Sloe Times

A journal of my adventures in learning and growing personally and professionally

Wednesday, June 30, 2004


Poker: Month in Review

Well, here we are at the end of June and in looking back over the month I can't be too unhappy. I played at Party, Paradise, and Ultimate Bet this month and made the move from all SnG play to working the $.50/$1 limit ring games. From a ring game perspective I spent the bulk of my time on Party, and in the last week Ultimate Bet.

The official Poker Tracker report reads:
Paradise/Ring: ($34.25)
Party/Ring: $64.91
Paradise/SnG: ($59.25)
Party/SnG: ($71.00)

What isn't reflected there is the gains in bonus collections so while the actual play didn't go over very well except on party, I was able to bring in over $400 in bonus cash. The plan for July is to refine my limit play and move up to $1/$2 once I've fully cleared my UB bonus and have $600 free and clear to invest in that effort. I'll continue to leverage poker room bonuses to build my bankroll or worst case, cover the losses while I adjust to $1/$2. The financial goal is to duplicate this last months gain so that I can move into $2/$4 about mid-August and ultimately $3/$6 by the end of the year.

Looking a little further back to the beginning of the year, when I started playing online, I've learned quite a bit. I think HDouble's post about the growth of a card player provides a fairly accurate view as far as I've gotten in my own growth. Speaking of which, I'd like to say thank you to the other poker bloggers who have provided humor, insight, and encouragement over the last few months. I owe much of my growth to learning lessons vicariously through your experiences as well as journaling my own thoughts and history.

There's been a few rumblings about a bloggers tournament and I'm anxious to see that actually come to fruition. If I knew how, I'd help fire it up. In the mean time, know that for whomever does get it going, count me in for playing. On a similar vein, has anyone thought about doing a private table type of event on party?

Sunday, June 27, 2004


General: Blogging Templates

So, I'm in the process of 'improving' my blog template. It seems somewhat superfluous since the real reason for this journal is to write and share but the neurotic style monkey in me wants it to look good too. *shrug* I'm working on some improvements that will allow me to document my poker play/learning/improvement a little better as well as just making the site more visually appealing. Anyway, if you like, or don't like what I've done, feel free to drop me a note.


Poker: Hanging with the Hilton Sisters

So I'm hanging on Paradise with Steel_Rain and playing $0.50/$1 with my meager little bankroll there. All in all, I think the ring games on Paradise are a little tougher than the ones on Party but there's still plenty of action to be had and last night was no exception. After suffering a number of second best hands my stack was getting pretty low (down to <$4) and I'm figuring I'll just wrap up a losing session when it's all gone. Fortunetly for me the Hilton sisters stopped by before I could leave.

The first hand was QQ with a flop of 2, Q, and Q. The only money made here was because I was able to cap it pre-flop with one caller. However, that gave me some momentum because I took down the next hand with A5. The next hand was crap (T3 off) so no play there and then the sisters made their curtain call. In my hand is Q, Q and I capped the pre-flop. The flop was Q, 6, 3 and I capped the betting again working it down to heads up against the same person I was up against 4 hands ago. I figured they were not going to be pushed out of a pot since I had done it before. The turn was 7 and we cap it again. I'm figuring KK or AA for my opponent, or possibly AKs spades and with that thought comes the scare card, 9 on the river. Ah well, no time to back down now. I bet, and my opponent calls, so it scared them too but with the call I was pretty happy figuring I had it. Sure enough, my opponent turns over A, A and my Queens held up to crack their rockets.

It's funny how a little streak like that will keep you around the table a little longer. I played a little more before finally calling it a night. I fully recovered from the disaster before and actually walked away up $1 which considering I got to play with my friend at the same table, and had some fun playing cards is more than I could ask for.... even though that same friend made a huge suckout the day before chasing his flush to the river. Bastard. :)

Thursday, June 24, 2004


Poker: The Low Limit Debate

So I've been going back and forth with Steel_Rain for a while on the proper way to play low limit games ($0.50/$1 or $1/$2 in this case). His position is that when the opportunity arises, you should always bet for value. On the surface I agree that when you've got the advantage you want to try and maximize the profit for your play. The part I disagree with is that with low limit "No Foldem Holdem" more often than not, when betting for value, especially pre-flop, you're only making the pot odds more in favor of the call anything, chase anything, player. I'm just starting to read Winning Low-Limit Hold'em by Lee Jones right now, and while I haven't seen anything to support my position on this, I also haven't really seen anything to dispute it either. I'm trying to sift through the 2+2 forums as well to see if there's any guidance there, but for the moment I'm just kicking the idea around trying to find some supporting evidence. Maybe there isn't any, who knows.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004


General: Streaks you don't want

So I have something called Ménière's Disease. The primary symptoms of this for me are fluctuating hearing loss and episodes of vertigo/dizziness. The later one is the real pain in the ass because you typically need to seek medical attention to resolve it. I get the sensation that I'm spinning, and it just doesn't stop. Imagine the worst instance of alcohol poisoning that you've ever experienced... spinning room, vomiting, etc... now imagine that it doesn't stop regardless of how much you purge. The annoying thing is that when the attacks come, they generally come in clusters. This last week or so has been one of those bad times so I really haven't been able to do much but hang out and wait for the next attack and sleep them off with the help of some Meclazine when they do come. The upside is that I hadn't had an attack in over a year prior to Friday so I'm looking forward to another long gap soon. Aw well, it used to be worse. The attacks also used to be accompanied by Tinnitus. Imagine a high pitched beep that never varies and goes on for hours and sometimes days to the point where you can think and focus on nothing else except for that noise. Knock on wood that hasn't occurred in some time either.

Anyway, all of this is to say that I've been out of it and will continue to be for a few more days yet.

Monday, June 21, 2004


General: The West Wing

I don't watch much television, but The West Wing is something I watch religiously. They recently wrapped up their 5th season and I have to say that all in all it was ok. That in and of itself is somewhat depressing because the seasons before it were phenomenal. This is even more underscored by the fact that I just finished re-watching season two on DVD. They've taken a relatively intense and intelligent show and turned it into 'blah' for the fifth season. I can only hope that the creative direction and feel of the show returns for what is likely to be one, or at most two, more seasons. While I like the quirky character of Bob Russell (Played by Gary Cole, as the VP) I don't think he really has the stage presence that Martin Sheen has as Jeb Bartlet (as POTUS). This leads me to believe that the end of the Bartlet presidency will be the end of the show, or perhaps there will be a comparable actor to step in and perhaps the show may take on a more republican bent by having Russell lose the election to a Republican challenger. *shrug* Just idle thoughts really. Like I said, I just finished watching the second season on DVD and thought I'd put some of my thoughts to pixel.

I'm in the process of writing an essay/guide on playing SNGs that will hopefully cement some of the habits I've picked up from experience or reading.

Friday, June 18, 2004


Poker: Very Agressive

So I'm still killing time in Neteller/cash-out limbo so that I can take advantage of some of the bonus opportunities on Party and I'm playing 5+1 NL SNGs on Paradise. I'm in somewhat strange waters here because I'm playing a lot more agressive than I usually do. In the recent past I would tend to limp in or check into the flop on anything less than a wired pair, 10s or better. This really didn't allow me to take advantage of weak tables or players... at least not before the flop. I think the fundamental philosophy I had been applying there was that if I limp in, it allows me to get away cheap if the flop misses me, and the more people involved in the pot, the more chips I'll take down when I win. Then I took a couple of days and read through a year of Lion Tales which was oddly enough inspiring on a couple of different levels. The one that relates to this is that in reading about the evolution of his game one of the things that clicked, and seems to work for me, is that being agressive (frisky is his word for it) does two things for me. The first is that it has actually made my wins worth more chips because the take downs have generally floated around the 1k area unless everyone folds out. The second thing is that, the agression seems to have kept the other agressive/table bullies on a short leash against me. This second point is the most pleasing to me because I can't imagine that anyone likes being pushed around, especially me. By being agressive I've been able to apply more control to the games I'm in and in general do pretty well. The guideline I'm using for my play is pretty simple, don't check or call. If my hand is worth playing, I'm raising. If I get re-raised then I may call or fold if I suspect a stronger hand. There are a lot of little side benefits to this in that in the past where I would have been in a pot against 5+ people by limping in, I'm now generally in vs. 3 or less opposers which I think improves my chances of taking the pot down in the first place. This also means that I'm probably in against 3 or so strong hands as well so one of the areas I need to work on is qualifying my 'playing' hands to make sure I'm not trying to make a move into a stronger hand with relative garbage. Fortunetly I think my player reading skills, such as they are, are getting better and that helps.

Here was an iffy play that worked out:
10 handed with blinds at 10/20 and I'm the BB. There are a few calls and then someone I've tagged as relatively weak raises it to 150. It folds around to me and I raise it to 260 (almost half his stack). It then folds around to him and he raises back 260 and I make it 60 more to put him all in. My hand was Qs, Jh. His hand was Qd, Ac. The only reason I think this was a questionable play is because it was QJo and I could have been betting into a big pocket pair, he obviously had some faith in his cards but my experience with this player didn't make any warning signs. The flop was 9h, Ks, and Ts followed by 2s on the turn, and Kh on the river. I hit my mark but was a bit of a dog before the flop.

Here was a play with me trying to be tricky:
5 handed with the blinds at 30/60 and I'm the BB. I'm dealt As. Ah and it folds around to the button who calls and the SB calls, with only two people in I figure I'll try to make it worth my while and raise it 180 which the button calls and the SB folds. This works for me and the flop wasn't scary with Jh, 4h, and 3s. Just in case he might be thinking about trying for a flush draw I bet it at 550 which is just above the pot and he calls. I'm not real happy about the call because if he is sitting on a flush draw, it's not outside the realm of possibility that he could hit. The turn is good news for me with Ad which I check trying to feign some weakness figuring that if he bets I'll either call or only do a min raise. He bets 160 which I raise to 320 and he calls again. I haven't been able to put him on a hand, I just know that I've got a good one and the possibilites are some sort of straight combination or a flush draw. The river brings Qd which takes care of the flush possibility, but that leaves the potential of KT or 25 for the straight. Then again, I'm not sure I can't imagine someone calling a 180 raise with 25. My thinking here is that he has either got it with KT, or he doesn't. Since I don't want to give him the chance to bluff me out I go ahead and bet 1100 which is about half the pot, but a little more than neccessary to put him all in. He thinks about it for a little while and then calls All-in. At this point I'm thinking I'm hosed, he had KT and chased it all the way to the winners circle. Instead, he turns over Jd, 9d. I'm not sure what I did to convince him that I didn't have his pair of jacks beat but I'm glad I did.

Thursday, June 17, 2004


Poker: Fun at 5+1

So I'm basically killing time to stave off going to bed (I was up late working and have to be up in a few hours for work) and figured I would while the hours away playing cards. After promptly losing my buy-in at $0.50/$1 I figure I'm probably a wee bit too tired for anything serious and wander off to play some 5+1 on Paradise The first game I sat down at, I sat around too long and too passive trying to get back into the feel of SNGs and got busted out. Ok, now that I'm warmed up, lets try that again. Game two, I come out shooting, I'm getting decent cards and the I'm also getting people to play into me.... All until I decided to get cute and backed off at the wrong time.

It's level 4 and I've got T2027, am just behind the button, and the dealer kindly hands me Ah, 9d and the table is still pretty weak so I raise it up to 160 and get one call for heads up, I'm pretty happy with that. The flop comes 5h, 8h, and 3d. Nothing spectacular but my opponent checks and I put him on a low pair and definitely not a flush draw. So I repeat the first bet, T160 and he calls. The turn brings 6h and so there is this straight possibility, if he stayed on something like 4x, not very likely since he's called two 3xBB bets so he must have a pair of fours to be in with all the over cards showing and just calling on a straight draw. He checks, I've still only got high card, but the board is all red, with an Ace high four flush for me and I'd rather this fellow just went away so I bet it at T525 and again he calls. The river brings me 8d pairing the board with 8s and leaving me with basically a high card to what I've guessed is a low pocket pair. He checks and at the time I think to myself, why throw good money after bad, and I check. This is where I think I should have been on him (on reflection) because he probably didn't have the straight, and with 3 hearts on the board and a substantial bet by me I would have been thinking flush or top pair on the turn and bailed. But then again, I've got another great top pair story following this one so I'll wrap up. So I check and he shows his pair of fours (4c, 4s) and I take away the consolation prize of having put him on his hand accurately and congratulate the player on his bravery. I lost T845 on that hand and probably couldn't get over it because while I was able to make some plays after that, I never came back and ultimately busted out 6th.

Aw well, on to the next table. $6 later I'm sitting with T1000 in the first hand of the game I'm UTG+1 and the dealer hands me Ah, 2h so I'm thinking... Hey, they're suited, connected and it's hand one, I'll limp in on the cheap with T10 and see what I see. The fellow to my immediate left has different ideas and bumps it up slightly to T20 he gets one caller and the BB and I decided to prod a little bit and make it T40 to go. That woke the dragon and the fellow to my left makes it T200 to go. It folds around to me and I think to myself, why not. This thought of course has been the downfall of many a fine session but I'm here to have fun and I'm not having fun if I'm not playing, so full steam ahead. The flop comes 6h, 4c, and Ac. I check to see where my fellow is at, and he checks. He fears the ace. The turn brings 5h and before I consciously think I've made the decision I'm shoving all my chips into the middle. On reflection, I think it was the right call, I've got an Ace high four flush, top pair, and an inside straight draw. Plenty of outs I think so I'm good. My neighbor blinks for a bit and then quips "unbelievable" before calling my all-in with his Kowboys (Kc, Kd). The river quickly comes with a 3s giving me my straight 2-6 and a double up with change on the first hand of the tournament. At this point I'm not sure what he thought was unbelievable, that I would go all in on him in the first hand against his Kings, or that he would call with second best hand knowing he was beat if I had an Ace?

The upside to this was that it got a lot of the table talking, especially when A2o (not me) took down the second hand of the game.
Oddly, I like a chatty table, it breaks some of the boredom while waiting to get a hand, and it gives me one of the aspects of the game that I enjoy most about home games, the social content. I came in 3rd in this one after a couple of aggressive moves on and after the bubble that didn't hit me on the flop and paid someone else off on the river.

The only other event worth noting is that in tournament two, I got A7 in various combinations (A7o, A7s, A7o) one hand immediately after another. The first time I took down the pot with trip 7s, the second time with an Ace high flush, and the 3rd time the dealer decided he had had enough of that and missed me entirely with the flop. Either way though, I was a force to be reconned with during this game which is why I'm still stummped over the guy hanging around with a pair of fours.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004


General: Build it and they shall come

So after getting a pointer from BoyGenius I'm using StatCounter and a shout out from AlCan'tHang I've had quite a few visitors the last couple of days. Thanks to Al for the additional traffic, and I'm sorry to the british fellow who came looking for SNG strategy only to find my ramblings on the topic.


Poker: Fishing at $0.50/$1 on Party

Nothing exciting to report except that I'm continuing my fishing at the $0.50/$1 on Party and finishing each session up, if even only slightly (+$4 yesterday). Then again it's not that hard to do when I only sit for 45 - 60 minutes at a time.... it almost feels dirty like a hit and run but it is what it is so I'll get over it. Yesterday was somewhat annoying, after 30 minutes I had almost doubled up my buy in and the wife just arrived home so I figured one more hand and then I'm gone. I've got KTs and I'm heads up against someone I had smacked around a few hands earlier. We capped out the betting pre-flop and the flop brought K,J,x to give me top pair and the person has checked so I bet it out and they called. I had em on a pocket pair and didn't feel bad when the turn brought a 9 and I raised it up to which they called. Now having played a few hands on faith I can't complain too much, but I got rivered hard when a T came up and my suspicion about the pocket pair was right when they check-raised my bet that I called to show pocket Qs giving them the straight to my two-pair. Aw well. It's times like this when I wish I could play longer because I tend to get a decent read on players pretty quickly after seeing the cards they play and how they bet and just am not able to apply endurance to busting them up like feel I could.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004


General: Blogging

I saw this cartoon and it was worth a giggle. The blog theme starts a few days prior to this one, but the song slays me. :)

Monday, June 14, 2004


General: History of the World (Wide Web)

You know, something occurred to me earlier when I was submitting my last post and the thought finally had enough time to stew that it came together. Back in about '92-'93 home pages were a lot like blogs. Primarily they were journals by students or staff doing research on one thing or another and they cross referenced one another etc. etc.

Seeing as the popularity of blogging has been, and is, increasing it was just a funny thought to note that the big ol' wheel just keeps on turning around and around. Granted things are fancier now that were in the age of Viola (mid 92?) or Mosaic (late 93, which became Netscape). Granted apparently development of Viola has kept up while Mosaic on the other hand has gone the way of the dinosaur. Back in the day, your editor option was vi or emacs (the again, your anything of choice back then was emacs for editing, reading mail, reading Usenet, etc) and the web server of choice was CERN httpd followed by NCSA httpd (which became, after Rob left NCSA, Apache).

Anyways, this link filled trip down memory lane was brought you by the letter S and the number 3.


General: I just ate $100,000

So I'm eating my favorite cookie as a snack (Oreo Double Stuf) when I actually take a look at the package after eating the first two cookies from the middle row and notice that there's a contest for $100,000 if you have cookies that spell M-I-L-K. So I look through the cookies real quick and noticed that I've got M-I in the row that I ate the first two cookies out of. So much for fame and fortune.

Dear Nabisco... Please include redundant lettered cookies in future packaging just in case.


Poker: Catching Up

So I've been taking a beating at the SNGs both on Party and Paradise this last week so I've changed up my pace a bit and started fooling around with the $0.50/$1 games in both places. So far I'm ($1.75) (196 total hands over 4 sessions, 203 min.) at Paradise and I'm $39.25 (105 total hands over 2 sessions, 92 min.) at Party. I suspect one of things that is keeping me from doing well is the amount of time I'm actually playing.

I saw something that looked really suspicious on Party yesterday, a new person comes in and sits at the table for $5 when the game finally lets him play, he caps the pot every betting round on the round he's in until he's all in. He lost, bailed and then a hand or two later so did the guy that won. Now to be fair, the guy that won did have rockets, but for some reason something about what happened didn't sit well. Part of it could have been that I lost $7 in that little exchange, but that's life. Fortunetly, 5 hands later karma came back around and made up for it.

I'm UTG+1 and dealt Qh, Kd. UTG folds, I call, everyone else calls (5 handed). The flop is scary with 8c, As, and Jd. I'm looking for a Tx and thinking to myself is it worth the call to chase it. Somehow I rationalize that it is (I couldn't tell you why really, I just felt that it was my turn) and called. Four of us are still in it at this point and the pot is sitting at $4.5 when the turn brings me Th and I'm on easy street with the nut hand. The button bets and I raise it. The person to my left folds but the other two call. Going to the river, there are 3 of us and the river brings 7h so now life is good and about to get better. The button checks and I bet only to get raised by the fellow to my left. The button calls and I raise it up again and the fellow to my left caps it leaving me and the button to call. Payday baby! The button had two pair As and 8s. The fellow to my left had a J - 7 straight. I took down what I concidered to be a monster scrape for this type of table of $21.50 with my A - T straight.

Friday, June 11, 2004


General: Busy

I've been busier than a one legged man at an ass kicking contest so I won't get any posting done until this weekend.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004


General: Iggy's Cat

I was just doing my afternoon trawl of blogs and saw Iggy's post regarding his cat. First, I'd have to say that my wife is the animal person in the family, but my cat is truely the animal I appreciate most in my house. He's 24 lbs and looks like a tubby russian blue. I'm fairly certain that he isn't but he is crotchety and runs the house and its people in a manner that allows him to live the life of luxury he desires. Despite the muttered oaths to turn him into guitar strings when he trips us up while walking or when he uses his dagger like paws backed up by his massive weight to kneed us into the appropriate place for him to sleep he's not someone I can imagine not being in our home. I'm a guy but I'm honestly not sure how I would take having Oscar die of anything other than natural causes. I'm not a religious person but I feel for you and yours Iggy and hope for the best.


Poker: How to beat SNGs

Please deposit $20+2 for the next 5 minutes, thank you.
That's a heck of a claim to make don't you think? Me, telling you, how to beat SNGs. It's not like I have a super stellar win record or bankroll to reflect the sage advice I'm claiming to have. Regardless, I do know how to beat them; this is really great advice, now if I can just convince myself to pay attention I might also be cracking them regularly. Beating an SNG I think boils down to playing it in three distinct phases. Through practice and strict adherence, the following approach has put me into the final 3 of any SNG that I've ever played in. Deviations from this approach have cost me more than I'd like to think about so for crying out loud Sloejack, pay attention!

Pre-Play Ritual
Get rid of all the possible distractions that you can. Figure that playing just one SNG is going to take about one hour to play through and you need to focus. Find a place where you can get away from the people and things in your environment that may cause you to stop thinking about the game for even a few seconds. Get yourself something to drink, something to snack, and please pee before starting a game. With the preliminary activities out of the way, lets move on to phase one.

Phase One: Pre-Bubble Play
Class, repeat after me, "I am a tight, tight, folding machine." SNGs are freeze out tournaments, so survival is the key. During this phase of the game, you should only be playing premium hands, and more importantly watching all of the other players. Premium hands means any combination of cards from AA - TT. You can play other hands if you can do it cheap (SB call or BB check) but playing anything else should be done with caution. Aside from surviving, you have two other objectives during this phase. First is observation, you need to pay close attention to the other players at the table. You're trying to identify who the weak/strong, tight/loose, passive/aggressive players are. You're second objective is to build a solid table rep. This rep will provide you with additional strength in later phases, especially if you play and win with a few premium hands.

Phase Two: The Bubble
The bubble is the point in the game where there are 4 or 5 people left at the table. Placing in the money is within your grasp if you can avoid losing your nerve and chips to the other players. Remember, you are a tight, tight, folding machine. You're looking for reasons to preserve your chips. Busting someone out is important but not at the risk of being mortally wounded or eliminated yourself when you call someone's all-in with something as marginal as top pair or a four flush. Yes, your odds may be pretty good, but if you're busted out, you don't get to recharge and make a comeback. Now, because you've been a tight, tight, folding machine and have hopefully played and won with some premium hands up to this point you can loosen up just enough to exploit the weak and passive players still remaining at your table. You have been paying attention and know who they are right? Remember though, at this stage in the SNG the short stacks love to go all-in, hoping to get lucky, or hoping someone will double them up with their strong hands. Be careful that you're not calling an all-in just because you think the bettor is just trying to steal your blinds. They may very well be, but is your hand worth risking doubling someone up, or getting busted out just to try and catch someone at a bluff? If the answer is no or maybe, do yourself a favor and fold. Keep watching the other players; you're going to be up against two of them in a few minutes.

Phase Three: You're in the Money
At this point it's down to two or three players and the rules change. Now your only thought should be eliminating your opponents so that you walk away with that 1st place prize money. Depending on where you sit in terms of chip stack, you need to determine if it is better to be somewhat passive and let the other two players beat each other up until you're heads up against one of them, or possibly to play aggressively and try to push your opponents around. Regardless of how you play at this point, you're going to walk away with something so I recommend playing the best, most aggressive game that you can because if you are too passive, the blinds may force you into playing bad positions as they build up to that 500/1k and 1k/2k level.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004


Poker: Gearing up for a new month

I finally got part of my bankroll moved over to party last night so I'm good to go on both Paradise and Party. Today marks a new month since I started keeping track of my stats and wins/losses so I'm going to be working over my bankroll status later today to better match what I had in mind for tracking my progress. I'm also in the process of writing an essay on my strategy for playing SNGs. Not much else to report right now, played a couple of 5+1 SNGs on party with a 2nd and 3rd result. One of the things to get used to there, and this may just be an anomoly since I don't have a lot of experience there yet, is the eagerness of the players to shove all their chips in. This isn't something I've seen a lot of on Paradise (not that people don't shove, just not at this frequency). Aw well, the change in play style keeps me on my toes and I will adapt and overcome.

Monday, June 07, 2004


Poker: The Quest for All Around Goodness

So I'm back at the tables and I come back to a nice cold streak of cards. I figured that it was time to make a real try to come back after the pummeling my bankroll took at the $200 NL ring table I'd do a few strong games of 20+2 or maybe some 30+3 and build the bankroll back up. Well, nothing doing there. I sunk down to around $200 on party and figured that maybe a change of scenery would help. I pulled $100 out of Paradise to move over to Party and see if the move and new faces changes things up a little. I do like the party interface a little better than Paradise (being able to type in my raises rather than mess with the damn slider is a big improvement) but one of the things I had forgotten about is that in the SNGs on Party you start with T800 and not T1000. Ok, no big deal really. Let's check the highlight reel for last nights game. For the record I was playing on free money. Apparently, Party deposited $20 into my account at the end of last month for a reason I don't understand. But since my transfer to neteller hadn't completed yet, I was happy just the same.

I'm sitting tight through the first orbit, had tried to play a few hands, but the folks on Party, at this table, like to throw their stacks around, there were two people gone before the first orbit completed and things calmed down. Blinds are 30/60 and I'm UTG with Kh, Ah. I go ahead and raise to 110 figuring that the uber aggressive fellow to my right who is the BB will try to bully me out of the pot and I'm rewarded with a raise making it 300 to go. The flop comes 4h, 3s, 2h and I'm relatively happy with that until Mr. HyperAgro bets 1000 (I've only got 410 left) putting some serious weight on me. Well, if I fold I'm down to half my stack and the bully to my left who's been stealing pots after a lucky suck out in the beginning will just get bigger so I'm pushing my chips to the middle. This turns out to be the right play because the turn brings me Jh giving me the nut flush to his pair of 7s and he's drawing dead to the final card, 3c, giving him two pair. Hurrah, I double up and live to play another hand.

I don't get to play another hand until much later mostly because I'm trying to play it tight and survive until the final 3. The blinds are 100/200 now and I'm down to 1155 and the bully to my right is running away with the game at 4652. *sigh* I'm UTG+1 and catch Kd Kh. Every other play from the field has been all in, so I follow suit and shove. My only caller is the BB who was down to 176 after the blind. Nothing helped him out and the field drops to 4 and I'm sitting second in chips.

I'm the BB and have 1431 after paying the blind. The deal comes Th, Jh and the button shoves. I'm thinking that this is a steal attempt and the hand while not the greatest is not too bad and I call. I'm heads up against a pair of Qs and while the flops pairs the ten, nothing else happens and I'm down to T599 and officially the low man and the blinds are about to go up to 200/400. I catch a pair of 7s in the hole and UTG bets 400. I probably could have/should have folded and taken my chances as the BB but I figured this may be as good as it gets and shoved. I'm heads up against Jd, Th and not feeling too bad. Yes they're over cards, but maybe I'll hold up. I was even thinking I was in real good shape when the flop brought 5h, 6d, and 8s. Now with my 7s I've also got an open ended straight possibility. Then comes the first nail on the turn, Js. The final blow comes with Ah on the river and my 7s fall to his Js. I'm out in 4th and that's the ball game.

Played a home game with my friend Steel_Rain and his brother. Met a couple of good guys there as well, looks like it may become a regular event. The lessons learned in this session were that 5 card draw and 7 card stud are not good games for me. I held my own for about 5 hours before busting out but there wasn't an opportunity to make any moves because two of the guys were calling stations that were getting whittled down but you definitely needed to have something because even the strong possibility/threat of a better hand on the board wouldn't scare them out of a pot. Aw well. I picked up another book while I was on vacation. I grabbed Doyle's Supersystem book and am about half way through the 7-card stud section now. My current plan at this point is to put in some more study time and become a better all around player. I'm ok with my Hold'em game right now but with some more live games on the horizon I figure I want to shore up my knowledge of how the other forms of poker really work and maybe learn something I can take away to improve my poker game in general.

Sunday, June 06, 2004


General: I'm Back

I'm back from my vacation. It was nice to get away and not think about work and not have to do anything but lounge and hang with family. Granted, I didn't go anywhere super special, I mean it's not like Amarillo, TX is the hotbed of any activity unless you count the occasional rodeo or some other large event rolling into town. I suppose that's part of why I like the place. It's somewhere I can go and not feel obligated to 'see the sights' or do anything I don't damn well please.

In my wanderings around town, I decided to do a hunt for the best beef jerky I could find. Now, aside from the lame national brands that seem to have somehow found shelf space in the stores there, my findings boiled down to three contenders. The first was recommended as a great one by my family, it's called "Dead Mans Land" and the only place I could find it was at Panhandle Salvage on Western just south of I-27. Their jerky comes in two types, "Mild" and "Hot". I tried the hot since I like a little kick to my jerky and it was ok, still too many preservatives and stuff for my liking so moving on from there I found Ede's. Ede is a meat market south of town on McCormick Rd south of town (I-27 will get you there, just head east on McCormick off of 27). They have only one type of jerky, Hickory smoked. This was pretty good stuff, and my wife's favorite. It is almost good enough to make up for the fact that there's no hot/kick to it. Last, but most definitely not least I found a new startup place called Norlander's also on Western, just south of Panhandle Salvage in the Business Park. They've been open a few months but Michael and Tina (the two owners) are a friendly couple with a great jerky. I taste tested everything they had except for the teryaki flavored stuff and just couldn't get enough. Aside from the Teryaki flavored one they have 'Regular', 'Peppered', and my favorite 'Peppered+'. It comes thinly sliced in bite sized chips that's perfect for just keeping a bag handy wherever I go. The downside here is that because they're a new outfit they haven't gone much further than their retail outlet so the supply I have will have to last until the next care package from mom. There's a few online outfits that carry/ship jerky I wonder if I can pimp them against each other and be able to get a good source of jerky without the hoop jumping. Anyway, I'm back. I'm gonna go get some poker in tonight and see how a week of rest has done me.


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