Poker Ramblings of cmitch

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Crash and Burn

Saturday, December 30, 2006

A picture is worth 1,000 words. I went from 3rd in chips with 13/14 left to out in 11th in the Pokerstars nightly $150. So close once again. (Something about horshoes and hand grenades)

I ran into some big hands short handed and came out on the short end. Oh well, such is poker.

FTP 12 Days of Xmas - I won

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Full Tilt Poker is running a promo for their 12 days of Christmas. They are giving away a large item from their store for each of 12 days running and each day they are giving 50 players - $100/each, 200 players - $25/each, and 500 players - $10 each.

I was a lucky winner today (for my play yesterday) of $10!!! I guess it proves the doubters wrong - they really are giving the money away. :)

I was browsing through 2+2 today and came across this gem. It is a conversation where Phil Ivey ask sbrugby (aba) if Erik1223 can borrow some money. (I edited out a lot of the Observer chat and added my comments in red)

Phil Ivey: have sb send you some money erik i will vouch (translation - you have been cleaning up and erik is tilting a little right now)
Erik1223: sb can you? (please I neeeeeeed to get back to even)
Phil Ivey: sb can you get my number from someone and call me
sbrugby: In tahoe my phone doesn't work (come on, I don't really want to lend money out to anyone)
Phil Ivey: lol (um, just say you don't want to lend him the money)
Phil Ivey: ok
Erik1223: `ul
sbrugby: how much do you need erik? (ok, ok, I'll send him some $$)
Erik1223: i would like 200k so i dont have to fool around everytime i lose one hand (who said there is much variance in poker)
Phil Ivey: if he dies i will pay you sb (LOL!!!)
sbrugby: and when would I get it back?
Erik1223: within 7 days if I lose all today i I win
Erik1223: ill just send you a wire
sbrugby: and you are vouching for him phil?
Phil Ivey: yup
sbrugby: k sending (Hold on a sec, I have to dig through the couch cushions for the 200k)
Erik1223: its the most solid money youll ever have lol
Phil Ivey: your a little safer loaning it to him instead of matusow
Mike Matusow (Observer): namines more solid (Just have to wait until I make another WSOP Main Event FT - should be this year)
Mike Matusow (Observer): lol
Mike Matusow: i heard that
Phil Ivey: lol
Mike Matusow: mines the safest
Mike Matusow: hey sby im sending u 20 now (as soon as I can remember my bank of sb pin #)
sbrugby: k
Erik1223: its proccesing
Erik1223: ty sir
sbrugby: np

I don't think there is anyone that can touch sbrugby online right now. He is on fire.

....and sometimes poker (but this isn't one of those times)

I just finished 7th in the FTP $150 $35k Guarantee. The payout was OK (don't get me wrong) but the payouts for the top 3 make 7th look like chump change.

I can't complain though, because I got a timely lucky suckout to stay in when we were down to 3 tables with my QQ vs. KK. I wound up busting out with 88 vs. AQ all in preflop. An A and Q on the flop all but sealed my fate.

CC's Thursday Bash Recap

Friday, December 22, 2006

I am going to put my hhs for the tourney up on the mtt hh viewer for anyone interested. (It won't be until tonight because the hh is stored on my wife's computer.)

I was reading through a few blogs while playing last night and came across Smokkee's post pimping CC's Thursday Bash. I opened the private tourney tab on pokerstars a little after 9:30 and saw that the tourney was still open for late registration, so I signed up. I am glad I did because I, somehow, managed to win the thing after a long heads up battle with VinNay.

I had a good seat at my first table - mainly because Jordan was on my immediate right and loosening up the table. He was spewing comments of "weak-tight" left and right. The comments seemed to be working because there were a lot of big raises and big re-raises.

I managed to double up and put Jordan out (I think he went out on that hand) with my AA vs. 22. He check-raised me all-in on a 889 flop with 2 hearts after he had flat called my re-raise preflop. In my mind, the c/r screamed of a flush draw or a pair (1010-QQ) based on his preflop call. I know that he was trying to represent the 8, but I didn't think he would c/r all-in with the 8. I understand his thinking behind the raise. If I have a big Ace, I have to fold. If I call with a big Ace, he is a favorite. Unfortunately for him, there is no way I am letting go of AA there based on how the hand played out. A flat call of my flop bet and an all-in bet on the turn (he was 1st to act) would have made a call with AA a lot tougher for me.

I was a card rack for a good part of the first hour. I managed to get lucky and knock out GCox for a huge pot when we were down to the final table. I was dealt KsQh in late position and made a standard 3xBB raise. GCox smooth called from either the cutoff or button. The flop came AKJ all hearts (i think - have to go back and check HH.) It was decent flop for me, so I made a continuation bet to see where I was. GCox flat called. I really thought I was in trouble with the flat call. The turn couldn't have been more perfect - 10s. I made a straight and had the nut flush draw. I couldn't put him on a flush because I had the Qh and he probably would have raised me on the flop with a mid flush to protect his hand. I made another bet and he went all in. I called. He had 1010 (with the 10 of hearts I think). He didn't fill up on the turn and I won a huge pot. Tough hand for GCox - I got really lucky.

I was pretty card dead for most of the final table. When we got heads up, VinNay had a pretty good chip lead on me. I wasn't getting any hands and finally put all my chips in with 22 against his JJ preflop. The poker gods were on my side when a 2 came on the flop. It took us over an hour for me to finally take it down with my 77 vs his 33.

It was a really fun tourney and I was able to win because I am a luckbox card rack. Thanks CC and thanks poker gods.

X-Mas Shopping is Fun/ Mansion Turbos?

Monday, December 18, 2006

You know it is time to stop Christmas shopping for the day when you can't fit any more X-mas presents in your SUV (Durango).

We lined a babysitter up for the entire day yesterday, so that we could get all our X-mas shopping done in one day.

12:00 - Brunch with some neighbors (bottle of wine to ease the pain of shopping)

2:30 - Toys 'R Us. I don't understand how some people can get so crazy, demanding and pushy. It seemed like a lot of people had very little patience or respect for anyone's space. Somehow, we managed to finally work our way out of the store after about 2 hours. (waiting for a bike that wasn't in stock, but shown as in stock is the main reason it took so long.)

If the bill from Toys 'r Us is any indication, our kids should be really happy with their gifts this year.

4:30 - 8:30 More Shopping ----> Dinner ----> Bar!! We had to have a couple of drinks after working our way through the mobs of other zombie shoppers.

Poker related

I played one of the Mansion added dollar tourneys last night. It was the $215 with $20,000 added to the pool. I signed up because of the added value/overlay and it looked like it was going to be a small field. I was surprised that the tourney only drew 151 players. (Basically, it was $132 of added equity for each player.)

It didn't take me long to realize why the field was so small. The structure was horrendeous (especially for a $200 mtt) - equivalent to a turbo. For some reason, they raise the blinds every 12 minutes during the 1st hour and then every 15 minutes for the remainder of the tourney. You start with only 1,500 chips and the rapid blinds made it become push or fold for a lot of players by the start of the 2nd hour.

At the end of the 1st hour, I sat at 1985 chips and the blinds were already 100/200. The majority of the players at my table were either pushing all-in or folding at this point because of their stack sizes - no joke.

I busted around 58th (about 1 hr, 15 minutes into the tourney). Almost 2/3rds of the field had been eliminated shortly into the 2nd hour.

My bustout hand was a little brutal.

1,685 chips
Blinds 100/200 (about to go up)

I am dealt 55 (I know someone that would have said just push with 55, it's can't lose.)
UTG limps (I thought this was strange since no one had been limping especially UTG)
I flat call (Let's see a flop)
SB completes, BB checks his option

Flop 994

SB bets minimum (no way does he have a 9 since surely somone else is going to bet behind him on that flop)
BB folds, UTG folds.
I decided that my best option is to push

SB thinks and calls with 47. I am in great shape.

Turn 8, River 8. I lose to his 99887. :)

I deposited $$ in Mansion to play a couple of these added money tourneys, so I guess I will probably play a couple more of them. I'll just go into the tourney ahead of time with the mindset for playing a turbo tourney.


Wow, these poor guys. Pokerstars has a freeroll that guy away 3 seats to the PCA at Atlantis int he Bahamas. There were 11,000+ players entered and only 3 seats.

How would you like to play an online poker tourney for 14 1/2 straight hours only to miss the PCA package by 1 spot. OUCH!!!

EDIT: As pointed out by TripJax, the sixth place finisher is a blogger - NEWINNOV - that some of us have played with in the past. I feel for ya. It must be brutal to have played so well for so long and have nothing to show for it. Still, it is amazing to have gotten so deep in such a huge field.

Nice Win - 1st out of 1163 ($6k)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I decided to play a couple of tourneys last night (little burnt out on cash games), so I played the $22 rebuy on stars (busted out in the high 100s) and the $25 $16k Guarantee on stars (with 1,163 others). I wound up winning the $25 tourney.

When we were 3 handed, I said I was willing to deal. One guy didn't want to - no worries. We got heads up a little later. After playing heads up for 20 minutes and almost exactly even in chips, I offered a split. He said no - no worries.

I finally won it out right after long heads up battle. (will post more tomorrow or the next day).

Dear sportingimag,

You finished the tournament in 1st place.A $6,082.50 award has been credited to your Real Money account.

You earned 819.24 tournament leader points in this tournament.

I haven't been doing well in tourneys lately. I seem to run either hot or cold. (The PCA win and this win within a few days of each other.)

I guess when I run good, I run good. (Was down to 500 chips at one point)


Also, a big congrats to Lucko for taking down $25k in the $109 rebuy on pokerstars last night - amazing score.

Bahamas Super Sat - Key Hands

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I would not have won my seat to the PCA if it hadn't been for my wife. Thanks Veronica!!! She suggested that I drive to my office to play the tourney, so that I would be distraction free. (The kids get a little crazy in the afternoon.) I think being up at the office helped me focus on the table conditions and not get disctracted by the TV, phone, sick crying kids, etc. BTW - I didn't realize how scary of a place my office can be at 3 AM.

Hand 1 -

Battle of the blinds. I limped and was raised to 3xBB. I decided to call with 89o because this guy kept raising if I limped from the SB and was fairly predictable after the flop - He could basically have any two. On the Flop - Based on his previous betting, I didn't think there was any way that he had a King or a pocket pair. I bet into him on the turn and he flat called. If he had a King, he was definitely raising me because of the possible flush draw. I bet again on the river, because I thought my hand was good, I wanted to control the size of the pot and I didn't want to check to him and have to call a bigger bet.

Hand 2 -

I think the first hand played a big part in this hand. The guy had shown a history of not letting up on his continuation bluffs. I really didn't think there was any way that he had a set, two pair or AK here, so I went with my gut and luckily I was right.

Hand 3 -

This hand cost me some chips. I think that it was an auto-call because the guy went all-in UTG the first hand after a break. He had opened all-in a few times before the break without getting a caller. I called and got unlucky.

Hand 4 -

Good, loose player with chips UTG limps - unusual because he usually opened for a raise. I raise on the button with AQ to try to see where my hand stands. Blinds fold - he flat calls. I am pretty sure by his call that he doesn't have a big pair. I make a continuation bet on a King high flop and am flat called again. Turn pairs the board. Check, check. River Blank. He bets 1,200 into a 9,300 pot. I can't see him having a hand here based on the way the hand played out. If I call and lose, my stack is at 3,700. If I fold, my stack is 4,900. I decided the chance to get more chips was worth the extra 1,200 since there was a possibility that my hand was best and I needed chips. It turned out that he had AQ also - split pot - Whew.

The result was good, but I think I might have played this hand poorly.

Hand 5 -

I think this was my turning point in the tourney. I was either doubling up or getting knocked out.

Button raises. I considered re-raising what looked like a steal attempt with Ad4d, but decided to flat call. The flop come Ah3d5d. I check with the intention of check-raising all-in. I have 14 outs (to make flush, two pair, straight) and am the favorite against almost any of his possible holdings. He had AJ which made me about a 53%-54% favortie. I hit on the turn and doubled up.

Hand 6 -

AA vs JJ double up - Good timing.

Hand 7 -

Had to lay down JJ. My hand was probably good, but I had enough chips not to risk my entire tourney on a coin flip this late. May have been incorrect laydown against a good player that could have been re-stealing.

Hand 8 -

I was pretty sure I was good preflop, but flat called wanting to see a flop against what looked like a button steal. On the flop, I wanted to represent a King and decided to play it like I had a King. I checked and he checked behind. The third King on the river was a big scare card and slowed down my plans to bet on the turn. I checked and his bet seemed fishy to me based on his past play and that fact the he looked like he was stealing from the button pre-flop. I called thinking that if he didn't have a King my flat call would scare the hell out of him. I thought about betting out on the river, but thought the best option was to check. I felt like my hand was probably still good. I didn't think he would bet the river without a King and thought he was probably done with the hand if bluffing. If I bet and he raised me, I would have to fold. Check, check and I took down a nice pot with Ace high.

Hand 9 -

Very lucky double up late with AQs vs AQ. (Had gotten short after a misplayed steal attempt)

Hand 10 -

I thought about calling on this hand, but we were getting close to the seats and I kept seeing this guy's posts in my head. "Don't call off your chips with AQ." It wasn't all my chips, but a large majority of them.

Hand 11 -

QQ - Very close to bubble. No messing around. My only move here is all-in preflop. A big stack called me with AJ and I got nervous as hell. I closed my eyes and hoped for the best. Luckily no Ace and I doubled up.

Hand 12 -

I flat called a guy that had been stealing a lot with the intention of pushing all-in on any low card flop. (his preflop raises had been bigger when he had a big hand, but I didn't want a preflop all-in to get called by a big to medium ace.) The flop came 8c9c10d and I thought an all-in bet would look too much like a draw. I bet 6k of my remaining 16k hoping that it would look like I had a monster and was trying to get him to pay me off. It worked and he folded.

Hand 13 -

Only 1 or 2 more people had to be eliminated for the seats. I was dealt QQ in mid-position and flat called hoping to get the shorty to get all his chips in. shorty folds. 3 to the flop. Check around to big stack that bets. I am sure I had the best hand, but folded because we were so close to the seats.

Hand 14 -

Easy fold preflop, since so close to the seats.

A few hands later the shortest stack at another table folded in the BB leaving himself with 2,500 chips and having to post the SB of $3k on the next hand. I think he has to put all his chips in with anything there. It was six players to the flop on the next hand at that table. Checked down. The short stack lost - one player had flopped a set of jacks and it was over.

I am pretty pumped to go to the PCA. I tried to win my way in last year and didn't have any luck. After this tourney, I will have played in the three live tourneys that I have set as goals to play in.

1. UB Aruba
2. WSOP Main Event
3. Pokerstars Carribbean Adventure.

I am really looking forward to Atlantis and think that I have the right attitude about the tourney. I'll play my best and hope things work out, but if they don't I am going to still have a blast in the Bahamas!!

Bahamas Here I come!!! Wooohooo!!!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Last Chance, Best Chance.

I played the Last Chance $650 Sat tonight and won my seat - woohooo!!

I'll post more tomorrow. I am tired. The tourney took 8 1/2 hours (It's 3:30 AM) I'm not quite sure how I will fall asleep!!

Below are my standings at each break. I saved a lot of the hhs and will probably go through them in the next couple of days and post a lot of details.

1st Break (I had to fold JJ in a bad spot and was relatively short - still plenty of room to work with the slow blind escalation)

2nd Break (Climbed out of the hole thanks to winning a race against a big stack)

3rd Break

4th Break

5th Break (In decent shape)

6th Break (Needing to get some cards)

7th Break (Bubble time)

I'll post the key hands later.


I guess Aces do hold up sometimes

Friday, December 08, 2006

After losing with AA quite a few times lately I was beginning to feel like AA was a losing hand.

This hand changed my mind, when somehow I won with AA

Click this link if you prefer the pokerhand view -
Full Tilt Poker Game #1373850789: Table Folsom (6 max) - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em - 14:36:47 ET - 2006/12/08
Seat 1: cmitch ($926.40)
Seat 2: TheBigBuford ($299.20)
Seat 3: Nufevah ($419.30)
Seat 4: Religion_LOL ($400)
Seat 5: buckwheat29 ($225.25)
Seat 6: Megenoita ($414)
cmitch posts the small blind of $2
TheBigBuford posts the big blind of $4
The button is in seat #6
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to cmitch [Ah Ac]
Nufevah raises to $14
Religion_LOL folds
buckwheat29 raises to $36
Megenoita folds
cmitch raises to $76
TheBigBuford folds
Nufevah has 15 seconds left to act
Nufevah raises to $268
buckwheat29 calls $189.25, and is all in
cmitch raises to $926.40, and is all in
Nufevah calls $151.30, and is all in
cmitch shows [Ah Ac]
Nufevah shows [Ks As]
buckwheat29 shows [Ad Kh]
Uncalled bet of $507.10 returned to cmitch
*** FLOP *** [3h 5s 3d]
*** TURN *** [3h 5s 3d] [9d]
*** RIVER *** [3h 5s 3d 9d] [Qc]
cmitch shows two pair, Aces and Threes
Nufevah shows a pair of Threes
cmitch wins the side pot ($388.10) with two pair, Aces and Threes
buckwheat29 shows a pair of Threes
cmitch wins the main pot ($676.75) with two pair, Aces and Threes
Nufevah is sitting out
buckwheat29 is sitting out
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $1,067.85 Main pot $679.75. Side pot $388.10. Rake $3
Board: [3h 5s 3d 9d Qc]
Seat 1: cmitch (small blind) showed [Ah Ac] and won ($1,064.85) with two pair, Aces and Threes
Seat 2: TheBigBuford (big blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 3: Nufevah showed [Ks As] and lost with a pair of Threes
Seat 4: Religion_LOL didn't bet (folded)
Seat 5: buckwheat29 showed [Ad Kh] and lost with a pair of Threes
Seat 6: Megenoita (button) didn't bet (folded)

I haven't played a ton of poker lately because things have been a little hectic. My daughter has been sick most of the week (cold). My son (1 yr old) has pnuemonia. He has it in the lower half of one lung. The doctor put him on the Z-pack antibiotic 5 day blast. Hopefully that knocks it out of him quickly gets him back up to speed.

Car Update

The estimate on the car repairs is $10,500. It doesn't look like we will be able to get a new car. The lady that hit my wife's car had state minimum coverage ($10k) and doesn't seem to have any assests. Between ordering the parts and repairing the car, it is going to be a month before we get the car back. Fun, fun.


I played 2 satellites to the $650 this week and didn't win my entry in either one. I think I am just going to just buy into the $650 Super Sat on Sunday. I'll cross my fingers.

Wowzer - Must be nice

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I guess Ivey always chooses to raise his monster hands. It seems to work out for him.

Full Tilt Poker Game #1366814434: Table Bennett (6 max) - $200/$400 - No Limit Hold'em - 1:56:36 ET - 2006/12/07
Seat 1: serb2127 ($28,997)
Seat 2: Urindanger ($8,000), is sitting out
Seat 3: Phil Ivey ($106,515)
Seat 4: sbrugby ($46,044)
Seat 5: Luigi66369 ($185,682)
Seat 6: MyRenovatio ($39,940)
MyRenovatio posts the small blind of $200
serb2127 posts the big blind of $400
The button is in seat #5
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Urindanger has returned
Phil Ivey has 15 seconds left to act
Phil Ivey raises to $1,200
sbrugby folds
Luigi66369 raises to $4,000
MyRenovatio folds
serb2127 folds
Phil Ivey calls $2,800
*** FLOP *** [2d 8h 8d]
Phil Ivey checks
Luigi66369 bets $7,200
Phil Ivey raises to $20,800 - Patrick Antonious isn't scared.
Luigi66369 has 15 seconds left to act
Luigi66369 raises to $60,800 - See he raised enough to commit himself
Phil Ivey raises to $100,800
Luigi66369 raises to $140,800
Phil Ivey calls $1,715, and is all in

Luigi66369 shows [9d Jd]
Phil Ivey shows [8c 8s] - Flopping Quads and getting action - WOWZER!!!
Uncalled bet of $38,285 returned to Luigi66369
*** TURN *** [2d 8h 8d] [Kd]
*** RIVER *** [2d 8h 8d Kd] [4c]
Luigi66369 shows a flush, King high
Phil Ivey shows four of a kind, Eights
Phil Ivey wins the pot ($213,627) with four of a kind, Eights
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $213,630 Rake $3 Board: [2d 8h 8d Kd 4c]
Seat 1: serb2127 (big blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 2: Urindanger is sitting out
Seat 3: Phil Ivey showed [8c 8s] and won ($213,627) with four of a kind, Eights Seat 4: sbrugby didn't bet (folded)
Seat 5: Luigi66369 (button) showed [9d Jd] and lost with a flush, King high
Seat 6: MyRenovatio (small blind) folded before the Flop

Full Tilt Poker updraded their site this morning. I think I like the new racetrack view.

All the information on the new upgrade features can be found here. Promotional Video

Tuesday, December 05, 2006 has put up a free promotional 2/4 NL video by Muddywater with him 4 tabling. It is pretty interesting, especially for those that aren't already cardrunners members. If you watch the video, pay close attention to the guy to his left on Table 2 - it's me. The video gives you a feel for the rest of the videos on the site.

I would strongly reccomend joining cardrunners to anyone that is serious about poker, especially if you play NL cash games. The vast amount of information that I have learned since joining the site is incredible. You can't go wrong.

Link to Video - Click the Red Link in the Grey Box

Link to PocketFives Article about the Video


I played a $80 sat to the $650 Super Sat last night and busted out somewhere in the middle of the pack.

The last chance is the $650 Super Sat on Sunday. I am going to play that tourney and probably take 2 shots at the Double Shootouts between now and then. These are my last attempts at the PCA package. If I don't win the package, I guess I will have to re-evaluate whether or not I will go to the Bahamas anyway.

The Car Problems

It looks like they are probably going to just repair the car. I get the estimate today. Hopefully, it will be back to 100% before Christmas.


Sunday, December 03, 2006


We get a shot at the National Championship. I just got back from Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game (7 hr drive each way) - Awesome, awesome game!!! Had a blast. (I'll right more when I'm not so tired)

Go Gators!!!

November Results/ December Goals

Friday, December 01, 2006

Goal for November

Cash Game Hands = 20k
PTBB/100 = 5.00

Actual for November

Cash Game Hands = a litte more than 15k
PTBB/100 = 4.61 (7.74 for 2/4)

I had a roller coaster of a month. I got off to a good start followed by a horrible weekend of 5/10 that wiped out all of the profits from the beginning of the month. It was up and down from there with a nice steady upswing to finish off the month. I did horrible at 5/10 losing 3 buy-ins in a bout 2k hands. I looked back over my 5/10 hands and the biggest hits were due to the overly aggressive games that I was playing and getting my money in as a favorite/ slight favorite and getting drawn out on.

The first graph is my Amount/Hands Played for the month at all levels. The 2nd graph is all levels other than 5/10. (You can see how much more profitable I would have been if I had stayed away from 5/10 during the month.)


1. Play 20k hands and average 5.00 PT/100.
2. Stay away from 5/10.
3. Win a seat to PCA (have to find the time to actually play a satellite)
4. Selectively play 15-20 MTTs throughout the month. (Maybe a few at my old poker home - UltimateBet)
5. Get the whole car mess behind us. (oops - that doesn't have anything to do with poker.

We got it (the Pacifica) and now it's gone - thanks to a incredibly brilliant driver.

It all started out so well. I decided to go to the dealership closest to my office at lunch time. Once I got to the point of talking price and they knew that I was serious about buying the car, we were actually able to get to a deal pretty quickly. I guess the end of the month was working in my favor. They started from the invoice price and starting taking deductions from there. It wasn't long before we had the deal all ironed out.

I went from the dealer to the Credit Union; Credit Union to my house to pick up my wife and kids; my house to the Credit Union so my wife could sign the papers; Credit Union to the dealership to pick up the car.

A mere 7 hours after I walked into the dealership we had her shiny new Blue Chrysler Pacifica Touring Edition with Leather, Moonroof, etc. My 4 year daughter couldn't stop talking about it. My 1 year old son kept looking around the car as they drove across the street saying, "Oooo. Wow. Weee." We went across the street to grab a well deserved dinner after a long day.

After dinner is when it all came to an end (for the time being at least). We were heading home - my wife and kids in her new car and me in my car. We were stopped at a traffic light, right in front of the dealership, at a very busy intersection. The light turned green and I started to go. My wife was a few cars back in the other lane and their line hadn't started moving yet. As I was looking in my rear view mirror, I saw a one car hit another. I couldn't tell whether it was my wife's car or a car behind her that got hit. My cell phone ringing 2 seconds later answered that question. Everyone was OK, other than scared crying kids, and she had been rear ended.

A lady in a Saturn had run into her somewhere around 30-40 miles per hour. The saturn was totaled. It's airbags deployed. The front end was crumpled to about half of it's original length. The driver was as OK as she could be in a situation like that.

My wife's new car (after having driven less than 1 mile) was damaged pretty good. The back bumper was ripped off. One of the mufflers was pushed all the way into the driver's side rear tire. The tailpipe had dropped. The frame supporting the bumper appeared bent. The back seat door on the driver's side would not close properly. The tailgate (rear hatch) would not close properly. The rear quarter panel on the driver's side was crumpled. Somehow, the kids weren't hurt at all and my wife said her neck and back are a little sore (comparable to the day after a hard workout) - she is going to get checked out today.

The fun continued today as I spoke to Geico (the insurance company of the car that hit my wife). She only has the state minimum coverage and if the damage is more than $10k, my insurance company (State Farm) will have to pay the difference.

I am not going to settle for anything less than what we had 5 seconds before the accident - a brand new car with no damage and no accident history. I guess it will be a while before it all gets worked out.

Un-Freaking-Real. (It is a good thing that I don't have a bad temper, because this would be the situation where someone could lose it.)

Do you think that we will get a new car or they will try to get us to live with them fixing our car (if possible)? If they eventually get us a new car any guesses on the O/U of when we will get it (2 weeks, 1 month, 2 months)?

Like Pulling Teeth

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

My wife and I went car shopping last night. That is soooo much fun.

We have decided to get a 6 Passenger Chrysler Pacifica for her. It isn't a mini-van - really, it isn't. We aren't caving in and getting a mini-van. (Yes, we are going to keep kidding ourselves.)

We went to the dealership with the intention of getting a good deal on a 2006 model that we saw on their website. ($4,000 rebates on the 2006 vs. $1,500 on the 2007) Of course, they didn't have any 2006 models left. We got sucked in and test drove a 2007 model with all the options that we wanted. My wife loved it and we are now certain that it is the car for her.

Once we got back to the dealership the fun began. The salesman came back with a price that had the MSRP minus the $1,500 rebate plus delivery of $600 and doc prep of $200. He asked how that looked - obviously not good. They tried the "What payment are you looking for?" game. He then asked what I wanted to pay for the car. My response, "What is the best price that you can sell it to me for?" I told him he needed to take another $5k off. He left the table saying he had to talk to the manager. My wife said that he turned beat red when I told him he needed to take $5k off the price. (I guess she might be good at picking up tells at the poker table.)

It went back and forth and eventually he brought the next salesman up the ladder (his boss) over and with another $2k off plus the fees. The wouldn't budge any more than that - other than removing the $800 of fees from the equation. We eventually left while the guy was trying to get me to come into his office to do "whatever research you want to do on the internet."

I think I will roll the dice and see what happens after December 4th when the $1,500 rebate is up. I am guessing the incentives/rebates for the last month of the year will probably be better.

Car Shopping is Fun!!

Jumping Around

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I was a little tired last night and looking for a change of pace. I didn't think I would be playing my best but wanted to play a little, so I played the following (mostly 1 table at a time):

$24 MTT on FTP - I haven't been doing well in MTTs lately and wanted to try a few new things. I figured a $24 MTT was a good place to experiment. Everything was working well until I ran AQ into A2 and A2 caught 2 pair. 340 +/- out of 1,150 +/-.

1,800 FPP turbo 30 player MTT on Pokerstars (paid $215 to top 4) - My 77 was no match for 66 all-in preflop. A six on the flop and it was all over for me. It didn't even phase me since it was a freeroll.

I was feeling a little better and decided to play a turbo 9 player $220 SNG on FTP. I wanted to work on my SNG play a little since I will probably being playing some of the PCA double shootouts. The SNG was pretty entertaining because Jeff Madsen was at the table. One of the guys at the table was talking trash to him and he was jabbing back at the guy. I wish I would have saved the chat since it was pretty funny. Madsen told the guy he should be playing $10 SNGs instead of $200 - I was surprised that he appeared to be letting the guy get in his head. Like in all turbo SNGs, you have to win races late to win. I finished 3rd for a small profit when my 1010 lost to AQ.

It was still pretty early and I didn't feel like playing more than one table. I knew that I would be a little too impatient so I sat at a 2/4 NL 6 Max table and waiting for a player to join since FTP doesn't have any dedicated 2/4 NL Heads Up tables. It didn't take long for a guy to sit with $160. I think I busted him 4 or 5 hands later with a boat vs. a straight and he left. Another guy joined with $80 and went all in every hand. I called him the 3rd time with 99 and it held up against his AJ. Once the table filled, I left and went to a new table. It was strange, the 2nd player to join the table always seemed to buy-in for the minimum ($80) or the default ($160) and either played way too tight for heads up or way too loose for heads up.

About a year ago, I played a lot 6 max NL cash games on Pokerstars. I used to always start up tables and it seemed like they had the same trend over there - a player would join the table with either the min or default buy-in or buy-in for the remaining of their balance (ex - $103.80). They always seemed to either play too tight or too loose. This made it very easy to exploit them and get all their chips either quickly or slowly bleed them dry (not to mention how +EV situtations like this are).

I think I might start playing some more HU cash games against the short buy-ins when I am looking for a change of pace. It is pretty profitable and helps me stay off the auto-pilot mode I sometimes get into when 4 tabling cash games.

Benefits of an Aggressive Image

Monday, November 27, 2006

I had been playing Loose Aggressive and I think that I was starting to get under this guy's skin. I am not sure what he was thinking other than maybe I was bluffing. I think it is a pretty good example of how a LAG image can get you a lot of action on your big hands.

I am not sure why I have been playing any 5/10 NL cash games, when the money seems so much easier at 2/4 NL. People have a tendancy to go on tilt a lot more and there are a lot of people that don't have a clue how to play cash games (especially short handed).

Pokerstars PCA

What to do? What to do?

I am not sure what I should do. I wasn't able to play the $650 MTT sat this weekend and won't be able to play it next weekend (will be at SEC Championship game). I guess my next shot at it will be December 9th. I played one double shootout this weekend without any luck.

I am considering going to Atlantis even if I don't win my seat, but not playing in the main event unless I win my seat. I am not sure what to do? I guess I will have to try some more double shootouts between now and December 9th.


Being back at work is not fun.

I'm Speechless

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I'm sure most of you have seen this, but I have been watching some of the High Stakes Poker clips on Youtube and this hand is just sick.

(plus I wanted to see if I could embed a clip)

My cable company doesn't have Fox SportsNet. (for some reason they have Fox World Sports). I haven't been able to watch any of the High Stakes Poker episodes.

Does anyone know if they have put out DVDs of any of the seasons yet? (I have searched and have been unable to find anything - so I'm guessing probably not.)

EDIT: From the comments, I guess HSP is on the Game Show Network. I'm still in the same boat since I don't have GSN. I'll follow up on some of the suggestions.

Roller Coaster

Monday, November 20, 2006

Sometimes poker can be frustrating. This weekend was one of those times. Every time that I took two steps forward, I took two steps back. I finished up the weekend down about 1/2 buyin. It seemed like I couldn't do anything wrong and then it seemed like I was getting outdrawn every hand.

Some Hand Examples (both good and bad) - flop a set and get paid - flop a set, get all the money in way ahead, and get outdrawn - AA vs KK - all-in pre-flop; K on river - Make nut flush and get paid by 2nd nut flush

Oh well, such is poker.

I am still plugging along with trying to hit 20k cash game hands by the end of the month. Right now, I have just barely 10k hands thanks to being out of town one weekend. I am going to stick with 2/4 NL during the week and mix in some 5/10 NL on the weekends depending on how good the tables are.


Saturday, November 18, 2006

Um..Razz tourneys are not fun. (Insert random Matusow ramblings here.) A23 is never the best hand in the end. (Man, do I hate to read bad beats on blogs. What is a Razz bad beat anyway?)

That is all.



Some People are Very Lucky

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I played in a golf scramble yesterday. I am not a good golfer. I don't pretend to be a good golfer. I don't have the patience or time it would take to become a halfway decent golfer. I play the scrambles to have fun. That is the way that our entire foursome was. We were there to have fun, drink a few (well, ok maybe more than a few) beers and hack at the ball. It was a good time. I think we has the highest score - that should have won of some sort of prize.

After the tourney was over, there was dinner and a sweet raffle. Raffle tickets were $5 and the following prizes were being given out:

42" Plasma TV
Two separate $500 Bass Pro Shop Gift Certificates
Five separate $250 Best Buy Gift Certificates

A friend of mine (who was also on my scramble team) won a 42" Plasma TV last year. Well, this year Mr. Lucky didn't win another TV, but he won a $250 Best Buy Gift Card. I guess some people are just lucky. :)


I was looking forward to the FTOPS (Full Tilt Online Poker Series) Event last night. It was a $250k Guarantee $216 Six Player/Table Tourney. I play mostly 6 Max NL cash games, so I was hoping to have a good edge against a lot the regular full ring players. Unfortunately, I ran my flopped flush into a flopped nut flush during the first hour and busted out. I may have been able to get away from that hand in the early stages of a full table tourney, but I think it would have been a near impossible fold in a 6 max tourney.

I am only going to play the FTOPS #6 -PLHE and the FTOPS #7 - Razz. I would like to play the HORSE Tourney tonight, but that will probably last until 4-5 AM and I need some sleep. I can't play the Main Event on Sunday, because I am going to be watching my son while my wife and daughter are at the nutcracker.


I haven't played any PCA satellites in a while. I can't play the MTT sat on Saturday, because we have plans. I think I am going to invest a few $$ in some double shootouts this weekend.

I was never scared - Fun Game!!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Go Gators!!

Go Gators!!

Go Gators!!

Go Gators!!

Go Gators!!

Go Gators!!

I didn't play a lot of poker this weekend, because we went to the Florida/South Carolina Football game. It was the 'Ol Ball Coach's return to the field that he dubbed "The Swamp." The Gators didn't play well, but managed to win the game thanks to Tebow's fourth down conversion, Leak's QB sneak on 3rd and long, and Jarvis Moss's well timed extra point and field goal blocks.

Despite Florida's lackluster performance, it was probably the best/ most exciting game that I have been to since we beat FSU in a close game in the 90s (back when some basketball player name Charlie Ward was FSU's quarterback). We were watching South Caronlina's kicker warm up at halftime and he was making field goals from 55 yards like they were extra points - good thing he kicks line drives; good thing Jarvis Moss is a monster.

SEC Champsionship game in Atlanta is my next stop.

Staying Focused - What motivates you?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

This post is inspired by the following:

DoubleAs recent thoughts about quitting poker for other hobbies/interests
Wes's recent 100k milestone
An article by seal on

Why do you play poker?

Sounds like an easy question. I can't answer it for anyone else, but I know the reasons why I play poker - in no particular order.

1. I love playing the game
2. I enjoy the challenges associated with always trying to improve.
3. The thinking that is involved in every aspect of poker - your table image, your opponents playing style, the overall feel of the table, etc.
4. Challenging myself.
5. Interacting with others that also love the game though blogs, forums, home games, etc.
6. Making extra income that provides a better quality of life for me and my family.

These are the reasons I play poker and why I am continually motivated to play poker. I'm sure everyone out there has their own reasons.

Sometimes I am distracted from one of my main reasons for playing #6 - making money. I think setting goals helps me to stay motivated/focused on what I am trying to acheive. We are saving for an addition to our house. I should be focusing on playing more cash games and hitting a certain number of hands played/month (money won is in direct proportion to the number of hands played in cash games). I have a lot higher hourly rate when playing cash games than I do while playing tourneys, but for some reason I feel the need to play the tourneys. I think it goes back to #4 - Challenging myself. Sometimes the challenge isn't there in the cash games. The play can be almost automatic/robotic at times. The tourneys provide the real challenge and exhiliration when you win. There is a lot more satisfaction in winning $3k in a tourney than winning a $3k pot in a cash game because something tangible was accomplished.

(Enough ramblings)

I have a set a goal of 20k hands this month and it helps to motivate me to play cash games. I will still be playing tourneys, but I am not going to be rushing to the computer to make it to that 8PM, 9PM, etc. start time. I will play tourneys for a change of pace from the cash games and to challenge myself to continually improve my tourney play, but my poker isn't going to revolve around them.

(I got off on a tangent a little with this post)

Basically, what I am trying to say is figure out why you are playing (fun, challenge, social spects) and what you are trying to acheive (just enjoying yourself, make money, work up to the next level, win a trip to WPT/WSOP). Set a goal for yourself (if that is what motivates you to stay focused) and try to acheive it.

Most important - Have Fun!!

Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure - Yuk

Saturday, November 04, 2006

I played a double shootout to the 2007 PCA for the 1st time and went out in 3rd place for $650 - Yuk!! 1st place was a trip to the tourney. I am a little pissed right now.

November Goals & Pot Odds

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

November Goals

I didn't get a ton of cash game hands in during October and plan on trying to change that during November. I am not setting a monetary goal for November just cash game hands played and PTBB/100 target and a PCA goal

November Goals:
20k hands of short handed NL cash games of 2/4, 3/6, and 5/10 (25k hands would be preferable)
SHNL cash game Target PTBB/100 = at least 5.0
Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure - play at least 2 $650 Super Sats by qualifying through the $80 sub-sats. (Win a trip to the PCA would be the ultimate goal here obviously)

Full Tilt Poker Ironman Challenge

I qualified for the $30k Ironman freeroll by playing 99% of my poker on FTP during the month of October (it also helped that October had 31 days). Unfortunately, the freeroll is the same day at the Florida/South Carolina game. I am going to the game, so no freeroll for me. I guess I need to email FTP and have them unregister me from the freeroll so that it won't count against my rakeback.

Pot Odds/ What was he thinking?

The hand below shows why you don't make huge overbets in a NL cash game.

I was in the BB and had to call $23 into a $142 pot knowing that I was last to act preflop - no brainer call in my mind, even with 62s. I flopped two pair and planned on check raising. It checked to the button. He immediately went all-in for $634 into a $165 pot - um what? The overbet makes absolutely no sense to me. He obviously doesn't have a set because the flop didn't have many draws and he wouldn't want to chase everyone away. He might have a big pair, but, still, no reason to bet so big. Anyway, I thought this hand was the perfect example of why a huge overbet with only an overpair is a -EV play in a cash game.

FullTiltPoker Game #1171427688: Table Bell (6 max) - $5/$10 - No Limit Hold'em - 16:49:12 ET - 2006/10/30
Seat 1: Crazie 1 ($667)
Seat 2: cptaincrunch ($975)
Seat 3: cmitch ($1,422)
Seat 4: Sleepy_Hippo ($2,459)
Seat 5: Hava Nagila ($985)
Seat 6: Tiltovic ($891)
cptaincrunch posts the small blind of $5
cmitch posts the big blind of $10
The button is in seat #1
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to cmitch [2c 6c]
Sleepy_Hippo raises to $33
Hava Nagila folds
Tiltovic calls $33
Crazie 1 calls $33
cptaincrunch calls $28
cmitch calls $23
*** FLOP *** [2d 6s 3c]
cptaincrunch checks
cmitch checks
Sleepy_Hippo checks
Tiltovic checks
Crazie 1 bets $634, and is all in
cptaincrunch folds
cmitch raises to $1,389, and is all in
Sleepy_Hippo folds
Tiltovic folds
cmitch shows [2c 6c]
Crazie 1 shows [Ts Td]
Uncalled bet of $755 returned to cmitch
*** TURN *** [2d 6s 3c] [7h]
*** RIVER *** [2d 6s 3c 7h] [Qd]
cmitch shows two pair, Sixes and Twos
Crazie 1 shows a pair of Tens
cmitch wins the pot ($1,430) with two pair, Sixes and Twos
Tiltovic: omg
Crazie 1 is sitting out
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $1,433 Rake $3
Board: [2d 6s 3c 7h Qd]
Seat 1: Crazie 1 (button) showed [Ts Td] and lost with a pair of Tens
Seat 2: cptaincrunch (small blind) folded on the Flop
Seat 3: cmitch (big blind) showed [2c 6c] and won ($1,430) with two pair, Sixes and Twos
Seat 4: Sleepy_Hippo folded on the Flop
Seat 5: Hava Nagila didn't bet (folded)
Seat 6: Tiltovic folded on the Flop

FTP has new Mult-Table SNGs

Saturday, October 28, 2006

I noticed that FTP put up a few new MTT SNGs including a 9 table, 6 person per table $55 SNG that pays the top 6. I played one tonight and came in first for $999. I am 1 win for 1 played. I should not play any more of them ever and I can retire with a perfect record. :) Seriously though these seem like a great opportunity to play a quick small field MTT. They have following at the top of their Tourney Lobby right now:

$55 Deep Stack 54 players 6/table - pays top 6
$22 90 players 9/table - pays top 18
$11 90 players 9/table - pays top 18
$5.50 90 players 9/table - pays top 18
$1.25 90 players 9/table - pays top 18

Harrahs announced plans to develop a hard wired/wireless online poker system that is only accessible in it's casinos throughout the US. It looks like they are trying to capitalize on the Safe Port Act. Basically, you will be able to play poker within the casino property on a hard wired or wireless device against other players at the Harrahs casino you are located at or against players at others Harrahs properties. You can play at the bar, by the pool, etc.

Link to the full press release

Looks like an interesting 1st step towards regulation possibly.

Update (Low content alert!!)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I have been a slacker when it comes to updating the blog, so here is a summary of my week. I will try to post more frequently (I am working on the next "I think that you think that I'm thinking..." post)

Fri - Got new tires on my SUV
Fri-Sun - No poker; went to beach with wife for anniversary - No kids along; had fun.
Sun afternoon - Changed flat tire!!! Did I mention that the tires were new.
Sun Night - Played in the Blogger Big Game; busted well before the money; play some cash games and won
Monday - Replaced flat tire - $12 (thanks to road hazard ins being included). Played a Pokerstars PCA sat to the $650 for $80; busted with top set against flush draw early - all money when in on flop; guy turned the flush. Cash games bad.
Tues - Cash games good.
Wed - Cash games good; Played $80 PCA sat and busted about 7 spots from a $650 seat when I overplayed a hand.

Other than that I have been busy at work.

If you haven't checked it out yet, go browse through the new online tourney rankings. They are pretty interesting. - LINKAGE.

That is all.

Neteller - Yuk!!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

"...NETELLER, a company registered outside the US, will comply with the Act and its related regulations as if it were subject to the Act’s jurisdiction. This action is intended to ensure that the Company is able to continue to operate with the support of its principal commercial partners and to protect its shareholders, business partners, employees and reputation."

From their press release - link.

Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure is back!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Pokerstars just started running their sats. to the Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure today!! I really want to go to Atlantis this time around. I am going to come up with a plan to try to get there. I need a few days to think about it. (It isn't going to be easy since I can't seem to win on stars - I must have done something to make Lee Jones mad.)

I re-read the post that I made yesterday and feel like I am just re-hashing stuff that everyone already knows. I'll try to get into more specific details/analysis with examples in the future posts of "I think that you think that I'm thinking.." I wasn't trying to make it sound like the (Elephant, Eagle, Mouse) Phil Hellmuth book - hopefully it hasn't come off that way.

(Part 1 of ?)

(My game is highly dependent upon my impression of what the other players at the table are going to do. Below are my initial ramblings on getting into the other players’ thought processes to maximize value. I will probably edit it into one long article after I finish all my posts on the subject.)

We are always trying to make the most profitable play in every situation, whether it is folding when we know we are beat and our opponent won’t lay his hand down, betting the maximum amount that our opponent will call when we have the best hand, making the right bluff at the right time, making the right size bet when we are bluffing, or making the tough call when you know your opponent is bluffing. The biggest variable is what thoughts are going through the other players’ heads. Knowing the players that you are playing against can greatly improve your profits.

It can be extremely difficult to get into some player’s heads while other players appear to be open books. You must be aware of who is at your table and put yourself into their heads. How do they play their premium hands against me/others - Do they always try to trap, bet big, or mix it up? Are they calling stations? Are they rocks? Are they clueless? Are they tilting? Are they tricky? The key is to pay attention to their play/patterns and exploit it to the best of your ability.

What do they think of you?
You should also ask yourself what other players think of you. What do they think you are capable of? How are they going to react to your play based on your table image/past hands? Do they think you play way too loose or too tight? Have you folded to some re-raises from the same player more than once? Is he/she going to keep pushing until you push back? Is he/she more likely to believe that you have a hand because you have folded to those re-raises in the past? Are they more likely to raise/call you lightly because you have been playing too loose? Are you getting called down way too often when you are representing big hands? Are the other players folding every time you bet?

Make them pay for underestimating you. Switch gears to throw them off. Stay unpredictable and keep them guessing. If you have been playing tight for a while, use that to your advantage by taking down some pots by representing big hands. If you have been playing loose for a while, maximize your profits on your big hands. If they are calling you too lightly when they shouldn’t, sit back and wait and your big hands will probably get paid big.

Do they think that you/everyone plays the same way they do?
After playing with someone for a while you will start to notice some of their tendencies/ betting patterns. Some less observant players think that you/everyone play like them. Use this to your advantage. If he/she bluffs a lot by making oversized bets then make an oversized bet when you have a huge hand in a heads up pot with him. If he/she makes oversized bets with big draws, then make oversized bets when you flop a monster (set, etc) on a draw heavy board? Does he/she usually check (hoping for a check-raise) when they make a huge hand? If so, check-raise them occasionally when it looks like you may have hit your draw. Basically, if they think that you play like them, do the opposite at the optimum times.

Are they capable of folding?
Some players will not fold top pair or a high pocket pair with an over card on the board. Identify these players and punish them. If you know a guy won’t fold top pair, top kicker get as many chips in the pot as you can against him when you have better than top pair, top kicker. The passive calling station type that can’t fold will stop betting, but keep calling, when you raise them if they only has top pair, top kicker. They will usually re-raise with a better hand than top pair, top kicker and you can re-evaluate your hand. The aggressive donk might think top pair, top kicker is the nuts and push all-in to a re-raise. Be patient with them until you are sure you are best, then move in for the kill.

More to come….

Cash out those Party Poker Freerolls

Friday, October 13, 2006

I went to the "convert your Party Poker freerolls to cash" section on Party Poker (since Party Poker is no longer accepting US players) not expecting to find anything. Lucky me. I had $12 worth of freerolls - long forgotten Mini-Step freerolls. Wooohooo!!! :)

To check to see if you have any Party Poker freerolls that you can convert to cash, do the following:

1. Log into your account (web-based)
2. Click Game Info pull down menu
3. Click Freeroll Activity
4. Click Convert freerolls to cash
5. Get the money out of Party Poker as fast as possible.

Is the scheduled maintenance the beginning of the end?

WSOP/WPT Satellites - A Thing of the Past?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

(OK, OK. I know, I can't stop posting about this bill)

It looks like one the biggest hits to poker from the online gambling bill is going be live WSOP and WPT tourneys. The poker sites that remain are not going to be sending people to the World Series of Poker or the World Poker Tour events in the United States. Unless they find a work around this is very bad news for those of us (US Players) that want to play in the World Series of Poker or a WPT (US based) event.

Maybe more WPT events in the Bahamas or Caribbean will start to pop up.

Gboro780 won a FTP Winner's Choice Satellite before the bill and just received the following email that he posted on Pocket Fives:

Date: 10/07/06 07:33 pm
Subject: Re: Important Winner's Choice Prize Information

Dear gboro780,

Unfortunately due to the upcoming change in legislation Full Tilt Pokerwill no longer be able to satellite US residents into live tournaments inUS. This policy will be effective immediately. There are currently 3options that you have with your winner?s choice package.

1. We can credit your account with the $10K buy in. This money would beyours to do with what you please. We will also send you a full assortmentof Full Tilt Poker gear and accessories.

2. You can choose to attend the WPT $10K tournament at the Falls ViewCasino in Niagara Falls, Canada. This event starts on the 24th of Oct andwe would need to know by this Wednesday, the 11th if you would like toplay in this tournament.

3. You can choose to attend the Dublin All-Star Tournament in Dublin,Ireland. This tournament begins on the 17th of Nov. The prize packagefor this event is $8K so in addition to the $2k that you have alreadyreceived and the entry into the tournament, you would be credited another$6K for travel expenses and spending money.

We are extremely sorry for this inconvenience and we hope that you canunderstand the position that we have been put in because of the currentlegal situation.

Please feel free to respond with any questions you may have along withyour decision about what you want to do with your prize package.

Thank you,

Team Full Tilt

It was pretty cool for FTP to give him all of those options, but it sounds like no more WSOP/WPT sats for US Players on FTP.


Mr. Lobo won a WPT Foxwoods Satellite on Paradise Poker before the bill and received the following email that he posted on Pocket Fives:

Dear Mr. Lobo,

The World Poker Tour 'World Poker Finals' event is taking place November 12-16 at the Foxwoods Resort & Casino. Due to the uncertainty of recent US legislation, Paradise has decided to provide the cash value of your $10,000 seat win directly to your ParadisePoker Player Account.

The funds have now been placed in your account balance and are available for cashout. This is detailed in your account history as per the following transaction line:

(...$10,000.00 added to account)

Please note that you will need to purchase your World Poker Finals seat if you are planning on attending the upcoming event. Attached to this email, you'll find a "Foxwoods" document that provides tournament structure, start times and seat purchase directions should you buy your seat upon your arrival at Foxwoods. For information on how to purchase your WPT seat in advance, please call Foxwoods Resort at 1-800-FOXWOODS and ask for the Poker Room.

We regret not being able to host Team Paradise at the WPT main event at Foxwoods this fall and offer our sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused.
Should you have any further questions regarding your seat or if assistance is required to help expedite a cashout, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at Please be assured that the upcoming Team Paradise Niagara event is not affected.

Looking forward to seeing in Niagara in just a few weeks,

Best Regards,

Paradise Promotions

This means there probably won't be many/any poker sites running satellites to the Main Event this year and that sucks.

OK. I said I wasn't going to post any more about the online gambling bill, but I had to share a phone call that I got from my Mom this weekend.

First, let me preface this by saying that my Mom tends to overact.

Saturday afternoon. My wife was out for the evening. I'm feeding my kids (4 1/2 year old daughter and my 1 year old son) dinner, eating and am trying to watch the Gator game (very close game at the time) when the phone rings. I look at the caller ID and see that it is my Mom.

Me: Hello

Mom: I just got off the phone with Helen (her friend that has a son my age). I am not sure if you have seen it yet, but they made online gaming illeg....

Me: I've seen it and have been following it closely, you are over-reacting.

Mom: But, Helen said Robert (Helen's son - 30-something that bets on a ton of sports) is really worried and is taking all his money out of the internet sites because they are going to keep the money and not give it back to him. (She seems 100% certain that they are taking everyone's money)

Me: Robert is over-reacting. I know all of the details and...

Mom: But, it was in the paper today. It was in the paper today. They are shutting down...

Me: I know the details and some sites are shutting down while others are staying. (I explain to her why sites wouldn't take our money and most of the details that we all know - Neteller, Party, FTP, how it isn't illegal to play, poker not falling into the wire act, etc.)

Mom: I was just worried about them taking all your money.

Me: I'll call you later and explain the whole thing. Right now, I am trying to get the kids fed, bathed and ready for bed.

I called back after the kids went to sleep and explained it all to her. She seemed to feel a little better about it but still wasn't 100% sure that "they" weren't going to take my money.

I think the hardest thing to overcome (in relation to this bill) is going to be the lay person's reaction to the news surronding the bill. I have had a couple of non-poker playing friends come up to me and ask what I was going to do for extra money now that online poker is illegal.

Good Game Public view of Online Poker.

It stings to get close

Thursday, October 05, 2006

OK - no post today about the new poker bill.

I sometimes wonder why I even play tourneys. They can be profitable if you make the top 3 - otherwise sometimes I feel like I am just treading water. I bubbled the final table (10th place in the$150 MTT on Full Tilt) last night after my KK lost to AJs all in preflop when I made a set on the flop and my opponent made his flush. I am seriously thinking of just playing mostly cash games for a while - a lot more profits there.

Results since Sunday

Sunday - Party Poker Sunday Million (1,552 out of 5,060) lost KK vs. AK = -$215
Sunday - Titan Poker $215 $100k Guar (finished in middle of pack) = -$215
Sunday - Full Tilt Poker $215 $250k Guar (102 out of 1,279 for $396) = +$181
Monday - Didn't play any MTTs
Tuesday - Didn't play any MTTs
Wednesday - Full Tilt Poker $163 $22k Guar (10 out of 240 for $450) = +$287

Total Sun-Wed = +$38

So you can see why I am a little frustrated with tourneys as of late. The cash games are going well, but I feel like I am wasting time playing the tourneys. I'm sure my opinion would be different if things had gone my way a couple of times late.

Head Spinning

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

My head is spinning.

Must. Stop. Reading. Message. Boards. Must. Stop. NOW!!

I have gotten way to sucked into the drama, speculation, rumors, and facts surronding the new Safe Port Act. Our ports are secure - hooray!! Senators suck and like to slip last minute agendas (internet gambling financial transcation ban) into completely unrelated bills - boo!! hiss!! boo!!

I have done my best to filter through all the BS out there and have a simplistic take on the whole situation and how it relates to the online poker industry:

1. President signs the bill sometime soon. - Given

2. The weak sisters unwilling to laugh in the face of a vague somewhat ambiguous US law shut down. - Party Poker, Cryptologic Sites, Pacific Poker, and a few other smaller sites.

3. Pokerstars 50/50 (could go either way) - They seem to have been gearing themselves to go public over the last few years. They may have difficultly getting listed on the London Exchange if they still accept US business. Pokerstars is probably crunching the numbers on how much the stock would be worth without US business. If it is valuable enough in the open market without US customers, they may ditch us. I guess we have to wait and see.

4. Affliates are screwed - need to make sure your rakeback is through a foreign company. Affliates could be considered aiding in online financial transactions.

5. 270 days pass. Banks are told to stop allowing transactions to poker sites. If they have trouble blocking the transactions, they can not be held liable. They are not required to review paper checks to see if they are payments to/from gaming sites since it would be a major burden to install equipment to review every check.

6. Neteller blows up even bigger than it is now. You may no longer be able to have the poker sites pay insta-cash neteller fees. Bank---> Neteller---> Poker Site ----> Neteller ----> Bank. There is never any direct line from a US financial institution to a gaming site.

7. The sites that remain get bigger thanks to the Party Poker player base. Online poker is almost identical as it was two weeks ago.

8. Justice Department gets a little crazy and tries to shut down Neteller. Nope - Can't do it!! Not allowed!! Illegal!! Go back to Jail!! Do not pass GO!! Do not collect $200 Bonus!!! They can't shut down a foreign company that deals with poker sites and other service related internet sites. They can't regulate Neteller either, because they are located in the Isle of Man. It would be the equivalent of France trying to shut down Paypal because they don't like the fact that Paypal allows you to buy wine from places other than France. (weak analogy, but you get the idea)

9. Business as usual. A few less fish because they might have a little trouble depositing immediately when they hit $0.

10. One day in the distant future (I can dream) online poker becomes regulated. The good/great players profit enormously and even the mediocre players become profitable players due to all the fresh new faces that decide to give this regulated poker thing a try. Hello to,, etc., etc., etc.

This is my last post on the subject in the near future. The issue is near and dear to my heart (and wallet), but I don't think anyone wants to read a blog that is a recap of all the rumors, speculations, and facts from the message boards.

So for the most up to date and best information go to:

Pocket Fives
Two Plus Two - Poker Legislative Forum

Good Luck and Let's all start talking about poker again.

Both and are keeping lists of each site's stance on the new internet gambling bill. Official Statement from various poker sites. - A locked thread single post that appears to be updated as information comes out. Statement from Sites Regarding Legislation - You need to read through the entire thread to get the most updated information.

Things don't seem as bleak today as they did yesterday. The only major change in the near future seems to be Party Poker and Cryptologic sites. The more I read about the bill, the better I feel.

Cardplayer had a pretty good take on the whole subject. (basically, they say it just makes the movement of money onto the poker sites more difficult. It sounds like they think Neteller shouldn't be effected and if they are it violates our personal freedoms.)

Link to Cardplayer article

I am sure there will be some work arounds or sites that still accept US customers for the next 270 days, but after that we may be doomed. :(

It looks like the party might be over (sorry for the cliche)

Link to Party's statement on the bill.

Pokerstars seems to be taking a "let's wait and see" attitude. Item 3 seems particularly disturbing. seems to have some information that Pokerstars might follow right behind Party. - Link.

Lee Jones Post on

Hi folks -Obviously, there are many unanswered questions at this point - we'll let you know more as time progresses.

However, there are three important things that we can tell you right now:

1. Your money is completely safe at PokerStars. It's kept in a segregated account at one of the largest banks in Europe.

2. You do, and will, have 24/7 access to your account funds. You will always be able to get to your money.

3. We have not made a decision one way or another as regards closing our American accounts.

The other thing that I can promise is that we'll keep the lines of communication open to forums such as these. Stay tuned.

Best regards,
Lee Jones
PokerStars Poker Room Manager

I have never played at, but I might start.

This was their statement posted on 2+2:

Can I make a Deposit to TruePoker from the United States ?

Congress passed the UIGE Act of 2006, which covers deposits made by US players to certain types of sites. Our read is that Act covers only sites which offer Sports Betting or Casino type games where you bet against the Site itself. We are not going to be breaking any laws, we believe this Act does not apply to sites not in "the business of betting or wagering", which we are not.

We will need to see what develops in the payments processing industry over the next few weeks with respect to your ability to send money, but TruePoker's poker operations will continue for US players.

Summary: TruePoker does NOT make or accept bets or wagers in which it has any stake in the outcome. So, our games and tournaments, and your deposits, are not covered by this UIGE Act of 2006.

TruePoker does not have a stake in the outcome of the games or tournaments we offer, in the US or anywhere else. (We do not offer casino games or sports betting, and so have no stake in the outcome and are not in the "business of betting or wagering")

Business Decisions:
Certain sites, such as Party and Pacific, have decided to abandon the US poker market as a busness decision. We view our commitment to our customes a bit differently. The Act does not outlaw playing poker on the Internet from the US, period. We certainly will accept deposits and new accounts as long as we can do so. We see NO reason to cut off play in any event under this Act.

As you do, We await developments in the payments processing industry, but it is business as usual for Truepoker's poker operations.

Internet Gambling Bill Passes (Sort of)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

I think it only effects payments from your bank/credit cards directly to online poker/sports betting sites.

Regardless, it will be 9 months (270 days) until we know the full fall out from the bill
Link - Front Page Article on the Subject.

888/Pacific Poker drops US Players - MSN Article Link

Then on the flip side of Pacific Poker
From WSEX (found this on 2+2):

Hi xxxx,

We have absolutely no plans whatsoever of dropping any players.

In short, it will be business as usual. and all its sister companies are legal and licensed businesses regulated by the Gaming Commission of Antigua and Barbuda. We are wholly located in Antigua and do no business or run any part of our operation on US soil.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has recognized the right of Antiguan companies to be in this business and has instructed the United States to stop trying to block US residents from playing at Antiguan operations.

Nothing in the bill criminalizes placing a bet or sending money to or receiving money from an offshore gambling business.

We strongly suggest that our players/bettors get set up with alternative payment systems (such as Neteller and First Pay).

Thanks for your enquiry xxxx.

WSEX is here to stay.

Best regards,

AA vs. KK vs. QQ

Friday, September 29, 2006

Not a whole lot to report lately. I have been pretty busy at work, so I haven't play as much poker as usual over the last week.

Cash games - Things are clicking great. I am averaging 15.2 PTBB/100 over the last week. The main change that I made to my play was tightening up (not a ton - just enough). I looked back over my stats when I was running bad and I was playing way too many hands and getting called in way too spots when my opponent shouldn't have been calling. Basically, I was playing too LAG and my opponents were noticing and not giving my bets respect. I have been switching gears at the right times and it's working.

Tourneys - I have played a few MTTs and gotten close to some bigger payouts but overall show a profit of $241 from MTTs over the last week.

WCOOP - I haven't played any of the WCOOP events because of work and family life. I finished 7th (paid 3 spots - 4-13 got their money back) in a WCOOP Main Event Satellite last night. On Saturday night, I am going to play the $280 100 seat Guarantee Sattelite to the $2,600 Main Event. If I win my way into the Main Event I will play. If I don't win my way into the Main Event, I may play a Sunday $200 MTT on another site (FTP or Party).

Interesting Hand from WCOOP Satellite last night
(AA vs. KK vs. QQ) - luckily I wasn't involved in the hand.

Have a great weekend and good luck to everyone that is playing in the WCOOP Main Event.

How would you play it?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


I can't believe the pots in the new Heads Up 300/600 NL Games on Full Tilt Poker. In case anyone was wondering the two players involved in the hand that I posted yesterday were John D'Agostino and Brad Booth. What kind of bankroll must they have to be playing 300/600NL and how do they figure it is +EV?

Titan Million Promo

Wow - It is going to be incredibly difficult to final table three MTTs in a row on Titan. I made one final table and played a 236 player tourney a couple of nights later. I was running pretty good and wound up busting out in 13th after I got short and pushed from late position with A8s and was calling by 22 (for 2/3rds of his stack). Yeah - 3 FTs in a row should be a cake walk. :)

How would you play it?

$162 MTT on Party
Entries - 465 players
# spots paid - 60 players
Players remaining - 72
Chip Count -14,500 chips
Blinds - 600/1200 w/50 ante.

Table had 7 players.
I was in Seat 7.

Maniac in Seat 6 - He was literally going all in every hand. He won a big pot by going all in with 89s preflop and catching two eights against KK. He went all in preflop the next hand with A5o and took down AK. He had gone all in 6 hands in a row.

Folds to maniac in Seat 6. He goes all in. I have AJs. My question is - do you call all-in here with three players (button and two blinds) left to act behind you? What is your range for calling here - knowing that the maniac has any two? What hands move into your calling range if you are on the button, SB, BB and no one else (other than the maniac) is in the hand?

Hand results
I called with AJs.
Button (with 17k) also called.
SB folds, BB folds.

Maniac - Q6
Me - AJs
Button - QQ
Final Board - 36468

Manic Wins

Nice Pot!!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

FullTiltPoker Game #1035684757: Table Halbert (heads up) - $300/$600 - No Limit Hold'em - 23:20:49 ET - 2006/09/24
Seat 1: LFISGD ($101,497)
Seat 2: John DAgostino ($127,651.50)
LFISGD posts the small blind of $300
John DAgostino posts the big blind of $600
The button is in seat #1
*** HOLE CARDS ***

LFISGD raises to $1,200
John DAgostino calls $600
brickboy777 (Observer): this is sick

*** FLOP *** [Ad Td 6d]
John DAgostino checks
LFISGD bets $2,400
John DAgostino raises to $9,600
LFISGD calls $7,200

*** TURN *** [Ad Td 6d] [9c]
John DAgostino bets $21,600
LFISGD raises to $90,697, and is all in
John DAgostino calls $69,097
LFISGD shows [9d 8d]
John DAgostino shows [5d 4d]

*** RIVER *** [Ad Td 6d 9c] [4c]
LFISGD shows a flush, Ace high
John DAgostino shows a flush, Ace high

LFISGD wins the pot ($202,993.50) with a flush, Ace high
John DAgostino adds $33,845.50

*** SUMMARY *** Total pot $202,994 Rake $0.50
Board: [Ad Td 6d 9c 4c]
Seat 1: LFISGD (small blind) showed [9d 8d] and won ($202,993.50) with a flush, Ace high
Seat 2: John DAgostino (big blind) showed [5d 4d] and lost with a flush, Ace high

Ummm.... WOW!!!

Stumbled across a great post

Friday, September 22, 2006

I was reading the cardrunners message boards and stumbled across a link to a great post about how to handle being 3-bet a lot when you are playing aggressive. If you play no limit cash games, it is a must read.

cts687 blog post

Titan Million Promotion

I have played 3 of the $11 MTTs that fall under the Titan Million Promo and didn't do well in the first two. I final tabled the third one.

One in a row....two more to go. I think anyone that final tables three of these in a row is going to have to be running really, really well/lucky.

Titan $1 Million Freeroll

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Titan Poker has a new promo for a 20 player $1 Million freeroll. Basically, you need to final table 3 selected MTTs in a row. You don't have to final table the MTTs by playing them all in a row, but you do have to final table each of the ones that you play in a row.

Example - You can play one of the selected MTTs on Monday, one Wed., and one Fri. If you final table all three of the selected MTTs that you play (assuming they are the specific MTTs) then you qualify for the 20 player $1 Million freeroll. The freeroll will take place once all 20 spots are taken.

All of the MTTs are low to medium buy-ins.

Click here for all the details from Titan.

Selected MTTs

$3,500 Guaranteed $5 + 0.50 Staged daily at 10:00 EST (rebuy I think)

$2,000 GP Freezeout $5 + 0.50 Staged daily at 13:15 EST

$3,000 GP Freezeout $10 + 1 Staged daily at 14:30 EST

$10,000 Guaranteed $10 + 1 Staged daily at 15:30 EST (rebuy)

$2,500 GP Freezeout $10 + 1 Staged daily at 17:00 EST

$2,000 GP Freezeout $10 + 1 Staged daily at 20:00 EST

Friday $15,000 Guaranteed $30 + 3 Fridays at 17:30 EST

$15,000 GP Freezeout $50 + 5 Saturdays at 16:30 EST

$25,000 Guaranteed $100 + 9 Sundays at 17:00 EST

Back on Track

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Play “YOUR” Game

(This post is in reference to cash games – I haven’t been playing many MTTs lately.)

Things have been clicking again. Why? I have been asking myself that question over and over. What am I doing now that I wasn’t doing during my bad run? There are a few things, but one stands out above the rest.

I am playing my game/style and not trying to play how I think others would play.

I am not sure why I was playing differently, but I was. I think that I was trying to play a style that was different from my normal style of play. I was risking too many chips unnecessarily. I was making too many “big calls” when I knew that I was beat. I was trying to push around/bluff calling stations.

You have to play “your” game. There is always room for improvement through poker books and poker schools, like and, but you shouldn’t make drastic changes. You can test different moves/plays that you learn from these books/sites and keep the ones that work best for you. There is no reason to try to play the exact style that works for others.

I think I got caught up in the Hyper Loose Aggressive Hype. The short handed no limit cash game style that works best for me is a heavily situational style somewhere between LAG and TAG (leaning more towards the TAG side). I pride myself in be able to adjust to the table, recognize betting patterns, induce bluffs, and make the correct size bets that will maximize profits. Instead of thinking through things, I got into the bully mode. There is nothing wrong with the bully mode at the appropriate times, but you have to know when to turn it off. I was having trouble finding the switch. I found myself getting pot committed with my draws and losing the 35%-50% situations a lot more often than winning them.

I will continue grinding at the 2/4 short handed NL level until the end of the month and see if thinks continue to go well. Hopefully, I will continue to play “my” game.

Wow - It has been 1 year already

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Our youngest is 1 year old today. Time flies!!

This is the post that I made 1 year ago after he was born.

Happy Birthday Charlie!!!

(oh yeah - Go Gators!!!)

Last hand of SNG

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I don't usually share bad beats, but this happened on the last hand of a NON-TURBO SNG. I would have finished 1st if they held up, but wound up finishing 3rd. :)

Level VI (100/200) - 2006/09/14 - 15:12:34 (ET)
Table '31871487 1' 9-max
Seat #6 is the button

Seat 5: sportingimag (ME)(5325 in chips)
Seat 6: Ruesink (5800 in chips)
Seat 8: teddo (2375 in chips)

teddo: posts small blind 100
sportingimag: posts big blind 200
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to sportingimag [Ah Ac]
Ruesink: raises 5200 to 5400
teddo: calls 2275 and is all-in
sportingimag: calls 5125 and is all-in
*** FLOP *** [3s Kd 5d]
*** TURN *** [3s Kd 5d] [8s]
*** RIVER *** [3s Kd 5d 8s] [Td]

*** SHOW DOWN ***sportingimag: shows [Ah Ac] (a pair of Aces)
Ruesink: shows [6d 7d] (a flush, King high)
Ruesink collected 5900 from side pot
teddo: shows [Jd Qd] (a flush, King high - Queen higher)teddo collected 7125 from main pot

*** SUMMARY ***Total pot 13025 Main pot 7125. Side pot 5900. Rake 0
Board [3s Kd 5d 8s Td]
Seat 5: sportingimag (big blind) showed [Ah Ac] and lost with a pair of Aces
Seat 6: Ruesink (button) showed [6d 7d] and won (5900) with a flush, King high
Seat 8: teddo (small blind) showed [Jd Qd] and won (7125) with a flush, King high


Satellite Update

Mon. = +$43
Tues. = Didn't play any Satellites
Wed. = -$114
Total (since 9/11)= -$71

Yesterday I played two satellites:

Pokerstars $36+$3 HORSE Satellite for W$215 (-$39)
I finished 17th out of 76.
I was top 10 in chips and was dealt AA in the limit HE round. UTG raised. I 3 bet it with AA. The flop came JQK. UTG bets. I call. Turn is a blank. Check. Check. River is a blank. He bets, I call. He had KQ and just like that I was bottom 2 in chip count. A couple of hands later the Omha H/L round rolls around and I get most of my chips in preflop against a guy that has been raising every hand with Ks4sKh5h. Flop comes Ace high and his AK59 rainbow takes down the pot with top pair.

FTP $69+$6 Satellite to $535
I finished somewhere around 27 out of 33 after I horribly overplayed AK on a AQ2 flop. A river 2 and I was done against a guy with Q2.

Good news is that the cash games have been pretty profitable lately. I am not sure why I am playing the sats. right now, but will probably play a few more this week.

Call Your Senators & Satellite Day 1

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I'm not sure why I am playing the satellites, but here are my results from last night:

Pokerstars $36+$3 NLHE to Event #6 - Finished 1 out of 54 = +$215
FTP $69+$6 NLHE to $500k Guarantee - Finished 22 out of 38 = -$75
Pokerstars $53+$5 NLHE to Event #2 - Finished 66 out of 104 = -$58

Net profit from Satellites (Since 9/11/06) = +$43

Phone March on Washington Today

The PPA and have set up today as a Call Your Senator Phone March on Washington Day to help squash the pending legislation to make online poker illegal. They have set up a phone number to call that will patch you through to your senator's office.


How You Can Stop This Legislation

Talk about the Phone March when you play this weekend. Inform fellow poker players who do not understand how real this threat is. Have them visit the official site, for the phone number and talking points.

On Tuesday from 9:30 ET to 5:30pm ET, we encourage everyone to call 800-289-1136. This is a FREE phone call and will connect you directly to your Senators' offices. You will be connected to one of your two Senators' offices. Here are some talking points for you to use:

1. I am voter in your state.

2. I strongly oppose any legislation that would prohibit online poker, and urge the Senator to vote against such legislation.

3. Poker is a skill game enjoyed by 70 million Americans.

4. The Senator should seek to regulate online poker much like the government regulates other forms of gaming, like lotteries.

5. Prohibitions don’t work. Any legislation that tries to ban online poker will only drive those players underground.

6. Again, I urge the Senator to oppose any attempts to prohibit me from playing the great American game of poker on the Internet.

Together, we need to help keep the current bill in Congress, H.R. 4411, controversial. Doing this will prevent it from being passed. This means YOU can continue to enjoy online poker in the United States.

Call the number or click here for more information.