Monday, December 24, 2007


To all who happen across this, hope this holiday season finds you happy and well.

And a special thanks to Mookie for crafting my new ornament:)

Merry Christmas to all!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Words fail...

Some time around 2am EST amidst the excitement of planting the biggest, juiciest cherry I could ever imagine atop my very own BBT2 sundae, a funny thing happened...I was reminded that despite any progress I had made as a poker player, my blogging skills are laughably unrefined. I wanted to throw up a picture of the final leaderboard--much like the one above and complete with obligatory BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM! header--but damned if i couldn't manage to get into my own blog without my computer freezing up. Then when I did, the best I could do was attach a file list screenshot (not very exciting). Finally I quit, after several unsuccessful attempts to preserve this, my single greatest achievement in poker-to-date, for all of posterity.
This morning, a miraculous thing friends did it for me.
As I sit and write this, I am still humbled by the compliments and respect that have been paid to me through the various blogs and comments across our not-so-little-anymore blogging community. Elated to say the least, but humbled.
My sincerest thanks go out to Al, Mookie, Don and of course, my boy Hoy. You guys have put together something pretty spectacular here. And to all who have offered their congratulatory praise, thank you for helping to remind me that poker is a game of people played with cards...and that this particular group of people is better than most.
It will be an honor and privilege to represent you all in Australia.
Thank you.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


OK...before I get ahead of myself. Yes--I know--its the dookie. And turbo HORSE is only slightly below turbo razz and HOY's turbo 6max on the bell curve of supreme donkishness.

That having been said, I managed to talk my little brother into signin' up tonight, despite the fact that he has limited experience in each of the individual games and NEVER played in HORSE format prior. Care to guess what happened?

Wait for it....

Waaaaaaaaiiiiiitttt forrrr itttttttt........

So, little brother, this one's for you. Great job!

Thursday, October 25, 2007



The World Series (of baseball) started last night and that was the only way I could think of to describe my excitement level. After following a team through 162 regular season games (thank you directv baseball package) and 2 playoff series, not even Tim McCarver's innane ramblings can kill the excitement of starting lineups and the Star-Spangled Banner. Top that with your ace pitcher striking out the side to open the game AND watching your ROY candidate 2nd baseman hit a homer in his first world series now I'm not even sure geeked covers it.

As was the case Sunday, a big Red Sox game coincided with some BBTwo poker--unfortunately the results were not quite the same. For starters, the Sox had essentially blown the game open by the time the Mookie launched--so I don't really have the distracted excuse for my sub-par performance. Suffice it to say, I played too tight, got short and ran my small pair into Blinders' pocket queens ending my night. Looks like that elusive first Mookie title will have to wait another week. The night wasn't a total loss tho as I eeked out a victory in "Name that Donkey" and managed a 2nd place Dookie finish. Thanks again to Buddy and Sean for their endlessly amusing broadcasts and congrats to Riggstad and Iggy on their victories.

Game 2 and Riverchasers tonight...cya then!

Monday, October 22, 2007

(and oh yeah, bubble-boy takes down the Big Game)

Where to begin? I spent the early evening hours of Sunday in a bit of a beloved Red Sox were about to play yet another game 7 to decide the American League pennant. I was feeling much the way David Ortiz described the team's mood --Confident, NOT comfortable, but confident. So as I sat down to watch the game, I couldn't help but feel a bit ridiculous signing up for the blogger Big Game. I mean, unless the game was decided in the first 2 innings, there was no way in hell poker was going to be anything but a mild distraction. But I figured, what the hell..I have the tokens, and its the BBToo. So F'it...Im in.

In the early going, things went about as I'd expect....preflop raise here, missed flop there. Nothing to write home about (or here for that matter). As I got short I made a nice squeeze move with pocket 6s (sorry cmitch) and got called by pocket 5s. A nice double up there kept me around through the first break but several dozen unplayable hands later found me pushing pocket 3s into aces. Miracle 3 on the flop and I was feeling the thrill of my first dirty suckout in ages. Pocket kings to Kat's AQ moved me up the leaderboard and I floated along as the tourney field shrank.

Somewhere in the midst of all this, the Sox broke out in the 7th as rookie sensation Dustin Pedroia cranked one to Rhode Island. I was smellin' a pennant when Tripjax pushed his ATo into my jacks and-irony of ironies-made his runner-runner straight on the river versus MY trip-jacks. With half my stack decimated I somehow managed to work my way to the final table, then the money, then headsup with none other than Trip. This time luck was on my side as I managed to overcome a 3 to 1 chip deficit to take down my first Big Game title after about an hour of headsup play. As it happened Trip and I got it all in on a king hi flop with me holding pocket kings and trip holding aces. Tough break for Trip, but he played great and we both know he's had my number on his fair share of occasions.

So all in all, A great night. Sox win the pennant, I win a little respect (not to mention cash). And in the end, I learn that luckboxery can be a blast if it happens to hit you at the right times.

Who knew?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Online Poker

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

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

Registration code: 9215620

maybe this'll help

Monday, April 16, 2007


Not much to report here...the title kinda says it all: points yes, cash no. With nary a playable hand and a huge stack to my left--an alarmingly consistent fact of my life I've found--I had to revert back to the check-fold survival strategy. The "make-or-break" hand may have been right on the points bubble when I found pocket aces in the SB. With blinds of 100/200 and a stack of about 2600 the action went as follows:

cmitch minraisese to 400 (at least i think it was cmitch)
smokkee calls on button for 400, pot now 1100
Both have me significantly outchipped by a factor of about 3--perhaps more.

So my options are to (A) smooth call and hope i don't get outflopped.
(B) Reraise and commit to playing out of position against at least one caller
(C) Push and hope one of them puts me on something like AK/AQ and decides to call with a medium pair or better. Or even better, they put me on a smaller pair and figure to chip up with one of those hands.

The first option I don't like so much because despite the fact that I'm holding the momentary nuts, a lot of boards would be reasonable for them to play to a showdown. With a small stack and worst position, I'm at the mercy of the cards, and I've given them dirt cheap odds to crack my aces. My thinking on the second hand was similarly based on our relative stack sizes. Im seeing this hand through to the end, so even the raggiest of draws could lead to a suckout. After all, it is online poker.

In the end I elected to push and hope one of them thought i was being cute with a squeeze or one of the hand scenarios described above. After cmitch folded, smoke did the right thing and released and i made it into the points continuing my turtle-sque quest for blogger supremacy. My evening ended when I got allin with AK suited vs. JJ and QQ. No help came, and I go home lucky number 13.

Heh...who knew smokkee's screen even HAS a fold button? I'll have to adjust my notes.

See y'all at the Wil.

Irony. An inconsistency between what you think should happen and what actually happens. For example, a well-educated guy who in the real world seemingly never shuts up finding himself at a loss for anything to put on paper....or a blog. Sad really. Because with each passing day the block gets thicker and thicker and i find myself in danger of becoming "that-guy-who-only-has-a-blog-to-justify-playing-in-blogger-only-tournaments-but-never-really-posts-anything-on-it." A horrible state to be in, let me tell ya, not only because of the tremendously cumbersome title, but also because, quite simply:


But I think I've come up with a solution. As I've struggled to get this blog off the ground I've become more and more impressed with the die-hards who can crank out thoughtful, interesting posts on a daily basis. And while I recognize that daily posting is probably not within my capabilities, being interesting and thoughtful oughta be. But like I said, I need a little kick-start. So beginning this week, I will be soliciting suggestions for blog-topics from the community. Just throw out an idea in the comments section of this blog, and if I turn it into a post--I'll buy you into a blogger-tourney of your choosing (Mondays at the Hoy, The Mookie, Riverchasers....heck I'll even swing over to Pokerstars and buy you into the Wil if you like). I do also reserve the right to respond to criticism by others--and that in and of itself doesn't warrant a buy-in, no matter how pathetic your cries for help may be. So good luck, and thanks in advance.

Moving right along to the Big Game last night, I abandoned my check-fold strategy in favor of some actual poker playing. Unfortunately the results were eerily similar--i.e. deep run, points, no cash. But I did have fun with this hand:

At the time I thought I had played the hand pretty well; imagine my surprise today when I learned that I had mistaken boredom for another shining example of Waffles' D-caliber play. OOOOPS! My bad. You see, as of late, Sir Waffles has decided to take pot-shots at my play. Im not sure why, exactly, but I can't help but relish the irony. Because make no mistake about it--pointing in each of the BBT tournies without cashing is a dubious accomplishment--but then again so is luckboxing your way to one blogger tourney win in 8 months. My record speaks for itself, and no amount of verbal diarrhea can change yours.

So Waffles, if you're out there, let me leave you this thought to ponder. A 13 week tournament series is kind of like a golf tournament. Winning requires several rounds of consistent play with a few big shots thrown in at the right time. To win the big prize you have to be within striking distance when it gets to crunch time -- 7th place through 6 events does just that. I know this, Tiger Woods knows this, and YOU should know this: you don't want either one of us to even be able to sniff the lead come Sunday.

See y'all at the tables.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


As bloggers appears that I am not very good at posting on a regular basis. I mean, if you--the reader--are going to take the time to read something I've posted, the LEAST I can do is make it worth your while. Problem is, I've been having difficulty coming up with anything earth-shattering to share. Because really, who wants to read about this:

Or this.......

Incidentally--kudos to Wil for being at the forefront of tournament innovation with his bold selection of "Heads-Up Pot-Limit Omaha" for this week's second chance Tuesday tourney. Unfortunately No-Limit GUTS was not available as an option, so we'll have to make do with Pot-limit O8 for next week. (SEE??? even the jokes are lame!!!)

Thank God the Big Game's coming so I can check-fold to the money and still have nothing to write about. See y'all then.

Monday, February 19, 2007


Today I'd like to take a break from the apparent uber-post I'm composing regarding last week's O8B tourney and put up a quick post that's a little more strategy oriented....and I know what you're thinking; considering there is virtually no strategy discussion in my last post, that shouldn't be a very difficult task. Hey, it's my blog, and if I wanna ramble on aimlessly about my daughter, or my lack of enthusiasm leading up to what would be the biggest cash of my life, then that's my prerogative, right? Besides, I happen to believe that there's a helluva lot more to this game we love than just cards and probabilities.

Anyway, I was hoping to solicit some opinions regarding a hand that occurred very early-on at my table in the FTOPS Main Event. For those who don't know, the main event was a super stack tourney--a rarity as far as I have seen at Full Tilt--as everyone started with T5000 as opposed to the usual T1500 of nightly guarantees or T3000 of the weekly double stacks. Personally, I had never played in a tournament of this structure, and part of why I found this hand interesting the role that structure played in how the hand evolved. Also, I would like to initially present the hand in as generic a fashion as possible so as not to bias the responses. OK? Here goes...

As I said, this was very early on, inside the first level of the tournament in fact. The table to that point had been playing decidedly tight, and all players involved had roughly their starting stacks. Blinds were 15/30 and the action went as follows:

UTG player A min raises to 60
Player B, to UTG's immediate left, re-raises to 240
Pot is now 345, action is folded around to the small blind, player C
Player C re-raises to 810, making the pot now 1050
Big blind and player A both fold
Player B pushes ALL-IN

Assuming neither player has demonstrated any particular tendencies and this is the first time they are playing against each other, I would like you to consider the following:
(1) What range of hands do you put each player on given the action thus far?
(2) If you were involved in the hand how would u play:
AA? AK? KK? QQ-JJ? smaller pairs?
*for this one I'm interested in how you would play them from
either seat*

So if anyone happens to read this, I look forward to your thoughts. And I promise to get to the point about my FTOPS tourney soon.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Valentine Validation
Ahhhh...Valentine's Day. The original "Hallmark Holiday." A day for lovers to express their undying devotion in the form of chocolate and greeting cards. Its also the day when, as my dad once told me
"You better come home with flowers....or don't come home at all"
Funny, dad never said anything about poker.

This year's V-day was a little different than years past. Dinner was out from the word go thanks to my daughter's dance lessons, so the possibility of playing that night's FTOPS event was never in question. Although, I have to admit it was fun pinning the blame on explain, a quick seque if i may.

About a month before Valentine's Day, I was as I am every night, playing on Full Tilt, when hoy pops onto the IM

Hoy: hey man, jump in this FTOPS sng sat with me
ME: i don't know, im kinda tired
Hoy: c'mon it'll be fun...its O8B
ME: ugh...u know I hate O8B
Hoy: you'll be cool if u do....

Now, I should point out that I was not a big fan of O8B at the time, and hoy frequently uses the peer pressure large part because he knows it irks me. But, i figured what the heck, and signed on. About ten minutes in he adds

Hoy: oh, btw, its on Valentine's day....that's not a problem is it?

Greeeeeeaaaaaattt. So now I'm in a satellite that if I win I get into a Wednesday night tourney that's sure to go late AND as an added bonus--there's a pretty good chance the wife will be none-too-pleased.

Well, needless to say, I did in fact win the satellite seat. I'm also happy to report that my wife handled it like a pro...

ME: Uh...honey. I..uh....won a seat into one of those FTOPS tourneys last night.
Mrs.JECIIMD: That's great honey.
ME: Yeah....uh....there is one glitch tho.
Mrs.JECIIMD: Oh...(growing suspicious)
ME: It's on Valentine's Day.
Mrs.JECIIMD: Oh.....(pause for guilt inducing hug)...That's ok..(kiss)...
I don't need some Hallmark Holiday to know how much
you love me. (another kiss)
And then, the kicker a'la Adrian from Rocky II...
"Win" pressure.

The passing weeks did little to improve my enthusiasm. My game was on life support, as was my bankroll. Thanks to a UIGA-induced reluctance to keep any significant amount of funding online, as well as a frustrating stretch of non-cashes, I found myself in the days leading up to FTOPS#6 playing in a myriad of low-stakes sng's and...sigh...full tilt point satellites. It was a true low-point in my young online "career."

When the day finally arrived, a snowstorm closed the dance dinner was back on the table. And for a brief moment, I actually considered skipping the tourney in favor of a late reservation. Like I said, I was in a bad frame of mind when I sat down to play....and found Toto Leonidas sitting to my immediate right.

Now anybody who watches poker as much as I do knows that Toto's a dangerous, aggressive pro. And though I'd never seen him play anything but NLH, I figured I was in trouble. Two thoughts immediately popped into my head:
(1) At least he's to my right
(2) Maybe I won't miss tonight's episode of "Lost" after all.
I realized that the table was giving a lot of respect to Toto pretty early the random donkage was kept to a minimum. Noone wanted to mess with him unless they had the goods, so i was able to play a fairly textbook style (yes, i've read some on it) throughout the first hour or two. I even won a few hands off him in the early rounds, building confidence and accumulating chips. He too managed to build a big stack early, but I used my position effectively to chip away some. Eventually, he took a few beats and I found myself with a fairly decent stack....which i tried to donk off in an ill-advised fit of bounty hunting....and soon he was gone.

That's when it got really fun.

[to be continued...]

Thursday, February 01, 2007


I have a secret...and it's a doozey.
Fortunately, noone reads this blog--so I feel its safe to share it here.
But if you happen to have accidentally come across these words, please, I implore you--don't tell anyone.

I'm a fonkey.

Or at least that's what my boy would have you believe. And you know what else? He makes some very valid points. As a general rule, playin' AJo against an allin reraise is a loser. Plain and simple. No Sklansky-esque typeset necessary--but nice touch just the same. Then again, I can't remember the last time I peeked at my hole cards and thought,


Now before this turns into one of those he said, hoy said "rant battles"...I need to be clear about a few things; first and foremost, there are few blogger opponents whose game I respect more than Hoy's. My own game has improved on practically a nightly basis from the day I first started playing with him. For that my good friend, I can only begin to thank you.

Second....and this is the part that's gonna sting.....he overplayed his hand and got caught.
There. I said it. No takin' it back.....Now I know what he's thinking -

"I couldn't possibly disagree more"

But its true.

Not because the hand I was holding was so good, but because I was able to accurately put him on a range of hands that told me that I was not likely that far behind, if at all. And that he was banking on the fold that never came. At that point, the cards became secondary.

A simple fact that often gets lost in our blogger discussions is that we tend to overemphasize statistics in order to make sense of the play in question. We do this because its tangible and reproducible. But we forget that playing better cards does not make us better poker players. Recognizing good situations to get our money in the middle and acting on them is what makes us better players. And stringing together a bunch of those situations mixed with a little luck, that's how we win tournaments.

So was mine a great play? Not especially. But a solid one nonetheless, given the circumstances. And if that makes me a fonkey, well a fonkey I be.

Friday, January 26, 2007

For some time now, I've toyed with the idea of starting up a poker blog...which is funny when you consider that until about 6 months ago, I wasn't even sure what "exactly" a blog was. Then I ran into an old friend (drraz) at a token SNG at full-tilt. In what is unquestionably the coolest moment I have yet to experience at a poker table, I was able to re-connect with a guy I had seen or heard from for many years. In a previous life--one before poker that is--I considered him one of my most trusted friends until our careers took us in different directions and we lost touch. In the years between, we had each picked up the game and sought to conquer it. Then through dumb luck alone, we found ourselves playing poker together via the internet...I wonder if the boys in Washington would appreciate that as much as I do....probably not.
Soon after, I was invited to join a regular private tourney on pokerstars "mondays at the hoy", where I was introduced to an eclectic collection of poker addicts known as bloggers. Like I said, I wasn't too sure what a blog was. Thankfully someone was more than willing to help...

ME:so...uh...what's a blog?
Mr. Helper: blogs are ghey

Needless to say, I was not in a big hurry to start blogging after that exchange, but I was curious; so I started reading in search of my own definition. I found strategy posts, rants, blatant honesty and complete fabrication; soon, I knew what a blog was...but I didn't know what it was I had to say.

Truth is....even as I type this, I'm not sure what it is I have to say, or for that matter, whether anyone would care to read it. But what the hell, life's about trying new things, so here goes nothing, right? Hopefully I'll be able to offer a unique perspective on poker and life as I see them.

One thing's for sure--the blogger community has become an invaluable resource in the expansion of my game--and I for one think its time I started giving back.

Not chips though...those I think I'll keep.