychain TV-Off Remote

I can think of some fun to be had with this one: Office meetings using the Videoconference equipment, Sports Bars during a pivotal moment in a Browns game, schools, in-laws during the holidays… the possibilities are limited only by your devious little brain. Let the tomfoolery begin!

4. A Modern Swiss Army Knife

It boggles my mind to think of what McGuyver could have accomplished with this little beauty. A knife, scissors, file… and 1 GB of storage? Don’t get me started. Want one?

5. A Duct Tape Wallet

Not sure why I thought of my brothers when I saw this, but I did. They are big fans and users of duct tape engineering techniques. Imagine the jealousy if only one of them was to pull this out and buy lunch for the other. Jared, get it before Stefan does.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Step Away from the Computer with your Hands in the Air

I have not played much poker lately and therefore have not been posting much any content at all.

I am in a waiting period.

First of all, I am waiting for my $150 of seed money to load back into Neteller. I refuse to give them my 8% or whatever they charge for “Insta-Cash”. I loaded it on payday last week, so it should be up there now.

Secondly, I need to reassess myself and my poker goals. I don’t really know what has been going on with me lately. I think that I want to play at levels beyond my bankroll and I fear that a certain sense of entitlement is plaguing me at the tables. Perhaps because I read about poker a lot (blogs, books, etc.) and I know how much more I know now compared to how much I knew when I started… I think that it should automatically make me a winning player. There is the rub. I know that I am a better player than I used to be, and I am a more knowledgeable and aware player, but it has not translated into a constantly winning player.

There are many reasons for this and I feel that I need to explore them and understand them better so I can get past them.

Here is a perfect example. I decided to dedicate my last $50 on PP to $10 SNGs two weekends ago. I am down to that measly $50 because of my previously posted self destruct on PP BJ. (On a side note, I wish I could uninstall that little icon because I am not sure I can always resist the temptation) Anyway, I was resisting the temptation successfully because I had a goal. I played very well in the first SNG and came in second. I was happy with my play and almost took first. This set the tone for me (I thought). I bubbled on the second SNG with a play that I would make again. Got it all in PF with QQ against a very loose player in the BB. Unfortunately, he had AA and neither hand improved. Oh well, in the long run a +EV play I think.

Then, it started going bad for me. I watch all these players playing so loosely and winning! I don’t know if that caused me to play more speculative hands or if the cards just missed me, but I would put some money in a pot with a good starting hand when I was in position and then have to abandon when the flop missed me completely or I was shown a lot of aggression. The very last SNG I played is a good example of what I think one of my problems consists of. Down to my last $10 SNG buy in, I knew I had to make it count. I folded for three orbits and then saw what I thought was an opportunity to steal. I was in LP (1 seat before the button) and it was folded to me. I had KQs (yes, I know, a temptress of a hand that will fail you in the long run) but I felt I had a few things going for me. I had not played a single pot yet. My image was very tight. I was in position. I decided to raise 4x the BB (25/50 at this point). My $200 bet was called by the BB. Not great because I was looking just to steal the blinds, but not panic yet because he just called. I can eliminate a few hands I think. The flop comes rainbow rags with an 8 high. I bet 2/3 pot quickly. I think that this is a good amount because it is probably what I would bet with AA or KK. It is enough to make a chaser think twice and not so much that it appears to be a bluff or a scared bet trying to protect AK. He calls. I do not like that. Unless I catch runner runner heart or a K and then a Q, I think that I am behind in this pot. Did he make a set? Is he slow playing Aces or a high pocket pair? I guess I will find out. The turn is another blank and not a heart. There is a straight draw out there now, but I don’t think that is what I am up against. I fire another bet and leave myself about $100 in chips. Maybe that is a sign of weakness, but I want to see what he will do. He calls again. I know I am beat, but curious why he did not re-raise me. The river is not a K or a Q and I check, ready to fold to any bet. Strangely, he checks too! He shows AQo and takes down the pot. I don’t respond in the chat, but that really pisses me off!! WTF? This is the guy I want to be playing with that will pay me off with my pocket pair and even my AK. The only outs he had on that board were As and Qs and he called ¾ of his stack. Horrible play by my standards, but he is the one with all my chips…. When I think about this hand critically I know that he could not have had a read on me. I had not played a single hand in the first 30 hands. If anything, my image was super tight. I don’t know how he could not have put me on a monster. In a weird way, I would have been happier if he had flipped AA or KK, or even 78 for a pair on the flop. It is beyond me why he did not fold. I guess I could have pushed all in on the turn or the river, but from my perspective that is –EV since my read is that I have run into a hand that has me beat and the other player was pot committed at that point. $135 more for a 1+K pot… ok.

So, can I avoid this situation? Obvious answer yes. Should I have tried for a steal there? I think yes, I would try it again in the future. I know that KQ is kind of a suckers hand, but in this case I think the conditions warranted playing it as I did. If I flipped positions with this guy, I see myself folding the unimproved AQ on the turn or putting me to the test with it…. But just calling to the river with it, I think that is the worst way to play it.

Looking at that situation, I really expected that other player to fold to my show of strength. Maybe he was too inexperienced? Multi Tabling and did not notice I was playing uber tight? I don’t know but I guess if I can figure it out, I will win more. What is the answer here?

Besides expecting other players to recognize what I am doing/projecting, I think I have an issue of playing games outside of my bankroll. I have never ventured above 5/10, and only dabbled there… but I think now that I need to focus much more on building a bankroll slowly. I know that I can play, and win, at higher levels, but 1 donkey move or crying call can really cripple my bankroll. I need to go back to the limit challenge bankroll and set limits for myself. I need to not worry that I just played poker for 2 hours and all I have to show for it is 5 bucks… I should instead look at it as I played for 2 hours and have +25 BB and I am making 12.5 BB an hour. Maybe that will help.

Lastly, as DoubleAs described it (I think it was him), I need to find my ATM. A game or level, or match up that I can consistently win. I may have found it with the UB HU SNG’s, but there is still too much volatility (and the temptation to play $50 or $100 matches!!) to play many of those at my current bankroll.

This is a rambling post, and I will probably go back to reread this later tonight and maybe reorganize it, but I am very open to all of your thoughts. From reading other blogs, I know that we all go through periods of self doubt, introspection, and bankroll flameouts. I guess it is the ones that try to learn from the cycles that benefit the most. I want to benefit.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

10 Reasons Thanksgiving > Christmas

10 Reasons Thanksgiving is the Best Holiday

10.  Grandma’s Stuffing
9.  No gifts to wrap
8.  Eat and then fall asleep watching football
7.  Wake up and eat again
6.  Catching up with family
5.  Sleeping in on Friday while the women get up early to shop
4.  Calvert Hall plays Loyola in the “Turkey Bowl”
3.  I can eat a “slice” of Cranberry Sauce faster than you can
2.  Leftovers

And the number one reason I love Thanksgiving

1.  I don’t have to enter the hellhole that they call a mall during the holidays

While I certainly don’t condone terrorism or the slaughter of innocents, I can almost rationalize it when I have to go into a mall or toy store around Christmas.  You can’t park.  You get stuck behind the slowest people.  They bump into you.  You can’t get a salesperson’s attention.  Those bell ringing Salvation Army people at the exit of every store.  Christmas tunes that are stuck in your head from store Muzak.  (Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-laaaaa)  Old People.  Young People.  Adolescent People.  Rude People.  Nice People.  Humanity in general.  Checkout lines.  The litany of offenses that I think should be punishable by execution on the spot is almost endless.

Whew, I feel a little bit better after venting about that.  I am sure this feeling of inner peace will last .05 seconds into my first Christmas shopping trip.  See why I love Thanksgiving?

Best Wishes to all of you and your families this week.  I hope your team wins, your turkey is cooked to perfection, and your family is together and healthy.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Horrible Football Weekend

Wow. With the glaring exception of the Buckeyes beating the Wolverines, my football life stunk this weekend. Allow me to recap.

1. The Steelers lost to the Ravens. I think Tommy Maddox should be cut. He played very poorly and appears to have lost whatever it was that he had. Poor and slow decisions along with inaccurate passes doomed the Steelers. It did not help that Ward made an acrobatic punt of an incomplete pass that allowed the defense to intercept in OT. The ideal situation yesterday would have been a win for the Steelers, and a win for the Bengals. This would have put the race for home field in the Steeler's own hands. If they beat Cincy and Indy, they would more than likely have secured home field for the playoffs. It did not turn out that way despite a great Cincy/Indy game.

2. One of my fantasy teams was playing the matchup I was looking forward to the whole season. In my office league, I was facing the Tax Chicks. This team is co-managed by two friends in the tax department and I really, really, really did not want to lose to them. They are also rabid Browns fans. This was a very good football weekend for them. Damn.

3. Gary is probably in agreeance with this one, but for different reasons. Texas Tech beat Oklahoma. I am not a Sooners fan, but I hate the Red Raiders. I dated a girl that went to Tech when I was in the Army and I used to drive 13 hours on my monthly 4 day weekends from California to Lubbock Texas. In addition to the fact that the town is "dry" and if the wind blows in a certain direction the whole place smells like a porta potty, the girl was sleeping with some other guy. I found this out the hard way. Although the failed relationship is ancient history, (and I was pleasantly surprised to find out several months later that the guy was married and was just leading her on), I still hang onto the anti-Red Raider sentiment. It seems that the program there has enjoyed a modicum of success in recent years, but I was surprised to see them take out the Sooners. Sorry GCox25.

So, in summation -

The Browns won - Booooo.
The Steelers lost - BOOOOOOO.
My fantasy teams went 1-2 (and lost the pivotal game to the Tax Chics)
The Red Raiders won. - Booooo.

If there was any positive notes for the weekend it was all the house stuff I got done and a Christmas gift project I am working on for my parents. I made some good progress on it this weekend and I am excited by it. Mom or Dad might stop by here so I can't spill the beans yet but will try to get a picture of the finished product.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Shout out to Spoof Dawg

I know my little brother stops by this blog from time to time to check on his older brother. We live in different states, so we only get to see each other a handful of times each year and like typical guys, I am not too big on talking on the phone. He is a great guy and a great brother to me so it really struck a chord in me when he recently had to be hospitalized.

It was tough to see him in the hospital bed with only a fraction of his usual energy and personality... and very telling about Stefan as a person that his hospital room was standing room only. I came in from Ohio on a Saturday and went straight to the hospital with SteelerSteph. When we found his room, there were already three people in there, Steph and I made two more and within 30 minutes 4 more people! I am sure there were some hospital rules being broken, but maybe they turned a blind eye because they liked Stefan so much too.

Fast forward a few weeks and I talked to Stefan on the phone this week about my upcoming visit back home for Thanksgiving. I was very relieved to hear the old Stefan on the phone with me. He is still recovering, and slowly putting some weight back on, but his spirit is back. I know it was a pretty dark time for him and I respect him even more for battling through it. We talked about maybe setting up a blog of his own while I will be in town. He is a very well spoken and literate man, it would be something that I would be interested in reading. I hope that he takes up my offer.

So if you know a person suffering with celiac disease keep them in your thoughts and prayers and give a shout out to my little bro.

Love ya bro.

Thanks for the Support

I was surprised at the amount and type of comments I got on my recent donkeyness on Party's BlackJack. Thanks for all your support.

$300 is not going to make or break me, and the amount of money is not really what troubles me. It is the lack of discipline and the desire to gamboool. I'd like to think of myself as a better than average player. I read about poker, practice poker, think about poker, and try to adjust my game to table conditions. I think that should put me a step or two ahead of the competition.

The rub is that I want to be a winning player. Who doesn't? The reality is that I could sink $100 a month into this "hobby" and be fine financially, but I want this to be a moneymaker, not moneytaker. I am a competitive person and the bankroll is the scorekeeper for this sport. I do not like to have my butt kicked.

So is there a takeaway from this? I guess. Stay way from -EV games (even if there is a chance of a large and instant payoff). Stick to the levels that my bankroll dictate. This is my second trip down bankroll demolition drive. This trip was a different route, but with the same result.

I fell that I am left with a decision point.

1. I can play at the higher levels and risk loading money on each month. I enjoy the higher stakes and the opportunity to win more. I also think that the higher levels offer more learning opportunities.

2. I can play at the lower levels and build my bankroll and gain some more experience. The trade off here is that the time/money quotient is much lower. My time is valuable. If I spent 2 hours at .05/.10 HE and have +$5.00 to show for it, is that really worth it? I more than likely will not have learned much, ABC poker seems to be the way to go at the lower limit tables.

I could argue the benefits of either decision. My plan for right now is to load some more money onto Neteller and really focus on the levels I should be playing according to my bankroll. I feel comfortable in a 2/4 through 5/10 game, but I think I need to prove to myself that I have the discipline to earn my way to those games. If I am consistently making money (right decisions) at the 1/2 game, then eventually my bankroll will allow me to move up. This path is proven. I read DoubleAs old posts. His results are somewhat atypical, but not unachievable.

So, thanks for the comments of support, and yes Veneno, I want another crack at you. I will be online, learning, reading, playing with the rest of you and fighting my "Hey Josh, let's GAMBOOOOOOL!!" demons like the rest of you. It looks like it will be a constant battle.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


I am a bankroll donkey.
I am a bankroll donkey.
I am a bankroll donkey.

I uninstalled Party Poker from my computer last night after I proved to myself that I am unable to resist the temptation to donk around on the BlackJack they offer. The +$350 I gained on that site this past weekend. Gone with the Donk. I tried to chase a $100 SNG bust out. Bet $100, 12 vs a dealer's showing 8. Hit. Bust. Oops.

Bet $100 again, dealer blackjacks (with the A as the down card, not that I would have bought insurance anyway)

Last $100.... can't lose three in a row, can I? You bet I can!!

Embarassed and pissed at myself for urinating away many hours of building the bankroll on PP, I uninstalled the software. That will teach me!!

Back to the UB.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Jarred memories from Jarhead

I saw Jarhead this weekend and it brought back a lot of memories from my own basic training.  Those memories are a real mixed bag, amazing highs and lows all concentrated into a 3+ month surreal experience.  The live fire exercise where one Marine freaks out, stands up and catches one in the skull really took me back to our day on that range.

1st Platoon, Echo Company of the 2/13 Armor Battalion was headed to the range on a rainy Kentucky day in October.  Rucksacks and rifles, canteens and camaraderie, marching or running…. that is how we rolled.  We marched or “double timed” all over Ft. Knox except for the occasional ride crammed in the back of a deuce and half.  “Nut to Butt, get to know your neighbor!!”  I think we marched to the live fire range that day on a cold wet gray day.  I was kind of excited; this would be the first time that we were going to do anything with live rounds whizzing over our heads.  I was not worried about getting shot; they told us that as long as we stayed down we had nothing to worry about.  The rounds may seem like they were right over head but were actually being fired about 6 feet above the ground.  I took their word for it.

The range had a sand/dirt/rock surface that really, really sucked to low crawl on…. and low crawl we did.  For those not familiar with this exercise, you have to low crawl on your stomach and back underneath an obstacle that is strung with very low concertina wire (barbed wire) and around demo pits.  Crawling under the wire is interesting; it grabs and snatches at everything on you - uniform, canteen, rifle, helmet cover.  The trick is to just go slow and make your way through.  I don’t recall anyone freaking out about the bullets and tracers zipping by overhead, but it made for an interesting night.  The part I do remember is someone pissing off a drill instructor and the whole platoon having to do it again.  And again.  By the time we finished that “training” it was very dark and I had worn the skin off the insides of my knees and elbows.  The damn wet sand got into my BDU’s and the constant scraping of low crawling through the course was like sandpaper for skin.  The other really neat part of the night was when I paused too close to a demo pit and it went off.  The concussion of the blast picked me up and flipped me over.  I was stunned and disoriented for a little, but eventually got my head out of my ass and finished.

Another nagging memory I have of basic training is the feeling of a complete lack of control.  I was completely at the mercy of the drill instructors.  I ran until they were tired.  I polished and pressed until they were satisfied.  I ate what, when, and as fast as they desired.  It was a weird feeling, many times I felt a sense of detachment as my mind left my tired body.  How much brain power do you need to just keep running?  This one night, we did something to make the drill sergeant unhappy and he decided we needed some running and exercise to remedy the situation.  I think it was the closest to hysteria I have ever been.  I was just running and crying.  Guys around me were doing the same with many just flipping out.  I was completely at the mercy of the DI and his whistle.  It seems funny to write about here and kind of hard to explain, but that night I was not sure when, if ever it would end.  He just kept thrashing us and there was no alternative.  If someone dropped back, it seemed to piss him off more and made it worse.  What can you do?

Basic was not all bad though.  There were many bad times and tough days, but the often talked about sense of camaraderie is real and helps.  It may suck, but it sucks for all of you and you are all in it together.  They really teach you to live and die as a team.  The sense of accomplishment when you complete it is also one of the greatest feelings I have experienced to date. It is up there with the day I got married.

There were a few other very memorable days in Basic that included the first time I fired the main gun on my M1A1, the graduation day when my father came in uniform (he was a Major at the time) and my Drill Instructors had to come to attention for him and salute him... ha! I will also not forget turning 18 in the middle of basic and the week plus that I spent in reception and processing - what an odd time that was. Perhaps I will be motivated to post about some of those experiences soon. Hooahh. Go Army.... just not while Bush is still in office.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

No poker this week, but a lot of good posts about it

Stupidly busy week at work with 12+ hour days being the norm leave little time for Poker and SOCOM. Over four years of marriage under the belt have produced a wiser, more mature (p-whipped?) me that instead chose to spend my hour or two awake at home each night with the wife. She is never happy when I am not home until 8:30 or 9, I figure that ignoring her for a hobby would only exacerbate the situation...

Despite the busy work week, I found some time to read blocs through my bloglines while waiting for the phone to ring while taking support calls. There was a good post by Chipper about blind stealing that made me think about my actions when in those positions. He backs it up with some data. Thanks Chipper. I also enjoyed thinking about Will-Wonka's Drawing Dead post. He has had some great self game examination posts lately which might jog something in your own head about your game.

I also enjoyed reading my usual suspects: Jordan, Gary, Derek, Mourn (cool word association post that I happen to agree with), and all the other blogs on the right of this one.

Lastly, a blog I added to my blogroll recently is ScurvyDog's Sound of a Suckout. For some reason I picture him as the pirate guy in DodgeBall. Aaarrgh.

I also saw Jarhead last weekend and it inspired me to write up the memories it stirred from my Army Basic Training, it is sitting in draft mode on Blogger right now. I kind of ran out of steam, and it does not fit anywhere in this blog.... but it was cool to reminisce and be amazed at what I endured in the fall of 1993.

Poker Forecast - Intermittent throughout the weekend with almost a 0% chance on Sunday. I am headed into the Burgh late Friday or early Saturday to visit the inlaws and get ready for the big game Sunday night. I took Monday off from work as a day of recovery. I am a little concerned about the outcome of the Sunday night game. The Browns always play the Steelers tough and the Steelers have some key injuries. Roethlisberger - Out, Batch starting in his place. Jerome Bettis and "Fast" Willie Parker - out, Duce Staley and Verron Haynes starting in their places. LB Joey Porter, may be out and I have not heard about Farrior. This is such a great rivalry, I really hope the Steelers win. Cleveland stinks.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Remember that show?

I do.

I think my parents may have watched it, it was kind of a hit during its run. If I recall, it was a bunch of thirtysomething yuppies and the drama that was their world.

They seemed old to me then. Now? Not so much.

I turned thirtysomething yesterday. It rained and I was sick. Harbinger of things to come? I hope not.

I know some of the fellow bloggers I play poker with have already passed this milestone, and some others (despite what a judge might guess) are still approaching. Some people let it pass without much thought or fanfare, others get a tattoo. Overall, I can't complain too much. I am healthy, have a great loving wife, and a great supportive family. Enough said.

For my birthday, my wife and her brother and his fiance took me out to dinner at a nice restaurant called House of Hunan in Medina, OH this past Saturday. We ate in the Tatami Room and had to take off our shoes. It was the kind of room and table where you sit on the floor...kind of authentic. The service and food was great and the best part of the evening was when I got two tickets to the Steelers v. Browns Sunday night game this November 13th. There will be 5 of us going down to tailgate and then cheer the Stillers past those stinky Browns. I can't wait. I LOVE tailgating in Pittsburgh and especially against their rivals... the Cleveland Browns. I have made the Pittsburgh v. Cleveland game the past 4 or 5 years and they are always good games. We hate the Browns and they hate us. Does it get any better than that?!!? I will get my face painted as usual and will be yelling belligerently while wearing my latest piece of Steelers paraphenilia... I have dubbed it the Hurtin' Helmet. When I put it on, even without any drinking, I immediately feel like drinking and yelling and tackling things. It is an instant and amazing transformation. So far, its use has been confined to home, the 13th will be its first real game use. "Who Rides? We Ride!!" Oh yeah Joey, you know it.

This is turning into a rambling post. My head is still a little fuzzy from being sick. I feel a weird sense of detachment from reality, and odd lightheadedness. I will conclude with some poker news.

I have been focusing on HU SNGs again and doing well. I felt lucky yesterday and took a shot at a Single Table $30 SNG. I won! The defining hand was when I called an all in with QQ and a big chip stack trying to knock out a short stack that came over top of me on the button. I was hoping to see AK or a smaller than KK pair. Doh! However, the poker gods smiled upon me and smote his wired Aces by giving my quad Queens. Talk about overkill.... I went on to win and credit all the HU play for getting me first. I was outchipped when we got to the final 2 by almost 2 to 1 and through steady and controlled pressure, I got all of his chips. I cashed out $100 to Neteller as some profit taking and kept the other $50 in UB. Nice.

Hope everyone else is having a good week and cracking with quads.

Friday, October 28, 2005

I Think I Get It

Something snapped into place recently and I am experiencing some cool things at the poker tables. For whatever reason (probably has something to do with several poker books, thousand and thousands of hands, daily poker blog reading, and general experience) I am starting to be able to put my opponent on a hand and trust my instincts that have developed.

I have been playing mostly low limit ($10) HU matches lately so this is where it has manifested itself. My hunch is that this is the easiest time to get a read on an opponent because you only have one to concentrate on and you get the opportunity to see some hands shown down. Hopefully, this will continue to the ring and tournament games.

Here is the example that semi-clarified this for me. Two nights ago I was playing a $10 HU against Jersey Cutie on UB. I had Ax in the SB and raised 1 BB. JC called and I made a continuation bet on the Q high flop. The board was diverse. JC called. River was no help and I checked curious to see what JC would do. I had employed a check raise on her previously so this was not an obvious sign of weakness. She checked. She was not the check raising type. The river was another blank and I checked it to her. She made a big bet, probably less than half of the pot. For some reason, I knew she had missed her hand or draw and that A high might take this pot. I was confident that she did not even have a low pair. I decided to trust my instinct (and my chip lead that would cushion a bad decision) and I flat called. I was right!! I did not win the pot because I was outkicked, but I was right! I had an instinct, trusted it, and it was on target. I was more excited about "knowing" than losing the couple hundred chips. I went on to win in a good match. JC was better than the average opponent at the $10 level, but still not that good.

It happened again a few times last night. I got to play one quick HU SNG and I made some good value bets and confident river bet calls. This was pretty cool and boosted my HU game confidence even more. DNasty just wrote about his expectation to cash in ~150 player tournaments. I expect to cash in HU matches. HUC2 notwithstanding, I sit down expecting to win in the HU SNGs. It is harder work at the higher levels, but I am working my bankroll back up so I can take a crack at the $50 and $100 matches consistently. I want to have the roll to sustain 10 losses in a row (possible, but not likely) before I play those again.

Not much else to post about. I am growing the bankroll again, almost to the half way mark of my previous high (and spectacular crash and burn) and I finished reading Phil Gordon's Little Green Book. It was a pretty good little read, I plan to read it again before I do anymore serious NL tournament play.

I am very happy that I had that little "Eureka" moment and confirmed it by having it a second night in a row. I think I will try and work on my hand guessing/recognition skills next. This will be a little tougher in HU play because there are many more common starting hands, (almost any 2 cards will seem to do!) but I think hand recognition and prediction will be an important part of building my game.

My favorite new HighOnPoker end quote can be found here. You keep me laughing Jordan.

Friday, October 21, 2005

1 and Done

Joined the ranks of the other first HUC participants. Veneno played a good game and I am dissapointed that I lost. GL Veneno!

HUC2 Frenzy

Apparently, I missed some good HUC2 matches last night. TripJax and Jordan both lost. That makes me kind of anxious because TripJax owned me in the first matchup. I have beaten him HU when it did not count, but in both our "regulation" matches he was the victor and a very good opponent.

Since the start of the first HUC, I found that I really enjoyed and excelled at the HU game. I was able to pad my bankroll playing my 50 game challenge and I have seen some very good and very poor players. I have seen contests end on the first hand and several break the 200 hand mark. I do not want to give too much information for free in my blog in case I make it past round 1 in this thing, but I think a post about my thoughts on good and bad habits in HU might be in order.

On a personal note, I have been running decently in the $50 matches I have been playing lately but the few forays into the $100 matches have not proved fruitful. I need to figure out if it is the caliber or player or just a bad run in these. I only have 5 in my sample and I am 2-3. Very small and obviously too early to judge, but I started much hotter at all the other dollar levels.

If you are interested in playing some of these, I have found $20 to be the most productive. It is a dollar amount that makes the time worthwhile when you win and the level of competition is pretty poor. I also have found the competition tougher on the $30 when compared to $50. This kind of surprised me, the best explanation I can come up with is the $30 has players like myself looking to move up from the $20 and the $50 has poorer players looking to get lucky and double their bankroll or something. I have not asked anyone, so these are guesses. I saw many more free flops in the $50's than I did in the $30's. You are going to give me a chance to flop a straight with 46o in the BB on a flop of 235 and then chase the dumb end with your Ace? Ok. Thank you.

I will be looking for Veneno so I can get round 1 done as soon as possible. Veneno, if you happen to see this, please e-mail me your UB username so I can add you the the buddylist. Good luck to all the other HUC2 participants, enjoy yourselves!!

Lastly, I was thinking of the blogger tourney coming up this Sunday and wondering if I should respect any raises. I have been bluffed out of too many pots by 72o with this bunch of jackals. Play it like AA and you will probably win with it like AA. I can only imagine the hammer dropping that will be going on at the Poker Star's Blogger tournament at 4PM this Sunday. 72o might win so much that it will permanently affect the statistical probabilities of this hand. Look out you trashy premium hand's Hammertime!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

"Josh Who?"

1. SOCOM 3
2. HU SNGs
3. Football
4. Motorcycle
5. SteelerSteph

I think this is where SteelerSteph views her standing in the list of things I love. It is not true, but I can see where she gets the impression. Last night is a good example.

I got home from work and she was catching up on her Tivo'd soaps so I snuck up to my office and fired up the offline mode of SOCOM 3. I really wanted to beat the game so I could unlock the extra online characters. I want to try that sweet looking ghillie suit. I got stuck on the last part of the final mission and spent a good 30-40 minutes trying to get past. I did once, the music played, the logo popped up but I did not pass the mission as I was the sole survivor of my 4 man squad. Oops.

Tired of banging my head against the wall on this mission, I decided to take a break. It was the second break actually, the first was for some grilled cheese and tomato soup that SteelerSteph made. She is a great cook, she gets it from her Italian grandmother and Slovak father..... she just does not cook that often. We eat out alot, and when we don't our food preferences are so different that she won't eat what I prepare. (Grilled fish, Oriental cuisine, Mexican, etc.) Anyway, it was a simple meal she made but it tasted soooooo good last night. I sprinkled some ground up jalepeno pepper spice on the soup to give it a kick and I demolished three grilled cheese sandwiches. They were warm, the soup spicy.....I was in love with her. That lasted through dinner and a few minutes into the Lifetime Movie Channel crap that was on the t.v. Not much can kill love faster than the "Wifetime Movies". I think that this one was about some milf that gets sucked into a cult and her kids and dad have to rescue her. Right.

With Lifetime babysitting, I see an opportunity to get back upstairs and do what I do. I take a few more cracks at the final mission and then turn to poker. I played 3 HU SNGs (went 2-1) and watched GCox money in a PLO tourney. Not big money, but I think he went out in the 20's somewhere. Top 30 paid. Congrats G. I did not feel like risking anymore buy-ins for the $30 HU SNGs when I was tired and my head was not in it so I tuned into the Monday night game.

Bad idea. Whenever I watch my fantasy players, they seem to suck. I turned on the game just in time to see my fantasy QB (Bulger) throw a pick and then get hurt trying to block on the interception return. Nerd, just let them run. Let a real football player do the dirty work. I watch Bulger get escorted of the field and return shortly sans shoulder pads and wrapped in ice. Fantastic! I was down 20+ points heading into tonight and I felt pretty comfortable with 3 players going. Bulger, E. James, and K. Curtis. Luckily, Edge had a great night and Kevin Curtis led the Rams rcvrs. with 70 plus yards and a TD. I won. In my three leagues, I am now 5-1, 4-2, 3-3 and I went 3-0 this weekend. Nice.

Life was pretty good yesterday and it looks to maintain tonight. SteelerSteph has a dinner program at a nice restaurant tonight. This is triple bonus for me. 1. Often, these doctors RSVP and then don't show. I might get some steak leftovers. 2. SteelerSteph may imbibe a little since she is just hosting and does not have to speak. 3. I will get uninterrupted guy time tonight to play SOCOM and poker to my little heart's content. So, DNasty and NewJack, if you are reading this, lets get it on GwG style tonight. If I am not feeling the love, look out HU SNGs on UB.

Tommy Maddox stinks.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

SOCOM or Poker?

Poker used to win, hands down. The cheaters/glitchers found ways to tarnish the online experience and the offline game was so so. It looks like Zipper managed to address both those things in the 3rd release, here is hoping that bears out.

I did play a few HU SNG's last night with disappointing results. The first two were against the luckiest player I have ever sat across from. I am not complaining, and maybe I have faced luckier and they didn't show, but in the first ten hands I folded good cards that had matched on the flop to very large bets on the turn and river. The person showed (nicely, and oddly....I rarely if ever show) the stone cold nuts each time. I felt good about folding to trip Aces, flopped straights and flushes. They eventually won when the cards kept going their way. I encouraged them (honestly, w/o sarcasm) to play a higher level (this was a $30) and they said they had and won two $100 so far and were going to play $30 until they lost one. The cards were really hitting them hard. I figured I could break the luck with good play (WRONG) and they accepted the rematch. It was over first hand when I got it all in with AA. Re-raise battle pre-flop had half the stacks in the pot. Flop was 345 rainbow and I decided I wanted it right there, no suckouts, or at least no cheap ones. If there was a set, so be it, I will take my chances but I expected wired 10's or higher. I push all in and get insta called by 26o. Wow nice flopped straight against my now underdog Aces. I quit, you win. I wished them more luck and decided a different level might help. I was not upset with my play, more surprised by the run of amazing cards the other person was on. Go with it.

I played a $50 HU match with a much weaker and less lucky person. Only slightly less lucky... the worst hand of the match was my pocket 5's that hit on the flop and I got their last 700 chips in on the flop. I had a 2 to 1 chip lead at this point. They flip 88 (nothing on the flop was higher than an 8, I can justify the call) and proceed to catch the magic 8 on the river. Luckily, they were so tight and passive that I had built a large chip cushion and could absorb this. I played aggressively and soon was back to the 1500 starting chips and eventually won. It took a lot of hands though because they would fold at almost any sign of aggression. I had to really slow play my monsters to get any action. Net I was minus for the evening, but not much.

I was a winner on SOCOM getting MVP two boards in a row. Too bad it was not a ranked game....

Like the title queries, the battle will continue.... and the odds are in SOCOM's favor right now. I think that I could use a little break.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

SOCOM 3 has arrived!

It came last night and I got it before DNasty did!

It is fantastic. I was blown away by the size of the maps in the game and the very first board I played had a friggin tank!! That got the ol' tanker in me pretty geeked even though it killed me the very first time. I was a crunchy so it was ok.

I saw some players run up and try to shoot the tank with their machine guns and it reminded me of one rotation at the National Training Center when there were a bunch of Kentuck National Guard Infantry training with us. This hilljacker comes out blazing with his M-16 trying to shoot our tank. He went so far as to jump on the tank and try to kill us. Finally an OC (Observer Controller - guys that patrolled our big laser tag battles) rolled up in his Humvee and killed the guy with his god gun and told him to get the hell off the tank. An M-16 will never take out a tank.

Off my tangential trip down memory lane, the game is pretty sweet. It is going to take a while to learn all the new missions and play them from both sides. There are tons of vehicles and new weapons and weapon combos to learn. Probably the most important thing to learn is the maps themselves.

Lastly, DNasty and NewJack, if you are reading this I created the clan name again last night. Geeks With Guns "GwG" is back in the house!

Poker will suffer some as I devote all the free time I can muster to getting skillz in SOCOM 3. Huah!!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Vince Van Patten's Replacement?

I had a very enjoyable afternoon grinding away at Party's latest reload bonus, MKMYDAY.

This one lively fish made it particularly fun. Look out Vince, I think we have found the new WPT color commentator. For reference here are the new Vince's stats. Impressive indeed.


After losing to my flopped straight. I had not played a hand in quite awhile and the reraise got a lot of respect, it folded around to Todd. He called all the way.

#2842026576: STeelerJosh wins $16.25 from the main pot with a straight, nine to king.
Toddnelson: you reraised with 9-10 thats a smart move

STeelerJosh: you called through the river on a draw. Smarter?

Toddnelson: cause i knew you play crap

STeelerJosh: thanks for your chips and your advice. Both are welcome

Toddnelson: you need um both

STeelerJosh: :-)
STeelerJosh: can't argue with that
*Note* - My VP$IP was under 20%, I had won the only two showdowns I was involved with

Commenting on the guy to his left that spiked an A on the river to beat my Hiltons

#2842067475: phpoker111 wins $11.75 from the main pot with two pairs, aces and nines.
STeelerJosh: nc
Toddnelson: hes a calling station
*Note* - phpoker's VP$IP was 38%, less than half of Todd's.

This one reminded me of Jordan's "It's easy with Aces".... but in reverse

#2842081859: phpoker111 wins $16.75 from the main pot with a full house, Aces full of eights.
Toddnelson: i hate aces

He kept putting in comments about the slowness of play

Dealer: HesseJam has been reconnected and has 20 seconds to act.
Toddnelson: i think he died

After making his runner runner flush. There was one diamond on the flop

#2842127201: Toddnelson wins $22 from the main pot with a flush, ace high.
Toddnelson: tilt
Toddnelson: you'll win playing like that alot

Parting shot after missng his draw

#2842139832: goodflopper wins $14.75 from the main pot with a pair of aces.
Toddnelson: you only win on river

I closed down the table shortly after he left. Despite sucking out on me once, it was very enjoyable and profitable to play with a table captain that plays 63/74 hands and takes 37 of them to showdown. Yikes!!

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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

To Defend or Not?

I was grinding on some 2/4 Limit on PP last night and watched the table go from very loose to pretty tight. After the table tightened up, a new face sat down to my right and started aggressively playing 60% or more of the pots.... and winning. I was playing tight aggressive with the second or third lowest VP$IP of the table. There were two super tight players (under 10%) and then me (16-17%). I was holding my own, endured a few suckouts (expected at limit, no heartburn for me) and was down a few BB. I was not catching much in the way of cards, but I was making up for that in stealing a few pots and getting the blinds every few orbits from my tight friends.

Here is my question. I do not focus on defending my blinds, and rarely play from the small blind. This might be a weakness, I am just not sure. Last night I tried to defend the BB three times against this loose aggressive maniac and lost all three. fitman111 was playing 2 out of every three flops so I figured he would be on some junk cards. He was, but they were hitting!! My wired 7's in the BB ran into his powerful J6o. I bet it the whole way and his second 6 on the river took the pot. Similar bs occurred two other times and it got me thinking how much should I care about defending? One of the other times was with A4s when it was raised to me in the BB by fitman111 in the SB. A decent hand HU I figured, but it lost also.

I have not seen a discussion in my limited blog reading about this, but it seems to be a prominent stat in all the tracking and overlay software I use. My hunch is it is probably more important in NL, but If you fold your BB everytime in limit, that can be exploited also. I would love to hear any thoughts out there.

My .02 after thinking about this last night - In Limit hold em, I am more inclined to fold my blinds to a raise because I do not have the power to push anyone off of a drawing hand and by a big bet and with all the people willing to call down through the river in the lower limit hold em games, I prefer to play better hands and will not worry about throwing away the SB at all and do not try to defend the BB much.

This logic would change for me in a SNG as the blinds increase, but in a fixed blind game.... I am not sure the reward outweighs the risk.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Micro-Limit Hell

I have heard that is it always darkest right before the lights go all the way out. I have also heard the lightning kills hundreds of people trying to find the silver lining of a cloud each year. I think I will risk it.

Since my blow up at 3/6 and 5/10, I have been relegated back to the low limits. The net loss was only a little over $100 but I obviously need to work on my bankroll management. Statistically, I was not tilting... my play was still tight and my aggression was controlled. I just could not win a hand. Best example? I hold QJo in the BB and it is checked to me. Flop comes xJJ. I cold call the raiser in MP. Turn is a Q giving me a full house. I now he cannot have four Jacks because I have one. Maybe he has a high pair, but I doubt it. We cap betting. By the turn I had put MP on a Jx, maybe he has paired his x giving him a lower boat. The only hand I am afraid of is QQ, but his play up until then would have been to raise pre flop with a pocket pair. I bet out on the K river and we cap again. I flip QJ expecting the pile of chips to start digitally sliding towards me and he flips KJ for a higher boat and I numbly accept it, that was how it was going that night. My VP$IP was never above 25% at a 10 person table but I won 1/18 hands I played, going to showdown on 7 and losing 6. It was unreal.

That behind me, I am now playing micro limits on UB again. I am not sure if it is a positive swing in variance, but it seems easy to me now. I placed (1,3) in the two SNG's I have played and I am making good plays in the .05/.10 NL games. During the SNG challenge, I could not buy a SNG win. So, I am wondering if my game has improved or I am just getting a good run of cards. I'd like to belive that I am getting better.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Uh Oh!!!

Poker Championship

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

This event is powered by PokerStars.

Registration code: 1270244

Looking forward to seeing all of you there....

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Set over Set

How often does this happen to you? In the 34 hands I played in 3/6 Limit the other night, I had three hands go wrong and cost me almost $130. Two hands I flopped and set and someone ended up with a higher set... one flopped it with JJJ, the other turned it with KKK to beat my flopped 999. The other hand I was semi bluffing with a nut flush draw (two of my suit on the flop) and I bet it all the way trying to win the pot. I ended the session bummed, but not on tilt. I was happy I did not start chasing and being super LAG after my losses. I am growing.

I did go to bed bummed and thinking of how I might have played it differently. Both the hands where I had sets were huge pots for me(over $200) and I really believe that people would play pocket AA, or two pair the way they did. As a matter of fact, the first set bust someone did have AA and called every bet all the way to the end (betting was capped on both the turn and the river. 3 way and one flips AA, the next flips JJ and I flip 33. The flop was K high with no flush or straight draws. Did I play it wrong? I don't know the percentages, but I gotta believe that on that board, any set will win more often than not. The second hand was similar but with me holding 99 and losing to pocket KK. I got the 9 I wanted on the flop and he got the K he wanted on the turn. Same thing, betting capped on the flop, turn, and river.

I am confident that I will recoup the loss, and I keep reading on everyone's blog the concept of "one long session" but I am wondering if anyone has some thoughts on not paying off the higher sets. My thoughts are this: I would play it the same way next time. I don't think the play is -EV. At the levels I play, many (most?) players will pay off a set with a pocket of their own, chasing a draw or flush, and with two pair. Was it just variance toying with me? (I did show the hammer after a successful drop... I drew to the 9 high straight with it beating pocket 10s) In 96 mins of play, what are the odds of flopping two sets and getting beat by an over set on each one?

I have not played much since then due to real life commitments and this has been on my mind. Hopefully, I can get my final HU match against Mourn in soon (after he beats GCox) so I can gain back my rightful position in the final and return the karm to TripJax. I know I am good enough to win this whole thing, but so far it is not working out that way?!?!

Good luck to DNasty, GCox, HighonPoker, and TripJax as they resume to the grinding, bankroll building, and bonus chasing they do so well. As soon as I win back my $130, I will be loading on Titan and chasing some PSO and Titan bonuses.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

$20 HU Challenge Completed

I finished the challenge this weekend. While it was a good moneymaker for me, it ended on a down note. I played over half of the games of the entire challenge in two days and I was running cold toward the end. I went 14-12 on Friday and Saturday. That is much cooler than the previous 24 games and brought down the entire challenge numbers. Overall, it was a good thing, I cleared almost $200 in profit and earned an 18% ROI. It was tough going this weekend, I wonder if I should start on the $30 right on the heels of my tough matches this weekend. I think I will wait for a little bit. Here are the final numbers:

W - L
31 - 19

Cash In - Cash Out
-$1,050 - $1,240


Win% - ROI
62.0% - 18%

Will keep you posted if a start a $30 or $50 HU SNG challenge. To borrow a term from Gary, my bankroll is on swoll from the challenge. I owe half of the roll to the profit in the challenge. Will try to keep building at some 3/6 or 5/10 Limit. See you out there....

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Mrs. STeelerJosh

I may have planted the seeds of a monster (I don't want to have to fight for computer time on my own computer), but the Mrs. was having a tough week so I suggested she try to some online poker to get her mind off things. She knows how to play poker and is an excellent live game player. She is in sales and is very good at reading people. She points out tells to me when watching poker on tv!! This will handicap her at online, but I was pretty confident she could hang.

First game ever was a $1.10 6 person SNG. She went out 4th and the action and the betting was a little too fast for her to comprehend. Excited by the taste, she wanted more. I suggested a HU match. She had found her home....

Match 1. She dominated the whole way. It was prolonged a little when the opponent hit their two outer on the river while all in. SteelerSteph had a good read on her and was ahead when she got her all in. She was in the lead almost the entire match and played very aggressively. My proudest moment was when she was faced with a river scare card and said, "I don't know what to do....." and 2 seconds later bet pot (720 chips) they folded and she won. The aggression seems to come naturally to her.

Match 2. Emboldened by her first victory, she wanted more. This was a tougher match against a better player than the first. Is she a natural? Should she start her own blog? You tell me. Here was the pivotal hand of the match that she went on to win:

steelersteph is at seat 1 with 1045.

steelersteph posts the small blind of 20.
turando posts the big blind of 40.

turando: -- --
steelersteph: 7c 2c


steelersteph calls. turando checks.

Flop (board: 7h 4h Ts):

turando bets 40. steelersteph calls.

Turn (board: 7h 4h Ts 9c):

turando bets 40. steelersteph calls.

River (board: 7h 4h Ts 9c 2s):

turando bets 240. steelersteph raises to 480.
turando calls.


steelersteph shows 7c 2c.
steelersteph has 7c 2c 7h Ts 2s: two pair, sevens and deuces.
turando mucks cards.
(turando has Ac 7d.)

Hand #8288761-56 Summary:

No rake is taken for this hand.
steelersteph wins 1200 with two pair, sevens and deuces.


So, that was the morning in the Steeler household. Hopefully the winning will continue on the football field tomorrow.

Quick HU Challenge Update:

I got a lot of games in last night, but the variance was high. I was a net winner, but had some bad beats and my win % dropped some.

W - L
25 - 12


Win% - ROI
67.6% - 29%

Thursday, September 08, 2005

GCox25 Victory

As I went to bed last night, I was going over the match in my head. I was not happy at all that I lost. I am not sure that I would have done too much differently. I made one or two crying calls and I missed some value bets on the river hoping to trap. GCox did not make too many stabs at a lightly contested pot without having a strong hand, he seemed ready to check them down. Will remember this if I make it to the next round with him. He won, so I will leave the write up to him. I will give myself the liberty of a short synopsis. I played well for over 200 hands and in the end got caught as the shorter stack with big blinds forcing my action. Gary played patiently and well.

In the second round, it looks like I have my work cut out for me now. I have to beat TripJax and Mourn to have a chance to advance. This is doable, but will be tough and will more than likely require some luck. Wish me luck.

Lastly, I got one match in for the $20 HU Challenge tonight and I won a pretty quick one against steelerscott again. STeelerJosh - 2. steelerscott - 0. Yay.

Stats as I get close to the halfway game:

W - L
17 - 7


Win% - ROI
70.8% - 35%

Happy to still be hanging around the 70% win rate. If I can maintain that through 25 more matches, this will be a pretty profitable challenge. It has already boosted my UB bankroll to new heights.

Monday, September 05, 2005

HU Battles

I am finding that the competition is much tougher on week nights. The matches last longer and are tougher to win. I played 4 matches tonight for a 3-1 record, with one of those being a rematch. Twice the guy rivered and sucked out on me in pots where he as all in and behind when he got in that situation. He ended up winning and I challenged him to a rematch. I asked him if he thought his luck would continue. It did not. Sweet revenge, but now I was stuck $2 for the rake.

I also played some 2/4 just to spice things up and work off a bonus. The limit hold em games still seem like a grind... just wait for good cards and play them aggressively. Easier said than done sometimes, but a winning method at the lower and mid levels it seems.

I am still running well at the HU matches, they have really increased my bankroll. I am starting to get a real feel for some of my opponents as the games progress and make good calls, good laydowns, and good bluffs. So far I am still convinced that the better player will win these HU matches. There is some variance and some runs of cards within the individual matches, but as many go over 100 hands, I think it comes down to some skill. Luck is still a factor, but you get to pick your spots much more easily with these as you do not have to worry about the maniac to your left pushing you out of pots. You can also manipulate your better opponents more easily becuase they are paying more attention than the usual amount I see in the ring games.

I hope I don't eat my words before the end of this challenge about the skill and variance, so I am thinking of setting a stop loss amount just in case. The matches have been fun, great practice, and profitable. I plan to complete the 50, but in case it runs very badly, very quickly, I will have to think about and set a figure to punch out.

Here is the latest at almost the halfway mark:

W - L
16 - 7


Win% - ROI
69.6% - 33%

Sunday, September 04, 2005

HU on laptop

For some reason, I feel very comfortable playing the HU matches on my computer at home. I have a seat, a steady internet connection and I am comfortable. I had a slight feeling of some trepidation before I sat down for my first HU match. I cleared the bonus on PP and in a cruel twist of fate, with about 10 raked hands to go at a 6 max 3/6 table, I started losing. And losing. I sat with $200, leaving a $45 reserve. Down to $100, I called in the reserve because the table was ripe. Loose aggressives hitting their flops. Very dangerous, but there was money to be made. The bonus cleared and I pulled that to the table too. I chipped up and with the hand that put me over 200, I decided to cash out. I cashed out $240.12. I guess I should be happy with that, I got my investment back plus $40.... but I am not. I invested some serious time this weekend playing and it sucked to have it lost so close to the goal. An example of what I was running into was AJ vs JJ with a J on the flop. I had the AJ. A set of 6's lost to a set of 9's on the river. Etc. It was bad, but I resisted the urge to chase and played good poker. I can take that, plus $40 with me. Slow and steady.

Since I cashed out on PP, all I have is my UB bankroll. I decided to do some HU and the results were positive (3-2) but I would have preferred (and could have easily been) 4-1. The coolest part of the day was sitting down at a table across from someone named "steelerscott". STeelerJosh vs steelerscott. I like to think the bigger Steeler-fan prevailed....

HU Update:



Win% - ROI
68.4% - 30%

Party Poker USETOWIN Bonus

I have not had any money loaded on PP since my "Cash Out Curse" but I noticed they had a 20% reload bonus this weekend. I am building a bankroll to deposit on Noble for their 100% deposit bonus, but I decided that I would risk the nest egg on Neteller to see if I could make the bonus and few bucks. I loaded $200 from Neteller and got a $40 bonus that would require 280 raked hands to clear. The bonus code gave you 7 days to clear the bonus.

Hmmm. I am going to be busy again with work this week, and I have been out of town most of last week. This equates more time for house catch up work and less time for poker. I decided I needed to play higher levels and try to clear the bonus this weekend. The only catch? I am out of town at my cousin's new house in Erie, PA. (Hi Kip) and he does not have high speed internet yet. I fired up netstumbler to see if I could find some unprotected wireless networks and BINGO! There are two within range of his house. I piggyback using my laptop and I am able to poker successfully. Occaisonally, the connection would drop for a few seconds or a minute, but overall was servicable. I began to grind at 2/4 Limit Hold Em.

It has been awhile since I sat down and made the mental decision to grind. Play only premium hands, play them aggressivley, don't chase and be very aware of position. It is not "fun" poker, but it is profitable poker. I decided to one table to keep my concentration on the other players and their style since I do not have poker tracker on my laptop. It was up and down through the first 100 raked hands with some amazing beats. I had QQ cracked twice in a row by the same guy. Both times he had junk hands and he made two pair each time. I did not panic, complained, but did not panic. I managed to hit a straight flush on him later and felt better. Overall the pocket QQ were 50% for me that day.

I moved up to some 3/6 6 max and the swings increased. The most memorable hand was my pocket 66 with a JJ10 flop. It was heads up. I raised, got re-raised and I completed. I put him on a J. The turn was a gorgeous 6 and I was only afraid of J10, 1010, or JJ. The pre flop play and my observations of this guy led me to believe he would have re-raised my pre flop raise if he had a pocket pair. I was comfortable ruling out 2/3 hands that could beat me. Since we were heads up, I decided to push... I can see this guy defending his set with AJ, KJ, maybe even QJ. There was a small concern in the back of my head that he might be holding the magic and statistically small probability J10. We capped betting on the turn (24 each) and the 8 river (another 24). Confident in my full house of 666JJ I watched him flip JJJ1010. Shit. That hurt. Not sure if I can get away from that hand in heads up. Don't have the hand history, but welcome any comments about how you might have done it differently. While there are many opinions about how to play a hand in any situation, I like to hear them and evaluate them and possibly learn something new.

I have not run the hand through any kind of probabilites calculator, but I know I started ahead (probably 54% to 46%) and even upon reflection, I think I would play it the same way next time.

That hand aside, it was fun to play limit poker again and I eventually came back from the big losses playing premuim hands aggressively. As I am writing this, I have 238 raked hands and I am up $57 before the bonus. I plan to cash out whatever I have after the bonus releases and get my focus back on the HU challenges (personal one and the public one).

Looking forward to round two of the challenge and wish the opponents left good luck.

Hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend and getting some poker in!

Monday, August 29, 2005

They're Baaaa-aack

Sweet! My favorite game on UB has returned, I wonder where it went?

Despite the fact that I really wanted to push and play one more, I only played 4 tonight and went 3-1. The first match was an "outlier". For those not familiar with statistics, that is an observation that is so far out the the standard deviations that it should be ignored lest it become an influential observation and have an exaggerated influence on the whole sample.

Nerd talk aside, the first match on the reappeared HU tables was my fastest match to date lasting a mere 4 hands. I was playing aggressive and made a bad read. For a Friday or Saturday night, it may have been ok, but this is Monday and many of the poker donkeys have taken the day off to recover from their weekend binge. I got dealt AJs in the SB and pot raised it. The BB called. Flop is rainbow 58J. He leads out with a pot sized bet and I double it, I would prefer to take this don right now. He comes back over top of me. This should be a warning, he could have a set very easily. For some reason, I feel that he is making a stand so I will stop pushing him and I push all in. I am hoping for a KJ to appear on the other side of the board and I am sorry to see a 58. I miss my 5 outs and bingo, bango it is over. I laugh, and report in my AIM chat with GCox and DNasty that it was over like that and I amused myself with my donkey play. I know I am better than this and as I advised Gary earlier, you gotta get up and do it again.

I follow my advice and proceed to do it again in three more matches. They were all much better played (and much longer) and I came out on top in all three. Nice. That brings the stats to this:



Win% / ROI
71.4% / 36%

I really wanted to play one more - 15 is a nice divisible by 5 number, but I resisted so I could post and get packing. I will be out of town the next two nights for a small office merger in my Columbus office. Wish me luck... Hope to be back on the virtual felt soon and finishing what I started. Thanks again to Jordan at HighOnPoker for turning me onto these HU SNGs. It ain't for nuttin that he is the #7 blog if yous know what I mean. Forget about it. Zoo York in the house.

P.S. - Jordan's new screen name should be "eigenvector".... that way the blogger spell check will not suggest that forHighOnPoker anymore.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

$20 HU SNG plan

With my recently discovered strength in HU SNG's, I have decided to do a 50 game challenge for myself. I started on Friday night and after 10 games, the results look promising. I went to play some on Sunday and the tab says that there are no tables available, weird. Will have to work on my 1/2 instead, still having trouble at that level... (Update - managed to drop $50 over 179 hands, played tight and well, river after river defeat. Going to keep at it, UB 1/2 is still my daddy it seems. How long can variance run bad at a level, or should I just write that level off?)


Cash In/Cash Out




Thursday, August 25, 2005

I almost regret it.....

But in my heart of hearts.....I am pretty proud!!! It is bittersweet. At the risk of sounding like an idiot I feel kind of bad saying I took out DoubleAs with the hammer. He is my "online poker hero" and being such, I almost feel like I disrespected him by using the hammer to deliver the killing blow. Frankly, I would have been happy with myself for going 119 hands with this successful mid stakes NL player.

The match I had most anticipated went down like this:

I signed on and saw DoubleAs and DNasty13 playing games already. I sat down to try my hand at some .50/1.00 NL and was promptly stuck for $25. I hung around for awhile, but did not improve much. I checked to see if DNasty was still on and noticed he was in a SNG. DoubleAs was in the same one.....coincidence? I think not!! I fired up their table to railbird and when I came in, D was at a serious disadvantage. He never caught up and DoubleAs took it home. We agreed to play next.

I did not really have time to be nervous. I have been running very strong at the HU matches and feel that I have found a winning style with these. I enjoy them very much and I feel that for low stakes, it is the closest to the high stakes games you will get as far as real strategy. You can actually think, not just play the premium hands. I honestly feel that HU is the strongest part of my game right now, I need to find a way to parlay that into success in bigger games. But I digress... this was the match that I was looking forward too the entire challenge. Even if I was slaughtered, I would have been happy to have played with DoubleAs. Outside of a tournament, this is the only game that my bankroll can afford to get into with DoubleAs. All of this was going through my mind up until the "Ding, Ding, Ding".

The game was good. We settled into a good match with an amazing frequency of split pots with the same hand. We had the same hand at showdown at least three times and split several more pots. Despite my aggressive efforts, DoubleAs took a pretty commanding chip lead. I was worried he might have some sort supernatural read on me, but I was able to bluff him off a few pots and got back close to even. The battle raged on. Around hand 100, I came back and took a small lead. I don't think I was ever more than 400 chips ahead, but I was proud that I had come back from around 600 chips to even. Then it happened.

Hand #7952280-119 at SnG-0005k (No Limit Hold'em Sit and Go)
Powered by UltimateBet
Started at 25/Aug/05 22:00:39

DoubleAs is at seat 0 with 1310.
steelerjosh is at seat 1 with 1690.
The button is at seat 0.

DoubleAs posts the small blind of 30.
steelerjosh posts the big blind of 60.

DoubleAs: -- --
steelerjosh: 2d 7h (what's this, the hammer?!?!)

DoubleAs calls. steelerjosh checks. (free flop with the hammer, fo sho)

Flop (board: Kd 7c Qs): (Wouldn't it be sweet if a duece dropped on the turn?)

steelerjosh checks. DoubleAs checks.

Turn (board: Kd 7c Qs 2c): (Sweet mother of god....)

steelerjosh checks. DoubleAs bets 120. steelerjosh
raises to 480. DoubleAs goes all-in for 1250.
steelerjosh calls.

Tournament all-in showdown -- players show:

DoubleAs shows Kh 4s. (This is my moment, he had exactly what I wanted him to have. If a 4 drops on the river, I will probably cry.)
steelerjosh shows 2d 7h.

River (board: Kd 7c Qs 2c Tc):


DoubleAs has Kh Kd 7c Qs Tc: a pair of kings.
has 2d 7h Kd 7c 2c: THE HAMMER!

Hand #7952280-119 Summary:
steelerjosh wins 2620 with two pair, sevens and deuces.


Thank you DoubleAs and HighOnPoker for making all this possible, I will recall this hand fondly for quite awhile. It was a rare event (like a Browns victory) and it must be savored and retold. Thank you bloggers for introducing me to the hammer. Ironically, it was a link off of DoubleAs blog to that convinced me of the power of the Best Damn Hand in Poker!!

Friday, August 19, 2005

168 Hand marathon

Whew. My brain is swollen right now, please forgive any typo/grammatical errors. I just played the best HU match of my challenge so far, 168 hands with Mourn. It was up and down for both of us with each over 2k in chips a couple times. There was a spectacular suckout, multiple hammer drops (hallmark of a good blogger match), and almost a thrilling comeback. I think that Mirimax just called me for the rights, I am smelling a mini series on ESPN called "Heads Up" with the Matador and the Buckeye....

Recap. It started slowly with each competitor taking a few jabs, probing the opponent's defenses. It never escalated out of control, just a controlled pounding like two well matched heavyweights. I am not promoting myself to the level of skill of Mourn, but for this game, for tonight, we were equals. I took an early chip lead, but just about the point I started feeling comfortable, it swung the other way. I slowly chipped back up and had a comfortable lead again when Mourn pushed with all in. I had him well covered, a loss would still leave me over 1500. I looked at 55 and called. He flipped 22 and I was relieved. I had earlier predicted my win with a diamond flush, and was alarmed a little when the flop contained 2 diamonds and the turn was a diamond. Funny how the poker gods like to feed you your own words. I got that uh oh feeling, but the river was not the dreaded diamond... it was a 2. Doh! Mourn apologized (unnecessarily, he risked all his chips) and I soldiered on, a little stunned. We hung around the 1500 mark until well over hand 100. At hand 157 I got a big chunk of Mourn with pocket 77 and a 7 on the flop. He had 87 and was betting into me. He called my all in bet and was not happy to see my set. The board paired on the river giving me the salt in the wound full house.

Getting winded near the end of the marathon, Mourn almost made a stunning comeback. He went all in with ~100 chips and doubled up against my A high. Next hand, same result. Back up to almost 400 chips, I was concerned. Eventually, it ended. Almost anti-climatically... so much that I don't even remember the last hand.

Thanks for the best poker yet Mourn, that match will be up in my all time favorites and I can only hope for as good a match against DoubleAs.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

4-3 seems pretty far right now...

On Thursday night, I played TripJax hoping to throw some salt in his game. That did not work out so well....

On the plus side, I saw a few things from TripJax that I had not seen in the HU SNGs so far and I immediately copied them into my game. Not going to share them here yet (it will cost you $5.25 and seat to see it during the challenge) but it was worth the price of admission.

The game was not very noteworthy. His chat knocked me off my game one hand (he implanted the hammer in my head) and it seemed like anytime I went deep, I ran into two pair. Not very fun. After he won, he graciously agreed to a rematch.

The rematch was much more enjoyable, perhaps the pressure was off? Regardless, I was really catching some cards this round and took an early lead (opposite of Round 1) and we both made some nice bets with the weaker hand forcing a fold. It was fun to play a more thinking game and not just ABC poker. One memorable hand, I saw something suspect in the betting pattern. I had middle or bottom pair and in my head I envisioned too many hand possibilities in his hole cards. His large river bet scared me off of the best hand. I returned the favor later. Back and forth until he pushed with a soooted AQ (but too late, my 56 had found a flop of 477 and turn of 5) I called his all in and evened up the bankroll for the evening (minus rake).

Thanks for the fun and the ideas TripJax. GL

I managed one more match tonight against GCox25. It was a very very good one with both of us over 2k and under 800 chips at differing times. Gary pushed hard with the hammer on several occasions and I seemed to hit the flop everytime. I dropped it once successfully. The final hand dropped my jaw and made my junk shrivel. My Poker Tracker did not grab it. Here is my recap:

I had just taken a large pot from GCox25 with a pair of Aces. He was on a draw and I pushed him all in. He folded and showed. It was a good laydown, but if he rivered a diamond he would have won. The very next hand, I raise with Q10o and he pushes all in. This is the first all in of the game and I had enough chips that even if I lost, it would be close to even again. "Screw it" I thought and pushed the call button. I half expected to see AA or KK, and I was mentally prepared for that. I knew that was a possibility when I called with my suckout hand. I was hoping for AK and a suckout by me. What he revealed was even more damaging to my psyche. THE HAMMER. That is right folks, if you couldn't read that because Gary's brass balls were blocking your view, I will type it a little lower.


I was stunned. Too paralyzed to react or type, I watched the flop. I think a Q came on the flop or the turn, I am still in some state of shock I think. I was floored. I almost didn't call. The poker gods have to respect his wielding of this blogger tool. For some reason, against all odds, they did not and my Q10 help up. Any person that can commit seppuku like that with the mighty hammer is a force to be reckoned with. I looked deep into my soul and did some serious searching.... I have to admit I would have folded it meekley there. Perhaps that is my albatross, too risk averse and too afraid of being trapped.

Hammereness aside Gary, that was a good game, very similar to my round 2 match with TripJax. Thanks for a portion of the SNG challenge winnings back. 10/25 ths of the way there.....

Missed the Action

Catching up on GCox25's blog, I see that I missed some fun last night. I was having some non poker fun, but it was still sad to read this morning that I missed a lot of poker hijinks, especially the hammer that DoubleAs dropped on Jordan!

Instead of participating in the wonderful world of AK (see hammer link) and KK (halfway down the post) suckouts, I was at an Indians game. It was fantastic. The Tribe lost, and had only two hits through 8 innings (when I left). Who cares? The Yankees won giving them another game lead on the tribe in the Wild Card Race. Fine by me.

Why the lackadaisical attitude Josh?

Glad you asked, let me e'splain why. I was living like the rich people live. This was my first experience in the Jacob Field Club Seats. It was a like a fat guy baseball fan's dream. Vendors prowling the aisles tossing out free CrackerJack, Popcorn, Hot Dogs, Soda, Popsicles, Peanuts... you name it. This was on top of the meal I had inside a very nice restaurant club area. A cheeseburger, fries, and a gyro. There was pizza, ice cream, Italian Pasta bar. All Included. It was a weird experience. I have done the all inclusive thing before, my honeymoon was on an all inclusive resort in Aruba, but this was just weird! I am so used to getting gouged but the ballpark prices, I ate till it hurt because it was FREE! So, the Tribe stunk up the joint but I did not care as I consumed a soft pretzel with cheese dip, crackerjack, and whatever the hell else they were throwing at us. For spending 0.00 dollars, it was a fantastic evening capped off by a nice traffic free ride home from Cleveland.

It is tough to explain or even write about the joys of riding at night or riding in general. Riding home from the game around 9:30 last night was nice. I had on an open face helmet and the temperature was cool, but not cold. I could smell all of the things that you miss caged in your car with the windows up and the AC on. Wildflowers, honeysuckle, wood burning smoke, fresh cut grass, name it. I kept a pretty quick pace getting out of town and eventually settled into a nice cruising speed once out of the confines of the city. I took some back roads and the long way once I was off the highway and was very happy and relaxed by the time I pulled into the driveway a couple minutes after 10. I thought about firing up the pc and seeing who was on, but I was pretty tired and needed to get some time in with the Mrs. to appease her. I figured that I would not be on top of my game and I need to be with this bunch!

Perhaps tonight I will be able to get my record to .500 or better.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

HU First Blood

I went fishing for some HU Challengers tonight and found Kipper and DoubleAs online. I watched the hammer get dropped on Kipper while he was the chip leader in a 6 person SNG. It was appreciated more than the hammer dropper would know, I am pretty sure it was an unintentional drop. It won and he showed so I think that still counts....

While waiting for Kipper, Will Wonka and HighOnPoker signed on. Wonka was ready to play so we sat. I was a little nervous for me first match that counted, but confident from my recent success in these HU matches on UB.

Match 1 - Lost first match of the HU Challenge after winning 6 HU matches in a row. The killing blow was two pair over two pair. I hung around for awhile, but never was competitve again. Congrats Will Wonka. 0-1

Next up, Kipper. It was the Battle of Who Could Care Less. Very Passive until DoubleAs encouraged me to make a move.... which I did with A10o vs an all in push by Kipper. I had him cvoered by ~700. I called and turned an A. Sorry Kipper. Blame DoubleAs!! 1-1

I would like another crack at Will Wonka, will see if we make it to round 2....

D Speaks

At 16:47PM EST on 16AUG2005, D resurfaced.....

dmmoreno: for the love of dial up
dmmoreno: no cable modem til next tuesday
SOCOMBandit: u are alive!!!!!
SOCOMBandit: sweet. Is it warm down there?
dmmoreno: f**k yeah it is
SOCOMBandit: lol
dmmoreno: its hot like sun is closer down here...
dmmoreno: You sweat from every pore in your body

Glad to see you made it down there ok D. Look out for those pesky hurricanes.... and the retired drivers. I can only imagine the horror that is a passing lane down there. People looking through the steering wheel, white knuckling and going 20 mph under the limit. It makes me think of a Soprano's scene that has stuck in my head. Tony's mother is dropping a friend off at her house after Bingo or something like that and accidentally floors it and nails her old lady friend. I laughed at that scene as I was momentarily horrified. That old lady bounced onto the hood, into the windshield and then onto the pavement. Crazy old people drivers. Then there is the South Park episode where they try to revoke their licenses. Another classic. This is what I imagine DNasty dealing with on a daily basis now that he is in the land of retirees. Good luck D. Work on those defensive driving skills or buy a beater land yacht to compete.

Dell Support Hold Muzak stinks

Everytime I call Dell for support on computers at work, I end up on hold at some point and get to experience the eclectic sonic abuse that is Dell hold music. Invariably, someone will walk past my office and stop to figure out just what the hell I am listening to. I guess I could take it off speakerphone, but I have other stuff to do while waiting on hold. It is the most eclectic mix of music I have ever experienced. I am enjoying this right now as I wait.

Since my productivity is limited by my tether to this phone right now, I figured I could blog something. Since I missed the kickoff of the HU Challenge last night due to the kickoff of the Steelers Preseason, how about that?

The opening kick off and drive got me pretty pumped up. Your defense scores 12 seconds into the game by intercepting the first pass of the game by McNabb. I'll take it. Your special teams scores by running back the first Eagle's punt of the game. Works for me. Up by 14 before Big Ben even touches the cowhide. I like it!

Overall, I was impressed by the D last night and concerned by the apparent lack of offense. I think this may change as Ward and Staley were both out, but it concerns me nonetheless. Dell is on the line now, gotta jet.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Cash out Curse

I am not a big believer in things like that, but I think I am ready to start!?

I had loaded $100 on PP and built it up to ~320. I was playing 5/10 and found it very beatable. It was like people were trying to give me money sometimes. I made the mistake of telling Mrs. STeelerJosh about this and she told me, "Good. Withdraw it." Nothing like the love and support of a significant other. I compromised and withdrew the original 100. With 220 still jingling in my virtual pocket, I sat back down the same day on the 5/10 tables. Faster than you can type, "WTF?" I was down 10 BB.

Hmmmm. That stinks, but I will just tighten up and get my mojo going again. Sure.

New table, I bring my whole bankroll and early on raise with one of my favorite hands, AQo. Not sure why I like that hand some much, but it has been good to me. Longer story short, flop KKQ. I bet and get reraised. I reraise, but I am worried. The turn brings a 10 and I check raise. The river is the A. I really don't think that my two pair is good, but I am going to take a shot. I check raise and the opponent goes into the tank. I am willing him with all my might to fold, I have seen stranger moves on PP. Tick, Tick..... damn, he has to call, this pot is huge. With about 5 seconds to go, he calls, the cards flip and I whimper. His Kx is good. I try to avoid tilt, but in retrospect if it was not tilt, it was his twin brother. I keep playing, my swan song being pocket 8's that hit a set on the flop only to be taken away from my by a four card flush. That stinks.

I had a little under 6 bucks left and I thought about making a run with it on a 5 SNG. I did not have that much time left before I had to get off, so I played some $25 NL and turned it back into 20 before I signed off.

I turned that 20 into 0 tonight at the same game. Pocket 10's ran into A5. He made a full house and IG2BN.

At least I have my original principle sitting in Neteller. Cash out curse? You tell me. The wrong side of variance. Probably.

**Side Note** - Where ya at D? Checking the blog everyday for an update, maybe you have not unpacked the pc yet?

Thursday, August 11, 2005

HU Preseason Preview

Hmmmm. I am afraid to get too happy, but I have a much better feeling going into this challenge. I have never, repeat, never, as in not even once, done well with UB SNGs. Not sure what it is, level of competition, starting chip count, blind structure.... but I do a lot better at Party SNGs. They seem to be more of a crapshoot, but I have a much better track record there.

I have never seriously played or kept track of the HU SNGs on UB. That is changing tonight. I played 4 $5 HU SNGs and won all 4. Two of them were preseason struggles against GCox25 and HighOnPoker. The GCox25 match had a nice twist. He was playing very aggressive pre flop and some post flop and I hit a Royal Floosh on him. I had the nut flush on the river, and drew the Royal with an A on the river. I really wish I had been playing on my home computer so I could grab the hand history. Unfortunately, I was playing on my laptop downstairs so it will have to live in my memory. He was betting into it the whole way. It is rare that something like that happens, gotta savor the flavor!!

So, despite incurring the wrath of the PP gods with a cashout there tonight that precipitated a -$200 swing on 5/10, I shut down the computer feeling good. 4/4 in anything is not that bad, especially HU SNGs. Speaking of 4 for 4, any bloggers in the challenge think that might be the Cowboys record four games in? Hahahahaha. Discovered tonight that while there may be some great poker minds in this challenge, there are some challenged minds in the area of NFL allegiances.

This weekend kicks off the start of it all for me, I am getting all excited to head to the open practice in Latrobe, PA and watch my beloved Steelers practice.


Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Traveling Man

DNasty has been on my mind the past two days as he packs up his life and relocates way south. It is bittersweet. I am happy that I got to see him and Mrs DNasty on Saturday/Sunday, sad because I hate goodbyes. The Mr. and Mrs. are a great couple, DNasty is a good dude. I did not see them a lot, but practically everytime I was in Michigan. I don't get to Florida.

Anyway, I was remembering the times that I drove cross country and the junk that floated through my head. I have always had a fascination with numbers, miles, times and would always calculate how much time my speeding would save me. It would go something like this - I am exceeding the speed limit by 10 miles an hour. If I do this for the next 6 hours, this will knock off a whole hour from the trip. Sweet! The only problem with this line of thinking is that it would give a false impression that this task might finish sooner. This is a false hope. No matter how fast you go, it takes a long, long time to drive across country. Now that I have a GPS, it takes some of the guesswork out and gets rid of the mental gymnastics calculating arrival time that I used to do in my head to pass the time while driving through Oklahoma (sorry GCox) or some other relatively flat state.

I wish DNasty all the best in his life change and I am looking forward to the first post from Florida announcing his safe arrival. Godspeed D.