Thursday, July 26, 2007

Table Profiles 007: Samnesia

General Profile: Sam is a great guy. He pets his dog. He loves his kids. He donates to charity. Well . . . he donates to you, anyway. Sam's problem is that when he tilts, he really tilts good and hard. He'll berate you for your play.

But Sam's REAL problem is this: He can't remember. He can't remember five hands ago, when he made an even worse play against you. It's not malicious. He just really thinks you're dumb for pushing with your 13 out hand and then catching 'lucky' on the river, and he just . . . Can. Not. Remember. . . the circumstances surrounding his own gutshot straight suckout.

Natural Habitat: You'll mainly find Sam in ring games, but you'll also find him in such diverse locations as basketball pickup games (arguing about fouls), in front of you in line at the local pizza joint (complaining that he ordered a large, not a medium) and even in tattoo parlors (getting a huge chest tat reading: JOHN G MURDERED YOUR WIFE).

Strengths: Often a fairly solid, if chase-y player. Unaffected by dramatic irony. Understands basic poker theory.

Weaknesses: Has trouble actually applying basic poker theory. Overcounts his outs, undercounts those of his opponents. Suffers from splitting headaches ever since the head trauma that caused his condition. Easily manipulated by crooked cops.

Motto: You must be the luckiest @$%#%@ in the world, just keep getting rewarded for junk.

Favorite Hand: Ace Ten offsuit.

In the iPod: He's had Culture Club's Karma Chameleon on repeat for the last seven months. Poor guy, he doesn't even know it. And he hates that song.

Hobbies: Predicting your downfall.

Care & Feeding: It's not really in your best interests to instruct Sam that there's a difference between your pushing at his TPTK with 14 outs to take advantage of fold equity, and his calling against your middle set with useless overs and a gutty. Even if it was worth it . . . he won't remember, remember?

So just amuse yourself, to avoid tilting at the gaps in logic.


Samnesia: that was awful
Samnesia: what were you THINKING?

Samnesia: do you even know how to play pushing without even a made hand???
Hero: do you really think it was a bad play?
Samnesia: yes
Samnesia: totally
Samnesia: really @$#@$ awful, man, you're a terrible player
Hero: you think I'm bad?
Samnesia: you're awful.
Hero: I just started this week
Samnesia: I can tell dude
Hero: Be honest, you won't hurt my feelings
Hero: Am I the worst player you've ever seen?
Samnesia: Yes, no doubt in my mind
Samnesia: You're at least top three, prob. worst ever
Hero: I have another question
Samnesia: What is it?
Hero: Be honest with me.
Samnesia: Sure
Hero: You just got utterly pwned by the worst player you've ever seen.
Hero: My question is, what does that make you?
Hero: Sam?
Hero: Sam?

Samnesia stands up.

See right there? You made a mistake, and needled too hard. Now he's gone. Stop laughing and see if he's sitting anywhere else. Don't worry, he won't still be mad at you, I promise.


As long as nobody has any questions, or wants any proof or hand histories . . . I WON THE BBT FREEROLL LAST NIGHT!!!*

*Or the server crashed and we had a 52-way tie.

I know what you are wondering, and the answer is yes. I will sign a personalized autograph.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

And Now I'm Free . . . Free Rolling

"I would never want to be a part of a group that would have me as a member."

Tonight we have the BBT Freeroll. You know the deal. An insane amount of juice was raised by the Battle of the Blogger Tournaments, and now half of it is up for grabs to the happy fifty lucksacks who made the most BBT noise and six unlucky-but-well-loved regular customers.

I am one of the fifty. Good for me. I'm proud of making it in this august body while only playing around 15 events, and proud of a high showing on the profitability board (thanks for putting that thing together, Al).

I really don't think there's anything left to do but win the whole thing. See all y'all tonight, come get me.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Ticky Tack

"Little boxes on the hillside, Little boxes made of ticky-tacky, Little boxes on the hillside, Little boxes, all the same. There's a green one and a pink one And a blue one and a yellow one And they're all made out of ticky-tacky And they all look just the same."
- Malvina Reynolds

My uncle and aunt, who are awesome and whom I love, have been storing my uncle's late mother's furniture in my basement for the last three years. They arranged last week to have some pieces shipped to them. The rest was stuff that was nice but not nice enough to ship cross country. This stuff my uncle's cousin came to get.

I've only met him once before, when he helped move the furniture in. He's about mid fifties to mid sixties. I'm not sure what his name is. Let's call him . . . Darryl.

He showed up as we were finishing dinner. I went out to help him move the stuff.

"How long have you been living here?" he asked.

"About five years," I said, "We moved in about a month before you helped us move the stuff down there."

"Yeah, it's been a while. I almost forgot where you were," he told me. "I got turned around and went up Division and then through your neighborhood . .. there sure are a lot of blacks, aren't there?"

"Sorry?" I asked. This is my typical response when somebody says something like "There sure are a lot of blacks, aren't there?" with a little nose-scrunch on the word 'black', a little regretful moue of unease and general regret that the blacks, despite all our attempts and blandishments, just keep on, you know, living. He said it in much the same way as he might have said, "You sure do have a lot of termite mounds on your roof, don't you?"

So I like to ask for a little encore when I hear something like that, get the person to repeat what they are saying. Sometimes they actually hear themselves.

"In the neighborhood," he said, "There sure are a lot of black . . . people."

Ah. So, they are people, after all. I guess. Perhaps he heard himself a little the second time through.

One of my favorite moves in this situation is the re-false assumption. To make a tenuous connection for the sake of this blog's alleged subject, he's tried to steal my blinds with garbage and now I'm going to resteal. He's decided to pull me into his world of "those-blacks-who-insist-on-occupying-space-in-the-universe, oh dear, oh dear oh dear", assuming that I will nod compliantly, maybe express my desire to move someplace where it, you know, stays lighter later, or whatever the code is now. So now I'm going to make a false re-assumption. I'm going to assume he meant something very positive, "There sure are a lot of blacks in the neighborhood!" Like, "Wow! You live next door to a money tree full of supermodels!"

"Yeah, it is very diverse in this neighborhood," I said. "It's great, it was one of the reasons we chose to come live here. So many areas just seem self-segregated, you know?"

He blinked for a while.

"This neighborhood used to be a lot different. I had a friend here back in . . ." he trailed off, then changed the subject.

He didn't stay long. Maybe he was worried it was going to get dark early, and wanted to drive somewhere where it stayed white a little later.

Most people seem scared of the city. Me? I'm scared of the suburbs.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Friends, Romans(?), Bloggers, Lend Me Your Ears

"Before I speak, I have something important to say."

This is my obligatory BBT Postmortem. I come not to bury the BBT but to praise it.

Loved the BBT, hope there is a BBTwo. The BBT was inarguably the biggest organized online tournament series that the blogging community has seen. It was a beautiful moment, and may even be the start of something bigger, if the organizers (or at least a group consisting of some of them) want to make it so. 54 runners at the MATH? Prize pools over three grand at the Big Game? The birth of WDANK? Boom, baby. Plus I am quite proud that I'm 12th on the total profit list out of 315 runners. It's all loverly.

Hoy posted some of his thoughts yesterday about the BBT scoring system, namely his dislike of certain (many?) aspects of it. I'll tell you what I think about that post: Great. If you weren't involved in the planning, running, and maintaining of it, and you still want to complain about all the wonderful things that happened because you think that the point structure was dumb, or anything else . . . well, I love you, but you are the turd in the punch bowl. I think if you played in the thing and derived any enjoyment out of it, the response you are looking for is . . . thanks, Don. Thanks, Hoy. Thanks, Mook. Thanks, Al. If you didn't enjoy it, why'd you keep playing?

If you were involved, you are at your leisure to think of how to improve it. Which gives Hoy carte blanc to swing away. Go, Hoy. And, thanks.

I'll tell you what else I think about Hoy's post, though: So the point structure didn't measure true success. So what?

Play for points, play for cash, what's the difference? If it gets all the bloggers at the tables together, creating new ways of connection and giving us all some organizing structure, then it is wavy gravy with me. Whatever the point structure, if you are playing for anything but the dough each time, that will surely be its own punishment.

If I had my druthers, I suppose I'd have us keep track just by cash won. This is poker, not tiddlywinks, as an almost certainly unwise man once said. But even if everybody got points, I don't mind. It's the homegame aspect I love. Let everybody eat. And if you have my druthers, give them back to me. They're my druthers.

So, having said that, here are my incredibly serious, deeply thought-out suggestions for BBTwo:

1) Let's change the game to Tiddlywinks. That would put an end to this whole 'It's poker not Tiddlywinks' discussion, and in a hurry. Plus, Tiddlywinks!

2) Let's arrange to have something heavy dropped on Bayne. Not to injure, kill or maim, but only to pin him down.

3) Let's see if Tilt will agree to make a customized icon for the winner next time, a la FTPOS. Now THAT would be something to play for. Suitable icon for a BBT winner:

a) A Gold Hammer

b) A Donkey in a Suit (or a soot, if you will)

c) A Troll Eating a Waffle.

d) Three Monkeys Humping a Football (thanks, Chad)

e) I am open to suggestions here, people.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Table Profiles 006: Pvt. Pooosh

General Profile: Maybe he wasn't hugged enough as a child. Maybe he was dropped on his head. Maybe he only downloaded the "Bet Max" button and isn't clear on the rules. Maybe his software is a little bit hardened, and his hardware is a little softened. Maybe his hay is a little wired. Maybe his turkey is deep-fried.

Whatever the case, Pvt. Pooosh is going all in on this hand, and the next one, and the next twelve. He is going all in until he's got nothing left to give. Let's give it up for him, shall we? He's the best.

Natural Habitat: Pvt. Pooosh is a somewhat rare form of donation-troll, but if you are patient, you can find him at the no limit cash tables at most levels. Just keep strolling from table to table until he appears and then do not give up your seat, whatever you do.

Strengths: Not timid. Bet sizes are on the largish sizes. He tends to open raise with a range from 80x to 100x the big blind. Wins big.

Weaknesses: Loses big, and far more often. A car wreck waiting to happen. And . . . should his eye be throbbing with his pulse like that?


Favorite Hand: This one. And this one. And this one and this one and this one andthisoneandthisoneandthisoneandthisoneandthisoneandthisoneandthisoneandthisoneandthisoneandthisoneandthisoneandthisone . . .

In the iPod: The comedy stylings of Dane Cook.

Hobbies: Strangely, Pvt. Pooosh collects Hummel figurines.

Care & Feeding: There is not much to be done with Pvt. Poosh but to patiently wait for a hand strong enough to call with and to take what is probably a 75 to 80 percent chance to double up. It's not poker; it's more like roullette with a beach ball, but it's still a fine way to pad your roll.

Do not attempt to apprehend Pvt. Pooosh if you are playing above your bankroll and can't stand the thought of losing a buy in.

You cannot affect Pvt. Pooosh's actions with chat or by any other means. He is an impervious to your activities as he is to common sense. Thus, any chat should be only in service of keeping him at the table.


Hero: Man, pooosh, you are pwning this table.
Pvt. Pooosh: i know ur all so week
Hero: well you're betting HUGE, I can't risk that

Hero: even with Kings I probably have to lay down, not worth the money
Pvt. Pooosh: lol
Hero: You're like Jamie Gold, man, you're just running over us
Pvt. Pooosh: call
Hero: oh, no, I'd be too nervous
Pvt. Pooosh: call

Pvt. Pooosh: call

Hero shows QQ
Pvt. Pooosh shows 85

Pvt. Poosh has a flush, ten high
Hero has a pair of Queens

Pvt Pooosh wins pot [$101.25]

Pvt Pooosh: told you
Hero: I know, I shouldn't call without aces, you're on FIRE man!!!!

When properly encouraged in this way, Pvt. Pooosh may well be good for 5 or 6 buyins below sea level. Sit tight and watch the waiting list at your table hit double digits.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Table Profiles 005: Jackie O. Blivious

General Profile: Perhaps the most formidable foe you can face this side of Alan Cunningham, Jackie O. Blivious will eat you alive if you are not careful to think about poker in the most basic terms. And please, let's be clear here: we truly do mean the most basic level. She's not thinking third level. She's not even thinking first level. So if you try something foolish, like semi-bluffing with a strong drawing hand, or getting all your chips in the middle with 98% of the best of it, she will utterly demolish you with her middle pair ninth kicker or one of her two outs.

Natural Habitat: Jackie can be found in the second and third hours of MTTs. Also the first hour. Also the final table.

Strengths: Completely oblivious.

Weaknesses: Completely oblivious.

Motto: OMG, poker is easy!

Favorite Hand: Well, K4 has a King in it, that's pretty high. I call!

In the iPod: American Idol's Greatest Hits

Hobbies: Limping, calling, winning.

Care & Feeding: It is of utmost importance to remember that Jackie O. Blivious is to be considered extremely dangerous. You must take care to:

(1) Only bet when you want to be called. Jackie is unbluffable.

(2) Not even bet then. Jackie is so lucky it is silly.

It is recommended that you wait for the nuts or the second nuts, nothing worse. Then push push push push. But take a Valium first, so you're chill in case she sucks out.

The best thing you can do with Jackie is to try to confuse her. If she thinks she's playing some other game, you may have a chance.


Jackie O. Blivious wins pot ($14,200) with two pair, nines and twos.

Hero: Wow, nice hand there. Were you playing for the high or the low?
Jackie O. Blivious: The what?
Hero: You know, the best hand or the worst hand
Jackie O. Blivious: Um . . . why would I play for the worst hand??????
Hero: This is High Low Split Hold 'Em, worst hand splits the pot with high.
Hero: You got high and low that time.
Jackie O. Blivious: I did?
Hero: Come on, you know this, you're destroying.
Jackie O. Blivious: No, what are you talking about??
Hero: You had a straight and the golden cheese wheel (that's poker speak for high low with a wired 7 high hand)
Jackie O. Blivious: Wow, you are tripping me out!!
Jackie O. Blivious: Well, how do you play for the low?
Hero: 23 offsuit is the best hand if you are going for the low split. Ace King is still obv. best for the high?
Jackie O. Blivious: What about Ace Ace?
Hero: Not as many straight possibilities, you want that King, it's like cowbell.
Jackie O. Blivious: Oh.
Hero: Just get 23o and jam, it's great. You'll be called by some donk and you might get the straight too.
Hero: But the one eyed Jack wild card doesn't count toward your low, so don't use it.
Jackie O. Blivious: Wild card?
Hero: Right, it's unusable for the low except as part of a full house better than tens full of nines.

Once you have suitably confused Jackie, you will be immediately moved to another table, which is for the best.

Friday, July 6, 2007

The Four Obstructions

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's hard to read."

Have I mentioned I've had a bad run? I've had a bad run. I've probably had the worst run yet of this little hobby of mine. I'm not broke, I'm far from it, but a significant percentage of my recent big score has just piddled piddled away.

May was awesome. I cashed thrice in the BBT, I was making $50 NL my own personal ATM, and I capped it off with a final table appearance in the $26K. My roll, she was happy.

June was a bad run all month, but at least I didn't play very much. July appears to have taken that dearth of June sessions to mean that it, too, is June. May came in like a lamb, but June and July are eating me like a lion.

A bad run? A horrible run. I feel like I'm playing well, it's just not happening. I'm not tilted. But I'm not happy. I could tell you beat stories that would . . . well, bore you. I'd tell you it was unbelievable, and if you were predisposed to be kind, you agree. "Unbelievable," you say or type, but it would be all too believable. You've been here too.

So, for those of you like me who don't remember the last time they were able to put together a winning session, here are four difficult things to do after a bad run.

1) Dealing with the roll you have, not wishing for roll you used to have. Say you start the year with 2 apples. The apple business is good, and suddenly, you find yourself with 22 apples. You feel great. You make apple pie with abandon. Apple crisp. Apple Brown Betty. You're juggling the things. Suddenly the apple tree catches an infestation of scrofulous bole-grubs and you find that all your apple-thrift ways have left you with . . . oh dear, just 8 apples? Eight nasty apples?

It's hard not to panic now. You don't remember when you had two apples. Do you? You don't remember when 8 apples was good times. Do you? You don't want to figure out what the best thing is to do with 8 apples. Your only concern is getting at LEAST back to 16 apples, and immediately.

This brings me to . . .

2) Moving down levels. It's fun when you are rolled to move up the ladder. Suddenly that double-through is twice as much as before. You're working with an entirely different metric. And you get used to those numbers. Going back to where you were before can feel like wading in the kiddie pool after swimming in the ocean. But when you're running badly, you need to play within your means. More than that, it is critical to return to the mental place you were before you got big(ger). And that leads me to . . .

3) Realizing that a big downswing is not just bad luck. It's not, is it? I mean, look, I've had some really really REALLY sick beats recently. Runner runner counterfeited set? Yes, sure. Flush over flush? Twice. Counterfeited straight? Three times. There's no fold equity at all, so I'm pushing hard with big draws (I'm talking 12-21 outs twice) and getting called by hands like top pair 6th kicker, pocket pair representing 4th pair, stuff like that. My draws missed each time. That's in the last 24 hours. If I limp with T8 Mookiestyle, and flop J97, the turn will sho nuff bring an 8 and the river will sho nuff bring a Ten. I only wish I were kidding.

So it's been like that.

But let's be real. You don't go on an epic cooler like this without having some junk in your game.

Yeah but --


Listen it was runner-runner you won't BELIEVE what these donkeys call wi--


I am so cold-decked wait until I tell you--

Save it.

I will be clear. I don't think I've played terrible poker. I think even if I'd played perfectly, I'd have lost over this period. It's been a pretty sick run of variance. But I do know that after I score big, I can watch that big peak in my graph go down, down, down down. It's happened before, oh yeah. Patterns must not be denied. The holes that are indubitably there are not the reason I've been bleeding chips, but they may be the reason why I'm bleeding MORE chips than need be.

Which leads me to . . .

4) Take a break. It's time to chill for a while, and remember that my nine apples still represent a nice step up from where I started. It's time to read my Harringtons again, and maybe some other books. Time to write a bit more, maybe see if I can knock off more than a Table Profile a month, finally man up and finish that enormous basement project I've been avoiding.

I'll play the BBT Freeroll, and I think I've got a potential poker night with a friend, but other than that, I think I'm laying low in July.


Sunday, July 1, 2007

The Big Game 003: What Goes Up Must Come Down (Dammit)

“Don't look now, but there's one too many in this room and I think it's you”


I came back from an amusement park and I played a blogger tournament that feels like a roller coaster. A tale of two hours: in the first I was ringdingdongdockrockaroundtheclockulously* hot decked (though I was always ahead when the money went in), and the second hour I was just as horkingflorkingbjorkingkneeknockulously* cold decked -- and now I have to sift through the hand histories to see if I was spectaularly unlucky or just a big donkey. If you are reading this right now, I'm guessing your money is on 'big donkey.' Let's find out, shall we?

*™ hoyazo

The Starting Table

ScottMc: This dentist from San Jose, CA got his 15 seconds of fame by beating up the reigning 2003 National Spelling Bee Champion. When asked about the incident, ScottMc's face will go dark and he'll only mutter, "The horror, the horror." Most of us think the little punk had it coming.

loud423: This guy didn't say a dang thing.

wwonka69: Convicted of greivous enslavement of Oompa Loompas and sentenced to 15 years hard labor, but he was released after seven when he bribed the warden with a Scrumpdiddlyumptious bar. He has a twin. Nobody freaking knows which wonka is which, or precisely how much will a Will will wonk if a wonka will Wonk will, and everybody secretly thinks it's weird that there would be two people named after a fake chocolateer who was played by Gene Wilder as a fey elf and by Johnny Depp as a 9 year old vampire girl.

iam23skiddoo: But I am not.

summer_babe: As previously mentioned, this is Medowlark Lemon of the Harlem Globetrotters.

SirFWALGMan: Erudite, sophisticated and witty, this former linksman for the Yale rowing team and duly elected toastmaster of the Skull and Bones society is the man you want to see if you need to select the finest brandy, tie a flawless double-Windsor knot, or to understand which fork is the salad fork and which is the desert fork. When he isn't contributing to his many charities or sailing around the Mediterranean, SirFWALGMan pursues his avocation of self-portraiture using the latest digital photo technology.

DDionysus: I once watched this guy eat seven pounds of Slim Jims on a nickel bet. He's capable of anything, I tells ya! ANYTHING!

Julius_Goat: Got chocolate in your peanut butter, if you know what I mean. If you do know what I mean, let me know, I don't have a clue.

smokkee: Doesn't shop at the GAP. Doesn't get on the tour bus. Isn't interested in pictures of your kids. Adherent of the bushido code, rodeo clown and line dancer extrodinaire. Ladies and gentlemen, there can be only one . . . smokkee.

Here we go. This is my Big Game. There are many like it but this one is mine.

Hand 1: Do You Like Waffles?

Stack: 2,485
Blinds: 25/50

I raise 4x in the cutoff with KK, and am called by small blind ScottMc and EP limper Waffles. Flop: [Jd 3s 4d]I don't like the flush draw and decide to make it unworth the potential chase with a 700 pot sized bet. I am quickly called by ScottMc while Waffles takes some time to think. I use this time to consider what I'm going to do with the all-in push that is almost certainly coming.It comes. I figure that Waffles is probably on the draw, not the set.

I grit my teeth and call, worried about what ScottMc has, but Scotty folds! (After the hand, he confides that he had JT) Waffles shows AdQd. No diamond comes and Waffles begins explaining to Smokkee that he could have had 16 outs.In all fairness, none less a MTT specialist than KOD Chad did advise us:Do not be afraid to shove the occasional draw. Always try to have something else to go with it though, not just a naked draw. Say two over cards and the nut flush draw. Sounds familiar? All I am saying, is give Waffles a chance.

Hand 2: skiddoooooooooooooooooo....

Stack: 5,587
Blinds: 25/50

I made a loosey goosey limp with KcTc in EP, along with DDionysus and loud423. Skidoo raises it 5x from the big blind, DD calls it and with 675 in the pot I feel priced in for 200 more. After I call, loud certainly feels priced in and he makes the call.

"No respeck" is what I type, and then . . .

Flop: [7c Jc 4c]

All the money goes in and skiddoo shows me his set of Jacks. Board does not pair and IA23SGHN. Just gross and sick cold deck for skiddoo. Remember that when I'm whining and puling about bad luck later on in this post.

I'm now the chipleader, and it's by a lot. Not only that, but I have a $120 prize for the last longer I'm in with Chad, Don, Irongirl (gigli'd), and Bayne. Feeling good.

I remind myself to play smart. Only take GOOD cards to the felt.

Hand 3: ScottMcGone

Stack: Approx 13,600
Blinds: 40/80

Well, Full Tilt ate the hand history, so here we go from memory. Hence, all of this with a big grain of sodium chloride. Iggy open raised for half his stack when I had AK. I decided it was a misclick rather than overbetted AA and KK and decided to put him all in. He folded.

I bullied ScottMc with an OESD, and a few hands later put him all in when he raised and I found Big Slick yet again (wow, what a card deck). He called time and finally folded with what he said was TT. ScottMc, he'll tellya what he had. Thanks, Scott.

This left Iggy and Scott half stacked, and when I caught top pair at the same time as he did, we got the money in to discover I had the stronger kicker.

That's three busts and a half-stacker. I have about 14,000 chips, and the number 2 guy is Alan with around 7,000.

I remind myself to play smart. Only take GOOD cards to the felt.

I remind myself to play smart. Only take GOOD cards to the felt.

I remind myself to play smart. Only take GOOD cards to the felt.

Hand 4: Unneccessary Roughness

Stack: 16,630
Blinds: 80/160

Oh, here's a badly played hand!

Double D is short stacked and opens to 560. I have 77 in the big blind. I call.

What an awful call. I should sometimes be calling here if I am up against a big stack hoping to get paid on a set, but DD only has about 1700 more behind. This is fold or shove time, probably shove. I'm just not paying attention on this hand at all.

Flop: [2c Ac Ah]

I like the paired Aces; it makes the Ace less likely for him. I bet the pot, or around 1200.

What an awful bet size. If he doesn't have an Ace or a big pair, he'll fold to a much smaller bet. If he does have one of those, he'll push all in and I've priced myself in I've essentially trapped myself. In a 1200 pot, I much prefer 600 to 800 here.

He pushes. Dang it. I call and he shows AQ. I don't improve.

I'm still by far the big stack, but that one woke me up, I hope.

I think that's the worst hand I played last night.

Hand 5: GoatPuncher

Stack: 13,495
Blinds: 80/160

This one hurt. I get queens UTG and raise it up 3x. DonkeyPuncher, fairly short but still with an M well over 10 pushes all in for 1900 more.

I feel I am ahead of his range. I call. I'm right. He has Jacks.

Jack on the river. I've lost the chiplead, though I don't really care about that. What's very Concernicus is that I'm down a third of my chips from the break.

I'm starting to get a bad feeling about this. Too much good fortune too early. My M is still nice and solid, though. I resolve to keep playing only good starting cards so I have bullets to fire when we get into steal country.

Hand 6: Hello . . . Newin

Stack: 11,385
Blinds: 120/240, Ante 25

AKo in the big blind. Leftylu and NewinNov limp, so there's 1065 in the pot. I make it 1300 all day, perfectly happy to take it down.leftylu shoves.

Newin RE-shoves.I probably should have laid it down, but the limp threw me. See, lefty reshoved with sevens, hoping to race me with whatever she hoped I had (probably AK, actually).

But Newin? That little gecko limped cowboys.

That sucked. Now I am an M of 10 just like everybody else, right as we enter shove-weasel territory.

Hand 7: TripJax Pushes (1)

Stack: 8,307
Blinds: 150/300, Ante 25

I raise in a bald steal with 23s, and TripJax pushes all in. Easy fold.

Hand 8: TripJax Pushes (2)

Stack: 7,782
Blinds: 200/400, Ante 50

I raise with A8o in MP and TripJax insta-pushes. Again with this mockery.

I smell a rat. I think I'm ahead. I don't think he's got much.

Finally, I don't call because a) even if he is horribly weak (say the hammer), we're still racing, and b) I'll have plenty of chips still even if I fold, c) it will make Trip feel like he can do this again. He and I are fixing to play a pot, as Doyle would say. Next time I come, if Trip pushes, I'm coming with a big hand.

I'm going to fix his little red wagon.

Hand 9: GypTracks

Stack: 6,482
Blinds: 200/400, Ante 50

My M is becoming a problem. I need to steal or double up, but I've got a guy who I think will just play back at me at this point.

Luckily, I have Jacks. Normally I'd push and be glad for the steal, but I'd rather see if old TripJax wants another poke at me, so I just 3x raise.

Trip doesn't hesitate. All-in. I couldn't be calling him more than I am now. Bill Frist couldn't send enough stormtroopers to keep me from the 'call' button.

Trip has Aces. I do not make TripJacks vs. TripJax (would have been a much catchier hand title, though).

That lucky little . . . well, he's actually a nice guy. And at least he went on to take the whole thing down. Good job, Trip.


Memory is funny. I've been wailing and lamenting my bad luck (and to be sure there were a couple harsh beats in there), but I could have sworn Trip had come over the top on me one other time. Hand history don't lie, though, it was only twice.

And I should have my head examined, I suppose, trying to steal with 23, even soooted. I guess the best thing you can say is it's easy to get away from.

I was right with the A8 hand, by the way. Trip has posted it, he had 97. All in with 97 is a dangerous game, but it was a correct read by him. I don't begrudge him.

I built a huge stack by holding slight margins. Then I lost a little on a total donk play vs. Double D, a significant amount more (relative to stack size) on a bad beat to the Donkeypuncher, and then really a lot more on a nicely timed (if questionably wise) limp from Newin with a big hand and a questionably wise (if defensible) call from me.

And Don won the last longer. Dang.

I'll see everybody in the Freeroll. Viva la BBT!