Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Back Seat Poker Player

The other night I was working, as usual and Matt signed on. He claimed he was playing 2/4 6-max limit over on Stars and had a crazy table going. I logged into Stars and started to watch his table (no money on stars, so no chance I was going to play). After 20 minutes or so of listening to his hands as he played them, I decided I would start firing back my play which he could choose to use or not for each street.

Yeah, my degeneracy played out with someone elses money in my own head. I suppose its an addict thing to do, playing over Matt's shoulder but hey it can't hurt my wallet. It's not that I dont want to play cards, just that I don't have time legitimately right now.

So, I've been paying attention to the table. I know who the loons are and how Matt's playing, so I played back-seat poker player for an hour or so. It was fun! The best hand went like this... (though my details may be rusty)

Matt in BB, folded to Button who raises as usual. (Last time I had him c/r the flop with middle pair in Button-on-Blind action only to fold our hand). We 3-bet with AJ, he calls.

Flop is 9 high nothing special.

We lead, he raises, we call.

I ask matt to check/call the blank turn. He does.

I ask matt to check/call the blank river, the villain checks behind.

Yeah, our Ace high is good and I let out a YEAH! That's poker baby.

Matt made a few bucks that night, good for him. Best of all I got to sort of play some poker! Good for me!

Toast out.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Poker Source Online Baby!

It is always nice in life when you can bank some extra goodies just for doing something you would have done regardless. Those sorts of opportunities don’t come around too often, though. One company, however, that can give you that opportunity has been around for three years now. Poker Source Online, home of the original free poker promotions, is your best friend if you want to play poker online.

People who don’t know any better will just hear about an online poker room, go straight to its website, and signup. But those who want something extra for their poker dollar will instead go to Poker Source Online (PSO) first. Why? Because PSO gives its customers free gifts just for playing real money poker at a variety of online poker rooms.

Gifts include poker gear such as casino-quality poker chip sets and poker table tops, as well as items to improve your game such as poker books and software. But if you already have all the poker swag you need, you can simply get a gift card to one of several online and brick-and-mortar retailers. And if you see all the different gifts and just can’t decide on what you want, just choose the “PSO Points” option and select from an even wider variety of items later in the PSO Store. Plus, points can be saved up indefinitely, allowing you to nab a more extravagant gift. Did we mention that everything ships free to the U.S. and Canada (and some items even ship free to Europe and Australia)? Well, they do.

There’s much, much more to PSO than just the free gifts. For high volume players, rakeback is available at some online poker rooms. There is an extensive poker forum in which players around the world trade poker stories, advice, and just shoot the breeze. And PSO has given away cash and prizes worth well into six figures through its famous freeroll tournaments and giveaways, which are free to PSO customers.

If you are thinking about playing online poker, you would be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t check out Poker Source Online. Feel free to visit http://www.pokersourceonline.com for more information.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

You Americans Are Messed Up

First it's the online gambling ban attached to some port security bill.

Next it's arresting officials from gaming companies who operate outside your boundaries.

Now it's arresting the founders of Neteller who don't even operate the business and it's not based in your country.

And finally, subpoenas issued to top banks in order to track down people playing online poker "illegally".

You stupid, ignorant people. You don't own the Internet and you don't control what people can do outside your borders. I dont have a problem with saying your citizens can't gamble online so your cash isnt leaking out of your borders -- land of the free my ass, but for messing with companies based outside your borders and out of your jurisdiction... I'm speechless.

Don't get the Toast-man wrong, I'm a Canadian and love my neighbors to the South as people. But through your politics you're destroying the essence of what America was founded on and for.

If you're intelligent and educated, Canada lets people in from every possible other country already so feel free to move on up to the new land of the free.

/end political rant

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Hand That Made Me Love Poker

I have for the past few years, I have tried to spend most of my free time playing poker. It was never my first priority -- I still maintained a life but it became what I wanted to spend my time doing when I had some to spare.

When I started to play, I played strictly limit both live and online and a no-limit tournament online here or there. Limit made sense, the brilliant poker book Small Stakes Hold'em made it easy to win at and it was fun. I somehow got into the Degree Poker tournament (no-limit obviously) and did well, advancing to the semi-final tables and getting some attention for my play.

In that tournament, this hand happened. It changed me.

Middle of Day 2, I am the table chipleader in seat 1. Across from me in 4 is a quite good player who was clearly doing well for himself in cutting down the weaker players as well. I was not a good player or anything, just better than most just based on my growing knowledge of limit poker and I ran decently well. The guy in 4 was definately better than me but was splashing and had a solid stack.

I have Q7s in the blinds and see a free flop of 4-5-7 with seat 4 and another player. I lead hoping to take it down but am raised small by seat 4. I doubt he limped with a huge pair PF and so I decide to call his raise and re-evaluate the turn. Turn is a 3. At this point I figure he would stick me on a 6 so I check, he bets half-pot and I call planning to lead/bluff the river. River is a 6 putting a board straight up and I immediately lead for pot which had his stack covered. I tipped my baseball hat down, stared down at the table knowing he couldn't see me so even if I was giving it away he couldnt see it. He stared at me for a good 2-3 minutes before saying "good bet, I can't call" and folding.

What do I think of this play now? Well, i might play it differently, but the instinct was there to put the man to a test for all his chips when I thought he was weak. Pulling off my first big bluff turned me from mathematical limit poker to no-limit immediately. It also made me love the game like never before. In limit, bluffs aren't really doable in the low-limits where I play, but in NL, it works! I blame the last few years of poker insanity on that one hand.

Poker has padded my bank account a little, but more importantly taught me a few things about myself and my tendencies under pressure. In starting up my new company, I hope those things i have learned in poker will translate to action and success in my business. I also hope that I find a few hours here and there to play the game that's given me so much.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Horror of Horrors, I Lost Money At The Home Game

Yep, that's right folks. Yours truly lost money at the poker home-game tonight. /shock and awe expected from every reader

It all began with getting crap cards all night. I literally might have played 20% of my hands, which, considering most of my playable hands included 96s and T7o means the cards were really awful. Unfortunately when I had decent cards, I was normally Out-Of-Position.. meh, sometimes the cards run this way.

Then, one of our players, Jay, goes on a monster heater. At one point he goes AI pre-flop with 99 v AK and wins, next hand I get 88 and raise to $2, one caller, he pushes! Hmm riding out his heater? I figure I'll donate (no I didnt expect to have the best hand with 88) and unfortunately was behind to JJ and didnt suck out which is unusual for me at the game (see the donk post previously). One stack burned. Should have folded my crap hand....

In another hand, I have KQs in the blinds and call, flop is K-8-3r. I lead, Matty calls. I lead the turn (blanko) and Matty calls. I smell something funky so check the river but couldnt fold to his $7 bet there and he beats me with K-3 (doh!). Should have folded my crap hand...

Anyways, I had my stack down to 28ish before winning a PF AI with Jay with my TT v his A6 (?) Oh well, he was on a heater can't blame him.

Brett did well tonight as did Jay. Harry and Vito donated to their cause. Toasty ends up down $15, Matty's up $12.

Oh, and Matt's 50" plasma looks pretty damn sick with XBox 360 though he does not for some reason yet have Gears of War. I like FIFA and all but Gears looks mindblowing. That Matt guy has got it all together lately... if only he knew how to practice his golf swing he might actually get better. Keeps talking about new clubs.. yeah, its the clubs why you didnt improve in '06.... not the total lack of time spent working on your game... hah. Oh well, he's still better than me at the game.

Yeah, this was a babbling post, so what?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Back To Square One

Well poker fans, the Toastman is back to square one in terms of poker bankroll. I basically did exactly the same thing I did last year -- cashed out for the new year.

Don't worry, I left myself $550ish to play with at 50NL or wherever I'm beating Matt for any particular day, but I'm so busy I figure why let a poker site earn my interest on a few K?

2006 was OK in poker terms, I didn't play very much as you long time readers know. Haven't run the accounting (I'm Canadian so tax isnt an issue on windfall income :) ) but I figure I made $2500-3000ish profit at first guess.

Oh, and you'll notice I changed the layout a little on G+P here... you guys like it?