Friday, February 13, 2004

10pm Pacific: OK, I've plopped my ass back down in Empire $.5/$1 Omaha, playing my own bizarre, semi-tight rules... I probably won't play more than an hour, wifey is watching "Under the Tuscan Sun". Parenthetically, I'd have to say that Diane Lane is one of the best actresses at simulating sex I have ever seen. That is, of course, assuming that she isn't actually having sex on screen, which is a distinct possibility.

Anyway, the poker playing wags at Empire are in full force. I hope to reach +$10BB in this session. I overslowplayed a nut straight, hoping someone else would represent with QJT on board, but it got checked around. I still pulled $12 for the hand, but missed an additional $3 I could've made after the flop. Guys are playing the exact hands I reject: baby pairs and gutshots, so I should be able to hook a few $10 pots with a little patience. Limit Omaha is much better for my discipline, since the NUTS are pretty clear (even if others don't seem to see when they are beaten). Definitely good for a grind like me.

My latest obsession is WhatIfSports, where I have baseball, basketball, and hockey teams. You draft historical players under a salary cap, and you're placed in a league with 23 other teams. You make waiver pickups and minor league deals and it's terribly addictive. Games are simulated two or three times a day and you find yourself clicking over continuously to check if the latest box score is up. My teams suck, mainly because I don't know what stats are key or better to emphasize when building my team, but I expect to drop a lot more money into this to learn how to build a better team.

Update: 1040pm, up only 3BB so far. Under the Tuscan Sun is almost over. Boy, boring chick flick.

Update: 1055pm, up a whopping $1.75. Woo hoo. Got to +8BB for awhile, but got whittled down. Gotta check my WhatIfSports teams now...

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Oh, hey, you can do this every day...?

OK, so I haven’t been the most diligent blogger, but, hey, I’ve been busy. First off, as a card-carrying Republican, I’m disturbed by the hoo-hah regarding gay marriage. Who the hell cares if gay people want to get married? Why is the government involved?

Think about it, why is it any worse (or better) for gay people (or hetero people) to be married versus shacking up? Y’know, marriage is about relationships and commitment, and it’s not like straight people are getting it right. Most figures I’ve seen put the divorce rate for straights at around 50%, which is nothing for anti-gay-marriage types to brag about. Whether or not a couple is shacking up or married, gay or straight, black or white, tall or short, is NOT A GOVERNMENTAL ISSUE. Butt out.

Of course, that cuts both ways. I don’t want to see any laws specifically “guaranteeing” gay rights or black rights or blonde rights or anybody’s rights. The Constitution is fine for that. As long as there aren’t laws that specifically deny any of these rights, we can maintain the Constitution as the ONLY document that addresses rights. Which is how it should be….

Anyway, in poker news, I whored out some money to Empire for a 50% bonus! ($25 on a $50 deposit for playing 125 raked hands). Of course, playing $.50/$1 ring games for 125 hands on Empire is profitable in its own way. I split the hands between Hold ’Em and Omaha and ended up 20BB for three hours work (45BB if you count the bonus). I only play one table at a time, and keep notes on all players (which cards they’ll play/raise in which positions, whether they slowplay, etc.). Granted, people can change their patterns, but most at the low limits seem incapable of such deception. It makes a big difference when you get a good hand if you know the guys behind you will call a preflop raise with 96o or 33, or if you know they’ll always bet when it’s checked to them. I was in the big blind with QTo, flopped 89J rainbow for the nut straight, and KNEW the guy to my left would bet, so I checked. This enabled me to smoothly call and bring in four other fishermen, and when an ace hit the turn, the guy to my left bet and was raised by the guy to my right! I just called, and when a deuce hit the river, I checked, re-raised to $3, and collected over $20 in the pot. Notes pay off.

Omaha takes more patience, but might be more lucrative. I follow some pretty strict guidelines for playing hands, and that pays off handsomely against the hope-and-a-prayer, two-outers at Empire/Party. I won’t play any hand that doesn’t have a pair greater than 9, three connectors higher than 7, or a suited ace. I’m not sure how that jibes with the “experts” or pros, but it pays off well at $.50/$1. So, you keep all your KT77, AQ55, A654 rainbow hands, I won’t play them. I also won’t draw for runner-runner or gutshots, so if I don’t four-flush or two pair my AKxx, I’m out. This may seem draconian and boring, but winning money, even if it’s very very slowly, is exciting to me. I might spend five bucks for three circuits waiting for a hand to hit on the flop, but I guarantee that when it pays off, it’s way more than five bucks.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

OK, so I’ve had friends tell me for years that I should become a writer, based entirely on my annual Christmas letter. Now, for those of you who haven’t received one of these self-congratulatory holiday blogs (usually accompanied by a picture of Junior and Princess wearing Santa hats), you probably either don’t have any friends with school-age kids or you haven’t opened your December mail yet. Either way, here is a typical Christmas letter excerpt:

"...Little Johnny is growing up so fast. Just yesterday, he reprogrammed the Mars Rover from our home PC and learned to speak Urdu. He is the most popular kid in the state and his teachers all adore him. He hit seventy-four home runs during Little League, and scored forty touchdowns in five Pop Warner games. He healed three lepers and is expected to be named Pope as soon as JP2 dies. We’re so proud of him."

Meanwhile, Johnny is busy shaving the cat, getting his underwear run up the flagpole at school, and setting his little sister on fire. Anyway, this kind of semi-fictitious writing inspired comments like “Geez, man, you should be a writer!” and “We look forward to your letter every year!” and “Hey, can I borrow some money?”, completely ignoring the fact that the job of WRITER is more nebulous than Justin Timberlake’s talent and is considerably less lucrative.

Somehow, somewhere, someway, I heard about the poker blogging community. I dunno, maybe the WSOP telecasts had me Google-ing for poker news, maybe it was my buddy who started me on UltimateBet in December... I honestly can’t remember how I started reading these damn things, but I quickly got hooked. I am not web-ignorant by any measure, but I had never even heard of a “blog” before finding Up for Poker by CJ []. Naturally, I followed some of his blogging links to the other sites, and read about the expanding online poker community, and learned, and laughed, and said “Damn, maybe I could inform, entertain, amuse… Dammit, I can do that”.

So here it is. My first entry. I ain’t gonna write only about poker, because that ain’t all I’m interested in. If you read this, you’ll read about poker, baseball, football (I post crap all the time at, entertainment, politics (moderate Republican, should be interesting considering the number of liberal bloggers out there), and my family.

Come on back soon. I'm gonna try for one 30 minute a day post.