Sunday, December 30, 2007

Year End Roundup Jamboree

I bubbled in the Luck Game. That pretty much sums up how things have been going for the last 2 months. It has been a rough patch, filled with unfortunate beats at tough times, big draws that don't come, inside straight draws that hit for the villain, and (if I'm honest with myself) plenty of spewing from tilt play and inadviseable shots. I'm looking for the holes in my game, and hopefully I will plug them.

But I know what my underlying problem is. I lost the joy.

I forgot that I'm not trying to be a pro. I forgot that this game is fun. I forgot that it's a boffo mental exercise played with cards, not my primary income source. I forgot that I used to be a ninja master at using the chat to get the guy who just sucked out on me to laugh comfortably at their lucky play, while I sharpened my knives for the comeback. All too often now I'm just another turkey telling you how bad you played. I'm going to try to catch my focus again, and as a result I'm slowing waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down. I'll be playing tiny buy-in 1 table SNGs to tinker with my game and get the love back. I'll see you in the Blogger Tournies when I feel I'm back to normal.

Anyway, what's better than end-of-year lists . . . besides NOTHING? Here's some lists!

Goat Goals 2008:

1) Write a lot. I have a novel in the works and about 5 other good ideas for them kicking around upstairs. Afraid I can't publish any of the novel here (though you may get some more of my 'warm up' short stories if I think they're worth reading), since I want to actually submit it for publication. But, if you are interested, you may certainly have an excerpt. I am a total junkie for attention when it comes to writing, it's sick. Just hit me in the chat sometime (check the profile) and ask.

2) Read a lot. Reading good writing is the best way to gear up for writing well. My goals are interconnected here. Can't really do #1 without eventually doing #2. It's true in both fiction and going to to the bathroom!

3) Play less. I see that Chad of all people has this one up there, too. We're not alone, either. It looks like any number of folks are thinking about easing back, or even giving up the holy game of poker. I've been reading all the end of year stuff. The UIGA made the games harder. No, the games are easier. Poker is dying. Poker's never been doing better. It's the end. It's just the beginning. I have perhaps a different take on it, though. I'm not phasing it down to a hobby like some, because there's never been a doubt that it's a hobby. What I intend to do is play deliberately. In other words, no just getting on spur of the moment because there is nothing else going on. When I'm getting online to play poker, it will be a planned moment with a specific focus. I don't want it to be the weed that's time-choking my other interests and ventures (see #1 and #2, above). In fact, this is what I'm going to be trying to accomplish outside of poker, as well. To live more deliberately.

And for what it's worth, I don't think that the games have ever been easier than what I've seen this year.

4) Get on Chad's Top Five Worst Blogs List. I figure LOST ought to do the trick. I'll just post 1500 words on the Season 4 premier episode, followed by the most specious possible poker connection. "Kate lied to Jack and it cost her at in inopportune time. Be sure to time your bluffs well!"

5) Win a large-field MTT. This is the dream. I've been so close. Just last night I played one with 2,056 runners and lost a race to go out 16th. I'd warrant I've been final tabled or two-tabled about 10 times in 2007 and it just hasn't fallen right for me, or I've screwed up, or gotten coolered somehow. 2008 is the year? I mean . . . 2008 is the year!

6) Be a force in the inevitable BBT3. I was among the few to profit off of BBT1 and final tabled the freeroll. I really stunk up the joint in BBT2 but weaseled my way into the TOC. I want more for BBT3. I want to be immortalized with Bayne and Jec. We'll be the Doyle Brunsen and Johnny Moss and Amarillo Slim of maladjusted online poker geeks! Together we'll fight crime and pollution. Catch all our adventures on Saturday mornings on ABC!

My Top 10 of 2008

10) The Wheatie Shuts The Doors. Yes, this is still kind of alive as the Monkey Tourney, but it's not really the same. The regularly scheduled blogger tournament that started it all called it quits this summer. I hadn't played in a while, since Tuesdays are rarely a free night in my schedule, but I played the last one. I got sucked out on by an ATC donkey. It was great. Wil final tabled his tournament for the first time (which is hard to believe, but that's what he said), and that was pretty much it for blogger tournaments on PokerStars, the original site of the blogaments. GG again, Wil, hope you show up at the MATH someday.

9) Cashing in FTOPS Event #1. This will always be the 'what if' moment of the year for me. My internet provider took me down for about 35 minutes right at the bubble. When I came out of the dark, I'd had about 1/3 of my stack blinded off. All the same, I'm pleased with this accomplishment and I even have a free hat to honor the occasion.

8) Hoy Gets Beaten By A 12 Year Old. I am still laughing. Does that qualify me for the hater list?

7) I Final Table the 28K. My biggest single cash to date. I took a smallish stack into the bubble and found myself seated next to the chip leader . . . none other than Astin. I caught some great flops and took a bunch of his chips. Three-tabled and shortish I pushed 99 into a stealer and was flat called by 33 on the button. Three in the flop, blank the turn, NINE ON THE RIVER!!! Best resuck ever in a key spot and I got to the final table where I finally went out in fifth. I still remember the name of the guy who decided to call over 50% of his chips with 33 and nearly got paid for it. Even though I prevailed I'm still incredulous.

6) I win a MATH and a Mook. These were awesome. I pretty much just got a huge stack both times and rode them all the way. Hopefully these were only the tip of the iceberg (though blogger tournies are far and away the biggest hole in my bankroll).

5) The_Goat_Speaks Begins Its Reign of Quasi-Literate Terror. I started writing in here on a whim, primarily as a way to keep myself from doing anything dumb to my bankroll following an awful beat deep deep DEEP into the Stars 28K Guarantee. I never expected to have anybody read this stuff, and I certainly didn't expect this level of inclusion and encouragement. It's safe to say that nothing I have done has been as beneficial for either my poker game or my enjoyment of poker. Thanks once again, one and all.

4) Bloggers Cash In Big Events. 2007 wasn't the first year that major tournaments heard from members of the blogging crew, and I doubt it will be the last. The biggest cash was Drawing Dead Jordan's 6th place finish in the Poker News Cup , but we also have to give some love to Fuel, just short of the final table in the BCPC Main Event, and to Hoy and LJ for some nifty WSOP cashes. Good job, folks, now let's make some noise in 2008 for the blonkeys!

3) WDANK Begins Broadcasting. Without doubt, one of the great developments in poker blogging is this experiment in live radio. The blogaments are about community in poker, simple as that. Since around BBT1, Dank and Tragedy have let us hear voices that before existed only in the chatbox, provided us with commentary, laughs, heckling, curses, and occasionally some great music. Usually, though, some dummy has loaded up the queue with ABBA.

2) Jeciimd Wins A Trip To Australia. I just wrote about how awesome this is, but I will reiterate. Sometimes the good guys win. I just hope this leads to the #1 entry in 2008. Go build a stack so big you can't even see the sharks, Dr. J.

Which leads us to . . .

1) The BBT Revolution Changes Blogger Tournies (For the Better). Is there any question? Can there be any doubt? Others may nay-say, but what happened with the advent of the BBT was seismic. One of the major sites is not just allowing us to host our little knitting-circle games with them, they are actively courting us, and with serious swag, to boot. What does this mean? Well, it means that our voice is being heard, collectively speaking. It also means that these little knitting-circle games are starting to matter toward those elusive, pie-in-the-sky poker pipe dreams of ours. I'm not dropping 10K on a major tourney, and I bet Dr. J is in the same boat, but now he's got a crack at the real stuff. It's a different show now. And yes, it can occasionally lead to some bickering or some trash talk, and we all hope that it doesn't get mean-spirited (any more). But you know what? One of the things I've always loved about poker is the boisterious, jostling, camaraderie of it. That definitely includes trash talk.

When it returns, it's going to return bigger. What might it become? That's up to us. It's like Al convinced Full Tilt to just give us a free house, but it's an unfurnished house right now. What are we going to decorate it with? BuddyDank radio is a good start. Chad and Waffles are working on a tracking database, which is like Jerry working with Newman, but still . . . hooray! What else? Let's work on this house of ours.

This could turn into something of great worth, something lasting. It's a very, very good thing.

My Favorite Five Posts 2008

Hey, it's my blog. Let's close out with my picks from 2007.

5) Poker Haiku. This one just rolled out as I played a SNG against the worst players in the whole world.

4) Table Profiles: Rig A. MyRoll. I enjoyed all the profiles, and hope to be inspired someday for more. I think this one holds up best among them.

3) The Fallacy Of Bad Beats. My second post, and one I still refer to when I've just been smacked with the old high hairy beatdown stick.

2) Big Game 2: Hanging With The Big Dogs. This was probably the most fun I had in a blogament that I didn't win, and an epic starting table to boot.

1) Ghosts of Poker. Kind of an obvious pick, but this was just a blast to write.

Happy New Year! See you out there in 2008.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Wow, This Is Wild

I was browsing through the internet and found this.

Save even MORE time!

Thanks, Internet!

Friday, December 21, 2007

TOC? Yes. It's Jec.

OK, so here's what we know:

1) Eleventh place is tenth loser. Julius_Goat played too tight. He is sorry to anybody who wanted to see him win.

3) In his defense, Julius_Goat was pretty card dead. Jacks once, AK twice late and nobody would play. AQ about 3 times near the beginning. 77 once. 88 once as a shorty in late position when one of the few left to act had AA and one of the others had (I think) QQ. Good game me.

4) Jeciimd has figured out how to beat the blogger style,* and is an almost ridiculously deserving representative for us in Australia. Is anybody not happy with this result whose name is not huntsvegas? Jec was near the top of BBT1, famously without much cash for his efforts. Then he completely destroyed in BBT2 including three top threes in the Big Game. He's a good fella, a great pokerite, a yodeler without peer, he can drive to the left, he can drive to the right, he has a great jump shot, and he does all the little things on defense. You can't stop him, you can only hope to contain him. He uses a live rattlesnake for a condom and kills bears in fist-fights. He once made a scale replica of the Great Wall of China out of toothpicks and peanut butter. He taught James Earl Jones how to talk like that. He invented licorice. Ladies and gentlemen, OUR CHAMPION JECIIMD!

Most hearty contratulations to you, jec. Warning: If you don't start posting from the Aussie Millions so that we can live vicariously through you, I will start making up daily posts from you and about you, and posting them here. They will likely be 100% fictitious, and 75% slanderous. If you doubt me, see the above paragraph.

This is my 100th post, and I'm blowing it on jeciimd. If you'd told me I'd get to 100, I'd have scoffed. Yeah, that's right, you heard right. Scoffed.

Thanks for reading.

*Definitions of "the blogger style" may vary in detail, meaning, and use of profanity.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Why I Am Rooting For Everyone

Psst. Guess what?

A poker blogger known to us is going to win a seat to the Aussie Millions tonight. It’s that simple. And that’s a really, really really good thing. Whoever prevails, it’s a great story, it’s a happy ending, and it is a big deal for this little pokery spot of the web. Chad’s posted some odds of success for each of us lucky happy 27, but I’m going to take a different tactic. I’d like to explain for which reasons I’m rooting for each and every one of us.

I’m going to base this on a few factors, including:

How likely are they to actually be a factor in the Aussie Millions?

How entertaining will their posts from Australia be?

Do they have a blog? Do I know about it?

How well do I “know” them? Sorry, but face it, this is obviously a factor in rooting for somebody.

BBT Regular? This matters. You haunt the BBT tournies in good times and bad? That’s a check in the plus column for you.

What is their super power?

The elusive ‘X’ factor. This is best described as “would this be epic and/or legendary to send [BLOGGER X] to a major tournament?

So here we go, why I’m rooting for each of you to take it down (and make no mistake, I think any outcome will be brilliant), in reverse order of preference. Other people would make other lists. This is mine.

The Little-Knowns

These are the folks that are little known to me, so there’s not quite the same incentive to root for them. I’ve not played with them much, nor have I read much of them if they are out there, nor have I interacted with them much. This may be my negligence, or their reticence, or just random chance.

Twoblackaces, ricky424, actyper, whiskigrl, -o-LuckTruck-o, huntsvegas , dnasty13.
The reason I am rooting for you is that hopefully we’ll get to know an awesome new (to me at least) blogger and poker mind on one of the biggest stages possible. If you wind up in Oz, we’ll all be looking to you. Do us all proud, I’ll be pulling for you.

Aussie Success Factor:
Varies, but there is some skill here.

Entertaining Posts?: Unknown to not so much.

Blog: Yes, but mainly no.

Know Them: Little to none. Forgive me if it’s my fault (and for at least some of you , I know it is).

BBT Regular?: During the BBT the answer is ‘yes’ for most. When BBT is off, it’s spotty.

Super Power: Can collectively be viewed from space with the proper equipment.

X Factor: Untested, assume low.

The Sorta-Knowns

Emptyman, Budohorseman, Jamyhawk, VinNay, PirateLawyer, I’m a talkin’ to you. The reason I’m rooting for you is you’re like me. You’re kind of fringe, you’ve been around a while, you’re a fairly regular presence around the table. You have a blog, so I know you won’t just disappear into the ether of Oz. The only reason I don’t know you (or, more accurately, know ‘of’ you) is definitely my fault. There’s only so many blogs you can read in a day. We’ll know your story. You’ve been waiting for this big break. I hope you get it, dammit. You only get one shot do not let it slip or blow this opportunity comes once in a lifetime, yo!

Aussie Success Factor:

Entertaining Posts?: Fo shizzle, my blizzle.

Blog: Yes. Yes. A thousand times, yes!.

Know Them: I’ve been to all your blogs. Occasional comments.

BBT Regular?: Yep.

Super Power: Capable of forming the letters “YMCA” with their bodies.

X Factor: Not sure, assume medium.

The Talented Interlopers

OK, let’s deal with Team LuckoFriends. Loretta and Magician are both very talented players who have been a factor throughout the BBT2. They’ve got game, they’ve got blogs, they’re pretty much new to us, but they are not to be dismissed. I guess the fear is they’d take the seat and run, and the bloggers would be all . . . aw, damn. But I say welcome aboard, and the more the merrier, and I sure wish my path to success didn’t lead through you. You guys earned your way in, and if you find yourself in Australia you certainly deserve it. The reason I am rooting for you guys is simple. I think you have the game to go far, and that would be exciting for all of us to watch. Just stick around after BBT, y’all. I would like to learn from you.

Aussie Success Factor:
Fairly high.

Entertaining: No idea, but I have hope.

Blog: Survey says . . . ding! ding! ding! ding!

Know Them: Just their game.

BBT Regular?: BBT2? Yes. We’ll see whassup now that it’s done.

Super Power: These guys can merge together to form Gobboboy.

X Factor: Pretty low, sorry guys. For Lucko the X Factor for you is through the roof, I’m sure.

These Are the Donks I Know*, I Know, These Are The Donks I Know . . .

, AKA The Chimp With The Helmet

Aussie Success Factor: Above Goat -level.

Entertaining: I believe that Kaja will be entertaining. At the very least, hearing stories about how he figures on explaining the trip to his doesn’t-know-about-the-blog wife should be GOLD.

Blog: Sho ‘nuff.

Know Them: Kaja’s a comment-poster all over the place. I am a fan of his body of work.

BBT Regular?: Totally.

Super Power: He can project his memories onto a movie screen.

X Factor: Solid, baby.

jjok, AKA jjok

Aussie Success Factor: About Goat-level.

Entertaining: There is no doubt that jjok will entertain us.

Blog: You had best believe it, bubba.

Know Them: Little story about me and jjok. We went to boarding school together back in middle school. He was always getting into trouble, setting the Oompa Loompas free, rampaging with hot mops down into the girls dormitory . . . oh the stories I could tell you! Eventually he and I got expelled for inventing a time machine and causing an unpopular math teacher’s father to be killed by a gorilla back in 1942. Good times, good times . . .

In more recent news, this is the guy who cracked my Kings by flopping quads with Jacks, beginning my month-long cooler and total lack of domination in BBT2. JJ OK indeed.

BBT Regular?: Semi-regular is my perception.

Super Power: Prehensile tongue.

X Factor: Solid with gusts of magnificent.

Mike_Maloney, AKA The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

Aussie Success Factor: Above Goat-level.

Entertaining: I think this is a guy who’ll give us good solid poker analysis and tournament reports.

Blog: Of course, of course, of course.

Know Them: Mike was seated at every one of my starting tables for a stretch of BBT1. I know he’s a tough competitor. Whatever don’t kill him, only make him stronger.

BBT Regular?: Regular as a monk with a lifetime supply of bran.

Super Power: He absorbs all kinetic energy and turns it into bolts of lightning.

X Factor: Not horribly high, but he’d be a good blogger to send.

RecessRampage, AKA The Man With Two Left Knees

Aussie Success Factor: Pretty goshdarned good if my perception doesn’t fail me.

Entertaining: If he isn’t, we know he’s capable of apologizing for it.

Blog: With a new banner and everything.

Know Them: RR is best known for his recurring role as “Wilson’s Hat” in the popular middlebrow sitcom “Home Improvement”

BBT Regular?: The regular-est.

Super Power: Able to juggle anything at all.

X Factor: Moderate. Solid player and X Factor don’t always sip from the same soda.

SnailTrax: AKA Daddy C R U S H E S

Aussie Success Factor: Not a clue what his chances would be.

Entertaining: Yes, and also disturbing.

Blog: His blogs are many, and there are probably some even he doesn’t know about.

Know Them: I have read this crazy dude, just like the rest of you.

BBT Regular?: Random. Also, bacon. Also, sorbet.

Super Power: Super sick.

X Factor: Unparalleled.

cmitch, AKA Cash Donk Extrodinaire

Aussie Success Factor: I like his chances to make some noise.

Entertaining: Absolutely, with fine tournament reports.

Blog: OPoker? O Yes.

Know Them: Not so well personally, but he’s respected and respectable. He’d be a great representative from BBT.

BBT Regular?: Most certainly.

Super Power: Can hold his breath indefinitely.

X Factor: Milage varies, for me about medium.

Cracknaces – AKA Tony Soprano AKA Blog Deleter

Aussie Success Factor: Pretty high if he avoids tilt.

Entertaining: 100% rolled steel lock to be entertaining to read about this guy’s trip to Australia.

Blog: Yes, no, no yes, yes, no, and finally . . . yes.

Know Them: Know his blog, know his stuff, some girly chat during a tournament.

BBT Regular?: He can’t stay away. Just when he thinks he’s out . . . we pull him back IN.

Super Power: Can stir hundreds of pots simultaneously. Also can play infinite simultaneous SNGs.

X Factor: Pretty high, really. I think Chad loose down in Australia with a big stack would be epic.

lucko21 – AKA It’s Not All Luck

Aussie Success Factor: Probably the highest of the group. If I recall, he was a bad beat away from the cash in the 2007 WSOP ME. Experienced live, plenty of game.

Entertaining: Yes, though he’s not a loon, I think he’d give a very solid analysis of the game.

Blog: Yes, he has one. I’ve seen it with my own two eye-bones.

Know Them: Just his game and various comments. Seems like a good guy.

BBT Regular?: Yes, he’s usually in the mix.

Super Power: Able to leap chip stacks with a single bound.

X Factor: Fairly high simply for his very decent chances of going deep.

jeciimd, AKA WHO Just Folds To The Points?

Aussie Success Factor: Better than Goat levels, I think. This guy has pwned throughout BBT2 and was a leaderboard magnet in BBT1. Solid playa.

Entertaining: If he posts more than 5 times a year (hint hint), then sure dinkum, mate.

Blog: Survey says . . . ding! ding! ding! ding!

Know Them: Yeah, Jec is a familiar and friendly face at the tables. Not only that, but at the Donkament recently he complimented me so thoroughly I think I am still embarrassed. Compliment a writer on their writing and there is no end to it. You all have jec to blame for future posts.

BBT Regular?: All day, every day.

Super Power: When exposed to the Big Game, he is invulnerable to suckouts.

X Factor: Medium strong.

Fuel55: AKA I Don’t ALWAYS Have Presto, You Know.

Success Factor: Well, here’s a guy who just came a race away from the final table of a 10K buyin tourney. You tell me. He’ll go deep or he’ll go home quickly. It’s the Fuel way!

Entertaining: Yes, I think Fuel will lay it all out of the line, especially if he finds himself alive on Day 3 and beyond.

Blog: Creativity breeds hand histories. You gotta love his stuff.

Know Them: Fuel is I think the very first person to communicate with me outside of the software chat box. I sucked out on him calling with a flush draw and overs. We had words (they were pleasant ones). Fuel’s a genuine fake internet friend, and like me he couldn’t get in this thing for poker play, so I’d love to see this get heads up, him vs. me . . . provided I have a 20 – 1 chip lead.

BBT Regular?: You know it, he’s in it, he’s just like, he’s just like, a mini mall, hey hey.

Super Power: Is Canadian.

X Factor: Over under on variants of ‘fawk’ for the week set at 700 billion.

Astin: AKA I Can’t Believe I Ate The Whole Thing While Being Dealt Pocket Pairs!

Success Factor: Are you kidding? This is the Luckbox of 2007 I’m told. He’s not just a favorite to win tonight, he’s a 2:1 favorite to win the whole Aussie Millions, be elected to Australia’s Parliament, parlay that into a post as UN Secretary General, win the Nobel Peace Prize, marry Jessica Alba, and have all his fingernail clippings turn to gold! Viva la horseshoe!

In all seriousness, he’s a good player. And by ‘good’, I mean ‘not as much of a donkey as me.’

Entertaining: I think Astin would entertain each and every one of us. You know what I mean.

Blog: Totally.

Know Them: Astin’s one of the first dudes to be a regular reader on TGS. Very encouraging voice early on, he’s part of the reason I’m still around and kicking in this crazy neck of the woods.

BBT Regular?: Hardly misses a one.

Super Power: Everything Astin touches turns to platinum.

X Factor: He’s not a loony, so this isn’t stratospheric, but I personally think it would be hawesome.

summer_babe AKA The Hub. The Blogfather. Meadowlark Lemon himself.

Success Factor: Pretty high. It’s generally known and accepted that Iggy’s got game.

Entertaining: Uber-tainment at it’s finest. And if he goes deep it will be interesting to see him try to maintaing the burka-like shroud of secrecy that he’s kept around about himself.

Blog: Um . . . I believe he has a blog.

Know Them: Well, I don’t know Iggy personally, but tell me if you don’t feel like you know the little guy over the last 5 years of ubers, links, and photos. Iggy has posted that he will be drunk for this. I think that’s bad news for the rest of us.

BBT Regular?: Sir! Yes, sir!

Super Power: Super blog-pimping.

X Factor: Off the charts. He’s the one and only Blogfather! If anything, sending Iggy to Oz will get us a few more posts over at G&P than we’ve been seeing this year, thanks-for-nothing-UFC.

Julius_Goat AKA Dead Money

I will leave you to determine the stats for this donkey for yourself. Suffice it to say I’m naturally my own top preference to win, and I promise that my posts will be regular and also entertaining as long as you are drunk.


* In a fake internet way, natch.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I've Got A Golden Ticket!

I'd have been happy just to have someplace to play poker, a game I've always loved and for which, until a couple years ago, I had no outlet.

I'd have been happy just to find a single regular tournament with a dozen or so players.

I'd have been happy just to get the rake back for BBT2 same as the first one.

I'd have been happy just for the opportunity to write a story and have people read it.

I'd have been happy for . . . you know what? Let's just say I'm happy. There is so much more here than could have been expected, ever. The state of this hobby of mine is good. It's great. And it's all your fault. All of you, reading this. Yeah, you. Your fault. And yours. And yours.

You all read Al so you already know this. Fuel (congrats, man!) and I opened up our emails today to read:

Congrats, you won 1 of the 2 spots for writers into the Tournament
of Champions. It was really tough to judge the entries, but yours was
a favorite among the judges. Good job.You will be automatically entered
into the TOC this coming Thursday.

So I guess I'm going to be playing some cards this week, which has me feeling pretty fine. It's honestly hard to comprehend the level of velvet-cloaked, bacon-strapped, SoCo-livered awesome that is Al Can't Hang, not to mention the generous bounty of Full Tilt Poker. Al of course was the guy behind the guy, who pulled the lever and then shared his prize, while Full Tilt put up a nearly 20K package for us to chase after. Not bad for a bunch of pushmonkeys and call stations and top pair fonkeys and , and (oh, let's not forget) some fine poker players too.

Oh mama, I get to play for this against a field of less than 30 (all capable of destroying me, but still)? Pinch me. It's like being seven years old and getting a real working lightsaber for Christmas. You don't dare believe it's true. You can barely touch it, for fear it will disappear. It's a reverant, silent moment. Then you fire it up and go cut the bully down the street in half.

See. That's why they didn't let you have a lightsaber back then.

Random Reflections

1) I'm in TOC for writing, not for my play. Obviously. Is it wrong that this doesn't bother me in the slightest? For some, it probably is. Not really the purist way to get into a TOC, eh? But it was a way, and a valid one. Even if you're unlike me and a really good play, you're not guaranteed a win over 27 attempts. Why not shoot an angle? I'm actually surprised less people tried this. I'm also thankful, because there are some pretty swell writers out there who didn't take a poke. Thanks, pretty swell writers out there who didn't take a poke! However, I'm probably one of the few who would be more excited to notch a seat for the pen than for the pooosh.

A little bit about me. Like most of you, I have lots of interests, and poker is not small among them. But for me, the greatest among these is writing fiction, and it isn't even close. It's basically like Waffles and WoW. To be honored for my crazy syllables feels like winning the Super Bowl, if the Super Bowl were watched not by a million people on TV, but by hundreds on a website. And if it were also a writing contest instead of a football game.

Know what? I'm going to leave this metaphor dead in the ditch and just walk away. Nothing to see, nothing to see . . .

2) It would not have bothered me if I hadn't won. Honestly and truly, I consider having written something I like and with which I am happy to be the real prize. Winning the seat? That's gravy. I've been away from any real attempt at writing fiction for a long time. For one thing, it's a lot harder to roll up my sleeves, turn on Miles Davis, really dig in and focus on writing well, than it is to just fire up an SNG, so I do that instead. But this challenge motivated me, and not just because I figured it was my only real hope to land a seat. I'm glad it did.

I sat down one night and just let it rip, and everything just kind of floated away, just me and the page, and the next word, and the next word, and the next. I'd forgotten that feeling, and I wanted it again. There's a reason my next two posts were short stories, and there's more coming. I think this little nubbin on the Interweb world tree is going in that direction. Let's face it, I don't have much new and meaningful to say about poker, other than the odd little table profile or limerick. I'll leave that to my strategic betters. I think I'll set my spaceship on a different trajectory, all the while keeping it a poker blog. How? Um, I'll get back to you on that.

3) I'm outclassed in the TOC. I'll be honest with myself. There will be no easy starting table this time, and my play's been pretty bad through the BBT2. I final tabled the first Big Game, but after that I don't think it was anything less than embarrassing. Last night I called an all-in vs. KOD with AK when he could have only had Aces or Kings. It would have been a tough laydown with TPTK, but I knew it was correct and I called anyway. Blech. So, I have to consider myself fairly dead money in a field with such luminaries as KOD, Iggy, (s)l(y)ucko and the Family Stone, Astin, Maloney, Alan, Jeciimd, JJOK, and, well, I'm doing this by memory on purpose so that I don't have to list everybody and I won't leave anybody hanging. The rest of you, too. You're better than me, I think, at least better than I've been in this round. The point is this: Free chips! Come get 'em!

4) I'm freerolling. As a result of number 3) there, I'm feeling no pressure. It's certainly not mine to lose, so I assume it is mine to win? I'm playing to win, too, baby. If I lucksack into the winner's circle, I promise thorough and detailed posting from Australia throughout, and I even promise that some of it won't be totally made up. But most of it, my friends, will be.

5) Thank you. All of you. Not for this TOC seat. Like I said, that's gravy. Thank you just for being a part of this and letting me play your little reindeer games. This is just a hobby for most of us, but so what? It's real. I've always wanted a regular poker game. Online play was all right, but I was getting sick of just grinding with no real sense of community when I first started banging out random blah blah blah I hate bad beats, blah blah blah, the players are amazingly bad, blah blah blah nearly a year ago. To my surprise, some of you noticed. Then more. You began to comment on what I'd written, and encouraged me to do more like it. You linked to my stuff, bringing more sets of eyes, more perspectives. I become a regular to you, and you to me. Now there is a virtual place to go and sit down, where I know I'll recognize most of the 'faces.' This is why we blog instead of just play. It's why (I think) KOD can't thankfully stop coming back for more abuse no matter how many times he burns his space to the ground and salts the earth. It's what poker online needs if it's to be meaningful. Kudos to Full Tilt for recognizing it.

If all of this hadn't happened for me, I certainly wouldn't still be around with a chance to bust out in the first level of this thing.

Thanks to Full Tilt, thanks to Al and Hoy and Don and Mook. Most of all, thanks to everybody who reads this.

I'm happy just to play. Now it's time to fire up my lightsaber and cut you all in half.

See you Thursday.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Now It's Getting Silly

Somebody stop me!


There once was a donkey named Al
Who could guzzle SoCo by the pail.
If a blog flame war started,
He'd say "That's retarded.
Just drink shots live, by dial or mail."

There once was a donkey named Bayne,
Who ran through BBT like a train.
But he died in the Deuce
Like an old diseased moose.
And now he's just feeling the pain.

There once was a donkey named Dank,
Who played music for us while he drank.
But what made this worse,
He would give out a curse
That could kill like a stab from a shank.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Once More By Request

A donkey named pvanhairbo
Of Medusa's Castle (don't you know).
Ran extremely well,
And watched her roll swell.
Even though she don't know how to fold.

Smokkee was a donk with a blog
Who lived in a land filled with smog.
He looked more like a trucker,
Than he did like Chris Tucker.
He retired, then came back on Bodog.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Poker Haiku

I sit in tension
The blind considers a call
Please fold please. (Misclick.)

My M is not what
It ought to be. Or what it
was. Don't steal again.

I sit in silence
And ponder the Ace on the
flop. I hate cowboys.

The turn paired the board
And the river makes four spades.
Don't slow play flopped straights.

So sick of these beats
They come too fast to count, and
So many! I'm folding.

Look down toward the bottom.
Good. Now, look to your right. The
fold button's there. Use it.

Oh right I forgot
You think you know what pot odds
Are. Nice game, Hellmuth.

Dropping Science and Annoying (?) Astin

There once was a donkey named Astin,
With a secret to tourney long lastin'
"Just get lots of Aces
In many key places,
And when you get Cowboys, start blastin'."

There once was a donkey named Alan,
Who sucked up the cash by the gallon.
But in many tournies,
He took the wrong journey.
And too often found himself railin'.

There once was a donkey named Grind
Who got all the chips in behind.
But he smiled at the news,
For: "I know I'll improve,
And if I don't? Well, I just do not mind."

OK, I think I'm done for now. Real poker content to follow, I swear.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Screwing Around On The Weekend

There once was a donkey named Goat,
Who your every C-bet he'd just float.
When he rivered his flush,
He thought, "I'm on a rush!"
Little knowing you'd filled up your boat.

There once was a donkey named Hoy,
Who was so much the tiltable boy
You caught one of three outs
And could then hear him shout,
"You're a fonkey if Jewish or goy!"

There once was a donkey, TripJax
Who was in the Big Game a card rack
I shoved from the blinds
And he just didn't mind
Taking every last bit of my stack.

There once was a donkey named Iggy,
We all thought was a small, not a biggie.
As he sucked down a pint,
He said, "I just don't mind,
Here's an uber, oh the humanity!"

There once was a donkey named Fuel,
Who used the all-in as a tool.
As he shoved in his stack,
He thought, "I'll get this back,
And then I will call you a fool."

There once was a donkey named Pauly,
Who would piss next to pros at the stally,
Counting every last chip,
He said, "Don't start this shit,
If you're not in it for the long haul-y."

There once was a donk, Cracknaces,
Who had just lost consecutive races.
He deleted his blog,
Screaming, "U R Ghey Dawg!"
"Please o please o please please go get AIDSizz!"

More later. I will limerick anybody who asks, and some who don't.